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Old 07-24-2011, 02:06 AM
CrowsMakeTools CrowsMakeTools is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 54
Default Re: Science Saturday: I'm a Declinist

Boy, this was a terrible diavlog. I am becoming a declinist with regard to the quality of the scientific programming on this site.

Ann says, hey, I don't think meditation works. Wasn't there some article about it that was recently withdrawn? And Rebecca says, uh, haven't heard about it. This is what Science Saturday has devolved to? Then Ann goes on talking trash about meditation, without actually discussing anything about the article, or the editorial decision not to publish it, pending further review of data that was submitted 24 hours before publication. The article, by the way, is by Robert Schneider et al, “Stress Reduction in the Secondary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Transcendental Meditation and Health Education in African Americans,” It was pulled from its scheduled publication in the Archives of Internal Medicine 12 minutes (no kidding) before the scheduled release date. For more, see:


Now this is actually an interesting story, and neither Ann or Rebecca know anything about it, but that doesn't stop Ann from more trash-talking about meditation.

Ann says that people who teach meditation would like to have it covered by medical insurance. OK, that's not news, I think. And the lede: "ObamaCare might subsidize junk medicine" is just a complete falsehood. The legislation for the Affordable Care Act includes funding for creating the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), to evaluate clinical outcomes and treatment efficacy objectively.


PCORI's mission is specifically tailored to helping insurers get useful information about which treatments work, be they conventional allopathic treatments or "alternative" complementary treatments. Before Ann gets too worked about alternative treatments that are ineffective maybe she should start paying more attention to all the treatments provided by conventional allopathic medicine that have incredibly little evidence for efficacy. That's where most of the health care dollars are being wasted. And it's a good topic for skeptics. More skepticism needed.

There's lots of interesting science here to talk about it. Instead, we hear Ann interrupting Rebecca tell a story about a socially inept man approaching her in an elevator. I'm all for giving atheists dating advice and social skills training, and I think that Rebecca's argument about sexism being an unrecognized but pervasive feature of atheist discourse is probably a point worth making. But really, if you tuned in to learn something about science, this was a total waste.

Last edited by CrowsMakeTools; 07-24-2011 at 02:12 AM..
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