Medium or Media BS?
23 September 2006 Filed in: Issues about Darwin's Theory
I have a pact with my daughter: each morning when I drive her to school, whoever turns the radio on in the car first gets to choose the station. Unfortunately, I don’t move as fast as my daughter and, as a consequence, most mornings I have to listen to an endless supply of drivel that only a 15 year-old could love.
The radio station she likes is called The Edge and I can just about put up with the verbal diarrhoea that passes for repartee between the three – count ‘em – three announcers. However, once per week they have a so-called Medium on (The Ghost Whisperer), who can, they all claim, communicate with the dead. Now I have not got any problem at all with people believing such hogwash: if anyone is stupid enough to do that they are probably stupid enough to make life’s major decisions on the basis of horoscopes, and so arguably they deserve everything that they get. But I find it more than mildly exploitative, that – whether the person ringing up and wishing to “communicate” with a past loved one is a willing participant or not – that the radio station should go through this whole charade that their Medium really can connect with those who have become dust. The inevitable result is that the person calling the Medium is reduced to tears by some banal message supposedly couriered through the ether with the Medium acting as conduit: “So and so [insert name] says not to fret about [him/her] as [he/she] loves you very much”.
God help me! It’s all I can do to drive. It seems unlikely that people seduced by such rubbish could ever come to terms with something so grounded in reality as evolution, or even, science generally. Darwin may have been conflicted about his relationship with God, but say what you like about the man, he was nothing if not logical. Nothing if not a scientist. It’s hard to imagine him holding back from natural selection because his horoscope said something like, “Now is not the time for making enemies. Do someone a kind deed and it shall be returned three-fold. Romance beckons”. It’s also hard to imagine him listening to The Edge.