Thursday, 22 May 2014

The problem with Techno-Scientific Reductionist-Rationality

Techno-Scientific Reductionist-Rationality and its woes

What follows is an adapted version of the relevant parts contained in my Maiden Post. Looking at the viewing statistics, I can see that by far the least popular post was my initial one. Perhaps that is due to its great length.

I feel that this topic is so important to understanding the limitations of the modern medical and scientific outlook (and this the opportunities afforded by the holistic view) that I would reduce those relevant sections and post them here...

We live in a world that is governed by what I call 'Techno-scientific Reductionist-Rationality'; it is practiced and foisted upon us by people whom I refer to as Dawkinsists (after the nutty professor Richard Dawkins). Sometimes you may also see me refer to these people as 'Ditchkins'ists ('Ditchkins' was a name coined by my great friend Terry Eagleton to describe the deniers of all faith; it's an aglomoration of Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens).

Richard Dawkins - the nutty professor

Terry Eagleton

Scientists take a world which is complex and varied and seek to simplify it as far as possible. They view it as a mechanistic system comprised of 'building blocks', which act with no more complexity than cogs in a wind-up-clock. The ultimate aim of these scientists is to find the smallist particle (the equivalent to a the grains of sand that make up a wall), strangely named the 'God particle'.

Cogs - all we really are... (according to Ditchkins)

The machines which scientists use to observe this world aren't actually neutral obervers: rather, they make the objects which become visible. From X-Ray crystallography to the geiger-counter, the instruments of science do not simply create a picture of what is out there, they produce what is out there. This is a well-documented fact amongst sociologists of Science, like Bruno Latour.

Once the techno-scientists have 'discovered' something, what do they do next? They create yet more interventions (experiments/hypotheses) on those objects which were previously 'discovered', thus uncovering yet more 'facts' about out universe. This is why science is reffered to as a 'discourse': a “practice which forms the very object of which it speaks”.

Scientist in a lab - does this look like real life to you?

Let us examine this techno-scientific worldview a little more. You and I see the world in a multiplicity of colours and tones, depths of hue and shades of grey. The techno-scientists do not. To them there are just two colours: black and white. Everything done in their labs is reduced to this simple binary division. This is why they often make simplistic proclamations like “God does not exist” or “homeopathy does not work”.

The only words in their lexicon are “existence” and “non-existence”; “yes” and “no”. However, both you and I know that between the dual termini of “yes” and “no” there lies a continuum of possibilities – as elduded to by Robin Thicke in his recent hit song Blurred Lines.

Robin Thicke - what les between 'yes' and 'no'..?

The Holistic worldview, on the other hand, recognises that reality is much more complex than the scientists would have you believe. When you go to your family doctor, after a series of brief questions s/he will give you a pack of pills.

If you visit a holistic healer, after an in-depth exploration of your deepest self, s/he will prescribe a course of treatment tailored to you as you are today. And external factors will also be taken into account: the season, the position of the celestial bodies, the phase of the moon...

This is one of the reasons why homeopathy frequently works so much more effectively and quickly than mainstream medicine.

Which brings me to one more point... The refrain amongst the reductionist-rationalists is “homeopathy hasn't been proven”. This is simply not true. What they mean is their scientific testing schemes fail to grasp the way in which homeopathy works. They are looking for a yes/no answer, whereas homeopathy delivers something more ambiguous. It is as if they are trying to catch butterflies in a net designed for catching Tuna. The butterflies escape. The means for verification and acceptance have to be more nuanced. I have worked with patients for a decade and I can tell you that often we have to tweak a treatment, but we practically always find an effective remedy for the problem in hand.

Homeopathy section - British Pharmacy

With each passing day, more people stand up and take note of what holistic therapies have to offer. Maybe it is through word of mouth or maybe it is from personal experience but increasing numbers of people are attracted to join our ranks. And what is currently an offshoot of mainstream medicine, we will coalesce and soon we will become the mainstream. Soon we will be a crowd, shouting from the rooftops: demaning our rightful place at the centre of healthcare policy. Consider this a manifesto for action; it is time to start marching!

Peace, Love, Respect. Darryl.xx

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