Retreat From Reason

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by Ms.Brainy, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. Ms.Brainy

    Ms.Brainy Guest

    Source: David Harrison, "New age therapies cause 'retreat from
    reason'," The Sunday Telegraph, August 8, 2007

    Prof Dawkins says that alternative remedies constitute little more
    than a "money-spinning, multi-million pound industry that impoverishes
    our culture and throws up new age gurus who exhort us to run away from

    The 66-year-old scientist has investigated a range of gurus and
    therapists, including faith healers, psychic mediums, angel
    therapists, "aura photographers", astrologers, Tarot card readers and
    water diviners, and concluded that Britain is gripped by "an epidemic
    of superstitious thinking".

    Britons spend more than £1.6 billion a year on alternative remedies
    which Prof Dawkins describes as "therapeutic stabs in the dark".
    Health has become a battleground between reason and superstition, he

    "There are two ways of looking at the world - through faith and
    superstition, or through the rigours of logic, observation and
    evidence, through reason. Yet today reason has a battle on its hands.

    Reason and a respect for evidence are the source of our progress, our
    safeguard against fundamentalists and those who profit from obscuring
    the truth. We live in dangerous times when superstition is gaining
    ground and rational science is under attack."

    He laments the fact that half the population claims to believe in
    paranormal phenomena and more than eight million have consulted
    psychic mediums, while the number of students sitting physics A-level
    has fallen 50 per cent and chemistry by more than a third in the past
    25 years.
    Ms.Brainy, Aug 25, 2007
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  2. Ms.Brainy

    Zetsu Guest


    Is this Dawkins? Richard Dawkins?

    I think I've read a book by him. It was called 'The God Delusion' or

    Anyway that man is an idiot. Who cares what he thinks, he is a
    paranoid old fool. And he states obvious things and makes it look like
    he thought up something clever!
    Most of the time it is not either one of the 'two ways of looking', it
    is both. Believing in superstition does not mean you are not logical.
    It's like believing in the tooth fairy; doesn't make you into some
    crazy fanatical zealot!
    Just because people believe in psychic mediums, it doesn't mean they
    would stay away from one subject like physics or chemistry, just
    because it is 'science'. It's like having a religion, just because you
    are one religion doesn't mean you will refuse to study a science. I
    mean what a stupid thing to say.
    Zetsu, Aug 25, 2007
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  3. Ms.Brainy

    Zetsu Guest

    The 66-year-old scientist has investigated a range of gurus and
    I don't see how these people are harming anyone at all.
    Zetsu, Aug 25, 2007
  4. Ms.Brainy

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    I think you are definitely on to something.
    Dr. Leukoma, Aug 27, 2007
  5. Ms Brainy

    There *are* also two ways for a human mind to look at the world.

    One is by faith. Not requiring any reasons to believe and accept what
    is seen and the other is one that demands explanations and reasons for
    what is seen.

    One parent demands a child produce a reason they dont want to go to
    school on a particular day and the other parent just accepts the child
    has a good reason and produces an excuse for the child.

    And strangely enuf our brains have evolved to see the world in two
    different ways.

    One hemisphere of the brain sees the bigger picture, for example we
    desire a radio to be constucted that has good sound and appearance at
    a certain price. It does not care how it is constructed providing
    it fits the 3 criteria.

    The other hemisphere of the brain only sees details, laws and
    analysis. It can understand components but it cannot relate them to a
    bigger purpose. It cannot understand three dimensions.

    In the science or art of electronics a constructor has to understand
    the "art" of electronics *and* has to be good at the little details
    that follow the laws of electronics. To actually build the device
    the electronics expert has to *fudge* the details to produce the
    desired result. Overly focusing on the details and being overly
    rational does not create a good working device. Instead the details
    have to be altered to fit the purpose. And yet without the details
    there can be no radio.

    So excessively relying on reason and what is evidential in a tiny
    detailed manner can be detrimental to human progress.

