Ceremony for the Waters

We will be supporting this Ceremony for the Waters on Saturday and bringing some of the polluted water to our Medicine Water Ceremony on Sunday 19th at 6 PM at Frenchy’s Park.
Saturday, June 18, 9:00 am
 
TWO-MILE DAM
Santa Fe Canyon Preserve
Cerro Grande & Upper Canyon Rd
Be part of a worldwide event!

Making beauty for
Earth’s wounded places
BRING: Water, offerings, drums, songs, flowers
INFO: Liz Gold, lizg.nm@gmail.com
 

Medicine Water Wheel Schedule 2016

Medicine Water Wheel Schedule 2016

There will be a Medicine Water Wheel ceremony in Frenchy’s Park for the Full Moon on Sunday  19th June at 6 PM to bless the Full Moon, Summer Solstice and Father’s Day. Hope you can make it.  Please join us. Here is the schedule for the upcoming water wheel ceremonies for the rest of the year:

WaterWheel

fluoride causes cancer

http://www.naturalnews.com/053953_fluoride_cancer_water_safety.html

Undeniable evidence from numerous studies proves that fluoride causes cancer

Monday, May 09, 2016 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) The California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) recently released a document called Evidence on the Carcinogenicity of Fluoride and Its Salts that highlights the many health hazards caused by the consumption of fluoride. And the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) recently submitted a compilation of its own to OEHHA, which is soon to make a final decision concerning fluoride’s toxicity, providing additional evidence that fluoride causes cancer.

FAN has been working for many years to raise awareness about the toxicity of fluoride, with the eventual goal of getting it removed from public water supplies. And its most recent efforts involving OEHHA could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, so to speak, as it has the potential to unleash the truth about fluoride on a massive scale, and spark a revolt against its use.

According to a recent FAN press release, OEHHA’s report was birthed out of an inquiry into the science of fluoride’s toxicity. It is also a prelude to the group’s scientific advisory board Carcinogen Identification Committee (CIC) meeting to be held on October 12 – 13, 2011, which will make a decision on the status of fluoride as a carcinogen.

The OEHHA report already states that “multiple lines of evidence (show) that fluoride is incorporated into bones where it can stimulate cell division of osteoblasts [bone-forming cells],” an admission that already recognizes fluoride as a cause of bone cancer. The report goes on to state that fluoride induces “genetic changes other cellular changes leading to malignant transformation, and cellular immune response thereby increasing the risk of development of osteosarcomas.”

To add to this, FAN presented OEHHA with additional studies from the National Research Council (NRC), the National Toxicology Program (NTP), and several esteemed universities that all illustrate a link between fluoride consumption and various cancers, including liver and oral cancers, and thyroid follicular cell tumors.

With this mountain of evidence, the only logical conclusion OEHHA can come to in October is that fluoride is a toxic poison — and just like lead and other known toxic chemicals already are in California, worthy of being publicly identified as dangerous.

“While we understand that there will be tremendous pressure put on the CIC and OEHHA by the proponents of fluoride and fluoridation, we ask that the Committee continue to rely on its high level of scientific knowledge and integrity when deliberating and reaching a final conclusion on the carcinogenicity status of fluoride and its salts,” wrote FAN as part of its official submission.

To read the entire FAN press release, which contains further details about the cancer studies included, visit:

http://www.prnewswire.com

Santa Fe Global Water Festival promo video

Santa Fe Global Water Festival promo video

http://youtu.be/uwLmPD6C9ew

 

 

Fluoride part 2

CHALLENGING THE PRO-FLUORIDATION MANTRA, part 2.
Introduction.

Promoters of fluoridation repeat ad nauseam the mantra that fluoridation is “safe”, “effective” and “cost effective.” In part 2 I discuss the 6 KEY PAPERS that challenge the mantra of fluoridation’s “safety.” Or to be more precise – since there is no question that fluoride is very toxic and damages health – we will demonstrate that there is no adequate margin of safety to protect all citizens drinking artificially fluoridated water (and getting fluoride from other sources) from known health effects.

