Science and the Church

MS writes: “If western science shows that practices such as chiropractic, etc work, will the practices become ok to use?”

The Church does not approve or disapprove of a practice based solely on its scientific efficacy, but also on its compatibility with revealed Truth.  Irregardless of whether something “works”, if it does so based on a reliance upon occult powers, for instance (i.e., “life force energy” or psychic powers) it would not be approved of for use by the Church.

Science may, however, discover that a practice works for reasons other than the various mystical philosophies with which it is associated, which might then change the way the Church rules on the use of a particular practice.

For instance, science is currently studying acupuncture with a belief that it may work because of the release of endorphins which are part of the body’s natural pain-control system; by stimulation of nerves in the spinal cord that release pain suppressing neurotransmitters; or by the naturally occurring increase in blood flow in puncture areas that remove toxic substances.

It does not believe that it works for the reasons put forth in Chinese Traditional Medicine which asserts that the insertion of needles at certain locations on the body, known as meridians or energy pathways, helps to balance the flow of “qi”. There is simply no evidence that “qi” even exists, let alone that it infuses the body in such a way that it can be balanced by the insertion of needles.

The Church currently associates acupuncture with the New Age, but it may rule differently if science determines that its course of action is due to the normal function of the body rather than to the occult forces with which it is presently associated.
 

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