About

Dr C. Edward Pitt is a full time GP* and spare-time writer. He lives and works in the northern suburbs of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. He is way too busy.

He has been studying and working in the medical profession since 1992. In that time he has gained the qualifications of MBBS (UQ) and the FRACGP. He spent a number of years in hospital paediatrics before getting sick of shift-work and moving into General Practice.

Since attaining his GP Fellowship in 2005, he has gained experience in many and varied areas of medicine including Skin Cancer Medicine, Cosmetic Medicine, Aged Care, Sexual Health and Family Planning, and is a regular question writer and examiner for the Royal Australian College of General Practice.

In the early 2000’s, he was a regular writer for a nationally published Christian magazine, “Alive”, and he published his first book in 2009, “Stress Out”, now in its second edition.

He is also a husband, father to two rambunctious small boys, coffee connoisseur, try-hard leg spinner, amateur actor and a terrible dancer. Whatever time he has left, he usually wastes it on Facebook!

(* GP is short for General Practitioner, also known as a Family Physician in some parts of the world)

22 thoughts on “About

  1. Thanks for the Understanding Thought blog. I enjoyed it. And I thought you did a good job of a quick explanation of GWT and of our LIDA model. One small correction. We think the cognitive cycling rate is roughly 10 hz, not 20 hz [Madl, T., Baars, B. J., & Franklin, S. (2011). The Timing of the Cognitive Cycle. PLoS ONE, 6(4), e14803.] Also, a LIDA based account of so called unconscious driving can be found in [Franklin S, Baars BJ, Ramamurthy U, Ventura M (2005). The Role of Consciousness in Memory. Brains, Minds and Media, Vol.1, bmm150 (urn:nbn:de:0009-3-1505)]
    Both are available directly online, or at .

    • Professor Franklin, thank you for taking the time to review the post, and for your very gracious complement. It is high praise indeed coming from a man of your vast intellectual stature. I have adjusted the blog accordingly, and I’ll be using the references you suggested to update my book’s manuscript when it’s due for review. Thanks again!

  2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Dr Leaf’s theories. I heard her speak over the weekend in Sydney and I was grieved to hear her speak about mental illness. I was mortified. Her ‘ministry’ is dangerous and needs to be questioned. Thank you for your thoughtful and insightful commentary.

    • Thanks for the encouragement Simone. It’s much appreciated.

      I agree with you about Dr Leaf’s teaching on mental illness. If I can encourage you, and anyone else who has significant concerns re: Dr Leaf, to respectfully make your concerns known to both your friends, and the national executive for the church organisation you’re a part of. Make your voice heard, respectfully and consistently. If everyone shares their concerns, then it’s more likely that action will be taken by our church leadership.

      Again, thanks for the feedback, and all the best.

      • Thank you thank you thank you! I had the misfortune of hearing Dr Leaf speak today, and I was absolutely appalled at what she said. She was speaking at a church conference and it was disturbing to see about 1000 people slurping up very word she said. As someone who lives with depression, I was enraged at her ideas and claims about mental illness. A quote verbatim “Toxic thoughts lead to dementia and alzheimers.” I am so glad I came across your blog, you have given me some peace of mind (no pun intended). At least I know there are people out there challenging her work.

        Kind regards,
        F

      • Hi Francelle – You’re welcome! I sincerely empathise with how you felt listening to Dr Leaf speak, and the reaction of congregation to her. I encourage you, like I encourage everyone who has had a similar reaction to Dr Leaf’s teaching, to make your voice heard. It’s only by politely but persistently raising our concerns that people will stop taking her claims seriously. So I suggest that you take the time to tell your friends about your concerns with Dr Leaf’s teaching, and also to write to your pastors, the organisers of the conference, and to your National Executive of the church body you belong to. If enough people make their voices heard, then our church leaders will have to relook at Dr Leaf’s teaching, which can only be a good thing. Take care.

  3. I had the priviledge to meet dr Leaf about ten years ago in South Africa. She used to be a leader in her research on neoroscience. Many people was familiar with her name and she was frequently invited to present teaching courses in public- and private schools around the country. I did a course on the Geodesic Information Processing model. It was an excellent course and still use the metacogs in teaching my students. She is always friendly and helpful from what I remember. However, there is a definite shift in her teachings. It seems like she is concentrating more on new age teachings or mystical experience. She has moved away from truthful Biblical teachings towards experiental practice with a divinity out there. Although she is still using scripture as base, it is clear that it is a vehicle for her new age teaching to make it more believeable for Christians. Her teachings are very dangerous. She is a cultural change agent and does not fit the role of objective researcher any longer. Regretfully, I can no longer read her facebook entries or stand her speaking rubbish on her blog.

