Alternative MedicineReligion and Spirituality

Christian Science: Beyond Oxymoronic

A hemisphere, fifteen time zones, and oceans away, my Austrlian friend Bef and I, by coincidence (however I have reason to suspect the Illuminati had a hand in this), walked into Christian Science reading rooms within twenty four hours apart from each other. Then each, on our respective continents, walked out with a copy of “Health & Science” by Mary Baker Eddy in hand.

Both Bef and I had similar discussions about the belief system of Christian Science, and we can both tell you this: it’s not science. From Bef’s account of his interaction:

Anita explained that these healings aren’t things which can be objectively tested or quantified, they can be only experienced. According to Anita, unfortunately our language is too restrictive to actually allow us to adequately describe these experiences and the scientific method is too restrictive to actually allow them to be demonstrated scientifically.

I asked how they can possibly think it is appropriate, and not altogether misleading, to call themselves Christian Scientists when they don’t utilise the scientific method. Just to add insult to injury, I pointed out the obvious similarity to the Church of Scientology in which they have a name which seems to give their claims some undeserved Scientific credibility.

Anita said that the Church has it’s own methodology for healing, but they’re not prescriptive. Healing through prayer is based not on a formula, but on personal experience and a relationship with God. In other words, untestable and unscientific.

If it had any scientific merit, it wouldn’t be called Christian Science, it would just be called science. In much the same way as if alternative medicine had any value, it would just be called medicine.

I recommend reading the entire, hilarious account here at his blog.

Indeed the evidence the religion relies on is heavily anecdotal. By heavily anecdotal I mean primarily anecdotal. And by primarily anecdotal I mean purely anecdotal. And by that I mean empirically unverifiable. And by that I mean…

To save myself from a tangent I’ll just say that it’s not something that one can really investigate critically, skeptically, and thus intelligently take seriously. If you wanna stick your health and livelihood in the hands of prayer you might want to think a little more critically about the risk you’re taking.

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1 Comment

  1. June 19, 2009 at 2:26 am —

    Yeah, the first time I have heard of Christian science, which was a actually a reaaalllyy brief mention in the US history textbook, I thought, WTF?! In fact, I don’t think the word oxymoron can quiet describe the… whatever Christian science is supposed to be…
    And as the article said. it reeeaaallly reminded me of alternative medicine. Same crap, equally unverifiable.

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