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The Ethos of Science

 

First, a few terms...

Science: A branch of knowledge dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general principles.

The scientific method: A method of research in which relevant data are gathered, a hypothesis is formulated from these data, and the hypothesis is empirically tested.

Confirmation bias: The tendency to process or analyze information in such a way that supports one’s preexisting ideas, convictions, or personal preferences or beliefs.

Science and the scientific method were created because those doing research (later to be called "scientists") realized that human beings were capable of personal preferences and biases that could subconsciously color their judgment and thus affect the outcome of their inquiry. Since these folks were seeking the truth, to prevent this, "science" as a method of inquiry was created so that confirmation bias would not contaminate the results of anyone's research so that the truth could be sought without fear of human nature affecting the outcome.

The ethos of science:

The method of inquiry of a proper researcher and educator

Open questioning

No authorities

No biases or personal preferences

Honesty

Transparency

Reliance on evidence

This method of investigation can make the world a better place by burying myth and dogma by looking at things from the perspective of reality.

The requisites for this line of inquiry are:

Respect for rational and honest discussion

A desire to peer-to-peer

The ability to change your position when the evidence merits it

An intolerance of distortion and misrepresentation

and above all...

A skeptical interrogation of accepted notions

And when it comes to health education, all practitioners and teachers should abide by this phrase from the Hippocratic school: "Practice two things in your dealings with disease: either help or do not harm the patient", otherwise known as...

"First, do no harm"

CAUTION: There are educators who claim to teach reality-based information who, in reality, do not. They will tell you that they want to share with you their success strategies for creating successful real-world approaches to, for example, raw vegan and plant based eating, but these approaches contain some information that does not square with reality, and, if followed, will more than likely result in you not thriving, even though there is often initial improvement to your health from following their information.

When you adopt a healthier diet, there will always be some initial improvements to your health, but this initial improvement shouldn't be assumed to mean that all of the information you're following is accurate. Those educators who do not abide by the ethos of science who say they use "real-world" approaches do so because other educators who shine a light on their incorrect info use that term to distinguish themselves from those educators who teach info that doesn't square with reality. The use of the term "real-world approaches" by educators whose teachings contain some incorrect info may be a great marketing tactic, but it's not great for those people who want optimal health, and who want to learn from educators who adhere to the ethos of science.

It's true that no one educator has all the answers. But all the answers an educator has should be accurate. And this is where the ethos of science comes in. Ensure that the educator you're learning from abides by the ethos of science if you want the best health your genetics will allow. You can start by asking them how often they peer-to-peer with their colleagues for the sake of those they teach and counsel. If you get the impression that they see themselves as "without peer", I wouldn't simply trust that their info is 100% accurate. Remember, a proper researcher looks at many sources of the information they are seeking, hoping to find conflicting information, because this will get them closer to the truth.

 

Because we have a talent for deceiving ourselfs, subjectivity may not freely reign if we seek the truth.
This is why science was created. – Carl Segan

 

Here's Neil DeGrasse Tyson commenting on those who believe the Earth is flat...