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New Lecture Series by Dr. Steven Novella
Posted: 15 March 2011 01:23 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Dr. Stephen Novella, best known for being one of the editors and main writers at Science-Based Medicine, has produced a lecture series for the Teaching Company’s Great Courses. I have been very impressed with the Great Courses lectures I have listened to, and I expect this will be a great one!

Medical Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths: What We Think We Know May be Hurting Us

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Posted: 15 March 2011 01:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Yep, it’s really cool that the Teaching Company approved this course. I’m sure it’s great.

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Posted: 15 March 2011 05:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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This series got some notice in both the skeptical community as well as the popular media and it’s high time as far as I’m concerned. Medical quackery/alternative medicine is something of a pet peeve of mine because the consequences of this sort of thing have a nasty habit of filling up the graveyards faster then they need to be.

It comes as quite a shock to some people that the medicine wagon of the 19th century never really died. It changed it’s colours, changed some of it’s advertising and went viral on the internet with claims of “We couldn’t say it if wasn’t true” but in the end, it’s still the same old snake oil.

The packaging has changed but nothing else has.

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Posted: 15 March 2011 07:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Thanks! I’d never heard of The Teaching Company. I have bookmarked their site. I will have to load up my iPhone with the lectures!! Steven Novella is awesome!

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Posted: 16 March 2011 04:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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asanta - 15 March 2011 07:05 PM

Thanks! I’d never heard of The Teaching Company. I have bookmarked their site. I will have to load up my iPhone with the lectures!! Steven Novella is awesome!

We’ve mentioned the Teaching Co. here several times in the past. I recall talking with DJ Grothe about it awhile back—apparently he has something like their entire collection. It’s been awhile since I’ve bought a series from them, but in general they’re all of very high quality.

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Posted: 16 March 2011 10:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I must have missed the previous references. I have them bookmarked on my computer now!  wink

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Posted: 17 March 2011 08:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I kind of think books like this only help to re-enforce the thinking those who are already convinced of the craziness of accepting some of these concepts of alternative medicine.

Some guy at a mall convinced my wife to buy one of those bracelets they’ve been selling that is supposed to “Make you stronger”, “Bring the energy of your body in balance”. My sons where like “Mom… Really?”

I was like “Some guy, you don’t even know, convinced you to buy a rubber band that is going to make you healthier?”
Actually it really isn’t much more then a rubber band.

She was actually very proud of the purchase and called all her friends to tell them what a wonderful product it was.

The only thing me and my sons managed to do was make her mad to where she refuses to talk about it any more.

I suppose you got to keep trying but people are very stubborn in their thinking.

[ Edited: 24 March 2011 05:24 PM by Gnostikosis ]
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Posted: 24 March 2011 08:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Gnostikosis - 17 March 2011 08:57 AM

I kind of think books like this only help to re-enforce the thinking those who are already convince of the at the craziness of accepting some of these concepts of alternative medicine.

Could you please reword that in standard English? I understand the words you wrote, but the way you strung them together makes no sense.

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Posted: 24 March 2011 11:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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DarronS - 24 March 2011 08:55 AM
Gnostikosis - 17 March 2011 08:57 AM

I kind of think books like this only help to re-enforce the thinking those who are already convince of the at the craziness of accepting some of these concepts of alternative medicine.

Could you please reword that in standard English? I understand the words you wrote, but the way you strung them together makes no sense.

Done,
Sorry, guess I didn’t take the time I normally would to double-check my posts.

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Posted: 24 March 2011 01:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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That make lot more sense. Thanks. And I agree with that statement, by the way. Unfortunately confronting people with facts and logic only seems to make them reinforce their weird beliefs.

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Posted: 24 March 2011 04:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I agree that the hardcore believer in anything, including medical nonsense, isn’t very often going to be swayed by argument. But I think hardcore believers are only slightly more common than hardcore skeptics! The majority are uncommitted and tend to accept what they hear without a lot of deep thinking. A series like this, billed as a lightweight takedown of myths, might appeal to the curious but uncommitted, which are probably the most important demographic since they’re the ones who might be swayed byt the first or most persuasive argument they encounter.

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Posted: 24 March 2011 04:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I’m confused.  It appeared to me that McKenzie was mentioning a lecture series that debunked, not promoted, alternative medicine.  So, like Darron, it appeared to me that Gnostikosis was criticizing the series for promoting alternative medicine. Could you people explain what I’m missing?

Occam

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Posted: 24 March 2011 04:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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FWIW, Steven Novella’s lecture series is on sale until March 27. The audio download is only $34.95. I’d get it if I hadn’t already listed to several hundred Skeptic’s Guide podcasts. I may just donate some money directly to SGU instead of buying lectures I have already heard in other forms.

Steven Novella’s explanations of the problems with alternative medicine are excellent, and well worth the time it takes to hear them.

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Posted: 24 March 2011 04:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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mckenzievmd - 24 March 2011 04:06 PM

I agree that the hardcore believer in anything, including medical nonsense, isn’t very often going to be swayed by argument. But I think hardcore believers are only slightly more common than hardcore skeptics! The majority are uncommitted and tend to accept what they hear without a lot of deep thinking. A series like this, billed as a lightweight takedown of myths, might appeal to the curious but uncommitted, which are probably the most important demographic since they’re the ones who might be swayed byt the first or most persuasive argument they encounter.

Okay, um well… I just wish I could find some of them uncommitted folks.  shut eye
I’m hanging with the wrong crowd.  mad

surprised I know, elementary school kids. I sure no one would object to the introduction of this book into the curriculum.

But think of the job loss it would cause. ohh

The effects to the economy might be staggering.  grrr

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Posted: 24 March 2011 05:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Occam. - 24 March 2011 04:31 PM

I’m confused.  It appeared to me that McKenzie was mentioning a lecture series that debunked, not promoted, alternative medicine.  So, like Darron, it appeared to me that Gnostikosis was criticizing the series for promoting alternative medicine. Could you people explain what I’m missing?

Occam

Sorry,

I am making fun of my own anecdotal situations were I take this excellently presented information, much of which I get from this forum, and try to make use of it to bridge the gap in a “believer’s” conscious awareness to the level necessary for them to accept the silliness of their belief.

It’s both frustrating and humorous to me.

Ok, maybe I’ve got a complicated sense of humor that doesn’t travel well through forum posts.

Also as Darron noted I didn’t proof read my post well, which I hate, because it is very important to IMO to try and avoid confusing the reader. If one actually cares about getting their intended message across clearly.

[ Edited: 24 March 2011 05:33 PM by Gnostikosis ]
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Posted: 24 March 2011 05:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Given the hate mail I get on my blog, believe me I know how frustrating it is to try and use education and information to combat some of the misinformation and propaganda out there. But I do think (at least most of the time) that it’s worth the effort.

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