The health world has become something of an echo chamber where questions are no longer tolerated and science is settled by consensus.
What to Think
As every researcher knows, critical thinking is at the center of the scientific method. Without critical thinking, all we have is rehearsed rhetoric and unexamined dogma. This level of thinking will never lead to scientific breakthroughs or the actual truth.
Knowledge is best-gained from experience and close examination. And dogma has no place in the quest for knowledge. But what happens when a person becomes dissatisfied with the information at hand and begins to investigate on their own? According to Dr. Larry Palevsky, a person will experience earth-shattering cognitive dissonance.
The 6 Stages of Cognitive Dissonance
But first, what is cognitive dissonance?
Cognitive dissonance is a psychological response in which an individual holds two conflicting ideas in their mind.
“You have to get to the place where you’re open to the possibility that what you were told isn’t true.”– Dr. Larry Palevsky
As Dr. Palevsky explains, when a person strays from the widely accepted narrative, they will undergo a tremendous level of cognitive dissonance in which they attempt to reconcile old beliefs with new information. But as Dr. Palevsky lays out, there are six steps of cognitive dissonance that a person will experience when they begin to question popular beliefs:
- Be open to the possibility that a well-known fact is untrue
- Understand that you are not responsible for the information that you have believed
- Realize that you trusted an authority who may have lied to you
- Deal with the fact that you may have hurt yourself or others
- Anger and betrayal at realizing steps 1-4
- Ask yourself, what do I do now?
Right now, we are experiencing cognitive dissonance on an unprecedented scale. The worldwide campaign of censorship is restricting any and all challenges to medical information But this effort has only lead to more questions and a complete obfuscation of truth. Just as censorship leads to curiosity, curiosity leads to the truth.
Without thinking critically or asking discerning questions, many physicians fail to consider what the truth may actually be. This state of narrow-mindedness limits medical innovation and can even lead to physical or mental harm.
As censorship continues to silence inquisitive minds, there is less room for civil debate or opposing viewpoints. To be clear on the topic of medicine and science, the problem is not whether we agree on a single piece of information, but if we can question information without being labeled or censored. Science, by definition, should never be “settled” or so dogmatic that to challenge it is an act of heresy.
About Dr. Palevsky
Dr. Lawrence Palevsky is an NYS licensed pediatrician who utilizes a holistic approach to children’s wellness and illness. He received his medical degree from the NYU School of Medicine in 1987, and received his pediatric board certification in 1990, and passed his pediatric board recertification exams in 1997, 2004, and 2011.
In his current pediatric practice, Dr. Palevsky offers well-child examinations, consultations, and educational programs to families and practitioners in the areas of preventive and holistic health, childhood development, lifestyle changes and safe and alternative treatments for difficult-to-treat conditions.
Additionally, Dr. Palevsky teaches holistic integrative pediatric & adolescent medicine to parents and medical and allied health professionals both nationally and internationally.
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