Over the past few months, ever since the results of my most recent blood test, I’ve dove deep into studying certain hormones and related compounds to understand them better.
This resulted in six different articles covering three compounds:
- Estrogen for Men
- Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) Part 1 and Part 2
- Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3
I did this because I wanted more clarity pertaining to these subjects for myself.
The question is, did I get it?
In one sense, yes. I understand where we are at with the science surrounding these now.
But in another sense, this simply pointed out how many things are unclear. This deep dive, as well as some other experiences, have led me to lose even more faith in science.
The problem is not just that it’s incomplete in these areas. There is more to it than that.
So I started writing this article to better understand these things myself.
At Least 50% of Science is Wrong – all the Time
“Science is a noble endeavor, but it’s also a low-yield endeavor. I’m not sure that more than a very small percentage of medical research is ever likely to lead to major improvements in clinical outcomes and quality of life. We should be very comfortable with that fact.”
– John Ioannidis
Jon Ioannidis published a paper a few years back, “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False,” that proved that most published science is wrong. This is because of a variety of factors including sample sizes that are too small, multiple issues with study design, reproducibility, conflicts of interest, plus many more.
Let me just recap some of the earlier scientific conclusions about those hormonal components to clearly illustrate this point.
- Estrogen is only important for women and not for men
- Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) binds to hormones making them unable to exert any action in the body
- Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is responsible for male pattern baldness and prostate growth
All of these conclusions were based on science. All of them now found to be wrong, or at best far from complete.
It’s funny to watch this happen today. Scientists and laymen tend to laugh about some of the things that were previously believed. It’s self-evident now how wrong we were. But then they turn to look at modern science and make a false assumption that at least most of it is right.
Just take a look at history and you can see how long it can take to correct going down the wrong track.
It took over a hundred years for us to overthrow the false idea that we create new neurons as adults. One hundred f’ing years!
I ask you to contemplate this. What other foundational things do most all of us believe today from science…this is simply not true?
If 50%, give or take, of science is wrong, is it even the best place to search for answers?
I’m not saying we should stop all science. Obviously, despite its flaws, there is still utility. But certainly, it should not be the only place we look for answers. And there should be a recognition that it is creating many problems too.
I would and will argue that a lot of these flaws come from the philosophical base from which the vast majority of science is conducted. These include materialism and reductionism.
Materialism is a Failed Philosophy
Materialism is defined:
“The theory that physical matter is the only reality and that everything, including thought, feeling, mind, and will, can be
explained in terms of matter and physical phenomena.”
It is because of materialism we have ideas like consciousness doesn’t exist, it is only an epiphenomenon of the brain. Even if people don’t agree with that statement (almost no one actually does), still most of the neuroscience is looking for the answers to the hard problem of consciousness being answered within the brain and only the brain.
Materialism led to genetic determinism where all your health issues were hereditary, aka caused by genes and there is nothing you can do about them. It wasn’t that long ago with most doctors would tell you disease had nothing to do with nutrition. In fact, some still spout this lunacy!
Even worse, materialism cannot begin to explain simple everyday experiences in life such as love.
Materialism denies the possibility of energy medicine. Materialism denies the possibility of a psychic phenomenon. Nevermind, you look into both of these areas and you find there is TONS of legitimate science showing they not only exist but work.
So why are we still clinging to this failed philosophy?
Science is completely rational and doesn’t have anything to do with faith, right? That’s what it’s proponents will tell you. (After all, you can’t measure faith!)
But this is where it gets fun. Materialists place their faith in materialism! They promise that in a few years we’ll figure out how thought, feeling, mind, and will all work. Consciousness will be explained. Just wait for it. And if I say it’ll happen in the next ten years, but it doesn’t, I was simply wrong about the time frame, and give it another ten years…and another ten…and so on.
The other piece is some strong circular reasoning. Most materialists don’t even see materialism as a philosophy or a theory. They simply think it is the way things are. The objective world is real, measurable and therefore must explain everything.
And this is how they can deny a phenomenon that doesn’t fit into their worldview. It can’t exist, therefore it does not, therefore any science showing it MUST be wrong. (Examples: homeopathy, energy, psychic phenomenon, etc. Any science showing that these options work must be fraudulent or mistaken. Any science showing they don’t is perfectly done.)
Infinitely Down the Reductionist Rabbit Hole
It’s not just materialism. But right along with that, you have reductionism which is defined as:
“An approach to studying complex systems or ideas by reducing them to a set of simpler components.”
Pretty much all of science is built around a reductionism. In other words, if it can’t be measured it does not exist. And in measuring things, we continually break things down into smaller and smaller pieces.
