Friday, March 28, 2014

Jimmy Wales on 'Holistic' Pseudoscience Luncacy and Wikipedia: Lovin' It.

here, I cite from an article about 'holistic healing' whiners unhappy that their fringe isn't dominating Wikipedia's entries on their 'lunacy' [see 001., below]; then, I extend the language to naturopathy [see 002., below]:

001. at Slate.com, Lily Hay Newman writes in "Jimmy Wales Gets Real, and Sassy, About Wikipedia's Holistic Healing Coverage" (2014-03-27):


"the latest commotion is  [...] Wikipedia's coverage of holistic healing: members of the alternative medicine community don't like how they're being written about, so they created a petition [...] the petition says, 'wikipedia is widely used and trusted. Unfortunately, much of the information related to holistic approaches to healing is biased, misleading, out-of-date, or just plain wrong.' [...]";

irony alert!

"Jimmy Wales [...] posted this response on the petition: [...] 'you have to be kidding me. Every single person who signed this petition needs to go back to check their premises and think harder about what it means to be honest, factual, truthful [...]";

ouch.

"'if you can get your work published in respectable scientific journals—that is to say, if you can produce evidence through replicable scientific experiments, then Wikipedia will cover it appropriately. What we won't do is pretend that the work of lunatic charlatans is the equivalent of 'true scientific discourse' [...]";

hear, hear.

Note: this was also reported at Time.com by Alexandra Sifferlin in "Wikipedia Founder Sticks It To ‘Lunatic’ Holistic Healers" (2014-03-25).  Arstechnica.com also.

002. speaking of 'lunatic charlatans', naturopathy's two major North American organizations, AANP and CAND, both employ the term "holistic"!

002.a. here's CAND telling is in the 2014 archived "Naturopathic Medicine in Canada":

"our holistic education and founding principles [...] Vital Link is a print newsletter that is distributed to all members of the CAND [...] this journal [...] provides science-based articles and research on specific health topics."


of course, the central question is what what does "holistic" mean?  IMHO, it is as epistemically hollow / nebulous as the term "natural."

002.b. here's AANP telling us in "What is a Naturopathic Doctor?":

"naturopathic medicine focuses on holistic, proactive prevention and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment [...] naturopathic physicians keep themselves up-to-date on the latest scientific research and incorporate this evidence into their treatments."

003. overall note:

perhaps I should be clearer about the 'epistemic lunacy' of North American naturopathy.  They claim that ANYTHING is appropriate to label as "science-based."  Natural is just like holistic, a weird wrapping containing ANYTHING the labeler wants.



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