It’s very clear that many antivaccinationists hate autistic children. The language they use to describe them makes that very clear. Such children are “damaged” (by vaccines, of course); the parents’ real children were “stolen” from them (by vaccines); they are “toxic” (from vaccines); the “light left their eyes” (due to vaccines). Autism is an “epidemic,” a “tsunami,” even a “holocaust,” with “denial” of that “holocaust” being equivalent to Holocaust denial. All of this likens autism to a horror on par with these calamities, and paints vaccines as the instrument of annihilation of antivaccinationists” “real” children. Of course, if vaccines were the instrument of destruction, then what does that make doctors who administer them, scientists who develop them, and bloggers who defend them?
In the mind of the antivaccinationist, obviously they all must be the equivalent of Nazis.
And, according to the editor of the antivaccine crank blog and propaganda repository Age of Autism, the journalists who report science properly fall into that category too. Quoting a news report on the recent CDC study that once again failed to find even a whisper of a hint of a correlation between vaccines and autism that pointed out, quite correctly, that science does not support the fevered dreams of antivaccinationists that vaccines cause autism, Dan Olmsted works himself into a high dudgeon:
The report goes on to quote the DeStefano/CDC study about how the antigens in vaccines don’t correlate with a risk for autism. Even in the self-protective annals of the CDC, this study is a stinker.
But putting that aside, the fact that Jalen fell off a developmental cliff TWO OR THREE DAYS after vaccination ought to make somebody in the editing room at that TV station, or some mainstream outlet somewhere, sit up and take notice.
This happens all the damn time, people! These kinds of parental accounts, combined with the $2 billion plus awarded in vaccine court, including to Hannah Poling; the known properties of vaccination, and the concommitant rise of mercury and vaccines with the autism epidemic, are far more than enough to start asking tough questions.
It’s not going to be very PC to say this, but one of the most vivid images from the end of World War II is the Allies making local villagers walk through a newly liberated concentration camp. The message was — how can you say you did not know?
When the history of the Age of Autism is written, I hope that part of mainstream journalism’s pennance is having to listen to parent after parent, hour after hour, describe just what Jami Nelson did. Healthy kids. Shots. And autism.
One can’t help but wonder whether if a child were hit by a car TWO OR THREE DAYS after vaccination Olmsted would blame it on vaccines. Maybe he would. In the meantime, note the truly horrible analogy that antivaccinationists are so fond of. Autism is like the Holocaust. Vaccines are the instruments that caused it. Pediatricians and scientists are like the Nazi doctors who oversaw much of the Holocaust. Those who deny it are the equivalent of neo-Nazis and Hitler apologists who deny the Holocaust. The comparison, if not made explicitly, is certainly implied. Those who “deny” that vaccines cause autism are the enemy. They are evil. They must be attacked.
Just like Hitler and the Nazis.
To Dan Olmsted, a former reporter turned vaccine/autism crank, that includes reporters. To him, reporters who don’t report on vaccines and autism the way that antivaccine loons like Dan Olmsted think they should (i.e., as a “tsunami,” “epidemic,” or “Holocaust”) are the equivalent of Nazi civilians living near concentration camps like Dachau who claimed not to know what was going on a short distance from where they lived.
Yes, Olmsted is that vile.
There is, however, a comment after his post to which one can only react by a massive facepalm:
For me, autism is a horrific example of the power of false beliefs: people are brainwashed to think a certain way and will not see, deny, reject, attack, any evidence contradicting their beliefs. Even if it is happening right under their nose, they won’t see it.
Against the greater than black hole density stupid projection, all the forces of reason and science themselves struggle in vain. Even the Hitler Zombie isn’t interested in this.
447 replies on “Can antivaccinationists knock it off with the autism Holocaust analogies already?”
As someone whose relatives were tortured in Block 10, I wish I could invent a projection device that could give these science-denying [redacted] a two-second burst of what a real holocaust is like.
Ten million dead people in the camps alone, fifty million dead across Europe and the Soviet Union, and I guaranf*ckingtee that everyone who’s ever mourned lost family/friends, would rather they were alive with ASDs than dead without them.
But that’s the entire disgusting antivax schtick summed up, isn’t it? Better dead than disabled, because as they’ve made quite clear, those of us with physical disabilities, mental illness, developmental delays and non-neurotypical brains are just broken, damaged shells. We’re a mockery of a sham of real, non-broken people, and exist purely as punishments, and abject lessons on what not to do.
Right, I’m off to vomit blood out of sheer rage.
A good article on what Wakers is currently up to: Andrew Wakefield: Autism Inc.
The Holocaust was made possible in part by the dehumanization of its victims. Anti-vaxxer rhetoric dehumanizes the autistic and other non-neurotypical people.
Orac touches upon another pet peeve of mine ( however, reading anti-vax blogs, what can one ever be BUT peeved, I ask you?):
hatred and scorn for doctors ( and other professionals). Like so many Dr Mengeles, “experimenting” on children, injecting toxic and corrosive chemical weapons of the battlefield into innocent children, destroying them. De-humanise the ‘enemies’ and de-value their abilities and contributions: isn’t this a manoeuvre that propagandists know and love? ( see Natural News)
Over the past year, AoA and TMR have certainly cast aspersion on doctors – Alison MacNeil is especially adept at this and should be singled out for her exceptional performance ( see “Dr @sshat”).
Related to this is the notion that AOA/ TMR parents know more than experts: they attempt to educate physicians with articles and books written by alt media quacks and attention whores like AJW ( their posts instruct others how to discuss these topics with doctors and educators, especially TMR) . Puerile attempts at theorising follow as well: I single out Teresa Conrick for special mention. Or pretense at journalism- too many here- Dan, Mark, Kim, Jake etc etc etc.
They heap derision on their many enemiesand weave convoluted conspiracy theories because they cannot provide data that supports their own position. Why outline reasonable objections supported by research when it’s so much easier to cry “N-zi!”
And as usual, Dan O. indulges in a little cherry-picking. While the father was quoted correctly from the *beginning* of the article, what they didn’t add was the father’s comment from the *end* of the article:
“And Nielsen still wonders about that last vaccine his son had, he’s still not certain it’s to blame.
No, because I’ve seen too many other things out there,” he said.
Gee, Dan. Why didn’t you have THAT quote in your article? Because the father is saying he’s not SURE it’s the vaccines, and that is anathema to your faithful?
I’m glad that you and others have brought this up, Orac. One of the regular commenters in this blog, Sid Offit (aka Robert Schecter), regularly has people at this Facebook page compare anything to do with public health to what the Nazis did in Europe. They comment that “Mengele is alive and well in America” whenever Robert posts some unsubstantiated link to a conspiracy theory page about a death or injury from vaccines or any other public health intervention.
And he doesn’t correct them. He eggs them on, even. He doesn’t say, “Yeah, doctors are only out for the quick buck, but they’re not sadists.” Or, “You know, Ren and other public health people do stuff that I find despicable, but he has never tortured a Jew.”
But that’s the thing, isn’t it, Robert? You want to get as many people on “your side” as you possibly can without turning any of them away because, hey, it’s all about the likes and stuff. It’s all about influencing people, isn’t it, Robert? You claim to be on a Libertarian bender when it comes to vaccines, but that’s not the truth, is it? It’s something deeper, darker, some fear of Nazi zombies. Am I right?
On the other hand, I’m glad that people like that show their true colors so we can quickly identify the crazies in the lot. Because it’s one thing to fear vaccines based on a load of hogwash you yourself gathered from the internet. It’s another to think that I’m like Mengele and his lot.
Lord almighty! Dan’s hyperbole and lack of rationality know no bounds!
“The fact that Jalen fell off a developmental cliff TWO OR THREE DAYS after vaccination ought to make somebody in the editing room at the TV station, or some mainstream
outlet somewhere, sit up and take notice.”
“How can you say that you did not know?”
So the journalists are implicated as accomplices in the epiidemic.
I always figured the psychologists were the ones to blame.
I always check out the latest crap produced by the AoA *journalists* This latest is just another attempt by Olmsted to label pro-vaccine, pro-science doctors and nurses as Nazis.
Did I miss an actual analysis of the latest study authored by Olmsted or any of the other *science journalists* at AoA?
We should have been prepared for this…because the AoA bloggers have a penchant of associating any holidays, or any days of remembrance, with their “autism tsunami being caused by vaccines theme”.
@ Ren: Bob Schecter and I both grew up in Brooklyn, which had, and still has, a large Jewish population. During his childhood years, he must have seen Jewish people who survived the Nazi concentration camps, who had identifying numbers tattooed on their forearms.
So, why doesn’t Bob take a firmer stance when the Holocaust experience is brought up on his blog? Is it all about his desire to not *offend* the posters who compare doctors, nurses and epidemiologists to Nazis?
I blame the scapegoats.
As an autistic pro-vaccine advocate, and as a rational and empathetic human being, this sickens me beyond the pale. It trivializes genocide at the same time as dehumanizing autistic people. For those reason-impaired antivaccinationists who believe such analogies to be apt, I will make it exceptionally clear how flawed this analogy is. Where it paints pro-vaccine advocates as Nazis and autistic people as Holocaust victims, this analogy would have me compared simultaneously to a Nazi and to a Holocaust victim. How anyone could be so blind to the absurdity of this notion is beyond my faculties of imagination. Because anyone capable of blogging about vaccines can’t really be autistic, unless they’re promoting antivaccine conspiracy theories *cough* JakeCrosby *cough*.
@ Captain Quirk: Have you ever “googled” “Holocaust Age of Autism”…I have.
I expect that the the AoA *science journalists* will have at least one blog prior to the National Holocaust Remembrance Day which is Monday, April 8, 2013.
One can’t help but wonder whether if a child were hit by a car TWO OR THREE DAYS after vaccination Olmsted would blame it on vaccines.
If I remember correctly, a poor girl died in a car accident in the days following Gardasil vaccination. And anti-vax people did blame it on the vaccine, along a few other deaths.
So, alas, wonder no more.
Ah, blockquote fail.
Nature’s hint it’s bedtime for me (here in Europe).
It seems to me that something so aggressively toxic as to cause a child to fall “off a developmental cliff TWO OR THREE DAYS” later would be fairly easy to identify. Claims (spurious though they are) for vaccine causation almost have to invoke a more subtle mechanism if one is to explain why the causal connection is so difficult to pin down. But I’m just an evil Nazi scientist, so I can’t be trusted anyway.
@Bronze Dog – Exactly. Aktion T4 almost seems like something the antivax mob would welcome, seeing as it focused on the “broken” and “damaged”, and only after that was it applied to other populations.
@lilady – is it not common for Americans of a certain age to have known other survivors, or do they typically only know of the Jewish ones? I know that emigration to the US was huge post-war, but not about which types of camp survivor specifically ended up there.
I know that several Rom and Sinti survivors went Stateside, and obviously many of the Jewish ones. A lot of my granddad’s people ended up in Canada, and Europe (including the UK) absorbed all sorts of survivors that the US probably wouldn’t have accepted. Maybe I’ve just answered my own question!
I was at a talk by a member of the White Rose once. The only reason she was alive was that her execution date was set for the day after Dachau was liberated.
My grandfather worked for the German railway company back then. He saw the trains that went to the middle of nowhere, where the lines ended and came back empty. He witnessed how the prisoners of a train managed to literally claw their way out of a train car and fled into a Polish winter completely naked and how the soldiers hunted them down like animals.
All the while knowing that he couldn’t do anything to help because not only would he die for the attempt, but like his wife and two young children too.
Sure, vaccination is just exactly like that.
I’m also sure my grandparents wouldn’t have minded having an autistic child instead of watching their child slowly suffocate with diphtheria.
There are fates worse than death, but autism isn’t one of them.
I was thinking… With the widespread use if smartphones and social media, how difficult would it be to find one, just one, documented instance of children who are perfectly “normal” then almost immediately “regress” after being vaccinated? Has anyone seen a video or a set of pictures? Is there a real-time blog or twitter account that has a parent writing that their children is in the process of being “lost”? I can’t find such an account, only anecdotal evidence from years after the alleged immediate regression.
Maybe Wakefield’s reality TV show will document such a thing… Because we all know what happened with one Ms. Jennings.
@ elburto: I’m not THAT OLD 🙂 nor is Bob Schecter that young. Schecter graduated from a Brooklyn high school and attended John Jay College, where he was awarded a degree in “fire science”. I’ll go out on a limb here, to opine that Bob is about 15-20 years younger than I am.
I have many friends and some of them are Jewish, some of them Christian, some of them Muslim…and even some who are atheists/agnostics.
I’m not minimizing the incarceration/murders of other groups who were found to be *undesirables* (eastern Europeans, gypsies, homosexuals, the elderly and *mentally deficient* people), whose lives were snuffed out by Nazis.
how difficult would it be to find one, just one, documented instance of children who are perfectly “normal” then almost immediately “regress” after being vaccinated? Has anyone seen a video or a set of pictures?
There are only the home movies of children who were purportedly normal until vaccination and then regressed overnight; movies which, when produced as evidence, are full of autistic behaviours.
herr doktor bimler is referring to I believe Dr. Eric Fombonne’s testimony in the Cedillo case in the Autism Omnibus Hearing. The petitioners (the Cedillos) presented home video of a birthday party that they claimed showed that Michelle Cedillo was developing normally. Dr. Fombonne demonstrated that the videos showed that even as young as one year, Michelle Cedillo showed signs of autism.
There are three recent studies using parental home videos to look for early signs of autism
Am J Speech Lang Pathol. 2013 Feb;22(1):25-39. doi: 10.1044/1058-0360(2012/11-0145). Epub 2012 Jul 30.
Communicative gesture use in infants with and without autism: a retrospective home video study.
Watson et al.
Am J Occup Ther. 2012 Sep-Oct;66(5):e81-4. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2012.004465.
Precursors and trajectories of sensory features: qualitative analysis of infant home videos.
Freuler et al.
J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2011 Aug;50(8):796-806.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2011.03.012. Epub 2011 Jun 2.
Onset patterns in autism: correspondence between home video and parent report.
Ozonoff et al.
The last had an interesting observation:
The recall bias effect has been studied at least once for autism and vaccines:
Arch Dis Child 2002;87:493-494 doi:10.1136/adc.87.6.493
Community child health, public health, and epidemiology
Recall bias, MMR, and autism
Andrews et al.
Sadly, the Andrews study has not been repeated.
“You want to get as many people on “your side” as you possibly can without turning any of them away”
If you’ve convinced yourself that your antivax beliefs are akin to a religion, and that religion is constantly under attack by a wide-ranging conspiracy, then you must band together with anyone who agrees with your faith’s central tenets, no matter how loathsome or insane that person otherwise is.
I’ve had antivaxers chortle in amazement at my occasionally disagreeing with comments by other pro-immunization advocates. Healthy debate and a lack of lock-step uniformity are incomprehensible and in fact anathema to these true believers.
@ Li Ditz: I’ve actually seen photos of children who were diagnosed with autism, who showed signs of autistic regression after their first birthdays. But, these babies were born in the 1950s and 1960s and actually had measles, mumps and rubella.
@lilady – Oh don’t worry, didn’t think you were minimising any groups, just that I often encounter (online, of course) people from the US who’ve only ever met/heard of Jewish survivors.
That’s how I then answered my own question, because I realised that certain types of victims/survivors would probably not have been considered to be eligible immigrants for the US, and others still would have been unable to make the trip.
Oh, and I’m only 35 IIRC (it’s only three hours after my bedtime meds so facts evade me!) but I met/knew a few bearers of the dreaded tattoo.
The ones I knew are all dead now, not many of them left at all. Those from the Jewish relative pool died while I was little, but my granddad made it to 90 years old.
I wish I could have locked an AOA zombie in a room with him, so that after they told him about the “Autism Holocaust”, he could tell them a few gut-wrenching, heartbreaking stories about a the real deal,
I’d also like to send the “vaccine-induced genocide” Muppets to refugee camps in Darfur, and to Rwanda. Maybe the people there could give them some insight on how a “broken” child is better than a murdered one, or one dying of AIDS that they contracted after being raped.
#25 I think people who haven’t done a lot of research on the Holocaust might not even know about all the groups involved.
Honestly, I *have* done a fair amount of research on the subject, and I doubt I could list them all. Maybe I could if I included a blanket term like “dissidents,” but considering the Nazis used similar terms to mean practically *everyone* involved, that would really be a cop-out.
Funny, I don’t recall ever reading about Nazis asking for signed consent as a prerequisite for the horrors they inflicted in their concentration camps.
one of the most vivid images from the end of World War II is the Allies making local villagers walk through a newly liberated concentration camp.
It has to be said, Olmsted’s perspective on WW II and Nazi atrocities appears to be based on watching “Band of Brothers”.
the concommitant rise of mercury
So he is still clinging to mercury as his Theory of Everything? I agree that one should not allow oneself to be bullied by facts, but a vague recognition of their existence is often helpful.
Reminds me of this incident:
@elburto: “Maybe the people there could give them some insight on how a “broken” child is better than a murdered one”
perhaps I am unkind, but I wonder if some of them wouldn’t *welcome* a murdered child instead of “broken” “soulless” child. Imagine the martyr points you’d get if you could wail that your “broken” child was *almost* recovered and then tragically murdered so you could never, ever get back your real child. Plus you wouldn’t have to take care of the child anymore, so you’d have more time to be a martyr online.
I had a regular patron at my old place of work that would come every now and then to gamble. He wore a black ribbon on his lapel all the time, and none of us thought to question him about it. (Obviously, it’s a remembrance ribbon – but it’s rude to ask – “I’m sorry Sir, what’s your ribbon representing” – because it might upset him)
I can remember him plain as day – because of the following incident:
One day he was playing at a table where there was a younger crowd (relatively speaking) who were there celebrating. Apparently they’d held a Bar Mitzvah for one of their children, and they were having a good time that evening.
They started singing some songs in Yiddish together and the older man nodded and wished them well (also in Yiddish). They asked him to start to sing with them, and he politely declined, saying that he didn’t know the words to the song that well.
One of them replied, “All good Jews know this song! It’s played at every Bar Mitzvah!”
The older man turned towards the other group, and rolled up his sleeve.
You could see his tattoo plain as day on his forearm. He said, “I never had a Bar Mitzvah. When I was 13, I watched my mother and sister burn in a furnace, and wondered if I was going to be next.”
You could have heard a pin drop – quite a feat for a busy casino.
Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. From sundown until sundown tomorrow, April 8th.
I think the most comical recent post by AOA is the one where Jenny the porn star interviews Kim Stagliano. Clearly Jenny does not hate doctors because from the looks of her face she has visited a plastic surgeon waaaay too often! I guess doctors are A-OK when she needs work done. She looks like all the others in Hollyweird now with a face made of clay. As for Stagliano, the poor woman is just unfortunate in so many ways. Her looks and her childish attitude are just plain scary.
elburto touches on an important point:
the mindless self-comparisons of anti-vaxxers ( and other woo-topians) to groups of people who suffered actual atrocities and attempted genocide by n-azis and others.
I seem to hear that term ‘genocide’ all too often at the craven swamps of alt med unreasonability that I frequent. There is ‘oppression’ in a ‘police state’ as rights are ‘taken away’ and a ‘reign of terror’ persists..
all of this reported by lazy, uneducated snake oil salepeople or disturbed disinformation-spreading parents who sit at computers and contrive ways to garner wealth and fame without studying or working.
LW: Join the club, I’ve wondered that too. Then again, I’m a bitch with excellent acting skills.
@ Sami: Here’s the link to Jenny McCarthy’s blog and her interview with Kim. See how she she describes her three daughters who each have a diagnosis of an ASD. Her youngest child is the one child who never was vaccinated…yet she is autistic. Odd, huh?
It’s treading a fine line with Jenny’s promise to not bring the antivax crazy to her “Splash!” blog. One might note that they didn’t link out to AoA.
Right. I guess the youngest’s ASD was caused by her
own childhood vaccines,
dental amalgam fillings,
mercury-ridden miasmae circulating about the environs she walked about in while pregnant?
From the UC Davis MIND Institute site:
Recent Infant Sibling Study Findings
“Surprisingly, very few children who develop autism are identifiable at 6 months of age. In our study, most of these infants engage warmly with others, smile at people, vocalize to others, and make good eye contact at 6 months. However these skills decreased between 6 and 18 months as signs of autism slowly emerged. Our current focus is on trying to discover risk markers at 6 months of age that might predict which children will begin to show this decline into autism.”
@ Denice Walter: Kim’s childhood vaccines? Kim’s dental amalgam fillings? Mercury-ridden miasmae/miasmas/miasmata? Uh, no.
According to Stagmom’s latest blogs on AoA and the Ho-Po, Kim and her husband decided to close down the baby factory (“stoppage”), after her THIRD child was diagnosed with an ASD…yet others who have read her book, have stated that Kim and her husband decided to prevent another pregnancy after her two children were born and diagnosed with ASDs.
(I haven’t read her book)…apparently Kim describes in *exquisite detail* how her third child was conceived…something, something, associated with getting trashed on booze.
I’m sorry but how in the HELL can Kim Stagliano be blind to the fact that clearly there is a genetic component to her kids’ autism? Three kids/ girls all with autism and she tries to blame it all on vaccines DESPITE the fact the youngest one was never even vaccinated. It makes no sense at all. The woman is not working on all four cylinders honestly.
Plus, if she wants people to take her seriously (which is impossible) and to take AOA seriously then WHY oh WHY would she have Jenny McCarthy on there? No one thinks that HO is sane, no one!
You know, for the first time in my life, I found a point in which I actually agree with Olmsted.
“For me, autism is a horrific example of the power of false beliefs: people are brainwashed to think a certain way and will not see, deny, reject, attack, any evidence contradicting their beliefs. Even if it is happening right under their nose, they won’t see it. ”
Indeed, sirrah, you SHOULD see the evidence contradicting the tripe that you present to support antivaxer lunacy.
So, heed your own words, Dan Olmsted.
Nearly a year ago, I accompanied my eldest daughter to the library, with my two grandchildren.
My eldest daughter knows my opinions on vaccination, I’ve shared my witnessing of the horrors of a polio epidemic from when I was deployed and she’s also a Registered Nurse.
She advised me, one woman who loved to get close to my daughter and place her children close to my grandchildren, one of whom was too young to be immunized yet.
