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Poison Green Moldavite
Posted by Kristi Hugs
Kristi Hugs December 09, 2009 04:02PMA customer brought this to my attention and I am skeptical.
Here is the website:
My gut says "FAKE!" but I want yall's expert opinion--
David Von Bargen December 09, 2009 05:38PM
to a sacred site, called Bhrugu Aranya, in the Tatra Mountains of southern Poland. It is a strong energy point with a direct connection to the moldavite source.
Hmmm. I wonder if it was a nuclear waste site.
If you read between the lines, it appears that they heat treat the moldavites (and add who knows what).
Jake Sawyer December 09, 2009 05:48PMHi there,
First off, I feel pretty insulted as the proud owner of Arkadian Collection. Before you go attacking hardworking, honest people please do a little investigation in the future. We have been sourcing Moldavite directly from the Czech Republic since 1998 and wholesale to over 200 stores in the U.K., Switzerland and the United States. We also have a large following online. I wouldn't be in business all these years if I was into 'pseudo-science' and fake stones. As a passionate enthusiast of rocks and gems I'm very insulted.
Just because we chose to address the subjective metaphysical properties of rocks and gems, this does not make us any less knowledgeable or trust worthy. If you'd like to come out and make accusations then please bring it to my door. Any of our products can be certified by a gemologist and we never use treated or synthetic stones of any kind. If customers are ever dissatisfied we give full refunds without question. (this to me doesn't sound like the workings of a fraud)
We believe in transparency and trust and we have a customer base that will back that up.
Anonymous User December 09, 2009 06:25PMI am not making personal accusations nor am I 'attacking', many websites selling pseudoscience things are very trustworthy businesses. Now for a little rebuttle:
Pseudoscience are domains which claim to have scientific validity, often using twisted scientific jargon to give credibility to their mis/disinformation. So even if you are not personally into pseudoscience, you propone it by including the crystal power information on your website. As to the worth of these crystal healing claims, show me one perfectly objective, properly conducted
I said that if these infos were mentionned on the site, why trust anything that the website says. Behold, "Moldavite is the only known extraterrestrial gemstone on Earth." First off, the origin of tektites is most probably terrestrial http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tektite#Terrestrial_impact_theory . Secondly, pallasites (a type of meteorite) have occasionally been used in jewellery.
So I am definitely not accusing you of anything remotely close to fraud. I was just stating that one should not believe the information provided on the website, because it is ill-informed.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/02/2019 01:47AM by Paul Brandes.
Jakub Jirásek December 09, 2009 07:08PMThose pages are really funny stuff, but the colour of presented moldavites is very probably natural.
1) the colour of moldavites vary from rare brown, brownish green, deep (poison) green to light (apple) green and partly changes according to the position in the strewn field. The best colour suitable for gem use is in the South Bohemia Region, sililar are uncommon moldavites from the Cheb Basin in the Western Bohemia.
2) I never heard about enhancing moldavite coulour (glass with very high SiO2 content, not porous, I do not see a process how to do it anyway)
3) I have seen moldavites with sililar colour (it might be partly distorted by photo technique and lighting)
Jan Čermák December 09, 2009 07:54PMLook little poisonous. Maybe bad colour ballance. E. G. moldavites from locality Lipi has a light green colour. But all of them are real... I have in my collection moldavites and few times I was dug them. Fortunately relatives has near locality chlum forest. Rather they had... now it looks like moon surface:-)) Just look at this... Digs after diggers
Van King December 09, 2009 08:43PMHi Phillippe,
Perhaps it is over-generous to call crystal healing and metaphysical use of crystals "pseudoscience". Crystal healing, metaphysical crystals, etc. are not pseudoscience. They are magic and the so-called occult sciences. In the Dark Ages "science" was the use of occult powers.
Best Wishes, Van King
Vítězslav Snášel December 09, 2009 09:25PMI am not an expert on moldavites but a few details I photographed;). Maybe it will help in this discussion.
Vítězslav Snášel December 09, 2009 09:46PMMichaelV. Wrote:
> Hey Vítězslav Snášel do you feel any
> spiritual power coming from your moldavite's??
I am a mineral collector and amateur photographer - nothing more!
Moldavites I had only borrowed for the purpose of photography.
I felt happy that they were pretty good details on the surface moldavite - nothing else.
A. Mathauser December 09, 2009 10:07PMI never heard of that place before, and I've been to the Polish Tatras more than once! I did a quick search and found this: http://homatherapypoland.org/index.php?cPath=23 The English translation is similar nonsense (I apologize if I offended anyone), but those who can read Polish will find out that this "Bhrugu Aranya" (that name does not even sound Slavic, agh!) is just the name someone called their farm property where a sort of "nature therapy" is being done. I agree the place is "magical", because the area really is beautiful, and sights such as those combined with a little slowing down in life can have a great calming effect, but that's about it. Sadly, if rocks could heal, we wouldn't need physicians...
MichaelV. December 09, 2009 10:54PMHey Sofia the guy who used that name probably used it so he can add another $10 -$20 to the cost of his spiritually powered rocks and Vítězslav I was joking not being serious. I went to a stand who was selling rocks and one of these guys said out loud that the rock he was holding told him it was jealous of the other rocks,, no joking,, I wanted to take a rock an beat him with it an tell him that rock told me it didn't like him talking to his girlfriend now I'm joking. :)
Alfredo Petrov December 10, 2009 12:05AMjust a curious fact for those who might not know yet: The beautiful sculptured surface features on moldavites were caused by natural chemical etching in the ground, after deposition; they aren't (unlike meteorites) relict from the moldavites' reentry into the atmosphere.
Jake Sawyer December 10, 2009 12:14AMDear all,
Let me just say this: No problem for those who wish to believe in the metaphysical properties of stones or not. The point is this. I've been dealing with Moldavite for over a decade and photograph all the pieces myself. The photo was taken from a promotional banner for my website. Please see a couple of photos from the latest photoshoot, a pendant and stone both exhibiting intense green color, NO enhancements.
