Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Macho Response Takes On The U.S. News & World Report About Woo (And Actually Wins!!!)

"I don't want to provoke the ire of the pros or the antis (I managed to anger both after doing a story about alternative medicine in January), so please heed: This post is not about the clincial merits of herbals, acupuncture, homeopathy, and other forms of complementary and alternative medicine. It's about the intellectual dishonesty of the surveys that appear every few years purporting to show [alternative medicine] use.

...The number of people using therapies that a reasonable person would consider [alternative medicine], such as Far Eastern medicine, homeopathy, and energy healing, is tiny. The percentage of ayurvedic medicine users is so low, 0.1 percent or less, that it is statistically invalid. Homeopathy: 1.8 percent. Energy healing: 0.5 percent. Naturopathy: 0.3 percent,...My point is that by and large, we are not a nation that buys into [alternative medicine],...and that's what the message should be,..."

-- Avery Comarow, being much more careful to set the record straight on quackery in America - because he remembers The Macho Response his previous reporting on alternative medicine got him (with back-up from James Randi and Orac from Respectful Insolence) - while reporting on the latest gusher of dishonest NewAge "spin" from the government and the mainstream media, in the U.S. News & World Report.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: we are in big trouble when this little blog - featuring an almost-unknown, and virtually-unsupported, defiantly foul-mouthed rapper - has to act as the last line of defense against a predatory belief system, and it's practitioners, who are controlling our means of information and the levers of power.

It makes me sick to think about it, actually, but - hey - it worked this time, right? You picks your battles,...

And a big shout out to Mr. Comarow for doing the right thing:

I hope there's no hard feelings.

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