Your Friday Dose of Woo: The shifting sands of anti-entropic woo

Everybody (well, mostly everybody) learns in science and physics class the Three Laws of Thermodynamics:

  1. Energy cannot be created or destroyed, meaning that the increase in the internal energy of a thermodynamic system is equal to the amount of heat energy added to the system minus the work done by the system on the surroundings.
  2. The entropy of an isolated system not in equilibrium will tend to increase over time, approaching a maximum value at equilibrium.
  3. As temperature approaches absolute zero, the entropy of a system approaches a constant.

These three laws pretty much describe the relationship between heat energy and work. They are in essence the basic ground rules of chemistry and physics. As you may know, advocates of the form of antiscientific woo known as "intelligent design" creationism just love to invoke the Second Law of Thermodynamics fallaciously to claim that, because entropy is a measure of disorder and entropy cannot decrease (supposedly), the evolution of complex organisms from simple ones is impossible. Of course, ID advocates neglect the "isolated" or "closed" system part and that the Earth is not a closed system, getting, as it does, a constant influx of energy from the sun. It turns out that ID advocates are not the only woo-meisters who like to use, misuse, and abuse the Three Laws of Thermodynamics. (Yes, I know there is a Fourth Law, the "Zeroth Law," but I've never seen the Zeroth Law invoked by woo-meisters, either. Come to think of it, I've never seen the Third Law abused by woo-meisters.)

I bet you didn't know, though, that the Second Law could be the key to increasing your longevity. Or maybe you did, given that ever-increasing entropy undoubtedly contributes to the aging process. Of course, you probably assumed, based on little things like physics and chemistry, that reversing the increase in entropy was impossible. But guess what? You're wrong--at least according to one woo-meister. Just look at this blurb from a website called Shifted Sands. But it's better than that. Not only does this site combine amazing woo consisting of "energy healing," "life forces," and an intoxicating concoction of various kinds of woo, but, like the Tesla Purple Energy Shield, it invokes tachyons. But it's still more than that, even. It's a take on tachyons that I've never heard before and that would likely make a physicist like Chad Orzel cry:


Tachyon. A particle that travels faster than light. Tachyon energy. A limitless source of "free-energy" that exists within space. Theoretical particle, abstract concept or down-to-earth reality? Tachyon energy fits right in with professor William Tiller's negative space-time model which describes the ethereal spiritual dimension. The problem is that most scientists do not like to deal with the ethereal. It is not something that they can grasp, measure or analyze in their labs.

Tachyon energy differs from other forms of energy in that it is not of the electromagnetic realm. According to Professor Tiller of Stanford University, Tachyons exists in the magneto-electric (ethereal) realm. This is why it has such unusual properties. The single most important aspect of the Tachyon energy is its amazing ability to create order out of chaos, or in scientific words, anti-entropy. Entropy is the tendency for things to go towards a state of greater disorder. Tachyon energy appears to have an opposite effect, thereby, promoting greater harmony and balance. Another amazing characteristic of tachyon energy is its zero-point potential. Everything in the physical material world has a specific wavelength, resonance, and polarity (+/- or neutral). Zero-point (non-directional) energy does not, which means that it has the ability to organize the entire multi-dimensional spectrum of energies simultaneously. This affects each person in a unique way according to his/her energy needs. Tachyon energy appears to organize and maintain the proper balance and flow of chi (life-force) through body's meridian system.

Wow! Who knew that qi, or the life force that woo-meisters love to invoke and supposedly manipulate, removing "blockages" to its flow by various means that have nothing to do with each other and are often mutually contradictory, was actually made up of tachyons?

But even more amazing is the claim that tachyon particles as "anti-entropy"! It's such an amazingly potent bit of woo that it literally takes my breath away! Fortunately, it can give it back, because, I'm guessing, if tachyons are "anti-entropy," they can reverse the increase in entropy that results from my respiration and exhaling air. Entropy is sometimes called the "arrow of time" because entropy in a closed system always increases with time. (Of course, my snarkiness compels me to mention that, as the Third Law states, the ultimate way to minimize entropy and slow the aging process would be to drop the temperature to as close to absolute zero as is achievable. Of course, such a solution would be hell on having any fun with all those extra years.) So, I'm guessing that these guys probably believe that bathing in tachyon energy could reverse that arrow, which would mean reversing the aging process. Simple, right? And you know it must be true because the names of famous scientists are invoked. Heck, poor Nikola Tesla can't cut a break, because these woo-meisters can't resist bringing him into their woo, too, all the while redefining all metabolism as a "tachyonic function" of the body:

