Off to Skepticon…

As this goes live I’ll be heading to the airport, my purpose being to wing my way to Skepticon 7, where I’ll be speaking tomorrow on a little ditty I like to call The Central Dogma of Alternative Medicine. It’ll be fun, and I’m looking forward to it. However, in true Orac fashion, I haven’t finished the slides and outline for my talk yet, something I hope to do on the planes (there are no direct flights to Springfield, MO from here) and the 3+ hour layover I have to look forward to in Chicago.

What this means is that I was busily tweaking my talk and making some slides last night instead of laying down the insolence you all know and crave every day. Such is life. It happens sometimes. You should, however, donate to Skepticon. It is, after all, free to attendees, which is amazing.

As for today, I guess we’ll just have to have an open thread. Of course, there is one thing that came up in my woo feed that you might want to use as a chew toy. Why it came up now, given that it’s a couple of months old, I don’t know, but it demonstrates a very significant principle in skepticism: Just because you’re a scientist in one area doesn’t mean you can’t be seduced by pseudoscience in others, even an area fairly closely related to your own. I’m referring to this article on Dr. Theresa Deisher, the molecular biologist who really should know better but doesn’t. She’s the one who found fragments of fetal DNA in various vaccines and, in this article, is claiming:

“It is possible that these contaminating fragments could be incorporated into a child’s genome and disrupt normal gene function, leading to autistic phenotypes.”

As someone with a not-insignificant molecular biology background and published papers in molecular biology, I hang my head in shame at such BS. I can understand why a pathologist might fall for such a ridiculous idea, but Deisher should know better.

Anyway, talk amongst yourselves. If something interesting happens at Skepticon, maybe I’ll write about it. In the meantime, off to the airport and continued tweaking of my talk. At least the weather there is a lot warmer than it’s been around here lately.