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Jun 23 2013

Stasia Bliss: Disgraceful phony, fraud, and quack

Stasia Bliss is the Senior Editor of Health and Science at The Guardian Express on-line Newspaper. Keep that in mind. Senior Editor of Health and Science.

We encountered Ms Bliss yesterday, when I was criticizing that ghastly Newagey article on cystic fibrosis that she authored, and which the Guardian Express later withdrew. She babbled some nonsense about genes from host tissue somehow migrating into lung transplants, and then went on about how cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease, is somehow caused by bad emotions. It was total garbage, through and through.

Remember, she is the Health editor for this online newspaper, and her head is full of pseudoscientific quackery.

She’s also supposedly the science editor. She’s full of shit there, too. You must read her piece on DNA and evolution. She knows nothing about biology — she’s reduced to spewing nonsensical crap right from the beginning.

Inside each and everyone of our cells is an amazing blueprint containing all of the information to create you again. Scientists have identified 2 strands of these amazing building block storage containers of life and call them DNA or Deoxyribonucleic acid, the molecules containing all the genetic information and instructions for your being. So, what about these other strands which scientists have not identified as useful…the one’s commonly called ‘junk’ DNA and now refer to softly as noncoding DNA? Did you know that somewhere around 98% of all human DNA fits into the category of noncoding DNA? Only 2% accounts for the genetic functions and life-building codes we are familiar with. We do know that some of that 98% has functions such as translation regulation of protein-coding sequences, but what is the rest for? Is it possible our DNA contains within it codes for our evolution as a species? Is it possible that by activating our noncoding DNA we would start to experience reality very differently?

Your first clue that she doesn’t have the slightest grasp on the concepts is when she tries to tell you that there are 2 strands called DNA that contain all the genetic information, and there’s…these…other strands? That are junk DNA? WTF?

I want to give her a test. A very simple test that I’m confident that she would fail miserably.

Draw the 2 strands of DNA. Just a rough sketch, no deep details needed, I’ll even grade generously. Show me that she knows what the hell she’s talking about when she says “strands”. And then I’ll ask her to point on the sketch to where the junk DNA lies.

This isn’t hard, and I’m not expecting a lot. For example, James Watson was asked to give a simple drawing of what he thought was an important formula or principle, and here’s what he came up with.

watsonDNA

See? Easy! I don’t think Stasia Bliss could do it. Especially when you consider the next paragraph of her essay.

Many mystics, philosophers and spiritual teachers agree that the key to our evolution as a species lies within our DNA. If all strands of DNA were active, we would have 12 strands. According to some, each strand correlates with a different dimension of consciousness, or a different perspective by which we can experience this reality. Those who study and practice DNA activation techniques say the 2 basic DNA strands keep us at a very dense, physical structure and perspective of reality, but as we activate more DNA, our bodies change to become less dense and more ‘full of light.’ This state can be recognized in beings known in spiritual and religious traditions as ‘ascended masters’ with glowing halos and radiant skin. As evolution in consciousness occurs, and DNA ‘turns on’ it is speculated that this would mean a transformation from a carbon-based matter body, to a silica-based, and finally a crystalline liquid-light pre-matter state body, where the body would glow with light. According to sources, most of us have approximately 3-3.5 strands activated, allowing for the experience of only three dimensions of reality.

Hey, did you just feel something sticky and damp? Sorry. That was my brains, blood, bile, and colon contents exploding forcefully and spewing debris through my screen, up the ethernet line, out in a misty cloud of pulverized organic matter contaminating the interwebs, settling into your ports and dribbling out onto your keyboard. Sorry.

First order of business, Stasia: FUCK mystics, philosophers and spiritual teachers. You’re supposed to be a goddamn science editor, and these are your vaguely cited sources? Some mystic somewhere, who you can’t even name?

For that sin alone, Bliss ought to be fired. She is grossly unqualified for a position with that title.

At the end: “According to sources”. WTF again? According to who? She is unqualified to have a position in journalism, period. Fire her.

