Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Naturocrit Podcast - The First Half of Episode 006 (006a) - Script & Annotations

here, I provide an annotated script for the first half of the Naturocrit Podcast's Episode 006, titled "The Epistemic Conflation of a School of Thought Claiming to be Scientific".  I revisit my self-published 2006 'thesis', which demolishes 'naturopathy' as a legitimate academic category and clinical activity.  This first part covers epistemics, naturopathy's epistemic conflation, and naturopathy's essential science-ejected vitalism 'linchpin' premise.

*And I have to greatly thank The Skeptic's Dictionary's Dr. Carroll for adding links to his/the naturopathy entry for both my 2006 thesis and my Naturocrit Podcast.

001. the First Half of Episode 006 (006a) script and annotations:

Standard Introduction:

Welcome to, as that robot voice says, The Naturocrit Podcast, and thank you for boldly listening.

What ARE we even talking about? 

Well, this podcast series is my take on naturopathic medicine, an area I've been studying for about twenty years, including my time in so-called 'scientific nonsectarian naturopathic medical school'.

My approach is a pairing of scientific skepticism and a deep knowledge of naturopathy's intimate details.

In previous episodes of this series, I established that naturopathy is, essentially, a kind of knowledge blending, misrepresentation, and irrationality.

I have termed naturopathy both 'an epistemic conflation falsely posing itself as an epistemic delineation' and 'the naturopathillogical':

the science-exterior is mixed with what is scientific, then that whole muddle is absurdly claimed to be science as an entire category, while particular sectarian science-ejected oath-obligations and -requirements are coded or camouflaged, therein effectively disguising naturopathy's system of beliefs in public view.
Naturopathy's ultimate achievement is a profound erosion of scientific integrity and freedom of belief packaged in the marketing veneer "natural" and improperly embedded in the academic category "science".

Episode Synopsis: 
In this two-part Naturocrit Podcast Episode 006, I will revisit a 2006 'self-published thesis' I wrote which is briefly titled:

 "The Epistemic Conflation Of A School of Thought Claiming To Be Scientific."
I'll oftentimes abbreviate that as ECSTCS.

Technically, its full title, as you will hear, is:

"'Prophets Facing Backward:' Naturopathy and Knowledge Type from the Inside – The Epistemic Conflation of a School of Thought Claiming to be Scientific."
This piece basically set up much of my current approach to naturopathy.

It came about after leaving naturopathy school in 2002, after four years there, and then researching and thinking about naturopathy for about another four years.
I consider it 'my doctoral thesis for my ND', a degree I voluntarily ceased because, essentially, I found that whole ND shebang to be:

'essentially based upon FALSEHOODS'.

[Two 'essentially's for the price of one!]
Now, my nickname in ND school was Dr. Bob Ironic and perhaps this is the greatest of my IRONIES:
'my doctoral thesis for my ND' quite easily dismantles naturopathy as a legitimate academic category and cohesive body of thought, and dismantles naturopathy as a supposed ethical or professional clinical application.
I will, at times, interject the phrase "2015 comment #", and I will detail those NEW 2015 comments at the end of my recitation / republication.
I will also, of course, provide a full transcript at the Naturocrit Blog.

My 2015 spoken word, this Episode 006, will be in black-colored font.

That transcript will, in addition to any '2015 comment' additions to the original text, contain, at times, strikethoroughs of my original 2006 text.

These strikethroughs, which will be in light blue, are often parentheticals, hyperlinks, details or thoughts from 2006 which I feel, if spoken, would bog down this audio recitation.

Episode question:

And my overarching question regarding this Naturocrit Podcast Episode 006 is:

what holds up from 2006's ECSTCS, and how may I have changed in my criticism and analysis of naturopathy since publishing this almost 10 years ago?

Main Text of ECSTCS:

Abstract: The Epistemic Conflation Of A School of Thought Claiming To Be Scientific(if you don't see a picture above this title, click here,

Full Title:

"'Prophets Facing Backward:' Naturopathy and Knowledge Type from the Inside – The Epistemic Conflation of a School of Thought Claiming to be Scientific."

2015 Comment #001.

Legend: This treatise's central text is in black and left-justified; notations, clarifications and associations are in blue and often right-justified; very noteworthy things -- particularly vitalism -- are in red, and teleology-finalism stuff is in purple. Hypertext links are in orange. Abstract:

The claim that naturopathy

[aka: 'natural medicine,' 'nature cure,' 'naturopathic medicine,' 'science-based natural medicine founded upon holistic philosophy,' 'the science-based vitalistic,' 'integrative medicine,' 'natural medicine that integrates body, mind, spirit, and nature,' 'a body of knowledge that bridges the worlds of science, nature, and spirit']

is en masse

[that is: as a whole, categorically, overarchingly of the label] 'scientific, science-based, and a branch of scientific medicine';

for these claims by naturopathy, see Appendix I. (click here,] 

is evaluated from the position of epistemics

[which the Random House Unabridged Dictionary (2006) defines as:

"of or pertaining to knowledge or the conditions for acquiring it"].

Since naturopathy does not demarcate knowledge kind – in fact, naturopathy deliberately combines knowledge kinds

[that is: conflates, blends, equates, fuses -- or, as is fashionable presently, 'integrates'

(click here,]

[by way of] per:

a) the intentional equation of aspects of the a priori and a posteriori [detailed below];
b) the intentional unlimiting of science to allow for explanations, bodies of knowledge, methodologies, and knowledge-types that preponderantly are not supported by science, are nonscientific, have been scientifically-dismissed and -refuted, or are unscienceable
[particularly: as regards 'the supernatural, and metaphysical, and the idealistic and kind,' which are not supported by any legitimate kind of substantive empirical evidence that can sustain peer-acceptable {not CAM / sCAM peers, by the way} scientific scrutiny];
– such epistemic conflation
[a term I’ve coined and employed to describe this phenomenon of ‘the blending of kinds of knowledge’]
alone is cause for dismissing naturopathy’s claim that they are en masse scientific.
Since 'the scientific' is essentially and preponderantly an epistemic delineation
[e.g.: the 'archaic vitalistic, spiritistic, teleological-finalistic, theistic' {the supernatural, metaphysical, theological, idealistic and kind} are outside of the 'modern scientific']
and because naturopathy maintains, while epistemically conflated, that such a blended-knowledge type is en masse scientific anyway,
[an epistemic delineation],
the domain is best described as irrational and pseudoscience
[the former: "not endowed with reason"; the latter, literally 'false science' -- see Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary(2002): "a system of theories, assumptions, and methods erroneously regarded as scientific"; also, see Appendix K. (click here,].
The author includes specific examples that collectively indicate profound epistemic misrepresentation 

[minimally, the naturopathic decree / labeling ' fiat: that 'the vitalistic is the scientific' -- overall, the naturopathic labeling that 'the supernatural spiritistic autoentheistic is scientific,' that 'the scientifically discarded is scientific,' that 'the unscienceable is scientific']

by naturopathic academic institutions [which are REGIONALLY accredited, and States approved], national and State guild organizations, and practitioners.
The author maintains that there is a naturopathy-wide mannerism [as in 'a racket'] that involves disguising, omitting, and misrepresenting pertinent categorically-descriptive and categorically-comparative information as regards 'the naturopathic.'
The author believes it is ethically crucial that potential naturopathy students, and scientific and allied health professionals, be made aware of what naturopathy essentially is in terms of knowledge type and professionalism in a manner that is nonmanipulative and transparent.
In support, the author provides two tabulated overviews of current naturopathic characteristics, beliefs and behaviors [mannerisms].
Additionally, extensive appendices, in directory format, detailing naturopathy’s requisite, essential, and underpinning

[or as they say 'underlying'] 

[see Appendix B. (click here,] 
the scientific rejection of vitalism,
[see Appendix C. (click here,] 
naturopathy's statements of yet being scientific 
[absurdly, inanely][see Appendix I. (click here,] 
and other sectic sundries
[the 'Naturopathic Oath,' 'Naturopathic Creed,' and 'Naturopathic Therapeutic Order' / Standard of Practice -- which require an ND to state what I call, overall 'the preponderantly acknowledged as nonscientific as scientific,' and position the practitioner as 'an unethical professional in terms of modern scientific physician-status medicine'; e.g.: posing vitalism, animism, animatism, pantheism, autoentheism, teleology-finalism, the a priori, the idealistic, the metaphysical, the supernatural, the spiritistic, the nonparsimonious, that is, that which lacks direct scientific evidence & explanatory mannerisms not ascribed directly by scientific evidence, i.e. the nonempirical & the violation of Occam’s Razor{parsimony} as scientific and not articles of faith; wherein, it follows if the standards of science are made so lax anything then is scientific, which is absurd obviously -- but, not to naturopathy, due to their muddled, non-'epistemically rigorous,' epistemic-blending mannerism {naturopathy's epistemic conflation}]
are provided.
The naturopathic en masse scientific claim is therefore essentially pseudoscientific.

