British 'rottweiler' attacks faith healers

Aug. 5, 2007 at 2:17 PM   |   Comments

LONDON, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- The British man known as "Darwin's rottweiler" for his attacks on religion has turned his attention to alternative medicine.

In a two-part television series, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins visits faith healers, psychics and other gurus in an effort to counter what he calls a wave of irrational superstition sweeping Britain, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

Self-described healers, like a woman in Glastonbury, England, who charges nearly $300 a day to treat seriously ill patients with meditation and chants, are extorting about $3 billion a year out of Britons and hurting British culture, Dawkins argues in the program.

But the scientist does not limit his criticism to small-time entrepreneurs.

He challenges Deepak Chopra, a world-famous guru who charges tens of thousands per lecture and has a slew of celebrity devotees, the newspaper said.

Dawkins reserves special ire for National Health Service funding of homeopathy, a popular but unproven field of medicine shunned by the mainstream medical profession.

The rise of irrational belief in such healing is accompanied by a decline in interest in hard science, the program says, as evidenced by the precipitous drop in students pursuing careers in chemistry and physics.

"The Enemies of Reason" will air on Channel 4 this month.

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