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placebo effect

Science, miracles, and Benny Hinn

Bill Dembski's 2nd chapter of a book on miracles is now on line. One wonders whether scam vs. no-scam is even the right question in many cases. Perhaps what we should be asking is, how much of what is happening can be accounted for by the well-documented—and quite real— placebo effect? Read More ›

Yes, the placebo effect is real, and it may be getting stronger

At Mind Matters: The fact that you may start to get better if you believe you are receiving treatment is one of the best-attested facts in medicine.  A drug licensed for use must demonstrate greater effectiveness than a placebo (a capsule of sugar or an inert substance, perhaps) in clinical trials. That standard does not mean, as is sometimes supposed, “greater effectiveness than nothing.” Many conditions for which we seek treatment respond—at least for a time—to the simple belief that we are receiving treatment. The placebo effect, as that fact is called, is one of the best-attested effects in medicine. But the fact that the mind acts on the body troubles materialists. Such facts, they say, require revision. Good luck Read More ›

Times a-changin’ New Scientist now hails mind over matter

No, really. Here’s what they say in 2018 about the placebo effect (you start to get better when you think you are getting better): “OUR minds aren’t passive observers simply observing reality as it is; our minds actually change reality. The reality we experience tomorrow is partly the product of the mindsets we hold today.” That’s what Alia Crum told global movers and shakers at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. It may sound like New Age nonsense, but Crum, who heads the Mind & Body lab at Stanford University in California, can back up her claims with hard evidence showing the mysterious influence the mind has over our health and well-being.David Robson, “How a positive mind really Read More ›