It’s been a bit of a bad week for antivaccinationists, and, if there’s anything I like to sit back and watch, it’s their reactions to bad news. Indeed, I was rather disappointed that I haven’t seen any anti-Semitic conspiracy theories coming from the usual sources after the Israel Ministry of Health announced a crackdown on antivaccine doctors. I’m sure they’re coming, though. Sooner or later, they’ll come. Then there were two other announcements. First, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced its top ten health threats in the world for 2019. Guess what was on the list? Sure, there was the global influenza pandemic, but there was also vaccine hesitancy:
Vaccine hesitancy – the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines – threatens to reverse progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases. Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective ways of avoiding disease – it currently prevents 2-3 million deaths a year, and a further 1.5 million could be avoided if global coverage of vaccinations improved.
Measles, for example, has seen a 30% increase in cases globally. The reasons for this rise are complex, and not all of these cases are due to vaccine hesitancy. However, some countries that were close to eliminating the disease have seen a resurgence.
The reasons why people choose not to vaccinate are complex; a vaccines advisory group to WHO identified complacency, inconvenience in accessing vaccines, and lack of confidence are key reasons underlying hesitancy.
While it’s true that issues with vaccine uptake involve more than just the antivaccine movement, the antivaccine movement undoubtedly is a major force contributing the the lack of confidence, and that’s what’s so frustrating about the WHO report (besides its lateness—maybe the WHO should spend less time trying to add traditional Chinese medicine quackery into the system by which diseases are classified and more time paying attention to antivaxers) is its reluctance to tell it like it is and say why so many parents have lost confidence in vaccines. While it’s not just the antivaccine movement, the antivaccine movement is a major contributor, with its use of social media to amplify antivaccine messages and word-of-mouth to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt about vaccines.
On Sunday, there was an editorial in the New York Times, How to Inoculate Against Anti-Vaxxers: The no-vaccine crowd has persuaded a lot of people. But public health can prevail. Overall, it was a very sensible editorial listing the problem and potential strategies to address the problem. For instance:
It’s no mystery how we got here. On the internet, anti-vaccine propaganda has outpaced pro-vaccine public health information. The anti-vaxxers, as they are colloquially known, have hundreds of websites promoting their message, a roster of tech- and media-savvy influencers and an aggressive political arm that includes at least a dozen political action committees. Defense against this onslaught has been meager. The C.D.C., the nation’s leading public health agency, has a website with accurate information, but no loud public voice. The United States Surgeon General’s office has been mum. So has the White House — and not just under the current administration. That leaves just a handful of academics who get bombarded with vitriol, including outright threats, every time they try to counter pseudoscience with fact.
Speaking as one of those academics who regularly get bombarded with vitriol (although nowhere near as bad as what’s aimed at Paul Offit, who as the co-inventor of a rotavirus vaccine is a target of particular opprobrium, and women who speak out for vaccines who, like women everywhere on social media, are prone to misogynistic attacks), I can attest that this is true. Government does very little to combat antivaccine misinformation, not even the Surgeon General, who would be the most appropriate public face of pro-science and pro-vaccine messages. There are also some good suggestions, such as:
- Get tough
- Be savvy.
- Be clear.
- Know the enemy.
- Know the audience.
- Enlist the right support.
I must admit that I hadn’t heard of the Vaccine Confidence Project before. It’s described as a “a London-based academic endeavor that monitors anti-vaccine websites for rumors and conspiracies and addresses them before the messages go viral.” It sounds like what I’ve been doing for 14 years, only organized and academic, rather than a hobby like mine. That’s a good thing.
In any event, antivaxers didn’t like this editorial at all. At all. Hilariously, one of the main responses I saw came from a local antivaccine quack from the northern suburbs of Detroit named Dr. David Brownstein. He is, in my not-so-humble opinion, exactly the sort of antivaccine doctor that Israel is cracking down on, but unfortunately there doesn’t appear to be a mechanism to get the medical board here in Michigan to do anything about him. We’ve met Dr. Brownstein before a couple of times, first when he woefully lamented the requirement of a Jewish summer camp in Michigan that its campers be fully vaccinated before they can attend, after which he was schooled by both fellow Detroiter Dr. Peter Lipson and yours truly. The second example was a pseudoscience-filled rant against the Shingrix vaccine. The third time was when David Brownstein complained that his family practice board recertification expected him to know a lot about common drugs used by, you know, family practice doctors to treat commonly encountered medical conditions. Finally, he spoke at a conference called the Vaccine Choice Empowerment Symposium.
You can tell from Dr. Brownstein’s history and activities that his little “retort” to the NYT will be epically stupid, and Dr. Brownstein doesn’t disappoint, starting with the title New York Times Editorial On Vaccines: A Pseudoscience Mess! Particularly amusing is his oh-so-wounded outrage at being considered the “enemy”:
The lead New York Times (NYT) editorial today is titled, “Know The Enemy.” According to the NYT, the “enemy” is anyone who questions the safety and efficacy of any vaccine.
I guess that makes me the enemy. I thought I was a board-certified physician trying to read and decipher the research on vaccines to help guide my patients on how to make their best health care decisions.
Oh, so that‘s what David Brownstein’s been doing all these years! He could have fooled me. I thought he was spewing antivaccine misinformation and fear mongering and using his status as a physician to sound more authoritative doing it, because, well, that’s exactly what he’s been doing. He’s not even that bright about it. For instance, his opening gambit is to use one of the dumbest, most easily refuted antivaccine tropes out there, a trope I like to call “vaccines didn’t save us”:
In the early 20th Century, infection was the number one killer of Americans and it killed a high percentage of our youth. However, by the 1950’s infection rates for nearly every childhood vaccine- preventable illness (as well as other infectious illnesses like scarlet fever) had drastically declined—BEFORE vaccines were developed and mandated. In fact, for the major vaccine-preventable illnesses such as measles, mumps, diphtheria, and pertussis, the death rate declined well over 90% BEFORE vaccines were mandated. How did that occur? The death rate from infectious diseases declined not by vaccination, but by public health measures. This includes providing clean water to our houses and safely removing waste products.
Did vaccines lower the death rate for their respective illnesses? We don’t know since the rates were already declining dramatically before the mass vaccination program began. To imply that vaccines were responsible for this dramatic decline in pediatric infectious deaths in the 20th Century is nothing more than FAKE NEWS!
I’ve refuted this one before multiple times. It’s an intellectually dishonest antivaccine trope so hoary that an old fart like Dr. Julian Whitaker tried to pull it on Dr. Steve Novella and got his posterior handed to him. And rightly so. Basically, this intellectually dishonest—downright deceptive, actually—tactic involves pointing out that mortality was falling from a given infectious disease before a vaccine for it was introduced. The implication that antivaccinationists want people to draw is that hygiene, sanitation, and the like were the “real” causes of the decrease. The long version of the rebuttal this gambit is here. The short version is that disease incidence does not equal mortality and that measles incidence plummeted after the introduction of the vaccine. The reason mortality was falling before the vaccine was for other reasons. Medical care was getting better, and a smaller percentage of people who got the disease died from it.
Again, it’s a dumb argument. I will give Dr. Brownstein credit for one thing. He added the “fear, uncertainty, and doubt aspect” by trying to say imply that we “just don’t know” if vaccines decreased mortality when we do. More importantly, like many antivaxers, he seems to think that morbidity is meaningless. Who cares if half a million children suffer from measles every year, one in a thousand suffering serious complications? If those evil vaccines can’t prevent everythting, they’re worthless.
Next up from Dr. Brownstein:
One of the best indicators of the health of a country is the infant mortality rate. Researchers correlated the number of vaccines given to infants and the mortality rate for ages five and under. Guess who gave the most vaccines and guess who had the highest infant mortality rate? If you guessed the US, you win.
I laughed. This is an even dumber antivaccine trope. The claim that nations with higher numbers of vaccine on their vaccination schedules have higher infant mortality rates is based on a 2011 study so risibly awful that even I was hard-pressed to deliver to it a quantity of Insolence appropriate for its awfulness.
The NYT states, “On the internet, anti-vaccine propaganda has outpaced pro-vaccine public health information. The anti-vaxxers, as they are colloquially known, have hundreds of websites promoting their message, a roster of tech- and media-savvy influencers and an aggressive political arm that includes at least a dozen political action committees.”
Well, in this case there is just me. And, I am not that tech-savvy.
I don’t write anti-vaccine propaganda. I write about the science behind vaccines. And, if you study the science behind vaccines, it is hard not to question the wisdom of injecting our young with too many toxic-laden vaccines.
Ha. Haha. Hahaha. Hahahaha. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
Dammit, Dr. Brownstein, I laughed so hard at that that I started coughing. Hard. (I not infrequently get a mild form of bronchitis in the winter, and things like this can bring on a coughing jag.) Sorry, Dr. Brownstein. You cited the “vaccines didn’t save us” gambit. You cited a crappy study by Neil Z. Miller and Gary S. Goldman. Let’s just put it this way. If you want to be taken seriously, you don’t quote anything by this not-so-dynamic duo. Ever. Also, if you cite the “vaccines didn’t save us gambit” uncritically to argue for the dangers of vaccines, you can never be accused of “writing about vaccine science.” You’re writing about vaccine pseudoscience.
The hits just keep on coming:
…The CDC is a cesspool of corruption, according to Robert F. Kennedy Jr. In fact, the CDC has a senior scientist who has assumed whistle-blower status claiming that published studies (by the CDC) looking at whether the MMR vaccine causes autism were fraudulent. The whistle-blower has stated, under oath, that senior CDC managers directed the whistle-blower and others to destroy and alter the data in order to hide the truth. The data, released by the whistle-blower, did show a strong correlation with the MMR vaccine and autism.
Why doesn’t the NYT write a lead op-ed demanding that the CDC whistle-blower testify in front of Congress about his allegations? To date, it has been over four years since the whistle-blower came forward. To date, he has not testified in front of Congress and the CDC has blocked his testimony in other settings. To date, the NYT has failed to write ONE article about this situation. Perhaps the CDC has no loud voice because it is too busy covering up the truth about vaccines. If there is nothing to hide, then why doesn’t the whistle-blower testify? Why has the CDC gagged him from speaking?
Yes, Dr. Brownstein invoked the favorite recent conspiracy theory among antivaxers, the “CDC whistleblower” conspiracy theory, which I’ve dealt with more times than I can remember. The granddaddy of the modern antivaccine movement, scientific fraud Andrew Wakefield, even made an antivaccine propaganda movie disguised as a documentary about it, VAXXED. Let’s just say that there’s no “there” there.
The rest of the post is a greatest hits of antivaccine tropes. For example, measles and chickenpox are harmless diseases? Check:
Would declining vaccine rates increase the susceptibility for some of the vaccinated illnesses? Yes. For example, measles and chickenpox illnesses will increase if we stop vaccinating for these illnesses. But, children rarely die from measles and chickenpox in modern countries. These illnesses are often treated with supportive care and for the vast majority recovery from the illness is uneventful.
Of course, it is not true that measles is so benign. Ditto chickenpox, which can even cause stroke.
I was getting tired at this point; so I’ll simply mention the additional tropes that Dr. Brownstein marshals in favor of his argument:
- The “no true placebo” used in the clinical trial of HPV gambit? It’s there, and it’s wrong. Anyone who cites it has a profound lack of misunderstanding of clinical trials.
- The call for a “vaccinated versus unvaccinated” trial? First, it’s a myth that there are no “vaccinated-unvaccinated” studies, and they don’t show what antivaxers think they would show. Dr. Brownstein clearly doesn’t know the impracticality of the sort of study, but it is very cute when antivaxers try to discuss epidemiology.
- The Brady Bunch Gambit. This one is particularly silly. Basically, because a sitcom from 50 years ago made light of measles, measles must not be dangerous. Of course, the past and present rebuke antivaccinationists who claim measles is “benign.”
- The Hannah Poling case. No, mitochondrial disorders are not a predisposing factor for “vaccine-induced autism” (which doesn’t exist), nor are they a reason not to vaccinate. I just discussed this last week!
