Quote of the month for March 2015

3940851201_916f0ce822“In olden times, when thunder was said to be Thor fighting evil giants, few people took the myth literally, but it still alleviated the trepidation caused by thunder and lightning. Myths are good stories and easy to remember: they catch on even if they are obviously false. Established facts, on the other hand, are easily forgotten if they don’t form a plausible story. Medical practice may be full of “knowledge” that arises from combining reasonable observations into a meaningful story. When such stories emerge and spread without being tested scientifically they become medical myths, and we tend to hold on to them because they provide us with a sense of meaning and safety, just as myths may have done in antiquity. No wonder, then, that myth busters tend to be unpopular.

…those who create good stories and those who prove them false are equally valuable for medical progress.”  – Per Aspenberg

Aspenberg P (2015). Myth busting in medicine BMJ 2015;350:h1237

photo credit: Lighting via photopin (cc)

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