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Author Topic: Interesting book: "Trick or Treatment"  (Read 3714 times)


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Interesting book: "Trick or Treatment"
« on: September 04, 2008, 09:25:16 AM »
I just finished a very interesting book called "Trick or Treatment," which claims to summarize the scientific research into the effectiveness of alternative treatments, particularly chiropractic, homeopathy, acupuncture, and herbal medicine.

Although the authors are very conservative and overly confident of the "objectivity" of the scientific method (one of the authors is a physicist), they don't reject alternative treatments out of hand, but try to apply the rigors of clinical trials to judge the effectiveness of the methods under scrutiny.

I found the discussion of the philosophical underpinnings of chiropractic and homeopathy to be particularly enlightening.

The authors (one of which used to be a homeopath) argue that homeopathy is no more effective than placebo, and that homeopathic remedies contain not a single molecule of an effective ingredient. The concept that these remedies have "memory" of substances seems pretty far-fetched to me.

Herbs definitely contain active biological agents, and the authors note this and defend herbal therapy.