NCCIH research: Nothing much there behind the curtain
It’s an understatement to say that I’m not exactly a fan of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), the institute formerly known as the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and, even a year after its name change, probably still better known by its old moniker. Just type “NCCAM” or… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - January 7, 2016 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Clinical trials Complementary and alternative medicine Pseudoscience Skepticism/critical thinking Josephine Briggs National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health NCCAM NC Source Type: blogs

The CDC whistleblower data dump redux: Even William Thompson appears not to believe the antivaccine spin
Yesterday was kind of busy and a long day in the operating room rather drained me. So I only had time for a quick followup to yesterday’s post on how Matt Carey obtained the entire document dump that the “CDC whistleblower” William W. Thompson gave to Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL), who then gave it to… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - January 6, 2016 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Antivaccine nonsense Autism Complementary and alternative medicine Pseudoscience Skepticism/critical thinking Brian Deer CDC CDC whistleblower CDCwhistleblower conspiracy Matt Carrey vaccines William Thompson Source Type: blogs

The CDC whistleblower documents: A whole lot of nothing and no conspiracy to hide an MMR-autism link
One of the stories dominating my blogging in 2015 was a manufactroversy that started in August 2014 when, after several months of rumbling in the antivaccine crankosphere that there was a CDC scientist ready to blow the whistle on an alleged coverup of evidence that vaccines cause autism, Andrew Wakefield, ever the publicity hog, released… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - January 5, 2016 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Antivaccine nonsense Autism Complementary and alternative medicine Pseudoscience Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking Ben Swann CDC CDC whistleblower CDCwhistleblower Matt Carey vaccines William Posey William Thompson Source Type: blogs

Dr. Lipson versus Dr. Brownstein: Science versus antivaccine misinformation and fear mongering in my own back yard
It always irritates me when I discover a new antivaccine crank in my state; so you can imagine how irritated I become when I discover one right in my very city (OK, metropolitan area). When that happens, it becomes a bit more personal than my usual mission to refute antivaccine misinformation. So I was most… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - January 4, 2016 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Autism Complementary and alternative medicine Homeopathy Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking antivaccine Center for Holistic Medicine David Brownstein detoxification Forbes formaldehyde heavy metal toxicity influenza Peter Lips Source Type: blogs

Out with the old year, in with the new…with Insolence
As 2015 draws to a close today, all I can think is: Another year in the can. Since my family is here, and it’s a holiday, I’m going to keep this one brief and wish everyone a Happy New Year. In addition, I can’t help but wonder what’s going to happen in 2016. Who could… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - December 31, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Announcements Complementary and alternative medicine Skepticism/critical thinking antivaccine predictions psychic quackademic medicine vaccines Source Type: blogs

Quoth Vox Day: Antivaxers are more educated. Quoth the study Vox cites: Not exactly…
Vaccines and the antivaccine movement were in the news a lot in 2015. The year started out with a huge measles outbreak originating at Disneyland over the holidays last year and dominated news coverage in the early months of 2015. This outbreak had enormous consequences. It galvanized public opinion such that something I had never… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - December 30, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Antivaccine nonsense Complementary and alternative medicine Quackery science socioeconomic status study Theodore Beale vaccines Vox Day Source Type: blogs

More acupuncture Tooth Fairy science as 2015 approaches its end
Several years ago, Harriet Hall coined a term that is most apt: Tooth fairy science. The term refers to clinical trials and basic science performed on fantasy. More specifically, it refers to doing research on a phenomenon before it has been scientifically established that the phenomenon exists. Harriet put it this way: You could measure… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - December 29, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Clinical trials Complementary and alternative medicine Quackery acupressure acupuncture breast cancer pain quackademic medicine Source Type: blogs

Fixing peer review
I’ve frequently noted that one of the things most detested by quacks and promoters of pseudoscience is peer review. Creationists hate peer review. HIV/AIDS denialists hate it. Anti-vaccine cranks like those at Age of Autism hate it. Indeed, as blog bud Mark Hoofnagle Mark Hoofnagle, pointed out several years ago, pseudoscientists and cranks of all… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - December 28, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Clinical trials Medicine Science Skepticism/critical thinking peer review Richard Horton sacred cow Source Type: blogs

