“What is not fully understood is not possessed”--Goethe
“It is the function of science to discover the existence of a general reign of order in nature and to find the causes governing this order. And this refers in equal measure to the relations of man-social and political-and to the entire universe as a whole.”--Dmitri Mendeleev
“Not only will men of science have to grapple with the sciences that deal with man, but—and this is a far more difficult matter—they will have to persuade the world to listen to what they have discovered. If they cannot succeed in this difficult enterprise, man will destroy himself by his halfway cleverness.”—Bertrand Russell, 1872-1970
Hans Selye MD, PhD (1907-1982) is the Father of stress theory. During medical school in Hungary, he suspected that a common mechanism causes weight loss, discomfort, fever, fatigue, edema, and inflammation in diverse diseases. A Rockefeller scholarship brought him to McGill University, where he discovered that various "noxious agents" induce a pathological triad in laboratory rats (swelling of the adrenal cortex, atrophy of the thymus, and gastric ulcers).(1) He hypothesized that a physiological “stress mechanism” causes disease, and that its discovery would enable a “unified theory of medicine.”(1, 2)
It is difficult to discern the distant excitement that followed the 1953 discovery of DNA. Because the bacterial"transcription/translation" mechanism remains unconfirmed in multicellular plants and animals, many reasoned that Selye's stress mechanism explains embryology, physiology, pathology, and stress. Selye became the most prominent physician in the world. He trained hundreds of researchers and led an international search for the stress mechanism that lasted 30 years and squandered hundreds of careers, thousands of tortured test animals, and millions of dollars. It achieved important discoveries, but it besmirched the reputation of science, and nobody found any clue of the stress mechanism. Finally, Selye’s ideas were abandoned and he died frustrated and forgotten.
Theoretical progress has stagnated for 30 years since stress theory was abandoned,(4) while prominent professors proclaim that no single mechanism can explain embryology, physiology, pathology, and stress.(3) Their glib assessment is premature. Selye's theory was never disproved, and it remains as virile as ever. Fresh information from unrelated research has recently revealed a testable “mammalian stress mechanism” (MSM) that explains Selye's theory, which is now poised to resume its rightful role as the prevailing paradigm of medical research and revolutionize medical science.(5-7)
Medicine has done its job. The rest remains in the realm of power, politics, and privilege that promotes and perverts all human endeavor.
Medicine is a social science, and politics is nothing else but medicine on a large scale. Medicine, as a social science, as the science of human beings, has the obligation to point out problems and to attempt their theoretical solution; the politician, the practical anthropologist, must find the means for their actual solution. The physicians are the natural attorneys of the poor, and social problems fall to a large extent within their jurisdiction.