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Another swing for the fences and a miss by the anti-vaccine movement

Knowing what you are destined to blog about on a given night three days beforehand is a two-edged sword. On the plus side, I don’t have to worry about writer’s block or lack of suitable material to use as fodder for my Insolence, Respectful and not-so-Respectful, and that’s usually a good thing. On the other hand, by the time the evening rolls around, my attention can easily stray to other things, and I might not be as enthusiastic about deconstructing the latest example of, for example, anti-vaccine idiocy as I was when I first learned of its impending arrival. Yet not blogging about it after I said I would seems like breaking a promise to my readers.

So it is, now that I’ve sat down to write about the “study” or “report” (or whatever you want to call it) that was touted late last week as “proof” that the government has compensated vaccine-injured children based on their having autism. Maybe the buildup was just too much. After all, the anti-vaccine flacks at Age of Autism have been flogging this report relentlessly since the press release was first announced. So have other anti-vaccine groups. A little known fact is that I’m on the mailing list for a number of anti-vaccine groups. I do it for you, to keep my finger on the pulse of the anti-vaccine loons and as an early warning system to let me know when they’re up to various chicanery. Between being plugged in to anti-vaccine blogs and various mailing lists, I can report that the entire anti-vaccine crankosphere was abuzz with excitement over the release of this report, so much so that I was starting to wonder if there would be anything there that might be be worth paying attention to. Heck, even FOX News took the bait:

I needn’t have worried. Now that the report, written by anti-vaccine stalwarts Mary Holland, Louis Conte, anti-vaccine lawyer Robert Krakow, and Lisa Colin and entitled Unanswered Questions from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program: A Review of Compensated Cases of Vaccine-Induced Brain Injury, has been published, I sort of wish I hadn’t promised to blog about it, because now that I’ve actually read the damned thing I can’t believe it. It’s just that bad.

The things I do for you! One thing that I didn’t do for you, I will admit, is to watch the press conference announcing the report. After all, why bother with the spin when I can look at the report itself, which has plenty of spin, all wrapped up in legalese and logical fallacies commonly used and abused by lawyers?

If there’s one thing that cranks routinely do when they can’t win on science is to shift to other venues to try to win their case and to convince people that they are not, in fact, cranks. After all, if they stuck to arguing facts, science, and evidence, they wouldn’t be cranks. They also wouldn’t have a prayer of obtaining influence because the science is so much against them. So, failing at science yet again, what the anti-vaccine movement has done is to move over to law, in essence claiming that legal decisions mean that there is a scientific case to be made in favor of the hypothesis that vaccines cause autism. This is a fallacious argument at its core, because findings of law all too often have very little to do with findings of science. Examples abound, but my favorite one is the scare over silicone breast implants during the 1990s. The science supporting the claims that silicone from these implants was causing systemic diseases, such as cancer, autoimmune diseases, and a panoply of other conditions, was weak to nonexistent; later, as more studies were carried out, it was found that there was no correlation between silicone implants and the conditions attributed to them. It wasn’t until 2006 that the FDA approved these implants again for cosmetic use. None of that stopped flood of lawsuits that bankrupted Dow-Corning in 1995.

No, law is not science. In law, for example, the object is to win your case, not to find out how nature works and develop models (i.e., theories) that accurately describe it and predict its behavior. In law, there are no truly objective right or wrong answers about issues of science. There is only the law and how it has been interpreted by courts. Advocacy for one’s position, using every tool at one’s disposal and denigrating or ignoring evidence that conflicts with that position, is not just acceptable, but mandatory. And that’s what Holland et al do, with little exception. In fact, they go so far as to use the common legal tactic of making like Humpty Dumpty in this passage from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass:

‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.’

Alice was too much puzzled to say anything; so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. ‘They’ve a temper, some of them — particularly verbs: they’re the proudest — adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs — however, I can manage the whole lot of them! Impenetrability! That’s what I say!’

And that’s what Holland et al also appear to say, as well. Impenetrability based on legal jargon is their shield and their sword. They also fall back on the famous “just asking questions” ploy, so beloved of cranks and commonly known as JAQing off, which they do blatantly here:

This assessment of compensated cases showing an association between vaccines and autism is not, and does not purport to be, science. In no way does it explain scientific causation or even necessarily undermine the reasoning of the decisions in the Omnibus Autism Proceeding based on the scientific theories and medical evidence before the VICP. Nor does this article have anything to say about state childhood immunization mandates in general.

What this article does point to are unanswered questions about vaccines and autism, a thorny issue that affects approximately one in one hundred and ten children.10 On this point, this study strongly suggests the need for further Congressional and scientific investigation to explore the association between vaccine-­induced brain injury and autism and the integrity of this federally-­administered compensation program.

If you admit that what you are peddling is not science (and it most definitely is not), and you can’t show convincing evidence of an association between vaccines and autism, then why even bother?

The core of the argument in Holland et al appears to boil down to three claims. First, they claim to have found 83 cases of autism associated with vaccine-induced brain injury, which, they claim, makes autism three times more prevalent in children compensated by the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). Second, because they base this estimate primarily on children for whom there are reports of “autistic-like” symptoms or who ultimately developed autism. Finally, they claim that this means that autism is three times more prevalent in VICP-compensated children than in the general population. Let’s look at these one at a time.

Looking at the second claim first, only a non-physician could make such an utterly brain-dead argument as this:

Because autistic disorder is defined only by an aggregation of symptoms, there is no meaningful distinction between the terms “autism” and “autism-­like symptoms.” This article makes the distinction only to accurately reflect the terms that the Court of Federal Claims, caregivers, and others use. It is not a distinction to which the authors attach significance.

It is not as uncommon as we would like in medicine for conditions and diseases to be defined primarily (or even only) by aggregations of symptoms. Irritable bowel syndrome is an example. Ditto tension headache. Moreover, it is often the context within which those symptoms arise that distinguish one diagnosis from another. In any case, the DSM-IV provides fairly clear diagnostic criteria for autism. If the child doesn’t have enough of these criteria to be diagnosed as autistic, that child could have “autism symptoms” but not autism. This is not a difficult concept, except apparently for Holland et al, who seem to be arguing that any child with autism-like symptoms must have autism. This is akin to arguing that anyone who has a belly ache or diarrhea must have irritable bowel syndrome or that someone who experiences a headache must have migraines.

Regarding the first claim, if we take at face value the claim that there are 83 children compensated by the VICP, it is first essential to compare this number to the number of children compensated by the VICP. This the authors try to do but utterly miss the point in doing it:

This discussion must start with the caveat that we are able only to interpret the subgroup of eighty-­three compensated cases that we have located. Out of a total number of approximately two thousand five hundred compensated vaccine injury claims,137 we recognize that this is a small subset. It is our hope that this preliminary study will lead to more complete study of all cases of compensated vaccine injury. Such a study might provide a far more comprehensive understanding of vaccine injury.

83/2500 results in an estimated prevalence rate of approximately 3.3%. On the surface, this seems to support the claim that the prevalence of autism is three-fold higher in VICP-compensated children than it is in the general population. Of course, there’s at least one problem, and that’s that the authors admit that, of these 83 children, they could only find documentation of autistic symptoms for only 39. This results in an estimated prevalence of autism of around 1.6%. This is rapidly falling into the range of what we would expect in the general population. Given that the VICP population is a skewed sample, many of whom have developmental disabilities, I’d be shocked if the prevalence of autism in this group wasn’t at least slightly higher than it is in the general population. Of course, this “study” is not good evidence that it is. Taking into account the skewed population and the noise inherent in looking at a small population over 20 years, the prevalence of autism in VICP-compensated children does not appear to be detectably different than it is in the general population. That’s even accounting for very loose criteria used by the authors to define who might be autistic. As Prometheus put it:

If the prevalance is higher among people compensated by the VICP, there is a basis for further investigation. It still wouldn’t “prove” that vaccines cause autism – it would simply be an indication for further study.

If, on the other hand, the prevalence of autism among people compensated by the VICP is the same as the general population (or less – see below), the argument that “vaccines cause autism” receives yet another (totally redundant) nail in its coffin.

The problem is that the autism prevalence numbers for the general population – even the educational numbers – use much tighter criteria than used by the authors of this study.

According to a Generation Rescue telephone survey (in other words, a “study” by the anti-vaccine movement iteself), the prevalence of autism is even higher than what Holland et al found in the VICP-compensated group of children.

It’s even worse than that. In fact, the timing of this study’s release is very, very bad indeed. In an ironic twist of fate that leads me to think that there might justice in the universe after all, shortly before the anti-vaccine movement tried to make hay out of this poorly argued, scientifically nonsensical report, a real scientific study, was released out of South Korea that found the prevalence of autism to be considerably higher than previously believed. Basically, in this study, researchers administered a screening test for autism spectrum disorders in a population and then did more detailed tests on children who screened positive. Their results were stunning. The study estimated that the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders was 2.64% in the population studied and that 2/3 of those cases were undiagnosed. True, this study will need to be replicated, but it adds more support for the hypothesis that autism spectrum disorders are more common than previously thought and that a significant proportion of them are subclinical and thus undiagnosed. The timing of this study, of course, couldn’t be worse for Holland et al, because it simply reemphasizes that the prevalence of autism that they think they measured in the VICP population is almost certainly not higher than the prevalence in the general population.

