Skeptophilia (skep-to-fil-i-a) (n.) - the love of logical thought, skepticism, and thinking critically. Being an exploration of the applications of skeptical thinking to the world at large, with periodic excursions into linguistics, music, politics, cryptozoology, and why people keep seeing the face of Jesus on grilled cheese sandwiches.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Spiritual ascension, triple helices, and the tragic story of Alfie Clamp

Yesterday, we saw an example of how woo-woos will embrace a warm fuzzy fiction in order to escape the hard work of learning science.  While I think this is a shame, and that said woo-woos are losing out on the thrill of actually understanding the universe, I have some sympathy for the desire to have the universe be like you would like it to be (not to mention the mental indolence that prevents you from sticking with the actual science until you understand it).

Unfortunately, however, there is a darker side to such things.  Sometimes the woo-woos lie outright.

I ran into an especially sad example of this yesterday, and it has to do with a bizarre claim by the "spiritual ascension" crowd.  These folks have taken a wafer-thin understanding of genetics and evolution, and onto this they have duct-taped all sorts of goofy ideas -- aliens, channeling, ESP, and a quasi-Buddhist "progress toward enlightenment."  Out of it has come a completely wacky amalgam that basically claims that some kind of "life force" is driving us to evolve into "higher beings," and that part of this "spiritual ascension" will involve activating parts of our DNA that are currently switched off.  Many of the proponents of this idiotic idea believe that we'll be able to tell the "ascended masters" from the rest of us slobs because they will have three, four, or even (in some versions) 1,024 strands per DNA instead of the standard-issue two.  (I.e., their DNA will not be composed of double helices -- it will be triple, quadruple, or 1,024-uple helices.)

Now, so far, this is just in the same realm as yesterday's post, wherein an alt-med wingnut claimed to be in psychic touch with alien whales -- weird but essentially harmless.  But this one took a turn toward the Dark Side of Woo-Woo with the claim by some of them to have discovered a child who is the first person who has this triple-stranded DNA, and thus represents the first step toward "ascension."

His name is Alfie Clamp, and he lives in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England.  Listen to what Greg Giles, of the site Ascension Earth, had to say about this child in his post "First Child Officially Diagnosed With Three DNA Strands":
As we as a species approach the culmination of our ascension in 2012, our outdated 2 strand 'Double Helix' DNA must experience an upgrade. What has long been considered 'junk DNA' by the scientific community must now be reevaluated as the human species experiences an incredibly rapid advancement of our evolution. All throughout the existence of the human species on this planet, thee has never been gradual shift in our evolution, instead there have been a series of massive leaps. One of the more recent leaps in our evolution could never be explained by science, hence a name for this mystery was implemented instead, resulting in this phenomena being referred to as the 'missing link'. Human DNA is now evolving from a mere two strands (which are responsible for lower dimensional traits such as survival and pro creation), to three, four, and even twelve strands of DNA fully activated. A human with two strands of DNA activated is plugged into a 3rd dimensional reality which we have experienced here on earth. When a third strand is activated, a human can experience the fourth dimensional reality, and after activation of a fourth strand of DNA, the fifth dimensional reality can be experienced, which is precisely where we are headed in 2012. These third and fourth strands of DNA have remained dormant within the DNA structure, and are being activated throughout our planet by energies currently bathing our world. It is believed forerunners in our ascension process, known as Indigo Children have been born with three and four strands of DNA fully activated. The scientific community, which has shown strong skepticism towards new DNA theories, must now reevaluate their position as a two year old British boy named Alfie Clamp has become the first person in the world to be officially diagnosed with a third strand of DNA located in his seventh chromosome.
We are then treated to a picture of what this supposedly looks like:

Esoteric Online went even further, in their post "Scientists: Our DNA is Mutating As We Speak!  We Are Developing Twelve Strands!"
I was amazed to read that the modern medical industry finally released to the press that the 'first human with 3 DNA strands' had been born. Of course, the case of little Alfie is the first one to be officially acknowledge by the medical community, but not the only one existent.

In fact, I've read years ago that independent doctors were already working with children who developed the third DNA strand. But are they different than the average human? I am absolutely delighted to inform you that they are very special and in fact all humans are mutating to a superior species, as we speak...

