One of the great failures of reasoning to which people are generally susceptible goes
along the lines of "I don't know how to do X without Y, therefore Y is essential to
have X." This argument can hold ground for centuries until someone comes along and
figures out how to do X without Y, and then it collapses in a pile of rhetorical
rubbish. Vitalism went this way, together with mountains of mumbo jumbo from every
culture in history. The need for a certain easily spread, but none the less useless,
superstition that starts with a 'q' is not far from the flusher.