Indeed, Moldavite is extremely stable at high temperatures and cannot be "heat treated" in anyway. The only fake Moldavite I've encountered over the years is the so called "African Moldavite" which is clearly man-made glass. Some times Australasian tektites are marketed as "Australian Moldavite" downunder but that's about it.
The beauty of Moldavites is in their shear variety. Many of my friends in Czech Republic can identify just about any locality just by seeing a few pieces. Depending on if the stones were alluvial deposits, the specific alkalinity of the soil, etc. Textures, shapes, colors and the natural sheen of the stones vary drastically throughout the various localities. Certainly some of the most prized are the nicknamed "poison green".
p.s. We don't charge an extra markup for any claimed spiritual properties. In fact you'll find that Arkadian Collection has the most affordable prices for Moldavite jewelry on the web.
Rock Currier December 10, 2009 12:41AMI don't think that there are any Bohemian moldevites that look like the images on your website Jacob without extreme back lighting and perhaps a little assist from Photoshop. Jacob, can you honestly say that you have or have seen moldavites from Bohemia that look like that if you place them in you hand and look at them with normal lighting? Most of them, especially those other than wafer thin pieces look almost black unless you back light them. Some do make nice faceted stones.
Jacob, I have heard that the tektites called "indochinites" are actually the result of big impacts in off shore sediments and that the heat of impact is thought to have heated the sediments to glass temperatures, lofted it high the atmosphere where it came back down through the atmosphere again. Has there been any speculation that the Bohemian moldavites have a similar genesis rather than being directly form some sort of meteor?
Crystals not pistols.
Tim Jokela Jr December 10, 2009 12:48AMFrom this jokers website:
"We have suggested the use of moldavite in accessing power, in developing clarity, and in connecting to other planets’ frequencies which will enable humankind to evolve at a faster rate. Yes, while that is true, we would also state here that Moldavite is a sacred source of healing energies on this planet, at this time. It acts as a catalyst rather than a calming agent. It is also good for the user of computers or electronic equipment. We would highly recommend beings working for the Light employ it in their practices. It acts as a catalytic operator between realms and between planetary systems. Much has been written lately on the power and properties of Moldavite, but better not to theorize about it, but to use it to access these Higher states or realms of consciousness."
People that dupe the gullible with claims of crystal powers are charlatans and should be prosecuted for fraud, false advertising, and whatever else the government can throw at them. This is nothing more than preying upon the weak minded, and should be stamped out.
Mr. Sawyer, you should be locked up.
A. Mathauser December 10, 2009 12:52AMI wonder if a talking rock would be considered a valid defense in a court of law? ;)
The great variety in the mineral world, all the fascinating shapes and colors, is what makes me collect them. If someone thinks they can cure cold or get rid of a headache - so be it, who am I to tell them what to spend their money on? It just amazes me that such beliefs persist today, but if this stuff sells so well as "being full of mystical powers" - kudos to the sellers for great advertising!
I'm going to look at my drugs now... B)
Anonymous User December 10, 2009 02:27AMIs it really necessary to rail against people who sell to the crystal-power crowd, over and over again? Many well-respected dealers at least mention supposed powers in order to reach that segment of the market. Van is right - belief in crystal powers is belief in magic, and outside the realm of science. It seems to me that since mindat is a science-based resource, its role should be to say: mindat can be used to help determine if specimens are genuine. 'Magical' properties have no basis in science, and mindat therefore cannot discuss or verify them.
The original question was 'is the specimen genuine?' Not 'how many years should the seller serve in jail because he promotes belief in magic to make a buck?'
I think it is fair for Jacob to respond to legitimate questions regarding the identity, treatment, pricing, and photography of his specimens. I'm not suggesting his answers are true or his specimens genuine; I'm just saying that it is fair for him to answer. If his response sounds like an advertisement, well, you asked for it.
I find it hard to share the apparent deep indignation and hatred for the subject that many mindaters show. Directing these passionate negative feelings at people - sellers and/or believers - is not going to convert anyone, and may turn people away from this resource and the scienific information it contains. At a show or online, it is easy for me to dispassionately brush aside magical claims and just consider whether the specimen is genuine and priced fairly.
As someone who uses mindat on a regular basis to further my knowledge of minerals, I find this vitriol unpleasant and counter-productive. Can't we just talk about (the science) of rocks?
Byron Thomas December 10, 2009 05:36AMI was in Cheb in 2002, and I went to many rock shops in and around the Cheb area. Yes this could be Moldavite, and yes it comes in this green color as well brown and lite green and dark green and even the sickly radio active green. There is a lots of it found that area, so the claim of it being scares well that's a bit of a stretch. But you also have to realize that in the same area there are many glass manufacturing companies. The Bohemia Region is known for its glass, so it would not surprise me if this is a manufactured product. Taking advantage of the knowledge of a known strew field of tektites. You also have to realize this area was under intense pressure during the soviet occupation. So the people there are now going to do anything they can do to make a euro or a krona or a dollar. If this is real great and wow what a color it is, but also realize it not above people in one country to take advantage of people in another country. Because what is the chance your going to pop up in Cheb and check the validity of their story of where and when and how they came across this. It wouldn't be beyond any stretch for them to say anything to get a store to buy it. After all these are the same people or same group of people that tried to sell my mom amber that was plastic, they swore it was amber till i heated the blade of my pocket knife touched it to the amber and low and behold it smelled like burning plastic.
Vítězslav Snášel December 10, 2009 07:15AMMaggie Wilson Wrote:
> Vítězslav!! Beautiful!!
Thank you very much Maggie:)
Now back to the topic about color moldavites.
Moldavite can have a really sharp "poisonous" green color.
For photos depends on whether it is moldavite photographed in backlighting, side light, etc.
The intensity of light - sharp direct light, shading, light, etc.
Moldavites natural color can range from very light green to very dark brown and occur even in very toxic "poison" green.
