Friday, January 11, 2008

Religion? Spirituality? Quackery? Cultism? New Age? Nonsense? Confusion? Insanity? Pseudo-Science? The Occult? Woo? Take Your Pick!!!

"If there's one thing I've learned about woo in the more than a year and a half that I've been doing this,...it's that there's definitely a religious element to virtually all woo. In essence, it requires believing in something that cannot be demonstrated scientifically, often despite science outright refuting it. For example, there have been several "victims" (I mean subjects) for this,...feature that have been explicitly fundamentalist Christian in nature,...Of course, if you're a New Age-type woo, you wouldn't call it "religious," at least not in the same way that Christians, Jews, Muslims, or other mainstream religions are religious. Instead, they'd call it "spiritual," which is how we end up with concepts like the "global orgasm," "sacred science," and "spiritual sound healing." Heck, the ultimate in woo, namely homeopathy, can best be described as a quasireligious belief system, in which water has remarkable power to "remember" the essence of whatever it has been "succussed" with in what can only be described as a magical or religious ritual that homeopaths do to "potentize" their remedies."

- The great Orac, showing he's learning, on his Respectful Insolence blog