Thursday, January 13, 2011
This just in: a Nobel in medicine does not imply knowledge of basic physics.
Having read something about this online, I had to see for myself. Take a look at this paper. One of the 2008 Nobel laureates for medicine is the lead author, and he claims that simply having certain kinds of DNA in water (1) creates electromagnetic waves at very low frequencies, like 7 Hz; (2) those waves are sufficiently strong that a simple pickup coil of copper wire can be used to detect them inductively; and (3) somehow those waves continue to self-propagate in a weird way so that repeated dilution of the solution preserves the "imprint" of those waves. Wow. The science here is so unbelievably bad, it's hard to imagine that this is serious. A pick-up coil?! No serious discussion of the magnitude of the effect, and whether it's even remotely credible that detectable inductive signals could be produced? Silly numerology demonstrating a complete lack of understanding of quantum mechanics? Impressive. Can we make a deal? Medicine laureates won't make crazy, misinformed claims about physics (which then naturally get picked up by the media, who love to report "the controversy", as if there is no such thing as a right or wrong answer to a scientific question), and physics laureates won't make crazy, misinformed claims about biology. Please?
Posted by Douglas Natelson at 10:28 PM