Respectful Insolence

Archives for May, 2012

Remember Dr. Jay? Regular readers know about whom I speak. I’m talking about Dr. Jay Gordon, pediatrician to the stars’ children. Dr. Jay has been a fixture on this blog on and off for seven years, first having popped in as a commenter way back on Respectful Insolence, Mark 1, when I first noted him…

When I saw the latest screed from that very living embodiment of crank magnetism, Mike Adams, I chuckled. I sent it around to some fellow skeptics, including, for instance, the crew at The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, as well as acquaintances and friends of mine because I couldn’t believe it. Adams, as loony as…

I always thought that the University of Toronto was a great school, but lately I’ve been starting to have my doubts. My doubts began three years ago, when I noticed that Autism One Canada, which is basically the Canadian version of the yearly antivaccine biomedical quackfest held every Memorial Day week in the Chicago area,…

The Refusers attack Orac’s readers

I was thinking of taking Memorial Day off. There are several reasons. First, it’s a holiday. Second, the blog still isn’t functioning quite up to snuff after the transition to WordPress. In particular, we still have a major spam infestation that is unlikely to improve before Tuesday. It also doesn’t help that I have a…

A brief holiday blog update

My American readers don’t need this reminder, but, because I’m continually humbled at how many international readers I have, I thought I’d just mention it anyway. We here in the States are in the middle of a three day holiday weekend for Memorial Day on Monday. As a result, I’m taking it (mostly) easy, although…

It’s that time of year again. What am I talking about? Regular readers know. They know that sometime around the Memorial Day weekend every year, usually beginning a couple of days before the extended weekend and into the weekend itself, there lands in the Chicago area a quackfest of such unrelenting quackitude that it has…

Genome healing strikes back

Well, screwed up transition to WordPress or not, I think it’s time to get back to the business of doing what Orac does best: Laying down the Insolence, Respectful and Not-So-Respectful. While the remaining bugs are being ironed out, I’ll work on trying to get the blog’s appearance back to the way I like it…

And so it continues…

Why, oh, why is it that it is seemingly impossible for any sort of significant change to the ScienceBlogs collective to occur without major problems? It happened a a few years ago when we underwent the first major template upgrade. Given that experience, it was with great trepidation that I faced the upcoming migration of…

And so it begins…

…the long-awaited migration to WordPress, promised ever since NatGeo took over: Notice: ScienceBlogs.com will be migrating to a new publishing platform starting on the evening of Monday, May 21 at 7 PM Eastern Standard Time. Please do not add any comments or posts between then and Tuesday afternoon. We will update this page when maintenance…

Acupuncture has been a frequent topic on this blog because, of all the “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) modalities out there, it’s arguably the one that most people accept as potentially having some validity. The rationale behind acupuncture is, as we have explained many times before, little different than the rationale behind any “energy healing”…

I’m sometimes asked why I do this. Why, people ask me, do I spend so much time generating post after post after post day after day after day? Obviously, one reason is that it interests me. Another reason is the passion that drives me to support science and science-based medicine and to detest the damage…

About a week ago, I took note of what appears to be a new offshoot of the antivaccine movement known as the Thinking Moms’ Revolution (TMR). At the time, I pointed out the toxic combination of hubris mixed with ignorance that resulted in a risible “declaration of independence” from “medical tyranny.” In reality, it was…

I’m sometimes criticized for referring to various people who are “anti-science” as, well, “anti-science.” People, for whatever reason, have a hard time believing that anyone is anti-science; so when I point out how much, for example, antivaccinationists, alternative medicine believers, or creationists are anti-science, they have a had time believing it. This is particularly true…

Acupuncture and COPD? Not so fast…

I acquiesce. I know that I’m not going to have a lot of control over my selection of blogging material for a given day when I see more than one or two requests for an analysis of an article. So it was, when links like these were showing up in my e-mail: Acupuncture May Help…

Last week, I pointed out that, when referring to a therapy and considering whether it should be tested in clinical trials, plausibility does not mean knowing the mechanism. Today, I intend to elaborate a bit on that. As my jumping-off point, I couldn’t ask for anything better (if you can call it that) than an…

It’s been a while since I’ve done a bit of Your Friday Dose of Woo, and I actually kind of miss it. It’s not that there hasn’t been anything that hasn’t been worthy of this “honor” for a while. On the other hand, there hasn’t been anything in a while that combines just the right…

One of my newer blogging interests is the “alternative” cancer doctor named Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski. Although I had heard of him years ago, mainly in the context of his desperate patients tapping into the generosity of kind-hearted strangers to pay for his “antineoplaston” therapy, I hadn’t really written much about him until very recently. About…

I tend to get lost in complexity from time to time. I know, big surprise to my regular readers, but I suppose it’s a good thing that at least I know that this is a weakness of mine. Indeed, it must be part and parcel of my seeming tendency to produce epic posts of ridiculous…

It’s no secret that over the years I’ve been very critical of a law passed nearly 20 years ago, commonly referred to as the DSHEA of 1994. The abbreviation DSHEA stands for about as Orwellian a name for a law as I can imagine: the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act. Of course, as we’ve…

One of the most inaptly named groups I’ve ever seen is called Thinking Moms’ Revolution (henceforth abbreviated as TMR). Given the reality of what TMR really is, the word “thinking” applied to TMR is, as they say, so wrong it’s not even wrong. As for a “revolution,” what TMR really represents is nothing revolutionary at…

I know you are, but what am I?

Denialism. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. The story might be apocryphal, and it might not even be true, but it’s often used as a metaphor. I’m referring to the “boiling frog” story. Basically, the idea is supposedly based on an observation that a frog,…

Over the years that this blog has been in existence, beginning very early on, there has been one overarching theme. That theme is that the best medicine is science-based medicine. Sure, we could quibble about how that was originally defined, and I used to be more of a booster of evidence-based medicine until its blind…

Oh, goody. Remember last week, when I took note of how organized quackery’s best friend in Congress, not to mention a shining example of crank magnetism, Representative Dan Burton of Indiana, was taking the opportunity of his having announced that he would not be running for reelection this year to write a typically brain dead…

I realize I repeat this a lot, but it bears repeating a lot. Vaccines are, without a doubt, one of the greatest advances in health care devised by the human mind. Arguably, vaccination campaigns have saved more lives and prevented more suffering and death than pretty much any other medical preventative intervention ever invented. I…