STUDIES ON THE TOXICITY OF FLUORIDE AND SAFETY OF FLUORIDATION

5. National Resource Council of the National Academies. 2006. Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards.

A landmark report on the toxicology of fluoride is available to read and search for free online. It is one of the very few reviews of fluoride for which the panel was balanced. It contained both pro and anti-fluoridation scientists. The report concluded that the current U.S. maximum contaminant level for fluoride (4 ppm) in drinking water is an unsafe level for human health. The panel recommended that the EPA conduct a new risk assessment to establish a goal for a safe level of fluoride in drinking water (Maximum Contaminant Level Goal, MCLG) and thence a new Federally enforceable standard (or MCL). After over 8 years the EPA has not completed this determination and so for 8 years the US continued to operate under unsafe standards for fluoride in water.

BONE DAMAGE. Among many health concerns the panel noted that fluoride damages the bone and accumulates there with a significantly long half-live. The first symptoms of bone damage are indistinguishable from arthritis and with further accumulation (fluoride’s half life in bone is at least 20 years) it makes the bones more brittle and prone to fracture.

ENDOCRINE DISRUPTER. The panel also concluded that fluoride is an endocrine disrupter. It lowers thyroid function and accumulates in the pineal gland (see paper 6 below).

NEUROTOXICIY.  Many animal studies indicate that fluoride can enter and damage the brain via a number of mechanisms. At thetime this review was published only 5 IQ studies were available. Since publication this total has risen dramatically. Including new studies and older Chinese studies that have been translated by FAN, there are now (as of Dec 2014) 49 studies, of which 42 show an association between exposure to fairly modest doses of fluoride and lowered IQ (see papers 7-9 below). For those who want more details of all the animal and human studies on fluoride’s toxicity see FAN’s health database

OSTEOSARCOMA.At the time of publication the NRC panel had been informedbyFAN of a doctoral thesis by Elise Bassin from Harvard, whichindicated an association between exposure to fluoridated water at a critical age range in young boys (6-8 years) and succumbing by the age of 20, to osteosarcoma, a frequently fatal bone cancer. The NRC did not take a definitive position on this study preferring to wait for the study to be published. Bassin’s publication came in May of 2006 (discussed below, see paper 10). However the same edition of the journal also contained a letter from her pro-fluoridation thesis advisor Chester Douglass claiming that his larger study would show that her thesis did not hold. However, he has never published this promised rebuttal of her thesis.

Subsets of US population exceeding EPA’s safe reference dose. While the NRC review did not study fluoridation as such (either its risk or benefits), the authors did provide an exposure analysis (see Chapter 2). The panel showed that several subsets of the population drinking fluoridated water at 1 ppm fluoride (including bottle-fed infants) are exceeding the EPA’s safe reference dose of 0.06 mg/kg/day (see the diagram on page 85). This finding makes nonsense of the claim by both ADA and the CDC that this very important review was not relevant to water fluoridation.

No margin of safety. Based on this review it is abundantly clear that fluoride damages health and that for several end-points (including lowered IQ), there is no adequate margin of safety to protect all individuals in a large population drinking fluoridated water. This critical conclusion is often lost on promoters of fluoridation who confuse concentration with dose. They simplistically compare the concentration of fluoride in the water of the community examined with the concentration of fluoride in artificially fluoridated water. Such a comparison does not provide a margin of safety. For that one needs two things:

First, one has to ascertain the range of dosesin the fluoridated population. This takes into account how much water citizens drink (which can be very large because there is no control on the amount of water consumed) and how much fluoride they get from other sources.

Second, in order to determine a safe dose (sufficient to protect everyone) one also has to take into account the full range of sensitivity to a toxic substance anticipated in a large population. It is the failure to do this that has been the biggest and most reckless mistake of the fluoridation program since it began and fluoridation promoters today.

6. Luke J. 2001. Fluoride Deposition in the Aged Human Pineal Gland.Caries Research 35(2):125-128. See also Luke’s PhD thesis click here.

Luke showed that fluoride accumulates on the calcified deposits in the human pineal gland and lowers melatonin production in animals. No health agency in any fluoridating country has attempted to repeat Luke’s work despite the fact that melatonin levels have been related to many health problems. For example, Autistic children produce no melatonin.

7. Xiang Q, Liang Y, Chen L, et al. 2003a. Effect of fluoride in drinking water on children’s intelligence. Fluoride 36(2):84-94, and Xiang Q, Liang Y, Zhou M, and Zang H. 2003b. Blood lead of children in Wamiao-Xinhuai intelligence study [letter]. Fluoride 36(3):198-199.

