82-year-old man claims he's not had any food or water for 70 years

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115 Responses to “82-year-old man claims he's not had any food or water for 70 years”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Why even agree to faulty “experiments”? This is men who stare at goats levels of idiocy. At least it’s not just the US Military who has morons for officers.

    Oh no, we can’t have a … BREATHARIAN gap! Quick, someone give this man a billion to train breatharian warriors!

  2. Lobster says:

    Wow. Either BoingBoing has a lot of people who don’t understand conservation of mass or you guys just got linked by a Breathatarian website.

  3. Xenu says:

    Indian food is awesome. The real question is why would you NOT want to eat it?

  4. bobhughes says:

    I admire what this guy is doing, though it’s neither necessary nor helpful to anyone to make it public. There’s more different kinds of people than the general population will ever realize. It takes an act of bravery and stupidity to stand up to what is “known” and “experienced” by some research institute, or school, or even to an individual’s own (five primal) senses.

    If someone puts an object on 100 different scales which all read 5g, but for whatever reasons, you just know that it weighs 4.9g, it’s easier just to keep it to yourself. You can’t go around telling people you know the truth; you can only wait for other people to realize there’s something happening, but then there’s little point in discussing with them what they already know – no need to preach to the choir, so to speak. No need to sell these beliefs. No cause for assembly. That’s why spirituality is real, and religion is fraudulent.

  5. bobk says:

    I seem to remember an experiment that was done some time ago. A farmer reasoned that eating was just a bad habit and sought to prove it with his donkey: he fed it less and less each day until for two weeks he was not feeding it at all. Unfortunately, the animal died so the experiment had to be cut short, but the interim results did look promising….

  6. Anonymous says:

    Does he fart? Maybe he breathes in everyone’s farts. That’s what keeps him going. Eat more beans, India needs the gas.

  7. hungryjoe says:

    F—ing Breatharians, how do THEY work?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Not all things can be rationally or scientifically explained. I know this to be true

  9. Anonymous says:

    Uh. The article is about a Hindu holy man, so I’m pretty sure that we’re talking about religion.

    Uh, he claims he can live without food, which I’m pretty sure is a scientific claim.

  10. Irene Delse says:

    So, this time, the Telegraph is making British journalism proud by reviving this unsinkable rubber duck? Too bad that a panel of Indian physicians have already observed this guy in 2003, without finding “anything out of the ordinary”. Which strongly suggest, in terms less sensitive to the “holiness” of the claimant: nothing to disprove that it wasn’t simple fraud. The guy went threw all sorts of tests all right, and there was a camera in his room. But there were times each day when he was not monitored, and who is to say he didn’t use that for drinking, eating and excreting, like everybody?

    OF course, that time around too, it was a project funded by an Indian defense research organization (possibly the same one as now). Of course, military researchers have a lot of money to burn, and they can be terribly credulous, as the Pentagon showed with their paranormal escapades, as portrayed in Jon Ronson’s Men Who Stare at Goats

    These things never seem to go away. And from this news, the Indian defense researchers haven’t yet caught the hole in their monitoring: don’t bother with MRI and EEG if you let the guy alone part of the time. They should take a leaf from the book of Tahir Shah, or from Sanal Edamaruku (the guy who made a big stir in India by having another holy man fail to kill him by magic on television), or the late Basava Premanand, debunker of many a would-be fakir…

    Heck, the defense guys should let the Indian Rationalists Association or Indian CSICOP investigate first, that would save a lot of taxpayers’ money!

  11. sirkowski says:

    Lotsa crackpots in this thread.

    Some people don’t understand the difference between curiosity and gullibility.

  12. Brainspore says:

    The last time I read an account of one of these “breatharians” being put to the test it turned out that the guy was sneaking out at night to eat at McDonald’s (which in all fairness barely counts as food).

  13. yerbamatte says:

    Uhm, foolish because the concept is absurd, or foolish because our understanding of existence is primitive and necessarily flawed?

  14. Pantograph says:

    I’m much like the old man. Neither food nor drink passes my lips, apart from the odd snack and a glass with friends or on special occasions.

    I also make a mean stone soup.

  15. Ito Kagehisa says:

    Foolish because it violates existing dogma, of course. Isn’t that the essence of what fools do?

