Mystic moons and lunatic legends

There is a difference between being a fool, and just simply ignorant. Ignorance isn’t a bad thing, it just means there’s a gap in your knowledge and we all have those. Being a fool is a little more challenging. Generally I consider foolish people to be unable or uninterested in getting past their own ignorance.

Why am I bringing this up now? Because today’s post is about pointing out one of my own pieces of ignorance.

I haven’t been playing too much Skyrim. Who told you such!?

For many years I’ve thought that crime does in fact increase during a full moon. On more than one occasion I’m pretty sure I’ve even told people this one was true. For the life of me I can’t remember where I heard the idea, but I thought it was from pretty reliable sources. Naturally I’ve been pretty skeptical most of my life and never thought it was because the moon had any sort of mystical power. There was a correlation, not a causation. In other words people acted strangely on the full moon not because the moon had some sort of power over them, but because of all the stories which made odd behaviour more acceptable during this time.

There’s a wonderful line in Tim Minchin’s beat poem ‘Storm’ that goes “…you’d rather stand in the fog of your inability to Google”.

So rather than just continuing to spread a myth that I was no longer sure was true, I decided to push aside the fog and see for myself.

Truly for all its woes and naysayers out there, the Internet is the greatest tool man has ever built. In no more than 5 minutes of searching and reading I was onto what I thought was the correct answer. After half an hour I no longer have any doubts.

Increased crime during full moons is bullshit. In fact the full moon doesn’t appear to have any significant effect on…well anything. Except maybe our ability to see.

 

As per usual, if all you’re after is a quite bite of information I recommend the Wikipedia entry ‘Lunar effect‘, which briefly outlines the history and the lack of evidence for such claims.

For anyone after something a little more substantial or more reliable, I’d recommend an article done by the ABC – Bad moon rising: The myth of the full moon.

Scientific American also has a good article ‘Lunacy and the full Moon’.

The most common explanation for why the full moon might have an effect on human behaviour is that its gravitational pull affects the oceans tides, and due to the human body being made mostly of water, perhaps there is a similar effect that could explain lunacy. Being the most common I thought I’d tackle this one and leave further investigation to the readers.

The article in Scientific American lays it out quite nicely.

1. The gravitational pull of the moon is far too weak to affect humans. The reason it affects the oceans so much is because the oceans are so large.

2. This one I found quite interesting. The gravitational force only affects open bodies of water such as oceans and lakes. It doesn’t affect contained bodies of water, such as the water found in the human

body.

3. This is the one I find to be the myth killer. The gravitational pull of the moon is just as potent during a new moon. The new moon is when the moon is not visible at all.

 

 

These days, knowing what causes a full moon, why should we expect it to have any power? Seriously, ‘moonlight’ isn’t actually the light of the moon. It’s the light of the sun being reflected off the moon. Keeping that in mind, why should we expect moonlight to behave any differently than sunlight? It just doesn’t make sense.

I’m afraid this is just another myth to drop into the bunked pile.

 

– Ignorance is not bliss. Stay inquisitive.

What came before the Big Bang?

God's Big BangThe Cosmological argument is one often put forward by the religious as logical proof of the existence of God. For anyone unfamiliar with the argument I’d suggest taking a quick look over the Wikipedia article of the topic:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmological_argument

In a nutshell, the argument is as follows (from Wikipedia):

  1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
  2. The Universe began to exist.
  3. Therefore, the Universe had a cause.

Naturally religious people put forward this argument and then call whatever caused the universe to exist, God.

Now there are all sorts of arguments that have been put forward to discredit this argument (most of which can be found in the Wikipedia article), but for the past month or so I’ve been working over my own argument that I hadn’t heard before. At no point did I think this argument was a new one (and reading Wikipedia now I can see that it isn’t) but it’s one I hadn’t heard and I thought was worth writing up a post about.

Arguments against the Cosmological argument usually take one of two forms. Either the question is asked “What caused the first cause?” or “How do you know the first cause is God?” Both of these are legitimate questions and worth pondering, but in this post I’m going to tackle something a little different, namely point 2 in the above definition, “The Universe began to exist”.

What makes people think that statement is true? Well the obvious answer is ’cause and effect’, whereby if ‘Y’ caused ‘Z’, and ‘X’ caused ‘Y’, then eventually we must get back ‘A’ (which is usually the Big Bang) and something beyond time and space must have caused that.

