Monday, February 2, 2009

NYU's Scienceline: Science is Pseudoscience (Aka Reporting the Latter As If It Is The Former) 2009:

here, I reflect on something rather odd: a well-known University's science journalism outlet -- New York University's Scienceline [NYUS] -- reporting on naturopathic medicine and falsely labeling it science [see 001., below] , without any warning concerning the 'actually naturopathic pseudoscientific'. Wow!!!:

001. NYUS states in "Healing the Body Naturally" (2009-01-24) as reported by Bond, A. (? ?):

"Profiles in Science [Really, science!]. Health. 'Healing the Body Naturally'[...e.g.] naturopathy, or treating many ailments of the body with acupuncture, homeopathy and medicinal herbs [...] naturopathic medicine [is] a field that focuses on enhancing the body’s ability to heal itself [{this is a coding for their vitalistic premise, folks! That typical ND nontransparency!}] 'support[s] your body’s chemistry' [...he studied] at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut [...where] he learned the basics of the herbal medicine, acupuncture and homeopathy now central to his practice [...] Hanson remains dedicated to the benefits of naturopathy, which includes practices like acupuncture, homeopathy and herbal medicine [...] instead of taking the standard antibiotic treatment for strep throat, for example, he [Hanson] battled the condition with homeopathy that healed him overnight [...] the homeopathic, herbal and other treatments Hanson prescribes."

Note: so, Scienceline explicitly labels naturopathy a "science", including its vitalism-based homeopathy [vital force, dynamis] and acupuncture [chi / qi], while both are quite placebo!!!.

002. NYUS's mission is described in "Scienceline, The Next Generation" (2007-01-22) by editor in chief Knight, M. (? ?):

"Scienceline. The shortest distance between you and science. A project of NYU's Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program [...] novel stories you won’t find on other science websites [...] this is a valuable opportunity for us, the 25th class of NYU’s Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program."

003. the nonscientific 'essentially naturopathic'. It is not too difficult -- if a journalist or an editor made a modicum of effort -- to discover 'the essentially naturopathic' and the status of such in terms of science:

003.a. the two central / essential premises of naturopathy, vitalism and supernaturalism;

003.b. the profound nonscientific status of such vitalism and supernaturalism [I won't even link to such for supernaturalism!];

003.c. and yet, naturopathy calls itself science, still and obviously, is considered such by NYUS.

Note: claiming as science what profoundly isn't science places naturopathy squarely in the category of pseudoscience.

004. Scienceline is obviously unable to demarcate something so incredibly obvious via today's internet as naturopathy's nonsensical claim that the scientific and the nonscientific are actually the same thing, "science." Absurd! Scienceline is actually promoting such junk thought as if it where legitimate science!

[I must admit to having been a graduate student at both UB and NYU].
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