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(The Atlantic Wire)   Now I know this'll come as a shock to you, but you remember that neurosurgeon who wrote a book claiming his experiences scientifically PROVED heaven existed? Turns out he ain't much of a doctor and science says he's full of shiat   (theatlanticwire.com) divider line 81
    More: Followup, neurosurgeons, experiences  
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5968 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Jul 2013 at 2:48 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-02 04:24:49 PM  

browser_snake: I remember reading some passages from that book and thinking that this guy has a strange definition of "proof" that he was using quite liberally.


"Proof," like "Logic" is one of the most misused words in the English language.  People use the term to mean "an argument" or, more rarely, "a convincing argument".  I basically ignore what people are saying when they say "proof" without a qualifier like "mathematical proof", "scientific proof", "legal proof", or "120 proof", and then I expect them to actually demonstrate up to the that level.

Depressing challenge: find one person on the internet using the word "logic" to mean a series of absolute deductions from stated propositions.
 
2013-07-02 04:34:52 PM  

ch13fwiggum: Copper Spork: You don't need to be a scientist to be a doctor any more than you need to be a mathematician to be an engineer or a chemist to be a painter. We need to stop giving so much credibility to people who use things rather than understand them.


So, true... If anyone has worked with medical doctors in any regular capacity, you'll come to learn they really don't understand science... They are lifesavers yes, but they are trained in the scientific method at all.


Saw a quote floating around here a while back about how doctors are mechanics. Yes, mechanics who do amazing things with a highly delicate machine that if it completely breaks down can't be fixed no matter how hard you try, but mechanics none the less. The problem is they want everyone to think they're engineers.
 
2013-07-02 04:46:10 PM  
ikanreed:

Depressing challenge: find one person on the internet using the word "logic" to mean a series of absolute deductions from stated propositions.


Found one.
 
2013-07-02 04:48:51 PM  

ikanreed: browser_snake: I remember reading some passages from that book and thinking that this guy has a strange definition of "proof" that he was using quite liberally.

"Proof," like "Logic" is one of the most misused words in the English language.  People use the term to mean "an argument" or, more rarely, "a convincing argument".  I basically ignore what people are saying when they say "proof" without a qualifier like "mathematical proof", "scientific proof", "legal proof", or "120 proof", and then I expect them to actually demonstrate up to the that level.

Depressing challenge: find one person on the internet using the word "logic" to mean a series of absolute deductions from stated propositions.


Abb3w
 
2013-07-02 04:59:25 PM  
Whew! For a minute there, we mighta had a heaven.
 
2013-07-02 05:12:10 PM  
remember that neurosurgeon who wrote a book

no.

Next story. NEXT!
 
2013-07-02 05:26:03 PM  

HairBolus: So if his "religious" experience can be discounted as "just a hallucination" what if all of our experiences are just hallucinations?

Suck on that, scientific realists.


Get thee behind me Mara.
 
2013-07-02 06:25:30 PM  
JWideman: ...Near death experiences in particular, since you're basically dreaming.

There's no evidence that anyone is dreaming anything in a NDE.  Essentially you don't possess the brain function to do so.  That's the whole point of how unexplainable they are.  There's no known or apparent physical or scientific reason anyone should experience or remember anything because there is absolutely no measurable brainwave activity, and yet they do.  And in many cases, people come back with knowledge of real world, verifiable stuff that there is just no explanation for how the person could've known it.  In this guy's case, there is more of an argument that what he experienced was not an NDE due to the fact that he never actually died as far as I can tell.  He just coma'd.  Those are two very different things.  The real issue here is that this guy should probably not be classifying his experiences as an NDE.  And then he did a lot of damage to his credibility by telling a different version of the story than what really happened.  In short, yeah, the dude was probably trying to sell a book.
 
2013-07-02 06:26:41 PM  

ch13fwiggum: Copper Spork: You don't need to be a scientist to be a doctor any more than you need to be a mathematician to be an engineer or a chemist to be a painter. We need to stop giving so much credibility to people who use things rather than understand them.


