EP1/2 The Enemies of Reason: Slaves to Superstition

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The Enemies of Reason is a two-part television documentary, written and presented by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. Is it rational that the dead can communicate with the living and give sound advice on how they should live their lives? What about sticking pins into your body to free the flow of Chi energy and cure your illness?

Or the bending of spoons using your mind alone? Is that rational? Richard Dawkins doesn’t think so, and feels it is his duty to expose those areas of belief that exist without scientific proof, yet manage to hold the nation under their spell. He will take on the world’s leading proponents in their field of expertise, meet the victims who have used them and expose the history of the movements – from the charlatans who have milked these practices to the experiments and testing that have failed to produce conclusive results.

Dawkins points to some of science’s achievements and describes it as freeing most people from superstition and dogma. Picking up from his superstition-reason distinction in The Root of All Evil? (while recycling some footage from it), he then says reason is facing an “epidemic of superstition” that “impoverishes our culture” and introduces gurus that persuade us “to run away from reality”. He calls the present day dangerous times. He returns to science’s achievements, including the fact that, by extending peoples lifespan, it helps them to take more advantage of live. He turns his attention to astrology, which he criticizes for stereotyping without evidence.

Richard Dawkins examines the growing suspicion the public has for science based medicine, despite its track record of successes like the germ theory of disease, vaccines, antibiotics and increased lifespan. He notes a fifth of British children are currently not immunized against measles, mumps and rubella, attributing it to fears arising from a highly controversial report linking the vaccine with autism. Dawkins criticizes the growing field of alternative medicine which does not pass the same objective and statistical rigor as scientifically derived treatments using controlled double-blind studies.

EP1/2 The Enemies of Reason: Slaves to Superstition, 9.7 out of 10 based on 42 ratings

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  • Jarrod

    The astrology part was very bias and used the flimsiest part of MODERN money wanting astrology. A natal chart would give higher detail on inner personality and a more accurate forecast. The Moon has an effect on the tides just as the planets place an effect on not only our appearance but psych. Astrology is a use of metaphors for describing the phases of the sun’s progression in connection to the cycles of the earth’s rotation around the “light of the world,” bringing changes not only to the plants and terrain of the earth but also within the people born at that time. If something was to come to life in a certain time of year the characteristics of that thing would parallel that of the season and time born as well as the element in which the person most closely possesses. Astrologist forecast on a large scale cannot be ignored, astrologers have a good background in predicting certain behaviors of people as a whole. I do not however believe in the rest of the “new age movement” which doesn’t make sense why astrology is considered to be “new.” It’s an influence of the coming age of Aquarius bringing awareness, technology, and information on a large scale, unlocking human potential. Astrology has been UNCHANGED and around longer then when we started believing we know everything “scientifically” and if you can’t prove it scientifically then it must not be true. Scientists like this believe that “somehow” a big bang happened out of nothing whatsoever and expanded at an unimaginable rate eventually creating dust from matter and anti matter. Then by accident we evolved into thinking, conscious beings who over think and underestimate ourselves as a whole. That’s all we are, different elements joining together to make a whole. If everything in the world works as a cycle in the same patterns over and over again then why wouldn’t the planets play a role in the cycle with us. Another flaw in this television show was that he explained astrology being a man made pseudoscience made by and for an ego boost by believing that the universe revolves around human life and nothing else. When that isn’t the point of astrology at all. Its the combination and activity of ALL living things we’re talking about here. Astrology even applies for cats, dogs, and every other living thing on this earth. So tell me how it’s an old belief that we are the center of the universe? Maybe this guy needs to read the first page of every respected astrology book out there and actually get a good clear picture of what he’s talking about. He COMPLETELY skipped the most believable parts of astrology and only talked to an idiot who wrote for “the observer,”… uhm the observer of what exactly? Isn’t every other newspaper out there have that word in the name? It’s also not a bunch of jumpy guess work (like mediums) and trying to work off of being lucky (like fortune tellers). I’d say Astrology is pretty straight forward if you ask me, if you know you’re exact time of birth you can look into your other most important placings. The Rising Sign (ascendant) and Moon sign which are almost considered just as important as the Sun sign. The attributes of all the planets placing at the exact time of birth, places an imprint that was being developed since time of conception which is directly linked to the planet phases and influence during the time of development leading all the way till the death of the organism. the patterns continue to be the same to this day, regardless of the tilt, the earth still goes through the same cycles year after year, just like people do

    • http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/ian-atkinson/reviews/ Ian

      There is no logical reason why astrology should work – and it doesn’t. Its just a random system of building generalisations, the same as Tarot reading, reading entrails or tea leaves. Things that have no evidence to support them, no logical model to describe how they work and aren’t falsifiable aren’t science – and anything that isn’t science.

