We comply with theHONcode standard for trustworthy health
Welcome to the internets busiest one-person medical site. Im Ed, the pathology guy, an MD with board certification in anatomic and clinical pathology.
As the internet has grown, my course site has grown into a large, free public service.
Im here to help anyone seeking to understand the whys of health and disease, and to find whats known about uncommon diseases. Obviously I cannot diagnose or treat online, and I cannot comment on care you may have received. A visit to my site cannot substitute for your doctors care.
If youre looking for something specific, and cant find it here, please drop me an E-mail. If you just want to browse, then its good to have you as a guest.
When we were both beginning our unusual medical careers, the realPatch Adams M.D., physician and humorist, wrote me encouragement. My pages deal with the most serious, and often the saddest, things in life. But I hope that others can find, throughout this site, a spirit of kindness and humility, and sometimes even a philosophical chuckle.
Friendship has always been the most important thing to me. The web has enabled me to be a friend to thousands of people around the world. For this Im overwhelmingly grateful.
The best way to find yourself is to loser yourself in the service of others.– Mohandas Gandhi
. No texting or chat messages, please. Ordinary e-mails are welcome.
Board-certified in anatomic and clinical pathology
Chairman, Dept. of Pathology, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, KC MO. Verifyhere.
Experienced lecturer, autopsy pathologist, medico-legal work (civil and criminal; plaintiffs, prosecutors, defendants; whoever I believe is RIGHT)
Rules differ from lake to lake, but Im still trying to swim across as many of the big local lakes as I can. If you would like to join me, please let me know. Here are some of the different places Ive enjoyed swimming.
(visitLi Pos Hermitage) (AD&D character generators, lots more)
Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences
Paul Skyles, one of four little brothers at the fraternity
To understand medicine, you need to start with the language. Clickhereto download a computer quiz program to help you master medical terminology. The file (voc.exe) you will receive is a self-extracting archived file. Just move the file to the directory of your choice, then run it. After it decompresses, to start the program, just run VOCAB.EXE
If your browser is Java-capable, try myMedical Vocabulary Applet!
The Pathology Blues! Students learn best when theyre laughing. Clickhereto download a DOS routine that plays a song made up of verses written by medical students taking their final exam. Sing along with me in my ASCII-art incarnation.
Episcopalians on the Web: Help yourselves to my spinning logos.
Since I became an Episcopalian in 1978, the denomination (1) has never told me anything that I knew was not true; (2) has never told me I was better than anybody else; (3) has never told me to hate anybody; (4) has never told me to do anything I knew was wrong; (5) has surprised me with the lack of hypocrisy among clergy and laity; (6) has never pestered me for money.
The denomination doesnt proof-text, embraces natural science, supports a person who chooses a clean-living single lifestyle, treats your private life and your politics as your own business, uses the golden rule as guide to behavior, regards all people of good-will as friends, focuses on life in this world, and insists that the Gospel faith and the Christian commitment are not merely personal or cultural prejudices. I say I made a good choice.
What Is Christianity?– lecture by Rowan Williams
St. Jamess Cathedral, Chicago– my first parish
Virtue Online– Global Orthodox (ultraconservative) Anglicanism. Link provided to show our diversity and as a balance to our very vocal (and generally despised) left-wing crazies; in particular, I cannot really support their anti-evolution talk or their outrage over womens ordination.
Survey of Theology– St. John in the Wilderness
Ken Collins– Disciples of Christ pastor who uses Anglican sources. I found much to like here.
The Golden Key– said to be an effective technique for prayer that changes you rather than tries to manipulate the Lord; squares well with the Sermon on the Mount
August 2003: The denomination has been in the news. Since the early 1900s, its been understood that what goes on between consenting, safety-conscious adults in private is their own business. However, the norm is still (1) saving the best for a stable, lifelong marriage between a man and a woman; (2) focusing on stable, quality friendship rather than romance with your own gender; (3) following the Golden Rule in every aspect of your walk through life. All this seems best to me. If your experience as a grown-up has been different, youll need to conclude that Im wrong.
March 2006: In the news again. The truth is that I feel real solidarity with, and admiration for, parents in Nigeria who are risking their lives to profess the Christian faith in the face of militant pseudo-Islam, and to raise families on a foundation of common sense and common decency. Right or wrong, the decisions by the US bishops have played into the hands of the worlds worst anti-Christian hate-mongers. Whatever happens, Im loyal to the larger Anglican communion — especially when it serves the real needs of the worlds genuinely neediest people. Of course, youre welcome to disagree.
