People can absorb energy from others? NO!

Via Facebook and the Idealist page, I find this link to Earth We Are One. They don’t like people copy/pasting which means I have to type it out. No big.

First they claim “science confirms that people can absorb energy from others” as the headline. When you start the first paragraph you can likely agree with the author that it’s a bit of a mood booster to walk into a room with happy people in it. And then comes the science:

…research from the Unviersity of Bielefeld in Germany now provides, even more, concrete proof of energy transformations; more specifically, plants have demonstrated the ability to absorb energy from neighboring plants.

In the case of this study mentioned, some kind of algae was found to be able to transfer and absorb energy. Next comes a definition of bioenergetics, which is the mechanism by which this works:

the branch of science which specializes in the behavior of energy in living things

This is a real thing I’ve never heard of. Other explanations elsewhere specify its effects at a cellular level and others get mildly wooish from psychotherapy applications to naturopathy.

According to Olivia Bader-Lee (physician and therapist)

I break in now to Google her name because I’ve already noted the wootastic applications of this.

First link that pops up is and a big old red FALSE label on this story.

I guess I could quit now.

The end point I was going to bring up here is another one (or more) of the logical fallacies inherent in these kinds of stories. The science is legit. From Snopes’ look at a similar article that:

distorts the findings of an actual scientific study about a species of green algae called Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. That research, published in the journal Nature Communications on 20 November 2012, demonstrated that — in addition to photosynthesis — this species of green algae, under sub-optimal growing conditions, can derive energy by breaking down and consuming the cellulose (the main molecule of a green plant’s cell walls) of other nearby plants, too.

So energy transfer within a plant. Cool and interesting. Wish I cared more about biology and chemistry to look into this further than my arm chair. What does a plant have to do with a person’s energy though? Where’s that coming from?

Bader-Lee suggests that the field of bioenergy is now ever evolving and that studies on the plant and animal world will soon translate and demonstrate what energy metaphysicians have known all along — that humans can heal each other simply through energy transfer just as plants do.

So no proof of a truth here, just a hopeful speculation that others have taken on board as the reality of our new bonding abilities. Snopes calls this the “bait and switch” approach.

It’s a nice idea, I agree, that we could connect with humans on another level and take some advantage from it – but this is already an idea in terms of the opposite – emotional vampires. I don’t think there’s anything scientific to it, but the idea there is that some people just suck the joy out of everybody they come across like they’re vampires. Most anyone can think of an example of someone they know who’d qualify. But anecdotal evidence is not scientific measuring of validity.

I guess that’s it.

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Canadian Atheist Basically ordinary Library employee Avid book lover Ditto for movies Wanna-be writer Procrastinator
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