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No. 61: Jan-Feb 1989

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Another pile of references has accumulated concerning J. Benveniste's experiments with (almost) infinitely diluted solutions. This time we shall be brief. After all, the journal Nature has now cut off debate on the subject; shouldn't everyone else? The Book of Science is closed on this one.

Despite replications of Benveniste's experimental results at other laboratories and the existence of similar results from several meticulously conducted experiments over the past few decades, Nature's official investigative team (formerly called the "hit team" in these pages) has labelled Benveniste's results a "delusion." Now begins the dirty work of completely destroying the reputation of Benveniste and the believability of any work done in this field. First, in the New York Times, J. Maddox, editor of Nature, stated that Benveniste's positive results were "nonexistent." Then J. Randi, the magician member of the investigative team, called the positive results "fraudulent" in the Lisbon Expressor. This means that five independent laboratories all produced fraudulent results!

(Benveniste, Jacques; "Benveniste on the Benveniste Affair," Nature, 335: 759, 1988. Also: Maddox, John; "Waves Caused by Extreme Dilution," Nature, 335:760, 1988.)

Comment. Regardless of the merits of the scientific work done by Benveniste and his coworkers, it now appears, to some outsiders at least, that Benveniste was set-up, entrapped, and sand-bagged. A similar campaign is being waged to discredit M. Gauquelin's Mars Effect. (See item under BIOLOGY.) So, heretics beware, the Inquisition lives!

From Science Frontiers #61, JAN-FEB 1989. 1989-2000 William R. Corliss