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Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing

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Putting the psycho in
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Men who stare at goats
By the powers of tinfoil
Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing addresses the scientific principles behind, and applications of, evidence-based healing practices from a wide variety of sources, including conventional, alternative, and cross-cultural medicine. It is an interdisciplinary journal that explores the healing arts, consciousness, spirituality, eco-environmental issues, and basic science as all these fields relate to health. All articles are freely available online.
—OpenSciences's (a questioner of mainstream science) glowing review;[1] interestingly, they're wrong about it being free.[2][3]

EXPLORE: the Journal of Science and Healing is a pseudojournal edited by Larry Dossey published by Elsevier (whose interest in it seems more profit-based than following any rigorous academic standards). The journal promotes alternative medicine and parapsychology. Unfortunately, this is largely par for the course for Elsevier.

Its impact factor has ranged between 0.7 and 1.1.[4]

Executive editor's description[edit]

Larry Dossey, EXPLORE's executive editor, stated:[5]

One of my most important and fulfilling endeavors is to serve as executive editor of EXPLORE. Published bimonthly, and read by thousands of physicians, nurses, and laypersons in the US and abroad, it is the most forward-looking journal in its field in the world.

EXPLORE sets the standard for research and clinical application of a wide range of complementary (also called alternative or integrative) therapies.

Today most medical schools offer courses in complementary medicine. Once regarded as a fringe area by conventional medicine, this field is being embraced by an increasing number of practitioners and scholars everywhere.

One can rely upon EXPLORE to provide accurate, scientifically credible information about the latest developments in the future of medicine.

In other words: EXPLORE admits it is willing to push alternative medicine, notably dominated by pseudoscience.

Exemplary articles[edit]

Looking for woo? Look no further.

Non-materialist neuroscience: Larry Dossey, The Millennium of Consciousness: Reflections on the One Mind:[6]

Often in this column, I have discussed the abundant evidence suggesting that human consciousness is fundamentally nonlocal— not localized or confined to specific points in space, such as brains and bodies, nor to specific points in time, such as the present. A mind that is genuinely nonlocal is unbounded in space and time, and, if unbounded, it cannot be separate from other minds, but must be, in some sense, united and one with all other minds. Unbounded, unlimited minds would therefore form what I’ve called the One Mind,7 which in times past has been called the Universal Mind and similar terms. I capitalize the One Mind to distinguish it from the apparently single, one mind that is possessed by each individual.

Reincarnation as science: Larry Dossey, Birthmarks and Reincarnation:[2]

In many of these cases, birthmarks and physical deformities in the child correlated with events in the alleged former life. For instance, malformed fingers corresponded to the amputation of fingers from a sword in a remembered lifetime; a birthmark corresponded to the entry and exit wounds of bullets in the remembered personality; congenital constriction rings in the legs of an individual mirrored being bound by ropes in a previous existence; the congenital absence of the lower leg corresponded to an accidental amputation of the leg in the previous personality; and various birthmarks corresponded to burns, knife wounds, and various other traumas occurring in the life of the remembered individual.

Modernized faith healing: Larry Dossey, Telecebo: Beyond Placebo to an Expanded Concept of Healing:[7]

“Telecebo” is a neologism formed by combining the Greek tele, meaning far or distant, with the fragment cebo from “placebo.” Telecebo effects are not generated by a patient; they are an exteriorization of a clinician’s, nurse’s, therapist’s, or healer’s intentions and thoughts for a patient’s welfare. These mental efforts can directly influence a patient, no matter how distant, creating effects that can merge seamlessly with a patient’s own self-generated placebo responses in a cascade toward healing.


So how do we know telecebo effects exist? We know because we can tease telecebo effects apart from placebo responses, as in hundreds of experiments and reports involving both humans and nonhumans, as we shall see. The data from experiments involving nonhumans are especially revealing. As far as we know, nonhumans do not think positively nor engage in symbolic meaning to the degree of humans, so that if healing intentions are effective in lower animals, plants, microbes, or chemical reactions, the results are presumably not due to placebo effects but to the results of telecebo intentions from the healer.

  • And, of course: Dean Radin's debunked[9] study on "Effects of Intentionally Enhanced Chocolate on Mood" (or, "how using samples of size 15-16 is a stupid idea"):[10]

A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled experiment investigated whether chocolate exposed to “good intentions” would enhance mood more than unexposed chocolate.

Individuals were assigned to one of four groups and asked to record their mood each day for a week by using the Profile of Mood States. For days three, four and five, each person consumed a half ounce of dark chocolate twice a day at prescribed times. Three groups blindly received chocolate that had been intentionally treated by three different techniques. The intention in each case was that people who ate the chocolate would experience an enhanced sense of energy, vigor, and well-being. The fourth group blindly received untreated chocolate as a placebo control. The hypothesis was that mood reported during the three days of eating chocolate would improve more in the intentional groups than in the control group.

Stratified random sampling was used to distribute 62 participants among the four groups, matched for age, gender, and amount of chocolate consumed on average per week. Most participants lived in the same geographic region to reduce mood variations due to changes in weather, and the experiment was conducted during one week to reduce effects of current events on mood fluctuations.

On the third day of eating chocolate, mood had improved significantly more in the intention conditions than in the control condition (P = .04). Analysis of a planned subset of individuals who habitually consumed less than the grand mean of 3.2 ounces of chocolate per week showed a stronger improvement in mood (P = .0001). Primary contributors to the mood changes were the factors of declining fatigue (P = .01) and increasing vigor (P = .002). All three intentional techniques contributed to the observed results.

The mood-elevating properties of chocolate can be enhanced with intention.

And of course, a nice juicy red flag of attempting to show the effectiveness of medical interventions with no control group, such as in an anxiety treatment program using meditation.[11] Oh, 40% of your experimental population experienced improvement in anxiety symptoms? It would sure be nice to know that 50% didn't improve without intervention.

High-ranking editors[edit]

EXPLORE's editors include:[12]

  • Executive Editor:
  • Coeditors-in-Chief:
  • Benjamin Kligler: Author of "Curriculum in Complementary Therapies: A Guide for the Medical Educator" and co-editor of "Integrative Medicine: Principles for Practice". Certified in hypnotherapy and acupuncture.[21] Has published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Only scientific publication appears to be a lone article about lessons US medical educators could learn from how Cuba teaches CAM.
  • Dean Radin: A noted parapsychologist.
  • Associate Editors:
  • Ather Ali
  • Mary V. Fenton
  • Victor Sierpina
  • Ruth Quinlan Wolever
  • Editorial Director:
  • Bonnie Horrigan: No scientific experience.[22]
  • Columnist:
  • Stephan A. Schwartz: A non-materialist neuroscience advocate who groups scientists that don't "consider consciousness as anything other than physicalist processes" in with "Creationist Anti-evolutionists" and "Climate Change Deniers".[23] Has published in the journal fully 62 times.[24]

External links[edit]


  2. 2.0 2.1
  13. 13.0 13.1