Penicillin, erradication of Polio, treatment for HIV/AIDS…and your problem with modern medicine is what exactly?

“I really hate doctors”

What the hell is that, really? Okay, okay – maybe you’ve had some “bad” doctors in your lifetime: some asshole who makes you buy this fancy prescription drug which you *know* only costs such an ungodly amount because your doc is in cahoots with BigPharma; or the MD who told you to not to compete in that race because your knee was fucked up and just would not prescribe you extra Vicodin so you could participate…or maybe s/he just had a real shitty bedside manner. Sure, I can understand developing a distaste for that smell of disinfectant and that ice-cold stethescope and the pushy way the doctor insists that you say “ahh”, but to say “I hate doctors”?

What would you prefer instead?

Something au-naturale, I imagine. How about some arsenic diluted in water (a.k.a “homeopathy)? How about getting that kink out of your neck with a side of stroke (a.k.a “chiropractic medicine”)? Maybe we should grind up some Tiger bones and throw it around the room and pray to a heathen god?

You know what? Fuck all that. Lets just smoke some weed and call it good.

No, seriously. I must have grown up living under a rock, because it just blows my mind that there are really people out there who pooh-pooh conventional medicine in favor of so-called “Complimentary and Alternative Medicine” (CAM). Its kind of like atheism and religion: one of them [dares] to say “We don’t have the exact answer to that, but here’s what we do know, and here’s what we think will work based on the evidence…” and the other says (holding out a tattered book written by any number of lunatics sometime around 1000 B.C.), “This. Is. It. BEHOLD! TRUTH!!”

I think you know which is which.

Alright, I admit: I’m on a tirade. I’m being biased and unfair. I’m being sarcastic and I’m using uncouth language.

And I am not an MD.

I’m not even a scientist.

But here’s what I do know: conventional medicine, based in science, has been keeping civilization from collapsing under its own ignorance since Hippocrates. Medicine that does not continue to update itself according to contemporary research and withstand the scrutiny of scientific testing is not medicine: its B.S. Conventional medicine is not perfect, and science is not perfect. But asking for perfection is asking for the impossible, so instead of miracles, what you should be asking for is the best that there is. And nothing in the course of human history has proven to be as consistently and enduringly effective in explaining and pradicting the behavior of the world as the scientific method, and it is upon this which modern medicine is based. It is in a constant state of evolution, changing and improving as more information becomes available and methods of testing and measuring become more sophisticated.
This process if not without failures and mistakes, because error is an inevitable part of the human condition. But the traditions of CAM are archaic and obsolete – they are based in ignorance and misunderstandings that can no longer be tolerated when knowledge and the techniques exist and are readily available which far surpass them.

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