      Why do you think the fact that something has been around for a long time verifies it. Virtually all ideas from antiquity have been proved false when examined by the Scientific Method. If the technical knowledge of the Ancient Greeks was equal to ours they would have had telescopes that showed them the true nature of the solar system and TVs in their homes. The astrologers who wrote the first ephemerals thought that the Earth was the centre of the Universe. If they were wrong about that, what prevents them from being wrong about everything else?

      They didn’t build Astrology on the basis of observation, it was built on the presumption that the gods were trying to tell them something, and because nobody could think of a purpose for the marvellous but incomprehensible night sky – and they’d already made the assumption that the world had been built by gods for humans, they naturally assumed the events in the sky was some kind of message. It, of cause, worked well fro predicting the seasons and tides; they are directly related to the positions of heavenly bodies and are verified by Physics. But for predicting when someone will meat a tall dark stranger?

      One of the most damning facts about astrology is that the old ephemerals failed to predict where the planets are today and are, therefore, out of step with the solar system.

      • Alisaperne

        Completely agree with you Ian. My mind boggles really, IF astrology was based on the stars, planets etc thousands of years ago, how can it be accurate? Those predictions would have been based on planets and stars seen with the naked eye, and as far I’m aware we’ve discovered newer planets in our solar system, knocking PLUTO out. Pluto is no longer considered a planet but a ‘dwarf planet’, and what about the other moons like Europa, Callisto and Titan? Do they not influence astrology? 

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2DJZQSWZOGFMMRUP4XI323QIVE blackLiquid

    Richard Dawkins has such a limited rigid and narrow minded understanding of the world, I cant even imagine what it must be like to exist the way he does. In fact if I was him I would just end my life because it’s so dull factual and limited to the perspectives of things found in books. He bases his arguments on commonly conceived, often doctored historical “factual” information, Every documentary I have watched of his I stopped watching 1/2 way though because simply don’t agree with his close minded. limited and unevolved drivel.

    • Alisaperne

      let me guess…you didn’t even bother reading the Origins of Species either, lest it upset your delicate disposition. 

  • Lefty

    wow… this guy is really just a little prick, hellbent on winning a pissing contest with an oponent that doesn’t care to play.  He’s obviously had some run-in with a palm reader that told him to marry the wrong person, or invest in Enron or something along those lines.  I’m no astrologist myself, but even I can see that, where he feels that it arrogantly assumes the galaxy’s various happenings are for humankind’s benifit, what goes on in the universe is all linked to one consciousness.  A certain alignment of stars and planets may be able to give me an impression of my life and where its going, but it would, I’m sure, speak to any number of situations – ones that we could never dream of, in parts of the universe not known to us – just as any structure is dependant on every component that makes it possible.

    • Samelliott42095

      aha im extremely disappointed in the general humans knowledge

      the naivety is sad .. u believe tht because all of the materials u see have been altered from their natural state by a conscious person tht everything required an ” intelligent design”

      consciousness is only an illusion

  • http://www.facebook.com/raodhammer Road Hammer

    million year people were superstitious, now this man came to say they were wrong!!!. the Saturn influence to human that guy said i don’t know is magnetic filed, human has a great magnetic filed around him, the problem is this man question from wrong person. he might doing it deliberately. funny is he called this film The Enemy Of Reason. such a Moran.

  • http://www.facebook.com/raodhammer Road Hammer

    million year people were superstitious, now this man came to say they were wrong!!!. the Saturn influence to human that guy said i don’t know is magnetic filed, human has a great magnetic filed around him, the problem is this man question from wrong person. he might doing it deliberately. funny is he called this film The Enemy Of Reason. such a Moran.