The changes are not known publicly, because the scientific community feels it would frighten the population. However, people are changing at the cellular level. I am working with three children right now who have three DNA helixes. Most people know and feel this. Many religions have talked about the change and know it will come about in different ways. We know it is a positive mutation even though physically, mentally, and emotionally it can be misunderstood and frightening...  These are children who can move objects across the room just by concentrating on them, or they can fill glasses of water just by looking at them. They're telepathic. You would almost think by knowing these children that they are half angelic or superhuman, but they're not. I think they are what we are growing into during the next few decades...  We are being changed physically from carbon-based beings with 2 strands of DNA into crystalline beings with 1,024 strands of DNA (eventually, in time), because only crystalline substances can exist on higher dimensional levels. But the immediate changes are from 2 to 3 DNA strands, and later into 12.
My first thought was that these people are merely deluded individuals who believe that the X-Men movies are historical documentaries, but when I started looking into it, I realized something more insidious was going on here:

They weren't delusional, they were lying.

I found what appears to be the original public-media article on Alfie Clamp's condition (here).  It was published in April of 2011.  In it, it says that Alfie doesn't have a third strand of DNA -- i.e., triple helical DNA -- he has a third arm on his seventh chromosome, which is not the same thing at all.  His chromosomes, like yours, are tightly-wound bundles of double-helical DNA.  His having an extra arm on a chromosome is basically an odd form of duplication, which is a chromosomal mutation in which genetic material appears three times in the genome (instead of the normal two).  Duplications, like all chromosomal abnormalities, are devastating to the individual (in fact, most never survive to be born).  And poor little Alfie Clamp, far from being a "superior species" that is "half angelic or superhuman," has had medical issues since the day of his birth.  He nearly died when he was only a few days old, his eyes didn't fully develop until three months after he was born, and he was a year and a half old before he was strong enough to roll over unassisted.  He is two now, and still requires daily medications just to help him digest his food.

The original story was intended to be inspirational -- the devotion of a pair of loving parents to a little boy whose physical condition was profoundly impaired, and whose problems are likely to be incurable.  And it was inspiring... until the woo-woos got a hold of it, and twisted it to buoy up their ridiculous concept of reality.  They are coldly, callously capitalizing on the tragic story of Alfie Clamp for one reason and one reason only -- they don't have any facts to back up their views, so they have to lie about a sick child's plight in order to gain credibility in the eyes of their gullible followers.

Greg Giles simply pretended that Alfie's medical problems didn't exist; the people at Esoteric Online went a horrifying step further, claiming that Alfie's symptoms are just growing pains, because we should expect ascension to hurt:
Is it any wonder therefore, that there is a great deal of anxiety and fear being felt because these changes are already in progress, even though most people are not conscious of it. Also, the changes to our physiological makeup are currently speeding up and there are MANY TEMPORARY PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS that are occurring in our bodies as a consequence of this...  Some of these symptoms are being felt by a great many people. Many are rushing off in panic to their doctor, chiropractor, herbalist, etc. and are usually told that there is nothing wrong with them. And this is the truth. For all these symptoms are just temporary and simply indicate that these physiological changes are occurring.... You aren't dying, you're just changing!
Somehow, I doubt Alfie's doctors, or his parents, would agree with this.

It's bad enough when woo-woos try to twist reality to fit their mythology, and then hoodwink others.  It's worse when they use their warped worldview to bilk the public out of their hard-earned money.

Worst of all, though, is twisting the story of a little boy's pain, and his parents' commitment, into "proof" for a false claim about the universe.  That they would sink to this level shows that what needs to ascend isn't the number of strands we have in our DNA, but the morality with which we treat the truth and our fellow humans.


  1. I've read both arguments and want to suggest that more people who think differently than you will pay attention TO you if you stop calling them names. It's bullying behavior and unnecessary to your argument.

    Now, your calling these "believers" liars isn't productive; they believe it, and they want to believe it. Why do you think that might be? Why do they have a "warped worldview?" Personally I think that the nature of this reality is warped, where children are raped, beaten and killed, in which the Earth and many of her creatures are dying because of our greed. Whatever my thoughts and feelings and knowledge about these folks' lack of scientific reasoning, I can conjure why people would rather focus on imaginative hope for us all.

