Andrew Weil is one of the gurus of the "alternative medicine". Unfortunately, he does not approach it scientifically. Weil contends that alternative medicine is "intuitive", and doesn't need scientific proof. Instead, he recommends "stoned thinking" (Chapter 7, The Natural Mind, 1972).

Weil holds ludicrous views on mental illness:
"I am almost tempted to call psychotics the evolutionary vanguard of our species. They possess the secret of changing reality by changing the mind; if they can learn to use that talent for positive ends, there are no limits to what they can accomplish" (Chapter 7, The Natural Mind, 1972).

His later works only affirm these dangerous views.

Information from: "A Trip to Stonesville" by Arnold S. Relman.

lordaych: You are confusing straight thinking with conservative thinking. Your (fine) arguments against the drug war are an example of rational thought - that is, you are applying (in a non-rigorous way) the scientific method to show that the war on some drugs does not work. If you really believed in intuitionism, you would just say "I was doing some acid the other day, and I intuited that the drug war is failing."

Further, you assert that creativity is not a part of straight thinking. This is false - every idea must come from somewhere, and some of the best straight thinkers have had ideas from the unlikeliest of places. Henri Poincare, a mathematician, writes the following:

"At the moment when I put my foot on the step [ of a bus ] the idea came to me, without anything in my former thoughts seeming to have paved the way for it, that the transformation that I had used to define the Fuchsian functions were identical with those of non-euclidean geometry."

Had he been Andrew Weil, he would have written this idea down and tried to have it published. Then mathematicians everywhere would have laughed at him - because progess is not made by people throwing ideas around, but by proving those ideas by formal methods (in math) or by scientific testing (in science). Creativity provides a spark, but rational thought is the fuel.

"Genius is one percent inspiration, and ninety-nine percent perspiration." -- Thomas Alva Edison.

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