Respectful Insolence

Archives for March, 2008

Cancer Research Blog Carnival

I have to admit that this one fell off the radar, even for me. I hate to admit it, but it’s true. I’m talking about the Cancer Research Blog Carnival, which is being hosted by the Skeptical Alchemist this Friday. So, those of you inclined to write about cancer and cancer research, help a blogger…

Selling homeopathy to pediatricians

I’ve never been able to figure out how anyone who claims to be devoted to science and scientific medicine can take homeopathy the least bit seriously. None of it makes any sense scientifically. Its basic principal of the “Law of Similars” has far more basis in the concepts of sympathetic magic than anything that science…

How much cussing happens on this blog?

I’m actually surprised it’s that high: Created by OnePlusYou – Free Online Dating Must be some of the commenters. I have been known on occasion to use the word “bullshit” with reference to, for example, David Kirby, but I really do try to keep this blog fairly clean as far as cussing goes.

Richard Dawkins and the Age of the Machine

Hilarious, particularly “big-pimpin’” Daddy Dennett: I can’t make up my mind if it’s meant to skewer Dawkins or whether it’s meant ironically as a way of making fun of ID creationists and how they view Dawkins…

Nasal drone Ben Stein, as you would be hard-pressed not to know if you are a regular reader of ScienceBlogs, is hosting what looks to be a truly execrable crap-fest called Expelled!: No Intelligence Allowed. The movie basically consists of two themes: (1) Whining about “intellectual oppression” by those evil “Darwinists” directed against any valiant…

I tell ya, I get sick for a few days, and the antivaccination cranks come out of the woodwork. This time around, it’s ├╝ber-crank Vox Day entering the fray (or, as I like to call him Vox “hey, it worked for Hitler” Day). We’ve seen him in action before. Be it using the example of…

I have good news and bad news for you. First, the good news. The devastating death crud that has kept me in its grip for nearly a week now appears to be receding. For the first time, “whining” or not, I start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Whether it’s due…

Today is the first day where I’m starting to think that the worst is past, as far as the death crud that’s had me in its grip since last weekend goes. It’s possible, of course, that the virus could just be toying with me, giving me a false sense of hope, but I’ll remain optimistic.…

I have to hand it to Mike, the host of this week’s Meeting of the Skeptics’ Circle. He’s decided to do something that I never would have thought possible: He’s gotten Ben Stein to introduce the entries to this week’s festival of skeptical thinking–which is why you’re all “expelled”! (I wonder what Matt would think…

A “magician” trying and failing to kill a skeptic with black magic. It must have been hilarious to watch, especially if one speaks the language. Maybe they’ll find a way to show it on American TV. Maybe I’ll search YouTube when I feel better.

Mid-week death crud open thread

I just can’t shake it. Try as I might to get rid of it, it just continues to grip my body like a tick that just won’t let go. I’m talking about the death crud, which I had thought originally to be a nasty cold but is now looking more and more like the flu.…

Sadly, the death crud continues apace, although at a low enough level that I feel I can eke out a brief post, mainly because it relates to what I’ve been saying all along about a group blog that I tend to dislike. Both Shifting Baselines and DrugMonkey have pointed out that Huffington Post blogger David…

Death by supplements

The annoying death crud that has gripped me continues apace. Fortunately, I happen to have a rather interesting guest blog post that I’ve had lying around a while, and now seems like the perfect time to use it. It comes from Dr. Arnon Krongrad, an expert in prostate cancer and minimally invasive surgery. I’m publishing…

Rush Limbaugh gives Expelled! thumbs up

Why am I not surprised? The stupid, it does so burn.

I really didn’t want to get involved with the whole “framing” debate again. For whatever reason (and they are reasons that I’ve failed to understand), the very mention of the word seems to set certain members of the ScienceBlogs collective into rabid fits of vicious invective that leave rational discourse behind. And, yes, I know…

…because Boston skeptics get to have all the fun with a meeting of Skeptics in the Pub on Monday, March 24 at The Asgard (great name for a pub!) in Cambridge at 7 PM. Keynote speaker for the night is our very own Mike the Mad Biologist. We’ve done a little blog tag-teaming in the…

There, that’s better

Sadly, unlike his namesake, Orac is not immune to human foibles and human vulnerabilities. In particular he’s not immune whatever virus is going around at the moment. The damned thing felled my wife for over a week. I thought that I had avoided it, but apparently not. Now I’m starting to feel the unmistakable signs…

I’ve been remiss in not mentioning that one of the newer and better docs dedicated to skepticism and science= and evidence-based medicine has joined the SB collective. I’m talking about PalMD, formerly of the blog White Coat Underground. He’s joined up with the Hoofnagles over at Denialism.com and is already posting away. It’s always good…

The other night, I wrote about how the painfully inept and just plain dumb actions of the producer of Expelled!, the neuron-apoptosing movie that’s basically an extended argumentum ad Nazium against the dreaded “Darwinism” that blames Hitler, Stalin, and, apparently, puppy hatred on Charles Darwin himself. Basically, the producers were having one of their private…

If you ever have any doubt at the sheer level of unscientific fearmongering and lunacy antivaccinationists like to foment, all you have to do is head to the comments section regarding the David Kirby article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that I deconstructed yesterday. Given that the Age of Autism site linked to it to send…

Sometimes a topic demands to be included in my little Friday bit of hubris and tweaking. Usually when that happens, it’s obvious because somehow the topic is synergistic with what’s been going on during the preceding week on the ol’ blog, in the same way that herbalists claim that all the various compounds and contaminants…

P.Z. Expelled!, Dawkins in…

…to see Expelled! In perhaps the funniest incident I can recall involving a fellow ScienceBlogger since there has been ScienceBlogs, earlier this evening scourges of “intelligent design” creationism P. Z. Myers and Richard Dawkins went to see a screening of the antievolution pro-ID creationism movie Expelled! in the Minneapolis area. The guards recognized P.Z. and…

Autism and vaccines: The story morphs

I have to hand it to Dan Olmsted. As Dr. Michael Egnor is for “intelligent design” creationism, ol’ Danny Boy is the Energizer Bunny of antivaccinationism. Tag-teaming with fellow “journalist” David Kirby, who seems able to live rather well without actually, you know, having a regular job, ex-UPI correspondent Olmsted form the not-so-dynamic duo of…

It’s a rare, rare situation, but the sheer craziness of this (hat tip PZ) knocked the wind out of me, so that I’m having a hard time finding something to say about it: Health officials in the Philippines have issued a warning to people taking part in Easter crucifixion rituals. They have urged them to…

There’s no doubt about it: Stem cells are hot. Yes indeed, they’re not only hot, but they’re hip, they’re happenin‘, they’re right now, baby. Scientists are falling all over themselves with excitement at the potential applications that could potentially come from stem cell technology. True, no validated therapies for embryonic stem cells have yet made…