Respectful Insolence

Archives for June, 2012

Remember California Bill AB 2109? I’ve written about it at least a couple of times before. In fact, for some reason, the comment section of this post on AB 2109 suddenly come alive again a couple of days ago, with antivaccinationists infiltrating it, much to the annoyance of my regular commenters. It turns out that…

And now for something completely different. Except that it isn’t really. I say that it isn’t really different because, although this post will seem to be about politics, in reality it will be about a common topic on this blog: Anti-science. And where is this anti-science? Sadly, it’s in the platform of a major party…

Remember Luc Montagnier? Sure, you do. He’s the Nobel Laureate whose identification of the virus that causes AIDS garnered him plaudits, laurels, and, of course, the Nobel Prize in Medicine. Unfortunately, since winning the Nobel Prize, from a scientific standpoint, Montagnier’s been on a downward spiral. Sadly, it didn’t take long after his Nobel acceptance…

No matter how you slice it, I’ve been at this blogging thing a long time. it’s been over seven years now. It’s been even longer than that, though, because before that cold gray Saturday afternoon in September when I started farting around with Blogger and ended giving birth to the first iteration of Respectful Insolence,…

I wondered how long it would take for someone critical of current cancer care to capitalize on the recently reported health misfortune of a celebrity. The answer, unfortunately, is “not long at all.” I will admit, however, that the source of that use and abuse of the misfortune of a celebrity was not the usual…

A brief blog update

I just thought I’d give a brief update on the transition to the new blog platform. After nearly a month, things have finally settled down, although I’m still bugging the powers that be about some of the problems that still exist. One thing I have noticed over the last day is that one of our…

The clip above says it all with respect to “miracle mineral solution” (a.k.a. MMS). Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in. And, as Yoda would probably put it, back in I am one more time. (How’s that for mixing movie allusions?) Let’s recap. MMS is bleach. Specifically, it is a 28%…

Choprawoo, automated

I realize that this has been posted by a lot of people on Facebook and around the blogosphere, but I can’t resist. Given my history of making fun of Deepak Chopra’s inimitable type of woo and even coining the term “Choprawoo” for that combination of the pretentious and stupid that Deepak Chopra regularly lays down.…

Oh, goody. NCCAM has a blog.

Oh, goody. I don’t know how I’ve missed this, given that it’s been in existence now for over a month now, but I have. Regular readers (and even fairly recent readers, given that I write about this topic relatively frequently) know that I’m not a big fan of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative…

A couple of months ago, a reader sent me an article that really disturbed me. In fact, I had originally been planning to write about it not long after I received it. However, as I’ve mentioned before, when it comes to blogging, I’m a bit like Dug the Talking Dog from the movie Up in…

Here we go again. Remember how last week I said I wouldn’t write about the Miracle Mineral Solution (abbreviated MMS) again for a while? I lied. Well, actually, I didn’t. At the time I wrote that, I really did mean to give it a rest for a while, and for a while at least I…

Naturopathy is at least 99% woo. That has to be said at the outset. Naturopaths might brag about all the science they take in naturopathy school, claiming that it’s as much as MDs take. Even if that were true, the question is not how many hours of basic science naturopaths take, but rather what’s taught…

Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates

One of my favorite YouTube channels is Epic Rap Battes of History. Some of my favorite battles include Darth Vader vs. Adolf Hitler (and, of course, the rematch), Mr. T vs. Mr. Rogers (hilarious!), Napoleon vs. Napoleon, Gandalf vs. Dumbledore, and, of course, my favorite of all time, Albert Einstein vs. Stephen Hawking. However, just…

The Antivaccine Ten Commandments

Although I’m interested in skepticism in general, I have a tendency to gravitate towards one particular form of pseudoscience (alternative medicine) and, in particular, a certain kind of that particular form of pseudoscience, namely antivaccine quackery. However, as much as I keep returning to the antivaccine movement, I keep noticing just how much it shares…

I know, I know, I’ve been writing about MMS a lot. Don’t worry. Barring some unforeseen development, this will probably be the last one for a while. However, I just had to comment again because this is just too funny (not to mention that I didn’t have a lot of time last night because, yes,…

Best retort ever?

I have to hand it to Autismum. Remember the Open Letter to Kerri Rivera she wrote, the one criticizing her for using bleach (Miracle Mineral Solution, often referred to as MMS) to try to “cure” autism? I referred to it yesterday when I pointed out how the pro-MMS apologists were striking back at their critics.…

The health freedom fighters attack

If there’s one thing shared in common among nearly all advocates of pseudoscience, it is the belief that they know The Truth. More importantly, they know The Truth, and The Powers That Be don’t want you to know The Truth and will do almost anything to makes sure that The Truth stays secret. Think about…

A couple of weeks ago, I was horrified to learn of a new “biomed” treatment that has been apparently gaining popularity in autism circles. Actually, it’s not just autism circles in which this treatment is being promoted. Before the “autism biomed” movement discovered it, this particular variety of “miracle cure” has been touted as a…

A brief Sunday blog status update

I felt a brief update on the blog status is in order because the National Geographic overlords have actually rolled out some improvements on Friday. First, the Last 24 Hours feed is reportedly working again, although, quite honestly, when I just checked it it appeared not to be working. The funny thing was, it did…

A misguided “chalkboard talk”

Sometimes I feel like Dug, the talking dog in the movie Up, in that when it comes to blogging I’m often easily distracted. The reason I say this is because there’s been a “viral” (if you can call it that) video floating around the antivaccine quackery blogosphere that antivaccinationists are passing around as though it’s…

I’ve lost track of how many times over the last 7 years I’ve mentioned that naturopathy is not science-based. The evidence is overwhelming. All you have to do is to took at the wide variety of quackery that fits comfortably into naturopathic practice to realize that most of naturopathy is quackery. Traditional Chinese medicine? Check.…

Remember Vox Day? Newer converts to the glory that is Orac (or at least to the ego that is Orac) might not know who Vox is because it’s been a while since I’ve discussed his antiscience attitudes. By and large, this is probably a good thing, given that Vox denies evolution, has been antivaccine from…

R.I.P., Billie Bainbridge

A very sad bit of news has come to my attention, courtesy of a reader. Billie Bainbridge has died of her brainstem cancer. Regular readers might remember this unfortunate young girl, who was diagnosed with a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma of the brainstem last year. The tumor was inoperable, and, unfortunately, Billie’s parents turned, as…

Reiki versus dogs just being dogs

Let me start right here by repeating yet again my oft-repeated assessment of reiki. Reiki is clearly nothing more than faith healing that substitutes Eastern mysticism for Christianity. Think of it this way. In faith healing, the faith healer claims to channel the healing power of God into the person being healed. In reiki, the…

A homeopathic counterattack

Homeopaths are funny. Really, that’s the best description of them that I can think of right now. And I don’t mean “funny ha-ha,” either. An example of this popped up over the weekend in an attack on Dr. Joe Schwarcz of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society. “Dr. Joe,” as he likes to be…