Posts

August 28, 2014

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4:01 AM | A bad day for antivaccinationists: A possible retraction, and the “CDC whistleblower” issues a statement
They say that truth is stranger than fiction. I never really necessarily believed it, but today is a day that might well serve as anecdotal evidence to support that adage. Indeed, the day was perfectly bookended by two major developments in the case of the so-called “CDC whistleblower,” the senior CDC scientist who, if you…

August 27, 2014

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4:54 AM | The CDC “whistleblower” manufactroversy: Twitter parties and another “bombshell” e-mail
Remember yesterday how, I referenced the ever-awesome bit about the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and how after pulling the pin you must count to three, no more, no less, before lobbing the grenade at thine enemies? The implication was, of course, that I was on my third…

August 26, 2014

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4:07 AM | Hey, where is everybody? The “CDC whistleblower” manufactroversy continues apace
Here it is, Tuesday already, and the antivaccine underground is still on full mental jacket alert over the biggest story the antivaccine movement has seen in a while. Fortunately, it’s a story that’s been largely ignored by the mainstream media, which tells me that maybe, just maybe, the mainstream media has figured out that it…

August 25, 2014

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4:01 AM | The central conspiracy theory of the antivaccine movement
Occasionally, there are issues that come to my attention that need more than just one blog post to cover. One such issue popped up last week, and it’s one that’s kept you all very engaged, with the comment count on the original post rapidly approaching 200. I’m referring, of course, to the alleged CDC “whistleblower”…

August 22, 2014

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1:45 PM | Brian Hooker proves Andrew Wakefield wrong about vaccines and autism
Here we go again. If there’s anything that ignites the fevered brains (such as they are) of antivaccine activists, it’s a good seeming conspiracy. Indeed, as we’ve seen before, if they can’t find a legitimate one, they’ll either exaggerate one or make one up out of whole cloth. This week, an “alleged” conspiracy has been…

August 21, 2014

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4:01 AM | Clinical trials of magic
I’ll partially apologize here. The reason is that I said I’d be back to business dishing out the Insolence as usual, be it in the form of my usual 2,000 word gems, or slightly shorter, or a lot longer. However, fate intervened. First, there were new developments in the Frank Arguello threat machine. Go back…
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4:01 AM | Clinical trials of magic
I’ll partially apologize here. The reason is that I said I’d be back to business dishing out the Insolence as usual, be it in the form of my usual 2,000 word gems, or slightly shorter, or a lot longer. However, fate intervened. First, there were new developments in the Frank Arguello threat machine. Go back…

August 20, 2014

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1:10 PM | Dr. Frank Arguello doesn’t much like science-based criticism of his atavistic chemotherapy
As I happened to be out last night at a function for my department, I didn’t have the time necessary to lay out a 2,000 word bit of Insolence. I did, however, have time to note that yet another practitioner unhappy with being criticized over his scientifically questionable treatment, in this case, Dr. Frank Arguello,…

August 18, 2014

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11:00 AM | Medical marijuana and the new herbalism, part 2: The cult of “cannabis cures cancer”
About five weeks ago a month ago, I finally wrote the post I had been promising to write for months before about medical marijuana. At the time, I also promised that there would be follow-up posts. Like Dug the Dog seeing a squirrel, I kept running into other topics that kept me from revisiting the…

August 17, 2014

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3:00 PM | The false dichotomies of CAM and “integrative medicine”
A lot of medical specialties have throwaway newspapers/magazines that are supported by advertising and somehow mysteriously managed to show up for free in the mailboxes of their practitioners. In my case, I’ve found myself on the subscription list for such papers about oncology, but, given that I trained as a general surgeon. I’m Board-certified as […]

August 15, 2014

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12:15 PM | The false dichotomies of “integrative medicine”
A lot of medical specialties have throwaway newspapers/magazines that are supported by advertising and somehow mysteriously managed to show up for free in the mailboxes of their practitioners. In my case, I’ve found myself on the subscription list for such papers about oncology, but, given that I trained as a general surgeon. I’m Board-certified as…

August 13, 2014

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7:25 AM | Antivaccine cranks in Michigan: MLive.com gives Mary Tocco a platform
I come across antivaccine editorials all the time. Usually, some editor ignorant of the issues involved is duped by antivaccine arguments or succumbs to the annoying journalistic fallacy (with respect to science) of “telling both sides.” Either that, or the editor has antivaccine proclivities himself. Either way, the result is an op-ed by someone like…

