Friday, January 09, 2009

Water crystal replication study

Radin, D., Lund, N., Emoto, M., Kizu, T. (2008). Effects of distant intention on water crystal formation: A triple-blind replication. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 22(4), 481-493.

An experiment tested the hypothesis that water exposed to distant intentions affects the aesthetic rating of ice crystals formed from that water. Over three days, 1,900 people in Austria and Germany focused their intentions towards water samples located inside an electromagnetically shielded room in California. Water samples located near the target water, but unknown to the people providing intentions, acted as "proximal" controls. Other samples located outside the shielded room acted as distant controls.

Ice drops formed from samples of water in the different treatment conditions were photographed by a technician, each image was assessed for aesthetic beauty by over 2,500 independent judges, and the resulting data were analyzed, all by individuals blind with respect to the underlying treatment conditions.

Results suggested that crystal images in the intentionally treated condition were rated as aesthetically more beautiful than proximal control crystals (p = 0.03, one-tailed). This outcome replicates the results of an earlier (double blind) pilot test.


(I'm afraid I don't have paper reprints or e-prints of this yet, so I can't send anyone a copy of the full paper.)

33 comments:

Atheistic Mystic said...

1. How does Japanese culture react to experiments like this? Is Dr Emoto well known, respected? Will this experiment be reported in mainstream Japanese Media?

2. Why can't humanity use collective distant intention to rid the oceans and drinking water of pollutants?

Dean Radin said...

I'm not positive about this, but I suspect that mainstream science in Japan regards this with the same suspicion as is typically encountered in the West.

It isn't clear to me that intention can eliminate pollutants. I know that Emoto has made claims along those lines, but I'm not aware of any scientific studies supporting such ideas yet.

But of course there's another form of intention that is extremely powerful, and could probably solve the pollution problem fairly quickly. It's just a matter of enough people deciding that this is something we all want to do. And then do it.

mrehayden said...

Please let us know when you do receive this.

FB said...

It seems this would support the notion that homeopathy does indeed have an effect. The next question is - how much of homeopathy's effects are sheer human psi intention, and how much are physically caused by quantum entanglement with physical substances?

Two tests suggest themselves:
1) Have ice crystals made from homeopathically treated water.
2) Have homeopathic percussions of water made by automatic machines, not human homeopathists, and test for effectiveness.

FB said...

"It isn't clear to me that intention can eliminate pollutants. I know that Emoto has made claims along those lines, but I'm not aware of any scientific studies supporting such ideas yet."

Some of the claims are at:
http://www.hado.net/hado/hadoinaction.php

But they seem to be talking about algae rather than heavy metals, plastics, etc.

FB said...

From a scoffer at:
http://is-masaru-emoto-for-real.com/
"It is this crucial lack of scientific foundation that prevents Dr. Emoto’s work from attracting interest by widely accepted and respected scientists at long-standing research institutions. This is unfortunate for the world if there is, after all, truth to his claims--as reproduction of his results by any scientist would lend much credence to his work. A little change in Emoto’s experimental design would do great things for the credibility of his claims."

Now that a triple-blinded replication is available, will the scoffers bother to edit their websites?

Dean Radin said...

That comment is not what I've come to expect from a scoffer. It's more like a reasonable response to claims of an anomaly. Unusual claims should be rigorously and repeatedly tested.

Sandy said...

Dean,

Was there any significant difference between the proximal (shielded) control and the distant (unshielded) control in regards to the aesthetic rating of ice crystals formed?

What was the reasoning behind using an electromagnetically shielded room for the test?

Thanks,

Sandy

Dean Radin said...

> Was there any significant difference between the proximal (shielded) control and the distant (unshielded) control in regards to the aesthetic rating of ice crystals formed?

This wasn't part of the pre-planned comparison because Emoto's team knew about the existence of the distant controls before we collected data, and that reduced the "intentional blinding" aspects of the test. (I.e., when you're testing the effects of intention you need to be careful about where those intentions are focused. His team did not know about the proximal controls.) But yes, the average aesthetic rating for the distant controls was about the same as the "treated" crystals, so in a pair-wise comparison both were larger than the proximal controls.

One of the new elements in this test vs. my last one was to provide an objective measure for crystalization, rather than having to rely on subjective judgments. To do this I applied an image processing routine to all photos of the crystals. Using that method the distant and proximal controls resulted in nearly the same ratings, and on the basis of a planned pair-wise comparison, the treated samples were significantly higher than either of the controls.

I should emphasize here that all of these effects were small in magnitude and the statistical effects, while significant, were weak. So while this replication provided some support for the hypothesis, I'd say it is intriguing but not overwhelming.

> What was the reasoning behind using an electromagnetically shielded room for the test?

That room is an isolated, environmentally quiet space (solid steel, double-walled) that we use for many experiments involving intention. Such rooms are useful because they help exclude a range of mundane explanations for the effects we study. If we did not use such rooms, someone would invariably propose that the observed effects were due to EM pulses, or sound, or vibration, etc. And if we hadn't run the study in a well-controlled environment, they might be right.

FB said...

"That comment is not what I've come to expect from a scoffer. It's more like a reasonable response to claims of an anomaly."

"Scoffer" was too strong a word-choice on my part. I should have said "skeptic," in the sense of "honest skeptic."

To return to the issue of justifying psi-research to mainstream science, though -- I *want* to explain that psi-research is real science.

I guess the basic method would be to buy a subscription to JSE and to try to expound on it. I hate to re-invent the wheel though. Also I don't want my amateurish attempts to detract from the reputation of the psi research community.

MindEnergy.net said...

How did the participant knew on what to direct their intention?

This leads me to the question of how do you know their intention does not affect proximate or distant control water.

Kyle said...

I cant help but wonder if the electromagnetic shielding has anything to do with it.

Maybe the crystalization that takes place outside...where magnetic fields are present, affects the 'beauty' of the crystals somehow...in a way that they come out a little more 'ugly' or random. Which is plausible as we all know atoms react to magnetic fields. Where as in the EM shield, they're free to form 'perfectly' because they're unaffected by any surrounding fields.

Am I naive to assume this? Or is this something that should be taken into consideration?

Dean Radin said...

MindEnergy.net said... How did the participant knew on what to direct their intention?

The participants were shown digital images of the water samples in our lab, along with Google Earth images of where they were in relationship to where our lab is.

> This leads me to the question of how do you know their intention does not affect proximate or distant control water.

We don't know that. It was an assumption. (A testable assumption.)

Dean Radin said...

> wonder if the electromagnetic shielding has anything to do with it.

Maybe. The EM noise inside the shielded room is substantially lower than outside, but no shield is perfect.

> Am I naive to assume this? Or is this something that should be taken into consideration?

There are no naive questions in this realm. It should definitely be a factor that is tested in future studies. Another is to test the role of distance between the "intenders" and the water samples. Our tests involved long distances, thousands of miles. Emoto's claims have typically been about a matter of a few feet, or even direct contact with a bottle of water.

The primary reason we did the studies over a long distance is because I didn't have funds to buy a walk-in freezer (which Emoto's team uses to do the crystal analysis), nor did I have funds to go to Tokyo for a week or two to try the experiment in his lab. So our approach was a low-cost compromise, and it had a built-in assumption that with intentional effects distance and shielding don't matter. I felt this was a reasonable assumption because virtually all previous psi tests also show that these effects are not limited by distance or shielding.

Sonnie said...

A bit OT:
At my atheist's group meeting, one of the members related that his sister, a devoted nun, cured her advanced cancer by drinking holy water from St. Joseph's Oratory in Montreal. The water had been blessed by a certain Father whose name I have forgotten. Apparently his particular brand of holy water has become somewhat famous. My question is has there been any study of holy water versus unblessed water from the same source wrt to crystal formation.

Also to Dr. Radin:
Only recently come across your work. In fact, I have just spent the day viewing all your videos on the net. WOW! I have a PhD in the neurosciences (EPs) but have not worked in the field for 30 yrs. But I had a question about CNV (spotted in one of the graphs) as related to precognition. Wanted to email you but dean@noetic.org does not seem to work.

Dean Radin said...

> My question is has there been any study of holy water versus unblessed water from the same source wrt to crystal formation.

I'm not aware of any, but perhaps at Emoto's website you can find out: www.hado.net. There are other studies investigating effects of intention on water structure that have shown results that are conceptually compatible with the crystallization effect.

> Wanted to email you but dean@noetic.org does not seem to work.

That is the correct email. Sometimes our spam filter eats incoming emails. Try again!

Jim Clark said...

Hello again Dean,

My question is kind of opposite to that of Kyle. I would think that perhaps the electromagnetic shielding of the room might actually diminish the results of the experiment. Personally, I have been thinking along the lines that most phenomena relating to Consciousness have a correspondence in a Physical phenomena. I have found from speaking with Mediums and such that many of them find it difficult to work in environments with alot of electrical equipment. I personally can "tune in" to some degree to the spiritual atmosphere of an evironment, and I have found that when visiting Evangelical Christian Churches for example, that the Spiritual atmosphere created by the worship gets interfered with by all the electrical equipment.

My point is this, isn't it quite possible that whatever physical or subtle proccesses are involved with producing these effects, that they could be blocked to some degree by Electromagnetic Shielding? Or is it an assumption that Space has no part in this experiment, and that the act of focussing intent on the water takes place in the same "Non-Space" (for lack of a better term), regardless of what distance seperates the participants from the actual experiment?

Andrew said...

Was the photographer "blind"? I.e., Did the photographer or anyone in contact with the photographer know from which group crystals were coming from?

(If so, that could conceivably have affected the way the crystals were photographed, thus perhaps affecting the aesthetics of the photos.)

Dean Radin said...

> Was the photographer "blind"?

Yes, as were the aesthetic rating judges and the analyst. It was a triple-blind design.

Andrew said...

Nice.

I admire the quality of the research you do.

Thanks for all the good work!

Nicola said...

Fascinating and good to see the study replicated.

Years ago a Scandinavian university used biocrystallisation to see if there was a difference in the quality of poorly grown organic vegetables against biodynamically raised plants which showed an altogether different, more beautiful, structure of the crystals.

