Why do people trust scientists???

phreak

New member
I see over and over a lot of people that don't believe scientists when they come out and say a certain food source should be limited in consumption. The reason is usually something like, you're going to die anyway why not eat what you want.

Yet when scientists fast track a vaccine, people flock to get it, so they are "saved" from a flu pandemic. Why wouldn't these same people use the same reasoning...you're going to die anyway. Or why would these people trust the scientists and undergo chemo therapy for cancer, when they are going to die anyway.

I'm curious about this line of reasoning.
 

homecook

New member
It seems like a scientist comes up with something new that we shouldn't eat every day and shortly after, his studies have been debunked by other scientists. It's a vicious circle to say the least.

I do use the same reasoning. Take for instance the H1N1 vaccine. I'm not getting it because I don't believe they've done enough research on it.
And to be honest I've seen enough people in my life that went through chemo and it didn't do a damn bit of good and I'm not sure I would choose that route if I came down with cancer. That's my opinion of course.
 
K

Kimchee

Guest
I don't trust the articles if they don't provide good supporting data, or if the scientists or establishments don't have proven credentials.

Since my wife is a Phd scientist studying plant genetics and microbiology, I DO trust scientists.. IF THEIR DATA is good. THAT is the key.

What is often left out is information like:
It will cause cancer, if you ate the equivalent of 100 pounds a day for 100 years...
or 1 study of 100 patients indicated a trend suggesting something.....
or the food expert is Walter Smallmind, whose Phd is from Ballyhoo Online University, and is best know for his 10 books all titled "Eat This Food...XXXX... and Die", whose science is nothing more than a collection of anecdotes, wive's tales and history stories....

I have an open mind, but I USE my mind.... :)
 

joec

New member
Gold Site Supporter
I see over and over a lot of people that don't believe scientists when they come out and say a certain food source should be limited in consumption. The reason is usually something like, you're going to die anyway why not eat what you want.

Yet when scientists fast track a vaccine, people flock to get it, so they are "saved" from a flu pandemic. Why wouldn't these same people use the same reasoning...you're going to die anyway. Or why would these people trust the scientists and undergo chemo therapy for cancer, when they are going to die anyway.

I'm curious about this line of reasoning.

OK here is why I believe some of what scientists say and take other stuff with a grain of sand. First when it comes to dietitians or sciences related to it until they test long term they are just guessing. For example the human body will not digest or absorb animal fats or any fats for that matter. High cholesterol will not rise due to eating whole eggs or eating fat on a pork chop. Also the Eskimo has the highest cholesterol of any of the humans on the planet yet live in some cases longer than most others.

As for vaccines here I've seen their work first hand. I grew up in a time prior to the polio vaccine and had an uncle who spent years in an iron lung and eventually wound up a hunch back. Since the polio vaccine came out it is rare to see a case of polio or for that matter many deadly diseases that would kill masses don't today. I do draw the line though with running to the doctor every time I get a runny nose and avoid antibiotics as one will build up an immunity to them.

I would also not subject myself to Chemo therapy to treat a cancer as I've know five people in my life that went though it with 4 lived the last year of their lives totally debilitated. The one is my buddies daughter that has had chemo therapy about 15 times in her 40 years of life and has done well and still living. She was young when she first contacted cancer and that seems to make a big difference in some cases. Now I also know 3 people that refused it and still lived just a year but wasn't sick and weak until the last days of their lives. All in all the quality of their life was better.

All in all it really depends on the science for example I don't consider any of the mental fields such as psychology as science and rate it with alchemy or astrology. So I tend to be skeptical of Science in general the same as with other things.
 

RobsanX

Potato peeler
Super Site Supporter
I remember that whole butter ordeal when the Center for Science in the Public Interest said that real butter was going to kill us all. They told us to eat oil based margarine and "spreads", until they determined that those were even worse!

Since then I don't even listen to them. I now just eat a well balanced diet, instead of jumping on some "scientific" fad.
 

joec

New member
Gold Site Supporter
I remember that whole butter ordeal when the Center for Science in the Public Interest said that real butter was going to kill us all. They told us to eat oil based margarine and "spreads", until they determined that those were even worse!

Since then I don't even listen to them. I now just eat a well balanced diet, instead of jumping on some "scientific" fad.

