Why chiropractors shouldn’t be “doctors”

DC’s Improbable Science points out, in a letter from an ex-chiropractor:

Two practices are of particular concern in some chiropractic offices and in my view; these alone should be sufficient reason to prevent chiropractors from calling themselves “doctor”. The first is the systematic and deliberate erosion of a person’s confidence in the medical system. Many offices have anti medical literature in their libraries. Chiropractors are sometimes taught practices to subvert medical credibility. See http://chirobase.org/20PB/top7.html for an example.

The second is a subset of the first but is particularly damaging. It is active opposition to vaccination. At chiropractic school, I was taught anti-vaccination information in my paediatrics course. I have seen books written by chiropractors opposing vaccination and I have seen many offices with anti vaccination leaflets and books in abundance. Now I am all for informed choice but this type of material is rarely accurate or balanced. People are being encouraged not to vaccinate their children by professionals who they believe to be a reliable and prestigious source of information.

What’s happening with H. floresiensis?

homo-floresiensis-skullI need a news feed for news on the discovery of and controversy about Homo floresiensis or ‘Flores woman.’

I think that the finders got the bones back, although somewhat damaged. See “Skullduggery” in Flores:

Homo floresiensis

A palaeontological mystery story

Dec 9th 2004
From The Economist print edition

STRANGE things are afoot in the saga of cousin Florence, the diminutive hominid announced to the world with much brouhaha in October. Homo floresiensis, to give the name that science has attached to her skeletal remains and those of six other individuals of the same species found in a cave on the Indonesian island of Flores, excited scientific interest not merely by being a new species of human, but by being one that flourished at the same time as Homo sapiens. The most recent of the seven fossils appears to date from a mere 13,000 years ago, well after Homo sapiens had passed through Indonesia on its way to Australia. But that, and other facts concerning the discovery, may now be hard to confirm because most of the remains have been borrowed by Teuku Jacob, a researcher at Gadjah Mada University in Jogjakarta, who was not involved in the original excavation.

This is rather irregular behaviour, and seems to contradict an agreement between the Indonesian and Australian institutions involved in the dig (the Centre for Archaeology in Jakarta, and the University of New England, in New South Wales) that the remains would be kept at the Centre for Archaeology, and made available for study by outside researchers. It might, however, not be anything to worry about if it were not for the fact that Dr Jacob, a doyen of Indonesian palaeoanthropology, has a reputation for sitting on specimens and preventing others from examining them. In the case of Homo floresiensis, it seems he was miffed that he was not involved in the original project, even though the idea of digging in Flores was not to find new species, but rather to look for evidence of exactly how and when humanity first arrived in Australia. Hence the involvement of Australian researchers. However, since Florence’s existence was announced in a paper in Nature, he has been trying to get in on the act. …

I’ve known people like that: information sinks.
But without access to the bones, there hasn’t been much new information.

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