You can be skeptical and friendly at the same time.
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This explains homeopathy beautifully:
It’s still funnier than Garfield.
(via Luke Surl Comics)
hahaha… Oh… one sec… this comic actually works (unlike homeopathy)
No, this is funnier than Garfield.
Haha… heeey – I like Garfield.
I was about to link to Garfield Minus Garfield, but I see that Epistaxis has beaten me to it. I will simply second the motion.
You win this round, Epistaxis!
That darn Garfield. He eats lasagna! He’s fat! What’s not funny?
“It’s still funnier than Garfield.”
I have several Garfield Minus Garfield strips up on the wall of my cubicle. People don’t typically get what’s going on. It’s a great “inside joke” sort of thing.
I always get a chuckle out of this xkcd comic.
I love most stuff on friendly atheist, but I have a bit of a problem with the beating on alternative medicine.
It’s not like traditional medicine is a great example of honest scientific inquiry. The few pharmaceutical companies control most of the research funds and are based on treatment of diseases instead of focusing on prevention, and they are usually less than transparent about the results of their studies.
I am an atheist and a rationalist and I feel disgusted by the emphasis on overmedication. Homeopathy and natural medicine might not have been studied as much and there are certainly a good amount of charlatans out there only to deceive, but the majority of doctors I’ve had the pleasure of working with chose an alternative path out of disgust with the profit-driven healthcare business.
As an atheist raised on homeopathy and natural medicine, I’ve never met a naturopath that hasn’t told me to take antibiotics when bacterial infections were severe; but antibiotics were always the last resort, not the daily norm. Most sicknesses and diseases can be safely and effectively treated through prevention (nutrition, lifestyle) and natural remedies (sleep, beneficial herbs) rather than through the nuclear option of over-perscribed anti-bacterial medications.
I’d like to see a rational discussion on the state of our healthcare system on this blog, one that treats profit-driven ideology on the same level as heaven-driven religion instead of constantly bashing under-researched alternatives.
I love you all, end rant
Medicine may not always work, but homeopathy never works – it’s just water, it does as much good as water can.
You’re right that rest and nutrition can solve a lot of problems, but that has absolutely NOTHING to do with homeopathy or “alternative medicine”. That’s just common sense, and a major part of medicine.
The reason we make fun of homeopathy is because it does absolutely nothing. Medicine, which works most of the time, is better than homeopathy, which works 0% of the time.
If it worked, it wouldn’t be alternative. Homeopathy is one of the the best placebos around – a nice doctor, takes time to listen and then proscribes medicine that absolutely cannot give you bad side effects – it being just water.
I don’t think anyone thinks the current healthcare system in the US is great (well maybe if you’re really wealthy) but that should have no bearing on one’s preference for science-based medicine over alternative medicine, which is NOT science-based medicine.
Perhaps overperscription is a real issue, I wouldn’t personally know. But keep in mind that doctors are really just plumbers for the body. They diagnose and then prescribe and provide cures for your ailments, but they didn’t invent the drugs they prescribe, scientists did. Large, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials determine the efficacy of medicine better than any other method, and if these trials show that a drug provides a beneficial effect, then it actually does, in reality, especially when they’re independently verified by many other trials. Alternative medicines fail to demonstrate any effect time after time when subjected to this standard. Now, doctors may do their patients a disservice by not diagnosing properly, or by overmedicating their patients, but that’s a failure on the service end of medical care, not in the scientific method used to determine whether a treatment. actually. works.
Again, I understand that you have issues with medical care service and I understand that people prefer the service they get from alt-med practicioners. Heck, I imagine that getting acupuncture must feel soothing to the brain, particularly since you’re getting lots of personal attention while you’re there. Unfortunately, all the personal attention and service in the world doesn’t mean much when the underlying treatment does nothing.
It really is another form of faith, that the universe exhibits properties that have never been found (i.e. the body has meridians through which “chi” flows, and acupuncture regulates the flow of this “chi”). It’s BS, and so yes, it deserves all the criticism it gets.
If acupuncture or any other alternative medicine is ever shown to have any real medicinal effect not due to placebo in a large, well designed, double-blind clinical trial, I’ll change my mind, but until then I’ll believe in it like I believe in Santa Claus.
You may want to read Snake Oil Science: The Truth About Complementary and Alternative Medicine by R. Barker Bausell which deeply goes into how alternative medicines have been tested recently via the scientific method.
Awesome! Also, I quadruple the Garfield minus Garfield suggestion.
Tommaso, your arguments seem to have little to do with actually addressing homeopathic medicine’s validity, and you group it with other alternative medicine as if it deserves as much merit. I don’t believe you know exactly what it is. I suggest you watch this video by James Randi.
I have an aunt who swears by homeopathy. She is also a bit of a hypochondriac…which is funny. Her self imagined illnesses are being cured by fictitious treatment. Its a carnival of idiocy.
If acupuncture or any other alternative medicine is ever shown to have any real medicinal effect not due to placebo in a large, well designed, double-blind clinical trial, I’ll change my mind…
No, you won’t need to, because it will no longer be “alternative medicine”–it will be “medicine”.
Don’t forget Garfield as Garfield!
Garfield sucks and has never,ever,ever been funny or made me laugh once. Anyone who finds it amusing has very low standards when it comes to having a sense of humour and would probably enjoy the terminally unfunny “Chuckle Brothers” or Joe Pasquale.
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