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The Humbug Of Science

You probably thought science was simple; that’s what they taught you at school. You do a test, get a result and you have learned something about reality. Science is about the truth, right?


You do the test but if you get a result that disagrees with your prejudices, you throw out the truth and stick with what you believe. You just ignore anything different. That’s really a summary of modern science.

The Big Bang theory has been proved over and over and over to be false. But scientists won’t let it go. “It must be true,” they say and so ignore all the evidence to the contrary. There was a time in science when, if your theory had holes in it, you revised your theory. Not so today.

If you haven’t got the proof you want, then you just say, “we will find it” (like the Higgs boson). The Big Bang theory predicts dark matter, lots of it—but unfortunately, there isn’t any! Rather than look for a better explanation of reality, physicists are just hanging around waiting for dark matter to show up.

The twentieth and twenty first century are the times when truth in science is not valued but keeping your job and paying the mortgage is what motivates most scientists.

Those who don’t kowtow to the fashionable prejudice are often ruined financially. Science worked best when it was in the hands of European gentlemen of means. They didn’t care about money, they had pots of it, so the truth to them was what they found was real: the behavior of gases, metals, electricity, magnetism, evolution, etc. Lord Kelvin, Antoine LaVoisier and Charles Darwin are examples.

The world of quantum physics today has proved almost anything can happen and that all concepts of time and space we knew and loved are utterly false. Time can and does run backwards; space does not exist (it’s called non-locality); particles come into existence without any precursors and disappear just as amazingly; only one billionth of the universe is “stuff”, the rest is all just energy and information (not that anyone has the faintest idea what energy is, only that it changes things).

You would think that modern science, which has more or less dismantled the simplistic Newtonian view of reality, would look very favorably upon interesting phenomena of the mind that appear to also be in violation of the so-called laws of physics. Curiously, however, scientists living in the Alice in Wonderland world of quantum physics still rage about telepathy, telekinesis, prescience and so on.

These notions are fake, unscientific, delusory, “voodoo science”, to echo just a few of their derisory comments.

It doesn’t make sense. I’ve adopted a saying from a friend in England, Cyril Smith, who is fond out pointing out that advanced physics doesn’t just say that the strange things we encounter in holistic healing could happen, it says that they MUST happen!

But when it’s convenient, the critics just drop all pretense of science and shove their heads in the sand. They cherry-pick their “science”.

It’s been proven over and over that homeopathy works. There are incredibly robust studies. One famous 1994 double-blind randomized crossover trial showed homeopathy way outperformed the placebo. It was repeated three times. Yet the editor of The Lancet wrote these remarkable words: “…We must ask if the technique of randomized controlled trials is fundamentally flawed, and capable of producing evidence for effects that do not exist, by, for example, the effects of clinicians’ expectations of outcome transmitting by subtle effects that circumvent double blinding?”

In other words, he is saying, we know homeopathy is a fraud and this trial shows it works, so it might mean the double-blind randomized trials don’t really work1.

Is that prejudice? Bigotry? Or just plain stupidity?

And what about that old fart Edzard Ernst, who by some chicanery got himself appointed professor of complementary medicine at Exeter university (UK). He says, “These treatments are biologically implausible and the clinical tests have shown they don’t do anything at all in human beings.”2

Well, that makes him a liar, doesn’t it? He just ignores the Lancet study and stacks of evidence showing the efficacy of homeopathy (could you believe that Ernst was once a practicing homeopath who “changed his mind”, he says? Can you smell the money??)

In 2005, a report by economist Christopher Smallwood, personally commissioned by Prince Charles, claimed that complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) was cost-effective and should be available in the UK’s National Health Service. Ernst was initially enlisted as a collaborator on the report, but asked for his name to be removed after a sight of the draft report and Ernst described it as “complete misleading rubbish.”3

Ernst was, in turn, criticised by The Lancet editor Richard Horton for disclosing contents of the report while it was still in draft form. In a letter to The Times Horton wrote: “Professor Ernst seems to have broken every professional code of scientific behavior by disclosing correspondence referring to a document that is in the process of being reviewed and revised prior to publication. This breach of confidence is to be deplored.”4  So, we may know the true measure of the man. He bends whatever truth suits him but he accuses everyone else of doing that very thing. “Methinks the lady doth protest too much,” Shakespeare had the queen say in Hamlet, Act III, scene II. It means: she gives away her guilt by ranting at others.

Fortunately this humbug was forced into retirement. Prince Charles’ private secretary, Sir Michael Peat, filed a complaint regarding breached confidentiality with Exeter University. Circumstances surrounding the ensuing University investigation led to Ernst’s resignation.

But his wicked dishonesty still lives on and is often quoted by those who need to oppose alternative medicines. As well as homeopathy, Ernst has attacked St John’s wort, hawthorn for congestive heart failure, acupuncture, aromatherapy, hypnosis, massage, music therapy, and relaxation, among other holistic therapies.5 All of these, he claims, have no proven value.

Professor of complementary and alternative medicine? Not.

1. Lancet 1994;344;1601- 06

2. (yes, it is a misspelled word in the URL)

3. Paul Jump (23 June 2011). “Alternative outcomes”. Times Higher Education.

4. The Times, Monday 29th August, 2005

5. “Complementary therapies: The big con? – The Independent”. London. 2008-04-22. Retrieved 2010-05-01. NOW TAKEN DOWN!

The post The Humbug Of Science appeared first on Dr. Keith Scott-Mumby.

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