If your browser were Java-capable, you would play Medical Vocabulary here.
Have studied physic, through which secret art,
That nature works, and of her cures, which doth
Despite my being an aggressive man, my interests have always been primarily academic.
For me, relaxing is learning a new computer language and using it to program. Entertainment is reading the classics or Scientific American. A good vacation is one spent at the local public library.
I have an extremely high regard for truth, and very little tolerance for lies, especially the ones that interfere with human health and reasonable human freedom.
If 47 years on this planet has taught me anything, its that making good decisions (for yourself and others) begins with looking at the world as it really is, taking elaborate precautions against kidding ourselves. This is called science. I recommend it. Science cannot tell us whats right or wrong, or answer our questions about ultimate concerns. But its self-correcting, tremendously satisfying, and (contrary to what the crackpots on every side have told you) clearly makes its practitioners more, not less, humane.
The primacy I give to science as a way of knowing should not surprise any persons of faith (Christian, other) who actually know their stuff.
American Scientific Affiliation– the premiere organization for mainstream Christians interested in dealing honestly with the implications of scientific discovery. No one will agree with everything on these pages, but I especially appreciate the debunking of pseudo-Christian anti-science.
Arbatel of Magic–Live to thyself, and the Muses; avoid the friendship of the Multitude: be thou covetous of time, beneficial to all men. Use thy Gifts, be vigilant in thy Calling; and let the Word of God never depart from thy mouth.AlsoJohannes Trithemius.
Archive X– people share tales of paranormal experiences
Archives of Scientists Transcendent Experiences
Bible Codes?My notes on the new pseudoscience fad.
The quality of the Bible, especially considering the era in which it was written, speaks for itself. My background, especially during my first several years as a Christian, includes examining its composition by the rules of secular scholarship. There is little online about this, but the study is fascinating and (I find) persuasive.
In college, I went through the synoptic gospels word-by-word, underlining as follows:
It took me a full week. I concluded that Matthew (the first evangelist) and Luke (the third evangelist) used written copies of Mark (the second evangelist) and another document (Q), the latter having the form that was used in the time for saying of the famous rabbis. I also concluded that Matthew had some special material (M) that I suspected was orally transmitted, and that Luke had some special material (L) that I couldnt decide (oral or written). Later I applied these techniques to the Gospel of Thomas, and concluded that the author had used a written copy of the Third Gospel at the time of writing. All of this seems to be generally agreed-on by secular scholars.
My exegetical paper was on the finding of the Book of the Law in the temple (I Kings 22). I strongly favored the Wellhausen idea, which I discovered had been strengthened by the then-recent discovery of cuneiform tablets bearing the vassal-treaties of Esarhaddon. So far, this is the first mention of this on the web. (This was in 1996 — some books are now online on the subject.) Again, the quality of the Book of Deuteronomy speaks for itself.
In no way did this study compromise my Christian faith — it strengthened it — as my fellow-Christians on the college faculty and chaplains office assured me that it would. All that youll find online against this kind of study is ad-hominem attacks, diatribes, and proof-texting from religionists. I have a ninth-commandment problem with this. And life has taught me that people sling mud when they know they have no case. The Third Evangelist even says he used sources.
Bill Long– Christian thinker and friend from Brown. Thanks, Bill!
Progressive Buddhism– Mahayanist focus on building a better world right here and now.
Vimalakirti Sutra — a favorite for its conciseness and humor. Link is now down.
Zen and the Art of Divebombing– Professor Kelly Ross on why Bushido is not Buddhism.
Near-Death Experiences of Buddhists– The essential and most important qualities in life are love and knowledge, compassion and wisdom.
Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.
— Attributed to Siddhartha Gautama (The Buddha)
Since apostolic times, many Christians have explicitly stated that other cultures — perhaps every culture — have received supernatural insights. Although for Christians (myself included) the definitive revelation is Jesus Christ, it is hard for an informed, mainstream Christian not to appreciate the faith of our Buddhist brothers and sisters.
Buddhist ethics are simple — try to avoid violence, sexual impropriety, dishonest or abusive speech, stealing, and recreational intoxicants, and be generous. Notice that these are all about how you treat others. When you do wrong, there is no need to obtain supernatural forgiveness; you simply try to understand why you failed and to do better. Since Buddhism does not address questions like Is there a God? or Were we specially created?, and does not require belief in particular doctrines as a condition of salvation, it has always been easy to incorporate it into existing theologies, as happened in Tibet and among its many Judeo-Christian admirers.
