Now there’s a skeptic movie I’d go to see!
- Post author By Orac
- Post date March 2, 2011
- 45 Comments on Now there’s a skeptic movie I’d go to see!
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.
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45 replies on “Now there’s a skeptic movie I’d go to see!”
I like this one even better:
They’ve got some serious troll infestation there at thestranger.com Comment 56 taught me a new word.
You aren’t condoning violence, you’re condoning awful puns. Not entirely sure which is worse.
@JKW: that troll at thestranger.com is really off the wall. I followed his Gardasil link to the Wash.Post because of the 16 deaths. Gardasil leads to suicide? Um…I don’t THINK so.
I love this cartoon. Wish I could print it out.
Goodness, gracious after lilady read the appalling foul words and phrases and recovered from a spell of “the vapors”, I scrolled further down. I nominate for the craziest of the crazies “spindle”…and I love the replies to “spindle’s” postings.
I have not been here in ages.
I thought the anti vaccine folks would have pretty much gone the way of the dinosaur by now?
Didn’t the comet hit in the news?
Did spindle ever admit his feelings on the Jews or where Obama was born? He was pretty quick to admit the 9/11 conspiracy as the other guy predicted he would.
You’re new here aren’t you? You aint seen nothing 😉
Orac, you’re featuring and then making humor about condoning violence against people who disagree with you. And then being disingenuous and saying, “But, no of course I’m not.”
You are disgusting and you’ve crossed a line. Just disgusting.
Well, Dr. Jay proved my prediction right, didn’t he? I guess he just doesn’t like bad puns.
Why oh why is it that everytime Dr. Jay comments I start automatically singing, ” caught in a bad romance, lalalalala” ?
And I thought mr. jay wasn’t coming here for a while, because his feelings were hurt. (translated – he couldn’t back up his arguments, so he whined a lot and left)
jay doesn’t have much of sense of humor. And based off his posts and his website, not much of a scientific mindset either.
It’s not a bad pun and there’s no humor at all.
It’s condoning murder as did the jokes about Dr. Tiller and killing abortion doctors.
You’ve crossed a line.
Still no evidence eh Jay.
Yep. No understanding of epidemiology or immunology, either. On twitter, in reply to a comment about the 2 confirmed and 3 suspected cases of measles in Boston, he said 5 out of 4.5 million. When I pointed out that most of those 4.5 million are immune thanks to vaccination or infection, he said “Immunity wanes. Good health stops spread as well as vax”.
While measles immunity from the vaccine can wane, it is exceedingly rare and, according to the CDC, the waning immunity has no effect on transmission of the virus. And the virus doesn’t really care if you’re healthy or not. It’ll still infect and still get passed on.
Didn’t you even read the rest of the comic, jay? Obviously not.
You really don’t have much of a sense of humor.
Also, considering some of the stuff the anti-vax side puts up, which is probably more disgusting bordering of slander, why don’t you criticize them about that?
You really are sounding like a concert troll, jay.
I don’t think that is fair, novalox. Not being able to back up his arguments never bothers jay enough to make him leave. Recall that the reason he left is because he basically went over edge of sanity and started becoming really insulting to people who were destroying his credibility. As a result, I suggested he take a respite from posting here to help himself calm down and regain his sanity.
Clearly, his response above indicates that he still doesn’t have it.
I am reminded of Frank Burns when he left the 4077 (in the movie) after going nutso. As Duke says, “Fair’s fair, Henry. If I nail Hotlips and hit Hawkeye, can I go home, too?”
Jay: the cartoon is clearly referencing a culturally known fictional narrative to parody a common argumentative fallacy. It’s using an absurd situation to illuminate the absurdity of applying a general rule universally.
Under no circumstances could a reasonable unbiased appropriately informed person consider it to be an act of inciting violence against any other person.
You’ve clearly misunderstood the nature and content of the cartoon as well as Oracs posting of it. Either that, or you’re deliberatly using an interpretation that you know to be false to besmirch the reputation of a fellow professional for your own personal gain.
To claim it’s “condoning violence against people who disagree with you” could be considered an accusation of criminal or incivil acts on behalf of SMBC.com and could therefore be considered wholly unprofessional and potentially libelious conduct.
You’re either accusing Orac (whose real world identity is known to you and is well known) of inciting violence or you have deliberatly written your post in such a way as to give yourself plausible deniability later on. It’s not clear if you’re accusing him of condoning violence straight out or merely accusing him of featuring the condonement. Either that, or you really do need help to sharpen up your communication skills.