So, I struck up a conversation with the woman. Her views became readily apparent.
Then, she learned that she was speaking to the worst kind of terrorist. The terrorist that terrorized terrorists, a recently retired SF veteran, who was in a foul mood.
A foul mood caused by her insistence upon placing her disease or potentially disease ridden children in proximity of my grandchildren, one of whom was unprotected by herd immunity, thanks to her and was too young to be protected by anything less than me.
She’s kept her brood away from my grandchildren since.
I’m rarely loud, but then, a reading from the “book of threats” should never be performed at high volume, for quietness is the rule. Volume only implies impotence.
And yes, I was so uncivilized as to threaten her and her entire family, should her brood, due to her negligence, cause the death of one of my family.
I’m the nicest guy in the world, if you’re not a blatant threat. Babies loved me, all over the planet-literally. Elders in small villages came to like or even love me. Animals love me, I’ve even fed wild dik-dik by hand, something notable, as they’re an animal even the smallest toy dog would be able to successfully hunt.
However, I have limits. Innocent men and woman, unable to protect themselves from the harm caused either by willful negligence or intentional malfeasance. Attempting in any way to harm a child.
In my view of the world, such people are lower than an ant attempting to raid my picnic basket.
I only regret that our laws currently do not agree.
No, regret isn’t the proper word, only my emotion. I don’t permit emotions to rule me. The proper word is I’m glad that the laws don’t currently agree.
No, that isn’t quite right. I’m thankful.
I’ve had more than enough violence in my over 27 year military career.
Besides, it isn’t what one *will* do that counts, it’s what others perceive that you *may* do that counts.
And no, I’d not remove that woman’s family and her with it from this Earth.
But, I’ll admit, I’m vindictive. I’d cause *her* to do it.
For, the ultimate weapon isn’t a firearm, edged weapon, explosive or involving nuclear reactions. It’s a creative mind.
And one thing that I am is creative. I make creative solutions to problems, even in war to making the enemy turn on themselves by a few words, hints and items creatively placed.
In oil paintings.
In words of humor and companionable behavior.
My favorites are the oil paintings and foremost, companionable association. Hence, when I retired and was contracting, my creative cooking and parties of 30-50 people attending from many, many nations. 😀
However, I should give one highly personal note. One that impacts my wife and myself greatly.
After our second daughter was born, a student nurse performed a procedure she shouldn’t have without both supervision and instruction. My wife had had a Cesarian section, again, due to a narrow pelvis. Said student nurse only “thought women had two holes”, when performing an enema. Regrettably, she didn’t know about the urethra, somehow.
The resulting staph infection resulted in blockage of both fallopian tubes to a significant degree. Add in PCOS. Then, add in a later ectopic pregnancy that resulted in fallopian tube scarring that closed it, courtesy of a Roman Catholic hospital that insisted I be recalled from my military duties to APPROVE a therapeutic abortion that was entering the early second trimester, against all of modern medical doctrine and the attending physician!
I got home a week later, after said physician was expelled from the residency program, with bad reference.
A conversation with the hospital administrator didn’t generate efforts to abide with federal law and my wife’s treatment was federally funded.
So, a few calls to old friends, who worked in fortunate areas helped change the hospital administration’s policies into something in accordance with federal law and modern medicine, as their medicare, medicaid, CHAMPUS payments were all held pending determination of accordance with federal policy, which was part and parcel of their contract.
Their malpractice isn’t impacted, even today, the management seems willing to accept the worst malpractice rate in this entire region of the state. Eventually, the legal system, the populace and popular rejection of such idiocy in a teaching hospital will reach ground state and either the Mercy Catholic system will advance or it’ll die, to the great service to the community in either case.
For, our region is wealthy in hospitals and teaching hospitals. A loss of one marginal one would be not well noticed at all.
#32 I appreciate what you’re saying, but I’d prefer if we focused a little less on people’s looks. I swear I’m not trying to be part of the PC-police, but it is a science blog and people’s looks are a bit beside the point in science–something for which I have always been grateful.
@LW – I don’t doubt it. Their sole principle seems to be “better dead than damaged*”
@lilady & Denice – Duh, teh autisms is retroactive! One poisonous dart to the pure, clean bloodstream of an innocent child^, and *BOOM*, anyone sharing DNA with said child will turn into an ASD factory via the magic of transmissible epigenetics.
Good news though, science lovers! Wales is undergoing an horrific measles epidemic. On Saturday mobile clinics set up in various public places managed to vaccinate over a thousand kids! While it’s sad to think of how ignorance meant they were unvaxed till now, at least the chain is being weakened. I just wish the UK hadn’t needed suffering and death to make people see sense.
*Dead from VPDs clearly being waaay better than being ~vaccine damaged~, natch.
^That hurt to type. I was trying to ape the likes of thingy.
@Wzrd1 – Dik-diks don’t even look real to me, they’re like magical mythical creatures!
@Khani – Totally agree. Actually, the societal pressures at play involved in both the “health freedom” movement and the plastic surgery boom are like sick, distorted twins, borne of the union between capitalism and medicine.
The underlying themes in both issues seem to be of standing out from the crowd, feeling special, and the internal perception that the person is righting some terrible wrong. Enhanced communication tech means these things spread memetically, then becoming the new unquestioned norm, therefore needing to become ever more extreme in order to make a splash.
These people aren’t content with established norms, they need to be seen to be doing the opposite.
That’s why, when it comes to vaccination, their mindset seems to be that doctors are bad, bodies must be kept ~pure of toxins~, HCPs are only in it for the money, my child is/I am special, societal norms (WRT health) are bad, and scientific progress is evil and must be resisted and rejected.
When it comes to cosmetic alteration, doctors are good, chemical cosmetic agents (botulinum toxin, restylane etc) are examples of medical process, proponents of cosmetic procedures only want to help and the cost is worth it, the person is simultaneously special, but swallowing the belief that societal beauty norms/standards are good, and must be adhered to in order to achieve success, and scientific progress must be embraced.
Jenny’s just an example of the sad collision of both sets of beliefs. I feel sad for her, because the level of cognitive dissonance inside her mind must be catastrophic.
Hey Guys, I think you guys are the bomb for dishing it to the anit-vaxers. I thought I would also offer a helping hand and provide more tips on how to deal with them. Good luck!
Vaccine Proponents Playbook, Argument One: We love Scientific Studies.
Look! We are science people. We love scientific studies. We welcome any study on the relationship between vaccines and autism. As it stands, the good people at pharma have funded numerous robust and rigorous studies proving unequivocally that there is no link between vaccines and autism. What? You want us to do one more study comparing the health outcomes of vaccinated and unvaccinated children? Well, where are we going to find so many unvaccinated children? Such a study would be really difficult. It’s unethical to withhold vaccines from children. We will have no part of such a study! We love scientific studies though.
Vaccine Proponents Playbook, Argument Two: Curse The ‘Quacks’ And Their Internet
Despite your stonewalling, the anti-vaxers will continue to hound you to the point that you feel compelled to relieve stress by cursing them and their Internet. Do so tactfully by following the script below:
‘The Internet is home to a legion of quacks, conspiracy theorists that like nothing better than to spew the most outrageous lies and misinformation about vaccines. Through their insidious campaign they sow unfounded doubts in the mind of parents and endanger the public good. These individuals are the ultimate menace to society. All decent people should avoid getting vaccination information from the Internet because it’s infested with the views of these rabid trolls. Being that they hate vaccines so much, we lament that they did not develop the worst bouts of polio and meningitis, thereby rendering them terminally incapacitated and unable to spew their nonsense.’
Vaccine Proponents Playbook, Argument Three: A Coincidental Thing
Parents doubt us when we tell them that autism after vaccination is a coincidental thing. Hopefully, the latest scientific discovery will change this. A parallel universe with a twin planet earth has been found. On this new earth everything is the same except kids don’t get vaccinated. Interestingly, around 18 months of age some of these kids suddenly come down with a fever and develop measles like rashes over their body. They will also scream and cry inconsolably for hours. After this, they will start to lose their words and other previously acquired skills. The downward spiral continues with their ‘stimming’ behaviour, followed by the full onset of autism. These finding may come as a shock to many. We, however, are not surprised and have been saying all along that autism is unrelated to vaccines.
Vaccine Proponents Playbook, Argument Four: MMR And Thimerosal Studies Mean Everything
When the anti-vaxers attack us, after the Wakefield Card (see argument 7) our next best defence are our MMR and Thimerosal studies. Employing them effectively requires that we do so in the craftiest fashion. Yes, we know that MMR is only one vaccine and thimerosal is also only one vaccine ingredient. This, however, should not hinder us. Refer to the MMR and Thimerosal studies as implying that ALL vaccines and vaccine ingredients have been vindicated. Further, continue trumpeting these studies as being so conclusive that further researches studying the cumulative effect of vaccines, or comparing vaccinated/unvaccinated populations are simply unnecessary.
Vaccine Proponents Playbook, Argument Five: The Benefits Outweigh The Risk
Despite all the stonewalling, evasions, obfuscations, deceptions, and outright lies… Despite all these things the other side still produces inescapable evidence that vaccines do harm and you have no choice but to concede this. Don’t hesitate though to follow-up that the benefits of vaccines far outweigh the risks. Here you should also definitely rehash all the harrowing tales of disease ravages prior to the advent of vaccines. Being also that this may likely be the first time throughout the debate that you are venturing in an area of truth, relax and enjoy retelling such carnage. Be warned though that your comfort may be short lived. An unsettling thought may start creeping in that epidemic numbers of the past may not really outweigh the current tsunami of 1 in 6 kids with brain damaged autism and other impediments such as adhd and speech delays. Hearing parents mention that they would prefer to have a child die of a vaccine preventable disease than live with the scourge of autism may also cause you further guilt pangs. Frustrated, you may even start wondering if it’s just not better to fess up about vaccines and have parents make their own informed choice. Resist these traitorous thoughts!! Comparing disease epidemics of the past to the current autism inferno should never be of concern to you. Instead, you must continue to toe the party line and deny to the bitter end that vaccines are related to autism!
Vaccine Proponents Playbook, Argument Six: Everything Causes Autism Except Vaccines
The anti-vaxers are so frustrating. They just don’t believe us when we tell them what really causes autism. Autism is caused by abused mothers, old mothers, fat mothers, stressed mothers, old fathers, old grandfathers, fathers in their 40s marry women in their 20s, engineer and tech parents, having siblings too close together, women not taking folic acid during pregnancy or having a fever or flu during pregnancy, lack of vitamin D, c-section deliveries, low birth weight, living too close to a highway, lots of rainfall, air pollution. Everything causes autism except vaccines!
Vaccine Proponents Playbook, Argument Seven: The Wakefield Card
No matter how well reasoned and logical an anti-vaxers arguments are, always rebut them by reminding them that Wakefield was discredited. For instance, they say that tens of thousands of parents report their child dramatically regressed into autism following vaccination. You remind them that Wakefield was discredited. They say that the autism explosion coincides precisely with the expanded vaccination schedule. Again, you remind them that Wakefield was discredited. They say that autistics have seizures, brain inflammation and other autoimmune issues that vaccines are known to cause, vaccine courts compensate for damages leading to autism, vaccines have never been tested for their long-term safety… (You know!)
Vaccine Proponents Playbook, Argument Eight: Autism Is Not So Bad
When discussing autistics personally, always make reference to only high functioning autistics that are well adjusted in society. Never – and I repeat NEVER – mention non-verbal autistics, who scream, head bang, and are still in diapers. Continue with the accolades discussing how great individuals such as Einstein were suspected of being autistic. Refer to the excellent memory and recall skills of autistics and praise them for their savant abilities. Discuss how they are an evolutionary advancement. If the other side ever force you to concede that autism is not always a picnic, quickly counter by explaining it’s not really a disability, just a different way of being. Argue how it’s a common, childhood affliction to be celebrated. Leave no parent feeling that he or she is unfortunate for having an autistic child.
Vaccine Proponents Playbook, Argument Nine: Better Diagnosis
Back in 1995 when the Autism rate went from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 500 we told them that the sudden rise was due to better detection. We were concerned that this explanation would not wash, but incredibly they believed it! In 2007, the rate jumped exponentially to 1 in 150 leaving us no choice, so in desperation we used the better diagnosis argument again. Could you believe it folks? Astoundingly, they fell for it, again! Now that the rate is 1 in 50 we are still saying its better detection and they are still buying it! Our luck is just not running out! Their gullibility is beyond words. We are starting to wonder if we were to tell them that they rate is really 1:1 and they too are autistic but we missed them whether they would also believe us.
Vaccine Proponents Playbook, Argument Ten: Terminologies
When debating the anti-vaxers its most effective to maintain an air of supremacy and dismiss them out of hand with the following labels. Please familiarize yourself with their definition.
‘Quack’ – Any person who utters anything negative about vaccines, regardless of the truth-value of his or her comments.
‘Conspiracy Theories”—Any theories given by an anti-vaxer no matter how logical, well reasoned, and expertly supported.
‘Pseudo-science’ – Any science that shows vaccines in a negative light, regardless of it being a well established principle.
Now with a feign look of contempt and exasperation, practice using these words in the insult below:
‘Can you believe this quack, spurting his conspiracy theories, backed up by his pseudo-science?’
“it is a science blog and people’s looks are a bit beside the point in science”
Some people are trying to change that…
Hey Greg, the fire department called to warn you about the hazards of posting so many flammable strawmen.
Just in case there was any question in your mind as to whether antivaxxers like Greg hate autistic children and wish them dead.
Yep, all that burning straw’s causing real visibility issues on the superhighway.
Will science-deniers ever come up with anything new? This playlist’s repetitive and boring.
LW – It’s almost as if they can’t help themselves, isn’t it? “I’m doing this because I care about the chillldrennn. I just wish that mine, and everyone like them, had died in agony of encephalitis or pertussis”
Vaccine Proponents Playbook, Argument #Infinity: Make stuff up.
It doesn’t matter, just make stuff up.
Quite, though I suppose it offers extra ammunition against the idiots who claim measles is harmless. I’m thinking the cohort of children who missed their MMR due to the Wakefield fiasco are now reaching childbearing age. That means babies will very probably be born without any measles antibodies from their mothers, who neither had measles nor MMR. Do we even know how a baby less than a year old responds to a measles infection? Historically I don’t think this has arisen very often.
Oops, forgot an important part of the word:
Anti-Vaccine Proponents Playbook, Argument #Infinity: Make stuff up.
It doesn’t matter, just make stuff up.
Well, Shawn Siegel has been commenting everywhere that, according to his excel spreadsheet he’s been keeping on his old IBM thinkbook, we should reach 1 in 1 by 2037, making all of us autistic, even the adults.
I’m joking about his laptop… I wish he was joking about the 1 in 1.
Thank you. I think similar thoughts often.
Because that would mean her perfect, perfect genes were at fault. She would rather blame something that has clearly been shown to be false than admit to that.
@Krebiozen – When I worked for the NHS in my pre-cripple days, there was a local case involving the baby girl of an African (Nigerian I think, not sure) asylum seeker who contracted measles.
Several of my colleagues were in midwifery (have to work a certain number of hours a year or their registration lapses).
One of their full-time midwife colleagues had been involved in the mum and baby’s pre and post-natal care. He was on the sick for six weeks after she died, because it was so pointless and unnecessary to him. The woman escaped persecution and violence in her homeland, fled all she knew for a better, safer life, only to fall victim to the Wakefield Effect.
I believe there was a similar situation with Somalian refugees in the Midwest of America.
@ Greg: What took you so long to post your “Playbook” here?
You posted that same crap on Olmsted’s blog at AoA, date stamped April 6, 2013 at 8:45 AM…only with a different lead-in paragraph:
“I find reasoning with the provaxers to be so useless that it’s better to use satire. Don’t know if any of you have come across my mocking ‘Vaccine Proponents Playbook’ comments on the net. Thought you guys could use the laugh, so I will share them”
@lilady, it’s good of Greg to make it so very clear what an antivaxxer thinks of autistic children, though.
Before I comment on Greg’s *piece de resistance*, here’s some background –
besides having clients, I “counsel” a few people gratis ( cousins, a friend, the ex ) about trying life issues. Earlier today, whilst discussing a rather slippery employer, I listened to myself and realised that most of what I was saying sounded like excerpts from The Art of War – what the Master said about knowing your enemy and yourself, preparing for war, avoiding war when able, war as deception, … and it just flowed effortlessly and was unintentional. And my relative was quite appreciative and really laughed when I later told her from whence I thought my comments had originated. She thought her boss probably had read it as well- but that he wasn’t exactly great with the whole ‘understanding people’ thing.
That said, I’d venture that Greg has not read the Art of War.
What’s amusing, however, is how you’ve accidentally gotten a few things right.
We do ‘love’ scientific studies (i.e., we base our conclusions regarding safety and efficacy of vaccines on actual scientific evidence, rather than mommy intuition, gut feelings, common sense, anecdote, etc.)
The internet is in fact home to legions of quacks and conspiracy theorists spreading mis-information, dis-information and outright lies
The apparent temporal association between routine childhood immunization and development of autism does represent coincident timing, to the best that anyone has been able to establish. This is in large part due to the fact that prior to the age of about two years, which is right around the time routine immunizations are given, it’s very difficult to accurately diagnose autism spectrum disorders.
While MMR and thimerosal studies don’t perhaps mean ‘everything’, they do establish as well as can possibly be established that neither MMR immunization nor exposure to thimerosal included in vaccine formulations is associated with the development autism spectrum disorders.
Any accurate risk versus benefit comparison comparing the side effects of immunization versus remaining susceptible to the diseases they protect against (measles, rubella, polio, pertussis, HPV,etc.) is overwhelmingly in favor of immunization.
Wakefiled has been discredited, his paper has been retracted, and his license to practice has been revoked.
RE: ‘autism is not so bad’ recall that it’s a spectrum of disorders, many of which indeed aren’t ‘so bad’–in fact, prior to DSM-IV many of the high-functuring autistics wouldnt have received a diagnosis of ASD.
Yes, the appearance of an autism epidemic is in part due to not better, but certainly different diagnosis coupled with increased active surveillance for autism.
Your definition of quack is too narrow.
Your definition of ‘conspiracy theory’ is simply wrong–a conspiracy theory is one that posits a vast organized cabal working toward a shared goal which isn’t logical, which isn’t well reasoned, for which there is lttle or no evidential support.
Pseudo science isn’t science that shows vaccines in a negative light but instead something that isn’t science at all but pretends to be.
LW – And to think they deny that their entire movement is built on ableism. Ha!
lilady – Aww, Greg really thinks he’s
peoplesome kind of comic genius? Bless him, that’s so cute.
It ranks right up there with elburtoBro’s favourite joke when he was five. He made it up himself:
He would literally roll around on the carpet, laughing like a chubby little hyena. He was so pleased and proud of his clearly legendary comic genius that he told it to everyone he saw.
I hope Greg’s around the same age, otherwise he’s giving me that sickly flush of secondhand embarrassment.
@ Greg: What took you so long to post your “Playbook” here?
You posted that same crap on Olmsted’s blog at AoA, date stamped April 6, 2013 at 8:45 AM…only with a different lead-in paragraph:
My first thought was to consult the Great Gazoogle, and sure enough, Greg is a serial spammer. Here he is serialising his master-work in a CNN comment thread.
He must be very very proud of it.
As I mentioned on the previous thread, this particular epidemic has a direct, smoking gun, link to the Wakefield scandal. The local newspaper that circulated in the effected areas pushed the MMR scare particularly hard:
In fact there was a published study of the effect of that newspaper campaign as far back as 2000:
@Elihphile – Yep, saw it in action all the time. Parents were asked if kid’s vaccinations were up to date, and you’d think we’d asked “Do you beat them with sticks?”
Hearing whispers of “OMG have you heard? There’s a kid with pertussis”. I got mumps after an outbreak of the disease tore through unvaxed students at the uni my girlfriend attended. I got every possible symptom, including swollen ovaries which was just… ugh.
All I heard in response was “But it was in the Mirror/Guardian/Telegraph/Sun”, the whole spectrum.
As if we didn’t ALREADY have enough anti-vax fol-de-rol today:
at AoA, three entries are presented – and I don’t know which is worst-
Dachel’s article, MacNeil’s video or Blaxill’s audio-
I confess that I didn’t listen to the listen through the entire 47 minute on that last one but skipped around – however, about 19-26 minutes into the catastrophe, their opponents’ position is described as – ” no investigative journalism…. no ethics… massaging statistics… incompetant… disinformation.. malfeasance… fraud…”
And -btw- I did read the Art of War.
And I’m off to- finally- get some curry.
strike that “to the listen” – edit phail- sorry- hungry- ok thx bai
I was just looking at the population of Wales (3 million)-versus-the population of the United States (314 million).
The number of measles cases within the Swansea area of Wales in just the first 3 months of 2013 is mind boggling, compared to the number of confirmed cases (222), during calendar year 2011 in the United States.
Does Wales have mandatory vaccine laws/regulations for day care/school entry? If so, are those regulations rigidly enforced? How utterly sad that the U.K. was declared “endemic for measles” in 2008…after 14 years of being classified as “non-endemic for measles”.
As far as I’m aware, vaccination is not mandatory (or even checked up on) before a kid starts nursery or preschool in the UK. Whether a child is vaccinated or not is purely at the discretion of their parent or guardian. Hence why we get the occasional epidemic.
This struck a nerve with me, enough that I ended up blogging about it myself. As a non-neurotypical person myself, hearing people call their kids “damaged” and (worst of all, IMHO) claiming that the vaccines “stole my real child” makes me physically ill. I feel so bad for their kids. I know how much it hurt when my (neurotypical) parents said I was “broken” or commented that such-and-such medicine or treatment “gave me my daughter back”. I just wanted to scream, “NO, I’VE BEEN HERE THE WHOLE TIME, THANKS.”
