Scribblings Resurrection

More postmodern nonsense

Saturday, 2 June 2007

I find it really hard to believe that a supposedly serious newspaper such as The Independent can publish such nonsense as this piece about what has come to be called electrosmog in pseudoscience circles.

Other than the fact that there is not a shred of real evidence that ‘electrosensitivity’ is anything more than just quackery1 the article is so full of bad science that you do seriously have to wonder whether the author is seriously under-educated or simply barking mad. She seems to think, for example, that you can become radioactive simply by being exposed to the signals emitted by mobile phones and Wi-Fi base stations. She never does tell us whether her house plants got better once she’d removed all sources of electromagnetic radiation2 from her house.

One problem is that in these postmodern days we are supposed to treat all opinions, no matter how cuckoo, as equally valid so no doubt someone will email me to tell me that what I’ve just written is my own opinion while that of the Independent article’s author is hers. In a real sense, of course, that’s entirely true but it ignores the fact that what I’ve said is at least based on some sort of rationality and could be backed up with some genuine evidence instead of just hearsay, anecdote and the rantings of the alternative medicine crowd.

1 I’m sure that the symptoms of ‘electrosensitivity’ are real. The quackery comes in ascribing the cause of those symptoms to electromagnetic radiation.

2 I assume she’s talking about non-essential sources of electromagnetic radiation. Presumably she’s kept her light bulbs.

Posted 2 June 2007, 05:44 BST