A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions

 

From Abracadabra to Zombies | View All

yin and yang

The established laws of nature do not support Oriental Medicine’s claim of Yin and Yang and Five-Phases Theory. Oriental Medicine’s main theory was constructed when our civilization had limited methods to understand our surroundings, and as such, it is only an ancient illusion. — Yong-Sang Yoo, MD, PhD, Chairman of the Committee for Medical Unification, Korean Medical Association, 2010

yinyang symbolAccording to traditional Chinese philosophy, yin and yang are the two primal cosmic principles of the universe. Yin is the passive, female principle. Yang is the active, masculine principle. According to legend, the Chinese emperor Fu Hsi claimed that the best state for everything in the universe is a state of harmony represented by a balance of yin and yang. Unsurprisingly, legend has it that, according to Fu Hsi, true harmony requires yang to be dominant. It's just the nature of things.

In classical Chinese, yin and yang refer to the shady and sunny sides of a hill or valley.

See also acupuncture, chi, I Ching, koro, and macrobiotics.


further reading

new Oriental Medicine: a Tall Tale of Outdated Lore by Ben Kavoussi "....responsible physicians, scientists, and public health officials in the West should follow the momentum created by Yong Sang Yoo and Zhang Gongyao in Asia, and call for an end to the licensing of Oriental Medicine practitioners. The modalities and the rationale used by these practitioners are almost identical to the ones we abandoned centuries ago. As George Ulett, MD, PhD, wrote in 2003, it is a “travesty that in this time of scientific evidence-based medicine,” treatments based on archaic thinking are given to unsuspecting patients." [/new]

Where does the Yin Yang Symbol come from?

Last updated 14-Aug-2012

yin-yang in Skeptic's Dictionary for kids

Snake Oil Science
Are you a sucker for placebo medicine?

Science Meets Alternative Medicine

Innumeracy
Why do things always happen in threes to people who can't count?

The Skeptic's Shop

The Skeptic's Bookstore

OTHER LANGUAGES

Print versions available in Dutch, Russian, Japanese, and Korean.

© Copyright 1994-2012 Robert T. Carroll * This page was designed by Cristian Popa.