For a moment there that headline might seem like preaching the converse of “The Secret”, the toxically ignorant book promoted by the toxically ignorant Oprah. But this isn’t about the notion that thinking bad – or good – thoughts produces bad or good results. That notion is just plain dumb. (It’s also hateful because it inescapably claims that bad things happen to people because they don’t think good thoughts.)
What I mean by “bad thinking” here however is poor thinking – the inability to think critically, the inability to understand or effectively utilize science and scientific reasoning. And when that kind of bad thinking is in effect, then in fact, very bad things do happen. Not to mention: to good people. And their children.
This was evidenced yet again a few weeks ago when a study published in the journal “Pediatrics” provided further evidence that the 2010 pertussis (whooping cough) outbreak in California was partly the result of increased numbers of parents opting out of vaccinating their children.
From Penn Jillette: "No one outside of my family means more to me than James Randi. It is no exaggeration to say that without Randi there would be no Penn & Teller. It’s also a fact that without Randi there wouldn’t be me the way I am today. It’s not just my career I owe to Randi, but so much of my life, so much of who I am. I asked him to look at the evidence that I’m becoming a bad guy and report on it."
Randi has responded and says a new monster is among us - Penn is BAD!
Here is a recap of the stories that appeared last week at Science-Based Medicine, a multi-author skeptical blog that separates the science from the woo-woo in medicine.
Yes, Chris beat cancer, but it wasn’t quackery that cured (David Gorski) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/chris-beat-cancer/ Most claims of alternative cancer cures are based on misunderstandings. Chris Wark claims to have cured himself of stage 3 colon cancer with nutrition and natural therapies after he had surgery but refused chemotherapy. The truth is that with surgery alone, his odds of surviving 5 years were around 64%, and that amounts to a cure, since those cancers seldom recur after 5 years. With adjuvant chemotherapy, he would have increased his odds of 5 year survival by 12-16%. It was surgery, not natural therapies, that beat his cancer,.
Chiropractic Education for Primary Care (Harriet Hall) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/chiropractic-education-for-primary-care/The NHUS is training chiropractors to become primary care physicians. A study of diagnostic categories for patients seen in their teaching clinic purported to show that their training is adequate preparation for that role, but in reality it shows just the opposite.
I recently tried to make a casual connection with the "LinkedIn" system and found that it can be a rather insidious experience. They reached into my computer and extracted every contact I'd ever made - some of them from a decade or more back - and I found that I'd inadvertently asked every one of several hundred persons to "link" with me. My personal - confidential - email address was distributed worldwide, and now I have to cancel that and establish a new one.
I'll be contacting those with whom I wish to share personal contact, while I still welcome communications to the JREF, some of which I can - and will - respond to personally.
My tedious medical problems are responding to proper care, and I'm looking forward to being fully "in the saddle" again and showing up in SWIFT regularly. I regret my absence, and I'm grateful for all the kind encouragement that has poured in from JREFers and others around the world. Many thanks...