When it comes to slowing down the aging process, as well as healing the body from ailments, and maintaining a healthy metabolism, new physics and ancient oriental medicine agree on a common solution: tapping into the unlimited Tachyon, or "life force" field. If this is the solution to our modern maladies, how do physicists and oriental physicians suggest that we go about accessing this field, and how exactly does it help us? Why do we age, and why do we get sick? Disease and aging, according to physics, are effects of "entropy". Entropy is the second law of thermodynamics, and describes the tendency of all matter to be digressing to a state of increasing disorder. All systems in the universe obey this fundamental law; all living things fall apart over time. Man is no exception to this rule. Our aging process, as well as disease progression, even the deterioration of the coherent state of our mind, is due to entropy. However, although all life tends towards entropy, there also exists an opposing force that seems to defy, even counter the tendency towards disorder. This "anti-entropic" force was named "Tachyon Energy" by Dr. Gerald Fienburg, a physicist at Columbia University in 1966. The main attribute of Tachyon energy is its tendency to hold the very matter of our universe together like a glue. Nicola Tesla, an experimental physicist, was one of the first to put Tachyon, (or "Gravity Field" energy, as he called it) to practical use. Best known for his inventions in AC electricity field, Tesla's goal was to provide an alternative energy source for all people. Physicists such as William Tiller, Ph.D., at Stanford University have devoted decades to the study of Tachyon energy, and it remains as yet a very new and exciting field in physics, as well as the implications in the use of the Tachyon field for health. Tachyon energy is fundamental to our existence, and we utilize it in all of our life poocesses. Digestion, for example, is the trans-formation of matter from a simple state to a highly organized, complex form. Metabolism is also a "Takionic" function of the body, as well as the healing of bones. In fact, whenever you sustain an injury, the fact that the body knits itself together, as in after surgery, is a "Takionic" effect. Our skin renews itself fueled by this force, and our organs maintain their function, and cleanse themselves using Tachyon Energy. Our daily vitality, according to oriental physicians, is propor-tional to the amount of Tachyon, or life force, energy that we attract and contain. To increase a person's amount of energy, Japanese scientists spent 30 years of intense research and have now synthesized a mineral colloid that, due to its unique molecular structure, helps the body to draw in Tachyon Energy. This "Takionic" colloid is also woven into fibers that are worn in different wraps, belts, wristbands, and others.

"Tachyonic colloid"? Now that's some first class woo! And all you have to do is to wear belts or wristbands made of this material to gain all thee benefits? But I do have a little quibble with these guys. Digestion is not exactly the process of transforming matter from a "simple" state to a highly organized state. In reality, the food we eat is not "simple" unless it's something like highly processed sugar. Rather, it's made up of proteins, carbohydrates, and other macromolecules. These macromolecules are first subjected to stomach acid and then to digestive enzymes to break them down into their component parts to fuel the chemical reactions that produce the energy necessary for cells to do the work of life. Some of these smaller building blocks are retained and utilized to produce the macromolecules such as proteins, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) necessary for life, but most is broken down into simpler chemicals and the energy released by the chemical reactions that do this utilized by the organism to do useful work. This whole process takes energy, and the "order" produced generates far more entropy than is eliminated by the order.

Maybe anti-entropy tachyon woo isn't such a bad idea after all. But how does this woo "work"? Inquiring minds want to know! Well, wonder no more:

Tachyon energy has an amazing effect on water which then affects the cells in your body. Each of the 70-80 trillion cells in your body is like a little satellite to receive and utilize life force energy. Takionic products enables the cells to be more receptive to the Tachyon life force all around us. Balancing the water in your body is essential to the proper circulation of the Tachyon life force. It is not that these materials attract Tachyon energy, rather, you become an antenna to attract, receive and use the Tachyon life force directly.

While the human body is the most sensitive antenna, the problem is that we are often blocked from receiving life energy from the environment. Furthermore, we are being depleted and drained due to stress, electromagnetic radiation, pollution and unhealthy lifestyles.

The key to attracting higher energies is to be a more receptive antenna. In order to do that, our energy fields have to be aligned and balanced by reducing and eliminating the chaos in our lives. This is the function of Takionic products - to create order out of chaos, enabling us to be more receptive to the Tachyon life force and thus achieve our full potential as human beings

Wow! I want my cells to be little satellites (or is it antennae?) to receive and utilize the tachyon life force as well! Really, I want to slow down or reverse the aging process, too! But what to buy, what to buy? Let's see a few of our options:

Takionic® Water. Takionic® water is a revitalizing and refreshing water that is pure and cluster-free. This water had undergone a unique quantum molecular process that gives it a distinctive tachyon characteristic (ability to create order out of chaos.) It is a superb medium for the purest life energies from the tachyon field. Each drop of this water will refresh your body and spirit .It may be taken homeopathically, just hold 8 to 10 drops under the tongue or add to your drinks. An 12 oz. bottle usually lasts 2-3 months.

