Respectful Insolence

Archives for February, 2013

The other day, I took note again of a rather amusing internecine war going on between various factions of antivaccine cranks. On the one side, spearheaded by everyone’s favorite inept conspiracy theorist and bumbling epidemiologist wanna be, Jake Crosby, there are the true believers, who believe that the other side, the more “mainstream” antivaccine groups…

Yesterday, I expressed my dismay at learning that what used to be a bastion of science-based medicine, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, is now peddling the quackery known as acupuncture to children, or, as I put it, “integrating” nonsense with science. Sadly, as I’ve written about all too often because I keep seeing it again and…

Thanks to a winter storm that dumped a heapin’ helpin’ of heavy wet snow on us last night, we lost power before this post even got going. However, I did have a bit of time this morning to finish it up as a quickie (by my standards) before my laptop battery indicator started expressing its…

It’s been well over two weeks since I urged everyone to get out the popcorn and sit back to enjoy the internecine war going on over in the antivaccine movement. The reason for my chuckling was the way that everyone’s favorite Boy Wonder Reporter Propagandist for the antivaccine crank blog Age of Autism, Jake Crosby,…

That the myth that vaccines cause autism is indeed nothing more than a myth, a phantom, a delusion unsupported by science is no longer in doubt. In fact, it’s been many years now since it was last taken seriously by real scientists and physicians, as opposed to crank scientists and physicians, who are still selling…

Is it just me, or are medical propaganda films becoming the preferred media for “brave maverick doctors, dubious doctors, and quacks to promote their wares? I just pointed out how everybody’s favorite “brave maverick doctor,” he of the therapy for cancer for which there is no compelling evidence but that he keeps administering anyway, using…

The Galileo Gambit

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been discussing How “They” See “Us,” which is basically that “they” see “us” as pure evil. Well, maybe not always sheer evil, but certainly not good, and even more certainly as having ulterior motives, the most common of which is filthy pharma lucre. As a result, when a…

Discussing Stanislaw Burzynski’s abuse of science while contemplating how even his success stories really aren’t yesterday reminded me of a topic that I discussed rather extensively not long after I moved my blog over to ScienceBlogs and have covered sporadically since then. I’m referring to the case of Abraham Cherrix. Cherrix, for those who haven’t…

About a week and a half ago, I noted that the FDA had apparently paid every skeptic’s favorite cancer doctor who is not an oncologist, Stanislaw Burzynski, a visit, while taking notice of a particularly credulous piece of puff journalism that portrayed Dr. Burzynski as a “brave maverick doctor” fighting The Man, who (of course)…

Keep calm and carry on, Insolently.

You might have noticed that I’ve been…preoccupied. I posted a “rerun” on Thursday, and yesterday I didn’t even post at all. That doesn’t mean that I don’t check in from time to time to see what you all are doing in my absence. That’s how I saw this comment from Dangerous Bacon (cool ‘nym, BTW—I’ve…

The “pharma shill” gambit

Over the last couple of days, I’ve been discussing How “They” See “Us,” which is basically that “they” see “us” as pure evil. Well, maybe not always sheer evil, but certainly not good, and even more certainly as having ulterior motives, the most common of which is filthy pharma lucre. So it seemed appropriate, as…

Yesterday, I wrote about how “they” view “us,” the “they” being believers in dubious medicine, pseudoscience, and outright quackery. As examples, I used believers in the unsupported claims of “brave maverick” cancer doctor Stanislaw Burzynski and antivaccine activists who are utterly convinced, against all science and evidence, that vaccines caused their children’s autism. I pointed…

How “they” view “us”

Those of us who dedicate considerable time and effort to combatting quackery generally do it because we think we’re doing good. Certainly, I wouldn’t spend so much time nearly every evening blogging the way I do if I didn’t think so. It’s true that I also enjoy it, but if I were doing this just…

Epigenetics. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. I realize I overuse that little joke, but I can’t help but think that virtually every time I see advocates of so-called “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) or, as it’s known more commonly now, “integrative medicine” discussing epigenetics.…

Alright, I give up. I’m getting out the popcorn. It’s a Friday night, and it’s on, baby! It’s so on that I’m breaking one of my blogging rules and writing up a blog post on Friday night, which is when I usually try to relax. I suppose that it helps that I’m working tonight anyway,…

Earlier this week, there was a very bad, very credulous story was broadcast. Now, I realize that this is not an uncommon occurrence. Indeed, I’m sure that this sort of thing happens pretty much every day somewhere in the country and even on national media, but on this particular occasion the story was about a…

On the one hand, I’m seriously tempted to get out the popcorn, sit back, and enjoy the show that is the internecine conflict going on in the antivaccine movement right now. On the other hand, as bizarre as it sounds, I actually do feel a bit sorry for the main combatant, Jake Crosby. He’s the…

Gary Null loves me! He really loves me! Well, maybe not Gary Null, but Sayer Ji. You remember Sayer Ji, don’t you? He’s the guy who runs GreenMedInfo.com who showed up on my skeptical radar when he claimed that vaccines are “transhumanism” that subverts evolution. (Seriously, you can’t make stuff like this up.) On another…

If I’ve pointed it out once, I’ve pointed it out a thousand times. Naturopathy is a cornucopia of almost every quackery you can think of. Be it homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, applied kinesiology, anthroposophical medicine, reflexology, craniosacral therapy, Bowen Technique, and pretty much any other form of unscientific or prescientific medicine that you…

It’s good to see that the organizers of the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation finally realized its mistake: Actress Jenny McCarthy has been dumped again. McCarthy won’t be in Ottawa for Bust A Move. The Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation reacted today to a public backlash in signing the anti-vaccine campaigner to the Ottawa breast health fundraiser.…

Almost everyone knows the story of Victor Frankenstein and his monster. It’s such a classic tale that has been around so long and told so many times in so many ways that it’s almost impossible for someone living in this country not to have encountered it growing up. Frankenstein’s monster is also a tale that…