Of the 42 (out of 49) studies (as of Dec 2014) that have found a relationship between fluoride exposure and lowered IQ, the Xiang study is one of the most important.

In the Xiang study, the authors controlled for key confounding values such as lead, and iodine (and arsenic retrospectively), parental income and educational status. In addition to comparing the mean IQ of children between the high-fluoride and low-fluoride village (a drop of 5-10 IQ points across the whole age range) they also sub-divided the children in the high-fluoride village into 5 groups with mean fluoride concentrations ranging from 0.7 to 4.3 ppm (see Table 8 in their study).

By focusing on one village they eliminated any other environmental differences between the two villages. They found that as the fluoride concentration in the five sub-groups increased two things happened: 1) the mean IQ systematically decreased and 2) the percentage of children with an IQ less than 80 (borderline mentally handicapped) dramatically increased from 0% to 37.5%.

Lowest level where IQlowered. The lowering of IQ is first observed in the sub-group at 1.53 ppm, and bearing in mind the range of fluoride concentration for that sub-group, one has to conservatively assume that some children in this study would have had their IQ lowered at the lower end of the range fluoride concentrations in this group 1.26 ppm.

Such a result leaves absolutely no margin of safety to protect all children in an artificially fluoridated community (fluoride levels between 0.7 to 1.2 ppm) from this serious outcome. Please note there is no margin of safety to protect:

A) Against the full range of exposure, especially when you consider the different amounts of water drunk by children and their exposure to other sources such as toothpaste. It should also be added that in two respects the Chinese children in the Xiang study would have had less exposure to fluoride from two key sources than American children. Children living in rural Chinese villages are less likely to be using fluoridated toothpaste and less likely to be bottle-fed (bottle-fed babies, where the formula is made up with fluoridated water, get about 200 times more fluoride than breast-fed babies).

B) Nor does it protect against the full range of sensitivity expected in a large population (as discussed in 5 above).

The last children that need a further lowering of IQ are children from low-income families, whose IQ has already been compromised by so many other factors (e.g. poorer diet, poorer educational opportunities and more exposure to pollution). Yet it is these children who are the primary target of fluoridation programs.

8. Choi AL, Sun G, Zhang Y, Grandjean P. 2012. Developmental Fluoride Neurotoxicity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Environmental Health Perspectives, 120(10):1362–1368.

This Meta-analysis of 27 IQ studies was conducted by a team from Harvard including world-famous neuroscientist Philippe Grandjean (an expert on mercury and author of the recent book, “Only One Chance”). This team acknowledged weaknesses in many of the studies but also noted the remarkable consistency of the finding that IQ was lowered in 26 out of the 27 studies reviewed. The average lowering was 7 IQ points, which is substantial, considering that at the population level even an average lowering of one IQ should be avoided.

9. Choi AL, Zhang Y, Sun G, et al. 2015. Association of lifetime exposure to fluoride and cognitive functions in Chinese children: A pilot study.Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 47:96–101.

This Pilot study in China was carried out at fluoride levels, which overlap levels used in US fluoridation programs. They didn’t measure IQ specifically in this study but reported the results of a very simple test: the child’s ability to repeat a sequence of numbers both forwards and backwards. Even children with very mild dental fluorosis performed less well on this specific mental development test, than children without fluorosis. One of the experts involved in this study was Dr. David Bellenger who is world famous for his studies on lead’s neurotoxicity.

Another co-author was Dr. Philippe Grandjean and in an editorial on his website “Chemical Brain Drain”he used this study to counteract the claim from proponents that the IQ findings were not relevant to the fluoride levels used in water fluoridation. For the children in this study, Grandjean writes:

“Their lifetime exposures to fluoride from drinking water covered the full range allowed in the US. Among the findings, children with fluoride-induced mottling of their teeth – even the mildest forms that appears as whitish specks on the enamel – showed lower performance on some neuropsychological tests. This observation runs contrary to popular wisdom that the enamel effects represent a cosmetic problem only and not a sign of toxicity. At least one of five American children has some degree of mottling of their teeth…Prevention of chemical brain drain should be considered at least as important as protection against caries.” (my emphasis, PC).

10. Bassin EB, Wypij D, Davis RB, Mittleman MA. 2006. Age-specific fluoride exposure in drinking water and osteosarcoma (United States). Cancer Causes and Control, May;17(4):421-8.

