Acupuncture: A Science-Based Assessment
Robert Slack, Jr., Eugenie V. Mielczarek
June 10, 2010
Center for Inquiry position paper determines that acupuncture has become increasingly embedded within the American healthcare system, despite mounting empirical evidence against it.
In recent decades, public interest in acupuncture has grown dramatically. Proponents of acupuncture repeatedly make the unjustified claim that acupuncture is an efficacious and cost effective complement to conventional medicine. These claims rely on dubious and discredited research data. During the past ten years, however, an increasingly robust body of research has accumulated showing that acupuncture has no intrinsic clinical value. Despite mounting empirical evidence against it, however, acupuncture has become increasingly embedded within the American healthcare system, in part through government funding of integrative medical clinics. The Center for Inquiry's position paper on acupuncture, written by Robert Slack, Jr., offers compelling evidence that the uncritical adoption of acupuncture adds significant costs to the United States' already overburdened healthcare system, lowers standards of medical training and treatment, and lends dangerous and undue authority to pseudoscience, ultimately degrading respect for science in the public realm.