Saturday, December 26, 2009

That ND Vitalism Belief - Yang ND, Vancouver:

here, I cite from a recent article written by a Vancouver, Canada ND claiming that Traditional Chinese Medicine is much better than modern scientific medicine [see 001., below]; and then I muse:

001. naturopath Yang, J. (ND CCNM) informs us in Canada's South Asian Post article "Is Chinese Medicine Better For Every Day Health?" (2009-12-2x):

"traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is based on philosophical principles [a.k.a. archaic beliefs / articles of faith / superstitions] such as the yin and yang theory and five elements theory [...] the belief [truly] is that any presenting symptoms are a manifestation of illness. Illness, in turn, occurs only when there is an imbalance in a person’s energy (qi) flow [a.k.a. vitalism...] TCM practitioners determine the cause of illness, better yet, investigate what is causing the disturbance in qi flow [vitalism] throughout the body [...] the practice of traditional Chinese Medicine has been documented for well over 2000 years and has successfully withstood the trials of time [bullshit...] in contrast, Western medicine is rooted in scientific knowledge and evidence [true...] it takes a more superficial look at the body [false...] the main concern is that steps have been taken only to mask the illness [false...] both types of medicine have their own validity within the medical field [bullshit]."

Note: one would think, from this article, that modern medicine is quite second-rate compared to TCM.  Yet, that would be false in this sense at least: at least modern medicine is based upon science, not sectarian belief / figmentation / superstition posing as sense / falsely claiming to understand how the world works

'Theory' in science has a very specific context, and here, theory is being used in that 'it's just a theory' kind of vernacular sense [whereby I mean 'outside of science' sense].  'Energy' is also a scientific word being co-opted here to represent an immaterial, nonphysical animating force inhabiting matter.  There simply is no such qiThere is no such vitalistic energy: biological entities are chemically-based

So, how can it be said that TCM has truly "withstood the trials of time"?  And, I highly enjoy the 'in contrast': as if to say, 'in contrast, this other stuff is merely based upon the most accurate modeling of reality humankind has ever invented'.  I guess if favored Tooth Fairy premises are ignored and facts are instead valued more, NDs call such an approach 'superficial'. Yet, modern medicine is obligated to scientific knowledge, and therein to claim that prescientific ideas have validity within a domain that has ejected such - is absurd.

002. this article is a prime example of naturopathy's m.o:

a) claim medical and scientific expertise, and professions-level status [while employing an argument that is quite irrational];

b) combine what is legitimate medical science and what HUGELY isn't, and call the latter equal and yet BETTER. But, something is not the same as something it is different from, and it is nonsensical to combine ideas that are diametrically opposed / HUGELY in conflict and then deny the internal  inconsistency.

Note: archaic, prescientific 'medical' belief systems are often called philosophical, time-tested, and claim to 'treat the one true cause'.  But, who would trust thinking -- if you want to call it that -- that claims that hugely science-ejected concepts such as vitalism are a legitimate basis for medical care?

We are told at the start of the article: "experienced and professional experts answer questions relating to all round health in Canada."  When epistemic conflation is the m.o. -- that is, when all knowledge is muddle and given equal status -- I would beware as opposed to trust. And if I can't trust you because you are based on crank ideas, you're not an expert and you are not professional. To quote Francis Crick:

“and so to those of you who may be vitalists I would make this prophecy: what everyone believed yesterday, and you believe today, only cranks will believe tomorrow.”

But, with naturopathy, yesterday, today and tomorrow are indiscernible -- because, within naturopathy, it is considered reasonable to label that which it is not.
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