Norman Allan
    pattern and resonance: contents          science and philosophy         biography         blog


a letter to colleagues concerning
"Poincare's Recurrence" and ultradilution






Dear colleague,

The controversial Benveniste antigen/IgE ultradilution "anomaly"/phenomenon
published in Nature in 1988 (Davenas et al) appeared to show biological
activity first disappear, but then cyclically returning with iterative dilution
(and agitation/"succussion").


Because of the association of Pomeranz lab in Toronto (of which I was a
member) with Benveniste's work, we were approached by a Toronto based
team of microbiologists* with a Southern blot DNA ultradilution "anomaly"
that appears to show similar phenomenon.
This letter is to introduce you to this little known work, and to suggest that a
process of "recurrence" similar to that known from chaotic mixing (by stretching
and folding; see below) is operative in the ultradilution phenomenon. (Please click on the links below for more detailed information.)

Two particular examples of ultradilution phenomenon,
a/ the Southern blot DNA model (of Eweida et al)
b/ the IgE histamine degranulation model (associated with Benveniste)
show the biological effects of the iterations/dilutions/”potentisation”
disappearing at some dilutions, but then reappearing, cyclically,
in a manner reminiscent of Poincare’s Recurrence.

With reference to the potential importance of the Southern blot
demonstration of ultradilution -

While these two models appear to demonstrate the same phenomenon,
there are essential differences in the two technologies. The basophil
degranulation test is a rather specialized aspect of immunology, and
it presents us with abstract data (a plot on a graph).
    The Southern blot was, and is still, a mainstream technology. (A google
search for "Southern blot" yield more than 3 million posts.) Furthermore,
the data is concrete: we see the actual labelled cDNA there, present itself,
in black and white.

These phenomena require an explanation:

~  the disappearance and recurrence of activity suggests the occurance
    of an iterative process like the "stretch and fold" of chaos theory
    or suggests to me a process like an iterative generation of harmonics
    (and subhamonics) during dilution/aggitation/"potentization", with the
    overlaying, the superimposition of these harmonics onto the signal,
    and hence the transformation of the signal*:
    and all this is to say, that a process similar to Poincare’s Recurrence
    appears to be operating.

~  a mechanism for the amplification of the signals in successive iteration
    is required to explain these phenomena as "natural".
    Some thoughts on amplification of signals are offered.
    Reference to the work of del Giudice may be pertinent.


I have discussed these matters at some length in "Beyond Substance"
and more tersely/succinctly in "Some Key Points"
(see also wikipedia's "water memory")

I would like to invite my colleagues to:
i:   seek out colleagues who have access to labs that are still doing
     the Southern dot blots and who might therefore relaticely easily
     try to replicate this ultradilution dot blot phenomenon...
ii:  read the following reference (which detail these matters)...
iii: forward this letter to any colleagues you think might find it of interest, and
iv: communicate with us about these matters.

v.  finally, might we append your name to the letter?


with best wishes

Norman Allan Ph.D










an example of the Southern blot ultradilution

an example of the IgE ultradilutions







please see:-
~ "Beyond Substance": is a relatively full account of these matters
(and is a little over 8000 words)
~ "Some Key Points": is a more succinct account of the germane data
~ a draft of a letter published in the journal Homeopathy (March 2007)
gives a terse account of the Southern blot ultradilution phenomenon.

The original Nature paper: Davenas et al: Human basophil degranulation triggered by very dilute antiserum against IgE: Nature, vol 333, p.816-818, 30th June 1988. ...    

We would be grateful for your sincere attention.



Poincare's Recurrence

"fundamental"                   iterated                     48th interaction                 iterations                    241 iteration     

illustration taken from Ian Stewart's "Does God Play Dice..."
  Note: the IgE ultradilutions were replicated by numerous labs.
See, for example, Belon et al, Inflammation Research 1999



* Imagine a conjurer's rope. Take a segment out of that magician's rope - say one foot out of ten - and hold it taut between your hands, and twang it. Now (by magic) put it back in the original rope. The note, the vibration, in the small piece will pattern and inform the longer piece. The longer piece will now carry that information, but it will also, during the process, generate harmonics, multiples of that original note. But note, in the dilution process (which the homeopaths have traditionally called "potentiation") it becomes intuitively apparent that we will be generating both harmonics and subharmonics of the original pattern.