Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Mental At Least

What do you do with a feel-good article about tears?

Therese J. Borchard writes a column called "Beyond Blue" for BeliefNet that, if "The Healing Properties of Tears: 7 Good Reasons to Cry Your Eyes Out" is a fair sampling, should give treacle a run for its money.

Well, first thing you do is notice is that her "research" is an article by Jerry Bergman at Answers in Genesis. Now, I have no idea if the "facts" she lifted from Bergman are true or not but, since it is in aid of one of those non sequitur-fests, where a list of good adaptations are trotted out as "miracles which work so well that ... it is one more reason to realize that our marvellous body is not the result of evolutionary trial and error," there is probably some basis for them in reality. Except, of course, that the same creationists will turn around and admit that natural selection does lead to adaptation ... but just a little bit.

The next thing you do is notice this:

In her "Science Digest" article, writer Ashley Montagu argued that crying not only contributes to good health, but it also builds community.

Um ... if you Googled "Ashley Montagu," the very first hit that comes up is the Wikipedia article with "her" picture prominently displayed. Okay, it is presently a commonly a female name in the US (and you know what poor Evelyn Waugh must suffer in American culture nowadays) and I probably don't Google every author who I make reference to but know little or nothing about. But if I started an advice column and based my advice on something someone wrote, I hope I'd do at least a little research on that person's qualifications.

Worse yet, according to her biography, her column also shows up on The Huffington Post, woo-meister to the Left, and flies under the colors of "mental health."

All right. I'm grumpy and it's a slow night in the news I usually follow. But you have to wonder if there really are people out there who look to this woman for solutions to their problems and whether they know what their getting.

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