Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Geologic Silliness

Earlier this year, at the Niagara Peninsula Gem and Mineral Show , there was a guy, Harry Johnston, selling what he called "The Mystery Stone", which appeared to me to be nothing more than common, ordinary quartz, being sold at rather high prices.

He's got a website in which he describes his rock as "a self cleaning stone of natural energies". It "enhances the energies of other stones, also clearing all Charkra points for most people". What does that even mean?

There was also a guy, Mars Islamov, selling Shungite, which is a form of noncrystalline carbon. Shungite is of genuine mineralogical interest, and there was an article about it by Buseck et al. in the Canadian Mineralogist 35 (1997), 1363-1378. But it's certainly not rare; the article of Buseck et al. says there are more than 1011 tonnes of it near Karelia, Russia.

At his website you can find claims like "Shungite cures, purifies, protects, normalizes, induces recovery and promotes growth in living organisms. Everything which takes a toll on us, is killed; and everything health-giving is concentrated and restored by this miracle rock. Every scientist investigating shungite, declares it to be miraculous." This seems very dubious to me.

I wish geologists and mineralogists would speak up more strongly against these kinds of unsupported claims.


Eamon Knight said...

A couple of decades ago my family visited a conservation area near Toronto. Before leaving we bought a few pretty rocks from the gift shop. The clerk made sure to include a small card with each rock. On the way home I looked at the cards, expecting to see a mineralogical description. Instead, the cards described the mystical healing properties and similar newage-ish bullshit of the mineral.

Anonymous said...

If geologists spoke up, that would just further legitimize these dudes. Though it would be cool if someone in some position of authority at the Gem and Mineral Show would tell them to hit the road.

Miranda said...

Did you catch the tiny footnote?

"The information and product that we are providing are for educational purposes only. As stated above, this information and product are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.
In all health-related situations, qualified healthcare professionals should always be consulted"

AL said...

You'd think if shungite "promotes growth in living organisms," it'd be covered with bacteria, mold and other nasty growths when found in the field.

Valhar2000 said...

Miranda: yes, they have the standard sleazebag disclaimer. Your point?