Moldavite assessed by photo is very difficult and the actual color can be determined only when we have a stone in his hand
and we can see it! In normal daylight color looks very different than when you look at moldavite with back light.
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Donovan Wood December 10, 2009 07:30AMCorrect me if I am wrong, but was not moldavite the result of silica being projected into the air by the impact of the meteorite. not actually pieces of the meteorite?
Jake I understand you feeling insulted. I my self often feel insulted and I am sure there are many more out there who feel the same. What insults me is that people such as your self are quite happy to make a living off of selling things with unsubstantiated names and professing that they have magical abilities when there is no scientific proof. Sure all sciences were at one time frowned upon as fanciful nonsense, however the big difference between established sciences and your so called crystal healing is a little thing called PROOF.
I all so understand mans need to believe in something.
Why don’t you try believing in your self?
Vítězslav Snášel December 10, 2009 07:34AMByron Thomas Wrote:
> Bohemia Region is known for its glass, so it would
> not surprise me if this is a manufactured product.
> Taking advantage of the knowledge of a known strew
> field of tektites. You also have to realize this
> area was under intense pressure during the soviet
> occupation. So the people there are now going to
> do anything they can do to make a euro or a krona
> or a dollar.
I must protest against what you write - So this is complete nonsense!
Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 12/10/2009 08:55AM by Vítězslav Snášel.
Vítězslav Snášel December 10, 2009 07:38AMDonovan Wood Wrote:
> Correct me if I am wrong, but was not moldavite
> the result of silica being projected into the air
> by the impact of the meteorite. not actually
> pieces of the meteorite?
Yes - it is right -it is probably silicate melt from the meteorite impact in Germany(impact Ries).
Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 12/10/2009 10:12AM by Vítězslav Snášel.
Vítězslav Snášel December 10, 2009 07:52AMhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moldavite - about moldavite
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N%C3%B6rdlinger_Ries - about impact Ries
And that's all what I can do for this discussion.
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/10/2009 10:23AM by Vítězslav Snášel.
David Bernstein December 10, 2009 12:39PM* Yes, while that is true, we would also state here that Moldavite is a sacred source of healing energies on this planet,*
Maybe this is just the thing needed to clear up poison ivy or perhaps it could be utilized in various diplomatic efforts to bring long standing conflicts to resolution. Just trying to think globally here.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/10/2009 12:43PM by David Bernstein.
Kristi Hugs December 10, 2009 02:03PMLOL.......thank you all for your opinions :) Most of you know that I have sold crystals and rocks to the metaphysical community in the past and wasn't really looking for a witch hunt--although I know that it is a possibility when I post here :) I simply had a customer ask me if this bright green moldavite was the real deal.....and respecting all of you as my "go to" geology/mineral experts, I needed to know if there was such a thing :) That's all :) I thank you all for taking the time to respond :)
Kristi Hugs December 10, 2009 02:09PMDear Spencer,
I am a "new age" person. I am very grateful that for years now, many folks here know that, but still take the time to honestly and graciously answer my questions. You see, there are those of us out there that want to know everything there is about a crystal, be it geological and metaphysical. I believe it is important to share the geological information as well as what we feel to be metaphysical information.
I just want to thank all of those out there, esp. Justin from the Vug, David Von B, Steve G., Jolyon and others who have answered my inquiries over the years :) I hope, that all of you do not feel as Spencer does, that my quest for information is any less valuable because I am also metaphysical.
Mark Wells December 10, 2009 02:10PMLadies & Gentlemen,
As a business man, I find it cheap and offensive to attack another person's business and beliefs. I am a home builder and I do not criticize my competitors. This only tells me the person is closed minded and a little person in life. I learned many years ago not to criticize, condemn, or complain about people, their beliefs, or their businesses. What is accomplished by doing this? I always try to see the issue from the other person's perspective. How would you feel if someone was casting doubts and aspersions on your business? I am sure you would be outraged as Mr. Sawyer is.
I have an interest in gems and stones since I took geology courses in college. I traveled to Czech 4 years ago and discovered Moldavite. I was able to procure a large piece, which I keep on my dresser. Does it have metaphysical qualities? I do not know and perhaps most of you don't know either. It is sacred in its natural beauty! It is as beautiful in the natural sunlight as it is on the Arcadian Collection website. Moldavite is rare. In future, we may not have the opportunity to possess something so beautiful. We should praise Jacob Sawyer for providing a means for others to share this experience.
Look for the beauty in the world. Reject ugliness and anger. James Madison wrote the Federalist Paper #10 in which he stated, "There will always be factions". We see things differently, and may not agree, but we can be respectful to one another. We are all entitled to our beliefs. Don't be unkind and ugly. You gain nothing by this.
Jeff Weissman December 10, 2009 02:41PMMoldavite as a catalyst? Lets see - so it is a glass, very low surface area, most likely no Brönsted or Lewis active sites, no highly-dispersed transition or PGM metals present, but some iron in the bulk, so if crushed to increase surface area may be useful for syn-gas conversion, heavy oil hydroprocessing or CO oxidation, but both the activity and selectivity will be extremely low, to render the material not very useful as a catalyst. So from a scientific perspective, moldavite is not a catalyst.
Paul Foster December 10, 2009 02:55PMIf others believe that such-and-such a mineral has metaphysical properties and will help them "contact another planet" (or whatever) then that's fine: I have no problems with them holding that belief. What I do have a problem with is people passing this off as "FACT" without a shred of evidence. Show me the evidence and I'll believe as hard as any New Age collector of power-crystals.
However, without any evidence (and by this I mean solid, empirical evidence, not subjective opinion) I shall treat such claims with contempt and dismiss any such claims out of hand. And I may mock... ever so slightly
Spencer Ivan Mather December 10, 2009 03:28PMPaul, that was my meaning also, geology, mineralogy and gemmology are sciences, they are bound by FACTS not some metaphysical aura or feel! . That is why I don't think it right that it is discussed on this site, don't you agree?
