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Does medicine need theory?

The history of adaptogenes, discovered by Israel Brechman, follows the theoretical-medical concept of stress , whose exponent was Janos (Hans) Selye . Before I go on, I will ask - have you ever heard the term " theoretical medicine "? Because I did not meet him in my childhood in any medical book, or later in my studies of physiology at the UK. Theoretical biology is a legitimate science that lectures on the UK and theoretical physics is the everyday concept ...

Theoretical Counter Practical Science

Fortunately, my task is to reject the definition of science, but common sense tells me that "the most science" is physics, then biology and then medicine. Furthermore, intuition tells me that theoretical physics is the true physics, while experimental physics is her maid (though honored). It seems, therefore, that the typical science, which physics undoubtedly is, needs theory, is based on it.

Theoretical biology

If I do not have common sense in biology, I will hear that theoretical biology is an exotic but recognized discipline. It's like an image of a distracted professor - on the one hand, a little "useless", on the other hand, offering profound insights that would allow biologists once and for all to conquer the giant physicists who are publishing in biological journals and who have mastered us in our own field. Biology would like to base itself on its own theory beyond physical chemistry, but it has not been successful in practice - despite the heroic efforts of Wilson, Prigozins and Žabotinsky.

Theoretical medicine

However, the peer review of medicine will be quite negative. I can hear that theoretical medicine is a puffy term, an exotic discipline, at best some kind of introduction to medicine, that every particular illness has a specific aetiology and therapy, that the true theory of medicine is molecular medicine, that cheering attracts laziness and charlatans ... Moreover my intuition It seems that one day - sometimes from the 1930s to the 1960s - theoretical medicine was viewed more seriously, whereas today theoreticians are more concerned with the lack of interest, which is a reflection of the declining interest in science in general, which is a reflection ... But I would already be getting into the field of finance and it does not belong here. In order to find out what other people think about theoretical medicine, I wrote the words "theoretical medicine" into the search engine after writing this paragraph. Snippets from results:

  • "For example, while theoretical medicine is trying to figure out the causes of health and illness, practical medicine simply tries to keep people healthy."
  • Or: "Theoretical Medicine = Biomedicine" (read: theoretical medicine does not exist)
  • Or, "The theoretical medicine, lifted out of life, did not help the sick much." (From the history of medicine, here )
  • One professor (Mikuláš Popovič, born 1941, Mukachevo) has a theoretical medicine among his specialties.
  • Even in the information giant ribbon called Wikipedia, the "Theoretical Medicine" page does not exist (even in the English version), again we find only a handful of professors, the year of the 40s.

The fate of the forgotten sector

It seems therefore that I was not so far from the truth. Medicine likes to say science, but when it comes to cracking bread, it follows the principles of craftsmanship. The original ideas of the founders of theoretical medicine, like Jánosz / Hans Selye with stress, or even Israel Brechman with an adaptogen , are forgotten. Students of medicine will meet the concepts of theoretical medicine in introductory lectures, but theoretical medicine as a discipline, to the extent I hear, practically ceased to exist. Stress and adaptogen folk in fashionable words, and hurrying experimenters do not have time for theory. For example, Marina Davidov, in her review "Eleutherococcus senticosus as an adaptogen - a closer look", collected detailed information on his phytochemistry, but the theoretical and medical meaning of the concept of adapogen is already missing. She had time to get acquainted with only her version of the popular version, which she promptly refused. In the case of stress, Gerald Weissman's "Experimental pathology of stress: Hans Selye to Paris Hilton," where Weissman Selye mocks as the frontman of "stressed" Paris Hilton, his theoretical The work declares self-esteem, and its practical attempts-which the only one can not deny value-diminishes by pointing to the previous authors. But Weissman is not an inability to understand anything but fun - Selye is just one of the hundreds of satire victims that the old man regularly enjoys himself and his audience. In doing so, he inadvertently demonstrates how "normal" medicine is looking at theoretical medicine.

Einstein in medicine is not welcome?

It was Weissman's article, which brought me to the parallel between Sely and Albert Einstein. Weissman fervently reveals what is happening in respectable resources ( pdf ) We do not always know - that Selye has prevented Stress and Strains of Homeostasis (1935) from stressing at least a year, while Selye's flagship publication, "A syndrome produced by various nocuous agents," Discovered in Nature one year later. It also points to older experiments dealing with corticosteroids in stressful situations. It made me think. Even with Einstein, one could point to the previously known Lorentz transformation - that the discovery was already "hanging in the air". But he had to come up with a genius to make it a coherent theory. After all, Konrad Lorenzo, the envy, blame the fact that his imprinting at the house does not tell the peasants anything new and Isaac Newton that the apples fell long before gravity laws ...

