How often have you listened to a news item reporting on some new scientific study or research finding and found yourself rolling your eyes back in your head in a markedly exaggerated manner at the obviousness of the findings?
It seems to me that the desire to confirm everything scientifically has resulted in us losing our ability to follow our intuition.
I watched a programme on the TV a few nights ago following identical twin Doctors. They were seeing what the effects of drinking, what seemed to me to be large quantities, of alcohol would have on their overall health and particularly the health of their livers. One was binge drinking once a week and the other was spreading the same amount of alcohol over the whole week. But guess what, drinking lots of alcohol isn’t really very good for you whether you drink it all at once or spread it over the week. Am I really the only one who kind of intuitively knew this?
It seems to me that common sense isn’t that common. But surely we all have our gut instincts? So what stops people from following them? Is it an over reliance on the proof we look for in science? We live in a scientific age but the best scientists acknowledge the importance of intuition.
Einstein famously said;
‘The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant.
We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift. ‘
Other research that just seems to prove the blindingly obvious includes dozens of studies dating from the 1950s to today that have shown that children who have breakfast before school do better academically. I want to say ‘duh’. But there may be research that shows people who say ‘duh’ have a limited vocabulary. That’s what my intuition tells me.
The BBC’s coverage of the Chelsea Flower show this week has been as usual wonderful and one of their pre-recorded items looked at how gardening was being used to help treat and rehabilitate people suffering from mental illness. Growing plants, tending the soil watching nature in all her magnificence makes people feel better. But the part of it that had my eyes rolling in my head again was an interview that was then done with an MP who had previously been a Doctor. Asked if she thought this sort of therapy should be rolled out more widely she was rather cagey and said we would have to wait until we had seen the result of future studies. Give me strength!
Apparently studies also show that old people who live alone can be lonely and this can lead to depression. Is that really a surprise to anyone?
Maybe the money spent proving the blindingly obvious could be better spent building gardens in hospitals and hospices, feeding children breakfast and getting the elderly together more often to enjoy each other’s company.
Do let me know what your favourite piece of blindingly obvious research is and let’s make sure we all listen to our ‘guts’ and don’t let those scientific types undermine the gift of intuition we all have.