Next test: Draw a picture of 12 strand DNA. I double dog dare you. Be prepared: a squiggle like Watson’s above is only a preliminary answer, and if you manage to make up something coherent at that level, I will also drill down further and ask about the interactions of the nucleotides in your model.

I’ve encountered this “12 strand DNA” bullshit before: it’s a money-making scam from a quack who promises to show you how to activate your psychic powers if you buy his videos. It’s a fucking fraud. And here’s Stasia Bliss parroting it as if it’s reasonable science.

If this is symptomatic of the Guardian Express’s attitude towards science, that they’d hire this wretched incompetent buffoon to be their science editor, I hope their bankruptcy is imminent. It’s disgraceful.

71 comments

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  1. 1
    PZ Myers

    I really wonder if Tim Minchin met Stasia Bliss at a dinner party.

  2. 2
    ChasCPeterson

    As evolution in consciousness occurs, and DNA ‘turns on’ it is speculated that this would mean a transformation from a carbon-based matter body, to a silica-based, and finally a crystalline liquid-light pre-matter state body, where the body would glow with light.

    Four hundred quatloos on the bearded thrall.

  3. 3
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Gee, a sleazy paper with a health/science editor with xer head up the newage bullshit’s ass? Gee, given the lack of honesty and integrity of the editorial board, just about par for the course.

  4. 4
    Sili

    I see that Watson still doesn’t understand chemistry. There are three fucking hydrogen bonds between cytosine and guanine.

    At least he’ll be dead soon.

  5. 5
    PZ Myers

    No, no. The equation is about stoichiometry. The number of adenines equals the number of thymines, guanine equals cytosine.

  6. 6
    jackal

    Huh, my mother used to feed me this crap about the 12-stranded DNA and higher states of being, back before my brain had fully developed reasoning capacity. She didn’t know about the transitional forms in silica and crystalline liquid light. Now days it’s extremely difficult to pin her down on what she actually believes. Still, I’m glad it was this mumbo-jumbo instead of original sin and eternal damnation. That shit could really mess with a kid.

  7. 7
    Glen Davidson

    Since I have 46 active chromosomes, I presently experience 46 dimensions.

    It’s pretty cool, although getting around is a nightmare.

    Glen Davidson

  8. 8
    Inaji

    Chas:

    Four hundred quatloos on the bearded thrall.

    :falls over laughing: +8

    I’ve encountered this “12 strand DNA” bullshit before: it’s a money-making scam from a quack who promises to show you how to activate your psychic powers if you buy his videos.

    I remember that. Angelic beings and stuff. I wonder how much money he’d charge so that things which run on electricity would stop dying and malfunctioning due to my existence.

  9. 9
    kantalope

    Sili, if someone uses an emdash to separate clauses in a sentence – do you see the two clauses as having a single bond?

    i kid

    while these two clauses when intertwined = both have a deeper bond?

  10. 10
    ChasCPeterson

    I see that Watson still doesn’t understand chemistry. There are three fucking hydrogen bonds between cytosine and guanine. At least he’ll be dead soon.

    um
    harsh

    (why would he be drawing hydrogen bonds between two capital letters anyway?)

  11. 11
    =8)-DX

    All this DNA talk is boring. I mean you know the terraformers had an almost identical DNA match with humans? And they breathe the same air!

  12. 12
    Sastra

    I know people who would eat this crap up — hell, they’ve probably already taught it. Any criticism regarding the science is brushed off with the blithe assurance that there are different “paradigms” and these truths are pulled from a Higher Reality. But it’s okay if I don’t accept it. They’re not confrontational. They don’t want to convince me. I need to take a lesson from them and learn to accept differences. They just do science ‘different.’

    No they don’t. It’s not science.

    From the perspective of Stasia Bliss it’s probably all about which authorities you decide to trust. She likes “mystics, philosophers, and spiritual teachers” more than she likes us. Case closed; paradigm shut.

  13. 13
    Sili

    No, no. The equation is about stoichiometry. The number of adenines equals the number of thymines, guanine equals cytosine.

