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Friday, January 06, 2006

Art, Science, or a bit of both

We say "is it an art or science?"

Art or science is usually wrong.

The better answer in almost all cases is art and science.

Look at the conflicting reports on medical breakthroughs, or in studies on health.

There will be twelve studies that prove coffee or meat are bad for you. There will be a dozen other studies proving how beneficial coffee and meat are, and how sick you will become without them.

A recent study showed that there is a 50% reduction in the risk of many cancers with sufficient intake of vitamin D.

This is as everyone wears hats and sunscreen to protect themselves from the sun. Exposure to the sun creates vitamin D.

Other studies warn of the dangers of too much vitamin D from pills.

Etcetera, Etcetera, Etcetera.

The problem is we are not as knowledgeable as we like to think we are.

These studies focus on at most a few aspects of one item.

In life there is a huge array of interacting items, influencing and counter influencing each other.

We are still in the dark ages of science.

We are ahead of where we were two thousand years ago, but only because we "stand on the shoulders of giants" (Newton)

There are even some things we know are bad for us, that are actually good for us. Could it be that sunshine in moderation prevents skin cancer? - Maybe.

It could be decades - or centuries - or millennia before we know.

Although we will pretend to know the whole time - while toggling back and forth between good and bad.

For now I collect studies that support what I enjoy, and ignore the others.

In moderation.


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