    • Hi Trix. Thanks for your comment. I think your historical perspective on Dr Leaf is very interesting. I do find her teachings disturbing, and her objectivity and her interpretation of scientific research is certainly open to debate. As for your suggestions about Dr Leaf’s teaching being a vehicle for New Age teaching, and that she is a cultural change agent … I’m not sure if I can speak to that one way or the other. My approach on this blog and in my book is to contrast her teaching to the current scientific research, and highlight discrepancies. I’m not an expert in New Age teaching, and I don’t want to venture beyond my knowledge and training. Whilst I can’t endorse your view, I have published your comment so that others can make up their own mind. Whether her teachings align with New Age teachings or not, I can say with confidence that her teachings are scientifically weak, and for that reason alone, they need to be revised.

      Thanks for taking the time to share.

  4. I have read your critique of Dr. Leaf as well as her husband’s clear and responsible rebuttal.

    Considering your medical credentials, family medicine, many would question YOUR qualifications to judge this very well-respected neuroscientist.

    • Marianne, thank you for your candour.

      You’re welcome to believe whomever or whatever you like, though it’s a shame that your dismissal of my work rests primarily on the baseless assumption that family medicine is a second-rate form of medical care. General Practice is a medical specialty in its own right. To achieve the title of GP, one has to complete nearly ten years of university-level education. Dismissing my work on the grounds that I’m a GP is simply an an ad hominem logical fallacy.

      Secondly, I’m yet to find convincing evidence that Dr Leaf is a neuroscientist. If you know of any university research positions she has held in neuroscience labs, or any journal articles on neuroscience that she has published, then please forward those details to me and I will happily publish a correction.

      Thank you for your feedback. All the best to you.

  5. Your motto includes the word ‘love’ but I can’t hear much love in what you write.
    All the articles I have read are spreading hate about one person whom you seem to be targeting.
    Please reflect on your personal motives. What love and light are you bringing to the world? Why would you want to discourage people from believing that they can take control of their thoughts and that they have unique gifts to share with the world?

    • Jessica, I appreciate your forthright commentary. You make important points that I’m happy to address.

      I admit that Dr Leaf’s teaching is a very common topic on this blog. As background, I have respectfully communicated my concerns about Dr Leaf privately, to Dr Leaf herself (via a proxy), and to various pastors including the National Executive of the Australian Christian Churches. I have also respectfully posted concerns with Dr Leaf’s teaching on her Facebook feeds, but was blocked from posting by Dr Leaf’s censors. And so this blog has become the primary platform for discussion and critique of Dr Leafs writing and teaching, out of necessity. However, I do not limit my writing to just a critique of Dr Leaf, but I also focus on a number of other topics and I critique a number of other pseudoscientific social media memes. Indeed, I have been working on subjects other than Dr Leaf for the last few weeks, hence why there has been a hiatus in my posts. Overall the last time I checked, I blog on Dr Leaf about 50% of the time.

      While you may disagree, I don’t hate Dr Leaf personally, nor am I using this platform to spread hate as you suggest. I clearly disagree with her teaching and the “science” behind it, and I am simply critiquing her work. This is the way science happens, and indeed, this is the way all ideas and knowledge grow. We have a Biblical imperative to test everything and hold on to the good (1 Thess 5:21). Thus, I’m not doing anything that should not have already been done for anyone, Christian or non-Christian, who presents themselves as an expert.

      I have reviewed my personal motives many times in my journey. I do not believe that I am acting in any way outside of my personal values, or Gods values. In Ephesians 4:14-15 we read “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” It’s my aim to speak the truth in love, so that the body of Christ grows more mature. This may seem critical, but central to this point is the question, love for whom? Should I not question Dr Leafs scientific interpretation just so I don’t offend her? What about the thousands of people around the world for whom Dr Leaf’s teaching misleads? Who is standing up for them? “Why would you want to discourage people from believing that they can take control of their thoughts and that they have unique gifts to share with the world?” I suggest you read my book in its entirety, but the short answer is that trying to control thoughts only leads to more psychological distress, while trying to prove anything with faulty science simply leads to false conclusions, and fails to do justice to whatever truth may have been present.

