‘Truth’. We all claim to want to know it. “Just tell me the truth…” is a common refrain when trying to understand what really happened in a particular set of circumstances or to get an accurate answer to a matter that we feel someone else knows.

We live in a world where ‘science’ is now viewed as the new religion, the arbiter of truth – viewed as infallible and it’s supposed findings as gospel as it comes across our TV screens or news feed. Recently, Richard Horton, the editor of the revered medical journal ‘The Lancet’ made an incredible statement, “The case against science is straightforward: Much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue.” He continued: “Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.”

If a quoted study requires complete rejection of anecdotal evidence(often derided despite being evidence you have actually witnessed as opposed to blind faith in something you read coming from people who don’t know derived with methods you likely also know nothing about) and suspension of reason and logic in order to accept and believe it, perhaps we need to revisit the ease with which scientific findings and conclusions are accepted as fact.

Consider this fascinating link regarding the reality of scientific research, the peer-review process and program funding amongst others. Bear in mind, this is in no way a call to reject announced scientific research outright or to regard it always as dubious but to be more pragmatic of declarations that conclusions drawn from studies are established truth.

Science is often flawed. It’s time we embraced that.

And this one too (from 2009!), which contains this doozie from Dr. Marcia Angell, a physician and longtime Editor-in-Chief of the New England Medical Journal (NEMJ), another one of the most prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals in the world…

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.”

Editor in Chief of World’s Best Known Medical Journal: Half Of All The Literature is False

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Posted by Carl Macdonald

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