In other words, they did all that work and wrote all those words in order to add yet more evidence to support what we already know from copious evidence from a large and robust existing body of studies: That vaccines do not cause autism. They just refuse to realize or admit that that’s what they’ve done.

That realization provided sufficient motivation for me to power through this turgid mess of a “study.”

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]

666 replies on “Another swing for the fences and a miss by the anti-vaccine movement”

This stuff just never ends. I find it exhausting just reading about it — how do you have the energy to respond in detail to every new thing? Ugh.

Orac says:

Looking at the second claim first, only a non-physician could make such an utterly brain-dead argument as this:

Because autistic disorder is defined only by an aggregation of symptoms, there is no meaningful distinction between the terms “autism” and “autism-­like symptoms.

So how far beyond brain-dead is Paulie Offit (along with Grinker) who without any evidence whatsoever claims “geeks” of yesteryear were actually autistic.

Did anyone hear a noise? I thought for a minute I heard an ineffectual wanna-troll making an impotent, lame ad hominem capped off with an irrelevancy.

My mistake – it turns out that noise was my severe flatulence. Instead of last night’s chicken burritos, I choose to blame enterocolitis caused by mercury I ingested through having my temperature taken with old thermometers in hospitals in the 1980s and am putting myself on a Lupron protocol and daily chelation therapy.

@ Sid Offal: Things a little quiet over at your blog?

Orac, I did view the press conference and it was cringe-worthy. The lawyers and the investigator sorta downplayed the “government conspiracy” angle only stating that the cases they discovered “are just the tip of the iceberg”. Fox was there and a few other microphones set up at the podium. No panning the camera to the crowd gathered…intermittent clapping that I estimate to be 15-20 people…tops.

Several parents came to the podium to describe what happened to their children within a short interval of having received a vaccine One parent brought along her very disabled (adult) child who appeared to be very low functioning intellectually. The parents all stated that their children had very high fevers and seizures; suffered brain injuries, classified as mentally retarded with autism/autistic-like behaviors.

It appears that the thrust of their arguments…aside from stating that they were provided (annuity) compensations for their children’s autism/autistic-like behaviors caused by vaccines, is to have Congress set up hearings about the functioning of the vaccine court and to get court awards for other children with autism caused by vaccines.

You know, one of the many unfortunate things about all this is that I miss your wise ramblings about other topics besides these anti-vaccine nimrods. Sigh. I look forward to the application of your considerable talents to other subjects in the future. Personally, I’m sick of these folks, and it’s not a late effect of my childhood vaccinations.

We are a Pro-Choice Movement NOT an Anti-Vaccine Movement.

CBS News reported on their own study in September 2010:
Vaccines, Autism and Brain Damage: What’s in a Name?
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-20016356-10391695.html#ixzz1M1BKO3et
What they found:

“Children who end up with autistic symptoms or autism have won vaccine injury claims over the years-as long as they highlighted general, widely-accepted brain damage; not autism specifically. But when autism or autistic symptoms are alleged as the primary brain damage, the cases are lost.”
. . .
Since the late 1980’s, more than 2,100 families have received compensation for vaccine injuries under the federal program designed to help in rare instances of severe vaccine side effects. And more than half of those awards are for brain injuries.

CBS article emphasis:

Total Number of Brain Injury Cases Compensated in Federal Vaccine Court

(as of May 2010 and including the newly-released settlement of the Hannah Poling autism case)

Encephalitis/Encephalopathy: 639

Seizure Disorders: 656

Autism 1*

Total: 1,296

Source: HHS-HRSA (Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration)

*In this case (involving Hannah Polling), though the government conceded before trial, it took the position that vaccines didn’t “cause” autism, but rather that the vaccines aggravated an unknown and previously undiagnosed mitochondrial disorder the child had which “resulted” in autism. It’s unknown how many other children have similar undiagnosed mitochondrial disorder.

Neither the court nor the government is tracking how many vaccine-brain damage cases involve children who also ended up with autism or autistic-like behavior. When we asked for the statistics, vaccine compensation officials told us: “The government has never compensated, nor has it ever been ordered to compensate, any case based on a determination that autism was actually caused by vaccines. We have compensated cases in which children exhibited an encephalopathy, or general brain disease. Encephalopathy may be accompanied by a medical progression of an array of symptoms including autistic behavior, autism, or seizures.”

Sit on it @ #3:

So how far beyond brain-dead is Paulie Offit (along with Grinker) who without any evidence whatsoever claims “geeks” of yesteryear were actually autistic.

I dealt with a lot of those geeks back in the day. If a lot of them weren’t autistic then the word doesn’t mean anything.* Look at the feces-throwing howler monkeys on the Engadget comments section sometime and you’ll see that things haven’t changed.

*Of course, that’s my opinion anyway.

Ah, the old “pro-safe vaccines” gambit. Then why is it, that when I do happen to come across one of these “pro-safe vaccine websites” they don’t talk about additional regulations or inspections (or for that matter studies) – they rail on vaccines, over and over – to the point of even attempting to stop vaccine clinics in school.

Does’t sound “pro-safe” to me.

Respectful Insolence”A statement of fact cannot be insolent.”

And the author of this site cannot make any claim to either honesty or a respect for science so long as he censors to prevent statements of fact beinmg made.

I was wondering how robust the evidence for vaccine induced encephalopathy actually is when I came across an interesting article. Genetics and the myth of vaccine encephalopathy.

It suggests that mutations in the SCN1A gene may be a cause of what have previously thought to be vaccine encephalopathies. The effects of these mutations may be exacerbated by febrile illnesses, which makes vaccination all the more important.

Neil – you are not being censored. We all run into the spam filters on this blog. Just be patient and your comments will be released when Orac has the time. Far crazier and more offensive commenters than you get their comments posted here.

Richard, you wouldn’t by any chance have a brother named Karl, would you?

Neil Craig you are a dumbass. How many times has it been explained to you that 3+ hyperlinks in a comment send it to the moderation queue? If you’re too stupid to understand this concept, why should we listen to you on any other topic?

Why is it so many cranks can’t figure this out?

So, once again, it comes down to them not being able to tell the difference between brain damage from a fever, and an innate developmental problem. Does that mean I’m allowed to speculate that they’re all stupid because of repeated blows to the head, or prolonged alcohol abuse, rather than because of poor education or poor genetics?

Sid Offit:
So how far beyond brain-dead is Paulie Offit (along with Grinker) who without any evidence whatsoever claims “geeks” of yesteryear were actually autistic.

WTF is your point? A number of people have pointed out that there are descriptions, dating back to before Kanner and Asperger identified the syndrome of “autism”, of various individuals who showed the diagnostic triad of symptoms. Uta Frith is inclined to believe that Victor of Aveyron (the “Wild boy”) was autistic; and if you want to argue with Uta, I hope you have plenty of superglue for reattachment purposes, because you are going to have your arse handed to you. You will also have to argue with Tony Attwood and with Simon Baron-Cohen.

The evidence for suggesting that this “geek” or that of yesteryear was autistic is that they displayed the diagnostic symptoms of autism. Oddly enough, this is the same evidence used to suggest that someone today is autistic. Really, this is not rocket science.

Let me explain it further. There is a syndrome known as “autism”, defined by a particular constellation of symptoms; then there are “Asperger’s syndrome”, and “Autistic spectrum disorder”, which are defined by different constellations of symptoms. The fact that they have different names might provide a bit of a clue that they are different concepts.

That, Sid Offit, is why Orac called it a “utterly brain-dead argument” to say that

there is no meaningful distinction between the terms “autism” and “autism-­like symptoms.”

The fact that we are arguing with anonymous people through a disembodying medium like blog comments indicates that you and I have “autism-­like symptoms”. But we’re not autistic. To me, this is a meaningful distinction.

To put it another way: Orac was remarkably restrained in his response to the claim by Holland et al. that “autistic disorder is defined only by an aggregation of symptoms”.

I would less politely characterise this as “bullshit”. “Aggregation” implies that symptoms are all of equal value; and if you can pile up enough of them in one place, then you have a diagnosis. Not so. If someone shows a number of weird behaviours but not the classic triad of impairments, then they might have ASD or Asperger’s Syndrome or HFA, but they don’t have autism because that’s how it’s defined.

Conversely, if Uta Frith reads the contemporary case studies of Victor of Aveyron and sees the classic triad, then that is evidence that Victor was autistic. So if Sid @ #3 reckons that these retrospective diagnoses are “without any evidence whatsoever”, then we are operating with radically different definitions of “evidence”.

Is it just a problem that Victor never received a vaccination so Sid does not believe he could have been autistic?

What tells me all I need to know about this story is that:

1) They don’t have the science, so they revert to bizarre legal arguments
2) Even their legal arguments are terrible.
3) So they publish in the legal-equivalent to medical hypotheses. Actually even worse than medical hypotheses, considering the fact that at least that quack journal doesn’t scam the federal government out of millions of dollars of student loan money for worthless pieces of paper.