      Dr Leaf had her chance to hear what I had to say in a private forum, but she declined to reply. Instead, her husband chose to arrogantly dismiss my questions and refused my offer to further engage. I have had an open invitation for Dr Leaf to respond to any of my public critiques, but to this day, she has chosen not to. So I will continue to provide an alternative viewpoint to Dr Leafs teaching, until such time that Dr Leaf is willing to review her factual basis for her teaching. My offer remains open – I will publish any response that she wishes to make. I am even willing to go a step further – I will meet with Dr Leaf while she is in Australia later this year, any date, anywhere in the country, if she is willing to meet face to face.

      I said before that no one is above a formal critique, and my work is no different. If I’m factually errant, I will publicly apologise and publish a correction. Feel free to review my work and let me know if my assessment is incorrect. Please cite your sources, I will review them and correct my work as required.

      I understand that many of Dr Leafs followers will dislike me and my work because I have the audacity to critique their hero. I’m sorry if you feel like I’m attacking her. But like I said, I encourage you to look beyond your personal support of Dr Leaf and review the facts I have highlighted. Ultimately you’re welcome to disagree with me, and even dislike me. But please consider the facts I have elucidated before you make your final decision.

      • I’m glad you mentioned “speaking the truth in love” my thoughts exactly and something to think on.

    • Jessica, I’ve spent time reading this blog after briefly watching Dr. Leaf speak on TBN (not a Christian station I endorse or frequent). I intentionally searched for another voice besides Dr. Leaf’s because hearing Dr. Leaf’s claims made me want to know who this person is making such absurd claims. She’s an excellent speaker. But long ago I had to learn just because I can discuss something authoritatively and well, doesn’t make me right. All that is needed to forward error is just a little bit of truth. My reaction to what I have read on this blog differs considerably from yours. I am pleased with Dr. Pitt’s sound reasoning, and more importantly, his tact and kindness is his discussion and responses. Not only is he asking legitimate questions, he is a true gentleman about it. Jessica, I would like to urge you to reconsider your strongly stated reaction to Dr. Pitt’s blog as “spreading hate”. To disagree and challenge another reasonably, politely and in a measured fashion is not hateful. Contrary to what your reply implies, Dr. Pitt is not attacking Dr. Leaf, he is questioning aspects of her teaching and asking for evidence of her knowledge in the area of cognitive studies and experience. I think he is being a responsible modern day Berean, biblically and medically, in questioning Dr. Leaf’s claims. Today’s culture touts the “hate” word anytime there is public discourse and disagreement. Dr. Pitt is asking reasonable questions.

  6. “it’s second edition.”

    I love your blog and the work you’re doing, but I’ve noticed that you have often used “it’s” when you mean “its.” This error occurs above, but I’ve also seen it in several of your blog entries, and some other sites you control. Just a friendly heads up! Your work debunking questionable science is great, so we don’t want any needless distractions like these.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks John. English was never my best subject at school, which is why I’m a doctor not a journalist I guess :) Feel free to alert me to any other proof-reading errors that you happen to find and I’ll try to correct them ASAP. Thanks for your interest and encouragement.

      • Dr. Pitt, I appreciate and respect your humility and grace in every response. Your attitude speaks volumes. According to Dr. Leaf’s theories, you should live a very long and healthy life.

      • Hi Susan. Thanks for your warm encouragement, and for standing to my defence. It’s very much appreciated. Believe me when I say, Jessica was still fairly polite in what she said (there have been much worse comments on my blogs), and ultimately, everyone’s entitled to their opinions. But still, I appreciate your generous encouragement. Please spread the word of your concerns of Dr Leafs teaching to your friends and pastors. Warmest regards, Chris.

  7. It looks like you are a busy man!

    I trust your studies on Dr. Caroline Leaf
    will force us to think.

    My question in a prevous post are any of her ideas similar to the Four Temperament theory linked to the Fruits
    of the Spirit by Dr. Tim
    LaHaye!

    I can say both are fantastic speakers!

  8. God bless you doctor!! I have been looking for intelligent responses to Caroline Leaf I am absolutely dismayed at how churches are spreading her fame. Instead of relying on the finished work of the cross she is teaching new age mumbo jumbo and people believe her. Infuriating.

    • Hi Jaana. Thanks for your feedback. I understand your frustration. The best antidote is to share the concerns you have about Dr Leaf’s teaching with others – talk with your friends about your concerns, and also talk to your pastors and write to the National Executive of the church denomination that you are part of, outlining your concerns. It’s only by voicing our concerns that people will start to take notice and reexamine Dr Leaf’s teachings. All the best to you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s