Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Trick or Treatment

I am going to talk about a book I mentioned in a previous post. I am going to put into the recommended readings at the bottom of this blog also. "Trick or Treatment The Undeniable Facts About Alternative Medicine" by Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst MD is a beautifully written work. It was attacked in England and a lawsuite filed by the chiropractors. They got no where. But the book starts with how modern medicine developed and the double blind controlled experiment has revolutionized modern medicine. The idea that if something is shown to work statistically effectively, medicine will start using it and figure out the mechanism later. It is insightful and completely destroys acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, aromatherapy, reflexology, and herbal medicine. I can see why it pissed the alternative medicine people off, it doesn't leave them with a leg to stand on. The questions asked are what works and what doesn't? What are the secrets, and what are the lies? Who can you trust and who is ripping you off? And can science decide what is best or do the old traditional hocus pocus tap into ancient superior wisdom? The last part is my paraphrasing. In the appendix there is a guide to alternative medicine and describes what it is and the supposed reason it works. The authors Simon Singh is a science writer and has written another work I would recommend called The Big Bang. Edzard Ernst MD is based at the University of Exter and is the worlds first professor of complementary medicine. He is also the author of The Oxford Handbook of Complementary Medicine.

See you Saturday night.
Skeptical DoDo

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