is the relationship between alternative medicine and modern
medicine in the United States today?
10, 15 years ago, there was a tug-of-war. That's a polite
way of describing an all - out attempt at destroying each
other. What's happened is a realignment or armistice. I think
people of both camps have realized that it's not to the patients'
benefit that the providers of the same patient are ignorant
of one another and even doing counterproductive things. So
the patients demanded the cease-fire.
How does ritual get translated into physiology?
have always been mistrustful of their doctors because no one
medicine satisfies all the complaints that people have. For
a short period, people thought modern medicine was wonderful
and invincible, because the penicillin, antibiotics, some
surgeries and cortisone drugs that came out after World War
II really were wonder drugs. But, by and large, medicine -
any medicine - can't alleviate all human suffering. But there
will always be doctors around. Occasionally, they'll be liked,
and occasionally, people will mistrust them. That's part of
the human condition.
beings are the only animals that take pills. Humans are the
only beings that see the possibility of things being very
different. That applies to medicine and healthcare.
first doctors were religious figures. The secularization and
rationalization of healing - the removal of altered states
of consciousness as a central feature of healing - that's
what shamans and witchcraft do- is parallel to the rationalization
of human self-understanding. Hippocratic medicine exactly
parallels the rise of Greek philosophy and Chinese medicine
exactly parallels the rise of Chinese philosophy.
do you think science gets covered in the press?
is a way that science purports to be objective and independent
of preconception. The press is always confused because the
scientists have this myth. And in fact, scientists contradict
each other all the time. I think the problem is not the press,
but that science has given itself its own religiosity of being
But there is a very big gray zone on the edge of science,
and the public demands clear answers on important questions.
In fact, studies sometimes only cloud the gray zone. And sometimes
what science thinks is an absolute clear zone becomes cloudy
with more experimentation.
an element of mythos in science, and the press and the public
are colluding with scientists in order to promote their priestly
function in the secular world.
don't have any problem with that. I think people have the
right to religion, but they should be more clear about the
fact that there's a lot of subjectivity in science - from
the questions asked, to the interpretations of results.
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