I immediately noticed in reading Holland and company’s long drawn out piece yesterday afternoon that not only had they played with the numbers to meet their preconceived expectations, but that they’d also used Olmsted and Blaxill’s book (calling it a historical work, of all things) as proof of the “plausibility” of the thimerosal argument.

as per [email protected]:

I do appreciated your hard blogging work on the anti vaccine loons – it never ceases to amaze me. My girlfriend stared at me strangely as I screamed at my screen watching the Faux News repot on it. And by no means is it a topic worth ignoring,

However, I miss your more detailed and nuanced posts – especially about breast cancer. I honestly learned more about EBM from reading your posts than I did in medical school and I credit my high marks to you and to SBM.

Does that mean I’m allowed to speculate that they’re all stupid because of repeated blows to the head, or prolonged alcohol abuse, rather than because of poor education or poor genetics?

Can’t it be all of the above? 😉

We don’t have television (and if we did I certainly wouldn’t be watching faux news). Does anyone know if they did another segment on this…um… “controversy”? I am curious how they reacted when they saw just how good the “evidence” was. It would be even more hilarious if they aired the press conference live.

Of course, there’s at least one problem, and that’s that the authors admit that, of these 83 children, they could only find documentation of autistic symptoms for only 39.

It’s actually considerably worse than that. From the paper:

Of these eighty-­three compensated cases including autism, seventeen note an autistic disorder in a published decision of the Court of Federal Claims and twenty-­two have SCQ questionnaires confirming caregiver reports of autism. In other words, thirty-­nine of the eighty-three cases, or 47% of this sample, have confirmation of autism beyond parental report alone.

Fortunately, they provided a table containing all of the relevant data. Here are the seven categories of documentation they consider, along with number of cases for each:

A -­ Decision of Court of Federal Claims stating petitioner has autism or autism-­like symptoms: 18
B – Decision of Court of Federal Claims detailing symptoms and behavior consistent with autism: 9
C – Third party medical, educational, or court records confirming autistic disorder on file with authors: 7
D – Completed Social Communication Questionnaire by caregiver on file with authors (SCQ): 22
E – Previous public documentation by parents or caregivers in written, electronic or film media stating that the subject has autism or autism-­like symptoms: 13
F – Telephone interview with parent or caregiver in which the interviewee states that the subject has autism or autism-like symptoms: 67
S – Stipulation in docket using term “autism” or “autism-­like symptoms”: 1

Two things jump out here. Firstly, the 17 cases which “…note an autistic disorder in a published decision of the Court of Federal Claims” are actually 18 cases which note an autistic disorder or autism-like symptoms. In other words, the numbers they use to support their first claim rely on the same bait-and-switch you called them on in their second.

Secondly, only 7 cases have actual medical/educational documentation. What about the 22 supported by the SCQ? Well, it’s a screening tool, not a diagnostic one; its specificity isn’t great, and in particular is bloody awful in children with “elevated levels of behavioural problems”. So, expect a substantial number of false positives in there.

You are one cold hearted man. I am the mom of “one of those children” who was compensated, and does show “autistic like signs”. Will you or “your people” EVER be a little more open minded or even care about the cause? Do you even care about what happened to our kids? You write off brain injury from vaccines as NO BIG DEAL. WALK A MILE IN OUR SHOES, and maybe you will change your mind. AND, I DO NOT appreciate being called a flack, or an idiot, or brain dead.

@#7

“We are a Pro-Choice Movement NOT an Anti-Vaccine Movement.”

That just drives me crazy. Who is actually suggesting that you should not have the choice of whether or not to vaccinate your child?

Calling you a moron for believing pseudoscience is not the same as removing your choice. Suggesting that your choice can be harmful to others still doesn’t remove your choice. You have the choice to be ignorant, something the United States seems to excel at. You don’t just want the choice, you want people to accept your choice and not look at you like you’re crazy. That’s an entirely different proposition. Just as you have the right to your choice, I have the right to tell you your choice is stupid.

Even having mandatory vaccination requirements for public school entry doesn’t eliminate your choice, it just changes the consequences of that choice. You can choose to not vaccinate your child, but then you can homeschool or send them to a private school that doesn’t require vaccination. But, in that case, it isn’t the choice of vaccinating or not that you want, you also want the societal rewards without having to take the same risks as everyone else (unless of course you had an actual medical reason). Sorry, but sometimes you can’t have your cake and get to eat it too.

In the end it really isn’t about choice, as I think most people here would support your right to decide whether or not to vaccinate your child. You want everyone to accept your choice as a good choice and for that choice to not have any consequences.

@24.

Ms. Lawson,

Are you aware that there are many of “his people” who have severely autistic children and who have WALKED A MILE IN YOUR SHOES?

Are you somehow suggesting that parents of autistic children who choose not to fall in lockstep with your unsupported belief system don’t actually care about their children? That’s a rather bold claim to make without any evidence.

Where did the author say that brain injury from vaccines is “no big deal”? Saying that autism is not caused by vaccines is not the same as saying vaccines can’t cause brain injury. Last time I checked though, brain injury is not synonymous with autism. If I have a stroke tomorrow would I now be autistic?

@ Lawrence

they don’t talk about additional regulations or inspections (or for that matter studies)

Actually, they do.

@ Krebiozen
re: Genetics and the myth of vaccine encephalopathy

We know, however, that fever is the most common complication of immunization, and that patients with SMEI often have an exacerbation in seizures with fever. Thus, it could simply be that the fever associated with the vaccine and not the vaccine itself is what provokes the initial seizure in some patients with SCN1A mutations.

I get it now. In science drunk drivers are not the cause of a victims death or injury. Clarity!

@Brian Do I have a brother, Karl? No.

@17

I recently read a biography of PAM Dirac, “The Strangest Man”. The author made a good case based on accounts of people closest to Dirac that he was autistic. He was brilliant at math, but poor at social relations. There are many stories still circulating his college about his literal interpretation of statements. These would be called autism or Asperger’s today.

I have many family members who are bright but struggle because of face blindness and social skills problems. My daughter with PDD is much like my dad and brother who had no labels. Caution must be taken in labeling someone you can’t currently test, but it is not completely without merit.

“I’ve got a little list… they’ll none of them be missed”**

While anti-vaxxers are known to use these methods in order to play fast and loose with reality, I believe that my list also illustrates manoeuvres by alt med advocates whose scope is wider but no less insane: what’s more, I can provide examples.

If you have no evidence what are are the, um, *alternatives*?

1.Argumentum ad Lawyerum – above lawyers are used to argue spurious science by paper and by press conference. The next step is- obviously -to go to court. If your miserable theory is called out by more astute reasoning and data, sue the critic!

2.Woo-meisters like to go public with their “science”-so rather than presenting papers in journals, they give press conferences ( also above) or call for “Debates” with the “Orthodoxy” where they can Gish gallop to their heart’s content or appeal to the audience’s empathy with the underdog contra the “elite”. Power to the People! Right on!

3.Testimonials by those affected really pull out all the emotional stops- the evils of Big Pharma or the wonders of modern woo-meistery are equally subjects of discourse (well, actually, of yelling more usually).

4.If you are totally dis-regarded by the general public as well as by science, call for a conference of like-minded cohorts to discuss the many intricacies of your *idee fixee*. This can be announced via websites, the media, or by general ranting. ( see AoA and HIV/AIDS denialist sites to see how it’s done to perfection).

5. Create an “Information Site” on the web that disputes real information. Name it ambiguously so that you might attract true fence-sitters; never call it : “Vaccines Are Totally Out” or whatever expresses your true intent.

6. Create a Conspiracy Theory site that explains how your work was slandered by the powers-that-be: have a “Donation” section so sympathic readers can show their support. Tell of your own persecution and near-martyrdom.

7.If all else fails: resort to name-calling, “reveal” your opponent’s true loyalty, background, paymaster, hidden agenda, secret identity, and ties to an internationally corrupt secret society. ( see the school for scandal, I mean AoA)

** my apologies to G & S.

You are one cold hearted man. I am the mom of “one of those children” who was compensated, and does show “autistic like signs”. Will you or “your people” EVER be a little more open minded or even care about the cause?

I very much hope the cause(s) of autism will be found very soon, along with possible means of prevention or even cure.

If vaccines turn out not to be a cause, will you then sincerely and publicly apologize to (1) those who supported the research that found the actual cause(s), in the face of virulent resistance from people who, while asking others to be open-minded, are dead certain it’s vaccines; and (2) those who developed vaccines that saved lives, who received death threats and vituperation rather than praise for their troubles?

Only if vaccines turn out not to be a cause, of course. Or is that not possible in your opinion?

@#25

Wow! You got all that from this statement:

“We are a Pro-Choice Movement NOT an Anti-Vaccine Movement.”

You stated:

Calling you a moron for believing pseudoscience is not the same as removing your choice.

Would calling you a moron for believing I believe in pseudoscience be appropriate? Where did you come up with my belief in supposed pseudoscience? Cite me.

Since it seems the theme here by the Pro-Vaccine Camp:
Is it pseudoscience to suggest that all vaccines are created equal (i.e. efficacy, safety, etc.)?

