Chiropractor pitches for Nobel Prize (18/1/2020)
I've been a bit busy this week with the awards so I'll be giving this valuable piece of research some attention over the next few days. Apparently a "Famed Chiropractic Scholar" has proved that it is wrong to say that subluxations don't exist, and even applies the label "deniers" to those who have noticed that there is no evidence of these spine misalignments causing dis-ease. Not only proved them wrong wrong but totally "refutes and negates false assertions". As this article appears in the prestigious Chronicle of Chiropractic ("The source for news on conservative traditional chiropractic") it must be taken seriously
Chiropractic "science" 2 (25/1/2020)
I mentioned last week that I had been referred to a scientific paper with the words "Totally Unsupported, Unsubstantiated, Irrational and Bizarre Says Famed Chiropractic Scholar Regarding Subluxation Deniers' Claims" at the top of the page. I thought that I had better look at this paper that surely must carry substantial evidence of the existence of the vertebral subluxation, thus making the "deniers" look more than foolish. It was written by Peter L. Rome D.C. and John D. Waterhouse D.C. and published in the December 2019 edition of the undoubtedly prestigious Journal of Philosophy, Principles & Practice of Chiropractic. (The referral was in another chiropractic journal, the Chronicle of Chiropractic.)
There is this rating of scientific papers called "Impact factor" which shows how importantly researchers in the field regard a journal. I've seen it defined as "Impact factor, which is a measure of the frequency of citation of articles published in a journal over a specified time, measures the rank or importance of a journal. There is a trend towards publication of high quality research in journals with high impact factor". The New England Journal of Medicine has an impact factor of 79.258. I thought I would see how the Journal of Philosophy, Principles & Practice of Chiropractic rated, but I came up with a problem. This is what I found for medical journals:
I thought I would look in the list of other, more general scientific journals
This did not look promising, but I thought I'd read the paper anyway. (As an aside, the Chronicle of Chiropractic returned the same results.) When I got to the prestigious journal I found that I would have to subscribe to read the full article and I assumed that subscription would require money to change hands so I had to make do with the abstract.
This paper utilizes the science, logic, and politics, of the evidence surrounding the premise of the vertebral subluxation (VS), which roundly refutes and negates the assertions made by the subluxation deniers, who have yet to provide evidence that the VS does not exist. Further, their inability to describe the entity that they are treating leaves their arguments totally unsupported and unsubstantiated.
This presentation tracked the nomenclature used to describe the entity that chiropractors treat/manage and discussed the evidence that has evolved to support the now commonly used term of vertebral subluxation. Of necessity, both clinically and legally there has to be an entity that practitioners identify, diagnose, resolve or manage, and the evolution of the term vertebral subluxation satisfies that requirement as the most appropriate premise based on current clinical and research evidence.
When I saw the words "deniers, who have yet to provide evidence that the VS does not exist" I cast my mind back to when I studied philosophy (which is in the journal title) and I seemed to remember that proving the non-existence of something is somewhat problematical. It is usually considered the job of proponents of a phenomenon to prove that it exists, rather than opponents to prove the opposite. Some would say that it is in fact impossible to prove that something does not exist except by saying that it has never been observed and that's not really "proof". Bertrand Russell wrote something about this when looking at the equipment used to make his afternoon tea, and Carl Sagan made a similar point about unicorns in garages. (Note – these were independent observations and the pot that Sagan used was in no way related to a teapot.)
When I got to "there has to be an entity that practitioners identify, diagnose, resolve or manage" just because something has a name I was reminded of St Amselm's ontological "prooof" of the existence of God, which was basically that if there isn't one there must be one. (Note – St Anselm's proof is really a paradox and better thinkers than I have tried to find the flaw in it. An atheist once told me that the obvious flaw is that there isn't a god, but this sort of kindergarten thinking gets us nowhere and makes atheists look silly. Kurt Gödel was one of the thinkers who looked at the problem and if he couldn't find a hole in the argument then maybe there isn't one.)
So in summary, a couple of chiropractors are not happy that some people don't believe in the mythical subluxation and they published their views (based on semantics rather than actual research, it seems) in a journal that nobody ever reads, demanding that others prove that something invisible and undetectable doesn't exist. I would like to turn this around. I have Type 2 diabetes, something which I have seen chiropractors claim to be able to cure. All these chiropractors have to do is take an x-ray of my spine showing the diabetes subluxation and then show me the same subluxation in the spines of 50 other people with the condition. As it is a very common complaint I'm sure they can do this easily.
Do this and all we "deniers" will go away.