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 Post subject: Re: The Red Flags of Quackery
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:05 pm 
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ok on the East/West thing, I'll say one thing, and hope I don't get chased out of here. My sis in law is (for real now) an MD who practices holistic medicine and studied chinese herbs. She would argue that the herbs have been used by humans for thousands of years and they are clearly safe for humans (she also believes they work). So-called western medicine would require animal testing before human trials could begin, as I understand it. So I think traditional medicines don't necessarily fall under quackery, and strict scientific standards aren't always in our (and the lab rats') best interests. /lecture


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 Post subject: Re: The Red Flags of Quackery
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:19 pm 
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JillW wrote:
So-called western medicine would require animal testing before human trials could begin, as I understand it. So I think traditional medicines don't necessarily fall under quackery, and strict scientific standards aren't always in our (and the lab rats') best interests. /lecture


There's a name for "traditional medicine" that works. We call it "medicine."

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 Post subject: Re: The Red Flags of Quackery
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:10 pm 
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Okay, that was kind of snarky, but the point remains. That's why it's listed on the red flags list.

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 Post subject: Re: The Red Flags of Quackery
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:11 pm 
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jordanpattern wrote:
After posting this, I stood in line behind a woman buying 3 giants bags of lemons, a bunch of cayenne, and 2 jugs of maple syrup at the co-op... and bit my tongue so hard it nearly bled.


Wait. People cleanse with maple syrup?

Meaning that you can survive temporarily on maple syrup?

This is life changing.

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 Post subject: Re: The Red Flags of Quackery
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:14 pm 
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I think I get your point. My point is that medicine often requires wasteful testing, and wasteful animal testing at that. I like science, my husband is a scientist (and I like him) but it is not a perfect institution. That's my only quibble with the red flag list.


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 Post subject: Re: The Red Flags of Quackery
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:24 pm 
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I don't think the testing is wasteful if it proves that it works and doesn't have dangerous side effects. The problem I have with traditional medicine is that while often it is the basis for provable medicine (willow bark -> aspirin is the most obvious example, I think), in many cases both practitioners and users of traditional medicine seem to decide that because it's traditional and because people have been doing it for thousands of years, it is therefore proven to work. The argument seems to be "Well, it MUST work, or people wouldn't keep doing it!" This isn't proof; this is belief. It might as well be religion.

That's why traditional medicines fall under quackery-- ESPECIALLY when somebody's selling them to you with all kinds of promises that amount to not much more than "An old book says so."

The strong resistance to actual testing doesn't help its case, either. Again, this makes it more like religion than medicine, and if I have to believe in something for it to work, it might as well not work. The thing about science-based medicine is that I don't _have_ to believe in it-- it works anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: The Red Flags of Quackery
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:53 am 
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I don't think herbs are something you should lump with all of the quackery, though I do understand a lot of people claim herbs do things that they don't.

A number of herbs have been tested in proper randomised, double-blind, control trials and have done quite well. It's about ensuring standardisation of the proper chemical components, etc. Sadly, a lot of herbs sold as supplements/etc don't have any of that going for them.


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 Post subject: Re: The Red Flags of Quackery
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:04 am 
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I take issue with "herbs are clearly safe for humans". SOME are. Some are poisonous or have terrible side effects. I think I saw an online store selling herbs, and they had rue. With no warning that rue can cause miscarriage (one of its traditional uses is to induce abortion).

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 Post subject: Re: The Red Flags of Quackery
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:44 am 
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Mox, That sort of thing really makes my blood boil; when herbs are sold willy-nilly without notes on major side effects they can have. I took St. John's Wort for many years, and never saw a warning label on it (I bought supplements, tea, and the straight dried herb) saying that it interacts with many commonly-used medicine (birth control being one of the major ones.) I knew this information beforehand, because I did my research on the herb before taking it, but wouldn't it be terrible if someone on HBC didn't do that research and ended up getting pregnant because of it?


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 Post subject: Re: The Red Flags of Quackery
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:59 am 
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JillW wrote:
ok on the East/West thing, I'll say one thing, and hope I don't get chased out of here. My sis in law is (for real now) an MD who practices holistic medicine and studied chinese herbs. She would argue that the herbs have been used by humans for thousands of years and they are clearly safe for humans (she also believes they work). So-called western medicine would require animal testing before human trials could begin, as I understand it. So I think traditional medicines don't necessarily fall under quackery, and strict scientific standards aren't always in our (and the lab rats') best interests. /lecture


This is why I use evidence based medicine and faith based medicine. If you wish to believe that acupuncture, chiropractic, magnets, energy healing or whatever else works despite no evidence or evidence to the contrary, rock on. However, there's precious little difference between this belief and a belief in healing through prayer, laying on of hands or a Scientologist's touch assist.

It would be better to work towards alternatives to animal testing than to push unproven herbal cures.