    We need to balance our ways of looking at the world because there
    ***are*** two ways of looking at the world.
    I dont think it is just a coincidence that my pyschic visiting mother
    had remarkably good eyesight until her death at age 74 whereas me who
    decided at a very early age that i did not believe in such things was
    myopic or that it it entirely irrelevant to my myopia that i have A
    levels in physics and chemistry whereas my younger brother who is
    prepared to believe anything is possible and does not limit himself in
    advance according to what can be described by reason and logic is
    normal sighted and has no science qualifications.
    superstition, or through the rigours of logic, observation and
    evidence, through reason. Yet today reason has a battle on its hands.

    I think at least part of the problem is that powerful vested interests
    are behind much of the research that is being funded by
    universtities. Unless these vested interests can see an economic
    outcome for the research the research tends not to be funded.

    Case in point Dr Hammonds "Classical method" twin studies at London
    University. The classical method uses an assumption to ignore the
    effects of the environment that is highly controversial and yet Dr
    Hammonds studies are published in the British medical journal with no
    mention of any controversy about the assumptions involved. The
    twin group is sponsored by the Welcome institute which is funded by
    the drug company of similar name. One can reason that their main
    purpose is likely to be finding drug based solutions to genetic
    'defects'. And one can reason they have little or no interest in
    finding none drug based solutions for these 'defects'

    Sometimes laughter can be the best medicine.

    And sometimes what might seem reasonable is highly unreasonable when
    looked at from the point of view of just plain old common sense.

    But how do you measure common sense?

    Is common sense unreasonable? Unscientific? Irrational?

    Sometimes laughter is the only solution to the more odd and strange of
    human behaviours.

    andrewedwardjudd, Aug 28, 2007
  6. Ms.Brainy

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    ....and the relevance of all of this to science, medicine, or vision

    But you are an "A" level writer.
    Dr. Leukoma, Aug 28, 2007
  7. Ms.Brainy

    Dr. Leukoma Guest


    You evidently believe that you can reach your target audience through
    this usenet group. By the way, who is your target audience?
    Dr. Leukoma, Aug 28, 2007
  8. Ms.Brainy

    Zetsu Guest


    You evidently believe that your hostile behavior towards Andrew is
    somehow making you the bigger or tougher man. Really, it doesn't.
    Zetsu, Aug 28, 2007
  9. Ms.Brainy

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    I appreciate your comment, Zetsu. But, you see, I am not trying to
    show anything except that Andrew's ideas -- although they make
    grammatical sense -- have no place here. Otis is quite a handful by
    himself. Until now, I hadn't really thought about physical size or
    toughness in the context of this debate. I just wish there could be
    some substance to the debate. One either believes what Andrew says or
    one doesn't based on faith, because there is no scientific evidence.
    None. He says there is, but where is it? It's like Otis dragging out
    that same study by Young which he keeps misquoting anyway. It's

    But, I agree that it is probably better to say nothing at all unless
    it is nice. At least I've dropped the vulgarities.

    All the best,

    Dr. Leukoma, Aug 28, 2007
  10. Ms.Brainy

    Zetsu Guest

    Zetsu, Aug 28, 2007

  11. Ok. I will have another go to explain what i am saying here.

    It is related to the dualistic nature of human beings.

    A human being has two ways of seeing and two ways of thinking.

    In one way of seeing a person constructs reality from details. It
    attempts to understand the parts and make a whole from them.
    However it is poorly suited to the different task of seeing what is

    In the other way of seeing a person has a bigger picture view of
    reality. The details are not so important. It cannot accurately
    understand the details and yet even so it has an understanding of
    reality that is necessary to understand reality.

    For example the left brain is well suited to know that the details of
    a cube are:

    It has right angles
    It has 6 sides
    All sides and edges are the same

    Even so it cannot really understand the whole of the square so that it
    can draw it accurately.

    On the other hand the right brain can draw a cube in 3 dimensions and
    understands the concept of the cube shape. And yet it cannot
    describe the details that go to define a cube. It knows the cube but
    does not know its details.

    These are very different ways of seeing.

    To understand reality we need both ways of seeing or thinking.

    As i say our brains mirror this dual way of seeing.

    A person who therefore overly relies on what can be understood in a
    detailed sense loses the bigger picture sense of what is important to
    understand the whole or the overarching purpose that is constructed
    from the details..