Although this culture-neutral was supported by foreign conquerors in India, China, and Japan, Buddhism was never a government sect that sought to change human nature through legislation. Its early development was in a monastic community. Despite its supposed world-negating outlook, early Buddhists founded hospitals and did other good works for their neighbors.
Buddhist monks and outspoken laity have been persecuted under communism and under right-wing dictatorships. The mistreatment of the Dalai Lamas people by the Communist Chinese is infamous. During the early 1960s, the world admired the series of Vietnamese Buddhist monks who burned themselves to death to protest the corruption of the Diem regime. Madame Nhu, the fabulously wealthy wife of the chief of Diems secret police, described their self-sacrifice as a waste of good gasoline. That was when I first realized wed made some terrible mistakes and would probably lose the war.
The Buddhas teaching begins with what we all realize to be true, at least in our more lucid moments. Our names, our bodies, our possessions, our accomplishments, our ordinary relationships, and so forth are all transitory and are not really us. By thinking clearly and living well, we can start removing illusions and senseless attachments. Buddhism teaches that real happiness is found in this way, and only in this way.
Some Buddhists have taught that there is no real self, while for Christians, it is the norm to say that each person harbors a spiritual something — not really like anything we know in daily life — which chooses its ultimate destiny by affirming or denying the supreme Love made known in Christ. A Christian might say that we are not really ourselves until we love one another as Christ loves us. Both faiths agree that our life in this world is not of ultimate concern (though our decisions made here may well be), and that only the life of the spirit has real value. So perhaps they are really saying the same thing.
Nirvana, the Buddhist goal, means cessation. Some people have said that for Buddhists, the world of our experiences is a sort of disagreeable movie that we leave only with great difficulty. Other Buddhists have told me this is wrong, and that nirvana is simply the end of hatred, lust, greed, and ignorance, and the surprising joy we find when these cease. Freed from the petty concerns of life, the enlightened Buddhist becomes a minister to others in this world and the worlds beyond this life. For such a bodhisattva, life in the worldisnirvana.
Many people in many different cultures — not just Buddhists — have said that real happiness is something we discover when, and only when, we detach ourselves emotionally from the ordinary preoccupations of life. Those who claim to have experienced it say it is a big surprise. These claims are so common and similar that even a secularist might think they could be true. A practicing Buddhist might look forward to life without passions. A Christian would look instead to being filled with unselfish love for others, no matter how undeserving. I wonder whether these could be the same.
Years ago, I read an article in a medical journal comparing the effectiveness of Christian and Buddhist pastors in preparing condemned criminals for execution. Imagine facing this yourself. Then consider someone asking you, Uh… just exactly what do you think youre going to miss out on? The latter message is both Buddhist and Biblical, and it was by far the most effective.
Post-Vatican II Christians are fond of using the term anonymous Christians for all persons of good will, believing that they have unknowingly but truly accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. Whatever others may think of this, one of the questions Im looking forward to having answered in heaven is whether a saint is the same as a bodhisattva.
Let nothing trouble you, nothing frighten you.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide– update on persecutions. Nonsectarian and seemingly reasonable.
Noted composerJohn Carbonand I played keyboard together in high school.
Eden Collinsworth, author and vice-presendent of Hearst, attended grammar school with me. I am enormously pleased, but not surprised, by her accomplishments.
Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal
Contemporary Critical Theory– mostly people pretending to talk about literature while actually promoting various left-wing ideologies. Lots of this going on in college English departments these days
Deliverance Ministry– from a group that distrusts personal intuition in this situation
Deliverance Ministry– Virgil Michael OSBDickens– A Christmas Carol….Any Christian spirit working kindly in its little sphere, whatever it may be, will find its mortal life too short for its vast means of usefulness…. No space of regret can make amends for ones lifes opportunity misused!– Marleys ghost
The Didache– a very early guide to Christian doctrine and behavior
Dream of Scipio– Ciceros vision of human life viewed from the unchanging heavens.
Exam Master– largely the work of my former assistant Ed Lulo MD
Forgiven– Thomas Blackshears 1992 Christian painting
George Ritchie– How could [Christ] have told me, and I not heard? I told you by the life I lived. I told you by the death I died.