Happy Holidays to all…
Happy Holidays to all from everyone’s favorite box of blinky lights. See you all on Monday. I’ll still be checking occasionally for comments that need to be released from the moderation queue but won’t be particularly active otherwise. Until then, I leave you with Tim Minchin: (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - December 24, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Announcements Blog housekeeping Complementary and alternative medicine Religion Tim Minchin White Wine In The Sun Source Type: blogs

Year end award lists you do and don’t want to be on
Christmas and New Years are almost here. As a result, as is always the case this time of year, we’re being flooded with “year end” lists. These lists are a fun distraction that I actually rather look forward to as an amusing (and sometimes annoying) year end tradition. In particular, I’m a sucker for “best… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - December 23, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Antivaccine nonsense Complementary and alternative medicine Pseudoscience Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking Ben Swann CDC whistleblower CDCwhistleblower Ethan Huff Kristen Bell Mike Adams NaturalNews.com Sharyl Attkisson Will Source Type: blogs

Worst idea ever: “Natural” alternatives to the Epipen
Anaphylaxis can be deadly. Anaphylaxis can kill. More than that, anaphylaxis can kill pretty quickly. Even the most dimwitted purveyor of “natural” cures should know that and stay away from “natural” treatments for anaphylaxis, while the smarter snake oil salesmen also know that you can’t afford to mess around with a medical condition that can… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - December 22, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Complementary and alternative medicine Pseudoscience Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking Adam Trent allergies anaphylaxis Epipen neti pot The Gazette Review Source Type: blogs

Déjà vu all over again, part deux: Yet another Internet survey on vaccinations
One of the best things about blogging is that I don’t feel obligated to cover a topic completely in one post because I know I can always write another one or revisit the topic later. It also allows me to look at what I like to call “variations on a theme” of various kinds of… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - December 21, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Antivaccine nonsense Autism Clinical trials Complementary and alternative medicine Pseudoscience Skepticism/critical thinking survey Vaccine Resistance Movement Source Type: blogs

Vincent DeVita: We need more freedom to be mavericks. Orac: Not so much
One of my favorite television shows right now is The Knick, as I described before in a post about medical history. To give you an idea of how much I’m into The Knick, I’ll tell you that I signed up for Cinemax for three months just for that one show. (After its second season finale… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - December 18, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Cancer Clinical trials History Medicine Skepticism/critical thinking Brave Maverick Doctor Malcolm Gladwell National Cancer Institute The Knick Vincent DeVita Source Type: blogs

Germ theory denialism and the magical mystical microbiome
Whenever I point out that a very common thread of “thought”—if you can call it “thought”—in alternative medicine is nothing more than germ theory denialism, the usual reaction is incredulity. Newbies who haven’t encountered quacks before invariably do a double take when I inform them that germ theory denialism is a thing, particularly among antivaccine… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - December 17, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Biology Complementary and alternative medicine Pseudoscience Skepticism/critical thinking antibiotics Denialism germ theory Louis Pasteur microbiome Sayer Ji vaccines Source Type: blogs

An Australian “energy healer” begs medicine to take him seriously
Even though I’ve taken on the ‘nym of a fictional computer in a 35-year-old British science fiction series whose key traits were an arrogant and condescending manner and the ability to tap into every computer of the galactic federation any time he wanted to, in reality I am just one person. That means, try as… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - December 15, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Complementary and alternative medicine Paranormal Pseudoscience Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking Charlie Goldsmith energy healing Francois Dufresne NYU Lutheran Reiki Source Type: blogs

Michigan HB 5126: Endangering children by making nonmedical vaccine exemptions easier to obtain
We have a problem with antivaccinationists here in Michigan. It’s a problem that’s been going on a long time that I first started paying attention to in a big way a few years ago when we started seeing pertussis outbreaks again due to low vaccine uptake. It’s a problem that’s persisted as last year we… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - December 14, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Antivaccine nonsense Complementary and alternative medicine Politics Quackery HB 5126 HB 5127 Katherine Ehrlich nonmedical exemption school vaccine mandate Thomas Hooker Source Type: blogs

An advertisement for Stanislaw Burzynski masquerading as a news story
Although I don’t write about him as much as I used to, there was a time a couple of years ago when Houston cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski was a frequent topic of this blog. His story, detailed in many posts on this blog and in an article I wrote for Skeptical Inquirer, is one that… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - December 11, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Cancer Complementary and alternative medicine Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking antineoplastons Eric Merola Hannah Bradley Hannah Bradley-Cohen Pete Cohen Stanislaw Burzynski Source Type: blogs

Starbutts, or: How is it still a thing that people are shooting coffee up their nether regions?
Many are the “alternative” medicine therapies that I’ve examined with a skeptical eye over the years. The vast majority of them rest on concepts that range from pre-scientific to religious to outright pseudoscientific to—let’s face it—the utterly ridiculous. Examples abound: Reflexology, reiki, tongue diagnosis, homeopathy, ear candling, cupping, crystal healing, urine drinking, detoxifying foot pads,… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - December 10, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Complementary and alternative medicine Homeopathy Pseudoscience Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking adverse events autointoxication coffee coffee enema detoxification Source Type: blogs

No, it is not okay to give patients a treatment with no proved medical benefits
Et tu, Scientific American? A few of you seem to know what will catch my attention and push my buttons, because over the past couple of days a few of you sent me an article published in Scientific America by an internal medicine resident named Allison Bond entitled Sometimes It’s Okay to Give Patients a… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - December 9, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Complementary and alternative medicine Quackery acupuncture Boston University CAM integrative medicine internal medicine Reiki Source Type: blogs

What? Removing thimerosal from vaccines caused the autism epidemic?
The blog post of mine that arguably “put me on the map” in the skeptical blogosphere was my very Insolent, very sarcastic deconstruction of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s deceptive pseudoscience-ridden bit of fear mongering that he called Deadly Immunity. It was originally jointly published both by Salon.com and Rolling Stone, a blot that neither publication… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - December 8, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Antivaccine nonsense Autism Complementary and alternative medicine Quackery Science Skepticism/critical thinking Beaux Reliosis chronic lyme disease fungus thimerosal vaccines Source Type: blogs

A manual of spectacularly bad antivaccine arguments
To say that the relationship that antivaccine activists have with science and fact is a tenuous, twisted one is a major understatement. Despite mountains of science that says otherwise, antivaccinationists still cling to the three core tenets of their faith, namely that (1) vaccines are ineffective (or at least nowhere near as effective as health… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - December 7, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Antivaccine nonsense Autism Biology Complementary and alternative medicine Quackery Science Skepticism/critical thinking pro-vaccine Tristan Wells vaccines Source Type: blogs

Did “electromagnetic hypersensitivity” lead to the suicide of a teenage girl?
Blog topics seem to come in waves, where I’ll be stuck on more deeply examining a topic for days, only to have that topic dry up. Sometimes, you, my readers, make me aware of a topic. This is an example of the latter case. It’s something I had been debating about whether to blog about… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - December 4, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Biology Medicine Physics Popular culture Science allergy to wifi Chadlington Charles Newman Chipping Norton School Debra Fry depression electro-hypersensitivity electromagnetic hypersensitivity Jenny Fry Oxfordshire suicide Source Type: blogs

The violent rhetoric of the antivaccine movement
I originally wasn’t going to write about this particular post, but the mass shooting in San Bernardino yesterday led me to change my mind. For those of you who either aren’t in the US or were somehow cut off from media for the last 18 hours or so, yesterday a heavily armed man and woman… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - December 3, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Antivaccine nonsense Autism Complementary and alternative medicine Popular culture Quackery Religion Science Skepticism/critical thinking Age of Autism Dara Berger fascism mass murder Nazi pharma shill Syed Rizwan Farook Tash Source Type: blogs

On skepticism, pseudo-profundity, Deepak Chopra, and bullshit
Of all the slick woo peddlers out there, one of the most famous (and most annoying) is Deepak Chopra. Indeed, he first attracted a bit of not-so-Respectful Insolence a mere 10 months after this blog started, when Chopra produced the first of many rants against nasty “skeptics” like me that I’ve deconstructed over the years.… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - December 2, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Complementary and alternative medicine Popular culture Quackery Religion Science Skepticism/critical thinking Source Type: blogs

Ben Swann returns, and this time he’s got the CDC whistleblower documents
When it comes to blogging, sometime’s it’s feast or famine. Some days there are more topics and stories that I’d like to blog about than I could ever get to, given that I generally only do one post per weekday, while other days I seriously think about skipping a day because there’s just nothing out… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - December 1, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Antivaccine nonsense Complementary and alternative medicine #CDCtruth Ben Swann CDC whistleblower CDCwhistleblower Nation of Islam Robert F. Kennedy Jr. scientology vaccines Source Type: blogs

