Respectful Insolence

Oprah and Chopra sittin’ in a tree…

I know I’ve been very hard on Oprah Winfrey the last couple of weeks, taking her to task for her promotion on her show of medicine that is at best dubious and at worst quackery, as promoted by frequent guests like Suzanne Somers, Dr. Christiane Northrup, and the queen of the anti-vaccine movement, Jenny “I’m not anti-vaccine but would never, ever vaccinate” McCarthy. Not that Oprah cares. After all, she’s Oprah, and I’m only a lowly blogger who, although having one of the top medical blogs out there, is as an ant to Oprah’s elephant of a media empire. Still, NEWSWEEK did a fantastic expose of the dangerously off-base medical advice being pushed on a weekly basis on Oprah’s show, and all that Oprah could come up with was this in response:

For 23 years, my show has presented thousands of topics that reflect the human experience, including doctors’ medical advice and personal health stories that have prompted conversations between our audience members and their health care providers. I trust the viewers, and I know that they are smart and discerning enough to seek out medical opinions to determine what may be best for them.

In other words, let the viewer beware! Oprah takes no responsibility for the quackery her show routinely dishes out. Never mind that she has the most popular talk show in history and she must know that her audience is greatly influenced by what she says. Never mind that she has said in the past that she doesn’t have guests on the show with whom she disagrees. Never mind that she had nothing but words of praise for Suzanne Somers and her book on bioidentical hormones, that she recommended bioidentical hormones herself, and that she not only praised Jenny McCarthy repeatedly but signed her up for a deal with Harpo Studios to develop her own talk show. None of it is her fault, and she’s not endorsing anything. Kevin Trudeau couldn’t have put it better.

There is, however, one person who may cause Oprah a bit of trouble. Ironically, it’s one of her staunchest supporters. Indeed, it’s someone we’ve met many times before on this blog, and he’s outraged that NEWSWEEK would be so mean to Oprah. Indeed, I’m referring to a man for whom I once coined a term to describe his mystical, magical, pseudoscientific New Age blather. Oprah, meet Chopra. Deepak Chopra, that is. Again.

And where do you think Chopra has written his defense of all things Oprah? Come on, take a guess! That’s right; it’s in that repository of all things woo, The Huffington Post, in an article entitled Mainstream Medicine and the Oprah Factor. He begins by planting his lips firmly on Oprah’s backside (he is, after all, sometimes a guest on Oprah’s show)

The story failed to gain traction for obvious reasons. Oprah has aired innumerable shows on health, of which the controversial ones are a tiny minority. Her intention to improve women’s lives on all fronts is so obvious as to be almost above criticism. The credibility for women’s well-being and welfare she has earned day after day over the past two decades will not be undone with a story that cherry-picks the guests who can be made easy targets of ridicule by the medical establishment. And the fact that she has celebrity guests who have causes and crusades in the area of health, such as Jenny McCarthy or Suzanne Somers, is not the same as Oprah herself endorsing what they say.

Bullshit. Oprah praised both Suzanne Somers and Jenny McCarthy on her show. She recommended Somers’ book on bioidentical hormones to her audience, raved about how great she felt after she started to take bioidentical hormones, and has made Jenny McCarthy into one of her proteges, poised to get her own TV show thanks to her, just like Dr. Phil and Dr. Mehmet Oz. There’s a reason I started this post with Oprah’s lame defense against the NEWSWEEK article, namely so that I could deal with it first and then dismissively point out that Chopra is merely parroting the same excuse. As for only a “tiny minority” of Oprah’s shows being controversial, well, how does Chopra know? In any case, even if it were true, the sheer pseudoscience and quackery dished up to millions by Suzanne Somers and Jenny McCarthy are so bad that it doesn’t matter if every other bit of Oprah’s health advice was as tame as tame can be. Of course, it’s more than just them; it’s also Oprah’s uncritical embrace of that woo-iest of New Age woos, The Secret, which led a woman named Kim Tinkham to reject conventional therapy for her stage III breast cancer, as documented in the NEWSWEEK article and as I’ve blogged about.

But let’s see what other Choprawoo the master wants to lay down in defense of Oprah:

The medical profession is burdened with a host of problems that Oprah addresses with more candor and force than the AMA. She promotes wellness and prevention, two areas that drastically need improvement. She brings up creative solutions to problems that medical science is baffled by, such as the healing response itself and the role of subjectivity in patient response. These are issues that few M.D.s are willing to explore, yet she has done so for decades.

Instead, we got a response from an oncologist in Canada repeating the establishment position: alternative treatments of cancer are bogus, subjectivity has no place in science, “soul talk” about illness is rubbish. This is exactly the kind of dismissive arrogance that drives millions of people away from conventional doctors.

Note how Chopra once again, like many CAM boosters, tries to equate “alternative” medicine with prevention and wellness. That’s utter poppycock. One might argue that conventional scientific medicine doesn’t emphasize lifestyle interventions, but the “wellness” interventions advocated by CAMsters like Chopra are either science-based interventions appropriated by the CAM movement and “rebranded” as “alternative” (exercise and diet, for instance) or consist of pumping loads of unproven and often impure supplements into the body as “nutrition.” Unfortunately, Oprah’s “creative solutions” to health problems consist of listening to woo like Christiane Northrup saying that “in many women, thyroid dysfunction develops because of an energy blockage in the throat region, the result of a lifetime of ‘swallowing’ words one is aching to say.”

Such nonsense is not science-based. It’s mystical, prescientific superstition.

As for that Canadian oncologist, let’s just say that I have a sneaking suspicion that I know who that person is and that he’s rather close (he’s also not Canadian). In any case, let’s just say that Chopra can lay down the Choprawoo so well that he channels Mike Adams “the Health Ranger” in going off the deep end with conspiracy theories:

Scientific medicine by and large ignores wellness, prevention, and alternative medicine in general. On a daily basis doctors don’t deal in these things; few take courses in medical school centered on them. That’s why a massive movement has arisen driven by patients themselves. Oprah serves as a public outlet for a conversation that needs to be ongoing. As long as official medicine, backed by huge pharmaceutical companies, denies the existence of the problem, much less alternative solutions, the movement will remain patient-centered and the attitude toward alternative medicine will be one of unfounded disdain, suspicion, and ignorance on the part of physicians.

Chopra, of course, doesn’t know what he’s talking about. (But, then, what else is new?) Physicians are taught nutrition in medical school; they are taught prevention. As for alternative medicine, unfortunately, increasingly they are being taught the same sorts of unscientific alternative medicine beloved of Deepak Chopra, as I’ve railed about time and time again right here on this very blog. As for the attitude of physicians towards alternative medicine, there’s a reason why it’s looked upon with disdain. It’s because the vast majority of it outside of herbal medicine is based on prescientific notions of disease that are highly implausible from a scientific viewpoint. But you know what? Their attitudes would change pretty fast if the woo-meisters could provide scientific evidence that their woo works as well or better than what science-based medicine can offer. They’d not only appropriate them as conventional medicine; they’d take credit for them!

Of course, neither Chopra nor his fellow merry CAMsters can produce such data. Indeed, NCCAM has spent $2.5 billion and hasn’t found such data.

Not that that stops Chopra from cherry picking and misrepresenting the data, as he has done so many times before:

This lopsided emphasis has created dilemmas that official medicine hasn’t remotely solved:

* In Seattle a recent study of 638 patients with chronic lower back pain were given either some sort of acupuncture or standard treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs and massage. On average, the acupuncture patients received twice as much benefit as those on standard treatment. The kicker is that some of the patients received fake acupuncture — they were pricked superficially with toothpicks — and received the same relief.

