Respectful Insolence

Archives for October, 2009

Submit! Submit to the Skeptics’ Circle

It’s almost here, and it’s almost time! The 123rd Meeting of the Skeptics’ Circle is fast approaching. This time around it will be here on Thursday, November 5. That means skeptical bloggers out there don’t have much time to get their best recent work to Colin at Blue Genes for inclusion. Guidelines for what we’re…

Best Halloween costume ever?

I’d say this is definitely a contender: ADDENDUM: Sorry, I just assumed everyone knew what these guys are. If you don’t, here are a couple of classic Sesame Street videos to demonstrate the Yip Yip Aliens in action:

The little matter of finding out that the actor who played Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation appears to have anti-vaccine proclivities sidetracked me from something that I had actually wanted to blog about yesterday. Specifically, it’s something that my blog bud Abel Pharmboy has been hitting hard over the last couple of days.…

Unfortunately, Brent Spiner is not living up to Commander Data’s portrayal of Sherlock Holmes. Say it ain’t so, Data! Say it ain’t so! Last night, I decided for the heck of it to check my Twitter account, something I only tend to do sporadically, although I do keep a constant stream of links to the…

Not long ago, I wrote a post warning about how funding for non-science-based modalities and, indeed, modalities that are purely religion-based, have found their way into various versions of health care reform bills that are currently wending their way through both houses of Congress. In other words, purveyors of faith healing and purely religious woo…

Damn you, PZ! Not only are you muscling into my territory (what, aren’t creationism and atheism enough?), but you had to subject me to the most mind-numbing example of why homeopaths are the most clueless purveyors of pseudoscience there are! Behold, Dr. Charlene Werner, an optometrist (apparently) and a homeopath. I warn you, however. If…

About a month and half ago, we learned that über-quack Hulda Clark, the woman who said that she had the Cure for All Cancers, had died on September 3, 2009. I was criticized for entitling my post Requiem for a Quack, but, given how Clark’s quackery had contributed to the suffering and deaths of an…

I was going to join PZ Myers, ERV, and Pamela Ronald in helping out an old blogging friend and former host of the Skeptics’ Circle, Karl Mogel of The Inoculated Mind by pimping his other science-based blog Biofortified, which seeks to provide a science- and evidence-based discussion of plant genetics and genetic engineering. Unfortunately, as…

I really have to apologize to the Young Australian Skeptics. I screwed up. I didn’t do my duty as organizer of The Skeptics’ Circle. The Aussies provided a bang-up edition of the 122nd Meeting of the Skeptics’ Circle, and I didn’t even promote it. So I’m promoting it now. Go. Read. Enjoy. Then join us…

I had meant to address this topic last week, but the whole Suzanne Somers thing bubbled up and overwhelmed my blogging attention. Regular readers of this blog probably realize that I tend to live and die as a blogger by the maxim that if some is good more must be better. So I clobbered the…

I’d like to thank revere right now publicly. He’s taught me a new word: Methodolatry: The profane worship of the randomized clinical trial as the only valid method of investigation. Many of my readers have e-mailed me about a recent article in The Atlantic by Shannon Brownlee and Jeanne Lenzer, two reporters whose particular bias…

Thank you, Mike Adams. You’ve saved my blogging posterior yet again. What do I mean? Well, I had originally intended to do a lucid, insightful, penetrating analysis of a scientific study today. However, when I got home last night after a hard day in clinic I was just too tired. So, faced with that, I…

One last brief comment about Suzanne Somers

Before I move on for a while from the topic of that faded 1970s comic actress, Suzanne Somers, whose latest book is a paean to cancer quackery and who has been carpetbombing the airwaves with burning napalm stupid, I think one revelation is worth a brief mention. Specifically, after my post about how I find…

I hadn’t planned on writing about Suzanne Somers again so soon. After all, I haven’t yet received the promotional copy of her book (Knockout: Interviews with Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer–And How to Prevent Getting It in the First Place) that a most generous reader has sent to me, and I didn’t think I’d have…

This must go. Now.

Apparently, some of my readers in Canada are getting this when they look at any of my Suzanne Somers posts: No other country seems to be affected; at least, no readers from other countries have reported the problem to me. This will not do. The Overlords have been informed. In the meantime, if you are…

There are two times a year that seem to be a time to beware of a serious assault of pseudoscience and quackery. The first time of year is in April, which is Autism Awareness Month. Over the last few years I can be just as sure as night following day, only to be followed by…

Doubtbreak 2009

Somehow I missed this when it first aired last week, but…take that, Bill Maher: The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c

While I’m back on the topic of vaccines….

…be sure to check out Dr. John Snyder’s article on vaccines on the official blog of the NYC Skeptics. As a pediatrician practicing in areas with high levels of resistance to vaccines, he’s on the front lines.

Many have been the times over the last five years that I’ve called out bad journalism about medicine in general and vaccines in particular, especially the coverage of the discredited notion that vaccines or mercury in vaccines somehow was responsible for the “autism epidemic.” That’s why I feel a special responsibility to highlight good reporting…

Jesus obviously likes Ikea

I don’t know how many of you have ever been to an Ikea, one the Swedish furniture stores that have sprouted across the U.S. over the last couple of decades, bringing Swedish design sensibility and off sized sheets to the the masses at affordable prices; that is, if you can stand the crowds. Apparently Jesus…

Every so often, as the health care reform initiative spearheaded by the Obama Administration wends its way through Congress (or, more precisely, wend their ways through Congress, given that there are multiple bills coming from multiple committees in both Houses), I’ve warned about various chicanery from woo-friendly legislators trying to legitimize by legislation where they’ve…

Here we go again. The 2009 recipient of the Richard Dawkins Award, anti-vaccine wingnut and lover of cancer quackery Bill Maher, decided to use the occasion of the season finale of Real Time with Bill Maher to answer some of the criticisms that have been leveled against him. All I can say is this: I’m…

I knew it! I knew there had to be an explanation that young earth creationists could come up with for all that evidence in support of evolution: (WARNING: Borderline NSFW, depending on your job. Definitely offensive to fundamentalists.) It’s so obvious. Why didn’t I think of it before?

Well, here’s something refreshing. In fact, it’s so refreshing that I just had to link to it. Michael Shermer, renowned skeptic and the publisher of Skeptic, has decided to school the Atheist Alliance International 2009 recipient of the Richard Dawkins Award, anti-vaccine kook Bill Maher, over the nonsense about alternative medicine, vaccines, and conspiracy theories…

I’m back. If there’s one thing I’ve noticed in the nearly five years that I’ve been doing this blog thing, it’s that getting started again after taking even a few days off is hard. There’s a bit of paralysis that sets in. I get used to not having to think about what I want to…