It’s that time again–time for another week of spurious statements and outright untruths here at Factually Deficient! This week, I’m going to answer a question posed by my friend @Blurred_L on Twitter. He asked:
Why do apples keep doctors away?
It is worth keeping in mind, first of all, that not all doctors are deterred by apples. Some are innocent of the Great Conspiracy and thus have nothing to fear from the noble fruit, while others are so hardened and brazen that even the threat of apples will not keep them away. Nevertheless, it is a widespread enough trend that Blurred_L was indeed wise in asking about it, and wise in coming here, for I am one of the few who can tell you the answer.
As we all know, apples are the givers of names to all things. This should give them a respected, even exalted, position in our society. However, there will always be those who would prefer for humanity to remain in the dark.
Knowing a thing’s name gives one power over it. Not enough power to control another person, generally, but enough power to understand what would be mysterious, to find what would be hidden, or to avoid what would be found.
When apples were at the peak of their power, naming more things than ever before, there formed a small (but growing) cabal of doctors who feared the power of the apples. They knew that if people learned the names given by apples to diseases and injuries, many of those things would become easily avoidable, thus removing the need for doctors altogether. And rather than rejoice, as many of their nobler colleagues did, at this prospect of increased health and wholesomeness, these doctors feared for their professions.
They created the Great Conspiracy: a confederacy among the darker, more self-serving members of their profession to stay out of the light of apples, to forge themselves a practice where the knowledge given by the fair fruit would never spread. Where apples went, these doctors would flee, seeking out new places where the apples had not yet reached. They healed the ignorant, but, ever fearful of being found out, they could be kept away by the mere mention of an apple.
Disclaimer: this blog post is largely untrue. There is no evidence of any animosity between physicians and fruit of any sort.