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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25973 Posts

Posted - 10/17/2004 :  18:14:49   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
beskeptigal wrote:
quote:
Well gee Dave, I'm sorry you have had bad experiences.
Where did that piece of condescension come from? Did you feel that my honest attempt at answering your question was instead an attempt at generating pity?
quote:
But it is a bit annoying for you to gripe about terminology I use everyday in my profession. We use the term 'evidence based medicine' for good reason.
When did I "gripe" about the term "evidence-based medicine?" I griped about the other terms you used, and much prefer EBM.
quote:
You are the first person to claim to me that people were labeling alternative medicine as western medicine by having a medically appearing clinic.
This is unbelievable. For one thing, I never said anything about "labeling" until this thread, my prior argument was about perception. Secondly, I cannot believe that you've never imagined the point behind dubious "alt med" certificates and degrees, or claims of using "state of the art" equipment, or any number of other "dressings up," which is to enable the practitioners to appear more like actual medical doctors, and thus become more trusted by the general public. In fact, to steal trust from those who've put in the years of work necessary to be trusted as a physician. It's a widespread problem, discussed often in places like the Health Fraud Discussion List.

If I'm the first person to indicate to you that such things happen for those reasons, I submit you've been leading a very guarded career, well away from the "front lines" between EBM and everything else.
quote:
Any chance you have a chip on your shoulder that's getting a bit in the way?
Where is all this coming from, beskeptigal? What, exactly, are you reading into my posts, and why?

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Hawks
SFN Regular

Canada
1383 Posts

Posted - 10/17/2004 :  21:33:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Hawks's Homepage Send Hawks a Private Message
I'd say Bigfoot or other undiscovered great apes, emphasizing undiscovered great apes. There is a good chance that there might be some. There's an area in Congo called Bili where apes have been spotted having a mix of gorilla and chimp features (mixed for both morphology and behaviour). It could be that gorillas and chimps can interbreed, or that it's a more ancient as yet undiscovered lineage. (Or it could be a hoax). See for example New Scientist 9 October 2004 page 32-35 for more details.

METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL
It's a small, off-duty czechoslovakian traffic warden!
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 10/18/2004 :  03:52:18   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Hawks

I'd say Bigfoot or other undiscovered great apes, emphasizing undiscovered great apes. There is a good chance that there might be some. There's an area in Congo called Bili where apes have been spotted having a mix of gorilla and chimp features (mixed for both morphology and behaviour). It could be that gorillas and chimps can interbreed, or that it's a more ancient as yet undiscovered lineage. (Or it could be a hoax). See for example New Scientist 9 October 2004 page 32-35 for more details.

I've read a bit about this. I'll agree to the possibility, although I rather doubt that it might be a hybrid. Probably, if it exists, it's merely a subspecies such as chimps and bonobos. It'll be interesting to follow the story.

The so-called Bigfoot is another matter entirely. This is no more than a hoax turned urban myth. So to the believers, I say, "Ok then, produce one. Alive or dead, either way; I'm not particular." At which point, I'm sent to some poorly focused photographs of some charector in a gorrila suit. I've also seen pics of humongous footprints that are so obviously manufactured that I wonder about the believer's grip on reality.

How come most of these sorts of photos are almost always fuzzy? With todays equipment, even I, with the talent of a turnip, can get quality shots.


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 10/18/2004 :  03:57:27   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.

Where is all this coming from, beskeptigal? What, exactly, are you reading into my posts, and why?

"It sounds like you have it handled" was meant to say I wasn't being sarcastic. I'm sorry you didn't realize that. I was in no way being sarcastic.

Here's what you have said about evidence based medicine:

quote:
Actually, "evidence-based medicine" is the in-vogue phrase these days.

I'm saying that the term may be a fad, much like the terms "Western medicine" or "traditional medicine" have seen their ups and downs.

It is no mere fad, but what it is called may very well be a fad.
So what is the point? The term is pretty specific. It isn't like "total quality assurance" or "benchmarking" or "rightsizing". Those are fad terms. I take 'evidence based medicine' literally. It isn't a fad, nor a fad term.


Then there was all this discussion around the simple term, Western Medicine

quote:
Beskep: Colon hydrotherapy is not Western medicine.

