Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Tangled Bank XXXVI

Tangled Bank XXXVI has been posted at B and B. Enjoy the best science blogging from the last two weeks!

My two favorites from this week's collection are:

Identifying the bullshit all around us


Why creationism will save the public schools

Yes, they're both a bit sarcastic. What did you expect? After all, I am the proprietor of the Skeptics' Circle.

3 example(s) of insolence returned:

At 9/08/2005 5:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, the bullshit writer writes
sometimes himself bullshit.
Acupuncture is much more effective
on pain alleviation than a placebo.
The criticism is that the difference
between pricking on the so-called
"meridians" and another points (sham
acupuncture) is negligible. There was
a huge study in Germany called GERAC
which show that acupuncture is *much*
more effective than the standard


At 9/08/2005 7:10 AM, Blogger Orac said...

PubMed citation, please?

The vast majority of studies I've seen show that acupuncture is no better than placebo.



At 9/08/2005 5:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Schmerz. 2005 Jun;19(3):201-4, 206, 208-10 passim.
German Acupuncture Trials (gerac) address problems of methodology associated with acupuncture studies

Endres HG, Zenz M, Schaub C, Molsberger A, Haake M, Streitberger K, Skipka G, Maier C; Leitungsgremium der gerac-Studien.

Article in German, but abstract in

The official release can be found
under, there is an
English version in .doc Format.

Another big study was the ART studies:

Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2003 Aug;10(4):185-91.
Acupuncture Randomized Trials (ART)
in patients with chronic low back
pain and osteoarthritis of the knee
- design and protocols.

Brinkhaus B, Becker-Witt C, Jena S,
Linde K, Streng A, Wagenpfeil S, Irnich D, Hummelsberger J, Melchart D, Willich SN.

I wondered why the results are not
published in PubMed; apparently there was criticism because both studies have published information about the applied methods so that it
is possible (but not very likely)
that interested patients could identify them (unblinding).

Looking for other findings, I have
found very interesting (full-text
available) summarization of
different brain scans which found
evidence of correlation between
pricking certain points and
activating certain brain areas:

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2005 Sep;2(3):315-9. Epub 2005 Aug 10.

Investigating acupuncture using brain imaging techniques: the current state of play.

Lewith GT, White PJ, Pariente J.

Now to the articles:
That acupuncture seems not to work
with blood pressure is completely
irrelevant; I am talking about pain
In the next article he rants about
Qi and believed that it says nothing more than needling causes "pain
modulation", what he completely missed is "pain modulation" causes an effective countermeasure against pain: releasing opiates.
In the last article he even confirmed my viewpoint that it is
effective against pain !

"Acupuncture does not work"
nor (correspondingly)
"Acupuncture is as effective as
hitting the head"
are acceptable sentences. A honest
answer were:
"Acupuncture works, but the concepts
of meridians and Qi seemed to be


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