Re: [asa] Consensus science

From: Jack <>
Date: Fri Aug 28 2009 - 09:24:38 EDT

Cameron said:

"9. More generally, you do not seem to be as worried as I am that "the
specialists" may quickly become a self-promoting group, with less interest
in truth than in maintaining their position. I am old enough to remember a
time when the older generation regarded chiropractors as witch doctors,
quacks, etc. They were encouraged in that opinion by the medical
profession. Now, surprise, surprise, everyone goes to chiropractors. The
specialists (i.e., the M.D.s) were wrong; the chiropractors *did* know
something. The medical profession in the West similarly treated acupuncture
as an unscientific procedure. Now, surprise, surprise, it is used in the
West, as well as by 1.1 billion Chinese (in a society dedicated to science
and technology). In short, specialists can be narrow-minded and defensive.
And it is often *not* internal scientific criticism among the specialists
which causes change in attitudes, but outside pressures by which the
specialists are forced, grudgingly, to accede to new knowledge (e.g.,
legislative action which gives chiropractors certain recognition whether
doctors like it or not, and a wave of successful chiropractic treatments
which prove, against the specialists, that chiropractic treatment is based
on a sound body of knowledge). Your account leaves this out entirely."

There are so many things wrong with this paragraph it is hard to know where
to begin. Chiropractic and acupuncture are considered "alternative"
medical practices, for good reasons. First there is no scientific basis to
them. I have never seen an electronmicrospy of Chi, nor a Chi gel, or fMRI
of Chi states. Western Medicine, for all its flaws, is based on science;
anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, etc. Acupuncture is based on mystical
principles. Chiropractic is based on a philsophy that almost all modern
chiropractic practioners have abandoned. The other difficulty is a lack of
clear definitions. When someone does a study of chiropractic techniques,
they are rarely rigourous in defining exactly what the manipulation is.
There are just about as many manipulations as there are practitioners. I
find it surprising that you place higher authority in the general public,
"everyone goes to chiropracters", and congressman, than you do on the
"consensus" medical opinion. I guess that tells us a lot about you.

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Received on Fri Aug 28 09:25:30 2009

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