"Yeah, but there's no scientific evidence supporting Acupuncture."
Oh man, for me there is no statement more irksome than this one. It's just so damn false!
If you hear someone say this, please understand you are speaking with a pseudoscientist (yes, I think I just coined a term). They may seem knowledgeable about science, but they are actually completely ignorant and just repeating opinions they have seen or heard without looking at things fairly.
To illustrate why this is so frustrating, I'm going to share a little story with you:
Foolishly, a few months ago I engaged in an online conversation with a self-proclaimed skeptic.
This person not only lumps in Acupuncture with all new-age or alternative medicine (another pet peeve of mine), but also was professing repeatedly on facebook about how Acupuncture is just quackery. Snake oil. Bullshit.
I was able to ignore this for probably 9 posts telling myself to just "let it go", "be wiser", "don't engage" but the last post got my goat.
Finally, I directly asked him why he felt it so important to continually post critical opinions about styles of medicine he doesn't understand. Did he have a bad personal experience? What was the purpose or driving force behind all this?
I knew he wasn't a scientist, or doctor. I knew he had studied arts. I knew he subscribed to websites dedicated to criticizing or searching for fault with therapies and medical practices that are not commonly seen in pop medicine (did I just coin another term?).
So I asked, what gives?
"Well, there is just no evidence supporting acupuncture."
"Mmm, but there is, actually, a lot of evidence supporting acupuncture's efficacy for numerous symptoms and ailments."
I then bombarded the feed with links to study after study. Directed him to the NIH website (National Institute of Health), the WHO website (World Health Organization), sent him to Pubmed where he could search for basically "any medical issue + acupuncture" and see several studies on the topic. Literally, access to tens of thousands of research papers published in medical and scientific journals studying various aspects of Acupuncture and it's use in Medicine.
I explained that Acupuncture is a new modality in North America and that our western standardized method of research isn't historically a Chinese way of thinking. That they handed down and built upon, for thousands of years, a vast body of medical knowledge. That they did this without doing research the way we do -- and that a lot of modern studies are now being done on Acupuncture.
Often studies are done in Asia, so are not readily translate-able and therefore accessible to us English speakers. But there are many, many, MANY English studies now completed with scientific evidence to support Acupuncture.
He responded with a disbelief in the foreign concept of Qi flow and that because the exact mechanism isn't observable, that it is all quackery.
I tried to explain how medicine in general isn't really that easy to pin down. I suggested to understand the body of medicine as it exists now, an ever evolving entity -- he should take a look at the TED talk The Laws of Medicine. How medicine, any kind of it, is not an exact science. How we should be open minded to all types of potential cures and therapies because our current pop medicine can be non-effective, expensive and unnecessarily invasive.
Then. After all that. He said, and I'm not even joking:
"There is just no scientific evidence supporting Acupuncture."
Facepalm. I gave up.
Sometimes people are just totally stuck in their way of thinking without being open-minded to changing their opinion based on new information. I'm sure everyone does this with certain things.
Please be weary of people who think they know everything.
"True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing & in knowing that you know nothing, that makes you the smartest of all."