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Oh, for Pete's sake.

April 7 2009 at 3:10 PM
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R.M. Robertson  (Login RobertRobertson)
from IP address

Response to As usual you missed the point

Folks, I'd really wanted to just let this drop. However, I'm afraid that I have to respond to two attempts at bullying.

In reverse order, then. Mr. Shukla, I'd suggest that you remove the beam from your own eye. Sarcasm? What would you call, "I can only imagine how much more successful our stable of champion fighters would be if they only had power." And as for the attempt to duck the issue by citing some unnamed "graduate degrees:" a) if you know what scientific method is, you should be far more skeptical about Dr. Amen's claims; b) the fact is (as you'd have seen if you'd looked at Quackwatch) the science HAS spoken. That's why SPECT, to say nothing of Dr. Amen's claims about, "brain balancing and the like," are described by the APA as being of investigational interest at best. That's why AETNA and other agencies won't pay on any such claims.

Second--the gentlemen (Mr. McClure) who saw fit to deliver a threat. For one thing, I'm far too old a cookie to work out with anybody who's incapable of self-control. For another, I'd have thought that if kenpo teaches anything, it's not to go trolling about for fights with people whose capabilities and potential craziness you're ignorant of. And for a third--whatever his disagreement and annoyance with me might be at the moment, I hold Mr. White in pretty high regard, having seen him (and his students) at work. He's a gentleman and a helluva martial artist, and your remarks on his "behalf," do him no credit. And for the last--so what if you could kick my ass? I've been privileged to work with lots of people who can kick my ass--and their greater skill and talent doesn't make day into night, or black into white.

Third: Mr. White, I'm sorry for the offense, if any. In retrospect, it'd probably have been better not to mention Quackwatch, as the name didn;t help get what I was actually saying heard. However, from time to time I do chime in with the way I see it--and the way I see it is, Dr. Amen's claims have little or no scientific validity.

Do they have other sorts of validation? Sure. You say that you learn from them--good enough for me. Are they grounded in Christian religious philosophy in ways that are logical? Sure--and, I assume, this comes out of Dr. Amen's getting his original degree at Oral Roberts University, before going on to win Board certifications from the AMA. Are they consonant with ideas about men and women and the world that have a real tradition behind them? Absolutely.

I disagree with these ideas, but that's neither here nor there. What IS here and there--and the only issue to which I spoke--was the question of their status as SCIENCE.

Scientifically grounded, they're simply not. Are the other forms of grounding equally good? I say again: sure they are. But the claim was made that this is science, and it's simply not. The claims MAY in time win validation--but right now, we can't do the studies for ethical and technological reasons, the claims made are far in excess of what we know about "the brain," and Dr. Amen tends to a reductionistic approach that papers over a lot of the complexity of what he's trying to describe.

I just like to keep the apples separate from the oranges. So I'm sorry, again, that anybody finds a pretty mild criticism offensive. I'm particularly unhappy to've offended Mr. White and his wife, who's done so many good works in and out of the martial arts. But I'd say this one last time: you tell me this stuff makes sense to you and helps, that's good enough for me to at least think about it. My only point is that it ain't grounded (and doesn't necessarily need to be) in solid scientific data.

And anyway, I'm far more dismayed with the way PBS has been presenting what more than one critic's called, "an infomercial," for his theories, practices, and business. I figure that at this point, I'll just address them liberals.

R.M. Robertson

This message has been edited by RobertRobertson from IP address on Apr 7, 2009 3:20 PM

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