Nobel for Discoverers of Ulcer Bacteria

[BBC News](http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4304290.stm):

> Two Australian scientists have been awarded the Nobel prize for medicine for their discovery that stomach ulcers can be caused by a bacterial infection.

I thought this was pretty fascinating. Before Robin Warren’s and Barry Marshall’s discovery in 1982, it was pretty much a given that ulcers were caused by too much stress and a poor lifestyle. Even in the 90’s, when my mom had an ulcer, she was told pretty much to try to reduce her stomach acid levels and chill out a bit. This was so much the case [that](http://www.uncommondescent.com/index.php/archives/388),

> “When Robin Warren and Barry Marshall first claimed that the bacterium Helicobacter pylori plays a key role in the development of both stomach and intestinal ulcers, they were roundly ridiculed. So much so that Marshall actually infected himself to prove the point.”

As William Dembski is pointing out, “The scientific community’s reception of this discovery *should* give us pause about the continuing controversy over ID” (emph. added). The image we often get of scientists is that of open-minded free thinkers, who consider each new idea on its own merits, without prejudice. Why shouldn’t we? That’s how *science* works, isn’t it? But science and scientists are two different things.

In reality, people always like to hold on to their old ideas, whether religious, or cultural, or scientific, and the scientific community can be every bit the masters of the close-minded imperium as the religious council that bid Copernicus recant. It usually takes a good firm shove in the right direction before a person will consider a blind spot. Barry Marshall had to give himself an ulcer to get people to reconsider a bacteria. What will it take to get people to reconsider Darwin?

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