Sunday 5 December 2010

Paul Dong's chi ontology

Interesting extract on the differences between "science" and "chi" here: I love the quote that:
Chi theory is an ontology, in which it is pointless to declare one’s belief or disbelief prior to understanding.
One particular extract caught my eye:
The differences between a living human being and a corpse are that the former has an EM field and movement (together called “bioenergy”) and neutral chemical acidity, whereas the latter lacks an EM field, does not move, and is highly acidic. Three possible implied explanations for the changes between the living and the dead can be stated in the form of propositions: (1) absence of bioenergy is an effect of altered biochemistry (the Western scientific proposition; (2) altered biochemistry and exhaustion of bioenergy are effects of a third factor; (3) altered biochemistry is an effect of exhaustion of bioenergy (the Chinese scientific proposition).
This is effectively talking about cause and effect, with the hypothesis that Western science thinks A causes B and Chinese thinking is that B causes A. Paul Dong seems to argue that only the Chinese version is logically consistent. But to my mind, he seems to be missing a fourth possibility, that it is really a chicken and egg situation and an emergent self reinforcing phenomenon. In this model there would be a feedback relationship and so each one causes the other, and hence both would be correct. Anyway, I should really read the book before commenting further.

1 comment:

  1. Although slightly longer in their book (this quote is from a website) Trick or Treatment this what Professor Edzard Ernst and Simon Singh had to say about Tai Chi.


    Approaches that use regular movements for improving health and wellbeing. Traditional forms include tai chi (China) and yoga (India).

    Modern variations include Pilates, which integrates breathing, proper body mechanics and strengthening exercises, as well as stabilising the pelvis and trunk.

    Although there is less research into alternative exercises than into common sports or physiotherapy, some encouraging conclusions have started to emerge. For example, yoga, which encompasses a whole lifestyle including diet and meditation, has been shown to be effective in reducing cardiovascular risks.

    Tai chi improves balance, prevents falls in the elderly, enhances cardiovascular fitness, increases joint flexibility, prevents osteoporosis in post-menopausal women and improves quality of life in patients suffering from chronic heart failure.

    There is, however, no significant evidence that alternative exercise therapies convey any additional benefits compared to many forms of conventional exercise.

    A well-trained, experienced tutor is important, as alternative exercise therapies can carry the sort of risks associated with any exercise that puts the body under strain.