Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Dark Side of Science

The Dark Side of $cience
Science: knowledge, as of facts or principles, gained by systematic study.
In the past century the miracles and wonders of science have helped us understand our world and tap into, channel and use its natural forces and resources. In every field, from physics to chemistry to medicine, etc., scientific discovery has contributed to benefit and advance humankind. It is no wonder that we look at science with awe and respect bordering on reverence.
However, as the saying goes, ‘power corrupts’ and, science is not exempt.
As I wrote in my last entry, Science Fiction, in today's world $cience is abused to manipulate the masses for corporate profits. Just referencing ‘science' enhances our beliefs and primes our acceptance. Combine that with knee-jerk responses to fear triggers (ie: high cholesterol, osteoporosis, swine flu,etc.), and a general respect and desire for an authoritative voice, and you have a marketing bonanza creating obscene profits.
The corruption of science comes in two basic forms: either the science itself (e.g.; the construct and bias of studies) has been corrupted, or the use of the science (e.g.; the intentional misuse of information) is corrupt. Both abound in medicine. The rigging of medical studies and misrepresentation of research results have become routine and the accepted norm.
Due to the conflict of interests that exist in the prevailing medical-pharmaceutical industrial complex, science and medical knowledge have been appropriated and are being ‘sold’ to an unsuspecting, trusting and increasingly unhealthy public.
But, to what extent?
In September of 2001 the editors of 12 of the world’s most prestigious medical journals issued an unprecedented and chilling alarm. In an article titled: Sponsorship, Authorship and Accountability, they wrote:
“We are concerned that the current intellectual environment in which clinical research is conceived, study subjects are recruited and the data analyzed and reported (or, not reported) may threaten (scientific) objectivity….In light of that truth, the use of clinical trials primarily for marketing makes a mockery of clinical investigation and is a misuse of a powerful tool.”
In no uncertain terms they are saying that the science has been corrupted to the extent that it is no longer reliable. And, even worse, it undermines all they do while putting all of us at tremendous risk: i.e: if the doctors cannot trust the science, the basis for all they do, then how can they (or we, as patients) trust the treatments based on that science?
This begs the question:
How come the editors continue to print commercially sponsored studies?
The pharmaceutical companies that sponsor the research also sponsor the journals. They are their largest advertisers. But, more insidiously, to the tune of millions of dollars, they ‘buy back’ reprints of the published studies and use them as scientific evidence of efficacy to market their drugs to doctors and the public.
How are we to know the truth?
The truth, most often, is quite simple, and as such is often too difficult for people to believe.
The truth is: your body is genetically programmed for health. Health is your set-point, your body's most basic survival mechanism. If that was not true, we would have died out, as a species, long ago.
The truth is: we need to reform our health. We need to change our focus away from the failed scientific, never-ending, profit-generating fight against disease to a model of personal responsibility that nurtures our own natural health.
It is often wiser to trust the wisdom of the body and let good sense prevail over corporate science.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

After decades of successful fear-pedaling, trusting the wisdom of our body is quite a challenge. In addition to changing our relationship to food and exercise, we can increase our good sense by paying attention to over-the-counter remedies. Perhaps, “milk, does a body good” doesn’t apply to those who are lactose-intolerant and rather than taking a pill and then drinking the milk, one can forego the milk and the pill! Our body speaks to us and we have to regain our ability to listen; turning off the TV or AT LEAST muting all advertisements is a very good start.