Knowledge Continuum

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Experts and their social science

Every morning you open the science column of a newspaper, you have a new research finding – I don’t remember clearly if it was last week that I saw an article on a prestigious newspaper citing some research conducted in a university in the USA proving the ill-effects of certain dietary restrictions and today morning to my surprise, the same newspaper cites another research conducted in a university in France stating such restrictions can reduce cholesterol levels by more than 40%. As for dietary recommendations, It doesn’t bother me much since I am going to keep eating what I want to but this raises a question in my mind – how do I know what is true?

I am not a researcher myself and I consume my information like everyone else from the internet, the newspaper, and the tv. And none of them seem to answer the question of how does one know if it is true. Just to clarify, it is not about fake news epidemic that is creating mob-lynchings and misunderstandings, it is about why should anyone ever believe in something because scientists said so. How different is it from a religion that asks you to take things on faith, meaning, if a week’s difference can produce two contradictory theories on such sensitive topics like dietary recommendations, which one do you go with and on what basis?