Knowing What I Don’t Know

A friend of mine posed an interesting question this week: “How do you feel about alternative medicine?” he asked me. My response was something in the vein of, “Well, I’m for whatever works.”

Me, I like results. If something works—be it herbal treatments, acupuncture or anything else that isn’t part of “traditional” medicine—who am I to say it’s bogus? After all, there was a time when traditional medicine included blood letting, leeches and a fun little procedure called “trepanning”: drilling holes in the head.

There are zillions of examples of things that were held as true that were later proven to be wrong. Ulcers were shown to be caused by bacteria, not stress. The Earth was proven not to be the center of the Universe. The continents have been proven to move, contrary to the once widely held belief that they were stable. Germs have been found to cause diseases like cholera and chlamydia, not  a miasma (bad air). And the list goes on and on.

So, it behooves me to keep an open mind about psychics. I know many people who believe that they have learned important things from psychic readings and such. And while I try to leave room for their validity, I do have some questions:

  • Why is it that everyone I know who has had a past-life analysis finds that they were someone important and exciting, like a prince or a warrior or a queen or a pirate? How come no one ever finds out they were a serf?
  • If someone truly had the ability to foretell the future, why wouldn’t they pick the correct Powerball numbers or go to the track and pick the Exacta?
  • If you walk in without an appointment, shouldn’t the psychic say, “I knew you would come in today.”?
  • Why is it that spirits occupy their time by haunting houses and bothering people? If you had the ability to travel through time and space, is a drafty old house in rural Minnesota really your best choice?

Don’t mistake my skepticism for cynicism. I’m ready to be proven wrong at the earliest opportunity.

I’ll wait here…

Today’s Fact-Cetera

A group of 12 or more cows is called a “flunk”.

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