@5 lilady

Sid has a blog? I figured the link in his sig was a Rickroll. I guess his link isn’t as educational as I’d thought.

Richard,

Your “citation” to a CBS story IS pseudoscience.

Is it pseudoscience to suggest that all vaccines are created equal (i.e. efficacy, safety, etc.)?

Now, find a single citation anywhere on this entire blog suggesting anything vaguely similar to that.

Richard Pilkington

Is it pseudoscience to suggest that all vaccines are created equal (i.e. efficacy, safety, etc.)?

It is not pseudoscience to suggest that all vaccines are created equal. It is a straw man fallacy to insist that the “Pro Vaccine Camp” believes this.

If you believe in that vaccines cause autism in the face of a mountain of evidence suggesting otherwise, you are believing in pseudoscience.

Addendum: I left out the most important alternative to evidence:

8. purely by revelation- The answer is revealed- it just pops into yer head! -just like that!

most famously: “Suddenly, I understood *everything*” ( attrib. to I. Dinesen)

similarly: ” I looked the man in the eye… I was able to get a sense of his soul” ( GW Bush on V Putin)

@Susan Lawson: Please learn to read and spend some time on the comprehension part of reading. You apparently didn’t understand the part that says “autistic-like behaviors” are not the same as autism. Making a diagnosis of ASD requires a significant amount of information, and having a single behavior that fits within ASD while not having any of the other key behaviors is not the same as autism, nor should it be. Actual diagnosed brain damage from encephalopathy is NOT autism.

Do you understand you are communicating with real scientists on this board and not a bunch of “mommies” with google degrees?

I said: “Is it pseudoscience to suggest that all vaccines are created equal (i.e. efficacy, safety, etc.)?”

#33, beamup said:

Now, find a single citation anywhere on this entire blog suggesting anything vaguely similar to that.

#25 is a complete generalization suggesting ALL vaccines are created equal stating “your choice can be harmful to others.” And, that a choice to not vaccinate (be it ONE vaccine or ALL) has societal consequences.

#33, beamup also noted:

Your “citation” to a CBS story IS pseudoscience.

Please, educate this layperson.

#34, m.a. said:

If you believe in that vaccines cause autism in the face of a mountain of evidence suggesting otherwise, you are believing in pseudoscience.

It is a straw man fallacy to insist that the “Pro Vaccine Camp” believes [that all vaccines are created equal].

Straw man, haha

Where is this “mountain of evidence” that vaccines DO NOT cause autism?

Frankly, it matters not, to me, whether there is proof vaccines cause autism. Evidence is quite clear vaccines CAN cause brain damage. My interest and concern is choice and safety based on personal risk/benefit assessment.

@ Susan Lawson: We are not cold-hearted people; many of us have children with a multitude of disabilities. We only comment on vaccine-injury cases that are in the public domain. We also comment about the entire industry of lawyers who try cases in the media, alternate medical “treatments”, celebrity experts and the impact their activities have on public health.

We also comment on the ever-widening diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorders. Apparently your child was compensated but as you state, has “autistic-like signs”. Would you like to share with us some more details of your child’s case…including the main medical diagnosis of your child…which would have been the determining factor for your child to receive compensation.

I suggest you read the link provided by Krebiozen “Genetics and the myth of vaccine encephalopathy”.

Herr Bimler

Uta Frith is inclined to believe that Victor of Aveyron (the “Wild boy”) was autistic; and if you want to argue with Uta, I hope you have plenty of superglue for reattachment purposes, because you are going to have your arse handed to you.

Ich esse Frau Frith zum Frühstück.

So, failing at science yet again, what the anti-vaccine movement has done is to move over to law, in essence claiming that legal decisions mean that there is a scientific case to be made in favor of the hypothesis that vaccines cause autism. This is a fallacious argument at its core, because findings of law all too often have very little to do with findings of science. Examples abound, but my favorite one is the scare over silicone breast implants during the 1990s.

I’m rather fonder of the rather older precedents that found heliocentrism to be false. The later Scopes decision, I understand, depended heavily on that precedent 😉

@38

Straw man, haha

Where is this “mountain of evidence” that vaccines DO NOT cause autism?

Where is the evidence that oatmeal does NOT cause autism? Until there is evidence to support a link between autism and vaccines, it remains a meaningless speculation.

#25 is a complete generalization suggesting ALL vaccines are created equal stating “your choice can be harmful to others.” And, that a choice to not vaccinate (be it ONE vaccine or ALL) has societal consequences.

Which has no relationship of any kind, in any way, to

Is it pseudoscience to suggest that all vaccines are created equal (i.e. efficacy, safety, etc.)?

Saying that there are effects on other people from antivax idiocy is a completely different thing from claiming that all vaccines have equal safety and efficacy.

Your “citation” to a CBS story IS pseudoscience.
Please, educate this layperson.

Science is published in peer-reviewed journals. News stories are entirely unreliable for such purposes. Citing them proves that you have no actual understanding of science or ability to weigh evidence.

Richard–There is lots of evidence that vaccines don’t cause autism. Where is the mountain, or even molehill, of evidence that television does not cause autism? Where is the evidence that NASCAR and fluorescent lighting do not cause autism? The burden of proof remains on the prosecution: if you say “vaccines have this harmful effect” or “television watching makes kids sociopathic,” you don’t get to sit back and say “prove me wrong” without bothering to offer evidence that you’re right.

I’ve reread #25, and it doesn’t say what you’re claiming. If you squint, it might equal “all the mandated vaccines are, overall, beneficial.” That doesn’t mean “all are equally good.” Bananas and orange juice both contain potassium; one glass of orange juice does not therefore have the same amount of potassium as one banana.

Richard Pilkington:

We are a Pro-Choice Movement NOT an Anti-Vaccine Movement.

Susan Lawson:

You are one cold hearted man. I am the mom of “one of those children” who was compensated, and does show “autistic like signs”. Will you or “your people” EVER be a little more open minded or even care about the cause? Do you even care about what happened to our kids? You write off brain injury from vaccines as NO BIG DEAL.

You are both cruel and cold hearted people. You don’t care about kids like mine that had seizures and are disabled from an actual disease (the vaccine came out a few years later). You don’t care about the ten infants who died in California from pertussis, or the at least fourteen people hospitalized with measles in Minnesota. You don’t care about the tens of thousands congenital rubella syndrome cases from the 1960s rubella epidemics, several of whom ended up in horrible places like the Willowbrook School.

You probably are like Sid (who is Robert Schecter, not this author) who happily leeches off of herd immunity.

Show us you actually care about children permanently disabled by meningitis, pneumonia, encephalitis from measles, mumps, polio, Hib, influenza, etc by showing us the real risks. Show us that the MMR vaccine causes more injury than measles (one out of a thousand). Give us the evidence that DTaP is worse than pertussis, diphtheria and tetanus. Show us with real science, not cries of how life being unfair to you and that we are big meanies.

Ms. Lawson, you have received compensation. Good for you. Now can you tell me how I am supposed to get compensation from my disabled adult child? Is there some kind of “Big Disease” group that has big pockets? Do you think a lawsuit for the degradation of herd immunity, especially for pertussis, would succeed against Barbara Loe Fisher and Lea Thompson?

@ Richard Pilkington

The initial seizure is not the beginning of the problem but simply the first obvious sign that the genetically-determined condition already existed. The mutant gene is expressed at a very low level at birth but its expression gradually increases to reach its maximal level by about 7 to 9 months of age, which is when the condition may be revealed by seizures, including febrile seizures. (Many of the hundreds of known mutations in this gene cause febrile seizures.) In a recent study, 19 of 70 children with this condition suffered their first seizures in proximity to vaccination; 51 did not. Children follow the same developmental course whether or not the initial seizure happens to occur sometime soon after vaccination: cognitive decline and the development of “autistic traits” (a term used by the physician for whom the condition is named) are other features of the syndrome.

Mr. Pilkington, to help educate you on what is considered acceptable scientific evidence check out these papers (many are available without going through a pay wall, you can find them at http://www.pubmed.gov):

Impact of specific medical interventions on reducing the prevalence of mental retardation.
Brosco JP, Mattingly M, Sanders LM.
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006 Mar;160(3):302-9. Review.

Encephalopathy after whole-cell pertussis or measles vaccination: lack of evidence for a causal association in a retrospective case-control study.
Ray P, Hayward J, Michelson D, Lewis E, Schwalbe J, Black S, Shinefield H, Marcy M, Huff K, Ward J, Mullooly J, Chen R, Davis R; Vaccine Safety Datalink Group.
Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2006 Sep;25(9):768-73.

On-time vaccine receipt in the first year does not adversely affect neuropsychological outcomes.
Smith MJ, Woods CR.
Pediatrics. 2010 Jun;125(6):1134-41. Epub 2010 May 24.

Shorter Susan Lawson:

“Won’t you THINK™ OF THE CHILDREN?!!!!!eleventy!!!! [1]

[1] “Think™” should not be confused with actual critical cognition.

What goes around comes around. Many people here didn’t do their due diligence. They are the ones who threw the first stone and also the first to cry. They have to reap what they sow. It is what it is. How fortunate are the unvaccinated children for their smart parents know what’s best for them.

