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December 16, 2008


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Well, you got me. I figured that example 2 was the "real" one, primarily because 1 just seemed a bit more ridiculous, throwing in more stupid wooish beliefs. It felt to me like a skeptic picking the most insane bits of various modalities and combining them.

So yeah, you're right. We need a Poe's Law equivalent for this. I feel obligated to nominate "Skeptico's Law," though it isn't quite as catchy.

Emoto's Law?

After reading both, I thought 1 was the parody. Mainly because of the second paragraph. It looked like someone went "Hey, let's throw in something about it being possible at any distance due to a magical 'quantum' field. That'll REALLY make it sound ridiculous!"

Just a few days ago I followed a link from the BAD SCIENCE blog to a site offering qualifications in TUNING FORK therapy, and was convinced that the entire site was an elaborate and sophisticated spoof. When I read about 'ANGEL' forks and 'CHOPRA' forks, and how the whole universe is vibrating (string theory) so tuning forks, at varying frequencies, can align themselves with your personal vibration rates I fell about laughing. The laughter turned to tears of frustration when Ben Goldacre assured me that the whole thing was genuine. Or am I still being toyed with?

I thought no. 2 was the "real" one, because it bears the closest resemblance to traditional European witchcraft. Speaking of which:

It’s a bit like voodoo – you treat the doll not the person. Except I think voodoo spells are supposed to make the person ill, while this is supposed to make the person better.

Only in the movies. The practice of attempting to afflict someone by sticking pins into a doll (known in the craft as a "poppet", typically made from wax, and incorporating one or more items linked to the target, such as a lock of hair, or nail clippings) originates in European witchcraft, and was ascribed to voodoo practitioners by Christian missionaries. It was never part of voodoo (originally, anyway - it possibly is now, as a result of endless portrayals in the media). However, I believe there was a voodoo practice which attempted to heal people by placing wooden pegs into holes in a wooden figure.

The British Veterinary Voodoo society clearly know their witchcraft. The invocation of quantum mechanics should have tipped me to the first example being the "real" modern woo.

I guessed #1, but mostly because of the quantum physics reference.

You know, I'd like a big bucket of chi. It would probably be useful for all kinds of things. I wonder if it tastes good with ectoplasm.

Heh, I'd already read the 1st example thanks to Orac.

I guessed 2 was the parody, mainly because it was BETTER-EXPLAINED! Amazing how even woo-parodies are better than the actual woo!!!

My brain hurts now. As if millions of brain cells had cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

I thought it was a trick question, both seemed equally ridiculous

Quantum physics simply calls distance healing a “non-local event.”

No satirist could come up with anything as offensively stupid as that.

Both seemed ridiculous, but I guess #1 was the parody because of the 'whole together on different planets' nonsense.

I should have known better.

One of my friends was telling me about this product called Homeopet, homeopathy for dogs I guess, and at first I didn't think she was serious. What a bunch of nonsense. But she later blogged that she emailed the FDA and got the homeopet site to take down its silly FDA approval claims when it was not in fact approved by the FDA: http://www.ziztur.com/2008/12/homepet-not-fda-approved.html

It's a shame we don't have enough time to do this to all of them.

I thought number one was the parody (probably in part because i was tired and read it as a quantum physics "local non-event" - I wish they had said that.)
And from what I remember voodoo wasn't really into making dolls and witches poppets from European cultures were usually used to harm people - this is obviously nice new-age voodoo.

Wow, I failed too. I was certain #1 was the parody, mostly from the second paragraph, and especially when it talked about being on other planets.


I guessed #2 because it was more subtle and cleverly said than the first :)

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