This is the only study of osteosarcoma (a frequently fatal bone cancer in children), which studied the age at which exposure to fluoride was experienced. The authors write:

We observed that for males diagnosed before the age of 20 years, fluoride level in drinking water during growth was associated with an increased risk of osteosarcoma, demonstrating a peak in the odds ratios from 6 to 8 years of age. All of our models were remarkably robust in showing this effect, which coincides with the mid-childhood growth spurt.

The finding that there may a critical window of vulnerability in young men has never been refuted – or even investigated – since Bassin’s paper was published in 2006. The shocking fact is that with this paper comes the possibility that a few young men each year may be dying from osteosarcoma because they have been exposed to fluoridated water at a critical age. Even though this has not been refuted the practice of fluoridation continues to be pushed by health authorities. Where is the precautionary principle here?

Conclusion:

Between them the TEN KEY PAPERS (listed in part 1) invalidate all three claims of the pro-fluoridation mantra.

Fluoridation is not effective.

 The largest US study (Brunelle and Carlos, 1990) and the most precise study of children’s tooth decay (Warren et al., 2010) provide little evidence that swallowing fluoride reduces tooth decay. Featherstone, 2000 (and others) have provided the probable reason for these problematic results. The predominant (if any) benefit of fluoride is topical not systemic. There is no need to swallow fluoride to fight tooth decay and there is no justifiable reason to force people to drink fluoridated water against their will.

Fluoridation is not safe.

There is no disputing the fact that fluoride damages health but what about fluoridation? The landmark 500-page review by the National Research Council (NRC, 2006) showed that certain subsets of the US public are exceeding the EPA’s safe reference dose for fluoride, including bottle-fed infants. The NRC (2006) reviewed many health impacts for which there is no adequate margin of safety to protect all individuals drinking fluoridated water. These include lowered thyroid function, accumulation in the pineal gland (Luke et al., 2001), bone damage, and lowered IQ (Xiang at al, 2003a,b). Xiang found that some children had their IQ lowered at fluoride levels as low as 1.26 ppm. Xiang’ study was one of 42 studies that have found this effect. A Review by a Harvard team (Choi et al, 2012) found an average lowering of 7 IQ points in 26 out of 27 studies. Choi et al, 2015 found learning disabilities in children with very mild fluorosis, which impacts many US children. Thus fluorosis at any level can no longer be considered merely a cosmetic affect. A study by Bassin et al., 2006 has disturbingly shown that some young boys may be losing their lives each year from being exposed to fluoridated water at 1 ppm in their 6th, 7th and 8th years. This study remains unrefuted.

Fluoridation is not cost-effective.

Lo and Thiessen(2014) have demolished the claim by CDC economist Susan Griffin that for every dollar spent on fluoridation $38 is saved on dental treatment. This claim by Griffin has been used Ad Nauseam by promoters of fluoridation including many state public health officials. Will they continue to do so? 

Paul Connett, PhD
Director
Fluoride Action Network
Co-Author of The Case Against Fluoride (Chelsea Green, 2010)

See Bulletin Online

The Magical Grandeur of Water

You are invited to a coming out party, fundraiser evening with pot luck, music and a wonderful presentation to benefit the Santa Fe Global Water Festival. Come join and support us and share with your friends.:
The Magical Grandeur of Water“, a presentation by Jim McMath will take you on a journey from the global to the molecular worlds of water. Fundraiser and coming out party for the Santa Fe Global Water Festival, Friday, December 19th at La Cocina de Balam, 1406 3rd Street, Santa Fe 87505. Pot luck, opening ceremony, music, dance and community from 6 PM – 9 PM.
Lara Bache, Miriam Kass and Sage Gray will be performing songs and spoken word, some about water written for the occasion.
DJ Spunflower and/drumming/jamming/dancing afterwards. By donation
Info:(575) 770 1228 email: HealingTheScars@Gmail.com
www.waterawarenessgroup.wordpress.com/gwf
Please share and invite friends from our FaceBook event page:
www.facebook.com/events/672417426207113/
If you can’t make it pass on to your friends. You can also send us a contribution!!!!

Many blessings,
Raphael Weisman.