The claim is false, it is a misrepresentation / mislabeling.
 [I was swindled; it is a racket]. [Naturopathic false claims / pseudoscientific claims / unprofessional positions include: placing the supernatural {vitalism, spiritism, autoentheism and kind} within the scientific and labeling that entirety scientific; placing the scientifically-discarded, -unsupported, and -refuted within the scientific and labeling it scientific; claiming that the 'science-based' includes specifically the vitalistic and the spiritistic and the theistic. Any fair assessment easily points out that what is essentially 'the naturopathic' is instead a belief system / a sectic-sectarian medical system {if even rather syncretic, per 'fused beliefs' of a certain flavor} -- outside of what is preponderantly scientific, since based upon vitalism and spiritism and kind -- in terms of professions-level basic science and medical science. What's more, the naturopathic unlimiting of the boundaries of what is permissibly 'science, science-based, scientific, objective' -- by preponderance, in terms of the scientific community -- to the extent wherein the scientific is constructed as containing the spiritistic,vitalistic and autoentheistic {the not-in-evidence metaphysical, supernatural, theological and idealistic and kind} -- DESTROYS SCIENCE, as an epistemic type. Cui bono? How is an antiscience position 'a branch of scientific medicine?'].
It follows that the required beliefs, mannerisms, and therapeutic systems within the naturopathy domain [their sectic peculiarities] place any future graduates and practitioners of this 'school of thought,' as well as current practitioners and associated purveyors of naturopathy [individuals, institutions, organizations] in quite an obviously unethical and essentially fraudulent position -- specifically as regards the unscientific being posed as professionally scientific, particularly as concerns what isn't "scientific medicine" being mislabeled professionally as such.
 [Since 'the vitalistic, the spiritistic, the teleological-finalistic as scientific and science-based' {the essential naturopathic claim} is essentially an epistemic misrepresentation: an area of 'epistemic blending' {their holistic, vitalistic, spiritistic, 'natural medicine' blah blah blah} posing as an area 'epistemically delineated' {the scientific}; the 'essentially naturopathic' is not science, not scientific, not science-based en masse {the actual science within an ND curriculum stands alone as science, it is outside the 'essentially naturopathic doctrines' -- of vitalism, spiritism and kind}; naturopathy is EXTRAscientific en masse {outside the scientific, outside the science-based}; what I'm pointing out here is not a microscopic argument concerning INTRAcategorical quality {which I have done in the past, to deaf ears, particularly those of the Connecticut judiciary}, but gross and quite obviously unethical INTERcategorical fraud {what is inside and outside 'the scientific'} across the 'naturopathy <----> scientific' spectrum {the 'naturopathic to scientific' spectrum}]. [Predicated overall upon: a) the naturopathic claim that they are equal in terms of 'ethical responsibilities' {e.g., per 'fiduciary duty' -- academically, clinically} to medical practitioners and medical institutions, as they claim to be a form of 'medicine' that is of 'primary care,' 'scientific,' 'modern,' accredited 'university' status; and with the 'ethical' as a higher bar than 'the legal,' and with naturopathy quite active in terms of both academic and clinical commerce...there are obviously vast contractual breaches occurring in those domains {perhaps 'unfair trade?'}; this is encompassed by the larger ethical 'breach of academic, administrative and fiduciary duty' by the institution I attended {the University of Bridgeport}, resulting from their 'epistemic conflation misrepresented as an epistemic delineation'; b) what I would call a legal requirement to provide accurate labeling, per fair-trade principles in any kind of commerce -- whether it be academic or clinical, educational or commercial].Key words, labels: a priori, a posteriori, absurdity, academic duty, academic fraud, animatism, animism, college fraud, Connecticut university fraud, education fraud, epistemic conflation, epistemics, epistemology, false claims, fiduciary duty, institutional predation, intellectual dishonesty, irrationalism, life-force, medical sectarianism, naturopathic, naturopathic medicine, naturopathic pseudoscience, naturopathy, oxymorony, pseudoscience, science fraud, science illiteracy, sectarian indoctrination, sectarian medicine, sectarianism, spiritism, supernaturalism, surreptitious sectarian proselytizing, teleology-finalism, vital force, vital-force-spirit, vitalistic, vitalism.Word count: ? [Check back for on-going revisions / additional citations! Rants!].Author: Robert J. Cullen.Degree: B.A. -- City University of New York, Lehman College, 1994.[Phi Beta Kappa (click here,;Summa Cum Laude; Dept. Hons. & other honors]. I've also attended, in this 'fraud-induced traipse:' Westchester Community College - State University of New York, as a post-B.A. undergrad.{for naturopathic science and etc. prereq.s}; New York University, as a grad. student{Humanities and Social Thought / Interdisciplinary Studies, planning to do an ND afterward}; California State University - Dominguez Hills, as a grad. student{Humanities, to get some graduate-level intro. philo.}; Southern Connecticut State University, as a grad. student{Information and Library Science, to get some exposure to internet technology to continue my research of this fraud}; and at the core of all this, the University of Bridgeport and their fraudulent College of Naturopathic Medicine, for four years as a doctoral naturopathic 'medical' student.[the 'UB falsely labeled' 'subject of this treatise,' per explicit 'nonscientific, metaphysical, idealistic and supernatural articles-of-faith, -belief, and -viewpoint' mislabeled as 'professional scientific medicine,' 'science-based,' 'the scientific,' and a nonsectarian / nonsectic 'branch of medical science' -- supposedly, as an aggregate, according to naturopathy, the naturopathic is 'not a belief system' but instead based upon 'objective observation' that survives scientific scrutiny].[My total aggregate debt in this misadventure, merely as concerns student loans is: >$180,000, and growing. Some of the schools mentioned above obviously were before UB, while others were after UB for coursework to gain the knowledge and skill to precisely figure out the 'naturopathic swindle' I'd experienced at UB's UBCNM and through the AANP-Alliance / FNPLA].Subject Competencies: PRAXIS II - Biology (for high school teaching); NPLEX I - Basic Medical Science (Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, Pathology, Biochemistry); GRE - General.Conflicts of interest: None[Consider my status, in terms of this dissertation / treatise: 'the perspective of one exploited & dissident'].Previous presentation of this work: None. This work is solely the author’s, who retains all rights to its usage. Feel free to link to any of my pages.[Though I did submit this to the AANP for their 2006 Convention...hmmm, they turned me down.][Also: a) the apparent naturopathy- / CAM- / pseudoscience-proponent editorial board of the Journal of Family Practice were sent quite a pile of stuff, including this, in 2006 in response to their publication of the AANP article that spurred this blog; b) and the President of UB was informed years ago by me about the pseudoscientific & fraudulent status of naturopathy {particularly naturo. vitalism} and how naturo. therapeutic vitalism-spiritism sits in relation to a mainstream religion's apologetic {after all, naturo claims science and spirit, as coincident: turns out naturo. steps on toes all over the place -- criticism occurs from well-established preponderant science and the mainstream pray-trade}. I still laugh at the UB answer: some UB lawyer's letter accusing me of seeking a Catholic education at UB and now griping about lack-thereof! Yikes! Because it was the Vatican's apologetic (Useful! But, I'm not Christian, or religious / supernatural believing -- of any kind! Yet, as has been my experience at UB and with UB naturopathy, they attempt to command the contents of my head! I still dissent...). When I answered that what I'm pointing out is 'naturo. in regards to science and ANY religious background' {the school not accurately informing people about WHERE THEY SIT, in many ways -- in terms of established science, established faiths -- as compared to their 'unlimited' science that postures vitalism, therapeutic spiritism etc. AS NOT A BELIEF SYSTEM BUT SCIENCE} answer. So, it turns out that I apparently am merely an object for State-sanctioned exploitation by this institution -- AND, nobody listens...while plenty witness; c) {I've informed "those involved," see sidebar}].[Epistemic conflation: essentially means 'the blending of types of knowledge' -- e.g., the supernatural {spirit(s) & god(s) / theisms / divinity etc.} with the scientific / science-based; while the scientific is not such a blended knowledge type -- e.g., legitimate science does not include supernaturalism {spirit(s) & god(s) / theisms / divinity, vitalism, spiritism, teleology, and that which lacks evidence etc.};-definitions / usages (AHD, 4th ed.): epistemic, “of or relating to epistemology”; epistemology, “the branch of philosophy that studies the nature of knowledge, its presuppositions and foundations, and its extent and validity”; to conflate, “to bring together; meld or fuse […] to combine into a whole”; -examples: Here are two examples of naturopathy's 'melding of all kinds of knowledge' mannerism. The most current (a) is Bastyr University, and the most foundational (b) is Lust {'Loost'}, 'naturopathy's founder:'a) 2007: "the natural health sciences that integrate body, mind, spirit, and nature." (click here, for an search of said 'naturopathic epistemic conflation,' per >natural health sciences integrate mind body spirit nature<, b) 1902: "In 1902 Benedict Lust, considered the father of naturopathy, wrote: 'in a word [!], naturopathy stands for the reconciling, harmonizing and unifying of nature, humanity and god." (click here, (archived here, *note on a & b: 'science' is their overarching label {2007}, and they position 'body, mind, spirit, nature, god' within it {2007, 1902};-this abstract's definitions / usages (AHD, 4th ed.):(click here, for the American Heritage Dictionary at the reference suite, mislabel, "to label inaccurately"; delineate, "to draw or trace the outline of"; science, “the observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena. Such activities restricted to a class of natural phenomena. Such activities applied to an object of inquiry or study"; spirit, "the vital principle or animating force [VFS, explicitly] within living beings [...] a supernatural being"; god, "a being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions [...] the force, effect, or a manifestation or aspect of this being [...] a being of supernatural powers or attributes, believed in and worshiped by a people, especially a male deity thought to control some part of nature or reality"; theism, "belief in the existence of a god or gods"; divine, "having the nature or being of a deity[...] godlike";[with spirit preponderantly the category that the vitalistic falls within {see AHD def. below, for instance}; and the belief in a vital-force-spirit {VFS}, and spirit generally, I term spiritism {I don't mean the 'talking to the dead' stuff from 100 years ago}; and a belief in god(s), some version of theism {naturopathy's is autoentheism -- god / god power / divinity is posed is within people};- COMMENT: the overarching 'naturopathic self-description label,' wherein they state naturopathy's category overall as 'science, scientific, science-based, branch of medical science' and whatnot, while science is NOT such an epistemic blending since 'the scientific' is a specific type /subset within all types of knowledge, in terms of epistemics -- rigorous, empirical, testable, provisional, methodological natural etc. -- this labeling of the epistemically delineated as the epistemically conflated, as naturopathy explicitly does -- is an absurdity and a stupidity; naturopathy is minimally, in my view, a form of intellectual dishonesty and categorical ignorance; something is not what it is different from -- particularly 'that in evidence' / of science and 'that without evidence' / of faith & supernatural; naturopathy poses, overall, the irrational {their sectic mannerisms} as the rational {science, professional medicine}, the illogical as the logical; specifically posing 'naturopathic vitalism, spiritism, and teleology-finalism {sectarian doctrines and dogmas; the metaphysical, supernatural {spirits(s) & gods(s) / theisms / divinity etc.