Friday, October 12, 2007

Speaking of the Nobel Prize

This is probably old news, but since I've never heard it before and I've got nothing else right now, here ya go. The Father of Modern Genetics, Francis Crick, was apparently wrecked on acid when he made the Nobel Prize-winning discovery of the Secret of Life in the double helix structure of DNA. Later he told a fellow scientist that he often used small doses of LSD to boost his "Powers of Thought", and believed it helped him unravel the mystery of the double helix.

He sounds like my kind of guy:

"Crick refused to meet the queen when she visited Cambridge’s new Laboratory of Molecular Biology because he disapproved of royalty, and he declined a knighthood. He deeply disliked religion, saying once that Christianity was all right between consenting adults but should not be taught to children." [...]

"Desire to undercut religious obscurantism was a cogent motive in Crick’s scientific career, shaping his choice first of the gene and later of consciousness as problems that, if cracked, would destroy the last refuges of vitalism.

“Throughout, he stayed true to himself: ebullient, loquacious, charming, skeptical, tenacious,” Mr. Ridley writes in an eloquent coda. “He would have liked to find the seat of consciousness and to see the retreat of religion. He had to settle for explaining life.”

LSD... ya think??!!?