Respectful Insolence

Archives for November, 2007

It’s Thursday, and I can hardly believe that it’s time for the Skeptics’ Circle again. Time flies between these every other week exercises in critical thinking. This time around, it’s Holford Watch that’s hosting the 73rd Meeting of the Skeptics’ Circle. However, before you can enjoy skeptical bloggy goodness submitted to the carnival, you’re asked…

I hadn’t intended to write about this again, at least not for a while, but curiosity got the better of me. About a month and a half ago, I discussed a highly dubious story that was going around by e-mail about a 17-year-old boy with melanoma whose mother supposedly “cured” him with “natural” treatments. As…

A vision of the future of medicine

Along with Dr. R. W., I’ve become known for my rather vociferously expressed dismay at the ever increasing infiltration of unscientific and non-evidence-based woo in the form of “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) into academic medical centers. Well, thanks to a reader, I’ve seen a vision of the future of American medicine, and it’s frightening.…

2,000,000

I demand the sum of…..two MILLION visits! Muhahahahahaha! Yes, I know I did that bit before, but I liked it so much that I wanted to do it again. Sometime yesterday, this blog hit another milestone. Sometime yesterday morning, Respectful Insolence™ recorded its 2,000,000th visitor. Unfortunately, “sometime yesterday” was while I was at work, and,…

This is getting depressing. Yesterday, I did a brief post on the tragic story of a nine month old baby named Gloria Thomas whose father, a homeopath, put his faith in homeopathic medicines to treat her severe eczema and who as a consequence did not receive the necessary medical treatment she needed and died of…

Panda Bear MD has posted the second part of his series about the irrationality behind much of “alternative” (a.k.a. non-evidence-based) medicine. He makes an excellent point: At no time however, will your physicians ever promise a magic cure, a therapy that will definitively fix the problem with no ill effects leaving alone the precarious balance…

Carnival barking

Two of my favorite blog carnivals have made their regular appearance today: The History Carnival #58 (hosted by fellow ScienceBlogger Aardvarchaeology) Grand Rounds, vol. 4, no. 7 Go forth and enjoy!

Over the weekend, it appears that a post of mine, in which I included a link to a video of comic Tim Slagle doing the comedy routine that, in my never-ending effort to live up to the stereotype of the humorless skeptic that the credulous like so much, I castigated for its misrepresentations of science…

A real death by homeopathy

For those who argue that homeopathy is harmless, here’s a story that shows what can happen when faith in quackery results in parents eschewing effective evdience-based medicine: NINE-MONTH-OLD Gloria Thomas was in such distress that her crying alarmed some passengers on a plane trip from India to Sydney. She had been overseas for two months…

This is true with respect to chiropractic, anyway. Just get a load of this ad from 1922: (Click on picture for a larger image.) You know, tart this ad up with some color and better graphics, and it wouldn’t be out of place today making claims like this: Fastest growing healing profession, outstripping all others.…

About a month and a half ago, I discussed an e-mail that was being propagated far and wide that described the case of the mother of a 17 year old male who, or so the e-mail claimed, cured her son of stage IV melanoma using “natural means” and was supposedly thrown in maximum security prison…

Pediatrics Grand Rounds

The latest edition of Pedatrics Grand Rounds has been posted at Aetiology. Enjoy!

Animal “rights” terrorism, revisited

I’ve written before about how animal rights cranks have started resorting to terroristic tactics in order to intimidate or frighten researchers into ceasing to do animal research. As you may guess, I have little but contempt for the Animal Liberation Front (is that anything like the People’s Front of Judea or the Judean People’s Front?)…

If you think Orac’s insolence doesn’t live up to the name of this blog, at least when it comes to lamenting the infiltration of unscientific, non-evidence-based modalities into academic medicine, such as the use of reiki in a top academic trauma hospital, woo finding its way into the mandatory curriculum of a prestigious medical center…

Nominated again?

Amazing. I didn’t actually expect this, but it appears that some knuckleheads have actually nominated Respectful Insolence again for the Best Medical/Health Issues Blog in the 2007 Weblog Awards, and, even more oddly, I somehow managed to be finalist. It turns out that P.Z. Myers is also a finalist in the Best Science Blog category…

Don’t forget, once again the time is fast approaching. Soon yet another installment of the Skeptics’ Circle will be upon us. In fact, it’s less than a week away and due to land at the Holford Watch on Thursday, November 8. Skeptical bloggers, there isn’t much time left for you to get your entries done…

Crank argumentation

Arguing with cranks can be an extremely frustrating experience, which is why I don’t do it very often anymore except on my terms on this blog. Yes, I did cut my skeptical teeth, so to speak, for several years doing just that in the totally unmoderated and wild free-for-all known as Usenet before I dipped…

In retrospect, I feel a little guilty about last week’s edition of Your Friday Dose of Woo. As a couple of commenters pointed out, the guy responsible for the woo seems as though he’s a bit disturbed, as evidenced by the ransom note-style literature on his website and the news story that mentioned how his…

Over the summer, I got into a bit of an argument with a certain Libertarian comic named Tim Slagle who doesn’t seem to accept the scientific consensus that anthropogenic global warming is happening or that it is a potentially grave problem. In a perilous bit of criticism, given that comedy often depends on saying stupid…

Despite the diatribes that appear here on a regular basis bemoaning the unscientific and sometimes dangerous claims made for so-called “alternative medicine” modalities, I’ll be among the first to admit that in some cases it’s not always clear what is “alternative” about some therapies. Indeed, there seems to be an intentional effort to “rebrand” some…