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Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Quackery Religion Science Skepticism/critical thinking Surgery

I may have to fire up BitTorrent for this one: Richard Dawkins vs. alternative medicine

The third season of Doctor Who is over. There’s nothing on the horizon for many months (such as the return of Doctor Who or Torchwood) that’s interesting enough to me coming out of the U.K. that I’d go to the trouble of firing up BitTorrent to check it out, rather than wait until it somehow finds its way to these shores.

Until now.

Yes, it’s Richard Dawkins’ long-promised investigation of alternative medicine and New Age practitioners, entitled The Enemies of Reason:

Prof Dawkins launches his attack in The Enemies of Reason, to be shown on Channel 4 this month. The professor, the author of many books from The Selfish Gene (1976) to the international best-seller The God Delusion (2006), holds the Charles Simonyi Chair for the public understanding of science at Oxford.

In the two-part television series he challenges practitioners. He asks an “angel therapist” how many angels he (Dawkins) has. The therapist asks him: “Have you asked any angels to come close to you?” Prof Dawkins says he hasn’t. “Well you haven’t got any then,” says the therapist.

That’s the probably the only time the “angel therapist” ever got a question like that right. In any case, I can hardly wait.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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