I am glad I live in an era shaped in part by the scientific method. Here is a photo of the soil report for the sample taken in our garden at the end of September.
The production of the information on this single sheet took only a few minutes for a few people and cost $20, but the methods behind it, its interpretation, and appropriate amendments to increase the fertility of our soil represents the work of many, many years for a few people.
Despite the various times and situations we humans abuse, distort, or misinterpret results from various studies for any motive, there is still a ton of wonderfully useful and beneficial knowledge available to us as a direct product of testing hypotheses.
By amending our soil to certain parameters, elucidated independently, but roughly contemporaneously, by Carey Reams and William Albrecht, we can be comfortable knowing that we're growing plants as healthful and vibrant as our current knowledge allows. I'm deeply thankful to live in an age when some of the links between soil fertility and health have been ferreted out and to have the tools and resources available to move our patch of dirt a lot closer to the "ideal".