  16. split11 says:

    It bothers me that anyone would be testing an 82 year old man who professes this. Maybe the doctors at the Indian Defense Ministry should be tested. Would the rational reaction not be that the old man was having hallucinations? When he dies, any day I would think, will the doctors be responsible?
    If there were a miracle it is the one that has kept this man out of the limelight for the past 70 years.

  17. Anonymous says:

    It’s called the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and it’s here to say: Fraud.
    Now that’s concise isn’t it? PLEASE don’t start talking about dogma. We’re talking science, not religion, here…

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      We’re talking science, not religion, here…

      Uh. The article is about a Hindu holy man, so I’m pretty sure that we’re talking about religion.

      • JoshuaZ says:

        Science or religion, you make a testable claim, then we’re going to test it. And if the claim is unlikely we have every right to consider unlikely until proper testing occurs. The fact that the individual happens to be claiming that the ability is connected to religion is utterly irrelevant. Religion does not get a free pass.

        (And that’s aside from the fact that he’s getting all sorts of (bad) sciency tests to verify the claim anyways).

  18. Antinous / Moderator says:

    If you think that you can test religion or philosophy, you have a derangedly optimistic view of human intelligence. Just because we don’t have the capability of scientifically proving/disproving things, just because we might never have the capability, doesn’t mean that those things don’t exist.

    That attitude is profoundly unscientific and has been held by science pharisees throughout human history. You would have denied the existence of x-rays, microwaves or anything else that you didn’t have a way of proving at the time. And yet, they existed whether or not you had an experiment designed.

    Not that I actually think that this guy lives without eating.

    • Brainspore says:

      If you think that you can test religion or philosophy, you have a derangedly optimistic view of human intelligence.

      JoshuaZ did specify “a testable claim,” which this certainly qualifies as. That’s very different than denying the existence of phenomena for which there currently is no way to test.

    • tim says:

      If you think that you can test religion or philosophy, you have a derangedly optimistic view of human intelligence.

      Of course you can damn test religion or philosophy whenever they make a factual claim.

    • dripgrind says:

      I agree. It’s totally unscientific to think we can test the claim that this man doesn’t need to eat. I can’t believe the arrogance of the science pharisees who would dare to imagine that science is ready for such a challenge!

      The secret military food rays exist whether or not we can detect them, and anyone who denies it is an unscientific science pharisee.

      • kc0bbq says:

        “I can’t believe the arrogance of the science pharisees who would dare to imagine that science is ready for such a challenge!”

        Science is helpless in the face of a claim that is not falsifiable. It’s not a question of being ready for a challenge. It doesn’t matter if you can catch him eating or not, you can’t test for the claim that he is fed rainbows by his goddess. You can only catch him in the lie that he doesn’t eat or drink and discredit him.

        • dripgrind says:

          I see now! We can’t *falsify* his claim that he doesn’t need food or water – all we can hope to do is *show that it’s a lie, and thus discredit him*.

          And whether or not he’s able to go without food is a completely separate issue from whether he is able to get nutrition by some unknown means.

          Truly, you are the wisest of the science pharisees. Maybe you are even a science rabbi. I am but a humble science apostle by comparison.

          But I have to object to the way people on this thread have been making out that there is some supernatural “goddess” explanation for this amazing phenomenon. That was never my position. As I’ve maintained all along, he’s being fed by a secret government food ray, and that’s a super-scientific explanation.

          If we hypothesised that he doesn’t need to eat because he’s being fed by a goddess, that would be a mysterious religious matter, and completely untestable. Science would be helpless.

          But if we hypothesise that he doesn’t need to eat because of a hitherto-unknown ray, that falls within the realm of science.

          Now, to the layman – or “bad science Samaritan” – it might seem that you’d initially apply the same sort of tests to falsify both the “goddess” and the “ray” scenarios. But actually, you’d be wrong. The details of why get quite technical, but I’m a computer scientist AND a venture capitalist.

  19. jimh says:

    Okay no food, but
    DOES HE EAT LIGHT BULBS

  20. dainel says:

    Why was the first test only for 10 days. And this one only runs for 15 days. Why don’t they monitor him for 1 year?

    This is India’s Defence Research Development Organisation. I imagine all research have to get approval of some kind.

    “Hey boss, there’s this holy man who says he hasn’t had any food or water for the past 70 years because a goddess pours an elixir through a hole in his palate”. “You’re crazy. Where was it that you said you got your degree. Are you sure you know what you’re doing”.

