Posted: Jun 14, 2010 3:23 pm
by DST70
Shrunk wrote:As anyone who has read my posts would know, I kinda like analogies, and I think DST70 has provided us with a potentially useful one here.

As we know, brushfires have been a major problem in certain areas such as California. And despite the best efforts of allopathic firefighting technology, they continue to cause much devastation every year.

Perhaps the reliance on allopathic firefighting is misguided, and the intervention I have suggested above should be considered: Firefighting departments should lay off a number of their firefighters and devote a portion of its budget to hiring sorcerers who, in case of fire, will wave magic wands at nearby dry brush. Homeowners could even be given the choice, when their homes are ablaze, of having the invasive allopathic procedures, which often result in serious "side effects" such as water damage and doors splintered by axes, or safe, noninvasive "complementary" firefighting, which are guaranteed not to produce such adverse effects.

Personally, I think this would be a stupid idea, since there is no empirical evidence that waving a magic wand at dry brush can stop or prevent a fire. However, I wonder what Nancy Malik, DST70, TMB, or any other advocates of "complementary medicine" think. Would you agree to such an intervention if your home was burning down? If not, why not?

Thankyou, although I think you've misunderstood the analogy.

You're invoking magic wands as a mock solution but it's disingenuous. What the analogy shows is that - if you're committed to EBM - you have to gauge the efficacy of a course of action on evidence. What counts as evidence though is largely determined by the governing medical paradigm. The proper version has the fire department starting to see beyond a system of hoses and burning buildings, to look at what's going on in local land management, irrigation of the surrounding foliage, amount of nearby BBQs and campfires, that sort of thing.

Personally, if my house was on fire I'd want the fire dept to come round ASAP with a hose.


P.S. Sorcery and magic also tend to get terribly misunderstood :(