Post # 49 is hereby certified 100% content free.

– Inspector 27
US Bureau of Content

Brava Chris for calling out Pilkington and Lawson, with real multiple scientific studies.

Parents of handicapped kids who know science…really rock… and we are concerned for all the kids and adults who have suffered because of the fringe anti-vax and free choice groups with their junk science.

She really should be concentrating more on the therapy & custody of her kids, I mean really….

Give us the evidence that DTaP is worse than pertussis, diphtheria and tetanus.

Her child was irreparably damaged by a government mandated vaccine that you continue to intellectually intimidate others into not questioning the safety or policy of. You care about policy. You don’t care about people. The only person you’ve shown to care about is your son and yourself. You would just rather willfully violate others for a perceived virtual protection of your son. It’s not real. It’s mindless. It’s sociopathic.

This article sums up a pro forced mass vaccine argument quite nicely. It also show the cold heart of “you” people. Plug in “plane crash victims” for “vaccine victims”.

http://www.theonion.com/articles/142-plane-crash-victims-were-statistically-more-li,20353/

“Although these individuals died tragically, it’s important to remember that their flight was 80 times less likely to kill them than if they had driven to their destination,”

Holland et al.

Because autistic disorder is defined only by an aggregation of symptoms, there is no meaningful distinction between the terms “autism” and “autism-­like symptoms.”

Because Asperger’s syndrome is defined only by an aggregation of symptoms, I can find no meaningful distinction between being diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and being a bona fide nerd.

As a nerd who loved big words and formal speech as a kid, and once had a speech impediment, and had narrow obsessive interests and is shy, I’ve sometimes been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, but I don’t see how that label ammounts to anything more than drawing a big red circle around all nerds. It includes too much. Definitions have to exclude something. The definition of Asperger’s syndrome doesn’t appear to do that.

People with Asperger’s often also have ADHD? Most of my elementary and highschool classmates were diagnosed ADHD at one time. It seems to have been a diagnostic fad and a crutch for certain teachers who couldn’t keep order in the classroom.

There’s one problem, which is conducting science by press release and testing hypotheses in the courtroom. There’s another problem, which is broad diagnostic criteria that allow you to recategorise seemingly any shy smart kid as autistic. And then there’s the daily reality of people doing ii to justify doing i and i to justify doing ii.

Auggie, using that argument if planes ever kill anyone ever we should ban planes.

I’m sure NICU’s have killed patients before through action or inaction, so they should be banned too.

And people drown every year, and some die of water poisoning. Clearly water should be banned.

Parents of handicapped kids who know science…are arrogant.

They believe, because their child is mentally handicapped, and it wasn’t because of vaccines, therefore NO child could be brain damaged from vaccines or express similar signs and symptoms as their child. It’s fallacy. But hey, they know science.

augie, aren’t you running out of straw yet?

But no, you believe that 1+1=7.

Hey, my claim’s just as well-founded as yours…

Auggie, using that argument if planes ever kill anyone ever we should ban planes.

Scarecrow, who said anything about banning vaccines? Thank you for the daily use of logical fallacy on science blogs.

@Scott Cunningham: “It seems to have been a diagnostic fad and a crutch for certain teachers who couldn’t keep order in the classroom.”

Perhaps you can explain how stimulants given to those with ADD and ADHD have opposite effects, allowing them to concentrate, while the same stimulants given to a “normal” student would cause irritability, outbursts and an inability to focus?

Those that don’t react appropriately to stimulants are usually quickly taken off of them and the diagnosis reversed, or at least that is the typical plan with ADD/ADHD kids.

As well, I happen to know of a kid (mine) with ADD and is a candidate for PDD. There is an overlap, OR, one is a symptom of the other.

Do you understand you are communicating with real scientists on this board and not a bunch of “mommies” with google degrees?

Yes, scientists, I understand. I have a medical degree, thank you.

lilady,

Parents of handicapped kids who know science…really rock…

Nope, they are losers and their damaged kids are like rock. That’s more appropriate.

Susan:

Yes, scientists, I understand. I have a medical degree, thank you.

Why should we believe you?

Better yet, if you actually are a Dr. Lawson, you can actually bring up the actual evidence that the vaccines are worse than the diseases. Just post the journal, title, date and authors of those studies that support your claims.

Dear Mr K. Dilkington,

You are one of our most valuable anti-vaccine posters.

augustine:

Every year, several people die due to breathing (because they’re underwater, a bug flies in their mouth at the wrong time, they live next to a coal-fired power plant…). To the best of my knowledge, no-one has ever died of clapping their hands. Therefore, we should encourage everyone to give up breathing in favour of hand-clapping, and anyone who advocates breathing is pro-suffocation-and-cancer.

Is that about right?

repeated vaccine talking point

you can actually bring up the actual evidence that the vaccines are worse than the diseases.

It’s not about the vaccine being worse than the disease. It’s about having a choice to decide.

I did some investigative work and found the PR firm that represents the CDC.

http://www.theonion.com/articles/pr-firm-kills-innocent-child,20226/

PR Firm Kills Innocent Child
‘Kills is a Harsh Word,’ Spokesperson Says

One magazine ad favorably compares the firm to a farm thresher, a piece of equipment that, on average, results in the accidental death of 15 children each year.

“Who would you trust your children to?” the ad reads. “The creative minds at Lawler, Schneider & Epps? Or a deadly farm thresher?”

Ms. Lawson:

I have an autistic child. I have walked more than a mile in your shoes. I have not received compensation from the VICP nor did I apply for any, so I have no motivation to see this “study” as anything more than the political stunt that it is.

There, that should establish my “credentials”.

Moving on.

So, after a long build-up, this “landmark” study shows us…what?

83 of the “nearly 2500” compensated cases (the VICP lists 2,664 as of today – 2,524 through the end of 2010; let’s use the 2010 number) have been described by somebody as having autism or behaviors that are “autistic-like”: prevalence = 3.3%

Of those 83, 39 have some type of “documentation” (including the parent-answered SCQ): prevalence = 1.5%

Of those 39, only 7 have third-party medical, educational or court records confirming a diagnosis of autism: prevalence = 0.3%

The authors of this “study” have done most of the work they need to get a real number; all they need to do is go back to their 83 probable autism cases and get medical documentation. Better yet, they could have all 83 evaluated by an independent clinician using one of the validated tests for autism.

But why is it that I don’t think they’ll do that?

Prometheus

It’s not about the vaccine being worse than the disease. It’s about having a choice to decide.

People DO have a choice. An easy one that can only rationally be made in one direction, but a choice.

You and your ilk are AGAINST meaningful choice, because you prefer to lie to people so that they can’t actually make an informed choice.

wintermute

Is that about right?

No. It’s only right if you are trying to build a straw man argument and twist logic using a bad analogy so you can feel better about yourself.

@ Dr. Lawson: Why don’t you provide us with some information about the real diagnoses of your child…instead of “autistic-like signs”. Being that you are a medical doctor, you must be aware that “autistic-like signs” do not meet the criteria for compensation in the vaccine court.

Chris provided you with three excellent citations; did you read the articles? Where are your citations…being that you are a medical doctor…you should know that recent citations from peer reviewed journals are the acceptable way to post here. You don’t want us to think you are just another crank troll, do you?

The cause listed is vaccine induced encephalitis.

Rate of encephalitis after MMR vaccination: < 1 in 1,000,000
Rate of encephalitis after measles infection: 1 in 1000

It occurs to me that, by the standards claimed in this “paper,” Ray Charles was autistic. After all, he didn’t make eye contact very much.

@Susan Lawson-Giles:

I’d also like to know if you think that a decision in vaccine court is proof of vaccine harm? The entire point Orac made was that legal decisions should not be confused with medical decisions. As he has also mentioned before, the Vaccine Court has a lower demand for evidence than a standard court. Since the legal papers I provided a link to are unable to cross the privacy boundary, it is difficult to see if you have had a medical determination that the injury was caused by the MMR vaccine, or if this is just a standard vaccine court award based on the fact that your child had encephalitis and procured brain damage from it. I ask because there are other reasons for children and adults to get encephalitis.

Sid Offit @ # 40:
Ich esse Frau Frith zum Frühstück.

This is the Uta Frith whom Sid considers himself to be smarter than:

Professor Uta Frith is best known for her research on autism spectrum disorders. Her book, Autism, Explaining the Enigma (1989) has been translated into many languages. She was one of the initiators of the study of Asperger’s Syndrome in the UK and her work on reading development, spelling and dyslexia has been highly influential. Frith’s work on theory of mind in autism proposes the idea that people with autism have specific difficulties understanding other people’s beliefs and desires. Much of this work was carried out with Simon Baron-Cohen who was her PhD student. …

She aims to make this research relevant to the education of people with development disorders and to contribute to a better quality of their everyday life.

Professor Frith is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the British Academy and the Academy of Medical Sciences. She is Emeritus Professor of Cognitive Development at University College London and Research Foundation Professor at the Faculties of Humanities and Health Sciences, University of Aarhus, Denmark.

No arguments with Ruth’s nomination at #28 of PAM Dirac of someone who would probably be diagnosed as Aspergers Syndrome today.

