Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Science mania may endanger medical care

Through a special form of blog, called "scoop-it" and timed, automatic Google searches, I frequently get links to articles written by "scientists"considered by those sources as possibly of interest to me. Most of those consider themselves "skeptics" and are proud of their "critical thinking". So they say.
One of the latest articles (I deleted it already) came to the absolutely scientific conclusion, that any effects acupuncture may possibly have in some people, MUST be 100% placebo effects and the elusive energy or whatever it is called "qi" (気) in oriental medicine simply does not exist. Wonderful.

Stupid as I am, I would like to voice some personal objections and challenge this "scientific truth" with a few observations and questions.

Let's start with something maybe even the scientists could be capable of understanding: the costs of medical care. Pretend the scientists are medical specialists. In that case I take the liberty of assuming they are familiar with the "HFA2000" project - already history. HFA2000 is an acronym for "Health for All by the year 2000", a project started by the WHO probably some time during the 1970s, I don't remember that part. The WHO also initiated a "RESEARCH" to find out, WHAT and HOW MUCH Western = scientific medicine can do. The conclusions were rather disappointing: scientific medicine is so expensive and technology dependent, it simply CAN NOT serve as a basis of health care for the human race as a whole. Only a small portion of mankind, the rich people in developed countries will ever be able to enjoy all that science stuff. For the majority of mankind LOCAL/TRADITIONAL forms of health care MUST be recruited, if medical care is to be provided at all!
The results of that particular study can be found in the book:
"Traditional Medicine and Health Care Coverage. a Reader for Health Administrators and Practitioners" by R. H. Bannerman
Publisher: World Health Organization
Publish Date: January 1983

Evidence (proof)
Our beloved scientists ALWAYS point out, partially correct, that there is little evidence for acupuncture in general and the concept of qi in particular. I agree with that. BUT ... where is that evidence supposed to come from, when nobody spends any kind of substantial money on research??? Unfortunately I do not have any figures available, but it is most likely not an overstatement when I assume, the figures related to the money spend on research on something that may GENERATE even more money, like drugs, is at least several orders of magnitude higher than for studies into traditional forms of medical care. It would be a great help, if those skeptic scientists could donate their pocket money to research into acupuncture and related things. Maybe we could see the desired results/evidence a little earlier.

Science - money.
There are plenty of reports out there, that the corporations conducting the "scientific" research are trying to protect their respective profits by suing companies/countries selling cheap "generic" drugs. All in the name of science of course. Maybe pharmaceutical giants are also afraid of acupuncture (for example), because it could endanger their revenue by providing treatment forms not controlled by the corporations.

Science - measurement
Now this is one of the holy grails in science. "Proof" usually means, that the scientist can MEASURE something and thus verify its existence.
If that is the case .. the history of science, or in a broader sense the history of mankind, is full of things that simply could not exist or be true, because nobody could see, understand or measure them. Right?
* Until the invention of the microscope, MICROORGANISMS did not exist. Right? Because they were not visible and measurable. About 200 years ago, they just popped out of nowhere and the plague in the 14th century happened only in the minds of a few derranged people.
* Similarly, electromagnetism did not exist until someone came up with a clever device to measure it. Funny, but without it, life would have never developed on earth!
* The ancient Greek thought, that matter should be composed of indivisible little units, they called "atoms". But that was just a fancy theory until quite recently. When the "real atoms" were finally detected and could be proven, mankind was almost exhilarated by reaching the "final frontier". However, shortly after the discovery of atoms, subatomic particles were found and both the theories and evidence about quantum mechanic "reality" suddenly run amok and there is a real danger, that "reality" may dissolve into something completely incomprehensible.
Naturally, it was considered no problem at all, that NOBODY could provide ANY PROOF for the existence of the "Higgs particle", supposed to be ABSOLUTELY necessary for modern physics. But considering "qi" necessary for the system of oriental medicine is "naturally" a completely different thing.
It took large numbers of the world's brightest physicists, astronomical amounts of money and incredibly large and complex facilities to prove the existence of the said Higgs particle. Has anybody every tried anything as elaborate in the search for "qi"? Naturally not!
Has anybody ever considered the possibility, that current science simply does not have adequate tools to measure this "qi" thing? Maybe it is something like electromagnetism in 12th century.

But ALL cultures throughout ALL ages share concepts, that are similar or related to "qi". According to the scientists, this must mean, mankind as a whole over the entire period of recorded history has been delusional and ONLY some selected scientists have been enlightened and know the universal scientific truth.

Since talking about "qi" in itself seems to be an act of heresy, let's also try something else.
How about love? Can you measure love? To the best of MY knowledge, there is no scientific = quantitative proof of love yet. Consequently, love does not exist. I am sure that is precisely, what the scientists are telling their parents, spouses, children, friends, pets ...
Or maybe they have come up with a new unit: ML = magnitude of love.
Then a husband may tell his wife, he loves her 3.759 ML. Wouldn't that be romantic? What happens when the wife demands 3.814 ML?
Anyway, I believe ALL people on this planet KNOW love. Meaning: love DOES exist. Regardless of age, sex, race, culture, education. Again, the entire human race MUST be crazy, because they cling to something that simply cannot exist, because it cannot be measured - there is no proof. Or has someone by now come up with "scientific evidence for love"?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015