jcsuperstar wrote:the most recent studies into acupuncture, you know, the one's that show it work, are kinda funny, since it went down something like this, pro acupuncturists, those who just stuck needles in randomly and those who didn't stick them in but the people thought they did (toothpicks were used) and guess what? turns out the people who got the pro acupuncture actually felt better, so it works right? well yes, however the other groups all had the same results, so basically it works just as good as thinking you got poked, so just as good as nothing....
Ben wrote:Hi Anna
I have to confess I have a fundamental difference of opinion with you with regards to the acquisition of scientific and medical knowledge and the efficacy of homeopathy. The fact is that as scientific knowledge increases as a result of technology, sampling, testing,it corrects our previous understanding.
I hope you watch the following series by Richard Dawkins with the spirit that I recommend it to you.
Annapurna wrote:Btw, the topic is not about homeopathy or acupuncture, that was just an example.
Very often electronic versions of the full texts are freely available online. It's always worth reading the source paper but also reading any letters of response in later editions of the journal etc.simplemind wrote:It's important to find a particular 'study' and actually read the abstract to see what was actually argued.
I'm curious, if we can't trust 'studies', what exactly makes a medical practice useful? Is it just that it works in a particular case? This seems a bit of a piecemeal approach to medicine. As it turns out, we have way more in terms of resources and money that we we can dedicate to that process. We don't have to 'try' out stuff on ourselves each time. The advantage of larger medical studies is that the process is public and available for later falsification. Scientists are some of the more skeptical people you'll meet, but they trust large, peer reviewed medical studies because these are public results that we can try to replicate and use to confirm/ falsify theories.
That's not to say alternative medicine cannot be useful. However, it just isn't usually supported by what we consider the best reasoning in medicine. If the goal is health, I think there is good reason that most people go with the most rigorous tests and processes that they can find. If I'm going to take a medicine (or undergo) a procedure, I want the most reliable method available. If I have a serious medical problem, I'll try my luck with alternative medicine once I've given established medicine a chance.
Last point, the press makes a big deal out of clinical studies that are often very provisional and tentative in nature. A study might find some marginal increase in some positive attribute (based on caffeine use or something) and many papers grab the fact as proof that 'Coffee will heal everything, etc.' It's important to find a particular 'study' and actually read the abstract to see what was actually argued. You'll find it's very rarely a bold and definitive conclusion.
simplemind wrote:I think there is good reason that most people go with the most rigorous tests and processes that they can find. If I'm going to take a medicine (or undergo) a procedure, I want the most reliable method available. If I have a serious medical problem, I'll try my luck with alternative medicine once I've given established medicine a chance.
Annapurna wrote:Excuse me Ben, but I could only watch the first 3 minutes, my time is too precious right now, as I'm working an averge of 11-14 hours a day. I find the commentaries themselves a bit too polemic and suggestive.
Ben wrote:Annapurna wrote:Excuse me Ben, but I could only watch the first 3 minutes, my time is too precious right now, as I'm working an averge of 11-14 hours a day. I find the commentaries themselves a bit too polemic and suggestive.
No problem, Anna.
Years ago I used to practice shiatsu and give people macrobiotic dietary advice for their health and happiness. I had a bit of an epiphany as I was delivering my daughter. After that moment, I dropped my pre-conceived ideas about 'western
medicine' and started to read and listen with more discrimination regarding alternative medicine claims. Then years later, I witnessed the work of selfless health-care professionals who worked tirelessly and selflessly trying to keep my father and older brother alive. I've also witnessed the profound impact of treatment with family members with acute clinical depression.
I also had the opportunity to work in a number of large metropolitan hospitals and had professional and social relationships with clinicians. In my spare time, I organized a number of teams to participate in endurance cycling events and raised many thousands of dollars for unsexy causes such as geriatrics, hyperbaric medicine, and financing of research into trans-cranial magnetic stimulation for patients with treatment-resistent depression.
So impressed was I with the personal and scientific integrity of the people who I was exposed to, I recommended to my daughter a career in medicine some years ago. She is now near the top of the third year in the most prestigious medical faculty in Australia.
I understand that you have a career in alternative therapies, Anna. I'm not attacking you nor the choices you made. And while Dawkins is quite polemical, what he does do in that series is outline,very eloquently, the way in which scientific knowledge is advanced.
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