On Professor David Colquhuon’s blog, there was a discussion
about the closing of the Tunbridge Wells Homeopathy Hospital (I use
that last word advisedly). This
Le Canard Noir
struck some bells:
The real menace comes not from medical homeopaths, but from lay
homeopaths, represented by the Society of Homeopaths, who are often
dangerously deluded and a threat to peoples’ well being.
This seems remarkably like the view that moderate religious
believers act as enablers for the extremists. They dare not
criticise the extremists, no matter how distasteful they find their
actions, because any criticism they use will necessarily be just as
effective against them.
It’s the fact that these moderates still believe in physics
and germ theory—rather than the ability of homeopathy to cure
malaria, for example—which dampens their zealotry. The
“lay” homeopaths who come into it without much in the
way of scientific training are just believers, through and through.
They have all the assurance of the creationists who blithely state
that evolution breaks the second law of thermodynamics.
And the matter then becomes, as it is with religion—is a
comforting belief useful to have around, or is it just too
dangerous for a society to harbour any