Glad that, if anything, you guys took notice of my playbook arguments. Meant the entire thing in satire but while reflecting as I wrote it, found it really eerie how truthful it was. Anyway, on to another matter: Since you are such ‘science people’ and all, and presumably well verse on the latest study ‘debunking’ the vaccine-autism link, maybe you guys can help me. Now, perhaps there is only a snowball chance in hell that I will get any helpful information from you guys, but hey, here’s to hoping. My question is despite selling this study as proving that autism is not related to amount of vaccines, why did they not provide the actual figure of how the autistic and control groups compared on the amount of vaccines they received. In truth, all they did was compare antigen amounts between the two groups, not vaccine doses. In the method section of the study they provided charts making it clear that along with counting antigen amounts they also counted doses. There are a lot of speculations that the two groups received the same amount of vaccines, but if this were the case why would they have needed to count doses. Second, nothing in the study made it clear that all the subjects received the same amount of vaccines or doses; in fact, quite the opposite and I provide these two quotes from the study:
“We obtained the children’s vaccination histories from computerized immunization tracking systems and abstracted medical charts.”
“Some of the case children, however, might have exhibited indications of neurodevelopmental problems well before receiving an ASD diagnosis. How evidence of early neurodevelopmental delays would have affected our results is not clear; it might have resulted in lower vaccination levels if parents were concerned about vaccinating their children, or possibly higher vaccination levels through more frequent contact with the healthcare system.”
In the first quote, they mentioned that the subjects’ vaccination history was obtained from an immunization tracking system, which does not indicate conformity. In the second quote, it explicitly discussed the possibility that some of the children may have had less or more vaccines. My point is it seems they had the dose comparison figure but they did not provide it. Had they provide this figure showing that they autistic and control groups had relatively the same amount of vaccines, then indeed they could have truthfully make the claim that increased vaccines do not lead to more autism. Help anyone?
Wait for it…
Ah, there it is. What else?
He poisons the well then proves not to read the study for all it’s worth. Here’s what you want to read, Greg: They were hiding something. They hid the vaccine-autism link.
Because that would mean her perfect, perfect genes were at fault.
I have to question what’s the matter with faulty genes? Having a few autistics child isn’t the end of the world and I don’t have to look very far because we’re 2 out of 3 with autism in my family (dx as adult) and I went to normal school and my oldest bro went to some special school and my mother never knew we were autistics except when we didn’t live at home anymore.
C’mon man! I sincerely want an answer as to why they did not provide the figure on how the control and autistic groups compared on vaccine doses. Why bother with talk of antigens? Just report how much vaccines the two groups received so you can rightfully claim that more vaccines do not lead to increase autism.
Have you emailed the authors?
They bothered with the talk of antigens because that is what you measure when your friends chant “too many too soon.” Obviously the small amount of antigens are not too many or too soon.
Greg: An unsettling thought may start creeping in that epidemic numbers of the past may not really outweigh the current tsunami of 1 in 6 kids with brain damaged autism and other impediments such as adhd and speech delays.
I have ADD, I am not ‘brain damaged’ and I’d take a bad week with ADD over a bad month of measles anytime. The people I know with ADD, ADHD and Aspergers are the best people I’ve ever known, and the world could use more people like them and fewer like you, you selfish, ablist bastard. Go take a long walk off a short pier, douchecanoe.
Says Greg: “Meant the entire thing in satire but while reflecting as I wrote it, found it really eerie how truthful it was.”
Yep, Greg was being entirely truthful when he said of antivaxxer parents “that they would prefer to have a child die of a vaccine preventable disease than live with the scourge of autism”.
Entirely truthful, there.
Greg, the full paper is online at:
So I looked at it. Do you know what “immunogens” mean? It relates directly to your question.
“Meant the entire thing in satire but while reflecting as I wrote it, found it really eerie how truthful it was.”
This explains why the satire has “gone bacterial” as the kids say and is even now being posted around the entire Intertuba…
No, wait, there’s only Greg spamming it like a v1agr4 ad.
Epidemiologists have looked at the *number* of vaccination and the risk of autism… no, no correlation found. So the atni-vaxxers shifted the goal-posts — “It’s the mercury!”
So epidemiologists looked at the number of Thiomersal-containing vaccinations… still no correlation. And the goal-posts shifted again — “It’s the timing!”
Epidemiologists looked for any difference between infants vaccinated by the usual time-table and those who received vaccinations late… the goal-posts shifted, they must on roller-skates or something — “It’s the total allergenic load!”
And now that DeStefano et al. have examined the total allergenic exposure, and found no neurological correlations, here is our serial spammer to complain “They should have looked at the total number of vaccinations!!”
However you interpret current figures for the incidence of autism and ASD, and whether or not that incidence is rising, the anti-vaxxers are the one group we know for a fact don’t care about it — because they have spent *decades* demanding that the maximum possible amount of research money and time is wasted on one factor that has been repeatedly shown not to matter.
The question the study was trying to answer was related to the “Too many too soon” meme, i.e. do children got their immune system overloaded by receiving too many vaccines in a short period of time.
In this context, it’s making sense to tally the received vaccines in term of antigenic content rather than by injection. A single-protein vaccine (like vs tetanus) obviously represents a much lighter load and challenge than the (now retired) smallpox vaccine or the whole cell pertussis vaccine.
Actually, could you explain to me how, if vaccines were overwhelming the immune system, that counting the number of antigens would hide a relationship while counting the number of injections would reveal it? I would have expected the opposite.
On the other hand, if by “too many too soon” you mean that children are receiving too much of some unspecified poisonous product, well, yes, you want to look at the number of injections, and this study didn’t address this specific question. Although, in this case, it’s not the immune reaction which is the issue, but the body liver’s and kidneys’ detoxifying capabilities, and it’s a bit weird we didn’t get any clue about them yet. It’s not as if autistic children haven’t been submitted to plenty of scrutiny.
And number of injections and antigen load are related, so again, I’m not sure how counting antigens could completely hide the relationship.
It remains also difficult to believe how all members of such a chemically heterogeneous group as vaccines – between live attenuated, killed, and extracted formulas – lead to the same issues. Not a reason not to check, but, if all (or most) vaccines were doing it, then any (or most) individual vaccine would do it, and studies of individual vaccines have so far failed to conclusively show any link.
#73 I dunno. My family’s got wonky genes for some other stuff and I don’t worry about it a lot. Well, I suppose I do blame my parents, but don’t all children do that anyway?
#75 My guess is, if they’d simply counted vaccines he’d be complaining that they hid the number of antigens.
#76 I’ve always thought it nice that different people’s minds work different ways.
And I think in some ways, ADHD helps me do my job.
I suppose I do blame my parents, but don’t all children do that anyway?
Not me but 1-: I’m the exception to the rule and 2-: they left me alone because they were too busy fighting it out for the other two and I was the master of my own education which was fine for me.
Oh, I remember, they (the parents) did intervene for me when I never did homework at high school level 2 (and the many years before that) while I was getting 80-90% on exams in class. They interrogated my parent to determine how I was cheating on the exams (answer: I just listened in class and never they had any behavioral problems with me except the homework issues). They then decide to throw me out of school never to return again.
The rest of my school year (from december up to our move from neighborhoud) was spent at the public library learning English, physics, computer and a few other subject matters.
BTW, I never had any more than a high school level 3 (done at adult ed) and a machining course before taking on university studies.
#85 It’s a terrible thing to have a fondness for Hawaiian shirts, bad puns and sentimentality. Darn those parents of mine.
Re #81 and #81, Heliantus, it’s indeed possible that antigens might be safe but this may still not exonerate vaccines. There are many things involved with vaccines other than antigens, adjuvants for instance. More vaccines do equal more adjuvants. Relating to this, her doktor, you brought up a good point. I have also chided my ‘anti-vaxers’ friends for speculating too much on the ‘how’ vaccines cause autism. This should never be our concern. The issue should always be ‘do’ vaccines as administered in the recommended vaccination schedule cause autism, period! This is a very important distinction because studies can always explore the ‘how’ and say that thimerosal, or antigens, or MMR, or formaldehyde, or adjuvants, or whatever ingredient does not cause autism. These studies are merely discussing the ‘hows’, but unfortunately, as I depicted in my argument four satire, pro-vaxers are notorious for running to the bank with them, twisting things, and saying they imply that vaccines ‘do’ not cause autism. Perhaps, the only way of settling this ‘do’ question is to get on with the vax/unvax study that would cover the whole shebang, accounting for all ingredients and cumulative effects, and give us our definitive answer so we can all go home. So yes, being that you guys profess to be such ardent ‘science lovers’, it is amusing that you are dragging your feet so much on conducting such a study – again, as I depicted in my argument one satire.
#78, Chis, with your reference about immunogens, I am not sure if you are implying that they provided a figure on how the two groups compared on vaccines count. As far as I am aware, they did not.
Thanks for admitting that you’re just a goalpost-shifting antivaxxer.
“It’s the antigens!” Scientist check…No it’s not.
“It’s the preservatives!” Scientists test…No it’s not.
“It’s the schedule!” Scientists check…No it’s not.
“It’s something else in vaccines!”
Repeated studies have looked at it. There is NO DIFFERENCE between the autism rates of vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.
*Insert Dead Parrot reference here*
Exactly. That is the mindset of the anti-vaccine person, i.e. “Greg.” If there is a study like the one coming out of the MIND institute in August (“No Differences in Early Immunization Rates Among Children with Typical Development and Autism Spectrum Disorders”), Greg and others like him will immediately ask why they didn’t check for differences in levels of adjuvants. When that study comes out, again, he will ask why they didn’t check for differences in vaccine doses, antigens, adjuvants, AND preservatives. When that comes out, he’ll find something else. And so on.
To people like Greg, this is a game. He likes to play whack-a-mole with anything that proves him wrong.
Don’t you, Greg?
You accuse pro-vaxers of twisting things and immediately come out with a twisted argument like that? These studies are not “discussing ‘the hows'”, they are looking whether or not exposure to these components of vaccines is correlated with autism. If there is no correlation between exposure to vaccines and autism, which there very clearly is not, that doesn’t just imply they don’t cause autism, it is very strong prima facie evidence that they do not. Correlation does not always imply causation, but a lack of correlation argues very strongly against causation.
To see what I mean, look at British Doctors Study, one of the studies that first demonstrated the link between tobacco smoking and lung cancer. Even ignoring the non-smokers, if we look at Table V, which shows the amount of tobacco smoked by males doctors per day and the incidence of lung cancer, you can see a clear correlation. Male doctors who smoked more than 25 grams of tobacco per day were almost 4 times more likely to get lung cancer than those who smoked 1 to 14 grams per day. If vaccines caused autism in any way, we would expect to see a similar correlation in the many studies that have been done. We didn’t need a smoker vs non-smokers study to demonstrated unequivocally that smoking causes lung cancer, and we don’t need a vaccinated vs non-vaccinated study to demonstrate unequivocally that vaccines don’t cause autism.
@Greg – if you want the “definitive” vax vs. un-vax study, done to eliminate all bias & get you the answers you want, here is exactly what you’d need to do:
1) Pick a random selection of newborns (perhaps 10 or 20 thousand, depending on the statistical analysis to be done)
2) Separate these newborns into the two groups – one to receive normal vaccines according to the current schedule and the second to receive nothing but placebos (but done at the same time as the current schedule)
3) To eliminate study bias, the selection would be done in a double-blind fashion (meaning the parents would be unaware of their children’s vaccination status to prevent observational bias).
4) Let the fun begin.
This is approximately the process by which such a study would be properly conducted – which is also entirely unethical – because you would be purposely withholding potentially life-saving treatments (i.e. vaccines) from children and leaving them vulnerable during any disease outbreak.
Unless you somehow believe that vaccines are “completely ineffective” which it doesn’t sound like you actually believe that, this is akin to asking for another “Tuskegee Study” which is held up as one of the great medical mistakes / disasters of the 20th Century.
Because if you come back & say, “well, but there are unvaccinated kids we could use today” that’s not a valid point, because that, by itself, is “selection bias” and would invalidate the study even at face value.
The retrospective population studies have been done, showing no difference between autism rates in vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals – you guys need to stop pining for the fjords, because the hypothesis hasn’t been validated, at all.
Except we are not GlaDos.
According to our “beliefs” (or should I say, the scientific track record we looked at), children – and adults – which are kept unvaccinated are more at risk of catching some debilitating disease.
Since measles and childhood diseases are notable causes of death worldwide, and even more so in developing countries (i.e. undervaccinated countries), reality is sort of backing up our beliefs.
So we don’t feel the need to start a study in which we know people will die, just to show us right.
“More vaccines do equal more adjuvants”
Completely missing my point about vaccines heterogeneity.
Accumulation of what? Fairy dust?
According to stories, children become autistic at various points of the vaccination schedule (which varies from country to country – we still have polio vaccine, you don’t), or even without vaccination. This points to a trigger effect, not to chronic poisoning.
And again, as Krebiozen just pointed, and as I said already, epidemiology would likely catch on some minimal relationship, even if counting antigen load or considering only a limited number of vaccines rather than the full lot.
It is the number of vaccines given. An antigen is any infectious agent. An immunogen is an antigen that is in the vaccines. It is used to differentiate between the all of the other antigens you will encounter in the environment every single time you breathe, touch, eat or get a wound.
If you look at the earlier tables you will how many antigens/immunogens are in each vaccine. They then took the vaccine records of the children and calculated the the number of immunogens.
So what you were asking for in the paper was there for you to see.
You see, we pro-science folk also look up words we don’t understand, and have a basic understand on how math works: Number of vaccines times antigens/vaccine = total immunogens
Greg, if you want ot impose certain standards on to a vaccine study, you will have to learn some math/statistics basics, and about ethical issues around human testing. Then you can go and design a study that satisfies all of your criteria, get it approved by an independent review board, and then write a grant to fund it. Then submit that grand to SafeMinds, Generation Rescue, Autism Speaks, Autism Trust, and elsewhere for funding. Then go do it.
Just beware that some parents who think like you will be upset if their child is randomly picked to get real vaccines. And the parents who want to protect their children will not take the risk of their child being in the placebo group, and get them vaccinated. Especially when pertussis, measles and mumps are circulating.
Greg @ 45
The “current tsunami” sounds frightful, doesn’t it? Like a child who will never learn, or never live independently in adulthood? And it is all new, and the fault of teh vakseens!
The facts are otherwise.
You know where that “1 in 6” figure comes from? This paper: Boyle et al. (2011) Trends in the Prevalence of Developmental Disabilities in US Children, 1997–2008 Pediatrics. 2011 Jun;127(6):1034-42. Epub 2011 May 23. doi: 10.1542/peds.2010-2989)
Let’s talk about a few of these conditions
ADHD: no really accurate incidence or prevalence figures exist. Estimates range from 3-5%
Intellectual disability: Oddly, ID rates have declined, while autism rates have increased. Do you think there’s a connection? The current best estimate of prevalence is about 1.04%.
Autism: we’ve talked enough about autism. There’s no “tsunami” or “sudden increase”. Autism is a natural variation in the human condition and the true rate, given expanded definitions and greater understanding of autism in females, may be as high as 1 in 66.
Learning disorders: Screening for and remediating learning disorders are my areas of expertise. I would say the one in six figure (16.6%) is possibly low. Dyslexia is classed as a developmental disability. Some dyslexia experts put the actual prevalence rate at up to 20%.
So enough with the handwringing, Greg. You know what? Most people with the disabilities and disorders listed above, given the proper remediation and support, live better than full lives.
Bring back preview!
Greg, I’m afraid you’ve got things backwards. Vaccines don’t need to be exonerated, given that to date there is no evidence whatsoever supporting a causal association between immunization and the development of ASD’s.
If you believe for whatever reason there is, it’s your task to credible evidence implicating vaccines–and no, mere temporal proximity, anecdotal accounts, pseudoscientific ‘what if’s, appeals to common sense, appeals to ‘common sense’ don’t constitute such evidence.
@JGC – agreed. It comes down to trying to “prove a negative” when there is no proof in the “positive” camp…..you can’t blame vaccines & they say “proof that they don’t cause autism” when they can’t prove that they do…..
I challenge AoA to prove that Blue Skies on Monday don’t cause Autism…..
It’s the immunomodulating effects of broccoli and other foods in combinations that have never been properly tested for their long-term effects, I tell you. Show me the broccoli-fed vs broccoli-free studies!
Not just any broccoli: organic broccoli and other organic food. The observed increased incidence of autism directly correlates with the increase in annual sales of organic food. (See the graph at http://www.science20.com/quantum_diaries_survivor/correlation_causation_independence-98944 )
So we should follow the recommendation of someone who is too stupid to figure out that such a study would be highly unethical? All right, then…
Krebiozen – I volunteer for the broccoli-free arm of that study, as long as there’s no placebo broccoli involved.
MOB wins one internet.
the current tsunami of 1 in 6 kids with brain damaged autism
You would think that if Greg really cared about this “current tsunami” he would be interested in finding out the real causes, rather than demanding a WOMBAT* on the one factor proven in study after study *not* to be involved.
I am tempted to say “troll”, but part of me warns that it is a mistaken to attribute to trolling, something that can adequately be explained by stupidity.
* Waste of money, brains and time.
If you are randomized to eat broccoli in the RBTs (randomized brassica trials), broccoli you will eat. There’ll be no accusations of selection bias, not on my watch. I’m puzzling over what the placebo might be – currently considering kiwi fruit.
(WIsh I’d know about this acronym 30 years ago. One of our platoons at Quantico was nicknamed the Wombats).
Krebiozen, before you jump on the anti-broccoli bandwagon, you might want to know that your most famous fellow-traveller was the first president Bush…..
Shay, ah yes, author of the often misquoted “read my lips, no more broccoli”. He did force his son to eat it, with unfortunate results.
As a matter of fact I’m a great fan of the Brassicaceae, including turnips, brussels sprouts, swede (rutabaga) and kohlrabi. The disparity in people’s tastes for these vegetables is something to do with the inherited ability to taste bitter substances like PCT, I believe.
Shay – and the first president Bush was a man of great intelligence, accomplishment, and taste. One might not agree with his policies, and I am not entirely sure he was necessarily the best man for the Presidency, but so far as I can tell he served with honor and distinction.
And most of the quotes attributed to Bush were actually by Dana Carvey. Except the broccoli thing.
Krebiozen, what about those of us who LIKE the bitterness of the PCT? ARE WE THE TRUE AUTISTICS???? 😉
Bush senior was (briefly) director of the CIA, which I suspect made him better qualified as President than most.
If you mean True Autistics like True Scotsmen, I guess they are the ones who were turned autistic by vaccines, or do I mean broccoli? I’m a PCT taster, and I like brassicas, whereas my wife isn’t and doesn’t, so perhaps it isn’t as simple as that.
Since it is approaching the hour for foodie talk (aka bedtime in my time zone), I thought I might mention the interesting phenomenon of the supertaster. It seems this is related to the TAS2R38 gene that codes for the ability to taste PTC. Learned preferences are undoubtedly also involved – you can learn to enjoy bitterness and chili heat. Living with an American who was exposed to different foods than I was as a child has made me aware of just how much this affects our preferences. Marmite immediately springs to mind.
#95, Chis, I don’t know if you are misunderstanding my query, but immunogens are not the same as vaccine doses. Immunogen is merely a type of antigen. In the study they used the two words interchangeable. No where in the study did they mention how the control and autistic groups compared on vaccine doses.
To those who have an ethical issue with an unvax/vax study, I also have an issue with the argument that a product that is suspected of causing an epidemic of autistic brain damaged children should not be subjected to the full scrutiny of an unvax/vax study due to hyperbole talk of ethics.
Re the shifting the goal posts comments, again, to date all vaccine studies have mainly dwell on investigating thimerosal, MMR, and now antigens. They do not in anyway exonerate vaccines in their totality, or for their cumulative effect. Suggesting this is pure dishonesty. If an anti-vaxer requests that more ingredients are studied, this is not shifting the goal posts, but merely asking for a continuation of the work to determine the actual culprit that causes autism. In my opinion, anti-vaxers should never dwell too much on this because the onus should never be on ‘how’ vaccines are unsafe. The main concern should always be ‘are’ vaccines safe. And, as I mentioned, perhaps definitive proof in this matter will only come with an unvax/vax study.
Anyway, for now, I want to move on to talk about another matter and will follow-up shortly.
Do you really believe discussing the ethics of blindly assigning a child into an unvaxed cohort, without the parent’s knowledge, is ‘hyperbole?’ Greg, if you had a child in this study, would you be content not knowing whether or not they got the actual vaccine versus a placebo? The thought is disconcerting no matter which side of the debate you’re on. These are real human beings you’re talking about.
Times like these make me extra thankful for IRBs, as laborious as they can be.
@Greg – where is the proof that vaccines are “unsafe?”
Define “safe?” And stay away from using the Nirvana or Perfect World Fallacies.
And would you be first in line to contribute your newborn to the Double-Blind study you want?
You seem to have an issue with how to count up the full number of vaccine antigens. You cannot just count doses, you need to also count the number of antigenic particles, which is why they used immunogens.
So here is the simple math (using fakey vaccines).
So: XYZ has 100 antigens and is give three times by six months.
And: ABC has 8 antigens and is give twice by six months.
Then: IOU has 50 antigens and is given once by six months.
So that is three vaccines and:
3*ABC + 2*XYZ +1*IOU = 6 doses.
(the asterisk, *, is a times symbol, it means we are multiplying the numbers, we don’t use “x” because it is a letter and gets confusing)
But what you really need to know is the total antigen/immunogen numbers, so the equation now becomes:
3*100 + 2*8 +1*50 = 300 + 16 + 50 = 366 immunogens
Now think if you just counted vaccine doses. Suppose one child skipped one ABC vaccine. Then the total for five doses would be:
2*100 + 2*8 +1*50 = 200 + 16 + 50 = 266 immunogens
Now what if another child decided to skip the IOU vaccine, but get all the rest. That would still be five doses but:
3*100 + 2*8 +0*50 = 300 + 16 + 0 = 316 immunogens
So then each child go the same vaccine doses, five, but one got only 266 antigens, and the other 316. Now are those two numbers equivalent?
Does that make clear?
It does not make sense to just count the vaccine doses, especially if a child skipped a DTP, or got an influenza vaccine. You need to try to normalize what you are working with, so you are counting the same thing.
Greg, I am not encouraged by a vaccine design from those who do not understand basic middle school algebra.
Krebiozen, I would LOVE to be a supertaster!!! But in a more conservative assessment, I think that like my son, I am just a sensory-seeker, and Bitter happens to be a pretty awesome sensation when there is well-prepared food or entertaining crucifers attached. And yes, I totally mean True Scotsman– er, True Brassican?