So, true... If anyone has worked with medical doctors in any regular capacity, you'll come to learn they really don't understand science... They are lifesavers yes, but they are trained in the scientific method at all.


We all have to do research. We've all submitted hypotheses and been tested on the specifics of p values and power of studies and whatnot. Most physicians pass those tests and do enough research to get out of academic settings, but I assure you we are "trained in the scientific method." Sure the bulk of them don't make any breakthroughs or advance their fields, but just going to journal clubs and discussing the scientific rigor of articles in peer reviewed publications is pretty decent. This is a given in every med school and residency program. We're trained as scientists, we just don't necessarily work as scientists.
 
2013-07-02 06:29:57 PM  

mgshamster: That was Charlene Riling. You can hear the story in Act 1 of this This American Life episode: "The High Cost of Living."

I cant confirm it, but I recall reading that the counselor or nurse who gave her the false information in order to trick her to converting to Christianity at Hope Ministries eventually went on to become a medical doctor, and never really suffered any penalties for what she did.


That would be totally messed up if so.  That's exactly the kind of thing that should keep a person from ever getting a medical license of any kind, ever.  And it should follow that it would be an outstanding reason to strip someone of it as well.
 
2013-07-02 06:51:13 PM  
So I have a close friend dying of cancer who took some comfort from this book. I'm not going to tell her it's bogus.

/not hypothetical
 
2013-07-02 06:55:35 PM  
I'm pretty sure I said something about selling a book when this first hit FARK although that probably got lost in the Fundie outrage.
 
2013-07-02 07:00:35 PM  

bobfloyd: So I have a close friend dying of cancer who took some comfort from this book. I'm not going to tell her it's bogus.

/not hypothetical


Sorry about your friend. I hope she makes a recovery.  Falling for this book because it brings you comfort is pretty ok in my opinion.  What would be wrong is if she fell for a book that convinced her that modern medicine wouldn't help at all and to give it up for some bogus alternative medicine shyster who's selling false hope, in which she would empty her bank accounts and leave debt with loved ones trying to desperately find a cure where it doesn't exist.

So in comparison, this book ain't so bad.
 
2013-07-02 07:37:58 PM  

Grungehamster: ch13fwiggum: Copper Spork: You don't need to be a scientist to be a doctor any more than you need to be a mathematician to be an engineer or a chemist to be a painter. We need to stop giving so much credibility to people who use things rather than understand them.


So, true... If anyone has worked with medical doctors in any regular capacity, you'll come to learn they really don't understand science... They are lifesavers yes, but they are trained in the scientific method at all.

Saw a quote floating around here a while back about how doctors are mechanics. Yes, mechanics who do amazing things with a highly delicate machine that if it completely breaks down can't be fixed no matter how hard you try, but mechanics none the less. The problem is they want everyone to think they're engineers.


I have a friend who's a surgeon, and she told me that when she spent some time working at a hospital in the UK, she was addressed as "Mister" instead of "Doctor", since surgeons there are traditionally seen as having the role of technicians or "meat mechanics" as she put it.
 
2013-07-02 07:54:51 PM  
I have more respect for veterinarians than I do for people doctors. They have to figure out what's broken without being able to get an answer to "Where does it hurt?"
 
2013-07-02 08:06:13 PM  

snitramc: I have more respect for veterinarians than I do for people doctors. They have to figure out what's broken without being able to get an answer to "Where does it hurt?"


Same with pediatricians who work with young children.
 
2013-07-02 08:10:20 PM  

buckler: I have a friend who's a surgeon, and she told me that when she spent some time working at a hospital in the UK, she was addressed as "Mister" instead of "Doctor", since surgeons there are traditionally seen as having the role of technicians or "meat mechanics" as she put it.


