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Common Sense vs Science

Jeff Campbell

Posted on July 1, 2018 08:10

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One of my relatives is always quoting the latest scientific study or talking about some new finding he’s learned about on television. He’s always perplexed that I don’t immediately join the cause with him. It’s science he says, what’s there to be skeptical about?

The World Health Organization recently announced that Gaming Disorder will be added to the latest version of the International Classification of Diseases. However, The American Psychiatric Association counters that there is not "sufficient evidence" to consider gaming addiction as a "unique mental disorder." So, there we have it, another example of experts citing studies or counter studies, lack of studies, and drawing different conclusions as to what ails us.

Experts and science cannot seem to agree whether playing video games too often is bad for us, but common sense and logic has no problem weighing in and telling us that too much of anything, including gaming, is not a healthy way to live. As far as violent video games, science tells us there are no concrete links between playing violent video games and exhibiting violent behavior at least (remember, science is always changing), yet good old logic would say that constantly sitting in front of a screen with very realistic graphics, and shooting realistic looking unreal people, is not a positive influence on society.

It’s a very common phenomenon, scientific change flip flopping. Eggs are bad, then good, then bad, then good again. I think that's the latest. It’s hard to keep up. Common sense tells us that it is a natural item we have eaten for like, ever, so in moderation, they’re just fine. Coffee once bad is now good again.

I know, the change in science is a constant, based on the latest studies and technologies, so much so, that at any given point in time, science requires as much faith as religion does for believers. When I was growing up, pollution was causing a new ice age, now its causing global warming. Don’t worry, I am not a global warming denier. In fact, it is logical common sense that scientific advancement leads to the ability for mass industrialization where us humans mess up a great thing, the earth.

In addition to ever changing studies, science also comes from humans, complete with fallibility, egos, and like every other institution, the potential for corruptibility. Take sugar, for example. For decades, the sugar industry has been paying a great deal of money to influence science and their studies to “scientifically prove” that fat is bad, and that sugar is just fine. When the New England Journal of Medicine comes out with research that sugar intake is not a problem, why shouldn’t we believe it. It’s science.

So, I am not anti-science, just like I am not anti-religion. I just hope that we can view both through the lens of common sense and logic. When religion tells us to be kind and loving, that makes common sense, but when someone parses a little verse here or there to foment hate, that makes no sense at all, common or otherwise. When science tells me that something humans do or makes is better than what nature does or makes, common sense greets the news with a polite skepticism.

Jeff Campbell

Posted on July 1, 2018 08:10

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Source: People

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