Skepticism/critical thinking

The Golden Woos

With 2009 now safely in the history books, it’s time to look back on the year and “honor” some of the most egregious offenders against science and reason. Fortunately for us, Skeptico has presented his second annual Golden Woo Awards.

I was disappointed to see yet again that surgeon who has led me time and time again to want to put a paper bag over my head or even forge a Doctor Doom mask to hide my face in the shame that he brings upon the honorable profession of surgery. Yes, I’m talking about everybody’s favorite creationist neurosurgeon, Dr. Michael Egnor, who, through the principle of crank magnetism and the “vindication of all kooks” principle, has now revealed himself to be an anthropogenic global warming denialist as well–and not just an AGW denialist, but a particularly dim AGW denialist.

I also like that our old friend Bill Maher figured prominently.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

12 replies on “The Golden Woos”

Interesting read.
I’d like to nominate an extra category, the brickhead.
The brickhead should go to the person or group who most steadfastly ignore reality even after having their nose rubbed in it. Oh, except you’d probably have to give one each to Egnor, Chopra, D’Souza and Maher.

Brickhead award?

I nominate Dr. Jay and Sid Offit (AKA Stone Deaf Sid)!

I’d nominate Brian Deer for lying about Wakefield’s study. Now that’s spreading some “woo.”


Let me be a bit more clear than my last post. What, specifically, did Brian Deer say or write that was a lie about Wakefield’s study? Please provide evidence to support your answer.

In jen’s world the sun shines out of Wakefield’s ass, so any criticism of Wakefield, no matter how well supported by evidence must be a lie. The antivaxxers are no better than the biblical literalists.

Bill Maher was on QTV two days before Christmas (Youtube lXRPPbCQW0c). Not only had he not tempered his vaccine nonsense one iota, he was even more adamant that he was right and that the “internet people” were just “making things up” about him. He mentioned Jello again. Surprisingly, the host ate it up. Was that covered here?

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