Wow – boring troll actually said, well, part of something that I believe we can agree with. It is about choice – informed, educated choice. Parents should be making choices for their children based upon the best available information and evidence.

Unfortunately, there are numerous people, for what ever reason, continue to disseminate falsehoods that make this choice more difficult that it needs to be.

Autism isn’t caused by vaccines – there is an overwhelming amount of evidence that supports this.

Vaccines are safer & have few side-effects than the diseases they preven – that is an established fact.

Are there legitimate side-effects to vaccines – yes, this is an established fact as well & these side-effects are public information and are included in the vaccine pamplets and routinely discussed between doctor and patient (or parent).

Should everyone receive all vaccinations – no, there are many situations in which a vaccine can be contra-indicated, including need (nobody needs the Smallpox vaccine anymore), immunocompromised individuals, and other specific medical situations where there could be potentially serious complications.

Vaccines have well over a hundred years of proven efficacy in fighting the spread of disease & are a valuable tool (but not the only tool) that has helped reduce infant mortality, disease-related side-effects (like measles-induced blindness or encephilitis, or mumps-induced sterility). Of course, the advance of medical science and understand of general health issues has also been part of this process – but disease elimination and mitigation through vaccine science has played a major role and will continue to do so.

Again, it is a choice – but it should be an educated choice based on real evidence, not supposition, idea or crackpot conspiracy theory.

I still love skimming the comments because of our resident trolls. It cracks me up to see Auggie referencing THE ONION!! Twice now, he has made references and linked to articles…. in THE ONION! Auggie, don’t you realize that the onion is an INTENTIONALLY FALSE and SATIRICAL publication? They knowingly MAKE UP stuff to entertain people…. and (usually) the people reading it know it is made up? Talk about grabbing at straws

nygrbus

Auggie, don’t you realize that the onion is an INTENTIONALLY FALSE and SATIRICAL publication?

Naw, I thought they really beat a kid with a lead pipe.

The Onion hits the nail on the head just often enough to keep a few people guessing. Their election-night headline in 2000 managed to be both concise and accurate, but that says a lot about the election and nothing about the precognitive abilities of Onion staffers.

Susan Lawson has a blog about her daughter at:

juliagrimesjourney.blogspot

In the left hand column she provides a short medical history about her daughter’s hospitalization for seizures:

“Her diagnosis? Encephalitis (inflammation of her brain) most likely attributed to the MMR-V vaccine she received 9 days earlier”.

JayK

I’m sorry. I do not mean to suggest ADD/ADHD and Asperger’s do not exist. I suspect they are overdiagnosed, at least locally, because most of the kids I knew in elementary and high school were diagnosed with them, self included. These diagnoses were inconsistant. I’ve had both positive and negative diagnoses for ADHD and Asperger’s. My parents who did not have me vaccinated for polio also did not provide the prescribed ritalin, so I can’t verify my diagnosis that way.

I am in a bind where I have contradictory childhood diagnoses, wootastic parents who were scared out of vaccinating, and a string of Freudian (yes, Freudian) psychologists with reputations for always prescribing pills at the request of teachers.

I hope you are in better hands. Crusading practicioners and phobic families have really muddied the waters for me. (Then there’s the question of do I deny my diagnosis, potentially out of ableism, or stick to it for a lower credit definition of “full time student” for student loans purposes? So far I’ve gone with denying the diagnosis.)

Again, it is a choice – but it should be an educated choice based on real evidence,

… and lack of real evidence and real science.

and morals, values, principles and ethics.

I’m curious, Mr. Pilkington, since you say you are “pro-choice”, how does one choose not to get a disease? How do you tell the various viruses and bacteria that your choice it to not be exposed to them?

Please, give us the details on how that is supposed to work.

augustine writes:

and lack of real evidence and real science.

…says the person for whom subtracting whole numbers, let alone the mathematics of probability, is a bridge too far.

and morals, values, principles and ethics.

…says the person whose Christian love shines forth in all his comments here.

@Scott: As I said, a probable diagnosis of PDD, which still isn’t completely deterministic, but enough to understand that there are new requirements for his future education that go far beyond the requirements that a far more simple ADD diagnosis would convey.

Its pretty amazing, though, that stimulants provide for a pretty simple test for a kid with ADD or ADHD, at least as a simple go/no-go type of preliminary test. I’ve observed caffeine making massive adjustments in behaviors for kids suspected of ADD/ADHD.

As for overdiagnosis? I think you’re correct, but a first time diagnosis shouldn’t be taken as gospel. As I said, the real test is the reaction to the stimulant. My son’s grades went up fast and his evaluations changed almost overnight.

New challenges, though, as the stimulants are starting to metabolize faster and cause rollercoaster like behavior patterns, or at least that is how it looks, right now.

Wading into RI is probably a bad idea. I am the mother of an infant too young to be vaccinated, and I’m daily terrified by the news of Vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks a few miles from my house. When I first became pregnant, it never occurred to me not to make sure I was fully up to date on all my vaccines, including tetanus, pertussis, flu, and etc. I had no idea how far down the rabbit hole many of my fellow new moms had gone, but a few “new mommy” group meetings had me scared enough to keep myself and my young baby far away from those who “did the research” and decided AGAINST vaccines.

I then “did the research” — and everything I found only further solidified my belief that vaccines were far and away the best choice — the best choice for my daughter, and the best choice for public health. Do they come with a risk? Of course. But the risk of being infected with a DEADLY disease is far greater.

I find the regular admonitions by the anti-vax posters here that those who choose to vax do so out of some sheeplike lack of independent thought to be ridiculous. Spend a few hours on any anti-vax site and instead of medicine and science, what you find is at best, celebrities, and at worst, advertisements for laughable or outright dangerous alt medicine therapies, denial of germ theory, birtherism, trutherism, “New world order” conspiracies…

Now I tell my fellow new mommies to look at WHO is peddling this nonsense. Is this the company you want to keep?

@Chris: “I’m curious, Mr. Pilkington, since you say you are “pro-choice”, how does one choose not to get a disease? How do you tell the various viruses and bacteria that your choice it to not be exposed to them?”

Duh! How do you tell the herd to be immune? Sheesh.

Wading into RI is probably a bad idea. I am the mother of an infant too young to be vaccinated, and I’m daily terrified by the news of Vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks a few miles from my house. When I first became pregnant, it never occurred to me not to make sure I was fully up to date on all my vaccines, including tetanus, pertussis, flu, and etc. I had no idea how far down the rabbit hole many of my fellow new moms had gone, but a few “new mommy” group meetings had me scared enough to keep myself and my young baby far away from those who “did the research” and decided AGAINST vaccines.

I then “did the research” — and everything I found only further solidified my belief that vaccines were far and away the best choice — the best choice for my daughter, and the best choice for public health. Do they come with a risk? Of course. But the risk of being infected with a DEADLY disease is far greater.

I find the regular admonitions by the anti-vax posters here that those who choose to vax do so out of some sheeplike lack of independent thought to be ridiculous. Spend a few hours on any anti-vax site and instead of medicine and science, what you find is at best, celebrities, and at worst, advertisements for laughable or outright dangerous alt medicine therapies, denial of germ theory, birtherism, trutherism, “New world order” conspiracies…

Now I tell my fellow new mommies to look at WHO is peddling this nonsense. Is this the company you want to keep?

What I don’t get is why are you people so hell bent on defending vaccine induced autism but vaccine induced encephalitis is met with the “vaccines aren’t 100%” concession. You unscientifically will not concede even one case. Scientifically you have to say it’s possible. But you won’t.

Is it because of the recognition of Autism and what it might mean for you beloved ideology? Is it because you think encephalitis won’t cause the same repercussions and PR damage?

Oh, I think I found one of the cases that received compensation for “autism” that the lawyers and researchers were referring to…on Susan Lawson’s blog:

juliagrimesjourney.blogspot

“I was asked by an autism researcher to write a narrative from Julia’s perspective….” (May 4, 2011)

It must be a government conspiracy to hide vaccine court compensation for autism…sure it is.

MartinM,

Rate of encephalitis after MMR vaccination:
*1 in 1,000,000.

Rate of encephalitis after measles infection: 1 in 1000

Rate of encephalitis without exposure to measles and vaccines: 0, nada, zilch

“Rate of encephalitis without exposure to measles and vaccines: 0, nada, zilch”

Highly unlikely given that there are multiple well known and easily findable causes that are mentioned in basic public access sources.

Th1Th2:

Rate of encephalitis without exposure to measles and vaccines: 0, nada, zilch

There she is, telling those nasty germs to stay away. The question is, how can she tell if there are any near by and how well do they listen when they have no ears?

Allie,

I then “did the research” — and everything I found only further solidified my belief that vaccines were far and away the best choice — the best choice for my daughter, and the best choice for public health. Do they come with a risk? Of course. But the risk of being infected with a DEADLY disease is far greater.

Of course, vaccines are the best choice to infect naive children. They are better alternative than natural infection because they are convenient and readily available and ignorant parents are guaranteed that their naive children are getting the right stuff without fail.

Obviously, you have no clue of what you’re talking about despite of your so-called research. You’re a pretender just like the rest.

