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.
Some erroneous science does not give 1 iota of credibility to religious delusion or quackery. Science is good science when it is always questioning, always refining. Religious delusion concludes first, and rejects all skepticism - sometimes violently, often with threats and fear tactics in spite of any evidence presented to the contrary.
All good science is constantly open to review, discovery, and new evidence. Any thing that isn't, well, isn't science by definition.
"a protective film in the back of my eye had deteriorated and was in the process of breaking down."
A what? Do you have the written diagnosis? It sounds like something may have been lost in the translation. Was s/he talking about the retina?
Don't know what the ophthalmologist called it. This happened a long time ago.
In this case the message was not definite.
Of course, the eye ordeal was only an example of your point and not the point itself anyway. If this is your main point:
"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."
then I agree, but a scientific study should hold much weight (more or less depending on the size, nature, authors, etc).
The naturopath was not my "first stop". The ophthalmologist was. A very expensive visit to tell me there is NOTHING that can be done about my clinically diagnosed medical condition (irregardless of what the condition was).
It has become patently clear, however, that no matter what "story" I tell, the science fundies here won't believe it. It is interesting because on xtian forums I have this same problem but with fundy xtians that won't accept that they are living a delusion.
I could tell you about how I came across the naturopathic solutions and respect for what these people have to offer. I could tell you about my aunty who was diagnosed with ulcers in her large intestine requiring it and her bowel to be cut out and be replaced with a colostomy bag! Not a great place to be. Well, as a last resort, she sought out a naturopath that really knew her stuff and cured her. A visit to her doctor 12 months later and the shock and questions from the medical fraternity were the subject of many hilarious stories. But I'll leave that for another time.
Vangelis S wrote: "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."
Our heavy reliance on scientific studies and the scientific methodology in general has developed because of their history of success. Science works better than any other method I'm aware of to determine the truth.
Can you think of a better means?
That said, scientific studies can be defective and they can be falsified. One should not believe something because someone else claims to have performed a scientific study. Belief should be the result of understanding the study and it's logic. Asking others "what is true" exposes one to the errors, motivations, and idiosyncracies of those others. Examining the data a deciding for oneself exposes one to their own weaknesses. We must choose which risk to take. So, if I'm expert is some field I'll make a decision about it myself. More often, I am not and so seek the opinion of those I think are expert.
Either way, there's no guarantee of success.
As a person that has dedicated my life to science and healthcare, I can tell you there is more we dont know than we do know......
however, when we base anything on what we dont know and irrational thought we might as well pack it in.
It never ceases to amaze me how gullible otherwise educated people can be. I have met some of the smartest well educated people doing the stupidest sh&^t.
I once knew a nurse that was going to a local health food store to have her blood analyzed for "free radicals". With a straight face she told me they drew her blood and looked in a "machine" and she could see the evil little bastards and bought the antioxidant whatever they were selling on the spot.
when i questioned further about this machine and presented the fact that even with an electron microscope you cant see free radicals she was not fazed int he least. Despite of her background in science it did not matter, she refuses to believe the truth. She had free radicals, she saw them with her own 2 eyes.
I call these people Sexual Intellectuals......................in other words Fucking Idiots.
Of course. Free radicals are just charged atoms/molecules so there is no way they can be seen with an optical microscope. That was rather silly of her and I'm surprised she didn't recant when you explained it.
There is no question that otherwise intelligent people can be very illogical and irrational when it comes to some matters as is evidenced by the number of scientists that believe in a little white-bearded man in the sky.
However, by the same token we must not discount the usefulness of various vitamins and minerals because of the lack of clinical studies as the studies are driven by where the money is. Since vitamins and minerals cannot be patented by the big multinational drug companies, they won't spend the money to do the studies.
If i believed in God you would be it....
awesome reply. I agree completely....
the anecdotal bubba ate horse shit and doesnt have xyz disease anymore, so i am going to eat horse shit to cure my xyz disease.
the other thing that freaks me out is the it must be "natural" bull.... hell tobacco and ricin are natural but deadly.
thanks again for your succinct(well almost) reply.