On pp.88-9 of The End of Faith, Harris writes,
Among the many disasters that could befall a person over the course of a short and difficult life, medieval Christians seemed especially concerned that a neighbor might cast a spell and thereby undermine their health or good fortune. Only the advent of science could succesfully undercut such an idea, along with the fantastical displays of cruelty to which it gave rise. We must remember that it ws not until the mid-nineteenth century that the germ theory of disease emerged, laying to rest much superstition about the causes of illness.
Considering that the current political elite in the U.S. wants to turn the clock back to an earlier form of christian "spirituality," I'm wondering when we'll see Congressional hearings into the identity of the witches who caused the Tsunami and the resulting epidemics.