Even the scientists pit of five science myth, a few you

By Pauline Gardner,2015-04-01 22:24
68 views 0
Even the scientists pit of five science myth, a few you

    Even the scientists pit of five science myth, a few


    Southwest in 1997, the south Korean doctors began offering to early diagnosis of thyroid cancer ultrasound.In the vicinity of news spread out, and soon, the doctor began to offer this service.In the end, spread to the country, it also ride a lift of cancer screening for other government projects.Hundreds of thousands of people for the price of $30 to 50 thyroid carcinoma accepted the test.

    Thyroid cancer detection rate soaring across the country, from 5 cases per 100000 people in 1999, rising to 70 cases per 100000 people in 2011.In these was diagnosed early in patients with thyroid cancer, thyroid, two-thirds are removed and accept the lifelong medication, and the two itself has a risk.

    People will look forward to, like this expensive, covering a wide range of public health program can save lives.But the project did not.Now, thyroid cancer is cancer types of South Korea's most frequently checked out, but the number of deaths from thyroid cancer without change, at the level of about one per one hundred thousand people.Even, in 2014, when the south Korean domestic some doctors realized this, and suggested to stop thyroid cancer screening, Korean thyroid association (a by endocrinologists and professional association) of thyroid surgeons still insist on screening and treatment is the basic human rights.

    In South Korea, and around the world, and people are "any type of cancer to make early diagnosis can save lives" believe this point.About the idea of human physiology and behavior will continue to circulate in the population (including scientists), even if the scientific evidence that these ideas are is wrong;People blindly trusting of cancer screening is one example."Scientists believe that their position objective enough, can't believe the myth that has a color folklore."Nicholas Spitzer (Nicholas Spitzer), said he was at the university of California, San Diego covey principle, director of the mind and brain research institute.But scientists are actually will.

    These myths are often originated from the seeds of truth.Indeed, for some types of cancer, early diagnosis can save lives.And in the human desire or concerns - such as the fear of death in the soil of thrive.But these myths can cause harm to humans, such as driving people unnecessary treatment, or purchase products without proof effect.They also can interfere with scientists, exclusive project funding, to real promising research projects, and even make them unable to carry out.But also eliminate the myth is not easy.

    Scientists should aim to make the existing myth reputation, but also has the responsibility to prevent new myth.Paul Howard Jones (Paul Howard - Jones) think

    so.He studies at the university of Bristol neuroscience and education.He said: "we need to delve into understanding myth of how to produce at the beginning, and why they are so popular, why so perseverance."

    Scientists myth of the war.Photograph: Ryan Snook

    Some dangerous myth exposure rate is very high: the vaccine causes autism, HIV/AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is not caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).But many other types of myth, also harm humans, spend money, messed up scientific work, or just let scientists feel uncomfortable.In the following paragraphs, the journal nature, explores the five dead hand of the origin of the myth, and they raise.

    Myth 1: screening for cancer can save lives

    To certain cancers, such as lung cancer, cervical cancer and colon cancer risk part of the crowd, routine screening may be beneficial.However, not all of screening was effective.But some patients and doctors still strongly defend the invalid screening.

    Cancer early diagnosis could save a life creed appeared in the early 20th century, at that time, doctors realized that the discovery of tumor, and treatment effect is best when symptoms are just beginning to appear.Next, a logical approach is the

    assumption that tumor found earlier, the higher the patient's chances of survival.Chief medical officer for the American cancer society, the Otis Brawley) said: "as a child, the way we are taught to treat cancer is early detection, early removal."

    But evidence from large randomized trials, such as thyroid cancer, prostate and breast cancer, such early diagnosis is not as advertised the patient's savior.Cochrane collaboration, for example, organization of five randomized controlled clinical trials (total of 341342 patients), according to the review of screening does not significantly reduce deaths from prostate cancer.

    "People seem to think that, in the so-called early diagnosed with cancer this matter itself is good. But it is not so."Anthony Miller at the university of Toronto, Canada (Anthony Miller) explained.Miller is Canada's national breast cancer screening study, director of the research for 25 years, 89835 women between 40 to 59.The study found that a year subject to mammary gland molybdenum target inspection does not reduce breast cancer mortality.At the same time, the early agnosis of frequent and many adverse effects to health.The development of many di

    cancer is very slow, if ignored, will not cause harm to people.Therefore, people because the early diagnosis and accept the unnecessary resection of thyroid, mastectomy and resection of the prostate.In the total population level, the early diagnosis of returns (save life) and no more than risk (hence the loss of life, and life is unnecessary treatment interference).

    But diagnosed with cancer, and accept the surgical treatment of the patient is likely to feel that their life was saved, the personal experience of these people make misunderstanding about the early diagnosis is able to survive.In addition, oncologists often argue what age, what are the other risk factors, people will benefit from routine screening.