So. Much. Pseudoscience. Dr. Brownstein is the sort of doctor that makes me want to put a bag over my head in shame over his idiocy as an embarrassment to my profession.
It gets worse, though:
Folks! For those of you who know me well, I have A LOT to say about vaccines! If you want to learn more about the vaccine issues, join me for my annual lecture, ‘Holistic Medicine For The 21st Century’ on Saturday, February 2nd, 2019 at the VisTaTech Center, Schoolcraft College in Livonia, MI. I will discuss other important health topics to include:
Ozone: The Miracle Therapy
Iodine: The Most Important Nutrient
Hormone Balancing: Needed More Than Ever
Stem Cell Therapy
Do We Need More Vaccines?
& Much More!
Date: Saturday, February 2nd 2019
Time: Doors open at 8:30am. Lecture is from 9:00am-11:30am
Location: VisTaTech Center Schoolcraft College in Livonia, MI
Price: $25.00 pre-order or $35.00 at the door. Space is limited. You must be registered in order to attend. Proceeds will be donated to local charities.
Yes, in a week and a half, Dr. Brownstein is doing a seminar to promote his favorite quackery and antivaccine misinformation. (Ozone? A “miracle therapy”? There is no facepalm epic enough for this!) I wonder if I should go, as this is going to be within a reasonable drive from where I live. Of course, I’d be loathe to spend $25. After all, who knows which local charities Dr. Brownstein is sending the proceeds to? Then there’s the issue of whether I want to drive out on what’s likely to be a very cold winter morning on a Saturday in February to subject myself to Dr. Brownstein’s promotion of pseudoscience and quackery. On the other hand, it could result in a blog post on par with the one I did about my attendance at a Republican candidate’s antivaccine crankfest six months ago, right before the Michigan primary elections.
Let’s just say that I’m thinking about it. The grant I’m working on should be in the can by then…
253 replies on “Dr. David Brownstein versus the New York Times on vaccines”
I wonder if someone, maybe even you, would send in a rebuttal to Browstein’s “rebuttal”?
Brownstein’s rebuttal is just a blog post on the website for his ‘holistic medicine’ practice.
In other words it’s clickbait that’s undoubtedly search-engine optimized, to draw traffic to his commercial website and bring more fools to his doorstep.
If he uses the phrase “New York Times” enough, it might even draw readers who were looking for something in the Times.
And, $25 gets you in the door for his sales lecture, enough of an “investment” of money as well as time, to soften up some percentage of the audience toward his pitch. People who are prone to “sunk cost fallacy” will be particularly welcome.
What I want to know is, if FDA could lock up Wilhelm Reich for his “orgone energy” quackery and burn his “orgone accumulators” as fraudulent devices, how on Earth is the ozone quackery and anything with the word “balancing” in it still allowed to continue?
(Did Orac attend? It would have been worth the $25 to get the inside scoop and a chance to ask at least one biting question before being invited to leave. Sheesh! am I behind in my reading here;-)
Plus he moderates and doesn’t typically let dissent appear–typical for *ssholistic physicians.
If you desire a rebuttal buffet, satiate on the RI comments forthcoming.
Q, What do you get when there are rebuttals of rebuttals.
A. More rebuttals.
When will the vaccine/autism debate come to closure?
It already has. A 2012 meta-analysis looking at over 14 million unique subjects found no statistically significant difference in autism rates between the vaccinated and unvaccinated. The Omnibus Autism Proceedings ended with the six best candidates not only failing to make their case, but failing by a huge margin.
Vaccines do not cause autism.
It is certain that you are paid by the pharmaceutical industry! There is enough evidence that vaccines do nothing except make people sicker, along with geo engineering, dumping aluminum and other metals and chemicals on people all over the world! Of course, those who advocate these measures do it “for the common good” while helping the Globalist agenda depopulate the world…Thank those who make facts known to the dumbed down people…
May you get the justice you deserve…We have the right to choose what we put in our bodies. Not a luxury given to the unborn…murdered before they had a chance at life. Too bad the writers of Orac were not aborted, so they can spread diabolical information to the gullible public…
I fully expect that this is your true talent.
“There is enough evidence that vaccines do nothing except make people sicker, …”
Which you have decided to not share with us. Perhaps it is because we are picky about the quality of that research, especially when it is bought and paid for by the Dwoskin folk.
“It is certain that you are paid by the pharmaceutical industry!”
A common accusation without any evidence. Very unlike the evidence that the Dwoskin family pay for certain research: https://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2011/10/06/the-2011-vaccine-safety-conference-in-jamaica/
Vaccines make chemtrails? You learn something new every day.
It’s as though Dr. Brownstein “educated” himself about vaccines from all of the aforementioned anti-vaccine websites and “influencers” in order to carve himself a piece of that money-making pie via his talks. I really don’t know why people like him don’t just own the anti-vaxx moniker, it’s not as though he’s kidding anyone.
Re the infant mortality gambit: The U.S. schedule is not meaningfully different from Australia (which also give Meningococcal vaccines to infants) or Israel. And yet, infant mortality in both countries is dramatically lower.
They do have comprehensive health insurance.
The “it has to be the vaccines” approach is such a giveaway for people who do not want to admit that they’re anti-vaccine.
Sweden, which has a vaccine schedule very similar to the US as well, has a 98%+ vaccination rate, yet their IMR is substantially better.
Notice that all of the countries which beat us on the IMR front also guarantee universal access to healthcare (particular both pre and post-natal).
You’d think a doctor would know that infant mortality is also defined differently in countries so he is either dishonest or ignorant, neither bodes well for his claim of vaccine knowledge or how to parse a study.
Yes. It boils down to the fact that whether he’s dishonest or lacks knowledge, he’s not a good source of information on vaccines.
The Aussies (I think) have recently noted that routine rotavirus vaccination appears to be protective against Type-1 diabetes in children. The prevalence of Type-1 has dropped dramatically following the introduction of this vaccine. More good vaccine news!
Fascinating. Is there any idea as to the mechanism behind this?
Julian, rotavirus infection is associated with Type-1 diabetes ergo the hypothesis for the recent study was that vaccination with rotavirus should decrease the incidence of Type-1 diabetes. The study, while promising, needs to be replicated.
Hi JF, studies from the University of Melbourne linked rotavirus infection with Type-1 diabetes. The mechanism may be when the virus infects pancreatic cells it triggers an immune response against the insulin producing cells.
Thank you Science Mom and JDK.
Another hit to the US’s IMR is the effort to save extremely premature babies. I suspect this pales in comparison to the universal healthcare difference but it does add some deaths that other countries don’t have for lack of trying.
Not only do we save more extremely premature babies than any other country, we also send them home with parents who are ill equipped to care tor their needs.
Personally I think we should counter the ‘Brady Bunch gambit’ with the ‘Irish Rover rebuttal’;
“…We had sailed seven years when the measles broke out
And the ship lost her way in a fog
And the whole of the crew was reduced unto two
‘Twas myself and the captain’s old dog…”
Good Post. Just to make it clear:
1. Antivaccinationists see things in black and white, i.e., one cause. Chlldhood diseases have a number of contributing causes, e.g., sanitation, hygiene, nutrition, genetic predisposition, and immunity (vaccines). Mortality relates to virulence, individual genetics, and medical care.
2. Though mortality for many childhood diseases had come down exponentially, antivaccinationists dismiss the remaining cases, e.g., measles 400 – 500 per year when our population was half what it is today.
3. Antivaccinationists ignore the suffering. Even if without vaccines childhood diseases had no more deaths, the suffering would still be substantial and of concern for most rational people. Measles alone resulted in 50,000 hospitalizations, polio with more than 5,000 cases of paralysis, and almost all childhood diseases involved some form of suffering, a week or more at home, high fevers, perhaps vomiting, severe itching, blindness, deafness, mental retardation, and even diabetes, etc.
4. During the 1950s, at least among White middle class families, mothers stayed at home with their children. Now for either the inherent right of women to actualize their intelligence and skills equal to men and/or because of financial needs, the vast majority of mothers work, so staying home with a sick child means a potential loss of income, not once; but several times because of the number of potential childhood diseases.
5. If any of the diseases were caught at school age, means missing class. Given our poor performance in education, missing classes certainly is not desirable.
All in all, antivaccinationist display a callous narrow perspective.
Hi Orac, there’s a link broken there.
Orac, reading this, your gazillion blog on the vaccine-autism debate, I am inspired where you asked a few blogs back whether Zimmerman is a uselful idiot for the antivaccine movement. Can the same be asked of you? Are you a useful idiot for the provaxx movement?
Yes, there are other leaders peddling the vaccination propaganda, but their involvements seem to to be out of vested interest and necessity. For instance, Hotez and Offit obviously are industry people. Even Pan can be excused as swept up by the atmosphere of the Disney outbreak, and perhaps tabbed to be the ‘hero’, and with him obliging. These figures’ occasional participation in peddling the propaganda appears to be more out of commitment than entertainment.
Then there is you Orac, as you around-the-clock commit the sinful act of taking a baseball bat to heads of extremely pissed-off, and stressed out autism parents and their kids. You do so with apparent abandon and amusement. Which idiot would take such stupid risks? Granted Skeptical Raptor does the same, but atleast he is smarter in maintaining his annonmity. You complain that your ‘nym got blown, but you, nevertheless, persist.
What gives Orac? Do you see the antivaxxers as puny and weak, and consider they will never win? Is it a case of having pushed the boulder up the hill so long, you are afraid you must continue lest it reverses back over you? Whatever the reason, I am sure many of your ‘friends’ are very pleased, and happy to cheer you on from comfort.
Hey, Greg… where are those PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers that show that the American MMR vaccine introduced in 1978 causes more seizures than measles? You keep making claims, but you never deliver.
I should remind you that Doshi is neither qualified nor reputable. He and you are the ones peddling pro-disease propaganda. Well, the making measles “great” again is working as there are a couple of dozen cases in my state, most of them children. Why do you guys hate kids so much?
Chris, slam your head against your table a few times and that is the equivalent of trying to engage with Greg. He’s a pathetic attention-seeking goofus who lies all the time.
That is true. But I like to remind him and others that they have nothing other than nonsense and that their propaganda hurts kids.
Pointing out that numerous studies, including a huge metastudy that looked at nearly 15 million subjects, do not show a link between vaccination and autism is not “taking a baseball bat to the heads of …autism parents and their kids.” Fighting against abusive autism “treatments” like MMS is not “taking a baseball bat to the heads of …autism parents and their kids.”
Greg asks Orac,
“Are you a useful idiot for the provaxx movement?”
Orac states, “It sounds like what I’ve been doing for 14 years, only organized and academic, rather than a hobby like mine.”
Orac’s “hobby” affects my wavering perception of forced immunity. Enough said, for the moment, I think, hmmm -maybe not, I wonder if…
Thanks for keeping the vaccine debate alive, Orac!
MJD, “forced immunity” is a bit farther than anyone here has proposed or advocated. Eliminating personal exemptions is not the same thing. Words have meaning and in this case, emotional content.
@ Mike Morris,
An excellent point. The complexity of “wordplay” associated with the vaccine debate can cause confusion and misunderstanding; never my intent. On the other hand, Narad’s “fuck the fuck off” banter and other “violent words” add absolutely nothing to the discussion. He may not be physically violent – but he is immature. We need to be diligent and discourage the elderly minion’s deprecating idiosyncrasies.
Q. To provide a “safer place” here at RI, who else is in favor of having Narad placed in auto-moderation under Orac’s non-partial supervision.
Heh. You have a vanishingly small S/N, Doucheniak. At least I can cut to the chase. An example here:
So’s your old man.
There’s freedom of association (which doesn’t even much apply) and brain-dead objections to being insulted that are somehow supposed to lead to a plebiscite (which I myself have requested one of the previous times you’ve pulled this routine, making this entry on your part derivative of, y’know, the person that you’re whining about in the first place).
You appear not to even understand what a “conversation” is here, in any event. You’re just a grotesquely styled attention whore. It’s Orac’s blog, and if he tells me to be less succinct in getting to the point regarding your obnoxiously idiotic smarm, I will oblige. I certainly wouldn’t bitch and moan about being put into the automod queue, but I’ve said all this before, and you just keep pulling different versions of the same shit over and over again.