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 Post subject: Re: The Red Flags of Quackery
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:20 am 
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Until the scientific method, spontaneous generation was a common belief. Maggots came from meat and such. I think the use of the scientific method to evaluate medical practices is a good thing.

Hemlock is also a natural herb but I wouldn't recommend taking it.

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 Post subject: Re: The Red Flags of Quackery
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:53 pm 
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DrakeRedcrest wrote:
jordanpattern wrote:
After posting this, I stood in line behind a woman buying 3 giants bags of lemons, a bunch of cayenne, and 2 jugs of maple syrup at the co-op... and bit my tongue so hard it nearly bled.


Wait. People cleanse with maple syrup?

Meaning that you can survive temporarily on maple syrup?

This is life changing.


I...actually really like the flavor of the spicy maple lemonade, and evenmoreso limeade.

I did the master cleanse once, really just for the hell of it to see if I could do it. I did sort of enjoy the 10 days of not being all gassy and bloated and it alerted me a bit stronger to the fact that I have a (ahem) shitty set of bowels. That's just genetic though.

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 Post subject: Re: The Red Flags of Quackery
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:03 pm 
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I got into an internet argument the other day over the safety of microwaves. She dismissed my use of quackwatch from just reading the link name, then I went to her profile and learned she was a chiropractor and "holistic healer" and I wanted to run my head into a wall.


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 Post subject: Re: The Red Flags of Quackery
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:27 pm 
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DreamerSpirit wrote:
Mox, That sort of thing really makes my blood boil; when herbs are sold willy-nilly without notes on major side effects they can have. I took St. John's Wort for many years, and never saw a warning label on it (I bought supplements, tea, and the straight dried herb) saying that it interacts with many commonly-used medicine (birth control being one of the major ones.) I knew this information beforehand, because I did my research on the herb before taking it, but wouldn't it be terrible if someone on HBC didn't do that research and ended up getting pregnant because of it?


Ah! I didn't know that! I'll have to check that out.

A friend of mine is in pharmacy school and they use this website that is basically a database that is just a list of herbs and foods that are purported to have some kind of an affect of your health, and it debunks or confirms it based on studies. I'll have to ask her about a few things now XD

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 Post subject: Re: The Red Flags of Quackery
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:54 pm 
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poopiebitch wrote:
You're all brainwashed by the pharmaceutical companies because they control the government and they're just trying to keep us sick so we have to buy more of their medicine. FOOLS.


Haha, if only quackery was limited to outside the scope of pharmaceutical companies. Must be vigilant, for it exists there too.


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 Post subject: Re: The Red Flags of Quackery
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:36 pm 
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The pharmaceutical industry's reliance on animal testing doesn't mean that bunkum works.

I think animal testing is bullshiitake (this was the subject of my first-ever PPK argument so many years ago!), but I think science is super-duper!

It is WAY better than any other means (such as...?) of determining what's true.

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 Post subject: Re: The Red Flags of Quackery
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:43 pm 
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FootFace wrote:
It is WAY better than any other means (such as...?) of determining what's true.


...such as just making shiitake up?

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 Post subject: Re: The Red Flags of Quackery
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:57 pm 
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solipsistnation wrote:
FootFace wrote:
It is WAY better than any other means (such as...?) of determining what's true.


...such as just making shiitake up?

But that way I'm always right!

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 Post subject: Re: The Red Flags of Quackery
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:12 pm 
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j-dub wrote:
solipsistnation wrote:
FootFace wrote:
It is WAY better than any other means (such as...?) of determining what's true.


...such as just making shiitake up?

But that way I'm always right!


Wait, that's how I can always be right? Screw science, I'm awesome at making things up* Also, when I'm struggling to get through school and life, I wish I had the fuzzy morals that would allow me to rip people off. Then I realize I actually don't wish that because I'm not an asparagus. Well, I probably am an asparagus, but I <3 honesty, so whatever.


*okay, not really. Well, I am, but only in a super exaggerated and silly fashion, so I don't know if it still counts.

edited because I assumed dick would have some sort of fun filter. It doesn't.


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 Post subject: Re: The Red Flags of Quackery
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:00 am 
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PPK, you are a good place.


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 Post subject: Re: The Red Flags of Quackery
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:27 pm 
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My little skeptic heart is all warm and fuzzy. I just got into it on the book of face about autism and vaccines so this is perfect timing.

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 Post subject: Re: The Red Flags of Quackery
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:33 pm 
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I NEED THIS IN PAMPHLET FORM PLEASE

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 Post subject: Re: The Red Flags of Quackery
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:53 pm 
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I need, need, need, this on a business card. Or maybe I should just tattoo it on my forehead. And then hopefully nobody would ever talk to me about energy again, unless the word coffee was also in the sentence.

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 Post subject: Re: The Red Flags of Quackery
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:31 am 
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It would be awesome to hook up that blog author with a kick asparagus graphic designer and make a poster.

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 Post subject: Re: The Red Flags of Quackery
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:31 pm 
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