Michael Moore

Disruptive Physician, Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences


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When confronted with new ideas like the ones presented by Mina Bissell, how do we change our views in today's scientific establishment?

Today's scientific research is different than research of 100. 50, or even 20 years ago. The advances are generally more incremental, less understandable to non-scientists, and require an expensive research infrastructure. In addition, because of limited resources we often do not have the time or money to reconfirm results, resulting in less validated information being incorporated into our knowledge base. To me this is a similar situation that resulted in the scientific profession, the science journal, and the concept of peer review. Now, because of the explosion of science knowledge, and the idea that scientific knowledge can be proprietary, these structures/ideas are failing us...and revolutionary ideas like Mina Bissell's can pass us by because they are unrecognized.

Are we entering a new era where we need new models of how we validate knowledge? Do we just retain our trend to open information and hope the knowledge rises to the surface, or is there still a role for curation and peer review?

What are the kinds of skills that the "New Scientist" will need? Maybe just as important, what are the skills they will not need?

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    Aug 10 2012: Just a little point. Be wary of talks dealing with medicine that are not in TED MED. Ms. Bissell's talk would never have stood up there. The oncogenetic theory of cancer development has been debunked decades ago with the advent of real genetic research. We know what oncogenes are, how proto-oncogenes can become oncogenes, and we understand how they work with tumor suppressor genes. Nothing she presents is revolutionary or new. It's all been around for years. I discuss that theory when I talk about the history of cancer research circa 1970s.

    That being said, it is not just research that is struggling with the pace and growth of technology. Like all publishing, it is moving online and becoming difficult for the lay person to distinguish between true research and garbage. It is even becoming difficult for people in the field to know if the data is valid. However, even with peer review, it was difficult to externally validate research. Even then a lot of crap got published. It is just a larger volume now.

    So I think we need to continue to develop our ability to critique research, whether in journals or online. We need to know research methodology and appropriate statistical application and view research through a critical lens.

    Each discipline will continue to debate and challenge results. Defending your research starts in school and continues throughout a scientific career. It helps to develop scientific rigor. I truly think this will continue, just not through the format of journals.

    The skills will be the same. Appropriate method for the question, appropriate statistical application to the research, publish and defend your results. And make sure your research decisions are transparent and open to critique.

    It is just that the venue will be different.
  • Aug 13 2012: The truth is that no one fully knows nor fully understands this reality we call life. To say so is to be more than arrogant - it would be the setting-up of a big disappointment. We may simply agree with those who may have had more experience than we so as not to feel the discomfort of having our differing opinion questioned in public before arriving at the truth - a comfort zone.

    The truth is that everyone could be wrong... except you. Unfortunately also, the person who thinks so - whether truly wrong or truly right - is always considered by the majority to be wrong until proven right - an uncomfortable no-man's land unless...

    Unless we recognize that consent does not equate to truth, that truth is not revealed to those who only talk about it but to those who actively seek it out, and that those who are actively seeking it out must live in that uncomfortable no-man's land of challenge and incredulity, then we can never effectively confront today's scientific establishment (if at the same time never differing from it).

    And those who live comfortably outside today's scientific establishment's consent will understand that it is easier to find truth than it is to change our views in today's scientific establishment because it is not after the truth (which once made public has no individual value) but after profit (gained by withholding the truth).

    Realizing this established conflict of interest, we must realize that we have been, are being, and will be lied to by the established scientific community from time to time to prevent the truth from taking on a power of its own - liberating the masses through increased knowledge (the greatest asset of the man who could go back in time is his unique knowledge of the possible which would make him king).

