Sunday, November 23, 2008

Singh & Ernst's "Trick or Treatment" - Missing Naturopathy's Essential Premise Entirely:

here, I critique the authors of this very good book for not being explicit regarding naturopathy's vitalistic, science-ejected, sectarian premise:

001. in "Trick or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts About Alternative Medicine" (ISBN 0393066614; 2008) authors Simon Singh (PhD{physics} ?) and Edzard Ernst (MD ?, PhD ?) state:

001.a. regarding naturopathy:

"naturopathy [...attempts to] promote self-healing [...] naturopaths are convinced of nature's own healing power (vis medicatrix naturae), a gift that all living organisms are believed to possess [p.318]."

Note: that's it, in terms of explaining the 'essential premise' of naturopathy, according to the authors! We can do better, and provide explicit "undeniable fact."

001.b. regarding the nonscientific status of vitalism:

"[acupuncture's] life force (ch'i) [p.040...] vital energy or life force [p.043...& homeopathy's] vital force [p.104...] there is no evidence whatsoever to support the existence of a vital force [p.105...the premise] makes no sense at all from a modern scientific point of view [p.148...such] life forces [like] yin and yang [...] are not a reality but merely the products of an ancient Chinese philosophy [...and in light of modern scientific knowledge, they're] implausible [p.326]."

Note: the authors are in agreement with the preponderance of the scientific community -- it is an "undeniable fact" that vitalism is HUGELY nonscientific. Both acupuncture and homeopathy -- and their requisite vitalism -- are mandatory courses within AANMC ND granting institutions. And though Singh and Ernst's naturopathy definition didn't mention vitalism, vitalism is the 'essential premise' of naturopathy:

002. what's missing from this book -- explicit mention that science-ejected vitalism is naturopathy's central premise:

002.a. naturopathy is essentially vitalistic.

002.b. therein, naturopathy 's coded, vitalistic, essential premise -- often disguised, as in this book, as something like "nature's own healing power (vis medicatrix naturae)" -- is hugely science-ejected.

003. overall note:

I wish this very good book had done better in terms of its naturopathy entry!
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