August 12, 2014

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7:00 AM | Homeopathy for Ebola virus disease: Too quacky even for Mike Adams!
Over the last decade that I’ve been at this blogging thing, I’ve come across some incredibly irresponsible quackery, but what I saw about a week and a half ago took the cake. I’m referring to practitioners of The One Quackery To Rule Them All, homeopathy, demonstrating a sense delusion that was as massive as the…

August 11, 2014

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7:22 AM | Our patients don’t practice evidence-based medicine? That doesn’t justify doctors embracing quackery!
One of the most annoying phenomena when it comes to “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM), which its advocates are more and more insistent on calling “integrative medicine” is how little the average doctor cares that pseudoscience is infiltrating medicine. The reason, of course, is that CAM advocates don’t like the “alternative” part of the term…
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7:22 AM | Our patients don’t practice evidence-based medicine? That doesn’t justify doctors embracing quackery!
One of the most annoying phenomena when it comes to “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM), which its advocates are more and more insistent on calling “integrative medicine” is how little the average doctor cares that pseudoscience is infiltrating medicine. The reason, of course, is that CAM advocates don’t like the “alternative” part of the term…

August 08, 2014

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1:00 PM | “Atavistic chemotherapy”: A new form of cancer quackery based on misunderstanding evolution
Not infrequently, I’m asked why it is that I do what I do. Why do I spend so many hours of my free time, both here and at my not-so-super-secret other blog (NSSSOB), to write my detailed analyses of various forms of quackery, analyses of scientific studies, and expressions of my dismay at the infiltration…

August 07, 2014

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9:08 AM | Beware genetically engineered T4 bacteriophage nanobots!
Every so often I come across something in the world of woo that catches my attention because it’s so completely batshit loony that it demands my attention, either for the sheer delusion on display or for the extreme cleverness with which the pseudoscience and conspiracy theories are woven together. No, this time, I’m not talking…

August 06, 2014

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8:05 AM | The makers of Harmonized Water (a.k.a. drinkable sunscreen) do a “clinical trial.” Hilarity ensues.
About a week ago, my good bud Steve Novella noted a tasty bit of silly pseudoscience finding its way around the usual places, such as Facebook, Twitter, and the like. It was one of those times where I smacked myself on the forehead (metaphorically speaking, of course) and asked, “How on earth did I miss…

August 05, 2014

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8:04 AM | Refusal of neonatal vitamin K injections: antivaccine déjà vu all over again
As prolific as I am, I have actually slowed down. Long time readers know this, as I used to have a post up seven days a week and sometimes two or more in a day. These days, I’ve made it a rule that I don’t post on weekends (except if something really catches my eye…

August 04, 2014

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7:00 AM | Quoth Michael Minkoff, let’s not keep healthcare safe and secular!
I’ve been a bit of a bad, bad boy. Well, not exactly. Rather, I’ve just been a bit lazy and/or forgetful. I know, I know. How can the ultimate Tarial cell-fueled supercomputer in the neat, compact form of a Plexiglass-encased cube of multicolored blinking lights be lazy or forgetful? Maybe “lazy and forgetful” are the…

August 01, 2014

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1:35 PM | Homeopaths vs. Ebola virus hemorrhagic fever
Homeopathy is quackery. There, I’ve fulfilled my normal requirement to start out all posts that I write having to do with homeopathy with a simple, declarative, and, most of all, true statement about what homeopathy is. I also like to mention briefly homeopathy’s two major “laws.” The first is the Law of Similars, a totally…

July 30, 2014

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1:00 PM | Chiropractic “research” and autism
Leave it to my good buddy Mark Crislip over at the Society for Science-Based Medicine to have my back when I don’t have a lot of time for a detailed post. (Basically, I was being a good university and cancer center citizen last night, going out to dinner with a visiting professor, and I ended…

July 29, 2014

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7:02 AM | Déjà vu all over again: “Natural medicine” wikis
Regular readers will know that über-quack Mike Adams got himself into a bit of a pickle last week. Basically, he wrote a now-infamous post in which he likened scientists working on GMOs to Nazi scientists and pro-science bloggers refuting the sort of nonsensical fear mongering (from a scientific perspective) Adams and other anti-GMO activists like…
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