Professor Richard Dawkins Rediscovers the Placebo Effect

The second part of The Enemy of Reason, Professor Richard Dawkin’s attempt to prove that science is under attack, was much better than the first. It even had a joke from the professor to lighten up the lecture: something about molecules of water passing through Oliver Cromwell’s bladder. You had to be there.

But the professor really struggled to keep his interest in science alive. On and on he droned about the importance of fact in science, only to destroy his own argument by bringing on yet another sane, rational, trained GP who brilliantly explained that science has to make another quantum leap like it did 300 years ago. The homeopaths, the therapists, the snake oil salesmen, they all succeeded in one thing, they were much more interesting than the prof.

Poor Richard. He did enjoy all his therapies, and he did admit that alternative medicine is “in a great position to administer the placebo”. As they say, in 9 out of10 cases the placebo was found to work. So please, give me the placebo.

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