"Alice Huyler Ramsey (1887-1983) in 1909. Asphalt roads were a rarity and repairs frequent during the pioneer cross-country drive of Alice Huyler Ramsey in 1909. Shown here changing a tire on her green Maxwell."By http://www.scc.rutgers.edu/njwomenshistory/Period_4/ramsey.htm, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7435848
"Good driving has nothing to do with sex. It’s all above the collar." Alice Ramsey
Alice Ramsey had to change tires 11 times in her successful 1909 attempt to become the first woman to drive almost 4000 miles from the East Coast of the United States to the West Coast.
If you have changed one, or if you've ever closely watched someone doing it, then one thing quickly becomes apparent--for safety, you don't want the car falling back down onto the ground (and onto you!). Once you begin lifting the car, then you want it to securely keep going only upwards, until the time that you decide to bring it down again, under control.
The way that you guarantee that the car will only go in one direction while being lifted is to use a tool called a jack. You can see Ramsey's jack in the center front of the photo--it doesn't look that much different from the jacks used on cars in the 1960s and 1970s.
The way that a jack ensures motion in only one direction is through the use of a ratcheting mechanism. These Wikipedia images show how a ratchet works to ensure movement in only one direction.
IMAGE 1 AND IMAGE 2 HERE, CURRENTLY BEING MODIFIED AND DETAILED EXPLANATION OF GEAR AND PAWL BEING ADDED
A jack is an example of how a physical ratchet works on real objects in the material natural world. Now we're going to use that literal ratchet in a more figurative way, in order to understand the more abstract way in which science is progressive.
Visualize the sum of all human knowledge as the gear. No one human has access to everything that that gear represents, but taken all together, we--by definition--know everything that humans know.
The pawl is validation of that knowledge. If the ratchet works correctly, then it keeps moving forward, and new and validated knowledge keeps being added, while false claims and other misinformation is prevented from being added to (and ruining) the gear.
That's why reality-based client-centered healthcare professionals don't resort to "energy medicine" or vitalism or any number of discredited alt-med ideas that MT in the US actively promotes as being associated with massage. Those ideas have been tested, repeatedly, and they failed.
No number of mulligans or do-overs is going to make them true, because they are not true. We have the choice of accepting that fact and moving forward with our clients and our prospective healthcare professional colleagues, or of losing ourselves in that denial of reality, hoping in vain that, just this once, the metaphorical ratchet will--against all nature--run backwards and finally, finally, validate those ideas.
Applying the principle of charity: a lot of people who truly believe in an idea don't know that that idea has been tested repeatedly, and has repeatedly failed the test. Others know that intellectually, but feel that the emotional and psychological consequences of deeply understanding the consequences of that fact are too high for them to pay.
Sometimes, you will see people who don't understand science misinterpret research literacy to mean that every hypothesis in every research study has a 50-50 chance of being true. Reality literally seems to them as though you could flip a coin, and it really could go either way.
I want you to have a more solid and deep understanding than that. If you understand that there is a scientific consensus about knowledge of the natural world--not a perfect, complete, frozen one, but rather a provisional, incomplete, and contingent one--then you are already in a better position to evaluate the validity of knowledge claims (and to protect your client and yourself from fraudulent ones) than most people are.
Behaviors that you are not expected to tolerate: The physicist Robert Oppenheimer said, "There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry … There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors. Our political life is also predicated on openness. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it and that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. And we know that as long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress.".
That is literally true, but scientifically-literate people also know that the ratchet effect of validation and the scientific method serve to test and discard false ideas, and to prevent them from being incorporated into the sum total of human knowledge. We don't revisit "energy medicine", reiki, or vitalism any more than we revisit the possibility that 2 + 2 = 7, and for exactly the same reasons.
Always be open to something new going forward, and if it doesn't match the consensus of human knowledge about the material physical natural world, ask yourself why that is. If it's a truly new frontier finding, then you can reasonably expect people to work hard to resolving the apparent contradictions, and to communicate that information credibly to you. But if it's just another eternal revival of an idea that's been discredited, and the person reviving it hasn't done the homework to know that it's already been discredited many times--or, if they know that, but they just don't care--you're under no obligation to spend your time on a futile argument.
You may be accused of being dogmatic or close-minded, even something as over-the-top ridiculous and inflammatory as "Left-Brained Taliban", by people who truly envision themselves as courageously calling out such things. You may even be accused of "attacking" their character, or of "bullying" them, simply because you refuse to pretend as though a fantasy is real.
You are not called upon to tolerate or listen to such accusations, nor to take them to heart. They just mean that you currently find yourself among people who are not prepared to accept and appreciate what you have to offer. But it's a big world out there, and there are many, many other people who love reality, and will be eager to welcome you as a fellow explorer and discover.
Go find your people! You won't regret it.