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Posts

April 16, 2014

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10:00 AM | Sad news: A Burzynski success story is gone
I’m depressed as I write this, because I have some very sad news to relate to you. It appears that Laura Hymas died on Sunday morning. I learned this on Twitter yesterday from a source I trust, not to mention from mentions on Ben Hymas’s Facebook page, in which friends are commenting on how they…

April 15, 2014

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7:39 AM | Patients, doctors embracing alternative medicine in battle against cancer? Not so much.
In the well over nine years that I’ve been blogging, there’s one tried and true, completely reliable topic to blog about, one that I can almost always find. I’m referring, of course, to the credulous news story about pseudoscience. The pseudoscience can be quackery, creationism, anthropogenic global warming denialist arguments, or whatever; inevitably, there will…

April 14, 2014

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7:12 AM | Jenny McCarthy thinks in shades of gray, or so she thinks
Never look a blogging gift horse in the mouth, I always say. Well, sort of. It just figures that I could only do two posts that weren’t about vaccines before circling back around to the topic of the antivaccine movement. For that, I have Jenny McCarthy to thank. McCarthy, as anyone who pays attention to…

April 11, 2014

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11:00 AM | Faith healing everywhere in medical academia
When I’m trying to demonstrate the utter implausibility and mystical pseudoscience behind so much of “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM), which is now more commonly referred to (by its advocates, at least) as “integrative medicine,” I like to point to two examples in particular of modalities that are so utterly ridiculous in concept that anyone…

April 08, 2014

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5:30 PM | The National Autism Association not “antivaccine”? Then why is its president speaking at an antivaccine quackfest?
As I hang out at the San Diego Convention Center, I can’t resist one last note on the Chili’s debacle that I wrote about yesterday. Remember how Wendy Fournier, president of the National Autism Association (NAA), the antivaccine group posing as an autism advocacy group, whined when Chili’s backed out of its deal to donate…

April 07, 2014

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3:15 PM | Chili’s gets burned by an antivaccine group posing as an “autism advocacy” group
Here I am, sitting on the balcony of my hotel room in sunny San Diego, as I get ready to head over to the 2014 meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). The sun is rising over the mountains, and the only sound I hear is that of running water in the swimming…

April 04, 2014

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7:03 AM | Completing a trio of antivaccine-sympathetic California pediatricians
I appear to have fallen into one of my ruts again. Or maybe it’s not a rut. I just feel as though I’ve been doing too many posts on the antivaccine movement, to the point where I wonder if I’m starting to fall into a rut. In actuality, it doesn’t really matter. If I feel…

April 02, 2014

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8:47 AM | I do not think that study shows what you think it shows
Of all the cranks, quacks, antivaccinationists, and pseudoscientists that I’ve encountered (and applied a bit of not-so-Respectful Insolence to) over the years, there are a few who belong in the top tier—or, if you prefer, the bottom tier. They stick out in my memory for a variety of reasons, either through their sheer crankitude on…

April 01, 2014

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8:10 AM | Another antivaccine-sympathetic pediatrician “reassures” his patients about the southern California measles outbreak
As hard as it is to believe, I’ve actually “known” pediatrician to the antivaccine stars (such as Jenny McCarthy), “Dr. Jay” Gordon, for nearly nine years now. It began back in 2005 when I first noticed him writing blogs full of antivaccine nonsense at the then-new group blog, The Huffington Post, where I noted antivaccine…

March 28, 2014

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1:05 PM | After all this time, Dr. Bob Sears finally tips his hand on vaccines, part V
Dr. Robert Sears has to be one of the most irresponsible pediatricians on the face of the earth, if not the most irresponsible. Many of you might recall that a little more than a week ago “Dr. Bob” posted a borderline unhinged rant on Facebook aimed at his own patients, who, quite reasonably, were calling…

March 27, 2014

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11:00 AM | A disturbing example of quackademic medicine at an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center
Note: I was busy doing something last night that left me no time to compose any fresh Insolence, which will become apparent by this weekend. In the meantime, however, I’m betting quite a few of you haven’t seen this before, and those who have might want to discuss it further in a different environment. Quackademic…

March 26, 2014

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7:30 AM | In which reporters are lectured by a fake “media expert” and “autism advocate”
After the last couple of days of depressing posts about the utter failure of the FDA to do its job protecting cancer patients from the likes of Stanislaw burzynski, it’s time to move on. Unfortunately, the first thing that caught my eye as I sat down to blog last night not only fried my irony…

March 25, 2014

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7:34 AM | An excellent response to complaints about medical topics on Wikipedia
After the last couple of days of depressing posts about the utter failure of the FDA to do its job protecting cancer patients from the likes of Stanislaw burzynski, it’s time to move on. Given how utterly demoralizing it was to see the FDA, in essence, pass the buck when it comes to protecting cancer…

March 21, 2014

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10:30 AM | Stanislaw Burzynski and the cynical use of cancer patients as shields and weapons against the FDA: Has the FDA caved?
“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.” I know I’ve used that quote before several times over the 9+ years that I’ve been blogging. These days, I probably use it most frequently when it comes to the topic of Stanislaw Burzynski. Every time I think that I can give the…

March 20, 2014

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12:30 PM | Conspiracy theories: The dark heart of alternative medicine
If there’s one thing a budding skeptic quickly learns is that at the core of any good woo almost invariably lurks at least one conspiracy theory. At the risk of flirting a little too close to Godwin territory, this simple fact about pseudoscience, pseudohistory, and other non-evidence-based belief systems was first driven home to me…

March 19, 2014

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7:00 AM | After all this time, Dr. Bob Sears finally tips his hand on vaccines, part IV
As hard as it is to believe, there was once a time when I (sort of) gave “Dr. Bob” Sears the benefit of the doubt. You remember Dr. Bob, don’t you? Son of the famous pediatrician Dr. William Sears, who was best known for his “Sears Parenting Library” and is a not infrequent guest on…

March 18, 2014

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1:00 PM | Kevin Trudeau sentenced to 10 years: File under “it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy”
Although I don’t want to distract (too much) from an interview I’m flogging today, I can’t help but take note of an lovely development in the world of quackery. Everybody’s favorite quackery promoter and financial scammer Kevin Trudeau has been sentenced to ten years in prison for his scams: Best-selling author Kevin Trudeau, whose name…
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