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Old 28th September 2018, 04:08 AM   #41
Wudang
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It's also something alternative-to-medicine proponents often focus on. Spouting on about possible mechanisms by which their pet nostrum "could" work and ignoring all the evidence that says we don't have to bother thinking about how it works when we can plainly see that it does not in fact work at all.
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Old 28th September 2018, 05:38 AM   #42
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Everything that works has already been absorbed by the so-called "allopathic" medicine. For instance, the use of digitalis purpurea (foxglove) gave birth to the modern digoxin.

Thinking that modern medicine would have lost the opportunity to study tens of thousands of natural extracts in the search of profitable new drugs is plain gullible. The same about needles, electricity, pressure and so on.
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Old 28th September 2018, 07:17 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I figured if he was going to stick needles into places that had an effect on that part of my body, and did not know why it worked, there was an equal chance it may have made the condition worse.
Nah, if it didn't work it would have been YOUR fault for not BELIEVING hard enough. That's generally how that works...
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Old 28th September 2018, 02:11 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
You need to be careful about the "how it works" angle. There are some things that we know work but not how. General anaesthetics for example.

Point taken. There is a subtle difference here in the way science based medicine authorities work as distinct from the woo ones.

Your medical scientist will say: "we know this much, but there is a grey area here we are working on".

The woo merchant will say: "this works because we know it does, because it is holistic, natural, blah blah blah...."
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Old 29th September 2018, 01:51 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
You need to be careful about the "how it works" angle. There are some things that we know work but not how. General anaesthetics for example.
It is well known how general anaesthetics work:


http://aillas.blogspot.com/2016/01/h...uments-no.html


The idea that we don't is woo ********.


Niall


... sorry, woo nonsense!
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Old 29th September 2018, 02:14 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
That reminds me of a story that I think Randi used to tell. He once asked a dowser his what his success rate was at finding underground water. The dowser replied "Oh, about 85%". When asked why only 85%, he replied "Well, that's because there's water under about 85% of the land around here."
I've had a worse experience in real life. Dowsers where I lived about 25 years ago typically claimed an 85% success rate in an area where such a number, if true, would prove they were successfully avoiding water.
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Old 29th September 2018, 02:18 PM   #47
Thor 2
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Originally Posted by RationalVetMed View Post
It is well known how general anaesthetics work:


http://aillas.blogspot.com/2016/01/h...uments-no.html


The idea that we don't is woo ********.


Niall


... sorry, woo nonsense!

Thanks Rational, an interesting read.
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Old 30th September 2018, 07:30 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by RationalVetMed View Post
It is well known how general anaesthetics work:


http://aillas.blogspot.com/2016/01/h...uments-no.html


The idea that we don't is woo ********.


Niall


... sorry, woo nonsense!
Funny because I was a Skeptics in the Pub event link and I asked that specific question about general anaesthetics. His answer was that for general anaesthetics there are a number of good theories but no generally accepted model of how they work. I may have some of the wording wrong but he was pretty clear.
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Old 30th September 2018, 08:12 AM   #49
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Some skeptics overstate our understanding of consciousness. Fact is, we have no idea how the brain creates consciousness, we don't even understand the mechanism(s) for memory formation yet. Suppressing memory formation and consciousness are the primary purposes of anesthesia. That's what people mean when they say we don't understand anesthesia.

For the purpose they are used for we understand them well enough. We know they work, we now how safe they are. We have tons of evidence that allows us to know those things. For a lot of them (I don't know what percentage) we have an understanding of the chemistry they are effecting in the brain. No comparison to homeopathy. Night and day difference.
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Old 30th September 2018, 08:21 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Some skeptics overstate our understanding of consciousness. Fact is, we have no idea how the brain creates consciousness, we don't even understand the mechanism(s) for memory formation yet. Suppressing memory formation and consciousness are the primary purposes of anesthesia. That's what people mean when they say we don't understand anesthesia.

For the purpose they are used for we understand them well enough. We know they work, we now how safe they are. We have tons of evidence that allows us to know those things. For a lot of them (I don't know what percentage) we have an understanding of the chemistry they are effecting in the brain. No comparison to homeopathy. Night and day difference.
On the flip side, there is a common claim that we know "next to nothing" about how the brain works. Bull. We know a lot about how the brain works. But it is the most complex structure in the known universe, and there's still a lot that we have yet to figure out.
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Old 1st October 2018, 01:56 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Some skeptics overstate our understanding of consciousness. Fact is, we have no idea how the brain creates consciousness, we don't even understand the mechanism(s) for memory formation yet.
And therefore, telekinesis!

Right? Right?
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Old 1st October 2018, 02:00 AM   #52
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This is one problem with such Q&A - the question he thought I asked may not be the question I thought I asked.


Dara O'Briain : “Science knows it doesn't know everything; otherwise, it'd stop. But just because science doesn't know everything doesn't mean you can fill in the gaps with whatever fairy tale most appeals to you.”

Roger Zelazny - Lord of Light "The four points of the compass be logic, knowledge, wisdom and the unknown. Some do bow in that final direction. Others advance upon it. To bow before the one is to lose sight of the three. I may submit to the unknown, but never to the unknowable. The man who bows in that final direction is either a saint or a fool. I have no use for either."
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Old 1st October 2018, 02:23 AM   #53
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The fact that science doesn't know everything also doesn't make it OK to wilfully ignore what it does know. It knows, for example, how to determine whether a medical treatment is effective over and above placebo, which is why homeopaths and the like are so keen to rubbish it.
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Old 1st October 2018, 04:13 AM   #54
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An analogy I like from John Diamond's book "Snake Oil". Imagine you were arranging a concert and needed 2000 chairs. So you go a chair warehouse and the guys says "Based on my years of experience I can tell you that is exactly 2000 chairs". You count them and get 1700 and he says "That's why I don't count. It gives the wrong answers".
Science is essentially "counting" for more complex problems. People have spent a lot of time showing how we can be fairly sure we get the right answers and not just the ones we want or expect.

