Posts Tagged ‘placebo’

“Learning scientifically.” ~ Doc Meek

File:PrirodneNauke.svg

Image from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

Thursday, March 10, 2011. Today I am grateful that we can be aware both “objectively” and “subjectively.”

This is not a “religious” blog per se, although “everything” is “religious” through a certain lens. Even atheistic scientists have their “religion”: unsupported beliefs which are clung to, and defended, with the same tenacity as a “religious” zealot. This scientific zeal is practiced by scientists all unaware usually.

Many scientists believe that they are totally “objective” in their scientific endeavors. Their “objective” view that they are totally objective is, in itself, subjective.

Scientists can hold to this belief in ther own objectivity with some degree of impunity, and perhaps even some degree of “infallibility,” when their efforts are directed towards things, towards objects if you like, and not people.

As soon as people become the focus, however, the concept of “objectivity” loses much, if not all, of its power.

Three examples:

(1) The “scientific” mythology of the single variable.

In the so-called “hard sciences,” single variables, and even clusters of variables, can be manipulated with some degreee of certainty. As soon as the focus is on people, however, the idea that a single chemical, a “pill” if you like, or a single set of processes will accurately achieve its purpose goes out the window, so to speak. People present such a startingly high array of variables that even the most seriously intended statistical regression analysis falls fall short of the mark.

(2) The “scientific” mythology of the placebo.

If I had a drug that worked with all groups of people with some degree of success, all the time, no matter what the problem, the drug would be considered to be “miraculous” and I would be famous. We have such a drug. It is scornfully called a placebo, something that doesn’t “really” help, and is “all in the mind.” Since everything, everything, is all in the mind (when it comes to humans), it isn’t prudent to dismiss something that works all of the time for some of the people regardless of the presenting difficulty. Is it?

Here’s the question: If the mind is so powerful that it can effect positive results for a percentage of the people in any group suffering from any malady, why aren’t we actively harnessing that great power, instead of scornfully treating it as if it were not “real?”

(3) The “scientific” mythology of the anecdote.

Sometimes when I am providing accounts to scientists of startling successes some of my clients achieve in solving one of their “unsolvable”or “incurable” problems, the scientists scorn my account by describing it as “only anecdotal evidence.” In other words, to them, it has no “scientific” value.

However, I would rather have a thousand anecdotes of success, a thousand case histories if you like, than a “scientific” study with 86 subjects, 67% of whom find success using a “scientifically” derived process. A thousand subjective anecdotes beats 67% of 86 (or 67% of 1,086) every time. Even a study with very large “n’s” does not defeat my 1,000 anecdotes, which, for the successful individual concerned in the anecdote, represents 100% success, every single time. Right?

It is more important that I find my own success, and the success of my clients, in “what works for that individual,” as opposed to a “scienfically-derived process” that works for some of the people some of the time.

If my child finds success, where s/he found failure before, then it matters not whether that success is “anecdotally-based” or “scientifically-based,” does it?

Besides, I have noticed that my scientific friends, when pointing out the success of their scientific methods, are very convinced by an anecdote of one person who found success using their method. 😮

Many thanks to scientists who don’t take themselves or their “science” too seriously!

Knowledge is where you find it, no matter the source or the method, eh? (Within reason. 😮 )

Doc Meek, Thurs, Mar 10, 2011, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

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