Monday, May 2, 2011

Daniel in the Lion's Den

Or Dr. Steven Novella, M.D., on The Dr. Oz Show...

Doctor Oz officially endorses woo while Steven Novella does his best to speak on the merits of science-based know, the kind everyone wants when they're really sick.  It was an uneven contest of course, but maybe Dr. Novella (who really should have chosen a coloured shirt and a more complimentary tie) got through to someone who will benefit from real medicine.  Dr. Novella is the President of the New England Skeptical Society and the host of The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe and The Skeptic's Guide 5 x 5.  He blogs prodigiously at Neurologica and Science Based Medicine.  Dr. Novella has offered Doctor Oz a opportunity to be interviewed for the SGU podcast and - unlike the conditions on The Dr. Oz Show - to have his entire unedited interview made available to the public.  We'll see if Oz takes the SGU up on its offer.

I've been thinking on which books would make good texts for a course on critical thinking.  I come up with three straight away:

In the mean time another excellent podcast dealing with SCAM - Supplements, Complimentary, and Alternative Medicine - is Dr. Mark Crislip's Quackcast.

Remember, it's effective and it's safe, it's not alternative medicine, it's just medicine.

The Head Of The Snake Has Been Cut Off

Osama Bin Laden is dead...

This is a most satisfactory development.  Details are scant, but it appears we owe a debt of gratitude to a skilled group of "special operators" (apparently SEAL Team Six served as the point of the spear for JSOC) who made the raid on a compound in Abbotabad, a hundred miles inside Pakistan (but only 35 miles from the capital of Islamabad).  Well done!

UPDATED 2 May 2011: In the light of day it feels a little strange to feel so good about someone - even OBL - being shot in the head and then dumped into the ocean on the other side of the world.  But feel good I do.  I've been waiting for this moment since I sat sobbing in the dark, watching the service at the Washington National Cathedral late on the 14th of September 2001.  Part of me died that it is reawakened.  Sometimes the only solution is six feet of dirt. This is not a highly evolved sentiment, but it is true and human.