Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Naturopathy Defends Their Required Homeopathy and Attacks Scientific Skepticism:

here, it cite from a post at the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians [AANP] blog defending homeopathy and attacking scientific skepticism [see 001., below]; I then define scientific skepticism [see 002., below]; and analyze that AANP post author's own web pages and those of his AANP state association, where he/they state 'naturopathy's essential sectarian premises are scientific' and make the typical 'naturopath as science expert' false claim [see 003., below]:

001. the AANP's blog hosts the post "Getting Over It" (2010-02-01)[vsc] by Johnson, C. (ND SCNM) which states:

"[the picture is a statue of homeopathy's founder, Hahnemann, which is in Washington, DC I believe and which, actually, I may or may not have pissed on] a group of so-called 'skeptics' [!!!] recently staged public relations events at various cities in Great Britain designed to discredit the science [!!!] of homeopathy [...] these hooligans [ah, sounds a lot like Scientology talking about their critics!!!...] purport to stand up for scientific principles, while in fact their zealous dogmatism [!!!] and denial of evidence [!!!] would make Galileo’s persecutors proud [ah, the 'reverse sectarian accusation'...] they['ve] named their campaign '10:23' [...and now for some huge absurdity!!!] homeopathy [...can improve] any of a vast range of diseases [bullshit!...] this is just another tantrum by the clueless wing of the scientific/medical community [so clueless, in fact, that they are demanding evidence and rationality to support the absurd claim that homeopathy does anything beyond a typical nonspecific placebo effect!...quoting Fisher] 'it is effective' [...and the sidebar of the blog states that NDs are] 'Physicians Who Listen' [...this is] the blog of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, the national professional [ah, the 'of the professions' claim] society representing licensed or licensable naturopathic physicians who are graduates of four-year, residential graduate programs [I know what that's like!]. Naturopathic medicine is based on the belief [hugely based on a belief, actually] that the human body has an innate healing ability [coded vitalism...aka the] bodies’ ability to ward off and combat disease [of course, this essential premise is not transparently communicated here in its full science-ejected and sectarian vitalistic, spiritistic, teleological context]."

Note: so, according to the above AANP labeling, homeopathy is a "science" -- though there's NOTHING in the remedies and IT CAN'T WORK.  As Dr. Novella recently stated at his Neurologica blog in the post "6.022137 × 10^23"(2010-02-02):

"Samuel Hahnemann invented the principles of homeopathy
[...] in the 1790s [...] he 'discovered' nothing [literally, Hahnemann created a serial dilution procedure which makes something into nothing...] he died in 1843, long after the scientific community knew that his 'law of infinitesimals' was rubbish [...] 6.022137 × 10^23 [] Avogadro’s number [...which is] the number of atoms or molecules of a substance in a number of grams of that substance equal to its atomic mass [...] Hahnemann claimed that the more a substance is diluted the more potent a medicine it becomes in violation of the chemical law of mass action which dictated that chemical reactions proceed more quickly the more substrate there is [...] Hahnemann missed Avogadro’s boat and spent the second half of his life denying the advances in science that rendered his fantasies nothing but nonsense [...] more amazing is that homeopaths continue in [maintain!!!] Hahnemann’s delusion today, more than a century after Avogadro was honored for his insights [...this is] the absurdity of homeopathy [and obviously, naturopathy]."

Yet, the AANP's licensing exam falsely labels homeopathy a science, as do AANP NDsFor naturopathy -- keep in mind -- science is what is [absurdly] nonscience, and therein, 'an ND's expertise in science is indeed basic science illiteracy'.  As for the reverse accusation of "dogmatism" and 'denialism', here is naturopathy's essential cultic dogma, per naturopathy's "Principles of Healing" [what I call the 'ND sectarian creed'] wherein the science-ejected vitalistic and supernatural are falsely labeled science.  I call naturopathy cultic because SOMETHING IS WRONG HERE: what is not in evidence scientifically, and as I've called it figmentatious, is yet labeled science-based objective fact.  This is exceptionally irrational and yet...maintained.  That is cultic.

