Monday, October 21st 2013

The Risks of Pseudoscience

Go read this on the New York Times Opinionator. Great piece about

confusing the possible effectiveness of folk remedies with the arbitrary theoretical-metaphysical baggage attached to it. There is no question that some folk remedies do work. The active ingredient of aspirin, for example, is derived from willow bark, which had been known to have beneficial effects since the time of Hippocrates.

[...]

What makes the use of aspirin “scientific,” however, is that we have validated its effectiveness through properly controlled trials, isolated the active ingredient, and understood the biochemical pathways through which it has its effects

Just because some folk remedies work doesn’t lend credibility to folk or naturopathic theories of healthcare.

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