Re: Use of science/facts in decision making
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sun, 1 Jan 2017 12:47:29 -0800 (PST)
> On Jan 1, 2017, at 9:07 AM, Igor Cerny/USA/MD/21791/LVC via Cohousing-L 
> <cohousing-l [at]> wrote:
> Scientific debate can give the illusion that it is fact versus fact.

Thank you for the reminder that what is called science is actually any field in 
which conclusions are made based on observation and experiment. A dictionary 
definition of a science:

> The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of 
> the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through 
> observation and experiment.

Much of that we know as scientific fact is actually an informed opinion based 
on observation and experimentation.

Some opinions are just guesses or personal preferences and others are informed 
opinions. Even though informed opinions are not facts, they are usually more 
reliable than feelings and personal opinions when you are looking for a basis 
on which to make a financial or behavioral decision.

Scientific method means try  the most workable solution first and measure 

Making everyone happy can be done using scientific method too. Try it and see 
if it works. I was shocked to see in a nursing home, a nurse take 5-6 residents 
outside for a smoking break. Happier people you have never seen. They went out 
twice a day.

Most of the residents were in their 70s and 80s, so the menu was the awful 
packaged food of the 1950s. They loved it and even remembered the names of the 
dishes and their own recipes.

The nurse explained to me, this is not a hospital. We have as few rules as 
possible. Does it make sense to require terminally ill people to follow the 
currently considered healthy practices, or within reason, to make them happy. 
These are their choices.

The home also had three cats before anyone was studying the beneficial effects 
of pets. They arrived as patient’s pets that the patients wouldn’t leave 
behind. They quickly become everyone's. The cats often slept on the chests of 
patients in comas who received little other attention. It made everyone feel 

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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