Next New Beginnings -
September 27- 30, 2007
Science Vs. Faith?
by Dr. Bobby Braile
has been a running argument in our profession concerning science and
faith. Some say that we are a science and that we do not need a
philosophy and that to place “faith” in innate intelligence turns us into
a pseudo religion and removes all credibility our profession has in the
world of science. This issue deserves closer scrutiny as there are more
accusations here then reality. In fact, I will maintain here that
medicine is more of a faith based practice than is chiropractic. But when
I say this, I do not mean religion.
Let us begin by asking a question. What is the strongest thing you have
faith in? Most people’s first answer is something related to God, family
or country. In fact, I would suggest that people might say they would be
willing to give up their life for one of these if they felt it necessary.
The concepts of God, family and country elicit such a strong response
that over the centuries armies have evoked these as a mantra in order to
get armies to do battle when the chances for survival by the participants
were not very good.
Now ask yourself, what other areas of faith would you be willing to make
the ultimate sacrifice for? How about your laundry? I cannot remember any
time in history when an army marched into battle for the concept of clean
laundry. In fact, very few concepts other than God, family and country
can evoke the strong feelings that motivate us into a resolve that is
stronger than our survival.
However, I am going to suggest that there is one thing that we, as a
society, believes in so strongly, that many of us will eventually
sacrifice our lives for. That one thing is science. Now I know we have
never heard of a war being fought for science. We have also never heard
anyone say, “Give me science, or give me death!” But the fact is that
this seemingly, unexciting concept of science is one of the strongest
areas of faith many people possess.
Consider the following. When most people get seriously sick, they seek
out some form of “medical science” and feel comforted in the idea of
receiving some form of treatment. Most people will take their medication
and feel that they are doing the right thing for their health. My
question is, Why? Why do you feel comforted? Most people with heart
problems feel comforted that they are regularly taking their heart
medication. In fact, they would consider it dangerous to do otherwise. So
again I ask, why?
I would venture to say that almost all people taking medications have
never read the scientific research that was done on that medication. And
it would be easy to assume that none of them ever performed the research
that was done on the medication they are taking.
This means that that almost everyone who takes medication does so, on
faith. They have faith that there is science behind their medication.
Faith that the researchers did not let anything interfere with the
research results, faith that there was any research linking the
medications they are taking to the condition they have, and faith that
their doctor read the research and understands how that drug affects
their health situation. In fact, there is a whole lot of faith involved
in the process of taking any medication.
I bring this up to make the point that the practice of medicine has
always touted itself as a science and not a faith. Yet most of the
consuming public utilizes this so-called science, purely on faith. This
would be all well and good if there was nothing to question and our
“faith” was well placed. But, honestly, there is much to question.
The facts are daunting. According to the October 8, 2003 issue of the
Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), nationwide, injuries
due to medical error in hospitals result in about 2.4 million extra days
in the hospital and $9.3 billion in extra charges for longer stays and
more care. That same study also noted that more than 32,000 Americans die
each year from these errors. Additionally, the November 11, 1999 issue of
USA Today reported on a study by the Institute of Medicine that showed
that medical mistakes kill anywhere between 44,000 and 98,000
hospitalized Americans each year.
With this and many other indicators showing that medical care is one of
the leading causes of preventable death in the US, one might start to
question this Faith concept. I, for one, think this would be a good
Medicine is either a faith or it is a science. If it is a faith, then we
can go along just as we have and have the mass numbers of unfortunate
effects. If we decide that medicine is to be a science, we need to hold
it up to a true scientific standard.
I am suggesting, that in reality, consumers are making their health care
decisions based on faith. I’m not suggesting that these decisions are
religious, but they are based on some form of faith. Although we as a
profession must continue to hold ourselves up to a increasing standard of
scientific scrutiny, we can not ignore that consumers do not work on this
level, especially when it comes to implementing the practice of medicine.
All health care should be based on its real effect on the quality of
people’s lives. Remember, science is never definitive. Science itself
always raises more questions. If that were not so, we would never have to
do another scientific study again. So is chiropractic a faith based
profession? No more, and probably less, then medicine.
Our Chiropractic Family
Presented by Dr. Kathi Handt
Having raised our
children in the chiropractic life-style, we took a lot for granted. Our
children were never really sick. They missed school for everything except
for being sick! We gave them “wellness days” off! We never knew what it
was to give drugs to our children, or to bring them to the pediatrician
for their vaccinations, camp or school check-ups. They are always happy,
full of energy, and ready to take on the world. We thought that all
Actually, that’s the way all children should be. Unfortunately, as our
children grew up, we saw and heard about the illnesses, the depression,
the smoking, the drugs, the malaise and laziness that affected the live
of so many of their friends.
Those kids could rattle off the names of all of the medications they were
on. I can’t even pronounce one of them! They ran away from home, they
were thrown out of their home, they dropped out of school, and they
flunked out of school. You name it and it probably happened to at least
one of the kids our children knew.
Were we worried about peer pressure affecting our children’s choices in
life? No, we weren’t worried. We knew that our children had been raised
in an environment where they learned to listen to their gut feelings
(innate) and to do that they thought was best for them, no matter what
anyone else thought or said. And we kept open communications with them
all the time so that they could feel comfortable talking to us about
anything that might be on their mind. Our children were all adjusted from
the day they were born. They were totally connected to innate, and they
were strong in their convictions about health, about school, about their
extra curricular activities, and about how they wanted to live their
lives. Did their friends try to convince them to smoke? Yes. Did they try
to convince them to do other drugs? Yes. Did they try to steer them
against their beliefs? You bet! Did they budge? No way! They listened to
Chiropractic has afforded my children the most incredible life, not only
in their health, but in their well-being, in their self-esteem, in every
aspect of their life.
They are all young adults. Josh is a chiropractor; his wife, Meredith, is
a strong chiropractic spouse, Ryan is a talented photographer, and Morgan
is at Life University – another DC2B! We are very proud of all of them
and of the way they chose to create their lives. Did chiropractic have
anything to do with it? Chiropractic had everything to do with it.
I remember, years ago when my kids were young, my neighbor was very
annoyed at me and when I asked her what was wrong, she asked me why my
family was always so happy! I’ll never forget that, and I’ll never forget
my answer to her. I told her, “We live a chiropractic life, and we live
it to the fullest!”
for a New Future
Chiropractic Growth & Philosophy Weekend
When: September 27 - 30, 2007
Where: Sheraton Hotel &
Conference Center, Eatontown, New Jersey,
for reservations, call the Sheraton Hotel & Conference Center today at
1-732-542-6500 and ask for the special New Beginnings rate -
Learn more: Visit our website at
Register now: Please call us at -