Jejudo, South Korea
Oops! I'm not sure Stephen would accept those points (but you never know).
On ball lightning: there is a phenomenon, it's just not lightning. We aren't fully sure what it is or if it is more than one phenomenon but something like it has been produced in the laboratory.
On acupuncture: Again, something happens. What exactly happens or, more importantly, why it does what it does is unknown. The Chinese studies here are unreliable (They have a hundred percent success rate!), but I think in its own small way might actually be beneficial. I do not think that the traditional causal description of acupuncture is accurate. I have a bias here though as I've known two very nice people who were doctors in this field (and would make sure that the people you go to are in fact professionals -- it takes just as long to become a professional in this field as it does to become a Western doctor).
Much more promising is herbal medicine and I worked on a project many years ago (I'm not a doctor, I worked on the translation) to bring a closer understanding between Western medicine and Asian herbal remedies. The problem is that the causal descriptions are still in traditional Chinese cosmological models and you're right we have no analog for this. That doesn't mean these description are different but useful, it means these descriptions are useless.
There have been some successes on herbal efficacy here but it looks like we're still going to have to do it the hard way. One step at a time, controlled experiments, repeatability, and the rest.
On Qi? Um, no. The term is too vague, charlatanism is rampant (TV shows where someone shakes his hands and people fall down sort of charlatanism), and means different things to different people. I've argued that Qi doesn't mean some sort of hidden energy, it just means energy (its complement is ri or principle or Natural Law).
They don't treat broad spectrum disease categories as we do over here
True, they treat the symptom, not the disease.
The research simply tests one broad spectrum set of acupuncture points for a western disease entity against the western treatment for the same entity
This, I agree, is far more difficult than it sounds. But the descriptions are still causal. It can still be tested.
By the way, I assumed you meant our descriptions of disease by "western disease entity". Unfortunately, not everybody believes that. Yes, there are a few over here who believe that there are Western diseases and Eastern diseases.
How can I bring this together with the other parts of the thread?
Well, few people deny that something like religious experience does happen. During a meditation session in Japan, something happened to me. I also had what felt like an out of body experience when I was an undergraduate.
What we disagree on is the description, the cause, of these events.