oh sad new world, that has such foolishness in it!

The internet is a seething pool of ‘stuff’, and one of the challenges faced by those using it is to distinguish useful information from foolish fantasy. And there surely is a lot of the latter! Thus we find that

According to a BBC news story, the Indian government’s Agriculture Minister  has said that yogic farming would “empower the seeds with the help of positive thinking”, and that this ‘would help improve yield and soil fertility and contribute to making India prosperous.’ This has been quite widely reported, with more details of the Minister’s comments given in the Indian Express, including this one:

The idea is to help farmers. With the help of Rajyog [yogic practices], we should enhance fertility of the soil. It will help activity of micro-organisms in the soil too.

Somehow I can’t see magical thinking having much effect on seeds, fungi, protozoa, or bacteria…

Lemons neutralise acidity. Yes, you read that right. This bit of mythinformation keeps popping up on various ‘natural health’ sites – here, for example. These sites all make the same claims: that the stresses of modern life put the body’s pH out of whack, and that various foods can fix the problem (some even going so far as to suggest that eating the ‘right’ ie ‘alkaline’ foods will help to prevent or cure cancer). And for some weird reason lemons are listed as a food that will neutralise that pesky acidity and set the body to rights. (The site I linked to also lists pineapples, limes, oranges, tangerines, kiwifruit, and vinegar as foods that will make your tissues more alkaline.)

The fact that lemons contain citric acid, that anything ingested must pass through the highly acidic environment of the stomach; and that the body does an excellent job of maintaining a constant pH environment around its cells – all this is happily ignored. Luckily there are science bloggers out there who do an excellent job of addressing this nonsense – Dr Kat Day’s The Chronicle Flask is one of them, & you should go there now & read her great explanation of why lemons are not going to neutralise acidity and why claims to the contrary are nonsensical.

And if your DNA’s been damaged by exposure to fluoride, never fear! For you can repair that damage by reprogramming water’s memory, or so a commenter on the Girl Against Fluoride’s FB page would have others believe. You have to distill the water first:

The forced medication [community water fluoridation] corrupts our DNA, Distilling the water clears any memory in the water, which then allows you to reprogram it.

And how does that work? Apparently you can

reprogram the memory in it with a water proof speaker. Play the 528hz tone in the distilled water. The distilled water will absorb the vibration and change the structure of the water molecules. This water will help repair your DNA.

So here we have an example of someone who doesn’t understand chemistry and also believes in homeopathy (the first is pretty much required for the second). Their thinking seems to be in line with the dangerously crazy idea, promoted by some homeopaths, that homeopathic ‘remedies’ can be delivered via mp3 recordings. And the idea that water’s ‘structure’ can be modified by good or bad vibrations seems to hark back to the claims made by one Dr Emoto, who claimed that he could distinguish between ice crystals depending on whether they’d been the subject of good or bad ‘intent’. Orac did a thorough dissection of these claims back in 2009, so it would appear that some woo never changes.


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