    That’s even worse. He doesn’t differentiate between the number of bases and the nature of those bases. He’s as bad as my pupils, then.

    (why would he be drawing hydrogen bonds between two capital letters anyway?)

    Why not? Formulae are all about representation.

    Sili, if someone uses an emdash to separate clauses in a sentence – do you see the two clauses as having a single bond?

    Context, dear. Context.

    harsh

    To be fair, there are other reason why I wouldn’t mind the old git kicking the bucket.

    Perhaps he could get into a bucket kicking competition with Freeman Dyson. That would be nice.

  14. 14
    Glen Davidson

    Ignorance is Bliss.

    Glen Davidson

  15. 15
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    I’ll stick to Stargate SG1, thanks. They might have mystical “highly evolved Ancients, but at least their bullshit is entertaining.

  16. 16
    jonjermey

    Well, if you will read the Guardian…

    It’s the Loony Left talking to itself. And it’s funded by a legacy, so it doesn’t have to make contact with the real world in order to acquire any of that nasty money stuff that keeps most of us grounded. The real question is, why would anything they have to say seriously?

  17. 17
    jonjermey

    that’s ‘why would you take…”, of course.

  18. 18
    Susannah

    What’s this? Calling for her to be fired? Twice? Doesn’t that constitute a witch hunt?

    And she is so knowledgeable! I need to go back to school (or somewhere) to even understand what she is saying! For example, what is a “crystalline liquid-light pre-matter state body”? My poor old brain seizes up somewhere around the liquid-light. What is a pre-matter body, anyhow?

    /snark, just in case it isn’t obvious.

  19. 19
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    I wonder how many of the comments on her article were made by Pharyngula readers.

  20. 20
    vexorian

    Just wanted to mention how much I appreciate living in a world where some parents with last name “Bliss” thought that “Stasia” was a great name to pick.

  21. 21
    Morgan

    Huh. That woo sounds very familiar – The Last Vampire YA novels must have been working from the same source. Probably not a good association to invoke if you want to be taken seriously.

  22. 22
    stanton

    Hey, did you just feel something sticky and damp? Sorry. That was my brains, blood, bile, and colon contents exploding forcefully and spewing debris through my screen, up the ethernet line, out in a misty cloud of pulverized organic matter contaminating the interwebs, settling into your ports and dribbling out onto your keyboard. Sorry.

    You forgot to mention your Tubules of Cuvier, too.

  23. 23
    Godric von Falkenrath

    http://www.linkedin.com/in/stasiahumantribe

    Look at that.

    Summary of her resume:

    Senior Editor Guardian Express (guardianlv.com)
    Portland, Oregon Area Health, Wellness and Fitness

    High Priestess of Qi Vesta
    Life Alchemy

    Stasia Bliss – Author
    Self-employed writer/author

    Yoga Instructor
    Life Alchemyoga

    … blah blah yoga yoga

    So she’s not the science editor, exactly, but she’s certainly not qualified for health, and would produce bad content for wellness and fitness anyways. I’m really wondering how she got that job – maybe she’s someone’s yoga teacher, or related to someone or something.

  24. 24
    stanton

    As for 12-stranded DNA…
    Don’t Kryptonians have 12-stranded DNA?

  25. 25
    Sili

    It’s the Loony Left talking to itself. And it’s funded by a legacy, so it doesn’t have to make contact with the real world in order to acquire any of that nasty money stuff that keeps most of us grounded.

    Hear! Hear!

    Murdoch has truly shown us the way in how to get good news to the people! Hail Capitalism!

  26. 26
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    I’m disappointed. I just read the whole article, and the word “quantum” doesn’t appear even once. I’m gonna report her to U-PRAT

  27. 27
    timgueguen

    She’s also apparently a buddy of US health crank Mike Adams. http://guardianlv.com/2013/06/eating-gmos-make-you-less-human/

  28. 28
    Inaji

    Alchemyoga

    Oh FFS.

