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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2004
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Claim CB365:

A treatment for certain back conditions, Williams flexion exercises, recommended decreasing lordosis as much as possible. It was based on evolutionary theory, specifically that humans evolved from quadrupeds and that back problems are a result of our new upright posture. This treatment protocol often impeded healing and caused great pain. Robin McKenzie's exercises, which recommended restoring normal lordosis (anterior convexity of the spine), are much more effective.


Bergman, Jerry, 2001. Back problems: how Darwinism misled researchers. TJ 15(3): 79-84.


  1. Williams' treatment for back pain was not based on evolutionary theory. It was based on observations of normal people and people with back pain. Part of his rationale was that people from African and Asian cultures who sat on the floor had less back pain than Westerners with their chairs.

    Furthermore, Williams did not recommend decreasing lordosis all the time, but only in cases of posterior disc bulging. It was already well known that anything which interfered with the spine's normal curvature, increasing or decreasing it, tended to cause pain. As even Bergman acknowledges, the Williams flexion exercises are beneficial in cases of spinal stenosis.

  2. Mackenzie's exercises were more effective because they were simple and required no special equipment, so patient compliance was much greater.


Smythe, Vivienne, 2003. Re:"Back problems: how Darwinism misled researchers" Message-ID <>, (17 July),
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created 2003-7-28, modified 2003-9-1