From the creator of Video Skepdude

Skepdude featured on Pediacast

Well not really, I am, as they say, blowing my own horn. But, an e-mail I send in was picked by Dr. Mike, at Pediacast, and he read it on the podcast, and he said he really really liked it. How cool is that? It’s the first time any of my e-mails to my favorite podcasts has been read on air.

I tremble with excitement like a teenager who just lost his virginity!

Anyway, what sparked my reply were some e-mails the good doctor had received earlier, accusing him of being arrogant, because he dared to take sides on the birth-at-home vs. the birth-in-the-hospital issue. Of course, he said that home births are riskier than hospital births, for obvious reasons. Listen to Episode 118 for the nitty, gritty details. And people really got mad and started writing angry e-mails accusing him, and the medical profession, or as such folks like to refer to as “western” medicine, of being arrogant, close minded and not open to new “alternative” treatments, as if such things really exist.

I took exception to this attack and send in an e-mail in his defense. I may have used the word “stupid” and “moronic” a couple of times, but the regular readers of Skepdude will not be surprised at that, now will you? Here at Skepdude we treasure freedom of speech and calling things as they are.

So without further ado, here’s the e-mail I send which was read, and picked as a favorite, on show #124. And if you are a parent, like me, you definitely want to subscribe to this podcast, that is only if you care about evidence/science based medical advice, which is what most readers of this heathen blog care about.

Hi Dr. Mike,

I was listening to Episode 118 “Listener Rants and Raves” and I just had to write in, in response to some comments that were made on air by some other listeners. More specifically I wanted to address the so-called “progressives” and CAM supporters. It is a common ploy used by proponents of alternative “medicine” to argue that “western” medicine ignores other treatments, and that it should be open minded to “alternative courses of action”. It is the same cowardly, whiny, argument Intelligent Design proponents use when the cry about being given “fair time” in our schools.

First of all, medicine is medicine. I don’t know what is meant by “western” medicine. Do they mean science based medicine? Medicine that works? Non-magical medicine? It is stupid, I think, to imply that science based medicine is not open to new treatments. Doctors, scientist and pharmaceutical companies spend lots of time and tons and tons of money in developing new treatments, drugs and technologies. A core characteristic of science based medicine is the never ending quest for new and better treatments. Anyone who disagrees with that is either stupid or dishonest.

What proponents of CAM are saying is to accept their “hypothetical” treatments as true, without questioning their validity. They have no scientifically acceptable evidence to back up their claims so they cling to anecdotal evidence and an argument about fairness and open mindedness, and of course CONSPIRACY. Anyone, who proposes home birthing as an alternative to hospital births is making the wild assumption that they are equivalently safe. Either that or they are willing to take the odds. The first is wrong and it does not need explaining. The second is moronic, and that does not need explaining either. In an attempt to make themselves feel better, they call themselves “progressives”, misunderstood geniuses. I call them Regressive, because anyone who shuns modernity in favor of thousand year old fables and superstition is progressing in the wrong direction.

I hope you take some time to read my message on the show. Since they are my words, not yours at least they can’t accuse you of being arrogant. They can go ahead and insult me all they want.

By the way, I loved the interaction between you and Karen and hope you give serious consideration to having her as a co-host permanently. I have no solution to your laundry problem that would inevitably arise in that case, but hey you’ve got a 13 year old. Let her earn her living! (Just joking of course)

Keep up the good work, and please do include more such rants on the regular show and if you could add a Forums page to you website where people could discuss such things that would be great too.

What do you think about the birth-at-home vs. birth-at-the-hospital issue?


May 22, 2008 - Posted by | Critical Thinking, Science, Thinking Out Loud | , ,


  1. Wow! You mentioned *me* in the email. Now I’m the giddy teenager!

    Comment by Karen | May 22, 2008 | Reply

  2. If you birth at home, you’re an idiot. That’s what I think. You’re risking your own and especially your kid’s life on the belief that nothing can go wrong, when the evidence is against you. Big time.

    How hard is it to look up how many people used to die in childbirth a hundred years ago and compare it to now. No, really. I haven’t bothered to look, so I don’t know how hard it is. But if I was considering a home birth I’d as sure as hell bother.

    Comment by Gib | May 22, 2008 | Reply

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