He also relates the story of Ray Hyman testing a kinesiologist on his claim he could tell "good" sugar from "bad" sugar.

Hyman wrote: "When these results were announced, the head chiropractor turned to me and said, ‘You see, that is why we never do double-blind testing any more. It never works!’ At first I thought he was joking. It turned out he was quite serious. Since he ‘knew’ that applied kinesiology works, and the best scientific method shows that it does not, then – in his mind – there must be something wrong with the scientific method."
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Old 2nd October 2018, 05:22 AM   #55
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I had a friend who was focused on science when he was younger. It was his dream to join NASA. Then he married a New Age wooster and his attitudes shifted.
"Not too long ago, nobody had ever heard of Dark Matter, now they say it makes up most of the universe. Who knows what else exists that we don't know about yet?"
We're still learning new things about the universe, therefore magic might exist.
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Old 2nd October 2018, 07:17 AM   #56
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It took me a while to find this but very much worth reminding people of his wit

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...ad.php?t=59765
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Old 2nd October 2018, 09:03 AM   #57
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One of the things I've seen in a lot of colleagues of mine into homeopathy and and other -pathy out there is their innate belief trough their religion that earth and everything on it exists for the betterment / testing of humanity. Therefore interfering with the natural way of things, like vaccines, is interfering with that plan.
I've truly heard them argue that diseases are 'good' for the body and should be let run their course. Explaining that a disease only exists to propagate itself and can therefore kill a human fully naturally is waved away.
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Old 2nd October 2018, 12:04 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Point taken. There is a subtle difference here in the way science based medicine authorities work as distinct from the woo ones.

Your medical scientist will say: "we know this much, but there is a grey area here we are working on".

The woo merchant will say: "this works because we know it does, because it is holistic, natural, blah blah blah...."
Or, this was used by Anciennt Egyptians/Chinese/Sumerians ... or by American Indian/Australian aborigine ... shamans.

Because, naturally, the folk wisdom of any of these various groups is far superior to Western science.
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Old 2nd October 2018, 01:21 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by CORed View Post
Or, this was used by Anciennt Egyptians/Chinese/Sumerians ... or by American Indian/Australian aborigine ... shamans.

Because, naturally, the folk wisdom of any of these various groups is far superior to Western science.

Yes I've heard that one too. The implication is that this knowledge has somehow been lost along the way and those ancient guys had it all figured. Historical evidence that they did not, (the plagues that wiped out huge numbers, and high infant mortality rates for example), go under the radar.
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Old 3rd October 2018, 03:00 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by Lukraak_Sisser View Post
One of the things I've seen in a lot of colleagues of mine into homeopathy and and other -pathy out there is their innate belief trough their religion that earth and everything on it exists for the betterment / testing of humanity. Therefore interfering with the natural way of things, like vaccines, is interfering with that plan.
Why isn't it part of the plan that we should discover vaccines and use them?
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Old 3rd October 2018, 01:23 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Lukraak_Sisser View Post
One of the things I've seen in a lot of colleagues of mine into homeopathy and and other -pathy out there is their innate belief trough their religion that earth and everything on it exists for the betterment / testing of humanity. Therefore interfering with the natural way of things, like vaccines, is interfering with that plan.
I've truly heard them argue that diseases are 'good' for the body and should be let run their course. Explaining that a disease only exists to propagate itself and can therefore kill a human fully naturally is waved away.
Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
Why isn't it part of the plan that we should discover vaccines and use them?

Given that there are homeopathic vaccines on the market, it is a rocky road these alternative thinkers tread methinks.
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Old 3rd October 2018, 09:01 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
Why isn't it part of the plan that we should discover vaccines and use them?
Because everything that you can learn and practice trough knowledge is 'bad', whereas everything told as 'folk wisdom' or 'ancient tradition' is good.
Explaining that the latter two methods had been used for most of history and never actually had any of the positive influence of actual medicine is handwaved away.

I've never been able to find any real consistency in the beliefs except for science = bad and out to kill us all by maximum profit.
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Old 5th October 2018, 05:05 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by Lukraak_Sisser View Post

I've never been able to find any real consistency in the beliefs except for science = bad and out to kill us all by maximum profit.
It's just what jibarized minds can or cannot control. They can't control science -because they can't understand it- and they can't control corporations -because they're penniless cats-. But they can control what they believe, and they can control to a certain extent and in the short term how their bodies react in a similar way the placebo, nocebo (and even "yescebo") effects work. So they are happy.

It's their right, and in the end, I rather let Darwin do his job.

Regarding this thread topic, I think there's no much else to dig.
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Old 9th October 2018, 01:12 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by Lukraak_Sisser View Post
Because everything that you can learn and practice trough knowledge is 'bad', whereas everything told as 'folk wisdom' or 'ancient tradition' is good.
Explaining that the latter two methods had been used for most of history and never actually had any of the positive influence of actual medicine is handwaved away.

I've never been able to find any real consistency in the beliefs except for science = bad and out to kill us all by maximum profit.

I suggest to those who embrace alternative therapies rather than scientifically arrived at treatments, to give me other examples of alternative technology they trust, and why do they accept what science has given us.

These people, whilst snubbing medicines developed by science, will confidently board an aeroplane, without looking for some alternative means of transport.
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