    Unfortunately (or fortunately), it is a only a matter of time before old truth is released to others and new truth is withheld once again, the upper hand always being maintained by active truth-seekers - a race to truth!
    • Aug 13 2012: Very well said !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.................
      And thank you for the effort you applied to saying it........................John
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      Aug 14 2012: Are you suggesting, Antonio, that today's scientists are in their field for profit rather than truth? Does this conclusion come from your knowing profit-hungry people in those challenging disciplines?
      • Aug 14 2012: Yes and no, Fritzie. It is an unfortunate situation for the many sincere among the community. Whether aware or not, they are part of a profit-driven system which has nurtured them and sustained them from their youthful education with only that which will be useful to the establishment, not to challenge it or take away its power. The good doctor who discovers a free cure is rediculed and ostricized for encouraging "self-medication" and "unconventional" medicine (which inherently cannot be regulated). So she/he, like the good doctor maintain their license, maintain their funding, and maintain their peer status through consent. Maverick's unwelcome. We are all (myself included) to some degree of awareness participants of this conflict of interest where ignorance is bliss.
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          Aug 14 2012: I wasn't talking about medicine, actually, but more the fundamental sciences. For example, are you thinking the 6000 scientists at the Large Hadron Collider are in it for the money? Do you think chemists doing ultrafast laser spectroscopy are in it for the money? Do you think people go into astronomy for the money? Biophysics?
          I think people have an interesting tendency often to assume that "other" people are in things for profit, the money, power, bad motives....People repeat it so often to each other it comes to seem like common wisdom. It's a "them" and "us", clique-y sort of thinking that arises all over modern life- seeing others as worse than they typically are. I am concerned specifically when our patterns of "learning" tend toward collecting information preferentially that confirms biases for which we actually have little genuine evidence.
  • Aug 10 2012: Human beings are reaching their limits in terms of truth, we're going to have to rely on machines/AI/some future technology to do truth validation for us. There is just too much and no single human being has the energy to deal with all the errors/lies and misinformation.
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      Aug 10 2012: That is a very interesting concept, Bob. how do you see that happening specifically? That seems like a pretty big leap.
      • Aug 10 2012: Not really, we do it everyday - look at all the mundane tasks your brain automatically handles to avoid colliding with objects so you don't die. The basis for determining truth exists, someone intelligent has to come along and expose it to the heathens. i.e. someone like myself. I've been working on these problems for a long time. I don't believe in the false division the enlightenment and current scientific establishment created between 'objective and subjective'. The words have no meaning because everything takes place in reality, it's understanding and thinking clearly about their relationship to truth that matters and what kind of truths they represent (i.e. even false statements must be kinds of truth because they are made of physical stuff that exists). The problem is the human mind does not work like the enlightenment thought it did. i.e. getting truth out across status barriers, ego barriers, educational and social habituation is a monumental task. You can see this especially in politics.


        People on the frontiers of knowledge are mocked as outcasts because no one can understand them or others simply can't accept the new persons ideas because they have been taught wrong ideas about what truth is and the level of 'rigor' you need. i.e. they think they'd know truth when they see it, the reality is - the truth is mundane and often times highly non-obvious things that are plainly in view that no one perceives it's relevance. Things that are simple and mundane become powerful only when you figure out how they are related to everything else in the universe.

        We already rely on automated truth validation in many areas already - they are just so mundane everyone forgets it. Every time you do a google search for instance and you compare patterns there is something fundamental about that mundane process and how it relates to everything.
      • Aug 12 2012: "Mina Bissell is credited with the radical but increasingly accepted notion that phenotype can dominate over genotype in normal development and disease."

        Ms Bissell is elucidating in scientific terms what I have been attempting to discuss in terms of the gender gap between the male principle and the female principle. It is not "sour grapes" to report that two of my conversations and one coment have been taken down as-

        TED Comment Removal

        Dear John Allyn,

        We have received numerous complaints from other TED.com members concerning your recent posts, which center on promoting your views regarding women. Many of your posts are seen as hostile and aggressive, including the comment attached below, and this tone is not conducive to the kinds of civil and constructive discussions we want to host on TED Conversations.

        As one can see Ms Bissell has penetrated the defenses of the objective domain much more effectively than I have. She is demonstrating that the objective genetic domain is seriously modified and frequently trumped by the phenotypical domain of subjectivity. Of course a scientist will bristle at the use of the term subjectivity in an area which objective analysis is dominant.

        Elizabeth Pert, a respected scientist has documented the biological basis of phenotype expression in her book, The Molecules of Emotion. In her initial work she discovered the receptor site for cortisol on the cell membrane. She went on to discover that each emotion corresponds to a molecule which cells through out the entire body produce and have receptors for on their membranes

        Ms Bissell in her turn is introducing to science the expression emotional subjectivity has upon the structure and function of an organism. She of course does not use those terms or the scientific community would shut her down immediately. She is a woman, she embodies finesse.

        The reactions of the TED administration to my conversations and comments makes it rather obvious to me that I need to develop fines
      • Aug 14 2012: Yes it is a big leap in consciousness for one to integrate the objective with the subjective. It seems to me that is the next step to be made, integrating the sciences with the humanities.
    • Aug 11 2012: Truth is an ambiguous term which means something different to each person. From my point of view truth is just beginning to evolve out of a strictly objective model into an integration of the subjective and objective truths. One is qualitatively personal and the other numerically objective.