"Getting over it" is really an apologetic from a sectarian / cultic belief system that poses as something rational and 'in-evidence'.  If NDs were "physicians who listen", they'd acknowledge the scientific consensus regarding the scientific rejection of naturopathy's essential belief set. And they'd acknowledge the fact that articles of faith [e.g.: a vital force / purposeful life spirit figmentation -- which is what 'the essentially naturopathic' truly is] that have no evidence to support them [by definition] cannot be labeled scientific actuality.  And you are not a profession if your foundation is false, nonsense, fantastical, and absurd and your interface with the public is opaque.

 002. scientific skepticism, according to the Wikipedia entry "Scientific Skepticism"(2010-02-03), is:

"scientific skepticism [SS] or rational skepticism (also spelled scepticism), sometimes referred to as skeptical inquiry, is a practical, epistemological position in which one questions the veracity of claims lacking empirical evidence [...] from a scientific point of view, theories are judged on many criteria, such as falsifiability, Occam's Razor, and explanatory power, as well as the degree to which their predictions match experimental results. Skepticism is part of the scientific method; for instance an experimental result is not regarded as established until it can be shown to be repeatable independently.  By the principles of skepticism, the ideal case is that every individual could make his own mind up on the basis of the evidence rather than appealing to some authority, skeptical or otherwise [...] scientific skepticism is different from philosophical skepticism [pyrrhonism], which questions our ability to claim any knowledge about the nature of the world and how we perceive it [...SS] uses critical thinking and inductive reasoning while attempting to oppose claims made which lack suitable evidential basis [...] scientific skeptics attempt to evaluate claims based on verifiability and falsifiability and discourage accepting claims on faith or anecdotal evidence. Skeptics often focus their criticism on claims they consider to be implausible, dubious or clearly contradictory to generally accepted science [...] scientific skeptics do not assert that unusual claims should be automatically rejected out of hand on a priori grounds - rather they argue that claims of paranormal or anomalous phenomena should be critically examined and that such claims would require extraordinary evidence in their favor before they could be accepted as having validity [...e.g.] psychics, parapsychology, dowsing, astrology, creationism, homeopathy, tarot reading, alien abductions, and ESP, which are either pseudosciences or unsupported by existing evidence [...] many skeptics are atheists or agnostics, and have a naturalistic world-view, however some committed skeptics of pseudoscience including Martin Gardner express belief in a god."

Note: meanwhile, naturopathy requires homeopathy and science-ejected / science-unsupported concepts falsely labeled scientific.  So, when an ND claims "so-called skeptics", they are really distracting from the fact that their science is indeed so-called / pseudo.

003. Johnson and VAANP:

003.a. ND Johnson, VP of the Virginia Association of Naturopathic Physicians [VAANP], states:

003.a1. in "Dr. Johnson"[vsc]:

"Dr. Johnson favors two areas of therapeutics which he believes to be the most effective to address illness of all types [including] homeopathy."
003.a2. in "Homeopathy"[vsc]:

"[quoting Ghandi] 'homeopathy [...] is beyond doubt [dogma alert!!!...] the most complete medical science' [...Dr. J. says] it is extremely safe and gentle and yet can produce dramatic results [...] homeopathic remedies can work wonders with nearly any type of condition."

Note: also at that page Johnson provides some celebrity and scientist name-droppings / anecdotes, and some select references / cherry-pickings.  Reference to authorities / celebrities are irrelevant when considering homeopathy's evidence basis, and obviously we are not being provided ALL THE EVIDENCE.  NDs claim to be holistic / comprehensive, but truly NDs have a narrow view.

003.b. at the VAANP we are told: 

003.b1. in 'homepage'[vsc]:

"the Virginia Association of Naturopathic Physicians (VAANP) [is] an affiliate of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) [...a] professional trade association [...and they seek] to promote naturopathic medicine as well as support and strengthen the standards of naturopathic practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia."

Note: so, VAANP is an arm of AANP.  We have the 'of the professions' claim, and a claim of 'standards'.  I do not deny that naturopathy has standards / habits.  The most remarkable naturopathic standard is the claim that something
[science] is what it is not [nonscience]. Overarching that is the wacko example naturopathy sets, as I interpret from its behavior: that professionalism and absurdity is the same thing.

