Science, Medicine and Babble

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saganisking
Science, Medicine and Babble

Started in response to the H1N1 threads

ah the good ole days before medicine, when no one ever got sick, either physically or mentally - damn those evil greed scientists

 "Throughout the centuries, countless breakthroughs in medicine have been achieved. From the early days of alchemy to today's merge of medicine and technology, it would be an understatement to say that medicine has come a long, long way. Thanks to the hard work of scientists and researchers, we now have the x-ray, aspirin, antibiotic, artificial heart, cloning, and laser eye surgery to name a few. And with a new breed of science lovers taking up the challenge to push further, it's safe to say that a lot more medical breakthroughs are yet to happen."

 http://latestmedicalbreakthroughs.com/

 

Fidel

I'm really glad that a publicly funded researcher in the US discovered/proved that stem cells from monkeys could be isolated in a lab a number of years ago. Big things have happened since and promising new areas of medical research identified. Public power is people power.

Sineed

Medical misinformation can kill:

http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=194

Quote:
In the United States, measles caused 450 reported deaths and 4,000 cases of encephalitis annually before measles vaccine became available in the mid-1960s (1). Through a successful measles vaccination program, the United States eliminated endemic measles transmission (1). Sustaining elimination requires maintaining high MMR vaccine coverage rates, particularly among preschool (>90% 1-dose coverage) and school-aged children (>95% 2-dose coverage) (7). High coverage levels provide herd immunity, decreasing everyone’s risk for measles exposure and affording protection to persons who cannot be vaccinated. However, herd immunity does not provide 100% protection, especially in communities with large numbers of unvaccinated persons. 

snip

In June 2008, the United Kingdom’s Health Protection Agency declared that, because of a drop in vaccination coverage levels (to 80%–85% among children aged 2 years), measles was again endemic in the United Kingdom (3,8), 14 years after it had been eliminated. Since April 2008, two measles-related deaths have been reported in Europe, both in children ineligible to receive MMR vaccine because of congenital immunologic compromise (4,8). Such children depend on herd immunity for protection from the disease, as do children aged <12 months, who normally are too young to receive the vaccine. Otherwise healthy children with measles also are at risk for severe complications, including encephalitis and pneumonia, which can lead to permanent disability or death.

Nice work, Jenny McCarthy et al!

Quote:
The idiocy of antivaccinationists partly rests upon the modern luxury of never having had to live through the horrible epidemics of the past. I wonder how much the current generation will have to suffer through before they get it.

Le T Le T's picture

Not sure exactly where you are going with this but I have an idea given the nature of your strawperson.

What you should know is that what you call "medicine" is more accurately a very new movement that comes from a very small population in the history of the world. This New Medicine is based in the European Enlightenment and is based in Eurocentrism (please just read one of the 1000 books available on what this means instead of just blindly reacting to it).

Before all those white men from Europe that they taught you in school are responsible for the "birth of science" (or whatever other Epcot Centre term your teachers used) knew their ass from their elbow, their were established systems of knowledge based on observations of phenomenon in the natural world and part of that was medical knowledge. Most of this knowledge in what is now Europe was maintained through a complex system we now call "oral tradition". The thing about oral tradition is that their aren't no books or Google - people (human beings mostly) are the books. And in Europe a lot of the medical knowledge was kept by women. So when men murdered millions of women as witches they were not only killing people they were destroying the knowledge that those people held - like burning books. It didn't stop there, everywhere these book burners went they encountered oral traditions and killed (or tried to kill) the people and the knowledge (except for the little bits of knowledge that they stole and the people that the stole as slaves).

So imagine. You are in a wonderful library of books with such a breadth and history of knowledge that would make Google look like Readers Digest. Then you burn it mostly to the ground and throw what doesn't burn in the garbage. Then you set up a set of rules that you call "scientific method" and you start the extremely hubristic task of learning everything there is to know.

So, what were you saying about breakthroughs and all that?

jas

SaganIsKing, maybe you could do a bit of reading of some Babble threads in the Humanities and Sciences forum, and maybe a bit of other reading on science and hegemony too, so we don't have to re-argue the same tiresome points here just because you're new (supposedly) and just because you've finished your first Carl Sagan book.

Nobody here is anti-science, despite what posters like Trevor M Kidd try to proclaim. Some of us here are simply examining the hold science as a culture has on society, a hold that many leftists here seem to be happy to affirm almost unconditionally. 

ennir

Thank you LeT and jas, you've said better than  I could, what I feel.

 

Sineed

How is spreading scurrilous misinformation by spamming health-related threads with links to every kook site on the web consistent with progressive values?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Nobody here is anti-science.