Vítězslav Snášel December 10, 2009 04:08PMFriends excuse me because my English is very bad but I live in a country where they are found moldavite and therefore I feel that I have the right to intervene in this debate.
The discussion came completely off the original topic about color moldavites.
Me interested only surface and colour moldavite !
Surely it is absolutely unnecessary for anyone to challenge his conviction and faith!
Everyone let them believe what it wants - it's his right!
Can irritate me but such an absurd theory as stated here by Byron Thomas!!
He knows absolutely nothing about moldavites and after one visit to my country developing conspiracy theories about industrial production?!
I wonder if Byron Thomas moldavites such an expert - how many of them seen in your life and how much moldavite they had in their hands that dared to make the theory of industrial production, and littering moldavite on the fields for the money?!
Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 12/10/2009 04:36PM by Vítězslav Snášel.
Kristi Hugs December 10, 2009 04:08PMI must be a rare breed :) I do deal in the metaphysical, but I also want to know the geology. It is important that I share as much information with my customers as I can. Sometimes, as in the case of Azeztulite, the metaphysical community may not have all the facts of the geology. This is something I want to know so that I can share.
Just last week, I asked Justin from The Vug about a piece a customer had brought to my attention- Smelt Quartz. Yes, it had metaphysical properties, but it did not feel right to me (call it intuition). Justin was able to confirm my suspicions from a geological standpoint and that information was passed on to my customer so that they could make an informed decision.
I thank the community of Mindat every day for giving me geological information (and their opinions) and it seems, that since I have been a member here for many years, that they do not mind doing so. I am very grateful for that.
However, facts or no facts, personal attacks just do not seem the way to get more metaphysical folks to see things from a geological standpoint. Of course, this is just my opinion. I do not judge you for yours, so please try to remain open to mine.
And if you feel you cannot, that is ok too :) See, we in the metaphysical community embrace ALL beliefs, even if we may not agree. And that, is a fact :)
Craig Mercer December 10, 2009 04:15PMKristi in response to your original question, I think the colouring of the Moldavite is wrong. I have a large collection of Moldavites from different area of the Czech Republic, including some extremely strong shaped ones from Besednice, very large pieces from Bohemia and none of them are anywhere near the colour of those pictured. I'm not sure that fake is the right word, but they may have been coloured up a little.
I'll see if I can take a few photo's within the naxt few days, show you some real Moldavites. I'm having a hard time transfering photo's from my camera at the moment as I just installed W7 and it's now saying the program for my camera is incompatable :S
Jolyon & Katya Ralph December 10, 2009 04:20PMWhether people want to believe in crystal healing, dragons, faeries at the bottom of the garden or Jesus is entirely up to them and has no bearing on the operation of this site.
There is a difference between belief and preaching/promoting a belief. While I am happy for anyone to believe whatever they want, when it comes to trying to spread their beliefs to others (be it in a church sermon or in a website promoting crystal healing) then they better accept that other people may want to disagree with their views and, thankfully, most of us live in free societies where this sort of debate is protected by law.
So, it's perfectly acceptable for us to criticize crystal healing on this website as it's being discussed and promoted by others on other websites. No-one can claim to be above criticism, regardless of what they believe.
But it should never descend into personal attacks. We can disagree politely!
Anonymous User December 10, 2009 04:31PMSpencer:
I could not agree more. The poster (who happens to believe in magic) requested scientific information about a specimen offered for sale (by someone who also claims to believe in magic, and who promotes and presumably profits from such beliefs on a separate website). It should be easy to give opinions on the legitimate scientific question (as some posters did). But non-science was introduced as some began to vent their hatred for it. If someone posts a question directly relating to the supposed powers of crystals, then they should be politely told this is not the place for that. If we devolve into discussing the ridiculousness of magic (and insulting, mocking, etc. those who believe in it) every time there is a whiff of it (even when, like in this case, it is not even the question), it becomes unpleasant and monotonous. I'm discussing it here because I'd like it to STOP.
If, on the other hand, mindat is deemed to have no place for anyone who believes in such magic, sells to those who do, buys from those who do, or benefits from a mineral market that sells to those who do, etc., then this website would have to have a litmus test to enter, and would be a very different place. And if the mineral market overall adhered to this ideal, then I suspect it would be much different (smaller - with pricier available material).
Isn't it enough to want to know scientific information about minerals?
Craig Mercer December 10, 2009 05:05PMKristi I found a few older photo's. The last two are from Besednice, and the first is from Bohemia. The Bohemian one also has a rare mineral within the gaps on either side, the name eludes me at the moment, Alfredo may be able to help me out with it. Anyway hope you enjoy them :)
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Franz Bernhard December 10, 2009 05:26PMAbout "facts", I think I have posted this before.
From "Geochemistry" by William M. White, online at
chapter 1.3.2: The Scientist as Skeptic
"Though we often refer to “scientific facts”, there are no facts in science. A fact, by definition, cannot
be wrong. Both observations and theories can be, and sometimes are, wrong."
"Thus skepticism is one of the keys to good science. In science, never totally believe anything, but never totally disbelieve anything either."
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/10/2009 05:30PM by Franz Bernhard.
Jakub Jirásek December 10, 2009 06:43PMI am considering to add a list of moldavite occurences in the Czech Republic to Mindat web, but I am not sure if it is corect, since they are "just" natural glasses (with lechatelierite as a major mineral component). I would appreciate your opinions. Thanks.
Matteo Chinellato December 10, 2009 06:56PMthe photos show real moldavites - a bit charge in the color - but the text its only a conglomerate of idiocy......
Attrezzatura e tecnica sono solo l'inizio. È il fotografo che conta più di tutto. (John Hedgecoe)
Vítězslav Snášel December 10, 2009 07:22PM..the same moldavite with diferent light;). Used 25w halogen lamp.
IMG_0553.JPG = backlight
IMG_0563.JPG = light from the front
v1.jpg = the same moldavite with little light and with long exposition.
