Being a sceptic with a C, I decided to check up on the story. I am pleased to report that it appears to be true:
Televisual highlight of week was a mystical Shambhala therapist explaining to Richard Dawkins (of all people) that “DNA is very interesting right now in our evolution of the human race”. I almost felt sorry for her. Did she have any idea who she was talking to?
She went on to explain to Dawkins, author of numerous best-selling books on evolution and genetics and Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, that “every human being except a very small percentage has a double-helix in the cell”. When a surprised Dawkins asked whether this meant that some people don’t have a double-helix of DNA, the mystic explained that “a very small percentage do not—they have got more strands. We used to have, in Atlantis, twelve stands, and they’re in the form of four triangles facing in in each cell. And we forgot who we were in the experiment after Atlantis and everything changed…”
When asked how she knew all this, the woman explained that “it comes from the Akashic record—the record of all vibration on this planet—but we also have […] The Deep Knowing, and the Deep Knowing, it really can’t be argued”.
No it can’t. She made an utterly convincing case. In her own mind, at least.
The woman then went on top up Dawkins’s quota of DNA strands. I don’t know if she charged him the going rate of £58 for doing this, but we actually got to see her “put the last triangle in”. She did this by closing her eyes and waving her hands about in a manoeuvre that will have been spookily familiar to any student of Rixology. Sadly, she did not explain whether Dawkins’s missing triangle had been an isosceles triangle, a Bermuda triangle or a Dairylea triangle.
All of which made me wonder, do any of these alternative therapy adherents have any sceptical faculties whatsoever? Do Chakra healers ever get into heated arguments with homeopaths? Do acupuncturists ever accuse Reiki Masters of being charlatans? Do crystal healers ever point out that aromatherapists are spouting a load of old wank?
If people from different religious backgrounds can have violent disagreements about utter nonsense, then why not different snake oil merchants?
Or is someone out there trying to link all these specious disciplines together into a Grand Unified Theory of Mumbo-Jumbo?
Perhaps we could call it Gumbo for short.
One of her so-called friends has told Carolyn‘s elder daughter that Father Christmas isn’t real. Now she’s beginning to have doubts about the Tooth Fairy.
It’ll be God next, mark my words.
email to Fitz on Saturday:
Subject: Turn of phrase
…Well, not so much a turn of phrase as a new word I coined while I was pissed last night, which I will use to describe whatever is the current paradigm when it comes to crap theories, etc:
(I thought I’d better put this on the record before Fitz steals it—although a quick Google search reveals that, as usual, plenty of other people got there first.)
I understand from the Today programme website that you are responsible for editorial control of their “Thought for the Day” feature.
This morning’s feature ended with the speaker warning us against surrendering to scepticism”. As a devout sceptic, I find this comment deeply offensive. I know that scepticism (the refusal to believe in something without supporting evidence) is anathema to religious believers, who hold faith (believing despite the lack of supporting evidence) as their greatest virtue, but I don’t see why they should get airtime to criticise my philosophical framework when sceptics evidently aren’t allowed to use the same forum to question religious faith.
Bearing in mind that scepticism is the one philosophical framework that holds thought as its greatest virtue, isn’t it about time you renamed your feature “Dogma for the Day”?