Body’s cells replaced every 7 years

There is a quote from Steve Grand that Richard Dawkins has included in his new book The God Delusion (page 371)…

Think of an experience from your childhood. Something you remember clearly, something you can see, feel, maybe even smell, as if you were really there. After all, you really were there at the time weren’t you? How else would you remember it? But here is the bombshell: you weren’t there. Not a single atom that is in your body today was there when that event took place … Matter flows from place to place and mementarily comes together to by you. Whatever you are, therefore, you are not the stuff of which you are made. If that doesn’t make the hair stand up on the back of your neck, read it again until it does, because it is important.

This one really triggers my bullshit detector, just like the popular myth that people only use about 10% of their brains. I know people with tatoos that they have had longer than 7 years.

But I am yet to dig up some evidence… Stay tuned.

Update (15/04/2007):

TheBrummell also agrees that this sounds unlikely…

However, there’s a quote on page 371 that I suspect is not completely true. Steve Grand says (among other things) “Not a single atom that is in your body today was there when that event [in your childhood] took place.” I remain unconvinced that certain atoms, notably of elements like Calcium and Strontium or that are bound into long-durability molecules such as myosin, are experiencing rates of turnover in my body sufficient to replace all of them over a decade or two. The much-mentioned idea that each of us contains Strontium-90 in our bones in place of a few Calcium atoms as a result of (mostly American) above-ground nuclear tests during the 1950’s argues against such fast turnover rates.

A review from a radical Christian perspective (no link) does not question this factoid, but uses it to push the idea of a “soul”. The review also had this scary snippet (do people actually think like this?):

Yet the only thing standing in the way of global jihad is the American hyperpower. And that owes as much to our religious resolve as it does to our military might or economic clout—while the secular left has capitulated to a suicidal multiculturalism in which our mortal enemies are given the house-keys to slit our throats as we sleep.

Getting warmer; this is discussed on the Snopes forums: snopes.com > Urban Legends > Science > Does every atom in your body get replaced every X years?.

Still nothing concrete…

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