Pseudoscience

Respectful Insolence

Category archives for Pseudoscience

Ideologically motivated bad science, pseudoscience, misinformation, and lies irritate me. In fact, arguably, they are the very reason I started this blog. True, over time my focus has narrowed. I used to write a lot more about creationism, more general skeptical topics, Holocaust denial, 9/11 Trutherism, and the like, but these days I rarely write…

If only… (Or, no science for you!)

I must admit, there are times when I see something that someone else has written and, in a fit of intense envy, wish very much that I had written it. This is just such a time, and Tony Ballantyne has written just such a piece. Even better, his piece, entitled If only…, was published in…

Here we go again. Every so often, criticism of the antivaccine movement builds to the point where it extends beyond the blogosphere to enter the national zeitgeist in a way in which people other than blogging geeks like myself start to take notice. It happened a few years ago, when washed up actress Jenny McCarthy…

Jamy Ian Swiss on science-based skepticism

As the last full weekday of my vacation passes, I thought about whether I’d bother to post anything or not, given that I happen to be traveling. After yesterday’s post, the subject of which was profoundly depressing to me because I hate it when quacks take cynical advantage of a grieving family to promote their…

Medical therapies should be based upon science. That is a recurrent theme, indeed, the major theme, of this blog. Based on that simple thesis, I’ve spent the last decade examining “unconventional” treatments and evaluating the scientific basis (or, much more usually, the lack of a scientific basis) for various treatments. Yes, I’ve looked at other…

At least half the time, it seems that when I take on a relatively new topic with every intention of just doing one post about it I somehow end up doing more than one post. I don’t know why that is. It just seems to happen. Sometimes, I find something related to but sufficiently different…

Many are the forms of quackery to which autistic children are subjected to. It’s amazing just how many dubious and dangerous treatments (dubbed “biomedical treatments” or “autism biomed”) parents will try in an effort to “recover” their children. Perhaps the most shocking of this quackery that I’ve recently covered is something called “miracle mineral solution”…

Depopulation by vaccines?

After all the years that I’ve been writing about vaccines, the science behind vaccines, and how antivaccinationists twist that science to turn what are arguably the greatest medical achievement of medicine and have saved arguably more lives than any other medical intervention devised by human minds into toxic cesspits of horrific chemical corruption that cause…

A couple of weeks ago, I had a bit of fun with a rather clueless chiropractor by the name of J.C. Smith (JCS), who decided to take a swipe at an organization with which I’m associated, namely the Institute for Science in Medicine (ISM). It was such an inept attack, filled with misinformation, pseudoscience, and…

And now for something completely different. Except that it isn’t really. I say that it isn’t really different because, although this post will seem to be about politics, in reality it will be about a common topic on this blog: Anti-science. And where is this anti-science? Sadly, it’s in the platform of a major party…

Choprawoo, automated

I realize that this has been posted by a lot of people on Facebook and around the blogosphere, but I can’t resist. Given my history of making fun of Deepak Chopra’s inimitable type of woo and even coining the term “Choprawoo” for that combination of the pretentious and stupid that Deepak Chopra regularly lays down.…

The health freedom fighters attack

If there’s one thing shared in common among nearly all advocates of pseudoscience, it is the belief that they know The Truth. More importantly, they know The Truth, and The Powers That Be don’t want you to know The Truth and will do almost anything to makes sure that The Truth stays secret. Think about…

A couple of weeks ago, I was horrified to learn of a new “biomed” treatment that has been apparently gaining popularity in autism circles. Actually, it’s not just autism circles in which this treatment is being promoted. Before the “autism biomed” movement discovered it, this particular variety of “miracle cure” has been touted as a…

A misguided “chalkboard talk”

Sometimes I feel like Dug, the talking dog in the movie Up, in that when it comes to blogging I’m often easily distracted. The reason I say this is because there’s been a “viral” (if you can call it that) video floating around the antivaccine quackery blogosphere that antivaccinationists are passing around as though it’s…

I’ve lost track of how many times over the last 7 years I’ve mentioned that naturopathy is not science-based. The evidence is overwhelming. All you have to do is to took at the wide variety of quackery that fits comfortably into naturopathic practice to realize that most of naturopathy is quackery. Traditional Chinese medicine? Check.…

Remember Vox Day? Newer converts to the glory that is Orac (or at least to the ego that is Orac) might not know who Vox is because it’s been a while since I’ve discussed his antiscience attitudes. By and large, this is probably a good thing, given that Vox denies evolution, has been antivaccine from…

I’m sometimes criticized for referring to various people who are “anti-science” as, well, “anti-science.” People, for whatever reason, have a hard time believing that anyone is anti-science; so when I point out how much, for example, antivaccinationists, alternative medicine believers, or creationists are anti-science, they have a had time believing it. This is particularly true…

One of the most inaptly named groups I’ve ever seen is called Thinking Moms’ Revolution (henceforth abbreviated as TMR). Given the reality of what TMR really is, the word “thinking” applied to TMR is, as they say, so wrong it’s not even wrong. As for a “revolution,” what TMR really represents is nothing revolutionary at…

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, and it doesn’t help that it’s a holiday week plus a week I was traveling. So I dug way back into the archives, back…

An animal rights zealot faces her comeuppance

I was going to write about that article about massage therapy and the gene expression changes it causes, but when I went to look up the actual paper and found out, to my great disappointment, that our institution still doesn’t have a subscription to the journal in which it was published. So, while I’m waiting…

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,…

In the more than a decade since I first discovered, to my shock, that there are actual people out there who not only don’t believe that vaccines are safe despite overwhelming evidence that they are but in fact believe that they don’t work and are dangerous, I thought I had seen every antivaccine argument out…

If there’s one thing about homeopaths, it’s that they’re indefatigable in their dedication to their unique brand of pseudoscience. They’re also endlessly protean in their ability to induce their explanations for how homeopathy is supposed to “work” to evolve into endless forms not so beautiful. If it’s not the claim that “like cures like” is…

I’ve spent a lot of time over the years looking at cranks, examining crank science (i.e., pseudoscience), and trying to figure out how to inoculate people against crankery. Because I’m a physician, I tend to do it mostly in the realm of medicine by critically examining “alternative” medical claims and discussing the scientific basis of…