The quote comes from a man named W. Edwards Deeming, a noted management expert circa 1950s. It sums the bane of my existence as an undergrad psychology student. If it cannot be studied, proven beyond a 5% reasonable doubt and peer reviewed then it ceases to exist. There is good reason for this strict empirical approach to research. Bad things can happen when we believe good public speakers with little evidence. Consider spinal immobilization.
Boarded until proven otherwise. Such is the attitude for most spinal immobilization training in the pre-hospital environment. If the mechanism of injury suggests potential spinal involvement we break out the velcro. If the Px thinks about the words pain and neck in the same sentence we lunge to take C-spine. Our otherwise stable Px with no neurological deficits is then tightly strapped onto a rigid backboard, hands and feet bound.
There is growing evidence which suggests this all-encompassing practice has evolved not from empirical research but from dogma and fear of litigation. Dr. John Burton, of the Albany Medical Centre, discussed the over utilization of spinal immobilization in a 2008 Podcast. Among his points was a candid look at the anatomy of a spinal injury.