Scientists Retreat on Chronic-Fatigue Theory
Articles in the The Baltimore Sun and The Wall Street Journal are significant in a number of ways. With respect to the matter of an infectious cause of chronic fatigue, they would suggest that prior theories and findings in support of this may lack foundation. This would support other etiologies including psychogenic.
On a broader note, the trail of study as summarized shows how science as a discipline works. Hypotheses are generated. Studies test the hypotheses and support or refute them. Studies are replicated and the process can be repeated in various permutations. Scientists are willing to be disproven and will let the data decide their positions.
Science, while imperfect, is a process and system of inquiry and openness to let the outcomes speak for themselves.
There are many people who believe they suffer from chronic fatigue. See http://www.cfids.org/. At this site one finds great interest in the research (http://www.research1st.com/2011/09/13/the-x-factor/).One can’t question the suffering of those in pain. It should be interesting to observe how changing scientific views impact individuals’ views and interpretation of the meaning and origins of their pain.