Democratic Senator Tom Harkin is the pol who pushed a major “alternative medicine” proposal through congress that led to the formation of the NCCAM, a hotbed of government-sponsored quackery. He now regrets the effort, but for all the wrong reasons. It’s hard to imagine a more damning statement that reveals an utter ignorance of how science should work than this one:
Sen. Tom Harkin, the proud father of the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, told a Senate hearing on Thursday that NCCAM had disappointed him by disproving too many alternative therapies.
“One of the purposes of this center was to investigate and validate alternative approaches. Quite frankly, I must say publicly that it has fallen short,” Harkin said.
The senator went on to lament that, since its inception in 1998, the focus of NCCAM has been “disproving things rather than seeking out and approving things.”
Skeptics have complained all along that Harkin and his allies founded this office to promote alternative therapies at public expense, not to test them scientifically. Harkin’s statement at the hearing explicitly confirms that hypothesis.
He’s unhappy because the research didn’t give him the answer he wanted. Does he think science is a magic wishing well?
Maybe we need to establish a new political party, the Rationalists, to replace both the Democrats and Republicans. It would be a wonderful idea, but I fear it would never get more than 0.001% of the American vote.