It's not for that reason. It's to do with the convoluted system of medical qualifications. The surgeon qualification is more important than most basic medical qualifications, but it doesn't come with a Doctor title. Unless of course you then do surgical research, in which case you get a second Doctor which overrules the Mister for a surgeon.
 
2013-07-02 08:16:24 PM  

The_Gallant_Gallstone: HairBolus: So if his "religious" experience can be discounted as "just a hallucination" what if all of our experiences are just hallucinations?

Suck on that, scientific realists.

Settle down Descartes



Erm, Plato?
 
2013-07-02 08:17:14 PM  

GRCooper: ch13fwiggum: Copper Spork: You don't need to be a scientist to be a doctor any more than you need to be a mathematician to be an engineer or a chemist to be a painter. We need to stop giving so much credibility to people who use things rather than understand them.


So, true... If anyone has worked with medical doctors in any regular capacity, you'll come to learn they really don't understand science... They are lifesavers yes, but they are trained in the scientific method at all.

They're mechanics, not automotive engineers


Still, I gotta respect a mechanic than can swap out faulty parts while the engine's still running.
 
2013-07-02 08:26:03 PM  

Copper Spork: buckler: I have a friend who's a surgeon, and she told me that when she spent some time working at a hospital in the UK, she was addressed as "Mister" instead of "Doctor", since surgeons there are traditionally seen as having the role of technicians or "meat mechanics" as she put it.

It's not for that reason. It's to do with the convoluted system of medical qualifications. The surgeon qualification is more important than most basic medical qualifications, but it doesn't come with a Doctor title. Unless of course you then do surgical research, in which case you get a second Doctor which overrules the Mister for a surgeon.


Huh. Fark teaches me many things. Thanks!
 
2013-07-02 09:29:22 PM  

WordyGrrl: GRCooper: ch13fwiggum: Copper Spork: You don't need to be a scientist to be a doctor any more than you need to be a mathematician to be an engineer or a chemist to be a painter. We need to stop giving so much credibility to people who use things rather than understand them.


So, true... If anyone has worked with medical doctors in any regular capacity, you'll come to learn they really don't understand science... They are lifesavers yes, but they are trained in the scientific method at all.

They're mechanics, not automotive engineers

Still, I gotta respect a mechanic than can swap out faulty parts while the engine's still running.


I absolutely do.  I respect doctors (and mechanics, for that matter), but they use what scientists discover, and they don't necessarily need to know why a system works as it does, they just need to know how

/another analogy - you don't have to be an electrical engineer or a programmer to be good tech support.
 
2013-07-02 09:57:27 PM  
Hmmm..?  There are Nobel Laureates with MDs.

True, the PhD is a research degree while the MD is not, but there are many examples of MDs that turn away from practicing medicine to focus on high quality research programs.

In any case, if something is "true" then it should be validated by experiment.  To my knowledge, every experiment carried out to test whether "faith" based processes (i.e. healing prayer etc..) are real, has returned a negative result.  So far, the weight of evidence is entirely against validity of religious claims.  The one in the article is certainly no exception.
 
2013-07-02 11:09:27 PM  

GRCooper: WordyGrrl: GRCooper: ch13fwiggum: Copper Spork: You don't need to be a scientist to be a doctor any more than you need to be a mathematician to be an engineer or a chemist to be a painter. We need to stop giving so much credibility to people who use things rather than understand them.


So, true... If anyone has worked with medical doctors in any regular capacity, you'll come to learn they really don't understand science... They are lifesavers yes, but they are trained in the scientific method at all.

They're mechanics, not automotive engineers

Still, I gotta respect a mechanic than can swap out faulty parts while the engine's still running.

I absolutely do.  I respect doctors (and mechanics, for that matter), but they use what scientists discover, and they don't necessarily need to know why a system works as it does, they just need to know how

/another analogy - you don't have to be an electrical engineer or a programmer to be good tech support.


Agreed. Ages ago, I had a friend who was a brand new med school graduate, and she made sure we knew that if any doctor claimed to know everything, that doctor was lying out of his/her ass and to find a second opinion.

