How many jokes on Twitter do I see about Homeopathy?
– maybe a hundred a month?
There are some powerful leaders in this field: Tim Minchin, Dara O’Briain, virtually every stand up comic ever…
and what do these jokes consist of? –
“it’s so weak it can’t possibly work”
Well that applies to the joke – at least as much as the treatment.
Maybe one or two of these people have bothered to dig deeper into how succussion makes for a mysterious, but measurable, “Quantum effect” (for want of a better description) but in the main, no… they are basing their cheap jibes on what they have read other hostile reductionists say… or Tim Minchin’s Storm (which is fun)
and have comfortably agreed with the dogma on the basis of the ever dangerous phenomenon of the obedience to authority, or conformity tendency
I have my own critique of the large number of “alternate” therapists and their jumping unquestioningly to conclusions based on feelings, untestable observations, bogus papers and results – (the crystal healing astrologists leave me cold), – just as I have a similar critique of “Accepted medicine” doing the same thing.
Sometimes, the fallacious arguments that Minchin and others use are the same ones they attack, when in the mood –
The idea that medicine that has been found to work is “scientifically proven to work” – that is a dangerous statement, (Mr Minchin) – seeing as there is a very long list of “scientifically proven” treatments that have later been dismissed as wrong, retrospectively acknowledged as having been based on bad science, – normally after many people have been killed by or badly affected by such treatments…but it was proven science at the time of public use.
Then, of course, there is ECT – (Electro-Convulsive Therapy) still used, (successfully 50% of the time) for extreme depression and yet scientifically unproven, with an unknown rationale, yet extremely dangerous to cognitive function…
No jokes about ECT and western medicine, you masters of comedy?
– why not?
And the placebo issue, used as a quick dismissal but not even wondered about as amazing?
No mention of how revealed placebo knee cartilage surgery – where the cut is made under anaesthetic but no real surgery undertaken -sometimes works. ?
We (me included) joke about Dawkins’ arrogance on Twitter – yet not his deliberate obfuscation and denial of genuinely scientific testing that doesn’t suit his, and the wider conformist, mechanistic, reductionist worldview.
He lied repeatedly about Rupert Sheldrake‘s excellent and independently repeated experiments showing, “Dogs can know when their masters are on their way home”, because it didn’t suit his reductionist dogma.
Like the Tabloids he mocked in his headline and hid his apology on page 9 of a later letter…
Sheldrake is dismissed by reductionist dogmatists as “woo”, a casual dismissive term used in much the same way as I mentioned “Crystal colour pyramid therapy”…
or conspiracy theorists.
The link with the latter is intriguing because amongst all the BS about alien anal probes and fake planes never hitting the twin towers are some revealed real conspiracies…
and that is a problem that besets dogmatists when they generalise.
Sheldrake’s Ted talk was removed for a long while because? because it was “woo”?
well that would be silly, woo is no more bothersome than a Disney cartoon.
Was it more because it frightened way too many scientists who hate to be challenged where it matters? (the possible loss of their funding sourced from other mechanistic fundamentalists).
Sheldrake dares to point out (with evidence) how many scientific “facts” are no such thing – So before you decide to “joke” about homeopathy (whose worst exponents are indeed worthy of ridicule) try and see which of these commonly accepted dogmas you wrongly perceive as an absolute, a given:-
1. Everything is essentially mechanical. Dogs, for example, are complex mechanisms, rather than living organisms with goals of their own. Even people are machines, ‘lumbering robots’, in Richard Dawkins’s vivid phrase, with brains that are like genetically programmed computers.
2. All matter is unconscious. It has no inner life or subjectivity or point of view. Even human consciousness is an illusion produced by the material activities of brains.
3. The total amount of matter and energy is always the same (with the exception of the Big Bang, when all the matter and energy of the universe suddenly appeared, a dogma containing a defeating paradox!)
4. The laws of nature are fixed. They are the same today as they were at the beginning, and they will stay the same for ever.
5. Nature is purposeless, and evolution has no goal or direction.
6. All biological inheritance is material, carried in the genetic material, DNA, and in other material structures.
7. Minds are inside heads and are nothing but the activities of brains. When you look at a tree, the image of the tree you are seeing is not ‘out there’, where it seems to be, but inside your brain.
8. Memories are stored as material traces in brains and are wiped out at death.
9. Unexplained phenomena like telepathy are illusory.
10. Mechanistic medicine is the only kind that really works.
To understand exactly how these are demonstrably false – you would need to read The Science Delusion (available at some good bookshops) – or watch the Ted Talk above, or this longer talk by genuinely exploratory, and yes, that often means off-track, scientist, Rupert Sheldrake, who talks about the new science we need, free from dogma…
Scientists’ comments are welcomed.