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Respectful Insolence is a blog by a breast oncology surgeon and researcher which focuses on medical issues in woo and pseudoscience as well as cutting edge research in the author's field. It is written using the pseudonymous nom de blog "Orac", named after a sentient machine from the British sci-fi series Blake's 7. Orac was later "outed" as David Gorski. Originally started on Blogspot in 2004, it has been a part of ScienceBlogs since 2006.
Orac is best known for his posts examining vaccine hysteria and the "mercury militia" claims of a link between autism and vaccines. He has had several Internet debates with neurosurgeon Michael Egnor (now a Discovery Institute fellow) about Egnor's claims that modern neuroscience has provided evidence for a non-materialistic interpretation of mind. In 2012 and 2013 he also took on exposing pseudoscience in anti-GMO activism, drawing parallels between it and the anti-vaccine movement.
The comments section in the blog is surprisingly good. Of course, there are trolls here and there, but they are frequently shot down by the commenters. Other times however, they win. Herr Doktor Bimler is the wittiest commentator and Narad is a tremendous douche suffering from Dunning-Kruger.
- Respectful Insolence on ScienceBlogs
- "Orac" also writes for Steven Novella's blog Science-Based Medicine
- Orac Knows, the old blog
- Ironically, "ORAC" was also Wilhelm Reich's abreviation for his orgone accumulator.
- Crosby and AoA got a thing for Orac, Open Salon
- Bad science about GMOs: It reminds me of the antivaccine movement
- Oh, no! GMOs are going to kill your babies and permanently change your gene expression!