Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Stuff that works

Another superb bit of diagramming from my favourite comic strip xkcd. This time we look at things that actually work and what our capitalist world tends to do with such things, i.e. for the most part companies are good barometers for things that work even though it sometimes takes time for them to find them.


This raises a question in my mind, why isn't religion on this list?

On reflection, perhaps it's got something to do with the fact that organised religion devours people's resources (time and money) independently of efficacy because you only find out if it's really true or not when you're dead! In this important respect for a surprising proportion of our population therefore, religion works.

4 comments:

gerrardus said...

Boots obviously think homoeopathy works... (for them)

Steve Borthwick said...

G, you're not wrong there!

gerrardus said...

But again, this cartoon highlights one of my favourite questions. Homoeopathy, like alchemy and possibly astrology and "crystal energies" is arguably science. It's just bad science. "Bad" science in that it doesn't look at evidence. Not "bad" in that it doesn't work - after all, the method of science is to propose something and then test whether it works or not. Good science can do things that don't work - the difference is that it rejects the model and tries another one.
Where is the boundary between bad science and magic? And where is that between religion and magic? (Obviously my view on this would be different to yours). My Archdruidical side can feel another Venn diagram coming on here...

Steve Borthwick said...

A Venn would be Vonderful :)