Doctors and Dialectics: Oil and Water

Scientists generally deal poorly with dialectics. They believe that correct ideas are “clear and distinct” ideas. Consequently, science gives us a superficial understanding of things in themselves.

As science-trained professionals, doctors are even worse than non-medical scientists in dealing with the dialectical nature of things.

For example, doctors staunchly maintain an anti-smoking stance. However, smoking has some benefits that are every bit as obvious as its many liabilities. A reasonable assumption is that there is in fact an optimum level of smoking for peak health and longevity. This personal and specific level may be as few as 1-3 cigarettes per day or just one puff of one cigarette per day, but I would bet anyone that it is not 0 cigarettes and 0 puffs per day.

Doctors who advise, “Don’t smoke” are wise – most people cannot control the addictive forces. Same goes for “Don’t drink” – again, even though alcohol has health benefits, so few can control the addictive forces. Hence, few can gain the health and longevity benefits from optimal levels of smoking and drinking.

Doctors are also right that thirst is often a poor marker of dehydration – real thirst comes long after the ill effects have already been felt.

Doctors also say that we should ALL drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. Clearly, however, there is such a thing as water intoxication (dehydration/intoxication being the poles of the obvious dialectic). The optimum number of glasses of water per day MUST therefore be personal and specific. One size does not fit all. A person whose diet is largely fruits and vegetables (high water content, high mineral content, and high fiber – meaning this water passes through the blood stream more slowly than a glass of purified water) needs to drink less water than a person with a comparable level of sweat loss whose diet is largely processed foods, including many dry and heavily salted snack foods.

Will doctors ever get comfortable with dialectic? Will other scientists? Will scientists forever take superficial, one-sided positions on things? Here’s hoping they will learn what I learned over 40 years ago while modeling everyday phenomena and studying philosophy formally in High School: Nature is dialectical to the core. Consistent with this observation is the idea/theory that every complete conservation law in physics MUST sum to ZERO in the multiverse. In truth, our world is part of one big fat ZERO SUM multiverse in its pseudo-substances – partially developed nothingness – perfect “mathematical nihilism.”


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