This is a big, broad topic. It will require several posts to cover it, and probably more ongoing. In this page, I’m going to attempt to establish a foundation.
I am at least slightly qualified to talk about this subject—certainly more qualified than Nicole Naugler. I graduated from nursing school in 1969. Most of my working career was spent in either intensive care units or in the surgical recovery room (we woke people up). At one point, for several years, I was the charge nurse for the recovery room at a same-day surgery center.
None of that makes me a super expert, but it does mean that I’ve had some training and a bunch of years of experience in the field.
So, having established my creds, let’s begin with the naturalistic fallacy.
Interestingly, I didn’t really learn much about this in nursing school, except by inference. I learned about it formally when I went back to school (and got a B.A.) while taking philosophy classes. It’s really a sort of “duh” thing, something you would say, “Oh, yeah, that’s common sense” when hearing it.
But it’s an extremely common fallacy, one committed by almost everyone at one time or another. Nicole and her followers are especially prone to it.
For one thing, once you establish your basic philosophy based on this fallacy (accepting it as fact), your entire bedrock is skewed and hence nearly every conclusion you reach thereafter is equally skewed.
So what is it?
“It’s natural, therefore it’s better.”
“It’s not natural, therefore it’s inferior, or wrong.”
The root of the problem here is the belief that “nature” gives a damn. Nature does not give any damns.
We are organisms driven by DNA. I know this is really hard to swallow for a lot of people, because it goes against everything they’ve ever believed or wanted to believe about how special they are, but we’re no more special than bacteria are. We’re just more complicated.
DNA has only one goal: replication. Whichever methods, or whatever conditions, facilitate more replication mean that those conditions or methods become the prevalent ones.
It makes sense if you think about it a minute. If you consider two male birds, one more attractive to females because his tail feathers are a bit brighter, it will follow that that bird will get more females to mate with him, and thus have more offspring. Those offspring are then likely to inherit the trait that results in brighter tail feathers and thus, bright tail feathers become the norm. Evolution 101.
But along with this factual information came a mistaken idea that somehow natural selection was busy making the organism better, and stronger, and somehow loftier. That mistaken idea is what led to the notion that evolution is a progression upwards, always seeking higher, better levels.
It’s just DNA, trying to replicate. If the conditions that lead to increased replication involve having female spiders develop the nasty habit of stinging their mates to death (and sometimes eating them) after mating with them, well, DNA is just fine with that. I bet male black widow spiders don’t commit the naturalistic fallacy and assert that natural is better.
And the human race is not some special case that somehow is exempt from the laws of nature. What is true of black widow spiders is equally true of human beings. Whatever works makes DNA happy.
If human beings replicate more readily by living in squalor, in shitshacks and garden sheds, and not working, and sitting around all day on an iPhone sending love letters anonymously to people on the internet, we are likely to see more of that going on. [That’s a sobering thought, is it not?]
This led, by the way, directly to social Darwinism, the application of Darwin’s evolutionary theory (a scientific theory is the closest you can get to a “fact” in science, so please don’t confuse the word “theory” with the word “guess.”) to social and political conditions.
Social Darwinism is probably the worst idea anyone ever thought up.
The quote is Richard Dawkins, responding to a question about the naturalistic fallacy and social Darwinism. We’ll return to social Darwinism later in the pages about government.
But back to health.
The alternative health industry is simply riddled with people who embrace the naturalistic fallacy to their breasts, beating the drum of “natural is better” so loudly it is deafening. And there are not many of these ideas that Nicole hasn’t embraced as well.
In the ensuing pages, I’ll explore them one at a time.