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Now charlatans will know to beware the geeks - Comments

CosmicCheshireCat's Avatar Comment 1 by CosmicCheshireCat

Well done, Simon Singh!

Don't see why, because Simon said the CA 'happily promotes bogus treatment', the judge asked him to prove 'the therapists were lying rather than merely deluded'? Surely they could, for argument's sake, happily promote bogus treatment if they were lying OR if they were deluded. It seems a rather irrelevant distinction which adds little to the defense.

Incidently: 'merely deluded'? Merely? Oh, dear.

If John Stuart Mills wasn't an inanimate skeleton right now, he'd turn in his grave and extend a mid-digit to Judge Eady.

Mon, 19 Apr 2010 12:36:00 UTC | #460944

atp's Avatar Comment 2 by atp

This article has to much mud slinging to be take seriously.

For example saying "in accordance with the teachings of a more-than-usually nutty American faith healer" is as stupid as implying modern medicine hasn't moved forward since its beginning.

There has been some alternative medicine quackery associated with chiropractics through its history, and there are probably still too many. But that doesn't mean chiropractics in itself is quackery.

Go read wikipedia for more information. the wikipedia article has many references.

That said, suing Singh was a stupid move. Singh has freedom of speech, even though what he says is mostly wrong and uninformed mud slinging.

Mon, 19 Apr 2010 12:39:00 UTC | #460946

the4thNeutralNuclide's Avatar Comment 3 by the4thNeutralNuclide

This is not a good piece by Nick Cohen, despite the fact that I agree wholeheartedly that Simon Singh was right and the BCA stupidly hid behind ancient English law instead of engaging with the scientific debate. Even my chiropracter agrees the BCA were wrong to adopt this track.

Cohen flicks away the good work that chiropractic does when it limits itself to to areas supported by evidence with an arrogant nonchalance of the supposed victor.

I use a chiropracter to treat back problems and have been doing so as required at a reasonable price for 25 years with tons of evidence that the pain and problem relief is 100 % effective. Where the NHS ordered strong drugs and weeks of bed rest (and don't get me wrong I love the NHS and what is does) my chiropractic gave me three 15 minute treatments and I had no further problems for 4 years and those problems due to a different cause.

Mon, 19 Apr 2010 12:58:00 UTC | #460955

sdando's Avatar Comment 4 by sdando

Chiropractics for back problems or perhaps a piched nerve here or there is one thing. There may be some basis for using it there though the evidence is still not great and it can sometimes be dangerous.

For anything else it is Absolute Quackery. The basis behind the entire this is indeed the nonsensical ravings of nutty American faith healer. That is the truth.

Yes fine go and read wikipedia (that definitive source) if you like but the basic conceptual basis of all chiropractics is utter nonsense. Just because a lot of people make money off of something and they give out degrees and certifications to each other does not make them anything more than charlatans.

BTW here's relevant quote from wikipedia:

"A 2008 critical review found that with the possible exception of back pain, chiropractic SM has not been shown to be effective for any medical condition, and suggested that many guidelines recommend chiropractic care for low back pain because no therapy has been shown to make a real difference"

That is the bottom line.



BTW some of us may take offense to calling Star Wars a B-movie. :P

Mon, 19 Apr 2010 13:11:00 UTC | #460963

the4thNeutralNuclide's Avatar Comment 5 by the4thNeutralNuclide

BTW some of us may take offense to calling Star Wars a B-movie. :P


I agree, I wonder if there's an English law that will allow us Wookies to sue Cohen?

Mon, 19 Apr 2010 13:21:00 UTC | #460967

atp's Avatar Comment 6 by atp

The reason I recommend wikipedia is not because it is the definitive source, or anything like that, but because the article about chiropractics has a lot of references. That makes it possible to form an opinion based on more than articles from someone who is just out to slander chiropractics, or some random over confident forum poster.

