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The Price of Scientific
The Price for Science
There is also a price paid by science itself. There is no true objectivity. What is often touted as objectivity is simply conformance to the status quo or the politically appropriate belief system of the day. There is the hard reality of where research funds come from, and who gets their share.
The age of the lone scientist hidden in his or her laboratory, making the next great leap forward is largely a myth. The reality for most scientists is that they work as part of a team. Their research papers are vetted by peer review. Their research is judged by the very same people that are competing for the same grants and research funds.
Under this system, it is far more likely that a mediocre paper is approved quickly with minor changes for style, while an important paper is delayed, sometimes by a year or two. Why? Because of self interest. There is competition for the grant money. The delay also gives the reviewer a chance to drop what they are doing and establish their own foothold in the new and about to be important direction before the paper is published so that they can claim some of the turf. This process dilutes the funds available for original research.
Under this system, research that is not consistent with the status quo, that breaks the mold, or introduces a new paradigm shift, tends to face much more significant opposition and political reaction.
When New Research is Too New
In 1988, Nobel Laureate and French immunologist, Jacques Benveniste submitted a paper to the prestigious publication Nature, concerning evidence that water has memory. In part because it would support some of the claims made by practitioners of Bach Flower remedies, essentially a system of healing that is considered blatantly unscientific, the paper was handled as if it were poison. Instead of having it reviewed in the normal process, an investigative team was sent to the lab of Benveniste. His laboratory and research team were heavily scrutinized, even to the point of sending a magician to seemingly debunk the results. The results were eventually published, but alongside a retraction.
It may be interesting to point out that water is a very polar molecule, and in liquid form, tends to exist as clusters of molecules that are approximately 50 molecules wide. It is the movement of these clusters against each other that we experience as water in its liquid form. Because water is such a polar molecule, it tends to act like a little magnet, and within the cluster, it behaves like a pail of magnets. If you were to push your hand into a pail of smooth magnets and withdraw your hand, then the cluster of magnets would maintain that impression. Since the shape of enzymes and proteins is determined largely by their three-dimensional shape, the possibility that water may mimic some of those properties is a very important discovery.
Nevertheless, the publication Nature did everything possible to wash their hands of publishing this research. They would rather attack the credibility of a Nobel laureate than face loss of readership or prestige. This scenario has been repeated many times with other publications and research.
It is interesting to note that Brian Josephson, another Nobel Laureate published his own research that went on public record to support Benveniste's claims. Nevertheless, and unfortunately, this path of research and the potential knowledge that it may have revealed has been marginalized.
To put things into perspective, much of the resistance about how water behaves came from looking at how individual molecules interact and extrapolating this into larger structures. Individually, water molecules can break relationships with their neighbor in the order of picseconds.
On the other hand we know little of how water molecules behave in the larger clusters found naturally, whether more stable groupings may occur forming resonance structures and the contribution of minute levels of impurities to re-stabilize orientations or resonant tendencies.
Perhaps even more poignant is the very real possibility of entanglement and quantum interactions at the individual level. As of this writing, quantum entanglement is being demonstrated not only at the atomic level but at increasingly larger molecular levels and with more complex structures, including dynamic systems such as cells.
Nearly three decades after Benveniste's original claims that water may have memory, research along these lines seems to be heading towards at least a partial exoneration of his work.
When Science Backs Up Astrology
The pressure to conform is enormous, and the penalties to apply scientific methods towards anything outside of a narrow accepted turf are severe exclusion, ridicule and personal attacks. Of course one of those unaccepted turfs for scientists is astrology, and researchers such as Michel Gauquelin and others have suffered the consequences.
Image based on Is There Really a Mars Effect by Michel Gauquilin published in 1988 in the Journal of Astrological Studies. The red line shows the distribution of mars in athletes relative to the cardinal directions, the blue dashed line shows the expected value if by chance.
These results gave statistical evidence that showed a high correlation for astrology, supporting some of its claims, He is perhaps best known for the Mars effect that
showed a high correlation between planetary positions in the Houses at the time of birth and professions. That correlation was especially strong with Mars and athletes. Needless to say, the
response from some components of the scientific community extended to denial, misrepresentation, psuedoskeptism and vicious personal attacks.
The Lesson for Astrology
The lesson for astrology is that there will never be enough evidence to convince the 'religious' side of science that astrology is 'scientific'.
That attempt is more than futile, for two important reasons: For some members of the scientific community, astrology is anathema, and there will never be enough evidence to change that stance.
More importantly, it risks pulling astrology away from its core and true offering, as both a spiritual and mundane science that connects things by relationship, not just by causal relationships, but also non-causal associations. In its essence, it is a bridge between our inner spiritual experience and out outward co-creation and experience of the world around us.
Trying to become more 'scientific' or to be accepted by science, astrology faces the same fate as many other systems of knowledge and healing. Too many have chosen the path of conformity that results in cutting the connection of their inner science. Separated from its core, it may find itself scavenged for what is deemed useful and eventually face being absorbed.
I suggest a wiser route. Astrology needs to re-examine its own origin and validity from the place of sprit. Eventually, it is science itself that will change, by removing its self imposed limits and boundaries that exclude spiritual science. and at that point in time, it will be more willing to accept astrology in its fuller offering. Quantum effects and the consequences of entanglement are already pointing in that direction.
Image of man at blackboard credit ArtFamily, Fotalia. Surgery image credit Corel. Astrology Horoscope Readings All Text and graphics unless otherwise stated are Copyright © 2012, 2016 by Roman Oleh Yaworsky. All rights reserved. Any unauthorized use by whatever means is prohibited.