Saturday, May 30, 2009

Wikipedia on Science, Vitalism and Naturopathy - 2009-05-30:

here, I parse the current Wikipedia naturopathy entry in terms of science [see 001.a., below] and vitalism [see 001.b., below];

001. Wikipedia's current naturopathy entry states, regarding:

001.a. science & naturopathy:

"naturopathy (also known as naturopathic medicine or natural medicine) [...its] training differs from that undertaken by MDs in that it includes scientifically disproven modalities, such as homeopathy, often called [a] pseudoscience and quackery [...its] homeopathy is often characterized as pseudoscience [...] naturopathic medical school [...] includes the study of basic medical sciences [...] naturopathy as a field tends towards isolation from general scientific discourse [...] all forms of naturopathic education include concepts incompatible with basic science [...] naturopathic treatments such as homeopathy and iridology are widely considered pseudoscience or quackery [...quoting Atwood] 'an examination of their literature, moreover, reveals that it is replete with pseudoscientific, ineffective, unethical, and potentially dangerous practices' [hear, hear]."

Note: not science.

001.b. vitalism & naturopathy:

001.b1. within the Wikipedia naturopathy entry:

"naturopathy (also known as naturopathic medicine or natural medicine) [...] focuses on natural remedies and the body's vital ability to heal and maintain itself [{'vital' then links to the article parsed in 001.b2.}...] Lust [...] the 'father of U.S. naturopathy' [...] described the body in spiritual and vitalistic terms [...this] naturopathic ideology [...per] trusting to the 'healing power of nature' [...includes] rejection of biomedicine in favor of an intuitive and vitalistic conception of the body and nature [...per 'ND sectarian creed' tenet #2] recognize, respect and promote the self-healing power of nature inherent in each individual human being (vis medicatrix naturae, a form of vitalism) [...naturopathy's] many methods rely on immaterial 'vital energy fields' [...naturopathy contains] concepts irreconcilable with modern medicine, such as vitalism [...] naturopathy is viewed with [scientific] skepticism for its reliance on or association with unproven, disproven, and controversial alternative medical treatments, and for its vitalistic underpinnings."

Note: vitalism is 'essential to the naturopathic'.

001.b2. within the linked Wikipedia vitalism entry:

"Bechtel and Richardson [of the 1998 Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy] state that today vitalism 'is often viewed as unfalsifiable, and therefore a pernicious metaphysical doctrine' [...and quoting Sokal] 'nearly all the pseudoscientific systems to be examined in this essay are based philosophically on vitalism' and [he] added that 'mainstream science has rejected vitalism since at least the 1930s, for a plethora of good reasons that have only become stronger with time' [{hear, hear}...and quoting Williams] 'today, vitalism is one of the ideas that form the basis for many pseudoscientific health systems [e.g., naturopathy] that claim that illnesses are caused by a disturbance or imbalance of the body's vital force'."

002. note: I am not involved in any way with Wikipedia.

Wikipedia's naturopathy entry has improved. It was not long ago that Wikipedia defined the underpinning vitalism of naturopathy as an unqualified "natural life force", as if such a sectarian figmentation / premise / article of faith was prima facie fact. Yet, Wikipedia's naturopathic medical school article makes no mention of the unethical sectarian pseudoscience basis of naturopathy, and codes the vitalism.
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