What is your worldview?

An observation I have made is that when scientists start to engage with the public in relation to science, for example via this blog, there is a frequent clashing of cultures. This is not unexpected as it happens in most areas of life. The reason for this is that we have different worldviews. 

"A worldview is the fundamental cognitive orientation of an individual encompassing the entirety of the individual's knowledge and point-of-view, including natural philosophy; fundamental, existential, and normative postulates; or themes, values, emotions, and ethics. Worldview refers to the framework of ideas and beliefs through which an individual, group or culture interprets the world and interacts with it." Adapted from a definition posted on Wikipedia.

What is interesting is that most of our readers seem to have the same worldview as we do and therefore rarely challenge our thinking or approach. In comparison others seem to spend most of their time in conflict with our worldview. They don't understand, or are unwilling to accept, the modern practice and philosophy of science. This conflict takes an inordinate amount of our time and I am not sure if it is a productive exercise. An example is causation theory; causation theory is a well-established field in science and it requires several criteria to be met to prove causation. Despite reblogging the post on causation theory repeatedly a lot of readers have yet to grasp the science, and continue to propose causation based on very narrow worldview that borders on a belief. Some even claim they have found the cure for MS without providing evidence; most of their evidence is based on anecdotes or open-labelled case series. Anecdotes or case series are simply not good enough. 

We can't cure MS without knowing what causes it and at the moment we have not pinned down the cause of the disease*. Although we know a lot about MS, no theory can explain all our observations about the disease. The prevailing dogma states that MS is an organ-specific autoimmune disease, i.e. a disease in which the immune system goes awry and attacks the brain and spinal cord. Unfortunately, the autoimmune hypothesis does not explain everything about MS and therefore it is probable that MS may not be an autoimmune disease.

What we need is a period of quite reflection, deep thought and a period of learning! I am convinced that by acquiring knowledge one is able to change one's worldview. The question is are people prepared to acquire this knowledge?

What defines a disease is another debate that is going around in circles. Again there is a whole field of medical philosophy dedicated to defining and classifying diseases.  

Multiple Sclerosis Research: CCSVI - time for Sir Bradford-Hill's ...
21 Mar 2012
Did you know that there is a whole science behind causation? It started way back in the later 1800's when Robert Koch formulated his postulates to persuade his contemporaries that the he had found the cause of tuberculosis.

Multiple Sclerosis Research: How do you prove something is the ...
11 Apr 2010
Causation is not the same as association. But I think you are aware of that. A given symptom is often associated with many different diseases/conditions. Treatment of the symptom may bring relief to the patient. Does it matter ...

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