    In my observations of myopic people they are overly analytical,
    judgmental, detail orientated. What can not be understood tends to
    be thought of as not existing. It is a left brained way of

    So myopes construct reality based *only* on the detail they see and
    understand but are not so competant at fitting the details accurately
    into the bigger picture sense of a human life lived between birth and
    death. In a human life there are certain facts of life that are part
    of the overall bigger picture that need to be appreciated if a person
    is to live happily on earth.

    A myope tends to believe they are intelligent. And it is true they
    might well understand some of the details ie that a cube has such
    details. They might laugth at a person who does not know what a cube
    is in such details because to them such a thing is "obvious".

    On the other hand an artist can paint a beautiful cube and have very
    little intelligence as is measured by IQ. In todays society artists
    and none left brained thinkers or visionaries are no longer valued
    economically like in times gone by.

    Humans appreciate beautiful things. How do you define what is
    beautiful? can you? But we all know what is to us beautiful.

    We now live in a warped age of reason. The importance of details is
    emphasised. For example it is "vital" we can spell and we can do
    maths. but the bigger picture sense of a life that has to be lived
    happily tends to be forgotten as we pursue details like money and
    education and possessions. We might get a few hours of art or craft
    in school. In schools kids dont learn how to become citizens.
    Instead in a henry ford fashion they are processed to pass exams and
    get jobs. Schooling was not always like this and some schools still
    are not like this. Some children are taught to be independant and be
    good citizens still. But for many the culture of the individual

    I am arguing for a more balanced life style.

    I believe life style factors are behind the myopia explosion.

    We now live in what can seem like a very stressful world where a
    person might feel he or she is inadequate if they are a happy go lucky
    person who does not keep up with the relentless demands of advertisers
    and his fellow man.

    On the other hand some people are immune to what others think. They
    define themselves based on what they think and feel and not on what
    others have demanded from them. These people might not earn much
    money, they might not get such good grades in school, they might not
    do so well at IQ tests but the chances are they have common sense.

    Common sense is more of a right brained skill. Its not obvious why
    common sense is useful but if you have it then it is obvious why it is

    It is more of a faith based way of seeing. That knows that
    something makes sense rather than a way that requires some rule as to
    why it makes sense.

    Myopes seem to lack common sense.

    As my mother said of me "Andrew you know the price of everything and
    the value of nothing" or "Andrew you cannot be told anything"

    Paradoxicly myopia is a kind of learning problem. Because the left
    brain bias means that if it cannot be understood by breaking it into
    details then it is hard or impossible to understand.

    Can a human know as a fact that the paranormal is an impossible thing?

    They cannot know. They can *think* they know. And they can believe
    the *detail* of their thought represents reality. But in the bigger
    picture sense their thought does not represent what is true.

    And yet the professor claims he is reasonable and intellligent to
    denounce half of britain for having beliefs he does not have.

    I think the professor is part of the problem rather than part of the

    andrewedwardjudd, Aug 28, 2007
  12. show anything except that Andrew's ideas -- although they make
    grammatical sense -- have no place here.

    Dr G.

    Your view that my ideas have no place on a vision group is your

    I believe my ideas are important if humans ever want to unravel the
    mystery of poor vision. We dont see with our sense of sight exactly
    but rather we see what our minds interpret or perceive after they
    receive the sensed data.

    If you divorce the reality of a human brain interpreting the sensed
    data at the retina and assume that divorced reality has no part to
    play in having good vision i think you are going to be doomed to
    forever fail to understand the nature of vision problems.

    When a person demonstrably alters the way they see things via their
    way of thinking i think it provides evidence of the way their body and
    mind by some unknown process has poor eyeball vision.

    Anxious myopic people seem to want to construct a different reality to
    what actually really exists.

    I know correlation and causation are not the same thing.

    But when you for example exclude what is i believe known as a
    beginning point to your seeing i think you are not likely to have
    yourself good vision.

    Good vision depends on accepting what is there and receiving that
    rather than projecting what you think is there outwards as what you
    imagine is there.