}, ideological etc.} and kind' as 'science, scientific, and science-based' is a masquerade, "a disguise or false outward show; a pretense […] an involved scheme, a charade" {I've not much clue as how this plays out legally};[some ABSOLUTELY necessary quotes!!!].1 [a philosopher of science]"Vitalism is, of course, the discredited view that living organisms are animated by a vital force not identifiable with any material force. To accuse any contemporary scientist of holding a vitalist view is to accuse him or her of being hopelessly retrograde [literally, stepping backward; figuratively 'facing backward']." -- Longino, H.E. [in "Mutating Concepts, Evolving Disciplines: Genetics, Medicine, and Society"(2002)(ISBN 1402010400){p.184}].2 [a biologist]"Generations of vitalists labored in vain to find a scientific explanation for the lebenskraft [German, 'life force' {essentially}] until it finally became quite clear that such a force simply does not exist. That was the end of vitalism."-- Mayr, E. [in "What Makes Biology Unique?: Considerations on the Autonomy of a Scientific Discipline"(2004)(ISBN 0521841143){p.023}].3 [another philosopher, and ***yes, 1897!]"Physiology, for the last fifty years, has been dominated by a reaction against what is called vitalism. The older investigators were in the habit of calling in ‘vital force’ as a deus ex machina [god in / of / from the machine; a supernatural explanation acting as a place-filler for actual scientific knowledge and scientific understanding concerning an aspect of the natural world, e.g. a 'god of the gaps' per a 'vital force spirit of the gaps'; the 'god in the machine' was used in Ancient Greek plays to quickly tidy-up issues of plot] to account for any phenomena which baffled their powers of natural explanation [as opposed to vitalistic supernatural explanation]. Vital force, conceived as extraneously interfering with otherwise mechanical processes, was evidently a hypostatized [of 'the upholding ideal;' of 'the upholding underlying reality;' of 'the upholding otherworldly;' of 'the upholding metaphysical'] entity of the worst type, and it [vitalism; vitalistic explanation] was accordingly discarded by scientific physiology as part of the baneful legacy of metaphysics."-- Pringle-Pattison, A.S. [in "Man’s Place in the Cosmos, and Other Essays"(1897***) (W. Blackwood, publisher) {p.108-109}].4 [a physicist]"The unifying principle behind almost all of alternative medicine is that some √©lan vital [VFS] is responsible for infusing organisms with the property of life […a] vital force […or] bioenergetic field […that] is confusingly associated with classical electromagnetic fields on the one hand, and quantum wave function fields on the other [that is, said to be physical when NOT]. Belief [as in article of faith; posited without evidence] in the existence of a living force is primeval and remains widespread. Called prana by the Hindus, ch'i [or chi, qi] by the Chinese, and ki by the Japanese, it is the source of life that is often associated with soul, spirit, and mind. In ancient times the soul was identified with breath, which the Hebrews called ruach, the Greeks psyche or pneuma (the breath of the gods), and the Romans spiritus. Obviously, the origin of words like ‘psychic’ and ‘spirit’ resides in what we now know is a completely material substance -- the mixture of N2, O2, and other gases we call air. But bioenergetic fields are much thinner than air, so thin in fact that they cannot be distinguished from the void [!…] despite complete scientific rejection, the concept of a special biological fields within living things remains deeply engraved in human thinking."-- Stenger, V.J. [in “Reality Check - The Energy Fields of Life” (Skeptical Briefs, vol. 8 #2 June 1998) {click here, ><; archived here, ><}].5 [a National Science Foundation sponsored modern college biology text]“For many centuries, it was believed that the energy [in the actual scientific sense, not the New Age woo-woo VFS sense] of life was somehow different from other forms of energy in the universe […per] a special vital force […] the idea of a special life energy or vital force was so widespread that virtually every culture has a name for it. The Chinese ch’i, the ruh of the Arabs, the prana of the Indians, the pneuma of the Greeks are all roughly translated to mean ‘breath of life’ […] it was mistakenly believed that the vital force followed its own set of rules, different from the rules that govern the flow of energy in the inanimate world […but] the energy of life is not unique [p.275…no,] the energy of living things is not unique. It follows all the same rules that govern the behavior of energy in the inanimate world [p.278…per] the first law of thermodynamics says that energy may change form, but it may neither be created nor destroyed […] it soon became apparent that living organisms can no more create energy from nothing than mechanical devices can. The energy of life comes from the radiant heat and light of the sun. The realization that the first law applied to both inanimate matter and living things was the beginning of the end for vitalism, the ancient idea that living things contained a special kind of energy. No longer could life be exempt from the laws of the universe. That which is true of the flow of energy in the nonliving world is true in the living world as well […] the first law of thermodynamics has never been contradicted [p.276…] an illustration of the second law of thermodynamics […could be] ice melting in a hot cup of tea […] the second law states that changes always occur in a direction in which the energy of the universe becomes more disordered […] physicists have given us a name for the amount of disorder in the universe: entropy […] how, then, is life possible? […e.g.] humans […obviously] highly ordered combinations of organic substances […wherein] entropy […] is decreased […] is this a violation of the second law? […] if you look closely at the second law you will find the answer [...’no,’ because systemically] each time a life process imposes order on a small part of the universe, there is an even greater increase in entropy somewhere else. In the case of life [on Earth particularly], we can trace the increase in entropy to the burning of the sun [p.277; contrast this with the claims of the Textbook of Natural Medicine 2005 that life is "antientropic!"].”-- Pruitt, N.L., Underwood, L.S. [in "Bioinquiry: Making Connections in Biology”(3rd ed., 2005; ISBN 0471473219)].6 [a modern skeptic {not to be mistaken for cynic}]“Modern skepticism is embodied in the scientific method, which involves gathering data to test natural explanations for natural phenomena [...] skepticism is a method leading to provisional conclusions [minute 21...] the key to skepticism is to navigate the treacherous straits between 'know-nothing skepticism' and 'anything-goes credulity' by continuously and vigorously applying the methods of science [minute 22...] what I mean by a skeptic is one who questions the validity of a particular claim, and calls for evidence to prove or disprove it […] skepticism is a vital part of science, which I define as: a set of methods designed to describe and interpret observed or inferred phenomena, past or present, and aimed at building a testable body of knowledge open to rejection or confirmation […] science is a specific way of analyzing information with the goal of testing claims [minute contrast to] pseudoscience, by which I mean: claims presented so that they appear scientific even though they lack supporting evidence and plausibility [minute 28 & 29...] scientific language does not make a science. Dressing-up a belief system [e.g. naturopathy's vitalism, spiritism, teleology-finalism -- and kind; UBCNM calling Hinduism's ayurveda a "natural science" as an excellent example] in the trappings of science by using scientific language and jargon, as in 'creation science' [and I'll add naturopathy's 'vitalistic science, ' 'spiritistic science' & kind] means nothing without evidence, experimental testing, and corroboration […] those who wish to gain respectability but do not have evidence try to do an end-run around the missing evidence by looking and sounding scientific [or, as naturopathy does, radically self-labeling themselves "science-based" and "scientific," which is arrived at by radically unlimiting the boundaries of 'the scientific;' minute 37].”-- Shermer, M. [in “Why People Believe Weird Things”(2nd rev. ed. 2002; ISBN 0805070893, as paperback in full)(1998 abridged ed. audio; ISBN 1559275138)].7 [a biologist]“In our own time, New Age systems of belief, ranging from naturopathic medicine to mysticism of all kinds, are espoused as bulwarks against a perceived tide of materialistic explanation. Mysticism as a retreat from the engagement of reason with experience – at the breakfast table or in the laboratory – should be sharply distinguished from a sense of mystery in having a life and exercising one’s intellect [p.013…] The premise is that a cell consists of a finite number of such microsystems, which, if combined together, will be a perfectly valid cell once more. No elan vital a la Henri Bergson, no embryo-directing ‘entelechy’ as postulated, over a century ago, by Hans Driesch, no vital force need be supplied. Since the last-mentioned sorts of things have not been observed in in vitro systems, and have no place in the cell’s total information store in its DNA, they can be relegated to the dustbin of philosophical romanticism [p.116].”-- Fleissner, E. [in “Vital Harmonies: Molecular Biology and Our Shared Humanity”(2004)(ISBN 0231131127)].8 [a reference, to remind that science is an activity].“[the] scientific: of, relating to, or employing the methodology of science.”--The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. [Fourth Edition, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004 (click here, ><) {accessed: November 06, 2006}]
Part I. Introduction:
A major medical journal recently published a glowing autoendorsement [auto=self] of naturopathy or naturopathic medicine, authored by several institutional luminaries and practitioners of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians [AANP] branch of that school of thought.[1]
I felt intellectually dissatisfied and ethically disturbed upon reading the article.

