Re: Alternative Medicine (was Re: Skepticism - its uses and abuses)

From: jack syme <>
Date: Wed Dec 21 2005 - 14:54:26 EST

I hear what you are saying.

Western medicine is, as I mentioned, based on rationalism, and fundamental
science. And philosophically it is strongly libertarian. Like I mentioned
in a prior post I think with most alternative medicine you are more likely
to undergo treatment whose philosophy is based on ideas that are contrary to
biblical ones, and whose scientific basis is less rigorous.

I dont know what a "biblical apologetic" for modern medicine would look
like. To me that sounds like asking for a biological apologetic for science
education. But, I think there is more risk (to both the spirit and the
body) in alternative medicine than in traditional medicine. There are many
things wrong with traditional medicine in the training of doctors, in what
diseases get research dollars, in the distribution of competent doctors, in
its financing, in credentialing of providers, and in the expectations of the
population. I dont think I completely understand what you are saying about
your wife's experience, but what I hear you saying is that the local doctors
were incompetent, the alternative therapies were no better, and you got some
help from the specialists at UVA. So are you saying that it took you a long
time to find the correct doctor? If so, I dont think that it matters what
the "apologetic" of medicine is, you just needed to get to the doctor that
was skilled in your wife's problem. It is unfortunate that you were not
able to find her help sooner.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Clarke Morledge" <>
To: "Iain Strachan" <>
Cc: "asa" <>
Sent: Wednesday, December 21, 2005 1:00 PM
Subject: Re: Alternative Medicine (was Re: Skepticism - its uses and abuses)

> On Tue, 20 Dec 2005, Iain Strachan wrote:
>> Clarke, I'd be interested to know what resources in traditional medicine
>> were used - my friends have given up on traditional methods, after an
>> "alternative" doctor diagnosed something wrong with her liver (something
>> to
>> do with "detoxification pathways" ) and told them that no-one in the
>> National Health Service can detect this problem & that it is a gap in the
>> knowledge of the NHS. (The UK public health system)..
> My wife was wrongly diagnosed with asthma. She used high dosages of
> prednisone over long periods of time to try to combat the "asthma". It
> helped somewhat, but it basically got her endocrinological system out of
> whack. We were able to make significant progress with specialists at the
> University of Virginia Medical School hospital. But this was after
> exhausting every conceivable local medical resources and the alternative
> ones as well.
> A number of alternative treatments were suggested for my wife by different
> members of our church. Some were actually suggested by doctors, so this
> is where things started to get pretty grey. Various solutions were
> suggested (and some were tried) to correct her endocrinological problems,
> with varying degrees of scientific support (if any) behind them, such as:
> (1) blood-type diet (Peter D'Adamo).
> (2) muscle testing (derived from "applied kinesiology").
> (3) herbal remedies, with lots of vitamin supplements (homepathic).
> (4) staying away from electromagnetic fields (we live about 1/4 mile from
> a power line).
> (5) healing touch prayer.
> (6) Hulda Clark solutions (I finally had to put my foot down against this
> one!!)
> The list can go on and on.
> The problem I found was that most of the alternative medicine providers
> are generally folks with good intentions. But all of them have
> experienced some type of disillusionment with traditional Western
> medicine. Then you combine that with some curious cultural/biblical
> exegesis: e.g. the symbol of modern medicine, Aesculapius's snake and
> staff, is viewed as a pagan symbol at best -- Satanic at the worst (note
> the connection between the "snake" and the serpent in the Garden of Eden).
> I've heard some rather "creative" theories as to why modern medicine is
> either excessively narrow or founded on unbiblical presumptions; e.g. the
> Hippocratic Oath is a pledge of allegiance to paganism.
> I would argue that there is a crucial need for a biblical apologetic for
> modern medical science that can help the average evangelical church-goer
> to weed out the pseudo-science while promoting a solid, Scriptural view of
> promoting health.
> Clarke Morledge
> College of William and Mary
> Network Engineer
Received on Wed Dec 21 14:57:01 2005

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