      The integration of the two leads to human life. The objective with out the subjective leads to machine life. Many prefer a machine reality because they fear their own feelings in subjectivity (cancer). Introspection is not the cause of introversion. It is an integral aspect of being human. It does not produce instant solutions to massive social problems. It leads one to ones humanity.

      Civilizations collapse due to the unconscious errors in their basic premises. We are in the latter stages of collapse and the great thinkers are attempting to think their way out of the impending doom while not defining and looking at the basic premisses.our society holds.
  • Jul 28 2012: Objective science is not able to penetrate into the domain called life because it denies the validity of the subjective domain which contains the essential elements of life. Life is defined by the presence of conscious feeling. Denying subjective feelings leads to numbness. When numbness has become total one is a corps, dead!

    Scientific knowledge is objective knowledge and is only applicable to machine technology. It has nothing to offer in the quest for more life other than to make it more machine like while calling it life.

    Humans have become convinced that they are human resources. a commodity at the service of capital. People now speak of their bodies in terms of being fantastic machines. Disease is no longer dis-ease or dis-comfort it is a diagnostic description used to amplify a patience's fear and dependence so as to lock in more income for the practitioner.

    Cultures with the most science have become the most insensitive to feeling because of the objective paradigms they hold. Thus they have kill, injured, maimed and tortured more people than one can imagine through declared and undeclared warfare in the last hundred years. Millions upon millions. They now use drone machines to do their killing and intimidation and some how think it is not them pulling the trigger.
    • Aug 10 2012: "Objective science is not able to penetrate into the domain called life because it denies the validity of the subjective domain which contains the essential elements of life. Life is defined by the presence of conscious feeling. Denying subjective feelings leads to numbness. When numbness has become total one is a corps, dead!"

      This is of course is nonsense, how about you actually know what's going on in science before posting your ignorance for all to see.

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        Aug 10 2012: I agree with you, Bob, that no one (scientists or otherwise) denies either the existence or validity of subjective feelings as part of who we are and how we make decisions.

        Part of learning, though, is to put thoughts out there for others to see. In expressing ideas and in gathering responses, the practice can help us confront our misconceptions, whether in our areas of expertise or outside.

        To call something ignorant typically interferes with the potential of this process.
        • Aug 14 2012: Human beings don't work on rationality, i.e. there are people who are terminally ignorant and cannot be educated. I don't believe the enlightenment idea of 'lets just discuss things rationally' human beings by and large don't work like that, sorry. Perhaps if you had a scientific background you'd know human beings really don't work like you suggest. I suggest looking at studies regarding voter knowledge for a start.
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        Aug 14 2012: Bob, I am very, very familiar, as it happens, with the literature on how rational humans aren't! But that literature in no way suggests that people always remain wedded to all their misconceptions in the face of new information. People cling to some misconceptions, certainly, even in the face of contradictory evidence, but open-minded people when faced with new information CAN reach better understanding. It is one way people learn and possible over the entire lifespan.
  • Jul 25 2012: Hi, my understanding of cancer: cancer-isdead cells that building up whithin the body, it is very hard to "clear those cells out", They cause lots of problems, they also turning into living organisms that have it's own life, and we, often, have no control over this lkind of ife processes!!!
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    Jul 20 2012: Michael, I am the wrong kind of engineer to speak to this subject. However, we have many things in common. The most important is that we both must present a hypothesis to some committee or board for approval and funding. To be honest these are not always professionals in the area of your work. CEOs and board members are high level politicians. By that I mean that they watch the bottom line to ensure that the share holders are taken care of. New or start up research is very expensive and manpower intensive. That being said it is financially more prudent to pay a research university to do the base work. That is why universities hire Nobel winners ... to draw corporate grants and government grants. Once the hypothesis is validated the real research begins. Again it is a cost trade off of doing it in your lab or at the university lab.

    Mina Bissell has the university advantage. I call it that because she has new eyes to read old studies, review current status, and see the project anew. That, to me, is a teriffic advantage. After a couple years of going down the same road I become locked in and have tunnel vision and tunnel thoughts. New blood allows for new thoughts and possibilities if the EGOs will open up to them.

    A truck was stuck in a tunnel and need about three inches to release the truck. All the pros discussed the proper means of doing this when a child said why not let some air out of the tires.

    I offer this because there is a stigma about young minds in the "adult", "veteran", "old hands", "proven", etc ... world. We need these new eyes and we need them on the leading edge.

    The skills change daily. I think that the science of today is probally ten years old. By the time accepted methods, equipment, computers are manufactured they are behind what is on the drawing board and that is ten years til delivery.

    I cannot answer your specifics but I think we share some common ground.