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Steve Stuart December 11, 2009 04:14AMIf I were in the market to purchase a moldavite specimen, I would certainly look at Jacob's website for pricing and quality, irrespective of metaphysical properties. I visited a metaphysical mineral shop in Dundee, Michigan a few years ago and purchased a hanksite specimen and an anglesite specimen based on visual examination and my knowledge of the localities, not because of the purported mystical properties.
Peter Nancarrow December 11, 2009 04:21PMRegarding the OP subject of this rather protracted thread: as I have no personal experience of moldavites, either as a scientist or mineral collector, I can't comment on them directly, (other than to thank Craig for posting those photos of super specimens which demonstrate so well why people find them so fascinating).
However, without wishing to get deeply entangled in those endless discussions on sensitive issues such as "attacking beliefs", or the semantics and philosophy of the meaning of words such as "fact", "reality", "logic" or even "science", or going too far off topic (this is the "Fakes & Frauds" forum after all!), I will comment on some of the side issues that this topic has thrown up (sic), relating to muddled thinking, science vs. pseudoscience, superstition, beliefs, tolerance, relevance to Mindat, etc.
Franz quoted the statement:
"Though we often refer to “scientific facts”, there are no facts in science. A fact, by definition, cannot be wrong. Both observations and theories can be, and sometimes are, wrong"
I certainly agree with the latter part of the this statement that observations and theories can be mistaken, and with the author's subsequent comment about the necessity of skepticism (sic) in science. However, I would take that one step further, and suggest that constant scepticism should be applied in any world-view which attempts to be rational, whether it claims to be scientific or not. Applying that same rigorous scepticism to the quoted statement, I observe that the author does not claim that observations and theories are invariably or even commonly incorrect.
I must say therefore, that although, at first glance, this appears to be simply a rational note of caution against the blind acceptance of unproven so-called "scientific facts", untangle the cross-links, and, without getting too philosophical, the statement itself can be shown to be illogical, and could even be considered to be an example of "pseudoscience" in the literal sense.
The critical validating key word in the last sentence is "sometimes", and it is a classic non-sequitur, a logical howler, to use that comment in support of an assertion that there are no facts in science.
Examples of observable facts:
Diamond is harder than graphite.
The chemical combination of oxygen and methane is exothermic.
Although the observed temperature of the phase transition varies with pressure, salt content etc, when water does freeze to its crystalline phase, it invariably forms ice (of whichever modification). Not diamond, quartz, iron, silver, marble or marzipan; ICE, never anything else.
I can safely drink 500ml of pure water.
Lions eat meat.
A logical challenge - I will predict a fact.
I will make a hypothertical prediction concerning an experiment which has never been carried out, so apparently the experiment and its results cannot be facts, per se? That experiment could have only one possible, irreversible, result; one which fits indisputably with all known scientific facts, observations and and theories, and indeed the whole experience of humanity. (I challenge anyone to prove otherwise).The most significant expected result of this experiment is a change of physical state which has given rise to some of the most profound (and some of the most speculative) thinking in human history, and which has involved researchers ranging from scientists to theologians.
The prediction? (In the future, yet an indisputable fact!) It is possible for me to attain a permanent state of being which no living human has ever experienced! With me so far?
The experiment? My head will be cut off and fed to a lion.
The result? That predicted fact, that "permanent state of being"? - I would be dead; and it would be impossible for anyone to reverse the process or disprove the fact. (Disregarding evasive semantics of the words "fact", "lion", "dead" and "irreversible", and without invoking unproven hyptheses of time travel, which might allow the lion to regurgitate my head in an undamaged and functional form, and some form of miraculous/alien surgery to re-attach it to my (still viable) body.)
The point of all this?
Science deals with provable reality, whether in the past, present or future. The scientific method depends on accurate, repeatable observations, the objective precise recording of facts, testable predictions, logic, and communication, together with more abstract qualities such as objectivity, rationality and integrity. Yes, observations commonly are misinterpreted or inaccurately reported. The researcher must navigate a minefield of optical illusions, misinterpretation of data, instrument malfunctions, failures of logic, etc, and sometimes even fraud and deception, but when all is said and done, the objective of the scientific method is to attain that highest plane of consciousness, a rational world view, based on facts, logic and reality.
One thing that really bugs me is the sustained assault on rationality and downright common sense by muddled thinkers, con merchants, and the unscrupulous and misinformed, which blurs the boudaries between reality and fantasy, between science and mysticism, between accurate reporting and marketing hype, for their mundane profit, political advancement, evangelical religious motives, etc.
Don't get me wrong; I have absolutely nothing against a bit of fantasy, etc so long as it is clearly acknowleged as such. I enjoyed "American Werewolf In London", "The Matrix", " The Time Machine" etc, as much as anyone, but if people choose alternative world views, whether based on, and/or influenced by, faith, hearsay, deception, fantasy or psychoactive chemicals, or simply because of a misguided wish to escape from the far more impressive reality of this amazing universe, yet claim their beliefs are "The Truth", then so be it. I am unlikely to be able to convince them otherwise, but just don't expect me to "respect their beliefs" - they clearly don't respect mine.
PS Above post copied to my blogs for the record.
Franz Bernhard December 11, 2009 07:47PMPete, thank you for elaborating this subject!
It would have been nice, if I had also cited this sentence from William M. White:
1.3.1 Building Scientific Understanding
"Science deals in only two quantities: observations and theories. The most basic of these is the observation."
The word "Fact" ist not part of White´s scientific terminology.
Anonymous User December 11, 2009 08:46PMThe problem with theory vs fact is that the public often perceives a "theory" as something unproven, i.e. this is a possible explanation. This interpretation is incorrect because theories are supported by thousands of informations and research. For example the theory of evolution is how the current species were brought into existence. Although some few specific parts of the theory are often debated among scientists, it is safe to call evolution a fact since it is supported by insanely large amounts of proof. Same goes with theory of gravitation, etc.
So the term "fact" is better used for making the public understand that these are solid bodies of information that have been proven, even though all the mechanisms of the occurrence of the phenomena may not yet be explained.