Once again, you demonstrate that no-one can damage your reputation as skillfully as you do.
Dr. Gordon, predictable as ever. Perhaps, Dr. Gordon, you can let us know which of your anti-vaccine colleagues have been murdered for their practices? In this way we can understand how the above cartoon condones their murders.
Similarly, would you like a list of people who’ve died from vaccine preventable diseases? In that way we can show you how you and your cohort’s behavior on the internet condones their deaths.
Dedj: I am certainly accusing Orac of condoning violence. Directly. Then pretending that he’s just being ironic or “punny” to give him plausible deniability. Gutless and despicable and, yes, it could lead to others inciting violence.
“Now there’s a skeptic movie I’d go to see!”
This is no funnier than the anti-abortion humor about killing the “baby killers.”
You need more than a sense of humor to support or defend this post. You need a twisted sense of morality and rectitude.
This crosses a line and is disgusting.
Methinks Dr. Jay is so hurt at my “nastiness” towards the anti-vaccine position that he will stop at nothing to try to make me look bad, in this case as though I am condoning or encouraging violence. When I first wrote this post, I was half-tempted not to put the preemptive comment about some anti-vaccine loon or other claiming that I’m encouraging violence against anti-vaxers in order to see if any would. I decided that I’d do it to make things clear and to make a prediction. I never figured Jay’d be the one to prove my prediction right.
Exactly. The answer, to my knowledge, is none. That’s the difference with the anti-abortion movement, where doctors have indeed been murdered and targeted for violence. Of course, one might also point out that it is the anti-vaccine movement itself that is known for threatening violence; for instance, against Dr. Paul Offit and, at times, me. Quite frankly, I’m more worried at times for my safety than I think I would be if I were Dr. Jay.
“Dedj: I am certainly accusing Orac of condoning violence. Directly.”
And as I pointed out, your interpretation of the cartoon is incorrect and unsupportable, thus your interpretation of Oracs post is incorrect and unsupportable.
“Then pretending that he’s just being ironic or “punny” to give him plausible deniability.”
He has plausible deniability because the cartoon is clearly using a cultural reference to an absurdly unreal fictional narrative to illustrate the issue with an arguementative fallacy.
To take the cartoon at face-value is – to put it mildly – fucking stupid.
There is no way you are that dense, thus the only logical conclusion is that you are using a deliberatly false misinterpretation of a cartoon to willfully disparage the reputation of a fellow professional for your own personal gain.
“You need more than a sense of humor to support or defend this post. You need a twisted sense of morality and rectitude.”
Nice to see your attempts at being civil are going well.
I do not believe that you cannot understand the cartoon. The reference is abundantly clear, has more cultural relevance to your age group than it does to the age group of the authours, and clearly references a broadly known argumentative fallacy. It is clearly an absurdity illustrating an absurdity and not intended to have any value in condoning violence at all.
For you to pretend it condones violence is either dishonest (and your insults and accusations are unprofessional and profoundly incivil) or a rather worrying sign that you do not understand the situation at all, despite being a central figure with extensive work on this.
Again, you are wrong and your failure to recognise or allow yourself to admit this is damaging to your reputation.
I assume someone has forwarded Dr Jays’ unprofessional and libellious remarks and accusations to SMBC, and will leave the decision to lever legal action or professional charges to them.
Orac, I have been threatened physically, repeatedly by email and in cyberspace.
Possibly, this occurs in part because of my being mischaracterized by you and your ilk as “anti-vaccine,” “pro-disease” or responsible for babies dying. You think that’s humorous or pun-worthy?
No, no one’s been murdered yet, but your making light of Dirty Harry getting ready to kill an “anti-vaccinationist” (an unintelligent epithet to begin with) is, I repeat, despicable.
And, in case you’re interested, I condemn equally anyone who would threaten or make light of violent response to Dr. Offit or you.
Funny how those “condemnations” never seem to make it into the public view, isn’t it Jay?
The public condemnations are typically reserved for mean nasty scientists.
“No, no one’s been murdered yet, but your making light of Dirty Harry getting ready to kill an “anti-vaccinationist” (an unintelligent epithet to begin with) is, I repeat, despicable.”
The ‘joke’ works precisely because it’s an absurd narrative, regarding a Dirty Harry character using an absurd argumentative fallacy to justify a clearly farcical course of action.
In other words, the joke only works if you do not treat it as a literal promotion of violence, as you have done.
