The 116th Meeting of the Skeptics’ Circle:The Wooful ER

It’s time for your favorite blog carnival and mine, the Skeptics’ Circle!

 I had the most horrible dream the other day. After watching a Mitchell and Webb Sketch about a homeopathic ER, I had nightmares of being trapped in an ER just chock full of Woo, and other nonskeptical gibberish.

Walk with me, through the valley of woo, in the nightmare that is the wooful ER.

 “Tales!” My attending belts out from across the nurses station, “What can you tell me about the use of homeopathic Arsenic for panic attacks?”

“That it’s a bad idea? What do you think I am, a psychic?” The pimping I’m used to. That’s to be expected. But homeopathy? Clearly this is a nightmare!

“Wrong! They aren’t called psychics anymore! Get with the program, you’re so two thousand and late! Get on the internet and learn about Homeopathy! Stat!” 

I hate it when they say stat. In real hospitals, almost NOTHING is stat!

 “Still nothing, there’s lots about chiropractic though! Mostly about how it doesn’t work,” I respond snarkily.

“You aren’t good at this suck up to the attending thing are you? Suck up more. Tell me evidence based medicine isn’t important. It can’t be, good research in autism intervention is the exception rather than the rule!”

“I’ve got nothing for you. Maybe I could suck up some other way? Would you like me to say something that sounds profound? Our relationship is like the interconnectedness of clouds and petals.” That one always works. At least, until they think about it.

“You may be right. After you took the enneagram test four times we got results that are compatible after all!!! Go see the patient in room number 1, figure out what’s going on, and find a way to treat them with the Knowledge of the Ancients. It’s always better if we use the Knowledge of the Ancients!”

As I enter the room, I pondered 2 things. Firstly, always be afraid of anyone who can speak in capital letters, especially if they also can speak multiple exclamation points. Secondly, the ancients weren’t really right all that often, sure they have historical value, but as medical treatment? Be afraid of someone who wants to treat you with history, that’s what I always say.

Entering the room, I stop, and gape.

“What are you looking at?” The patient is not in a good mood. I assume this is because he is stuck to a bed of nails. From which he is bleeding.

“Why are you stuck to a bed of nails? Was tequila involved? I often find tequila is involved in these stories,” it’s true, tequila is often involved in ER stories.

“My Chi gave out. No tequila required”

“Do you really believe that?”

“ok ok, maybe I forgot to read about the physics in my bed of nails first. Physics beats woo sometimes.”

“That’s quite the concession.”

“Well, I’m kind of a fraud. I don’t even believe in Chi. I’m an atheist actually. I don’t believe in the soul. I actually have some reasons why. But hey, I do some martial arts, I like to get along with people, you could say I’m an accommodationist, in that I accommodated their belief in Chi, and so I jumped on a bed of nails.”

“I’m 100% sure that’s not what accommodationism is. I think that’s just being stupid. Maybe not tequila. How about rum? Vodka maybe? ”

 “Don’t be such a blithe spirit. Stop raining on my parade. Stop making me think. Next you’ll tell me Obama’s birth certificate is real!”

“You’re an atheist, accommodationist, martial arts practicing Birther?”

“In my mind, that’s a pretty consistent world view.”

We can let our world views blind us. Maybe it was Schnapps? Schnapps can do this to a person.”

“It was schnapps. Peach schnapps and a rough night at work. I don’t even really do martial arts.”

“Work? What do you do for a living?”

“I’m an Internet scammer. I steal peoples email passwords, and convince them that I’ll help them steal money from Sumatra. All this talking is drying me out.”

“I think the bleeding is what’s drying you out, hold on, let me deal with that.” As I start washing out the needle wounds, he keeps talking

“Maybe we can get me some green tea? That would really hit the spot right now. And it would hit two birds with one stone, my prostate cancer is acting up.”

“If you have prostate cancer, it’s too late for green tea. I’m not sure I buy all the green tea hype.”

“You don’t like green tea, you think Obama’s American, you don’t like homeopathy or chiropractic, you must be one of THEM!


“You know… the opposite of us. The THEM that WE always refer too. The kind of generically monolithic entities that are always thwarting my plans. THEY’re stopping me from losing weight. They’re being very fat negative. But you can lose weight, be fat positive and a skeptic, all at the same time. Admittedly, I’m not, but someone else is!”

