Friday, February 13, 2009

Natural Medicine: The Nonscientific Mislabeled as Science -- Bastyr University via SPI, 2008-10-26:

here, I cite 'a clinician-graduate journalistically, scientifically, & academically representing Bastyr University' [Seattle Post Intelligencer, BU- BCNH respectively] whose mutual claim is that the body is governed by a "life energy" [vital force, qi] and that such survives scientific scrutiny [see 001.a. & 001.b., below]; while, truly, such a figment is actually PROFOUNDLY scientifically-ejected [see note for 001.b., below]; so, I warn the public about bad-science per BU nonsense / antiscience, and bad-journalism per SPI nonsense, in this light:

001. 'scientific qi' nonsense:

001.a. Bastyr University's Kaiser, C. (M.S.A.O.M. Bastyr, L.Ac. WA -- "resident at Bastyr Center for Natural Health") states in the Seattle Post Intelligencer's "Improving Digestion With Traditional Chinese Medicine":

"traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) believes [...] the proper amount and flow of qi, or life energy, constitute[sp., s] the foundation of health, according to TCM [and naturopathy overall]. Digestive complaints are signs of imbalance, commonly due to either insufficient qi or a compromised flow of qi. Poor diet or working too much can lead to too little qi, while stress is a common cause of improperly flowing qi. Acupuncture is a technique used in TCM that utilizes hair-thin needles inserted at precise locations to manipulate the body's qi and remove blockages, allowing it to flow more freely. Clinically, acupuncture successfully alleviates many digestive complaints by increasing your body's digestive energy [{pretty extreme-a-claim for this placebo-level treatment modality!!!}...and, we are assured] nonprofit, accredited Bastyr University ( offers multiple degrees in the natural health sciences, and clinical training at Bastyr Center for Natural Health ( the region's largest natural medicine clinic."

Note: their logic is that "qi or life energy" is within TCM is within natural health is within natural medicine is within natural health sciences. Overall, the claim is that qi is within 'the scientific.' Hmmm: that's science-illiterate [see note for 001.b., below]!!!

001.b. BU's BCNH directly tells us at their web page in "Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine":

"the basis of acupuncture is an energy force known as qi (roughly pronounced 'chee'). A person’s health is influenced by the flow of this energy, or qi, in the body. If the flow of qi is insufficient, unbalanced or interrupted, illness may occur. Qi travels throughout the body along pathways called 'channels.' The acupuncture points are specific locations where the channels are accessible and where qi is easily directed by the placement of needles, moxibustion or acupressure. Acupuncture is used to balance the opposing forces of yin and yang, keep the normal flow of qi unblocked, and maintain or restore health."

Note: yet, back in reality, we find that such 'qi' vitalism is TRULY & profoundly science-ejected.

002. Kaiser's BU-BCNH CV states in "Our Providers":

"Ms. Kaiser holds a bachelor's and master's in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from Bastyr University and is a member of the Washington Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Association and the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine."

Note: she is through and through, 'of Bastyr'!

003. the status of science at Bastyr [anything is science nonsense!]:

003.a. you should note that Bastyr's mission statement conflates the scientific and the nonscientific and then falsely labels the whole thing science, as clearly stated in "Bastyr University" by "Acupuncture Today":

"[an ad] Bastyr University's goal is to be the world's leading academic center for advancing knowledge in the natural health sciences. Its mission is to educate future leaders in natural health sciences that integrate [blend, conflate] mind, body, spirit and nature [with 'nature' roughly being a coding of naturopathy's 'central vitalistic premise'...] Bastyr University offers degrees in naturopathic medicine, acupuncture and Oriental medicine, nutrition, herbal sciences, health psychology, and exercise science and wellness [...and per our SPI author, a] Master of Science in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (MSAOM)."

Note: caution! When you do the math, science has no meaning when used as a label by this institution because, clearly, Bastyr does not make the normal distinctions that the community of scientists do to distinguish between what science contains and supports [and that's a rigorous, continuous, collective assessment process] and what science has ejected and does not support [like the dogmatic vitalisms and supernaturalisms of antiscientific sectarian medical systems like TCM and naturopathy!].

In fact, Bastyr has set as its goal the eradication of such SANE epistemic delineation -- which I call "the epistemic conflation of a school of thought claiming to be scientific" -- while actual science:

a) rejects & does not support vitalisms;

b) rejects & does not support supernaturalisms.

004. this is a bait and switch, comprised of, in this example:

pseudojouralism [for the professional standards of excellent journalism, visit SPJ];

pseudoscience [for the professional standards of modern scientific medicine, visit AIM];

academic dishonesty [for an example of such, visit Wikipedia].
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