Thursday, November 23, 2006

Vet Uses Magic To Cure

Another article from Nova magazine this month demonstrates that lunatic ideas are not just promulgated by the ignorant, but also by those who seem to be either deluded or interested only in the money: Animals As Family. "Holistic" vet Dr Clare Middle describes how having pets can improve people's health (through such factors as increasing exercise, or giving nursing home residents an interest in life - all of which has been well studied and is supported by evidence as well as plausible mechanisms) but the article rapidly devolves into the depths of disproven pseudoscience (which doesn't mean Dr Middle isn't happy pushing it as real science):

Maybe while patting an animal, the pet's energy field is "taking away" certain negative energy frequencies from their owners, and thereby pets are lessening the disease of their owner? Dogs, in an energy sense, (on a Kirlian photograph, which shows the auric or energy field of the dog) appear as mostly heart chakra. Dogs in general, are so unconditionally loving, some would say too loving for their own good, and it is common for dogs to suffer heart disease when older. [...] We could infer that the frequency of the heart chakra energy is especially transferred between dog and owner.

Well, yes, we could infer that. It doesn't make the inference correct, and it relies rather too heavily on the assumptions that Kirlian photography shows "auras", that "auras" prove "chakras", that "auras/chakras" can transfer "energy", that specific animals only transfer certain "energy" and so on and so forth. A whole chain of assumptions and magical inferences. It's not just a flimsy house of cards, it's houses of cards stacked on houses of cards.

Dr Middle clearly knows her stuff though, and rapidly brings in the "Q" word to show that pets and owners have the same diseases:

I can list numerous owners who have diseases surprisingly similar in type to their animals. How often have I heard an owner say, "Oh, but that's what I've got too!" when I diagnose their pet's condition. I have seen owners who have had repeated unsuccessful surgery to their knee, and so has their dog, to the same side knee, and yet others who have severe allergy or chemical sensitivity, and so does their animal. Or both owner and animal are diabetic, both have a back problem at the same vertebral space, both have a thyroid imbalance and on it goes. Although I have seen so many cases of shared human/pet disease ("Oh, it must run in the family," the owners joke!), these are the extreme cases where the energetic pattern has existed for so long in the household, it has eventually become manifest physically. (This concept is scientifically explainable, according to Einstein's laws of physics, which states that energy and matter at the quantum level are continually interchangeable).

Of course, too much woo is never enough, and the article continues (in the print edition only - not available online):

I have seen numerous animals who show allergies to the same substances as a child in the family. By using kinesiology, we can identify items to remove or desensitise to help the animal's allergy, but often the animal will not "be happy" or get better from the allergies until the child in the house with similar allergies has been desensitised or also removed from the influence of the allergic substance. [...] In energy terms, the dog "notifies" us that the family energy imbalance has returned to normal, by reflecting that in its own energy field by becoming symptom-free.

And here's her conclusion:

This is a very complex and magical occurence.

Yes, Dr Middle relies on magic to effect her "cures". How many of the 6 Mistakes Of Thinking can you identify in Dr Middle's arguments?

EoR feels, however, that this could be a breakthrough for doctors. No longer do you need to take a history, run tests, diagnose, prescribe and review. Just ask your patients what's wrong with their pets.


  1. There is a reasonable (non-magical, non-bastard physics) explanation why pets and owners may suffer similar maladies. It's called lifestyle. Lack of 'walkies': dog and owner become overweight - straining knee joints etc. Pets eat leftovers and share treats: diet-induced illnesses - diabetes, heart disease etc. Mum's mad on Baygon: more than cockroaches get twitchy. And so on...

  2. This could be a breakthrough for doctors. No longer do you need to take a history, run tests, diagnose, prescribe and review. Just ask your patients what's wrong with their pets.

    Then you're stuck depending on the competence of their veterinary care.

  3. Not really. The vets could easily get their diagnoses from the owner's ailments.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.