But here’s the thing people usually don’t realise when making this argument (and I’ve been making this mistake for years). Cause and effect only applies when transferring energy. Think about it. Every cause and effect event we’ve ever witnesses has been a transfer of energy, not the creation of energy. Now that’s not to say cause and effect doesn’t apply to a creation event, only that we’ve never seen one and have no reason to assume it does. Heck, we don’t even know if a creation event is possible!

Another phrase often put forward by the religious is “Something can’t come from nothing”. Well firstly, how do you know? When was the last time you saw a nothing? But more to the point “Something can’t come from anything!” Yes energy can be changed from one state to another, but to the best of our knowledge it’s never created.

Earth

Ha! Finally managed to get some of my own art in here!

This thought first occurred to me when I pondered the question of the post “What came before the Big Bang?” For the sake of argument let’s ignore String Theory and assume there is only one Universe and the Big Bang is at its beginning. The Multiverse Theory only pushes the question back after all.

The Singularity is said to be at the heart of the Big Bang and it is the point where all matter in the Universe is collected and when time = 0. Now if you want to talk about ‘before’ the Big Bang, how does this make any sense? To be able to have a past, present or future you need to have time. Without time there is no ‘before. So to ask about ‘before the Big Bang’ is basically asking what happened before time, which makes no sense as there is no time and therefore no ‘before’.

But that’s just the second part of the question. What about the first part. “What came before the Big Bang?” The ‘what’ here implies there is a ‘something’. But generally when asking this the questioner is asking what came before time and space. If there is no space, where exactly do you intend to put the ‘something’? This part of the question doesn’t make sense either!

So what can we figure out from this. Well honestly not a lot because it’s all hypothetical and based upon data from the forefront of science so it’s still all pretty up in the air. What we can derive from it though is that for the moment at least, there is no room for God in the equations. We can all but get back to the Singularity via math and observation and that logically, asking what came before ‘time=0’ doesn’t make any sense. Logically then, until additional information is presented we need to assume that the First Cause is in fact the Singularity, followed by its expansion, otherwise known as the Big Bang.

String theory jokeThis is the point where we need to return to subjects like String Theory and Quantum Mechanics to get any further. These theories really are the forefront of science and honestly we’re not even sure yet whether they’re in fact true or just mathematical masturbation.

What can be sure though is that the answer won’t be found by postulating an ancient sky man as a beginning. It will be found the same way we arrived at the Big Bang theory. By careful investigation and observation.

 

EDIT: And on a related topic, here’s a video I found about a year ago, lost and found again. It’s a lecture by Laurence Krauss in which, among other things, he tries to explain how something can come from nothing. It’s roughly an hour long, so strap on your thinking cap and get comfortable. It’s a long listen, but it’s a lecture that changed the way I see the Universe. Definitely a must see.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ImvlS8PLIo

-Ignorance is not bliss. Stay inquisitive.

Happiness

Bacon = happinessElusive little bastard isn’t it? But maybe that’s not terribly surprising when you consider the different meanings being ‘happy’ has had over the last three thousand years or so. The ancient Greeks apparently defined it as ‘luck’. Something that the Gods bestowed upon you and you really had no say in the matter. Over time this has changed many, many times until we get to todays meaning of happiness, whereby not only can everybody be happy, but if you’re not there must be something wrong you with.

Paradoxically, you’ll probably be happy to know that’s bollocks.

I strongly encourage you to read this article over at Cracked.com called ‘5 scientific reasons your idea of happiness is wrong‘. We’ve already covered some of these ideas in the TED Talk ‘Paradox of choice’ (#27 on the TED Talk Challenge page), but this article goes into a bit more detail on some areas and I thought it was worth sharing.

And once you’ve read that you might want to consider hopping over to the Authentic Happiness Questionnaire. Annoyingly it does require registration, but you can opt out of their spam. I scored a 4.3 out of 5, which puts me in the top 3.5% of users.

Although that’s a really awesome score, I have to say I didn’t find the questions all that appealing, and I wanted to dedicate the rest of the post to explaining why a couple of these questions don’t work for me. And do remember, they just don’t work for me and a lot of that has to do with my being a happy pessimist. They might very well work for you.

 

Question #4 was the first one that made me twig there was something I didn’t like.

A. My life does not have any purpose or meaning.
B. I do not know the purpose or meaning of my life.
C. I have a hint about my purpose in life.
D. I have a pretty good idea about the purpose or meaning of my life.
E. I have a very clear idea about the purpose or meaning of my life.

Personally A and E are the same answer for me. My life has no intrinsic purpose or meaning, however I’m very clear about that idea and it doesn’t bother me. I chose E simply because the wording of the question made me feel that was the answer they were looking for.

