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Author Topic: Discounting scientific studies  (Read 739 times)

Offline Michael Bush

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Discounting scientific studies
« on: March 09, 2023, 11:00:04 am »

     "'Tis with our judgments as our watches, none go just alike, yet each believes his own." --Alexander Pope

    "When we wish to correct with advantage and to show another that he errs, we must notice from what side he views the matter, for on that side it is usually true, and admit that truth to him, but reveal to him the side on which it is false. He is satisfied with that, for he sees that he was not mistaken and that he only failed to see all sides. Now, no one is offended at not seeing everything; but one does not like to be mistaken, and that perhaps arises from the fact that man naturally cannot see everything, and that naturally he cannot err in the side he looks at, since the perceptions of our senses are always true." --Blaise Pascal

    "There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such trifling investment of fact."--Mark Twain

Seems like there are many who accuse people of simply trying to discount a study because they don't agree with it. Maybe for someone who has done nothing in the realm of trying to measure the thing that was in the study, this might be a valid accusation. However, I find that EVERYONE does this in matters where the study disagrees with their personal experiences. AS THEY SHOULD!

Even the "Scientifically minded" among us seem to discount more studies than they will accept in any given argument. Either they think the conclusion was unwarranted, the numbers were insignificant or the experiment just poorly designed, most will discount any study when its results are contrary to their own experience. The fact is your own experience was in a context of your actual application (i.e. your climate, your beeyard, your race of bees, your system of beekeeping) where the study was an attempt to control everything possible and probably was done either in a climate different from yours or some other circumstance different that yours. So your honest, and sincere response to this is to try to find that difference and point it out in order to explain the differences in outcome.

If anyone has paid any attention to scientific studies over the last few years, let alone the last few decades, let alone the last few centuries, you'll see that the results often vacillate between two opposite conclusions every other year or so. How many medications have been proven safe in a scientific study only to be pulled off the market after less than a year of use in the field? How many times has caffeine been proven good for you, bad for you and good for you again? Or chocolate? Anyone remember when doctors almost uniformly advised against eating it? Now it's an antioxidant that, according to a scientific study in Holland, will halve the chances of an over 50 male dying.

Only the foolish follow the results of scientific studies without question. The prudent hold them up against personal experience and common sense.
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