Pseudoscience: DNA activation

The second ‘treatment’ offered on the site promoting Kangen Water is a thing called ‘DNA Activation’. Now in this case, they do not even try to keep up a scientific appearance. They just flatout reject the theories of DNA by the ‘establishment’, as in conventional science, and present their own. I suppose that this strategy is chosen because the two strands ‘double helix’ shape of DNA is an iconic shape, that most people will be familiar with. With Kangen water on the other hand, they probably think the clustering theory may actually sound plausible, since most people will not know anything about the molecular structure of water at that level.

What is it?

To be honest, it is not quite clear what it actually is. They claim that DNA actually has far more than just 2 strands, namely 12, which they refer to as ‘junk DNA’, and that these extra strands can be ‘activated’. However, it is not made clear how exactly these extra strands will be activated, and why this activation would have any kind of effect. There is a lot of talk about spiritual and even extra-terrestrial concepts, but it mostly sounds like some strange conspiracy theory, while it does not go into the details of the process of activation at all.

What are the claimed benefits?

Again, not a lot of concrete information here. Phrases such as “Connecting to your higher self and your divine purpose”. Quite hollow rhetoric. But perhaps that is the idea: anyone will add their own interpretation of these hollow phrases with something they actually desire.

I think in short it is supposed to make you feel better, what ever that means specifically.

So what is the problem?

Well, for starters, they do not even get the conventional theory of DNA correct. The site says: “At this moment most people on the planet have 2 double helix strands activated.”

No, conventional theory says that two strands of molecules bond together to form a single double-helix molecule.

Another flaw is that they take ‘junk DNA’ literally. As if it is useless. The term ‘junk DNA’ is in fact used by conventional science, but the term is meant to describe the parts of the DNA that are ‘non-coding’ in terms of genetic information. Science does not claim it is useless. In fact, since DNA is closely related to the evolution theory, this would imply that useless features would eventually evolve away. The fact that junk DNA still exists in all lifeforms would indicate that this particular form of DNA was preferred through natural selection. It is believed that junk DNA actually performs a role during the replication of DNA during mitosis. Aside from that, it is also believed that the non-coding parts of DNA help prevent mutations, since only a small part of the molecule actually carries the ‘critical’ genetic information. Think of it as the organic equivalent of a lightning rod.

Another issue is that they try to connect the function of the strands of DNA to ancient Indian concepts such as chakra’s. They also claim that DNA activation was already practiced by ancient civilizations.

The obvious problem there is that these ancient civilizations had no idea what DNA was, since it wasn’t discovered until 1869, and the current theory of the double-helix shape was not formed until 1953.

This theory was of course not just pulled out of thin air. The researchers used the technique of X-ray diffraction to study the structure of the molecule. The image known as “Photo 51” provided key information to the double-helix structure. If DNA in fact had far more strands, then this image would have looked very different. Also, this is ancient technology of course. Better methods for imaging DNA have been developed since, and more recently, with the work of some Italian researchers, it is now possible to take direct images of DNA. These images still confirm the double-helix model, with 2 strands.

direct-imaging-of-dna-fibers

Aside from that, the whole mechanics of DNA activation are not clear to me. Even if we assume that there were more than 2 strands, then how exactly would one activate them? The DNA is in every cell of your body, so you would have to activate millions of cells at once. And our cells are constantly dividing and duplicating, so how do you activate the DNA when it is being replicated all the time? It would have to be done almost instantly, else you get a new cell with new DNA that is not activated yet, and you have to start all over.

And even if you ‘activate’ this DNA, what exactly does that mean? It seems to imply that it suddenly unlocks genetic information that was ignored until now. But that does not make sense. Because if this genetic information can be unlocked through ‘activation’, it could also be unlocked ‘by accident’ through mutation. So some people would be born with ‘activated’ DNA. And if this ‘activated’ DNA is indeed superior, then these people would evolve through natural selection at the cost of the inferior ‘non-activated’ people. Unless of course they want to deny the whole theory of evolution as well. But then, why bother to base your theory on DNA and genetics in the first place?

The mind boggles…

Lastly, I think we can look back at Kuhn’s criteria. Similar to Occam’s Razor, Kuhn states that the most simple explanations are preferred over more complex ones. The theory of 12 DNA strands is certainly more complex than the theory for 2 DNA strands. They could have formulated their theory with just 2 DNA strands anyway, since they seem to base the activation on the ‘junk DNA’. There was no need to ‘invent’ extra strands for the junk DNA. Conventional science had already stated that 98% of the DNA molecule is non-coding. They could have just gone with that. It seems by the way, that this ‘DNA activation’ or ‘DNA perfection’ theory originated with Toby Alexander. That should give you some more leads.

Final words

But wait, you say. Just because certain theories do not fit into the current paradigm does not mean they are necessarily wrong. As Kuhn said, every now and then it is time for a revolution to redefine the paradigm. Yes, but Kuhn also said that there needs to be a ‘crisis’ with the current paradigm: observations that cannot be explained by the current theories. And new theories should be a better explanation than the current ones. Such as Einstein and Newton: the Newtonian laws were reasonably accurate, but Einstein ran into some things that could not be explained by them. Einstein’s new laws were a more accurate model, which could explain everything the Newtonian laws did, and more.

In this case, we do not have a crisis. And the new theories are not a refinement of our current paradigm, but are actually in conflict with observations that ARE explained properly by the current paradigm. It seems that these theories are mainly designed to solve the ‘crisis’ of trying to explain whatever it is that these people want to sell you.

And since the topics I have discussed here are scientific, as per Merton’s norm of communalism, all the knowledge is out there, available to everyone. You do not have to take my word for it, I merely point out some of the topics, facts and theories which you can verify and study yourself by finding more information on the subject, or talking to other scientists.

In the name of proper science, I also had these articles peer-reviewed by other scientists in relevant fields.

By the way, the aforementioned page doesn’t just stop at Kangen Water and DNA Activation. There is also a page on ‘Star Genie crystals’. I figured that topic is so obviously non-scientific that I do not even need to bother covering it. These pseudoscientists move quickly though. As I was preparing these articles, a new page appeared, about ‘Schumann Resonance’. Again, taking something scientific (Schumann resonance itself is a real phenomenon), and making it into some kind of spiritual mumbo-jumbo. And mangling the actual science in the process. For example, it makes the following claim:

“Raise your frequency, enrich your life!”

Well, then you don’t understand resonance. Resonance is the phenomenon where one oscillating system ‘drives’ another to increase its amplitude at a preferential frequency. So resonance can raise your amplitude, but not your frequency. Which is also what the Schumann resonance pseudoscience *should* be about. Namely, it is based on the fact that alpha-brainwaves are at a frequency very close to the strongest Schumann resonance of the Earth (around 7.83 Hz). So the pseudoscience-claim should along the lines that your brain can ‘tune in’ to this ‘Earth frequency’. But I suppose this particular website does not even know or care what they’re trying to sell, as long as it sells.

If any single one of these scams does not make you doubt the trustworthiness of this site, then still be the fact that every single ‘treatment’ offered on this site turns up tons of discussion on scientific/skeptic-oriented sites should at least make you think twice. This is not just coincidence.

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5 Responses to Pseudoscience: DNA activation

  1. qwerty says:

    This all actually sounds a lot like all that quantum healing hogwash spouted by Deepak Chopra.

    It is just incredible, (or rather, incredibly depressing) how easily these pseudoscientific bozos can get away with duping the rubes.
    .

  2. Pingback: DMA activation | Scali's OpenBlog™

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