Greg, the onus of proof is not on vaccines. The extraordinary claim here which requires an extraordinary level of proof is that vaccines cause autism. Extraordinary evidence has already supported the use of vaccines as an integral part of public health programs worldwide, for a really long freaking time. So far, the “vaccines cause autism” hypothesis has failed to be vindicated at Every. Single. Turn.
Also, if someone invited my autistic son to be part of a study wherein there was even a SMALL chance he would receive dummy vaccinations instead of real ones, I would invite them to go to hell.
Greg, you’re again putting the cart way before the horse.
What credible evidence implicates vaccines in there totality, or as a result of their cumulative effect? Be specific.
Let me re-phrase:
Greg, I am not encouraged by a vaccine study design from those who do not understand basic middle school algebra
And how, pray tell, is this not shifting the goalposts? I find it curious that you simultaneously mollycoddle this routine and pretend to rise above it.
So, let’s get down to brass tacks: How small of a difference in your imaginary prospective study would be enough for you to say that there’s no there there? Specify the significance and power, and then you’ll have your sample size.
Greg, I do regret referring to you as “stupid”. A more appropriate term would be “psychopathic”.
#88 “I have also chided my ‘anti-vaxers’ friends for speculating too much on the ‘how’ vaccines cause autism. This should never be our concern.”
Why? I thought your whole deal was stopping autism. Being able to do that while still having life-preserving vaccines would sound pretty good to a genuinely concerned person.
#107 I’d volunteer for a brocc/unbrocc study. I’m not a fan but it’s good for me, so I eat it anyway–but I could go without.
#115 Please do not use the term “brain damaged” in referring to autistic people here. It bothers some people who aren’t neurotypical, and it’s not especially accurate either.
Also, slightly off-topic, but: http://gma.yahoo.com/vaccine-confusion-blocks-girl-school-170415681–abc-news-health.html
That’s the first I’ve heard of this. Do they think vaccines are communicable now somehow?
want to move on to talk about another matter and will follow-up shortly.
Oh joy. I gag with anticipation.
I’m a (sorta) supertaster. Trust me, it isn’t an unmitigated blessing. I’m sensitive to salt and a packet of McDonald’s chips starts out fine, but starts to taste vile near the end. In addition, I can still remember the first time I tasted meringue, which was over 25 years ago. I came into the kitchen when my mother had just finished cooking a tray of them, and she offered me one.
It was so sweet I gagged.
Mr. Frost, a bit of my supertaster status makes me gag at the thought of several types of cuisine. I very much dislike the taste of soap. Unfortunately this makes me unhappy in certain restaurants that use cilantro. Plus recently I have discovered that truffles really taste terrible to me.
Well, that’s nothing new. Anyway, the idea is that the infant might have hypogammaglobulinemia? Yet the pediatrician broadly “won’t vaccinate kids with infant siblings”? I can’t wait to find out who this character is.
Wouldn’t the isolation of the infant be exactly the same in the cases of actual chickenpox and postvaccine rash?
Oh, this is a nice touch.]
#132 I find it unbelievable that some ninnyhammer “pediatrician” told her that was the right thing to do. I too would like to see a name.
I wish like crazy they’d had the chickenpox vaccine when I was a kid. I’m afraid of what shingles can do and the shingles vaccine isn’t all that great, either. Bleh.
Hey Guys, I am back. Taken from my Playbook Arguments here is a vivid account of children coming down with autism after vaccination.
‘Interestingly, around 18 months of age some of these kids suddenly come down with a fever and develop measles-like rashes over their body. They will also scream and cry inconsolably for hours. After this, they will start to lose their words and other previously acquired skills. The downward spiral continues with their ‘stimming’ behaviour, followed by the full onset of autism.’
Now, a common complaint of parents is that they are not listened to when they provide such vivid accounts of how their kids dramatically changed after vaccines. They say they are abruptly dismissed with the claim that scientific studies show that vaccines do not cause autism. Now, for argument sake, let’s pretend that the vaccines-autism studies are complete and are good scientific studies. I say ‘pretend’ because I am sure you guys can guess my position on the matter. Anyway, is there not an obligation on the part of the scientific community to show these parents where they erred in believing that vaccines caused their children’s autism? Simply, if ‘good’ science is in disagreement with our most basic senses or perceptions, should we not be shown where our most basic senses or perceptions failed us before we are forced to accept the science? I know pro-vaxers chalk the ‘apparent’ relationship between vaccines and autism up to coincidence, but is simply saying its coincidence good enough? Personally, I find this explanation to be absurd. Never mind — still, if we want parents to accept that the phenomena is coincidental should their not be a concerted effort to provide them with documented evidence of unvaccinated children also dramatically coming down with regressive autism.
On another site, I got into a debate with a pro-vaxer on this issue. I gave the example of a scientific study saying it’s perfectly safe to jump from a cliff when common sense says otherwise. I then asked the question of how do we proceed. I explained, we would need a plausible account of why it’s safe to jump from the cliff when our most basic learning and experience say otherwise. In the event that science is in disagreement with common sense we need to resolve the discrepancy and be shown where common sense is wrong. In the example of jumping off a cliff, I am sure we can all agree that not plausible resolution would be found and the study saying that it’s safe can be discarded as junk science. With vaccine-autism studies saying that it’s perfectly safe for children to have vaccines while common sense is saying otherwise, and there is no resolution in sight, who can blame many parents for feeling that they are being sold junk science and refusing to take the plunge from the ‘vaccine cliff’?
A similar story was told at the autism omnibus hearings by the parents of Theresa Cedillo. I am sure that the parents did believe this story – and still do believe the story. Problem is – they also provided video of their daughter before and after the vaccines. Clear signs of autism were present before vaccination. This was a test case, presumably the strongest test case the petitioners were able to mount. And it wasn’t strong enough, not even close.
These stories are common because parents discuss them with each other, and reinforce them. “It was just like that for my child too” happens.
I saw that news article the other day. My first thought was that if the concern is for the well-being of an infant in the family, then isn’t the pediatrician concerned about viral shedding from, oh, I don’t know, the actual disease, which is demonstrated to actually cause illness in susceptible contacts at a pretty high rate? Whereas viral shedding from the vaccine appears to be benign and not particularly likely to cause any infection in contacts? And if the infant does have some inherited immune dysfunction? That would be an even greater argument to give the older sibling the vaccine to prevent real illness that has a higher chance of being very bad for the infant!
Whoever this pediatrician is, they don’t seem to be doing the risk:benefit balance very well.
Umm…the scientific community (as well as us skeptics who are not scientists) have been explaining where they are erring. But such explanations aren’t comforting and don’t conform to their ideas of what is The Truth. We explain cognitive biases and all the other factors that play a role (diagnostic substitution, changes in definitions, etc.), but they are always ready to dismiss the explanations (“I’m not prone to those biases”).
Why do you say that explaining coincidental events as coincidental is absurd? Do you subscribe to a belief in which everything happens for a reason? Things happen, and sometimes when they occur in close proximity it seems unusual or interesting, even if they are not at all related other than by chance occurrence.
By the way, when you call for a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study and dismiss the ethical considerations as simply “hyperbole”, you reveal that you really have not thought carefully about the issue. Read these posts on the ethics of such a study, starting with part 1 and reading through part 4. Then come back and tell us that talk of ethics is just hyperbole designed to dodge a vaxed/unvaxed study.
Another thing that comes to mind is how our memories work. Remember that memories are reconstructed every time we recall them. They are not perfect, static, beautifully preserved and unchanging videos we can call up like a Netflix movie. Every time we recall them, they alter just a little bit as our brains try to fill in the gaps to get the gist of the memory and give us an image that makes sense.
Now add into that reading suggestive web sites and stories like the one you recounted. That can influence what a parent with questions remembers; it alters their memory just a little bit. Read more such stories or share your story and it changes just a little more.
If you think that this does not happen, consider the account of a woman (sorry, I can’t recall her name just now) who was raped. She made sure to get a really good look at her attacker during the event. When she went to pick a suspect out of a lineup, there was a fellow who looked very similar to her attacker. She wasn’t quite certain at first, but picked him out. As time went on, and as she recounted her experience again and again for the police, she became absolutely convinced that the man she picked out was her rapist, even though he was innocent. That man ended up going to jail for, IIRC, 17 years and while in prison, he happened to meet the guy who actually had raped the woman. The guy confessed and the innocent man was finally set free. He and the woman eventually wrote a book about the whole ordeal together.
That is a big problem with the anecdotes we hear. They don’t take into account the fallibility of memory and the foibles of how the mind works.
I found this on the NY Daily News site, which actually states that the infant has been diagnosed with a rare auto-immune disorder.
” A New York kindergartner is banned from class because her newborn baby sister’s rare condition means she’s not allowed a chicken pox shot.
Doctors say five-year-old FrankieElizabeth Warner risks killing her tiny sibling – born with an auto-immune disorder – if she receives the jab.”
Greg, Liz @ 22 linked to some very recent studies where scientists oblige you with evidence why, in retrospect “mommy sense” cannot be relied on.
Ah. I’ve seen conflicting reports, with some stories stating that there was concern that the infant may have inherited her mother’s immune disorder, but that it could not be diagnosed until the child was 1 year.
@ Todd W.:
Your explanation is quite good. I usually say that LT memory is not a videotape that you can replay at will. I might add that so much is guided by verbal descriptions.
Motivation affects how and what the parents in question recall as well. They are not independent, un-affected observers.
What I might ask when presented with the usual tale – “received vaccines and then right afterwards autism appeared” would be “How did that come about?” Would minute amounts of de-activated virus/ Hg/ contaminants/ whatever go directly from the injection site and lead to “brain damage” / transform brain structure/ cell quantities/ inner ‘wiring ? Some advocates believe the pathway includes the GI tract- another complication.
Greg: Now, a common complaint of parents is that they are not listened to when they provide such vivid accounts of how their kids dramatically changed after vaccines.Is there not an obligation on the part of the scientific community to show these parents where they erred in believing that vaccines caused their children’s autism?
To answer your first question, it’s because the parents are liars. They have taken two coincidental events and made a Mount Everest out of a molehill. They will reinforce and shore up the lies, because they can’t let themselves believe that their child will always be autistic.
As for your second question, like Todd said, many people have tried explaining till they became blue in the face. Orac is hardly the only scientist who’s disputed the claims of the AOA brigade. But, like you, most parents just plug their ears and continue shouting that vaccines caused autism. Women are especially prone to this, mainly because of the shadow of the ‘refrigerator mommy.’ Oh well. I hope none of your children goes blind or deaf due to measles-judging by the ablism you’ve already exhibited, that would lead to years of misery for all concerned. (Helen Keller went deaf due to a vaccine preventable disease, you know.)
I agree with Todd. Memories are constructs of what we see, hear, feel, smell… The brain puts it all together in a neat little package for us to understand. Take the story of “Radio Lab” host Robert Krulwich (sp?). His wife told him a story of when she ran into Jackie Kennedy on the streets of NYC. Jackie waved at her, or so his wife thought. It turned out that Jackie was waving down a cab. Later, during an interview, Robert said that he was there, and he even remembered what Jackie was wearing, the smells or the street, and the sounds of the cars. His wife quickly interrupted him to tell him that he wasn’t there, that she had told him the story.
So when is memory reliable? When it can be corroborated with other facts, e.g. DNA evidence, videotape, another eye witness.
I’d like to flip Greg’s argument on its head and propose the following: If all the scientific and peer-reviewed evidence in the world is that we don’t float when we jump off a cliff, why do people keep wanting to jump off the cliff based on anecdotal evidence that we do float?
Similar results about ‘flashbulb’ memories ( in a book by Neisser) : people swear about what occured on days landmarked by historical events that could not have possibly ever happened- e.g.I talked to X on the day of the assassination- winds up X didn’t work there at the time.
Another story about the NY girl and the varicella vaccine.
This past weekend I heard a great presentation by Leonard Mlodinow based on his newest book Subliminal. He discussed a lot of the different things that influence our thinking and our memories that we aren’t even aware of, including motivated reasoning. It was a timely and very enlightening talk.
I wouldn’t go so far as to call parents liars. I don’t think that they are, or at least not most of them. Mistaken? Yes. But they probably genuinely believe that what they are saying is true. They are not committing intentional, willful distortions of truth. At least insofar as their accounts of what they think they observed in their child, timing of events, etc. Be careful about flinging about accusations of lying.
Assuming that you’re not making up the “possible to jump off a cliff safely” study, I would ask “Okay, why does it say that?” Is the study saying that there are techniques you can use to decelerate or impact more gently? Is the study looking at terrain that gives on impact? Is it looking at jumping off a cliff into water?
Lastly, just because in some cases “common sense” disagrees with science to the point that some people won’t agree no matter what is not grounds to dismiss a scientific study as “junk science”. That you think it is speaks volumes.
PoliticalGuineapig @142 wrote,
I strongly disagree with the assertion that parents are liars, for the majority of parents who believe their children’s issues were caused by vaccines.
What they are is mistaken or deluded, a delusion fostered by folks like Barbara Loe Fisher, Dr. Bob Sears, and Dr. Jay Gordon, who are lying. They profit by continuing the delusion that autism (and other issues) are “vaccine injuries”. They profit by insisting that parental recall is always accurate and to be trusted.
To expand upon what Liz says:
not only Dr Jay, Sears and BLF, but the entire anti-vax establishment ( Drs, bloggers and cheerleaders) as well as generic woomeisters and enablers ( like Oz) who continuously harp on the ‘dangers’ of various toxins contaminanting the environment, advocacting a return to Nature AND/ OR ‘instructing’ people about the inherent corrruption of all and any authorities, de-valuing education as ‘elitism’ and portraying SBM as money-hungry, out-dated and ultimately destructive.
I should note that followers of this garbage do not merely read an article or two but steep themselves in this swill. I fear that the type of material I wade through and ridicule is often mistaken as holy writ as some partisans. Re-education via woo seeks to wipe out whatever basic scientific information average people have acquired and replace it with their own ‘higher knowledge”. Thus homeopathy makes sense and vaccines are a plague.
When I refer to alt med as a cult, a sub-culture or foreign territory, I am not entirely joking. Alt med is alternate reality.
Pardon the errata- it happens when I’m being shrill.
That is a spectacularly inept example.
In the case of jumping off a cliff the “common sense” you refer to is based on a clear mechanism for this causing death or serious injury and the large amount of reliable evidence that death or serious injury occur in the great majority of cases of people jumping off cliffs. Scientists would rightly question the results of this study and look very closely at the subjects, the circumstances in which they all survived jumping off a cliff unscathed and the integrity of the study’s authors. I very much doubt it would get through peer review.
In the case of vaccines we have no clear mechanism for them causing autism, we have a large amount of reliable evidence in the form of billions of children who have been vaccinated without becoming autistic, the many cases of autistic children who have not been vaccinated, video evidence that autism was already detectable before vaccination in several cases of autism, and the evidence that autism has a strong genetic component. That doesn’t even touch on the various studies that have failed to find any hint of a link between any vaccine or vaccine component and autism spectrum disorders. Insisting that vaccines cause autism is not “common sense” at all.
I wonder is Greg finally understands why the paper counted immunogens instead of vaccine doses.
I am baffled why he insisted on counting vaccines, when in our personal experience our oldest only got the DT vaccines instead of the DTP due to a history of neonatal seizures. It is obvious to me that four DT doses in two years has much fewer immunogens than four DTP doses in the same time period.
To me it is common sense to avoid seizures and encephalopathy. Since the kid had another seizure from an actual disease as a toddler, it would be prudent to compare the seizures from vaccines and the diseases. And I don’t have to rely on my memory, I have a very large file of medical records with pages of notes from the pediatric neurologist.
Let’s look at the data:
Vaccine. 2012 Jan 5;30(2):247-53.
Lack of association between childhood immunizations and encephalitis in California, 1998-2008.
Pediatrics Vol. 126 No. 2 August 1, 2010 (doi: 10.1542/peds.2009-1496)
Lack of Association Between Acellular Pertussis Vaccine and Seizures in Early Childhood
Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2006 Sep;25(9):768-73.
Encephalopathy after whole-cell pertussis or measles vaccination: lack of evidence for a causal association in a retrospective case-control study.
Ha– I was just about to make the same point that Krebiozen just did, that “common sense” for the vast majority of the world is that vaccines are awesome. The very fact that for a few, their “common sense” tells them something very different, is precisely why we need good science to show us what’s what. Because I will not risk my child’s health on pure speculation.
Exactly, Melissa G, good common sense would be to protect a child from illness.
My suspicion is that Greg is concerned about the number of doses because it’s not the antigen load he cares about, but the other purported “toxins” in the vaccines. It’s a subtle shifting of the goalposts.
Thanks, Todd. Hmmm, then I wonder if he would mind comparing the “toxins” in the DTaP to the toxins created by the three bacterial diseases, especially tetanospasmin and pertussis toxin.
Todd and Lizditz: I’m sure that the vast majority of parents of autistic children are wonderful people. Unfortunately, the champions they seem to have chosen are scumbags. If Kim Stagliano or Dan Olmsted told me the sky was blue, I’d need ten sources and five minutes of visual observation to double check.
Like I said, lying is excusable, but I’d really like to see some more parents who prefer truth over ‘truthiness.’ Lizditz, Autismom and a few other regulars here are the only parents I can think of who face facts. Regrettably, it seems to mostly be mothers who traffic in the ‘vaccines=autism’ nonsense, and I have no patience for women who play the fool in public. I view it as letting the side down. I believe that Jay and Sears *know* they are trafficking in nonsense and are doing it partly for the money, but mostly for the power and the fangirls.
a scientific study saying it’s perfectly safe to jump from a cliff when common sense says otherwise.
Oh look, an apt cartoon from xkcd:
Unfortunately, the champions they seem to have chosen are scumbags.
PGP, if you really think that “the vast majority of parents of autistic children” are responsible for the self-aggrandising claims of Stagliano and Olmsted, then I’m just going to sit here rolling my eyes dismissively.
Loved that cartoon when I read it! When logic gets twisted…
As for PGP, I’m not particularly surprised. It’s just more of the same tired old sweeping generalizations we’ve seen before.
hdb: I don’t think they’re ‘responsible’ for Stagliano and Olmsted; those two are adults and responsible for their own lives. But I certainly don’t see many people *discouraging* them, and the fact that they seem to have a large prescence on the Internet, suggests that a lot of people think their theories have merit.
Todd: You say that like there’s something wrong with generalizing. There’s a reason ‘birds of a feather flock together’ is such a well-known proverb. People are drawn to other people like them, and they often elect a central ‘brain’ so that they don’t need to think for themselves. Know how the ‘brain’ thinks, and you know how the people in the group think. Some people can and do think for themselves, but not many.
I don’t think they’re ‘responsible’ for Stagliano and Olmsted; […] But I certainly don’t see many people *discouraging* them, and the fact that they seem to have a large prescence on the Internet, suggests that a lot of people think their theories have merit.
“Discouraging” them? What do you want everyone to do — follow them around with placards? Set up their own websites? Many parents have better things to do, and are happy to ignore the existence of idiots.
The fact that Someone Is Wrong on the Internet does not impose on me the duty of discouraging them; nor does my failure to discourage them make those people my de-facto representatives.
the fact that they seem to have a large prescence on the Internet, suggests that a lot of people think their theories have merit
That’s just silly. I warned you; now I am ROLLING MY EYES.
Great. Answer the question about the design of the putative prospective study.
Unreal! Are you people really listening to yourselves? Are you people for real? Actually — that was a rhetorical question. I already know the answer. You are saying parents who witnessed their children stop talking, stop making eye contact, and start ‘stimming’ immediately after vaccines are either delusional in considering the vaccines as the culprits, or in some psychotic blame state, or just plain outright liars. I can’t believe you people call us ‘anti-vaxers’ quacks when you should reserve the term for yourselves. With the example of the man on the cliff, perhaps I gave you guys too much credit and indeed you would tell the man to believe the study and jump. You would tell him not to trust all the other anecdotal, hearsay nonsense about people getting hurt from falling from cliffs. You would tell him to doubt his own past experiences of being hurt from falling from heights, saying it wasn’t really the heights to blame but some other unknown coincidental factor. Anyway, out of sheer masochist stupidity, I will continue with this exercise in futility and ask you to provide an answer to my earlier query: If we are to accept the insane proposition that vaccines are not responsible for autism then surely there must be lots of unvax kids in the general population who came down with regressive autism. I imagine they exist at the official 1 in 50 autism rate. Why then are efforts not on the way to get a hold of these kids and document their stories of how while experiencing normal development, out of nowhere they too stopped talking, stopped making eye contact, and came down with autism? Surely such stories would bolster the coincidence argument. So, are there any takers who will provide a response? I can’t wait to see what stupidity I am served.
@Greg – are you completely unaware of the various population studies that show that autism rates don’t really vary between vaccinated and unvaccinated populations?
Given that unvaccinated individuals are rare in the United States, even at the 1 in 50 rate (which hasn’t been confirmed by multiple studies yet either), you are talking about a very small population to begin with.
Again, where is your proof that vaccines are to blame? – you keep asking us to prove a negative, when you’ve supplied no evidence to prove the positive.
Um, what happened to “the issue should always be ‘do’ vaccines as administered in the recommended vaccination schedule cause autism, period”? Now quit flailing around and answer the damn question about the putative study design.
Great $deity Almighty, PGP, you really need to get a hold of the cluestick.
I know 10s, if not 100s of autism parents, exactly 0 of whom have “chosen” the Age of Autism / TACA / AutismOne /”autism is vaccine injury” crowd as their “champions”, or who accept the “autism is vaccine injury” meme.
What the autism parents I know are doing is small and hyper-local — working with their school districts for better services and accommodations; working on transition-to-adulthood planning and services for their (and other people’s) children. They don’t have the time or the interest to be going on about a false causation theory, or pseudoscience, because that does exactly nothing to meet their children’s needs right now.
And a good healthy chunk of the autism parents I know are themselves autistic.
Overall, the folk I hang out with electronically are putting autistics at the front and center of the conversation. That’s another reason the “autism is vaccine injury” cabal are ignored by most autism parents and certainly the huge majority of autistics — the cabal has no time or respect for autistic adults.
