It Worked for Me (But You Are Not a Clinical Trial)

Cracked Science

Most people don’t care about clinical trials when it comes to treatment efficacy; they trust personal experience. If an infinitesimally diluted solution of nightshade seems to work for them, then this is their pudding and the proof is in it. Some puddings, however, are better than others, and the “it worked for me” pudding is perhaps the least consistent of them all.

Personal experience is simply an unreliable method of assessing the worthiness of a particular treatment against a specific illness. Why is that?

Imagine the following scenario: you have the flu. You’ve been sneezing and coughing for three days now and you’re hit with a fever. You’ve finally had it. You send your significant other to the drugstore to buy a homeopathic remedy, Oscillococcinum, which claims to eradicate flu-like symptoms. You pop a pill. The next day, you feel better. You pop another pill. The following day, even better…

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