Plants & Human Affairs - Introduction
Cherries.wmf (7140 bytes) Plants & Human Affairs (BIOL106)  -  Stephen G. Saupe, Ph.D.; Biology Department, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University, Collegeville, MN 56321;;

Bach Flower Remedy Analysis

To complete this assignment you will need to visit the web site of the Bach Center  and then answer the following questions:


  1. What are Bach flower remedies? 
  2. What are the claims for these products? 
  3. How are the remedies prepared? 
  4. What sorts of problems are they used for?
  5. Who discovered these remedies and what the impetus behind the discoveries?

Case Studies
     Briefly summarize one of the case studies concerning the action of these remedies?

Analysis (anaylze the claims of the Bach Centre by answering the following questions. Note - not all will be applicable)

  1. Is the proposal partisan? (made to support a preconceived idea)
  2. Does the idea explain an observation? Or, is it just an imaginative idea for its own sake?
  3. Is it testable?
  4. Is it falsifiable?
  5. Are there more conventional explanations (Occam's razor)?
  6. Does the supporter vilify science/scientists?
  7. Are the references cited from obscure, ancient, or otherwise unattainable sources?
  8. Is the work published in a respected, refereed journal?
  9. Is the sample size used in the study adequate
  10. Is the conclusion based on personal testimonials (beliefs) or experimental evidence and observations?
  11. Is the idea supported by measurable or subjective criteria?
  12. Can the study be replicated or is it based on one-time, unrepeatable observations?
  13. Does the idea relate to other scientific observations (i.e., does it fit into our body of knowledge)?
  14. Does the individual claim special privilege from being challenged?
  15. How weird does the idea sound (check your weird-o-meter)?
  16. DO you have to have a special connection with your materials to make your experiment work?
  17. Is the proponent likely to earn money from the study?
  18. Does it sound too good to be true?
  19. Are the experiments properly controlled?
  20. Is the study based on misinformation, or untruths, or inadequate samples?
  21. Do the proponents associate their idea with famous scientists?
  22. Do the proponents cite in the works the names of presumably "famous" scientists, or create soem type of authority figure, leader or guru?
  23. Do the proponents misquote or misrepresent the studies of "real" scientists?
  24. Do the proponents ignore recent scientific work that contradicts their own?
  25. Do the proponents act skeptical about the initial veracity of their own until they convinced themselves?
  26. Do the proponents explain away or ignore contradictory evidence or otherwise unsupportive observations of their own?
  27. Do the proponents play upon the notion that their work is simply too new to be understood?
  28. Do the proponents use the "martyr approach."
  29. Do the proponents offer a "vivid appeal" or good story that will be memorable
  30. Do the proponents use commonplace or widely acknowledged beliefs as the basis for acceptance (i.e., if it's natural it must be good)?
  31. Do the proponents use the "join the bandwagon" approach (everyone else agrees so it must be good)?
  32. Do the proponents attack their opponents?


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Last updated:  01/07/2005 / � Copyright  by SG Saupe / URL: