Monday, October 22, 2007

New Age Myths Broken

Dozens of new age books and entire careers have been based on the falsehood that there is a spiritual connection between attitudes and disease processes. I think we can safely put this one to rest.

(above) Cancer growth was not affected by mental outlook

The power of the mind has been overestimated when it comes to fighting cancer, US scientists say. They said they found that a patient's positive or negative emotional state had no direct bearing on cancer survival or disease progression.


Steve Jovanovic said...


Journalism gravitates toward sensationalism. In science, few studies are considered definitive. It would be unwise to make a definitive generalization based on the results of one study, whose methodology and sample size were unstated. This particular study may (or may not) be valid, but if so, no evidential justification has been provided. The reader is insidiously guided into accepting a conclusion without evidence based on trusting the veracity of statements made by a journalist in interpreting a single study, and not a scientist--still less the lead author of the study.

Please don't mislead your readers by substituting journalistic opinion pieces masquerading as objective and insuperable reports on science for scientifically accepted results.

Show us the study. Let's examine the methodology. Let's see which journal it was published in, check up on the standing of its editor and reviewers in the scientific community, check to see if there are other studies that would bolster the tentative hypothesis suggested by this one, and then make a humble and tentative conclusion, for that is the best that we can do.


Aaron said...

Feel free to post link to the study here.