Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Science Rejects Supernaturalism and Vitalism - Hall's 2010 ISBN 0763760390

here, I cite from an undergraduate science survey text centered on evolutionary science.  Note how, even within the undergraduate, nonscience major context, concepts such as supernaturalism and vitalism are overtly stated as nonscientific [see 001., below]; then I point out the anomaly of naturopathy, which at the doctoral level makes the absurd claim that those two concepts are indeed within science [see 002., below]:

001. Hall, B.K. (PhD{zoology} UNE, DSc{biological sciences} UNE) writes in "Evolution: Principles and Processes" (0763760390;2010) [the book is viewable at Amazon.com, in part]: 

"[this book is] written for students without a scientific background taking a one-term course [...and it] begins with a introduction to the nature of science [{on back cover}...regarding] vital force [or] vitalism [...] gaining freedom from such [religious-like, vacuous!] constraints was more difficult for biology (especially for evolution) than it was for physics or chemistry [p.433...] vitalism: the concept that the activities of living organisms cannot be explained by any underlying physical or chemical principles but arise from unknowable internal or supernatural causes [p.g21...] Darwin's works made clear that society no longer needed to believe that only the actions of a supernatural creator could explain biological relationships [p.435...] despite the overwhelming scientific evidence for evolution as a natural process, some religous groups adhering to creation[ism] have developed intelligent design as a purported scientific alternative to evolution.  'Intelligent design' is latter-day creationism [...but] Kitzmiller v. Dover [..ruled it] a form of religion and not science [...] because intelligent design relies on supernatural explanations rather than natural causes, it is not science [...] religious arguments [...] are not scientific explanations and should not be confused with, or regarded as, scientific explanations [p.440]."

Note: science does not, obviously, include supernaturalism and vitalism.  Dr. Hall has both a doctorate in zoology, and in biological sciences.  This is a mainstream undergraduate biology textbook that, I think, speaks well for the preponderance of science regarding these two issues.  Vitalism, historically, impeded research, thus the language of "gaining freedom from such constraints."  It was regarded as a place-filler that diverted scientists from the gaining of actual knowledge, much as the "god did it" supernatural place-filler explained nothing -- essentially.
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002. now, for the naturopathic.  Two versions come to mind that disqualify the naturopathic context or worldview as scientific.  There is the 'simple' Bastyr statement [see 002.a., below] and the 'more fractured' University of Bridgeport statement collection [see 002.b., below]:

002.a. Bastyr University, which has a naturopathic program that claims a "robust basic sciences curriculum" states, in their U.S. News and World Report [false] advertisement "Bastyr University" [vsc 2010-06-29]:

"Bastyr's international faculty teaches the natural health sciences with an emphasis on integrating mind, body, spirit and nature."

Note: the "nature" of course is naturopathy's central vitalistic context, the healing power of nature.  So, there you go, the supernatural and vitalistic falsely claimed to be within science.  Facts speak otherwise.  Integrating of course means to blend.  I have called such knowledge-type blending "epistemic conflation" [EC].  Science, truly, is not a conflation of knowledge types, but an "epistemic delineation."

002.b. the University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine does the same type of EC, except it is spread across more than one web page:

002.b1. UB states vitalism and supernaturalism in 5 of their 6 defining naturopathic principles / strictures [vsc 2010-06-29]:

"Six Guiding Principles: Guiding Principle #1, the Healing Power of Nature, Viz Medicatrix Naturae [...] the healing process is ordered and intelligent; nature heals through the response of the life force [vitalism]. The physician's role is to facilitate and augment this process ['the vitalistic context!'...] Six Guiding Principles: Guiding Principle #2, Identify and Treat the Cause, Viz Tolle Causam" [...] causes may occur on many levels including physical, mental, emotional and spiritual [supernaturalism...] in "Six Guiding Principles: Guiding Principle #3, First Do No Harm, Viz Primum no Nocere" [...] illiness [sp., illness!] is a purposeful [that is, teleological, which is also science-ejected] process of the organism. The process of healing includes the generation of symptoms which are, in fact, an expression of the life force [vitalism, claimed as fact!] attempting to heal itself. Therapeutic actions should be complimentary to and synergistic with this healing process ['this vitalistic context']. The physician's actions can support or antagonize the actions of he [sp., 'the!'] viz medicatrix naturae [...] Six Guiding Principles: Guiding Principle #4, Treat the Whole Person, The Multifactorial Nature of Health and Disease" [I guess they couldn't swing the Latin on that one, and considering the likelihood that their 'viz' is supposed to be 'vis', we're grateful] health and disease are conditions of the whole organism,a whole involving a complex interaction of physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and other factors. The physician must treat the whole person by taking all of these factors into account [...]  Six Guiding Principles: Guiding Principle #4,The Physician as Teacher, Viz Docere [...] the physician must also make a commitment to his/her personal and spiritual development in order to be a good teacher."

Note: so, they can't spell or proofread well and their Latin sucks.  So, five out of the six UB naturopathic strictures involve vitalism or supernaturalism [or teleology!].  Then, it is all labeled "science" [vsc 2010-06-29].  Again, EC.

003. fascinating.  Commerce, here in the academic area and then into the clinical area, occurring under OBVIOUSLY false labels. 

Note: now, an ND is obligated to this false position, by OATH.  Here is that oath [vsc 2010-06-29] by a Canadian CAND-AANP-AANMC type ND:


"I dedicate myself to the service of humanity as a practitioner of the art and science of naturopathic medicine [...] I will honor the principles of naturopathic medicine: first, to do no harm; to cooperate with the healing powers of nature [vitalism!]; to address the fundamental causes of disease; to heal the whole person [supernaturalism!] through individualised treatment; to teach the principles of healthy living and preventive medicine. With my whole heart, before these witnesses, as a doctor of naturopathic medicine, I pledge to remain true to this oath."

Note: the label of "science" upon principles, which, when looked at in detail, are science-ejected.

The big INTERNATIONAL logical inconsistency and ethical absurdity, of course is:
I pledge to remain true to this falsehood, for the benefit of society!  In actuality, society is being deceived, and science, modern doctoral education, and plain old common sense are being defecated upon.
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