I’m sorry that I’m too busy scraping by at the moment trying to actually alleviate the suffering of sentient beings, among whom you I do not count, to figure out how to whomp up a killfile so that, as in the olden days, I could just flip a switch, but them’s the breaks.
The world is not a safe place, neither here. If Narad bother you in your safety here, you need more of Narad, not less:
The only person upon which you have power over, is yourself, so I heartily recommend adapting yourself to the world.
Linky which hadn’t made the cut in my previous comment:
“You’re just a grotesquely styled attention whore,” says Narad.
Oh you are welcome 🙂 but, will you learn from this lesson?
Alain <– taking best…
Alain asks MJD,
..will you learn from this lesson?
What’s important is we appear to be “kindred spirits.” Alain, you have fallen off the top 10 list of Orac’s minions in the RI dominion. Henceforth, climbing back into the top 10 won’t be easy because your recent comments have not been discouraging in breadth or scope.
In order to inaugurate a new and expanded form of scientific skepticism, we’ll need to expand our understanding of how woo/anti-vax people see the world. While I’m not sympathetic to his approach, frequent commenter Sadmer has diligently pressed this important point.
The Greg specimen displays the characteristic of an us vs. them mentality, and literally is unable to engage with the argumentative back-and-forth required to have a real open-minded discussion. And he is deaf to the motivations stated by Orac and others – he just literally can’t believe that people push vaccines out of genuine concern for health and welfare of people. No, there has to be some self-promotion – it’s a coolness contest.
On a certain level, the Greg specimen doesn’t grok normativity – actual observer-independent correctness of propositions. ‘Stupid’ means ‘on the other side’; ‘smart’ means ‘on my side’. Importantly, he’s a bigot – but he is not stupid. We need to be careful that we don’t think this.
It’s not clear how someone like this specimen can deal with left-wing scientific skeptics. There seems to be no realization that one can criticize or even oppose industry without flying off the ground or getting caught up in bizarre conspiracy theories.
This guy has some unmet emotional needs. It’s sad to see someone who appears reasonably bright trafficking in base, moronic nonsense.
RJ, I think that you have something there.
Those I survey make much of being ” ahead of the curve”, in the forefront of knowledge. They knew about everything 40 years ago etc. Cool, sure. Soon everyone will emulate them.
This is why conspiracy theories necessarily follow woo:
if they are so brilliant, ground breaking and avant garde why is their theory not standard practice?
BECAUSE someone in power stopped them. They were sabotaged. Persecuted.
But someday, they’ll show everyone The TRUTH! Watch out. Paradigm shift time!
Followers want to be associated with such brilliance and be able to say, ” I TOLD you so!”
(Today, @ Kim Rossi 1111 explains how she told young parents who watched her autistic daughter to “pray it doesn’t happen to your baby” and arrogantly wondered how the child was 8 years later. https://jetpack.wordpress.com/jetpack-comment/?blogid=136830662&postid=19577&comment_registration=0&require_name_email=1&stc_enabled=1&stb_enabled=1&show_avatars=1&avatar_default=gravatar_default&greeting=Want+to+respond+to+Orac%3F+Here%27s+your+chance.+Leave+a+reply%21&greeting_reply=Leave+a+Reply+to+%25s&color_scheme=light&lang=en_US&jetpack_version=6.9&show_cookie_consent=10&has_cookie_consent=0&sig=cffcd67752e181ca89f53d1b5881f93144facccc#comment-form-load-service:Facebook
C’mon RJ! Even if we were to consider Orac’s motivations are sincere (and I am not), and even if we were to consider his points are sound (and I don’t, seeing them for the most part as BS), can we still not, nevertheless, make a case that he is a useful idiot?
How do we define a useful idiot? Essentially, it is someone that doesn’t know he is being used, or doesn’t care. For the most part, prominent vaccine supporters, and those who don’t have any ‘obvious’ industry ‘connection’ are reserved when they stick their necks out to defend vaccines. Orac (save continuing with a pointless ‘nym), shows no such reservation. Orac is doing the bidding of the others who are shy about sticking their necks out or refuse to do so. Orac is a useful idiot.
( Please disregard the link in my comment)
In addition, many anti-vaxxers appear to envision themselves as freedom fighters, revolutionaries ripping off the façade from corruption and ( probably) saviours.
I don’t think Greg has ever considered, maybe can’t consider, the idea that Orac and the rest of us support vaccines because it’s right, and a good thing to do.
Supporting vaccines because vaccines save lives and life is precious shouldn’t be a hard concept to grasp.
We are all on this lonely little blue speck together. Of course we should care about each other.
Re. “a new and expanded form of scientific skepticism.” YES!
About that, based on < 15 years of political discussion/debate in forums where there are a lot of legitimately smart and capable people, and also a decent number of fools who easily get hooked by their emotions and digressed like crazy:
We should always seek to “argue the argument” rather than bringing in anything that can be used as a basis for digressions. Any digress-hook will be taken full advantage of, to our dismay and at cost of our effectiveness.
The biggest digression in skeptic-world is militant atheism. I have seen this so many times it isn’t even funny: the moment it comes into an argument, the entire main thread is lost to the digression, just as surely as if militant religiosity had come in.
The second biggest is getting emotionally provoked into going ad-hom or using emotional attack-language in response. I see that here from time to time, and the bottom line is, whoever flies off the handle first, loses people s/he might otherwise have reached. True.
The way to deal with both of those is to keep a level head and be alert enough to not get provoked. We need to be examples of practicing what we preach, so our methods of argument are as admirable to the general public as the content we’re trying to get across.
And, we also have to convey a worldview that’s equally or more attractive to the public than the worldview of quacks and woomeisters. Humans are emotion-seeking animals, and emotions largely determine behavior. Wooskis are peddling a magical worldview where everything is imbued with hidden significance both good and bad. Very often our responses come across as if we’re peddling clinical depression at best, or a “conquest” outlook toward nature: this does not work.
One of the reasons Carl Sagan is often cited as the archetype of effective science communicators, is that he was able to reach people emotionally, and convey an outlook that was meaningful and inspiring. We can take a lesson from that and do likewise. Look for the positive and uplifting emotions associated with a science-based worldview and convey those. Curiosity, wonder, altruism, meaningful connections to others and to society at-large, simplicity amidst complexity, the sense that the universe is comprehensible, etc.
In my experience one of the key things to communicate is the idea that if you’re wrong it doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it means that the universe is more interesting than you thought it was. That includes cognitive errors as well: for example when people are shown optical illusions they don’t blame themselves for “faulty vision,” they usually experience a sense of wonder at how their eyes and brain can “do that.” We can convey the same sense about cognitive illusions and errors as well.
There are of course limits, such as when dealing with major public health hazards such as anti-vax nonsense: but there, we can be firm without falling into traps that the antis deliberately set and use to get support.
OK, this comment is too long as it is, so I’ll stop here and wait a week or so to see if you find it and reply.
Baseball bat to the heads of parents of children with autism? C’mon Gerg. Hate much? Time for a ban hammer I would think as nonsense like Gerg’s is not conducive to anything.
C’mon Christopher, why do you have to force Orac’s hands like this?! Orac saw that his blog was getting boring, and thought of having me back to jazz things up.
Anyway, aren’t you a pediatrician? Why do you spend so much time around here, anyway? Don’t you have a job to do? Aren’t there any kids to inoculate, giving them ‘coincidental’ hand-flapping, and toe-walking?
Some “champion” of autistics you are Greg. You are disgusting and foul and stop speaking for autistic people; you are insulting, ignorant and crass.
Unless the Greg specimen specifically advocates or attempts doxing, violence, sockpuppeting, etc., I strongly disagree with you here. As scientific skeptics we need to pay careful attention to what the loons are saying and doing. Of course he has nothing to say; we need to learn about the patterns of looniness though. Ultimately, the most important problems of contemporary scientific skepticism are about people like the Greg specimen, not the actual medical information. We need a more detailed sense of why people believe stupid and crazy things.
Just my opinion though; as always I defer entirely to the judgement of the person doing the work to keep this gig going. While Orac is not a sociologist, he has done an excellent job of compiling patterns of behavior among the medical loo-loo’s, as he did earlier with the Holocaust deniers. Allow me to thank Orac again for this vitally necessary work.
The specimen, again: he won’t be able to understand how I can agree with Orac sometimes and not others. I don’t wish ill of the fool, but I hope he doesn’t vote.
RJ, given how incredibly rarely anyone gets banned here, I’d say Greg is safe. In the (gosh!) 10 years I’ve been reading Orac I think three people have been banned? I mean, for pity’s sake, we still have MJD blithering here, so I’d say we might not have a high tolerance for obnoxious commentors (given the things we say) we do give them a whole lot of leeway.
It’s much nicer when they just give up on their own.
I mean, for pity’s sake, we still have MJD blithering here…
You treat me like a specimen, Justatech.
I write for emphasis with sorrow in my heart, “You treat me like a specimen.” 🙁
Welcome, Orac’s cool.
You know, Greg, I’ve been keeping kids safe, healthy and protected through vaccination for over 19 years and haven’t seen seen a single case of the nonsense you spew happen after vaccination–across many thousands of children. I see vaccinated children who have autism, but it’s not sudden onset and I’ve never seen “the light go out from their eyes” after vaccines. And I see a lot of non-vaccinated children with autism as well, and if vaccination were at all related to autism then your lot should have decreased autism with the drive down of vaccination rates you’ve disgustingly accomplished since the late 1990s. But you haven’t dropped autism rates one iota via the damage you’ve done to both public health and the health of children. But you and your trash talk are par for the course for anti-vaxxers. You have no science, no knowledge and all you can fall back on are taunts and tirades. The lies your lot tells and the insults they hurl knows no bounds. You clearly have no shame.
MJD, only humans blither, therefore I am treating you as a human.
I might not like you at all, but I won’t dehumanize you.
” You complain that your ‘nym got blown…”
I believe that is an incorrect statement.
As an undergraduate, way back in early 1960s, one of the required general ed courses was Logic. We had a standard Logic text and another book entitled: “Fallacy: the Counterfeit of Argument” by W. Ward Fearnside and William B. Holther (1959). Cost me a whopping $1.95. I still own the book. On Page 99 under heading “Personal Attacks: ‘ad hominem'” it states: “There is no argument easier to construct or harder to combat than character assassination, and this may be the reason personal attacks are so commonly on the lips of ignorance and demagogy.” At best, if one suspects bias then one should scrutinize what is stated more carefully, e.g., research references, etc., something I often do.
So Paul Offit developed a vaccine so he must be a shill for Big Pharma; yet, as I wrote in an article on Science-Based Medicine, he chose Pediatrics, among the lowest paid specialties, on average making several hundred thousand less than some other specialties. He devoted almost 25 years to developing a vaccine. He DID NOT OWN THE PATENT, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia did. As in most institutions they shared the monies they received from selling the patent with the researchers. According to sources, Offit received $6 million dollars. Divide that by 25 years and if money was all he was after he could have simply chosen a different specialty. There was no guarantee that he and his colleagues would successfully develop a vaccine or that others might beat them to it. On the other hand a different choice of specialties would be a “guaranteed” higher income. But Pediatrics is the specialty that emphasizes prevention and for those who have studied the science, vaccines is among, if not the most important, the interventions most successful in prevention. And once he received his share, he no longer gets royalties, so . . .?
I have spent more than 40 years reading, taking courses, learning about the history, current status, etc. of diseases. I have NEVER worked for a pharmaceutical company, CDC, or FDA, nor have I purchased shares in pharmaceutical companies. I support vaccines because everything I’ve learned about immunology, microbiology, epidemiology, etc. leads me to accept that they work, albeit not perfectly; but the benefits far outweigh the risks. I have been devoting hundreds, thousands of hours to writing articles supporting vaccines. I wish someone would pay me for my efforts. Many of my childhood friends studied subjects at university that they were interested in and ended up in well paying jobs; but they chose their major based on interest not future income. Offit chose Pediatrics because he cares about children.
