Respectful Insolence

Archives for March, 2011

I realize this is two weeks old, but I had this hanging around, making it still worthwhile to discuss, because it’s been bothering me, and last week Coulter wrote a blisteringly stupid followup to her blisteringly ignorant column from two weeks ago entitled A Glowing Report on Radiation. She wrote this article in the wake…

Grammar Nazis

Sometimes I complain on this blog about grammar Nazis. I had no idea at the time that grammar Nazis might actually be a real phenomenon. Of course, I’d be dead because my unedited material all too frequently contains multiple run-on sentences. True, I almost always find them later when I reread my posts and then…

Yesterday, I learned of how animal rights terrorists are targeting college students as the “soft underbelly of the vivisection movement.” As an example of their new strategy, these thugs gloated over the “recantation” by a Florida Atlantic University student named Alena Rodriguez, who, because of her e-mail to a Negotiation Is Over editor named Ghazal…

I’ve made no secret of my disdain for self-proclaimed “animal rights” activists, the ones who are more than willing to terrorize scientists doing research to understand disease better and thereby develop better treatments and even cures. None of this means that I am some sort of “animal abuser” (to steal the animal rights jargon) or…

Post-grant open thread

Well, it’s over. The grant is in, but it was painful, and I was exhausted, both in brain and body, last night. That’s why there’s no Insolence right now. Last night, I chilled, cracked open a cold one, watched some utterly mindless TV, and crashed early in order to be ready for a day in…

Grant time again! Since today–yes, today!–is the deadline for a rather big grant I’m writing (not quite R01 level, but a respectable three year project if I can get it), I was up until the wee hours of the morning trying to put this sucker to bed. Being the ever-benevolent blogger, though, far be it…

Grant time again! Since today–yes, today!–is the deadline for a rather big grant I’m writing (not quite R01 level, but a respectable three year project if I can get it), I was up until the wee hours of the morning trying to put this sucker to bed. Being the ever-benevolent blogger, though, far be it…

These are two videos that appeared to have disappeared from YouTube for a while, thanks to takedown notices from the distributors of the film. Fortunately, they appear to be back, which is pure awesomeness. Unfortunately, because I’m busy putting the final touches on a grant today, the first one resonates in a rather eerie way.…

One of the major tactics of the anti-vaccine movement has been a disingenuous demand for more “informed consent.” Of course, their idea of “informed consent” is anything but informed. Indeed, I have referred to it as “misinformed consent,” because what the anti-vaccine movement does is a pathetic parody of the “informed” part of informed consent.…

Dr. Jay and argumentum ad bradi bunchium

Remember Dr. Jay Gordon? I haven’t written about him in a while because, well, as much as he’s descended into anti-vaccine apologia over the last few years, he really has nothing new to say. However, apparently he’s been Tweeting a lot lately, and he hasn’t exactly been doing himself proud. Earlier today, one of my…

As a cancer surgeon, one aspect of the infiltration of quackademic medicine into academic medical centers that bothers me more than most others is how willingly academia has been to “integrate” quackery with science-based oncology to form the bastard stepchild known as “integrative oncology” that has metastasized to numerous cancer centers that should know better.…

Reiki for Fido

I don’t like quackery. I know, I know. Big surprise, right? After all, I’ve only spent the last six years laying down a nearly daily dose of Insolence, Respectful and not-so-Respectful, on the anti-vaccine movement, alternative medicine practitioners, quacks, and pseudoscientists of many different stripes. Seeing my fellow human beings fall for unproven or even…

A little quackademic medicine in Texas

Calling all Texas skeptics! Well, at least Texas skeptics who can find their way to Galveston on March 29. The reason? Well, the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston is hosting the Nicholson Round-table Integrative Lecture Series: “Complementary and integrative medicine in cancer care — What does the evidence show?” will be presented by…

More than just quackademic medicine

For years now, one of the major themes of this blog, between laying the cluestick on anti-vaccine loons and examining quackery and pseudoscience in all its forms, has been to examine the infiltration of quackademic medicine into medical academia. The reason, as you might expect, is because, as an academic surgeon myself who runs his…

Here’s something for you all to check out. Trine Tsouderos, the journalist from The Chicago Tribune who’s distinguished herself as being one of the few reporters who “gets it” when it comes to quackery and the anti-vaccine movement (just put her name in the search box of this blog for some examples) will be hosting…

I graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School in the late 1980s. Back then, U. of M. was really hardcore about science back then, so much so that it was viewed as seriously old-school. No new (at the time) organ system approach for us! During the first two years, ever four weeks, like clockwork,…

Well, well, well, well. Last week, I wrote one of my usual patented bits of insolence directed at “America’s doctor,” Dr. Mehmet Oz. What prompted my irritation was a recent episode in which Dr. Oz featured psychic scammer John Edward, the self-proclaimed “psychic” who claims to be able to speak with the dead. In actuality,…

Reiki is a “sin”?

Many are the times when I’ve pointed out that many “complementary and alternative medicine” CAM or “integrative medicine” (IM) modalities are very much more based on religion or mystical ideas akin to religion than on anything resembling science. I realize that my saying this is nothing new, but every so often I see something that…

You know, I really know the feeling described in this song: I really do. How about you?

People believe a lot of wacky things. Some of these things are merely amusingly wacky, while others are dangerously wacky. Among the most dangerously wacky of things that a large number of people believe in is the idea that germ theory is invalid. Perhaps a better way of putting it is that among the most…

There are times when I’m wrong again and again. No, I’m certainly not referring to my writings about vaccines which, as much as anti-vaccine loons like to claim they’re wrong, are not. Nor am I referring to my writings about “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) or “integrative medicine” (IM). While it’s possible that I’ve made…

Our (mostly) benevolent but unfortunately all-too-uncommunicative Seed Overlords have finally bestowed upon us another report regarding the ongoing DDoS attack. Believe me, I know many of you can’t access ScienceBlogs and, most important of all to me, this blog, the better to read every word of Insolence, Respectful and otherwise, that pours from my keyboard.…

Yesterday, I did a post about ethics in human experimentation. The reason I mention that is because in the comments, a commenter named Paul pointed out an editorial of the sort of variety that we frequently see whenever there is a revelation of misdeeds in human research and a response to that article that is…

Today is the Monday after Daylight Saving Time started. I always hate this day. Getting to work on time is always that much more difficult, and I always feel a bit run down for the few days afterward until my body adjusts. This time of year also predictably produces idiotic screeds about Daylight Saving Time,…

Progress in science-based medicine depends upon human experimentation. Scientists can do the most fantastic translational research in the world, starting with elegant hypotheses, tested through in vitro and biochemical experiments, after which they are tested in animals. They can understand disease mechanisms to the individual amino acid level in a protein or nucleotide in a…