    All the best. Bob.
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    Jul 18 2012: There is a traditional science in India that works on the principle of cancer being created based on tissue environment and that the local immunity of the particular body system is controlled by instructional ability to REVERT production to normal cells when abnormal cells start to propagate.The first logic that makes sense, is that the friendly environment for tumour growth is an "acidic medium" in the tissues. This is acceptable to most sciences. The next part that finds agreement is that an INSTRUCTION can be given to STOP producing cancer cells and revert to normal. The way we mistreat our bodies with excesses of food, drink and stress; WE MUST be producing BAD cells all the time and therefore some immunity intelligence insures their production is stopped by instruct. SO the MALFUNCTION implied is that "the instruction mechanism" fails to orders reversion to normalization and so cancer cells continue unabated. The treatment logic does not find any specific support from modern science but extends on this logic. The medicine (in this now almost extinct science) consists of natural products repeatedly mixed, ground and amlagamated with "highly conductive metals" in furnaces upto 200 repetitive processes that take two years in labor intensive environments to form the basis for the final drug. It appears that conductive metals ( Gold, silver, copper etc) are responsible for the "instructional defence system" in different areas of body where we get malignancy. Though it would take a lifetime to create acceptance, it works for many who cannot afford treatment or terminal. However Mina's talks give hope.
  • Jul 16 2012: I speak as a young scientist that is starting right now to enter into the magnificent world of scientific knowledge. What I feel today is that the most important of all is to publish. A scientist is judged on the number of paper he has, on the number of citation. But I see nowhere the aknowledgement of the contribution. Mina Bissell (and the TED platform) gives us the opportunity to see something that I think is hard to find in the scientific wolrd today. That would be a scientist who pursue an idea and want to test it no matter what it takes. Nowadays there is too much economics issues invovled in science that is putting pressure to be productive but I doubt that this approach is useful for meaningful research, most of all for fundamental research (and this is even more difficult in biology where you are asked all the time for medical applications). If one has to be productive he would less likely try to walk the path of the hazard and originality but also he will be pushed to publish maybe just a part of a work giving us all the fragmented knowledge we have today. Concerning the actual quality of the knowledge I think peer review is still needed but with the technology we have today we might start thinking about a way to keep all the knowledge organized in a huge database in order to better find the information needed to validate specific works. As a sprouting scientist I think that all future scientist should take example from all the scientist in the past that were doing science just to investigate the beauty of the world we are in and to describe it without having as a primary need the urge to become famous or to become the reference in the filed. Just do what you like the best you can. But one thing that should change (and for it we should not have competition) is the possibility to have open discussion without the fear to have our idea stolen. I think i said enough and maybe not too oganized but I hope some ideas worth sharing are in there.
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      Jul 16 2012: Joris, I think you bring out some important points! I think that one of the unintended consequences of "open" science is that it pushed the funding for the peer review and curation of science to the scientists themselves, and away from institutions. This might have an effect on research, just as you mentioned.
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    Aug 13 2012: Michael Moore
    you ask
    --how do we change our views in today's scientific establishment? Here's how.

    Change our assumptions about what we had traditionally thought was good science. We have pushed the horizon or cutting edge so far so fast, that now we can't keep up with all the possible connections. More scientists, and more people across disciplines, need to look at the benefits of combining different areas of knowledge that are already being established within more and more isolated specialties. I think Mina Bissell would agree that questioning common assumptions within a field is part of good science.

    Another assumption has to do with priorities. Basic science has always been about following curiosity. The big questions have echoed "What's out there?" and "What's going on?" and "How do we explain that?" and only later "How can we use this discovery to help us live better?"

    Science needs to ask new questions.
    So what's different, since 1712, when we began to seriously apply science, with steam-driven pumps pumping water out of coal mines? Hmm. Let's see. We burned coal to pump out water to get more coal.

    Now the question, even as science should be well aware of, is about how we thrive on a planet with say 9 billion people, and continue to thrive with teeming oceans, adequate water, biodiversity, providing energy, arable land, food, and healthful comfort to all?

    So the sooner and the better we express the shift in our priorities as a species, the more adequately science can be applied to the necessary global systems.

    Have a nice day. While we're at it, let's have a nice millennium.

    Mark Hurych
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      Aug 14 2012: I agree with you entirely, Mark, that science has long been about following curiosity and extending the boundaries of what is known. For those who have the diligence and patience for it, it seems the ultimate adventure.
      With near universal recognition of the potential of generating new ideas by interconnecting understandings across scientific fields, there has been an explosion of inter-disciplinary collaborations and platforms at universities over the last decades for bringing scientists in different fielss together, both pure and applied.
      While budgets are tight in pure science as everywhere, by all accounts it is a thrilling time to be learning and experimenting for those in both life science and physical science.
    • Aug 14 2012: "So the sooner and the better we express the shift in our priorities as a species, the more adequately science can be applied to the necessary global systems."