And if antivaccinationists are against profits then what do they do if one of their children develops diabetes, asthma, or cancer? Do they forgo treatments because the manufacturer makes a profit? And as Dorit Reiss pointed out in an article on Science-Based Medicine, alternative medicine practitioners make a profit and would be out-of-business if they didn’t push antivaccinationism. Yes, drug companies have sold drugs that were later withdrawn from the market and yes, they make extortionist profits; but many of the drugs they sell are beneficial. Whether they make a profit or not is irrelevant. They make a profit on beneficial drugs and non-beneficial drugs.
I buy spoon size shredded wheat cereal. No sugar, no fat, high fiber, and high protein. I could buy what I consider breakfast candy, high sugar, high fat, low fiber, low protein cereals. The company makes a profit on both.
Vaccines go through a much more rigorous approval process and much more post-market surveillance than any other drug or, for that matter, food. The science behind them is clear.
And having had personal friends who children were on the Spectrum, I want them to get every type of support we can offer; but don’t want them subjected to unscientific, potentially harmful interventions.
So Gregory, attacking Paul Offit and others just shows your ignorance, your piss poor ethics, needing to attack others when you are incapable of entering into a scholarly, scientific, logical exchange. YOU ARE PATHETIC.
Gather around the campfire provaxxers. Let’s throw another log on and get comfy. It’s a certain time in the evening when this ‘reprehensible’ antivaxxer makes a heartfelt confession. Let me stand for it.
Joel, what if I were to tell you I am inclined to accept just about everything you wrote about Offit as true. What if I were to also tell you that my impression of Offit is that he is not a monster, and, under different circumstances, if I were to meet him, I think I might actually like him.
Indeed, Offit’s pursuits may’ve been noble, but that, nevertheless, did not stop him from stepping in shit. Maybe the toughest shit to get out of. At the end of the day, perhaps his worst crime, and provaxxers’ in general, is that you guys keep trying.
Precisely what “shit” did Dr Offit stand in, Greg?
It would be much better if you threw your logs on a fire, Gerg, as opposed to smearing them on the walls here, Gerg.
Antivaxxers cause measles epidemics and force children to drink industrial bleach. They are not harmless.
I’m in clinic and won’t have time to fix this for several hours.
” I write about the science behind vaccines” Dr Brownstein
That’s exactly what the loons on PRN say: ” We each spent 15,000 hours researching vaccines” ( Null, Drs Tenpenny, Humphries, Banks) Yet if they did all of this work, shouldn’t they come up with something other than the same old tropes? Two days ago, Adams wrote about the links between vaccination, abortion and demonic possession. Followers read this nonsense.
Anti-vaxxers continuously accuse SB people of killing, destroying and violating children through vaccines and benefiting financially. Right here, one of them openly uses a particularly loaded metaphor “taking a baseball bat” to parents’ and children’s heads described as a “sinful act” whilst providing a skewed analysis of Orac’s motivation. Commenters at AoA regularly speak of retribution such as jail or worse. Is it any wonder that vaccine supporters like Drs Offit, Hotez, Orac, Dorit and Rene have received threats or interference at lectures or their places of employment?
Although I am a strong advocate for education and reality based counselling, I am starting to think that some people are beyond help- and it’s not because of lack or intelligence or having a mental illness. There’s something else amiss.
AND though I am averse to anyone spending money on woo, I think that Orac might benefit from showing up at the event. He would ask excellent questions I’m sure.
”We each spent 15,000 hours researching vaccines”
They can’t even make their lies convincing. Let’s suppose that somebody studies a subject for a maximum of four hours a day. That’s realistic.
It would take them 3750 days. 10 years and 3 months of studying. And yet there are people who believe them.
The people Denice mentions have been at this long enough that they may really have spent 10+ years studying this. It’s not a guarantee that they have made efficient use of this time. As Denice notes, they keep coming up with the same tropes. They are probably reading the same sources, and the different sources they read are not independent of each other–I would guess that these people read each other’s writings. They probably apply a “doesn’t agree with my preconceived notions, therefore irrelevant” filter to what they read, so factual information gets filtered out.
The crux of the matter is that “research” has a different meaning to this crowd than it does to most of Orac’s audience. On the rare occasions when these people actually do clinical trials, those trials are either so poorly designed as to not demonstrate anything, or specifically designed to produce the result they want.
“Two days ago, Adams wrote about the links between vaccination, abortion and demonic possession.”
I lost five brain cells just reading that sentence…
Demonic possession ??
I just checked with the new ICD-11 and it does not list demonic possession. Does this mean no billing code?
blockquote> I am starting to think that some people are beyond help- and it’s not because of lack or intelligence or having a mental illness.
I think the real hard core anti-vaxers, just like the hardcore climate denialists, World Trade Towers conspiracy theorists and so on have so much invested in their positions that admitting that they are wrong would essentially destroy them.
Their position is a central part of their world view. In some ways they are probably not particularly different from a really hardcore Salafi jihadist with Al Quaeda or ISIS.
I think, that in general, you are correct and many or most of them are completely beyond help. Not all of them but the vast majority of the true hard core. This is likely even more true of medical doctors, naturopaths and the general range of quacks whose livelihood depends on an anti-vax position.
The “true’ vaccine hesitant are reachable but we need to see a much, much more aggressive campaign stressing the value and safety of vaccines and actively attacking anti-vax propaganda. We need Orac, rewritten for the general pubic delivered to ever household. 🙂
@ John Kane:
I think RJ said something important: don’t ban anti-vaxxers because we need to understand them.
Truly, I’ve read loads of them- leaders and followers for over 10 years. More than that for alt med. Much more.
I assume that amongst the faithful/ followers, belief varies in a predictable way: there are die-hards, who are a small percentage of the total but may be the most vocal. That’s whom we see writing posts and commenting. Others may be less inclined to believe everything their gurus write or say.
So let’s say a reasonable amount of followers haven’t yet gone whole hog for the anti-vaxxer or woo-meister in question. Those people may be reachable. There are at least 3 ways to educate them:
– discuss the real science and how they distort it or misquote it
– show how they benefit financially or otherwise
– mention their bizarre or unrealistic beliefs in others areas that illustrate their lack of judgment or profoundly deficient general education.**
AS you may realise, my designated area is of course the second and third. Those who decry the wealth of Big Pharma and physicians often live in huge estates. Brilliant scholars mispronounce common words. names and hold simplistic ideas about the world as well as conspiracy mongering. The less convinced amongst followers might take a second look at their leaders.
** so I quote Adams’ demonic possession or ( worse) type 1 diabetics don’t need insulin!!!! or
Null’s expert opinions on art, philosophy or history wherein he gets simple names wrong or misplaces well-known events. I have given many hilarious examples.
“Although I am a strong advocate for education and reality based counselling, I am starting to think that some people are beyond help- and it’s not because of lack or intelligence or having a mental illness. There’s something else amiss.”
You can’t help those who lack common sense.
“Hotez and Offit obviously are industry people.”
Hotez (aside from being the father of an autistic child*) is an even more ludicrous choice than Paul Offit to be labeled an “industry” person.
Hotez works to bring attention (and new vaccines) to combat tropical diseases like hookworm infestation and Chagas’ disease – which have attracted comparatively little attention from Big Pharma. There’s no pot of gold for someone developing vaccines against such ailments.
Shill gambit fail.
*must be OK in Greg’s mind to “take a baseball bat” to Hotez’s head.
I have no idea why that link appeared in my post above. Please disregard it.
Please go to his seminar and report back. That’ll be a good read.
Mostly long time lurker here, but I just wanted to give kudos to the NYT for that editorial. it really brightened my Sunday – the kind of editorial that makes it easier to remember that there is a real ethic to the media that should play an important part in public discourse. I’m so used to criticizing them for both-sidism, etc.
Indeed, I can see why provaxxers would love the NYT’s piece and ‘antivaxxers’ would hate it, but, objectively speaking, I consider it actually helps the ‘antivaxxers” cause. The reality is, the vaccination sentiment thrives on ignorance. The masses have their kids vaccinated because they faithfully accept that vaccines are a good thing.
Any piece whatsover that provides fodder for a debate, where information is exchanged, hurts the vaccination sentiment. Even if the piece is a provaxx one, sharing information potentially can shake the person from her faith, leading her to adopt a more critical stance.
Reseach actually backs this up. It shows any discussion of vaccination, even provaxx messaging, hurts parents’ desire to vaccinate.
Likely, the vitrol alone of the NYT’s piece will cause the reader to think. Scan down further to the comment section where the reader may for the first time read about William Thompson, Zimmerman, vaccine court, 1 in 36 autism rate, and so on, and it’s easy imagine how such information will further erode the faith.
The rest of your comment is just wishful thinking.
Greg: Reseach actually backs this up. It shows any discussion of vaccination, even provaxx messaging, hurts parents’ desire to vaccinate.
Julian: Citation needed.
The rest of your comment is just wishful thinking.
Why do some of the comments not have an accompanying ‘reply’ tab?
I read through the Results:
It’s a little ambiguous, but I interpreted it as meaning that presenting data to “parents who had the least favorable vaccine attitudes” didn’t work and even backfired but only among that group.
If they were serving lunch I’d tell you to go as Schoolcraft CC kitchen is the teaching kitchen for their culinary program and I have a lot of professional ties to them. Maybe they‘ll have paleo lard and high-fructose agave syrup cookies.
Uh “paleo lard” seems to mean “lard” or am I missing something?
“high-fructose agave syrup cookies” sound interesting, got a recipe? On the other hand, where do they get the budget? Agave syrup, at least around here, is more expensive than maple syrup.
Julian, quoting the study…
There is nothing ambiguous about the study, Julian. None of the provaxx messaging increased intent to vaccinate. They may have changed some belief among those with extreme negative attitudes about MMR, but intent to vaccinate didn’t increase. In fact, things backfired, where the cases were more likely to refuse vaccines.
I stand by my argument. Thinking is not conducive to vaccination. For you guys, it really is a case of parent’s ignorance bringing bliss.
Greg, you are replying to someone whose name is “John.” You are incompetent.
So exactly where are the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers that the American MMR vaccine introduced in 1978 causes more seizures than measles?
That’s what Julian said jackass. It supports our experience that anti-vaxxers are hopelessly ignorant and you can’t reason with them. Just like you demonstrate time and time again.
Brownstein writes: “I don’t write anti-vaccine propaganda. I write about the science behind vaccines.”
Now I have this earworm in which Brownstein is riffing on a Barry Manilow melody:
I write the screeds that make the whole world groan
Antivax screeds where facts are nearly unknown
I promote disease that makes the young kids cry
I write the screeds, I write the screeds
Thank you so much for the earworm. [/sarcasm}
Science mom writes…
And, the study say…
Sorry Science Mom, nothing in the study indicating that it is the antivaxxers that are resisting the provaxx messaging, and still refusing to vaccinate their kids.
@Orac or anyone that can help
I still am not seeing a ‘reply’ tab for some comments, allowing me to reply at the appropriate comments.
Then I suggest you learn to read a study, which will never happen of course. Those who are already favourable to vaccination aren’t going to be really motivated by this information whereas those unfavourable are going to reject information contrary to their beliefs and dig their heels in even more.
Gerg, I’ve already told you how to reply in either the correct or an appropriate place. If you’re too dumb to have followed those rudimentary instructions, comprending a study is well out of your grasp.
Scroll up to the nearest “Reply” tab and comment away! MJD suggests that you reference the comment or commenter; for clarity.
It’s not impossible to be amicable and helpful during the worst of times.
Perhaps you could aspire to learning what these words actually denote among people who are not smarmy, dumb, perseverating assholes.
Out of curiosity, does the anti vaccine movement put a figure on the percentage of cases of autism that it claims is caused by vaccines? 1%, 5% or what? That would be a basic requirement wouldn’t it?
Wouldn’t that increase the chances that their claims would be proven wrong, as they were in the past?
Shelly, although I don’t presume to speak for all ‘antivaxxers’, I would say much higher. I would put the figure at over 90%. This estimate is based on the percentage of disabled middle-aged adults that could pass as autistic. I would say less than 10%. Maybe even less than 5%, but I am being generous to you guys.