003.b2. in "Naturopathic Medicine"[vsc]:

"naturopathic medicine is an art, science, philosophy and practice [...] naturopathic medicine is distinguished by the principles which underlie and determine its practice [...which are] based upon the objective observation of the nature of health and disease, and are continually reexamined in the light of scientific advances. Methods used are consistent with these principles [...] naturopathic medicine is a scientifically proven and tested system of (successful) healthcare [...] naturopathic doctors (N.D.'s) [...have studied] the basic medical sciences [...and] homeopathy."

Note: so we have the HUGE science claim upon the principles of naturopathy.

003.b3.  in "History of Naturopathic Medicine"[vsc]:

"naturopathic medicine [] a distinct health care profession [...based on] vis medicatrix naturae -- 'the healing power of nature' [VNM-HPN / coded vitalism...which] remains one of the central themes of naturopathic philosophy to this day [...] naturopathy continues to grow and evolve as a body of knowledge. Naturopathic medicine as an organized profession is committed to research and development. It incorporates many elements of scientific modern medicine."

Note: again, the 'of the professions' claim.  We have the admission that VMN-HPN is their central concept, and claim that science-based medicine is something they acknowledge [obviously selectively!].  But, growing?  Evolving?  How about IGNORING huge aspects of scientific advancement, like the fact that science does not contain what is not within science!!!

003.b4. in "Naturopathic Doctor"[vsc]:

 "naturopathic doctors hold a doctorate in naturopathic medicine from one of five accredited four-year, graduate-level, regionally accredited naturopathic medical schools [...] The doctorate degree prepares naturopathic doctors to be primary care general practitioners [really]."

Note: so we have doctoral level irrationalism and absurdity, fully regionally accredited.  And a GP scope of practice / status.

003.b5. in "Principles of Naturopathic Medicine"[vsc]:

"the healing power of nature (vis medicatrix naturae) [VMN-HPN].  [#1] naturopathic medicine recognizes the body's inherent self-healing ability, which is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic doctors identify and remove obstacles to recovery and facilitate and augment this healing ability [coded vitalism...#5] total health includes spiritual health [supernaturalism!!!], naturopathic doctors encourage individuals to pursue their own spiritual paths [supernaturalism!!!]".

Note: again, coded vitalism.  And the supernatural.  All within a domain claiming professionalism and scientific expertise.
003.b6. in "Naturopathic Modalities"[vsc]:

"homeopathic medicine: this powerful system of medicine is more than 200 years old and is widely accepted in many countries. Homeopathy is based on the principle that Like cures Like. Homeopathic medicines are very small doses of natural substances that can stimulate the body's self-healing response [coded vitalism]. Homeopathic medicines, when properly prescribed, affect the body's 'vital force' and strengthen its innate ability to heal".

Note: wow, empty remedies are "powerful" because they affect a "vital force" figmentation. At least, here, we see that the to "heal" in naturopathy is admitted to be based upon a force that doesn't scientifically exist at allThat is naturopathy's VMN-HPN.

003.b7. in "Education"[vsc]:

"a naturopathic doctor (N.D.) attends a four-year graduate level naturopathic medical school and is educated in all of the same basic sciences as an M.D. or D.O. [...] the training consists of comprehensive study of the conventional medical sciences [...] the training is based on the principles of naturopathic medicine [...] in addition to a standard medical curriculum, the naturopathic doctor is required to complete four years of training [...including] homeopathic medicine [...] naturopathic doctors take a national board exam, Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Exam (NPLEX)."

Note: so, again the science claim couched in the science-ejected / -unsupported.

003.b8.  in "Licensure"[vsc]:

"NPLEX is the standard examination used by all licensing jurisdictions for naturopathic doctors in North America. It includes 5 basic science exams (anatomy, physiology, pathology, biochemistry, microbiology and immunology) which are taken after the first two years of medical school. The clinical science examinations are taken following graduation after the fourth year of school. They include: clinical and physical diagnosis, laboratory diagnosis and diagnostic imaging, botanical medicine, pharmacology, nutrition, physical medicine, homeopathy, minor surgery, psychology and lifestyle counseling, and emergency medicine."

Note: so, licensure supposedly requires a basis of science and from that scientific application clinically.  Including homeopathy, within that science.  This is why I titled my repository of naturopathy's science claims "the science that ain't science".

004. as I often like to warn:

"danger Will Robinson...unethical sectarian pseudoscience."
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