Truth in an Age of Science
I majored in Chemistry in college. I was taught the reliability of unbiased, scientific observation. I grew up thinking those that knew more than me really knew what they were talking about. This summer has proved to confirm what I have come to suspect over the years since leaving college. Flossing isn't really all that beneficial to you and brisket is a heart healthy food!
Sometimes, the experts don't really know more than you, but are instead the paid spokesman for whatever commercial industry is funding their research. Instinctively I knew that the ideal of an unbiased researcher is a misnomer. All researchers enter into a study with presuppositions. If you want to prove X or not Y, just cough up enough money to hire an army of experts and the rest is easy.
This is not to say that there are no observable truths, there are. It only goes to say that humans are fallen creatures with corrupted motives and desires. How can you know what is truth? For the Christian, that is easy since we hold to the absolute truth of God's word. If you are not a Christian, you are left on the shifting sands of relativity, but don't fret as we are still left with tools to know truth from non-truth.
The Bible teaches that the whole creation shouts the glory of God. Truth is observable, both in His revealed Word and in His creation. For a Christian, we believe that it takes His special revelation found in His Word to properly understand the general revelation found in His Creation. Trying to understand His Creation without the benefit of His Word is a zero sum game.
So what does this all have to do with the price of tea in China? You might not agree on the religious or philosophical issues, but the general principles apply. To know truth, you must have faith in something and based on that you view the world through the prism of faith.
Getting to the point, we can apply this same principle to the matter of what we eat or don't eat. If you place your faith in a myriad of experts, you'll accept what they say as gospel and act accordingly. But, if we flip this on it's head and state the obvious fact that science is fallible. Researchers are corruptible. "Truth" can be bought with a price!
So, now that I have totally shattered my faith in all things expert, I am left with only one option. I must the very scientific method that the supposed experts employ to observe, evaluate, and analyze the facts that are available to me to make decisions on how I live. However, I will not throw out the cumulative knowledge passed down by my ancestors and those Biblical truths which under-gird them all. When faced with yet another study, does it fit within the framework that I have built about what is true? Or does it sufficiently shake the foundations to such an extent that I need to adjust the framework to fit?
If we look at a recent example, we can see that yet again researchers have had to back pedal on the subject of what is good to eat. According to experts at Texas A&M, it is now good to eat brisket! Does this fit within the framework of the heart health facts that experts have touted for years? How can this fatty piece of meat be good for me? Easy, what the experts have been saying for years has been tainted by greed and corruption. The real culprit behind modern obesity and heart health issues isn't fat, but diets super saturated in carbohydrates.
Our collective framework used to be based on the accumulation of old time wisdom passed down from parents to children. My grandmother knew that if you ate too much bread or potatoes that you'd get fat. Sugar, especially in the highly refined high fructose corn syrup, is what is killing us.
If you follow the Weston A. Price foundation any, you'll have heard this all before. The foundation looks to the old ways for clues on healthy eating and longevity. Sometimes the answer isn't something new, but is actually something very old.
To me, the solution is simple. Don't be so trusting of the experts and remember what your grandmother said. The old ways are good ways. Eating food you grew with your own hands without the extra chemicals is natural. Cows eat grass. Chickens eat grass, bugs, and grain. Hogs forage for food, eating nuts, roots, and berries. Our bodies know how to process this food, not the franken-food that is pumped out at us in the local super market.
As for me and my house, we will eat brisket!