The Noble Lie: When Scientists Give the Right Answers for the Wrong Reasons
When a doctor tells you that you have bronchitis and should take an antibiotic, you’d probably say that this is an unbiased medical opinion based on an impartial reading of your symptoms, and it makes sense for you to follow your physician’s advice. Should you have the same confidence if you are diagnosed with depression and told to take antidepressants, or informed that a loved one is brain-dead and it’s time to harvest her organs for transplant?
In The Noble Lie, acclaimed and controversial science writer Gary Greenberg takes a penetrating look at common and accepted medical practices and opinions that, while they may be beneficial for society and help us deal with the unfathomable, are essentially the product of moral judgments and not supported by scientific evidence. In a series of riveting true stories, Greenberg examines the processes through which alcoholism and depression came to be accepted as diseases, asks why serial killer Ted Kaczynski was diagnosed as schizophrenic, and examines medical pronouncements on when life begins and ends. He also explains why there is no proof that homosexuality is genetic, and there never will be.
These real-life science fictions may be well-intentioned, but do they cause more harm than good? Read The Noble Lie, then judge for yourself.