© Norman Sperling, December 8, 2011
In tradition and much testing, the practice of "acupuncture" includes the principle of "meridians". The same is true, unsurprisingly, of skeptics' analyses. A lot of those analyses end up confused, because, skeptical magazines report, they find a weak positive correlation for acupuncture, though strictly negative for meridians.
Skeptics conventionally address "claims". If they can discredit a component of the claim - like meridians - they consider the claim rejected. They consider "acupuncture" as a single claim.
But if you scrupulously separate out the components of tests, as reported in skeptical magazines, acupuncture appears to have some positive pain-killing effects, whereas meridians don't seem to mean anything. So, puncture works, acu doesn't.
I don't care what's claimed. I care how Nature works. The claims and their testing merely serve to supply more evidence of that. If "puncture" appears to be a mild analgesic, investigate if that can be used medically. If "meridians" are nonsense, say just that, without smearing something real and potentially useful.
If skeptics could swallow evidence contrary to their expectation, they'd demonstrate that Science is the standard, rather than rhetoric. The public would view skeptics as far more reasonable.