 “Fair enough. Well, I’ve stopped the bleeding , so I’m going to leave the room before you rot my brain further.”

Exiting the patient room, I run right into my ridiculous woo-friendly attending, who was busy watching TV. Something about three skeptical meetings coming up in Perth, Australia.

 “Tales! You clumsy ape!”

“Ah, ape. So you aren’t all crazy. At least you believe in evolution,” I’m grasping for straws here, hoping to find SOME sort of connection. He can’t be all bad right?

“No, I just think YOU look like an APE. Not everyone believes in evolution you know. 31% of us definitely don’t!”

“But you’re a Doctor, look at the evidence!’

“Pah, and double Pah! Even Charles Darwin recanted evolution on his deathbed. I know, an evangelist told me so! ”

“That’s not true. Even if it was, it would be irrelevant!”

“Well even if he didn’t, he’s been Busted! Woo!”

“This can’t be happening, this must be a -”

And poof, I woke up.

Below, I’ve indexed the posts in no particular order, with title and author or blogname. But wait! There’s more! Your favorite blog carnival doesn’t rest. Next up is Ionian Enchantment. Get your best skeptical blogging ready for the next circle.

Until then, enjoy!

Whitecoat Tales


Index of posts:

HJHOP Podcast 10…Not the magnum opus I’ve been promising!: Bing McGhandi

Homeopathy: cubiksrube

The Profound Interconnectedness of Clouds and Petals:Andrew Bernardin

Bob Ellis – 37 years of futile faith:Skeptic’s Field Guide

What does “Treatment of Neck Pain:Noninvasive Interventions” tell us about chiropractic:Beyond the Short Coat

Psychics Aren’t Psychic Anymore:Karen Stollznow

Arguments Against Existence of a Soul:neosnowqueen

The Knowledge of the Ancients:Dr. Martin Rundkvist

The Skeptic as a Blithe Spirit: Bronze Dog

Doggerel #187: “[Scientist] Recanted on His Deathbed!”:Bronze Dog

Doggerel #188: “THEM!”: Bronze Dog

The Fat Positive Skeptic, Part 2:Greta Christina 

How Our World Views Can Blind Us To Reality: One Brow

Darwin: Busted!: Akusai

Deconstructing the Enneagram:Robbie Ratchet

Birther’s Continue Their Conspiracy Mongering of Obama’s Citizenship:The Skeptical Teacher

The Physics of the Bed of Nails: No Woo Required:The Skeptical Teacher

Polls, Evolution, and Science in the 21st Century:The Skeptical Teacher

Is This Transparent Or What?:Runolfr

Lim Yang: Partner In Crime:Runolfr

What Is Accomodationism?:Thinking Is Real

Is It True That Green Tea “Slows Down” Prostate Cancer:colinhockings

An Anomaly In Autism Intervention Research:Michelle Dawson

Back To Work! Results of Skeptic Zone Survey!:Podblack

Explore posts in the same categories: Chiro, Education, Medicine, Science, Skeptics' circle, Teachable Moments

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4 Comments on “The 116th Meeting of the Skeptics’ Circle:The Wooful ER”

  1. […] and Gentlemen! Head on over to Beyond The Short Coat for the Skeptics’ Circle: your fortnightly romp through skeptical posts, be they about the […]

  2. […] 30, 2009 by cubiksrube And the exciting news is… there’s a new Skeptics’ Circle up. Hey, don’t act like that’s some kind of anti-climax, it’s a good one. And […]

  3. Tsu Dho Nimh, BS, MT(ASCP) Says:

    I hate it when they say stat. In real hospitals, almost NOTHING is stat!

    STAT, to a Medical technologist is the acronym for Start Test Any Time … 🙂


    Tsu…you beat me to the punch. However, I was going to say that to an ER Nurse, EVERYTHING is STAT! UHM, we even have Blood Cultures that come to our lab STAT!
    If I could figure out how to make organisms grow in 15 minutes, I could be on Joan Rivers’ new show called: “How did you get so rich?”
    JTD, BS, MT (ASCP)

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