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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"Science" that kills

That great reptilian from outer space, Richard Dawkins, is in town. His pseudo and anti-science circus is on its way to Melbourne for a week-long gab fest about how mad and bad Christians and wicked creationists are. Dawkins, in case you don't recognise him, will be the guy with his back, always, to the clock. After the very late pullout of his mate Chris Hitchens, Richard has been assiduously and, rumour has it, quite superstitiously avoiding allowing any timepiece to relay to him just how many minutes, hours, days and, as he secretly hopes, years, left for his purely atomistic body to, well, implode. Poor chap, only looks half the man he was a few years back.

Anyway, Richard's doing a double act with Lawrence Krauss, a bloke from Arizona State University. Lawrence Krauss has recently written a book titled A Universe from Nothing. Of course, if you believe, in agreement with African Voodoo witchdoctors and New Age Raelian crystal worshippers, that life can just arise from non-life by some magical incantation or aliens, as Richard is now apparently firmly supporting, then you have no problem, apart from a few untidy and intransigent mathematical equations that refuse to make zero=everything, with whole universes being able[Cue in the sound of a scientist's fillip] to pop out of, well, NO THING.

Lawrence got a few hundred words in the Herald last week. His attempt to make out that it was science vs religion and science wins, always, failed miserably. Read a friend’s letter which pointed out a few uncomfortable scientific facts Lawrence didn’t know about. Quite a comic Lawrence is. Hope he’s also got a sense of humour.

Dear Lawrence,

In your Saturday’s Herald piece you posed to the reader what ostensibly appeared as a Hobson’s choice between science and religion. You implied that a person would only be rational if they elected to use the Heimlich Manoeuvre on someone in the throes of choking rather than praying over them. Of course, truly rational and scientific people, like myself, would only give each of those roughly a 50:50 chance of working at best. Your quite decidedly irrational faith that the Heimlich actually works would have been exposed if you’d left the ivory tower and undertaken a first aid course. The first thing the instructor tells you is that the Heimlich is actually dangerous and can injure you. Pressing hard and fast on unprotected organs, as this manoeuvre requires, can injure severely the person and may not in fact work, notwithstanding the TV sit-coms you’ve obviously obtained your pseudo-scientific first aid knowledge from.

Furthermore, your unfortunate choice of the Heimlich to express the superiority of your materialist philosophy is doubly ironic. Heimlich’s wife authored books on homoeopathy and other “cures”, while according to his son Peter, he was a complete fraud. Heimlich himself has also tossed up his own brand of quackery: advocating the use of malaria to cure HIV.

Well, Lawrence, I really shouldn’t be surprised that you entertain such poor standards of rationality and instead opt for the unscientific religious; after all, every first-year philosophy undergrad knows that ex nihilo nihil fit rules, OK!

Kind regards


sam drucker said...

John, could you follow up your friend periodically to find out whether there is a reply and then let us know what it is?

Sam Drucker

John said...

I have already, and there isn't as yet.

Serious health warning, Sam: You should inhale and exhale as normal.

sam drucker said...

John, I shall do all that while remaining in the Lotus position.

Sam Drucker

Eric said...

I wonder why Krauss thinks that saving someone choking is even important. If their genes are so faulty that they will choke, then he should help weed out such sub-optimal body structures by letting the carrier die. Clearly not fit, and its the fittest that must survive, is it not, Krauss?
Thus the mad incoherence of materialist twaddle. They can't even live consistently with their dogma, never mind that no one else actually lives that way either!