CAMLAW: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog

Animals predict earthquakes warning humans of disaster

Can animals sense earthquakes, seismologists wonder. All the evidence is not in, but there is the current report:
Online commentators say the first sign came about three weeks ago, when large amounts of water suddenly disappeared from a pond in Enshi city in Hubei province, around 350 miles east of the epicenter, according to media reports.

Then, three days before the earthquake, thousands of toads roamed the streets of Mianzhu, a hard-hit city where at least 2,000 people have been reported killed.

Mianzhu residents feared the toads were a sign of an approaching natural disaster, but a local forestry bureau official said it was normal, the Huaxi Metropolitan newspaper reported May 10, two days before the earthquake.

The day of the earthquake, zebras were banging their heads against a door at the zoo in Wuhan, more than 600 miles east of the epicenter, according to the Wuhan Evening Paper.

Elephants swung their trunks wildly, almost hitting a staff member. The 20 lions and tigers, which normally would be asleep at midday, were walking around. Five minutes before the quake hit, dozens of peacocks started screeching.

There are a few possible reasons for such behavior, said Musson, the seismologist. The most likely is that the movement of underground rocks before an earthquake generates an electrical signal that some animals can perceive. Another theory holds that other animals can sense weak shocks before an earthquake that are imperceptible to humans.

Zhang Xiaodong, a researcher at the China Seismological Bureau, said his agency has used natural activity to predict earthquakes 20 times in the past 20 years, but that still represents a small proportion of China's earthquakes.

"The problem now is this kind of relationship is still quite vague," he said.
Would it be surprising to discover that the zebras knew what was coming? Once we find out how they did, we will have a 'scientific' explanation and all the mystery will be gone. But frankly it is still a deep mystery now matter how much the mechanics are explained. Whether electrical or intuitive (and maybe someday we will find a scientific explanation of the 'energy' behind the intuitive grasp of information), the mechanism that is there for the four-leggeds appears to have atrophied in us city-slicked humans.

We are so out of touch with the natural world.

Natural: what is it? A word so used and abused, so touted in advertising, so often used to mislead and cajole, so muddied in commercialism. Like much else. But what of natural law, and natural harmonics, and the natural order of things, and being in touch with nature, with all her -- she is female, some understand - moods and swings?

I was on the Christy Clark show, yesterday, for a Canadian broadcast about complementary and alternative medicine, and some of the legal and regulatory issues affecting integration of different strands of health care. It is not easy to convey the ethical principles set forth in the Institute of Medicine Report on Complementary and Alternative Medicine, or the balance between medical paternalism and patient autonomy - the right to make one's own choices and decisions absent from the intrusion of the state. But radio called for the task. There is so much understanding to be harnessed, so much misunderstanding to be weeded out. The deep, dark stain of medical paternalism and behind it, the fear of death.

Sometimes I write in code on this blog, a kind of text message - it is simply for lack of time - hints and shortcuts to ideas fleshed out more fully elsewhere. Read the articles in Pediatrics, read the fuller IOM report, read my other books (especially the 1998 one, still valid, Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Legal Boundaries and Regulatory Perspectives), and then also read Ernest Becker: The Denial of Death, and you will start pulling together the threads of this unhealed, Cartesian split. It is not only between mind and body, but also between the self and the divine, between individuality and God, between this world and the next; it is the veil of illusion that separates us from fuller acknowledgement of our whole selves, our failure to recognize intelligence - consciousness - awareness - in its many forms. Including that residing among the wise four-leggeds who did not, by the way, belong head-banging against a zoo gate where the 'smarter' two-leggeds trapped them during an earthquake the seismologists could not predict.

On the show, I called it barbaric for legal and medical authorities to lead a father in handcuffs from his child who was being forced to undergo chemotherapy. I am not normally one to ascibe names and epithets, but I am, in fact, reminded that it is better to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Read the background scholarship for details, for the why and wherefore.

Larry King - I happened to tune in last night, and there, on mainstream news, the speakers are describing new military intelligence being disclosed by the UK with a torrent of information on UFO sightings and alleged - there is that lawyer's word - encounters with entities and alien beings. The very fact that colonels and multitudinous officers from air forces and navies are being interviewed on Larry King about their experiences suggests that the 'alien ET encounter' has finally leaped into popular view in a new way, replete with official archives from governments.

One speaker speculated that governments are preparing us for contact.

Some of us 'experiencers' have known that for years. It is not new, it is the way the world has always been - just like electricity. We are not shocked.

Except for the shock of recognition, because the contact we long to see and experience in the world is not so much with 'aliens,' but with the sometimes alien landscape of our own nature, our own inner terrain, the territory of the Self and the natural source of being which is so picked and prodded and furiously poked that analysis and the discriminative way leave little space for the synthesizing, intuitive wisdom that undergirds and supports the larger whole. To gave beyond human selfishness and the presumption of specialness is to understand the zebras, the lions, the toads, the four-leggeds and the eight-limbed, and by remapping our conceptualization of who's who in the universe, to come to a very private yet universal conclusion, and know ourselves for perhaps the very first time.
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The Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen offers corporate legal services, litigation consultation, and expertise in health law with a unique focus on holistic, alternative, complementary, and integrative medical therapies. The law firm represents medical doctors, allied health professionals (from psychologists to nurses and dentists) and other clinicians (from chiropractors to naturopathic physicians, massage therapists, and acupuncturists), entrepreneurs, hospitals, and educational organizations, health care institutions, and individuals and corporations.

Michael H. Cohen is Principal in Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen and also President of The Institute for Integrative and Energy Medicine, a nonprofit organization exploring legal, regulatory, ethical, and health policy issues in the judicious integration of complementary and alternative medical therapies (such as acupuncture and traditional oriental medicine, chiropractic, naturopathic medicine, homeopathy, massage therapy, energy healing, and herbal medicine) and conventional clinical care. Michael H. Cohen is author of books on health care law, regulation, ethics and policy dealing with complementary, alternative and integrative medicine, including Healing at the Borderland of Medicine and Religion, Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Legal Boundaries and Regulatory Perspectives (1998), Beyond Complementary Medicine: Legal and Ethical Perspectives on Health Care and Human Evolution (2000), and Future Medicine: Ethical Dilemmas, Regulatory Challenges, and Therapeutic Pathways to Health Care and Healing in Human Transformation (2003).
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Health care and corporate lawyer Michael H. Cohen has been admitted to the Bar of California, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington D.C. In addition to qualifying as a U.S. attorney, he has been admitted and to the Bar of England and Wales as a Solicitor (non-practicing). For more information regarding the law practice of attorney Michael H. Cohen, see the FAQs for the Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen. Thank you for visiting the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog.
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