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Pseudo-Scientific Thinking and the Horse

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  • #21
    Point taken about the scientific fact, paula.

    I found this a while ago, and thought it was a total riot and have been sharing it with everyone I know since.

    Worth a watch and ponder.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUYjnL2PqUg

    Comment


    • #22
      Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
      cause of flatulence, or whether the flatulence should be a concern, the peppermint oil in the candy worked beautifully to relax the pylorus and ease the gas.
      I strongly suspect that the amount of peppermint oil in a mint candy is negligible.

      Leaving aside the likelihood that, had no one been around, the gas colic would have subsided on it's own after a couple of bucks and farts.

      I worked in AIDS drug development for many years and we had one classification of drug called "natural products". Essentially stuff that was scraped off trees, ground up bugs, etc. Why? We were looking for new HIV compounds. This was a good approach in cancer (Taxol from the Yew tree) and it served effectively in AIDS research (Calanolide).
      That approach, as well as the ethnobotanical one, are quite valid avenues.

      But, "primitive cultures used the ground root of X" is a better starting point than end point.
      "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

      ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

      Comment


      • #23
        the gas colic would have subsided on it's own after a couple of bucks and farts.
        Ah, so buck-farting DOES have a useful physiologic purpose?
        Click here before you buy.

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        • #24
          Duh,Ghazzu. I'm not saying at all that you simply embrace the primitive approach with as much religious fervor as you would embrace science as truth. Both moves are hazardously biased. I am simply saying that you ought not pooh pooh folk remedies as being automatically inferior to science.

          Paula
          He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

          Comment


          • #25
            Originally posted by deltawave View Post
            Ah, so buck-farting DOES have a useful physiologic purpose?
            So does sticking a horse in a trailer and driving it around a bit, when it has mild gas colic.
            Old cowboy trick that one, vet approved too around here.

            Comment


            • #26
              Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
              Duh,Ghazzu. I'm not saying at all that you simply embrace the primitive approach with as much religious fervor as you would embrace science as truth. Both moves are hazardously biased. I am simply saying that you ought not pooh pooh folk remedies as being automatically inferior to science.

              Paula
              Oh, but they are inferior, until proven and then they become science.

              Inferior by definition, because we don't know yet why or how they work, that is why they are not, or not yet science.

              Comment


              • #27
                Gosh, I hope you're being sarcastic.

                Paula
                He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

                Comment


                • #28
                  I think what Bluey is saying is basically "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush". Without losing sight even a tiny bit of the debt we owe to Mother Nature in providing us with many of the remedies and treatments we have, I'd agree that one which has been tested, proven safe and efficacious and is available inexpensively in a formulation that is reliable in dosing is FAR superior to either a still-unproven remedy, even from the same type of source, or to a bunch of leaves and bark hacked off the "mother" plant and swallowed whole.
                  Click here before you buy.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
                    Duh,Ghazzu. I'm not saying at all that you simply embrace the primitive approach with as much religious fervor as you would embrace science as truth. Both moves are hazardously biased. I am simply saying that you ought not pooh pooh folk remedies as being automatically inferior to science.

                    Paula
                    Depends on what you mean by embracing science.
                    Sure as hell don't take the latest "finding" as gospel, simply because it was published.

                    I want to see the whole manuscript, not just the abstract, and even then, I treat a lot of it as interesting but not definitively proven.

                    And most certainly not gospel...
                    "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                    ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      The idea that some old wives tale will only have value if a peer-reviewed study is done is exactly my point. Science provide criteria for examining hypotheses undoubtedly, but there are in fact real limits to scientific method. We discuss these with all our non-science major students because it is something that we do not generally understand intuitively.

                      1. All phenomena are not falsifiable. Everything cannot be validated through scientific method.

                      2. Every phenomenon is not afforded the same sense of priority. Essentially everything that ought to be researched is not researched. Practical criteria like cost are realities to research.

                      For example, Asia knows about neem and its properties. We scientists may ask -is neem a useful compound as a microbicide against STI? The trick is then to find the funding to hopefully get neem into the club for things that have been deemed now superior by virtue of a paper written. The challenge is that neem is cheap so there is no benefit to some pharma putting R&D money towards legitimizing it. So your options are to wait until neem hits the big time, as Bluey remarks, is made superior by scientific proof, or draw your own conclusions based on millennia of old wive's tales unproven by science.

                      I'll tell you that in one of my micro experiments we soak paper discs in various declared anti-microbials and then place these discs on bacterial lawns to look for inhibition of growth. My neem toothpaste fares better than a popular mouthwash that likes to declare its efficacy against germs.

                      My point is not Neem of course, but this automatic allowance that "science" legitimizes. Science should not be seen that way. Science is the pursuit of more information and understanding. Science allows that the the "proof" of yesterday can be incorrect. Science should be seen as dynamic.

                      3. Proof takes time. Years go by while we wait for something promising in the lab or in anecdote to be legitimized by science.

                      4. There is never consensus. You take a position based on the preponderance of data, but you realize that the only factor that will prove you right is history.

