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A Classic Article

Posted 11/21/2014

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  This is another example of the universe's wonderful synchrony. During our recent retreat (see postings of 11/17 and 11/18 if you missed this), one woman brought copies of this article for us all. I had read it years ago and basically forgotten about it. Today, Barbara, who was not part of the retreat, sent this electronic version, making it simple to share with you all.

  There has likely never been anything written that is more hopeful, encouraging, and solid than this classic article by Stephen Jay Gould. Without further ado, here is the introduction and then a link. If you never read anything from the links that I share, please break your habit and read this one. Save it, too.

CancerGuide: The Median Isn't the Message
Prefatory Note by Steve Dunn
Stephen Jay Gould was an influential evolutionary biologist who taught at Harvard University. He was the
author of at least ten popular books on evolution, and science, including, among others, The Flamingo's
Smile, The Mismeasure of Man, Wonderful Life, and Full House.
As far as I'm concerned, Gould's The Median Isn't the Message is the wisest, most humane thing ever
written about cancer and statistics. It is the antidote both to those who say that, "the statistics don't
matter," and to those who have the unfortunate habit of pronouncing death sentences on patients who
face a difficult prognosis. Anyone who researches the medical literature will confront the statistics for
their disease. Anyone who reads this will be armed with reason and with hope. The Median Isn't the
Message is reproduced here by permission of the author.


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