It's just that some people don't think science has anything to tell us about medicine and health.

And like Le T, above, they yearn for the good old middle ages when real medicine flourished, before all those white European males went and messed it up with their anatomy, their microscopes, and their anaesthetics, antibiotics, disinfectants, and surgery.

Sineed

Wonder if the anti-science people on babble have considered the basic contradiction of their presence on the internet.

G. Muffin

Who do you think is anti-science, Sineed?

jas

Beat me to it, G. Pie.

G. Muffin

In case I am one of the accused, please note that I am very much pro-science.  My beef is that psychiatry is not a science. 

Fidel

For the record I'm pro truth. And the truth is sometimes still out there and can't be bought and paid for by corporate schills. Tongue out

jas

Sineed wrote:

How is spreading scurrilous misinformation by spamming health-related threads with links to every kook site on the web consistent with progressive values?

A better question is: How can mocking or deriding almost any mention of alternative, natural or historical approaches to health care be considered progressive? A: It isn't and can't be. It's blind adherence to an amateur and incomplete understanding of science.

 

ennir

M. Spector wrote:

Nobody here is anti-science.

It's just that some people don't think science has anything to tell us about medicine and health.

And like Le T, above, they yearn for the good old middle ages when real medicine flourished, before all those white European males went and messed it up with their anatomy, their microscopes, and their anaesthetics, antibiotics, disinfectants, and surgery.

Don't forget the childbed fever that women contracted and died from when delivery by doctor, rather than mid-wife, became the practice and that when the connection was made by a doctor he was persecuted for it. Now personally I think the mid-wives understood this but given history they never would have been credited with it and many of them had been burned by then.

I am not opposed to science or some of the work that is being done but I am very aware that we are all being medicalized through a diet that is nutionally deficient and damaging and through medications which do not cure us but simply suppress the symptoms until they arise in further damage for which there are futher medications.  I believe the average spent for each Canadian is somewhere just less than $900.00 per year.  That is around $30,000,000,000.00.  How much of that is paid by taxpayers for our "health care system"?

 

 

saganisking

science is not against or vs. nature - human beings (even the caucasion ones) are a part of nature - humans created scientific study - therefore science is a part of nature

 

G. Muffin

saganisking wrote:
Jas and G Pie science is not against or vs. nature - human beings (even the caucasion ones) are a part of nature - humans created scientific study - therefore science is a part of nature

Why are you telling me this?  Where have I said anywhere anything about science versus nature?

[edited for grammar]

jas

Golly, I didn't know that, Saganisking.

Like I said, you should do some reading here before spouting off about other babblers here, OK? This forum is a good place to start since it's obviously an interest of yours.

saganisking

Sorry G Pie - I'm getting the names mixed up

I'm not an expert on Psychiatry and I understand that it is not a solid science but that doesn't mean that modern science hasn't help many people with mental illnesses

G. Muffin

saganisking wrote:
Sorry G Pie - I'm getting the names mixed up

No problem.  I was just genuinely perplexed. 

Quote:
I'm not an expert on Psychiatry and I understand that it is not a solid science but that doesn't mean that modern science hasn't help many people with mental illnesses

Some people feel helped, that's true.  Others of us have been harmed. 

But leaving aside the varying results, psychiatry does not constitute a science, solid or otherwise.  It's more akin to a religion.

Fidel

I love inquisitions. Apparently so did Galileo Galilee, Leonard daVinchy and a bunch more.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

jas wrote:

Golly, I didn't know that, Saganisking.

Like I said, you should do some reading here before spouting off about other babblers here, OK? This forum is a good place to start since it's obviously an interest of yours.

Condescend much?

It does not lie in your mouth to lecture others on the need to "do some reading". I've done plenty of reading on babble and I know that what saganisking says makes a hell of a lot more sense than what some babblers have to say about science and medicine.

Polly B Polly B's picture

jas wrote:

 

A better question is: How can mocking or deriding almost any mention of alternative, natural or historical approaches to health care be considered progressive? A: It isn't and can't be. It's blind adherence to an amateur and incomplete understanding of science.

 

 

I just wanted to repeat that because it's exactly what I was thinking that I couldn't put into words. 

 

Why the insistence on group speak?  Penicillin was an accidental discovery of a natural cure -  where would we be if no-one had decided to pursue that one?

jrootham

Actually medecine is not a science in and of itself.  It's biological engineering.  It uses whatever it can from biology but it's focus is on fixing things as opposed to understanding them.  The problem with psychology is that the psychological sciences are so primitive that the it simply does not throw enough light on the problems to be useful.