Franz Bernhard December 12, 2009 05:15AMEvolution is not a fact, but a well established and testable (therefore good!) theory, supported (not proven!) by a lot of observations. Nothing can be "proven" in science, only falsified. I think, giving "evolution theory" the label of a "fact" does not do any good to science and the public. Evolution theory is at the moment the best and simplest (important!) way to explain biological diversity.
Again from William M. White:
"Of course, some observations (e.g., the Sun rises each morning in the East) and theories (the Earth revolves around the Sun)
are so often repeated and so well established that they are not seriously questioned. But remember that the theory that the Sun revolves around the Earth was itself once so well established that it was not seriously questioned."
Anonymous User December 12, 2009 03:17PMMerriam-Webster dictionary defines fact as "4 a : something that has actual existence
And princeton; "a piece of information about circumstances that exist or events that have occurred" and "an event known to have happened or something known to have existed".
A hypothesis is not a fact, but a true and valid scientific theory can be.
Evolution, for example, is not the best theory 'right now'. It works, and it has been proven to occur.
1. Recent speciation between Black-Backed (Bullock) and Baltimore Orioles, http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1650/7496?cookieSet=1&journalCode=cond
2. Natural selection in action: Peppered moths. It takes a while to explain, so I will just point to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peppered_moth_evolution
3. Diane Dodd experiment with Drosophila illustrates nicely how minor changes such as food source can cause speciation, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speciation#Artificial_speciation
4. Derived traits; you look at the structures present in a series of organisms, and you can tell which are the most closely related. Ever wonder why bird and human embryos are ultra similar? They are all species derived from an amniote ancestor. By looking at the bulk of these traits you can establish the probable phylogeny of thousands of organisms. If you look at the genetics of the modern day organisms, their variances reflect this phylogeny. The fossils do to!
5. Whale evolution is a beautiful and fascinating example. Simple video on the matter, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2C-3PjNGok
There are thousands upon thousands more examples, surely some better ones out there that I do not yet know about. Some very precise facets of the evolutionary theory are disputed, however these only build on the theory. Evolution has been established as a fact (see definition above). These disputed areas do not in any way challenge the validity of evolution, only the specifics.
Now it is clear what the definition of fact is. Evolution, without a doubt, occurs/exists/happens and is therefore a fact.
Franz, about your quote, if a 'theory' such as is the Sun revolving around the Earth is not seriously questioned it means that there is not significant evidence supporting it. That makes it a hypothesis! The correct definition of theory in science is "a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena. "theories can incorporate facts and laws and tested hypotheses"; "true in fact and theory" " (This definition from Princeton wordnet).
PS: "the label of a "fact" does not do any good to science and the public." Actually, it does! The theory vs. fact issue is a major help to anti-evolution proponents who do not understand the concept of evolution and want to get terribly invalid and illogical 'theories' (not actual theories) of their own taught to in schools, and want to skew the fact that evolution is proven by saying it is "just a theory and therefore not a fact"!!!
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/12/2009 03:25PM by Philippe M. Belley.
Jamey Swisher December 17, 2009 02:15AMHmmm.. A few points here, Gemologically speaking, Moldavite is nothing more then glass, plain and simple. From what I understand there are two schools of thought on its creation. One being that the glass was formed on the meteorite itself during entry into the atmosphere and the other is that the formation actually happened from the heat caused upon impact of the meteorite causing the silica in the sand/dirt in the impact zone to melt and splatter, as we all know silica when melted creates silica glass. Moldavite would not have any higher a melting point then glass would, which means it should melt fairly easily as any silica glass would. But it still boils down to be nothing more then glass, albeit glass related to meteorites. True Moldavite ONLY comes from the Czech region. There are legit tektite related glass from other regions as well, but they are not moldavite, but merely naturally occurring obsidian, again, from the heat generated by impact of a meteorite and/or a volcanic type ordeal like those obsidians in Oregon.
Moldavite could and easily be treated in any number of different ways, sorry. In fact, it could be done so fairly easily actually as silica glasses are very easy to color, just look at all the borosilicates used in the jewelry and lapidary trades for faceting materials. Dyeing being the most common. The market is full of fake moldavite, I do mean full too!! It is being faked in places like China and Thailand in large amounts, even going so far as to take broken bottle glass and carve the "splatter" designs into the flat leaf like shaped pieces. This is old news, been on the market, fake stuff, for years now. There is more fake out there then legit real moldavite, after all, glass is not difficult to fake. That said, true moldavite almost always has a roiling affect in it like a hessonite garnet does, where much of the fake stuff seldom does, but this is in no way a valid form/method to identify the real thing, but can easily rule out the fake stuff. Also, from what I understand, the ONLY true moldavite is an olive drab type green mixing with browns to give varying shads of this olive drab type color, these bright greens and such are NOT true "natural" moldavite and have always been taught to me as being the fakes. I have a supplier who can constantly supply me with facet grade material and not a single bit is any other shade other then a variation of the olive drab, he has never even seen any other colors himself either.
In reality, Helenite, Mount Saint Helen's Stone(emerald, ruby, etc.) is almost the same thing Only difference is man is the one doing the melting of the erupted materials and dust to create the glass to make the gemstones out of instead of nature.
As for spiritual and healing, no clues about that side of things and frankly don't really care. Each to their own. But the FTC Guidelines do have a specific section for Deception and Fraud, and by selling a gemstone as something it is not or with properties it does not have or you can not prove it has could easily land you into civil as well as criminal legal issues.
Byron Thomas December 17, 2009 04:27AMVítězslav
I never said I was a Moldavite expert I am far far from that and as you say Vítězslav your English isn't the best so let me clear some of your misconceptions up. Yes I have been to the Cheb area of the Czech republic I have relatives there why would I not go there. Besides being very beautiful it also has some very cool geology including the impact feature. That area IS know for its glass manufacturing. It is also known for its Moldavites which come in a very wide range of colors including the weird radio active green and I have seen them. Nowhere do I say that the Moldavite in question is a fake I cant say either way if it is a fake or if it isn't. Now I do say rather poorly on my part and I do imply that it could be faked, I have no proof of this and i shouldn't have stated as much and for that i apologize for putting it like that. But I do say I have seen Moldavite of this color and i have held it and it was from the original collector. So I could say that the Moldavite i held and viewed i would be 99% sure it was the real stuff.