    “Boss. There’s this man who can survive for a long time without food or water. But he’s still perfectly well and healthy after two weeks. Not half dead from starvation and dehydration. I’ll like to study him, confirm if it’s true, and find out how he’s doing it. It’ll be useful for soldiers out in the field who gets cut off from supplies. I’ll need one of the rooms on the 3rd floor for two weeks. It already has the security monitors and all the medical equipment.” “Sounds OK. Send in your proposal first. I’ll get it approved.”

  21. Ned613 says:

    There is an episode of Barney Miller where Dietrich claims he is a breatharian. He then inhales real deeply and one of the other characters admonishes him, “Now don’t stuff yourself.”

  22. bonafidebob says:

    Foolish because should he persist with this absurd claim, he will die.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Quite frankly, let them test it.

    If, by some fluke, something crazy is going on here, then it was worth doing all along.

    However, the more likely outcome of a malnourished sadhu demonstrates important principles to the world at large anyway. This is more important than the minimal chance of an amazing discovery.

  24. Anonymous says:

    There are people in India who don’t eat (or not much.) You need to study Hira Ratan Manek, he does have a website. He has been studied by several doctors (in a hospital setting) during his fasts. He claims to have gone 7 years without eating.
    He has about 3000 followers and he has lectured all over the world.
    However, regarding the fellow in the article: Since this fellow is 82, I suspect he may have had some memory lapse.

  25. dripgrind says:

    I can’t believe you are being so close-minded about this! Sure, a lot of breatharians have proven to be hoaxers, but perhaps this man is getting nutrition from a secret government ray that is being tested by the military.

    It’s well established that breatharians are more likely to occur near top secret UK army bases (if you filter out the hoax breatharians). Furthermore, in recent years, armies have openly demonstrated food-based technology like the US MRE program, which only makes my “food ray” hypothesis more likely.

    A highly respected government lab in France has done some tests on this man’s hair, and found nodes! Nodes! Do you realise the implications?

    What’s more, this research has been replicated by other top labs (Cal Tech, Nobel Institute University of Science, Oxon University etc.) so you can’t simply dismiss the weight of evidence. Plus, I have personally interviewed a top physicist who witnessed an unexplained ray and then didn’t feel hungry for over ten hours.

    Don’t get me wrong, I welcome respectful inquiry into the exact nature of this man’s amazing powers. But what I don’t welcome is name-calling, or any suggestion that he might not have amazing powers. That is beyond the realm of reasonable debate.

    It’s fascinating that certain “forbidden” topics, dismissed in academia, are also dismissed in cyberspace!

    • Jesse Weinstein says:

      Well played, sir, well played!

    • dougr650 says:

      I was just about to draw the exact same parallel between this post, in which the author rightly highlights and ridicules the absurd nature of the subject’s claim, and the ongoing saga of the guy who claims the military is using secret space-borne microwave beam technology to create crop circles, which is presented entirely without irony. What’s up with that?

      Anyway, well done, Sir.

    • rhys says:

      ‘secret govt goddess’. awesome~!

    • The Chemist says:

      LOLing heavily at “nodes”-

      “My God man! Did you you not hear him? There were NOOOOOOODES! Like in AVATAAAAAAAR!”

  26. MattF says:

    Until someone gets him away from the reporters who are sneaking him an Egg McMuffin every now and then. So, maybe never.

  27. entropy says:

    couldn’t it maybe, possible, be true? Perhaps he takes in his energy in some other way? I know it’s most likely a hoax or a con, but still, maybe, … (wishfull thinking on my part)

    • Christovir says:

      couldn’t it maybe, possible, be true? Perhaps he takes in his energy in some other way?

      No, it is not possible. The laws of physics still exist.

    • kc0bbq says:

      Somewhere in Florida is a pool of water that will make you ageless. That’s probably a more reasonable use of your time.

      Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. His word isn’t enough.

  28. Pipenta says:

    If you put Schrodinger’s kitty in a box with no kibble, no mice, no saucers of cream, and close the lid and keep him there long enough, there will be no mystery to it. You will have a dead cat that you didn’t even have to masturbate to get.

    Because there are no little bitty kitty goddesses because kitties, it seems, are not as deserving as human holy men.

    /me rolls eyes.

  29. kento says:

    Foolish because the experiment will never end, and leave India’s defense research organization bankrupt.

  30. mdh says:

    You will have a dead cat that you didn’t even have to masturbate to get.

