Respectful Insolence

Archives for April, 2008

I may have joked a bit about certain surgeons whom, because they say such dumb, pseudoscientific things with alarming regularity, I consider embarrassments to the noble profession that is surgery. Usually, it’s been surgeons who reveal an astonishing ignorance of the science of evolution as they parrot long discredited and debunked canards about evolution while…

It’s that day once again!

Oh, glorious day! As hard as it is to believe, it’s here once again, and freedom lovers everywhere should rejoice! Yes, indeed, it’s the day that everyone who detests fascism should celebrate: Fuehrerstodestag! (Otherwise known as “Dead Hitler Day.”) Sixty-three years ago today, Adolf Hitler, F├╝hrer of the Reich, finally cornered in his rathole, his…

About a month ago, I wrote about an unbelievably sad story of a 12-year-old girl in Wisconsin who died of untreated diabetic ketoacidosis because she had been unfortunate enough to have been born into a family in which the parents believed in prayer rather than medicine. I say “unbelievably” because I find it truly difficult…

A belated welcome to a new ScienceBlogger

I’m a day late on this, but welcome ERV (a.k.a. endogenous retrovirus) to the Collective. A graduate student studying the molecular biology and evolution of HIV, her joining the Collective was forced to be earlier than she had intended because of an unfortunate incident resulting in the temporary removal of her old blog by Google.…

One of the most contentious and difficult aspects of trying to improve medical care in this country is enforcing a minimal “standard of care.” Optimally, this standard of care should be based on science- and evidence-based medicine and act swiftly when a practitioner practices medicine that doesn’t meet even a minimal requirement for scientific studies…

SurgeXperiences over at Surgeonsblog

It’s that time again: The 20th edition of the only blog carnival (that I know of, at least) for blogging about surgical topics has landed over at Surgeonsblog. Yes, Sid Schwab takes on the 20th SurgeXperiences, with limericks, even! Head on over!

Kathleen Seidel and her opponents

Over the weekend there was a very good article in the Concord Monitor about Kathleen Seidel and her legal battle with Clifford Shoemaker, whose intrusive “fishing expedition” subpoena recently drew condemnation even from prominent antivaccination activists such as David Kirby and Dan Olmsted and was ultimately quashed with the possibility of sanctions. What this article…

I’m ready for my close-up…

You didn’t think I wouldn’t take notice of this bit of news, did you? Even if I had, I would have had little choice, as readers deluged me with various news reports about this. Yes, it would appear that there might very well be a new Blakes 7 series. Of course, I’ll believe it when…

What would Ben Stein say about this?

Yesterday, I wrote about what I thought to be a fairly amusing story. It was the story of one hapless candidate for the Republican nomination for Congress in a district in northwest Indiana whose excuses for giving a talk to the American National Socialist Workers Party’s Chicago celebration of Adolf Hitler’s 119th birthday last weekend…

Ah, a lazy Saturday morning. So here I am in the late morning, perusing my e-mail (including e-mail notifications of blog posts) after purposely not having checked them at all last night (and, in fact, even having gone to see a movie for the first time in many months), and what should a reader send…

Ed happened to beat me to this one, which I saw on Orcinus. If you want a lesson on what not to do to get elected, here it is, courtesy of Tony Zirkle, candidate for the Republican nomination to run for a seat in his House district in northwest Indiana: Don’t show up at a…

There’s a new woo in town. Unfortunately, it’s the same as the old woo. I first noticed it around Christmas. Inexplicably, I started getting a greatly increased amount of traffic to an old Your Friday Dose of Woo post of mine. The post to which I’m referring is one that I did a year and…

Better a little late than never, I’m happy to say that the 85th Meeting of the Skeptics’ Circle has arrived at Andrea’s Buzzing About:. What is it about Andrea anyway? And what is this obsession about looking under rocks? What will be found under all those rocks? There’s only one way to find out! Next…

Heh. Before I abandon the disgusting piece of fecal matter that is Ben Stein’s Expelled! for (hopefully) a long, long time, if not forever, I can’t resist pointing out that it’s good to see that at least someone totally gets it and sees through the lies. It’s even better to see it coming from a…

Yesterday, I did a rather long post that used as its introduction an assertion by bioethicist Arthur Caplan in a review of the anti-evolution propaganda movie Expelled! that the claim that Darwinism led more or less directly to the Holocaust is a form of Holocaust denial. In my post, I concluded that I don’t agree…

I knew there was a reason why I like bioethicist Art Caplan. Leave it to him not to be afraid not only to wander a bit afield of medicine than usual but also to call it as he sees it, mainly his argument for why Expelled! and its claim that “Darwinism” led directly to the…

Ack! Well, so much for Hillary Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s reputations for supposedly being well-informed about scientific issues. True, they didn’t sink as far into the stupid as John McCain did about vaccines and autism, but what they said was bad enough. Let’s put it this way: If David Kirby thinks what they said about…

Yesterday I came across a blog exchange between Dr. Jekyll & Mrs. Hydeand fellow SBer Physioprof about principal investigators (PIs) who still do experiments in the lab. For those not in the science business, a “principal investigator” is in general the faculty member who runs the lab and whose grants fund the salaries of the…

Quashed!

Just reported by Kathleen Seidel: From the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire, Case No. 1:08-mc-00013-JM: ENDORSED ORDER granting MOTION to Quash Subpoena. Text of Order: “Granted. Attorney Clifford Shoemaker is ordered to show cause within 10 days why he should not be sanctioned under Fed R Civ P 11 –…

… are here. Unfortunately, I’m not sure that Paul quite understands how homeopathy supposedly works. He’s gotten the claim that dilution and succussation make a substance more potent right, but I think he’s misinterpreted the homeopathic principle of “like cures like.” (As I’ve pointed out before, this concept is no more than an adaptation of…

A couple of weeks ago, I commented about a frivolous, SLAPP-style subpoena directed at one of the most thorough, rational bloggers about autism out there, Kathleen Seidel by Clifford Shoemaker, the attorney for Rev. Lisa Sykes and her husband Seth Sikes, both of whom who are suing Bayer for alleged “vaccine damage” as a cause…

An image from San Diego

An image from in front of the San Diego Convention Center last week: I never knew our blog mascot had a second job. I guess working for Fleet must not pay what it used to.

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am somewhat. As loony as the President of Iran Ahmoud Ahmadinejad is, as much of an Energizer Bunny of Holocaust denial and host of a conference for Holocaust denial as he is, even I didn’t think he would go this far. But, thanks to Mark Hoofnagle and…

Once more, time has flown by. Worse, it’s flown by fast enough that Ben Stein’s bit of argumentum ad Nazium propaganda has finally slimed its way into theaters. Now, more than ever, we need a hefty dose of real skepticism (as opposed to the pseudoskepticism and denialism that masquerade as science and skepticism–like Expelled!). That’s…

Another consequence of not vaccinating…

…death from pertussis. Delaying effective treatment by taking the baby to a naturopath first didn’t help either. With antivaccinationists making so much noise, look for more cases like the one above in your local emergency department soon. That will be the true legacy of the so-called “green our vaccines” movement.