 

Fidel

So if psychology is still in the dark ages, and medical science still can't stop us from getting the common cold or pfff! Cancer, then does this mean Steve Harper should raise military spending in Canada to levels comparable to the US on a per capita basis over the next five to ten years?  

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Polly B wrote:

Penicillin was an accidental discovery of a natural cure -  where would we be if no-one had decided to pursue that one?

The "no-one" who decided to pursue that one happened to be a scientist. If not for scientists, we'd all be eating mouldy bread to fight infections the way they did in the middle ages.

 

G. Muffin

I love it when you call him Steve, Fidel.

Fidel

Yep, theyre all the same Steve running the show in Ottawa for the last 30 years as far as I can tell. We used to have a national science officer until the most recent Steve.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

What's a "natural" cure?

Polly B Polly B's picture

"The "no-one" who decided to pursue that one happened to be a scientist. If not for scientists, we'd all be eating mouldy bread to fight infections the way they did in the middle ages."  (Spector)

 

Yes, but it was a natural cure none the less.  And if I remember right, he had trouble convincing anyone that is would work.

 

Unionist

One that grows spontaneously on vegetables left uneaten in dank places, apparently.

Polly B Polly B's picture

Using something that occurs naturally to cure disease.  Like mold.

G. Muffin

Citrus fruit as a cure for scurvy.

jas

M. Spector wrote:

It does not lie in your mouth to lecture others on the need to "do some reading". I've done plenty of reading on babble and I know that what saganisking says makes a hell of a lot more sense than what some babblers have to say about science and medicine.

Technically, you're correct. I have no authority to tell some wandering buffoon who blunders into a forum and spouts, within a few posts, a most trollish "concern" about how "anti-science" Babble is. GMAFB.

Oops. Personal attack. And on a "newbie", no less.

Hey S.I.K., we're "anti-sex" here, too!

Polly B Polly B's picture

And no Unionist, not the shit left in your fridge.  And you know that so I would think the only reason for that post is to make sure you get to mock too?

 

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Polly B wrote:

Using something that occurs naturally to cure disease.  Like mold.

Mold is not a cure. Penicillin is. Science allows us to make penicillin of reliable quality and in large quantities without having to rely on moldy bread occurring "naturally".

Also, many diseases do not have such "natural" cures. Finding those cures requires the intervention of human ingenuity and the application of scientific principles.

Unionist

Polly B, why are you so angry with me? Because I think "alternative" medicine is a dangerous fraud, and I dare to say so? Do I attack you or mock you? Have I ever done so?

I'm asking you to maintain some civility in dealing with me, and I promise to do likewise with you.

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

jas wrote:

Technically, you're correct. I have no authority to tell some wandering buffoon who blunders into a forum and spouts, within a few posts, a most trollish "concern" about how "anti-science" Babble is. GMAFB.

Oops. Personal attack. And on a "newbie", no less.

Saved for posterity. And shame on you.

G. Muffin

M. Spector wrote:
Mold is not a cure. Penicillin is.

That's like saying (added:  about scurvy) "Citrus fruit is not a cure.  Vitamin C is."

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

Another example would be aspirin which is based on salyic acid that's found in plants like willow bark. Before aspirin (the named drug) it was known that the compound found in willow bark helped treat pain and fever.  It however wasn't a widely used or 'common' medicine because of the side effects mainly gastrointentinal problems. I've read a least one old herbal which noted this in it's usage reccomendations.  What science did was figure out how to buffer the compound to make it better for using it more commonly and also standardize the dose.   I have used willow bark and it does work so if I'm ever unable to get aspirin it's good to know about this other option but overall it's easier to just take the pill form if it's needed.  Willow bark tea taste pretty gross as well, plus it really is a pain in the butt to harvest.  :D

jas

Edited. Never mind.

Fidel

G. Pie wrote:

Citrus fruit as a cure for scurvy.

 

[url=http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/371]Your Heart Is Slowly Dying From Chronic Scurvy[/url] Dr Jones (His real name is Ken Walker, an M.D.)

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

G. Pie wrote:

That's like saying "Citrus fruit is not a cure.  Vitamin C is."

What's wrong with that? Are you saying scurvy can't be cured by taking Vitamin C tablets, but only by sucking on limes?

The analogy is wrong in any event.

Vitamin C is an essential component of citrus fruit. Eat the latter and you eat the former.

Penicillin is not mold and it is not an essential component of penicillium mold. It is an organic chemical produced by a certain species of live penicillium mold in the presence of staph bacteria.

Polly B Polly B's picture

Unionist wrote:

Polly B, why are you so angry with me? Because I think "alternative" medicine is a dangerous fraud, and I dare to say so? Do I attack you or mock you? Have I ever done so?