Why do you think that there were two autistic adults, representing two different autism organizations, at the last Congressional autism hearing? Because a bunch of people — including the parents of autistic children — demanded that they present and heard.
To refresh your memory:
Another bite at the cluestick for you, PGP.
1. Failing to publicly disagree with the “autism is vaccine injury” cabal etc. is not the same as agreeing with them.
2. The cabal is relatively tiny, but have one competitive advantage — big dollar backing by individuals such as JB Handley (Age of Autism, Generation Rescue), Barry Segal (Focus Autism), Teri Arranga (AutismOne), Lisa Claire Dwoskin (Dwoskin Family Foundation) and Paul Soros.
3. Most autistics I know ignore the “autism is vaccine injury” cabal entirely. If they’re objecting to any organization publicly, it is Autism Speaks (or Autism $peaks, as it is usually spelled.)
Funny, I think the same thing when I see that you’ve commented.
Well I haven’t spoken about Autism $peaks for a while but then, if I were in a position to apply for grants from them, I would do two things; put a pro-neurodiversity ad in major newspaper and also, do pro-neurodiversity research.
Regarding the cabal, I’m not that much concerned except when they post here.
Speaking for all the parents of autistic kids that *I* personally know, including myself and my spouse, NONE of us choose the likes of the AoA crowd as our champions. We choose real researchers, like those at the Kennedy Center at Vanderbilt University Hospital, and others doing amazing, well-supported scientific research into what makes humans autistic and how to make life better for autistic people through education, behavioral intervention, parenting and communication classes, etc.
Though I empathize with PGP in that I, too, feel especially offended when other *women,* instead of using the critical thinking wherewithal that our foremothers fought so hard to get us educated in, gets flung to the wayside in favor of “mommy intuition.” I feel like they’re that Barbie who used to say “Math is hard.” NO IT ISN’T BARBIE, DO YOUR STATS HOMEWORK!
“You are saying parents who witnessed their children stop talking, stop making eye contact, and start ‘stimming’ immediately after vaccines”
All of which are behaviors autistic kids tend to engage in when stressed by, say, getting jabbed by a needle. We are saying their kids ARE autistic. They didn’t “become” autistic after the vaccines. They most likely became autistic at conception or in utero. The parents are failing to recognize the EARLY early symptoms of autism, but they’re likely stressed with their handful of a child, and then they fall into a supportive social setting that rewards the adoption of this meme that “vaccines did it,” well, it’s easy to see how much of a comfort that is, and how the meme perpetuates itself amongst the vulnerable.
Alain, you said recently here that you were not part of the neurodiversity movement, it was something you used to be involved with, which is it?
Some questions for you, Greg:
1. How many completely, totally unvaccinated children are there in all of the United States?
2. How would you identify and enroll those children in your study?
3. How would you verify the individual developmental trajectory of each child in the study?
4. What percentage of autistic children experience regression?
5. What is the average age at which regression occurs?
Oh, and a bonus question, Greg:
How would you verify that the children “stopped talking”?
are there any takers who will provide a response? I can’t wait to see what stupidity I am served.
Ah. Trolling for attention.
I personally find that trolling is funnier when the troll maintains a straight face, but opinions differ.
#163, Lawrence and others, please answer the question. Where are the documented evidences of unvaxed kids coming down with regressive autism? You know, out of nowhere unvaxed kids who stop talking, stop maintaining eye contact? We know that parents of vaxed kids have such video footage. Even with a smaller population of unvaxed kids surely there are cases of regressive autism also. Where are they? Provide this evidence and indeed we can get through to the ‘loony’ parents that autism after vaccination is indeed a coincidental thing.
Why don’t you ask Kim Stagliano about her youngest daughter?
Where are the documented evidences of unvaxed kids coming down with regressive autism?
Happy to help.
Um, yeah, duh, Kim Stagliano and her kids leap to mind, and I don’t exactly see her being “[gotten] through to” any time soon.
Also, “loony” is your word, Greg, not ours. I’d say most of us just feel bad for them. Worse for their kids, though, who deserve parents who don’t think of them as “damaged.”
Now answer *our* questions.
To reflect upon the question of how widespread anti-vaccinationism is amongst autism parents, a few numbers come to mind:
Age of Autism – 6500 facebook
Thinking Moms’ Revolution- 10K facebook
Vaccine Machine -22K facebook
Seth Mnookin 2012- 1% don’t vaccinate/10% vaccinate selectively
NPR Reuters 2011- 30% of US parents of children under 18 have “concerns about vaccines”.
Facebook may be relevant because of the age factor –
In contrast, a general woo-site, Natural News, gets 300+K.
So people who fear vaccines and/or promote the specious vaccine-autism hypothesis don’t seem to have the numbers.
Other groups ( SafeMinds; Canary Party) probably have a great degree of overlap with the aforementioned groups.
I’d venture that they are a small but very vocal minority of autism parents or of any parent group.
Lizditz:Overall, the folk I hang out with electronically are putting autistics at the front and center of the conversation. That’s another reason the “autism is vaccine injury” cabal are ignored by most autism parents and certainly the huge majority of autistics — the cabal has no time or respect for autistic adults.
Why do you think that there were two autistic adults, representing two different autism organizations, at the last Congressional autism hearing? Because a bunch of people — including the parents of autistic children — demanded that they present and heard.
Okay, I didn’t know that. I assumed that the two who spoke at the Congressional hearing did so in spite of their families, not that their families, friends and support groups actually were part of the effort to get them there. I admit, I fell prey to my default assumption about people-but when presented with a megaphone, giant amplifiers and a full band on one side and five or six people with a bullhorn made of paper on the other, which side are you going to assume is speaking for the majority?
Also, I’m not a parent, and don’t know any parents my age. Voting for the members of the school board is as far as my involvement with education is concerned.
when presented with a megaphone, giant amplifiers and a full band on one side and five or six people with a bullhorn made of paper on the other, which side are you going to assume is speaking for the majority?
That is certainly one incentive to acquire a megaphone, giant amplifiers and a full band. Also it has the advantage of convincing *themselves* that they speak for the majority.
Going back to the antivaxxer’s sneering pretense of being a vaccine advocate, there’s a bit of illogic that I do not think has been mentioned. Start with this statement:
The antivaxxer’s implication is that the average person diagnosed as “autistic” today is non-verbal, screams, head-bangs, and is still in diapers. moving on to the next paragraph:
The clear implication of these two paragraphs together is that, since some unspecified time in the past until now, the percentage of the population that is non-verbal, screams, head-bangs, and is still in diapers due to autism has gone up by a factor of 200 and is now close to 2%.* So it should be very simple for the antivaxxer to prove his assertion:
1) Produce the percentage of the population that was non-verbal, screamed, head-banged, and was still in diapers back when autism was diagnosed at a rate of 1 per 10,000. We can call that rate X%.
2) Produce the percentage of the population that is non-verbal, screams, head-bangs, and is still in diapers today. That will not be quite X+2% since some of the causes of such problems (like congenital rubella syndrome) have been greatly reduced by vaccination, but it must be close.
Obviously the antivaxxer has good sources for these two numbers since his sarcasm is intended laboriously to convey that no diagnostic substitution can possibly have occurred, and therefore the new 2% of the population who are non-verbal etc. must be added onto the percentage from other causes.
So, produce your evidence, antivaxxer.
* Actually it’s 2% having autism spectrum disorder, which is much broader than just autism, but one doesn’t expect an antivaxxer to pick up on subtleties like that. Or if he does, he just lies about them.
This also explains the use of sock puppets in some blogs.
#134 Because there’s absolutely no other reason that a one and a half year old child could have a rash or a fever, is there? No, it must be the vaccine.
#142 I think you’re wrong, there.
I don’t think they’re lying; I just think they’re wrong. They’ve mistakenly come to believe that consecutive events had a causal link. It’s best not to assume malice when a cognitive blind spot could just as easily be at fault.
#172 That’s what we are trying to tell you: It does not happen “out of nowhere.”
It may seem that way to parents, but, as shown by evidence such as family video, the children had autistic behaviors prior to the vaccine that can be identified by an expert. While parents see these behaviors as “normal” or “just part of the kid’s personality,” an expert will see the same behaviors and say “autism.”
Alain, you said recently here that you were not part of the neurodiversity movement, it was something you used to be involved with, which is it?
I never was really involved in anything wrt autism except with I worked with my previous psychiatrist. Of course I got an invitation to be part of ASAN but didn’t give it much thought because I wasn’t seeing the point (I wasn’t a political guy) and it’s only recently that I’ve begun blogging.
Now if neurodiversity proponent recruited me in their network, that would be fine (and if not, that’s fine too) but for the moment, I am more looking out for autistic university students able to do some research part-time (dissecting fMRI and PET papers and putting the coordinates in notepad) and I am also looking at crowdfunding some research project which I am thinking.
I’ve been spending the night investigating successful crowdfunding projects and their blogs and it look like a viable business model.
I tend to be the guy who fixes problem whenever I see one and all my endeavors resulted from myself fixing a problem; when I worked for my psychiatrist, the problem was that I couldn’t live anymore in my city and had to move so I took my salary and made the necessary effort to move out. The trick I learned and the publication are bonus points. Maybe I’m unorthodox but I get results.
The Tongans, with a combination of brass bands and a variety of war dances, require neither megaphones nor giant amplifiers.
@Greg – once again, please show us your evidence that vaccines have been scientifically proven to cause autism – because if none exists, then the burden is not on us to prove the negative (as you’ve provided no affirmative proof).
I also see that you conveniently ignored all of the responses to your “study” suggestions – care to answer the original questions?
Ok, before I return to join my ‘quack’ friends at AoA I have one more matter to discuss with you guys. Something tells me that you will be a little more forthcoming on the topic. Imagine by the sheerest off chance (wink, wink) that vaccines are responsible for the current autism mess, would the benefits then truly outweigh the risks? I will put two scenarios to you. First, let’s say we stop vaccines in their entirety and although seeing a mild spike in the return of infectious diseases, it is nowhere near the epidemic levels of the past. In return, we also start seeing the number of brain damaged autistic kids –(I really don’t want to insult anyone one but I don’t know how using the term ‘damaged’ is not calling a spade a spade) — plummets. In addition, we also start seeing less asthma, less adhd, less speech delays, less allergies, and less of all the other host of autoimmune issues we are currently experiencing. What if after getting rid of vaccines we start having healthier kids? What if, in truth, vaccines had their day and now it is just plain time to move on? In the second scenario, let’s say we do stop vaccines and the epidemic numbers of the past return. Still, we know that polio at its highest was claiming around 50,000 people. Not actual deaths but close to it. In the US today, however, using the 1 in 50 estimated autism rate there are over 80, 000 autistic brain damaged children and this figure does not include adults. Not to mention there are all the other autoimmune issues –the asthma, the adhd, the speech delays, the allergies, and so on and so on. This brings me to another query, and how it pains me to bring it up. I will not go too much into my personal situation but I do work with autistic individuals and their parents. Occasionally, I have some honest heart wrenching discussions with the parents and the majority of them at one time or another have confided that if given the choice of having a child with a whole host of behavioural and developmental challenges, a child that caring for them will drive them to financial ruin, a child with no future prospects and who will be left to the mercy of a cruel, callous world when they pass on, then, yes, they would rather have a child that dies from a vaccine preventable disease than an autistic child. Although sad, can anyone blame these parents for thinking this way?
Personally, I don’t believe that if we were to get rid of vaccines we would return to the epidemic levels of the past. Many of my ‘anti-vaxers’ friends take it one step further and argue that vaccines are entirely useless and it would have been better if they were never introduced. Perhaps this is going a little too far. Still, one cannot help but wonder, what if.
You’re not great at math, are you? If vaccines neither cause nor prevent autism we would expect the same proportion of autistic and non-autistic people to be unvaccinated. The proportion of completely unvaccinated children in the US is around 0.5%. The proportion of people with ASD in the US is officially 1 in 88, according to the CDC, and the proportion of these who had regressive autism is between 20% and 50% (PMID: 19360687). That means we would expect between 1 in 35,200 and 1 in 88,000 children to be both unvaccinated and autistic, by chance alone.
What do we find in practice? It’s not easy to find a reliable source for this information, but I think the results of the Vaccine Injury Info survey are interesting. They found 4 cases of unvaccinated children with “severe” autism among the 12,032 participants in the survey, which is 1 in 3,008. This seems to suggest that autism is between 10 and 30 times more prevalent in unvaccinated children than chance would predict. If you break it down by age, in some age groups about 2% of children are both unvaccinated and autistic. Some might suggest that this indicates that vaccines are greatly protective against autism. However, this is just an internet survey, so we shouldn’t take these results too seriously, but it does show that there are unvaccinated children with autism out there.
While you and your friends are sitting around wishing death on their children and random strangers, pray recall that the results of VPDs are not binary: live perfectly unaffected or die on the spot. Rather, as one antivax family in Colorado discovered when they chose to let their defenseless son suffer the measles, sometimes the child does not die but is profoundly and permanently brain-damaged. Sometimes the child dies but only after years of suffering (see SSPE).
No, asshοle, you’re not “discussing” anything. Now answer the question about the study design.
Your ignorance is showing. Whenever vaccination has been stopped before a disease has gone extinct in the wild, the disease has reached the “epidemic levels of the past”. Diphtheria came roaring back in the former soviet republics and Wales is now in the grip of a measles epidemic thanks to parents refusing to vaccinate their children.
Your second scenario is begging the question. What is your evidence that autism, adhd, speech delays, allergies, “and so on” are caused by vaccinations? Remember, you have to show evidence of harm. In addition, you underestimate the damage done by those diseases. Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, polio and rotavirus can all kill. Even if the patient survives he/she can suffer lasting harm. Pertussis can damage lungs, polio can cause paralysis, measles can cause SSPE, mumps can render males infertile and rubella can cause miscarriages and birth defects.
You know what Greg? Go die in a fire. It’s not our autism that’s our biggest problem, it’s prats like you who view us as burdens and not humans. I’m gainfully employed, live on my own and have a pretty good life, yet anti-vaxxers like you label me as damaged goods.
Kindly go to hell.
You and your anti-vaxxer friends are wrong. Not only has the introduction of mass vaccination programs caused the rate of these diseases to plummet by over 90%, whenever these programs have broken down, or people have refused to get vaccinated, we have seen a resurgence in these diseases.
I recommend that you do a bit more research into the diseases that are prevented by vaccines, as well as the history of those diseases in various countries around the world. The issues are far more complex than you prefer to paint them. Heck, you don’t even have to go too far back to find out what these diseases do. Just a few years ago, there was a major outbreak in a small area of Germany, with significant hospitalization rates and three children dead. Wales is in the midst of a current outbreak, with around an 8% hospitalization rate so far. Luckily, there have been no deaths…yet. Numbers on other sequelae (e.g., blindness, deafness, encephalopathy) have not been reported. Want another example? The Minnesota Department of Health did a very good job at reporting on a measles outbreak there, predominantly among the Somali community, whose low vaccination rates can be directly tied to Generation Rescue’s and Andrew Wakefield’s activities there.
What possible basis do you have for making such a jaw-droppingly foolish statement? In the US in 1950 there were 420 deaths from diphtheria, 336 from tetanus, 1,118 from pertussis, 1,904 from polio and 468 from measles, a total of over 4,000 deaths, with similar numbers each and every year. The same figures in 2007 were 0 deaths from diphtheria, 5 from tetanus, 9 from pertussis, 0 from polio and 0 from measles. The usual response to this is that these staggering improvements in public health are due to improvements in hygiene and nutrition, but how much have hygiene and nutrion improved in the US in the last 60 years? Surely in 1950 Americans were eating wholesome organic foods, free from nasty toxins, and I’m pretty sure most Americans had running water and flush toilets in 1950. So why were they dying or infectious diseases in such numbers? Bear in mind that the US population has more than doubled since then, so this would be the equivalent of 8,000 deaths each year today.
The only plausible explanation for the fall in numbers of deaths from infectious diseases is vaccination, and since these diseases still exist elsewhere in the world, and since international travel is so common, if vaccination was stopped entirely it wouldn’t take too long for similar numbers of deaths to start reappearing.
If you look at rotavirus, which is spread in a very similar way to polio, before vaccination just 20 years ago, 4 out of 5 US children had symptomatic rotavirus infection. If children were no longer vaccinated against polio, is there any reason to think it would not similarly spread through the population if the disease was reintroduced, as it so easily could be by some unwary traveler from Pakistan or Nigeria with asymptomatic polio?
@Greg – it has to be said, “Discussion – I don’t think that word means what you think it means.”
Was there a hypothesis that vaccines may be responsible for the increase in the levels of recognized autism? Yes
Was the research done to see if that hypothesis was correct? Yes
Did that research show a link? No, no & no
You’re asking questions that have already been answered over the past 15 years. You don’t like the answers, you you keep asking the same questions over and over again (just in a slightly different way), but the answers are always the same, whether from population studies, clinical research, surveillance studies, etc, etc, etc.
As for your assumptions about the return of VPDs – one only needs to look at the current situation in Wales, coupled with the measles outbreaks in France (where over 25% of the people infected required hospitalization) to show that you are completely full of sh*t and should just run along back to your “friends” at AoA.
“dying of infectious diseases”
Oh, and also, please kindly show your evidence that vaccines cause autism. Because you still claim they do, but have yet to show that they actually do.
Quoth the antivaxxer: “What if after getting rid of vaccines we start having healthier kids? What if, in truth, vaccines had their day and now it is just plain time to move on?”
What if, in truth, perpetual motion machines worked? What if, in truth, all our energy-generating industries had their day and now it is just plain time to move on?
@Greg – have “you” ever considered that you could be wrong?
What proof do you have that vaccines cause asthma or adhd? The four generations in my family with those disorders would like to know. Neither my father, born in 1927 or I, um,born in the fifties had vaccines following the present schedule
Why won’t people admit their genes caused their children’s problems?
I’d like to address (briefly) two things Greg said because they’ve been bothering me.
I don’t believe that. What I do believe is that they are mistaken, or mis-speaking, and the stories no longer align with the events that actually occurred.
I believe that the stories have been corrupted through re-telling. Why? Human memory is fallible (as has already been discussed). Sometimes, stories are altered for dramatic effect, and sometimes stories differ from actual events due to sloppy use of language.
What I am wondering is why Greg takes these stories as gospel, and expects others to do the same.
@Chemmomo – human “remembrance” and eye-witness testimony are considered some of the most unreliable types of evidence used in Court today. It was left up to Science (DNA testing, etc), in many cases, to prove whether a person was truly guilty or innocent.
In the case of the hypothesis that there was a link between vaccinations and autism, we find ourselves in the same position. “Eye Witness Testimony” resulted in the original “guilty verdict” but it was left to the actual Science that was done to disprove the actual link.
So Greg, if things like DNA testing can prove eye-witness testimony to be false, why don’t you believe that scientific research into vaccines that shows no link to autism?
You’re making an explicit claim here greg–that no unvaccinated child has ever exhibited regressive autism. As it’s your claim, it’s your obligation to provide evidence supporting it’s accuracy, rather than our job to prove that claim wrong.
Now on to that ‘insane proposition’ claim: hundreds of rese3archers over the past 3 decades or so have looked for a causal association between immunization and autism–and they’ve looked very, very hard ( Hviid, for example, looked at incidence of autism versus immunzation status for every child born in Denmark between the years 1991 and 1998). As to date exactly zero credible scientific evidence supporting such an association has been found, by what rational argument is it insane to consider such an association unlikely to exist?
Why would we expect morbidity or mortality to be different than in the past?
Lawrence, to clarify what’s bothering me:
Why does Greg assume I’m calling someone a delusional, psychotic, or a liar if I question that person’s recollection, or the way that that person related it?
It’s already happening, you idiot, thanks to the misinformation spread by the likes of AoA. Did you miss this bit of news out of Wales last week? http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/apr/05/swansea-measles-epidemic-mmr-jab
Not coincidentally, that is an area where the local newspaper devoted a lot of attention to no-longer-a-doctor Andy Wakefield’s fraudulent MMR study. It doesn’t take much to reduce herd immunity to the point where epidemics start breaking out again. So don’t expect a sympathetic hearing for your nonsense here. Vaccines don’t cause autism and anyone who continues to insist that they do is causing real harm to real people.
Maybe it’s time to resurrect penal colonies for the voluntarily unvaccinated. That way parents can “protect” their kids from de ebil vaccinez and the rest of us and our especially vulnerable newborns or immune disordered unvaccinatable can be protected from their germ-spreading foolishness. The only way to leave the island is to get the full range of vaccines. Wonder how the island will deal with the inevitable cases of autism?
You are not really suggesting we let diseases return?
Here are three examples:
First there was a reduction of vaccination in the USA due to lax laws and funding (especially for lower income populations). The result was a measles outbreak and over 120 deaths. This is data from the CDC Pink Book Appendix G:
Disease: Measles in the USA
(^^ first vaccine licensed)
(^^^ MMR licensed)
(^^^ Measles Elimination Program started)
1989___18,193___32 (this is what happens when
1990___27,786___64 measles vaccine coverage
1991____9,643___27 is reduced)
1993______312____0 (vaccine coverage returns)
Then there is this:
Successful Control of Epidemic Diphtheria in the States of the Former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: Lessons Learned:
And then in Japan: Impact of anti-vaccine movements on pertussis control: the untold story:
Greg, you attitude towards children is despicable if you do not wish to prevent these diseases. Now where is that study design?
Did you have a point, Brewand? No one I’m aware of has argued for the involunatry isolation of unvaccinated.people in the equivalent of penal colonies.
If these people had ANY empathy for autistic people they’d realize how insulting that sort of language is to autistic people!
Ok, I forgot to put in either sarcasm alert or a more clever way of stating that I was thinking along the lines of Johnathan Swift’s satire “A Modest Proposal” as a solution to poverty by selling poor children as food for the wealthy. Hence the use of the term “VOLUNTARILY unvaccinated.” But there really needs to be some more obvious way to help parents who believe in vaccines keep their kids out of the range of the unvaccinated. If I were to be pregnant again, I would seriously consider wearing a sandwich board that says “If you aren’t current on all vaccinations, stay at least 50 feet away from me and my baby.” Well maybe not, as it would be pretty hard to wear and carry a baby as well, but the burden shouldn’t be so hard on parents who believe in vaccinations to protect their kids from the irresponsible anti-vaxxers.
using the 1 in 50 estimated autism rate there are over 80, 000 autistic brain damaged children
At this point, Greg will be doing everyone in a favour if he dies in a fire.
