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$#*! skeptics say

Ha! I must admit, I’ve said probably about 50% of these things at one time or another, maybe more:

Hmmmm. Maybe I need to come up with new “shit.”

Oh, and, by the way, I’ve been mentioned on PZ’s blog more times than I can remember over the last seven years. So there! (Oh, wait. Does that mean PZ won’t ever mention me again. Never mind. I take it back.)

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]

23 replies on “$#*! skeptics say”

Love it love it love it. Say these all the time.
“Aren’t you a little old for an imaginary friend?”
And as someone who used to sell “alternative medicine” (but never believed in it), the bit: “You know that doesn’t do anything” with the hand holding the Boiron homeopathic tube was priceless.

The one in the list I wish people would just retire – “you can’t prove a negative”. Seriously, what’s that supposed to mean? It’s flat out untrue in general. Can I prove that the world didn’t end yesterday? Well, yeah, to any reasonable degree of proof desired. Can you prove that George Washington didn’t have titanium alloy teeth that he used to great effect in hand-to-hand combat with the British? Well, yeah. Can I prove that conservation of energy is never violated? Well, maybe not, but it sure is the way to bet – on the other hand, I can’t prove that conservation of energy ALWAYS applies.
There are some “affirmative” some are “negative”.

As an admirer of your (and Pz’s) blog, I still have to ask, is the fact that you have “been mentioned on PZ’s blog more times than I can remember” a badge of honor, a badge of courage or …?

Mephistopheles O’Brien | January 25, 2012 2:11 PM

Yeah that one always bugs me.

Basically it’s a rather dumbed down version of “you can’t prove a universal negative”, e.g. that there X does not exist anywhere.

Over use has reduced a useful concept from logic to a dumb slogan.


Take my Shills and Minions . . . please:

How marvelous and droll this meme is! Sch’vaak emt pratzva v’Glaxxon tdreek or Shit Glaxxons Say is a huge hit in this sector (I simply love the one where she says “hold still, the bleeding will stop when you run out of blood,” I know I’ve said that a few times).

Self-deprecating humor really helps keep a loose coalition of marauding species from killing each other. Shit Rothchilds Say to the Windsors is pure comedy gold.

Good times shills and minions, good times.

Lord Draconis Zeneca VH7iL

Foreward Mavoon of the Great Fleet, Pharmaca Magna of Terra, Grand Vitara of Saskatoon, Here All Week

Glaxxon PharmaCOM Orbital

“is the fact that you have “been mentioned on PZ’s blog more times than I can remember””

Probably just a sign of vaccine induced memory damage…

Off topic, but I noticed that there’s an AP article discussing results of a new CDC study on Morgellons. There’s a brief mention of opposing views near the end of the article, but for the most part it seems like a pretty straightforward discussion of the research.

No! Not ‘The End of The World’.

The end of ‘the whirrled’. Silly.

A couple of years ago, a comment I made at the JREF, got the front page Randi treatment. What he didn’t realise, and what was obvious to practically everyone else, was that my comment was a parody of what I expected the contrarians to say!

(I now know that this goes by the name of Poe’s Law)

Hmm, cannot decide if PZ is cute or not?

Anyway, good news from the UK sentencing council. Herb-trolls can now grow up to 9 plants for medicinal purposes and not face prison.

Oh happy days, small steps lead to celebratory skips and whoops 🙂

Yeah, and Sativex is the first ever whole plant medicine to get approval.

What an amazing medicinal plant! Still sceptical?

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