Skepticism

Category archives for Skepticism

Regular readers keeping up on infectious disease issues might have seen Seth Mnookin’s post yesterday, warning of an upcoming episode of the Katie Couric show ¬†focusing on the HPV vaccine. Even though Mnookin previously spoke with a producer at length regarding this topic, the promo for the show certainly did not look promising: “The HPV…

Margulis does it again

We all know of once-respected scientists who ended up going off the deep end, adhering to an unproven idea despite massive evidence to the contrary. Linus Pauling and his advocacy of megadoses of Vitamin C, or Peter Duesberg’s descent into HIV denial. It’s all the more disappointing when the one taking a dive is a…

PZ has some additional thoughts on the Bibleflugate retraction up at Pharyngula. Choice quote: This is a serious concern, to my mind. Scientists are expected to be open and communicative about their work, explaining all the details about how we achieve our results. Yet then we hand that work over to a publisher (usually a…

Biblical flu paper going bye-bye

Well, that was quick. Yesterday’s post highlighting a really terrible paper in BMC’s Virology Journal drew a lot of comments here and at Pharyngula, and attention at the journal (where it currently stands as the 5th most-accessed article in the last 30 days). The journal’s Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Robert F. Garry, this in the comments section…

Via Bob O’H and Cath Ennis comes this truly bizarre article from the Virology Journal: “Influenza or not influenza: Analysis of a case of high fever that happened 2000 years ago in Biblical time”. Now, regular readers will know that I normally love this type of thing; digging back through history to look at Lincoln’s…

Interesting post today at juggle.com, showing the evolution of a conspiracy theory akin to a game of telephone. Interestingly, it starts with an article in Wired by author (and former Scienceblogger) Johah Lehrer. Lehrer wrote an article on the effects of chronic stress on health outcomes, and one researcher’s work to develop something akin to…

Swine flu and snake oil

I was introduced to snake oil salesmen at a young age. My mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when I was in kindergarten, and while she has mostly followed the advice of her neurologists, she’s also looked into “alternate” therapies, ranging from the relatively harmless (massages, oils, etc.) to more invasive methods (chelation, all sorts…

Last fall, I wrote about a new research paper which tried to replicate some of Andrew Wakefield’s original results, which not only claimed a correlation between MMR vaccination and autism, but also the presence of measles virus in intestinal tissue. Wakefield had suggested that an inappropriate response to the presence of measles virus in this…

Jenny McCarthy strikes again

Just in time for the introduction of Autism’s False Prophets by Dr. Paul Offit (the current choice for Scienceblogs’ book club), Jenny McCarthy comes out with yet another interview decrying vaccines, blaming autism on the greed of pharmaceutical companies, and how her son was “healed” from autism by his diet, vitamins, and “detoxing”. Embedded video…

Elsewhere…

Sent off yet another grant, so I’m still (once again) catching up on everything. Meanwhile, some posts for you to check out: I thought I was self-sacrificing by submitting myself to Kentucky’s creation museum for your amusement. Guess I could have stayed home and wasted 2 1/2 hours of my life as Drek did, live-blogging…