Why does Greg assume I’m calling someone a delusional, psychotic, or a liar if I question that person’s recollection, or the way that that person related it?
Because he’s a lying troll with no interest in the truth or good-faith argument.
The most obvious way would be to eliminate all non-medical exemptions from the requirement children are current with routine immunization as a condition of attending public schools.
yeah, that’s a start, but it doesn’t do much for all the other casual contact that is arguably much harder to screen out. I.E. ball pit at fast food store, playground, after school enrichment programs that are open to all in the community with no requirement for vaccination status, and all the other informal occasions for kids (and unvaccinated adults, for that matter) to come in contact with kids, especially when they were younger. My sister lost her best friend to chickenpox (albeit before varicella vaccines were regularly available–early to mid 70’s) because some contagious kid showed up at a summer day camp and the friend had just recently been released from isolation following chemotherapy for a childhood cancer, leukemia I believe.
A casual friend of mine had a baby in October 2012 and at 3 weeks, the baby was diagnosed with pertussis. All the family members who had contact with the baby were tested after the diagnosis and found to be negative. That family even requested that the grandparents etc all go get boosters well before the due date and they complied as that was a condition for visiting the baby.
So yeah, penal colony is over the top satire, but why should parents who try to follow good science have so much of a burden? Why should they feel like they have to keep their kids restricted from various environments because of the idiot unvaxxed? (To be completely clear, I am NOT referring to those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.)
I wonder how Greg’s “friends” at AoA would react to the “brain damaged” comment – calling an autistic, brain damaged, is like called a Down’s Baby “brain damaged.”
Greg is a horrible person.
Greg certainly has callous disregard for child health!
A lot of questions have been put to me and I will reply to them shortly. I just have a few more of my own. First, how do you account for disease epidemics of the past that disappeared on their own without vaccination and never returned? Why did they disappear? Would this not also suggest the possibility that current day diseases may also continue to stay at bay even in the event of reduced vaccines? Second, for herd immunity to take effect, it is said 90% of the population must be protected. Yet, when we consider that vaccines that children get are only good for 10 to 15 years this would mean that most adults are not protected, and hence, herd immunity is well short of the 90% figure. Why then are diseases not running rampant?
Way to keep dodging the study design questions, Greg. It’s almost like you can’t answer them…
Oh cripes, Greg, aren’t you ashamed of your behavior here…”JAQing Off” in public?
Why don’t you answer any of the questions that were posed to you here about the study design…instead of posing more questions?
Guys, just answer my last few queries and I promise to fully address all your points.
Sanitation, vaccination and antibiotics. And many have not disappeared. Bubonic plague and scarlet fever are still with us. While bubonic plague is held at bay by keeping out rodents with fleas from our homes, it still infects people in the western USA. Plus, scarlet fever is a strep infection, and last I heard kids still get strep throat which are halted by antibiotics.
And the graphs you see showing diphtheria, measles, etc disappearing are only showing deaths, not the incidence. Those were reduced through vaccination. If you actually bothered to read my comment #209 diseases come back when vaccination rates go down.
Now, answer our question. Where is that study design?
@ Chris 209
May I compliment you on your data management skills?
I knew of the Ukraine and Japan outbreaks, (I actually mentioned the Ukraine diphtheria outbreak in my PhD report) but didn’t have an article at hand. When I’m paid for it (i.e. when working in my lab), I usually manage to keep track of important published articles, but I’m not that thorough while casually strolling the internet as a civilian.
I copied the references from your post in case I got engaged in a similar discussion elsewhere. Which is very likely to happen, given my proclivities…
tl;dr Thanks for posting these references.
If wishes were horses, beggars would ride them.
Avec des “si”, on mettrait Paris en bouteille.
It’s so comfortable to disregard reality and substitute one of your own.
But facts are stubborn. When you stop fighting diseases, they come back.
My sister has some (genetic-based) developmental delay. Please be a good boy and feel free to smurf yourself in a fire.
1. ADD/ADHD is not and never has been an immune disorder. I suspect it has manifested in at least three generations of my family- two of whom were born before MMR was developed. I’d say do some research, but I think you’re too dim to understand it.
Greg : First, how do you account for disease epidemics of the past that disappeared on their own without vaccination and never returned? Why did they disappear?
Again, you really don’t understand how viruses or the immune system work, do you? The diseases disappeared, briefly, when the population they infected either died out or acquired immunity. But they never really went away. And they resurfaced whenever more people were born without immunity. Comprende, douchecanoe? I even used short words just for you.
Thank you, Heliantus. I started to keep a file of them when I found I wanted to use them every so often. The pertussis one came from someone else in another discussion, so I squirreled it away (the PubMed page for it did not have a link to the whole paper).
Another part of Greg’s questions:
Pertussis is running rampant. This is why it is suggested to substitute the ten year tetanus booster with the Tdap instead of the Td vaccine.
And most viral vaccines are good for a much longer time. And for those that are not, smallpox and yellow fever, they are not on the American pediatric schedule.
Greg, all of the answers to your questions can be found in the CDC Pink Book. You can download each chapter for free, and they are written at level most with a high school education can understand.
No. You begin at the beginning. You answer the previous questions, and then you get to toss out more.
@Narad – again, I do not believe Greg understands how a “discussion” is supposed to work. In the echo chamber of AoA, I guess he’s gotten used to making blind assertions & not getting questioned about it.
Oh, I think Greg is quite used to winding people up with provocative insulting sophistry and bullsh1t with the goal of getting attention.
Hasn’t it occurred to you that it might be a good idea to acquire at least a very basic understanding of the subject before diving into a science blog frequented by well-educated medical professionals, telling us we are all stupid and asking such dumb questions? For example:
It varies from disease to disease, depending on how contagious they are. Wikipedia has a good basic explanation of how this works. I suggest you read it.
Where do you get the idea that vaccines are only good for 10-15 years? This is true for bacterial illnesses such as tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, which is why boosters are recommended, but immunity to viral illnesses lasts very much longer. You should read that paper too, you might learn something.
I suspect you believe you have educated yourself in this area by reading material on antivaccine websites. There is a lot of very inaccurate information out there. I suggest you check its reliability very carefully before embarrassing yourself any further.
@Chris, “Greg, all of the answers to your questions can be found in the CDC Pink Book. You can download each chapter for free, and they are written at level most with a high school education can understand.”
A high school education? The antivaxxer is going to have a problem, I think.
LW, yes, Greg will have a problem.
Which disease epidemics? Be specific, otherwise, how are we to provide any meaningful answers?
Actually, don’t answer that question yet. First, answer the questions you’ve already been asked, such as how you’d design the vax/unvax study or, more importantly, show us some solid evidence that vaccines cause autism.
Why? You haven’t answered any of our questions yet, but thrown out tons of your own. When we answer those, you refuse to accept them and just throw out more and demand we answer those before you answer any of ours.
Stop stonewalling. If you are so certain that you are right, then it should be fairly simple for you to provide us with this overwhelming evidence that has so convinced you.
Yes, you want information on a study design. Indeed I am a layperson and not a scientist. In my humble opinion though, I will say if we are truly interested in determining the relationship between vaccines and autism then perhaps our main concern should not be on study design. Our main concern should be ensuring that the parties who have the most stakes to lose in the event that a connection is found do not have any influence in such research. We need an independent research body that will safeguard against bias research. I truly believe if such a body existed the vaccine-autism debate would have long been settled. That said, I think the piecemeal investigations in which vaccine components are investigated are insufficient. To date, only three vaccine components have been studied -thimerosal, MMR, and now antigens. Even if these researches are to be trusted, these findings are not sufficient in clearing vaccines in their totality or for their cumulative effect. I believe the best study to explore is an unvaxed/vaxed study as detailed by Lawrence at #93. Lawrence did bring up the issue of selection bias if we were to assign groups to get around the ‘ethics’ of withholding vaccines from children. Yes, the ‘ethics’ issue may be a problem for some, but I believe if we really want to we could find ways to solve it. Short of a full unvaxed/vaxed study, perhaps the next best thing is one in which number of vaccine doses amongst non-autistic and autistic groups are compared. The latest study came a little close in this area, but it only balanced for antigens. (Chris, I thank you for helping me understand antigens, immunogens and doses better). Perhaps, a better study would be one that not only balanced for antigens, but for all other ingredients, including adjuvants. Finally, I will say this in this my very last post. The fact that you are scientists in itself does not put you at an advantageous position in determining truth. What put you in such a position are your integrity, humility and passion for truth. Your scientific expertise is merely a tool, and without integrity, humility, and passion for truth you will never be able to use it correctly. Sadly, in my discourse with you guys, I sense you are lacking in all three areas.
I am afraid that we are not the ones lacking in integrity, humility and passion. Why do you think I explained in great detail why merely counting vaccine doses was insufficient? Why do you think we linked to papers showing what happens when vaccine use is reduced? Why do you think we bring up issues with a vax/unvax study that would endanger children? Why do you think answered your questions?
And, yet, all you have shown is that you have a closed mind.
Greg, the scientific method strive to eliminate all bias, it’s not just a tool and it has been perfected since centuries because the human mind is fallible and we are the easiest person to fool.
Did you ever take a philosophy of science course? If not, you should take one.
Shorter #233: “I demand a vaxxed/untaxed study. I haven’t the faintest clue how to do it, and I’ll reject the results anyway, but if you don’t do it you obviously lack integrity, humility and passion for truth.”
That’s vaxxed/unvaxxed. Stupid autocorrect.
People here have been beyond helpful to Greg. Far, far more helpful than he deserves. The people here are awesome. Greg, not so much. I quote him saying:
“Occasionally, I have some honest heart wrenching discussions with the parents and the majority of them at one time or another have confided that if given the choice of having a child with a whole host of behavioural and developmental challenges, a child that caring for them will drive them to financial ruin, a child with no future prospects and who will be left to the mercy of a cruel, callous world when they pass on, then, yes, they would rather have a child that dies from a vaccine preventable disease than an autistic child. Although sad, can anyone blame these parents for thinking this way?”
Yes. I *can* blame them for thinking this way. I, too, have been around many families with at least one autistic kid. Worked alongside them. Shared many classes, parties, field trips, and meals with them. And they LOVE their kids. I don’t know a single ONE who would wish what you suggest. So you BET I blame them. I think any parents who would think this way are terrible excuses for human beings, and their precious, precious children deserve better.
And Greg, I think you are a terrible excuse for a human being, too. Call my kid brain damaged again. Show every reader of this blog your true colors.
(Translation) for Greg’s many posts.
I came here with a dumb post that was neither clever or informative.
I keep asking questions, about the study/study design…because I don’t comprehend Orac’s excellent analysis of the study and any of the explanations that “Ren” provided to Sid/Bob about the study design.
(I also went back to AoA and posed questions there about the study/study design…as “if” any of the clueless *journalists* or any of the commenters there, have an inkling about the study).
“Finally, I will say this in this my very last post. The fact that you are scientists in itself does not put you at an advantageous position in determining truth. What put you in such a position are your integrity, humility and passion for truth. Your scientific expertise is merely a tool, and without integrity, humility, and passion for truth you will never be able to use it correctly. Sadly, in my discourse with you guys, I sense you are lacking in all three areas.”
Promises, promises Greg. Here’s a parting gift for you…
You mean like those IOM reports or all those studies by independent universities around the world or those studies by insurance companies like Kaiser Permanente (who would gain if it turned out vaccines were as awful as you make it seem, but who would lose if you are wrong and we abandoned vaccines)?
Go read those posts I wrote on the ethics of a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study again, then come back and explain how we “could find ways to solve it”. Here’s the link again in case you need it.
Oh, and where is that evidence that vaccines cause autism? You still haven’t gotten around to addressing that inconvenient question.
I still cannot believe Greg put ‘ethics’ in quotes and then turns around and accuses US of being the ones who don’t have integrity and humility???
In other words, you’re too damned lazy to even consider whether what you insist upon is so much as technically feasible. I asked you a very simple question: How small of a difference in the imaginary study would convince you that there’s no link?
But you can’t even be bothered to answer this, which is at the very heart of what you consider to be gold standard to settle the question. Go back to AoA and trumpet how poorly you were treated here, in classic sad-sack fashion.
“Imagine by the sheerest off chance (wink, wink) that vaccines are responsible for the current autism mess, would the benefits then truly outweigh the risks?”
Let’s see…deaths versus autism. Offhand I’d have to say having autism is probably better than being dead. I honestly don’t know if you could say it’s better than being blind, deaf, infertile, paralyzed or the other side-effects of vaccine-preventable diseases. I suspect so, but I am not on the autism spectrum.
Hey folks on the spectrum: Would you rather be yourselves or be “normal” and blind, or “normal” and paralyzed in an iron lung?
“First, let’s say we stop vaccines in their entirety and although seeing a mild spike in the return of infectious diseases, it is nowhere near the epidemic levels of the past.”
What makes you think that would be the case? We could also say “let’s say we stop vaccines in their entirety and unicorns show up and frolic with us all day long.”
“In return, we also start seeing the number of brain damaged autistic kids –(I really don’t want to insult anyone one but I don’t know how using the term ‘damaged’ is not calling a spade a spade) — plummets.”
How about “non-neurotypical kids who are on the autism spectrum.” I think that is accurate.
“In addition, we also start seeing less asthma, less adhd, less speech delays, less allergies, and less of all the other host of autoimmune issues we are currently experiencing.”
Again, what makes you think that would be the case? In reality, places that stop vaccinating simply see greater numbers of sick people, as well as the inevitable tragic cases of complications–which often include death.
“What if after getting rid of vaccines we start having healthier kids? What if, in truth, vaccines had their day and now it is just plain time to move on?”
If then . It’s probably best not to worry about , because condition isn’t possible, I’m afraid.
One good way to get rid of vaccines would be to eliminate the disease entirely, like we did with smallpox. We vaccinated, the disease is no longer around and voila, hey presto! We need not take the vaccine anymore. Isn’t that marvellous?
“In the second scenario, let’s say we do stop vaccines and the epidemic numbers of the past return.”
I hope that never happens. It’s bad enough that polio exists anywhere, ever, at all.
“Still, we know that polio at its highest was claiming around 50,000 people. Not actual deaths but close to it.”
So you’re okay with being in an iron lung? With your family spending all their money on medical care for you? And all the stress and pain caused to them from your illness?
“In the US today, however, using the 1 in 50 estimated autism rate there are over 80, 000 autistic brain damaged children and this figure does not include adults.”
Please don’t call autistic people brain damaged. Many do not consider themselves to be “damaged,” and considering some of them can perform tasks better than neurotypicals it’s also not accurate.
“I do work with autistic individuals and their parents.”
And yet you call them brain-damaged? I have a hard time believing both those things at once.
“Occasionally, I have some honest heart wrenching discussions with the parents and the majority of them at one time or another have confided that if given the choice of having a child with a whole host of behavioural and developmental challenges, a child that caring for them will drive them to financial ruin, a child with no future prospects and who will be left to the mercy of a cruel, callous world when they pass on, then, yes, they would rather have a child that dies from a vaccine preventable disease than an autistic child. Although sad, can anyone blame these parents for thinking this way?”
Why do you think all autistic children are the same? Why do you believe that all parents are? Why do you assume that everyone feels “better dead than autistic”?
“Personally, I don’t believe that if we were to get rid of vaccines we would return to the epidemic levels of the past.”
Based on what published papers in what respected first-tier medical journals?
“Many of my ‘anti-vaxers’ friends take it one step further and argue that vaccines are entirely useless and it would have been better if they were never introduced. Perhaps this is going a little too far. Still, one cannot help but wonder, what if.”
I think we can see the answer to the “what if” in the UK, where measles has made a resurgence. What if people stop vaccinating?
Suffering. Blindness, deafness, infertility. Paralysis, encephalitis, convulsions, lockjaw. Death.
#225 Yeah! Also, some adults are responsible and get their boosters.
Even if their arm stings like crazy afterward. >.<
#233 “in my humble opinion”
Humble? I do not think it means what you think it means. You have yet to display anything resembling a humble attitude–instead, you seem to prefer insulting professionals who have studied for decades things that you lack even a layperson’s basic understanding of.
“The fact that you are scientists in itself does not put you at an advantageous position in determining truth.”
Indeed. It does, however, go a very long way in putting us at an advantageous position in determining fact.
“What put you in such a position are your integrity, humility and passion for truth.”
Humility? Again… you aren’t exhibiting this. Instead, you’re insulting autistic people and being condescending.
That may be the primary problem with Greg, he has never experienced the trials and tribulations of having a child in the hospital. It is an experience you would never wish on your worst enemy.
He has never had to deal with sleep deprived interns ordering invasive procedures “just in case”, while ignoring the emotional impact on the child (been there, done that), or riding in an ambulance to a hospital with a child (been there, done that on multiple occasions), or seeing a child have shakes after surgery due to withdrawal from anesthesia and freak out because it was much too close to the seizures he had as an infant and toddler.
His requests were unreasonable. His rejection of the education provided to him here is inexcusable. He really needs to answer our questions now, especially in regard to the relative risk between vaccines and the diseases they protect us from.
I recently went to see the film “The Sessions”. It’s about how Mark O’Brien, a poet and polio survivor in an iron lung, lost his virginity with the help of sex surrogate Cheryl Cohen-Greene. As a side note, I urge everyone to watch it. O’Brien was a very witty man and the film highlights this. As a warning, there is some full-frontal nudity but this is handled tastefully.
I’d rather be autistic than spend my life in an iron lung.
#247 Vaccines have fallen victim to their own success.
#248 I personally would rather be autistic than in an iron lung.
I’ve often thought it must be terribly difficult to have to work so hard to do something some other people can do easily. Irritating. Still worlds better than an iron lung, though, surely?
(Translation) for Greg’s many posts.
(I also went back to AoA and posed questions there about the study/study design
You give Greg too much credit, lilady. if he comments at AoA, it is under the guise of a pro-vax enthusiast, rattling the bars of the denizens with annoyingly inane poorly-thought-out arguments.
@Greg – so you really don’t care if such a study is “ethical” or not? And yet you accuse Big Pharma of being “unethical?”
Wow, the shear hypocrisy of that one statement alone is just amazing. How about you take a step back and look at what you wrote, because, quite frankly, it is both disturbing and incredibly stupid.
And yet you have the gall to say that “we lack compassion?”
@Greg – sorry, missed my last point – that you just proved that you were willing to do anything, including compromising ethics, safety considerations, children’s lives, etc. in a quest to just to have the “opportunity” to try to prove you were right…..
And oh, you still haven’t answered the question – what evidence do you have (and I mean real evidence, you know, scientific proof) that vaccines are in any way linked to autism?
Because, you can’t start with a premise unless you’ve got something to back it up.
Antivaxxers like Greg seem not to understand that for every child whose death from VPDs they enthusiastically welcome, there will be several, perhaps many, more who suffer severe and long-lasting damage, damage which may make them just as much a burden on their long-suffering families (as Greg and his ilk would put it) as an autistic child, damage such as brain damage, blindness, deafness, and paralysis.
Antivaxxers’ hatred for their own innocent children apparently blinds them to this truth.
Greg also seems not to be aware that stopping vaccination against rubella, for example, would lead to an increase in autism, since congenital rubella syndrome is one known cause of autism. Congenital syndromes like CRS and congenital varicella syndrome, though uncommon, can have other very serious consequences for the developing fetus, such as physical deformities, mental impairment, congenital defects like blindness or deafness, and so on.
What evidence suggests there is a relationship between vaccines and autism, such that we it needs investigation?
Given that you’re great at asking questions but lousy at answering them, I’ll make it as easy as possible for you to respond.
What in your opinion is the single strongest, most compelling piece of evidence suggesting there is a causal association between vaccines and the development of autism spectrum disorders?
Oh Greg. Science-denying, ableist, child-hating, ignorant, innumerate, unethical, sociopath Greg. Narcissistic, deluded, Dunning-Kruger soaked, disgusting, pathetic Greg.
You are a winnet, a gobsh¡te, and an arsehole of the highest order.
Why can’t you grasp that correlation does not necessarily imply causation? You’re either completely intellectually dishonest, or unwilling to see the truth.
Riddle me this, Greg. Of everyone who has ever crashed their car on the drive to work, how many of them do you suppose consumed breakfast beforehand? Probably most of them. Now let’s just say that most of the victims had toast. Does that suggest that toast causes crashes? It must, mustn’t it? What else could be to blame, how can we stop this toast/crash tsunami?
You play the favourite imaginary trump card of science-deniers, bleating “If vaccines aren’t bad, why are so many children living with asthma and diabeeetees, huuuuh?”. My answer, as always, is “Because they’re not DEAD from asthma or diabetes, dipnuts”.
Childhood diabetes and asthma are fatal left untreated. Fa-tal, meaning “causes death”, Greg. We have more children and adults with asthma, diabetes, congenital disorders, etc. because science can now treat them.
So you’ll naturally move on to “Well vaccine-pusher, how do you account for the rising number of people who get cancerrrr? Hmm?”, in your sing-songy “I M so SMRT” voice.
Again, I remind you that the longer you live, the more chance you have of developing cancerous cells. A huge number of men over 75 die not of prostate cancer, but with it. That’s just one of 200 or so cancers. Guess what Greg brah? If you’re not dead thanks to asthma, diabetes, VPDs, MS, congenital neurological and cardiac disorders, then you’ll stay alive longer, giving your cells a better chance to mutate.
WRT being “damaged”, aww Greg, honey, here’s the deal in my situation.
I haven’t left this bed in over a year. I haven’t made a meal, touched a keyboard or mouse, worn day clothes, sat on a toilet, written, read a paper book, or done much of anything but eat, sleep, and sh¡t.
Apart from my gorgeous partner, I’ve only had face to face contact with my mam and dad, my GP, and the district nurse team. My portal to the world is the small smartphone I’m typing this on now. It distracts me from the pain and monotony.
The pain medications help a bit, the muscle relaxants and neuroleptics do too, as do the tricyclics, but it’s a strict schedule that, if not adhered to, leaves me literally screaming.
