Some people act like if there’s no evidence for something, there never will be, so there’s no hope. Nothing could be more unscientific. This is legitimate reason to take action.
Next in the series of fourteen foundation truths about Superpatients.
As medical science progressed from the 1800s to 1900s and beyond, there’s been a long trajectory of teaching young doctors to stick to science, not speculation. I’ve often heard of young doctors in training being scolded with “There’s no evidence for that!”
Sometimes the pendulum has swung too far: some people, including some doctors, will discourage even investigating anything that’s not already in the literature.
But I’ve always said “Reality is what it is, whether we know it or not.” The graphic above shows things I’ve long said in speeches:
- There’s a lot left to be discovered. If there weren’t, we could fire all the researchers and close all the medical journals, and save a ton of money.
- Oxygen was oxygen, doing what it does, long before Priestley figured it out in the 1700s. The fact that it wasn’t yet in a journal didn’t make it untrue.
- DNA was DNA, doing what it does, long before it was figured out.
The idea of closing all the journals generally shuts up any scientist who’s being obnoxious about this (including physicians) :-)
And yes, I know Priestley was just one figure in a long trajectory of scientists figuring things out, a trajectory that started with wondering why some air burns, and which led soon after to the discovery of elements in general (oxygen was merely the first) and eventually the periodic table.
In short, if science has reached its limits for your case, don’t be discouraged by people who say there’s no point in exploring further. As you’ll see in the case of superpatients like Kim Goodsell and Jill Viles, you (and they) might be surprised at what you find.
Next: Principle 13: Some useful information will NEVER make it into journals.
[…] It really is a sad story, because bacteria hadn’t been discovered yet, so although huge numbers of new mothers were dying, when he suggested washing hands it must have come across like some parlor magic: “I wash my hands, and presto: it’s a miracle!” But as I said a few months ago, a core truth in science is that not all truth has been discovered yet. […]