MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

The 30 most recent comments from all posts are listed below. Click on the post title to go to the comment on the post’s page.

  • Comment by Edzard on The UK media report about my new book … and the Berlin wall Friday 23 August 2019: 17:08 thanks for confirming your stupid childishness
  • Comment by Pamela on The UK media report about my new book … and the Berlin wall Friday 23 August 2019: 17:08 @ Richard, Prof. Earnie's friend does not enter into correspondence but he may be keeping tabs on this blogging site. 😀 😀 😀
  • Comment by Rgp on Don’t let a chiropractor near your kids! Friday 23 August 2019: 15:08 Hey Dr. Ernst, We're you able to find a source for the BCBS document that the Chronicle of Chiropractic article quoted multiple times? Doesn't add up to me. Usually these policies are done state by state. Also, none of the quotes bring up any results on Google...
  • Comment by Johannes Rohr on The role of placebo effects in mindfulness-based analgesia Friday 23 August 2019: 14:08 It is not like meditation teachers promise that mediation has an analgetic effect. It improves mechanisms for coping with pain, but it doesn't make the pain magically disappear.
  • Comment by Edzard on The UK media report about my new book … and the Berlin wall Friday 23 August 2019: 14:08 yes, and of course here: https://edzardernst.com/2015/04/ainsworth-homeopathic-pharmacy-defamation-or-libel/
  • Comment by UK Homeopathy Regulation on The UK media report about my new book … and the Berlin wall Friday 23 August 2019: 13:08 Pinkus has form https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-devon-20991335. Worse is the email http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/14_01_13_ainsworths.pdf were Pinkus recommends Pertussin 30c for homeoprophylaxis.
  • Comment by Edzard on The role of placebo effects in mindfulness-based analgesia Friday 23 August 2019: 11:08 please understand: this is not my study; I only know its abstract.
  • Comment by Johannes Rohr on The role of placebo effects in mindfulness-based analgesia Friday 23 August 2019: 11:08 Sorry that I keep bothering you, but could you maybe post an example of the instructions with and without "the active ingredient" as they were used in the study? I'm genuinely curious...
  • Comment by Steve Tonkin on The UK media report about my new book … and the Berlin wall Friday 23 August 2019: 11:08 I thought Dana Ullman meant Nanomedicine = Homeopathy He did. He's wrong. Again.
  • Comment by Edzard on Don’t let a chiropractor near your kids! Friday 23 August 2019: 11:08 and thanks for confirming what I stated above about chiros.
  • Comment by Edzard on Don’t let a chiropractor near your kids! Friday 23 August 2019: 11:08 congratulations! you have just won the award for the most brainless comment of the month.
  • Comment by Edzard on The role of placebo effects in mindfulness-based analgesia Friday 23 August 2019: 11:08 I hope they publish the full paper soon, but I do not know when or where.
  • Comment by Les Rose on Don’t let a chiropractor near your kids! Friday 23 August 2019: 10:08 So practice guidelines are the highest level of evidence? First I heard of that, and the guidelines were no doubt written by chiropractors.
  • Comment by Johannes Rohr on The role of placebo effects in mindfulness-based analgesia Friday 23 August 2019: 09:08 Is the full text available anywhere or will it? We do know that pain receptivity is influenced by your mental state. The happier you are, the less affected you are by physical pain which is there. The more you are depressed, the more it affects you. Mindfulness meditation is not the only form of mental excercise that can give you increased happiness. So you could get the same pain relief from using other techniques, which aren't even related to meditation, such as autogenic training or a myriad of others. There is a ton of research into the effects of meditation, and the gist is, that it doesn't reliably lessen physical pain, but improves coping abilities, in particular with regard to chronical pain. For me, it has also been tremendously helpful in coping with tinnitus (which is of course chronic), even though the tinnitus itself hasn't subsided. ( aside: I know of no mediation teacher who even promises that mindfulness/insight meditation will make your pain go away, so this seems a bit like a red herring) Also, every halfway competent meditation teacher will tell you, that meditation is not a substitute for therapy, not for medication, not even for antidepressants... Reasons for practising mindful meditation absolutely go far beyond the short-term effects which seem to have been at the center of research interest here, but that's possibly for another day.
  • Comment by Michael Epstein on Don’t let a chiropractor near your kids! Friday 23 August 2019: 09:08 From my understanding, you are not a government licensed chiropractor so how can you determine their scope of practice? By the way, what was your father or grandfather's civil or military employment during WW2? It appears that your genetic temperament likes to eliminate people or licensed professions.... Please advise.
