Pharyngula

Quacks have no shame, but once reputable science and engineering magazines should have some vestiges of it. Popular Science magazine will take money from anyone for the ad revenue, as Cyde Weys demonstrates with a scan of an ad for energized water. It will cure cancer and diabetes, and kills bacteria. It’s crazy and stupid.

Your blood is 94% water and billions of people flush their diseases along with medication into the ground water 4-5 times/day and it ends up at a faucet somewhere. If you have well water and people in the area have cancer, you have a good chance of getting cancer! S.D. Woman: “All around me they have MS, but they all drink pure water from ordinary distillers, filters, ozonators, reverse osmosis and alkaline water machines. The water is pure, why do they have MS?” People in the area with MS flush their diseases into the ground water and you pump the water up to your faucet, proving that the products don’t work!

Wow. So much stupid packed into so few words. It’s an ad that relies on ignorance to generate fear and hysteria so people will buy their product: cancer (with some exceptions) and multiple sclerosis aren’t infectious diseases that you catch from your water. And how about this?

How about the AIDS dentist on CBS 60 Minutes? They all use pure water along with 4,000 dentists surveyed, and yet their purest water can’t even kill pathogenic bacteria! Ours does!

Those dentists! Those bastards! They’re all out to give you AIDS unless they use our magic water!

It has to be seen to be believed. It’s plain ol’ snake oil sold with a full page ad in Popular Science.

Comments

  1. #1 Jared
    December 30, 2006

    People have to be more careful about their precious bodily fluids!

  2. #2 CortxVortx
    December 30, 2006

    Oho! Check out the “disclaimer” on the clip-out coupon: “I understand the information you are providing is for educational purposes only. As stated above, this information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. In all health-related situations, qualified healthcare professionals should always be consulted.” The very same “qualified healthcare professionals that the ad trashes.

    Always read the fine print.

    Especially if you’re gullible.

  3. #3 James Orpin
    December 30, 2006

    Read the testimonials on the website: it makes criples walk, turns grey hair dark, helps with weight loss, makes plants grow! Can it turn water into wine though?

  4. #4 James Orpin
    December 30, 2006

    Also on their site under wisdom (no irony detected). They describe how there is less oxygen in water nowadays so the molecules are smaller so it can’t hold as many electrons. Apparently in the past water was larger and charged “potentially explaining the incredible ages mentioned in the BIBLE!”

  5. #5 non imm us
    December 30, 2006

    If I’m understanding the rant correctly, it sounds like they want diabetics to stop taking advice from their doctors and rely solely on magic water. If so, they’re fucking murderers and should be hanged, right next to Kevin Trudeau.

  6. #6 Jim in STL
    December 30, 2006

    Wowser. I see a great opportunity here. I’ve been trying to think of a way to market my new product, Hydration® Shell Enhancer in a Bottle, but haven’t locked into anything yet. I can see it now…..

    “Don’t settle for unprotected hydrogen bond angles. Protect your investment by locking in your extra 10% angles using our new miracle Hydration® Shell Enhancer in a Bottle. Ensure a special protective shell around each and every one of your special little molecules and lock in the freshness. All this for the low one time cost of just $29.95 per month’s supply.

    “Be the first one in you desease-ridden neighborhood to get your own protective Hydration® shells – think of the precious children. And remember, leading researchers agree.

    “Hydration® Shell Enhancer in a Bottle – guaranteeing Hydration® shells since 2006. Now with 10% more Hydration® enhancement.”

  7. #7 Umilik
    December 30, 2006

    Wow, those testimonials rock.
    Has anyone tried to walk on this stuff ?

  8. #8 Elia Diodati
    December 30, 2006

    I saw this one in the Poor Farmer’s Almanac 2006 too. But seeing it in a popular science magazine? Wow…

  9. #9 Scott Hatfield
    December 30, 2006

    On a similar note, Discover magazine readers have been for the last several months treated to full-page ads for a belief system based upon the teachings of the late Richard Weatherill. The ads purport to offer access to a ‘Natural Law’ of human behaviour analogous to other laws of nature as discovered by science.