@Thingy

Rate of encephalitis without exposure to measles and vaccines: 0, nada, zilch

You know, that’s probably the first correct thing you’ve written on this blog. It’s meaningless, but technically correct.

So, how do we completely avoid exposure to measles? Magic wands? Sacrificing chickens? Living in bubble?

Boring troll – why are you so hell-bent on declaring that vaccines do cause autism?

There is, in fact, a very slight risk of encephilitis as a side effect to the vaccine – there is a much greater risk of encephilitis caused by the actual disease.

There is no evidence that autism is a side-effect of vaccinations – if there is, please go ahead & show it to us. Please, go right ahead & detail the documented cases.

You’re so big on evidence and throwing out a bunch of statistics – but you have yet to prove or even make a single point, other than the fact that you can string a bunch of words together.

Until then, we will continue to deal with actual evidence and make our decisions based on reality, not what you want reality to be.

Allie, it is best to ignore Th1Th2. She lives in a different reality, one where children voluntarily stay away from dirt:

Why should I let the child walk on the dirt when there is a dry concrete pavement next to it? A toddler would readily know which is the safe path to take even without the knowledge of C. tetani,

Given that measles is the most infectious disease on the planet, how exactly do you avoid any and all exposure?

The only real way is to force the virus into extinction, which requires vaccination.

CG,

The only real way is to force the virus into extinction, which requires vaccination.

Oh come on. Until now, you don’t know what’s in the measles vaccine? And yet you’re talking about extinction? Give me a break please.

@35, beamup

Science is published in peer-reviewed journals. News stories are entirely unreliable for such purposes. Citing them proves that you have no actual understanding of science or ability to weigh evidence.

Don’t be ridiculous. The “news story” meets the “scientific” burden. The study uses empirical data, provides supporting documentation and the means to repeat the study.

What are they teaching in school?

Rate of encephalitis without exposure to measles and vaccines: 0, nada, zilch

If memory serves, Herpes Simplex encephalitis is the commonest (or least rare) cause. Then there are other viral forms of encephalitis… bacterial encephalitis… amoebic encephalitis… post-infection autoimmune encephalitis, e.g. the encephalitis lethargica epidemic…

Allie, congratulations on the birth of your child. Please ignore Thingy and Augie…they are the nastiest of trolls on this site. In addition they are clueless about children…their only experiences being with their “imaginary” children.

Thingy may be employed at some menial job that doesn’t require any education; Augie has no visible means of support aside from the government dole. Neither of these trolls have any education in the sciences, yet they continue to post here with the most specious of arguments based on their “knowledge” of medicine and their need to be intellectually throttled…a unique form of masochism.

Internet Rule # 14 Don’t Feed the Trolls

augustine writes:

What I don’t get is why are you people so hell bent on defending vaccine induced autism but vaccine induced encephalitis is met with the “vaccines aren’t 100%” concession.

You’re certainly correct about one thing – you don’t get it.

If we were ideologues about vaccines, we wouldn’t distinguish between autism and encephalitis, we’d just insist vaccines were always safe. But we don’t, indicating we’re not answering in a knee-jerk fashion, we’re distinguishing on the basis of the factual evidence.

The difference is that reliable scientific evidence says vaccines can in extremely rare cases cause encephalitis. On the other hand there is no reliable scientific evidence saying vaccines cause autism. There is not only no evidence of autism occurring from vaccination, no one has presented any plausible scientific explanation for how vaccination could possibly lead to autism.

When after studies involving over 1.5 million children there is no increased incidence of autism, and no way proposed in which vaccination could lead to autism, that means to us here in reality-land that we should strongly doubt vaccines cause autism. On the other hand, when studies pick up the exceedingly rare occurrence of encephalitis resulting from vaccination (because the studies are good enough to pick up even something as rare as that), and there is a means by which vaccination could cause encephalitis, then that is enough proof for us.

@Richard Pilkington: That isn’t science. That is the use of statistics to imply causation through correlation. The causation would be “vaccines cause autism” and the correlation would be “vaccine awards where the patient might have had autism or autism-like traits”.

Why don’t you know what they teach in school? Oh!, because you’ve never been there. You might try it, although I don’t think you’ll like it.

Richard Pilkington:

Don’t be ridiculous. The “news story” meets the “scientific” burden. The study uses empirical data, provides supporting documentation and the means to repeat the study.

You’re joking, right? They investigated court cases, not real data. Have you even read the article above that explains the difference between legal standards and scientific standards of evidence. Try reading this part again:

No, law is not science. In law, for example, the object is to win your case, not to find out how nature works and develop models (i.e., theories) that accurately describe it and predict its behavior. In law, there are no truly objective right or wrong answers about issues of science. There is only the law and how it has been interpreted by courts.

Chris is a classic example of failed parenting. Who would allow her child to walk on the dirt path when there’s a sidewalk next to it? A parent without a brainstem maybe. Do you still live in a cave Chris?

@Thingy

CG,

The only real way is to force the virus into extinction, which requires vaccination.

Oh come on. Until now, you don’t know what’s in the measles vaccine? And yet you’re talking about extinction? Give me a break please.

Why don’t you try answering the question, rather than poking at the “extinction” part. Since you’ve said (correctly) that zero exposure to the measles virus results in zero risk of measles-induced encephalitis, how do we reach that “zero exposure” state?

No. It’s only right if you are trying to build a straw man argument and twist logic using a bad analogy so you can feel better about yourself.

The salient point of the analogy is that it ignores the fact that, even though a few people do have negative reactions to breating, not breathing results in far more deaths.

Have you ever address the point that vaccine-preventable diseases are more dangerous than vaccines? Do you believe that to be true? I’ve only ever seen you dodge the question, and I’m sure you’ll continue to do so…

Until now, you don’t know what’s in the measles vaccine?

A noncommunicable, attenuated form of the virus, which would not be used once the virus is dead.

Vaccination eradicated the close relative of measles, rinderpest.

Wow. This is getting funny. These pretenders don’t know anything to what might have caused measles encephalitis. It’s so simple yet they chose to remain ignorant.

Th1Th2, I live on Earth not Htrae. I have dealt with real children who like to play like normal children, and that includes making mud pies and digging holes in dirt for fun.

Most of us who have real children understand how they play, which you do not. That snippet is a good way to show that you should be ignored.

You have absolutely no clue about immunology nor child development. Your controlling personality (keeping kids from doing kid things), and tendency to redefine words just like Humpty Dumpty would be psychologically damaging to any child.

To Mr. Pilington, I should also note that the CBS article you linked to was by Sharyl Attkisson. She is infamous for writing articles with contradiction- and misinformation-filled bits of crankery and fawning over known frauds.

CG,

A noncommunicable, attenuated form of the virus, which would not be used once the virus is dead.

Vaccination eradicated the close relative of measles, rinderpest.

A noncommunicable form of measles infection you mean. Of course, you can deny this ever happened.

Rate of encephalitis without exposure to measles and vaccines: 0, nada, zilch

Really? Then why does PubMed health list multiple other causes of encephalitis, besides measles and an allergic reaction to vaccines? Here’s there list:

Encephalitis is most often caused by a viral infection. Many types of viruses may cause it. Exposure to viruses can occur through:

-Breathing in respiratory droplets from an infected person
-Contaminated food or drink
-Mosquito, tick, and other insect bites
-Skin contact

Different viruses will occur in different locations. Many cases will tend to cluster in a certain season.

Encephalitis caused by the herpes simplex virus is the leading cause of more severe cases in all ages, including newborns.

A number of viruses for which there is now a vaccine may also cause encephalitis. These include:

-Measles
-Mumps
-Polio
-Rabies
-Rubella
-Varicella (chickenpox)

Other viruses that cause encephalitis include:

-Adenovirus
-Coxsackievirus
-Cytomegalovirus
-Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus
-Echovirus
-West Nile virus

The virus causes inflammation of brain tissue. The brain tissue swells (cerebral edema), which may destroy nerve cells, cause bleeding in the brain (intracerebral hemorrhage), and brain damage.

Other causes of encephalitis may include:

-An allergic reaction to vaccinations
-Autoimmune disease
-Bacteria, such as Lyme disease,syphilis, and tuberculosis
-Parasites such as roundworms, cysticercosis, and toxoplasmosis in AIDS patients and other people who have a weakened immune system
-The effects of cancer

Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002388/

A noncommunicable form of measles infection you mean. Of course, you can deny this ever happened.

No. I have never said that. Given that the measles vaccine strain is a live virus it does cause an infection, although very minor one that rarely causes disease.

Of course you think dead things like killed viruses and proteins cause infections, which should let everyone known exactly what your understanding of microbiology and immunology is.

Jarred C.

It’s called measles encephalitis for a reason. What is there to argue about?

It’s called measles encephalitis for a reason. What is there to argue about?

I see two mentions of “measles encephalitis” on this page, by use of the search function. Both by you, both after the post I quoted. To overcome a chance of misspelling, I actually searched for “measles en.” I also searched the page, and read every post by MartinM. I also read the exact post MartinM quoted, and I searched the link on the post MartinM quoted for the term “measles.”

