Wednesday, 25 February 2015

The astrological cure

After laughing at people who believe in the Tooth Fairy and other assorted kidstuff, and after laughing at Americans who think the world was created 6000 years ago, I find that in my own backyard, David Tredinnick says that astrology and complementary medicine could help healthcare and opponents are ‘racially prejudiced’.

I'm an opponent, but it isn't on the grounds of race, it's on the grounds of "you're an idiot".

Let's suppose, for a moment, that astrology is a real thing. Then it ought to be possible to do evidence-based double-blind testing, the same sort of testing that we use for other healthcare systems. But that isn't going to happen, and we all know why.

Likewise homeopathy, which our gullible crown prince has lent his name to. The idea that plain water can cure you of various diseases, is not only foolish, it's dangerous. Because there's no evidence that it's true, and lots that it isn't.

Some people "don't believe in science". You don't have to. All you need to believe, is that for any "cure" there has to be evidence that the "cure" is useful. Lacking that, it doesn't get into the medical bag of any sensible medic.

I can sympathise with anyone who has a condition that modern medicine has no way to cure, and I can understand them buying a bottle of snake oil, because at least they're buying a modicum of hope. But for people in charge of allocating the national health budget, it's important that we get value for the money we spend, which means not buying snake oil that some huckster claims will cure us. It's important to spend money only on those remedies where there is evidence that they are useful.

Astrology isn't one of them.

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