Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Facebook Fun with the AANMC's 'We Are Science-Based' Mislabeling, 2009-11:

here, I share some communication between myself and the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges [AANMC] per their Facebook page [see 001., below (I've screen-captured it [sc], in case they decide to expunge)]; and, I share my take on AANMC's 'we are CERTAINLY science-based' false self-labeling, particularly based upon what actual, scientific, academic, national organizations say about the essentially naturopathic [see 002., below]:

001. the AANMC:

001.a. has a Facebook page that states:

“considering a career in health care [?…] AANMC schools: Bastyr U., BINM, CCNM, NCNM, SCNM, UBCNM, NUHS.”

Note: this is, essentially, an advertisement.  They are attempting to increase their market with certain claims.  This is a commercial page for a claimed 'of the professions consortia' on a social networking site.

001.b. so, I asked this simple question on that AANMC page:

“I'm wondering, is naturopathy based upon science? I've heard different things, and I'd want my medicine to be science-based.”

Note: I asked this question based upon 'naturopathy is science' claims made by AANMC on their web pages, e.g. “Naturopathic Medicine - FAQs”, which states:

“q: which classes or literature would be helpful prior to enrollment in a naturopathic physician program A: for a basic science foundation and overall exposure to help prepare you for naturopathic medical studies, consider the following: read the 'Textbook of Natural Medicine' [TNM] – a very comprehensive and often-used reference among NDs and MDs as well.”

001.c. AANMC answered:

“NDs must actually spend more hours studying the sciences than in some allopathic [yikes!  a sectarian label!] medical schools. So the answer to your question is a resounding 'YES!' - naturopathic medicine definitely has its basis in science.”


Note: my jaw dropped when I read this...the confident certainty, the absoluteness!  The specific label, in terms of commerce and supposed 'professionalism'!

001.d. my comment to this [false] claim was:

“naturopathy is based upon vitalism and supernaturalism, essentially. I have the textbooks, that's a fact [e.g., TNM!]. Both concepts are in-fact-science-ejected, and therein not science based. And that's a fact.”

Note: simply put, facts. And, to quote that great line that Eugenie Scott recently wrote in the U.S. News and World Report article "Scientist Genie Scott's Last Word to Creationist Ray Comfort: There You Go Again" (2009-11-03):

"[per blogmaster Gilgoff] here's the final post in a God & Country debate between scientist Eugenie Scott, who heads the National Center for Science Education [...per Scott] 'anyone who honestly examines the data supporting evolution [& kind] — even a young-earth creationist [or other such sectarian kind] — concludes that the science is strong. If you reject evolution [& kind], you are doing it for religious reasons [& kind]. You're entitled to your religious opinions—but not to your own scientific facts' [a modification of a line often attributed to Daniel Patrick Moynihan]."

002. what I think, knowing what I know [this label of “science” upon the essentially naturopathic, by AANMC & kind, is bullshit]:

002.a. let's look at what the TNM & co. says. Naturopathy is based upon vitalism & supernaturalism [the hugely science-ejected]:

a) the TNM site has the chapter up for viewing titled "Chapter 3" [a pdf by NDs Zeff, Snider, and Myers; to be archived here].  It states:

"Dr. Sensenig [my UB instructor in 1998, here are my notes on naturopathy's essential premise, from when I was a UB ND student of his] presented 'Back to the Future: Reintroducing Vitalism as a New Paradigm' [very old vinegar, 'new wine' label -- quite egregious poison! p.004...] vitality (properties beyond physiochemical constituents) [supernatural!!!, p.032...] vis medicatrix naturae, the vital force, the healing power of nature [VMN=VF=HPN; and per Sensenig, VMN = autoentheism = a.k.a. god power within]. This is the first step in the hierarchy of healing and what naturopathic physicians may call the overarching clinical theory of naturopathic medicine [therein, the 'essentially naturopathic!']: the therapeutic order [p.034...] address weakened or damaged systems or organs [...e.g.] the life force [p.035...] many naturopathic modalities can be used to stimulate the overall vital force [...] an entire physiologic system (immune, cardiovascular, detoxification, life force, endocrine, etc.) [p.036]".