    • Samelliott42095

      it is true that religous ppl r the enemies of reason because even when presented credible evidence u base ur beliefs on faith

    • http://twitter.com/SidNeigum Sid Neigum

      Whats a moran?

  • http://twitter.com/SidNeigum Sid Neigum

    Dawkins is the man.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mctylerd Thailer Donahue

    This is one close minded prospective, not to say this is wrong.. just misguided.

  • Francis Sid Dougan

    Cant believe how many people there are on here saying that Dawkins is wrong. “He’s so narrow minded”? So funny to hear that being said by the same people that believe that an invisible, all powerful man created everything haha. Oh well, i choose to carry on reading and learning the truth with the little time i have and to die at some point and have no after life or anything of the sort. Dont waste your precious time on this earth believing bullshit “holy” books that are only designed to enslave and control. You think the people that wrote the new testament actually believe the stuff they wrote? Its called politics people. Get a grip and realise that it was just a Roman invention to enforce control over large numbers of people at the time. People have always known how to frighten people into behaving how they see fit. And whats it called when you use fear to control? TERRORISM. Thats right. not a man with a bomb, but every one of you who teaches religious lies to children in order to mold them into god fearing adults are all terrorists. And so are all political figures who use god to justify there actions (those actions normally involving bombing the shit into poor countries and stealing all there oil of course) And this is ALL religion by the way. They ALL use a false god to justify horrific actions. Wake up poeple! 

  • Alisaperne

    I find it amusing that people choose to watch a documentary that deals with facts when they obviously believe in fairy tales. Rather than being narrow minded – as you accuse Dawkins of being – investigate these claims for yourselves. Prove to the rest that astrology, superstition and other mythical/mystical beings exist. 

    I still find it amusing that people believe in God, even though we’ve given up on Thor, Zeus, Athena, Osiris, Horus and many other Gods through out history. But I don’t get offended every time someone decides to say a ‘prayer’ for my health, even though all I really need is medicine. 

    I don’t believe in astrology or any other mumbo-jumbo, for the simple FACT that magicians through out time have being using it to trick the gullible. If you won’t question everything and seek always to learn and better your knowledge and understanding, then don’t blame others for choosing to do so. There is nothing more insulting than someone that believes everything without the evidence being there to back it up, and then thinking its ok to bully those that don’t agree. (Specifically aimed that last part at all those that think name-calling and belittling form part of an intelligent rebuttal).

    Derren Brown uses ‘astrology’ as a magician in many of his performances. He’s even pretended to be a medium, a mind reader and a faith healer. Why? To prove to people like yourselves, how EASY it is to manipulate the masses.

    Please feel free to look him up.

    Let the insults begin…

  • http://documentaryheaven. Tonto

    The amount of arrogant self-righteous fuckwittery on here is simply staggering. How can anyone claim that Dawkins has a ‘narrow-minded’ view or that:
    “. He bases his arguments on commonly conceived, often doctored historical “factual” information, Every documentary I have watched of his I stopped watching 1/2 way though because simply don’t agree with his close minded. limited and unevolved drivel.”
    So what “factual” evidence are you referring to exactly? Where is your counter argument? Is your counter argument simply comprised of insults? “unevolved drirvel”? Where is your evolved drivel then? It strikes me as amusing that individuals on here who are criticising one of the greatest and most respected intellectuals of our time can’t string a proper sentence together.

    None of the following exist (or have existed):God, Psychic powers, astrology, palm reading, the clitoris, reading tea leaves, jesus, intergalatic conciousness etc etc etc… Science has won the debate, deal with it.

    peace and love folks.

  • bubbalooie

    Fuckwittery. Nice. Bufoonarama. Dorkalicious. Richard Dawkins is so full of scared shit he doesn’t know whether to shit or go blind and just doesn’t seem to have the common sense to close his eyes and fart. Science is not capable of dealing with anything that can’t be measured or predicted. Dawkins is simply anti religion with the same zeal as that great retarded satanist Anton Levay. Atheism is just as much his religion as any other religion is to anyone else. I say to you Richard Dawkins — PLEASE JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP.

  • Jay

    bubbalooie u have a brain probably the same size of a monkey! Religious people will die out. “Thank god”. Just like thor and Zeus has! Get ur mate to killl you so you go to “heaven”vif you believe in faith and believe heaven is real. Fucking idiot!