The theorists blame yourself for self-promotion

In his life, Selye wrote more than 1,500 papers and scientific reviews, roughly the same as his countryman Pál Erdös, the most productive mathematician of all time. Why so much? Was it just for self-realization, how does Weissman suspect? I think it was an effort to grasp hard to grasp. He faced a similar problem as Doc. Anton Markos , who in his lectures on theoretical biology continues to repeat the same words and reads thousands of pages , although he is trying to single-genate the gene and get rid of the slogan that "the gene is a nucleotide sequence in DNA."

Ignore the chatter

Jánosz / Hans Selye was a productive experimentator. In rats exposed to various stressors, in addition to a specific response, the non-specific general response syndrome (Selye's own induction) showed: adrenal enlargement, lymph node enlargement, thymus reduction, and hormonal changes. He has developed a systematic classification of steroid hormones for corticosteroids (adrenal hormones), androgens and estrogens. He introduced the term glucocorticoid and described the anti-inflammatory effect of corticoids several years before this fact was clinically confirmed ( Szabo2012lhs ). However, I do not consider Selye's greatest contribution to the introduction of new words or to the research of specific hormones, but to the theory of stress and health that Selye calls a unified theory of medicine in his publications and which practitioners still ignore more or less.

Nobello outside the bowl

I do not know if the Nobel Prize is - as Feynman said - the second mistake of Alfred Nobel, but at least sometimes there are slaves. And I am not talking about the ridiculous price of peace for the European Commission (!), But mainly about the fact that the Nobel Committee did not dare give Einstein the theory of relativity - it was considered a "more practical" photoelectric phenomenon. Likewise, Jánosz / Hans Selye never had the chance to get a nobel for a unified theory of medicine, just as it could not be given to genius Erdös for mathematics ... He had the chance to get it for the glucocorticoids he discovered and named. However, when the price for glucocorticoids was awarded in the 1950s, Selye was not on the list. Selye was then nominated for a nobel nine more times - unsuccessfully every time. We just live on a planet where the most prestigious scientific prize for theoretical work is not awarded.

Theoretical medicine is missing today

It is time to admit that I have exaggerated somewhat in the previous text. Stress theory lives, mental stress has been generalized as so-called alostatic burden ( Mcewen2000aal ), and immune and neurological correlates of stress are examined. Even the theoretical medicine is developing somewhere, albeit in a very narrow circle of people interested. For example, Bengt Brülde . Although Brülde calls his discipline "Practical Philosophy", he is mostly practicing hardcore theoretical medicine ( Brulde2001gmt , Brulde2000hdc , etc.) Lewis S. Coleman has a more personal approach to theoretical medicine, see his "30 years lost in anesthesia theory" Anesthesia theories). Coleman has long opened Selye's theory of stress in surgical operations and is attempting to abstain from anesthesia theory as a stress reliever that would otherwise make complicated surgical operations impossible. There will certainly be people who judge the physical superstructure theory for the sake of Kabbalistic calculations of degenerate dimensions, and they will also condemn Coleman's contributions. Even abstract benefits can ultimately lead to specific changes, just as perpetuum mobile has made progress in mechanics. I'm glad to find doctors who are aware of the importance of medical theory, and to approach Selye's relationship with the seriousness it deserves.

The role of Prague in theoretical medicine and biology

Albert Einstein and Jánosz / Hans Selye have a much longer common cause: they both worked in Prague. Selye studied here (at that time it was the German University of Prague), while Albert Einstein discovered a general theory of relativity 100 years ago. Because of the Austro-Hungarian origin of Jánosz Selye, his study of physiology in Prague is not surprising - in the words of biochemistry and immunologist Felix Haurowitz, "all major German physicians worked at the Medical Faculty in Prague and Würzburg." I wonder if Selye also stayed in Viničná 7 like Einstein or downstairs Albert, I welcome it.

Another Prague Anomaly is the present Department of Philosophy and History of Natural Sciences of the Faculty of Science of the Charles University, which offers the field of Theoretical and Evolutionary Biology and where phenomenal Zdeněk Kratochvíl also works. According to Doc. Anton Markos, the establishment of this department was made possible by the atmosphere of the early 1990s and by the vacuum after the abolition of the Marxist-Leninist Institute. At the faculties of the natural sciences of common universities, the establishment of this type of department is otherwise something extraordinary and unusual.

| 23.2.2013