Honor Spock’s Logic – Follow the Science

by Dr Nick

Like many I was saddened to hear the loss of one of my heroes growing up – Leonard Nimoy was Spock to me as he was to many others. He epitomized the value of science and logic in the resolution of problems

As my good Friend Jane Sarasohn-Kahn highlighted in her tribute on Healthpopuli: Learning from Mr. Spock and Leonard Nimoy about living long and prospering. Her selection of this iconic moment with Spock were right on target – from one of the great movies from the franchise – Wrath of Khan

Spock: “Do not grieve, Admiral. It is logical: the needs of the many outweigh…”
Kirk: “The needs of the few…”
Spock: “Or the one.”

He spoke out on smoking – something that in the end killed him before his time in this tweet from January 2014:

I quit smoking 30 yrs ago. Not soon enough. I have COPD. Grandpa says, quit now!! LLAP

I quit smoking 30 yrs ago. Not soon enough. I have COPD. Grandpa says, quit now!! LLAP
— Leonard Nimoy (@TheRealNimoy) January 30, 2014

30% of people will suffer serious Chronic Obstructive Airways Disease (COPD) as a result of smoking – and that’s just one of a slew of diseases inextricable linked to smoking. Smoking while in decline in some countries is on the rise in others and this major health risk remains one a negative impact on personal health

You can explore WHO data in this interactive chart from who here

But don’t limit the application of science to health and smoking – you can put Vaccines in the same category of Science and Logic. Jimmy Kimmel captured the sentiments aptly in this segment featuring real doctors

So much of your health boils down to Lifestyle choices that was so elegantly captured by Brigitte Piniewski, MD in this chart

Where would you rather be – fun or no fun

Spock the Hero with Super Powers
We may wish for the seriously cool vulcan Nerve Pinch

But we don’t need the vulcan nerve pinch. He and his character have taught us that science while not infallible has been working for us for millennium. We have started to tap into the power of science and the opportunity offered to our health and well being.

When it comes to science and healthcare Doctors are your trusted advisor – the relationship may be changing from the paternalistic role to a collaborative role as Eric Topol so eloquently describes in his latest book – The Patient will See you Now. But as captured in this piece by this Trauma Surgeon (@DocBastard) on the Daily Beast: Why You Trust the Internet More Than Your Doctor

…for god’s sake don’t think that you know as much as a doctor because you Googled something. Medical training takes up to a decade or longer (depending on the specialty), so a 0.452 second Google search does not substitute for consulting with an actual physician whose only interest is your health.

We are only at the beginning – what comes next and in our future is unimaginable. Our innovation, inventiveness and abilities continue to expand our universe and our understanding. Science wins- every time. Be logical with that splash of human emotion and honor his legacy – open your mind, analyze the facts and apply the science. As Jesse: Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Live Long and Prosper (LLAP)

or perhaps

Live Long, Logically and Prosper (L3AP)

On a side note – if you are interested in the history of the Spock Vulcan Salute – Live Long and Prosper you can watch his explanation of his Jewish Origins here (derived from the Hebrew letter shin  and the first letter of several hebrew words Shaddai (god), Shalom (hello/goodbye/peace) and Shekhinah (feminine word for god) – How Fascinating!


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