The basis behind the entire this is indeed the nonsensical ravings of nutty American faith healer. That is the truth.
I don't question the truthfulness of the claim, but the relevance. Errors and mistakes and quackery in the childhood of chiropractics isn't any more relevant for today's practices than errors and mistakes and quackery in the history of medicine is relevant for today's medicine practice.

Such stupid irrelevancy just reflects back on the writer. If these are the kind of arguments he has to resort to, how strong is his case against chiropractics really?

Mon, 19 Apr 2010 14:25:00 UTC | #460999

sdando's Avatar Comment 7 by sdando

mistakes in the childhood of chiropractics?

The whole point is that the entire field is based on ideas that don't even make any sense based on what we know about medicine.

Sure medicine once worried about the balance of humors which made no sense but it got beyond that5 and stopped bleeding and purging people.

Chiroporactics is based on the idea that vertebral subluxations somehow interfere with some metaphysical energy and cause disease states. All spinal manipulation which is the basis of chiropractics is based on this. It is all nonsense.

Sure if people want to practice other alternative (read unproven) therapies and consider themselves holistic healers then buyer beware. But chiropractics itself as a discipline is nonsense, period.

It is not at all irrelevant to say that the ENTIRE FOUNDATION of this discipline is completely unfounded.

Mon, 19 Apr 2010 15:30:00 UTC | #461021

atp's Avatar Comment 8 by atp

The whole point is that the entire field is based on ideas that don't even make any sense based on what we know about medicine.

So make that point, and support it with arguments. Instead of crap statements like "the teachings of a more-than-usually nutty American faith healer".

Chiroporactics is based on the idea that vertebral subluxations somehow interfere with some metaphysical energy ...
Yeah, lots of bullshit there. I get it. But you cannot judge chiropractics as a whole today by this. You need to refer to what serious research says about modern practice of chiropractics.

That's why I mention wikipedia and its references as a starting point.

Sure if people want to practice other alternative (read unproven)...

It is your unsubstantiated claim that it is unproven.

The way you're stating your own personal belief as if they were facts, is exactly the same charlatans and quacks are supporting their beliefs.

It is not at all irrelevant to say that the ENTIRE FOUNDATION of this discipline is completely unfounded.

It may not be in order to ask questions about chiropractics. But when it comes to determine that state of affairs today, it is 100% irrelevant.

Mon, 19 Apr 2010 16:05:00 UTC | #461036

Daisy Skipper's Avatar Comment 9 by Daisy Skipper

7. Comment #481711 by sdando

Chiroporactics is based on the idea that vertebral subluxations somehow interfere with some metaphysical energy and cause disease states.


Where is your evidence for this? You can't just make a sweeping generalization like that without a little evidence.

It's true that many chiro's follow this ideology (too many no doubt), but that certainly isn't what the profession is based on. Those are the people who give the profession a bad name. Their peers call them 'subbies' because they adjust when there is no need to. Unfortunately, those who practice this way usually make the most money.

This is from the Canadian Chiropractic Association website:
They diagnose and treat disorders of the spine and other body joints by adjusting the spinal column or through other corrective manipulation.


'Manipulation' does not be adjusting. It can mean moving a joint, stretching a muscle, etc.

Chiropractors in Canada can do what physiotherapists do but with the ability to diagnosis and order tests. Some Chiropractors don't adjust at all and some do in rare occasions (and some do all the time).

My opinion is that the profession has serious problems: Colleges that don't regulate properly. A scope of practice that isn't clearly defined. Excessive graduation numbers which encourage people to expand their scope of practice to pay the bills.

Anyway, the profession deserves to be attacked. But sdando and others...get your facts straight.

Mon, 19 Apr 2010 16:08:00 UTC | #461038

juliawang87's Avatar Comment 10 by juliawang87

What the heck?! We have chiropractic apologists now?

Mon, 19 Apr 2010 16:24:00 UTC | #461040

Daisy Skipper's Avatar Comment 11 by Daisy Skipper

@juliawang
who's we?
It just makes my skin crawl when people make sweeping generalizations without evidence. It reminds me of... Well. You know, the religious.

