This research documentary on the hypothesis that water has the capacity to retain memory reminds me of claims made years ago by Dr. Masaru Emoto on Water Consciousness. It’s definitely not conventionally accepted science. These experimental results explore some strange aspects of water. Fringe science? Maybe. Fascinating and thought-provoking? Definitely.
My guess is it is hard to digest these types of experimental results in the scientific social body since we have no linear way to trace the phenomena to a source and thereby understand it using our conventional materialistic conceptual models of physics and biology. We only have these quizzical defiant results of experimental outcomes which we then try to fit into our existing models. Our penchant to reject phenomena that runs counterfactual to our assumed models of reality is notorious.
I suppose the social structural aspects of science may be a key factor. Science as a social body, like all established social bodies, includes a priest class of respected and decorated guardians. These guardians of the zeitgeist of conventional dogmas keep them well-nourished and protected. Massaging information into existing narratives to protect the integrity of the existing group, including its perspective is a quite human thing to do. Rejecting things that do not fit is also part of this guardian aspect. Groups develop immune systems. It happens on any number of human social fronts because of how we value stories as a social binding agent. Acceptance and rejection of data is often motivated by deeply seated biological algorithms that are detached from the superficial rationalizations we use to express devotion to satisfying them. This includes how we nourish and protect the integrity of institutional community environments. The people who inhabit scientific domains depend on this social defense architecture because it satisfies social drives for validation, purpose, meaning, and livelihoods.
I fit this phenomenon into the same category of the weird outcomes that characterize the double-slit experiments. These results differ based on whether or not a measurement device is applied as light passes through slits. I wonder if there might be a connection to the research that found cat purrs have a positive effect on bone healing. Science traces this to a triggering of the release of endorphins and so on but there may be something else at play that is beyond the model of the current scientific lens.
Consciousness or episodic memory, indeed the recording of patterns without the preapproved conventional neuron model is blasphemy in a science society so heavily dependent on the campfire of certainty that emanates from a materialistic explanatory lens. Perhaps anthropocentric perspectives morphed rather than died out in the West with the age of enlightenment. It does seem consciousness in any form as an influence outside the boundaries of materialistic conventions is the third rail of western science. Anyone that touches it in unapproved ways, or discovers experimental data that counters conventional views, is excommunicated from the scientific social body. Materialism as the axiom by which all things should be measured renders great insight, but like any virtue applied too zealously becomes a vice, it does come with a generous side dish of blind spots. Maybe this is one of them. Stay tuned…
Interesting, I will try to watch the documentary.
The concept of “water has memory” would have got a boost in the popular consciousness because it was a premise of Disney’s “Frozen II” lol. I had no idea that it was a scientific hypothesis in any form. I just assume it was part of the new-agey made-up mythology of the film (which is not particularly convincing to me). But maybe in 10-20 years there will be a resurgence of interest in this theory because of the children that movie influenced.
It may be new-agey made-up mythology but it long predates Disney’s appropriation of cultural tropes in its movies to rope children into its economic and ideological matrix. Emoto’s work was certainly debunked severely after it appeared in the new-agey movie “The Secret”. Having said that, from Copernicus and Galileo, to Lynn Margulis and Barbara McClintock, ideas being debunked by the guardians of convention is not a strict disqualifier for me. In fact, when speculation is debunked by those who learned what others thought and use regurgitation as a patience of nobility to legitimize their social niche, it makes the topic more interesting to me. I try not to get caught in every fringe wind but I also try to keep an open mind about possibilities especially when science struggles to map the areas in question. At this point, I don’t know for sure.
I do know there’s an uncanny understanding of the natural story we inhabit embedded in current mythology motifs such as Christianity and Hinduism. If we stretch our temporal vision of the myth types we adopt backward in time to the first fruits of our collective recognition of this story we inhabit, animism was the most common starting place. We still see pockets of this in remote tribes that have not been swallowed by modernity and the corresponding linear reductionist ideas that solidify modern cultural perspectives.
Early human culture held the notion that things are infused with sentience. This was the common ground for first adopting myth in culture as a map of who and where we are. This is quite telling to me – in the same way it is telling how animals are somehow able to intuit what is good to eat or poison, which plant can serve as medicine for which ailment or not, and so on. Our capacity to read the surroundings intuitively with an awareness that transcends and surpasses the capacity to conceptualize by way of verbal thought is fairly plain to me. I have a strong suspicion that our modern idea maps denature and mediate some of that former intuitive understanding at least from our conscious awareness. It still works in a cognitive black market kind of way, just outside our direct lines of sight. Later mythic concepts arguably refined the resolution of the map with more details in the way the story was painted with words, but the principle of agency beyond human form transcends the development process of human affinity for religious myths to orient our place in the cosmos.
Discovery often comes from the fringe because of the way we digest and then begin to sanctify accepted ideas on a cultural level. People with brilliant scientific minds like Brenardo Kastrup, a renown physicist, Dr. Christof Koch who runs the Allen Institute for Brain Science, along with people like Rupert Sheldrake are just a few of the persons who embrace what could be called a neo-animism in the form of panpsychism or what Rupert calls morphogenic fields. They have thought through this problem with some fairly rigorous rationale.
Linear reductionist materialistic science thinks we will discover the meaning of the story by breaking its constituents down further and further. We can’t dissect a person to find out where their individual rights are, nor their authority and the like. Neither can we break apart the letters of a written story to find the full meaning. Emergent properties born of relationship systems don’t work like that.
I would consider it foolish to embrace all speculation as much as I would to reject it based on how the establishment types respond. I take the position that we are still new to mapping this thing called us, so settling things, especially such as yet unresolved domains like consciousness, before the issue is fleshed out with enough evidence is a recipe for a warm blanket of dogma but not discovery. I could be wrong.
Indeed, the late Edward O Wilson, whom we both respect, had proposed the idea of biophilia to explain and encapsulate such matters.
In any case, thank you once again for your latest offering of this pertinent and well-written post. In many ways, I agree with you. It would be far too expansive for me to flesh out the additional and salient issues in a comment here. However, I have highlighted a lot of these issues in some depths in my post entitled “👁️ The Purview of SoundEagle🦅: A Multidisciplinary and Consilient Approach to Critique and Creation in Art, Science, Poetry, Music and Ideas 🖼️📰📜🎶💭“, available at
By the way, this particular post may provide some fresh ideas for your future endeavours. Please enjoy!
Wishing you a productive 2023 and a wonderful springtime doing or enjoying whatever that satisfies you the most, whether intellectually, physically or spiritually!
I did indeed come back and watch that documentary. Fascinating, especially the implications for medical care.
It does lend some interesting reason for temperance to the thing that gets made fun of the most in homeopathy, My perspective centers on entertaining rather than eliminating the possibilities in these domains we have not covered with much more than self reflecting assumptions, ridicule defense, financial and social agendas and so on.
I could be wrong.