Dissembling obscurantism [!] -- that is, disguise and omission -- is the typical naturopathic style of miscommunicating what truly is an epistemologically undifferentiated, radical worldview.
In terms of disguise, the AANP has irresponsibly misrepresented that which is essentially ‘the naturopathic.’

In terms of omission, the authors have sidestepped several very important issues raised by a similarly peer-reviewed recently published critical analysis.[2]
I attended one of the AANP schools from 1998-2002, the University of Bridgeport’s College of Naturopathic Medicine [UB; UBCNM].

Due to, in my view, the unethical, unlawful, and unprofessional position that ‘doing naturopathy’ places one within overall, and the fraud of naturopathic education, I ceased participation before graduating.
I now realize I had been cleverly beguiled into wasting very large amounts of time, energy, and money.
To balance the AANP's portrayal, I believe it’s my obligation [that is: an academic duty, an ethical duty, an intellectual / scholarly duty] to share my impressions of the field of naturopathy.

In particular, it is important to communicate exactly where naturopathy lies in relation to the two typically exclusive categorical knowledge types that naturopathy professes to simultaneously and expertly occupy [and also explicitly claim are the same type of knowledge!]:
i) the supernatural, metaphysical and idealistic a priori;
[e.g.: 1) vitalism; 2) spiritism 
{with -ism "a distinctive doctrine, theory, system, or practice," ><; and spirit- being "the principle of conscious life; the vital principle in humans, animating the body or mediating between body and soul [...] the incorporeal part of humans: present in spirit though absent in body [...] the soul regarded as separating from the body at death [...] conscious, incorporeal being, as opposed to matter: the world of spirit [...] a supernatural, incorporeal being, esp. one inhabiting a place, object, etc., or having a particular character: evil spirits," ><} and holistic 'bodymindspirit whatever;' 
3) teleological-finalism 
{which I find to be so utterly stupid that its definition is its ultimate criticism -- biological events not occurring due to the circumstances that led up to them, but by a future magically sucking events forward].
and ii) the scientific, secular, and empirical / sensuous a posteriori.
[I feel the two categories are reasonably distinct.].

As a former student of this school of thought, and a current independent aggregator of the naturopathy field -- as I am neither an ND nor MD, and I have been exploring the relationship of naturopathy to the scientific and to the supernatural for several years now -- perhaps a partial encapsulation from an actually non-sectarian, unaligned and informed perspective can be helpful in this matter.

The AANP has stated “consumers should know what they are getting when they seek the services of a naturopathic physician,”[3] and I agree.

Clinicians and researchers in the healthcare and science areas, and potential education consumers who may seek to be trained into naturopathy, deserve information that is as objective and complete as possible concerning these practitioners and institutions who claim to be and claim to be colleagues of scientists, scientific institutions, and primary care responsible scientific medical physicians.

The specific naturopathic mannerism I will discuss is an inability to abide the basic epistemic delineation which science operates upon.

It follows then that naturopathic statements of being 'scientific, science-based, science, and a branch of medical science' are nonsense since they have radically unlimited the definition of science to such an extent that science and nonscience are indiscernible

 [evidence and parsimonious explanatory models are no longer necessary, in 'naturopathic science'; methodological naturalism is not employed...etc.].

[Here's an important admission, by Nortman, D. (ND CCNM), who states {in “Philosophy of Naturopathic Medicine Seminar: For Advanced Naturopathic Students or Practitioners”}:“do we [society] want to maintain the current notion of science and claim that naturopathic medicine is not a science [e.g., science's high standards requiring empirical evidence and stringent heuristics; wherein naturopathy's requisite vitalism and spiritism are thus NOT within science, and neither is 'the naturopathic'…] or: do we want to expand the notion of what is science [this has already been done within naturo.; e.g., unlimit the boundaries of science, which is a decrease of standards, by not requiring evidence and by greatly loosening heuristical guides; the idealistic, metaphysical and supernatural are then scientific; the empirically unsupported / 'not even sensuous' is scientific; anything is scientific] in order to be able to maintain that naturopathic medicine is scientific?”(click here, ><)]
Part II. Delineating knowledge type as epistemics, and then blending those types:
Part II.A. Typifying:
It is generally acknowledged that knowledge or information exists in various categories:

"epistemology, from the Greek words episteme (knowledge) and logos (word/speech) is the branch of philosophy that deals with the nature, origin and scope of knowledge [...] a priori knowledge is knowledge gained or justified by reason alone [which I will call the nonsensous], without the direct or indirect influence of any particular experience (here, experience usually means observation of the world through sense perception [the sensuous...] a posteriori knowledge is any other sort of knowledge; that is, knowledge the attainment or justification of which requires reference to experience. This is also called empirical knowledge."[4]

"Epistemology -- the science of the methods and validity of knowledge."[5]

"Epistemics -- singular noun: the scientific study of knowledge, its acquisition and its communication."[6]

"Epistemics -- a word coined in Edinburgh University in 1969 to label a new school dedicated to the scientific, as opposed to the philosophical, study of knowledge."[7]

It is not the purpose of this paper to argue the finer points of philosophy [or the finer demarcation issues as regards science].

I will employ the philosophical term ‘epistemic type’ to indicate that it is standard practice to properly and stringently delineate knowledge kind, en masse.

Information is not all the same:

 that which is presupposed without evidence and unchanging is not that which is derived from sensuous experience and tentative.

Ramp both areas up in intensity and it is commonly stated that the supernatural and the ‘philosophical- metaphysical-idealistic’ as I will term it, as contrasted with the scientifically rigorous and practical, are literally worlds apart epistemically:

the former are a priori in kind, as matters and articles of faith ["belief that is not based on proof," ><], preference, abstraction, and conjecture without any direct requirement for testing against or support / origin from sensuous evidence, while the latter is a posteriori in kind and furthermore employs the stringent testing of predictions derived from plausible hypotheses based upon empirical or sensuous evidence gathered from the natural world and then statistically filtered.

Such delineation is not obscure:

the legal system, particularly as pertains to the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and its ‘Establishment Clause’ separating Church and State, obviously must acknowledge and employ such a knowledge type difference, and similarly, so does modern scientific medicine.

