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Stuff And Nonsense

People amaze me sometimes, with their opinions and beliefs. I’m fairly certain that this is a subject I will return to time and again, as it seems to be that rationality is under attack wherever I look.

Happily, one of my favourite Professors, Richard Dawkins, has just had a couple of programmes broadcast on Channel 4, and they are available on the internet. (Is it sad that I have favourite professors?)

The two programmes, entitled “The Enemies Of Reason”, took a broad look at alternative therapies, and how Dawkins feel they are undermining rationality and science in general. Covering such esoteric arts as light therapy, ayuverdic therapy, a healer who claimed to have given Dawkins extra DNA in the Atlantean style, crystal healing, angels and homeopathy: Dawkins gently and politely tried, and failed, to elicit any evidence of the effectiveness of the various treatments.

In one segment of the film, Dawkins was on a treatment table, having his feet pummelled by a therapist. His commentary told us that this had been a very pleasant experience, and he had enjoyed the treatment. He went on to suggest that the conditions created by alternative treatments; the undivided attention of a sincere, caring, concerned therapist, are exactly those that are most effective in creating the placebo effect, well known to modern medicine.

Based on the thought noted above, I would like to nominate my barber for the title of “Alternative Therapist Of The Year”

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Categories: Badscience
  1. jdc
    November 19, 2007 at 1:22 pm

    “Is it sad that I have favourite professors?”
    Nah, I think everyone does these days. Professorship is the modern equivalent of rock-n-roll / football / movie stardom.

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