Love it or hate it, Wikipedia is a main go-to rough and ready source of information for millions of people. Although I’ve had my problems with Wikipedia and used to ask whether it could provide reliable information on medicine and, in particular, alternative medicine and vaccines, given that anyone can edit it, I now conclude that Wikipedia must be doing OK, at least in these areas. After all, some of the highest profile promoters of alternative and “integrative” medicine hate Wikipedia, to the point of attacking it and concocting conspiracy theories about it.
Yesterday, Orac discussed a widely hyped new scientific finding of a “new organ” known as the interstitium, , in which the Neil Theise and his co-authors suggested that their findings might “explain” acupuncture. Today, Orac realizes that the woo goes much, much deeper. Deepak Chopra, anyone?
A couple of weeks ago, I was interviewed by the a reporter from the Georgetown student newsletter about its integrative medicine program. It got me to thinking how delusion that one’s work is science-based can lead to collaborations with New Age “quantum” mystics like Deepak Chopra. “Integrative medicine” doctors engaging in what I like to refer to as quackademic medicine all claim to be “evidence-based” or “science-based.” The words apparently do not mean what integrative medicine academics think they mean.
Regular readers of this blog know that many forms of quackery and science denial have conspiracy theories associated with them, but a further examination suggests that all science denial a form of conspiracy theory. In the middle of a deadly pandemic, it is a form of conspiracy theory with potentially deadly consequences.
A recent systematic review has been touted as demonstrating that “mind-body” practices like yoga can reprogram our DNA. There are several reasons to doubt these claims, not the least of which is the history of bias in past studies on this topic.