Bad Science Is Dangerous

Bad Science Is Dangerous

The August 2021 issue of Scientific American contains an interesting article by Naomi Oreskes of Harvard University titled “The Appeal of Bad Science.” Oreskes points out that an enormous amount of public claims of scientific discoveries are simply bad science. It is essential to understand that for a scientific discovery to be valid, it must be reproducible. If researchers can’t reproduce it, it is not science at all. The money spent on irreproducible medical research in the United States alone amounts to 28 billion dollars a year.

This is not just a financial issue. People turn to bogus medical claims because the media reports them as miracle cures. I have had a personal loss due to bad science. My son-in-law, who had cancer, was given a “scientific” study showing a cancer cure from a marijuana product. A Ph.D. with scientific credentials wrote the article. I looked for studies by other researchers showing that this cure worked, but I could find none. I urged my son-in-law to use conventional medical treatment, but he chose to accept that single report. He died as a result of a bogus claim by a “medical expert.” Following bad science in medicine can be fatal.

Paul wrote to Timothy, “Keep that which has been entrusted to you and turn a deaf ear to empty and worldly chatter and objections from what is falsely called science which some have claimed to possess” (1 Timothy 6:20). In our culture, scientists have to produce something flashy and spectacular to get published or funded. Unfortunately, this has caused people to accept medical claims by “experts,” which scientific methods cannot duplicate.

Christ’s teachings have been duplicated over and over and proven to work. Alternatives to His teachings have been disastrous. As we have said many times, science and faith are friends, but you must have good science and good faith. Many people have been wounded by the results of following false claims, not only in this life but in their eternal destiny.

— John N. Clayton © 2021

Reference: Scientific American, August 2021 (page 82),