I stumbled across an article in the Israeli newspaper Haaraetz indicating that Council for Higher Education, the national accrediting body for higher education, has declined to permit complementary and alternative medicine programs to offer academic degrees. According to the article:
“[the Council] rejected several requests on the matter, saying there was no scientific basis for the practice…’Almost all studies show clearly that there is no scientific basis for alternative medicine,’ the council said yesterday.
While conceding that the various health maintenance organizations operate extensive alternative medicine treatment programs, they said ‘from that to academization is a very long way.'”
What a refreshing application of reason and science to a policy decision. The council recognized that CAM is widely practiced in Israel but rejected the argument of a subcommittee that it is better to legitimize it by accrediting the CAM education programs in order to somehow control the “quality” of the CAM offered. That argument makes little sense since it is pointless to ensure only the highest quality nonsense can be granted the imprimatur of a college degree. A PhD in astrology is just as meaningless as an unaccredited degree in the subject.
It would be nice to imagine such a level of common sense could one day apply to the accreditation process in smaller, less developed nations with less sophisticated educational systems, like the U.S. But I don’t imagine we’ll see that any time soon.