The Magical Grandeur of Water

The Magical Grandeur of Water

The Grandeur of Water

“The Grandeur of Water”, a presentation by Jim McMath will take you on a journey from the global to the molecular worlds of water. Fundraiser and coming out party for the Santa Fe Global Water Festival, Friday, December 19th at La Cocina de Balam, 1406 3rd Street, Santa Fe 87505. Pot luck, music, dance and community from 6 PM – 9 PM. DJ/drumming/jamming afterwards. By donation
Info:(575) 770 1228 email: HealingTheScars@Gmail.com
www.waterawarenessgroup.wordpress.com/gwf
Please share. If you can’t make it pass on to your friends. You can also send us a contribution!!!!

December events in Santa Fe

Water Wheel at El Museo Cultural on Day of the Dead

Water Wheel at El Museo Cultural on Day of the Dead

Medicine Water Wheel Ceremonies at the Water Wheel in Frenchy’s Park beside the footbridge:

Full Moon ceremony, Saturday 6th December at Noon

Winter Solstice and New Moon ceremony on Sunday 21st December at Noon.

Dress warmly and bring your prayers, offerings and blessings for the Waters.

Presentation and fundraiser for the Santa Fe Global Water Festival: “The Grandeur of Water” by James McMath, music and movie. Friday 19th December 6PM Location to TBA

More info: Raphael Weisman (575) 770 1228

HealingTheScars@Gmail.com
https://waterawarenessgroup.wordpress.com/

 

The Waters of Heterodoxy: A Review of Gerald Pollack’s “The Fourth Phase of Water”

The Waters of Heterodoxy: A Review of Gerald Pollack’s “The Fourth Phase of Water”

The Waters of Heterodoxy: A Review of Gerald Pollack’s “The Fourth Phase of Water”In The Fourth Phase of Water, Gerald Pollack offers an elegant new theory of water chemistry that has profound implications not only for chemistry and biology, but for the metaphoric foundation of our understanding of reality and our treatment of nature.

Let me emphasize that this is not a New Age book by someone of questionable scientific credentials. This is a book on chemistry, albeit one easily accessible to lay people. Pollack is a highly decorated professor at the University of Washington, author of numerous peer-reviewed papers, recipient of the 2012 Prigogine Medal, and editor of the academic journal Water. I mention this because in a field fraught with what some call pseudo-science, but what I’ll politely call speculative inquiry unburdened by scientific rigor, paradigm-busting theories attract an inordinate degree of hostility.

Indeed, Pollack devotes one of the early chapters to two such episodes: the polywater debacle of the 1960s, and the water memory controversy twenty years later. These illuminate some of the politics of science-as-institution and means by which dissident views are suppressed. Furthermore, as I will touch on later, they also reveal some of the sacrosanct metaphysical assumptions underlying science as we know it – assumptions that the present book indirectly violates. It is no wonder then that it has encountered a mixed, and in some cases decidedly chilly, reception in scientific circles. Notwithstanding all that, The Fourth Phase of Water avoids any of the stridency or persecution stories that sometimes color heterodox books. The tone is courteous, conversational, and cautious when presenting more speculative ideas.

One would think that after two hundred or more years of modern chemistry, something as fundamental and seemingly simple as water would be thoroughly understood by now. Before reading this book, I took for granted the explanations my high school and college textbooks offered for evaporation, capillary action, freezing, bubble formation, Brownian motion, and surface tension. Everyone else assumes the same thing, which may be why the conventional explanations are seldom scrutinized. However, as The Fourth Phase of Water demonstrates, a little creative scrutiny reveals severe deficiencies in conventional explanations.

The crucial concept in the book is that of “exclusion zone water,” or EZ water for short. Imagine a beaker of water in which hundreds of thousands of plastic microspheres are suspended. Standard chemistry would expect that these would be evenly distributed throughout the medium – and they are throughout most of the water. However, near the sides of the beaker (and any hydrophilic surface submerged in the water), the water remains clear, free of any spheres. Why? Standard chemistry predicts an exclusion zone a few molecules thick might exist next to the glass, where polar water molecules stick to the distributed charges, but the exclusion zone Pollack observed was at least a quarter millimeter – several hundred thousand molecules thick.

