Respectful Insolence

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I didn’t think I’d be revisiting this topic so quickly. However, given that I’m at TAM and I don’t have a lot of time to do one of my usual 2,000 word epics for a change, I thought that this story, which popped up the other day while I was traveling was at least worth…

What’s going on with Robert O. Young?

There is no doubt in my mind that Robert O. Young is among the worst cancer quacks I have ever encountered. I’ve never been able to figure out how he manages to continue to practice after over 20 years, given the egregiousness of his quackery. Indeed, I was overjoyed when I learned back in January…

Being a cancer surgeon and researcher, naturally I tend to write about cancer a lot more than other areas of medicine and science. It’s what I know best. Also, cancer is a very common area for unscientific practices to insinuate themselves, something that’s been true for a very long time. The ideas don’t change very…

In the wake of the revelation that Kim Tinkham is dying of what was almost certainly metastatic breast cancer to bones, lungs, and liver after having rejected conventional therapy for her disease in favor of Robert O. Young’s acid-base woo, Young’s response is now (possibly) known. In the comments after part 6 of Young’s interview…

I never would have thought it possible, but it’s happened. I’m sure most of you have heard of Dr. Andrew Weil, that champion of quackademic medicine who has made it his life’s mission to bring the woo into academia in the form of training programs to “integrate” quackery with science-based medicine. From his home base…

Only really long time readers will remember this, but back in the day (June 2005, to be exact), I discovered Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and his antivaccine nuttery when he published his epically bad piece of antivaccine conspiracy mongering, Deadly Immunity, both in Salon.com and Rolling Stone (the latter of which doubled down on it…

My first big splash in the blogosphere will have occurred five years ago in June, when I first discovered the utter wingnuttery that is Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. It was then that I wrote a little bit of that not-so-Respectful Insolence that you’ve come to know and love entitled Salon.com flushes its credibility down the…

If there’s one thing that irritates me about the anti-vaccine movement, it’s the utter disingenuousness of the movement. How often do we hear the claim from anti-vaccine loons that “we’re not ‘anti-vaccine’; we’re ‘pro-safe vaccine’”? I’ve tried to pin such people down time and time again to answer just what it would take in terms…

Has it really been two years? Amazingly, it has indeed. On June 16, 2005, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. deposited the biggest, steamingest, drippiest (not to mention stinkiest) turd I had as yet seen in my then young blogging career, specifically an article published simultaneously by both Salon.com and Rolling Stone entitled Deadly Immunity. Along with…

With the Autism Omnibus trial having finished its first week looking at the first test case of Michelle Cedillo, a very unfortunate girl with multiple medical problems and autism, for whose “vaccine injury” her parents are seeking compensation, it’s not surprising that we’d find some slime bubbling up to the surface. First off, we have…

A couple of Sundays ago (Easter, to be precise), my wife and I were sitting around yesterday reading the Sunday papers and perusing the Internet (as is frequently our wont on Sunday mornings), when I heard a contemptuous harrumph coming from her direction. She then pointed me to an article in our local newspaper entitled…

The other day, I got to thinking about cults. The reason is that it’s been clear to me for some time that the antivaccine movement is a quack cult. In fact, a lot of quack groups are very cultish, the example that reminded me of this having been an excellent report published by a young…

This being Breast Cancer Awareness Month and all, stories about breast cancer are frequently sent my way. This one is depressing and sad, mainly because it’s the story of death from breast cancer. From what I can gather, it is the story of a death from quackery, a death that didn’t have to occur. Even…

Cancer quackery promoted on Fox News

I’ve always known that FOX News has a tendency to go for the sensationalistic story. I’ve also known that, given Rupert Murdoch’s political leanings, politically motivated pseudoscience like anthropogenic global warming denialism is the order of the day on FOX. I’ve even noticed a disturbing tendency on FOX to promote antivaccine views, for example, when…

A cancer quackfest

Oh, goody. I think I see future blog fodder for the second half of September. (When you’ve been in the blogging biz as along as I have, you think that far in advance when the opportunity presents itself.) Well, maybe it’s blog fodder. The problem is that I would actually have to wade through the…

The “fundamentals” of voltage quackery

In medical school, or so we’re told, aspiring young doctors are taught the fundamentals of medicine. What we science-based physicians usually mean by “fundamentals” includes the basic science necessary to understand human health and disease, the mechanism by which human disease develops, and the basics of how to treat it. We also learn a way…

Like yesterday’s post, this will be a post that references our favorite dubious cancer doctor Stanislaw Burzynski but is not primarily about him. However, given the nature of the subject matter, it is impossible not to think of Burzynski, as comparisons are inevitable. Whereas yesterday all we were dealing with was a rather amusing “award”…

After yesterday, I really hadn’t planned on writing about Angelina Jolie and her decision to undergo bilateral mastectomies again, except perhaps as a more serious piece next week on my not-so-super-secret other blog where The Name of the Doctor is revealed on a weekly basis. As I mentioned yesterday, there are a number of issues…

I’ve had a rule of thumb for a while that helps me identify quacks with a high degree of accuracy. It’s not very sensitive, as a lot of quacks don’t exhibit this trait, but it’s very specific. A lot of quacks don’t use the term; so not hearing says nothing about a practitioner. If you…

Everything Everything gives you cancer Everything Everything gives you cancer There’s no cure, there’s no answer Everything gives you cancer – Joe Jackson I don’t write about nutrition as much as other topics because I’m not as knowledgeable about it as I am about, say, cancer, vaccines, and what constitutes good medical evidence. (I am,…

And now for something completely different… Well, not really. It’s a little different, but regular readers will soon recognize it as a variation on the same old theme. One topic I’ve been writing about since the very beginning of this blog is the alternative medicine cancer cure testimonial, or, more specifically, the breast cancer cure…

Overselling preclinical results

As part of my ongoing effort to make sure that I never run out of blogging material, I subscribe to a number of quack e-mail newsletters. In fact, sometimes I think I’ve probably overdone it. Every day, I get several notices and pleas from various wretched hives of scum and quackery, such as NaturalNews.com, Mercola.com,…

Alternative medicine as religion

Over the years, I’ve often likened non-science-based medical belief systems to religion. It’s not a hard argument to make. Religion involves believing in things that can’t be proven scientifically; indeed, religion makes a virtue out of ignoring the evidence and accepting various beliefs on faith alone. Similarly, alternative medicine frequently tells you that you have…

If there’s one quack who both amuses and appalls me at the same time, it’s Robert O. Young. You remember Robert O. Young, don’t you? He’s the guy who thinks that all disease is caused by excess acid. I’ve written about him quite a few times over the last several years. For instance, he amused…

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…