I have tried to convince her but to no avail!!
Convince her of what? Does she do the liver cleanses and exclaims how many gallstones she had?
If she's just fasting with Russian Tea instead, that's alright :)
There are some pretty odd medical beliefs common in Russia, too. Have you asked her about how high your body temperature should be before you're considered really sick, or how people would rub salt under their armpits to get out of school? :)
BTW she has a degree in electrical engineering from one of the top russian universities and on things technical she is very good. But on health....
As many skills as engineering requires, it's an applied science framework and doesn't seem to instill what is truly required of research science. I can understand that - I've seen the sort of coursework it entails, and it's an incredible amount of math, laws and if there is any labwork involved, it is to retread well-worn ground as an exercise.
Now, engineering doesn't necessarily instill its students with any particular vulnerability to woo, but for those who end up attracted to woo, it does seem to make them try to come up with explanations... but the explanations seem rather slippery instead of testable. I ran into a considerable
number of engineers in my minor campaign to educate people about the baselessness of the newer Intelligent Design movement. Trying to pin them down on whatever would actually be diagnostic
of their "life force" or whatever they happened to be proposing was nearly impossible, and moreover, for the hypotheses that science had
more or less disproven, they seemed to believe they would have heard of it somehow, even though it was never in their subject area.
If I needed a cool device to test out the R-value of insulation, though, I'm pretty sure that I could totally have trusted them to it.
My own electrical engineering friend (who made one of the aforementioned contraptions :) is more of a proper skeptic on things alt-med :)
but now it is lent. Fasting again.
What did you give up for Lent?
Sorry about your friend with cancer, but if I had it I would try everything.
The problem is in what "everything" entails. People have had their bank accounts cleaned out making trips down to Mexico for alt-med treatments. Sometimes "trying everything" means "stopping chemotherapy" - which initially feels great, of course, because chemotherapy is of necessity a differential poison. Of course, their survival rate goes back down.
Suzanne Somers is one of those folks who tells people not to get chemotherapy. She got surgery
, though, and a oncologist has pointed out that the stage of breast cancer she had was above 80% already
for five-year survival - chemo adds a couple of percentage points, and that may be worth skipping for quality of life. This is certainly not the case for the likes of leukemia or any number of other cancers.
Some people add herbals to their chemotherapy... and then thank the herbals for their survival. That seems weird to me.
If we do not believe conformity and say that the universe is not expanding then why should we accept conformity in medicine?
That's actually not why I'm here. I'm not here because of mere or general anti-conformity. I'm here because the conformity in cosmology is too theory-based and axiom-based; it is not observation-based enough, at least not in the sort of sense that theories can get thrown out
due to observation. It's the same thing that gets me about string theory.
Medical research, evolutionary biology and geology are actually scientifically observation-based; if you posit something, people can replicate it (or not!) and tackle thorny problems of mechanism from other angles. Psychology is more so now, but it wasn't - Freudian and Jungian psychology cannot survive the rigors of scientific study... and it wasn't really all that long ago that they were nearly the only games in town!
I really wouldn't mind alt-med so much if they would go through the rigors of scientific study themselves. Basically, they're positing the existence of magic (will-based and sympathetic) and toxins and seem content to rely on little more than anecdotes, and when they design experiments, they are often poorly shielded from bias, missing blinding, using self-reporting or not using proper controls. When the experiments they do
have fail to reproduce their hypotheses, out come the streams of excuses, and the negative result is eventually forgotten.
They could have done the damned testing themselves on those "gallstones" and compared them to real ones, but they won't and/or don't.
Admittedly, it can take some imagination to put together the controls. The big acupuncture experiment from a few years back had "sham" acupuncture (felt like needles were going in, but they weren't) and regular acupuncture. The "sham" acupuncture beat the real one by a small margin. The non
-acupuncture group did not do as well, but there was no controlling for placebo effect in that group. Needless to say, despite sham acupuncture working as well (better in this case, but the group size was small enough to allow for this amount of variation), alt-med practitioners considered it a success for acupuncture due to the non-sham non-real control group.*sigh*
There's a good thread re: what people do in the face of cancer
discussing dying of cancer with chemo versus dying "unaided". The comment section is the most interesting bit. For the significant number of cancers that do not let you go gently into that good night, chemo often does, despite its common reputation, allow much more for dying in dignity.
Anyhow, I love discussing this stuff, too.
Just to note: if medicine were doing now what cosmology was doing, I would be all over them, too.*hugs his soapbox*
Thanks for putting up with me venting, Lyndon :)