Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Orac on the B.U.-G.U. Partnership - Quackademic Pseudoscience (2011-01-26)

here, I cite from a recent Respectful Insolence post on naturopathy [see 001., below]; then, I add some thoughts of my own [see 002., below]:

"there are many forces that conspire to insert sectarian versions of medicine into bastions of scientific medicine [...] 'quackademic medicine' [...or] 'complementary and alternative medicine' (CAM) or 'integrative medicine' (IM) [...] its infiltration into various academic medical centers has been one of the more alarming developments I've noted over the last several years [ is] in reality nothing more than 'integrating' pseudoscience with science, quackery with medicine [...] prescientific understanding of the world with science, religious faith healing [...] and magic with reality [...] the 'integration' of quackery with science-based medicine [hear, hear...] if you want to see [such] 'integration' behold the academic 'integration' model championed by Georgetown University, [once!] a school of science-based medicine, and Bastyr University, a school of naturopathy [...] that's right. Georgetown is partnering with schools of pseudoscience [...] I think that medical students should be taught about CAM modalities, but they should be taught about them from a the perspective of the state of the science, the evidence, and clinical trials. They should be taught about skepticism and critical thinking [hear, hear...] institutions like Georgetown are betraying science-based medicine by being so open to the point of its brains falling out [] partnering with Bastyr to integrate nonsense with sense, pseudoscience with science, and quackery with medicine."

Note: I COMPLETELY concur.

002. my thoughts:

I know a heck of a lot about naturopathy. I went to one of their schools for four years [lured in by false labels], left it in 2002, and I've been maintaining a database on naturopathy ever since then.

Naturopathy still fascinates me in its position as what I call an 'unethical sectarian pseudoscience'.

Let me parse Bastyr's marketing slogan, as a microcosm of what naturopathy's MO is. 

A web search with the parameters "body mind spirit nature Bastyr" [without the quotes] gets you to results that include, first on the list, Bastyr's entry [which the University penned, obviously though I'm not sure if USNWP gets paid to advertise the school] in U.S. News and World Report [saved 2011-01-26] which states:

"Bastyr's international faculty teaches the natural health sciences with an emphasis on integrating mind, body, spirit and nature [...] respecting the healing power of nature and recognizing that body, mind and spirit are intrinsically inseparable [...included is the program for] doctor of naturopathic medicine."

There's a lot said in those few words.  You have the label "science" overarching it all: science subset naturopathy.  You have supernaturalism within that: naturopathy subset supernaturalism.  You have some kind of conflated belief system which melds / conflates that supernaturalism with, apparently, everything.  And the BIG THING, that they are so good at, is coding their underlying sectarian belief in a 'purposeful life spirit' [vitalism, teleology, supernaturalism] in deceptively naturalistic language.  Their "nature" and the "healing power of nature" is that sectarian belief, coded.  Do not expect transparency on that matter, for the most part -- it gets in the way of their growth.

So, overall, naturopathy's claim is that the profoundly science-ejected is within science / science-based / survives scientific scrutiny.  That is absurd, irrational, and insane.

It is naturopathy.  It is fraud.  It is a violation of human rights.

And Naturocrit continues:
because naturopathy falsely labels the supernatural natural, the science-ejected and science-exterior science, sectarian articles of faith objective fact, and OVERALL trades on this falsehood and absurdity academically and clinically particularly across the U.S. and Canada.

And that is not just completely wrong, it is illegal.
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