ScienceSkepticism

The Memory of Water

This post was originally posted over on Mad Art Lab and serves as your periodic reminder to visit the Lab to see what happens when you mix artists, critical thinkers and scientists together. (Hint: You get something awesome.)

Now please enjoy my interpretation, both in text and in paint of The Memory of Water.

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The main premise behind the practice of homeopathy is that water has a memory.

Homeopathy as “medicine” is created by introducing an ingredient or specific chemical into a water or alcohol base that would cause the symptoms (in a healthy person) that you are trying to cure in a sick person.

The water or alcohol is mixed with this symptom-inducing-chemical and then shook and reduced, and reduced, and reduced so much so that there is often no traceable or detectible amount of the chemical left in the water base. In fact, the more the solution is diluted the more powerful the end result is said to be. That’s right. Less is more. The more dilute, meaning the less of an active ingredient the stronger the medicine, says the homeopath. The premise behind this “no medicine-medicine” is that water has memory. And it is remembering the energy of the chemical that was once mixed into it.

There is of course, no actual science to back this up and homeopathy, if made properly, is in fact nothing more than a sugar pill in a fancy wrapper. Still, the concept of this has always fascinated me. Homeopathy is a medicine that works only by placebo effect. People want it to work, so sometimes it sorta does- temporarily. Until your mind forgets to remember that it was supposed to help.

Another interesting aspect to the idea that water has memory and the fact that the placebo effect is only working because you think that it is working, is the fact that even our minds are no good at remembering. You think water is fluid? So is how we remember. Science is starting to realize that our memories can be disrupted and that each time we recall a memory, we rewrite it in our mind. That’s right, every time you recall that memory of your first kiss or that time you lost the big race, your brain makes a copy of the memory from the memory on file. If something happens to you while you are remembering or perhaps if you are in a distraught state, the memory itself can be altered. Forever. Or at least until you pull that memory up again then it can be altered some more from that last copy.

What this means is that what you think you remember, is often not what actually happened. Memories are copies of copies of events and sensory experiences that are stored in your head. In fact, it’s likely that the majority of all of our memories we THINK we have are nothing more than just vague constructs of things we think we experience combined with the things we imagine while remembering them.

All of what we hold in our head is temporary, and alterable, and fluid. Some might say, like water.

Unfortunately for homeopaths (and everyone really) is that our brains are only slightly better at memory than a fluid stream. And sadly, that stream is only a large collection of simple molecules with nowhere to store memories or the energies of chemicals that once touched it.

Here is a painting I just finished based on this topic. It is called, The Memory Of Water.  The painting is 3ft x 3ft and Acrylic on Canvas. It’s how I remember water.

The Memory of Water By Amy Davis Roth sm
The text in the painting reads: “Each time we recall a memory we rewrite it in our brain. All you really have is your perception of this moment right here. And even that can not be trusted. Some people will try to convince you that water has memory”

At the bottom I painted what water molecules look like. Related: Water is known as the Mickey Mouse molecule because of the shape of the bonds.

Try to remember this.

 

 

Amy Roth

Amy Roth

Amy Davis Roth (aka Surly Amy) is a multimedia artist who resides in Los Angeles, California. She makes Surly-Ramics She is the fearless leader of Mad Art Lab and cohost of Makers' Hustle Podcast Support her on Patreon. Follow her on twitter: @SurlyAmy or on Google+.

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2 Comments

  1. January 13, 2014 at 3:21 pm —

    Water is known as the Mickey Mouse molecule because of the shape of the bonds.

    That fact that it can’t remember shit is rather Mickey Mouse.

  2. January 14, 2014 at 3:42 pm —

    Maybe a coincidence: the other day I published an article on my website that touched on this same topic. I chronicled the adventures of the Great James Randi, who would hold lectures about this topic, althewhile munching on handfulls of homeopathic sleeping pills, which he would disclose at the end of each lecture.

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