Wow, this sounds like some water, being able, as it is, to "create order out of chaos." It looks to me as though Dr. Emoto has some competition here. However, I have to ask how this water can be homeopathic when, in essence, given that homeopathic remedies have had the active ingredient so diluted that there is none of the active ingredient left, all water is homeopathic water. So wouldn't tap water work just as well to be a medium for this tachyon energy? (I know, I know, it's just that nasty skepticism in me.) Let's move on.

Let's see. There are a number of items of clothing or jewelry (presumably made of the aforementioned tachyonic colloid). You can get a bead patch, an ankle wrap and a knee wrap (which both look to me just like your run-of-the-mill sports wraps, but then what do I know?), a body wrap, and a whole boatload of jewelry.

But what caught my eye was this little gem:

Aloe Facial Cleanser. The Aqua-Pura Aloe Facial Cleanser is a rich foaming, non-soap cleanser that gently removes dirt, grime and bacteria without ever drying out your skin. It is made with pure vegetable Glycerin and Aloe Vera Gel. It is a pH balanced, fragrance-free cleanser that is great for dry to oily skin. This all-natural cleanser is a gentle exfoliant that softens skin as it cleans. Great for teens! It is the first step of the Complete Facial Rejuvenation Kit which includes the Takionic Aqua-Pura Moisturizer, Takionic Hi-Energy Facial Masks and Aqua-Pura AHA Revita-Lizer Lotion.

To be followed up by this:

Hi-Energy Facial Masks. This Hi-Energy Facial Mask is made with Takionic (energy generating) fabric, within it's non-woven fibers. Over 20 years of research has led to the creation of this unique fabric which has an anti-bacterial, cell-revitalizing quality. This special fabric helps free-up water molecule clusters which trap toxins within your cells and tissues causing your skin to age faster. The Hi-Energy Mask helps maintain optimum cellular metabolism -which means your cells will have a better absorption and assimilation of oxygen and nutrients as well as elimination of toxins, keeping your skin healthy, fresh and radiant. Each pack consists of 12 Hi-Energy Masks. Each mask is re-usable up to approximately 5-6 times. Comes with easy to understand & "How-To-Use" instructions. Best if used after washing face with the Aqua Pura Aloe Facial Cleanser and applying the Takionic Aqua-Pura Moisturizer. It is the 3rd step of the Complete Facial Rejuvenation Kit. Wear mask for 10-15 minutes, or safe to wear overnight.

I was going to make a crack about "washing that woo right out of my skin," but this appears to be custom-designed to put the woo into my skin! But what a multifunctional facial kit! Not only is it antibacterial, but it detoxifies as well. Not only that, but on top of that it moisturizes and energizes you with tachyons, too! What more could you ask for?

As I peruse my Folder of Woo for new targets and look at previous installments of Your Friday Dose of Woo, one thing that hits me is that one common recurrent theme in some of the woo-iest woo that I've come across is an appeal to quantum mechanics. What makes this week's woo unusual is that, although it has a lot of the same elements as quantum woo, amazingly, I didn't see any direct appeals to quantum mechanics here. This was truly astounding to me. Thinking about it more, I'm beginning to wonder if, when it comes to woo, tachyons are becoming the new quantum. After all, fallacious appeals to quantum theory to bolster serious woo are so 20th century. We need a new woo for the 21st century, and tachyons would appear to fill the bill quite nicely.


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Well, well, well. Prof. William Tiller of Stanford University has his very own Wikipedia article.

William A. Tiller, Ph.D. is professor emeritus of Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford University. Tiller appears in the film What the Bleep Do We Know!?. His seminal book is the 1997 Science and Human Transformation, which postulates the existence of subtle energies, beyond the four fundamental forces, which act on the human consciousness.

First reaction: what the bleep has he been smoking?

Crazy Californians.

According to the byline of one of Tiller's articles, published in the May/June 1999 issue of Science & Medicine: "Dr. William A. Tiller joined the Stanford University faculty as Professor of Physics in 1964 after nine years with Westinghouse Research Laboratory. He became Professor Emeritus in 1992 in order to devote himself to research in solid state physics and materials science as well as in his avocational field, psychoenergetics. He holds several patents, and he has written four books and more than 300 papers."

Tiller claims to have discovered a new class of natural phenomena which he calls "subtle energies", which manifest themselves in the practices of healers and other practitioners of the paranormal. Tiller, defines the term psychoenergetics as the study of these energies in relation to human consciousness. He sees a connection between nonphysical consciousness and the quantum phenomena. These findings are not accepted in the scientific community.

We clearly have not escaped the quantum yet.

