Wente Watch

Monday, November 20, 2006

Intellectual quackery

Wente's latest rant is attacking alternative medicine.

Rather oddly, most of the evidence she cites is actually in favor of alternative medicine. She reports that alternative practitioners offer faster service, more personal care, and spend more time with patients than conventional doctors. Furthermore, in the only two case histories Wente cites - herself and her friend Pam - both patients got better!

Instead of medical quackery, let's take a look at intellectual quackery - specificially, Wente's old tactic of finding some crank nobody else has heard of to support her right-wing, ethnocentric views. In this case, the pigeon is Zhang Gongyao, a philosophy professor who has called for the end of TCM treatment in China.

The Chinese Ministry of Health refused. About 25 percent of medical care in China is based on TCM, amounting to more than 300 million visits per year. Not exactly a sign China is retreating from it.

Wente's little mind may be incapable of realizing this, but this is not an either/or situation. It is possible to combine conventional and alternative medicine. Millions of people do this, in both China and North America, and lead healthier lives as a result.


  • Sure you can combine "conventional" and alternative medicine, but the question is whether there's any evidence you benefit from doing that. Blandly asserting that there is fails to persuade me. Similarly, Wente doesn't bother to cite any studies demonstrating the ineffectiveness of the treatments she's discussing. The most accurate part of her article is the bit where she says "I don't know."

    By Anonymous Sid, at November 20, 2006 11:20 a.m.  

Post a Comment

<< Home