by Darrel Crain, Chiropractor
Today's topic is Medical Science, one of the most expensive and prominent enterprises in our country. The time has come to give the scientific theories of medicine a checkup and find out how healthy they are. First though, we need to review the basics of real scientific inquiry. "The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline baggage," said Mike Russell.
Clearly, there are loads of scientific theories floating around out there, but how scientific are they? Science is very systematic and operates according to strict rules. At the top of the Ten Commandments of Science, if such a thing existed, you would find, "Thou shalt not make assumptions!" That is because real scientists do not allow anyone to assume anything, ever. You must test everything. For example, this would be a typical greeting between a person and a scientist:
"Good morning, doctor," says the person. "Can you prove it?" would be the reply. "Well, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, I got my research grant..."
"Those are subjective observations you bozo, I need proof! Unless you have verifiable data, we have no way of knowing if the morning is a good morning, an average morning, a sucky morning, or what." Sometimes, when you see a scientist coming toward you, it is wise to simply nod and keep walking.
Real science is based on a strict hierarchy, the lowliest factor of all being a Scientific Theory. Theories are educated guesses that sound reasonable and appear to make sense, but have not been proven true or false. Theories are tested all over the world by scientists dedicated to disproving them by shredding, chopping and mincing the theories into impossibly tiny fragments and throwing them into large gurgling vats of wicked-smelling chemicals.
If the theory passes the tortuous tests of all the scientists, it grows up and becomes a Principle. Principles make up the foundation, the very bedrock of science. The hallmark of a principle is that it never shows any fluctuation and is 100 percent reliable. It was a theory at one time, disputed, vilified, tortured and all that, but it just couldn't be proven wrong or murdered.
Gravity is such a principle. Gravity is an unseen force that never falters. It was proven over time to be a universal truth by observing gravity's effect on objects, which together we are going to demonstrate right now. However, because we are talking about real science here, I cannot assume that you are reading this on planet Earth (remember, no assumptions). Just for the moment, let us imagine that you really are on the home planet. Pull your car keys out of your pocket right now, hold them up and then let go. What happened? They dropped to the floor, didn't they? If you repeated this procedure thousands of times, the very same thing would happen 100 percent of the time; not occasionally, not half the time, but every single time. Gravity is truly a principle.
A key point about real science and real scientists is that changes must be made constantly to fit new verifiable facts into scientific practice as this information comes to light and is verified. At times, information comes along that requires scientists to entirely throw out accepted truths when they are shown to no longer be true.
Okay, we are now ready to do a brief checkup on the practice of medical science. First off, I have heard some people call medical science an oxymoron. This is a very mean thing to say, because oxymoron is made up of two words: oxy, which is short for oxygen, and moron, which means idiot. How could anyone suggest that medical science is simply oxygen for idiots?
My guess would be that such critics of modern medicine are attempting to express disagreement with the popular belief that all medical procedures are scientifically proven to be: a) beneficial, b) safe, and c) the best option available for enhancing one's health.
Now, in our examination of medicine, the first red flag to pop up is this: despite spending more money than any other modern nation in the world on health matters, we have more illness and disease than just about any other country. Whoa! Can we spot any major scientific errors here to account for this? Uh-oh, could there be an assumption or unproven theory lurking at the very bottom of medical science? Is it possible that the very foundation of modern medicine has a few quacks in it? Yup, it appears so. Here is the unproven assumption responsible: more medicine equals better medicine. We can test that theory by looking for hard evidence.
Dr. Elliot Fisher at Dartmouth recently completed a study comparing medical care around our own country and concluded, "If anything, it looks like there is a substantially increased risk of death if cared for in high-cost systems." His findings mirror earlier studies in which a comparison of unrestricted access to medical testing and therapies resulted in greater illness and higher death rates.
What if we turn that assumption on its head? Let us now test the reverse version of that theory: less medical intervention equals greater health. Real science demands that we examine available evidence for clues as to what would happen if we reduced medical interventions.
Several published studies in the medical literature credit the absence of medical interventions, particularly antibiotics and vaccines, as a reliable predictor for the ability of a well-fed and active child to develop a robust immune response to microbes in the environment. Interestingly, some of these studies describe populations with minimal or zero use of vaccination and medication that enjoy great health, plus they avoid many chronic diseases commonly seen in the general population of the United States.
It turns out that the more closely we inspect the current standards of medical care and standard medical procedures in our country, the more assumptions and unproven theories we find operating as if they were established principles.
The annual flu shot is based on the assumption that flu shots save lives and prevent influenza infection. The mass vaccination of children against numerous infectious childhood diseases is based on the assumption that doing so is beneficial for individual children and the society as a whole. Considerable evidence exists in the medical literature suggesting that no actual scientific data supports these assumptions, not to mention alarming levels of toxicity in people that result from these practices.
One may be tempted to conclude that the lack of using valid scientific analysis to measure the outcomes of standard medical interventions is intentional. "You can fool all the people all the time if the advertising is right and the budget is big enough," said Joseph E. Levine.
My own profession, chiropractic, in its 111 years of existence, has been routinely accused of being unscientific. Ironically, this is because chiropractic is based on the principle of an unseen force, measurable only by its effect on living things. "A Universal Intelligence is in all matter and continually gives to it all its properties and actions, thus maintaining it in existence." Within our bodies this force is known as an Innate Intelligence that develops us and maintains us in health. Some call this unseen force the hand of God. Other people use different names, but we may simply call it the force of life.
Other traditional healing disciplines share a similar, underlying premise that recognizes the limitless and sustainable resources available through natural healing. Luckily, modern medicine is loaded with intelligent and dedicated professionals who increasingly apply real scientific standards to their clinical practices. Based on the results of today's checkup, we are forced to conclude that natural healers and minimal-intervention medical doctors offer the best hope for a cure to modern medicine.
© Darrel Crain, 2006 All rights reserved.
Comments? Questions? Opinions? Rants? Call Darrel Crain at 619-445-0100
Dr. Darrel Crain
Natural Health Writer
President, CCA San Diego County District