Respectful Insolence

Archives for May, 2007

Well, well, well. Remember about a year ago, when Libertarian wingnut Vox Day shot himself in the foot big time by using a warped logic to argue that because it was “possible” for Hitler to round up six million Jews in four years then it’s not “impossible” for us to round up 12 million illegal…

Condolences

A fellow ScienceBlogger has suffered a profound loss. Sadly, on Sunday, my blogchild Mark lost his father. If you like Mark’s blog (or even if you don’t), please do me a favor and take a moment to read Mark’s tribute to his father and offer your condolences. He has mine.

The other day, I wrote about how the only use of homeopathy that makes sense is its use by a fictional character, namely Doctor Strange, The Sorcerer Supreme. Now, I have been fortunate enough to have been granted a sign that the homeopathic enchantment works! Woe be unto you skeptics! Behold, a vision of the…

While I’m on the topic of alternative medicine and NCCAM again, I’ve said on many occasions that I reject the distinction between evidence-based medicine and “alternative medicine” as a false dichotomy. To me, the only dichotomy that matters is between medicine that has high quality scientific evidence showing that it works and medicine that does…

I’ve complained on multiple occasions about the infiltration of non-evidence-based “medicine” (a.k.a. woo) into every level of medicine in the U.S.. Worst of all, it’s infiltrating medical education in a big way, starting with the pro-woo activism of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), to various educational programs in various medical schools, to even the…

A truly unexpected eulogy

Larry Flynt: My friend, Jerry Falwell. Strange but apparently true.

Where’s Flea?

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I recently noticed that one of my favorite medical bloggers, Flea, had completely deleted his blog. There’s nothing there. It’s gone, except for a blank Blogger blog. Apparently, too, Flea’s not alone, as Kevin, MD points out. I’m going to miss Flea, but I understand why…

I hadn’t planned on revisiting this topic again quite so soon, but sometimes a piece of information comes up that’s so disturbing that I can’t ignore it and can’t justify delaying blogging about it by very long. So it is yet again with the strange and disturbing saga of dichloroacetate (DCA), the small molecular chemotherapeutic…

Time passes. What once was new is old, and what once seemed far in the future is now just around the corner. In other words, the Skeptics’ Circle is rapidly approaching again; it’s a mere four days away! This time around, the 61st Meeting of the Skeptics’ Circle is scheduled to be hosted by Rebecca…

It would appear that I must respectfully disagree (or be Respectfully Insolent, if you will) with fellow comic fan Scott over at Polite Dissent. Two of my all-time favorite comics are Fantastic Four and (believe it or not, given my present day disdain for woo) Doctor Strange. Doctor Stephen Strange, for those of you not…

Abel Pharmboy shows why I shouldn’t have left my American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) proceedings abstract sit on my desk unread for a week. Damn. Talk about blowing an opportunity. Of course, given that I don’t own any pharmaceutical stocks (making me a rather poor “tool of big pharma” indeed), it doesn’t matter.

Let’s face it. By their very belief in Holocaust denial, Holocaust deniers demonstrate day in and day out that they aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer (or the brightest bulbs on the Christmas tree, pick your simile). However, occasionally, I come across Holocaust denial that brings stupid to a whole new level, and I…

A few days ago, I posted a note of congratulations to Gregory Simonian, a 10th grader at the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies, for winning the Alliance For Science essay contest, for which the topic was Why would I want my doctor to have studied evolution? At the time, the winners had been announced,…

Whipped for a couple of beers

If you’re ever in Iran, you’d better be really, really careful about imbibing a little beer: Norwegian-Iranian Mamand Mamandy had a brutal meeting with police after drinking two beers while on holiday in Iran. “It’s getting better now, but I am still in great pain,” Mamandy, 35, told Aftenposten.no. “My brother is a doctor, and…

I want to apologize to Abel Pharmboy in advance on this one. This is the second time in less than three months that I’ve invaded his territory to a certain extent in Your Friday Dose of Woo, specifically his The Friday Fermentable feature. Last time around, I couldn’t believe it when I encountered some serious…

Dr. R. W. asks (and answers) the question, pointing out in detail how: Promoters of unscientific claims often reject ordinary scientific standards for experimental design and evidence. Even government funded CAM research is troubled with serious methodologic flaws. Research on complementary and alternative methods is conducted without regard to biologic plausibility. The proponents and funders…

When I learned of this, I had been highly tempted trot out everybody’s favorite undead F├╝hrer for a little fun with the Church of Scientology‘s latest antics. Indeed, when you find out what I’m about to discuss, you’ll see why it was a candidate for the loving chomp of his rotting jaws. Heck, I even…

This is just so wrong

As a fan of Iggy Pop, I was appalled to read this: Former “The Lord of the Rings” star Elijah Wood will play Iggy Pop in The Passenger, a biopic of the legendary rocker, reports Variety. Ted Hope’s This Is That Productions and Traction Media are executive producing. The movie, which follows Pop’s early years…

Eugenicist quotes

Here are a few typical eugenicist quotes from early last century: “It is an excellent plan to keep defective people in institutions for here they are not permitted to marry and bear children.” “[Scientists who are working at the task of improving the human race] would like to increase the birth rate of families having…

Cranks against peer review

One of the favorite targets of pseudoscientists is the peer review system. After all, it’s the system through which scientists submit their manuscripts describing their scientific findings or their grant proposals to their peers for an evaluation to determine whether they are scientifically meritorious enough to be published or to be funded. Creationists hate it.…

Grand Rounds again

The latest Grand Rounds has been posted at the Medical Humanities Blog. Time for your fix of the week’s best medical blogging.

Good God Almighty….(From Sir David Attenborough’s “Life in the Undergrowth”)[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgLmUb5P_Ws] Add to: Slashdot del.icio.usredditnewsvineY! MyWeb

The winner!

The winners of the Alliance for Science essay contest that I mentioned a couple of months ago, where high school students were asked to write an essay of 1,000 words or less about the topic Why would I want my doctor to have studied evolution?, have been announced. My only question is why the actual…

A while back, I coined a term for woo so irrational, woo so desperate to masquerade as reason and science, that it could be spewed forth into books, the Internet, and the blogosophere by only one man. The man is Deepak Chopra, and the term is Chopra-woo, examples of which can be found here and…