Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Science and Thalidomide

Does this blog become one to defend science? Well, lately, I believe it is. But that aside, let's come to the topic of today's post:

Again thalidomide or Contergan[1] (as it is known for in Germany) are the center of attention, because many environmentalists and even religious people claim that it proves that science is bogus or wrong on things. However, they make the mistake that science is not wrong on it. It proved by empirical studies that thalidomides have severe effects on human bodies [2]. It was not science that was at fault, but rather the human beings who conducted the tests. They made short-term tests on animals who showed no negative effects. However, the human physiology obviously proved to react otherwise. It is a shame that Grünenthal did not admit their mistake and take full responsibility (but that's the way in Germany, no responsiblity anymore), but this doesn't disprove anything about science.
It is this constant discrediting of science and especially, privately funded science (except it is funding by Good-Doing NGOs) that is so threatening.

First, private science is more safe than government science: no falsely published medicine has killed even remotely the number of people, states have in the last 100 years.
Second: Do-Good science has indirectly caused the death of thousands in Africa[3] and hundred-thousands in the USA and England (you remember eugenics?!).

So, let's not bash science but be more conscious towards science and such errors can be prevent in the future.


[2]http://www.thalidomideuk.com/thedrugtoday.htm (Thalidomide is a pain-killer drug mainly)

[3] "That DDT prevented 500 million deaths by 1970 and that the banning of its use in poor countries has resulted in millions of unnecessary deaths holds no sway with true believers in this doctrine. " - http://www.tysknews.com/Depts/Environment/ddt_vs_death.htm

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