Sunday, March 4, 2012

FSM, MJA, and 'Naturopathy is Pseudoscience': Three 2012-03-04 Australian Web Sources

here, I cite reporting concerning the recent editorial by MacLennan and Morrison in the Medical Journal of Australia [MJA] from ninemsn.com.au [see 001., below], news.com.au [see 002.,below], theconversation.edu.au [see 003.,below], and my own US addition!!! [see 004., below]: 

001. ninemsn.com.au [which claims to reach "67 percent of Australia's online population"] states in "Pseudoscience Harming Unis: Journal" (2012-03-04)[vsc 2012-03-04]:

"pseudoscientific health courses are undermining the credibility of Australian universities, according to an editorial in a leading medical journal [...] the Medical Journal of Australia [...] the professors say federal funding is wasted on universities that support pseudoscience health courses [...] courses that lack scientific credibility [...such as] homeopathy, iridology, reflexology, kinesiology, healing touch therapy, aromatherapy and energy medicine [...] in an effort to counter the growth of pseudoscience in medicine, hundreds of scientists, clinicians, academics, consumer advocates and organizations have joined the Friends of Science in Medicine (FSM) [...they've] written to all Australian universities about its concerns [...regarding] the scientific basis of their courses [...and] they call on all tertiary institutions to review their health-science teaching. 'Their scientists and students should be concerned by any retreat from the primacy of experimental, evidence-based approach in science and medicine' [...] 'anatomists cannot be asked to support the validity of the meridian channels of acupuncture, pharmacologists cannot advocate, without evidence of efficacy, the use of herbal and homeopathic medicines to naturopaths [!!!], and physiologists cannot be asked to explain mythical subluxation theory to chiropractic students'."

Note: hear, hear.  Keep in mind that though naturopathy is mentioned, all the therapies and their requisite ideas which I've highlighted above are commonly done by naturopaths.  In that sense, naturopaths are the generalists of sCAM.

002. news.com.au [who claim to be "the number 1 publisher of news [...reaching] around 7.7 million people per month"] states in "It's Just Not Scientific Enough Says Journal" (2012-03-04)[vsc 2012-03-04]:

"[pretty much repeats the above article, but adds] the professors say federal funding is wasted on universities that support pseudoscience health courses. The editorial has shocked Professor Kerryn Phelps, former president of the Australian Medical Association and the current president of the Australasian Integrative Medicine Association. "What really has the potential to undermine the international credibility of the Australian medical profession is the publication of such a deeply biased, unchallenged and divisive editorial [...] it is an insult [...] Australia will lose all international credibility unless these modalities are included."

Note: wow, quite an embarrassing sCAM apologist AMA / AIMA has there!  Loving it.  See, I'd argue that the FSM piece IS BIASED!!!  It favors science, critical thinking, and rationality instead of pseudoscience, gullibility / credulity, and irrationality!!!  Really: including iridology in modern medicine is QUITE THE INSULT to all of humankind.  Just simply WOW!  I'll touch back on the money aspect in 004., below. 

003. the Conversation ["an independent source of information, analysis and commentary from the university and research sector"] states in "Pseudosciences are Destroying the Reputation of Australia’s Universities" (2012-03-04)[vsc 2012-03-04]:

"the international credibility of Australia’s universities is being undermined by the increase in the 'pseudoscientific' health courses they offer, two academics have written in today’s edition of the Medical Journal of Australia [...they are] Alastair MacLennan [...and] Robert Morrison [...there they] write that academics at universities which teach courses such as homeopathy, iridology, reflexology, kinesiology, healing touch therapy, aromatherapy and energy medicine need to 'stand up for science' [...that] 'pseudoscientific courses sully the genuinely scientific courses and research conducted at the same institutions. Their scientists and students should be concerned by any retreat from the primacy of an experimental, evidence-based approach in science and medicine' [...they are part of] the Friends of Science in Medicine [..who are] dedicated to fighting the growth of pseudoscience in medicine [...and who] wrote a letter to every vice-chancellor in Australia asking for a review of their health science courses to 'ensure that primacy is given to scientific principles based on experimental evidence' [...examples include] a Graduate Certificate in Medical Acupuncture at Monash University, a Bachelor of Health Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine at the University of Technology, Sydney, and a Bachelor of Health Science (Acupuncture and Chinese Manual Therapy) at RMIT University [...] Canberra Institute of Technology: Advanced Diploma of Naturopathy [...] Southern Cross University: Bachelor of Clinical Sciences (majors in complementary medicine, naturopathy, osteopathy) [...] University of Western Sydney: Bachelor of Applied Science (Naturopathic Studies); Graduate Diploma in Naturopathy [...] the National Herbalist Association of Australia has also denounced the campaign to pressure universities and health funds to reject complementary medicine. Association President Leah Hechtman [a naturopath!] said that naturopathic and Western herbal medicine practitioners should be integrated into the healthcare system.  'To achieve this, we need to increase our evidence base which requires university training. Without university training, research opportunities for practitioners and complementary medicines will reduce. To exclude naturopathic and Western herbal medicine courses from undergraduate or post graduate programs at Australian Universities is irresponsible.'"

Note: I'll touch again on what's irresponsible in 004., below.  So much of what's being call pseudoscience is in fact so implausible and mythic that Hechtman is basically calling for the need for researching the characteristics of magic beans and unicorn tears.

004.  my United States addition:

well, I got ripped off [minimally, money via US Federal Loans I now owe for the rest of my life] in quite an irresponsible [I actually prefer the word, minimally, 'criminal'] way.

so, here's a school [vsc 2012-03-04] labeling naturopathy, its homeopathy and acupuncture, and chiropractic "health science."  This bogus science claim is even recorded at Wikipedia [vsc 2012-03-04]. It's the school I went to for an ND that I ceased out of disgust and abuse. What's interesting is that all these graduate programs were created after 1990, approximately.  And it seems immune from the racket they have going on: science subset science-ejected or -unsupported [aka pseudoscience].  Here are some of my class-notes from back in the day!  Here is the current North American naturopathy board exam claiming over all of naturopathy's nonsense, including homeopathy, "science."

Appendage:

there is also The Australian's "Quackery Disguised as Science Harming Unis" (2012-03-04) [vsc 2012-03-04] which has a nice iridology chart included with the article.





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