  • Comment by Jashak on A framework for critical thinking Friday 23 August 2019: 09:08 Dear Ron, First, let me point out that scientists are also „real people“. I don´t like to be painted as someone sitting in an ivory tower with my colleagues and looking down on laypersons. Second, NATURE is a journal freely available to the public, so everybody can “hear about” the content. However, I assume that those people reading this and similar journals like SCIENCE are (generally speaking) more knowledgeable in terms of critical thinking that the average person. It is a self-selecting group. Now, I do not know what you mean with “more (…) sciency”, so I can´t comment. But let me be clear: *Do I disagree with the content article? No, not at all. *Should it be read by as many people as possible? Sure, why not. *But: Do I agree with EE that this is a (quote) “excellent article” and “brilliant paper”? No, I don´t. I have mentioned some reasons for my lack of enthusiasm. To be more specific: *The article was published in the “Comment” section of Nature. Articles published in this section are basically opinion pieces and can therefore be more courageous than classical research articles, which can be found in the “Research” section of Nature. Imo, this article is not very courageous. *Let me quote the title & sub-heading of this article: “Key concepts for making informed choices. Teach people to think critically about claims and comparisons using these concepts, urge Andrew D. Oxman and an alliance of 24 researchers — they will make better decisions.” Note: this is not limited to health-related claims, but when reading the text, it strongly was focussed on these aspects (just count how often they use the word “intervention”). I think that the concept of critical thinking should be applied to ALL aspects of life and the authors have missed the opportunity to be clear about this. *Finally, let me point out just two aspects that are missing for a “brilliant article” on critical thinking: 1. The readers should be encouraged to have a very critical look at their own lives first. What do they believe and why? What methods do they use to distinguish right from wrong (or “real” from “not real”)? How can we improve our internal critical skills? Due to my job and my personal interests, I spend a lot of time with scientists / scientifically literate people. I am amazed of the level of cognitive dissonance that even highly scientifically literate people can have. Let me illustrate this problem with the well-known example of Prof. Francis Collins. Very recently, an article (more or less a hymn of praise) was published in SCIENCE journal. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/08/decade-francis-collins-has-shielded-nih-while-making-waves-his-own As NIH director, Prof. Collins is one of the most influential scientist on this planet – and imo, a poster boy for cognitive dissonance, in spite of all his scientific knowledge. He is an outspoken Christian and according to his own account, a major reason that convinced him that Christianity is true was that during a hike, he saw a waterfall which was frozen into three parts. In his mind, this was a sign for the Christian trinity (LOL). Of course, none of this cognitive dissonance was mentioned in the hymn of praise. The prevalence of such cognitive dissonance, also amongst scientist, is a big problem that should be addressed in an opinion piece about critical thinking. It wasn´t mentioned at all here. 2. For a "brilliant article", more concrete suggestions on how to promote critical thinking should have been offered. The authors could e.g. have: - encouraged people to stop politely respecting all kinds of supernatural claims in public and private discussions and be more outspoken when promoting critical thinking about such claims, even in a climate of “political correctness”. - encouraged people to join the sceptical movement of their countries. - shown some concrete ideas on how to incorporate critical thinking in politics and education.
  • Comment by Pamela on The UK media report about my new book … and the Berlin wall Friday 23 August 2019: 09:08 @ Ron, I thought Dana Ullman meant Nanomedicine = Homeopathy
  • Comment by Edzard on The UK media report about my new book … and the Berlin wall Friday 23 August 2019: 08:08 in any case, I have disclosed my history in homeopathy ad nauseam and will not do it again for DUllman
  • Comment by Johannes Rohr on The role of placebo effects in mindfulness-based analgesia Friday 23 August 2019: 07:08 I understand, the paper is only looking into short-term effects, and that's where I would say "sham instructions" can indeed work, as long as they instruct the meditator to focus their attention on *something* (below more on that). But I nonetheless would like to see these instructions "without the active ingredient". Can you give an example of how the "active ingredient" was left out? I have been practising mindfulness/insight (vipassana) meditation for a decade, and I would say that there are two active ingredients in mindfulness meditation. One of them is of course mindfulness - paying close attention to what is happening in this very moment, to the raw data coming in through your sense channels. However, the other active ingredient is pure concentration. While mindfulness or vipassana is focused on actual sensations as they arise and pass away, there are other techniques, where you are instructed to imagine something, or to keep repeating certain phrases in your mind, such as in Metta (Loving Kindness) meditation, but one constant always remains: Your attention gets centered around something. As long as you have that part, you are likely to get the short-term benefical effects: A state of high concentration is indeed correlated with greater happiness, while the "a wandering mind is an unhappy mind" (see Matthew A. Killingsworth*, Daniel T. Gilbert: A Wandering Mind Is an Unhappy Mind, Science 12 Nov 2010: Vol. 330, Issue 6006, pp. 932, DOI: 10.1126/science.1192439). So unless the "sham instructions" didn't instruct the meditator to keep checking their smartphones all the time or get distracted in other forms, positive results would be etirely consistent with "mindfulness-less" concentration.
