I do not want to leave the impression from any former blog in this series, God's Dietary Pattern for Man, that I believe the works of science to be of little value; quite the opposite is true. Most researchers earnestly seek truth and are rewarded for their efforts by discovering truths that help put the entire tapestry of any subject together. Researchers form hypotheses; then they test those hypotheses to reach conclusions. Often this leads to modifying a hypothesis and to further research. Once they form conclusions they still must submit their work for "peer review."
Now their work, including errors of commission or omission, is put through the scrutiny of others who are often seeking similar conclusions. If their work is tight and solid, the conclusions are generally accepted as truth. If errors of commission or omission are discovered by others, these are also published, and the work goes on in the pursuit of truth.
Reflect on the instructions God gave concerning how we are to receive revelation in D&C 9 and you will come to conclude that honest researchers indeed qualify to receive revelation and further light and knowledge. Therefore, I do not believe it is wise to disregard the evidence put forth by man; however, I do believe that in order for them to most benefit us, they must be considered within the context of what God has already spoken on the subject.
God does not lie, indeed cannot lie. The intelligences of the universe do his will because they trust Him. He navigates the razor's edge of truth with perfection; therein lies his honor and his power. Therein he can command the independent intelligences and they obey, knowing that he will not and cannot ask anything of them that is not for their ultimate good.
Understanding this about God, Widsoe once said, "If science does not align with the teachings of God on a subject, be patient and it eventually will." Widsoe, an apostle who was first a scientist, recognized the scientific process to be the process of revelation, including the review of peers, which by design, ultimately shakes out error to come towards higher truths.
That having been said, there is a dark side to science that certain entities have learned to exploit. Men who fear man more than God are still easily exploited, for a few pieces of silver, to abuse the scientific method in a way that causes clouds of confusion regarding relatively simple subjects. Why do they do this? Because the entities who furnish the silver have a vested interest in outcomes received.
For example, the dairy industry once proved that 3-a-day dairy leads to poor bone health. After discovering that too much dairy product leads to poor bone health, they never followed up this research to know why. In fact, all further research has been designed to avoid prior discoveries. This is an example of how placing self-interests above truth can lead to confusion and error.
Because of the weaknesses of man in these matters, specifically that some men will always be tempted by 30 pieces of silver, we can thank heaven that God has spoken on this subject and that we can refer to his book of health as the basis for all understanding.
Therefore, let us never throw the baby out with the bath water by glibly, vainly, and irrationally dismissing science. Let us consider truth from any source and not stray afar from what God has spoken. Recently I read something from a powerful writer on health who was teaching in error and was citing certain research to validate his erroneous position. Some members of Your Health Today had read his statements and were worried. I told them to be patient, that he would have to alter his position in time if he cared about the truth. Within two weeks he modified his previous statements.
To his fault he had misinterpreted the research he had cited. After I reviewed the same research, it was obvious that his extrapolations were filled with error. To his credit, for some reason he re-aligned with truth just a short time later. We all make mistakes. I once promoted agave nectar as an ideal sweetener. Why? Because the data that existed at the time reflected that it was an ideal sweetener. Unfortunately that data was put together by those selling agave. As peer-reviewed science began on agave, another story unfolded. One thing that was discovered, after testing multiple brands of agave, is that the glycemic index averaged 85 + or - six points among the multiple brands that were tested. Also, similar to what happens in the creation of trans fats, the natural fructose became altered or fractionated as the enzymes and heat employed during the refining process changed the God-given chemical structure of the fructose. Current research demonstrates that fractionated fructose is not recognized by the body as real food and is bad for you. Moreover, fractionated fructose levels were up to 90% of the sugar content in the extracted agave nectars tested. All the hype about agave being superior to other sweeteners had no basis and the research demonstrated that agave is no better than corn sweetener or refined sugar, and is possibly worse than either. We also learned that there is no such thing as truly raw organic agave, certified or not. Organic and raw implies to the public that the product is whole, not processed, refined, heated, or altered chemically. Current research demonstrates that agave is no better than other sweeteners, in spite of powerful marketing that would tend to convince many to the contrary; therefore, it should be considered as other sweeteners--to be used sparingly, if at all. The Glycemic Index Research Institute has issued a very strong warning concerning the use of agave. Whenever market hype and science collide, we ought to slow down sufficiently to ascertain the truth before swallowing hook, line, and sinker.
We could go on for hours on this subject citing other examples; however, the take home message is that we ought to be truth seekers first and foremost and be willing to alter our positions in favor of truth, if we want the benefits of applying and living truth in our lives. We must overcome the false traditions and beliefs of man if we desire truth's outcomes. It doesn't matter that a manufacturer of any product goes to church or even if they are an outstanding citizen in the community. That is irrelevant when evaluating manufactured products. They stand or fall on their own. If they don't measure up, they ought to fall. If silver is our God, perhaps we will follow a path that would attempt to convince others to the contrary, desiring the outcome of wealth, retirement, filling our barns to overflowing, until we can sit back and say, "All is Well in Zion, the Lord hath Surely Prospered me..."
It is increasingly difficult to discern between real science and junk science, as junk science is now skillfully employed to create seemingly authoritative conclusions in the minds of an unsuspecting public. Real science is to be applauded and upheld; all junk science should be exposed in order to keep the truth simple and to clear the unnecessary clouds of confusion. The primary test of real science is that it has been conducted in a manner to allow it to be submitted to the peer-review process, where others interested in outcomes of research can look for accuracy, errors of commission, and errors of omission. If a company cites their own research to back claims made in their marketing, yet cannot or has not qualified their research for peer review, generally speaking, you should question the value of the research that is cited.
All My Best,
James Daniel Simmons