About 6 months ago, I commented on a medical blog that possibly - just possibly - we were overtreating for breast cancer. After all, it was possible that some tumors came and went without us even knowing about it. I suggested that we needed some negative controls for breast cancer, and that it wasn't a bad idea to let some patients opt out of masectomies and see what happens.
I was laughed off the blog. My scientific credentials and ethical values were challenged. The comments were very reactionary, not very scientific.
Six months later, and my how things have changed. The phenomenon I predicted was borne out in major studies. I heard doctors talking about it on NPR. Now, in recognition of these new findings, it looks like the recommended age for mammography may soon change from 40 to 50.
A lot of bloggers call themselves "skeptics" because they dare to mock other peoples' beliefs. But that's not what science is about. Science is about creativity and challenge, not biology-textbook dogma. It's about thinking outside of the box. From that perspective, I daresay some of these science bloggers could learn a thing or two from the people they are mocking.