Dr. Wysong

For those who know me only for Wysong products, the wide range of topics I have written on since the 1960s may be surprising. Those who don't read carefully and attempt to understand by categorizing, impose labels and causes such as 'creationist,' 'evolutionist,' 'atheist,' 'agnostic,' 'religionist,' 'liberal,' 'conservative,' and so on. However, as commonly understood, none of these attributions are true.

So, if the above labels don't fit, what is the purpose of writing on subjects that seem to depart from what is expected of me? Consider that no person genuinely concerned about the fate of humans and the planet (which I am) can possibly restrict their thinking or activities to one thing. We live in an infinitely connected world where no one act creates only one result.

In exploring why we face the problems we do with health, I have found fundamental flaws in the way humans think. For one, we insist upon imposing our beliefs on the world rather than open mindedly seeking truth and letting reason and facts lead. Secondly, even when obvious solutions are apparent, we almost never change our behavior until crisis strikes. We get too comfortable with our routines, conveniences, and the beliefs we construct to assure us all is okay as things are. The believer may be happy, but the doubter is wise.

Every salubrious discovery ever made has resulted from applying good reasoning and facts (science) to problems. But before that can occur, a person must have a true open mind, which means not being unalterably married to any idea. Unfortunately, this open mind business is the hardest of all human tasks. Instead we clog our brains with preconceptions, beliefs, faiths, media indoctrinations, family lore, and education that create almost impenetrable biases. As a consequence, the crowd is usually far distant from where the truth lies.

Unfortunately the masses adopt ideas not honestly earned by patient inquiry but stolen by listening to the voice of prejudice and poison. The bias resulting from untested belief propped up with little more than the strength of conviction and calcified by stifling doubt, is the most serious and ubiquitous plague to ever infect humans. It is the cause of virtually every ill -- physical, mental, social, political, and environmental -- we visit upon ourselves. That's because any belief that has not been tested by reason and facts causes us to depart from reality (truth). The further we distance ourselves from reality, the more trouble we get in. We can "believe" that we can fly and ignore the truth of the law of gravity. When we jump off the cliff flapping our arms, we soon learn that truth and belief are not the same thing.

As we look about us we see failed health and disease on the increase in spite of trillions and trillions of dollars spent to vanquish it. But we also see the same failed thinking resulting in a world economy on the verge of collapse, social degradation, religious bigotry and terrorism, environmental degradation, and a population more concerned about who will be the next American Idol than whether their children will be able to put a coherent sentence together once they come out of high school. We sow with our arrogant beliefs, reap with tears. We just keep jumping off cliffs.

It necessarily follows that seeking the truth on all human matters (even the hot topics it is not "polite" to talk about) is important since they can directly or indirectly affect our health, quality of life, and even whether life as we have come to know it will be possible. Everything, when understood in the contextual web we find ourselves in, is a health issue and therefore fair game to anyone wanting to improve the human condition. In other words, of what value is learning how to optimize your health with nutrition, if religious terrorism dismantles society, or political decisions cause the collapse of currency and your inability to purchase food or heat your home?

Nothing that humans do or that impacts them is isolated from beliefs about such varied topics as personal responsibility, politics, economics, religion, life, death, ecology, animal rights, origins, ethics, education, history... and thinking itself. Should leaders in society and those who provide services and products be accountable in terms of their beliefs? Certainly. Beliefs govern thinking and thinking governs actions. It is the thoughts that start the evil; the body merely repeats the impressions that have been made upon it by the mind.

The truth can only rise to the top in the open marketplace of the exchange of ideas. To not question is one long sin. Especially is this so in our information age when every two days as much information is created (five exabytes) as was amassed from the dawn of civilization up to 2003.

We all have the preeminent duty to open-mindedly pursue truth and accept it no matter what treasured idea it dismantles. After over a half century of adult life experience, exploring and thinking about all I could, I have found this belief to be the only safe place if one wishes to be truly honest with oneself and malleable to ongoing discovery. So, if there is no objection to open-mindedness, facts, and solving problems before they arise, then there should be no objection to anything I have written.

For those interested in exploring the wonderful hope that open minded thinking brings, exposing beliefs to the fierce light of free and fearless questioning, and understanding specifically how various beliefs and ideologies impact human health and welfare, I invite you to my various writings, books, and websites (including the more challenging and noncommercial AsIfThinkingMatters.com site).