      The species as a whole does not determine scientific priorities. The priorities are determined by who finances the science. Science in itself generates no economic gain. Science is all cost, the bill for which must be paid by someone. The one who pays the bills establishes priorities which are usually designed around generating information which may produce economic gain to the the one who finances the science.
  • Aug 10 2012: This is a great question and I do not want to divert the question, but I think this question is also related to the education gap. Someone asked about making Computer Science a required course. I think this is a good option; many students can relate to computers and would like to know how they work. Consequently, students would have more drive to work up the math and physics necessary to understand it.

    I do not think that science is any less technical than it ever was. It may be more specialized than before but that is a good thing. It is better to be specific and work with others than be a one man jack of all trades. The point being, we need to get people to a condition where the basics are understood to have the will power to understand more.

    For me, the first step would be to teach Computer Science to all students at different level, exposing children to a math and science they understand which can be later use to independently verify research.
  • Jul 30 2012: New or merely a little different. Does this really fail to dovetail with the 'OLD" ways?
  • Jul 28 2012: If one wishes to arrive at a new conclusion one must first change the premise. It has been my experience that people feel that consciously changing ones beliefs is dishonest or cheating and dismiss the possibility out of hand.
  • Jul 24 2012: Hi, I put my point of understanding of cancer simply: cancer-isdead cells that building up within the body and those cells is hard to get read off! As more of them within the body-asmore of them turning into growing organisms with it's own life that hard to control!!!
  • Jul 19 2012: New Scientists need consider the Old Scientist in their Approach and lessons. Have Correct Science Data, provide results, be non-systemic, and present Accurate Research. Stem from that New Approaches and where it will take us, where it can take us and how we will get there. Somewhat of a collective collaborative sy
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    Jul 18 2012: Mina Bissell's idea is indeed revolutionary, but she is not the only one with such ideas. In my opinion her idea/discovery supports Rupert Sheldrake's morphogenetic field. Here's a link on this subject for those interested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Dm8-OpO9oQ
    As for answering your question, the principles Mina Bissell stated to be important for new discoveries are also important in accepting those discoveries as possible solutions to unanswered questions, so as she said:
    1- think outside the box
    2- be curious instead of arrogant
    I might add: question evidence with "what if it is so, and I just never thought about it from this point of view?" instead of "how does this fit the old concept?" Maybe the old concept was pretty narrow minded viewed from where science got today, so we have to open our minds to new approaches. Progress in science implies invalidating old hypothesis that we now came to call concepts, maybe because we are now able to see a bigger picture. For short: think "what if?" instead of "no way!"
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    Jul 18 2012: However must mention that most modern science and research no longer consider an ONCO gene responsible for ALL.cancer. Like the word Virus which are many, cancer has become a generic term for any growth of abnormal cells. We already know that the causes are and could be numerous. Additionally almost all disease is now related to lifestyle which further eliminates any assumption on ONE cause for any ailment. Treatments are also moving from single drug to protocol based treatments and we are all sure that no medicine works alone or works better when we change lifestyle, lose weight etc etc. SO while the talk is a boost to the nonlinear thiking process, it augments current thinking directions and does not strike out as being ll alone working in a new direction.
  • Jul 17 2012: To change our views we have to look at the evidence. Any new ideas in science will be found with skepticism. This has to be so. For any great idea there will be a billion ideas that won't work, no matter how nice they might sound. Thus, gather evidence. Show how the new idea makes for better understanding, for further and better predictions, and don't pretend to be a victim. Any person entering into science should be aware that new ideas will encounter challenges before being accepted. Any person entering into science should be aware that skepticism is key to the proper development of science, and that for every person claiming to be the new Galileo, a huge proportion will find their ideas to be wrong. That's life.

    As for the talk. It was rhetorical rather than scientific. That a single oncogene in a single cell would make you a cancer victim has never been a theory, let alone a dominant one, in cancer research. Oncogenes are just part of the story. No cell biologists ignore that context is important. But no serious scientist should think that cell environment holds the whole clue for all cancer-related problems. As someone below asked, then what about metastasis, what about so many mutations, what about such and such. This lady chose carefully to talk about her discoveries, but other discoveries and problems should not be ignored if we are to get a proper picture of cancer.
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      Jul 19 2012: I hear what you are saying it would not be science without that. But it seems to me that there has to be the creative aspect as well? Einstein and imagination...
      • Jul 20 2012: Sure. But, again, being creative does not exempt anybody from presenting the evidence that the new ideas work. Presenting a story that contrast "my" idea with a "status quo" that is more of a straw-man than a real status quo is not appropriate no matter how creative my new ideas might be.
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          Jul 20 2012: I don't know jack about biology.

