Over at Science-Based Medicine, guest author Mark Crislip has a hearty post called Alternative Flight. Here is an excerpt:
Current airplane design is based upon a white male Western European model of what powered flight should look like. Long metal tubes with wings are a phallic design that insults the sensibilities of women, who have an alternative, more natural, emotional, way of understanding airplane design. In the one size fits all design of allopathic airlines, alternative designs are ignored and airplane design utilizing the ideas and esthetics of indigenous peoples and ancient flying traditions are derided as primitive and unscientific, despite centuries of successful use.
It reminded me on an incident years ago when as a book-buyer, I was being shown a book by Luce Irigaray called Fluid Dynamics. The idea was that fluid dynamics had not been fully explored by male centred science because of its feminine nature. After I picked myself off the floor, as sudden bursts of concentrated idiocy tend to knock me over, the publisher’s agent (a sensible educated woman) and I agreed that her job was a good one but every now and then you really had to question what is meant by the term “higher education”.
For the most part this sort of nonsense has been quietly forgotten, and has been excoriated by much better minds than mine (see Richard Dawkins’ review of Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont’s Intellectual Impostures). However, woo woo is too persistent to ever really disappear. Just take a look at this other examination called: Your Friday dose of woo: it’s all in the shoes or is it? from the folks over at Respectful Insolence.