Commentary | False accusations of pseudoscience

Letter

To the writers of “Lies, damn lies, and pseudoscience” (Commentary, January 28, page 7),

I find your arguments against the effectiveness and thus legitimacy of homeopathy to be very weak. I am going to assume that homeopathic medications are “just sugar pills” for the sake of argumentation. Placebos have been shown to have a clinical effect on patients. The power of the mind in expectancy and conditioning can be used in order to affect bodily healing according to Miller & Brody, 2011. Additionally, Kirsch and Raz have shown that many commonly used drugs, such as anti-depressants, are actually no more effective than sugar pills.  Unethically, drug companies will exclude the placebos from their studies, and while they are right that placebos don’t affect everyone, they are administering their drug to a population that includes placebo-sensitive people. As far as I am concerned, if homeopathy helps the population that seeks it out feel better, it is a legitimate form of healing.

In response to the cell phone argument, I have heard both sides and honestly do not know which to believe. However, citing an American Cancer Society (ACS) page as a worthy source for proving that non-ionizing radiation has not been shown to cause cancer is ludicrous. It is most probably in the ACS’s interests to not put cell phone companies out of business, as they may be sponsoring some research the ACS is conducting. Capital is a huge driving force in today’s science and therefore it is important to remain critical of where the research is coming from.Who funded it? What stakes might this group have in certain outcomes? Is it biased?

Science is flawed in many ways; let’s bring these flaws to the surface instead of trying to hide them in an attempt to continue glorifying it.

—Noemi Stern

U2 Cognitive Science and History


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