Medical Monday: Another Obstacle to Health Care: Anti-science

What does vagina steaming and the recent measles outbreak having common ? Need a hint ? OK. What can make people on both sides of the political spectrum mad ? You guessed it ! The anti - science movement. 

According to that venerable site, anti science 

" refers to persons or organizations that promote their ideology over scientifically-verified evidence,[3] usually either by denying said evidence and/or creating their own." 

Recall that science is advanced through the scientific method, which involves testing hypotheses with experiments, then revising said hypotheses. Experiments should be on done on that which is measurable, done blinded, controlled, and should be reproducible and peer reviewed by the appropriate scientific institution. Science is always undergoing a process of refinement based on observable facts. 

This should be clear. Yet the media and advertising to which we are daily exposed has become a brew of fake science and real science. How is a person to know the difference ? Well you can use your gut feeling of course. ( And I have a bad feeling about vagina steaming.)  Or, you can have a look at my section of this site where I try to give some help on this issue. It is called Information and Learning. I try to give you some tools with which to navigate the information stream coming at you every day. 

Let's look at some hot news topics where anti-science is in play: climate change, genetic engineering, vaccines, juice cleanses, GMO food, stem cell research, and yes vagina steaming. These topics are especially hot in election years, and when money is involved. 

Here is a great article in Scientific American about a science quiz given to presidential candidates 2012. 

Click here to either laugh or cry. 

Here too, is a fair handed look at anti-vaccine sentiment on both sides of the aisle from Slate

Here is fantastic compendium of articles from various writers on the anti-science movement from Huffington Post. 

I would like everyone to take a charitable look at the nature of our national dialog. Feelings are running high, especially in the wake of the recent measles outbreak. In this climate, where there are many voices clamoring to be heard, let us keep the dialog civil and ahem, scientific, whenever possible. 

In that spirit, I will share with you an article about one of my favorite most well intentioned celebrity health gurus, Gwyneth Paltrow. Don't get me wrong, I love Gwyneth. Her site, is full of lovely recipes and pretty unaffordable clothes. She has a holistic approach and a lovely positive attitude which really does count for a lot. HOWEVER, I cite this article below to show that sweet well intentioned people can get it wrong. Enjoy, and remember that laughter and affection are the best medicines. 

Three Reasons You Definitely Shouldn't Get Your Vagina Steamed , from Women's Health