          But I thought she showed some evidence that she did do that? From your perspective it was more rhetoric aimed at getting funding?

          For sure the last thing the world needs is more junk science.
      • Jul 21 2012: I don't think that her scientific discoveries are bad. But she is presenting herself as much more of an innovator than she really was. Also, this kind of presentation might mislead the public into thinking that the genetics do not matter, yet they do. Genetics and cellular environment are not a black and white issue. I like the message about thinking outside the box, but she could have accomplished the very same effect by saying that the cellular environment had been neglected, that the environment could, in certain cases, even stop a tumour from forming, and that she had lots of good results following that path.
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    Gail .

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    Jul 17 2012: First, thank you for the link. I found it fascinating.

    It is my thinking that twho things have to change. 1) education, and 2) our economic model.

    re 1) "In 1968, George Land took a creativity test used by NASA to select innovative engineers He then tested school children with the same test. The test results were staggering! 98% at age 5 registered genius level creativity, 30% at 10 year and 12% at 15 years of age. The same test given to 280,000 adults placed their genius level creativity at only 2% ! In his book 'Breakpoint and Beyond', co-authored by Beth Jarman, Land concluded that non-creative behavior is learned".

    re 2) A 10-year (by now) study in Iowa looks at adults 45 & older (most expensive health-care group). One group meditates 2ce/day. The other does not. The meditation group had 87% less medical expenses than a comparative group and 67% less than the general population. Researchers are now suggesting that stress is responsible for illnesses - though further study is needed. (I would like to see an investigation into the belief-sets that participants hold, because it was only after I conducted my own study into my own belief-set, (letting go of conflicting and erroneous beliefs), that my life changed DRAMATICALLY.

    Why isn't the proven benefits of meditation to not only reduce illness - including psychiatric disorders - but also reduce (if not end) war, crime & violence, poverty, & ignorance taught? With over 600 studies showing the same results, and with most governments around the world conducting their own studies & agreeing - why are governments supporting Insurance companies and Big Pharma rather than personal responsibility?

    the reason that both have in common? $$$$$. War = profitable. Peace = NOT. Illness = profitable. Wellness = NOT. Crime = profitable. Peace = NOT. Ignorance (through enforced diseducation) = profitable. Knowledge is not only unprofitable, but it counters $'s agend
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    Jul 17 2012: Science seems to me to be as susceptible to the currents of commerce as education and health..
  • Jul 17 2012: I am not a scientist or a research expert. But I wonder about the limitations of academia in general. In graduate school I noticed that the expectation within research was to cite a lot of recent work(as Joris noted). There is, in some cases, a potential to emerge something new through gradual collaborative building. On the other hand, there often isn’t really much room for originality. It is "against the rules" to introduce an idea that does not reference what has already been suggested. The effect is a kind of inbreeding that values the authority of the institutional base rather than authentic inquiry or creativity. I suspect that this isn’t true of all institutions or departments, but probably too many. Like other areas of our society, the pressures to conform to top-down authority constrain innovation. It is not explicit policy and probably happens most often at an interpersonal level—Instructor/student, institutional authority/department head, peers/renegade innovator. I suspect that the cumulative effect of old inbreed authority on restraining problem-solving could be as significant in scientific research as it is in energy production/distribution or political process. The intersection of authority and authenticity is problematic in many human systems. How can we address that? How can we make authority/ authenticity a lateral instead of a hierarchical relationship?
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    Jul 16 2012: I need clarification. Are you arguing that the traditional standards of requiring confirmation/validation of scientific results by those with expertise in the area before results are disseminated is holding the bar too high because it delay's our finding out about results that have not yet been verified? In what sense are rigorous standards of peer review and the requirement of replicable results failing us?
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      Jul 16 2012: Thanks Fritzie, you're right, I didn't give enough sub-text...in May I was lucky enough to go to the annual Council of Scientific Editors conference and one of the presentations was on how overwhelmed the peer review system is and how much current science data is fabricated and having to be retracted after publication. I think that we need peer review and curation, but I think our processes are being overwhelmed and failing us. Another presentation is on how little research is being performed to verify results, the model of replicable results is failing us because of the need to provide original results for funding and publication. So I would say the standard are not failing us, they are being overwhelmed.
      • Jul 17 2012: I was just wondering. When invesigating new topics control experiments are of a great importance and I think some sceitntist do controls just at the end depending on the kind of experiments they are running. I think a good thing could be that scientist working on similar topics have a platform to open discuss the kind of controls to run with an open mind and as I already said without the fear of having idea being stolen.
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    Jul 16 2012: PROOF made plain and pervasive. Communicate what you have learned.
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      Jul 16 2012: Debra, I think you have hit on something important...that the ability to communicate scientific knowledge and integrate it my be just as important in the future as actual basic research. In a way, science now is a team sport, but we need Einsteins as well...people who can step back and see the whole picture in a new way!
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    Aug 15 2012: Many in this conversation might take interest in this talk, which presents the cutting edge, or frontier, in understanding how we form our (typically incorrect) pictures of each other's thinking- and of our own. The speaker is a young cognitive neuroscientist at MIT. Hearing her speak may perhaps offer a different possible view of the motvations of scientists.
  • Aug 14 2012: That is not where I am coming from for the most part. And note that I included myself as an equal participant in the conflict of interest also.