Question #11 kinda stumped me too.

A. Time passes slowly during most of the things that I do.
B. Time passes quickly during some of the things that I do and slowly for other things.
C. Time passes quickly during most of the things that I do.
D. Time passes quickly during all of the things that I do.
E. Time passes so quickly during all of the things that I do that I do not even notice it.

Generally, people find that time passes quickly when you’re having fun and time passes slowly when you’re not. That really hasn’t been an issue for me. The time I spent at University was probably the happiest three years of my life. Oddly enough it felt like about three years.

The answer they’re looking for in terms of happiness contribution is obviously E, but the honest answer for me is A or B. However this has nothing to do with my happiness scale, which I know is strange, but that’s just me.

#12 really cracked me up.

A. In the grand scheme of things, my existence may hurt the world.
B. My existence neither helps nor hurts the world.
C. My existence has a small but positive effect on the world.
D. My existence makes the world a better place.
E. My existence has a lasting, large, and positive impact on the world.

Again, the obvious answer here is E for the best happiness contribution, but the honest answer for me is B. I actually upped my answer to C just because I thought the question was badly worded and it would be closer to the answer they were searching for.

You see, the in the grand scheme of things, my life means dick. I will disappear from this universe as quietly as I came into it and virtually no one will care. And those that do care will move on in a month or two, which is a terribly short time in the grand scheme of things. But again, that doesn’t bother me.

#17 was also interesting.

A. I have accomplished little in life.
B. I have accomplished no more in life than most people.
C. I have accomplished somewhat more in life than most people.
D. I have accomplished more in life than most people.
E. I have accomplished a great deal more in my life than most people.

Well firstly I’m 24, so I really haven’t had time to accomplish much. But honestly, by the time I’m 74 I probably still won’t have accomplished much, and that’s because very few people do. Most of us will go through our day-to-day lives, do what’s required to live comfortably and not much else. And I’m okay with that. I don’t need to cure cancer or be the next big boy band to feel happy. My accomplishments aren’t linked that strongly with my sense of happiness.

Question #22 was also a little tricky for me.

A. I experience more pain than pleasure.
B. I experience pain and pleasure in equal measure.
C. I experience more pleasure than pain.
D. I experience much more pleasure than pain.
E. My life is filled with pleasure.

Although things have drastically picked up for me this year, last year was awful, mostly because I was broke, owed people money, didn’t know when I was going to get a decent paying job and didn’t even know how I was going to pay the rent next month. On top of that I had people and pets dying on me. Life kinda sucked. But it…didn’t really bother me that much. Pain is a natural part of life and I get my enjoyment out of life, not necessarily the conditions of said life.

The final question, #24 is strange, but also kind of good for insight.

A. My life is a bad one.
B. My life is an OK one.
C. My life is a good one.
D. My life is a very good one.
E. My life is a wonderful one.

Comparatively speaking, if you’re reading this you should be answering E, because it means you have Internet access, which means you have a computer or phone, which likely means you have enough money to buy food, shelter and appliances. Compared to a good chunk of humanity, you’re doing fucking brilliant.

What makes this a good question is how few people reading this would likely answer E, which means your sense of happiness is not tied to how fortunate you are. Not sure what that means exactly, but it’s interesting none the less.

 

What I found interesting about these particular questions was how they were asking how ‘big’ you felt. Have I accomplished much? How important is my existence? Does my life have meaning?

For an atheist, all answers to these questions would initially sound pretty down in the dumps. But far from making me unhappy, many of these things make me happy.

But perhaps I’m looking at the questions too intrinsically. In the grand scheme of things (remember, that is their wording) I’m not important, my life has no meaning and anything I accomplish is so small and insignificant to be rendered meaningless. But from my very small and very limited human perspective my life is the complete opposite.

I have a great job, I own my own business, I make decent money, the jobs I do have a positive effect on the world, I have a roof over my head, I have a great family and great friends, I’m fairly well-educated, I’m physically well off and I eat very well. That’s a pretty good list of accomplishments, meaningful experiences and I think of all of them as important. So on what scale are these questions asked? Because depending on how you phrase the questions you’ll get a very different perspective of happiness. And that I think is half the problem when questing after happiness. We’re asking the wrong questions.

 

-Ignorance is not bliss. Stay inquisitive.