Dave: Tell that to the people who offer it in walk-in clinics. They've got doctors and nurses, and lots of shiny steel equipment. They obviously want the world to think that they are compentently practicing modern, Western medicine, and that what they do can "cure" you of something.

beskep: As to the enemas as therapy, 'Western medicine' for lack of a better term, is not defined as how the clinic looks nor what the practitioners present themselves as. It is defined as the practice of medicine usually taught in medical schools. Alternative medicine is taught in naturopathic schools. There is overlap. Some of the rest is just plain quackery.

Dave: Unfortunately, to the general population, "Western medicine" is what people tell them it is. The "public mind" has little use for definitions. In fact, the phrase "Western medicine" is used more by those who abhor than by those who practice it, who instead opt for "modern medicine" or "evidence-based medicine." "Western medicine," after all, is opposed to "Eastern medicine," that of Asia and specifically China and Japan.

If a clinic in which enemas are given to "treat" diseases calls its procedures "colonic irrigation" or "colon hydrotherapy," has registered nurses on staff and perhaps even a doctor, and dresses itself up as any other medical clinic, then it is trying to look like the procedures used there are a part of "Western medicine," and many will fall for it. That is the sort of battle that EBM advocates are fighting. You and I may know it's not "Western" or "medicine," but that doesn't really matter. What matters is that there are millions out there who think it is, and who honestly believe that you can't set up a clinic like that without government approval (which is seen as endorsement).

And just saying "it's not Western medicine" is not enough. Supplying a definition is not enough, either. They're not compelling, as it sounds like nothing more than a run-of-the-mill opinion. And given that one can find an increasing number of aromatherapy or Reiki classes taught at medical schools, and that Harvard Medical School has given us the likes of Deepak Chropra, Andrew Weil and John Mills, what one learns where means very little anymore.
I understand your point here, but frankly, western medicine is a term I use all the time and don't have this big misunderstanding about. The fact someone would try to present fake treatments as mainstream medicine does not change what mainstream medicine is. The fact someone perceives a colonic irrigation to be western medicine doesn't change the definition of western medicine.

I was merely getting annoyed. It wasn't meant to be a big deal. It was hard to post about alternative medicine vs western medicine when the terminology was deemed incorrect. What other word should one use? It seemed you had a personal experience that was spilling over into these simple communication terms. I use the terms in my profession. They get the point across.

I'm going to keep using them. We all know what they mean. If you want to quibble about how the terms are fads or misused, so be it. But again, I wasn't trying to make a very big deal out of it. I didn't mean to offend you. Really.



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Hawks
SFN Regular

Canada
1383 Posts

Posted - 10/20/2004 :  13:51:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Hawks's Homepage Send Hawks a Private Message
Yes, the good old Yeti/bigfoot spottings are almost certainly all hoaxes/bad eye-sight/overactive imagination etc phenomena. Especially when these sightings are in places like for example Florida. But this raises an interesting question: who would Sasquatch vote for in the US presidential election? (Topic for a poll maybe?)

METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL
It's a small, off-duty czechoslovakian traffic warden!
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 10/20/2004 :  18:37:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
quote:
See for example New Scientist 9 October 2004 page 32-35 for more details.


Read that article. If they get a chance to explore further in there in could make for some interesting discoveries.


And sasquatche would vote for the candidate who would protect his habitat..... hehe

Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Tim
SFN Regular

USA
775 Posts

Posted - 10/20/2004 :  21:56:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Tim a Private Message
Well, I clicked on Alternative Healing Practices mostly to see the results and make some contribution, as limited as that might be. There seems to be some crossover here with "evidence based medicine" like a few others have already mentioned. However, if chiropractic, crystal/mineral healing, holistic medicine or even faith healing were mentioned I'd be forced to move to selection B. And, there's the problem.

The "none" choice seems harsh, but I really do believe there are things we can better spend our money on. While I will admit that a major breakthrough in any of the other subjects could potentially be a great boon to society, the chances of such an outcome obviously seem far too unlikely for a serious investment. At least, some trendy alternative medicine claim could turn out to be beneficial to society, if for no other reason than dumb luck.

Now, I'll agree with Cuneiformist in feeling Religous Miracles are interesting, and perhaps worthy of further investigation, but mainly from a perspective born out of the social sciences. I guess this perspective would apply to all of the first five or six choices, too.

