This blog continues discussing the issues from the BBC Horizon programme presented by Sir Paul Nurse, called Science Under Attack.
It covered many topics in such a biased and ‘unscientific’ manner that I am dealing with the issues separately in a small series of blog entries.
You can watch the Horizon programme HERE
This final blog of the series deals with the topic of the biased view of the state of ‘science’.
Sir Paul commented on the public needing to trust the scientists by saying “We have to earn their trust if science really is going to benefit society.”
Benefiting society is not the purpose of science. Science is an ever-developing knowledge and understanding of how the world works.
As an aside, I would like to ask how Sir Paul would explain to the people of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, for example, that the purpose of science is to benefit society.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of science is, ‘the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment’.
It appears that ‘science’ has lost its direction from this definition to being an exclusive enterprise for an elite section of the populace who can only call themselves ‘scientists’ if they have succeeded by giving the ‘right’ answer to their examination questions.
The ability to ‘think outside of the box’, as brilliantly displayed by Albert Einstein in his work, seems to be no longer tolerated, which was clearly demonstrated in the programme by Sir Paul promoting the ‘consensual’ view as being the only one permissable.
History can show that the likes of Sir Paul and his consenual science have always impeded the progress of true scientific pioneers.
It seems appropriate to refer, at this juncture, to Arthur Scopenhauer’s famous quote, “All truth passes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third it is accepted as being self-evident.” It would seem that nowadays stages one and two are frequently joined to make a much stronger opposition to new ideas when they challenge the ‘consensus’.
We, the public, are being unjustly judged as being incapable of thinking for ourselves by being told that we have to blindly ‘trust’ the scientists without question; this is not a position we should accept, no matter who says it, as they do not have the monopoly on the ability to study and observe the world.
The crux of the problem with mainstream science is based on money, power and control by certain vested interests who have not the slightest interest in benefitting society. It may all sound like ‘Big Brother’ but, as the saying goes, truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.
Obviously money, power and control are not bad per se, they can indeed be used for ‘good’, but nevertheless they can also have a dark side, depending on the intent of those who wield them.
The dark side of money, power and control can be demonstrated by the example of the pharmaceutical industry, an industry that is supposed to benefit society in terms of our health, using their science of chemistry to make the medicines that doctors prescribe when we are ill.
Doctors are taught in their pharmacology course in medical school that “all medications are toxic to varying degrees.”
The word pharmacology has its root, like a vast number of medical expressions, in Greek. The ancient Greek meaning is ‘poison’.
To emphasise the point I made previously about qualifications being gained by giving the ‘right answers’, Dr Richard Moore MD PhD has said, “The drug companies are subtly manipulating the medical schools so that most future doctors are indoctrinated with the idea that synthetic chemicals, prescription drugs, are the treatment of first choice for almost every ailment that afflicts humankind.”
It is now an unfortunate fact that the vast majority of drug research and testing is either carried out by the pharmaceutical companies themselves or outsourced to other parties, such as university laboratories, but still funded by the pharmaceutical companies.
This system is hardly likely to produce unbiased results, particularly when huge sums of money are involved both in research grants and the prospective drug sales income, which is measured in billions of dollars.
The words of Dr Marcia Angell MD, former editor in chief of The New England Journal of Medicine, reveal the true motives of the pharmaceutical companies, “The pharmaceutical industry is now primarily a marketing machine to sell drugs of dubious benefit, this industry uses its wealth and power to co-opt every institution that might stand in its way, including the U.S. Congress, the Food and Drug Administration, academic medical centres and the medical profession itself. (Most of its marketing efforts are focused on influencing doctors, since they must write the prescriptions.)”.
Sir Paul also commented on the importance of the peer-review process, but that too has been severely corrupted as demonstrated by the following extract from a news story in February 2010 about Dr Scott Reuben, who was found guilty of faking dozens of research studies that were published in ‘peer-reviewed’ journals for more than 13 years. “Drug companies bribe researchers and doctors as a routine matter. Medical journals routinely publish false, fraudulent studies. FDA panel members regularly rely on falsified research in making their drug approval decisions, and the mainstream media regularly quotes falsified research in reporting the news. Fraudulent research, in other words, is widespread in modern medicine. The pharmaceutical industry couldn’t operate without it, actually. It is falsified research that gives the industry its best marketing claims and strongest FDA approvals.”
The problem with ‘science’ is sadly not limited to the medical industry.
It has to be emphasised that problems do not occur in all scientific endeavours, but it does occur in far too many to be able to blindly trust scientific pronouncements at face value.
So my comment to Sir Paul Nurse would be that his idea of ‘science’ needs to undertake a complete overhaul to remove the corruption of true science; corruption caused by certain vested interest groups that currently drive too many areas of scientific investigation.
Only by becoming completely unbiased and free from vested interests can the mainstream scientific community possibly hope to earn and then regain our trust.
Some of the preceding paragraphs have been extracted from our book, Why Germs Don’t Make You Ill and Drugs Can’t Cure You, which is the result of our research into what really makes us ill and what we can do to become and remain healthy.
Our research made the staggering discovery that the failure of modern medicine is a consequence of its practices being based more on blind faith and dogma than on true scientific investigation; the horrifying consequences of this are plain to see in the hundreds of thousands of casualties every year caused by the medical establishment.
If this series of blogs on the biased and unscientific nature of the Horizon programme has intrigued you and you want to know more, please read our book, Why Germs Don’t Make You Ill and Drugs Can’t Cure You, which is available from Amazon HERE