Sunday, April 25, 2010

Vitalism is Paranormal, Immature, and Science-Ejected (ISBN 1405181222, 2009)

Smith, J.C. (PhD{psychology} MSU 1975) writes in "Pseudoscience and Extraordinary Claims of the Paranormal: A Critical Thinker's Toolkit" (ISBN 1405181222, 2009):

"the traditional paranormal explanation is that acupuncture [p.006] frees the flow of a mystical energy, qi (or chi) [p.007...] children [...] in attempting to make sense of the world [...] may erroneously think of objects as possessing consciousness and agency or intentionality [...] eventually children outgrow such simplistic thinking patterns and learn to explain the world more accurately in physical, biological, and psychological terms [...] the idea that objects possess energy and intentionality is called vitalistic causality or vitalism, a type of thinking that also characterizes adult belief in the paranormal. Vitalistic thinking also characterizes early human thought and philosophy [...e.g.] a life-giving soul [...] in the 19th and 20th centuries physiologists proposed a vital force underlying all living things [...aka] life force, vis essentialis, vis viva, entelechy, elan vital, and soul atoms [...] vitalism is clearly a paranormal concept.  There is no evidence of vitalistic energy, much less a thinking energy with intentionality, outside the energies physics has discovered.  Children give up such vitalistic thinking as they mature [...] civilization gave up vitalistic explanations for those based on science [...] vitalism persists in energy treatments of complementary and alternative medicine [p.271]."

Note: meanwhile, naturopathy [which places itself within so-called CAM] calls its vitalistic premise "the healing power of nature," per a life force which is "intelligent."  And it labels itself "science-based."  In that sense, naturopathy is absurd, since what is within science and what is exterior to science are equated, and nonscience is falsely labeled science.
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