Search Results for "Michael Egnor"

Grant time again! Since today–yes, today!–is the deadline for a rather big grant I’m writing (not quite R01 level, but a respectable three year project if I can get it), I was up until the wee hours of the morning trying to put this sucker to bed. Being the ever-benevolent blogger, though, far be it…

In blogging, there are some topics that I know that I really shouldn’t bother with; yet, somehow they suck me in. A number of things can cause that. Perhaps it’s a topic that just gets under my skin to the point where I can’t hold back a commentary, even when I know that it might…

…because he’s sure as heck doing his best to cause it damage with his latest antievolution “broadsides,” even to the point where it needs the loving ministrations of a neurosurgeon! His latest screeds produce in me a nearly irresistible urge to pound my head against the nearest hard surface to make the psychic pain stop.…

I was going to try to be a good boy. Really, I was. I had been planning on answering a question about the early detection of tumors. It was an opportune time to do so, given the recent news of cancer recurrence in Elizabeth Edwards and Tony Snow, coupled with a couple of papers I…

Agh! I say: Agh! Again. Remember how it was just a mere three days ago that I administered some Respectful Insolence™ to Dr. Michael Egnor, the Energizer Bunny of jaw-droppingly, appallingly ignorant anti-evolution posturing based on his apparently nonexistent understanding of what the theory of evolution actually says? Remember how I said how much I…

Even though they should know better based on their training, too many physicians embrace the dark side and become antivaccine. How does this happen? What personality traits common among physicians can facilitate a descent into pseudoscience?

Over the years, I’ve frequently made the points that the vast majority of physicians are not scientists and, in fact, that many of them suffer from a severe case of Dunning-Kruger when it comes to science. Even going back to the very early history of this blog, you can find examples, the most common of…

Early in the history of this blog, I had a running gag that I’d use every now and then. Basically, it involved humorously extravagant descriptions of how I wanted to hide my face behind a paper bag in sheer embarrassment at the antics of fellow physicians, particularly fellow surgeons. Over time, the gag evolved to…

Why do doctors deny evolution?

Yesterday was a long day, starting in the operating room and finishing at a dinner reception for our visiting speaker today. As a result, when I arrived home, I was sawing the proverbial logs within five or ten minutes of hitting the couch, more or less without realizing it. I was going to just skip…

Yesterday, I wrote about false balance in reporting on vaccines in the wake of the Disneyland measles outbreak. For those who’ve never encountered this blog, what I mean by false balance is when journalists, in a misguided belief that there are “two sides” (i.e., an actual scientific controversy) about the safety of childhood vaccines and…

More hilariously off-base genetics denialism

Things have been a bit too serious around here lately. After all, yesterday I wrote about obesity and chemotherapy, while the day before that I did an even lengthier than usual deconstruction of some claims by anti-Obamacare activists, which seemed particularly appropriate to me given that a group of wingnuts has just succeeded in mostly…

Advocates of pseudoscience like antivaxers love public debates. In fact, they think such debates are an excellent way to get at the truth. That’s not how science works.

About a year ago, I addressed what might seem to the average reader to be a very simple, albeit clichéd question: If we can put a man on the moon, why can’t we cure cancer? As I pointed out at the time, it’s a question that I sometimes even ask myself, particularly given that cancer…

There are quite a few reasons why I blog. After all, to crank out between 500 and 3,000 words a day, with an average of somewhere around 1,500 by my reckoning) takes quite a commitment. One of the main reasons that I do this is to combat the irrationality that permeates the world, and, since…

I’ve spent a lot of time over the years looking at cranks, examining crank science (i.e., pseudoscience), and trying to figure out how to inoculate people against crankery. Because I’m a physician, I tend to do it mostly in the realm of medicine by critically examining “alternative” medical claims and discussing the scientific basis of…

Every so often, someone will take a great deal of umbrage at my use of the term “antivaccine.” The assumption behind criticism directed at me (and others) when we use such terms is that we throw the term about without a care, using it as a weapon unjustly and incorrectly to smear parents who are…

Well, I’m back. Grant frenzy is over (for now), and I have a couple of weeks before the next cycle begins again. Well, actually, it’s more than that. The next big NIH grant deadlines are in October and November, but the Susan G. Komen Foundation grant notices just showed up in my e-mail the other…

It’s grant crunch time, as the submission deadline for revised R01s is July 5. However, in a classic example of how electronic filing has actually made things more difficult, the grant has to be done and at the university grant office a week before the deadline if it is to be uploaded in time. So,…

Remember Michael Egnor? I bet many of you do. If you were reading this blog three or four years ago, Dr. Egnor was a fairly regular target topic of my excretions of not-so-Respectful Insolence. The reason for that was, at the time, I was quite annoyed that a fellow surgeon could so regularly lay down…

Recently, there have been grumblings in the ranks of Orac-philes. All is not entirely well. Or, at least, all is less well than usual. Even more unusual, I feel your pain. I really do. We’ve been enduring a stretch when the anti-vaccine movement has been unusually busy for an unusually long time, leading vaccines to…

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…

Remember Medical Voices? It’s a group that I first discovered a year and a half ago that represented itself as a group of physicians and medical professionals who wanted to produce the “most comprehensive educational center on the Internet for physicians seeking the truth about vaccines.” Of course, it didn’t take me long to realize…

Christmas is over. Heck even Boxing Day is over. Still, Orac is doing something very unusual for him in that he’s taking a bit of a staycation at home. Consider it a sanity break. Even though I’ll be working on grants and a variety of other projects at home and even though I haven’t signed…

Every so often, real life intrudes on blogging, preventing the creation of fresh Insolence, at least Insolence of the quality that you’ve come to expect. This is one of those times. I happen to be sitting here in Palm Beach, Florida, but I’m not chilling at the beach or pool. Rather, I’m attending “leadership training.”…

I’ve been a critic of Arianna Huffington’s massive group blog, The Huffington Post, since three weeks after it first blighted the blogosphere. That’s when I first noticed that the “health” section (such as it is) of HuffPo had already become a wretched hive of scum and anti-vaccine quackery, something I began documenting again and again…