Modern scientific medicine developed particularly because sectarian "allopathy surrendered" to a non-sectarian a posteriori view which, by definition, maintains "no presupposition that is not common to it with all the natural sciences, with all logical thinking."[see 8]

As a necessary epistemic characteristic, "scientific medicine [...] brushes aside all historic dogma."[see 8]

On the other hand, the a priori or sectarianistic in knowledge type [usually, because what's being stated is a specific kind of supernaturality view / an 'articles of faith' set -- i.e. naturo.s vitalism, spiritism, spiritual development, therapeutic spiritualism, teleology-finalism, holistic 'bodymindspirit whatever' etc.] -- prescientific "medical sectarians" like naturopaths and kind, by definition -- share the mannerism of:

"[beginning with the] mind made up [...maintaining] a finished and supposedly adequate dogma or principle [...yet, and still] to plead in advance a principle couched in pseudo-scientific language or of extra-scientific character is to violate scientific quality."[8]

What I will say about naturopathic epistemic sensitivity is simply that they do not abide epistemic delineation.

[They'll often argue that 'the mind and body are not separate,' per 'that which is mental is therefore that which is empirical' {I'm not arguing for dualism here}; specifically, they'll castigate mechanistic materialism and wax metaphysically / idealistically - ideologically / supernaturally -- and call the whole thing "scientific medicine" and "objective observation" that's "not a belief system."].

The blending of epistemic type is at the heart of their dogmatic ‘philosophy,’ while simultaneously the blended knowledge is deliberately and falsely labeled scientific [and nonsectarian].

The remainder of this section will entail this conflation or blending [or integrating] of knowledge type fallacy that I call the naturopathic “wine plus mud equals wine” claim, or their “pile apples and oranges together and say it’s a pile of one kind of fruit” mannerism.

Part II.B. Naturopathic epistemic conflation:

[aka ‘naturopathy blends, naturopathy combines’ – or, ‘all fruit is one fruit, and muddy wine is pure wine’ -- and quite thoroughly, in their view, 'the scientific and the supernatural are the same type of knowledge -- scientific'].

One AANP type ND [Jared Zeff, ND], who co-chaired the AANP committee [with Pamela Snider, ND] that formed the current definitions and tenets of naturopathy in the late 1980s, states the epistemic conflation in this manner:

"naturopathic medicine is a distinct system [...specifically stating it's a] science [...that is with contents] continually reexamined in the light of scientific advances [as in THAT specific epistemically delineation, SCIENCE!...YET] the techniques of naturopathic medicine include modern and traditional, scientific and empirical [as various epistemic types; a nondelineated, nondistinct BLEND!...naturopathy's] diagnostics and therapeutics are selected from various sources and systems [as in indistinct, assorted, ANYTHING GOES!]."[9]

[But I would like to emphasize, even in all this combining of the various, we are promised "continually reexamined in the light of scientific advances", we are promised an epistemic distinction while concurrently various and combined.]

A Dean of UBCNM [where I went to school], appointed two years into my UBCNM education, stated the mannerism of naturopathic epistemic conflation quite clearly in this welcome letter that appeared around the year 2000:

"[naturopathic medicine is] a system based on the presept[sp.] of Vis Medicatrix Naturae / Only Nature Heals [coded vitalism], a system of health care respectful of, and one which works in concert with, Natural Law [and these are not the 'laws' science establishes, they are 'sectarian beliefs / articles of faith' -- like those of Hering, ayurveda etc.], a system of health care recognizing the synthesis of body, mind and spirit [that is the a posteriori 'synthesized / conflated / integrated / blended with the a priori supernatural'], and a system that embraces [such] holism but yet is grounded in reductionist science [huh! 'it's 100% giraffe...and half elephant!!!'], and practiced in an evidence-based environment [evidence of the supernatural-metaphysical-idealistic and kind, of the a priori is claimed]. In short, it is a system known today as Naturopathic Medicine. Todays[punct.] Naturopathic Physician serves on the front line of health care as a Primary Care physician, practicing scientific medicine."[10]

[If you've missed the implications of these two remarkable and radical statements, to summarize, in a paraphrased manner: "we the naturopathic school of thought decree: the scientific includes the supernatural and the prescientific and the unscientific and the unscienceable and the nonscientific and any of our sectarian knowledge and any of our naturopathic sectarian 'natural laws' {not to be confused with the laws of natural science} and anything we as naturopaths do, and 'the scientific as is recognized by scientists overall'"].

[So again, we get this promise of "scientific" and yet we're told of this "synthesis", this combination, this sourcing from various places.  And if you are keeping score, we are highly in the area of irrationality, where the blended is falsely labeled distinct epistemically.]

The easiest language to use when Internet searching for this naturopathic epistemic conflation phenomenon, which is present across the Internet regardless of the search engine employed, is the term "naturopathic medicine blends" or simply the separate words 'naturopathic' or 'naturopathy,' and 'blends' or 'combines' [See Appendix G for examples, click here, ><].

[Even more specifically: use >Bastyr natural health sciences body mind spirit nature<, (click here per]. 

Though naturopathy does not abide epistemic delineation, it obviously claims overall to be of scientific type, which is an epistemic delineation by definition.

A rudimentary a posteriori epistemic delineation is necessary to merely contemplate the scientific enterprise in kind; stringent empirical / a posteriori epistemic mannerisms are necessary to actually do publishable, peer-acceptable science.

If naturopathy really is scientific, which is of the most stringent a posteriori epistemic type, they wouldn’t be dogmatically holding on to notions that are of the science-discarded a priori [which are metaphysical, idealistic, supernatural, 'solely mentalistic' and kind] type such as vitalism, spiritism, teleology-finalism and kind -- which are scientifically-averse, scientifically-discarded, or of the unscienceable by definition [as in not empirical, not testable, not falsifiable, not evidence-based etc. -- 'articles of faith / a system of beliefs'; or just plain wrong].

The dogma or doctrine of vitalism is one such naturopathic a priori notion.

To intractably preserve such an antique 'inhabiting ghost' view without direct legitimate scientific evidence is not a scientific attitude.

To state that vitalism is scientific and modern, and to take money for it, is to commit a fraud / a misrepresentation -- in my view [to bamboozle].

As the next section will show, such a false representation -- the vitalistic as scientific -- minimally occurs within the naturopathic educational milieu and within naturopathic clinical practice.

Part III. The dogma and doctrine of vitalism:

The general naturopathic label for their 'purposeful life spirit' [which is a teleological life force] is the Latin 'vis medicatrix naturae,' which translates as "the healing power of nature" [see Merriam-Webster Online,].

[Note: VFS and teleology-finalism as 'intelligent VFS' are wed, as NDs indicate across the AANP domain. Here's the trunk of the tree. This is the 1989 Rippling River AANP Convention 'ND Sectarian Creed' {notice this is a commitment for licensure}:]
The Federation of Naturopathic Licensing Authorities had written, in 2002

[(click here, ><)(archived here, ><);also per the University of California, San Fransisco {see p.-091 "3.a." for the specific 'standard of care' directive to treat "vital force," and p.093 "2.b." for VMN=HPN=VFS} (click here, ><) (archived here, ><)].:

"[naturopathy is] heir to the vitalistic tradition of medicine in the Western world, naturopathic medicine emphasizes the treatment of disease through the stimulation, enhancement, and support of the inherent healing capacity of the person [VFS]. Methods of treatments are chosen to work with the patient's vital force, respecting the intelligence of the natural healing process [VFS…] The healing power of nature. Vis medicatrix naturae [VFS]. The body has the inherent ability to establish, maintain, and restore health. The healing process is ordered and intelligent; nature heals through the response of the life force. The physician's role is to facilitate and augment this process […] Illness is a purposeful process of the organism [that's the teleological aspect]. The process of healing includes the generation of symptoms which are, in fact, an expression of the life force attempting to heal itself."
 For brevity, I’m going to forgo discussion of naturopathy’s requisite teleology-finalism directly [and just merely say the 'purposeful life force' of naturopathy, its "purposefulness", its 'steering' towards a destination, is that teleological aspect which is usually wed to vitalism historically].

[expressed as "illness is an intelligently guided, purposeful process" {the naturopathic principles state "intelligence" and "purpose;" the Textbook of Natural Medicine 3rd ed. states "design" -- therefore, 'VFS-directed purposeful intelligent design'}{a continuously vital-spirit-directed, 'intelligently selected / designed schema,' an inevitable future goal that then establishes all the conditions that led up to it; by the supernatural VFS}, while all of life science particularly is causalistic {genetic-programmatic for sure, but with the future probabilistic; naturalistic}; see Pizzorno & Murray's "Textbook of Natural Medicine"{3rd ed., Dec. 2005, ISBN 0443069417, p.390, column 1, 2nd full paragraph} which states "vitalists stress the teleological behavior of organisms [...] the goal directedness and design in biologic phenomena." {in the sense of entelechies} {Dover 2005, anyone? - 'supernatural design in biology as not scientific, and disguised religion, an inanity violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment,' per a publicly funded educational setting}], and metaphysical holism [a term I employ to describe naturopathic spiritism, expressed as what I call 'holistic bodymindspirit whatever,' or hard holism / immaterialistic holism {the material plus the extraphysical supernatural} as opposed to materialistic holism / soft holism {matter and its physical properties; which is not supernatural; see this search here per >naturopathic spirit body mind<, ><].