I'm asking you to maintain some civility in dealing with me, and I promise to do likewise with you.

 

 

I am not angry with you at all unionist, sorry it came across that way.

 

 I was trying to make a point about natural cures, in the middle of what seems like a minefield of a thread, and you put in that post about "stuff that grows on the vegetables in the back of the fridge..." or whatever it was.  It felt like you were trying to make light of what I was saying - which, ya, did feel like mockery.  All I wanted to point out was that a lot of our current science based medicines originated from what would have seem like whacky natural cures way back when.

I am tired, I am tired of these threads, and I am tired of babble and the amount of hostility around here. 

I am going to take a break and leave all the like minded people to talk like minded ideas in perfectly like minded threads.  Should be crashingly boring.

Enjoy.

 

 

Fidel
Le T Le T's picture

Quote:
And like Le T, above, they yearn for the good old middle ages when real medicine flourished, before all those white European males went and messed it up with their anatomy, their microscopes, and their anaesthetics, antibiotics, disinfectants, and surgery.

 

You sound so stupid Spector. You don't even know what you are talking about and you use these silly little stawperson arguments because you are out of your element. Please learn something about the many histories of science that pre-date the one that you have chosen to claim as true to the exclution of all others.

This might make your linear-thinking head explode but I think that the pseudoscience quackery that exists today is the Hyde to the Jekyle of "science-based medicine" or whatever term you want to use for Eurocentric medicine. They come from the same place, they are the same person.

I'm not an advocate of whatever crazy medical practices you find on the interenet and want to wrongly attribute to me or others because we question the superiority of your science. I just want you to realize that life on Earth was not nasty, brutish and short before Europeans colonized it and revealed their great gift of "science". That's a racist myth that has been taught to us and we need to unlearn.

Sineed

jas wrote:

How can mocking or deriding almost any mention of alternative, natural or historical approaches to health care be considered progressive? A: It isn't and can't be. It's blind adherence to an amateur and incomplete understanding of science.

Good morning everybody!

As you indirectly point out, keeping an open mind is at the heart of intelligent inquiry.  But then there's having a mind so open that one's brains are falling out on the floor.

There's a distinction to be made between honest, open-minded inquiry, and the large community of charlatans who deliberately spread misinformation.  They do this for various reasons - in order to sell their alternative medicine products, or maybe just to promote themselves as heroic mavericks taking a courageous stand against Big Pharma.

What we've had over the past week or so is the domination of health care threads by one prolific poster who has been strenuously defended by a small community of well-meaning, but naive babblers; some of whom have in the past shared their personal stories of how they were mistreated by the mainstream health care system.  People who are now conflating legitimate criticisms of mainstream medicine, and the defence of someone who says that vitamin C cures cancer; that chemotherapy kills people.  People who attempt to get babblers banned who object to this bullshit.

And great steaming mounds of bullshit it is.  

Caissa

thread drift/Didn't many Babblers just recently pldege to be nicer to each other? I'm despairing that I don't feel like I'm seeing any demonstrable signs of this in this thread or in many others recently./end thread drift

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
That's like saying "Citrus fruit is not a cure.  Vitamin C is.

I was chatting with a friend last night and he was discussing a book he'd been reading on the history of health care and medicine, and allegedly the Scot who first seemed to notice that citrus fruits cured scurvy decided it would be easiest for everyone if the fruit were boiled down to a more portable and convenient slurry, rather than eaten raw.  The vitamin C was effectively destroyed, and the slurry had no more effect than eating a cracker.  Plenty of citrus fruit in his slurry (in fact, nothing but).

Quote:
They do this for various reasons - in order to sell their alternative medicine products, or maybe just to promote themselves as heroic mavericks taking a courageous stand against Big Pharma.

Hear hear.  Thanks for saying this out loud.  Prepare for some pushback from those mavericks, though.

saganisking

I don't think I'm the cause of all this incivilty but if that's so I apologize

pogge

Caissa wrote:

thread drift/Didn't many Babblers just recently pldege to be nicer to each other? I'm despairing that I don't feel like I'm seeing any demonstrable signs of this in this thread or in many others recently./end thread drift

Can we make the distinction between being nice to people and being "nice" to the content they post? The other day some people here seemed to think I was being mean because I insisted that Tigana follow the chain of her own evidence and actually read the document she was talking about. I didn't call her names; I merely insisted -- repeatedly -- that her assertion about the meaning of a document wasn't borne out by the document itself and that what she was promoting was a conspiracy theory. Does that qualify as being uncivil? Serious question. I'd really like to know.

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