Part II: Evidence-Based Medicine is Not Exclusive of Alternative Medicine (Opinion)

Thursday, September 30, 2010 by: Aaron Turpen
Tags: alternative medicine, evidence, health news

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(NaturalNews) In the first half of this series, we had a discussion of how science is corrupted in modern medical science and why the Food and Drug Administration (government) and Big Pharma use this to keep alternatives from seeing the truth-seeker's eye. The reasons why science is important, nevertheless, were also considered. This brings us to why science should be used to test alternative treatments, therapies, and medicines.

Because most alternatives to accepted medicine do not have much scientific data to back them up, they instead rely on other "proofs" that are less than scientific. It's important that we understand why those proofs prove little and why we should move forward with getting some real science to back the methods and treatments used in alternative medical practice.

What Isn't Proof That Something Works
Probably the thing most-often used to claim proof of something working is the anecdote. These are generally nothing more than testimonials or claims made based on what someone saw or experienced. They are nearly always very subjective and definitely non-repeatable. This makes them unscientific, but powerful emotional motivators.

Sadly, for many alternative options, anecdotal evidence is about all there is to give any kind of proof of its efficacy. Belief in something working or seeing something appearing to work on one person or even half a dozen people does not prove that it actually works. It's compelling, but not definitive.

Age and tradition, similarly, are often used as proof. Just because something has been used for centuries doesn't necessarily mean that it really works. In a similar way to anecdotal evidence, the tradition behind something being used to cure something else does little to give repeatable instances of it working.

It's important to understand that in medicine, no two bodies are alike, so any treatment, whether modern or ancient, will have failures - nothing works 100% of the time. What is important is that the statistics (the number of times it does work in a given group of people) needs to be consistent. This just can't be argued with hearsay.

Getting Alternatives Into Science
The search for truth can find the evidence to prove or disprove that alternatives work. All that's needed are the studies to do so.

The trouble with the clinical trial method, which is the most-accepted way that science has come up with to prove or disprove medical treatments, is that it is very expensive. Currently, the only groups who are willing to pay the kind of money required to do a good, double-blind, placebo controlled study are Big Pharma and her allies.

That needs to change.

So what this citizen journalist is calling for is the creation of a new non-profit. This non-profit's sole purpose should be to raise resources and begin independent, unbiased, science-based clinical trials to alternatives to mainstream medicine. Everything from Vitamin D to Ayurveda should be on the list of things to be tested. All that's needed is for the first person with the money and the will to seed the idea to step forward and begin the formation of this new age of medicine. Is that you?

1 - Attack on alternative medicine: Is the clock ticking on alternative healthcare? by Dr. Galen O. Ballard, PhD,

2 - How Science Works Pt1 5-part video series by Aaron Turpen on

3 - The Problem With Alternative Medicine by Alex Lickerman, M.D., Psychology Today

4 - Burzynski meets the FDA part 1

About the author

Aaron Turpen is a professional writer living in Wyoming in the USA. His blogs cover organic/sustainable living and environmental considerations ( and the science debunking mainstream medical and proving alternatives (

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