The Post Millennial Outrage from scientists over pseudo-scientific homeopathy, silence on pseudo-scientific “gender-fluidity”

The Post Millennial - Monday February 12th, 2018

Little-known Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario has achieved a certain notoriety, but not in a good way. Having created a (provincially funded) three-year program in Homeopathy, to launch next fall, Georgian has attracted the ire of outraged critics demanding funding be cut for the program.

Homeopathy is a practice based in the theory – not the science, note – that “like cures like”: that is, if a substance can make a healthy person sick, the same substance, massively diluted, can make a sick person well. 

Scientific studies have shown that homeopathy, if it works at all, functions on the placebo principle of “magical thinking.”

Yet three years ago, Ontario regulated the practice many observers call “quackery.”

In a letter to Ontario’s minister of advanced education and skills development, Deb Mathews, Barrie physician Chris Giorshev, who chairs the Ontario Medical Association’s section on chronic pain, wrote, “Homeopathy is a pseudo-science and this alone should be sufficient to reject the inclusion of such a program at a publicly funded institution.” 

Other scientists have added their voices in condemnation of the program.

It’s rather interesting that critics of homeopathy feel no need to restrain their irritation or mince their words. “Pseudo-science,” “magical thinking” and “quackery”  leave no doubt as to the contempt in which homeopathy is held by real scientists. You would think, though, from the indignation they express, that the phenomenon of a pseudo-science infiltrating an educational institution were something new or startling or unique.

In fact, our institutions of higher learning are riddled with (funded) pseudo-scientific “disciplines”. Trouble is, most of them have to do with identity politics, and the very same people who feel no social constraint in sneering aloud at homeopathy, are eerily silent on other pseudo-scientific, but politically correct, belief systems.

A real science is one that has a basis in observation. A pseudo-science is one that rests on an unproven assumption. So, for example, astronomy is a science; astrology is a pseudo-science. Real science arises from intellectual curiosity and results in findings that arise out of disinterested exploration of reality. 

Conclusions follow upon observation, data collection and proven methodological principles. Pseudo-science arises from ideology or a belief system, which rest on theories rather than proven conclusions, and then goes on to build castles in the air with narratives, sub-theories and unscientific “studies” that support the foreordained conclusion.

A (funded) program called SOGI 123, which stands for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, is now operative throughout B.C. schools, K-12. In this program, gender fluidity – the idea that biological sex and gender are unlinked – is taught as though it were settled science. But there’s nothing settled about it. It’s a theory. Real science tells us that patterns in the human brain mosaic distinguish males from females.

In the SOGI 123 program, children are encouraged to think it is normal to consider yourself neither a girl nor a boy, but something in between. 

In the opinion of many parents and of responsible researchers in this field, such encouragement creates anxiety about observable reality – children’s own bodies – where none existed before. 

Some go so far as to call it child abuse. 

Certainly there has been a dramatic increase in gender identity issues in the past few years, which would support the idea that children are being influenced by transactivism in the education system.

Homeopathy is at least taught to adults. In SOGI 123 and similar programs that have been, or will be adopted by other provincial educational departments, we are seeing vulnerable young minds exposed to theories that are every bit as untethered from science as homeopathy, and potentially far more damaging.

True gender dysphoria is real, but it is rare, and should be treated by medical specialists, leading to transition if necessary, but only if necessary. The SOGI 123 program, conceived and implemented by activists, and government-funded, is, like homeopathy, a form of “magical thinking,” “quackery” and “pseudo-science.”

But where is the outrage from real scientists?