I figured that I could still post here and address some of the topics I would have covered on the show. So, this is my no show show notes…
All kidding aside, the actor, director, ambassador, and serial child adopter Angelina Jolie was in the news again recently. She announced that she along with her doctors decided that she should have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed in order to prevent ovarian cancer. You will recall that a couple years ago Jolie was in the news for opting to have both her breasts removed in order to avoid breast cancer.
She made these decisions based on her genetic makeup putting her at a high risk of developing those cancers. This is an extreme version of an ounce of prevention thinking, but I’m certain her doctors had given her their best advice and she had carefully considered her actions.
I’ve seen there has been concern that other people might follow her example with their bodies, but I gotta figure those people’s doctors won’t do these procedures lightly. Doctors take an oath to do no harm and their licensing boards would be none too happy if doctors cross the line. Although, there is that Burzynski qua… er… doc… er… fellow.
Ok, here’s my easy joke that I’m probably not the first to make:
So, Angelina Jolie has had her breasts and ovaries removed because she is genetically at high risk of breast and ovarian cancer. I sure hope she doesn’t find out she’s also at high risk for brain cancer.
However, Tim Farley of What’s The Harm, Skeptic History, and Skeptools had posted a story of a 29 year-old woman in Hong Kong having a seizure and later dying after having an acupuncture treatment. I cannot find anything that states that the acupuncture was what led to the seizure. She could easily have had the seizure while on the bus on the way to get the treatment.
What this is an example of is post hoc reasoning. The woman had a treatment which science has shown to be useless and unproven and, then, she had a seizure and later died; therefore it must be the treatment that caused her death. We have to remember that correlation does not mean causation.
I know Tim Farley knows that. I’ve heard him say What’s The Harm isn’t scientific, but I wouldn’t have gone with the story without stating that it isn’t yet known if the acupuncture was responsible. Farley may have done just that and I may have missed it.
Benny Hinn has made his name and his considerable fortune by his “faith healing” theatrics. Perhaps you’ve seen videos of this televangelist tapping people on their foreheads and their collapsing at the power of Jesus following through the charlat… er… good reverend. I’ve even seen clips of him just waving his hands at the gathered suck… er… faithful and they all fall over. Such power he has.
Well, the faithful at Hinn’s sideshow have been conditioned as to how to react when the good mounteb… er… man of God does his act. They may be caught up in the moment and their faith that they actually feel his power of Jesus in his waving hands.
However, Benny the faith-healer doesn’t seem to be able to cure his male pattern baldness or, more importantly, his heart condition. A condition that recently required a stay at the hospital.
Another easy and certainly made by others joke:
Faith-healer, heal thyself.