Medical journal scandal reveals the dangers of blindly trusting sciencePosted by Josh Taylor / December 10, 2018
A New York Times investigation has revealed that dozens of doctors failed to disclose their financial relationships with health care or drug companies when they published studies in medical journals, and medical journals did not adequately vet doctors for financial ties to such companies.
There’s a lot to say about this––including that the medical-scientific publishing “system is broken“––but we’ll leave that to others. In this piece, I want to focus on a concept called scientism. Scientism, in short, is an ideology characterized by the belief that science provides answers to all meaningful questions in life and will ultimately lead to humanity’s perfection.
Scientism contributes to the ideas that science and religion are totally incompatible and totally separate. For those who buy into scientism fully, religion becomes the realm of the corrupt––think televangelists and faith healers––while scientists are righteous.
This study is a good reminder that science, like any human endeavor, is prone to corruption. The implications of that corruption are as grave as the corruption that takes place within religious institutions. People trust the kinds of scientific papers that appear in these medical journals with their lives––little do they know that trust has been bought and paid for by drug companies that care only for the bottom line.
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