Glossary of Literary Terms– U. of Toronto, no weird left-wing stuff
Goethes Faust. Goethes mixed thoughts on life and the beginnings of the modern age. Powerfully suggestive. One kiss from Gretchen is worth a thousand allegories. Goethes Faust, rather than the devil, is the monstrous egomaniac. In one very funny scene, Faust invents junk bonds. Clickherefor a very helpful commentary by A. Gilles.
John Glashan– my familys favorite cartoonist in the 1960s. Memorial site placed by his family.
Harry Potter: a Christian appreciation by Charles Colson. The plots reinforce the theme that evil is real, and must be courageously opposed. As this theme unfolds, so do the characters of Harry and his friends. They develop courage, loyalty, and a willingness to sacrifice for one another — even at the risk of their lives. Not bad lessons in a self-centered world.
I Hate Histology– motivational drama for entering medical students
I have long believed that these people, whose original language became the basis of the major languages from Ireland through India, conquered because they were the original horse-riders.
Hints from prehistory Celtic culture and the Vedas suggest that they had a professional full-time military (centered on their rider-archers) that accepted the authority of a civilian learned class (Brahmins / Druids). I would think this explains their phenomenal success.
The Left alternates between blaming these people and the Judeo-Christians for all the worlds evils. Specifically, they are accused of destroying the early civilizations in which everybody lived in love, sweetness and harmony with nature and each other. I wish that could have been true.
Jeff Cox on Progressive Creationism. Link is now down
A pleasant change… a self-described creationist who takes care to tell the truth. If you are a conservative Christian struggling with the creation-evolution business, Jeffs synthesis is easily the best statement Ive found of whats become mainstream Evangelical belief. Jeff admits common descent (i.e., humans and apes have a common ancestor) and an old earth, and argues that Gods hand can be seen in the process and especially in the origin of life. Interestingly, theres evidence that Darwin believed pretty much the same as Jeff. Evaluate Jeffs claims for yourself; I consider the whole question to be open and worthwhile. I also share Jeffs concerns about contemporary meaninglessness and despair, etc., etc. I would see science and religion working hand-in-hand against superstition, stupidity, tyranny, ennui, and nastiness, and I bet Jeff does, also. (Were both Anglicans!) More onprogressive creationism.
All mainstream Christians believe in the doctrine of creation — that the world is essentially a good and worthwhile place, and that we are meant to be Gods friends and companions. This is in contradistinction to some Gnostic sectarians and some non-Christians who hold that the natural world is the devils work and/or an unpleasant charade that we escape only with much difficulty.
Notice that believing in creation does NOT require me to believe that the Good Lord designed me and my solar system like engineers design automobiles. Pythagoras said, Its all in the math. The current work in physics gives me a sense of both astonishment and reverence. Only very ignorant or the very crooked people ridicule todays astrophysics on Christian grounds.
Paul writes in Corinthians 15:44 about natural bodies that we presently inhabit, using the Greek term soma psychikon, or in Latin, corpus animale. As its been explained to me, Greek zoe refers to the content we study in basic biology, psyche refers to the mind-body complex, and pneuma is our spiritual future. You can decide for yourself about this. But if you have ever had pets, you know how much they have in common with us. They possess many qualities that we admire, often being good in ways that few humans are. It puzzles me that some Christians object to the idea that we are descended from animals. The truth is that we usually show the Christ Child surrounded and adored by both humans and animals. I think this reflects something that most of us believe. If the animals are our (and His) blood relatives, then isnt it reasonable to think that they, too, are saved by His Incarnation? And only humans sin, so only humans need the Cross.
Even the director emeritus of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship now believes in evolution. Clickherefor his review of Perspectives on an Evolving Creation.
Even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motions and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for a non-Christian to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn.– St. Augustine, The Literal Meaning of Genesis
John Savard– another varied website by a man who shares several of my interests (physics, music theory, chess variants)
Lord ByronPopular romantic writer with whom I identify (at least partly). Mans man, distance swimmer, also invisibly handicapped. I wish I had his wit or his scores of lady admirers. At the end of his short life, Byron gave up a self-indulgent lifestyle to be a freedom fighter.
Marat-Sade: One of my favorites when I was a sixties teen interested in ideas. The plays theme — the debate between Marat and deSade — is stale today, but still easy to recognize. Marat is a sixties communist. DeSade is a sixties proponent of free love. In real life, neither man, and neither idea, proved to be much good.
