Several new studies were published earlier this month describing the sequencing of over 2,600 cancer genomes. What the results show include what sorts of mutations drive cancer development and how evolution makes cancers so difficult to treat.
Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus (false in one thing, false in all things) is a legal principle. That doesn't stop cranks from misusing it to cast doubt on science that they don't like. Overall, it's just another form of black/white dichotomous thinking.
There is a defect in thinking that is arguably at the heart of much of science denial, dichotomous thinking. We all do it to some extent, but science deniers do it in spades.
In a new article in JPANDS, the official journal of the crank medical organization Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), Andrew Wakefield argues that vaccines are leading to a mass extinction. Wakefield's argument is so full of misinformation and pseudoscience that I can only marvel at how much Wakefield and AAPS belong together.
Paul Davies is a physicist turned Brave Maverick Cancer Researcher who thinks that, as an outsider, he's had an insight to the origin of cancer. The problem is that his "insight" is 100 years old. Scientists rejected it long ago because it doesn't fit with the evidence and produces no promising strategies to improve cancer care. Naturally, Davies cries "Big pharma!"
Even though they should know better based on their training, too many physicians embrace the dark side and become antivaccine. How does this happen? What personality traits common among physicians can facilitate a descent into pseudoscience?
Believe it or not (and you probably won’t believe it), but I never intended to post today, as it’s a holiday, and I had to write my usual level post for my not-so-super-secret other blog. But then one of you had to send me this: I couldn’t resist at least a quick comment on this.
Early in the history of this blog, I had a running gag that I’d use every now and then. Basically, it involved humorously extravagant descriptions of how I wanted to hide my face behind a paper bag in sheer embarrassment at the antics of fellow physicians, particularly fellow surgeons. Over time, the gag evolved to my expressing a mock desire to hide my visage behind a metal Doctor Doom-style mask, again, over sheer embarrassment over the idiocy of my colleagues about a scientific issue, again, usually evolution. Sadly, creationist physicians are a very common source of such embarrassment, although I …
Yesterday was a long day, starting in the operating room and finishing at a dinner reception for our visiting speaker today. As a result, when I arrived home, I was sawing the proverbial logs within five or ten minutes of hitting the couch, more or less without realizing it. I was going to just skip today, making it a rare weekday where I don’t provide you, my loyal readers, with a dose of the Insolence, be it Respectful or not-so-Respectful, to which you have become accustomed. But then I saw an article that reminded me of a topic that I …
(Orac note: I was away at Skepticon over the weekend, where I gave a talk entitled The Central Dogma of Alternative Medicine. (When the talk’s up on YouTube, I’ll provide a link, of course.) Because of all the fun and travel delays I didn’t get a chance to turn my slides and notes into a blog post yet. Also, I’m on vacation this week. However, this gives me the opportunity to resurrect a blog post from 2007, because I think the concept is interesting. I even use it in a slide that shows up in many of my talks (above). …