Re: Bad news for endangered species
"The real question though, is whether real acupuncture and / or placebo acupuncture are better than no acupuncture at all"
No it isn't. Any intervention will have an effect, either placebo or nocebo. Acupuncture is an intervention and will have an effect. Due to how acupuncture is usually presented, it will probably be placebo. Even talking to someone has an effect. Cheer them up, they feel better; "Laughter is the best medicine" as they say.
This does not mean that you can speak magic words that heal people. It's the placebo effect again!
"If they ARE better than no acupuncture"
See above. They would have to be better than placebo. Also, we'd have to have some idea what was going on. It's not going to be chi, chakras or any of that. That is all bullshit.
"find out by what mechanism the acupuncture IS working"
It probably isn't, it's probably placebo.
"instead of ignoring it (or calling it bullshit) because it isn't better than a placebo"
It claims to operate by a mechanism that is unknown to modern science, does not seem to have a theoretical model which can be tested and has been shown to be no better than a placebo. Looks like bullshit, smells like bullshit and you know what? It's probably bullshit.