Respectful Insolence

Archives for March, 2006

Comment spam again

This is just to announce briefly that comment spam has once again reared its ugly head. Some spam comments are actually making it through the filters to be published here. I delete them as soon as I see them, but I’m dismayed that they’re getting through. As a result I may be tightening up the…

Phil Plait mentioned in Science

Congrats are in order to fellow blogger Phil Plait (a.k.a. The Bad Astronomer) whose blog Bad Astronomy (a misnomer if ever there was one, given the amount of good astronomy he regularly writes about) garnered a favorable mention in the Netwatch section of Science. Hopefully this will bring Bad Astronomy to more of the masses.

The 2005 Pigasus Awards

The 2005 Pigasus Awards have been announced by The Amazing Randi himself. The categories: Category #1, to the scientist who said or did the silliest thing related to the supernatural, paranormal or occult. Category #2, to the funding organization that supported the most useless study of a supernatural, paranormal or occult claim. Category #3, to…

My Bill of Rights

Maybe you’re like me, tired of a government that does not seem to respect one of the founding documents of our nation, namely the Bill of Rights. Maybe you’re tired of Christian fundamentalists who do not see the placement of monuments containing the Ten Commandments on government property as a government endorsement of a specific…

Random David Bowie lyric of the day

Why? Because I feel like it. So here goes… It’s on America’s tortured brow That Mickey Mouse has grown up a cow And now the workers have struck for fame ‘Cause Lennon’s on sale again See the mice in their million hordes From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads Rule Britannia is out of bounds To…

The 31st Meeting of the Skeptics’ Circle

Yes, it’s that time again, time for the most dedicated skeptics of the blogosphere to gather once again to try to apply critical thinking in an environment where credulity is usually the order of the day, and dubious stories can proliferate and spread around the world in mere hours. This time, Abel Pharmboy is your…

Earlier this week, I wrote about how the principles of population evolution can be applied to premalignant lesions in order to predict which lesions would progress to cancer. This time around, I’d like to discuss how using evolutionary principles can provide insights to human disease that would not be as obvious or that would take…

Tangled Bank

Another great edition of Tangled Bank has been posted at The Island of Doubt. (It’s hard to believe that Tangled Bank has been around now for nearly two years. Time flies.) What are you waiting for?

Leave it to The Onion: Alternative-Medicine Practitioner Refuses Alternative Method Of Payment.

I don’t normally read the Financial Times. “What?” you say. “I thought that all doctors read the FT.” Ah, but you forget that I’m an academic physician. Don’t get me wrong; I make a comfortable living, more money than I’ve made in my entire life, but I could almost certainly increase my earnings by 50-100%…

Dr. Charles at Body Worlds

A week ago, I wrote about my wife and my visiting Body Worlds at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Well, it looks as though another physician Dr. Charles has visited it as well and has some ideas comments about the exhibit.

Everyone’s evil, and so am I…sort of

It looks like everyone at ScienceBlogs is trying this quiz. Now that I have been completely assimilated into the collective, I cannot resist. So… You Are 22% Evil A bit of evil lurks in your heart, but you hide it well. In some ways, you are the most dangerous kind of evil. How Evil Are…

Duck, everyone! Matt (a.k.a. The Pooflinger) has found a PDF file containing a brand new FAQ about Kansas’s new science standards, the ones that purport to “teach the controversy” about evolution. While I’m on a roll about evolution (and, yes, the next installment of my Medicine and Evolution series should come by the end of…

Via Red State Rabble, I’ve become aware of an incredibly depressing story about science teachers in Arkansas explicitly censoring themselves when it comes to teaching evolution (the “e-word,” as they call it) or in geology class teaching that the earth is 4.5 billion years old: Teachers at his facility are forbidden to use the “e-word”…

Jack Chick’s own art turned against him

Heh. More people should do this to Jack Chick tracts. Click the image to see Jack’s own tricks turned against him. Here is the original cartoon by Jack Chick.

The Skeptics’ Circle is fast approaching

It’s that time again. In less than three days, the latest Meeting of the Skeptics’ Circle will be posted at Terra Sigillata (who, by the way, wrote an excellent post while I was away at my meeting on why we should continue to study rare cancers). You have until Wednesday evening to submit to him…

Last week, I inaugurated a new series on this blog entitled Medicine and Evolution. I even wrote what was to be the second post in the series, a post that (I hoped) would illustrate the utility of applying approaches used to study evolution to human disease. That post is essentially complete, other than requiring the…

Does my weblog own me?

My wife would say yes. But, because all the other ScienceBloggers appear to be doing it, I had to take this test to find out: 18.75 % My weblog owns 18.75 % of me.Does your weblog own you? It’s actually not as bad as I had feared. It would actually only be 12.5% if I…

How depressing. Right there on the front page of the New York Times this morning: SACRAMENTO — Thousands of schools across the nation are responding to the reading and math testing requirements laid out in No Child Left Behind, President Bush’s signature education law, by reducing class time spent on other subjects and, for some…

A few days ago, I wrote about Abdul Rahman, an Afghan man who converted to Christianity and was being prosecuted under Islamic Sharia law as an apostate, the penalty for which can be death. Indeed, the prosecutor was seeking the death penalty. It looks like someone finally came to their senses: KABUL, Afghanistan – An…

I don’t know how I missed this one yesterday, but a new blogger, Dr. Flea, sarcastically thanks RFK, Jr. for making his practice more difficult The Thimerosal-Autism story will not die. When I say that a patient asks me about thimerosal every day, I am not exaggerating. Here is today’s installment, in the form of…

You win

If I were one of the cops facing this guy, I’d be seriously tempted to put my gun aside and say, “You win. Go ahead and leave.” At least no one other than the perpetrator was hurt.

A little light weekend reading

While I work on winging my way back to the East Coast, I thought I’d leave you with a couple of links that I became aware of but didn’t get the chance to post. First up is the older piece by that tireless debunker of dubious medicine and quackery and fellow skeptic, Prometheus. In a…

Judge Jones threatened?

Why am I not surprised to learn this? From an AP article: HARRISBURG — Following recent accounts of threats against other judges, the federal judge in the Dover intelligent design case revealed he, too, was a target of threatening e-mails. U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III said a spate of e-mails came on the…

Speaking of Holocaust denial, opening sentence of a review of a new CD by Be Your Own Pet: Aside from the deaf or those in a level of denial up there with David Irving’s idiot pronouncements on the Holocaust, everyone’s aware that we live in great times for music. Heh. I’m not sure this sort…