Christians aren’t Stupid: Asian Thinking Is Dangerous

5-element-theoryChristians aren’t stupid, they rightly fear Oriental Medicine, Tai Qi and all sorts of things from the Orient.

As my bio states, I am a former acupuncturist/herbalist (Oriental Medical Doctor) who graduated from a Japanese Oriental Medical College where I passed National Boards (in Japanese) and apprenticed and practiced Oriental Medicine.  and am licensed and have practiced there.

I later came to the USA to become a Physician Assistant (PA).  In my first job as a PA, I had been working no more than a month when I was fired from my first job as an Emergency Medicine PA.  The Medical director who had the job to tell me my fate, apologized while firing me saying “I am sorry, but we have 3 very religious doctors that think you are bringing this kind of medicine into our business and it is wrong and of the devil.  They say you are not practicing real medicine.”

I confronted the three docs, they confessed they never saw me practice Oriental Medicine, and agreed I only did regular medicine.  I promised I would never mention or do oriental medicine in the ER (not that I had yet).  They accepted and re-hired me (there never was time off actually).  Ironic ally, 4 years later I had treated the families of two of those Christian docs with oriental medicine and they were grateful.

OK, but they were right to fear me.  Those Christians were not foolish.  Let’s not even get into the effectiveness of Oriental Medicine — Oriental Medicine comes with a whole philosophy that is very anti-Christian.  It is based on Taoist philosophy and speaks nothing of spiritual healing being possible.

I am sure statistics would prove that individual that study oriental arts for any length of time walk away with a significantly altered view of science, the human body and philosophy in general to such an extent that it will make their minds a far less good fit for their native Christianity.  So to think that Christians are naive to fear these subjects is itself naive.

7 Comments

Filed under Personal, Philosophy & Religion

7 responses to “Christians aren’t Stupid: Asian Thinking Is Dangerous

  1. Have there been peer reviewed studies on the effectiveness of oriental medicine?

    I’m generally of the opinion that if alternative medicine works then it wouldn’t be called “alternative medicine” anymore. It’d just be called medicine.

  2. I agree. Yes, some studies. Some works, much doesn’t.
    But remember, no one will pay for a good study of an item they can’t sell for considerable profit — herbs aren’t proprietary objects.

  3. damn. science isn’t as clear cut as we like it to be is it?

  4. Irish Atheist

    Hang on a sec. They have plenty of studies on oriental medicine. The thing with herbs is that the ones that look at it find what makes it work and extract the component that makes it work. Best example Aspirin: http://tinyurl.com/o9522

    As for acupuncturist the studies depend of the quality of the study. A proper medical study (which you probably) is to have a good control group.

    It the studies that have proper controls they found that acupuncture only has a placebo effect.
    blog post on why not to believe in acupuncturist: http://tinyurl.com/6rlqe3
    study abstract: http://tinyurl.com/ojqaa7

    Science is very clear. It’s the people that do bad science that murks it up.

  5. @Irish
    I imagine your “Hang on a sec” is to defend science. Indeed there are limits to science. Let me name two:

    1. Can’t test everything: Levels of Evidence
    Herbs are drugs, so of course they work for many things.
    The polypharmacology of herbal compounds (99% of TCM: Traditional Chinese Medicine) can’t be tested because methodolgies are not difficult in that treatment is given by matching both to symptoms and constitution of pt and thus each pt has a unique formula, thus impossible to do a controlled study. As we know in medicine, top of the level of evidence in a controlled study but many things can not be tested with a controlled study and thus we have lower levels of evidence that we weigh differently with their appropriate caveats. Also, extracting active ingredients is very difficult in such cases, but indeed they try — but it is often the interaction (poly-pharmacology) that brings results and thus the reductionist method is limited here.

    2. We can’t get folks to test important things
    As mentioned before, conclusive testing is expensive (millions of dollars in many cases) and unless someone plans to get their money back on such a venture, they usually will not fund such testing. Anyone in medicine knows these huge limitations.

    The other limitations of science abound !! We have publication bias, fraud, etc. Now, I am a fanatic supporter of the scientific method and know it as one of our best ways to knowledge, but we have to separate “Science-pub” (published Science) vs “Science-method”(method of Science). The former is laden with errors (we are getting better — depending on the field), and even the later is getting better.

    I think “rene”, was jokingly referring to these type of limitations of “Science-pub” . But we appreciate your defense of science. It is hard to give enough caveats on short blogs to avoid misunderstandings. Especially if folks are hunting for them. Keep hunting !

  6. Sabio allow me to disagree with most of what you say in your comment above. Science can test anything that claims to have measurable effects. If there is a treatment that claims to heal a particular condition then it can be tested. Don’t get into the reductionist method too much: it helps us get to the bottom of things but when it comes to testing medicine a lot of it is indeed holistic (a word that the alternative medicine proponents have incorrectly stolen for themselves). E.g. vaccines are tested against the current multi-vaccine schedule; drugs are tested for interactions and complications against a variety of potentially conflicting other drugs; evaluations are constantly changing when new data comes up. That’s the beauty of science.

    And let’s not forget a very important thing here: it is not about evidence-based medicine. It is about SCIENCE+evidence based medicine: if there is no plausibility behind the treatment under test (e.g. homeopathy, meridians, faith healing etc.) then clinical trials can only go so far as determining efficacy and safety. A good portion of trials came out positive purely by chance (hence the meta-analyses, which I am sure you know come out consistently negative for alternative treatments like the aforementioned).

    And your comment about herbs+profits+companies is completely out of target. Herbs are being used a lot in the pharma industry. Do you know why? Because some of them have been proven to work. Can you say that for most of the alternative treatments?

    Finally, publication bias, fraud etc. that you mention are OBVIOUSLY not limitations of the scientific method, but of those that apply it badly (as Irish Atheist pointed out).

    Anyway, I apologize for the out-of-context comment.

  7. Although I agree with much of what you say, you feel conflated 3 meanings of science in your effort to support the word “science” and sacrificed accuracy to proclaim your dislike for alternative medicines:
    1. Science method
    2. Science practiced-in-reality
    3. Science body-of-knowledge

    If we don’t show our own understandings of the failings of Sciencepractice-in-reality and our willingness to sacrifice any part of Sciencebody-of-knowledge when new evidence comes forth, we give a bad name to Science method.

    Perhaps our differences are merely of emphasis.

    I am suspect that Quantum Gravity theory is more accurate than String theory. String theory to date has offered no measurable methods. Quantum Gravity theory does make “claims to have measurable effects.” we are only just getting the tools to do that though.

    My feeling is that instead of reading generously/carefully what I wrote, you looked for key words to trigger your rehearsed (and probably useful) response. I have always been a person both trained on both sides and disliked on both sides — it is my niche, I guess.

    See if you disagree with these:
    1) Scientists have biases
    2) Some scientists practice faud
    3) Some areas, even with testable claims are not subject to research because of economic reasons
    4) Many medicines we know work have never been proven to be effective.

    Those are to name only a few …
    (Now, let’s not try to nit-pick, but see if you can agree with generous versions of these — that is, buffed up with all the caveats that would please you)

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