    According to brawley, spend so much attention on screening test, have an adverse effect on cancer research is: "for breast cancer, we spent a lot of time to debate what should from the age of 40, was screened from the age of 50, but not focus on the fact that we need a better way of testing."Can find such as fast-growing tumors, rather than a slow development of tumor detection.In addition, the preventive medicine research center at Stanford epidemiologists John, the osce, di (John Ioannidis) also believes that the existing diagnosis way should also accept the strict inspection, to prove that they really can save lives.He reported that in 2015 for 19 kinds of major diseases, few several screening test can really reduce the mortality.

    It is very hard to change people's behavior will be.Gilbert, wales (Gilbert Welch) is in Lebanon, New Hampshire, the Dartmouth institute for health policy and clinical practice of the staff, he believes that people would rather be required every few years to do a quick test, also don't want to hear want to rely on diet, strengthening exercise to prevent cancer."For doctors and patients, screening is a shortcut, so they think of themselves as do help to health, but the risk of cancer and without any change."

    Myth # 2: good antioxidant, free radicals

    In December 1945, the chemist John Harman (Denham Harman) wife suggested that he read an article in the ladies' home journal, the article title is "tomorrow you may be younger.This article aroused his interest in aging.A few years later, as a researcher at the university of California, Berkeley, harman suddenly in a flash, aging is caused by free radicals - as a byproduct of metabolism in the body accumulation, reactive molecules can cause cellular damage.

    Scientists have to free radicals cause aging theory, and its corollary -- that is, neutralize free radicals of antioxidants beneficial to human body - expressed support.In the 1990 s, many people started taking antioxidant supplements, such as vitamin C and beta-carotene.Canada's McGill university biologist Siegfried, Mr Hickey meters (Siegfried Hekimi), says it is "one of a few into the public view of science theory: gravity, relativity, plus a free radical causes aging, so people need to" antioxidants.

    But at the beginning of the 21st century, tried to continue to conduct research in the theory of scientists met confusing results: genetically engineered, will produce excess free radicals mice and normal mice live as long, and modified, will produce an excessive amount of antioxidants in mice is not longer than normal mice.This is the first of a series of negative consequences, and at the beginning, the published results are hard to find.David James, of university college London (David Gems) said the free radical theory "looks like we are trying to kill monsters, we kept on fire to it, but it is not die."James since 2003 began to publish their negative results.Then, a study in humans found that antioxidant supplements can make physical exercise cannot play its positive role, another study found that antioxidant supplements is associated with higher mortality rates.

    But the results did not slow antioxidants in markets around the world, and the market ranging from food and drink, the animal feed additive, a series of products.People expected, its output will have grown from $2013 in 2.1 billion to $2020 in 3.1 billion."This is a huge market," James said, "the concept of oxidation and aging is prolonged, behind is because these people in order to profit in feed it."

    Using antioxidants to resist aging, it is not.Photo: shutterstock offer friendship

    Today, most scholars of ageing agree free radicals can cause cell damage, but this seems to be a normal part of the body to respond to pressure.However, studies of aging or wasted time and resources, and, according to Michael rees (Michael Ristow), a worked for the federal institute of technology in Zurich, scholars in the field of study the metabolism, free radical in the idea of aging in prevents people from published papers about free radicals may benefit.He said: "in a drawer, and hard disk, lay a lot of evidence supporting free radicals may be beneficial, but people still don't take them out. This is a big problem."

    Some researchers began to question more generalized assumption that molecular damage, no matter what kind, really can lead to aging?James said, "this whole idea should be completely abandoned or a question mark."But the problem is that "people don't know where the next direction."

    Myth # 3: the human brain is particularly big

    With particular cognitive ability of the human brain, is often considered to be the top of my brain evolution.The advantage of the human brain is often attributed to its exceptional size (compared to other parts of the body), and auxiliary function of glial cells and neurons density.

    However, all of these are not true.Neuroscientists, Lori Marino (Lori Marino) said: "we deliberately selected to human figures have the upper hand."She worked at emory university in Atlanta, Georgia.And shape similar to that of animals than the human brain is seven times the size of them, but also have the same proportion, mice and dolphins some birds even larger proportion of the brain.

    Chet Sherwood (Chet Sherwood) said: "the human brain in proportion enlargement rules. We have a normal proportion of amplification of the primate brain."He is a biological anthropologist at the university of Washington, d.c., George Washington.Even the number of cells have been exaggerated: papers, review articles and textbooks often claim that the human brain has 100 billion neurons.More accurate measurement showed that the figure is closer to 86 billion.It sounds like a rounding error, but 14 billion neurons has been roughly the equivalent of two rhesus monkey brain.

    The brain and other primate brain is different from other aspects: homo sapiens evolved a large area of the neocortex - to participate in this kind of thinking and language function that part of the brain;In addition, there are other parts of the brain neural structure and function of unique change what happened.

    Sherwood thinks, this myth - that is, the human brain is unique, the reason is the number of neurons much more special, it is disadvantageous for neuroscience research, because in this way, the other may rarely gets the difference.According to him, these differences include energy metabolism, rate of the development of brain cells and neurons long-distance connectivity and so on.He said: "where you can find the uniqueness of human beings, but these places seem to have relationship with the total number of neurons not much."

