I find it rather disappointing sometimes how most atheists dispel statements/beliefs/arguments simply because the scientific research has not proven it. It's one thing for research to conclusively prove something but if the research is not there, it does not mean that it's not true. I've come across this a number of times in medicine and I'd like to share one of those examples.

 

When my oldest daughter was younger, she was in and out of hospitals. This placed a great deal of stress on myself and my wife. One day I started to see dark areas in my eyesight and went to the doctor. My doctor was a little shocked (don't you hate it when they don't hide their feelings too well and you of course think the worst). Anyway, he sent me to an eye specialist who told me that due to the stress I was under, a protective film in the back of my eye had deteriorated and was in the process of breaking down. This is an irreversible process that I could do nothing about.

 

Great, thanks for the diagnosis, doc. I immediately went to my naturopath who quite matter-of-factly told me she would fix it in 3 months. Sure enough, 3 months later, after taking all my anti-oxidant tablets, my eyesight cleared up. So much for irreversible.

 

This is a small example, that I have seen repeated many times with others around me. Clearly it is not in the interests of the multibillion dollar drug companies to conduct clinical trials of cheap off-the-shelf vitamin tablets that are capable of curing our diseases. Science is profits-driven. Today, great advances in science occur when large amounts of money are involved (or large amounts of people need to be killed). Sometimes, money is spent on science that has little or no monetary return (space program, CERN LHC, etc. Some of these things are driven by fear, some a dick-measuring exercises (ie Europe can say it now has a bigger collider than the USA). But basically, it comes down to scientific endeavour being undertaken by flawed individuals and driven by possible financial returns.

 

Then of course there are the scientific "studies" which are designed to show a desired outcome funded by big $$$. I'm old enough to remember the debate on the detrimental effects of cigarette smoking. Did anyone believe the scientific studied funded by the cigarette companies? You would be surprised!!! Today we have a similar debate on the detrimental effects of mobile phone usage. Finally some studies are coming out now that show the relationship between mobile phone usage and brain tumours on the side of the brain that the phone is used. Duh!

 

Just as there are lies, damn lies and statistics, the same applies to science. It is a tool that can be misused for nefarious purposes and when there is human nature and money involved, it usually is misused.

 

So, don't believe it just because a scientific study has shown it to be so and don't not believe something just because there are no scientific studies.

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ah g'dole money laundering through the 'institution' channels...

Scripps, Bush-funded... do the math? there is no math when it's all about nepotism...greed, race, creed, indeed.

 

"when there is human nature and money involved, it usually is misused"

 really?

ah g'dole money laundering through the 'institution' channels...

Scripps, Bush-funded... do the math? there is no math when it's all about nepotism...greed, race, creed, indeed.

 

"when there is human nature and money involved, it usually is misused"

 really?

The logical fallacy you've bought into is called "post hoc, ergo propter hoc."  B follows A, therefore A caused B.  It ain't necessarily so, which is why scientists test things under controlled conditions and why they duplicate each other's experiments. 

Really, there's a lot of possible explanations here, starting with: your doctor was right and there was nothing you could do except wait for it to go away, which it did.  Anti-oxidant treatment had nothing to do with it.  Or: your doctor mis-diagnosed it and it went away on its own.  If tests show no consistent correlation, and there is no known mechanism causing the desired effect, the only reason to believe is because you want to.

What you're saying is don't believe science, just believe one case under uncontrolled conditions.  Science is profit-driven but naturopathy isn't?

Your critical thinking skills need serious work.

Yes, there is alot of bad junk science out there.

As a scientist myself, I have been placed in the awkward possition of being ordered to bias my results for the benifit of a client (which I refused of course).

Scientific data can often be misinterprated, errors made, or just plan lies! But, peer review in science is tough and bad, junk, or fake "science" is always revealed sooner or later.

Science is not perfect, but the Scientific Method is still the most powerful tool known to understand the universe around us.

 

Never make the mistake in assuming a scientific study is the absolute truth. It's only ONE study.

If it's robust, it can be reproduced by any other scientist anywhere else in the world and they will get the same results (+ or - a given limit, such as detection or quantitation or population limit).

 

The press is notorious for helping spread bad science into our minds, and perpetuating a false ideal of how science works (or doesnt).

