Creating Waves of Awareness
27 March 2011
A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) has shown that our sense of smell cannot be explained by the old theory that it's based on the shapes of molecules. Instead, it must be explainable as subatomic vibrations—at the quantum physics level. If that's true, then the typical argument that homeopathy doesn't work because it can't work has absolutely no basis.
The study goes by the unexciting name of "Molecular vibration-sensing component in Drosophila melanogaster olfaction"(1). Drosophila melanogaster is a fruit fly commonly used in experiments because they're easy to care for and complete their life cycle in only 12 days, so experiments can be completed quickly. The experimenters used electric shock to train the flies to avoid certain odors. They were then presented with two or three odors, including the one they were trained to avoid. The flies were checked to see if they avoided going in the direction of the odor that had been associated with shocks. They did(2).
Hydrogen and deuterium were among the materials tested. Deuterium is a hydrogen atom with an extra neutron. Their shapes are exactly the same. Nonetheless, the flies could smell a difference between them. That fact destroys the generally-accepted notion that smell operates like a key and lock combination—that, if the odor molecule's shape matches the smell receptor's shape, then it's recognized.
The key and lock theory is clearly wrong, and in fact, had not been proven. Of course, in the usual non-evidence-based manner of much science—especially when it's related to medicine—it was accepted by acclamation. The theory just sounded so good that questioning it was simply not done.
Another theory of how we can smell is needed. Fortunately, it exists and explains the information we have. Interestingly, it isn't new. It was first proposed in 1937 by Malcolm Dyson, and expanded upon by Robert H. Wright in 1954. They suggested that the sense of smell is similar to the senses of hearing and vision—that our bodies respond to odors according to a vibrational pattern. Finally, in 1996, Luca Turin, one of the authors of the Drosophila study described above, refined and formalized the theory.
Turin's theory predicted that different isotopes of an element could be distinguished by their odor. It was not, though, the first such experiment to test whether a differing isotope could be sensed by smell. In 2001, a study entitled "Investigation of vibrational theory of olfaction with variously labelled benzaldehydes", by LF Haffendon, found that humans can distinguish between hydrogen- and deuterium-formulated benzaldehyde compounds.
The vibration theory of olfaction focuses on the subatomic level of quantum physics. It suggests that each molecule carries its scent in the sum of vibrations of all the atoms in a molecule. Therefore, our olfactory sense distinguishes between subatomic vibrations.
You can picture a molecule as a bunch of balls held together with vibrating springs. One can think of a deuterium atom, which is approximately double the weight of a hydrogen atom, as weighing the "springs" between atoms down, thus changing the vibration state.
Since it now appears likely that the sense of smell is produced at the subatomic level, there is little to interfere with homeopathy's claim to effectiveness. As has been covered here in Gaia Health, studies have documented its efficacy and even its ability to effect changes in cancer cell lines.
A primary claim of the anti-homeopathy folk is that it doesn't work because it can't. That, of course, works on the assumption that they hold the enlightened, never-to-be-questioned, Truth. And that Truth holds within its definition the idea that homeopathy cannot work. It sounds like the sorts of arguments used against witches during the dark and middle ages. The Truth was held by the priests of that time, and part of its definition was that witches were evil. Ergo, the Truth was not to be examined.
We've been living in an equivalent time. Back during the witch hunts, the enlightened Truth was held to be modern and the latest thinking—just as the anti-homeopathy folk would have you refuse to look at the evidence, but simply accept their claims that it doesn't work because it can't.
It's well past time to put that nonsense to rest. If the sense of smell is the result of sub-molecular vibrations of atomic binding, then there is nothing to stand in the way of the idea that homeopathy also works at a subatomic level. We may not know the precise means by which it operates, but we do have good science demonstrating both that it works in clinical settings and that it works at the cellular level.
Let's get rid of the double standard in the medical world. Modern medical doctors should pay attention to all studies, not just those hyped by the media and journals. It's time to actually rely on evidence-based medicine. It's obvious that there is no legitimate argument against homeopathy, either in terms of its efficacy or plausibility. It's long past time for homeopathy to be accepted as the effective and powerful treatment that it is.
If allopathic doctors truly want the best for their patients, then they must stop paying lip service to the term evidence-based medicine, start using genuine evidence, as opposed to the trumped-up stuff financed by Big Pharma, and refer patients to homeopaths—as the evidence clearly directs.