    Neuroscience community has begun to explore these possibilities, the national institutes of health human connection group project, and the federal institute of technology in lausanne, Switzerland, the blue brain project is trying to from the connection way, rather than the size of the Angle to understand the function of the brain.

    Myth # 4: use a favorite way to learn, to learn better

    People also put the other very mysterious qualities on the size of the brain.One myth, is if every one of teaching methods in accordance with their respective preference type, the best effect.For example, people generally believe that "learners" speech will learn better in oral teaching way, the "visual learners" through illustration and other chart to absorb information more effectively.

    This myth has two places were right: many people on the way to get information is preference, presents evidence that teachers in the multi-sensory information when

    the best teaching effect.Combined with people's desire to learn, and is regarded as unique desire, make the conditions of the myth is now ready.

    Howard Jones said: "learning theory has become a myth of all conditions: the fact of seeds, emotional bias and wishful thinking."But like candy, porn and TV show, "do you like is not necessarily good for you, or for you."The Open University in the Netherlands education psychologist (Paul Kirschner) said.

    In 2008, four cognitive neuroscientist reviewed support and falsified learning theory of scientific evidence.Only a few studies examined strictly this view, and most of them show that teaching people preferred way is no good to his/her study.One of the study's authors wrote: "the theory of learning style is very popular, and pay the rights the credible evidence of their usefulness, in our view, the contrast between the two is very surprising, and disturbing."

    With the scientific point of view, learning methodology does not seem to work.Photo: shutterstock offer friendship.

    However, production of books about learning style and the way of detection is a lucrative business, it also failed to stop it.Scientists have also contributed to this myth, in the past five years, has more than 360 papers cited learning methodology.Education at the university of California, Santa Barbara psychologist Richard meier said: "there are a lot of researchers still cling to the idea, especially those who have designed a questionnaire and survey of categorizing people, the people. They are vested interests."

    In the past few decades, the education method of the research shows that can improve the learning efficiency of method does exist, including makes students summary, or explain concepts about themselves.And, it seems that almost all people (except for people with learning disabilities) in graphic combination, rather than individual learning better when using pictures or text.

    To study way, however, the myth of way to make these there is evidence to support it is difficult to enter the classroom.For example, when Howard Jones speaking, the teachers let them abandon study way of myth, they usually don't like him to preach content."They're a face of disillusionment. Teachers in these ideas into hope, time and energy," he said, "then, they can improve the teaching and learning in science that completely lost interest."

    Myth # 5: the population is to increase exponentially

    Since 1798, fears about the population began to appear, at that time, Thomas Malthus priest predicted, without constraint index of population growth will lead to famine and poverty.

    But the population of Rockefeller university in New York, a researcher at Joel Cohen, said population not, now also not exponentially, and also don't have the possibility of exponential growth in the future.Now, the world's population growth rate of only half 1965 years ago.Currently about 7.3 billion people around the world, by 2050, that number is expected to reach 9.7 billion.For a long time, however, some believe that the rate of population growth can lead to some kind of the end of the world.Such as famous physicist Albert Bartlett, what had he done since 1969, more than 1700 speeches, are about the index of population growth and its serious consequences.

    And the world's population has enough food.According to the United Nations food and agriculture organization (fao), the rate of global food production is greater than the speed of population growth.Cereals provide calories, alone to feed ten billion to ten billion.Hunger and malnutrition, however, are still continued on a global scale.Cohen said, this is due to the 55% of the food is fed to livestock, manufacturing fuels and other materials, or wasted.The rest of the food has not been evenly distributed, the rich can get a lot of food, but the poor income very little.Similarly the water resources, from a global perspective it is not scarce, but there are 1.2 billion people live in water shortage areas.

    "Overpopulation is not actually the overpopulation problem. It is a question of poverty."Nicholas Eberstadt said.He is a demographer at the American enterprise institute, the institution is a conservative think tank in Washington, dc., however, he thinks, the social scientists and biologists doesn't explain why there is poor, and how to keep growing sustainable population of the problem, but each said words to debate the definition and causes of overpopulation.

    Cohen added: "even understand this fact, it as an excuse for not concern so far."He was referring to the rich economic system the example.

    Like other respondents of this article, Cohen for elimination of overpopulation and other widely exist myth (see section "long-standing myth") does not hope, but he also agreed to try, to prevent wrong ideas continue to form is worth it.Many myths, is due to a researcher in another researchers smaller scale based on the conclusion of excessive extrapolation, as in the case of free radicals.This kind of situation was the spitzer called "interpretation of the sprawling", will lead to difficult to eliminate misconceptions.Spitzer argues that to prevent this situation happen, "can ensure each inference has been confirmed that no more than the existing data."Howard Jones argues that, in addition, also pay attention to enhance communication.Scientists should be effective when exchange ideas, to avoid excessive simplification, information is compressed.

Report this document

For any questions or suggestions please email