For an overview of these facets, including notations and references, see Appendix A [I’ve included this, after the main text, as Appendix A], wherein I’ve tabulated a gross comparison of "knowledge types and associations."

Here, I’m just going to discuss naturopathy’s vitalism, a 'purposeful life spirit' ideation commonly defined as:

"vitalism, philosophy that living organisms are distinct from nonliving entities by possessing a 'vital force.' This vital force energizes living organisms in a nonphysical, nonchemical manner. Vitalism is an aspect of the philosophy of idealism, which claims that abstract, non-material forms or processes (ideas) precede and give rise to the material. Although vitalists do not deny the value of biochemical investigations of cells or organisms, they believe that such work can never lead to an understanding of the ultimate nature of life because, by definition, the vital force cannot be comprehended by studying chemical and physical phenomena [...] vitalistic medicine, in alternative medicine, generic term for a range of therapies based on the theory that disease is engendered by energy deficiency in the organism as a whole or a dynamic dysfunction in the affected part. Such deficiencies or dysfunctions are regarded as preceding the biochemical effects in which disease becomes manifest and upon which orthodox medicine focuses. Acupuncture, crystal therapy, homeopathy, magnet therapy, and naturopathy are all vitalistic therapies."[11]

So, this is the fundamental premise of naturopathy: that life, health, and disease are due to such an immaterial ‘purposeful vital-force-spirit’ [VFS] underlying and in possession of the material organism.

[Vitalism is not supported by any legitimate scientific evidence, of any kind, and science does not require vitalism as an explanatory mode. Vitalism is simply not necessary in science and not evidence-supported. In fact, it's most accurate to state that science EJECTED vitalism and vitalistic explanation, DECADES AGO -- due to the harm it does toward further inquiry, amongst other reasons. Yet, naturopathy calls itself 'science-based,' evidence-based, modern, the future! Therefore, I regard the naturopathic position that vitalism is scientifically necessary to explain life though 'not ascribed by any scientific evidence but claimed as science anyway' as a violation of the heuristic of parsimony, and thus obviously is a pseudoscience, {which is expressedly fraudulent} in the sense of modern science. Since vitalism is positively asserted without evidence -- 'underlying' {hypostatized} / immaterial /spiritual /metaphysical / cloud-cuckoo-land flapdoodle -- I regard VFS as an article of faith, placing naturopathy squarely in the category of sectarian medicine {systems based upon metaphysical claims, supernatural entities, idealistic / ideological modelings etc.}. When 'supposed science claims' no longer require evidence to be within science -- loosely speaking, 'proof' {minimally} -- science has been annulled as a category {and articles of faith are not, by definition, 'in evidence'}.

To again emphasize just how requisite / central vitalism is to naturopathy, IN PRACTICE:

a) the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine states in their 2006-2007 catalog {coded}: 

“[as a mission, they aim] to be faithful [literally, and article of faith] to the principles of naturopathic medicine [p.007…foremost, overarching] the vis medicatrix naturae [VFS] is discussed in depth as the basis for naturopathic concepts of health and disease and principles of practice, and as the unifying principle that distinguishes naturopathic practice from other forms of medicine and underlies [literally] naturopathic therapeutic practice [p.034].”(click here, ><; archived here, ><),

b) the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine states:"the naturopathic therapeutic order. As developed by Jared Zeff, ND, with Pamela Snider, ND [...2] stimulate the vis."(click here, ><),

c) Bastyr University states:"the vis medicatrix naturae (the healing power of nature, which is one of naturopathic medicine's core tenets)."(click here,].

The 2005 edition of the Textbook of Natural Medicine [the 3rd. ed., edited by naturopathic luminaries Pizzorno and Murray; ISBN 0443073007] clearly indicates naturopathy's vitalism [and its handmaiden, teleology-finalism].

We're told:

"naturopathy recognizes a vital force -- vis medicatrix naturae or healing power of nature [notice the direct equation, VFS = VMN = HPN; 'the vis' et al] -- that is present in all living things, including the human body. For naturopaths, this vital force is ultimately responsible for healing [...] this spirit of vitalism [literally...] naturopathic medicine has consistently aligned itself with the vitalistic side [...of] an ongoing debate [a false dichotomy, as if there is a legitimate scientific debate about this -- like stating there's a controversy in biology concerning the fact of evolution, in chemistry over the existence of atoms, or in physics over the use of measurements, or in geology concerning the approximate age of the Earth -- there isn't] between 'vitalistic' and 'mechanistic' approaches to life and health [there isn't a debate WITHIN science...with vitalism as] 'functional medicine' [a naturo. alias...] views disease as part of something that is purposeful and is proceeding actively in accordance with some design [teleology-finalism...] the concept of function must be viewed in the same category as the concepts of 'purpose' and 'design' [...] telos (end purpose) [...] functional practitioners recognize purpose and design in physiologic events [...per] a universal, supraindividual set of principles [...] the universal, patterned matrix of events is infinite and cannot be fully understood [...] the patterned matrix of universal events [...] the functional medicine emphasis on purpose and design is closely related to this recognition of vital force in naturopathy [p.014; per their entelechy as the driving intelligence...] philosophy of natural medicine [...] a human being has an intrinsic ability to 'self-right' -- vis medicatrix naturae (the healing power of nature). This is the keystone of a philosophy [vitalism, animism, spiritism, teleology-finalism etc.] that has been held for thousands of years by naturally oriented physicians (see chapter 6) [...] the body can maintain health and reestablish a healthy state after disease by virtue of its inherent vitality. This is part of the definition of a homeostatic mechanism [p.094...] the vis medicatrix naturae. The healing process described as vis medicatrix naturae [...] self-generated healing capacity [...] a patient's internal homeostatic mechanism [...] the body has two internal forces to maintain homeostasis: a lower drive and a higher drive. The lower drive is the inherent internal healing mechanism, the vital force [...] the higher drive is the power of the mind [mentalism p.095...] Hahnemann [...] asserted that the cause of disease could not be known [this is a great example of how vitalism stops scientific inquiry!; as mysticism...] the nature of disease is dynamic and could not be defined by isolating processes, [or] grasping for an explanation [resorting to a 'god of the gaps' mysticism...] the integrity and complexity of organization of the organism as a whole [...] he described as [...] dynamic, meaning in accordance with the animating principle of life, which is the underlying [idealistic; invisible; metaphysical-hypostatized!] energetic pattern to which matter conforms [...] that individual's vital response [...] vitalism. Disease, in the homeopathic model, is thought to arise from inherent or developed weaknesses in the patient's defense mechanisms [VFS, coded], creating a susceptibility to 'morbidific influences' [...] this viewpoint is considered 'vitalistic' [ opposed to] the current dominant medical system [which] is influenced by the causalistic and allopathic paradigms [p.389: allopathy is a false label; causalism is in opposition to teleology-finalism: causalism roughly is that events occur due to what led up to them, and allows for mechanistic interpretation; teleology-finalism says that events are inevitably 'sucked' towards a predetermined end-state, in a 'meant to be' sense, wherein the future determines the conditions that lead up to it, and is non-mechanistic and instead mystical -- considered a fallacy of reasoning, a false causality; and see note 34 regarding the naturopathic 'allopathy slur'...] vitalists stress the teleological behavior of organisms (i.e. the goal directedness and design in biological phenomena) [vitalism and teleology-finalism are wed...] disease is not accidental [strawman, what's being insinuated is that preconditions aren't explanatory enough; instead, biology is noncausally purpose-filled] but is rather the effort of the organism to ward off deeper or more internal disorganization. It is the natural wisdom of the body, the vis medicatrix naturae, or using current scientific terminology, the tendency for the body to maintain homeostasis [VFS as VMN as homeostasis{science-language camouflage}...] homeopathy [...] stimulates the body's inherent defense and self-regulatory mechanisms [the VFS, coded...the] vital intracellular and extracellular regulatory functions [p.390...] philosophy of naturopathic medicine [...] the modern [naturopathic] profession has articulated a general statement of naturopathic principles that expand on vis medicatrix naturae [per Rippling River 1989; the profession's premises are centered upon VMN=HPN=VFS...] naturopathic medicine has always identified the Latin expression vis medicatrix naturae (the healing power of nature) as its philosophical linchpin [p.079...] the foundations of naturopathic medical philosophy are found in vitalism [p.080 -- incontrovertibly]."[12]

This VFS is intractably posited [dogma; spiritism and teleology-finalism, too], a compulsory conviction [an oath is taken to it to graduate and be licensed], and utmost in importance in terms of naturopathic therapeutics.