Pollack and his colleagues proceeded with caution, testing and ultimately eliminating various conventional explanations for the phenomenon (e.g. convectional flows, polymer brushing, electrostatic repulsion, and leaking materials). They also began investigating the properties of the exclusion zone, with intriguing results: EZ water excludes almost everything, not only suspended particles but solutes as well. It exhibits an electromagnetic absorption peak at 270nm, and emits less infrared radiation than bulk water; it has higher viscosity and a higher index of refraction than bulk water.. Most surprisingly, they discovered that the exclusion zone had a net negative charge, and that the water outside the zones had a low pH, indicating that protons had somehow been ejected from the EZ water.

With this information, Pollack and his collaborators hypothesized that the exclusion zone is composed of a liquid crystalline form of water, consisting of stacked hexagonal layers with oxygen and hydrogen in a 2:3 ratio. Of course, ice also consists of stacked hexagonal sheets, but in the case of ice the sheets are held together by the extra protons. Pollack proposes that EZ sheets are “out of register” – aligned so that the oxygens of each layer are frequently next to the hydrogens of the adjacent layers. The alignment is not perfect, but it creates more attractions than repulsions, enough to create cohesion as well as a molecular matrix tight enough to exclude even the tiniest of solutes.

Where does the energy come from to create this charge separation? It comes from incident EM radiation. When a water sample is shielded from incoming radiation and heat flux, no EZ forms.

The bulk of The Fourth Phase of Water is devoted to applying this hypothesis to various phenomena in water chemistry. In my mind, his greatest strength as a scientist is to ask seemingly naïve questions that no one else is asking. For example, he questions the conventional explanation of surface tension, which invokes the hydrogen bonding pressure on the water surface. Could the extraordinary surface tension of water really be explained by the energy in a layer less than one nanometer thick? He asks, why don’t gels, which can be over 99.9% water, leak water? Why do charged aerosol droplets of water coalesce into clouds instead of repelling each other and dispersing evenly throughout the sky? Why does hot water sometimes freeze more quickly than cool water (the Mpemba Effect)? Why does the steam rising from a cup of hot coffee come in discrete puffs? Why do boats leave a wake of relatively still water behind them sometimes 15 or 30 minutes after passing?

This book offers extraordinarily economical answers to these questions and more. The experiments he cites are straightforward and compelling. While they offer highly unconventional answers to basic questions in chemistry, he does not invoke supernatural or paranormal forces. Nor does he question fundamental physical laws (of thermodynamics, relativity, quantum theory, etc.). One cannot help but wonder: Why, then, is his theory ignored?

I think the reason goes beyond standard Kuhnsian resistance to paradigm shifts. Pollack is not, after all, the first scientist to get into trouble for advancing theories about water that suggest it is more than a generic, structureless substance, more than a medium for chemistry and a raw ingredient for chemistry. Something else is going on here.

A quick review of the history of the two controversies mentioned earlier, polywater and water memory, is instructive. In the first case, Russian chemists discovered that water in narrow tubes exhibited anomalous properties, neither liquid nor solid (the anomalies are exactly the same ones that Pollack describes). An uproar followed, and Western scientists accused the Russians of failing to eliminate impurities from the water – namely, trace amounts of dissolved silica from the glass tubes. In the end the Russians admitted that the water was impure, and the discovery was relegated to the dustbin of history. No one, however, offered an explanation of how dissolved silica could account for those anomalous properties. Pollack points out the truly pure water, the universal solvent, is nearly impossible to obtain. The substance of the Russians’ discovery was never considered; rather, a convenient pretext was found to dismiss it.

The case of water memory is even more egregious. In 1988, Jacques Benveniste published a paper in Nature that claimed that a sample of water that had formerly contained antibodies still evoked an immune response from white blood cells, as if the water “remembered” their presence. Nature published the article (Benveniste was a top French immunologist), but then sent an inquisitorial squad to investigate, which included the professional magician James Randi and the fraud investigator Walter Stewart. Accounts differ as to what happened next, but everyone agrees that no direct evidence of fraud was found. The team concluded only that the results were not replicable, a claim that Benveniste strenuously denied to no avail: his funding was canceled, his laboratory taken away from him, and his academic career was ruined. To this day, his name is associated with pathological science and his obituaries are masterpieces of character assassination.

Notice how, in the previous paragraph, I put the word “remembered” in quotation marks, as if to assure the reader that I don’t think water could literally have memories. The quotation marks imply that water can only, at best, behave as if it could remember. Because, after all, it is just water, right? It doesn’t possess the complexity, the organization, the intelligence, the experiential beingness that would be necessary in order to have actual memories. Modern chemistry holds just that: that water is a generic fluid, any two samples of which are fundamentally identical, differing only in temperature and the presence of impurities (and hydrogen isotope ratios for you sticklers out there).