  29. 29
    imthegenieicandoanything

    Once someone renames themselves something like “Stasia Bliss” (and, somehow, that small “s” in “Stasia” really kills me!) any attempt to takethem as something other than outrageous parody is futile. She may be so self-obsessed and, frankly, stupid to realize it, but she has become the living embodiment of a particularly absurd joke. Rather like any Mormon wearing magic underpants.

  30. 30
    Rob Grigjanis

    jonjermey @16:

    Well, if you will read the Guardian…

    It’s not The Guardian. This is a Las Vegas newspaper.

  31. 31
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    I…

    Erm…

    She appears to make really bad stoner movies too.

  32. 32
    regcheeseman

    Rob@30

    Anyone who thinks The (Manchester) Guardian is a Loony Left paper has to be confused at every level.

  33. 33
    sigurd jorsalfar

    I detect a conspiracy to make the Huffington Post look good.

  34. 34
    Rob Grigjanis

    Reg @32: Well, some folk think Obama is a communist, and others(?) think the sun orbits the Earth. Baby steps.

  35. 35
    Patrick Mott

    I think these “mystics, philosophers and spiritual teachers” got this idea of perfect 12 strand DNA from the movie “The Fifth Element.” The first twenty seconds of this video clip shows the 12 strand DNA that makes up Leeloo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-uvOpMyPgI

    I hope that Stasia Bliss doesn’t read this comment or she will be able to trace off of her screen by pausing the movie clip.

  36. 36
    Chris Clarke

    Next test: Draw a picture of 12 strand DNA. I double dog dare you.

    Pretty sure it looks exactly like this.

  37. 37
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Hm… I wonder how Chopras this would qualify as?

  38. 38
    ballio

    This article is only somewhat less odious than her article on natural remedies for AIDS (since someone might take her terrible advice on the latter): http://guardianlv.com/2013/05/aids-controlled-by-natural-remedies-in-africa/

  39. 39
    skeptico

    …as we activate more DNA, our bodies change to become less dense and more ‘full of light.’

    I think she means “full of shite.”

  40. 40
    gworroll

    daz@15- I’d go so far as to say that the Stargate version of this process is more scientific, in that it doesn’t pretend that currently understood science remotely explains the ascension process.

    When the least scientific part of a fairly soft scifi universe is more scientific than you…yeah, this person is a poster child for the need for science education.

  41. 41
    gworroll

    ballio@38- I’d like those brain cells back please.

  42. 42
    Nomad

    PZ is merely scratching the surface of her lunacy. I read something she wrote about solar cycles being connected to human consciousness. She starts off almost getting a crude but accurate description of a solar cycle, except she added in that each one is on average at least 30% stronger than the last one. Good god no, we’d all be dead by now if that was true.

    But then she goes from that directly into citing what ancient Indian Yogis thought about the “vibrations” of the human chakra and how the heat from the solar cycle changes our vibrations. Ultimately apparently we’ll all be experiencing a paradise of higher consciousness and awareness brought about by the solar cycles increasing in strength.

    I just had to leave a comment pointing out that if that were true, then people living in warmer climates would already be super spiritually advanced. My vibrationally retarded brain would never be able to compete with someone living in a warmer region of the planet. Compared to that kind of a thermal difference, the extra heat energy from a peaking solar cycle would be almost negligible on an individual level.

    Still, I liked the bit about activating additional strands of DNA allowing us to turn into silica. Not silicon, silica. As in sand. So apparently before we turn into crystal liquid pre matter light, we have to become sand. I’m not sure why that’s felt to be a good idea.

  43. 43
    Trebuchet

    It’s not The Guardian. This is a Las Vegas newspaper.

    Thanks for the clarification. I was wondering how the real Guardian could run both this glop and Ben Goldacre. Do you suppose they have a case for trademark infringement?

  44. 44
    ballio

    No brain cells shall be returned; they hindered your path to the truth with thinking

  45. 45
    Rob Grigjanis

    Trebuchet @43: The guy who runs this rag also publishes something called The New Yorker Times.