    My question, did you get a dead cat fror that comment?

    also, you either have NO idea what Schroedinger was talking about or you’re bad at being deliberately obtuse. Not sure which.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Antinous,

    You appear to have no idea how science works. Your examples don’t make sense.

    Just because we don’t have the capability of scientifically proving/disproving things, just because we might never have the capability, doesn’t mean that those things don’t exist.

    Really? This doesn’t even contradict anything anyone said here. But the point is, we do have the capability to scientifically disprove if a given person can live without food. Lock them in a box for a month with no food and no way to get food. If they die of starvation, they can’t live without food. This isn’t an ineffable claim about god, it’s basic biology.

    You would have denied the existence of x-rays, microwaves or anything else that you didn’t have a way of proving at the time. And yet, they existed whether or not you had an experiment designed.

    No scientist or science-minded amateur would “deny the existence” of things not provable at the time. But at the same time, someone claiming to have knowledge of something is expected to be able to actually demonstrate how they got that knowledge. Before x-rays or microwaves were discovered, one would be right to doubt their existence before it’s demonstrated. A better comparison would be that we would doubt the existence of a person that claimed they didn’t need to eat because they sustain themselves through x-rays, if there is no evidence of a thing such as x-rays in the first place. This is a scientific position. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence

  32. TheBlessedBlogger says:

    Maybe I’m naive and don’t understand how the human body functions but couldn’t you just wait and see if he urinates and defecates?

  33. SB-129 says:

    Maybe he’s being tested by the same military scientists that gave the get-go to the ATSC “Advanced Detection Equipment” a.k.a. complex-looking box of tricks (empty) connected to complex-looking sensor (metal stick) that detects bombs/drugs/counterfeit with no visible power source.

    Or maybe the same folk who got military finding to try to remotely stop the hearts of goats or walk through walls?

    No. This is bullshit. Magic does not exist, for if it did, those who currently barely eke out a living by claiming to practice it would be ruling the world.

    stick this guy in a room for 60+ days with nothing but his goddess for sustenance and watch him die.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Bullshitatarian.

  35. Glindie says:

    You know what? I retract my previous rather cynical statement. Rock on, Indian scientists. If you’ve got money to burn on studying holy men who claim they can live without food or water, go for it. (I wish the American government could afford to study holy men…*sadface*) If scientists hadn’t taken a chance on crazy experiments, we would never have discovered x-rays, or bacteria, or any number of other scientific “truths”. ;)

    Not that I actually think that this guy lives without eating either. :) It would be pretty cool if he did, though!

  36. Sproogle says:

    Sure smells like troll in here.

  37. Anonymous says:

    This means that he hasn’t taken a dump in 70 years. EEeeeeyyyyyoooooo….

  38. Michael Smith says:

    Maybe he is solar powered and keeping him inside will kill him.

  39. knoxblox says:

    But what does he DO WITH THE POOPS?

  40. Felton says:

    Has anyone bothered to x-ray the guy? I mean, he could just be an android.

  41. bodenski says:

    This should be a cheap and easy test as he should be easy to keep an eye on. I would guess that one who doesn’t eat or drink should not need to go to the bathroom to often.

    If he does after day 6 we might have news there.

  42. Robert says:

    Of course he hasn’t had any food or water for 70 years. It’s Time Cube. Stupids!

  43. Anonymous says:

    Youre scientific curiosity is just heart warming…

    No I dont think that this is real, but-
    A) In every experiment there are chances to find something unexpected. Hey maybe they’ll discover some new mental disease where you dont remember that you ate.

    B) 50 years ago it was an absurd Idea that the universe was expanding.
    Or that light has particles( that was absurd about a 100 years ago)

  44. figment88 says:

    He should have had a V8!

  45. Anonymous says:

    You people don’t read too well, do you? The man doesn’t claim he survives without sustenance, only that a “goddess” feeds him an “elixir.” I don’t know about you all, but after I’ve had a few elixirs, I start to see goddesses too!

  46. Anonymous says:

    It was reported in the Vedas (which were originally passed on verbally from generation to generation) 40,000 years ago, that “Things are getting worse now, because people are beginning to eat!”

  47. Glindie says:

    This is a waste of money, not because the man’s claim is true or false, but because “India’s defense research organization” will never manage to prove without a shadow of a doubt that he is not eating or drinking to the skeptics, and the believers already believe that he no longer requires food and water.

