History

Respectful Insolence

Category archives for History

Today is the Monday after Daylight Saving Time started. I always hate this day. Getting to work on time is always that much more difficult, and I always feel a bit run down for the few days afterward until my body adjusts. This time of year also predictably produces idiotic screeds about Daylight Saving Time,…

Progress in science-based medicine depends upon human experimentation. Scientists can do the most fantastic translational research in the world, starting with elegant hypotheses, tested through in vitro and biochemical experiments, after which they are tested in animals. They can understand disease mechanisms to the individual amino acid level in a protein or nucleotide in a…

Clearly, once the allegations of Andrew Wakefield’s fraud, conflicts of interest, and business plans to profit off of his demonization of the MMR came to light, it was only a matter of time before this arrived: NOTE: Apparently the creator of this parody has removed it. I’ve sent an e-mail asking to reconsider.

As 2010 ends, let’s be careful out there…

As hard as it is to believe, today is the last day of 2010. An old year has flown by once again, and, almost before I realized it, a new year will arrive where I live in mere hours. It’s been a truly weird year, even more so than the average level of weirdness. That’s…

The Art of Medicine in Ancient Egypt, Part 2

It’s the week between Christmas and New Years, and, oddly enough, I’m feeling exceptionally lazy. For one thing, it’s a slow “news” time; nothing much is happening to blog about, at least nothing that’s motivated me to rouse myself from my declining food-induced coma to lay down some not-so-Respectful Insolence today. For another thing, I’m…

The Art of Medicine in Ancient Egypt

It’s the week between Christmas and New Years, and, oddly enough, I’m feeling exceptionally lazy. For one thing, it’s a slow “news” time; nothing much is happening to blog about, at least nothing that’s motivated me to rouse myself from my declining food-induced coma to lay down some not-so-Respectful Insolence today. For another thing, I’m…

Six years in the blogosphere…

Has it really been six years? Six years ago today, on a dim and dreary Saturday in December, almost on a whim I sat down, went to Blogspot, and started up the first version of Respectful Insolence with an introductory post with the cliched title, Please allow me to introduce myself. Here it is, six…

The mercury militia parties like it’s 2005

Way, way back in the deepest darkest depths of history, before I entered the Knowledge Room and sold my soul to big pharma to become a pharma blogger (in other words, way back in 2005), my inauguration as a skeptical blogger taking on anti-vaccine misinformation, pseudoscience, and lies occurred in a big way when I…

September 11, 2001: What we saw

Once again we come to another September 11. It’s hard to believe that it’s been nine years since that horrible day. On this day, I generally don’t do any new posts. Also, traditionally I do two things. First, I post the following video. This video was shot by Bob and Bri, who in 2001 lived…

“Keep ‘em coming”?

Longtime readers know that I’m a bit of a World War II buff. In fact, that’s how I ended up developing such a profound interest in Holocaust denial, to the point where I used to write about it rather frequently. I don’t write about it as often these days, not so much because I’m not…

Regular readers may have noticed something happening around ScienceBlogs. As PZ pointed out, a little malware somehow infiltrated the ScienceBlogs collective, and many of us appear to have turned into zombies. It’s a veritable Zombie Day, complete with illustrations by Joseph Hewitt, creator of Gearhead. Obviously, with anything having to do with zombies, there’s only…

Regular readers may have noticed something happening around ScienceBlogs. As PZ pointed out, a little malware somehow infiltrated the ScienceBlogs collective, and many of us appear to have turned into zombies. It’s a veritable Zombie Day, complete with illustrations by Joseph Hewitt, creator of Gearhead. Obviously, with anything having to do with zombies, there’s only…

It occurs to me that I haven’t written about this topic in quite a while, but a recent event makes me think that maybe now’s the time to revisit this topic. I’m referring to Holocaust denial. Newer readers may not know that part of what got me involved in online discussions back in the late…

What cigarette do you smoke, doctor?

I’ve pivoted immediately from attending NECSS and participating in a panel on the infiltration of quackery into academia to heading down to Washington, DC for the AACR meeting. Then, after a packed day of meetings yesterday followed by spending yesterday evening with a friend whom I haven’t seen for a long time, there’s–gasp!–no new material…

As far as silly Internet memes go, given my interest in World War II history, I have a weakness for Downfall parodies, which have grown up on YouTube like kudzu over the last couple of years. I also thought it was only a matter of time before someone did something like this and wondered why…

“Debating” denialists

I happened to be listening to the Holocaust Denial On Trial podcast yesterday, specifically this episode which is a recording of a speech given by Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt about Holocaust denial and her experiences being sued for libel in Britain by arch Holocaust denier David Irving, who, much like the British Chiropractic Association taking…

Your Friday Dose of Woo: No planes no brains

I’ve sort of alluded to it, but grant fever took over the last couple of days as the deadline approaches. Unfortunately, it happened right around the time when the GMC ruling on Andrew Wakefield came down and came down hard on him and his unethical behavior. Oh, well, as they say, it looks like I…

Back in time in medicine

Being a Doctor Who fan and all, I’ve often wondered what it would be like to be able to travel through time and visit times and places in history that I’m most interested in. For instance, being a World War II buff, I’d certainly want to be able to check out what every day life…

So many adherents to “alternative” medicine detest modern medicine, which they see as not being “natural.” In contrast, herbalism, homeopathy, acupuncture, various forms of “energy healing,” are touted as being highly in tune with nature. They’re right about one thing. Throughout the vast majority of human history, humans have relied on unscientific treatments for illness…

Given my long known weak spot for Downfall parodies (even though they are an Internet fad whose time has come and probably already gone), how on earth did I miss this? PodBlack Cat shows me that, believe it or not, Hitler was a chiropractor. He’s been asked to talk about the use of chiropractic for…

68 years ago today…

…the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, thus finally sucking the United States into the conflagration that had been raging for two years in Europe and even longer in Asia. Stories like this one from the AP remind us that the generation who fought and died to defeat Nazi-ism and Japan’s imperialism is very old and won’t…

My benevolent overlords at Seed Media Group yesterday announced (to me at least) a surprise new initiative. But, then, I’m always one of the last to find out about these things. In any case, it would appear that we’re teaming up with National Geographic to share blog content and various other initiatives. The press release…

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…

How to respond to annoying reviewers…

You know, I have three manuscripts in the hopper with two of them having recently been returned to me with reviewers’ comments. Frustratingly, one of these is a manuscript that I’ve been trying to get published for nearly a year now. Given that I appear to have some work to do over the long holiday…

Schadenfreude again over David Irving

Since I seem to have attracted several truly idiotic Holocaust deniers in the comments after this post, including, believe it or not, Eric Hunt, the anti-Semite who attacked Elie Wiesel at a San Francisco hotel in 2007 and who now runs a blog full of Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism where he recently bragged about attending…