MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

I woke up the other morning and thought that this blog might be in need of a bit of interactive fun. All these long discussions about evidence, science claims and counter-claims are important, of course, but they can be a bit tedious at times. Often the quality of the evidence, the audacity of the bogus claims and the idiocy of the discussions are such that spontaneously I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry. On reflection, however, it must be better to laugh and to make fun. Therefore I have decided to try out this new feature and, with my readers’ help, it might become a regular distraction.

The only thing you can do wrong with ‘ALTERNATIVE TRUTHS FROM ANOTHER PLANET’ is to take them seriously. Nothing that I intend to publish here has all that much to do with reality (just like alternative medicine, you might say).

My hope is that readers of this blog cotton on to the idea and send me their own AT FAPs via email. I will consider publishing anything that is short, funny, inoffensive and somehow related to alternative medicine. Please do send me your bizarre ideas, odd dreams, worst nightmares, absurd pranks, childish hoaxes etc. To get the ball rolling, I try three little AT FAPs below.

AT FAP No 1

DUTCHY ORIGINALS SET TO BECOME MAJOR PLAYER IN THE CAR INDUSTRY

Prince Charles has announced today that his firm ‘Dutchy Originals’ is venturing into the automobile industry. Engineers from his ‘Foundation for Integrated Technology’ have succeeded in developing a car that works entirely on homeopathic principles. “It is all very simple” the Prince explained “normal petrol gets diluted and succussed until it has reached the right potency. Our modified combustion engine has been adapted such that it runs on the homeopathic petrol”. The Dutchy Originals Homeobil 1 (DOH1), as the first model is to be called, will be available for sale later this year. Experts expect it will be a worldwide success, not least because it will do ~1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 to one millionth of a gallon of petrol. “It’ll be good for the planet” Clarence House stated.

AT FAP No 2

ALTERNATIVE PRACTITIONER FOUND GUILTY OF MURDER

The jury did not have to deliberate for longer than an hour; the case could not have been more clear-cut, even though the defendant, Martin W., never actually admitted his guilt. He did, however, state disliking his mother in law and threatening her on numerous occasions. The court heard how Martin W. had trained as a Feng Shui expert and, once he had mastered the skill of furniture-rearranging to a sufficiently high degree of sophistication, had deliberately moved several items of furniture in her Clapham flat. As a consequence, her chi-energy had violently collided with the dimensions more powerful cosmic chi. Apparently the mother in law’s death was instantaneous. In his defence, Martin W. had claimed that he had moved the couch and the mirror simply on aesthetic grounds. But the prosecutions’ expert witness and president of the ‘International Association of Feng Shui and Chi Consultants’ supplied scientific evidence showing that the furniture arrangement was a classic case of death by an excess of kidney-chi. Martin W. is expected to receive a life-sentence.

AT FAP No 3

BREAKTHROUGH IN ACUPUNCTURE RESEARCH

Chinese researchers from the ‘Institute for Advanced Meridian Studies’ in Beijing have solved a puzzle that had baffled TCM-researchers and hindered progress for centuries. Acupuncturists believe life-energy runs in minute channels throughout the body; they call them MERIDIANS. But there was a significant problem: nobody had ever shown that MERIDIANS actually exist and where exactly they are located. Now Prof X Chen et al have published a paper in the highly reputed science journal ‘Advances in Meridian Studies’ (Editor in chief: Prof X Chen) which seems to solve this problem once and for all. In the lengthy article, the researchers describe their recent visit to the US which took them through Alabama and Mississippi. “And there it was”, they write, “right in front of our eyes”. It turns out that MERIDIAN is a city of eastern Mississippi near the Alabama border, east of Jackson. “Of course, this is only one and we need more”, said the exited Chen to our reporter, “but this was just a ‘proof of principle study’, and we very much expect to find further MERIDIANS in a parallel universe.

6 Responses to Alternative truths from another planet (AT FAPs): part one

  • Great idea.
    My contribution is on the way….

  • Well we will remember from geography lessons that a meridian is in fact a Lin on the earth’s surface. Extending from the North Pole to the South Pole. Further research by use of Wikipaedia tells us. That there are in. Facet sixteen towns and townships in the US by the name of Meridian. Each of these will lie on its own meridian so we will now have sixteen Meridian meridians. We will henceforward dub these “Supermerdians”. Further research is required into the location of points along these…….

  • Today marks the third anniversary of the Faith in Science Prayer group. Founded by Prof. Professor, a Teesside based mathematics lecturer ‘It started out as a gathering and forum for like-minded people with a profound, if slightly inflexible, belief in the scientific method in medicine. Then the tautology became quite overwhelming and we ended up holding a prayer-based healing circle for those most badly affected by sudden, painful broadening of the mind as a result of self-contradictory mental processes. We have the most amazing results, those crippled with dogma walking, people blinded by science able to see. It’s all callipers and unemployed Labradors after one of our groups. Fantastic. But it’s… just….placebo. Or something….. Not statistically relevant….. Probably….
    help me.’

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