    As for the last line, I don’t believe Boing Boing makes any claims to be fair or balanced, so Mr. Frauenfelder can say whatever he wants in my book, as long as he doesn’t tamper with the original article. ;)

    • kc0bbq says:

      “Mr. Frauenfelder can say whatever he wants in my book, as long as he doesn’t tamper with the original article. ;)”

      I don’t even care if he tampers with the original article.

    • JoshuaZ says:

      Glindie, not at all. As a “skeptic” I can easily tell you what would convince me and what the Indian military is not doing correctly. Simply put, there’s no reason to let this guy leave the room he’s in. Videotape him for a week in a single room with no believers going in or out. Allow escorts by non-believers to a bathroom.

      If he survives that, I’ll inclined to believe he’s telling the truth. But do you think the believers will be convinced otherwise if he’s caught on video sneaking food? I suspect the answer is no.

      • Mark Frauenfelder says:

        “do you think the believers will be convinced otherwise if he’s caught on video sneaking food? I suspect the answer is no.”

        I agree with you. When you present a fact to a believer that disproves the thing they believe in, it simply makes them cling more stubbornly to their belief.

  48. jimkirk says:

    Then there was the guy who went to hospital. They mixed up his IV feeding tube with his colostomy bag. Now he’s completely self-sufficient.

  49. talzaken says:

    Who knows, maybe Kafka’s The Hunger Artist was actually a factual account.

  50. Hools Verne says:

    I’m disappointed that there hasn’t been an new article on this story.

  51. Elite Hacker says:

    Every single one of these claims I have seen…has been proven to be a hoax. Every single one. I don’t see how this will be any different. How about they place him in solitary confinement for three months in a room with no windows…and then open the door on day 90 to see how the chap is doing?

    One thing is being closed-minded….another is being a sucker who keeps falling for the same con.

  52. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Apparently, he made it through the whole 15 days without eating/drinking/peeing/pooping. http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/1050555/medics-baffled-by-man-who-doesnt-eat

    On the other hand, when I worked in the hospital, there were a few occasions when a liver transplant patient was discharged and we found an empty vodka bottle in the closet.

  53. Anonymous says:

    It turns out, both he and his doctor have severe dementia, such that both men seemingly forget each night that they had gone out for curry.

  54. Brainspore says:

    Science is helpless in the face of a claim that is not falsifiable.

    “I can survive without food or water for X period of time” is easily falsifiable. That’s good enough for most scientists, who will probably draw a reasonable conclusion such as “we have no documented evidence that humans can survive indefinitely without food or water.”

  55. jackdavinci says:

    Definitely is an experiment that should be conducted, thought the outcome is probably forgone. Is not necessarily a thermodynamic issue, breathing causes plenty of oxidation action, and if he’s otherwise from a desert culture used to conservation, and is merely meditating most of the day, he might have enough energy given adaption to scarcity. I suspect he’s more deluded than conning. So conducting an experiment can debunk the phenomenon and make the dude realize eating properly, or conversely reveal some kind of adaptive more efficient metabolism in humans in certain contexts. Win win.

  56. Michaelchr says:

    Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Tahir Shah goes a long way towards debunking what a lot of India’s holy men do. A lot of it is trickery and the book contains fairly explicit instructions on how to eat glass and stick you hand in boiling lead (not that I’ve tested either). On the other hand the sorcerer that Shah himself is apprenticed to does do some things that he can’t come up with an explanation for. Whether that means he’s capable of supernatural feats or not is left somewhat up in the air. Still it’s a really fun book.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=UOrRR66qO0EC&printsec=frontcover&dq=sorcerer's+apprentice&source=bl&ots=uj0oXUR3Kd&sig=OM3QiCxXsgustUwzPCOyE4uUNZI&hl=en&ei=PCTbS6iaKIeAswPe4-3bAg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=10&ved=0CDsQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q&f=false

  57. chixon says:

    I was going to comment on how low his living expenses must be. But then that lead me to the realization that, if in fact he is what he claims, the food industry will never let the truth be relieved.

  58. Anonymous says:

    Interesting to say the least, but has anyone checked this 82 year old mental state?….I know an 82 year old woman who has 10 sets of keys because she keeps misplacing them!…..as a wondering holy man, he probaly feasted on shrubs, plants , berries and plant roots……which to some people wouldn’t be considered food!

