The Ethos of Science
(the tenets of the scientific method)


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

Independent, critical, logical, rational thinking

No appeals to authorities

No biases or personal preferences



Reliance on all evidence (including empirical 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. And some of these educators are truly well-intentioned and caring people, they're just not aware of how to be a proper educator, and therefore some of their information can be incorrect, unbeknownst to them. (And some health educators have a "profits before people" approach, and their information will definitely not allow you to thrive.)

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 things 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 healing and future 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 does have 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 don't see a need for this, or 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 ourselves, subjectivity may not freely reign if we seek the truth. This is why science was created.

                                                         Carl Sagan


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


"Science is like religion,
so I go by personal experience only."

Actually, science is not like a religion because science does not require faith to believe something. As Neil DeGrasse Tyson said above, science is a way of objectively understanding the operations of nature. It is a way of thinking. Religions tend to be about "what" to think instead of "how" to think.

And experience is certainly a good thing to consider, but without considering the experience through the lens of science, erroneous conclusions might be drawn. And if we're talking about matters that can affect health, drawing the wrong conclusions could mean the difference between thriving and merely surviving. For example, a person who has been eating the Typical Western Diet who then changes to the healthiest of diets and feels bad physiologically might conclude from this that they are not suited to eat this healthy diet, and their conclusion is supported by their experience of going back to their previous, unhealthy diet because they feel better when they do. If the scientific explanation of detoxification (and how this can make you feel worse before you feel better) is missing from their thinking, they can draw the wrong conclusion.

So science serves as a bulwark against observations that result in mistaken notions; such as our present understanding that the Earth revolves around the sun, even though the opposite was once assumed to be true based on observation. And this might be an apt analog to the above comment because way back then, one could also have concluded from observation that the Earth was revolving around the Sun, but this wasn't the direction that people's thinking took because of what they wanted to believe (that the Earth was the center of everything).

And this is why science was invented; to prevent a person's biases or personal preferences from coloring their thinking processes, and thus affecting their conclusions.