And, I've heard stories about the possibility of undiscovered primate species in remote locations, but I'm not ready to assign all of these ideas to the waste heap of cryptozoology. I'd have to take each story with at least a grain of salt, unlike the completely dubious nature of bigfoot sightings and perhaps even something as large as a great ape.

So, minus a clarification of "Alternative Healing Practices," I'll have to stick with my first choice.

Edited because I can't type and have a problem expressing the simplest of ideas when the TV is on

"We got an issue in America. Too many good docs are gettin' out of business. Too many OB/GYNs aren't able to practice their -- their love with women all across this country." Dubya in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, 9/6/2004
Edited by - Tim on 10/20/2004 22:04:46
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2004 :  02:45:49   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
Heh, slightly off-topic perhaps, but have you heard about the 'Wine Clip?' I read about it the other day. It seems that if you clip this device on to the neck of a bottle of wine, it's magnets will make that wine taste better as it flows into the glass. The article had the usual experts singing the usual praises.

And now we know how Jesus pulled off the Water into Wine trick.

Edited to add: Aha! Found it! It's a pimp piece rather than the article I read, but it'll do.
quote:

Andy Blue (Famous Wine Critic), Mary Ewing Mulligan (Master of Wine), Leslie Sbracco (Author: "Wine for Women"), and John Sculley (Former CEO of Apple and Pepsi) all agree that The Wine Clip improves the taste of wine.

http://www.thewineclip.com/cgi-bin/category.cgi?category=home



"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

Edited by - filthy on 10/21/2004 03:47:04
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Starman
SFN Regular

Sweden
1613 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2004 :  04:24:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Starman a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by filthy

Heh, slightly off-topic perhaps, but have you heard about the 'Wine Clip?' I read about it the other day. It seems that if you clip this device on to the neck of a bottle of wine, it's magnets will make that wine taste better as it flows into the glass. The article had the usual experts singing the usual praises.
Examined in the latest Randi commentary. (Bottom half of page.)

"Any religion that makes a form of torture into an icon that they worship seems to me a pretty sick sort of religion quite honestly"
-- Terry Jones
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25973 Posts

Posted - 10/22/2004 :  18:09:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
Beskeptigal wrote:
quote:
"It sounds like you have it handled" was meant to say I wasn't being sarcastic. I'm sorry you didn't realize that. I was in no way being sarcastic.
I don't know why you think that I thought you were being sarcastic, but thanks for saying you weren't. But this makes it even more puzzling to me why you felt that I'd had "bad experiences" which led to me having a chip on my shoulder "that's getting a bit in the way." And just saying that it seemed that I "had a personal experience that was spilling over into these simple communication terms," doesn't explain the why.

My personal experiences lead me to believe that "western medicine" is a sucky term, simply because it was a term invented by medical separatists attempting to promote "eastern medicine." Along the same lines, how many MDs who treat using only EBM call themselves "allopathic doctors," a term invented by a homeopath in order to distinguish, separate, and denigrate modern medicine? And as for the longevity of the term "evidence-based medicine," I don't care whether tomorrow people start calling it "flirtnip" (so long as it's not invented by those nasty grumpidlists), so long as people practice EBM. The term itself may stay with us forever, or it may be replaced by something more popular, but what really matters isn't the term, but the activities that fall under the term.
quote:
It isn't like "total quality assurance" or "benchmarking" or "rightsizing". Those are fad terms.
Actually, depending on your field of work, "benchmarking" is an important tool. Benchmarking computer systems is fairly common, and as much of a "fad" as EBM.
quote:
I was merely getting annoyed.
As was I.
quote:
It was hard to post about alternative medicine vs western medicine when the terminology was deemed incorrect.
I didn't deem it incorrect, I just said that I thought the term sucks, and told you why I thought the term sucks.
quote:
What other word should one use?
How about "evidence-based medicine?"
quote:
I use the terms in my profession. They get the point across.
I believe they do so for unfortunate reasons.
quote:
I'm going to keep using them. We all know what they mean.
Well, no, "we" don't always. Not when alt-med quacks use the same terms while purposefully twisting the meaning for their own ends. A good number of people in the world do, indeed, get their primary medical advice from folks who have no expertise in making sound medical judgements.
quote:
If you want to quibble about how the terms are fads or misused, so be it.
Indeed, in the other thread, I was talking about how terms are misused, because I think it's important that more people become aware that medical terms are misused (and for profit). I don't think this is "quibbling."
quote:
But again, I wasn't trying to make a very big deal out of it.
I was.
quote:
I didn't mean to offend you. Really
You didn't offend me until just recently. Annoyed me, yes, but not offensively so.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 10/22/2004 :  18:39:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
I think I see what's going on here between Dave and Beskeptigal, and hopefully I can help.

