Respectful Insolence

Archives for July, 2009

How can one know?

If there was one thing about going to TAM7 last week, it was the opportunity to contemplate among a thousand fellow skeptics just what critical thinking and reason mean. If there’s one thing about woo, pseudoscience, and conspiracy theories in all their forms, it’s not just a lack of critical thinking and a plethora of…

He’s baaaack. Lovely. I’m referring to everybody’s favorite anti-Semite, Hitler apologist, and Holocaust-denying “historian,” David Irving, who has reinfected our fair nation. Indeed, and unfortunately, he is busily slithering his way across the western U.S., hitting the mighty white power ranger circuit in the back of cheap hotels and greasy spoon restaurants in order to…

I tell ya, I’m gone for a few days, and the woo-meisters take over the store! Seriously, I was really, really tempted to blog this over the weekend, even though I was at The Amazing Meeting and even though I had promised myself that I would not blog during the meeting. It was that tempting.…

One last TAM7 request…

Before I close the book on the Science-Based Medicine Conference and TAM7 for 2009, I have a quick request of you, my readers. Specifically, I’d really appreciate it if any of you who were at the SBM Conference and/or TAM7 and took pictures, to send me copies, preferably full resolution. As you might guess, at…

First, Mitchell and Webb took on homeopathy. This week, it’s bogus (word choice intentional) “nutritionists“:

Rerun time is over. Very early Monday morning, a plane touched down, a car drove along a dark and deserted freeway, and my wife and I found ourselves finally back at home. True, we did have a late night diversion to Denny’s because we were starving, but by 2 AM or so we were back…

I wish I’d had this T shirt at TAM7

Well, I’m back. After my trip to TAM7, I’m back in the real world, jet-lagged and tired. So it may take me a while–hopefully only a little while–to get back to my usual prolific output, and there will be something later today. In the meantime, just let me say I really, really wish I had…

Iron Surgeon?

I just returned from Las Vegas after having attended The Amazing Meeting. Believe it or not, I was even on a panel! However, my flight was scheduled to arrive very late Sunday night, and I’m still recovering. Consequently, for one more day I’ll be reposting some Classic Insolence from the month of July in years…

I’ve just returned from Las Vegas after having attended The Amazing Meeting.. Believe it or not, I was even on a panel! While I’m gone, However, my flight was scheduled to arrive very late Sunday night, and I’m still recovering. Consequently, for one more day I’ll be reposting some Classic Insolence from the month of…

I’m currently in Las Vegas at The Amazing Meeting. Believe it or not, I was even on a panel! While I’m gone, I’ll probably manage to do a new post or two, but, in the meantime, while I’m away communing with fellow skeptics at TAM7, I’ll be reposting some Classic Insolence from the month of…

TAM7 Respectful Insolence meetup?

I’m back from the Penn & Teller Show at the Rio. It was, as usual, highly entertaining. I haven’t seen P&T since sometime in the late 1990s in Chicago, but they’re just as good as I remember them. Next issue: Shy and retiring putz that I am, it never occurred to me that any of…

I’m currently in Las Vegas at The Amazing Meeting. Believe it or not, I was even on a panel! While I’m gone, I’ll probably manage to do a new post or two, but, in the meantime, while I’m away communing with fellow skeptics at TAM7, I’ll be reposting some Classic Insolence from the month of…

Three uneaten ears of corn

While I’m away communing with fellow skeptics at TAM7, I’m reposting some classic insolence from the month of July in years past. For today, there was really no other choice for what bit of Classic Insolence to repost, except that, today, there’s no insolence whatsoever. The reason is that today is a very sad day.…

I’m currently in Las Vegas anxiously waiting for The Amazing Meeting to start. Believe it or not, I’ll even be on a panel later today! While I’m gone, I’ll probably manage to do a new post or two, but, in the meantime, while I’m away communing with fellow skeptics at TAM7, I’ll be reposting some…

Mere regularity is not enough

I’m currently in Las Vegas anxiously waiting for The Amazing Meeting to start. Believe it or not, I’ll even be on a panel later today! While I’m gone, I’ll probably manage to do a new post or two (or three), but, in the meantime, while I’m away communing with fellow skeptics at TAM7, I’ll be…

Blowing smoke over secondhand smoke

I’m currently in Las Vegas anxiously waiting for The Amazing Meeting to start. Believe it or not, I’ll even be on a panel! While I’m gone, I’ll probably manage to do a new post or two, but, in the meantime, while I’m away communing with fellow skeptics at TAM7, I’ll be reposting some Classic Insolence…

The Examining Room has reopened

TAM or no TAM, Vegas or no Vegas, I can’t help but mention that one of my favorite bloggers from years past, who shuttered up his blog back in 2007 back when he was with us here at ScienceBlogs, has reopened his Examining Room. Please take a moment to welcome him back to the blogosphere.…

I’m currently in Las Vegas anxiously waiting for The Amazing Meeting to start. Believe it or not, I’ll even be on a panel! While I’m gone, I’ll probably manage to do a new post or two, but, in the meantime, while I’m away communing with fellow skeptics at TAM7, I’ll be reposting some Classic Insolence…

The Kitty of Doom

Today, I’m leaving for The Amazing Meeting in Las Vegas. I can’t wait to get there. Believe it or not, I’ll even be on a panel! While I’m there I’ll probably manage to do a new post or two, but, in the meantime, while I’m away communing with fellow skeptics at TAM7, I’ll be reposting…

Almost exactly a year ago, I noted the very sad case of Jeremy LaBrie, an 8 year old autistic child with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma whose mother Kristen withheld his medications and failed to take him to appointments with his oncologist. As a result of his failing to undergo his complete course of chemotherapy, his cancer returned…

Blogging is usually such an instant gratification sort of thing. I see a story or hear about something. I write about it. I almost have to. Most stories in the blogosphere have a really short half-life anyway. Wait more than a day or two, and no one cares anymore. Hell, wait more than a few…

When flame meets straw (man, that is)

It gives me no pleasure to do this, but sometimes even friends let loose with such jaw-droppingly bad arguments that it is impossible for me not to redirect a bit of the old Respectful Insolence in their direction. So it was earlier, when I saw an unreasonable article by an otherwise reasonable guy sneak into…

Two of the major themes on this blog since the very beginning has been the application of science- and evidence-based medicine to the care of patients and why so much of so-called “complementary and alternative” medicine, as well as fringe movements like the anti-vaccine movement, have little or–more commonly–virtually no science to support their claims…

Last week, I wrote about how Senator Tom Harkin is up to his old shenanigans again, trying at ever turn to do for the actual practice of quackery what he did for the research of quackery by creating the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and what he still does to promote quackery…

While I”m on a Mitchell and Webb kick and it’s still a slow blogging holiday weekend, this isn’t about homeopathy but it does skewer a certain profession: You know, I can sort of picture Dr. Michael Egnor (a younger version, of course) being the brain surgeon in this sketch…