Finals

I’ve been fortunate enough in my rather short number of years to play in quite a few number of finals, mostly through my tennis. Naturally I’ve got a lot more runner-up trophies than winners, and by losing quite a few of them I’ve learned something I think is important. A couple of weeks back I played in a tennis finals and I’ve no doubt this change in my approach to playing had an effect in winning this one.

Now I don’t usually feel the need to preface a lot of my posts because I like to think my readers are smart enough to know that just because I propose one idea doesn’t immediately mean I reject an alternative, but in this instance I want to make an exception. This is a little bit of sports psychology, thrown in with some logical thinking and it works for me. I don’t promise it will work for anyone else (although I hope it might) and if alternative patterns of thinking work better for you then use them. This is sport and a bit of fun after all. No method should be taken as Gospel.

Country week tennis tournament trophy

The latest dust collector added to the shelf.

There’s a phrase commonly given before one walks into a finals match. “It’s just another game”. The thinking behind this advice is to try to calm the player down, remind them it’s just a game and that doing their best is all anyone can ask for. It’s hardly bad advice. And in the grand scheme of things its accurate advice too. It really is just another game. Technically there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to play the exact same game as you did yesterday or last week. But as anyone who has played in a finals knows, these kinds of matches take a lot more out of us and it’s generally a mental drain more so than a physical one.

The problem I’ve personally found with embodying this advice is when things get tight (and in a finals match, that’s the whole match!) and you start missing shots you normally wouldn’t you have nowhere to turn. Because you’ve taken the above advice to heart you really have no excuse. If it’s just another game then there’s no good reason you should have missed that sitter. But this is the reality of our situation; it’s not just another match.

Certainly in the grand scheme of things it is just another match, but our limited human mind doesn’t comprehend that. Right here, right now this is really important to you. It’s a defining moment in your sports life and at the end of it, you really want to be walking away with the bigger trophy.

And that is the real reason you missed that last shot. You’re seriously nervous! And honestly, you should be. Sure the result of this match probably isn’t going to change history. In all likelihood no one will ever know and anyone who does will have moved on in a week.

But here’s the thing. It’s important to you. And it should be. You’ve probably just spent the last few weeks, or possibly even years in training to get to this point. Obviously if you’ve dedicated this much time to such an event it must be important to you.

So here’s my advice. Treat it as if it’s important to you. Acknowledge this is a big deal, that you want it really badly, and that as a result you’re going to be nervous and miss a few easy shots. That way when the inevitable happens and you do miss an easy shot you’re not stuck wondering what happened. You know  what happened and now you can take steps to correct that. The problem is that by playing the match in a state of denial you can’t acknowledge why you make mistakes and even worse set yourself up to not take advantage of the situation.

That nervous energy that was bouncing around inside you, giving you butterflies, use it! Don’t try to suppress it by denying the importance of the occasion. Use what nature gave you and burn that extra adrenaline!

And at the end of the day when all is said and done, remember, it really is just another match.

 

-Ignorance is not bliss. Stay inquisitive.

Will this be on the test?

I was reading an article the other day on one of my favourite science blogs and this phrase came up. The article was actually about how few scientists there seems to be in US politics compared to business people and lawyers, but it was this particular point that really struck home with me.

The point the author was trying to make is that people are interested in what they need to know to get the job done (which is great), but aren’t interested in learning anything beyond that, even if it’s interesting, informative and might actually be useful to their future jobs (which is bad).

Homer Simpson: I am so smrtThis attitude I think, is a very rare but very good example of true close-mindedness. There are some people who are only interested in learning what they think they need to learn to get the job done, to pass the test or to get paid and nothing matters beyond that. There’s no desire to learn for the sake of learning. No thirst for knowledge.

Now I don’t want to get too high on my metaphorical horse and preach that everyone needs to be or should be an intellectual, but nevertheless this attitude depresses me. What is particularly depressing is that this is a learned attitude. All you need to do is look at a child to know this is true. The little buggers are constantly exploring, constantly learning new things to the point they get annoying with constantly asking ‘why?’ At what point did we train this beatifully inquisitive nature out of them?

Speaking of children, I can remember one such occasion back in high school where a young lady ask me “How did you get so smart?” (seriously embarrassing question by the way, but true). I thought for a brief moment before responding “I read”.

The look on her face was pure depression. It was as if to say “Oh, I have to work for it?” She very quickly changed the topic after that.

It’s not like I was telling her she needed to read newspapers and scientific papers. At that stage in my life those kinds of materials bored me to death. This conversation took place in the school library, in the fiction section! Reading any kind of literature is good. It opens you to other points of view and ways of thinking, even in fairy tales.

