1 — The claim for the validity of bau-biology is argued in the media, not in scientific or academic journals.
That’s because there isn’t any science to back up the claims. Bau-biologists operate largely in the realm of make-believe. Also, if you choose to argue the validity of your idea in the media, you hope to gain monetarily from the publicity.
There is never any evidence, reference to peer reviewed literature, medicaltrial, etc., to show that these products work — we just have to accept they do! Science is about asking questions; critical thought should be the crucial element. — Maria Cruz, physicist
Scientific proof for bau-biology?
Certain personality types are prone to believing in “geopathic stress,” “electro-pollution,” and the other buzzwords. Bau-biology promotes this pathological mindset (see the last question in this online version of the study test for “Introduction to Electromagnetic Fields,” from the International Institute for Bau-Biologie).
The researchers believe a more fruitful field of study would be to learn why some people insist on blaming their personal ills on electromagnetic fields.
People who embrace this pseudoscience feel very antagonistic towards science, primarily because they don’t understand it. Their advertising laments the applications of technology, but these people who make you worry about technology have websites, computers, cell phones, GPS, and every modern contrivance that helps them profit from their scams. To conceal their discomfort with science they often quote from crank literature.
Crank literature tends to be mired in the 19th century, when people were fascinated with Mesmer and that newfangled electricity.Nowhere is the scientific ambivalence more pronounced than in bau-biology’s little subdiscipline, called electrobiology — a term that actually refers to electrical activity of the heart and nervous system. At Duke University you can study real-world electrobiology.
It is so much easier to concoct things than have to research, or read scientific papers. You only have to decide how best to market a fraud, and to whom.
The fraudsters perpetuate ignorance as they fleece their clients. This ignorance can be dangerous. Look at this MIT study that suggests aluminum foil, one cure-all suggested by bau-biologists, might actually concentrate radio waves and magnetic fields!
Bad science gives all scientists a bad name and undermines the work we do. I am all for new and exciting products as long as there is evidence to support them. People should be encouraged to challenge claims and if they can be backed up with findings then all the better. — Carolyn Tregidgo, physicist
2 — Marketers of bau-biology assert that a powerful establishment is trying to suppress their information.
If bau-biology was a technological breakthrough, businesses would have capitalized on the idea long ago. (Instead, companies like EM-SEC Technologies are excelling in fields that baubiologists claim as their own.) If bau-biology had all the correct answers, those answers would already be incorporated in international standards.
Research into the long-term effects of an exposure to EMRs is in the beginning stage and hampered and stopped by vested interests.
Research has been going on for years, and it has only intensified with the explosion of new technologies. However, the results don’t support the beliefs of bau-biologists — therefore research stopped or does not exist. The self-aggrandizing paranoia of bau-biologists somewhat explains their interest in the writings of Paul Brodeur, who believes (in the words of Access to Energy)
… to maximize their profits, the big bad corporations spread cancer, war and pestilence — as if they were anything but a spineless bunch of wimps trying to buy off their detractors with lavish contributions.
For bau-biologists there is no need to include concrete examples of repression or to name agents of repression (“vested interests”) because the statement from the Institute is one of belief, not evidence. Then again, perhaps in the quote they are referring to their ideas, which are not rigorous enough to be accepted into a grade-school science fair.
Governments, scientists, and international standards societies think so little of bau-biology that they refuse to acknowledge its existence.
This makes it convenient for fraudsters to fabricate the notion of an Evil Conspiracy: governmental bodies, entire economic systems of nations, a wide array of scientists, and a variety of international agencies all seeking to deny, overlook, and suppress information on dangers to the public from appliances, electronics, medical equipment, and anything else that uses or supplies electrical power.
3 — The scientific effect involved in bau-biology is always at the very limit of detection.
That’s why dowsing is so popular! Why have to buy and use expensive, sensitive equipment when you can use a couple of twigs or a coat hanger to locate the nonexistent?
“Kiss my aura, Dora.” — Frank Zappa
The Institute says
These manmade energies have become part of our lives and as such are superimposed to our subtle body energies.
Ignore the poor grammar: the term “subtle body energies” is actually a code phrase for “aura,” which involves alleged fields of electromagnetic energy surrounding our bodies. Auras are a component of Mesmerism and a hangover from 19th century Vitalism. Vitalism was built on the medieval concept of the four humours (no laughing matter). Offgassing from humours affected the brain and other organs, and determined your health and personality.
