Thursday, September 16, 2004

I - Thoughts on the zeitgeist.

Thoughts on the anti-scientific, anti Enlightenment values
dominating the zeitgeist.

This is a scare story with no real evidence to back it up. A number of people thought they had had their drink spiked in a bar. Speaking personally sometimes I can feel out of it on 2 drinks, sometimes on 4 glasses of Coke. No-one is denying that some people have been raped and cannot remember what happened. That is bad enough. Undeniable. To then jump to the claim "My drink was spiked" may be a leap too far. It may be true or it may not be true.

A study of spiking drinks should include toxicology screenings of drinks; samples taken from drinks in bars. That would be a proper scientific enquiry.

Asking people "has X happened to you" can come up with some ropey results. Witness there are 4 million Americans claiming to have been abducted by aliens or had a kidney removed. People admit to things in surveys that are not true.

Conclusions drawn from limited, controvertible evidence takes us down the path of " medieval science all over again! Step one, you sneak up on a phenomenon. Step two, you zap it with your patented catchall theory. Step three, Conclusum est!
you announce another victory over Nature! Next patient,
please, and all that. Real successful method; kept Europe asleep
for a thousand years."

[GRUDIN, Robert. BOOK - A Novel. New York: Penguin. 1992. 134]

1 comment:

john b said...

I suspect there's also an element of self-deception: "I couldn't possibly had a threesome with two random strangers just because I was pissed, I'm not that kind of girl... they must have drugged me".