The old Skeptical Raptor is actually Michael Simpson. I have over 35 years of experience in cell biology, biochemistry, and cardiovascular disease. I have a BS degree in biology, and a Ph.D. in cell biology, where I studied the effects of insulin-like growth factors.
Most of my background was in research and development in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. I know that some of you will take that as proof of some conspiracy. But, science is science – the only thing that matters is evidence, and that’s the only thing the ancient dinosaur uses.
During my career in research and development, I focused on many things from new radio-opaque contrast agents for cardiovascular health and cancer screening to cardiovascular devices to treat coronary artery disease to devices that could reduce damage to the coronary arteries and reduce the risk of arterial blockage.
I mostly focused on preclinical and clinical trials for these new drugs and devices. I have spent years managing clinical trials throughout the world, including in the USA, Finland, Sweden, France, Japan, and the Netherlands. That has made me a healthy skeptic about clinical trials — I usually say, “wake me when the results of large phase 3 clinical trials are completed, and the results are published in a respected, peer-reviewed journal.” Animal studies, phase 1 studies, cell culture studies, and almost anything else mean nothing to me. Though I might write about it if I think it’s interesting.
Why did I choose the name “Skeptical Raptor?” First, I’m a skeptic about unscientific and pseudoscientific claims. Second, raptors are cool. Furthermore, a raptor could be a bird (which is an avian dinosaur) or it could be an actual non-avian dinosaur. Both types of raptors were feathered and both were dinosaurs. And both are carnivorous.
This blog is all about chewing up bad science, anti-science, and pseudoscience.
Credentials don’t matter
Given the amount of ignorance posted in the comments section, let’s be clear. It doesn’t matter who the feathered dinosaur is, where they went to school, or what they did or didn’t do in the 65 million years send the end of the Cretaceous.
The only thing that matters is evidence, not false authority. If you present a claim in scientific discussions that are supported by the scientific consensus or vast amounts of evidence, then that is the only thing that matters. If you use logical fallacies, bad science published in trash journals, or anything but solid evidence, then I don’t care what letters follow your name, whether it’s an MD or Ph.D., your argument fails.
A skeptic (or if you write in British/Australian/South African/New Zealand/Canadian English, sceptic) is a person inclined to question or doubt all accepted opinions. In common vernacular, a skeptic is someone who requires extraordinary evidence before accepting extraordinary claims. Why haven’t aliens left some piece of their technology behind? Or why can’t we find one decayed body of Sasquatch?
As a skeptic, the old Skeptical Raptor does not accept the existence of a god or gods, magical claims in medicine and science, and claims made by politicians who don’t provide adequate scientific evidence supporting their nonsense.
The old dinosaur’s areas of expertise are in medicine and science, so we will probably stick with discussing those topics. But if we see anything about Sasquatch, we might have to comment, just because.
- Meneveau N, Schiele F, Grollier G, Farah B, Lablanche JM, Khalifé K, Machecourt J, Danchin N, Wolf JE, Simpson M, Hak JB, Bassand JP. Local delivery of nadroparin for the prevention of neointimal hyperplasia following stent implantation: results of the IMPRESS trial. A multicentre, randomized, clinical, angiographic and intravascular ultrasound study. Eur Heart J. 2000 Nov;21(21):1767-75. doi: 10.1053/euhj.1999.2041. PMID: 11052841.
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