  46. 46
    ballio

    Rob Grigjanis @45: …and is an avowed Christian. Furthermore, Bliss’ main source for the article that I linked to @38 is Betty Hewitt, a “medical evangelist”. It seems that the larger issue is not whether Bliss or anyone else writing for the paper is a phony, but that the entire publication is crackpot.

  47. 47
    richvr

    FUCK mystics, philosophers and spiritual teachers.

    Can’t say it enough. It should be on a flag.

  48. 48
    doublereed

    The first quote I thought she just didn’t have a good understanding of it and wanted to make it sound exciting and mystical. The second quote went off the deep end though. Plunged right into hilarity.

  49. 49
    newfie

    And she lifted an alarmist article full of bunk and misinformation from buzzfeed to make her own today:
    http://guardianlv.com/2013/06/most-us-packaged-foods-contain-ingredients-banned-in-100-countries/

    The buzzfeed piece
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/ashleyperez/8-foods-we-eat-in-the-us-that-are-banned-in-other-countries

    A great piece by chemist, Derek Lowe, showing all the misinformation and bunk in the buzzfeed piece.
    http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/2013/06/21/eight_toxic_foods_a_little_chemical_education.php

  50. 50
    anteprepro

    Okay, let me see if I follow:
    We have 2 strands of DNA.
    98% of our DNA is junk DNA.
    She thinks that the 2 strands of DNA and the junk DNA are different things.
    She thinks that there is a grand total of 12 strands of DNA and junk DNA combined.

    12 strands, with 2 working? That would be, under her asinine conception of what junk DNA is, 83.33% junk DNA. In order to have 2 fully working DNA strands and X number of latent magic extradimensional DNA strands work out to 98% of our total DNA not working, it would have to be, conveniently, a total of 100 fucking strands. Does 100 fucking strands sound too unreasonable, such that she credulously threw out any tenuous train of logic she had in order to leap onto a still ridiculous number pulled straight from someone else’s ass because, tragically, it sounded less absurd?

  51. 51
    consciousness razor

    In order to have 2 fully working DNA strands and X number of latent magic extradimensional DNA strands work out to 98% of our total DNA not working, it would have to be, conveniently, a total of 100 fucking strands.

    It could be that two strands make up about 1% each in terms of length. The 10 magical ones are longer and make up around 9.8% each. (Or just on average… we’re making shit up here, so it doesn’t matter.)

    Maybe it’s more like they would be longer, if they were made of matter. I’m not quite sure that’s right, or how to measure something that can make a “crystalline liquid-light pre-matter state body.” We may need to count them with imaginary numbers, so you could see them when you rotate the helices through the complex plane. But maybe that’s too Sophistimicated.

  52. 52
    Azuma Hazuki

    A big fat [citation needed], lady. Where are these 10 extra strands, exactly? What are they made of? And why would we turn into glass and then Tang and then light? This sounds like what happens if you put Sylvia Browne in a blender with Evangelion and Gene Ray and set it to Frappe for 10 solid minutes…

    Seriously, what would 12-strand DNA even look like, and why would we need a base, material molecule to experience supposedly refined and airy higher dimensions? This doesn’t add up.

  53. 53
    left0ver1under

    “Statia”? Are you sure that’s not a typo?

    Stasis bliss is more like it. She’s happy being ignorant and doesn’t want to change.

  54. 54
    ironflange

    Does this mean every organism has twelve-strand DNA? Can a sea cucumber or a redwood experience “transformation from a carbon-based matter body, to a silica-based, and finally a crystalline liquid-light pre-matter state body, where the body would glow with light?” That would be kind of interesting.

  55. 55
    theartfulnudger

    @jonjeremy 16:

    It has to be more than the “Looney Left”, since I can’t imagine that anyone who identifies as the Left would source their graphics from the Heritage Foundation.

    A crap newspaper, regardless.

  56. 56
    NelC

    It took me a moment to realise that this was just some picayune online newsrag, and not the real Guardian. Mainstream papers are bad enough at the science reporting, but the 12-strand DNA twaddle would really make me lose all hope.