[e.g. ‘energy medicine’; see Appendix A for an explanation of this VFS terminological conglomeration as pertains particularly to naturopathic syncretic conflation; also see Appendix A as concerns one immediate religious implication of naturopathy’s universe-pervasive, impersonal VFS supernaturalism – a religiosity that has attributes which include animatism, animism, and pantheism].

You can find this vitalism directly stated across the entire profession, from the naturopathic academic institutions to the clinicians they produce.

 [See Appendix B, click here, ><].

Practitioners can state:

"The process of healing includes the generation of symptoms which are, in fact, an expression of the life force attempting to heal itself."[13]

"The body has more innate healing power than all medicine in history. We call this power the life force, and foremost, we cultivate its restorative processes [...] symptoms are an expression of the life force, not the cause of illness. Rather than treat the symptom [the worldly physical, a posteriori], we discover the [metaphysical] cause, and direct our healing accordingly [at the otherworldly, metaphysical, idealistic, supernatural, a priori]."[14]

VFS is not optional within naturopathy; this is not a personal choice and private belief, it IS the naturopathic.

[a required belief as an 'article of faith'; and clinically, the central naturopathic 'standard of care'].

Vitalism and like kind falsely stated as science is built into their canonical creed [see Appendix D, some example links below], oath [see Appendix E, some example links below], and standard of clinical practice known as the "therapeutic order" [see Appendix F, some example links below].

UBCNM has stated naturopathic vitalism [and teleology-finalism, the two concepts are wed] as:

"Illiness[sp.] is a purposeful [teleology-finalism] process of the organism. The process of healing includes the generation of symptoms which are, in fact, an expression of the life force attempting to heal itself. Therapeutic actions should be complimentary to and synergistic with this healing process. The physician's actions can support or antagonize the actions of he[sp.] viz[sp.] medicatrix naturae. Therefore, methods designed to supress[sp.] symptoms without removing underlying causes [of the a priori] are considered harmful and are avoided or minimized."[15] 

[also, click here, ><; for the history of this page, click here, >*/<].

And one is just as likely to find vitalism coded [see Appendix J - 'Coded VFS,' click here, ><].

Such coding is a phenomenon one encounters when studying naturopathy, what I call "the supernatural ideology that dare not speak its name."

One of the AANP schools, the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine (BINM), employs these euphemisms:

"the body's inherent healing abilities […] the body's self-healing abilities […] the natural healing power […] the natural self-healing process."[16]

[This Canada school obviously isn't being as transparent or as accurate as they should be with their descriptors.].

In their description of naturopathy, BIMN doesn’t mention in name the vitalism which is actually being expressed per the transparent "life force," "vital force," or "vitality" [terminology].

Many AANP practitioners are prone to forgo such direct description as well.

This is the current language of a current Connecticut practitioner I knew from my UBCNM student experience:

"the healing power of nature: There is an innate ability for the body to heal itself. Naturopathic doctors remove obstacles to this process."[17]

In this description, he never mentions the vitalism which is actually being expressed per the transparent "life force," "vital force," or "vitality" [terminology].

More recently, vitalism is coded in the just recently published AANP autoendorsement by Dunne et al. (2005) [which this thesis attempts to enlighten], since Dunne et al. doesn’t state VFS in direct and honest terms anywhere.

I haven’t found in the piece’s primary text the terms "vital force" or "life force," though there is such words as "lifestyle," "life-threatening," and "quality of life."

Instead, the authors state:

"the premise [...that] naturopathic medicine is based upon [ that there are] inherent organizing forces underlying known physiologic processes [that is, the 'pre-material idealistic,' the 'underlying invisible,' determining the 'material physicalistic' 'apparent'...per] the vis medicatrix naturae, or the healing power of nature."[see 1]

Such coding of vitalism is one example of the naturopathic habit of dissembling [that is, disguising -- vitalism specifically].

Vitalism, and such kind, has been exceptionally PERMANENTLY scientifically discarded / UNEQUIVOCALLY scientifically demolished / refuted / rejected / ejected / DISQUALIFIED 

[see Appendix C. 'The Scientific Rejection of Vitalism' (click here, ><)],  

and, vitalism and such kind

  [vitalism, spiritism, teleology-finalism etc.]

are ANTITHETICAL to legitimate science

[enough overemphasis already!].

[As Ernst Mayr wrote, 22 years ago, in "The Growth of Biological Thought: Diversity, Evolution, and Inheritance"(1985) {ISBN 0674364465}: "It is fair to say that for biologists vitalism has been a dead issue for more than fifty years [so make that 72...] all biologists are thorough-going 'materialists' in the sense that they recognize no supernatural or immaterial forces, but only such that are physico-chemical [p.052...for] biology today [...] virtually all the great controversies of former centuries have been resolved. Vitalism in all of its forms has been totally refuted and has had no serious adherency for several generations [p.131...] by eliminating all interpretations that signaled an implicit conflict with physico-chemical explanations (namely, those theories that were vitalistic or teleological [e.g.: VFS, finalism]), evolutionary biology become far more respectable [p.576]"].

[Posing metaphysical / supernatural / 'of the idealistic' / 'without evidence' / nonparsimonious models / claims {vitalism, spiritism, teleology-finalism and kind} as 'modern scientific,' science, 'science-based' fact is exceptionally ANACHRONISTIC {of a different historical era!!!; as in artifact} and in my view a DECEPTION {as in untruth}. While, explicitly, naturopathy claims that vitalism and spiritism are "science-based," the branch of science that deals with 'the living,' biology {the most populated main-branch of science} explicitly states that vitalism, the supernatural, and the finalistic are "discredited." Who are you going to believe? A small cluster of 'pseudomedical sectarians' who don't distinguish between 'that in evidence' and 'that not in evidence' {epistemic conflators; science annihilators; pseudoscientists}, or the branch of modern science that rigorously specializes in 'the study of life'?].

[Vitalism, particularly, in terms of modern thought in general {which I believe rationally confers greater confidence upon scientifically-derived and -substantiated claims}, according to the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (1998), "now has no credibility" {because it has neither empirical support / evidence, nor explanatory or predictive value / merit} (click here, ><)].[Wikipedia's "Vitalism" entry, similarly, states {per 10-20-06}: "Bechtel and Williamson, state that 'vitalism now has no credibility' because it is often viewed as unfalsifiable, and 'therefore a pernicious metaphysical doctrine.'" {Bechtel W, Richardson RC (1998). Vitalism. In E. Craig (Ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London: Routledge} (click here, ><)].[Blackwell's "A Companion to Epistemology" (ISBN 0631192581;1994) states: "the history of human thought about the nature of the external world is littered with what are now seen (with the benefit of hindsight) to be egregious errors -- the four element theory, phlogiston, the crystal spheres, vitalism, and so on [p.446]."[It should be duly noted that 'vitalism, spiritism, teleology-finalism and kind' {essentially: the metaphysical / supernatural / idealistic and such; naturopathy's doctrines} claimed as science, science-based, scientific, a foundation for a 'branch of medical science' etc. by naturopathy / naturopathic medicine -- obviously without a shred of legitimate evidence {there is nothing of actual scientific evidence for them-- or the supernatural overall -- but piles of rejection} -- amounts to no longer requiring rigorously derived empirical evidence or appropriate peer review to be scientific, which is absolutely absurd.].

For instance, in "Planet Medicine: Origins" (2001; ISBN 1556433697), author R. Grossinger admits 

 [as part of his argument in favor of vitalistic medicine and an unlimiting of the explanatory boundaries of science!]:

"there is perhaps no more succinct way to define vitalism than to say that it is everything which modern science is not [p.234]."

I cannot imagine any way of successfully arguing vitalism's scientific authenticity [it has been well-buried in the cemetery of refuted and discarded scientific hypotheses for more than seventy years] without appearing ridiculous [or intellectually dishonest; or naive; or absurd; or stupid] -- this is how exceptionally unlimited science is within naturopathy:

the preponderantly and absurdly nonscientific is endorsed by naturopathy as scientific, as science-based, as science, as a foundation for a "branch of medical science."

Such a defense of blatantly 'scientifically rejected knowledge and explanation' would resemble arguing that 'Zeus throwing lightening bolts' is a legitimate, modern, scientific explanation and a science-based explanation for lightening; or explaining that fire is the presence of phlogiston.

Comparatively, the undergraduate prerequisite degree and coursework -- and by extension the intellect that is expected as a result, that is to be brought to the table to enter an in-residence, accredited naturopathy school – are exceedingly scrupulous in thought quality mannerism and mainstream preponderant content as regards science

 [see 'note on [8]' below for a great example concerning just how simply absurdly WRONG-HEADED naturopathy is in terms of BASIC SCIENCE at their highest echelons, their central textbook -- ROTFLMAO, really].

