Respectful Insolence

Archives for December, 2012

Homeopaths swing and miss yet again…

Homeopathy amuses me. Homeopaths amuse me as well, which is why I’m resurrecting this post. It was originally published elsewhere a few years ago and somehow never crossposted here. So if it seems a bit dated, fear not; Orac hasn’t fired up his Tarial cells and managed to go back in time. Now, I realize…

Dr. Oz descends further into psychic quackery

Regular readers have probably noticed that I’m taking it easy this week, at least compared to my usual ridiculous level of output. It is, after all, the holidays, and last night I even went to see my cousin’s son play basketball and then hung out at the local Knights of Columbus hall. (No, it didn’t…

Some post-holiday antivaccine “science”

I hope that you and yours are having a fantastic holiday season thus far. Yesterday, we had a great family gathering, after which I settled down to watch the Doctor Who Christmas special; all in all, a most excellent Christmas Day. Unfortunately, towards the later part of the day, someone out there sent me an…

I certainly don’t even try to keep secret my opinion of Andrew Wakefield, the British gastroenterologist who is almost single-handedly responsible for bringing the measles back to the UK, thanks to his bad science, for which he was well-paid by trial lawyers and his falsification of data and scientific fraud. Since 1998, when Wakefield first…

Quacks despise science-based medicine in general, but there are certain specialties that they detest more than others. Arguably, the specialty most attacked by quacks is psychiatry. Many are the reasons, some legitimate, many not. In particular, Scientologists despise psychiatry, even going so far as to maintain a “museum” dedicated to psychiatry that they charmingly call…

Antivaccine quackery: You be Orac today!

Some antivaccine (and quack, but I repeat myself) tropes come up time and time again, and I’ve blogged about them time and time again. Obviously, at times this can get a bit repetitive, particularly when I’ve been blogging nearly every day for eight years. On the other hand, even after eight years, I still regularly…

One of the oldest topics I’ve dealt with on this blog, a topic that I’ve been writing about on and off (unfortunately, mostly on) about the antivaccine movement. Ever since I first discovered about a decade ago that, yes, there are people ignorant enough about science and medicine that they actually think that vaccines are…

Well, I’m back. It’s been a long week away, and very enjoyable, although I must say that such long trips tend to drain one. That’s why I’m always on the lookout for something to restore lost energy and vigor, sucked out of me from long hours cramped on an airplane and holed up in airports,…

Just how stupid do homeopaths think we are?

I realize that I’ve said it many times before, but it bears repeating. Homeopathy is the perfect quackery. The reason that homeopathy is so perfect as a form of quackery is because it is quite literally nothing. On second thought, I suppose that it’s not exactly nothing. It is, after all, water or whatever other…

Note: Orac is away somewhere warm recharging his Tarial cells for further science and skepticism. In the meantime, he is rerunning some of his favorite posts. Because it’s vacation, he thought he’d rerun a fun post. He needs it; vacation is almost over, and it’s back to work on Monday. So, here’s one from 2007,…

Note: Orac is away somewhere warm recharging his Tarial cells for further science and skepticism. In the meantime, he is rerunning some of his favorite posts. Because it’s vacation, he thought he’d rerun a fun post. He needs it; vacation is almost over, and it’s back to work on Monday. So, here’s one from 2007.…

Note: Orac is away somewhere warm recharging his Tarial cells for further science and skepticism. In the meantime, he is rerunning some of his favorite posts. Given that the blog seems to have been infiltrated with Burzynski trolls again and Eric Merola threatens to make a sequel to the execrable movie he made about Burzynski…

More sad news about a Burzynski patient

As much as I try, even when I’m on vacation in an undisclosed warm location near a beach (actually, our hotel room has a balcony overlooking the ocean), occasionally news finds its way to me. Part of it is because I still get the odd e-mail or two, and I do check my e-mail every…

Note: Orac is away somewhere warm recharging his Tarial cells for further science and skepticism. In the meantime, he is rerunning some of his favorite posts. Given that the blog seems to have been infiltrated with Burzynski trolls again and Eric Merola threatens to make a sequel to the execrable movie he made about Burzynski…

Eight years

As I mentioned yesterday, Orac is currently away at an undisclosed location that is someplace warm. He is there, taking a rare pre-solstice break, preparing for the Mayan apocalypse that is to come on the 21st of this month. (Actually, he’s recharging his Tarial cell, the better to be prepared for the utter nonsense that…

For all the worship of “translational” research that is currently in vogue, it needs to be remembered that a robust pipeline of basic science progress upon which to base translational research and clinical trials is absolutely essential if progress in medicine is to continue. Without it, progress in SBM will slow and even grind to…

The false idea that vaccines somehow cause or contribute to autism has been a common theme on this blog, and I’ve spent considerable verbiage discussing why anyone would think that vaccines are in any way associated with autism when the science is quite clear that they are not. If there’s one thing I’ve been consistent…

There’s a phenomenon known as off-label prescribing. Basically, to prescribe something off-label is to prescribe it for an indication that is not FDA-approved but that is supported by considerable evidence. For example, it could involve using an FDA-approved drug for an indication that is not within its approval, for an unapproved age range (such as…

Here we go again. Because he’s been in the news lately, I’ve been writing a lot about the “brave maverick doctor” known as Stanislaw Burzynski who claims to have spectacular results treating normally incurable cancers using something he calls antineoplastons. Unfortunately, the reason Burzynski has featured prominently in the skeptical blogosphere over the last two…

Last Wednesday, I took note of an “old friend” and (thankfully) soon-to-be ex-Representative from Indiana’s 5th Congressional District, organized quackery’s best friend in the U.S. House of Representatives, Dan Burton. Specifically, I noted that Rep. Burton appeared to be having his one last antivaccine hurrah in the form of a hearing about the “autism epidemic”…

Crank spin versus science on mammography

Sometimes when a study comes out that I’m very interested in blogging about, I don’t get around to it right away. In the blogging biz, this sort of delay is often considered a bad thing, because blogging tends to be very immediate, about being the firstest with the mostest, and the moment to strike and…