Category Archives: Medicine

Consensus and sense

It seems people are capable of believing anything. On a current BioLogos thread there was some discussion of the range of cults, therapies and conspiracy theories around – and I confess I rubbed in a little that most of them come from America, the land of progress and science. But my last post was about fundamental disagreement not at the fringes, but at the centre, of established science.

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It’s all in the mind, maybe

The publication of the US dictionary of psychiatry, the DSM, got into some of the usual blogs I read because of people’s doubts about its perceived medicalisation of “human distress”. Now I see the furore has spread across the Atlantic by a critical report against clinical psychiatry by the Division of Clinical Psychology, representing (the Guardian says) 10,000 practitioners.

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The teleology that dare not speak its name

I’m a bit remiss on posting at the moment – partly that’s because of music commitments, and partly, maybe, because I’ve lost the stimulus of BioLogos, which seems to have blocked all my comments since the start of the new year and which hasn’t responded to my querying e-mail. But there you go. There’s a textbook example in the popular press today of how things in biology make perfect sense without evolution, but it gets dragged in gratuitously anyway. I heard it on BBC news, and it’s in all the British dailies, though the original short article was published in Biology Letters as an MSc project. Its public appeal seems … Continue reading

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Mixed messages

I was listening to national radio on the way home the day before yesterday, when I heard the Vice-Chairman of NICE (the government’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) flying the flag for greater regulation of food manufacturers. He is Prof Simon Capewell, a public health physician from Liverpool University, and he has been appointed to NICE since my retirement. It was good stuff – he knows what he is talking about, and isn’t afraid to challenge powerful industries and governments serving vested interests. We need more like him.

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The right to death

Alan Fox asked me for my thoughts, as an ex-GP, on the question of euthanasia, assisted suicide and whatever. I can probably do no better than to link to the submission I made to the relevant House of Lords Select Committee in 2004. For completeness here’s a link  to the 1982 article I quote there.

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Donald Nicholson and the charts

The Daily Telegraph carries an obituary today of Donald Nicholson, who lived to the ripe old age of 96. He it was who developed the wallcharts of metabolic pathways to be seen on many a medical student’s wall.

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Biologists and theodicy

I finally had time to catch up on the detail of a long thread on Uncommon Descent  in which theistic evolution and theistic evolutionists were vivisected at length. At over 180 posts the subject of the original article is probably irrelevant. At one point a discussion about the prevalence of physicists over biologists in theistic evolutionary theory developed, and Ted Davis suggested the following reason as one possibility:

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Easter changed everything

Didn’t it?

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Prof Terry Hamblin

 I was saddened to see the obituary of Prof Terry Hamblin in the paper today, his death occurring at the early age of 68. His name as a haematologist was still in the air at Poole Hospital when I started my medical career there, whence he had recentlydeparted to become the consultant at Bournemouth. Incidentally the Poole haematology department itself was run by Jeremy Lee-Potter, husband of Lynda Lee-Potter the journalist, and the long-haired technician with whom I dealt most, “Rog”, had not only played bass in a band with Robert Fripp of King Crimson fame, but had discovered no less than two rare varieties of haemoglobin.

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Threatened worldviews and their effects

Challenges to ones worldview assumptions usually come from exposure to a different culture. My assumptions about the place of talking about ones faith in medical practice received a jolt in the early nineties when I first read Richard Baxter’s 1650 spiritual classic The Saints’ Everlasting Rest.

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