Wrong, I say. Wrong, says Steve Novella. The study shows nothing of the sort. It is hilarious, though, that Chopra takes the fact that sham acupuncture with toothpicks worked as well as “real” acupuncture as evidence that acupuncture “works.” In fact, the study cited by Chopra shows just the opposite of what he says it does. In fact, that study shows very definitively that acupuncture does not work any better than a placebo.

No rant against conventional medicine would be complete without the “iatrogenic holocaust” gambit:

* Iatrogenic disease, roughly defined as illness that results as a complication from a doctor’s care, leads to between 230,000 to 284,000 deaths every year, making it the third leading cause of fatality in the country.

Oddly enough, Chopra doesn’t cite primary literature but rather letters to the editor of JAMA. Interestingly, some of the letters point out how inflated these estimates are, for instance this letter by Dr. Jonathan D. Reich:

Dr Starfield relates the poor quality of US public health to often-quoted statistics about medication errors and other iatrogenic causes of death. The statistics on iatrogenic deaths are extrapolations based on limited reviews of adverse drug reaction forms, and their accuracy is questionable.2 More important, these statistics are used without any reference to the type of patients experiencing these adverse events.

It is misleading to state that “. . .(medication errors and nosocomial infections) constitute the third leading cause of death . . . after heart disease and cancer.” People who die of iatrogenic causes are, by definition, already sick. Since heart disease and cancer are the most common causes of death, many of the patients who died of iatrogenic causes actually died of heart disease and cancer and are thus listed twice…

The conjecture that public health statistics are better in other countries because we have too many iatrogenic deaths is to assume that other counties have systems of preventing medication errors and regulating procedures that do not exist in the United States. I have practiced medicine in and spoken to many practitioners from other countries, and I am not aware of such systems. If there are no additional safeguards in other countries, then US physicians are either incompetent or taking care of sicker patients. While there is no evidence to support the first contention, there certainly is evidence to support the latter. The United States spends more resources on critical care and terminal care than any nation on earth.

Suffice it to say that the oft-cited figures for iatrogenic deaths are dubious at best. Personally, I consider one iatrogenic death to be one too many, but I also know that no effective medicine is without risks. There will always be iatrogenic deaths, and our job is to try to keep that number as low as possible, but the risk-benefit ratio of scientific medicine still remains favorable. Of course, Chopra has no idea how many deaths are caused by “alternative” medicine or how many patients die because they rely on the sort of quackery that Chopra promotes. The reason? No one keeps track–unlike the case of scientific medicine.

Let’s see what else Chopra has to say:

* Two of the most frequently performed surgeries, heart bypass grafts and balloon angioplasty, became fashionable without serious testing (the government approves drugs but not surgical procedures). They continue to be used in the face of perennial findings that neither procedure increases life expectancy. Besides relieving symptoms, which of course can be very troubling to the patient, both procedures carry serious risks. (The most recent finding showed that diabetics with stable heart disease do not survive longer if given heart surgery.)

The study that Chopra cites is this one, which only looked at type II diabetics with heart disease. it’s long been known that type II diabetics have higher rates of coronary artery disease than those without diabetes and that they don’t do as well when they do develop heart disease. Moreover, both bypass and angioplasty are more effective in nondiabetics at relieving symptoms.

Here’s the one that needs the biggest slapdown:

* In the past, such common procedures as hysterectomies and radical mastectomies were widely performed without testing their efficacy. Not until European results revealed that lumpectomies were often just as effective did American surgeons question the staunch support of mastectomies. One might also consider that surgeons were very slow to perform cosmetic breast replacement for women who faced devastating psychological fallout from their mastectomies — a typical neglect of any patient’s subjective response to illness.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. First off, radical mastectomy was a procedure developed over 125 years ago by William Halsted. The reason it persisted for so long is because there was no effective adjuvant chemotherapy or radiation for breast cancer for many decades. Surgery was it; if surgery didn’t cure the cancer, there was nothing else to use. Consequently, radical surgery was what became tried and true, surgery that today makes us cringe to think about it. But there was no radiation to reduce recurrence rates and no chemotherapy to reduce metastasis. Be that as it may, do you want to know what study definitively showed that a modified radical mastectomy is just as effective as a radical mastectomy? NSABP B-04. But there’s more. Guess what study showed that lumpectomy and radiation therapy produced the same long term survival in breast cancer? NSABP B-06, which was reported in 1976. Here’s a hint, Deepak: NSABP is an American group. Here’s another tidbit. Want to know who the person most responsible for the idea that breast cancer is a systemic disease and that less surgery, if it is accompanied by adjuvant radiation and chemotherapy, can produce equivalent survival? Bernie Fisher. An American. No, I’m not at all disparaging European physicians and scientists; they have made many contributions to the treatment of breast cancer. I’m merely pointing out that Chopra is talking out of his ass when he tries to paint American physicians and surgeons as somehow so much more close-minded and dogmatic than their European counterparts.

As for the reluctance to perform cosmetic breast replacement, again, Chopra doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Perhaps that was true a couple of decades ago. Back then the concern was whether reconstruction would make it too difficult to detect a recurrence. Once studies made it plain that that wasn’t the case, reconstructive surgery took off. Indeed, it is not uncommon for women to undergo immediate reconstruction done as part of the same procedure with their mastectomies.

Chopra is also eager to take credit for…nothing that alt-med should be taking credit for:

It’s one thing for official medicine to decry alternative medicine and hurl accusations of quackery, not just at the non-M.D.s who work as health practitioners but at licensed, highly educated and qualified physicians who are creative enough to explore new avenues of treatment. Their own lack of curiosity and creative thinking is disturbing. Does the most brilliant researcher in the world know why cancer sometimes spontaneously disappears? Why a patient with obsessive-compulsive disorder or depression can respond equally well to talk therapy and drugs — that is, why talk is as effective as chemicals in altering the brain? Or how the body’s healing system is influenced by outside forces?

The. Stupid. It. Burns.

Let me turn the question around: Does Deepak Chopra know why cancer sometimes spontaneously disappears? Why a patient with obsessive-compulsive disorder or depression can respond equally well to talk therapy and drugs — that is, why talk is as effective as chemicals in altering the brain? Or how the body’s healing system is influenced by outside forces?

He does not. He only wants you to think that he does.

No, it is not woo-meisters like Deepak Chopra who will answer such questions, as much as he would like to snooker readers into thinking that he has some sort of insight into these questions that scientific medicine lacks. He most definitely does not. No, it’s science that will someday lead to an understanding the biology behind these processes. I suspect that, deep down, Chopra knows that, which is why he is so disingenuous the time:

Scientific medicine is leery of so-called anecdotal evidence, that is, individual stories of disease and cure. Their skepticism is rational and well-founded. We all agree that without impartial studies, the advance of knowledge becomes chaotic and untrustworthy. But Oprah is letting individuals tell their stories for other, positive reasons: to share their pain, to reach out to others in the same circumstance, to provide hope.

No, the reason Oprah provides those stories is because they make compelling television. It doesn’t matter to her if they distort of misrepresent science. All that matters is: Do they make good TV? Will they bring ratings? Will their stories of woo interest Oprah’s audience?

The problem with medicine today is not that it is too scientific and dismissive of “alternative” medicine. In actuality, the problem is that medicine today is too anxious to embrace the sort of pseudoscientific “quantum” nonsense that Deepak Chopra lays down on a regular basis. A couple of years ago, Richard Dawkins featured Chopra on his two-part TV special The Enemies of Reason. In his defense of Oprah, Chopra demonstrates just how well Dawkins had him pegged.

