9 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Another Fringe Medicine Mind Boggler,
This review is from: Quantum-Integral Medicine: Towards a New Science of Healing and Human Potential (Hardcover)
If you have enjoyed books such as Deepak Chopra's "Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine" (1989), Amit Goswami's "The Quantum Doctor: A Physicist's Guide to Health and Healing" (2004), or Gary Zukav's "Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics" (2001), then I predict you will like Michael Wayne's more-of-the-same "Quantum Integral Medicine."
I found Michael Wayne's writing style to be articulate and easy to read. He has woven his thesis using the yarns of other writers--quotations of famous scientists, mystics, doctors, philosophers, and popular writers--all properly referenced in end-of-chapter notes and in an extensive bibliography.
To clarify my remarks here, I use the word "medicine" to denote the science of diagnosing, treating, or preventing disease--with emphasis upon "science." In my opinion, Chinese medicine and acupuncture do not qualify as medicine as they are not founded upon science.
Throughout "Quantum Integral Medicine," I found myself frustrated and wondering: "Well, if it were even true, what is the point? How could these ideas apply to human well-being?"
For example, Michael Wayne argues that a serious shortcoming of scientific medicine--biomedicine, as he calls it--is medicine's stubborn refusal to embrace a worldview of complexity. He claims that because the modus operandi of viruses lies within the world of complexity, medicine will never find a cure for the common cold by applying a reductionist viewpoint. I could not find in his book, however, so much as a hint of how complexity theory might lead to a cure for the common cold. What is his point?
Michael Wayne has much to say about Godel's Incompleteness Theorem. This theorem proves that no axiomatic system can be both consistent and complete. That is, if such a system is consistent, then there must necessarily be some theorems within it that can neither be proved nor disproved. We're talking about a characteristic of formal logic systems such as arithmetic or number theory. Michael Wayne seems to have concluded that Godel's Incompleteness Theorem somehow flaws medicine's use of logic in reaching understanding and truth. That conclusion, in my opinion, is absolutely unfounded and nonsensical. Again, I fail to see his point.
Michael Wayne goes on to present his overview of Einstein's theory of relativity, quantum theory, and complexity theory. Unfortunately, only the shallowest understanding of those fields can be conveyed by words alone. True understanding requires the mathematics, the physics background, and serious study. Does it even matter whether the reader understands those theories? Michael Wayne fails to show me how any of those subjects is relevant in preserving our health and well-being. What is the point of that tutorial?
In my opinion, Michael Wayne composes extraordinary snow jobs followed by unsupportable conclusions that promote his fringe notions. In my opinion, the real purpose of the book is to attract future clients and disciples. Within his book, he has advertised himself as a practitioner of quantum-integral medicine, acupuncture, and as a Chinese herbalist. For the reader's convenience, he has included his Website URL and his e-mail address. Michael Wayne offers training, certification programs, and more.
Michael Wayne's book disturbs me. I abhor the idea of selling pseudoscience to gullible people who would be willing, at their peril, to substitute science fiction for the authentic medical care that they may need.
Ironically, I must applaud Michael Wayne for exhorting his readers to use more of their human potential capabilities and to expand their worldviews. I would add this advice: Forget the cosmic connections, plant your feet here on this familiar earth, open your eyes to the evidence around you, and educate yourself about evidence-based science and medicine.
Science-based medicine has made, and continues to make, enormous advances. Today's medicine is founded on an unprecedented understanding of the healthy human body, and how it survives, protects, preserves, and heals itself. Avail yourself! That's my point.
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Initial post: Dec 3, 2006 9:10:29 AM PST
P. G. Wolff says:
The reviewer's (Robert E. Welcyng) remarks are based on "authority" not science. The "authority" of a specific intelectual theoretical framework through which physical evidence is interpreted. If the reviewer were judging from a scientific framework he would not have said the following:
-- quote -- To clarify my remarks here, I use the word "medicine" to denote the science of diagnosing, treating, or preventing disease--with emphasis upon "science." In my opinion, Chinese medicine and acupuncture do not qualify as medicine as they are not founded upon science. -- end quote --
For example, acupuncture "works" in that it causes physically observable changes in the human body, one side effect of which is the impedence of certain kinds of pain. This has been shown repeatedly in experimental work by researchers in the western tradition of science.
Because we can't easily determine a plausible mechanism that easily fits into our modern mechanistic world view does not mean that the topic in question is "unscientific".
The basis of the scientific method is to observe, experiment, hypothesize and then experiment again. In this sense Chinese medicine is indeed scientific.
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