Also, folks tend to think that because one MD says a particular thing, or renders a particular diagnosis, that this is the general consenus among all doctors.

Of course, like any other profession, there are good doctors, and there are those who should never have been granted a licence to practice.

Absolutely agree with all that you have said, Stanley. And despite personalities' attempts to derail science at times, the good thing is that science is self-correcting through the process of peer review and re-testing.

Exactly, in fact, this reminds me of something Richard Dawkins said in one of his DVD's;

 

When he was still in school, he was in a lecture hall where an elder scientist wanted to

honor a young grad student who had solved a problem that he had been working on for many years. He was happy and gratefull for the fact that knowledge had been advanced, he heartfully thanked the young student.

 

Dawkins said the audience applauded untill their hands were raw.

 

How many other human endevers can you think of which puts the advancement to knowledge over their own pride and reward?

 

Politics? Religion? I dont think so. 

It's great to hear that this kind of thing can really happen. I wish everyone could just put away the feelings of self-importance, jealousy and disappointment, like the guy in the story.

You seem to treat two kinds of 'unknown' or 'unproven' (science doesn't "prove" anything BTW) as if they are the same. One kind is the stuff that we do/don't know about the real world (e.g. what works and doesn't work, your therapy example is like that) and the other is 'make-believe'. The latter is as Karl Popper put it, "self immunizing" (against falsification) because it can always be adjusted to gainsay any evidence. A good example of the latter is the "We Can Know" campaign

http://www.ebiblefellowship.com/wecanknow/index.html

No matter what happens, the proponents of this "knowledge" will not be proven wrong.

Self immunizing make-believe is "Faith" it can never be proven right or wrong and gives the adherents a sense of control, power, and certainty. The thing is, that we can recognize it simply by noticing that it is constructed to be self-immunizing, and is therefore no different to any of an infinite supply of make-believe that one could construct. Finally, anything that is exactly equivalent to nonsense, must, as far as I can see, be nonsense itself.

Scientific theories are falsifiable, they make claims that you would have to see X or Y, otherwise the theory would have to be wrong.

 

BTW naturopaths believe plenty of Hokum, e.g. Homeopathy, 200 years ago it was make-believe regarding like can cure like, and now its "explained" pseudo-scientific make-believe about 'water' memory. It is just able to keep going because the adherents have an endless supply of nonsense.

Non of them accept the scientific explanation, (It's the placebo effect), and keep cooking up more and more silly nonsense as to why it is due to some unproven hokum that is "scientific" sounding but concocted to always make it beyond science.

This idea that all things that are 'unproven' are equivalent is bogus nonsense that is put up by proponents of faith systems, in order to equate their unfalsifiable faith claims to scientific claims that are in question. 

 

John

So to follow up. I find your lack of understanding as to what is and isn't science, and your apparent gullibility (both in believing your doctor's absolute claim, and to the naturopath) equally disappointing.

Atheists can dismiss claims that are clearly constructed in such a manner as to defy falsification without "waiting" for scientific "proof". Any theory/claim that contains make-believe that can always be tweaked to immunize the claim from disproof, is indistinguishable from, and equivalent to any other make-beleive.

One day, the flying spaghetti monster might reveal himself to science, then you'd have egg-noodle all over your face - right?

We know straight up, because of the manner in which the claims are constructed make them no different than any other make-believe.

To me, the more disappointing thing is that you appear to be sucked in to the ploy by "faith peddlers" that their theories and claims (that are "a-priori" formulated to be immune to falsification) are equivalent to a scientific (falsifiable) theory that cannot be checked because of our lack of technology. 

A lot of bad science comes from those who hold Creationist views..(this doesn't mean that good science hasn't come out of those who are religious since I can name quite a few).. However, I can give a perfect example of Bad science to which I myself decided to debunk. And this concerned Earth's early atmosphere, and that famously retarded Creationist scientist Sarfati... This will actually put you in some perspective of how bad science arises when there is an agenda to fill. An agenda such as spreading Creationism.

Genesis vs Science: Earth's Early Atmosphere

 

Ahh yes, Earth was magically geologically dead? O.o

It just sounds like a stress related disorder was encouraged by a diagnosis of a doctor, then alleviated by the assurances of an alternative health care provider, which reduced the stress and alleviated the symptoms.

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