The persistence of memory

The must-read post of the day comes from Mark Crislip of the (in)famous Quackcast and was posted over at the Science-Based Medicine blog. It’s about two things primarily: How evidence and science result in physicians practicing science- and evidence-based medicine to change their practice and why that seems disturbing to those who don’t understand how science works and would prefer unchanging certainty and how this changeability of practice based on the lastest evidence is in marked contrast to most so called “complementary and alternative” medicine, the vast majority of which is based on prescientific ideas. (Homeopathy, for instance hasn’t really changed since Samuel Hahnemann’s time.) He also discusses why even conventional physicians have a hard time letting go of treatments that have been shown by science not to be effective. (Damn him! I was going to do a post on that latter topic next week!)

In any case, it’s well worth a read.

While you’re at it, so is a two-part article by Dr. Kimball Atwood IV, who describes why misleading language is the “common currency of ‘CAM’ characterizations.” (Part I; Part II.)


  1. #1 Uncle Dave
    March 14, 2008

    Good read, well written.

    It also opens with a very good quote;

    “I have steadily endeavored to keep my mind free so as to give up any hypothesis, however much beloved (and I cannot resist forming one on every subject), as soon as the facts are shown to be opposed to it.”
    – Charles R. Darwin

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