I watched 60 Minutes tonight, if
only because it was the only thing on between Futurama and The Simpsons.
I don't watch King of the Hill because it's just a little too saccharine
for my tastes. I prefer the biting sarcasm of Matt Groening's work, but
that has nothing to do with skepticism.
Bradley did a story tonight about Dr. Andrew Weil, king of alternative medicine
and the hero to kooks and homeopaths everywhere. He expounds on the value
of energy therapy, herbal remedies, shamanism and LSD in harnessing the body's
ability to heal itself.
There is no
doubt that the emotional state of a human being has a role in how well the
person recovers. I think this concept is quite well accepted in the
mainstream medical field. Only an idiot would argue with that.
emotion is not the only factor in physical health. Mainstream medicine
exists because it works. It has evolved into its present state through
centuries of trial and error and scientific exploration. Weil admits that
conventional medical science has its place in trauma situations and other
specific treatments. But go ahead and ask him about the evidence for his
own alternative garbage.
probably get snippy, just like he did to Mr. Bradley. He'll get all
outraged and say he's not a researcher, like that small exclusion is like a Get
Out of Legitimate Science Free Card. He needs to get a clue, and a better
For instance, the good folks
at 60 Minutes grabbed some of Dr. Weil's recommended herbal supplements and had
them tested for potency. Not surprisingly, the pills that were supposed to
be Echinacea turned out to have a very, very low percentage of the actual
herb. Perhaps even less surprisingly, the companies challenged on these
pitifully low results denied the obvious facts and surrendered to corporate
whorism, claiming that their own tests showed that the pills had "lots and
lots of that junk!" Weil temporarily swallowed his own whorism and
vowed to get to the bottom of it. But he's still selling his crap.
Tons of it.
Bravo to 60
Minutes for this one. The more they crucify corporate whores, the happier