After describing Professor Richard Dawkins as " The most misquoted and slandered public figure of the 21st Century " I thought take a look back at one of his documentaries . Dawkins as you'll probably know is the world's most prominent anti-theist . He's not someone who'll ever win a popularity contest . Despised by figures on the left such as the inconsequential Owen Jones and Rebecca Watson and hated by figures on the right such as the conservative Christians from the Bible Belt Dawkins seems to upset everybody . I do know people who are professional scientists who don't like him either and are forever referring him to " The man who brings out the exact same book every two years " which indicates a fair amount of jealousy for someone who is a celebrity scientist . Despite this Dawkins has popularised the field of science to the masses even though he seems to have broken an unwritten rule that it's only truly great scientists like Newton , Darwin and Einstein who should become household names . Much of his popularity might actually be down to being exactly how a fictional scientist might be . Like Professor Stephen Hawkings who ticks the boxes of a sci-fi villain in that he's all brains and no body Dawkins comes across as a sci-fi good guy who could easily be cast in the title role of classic DOCTOR WHO or the 1950s QUATERMASS serials . In this documentary he takes time out of putting the boot in to God and concentrates on something that does exist - alternative medicine . It comes in two parts
Part one ) This centres around superstition in all its diverse forms . We're all superstitious to degree. Even to someone like me who finds the concept of karma impossible on an intellectual level does feel on an emotional level that it does exist at some point in my life . I do something wrong then destiny will screw me over . Apparently this stems from survival characteristics where a species needs to weigh up probabilities . We're shown fascinating archive footage of an experiment in America featuring pigeons . When a pigeon looks over its left shoulder it is fed hence the pigeon constantly looks over its left shoulder thinking this is the prime reason it is being fed rather than any other factor . It's the exact same thing with human behaviour which is delusional to a degree even if you can understand the logic behind the delusion
Part two ) Dawkins investigates pseudo-science involving faith based medicine . Quantum physics , black holes you name it and someone is selling it in an industry making billions as Dawkins listens to all these modern day snake oil doctors with barely disguised contempt . Perhaps Dawkins main target is homeopathy which is effectively watered down water which is used to cure ailments . . He also makes a striking explanation as to just how diluted these supposed active ingredients are .What seems to rankle with Dawkins is that the British NHS uses homeopathy which in turn is funded by the taxpayer . You can at least understand Dawkins point of money being spent on a technique that has no basis in scientific reality . At least drugs which are prescribed have been proved to work
A very interesting documentary that once again demolishes the myth that Dawkins is only interested in putting the boot in to religion . As a scientist he's more than happy to tear apart any popular culture that is self promoting itself as an alternative to science , especially when it has no basis in reality . As Professor Quatermass nearly said " Breen get these alternative medicines out of here "
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