Friday, May 11, 2007

Alternative Beliefs: The Zebra In The Room

EoR sometimes thinks people who use alternative therapies are like customers lining up for a ride on a white pony that someone's painted with a few stripes, and labelled a zebra.

You can see it's not a zebra. You can see it's nothing like a zebra. You can see a white pony next to it so you have no trouble knowing it's a con. You can see you're being conned. But no one is willing to be the first to speak up.

Meanwhile, EoR was listening to the late night radio quiz recently. One question was "What type of animal is a bandicoot?" Overseas readers might be more familiar with koalas or kangaroos, but a bandicoot is not a rare Australian animal. Before the correct answer ("Marsupial") was provided, the guesses included a rodent, a rat (presumably, of the non-rodent variety), a bird and a reptile. All of which just goes to show how a basic scientific education seems to be so lacking today, allowing the alternative con artists free rein.

As if in confirmation, another question on the same night was "Does sound travel in a vacuum?" The contestant immediately answered "No!" and lost since the announcer believed the answer was "Yes". EoR assumes he bases his quizzes on Star Trek. Alties certainly base their science on such programs. Angered, a couple of callers rang to point out the error, but the announcer seemed far from convinced. The third complainant came back with the stunning retort: "If sound doesn't travel in a vacuum, how did we hear the astronauts on the moon?" EoR guesses they shouted. Very, very loudly.

Of course, with the greed-driven, platitude-based moronic statements of The Secret now having been revealed to the world (in exchange for money), EoR suggests the purveyors of this scam can demonstrate its easy powers by being placed in a vacuum. They could then talk to the rest of us in the reality based community, simply because they wanted to.

When you send all your cash to me,
Makes no difference who you are,
Anything your heart desires,
Will come to me.

     (To the tune of "When You Wish Upon A Star")

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