Another thought stemming from yesterday’s apple discussion.
There are three different claims which I think are being variously conflated in the argument surrounding this issue:
1. Writing “LOVE” or “HATE” on the side of a jar containing a slice of apple, and speaking to the jar in a loving or hateful manner, will affect the process of the degradation of the organic matter therein.
2. Positive or negative thoughts or emotions can affect the world around you in a positive or negative way.
3. Anything is possible if you shut your eyes and wish really hard.
Now, first of all, I’ve only just noticed the “stemming” pun in the first line of this piece, and I’d like to apologise for it. It was genuinely unintended, and I hope anyone I hurt can understand the remorse I’m currently feeling for this thoughtless act.
But isn’t this a fairly typical approach from the newagey crowd of vaguely spiritual nonsensualists? They’re holding up one very specific experiment – with very little control and a sample size of one – as useful and important proof of, well, something or other, and they respond to any criticism of this experiment as if someone were trying to destroy everything that’s beautiful in the world.
“Does writing ‘LOVE’ on an apple container really stop it going rotten so fast?” “It’s sad how you insist on seeing everything in black and white.”
“That pet’s psychic’s probably just making it up.” “Why do you hate kittens??”
“I’m not convinced that homeopathy has any medicinal effect beyond placebo.” “You’re part of the big pharma conspiracy that wants all babies to be vaccinated with poison IN THEIR EYES!!”
People. If the thing you’re so passionate about is real, then there’s no need to be angry with the people trying to disprove it. They won’t be able to. The reason skeptics sometimes like to see if things like this can be disproven is that we’ve seen bullshit before. And when people can’t tell the difference, it does serious harm. If you’re right, science is on your side. If you’re right, serious experimentation will bear your claims out.
Is that what you want? Or do you want to just keep shouting about how you know about all this real magic but the establishment refuses to understand you?