Woo and anti-woo are points of view

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Woo and anti-woo are points of view

Post by Abd » Thu Jan 09, 2020 8:44 pm

Came across this on WPO:
Re: Crap articles
Post by Vigilant » Thu Jan 09, 2020 12:38 am


Fitness Woo, pages and pages of unlikely claims, 89 references, no scientific validity to any of the claims, been around since 2002.

The name of Jesus used as an expression of contempt, very Vigilant. There was a response:
Well, it does have a classic WP caveat: "there remains no evidence that qigong has any therapeutic effect, as of 2016."
Very Wikipedian. That comment, at the end of the lede, has two sources. Once upon a time, ledes would be rigorously neutral, and needed no references, since whatever the lede asserts would be covered in the body, but generations of POV-pushing revert warriors changed that. The references for that statement do not support the text.

[2] "Tai Chi and Qi Gong: In Depth". National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, US National Institutes of Health. October 2016. Retrieved 13 July 2019. Tai chi and qi gong are centuries-old, related mind and body practices. They involve certain postures and gentle movements with mental focus, breathing, and relaxation.
[5] Lee MS, Oh B, Ernst E (2011). "Qigong for healthcare: an overview of systematic reviews". JRSM Short Rep. 2 (2): 1–5. doi:10.1258/shorts.2010.010091. PMC 3046559. PMID 21369525.

From source 2:
What the Science Says About the Effectiveness of Tai Chi and Qi Gong

Research findings suggest that practicing tai chi may improve balance and stability in older people and those with Parkinson’s, reduce pain from knee osteoarthritis, help people cope with fibromyalgia and back pain, and promote quality of life and mood in people with heart failure and cancer. There's been less research on the effects of qi gong, but some studies suggest it may reduce chronic neck pain (although results are mixed) and pain from fibromyalgia. Qi gong also may help to improve general quality of life.

Both also may offer psychological benefits, such as reducing anxiety. However, differences in how the research on anxiety was conducted make it difficult to draw firm conclusions about this.
Somehow that doesn't look like "no evidence" to me. And then source 5:
Ten systematic reviews were included. They related to a wide range of conditions. The primary studies and several of the reviews were associated with a high risk of bias. Five reviews concluded that qigong is effective and five reviews were inconclusive.
Again, this is not at all a statement that there is "no evidence." That kind of claim is common among pseudoskeptics. The reality is that there is evidence for many things, including things that we generally conclude are nonsense. In fringe fields, what is more accurate is that the evidence for a thing is not considered conclusive by some reviewer or by some set of people, who might be assumed to be experts. That source goes on:
The effectiveness of qigong is based mostly on poor quality research. Therefore, it would be unwise to draw firm conclusions at this stage.
The language is weird. The effectiveness of a thing is independent of the research on it. This must be translated to something like "Opinion that qigong is effective is based mostly on. . . " but that would also be defective, because people have opinions about qigong based on personal experience, which may be considered "poor quality research" though it is often the best guide we have in life.

In any case, the actual review found evidence for qigong being effective for some conditions, entirely the opposite of how the source is being used.

How does that kind of deceptive editing arise? Well, that sythesis expresses the beliefs of the most effective editorial faction. In general, the pseudoskeptical faction on Wikipedia is very strong, and they collaborate.

"Woo" in general is denied. Uniformly, the effect of mind is neglected. Anti-woo is largely a world view that is what might be called "harshly material." In that world view, does the smile of the Mona Lisa exist?

And this world view conflict has led to endless editorial conflict on Wikipedia, with the pseudoskeptics mostly prevailing. Recent reversion by Alexbrn, very recognizable as a pseudoskeptical editor, over text that is contradicted by both sources (including what Alexbrn was reverting). Does anyone notice? Does anyone care? Sure. People who know something about qigong would care and may periodically attempt to fix the article, and we all know what happens when they do.

The research apparently shows therapeutic effect, but this is confused with the theory of effect. A thing can have therapeutic effect while being rationalized by a theory of action that is utter nonsense. Or that we might think is utter nonsense! Science never makes conclusions like that, those are opinions.

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