The first principle is that you must not fool yourself–and you are the easiest person to fool.Science is the only way to correct for our errors of perception and of attribution. It is the only way to make sure we are not fooling ourselves. Either Science-Based Medicine has not done a good job of explaining these vital facts, or some of our readers are unable or unwilling to understand our explanations.
Our commenters still frequently offer testimonials about how some CAM method “really worked for me.” They fail to understand that they have no basis for claiming that it “worked.” All they can really claim is that they observed an improvement following the treatment. That could indicate a real effect or it could indicate an inaccurate observation or it could indicate a post hoc ergo propter hoc error, a false assumption that temporal correlation meant causation. Such observations are only a starting point: we need to do science to find out what the observations mean.
Last week one of our commenters wrote the worst testimonial yet:
I have witnessed first hand the life that begins to flow through the body upon the removal of a subluxation.What does this even mean? Does he expect anyone to believe this just because he says it? Would he believe me if I said I had witnessed first hand the invisible dragon in Carl Sagan’s garage?
(Y si queréis una traducción al castellano, la podéis encontrar en Amazings.)