Imagine a Palestinian going to a Palestinian psychiatrist and free associating. “You know, I’ve been having these weird thoughts.... I don’t think that Jews are responsible for all my problems.... In fact, I’m starting to think that they’re an admirable people, and that we should be imitating them instead of murdering them.... Let’s be honest, Doc, Arabs have contributed nothing to the world, but just by being in proximity to Israel we were the most prosperous Arab ecomomy, but we stupidly destroyed all of that with the meaningless intifada. We actually cheered when those planes went into the Twin Towers, but now I’m starting to have second thoughts, Doc. Am I crazy?”
“Yes. Not just crazy but evil. As a way of curing you, I am recommending that you be hung by your ankles from the nearest lamp post and be disemboweled by an angry mob.”
Do you think this is far-fetched, and that he is exaggerating? Let me reiterate what he says earlier in the same post: "...science, properly understood, can only exist in a free society."
Remember Soviet Psychiatry, which I wrote about here? Or, how about another example of Islamic science--like the time they demonstrated how Neil Armstrong "proved" that Mecca was the center of the universe?
Truthfully, I think that Bob is being way too restrained about how "Palestinian" psychiatry--or any psychological science in the backwaters of the Middle East-- would warp and distort science.
Don't get me wrong. There are some very unscientific activities that go on even in free societies; but it is only in the kind of collectivist/totalitarian societies that the very basic principles of science are manipulated to conform to the ideology of the state.
Anyone can distort science and the scientific method; but it takes a fanatical totalitarian state (and it doesn't matter if it is secular or religious--as long as they have absolute power over others) to mount an all out assault on truth, reason, and reality and ensure that none of those three can have a negative impact on their delusions.
UPDATE: Omar of Iraq the Model demonstrates how, in a free society, one is able to counter science whose goal is, not knowledge or even truth, but political ideology. And, let's say you happen to think the researchers in the article are honorable scientists...well, you should have listened to their interview yesterday when they blatantly admitted that they wanted their "study" to be published before the mid-term elections in the US so they would have an impact. That is very scientific of them, you must admit. The Lancet, once a reputable medical journal, seems determined to publish political fluff these days to advance their editors' political agenda. Sadly, this is getting all too common, even in the West.
Instapundit has a round-up of appropriate skepticism of their