Jade Eggs and Francis Bacon

Science, pseudoscience, and the goals of medicine

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How do we know that a treatment is bunk and doesn’t even need to be tested to be disproved?

A recent blog post by obesity expert Jason Fung ads fuel to the fire in the debate that opposes the standard-bearers of “science-based medicine” to those whom they view as practicing or promoting “pseudoscience.”

Fung attacked the perennial debunkers and his blog post prompted an immediate riposte by Dr. David Gorski.

Anish and I tried to sort through the controversy.

[Related post: Is medicine a scientific enterprise?]

Timestamps:

  • 00:00 Jason Fung’s case against the debunkers
  • 08:05 Anish’s criticism of Fung’s debunking
  • 10:50 How do we know jade eggs don’t work?
  • 13:20 Michel’s prior experience with being debunked by the debunkers
  • 21:40 The occult, the religious, and the naturalistic in medicine
  • 26:20 Medicine and science have 2 different aims; doctors ought to be clear about what health is
  • 31:25  Are the debukers baconian?  Do they know of the demarcation problem?  Is there a solution to the question of knowledge?

2 thoughts on “Jade Eggs and Francis Bacon

    • Hi Marc,

      Thanks for noticing that remark said in passing. The topic is worth an episode of its own…Basically, what used to traditionally define a medical doctor as such was his allegiance to certain principles and his taking of the oath. Licensing laws essentially replaced the oath–not explicitly, but implicitly.

      What now identifies a medical doctor as such is the demonstration of technical knowledge and competence sufficient to pass the licensing exams and requirements. Although a version of it may still be pledged in some places and some schools, the Hippocratic oath is neither necessary nor sufficient.

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