Earlier this week, I did a couple of posts about applying evolutionary principles to the meme of complementary and alternative medicine. In one of them, I mentioned how CAM therapies never seem to “go extinct.” They may wax and wane in popularity and “evolve” into other therapies, but they never go extinct. PalMD of Whitecoat Underground has noticed the same thing and has posed a question and a challenge:
So today I issue a challenge to both of my readers. Find me examples of “alternative” medicine that have been abandoned because evidence showed them to be failures. Post away, but please leave evidence, or your comment won’t be very useful.
An excellent question. There are many examples of “conventional” medical treatments that have been abandoned in the face of evidence showing that they don’t work or may even be harmful. That’s not what this question is looking for, though. Thus far, unfortunately, PalMD hasn’t gotten much in the way of useful responses. So I thought I’d help a fellow skeptic out and post his challenge here. Please post your examples with evidence either here, at Whitecoat Underground or, even better, at both blogs in order to inspire the most discussion.