Scientific Lunacy: Dreamcatchers

A few months ago, I made a huge mistake. I ordered a birthday gift from Publisher’s Clearinghouse because it was frankly a rare John Deere collectible I had yet to find in retail stores. Since then, I daily receive entry forms for the next cash drawing  and random free gifts from companies and non-profit organizations. One of these free gifts included a dreamcatcher. An example of scientific lunancy.

The constituents of a dreamcatcher include a willow hoop woven with netting and/or cheap string and feathers and beads which are considered to be sacred by Native Americans. In addition to having the power to manipulate and modulate dreams, dreamcatchers are symbols of unity among some Native American tribes, but yet are considered tacky by others. Perhaps it’s because the latter tribes don’t sell dreamcatchers at craft shows, and are simply jealous of the money the dreamcatcher-enamored tribes make to support their opium and/or alcohol addictions (Note: drug abuse of alcohol and opiods are highly prevalent in Native American tribes. The compounding roles of nature (genes and neuromodulation) and nuture (environment) in the etiology of drug addiction within this demographic have yet to be disseminated, however).

Aside from the history of dreamcatchers, we should not forget that dreamcatchers do NOT manipulate and modulate dreams, the frontal association cortex does (see “Hollah for Lucid Dreamers: A Thank You Note”). I own a dreamcatcher and I also lucid dream. Correlation or Causation? I think not. Paranormal and lunacy more like it.


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