Life

10 pseudoscientists and their strange theories

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Throughout history, countless explanations of natural phenomena appeared, which we believed to be correct, and only decades later it became clear that they were far from the truth. But history remembers scientists whose theories even though they were far from real science, still find followers and supporters.

Wilhelm Reich
Orgon

Born in 1897, Wilhelm Reich was a psychiatrist, brought up on the works of Sigmund Freud. For a time he worked with Freud, and then took his own practice in 1922. By 1940, he moved to the United States and developed his own theory.

According to Reich, he scientifically proved the existence of a component, which he described in the form of energy of the body that is physically manifested in libido, accumulates in the body and successfully gets discharged through orgasm. Reich built a machine that allowed him to study this energy. He called this energy “orgone”, because of its direct connection with orgasm, but later he realized that orgone is beyond human biology. According to the theory of Reich everything from gravity to the weather depends on Orgon.

In the world today there are still organizations that officially professed Reich’s doctrines of orgone therapy, and offer it as an option for the treatment of various kinds of disorders.

Frederic Petit
Another Moon

According to astronomer Frederic Petit, the Earth has a second moon. Working in 1846 at the Observatory in Toulouse, France, Petit said that the presence of a second moon explains almost all astronomical inconsistencies faced by other astronomers. He believed that the time of the orbital rotation of the second moon is only 2 hours, 44 minutes and 59 seconds.

No one took the results seriously, but Petit continued to open another moon and its effects on the Moon and Earth, even 15 years after his initial announce. Petit’s theory could remain completely unnoticed in the scientific community, if it was not taken as a basis for Jules Verne’s “From the Earth to the Moon.”

Marcel Vogel
Plants with feelings and quartz drive

Marcel Vogel began research activities after he discovered that plants can feel. As a technician IBM, Vogel studied plant responses to stimuli – cuts, damage- which could be read and understood in terms of the released energy. According to Vogel, he found that plants respond with their own emotions and energy. He decided that plants store their own mental energy and emit it in the moment of interaction with external stimuli.

In 1974, Vogel presented quartz crystals and  explored their ability to act as a vessel for accumulation, increase conversion and mental energies. In 1984, he founded the Psychic Research with pretty noble intentions. He wanted to purify water by rearranging its energy, and accelerate the aging of wines using the same methods.

Ignaz von Pektseli
Iridology

The human eye has long been considered a mirror of the soul. Over the centuries, the doctors studied the eyes of patients to assess their health. Hungarian physician Ignaz von Pektseli brought the idea to a new level.

It all started with when he noticed a black mark in the eye of an owl that broke the leg. By the time he graduated – in 1867 – Pektseli collected an impressive database of patients’ eyes and created a scheme which part of the iris is a bond to the body.

According to Pektseli and his contemporaries Niels Liljequist, any breach in the body can be diagnosed by looking at the change in color of the iris. They firmly believed that there’s no need to do medical examination. Just look at the iris to understand what hurts the patient.

Judge Edward Jones
Personology

According to a book written by the founder of the International Personology Center , this science emerged in the 1930s in the judicial system in Los Angeles. Encountering one defendant after another, Judge Edward Jones began to compare the features of their faces with their crimes.

In further research was engaged  newspaper editor Robert Whiteside. In his view, a person’s face can clearly identify the type of his personality; both of these parameters are determined genetically, and therefore should be linked.

At the beginning of the development of criminology was believed that human tendency to criminal way of life is directly related to physical appearance.

Alfred William Lawson
Lawsonomy

Лоусономия

Name C Fauns was the pseudonym of Alfred William Lawson and it was used to spread the teachings of how beautiful and wonderful Lawson was. Among theLawson’s  thoughts was this: “Birth of Lawson was the most important moment since the emergence of humankind.”

For 20 years Lawson was being a professional pitcher in baseball. When he got tired of this, he decided to became an aircraft engineer, but failed.

What were the teachings and beliefs of Lawsonomy? There’s no such thing as energy, only a constant battle between things with high density and low density. Earth is made of a “malefire” and floats in the air. Due to the differences in density between the Earth and the surrounding material, everything on Earth is absorbed into the planet through a black hole near the North Pole and is distributed over the ball through the inner arteries of the planet. However, the same thing happens with people . When the process of pressure and suction stops, life stops.