Thus, you are accusing Orac of believing two entirely contradictory things at the same time.
As a side note: I am unaware of any case where Dr Jay has had an organisation, or senior representative of an organisation, launch, or attempt to launch, a concerted effort to remove him from his career.
Any Dr will inevitably have people who despise them and threaten violence against them (all of the ones I know personally have had more than a few, and all consider this to be normal, even outside ot mental health services), it’s not so common to be the victim of a multi-body concerted effort that results in serious institutional disruption (the only cases I can think of are Dr Roy Meadows and other Dr’s who support the idea of MbyP).
I thus ask Dr Jay to substantiate his implied statement that the behaviour towards him is in anyway comparable to the threats towards Dr Orac.
“Funny how those “condemnations” never seem to make it into the public view, isn’t it Jay?”
And . . . where are we now if not very public? And, have a brief scan of other blogs from this site and elsewhere.
“And . . . where are we now if not very public?”
You implied that you have received threats.
Criticising you is not a threat.
Stop redefining words as you go along.
You have been asked to state where you received these threats. Do so.
Where’s the scientific evidence showing a connection between vaccinations and autism that you promised us, Jay? We are still waiting.
Condemnations of threats against Offit and Orac are weaksauce when they appear in this blog. Have you ever made such condemnations to an anti-vax audience.
Jay, stretching like that, you’re going to do yourself a serious injury.
Oh no! I’ve just wished serious injury on Dr. Jay Gordon!
See how silly that is?
Dinosaurs evolved. There’s no sign of that with the antivaxers.
Exactly. Dr. Jay damned near never publicly by name criticizes the anti-vaccine side, except the vaguest, milquetoast terms–and certainly never where his criticism is likely to be seen, as in on his own website. Rather, he tends to reserve such criticisms only for places like here, buried in the comments of a post, in a place that only active participants in the commenting are likely to see it.
Dr. Gordon, master of “civility” has returned. I truly am surprised that you chose this blog to spread your civil venom.
We are all waiting for some scientific proof about the vaccine-autism link, the supplements you recommend in lieu of antibiotics and your failure to provide immunizations to your patients, as recommended by the AAP and the CDC. (Hint) Scientific proof Does Not include celeb fables or anecdotal stories from your select group of patient’s mommies.
All the nonsense you post on Orac’s blogs are in direct conflict with what we view on your website and your statements on anti-vax websites. You are dishonest and uncivil.
We are still waiting…in vain, I suspect…your justification for scientific studies to justify your methods of pediatric care.
@33 Methinks Jays evidence is 30C homeopathic which is why have been unable to detect it.
If Jay is commenting on anti-vax websites, someone should be collecting such comments. I am sure there is a wealth of civility in them that we could all benefit from.
I remember someone claiming in the comments on this site that pediatricians don’t vaccinate their own children according to AAP recommendations because they know how dangerous vaccinations are. But I haven’t been able to find that claim. Does anyone else remember that claim? Did Dr. Gordon make it?
Dr. Gordon claims that he has “…been threatened physically, repeatedly by email and in cyberspace.”
I wonder if he is referring to actual personal threats of violence (e.g. “I’m going to punch you in the nose!”) rather than more vague, generalised threats (e.g. “People like you deserve to die!”). If he has received actual, credible threats, the next question would be what the police did about the threats.
I received very credible (to the police) telephone death threats against myself as well as threats against my spouse and children. I also had to deal with hostile calls to my employer trying to get me fired. Dr. Offit has dealt with much more and much worse.
I suspect that Dr. Gordon hasn’t had to deal with these middle-of-the-night calls (I no longer answer the phone if caller ID shows “blocked” or “unknown”) and I’m pretty sure that nobody has threatened to kill his spouse or children.
If that makes him feel left out, he could try telling his supporters among the anti-vaccinationists that he disapproves of how they have harrassed Dr. Offit and others. We know how they feel about apostates.
Of course, I am also aware that Dr. Gordon maintains two standards of behavior. The people who agree with him are aggrieved parents (and enlightened clinicians and scientists) who feel a justifiable sense of outrage. On the other hand, the people (like me and Dr. Offit) who don’t agree with Dr. Gordon are Big Pharma shills and reactionaries who deserve any abuse we get.
No, I don’t take Dr. Gordon’s outrage (real or feigned) very seriously. His pathetic attempt at moral equivalency doesn’t play well when you look at how he has participated in the demonisation of Dr. Offit and how he routinely denigrates any who would dare to ask him to support his claims with more than his recollections of thirty years of general paediatric practise.
