20120512

Mineralogy fairs and new-age nuts

Today was the first day of the International fair of precious and semi-precious stones, MINERAL EXPO, in Zagreb, Croatia. Needless to say, I was there. And it was beautiful! So many pretty shiny sparkling stones...  There were even some fossils! *squeeee* This year's fair is the biggest so far, by my personal estimate, with certainly more exhibitors and jewelery sellers from many different countries, as far away as Australia. There were not so many visitors today, though. Maybe it's too hot outside, or they're waiting for tomorrow. Or they just don't care, which is probably the case. Anyhow, I bought two new stones, a celestine and a desert rose. My precioussss...
Celestine
Another view



Desert rose
Now, there's also this thing that always terribly annoys me on happenings like this. Approximately one out of four booths displayed some new-age/occultism nonsense. Healing crystals, chrystalotherapy, energy crystal pyramids, amulets, stuff like that. There's even some guy who claims he saw or even talked to aliens, I don't really remember (I checked him out once and I've been avoiding his booth ever since). He's selling books on topics such as how to communicate with aliens, and even used to sell stones from the alleged place where aliens landed their spaceship. I don't know if he's selling those this year, the crowd around his booth was too thick and I'm not that interested anyway.
Now, I don't get this. Mineralogy and geology are as exact sciences as a science can be. They deal with physics and chemistry, classification and geographical distribution of minerals, their utilization for various needs such as building the parts for machines, or even fertilizers. How in the name of Darwin does one get from this to some nonsense such as a healing power of a naturally occurring solid chemical substance formed through biogeochemical processes, having characteristic chemical composition, highly ordered atomic structure, and specific physical properties (definition of a mineral as placed on a wikipedia page on, well, minerals)? Any thoughts?

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