  59. Beelzebuddy says:

    Wow, boing, you sure got the woo lately. What’s next, acupuncture? Healing magnets?

    After this passes, can we have a period of hardass scientific reductionism, a sort of rational unicorn chaser, where we get to sneer at priests and string physicists who waste their time contemplating the unobservable?

  60. Anonymous says:

    I’m skeptical because of the physics involved, not the biology.

    There’s a lot we don’t yet understand about the human body, and there’s good evidence that the human body has amazing limits.

    However, from a basic physics perspective, this man seems to violate the law of conservation of energy. Presumably he has a heartbeat and a body temperature above room temperature (that is, he’s not stone cold).

    Therefore, he must be radiating heat. The basic design of a human being requires food or some other stored chemical energy as an input source of energy. This man claims to have been radiating heat energy for 70 years with no energy input?

    It’s as if he claimed he had been driving an automobile for 70 years with no fuel in the tank. It would seem to violate a law of physics (Conservation of Energy) which seems to apply consistently across quantum scales and astronomical scales.

    More than mere “human survival” research, maybe this guy is the key to avoiding the problems of climate change, peak oil, and other energy issues!

  61. MarlboroTestMonkey7 says:

    Let me correct the heading: “82-year-old man claims he’s not had any food or water for 70 Rhithrogena germanica years”. There.

  62. togi says:

    Why has nobody mentioned that he’s *already* “spent six days without food or water under strict observation and doctors say his body has not yet shown any adverse effects from hunger or dehydration.”?He has now spent six days without food or water under strict observation and doctors say his body has not yet shown any adverse effects from hunger or dehydration.”

    Now, Ray Mears tells me you can’t survive more than 3 days without water. Other sources from the internet give an absolute maximum of 10 days, though I suspect that’s with some liquid absorbed from food.

    Either way, after 6 days, the guy should be showing at least *some* adverse effects, no? And considering he’ll be past the 10 day mark now, he’ll either be dead or doing better than most humans have ever done.

    So, we either already have proof that something special is going, which is definitely worth studying, or (possibly more likely) proof that the experiment is flawed. Either way, we should have a result. Why don’t we know this yet?!

    As for an experiment being foolish – fuck that. Experiments can be silly, yes, but any experiment that is properly performed will tell us something, and that’s a good thing. Getting all condescending serves nobody any purpose.

    Anyway, where can we find the results of this test, as well as a review of its standards?

  63. VagabondAstronomer says:

    “Universe Dew.”
    -”Kung Fu Panda”

  64. Ito Kagehisa says:

    Antinous, you can’t convince fanatics. They have rigid belief systems based on blind faith in prophets who are believed to be utterly infallible. Experimentation and observation might reveal empirical data that contradicts dogma; thus it is anathema.

  65. DanielZKlein says:

    Why does this asshole keep popping up everywhere? Why do you give him the time of the day? Last time he popped up was in 2003: Here’s a gullible bbc article. James Randi himself wrote about the obvious fraud back then. And now he’s back, and no one’s bothered to do any following-up, and he’s not shaken up the foundation of modern medicine quite yet.

    Can we all please agree to extend the teachings of “don’t feed the troll” to real life? Especially people who, by virtue of being BoingBoing moderators, have a special power to command a lot of people’s attention in a certain direction might want to run a quick google on whatever amazing discovery they’ve made just to make sure it’s not an obvious troll from the precambrian.

    • Hools Verne says:

      I’m sorry but that James Randi response just called a bunch of doctors incompetent without even bothering to look over their methodology. Not that I believe this guy hasn’t eaten for 70 years, but if you appeal to James Randi to disprove it just because he’s James Randi… you really shouldn’t be calling other people gullible.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        you really shouldn’t be calling other people gullible.

        Which is my point. Of course this guy is fake, but most people’s declarations of scientific principles are just biases and memes and have more to do with reinforcing beliefs than any real attempt at observation.

  66. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Hmm. I seem to have annoyed people. That’s novel.

    Does testing whether he can live without food and water now prove whether or not he’s done it for the last 70 years?

    • SamSam says:

      Does testing whether he can live without food and water now prove whether or not he’s done it for the last 70 years?

      I’m quite sure that you’re being deliberately dense in order to poke fun at people. The point remains that the burden of proof always remains with the person making the claim. If I say to a scientist “ha! you can’t prove that my magical green unicorns DON’T exist” they will reply “so what?” and walk away.

