Article claiming acupuncture on parents would treat their kids through quantum entanglement has been retracted

Last year a Beijing doctor said he was “speechless” after reading a study.

The study in question, published in Chinese Acupuncture & Moxibustion in 2017, was titled “Discussion on quantum entanglement theory and acupuncture.” Dr. Zeng, the Beijing doctor, was among a number of critics quoted in September 2018 by What’s On Weibo, which reports on social media happenings in China:

To suggest that when children fall ill, their parents just need to undergo some acupuncture and they’ll be fine, because there is ‘quantum entanglement’ (量子纠缠) among blood kins – saying that acupuncture on the parents is equal to acupuncture on the children -, this is really serious. According to this theory, we might as well cancel pediatrics.

It was not pediatrics that was canceled, however. The paper has been retracted and has disappeared, although we don’t quite know why. According to a scant retraction notice published on PubMed:

The article “Discussion on quantum entanglement theory and acupuncture” (doi: 10.13703/j.0255-2930.2017.11.026, published in Zhongguo Zhen Jiu 2017,37(11):1233-1237) has some defects, and the author of the article proposes to withdraw the manuscript. According to the retraction provisions of our journal, it is considered that the author’s application complies with the relevant provisions and our journal agrees to withdraw the draft.

We’ve been unable to find contact information for the authors of the study, who are based at Beijing’s Dongzhimen Hospital and the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine.

Wen Yan Qi, writing in Waonews last year, said:

If you can browse the paper entitled “On Quantum Entanglement and Acupuncture”, it is not difficult to find that there are many places that do not conform to scientific logic. The author applies the concept of quantum entanglement, which is called “the phenomenon of quantum interaction in the system”, to the mother and son who were once a “whole” and uses the phenomenon of “telepathy” which has not been scientifically proven as evidence to prove the viewpoint that “mutual treatment of acupuncture and moxibustion by relatives” is effective. On the whole, the paper seems to be “justified”, but it is actually the result of “changing concepts” and “copying rigidly”.

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3 thoughts on “Article claiming acupuncture on parents would treat their kids through quantum entanglement has been retracted”

    1. The gatekeeper function is performed by peer review. Pubmed is only an index. It should not be taking additional functions that are already provided by others.

  1. This sort of nonsense is not much of a problem, simply because it is so obviously nonsense. In fact, it arguably serves a useful purpose, by illustrating just how ineffective peer-review is, at separating wheat from chaff.

    The larger problem is papers and studies which sound reasonable, but are nevertheless wrong — i.e., most of them:

    Why Most Published Research Findings Are False, by John P. A. Ioannidis, 2005. PLoS Med 2(8): e124. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124.

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