I think it’s 150%. Perhaps this is conservative.
Your argument about the number of middle aged people with ASD might be correct, but I would guess that people severely effected by the condition would likely have a shorter life span than average due to the existence of co-morbidities and the increased risk of things like aspiration pneumonia. Also I would also think that, 50 years ago, some people on the upper end of the spectrum would not have been diagnosed with ASD, simply being seen as “odd bods”.
Doris is right; and to quote Carl Sagan “extraordinaire claims require extraordinary evidence.”If you claim a conspiracy the size of this you need a lot of really good evidence.
But what about the unvaccinated kids who have autism? (The ones who’s parents didn’t vaccinate them because they have an older sibling with autism.)
And what about all the autistic people who lived before vaccines were common?
Your argument is only plausibe if we assume only severely affectected autistic cases have co-morbid conditions, causing them to disproportionately die out in the past. Why did the severely affected, disabled, middle-aged cases that we have today, not die out?
As to your claim that the high-functioning middle-aged cases were misdiagnosed as ‘odd’ in the past, again, these cases for the most part are still not revealing themselves as autistic. For instance, they don’t have the same repetitive language, and errant, ritualistic behaviour. They still are just merely ‘odd’ or ‘weird’, in the traditional sense of these words. Even with high-functioning cases, it doesn’t take much expertise to identify autism.
Actually, it requires some effort and expertise to identify all the cases we now classify as autism or ASD by the DSM-V criteria. In the Kim South Korean study, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21558103, they did an initial screening questionnaire to identify people for a follow-up exam by a professional. And two-thirds of the autistic students were in the general school population, undiagnosed and untreated. And there was a high proportion of girls undiagnosed, which is being seen in other countries as well.
There is the 2 million mothers number that gets tossed out from time to time with no reference, who supposedly saw the light go out of their child’s eyes immediately after vaccination. If they were all in the U.S. (unknown) and 3% of the population meets the DSM V criteria for ASD (an upper bound based on the Korean study), then 22% have severe regressive autism caused by vaccines.
An effect that large would certainly have shown up in the studies used in Taylor’s meta-analysis.
But then people like Brownstein don’t want to have to explain the real numbers.
Then if that is the case and their finding, shouldn’t the null hypothesis be rejected, with the antivaxxers provimg to be the disproportionate non-compliant ones? Remember they say they couldn’t.
Thx MJD for the tip. So you are confirming that it’s not a problem from my end that there is no reply option for some comments. Great! — it’s good when antivaxxers help each other.
Wait, are you an antivaxxer, MJD? My definition of what provaxxers mean by an ‘antivaxxer’ is that it’s not about belief, but action. Anyone who brings ill-repute to the vaccination exercise is an antivaxxer. Do you agree, MJD? How do you see yourself?
Briefly, in the real world, I’m pro-vaccine with an important vaccine safety message making me vaccine-hesitant. Around here, though, I’m considered anti-vaccine because I’m not hesitant about teaching vaccine safety to the pro-vaccine. Either way, commenting about vaccines at the science blog Respectful Insolence is an honor and a pleasure. Thanks for your vaccine comments, Greg!
Remember when Gerg made a habit of trying to invok The Warriors without realizing that Luther got stomped in the end? Good times.
Since vaccine supporters are often described as being motivated by money**, perhaps we should explore what anti-vaxxers are motivated by.
“Saving children”, they’ll say.
Although we can never be sure about anyone’s inner sentiments , we can look at what types of people are most vocal against vaccines:
Natural health advocates / contrarians
Providers of related services
Parents of children with ASDs, etc
Obviously there’s a great deal of overlap betwixt these categories. Natural health promotes treatments that rely upon plant and mineral based products including foods, vitamins and supplements rather than pharmaceuticals which vaccines ARE. Providers who espouse these views may automatically reject vaccines.These groups often have something to sell: a worldview and products including supplements, foods, treatments, films, books and other media ( websites, radio).
Parents of children with ASDs frequently have an axe to grind against vaccines IF they attribute their child’s condition to vaccines or other medical products ( anti-biotics, meds). Many of them also carve out a career as speakers, writers and advocates. If you peruse AoA or TMR, you’ll notice that they have many adverts for parents’ books.
You’ll observe that I left out “contrarians” because they oppose whatever makes the most sense. But they are important here because like many of the aforementioned groups they can make a name for themselves through their position. As RJ pointed out above, there’s the indisputable effect of “coolness”- standing out in a crowd, being “first”, being a “leader” even if it’s leading others astray.
I can argue that most of the people proselytising against vaccines are earning money and/ or fame in some manner.
** I have never got any money – directly or indirectly- from my activities as a supporter of SBM. Counselling has nothing to do with vaccines. As a full disclosure, sometimes my stock/ bond mutual funds invest in pharmaceuticals but that is a very small portion of their totals in international corporations, governments, etc. which constantly changes. I have no say in their choices.
“Remember when Gerg made a habit of trying to invok The Warriors without realizing that Luther got stomped in the end? Good times.”
Indeed Narad, with the vaccination debate, there is often the musing about who is winning and losing. Yet, wouldn’t even you agree that it’s quite perplexing that you guys are having such a tough time putting away the ‘ragtag’, ‘misfits’ antivaxxers? Let face it — you guys have all the big-guns. You have the overwhelming majority of gullible parents believing that vaccines are a good thing. Just about every doctor and public health official also preach that they are safe and effective. Same for just about every elected official. I need not mention that the MSM is also firmly and securely in your pockets. So with all this ammunition Narad, why are you guys having such a tough time putting away the ‘pitiful’ antivaxxers, for good? In this post at AoA, I provided an explanation, would you agree?
No, I wouldn’t agree with you. You don’t understand us, you only assume you do.
Greg imagines this scenario because he assumes that there is indeed a great conspiracy by entrenched interests to hide “vaccine injuries”.
Very recently, The Guardian ( via Dr DG’s Twitter) highlighted how conspiracy theories are common in both the UK and US – about 60% of adults believe in at least one- and how believers often target people who present the real facts and figures.
Over the years, I’ve tracked how woo and anti-vax proselytisers create alternate realities in which confabulation like this exists WITHOUT evidence. Most of this material is available on the internet ( articles, films, tapes) and ANYONE can trace how these beliefs have developed. For example, one can consult a particular contributor at AoA and read through their writings or watch ALL of Gary Null’s vaccine films (IIRC, four). You can observe that parts of the mythology change, transform and spread from one source to another. Topics- and participants- drop in and out. It’s basically gossip and speculation without solid facts and research.
If anyone shows contrary evidence, they are labelled as corrupt. So we would have to believe that most governments, universities, periodicals, physicians and scientists around the world are all bought and paid for and guys who sell supplements on the net and distraught mothers of disabled kids have the only truth.
Of course, Gerg simply claimed that anyone here who said that they or their children were vaccinated was lying.
Denice: “I can argue that most of the people proselytising against vaccines are earning money and/ or fame in some manner.”
The benefits of being antivax got explored here;
As for most of the antivaxers/posters online (including the many who rail about how anyone who’s pro-vaccine is a “shill” or has “vested interests”), I don’t view them (or at least the vast majority of them) as shills, just people lacking critical thinking skills who are dead wrong on the subject of immunization.
“** I have never got any money – directly or indirectly- from my activities as a supporter of SBM.”
Of course you’d say that. Lord Zeneca demands confidentiality from his shill minions. 😉
Actually Denice, I don’t believe there is a grand conspiracy involved with the vaccination dogma.
Like ‘The War on Drugs’ and Religion,
you don’t need a grand conspiracy for some stupid ideas to succeed, if people are motivated to believe in them. They will succeed universally, and with such stealth, to the extent of even giving the impression of a grand collusion.
Seriously, are priests the world over colluding to get people into churches every Sunday, so they can preach to them about a magic man in the sky creating the whole world a few thousand years ago, and in return he only asks that they love him? Indeed, I agree the ‘antivaxxers’ flatter you guys too much. I see you as mere preachers.
Spouting off about vaccines being awesome is one thing. Having private ‘reservations’ about whether you
really want to back legislation mandating vaccines, or shoot up your own with those ‘harmless’ neurotoxins is quite another. Can really get you to think!
Precisely what neurotoxins are in vaccines and at sufficient level to cause harm, Greg? And don’t say mercury.
Greg, you miss the point.
I’m not saying that those who advocate FOR vaccines are the ones with the “grand conspiracy” but rather that ANTI-VAXXERS create conspiracy theories about SBM such as saying that there is a cover-up of vaccines injuries, that Wakefield was framed, that scientists knew vaccines caused autism, that research is “fixed”, etc.
It can be argued that anti-vax is more like a religion than SBM is. In fact, I think Orac has said so on occasion.
Also, religion doesn’t rely upon data but faith.
This time, the specimen searches for a false analogy. He’s smart enough to know that a vast conspiracy is implausible, though not smart enough to realize that actual support for anti-vax is fatally undermined thereby.
He suggests an institutional embodiment of false beliefs that is not in itself stupid. However, he does not give any reasons or evidence to suggest that support for vaccines is similar to a religion, and fails to note the clear and obvious ways the anti-vax crowd is similar to a religion.
We have here, not just fallacy and projection, but meta- fallacy and meta-projection. I happen to own a copy of the Fearnside and Holther ‘fallacy’ text mentioned above by Dr. Harrison, and it cost more than $1.95 second-hand (about 20 years ago maybe). There is much of value there but like most books in this genre, it only gives the means to analyze singular arguments. To really get into the meaning of anti-vax silliness, we need to go further and look at patterns of ‘argumentation’ (scarequotes, because the ‘arguments’ involved typically pathetic on an intellectual level).
I’ve had in my mind for many years a fantasy to write a book called Metafallacy: Patterns of Incorrect Inference and if I ever finish my doctorate, maybe that would be a good one.
Familiarity with the classic fallacies is important, but really only step zero. This guy’s not stupid, but he’s far enough around the bend that he can adopt the ludicrous position that supporting vaccines is similar to following a religion.
Again, no data or evidence are given.
Like woo-meisters, anti-vaxxers construct conspiracies to explain away sense. A few examples:
– Brian Deer shows in great detail how AJW fixed data, had COIs and the GMC, citing this in court, strikes him off.
Wakefield cannot illustrate how he was “framed” despite several attempts in court so he makes films about it.
– woo-meisters attend crappy schools and cry poverty despite their “brilliance” and athletic prowess.
Most people know poor people/ athletes who are given scholarships/ state sponsored study/ grants/ work study
– alt med folk claim to have “cures” that are suppressed by SBM in order to protect its profit stream.
Wouldn’t at least one scientist/ doctor speak up because a family member or they themselves were ill? Don’t investigative reporters seek out controversy in order to right wrongs/ become well known/ write books?
Remember SBM and journalism is not restricted to one country.
I always remark that woo needs conspiracy theories to explain why it is correct but not standard practice.
If Wakefield were right, he could have replicated his data or someone elsewhere would have. NO ONE did.
But if he says, :”There are vested interests trying to keep me down”, some people will believe him.
He can remain a maverick/ martyr and gather a fan club to sell his books or films.
ARE not restricted
Oh, look, Gerg wants to play ironic counterfactuals.
“Can really get you to think!”
Narad, Greg has certainly proven he does not think.
Over at “Dr B’s” Webpage it’s just straight up, unabashed wall to wall quack pseudoscience – from the usual nutritional panaceas to what sounds like PEMF to heal car crash injuries. How in the name of Cthulu has this loon not been “Board-Decertified”?
Denice, yup — and except for the Wakefield part, I am agreeing with you. Many ‘antivaxxers’ do erroneously believe that there is some serious backdoor ‘drama’ going on in advancing the vaccination dogma. Still, as I explained, when people and institutions are motivated to pursue stupid ideas and policies, there need not be a grand conspiracy or collusion for those policies to succeed.
As to anti-vax being more of a religion than ‘SBM’, if you’re considering ‘SBM’ in respect to vaccination, I disagree. Nothing can be more dogmatic.
