Sunday, July 5, 2009

Great Alternative Medicine Sketch

For some nice proof-by-contradiction theatre, check out this sketch, where the substance of alternative medicine is brought out all together for a nice laughable feast of foolishness. It revels in one of the telltale signs of pseudoscience - lack of implications or collaborations with other fields. Homeopathy and chiropractic, reflexology and qi, all have one thing in common: nothing to say to each other. Not like actual science at all.


alex said...

That was hilarious!
While I might disagree about chiropractic (which I've gained immediate results after just one visit -- with one particular chiropractor, not all), I agree with you on the other types of fields you mentioned.

ScienceAvenger said...

It doesn't matter what your results were Alex, or mine, or any individual person. Anecdotes are not evidence. What does matter is that chiropractic proper, the theory that various maladies of the body are due to "subluxations", misalignments of spinal bones supposedly impeding nerve flow, and that chiropractors can do something about this by cracking one's back, is completely without scientific support every step of the way, and even coherent definition in some cases. Nerve flow is not analogous to fluid dynamics as they would have us believe, and cracking backs does not generally permanently effect bone position. It's quackery, plain and simple.

On the other hand, there are a lot of people out there who call themselves chiropractors who basically do massage or physical therapy, and of course some of them get good results with it. My advice to people considering seeing a chiropractor is to talk to them about the work they do, and avoid them if they start talking about subluxations, or about healing other problems or parts of your body (ie acne) by cracking your back. However, If they talk about working with muscle, bone, ligaments, etc. of the effected areas, you might give them a try.

Cracking your back may feel good, but it doesn't do anything more for your health than cracking your knuckles does.