Skepchick Rebecca Watson (also of the Skeptics guide to the universe) has inspired' me to create my own apple experiment after she launched 'The great apple experiment' on facebook.
It was set up in response to some very bizarre claims made in the Daily Mail article in which Nikki Owen, an NLP practitioner said that a more youthful appearance could be down to saying kinder things to ourselves and adopting a happier outlook on life.
She says 'Each of us has the power within ourselves to create the life we want - not just a career and all the trappings, but also our looks.'
In summary she is saying that by saying nice things to your reflection will help make yourself look nice and healthy. Her proof? Well, she devised an experiment with apples because apparently apples are like faces...
She cut an apple into pieces and placed the different pieces into two jars. One jar called Love and one jar called Hate and over one week she subjected each jar to either nice comments or nasty comments depending on which jar it was. Her claim is that at the end of the week the apple in the hate jar that she made nasty comments to was worse decayed than the half in the love jar.
She claims that this is proof enough because both apples and our bodies are similar as they are both 60% water which, Rebecca Watson points out, is actually incorrect as human bodies contain anywhere between 45 – 75% with average of 57% water and with apples it's about 85% - which is nowhere near the same.
The daily mail report that Nikki's theory is based on the work of Japanese scientist Dr Masaru Emoto. They say:
He's done countless studies that suggest the molecules in water crystals could be affected by our thoughts, words and feelings, thus determining the shape of the crystals.His tests reveal that molecules exposed to happy or loving environments form beautiful, symmetrical crystals, while those exposed to unpleasant influences are misshapen.
However, what they failed to mention was that his study, in which he spoke to water crystals in petri dishes and apparently found nice words made prettier patterned crystals had been thoroughly debunked.
So, I've set up my own experiment just as Rebecca and numerous other people have done. Only, mine uses a whole apple cut into four pieces. One piece is in the 'love' jar, the second is in the 'hate' jar, a third is in the 'neutral' jar and I've placed a fourth piece in the 'control' jar.
The love, hate and control jars are sitting on my computer desk as my room is consistently cooler and only I can get in here (my door has a key!) so there will be no meddling by my dear brother, I was going to store them in the kitchen but it gets really hot in there at times so that may have influenced the state of the apple pieces.
The fourth piece - in the control jar - has been put away in our storage cupboard which is at the other end of my bedroom. We don't go in the cupboard at all, and it will be left in there all on it's own and it will not get spoken to like the other pieces. I have even placed a 'quarantine' sign on the door. Just in case.
When cutting the apple into quarters I sterilised the cutting board I was cutting the apple on, the knife I was cutting with before each cut and my hands as well to rule out the possibility of certain pieces of the apple being contaminated with bacteria. I created the sterile solution using 5 litres of cold walter and 15 ml of domestos bleach (it's all I had and it claims to kill 100% of bacteria which sounded good to me!)
I will post updates each day on how the apples are doing with photographs too. Only, I'm not going to be able to photograph the control piece as it is in quarentine.
What do I think the outcome will be? Well, I'm not entirely sure. I'd like to think that by talking to myself nicely in the mirror I can make my skin look nicer, but I still hold some skepticism over whether or not an apple is the way to prove that such positive thinking actually works.