Scientific Ideas

DSC_0075I came across this quote from a book written in 1972 describing a situation in the 1940s, but it rings just as true, if not more, today:

Yet the established virologists still clung to the idea that polio was a disease of the nervous system only, pointing out that to find actual polio virus in the blood of polio victims was a very rare thing. The tenacity of the old-liners was understandable. It was hard to part with ideas that had been companions for as long as half a century. Aaron E. Klein, Trial By Fury

Scientists generally have a hard time getting their mind around a new way of looking at things.   Funding plays a role, but even the wiring of their brains has been to follow certain types of logical sequences, so that when a new idea is presented, their brain automatically kicks it out.  Many times people get angry at these scientists and can accuse them of all sorts of evil motivation.  I’m not saying there is no greed or corruption in science, but when we start to understand the huge mental shift a scientist must embrace to accept a new way of thinking about a subject he is well versed in, we might find better and faster ways of helping them see and accept the truth.

When we strongly attack a closely held opinion held by someone who perceives themselves to be an expert, we can cause them to hold even more tightly – no matter how illogical that position seems to be.

Attacking someone rarely works in getting them to change their mind-set.  How can we help parents, doctors, educators, policy makers and government officials learn the truth and change their ideas, especially in areas that could be causing severe harm to our children and our health?

1:68 demands we figure this out.