    I’ve always like Discover, but it’s contents have been noticeably mixed sinced it was acquired by Bob Guccione, Jr. In particular, the articles seem to be shorter and have less substance. It’s tone also seems altered: there seems to be a deliberate attempt to appeal to the Wired crowd….SH

  10. #10 lo
    December 30, 2006

    ads… well yeah they too gotta live off of something. Why do you think hardly any educational material is aired in the US. The reason is because the networks do not wanna loose their religiously indoctrinated audience in the children and adult category. So they could only loose millions if they ever dare to air material that is of completely superficial and ambiguous in its message, or even worse fringe or pseudoscience.

    Besides the fact that those people prolly do not even realize that the angle is ultimately dependent upon the state the water molecule is in. Nothing in nature is fixed. The kinetic energy of the water molecule itself is distributed to its three degrees of freedom one of which is bending and depends upon the kinetic energy of the molecule.

    Also the info found on the linked page is inaccurate since this person does not realize that the angle is not exactly 104.5 – especially not for water molecules found at room temperature, which constantly bend. Also water is not as simple as one would imagine. For instance H+ is actually an umbrella class for alls sorts of cationic water species like H3O+, H5O2+, H7O2+,…. Water itself is constantly exchanging hydrogen atoms in protonation and deprotonation processes. It`s elctronic structure as a solvent is vital to the understanding of all biochemical processes due to the electrical forces acting between the atoms, described by quantum physics and incorporated for our convenience in all those molecular simulation / modeling programs. So the reality of water and other molecules is of course far more interesting and complex than one learns in his initial years of chemistry.

    But i am digressing. How we treat knowledge is kinda distasteful since we define ourselves from our species through knowledge, imparting it to the next generation. It is what defines mankind and we should cherish this.

    —-
    I am pretty sure i could sell “energized water” in america under this “name” and win a legal suit just by the mere claim that i made sure that the water is warmer than when it originally came out of the faucet, from gods wells – who also carries out the quality control.

  11. #11 Coragyps
    December 30, 2006

    Jim in STL: you could modify your advertising for use in the Christian Bookstore market – “Jesus personally holds each of these H-O-H angles at 114 degrees just for His Elect!!!”

  12. #12 xeric
    December 30, 2006

    Reminds me of the “Tachyon Water” scam which has been around for a few years. Nothing like selling magic water to rubes. Low overhead and there’s one born every minute.
    http://www.tachyon-energy-products.com/internals/superconductor_water.htm

  13. #13 DavidByron
    December 30, 2006

    Wow. So much stupid packed into so few words.

    Or as my wife would say, “Now I have to have a shower to wash the stupid off me”. Everyone knows MS is spread by the fluctuations of the earths natural energies and magnetism 😉

  14. #14 j
    December 30, 2006

    Ugh, the exclamation marks, italics, bolded letters and large fonts are blinding me. I didn’t understand the sentences about the AIDS dentist and pathogenic bacteria. Are they implying AIDS is caused by bacteria?

  15. #15 Keith Douglas
    December 30, 2006

    It is unbelievable how much crap gets sold and promoted about water. As I commented when a colleague showed me Emoto’s nonsense – it isn’t just a shame that someone is promoting something bogus, it is doubly so since there are many legitimate concerns about water (e.g. sharing it with those who need it, etc.)

  16. #16 J. Ryan
    December 30, 2006

    Wow! You read my mind, PZ! I read Popular Science, and I too was appalled at that ad (and 99.999% of the others). It’s a shame.

