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Stories by John Horgan

What “60 Minutes” Gets Wrong in Report on Mental Illness and Violence

What “60 Minutes” Gets Wrong in Report on Mental Illness and Violence

On Sunday night the television news program 60 Minutes broadcast “Untreated mental illness an imminent danger?” Correspondent Steve Kroft introduces the report by stating: “The mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard two weeks ago that resulted in the deaths of 13 people, including the gunman, was the 23rd such incident in the past seven [...]..

October 2, 2013 — John Horgan
Did Antidepressant Play a Role in Navy Yard Massacre?

Did Antidepressant Play a Role in Navy Yard Massacre?

Once again, antidepressants have been linked to an episode of horrific violence. The New York Times reports that Aaron Alexis, who allegedly shot 12 people to death at a Navy facility in Washington, D.C., earlier this week, received a prescription for the antidepressant trazodone in August...

September 20, 2013 — John Horgan
Violent U.S. Response to 9/11 Attacks Hurt More Than Helped*

Did United States Overreact to 9/11 Terror Attacks?

A year ago, on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks by Al Qaeda on the United States, I argued that the U.S. overreacted to these horrific acts of terrorism.

September 10, 2013 — John Horgan
Why Optogenetics Doesn’t Light Me Up: The Sequel

Why Optogenetics Doesn’t Light Me Up: The Sequel

When asked about my style of journalism, I sometimes say that my goal isn’t necessarily to get people to agree with me. It’s to provoke readers into reconsidering some issue...

September 1, 2013 — John Horgan

Cancer Establishment Admits We're Getting Overtested and Overtreated

I've complained in previous columns about excessive medical testing, which leads to unnecessary treatment and drives up health care costs. Overtesting helps explain why health-care costs for Americans are much higher than in any other nation, whereas our health ranking is low, roughly equivalent to that of Cubans.The medical establishment is gradually acknowledging these hard facts, as indicated by a recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association : "Overdiagnosis and Overtreatment in Cancer: An Opportunity for Improvement." The article was written by a working group formed by the American Cancer Institute last year "to develop a strategy to improve the current approach to cancer screening and prevention."The three authors state: "Over the past 30 years, awareness and screening have led to an emphasis on early diagnosis of cancer...

August 5, 2013 — John Horgan

New Study of Foragers Undermines Claim That War Has Deep Evolutionary Roots

One of the most insidious modern memes holds that war is innate, an adaptation bred into our ancestors by natural selection. This hypothesis—let's call it the "Deep Roots Theory of War"--has been promoted by such intellectual heavyweights as Steven Pinker, Edward Wilson, Jared Diamond, Richard Wrangham, Francis Fukuyama and David Brooks...

July 18, 2013 — John Horgan
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