In his own words, here is Boyd on "the action
of microdoses mercuric choloride on diastase" in the 1941 British Homeopathic
Journal (31,5): "The difference in rate of hydrolasis between flasks
containing starch, diastase and distilled water and flasks containing starch
diastase and microdoses of mercuric chloride (tests) were compared colormetrically
by the Spekker absortiometer and the frequencies of the differences statistically
analyzed . . . More than 500 such comparison were carried out. The differences
of means were examined by the Fischer "t" test, the variances tested and
Cochrane and Cox's test applied wehre indicated. All the series gave a
highly significant difference in the rate of hydrolysis between controls
and tests, THE MICRODOSES STIMULATING THE PROCESS . . . . The solutions
were theoretically 'dilutions' of the order of 1 in 10 to the 61st power
and on present phsyical theory would not contain any molecules of the original
As is quoted by Syd Baumel of the "Winnipeg Aquarian" in the post below to Mike Hutchinson, the author of "Bizarre Beliefs", Dr. Randi will go wherever the evidence will present itself.
Obviously, then, since Boyd reported diastase effects in 1941 dated back 15 years to earlier research, our next question should be "Who is Perrsons?" But first I'd like to ask Dr. Randi, does he have extra space in the JREF library for the mounting evidence? It certainly leads to reporduction by serious scientists (the NIST man at Mt. St.Mary's?), don't you think?
And if you think that Boyd or Perssons are the only two researchers of consequence or that the diastase test is the only one which demonstrates the mechanical effects subtle energy emanations, hold your tongue before declaring your belief, because there is a growing concordance . . . a goldmine . . . of evidence in these old homeopathic journals. .
Evidence that is reproducible. Such as the yeast test that Randi promised to negotiate a protcol with me on August 11, and then left for Las Vegas instead.
Did he think he would be luckier shooting dice or counting cards than he would be in negotiating one of his notriously "tight" protocols?
To assist me in making the point about reproducibility, I direct your attention to a 1994 article in the Lancet (Vol 344, December 10, 94) written by an interdisciplinary team of scientists at Glasgow University, led by David Reilly, "IS EVIDENCE FOR HOMEOAPTHY REPRODUCIBLE?"
"We tested, under independent conditions, the reproducibilty of evidence from two previous trials that homeopathy differs from placebo . . . A metanalysis of all three trials strengthened the evidence that homeopathy does more than placebo . . . . Our results lead us to conclude that homeiopathy differs from placebo in an inexplicable but reproducible way."
I propose that Dr. Randi, with his contacts at TIME and the Discovery Channel and the capital backing of Goldman Sachs, approach the Congress of the United States, which for over !00 YEARS has mandated the manufacture and use of homeopathic medicines, and reproduce, with myself as witness and critic, some of these tests until we have a clear understanding of the phenomenon.
Syd Baumel wrote:
>>This raises the question: in
>>these tests, have independent people qualified to rule out "shell game"
>>type manipulations by Randi or his people been involved?
> I am surprised you asked that question Syd. In response to a posting of
> yours I posted the following on August 10th:
> "I was present on another occasion when Randi
> allowed a parapsychologist to be involved in a test. That was Julian
> Isaacs who was a proponent of psychokinesis. Randi allowed Julian to
> hold his cheque for $10,000 which he was to hand over to the claimant if
> he clearly demonstrated his claimed ability. For further details see The
> Skeptical Inquirer (8.4.329)."
I can't tell from this account if Isaacs had any involvement beyond
"holding the cheque," or even if he would have been capable -- given the
opportunity to approve of and preside over the entire procedure -- of
"cheatproofing" it. One of the most common criticisms of parapsychologists
(and scientists in general) made by Randi and other hardline skeptics is
that they simply don't have the savvy to design truly cheatproof tests.
That same lack of savvy should, theoretically, prevent someone like Isaacs
from determining if a Challenge claimant is being had by Randi. Sounds
very cynical, I know. But if you want Randi's Challenge to be accepted as
truly objective and impartial -- double-blind and double-cheatproof --
there's no way around this kind of studied cynicism. Please
note: I am not stating this with nihilistic, "the Challenge can never be
fair!" intentions. I would really like to to work and to be seen to work
so we can, as Randi likes to say, boldly go where the evidence clearly
> Mike Hutchinson
> Co-author of 'Bizarre Beliefs' (with 'Guardian' columnist Simon Hoggart)
> See http://www.hutch.demon.co.uk
> Please remove "no.rubbish" from reply to address
Dealing with Depression Naturally
and other books by Syd Baumel.
...and cool record reviews!