Religion

Respectful Insolence

Category archives for Religion

There are times when I’m wrong again and again. No, I’m certainly not referring to my writings about vaccines which, as much as anti-vaccine loons like to claim they’re wrong, are not. Nor am I referring to my writings about “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) or “integrative medicine” (IM). While it’s possible that I’ve made…

Over the years, I’ve said it many times. Competent adults have the right (or should have the right) to choose or refuse any medical treatment they wish for any reason. It doesn’t matter how ridiculous the reason might be. If a competent adult believes that magic water (i.e., homeopathy) can cure him of cancer, we…

Benny Hinn: Dark Lord of the Sith

Let’s face it. This week has just been one of those weeks, and it’s not over yet. A little silly break is in order: There, I fell better now. Consider this a Thursday open thread. I haven’t had an open thread in a while, and when things get busy enough it’s a time-honored way of…

Dogma versus science

It’s been a crazy week that’s reaching a crescendo today and tomorrow, so much so that, unlike yesterday, when I said I’d only be brief and ended up blathering on for close to 2,000 words (Mike Adams has that effect on me, particularly when he’s at his most un-self-aware), today I really will be brief…

Yesterday, I concluded that Dr. Mehmet Oz’s journey to the Dark Side was continuing apace. After all, he had pulled the classic “bait and switch” of “alternative” medicine by allowing a man who calls himself Yogi Cameron to use his television show to co-opt the perfectly science-based modalities of diet and exercise as being somehow…

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…

Some Christmas pareidolia

Everyone knows how much I live pareidolia. It never ceases to amaze me how the human mind can impose imagery on everyday things. We’ve seen Jesus on toast, on sheet metal, in rocks, on trees, and in windows. We’ve seen the Virgin Mary on a similar bunch of things–even a Lava lamp or a freeway…

In terms of promoting woo and quackery, there is one person who stands head and shoulders above all the rest. True, she doesn’t just promote woo and quackery, but she does have a long list of dubious achievements in that realm, including but not limited to unleashing Jenny McCarthy and her anti-vaccine crusade plus Suzanne…

On Monday I took a blogger by the name of Dr. Marya Zilberberg to task for firing a series of profoundly anti-scientific broadsides against science-based medicine (SBM). Although I did not attack Dr. Zilberberg personally, I was quite harsh in my characterization of her attacks, because, well, they were quite bad, full of straw men,…

Richard Dawkins sues Josh Timonen

Wow. Just wow. I realize that I haven’t exactly been enamored of Richard Dawkins lately, at least not as much as I was, say, three or four years ago. Most of this came about gradually, although the final nail was driven into the proverbial coffin last fall, when Atheist Alliance International bestowed the Richard Dawkins…

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.”…

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, thanks to R01 deadlines. So enjoy this bit of Classic Insolence from back in September 2007 that, shockingly, as far as I can tell…

I’ve expounded on the principle of crank magnetism. Basically, crank magnetism is the tendency of cranks not to mind the crankery of other cranks, even if the two forms of crankery are mutually exclusive. But it’s more than that. It’s the tendency of a single crank to be attracted to several forms of crankery. We’ve…

What’s next? Flat earth?

Regarding this whole skeptic thing, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about pseudoscience and bizarre, unscientific beliefs, it’s that, just when I think I’ve seen it all, the world slaps me in the face (facepalm, to be precise) to show me that I haven’t seen it all after all. Such was what happened when a…

Yesterday, I expressed my displeasure over a truly idiotic press release by the Center for Inquiry over the “Ground Zero mosque” entitled The Center for Inquiry Urges That Ground Zero Be Kept Religion-Free. I happen to know that a lot of supporters of CFI were very unhappy about the press release as well, because apparently…

I hadn’t planned on blogging at all today, much about on this particular topic. As some of you may have noticed, I’m trying to cut back on the blog habit, particularly on the weekends. Gone are the days when I’d foolishly try to emulate P.Z. Myers and have several posts up in a day; lately…

Two days ago, I posted my utter contempt for the idea of a science section in that cesspit of pseudsocience, New Age woo, and quackery, The Huffington Post. Part of the reason for my scoffing at the very idea that a science section in HuffPo would not rapidly degenerate into yet another outlet for more…

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…

Around this time last year, the major topic of this blog was the case of a young teen named Daniel Hauser. In fact, right around this time last year, this particular case was approaching its climax. Hauser, as you may recall, was the 13-year-old Minnesota boy diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma who refused chemotherapy. His stated…

Remember Life Technology™? Back when I actually used to do Your Friday Dose of Woo each and every Friday before subjecting myself to such woo-tastically extravagant bits of unreason every week led me to decide to cut my weekly feature back to on an “as the mood strikes me” basis, Life Technology produceds some of…

It just so happens that I was up quite late last night doing–what else?–writing yet another grant application (well, two actually). Even though the grants aren’t due until Wednesday, Tuesday happens to be my operating room day, meaning I need to get this done and buried by tomorrow afternoon at the latest. In any case,…

If there’s one thing Christians tell us, it’s that Jesus is inside each and every one of us. Who knew that this was literally true? Don’t believe me? Take a look at this MRI: Apparently they’ve been wrong all these years when they said that Jesus lives in every man’s heart. He actually lives in…

On the road again: In the meantime…Satan

After having a great time at NECSS participating in a panel about science-based medicine (although I hate to have to say that I was disappointed that the science-based medicine panel was cut short to get the conference back on schedule, which meant that we didn’t get to answer nearly as many questions as we would…

Somehow, this picture seemed especially appropriate on Easter: Now watch for J.B. Handley, some other anti-vaccine zealot, or a quack to quotemine the title of this post. You know it’s coming… In the meantime, it’ll be back to the usual topics (and maybe one topic not so usual) next week. Happy Easter, you rabid band…

Every so often someone shows me something that so amuses me that I either must have one or must blog about it. This time around, it was my wife. Last weekend, we were reading the newspapers. On the weekend, we happen to get the New York Times as well as our local newspaper. There, ensconsed…