    A distinction must be made here between the efforts and interests of the individual and that of "the established scientific community". To keep on point, to change the views of the individual requires nothing more than genuine evidence. To change the view of the established scientific community, however, also requires financial justification for abandoning investments in opposing directions. It is partly a practical balancing of resources and also a conflict of interest as the financial investments hope to see a return. So, good-hearted scientific professionals do not get funded if their brilliant work is bad for business. In the end, it would appear as though the scientist is to blame when she/he is only a pawn in the established ecosystem.

    But not all is so, and not all is bad. It is, however, highlighted in this TED question that maverick thinking like these of Mina Bissell and others end up falling through the cracks as they do not support what has been established and is therefore damaging to business as usual - disruptive change. Notice how conflict of interest compounds in tiny increments as decisions are made up the chain.

    We are not living in the global state we are in because there aren't great scientists. No, not at all! It is that whatever truth they uncover is not their property (nor ours) but property of the one who funded the research... and back into the game we go again. Great scientists often get used. I believe Tesla is a good example. Now I hear wireless battery charging is going to take off. Why now? (retorical question)
  • Jul 28 2012: Science can not find a cure for cancer because they do not have a subjective model. They can not possibly have a subjective model because they only believe in objectivity. Objective knowledge will not lead to understanding life because life is subjective which gains understanding through subjective knowledge.

    Look at cancer as a symptom of the bodies discomfort and progress will be made. A cancerous tumor has a massive blood supply. Why? because the body craves circulation in that particular area, fluid circulation which has been denied it due excessive structural tension in the involved connective tissue. Such excessive structural tension originates in a persons desire to deny feeling which is accomplished by crimping the connective tissue with tension and there by inhibiting neuron transmission.

    Nearly all cancer cells do not need oxygen because they are the body’s adaptation to a very low oxygen environment brought on by poor circulation. They get their energy by converting sugar to lactic acid and do not convert the lactic acid to ATP because they lack oxygen.

    This life threatening situation for the cells causes them to become very hard to kill because they have developed defenses for the protection of their DNA. Cancer cells synthesis telomerase, an enzyme which protects the DNA from degrading as it does in normal cells.

    Cancer is the body’s last ditch stand against ones lethal denial of feeling.
    • Jul 29 2012: That idea is complete nonsense! Cancer can be found in any lifeform and most of these have no reason to deny whatever feeling, as most lifeforms are only driven by feeling and not by logic. I do not see why a fish should deny feeling, what reason should he have? But fish get cancer too.

      And you know less to little about people with cancer diagnosis, if confronted with that, such people sure do a lot, but not deny any feeling, they are litterally flooded by any feeling there is. If one is open for feelings, then sure those who face their own death coming.

      So if cancer would react on psychotherapy as you imagine it, they gonna need brains first and an own ego. Cause cancer patients feelings do change frequently, whilst the cancer cells do their job ongoing, ignoring the mood of the patient.

      Your theory says that the body has a soul, and the body owner has a soul to, so to say humans are a double soul. The body feels bad, because his owner is living the wrong life, so the body kills himself? What a crap, sorry!

      Why is there so many people lacking of empathy, that they tell people with shortened life span these are self-responsible for their doom? This is absolute nonsense, and by the way sadism of purest kind, because telling cancer patients they have a "mental illness" and they just need to undergo a psychological treatment or change their lifestyle is contra-productive, as it will only produce more pressure and discomfort-what shall be the reason of their illness as you imagine.