Note: so, the essentially naturopathic is based upon the vitalistic, and a form of theism [minimally] -- when you boil it down.

b) UBCNM, where Sensenig taught me in 1998 under what I consider completely false labels [UB labels naturopathy science, still / to this day -- a page to be archived here ASP], states

"illiness [illness!!!] is a purposeful process [teleological!] of the organism. The process of healing includes the generation of symptoms which are, in fact [a claimed fact!], an expression of the life force [vitalism!] attempting to heal itself [...] this healing process [...] he [the!] viz [vis!] medicatrix naturae."

c) and the supernatural.  The TNM chapter cited above also states regarding the essentially naturopathic supernatural:

"[the TNM also speaks of] mental/spiritual remedies [p.029...] part of the reason for the failures within modern medical science is the mechanistic basis of it, with its fundamental ignorance of and disrespect for [...] the natural laws of physiology governing health and healing, and especially for all things spiritual [p.032...] psycho-emotional/spiritual state [p.033...] the naturopathic physician evaluates the patient with these areas in mind, looking for aspects of disturbance, first in the spirit [p.034...] spiritual integrity. Humans are spiritual beings. They are spirits that reside within bodies. Though the general purview of the physician is the body, that instrument cannot be separated from the spirit, which animates it. If the spirit is disturbed, the body cannot be fundamentally healthy [...] disturbance in the spirit permeates the body and eventuates in physical manifestation [...] at colleges of naturopathic medicine in Australia and North America, faculty work with naturopathic medicine students to develop their ability to perceive the spiritual nature of an individual [p.035...] as [NDs] Pizzorno and Snider wrote: 'we are natural organisms, our genomes developed and expressed in the natural world. The patterns and processes inherent in nature are inherent in us. We exist as part of complex patterns of matter, energy, and spirit' [p.036...] the patient as a whole being: spiritual, mental/emotional, and physical [p.038]."

Note: so, the essentially naturopathic, per AANMC member school UBCNM, is based upon the teleological and vitalistic.  We also get a glimpse of UB naturopathic supernaturalism in "Six Guiding Principles [#4]", and a requirement for supernaturalism from UB NDs in "Six Guiding Principles [#5]".  Vitalism is hugely science-ejected.  As well as supernaturalism. According to the National Center for Science Education [NCSE] hosted page "Appendices: Science; Transitional Fossils; and Embryos":

"by now it should be clear that vitalistic and supernatural hypotheses that invariably postulate vague and amorphous mechanisms whose workings are beyond human comprehension are untestable and uninformative and hence not scientific. In fact they are not even explanations, but statements of unsolvable mysteries beyond the powers of scientific investigation."

002.b.  Pizzorno, J.E. (ND NCNM 1975), that self-proclaimed "science-based natural medicine" dean of this naturopathy revival, sums up the 'sectarian absurdity amalgam' which is the 'naturopathic belief system mislabeled as science' in his article "A Systems Approach to Wellness" excepted from his book "Total Wellness":

"[to be well, you must] live in harmony with your life-force [...] each of us needs to become more aware of the activity of the vis medicatrix naturae (life-force) deep within us [...] seven underlying, health-sustaining systems of our body must function effectively to ensure our well-being, prevent disease, and allow a full life [...including] our life-force (or spirit). Weakness in any of these seven systems results in susceptibilities that allow most common diseases to develop. Follow the recommendations below, strengthen all of these seven systems, and total wellness is yours."

Note: quite a promise.  That naturopathy is science-based is quite a false promise, and in fact absurd. I summarize this fundamental naturopathic science-ejected premise as 'purposeful life spirit', to encapsulate its teleological, vitalistic, and supernatural-spiritistic sectarian characteristic.  The fact that it is mislabeled as science and often disguised is unforgivable.

003. it has been fun playing with AANMC on Facebook.  I look forward to more exchanges.
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