Thyroid science naivety and quackery: Definitions

It’s worth a minute or two to consider what causes and promotes medical naivety and quackery and what could remove it.

An example of thyroid science naivety and quackery2

DEFINING NAIVETY

“Naivety” (also spelled naïvety and naiveté) is defined by Oxford dictionary as “Lack of experience, wisdom, or judgement.”

Being naive means you are simply unaware of basic knowledge, likely because you’ve never read it, heard it, discussed it, studied it, or observed or experienced it.

There is nothing morally wrong with being naive. Ignorance is not a sin.

Humility and active inquiry are key to acknowledging and moving past a natural state of naivety. We start out as a naive person in any field, then we become a novice, and gradually we progress to becoming an expert. Even experts can be naive about a sub-field in their own discipline.

The problem with naivety is that a person can never know how little they know.

It is too easy to assume that because you now know more than you used to know, what you currently know is all that is available to be known.

Science and intellectual arrogance are never good partners.

The frontiers of knowledge are not fixed, like the circumference of the earth, but are continually expanding. We have not yet found the “edges” of our universe of medical knowledge, and we continually learn a lot about what is in it.

Naivety is natural and expected if you are a student. But if you are a teacher or practitioner, it can be a major problem to be naive about the very basics of a disease’s causes and effects, and being arrogant is itself unwise and a sign of naivety.

If a doctor is fundamentally naive about thyroid disease and thyroid therapy, or if their medical training is extremely limited in this area, it may lead to quackery if they are not a very humble learner and actively try to overcome their naivety.

DEFINING QUACKERY

Merriam-Webster’s definition of a “Quack” is “an ignorant, misinformed, or dishonest practitioner of medicine.”

Basically, this seems fair to the common usage of the word.

But the common definition has an intellectual oversight. “Quackery” not just about lacking information. It ought to include the lack of wisdom and judgment found in the idea of “naivety.” It is about not knowing how to handle medical data with logical reasoning.

You can intellectually grasp all the data on topic X that can be found in the world, and you could still come to wrong conclusions — if your starting point of theoretical presumptions is false, or if you can’t reason carefully about such basics like cause-effect connections.

Scientific data is like numbers in math.

Merely having numbers (like lab test results) does not make your medical judgment reliable. You can still make mistakes in interpretation and application. The more complicated the variables and relationships are, the more challenging it is to avoid such errors.

Quackery proposes a path to healing not just based on ignorance or lack of data, but it is usually also based on false premises, false cause-effect reasoning, and/or data that is inappropriate to support the claim.

Quackery is not necessarily intentionally dishonest or malevolent, but it can lead to harm by making a serious medical mistake much more likely to occur.

It can cause 3 different types and degrees of harm.

First of all, quackery may be relatively harmless if it leads to no benefit to the patient who is suffering from a malady, as long as the practitioner makes no promises and doesn’t charge too much money (or taxpayer’s money) for what they offer. A patient has lost some of their time, they are still sick but no sicker, and their hopes are dashed, but hopefully they are in circumstances where they can find another doctor very soon.

Secondly, because most quackery contains a silver lining of truth, it may lead to therapy successes. Unfortunately, a quack may attribute such successes to everything about their own interventions. These successes may strengthen the quack’s belief in underlying theories or the efficacy of their favorite therapy alone, and that might not make any biological sense. You would need to understand the biology and listen to their reasoning and evidence to see if this is true.

Thirdly, because a quack is likely to jump to conclusions about their own observations, it can lead to harm. Quacks may try to apply a health intervention where it is contraindicated or deny a laboratory test or medical therapy to a patient who truly requires it.

CAUSES VS. EFFECTS IN THYROID THERAPY

Many logic problems in this video (and in everyday thyroid therapy) boil down to evidence and reasoning about causes and effects.

Ask any medical practitioner this question: “If you observe a health problem, how do you know if you are observing a symptom or a cause?”

It is not an easy question to answer.

At times it’s like arguing about what came first, the chicken or the egg, or to what degree nurture or nature contribute to human character formation.

The challenging thing in medicine is that “cause vs. effect” is not always a dualism; it is not always an either/or proposition.

For example, it might be the case that a symptom of low thyroid hormones, such as depression or heart failure, can also be an additional cause of chronically low thyroid hormones. (12) In such cases, the symptom has become a contributing cause. However, removing depression will not necessarily resolve low thyroid hormones, or vice versa. Each individual patient is a unique case. (31-31b)

Medical science continually struggles with this question and continually makes mistakes in distinguishing the two. However, deeper and broader knowledge can help us distinguish more clearly what is likely or less likely to be a cause or effect.

If many patients, but not all, respond better to one thyroid hormone pharmaceutical or ratio than another, is that pharmaceutical approach intrinsically better or worse for everyone? To answer that question you have to discern both the content of the medication and the variable causes and variable effects from person to person.

Mistaken cause-effect reasoning also happens with everyday medical reasoning about the health risks of low T3 and low TSH in hypothyroid therapy. (That’s a complex topic of debate I have discussed before and will continue to examine.)

Lack of discernment about causes and effects can happen any time we don’t take into account all the most likely commonly known variables, measure them in a specific patient, and reason logically and knowledgeably about that data.

Failing to go through this due process can lead to “quackery” in general and the (mis)treatment of an individual patient.

IN CONCLUSION

Let’s all do our best to minimize thyroid naivety and thyroid quackery, both in ourselves and in others.

If you start with biased premises, selective evidence, and a refusal to trust anyone else’s scientific observations (except those whose authority you trust), it will be hard to reason logically and come to accurate conclusions about thyroid disorders.

Along with the problems in the video are more easily detected problems on their website. Go to the website under the video I’m analyzing and click on “contraindications.” Your jaw will drop, I hope.

You will find that he does not admit to his expensive therapeutic spa anyone with “The presence of demonic, magical, and negative tattoos on the human body.” It then goes on to discuss a person’s morality and religious beliefs as hindrances.

Basically, if you do not benefit from his therapy, it is because of your beliefs, attitudes, and the influence of spiritual forces!

REFERENCES

See the separate post that includes the reference list: “REFERENCES for “Thyroid science naivety and quackery” posts

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