What I see here is a background influencing the connotation of a word. For example, I come from a Christian family. I was Christian until about 7th-8th grade. When I became atheist, and for a few years after, I still thought of the word as having a negative connotation, even though I was one. This is because I had always been taught brainwashed since childhood that atheism was evil.

This is what I see here. Now hopefully I am right here, as I am taking several guesses. Dave, you first had to deal with quackery and frauds in medicine. This was lead to almost developing a fierce hatred towards them, one which I think we all share. Beskepticgal, you were first involved with good medicine, as you have said, “Being from the medical field.”

This is where the problem comes in. I think (yet another guess) that Dave was first introduced with the term Western Medicine when dealing with quackery and frauds, which is why he equates it with a more negative concept. Beskeptigal, you were first introduced to Western Medicine in a positive light, one which means “it works.”

Words have different meanings to everyone. The environment in which you grow up in influences your thoughts, actions, decisions… etc. Why would you think that it wouldn't influence your definition of words?

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 10/23/2004 :  00:09:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
Thanks for the help Ricky. I don't really want to battle over words. There are so many other important things I could be battling.

I have tried not to assume western medicine or alternative medicine is good or bad. My experience with the term evidence based medicine has been to allow my medical and nursing practice to fit into my pre-established belief to be skeptical and look for evidence based everything. It is sort of my overall view of the world.

Western medicine is starting to overlap more and more with alternative medicine. And, I think I've said before, not all western medicine is evidence based.

The reason I use the two terms differently is because one needs a word to describe medicine that traditionally comes from the current University system. Pharmaceuticals and surgical interventions are the main emphasis in University medicine. Alternative medicine has not been sanctioned by University educators until more recently. But what is really happening is alternative medicines and treatments are being added to the research systems in place which, when verified as effective, add the alternative medicines and treatments to the University teaching system.

Most, (not all), physicians do not add alternative meds and treatments to their practice until the alternatives are tested. That changes the alternatives. They are no longer established by mere history and belief. After research, the alternatives are just the same as any new therapy or drug. The only difference is the origin of the treatment. Instead of being discovered and tested from an array of chemicals or surgical techniques, the alternative originates with a prior history of use.

Well, this post is getting off topic quite a bit.

My definition of Western medicine is the medicine which is traditionally taught in med schools in universities. That is distinctly different from alternative medicine which isn't taught there. The shininess of the clinic is not relevant to this definition. In fact, one can find western medicine practiced in many rural and less than shiny places.

Words need to communicate. I understand where Dave is coming from when he says others may have a different understanding of the term western medicine. But OTOH, words rarely mean exactly the same thing to everyone. Sometimes the differences are subtle and sometimes the meanings are so different, communication fails.

The fact that someone is confused by which providers are practicing mainstream western medicine, and that someone doesn't know which treatments are alternative does not, to me, change the meaning of the word, western medicine. Instead, to me, it merely means folks are mistakenly believing something is western medicine when it isn't.

I think Dave is saying, because some believe certain alternative medicines or therapies are really mainstream western medicine, regardless of whether the therapies are western medicine, makes the term itself mean something different.

That is where I find our communication breakdown.

