16 Jun 2009

Masaru Emoto and Talking to Water

Several times over the past few years, people have asked me what I think about the work of Masaru Emoto,
a Japanese author known for his controversial claim that if human speech or thoughts are directed at water droplets before they are frozen, images of the resulting water crystals will be beautiful or ugly depending upon whether the words or thoughts were positive or negative. Emoto claims this can be achieved through prayer, music or by attaching written words to a container of water. These claims have been strongly criticized as pseudoscience.
The image here, for example, was "exposed" to the words "love and gratitude."

I think that people like Emoto's work because they want to feel a connection between their emotions and the physical world, so they can feel a bit of place in the universe.

I also think that this is pseudoscience. In other words, Emoto could NOT reproduce the same images from the same emotional "exposures" at more than a random rate.

But, that will not keep people from liking him. After all, some people think that the Virgin Mary appeared on a grilled cheese sandwich -- and that sandwich sold for $28,000 to a casino!

Bottom Line: Water is an emotional topic, and emotions are not often constrained by logic or scientific method -- by definition.


  1. I agree on pseudo science. On the other hand, why should someone believe that the words 'love' and 'gratitude' have the same 'emotional state' for different people or even the same person at different times.

    Just a thought.

  2. Most topics that people care about are driven by emotions as much as anything else. This is not a bad, nor a good things, it just is. The sooner we water managers, policy makers, analysts etc. realize this and account for it in our work, the more success we might have in finding solutions to our biggest problems.

  3. I realize I own that guy's book. My parents sent it to me once they realized what I was doing in grad school.

  4. I found out through CS about this... oh the irony :)


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