Monday, October 19, 2009

Exploring What Alternatives?

Our local paper and writer seems to like alternative woo.  A new shop open up in Minot selling woo to the gullible.  It claims to be a health solutions.  It sells things like therapeutic lymphatic drainage, computerized analysis (of what I don't know), nutritional counceling, and reiki healing.  She also is working for a doctorate from some institution that sells them for money and very little knowledge in return.  Things like homeopathy and this lymphstar pro fusion light.  Where do I start?  The machine that in the picture looks like a dildo to me, that she puts against acupuncture sites and it suppose to tell you energy levels in various portions of the body.  One of the hot topics in alternative bogus medicine is energy medicine and it is being touted in just about all their woo.  There is no scientific research to support any of it.  They say there is, but most if not all that they have is ancedotal stories.  Ancedotes are the worst forms of evidence one can have.  All alternative medicine stuff works on the placebo effect.  Reiki is therapuetic touch and is also sold by nurses, shame on the nurses.  It was proven to be bogus by a 11 year old girl named Emily Rosa in 1994.  She is the youngest person to ever get an article of research published in JAMA, Journal of the American Medical Association.  The alternative folks have been trying to discredit her for years.  Her experiment was elegantly done and is good science.  Go to JAMA 1994 and look for that article.  She was even shown, although more grown up, on Penn and Tellers Bullshit. Next the dildo, the research on electrical resistence is basic skin galvanic response.  The same thing used on lie detectors.  We know that lie detectors are not reliable enough to be allowed in court.  Homeopathy was started by Samuel Hannehan in the 1700s.  His idea is that like cures like.  But it gets weird.  You have to dilute the subtance many fold.  They use something called X, so a 30X dilutions is 300 dilutions.  There is a number, if you recall it from your high school chemistry, called Avagado number.  It says basically that is you dilutes something more than 10 to 23 times it is nothing more than water.  But wait the homeopathist say that water has memory of the substance.  And the more dilute it is the more stronger the cure gets.  They are givning water and only water and what evidence is there that water has memory.  They start out with an idea or presupposition and if it fails the test they throw out the test.  It is their faith or belief that it works.  Also, P T Barnum said there is a fool born every minute.

Skeptical DoDo

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