Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Is Dr. Oz Doing More Harm Than Good?

We're talking bad science in #Bioethics today, with @Glenn_McGee, @BenGoldacre, and Michael Specter:
“...Either data works or it doesn’t,” I said. “Science is supposed to answer, or at least address, those questions. Surely you don’t think that all information is created equal?”
Oz sighed. “Medicine is a very religious experience,” he said. “I have my religion and you have yours. It becomes difficult for us to agree on what we think works, since so much of it is in the eye of the beholder. Data is rarely clean.” All facts come with a point of view. But his spin on it—that one can simply choose those which make sense, rather than data that happen to be true—was chilling. “You find the arguments that support your data,” he said, “and it’s my fact versus your fact...” 
Michael Specter: Is Dr. Oz Doing More Harm Than Good? : The New Yorker

1 comment:

  1. Statistics should not be equated with scientific laws; it is not subject to the empirical rules that guide laws, it doesn't undergo a hypothesis stage, a theory test, and validation into law. Statistics is simply the restatement of "a lot of so and so" to "approximately this much". Both statements are relative and you can't look for absolutes in relative matters. I agree with Dr. Oz; medicine is a religious experience as much it is a scientific inquiry, for support of that I point to the field of Osteopathic Medicine, which is holistic at its core.

    "There are three kinds of lies: white lies, black lies, and statistics"
    Mark Twain, paraphrased.