Saturday, October 31, 2009

Popularizing Pseudoscience & Opacity -- David Suzuki and the Ontario Naturopaths:

here, I reflect on the upcoming opening address that hyperscientist-biologist David Suzuki [see 001., below] will give at the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors [OAND] annual conference [see 002., below].  It doesn't get more absurd: 

001. Suzuki's 'hyperscience' credentials:

001.a. according to Wikipedia:

"Suzuki received his B.A. from Amherst College of Massachusetts in 1958, and his Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Chicago in 1961 [(so he is a biologist)...] for his work popularizing science and environmental issues, he has been presented with 22 honorary [science] degrees."

Note: the most common honorary science degree of those 22 that Suzuki has been awarded is the D.Sc.. According to Wikipedia:

"[a] Doctor of Science [...] usually abbreviated Sc.D., D.Sc., S.D. or Dr.Sc., is an academic research degree [...] Sc.D. (or D.Sc.) is recognized by both the United States Department of Education and the National Science Foundation to be equivalent to the more commonly awarded Ph.D."  So, to a large extent, Suzuki is a scientist of the 23rd doctoral degree!  A hyperscientist.

001.b. now, on Suzuki's own web site, apparently or supposedly, "Science Matters".

001.c. and apparently, Suzuki is held in high regard by large science-advocacy academic professional organizations, like the California Science Teachers Associationwho recommend him.

002. OAND's pseudoscience credentials & opacity, and DTS as their keynote:

002.a. the blatant pseudoscience that is naturopathy [once you peel away the facade]:

002.a1. naturopathy is obligated to science-ejected or 'exterior-to-science' ideas / premises which cannot truthfully be labeled science or scientific.  But, naturopathy does that anyway -- academically & clinically.  I have collected examples of naturopathy's essential vitalism premise usually stated as "healing power of nature" [HPN], and vitalism's not-science nature.  HPN is, overall, a supernatural premise being disguised in naturalistic & scientific language. I have collected examples of naturopathy's explicit supernaturalism.  And, I've collected naturopathy's self-labeling as science.

002.b. here's an example from a newspaper-published naturopath, Johnson, L. (ND ?) in the Alamogordo Daily News, who's article "What Is a Naturopath?" (2009-10-29) states:

"naturopathy draws from many modalities that promote the body's natural healing process [coded vitalism...] this health science has been recognized since the late 1800s [...] the following are fundamental principles that set naturopaths apart from conventional medicine. We believe in the healing power of nature [coded vitalism....I] will take you through knowledge of sciences that have been used for more than 5,000 years [...and her diagnostics and therapies include such gems as] iridology, live cell analysis, oxygen/ozone therapy, lymphatic decongestion, biological terrain analysis."

Note:  I'm exceptionally fascinated when an ND doesn't fully disclose the fundamental principle of naturopathy in easily understood language and then labels the whole nonscientific muddle science.  Iridology (and kind) is nonsense as a diagnostic tool, much like labeling the profoundly science-ejected as science is absurd.  Now, Johnson is apparently an ANMA type ND, not an AANP-CAND type.  But it doesn't matter: they all label the nonscientific science, from their academic institutions to the exam room to their political entities.

002.c. at OAND's web site, we are told in:

002.d. "About Us", four times that naturopathy is a profession, that OAND advocates for science, and seeks "to develop guidelines and standards of practice for excellence in patient-centred care".

Note: not sure how professionalism, science, and excellence can happen from a basis of absurdity and false-labeling.

"naturopathic medicine is regulated and licensed in Ontario [...] naturopathic doctors are the only regulated health professionals in the field of natural medicine in Ontario [...] the Naturopathy Act will move the regulation of Naturopathic Doctors under the Regulated Health Professions Act, joining all other regulated health professions  [...] naturopathic doctors are highly educated  [...having] training in basic medical science courses [and] clinical sciences [...] NDs obtain comprehensive and rigorous training in an educational structure similar to that of medical doctors [...] following the completion of their program, NDs must successfully complete the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEX) in order to qualify for licensing in Ontario. NPLEX is the standard examination used by all regulated provinces and states across North America [...] as outlined in the educational requirements above, becoming a Naturopathic Doctor requires intensive and rigorous training comparable to that of medical doctors."

Note: the NPLEX is so good that it labels homeopathy a "clinical science".  What is happening is that just as science is being turned upside down by naturopathy, professionalism is as well.  And the government of Ontario is party to this labeling of the absurd as science, professional, intensive and rigorous.
"support the healing power of the body [coded vitalism]. The practice of naturopathic medicine recognizes an ordered and intelligent self-healing process that is inherent to every individual [coded vitalism]. NDs work to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery and to facilitate this natural self-healing process [coded vitalism...] acknowledge, respect and work with the individual self-healing process [coded vitalism]."

Note: that's all you get.  And that's not enough - because naturopathy's actual vitalistic nature isn't transparently revealed.

"homeopathy. Based on the principle of 'like cures like', homeopathic medicine uses minute amounts of natural substances to stimulate the self-healing abilities of the body [coded vitalism...] Asian medicine & acupuncture.  Based on balancing the flow of chi (energy) [vitalism] through the meridian pathways, Asian medicine includes the use of acupuncture and Oriental herbs."

Note: homeopathy is a joke, period -- presented to the patient as medicine when EMPTY essentially.  Chi, of course, is not energy in any scientific sense.  It doesn't exist.
"this [electronic] presentation by Dr. David Suzuki will mark the opening of the [2009] OAND annual convention."

Note: well, overall, I find anyone's participation with these science charlatans ethically unacceptable.  Naturopaths are, after all, essentially out to destroy the domain of science, to increase their commerce by means of false science labels, and to disseminate in a very opaque manner their science-ejected belief system.  In that sense, in participating with them and therein promoting their agenda with his science status, Suzuki is implying that science doesn't matter -- that science can be anything, which is nonsense, and that the public doesn't deserve the truth from supposed professionals.  What's most absurd is that you have an eminent biologist lending support to vitalists and supernatualists who falsely label such overall as science, while biology and science ejected those ideas decades and hundreds of years ago, respectively.

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