Oh Lord, I’m on the warpath these days.
Read this. I know, I know it’s long. Summary: CAM, ‘integrative medicine,’ and other forms of voodoo are so popular, they’ve made serious inroads into our most prestigious medical schools. It’s very disheartening.
As a former veterinary educator, I know how very little we teach students to actually think for themselves. I’m sure this same pattern is going on in medical schools. Adding mysticism into the mix is only going to make it worse.
Now for the kicker: it’s happening in veterinary medicine. At least one veterinary college has a Department of Woo.
Personally, I think a lot of it is due to sociopolitical changes in our society. As we have gotten more permissive and tolerant about issues like race, religion, gender discrimination, this has led people to become permissive and tolerant of EVERYTHING. We’re told that we shouldn’t discriminate, it’s bad. This type of tolerance of the other person’s point of view becomes pervasive and unconsciously colors our way of looking at the world.
To be clear, we SHOULD be tolerant and permissive of differences (race, religion, gender, etc.) between people. This is clearly a good thing. But permissiveness and tolerance are not good ways to evaluate a scientific paper or theory. Skepticism, discrimination (as in, discerning which evidence is strong and which evidence is weak), and a demand to “Prove it!” should be in abundant supply!
There are probably other vet schools with a Department of Woo, but I’m too depressed to look them up.