Saturday, January 26, 2008

Penn, Teller and Feng Shui Bullshit

The purpose of the series was to reveal the truth behind talking to the dead, Nostradamus, remote viewing, feng shui, alien abductees, creationists, extreme environmentalists, bottled water, alternative medicine and more. Undercover operatives were used to film the stories, and these location shots are interspersed with Penn’s comments (Teller remains mute), in the studio. The programs are fast paced, use a lot of humor, and pull no punches, as you might guess from the provocative series title.

They certainly get their message across. For example, in the segment on feng shui, they call in three feng shui experts to rearrange furniture in the same Californian house. No one who sees this program will forget how each of the three feng shui experts comes up with completely different arrangements of furniture - each expert supposedly using the same feng shui “science”. Especially telling was how the first feng shui expert said that the red sofa was bad for the family – she mentioned several health problems that would result. Then the second one said the red color was “absolutely perfect”. What a hoot. Does this prove that feng shui is bullshit? Well no, of course not. To do that you would need a much bigger experiment. But it’s not the job of Penn & Teller or anyone else to prove that feng shui is nonsense; if feng shui experts want us to believe in it, it is up to them to provide evidence that it does work. What P&T do is demonstrate the general idea of how things should be tested. And they make it pretty clear that they think feng shui failed the test.
(for bottled water bullshit click here for other here)

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