Honestly I’m not sure what point I’m trying to make here. I don’t know how bad this is or even whether I think it should be changed somehow. Or even if it can be changed. Only that it depresses me. There’s a kind of strange joy that many people take in being deliberately ignorant. The girl in the above story, I have no doubt she wasn’t interested in reading because it was uncool. And that’s the sad part. Firstly that it’s not cool to be smart, and secondly that being cool is more important to people.

 

-Ignorance is not bliss. Nor is it cool. Stay inquisitive.

Thai food

On the off chance there is a god, and he/she doesn’t actually like to eat virgins, he/she would undoubtedly eat Thai food.

That is all.

– Ignorance is not bliss. Thai food is.

Should universities teach alternative medicine?

I got linked to an article on alternative medicine education today and it pissed me off so much I just had to write about it. And hey, it’s been a while since I did a rant piece, so this should be fun 😀

First off, the article can be found here: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/the-question/should–universities–teach–alternative–medicine-20120203-1qxb3.html

Honestly, it’s not so much as article as it is four opinion pieces, two on each side of the argument. Can you guess which two articles are better?

In a nutshell the articles are about the ‘Friends of Science in Medicine’ (FSM) lobbying Australian Universities in an attempt to get them to stop teaching pseudoscience in their classrooms. Unfortunately this article doesn’t quote anything from FSM, but the first author does specify ‘Homeopathy, reflexology, iridology, energy medicine, tactile healing and kinesiology‘ as examples of these pseudosciences.

With this, I completely, 100% agree. These subjects should not be taught at schools, and certainly not in education houses as influential as Universities. If at some point these fields receive some credibility and there is actually some proof that they do anything other than drain a patients wallet, then fair enough, teach them. But until they are dragged out of the realm of psuedoscience and wishful thinking they should not be taught. Our schools and universities are there for teaching students what we do know, not what might one day be proven.

With that we move on from the intelligent, thought out responce to the question, and onto the absolute bullshit spewed by Dr Rob Morrison a researcher at Flinders University. Let’s break it down bit by bit.

“COMPLEMENTARY medicine treatments are used by two in three Australians each year and have been taught in universities here for two decades. The recent call by Friends of Science in Medicine to ban the university teaching of ”complementary medicine” presents a sad view of science and a shameless push to censor learning.”

I’m sorry, but what the fuck is ‘Complementary medicine’? Strangely enough Wikipedia redirects to ‘Alternative medicine’, so let’s not mince words here. Giving it a different and more pleasant sounding name doesn’t cover the smell of crap.

Apparently this ‘complementary’ medicine is used by two thirds of Australians and has been taught for twenty years. Fantastic, then you should have plenty of data to prove this shit actually works. But you see, if you could actually prove it works you wouldn’t need these stupid alternative names; it would just be ‘medical science’.  Put up or shut up.

And as for a ‘push to censor learning’, fuck off you ignoramous. This isn’t trying to censor learning, it’s attempting to limit bad teaching that might get people killed! I highly doubt you would stand idly by and let schools teach students the proper blood letting techniques, and currently homaeopathy has about as much credibility.

“There are two fundamental points proposed by this group. First, that healthcare practices should be based as much as possible on sound scientific evidence. This is easy to agree with.”

Thank fucking god.

“But ”evidence-based medicine” is a relatively new approach. Most medical and allied healthcare practices have not been rigorously tested.”

I’m not sure what is mean by ‘relatively new approach’, but I’m going to take a stab and suggest that was in the last 100-200 years. You know, roughly the time people stopped dying at the age of 40. In other words, around the time medicine actually started working fuckwit. And I’ve no idea where he gets the idea that medicines aren’t rigorously tested. I can’t say I’m an expert, but last I checked there were quite a few loopholes you had to jump through before you could get your latest pills on the market.

“Second, this group argues that abolishing the teaching of complementary medicine will somehow strengthen its evidence-based clinical practice. This is nonsense. A strong link between research and education helps communicate the fruits of research rapidly and effectively to clinicians. To impose greater barriers to this is counter-productive to quality care.”

So hang on, you think that if you stop teaching people how to do crackpot medicine, whilst teaching them how to do evidence-based medicine, you won’t strengthen the use of evidence based medicine? You sir, are a fucking moron. And as for getting research to clinicians quickly, fine go nuts. Clinicians aren’t students. They should have the tools to decide what are good practices and what aren’t. And if they fuck up, it’s on their heads. On the other hand if a bunch of students from a particular university start killing off patients, pretty bad for the university. Oh, and the dead patients.

