Respectful Insolence

Archives for March, 2008

Some placebos are more equal than others

Perusing the news early this morning, I noticed an article on ABC News about placebos. One thing I found interesting about it was that it was a story about a research letter to JAMA, not a full study. Heck, there isn’t even an abstract. Even so, the study was rather interesting and described thusly: The…

File this one under: “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” It’s a story that I couldn’t resist because it combines my interest in skepticism with my interest in World War II history. Too bad there wasn’t a way to throw some medicine in there as well; otherwise I could have had a…

I saw this and was going to write about it, but it turns out that Abel Pharmboy at Terra Sigillata beat me to it. Basically, the makers of Airborne have been slapped down bigtime for false advertising:

The “frontier science” of homeopathy?

If there’s one type of so-called “complementary and alternative medicine” that I’ve always been very up front about, it’s that I consider homeopathy to be the ultimate in pseudoscientific twaddle when it comes to CAM. The reasons should be obvious to anyone with a background in basic science. After all, homeopathy is nothing more than…

In case you had any doubt that it’s about vaccines and the concept of vaccination itself, here’s video of the protest held outside of the American Academy of Pediatrics a couple of weeks ago: I’m not sure it was such a great idea to release video of this protest, given how tiny the demonstration looks…

I’m not sure why, but it’s been a while since I’ve delved into the cesspit of pseudoscience that is the Discovery Institute’s propaganda organ, Evolution News & Views. Perhaps it was because I simply got tired of diving into the depths of stupid. Of course, that then begs the question of why I’ve been spending…

EneMan the science fiction star

As I mentioned in January, everybody’s favorite blog mascot has seemingly undertaken a new career in show biz. In fact, he’s become a big movie star, even popping up in some fairly avant garde movies. This month, however, he’s popping up in a most unexpected place: In one of the greatest science fiction movies of…

A couple of days ago, I wrote about a particularly deceptive and idiotic article by David Kirby about the settling of a case of vaccine injury by the U.S. government. Fellow skeptical physician Steve Novella couldn’t resist taking a shot at Kirby as well and in doing so came up with one of the best…

I’ve always been a bit skeptical of most recommendations by religious figures, but for once I’ve come across one that I can whole-heartedly support: Florida pastor Paul Wirth wants his parishioners to make love — a whole lot of love. The pastor for Relevant Church in Ybor City is challenging the couples in his congregation…

Well, now I’m really in a pickle as far as the 2008 Presidential election goes. I really don’t like Hillary Clinton and consider Barack Obama not ready for prime time; i.e., he’s too inexperienced and too liberal for my liking. On the other hand, I used to like John McCain–at least until he started pandering…