Comments

  1. #1 Richard Eis
    June 11, 2009

    Creativity isn’t a lot of use, Mr Chopra, when all your creations are olde, twisted things that cannot survive in the real world.

  2. #2 James Sweet
    June 11, 2009

    Huh. Even if we took Chopra’s “facts” at face value (and good job deconstructing them BTW, Orac), the only conclusion it would support would be that Western medicine has serious problems. It would not at all support the conclusion that alternative medicine is any better…

  3. #3 Dawn
    June 11, 2009

    Re: “As for that Canadian oncologist, let’s just say that I have a sneaking suspicion that I know who that person is”… Orac…when did you move to Canada? (I know, I did read the rest of your sentence) LOL. Or does Chopra think where you live is part of Canada (I know a lot of the natives do treat Ontario as part of their neighborhood however).

  4. #4 Marcus Ranum
    June 11, 2009

    Is having a working immune system “alternative medicine”?? Because it works really well for me.

    Where do I sign up to be a “big CAM shill”?? If they’ve spent $2billion, I want some!

  5. #5 Scott
    June 11, 2009

    I, for one, am happy to see such logic and reason being attributed to a Canadian!

  6. #6 Scott
    June 11, 2009

    I, for one, am happy to see such logic and reason being attributed to a Canadian!

  7. #7 Ranson
    June 11, 2009

    I’ve never understood the “argument from iatrogenic death”. It implicates medical professionals, yes; it does it in exactly the same way that people convicted of vehicular homicide implicate all drivers. Not much, in other words. Doctors and other care professionals make preventable mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes are going to result in death — that’s an indictment of human nature, not doctors and medicine.

    The numbers baffle me, too. How many of the iatrogenic deaths were in patients that would have died anyway without some sort of intervention? How do the numbers compare to the number of patients whose lives were saved by intervention? How many were due to complications that were unknown or unforseen (previously unrecognized drug allergies, etc.)? How do they compare to the total number of people utilizing health care in a year?

    It’s the same kind of argument some of the anti-vaxxers make. “Six children got seriously ill* after this vaccine! We must ban it for safety, despite the fact twenty million other kids are just fine, and statstics say the vaccine likely prevented the death of four thousand of them!”

    Sure, numbers are of no comfort when it affects you, your family, or a friend; however, emotions don’t weigh into that kind of cost/benefit. A human failure, or a failure of the system can really stink on an individual level; however, you can’t just scrap it if it works for almost everyone else. The proper response is to fix what caused the problem (barring negligent practicioners, revising standards, implementing screening tests, etc.).

    *not autism

  8. #8 Paul Browne
    June 11, 2009

    Interestingly the NEJM paper on the use of coronary artery bypass graft surgery or coronary angioplasty vs drug treatment for type II diabetics with heart disease is worth taking a look at. It notes in the introduction that:

    “Although the effectiveness of coronary revascularization in relieving angina is well established, its benefit in reducing the rates of subsequent myocardial infarction and death has been shown only in patients with high-risk profiles (13,14) or acute coronary syndromes (15,16). Studies of coronary revascularization in patients with moderate (17) or with mild or no symptoms have had conflicting results (18,19) However, such trials have not focused on patients with diabetes, who are at high risk with even mild symptoms of myocardial ischemia.”

    And in their own conclusions having examined the differences between the treatment group they write that:

    “In summary, a strategy of prompt coronary revascularization in patients who had been treated with intensive medical therapy for diabetes and stable ischemic disease did not significantly reduce the rate of death from any cause or of major cardiovascular events. Insulin sensitization and insulin provision also had similar cardiovascular outcomes during a 5-year period. Among patients for whom CABG was deemed to be the appropriate treatment, prompt revascularization reduced the rate of major cardiovascular events, as compared with medical therapy, particularly among patients who were assigned to receive insulin sensitization. In the PCI stratum, however, revascularization did not reduce the rate of death or major cardiovascular events when added to medical therapy.”

    This was a study that excluded those patients who had the most serious heart disease who “required immediate revascularization or had left main coronary disease”

    So basically what this study is saying is that coronary artery bypass graft surgery is beneficial for patients with the most serious heart disease but less beneficial for those with less serious heart disease that was up until then being treated with drugs.

    I suspect that this is also the case with many of the other studies, perhaps someone out there with more expertise in this area could help out.

    It looks as of Chopra is misinterpreting this and other studies by failing to differentiate between patient groups when discussing the use of a treatment. This is dangerous because it might lead readers with serious heart disease who could really benefit from coronary artery bypass graft surgery to refuse. I wonder if he really just hasn’t read beyond the abstract, or if he’s deliberately clouding the issue.

  9. #9 Bonnie
    June 11, 2009

    I have always had a somewhat disdane for Oprah, at least once she started making her Talk Show into something more than a talk show! As for Chopra, I worked in a place that housed one of his Centers and I worked with him a couple of times. I think he is a disingenuous, egotistical, money grubbing liar who bilks people for all they are worth! I don’t believe anything that comes out of his mouth!

    I am not one who totally dismisses “alternative medicine.” I have had a few ailments that I went to doctors for years to help treat and it wasn’t until it was suggested, by my doctor, to try accupunture and chiropratic in conjunction with treatments we were trying with scientific medicine, that these ailments came under control. Maybe it’s a placeebo thing, I don’t know. I don’t out right dismiss alternative medicine, but would not try anything that I have not discussed with my medical doctor and practiced under his care. I also believe in the power of prayer, but not to the point of dismissing scientific medicine. I think everything working together is what has helped me get healthier, not dismissing everythng except scientific medicine or alternative medicine. I’m also not saying that alternative methods are for everybody and that people need to work with their medical doctors to find the right course of action to make them a healthier, happier person!

    As for Oprah and Chopra and the others that they tout out as “experts” I wish they would crawl back under the slimy stones they crawled out from! They confuse the issue and bilk people for money that people really don’t have! People really need to talk with their physicians and find the right course of treatment, not a talk show host with no medical degree, a sharlatan in the guise of a spiritual leader, and an actress known for her boobs and stuipidity!

  10. #10 Paul Browne
    June 11, 2009

    Well said Ranson, “argument from iatrogenic death” is one of the most annoying arguments that anti-vivisectionists put forward when arguing against animal research, though naturally they take it one step further by blaming animal research (and for some reason not in vitro research, clinical trials, clinical errors or good old bad luck) for all these deaths.

  11. #11 bparton
    June 11, 2009

    Great blog, as usual. Very, very pithy.

    A question came to mind while I was reading some of Orac’s blogs the other day. How do chiropractors, for example, get away with doing things like providing breast cancer screening with thermography? I know of a breast cancer patient who is more afraid of the exposure to radiation in mammography than an agonizing death from cancer, so she goes to a chiropractor for her screening? Is this not practicing medicine without a license, or do chiropractors have the right to do this sort of thing just because? The chiropractor she relies on has a website, and his B.S. is in biology. They didn’t even OFFER a degree in biology at the university I attended! It was considered to be specialized enough – it was either, zoology or botany, period.

  12. #12 BugDoc
    June 11, 2009

    My sister-in-law is going to a chiropractor for allergy/asthma diagnosis and treatment. Apparently this person can diagnose allergies by painting allergens on your arm and assessing your response by checking muscle tone – none of those nasty needles. Hmmmm. I think she was slightly offended when I called him a quack.

