Sunday, March 11, 2007

Who am I?

I am a mostly harmless chemist at a University that, as Stitch of Lilo and Stitch says of his family, is 'small, but good.' I have foolishly stuck my neck out and made the first comment on the blog of Klaus Rohde, one of my colleagues, so now I thought I may as well go ahead and create the science blog I have been meaning to create for some time.

I am most interested in free radical polymerisation, though my research covers a much broader area and my teaching covers a much, much broader area. I expect the first things I will do here will be to:

(1) Explain why homeopathy is even less scientific than 'intelligent design',

(2) Explain in physical chemist's language exactly how this global warming thing works, and

(3) Work in some more extended Lilo and Stitch references.


Anonymous said...

well - I'm curious about your opinion about homeopathy. Sounds like you are a real expert... ;-)

Anonymous said...

Chris, please consider this as a test (whether I manage to post a comment). As I said earlier today, homeopathy may well be entirely based on placebo effects, but so is much of classical Western medicine. So why not support it ( to a degree)? Insurance companies in some countries know what they are doing when they support it.

Chris Fellows said...

Your test seems to have been successful! I have two arguments, one of which is prosaic and utilitarian, and the other strident and philosophical.

(1) Normalisation of 'complementary' medicine will encourage patients to bypass classical medicine entirely, leading to a failure to diagnose easily treatable conditions and hence needless suffering and death.

(2) The evidence that religious belief can cause people to lead happier, healthier, and more productive lives is just as solid as the evidence for a homeopathic placebo effect. The evidence that belief in a standard of absolute morality is vital for a society to function effectively is (IMHO) very much stronger. Yet, you did not raise these arguments against Richard Dawkins. I am not accusing you of being inconsistent, just saying that at heart you see that our duty as scientists is to stand up for what is true, not for what makes us happy. We have a duty to noisily complain about anything that is false, no matter how much comfort people may derive from it.

[Having said this, I am not in agreement with Dawkins at all- I am in agreement with these posts (start at the end, as they are in inverse chronological order)]

Leslie Lim said...

Now this is the kinda of stuff i like to read about thanks for brightening my day


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