Can alternative medicine be subjected to scientific scrutiny?

Dr. R. W. asks (and answers) the question, pointing out in detail how:

  1. Promoters of unscientific claims often reject ordinary scientific standards for experimental design and evidence.
  2. Even government funded CAM research is troubled with serious methodologic flaws.
  3. Research on complementary and alternative methods is conducted without regard to biologic plausibility.
  4. The proponents and funders of alternative medicine research do not accept negative results.
  5. Government oversight is biased in favor of complementary and alternative medicine.

He’s right on all points, although he forgot that medical schools are now uncritically promoting non-evidence-based “alternative medicine,” even adding it to the mandatory medical curriculum. Sadly, from my perspective, it may be too late to stem the tide of woo that’s becoming more and more embedded in the American medical system.