Charles Champions Unreason

Prince CharlesThales is a lone skeptic from darkest Devon, (the home of crystals, white witches and alternative practitioners). MSS have kindly agreed to let him vent his spleen on their website from time to time.

The Prince of Wales continues to confirm his well earned reputation as the country’s leading crackpot. Charles can rant as much as he likes about the carbuncles of modern architecture and town planning, but when it comes to health, he abuses his position of authority in his tireless advocacy of the integration of unproven quackery into mainstream medicine at the tax payers’ expense.

The Prince, talking recently at the annual conference of The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment declared his pride at being regarded as anti-enlightenment.

“We cannot go on like this, just imagining that the principles of the Enlightenment still apply now. I don’t believe they do” – Source: The Times

As a reminder, the central principles of the eighteenth century enlightenment were freedom, democracy and reason, and as historian Peter Gray says, “Lead to the scientific method, religious tolerance, and the organization of states into self-governing republics through democratic means.”

Is the prince aligning himself with the culture critics and other innumerate intellectuals who don’t actually believe in the power of reason to bring about human progress? Surely he cannot disagree that individual liberty, rights, entitlements and the rights of workers, women and minorities have all improved as a direct result of the questioning of authority, tradition and custom that was the enlightenment. Does he think the proliferation of artistic, philosophical and scientific enquiry and liberal humanist values was a bad thing; or does he just hate science?

The zealous promotion of pseudo-scientific silliness and new age nonsense is consistent with his one-man mission against modernity and allows him to look down from his romantic anti-enlightenment pedestal with utterly undeserved self-righteous superiority.

Like so many who criticize the evils of science, the numerous benefits are readily overlooked and rarely get a mention and the irony of the fact that they are a product of an affluent liberal democracy built on enlightenment values seems to have been conveniently forgotten. In common with other science bashers, the vehemence of their opposition can border on hatred, their cause often becoming quasi-religious in nature. Such is the level of Charles’ aversion to reason and evidence, I wonder how far he would go to prevent the “fall” of man. Would he relish the smell of the burning flesh of Giordano Bruno or cheer in vigorous approval at the house arrest of Galileo for daring to disagree with the insane tenets of the Catholic Church.

With Charles’ unthinking promotion of quack therapies, comes an implicit criticism of modern scientific medicine (homeopaths refer to real doctors as allopaths; a derogatory term implying their inferiority to dispensers of harmless sugar pill placebos). This overtly belittles the monumental effort of some the most ingenious and innovative minds humanity has produced. This casual dismissal of sustained intellectual effort and rigorous painstaking research is crass and insensitive to a degree that only comes through abject ignorance and blind stupidity. As Professor Michael Baum, a leading British oncologist said of Prince Charles, “the power of my authority comes with a knowledge built on 40 years of study and 25 years of active involvement in cancer research. Your power and authority rests on an accident of birth”. (You’d think that may have appealed to the princes’ sense of humility!)

It is just as well we’ve moved on a little from the divine right of kings( dare I say, progressed), otherwise this ridiculous royal would long ago have rejected reason and evidence, and we’d all be living amid the darkness of imposed ignorance.


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  1. #1 by AexMagd on February 11, 2010 - 18:39

    Although they do annoy me a lot, I’m a paid-up member of Republic pretty much because the prospect of Charles as a political, interfering king fills me with abject terror. I can’t decide what I find worse, his incessant dry-humping of anti-Enlightenment tradition or his support for quack medicine

  2. #2 by vIQleS on February 11, 2010 - 19:53

    Sounds to me like he’s advocating a return to a time when a single family ruled a country by divine mandate.

    I can’t imagine why that would appeal to him…

  3. #3 by Terry S on February 11, 2010 - 20:02

    This one is too important to miss. I’ve re-posted the link on facebook.

  4. #4 by David S on February 12, 2010 - 08:24

    It is the blind devotion of the press to his comments that annoys me. His statements should require the same questioning investigation that the scientific community rightfully receives. Royalty always relied on peoples’ ignorance; it is what made them powerful.

  5. #5 by Chris Pugh on February 15, 2010 - 22:29

    As far as I can tell the reason why the monarchy has stayed intact is because the Queen has been extremely tactile and kept her mouth shut, on well, everything really. So once Charles takes over and sticks his oar in left right and center, hopefully he will stir things up enough for some attention to finally be paid to how idiotic the idea of a hereditary monarchy is.

    To quote Thomas Paine,

    “because the idea of hereditary legislators is as inconsistent as that of hereditary judges or hereditary juries; and as absurd as an hereditary mathematician, or an hereditary wise man; and as ridiculous as an hereditary poet-laureate.”

(will not be published)