  13. #13 Scott
    June 11, 2009

    I, for one, am happy to see such logic and reason being attributed to a Canadian!

  14. #14 Scott
    June 11, 2009

    I, for one, am happy to see such logic and reason being attributed to a Canadian!

  15. #15 Kate W.
    June 11, 2009

    Oprah et. al are nuts. However, I will say that I’ve never been able to get helpful advice on a diet plan for weight loss from my GP. I’m smart enough to pick out the extreme crazy, but there are competing reasonable claims that I’d like help in evaluating.

    Plus, there seems to be lots about mind body connection that we don’t know. I’m not talking Christine Northrup stuff, but I think anyone who has had a tension headache knows stress can make you sick in some ways.

    How do we pursue this kind of information and disseminate it in a matter that minimizes the woo and maximizes the actual evidence?

    I think there are a number of “every day” health topics that people are hungry for information on that they don’t feel like they are getting so they will take what they can get.

    Granted some of them are shopping for advice they like because “eat whatever you want and still lose weight” sounds more fun than any actual sound diet plan does.

  16. #16 Wheelst
    June 11, 2009

    I think the Statics for iatrogenic death are often pulled from this source.

    Carolyn Dean and Gary Null’s
    Death by Medicine.

    http://www.webdc.com/pdfs/deathbymedicine.pdf

  17. #17 Happeh
    June 11, 2009

    “It’s because the vast majority of it outside of herbal medicine is based on prescientific notions of disease that are highly implausible from a scientific viewpoint. But you know what? Their attitudes would change pretty fast if the woo-meisters could provide scientific evidence that their woo works”

    You want evidence. Here is your evidence.

    Scientists claim Yin Yang Theory is a fallacy. They claim there is nothing to Yin Yang Theory.

    Scientist R Stoopid. I can easily prove this by showing you a picture of exactly what Yin Yang Theory is about.

    The picture in the link below shows two small children. One of the children has strong Yin. One of the children has weak Yin. As intelligent scientists, you should be able to figure out which is which. You have a 50/50 chance of just getting lucky.

    If you read my posts about asthma or other things, I said asthma could be caused by problems with the Yin part of the body. I will further say that generally all health problems are a problem with a weak Yin part of the body.

    That additional information should make it easy for you to determine which child has strong Yin and which child has weak yin.

    http://www.happehtheory.com/YinExample.png
    ——–

    Now. You scientists have been presented with photographic evidence of what a human being with strong Yin looks like.

    What is your scientific response?

    Please no buffoonish, clownish, abusive, or hater responses. And please no playground, “I’m ignoring you because you are not part of my clique” behavior.

  18. #18 BlueMonday
    June 11, 2009

    Happeh,
    That’s a photo of what you say is weak Yin. All I see is a photo of two little girls, one wearing a surgical mask. How does that have anything to do with proof? It seems as if you’re just making up terms and attaching them to what fits with your ideas.

  19. #19 Scott
    June 11, 2009

    “Now. You scientists have been presented with photographic evidence of what a human being with strong Yin looks like.”

    That statement is false. You have presented a photograph of a person you state (without support) has strong Yin. This is evidence of nothing.

  20. #20 ennui
    June 11, 2009

    yeah, happeh, but how do you account for the little girls complete lack of Yorf and Yonk?

    YSWIDT?

  21. #21 cervantes
    June 11, 2009

    I ran Choprah’s post through the Quackometer and got four ducks. That’s not a bad bot.

  22. #22 cervantes
    June 11, 2009

    Before you get all hot and bothered, I recommend checking out Happeh’s web site. You might gain a deeper understanding . . .

  23. #23 Anthro
    June 11, 2009

    Orac, do you read the comments? I suppose you don’t have time. I posted a couple of days ago about Chopra’s HP article and about the comments that followed it, which were illustrative of the split on this subject–not that I’m crediting “the other side” with having a legitimate point. Presenting this as “just two opinions” is the problem that started a lot of this–that and the appalling lack of basic science education (even for many college graduates). Personally, I think it’s all a transfer of religion from church to CAM.

  24. #24 Stu
    June 11, 2009

    “According to Happeh Theory, famous well known cultural works of the past, are really messages about the negative effects of masturbation on the human body.”

    Priceless.

  25. #25 mk
    June 11, 2009

    Happeh’s a Big ol’ Poe right?

  26. #26 Stu
    June 11, 2009

    Doesn’t seem like it. Yikes!

    http://www.sciforums.com/encyclopedia/Happeh

  27. #27 Terrie
    June 11, 2009

    I swear, my IQ just dropped three points by reading that. Ick. BTW, OCD does NOT respond equally well to drugs and “talk therapy.” In fact, the gold standard is HIGH SSRIs combined with cognative-behavioral therapy, which is not simply “talk” therapy. OCD also shows a much, much lower rate of response to placebo drugs than does depression.

  28. #28 pinky
    June 11, 2009

    I liked the newsweek article. I am upset that Oprah has so many snake oil sales man on her show. Many folks do look to Oprah for guidance. Not that they should be they do. So I think she has a responsibility to at least not advise harmful actions, such as not vaccinating your child. Because of Ophra and Jenny, we may be able to see smallpox, measles, mumps, and rubella and whooping cough. We may get to have a taste of these totally preventable illnesses and maybe a few death of small babies who are too young to vaccinate. Very upsetting.

  29. #29 Sean Case
    June 11, 2009

    “As Deepak Chopra taught us, quantum physics means anything can happen at any time for no reason.”—Professor Farnsworth.

  30. #30 LW
    June 11, 2009

    One might also consider that surgeons were very slow to perform cosmetic breast replacement for women who faced devastating psychological fallout from their mastectomies — a typical neglect of any patient’s subjective response to illness.

    How odd. I would have expected the plastic surgeons to profit by conspiring with Dow Chemical to force dangerous implants on women unable to resist due to “devastating psychological fallout from their mastectomies”, when caring practitioners would instead have empowered them by encouraging them to meditate on their inner beauty and … well, something like that.

  31. #31 Marie
    June 11, 2009

    I am particularly unhappy with Oprah this week because our health teacher is making us watch The Secret. Yes, The Secret. In a high school health class. It’s no wonder so many people fall for woo. I am so glad this at least seems to be an isolated incident.

  32. #32 Chris
    June 11, 2009

    Marie, that is horrible! Perhaps you can complain to the principal that your health teacher is exposing you to her religion in class.

  33. #33 Doug Bremner
    June 11, 2009

    He is right about bypass surgery, with only 3% who have critical left main showing clear benefit in terms of survival. If we got rid of that waste of time we would solve our healthcare crisis. See CASS studies and others. I put all the papers up on my site.

  34. #34 kathleen
    June 11, 2009

    “Chopra is talking out of his ass”

    Well of course he is! He probabaly has “energy blockage in the throat region” causing him to speak from his ass because what comes from his mouth is bullshit.

  35. #35 Marilyn Mann
    June 11, 2009

    “Two of the most frequently performed surgeries, heart bypass grafts and balloon angioplasty, became fashionable without serious testing (the government approves drugs but not surgical procedures). They continue to be used in the face of perennial findings that neither procedure increases life expectancy. Besides relieving symptoms, which of course can be very troubling to the patient, both procedures carry serious risks. (The most recent finding showed that diabetics with stable heart disease do not survive longer if given heart surgery.)”