I'm with you Rob and I never did switch to margarine. I also limit my amount of food intake for example I rarely eat more than 4 to 6 oz of meat with an evening meal, eat lot of vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains. Don't drink much and can't remember the last time I had a soda. I don't use plastic bowls or containers for storage of foods except dry store of bottle such as spices and such. I use 3 basic oils to cook with olive, peanut and canola oils depending on what I'm doing. Do my own spice blends so I can control the salts. I also avoid processed meats and if I do buy hot dogs I go with Kosher brands such as Hebrew National. I tend to buy sausage when I don't make it myself where it is made on the spot. I also buy my meats as whole cuts and grind it myself for ground meats and can't remember the last time I bought a pre ground meat of a hamburger in a fast food joint. Fast food to me is a rare Subway or Quiznos sandwich. I will occasionally buy a sandwich in a deli when I see them making it. I avoid farm raised fish also and limit my tuna intake to a single can every couple of weeks. I also don't eat a lot of "snack foods" such as potato chips, candies, cakes and such with the only exception being my weakness for donuts. :smile:
 

Fisher's Mom

Mother Superior
Super Site Supporter
Since my wife is a Phd scientist studying plant genetics and microbiology, I DO trust scientists.. IF THEIR DATA is good. THAT is the key.
I agree. I trust scientists who collect good data and are allowed to report it unslanted (ie: not studies paid for by drug companies, etc.) Then I make my own decisions. LOL
 

CharlieD

New member
My problem with scientists is when they come up with something like this: Coed coledge dormatory could be a casue for more sex on campus. You needde 20 milion dollar (of mine and your money) study for that? Or something simular. Some of the food studies are the same. they tell you things that everybody knows and is trying avoid (for example) but the way they present the problem is as if this is it, this what causes life and death. They try to create panic. And Mom is right, it really depends on who is paying for the study. One study says eat only organic, the next one prooves that there is no benefit from eating organic. Wjich one do you suppose we should trust or listen.
 

joec

New member
Gold Site Supporter
The one that isn't in the pocket of an industrial farming group. This can takes some digging as they do tend to hide really well who they are working for. Most of these studies are paid for by the industry they are protecting so follow the money if possible. The government really doesn't pay for that much in research like this though it does pay for major project like cancer and a few others. Most of the ones the government winds up paying for are addendum's added to a bill that has nothing to do with what was added. This is called pork and for the last 10 years mostly done by a large majority by representatives and senators of one party which I won't name but it isn't the one most here would think as they probably belong to it.
 

CharlieD

New member
The reason I brought up 20 Mil was becasue my DW has an uncle who is some kind of big shrink anf Goverment did pay him for 5 year of some rediculous research he did. Have to give him credit he took the job very seriously and was surprised when I made a comment about it being common sence and knowladge.
 

joec

New member
Gold Site Supporter
Yes I agree if you wife's uncle got 20 Million for this my next question is what year was he given the money. Now as a fairly normal American male this is an easy question to me, dorks don't get laid regardless of how many women live around them and sexy guys do. Coed dorms have nothing to do with it.

As for what this stuff cost America citizens I have a major problem with the numbers often spouted. First taxes are lower than they have ever been in our history. 1% of the population control 99% of the wealth in this country. Millions of working American's can't buy their way into what used to be the middle class in the country. The medium income is $50,233.00 per year for a family with the actual income of the majority of American families being more like $36,714 per year than medium or average income. A lot of people make much less than that too. None of these people pay much in taxes in actually dollars, but they pay more real money than the top 1% do in buying power. You know if you only have a dollar and pay a quarter in taxes it will hurt you more than if you have a 1,000 dollars and pay $250 in taxes don't you think.
 

GotGarlic

New member
I work at a medical school and am married to a high-school science teacher who used to teach experimental design. I believe that most people in this country don't really understand the fundamentals of science and how scientific experiments are designed, carried out and reported, so they "believe" the reports that agree with their desires and disagree with those that don't.

Doctors offer chemotherapy as a treatment because statistically people are more likely to survive longer with it than without it. Yes, it's pretty hard on people, but cancer is, too. It's a question of risk vs. benefit, the same as with any other medical treatment. Anecdotal evidence (stories about individual experiences) is what people used before the impartial scientific method was developed a couple hundred years ago, when most people died young of infectious diseases. It's not proof of anything except a few people's experiences.

The media that actually writes the reports most people see (since most people don't read the articles published in scientific journals) often don't include the nuances in the original, or the fact that scientists often conclude that more research is required. And most people don't understand that articles published in scientific journals 1) have to pass muster in the Institutional Review Board that each institution doing research must have, and 2) are reviewed by experts in the field, before publication, to ensure that the study design, analysis and results are all done correctly.

Even when drug companies finance studies, these procedures have to be followed, by law and treaty (a result of the Nuremberg trials, after the Nazis did unethical experiements on humans). Paying the cost does not mean dictating the results. Any relationships have to be disclosed and are published in the journals along with the articles.

The National Institutes of Health don't pay for drug studies, but they provide grants for most of the basic scientific research that is done in this country.

