Religion

Respectful Insolence

Category archives for Religion

An uncomfortable question

Work called last night. (It happens.) Basically, I had two deadlines for two big things (finishing reviewing the grants assigned to me for study section and a major writeup for a project for my job). Unfortunately, both of them were today. I realized as I perused old posts that I hadn’t reposted this one in…

It’s amazing how fast six months can pass, isn’t it? Well, almost six months, anyway, as it was five and a half months ago that I wrote about a particularly execrable example of quackademic medicine in the form of a study that actually looked at an “energy healing” modality known as “energy chelation” as a…

A couple of weeks ago, I made the observation that there seems to have been a–shall we say?–realignment in one of the central arguments that proponents of “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) and “integrative medicine” (IM) make. Back in the day (say, a few years ago), such CAM practitioners and apologists used to try very,…

$#*! skeptics say

Ha! I must admit, I’ve said probably about 50% of these things at one time or another, maybe more: Hmmmm. Maybe I need to come up with new “shit.” Oh, and, by the way, I’ve been mentioned on PZ’s blog more times than I can remember over the last seven years. So there! (Oh, wait.…

Does thinking make it so?

Last week, I wrote about how advocates of “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) or “integtrative medicine” (IM), having failed to demonstrate efficacy for the vast majority of the unscientific, anti-scientific, and/or pseudosciencitific treatment modalities, many based on prescientific concepts of how human physiology and disease work, have started trying to co-opt placebo effects as their…

Praying for an anti-vaccine “advantage”?

A couple of months ago, right before TAM 9, I took note of a rather disturbing post by one of the regular bloggers on the anti-vaccine crank blog Age of Autism. Basically, the post was worrisome because in it Kent Heckenlively portrayed those who oppose anti-vaccine pseudoscience as “wicked,” even quoting Psalm 94, which is…

Religion versus alternative medicine

Many have been the times that I’ve pointed out that many forms of “alternative” medicine are in reality based far more on mystical, religious, or “spiritual” beliefs than on any science. Indeed, one amusing event that provided me the opening to launch into one of my characteristic (and fun) Orac-ian outbursts occurred a couple of…

Sugarland: Saved by prayer?

One thing that’s bothered me about religion even before I became the lapsed Catholic heathen that I am, is how God always gets the credit for good things but never the bad. A perfect example is related to the collapse of the stage in a storm at the Indiana State Fair that killed five people…

A disturbing post on an anti-vaccine blog

I’m on my way to The Amaz!ng Meeting today; so I’m not sure I have time for the usual bit of Orac-ian logorrheic blogging that I somehow manage to churn out almost every day. In fact, I had thought of just running another rerun so that I don’t have to worry about it. But worry…

Remember Helen Ratajczak? A few months ago, CBS News’ resident anti-vaccine reporter Sharyl Attkisson was promoting Ratajczak’s incompetent “analysis” of evidence that she views as implicating vaccines in the pathogenesis of autism entitled Theoretical aspects of autism: causes–A Review (which is available in all its misinforming glory here). I applied some not-so-Respectful Insolence to the…

Reiki in the ICU?

One of the recurrent themes of this blog is to point out, analyze, and discuss the creeping infiltration of pseudoscience into medicine. In particular, it irks me that so many physicians, who really should know better, so easily fall for the siren song of quackery for whatever reason, be it a misguided desire to be…

Regular readers know that I’m a bit of a connoisseur of pareidolia, so much so that I even have a category devoted to it. For those not familiar with the concept, pareidolia is nothing more than seeing patterns in things. One of the most famous examples is seeing faces, animals, or other objects in clouds.…

Holocaust denial versus free speech

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,…

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,…

You know, it all makes a lot more sense now. Actually, I can’t believe I didn’t see it before. Here I was, all these years, and somehow the thought never crossed my mind, even though all the signs were right there. And then, yesterday, Tufted Titmouse showed me the light. She showed me the light…

Taking the “e” out of homeopathy

It’s been a rough week. No, it hasn’t been rough here on the blog; personally I think I’ve managed to serve up heaping’ helpings of the usual expected Insolence–and then some–if I do say so myself. Rather, it’s been a bit rough at the old job. Ah, well, it can’t all be sweetness and light.…

I’m a dog lover. I love dogs as pets and can’t imagine my life without having a dog as a pet. When our dog Echo died unexpectedly of a particularly nasty form of cancer at 8 years of age, I was devastated. Our current dog is a great dog, and quite the character. But what…

Your Friday Dose of Woo: Eat the sun?

With the utter ridiculousness of the arguments laid down by Dr. Oz when Steve Novella appeared on his show and the even more ridiculous silliness of J.B. Handley thinking that Matt Carey, a.k.a. Sullivan, is really Bonnie Offit, I had originally thought that I should find some peer-reviewed scientific article today to do a sober,…

Several of you have been sending me this; so I would be remiss not to note that there is a rather lengthy profile of Generation Rescue’s favorite “martyred” anti-vaccine hero, disgraced and discredited British gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield, in this weekend’s New York Times Magazine entitled The Crash and Burn of an Autism Guru. By and…

Over the years, I’ve learned that a lot of surgeons are very religious. Actually, a lot of doctors are quite religious. Indeed, long ago in the history of this blog, back when I used to write about evolution a lot more than I do these days, I’ve pointed out that at least as many physicians…

Ah, April Fools’ Day! I had thought of trying to do a typical April Fools’ Day post, you know, something like trying to write something but the last time I tried to do that it fell really flat, so flat that I’m not even going to link to it. It’s better not to remind my…

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…

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…

Reiki for Fido

I don’t like quackery. I know, I know. Big surprise, right? After all, I’ve only spent the last six years laying down a nearly daily dose of Insolence, Respectful and not-so-Respectful, on the anti-vaccine movement, alternative medicine practitioners, quacks, and pseudoscientists of many different stripes. Seeing my fellow human beings fall for unproven or even…

I graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School in the late 1980s. Back then, U. of M. was really hardcore about science back then, so much so that it was viewed as seriously old-school. No new (at the time) organ system approach for us! During the first two years, ever four weeks, like clockwork,…