Polywater, water memory, and Pollack’s theory all violate that principle, which is really a kind of anthropocentrism. Our civilization, especially in its treatment of nature and in the sameness of its commodity economy, operates by the assumption that we humans alone have the qualities of a self. The rest of the world is just a bunch of stuff out there; therefore, we are at liberty to exploit it as we will, to impose our intelligence on a insensate substrate that lacks any of it. Any scientific theory or technology that violates this principle seems immediately wrong, even outrageous, to the mind that operates by it.

One way to view the transition our society is undergoing today is that we are assigning selfhood to more and more beings that we “othered” in the past. We’ve made some progress: today we recognize the full legal personhood of women and racial minorities (although unfortunately, racist and sexist beliefs persist with much greater tenacity than most white men recognize). We no longer see animals as insensate brutes, although again, the manner and degree of animal intelligence is poorly understood. Even plant intelligence is emerging as a hot topic of research, although it is the rare scientist who would say “plants are intelligent” or “plants have a subjective experience” without offering a thicket of disclaimers and qualifiers to the effect, “Of course I’m not saying they are actually intelligent.”

To be sure, Gerald Pollack isn’t saying water is intelligent either. His research does open the door to such a view though, because it implies that any two given “samples” of pure H2O are unique, with a structure that depends on what it has been in contact with. Why did I put “sample” in quotes here? It is because the very word implies that if I take a small amount of water from a larger amount, say a test tube from a bathtub, that the smaller will have the same properties as the larger. In other words, it implies that water, or anything sampled, is fundamentally isolable from its environment.

Pollack’s research casts both assumptions – uniformity and isolability – into question. He does not go so far as to claim that water can carry information, but he comes close when he observes that the exclusion zone’s properties differ for different materials. That is perhaps why homeopaths have seized upon his research (as they also did with Benveniste’s). Homeopathy, of course, is the very epitome of quackery in the eyes of medical orthodoxy; its association with Pollack’s work (though he never makes any claims for it himself) is surely one reason why the scientific establishment is wary of his work.

No sober observer would say that he has “proven” the validity of homeopathy, let alone the menagerie of water-based modalities and products one can find on the Internet. But if we accept his results – and I hope other scientists repeat and extend his experiments – at least one can no longer say that these modalities contradict indubitable scientific principles. Of course if any two samples of pure water are identical, then structured water products and medicines are bunkum. Thanks to Pollack (and a lineage of other researchers that he has uncovered in the scientific literature), this is no longer certain.

The Fourth Phase of Water contributes to a much larger paradigm shift that is proceeding across all the sciences, and indeed to a transition in the defining mythology of our civilization. In science alone, the implications of his findings, if verified, are profound, especially in areas like cell biology, plant physiology, chemical signaling, and of course medicine. Beyond that, they erode the story that we live in a dead universe of generic substances, that we, the sole intelligence of that universe, are therefore its rightful lords and masters. Pollack is part of the evolution of science toward a more shamanic worldview that understands that all things possess some kind of beingness.

Resistance to this shift is still strong, perhaps because its consequences are so huge. Even without realizing the enormity of the implications, orthodox thinkers instinctively attack any work that is aligned with it. A common tactic is to allege “contamination,” which (along with fraud) is used as an all-purpose dismissal of anomalous results, in archeology and even astronomy as well as chemistry. It amounts to an accusation of sloppiness, of incompetence. No one wants to be thought a dupe; therefore, when the ostracism of iconoclasts such as Benveniste, Pollack, Pons and Fleischmann, Halton Arp, etc. begins, those who are secretly sympathetic to them keep silence, fearing quite justifiably for their funding and careers.

While I suspect that Gerald Pollack is sympathetic to the larger transition in civilization’s mythology, there is little sign of it in the book. He restricts himself to chemistry and, when he ventures into the realm of speculation, makes it clear that he is going out on a limb. Perhaps his unsensational tone, his consideration of alternative explanations, and his adherence to experimentally based assertions will do something to assuage the natural skepticism of the scientifically orthodox reader. But I doubt it. The radical implications of this work strike too close and too deep.