My readers hate me, and like to make me suffer. That’s the only way to explain why they would send me links to the ghastly Huffington Post. I swear, it’s becoming as insane as World Net Daily.
The latest screed is from some bozo named Dr Larry Dossey. The awfulness begins right away, as he quotes Jeremy Rifkin, the professional Luddite, on the scientific method.
[T]he scientific method [is] an approach to learning that has been nearly deified in the centuries following the European Enlightenment. Children are introduced to the scientific method in middle school and informed that it is the only accurate process by which to gather knowledge and learn about the real world around us … The scientific observer is never a participant in the reality he or she observes, but only a voyeur. As for the world he or she observes, it is a cold, uncaring place, devoid of awe, compassion or sense of purpose. Even life itself is made lifeless to better dissect its component parts. We are left with a purely material world, which is quantifiable but without quality … The scientific method is at odds with virtually everything we know about our own nature and the nature of the world. It denies the relational aspect of reality, prohibits participation and makes no room for empathic imagination. Students in effect are asked to become aliens in the world.
There is absolutely nothing in that description that fits my conception of the scientific method. It’s utter nonsense written by someone who doesn’t understand science in the slightest, but is familiar with cartoon stereotypes of the scientist as heartless robot. Seriously, has this guy never heard of Richard Feynman? Neil deGrasse Tyson? Roy Chapman Andrews? Any of the biologists I know? We become part of the world by understanding that world as it actually is, unwarped by the superstitious illusions people like Dossey want to impose on it.
As usual, the complaint is an indignant claim that scientists will tell you that science is the only “accurate process by which to gather knowledge and learn about the real world”, which is true. Instead of saying what it is not, though, just once I’d like to see one of these clowns tell me plainly and clearly what his alternative is. Dossey does not.
It’s probably just as well. His latest book is on the “Power of Premonitions”, and he’s also written books on the power of prayer. He’s a credulous magic man, in other words.