Wednesday, December 30, 2009

NCSE's Newton on 'Science Denial', Colquhoun on Naturopathy 'Make Believe' - Philadelphia Inquirer, UPI (2009-12-24)

here, I cite from two identically dated news articles regarding science. The National Center for Science Education's [NCSE] Steven Newton [US] writes about 'science denial' in the Philadelphia Inquirer [see 001., below], while University College London's [UCL] David Colquhoun [UK] is sourced by United Press International [UPI] concerning naturopathy 'as make believe' [see 002., below]:

001. the NCSE's Newton writes in the Philadelphia Inquirer's "Science Denial is on the Rise":

"from evolution to global warming to vaccines, science is under assault from denialists - those who dismiss well-tested scientific knowledge as merely one of many competing ideologies. [Such] science denial goes beyond skeptical questioning [...and] attack[s] the legitimacy of science itself […] despite such misleading hyperbole, science is meritocratic […] research is judged by the data and methodology […] as the great physicist Richard Feynman noted, 'science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.' Science requires conclusions about how nature works to be rooted in evidence-based testing […] science denialism works differently. [E.g.] creationists are unmoved by the wealth of fossil, molecular, and anatomical evidence for evolution. Global-warming denialists are unimpressed by climate data. Denialists ignore overwhelming evidence […] cloak[ing] themselves in the mantle of science without being restricted by its requirements [...] they could submit it to scientific conferences and journals, inviting analysis by scientists. But, knowing their arguments don't hold water, they spread misinformation in [publication] arenas not subject to expert scrutiny […] understanding science has never been more important than it is today."

Note: this 'cloaking' is an m.o. I continually observe naturopathy doing. When naturopathy claims that within science is nonscience, naturopathy offers no scientific findings or scientific methodologies to support that.  Naturopathy writes it -- only -- as if then magically such irrationality is then made true and rational.  I've said this many times: it's as though science for naturopathy is a letterhead on a piece of paper, and they magically believe that whatever they then write underneath that 'science' letterhead is then science.  Naturopathy is quite fantastical, and quite absurd.

002. UCL's David Colquhoun is sourced by the UPI in “Britain Urged to Crack Down on Remedies”:

“the British government and doctors should do more to crack down on those who promote [pseudo!] remedies such as curing AIDS with vitamins [...] says David Colquhoun of the University College London [...per] an editorial in the Christmas issue of the British Medical Journal [...he wrote] colleges 'avoid the hard questions by setting up committees' while the government's department of health refers the hard questions to the Prince of Wales' Foundation for Integrated Health, which was asked to draft 'national occupational standards' for make believe subjects like 'naturopathy' [oh snap!...] Colquhoun cites two recent examples [...] the recent homeopathy 'evidence check' conducted by the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee [...admitted] 'that there was no good evidence that homeopathy worked [at all, because it's a pseudoremedy labeled, by the way, by naturopathy 'clinical science'...and] Colquhoun criticizes the head of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency for suggesting that homeopathy cannot be tested by proper randomized controlled trials [his original editorial submission to the BMJ is here].”

Note: I would argue that naturopathy is similarly a form of such 'science denial', except in naturopathy's case they deny:

a) basic biological science concerning physiology [e.g. by posing vitalistic and supernatural / immaterial forces as being fundamentally in control of physiology!];

b) basic pharmacological science, particularly as concerns homeopathy. 
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