According to Centers for Disease Control Director Dr. Thomas Frieden: "This flu vaccine is made as flu vaccine is made each year, by the same companies, in the same production facilities, with the same procedures, with the same safety safeguards" and "[t]hat enables us to have a high degree of confidence in the safety of the vaccine."
 

joec

New member
Gold Site Supporter
Ah and that is how the tobacco industry fought stronger controls on cigarettes for so many years then, using the scientific method. As a smoker this reads great but I still say be smart, and be an open minded skeptic. If I had been I might live a little longer but that won't happen as I now can't quit smoking.
 

GotGarlic

New member
Ah and that is how the tobacco industry fought stronger controls on cigarettes for so many years then, using the scientific method. As a smoker this reads great but I still say be smart, and be an open minded skeptic. If I had been I might live a little longer but that won't happen as I now can't quit smoking.

One of my favorite quotes (someone on a mailing list I once followed said it): "Keep an open mind. But not so open that your brain falls out."

I'm not quite sure how your statement about the tobacco industry relates to what I said. I'm not suggesting that everyone blindly believe everything they read; I'm just sharing my view of most people's (mis)understanding of science.

I thought this was interesting: Science and Technology: Public Attitudes and Understanding
 

joec

New member
Gold Site Supporter
What I am saying is there where all kinds of scientific reports all saying how safe cigarettes where when I was a kid. Hell when I started smoking my doctor told my mother it wouldn't hurt me but might stunt my growth. Hell he smoked himself and by the time reports started to appear saying how bad it was most from my generation where completely hooked and hard to impossible to quit. This was based on common scientific knowledge at the time. The same can be said for anything really as doctors once believed that leaches and bleeding a patient cured most diseases. Now I understand the scientific method and accept it but again people of science are still people and as such are subject to the same character flaws as the rest of the population.

Back to the point I was making with the smoking statement is at the time I started there was no proof the science was willing to let be know as it would cost them money, jobs and possibly the end of many careers. Now that is enough incentive to bury data regardless of how accurate it is I would imagine. I'm very skeptical of the medical sciences when it comes to what is best for us as a whole. I accept data based on an a case by case basis, but start to doubt statistical data based on small numbers of the total population for the whole population. Sorry that is just where you and I will never agree.
 

CharlieD

New member
JoeC, to anser yor question.

He got the money during the Clinton years.

"Coed dorms have nothing to do with it." well, that is not what scientists, and I say. Though I was far from being a dork, got plenty just because I was there and not for any other reason.

As far as redistribution of wealth goes. I was born and raised and lived for way too long in the soviet union. I know how well that thing goes. And I would not want to be a part of it again.
 

joec

New member
Gold Site Supporter
JoeC, to anser yor question.

He got the money during the Clinton years.

"Coed dorms have nothing to do with it." well, that is not what scientists, and I say. Though I was far from being a dork, got plenty just because I was there and not for any other reason.

As far as redistribution of wealth goes. I was born and raised and lived for way too long in the soviet union. I know how well that thing goes. And I would not want to be a part of it again.

I was simply curious of when this was done as I hadn't seen any thing on this of late.

You and I do agree that coed dorms have nothing to do with more or less sex then.

As for the redistribution of wealth you lived under a system we don't have at all in the country nor likely to have unless we are conquered by some other country at least in our life times. But being we do live in a free country we are all entitled to our opinions on what redistribution of wealth means..
 

SilverSage

Resident Crone
If I had been I might live a little longer but that won't happen as I now can't quit smoking.


Joe, you can still quit if you want to. It all depends on your motivation. You just have to want to quit more than you want to smoke. No one can set that limit but you.

I smoked 1 1/2 packs a day for 37 years. My mother died of breast cancer at 39 years old, when I was 13. My father died of lung cancer at 54. I was first diagnosed with cancer at 27. I got a different variety at 35. because of it, I never had the children I so desperately wanted (in spite of my jokes to the contrary). I woke up one morning right before my 50th birthday and was coughing blood. I quit on the spot and haven't wanted a cigarette since. For me, fear was the ultimate motivation. I can't do anything to prevent the breast cancer, but I can reduce my risk for lung cancer.

Today, my lung x-rays, mamograms and pap smears are all clear, but I never know how much longer that will last.

I rarely share this kind of info in a public forum, but if I can encourage you to dig deep and find your ultimate motivation, it will be worth it. You can do it - you just have to find your own reasons.
 
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Kimchee

Guest
Yup, 3 packs a day for 20 years. Took a year to quit, thank you Commit lozenges!
It's just getting to the I Want To Quit point. Gotta find a reason, that's the true
hard part of quitting.
 
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