Respectful Insolence

Archives for February, 2011

Immunize!

Now here’s something that can be used to counter the idiocy of Mike Adams Don’t Inject Me: ZDoggMD’s Immunize: Take that, Mike Adams!

Naturopathy versus science

Naturopathy has been a recurrent topic on this blog. The reasons should be obvious. Although homeopathy is the one woo to rule them all in the U.K. and much of Europe, here in the U.S. homeopathy is not nearly as big a deal. Arguably, some flavor of naturopathy is the second most prevalent “alternative medical…

It’s Friday. That means I’m in the mood for something more amusing. In the past, I used to use Fridays to have some fun with some particularly outrageous bit of woo, such as quantum homeopathy or DNA activation. Lately, I haven’t done Your Friday Dose of Woo nearly as often as I used to, but…

An anti-vaccine protest in New York today

Blame Comcast, I say. Blame Comcast for the fact that I don’t have a typical pearl of Orac-ian logorrheic majesty for your edification this morning. And there’s so much that requires such a pearl to be thrown at it, too, in particular a study claiming that cell phone radiation alters brain metabolism in the areas…

Hard as it is to believe, it’s been nearly a year since I first learned that the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case regarding the legitimacy of the vaccine court. The long version can be found here, but the short version is that last March SCOTUS agreed to hear a case regarding the constitutionality…

What’s the good of having a blog if you can’t pimp your own appearances and those of friends? In that spirit, let me just announce that Steve Novella will be featured as the guest on a live chat with Trine Tsouderos discussing alternative treatments for Alzheimer’s, ALS and other neurological conditions at noon CST. Be…

Over the years, I’ve said it many times. Competent adults have the right (or should have the right) to choose or refuse any medical treatment they wish for any reason. It doesn’t matter how ridiculous the reason might be. If a competent adult believes that magic water (i.e., homeopathy) can cure him of cancer, we…

Why haven’t we cured cancer yet? If we can put a man on the moon, why can’t we cure cancer? If we can harness the atom, why can’t we cure cancer? How many times have you heard these questions, or variants thereof? How many times have you asked this question yourself? Sometimes, I even ask…

Even Boopsie gets it: it’s good to note how those holding anti-vaccine viewpoints are being increasingly viewed as punchlines. That is how it should be.

Here’s a chance for some skeptical activism if you happen to live in New York and its environs. It’s book promotion event for the most recent anti-vaccine propaganda piece, Vaccine Epidemic: How Corporate Greed, Biased Science, and Coercive Government Threaten Our Human Rights, Our Health, and Our Children by Louise Kuo Habakus and Mary Holland.…

I was originally going to write about Dr. Oz’s show yesterday, entitled What Causes Autism? But then I started watching and realized that I just didn’t have the constitutional fortitude to sit through the whole thing. Sorry to let you down, but there are some blogging tasks that I just can’t handle, at least on…

$37 million. If you were a medical school dean or a hospital administrator and had $37 million for a project, how woud you use it? What would you build? What would you renovate? What research projects would you fund? What infrastructure improvements would you make? Yes, $37 million is a lot of green. Back at…

A couple of weeks ago, I had a bit of fun with a position statement by the International Medical Council on Vaccination (IMCV), which I called, in my own inimitable fashion, The clueless cite the ignorant to argue against vaccines. That’s exactly what it was, too, some truly clueless anti-vaccinationists arguing against vaccines and bolstering…

The NIH threatened

As most of you know, most of the basic and translational biomedical research in the U.S. is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Unfortunately, the NIH budget has been stagnant for the last five or six years. That’s been bad enough, leading to a decline in funding success rates for applicants for research…

Four days later, I still can’t figure it out. I really can’t. Remember the other day when I said I was debating whether or not to respond to the latest excretion from one of the first hangers-on of the anti-vaccine movement I ever encountered after I started blogging. I’m referring, of course, to freelance journalist…

I’ve made no secret about the fact that I am not a fan of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). I consider it a useless, redundant center within the National Institutes of Health because it does nothing that could’t be done as well or better in the institutes and centers of the…

It’s been pointed out to me that our old pal David Kirby, perhaps the cleverest antivaccine propagandist out there, is back at (where else?) The Huffington Post (a.k.a. HuffPo) asking why The Autism-Vaccine Debate: Why It Won’t Go Away (short answer: because opportunists like Kirby have teamed with believers in pseudoscience to keep fanning the…

There’s a quote attributed to philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer that is much beloved of cranks: All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. I hate this quote with a bloody passion. Actually, that’s not quite true. Rather, I find it rather amusing…

Judge Orders Surgery For Teen Wrestler: MyFoxPHILLY.com I have to be honest here. I don’t know for sure what I think of the latest developments in the Mazeratti Mitchell case. As you may recall from a couple of days ago, Mazeratti Mitchell is a 16 year old wrestler in Philadelphia who suffered a spinal cord…

Benny Hinn: Dark Lord of the Sith

Let’s face it. This week has just been one of those weeks, and it’s not over yet. A little silly break is in order: There, I fell better now. Consider this a Thursday open thread. I haven’t had an open thread in a while, and when things get busy enough it’s a time-honored way of…

Dogma versus science

It’s been a crazy week that’s reaching a crescendo today and tomorrow, so much so that, unlike yesterday, when I said I’d only be brief and ended up blathering on for close to 2,000 words (Mike Adams has that effect on me, particularly when he’s at his most un-self-aware), today I really will be brief…

Things are pretty hairy this week, what with a couple of grant deadlines fast approaching, not to mention a rather important site visit at my institution later this week. As a result, I had been intending to post a “rerun” today, but then I saw something that just cracked me up so much that I…

If there’s one thing that gets my blood boiling almost above all else when it comes to quackery, it’s when parents subject children to it. The result has been copious blogging about cases, such as that of Daniel Hauser, Katie Wernecke, and Abraham Cherrix, all of whom refused chemotherapy for treatable cancers. I’ve also discussed…

Occasionally, there are topics that my readers want — nay, demand — that I cover. The topic of this post, it turns out, is one of them. It’s a link to a TED Talk. I’m guessing that most of our readers have either viewed (or at least heard of) TED talks. Typically, they are 20-minute…

Challenging homeopathy

Lest I be left out of the fun, I can’t help but point out that over the weekend the Amazing One himself, James Randi, issued a challenge to homeopathy manufacturers and retail pharmacies that sell homeopathy, in particular large national chains like Walgreens and CVS and large national chains that include pharmacies in their stores,…