Respectful Insolence

Archives for March, 2011

In many ways, the anti-vaccine movement is highly mutable. However, this mutability is firmly based around keeping one thing utterly constant, and that one thing is vaccines. No matter what the evidence, no matter what the science, no matter how much observational, scientific, and epidemiological evidence is arrayed against them, to the relentlessly self-confident members…

Medical advice from Chuck Norris

Not too long ago, I posted a rather amusing little video called Immunize! One line in the song that amused me went something like this: Don’t give Chuck Norris shots! That’d be dim. Chuck need vaccines? Naw Vaccines need him? Actually, not too surprisingly, it turns out that the word “dim” should be applied to…

Sb under DDoS attack

You, my readers, have been complaining about flakiness in Sb that goes above and beyond the usual technical flakiness of the site. So have many other readers, in particular PZ’s. After a couple of days where the blog loaded slow as the proverbial molasses in Minnesota in January, our benevolent but not particularly communicative overlords…

The red flags of quackery

Via Stupid Evil Bastard, here’s a great cartoon that points out the red flags that indicate most of the major red flags of quackery (click to embiggen and see the whole cartoon): I have to admit. The main ones are all there.

Deaths from vaccines in Japan?

Confusing correlation with causation. Post hoc ergo propter hoc. These are two of the most common errors human beings make. Indeed, they’re natural errors that our brains appear hard-wired to make, and, without scientific training, it’s virtually impossible to avoid making the conclusion that, because two occurrences correlate with each other they must be related…

Over the years, I’ve pointed out just how horrible British libel laws are. If there is a set of laws more designed to be used and abused by the wealthy to silence criticism, it’s British libel laws. Indeed, I was pointing out the travesty that is British libel law in the context of David Irving’s…

A couple of weeks ago, the ever-inimitably sarcastic master of pus himself, Mark Crislip, posted an excellent deconstruction of a very disappointing article that was published in the most recent issue of Skeptical Inquirer, the flagship publication of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI). I say “disappointing,” because I was disappointed to see SI (Skeptical…

Due to my activities at the Society of Surgical Oncology meeting in San Antonio, somehow I didn’t manage to crank out a bit of that Insolence, Respectful or Not-So-Respectful, that you all crave. So, given that this is Friday, I thought I’d to a “rerun” of a bit of classic woo. This one’s a little…

Due to my activities at the Society of Surgical Oncology meeting in San Antonio, somehow I didn’t manage to crank out a bit of that Insolence, Respectful or Not-So-Respectful, that you all crave. So, given that this is Friday, I thought I’d to a “rerun” of a bit of classic woo. This one’s a little…

Why do these things always have to happen when I’m out of town? As you might be aware, the anti-vaccine movement is very, veyr unhappy with the recent Supreme Court ruling in the case of Bruesewitz vs. Wyeth. Basically, the Supreme Court upheld the primacy of the Vaccine Court in adjudicating vaccine injury claims and…

On teaching the controversy in medicine

The other day, I wrote to express my disappointment with Dr. Kevin Pho, of KevinMD, for posting credulous crap about alternative medicine. I noted in an addendum that he responded with a comment that in essence said that he posts things he “doesn’t necessarily agree with myself to promote discussion and debate”: Orac, I appreciate…

Off we go….

Well, I’m off to the annual meeting of the Society of Surgical Oncology in San Antonio, where, as usual, I hope to learn about the latest advances in cancer surgery and hang out with old friends. Unfortunately, that means I didn’t get around to writing a new post today, even though there is one development…

Say it ain’t so, Dr. Pho! Back when I first started blogging over six years ago, one of the first medical blogs I came across was KevinMD, the weblog of one Dr. Kevin Pho. Back then, of course, Dr. Pho’s blog wasn’t anywhere near the medblogging juggernaut that it is now, a part of Medpage…