Why is personal experience placed above scientific consensus?

This can be confusing to those who first read it. The knowledge of the experience itself is placed above the knowledge of a consensus on any particular issue. However, theĀ explanation for that experience, if not the consensus, would be placed on the third or fourth level of knowledge. There is a clear distinction between what we experience and the cause or causes to which we attribute the experience.

Anecdotal evidence is given no weight at all under this model of medicine. However, experiences are evidence of something to the one who experiences them. What that something is cannot be determined except by going through the scientific process. The language used when talking about personal experiences is critical.

Let’s use the example given under the level one knowledge category of the tiered medicine model, in which I took a homeopathic remedy and then later my headache went away. I can say two things about this:

  • My headache went away.
  • I took a homeopathic remedy an hour before this happened.

However, these observations cannot be causally connected on the basis of this one experience. In order to do that, there would need to be clinical studies conducted and peer-reviewed research published. However, this doesn’t mean that my headache did not go away. It did; I just don’t know how or why it happened. But since it did happen, I would probably try the remedy again the next time I got a headache due to the level one knowledge I had acquired through the previous experience.

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