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David Gorski: There is no “alternative” medicine.


David Gorski:

Finally, let me repeat once again my view on the very concept of “alternative” medicine.
There is no such thing. It’s a false dichotomy.

There are in fact only three types of medicine:

- medicine scientifically demonstrated to work;
- medicine scientifically demonstrated not to work; and
- medicine that has not been adequately tested yet to render a judgment.

The vast majority of CAM falls into the latter two categories, and the vast
majority of untested CAM is in addition highly extremely implausible on a
scientific basis.

Any “alternative” medicine that can be demonstrated to be safe and
effective through the methods of scientific medicine will no longer be
“alternative.” It will become just “medicine.”

The very reason “alternative” medicine is not considered just “medicine”
is because it is a combination of one or more of the following: not tested,
tested and found wanting, or not tested but so incredibly implausible on
a scientific basis that it seems a waste of scarce resources to test it.

David Gorski in
on 21 Aug 2008 at 9:54 am



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