Meet Joe Black– Hollywood for once celebrates spiritual goodness.
PathMax– Shawn E. Cowper MDs pathology education links
Pascals Memorial. Alsohere, in its biographical context.
Pascal– French physicist, mathematician, and Christian thinker
Author of much of the Christian Bible. Our most important theologian. He deserves more appreciation than he gets nowadays.
Paul dedicated much of his life to spreading the Gospel. His main opposition from within the Church came from those who wanted to make Christianity into a religion focused on laws and rules. Pauls own life experience, and evidently his meeting the risen Christ, taught him that (1) he could make as many rules as he wanted and it wouldnt make things right, and (2) he was a flesh-and-blood human being and couldnt control his own behavior anyway. Instead, Paul focused on the need to accept Christ as Lord, and to grow in goodness by walking in Him.
We are often reminded that the milieu in which Christianity originated valued being a good community member, talked about love of neighbors, and so forth. But it was still cooties to talk to a Samaritan, or eat with a friend who was not circumcised.
I am glad that Paul was successful in persuading the rest of us to discard legalism and focus on how our behavior really affects others. Today, mainstream Christian behavior is mostly applied common sense and following the Golden Rule.
In II Corinthians 12:3, Paul describes being taken into heaven, not knowing whether he was in or out of his body, and being told inexpressable things, secrets that he was not allowed to share.
I have concluded that Paul learned about the Big Bang, the true size and age of the universe, atoms and molecules, relativity, quantum theory, the genetic code, the common origins of living things, life on other planets, and how these fit with the Christian world-view though not with the science and philosophy of the Hellenistic age. I would like to have seen Pauls face when he saw the dinosaurs.
Nowadays Paul takes flack for saying A woman should keep silent in church, Wives be subject to your husbands, Slaves be subject to your masters, Fornicators will not inherit the kingdom of heaven, and so forth. These have been used as proof-texts for political positions that I think are wrong today. Whatever Paul may really have meant, his own letters show that women exercised an extensive ministry in his church, and that he used his pastoral skills to bring about a reconciliation between a master and his runaway slave.
If there is human error in Pauls letters (reasonable people will disagree, for example, about such passages as baptism for the dead or the reason some of you are sick or have died is because you did not perceive Christs body and blood in the sacrament, and so forth), this does not detract from my appreciation of his key contribution. Especially, I am impressed by Pauls explanation for human imperfection (We inherited it from Adam). Despite the limits of ancient knowledge, Paul recognized (by inspiration?) that the problem was human origins and the impact they still have on human nature.
My book is called Shut Up and Stop Whining: How to Do Something With Your Life Besides Think About Yourself.– Bill Wattersons Calvin.
Although Pelagius Britto is probably wrong on a technicality, it is hard not to admire his take charge and decide to live well philosophy.
We know that Pelagius taught that sickness and death were natural phenomena rather than a divine punishment for hereditary sin. (Of course Im with Pelagius on this, as are most of todays mainstream Christians.) Pelagius also took strong exception to Augustines Confessions, with the focus on massive guilt over what most people (then and now, Christians and non-Christians) would probably consider just being human.
Im told that when Pelagius challenged Augustine, he was in his early twenties. If hed been older, he might have realized that grace had operated in his own life before he made his conscious decision to follow Christ.
Still, Pelagius deserves to be remembered by all Christians (and friendly non-Christians) who want to focus on common sense, good living, and treating others well.
A self-described Pelagian / Celtic Orthodox prison ministry focused Its YOU who makes the moral decisions, and its YOU who are responsible used to operate one of my favorite websites; its gone now. Augustines Confessions are also a great read. Whatever you may think of the fine points of his theology (or Pelagiuss), this work began the literature of harsh introspection in the West.
Anglican sourceon Augustine, clearly with divided sympathies
Peter Olver, math giant, shared a room with me in college. Alsohere.
Planning Commissioners Journal– a tremendous internet site by my college friend Wayne Senville
This brilliant adventure-game scenario from TSR Hobbies parodies our own worlds ideals and ideologies. In the city of Sigil, the police force is operated by the Religious Right. The law courts are controlled by the scientific naturalists, and the guilty are handed over to the justice-activists for punishment. New-age you create your own reality mystics run the legislature. Progress mystics run the manufacturing operations. The radical intuitivists operate the sports comple