    And finally, having no evidence of a thing doesn't disprove it. Our Sciences need to expand beyond principles of duality. I suggest the Dialectic. Duality doesn't allow for the synthesis of new knowledge regardless of its origins. I know lots of scientists with closed minds. It's a symptom of specious thought. One needs to be open to valid, reasoned, observable subjective experience in this new world. We all experience life uniquely. Don't outright dismiss that which we don't yet have the technology to discern. <3

    1. I don't know; this guy's critique is pretty spot-on from what I've read. I am very much what he'd call a "woo-hoo," but I'd say, part of being a good "woo-hoo" is not making claims based on shaky genetic understanding. If we are spiritually evolving, little is being shown in our 3-dimensional realm. The debate, for me, exists within fractal field theories, not DNA.

    2. He criticizes the use of Alfie clamp as an example sure but he completely avoids the part of the article mentioning geneticists working with kids who already have 3 strands of DNA. Not to mention he doesn't actually say anything proving or disproving this theory as in this article is just as much an opinion as the one he criticizes....come on people! Don't believe everything you read! If the study of genetics and DNA ( as in an actual field of science that can prove or disprove certain facts) doesn't it make more sense to retain an open mind and believe in the side of view that has the most evidence to support it? While I can admit the existence of aliens is possible , if I haven't found evidence supporting the possibility I'm not going to fall asleep every night terrified of et abducting me I'm gonna look it up til I find enough documented experiences, evidences and correlations to figure out the truth. And at any rate the level of scepticism present in this article without the existence of disproving evidence is ridiculous.

  2. Found your piece while searching for any actual studies of Alfie Clamp. I have to say you seem to be out to champion scientific rationality. But labeling those making claims that you eschew as woo woos and wingnuts is hardly seems related to logic .

  3. as a believer in our evolving spiritual selves, i enjoyed this authors perspective.

  4. The ordinary and simplistic is mundane I reckon. Why can we not just admit that God created us in his image and that Satan has been trying to alter that created image ever since. Fallen angels, human women , Giants, mighty men of renown, they were our Ancient "Aliens", our Gods and Demi-Gods and they tried to alter DNA then. Aliens try same because they are the ancient Angelic and all the DNA shows is the name of Yaweh in the numbers of the Hebraic. God created us and that's why we call him " FATHER" duh

    I also enjoy and applaud the skeptic view. It is free-will as creator at it's finest.
    Science has yet to accept, as was stated above, the illusion of duality. Einstein's separation served us well for what we wished to achieve at the time. Dewey Larson explained the reciprocal nature of things 50 yrs ago, yet science has yet to grasp it. Only now are the theories of Robert Jahn and the like being looked at by mainstream science. When Pauli wrote the exclusion principle, by default, he also penned the inclusion principle. We use the words "spin doctor" without ever realizing what we are saying. These "spins" make what we call "optimism" or "pessimism" possible. Skeptic/believer, negative/positive.... what word would you like to attach to it. In the article I've attached above, the science relates to cancer. For those looking for cancer, it will be there. For those looking for positive physical evolution, it will be there as well. As science begins to accept the results of the double slit experiments, they too will eventually understand the importance of belief, and that every person and viewpoint is sacred. Religion will come to understand what faith really is. Grace as well; and the age of worrying about aliens, demons and Satan will be over. Even those who proclaim themselves Luciferian will come to realize that it was them, and what they believed all along. Ask and it is given. This is law.

    1. There is only 1 law: all living systems are free.

  6. so my son was just diagnosed with this same condition and the docs are completely blown away ( he being seen by one of the top genetics docs at one of the largest universities btw) they don't have a name for this and we just found out as of today, problem is our child has no medical issues other than cleft lip which is how they found this he is a very smart active very very very happy 1 yr old and if find it insulting to people looking for factual information that people like most of you are 1 and completely ignorant as your are 2 insulting as your are and 3 would believe anything that anyone with some half assed info that's fake btw has to offer
    so to all the scholars out there he has 3 extra chromosomes and one extra dna stand outside of his paternal strands were awaiting a apt to see his doc again the university has even apologized that they didn't know what this is or has never seen it before

    1. Terry, do give updates for your son. I am glad he has no harsh medical issues. Blessings and Gratitude to you for sharing your own story.

  7. We are all woo-woos. Magical thinking exists in everyone to varying degrees.

  8. We’re all woo-woos, believers and skeptics alike. I agree with the author’s concern over humans’ resistance to scientific literacy but I believe more important is our utter ignorance of psychology.