EP2/2 The Enemies of Reason: The Irrational Health Service

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.

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  • http://www.beyourowndoc.com Dr Bill Tallmon

    Blood letting originated in medical science.

    Modern medical’s poison chemical applications only palliate and have no chance to cure. They only create a dwindling spiral of life force. Modern medicine takes much more credit than deserved in their quest to eliminate disease. Most so-called cures only turned into new disease. Vaccination=Autism

    True healing is adjusting the force of living into balance with the world. The reason for the surge in alternative medicine is that it works.

    If you get sick beware of the modern doctor. They may keep you alive, but you could be better off dead.

    • Drew

      “The reason for the surge in alternative medicine is that it works.”

      Yeah, definitely… In fact, I have some water here from a magic spring I found in my parent’s back yard. It will most certainly cure you of any ailment… but I’ll be honest, it comes at a pretty hefty price. I’ll send you a bottle for just 4 easy payments of $149.99. And if you order in the next ten minutes, I’ll include another bottle absolutely free! (plus $50 s&h).

      Don’t worry, it’s TOTALLY REAL…

      • monesy

        Does your magic water cure autism? It seems that I have been vaccinated, and therefore have autism…

  • paul

    homeopathy does work i have a nasty infection called MRSA which is a mutating version of staph infection it returned 7 times in one year through the use of Antibiotics finally i stopped going to the doctor and went to a homeopathist it went away and never came back its been one and a half years since my last incidence

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  • http://www.bumbag.org Bum Bag :

    oh i love alternative medicines, they are usually effective but with lesser bad side effects compared to conventional medicatio “”

  • http://www.plasticpond.net Plastic Pond

    you can say that alternative medicine is cheaper too and usually comes from natural sources `:”

  • Mark Baller

    i cannot believe you people on here say homeopathy works after watching this… HE JUST FUCKING EXPLAINED IT

    and to the guy with mrsa… how do you know it was homeopathy , maybe it would have gone away without the homeopathy. You need cause and effect just because french ppl drink more wine and smoke more than the us and have longer lifespans does not mean tht the smoking and drinking makes them live longer

    i look at the world and i think i have given up. religion defies everything that is logical

  • The Ledgend

    Anyone else think it’s funny that he ridiculed using leeches considering the fact that modern medicine has started using them again? I’m not a fan of Homeopathy or trying to knock modern medicine, I just find it ironic.

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

    there is a Persian expression saying: he take the further hand to not to pass out. look at this man, he already is the most enemy of any reason himself but make film to say they are. just one little look into the human body, no go even smaller to a bacteria, there must be and intelligent behind this things. 

  • Maria

    Taking into account my background of psychology and my field of studies : genetic engineering, I personally can not believe this type of medicine. I work with modifying DNA, I see cause and effect every day and I see how much science and medicine improved humans life.

    Still, I am open minded and had to try this alternative medicine on my own. I went to see a bioenergeticina and to my surprise something did happened. There were details and personal experiences that I find hard to describe. I tried to find explanation and search for the fraud in what I experienced and I could not find any.

    As a result, I believe that even if some people are exploiting this sort of beliefs and using them in a wrong way, there might be something useful we could learn from people who apply this in a truly and sincere way ( without involving money and making a business out of it ).

    So to all scientists who think they have all the answer. Just open the eyes and accept the possibility that there might be something we can not yet explain.

  • Jackmeoff

    I had watched Dr Dawkins with great admiration…..until I saw this. He was so pukingly belligerent about “the fact” that conventional medicine was real and all else was phony. F*ck him trying to discard alternative medicine as hocus pocus. He sounded like a lobbyist for BIG PHARMA. I am a man of reason, but this just went too far. He should keep his focus on religion. I imagine, with great reason, he made this piece of sh*t program with the help and guidance from “the industry”.

  • Friendly Atheist

    An excellent programme which, though limited by time, still posed serious (some might contend terminal) questions about the ‘alternative’ medicine industry. I think Dawkins should have made more of the absurdity of the State funding homeopathy; whereas crystal healing, ayurveda and guiding angels are easy enough to shrug off as lunacy, there is no more harm in them than misguided people travelling to Lourdes to be cured. Homeopathy has acquired a false moral authority because taxpayers’ money funds it, and this needs to be challenged. Otherwise well up to snuff.