There are a couple of problems with this approach.
First of all, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
Our physics shows us that everything is made up of six quarks. Please explain music with quarks. Or please explain the human endocrine system with those quarks.
It cannot be done. Reducing things down certainly has its uses. But it can’t explain everything because of the phenomenon of emergence. Taking things apart does not necessarily explain how the system works.
Within the human body, we thought we had this down. After all, it fits the materialist philosophy. DNA explains all life…except it doesn’t. The promises of understanding our genetic code have failed to deliver. Remember the Human Genome Project? The promise was that it would end all disease. Yet how many diseases did that cure? Zero. Oh wait, they’re still promising the genetic cures are coming in the future ten years from now… (Hold the faith scientists!)
If you want to understand why DNA is not the end-all, be-all that has been promised I’d recommend Denis Noble’s Dance to the Tune of Life.
Another example, the Neo-Darwinists put the nail on the coffin of Lamarckism for decades…only to discover the idea of inheritance of acquired characteristics was right all along. (Not to mention the ironies that Darwin himself was Lamarckian, nor that this idea was not a mainstay of Lamarck’s research.)
Lest you think I’m only poking fun at the mainstream and conventional, I also see many alternative practitioners still on the DNA and gene bandwagon. Sure they’ve incorporated epigenetics into their worldview, but it’s still all about the DNA, baby.
Reductionism infinitely regresses.
And the human body is insanely complex with emergence at every level. We’ve scarcely scratched the surface of how hormones interact.
It would likely take a lifetime of study to understand everything science says about how all the hormones work. And if you read those recent articles, you’ll see just how large the gaps in our understanding are.
Again, reductionism has its utility. But it cannot be the only answer. Yet almost all science is built on reductionism. Why? Because you have to reduce it down to limited variables in order to find out how things work with science.
This then leads you down rabbit holes, such as how DHT works, which distract from getting to what is really at the root cause of importance.
In other words, trying to optimize your DHT levels as shown with a blood test appears to be a fool’s errand. Instead, you are much better off focusing on the basics of health (but few people actually see the truth of those basics because we have so much information when we reduce things down to various molecules to look at). Be healthy in general and your DHT will take care of itself.
Western Medicine is Built on These Shaky Foundations
Please understand this, because this is so, so, so important to know.
Western medicine, that is our surgical practices, our use of pharmaceutical medicine, even our entire way of looking at health, is built off of materialism and reductionism…even if you don’t personally believe in these things. As a quick and easy example. Do you believe in God? Well, the system of mainstream medicine does not. Reflect on that for a bit.
A failed philosophy and a very limited lens of looking at the world.
No wonder Western medicine has a poor track record.
This paradigm has been around for over a hundred years when the Flexner Report changed the face of medicine.
Back in the early 1900’s heart disease was the number one killer. Today, heart disease is the number one killer.
We have hundreds of new diseases, and plenty of drugs to manage the symptoms, that didn’t even exist back then.
The war on cancer has been waged for almost fifty years, started by Nixon in 1971. Many predicted we’d have the cure by 1976. Ha! Does cancer appear to be slowing down to you? Are the treatments really any better?
Don’t get me wrong. There are some huge successes especially in the area of infectious diseases and in emergency medicine from this model. But chronic disease? Fuhgeddaboudit!
I want you to imagine something. What if we had never adopted these worldviews? What if we looked at things holistically and dumped the equivalent amount of money into research based on that? Where would we be at now? What would be the state of medicine? My theory is that we would be far, far healthier.
And still, the problem goes deeper. With this virtual stranglehold on the worldview that we’ve all been raised with, most people are still looking at things like herbs through a reductionist, materialist perspective. It’s just as limiting here.
Here’s an example. Is Pine Pollen working on your hormones because it is supplying testosterone? This is doubtful. The amount appears to be far too small to do anything. From this reductionist perspective, it, in fact, could not do anything. But that’s not how Pine Pollen works. Truth is we don’t really know how it works. But it does!
Holistically we can look and see that Pine Pollen is a reproductive substance. Reproductive substances, needing to give life, tend to have a lot of nutrients going for them, and possibly something more. Not only does this pollen pollinate pinecones, but it spreads far and wide acting on the rest of nature too. In those areas where it is present, it appears to be a crucial part of making Spring spring up. And it can do the same for you.
I write all this to say that in the future I’ll be talking about some more holistic ways of looking at things and less reductionist and materialist ways.
If you’ve enjoyed this read (or disagree vehemently!) let me know in the comments below.