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The Prince of Wales is not a scientist…obviously

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on August 10, 2009

As if we needed more proof that the prince of Wales has a completely science-free and evidence-free mind, here comes his reaction to the latest study on organic foods, the one that found that the organic foods were not superior to conventional foods from a nutritional point of view. So what does the good prince do with the evidence? Why refuse to accept it of course!

“This study hasn’t changed His Royal Highness’s views one bit,” one of the Prince’s friends tells me. “Charles thinks it’s ludicrous to suggest that vegetables treated with chemicals or meat raised with antibiotics can be as good for you as proper food.”

I don’t like it therefore it cannot be true! Typical true-believer attitude. Reality is “ludicrous” so I reject it!  I don’t care what the reality is, my make believe version is what I cling to! How can such a study not change ones views “one bit”? You must live in a completely evidence-free, logical thinking-free, reality-free world for that to make even the slightest bit of sense. What does this constant refusal to face reality say about ones ability to think through such issues? Aren’t Britons glad these titles are just for show, and these folks aren’t really running their country? I know I would be if I were a Briton!

The hereditary peer questions the validity of the FSA’s comprehensive study. “It’s a very poor piece of work,” he claims. “It seems that there will be a rebuttal from scientists around the world. It’s very disappointing. I thought the FSA had got over this anti-organic stance by now. It seems not.”

Of course, the “there’s definitive evidence right around the corner” attitude. The true believer is not convinced by the existing evidence because he is convinced that evidence for his side of the story is surely coming. Almost time now! I am sure that you see the faulty thinking processes in play here. Evidence is evidence! You do not refuse evidence you don’t like out of hope that evidence you like will come your way. Either you will accept evidence, wherever it leads, or you will reject evidence, no matter it’s conclusions.  You cannot pick and choose which evidence to accept, and you definitely have no grounds in reason and reality to reject existing evidence in favor of non-existing evidence. That is the definition of sloppy, poor, illogical thinking!

Furthermore, why this piece of work is very poor is not elaborated by the prince. One can only assume he thinks it is poor because he does not like the conclusion. That assumption is only reinforced by his subsequent ad hominem on the FSA and their supposed “anti-organic stance”. If the good prince has any valid critiques of the study, he should voice them. These ad-hominems are a bit pathetic, and one would think below of person of his stature.

He adds: “Our position is the science says organic food has nutritional benefits. I was a government minister for nearly five years and I’m really surprised at the behaviour of both the scientists and the FSA. They confused opinion with science.”

Oh, I think you are the ones that confuse opinion with science! See in science one rebuts a finding with scientific arguments and facts. Does it sound like this is what the good prince, and his people, are doing? Or does it sound more like name calling and refusal to accept a reasonable conclusion?

The prince of Wales and his people clearly do not understand the scientific process. It is unfortunate that their voice is heard by some many, simply because they are in a position of power/prominence.  How many will use a quick, sloppy, argument from authority and continue to refuse reality, based solely on the prince’s, pseudoscientific attitudes and opinions?


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