    It is true that PCI (stenting) is overused in the United States. For patients with stable coronary disease and no recent MI, the COURAGE trial showed that there was no reduction in cardiovascular events or mortality for patients who had PCI combined with optimal medical therapy as compared with optimal medical therapy alone. PCI does do a better job in reducing angina, but that difference goes away after two years. PCI does save lives and reduce events in acute coronary syndromes. So I agree with Paul Browne that Chopra’s statement is an oversimplification.

    The reason PCI is overused is partly because it is a very lucrative procedure. The other reason is because of what is known as the “oculostenotic reflex,” as defined by Nissen and Topol. Eric Topol and Steven Nissen, Our Preoccupation With Coronary Luminology: The Dissociation Between Clinical and Angiographic Findings in Ischemic Heart Disease. Circulation. 1995;92:2333-2342.

    In the BARI 2D trial, the recently published trial of patients with diabetes and stable coronary disease, there was no difference in cardiovascular events and mortality between patients who underwent early revascularization (CABG or PCI) as compared with optimal medical therapy. Comparing PCI with medical therapy, there was no advantage for PCI. In the group that received CABG, there *was* lower cardiovascular events and mortality. However, within the revascularization group, patients were not randomized to either CABG or PCI. Rather, patients with more severe disease received CABG. Therefore, the advantage for CABG over medical therapy can only be considered suggestive.

    “Moreover, both bypass and angioplasty are more effective in nondiabetics at relieving symptoms.” Orac, I have never heard this before. You may well be right, I just have not heard that. Do you have a source? Thx.

  36. #36 Matthew Cline
    June 11, 2009

    From the Newsweek article:

    According to Somers, the hormones, which are synthesized from plants instead of the usual mare’s urine (disgusting but true), are all natural and, unlike conventional hormones, virtually risk-free.

    If they’re “identical” to normal hormones, how can they carry less risk than hormones produced by animals?

    @Happeh:

    I can easily prove this by showing you a picture of exactly what Yin Yang Theory is about.

    The picture in the link below shows two small children. One of the children has strong Yin. One of the children has weak Yin.

    The Ying Yang Theory is just one possible explanation for whatever difference between the two girls you deem significant, so it’s not possible for that photo alone to demonstrate the Ying Rang Theory as true. Even looking at a bunch of different photos won’t necessarily be enough to demonstrate its validity. At the very least, you’d need to get a bunch of people who had been diagnosed as being either healthy or ill via methods other than your Ying Yang Theory, and present photos of them, saying “These are a group of healthy people and these are a group of ill people; notice the similarities within each group and the differences between the groups”.

    @BlueMonday:

    All I see is a photo of two little girls, one wearing a surgical mask. How does that have anything to do with proof?

    From having read Happeh’s website and some of his comments over on SciForums.com, I’m guessing that it’s either one of the girls having a less symmetrical body than the other (something which I myself can’t pick out from the photo), or that the girl on the left (the viewer’s left) is slightly leaning while the girl on the right has straighter posture, in which case I’d guess that Happeh’s diagnosis is that the girl on the left is the one with Yin problems.

  37. #37 Happeh
    June 11, 2009

    BlueMonday – ” It seems as if you’re just making up terms and attaching them to what fits with your ideas.”

    Oh…Sort of like scientist made up names like atoms, electrons, protons, neutrons, alpha particles, beta particles, blah, blah, blah, blah. You scientists never create terms to fit with your ideas. Do you?
    ——–
    Stu – “According to Happeh Theory, famous well known cultural works of the past, are really messages about the negative effects of masturbation on the human body.”

    Priceless.”

    Hey Stu? Did you know I am psychic? I was trying to flesh out that section all day for some reason. Then I come here and see it was because you were thinking about it.
    ————-

    Matthew Cline – “The Ying Yang Theory is just one possible explanation for whatever difference between the two girls you deem significant,”

    Of course

    Matthew Cline – “so it’s not possible for that photo alone to demonstrate the Ying Rang Theory as true.”

    I understand that from a scientific point of view where you want a billion cases before you make a decision that a person must say that. From the point of reality though, I only need that one example. That is a picture of strong and weak Yin. Your disagreement is based on ignorance, not reality.

    Matthew Cline – “I’d guess that Happeh’s diagnosis is that the girl on the left is the one with Yin problems.”

    See? That is how a scientific mind works. You just did what none of your fellows could or would do. You just taught yourself something about Yin Yang Theory.

    Your observations are correct. The head of the girl on the left side of the photo is turned because she has weak yin. Because you deserve a reward for breaking your conditioning and thinking on your own, you should also note the look and positioning of the right arm of the girl on the right. That is another indication of her strong Yin, as is the extreme thickness of her lower legs compared to the other girl.

    The triangular look of the shoulders of the little girl on the right is another sign of her strong Yin. The shoulders of the girl on the left look crumpled in comparison. The triangular look of the strong Yin girls shoulders, is related to The Pyramid View of the Human Body talked about on my site.
    ——-

    PS. Don’t think I didn’t see the rest of you all knowing scientists hiding in the back and refusing to participate.

  38. #38 plum grenville
    June 11, 2009

    Re: The Secret

    Marie, that is horrible! Perhaps you can complain to the principal that your health teacher is exposing you to her religion in class.

    Posted by: Chris | June

    Chris might be onto something here. Complaining that teaching from the book violates the First Amendment might work better in some places than complaining that it’s unscientific.

    If the principal is unresponsive, I’d suggest informing whoever is responsible for the health curriculum in the administrative staff of your school division.

  39. #39 Matthew Cline
    June 11, 2009

    @Happeh:

    I understand that from a scientific point of view where you want a billion cases before you make a decision that a person must say that.

    First you chastise us for being “unscientific”, and describe your own thought processes as “thinking like a scientist”. Now you chastise us for our “scientific point of view”?

    From the point of reality though, I only need that one example.

    You only need that one example to demonstrate the validity of your theory, and after seeing that one example we all should be convinced of your theory?

  40. #40 A. Noyd
    June 12, 2009

    Kate W. (#15)

    Granted some of them are shopping for advice they like because “eat whatever you want and still lose weight” sounds more fun than any actual sound diet plan does.

    Well, depending on how much of that “whatever” the diet allows you to eat, this sounds perfectly reasonable to me. There’s no scientific reason why you couldn’t lose weight eating a diet that consisted entirely of butter (and essential nutrients), after all. Your portions would just be really, really small. No, really.

    ~*~*~*~
    Stu (#26)

    It took me two minutes to get the apple chunks out of my sinuses that I snorted up there laughing at the quotes on that page, namely: “masturbation is the leading cause of death due to AIDS” and “Energy exists – whether you believe it or not.” Next time use a disclaimer or something, damn it.

  41. #41 Nashville
    June 12, 2009

    I was once given very wise advice on another thread about the infection known as ‘happeh’; “trolls tend to starve when they are ignored”. I know how hard it is to resist the temptation to argue with him, his philosophy as science arguments pose no sound or basic reasoning and are as easy to pick apart as a fat kid with no self esteem.

    Just ignore him and he loses any semblance of power that your responses give him. Leave him to browse his gay porn sites looking for off center penises, allow him his freedom to not distinguish between bodily asymmetry and dramatic photo lighting, don’t deny him the opportunity to salivate over the bodies of professional fighters and let him be to prove kung fu isn’t an out of date martial art (It seems the martial arts of modern weaponry and warfare are better, as firearms and high powered explosives are the primary choices of martial art for the nation responsible for kung fu)

    To be honest, I thought his site was a joke but he confirmed it wasn’t. I do recommend you visit his site at least once. Just a warning, if you have a weak bladder you may piss yourself laughing. The alternative medicine crowd must be so proud to have him as an ally.

