Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Is This "The Endarkment"?

We had the "Enlightenment". It's because of the Enlightment that we live in a world filled with medicines, medical technology, advanced transportation systems, fresh water and sewage systems, computers and communications, and on and on.

But something is "in the air". Is what we have witnessed in the past few decades a return to something akin to what existed prior to the Enlightenment?

Here's some thoughts from David Colquhoun, writing for Guardian Unlimited:

"The past 30 years or so have been an age of endarkenment. It has been a period in which truth ceased to matter very much, and dogma and irrationality became once more respectable. This matters when people delude themselves into believing that we could be endangered at 45 minutes' notice by non-existent weapons of mass destruction"


"A minor aspect of the endarkenment has been a resurgence in magical and superstitious ideas about medicine. The existence of homeopaths on the high street won't usually do too much harm. Their sugar pills contain nothing and they won't poison your body. The greater danger is that they poison your mind."

Worse, as he sees it

"The University of Central Lancashire's justification for its BSc in homeopathic medicine consists of 49 pages of what the late, great Ted Wragg might have called "world-class meaningless bollocks". All the buzzwords are there: "multi-disciplinary delivery", "formative and summative assessment", log books and schedules. But there is not a single word about the fact that the course is devoted to a totally discredited early 19th century view of medicine, not a word about truth and falsehood. Has it become politically incorrect to question things like this?"

And finally

"if all we had to worry about was a few potty homeopaths and astrologers, it might be better to shrug, and get on with some real science. But now the endarkenment extends to parliament, universities and schools, it is far too dangerous to ignore.

As they might say in a different venue - PREACH IT BROTHER!

You can read the entire spot-on article.

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