Appeal to History or Tradition


The appeal to history or tradition is a logical fallacy. It posits that because something is either old or has always been that way, then it must therefore have a ring of truth to it. it is often used by alternative medical practitioners to justify their use of non evidenced treatments

You may hear claims such as 'Ancient Chinese medicine', or that a treatment that has 'been used for centuries'; or hear terms such as 'folk remedies' to make them sound respectable and comforting. But you should always be aware of this trick. Being old does not make it correct. Medicine advances as new information is discovered. What may have worked in the past has often been superseded with better ways of doing things.

Beware of alternative medicine being marketed in this way. You will likely hear it sometimes termed 'Traditional medicine' or 'Home remedies'. Where modern medicine is expensive or not easily available, this sort of treatment is often marketed to people desperate for something to help them.