my science is better than your science…

When you can't back up what you're selling with peer-reviewed science, just invent your own like William Tiller...

mad scientist in armor

Say you have a lucrative business selling water or sugar pills sprinkled with water, claiming that what you sell can improve your patients’ health. In keeping with the stunning permissiveness of DSHEA, you make sure to avoid saying anything that implies treatments or cures and solicit business by saying that unlike all that nasty modern medicine, what you’re selling is really scientific, bastardizing the basic laws of physics as you do or borrowing scientific literature and clumsily appropriating it to your cause.

Worst case scenario, you accuse pharmaceutical companies of conspiring against you and sell your wares with the good, old alt med cliché of a rebel thumbing your nose at the system, revealing insider secrets to the “open-minded.” But eventually, all those tactics start to fail as those schooled in scientific concepts eventually take a hatchet to all your talking points. What’s a quack to do? How about just making up your own version of science like William Tiller?

There’s a bit of a problem with that idea though. When you decide to ditch objectivity and experiments that are not based on wishful thinking, what you end up doing is justifying your beliefs by cherry-picking whatever you’d like to call evidence. Science has rules and one of these rules is that you have to design experiments that can be verified by others. You can’t just go around and name hypothetical quantum particles simply by saying that they exist in the spiritual manifold of quasi-universal chi-consciousness fields (or whatever woo-tastic phrase catches your fancy) and are thus outside of scientific scrutiny. If the entire scientific field has to re-write almost everything it knows about quantum mechanics and cosmology just to put your claims to the test, chances are that somewhere along the line you went off the tracks. Kind of like this…

The second level of physical reality is invisible to traditional measurement instruments when the system is in the uncoupled state but is accessible to these same instruments when the system is in the coupled state of physical reality. The coupling of these two unique levels has been shown to occur via the application of a sufficient intensity of human consciousness in the form of specific intentions. [ … ] Existing orthodox science provides the technical underpinnings and mindset for today’s orthodox medicine. Psycho-energetic science will provide the technical underpinnings and mindset for CAM.

Um, yeah. Good luck with that one. After giving a veiled nod to Deepak Chopra, Tiller is essentially saying that because a legitimate scientific investigation won’t prove homeopathy or the power of wishful thinking sold by alt med gurus, he’s going to give up on the scientific method and invent his own science around energy fields he imagined along with the powers of human consciousness, in a horribly clumsy allusion to the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle. In his quest to waive a victory flag over the skeptics, it seems that Tiller ends up writing a clear admission of defeat by self-servingly rejecting the extremely well tested theories of particle physics.

# science // alternative medicine / homeopathy / quantum physics

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