Science is the theory. Technology is practice. In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not the same. To do our best, we need both. We need to fund both.
A trivial example: I have spent the past several years researching the concept of ‘cure’. I am not a doctor. I am not a scientist. I have no technical goals, my goals are to move the science of healthicine forward. In my pursuit, unencumbered by the desire to make money from technology, I have learnt many things that have NOT been discovered, for example, in the 50 year technology search for a cure for cancer.
I have learned there is not one so called ‘scientific’ clinical study into cancer treatments has a clear definition of ‘cancer cured’, such that we might examine a specific case and scientifically declare a patient, or an illness cured. If one of our current clinical studies CURES a cancer patient, or encounters a patient who is cured, it cannot be documented, because cured is not defined in the parameters of the study. Cured is outside of the bounds of the study.
I have learned that many prestigious medical dictionaries DO NOT contain the word ‘cure’ even though some define ‘incurable’ as ‘cannot be cured’. That the three main medical treatment reference texts: Langes, Merck, and Harrison’s contain no definition for the word ‘cure’ and do not use the word in any consistent fashion. How is it possible that no medical researcher has noticed this? No medical journal cares. No journalist, reading clinical studies has noticed it. It is only possible because we are chasing technical solutions without a scientific definition of the problem. http://healthicine.org/wordpress/disappearance-cure /
I have learned that CURED is not defined such that it can be tested, except for statistical definitions — not valid in specific cases, for ANY DISEASE that is not caused by a parasite. Seriously? Yes. It’s true.
There is a trivial, obvious (to any thinking person) definition of CURED:
An illness is cured when the cause has been addressed.
But nothing resembling this definition appears in any dictionary or medical reference book. The definition of cured is a scientific problem, not a technical problem. The technical problem is to determine if someone is cured by USING the scientific definition. Unfortunately, there is no scientific definition.
Cure is a term used by fundraisers, not by ‘medical science’. Oddly enough, it’s used mostly by fundraisers for chronic diseases, which are generally defined as incurable. But, it’s trivial to create a chronic disease (although perhaps immoral), using science, and trivial to cure it using science.
How can we call medicine science? It’s technology, searching for a solution, without any scientific effort (or at least without any success) defining or understanding the fundamentals. Health is not defined. Disease is not defined. Cured is not defined. I am not the first person to point this out. Most researchers refer to medicine as a ‘practice’ not a science. A practice of technology.
Only fund ‘science’ working towards a particular goal? Once a goal is established, it’s not science, it’s technology.
To cure Alzheimer’s? How can we begin to cure Alzheimer’s, if cured is not defined? How can we cure cancer, if cured is not defined? Does Alzheimer’s need a different definition of cured than does cancer? If we don’t work to define cured, the science of cured, we will never attain cures, or perhaps more importantly, never see them even when they are under our nose.
I’m don’t know about Alzheimer’s, but there are many people claiming to be ‘cured’ of cancer. They are consistently ignored. There is no test for cancer cured. There is no interest in a scientific test of cancer cured. Cures are not counted. We pretend to be using technology to search for a cure, but we can’t find the cured, even if we cure them. After all, if someone claims to be cured, they are quacks, because our technology can’t find cures. It’s a technical example of circular nonsense. Science is the only path out, not technology.
Cured is outside of the bounds of measurement of current technical clinical studies. A clinical study in 1966 measured the effects of a homeopathic medicine on warts, and concluded they were ‘no better than a placebo at reducing the size of warts’. But the published study acknowledged that in actual cases, the patients who received a homeopathic medicine were MORE LIKELY to be cured that those who received the placebo. The study was repeated 32 years later, in 1992. The same conclusions were reached: homeopathic medicines were ‘no better than a placebo at reducing the size of warts’. The difference between the two studies? The new study, with the benefit of 30 plus years of experience running clinical studies DID NOT COUNT CURES (or at least it did not publish information about cures). Cures used to count. But now we don’t count cures. This is the triumph of technology over science. http://healthicine.org/wordpress/un-science-clinical-studies/
We pretend that medicine is a science. It is not. It’s a technology, and we suffer unknowingly because of it.
Our technology, uses science to create many wonderful things — I”m typing on one of them right now. But without fundamentals, it fails to understand some of the simplest things and creates much nonsense.
When the market rules, science loses many arguments — no matter how good the science is. Nobody buys science. We buy technology. We believe that technology will find cures for us, that we are moving closer to a cure, forgetting that cured is not defined. We can’t tell if we are moving closer, or farther away, viewing the beautiful mirage created by our technologies.
We can’t tell until we create a scientific definition of cured, and put it to the test with our fancy technology.
to your health, tracy