And having done a bit of tech support, it does resemble medical practice in the sense that if you stop keeping up with new information, you're going to be terrible at your job.
 
2013-07-02 11:24:13 PM  

golden goat: True, the PhD is a research degree while the MD is not, but there are many examples of MDs that turn away from practicing medicine to focus on high quality research programs.

In any case, if something is "true" then it should be validated by experiment. To my knowledge, every experiment carried out to test whether "faith" based processes (i.e. healing prayer etc..) are real, has returned a negative result. So far, the weight of evidence is entirely against validity of religious claims. The one in the article is certainly no exception.


I would bet your average MD has a far higher grasp of the scientific method than your average person, (same with engineers), and MDs can easily go into science.

Because of that though, many lay people think any random MD's word on science carries more weight than it should, IMO.

Just because one uses science, doesn't make them a scientist.

/MD stands for "Memorization Doctor"
 
2013-07-02 11:37:53 PM  
if you don't believe in the soul that's ok, you probably don't have one.
 
2013-07-03 02:41:52 AM  

Mambo Bananapatch: Religious faith is impervious to proof or reason. When faith is contradicted by reality, its owner simply regards the contradiction as an opportunity to strengthen their faith and dismisses the reality, thus creating their own.

[farm4.staticflickr.com image 332x500]


SWEET PIC! Is it yours?  (I know that hebrew-saurus!)
 
2013-07-03 07:22:33 AM  

buckler: I have a friend who's a surgeon, and she told me that when she spent some time working at a hospital in the UK, she was addressed as "Mister" instead of "Doctor", since surgeons there are traditionally seen as having the role of technicians or "meat mechanics" as she put it.


It's because surgeons were originally barbers and did not need medical qualifications. The quirk of addressing doctors as "Doctor", despite their not - generally - having a doctorate, persists to this day.
 
2013-07-03 07:27:37 AM  

budrojr: There's no evidence that anyone is dreaming anything in a NDE.  Essentially you don't possess the brain function to do so.  That's the whole point of how unexplainable they are.  There's no known or apparent physical or scientific reason anyone should experience or remember anything because there is absolutely no measurable brainwave activity, and yet they do.  And in many cases, people come back with knowledge of real world, verifiable stuff that there is just no explanation for how the person could've known it.


Many cases, eh? So you'll have no difficulty in citing, say, half a dozen which have been properly investigated and confirmed.

[Citation needed]
[Citation needed]
[Citation needed]
[Citation needed]
[Citation needed]
[Citation needed]
 
2013-07-03 07:30:01 AM  

snitramc: I have more respect for veterinarians than I do for people doctors. They have to figure out what's broken without being able to get an answer to "Where does it hurt?"


They almost always have far better people skills too. Or maybe that's just the result of the UK method of selecting doctor, which guarantees that medical schools are full of ambitious young people who are in it for the status and the money.
 
2013-07-03 07:31:57 AM  

Copper Spork: It's not for that reason. It's to do with the convoluted system of medical qualifications. The surgeon qualification is more important than most basic medical qualifications, but it doesn't come with a Doctor title. Unless of course you then do surgical research, in which case you get a second Doctor which overrules the Mister for a surgeon.


On the other hand, standard medical study in the UK doesn't come with a Doctor title either, since it's just an MBChB (or equivalent) and not an MD. Doctor is a purely honorific title and there is no reason, save tradition, why a surgeon should not use it.
 
2013-07-03 01:02:19 PM  

E5bie: Mambo Bananapatch: Religious faith is impervious to proof or reason. When faith is contradicted by reality, its owner simply regards the contradiction as an opportunity to strengthen their faith and dismisses the reality, thus creating their own.

[farm4.staticflickr.com image 332x500]

SWEET PIC! Is it yours?  (I know that hebrew-saurus!)


Nah, I did a GIS for "Creation Museum" and there it was.
 
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