My OCD is out of control as a side-effect of some of the meds. Pleasingly (for the obsessive in me) only my “alphabetti regretti” issues seem to be affected by this,my GORD, my IBD, my OCD, etc.
I get lonely and frustrated. I miss the outside, miss the upstairs! I miss my friends*, the cinema, cooking, looking at the birds in my garden’s “Featherzone”, visiting all of “our” kids and being mobbed with “Auntie, auntie, did you bring books?”.
Why am I telling you this Greg? It’s because I would rather be crippled, brain damaged (I have a TBI and neurological. deterioration), mental and in pain, than be YOU Greg.
This is what you sickening ableists do not understand when you write us off as “Better off dead”, that life is what you get out of it.
I love my life, I love my wife. We’re closer than ever, we laugh and have fun, we sing and I “dance” by moving what I can. The internet gives me amazing independence. I do the weekly grocery shop, I’m in looove with the amazon android app, I’m overseeing the pimping of my ride, a powerchair I sourced for myself. The internet lets me socialise, debate, learn, participate in the world on exactly the same level as everyone else online.
I’m lucky, I’m loved, I’m progressing slowly and planning for a future where I speed around on the elburtowagon.
I’m not angry, deluded or a liar. I’m not wasting my time or money building castles in the sky, chasing phantasms, living a life that does not exist. I don’t mourn what never was or ever could be, I invest my energy in being the best me I can be, supporting my lovely lass as much as she supports me, and even participating in online welfare rights activism. I’m doing some good in the world, instead of boiling in a stew of jealousy, spite and resentment.
You mate, are in France, speaking Russian and demanding borscht, and wondering why people think you’re weird.
I hope you do not have a “broken” child, who has to spend every day suffering because you loathe their very existence.
I’m not religious, don’t pray, but tonight Greg – I’ll be hoping you recover from your misery and self-induced turmoil. and whispering a “thank you” to the universe that I’m me, not surrounded by your type of toxic ableism, and so happy that science can enable me in so many ways.
Get well soon Greg, you poor, sad little bloke. I pity you, I truly do.
#256 And I bet your family doesn’t wish you were dead, either.
Also, unless you really like beets, borshch is vile.
Forgot my* as I’m prone to doing.
My friends want to see me, but I can’t let them be hurt by seeing me like this. They have enough worries of their own, and we have the rest of our lives to catch up at the pub!
Oh, and RI netflixers – I’m watching. ‘Outbreak : Anatomy of a Plague”. It’s really good. It uses the story of the Montreal smallpox epidemic to examine what went wrong then, and hypothesise what would happen if smallpox hit Montreal today.
If you were closer, elburto, I’d offer to help gin up some USS Enterprise-type spoilers for your powerchair.
Or maybe a small flamethrower, in case you ever run into someone like Greg IRL and want to give in to temptation. I have the instructions somewhere.
#259 … now I’m imagining elburto with flight goggles and helmet from the 1920s zipping around chasing him in a powerchair with one of those flame-shooting exhaust pipes in the back. Awwww yeah!
Khani — just got the email that I’ve been accepted for an improvised explosives workshop (I love my job. Have I mentioned that I love my job?) but mailing the device to the UK will be problematic.
Personally, I just want to confirm whether or not one can use powdered coffee creamer as a propellant.
Clear the decks!
Oooh I love explosions. Was quite the amateur pyromaniac as a child. More interested in melting Barbie than dressing her.
Ah, the old Lynx (Axe in the US) sprayed on the arm trick, the chemistry set that my parents intended as a more legitimate outlet for my curiousity. Sadly for them, happily for baby elburto, the book that came with the chemistry set bore the following advice:
Talk about a red rag to a bull! The hole in the ceiling was not taken well by mes parents. My spirit burner and most of my beloved chemicals were confiscated. Still, the experiments continued apace. I discovered that different types of nail polish remover burned with different colour flames, and if you mixed it with bleach… Ah, happy days, scorched clothes, and melted carpet. Being ten was so much fun.
So yes, my chariot needs flames (I’d thought about kitchen brulée torches), and caltrops, smoke bombs, idiot-seeking missiles, fins, rims, and laser-guided wasps.
It will be so cool.
Elburto, I wish I could write half as well as you. It does my Brit ex-pat heart good to hear so many well given insults!
If you cook it to just the right temperature, Candy Caramel Propellant (saltpeter and sugar) makes an excellent smoke bomb.
I’ll get right to work on the caltrops.
Ooh Narad I bet that smells great too!
My (sadly late, as of last year) father-in-law made smoke bombs with exactly that recipe.
When he was a child (during WWII) his dad was a blast-man at the local quarry, and young Dad used to purloin all sorts of explosive goodies. He liked making contact explosives, and home made weaponry. He once made a gun that, due to it’s improvised design, shot him in the scrotum after he absentmindedly stowed it in the pocket of his short trousers!
Still, he went on to become the armourer for his regiment, bloody good he was too. They wanted him to stay on after his National Service was finished, but he didn’t like the food, so declined their offer.
He carried on experimenting with explosives and fuels, and along with a similarly gifted friend, developed an interest in personal flight machines. Gyrocopters were their specialty, and a few successful test flights were made at the local airfield, but tragically his friend died after an experimental fuel mix ignited mid-flight.
Dad would have been diagnosed with an ASD if he was a kid today. A gifted, funny, shy man who couldn’t tell a lie if his life depended on it. According to Greggles, he’d be another “damaged” waste of DNA. Pfft
@sheepmilker – Thanks! Where in Blighty are you from?
I live to insult blatherskites and numpties. 😀
Personally, I don’t believe that if we were to get rid of vaccines we would return to the epidemic levels of the past. Many of my ‘anti-vaxers’ friends take it one step further and argue that vaccines are entirely useless and it would have been better if they were never introduced
Seems like the concept of hysterisis (two parameter bifurcations) is lost on you and your friends Greg. I suggest some remedial mathematical biology lessons are in order, since you seem to have forgotten that steady states occuring at zero in SIR models are never stable (meaning that a disease level in the absence of any preventative measures will always return to endemic levels). Here is probably a good place to start: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mathematical-Biology-Biomathematics-Series-Murray/dp/038757204X/ref=pd_rhf_se_s_cp_3_M0M4. Plus there’s a leopard on the front cover, what more could you ask for?
Biostats is awesome!!! I’m an *artist,* and I loved it, so none of this “I’m only a layman” excuse!
You are a winnet
I read RI for these useful additions to my vocabulary.
elburto: Deb’n (and more of a dumpling than I should be!)
A bit acrid, actually, but pleasant enough from a distance for an aficionado.
Thank you for #256. My time online is one of constant learning and un-learning from marvelous minds across the world. I am currently in the long process of recovering from: altie/new age magical-thinking, sexism, internalized homophobia, unacknowledged privilege and now ableism.
My still-very-dear-to-me-ex recently suffered a massive stroke and, thanks to immediate action by his partner (and the ensuing chain of medical professionals), is recovering astonishingly well. Even so, he tells me he misses his old brain and how easy doing everything was. Everything takes intention and is draining. He also tells me “if one more person tells me how brave I am, or how well I’m doing I’m going to kick them in the balls.” So, in that spirit, I’ll just tell you how moved I was by your words and how much I enjoy the products of your very agile mind here at RI. Oh, and thanks for adding winnet to my vocabulary.
Gahh, Pareidolius, you said so beautifully what elburto’s post meant to many of us! Elburto, we totally love you here!
Add this Brummie to the elburto fan club. Only my dad can string insults like that but you are way more eloquent.
elburto is the *ne plus ultra* of carefully articulated, finely honed insultography** as well as being the bee’s knees- her fearsome skills are too numerous to recount and she is the bane of alt med prevaricators far and wide and wankers of every ilk.
Praise be to unto her.
elburto, here’s what I wonder:
do your mobility problems affect what you wear and getting dressed? Because you have to look right when you ride.
Forgive me if I overstep my bounds BUT I have recently seen a very b!tching jacket on Danica Patrick that probably could be adapted in a softer fabric ( *a la* exercise gear) AND minus the ads for companies. Can’t have that.
Also for more retro chic – sans commerials- see Emerson Fittipaldi or Jackie Stewart in the day.
** le cher pere’s craft was most accurate and original in his own brand of Franglais.
Looks like Greg’s slunk off with his tail between his legs.
Here’s hoping he learnt something from the thrashings he received here, although personally I think he hasn’t.
No Julian, I am still here. You are right though about me not learning from my ‘thrashings’.
Elburto, I give you credit for having a way with words. Had to look ‘winnet’ up. I think you got me wrong though. I am not an ableist. In fact, strange as it may sound, I use the word ‘damaged’ in respect for autistics. ‘Damaged’ implying that the were not born autistic. If not vaccinated they could have developed as any ordinary neurotypical individuals and many not having their life and future stolen from them.
Meant what I said also about scientific expertise being only a tool and is not in itself good enough in determining truth. Humility, integrity and passion for truth are also required. I also consider that an ordinary layperson who although harmed with his inferior ‘common sense’ tool but who has humility, integrity and passion may actually be in a better position to obtain truth.
Also, I was asked repeatedly why I believe vaccines are responsible for autism. My simple answer is that I trust the parents’ stories. Anyway, for now, just wanted to let you guys know that I am still hear. Tomorrow I want to talk about Lance Armstrong.
Uncomprehending a-hole. They have futures! That’s what you don’t get and never will most likely. And it’s “here” you lexical lunkhead. Go back to school or something . . .
yes, ‘here’ — Pareidolius. Way to go grammar police.
While ignoring the tens of thousands more stories of death and disability from the actual diseases. You have a callous disregard for the health of children, and real science.
Greg, how DARE you claim to have the traits of integrity, humility, and passion for the truth? You haven’t got the least shred of humility. You consider your re-definition of “damaged” to be respectful??? And then you go on to show that you have NO respect for autistic people whatsoever and claim they have no future! Despite hearing from autistic adults on this very thread!!! People with jobs, spouses, children, a love of life and a love of helping others and the world! You just want to hand-wave them away because they don’t match your preconceived biases! That is the opposite of humility– it is arrogance in the extreme.
You do NOT have a passion for the truth. You say that you do not BELIEVE all the work of reputable researchers all over the world who are showing daily that autism is genetic and intrauterine in origin, despite all the evidence anyone shows you. You say that you trust the parents’ stories, and then you go on to ignore all the parents here who say autism is common in their family, or my story, that we knew my son was non-neurotypical from practically his earliest days! Why do you not trust or believe in OUR stories, yet you give all the weight of your belief to other stories you’ve heard?
How is ANY of the above exemplary of integrity? It is obvious to all who read your words that you are either lying to yourself, or you’re willfully blind in the face of evidence that contradicts your dearly-held opinion. Integrity requires the ability to change one’s mind based upon the preponderance of EVIDENCE. I don’t think you even know what integrity means. Perhaps you’ve given it a different definition in your head, much the way you did with the word “damaged?”
Well, you’re right, you have learned nothing. And now I am done with you.
Well, at least we know he is bereft of all of those qualities, along with intelligence.
Melissa G. Best to just ignore the ignorant callous troll, who came here from AoA.
Chris, doesn’t “Greg” remind you of “Grandma Marsha” who kept stating she was leaving…only to return with some more of her crankery?
lilady, it is very common that those who fail to stick the flounce are also those ignorant of science.
Greg @ 278
My question to you is why do you trust the parents’s stories?
Greg: Could you please extract your head from your ass and look at that last post? You are the walking definition of ablist bastard, and you couldn’t recognize the truth if it hit you with a semitruck. F*ck off and go find a fire to jump into.
Tomorrow I want to talk about Lance Armstrong.
A troll of scope and versatility! We are honoured.
@Greg – wow, I seem to remember you saying that you would be responding to our questions, now you want to talk about Lance Armstrong?
What the hell, dude?
Hey Melisa, how old is your son? I would have liked to meet him. Whenever I am around my autistic clients, I try to look pass their autistic traits, their ‘stimmings’, and consider how they would have been without autism: What their personalities would have been like? What jobs would they have had? Would they have been married with kids? You also pondered why I refuse to believe that vaccines are not responsible for autism. Melissa, as a child I remember so vividly the first time religion and God was introduced to me by my grandmother. Hearing the tale of an all knowing, omnipotent being in the sky who loves me very much but would send me to hell if was bad, even as a child I knew right away what I was being told a fable. Anyway, wanting to please my adult protectors I played along. At nights, I mumbled through the Lord’s Prayer, and in truth I had not a clue what I was saying. I was told that after reciting the prayer I would be filled with the warmth and love of God, but I felt nothing – nothing. I also went to church and heard tales of speaking snakes, floods destroying the entire earth, people being turned into pillars of salt, and as I sat there and listened I felt the urge to stand up and scream at the top of my lungs that it was all nonsense. Then when I was a teenager, again one Sunday my mother told me to get ready for church. I couldn’t do it anymore. I just couldn’t play along anymore. I remember feeling very sorry, but I told her I didn’t believe in God because I just couldn’t believe what I couldn’t believe. I didn’t plan the words, but they so accurately summed things up: ‘I couldn’t believe, what I couldn’t believe’. I remembered the look on my mother’s face. It was sadness, but respect for my honesty.
That countless parents would so vividly described how their child was destroyed after vaccines…That the autism explosion would correspond so precisely in time with the expanded vaccination schedule…. That autistic individuals would have autoimmune issues such as seizures and brain inflammation that vaccines are also known to cause… That vaccine courts would compensate for damages leading to autism… After considering all these things and being asked to believe that vaccines do not cause autism, I can’t believe what I can’t believe.
Hey Guys, C’mon? Why so hostile? I guarantee you that you would get better treatment at AoA. Continuing with this notion of how to proceed when science is in conflict with common sense let’s consider Lance Armstrong. Back on the tour Lance’s superhuman rides, his physical changes, and reports by reputable individuals that Lance was abusing PE drugs– common sense – suggested that Lance was a cheat. Still, we were told that Lance passed over 500 ‘scientific’ drug tests. Well now that we all know the story why do you think that science initially got it wrong about Lance? Would this not be a case where science contradicted common sense and no effort was made to find a plausible resolution? Would this example not also serve as a caution to not so easily dismiss our basic senses and intuition if they do not agree with science?
@Greg – I’ve been over at AoA. Even posted a few times & the responses I received had to have been seen to be believed – not to mention the fact that I was banned from posting…..yet you still are able to post here (and I don’t see a whole lot of contrary remarks at AoA – I wonder why that is? Could it be their draconian posting policy & 100% moderation?)
What is AoA afraid of? Perhaps afraid of open dialogue?
Once again, you make blanket assertions without facts – I’m sure all of the victims who erroneously identified innocent men (100% absolutely) as their assailants, but were, in some cases decades later, exonerated by Science – DNA testing, etc. perhaps still believed they were right – but memory and eye-witness testimony is considered incredibly unreliable for a reason.
Sure, you have lots of stories, but when those stories were investigated it turns out that the timelines don’t jib, videos of before & after aren’t the “smoking gun” that you would believe – heck, you’re expecting us to take decades of research, population studies, clinical follow-ups, regulatory activities, safety surveillance data, etc. etc. etc. and throw it away & instead listen to an incredibly small number of “stories” that when investigated, don’t hold up?
To take your completely off-topic & unrelated story about Lance Armstrong – he was finally investigated & caught. The evidence was actually there – in the case of vaccines, the anecdotal evidence was investigated Greg, and has been for over a decade, but every time it is looked at – from all the angles, the link between vaccines and autism is debunked.
All you are left with is the last refuge of the anti-vax crowd – claims of so giant conspiracy to suppress the “Truth.”
Care to explain exactly how such a conspiracy could exist – involving dozens of countries, hundreds of agencies, educational institutions, hospitals, research institutions, hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people, when we can’t even get countries and people to agree on even basic issues like water rights, immigration, patent protection, etc?
So, stop dodging the hard questions we’ve posed to you – start acting like a reasonable adult & attempt to have a real dialogue – not just a “all I’m saying” one-sided conversation, talking out of both sides of your mouth.
@Greg – and I’ll also mention that I know a number of parents of autistic children and facilitators / therapists that work with autistic children (across the entire spectrum), and not a single one of them believes that vaccines are the cause.
In fact, they constantly rail against the backward & unhelpful thinking and evidence-less assertions of groups like Generation Rescue and AoA that make their lives and the lives of their children that much harder by taking focus away from the beneficial therapies and interventions that actually help. The fact that these groups consider their children “damaged or worthless” is an insult of the highest order – and the fact that you find no fault in your own blank assertions is very telling. You complain about compassion, yet you show none of your own – you rail against researchers for “not caring” yet you see no problem with abandoning all concept of medical ethics by advocating a study that may be worse then the Tuskegee Study in the 1940’s.
Your hypocrisy is astounding.
So Lawrence, all these researches but where are the studies outside of thimerosal, MMR, and now one study on antigens? Where are they? Where are the studies on aluminum, formaldehyde or whatever else. You say it’s difficult to do an vaxed/unvaxed study due to ethics, so then what about a study of non-vaxed populations to see if they have a 1 in 50 autism rate? What about animal studies? As far as I am aware the independent existing animal studies show a link. Where are the long-term studies on vaccine safety?
Repeat whatever questions you want me to answer and I will do so at the best of my ability.
How is the Lance Armstrong example unrelated. ‘Perfect science’ got it wrong and suspicions were proven correct. Tomorrow if pharma studies are proven to be lacking you will still be singing the song that science is infallible and these were exceptional cases.
In post #290, you prove yourself an ableist. “What their personalities would have been like? What jobs would they have had? Would they have been married with kids?” Do you think that we cannot have happy, fulfilling lives if we live differently from what you define as a happy, fulfilling life? Your post seems to say that–that we are ‘damaged’ because we have different inclinations, because we think differently from.
And as others have shown in this comment thread (and numerous others–go on, browse a bit), there is no evidence whatsoever that vaccines cause autism. Even the anecdotes of parents have been refuted through video evidence. What makes more sense–that ‘Big Pharma’ has been covering up for decades a connection between vaccines and autism, a conspiracy of which the world’s governments are a part, or that the parents might just be flat-out wrong, and the people who spend years learning statistical mathematics and human biochemistry are right? Does being a parent give someone special truth-telling authority that an accredited degree doesn’t? The human mind is fallible–that’s why we have scientific techniques, to get around the failings of human memory and perception. And the scientists have spoken–there is no evidence of a connection.
This holds not just for vaccines, but for all the woo discussed on this blog–would you believe in reiki or acupuncture or homeopathy or in the importance of eating acai berries because a small number of people insist that those have done them good? If you place anecdotes over science in one field, you have to, on principle, extend that importance to all anecdotes.
Crap, I meant to put ‘neurotypicals’ at the end of my first paragraph in #294.
@Greg – care to explain why population studies don’t show a difference in autism rates between vaccinated and unvaccinated?
Countless parents? I think you mean a small number of very vocal and sadly mistaken parents. Large autism organisations such as the Autism Science Foundation that have many parents and relatives of autistic people on their board of directors and as members reject the claim that there is a link between vaccines and autism.
What autism explosion? Several studies have shown that the actual number of autistic people has not increased much if at all, but that increased awareness and reduction in stigma has resulted in more people with ASDs being diagnosed. The increase in diagnoses correlates with many other things, such as internet useage, and DVD sales. Simple correlation means very little without further evidence of causation.
It is actually more likely to be maternal infections that lead to autism in the womb, not exposure to vaccines much later. All the evidence we have is consistent with the idea that autism begins before birth, but that the developmental delay it causes only becomes visible around the time children are vaccinated, whether they are vaccinated or not.
The vaccine courts do not compensate for vaccine damage leading to autism, the best cases of alleged vaccine-induced autism that a group action put forward were found not to have been caused by vaccines. You can take a look at the vaccine injury table if you don’t believe me. You will find no mention of autism. If you are thinking of Hannah Poling, she had a pre-existing disorder that may (or may not) have been exacerbated by vaccinations, that would have resulted in autism-like symptoms with or without vaccination.
You are mistaken in believing those things. Please check the facts and if you are as rational as you claim your beliefs should fall back into line with reality.
That’s funny, since I have attempted to post polite and well-reasoned but critical comments there many times, and they have not appeared. The only time I got a comment through their moderation was when I sarcastically suggested that Brian Deer must have formed his alliance with Big Pharma when he was writing about the side effects of Septrin, and they took it seriously. In other antivaccine venues when I have supported the safety of vaccines, people have told me they hope I and my family all die of cancer. I don’t think your antivaccine pals have any claim to the moral high ground.
Oops, missed a ‘/’. Links at beginning and end of underlined section work OK.
Do you mean this awful study on monkeys where the brain of one of the two control monkeys was shrinking?
Yeah, blame athlete cheating on science. Actually, you are right. Science is just a tool to figure things out. And likt any tool, you can use it for good or evil.
And how did these suspicions got aroused and confirmed? Oh, science again.
Not our fault if government/regulatory agencies buy the cheapest detecting instrument (to be fair, due to budget constraints), and agencies supporting the sportsmen buy the more expensive version (and more sensitive, so you can figure out what dose to give to your athletes which will remain undetected by the analysis lab).
But we are straying from topic.
Oh, and strawman. No-one here is claiming that science is “perfect”. It is not. But that’s not a reason to reject everything en masse and substitute facts with your fantasies.
Because people were wrong when thinking that the Earth was a perfect sphere (it’s not) doesn’t mean that those believing that the Earth was flat were right.
@Greg – re: the Galileo Gambit – also, please don’t rely on the maverick scientist argument either. Galileo is a perfect example of Science winning over belief.
You “believe” like the Church “believed” – but Science proved them wrong.
Think about that Greg.
I just cannot stick the flounce from this thread, because there are too many awesome voices posting here, and I feel full of happy at the lot of you! 🙂
Also, seriously– autistic kids, I have met every single one of them in two school districts where I live, and they are all awesome, hilarious characters! Yes, SOME of them have behavioral problems and SOME of them are nonverbal. But with every last one, autism is part and parcel of their awesome personalities! OMG, even the nonverbal kids’ personalities just SHINE through.
