Oi, @Atropos.. Clear your inbox!
I don't think science is absolute, methods are always evolving. I do however, place far more faith in peer reviewed science than stuff like homeopathy, or the anti vax stuff, which of course has no scientific basis at all.
I think Karl Popper sums things up for me as a scientist, "Our aim as scientists is objective truth, more truth, more interesting truth, more intelligible truth. We cannot reasonably aim at certainty."
Of course scientists are not infallible, we are mere humans after all beset with all the faults and failings that go along the condition.
Do I believe every piece of "scientific" research published...NO, do I believe in science...YES, WHOLEHEARTEDLY.
I've been following along OP and considering how to answer your question.
Facts and truth exist. Whether we discover them, whether we believe in them, whether we choose to believe something else... These facts and truths about ourselves and our world exist regardless.
The question is then, what method do I most trust to uncover these facts? And to my mind, modern scientific methods are by far the most robust of any. No they're not fail safe, yes conclusions change as more information becomes available. But as a method designed for discovering truth, science allows for this. And leaves every other method wanting.
So is anyone going to address the paper that Benji linked to? It is a study in a peer reviewed journal showing a statistically significant impact of homeopathic treatment. Do we now believe that particular piece of science? It passes all the test; it's peer reviewed, has statistically significant results and of course, the authors of the paper know a lot more about the topic than most of us.
I would also weigh up that a vast majority of studies say it's a crock.
Each to their own, but that study certainly wouldn't sway my opinion that water has a memory, or that plain water has healing powers.
The study was peer reviewed. I've never actually used homeopathy and would never use it in favour of any other sort of medicine I was just making a point that you can find any study to back up almost anything. I'm open minded re homeopathy. I'd give it a go. Would I use it in place of vaccinations or cancer treatment? God no. But I don't like hearing people dismiss people's experiences simply because a few studies conclude it was ineffective - this one did indeed conclude that it was effective in this instance compared to the control placebo.
I do know a certain someone who should really wear a tin foil hat when it comes to Western medicine but I think completely dismissing and discounting alternatives is IMO just as bad. If people are happy to stick to conventional medicine I am 100% supportive of them. It'd be nice to have that same support in return though
A study of n=53 is essentially meaningless because the sample size is too small ; in statistical terms this means the study lacks 'power'... Ie in a sample of that size the 'results' could have occurred by chance.....
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