      Suggesting that there is some room for reasonable doubt that maybe the guy did survive for the previous 70 years without food simply because we can’t prove it false, even after the guy failed to live one week without food under observation, is akin to the Orbos guys saying “our perpetual motion machine really did run for the last decade! Just because it stopped running when the scientist looked at it doesn’t mean anything!” Whether or not he’s right that we can’t prove the machine hadn’t been running previously, if he can’t substantiate his claim it’s no more interesting than talking about green unicorns.

      • Hools Verne says:

        even after the guy failed to live one week without food under observation

        So far all I’ve seen from the reports of the tests done in India is that he went at least 10 days without food or water. Doesn’t prove he went 70 years without eating or drinking anything but it’s still an impressive display of bodily control if everything checks out.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        it’s no more interesting than talking about green unicorns

        I dread to think how you’d react to talking about pink, nerve-gas farting dragons.

    • Brainspore says:

      Does testing whether he can live without food and water now prove whether or not he’s done it for the last 70 years?

      The test will determine whether or not he can substantiate the claim that he has been able to do it for the last 70 years. The burden of proof lies with the person making a claim, not the people who doubt the claim.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        The burden of proof lies with the person making a claim, not the people who doubt the claim.

        That’s a philosophical statement, neither provable nor disprovable.

        • dripgrind says:

          That’s a philosophical statement, neither provable nor disprovable.

          Do you have empirical evidence for that claim? Or are you relying on mere logic?

    • dripgrind says:

      Does testing whether he can live without food and water now prove whether or not he’s done it for the last 70 years?

      So measuring current conditions and then extrapolating into the past is bad? Do you also renounce geology and evolution?

  67. Snig says:

    People exist who eat and/or drink in their sleep without knowledge or memory of it, though I don’t know of any cases where they exclusively ate or drank at night. If that’s the case with him, it seems sad to me to disabuse him at age 82.

  68. benher says:

    I’m sure he must run on some sort of perpetual motion machine. I suspect magnets to be involved.

  69. willy says:

    Christ, what a palate hole!

  70. Bucket says:

    I say they set him on fire. If he can burn for 70 years, he’s telling the truth. If not… who wants s’mores?

  71. nanuq says:

    You don’t just see these cases in India. Claims of inedia date back for centuries. A graphic case in the 19th century led to a little girl starving to death. In a hospital no less.

    http://drvitelli.typepad.com/providentia/2009/09/starving-sarah.html

  72. Anonymous says:

    This is probably real…. I am appalled at such negativity. Can you please wait until the results come out, and you will see that my suspicion that it is real will be true.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am totally in agreement with you. The entire world has a mind set that only lets them believe what they want to, and most are too narrow minded to let anything they consider strange keep them off point. There are many things in existance that cannot be explained, that does not mean they are fake.

  73. Anonymous says:

    Wow that’s a huge comment thread!
    I hope that a large amount of it is satire and not true beliefs.
    It’s easy to find an outcome rather than hypothesize on “food beams”, deities, spirits, etc.
    Just put him in a room with nothing in it. Make sure that you have windows on the ceiling so light can come in. You’d hate for an all-powerful spirit of sorts that is capable of feeding one special man in India to be blocked by some drywall.
    Run vitals on him and maybe actually scan the contents of his stomach and intestines?

  74. octopod says:

    what galls me is this is clearly patient zero for the zombie apocalypse, and they’ve just let him walk. like. hello ?

  75. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Humans in general seem to have a strong bias for needing to declare things to be true or false – Right This Second. It was probably a survival trait in a more immediately dangerous environment, but it’s a huge impediment to higher level thinking. And scientists and science-groupies do tend to come from a cognitive group that’s especially prone to black and white thinking.

  76. Anonymous says:

    And, I suppose he never has to use the toilet, either? B/C if he does, I would consider that prima facie evidence that he’s a fraud…

  77. Anonymous says:

    Looks like he is trying for Guiness book of records. Good skill…

  78. Anonymous says:

    He said that a goddess gave him this power…That translates to alien intervention I think.
    She might have given him nanobots that repair cells and power him using photosynthesis or some other means.

  79. Anonymous says:

    News flash; apparently it is true. The Indian military have had the man under observation for a month and can confirm that no food or water was consumed by him during this time! Anyone here care to revise their argument?

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