Lorima wrote: Sorry if all this contradicts anyone's naive faith in the purity of science and modern medicine (or conversely, seems like belaboring the obvious). It's not comfortable; just how it is, as nearly as I can discern. Certainly, I had no idea medical science was so corruptible, 10 years ago. I can't blame people for initially being shocked and disbelieving, when they encounter a long-term, unfixable mess like this, propagated by the most trusted institutions. For people who center their belief system on science and technological progress, the shock must be almost existential. On the other hand, I do have to wonder about all the seemingly intelligent people who are excessively slow to recognize what's gone on here, and what it implies about the fragility of (at least medical) science, even when they've personally encountered all the pieces of the puzzle, and spent time thinking about it. Could it simply be that we're reluctant to give up a modern version of religious faith?
In "Cure Unkown: Inside the Lyme Epidemic" (on page 372 of the paperback version of the first edition), Pamela Weintraub wrote:
The political struggle over Lyme disease is likely to rage for years, but it is ultimately science, not politics, that will rule the day.
While reading her book, I was really hoping to come across some practical and realistic suggestions/solutions for resolving the current mess associated with Lyme disease. I'm not sure that I did, although I did finish the book with a sense that science will prevail even if it takes many more years or even decades.
That said, MS was identified over a century ago, and some would argue that we aren't much closer to understanding exactly what causes it or even how to treat it effectively in some cases. Since there are subtypes of MS (and cancer, for that matter), this probably shouldn't come as a big surprise to anyone.
Will it take a century or even half a century to completely answer any outstanding questions, and to resolve any outstanding issues related to tick-borne diseases? I'm guessing that it might. Is there a way to speed up the process? Barring a complete overhaul to the way medicine is practiced and medical research is conducted, I suspect there isn't. Hopefully I'm wrong on both counts.
So, to answer your question: "Could it simply be that we're reluctant to give up a modern version of religious faith?"
Yes, I do believe that the vast majority of people are reluctant to give up their belief that science holds the answers, and that most medical research is conducted by people with integrity -- despite human beings and the current system being far from perfect. To give up that belief/faith might mean questioning a whole lot more about our lives, and that could potentially become even more uncomfortable for many people.