      Subjective science is nonsense too. You can't fly without wings-that simple. Even when you use a helicopter, you do not fly, the copter is flying. Subjective science would ignore this and say humans are birds too. That is absurd!

      Cells follow their program, they are objective. They don't care bout feelings you have. You can sit allday smiling and feeling great on nuclear waste, they gonna grow to cancer cells. If your theory was true, nothing will happen. And fish were cancerfree.
      • Jul 29 2012: Lars, You can not comprehend what I am getting at if you are not in relationship to your emotions in a functional manor. By a functional manor I mean the ability to express the sound the body wants to make in response to the feeling of an emotion. It radically alters structural tensions in the connective tissue of the body while changing the chemistry of he substrate.

        There are victims in your world. You thus still blame people who you identify as the perpetrator of a victim's problem. If you knew how to feel where you feel like a victim you would have a chance to move the emotions involved. Then you would have the possibility to vibrate your way out of being a victim and learn a lot about how you created your experience of being a victim in the first place.

        You do not understand how we have fragmented down to this level of function and thus do not know how to collect back your pieces into the much greater being that you once were. Fragments of ourselves "out there" seem to perpetrate against us or we attack them. Few people realize that the perpetrator and the victim are frequently one fragmented being. As Peanuts (cartoon) once said: "We have met the enemy and it is us." If you develop a functional relationship to your emotions you will be able to reassemble yourself.

        Form the way you write to me your fear seems to be stuck, backed up and it is converting into rage in order to keep you from feeling the fear. Empathy for me is to hold myself responsible for all of my experience and to do the same for all other sentient beings.

        When one stops blaming one begins to learn to take responsibility. Best wishes........John
        • Jul 30 2012: " Lars, You can not comprehend what I am getting at if you are not in relationship to your emotions in a functional manor. By a functional manor I mean the ability to express the sound the body wants to make in response to the feeling of an emotion."

          According to your theory that will make me suffer from cancer...

          "When one stops blaming one begins to learn to take responsibility. "
          I did not blame you, i just told you about nonsense you wrote-what was a fact. If facts are same as blame for you, you do not act, think or feel responsible, you deny that.

          "Few people realize that the perpetrator and the victim are frequently one fragmented being."
          You mix up one nonsense with another nonsense... Like i told you cancer can be found in almost any lifeform on this planet-if you imply that a fish is thinking the same absurd thoughts about guilt, blame, victims and such, then this is still way more absurd.

          Cancer is a term for growing cells, so to have a start for your theory, a cell growing wrongly in a fish is something diffrent than a wrongly growing cell in a human. But it is not, because "growing cell" describes what happens, not an object. Cancer is what happens, the cells are still just cells, just to get you back on track.

          Your theory implies that "thoughts" or mind is forming the bodies physical structure. If so, you would be able to change skin color, hair color, et cetera. If you can't control that, you can't control cell growing too. So as you are a greater being, become "the great shape-shifter" on youtube and prove me wrong! And no, chameleons do not change color by mind, it is uncontrolled reflex, they can't control.

          "Empathy for me is to hold myself responsible for all of my experience and to do the same for all other sentient beings."

          Sorry, empathy s not about what it is for you, but about what it is. And empathy is not that what you call it, take responsibility for that first, before you wrongly believe that you made any experience in life.
      • Jul 30 2012: Your hast to make a point seems to cause you to not read what I am sending you. I did not write that you were blaming me. Read it over again and see if you can connect the dots between victim, perpetrator, blame and taking personal responsibility for ones experiences.

        Your rage seems to be building as you go along in this thread, which in turn seems to me to be causing you to not attempt to understand what I am driving at. By the time you reach the last paragraph above you seem to be breaking up and becoming a bit incoherent.

        Take a few days off, read the thread over a few times and you may find something of interest in what I wrote and then you may wish to dialogue instead of disparage. If not just let it go.
  • Jul 28 2012: We have a very specific field of strudy and issues as an example. To apply this to the great gestalt of science may bve an interesting exercisebut it has its limitations. In our own little worlds we might consider E.O. Wildson's advise in a Ted lecture. In addition, moving further away we might look at application of the social sciences or near sciences and the old basic principles are being ignored by governments and PhD's
  • Jul 26 2012: hi, it is sound like that-I am trying to explain my ideas simply-those dead cells becoming dead matter that not just effecting healthy cells but also mutating into canserous it self too and turning healthy one into bad one aslwell!!!!!