“This year, Chinese medicine practitioners will be registered in Australia…There are few cardiologists who do not recognise the value of fish oil supplements in heart disease, and few geriatricians who are not aware of the importance of calcium and Vitamin D3 for bone health…Why would we shut our minds to these possibilities?”

I really want to rip this stupidity to shreads, but I feel the need to be fair. None of these responces refer to what the FSM were requesting be taken out of university courses. I’m assuming by the first reponse the request was to remove pseudosciences such as homaeopathy and crystal healing, and with that I agree. But if this includes removing all Chinese medicine then they’re being a bit overzealous. Of course some Chinese medicine works, and if it’s been proven to work it should be fine to teach it.

“There is no better place than our universities to rigorously discern what works from what does not.”

Okay, again to be fair this dude is a researcher and may just be refering to his own position. If that’s so, then yes, universities are a good place for people to research whatever they like and if they want to spend their time trying to validate psuedosciences then let them. But just because you’re researching this shit doesn’t mean you should be teaching it to students, and that is the question the article poses. Students are at a point in their career where they don’t have the mental tools to be able to process what works and what doesn’t; they’ll just take in what their teacher tells them.

Feel free to do your own research, just don’t drown your students in information that is currently being tested!

“This disregard for patients’ choice will only discourage them from disclosing complementary medicine use to their doctors.”

Wait what? How did we get on to patients choices? I thought we were talking about what should be taught to students? This is just so far removed from the actual topic it’s barely worth mentioning, but for the stupidity it conveys. You see, patients shouldn’t have to make choices about their health. Idealy, they should go to their doctor and their doc should tell them what the best cure is. The patient doesn’t have the knowhow to make a compentant choice. It’s akin to taking the average Joe off the street and asking him which buttons to push in the NASA spacecraft. It’s not a choice, it’s a fucking guessing game. Medicine and the human body are ridiculously complicated things and the idea that you should leave these choices in the hands of an overwhelmed patient is an incredible denial of responsibility.

 

The next article is by a student, Rob Pearlman. Honestly, nothing to add here. This dude sounds like he’s got his head screwed on straight. Hopefully a few more students think like him and these universities won’t be able to pull the wool over their eyes.

 

The final piece is by  Valerie Malka, a surgeon, and is almost as bad as the bullocks spewed by Morrison.

“FOR MORE than 10,000 years, natural therapies have been used, while conventional medicine is but 100 years old.”

Yes this is true, but as noted above you might want to look at the correlation between the last 10,000 years and the average age of death as compared to the last 100 years.

“They deserve the recognition universities have given them as they have healing modalities and benefits proven by credible and peer-reviewed research.”

If that is true, then no qualms. If it’s been tested and found to work then go nuts. That’s not pseudoscience.

“The World Health Organisation estimates that more than 80 per cent of the world’s population relies on natural therapies to treat, prevent and cure diseases…”

And oddly enough 80% of the world lives on less than $10 a day. I’m sure there’s no connection between bad medicine and poverty.

“in Australia we have closed-minded colleagues determined to damage and bring into disrepute the entire natural health profession.”

I’m sorry, but would someone please slap this cunt? I am so sick of “close-minded” being another phrase for “doesn’t agree with me”. It is not close minded to ask someone to bring you proof before you start administering drugs, no matter if they’re natural or not

“Do the Americans have it completely wrong? Not only do they have dedicated courses in universities but almost 85 per cent of US medical schools offer elective courses in alternative and complementary medicine or include it in required courses.”

Umm, again I’m not expert, but isn’t the US medical system kinda fucked? Also, we’re talking about the country that has people trying to teach Creationism in high schools. Yeah, they’ve got it pretty fucking wrong.

“There is no better than modern medicine when it comes to surgery, emergency and trauma, but for almost everything else, traditional, natural or alternative medicine is far more effective…”

Okay, this here I think is part of the problem. Natural medicine and alternative medicine aren’t necessarily the same thing. Alternative medicine is medicine that has not yet been proven to work. Natural medicine is stuff like herbal remedies. Of course some of the latter work. Fuck me, some of the former might work too. But you don’t go around administering or teaching things that you don’t know work. It’s just irresponsible.

 

This last link is mostly a reference for a future post, but it should help emphasise exactly why we shouldn’t go around administering medicines we don’t know work.

http://www.news.com.au/national/babys-eczema-death-was-parents-fault/story-e6frfkvr-1225708504277