A device to put homeopaths out of business
I’ve been blogging for nearly eleven years now—and continuously at that, with only brief breaks for vacations or when the vagaries of life and career (particularly grant deadlines) interfered with the writing impulse. It’s true that I’ve slowed down a bit. I rarely post on weekends any more and not infrequently miss a weekday, but… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - November 30, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Complementary and alternative medicine Homeopathy Lesley Knight quackery Radionic Remedy Maker Radionics Source Type: blogs

On vaccines and autism, child pornography, and seeing “bullies” everywhere
Bullying. You keep saying that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. Yes, I do so love to co-opt that famous line from The Princess Bride for my own nefarious purposes, but it’s so perfect for this particular topic, which comes up every so often when I’m writing about the… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - November 27, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Autism Complementary and alternative medicine Quackery Age of Autism antivaccine bully Dara Berger National Autism Association vaccines Source Type: blogs

A pharma shill here, a pharma shill there, pharma shills everywhere!
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about the antivaccine movement over the decade-plus that I’ve been following and commenting on it, it’s that there are many flavors of antivaccine beliefs. These range from the “loud and proud” (and, invariably, incredibly stupid) antivaccine activists who aren’t afraid of the label. They’ll tell you that they’re antivaccine… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - November 25, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Antivaccine nonsense Autism Complementary and alternative medicine Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking Source Type: blogs

Déjà vu all over again: Another Internet survey on vaccinations
It is an article of faith among the antivaccine movement that vaccines are degrading the health of our children, such that vaccines cause autism, asthma, diabetes, and a number of other chronic diseases. You won’t have to look far on most antivaccine websites to find claims that today’s children are the sickest in history and… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - November 24, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Antivaccine nonsense Autism Clinical trials Complementary and alternative medicine Pseudoscience Skepticism/critical thinking Jason Yensid Progressive Health Consortium quackery survey Vaccinated and Non-Vaccinated Children's Data va Source Type: blogs

Hubris versus skepticism: The case of neurosurgeon Ben Carson
As a surgeon and skeptic, I find neurosurgeon turned presidential candidate Ben Carson to be particularly troubling. I realize that I’ve said this before, but it’s hard for me not to revisit his strange case given that the New York Times just ran a rather revealing profile of him over the weekend, part of which… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - November 23, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Medicine Skepticism/critical thinking Surgery Ben Carson creationism Mannatech neurosurgery politics vaccines Source Type: blogs

The fixed mindset of medical pseudoscience
One of the key principles of skepticism, particularly in medicine, is that correlation does not necessarily equal causation. I emphasize the word “necessarily” because sometimes skeptics go a bit too far and say that correlation does not equal causation. I myself used to phrase it that way for a long time. However, sometimes correlation does… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - November 20, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Antivaccine nonsense Complementary and alternative medicine Pseudoscience Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking Autism causation correlation FAERS Rogue Zebra The Thinking Moms' Revolution vaccines VAERS Source Type: blogs

The flying carpet retort to “integrative medicine”
I didn’t think I’d be discussing Dr. David Katz again so soon after the last time. In fact, when blog bud Mark Crislip (who clearly hates me and wants me to pop an aneurysm or have a heart attack, given how often he sends me links to articles as infuriating as this) sent me a… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - November 19, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Complementary and alternative medicine Homeopathy Naturopathy Pseudoscience Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking airplane Ben Goldacre collaborative quality initiatives David Katz flying carpet integrative medicine quackademic med Source Type: blogs

Finally, the Department of Justice and FDA go after unsafe supplements in a big way
Now that’s what I’m talking about! Yesterday, the Justice Department announced criminal charges and lawsuits against the sellers of several supplements! This is the ort of thing that is long overdue—incredibly so, in fact. Before I get to this specific case, let’s discuss a little background. One of the regular topics I write about, both… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - November 18, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Complementary and alternative medicine Politics Pseudoscience Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking Belviq Bethel Nutritional Consulting Department of Justice DSHEA of 1994 fda indictment Jack3d liver failure lorcarserin Meridi Source Type: blogs

Will Stanislaw Burzynski finally face real justice?
The other day, I suddenly realized that it’s been a long time since I’ve written about the Polish expat doctor in Houston who treats patients with advanced brain cancer with a concoction that he dubbed antineoplastons (ANPs). I’m referring, of course, to Stanislaw Burzynski who, despite the fact that he has no training in medical… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - November 17, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Cancer Clinical trials Complementary and alternative medicine Politics Quackery antineoplastons fda Richard Jaffe Stanislaw Burzynski Texas Medical Board Source Type: blogs

