Evolution

Respectful Insolence

Category archives for Evolution

I’ve had the immense good fortune to have trained and ultimately become a physician-scientist during a time when the pace of discovery and the paradigm changes in science have occurred just over the course of my career in medicine and science has been staggering. microRNA, the shift from single gene studies to genomics, the development…

Anyone who’s been reading this blog for any length of time longer than a few weeks knows what I think of Deepak Chopra. Indeed, he’s been a recurring topic here since the very beginning (just type his name into the search box for this blog if you don’t believe me). In fact, Chopra has “distinguished”…

The return of the living Choprawoo

With all the anti-vaccine nonsense going on and my feeling the obligation to fire a broadside at “America’s doctor,” there was a tasty bit of woo that totally escaped my attention from an old “friend” of the blog. Actually, he’s an old “friend” of many skeptical blogs, both here on ScienceBlogs and around the blogosphere.…

I have an MD and a PhD. While many people find that to be impressive, personally I’ve become so inured of it that I certainly don’t take note of it much anymore. Certainly, I rarely point it out. So, you may ask, why am I pointing it out this time, even going so far as…

It has often been written on this blog and elsewhere that the mark of a true crank is hatred of the scientific consensus, be it consensus regarding the theory of evolution, the science that says homeopathy is impossible, anthropogenic global warming; various areas of science-based medicine; or the safety and efficacy of vaccines. Perhaps the…

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. So enjoy this bit of Classic Insolence from back in November 2007 and be assured that I’ll be back tomorrow. Remember, if you’ve been…

It’s rare that I encounter a bit of nonsense that allows me to deploy two of my favorite rhetorical devices. First, it lets me pull out one of my favorite clips from one of my favorite movies, in which the immortal line, “Help! Help! I’m being repressed!” was first uttered. Second, it lets me repeat…

Over the holidays, I stayed at home for a combination of some relaxation and some grant writing. (I know, weird.) As I was perusing some of the links I saved during that time, it occurs to me that I totally forgot about one particularly amazing bit of hilarity, courtesy of our old “friend” Deepak Chopra.…

Crank magnetism strikes again

Since I happen to have fallen into the topic of anthropogenic global warming, before I move back to medical topics I might as well have a little fun. Certainly, I could use some, given that I just wrote two posts in which I felt forced to criticize someone whom I admire greatly. Besides, it’s been…

He’s baaaack. Deepak Chopra. Remember him? It’s been a while since I’ve said much about him and him alone. True, I’ve gone after him this year when he joined up with three other major league woo-meisters Dean Ornish, Rustum Roy, and Andrew Weil to try to try to help Senator Tom Harkin hijack the health…

A couple of years ago, fellow ScienceBlogger Mark Hoofnagle over at Denialism Blog coined a most excellent term to describe all manners of pseuodscience, quackery, and crankery. The term, “crank magnetism,” describes the tendency of cranks not to mind it when they see crankery in others. More specifically, it describes how cranks of one variety…

I knew it! I knew there had to be an explanation that young earth creationists could come up with for all that evidence in support of evolution: (WARNING: Borderline NSFW, depending on your job. Definitely offensive to fundamentalists.) It’s so obvious. Why didn’t I think of it before?

As I mentioned on Friday, I’m in Chicago right now attending the American College of Surgeons annual meeting, where I’ll be until Wednesday afternoon, and may not be able to post anything new before Thursday afternoon or Friday. If there are any of my readers who happen to be surgeons attending the meeting, drop me…

The trouble with Deepak Chopra, part II

As I mentioned on Friday, I’m in Chicago right now attending the American College of Surgeons annual meeting, where I’ll be until Wednesday afternoon. If there are any of my readers who happen to be surgeons attending the meeting, drop me a line and maybe we can get together. In the meantime, here’s a blast…

I may have been a bit hard on Richard Dawkins lately, but, if he believed in saints, Dawkins would deserve sainthood for keeping his cool in the face of so much concentrated idiocy coming from Bill O’Reilly: A couple of lovely O’Reilly quotes: “I’m throwing in with Jesus because you guys can’t tell us how…

It was just a high school marching band, like so many other high school bands in this country, a band that no one outside of the area of Sedalia, Missouri would be likely to have heard of, were it not for a breathtakingly stupid action by its school superintendent. You see, the band had an…

I realize that I’m possibly stepping into proverbial lion’s den with this one, but a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do. As you may recall, former ScienceBlogs bloggers Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum (and current Discover Magazine bloggers) recently released a book called Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future.…

Bill Maher and “anti-science”

Last week, I expressed my surprise and dismay that the Atheist Alliance International chose Bill Maher for the Richard Dawkins Award. I was dismayed because Maher has championed pseudoscience, including dangerous antivaccine nonsense, germ theory denialism complete with repeating myths about Louis Pasteur supposedly recanting on his deathbed, a hostility towards “Western medicine” and an…

I wish I’d had this T shirt at TAM7

Well, I’m back. After my trip to TAM7, I’m back in the real world, jet-lagged and tired. So it may take me a while–hopefully only a little while–to get back to my usual prolific output, and there will be something later today. In the meantime, just let me say I really, really wish I had…

I’ve just returned from Las Vegas after having attended The Amazing Meeting.. Believe it or not, I was even on a panel! While I’m gone, However, my flight was scheduled to arrive very late Sunday night, and I’m still recovering. Consequently, for one more day I’ll be reposting some Classic Insolence from the month of…

Three years ago, I wrote about what I considered to be a fascinating and promising approach to understanding tumor biology. This method involved understanding that tumors are in general made up of a heterogeneous collection of cells. Using this knowledge, it is possible to apply evolutionary principles to cancer, treating a tumor as, in essence,…

Unfortunately, as we have been dreading for the last four months or so since her relapse was diagnosed, my mother-in-law passed away from breast cancer in hospice. She died peacefully, with my wife and the rest of her family at her side. As you might expect, I do not much feel like blogging, and even…

Here’s a cool idea: Blogging the Origin

Here’s a cool idea. Take a newbie, who has never read Charles Darwins’ On the Origin of Species, and have the newbie actually read the book. Then have him blog each chapter. That’s exactly what John Whitfield, London-based freelance science writer, is doing, and ScienceBlogs has him over at Blogging the Origin. Check it out.…

Here’s one for our favorite creationist neurosurgeon: A whole Grand Rounds all about the interface of and application to medicine of the theory of evolution.

Last week, I gave everybody’s favorite creationist neurosurgeon, Dr. Michael Egnor, the gift everyone loves to read but not to receive: the gift of not-so-Respectful Insolence. Christmas or no Christmas, he did ask for it, and far be it from me, given my benevolent nature, not to respond to his plaintiff plea with a resounding…