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No. 121: Jan-Feb 1999

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How Homeopathy Might Work

Although some people swear to the efficacy of homeopathy's "remedies," skeptics have been fond of pointing out that these fluids are so dilute that no molecules of the active ingredients are likely to remain. Believers respond that the fluid remedies somehow retain the "essence" of the active ingredient. In effect, they maintain that water has a "memory." No wonder mainstream scientists scoff at homeopathy.

But wait, perhaps water can have a memory! A Cal Tech chemist has put extremely dilute solutions under his electron microscope and found that some contain strange "ice" crystals, even though room temperature and pressure prevail. Called "IE crystals," they are produced through the action of ions. They are stable even at higher temperatures.

Subsequently, an immunologist at the University of California at Los Angeles discovered that the IE crystals can stimulate parts of the immune system. Water containing these strange forms of ice show a hundred times more bioactivity than plain water.

(Anonymous; "Homeopathy and IE Crystals," Spectrum, p. 18, November/ December 1998. Cr. E. Fegert)

Comment. Of course, we want to see independent confirmations of the Cal Tech and UCLA work, but we hope they will be objective rather than the usual knee-jerk reactions to homeopathy. See SF#59 and SF#69 for past confrontations over homeopathy.

From Science Frontiers #121, JAN-FEB 1999. 1999-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987