A naturopath’s got to know his limitations, but naturopaths never do
It’s no secret that I’m not a big fan of naturopathy. It is, as my good bud Kimball Atwood has said, a prescientific system of medicine rooted in vitalism, the idea that there is a “life energy” and a “healing power of nature.” Naturopaths invoke very simplistic concepts to explain the cause of disease, such… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - November 16, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Cancer Complementary and alternative medicine Homeopathy Naturopathy Skepticism/critical thinking Dugald Seely Neil McKinney quackery Source Type: blogs

Andrew Weil, the Coors Foundation, and Americans for Prosperity, or: “Integrative medicine” isn’t just for hippy dippy lefties anymore
The question of whether it is worthwhile to debate cranks, quacks, and advocates of pseudoscience has long been a contentious issue in the skeptic community. Those of you who’ve been reading my posts for a while know that I’ve always come down on the side that it is not a good idea One thing I’ve… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - November 13, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Complementary and alternative medicine Politics Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking Adolph Coors Foundation Americans for Prosperity Andrew Weil debate integrative medicine Koch brothers Source Type: blogs

The autism “Holocaust”? Why antivaccine advocates are not autism advocates
A typical response to a charge of being antivaccine coming from someone whose rhetoric is definitely antivaccine is to clutch her pearls mightily and retort, “I’m not ‘anti-vaccine.’ I’m pro-vaccine safety.” Similarly, a common retort of antivaccinationists who believe that vaccines cause autism, particularly those who believe that vaccines caused their children’s autism, is to… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - November 12, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Antivaccine nonsense Autism Complementary and alternative medicine History Holocaust Quackery World War II Adolf Hitler Age of Autism Dan Olmsted John Gilmore Louis Conte Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Robert J. Krakow Source Type: blogs

I am Spartacus! or: Orac applies some Insolence to a rather confused antivaccine blogger
I’ve used my current pseudonym since at least the late 1990s, first on Usenet and then on the first incarnation of this blog. Not surprisingly in retrospect (although it surprised me at the time), people who didn’t like me began trying back in the 1990s to “unmask” me. It began with Holocaust deniers. No, I’m… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - November 11, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Antivaccine nonsense Autism Complementary and alternative medicine Humor Pseudoscience Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking confusion libel Marco Cáceres di Iorio National Vaccine Information Center Orac pharma shill Skeptical Source Type: blogs

How would you like your placenta? Broiled or freeze-dried?
After nearly 11 years (!) at this blogging thing, I thought I had covered pretty much every medical topic a skeptic and supporter of science-based medicine would be interested in covering. However, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that there’s always something I’ve missed, some hole in my blogging oeuvre that… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - November 10, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Complementary and alternative medicine Popular culture Pseudoscience Quackery childbirth Kate Tietje Modern Alternative Mama placenta placentophagia Source Type: blogs

Respect my authoritah on “integrative medicine”!
David Katz doesn’t much like skeptics, particularly those of us who question the value of “integrative medicine.” In fairness, I can’t say that I much blame him. We have been very critical of his writings and talks over the years to my criticism of his statement advocating a “more fluid concept of evidence” more than… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - November 9, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Complementary and alternative medicine Homeopathy Naturopathy Pseudoscience Skepticism/critical thinking David Katz evidence-based medicine quackademic medicine quackery science-based evidence Source Type: blogs

Ben Carson: A case study on why intelligent people are often not skeptics
As a surgeon, I find Ben Carson particularly troubling. By pretty most reports, he was a skilled neurosurgeon who practiced for three decades, rising to the chief of neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins. Yet, when he ventures out of the field of neurosurgery—even out of his own medical specialty—he routinely lays down some of the dumbest… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - November 6, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Biology Medicine Politics Pseudoscience Skepticism/critical thinking antivaccine Ben Carson Mannatech vaccines Source Type: blogs

A sad day for public science advocacy
I’ve been at this blogging thing for more than a decade now. Looking back on those years, I find it incredible that I’ve lasted this long. For one thing, I still marvel that there are apparently thousands of people out there who still like to read my nearly daily musings (or, as George Carlin would… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - November 5, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Complementary and alternative medicine Popular culture Pseudoscience Skepticism/critical thinking FOIA Food Babe Freedom of Information Act Gary Ruskin genetically modified organisms GMO Kevin Folta Mike Adams Monsanto University Source Type: blogs

