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July 7, 2020

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Harold RustJune 1, 2015

This is one article where the comments are as insightful as the article itself. This subject would make a great book in which a detailed history of many truths that were later found to be untrue could be woven into an interesting reflection on the concept of our perception of truth. After all, two attributes we seem to admire most are the courage to defend truth against all sorts of critics and the determination to expose and counter untruths which had been touted by others as truths.

Dr HMay 27, 2015

This 50-50 estimate has long been known among physicians. We were told in med school that half of what we were being taught was wrong, only no one knew which half. Laypeople don't understand that science is the systematic pursuit of truth, not the absolute truth. That's why I have patients and families that get upset when I tell them that even in the 21st century, often we can't make a firm diagnosis or make solid recommendations for treatment. This hunger for certainty creates a lucrative market for doctors and snake oil salesmen who are willing to tell people they know exactly what's wrong and exactly how to fix it. Be careful of anyone blowing that kind of smoke. And there are the people like passionate atheists, and doctors/scientists whose reputations, income, or worldview depend upon the illusion of infallibility. But before anyone throws the baby out with the bathwater, remember that being right half the time about medical issues is still a lot better off than we'd be without science. Because medical decisions are not heads or tails affairs. They are like a multiple choice test, with each question having something like 10-20 possible answers. Imagine taking a 50-question exam like that, on a topic you know almost nothing about, and getting half the answers right. That would be impressive, right? But it goes beyond that. Because eventually we end up figuring out which half of science is wrong, and we replace most of that with new answers. Half of those new answers will be wrong, but now we're at 75% correct. Eventually we'd get to being right 100% of the time, except for the fact that we keep being forced to ask new questions!

David MyersMay 27, 2015

True science and true religion are inextricably intertwined and cannot be separated. If one does not match the other, then someone is wrong. The world is not flat. Try a different premise. The earth is not the center of the universe. Try a different theory. The sun, moon, stars, and planets revolve around us. Oops. Try again. The churches of the day "knew" that the earth was the most important thing in the universe. They killed, tortured, and excommunicated many a scientist for saying the truth. Once scientists figured out that the earth both orbited the sun and rotated on its axis, did all the bricks begin to fall into place. But even Newton up upstaged by Einstein, who gave us the Theory of Relativity that explained the universe even more accurately, but there is still more math to do, experiments to carry out, observations to make, and empirical evidence to gather in order to understand everything that God has laid down for us.

CynthiaMay 27, 2015

Very interesting ... as a former scientist, I found the underlying article a little disingenuous, BUT the articles the underlying article quoted from were quite revealing - and supported this thesis.

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