  42. #42 Grendel
    June 12, 2009

    Seriously? Happehtheory is NOT a joke? Man I thought it was a satire website. There’s just too much crazy in one place for it to be anything else!

  43. #43 snerd
    June 12, 2009

    Happeh is educated stupid noncubic and is not wisest human.

  44. #44 ???
    June 12, 2009

    The Ying Yang Theory

    Any relation to the Big Wang Theory that penis length is inversely proportional to a man’s likelihood to watch Oprah?

  45. #45 ???
    June 12, 2009

    “Energy exists – whether you believe it or not.”

    I don’t believe it. Everyone knows that matter is all there is. Energy is just a conspiracy by the anti-matter people to deprive us of dark matter.

  46. #46 ???
    June 12, 2009

    “Energy exists – whether you believe it or not.”

    I don’t believe it. Everyone knows that matter is all there is. Energy is just a conspiracy by the anti-matter people to deprive us of dark matter.

  47. #47 Happeh
    June 12, 2009

    Matthew Cline – “You only need that one example to demonstrate the validity of your theory, and after seeing that one example we all should be convinced of your theory?”

    Why do you insist on being obtuse and contrary? You should be convinced because it is the truth. If you are not though, I understand that your science has taught you to be that way.

    Instead of being obtuse and contrary, isn’t it your job to now go investigate what I said? To gather your billion little kids and examine them for what I said, then reach some determination or the other?

    Why am I telling you your job?
    ——–

    Nashville – “Just ignore him and he loses any semblance of power”

    Translation – “If you close your mind to Happeh, his attempts to open your mind to information you are unaware of will not work”
    ———————–

    Ok. I think I have this place pegged. It is not thinking scientists who are honestly interested in a conversation about alternative medicine. It is an attack site to bash alternative medicine.

    One person, one single person had the courage to comment in a serious way on this picture and what was claimed about it.

    http://www.happehtheory.com/YinExample.png

    You people really are lying aren’t you? You really know all about Yin Yang Theory, and you work to suppress discussion of it for evil reasons.

  48. #48 phantomreader42
    June 12, 2009

    So, Happeh, to sum up your laughable excuse for an argument:

    1. Anything you can twist so it kinda sorta looks like it might support your bullshit is incontrovertible proof that you’re right about absolutely everything…
    2. …meanwhile, the mountains of evidence that DON’T support your bullshit somehow don’t count, because you say so.
    3. Everyone who doesn’t immediately bow down and worship you from seeing a glimpse of a picture is actually part of a vast global conspiracy to sap and impurify your precious bodily fluids, and their failure to accept your word is absolute and unquestionable proof of this…
    4. …but your abject refusal to even consider the facts that refute your bullshit is NOT proof you’re an idiot, nor that you’re involved in some kind of insane hoax, in your mind it’s just more proof that you’re right.
    5. “Scientist R Stoopid”…
    6. …Scientists are an evil cabal with worldwide influence over every aspect of our lives (something they could not acheive if they were “stoopid”) dedicated to the ruthless supression of anything that contradicts their dogma, and that’s a bad thing…
    7. …but you’ve publicly said that YOU “think like a scientist” and that that’s a GOOD thing.
    8. You are of course incapable of noticing the contradiction that you declare science a vast evil conspiracy, while claiming to use it when doing so is convenient for you.
    9. You are totally batshit fucking insane.

  49. #49 Avram Platt
    June 12, 2009

    I have been involved in integrative medicine for decades. I have watched the AMA and medical establishment scream about alternatives to the alopathic prescription medicine they practice, that is 50 years old. Have they forgotten the ART of medicine? No…they have become proxies of Big Pharma and the FDA and one way or another, are on the payroll. By the way, almost 70% of all chairs at Medical Schools are financed by Drug Companies…DUH!!
    Over half the ad pages in the Oprah Newweek edition were paid for by Drug Companies. Pat Wingert, the writer, herself has written a Menopause book recommending fake and harmful horse hormones; she is also on the payroll.
    The famous philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer says “ALL TRUTH PASSES THROUGH THREE STAGES. FIRST, IT IS REDICULED. SECOND, IT IS VIOLENTLY OPPOSED. THIRD, IT IS ACCEPTED AS SELF-EVIDENT.
    We are presently in stage 2.. VIOLENTLY OPPOSED.

  50. #50 Joseph
    June 12, 2009

    The famous philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer says “ALL TRUTH PASSES THROUGH THREE STAGES. FIRST, IT IS REDICULED. SECOND, IT IS VIOLENTLY OPPOSED. THIRD, IT IS ACCEPTED AS SELF-EVIDENT.
    We are presently in stage 2.. VIOLENTLY OPPOSED.

    You do realize that falsehoods also pass through the first 2 stages, right?

  51. #51 phantomreader42
    June 12, 2009

    Avram Pratt, what is your response to the assertion that you are a serial killer, child rapist, and terrorist? Remember, according to you, if a claim is opposed, it must be true! :P

  52. #52 Marcus Ranum
    June 12, 2009

    @Happeh -
    Now. You scientists have been presented with photographic evidence of what a human being with strong Yin looks like.

    It’s easy to hit a bullseye every time: first you shoot, then you draw the rings around where the bullet hit.

    You’re engaged in post-facto reasoning. For example, if I wanted to argue that having a mullet hairdo makes you look like a stupid redneck, I could go to google image search and click “mullet redneck” and – gosh theory confirmed!

    When you say “scientists are stoopid” you appear to think you’re not a scientist (or you’d be stoooopid) – why then do you talk about theories? Or are you just wanna-be sto0000pid?

  53. #53 Matthew Cline
    June 12, 2009

    @Happeh:

    You should be convinced because it is the truth.

    You admitted previously that there are multiple possible explanations for what you can see in the photo. So, according to you, just by looking at a photo of something with multiple possible explanations, the explanation which is true should just be obvious?

    Also, suppose that you were presented with multiple photos of children who are leaning to one side to the other. Some of them might be rocking back-and-forth and the photo simply caught them leaning in a particular direction; some of them might be bending closer to the source of a sound to hear it better; some might have been bending sideways to get a better look at something on the floor, and was straightening back up when the photo was taken. Are there extra distinguishing characteristics to distinguish between cases like that and a problem with Yin, or is it somehow possible to discern which are or aren’t problems with Yin without any extra indicators?

  54. #54 Marcus Ranum
    June 12, 2009

    Avram Platt writes:
    I have been involved in integrative medicine for decades. I have watched the AMA and medical establishment scream about alternatives to the alopathic prescription medicine they practice, that is 50 years old. Have they forgotten the ART of medicine? No…they have become proxies of Big Pharma and the FDA and one way or another, are on the payroll.

    Avram, are the integrative medicine practitioners you’ve worked with volunteers? Are they working for free? Or are they doing the same thing that you accuse “Big Pharma” of doing:
    - identifying customers
    - pitching a message to them
    - performing services for them
    - taking their money
    ? Considering that “Big Integrative and CAM” is also a gigantic business it’s kind of a case of pot calling kettle black, isn’t it?

    Over half the ad pages in the Oprah Newweek edition were paid for by Drug Companies.

    Are you saying that companies that push holistic “natural” cures and services don’t advertise? Perhaps you’re blind, but I see ads for “Big Integrative and CAM” products and offerings all the time. I ignore them just the same way I do the ads from “Big Pharma” Do you feel it’s immoral for drug companies to advertise, but acceptable for Andrew Weil to advertise? Why?

