Would you believe this scientist?

A scientist is in awe of a substance(drug) and its miraculous effects on the human body. He writes a book about how goddamn amazing this substance is, it relates to almost all of human existence etc.

This substance was not illegal to possess or use when the book was written and not for a long long time after. The scientist in question who has made this substance the focus of a lot of his work claims he NEVER PERSONALLY DOSED IT.

Would you believe this? I personally do not.

Too little information to decide. Were the studies we made independently verified? Were they scientifically valid?

The only relevant information is what evidence the scientist offers. Peer-reviewed double blind yadda yadda all that. Everything else is just marketing, and can safely be ignored.

Is this some kind of marijuana thing?

In this scenario, what’s the significance of his being a “scientist”? Is he a scientist in a relevant field, or something unrelated like the study of climate or solid state physics?

Does the book approach its subject with a scientific mindset? Does it discuss theoretical underpinnings or observational and experimental evidence? Does it make data available, photographs, or other supporting material in book form? Does it discuss still-unresolved questions? Does it speak from an objective viewpoint or does it convey infatuation?

What’s the scientist’s reputation like among other scientists? Has he published other things in a similar genre, and have they been received well by other scientists?

Would his personally dosing the substance be reasonably expectable, or are there specific reasons he wouldn’t take the stuff? For example, if the stuff is a panacea but it’s made from pecans, is he allergic to pecans?

I’m talking about Rick Straussman and DMT, if anyone was curious.

He claims he has never used DMT EVER.:dubious:

I don’t believe that scientist. It sounds stupid. Snake oil bullshit.

And it may even de-legitimize real work being done in the field of psychotropics, to the detriment of everyone.

If something is real, it can be seen with medical equipment and double-blinded and peer reviewed. If something is not real, write a cute story about it and sell a million copies. James Frey and Heaven is for Real are my cites.

I agree with LibrarySpy. Psychotropics are not ‘magic’. They don’t require you to believe in them IF, in fact, they actually cause the effects described. I have never done DMT, but I have used LSD and you don’t have to believe that you will trip. You will trip. Hard and for many hours.

The entire study of these substances has been undermined by certain researchers in relatively recent days, but the classification of these drugs by the Federal government of the US is also to blame for our general ignorance. More research should be done, but y’all already know that I think these kind of drugs should, at the very least, be decriminalized.

My point was I find it hard to believe someone who has an almost religious reverence for DMT has never personally experienced it himself, when he could have by breaking no laws.

I will concur that this is ridiculous, and possibly a sign of bad faith.

(Check out that pun, bazinga!)

I doubt it also. Maybe he feels that such an admission would compromise his “objective” scientific appraisal of DMT.

Strassman does have a scattering of journal articles published on DMT going back to the early '90s, at least one of which involves a small double-blind placebo-controlled study. After all this time the bottom line seems to be “here’s this cool psychedelic drug which is not like other psychedelic drugs”; I don’t see any practical application to the field of psychiatry having been developed or even pursued.

From his webpage: “Since 1996, Dr. Strassman has been exploring models for the DMT effect focusing primarily on the Old Testament concept of prophecy. Prophecy is a spiritual experience which takes into account the apparently external, free-standing nature of the DMT “worlds,” in which one’s sense of self is highly preserved and interactive.”

That sets my woo-meter going off wildly, even at the lowest sensitivity setting.

Wait–DMT’s legal? Where can I get some? For research purposes only, of course.

(researching) Lots of different plants. Some grow around here. Some contain other stuff which will set off a drug test at work, if they ever gave drug tests. Uh-oh–the trip lasts only ten minutes? That’s a deal killer because I can’t smoke indoors.

It was fun while it lasted.

He’s not a scientist, he’s a clinician - it is rare for clinicians to understand science at the level where they can make contributions. Those that do have that understanding, however, are in a powerful position and can have exceptional insight. Whether this chap occupies that space is doubtful, but really it’s impossible to say on account of the field. It is the domain of crackpots, so it doesn’t really matter if you’re the most esteemed intellect in the Academy, or you’re Dave from the pub - your views are going to struggle for credibility.

What would argue against this doctor having made any real discoveries is that he doesn’t appear to have much skin in the game. Not a great deal going on / gone on research wise. A more credible voice would be a Doc who was driving clinical research in a big way, reputation to uphold, and publishing research in the pineal gland, DMT etc.

I doubt Dr Strassman is bothered either way, like. Seems to have a nice, mellow buzz going on in the photos on his site :slight_smile:

It’s not legal now, but it was at the time Strassman was writing about it.

It’s not my place to believe or disbelieve- that’s what his colleagues are for. Let him present his findings to the science world and make his eveidence available. If he’s right, his colleagues will quickly confirm it and then I’ll believe.

As it is, I’m a rank amateur who knows little or nothing about his topic. Why would I offer any opinion at all?

The thing to believe is the information, not the person presenting it. And only believe the information if there’s a good reason to do so.