On this blog, we had many chiropractors commenting that their profession is changing fast and the old ‘philosophy’ is a thing of the past. But are these assertions really true? This survey might provide an answer. A questionnaire was sent to chiropractic students in all chiropractic programs in Australia and New Zealand. It explored student viewpoints about the identity, role/scope, setting, and future of chiropractic practice as it relates to chiropractic education and health promotion. Associations between the number of years in the program, highest degree preceding chiropractic education, institution, and opinion summary scores were evaluated by multivariate analysis of variance tests.

A total of 347 chiropractic students participated. For identity, most students (51.3%) hold strongly to the traditional chiropractic theory but also agree (94.5%) it is important that chiropractors are educated in evidence-based practice. The main predictor of student viewpoints was a student’s chiropractic institution. Chiropractic institution explained over 50% of the variance around student opinions about role/scope of practice and approximately 25% for identity and future practice.

The authors concluded that chiropractic students in Australia and New Zealand seem to hold both traditional and mainstream viewpoints toward chiropractic practice. However, students from different chiropractic institutions have divergent opinions about the identity, role, setting, and future of chiropractic practice, which is most strongly predicted by the institution. Chiropractic education may be a potential determinant of chiropractic professional identity, raising concerns about heterogeneity between chiropractic schools.

Traditional chiropractic theory is, of course, all the palmereque nonsense about ‘95% of all diseases are caused by subluxations of the spine’ etc. And evidence-based practice means knowing that subluxations are a figment of the chiropractic imagination.

Imagine a physician who believes in evidence and, at the same time, in the theory of the 4 humours determining our health.

Imagine a geologist thinking that the earth is flat and also spherical.

Imagine a biologist subscribing to both creationism and evolution.

Imagine a surgeon earning his livelihood with blood-letting and key-hole surgery.

Imagine a doctor believing in vital energy after having been taught physiology.

Imagine an airline pilot considering the use of flying carpets.

Imagine a chemist engaging in alchemy.

Imagine a Brexiteer who is convinced of doing the best for the UK.

Imagine a homeopath who thinks he practices evidence-based medicine.

Imagine a plumber with a divining rod.

Imagine an expert in infectious diseases believing is the miasma theory.

Imagine a psychic hoping to use her skills for winning a fortune on the stock market.


Once you have imagined all of these situations, I fear, you might know (almost) all worth knowing about chiropractic.

16 Responses to Chiropractors seem to believe that the earth is both flat and spherical

  • Imagine a plumber with a divining rod.
    This may not be all that unlikely. I remember reading, perhaps in the Guardian, describing that some of the English water companies were sending out technicians armed with a diving rod.

    It may be that some of the students manage to compartmentalize the two different approaches and never realize that they are diametrically opposed.

    It’s a bit like the famous double conspiracy theory where where Diana, Princess of Wales was murdered by the British intelligence services and she is still alive.

    Humm, I wonder if chiropractors are prone to conspiracy theories.

  • Well, recognizing plumbers are on a par with chiropractors in terms of healthcare knowledge that is an apt comparison. A divining rod is very similar to an Activator excepting the divining rod is based on relatively sound science…that is when compared to chiropractic.

  • Imagine a psychic hoping to use her skills for winning a fortune on the stock market.

    You could change that to:

    Imagine fund managers using their skills for winning a fortune on the stock market.

  • Flat AF… No measurable evidence of any curvature.

  • Disappointing to see Brexit feature amongst the sound scientific examples listed. Brexit is to do with politics, the law and economics, none of which has the objectivity of science.

  • All your other examples appear to be science-based, inasmuch as they would require weird science to work.

  • That might be true, but is economics in any sense a science?

  • From all of the responses from chiros on this blog, show one, one will do, that shows they are rational. I won’t hold my breath.

  • Mr. Epstein suckers $88.00 out of his ‘marks’ for his pseudo-professional scamming….so regarding pecuniary stuff chiroquakers could be said to be extremely rational….or at least able to rationalize extremely.

  • My experiences as a chiropractic student over 20 years ago mirror these findings. There was a strong emphasis on both science and philosophy, despite the fact that the science often contradicted the philosophy. So there were many clever instructors and students who found ways to merge them. It is like religious scientists trying to merge the ideas of creationism with evolution and the Big Bang.

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