  57. 57
    NelC

    I don’t know how you’d arrange the chemistry, but I’d imagine that a 12-strand molecule would look like a braided rope, with a core of three strands braided together, surrounded by nine strands braided around that.

    It’s a nice science-fictiony image, but I also don’t know what it’d be for, new-agey mysticism aside.

  58. 58
    John Morales

    [OT]

    I remember seeing this: Four-strand DNA structure found in cells.

  59. 59
    Amblebury

    Thank you, Chris Clarke for revealing to me the furthermost boundaries of coffee ejection. Seems to have done a Jonathan Livingston Seagull on me and passed right through my screen. No doubt Stasia can tell me how.
    -
    Macrame indeed.

  60. 60
    hillaryrettig

    Everyone’s aware that this publication has nothing to do with the *real* Guardian, right?

    http://guardianlv.com/2013/03/about-us/

    This should be stated/clarified in the main article.

    Looks like they’re aiming for the Huffington Post demographic; if not an outright

  61. 61
    gijoel

    Many mystics, philosophers and spiritual teachers agree that it’s turtles all the way down.

  62. 62
    Emil Karlsson

    I decided to look through some of her previous posts and found a plethora of pseudoscience (in addition to the stuff she has written about cystic fibrosis and DNA) on a large number of topics:

    - genetically modified foods
    - the sun and the moon
    - autism spectrum conditions
    - quantum mechanics
    - the dis-ease gambit
    - HIV/AIDS
    - Home birth
    - Tobacco (which she calls a “so-called killer”)

    etc.

    I almost want to write a 10 part refutation of everything she has ever stated on these topics.

  63. 63
    w00dview

    Wow, this website is bloody bonkers. Here’s another little gem : Mermaids are real and the gubmint is hiding the TRUTH from us!

    http://guardianlv.com/2012/05/mermaids-the-body-found-increases-speculation-on-existence-of-mermaids/

    Real happy the actual Guardian newspaper is not associated with this bullshit. British journalism is fucked enough as it is!

  64. 64
    erik333

    “Hey, did you just feel something sticky and damp? Sorry. That was my brains, blood, bile, and colon contents exploding forcefully and spewing debris through my screen, up the ethernet line, out in a misty cloud of pulverized organic matter contaminating the interwebs, settling into your ports and dribbling out onto your keyboard. Sorry.”

    Fortunately, that is not how computers and the internet works. Don’t worry.

  65. 65
    Ing

    Serious question: would a 12 strand even be possible? it seems like it would slow transcription down to a snail pace

  66. 66
    Lynna, OM

    Dear Guardian newspaper,

    Stasia Bliss’s articles are a disgrace. You are doing humankind a disservice, (and possibly harm), by publishing her twaddle.

    Please stop.

  67. 67
    alwayscurious

    I love her sources: Eternal Light Energy; I09; DNA Activation – Ascended Relationships; Wikipedia; How Stuff Works; Brain Centers; Almine Diary

    Paragraph 2 of Wikipedia explains what “junk DNA” contains. And yet she stops reading it at the end of the first paragraph to take a springboard into wacky land. The whole rest of her article could have been summarized by that one paragraph in wikipedia–and despite it’s brevity, been more accurate. Quality editor–one that can’t read.

  68. 68
    Glen Davidson

    Serious question: would a 12 strand even be possible? it seems like it would slow transcription down to a snail pace

    Of course it’s possible, it’s just that 10 have to be solely spiritual in nature.

    Glen Davidson

  69. 69
    Jafafa Hots

    For example, what is a “crystalline liquid-light pre-matter state body”?

    once we master this technology, true 3D television will finally be a reality!

  70. 70
    andyo

    Dear Guardian newspaper,

    This is not The Guardian Guardian FWIW. Apparently from what Rob Grigjanis wrote above, perfectly in-line with his “journalists”, the hack who runs this rag also runs another called The New Yorker Times.

  71. 71
    Ing

    Granted that’s something we havn’t seen in Scifi. An alien race that lives in a slow motion time frame due to how slow their metabolism is. Sort of an opposite Dragon’s Egg :-p

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