I have said on occasion that there are not many actual controversies in science. On occasion, there is a lack of sufficient data available to a particular group of people, so a controversy remains for them at that time (and so they throw around phraseslike “incurable”). However, for the most part, the controversies about science are political in nature.
Many scientists routinely ignore (or even “lose”) data that does not fit the commercial interests of their sponsor. Much of the anti-fat and anti-cholesterol hysteria that the FDA generated since the 1980s relies on very weak “research” that conspicuously excluded data that did not fit the “profitable” conclusion, so the “useful data” was included and the rest was “arbitrarily” left without mention in the published research.
Further, frivolous claims of causation (based on evidence only of correlation) are common. What is remarkable is not the occasional inaccurate speculation about causation, but the massive resistance that some “scientists” present to… science (when familiar assertions of causality are challenged by contrary data or even merely questioned).What is absolutely clear is that research about the health effects of cigarettes and flouride and many other “profitable” ventures has always been biased by the profit motive. It takes money to publicize research, right?
Contrary research has been systematically targeted and censored. In some cases, the consequences for “politically incorrect scientists” has been even bigger than just destruction of their careers. So, those who comment on topics of obvious political controversy might learn to be motivated to be cautious….
Tags: science controversies