Re: Bad news for endangered species
"My point is more about aggressive dismissal such as the kind you are showing, rather then keeping an open mind and investigating with modern techniques."
I have an open mind, just not so open that my brains fall out. Some alt-med is bullshit and should be dismissed as such. It's the same with many things, some ideas are just so outlandish that they can and should be ignored. Until, of course, actual evidence shows up (see below).
"If uneducated camel riders realised that rubbing the mould from saddles onto their sores helped, just because it was not tested in a scientific way doesn't make it quackery."
That makes it anecdote. When people start to claim that it'll cure cancer or whatever (and that does happen) that makes it quackery. When the claims that underpin the "cure" seem to be at odds with the general understanding of science that that too is probably quackery until proven otherwise (see below) .
In your above example two questions arise. Is is the mould or the rubbing? If one of the other, why? Let's say it's the mould. What are the active compounds? Why do they work? Can they be purified/synthesised? Are there other chemicals that might do something similar? What are the risks? Can it cause infection or an allergic reaction? Answer all that and not only will you have a range of treatments for saddle sore, but probably all sorts of leisons. And that is why we need the evidence. Not hearsay.
"One form of quackery IMHO is the absolute belief that only one method, or thing is right (kinda like religion) which personally I think science isn't about."
But there is only one method, and it is brutally simple: does the evidence support the theory? End of discussion. Actual science requires evidence, testable theories etc. And, of course, science will change its mind when new evidence arises. Unlike religion. Science is "right" because it has the evidence to back it up. It even has the evidence to back-up its evidence! That's all that matters. Evidence.
"In 100 years time who knows they might be laughing at your comments and techniques the same way as you are doing of others!"
Maybe. And you know what? We'll have the evidence for why things changed. But I can guarantee you that we will still have drugs companies and we will not be inserting magic quantum crystals up our butts. Or any other quack alt-med you care to pick.
And one final point. Just because one extract from one herb that happens to be used in Traditional Chinese Medicine does not validate the entirety of Traditional Chinese Medicine or any other ingredients they may happen to use. Why? Because there is not evidence. And when there is evidence we will no longer call it "Traditional Chinese Medicine" but just "medicine".
It really is that simple.