Thursday, August 29, 2013

My telepathy says this is codswallop

There's no scientific proof that acupuncture has any effect beyond placebo. Developed in Asia before people understood the functions of most organs in the human body, Acupuncture is based on unscientific principles and consistently fails double-blind trials. Basically, if acupuncture works, then it's magic.

So I call total BS on this:
Bino the albino alligator lives at the Sao Paulo Aquarium, where he's been since 2007. Veterinarians said Wednesday that he was born eight years ago with his ailments, and nothing seemed to alleviate them.
So, in early 2011 veterinarians decided to see if acupuncture might help Bino, as it has other animals living at the aquarium.
The problem with treating animals with alternative treatments is that the animals can't communicate. They can't tell you if they feel better. While changes in behavior might be indicative of a physical improvement, it might not. Determining the efficacy of actual medications is often difficult, let alone sham treatments like acupuncture. Anyone judging the effectiveness of acupuncture on an alligator would likely be subject to confirmation bias, seeing what they want to see.

The fact that "other animals" at the aquarium have also had acupuncture suggests that maybe some staff changes are in order.
Acupuncture on animals is becoming increasingly common around the globe, the biologists at the Sao Paulo aquarium said, especially with pets such as cats, dogs and horses. The use of acupuncture on animals began thousands of years ago in China.
This argument never ceases to amaze me. The fact that acupuncture has been around for thousands of years is NOT evidence of its effectiveness. People have been doing all kinds of stupid things for thousands of years. Because people are stupid.

Even assuming that acupuncture works, ask yourself, what are the odds that people thousands of years ago could correctly identify "energy flows" in the body and accurately determine various "meridians" to poke to unblock the flow? However, the odds that primitive people could invent pseudo-scientific nonsense that would inspire thousands of years of ineffective puncturing of people with needles is very high. We've seen that throughout human history.

I'm pretty sure that Bino would just rather be left alone.

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