But I digress. I was about to tell you about the fact that I, too, practice complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM). I found this out while reading Kimball's lovely smackdown. Here's the passage that revealed all to me:
In addition to the ethical fallacy just discussed, there is another fallacy having to do with popularity: the methods in question aren’t very popular. In the medical literature, the typical article about an implausible health claim begins with the irrelevant and erroneous assertion that “34%” or “40%” or even “62%” (if you count prayer!) of Americans use ‘CAM’ each year. This is irrelevant because at issue is the claim in question, not ‘CAM’ in general. It is erroneous because ‘CAM’ in general is so vaguely defined that its imputed popularity has been inflated to the point of absurdity, as exemplified by the NCCAM’s attempt, in 2002, to include prayer (which it quietly dropped from the subsequent, 2007 survey results).
By these standards, I so totally do practice CAM! Yep, it's that slippery of a definition. Y'see, sometimes, when I feel like I might be coming down with a cold, but it might just be allergies or too much smoking instead, I run this little litany through my head: "I hope I'm not getting sick! I hope I'm not getting sick! I hope I'm not getting sick!" And sometimes, when I wish really hard I won't get sick, sometimes I don't get sick!!!
So imagine me getting surveyed:
Survey Person: Do you pray for wellness or healing?And that, my darlings, is one of the great many reasons why you should always treat the argumentum ad populum with grave suspicion.
Me [sarcastically]: Well, I'm an atheist, but I sometimes hope really hard.
SP: Great! We've got you down for prayer, then, you alt-med lover you!
Me: Wait, what? Hey! Come back here and erase that right now, you fucking bastard!
SP: [vanishes into the distance at a brisk run]
Just like you should butt reflexology. Or is that butt-print astrology (ass-trology!)? It's so hard to keep all this butt-related woo straight!