I don’t recall this argument being made here. Based on surveys conducted both in the U.S. and abroad, the claim is bogus.
Jay Gordon would do well to leave off being the Civility Police (when he clearly cannot differentiate between threat and humor, and given his personal nastiness expressed towards those who hold differing views) and focus on minimizing threats to public health from, for example, pediatricians who discourage vaccination and support bogus and potentially harmful interventions like homeopathy and colloidal silver ingestion.
In other words, doctor – heal thyself.
He also seems to have issues with honesty.
LW: I would love to see that comment attributed to Dr. Gordon. Apparently he’s too slick to ever state it publicly; more likely it was attributed to one of his celeb/mommies and/or his pals in the anti-vax movement.
What we do have as reference is his statement on his website (February 23, 2010) regarding vaccine against strep pneumoniae invasive disease:
“The Prevnar vaccine is too new for me to recommend”
Dr. Gordon the Prevnar vaccine (Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine-PCV 7-protective against 7 serotypes of the bacterial disease) has been available for routine infant immunizations since 2000. Since February 2010, the PCV 13 Prevnar is now available with the addition of six additional serotypes, for wider protection for infants and toddlers against deadly invasive bacteremia and meningitis illnesses caused by the strep pneumoniae bacterium.
Again on his website on February 23, 2010, regarding Prevnar vaccine, Dr. Gordan states:
“The number of cases of cases of pneumococcal ear infections it can prevent is very small and the number of cases of meningitis prevented is also small”.
Dr. Gordon, according to the CDC Pink Book (p 219) chart entitled “Burden of Pneumococcal Disease in Children”- *prior to routine use of pnuemococcal conjugate vaccine:
Bacteremia: 13,000 cases
Meningitis: 700 cases
Deaths: 200 cases
Acute Otitis Media: 5,000,000 cases
As Dr. Gordon knows (or should know) the Prevnar PCV 7 vaccine-available since 2000 and the Prevnar PCV 13 vaccine available since 2010 were licensed and made available to protect infants and children under five years of age from invasive strep pneumococcal disease which include bacteremia AND meningitis…and 13,700 cases is not a small number of cases.
Further along in the CDC Pink Book (p 222) is the prevalence of invasive strep pneumoniae disease rates comparing rates of invasive strep pneumoniae disease rates before the availablity of Prevnar vaccine (1998-1999), and after development of the Prevnar vaccine (2006):
“Bacterial Core Surveillance Data System data from 2006 indicates the rates of invasive disease due to vaccine serotypes have declined > 95 % among children < 5 years old compared to 1998-1999, prior to vaccine licensure." Care to comment on these statistics, Dr. Gordon? We are all interested as well in your criteria for commenting on the Prevnar vaccine available since 2000 and that you dismissed as "too new for me to recommend."
And you wonder why there are movies about your pharmaceutical industry sending hitmen out to kill people…
All hail Jake Crosby, “The Fugitive” from reality.
There are also movies about an organisation called “The Men in Black” who hide evidence of alien landings on Earth. For that matter, there are movies about talking mice, flying elephants and faster-than-light space travel.
And your point was…?
“And you wonder why there are movies about your pharmaceutical industry sending hitmen out to kill people…”
Uh, no, the fictional narrative of the Big Faceless Corporation out to Protect The Profit from the Little Guy Who Found A Secret is incredibly well known, and the popularity is very easy to explain as it typically provides an identifiable central character in a identifiable situation – albeit a dramatised and extreme version.
None of us appear to have any difficulty with that at all.
Of course, you didn’t mean that literally, so the question is: what did you actually mean and why couldn’t you be arsed to actually say so? Why do you think it’s okay to drop such a snide remark into a thread that already contains seriously unprofessional and libellious accusations?
Why – yet again – is everyone else having to work hard to make your own point for you? If you cannot compentantly make your own point, do not try. You just come off looking lazy and unskilled.
Shape up or ship off, buddy.
I have only one question for you, Dr. Gordon! Where were you when that horrid post on AoA showed up having those who defend vaccines at a Thanksgiving table devouring babies? Because I didn’t see you protesting about that! Seems you are always willing to play the civility card except when it’s your own ilk who is doing the offending.
I’m wondering too, about where Dr. Gordon is lurking. I’d also be interested about his opinion of Prevnar vaccine, licensed for use in 2000…or is it still “too new for me to recommend.”