Over scienced!

posted by Jeff | Friday, April 12, 2013, 10:49 PM | comments: 0

One of my chief complaints about our culture lately is that people seem to wear a blatant disregard for science as a badge of honor. I don't know how it became cool to be ignorant, but it happens a lot, despite the broad availability of information. So science is cool, got it?

I will say that there are cases where we have too much science causing entirely new problems. For example, in medicine there is a compelling case being made that we're getting so good at fighting various illnesses that the causes, especially those of a viral or bacterial nature, are evolving so quickly that it's getting hard to keep up. That certainly makes sense to me. I mean, they used to dispense pink liquid stuff in my college health center like it was beer. Sore throat? Pink stuff. Broken leg? Pink stuff. Pregnant? Pink stuff. OK, not really, but I know I had it prescribed several times. If that was generally the case in the early 90's, do people have any natural immunity left to the things we were catching?

Even for basic hygiene issues I wonder if we go too far. Hand soap seems to universally have alcohol in it now, and the stuff in public restrooms seems to be the worst. It's like my hands are constantly dry, and I suppose the weakening immunity could be caused by that too (speculating, I wouldn't know). Now you need lotion to compensate for dry skin. Is that a win?

It's amazing what can happen when you back off the chemicals, or use the "right" things. About two months ago, Diana started following a "curly girl" regimen with her hair. The short version is that you avoid certain compounds that are in most shampoos, conditioners and other products, and the composition of your hair and follicles fundamentally changes in a way that allows your hair to be far curlier, naturally. The difference is remarkable. Even as she lets her hair grow longer, which normally causes it to flatten out a bit, it still looks fantastic.

We seem to be getting it right with some things. We're finding (or being reminded) that our food is a lot better when it hasn't been messed with. Enthusiasm for science is essential for our survival, and hopefully we continue to be wiser about how we use that enthusiasm.


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