Vítězslav, some people will always try to cheat others if they can find a way to do it and to get away with it. But not all the people are like this, as a rule are the people of the Cheb region like this, No they are not. But you have to understand in out hobby there is an ever growing abundance of fakes. Both of minerals, and fossils, to act like this isn't an issue out there is just burying your head in the sand.
I happened to be visiting a very large glass manufacture here int he USA and they let us walk on the production floor behind the ropes and we got to see the process from the start to the finish for the good stuff to the junk they destroy. In our tour i got to see the waist glass that was drained off the melting pots of kettles being drained and how some of it would form nice tear drop forms and depending if the fans hit is would take the pocked marked look to the surface. I was amazed that even at that point how much it looked like a Moldavite in the shape and the color and even the texture.
This is why I brought up the glass manufacturing in the Bohemia Region. Do I know for a fact this is what happened here? No I do not. Would it surprise me if it happened, you may want me to say yes it would surprise me because it couldn't possible happen there but you know what I have dealt with people In the military as well as people from all over the world in my hobby and as friends. I have family in that region i have friends there does this make me change my mind and say that this couldn't happen. Once again NO it does not. But do i know that the Moldavite in question is a man made. I have no way to say either way. I am sorry you feel this is no more that saying yes it is man made but I never said that. When it comes right down to it I defended it for its color and because i saw and held Moldavites that were collected and shown to me buy the original collector. I even said that Moldavites are found in that area, i defended that area in that aspect also. SOoooo why you seam to be coming down on me i know not why.
Vítězslav, you can make of me what you want. But I will still go back to visit the Cheb area and I will still love that area of Europe No matter how or you feel about me.
My favorite photos of Cheb
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/17/2009 07:09AM by Byron Thomas.
open | download - murals on the old bath.JPG (508 KB)
open | download - DSC00197.JPG (527.2 KB)
open | download - Cheb Czech republic.JPG (577.6 KB)
open | download - DSC00197.JPG (527.2 KB)
open | download - Cheb Czech republic.JPG (577.6 KB)
Jeffrey Hill December 17, 2009 04:39AMYou know, Jacob seem right to me and I am not into metaphysics at all. I am a mineral dealer and field collector. The gems, jewelry and crystals are genuine in all appearances and Moldavite is basically glass and not subject to treatment and it does at times get pretty intensely green. I have sold many mineral specimens, albeit sadly from a collector's perspective, to the metaphysical crowd...notably a huge and very valuable Topaz weighing almost 3 pounds from the rare Zapot Mine in Nevada that ended up being held to the necks of the hippies that traded it to while they oohed and ahhed over the 'power' of the crystal. While science will never prove this power, it is real...it is called the power of positive thinking and if a crystal can help someone deal with some sort of physical pain, if only because they think it will so much that the brain will make it happen. The power of the brain and the power of suggestion is amazing! Jacob serves a huge market...one that makes us hard core collectors want to cry at times, but none-the-less the market is not a fraud, at least in this case. I have other opinions about dealers selling throwaway quartz crystals as alien, lemurian or otherwise of some special power as that is not people trying to serve or help others, but rather take a 10 cent crystal and sell it for hundreds to the sheeple. I liked Jacob's intro as it was elegant, yet accurate even the metaphysics...at least accurate to the people who read that part and truly believe it. His material looks a bit spendy, but it is real and quite pretty so people here should not be really getting on him. There are plenty of genuine frauds out there. I believe in Jesus Christ, and yet have no empirical evidence, but my belief has served me by the power of that positive thinking to get off and stay off a lifetime of drugs and alcohol, bad realtionship and mental health problems and this thinking keeps me striving to be the best I can be every day and I am constantly growing :-)
Vítězslav Snášel December 31, 2009 04:24PMByron,
You did write this and I do not agree - that's all !
"I was in Cheb in 2002, and I went to many rock shops in and around the Cheb area. Yes this could be Moldavite, and yes it comes in this green color as well brown and lite green and dark green and even the sickly radio active green. There is a lots of it found that area, so the claim of it being scares well that's a bit of a stretch. But you also have to realize that in the same area there are many glass manufacturing companies. The Bohemia Region is known for its glass, so it would not surprise me if this is a manufactured product. Taking advantage of the knowledge of a known strew field of tektites. You also have to realize this area was under intense pressure during the soviet occupation. So the people there are now going to do anything they can do to make a euro or a krona or a dollar. If this is real great and wow what a color it is, but also realize it not above people in one country to take advantage of people in another country. Because what is the chance your going to pop up in Cheb and check the validity of their story of where and when and how they came across this. It wouldn't be beyond any stretch for them to say anything to get a store to buy it. After all these are the same people or same group of people that tried to sell my mom amber that was plastic, they swore it was amber till i heated the blade of my pocket knife touched it to the amber and low and behold it smelled like burning plastic.
Now completely without emotion :)
When you have the necessary knowledge of Moldavite, their absolutely unique sculpture, their unique color then you can talk together on theme Moldavite.
Does not make sense to publish theories about what is possible and what is not possible without basic knowledge of Moldavite.
The original question was worded as if it may be poisonous green with Moldavite - those who know this issue we said YES - that poisonous green with moldavites is nothing unusual.
Who knows more about moldavite knows how can have structure, how can have a color and how may have different aerodynamics shapes due etc.
Confuse moldavite with glass from the glassworks?
Only one who did not Moldavite in hand or never has seen!
Edited 8 time(s). Last edit at 12/31/2009 05:47PM by Vítězslav Snášel.
