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June 1991

Humor Can Facilitate Health-Reply

Author Affiliations

Seattle, Wash

Arch Intern Med. 1991;151(6):1237. doi:10.1001/archinte.1991.00400060143035

In Reply.—  I am pleased that Washburn found my essay1 amusing, and I am concerned that it caused him chagrin. Has he been using humor and other supportive techniques to the neglect of ordinary science? This is a very real danger. Perhaps his fascination with the nonscientific needs to be "led back" (redux) to a healthy level as I tried to suggest for Norman Cousins' enthusiasms. Most of us, and I would include Mr Cousins, are not Jenners and Flemings creating new paradigms of "extraordinary" science; we have to rely on "ordinary" science: the data, the controlled series, the critique of peers in our journals.Mr Cousins, despite his professorship in the University of California, Los Angeles, medical school, is no integrator of scientific and right-brain thinking. An antiscience bias continues to be obvious in his latest book, Head First: The Biology of Hope.2 For example, we could

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