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Antivaccine nonsense Autism Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Quackery

Let down by Crooks and Liars

I normally like Crooks and Liars.

However, this time around, while blogging about the Autism Omnibus, Nicole let me down. Saying that “I don’t pretend to have any special medical knowledge; so I will link both sides of the thimerosal debate,” she then linked to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s totally dishonest fearmongering piece of crap from two years ago and Arthur Allen’s voice of reason.

This is the sort of lack of critical thinking that comes from “presenting both sides of a debate” as though they are roughly equivalent when they are not. It’s like the press presenting creationist arguments alongside those of scientists. It’s far easier to present “both sides” than to bother to find out that one side’s position is without support. To help her realize this, for Nicole’s edification (and for the benefit of the antivaccinationists who are infesting the comments of Crooks and Liars), I present a little Respectfully Insolent™ education:

  1. Salon.com flushes its credibility down the toilet
  2. The Autism Omnibus: When you don’t have scientific evidence, tug on the heartstrings!
  3. Surprise, surprise! Andrew Wakefield was paid by lawyers to undermine the MMR vaccine
  4. Arthur Allen-David Kirby Debate: All about a story with “legs”
  5. Even the zealots can’t defend this hypothesis any more
  6. Another Salvo in the Mercury/Autism Controversy
  7. Arthur Allen on conflicts of interest in the mercury militia movement
  8. Autism Omnibus crashing?
  9. Robert F. Kennedy Junior’s completely dishonest thimerosal article
  10. Lies, damn lies, and quote mining
  11. “On a mission to discredit any and all evidence of a mercury-autism linkage”
  12. Anti-mercury warriors descending further into the depths

And, there’s more where that came from, if needed. Commenting about an issue requires more than just posting links to “both sides.” What Nicole did was no different from saying, “I don’t pretend to have any special knowledge of biology, so I will link both sides on the evolution debate,” and then linking to TalkOrigins and Answers in Genesis.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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