Another expert heard from

Wisdom from an expert on holistic medicine.

Dawkins seems to be stuck in the last century.

Stuck in the last century – that’s a good one. Experts on holistic medicine are so hip and cutting edge and up to date while stodgy boring unfashionable people like scientists are stuck (like flies in amber, like gnats in ice cream, like a large person in a small doorway) in the last century, way the hell back seven years ago before the internet or CAT scans or the internal combustion engine.

He’s a very entertaining guy, but he suffers from existential insecurity: everything has to be proven before he’ll believe it.

That’s stupid, in more than one way. I’ll enumerate them. 1) ‘Existential insecurity’ is a silly tendentious self-flattering label to apply to rational skepticism of miraculous claims. It is not ‘existential insecurity’ to think and say that claims of medicinal effects that defy the laws of physics are not automatically credible. 2) It’s an elementary mistake to confuse evidence with proof, which shows what kind of ‘expert’ Stephen Russell is. Everything does not have to be proven before Dawkins will believe it; for claims about the natural world he wants evidence before he will consider the claims plausible.

His basic, rather alarmist, premise was that western medicine is in danger of being overshadowed by alternative medicine. Apart from being simply not true, it’s a very old-fashioned way of looking at the field.

There it is again – the peculiar obsession with fashion, and the clumsy lurch into irrelevance. It doesn’t matter whether it’s ‘old-fashioned’ or not; the issue is merit, not fashion.

It’s ridiculously nihilistic to think that if you can’t prove something right now, it isn’t valid. It’s so self-limiting: Dawkins must be very unhappy in himself. We’ve progressed beyond that.

We fashionable up to date types, that is – the ones who keep making the same stupid mistake about proof over and over again, while calling ourselves ‘experts’ in a ‘field’ that thinks water remembers a vanished molecule and can therefore have curative power. Russell must be very happy in himself; but what’s that got to do with anything? He’s still a chump.

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