Stray Dog Revolution
Don't get me wrong. I respect science. Totally. Completely. I mean, I'm a math teacher. I majored in math in college. I was married to a math Phd for a long time. The skeptic is strong in this one. And... not but, mind you. Because the word "but" is a negation of everything I just wrote. And I'm not trying to negate, just expand upon. So I prefer to say "and." And... there's more to the story.
People often throw around science as an end to an argument. "There's no research to support that." End of story. "The research proves that what you just said isn't true." End of discussion. Here's why you don't get to do that. Let's change up the phrasing a bit...
"There's no research to support that... yet."
"The current research proves that what you said isn't true."
To me, science is about trying to find out why. And it doesn't exist in a vacuum. People bring their bias to science, whether they want to admit it or not. Studies are often funded by groups that have a vested interest in what the results bear out. Technology changes and let's us do better, more detailed, studies and we learn that we were wrong. And sometimes it's not ethically possible to conduct a study on what you're looking to prove.
In other words, we should look to science for guidance, but science isn't perfect.
Should we be skeptical? Yes. Should we be cautious? Absolutely. But we should also believe in the unbelievable. Because there are things that we just can't explain with science, that we know works for us, or worked for a friend. Things that science is just starting to study. We shouldn't have to wait for the science to catch up before we try something and find out for ourselves.
What's the deal, Colleen? Why are you even talking about this? Good question. :)
I'm what you call an "overanalyzer." I second guess myself all the time. I research and research, scouring the internet for answers to my "problem." And I often find people using scienctific research to shut down discussions. In the past, those arguments punched me in the gut and made me sit up and take notice. After all, it's everything I knew and how I was trained to respond. I ended up eating a plant-based diet for over a decade because I believed that the science made it clear that this was the only way to eat in order to thrive. Until I wasn't thriving anymore. And still, I continued to eat this way for years, thinking I was at fault. I just wasn't doing it "right." I wasn't getting enough micronutrients. I wasn't strict enough. I was blinded to any other way of eating because I was so convinced that the plant-based group was right.
In the past year, I've questioned everything I knew to be true and changed my diet dramatically. And guess what? I'm thriving. And yet I still scoured the internet searching for the research to support my new diet! Never mind that I feel amazing, that I have more energy and zest for life than I've had in the past 3 years. But, science!
Here's another example: essential oils. There are believers and there are people who think that essential oils are snake oils. When my sister got into them, I went looking for the research. Is there really "an oil for that?" But I tried them, too. Because I had learned a big lesson about my blind reliance on science with my diet. So maybe I should just give these oils a shot and not worry about the science right now. Thus, I used a Flu Bomb when I was sick. And guess what? It fucking worked. I felt a thousand times better the next morning, when the night before I had had a full blown sinus infection that usually takes a week or more of neti potting to work through.
Sometimes we need to stop overanalyzing and just try something out. Even if all the science shows that it's not gonna work. Because we're learning a lot about belief and how the way we think about something effects our reality, so even if something doesn't scientifically work, the placebo effect is real. We need to trust in ourselves again. Trust that we don't always need to know why something works, but just that it does.
Yes, science illuminates much to us. But we also have a lot to learn about the things science can't explain... yet.
I've been studying nutrition and healthy eating for over a decade. As the saying goes, food can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.