Clerk: Would you like a donut?
Person: What do you have?
Clerk: Let me show you some donut-holes.
Person: Mmm tasty! (reaches toward display)
Clerk: (slaps hand) No! We don't sell these. We sell the part that is not a donut hole.
Person: So a donut is...
Clerk: Everything else, yes.
Person: Gosh. How big are your donuts?
Clerk: We don't get into that.
From NCCAM: CAM is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine.
Here's my question for you, NCCAM: What defines the outside edge of the CAM donut? Do CAM proponents have any rational method for rejecting therapies from their set?
If Oedipus recommends tearing out one's eyes as a means of treating overwhelming feelings of guilt and despair, might that be included in the CAM set?
How about ground up rhinocerous horn for male impotence?
How about faith healing for children with menningitis?
Exorcism for epilepsy?
"CAM" as a concept is meaningless without a rational method for rejecting some proposed therapies from the set.
Wow! I think we just wound our way back to science-based medicine. For science is the method for sorting plausible from implausible claims.
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