Apologies for not having the reference, it was a long time ago, but I remember being particularly interested that they had chosen to concentrate on organic produce alone when most studies were saying there was little, if any, difference in quality, taste or nutritional value in vegetables grown organically or with the heavy use of chemical fertilisers and insecticides.

Ian Stone - Founder Metaphysical Institute said...

Dean,

I had read and looked at Dr Emoto's work, and accepted that intentions and healing can work at a distance, this is done though our Spiritual or Energy Side.

I recently came across a computer based instrument that not only graphs all the acupuncture energy meridians groups, but also show the balance of Qi. It is used by Acupuncturists and Chiropractor to identify imbalances or specific areas within the body that need attention.

A test was done with a reading taken before and after an Energy Healing. This Energy Healing was done with no physical contact with the patient and no directing of energy in any way, just with intention and asking things to change.

The results showed dramatic changes to many of the Meridian Energy groups. This same Energy Healing can be done as Distance Healing.

Following these results more testing and research is in the pipeline which we expect will involve not only the changes to the Energy Fields but also what happens also to the physical body. The plan is also to do extensive pathology, brain scans and other Body Imaging Tests.

With Love.
Ian Stone – Metaphysician & Founder of HEART Energy Healing System,
Human Energy Assessment Release Treatments
Metaphysical Institute
Metaphysical Institute Blog

NetRolller 3D said...

Ian,

Your results might possibly be due to the patients believing they have been healed. A better experiment would be using 2 groups, where the healer really heals the test group, but only simulates healing for the control group. Then, comparing the readings can reveal if actual healing is being witnessed.

matthewx78 said...

I found the PDF online for this experimental. I think it is very interesting that the control that was close to the water that was given intention had a remarkable difference but that the distant control had similar properties. I think that just opened up more questions. I think that maybe more double blind test should happen before we open up that can of worms. Perhaps the intention was like the movement of Qi in Acupuncture, take Qi from here because it is need here not there...... Strange.

alvin.ramasamy said...

Why has the scientific community not given this its due credit?

or if this replication has not been adequate enough then why has it not been disproven?

alvin

jeandrea000 said...

I am a graduate student of psychology at small university in the south of United Satiates. I have an open main professor who is interesting in replicate the experiment with the department of chemistry. As you know Dean Radin, in order to be accepted we need all the information available. We are wondering if you help us and most important, if you know of more successful replicate experiments that can support our proposal?
Confident that we will have success foundlings

Jennifer Salamanca

Dean Radin said...

Jennifer, send me an email: dean at noetic dot org

Dan said...

Alvin asked:
"Why has the scientific community not given this its due credit?

or if this replication has not been adequate enough then why has it not been disproven?"

It should be pointed out that this study failed to replicate the previous studies. Prior studies found differences between the distant controls and the intentional water. This study did not.

The scientific community is also used to using more rigorous standards with respect to significance testing - using two-tailed tests and making corrections when testing multiple comparisons. Exposing this study to either of those standards (let alone both) would leave the results non-significant.

It may be that the results are not yet intriguing enough to interest anyone in an attempt to disprove the idea?

Dean Radin said...

> It should be pointed out that this study failed to replicate the previous studies. Prior studies found differences between the distant controls and the intentional water. This study did not.

As I discussed in an earlier comment in this thread, this particular comparison was not part of the planned test.

Still, the statistical results of both this and the previous, double-blind test were weak, and so many more replications are needed to establish this as an "effect."

I might add that I generally do not repeat the same experiment many times because if I keep getting results (even if weak) but no one else tries to replicate the effect, then we don't know whether what I'm seeing is true for everyone, or whether there's something about the experimental procedure that I'm not describing adequately in the reports, or if there's a procedural flaw. It's only through completely independent replication that controversial effects are judged to be reliably "real."

On the topic of replication then, I've heard from several people about similar studies they've conducted using water, or saturated solutions with various compounds that crystallize easily, and they do claim success. But other than one such study that is currently in press, I'm not aware of other experiments of this type that have been published.

tressure said...

Why not try such experiments with compounds that crystallize easily, such as alum or copper(II) sulphate? This would allow the crystals to be stored over a longer time scale, without the fear of them melting.

Samuel Morris said...

Why not use apples instead of water crystals? Check it out...

http://javeria.wordpress.com/2011/03/07/effects-of-quran-vs-effects-of-music-on-an-apple

http://discomaulvi.wordpress.com/2011/08/20/effect-music-vs-quran-on-apple-heart

The above links are from similar grade school experiments done for science fairs that studied the results of playing music vs playing verses from the Quran and the results are AMAZING.

Surely a real scientist could easily replicate such an experiment with complete control on something that is less volatile than water crystals. Why not give it a shot?

Dean Radin said...

The apple study is reminiscent of similarly reported experiments involving seed germination and plant growth. I haven't tried to replicate that type of study, but it looks simple enough.

radiantkd said...

Here is the URL for the full article

http://www.scientificexploration.org/journal/jse_22_4_radin.pdf