  • Comment by Lenny on The UK media report about my new book … and the Berlin wall Friday 23 August 2019: 07:08 Why do you need "evidence" that Edzard has ever been "certified" in homeopathy, Dana? Is this your continuing delusion that, in order to criticise something you have to to be formally qualified in that subject? We've been over this so many times. Your continuing memory problems really are becoming troublesome, Dana. I am not a geologist. I have no qualifications in the earth sciences. I am not a Christian. But I can tell you with confidence that the Earth is not flat, that it was not created in seven days around 8,000 years ago and that there was no flood and no Noah's Ark. Lots of people believe otherwise, though, and cling to their beliefs despite science telling them that they are wrong. Just like homeopathy and its believers.
  • Comment by Susan on Gerson therapy: a treatment to avoid at all cost Friday 23 August 2019: 07:08 Paper number 6 offered as evidence by Joe concludes "These facts make the rationales offered for coffee enemas and diets by proponents of the Gerson therapy impossible to accept."
  • Comment by Pamela on The UK media report about my new book … and the Berlin wall Friday 23 August 2019: 05:08 @ Dana, A strand of D(a)NA - Interesting article you have posted.
  • Comment by RG on Healing Cancer: A Homoeopathic Approach Friday 23 August 2019: 04:08 Not many quacks get a bronze image https://www.flickr.com/photos/thehikingfool/5148434383/
  • Comment by Dana Ullman on The UK media report about my new book … and the Berlin wall Friday 23 August 2019: 04:08 Ernie Ernie Ernie...you've posted another placebo response. You didn't address ANYTHING that the NANO.GOV website highlighted...or perhaps you didn't read it. The surface area on a nanoparticle is substantially different. Then again, perhaps that NANO.GOV webiste is really a homeopathic website...yeah, sure, the U.S government is a secret advocate for homeopathy!
  • Comment by Dana Ullman on The UK media report about my new book … and the Berlin wall Friday 23 August 2019: 04:08 If EE asserts that he is not "ignorant" about homeopathy, perhaps he can finally provide us all with evidence that he has ever been certified in the subject. We've been waiting a long time for this evidence and instead we get handwaving and ad hom attacks. Perhaps he can offer us something more than a placebo response. And it is classic that some of his ilk are going after me here when my initial response was simply quote verbatim a letter to the editor that Tony Pinkus wrote. Shooting the messenger is always an effective strategy (NOT!).
  • Comment by RG on Healing Cancer: A Homoeopathic Approach Friday 23 August 2019: 04:08 Bjorn I just don't spend much time here any longer, there is just not much value here at this site for me. It's much more fun for me to hang out here: https://www.greenmedinfo.com/ However, I will respond to your comments. Homeopathy and CAM are umbrella terms used by many here to refer to treatments outside allopathic medicine. You are correct to describe her work as Herbology, or Herbal Medicine. I matters little, you still don't accept her work. I have read much about the life of Rene Caisse, her work was some of the best verifiable and positive cancer work done in the 20th century, that is before the Canadian Medical authorities destroyed the documented records of her cases. Aside from her personal documentation, her success was documented by numerous reliable news publications. She also documented similar study results from mice studies. If you think it means anything to me that some various Cancer Societies couldn't verify her formulas, that does not impress. Rene Caisse treated thousands of patients over many years, the majority benefited. She never accepted any payment for her work, she even quit her job as a nurse to increase her charity. She turned down a million dollar offer for her formula... among other offers. A clinic site was donated to her for her work, until they finally shut her down for practicing "medicine" (not herbology) ... without a license. http://www.waymarking.com/gallery/image.aspx?f=1&guid=9d3b2f27-3212-4296-8600-1f685741e91b&gid=3
  • Comment by Ron Jette on The UK media report about my new book … and the Berlin wall Friday 23 August 2019: 01:08 You people are hilarious! Seriously, you are missing a golden opportunity here. I's speaking to Dana, DC, and especially Pamela. You should charge for your comments. They are priceless. Often silly, but priceless!
  • Comment by Ron Jette on A framework for critical thinking Friday 23 August 2019: 01:08 So, because the audience is "scientifically literate," they should make it more, what, sciency? As a lay person interested in the truth, I welcome this article. Scientists can talk among themselves all day long but then the public—you know, real people? The ones who need to know?—will never hear about it. I'm glad I was told about it. I will pass it along to others. Thanks, Edzard.
  • Comment by jag on The role of placebo effects in mindfulness-based analgesia Friday 23 August 2019: 00:08 It matters if they're charging you for the privilege of partaking of their placebos.
  • Comment by Alan Henness on The UK media report about my new book … and the Berlin wall Thursday 22 August 2019: 23:08 ROFL!
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