Along with very talented British illustrator Kevin Howell, I recently published a children’s book called There’s No Such Thing as a Tooth Fairy. (If you’re interested, it’s available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon and BookBaby.com.) That book idea had been percolating in my mind on and off for several years.… read more "A Germ of an Idea"
Announcing a New Children’s Book that Promotes Critical Thinking
A new book teaches young children about critical thinking and evidence. It’s not only educational but colorful and funny. Too many adults are like Henry, the little boy in the story who rejects clear evidence and persists in what he wants to believe. Back in 2006 I wrote an article for Skeptical… read more "Announcing a New Children’s Book that Promotes Critical Thinking"
A review of Are Electromagnetic Fields Making Me Ill? How Electricity and Magnetism Affect Our Health, by Bradley J. Roth
Bradley Roth is a retired physicist and acknowledged expert in electromagnetism who co- authored the textbook Intermediate Physics for Medicine and Biology. In this new book, Are Electromagnetic Fields Making Me Ill?, he shares his knowledge and understanding with the general public. The book asks a number of questions about electricity, magnetism, and… read more "A review of Are Electromagnetic Fields Making Me Ill? How Electricity and Magnetism Affect Our Health, by Bradley J. Roth"
Observational Studies and Experimental Studies
[Este artículo está disponible en español. La traducción al español apareció por primera vez en la revista Pensar.] Research studies can be divided into two types: observational studies and experimental studies. Observational studies simply observe the effect of a variable in a population. They can assess the strength of a… read more "Observational Studies and Experimental Studies"
Estudios observacionales y estudios experimentales
[This article is also available in English. Thanks to Pensar for the Spanish translation.] Los estudios de investigación médica se pueden dividir en dos tipos: observacionales y experimentales. Los estudios observacionales simplemente observan el efecto de una variable en una población. Pueden evaluar la fuerza de una relación, por ejemplo,… read more "Estudios observacionales y estudios experimentales"
Living with Uncertainty
Uncertainty is uncomfortable. It is only natural to want certainty. It is more comfortable to be certain and wrong than to be uncertain. Like anyone else, I would like to be comfortable, but I think truth matters. I’d rather be uncertain than wrong; wouldn’t you? As Voltaire said, “Uncertainty is… read more "Living with Uncertainty"
Illness, Healing, and Other Terms That Can Be Confusing
Disease vs. Illness The words “disease” and “illness” are often used interchangeably, but their meanings are very different. Diseases are biomedical entities where there is impairment of the normal functioning of the body. Illness refers to the way a patient experiences a sickness. There can be disease without illness and… read more "Illness, Healing, and Other Terms That Can Be Confusing"
¡No, no, no, no! ¡Los testimonios no son evidencia!
[This article is also available in English. Thanks to Pensar for the Spanish translation.] Estamos programados para responder a testimonios. Échale la culpa a la evolución. Durante la mayor parte de la historia de la humanidad, solo teníamos dos formas de aprender sobre el mundo: nuestras propias observaciones y lo… read more "¡No, no, no, no! ¡Los testimonios no son evidencia!"
No, No, No, NO! Testimonials Are Not Evidence!
[Este artículo está disponible en español. La traducción al español apareció por primera vez en la revista Pensar.] We are programmed to respond to testimonials. Blame evolution. For most of human history, we had only two ways to learn about the world: our own observations, and what other people told… read more "No, No, No, NO! Testimonials Are Not Evidence!"
Why We Need Science
Most patients, and even many medical doctors and scientists, have not grasped how important it is to use rigorous science to evaluate claims for medical treatments. All too often, people decide to try a treatment that is irrational, that hasn’t been tested, or that has been tested and shown not… read more "Why We Need Science"