I start these entries about a week before their due date, and when I saw Dr Hall’s Applied Kinesiology (AK) post from Tuesday, I thought the heck, there goes my post for Friday. After reading Harriet’s post, I think mine will be both complementary and alternative, and perhaps even integrative, to her entry. I do have one quibble with her post. She said
“we skeptics don’t dismiss AK just because it sounds silly.”
AK doesn’t just sound silly, it is silly. I have found over the years writing for SBM that I have developed an increasing bias around the concept of prior probability. As best I can tell there is a well described reality, and that reality constrains what is not only probable, but what is possible. Within the limitations of our current understanding of reality, some processes are impossible, i.e. have zero prior probability. AK’s prior probability is exactly zero. I sometimes think the blog should be called Reality Based Medicine. Science gives us understanding of reality and AK, like many a SCAM (Supplements, Complementary and Alternative Medicine) discussed in this blog, parted company with reality from the beginning.
This blog has two often overlapping purposes. Blogs offer timely commentary on contemporary issues, and this blog certainly fills that role. More than other blogs, SBM also has the opportunity to be a reference source on various SCAM’s . I have had the recent opportunity to reread the entire oeuvre of SBM, and it is impressive in the breadth and depth of topics covered in its three plus years. It is not yet encyclopedic and there are many topics not yet reviewed in the blog, such as Applied Kinesiology. So many many SCAM’s, so little time. (more…)