Absence of Evidence

Many years ago, when I was a research student in college, I came across a quote by a wise scientist :

Absence of evidence, does not necessarily mean evidence of absence

It was meant to be understood in the context of research where some tests throw up a ‘negative’ result which may or may not indicate the absence of the substance/phenomenon as it could very well be on account of the limitation of the test itself!

As I attend a “wellness” program sponsored by my employer in an effort to alleviate the stress levels among its harried workforce, I am reminded of this quote and how relevant it is in today’s times.

A quick look inside the clinic of a medical practitioner will reveal that today’s major ailments are not named smallpox, tuberculosis and yellow fever, but blood pressure, heart disease, backaches and tired-all-the-time syndrome.  And that the average age of the patient is coming down from the 50-60 years and upwards to the 20-30 age group! 

Most of us will also agree that stress levels at work are at an all-time high, and that leaves hardly any time for personal/familial pursuits – activities that will most definitely help reduce the stress we go through every day. 

Yet, for many of us, the “absence of disease” is a strong enough indication of “good health”! 

Wellness is for health freaks.  As long as I am not suffering from any debilitating disorder, I am doing alright, am I not?

C’est la vie…

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