If you’ve been following my blog for some time, then you may feel that I cite a lot of science – a lot of new science for that matter, especially when it comes to exercise and nutrition. Often times, they fly in the face of concepts and principles that were once thought to be true and that may have also have been based on science – old science. For example, everyone thought that cold stretching was a good warm-up and prevented injuries when done prior to exercise. The science now says otherwise¹² (future blog entry). Even what we know about coffee now, is quite different from just a few years ago – see my coffee blog.
This begs the question: “well, Alan, if what you are telling me is that the science 15 years ago is no longer true, then why should I believe what you say now since the science you cite may be made obsolete 15 years from now!”
Although, there is a very high chance that what we have learned from science on any particular subject matter may not be the be-all and the end-all, there is still value in the lessons learned from the hypothesising and experimentation that current day science provides.
Science is not a single textbook or a collection of rules and facts, but rather a process that is always self-improving. It is a method that has no bias (assuming there are no corporate lobbyists at work) and anyone can improve on the current body of knowledge (assuming you adhere to the scientific method). Instead of seeing science as right and wrong, true or false, fact or fiction, I regard it more like a snapshot in time of a constantly growing body of knowledge that is always getting better. So you see, the science of present day will always be better than the science of the past, simply because of the fact that we are always accumulating more information that gives us better insight. Our understanding may not be perfect right now, but it is more comprehensive than ever before.
If still, I have not convinced you to always adopt the latest science, then what is your alternative?
You want to continue to believe the Earth is flat?
“Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned”
— Mark Twain
1. Kay AD, Blazevich AJ. Effect of Acute Static Stretch on Maximal Muscle Performance: A Systematic Review. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011 Jun 8. PubMed #21659901.
2. S.B. Thacker, J. Gilchrist, D. F. Stroup, and C. Dexter Kimsey Jr., “The Impact of Stretching on Sports Injury Risk: A Systematic Review of the Literature,” Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 36, no. 3 (March 2004): 371-78.