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Specious Science: How Genetics and Evolution Reveal Why Medical Research on Animals Harms Humans Hardcover – May 1, 2002
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
"[The Greeks] painstakingly pick apart the reasoning of those who argue the case for using animal models." -- The Civil Abolitionist (CIVITAS), Winter 2002-3
About the Author
C. Ray Greek, M. D., is a board-certified anesthesiologist who has devoted himself to the message of this book. He and coauthor Jean Swingle Greek, D.V.M., speak at national and international forums on the subject of animal experimentation and have recently established Americans for Medical Advancement, a nonprofit foundation based in Los Angeles.Jean Swingle Greek, D.V.M. and co-author C. Ray Greek, M.D. speak at national and international forums on the subject of animal experimentation and have recently established Americans for Medical Advancement, a nonprofit foundation based in Los Angeles.
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This is a subject, the use of animals in experiments being bad science and part of a large , bloated industry
that everyone should be aware of, since it touches so many facets of our lives and involves
unspeakable cruelty to other living beings.
The Greeks use current knowledge of genetics and evolution to explain why animal-modeled science should be viewed with the same skepticism that most educated people view crystal therapy, pyramid power, and faith healing.
Once they have presented a theory for why members of other animal species are not productive models of human disease, the Greeks go on to examine the evidence and demonstrate that their theory is sound. Using the history of medical advancement as their test bed, the authors look at the record and debunk the claims we have all heard about animal research being the source of all cures - claims made by the vested interests that turn out to be spin-doctoring and myth.
With much scholarship and research, the Greeks have uncovered the roots and behind-the-scenes stories of the discoveries that have changed medicine through time into a science. They explain the lost chances and delays that a faith in the animal model has repeatedly caused. They expose the fatal catastrophes that have resulted when scientists have chosen to value animal data over human, and they have explained the surprising histories of the medical miracles that have arisen from doctors trying to help human patients.
The book also points out recent breakthroughs and advances in medicine that are stemming from human biology, genetics, epidemiology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. We learn that computers are screening chemicals at astonishing rates and predicting their efficacy and toxicity as drugs at a rate and degree of accuracy that will embarrass everyone with a stake in the archaic practice of animal experimentation.
Together, Specious Science and their earlier work, Sacred Cows and Golden Geese, present a cogent and compelling argument that explains why animal experiments continue and why they continue to retard real medicine progress and result in continued human suffering.
Anyone wishing to understand the science of medicine and the debate surrounding the theory of animal models will find this book essential reading.
Specious Science excels in at least three areas. First, it's a great primer in the fundamental tenets of sound science. Second, it shows how animal-modelled research fails to meet these basic requirements in theory and in practice. Third, it explains how human-focused medical research, which competes with animal experiments for funding, is superior in its scientific rigor, relevancy, and predictive value.
How many times have we heard that a mouse is the "best" model for studying human disease? One look at a mouse should make you skeptical. The Greeks probe deeper and investigate significant differences between humans and animals at the cellular, sub-cellular, and molecular levels - the arenas in which both the agents of and treatments for disease operate. They explain how small interspecies differences in genetic layout lead to substantial divergences in responses among species. In other words, Evolution 101! The animal model, no matter how strenuous or creatively its proponents argue otherwise, fails this lesson.
"Best animal model" is a fairly meaningless term. Extrapolating from one species to another is fated to be inexact and misleading. Our "hit rate" for medical discoveries is higher in every other type of scientifically-grounded medical research, and for this reason, as the book points out, money squandered on the crude and antiquated animal model harms humans.
Specious Science should be required reading for any life science major, or anyone interested in how charities and the Federal Government spends their health research dollars.