Scientific evidence and common belief

Let us tell an old story anew, and we will see how well you know it.

Our story begins with a beloved US president Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower and the heart attack he suffered in September 1955.

Pressure was put on the scientific community to come up with the cause for what we call heart disease.

A researcher named Ancel Keys came up with a theory he called ‘the lipid hypothesis’. It basically states that heart disease is caused by consuming too much fat and cholesterol.

Today we know that he cherry picked some data to show some observational studies he conducted that resulted in this conclusion.

At the same time a British professor named John Yudkin came up with another theory. He concluded that sugar was to blame and that people were consuming too much of it to a dangerous and unhealthy level.

For some reasons involving politics more than science, namely the The McGovern committee, it became common belief that ‘the lipid hypothesis’ had enough science behind it to support it and the world spent the next 50 years trying to prove this theory (spending billions of dollars on it) AND FAILED!

After more than 50 years, we now have more scientific evidence to support Yudkin’s theory about sugar as the root cause for heart disease than ever before.

The amazing thing is most medical doctors and the man on the street still believe that fat and cholesterol cause heart disease even today.

Humanity is fatter and sicker despite drastically cutting out on dietary fat and cholesterol.

“Fat and cholesterol cause heart disease” – is common belief and not backed by scientific evidence.

Would it surprise you to learn that there are many more examples like that in our everyday lives? Let’s take another one.

Germ theory vs. Terrain theory

Most of us believe that viruses cause disease but actually this was never scientifically proved.

As with the example of dietary fat and cholesterol, the germ theory was adopted because of other reasons which had nothing to do with science.

To explain the difference between the two theories with ease, I have found this illustration 

You can read more about the reasons the germ theory was so widely adopted here: Basically it all comes down to money in this case.

I guess it would surprise you to learn that science was never able to make the right connection between viruses and disease, all attempts to ‘infect’ people with viruses to make them sick in laboratory environments ALWAYS FAILED!

We can use some scientific data to try and understand why the germ theory is so problematic:

  1. Scientists estimate the number of viruses in the atmosphere in 1031.
  2. Scientists estimate the number of cells in our bodies in  1013 cells. They also estimate the number of virus, bacteria and fungi cells in our bodies in 1014 (which actually means that for each of our bodily cells, there are 10 cells of virus, bacteria, fungi).
  3. Most of those viruses, bacteria and fungi cells are concentrated in our gut. Science now calls them the gut bacteria or the gut microbiome.

Now this science behind the gut microbiome is relatively new but scientists are now beginning to understand that the balance maintained by the gut microbiome actually determines how healthy or sick we get.

From the two theories, again, after a long while, the terrain theory is now becoming the more likely theory at work.

After years of research, science is now beginning to understand that the terrain theory, not the germ theory, can better explain why we get sick. This does not stop the pharmaceutical industry from promoting more drugs and vaccines to fight viruses.

To sum things up

There are many common beliefs that do not stand the test of time.

There are also many scientific facts that do not stand the test of time.

We must carefully choose what to believe because our belief is eventually what makes us act this way or another.

Make sure that whatever you choose to believe in, it gets you closer to prosperity, health and happiness because these matter more.

Stay educated,


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