Horrifying suffering caused by treating pertussis “naturally”
Naturopathy is a cornucopia packed to the brim with virtually every quackery known to humankind, be it homeopathy, much of traditional Chinese medicine, vitamin C for cancer, or basically any other pseudoscientific or prescientific treatment for disease that you can imagine. I feel obligated to start most of my posts about naturopathy with a statement… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - November 4, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Antivaccine nonsense Complementary and alternative medicine Quackery Heather Dexter Michigan naturopathy pertussis vaccines whooping cough Source Type: blogs

Russell Simmons: The latest celebrity antivaccinationist?
I hadn’t planned on writing about this again today. (How many times have I started a post with that phrase? I forget, but a lot. Sadly, developments frequently make me change my plans about blogging.) Here’s what made me change my plans It was a pair of Facebook posts on hip-hop and fashion mogul Russell… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - November 3, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Antivaccine nonsense Complementary and alternative medicine Music Popular culture Quackery Religion #CDCtruth Atlanta CDCwhistleblower fashion hip-hop Nation of Islam Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Russell Simmons scientology Tony Muh Source Type: blogs

Ben Swann on the “#CDCtruth” rally: Regurgitating antivaccine talking points
Before yesterday, I had never heard of Ben Swann. Apparently he is the new anchor for the early evening news broadcast of the local Atlanta CBS affiliate, having joined the station in June. Apparently he is also prone to antivaccine conspiracy theories, which is a very bad thing to be prone to as a reporter… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - November 2, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Antivaccine nonsense Complementary and alternative medicine Skepticism/critical thinking Television #CDCtruth Ben Swann CBS46 Atlanta CDC whistleblower vaccines WGCL William Thompson Source Type: blogs

A 50 minute infomercial for traditional Chinese medicine disguised as a radio show, courtesy of Colin McEnroe
When I wrote about YouYou Tu, the Chinese scientist who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her successful identification, isolation, purification, and validation of Artemisinin, an antimalarial medication that was quite effective. It was also derived from an herbal remedy used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which has led a fair number… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - October 30, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Complementary and alternative medicine Popular culture Pseudoscience Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking acupuncture Chion Wolf Colin McEnroe David McCallum Mary Guerrera traditional Chinese medicine Vitaly Napadow WNPR Source Type: blogs

In which Orac co-authors a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine
Unfortunately, this happens to be a day when I didn’t really have much time to blog, as I had to go to an evening meeting last night related to my work. Fortunately, this corresponds with a most excellent day, a first in my life. Basically, I’m coauthor on a Perspective article published in today’s New… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - October 29, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Medicine Source Type: blogs

Cranks of a feather, part 3: Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the antivaccine movement team up with the Nation of Islam to attack the CDC
No doubt, regular readers are probably somewhat surprised that I didn’t discuss the antivaccine rally scheduled to be held in Atlanta last weekend that I wrote about last week. As you might recall, this rally consisted of two crappy tastes that taste crappy together, namely Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the antivaccine movement together with… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - October 28, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Antivaccine nonsense Complementary and alternative medicine Politics Popular culture Pseudoscience Quackery Religion Skepticism/critical thinking #CDCtruth Barbara Loe Fisher CDCwhistleblower Nation of Islam Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Source Type: blogs

The “myth” of basic science?
I’m a clinician, but I’m actually also a translational scientist. It’s not uncommon for those of us in medicine involved in some combination of basic and clinical research to argue about exactly what that means. The idea is translational science is supposed to be the process of “translating” basic science discoveries into the laboratory into… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - October 27, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Medicine Politics Science Skepticism/critical thinking anthropogenic global warming basic science cancer climate change denial Matt Ridley NIH philanthropy Terence Kealey translational science Source Type: blogs

Choosing Wisely three years on
I like to point out from time to time that arguably the most striking difference between science-based medicine (and the evidence-based medicine from which we distinguish it) and alternative medicine, “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM), or (as it’s called now) “integrative medicine” is a concerted effort to change practice for the better based on science… (Source: Respectful Insolence)
Source: Respectful Insolence - October 26, 2015 Category: Surgery Authors: Orac Tags: Clinical trials Medicine Science Skepticism/critical thinking antibiotics breast cancer Choosing Wisely evidence-based medicine science-based medicine sinusitis Source Type: blogs