Mon, 19 Apr 2010 16:57:00 UTC | #461050

Stonyground's Avatar Comment 12 by Stonyground

Didn't Star Wars sort of start out as a B ish kind of movie? I think to start with the distributor couldn't find any cinemas willing to screen it. Of course once it took off it became huge and then could hardly be described as B.

Mon, 19 Apr 2010 17:33:00 UTC | #461061

Mr DArcy's Avatar Comment 13 by Mr DArcy

IMO Star Wars was always a B film, but then I'm only a paying customer, not a fine art critic.

Mon, 19 Apr 2010 19:05:00 UTC | #461082

aquilacane's Avatar Comment 14 by aquilacane

the judge asked the patient to prove the doctor was lying about brain transplants rather than merely deluded.

Whether by lying or from delusion the problem is the validity of the claim not its motive or origin. Stupid.

Mon, 19 Apr 2010 19:53:00 UTC | #461105

God fearing Atheist's Avatar Comment 15 by God fearing Atheist

Homeopathy, and now Chiropractic, under the microscope. Good.

Maybe they will now have to start build an arsenal of scientific evidence, rather than ringing their lawyer.

Mon, 19 Apr 2010 20:00:00 UTC | #461107

Mark Jones's Avatar Comment 16 by Mark Jones

Professor Edzard Ernst has reviewed the evidence from Cochrane on Chiropractic, and there seems little evidence of its efficacy:

http://quackfiles.blogspot.com/2005/10/value-of-chiropractic-edzard-ernst.html

http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/339/jul08_4/b2766

Worryingly, whilst some benefit for back pain may be possible, there could be significant health dangers to spinal manipulation. Of course, more studies would be welcome, so hopefully the BCA are conducting research to support the claims of their members, and ensuring Chiropractic's safety.

Mon, 19 Apr 2010 20:41:00 UTC | #461129

Saganic Rites's Avatar Comment 17 by Saganic Rites

#15

Homeopathy, and now Chiropractic, under the microscope. Good.


Stephen Fry, the British comic, author, presenter, general all-round brainiac and atheist (Phil Jupitus once said that Fry's religious views "made Richard Dawkins sound like the f***ing Pope"), on the subject of alternative therapists said (and I think I remember this right);
"I can't stand all these whinging quacks with their 'if the scientists tried testing our remedies they wouldn't be so quick to mock'. Well, science did test it; what worked we now call medicine".

Mon, 19 Apr 2010 22:02:00 UTC | #461149

SnowyDoc's Avatar Comment 18 by SnowyDoc

The guy describes Star Wars as a B-grade 1970's movie... WTF?!!

Sacrilege... :)

Tue, 20 Apr 2010 14:30:00 UTC | #461306

stephenray's Avatar Comment 19 by stephenray

Over and over and over again, the same error is propogated.

The issue before the High Court was NOT whether chiropractic is/was effective. It was whether the phrase "happily promotes bogus treatments" was libellous.

The question of whether chiropractic treatments were 'bogus' - that is, according to ordinary english usage, fraudulent, false, phoney, counterfeit - is not the same thing as determining whether they are effective or ineffective.

Tue, 20 Apr 2010 18:55:00 UTC | #461349

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 20 by Steve Zara

Comment #482078 by stephenray

I think it turned out to be even less to do with science than you say.

What seemed to be the issue was whether or not Singh was making a statement of fact, or one of opinion.

How this was thought to be a matter of freedom of scientific reporting eludes me. I have never seen any evidence that indicates that scientists can't report what they like, as long as it is science. The law comes in when you accuse others of wrongdoing.

I think many science groups have got scared about this because of a misunderstanding of the legal issues.

If I'm wrong about this, I'd like to know.

Tue, 20 Apr 2010 19:19:00 UTC | #461356