  17. #17 KL
    December 30, 2006

    We educators are fighting a losing battle for the minds of the public. Today a columnist (who is a researcher at Vanderbilt) reported that a recent poll showed that 27% of Americans believe that there is already a cure for cancer and it is being kept from the public by a conspiracy of the medical community. Amazing, considering that doctors themselves suffer and die from diseases, too. Where do they get these crazy ideas, and why do they believe them? Perhaps logic, rationalism and skepticism should be taught in schools.

  18. #18 Stuart Weinstein
    December 30, 2006

    Come on PZ,

    You know that dihyrdrogen monoxide is dangerous stuff.

    So lets be careful here.

    Stuart

  19. #19 Cyde Weys
    December 30, 2006

    Thanks for the link PZ. I get mildly pissed off when I see cigarette ads in magazines, but that doesn’t even begin to compare with the anger this ad elicited. I *had* to scan it and share; if you didn’t see it with your own eyes, you might not believe it.

  20. #20 jeff
    December 30, 2006
  21. #21 dzd
    December 30, 2006

    It kind of makes you pine for the days when popsci magazines just had ads for radio controlled flying saucers and Tesla coils.

  22. #22 j
    December 30, 2006

    That dihydrogen monoxide site is hilarious. Thanks, jeff.

  23. #23 Orac
    December 30, 2006

    Ack!

    I’ve done pieces on water woo before, but it was always websites and altie publications. I never expected to see this sort of crap showing up in Popular Science!

  24. #24 Orac
    December 30, 2006

    Double Ack!

    I just realized that this is the same guy whose water woo I dissected before!

  25. #25 Inoculated Mind
    December 30, 2006

    Apparently Dr. Guy E. Abraham M.D. Also peddles Colloidial Gold, and thinks that we should take over six times the currently held maximum dose of iodine (due to toxicity). Maybe if we could find some way of getting in touch with this quack? He is not at UCLA anymore, might be interesting to find out why.

  26. #26 hugo
    December 31, 2006

    “Water processed TRULY nature’s way (God’s way if you will) is “programmed” to respond this way. This is the water our Lord and nature wants you to have!”

    I like how it cuts both ways, nature or God, whatever your affliction we want your money!!!
    And why is it from God only after they processed it?
    I’m speechless that even one human being would fall for this.

  27. #27 peggy
    January 1, 2007

    At least drinking the water won’t hurt people, it’ll only impoverish them.

  28. #28 Chiron
    January 1, 2007

    The harm isn’t in someone drinking useless, but non-toxic water. It arises when people rely on an ineffective treatment instead of taking steps to have their illnesses treated by more proven methods. A diabetic taking distilled water instead of insulin is risking his health and life.

  29. #29 melior
    January 12, 2007

    Perhaps it’s harmless, but the idea of selling gullible customers a cheaply made tin device that plugs into a wall socket while attached to a running faucet doesn’t exactly sound like a liability-free corporate plan either.

    The guy selling Mother Teresa prayer necklaces can get by on a smaller legal budget, I’d bet.

    My favorite line from the ad:

    You don’t know where that water has been!!”

    I don’t know where the air I’m breathing has been either… but that must be a separate product.

  30. #30 james rindfleisch
    February 21, 2007

    I read with interest all the comments of fraud and deceit about water additives. There really are a lot of worthless products out there. I have come across a new product that seems to be real, but like you say “who knows”. I have tried it and like it but I would value your opinions on this topic.

    Could you check out H2O Blast and extreme H2O and give me your opinion? It is a brand new product. They claim there is no artificial sweeteners. It is all suppose to be natural. There is suppose to be a natural antioxidant potential of 800 ORAC units per gram (compared to 24 ORAC units per gram for blueberries) or a guaranteed 3000 ORAC units per servings with no calories plus it is suppose to helps make the body akaline and it tastes great. Just go to this web site(www.x2omovie.com/jandc83255)and get the information and let me know what you think. It’s suppose to be a real breakthrough. 100% natural with a 0 glycemic index. It comes from a fruit extract from the coffee bean fruit that is generally thrown away when the bean is processed.

    I await your comments.

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