Denice, the preceeding should not be taken as my agreement that provaxxers” contributions in this arena are not ‘incentives’ driven. That may very well be the case, but without it reaching the level of a well-orchestrated, worldwide plot to advance the dogma. As I explained, I consider you mere preachers, addressing your separate flock.
Given that you’re “working” solo, this goes without saying.
Gerg, would you like to play a game? I’ll skip trying to escrow the responses with our Fearless Leader and go first.
What nonvaccination, science-based subject is occupying the thing atop your neck right now?
Mine is forensic spectroscopy. Your turn.
Indeed, some of the research may be fixed, and we have strong evidence of that being the case — aka Thompson. Still, behind the scenes, are scientists the world over privy to research linking vaccines to autism, and there is a secret pact to keep their mouths shut. I don’t believe this to be the case. I suspect, all it is, is many of these scientists having a hunch that vaccines do cause autism, but the vaccination religion effectively instilling fear in them, and preventing them from pursuing this hunch with scientific studies. For the most part, Thompson also confirmed this, saying the CDC was terrified to do the vaccine-autism studies. Again, we see how powerful religion can be, with it achieving incredible feats that would suggest grand conspiracies, but there being none.
Narad, I consider you can.brighten your days by not being preoccupied with the topic of forensic.
Narad says, “Mine is forensic spectroscopy.”
I’m jealous, if Narad has Sherlock-Holmes like success he may reinvent forensic spectroscopy (i.e., Narad Motivated Reasoning or NMR spectroscopy).
Best of luck!
I suggest that you can improve your responses by giving up huffing glue. A dictionary might help as well.
Your failure to actually answer the question is duly noted, however. Perhaps you should try to start collecting the Old Masters.
In a uselessly glaring coincidence, “As It Happens” ran a piece on the Rice portrait of Jane Austen tonight. Graphology seems to be the most sophisticated tool to be brought to bear.
RJ, which channel can I catch your real-time National Geographic broadcast on me?
I’d prefer that you grow up and face reality.
@ Christopher Hickie:
You know, I’ve often thought that anti-vaxxers try to link rates of ASDs with the amount of vaccines given BUT
– after Thimerisol was removed, rates continued to go up and
– despite a decrease in vaccination- in general, after Wakefield’s folly- rates continued to go up.
So you studied Epi-
are vaccines protective?
“Anyone who cites it has a profound lack of misunderstanding of clinical trials.” As in “not even wrong”? Or should that be “lack of understanding”?
I will discuss other important health topics to include:
Grifters gotta grift.
[…] Dr. David Brownstein versus the New York Times on vaccines January 24, 2019 […]
@Greg Care to comment autism twin studies ? Do Google Scholar search with query “autism twin”. Autism is a genetic condition.
Now, now Aarno. Expecting an antivaxxer to examine evidence against his ideas is totally unfair. If they could do that, they wouldn’t be antivaxxers.
My two (2) autistic sons (one extremely high functioning and one extremely low functioning) had genetic testing done at the University of Iowa, and the results were inconclusive. I suspect there may be a shared genetic component wherein environmental factors trigger different atypicality. In my opinion, atypical adaptive-immunity triggered by environmental factors is the leading cause of regressive autism. It’s time to stop regressive autism and, at a minimum, test before we inject.
Autism being genetic does not mean that one test cover all cases. Actually, it seems that 300 tests are needed (number of genes involved).
Test for what? Be very specific; I realize this doesn’t come naturally to you.
Thanks for the encouragement and essential question.
Answer: A neonatal/infant blood test that analyzes histamine level. If histamine is overexpressed, the individual should not get a vaccine. Len Tukwilla asked a similar question on a most recent Respectful Insolence post by Orac titled, “The Israel Ministry of Health cracks down on antivaccine doctors,” comment by MJD on JANUARY 22, 2019 AT 8:11 PM)
The scientific reasoning set forth:
“A baby’s adaptive immune system may be considered atypical based on the over-expression of memory B-cells and its select productivity of antibodies. Furthermore, the incidence and prevalence of IgE-primed effector cells from said atypicality can produce atopic conditions (e.g., hyper cross-reactivity) that may adversely affect critical stages of neurological development through the degranulation of said effector cells; releasing neurotrophins that henceforth affect neural pruning. In simplicity, a blood test for atopic conditions during neonatal/infant development could be used to determine if the individual is susceptible to atypical immunity during forced immunity (i.e., vaccinations).”
There’s no serious evidence that vaccines are associated with autism in any way. Nor is there solid evidence of environmental causes. Vaccines already are extensively tested before they go into mass use. You’re asking people to do unnecessary work, which will distract them and occupy their time, thereby leaving less time and attention to deal with actually existing health threats.
I had to carefully consider my response to your comment.
Leaving aside the fact you have given us no evidence to support this argument, this is a shorthand for “vaccines cause autism”.
Firstly, Michael, your perseveration on asking Orac to publish a guest post and the manner in which you consistently refer to yourself in the third person are not only irritating as fuck, they suggest you are an undiagnosed autistic. That’s likely why your two sons are on the spectrum – they got it from you.
Secondly, and more to the point, you are not only wrong in your belief that vaccines cause autism, you are actually harming your sons by pushing that belief.
The matter of whether or not vaccines cause autism has been thoroughly investigated. Vaccines do not cause autism. Your hypothesis on how they might cause autism smacks full force into this solid wall. If it has been confirmed that X does not cause Y, then it is damaging and counterproductive to ask how X might cause Y.
Seriously, drop this foolish, wrong idea.
Where is this to be procured commercially?
Now I haven’t boned up on it of late BUT IIRC, isn’t histamine involved in MANY physiological processes in humans? For example, itching, respiratory allergies, GI issues, psychological/ cognitive ?
So how would a test narrow it down to what is relevant to ASDs?
I might take OTC anti-histamines for allergy/ sleeping, OTC anti-reflux meds, had shots for breathing but am not on the spectrum. How would I test?
-btw- Julian is the Man!
That is not “scientific reasoning,” you dumbshit, it’s begging the question.
I second that opinion (undx’ed autistic). to me it felt like the elephant in the room but I’m still torn about mentioning it because I’ve trying to assess and address my unknowns in ethical matter for several years.
Narad asks MJD,
Where is this to be procured commercially?
Here’s an example of such a test:
Q. Why has conventional medicine failed to initiate the histamine “test before injection” vaccine safety precaution.
A. Economics and community-immunity inconvenience.
Please don’t call me a fuckwit for trying to answer your question.
Julian Frost writes,
…and the manner in which you consistently refer to yourself in the third person are not only irritating as fuck, they suggest you are an undiagnosed autistic.
Writing about oneself in the third person is not part of the DSM-5, Julian Frost.
Is the repeated use of the word “fuck,” and f-based iterations thereof, an acceptable form of respectful insolence in your RI dominion?
@ Orac’s minions,
Please stop the yuck!
Consistently using eccentric phrasing is a sign of autism, and I speak as someone on the spectrum.
Dude, MJD, a professional autism diagnostician (necessarily, an MD with the correct supplemental training) doesn’t use the DSM-5 for any diagnostic purpose. There is actually a better gold standard and writing about oneself in the third person is indeed included.
Anyone else, I think this should be required reading:
Regarding the gold standard diagnostic procedures used to diagnose autism, here are the link to the diagnostic procedures:
They were out in 1994 and 2000 and incorporated the diagnostic criteria of DSM-IV and ICD-10 at the time and a set of new ones might be in preparation given the DSM-5 and ICD-11 which are, respectively, published and soon to be published.
These are the gold standard for a number of reasons including accuracy and reliability (a lot more so compared to DSM and ICD) as well as internal validity.
I wrote about them 10 years ago for some years and still, to this day, I never saw any reference to them as opposed to the DSM (any version) regarding autism dx criteria.
Here they are again and this is the last time I mention them.
Study of Dunning-Kruger as it relates to vaccine policy. There’s an embedded link to the published work.
Dr. Brownstein is the sort of doctor that makes me want to put a bag over my head in shame over his idiocy as an embarrassment to my profession.
Dr. Brownstein makes the following statement about his upcoming seminar, “Proceeds will be donated to local charities.” Is this just a Dr. Brownstein hobby, not unlike Orac’s “Respectful Insolence” science-blog hobby?
How the f*** do you get to link shame with hobbies? Where’s the logic, can you explain in normal english, not MJD english (IOW, deflecting the question) that is?
Just pointing out that Orac and Dr. Brownstein have very unusual not-for-profit hobbies. They are two peas in a pod, and I admire their passion for trying to improve our health and well-being.
Warning: Alain, you’re inching your way up into the top ten (10) list of Orac’s minions with the use of f***.
Still no link to shame; at all…
peoples should be able to do whatever the F*** they want for so long that the right of one stops at the start of the other person. IOW, your rights stop where mine begins.
Finally, read yesterday’s lesson, if something bring up shame feelings in yourself, you have the power to fix it or leanr to live with it. No one else can do it for you.
RJ, you say I didn’t provide any evidence that the vaccination sentiment is a dogma or religion, yet I did mention Thompson’s claim that the CDC was terrified to do vaccine-autism research. If the vaccination sentiment is not a religion, why fear such research? Science is never about.fear; religion is.
Congratulations, I have now read something dumber than the dumbest Y—be comment I have ever seen.
What has Thompson been doing over the past four/five years?
Speaking of science, where are those PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers that the American MMR that has been used since 1978 causes more seizures than measles?
There are of course boatloads of studies of nonlink between autism an vaccines. Evidently CDC plot miserably failed. As allways, check Google Scholar, query being “vaccine autism”. Number of hits:32300.
Putting that many eggs in Thompson’s basket is a foolish thing to do, not that you’d recognise that since he’s become a hero of sorts to your group. Thompson is a bitter, unethical malcontent who has done nothing to help your stupid crusade. He hasn’t made any personal appearances for the Bigtree Bus Tour nor done anything to confirm your outlandish claims about him. But here you are still invoking him as some kind of authority whilst ignoring the actual authorities on the subject matter. Familiarise yourself with “cognitive dissonance” because you’re the poster-boy.
I’ve been living under a rock since most of last year and critically unaware of Thompson’s lack of appearance or bitterness but if that’s the case, I have a logic question to ask specifically to Greg:
In light of your vaccination dogma hypothesis where there is no evidence of a conspiracy, can you explain Dr Thompson’s silence and unappearance in your movement?
Why he is not involved while, on the other hands, you have medical doctors, scientists and others, like Bob Sears, Jay Gordon, Lyon-Weiler, Brownstein, Zimmerman, Ken Walker (aka Gifford-Jones), Thomas and many other including Wakefraud still keeping at it?
He come from the CDC which is proving really, awefully good to antivaxxer when there’s more support for the claim of an epidemic of autism and yet, is thrashed into mud because of its “ties” with the biopharma complex by those same peoples and I’m pretty sure all your lot would throw the red carpet and a pot of gold for him to join your movement. Why he isn’t appearing?
Conspiracy or dogma, Greg? Anything?
Actually Science Mom, I would say, relatively speaking, Thompson has done a lot. He has exposed the dogma. Who can blame him, as he now seeks to avoid crucifixion for his extremely sinful’ act?!
Dear G-d, you’re just a gibberish factory. Go expose yourself elsewhere.
At least this is an attempt, pathetic and superficial as it is. Kid, you need to support your thesis!
Would the fact that he repeatedly expressed this fear with his confessions count as support?
“The claim that nations with higher numbers of vaccine on their vaccination schedules have higher infant mortality rates”
…. Is false. However, if one were to claim that nations with the highest percentage of vaccine UPTAKE had higher infant mortality rates? Then that might be true.
United States uptake: 93%. US infant mortality rate: 5.60.
Sweden uptake: 67%. Sweden infant mortality rate: 2.40.
Botswana uptake: 95%. Botswana infant mortality rate: 32.60.
Rwanda uptake: 98%. Rwanda infant mortality rate: 29.20
Or at least; completely irrelevant.
United States uptake: 95%
At any rate. What are the odds that any argument FOR vaccines; health status, safety, mortality, etc … Could be won WITHOUT just two of the hallmarks of Propaganda: Labeling & Transference?