    The famous philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer says “ALL TRUTH PASSES THROUGH THREE STAGES. FIRST, IT IS REDICULED. SECOND, IT IS VIOLENTLY OPPOSED. THIRD, IT IS ACCEPTED AS SELF-EVIDENT.

    When I can figure out what “redicule”ing is, I’ll give it a shot. In the meantime, I stand with the skeptics — who were around (and pretty much demolished philosophy) a long time before Schopenhauer was born.

  55. #55 Nashville
    June 12, 2009

    @ phantomreader42 #48

    You have made very cogent and intelligent arguments. And to the “troll” they mean nothing. If you follow anything he has said on any other thread you would realize that the “troll” is totally batsh*t crazy and you can never win against crazy.

    Hypothetical argument:

    Sane: Lincoln was 16th president of the USA
    Insane: No he wasn’t
    Sane: yes he was it’s in the history books, national archives, and library of congress.
    Insane: no it isn’t
    Sane: What are you talking about, I have proof
    Insane: No you don’t
    Sane: You must be mistaken I’ll present mountains more proof
    Insane: You can’t, it’s a conspiracy and the evidence was manufactured by the conspiracy. Game. Set. Match

    And when anyone claims vast conspiracy, you can’t prove it, that’s why it’s a conspiracy, so by their own two part syllogism they are correct.

    The conspiracy people are just people who feel overwhelmed. It is a defense mechanism. If they can’t understand or prove something, it isn’t that it’s beyond them; it’s that they are beyond that something. Everyone else is just “stupid” “uninformed” “blinded” and they are the only ones with the higher function to realize it. It’s kinda sad if it wasn’t so funny. But crazy shouldn’t be funny.

    When the drunken girl at the party is extra loud and doing things to get attention, the only way to neutralize her is to ignore her. She won’t like it and may scream louder for a bit but eventually she will shut up.

    Besides, the “troll’ is on their side. Let him speak unopposed, I am sure they are happy to have him.

  56. #56 Matthew Cline
    June 13, 2009

    Sane: An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.
    Insane: No it isn’t.
    Sane: Yes it is!

  57. #57 Happeh
    June 13, 2009

    The people commenting only want to fight. The things they say are so outrageous they could only be thought of by someone whose brain was blinded by their need to be trouble.

    Matthew Cline – “You admitted previously that there are multiple possible explanations for what you can see in the photo. So, according to you, just by looking at a photo of something with multiple possible explanations, the explanation which is true should just be obvious?”

    Of course it is. If a doctor looks at an X ray, the reason for the health problem is obvious, is it not?

    A picture proves reality to an educated person. It is the ignorant, the unaware, that the picture proves nothing to. You and your fellows are ignorant and unaware so the picture means nothing to you. To me and billions of people on the planet who are experts, the picture shows exactly what I told you.
    ———–

    Matthew Cline – “Are there extra distinguishing characteristics to distinguish between cases like that and a problem with Yin, or is it somehow possible to discern which are or aren’t problems with Yin without any extra indicators?”

    Matthew, Matthew, Matthew. It is called experience. After some period of time learning about this subject, experience will answer every single one of those questions.

    Can a welder give you his ability to spot welds that are weak? No he cannot. You must be trained in the ability to spot weak welds.
    ————-

    Ya. This is reaching the name calling and malicious hate level isn’t it? The real scientists refuse to participate, because they will not be around people who are abusive and call other people names the way some of the respondents in this thread do. They have professional reputations to consider.

  58. #58 Matthew Cline
    June 13, 2009

    @Happeh:

    It is called experience. After some period of time learning about this subject, experience will answer every single one of those questions.

    Can a welder give you his ability to spot welds that are weak? No he cannot. You must be trained in the ability to spot weak welds.

    If experience is needed to be able to tell the difference between a photo of a person who is leaning because of a Yin/Yang imbalance versus a healthy person who is leaning for a reason other than Yin/Yang imbalance, then why should someone with no such experience be convinced that the reason the girl in your photo is leaning due to a Yin problem rather than because of one of the reasons a healthy person might have for leaning? So far as I can tell, the only reason to believe your explanation is because of your self-proclaimed expertise in the area. But why should any of us believe that you’ve reached the correct conclusion because of your experience in observing the postures of lots of people? You’re going to need some evidence beyond your personal observations to convince us.

    Of course it is. If a doctor looks at an X ray, the reason for the health problem is obvious, is it not?

    Yes, because that doctor has lots of training and experience. If you showed an X-ray to a person with no medical training or experience they wouldn’t be able to properly interpret it (unless it was something obvious like a broken bone or a foreign object embedded in the subject’s body). If you went further and showed a single X-ray to a non-medical person and claimed it as evidence for a hypothesis that should 100% convince them of that hypothesis, they’d be right to reject your claim. (Even to a medical practitioner a single X-ray isn’t going to convince them of a new hypotheses)

    A picture proves reality to an educated person.

    Yes, it is reality. It demonstrates the reality that, at a single point in time, a little girl was leaning to her left. But that’s all the information that that picture, in and of itself, contains. The accumulation of evidence which confirms a hypothesis about why she’s leaning isn’t contained in that picture.

  59. #59 5acos(phi/2)
    June 13, 2009

    @Happeh:

    A few questions to you, out of curiosity:

    Which is more important to you: getting as close as possible to the truth, or being right?
    (optional 3rd choice: “Aren’t they the same thing?”)

    What do you expect most people here to answer if they are asked the above question?

    Taking into account what you already know about Yin-Yang theory, is there anything that can convince you that the theory is flawed or irrelevant? If so, what is it?

  60. #60 Thing1-2Mom
    June 13, 2009

    Here’s a response that I think anyone in support of Newsweek’s article should at least consider, http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/06/katie-wright-first-woman-to-use-the-v-word-on-oprah-on-newsweek-dreck.html

  61. #61 Jake
    June 13, 2009

    Orca this is a very dishonest blog you posted. Oprah never once endorsed Jenny McCarthy’s views on vaccines. She simply had her on her show and the subject of vaccines hardly even came up and when it did, Oprah was quick to read a statement contradicting McCarthy’s views. And McCarthy has been all over the media (Larry King, the View) discussing her views so why your extreme hatred of Oprah? And Suzanne Somers has also been all over the media promoting her books, so again, why do you single out a black female owned media for hatred?

    And while it’s true that Oprah said she had a positive experience with bioidentical hormones, she also made clear that people should check with their doctors. Oprah has a right to sate what her personal experience has been. And so what if Oprah said viewers should read Somers book. People need to be exposed to a wide range of view points, not just mainstream science only (and Somers book is based on interviews with doctors). Oprah made very clear that mainstream science has not yet validated Somer’s ideas and you should check with your doctor. You should read Somer’s book before you criticise her. And this was probably the only time Somers has appeared on Oprah. She’s been all over Larry King, the Early show, so again, for you to single out a black woman for hosting her makes you look very biased.

    As for your claim that one of the 40 million Oprah viewers decided not to seek medical treatment because of the Secret, why didn’t you mention the fact that Oprah brought the woman on TV to urge her to seek medical treatment and made 100% clear that the Secret is never a substitute for modern science and medical care. The fact that you would withhold this crucial fact from your readers is a lie by ommission and once again serve to underscore your bias against a rich and influential black woman.

    In addition, ANY idea that reaches tens of millions of people will be applied in absurd and dangerous ways. How many people have misapplied modern medicine. The fact that you would abuse one glaring anecdote to demonize a super successful black woman reveals obvious bias or an inability to apply logic; or both.

