Philosophers nowadays recognize that there is no sharp line dividing sense from nonsense, and moreover that doctrines starting out in one camp may over time evolve into the other....This seems so patently obvious to me — and, I'm guessing, to you — so why the longish column in the NYT? One thing is that the Times already ran a column on "The Enigma of Chinese Medicine" that said "that some traditional Chinese remedies (like drinking fresh turtle blood to alleviate cold symptoms) may in fact work, and therefore should not be dismissed as pseudoscience." And take a look at the comments by NYT readers. For example:
The borderlines between genuine science and pseudoscience may be fuzzy, but this should be even more of a call for careful distinctions, based on systematic facts and sound reasoning. To try a modicum of turtle blood here and a little aspirin there is not the hallmark of wisdom and even-mindedness. It is a dangerous gateway to superstition and irrationality.
This article could easily have been written one hundred years ago. It's full of adverse assumptions about various therapeutic methodologies. It lumps the clearly dubious, like astrology, with demonstrably useful modalities, like acupuncture or TCM ((Traditional Chinese Medicine). It implicitly condemns qi as an unverifiable methodology, which it is not. It assumes that telepathy is in the dubious category, which, at this late date, it is certainly not. The overall problem, and irritant, in this article, is the authors' revealed ignorance of the extensive respectable literature on the validity of the modalities, methodologies, and phenomena they disparage....I'm feeling an irritant and it's not the authors' revealed ignorance of the extensive respectable literature.