As to the impression I have re your experience with your medical follow up, Dave, I may very well have the wrong impression. You seem to have had some kind of experience with a chronic condition that has shaped your perception of the medical field. It seems strong beliefs come out in your posts. I'll try to neutralize my impressions of your circumstances and look again at your posts before assuming anything about your experiences.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25973 Posts

Posted - 10/23/2004 :  00:47:32   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
Beskeptigal wrote:
quote:
Pharmaceuticals and surgical interventions are the main emphasis in University medicine.
Here's the problem with the terminology, in a nutshell: many years ago, prior to the ascension of the term "alternative medicine" in the public jargon, pharmaceutical companies were already in the practice of seeking out strange plants (for example) which were claimed by native healers to have medicinal properties, testing for and synthesizing the active ingredients, and putting the resultant products in the hands of medical professionals, or giving up for lack of effect or high risk. This is not an example of "Western medicine" based upon "alternative medicine," but a straight-forward example of evidence-based medicine in practice. Dressing it up as a cross-over between two fields gives the quacks "ammunition" (they can say things like "modern medicine is beginning to recognize the value of alternative forms of healing") which simply isn't deserved, especially when they use the ammunition to denigrate EBM or to defraud the public.
quote:
The fact that someone is confused by which providers are practicing mainstream western medicine, and that someone doesn't know which treatments are alternative does not, to me, change the meaning of the word, western medicine. Instead, to me, it merely means folks are mistakenly believing something is western medicine when it isn't.
No, but since you find it important that to communicate, that people need to use the same meanings, don't you think a more-precise term like EBM is preferrable to a term like "Western medicine" which is being used negatively towards the very thing it supposedly defines?
quote:
I think Dave is saying, because some believe certain alternative medicines or therapies are really mainstream western medicine, regardless of whether the therapies are western medicine, makes the term itself mean something different.
No, I'm saying that people are actively engaged in changing the meaning of the term in the public ear, and so EBM professionals should drop it like a hot potato to avoid confusion of meanings.
quote:
As to the impression I have re your experience with your medical follow up, Dave, I may very well have the wrong impression. You seem to have had some kind of experience with a chronic condition that has shaped your perception of the medical field. It seems strong beliefs come out in your posts.
Strong beliefs do indeed come out in my posts, as my experiences have not shaped my perception of the medical field, but of medical patients, and what they think of the medical field. For example, I have learned that every doctor who does not speak out against therapeutic-touch practitioners working in their hospital gives implicit support to the idea that TT "works" in the eyes of the average health-therapy consumer. And the alternative practitioners reinforce the idea that they're right by playing into the consumers' desire for intrigue and mystery by denigrating science, applauding testimonials, and asserting conspiracy theories which make the drug companies and the government (and by extension, "Western medicine") untrustworthy.

The alternative-medicine "field" is largely uninterested in real scientific investigation of their skills and products. Instead, they are engaged in a multi-billion-dollar political "spin" game for the public's attention and legislative approval, which it seems that many medical professionals would prefer to ignore than to battle. But the "ignore it and it'll go away" attitude failed NASA with regard to the Moon-landing hoax believers, and it failed biologists with regard to creationism and/or ID. Passage of the DSHEA in 1994 was no less a victory for those who would impose ignorance on the public for the sake of profit than evolution "disclaimers" in biology textbooks are for the fundamentalists for the sake of "salvation."

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 10/25/2004 :  08:42:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
There is an awful lot of judgment in your post, Dave. I think it generalizes too much. Not every alternative medicine advocate is against evidence based therapy nor are all alternative medicine folks charlatans. And there is a fair amount of profiteering in the western medical field.

The Bastyr Institute in WA, for example, is involved in lots of research in alternative medicines.

I still think you miss the point of my intent when I use the term Western Medicine. I am not intending it to mean legitimate vs non-legitimate, nor evidence based vs non-evidence based. I think I made that clear in several ways in my posts. To be frank, and hopefully not insulting, I think your prejudices about medicine led you to selective reading of my posts.

If you go back and look at what I said, you will see I use the term, WM, to discuss a common definition of 'medicine taught in med schools' vs traditional, holistic, eastern, naturopathic or alternative medicines not usually associated with medical schools. I went out of my way to say evidence supported some but not all practices of both kinds of medicine. So evidence based medicine does not say the same thing as western medicine and I cannot substitute it because it isn't what I wanted to say.

I also said that when western medicine incorporates alternative medicine, it does so by plugging AM into the WM model. But again, lots of WM has been established without proper research.
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 10/25/2004 :  08:51:45   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
quote:
nor are all alternative medicine folks charlatans.



Yes they are. If what they were doing/selling was real, then it wouldn't be "alternative".

Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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