One kid is like a 5th-grade little old man. He has the same facial expressions as my 60-something neighbor! Very different from his (neurotypical) twin, so that is all him, all his own thing, unique to him. He communicates with subtle gestures, and his eyes light up when you successfully get him what he’s asking for. It’s an unmistakable “thank you” without any words at all. He won’t sit still for a story unless he has something in his hands, and a plastic-coated wire is way more fun to him than a foam toy. His whole family LOVES him dearly, and they face his challenges with compassion, and it’s a joy to see.
There’s another little girl who smiles all the time. ALL THE TIME. She is an absolute BEAM of sunshine and I just want to take her home with me every time I see her!!! But her mom wouldn’t like that, because she’s her mom’s beam of sunshine, too.
Still another little girl is my son’s age and yet about half his size. When she started school in kindergarten, they had to soft-tie her to the chair so that she could sit up. She was sad and insecure and she cried silent tears all the time, but she ALWAYS had a hug for me, and halfway through the year she began to make eye contact with the people who obviously cared about her. My son used to pick up her hands and play clapping games with her– I was so scared he would hurt her, but she LLLLLOVED IT!!!!! She would laugh and laugh! A few years later and she not only sits by herself but is WAY more independent and confident, and still is absolutely the sweetest thing ever. Her parents ADORE her. Even at her least-developed, I noticed on her first day of school (and every day thereafter) that she wore a necklace whose pendant was a large gold-set ruby. I knew then that she has parents who treasure her. Having met them now, I know it’s true– she is their precious jewel, and I agree 100%– she IS a precious jewel. I have LOVED watching her grow up, and getting to know her has enriched my life in ways I never imagined.
Anyway, I could go on and on– I love these kids so much. But I will tell just one more! 😀
Everyone who meets my son tells me how remarkable he is, and no small percentage of those has said, “That kid is going to be President someday!” Well, currently he wants to be a fireman so he can save lives, but I happen to agree that any field he puts his hand to will be enriched for having him in it. BECAUSE of his amazing personality and aptitudes, not despite them.
Here’s what those who support a link between vaccines and autism miss:
ASD conditions involve social and communicative deficits. Usually, children prior to age 1-2 exhibit very little of these activities – they don’t really speak much or engage in much interaction: social precursors are subtle but present. Parents may miss the ABSENCE of these signs as a marker of a possible ASD: by age 18 monthsor so – when the MMR is administered- it may become more apparent that these children are NOT progressing as expected.
However, people who study this note subtle deficits like patterns of gaze that differ from the average; there are also physiognomic differences ( head size; facial proportions in some) as well as brain differences ( brain waves, growth in specific areas) and genetic differences that can all be assessed PRIOR to the age of MMR. More and more of these studies are being done.
An analogy from another condition:
years ago, many believed that schizophrenia was caused by “bad” parenting in early childhood or negative experiences in adolescence because the condition usually shows up post puberty. More recent research shows causation linked to genetics and very early environmental insults ( pre-natal, peri-natal) that are asscoiated with heightened risk ( see schizophrenia.com / causation for a list classified by strength of risk).
If you look at current genetic research and environmental factors associated with ASDs, it begins to resemble the pattern seen in schizophrenia: a clear genetic risk PLUS many very early pre- and peri-natal environmental risks.
Recent research shows parental age, living near highways, maternal infection during pregnancy etc that line up similarly.
That is a classic “moving the goal posts” statement. Population studies have been done on all sorts of parameters, and they still show no affect from vaccines.
@ Denice Walter – The study which showed “risk of autism increases if you live near a highway” is apparently (according to the SBM blog) flawed because it does not control for population density. I.e. more autistic people live near highways because more people live near highways – when you control for population density, the supposed correlation disappears. ( However I have not read the study, just the analysis on SBM. )
Ugh, blockquote fail. Well, you can parse out the bits from Greg.
#291 “Hey Guys, C’mon? Why so hostile? I guarantee you that you would get better treatment at AoA.”
Quite probably. We wouldn’t tell them they’re brain-damaged and broken, so that kinda goes a long way, doesn’t it?
Greg:Hey Guys, C’mon? Why so hostile?
Perhaps because you are a tool of the highest order, don’t understand that ADD/ADHD and autism are very different, and persist in flaunting your ignorance. Plus your comments on how, despite seeing autistic people as damaged, you ‘love’ each and every one of them. One of those statements has to be a lie, which makes your commitment to ‘truth and honesty’ suspect.
I guarantee you that you would get better treatment at AoA.
Nope. Never gotten a comment published there, between their backwards coding and medieval moderation policy.
That’s not my point:
I am purely trying to illustrate that non-genetic early influences are not something that occurs at age 1 or 2 ( vaccines) but COULD be something that happens to the mother prior to or around childbirth or to the child before or right after birth ( pre- & peri-natal) in comparison to the early environmental influences enumerated @ schizophrenia .com.
Some of the early influences ( schizophrenia) are categories like the urban dimension, living in a war zone or natural disaster, grief, having an infection, many more.
I predict that eventually a similar “early environmental influences” scenario will emerge for ASDs that resembles (but is not equivalent to that) of schizophrenia. Plus genetics as a powerful factor.
I’m still feeling a bit bemused at your comment:
I can only assume that you are blissfully unaware that AoA’s moderation policy is so notoriously hostile to dissenting views that Todd W. was initially inspired to set up his blog Harpocrates Speaks to provide a place for people to leave comments that have been censored there.
@ Denice – My apologies Denice, I did understand your point, I was just confused that a study which is known to be flawed was in the middle of your very valid point… This is the study you’re referring to? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3114825/
I don’t doubt that genetics and early environmental influences are, in some form or other, likely to form the underlying basis of autism (i.e not vaccines). All I’m saying is that the above study actually does not show that living next to a highway increases your risk of autism, because the analysis is not correct.
You have got to be kidding. Let’s go through some of your comments about autistic people.
You ableist prick.
And what about us autistics who don’t view ourselves as damaged, Greg? Who believe we were, to quote Lady Gaga, “Born this way”?
As Melissa has pointed out
At the very start of this post, Orac wrote
You are so Dunning-Kruger that you don’t realise just how offensive you are, and how bang on Orac is when it comes to you. You have repeatedly failed to give evidence to support your claims that autism is “vaccine damage”, and you have overlooked the comments showing you that autistics can live good lives. If you genuinely cared for autistics, you would listen to us. You haven’t.
Thanks. I could have been a little clearer- I just didn’t want to list the entire set of variables found @ schizophrenia.com.
re “medieval moderation policy” ha ha ha!
I am getting all sorts of hilarious images of moderators “going medieval” @ AoA.
Their policy in recent times can be illustrated by the treatment given to RI minions:
they let Lawrence and Alain through- possibly because they thought that Lawrence was the infamous “Brian Lawrence” and because Alain said he had an ASD and/ or they though he was the OTHER Alain ( an anti-vaxxer).
I personally don’t ever try to comment at hostile sites- I don’t want them to have the e-mail I use ( not my own- btw-). I would warn SB folk about this issue- do you really want someone like Kim S. to have your address?
You make a good point – I have separate email address I use for hostile sites, and visit through a virtual private network to protect my IP address. This comment is coming from a Russian IP address (not that I consider this a hostile site).
I have a few emails address as for the one that I use on AoA, it’s a throwaway one.
Well, I’m glad you fellows do use other addresses.
Earlier on I decided to use half of my real name but have also evolved a complex smoke screen because I don’t want to be bothered / sued etc. ( My real name presence on the net involves business transactions etc.)
Perhaps I should have gone with my original pseudo- as my two last names are male personal names- I’d be Walter “Howard” ( or suchlike).Doesn’t he sound like fun?
Despite all this going back and forth, I failed to ask you guys one personal question. You have mentioned repeatedly that studies find no link between vaccines and autism. In your own personal view would you say that vaccines have absolutely nothing to do with autism? Please answer with a one word yes or no.
Greg – all the current best data is consistent with the proposition that childhood vaccines do not cause or exacerbate autism. This is not to say that vaccines cannot cause actual harm, as they are known to in a very small percentage of cases. These harms are known to generally be lower risk and severity than the harms caused by the actual disease.
I’m afraid I ran over one word.
@Greg – no (and I’ll second what MOB has said)
And in one of my first posts at AoA – I asked that the conversation be directed in a much more civil manner, but instead I was insulted, tarred, feathers and shown the door – just for asking questions…..not exactly a hive of free speech or open opinions…..
@Greg – back and forth? Are you freakin’ insane? You have not engaged in meaningful conversation or dialogue here – provided no evidence or proof supporting your “position” nor responded to many of the questions directed to you.
I suggest you stick with AoA – I think that echo chamber is more your speed.
@Greg – in fact, your directed insults towards the autistic community bears, in full detail, exactly how AoA & other antivaxers see them….damaged goods & better off dead…..mighty nice attitude for you to have.
I’ll relate that to my autistic friends, the next time I see them.
Greg, please provide the title, journal and title of the PubMed indexed study that shows a vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule causes more seizures than the disease it is supposed to prevent.
Now kindly answer some of our questions.
Anti-vaccine advocates say that those who support vaccines have ulterior motives.
Do your think it possible that people ( parents, writers, experimenters etc) who promote the “vacines-cause-autism” hypothesis might have compromised interests?
It could bring them money, fame or make them feel better about themselves.
-btw- I have no vested interests in vaccines- don’t work in medical ; very little investment in pharmaceuticals.
Greg – No.
Furthermore, neuroimaging data and basic biological neuropathologic finding agree with my opinion (or is it the other way).
PMID will be provided as soon as you
stop being anal retentive about your questions before youanswer our questions.
What do our personal views have to do with anything? It is what the scientific evidence says that is important, and it clearly says that vaccines have absolutely nothing to do with autism.
Perhaps you would be convinced by a review of the available evidence by experts in pediatrics, neurology, immunology, internal medicine, infectious diseases, genetics, epidemiology, biostatistics, risk perception and communication, decision analysis, public health, nursing, and ethics. Those experts should be leading authorities in their respective fields, who are well respected by their colleagues, and have no conflicts of interest.
You can find exactly such a review of the evidence here. It’s the Institute of Medicine ‘Immunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autism’.
What did this group of experts conclude?
The IOM have also examined the evidence for other vaccines causing adverse events, including autism, with similar results.
Hey, who am I?
You are very, very far from being in a position to merrily proceed to demanding one-word answers.
(expanded answer): No. I do not believe vaccines can cause autism.
(more expansion) : All studies that have looked at an autism/vaccine link have failed to find one. No matter *WHO* sponsored the study. Since vaccines can only cause reactions similar to the disease, only if a disease itself can be shown to cause autism (barring prenatal rubella exposure, for example, which is known to be a cause of autism), can the vaccine be possibly implicated in the case. However, since vaccines rarely cause worse problems than the disease they protect against, having the disease would be a greater risk than a vaccine.
AND….as far as formaldehyde (to select one of the awful ingredients you are afraid of)….show us studies that the dose of formaldehyde in ANY vaccine is a problem compared to the levels created by the human body every day.
In my opinion, I think parents in general are devastated when they find out they have an autistic child. I think the majority would sooner accept that vaccines had nothing to do with it. It is a harder burden to bear for any parent that someone or something would have poisoned their child. The brave few that believe it was the vaccines do so after having a hard look at reality. It is never an easy decision because they know that they are challenging the medical establishment, and are up against formidable forces. So I do sincerely believe that profit is the last thing from their mind.
Where do you suppose they got the idea – that “someone or something would have poisoned their child” ( i.e. vaccines)?
-btw- when I mentioned ‘profit’, I did not mean parents but others who endorse the hypothesis – although parents might eventually profit if they write books, lecture etc.
Is it possible that other parties (writers, experimenters) may fan the vaccines-autism fire? I really don’t have enough info to form a strong opinion, although I think it’s possible.
You admit the possibility.
We have looked into this a bit. Stick around and read some of Orac’s earlier posts.
You don’t have enough information to form a strong opinion? You are nothing but strong (poorly reasoned) opinions. Be consistent, will you?
You don’t know.
You do know.
You work with autistic people.
You think they’re brain damaged.
You’ll answer questions.
You never do answer questions.
And here we are at 333 and who is getting all the attention? I see a pattern . . .
Spare me. Your inability to answer one simple question about what it would it take from a prospective vax/unvax study to convince you that there’s no signal demonstrates that you haven’t taken a “hard look” at your own assertions, much less “reality.”
I really don’t have enough info to form a strong opinion
Hasn’t stopped you yet.
Remember this question @286:
I’m hoping that you haven’t given me answer yet because you’re still thinking about it – especially in light of all the discussion about human recollection we’ve been having over the last several days.
Would you care to address it now? Are you thinking about it?
Multiple studies were done looking at the vaccine autism link. The only ones that found a link were those done by Wakefield and those affiliated to him. In addition, it has been shown that Wakefield cooked the data in his report when the results of the tests he ordered pointed away from the MMR-Autism causation hypothesis.
“hard look at reality”. I don’t think that means what you think it means.
Riddle me this Greg – of all the places that we should see lower rates of autism (Swansea, where measles cases are currently topping the 700 mark.) http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/863/page/66210
– the rate of autism diagnoses is up 50% – actually higher than the national average.
You put a great deal of stock in what laypersons have to say. Well, I am a layperson. I am not a scientist. I am not a medical professional. And yet, I’ve looked at the issue and found that there is no compelling evidence that vaccines cause autism, but there is a lot of evidence saying that there is no connection. I have also worked with autistic individuals and find your comments about autistics very offensive.
Also, you said that:
I’ll take you up on that guarantee. What do I get it when it doesn’t hold true? You see, as Krebiozen noted, I was banned at AoA. Why? I’m not really sure. You see, I followed their commenting policy (I was polite, did not insult others, etc.) and yet I was banned. I sent an email to Kim Stagliano asking why, but I never received a response. I can also point to regulars there who pull out terms like “whore” (a favorite there), who use foul language, are offensive, racist, sexist, and yet none of their comments get moderated out of existence, let alone banning for the commenter. Here is a post I wrote about their
Now, if you would so kindly, please answer a question that was asked of you way, way up thread: provide us with good evidence that vaccines cause autism. A link to the study (or studies) would be best, but barring that, give us the journal, title, authors and date for each study.
@Greg – there are plenty of people out there that swear up and down, and very convincingly that Morgellon’s exists too, not to mention Chemtrails & UFOs. In fact, the amount of evidence for those & the vaccine / autism link are just about equal – meaning that there is no evidence….in fact, once you break down the individual stories (on all sides – Morgellons, Chemtrails & Autism) you find the same kind of inconsistencies, lack of evidence, misinterpretations of minor points, etc.
People can be very convincing – which is why a large number of people have been falsely imprisoned in the past – so we have to rely on Science to paint the real picture of what is going on.
So, how about answering our questions – or better yet, just leave and head back to your “friends” at AoA & complain about how badly you were treated here…..
Guys, one thing I would like to express is that you would be terribly wrong if you assume I am anti-science. I love ‘good’ science. For instance, I believe in evolution and reject the creationist nonsense. Although not being very knowledgeable on the global warming debate, I will not out of hand reject the scientific consensus. I see the scientific method as a wonderful, accurate, reliable means for determining truth. It is indeed superior to common sense. The problem with science though extends from the situation where we have a few select, all-knowing, self-anointed scientists who are involved in the process. The average person has no input or says in the process. Add to this, we see as in the case of Lance Armstrong how with the right power and influence the entire process can be circumvented. Simply, what we have is a recipe for disaster. This is why I firmly believe that when science contradicts with our most basic senses or experiences we need to stop and take a hard look at things. We need to ask whether we are dealing with ‘good’ science. Much as you guys will protest, with the vaccine-autism studies I don’t think we are dealing with ‘good’ science. Sorry, I will take that back. I don’t think we are dealing with ‘complete’ science. In the end, although ‘good’ science is a superior way of determining truth there are always ways around it. Common sense, on the other hand, although not as precise, is not so easy to beat.
To those who ask why I trust the parents’ stories so much, I will honestly concede that it’s a matter of faith. Who says you can’t have faith and still believe in science? Though there are the arguments that human memory is unreliable, I honestly believe their stories go beyond bad remembering.
If the vaxed/unvaxed study is so difficult due to ethical concerns then, I repeat. pursue other studies. Pursue animal studies. If Pro-vaxxers have an issue with the monkey study showing a link, then do your own study. Also, study un-vaxxed populations to see if they also have a 1 in 50 autism rate. Please don’t mention the Denmark Study and the Poul Thorsen character.
I will never refer to someone with Down Syndrome as brain damaged. That is being disrespectful because they were born that way. I will always see the vast majority of autistics as vaccine brain damaged individuals. That is being honest because they were not born that way.
Chris, again I am a layperson. You mentioned how to calculate antigens in doses. What is the process involved in determining adjuvants from doses?
There are a lot of things the “average person” has little or no say in. Coaching sports teams; town planning; waste management to give three examples. The reason for this is a lot of things need specialised knowledge to carry out successfully.
As has been pointed out, a lot of times common sense collides with science. As was pointed out upthread, common sense would be to run away from a grass fire when the correct action is to run towards and through it. Also, we know that the earth revolves around the sun. Yet common sense tells us that the earth is stationary.
Please highlight the faults. “I feel it’s wrong” is not proof that it is wrong.
It used to be believed that insanity was affected by the moon, hence the word ‘lunacy’. Common sense told me that that was true. After all, a full moon can disrupt sleep patterns and women’s menstrual cycles often follow the moon. Imagine my surprise when I found out that scientists had looked at it and found no link. Common sense in this case was dead wrong.
As has been pointed out to you, the Cedillos believed that their daughter Michelle had been rendered autistic by the MMR and showed video of her before the jab. An expert showed that at 15 months, Michelle was engaging in autistic behaviours. It doesn’t matter what you honestly believe, the evidence is against you.
Poul Thorsen did not engage in research fraud, and wasn’t even a primary author on those studies. Why shouldn’t we?
Once again Greg, you haven’t supplied us with proof that the MMR causes autism. Oh, and it is still offensive to call autistics brain damaged, particularly when most of the autisrtic commenters here reject the MMR autism causation hypothesis.
@Greg – once again, you avoid the question(s) and return to the same old tired anti-vax arguments / lies.
Try thinking for yourself for once, instead of repeating the same old arguments retread from AoA.
As to your constant harping on Autistic Children as “brain damaged” please point us to the Scientific Evidence that concludes autism is in fact “brain damage.”
I love it that Greg claims in post #278 that he calls autistic people “brain damaged” as a term of “respect”– oh here, I’ll just quote his exact words:
[email protected] 278:
“I am not an ableist. In fact, strange as it may sound, I use the word ‘damaged’ in respect for autistics. ‘Damaged’ implying that the were not born autistic. If not vaccinated they could have developed as any ordinary neurotypical individuals and many not having their life and future stolen from them.” [emphasis mine]
Then in post #343 he goes on to say:
“I will never refer to someone with Down Syndrome as brain damaged. That is being disrespectful because they were born that way. I will always see the vast majority of autistics as vaccine brain damaged individuals. That is being honest because they were not born that way.”
So… he respects autistics because he calls them “damaged,” but Down’s Syndrome people he will NEVER call “damaged,” so… then, by his own argument, he has no respect for them?
He cannot even parse his own wooly thinking.
Also, I think we have been far beyond civil to this person who has done nothing but insult us and call us brain damaged, when even Miss Manners would say that to address another human being in a way that makes them uncomfortable is the HEIGHT of rudeness.
So, what are you going to give me to back up your guarantee? Also, where is your evidence that vaccines cause autism? Where is your evidence that autism is “brain damage”?
Common sense told people that bloodletting was a valuable treatment for many diseases for thousands of years. Benjamin Rush, one of the founding fathers of the USA and a highly educated and well-respected doctor, believed that common sense and his experiences with thousands of patients proved that bloodletting was a life-saving treatment.
It was science, in the form of statistical analysis of the outcomes of patients given these treatments compared to those who were not, that proved they actually hastened their deaths. One study during of soldiers during the Peninsular War in 1809 found that patients who were subjected to bloodletting were ten times more likely to die than those that were not.
Despite accusations by a journalist that he “‘contributed to the depopulation of the Earth”, supported by bills of deaths showing that an increase in death rates in those subjected to bloodletting, Benjamin Rush never lost his conviction that he had been saving lives with bloodletting. He had a misguided and mistaken faith in bloodletting just as you have a misguided and mistaken faith in the disproven hypothesis that vaccines cause autism.
@Todd – if autism was “brain damage” it should be very easy to find on the scans, right? Which would mean, once the “damage” was found, it could be traced back to a particular source, right?
If it was that easy, don’t you think it would have already been done…….
Sorry about the errors in my last comment – his ‘ Submit’ sooner than I intended.
#346 Oh, but you know, your wishes don’t count because you’re *damaged.*
Greg, the plural of ‘anecdote’ isn’t ‘evidence’.
Exactly my question to you, Greg: where are the studies demonstrating a causal link sexists between exposure to ‘aluminum, formaldehyde or whatever else’ and increased risk of developing autism?
Yes, what about them? Where are studies demonstrating a significantly lower incidence of autism in un-vaxed populations than in vaccinated populations?
Citations needed: which animal studies are those, exactly? Be specific.
Ongoing, even as we speak (you do understand that adverse events continue to be monitored following a vaccine r drug’s approval?) I would also suggest you look at Hviid et al’s study re: immunization in Danish children, which compared medical history and immunization status for every child born in Denmark between 1991 and 1998 for a good example of a retrospective long term study..
You can certainly have both, as long as when the existing body of evidence falsifies or otherwise undermines an preferred article of personal faith one abandons or revises that article of faith. By continuing to insist that vaccination engenders an increased risk of developing autism based (in your own words) on personal faith in personal anecdotes from parents of autistic children you’ve choosen to embrace faith and abandon science.
@Greg – the Catholic Church had a lot of “faith” that the Earth was the center of the Universe too……
Who says you can’t have faith and still believe in science?
Most of human history. The curious are not welcome in communities of the faithful, and most scientists either get tired of the cold shoulder, or as they explore and test, they find their faith waning.
You and your community are the sorts of people who started off the witch hunts. You have no interest in science at all; that is one of the most offensive lies you have posted yet. You belong with the creationists, the denizens of Westboro, and the global warming deniers. Go back to the echo chamber you crawled out of.