Friday, June 25, 2010

Quackopractic, Naturoquackery, Homeopathetic

The other day I happened to overhear a conversation between two women (one a "certified iridologist") that went something like this: "My tummy has been sore lately."  "Oh yeah?  Let me look at your eyes.  Oh my goodness!  I think you have liver disease - you'd better come in and see me on Monday."  The alternative "medicine" industry in North America is much bigger than conventional medicine ever will be.  One can speculate endlessly about the reasons for this unholy phenomenon; people want more "control" over their health care, resent those big words doctors use, resent doctors' income, resent doctors' stature in the community, resent the doctors' average 66-hour work week (just kidding), and a host of other silliness - when the main reason is that they haven't a shred of scientific education or for some reason are turning their backs on science.  But let's be clear; there is only one "system" of medicine that is the product of five thousand years of careful observation, double-blind replicable experiments and careful peer review.  Sure some wacko herb treatment or back-cracking might make you feel better temporarily but that is what we call coincidence - not anything statistically significant.  If you waste your hard-earned cash on weird nuts from foreign lands you might as well move there - you've become one.