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Thank you internet…You’re my only hope

Yesterday my brother Steve was on the Dr. Oz show.   First I want to commend Steve for doing a great job.  He made great points and was very cool.  I found while watching the segment that my reactions to Dr. Oz were no where near as calm as Steves’.

Dr. Oz said:

“There are billions of people using acupuncture as the foundation of their healthcare…i just think it’s very dismissive of you to say that because we couldn’t take this idea that exists with a different mindset and squeeze it into the way we think about it in the west then it can’t be possibly affective.”

Dr. Oz and others ask that if billions of people are using modalities like acupuncture  then how can they all be wrong? The fact that billions of people believe in or use acupuncture is irrelevant and its a logical fallacy.  I can give an endless number of examples that belief in something doesn’t prove anything other than its popular.

“There are two reason why you might not be able to show [that acupuncture] doesn’t work. One of them is you dont understand it well enough to study it the way it has to be studied…”

This comment concerns me.  What I hear Dr. Oz saying is that any study that shows no affect is ignored because the researchers didn’t know how to conduct a study of acupuncture.    Wow is this dangerous.  Without addressing the actual quality of the methodology used in a particular study how can you accept or deny its findings?  The way we determine the legitimacy of a study is by examining it’s methodology, repeating the study and comparing the results.  What Dr. Oz is saying is that only those who find positive results for Alternative Med. know how to study it.   I would argue that those who consistently find positive results for Alt Med clearly don’t know how to conduct valuable research.

I don’t think the 15 minutes allocated to this debate on Dr. Oz’s show did anything other than reinforce the viewers original beliefs whether they were for or against Alt Med.  Nothing therefore is gained from viewing shows like this other than the feel good that draws him his viewers.

3 comments to Thank you internet…You’re my only hope

  • mdwhitney

    It was clear Dr. Novella was invited just so Dr. Oz could dismissively accuse him, and by extension all other defenders of science-based medicine, of being dismissive of alternative “medicine.”
    I had never seen the Dr. Oz show before. I watched the rest after the alternative “medine” segment to see if it was all that bad. Dr. Oz reminded me of the scene in the movie “Ghostbusters” in which Sigourney Weaver in incredulous that Bill Murray calls himself a scientist, and observes that he seems more like a game show host.

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  • RyanJLind

    “There are two reason why you might not be able to show [that acupuncture] doesn’t work. One of them is you dont understand it well enough to study it the way it has to be studied…”

    “…The other is that, you know, it doesn’t fucking work.”

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