I am discussing this Pinker video elsewhere, but the point he makes at this bookmark reminded me of a conversation I had recently.
Someone brought up mushrooms as a possible medicine for Alzheimer’s. I noted that I had heard about that on Science Friday. Some tests had been done, but they were preliminary, so the Science Friday guest was not willing to say what type of mushroom or what dose would have what result. In response to that, this someone said that there was a guy who has been making and selling mushrooms for decades, he was on a Netflix documentary, and he had a story about giving his grandmother mushrooms, and they thought that he would be willing to say what to use.
This resulted in a heated exchange about science.
What I thought of later was, okay, you trust “mushroom guy”, so, why aren’t you emailing him and finding out what to do for people in your life who have dementia? It’s because they didn’t believe in the mushroom cure like they believe their doctor, rather, they have a distrust in the ivory tower of science, and “mushroom guy” represents that belief. Intuitively, I’d like “mushroom guy” to be right too, he sounds like someone I’d like to meet. But, when making a medical decision, I use a different set of rules.