I was recently having a conversation with someone who is completely in love with various medical woo claims, from homeopathic nonsense to poking yourself with needles to chiropractic stupidity. All of the failures of these various and sundry woo claims don’t work on him, he’s convinced that these things must work because credulous people that he knows who have used these things have said that they worked. When you point out that science has proven them false, he doesn’t care because he’s convinced that someday, science will discover that the scientific method isn’t the only game in town.
Yes, he wants science to embrace a method of evaluating claims that has nothing to do with the scientific method.
I’ve seen it before, of course, woo-peddlers who think that there will come a day when they’ll be able to prove the supernatural and other absurd ideas and they just have to keep the faith until that day comes. I pointed out all of this and now, he’ll no longer talk to me. His final sad attempt was to claim that the scientific method changes and someday, we’ll all acknowledge that he was right all along. No, sorry, the scientific method doesn’t change, scientific knowledge, gained through the scientific method, does as we learn more about the world around us. This guy is seriously convinced that you can do science without the scientific method, as though they are two completely different things. Maybe you can do science via religious faith? Nope, sorry. The clue is there in the name, “the scientific method”. It is the method that is used to do science. It is the method that has always been done to do science and will always be used to do science. And here’s the kicker, it’s the only method that we’ve found so far that provides testable results and allows for demonstrable predictions. That’s why we use it.
It always disgusts me to see how many of these absurd woo-peddlers try exactly the same thing, and it’s true of the religious as well, who think that their ridiculous ideas will some day be borne out by some magical change in science. When you tell them that nobody should believe anything until it actually is supported by objective science, they give you a dirty look and move on to discuss their stupidity with people who aren’t so grounded in reality.
This is really why I get so tired of debating these idiots. It’s always the same. I could write out the script before I even start. They don’t respond well to rational arguments and expectations that they can actually back up what they claim. It’s just arm-waving nonsense and when it’s clear that you won’t stoop to their irrational level, they insult you and go elsewhere. Honestly, we need to have a plague that kills the stupid and gullible.