cultural myths and misery

S.K. Harrison skh23ca at
Mon Dec 10 21:07:17 EST 2001

> From: "georg parlow" <georg at>

> as my favorite illustration of this point i
> want to throw in: TCM. traditional chinese 
> medicine is producing recognizably better 
> preventive measurements, diagnosises as well as

> treatments for most medicinal fields except 
> surgery to fix the damage of accidents. but in 
> western terms it is totally "unscientific", is 
> a weird explanation model 
> of 'meridians', 'elemental energies' and other 
> strange. so far i have not heared of 
> a 'scientific' explanation why acupuncture 
> works things - but it works darn well.

Just as false premises can give a correct
conclusion, so too bogus theories can purport to
explain demonstrable effects. I don't know the
details about TCM, but I was talking to my doctor
and he told me that for certain preventive
matters, acupuncture had been vindicated by
numerous meta-analyses. Such studies represent
what sounds like a new wave in the medical field,
known as evidence-based medicine.

Incidentally, my doctor got very defensive when I
challenged him on his knowledge of CAMs. I
suspect I knew more than he did.

I found one interesting article on the matter

but lots of other stuff can be found. Try a
search on your favourite engine for
"evidence-based medicine" and "evidence-based
complementary medicine" and "evidence-based CAM".

> "in modern science we go from one ignorance to
> the next, and always the latest ignorance is 
> worshipped as the truth" - a quote from a guy, 
> who claims yoga to be scientific (if you follow

> the instructions you will end up with a very 
> similar result - only problems are that the 
> laboratory is your own bodymind, and an 
> experiment might take you 15 years)

The quote sounds like another strawman. We make
mistakes, but we have also successes. Nowhere in
life do we escape this. Why do people feel so
pissed off about science for this shortcoming?

As for the bit about yoga, in another post I gave
the title of a book that interests me for its
seeming genuine melding of conventional academic
rigour with internal alchemies. I'll reiterate it
here so you don't have to scour my half-dozen
current posts for it: Brain, Symbol and
Experience: Toward a Neurophenomenology of Human
Consciousness, by Laughlin, McManus and d'Aquili.


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