Sunday, October 09, 2005

Aussies win Nobel Prize for Medicine

Australia is proud to have been the home of this year’s Nobel Prize winners in the filed of Medicine. This year’s prize went to West Australia’s Barry Marshall and J Robin Warren for the discovery of “the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease”

This discovery broke new ground in medical science. For years people had believed that stress was the cause of ulcers. The two Australians proved it was caused by a bacterium that could be treated with anti-biotics and changed the ways ulcers would be treated.

This winning of the Nobel Prize is a vindication of how evidence based medicine works.
You come up with a new idea.
You provide the evidence.
Your idea gets accepted
If good enough, you get awards

Yet, strangely enough, the world of SCAM uses this as a vindication of all their crazy ideas. A Myth has sprung up that suggests the medical establishment tried to suppress the discovery, just as they suppress the theory that all cancers are caused by the liver fluke. The medical establishment tried to ridicule the discovery, just as they ridicule the theory that cancers can be cured by eating crushed apricot seeds.

The myth about the suppression of the Helicobacter Pylori bacterium is just that, a myth. Kim Attwood wrote an in-depth summary of the discovery and the science behind getting the discovery through to acceptance in the November/December edition of the skeptical enquirer.

After the original study that suggested, but not proved, the link, there were studies started by many scientists to try and test this new theory. The presence of the bacterium in apparently healthy people also confused the issue. Overall, it took less than 11 years to get from the initial discovery through to having acceptance by the medical establishment.

Compare this with acupuncture and homeopathy. Hundreds of years with no credible evidence and the SCAM proponents are still saying that they need time and resources to prove their beliefs. A couple of centuries is more than enough time to provide the proof, yet the SCAM proponents can’t.

"There is only one truth. How we interpret that truth is called belief."
"The existence of belief does not indicate the prescence of truth"