That means just facts, stats & science. No; “He, she, it or they, that, are antivaccine!” Any & all published research articles referenced may not be retracted & that is all. No: “ Author, funding, scientist, group, publication; is pro/anti vaccine”.
No transference such as; “remember him/her/ them from ….. article, report, celebrity status, event, etc …”
Odds, anyone? A chance that vaccines can hold their own based on the scientific evidence minus the Propaganda?
Except for the random-capitalization lottery, that is. The “odds that any argument FOR vaccines” can prevail is 100%.
Assuredlly Rwanda has other reasons for infant mortality than vaccines. Malnutrition comes to mind.
And vaccines eradicated smallbox and polio. Minus Wakefield, measles would have gone, too. A drip of mortality, i it not ?
Given their backers extensive reliance on tbe aforementioned propaganda, I would say not good at all. Why else would they be so motivated?
Some of us are motivated by seeing our kids suffer through actual diseases, like having a six month old baby deal with chicken pox (babies do not how to deal with painful open wounds). Then there was the one that required me to call 911 and have the child transported to an emergency room for a full blown seizure. We hate to see kids suffer. Ambulance rides to emergency departments are not fun!
Only a child hating sadist would like to see kids suffer from vaccine preventable diseases. Seriously, why do you hate kids?
Which reminds me again… So where are those PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers that the American MMR vaccine used during the last forty years causes more seizures than measles?
Ooops, left out a word : “(babies do not how know to deal with painful open wounds)”
Oh, G-d, I can smell Gerg’s trotting out the trail-mix legalese as though it’s the Turkish whorehouse down the hall.
What motivates you, Gergles?
So you claim smallpox was not eradicated by vaccines ? Can you tell us how smallpox disappeared ?
Re labelling and propaganda.
I don’t quite get what you mean. If you mean what I think, there are a couple of things to consider.
Firstly, if I read your message correctly then you could be arguing for either pro or anti vaccine as the argument of whether someone is pro or anti anything should be inconsequential if their research is rigorous and correctly conducted. It only becomes important if the conclusions reported can be shown to be influenced by the researchers preconceived beliefs.
Secondly, research which could conclusively prove that vaccines caused autism would, I think, be published and trumpeted round the world – think Thalidomide. Interestingly Dr William McBride had his own fall from grace when he presented falsified data in research. Science doesn’t care for who you are nearly as much as it does for how good your research is.
Apologies to researchers if I got the terms wrong, it’s been a looong time since I studied research.
And, we have arrived at a time in this entertainment, where I offer my best Narad’s schtick impersonation…
Antivaxxer makes a comment…
You fuckwit — of all the excretable cackle coming from you, that takes the cake. I suggest you take the stale ham out of the fridge. It’s past-due offensiveness is infecting the whole house, and including the neurons in your head, causing mania.
‘Stale ham’, ‘past-due’, ‘neurons’, ‘mania’ — what the fuck is he talking about?!
Yeah — it’s pretty much far-reaching, non-sensical, metaphoric verbiage, but the obscurity should add extra sting to it as an insult.
You just replied to Shelly. Apparently Narad is correct, you are an ignorant fool.
So have you found the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers (definitely not Doshi) that shows the present American MMR vaccine causes more seizures than measles?
C’mon Chris! I thought I offered a damn good Narad impersonation, and you say nothing. Narad, what do you think? Shoot away with another pointless, obscure metaphor. Can’t wait to read it — ‘dog barf’, ‘Eastern European hookers’, ‘a scene from Rocky the movie’, ‘sea lions fighting’…
Not really. You just gave another example on how pathetic you are, especially with the insults and whining.
There’s nothing like following up by demonstrating that you don’t know the difference between a metaphor and a simile.
It’s cute how you both ignored the evidence supplied in my reply to Christine and misspelled “shtick.” Poor Gergles.
Greg attempting to mimic you is rather akin to the woo-meisters I survey verbally masquerading as research scientists, professors and investigative reporters: it can only convince the uninformed but it’s unintentionally hilarious.
-btw- I get a great kick out of your commentary and can usually comprehend. Even if it’s from physics and computers.
In a few places above, both Alain and Julian refer to linguistic style and the possible dx of ASD/ AS:
Sure. Whenever I hear relative inflexibility, I prick up my ears.
Interestingly enough, another diehard** we know invariably refers to himself in the third person as the “editor” of his blog.
Another font of oddness is Bolen at the Bolen Report.
Alain guesses that perhaps a parent of autistic children has issues of his own. I’ve often speculated that many of the anti-vax writers we encounter who are parents may also be dx’able.*** ( Of course,. we should not attempt to dx people we never met or who never request such a service) But we notice such issues: it’s human nature to attempt to understand others.
Perhaps the vehemence with which they deny the probability of heredity ( even though some may be de novo) instead pointing to purely external causes like vaccines or environmental toxins shows their own worries about being “blamed” for passing on “bad” genes or being dx’d themselves. There may be stigma associated with AS even these days in the modern world unfortunately.
For contrast, when I write, I try very hard to NOT use the same words- why say “answer” several times in a paragraph when you can also say “response”. Similarly, sentence structure does not need to be subject-verb-object EVERY SINGLE TIME. Why not toss in a few foreign words or phrases as well?
** Jake Crosby
*** on a similar note, close relatives of people with schizophrenia may not have that dx but may experience other cognitive departures from the average,
Throw in persistence as well; for how many years MJD want to write a guest post here? writing style can reveal some information but the persistence…
Forgot to address the neurolinguistic aspect too. It’s not just in autistics but also, there are some, obvious to me, contrast between the speaking & writing style of an autistic, the general populace and some personality disordered person to the point that I often look for different patterns of understanding and responses, written or spoken. I’ve been really careful lately about this particular aspect because I’m under duress in personnal real life (ongoing legal issue with two personnality disordered persons) at the moment.
p.s. third person writing is inconsequential to me at the moment but going deeper and getting a proper understanding of the motivation as well as perceptual issue is where I’m looking at the moment.
Not what you were really getting at, but it does remind me of the obnoxious tendency of the antivaccine brigade to deny that anyone who can write coherently can’t possibly be autistic. There was one case back in the SnuffPo days when someone had this routine trotted out despite a clear statement that he or she could not communicate with speech, only in writing.
I hate this too. My autistic child does write better than he speaks. Even though he need a decade of speech therapy to speak, he is literate. He actually writes lot better than Greg.
I certainly get that impression sometimes.
No “maybe” about it.
I have a problem with that. The number of times I’ve gone through a post or comment and found repeated words that I had to use synonyms for is pretty large.
People tend to follow patterns, including linguistic ones. Autistics seem to be more prone to it, though.
Oh, I have an awful problem with that in comments that are not simply retorts to dumb assholes, as I think I’ve mentioned before. A preview function would be welcome, indeed.
I was lucky to have a prof for rhetoric, a lawyer who had been consul to Israel and then went back to get a doctorate ( in English) late in life- age 50?. I learned much about writing from him: he thought I was fab and encouraged me to create different styles. I think I understood more of what he meant when later I studied developmental psych, thought/ speech and foreign language learning.
A good hint: read whatever you wrote ALOUD a few times and hear how it sounds before you submit/ finish. Does it sound somewhat like your own vocal speech?
Also: how does it look on the page/ screen? Does it “clump” too much? Has it a pleasing “texture” ( flow? for lack of a better word)? Too, foreign phrases are de rigueur. At least for me- if you think it you should write it.
Lately, I tend to be poor at both speaking and writing. Figure that for work constraint (i.e. starting my business as well as working for my brother sometime), the legal situation aformentionned and a few other details, I actually end up having a waking schedule of 5:30am to midnight before getting to sleep. That is 7 days a week, so I’m actually surprised to be capable of this much (including actual writing).
I agree your method is excellent but it would drive me batsh!t crazy if I spent the needed time to do it…
I am sooo disappointed! The great ‘literary genius’, Narad, reduced to rebutting as a mundane grammar police! The despair leads me to contemplate self-banishment. Perhaps I should leave this blog and never return again. .
Is it because of my question that you consider a self-ban?
What was your question again? Oh — you were discussing Thompson.
The interesting thing about Thompson is outside of spilling the beans on DeStefano et al, his confessions were more about confirming a vaccination religion as it pertains to the CDC. Thompson never admitted that the CDC had reams and reams of studies proving an autism-vaccines link and they were hiding them. Instead, what he did discuss was an agency under the influence of a vaccination religion, that it was paralyzed with fear to do such studies.
The important takeaway from this that I am stressing is a religion that involves protecting vaccines can be just as effective at concealing an autism-vaccines link, as a conspiracy serving that purpose. I see you guys attempting to score points, implying since a global conspiracy to hide an autism-vaccines link is impossible then that hypothesis is falsified. It’s not so fast. A vaccination religion can just as well achieve this.
Anyone up for a card game?
Canned? How many tins? Do you eat tinned beans? If so, with a utensil or your hands? How frequently? Have you ever had to discard by means of burial a garment irreparably soiled by beans?
Oh, a religion…let’s see then.
Science –> Thousands of studies on vaccinations, found vaccines safe and well supported by the evidence. Recommended by the CDC, and WHO…at least.
Religion –> Thousand of corrupt studies on vaccination, conclusion to be disregarded by the antivax crowd + Thompson spilling the beans and according to Greg, confirming a religion, ergo, religion.
Amirite? Anyone, spot the metric ton of assumptions in either models and lets do a tally.
And… Gerg pathetically tries to sidestep the point again.
Right. And MJD conveniently disregards my observations concerning histamine’s role. I wonder why.
“And MJD conveniently disregards my observations concerning histamine’s role,” says Denice. “I wonder why.”
“You be nice to us, and we be nice to you,” hisses MJD.
Denice is nice to you. Maybe she could be more nice if you could learn what she teaches because, she has the entire right to loose her sh!t because you are not learning anything from her. Some cooperation is needed here so please do your part.
Notice that I haven’t said the word F*** but it does not mean that I’m not in the foul mood that I was since a few days ago, and still is, somewhat.
‘Thousands’, Alain?! Really?! I believe it’s a few dozen pharma funded studies, riddled with faulty designs not finding thimerosal or MMR linked to autism.
Where are the rest Alain if every thing is kosher?! Do tell! It’s as Thompson stated: The religion forbade the search fearing what it would find. As I stated, not looking can be just as effective as hiding.
20980 publications of vaccines and every types of clinical trial, the particular query being:
(“Vaccines”[Mesh]) AND ( “Clinical Trial” [Publication Type] OR “Clinical Trials as Topic”[Mesh] OR “Controlled Clinical Trial” [Publication Type] OR “Pragmatic Clinical Trial” [Publication Type] OR “Clinical Trial, Phase IV” [Publication Type] OR “Clinical Trial, Phase III” [Publication Type] OR “Clinical Trial, Phase II” [Publication Type] OR “Clinical Trial, Phase I” [Publication Type] OR “Meta-Analysis as Topic”[Mesh] OR “Randomized Controlled Trial” [Publication Type] )
That is in pubmed.
Have fun 🙂
p.s. that doesn’t even include basic science research which lead up to these clinical trials and which has to be accounted for under SBM. This query took me about a minute and a half.
Want more? How about 792 000 results in google scholar:
Speaking about sources, here’s one on the MMR:
It feature 29 cites which is the average number of citations for a vaccines clinical trial so take the number of clinical trials (20980) time the average number of cites per publication: 30.
20980 * 30 == 629 400 more publications, okay?
Lets look at one of the cites:
Mumps Antibody Levels Among Students Before a Mumps Outbreak: In Search of a Correlate of Immunity
This one has 20 cites. Let’s recurse the process again…. Of course, some search results will appear many time but after such (possible to automate the curation) process, you will arrive at the corpus of publication related to vaccines.
Then, you get to read the studies, dissect them to find faults in them, write notes and anotate and you need a good computer with the R statistical software to evaluate the numbers and presto, you have the whole body of evidence to rely on to take a decision about vaccines.
You think this is easy?