    These might seem like philosophical ideas but we are not dealing with
    technology here but rather human beings were a huge amount of what is
    seen is happening in a human mind rather than some piece of technology
    that is perfectly understood.

    Unless you believe that all that can be ever known about vision is
    already known I think you need to open your mind to the possibility
    you might be wrong about some of your very rigid ideas on what is
    important in a vision problem.

    andrewedwardjudd, Aug 28, 2007
  13. Ms.Brainy

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    Yes, all well and good, Andrew. These statements roll off your tongue
    (keyboard) rather glibly. Other readers can judge their veracity and
    germaness for themselves. For me, it's just so much unrelated
    gibberish. And you are correct. I do get turned off by it so quickly
    because I cannot take it seriously. It's something I might read in a
    magazine on an airplane if I didn't have anything else to read.
    Dr. Leukoma, Aug 28, 2007
  14. Ms.Brainy

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    Yes. It is my opinion that this discussion isn't relevant to the aims
    of this group. However, you may attract others like you and change
    the character and mission of the group if that is YOUR mission.
    Frankly, I don't know why you want to come here and destroy this NG.
    My personal opinion is that you are trying to get even with the
    "establishment" for ignoring your ideas. Other than people defending
    your right to post here -- and it is your right, I don't see a
    groundswell of support for your theories.
    Dr. Leukoma, Aug 28, 2007
  15. It's only a mystery to you. It's a mystery to you because you wrap
    _all_ vision problems in one blanket, expecting one cure to work for
    all problems. It's a mystery if you ignore the sense organs, ignore
    the physics and attribute the problem to psychology or mentation.
    So myopia and astigmatism disappear when you sleep? When you're
    unconscious or comatose, suddenly the eye focuses properly on the
    retina without the interference of unbalanced "interpretations?"

    This is mush, Andrew. When your eyes don't focus up close any more, it
    isn't the result of rigid thinking.
    If you ignore the optical reasons for poor focus and blame it on the
    mind, who is "divorced from reality"?
    This is your "cure" for astigmatism, presbyopia, amblyopia, optic
    So that's what makes them myopic? That's a little mushy but what's
    REALLY mushy is preaching that you can cure myopia by relieving
    anxiety or constructing a better reality. The eyeballs are still too
    long nothing you've shown us SEEMS like it would shorten them.and
    you've done nothing
    Who could argue with that? Who could make sense of it?
    Cosmic, dude.
    No physics, just philosophy.
    I think you need to open your mind and learn some physics.

, Aug 28, 2007
  16. Mike

    Do you *really* think the human body and its eye can be understood as
    if it were an autorefractor??

    Please tell me you dont really believe that!

    I know you know that the human eye is connected to a complex organism
    and not a machine, but for some reason you seem unable to see that the
    system is more than just an optical system that can be understood in
    such simple terms as you are insisting it has to be for the
    requirements of this list.

    This is a vision science list and not just an optometry list.

    andrewedwardjudd, Aug 28, 2007
  17. Ms.Brainy

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    This entire discussion belongs in another news group, Andrew.
    Something along the lines of pop psychology or personal improvement.
    Dr. Leukoma, Aug 28, 2007
  18. Dr G

    I appreciate that you believe that good vision has nothing to do with
    a specific form of good mental health.

    But we just disagree on that.

    Like Mike I believe you have this misguided idea that the eyes, which
    are outgrowths of the brain, in some manner can function in isolation
    to the wider mental health of the brain.

    Like Mike you probably dont have much faith in common sense but i just
    think you lack common sense on this subject.

    We disagree. Either leave it at that or provide some evidence to
    support your case that the human "mind" plays no part in good vision.

    andrewedwardjudd, Aug 28, 2007
  19. Ms.Brainy

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    When my patients have a vision problem, they do not seek a mental
    health professional, although that is what you wish.
    But, I never said that. Not ever. Never.
    Quit changing the subject, Otis. Your mushy ideas are what are on
    trial here. Certainly not ours. You are seemingly retreating from
    your own fantasies.
    Dr. Leukoma, Aug 28, 2007
  20. wrote in
    So now that we know where we all stand, can we limit discussion to about
    every other month?
    Scott Seidman, Aug 28, 2007
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