Respectful Insolence

Archives for August, 2010

The longer I’m in this whole skepticism thing, the more I realize that no form of science is immune to woo. For example, even though I lament just how many people do not accept evolution, for example, I can somewhat understand it. Although the basics of the science and evidence supporting the theory of evolution…

Germ theory denialism explained

Here’s some sheer awesomeness in the form of an explanation of germ theory denialism: The only thing I would disagree with is the conclusion at the end that germ theory denialists are not much of a threat. In fact, germ theory denialism, usually softer germ theory denialism, such as the kind that says a healthy…

If there’s one aspect of medical education that I consider to be paramount, at least when it comes to understanding how to analyze and apply all the evidence, both basic science and clinical, it’s a firm grounding in the scientific method. I advocate science-based medicine (SBM), which is what evidence-based medicine (EBM) should be. SBM…

Fructose and pancreatic cancer

I hate science press releases. Well, not exactly. I hate science press releases that hype a study beyond its importance. I hate it even more when the investigators who published the study make statements not justified by the study and use the study as a jumping off point to speculate wildly. True, it’s not always…

I haven’t really taken much note of Andrew Wakefield in a while, and in general that’s a very good thing indeed. However, I found out recently that somehow I missed this gem from around the time of Autism One: That’s right. I thought it was pretty bad that Andy Wakefield had appeared on Coast to…

Of all the bizarre forms of antivaccine autism quackery, one of the strangest has to be Mark and David Geier’s “Lupron protocol.” I’ve written about it many times, dating back to 2006 and, more recently, when the Chicago Tribune provided the first coverage I’m aware of of the Geiers’ quackery in a major newspaper, thanks…

The absent-minded acupuncturist

Continuing on the theme for today, I can’t resist posting this little news report from Seattle that came up in my newsfeed: It kind of ruins the placebo effect to be left lying around after hours with a bunch of needles sticking in your back, doesn’t it?

One of the things that disturbs me the most about where medicine is going is the infiltration of quackery into academic medicine. So prevalent is this unfortunate phenomenon that Doctor RW even coined a truly apt term for it: Quackademic medicine. In essence, pseudoscientific and even prescientific ideas are rapidly being “integrated” with science-based medicine,…

Head on over to…

…Scientopia, a new science blogging collective that just opened shop today. You’ll note that several of its founding members are refugees from right here at Sb, including White Coat Underground, Good Math, Bad Math, Adventures in Ethics and Science, The Questionable Authority, This Scientific Life, and Thus Spake Zuska. There are also several other intriguing-looking…

Unforgivable medical errors, revisited

About six months ago, I applied my usual brand of not-so-Respectful Insolence to what I termed unforgivable medical errors. These are errors that are so obviously harmful and lethal that there is no excuse for not putting systems into place to prevent them or so egregiously careless that there is, quite simply, no excuse for…