  62. #62 Jake
    June 13, 2009

    Orca, I demand you provide a citation for this ridiculous statement:

    “Never mind that she has said in the past that she doesn’t have guests on the show with whom she disagrees.”

    When has Oprah ever said that she refuses to have guests with whom she disagrees? You’re telling me that Oprah agrees with all the tens of thousands of guests she’s had on her show over the last 23 years including Satanic worshippers and skinheads. And what about all the shows where Oprah has guests on both sides of a debate? She agrees with both? That has got to me one of the dumbest things any blogger has ever said, and I want to know what your source is. Do you have one or did you just make crap up? What I have heard Oprah once say is she doesn’t promote MOVIES on her show that she doesn’t like which is very different from never having on a guest she disagrees with. Please make an effort to get your facts and logic correct next time.

  63. #63 Chris
    June 13, 2009

    Thin1-2mom:

    Here’s a response that I think anyone in support of Newsweek’s article should at least consider, …ageofautism…

    You don’t read this blog much, do you?

    Orac does not give much weight to the opinions on Age of Autism

  64. #64 Chris
    June 13, 2009

    Jake:

    Orca, I demand you provide a citation for this ridiculous statement:

    Why should he answer you demands when you cannot even spell his name?

  65. #65 Matthew Cline
    June 14, 2009

    @Happeh:

    It is called experience. After some period of time learning about this subject, experience will answer every single one of those questions.

    I’m curious as to what sort of experience you have that lets you judge these things. Reading books and articles on Yin Yang Theory? Are you a medical practitioner who sees patients, diagnoses them with a Yin or Yang problem, and then observes their posture in order to correlate postures with Yin/Yang problems? Something else?

  66. #66 Denice Walter
    June 14, 2009

    @ Chris- No,it’s *not* a spelling error. He wants “Orca”,who I think is blogging over at Whale.to

  67. #67 Chris
    June 14, 2009

    Denice, very funny! And possibly true!

  68. #68 Happeh
    June 14, 2009

    5acos(phi/2)- “Taking into account what you already know about Yin-Yang theory, is there anything that can convince you that the theory is flawed or irrelevant? If so, what is it?”

    I notice your login is a math equation. Is there anything that will convince you that the math you use is flawed or irrelevant?
    ——–
    “I’m curious as to what sort of experience you have that lets you judge these things. ”

    Real life experience. The only kind you can trust.

  69. #69 Matthew Cline
    June 14, 2009

    @Happeh:

    Real life experience. The only kind you can trust.

    What kind of real life experience? From the clinical experience of treating patients? Are you able to directly sense the Yin/Yang imbalance of people you meet in person, and correlate that with their body postures? Something else?

    Also, presumably during your transition from being inexperienced to experienced you made mistakes in your diagnoses. How did you detect these mistakes so you could correct them and learn from them?

  70. #70 Happeh
    June 15, 2009

    Matthew Cline – “Are you able to directly sense the Yin/Yang imbalance of people you meet in person, and correlate that with their body postures? Something else?”

    There is no sensing about it. I showed you that picture of the little girls. I can look at someone and tell what is going on with them.

    It seems like you are trying to make a big deal out of this like I am some superman who came up with this stuff. I do what just about every Asian on the planet can do. There is nothing special to it.

    Matthew Cline – “Also, presumably during your transition from being inexperienced to experienced you made mistakes in your diagnoses. How did you detect these mistakes so you could correct them and learn from them?”

    Where are you going with this line of questioning? I did what all scientists do. The scientific method. Trial and Error.

  71. #71 Matthew Cline
    June 15, 2009

    @Happeh:

    Where are you going with this line of questioning? I did what all scientists do. The scientific method. Trial and Error.

    What I’m attempting to ask is, when you made an error in diagnosis and either thought that someone was leaning because of Yin/Yang imbalance when an imbalance wasn’t the cause, or thought that someone was leaning for reasons other than an imbalance when it actually was caused by imbalance, how did you discover that you were in error so that you could correct that error and thus improve the skill with which you make a diagnosis?

    I do what just about every Asian on the planet can do.

    What can they do with Yin/Yang (or in relation to it) that most other people on the planet can’t?

  72. #72 Happeh
    June 15, 2009

    Oh. I never made a mistake in thinking someone was leaning because of an imbalance in Yin/Yang. It is too easy to make a mistake. It would be like making a mistake in judging something to be hot or cold. How can you mistake something so easy?
    —–

    Asians can look at people and tell if they are healthy or not, if they are strong or not, the relative distribution of the Yin and Yang in people, whether people are telepathic, whether people have weak or strong energy, and how to manipulate another human being using all of that knowledge. They can make you sick, kill you, or heal you with the knowledge provided by Yin Yang Theory.

    A knowledgeable Asian person can make someone else dance like a puppet.

    Like I keep saying though, I only use Asian people because of their link to Yin Yang Theory. Other ethnic groups like Africans or Hispanics have the same abilities, because their cultures all work with the concepts of Yin and Yang, but in the language and concepts of their cultures.

    You ever wonder why South American Indians did human sacrifice? Do you really think it was just because they were bloodthirsty primitives? Or maybe it was because they know things you don’t, and there was a concrete result they were after with human sacrifice?

  73. #73 Matthew Cline
    June 16, 2009

    Oh. I never made a mistake in thinking someone was leaning because of an imbalance in Yin/Yang. It is too easy to make a mistake. It would be like making a mistake in judging something to be hot or cold. How can you mistake something so easy?

    So, then, once you understood the concept behind it all you could perform this diagnosis with 100% certainty, and it was only in developing the concepts that you used trial-and-error?

    Asians can look at people and tell if they are healthy or not, if they are strong or not, the relative distribution of the Yin and Yang in people, whether people are telepathic, whether people have weak or strong energy, and how to manipulate another human being using all of that knowledge. They can make you sick, kill you, or heal you with the knowledge provided by Yin Yang Theory.

    If they have this ability, but Europeans don’t, then how where the Europeans ever able to political dominate portions of Asia? How could mere guns hope to stand up to power like that?

    You ever wonder why South American Indians did human sacrifice? Do you really think it was just because they were bloodthirsty primitives? Or maybe it was because they know things you don’t, and there was a concrete result they were after with human sacrifice?

    So, then, the priests who performed the sacrifices figured out how to extract energy via murdering people, and made up stories about appeasing the gods to fool the populace? Or was the entire populace in on it, and the stories about appeasing the gods told to the Europeans to fool them?

    Also, why wouldn’t human sacrifice be more widespread if it had practical benefits? Is the level of Yin Yang mastery required to make it work so great that it’s only ever developed in a few places?

  74. #74 Happeh
    June 16, 2009

    Matthew Cline – “If they have this ability, but Europeans don’t, then how where the Europeans ever able to political dominate portions of Asia? How could mere guns hope to stand up to power like that?”

    Think you are clever huh? Guns were invented specifically to stop people with the abilities I describe. If you keep them 500 yards or more away with long range weapons, they can never get close enough to you to show you what being a real man means.
    —–

    Matthew Cline – “the priests who performed the sacrifices figured out how to extract energy via murdering people, and made up stories about appeasing the gods to fool the populace?”

    Now that is the most amazing post you have made Mr Cline. You have been kind of slow throughout most of this conversation.

    But I mention human sacrifice and you immediately post that the priests are sucking the energy of the victims.

    You already know all about this stuff huh? You are just playing stoopid?

  75. #75 Cia
    July 22, 2009

    Boy, are you an ignorant b.s.er.