Orac, you really should make more use of the standard references on-line for these posts. I mean, Andy Schlafly's Conservopedia has just paragraphs and sentences on the sciences written by his crack team of students at his "Eagle Forum University". And if I was on my own computer right now I'd link, but I don't know how to on this machine. Maybe there's an article there that could help me.

Orac, you really should make more use of the standard references on-line for these posts. I mean, Andy Schlafly's Conservopedia has just paragraphs and sentences on the sciences written by his crack team of students at his "Eagle Forum University". And if I was on my own computer right now I'd link, but I don't know how to on this machine. Maybe there's an article there that could help me.

Come to think of it, I've never seen the Third Law abused by woo-meisters.

There are some people who try to build free energy machines that violate the third law.

I remember in my pre-chemistry days, I was playing Mega Man X, and attempted to think about his charged shots: When he's charging energy, little globes of energy would form in the air around him, going into him. I rationalized that the way his X Buster worked was that it gathered the heat energy from the surroundings. I also noticed in a fair number of space shooters, enemies with big laser cannons often had faint bits of light flow into the barrel before firing. It seemed to make sense, since there's a lot of heat energy out there, or at least within a habitable planet, so there might be some way to use it.

Then I took chemistry and realized that such devices violated the third law.

Poor Ponce de Leon,he qwested in Florida for Takionic Water when it was actually located in Torrance,CA.Thirty five dollars for a twelve ounce bottle of water is the ultimate proof of the proverb that a fool and his money are soon parted.The people that peddle this shit are the worst type of scumbags.Damn,now I am really depressed!

By spartanrider (not verified) on 04 May 2007 #permalink

Let's see, beside the standard wooness... qi, memory water, life energy, colloids, magic supplements, quantum, consciousness, balancing....we now have antennas and Tachyons, great!

What would Data & Capt. Pickard think?

I'd be curious to see if you can predict what the next "woo-volution" might be - string theory? Gravitons? Higgs-Bosons? Femtosecond pulses? The possibilities are endless!

By Brian Thompson (not verified) on 04 May 2007 #permalink

After the application of all this fancy woo, I suspect that the stock price in snake-oil corporation will be seen to "defy gravity".

I love the bit where he says: "It's not in the electromagnetic realm, it's in the magneto-electric realm!"

By Ginger Yellow (not verified) on 04 May 2007 #permalink

What would Data & Capt. Pickard think?

Picard and Data know better: It's not easy to handle tachyons. You have to reroute the warp field generator through the main deflector dish to get any.

In discussing the second law and evolution, it really doesn't matter whether earth's entropy is increasing or decreasing. Many people don't seem fully grok the import of entropy being a quantitative measure and physical measure, like mass. Physically, the biosphere is a minute fraction of the earth. Saying evolution is impossible because -- arguendo -- the entropy of the earth is increasing is like arguing that it is impossible because the earth's mass is fixed and each new living organism consumes mass. Well, yes, that last is true. But despite the fact that the biosphere is larger now than four billion years ago, the mass of the earth swamps it by orders of magnitude. And even if the entropy of the earth is increasing (I have no way of knowing whether it is or not), that is such a massive quantity compared to the biosphere that the latter's contribution just doesn't matter.

So, what happens if you mix Tachyon Enhanced water with H2X⢠Scalar Wave Activated Water? Would it create a tunnel through the space-time continuum and allow us to contact the higher-evolved pan-dimensional etheric beings?

Inquiring minds.... don't really give a rat's rear.

I wonder...What would happen if you took all the various woo-ers that spout imaginary "science" and put them in a room. This would be especially entertaining since most of them contradict one another as well. Would they all come back with the Unified Woo Theory, or would they just deal with their differences Battle Royale style?
I'd pay good money to see that.

Takionic® water is a revitalizing and refreshing water that is pure and cluster-free.

Clusters in water? Have they been having a problem with that over at Takionic HQ?

Makes me think back to the Three Laws of Thermodynamics Expressed in Layman's Language that I heard years ago:
1. You can't win.
2. You can't even break even.
3. You have to play.

Unfortunately woosters have proven very good at ignoring their differences and teaming up to present their woo at "health conferences" and so forth.

Here's a question. I doubt anyone here knows the answer for sure, but I'll ask anyway.

Do the people who make Tachyon Water just put water in a bottle and sell it, or do they do some ritual over it first out of an honest belief that it really works? (In other words, are they blatant scammers, or do they actually believe their own woo?)

Obviously the rest of you are much fitter than I am. Tachyons are faster than light particles, so the tachyonic colloid much be whizzing around pretty quickly. Imagine chasing a FTL knee wrap, in order to put it on.


Bronze Dog:

I think the video-game scenarios you describe actually violate the second law (they don't involve an approach to absolute zero).

I'd be curious to see if you can predict what the next "woo-volution" might be - string theory?

M-theory would be my bet.