A biofield is claimed to be an invisible energy field that surrounds and permeates a living body, undetectable by science. If it is imperceptible by physical measurement, it could not be affected by any real force such as EMF from TVs, computers, etc. Any products that claim to help your biofield are dubious as there is no method to establish their effects. The biofield belongs in the realm of spirituality, not science. — Nathan Robertson, biophysicist
Oddly enough, evangelical Christians and New Agers agree on “subtle body energies”: auras have found favor in intelligent design (creationism). Who knew these seemingly disparate belief systems were in fact conjoined twins?
Hold together, baby, hold together. — Han Solo
It is possible to detect electrical properties of single neurons in your brain. Your bladder has a detectable electromagnetic field. So does your throat, your gastrointestinal system, heart, and brain. All of these fields cancel each other out. If they didn’t, your body would not hold together.
4 — The evidence for bau-biology is largely anecdotal.
When you look at bau-biology advertising you realize this pseudoscience is based on anecdotal evidence or faith-based reasoning (“because I said so”). Otherwise, based on evidence, how could it possibly exist?
Faith-based reasoning is very comforting because it does not require a great deal of thought. Everything has been thought out for you; you need only keep to the path.
If you base your online purchasing decisions on testimonials (Amazon reviews come to mind), that means you accept the word of complete strangers without any evidence that they are telling the truth. They said it and that’s good enough; you roll over and offer your wallet. You are a very trusting soul, who cannot possibly consider that someone would want to deceive you for their own ends by making statements that are not true.
Bau-biologists don’t conduct scientific research, and they are uninterested in the research of others if it does not reinforce their belief system.
Bau-biologists typically aren’t members of IEEE, ICES, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), or the World Health Organization (WHO). These groups convene panels that review all the scientific literature in peer-reviewed publications (more than 2500 papers) regarding extremely low frequency (ELF) and radio frequency (RF). These panels establish standards for levels of human exposure that avoid the adverse health effects documented in scientific studies. Panels typically include a variety of experts such as epidemiologists, neurologists, biologists, toxicologists, oncologists, physicists, engineers, and statisticians.
5 — You are assured that a belief in bau-biology is credible because bau-biology has been around for a long time.
There’s that word “belief” again. Just because people have believed something (or believed in something) for a long time doesn’t mean it’s credible. People have believed in Santa Claus for a long time — does that make Santa Claus credible? And how do you feel about putting your trust in adults who still believe in Santa Claus?
6 — The discoverer is a “lone genius” with a revolutionary idea.
You may recognize this as a common theme in movies — because that is where the idea of the “lone genius” originated (the leading man gets the part of the genius). Rarely in real life are truly “revolutionary” ideas the product of one person. Scientific breakthroughs are typically the result of widespread collaboration. Dr Ed Friedlander says it best:
Sometimes the independent thinkers prove to be correct, and paradigms shift as a result. You also know that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. When a discovery proves to square with the observable world, scientists make reputations by confirming it, and corporations are soon making profits from it. When a decades-old claim by a “persecuted genius” finds no acceptance from mainstream science, it probably failed some basic experimental tests designed to eliminate self-deception …
7 — Bau-biology requires new laws of nature to explain its workings.
bau-biology rewrote the dictionary, so why not overthrow physical laws? Yet real science typically does not conflict with what is already known about how the world works (if it does, there is substantial evidence behind the reasoning).
- Psychobiological personality dimensions in two environmental-illness patient groups. Jan Bergdahl, Lena Marell, Maud Bergdahl, and Hjordis Perris. Clin Oral Investig., October 8, 2005; 1-6.
- Why do women suffer from sick building syndrome more often than men?—subjective higher sensitivity versus objective causes. S Brasche, M Bullinger, M Morfeld, HJ Gebhardt, and W Bischof. Indoor Air, Dec 2001; 11(4): 217-22.
- Dysfunctional buildings or dysfunctional people: an examination of the sick building syndrome and allied disorders. CM Ryan and LA Morrow. J Consult Clin Psychol, April 1, 1992; 60(2): 220-4.
- Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity: A Systematic Review of Provocation Studies. G. James Rubin, Jayati Das Munshi, and Simon Wessely. Psychosom Med, Mar 2005; 67: 224 – 232.
- ICNIRP Initiatives. J.H. Bernhardt. Radiat Prot Dosimetry, Jun 1999; 83: 5.