Religion

Respectful Insolence

Category archives for Religion

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,…

Well, well, well, well. Last week, I wrote one of my usual patented bits of insolence directed at “America’s doctor,” Dr. Mehmet Oz. What prompted my irritation was a recent episode in which Dr. Oz featured psychic scammer John Edward, the self-proclaimed “psychic” who claims to be able to speak with the dead. In actuality,…

Reiki is a “sin”?

Many are the times when I’ve pointed out that many “complementary and alternative medicine” CAM or “integrative medicine” (IM) modalities are very much more based on religion or mystical ideas akin to religion than on anything resembling science. I realize that my saying this is nothing new, but every so often I see something that…

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,…