Your royal Highness, members of the Academy, esteemed colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, it is a great and singular honour for me to accept the Nobel prizes for physics, chemistry and medicine.
In my speech this evening I would like to present a brief account of the thought processes that gave rise to my revolutionary (and prize-winning!) Theory of the Tangential Universe and to show how it finally solved one of the most enduring problems of modern science and medicine, the existence of the strange phenomenon known as the homeopath.
The key moment came on 25th November last year as I was watching the Science and Technology Committee of the UK Parliament perform an evidence check on homeopathy by quizzing scientists, pharmacists, health administrators and homeopaths. As I listened — in open-mouthed wonderment — to the latter group speaking, I struggled to fathom the source of their incredible pronouncements. What infinite dilution of critical faculties, I asked myself, could have led them to utter such utter nonsense with straight faces? (Pause for laughter)
In a moment of blinding insight, I realised that the answer to my question was embedded within it. As I tried then to empty my own mind of thought, to shed from it the clutter of the scientific insights that have accrued and evolved over centuries, I was suddenly gripped by a powerful vision. It was a Eureka moment such as must have been shared by many who have graced this platform down through the years.
There must be a “Tangential Universe”, I hypothesised, to which the homeopaths — uniquely until now — have had access. I gave it this name both to distinguish it from parallel universe theory (whose proponents might one day find themselves here in Stockholm) but also to highlight the very different laws of physics that obtain there.
By unshackling myself from thought I found a way to gain access to this tangential universe and began to codify the wondrous phenomena that occur there, not the least of which is homeopathy.
Within a few weeks of feverish work I had shown that none of the zeroth, 1st, 2nd or 3rd laws of thermodynamics operate in the tangential universe but was able to formulate the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th* laws which do. From there it was a short step to the formulation of my general and special theories of unintelligibility, my development of bunkum mechanics and, my crowning achievement, the discovery of the querk. (Pause for applause)
This new system of physics, which has remained hidden for so long because of course its laws have no purchase in our own universe, immediately solved the riddle of why homeopaths exist and why they appear to talk in such mysterious terms. In the Tangential Universe all of the following statements are right and proper:
- Water has memory. (Pause for laugher)
- “It may yet happen…” that a Nobel prize will be awarded to the person who discovers the mechanism of action of homeopathic preparations**
Dr Peter Fisher, Director of Research, Royal London Homeopathic Hospital
- “there are significant numbers of homeopathic medicines that are not diluted to the point where the molecular content is uncertain”
Dr Robert Mathie, Research Development Adviser, British Homeopathic Association. (This is the cake-and-eat-it conundrum where one simultaneously holds two contradictory positions, in this case “active molecules are not necessary, because water has memory” (see above) — and “active molecules are necessary”).
- “One plausible hypothesis is that such instability points act as local dynamic attractors of the system. These necessarily exist in such microscopic form, it requires a novel quantum description that predicts effects at the macroscopic level, with consequences not dissimilar to those of superconductors and super-fluids in low temperature physics. The model is applicable to several systems of complementary medicine, including homeopathy.”
Dr Lionel R Milgrom, (written submission HO 04 to the committee)
(Intriguingly and parenthetically, Milgrom’s prose has a potency that is as yet undetected in any homeopathic preparation made in this universe. Just a couple of sentences of his apparently randomly assembled buzzwords are sufficient to stun temporarily even the most robust of intellects.)
My future work will concentrate on the more practical problem of developing a means of transport that will grant physical (not just mental) access to the Tangential Universe. This will enable the homeopaths to return to their natural habitat.
In closing I simply want to thank the Academy again for the embarrassment of riches that they have showered upon me. My heart goes out to the wonderful men and women at the LHC in CERN whose discovery of the Higgs Boson would, in any other year, have guaranteed them the prize. I hope and trust they will be honoured next year.
Thank you very much for your attention.
- This used to be true but I fear I may have scooped them.