Naturopathy’s dogmatic, radical deviance and nonsense without scientific justification, in the undergraduate realm alone, would be exceptionally unacceptable scholarship.

In my view, from my experience, the naturopathic claim that ‘vitalism [and teleology-finalism, spiritism, metaphysicalism and kind] is scientific anyway’ serves to show that naturopathic education is an extremely sophisticated indoctrination [and illuminates a certain 'pigheadedness' on their part] and abusive situation.
I can anticipate naturopathy's defense: "we thought you knew; it’s not our fault that you think we’re expressing ourselves in naturalistic terms and not supernaturalistic terms; our science is different; we haven’t misled you, society may delineate those two knowledge kinds, the natural and the supernatural, but we see nothing wrong in our self descriptions because we don’t delineate those epistemic types; our paradigm is different; any language will do, in our view; [and of course] why all this thinking?; [and] we’re alternative, after all.

"This would illustrate -- and I read a lot of primary naturopathic sources monthly, so such paraphrased argumentation is not an exceptional exaggeration of their style, I feel -- naturopathic obscurantism and a profession’s attempts to be responsibility-immune through special pleading.

Episode Conclusion:

This has been Part One of this two-part Naturocrit Podcast Episode 006.

In Part Two, I will revisit what I'd written in 2006 regarding naturopathy's science categorical claim, and then revisit my 2006 conclusion.

And finally, I'll answer my overarching question for this episode. 

Footnotes as Endnotes:


[1]Dunne N, Benda W, Kim L, Mittman P, Barrett R, Snider P, Pizzorno J. Naturopathic medicine: what can patients expect? J Fam Pract. 2005 Dec;54(12):1067-72.


[2]Atwood KC 4th. Naturopathy: a critical appraisal. MedGenMed. 2003 Dec 30;5(4):39; Atwood KC 4th. Naturopathy, pseudoscience, and medicine: myths and fallacies vs truth. MedGenMed. 2004 Mar 25;6(1):33.


[3]The Alliance for the State Licensing of Naturopathic Physicians. The Alliance Legislative Workbook. Mail order schools. Available at: ><. Accessed January 18, 2006.


[4]Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Available at: ><. Accessed January 18, 2006.


[5]Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary (2003). Available at: ><. Accessed January 16, 2006.


[6]Chambers 21st Century Dictionary (2001). Available at: ><. Accessed January 16, 2006.


[7]A Dictionary of Philosophy, Macmillan (2002). Available at: ><. Accessed January 16, 2006.


[8]Abraham Flexner's View of Homeopathic Schools: An Excerpt from the Flexner Report (1910). Available at: >< . Accessed January 16, 2006.


Notes on [8]: To illustrate, here's a perfect example of what I call the use of "science as the sword of sectarianism" from the naturopathic crowd, per pseudoscience at their highest echelons. I'll later indicate that the UBCNM statement that ayurveda is a "natural science" stands as a perfect 'microcosmic' example of naturopathic pseudoscience: an ancient world religion's body of knowledge (metaphysical, idealistic, supernatural, pantheistic etc.) regarding 'healing practices' isn't modern natural science or en masse scientific medicine. What I entail now shares the status of being located at the zenith of the naturopathic pseudoscience hierarchy, currently in my mind [and I'm not crazy enough to make something as crazy as this up; the author calls this a "less dramatic argument" supporting vitalism, but I call it a dramatically ignorant example]: in the 3rd edition of the "Textbook of Natural Medicine"(2005) by Pizzorno and Murray -- the very same Pizzorno who states that he is "one of the world's leading authorities on science-based natural medicine," at here ><; a book he co-edited that Bastyr University which he co-founded describes as "the most thoroughly researched and carefully referenced text on natural medicine" here, >< -- states that there is a "problem of entropy" per p. 81-82, that vitalism is justified because evolution and 'the evolution of life and therefore the living in general' defies the second law of thermodynamics per an "antientropic quality" and an "'organizing force' that goes beyond what is possible from mere chemistry," and thus what is alive is outside the universal natural laws of science, justifying vitalism, which has generically been defined as 'outside the laws governing physiochemistry.'


This is wrong [as in 'wrong uniform, wrong equipment, wrong ball field, wrong sport' -- 'swaggering ignorance']: life, per on Earth, which is the only kind of life we know of, developed and is still developing within an OPEN physical system, per solar radiation minimally and the landfall of extraterrestrial material additionally, and the second law of thermodynamics is predicated on systems which are physically CLOSED:


a) see here, ><, which states -- in the context of the Creationist anti-evolution argument similarly arguing that life defies this physical law [in the Creationists' failed attempts to argue against the scientific veracity of evolution]:


"creationists [and now naturopathy!] thus misinterpret the 2nd law to say that things invariably progress from order to disorder [...except, they don't seem to admit or realize] life is not a closed system [...and] not only is life irrelevant to the 2nd law, but order from disorder is common in nonliving systems [!...with no such events requiring] an intelligent program to achieve that order [an entelechy,] if order from disorder is supposed to violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics, why is it[order from disorder] ubiquitous in nature? [...such as] snowflakes, sand dunes, tornadoes, stalactites, graded river beds, and lightening [all inanimate...whose occurrence] doesn't violate any physical laws [...and that overall such a tack indicates] misconception[s] about evolution as well as about thermodynamics";


b) also, Davies, P. states {in "Debating Design: From Darwin to DNA"(2004)(ISBN 0521829496)}:


"today, we know that there is nothing anti-thermodynamic about life [...] astronomer Arthur Eddington felt moved to write 'if your [proposed] theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope: there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation' [p.194]";


c) also, Shermer, M. states in "Why People Believe Weird Things"(2002)(ISBN 0805070893):


"evolution no more breaks the second law of thermodynamics than one breaks the law of gravity by jumping up [...since] the earth is not strictly a closed system, life may evolve without violating [such] natural laws [p.150]";


d) also, see here, ><: data-blogger-escaped-p="">


"IDist: Evolution is impossible because the second law says order always decreases. Evolutionist: That is nonsense, there are many systems where order increases, eg snowflakes. IDist: You are talking about order, I was talking about complexity. They are two entirely different thing. Evolution: Of course they are. For one thing, the second law is about order, and has nothing to do with complexity!"];


note: this TNM 3rd ed. chapter is also stating that evolution is a teleological vitalistic spiritistic process, while the scientific perspective states that evolution is simply causalistic and physicalistic] {the author of the TNM chapter states naturopathy's view on life "should not be mistaken as a metaphysical concept [I disagree, essentially due to the absence of actual empirical data to indicate the necessity of their claims...and that per] modern vitalism [...] there is no conflict with the findings of biomedical science" yet naturopathy is HUGELY IN CONFLICT with modern science ESPECIALLY in terms of biology} {isn't it funny how these big "holistic" thinkers are willing to evaporate philosophically into the metaphysical ether in the blink of an eye, and yet fail to look a few miles above the surface of the Earth to notice what's physically raining down on us all the time - solar energy, and whatever debris Earth's gravity traps! Quite a narrow [sectarian!; myopic!], selective microcosm they live in, overall -- peering through their dogma tinted glasses} [if the naturopathic 'evolution supports vitalism' position were so obviously true, why do evolutionary biologists Mayr and Dawkins exclude vitalism from biological science, here?;


[9]AANP Definition of Naturopathic Medicine Adopted November 1, 1989, Ripping River Convention. Available at: ><. Accessed January 18, 2006.


[10]The University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine. Dean’s welcome. Available at: ><. Accessed January 18, 2006. [The noted spelling and punctuation errors are from the source document].


[11]Allen, Garland E. "Vitalism," and [no author attributed] "Vitalistic Medicine." Microsoft Encarta 2006 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation, 2005. . [11a]Murray, M.T. Pizzorno, J.E. (NDs, editors) The Textbook of Natural Medicine. Churchill Livingstone. 2005. ISBN 0443073007.


[12]Naturopathic Medicine. Available at: ><. Accessed January 18, 2006.


[13]Natural Medical Care. Available at: >< . Accessed January 18, 2006.


[14]The University of Bridgeport. Six guiding principles. First do no harm. Viz primum no nocere. Available at: ><. Accessed January 18, 2006. [The noted spelling errors are from the source document].


[15]The Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine. Naturopathic medical training. Available at: ><. Accessed January 18, 2006.


[16]Natural Medicine and Wellness Center. Natural Pathways to Health, Michael Armentano, ND. Available at: ><. Accessed January 18, 2006.


[17]The Alliance for the State Licensing of Naturopathic Physicians. The Alliance Legislative Workbook. Main. Available at: ><. Accessed January 18, 2006. [The members of the Alliance: "the AANP, Bastyr University, National College of Naturopathic Medicine and the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences"].

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