Do you still think faith is involved in here? There are peoples at work doing such. I even did in the case of a neuroimaging publication: ht__tps://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2010.00241/full
Same process, over 7000 publication to dissect by a team of 2 (the lead author and me). I have no faith but I stand by the results.
Ah, an article of faith. The irony burns with the fire of a thousand suns.
The stupid hypocrisy is just par for the course, as Alain’s handing you your ass on a salver readily demonstrates.
Now Greg, here’s the 64 000$ question:
Care to explain why it took Wakefraud to link vaccine to autism and why wasn’t it reported before in those 20 980 clinical trials?
That few dozen 🙂
I think “that few dozen” was because many peoples in the scientific area took the question of vaccine causing autism at face value and put in more work to evaluate the possibility of it occuring and found absolutely nothing.
Do you have any reason to “believe” otherwise, Greg?
There are lots of studies about vaccines v autism. DeStephano et al is only one. As I said before, do Google Scholar query “vaccine autism”. CDC failed miserably, it seems.
You do not need leave this blog. Just make a good argument.
You don’t know Greg, do you?
Basically, he’s been here, on and off since many years. His position evolve but always in the same direction and that is not in the direction of the evidence.
Furthermore, he always do an argumentative strip-tease and then stick the flounce when it get heated.
Alain and Aaaron, I am sure you can find lots of stuff if you do a search on vaccines. Still, let’s cut to the chase: Link me just five — only five! — studies that are not about thimerosal, or MMR, that shows other ingredients, or vaccines, or the schedule are not linked to autism. Surely with all the boatloads of studies on this, this should be real easy for you.
PS: Not holding my breath.
Want further proof that the vaccination religion has essentially made the search a sin? You need not go very far. Watch in the next thread, Orac twisting his panty in knots, because an ‘antivaxxer’ is proposing a vaxxed/unvaxxed study.
Aarno, when it comes to Gerg, the only question is what music to set his appearances to. The Hives offer several choices, such as Walk Idiot Walk and Tick Tick Boom.
You should give it a try, the longer the better.
You’re doing a lot. Sometimes you have to cut back and re-charge your “batteries” a little. But you’re relatively young so, why not?
Anyway, a short cut is just reading your words aloud as if you’re talking to someone. Does it sound like “you” ?
HOWEVER, considering your status ( EFL/ ESL), you’re doing great.
Agreed, I’m getting back to Montreal next Sunday for a month. I’ll slow down the pace.
42 years old. Haven’t a clue how I feel about young vs old or the grey zones between but I do tend to be hyperactive…
Thanks for the shortcut 🙂
And I must be a sucker for punishment, because surely Alain will continue to ‘hand me my ass’ by satisfying a request that I made of him.
That really shows your personality, @ssh0le. You might gain my respect by admiting you were wrong with your “belief”.
Alain, please forgive me, I remember you are the bloke who gets testy rather easily, and I am not one to provoke. I do remember you and Lilady (rest her soul!) getting into it.
Alain, let’s take a deep breath, then breathe calmly. Are you ok now, Alain? Good! The point that I am making is, despite your argument that there are ‘thousands’ of studies refuting an autism link, this really isn’t the case. All it is is a dozen studies or so showing thimerosal or MMR is not linked to autism.
Do we understand each other better now, Alain? I think it’s lovely when calmer heads prevail.
Don’t worry too much, I’m testy but I calm down easily and listening to the recent movie a star is born with lady gaga did help.
I’ll explain later but the particular reasons is that I don’t have enough time with 24h per day and throw in that mix, the legal timewasters I’m facing.
For someone who is thinking about a self-banishment, Greg has become very active.
So Greg, when are you starting this self-banishment?
Or do we have to wait till the cows come home?
He can’t go out without having the “last” word, whatever it is…
Actually Renate, despite the brief lapse that Narad had in the quality of his snark, he has really rebounded. The similes really are back at the level of inspiring ‘what the fuck?!’ pondering. I have renewed faith in him, so I guess I will stick around.
Aaron and Alain, waiting so long. I suppose I will help you with your homework. What can I say — I guess I am a nice guy!
As far as I am aware, there are four studies — not about thimerosal or MMR — showing vaccines are not linked to autism. There is an antigens study showing no link with increasing antigens. Still, antigens is not really a vaccine or ingredient, so not sure if this study counts.
There is also a monkey study showing no link, with monkeys given vaccines to mimick the childhood schedule. Interestingly, Safe Minds had lots to say about this study, with the first phase finding that the vaccinated monkey were indeed behaving rather peculiar.
Recently, there was also a study showing that the flu vaccine given to pregnant women did not increase autism in their babies. Still, this study also raised eyebrows, with a link found for the first trimester, and allegations that questionable statistics were employed to get rid of it overall. As well, a recent TDaP study, did not find that vaccine given to pregnant resulted in increased autism. Also interesting, with that study, the flu vaccine was treated as a confounder, and which they controlled for.
Alain and Aaron, I will turn tbe floor back over to you, but I will caution that you will need to bring a lot more cargo to justify your ‘boatloads’ claim.
Just when you thought the stupid couldn’t burn any brighter….
What the fuck do you think a subunit vaccine is, dumbass?
I had an audible face-palm to that one. Like, wow. Talk about not understanding the basics at all.
(An antigen is the thing your immune system responds to. A bit of virus, a bit of bacteria, a protein. Even a cancer cell marker. Something that can be seen, processed and displayed by the immune system.) Or, more shortly, the antigen is the whole point of the vaccine.
Do really not know that vaccines ARE antigens ? Other ingredients are here to help.
whilst you are correct, shouldn’t it REALLY be the ” 640 000$ question” ** because that’s closer to how much Andy actually earned ( 535K pounds, plus expenses @ 1990s rates) through his so-called research?
But terrific job otherwise
The reason Greg says ” a few dozen” is because anti-vaxxers reject most SBM research as funded by Pharma, governments or universities which are all OBVIOUSLY sinks of corruption AND
they accept the 14 infamous studies always cited as valid ( Orac has demolished them/ see search box)
-btw- who’s “Aaron”?
** I couldn’t resist. see Brian Deer.com
He must be related to “Kerbiozen.”
I want to clarify:
the FOURTEEN STUDIES websites/ articles on AoA try to deprecate studies that show no link and Orac/ Dr DG discusses them in detail both at RI and at the SBM site. Search results here include over 300 results for “14 studies”,
Read it and weep.
I’ll go over the histamine material for MJD:
how can histamine levels be used as a screening test for “vaccine sensitive” children when histamine is implicated in so many physiological functions? How can it screen for a hypothetical link to autism?
Giving myself as an example:
I have had allergic reactions to various substances – mostly respiratory, some cutaneous- doctors have given me anti-histamines when I had respiratory ills and I take OTC anti-histamine AND anti-reflux which works on histamine as well.
I am not on the spectrum despite having many vaccines as a child because of lost records and schools in differing jurisdictions.
In fact, I test very low on ASQ.
Children like me might test high on histamine ( and others less sensitive, might periodically test high) leading to an excuse to not vaccinate them, So how would this test be useful as a screening tool?
Oh, I see, perhaps there is special autism histamine which SBM is unaware of.
Ah, histamines. They’re a bit … general, aren’t they? It’s sort of like how I can look at a blood sample on a CBCdiff and say “oh, this person is having an immune reaction!” by their proportion of granulocytes to other white blood cells. But I can’t tell if that immune reaction is hay fever or a virus or a bacterial infection.
Indeed:) Whatever happened to him, anyway?
Jesus, learn how to reply, you semiliterate jizzstain.
I guess it’s how we know Greg isn’t a bot. Bots know how to use comment systems.
Greg is simply a deeply unpleasant, unhappy human who needs to fight because he wants attention and maybe someday for someone to say he is right. And he wants children to suffer diseases he’s never had to risk.
Also, what happened to Political Guineapig? Her script was real interesting. ‘Management’ had her playing the nasty objector, casting aspersions on autism parents. For instance, she would say they hate their kids.
The rest of the roles would then feign shock as they call her out. After correcting her, the cast members would left seeming like reasonable, and , more importantly, who could be ‘trusted’. Real interesting theatre!
i remember you yourself saying that autistic people are in diapers. Nice, that one.
But now that my day is nearing to a close, I would like to point out that Krebiozen, aside from being exceptionally patient, well informed, and respected, also wiped the floor with your sorry ass over and over. You can take that botched emoticon and shove it up your urethra.
A puerile ‘did not’ retort aside, seriously Narad, what happened to Krebiozen? And Political Guineapig too?
We honestly do not know what happened to Krebiozen, Greg. His last ever comment on “Respectful Insolence”, which sadly did not manage to get brought across to the current iteration, was on the 28th of February 2016. Afetr that, nothing. He’d mentioned having medical problems, so I suspect the worst.
How the fuck am I supposed to know, you jackass? Why are you perseverating on this rather than addressing the content-bearing responses to your earlier idiocy? Oh, wait, you’re the imbecile who spent time trying to deny being Canadian. All you can do is deflect, given that you’re a monstrously stupid attention whore.
Go bitch and moan at your dong, Mr. “Tee Hee Hee.” You’re a waste of oxygen.
Your comments have been entertaining and insightful, but, I must warn you that Orac has a comment policy that states, “…25 comments or so.” I’ve counted 37 from Greg so far. Understand, the minions may be setting a trap which will allow Orac to come in for the kill. Some friendly advice, stay silent hereafter and live to comment another day.
Get off your cross, MJD, people need the wood.
See? You’re too wordy. That’s why you feel compelled to hire vanity “publishers” for your unedited “work.”
Brilliant, Narad! The next time a publisher asks me to write a book with a minimum of 50,000 words, I’ll take your advice and try to be less wordy. Wait that doesn’t make any sense.
“…people need the wood.”
MJD jokingly discloses,
Q. What did the termite first say when it came into the bar.
A. Where’s the bar-tender.
Ha, ha,ha,ha… 🙂
Does telling a good joke add to MJD’s, or Greg’s, restricted comment count? Please advise.
Greg: I’m still alive, just busy. Apparently you still haven’t learned anything at all still.
As for parents of autistics hating their kids, do you read the shit your friends post about their kids? Have you or MJD ever hugged your kids since they aged out of infancy? Celebrated their birthdays? Gone to the park or spent an hour with them?
I mean the people you guys hang out with think feeding their kids BLEACH is perfectly fine, and restrict their kid’s diets to an extreme degree. And every single time some anti-vaxxer snaps and kills their autistic kids, there’s an ocean of crocodile tears and excuses. I guaran-damn tee you that if Kim Stagliano (or whatever her name is now) wasn’t making such sweet bank wanking on about her life as a martyr, none of her daughters would have lived past six.
I don’t think all anti-vax parents hate their kids, some are just dumb and deluded, but there’s a scary amount of parents out there WHO do hate their kids and we need to acknowledge that. We’ve had decades of nicey-nicey tiptoeing, and it just doesn’t work. I’m happy that the W.H.O. has you guys shitlisted now.
[…] us,” a favorite gambit parroted by antivaxers ranging from Julian Whitaker to J.B. Handley to Dr. David Brownstein to Dr. Gary G. […]
Chill out all! I first stumbled across Brownstein when I had a thyroid issue, I actually followed his iodine protocol, sucked into the lingo despite having an applied sciences degree. Upon reflection I was suffering severe anxiety and went through an orthorexic phase where I began to believe following good nutrition guidelines had lead me to a poor nutritional state. Completely wacky way of thinking. Thankfully my good grounding in Applied Science pulled me through. What placed me in the sorry state of reaching out to pseudoscience, the challenges of running the medical gauntlet to get all 3 of my children diagnosed with autism. We’re they vaccinated, absolutely. Why? Because I have empathy enough to realise they needed the protection, and to provide protection to the herd. Upon reflection signs of Autism were presenting in subtle ways prior to the vaccinations, sensory issues, getting badly distracted at the breast in noisy environments , not liking the texture of pureed foods, issues mothers of neurotypical babies weren’t experiencing. Autism was not diagnosed in prior generations in my family but the traits in family members certainly were. Anecdotal information I realise is not science. My point too much heated debate. Vaccines do not cause Autism. Scare mongering about other people’s realities is definitely lacking in empathy.