Science and Story
What’s real? Image or substance? Science or Story? Touching or Perceiving?
I don’t believe in walking away and dividing. I believe in communication & collaboration.
Science is not evil, coldhearted, reductionist – though sometimes it is used as a means to act that way.
Story (history, herstory, mystory) is not warm, natural and broad thinking – though sometimes it is used as a means to act that way.
They are different ways to ask and answer questions.
Science has a particular bent on asking before knowing the answer. The question has to be specific, and the answer gives us more information, which invites more questions.
Story has a special spot for guidance to teach lessons. The story does not need to be accurate as much as effective in relaying a message.
We get into trouble when trying to use science to deliver messages, and story to answer questions.
Science is asking questions, not carving evidence for your cause. Researchers ask questions and try to find answers. They aren’t the only answers possible but at least they are asking.
In some countries, asking questions can get you killed. In Canada, thank the stars, we can have careers in asking questions.
You can’t pick and choose the results you want to hear, and categorize your favourite results as better research. Sometimes the results are really not appealing to your story. Sometimes the results are wonderfully re-affirming.
Bottom line: it’s research - search, search again, and again, and again. Forever. It’s not called restatic. It’s not a scar on your existence. It’s just information that we know now, that we hadn’t asked about, in that way, before.
If you want to use intuition or ancestral wisdom, that’s great, but it’s not research.
When you pit one against the other it isn’t conversation. It’s dead-horse arguing. It’s two different languages, two different belief systems.
And you sure as hell can’t use crappy research to back up story. That’s a bad idea from the start.
And if you really don’t like the research being done, get off the bench and go do it. It’s much easier to judge someone else’s actions than it is to try & fail & keep trying.
If you want to use research at all, evaluate study design, hypothesis and findings. Avoid reading conclusions.
The internet is a great resource – If we know how to use it intelligently.
That is why I am a doctor, to use my brain & soul, which have been through years of education, to help people in their health journey. I am not going to wonder what to do about tabloid health claims or fly off the handle at new research conclusions.
That’s why patients come to us, they need guidance in this sea of information.
Story is a fantastic guide.
A message to myself:
Be the doctor. Learn how to deflect propaganda, interpret research with a fine-tooth comb and evaluate the impact of this research on your practice. Find, dig for and develop your stories to help you relay your relevant messages.
The map is not the territory – Alfred Korzybski
Place me there, and I will still only understand the map I create. Find me maps. Find me as many maps as you can.