Science- It works, bitches!

8 11 2009

head-up-ass

Latest score: science- 4,391,084, religion- o.

Try as they might, the religious whackjobs just cannot catch a break. Reality has that well-known bias for the scientific method, after all.

You may remember the tale of a Minnesota family whose mentally-deficient 13 year old son was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. The doctors told the family that the child had a 95% chance of surviving with a regimen of chemo and radiation. The prognosis without the treatment was death. Sounds like a no-brainer, right?

Sadly, “no brainer” describes the mental acuity level of this particular family of dipshits. The deeply religious family thought their kid was some sort of prophet, and refused to allow him to get treatment based upon their religious beliefs. The doctors told the state government, who promptly hauled the family into court. The court told the family that they must provide the required life-saving medical treatment, regardless of their religious beliefs.

Mom took the kid on the lam, making a run for Mexico with a side-trip into northern California. Those of you with any familiarity with the geography of North America may wonder about this- there is a fairly straight course from Minnesota to Mexico that doesn’t come within 500 miles of California. It turns out that mom wanted to take her “prophet” son to some woo-woo witch doctor type in northern California- hence the detour.

They got caught, and were duly hauled back home and forced to take the child in for his godless treatment. He had his last round of treatment on Friday, and the tentative prognosis is very good. The docs will do some follow-up tests in a few months to make sure the lymphoma is completely gone, but he appears to be cancer-free at the moment.

This is one of the rare success stories, when rationality wins out over woo. All too often, the victim of these outdated religious ideas will be discovered too late for survival. The parents are then hauled off to prison wailing that it was “god’s will”.

House

Sadly, those who would rather believe than know are still out there, many of them in positions of authority. Case in point: an Iraqi Major General in charge of security for Baghdad just loves his expensive woo-woo bomb detectors … which do not work. They have been proven to not work. With US military personnel no longer manning the checkpoints, the Iraqi troops have been using these ADE-651 devices in an attempt to keep bombs out of the streets. Security camera footage has shown that the recent bombings in Baghdad went right through the checkpoints “guarded” by troops using these devices, but the General in charge won’t budge.

The US has tested these things, and proven that they don’t work. James Randi has issued a one million dollar challenge to the British company that manufactures and sells these toys. If one ADE-651 successfully detects explosives in a scientific double-blind study, Randi’s foundation will give them a million dollars.

It must be noted that the company selling these ineffective, high-tech diving rods, ATSC(UK), is making money hand over fist selling their twaddle to third-world security forces. Iraq has ordered more than thirty-two million dollars worth of ADE-651s from ATSC, despite complaints from the US government and military.

I don’t care about Sandia or the Department of Justice or any of them,” General Jabiri said. “I know more about this issue than the Americans do. In fact, I know more about bombs than anyone in the world.”

Here we have a case where people’s lives are being put at risk by a belief in magic- or rather, a lack of belief in scientifically-proven evidence. In fact, 155 people lost their lives due to the faith placed in these “magic” devices.

If one were to be crude, one could wave aside General Jabiri’s foolish faith in the ADE-651 as the parochial stupidity of a third-world peasant. One would be wrong to do so. High-ranking officers in most Arab countries are generally highly-educated members of politically-powerful families with close ties to the government. General Jabiri is not an illiterate peasant, but he still has more faith in woo than in reproducible results and hard evidence.

General Jabiri and those American families who have permitted their children to die rather than get medical assistance because of their faith are evidence of a global gap in understanding of science. Even highly-educated people from well-to-do families and well-off middle class Americans are choosing to have faith in thousand-year-old religious texts or palm reading or dowsing or astrology or equally nonsensical ideas. Why?

I think mental laziness is to blame. Understanding modern science is hard work. It requires a willingness to read science articles and ask questions about what has been read. It requires the ability to unlearn old falsehoods. It requires being able to say, “I don’t get it”. These are all tough to do for many people. On the other hand, believing in a magic rock which protects you from getting eaten by a tiger is easy. Religion as a concept encourages its followers to blindly accept many things for which there is no evidence. People who can believe that a galactic overlord dropped the bodies of criminals into Hawaiian volcanoes several million years ago and then nuked them (for example) will probably have little difficulty believing six other impossible thongs before breakfast.

God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent—it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks, please. Cash and in small bills. -RAH

Living in the real world is a lot of work. Living in a fantasy world is easy. I happen to think that the hard work we undertake in the real world has far greater payoffs than the false peace of a fantasy, but that’s just me.

Current status: Disgusted

Current music: I Will Not Bow by Breaking Benjamin

Advertisements

Actions

Information

4 responses

9 11 2009
Angie

Great post, and i love your House quote.

10 11 2009
CybrgnX

As above – great post-I like most of your post-I say most because I have not read all of them. Good to see a RAH quote as a fan & owner of all his stuff including Lazarus Longs Note Book.
One flaw – Please do not over rate these idiots just because they were in college!!!
On average – my personal experience only – most college people have just learned how to kiss teachers ass and read. This is not all but a large group. So when someone does something really stupid, dowse for bombs, the college card means zero.
He’s doing something stupid – that says everything that needs to be known.

10 11 2009
archvillain

Angie– Glad you liked it. Thanks for dropping in.

CybrgnX– I agree with you: college graduates can also be stupid. I was merely trying to illustrate the fact that it is not only illiterate peasants who believe in magic wands and similar fantasies, and this is a serious problem for our civilization. I probably could have put it better.

Simply put, the people who are essentially functional technophobes are causing problems for the rest of us who appreciate (if not understand) science and the technological benefits we gain therefrom. Believing in the therapeutic affects of pixie dust (for example) is only possible for those without a modest understanding of modern science. These neo-Luddites are dangerous- to themselves and others. Worse still, many of them vote.

6 10 2014
bilete avion

Bilete de avion ieftine. Promotii si preturi avantajoase pentru mii de zboruri.
Rezervari online de hoteluri si bilete avion Tarom, Blue Air,
Iberia, KLM, British … bilete avion Bilete de avion ieftine de la sute de companii aeriene de linie si low-cost.

Acum si in rate prin StarBT si Card Avantaj.
Rezerva acum, plateste mai tarziu!
rezervari, bilete de avion, Franta, Germania, Anglia, Italia, Spania, Belgia, Cipru, Grecia, Germania,
Portugalia, Charter, Cargo, Corporate, aeroambulanta,

Cautati bilete de avion ieftine cu plecare din Romania?
Aerotravel are tot ce aveti nevoie. Fie ca sunteti in cautarea unor oferte de zbor pentru
o vacanta cu .
Compară gratuit bilete de avion de la peste 1000 de
companii aeriene low cost și tradiționale. Găsește zboruri ieftine cu motorul de căutare zboruri …

Cautam pentru tine CELE MAI IEFTINE bilete de avion si bilete LOW
COST. Mii de zboruri, sute de companii aeriene, mii de destinatii!
Compara si alege!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: