Blimey, I am so fed up with the positivists – those puritanical creatures who disapprove of anything that doesn’t fit their stringent ideas of academic proof. Evidence-based, of course, but only very narrow kinds of evidence actually count with them.
Now here is the poor old vice-chancellor of Westminster University being hammered in public for the temerity of running a course on homeopathy:
Now, I happen to be someone who has found homeopathy very helpful, and I’ve tried a lot of complementary therapies – some of them not very successfully, sometimes disastrously. But I’m not one of those people who is happy to be maintained in my chronic condition for the rest of my life by the NHS, at great expense to the taxpayer. So searching seems to me to be not just worthwhile, but a moral obligation.
Maybe that means I deserve to be berated by the positivists for dealing in ‘mumbo-jumbo’, but I don’t think so.
What is fascinating to me is that the leader of this bitter reproach this time is the editor-in-chief of the Catholic Herald. Go back five centuries or so and you found a very similar stand-off.
On one side, the doyens of ‘approved’ medicine, backed by the reactionary forces of the Church. On the other side, the new protestant upstarts, barefoot healers ministering to the poor, and taking their inspiration from people like Paracelsus: calling for a ‘chemical revolution’ using pills and medicines instead of bleeding and shifting the humours. No guesses whose side the Catholic Herald would have been on back then.