                      Paula
                      He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #31
                        In the case of the original post, horse turned out fine. In fact, I turned him out in a place with soft footing to get the roll-fart. It was odd, but not a case that was really worrying. I can guarantee you though, that a peppermint would not have made a difference. If peppermint oil would have helped (and every indication is that peppermint oil is more caustic, not less on the stomach) I would have just given him peppermint oil. Not a candy peppermint.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
                          The idea that some old wives tale will only have value if a peer-reviewed study is done is exactly my point.
                          Nice straw man.
                          I never said that.

                          but there are in fact real limits to scientific method.
                          And I certainly don't dispute that.
                          "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                          ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
                            I'm not saying at all that you simply embrace the primitive approach with as much religious fervor as you would embrace science as truth. Both moves are hazardously biased.
                            Paula
                            I'd tend to see it that way as well.

                            Is there really that much difference between a religious zealot and a science zealot? They both seem to be basing their perspectives on faith.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              You are more eloquent than I, alterhorse. That is it exactly.

                              Paula
                              He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by alterhorse View Post
                                Is there really that much difference between a religious zealot and a science zealot? They both seem to be basing their perspectives on faith.
                                The first is based on faith. The second is based on evidence.
                                Are you feeding your horse like a cow? www.safergrass.org

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  here's some good rules for scientific evidence:
                                  http://www.dur.ac.uk/rosalyn.roberts/Evidence/cofev.htm

                                  anyone got rules for belief?
                                  Are you feeding your horse like a cow? www.safergrass.org

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by alterhorse View Post
                                    I'd tend to see it that way as well.

                                    Is there really that much difference between a religious zealot and a science zealot? They both seem to be basing their perspectives on faith.
                                    I don't think you understand what science is.

                                    You don't have to believe anything and be a zealot over it when we are talking science, unlike with religions or alternative medicine.

                                    With science, you don't just believe, you study why what science is explaining seems to be so, look for proof and if you find it, fine, that is the way it works in that situation science presents it.
                                    If not, you keep looking.

                                    If people believed science like they do, say, the Bible, we would still be stuck on whatever passed for science 2000 years ago.
                                    There would not be disputing to it, as with those that today still follow the Bible.
                                    I live in the deep Bible belt, I know what I am talking about.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Science zealots do not base their positions on evidence, they base it on faith. I like to use the "Central Dogma of Biology" or the "Criteria for Life" in these kinds of discussions.

                                      Central dogma; look at the name. It was a fierce and certain belief that DNA makes RNA and RNA makes protein and that this was the basis for all replication. The name was a mistake, IMO, because karmically you're just asking for an exception. So far we've discovered one giant exception -the retrovirus. The retrovirus has an enzyme that can reverse engineer DNA from RNA. It's called reverse transcriptase. That is not to say that in cells, DNA-RNA-Protein is not the rubric, but calling it dogma was interesting. In science it takes a certain amount of hubris to be convinced that your current information is the limit of all knowledge. Kolsch's youtube hyperlink explains it brilliantly.

                                      Criteria for life: all living things are made of cells, can adapt to the environment, respond to stimuli, evolve, grow and adapt, etc. Great. Here is an organism that can do all those things except it is not a cell. It's virus. Is it alive? Most say no, some say yes, and we need to revise our criteria for life.

                                      That is science. Science is dynamic. Today it's spontaneous generation, tomorrow it's germ theory. If science wasn't cynical and dynamic, if we were not always questioning, we'd still be afraid that if we sailed too close to the horizon we'd fall off the edge of the world.

                                      Paula
                                      He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        "No amount of belief makes something a fact." --James Randi

                                        "But a whole collection of facts is a good place to start when we want to know how things work." --DW

                                        paula, why do you insist that the other participants on this thread are seeing things as either black or white? Almost nobody here, beyond the people on the far edges of the bell curve (and they are all clustered at one end) actually look at "science" that way. You said yourself that it is a constant endeavor, full of self-correction and the necessary revision of conclusions. That's exactly how almost everyone here sees it, as well. I realize that there ARE "science zealots" out there, but even though I might very well be accused of being one of them, nothing is actually further from the truth. Science is nothing more than rational inquiry and fact-finding.

                                        It is those who are most ignorant of what scientific inquiry actually IS who make the biggest fuss over whether or not it qualifies as zealotry or religion or whatever. To me that argument is beyond ridiculous. These are the same types who think that science only encompasses experiments in labs and radomized trials, when that is only one narrow slice of how scientific inquiry is performed.

                                        I kind of get the feeling you're preaching to the choir here. None of the homeopathic-vibrating, aura-photographing, psychic communicating types are currently participating on this thread. Almost everyone else here who finds the topic interesting has a fairly healthy grasp of what science is, and is not.
                                        Click here before you buy.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          I have previously thought of it as the 'Leave your advanced college degree at the door' phenomenon. Wherein people with Bachelors, Masters, Doctorates, etc deposit all their advanced learning at the end of the farm driveway. Apparently there is an invisible sign directing them to leave their intellect and training related to science, law, psychology, etc on the other side of the farm fence line.

                                          It's weird... but I see it all the time.
                                          "Friend" me !

                                          http://www.facebook.com/isabeau.solace

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