Eight Hours in a Room with the Anti-Vaxxers
March 14, 2019 by

On March 12, I went to give testimony at a hearing to support Maine’s L.D. 798, a bill to end non-medical exemptions to the state’s vaccination requirements. Little did I know, the issue has become so heated, that the office building that houses the committee room was packed to the gills with advocates on both …

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: The Myth of Parental Rights
March 14, 2019 by

Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes. Virgil, The Aeneid (II, 49) I fear the Greeks, even those bearing gifts. Also, in a less literary vein – a crap sandwich on the tastiest bread is still a crap sandwich. When our opponents present us with something, whatever they call it and however they present it, we are …

Being a Burden: Improper Reason for Seeking Assisted Dying?
February 6, 2019 by

A common argument against legalizing assisted dying for the terminally ill is that most will seek it for the “wrong” reason; specifically, they will hasten their death to avoid becoming a burden to others. For example, a statement issued recently by opponents of a Maryland bill to legalize assisted dying argues that in states where …

Why Roe Matters (It’s Not Just Abortion Rights)
February 5, 2019 by

The “right to privacy … is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.” So wrote Justice Harry Blackmun in 1973 in his seminal opinion in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973). By that opinion, 7 men (with 2 men opposing) determined that the federal Constitution prevented states …

Anti-Science and Pro-Religious Privilege: Judge Brett Kavanaugh is Worse than We Thought
September 10, 2018 by

Update: Though CFI believes, based on his past statements and on the phrasing of his answer to Senator Cruz, that Judge Kavanaugh probably does hold an unscientific position on birth control and abortifacients, the evidence is insufficient to make this claim with 100 percent certainty. Although Judge Kavanaugh’s answer doesn’t allow us to determine with certainty …

CVS, Homeopathy, and the DC Court System — What’s Happening?
September 7, 2018 by

Earlier this summer I filed a consumer protection lawsuit in the D.C. Superior Court against CVS Pharmacy, Inc., alleging that their stores commit fraud by displaying homeopathic products alongside science based medicine both in their brick-and-mortar stores and online. The wheels of justice turn notoriously slowly, so I wanted to take this opportunity to fill …

Atheists for Aretha, Hell? Please…, A Zero Golf Score
August 15, 2018 by

Hell doesn’t scare me. I played football in Chicago in August. Please… hell would be a cool breeze compared to 95 humid degrees in full pads.
Anyway, did you ever wonder why God designed us with so many flaws, then built hell to punish us for those flaws? Seems a bit circular, doesn’t it?

David Gorski: Quackery, Limitless in Abundance
October 27, 2017 by

What on earth is going on in academic medicine? From David Gorski’s presentation today, I learned that an association of schools with fake-medicine facilities exists, the Academic Consortium of Integrative Medicine, has over 70 member academic medical centers, which is up from only eight in 1999. What? Gorski recounted a long list of deeply troubing …

The Skeptic’s Ally: Julia Belluz Gets the Balles Prize for Critical Thinking
October 29, 2016 by

Last night, your devoted chronicler of CSICon had the honor of bestowing the 2015 Balles Prize in Critical Thinking upon science reporter Julia Belluz of Vox.com. Rather than paraphrase the whole thing, I’ll just quote myself from my remarks, and it’s not plagiarism because I wrote it: Here’s what I get from the journalism of …