Welcome to the sissyphian world of skepticism.
The ridiculously inept arguments of the 'other' side are head-smacking in their quality.
Today fellow Skeptic North blogger Scott was published in the National Post. It was an article he had written for SN that was re-posted in the newspaper.
Now, I'm not so naive as to think that naturopaths would lie down and take this criticism, but I clearly over estimated their ability to fight back cogently.
The Roberts Centre of Integrative Medicine wrote this response - which conveniently includes the response of the OAND (Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors); allowing me to kill two birds with one stone.
While it is reasonably literate - no classic web-fails like using 'then' when they mean 'than' - it doesn't even manage to put up a realistic fight. It is a 'nyah nyah' away from being childish. If they weren't so painfully - dangerously - wrong, it would feel like kicking a puppy to point out how fundamentally stupid their response is.
"Highly Biased" - Well it IS an opinion piece, so I'm not sure what they are complaining about. Perhaps they are taking umbrage with the use of facts to express a position of science - a tactic that they are all but incapable of utilizing? To say nothing of the fact that their response is... yes - highly biased. And in their case devoid of actual science to back it up.
They go one to make claims about "botanical and nutritional medicines... being placed on prescription-only schedules" specifically "higher dosages of Vitamin D" and utterly fail to provide a single reference (let alone link) to any of their evidence. But while we're at it, why did they ask to prescribe anti-biotics, anti-virals, and anti-inflammatories and Suzane Somer's bioidentical hormones?
I particularly love this sly ad hominem attack:
Becoming an ND requires eight years of education and training, including a university pre-med degree and a four-year naturopathic program. This compares to the five years in total required to become a pharmacist.Wahh wahh! You wasted your time and money on a sub-par education. That doesn't make your magic work, Slytherin. A person could devote their life to studying yogic-flying (and some do) and they'd still need a trampoline to make it work. There is a reason we would prefer to be represented in court by a Harvard graduate, than by Uncle Ted, who got his degree from a matchbook. If they wanted to prescribe real medicine, perhaps they should have taken the short-cut and studied to be pharmacists!
They go right back to hypocritic (not to be confused with hippocratic - at all) ad hominem attacks that do little to advance their argument; accusing him of fearmongering and misleading the public. If they themselves had not been so direly misled, then I wouldn't even have to address the well-poisoning cartoon they add to the article. Hover your mouse over it and what will it say? "Conflict of interest." Need I point out how many NDs sell the very products they prescribe? And to add to that, they aren't even thinking straight. If NDs are given the power of pharmaceutical prescription - which they are simultaneously fighting for and making the specious argument that "conventional medicine [has a] high reliance on pharmaceuticals" - the pharmacists, including the very one they are attacking, will be filling the NDs prescriptions. The argument is ludicrous.
Here's another post that has cropped up. I wish I had time to deal with it, but there is only so much time I have for inanity.