Friday, February 26, 2010

Naturopathy, Its Homeopathy, and Bad Scholarship - Goldacre via BMJ Group:

here, I first show how homeopathy is essential to naturopathy [see 001., below]; then I cite from a recent Guardian article from the British Medical Journal Group [BMJG] which quotes Ben Goldacre's testimony [see 002., below]; and finally I provide examples of naturopathy's scholastic negligence / absurdity:

001. naturopathy's essential homeopathy

001.a. the NCCAM states in "Homeopathy: An Introduction":

"homeopathy is a controversial area of CAM because a number of its key concepts are not consistent with established laws of science (particularly chemistry and physics) [...] critics argue that continuing the scientific study of homeopathy is not worthwhile [hear, hear...] homeopathy is also part of the medical [huh?] education for naturopathy [...] national certification may be obtained through organizations such as [...] the Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians [HANP]." 

001.b. the current president of Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges is "a diplomate of the Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians (DHANP)".

001.c. AANMC states in "Naturopathic Medicine FAQs":

"naturopathic medicine combines many methodologies [...including] homeopathy [...] the naturopathic physician is required to complete four years of training [...including in] homeopathic medicine."

"the theory that homeopathic remedies become more powerful the more they're diluted isn't supported by scientific evidence [...] Dr. Ben Goldacre said: 'if you look at all of the trials in the whole, collectively, what you see when you look at the best-quality trials is that homeopathy pills work no better than placebo pills. You can select individual trials and say: we have got this individual trial, or even ten individual trials, which show that it works, but if you cherry-pick your literature and pick out only the positive results and ignore the unfavorable results, you can make any treatment work, including ones that are known to be ineffective or even dangerous. That is just bad scholarship.'"

003. the bad scholarship / scholastic negligence of naturopathy: 

I cannot emphasize HOW BAD naturopathy is, academically speaking.  Now, here are two examples from my personal experience in a naturopathy school

003.a. the labeling of the profoundly science-ejected as science

e.g., here's my alma mater, the University of Bridgeport, which states clearly that naturopathy is both essentially vitalistic and essentially supernatural, and simultaneously essentially scientific.  Wow. 

003.b. the labeling of the profoundly sectarian as nonsectarian

e.g. here's that same school stating that it is nonsectarian while adhering to profoundly sectarian science-ejected dogma.

Note: and what's really fascinating about naturopathy, from the AANMC down, is that they do not most of the time clearly indicate what they essentially are all about.  For instance, that AANMC page I've cited in 001.c. does not transparently communicate naturopathy's essential science-ejected vitalism, though it does state naturopathy's essential supernaturalism.

This is not much different from a homeopath giving you an empty pill and not telling you so.

That, by the way, is something I had had to do in school at UB.  I found it so ethically revolting that I stopped pursuit of that ND absurdity, and as an extension of my academic duty, began exposing their gross falsehood / scholastic negligence.
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