Hanns Hörbiger
The theory of cosmic ice

In 1920 an Austrian Hanns Hörbiger added to the scientific world a new theory, and people around the world fell in love with it. Its popularity was largely due to its simplicity and accessibility.In simple words, everything was made of ice.

Ice – the basis of everything in the universe, from the stars in the sky to life on Earth. Hörbiger called his theory revolutionary, indicating that a single thread can link virtually everything in the universe, and this idea was much relished.

Explanation of the theory was quite curious. Hörbiger had a vision in 1894. He discovered that the ice was the foundation of everything. Facts that formed the basis of his theory were obtained thanks to the “creative intuition” and “artificial experiment.” Instead of starting conversations with the scientific community, Hörbiger first presented his theory on public, in the hope that public opinion will be able to shake the scientific community. What is most surprising, it almost worked.

John Kiely
Perpetuum Mobile

The idea of perpetual motion has always been interesting. People have been trying to find it since the Middle Ages. The generally accepted definition of perpetual motion states that it produces more energy than consumed – which, of course, impossible.

But that did not stop John Keeley claiming that he made such an engine. Born in 1837, Keely changed several professions – painter, decorator. He went to the public with the announcement, saying that he had found an entirely new kind of physical energy, which can generate incredible power. Using the energy of the water molecules, Keely was able to synchronize the vibration of molecules with their car and create a perpetual motion machine.

His company went public in 1890, and at the same time organizations such as Scientific American began to blow a hole in his theory. The company kept on investing another eight years until Keely died in 1898. For the time the Keely Motor Company has been in business for 25 years it did not bring a penny of dividends to investors. When investors looked into the mysterious Keely’s labs , they found a raised floor and a container of compressed air, which created the illusion of work.

Rene Blondlot
N-rays

In 1903, the scientific community was literally agitated by all kinds of radiation and X-rays. French scientist Rene Blondlot experimented with X-rays, when he suddenly came across something incredible: more waves. He called the N-rays in honor of the city of Nancy, and his experiments met  a wave of confusion and skepticism. Skepticism was due to the fact that the theory of N-rays had one of the biggest signs of pseudoscience: the inability to easily replicate the results.

Blondlot first discovered his mysterious N-rays, when he saw a small spark in the corner of the eye. His instructions for the detection of N-rays were quite dubious. We had to shut down in a dark room for a while to make sure that the eyes are set accordingly. Blondlot also argued that although some people will be able to immediately see the rays, others will have to try and try … and try again.

Eventually Blondlot and his colleagues brought a list of N-rays properties. N-rays to pass through all light blocks but transparent materials stop them. They come with sunlight, but only on cloudy days. Another Frenchman Augustin Charpentier went further and concluded that the human body also emits N-rays.

Albert Abrams
Radionics

In the early 1900s the doctor named Albert Abrams claimed to have discovered the secret of the diagnosis and treatment of almost any illness of the human body. In his opinion, the answer lies in the vibration of each cell. These vibrations he called “electrical reactions of Abrams”.

No wonder that on this basis has risen a lot of charlatans. FDA sent a few samples of blood for radionic research to find out whether the results will be. The first sample was diagnosed with colitis departed, although the sample’s owner was generally dead. Amputee diagnosed with arthritis in his lost leg, and the chicken was diagnosed with a sinus infection.

Remarkably, organizations, practitioners radionics, exist to this day.

Franz Mesmer
Animal Magnetism

As you have probably guessed, the word “mesmerism” Franz Mesmer gave us. But his theory is much more than just hypnosis, and they were popular enough to persist for many decades

After his marriage to a wealthy widow he started his own practice, he presented a new method for the treatment of patients who have abandoned traditional methods of treatment. When he healed a woman using a magnet, he continued to experiment with so-called “animal magnetism.”

His contemporaries considered this practice with a fair skepticism, even when Mesmer claimed that restored vision for a woman that had been blind since the age of three. His speech to the Royal Academy of Sciences has went very badly, but public supported him. Inspired by the support of the people healed, animal magnetism attracted the attention of European countries.

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