Science is hard. It often requires us to put aside our beliefs and preconceptions to more accurately understand how the world works. But it is not in any way unimaginative. To paraphrase a wildly brilliant guy, every time a scientist formulates a hypothesis, she must imagine a different world. It can be a very creative process.
We advocates for science are often accused of being unimaginative and uncreative. This is false. We are also accused of being closed-minded. This is false. But it is also true. Scientists are very skeptical. To quote one of our regular readers:
To state the good ideas one embraces is not enough. One must explain what is rejected and why. Science is not a method for accepting what is true. It’s a method for rejecting what is false. So what therapies…do you reject? What standard do you use to reject those ideas?
This is a concept that I’ve never stated quite so clearly. It is one that those involved in cult medicine do not understand. To have a clever idea is one thing, but you must have some logical way of separating the wheat from the chaff, and the sorting cannot be done by whim. We’re talking about people’s lives here, and if you offer up homeopathy, say, and your excuse is “well, we don’t have the data yet, but we will some day,” then you do not deserve the honor of serving your fellow human beings.
And it is an honor—an honor and a privilege, and if your default position is not one of compassionate skepticism, you’re going to hurt someone.