(2016) Axiomathes 26 (3).

"memory of water" without water

modeling of Benveniste's experiments with a personalist interpretation of probability

Francis Beauvais

pp. 329-345

Benveniste's experiments were at the origin of a scientific controversy that has never been satisfactorily resolved. Hypotheses based on modifications of water structure that were proposed to explain these experiments ("memory of water") were generally considered as quite improbable. In the present paper, we show that Benveniste's experiments violated the law of total probability, one of the pillars of classical probability theory. Although this could suggest that quantum logic was at work, the decoherence process is however at first sight an obstacle to describe this macroscopic experimental situation. Based on the principles of a personalist view of probability (quantum Bayesianism or QBism), a modeling could nevertheless be built that fitted the outcomes reported in Benveniste's experiments. Indeed, in QBism, there is no split between microscopic and macroscopic, but between the world where an agent lives and his internal experience of that world. The outcome of an experiment is thus displaced from the object to its perception by an agent. By taking into account both the personalist view of probability and measurement fluctuations, all characteristics of Benveniste's experiments could be described in a simple modeling: change of the biological system from resting state to "activated" state, concordance of "expected" and observed outcomes and apparent "jumping" of "biological activities" from sample to sample. No hypothesis on change of water structure was necessary. In conclusion, a modeling of Benveniste's experiments based on a personalist view of probability offers for the first time a logical framework for these experiments that have remained controversial and paradoxical till date.

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Beauvais, F. (2016). "memory of water" without water: modeling of Benveniste's experiments with a personalist interpretation of probability. Axiomathes 26 (3), pp. 329-345.

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