Donald Slater December 31, 2009 06:15PMFirst I would like to say ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL photos Vítězslav. They are amazing. Second, I don't believe that holding stones/minerals or drinking water that they have been soaking in the full moon actually heals anything but I also accept that it can help those who really believe in their "powers". It is in my opinion that they act as a Placebo. Doctors have been using placebos for years. I really think that given time the human body can heal itself without inundating our body with pills and shots, Sometimes it takes a little positive mental energy and placebos give people that if they truly believe it. I don't think all the positive energy in the world can cure advanced cancer or incurable diseases though and doctors don't need to start looking for a different line of work. If believing in something helps then it works. What is bad are the people who jack the price to absurd levels because it has "been blessed and cleansed by some self proclaimed high wizard or taken to a sacred mountain top. I enjoyed reading the Arkadian Collection website. We all need a little laughter in our life. I didn't check his prices but he claims that he does not charge any extra for hauling then to the sacred mountain and blessing them but the fact that he doesn't even get his facts straight about them being pieces of meteorite so how can you trust the rest. I really hate seeing things like common quartz selling for outrageous prices by the carat because someone calls it by some mystical sounding name. That is gouging people who are desperate to fix something in their life and I feel the same way about them as I do televangelist. People who are preying on someones desperation are even lower than the lowest. I better get of the soapbox and get some work done. Happy and Prosperous New Year to everybody.
PS. Back to where this all began, I do think they are not fakes. I have seen a lot of moldavite in many shades of green to almost black because they are so dark.
Vítězslav Snášel December 31, 2009 06:26PMThank you very much Donald - I´m glad that my photo moldavite like you:)
sculpture moldavites http://www.mindat.org/user-4870.html#2_0_10860_0_1_0_
Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 12/31/2009 06:33PM by Vítězslav Snášel.
Jeffrey Shallit January 01, 2010 12:45PMRe: the discussion of "fact" versus "theory" in science: I would add that just because William White said something about the definition of "fact", that doesn't necessarily make it so. The paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould has an entirely different take on the distinction, which I am much more in agreement with:
"Well, evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away while scientists debate rival theories for explaining them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air pending the outcome. And human beings evolved from apelike ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other, yet to be discovered.
"Moreover, `fact' does not mean `absolute certainty'. The final proofs of logic and mathematics flow deductively from stated premises and achieve certainty only because they are not about the empirical world. Evolutionists make no claim for perpetual truth, though creationists often do (and then attack us for a style of argument that they themselves favor). In science, "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent". I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms."
That's Gould, from his book Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes.
Rob Woodside January 01, 2010 08:25PMWow a real semantic discussion on Mindat!!! Gould says it very well. Theories are logical deductive structures flowing from axioms involving undefined terms in mathematics and from physical principles involving terms with semnantic correlations, like species or electrons, in scientific theories. Facts in themselves are totally uninteresting. They are definitions in mathematics and in science they are essentially interpreted events. It is the interpretation of the event in terms of semantic correlates that can make them interesting or even crucial to a scientific theory. (A well chosen definition can make the mathematics clearer, simpler, and more beautiful)
I have yet to see Darwin's ideas written down as a logical deductive structure replete with semantic correlates, though I have no doubt that it can be done. I think it is funny to see people who accept evolution having a semantic argument about it. The Creationists just love this sort of thing. "Why should you believe in evolution, when even the proponents can't agree!!!" For someone with an agenda it doesn't matter what the disagreement is about.
An honest understanding of Theories and Facts is very distant from the common view that theories are vague, unproven ideas and facts are incontrovertable observed truths.
Donald Slater January 07, 2010 10:57PMVítězslav have you ever thought of doing a book or making prints of you moldavite closeups. I think they would look great in in a nice frame. I would definitely buy some. They don't look real but I doubt even a computer can produce something as beautiful as mother nature.
Vítězslav Snášel January 08, 2010 05:55AMHi Donald:)
At high magnification, and backlit moldavites details are really beautiful and I can assure you that they are natural.
Sculpture moldavites formed millions of years. The Moldavite soil were exposed to various acids and other erosion features and the results from a totally unique structure.
I do macro-photography moldavite with focus in layers and then the final picture consists of (for example) 10 images.
Details are photographed in total darkness using strong back-lights. On clear glass I put black paper and cut a little hole in it - put Moldavite on "paper hole" - under the glass down below 25 watts halogen lamp - the lamp I have around the aperture so that the light went up only by a small hole in the paper - and focuses the individual layers and then to fold using CombineZM. Individual exposures are long around 1 sec. and more.
I will send to my Mindat Home Page more details moldavites;)
Agree with you,
Nature is absolutely fantastic artist.
....... for example ;) http://www.mindat.org/photo-229147.html
Edited 7 time(s). Last edit at 01/08/2010 07:02AM by Vítězslav Snášel.
Donald Slater January 08, 2010 08:07PMVítězslav sorry I didn't mean to suggest that they were not real or natural. I just meant that they were so beautiful they look like something that could only exist it someones wildest imagination, maybe after some help from chemistry :-), or some landscape on some distant planet. Your photography is fantastic. I would still be interested in some nice glossy photos to hang in my store. Natures art is the best. Thanks for sharing
Rusty James January 21, 2010 05:45PMJust remember that the metaphysical marketplace has increased and expanded the capacity of the mineral world because of a huge new influx of money, which ultimately helps the cause of the greater good in mineral collecting. If people choose to buy something with a "metaphysical mark-up" because they believe in the magical or metaphysical words of a reputable metaphysical dealer, so be it. One who does not agree can judge, if you choose, but the fact that metaphysically interested customers will buy less-than-perfect specimens for a premium based on how it feels means that all the way down the chain to the miners in countries all over the world there is a greater cash flow. Which means that mineral collectors have more to choose from, at better prices. So be thankful that there is this new marketplace.
Each person has the right to be well informed, or ill informed. The fact that some metaphysically inclined mineral collectors come to this site because they are also interested in the scientific basis behind the minerals means that they will be part of a more well-informed category.
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