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Were the ancients fools?

Posted in Denialism by Skepdude on September 28, 2008

I’m off to the west coast (of Michigan) for a few days, and if I don’t blog, I shall die…or something. So I have a few posts from my old blog to share with you.

Often in the discussion of cult medicines such as homeopathy, acupuncture, and reiki, supporters fall back on “the wisdom of the ancients”. This raises a question. Since “the ancients” had it wrong (i.e. their belief systems could not effectively treat disease), were they just stupid?

Any of my historian readers already know the answer, but it’s worth going over…

Our forebears were neither more nor less intelligent that we (unless you go back about 3 or 4 million years—that gets rather dicey). They were literate, intelligent, and damn good thinkers. They just had limits to their ability to investigate their environments.

Let’s take an example. This is from an English physician living in Paris in the mid-18th century, during the time inoculation against smallpox was spreading, but vaccination had not yet been invented.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY AT “DENIALISM” 

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