Not your post that I quoted, nor the post you quoted by MartinM, nor the post MartinM quoted, nor the link on the post MartinM quoted talk about “measles encephalitis.”

You specifically talked about the causes of encephalitis. Not measles encephalitis. I responded to your post about encephalitis. I did not respond to your (later) post about measles encephalitis.

Just admit your mistake; there are other causes to encephalitis, as shown by my post, and the link I provided to PubMed, than you first claimed. The rate of encephalitis is higher than “0, nada, zilch”, still discounting measles and vaccines.

Chris,

Th1Th2, I live on Earth not Htrae. I have dealt with real children who like to play like normal children, and that includes making mud pies and digging holes in dirt for fun.

So a child who doesn’t play in dirt for fun is not normal? Enlighten me.

Most of us who have real children understand how they play, which you do not. That snippet is a good way to show that you should be ignored.

You might seem to understand however you failed to give them a safe and logical choice—the aspect you’re seriously lacking.

You have absolutely no clue about immunology nor child development. Your controlling personality (keeping kids from doing kid things), and tendency to redefine words just like Humpty Dumpty would be psychologically damaging to any child.

Do you also allow them to play in the dumpster? Do you think they will notice the difference? What kind of control do you have?

Hmm, I think I identified thingy’s problem. She never got to make mud pies as a kid.

Explains so much.

“So a child who doesn’t play in dirt for fun is not normal? Enlighten me.”

Why? You’ll ignore it, and add more strawman arguments. You seem blissfully unaware of how children play, like digging and pouring sand in a sandbox. I even pointed out the toys specifically designed for playing in dirt in the the cited SBM thread.

You should actually visit a toy store and check out the sand toys, the dirt moving trucks, the shovels, pails and even little gardening tools. Then you should go to a bookstore and find the children’s section. There you will find many books on gardening with small children, there are even books an mud pies!

Then you should find your local community college. They offer classes in child development. You should definitely consider taking some before you are in charge of any children.

Jesus. I get all tied up in a conference and you folks, Orac’s “people”, go hog-wild in the comments section. Sorry I missed the discussion.

Jarred C.

You specifically talked about the causes of encephalitis. Not measles encephalitis. I responded to your post about encephalitis. I did not respond to your (later) post about measles encephalitis.

I was referring to 1. vaccine-induced encephalitis and 2. measles encephalitis caused by natural measles infection mentioned in #73. Do you deny this?

Just admit your mistake; there are other causes to encephalitis, as shown by my post, and the link I provided to PubMed, than you first claimed. The rate of encephalitis is higher than “0, nada, zilch”, still discounting measles and vaccines.

What you did is the usual goalpost-shifting to hide your ignorance on measles encephalitis and vaccine-induced encephalitis caused by the same pathogenic agent.

For now stick with measles encephalitis so you won’t get lost. After that, we’ll talk of the other causes.

CG,

Given that the measles vaccine strain is a live virus it does cause an infection, although very minor one that rarely causes disease.

Great. Did you happen to explain that to Chris as to how the measles vaccine dramatically reduced the incidence of measles infection by causing the infection itself?

I’m glad you didn’t hide your true infection-promoting agenda.

Well, let’s see . . . We live on a farm. The nearest sidewalk is about 20 kilometres away. The only way to keep my kids from playing in dirt or grass is to keep them inside. Now why would I do that, when there are animals to play with and mud pies to make and trees to climb? What sort of cruelty is that?

Once again, Th1Th2, assuming we eliminated the measles vaccine, what else do we need to do to prevent measles exposure and therefore measles-induced encephalitis?

If you think that you can prevent children from being exposed to any and all pathogens (whether measles, tetanus or any other), you’re not just a fool, you’re delusional.

Did you happen to explain that to Chris as to how the measles vaccine dramatically reduced the incidence of measles infection by causing the infection itself?

Your dishonesty/incompetence knows no bounds. The vaccine prevents measles, the disease, by preventing infection by the wild type measles virus.

CG,

Your dishonesty/incompetence knows no bounds. The vaccine prevents measles, the disease, by preventing infection by the wild type measles virus.

Not only you’re confused between colonization and infection with our previous discussion, you are just as clueless between infection and disease. So tell me how can the measles vaccine prevent measles, the infectious disease, when the vaccine itself causes the measles infection in the host like you proudly claimed?

Okay, I call poe on Th1Th2. Nobody could possibly be this stupid.

What a childhood that would be: parents freaking out if their child comes anywhere near contamination with dirt. No fishing, biking, running through the grass, playing in the rain, making mud pies, helping mom in the garden (a favorite at my house) etc…

Watching all the other kids have fun through squeaky clean windows. Th1Th2 is advocating torturing children. I hope he/she never breeds.

I was referring to 1. vaccine-induced encephalitis and 2. measles encephalitis caused by natural measles infection mentioned in #73. Do you deny this?

Yes. I do deny this. There is no reason a person would extrapolate that you were talking about these two things specifically, and nothing else with this wording:

Rate of encephalitis without exposure to measles and vaccines: 0, nada, zilch

Since in the first part, you were talking about encephalitis caused by vaccines (which would include allergic reactions to vaccines and anything else that has to do with vaccines), and in the second part you were talking about measles induced encephalitis – which is completely different – there is no reason anyone would extrapolate that the bolded word above was specifically talking about measles encephalitis, and not any other kind (including vaccine induced encephalitis, which you happened to include in the very sentence). Especially since the conversation was talking about encephalitis in general, and specifically about two different causes of encephalitis compared to each other.

Your statement specifically said that there were no other causes and/or cases of encephalitis cause by any other means other than vaccine or measles. Your statement did not say anything else.

If you meant for your statement to say something else (like, there are no other causes of measles encephalitis than measles or vaccines), then your mistake was in your own wording, and you should state that it was a mistake in wording, followed by a corrected version of what it was that you specifically meant to say. Then, others would be able to address the argument that you meant to put forth, rather than the argument that you actually put forth; and then you can stop accusing people of shifting the goal post (since no one has shifted any goal posts on this argument, they have only addressed what you actually stated, compared to what you meant to state).

You have two options: 1) Admit you were wrong, and there are other causes of encephalitis; or 2) Admit you made a mistake in wording, and produce the corrected statement.

What a childhood that would be: parents freaking out if their child comes anywhere near contamination with dirt. No fishing, biking, running through the grass, playing in the rain, making mud pies, helping mom in the garden (a favorite at my house) etc…

A friend of mine was raised this way. Except it wasn’t “parents,” it was just mom (her father died when she was little). Her mother did let her or her brothers run, ride bicycles, play outside (except at school, where mom didn’t have 100% control), get dirty, or anything. Apparently, according to her aunts/uncles, her mother went crazy when the husband died. I’m really surprised at how well adjusted she is. Her brothers, however, are both quite a bit crazy (according to her and her stories about her brothers, I’ve never actually met them).

Correction to my previous post:

I meant to say that my friend’s mother did NOT let her or her two brothers run, ride bicycles, play outside, get dirty, etc…

Not only you’re confused between colonization and infection with our previous discussion, you are just as clueless between infection and disease. So tell me how can the measles vaccine prevent measles, the infectious disease, when the vaccine itself causes the measles infection in the host like you proudly claimed?

The vaccine does not confer the measles infection. It produces the immune response to measles. Immune response does not mean that the virus has taken hold within the body. Hmm, purify non-infectious epitopes that elicit immune response but do not confer virulence. Oh my god!?!?! It’s what vaccine theory is based on! (Partially) Who knew. Fever is induced by the presence of virus and the secretion of interlukins. The vaccine does not aim to cause the measles infection. It aims to stimulate immunity by creating memory T cells and B cells that will quickly act upon subsequent measles virus detection.

@Jarred C:

Since in the first part, you were talking about encephalitis caused by vaccines (which would include allergic reactions to vaccines and anything else that has to do with vaccines), and in the second part you were talking about measles induced encephalitis – which is completely different –

According to Th1Th2, all vaccines cause the disease they’re supposed to protect against, it’s just that most of the time vaccines cause an asymptomatic instance of the disease. If the vaccine causes a symptom which is also caused by the wild-type pathogen, then it’s a partially symptomatic infection, thus encephalitis caused by a measles vaccine is measles encephalitis. You’re not going to convince Th1Th2 otherwise: she has her own list of definition for many immunology terms, and it going to stick to them no matter what. The only way to get anywhere with her is to, for the sake of argument, adopt her definitions. But that will only lead to the discovery of new terms for which she has unique definitions. For example, did you know that immunocompromised people all have asymptomatic infections, because they’re lacking the immune-response phase of the disease?

None of you are ever going to get anywhere with the Thing, so you might as well give it up. Most of us, being sane and all, think that a risk of less than one in a million of serious consequences from getting a vaccine is worth it compared with the one in a thousand risk with the disease itself. (Not to mention the one in three risk of death we were fighting with smallpox.)

Now augustine is simply innumerate–“Thousand, million, same thing. They’re both numbers. How can you reduce human beings to numbers? What kind of monsters are you?” The only thing surprising is finding this kind of argument coming from a rabid right-winger–usually that’s a fringe-left trope.

Thingie is not just innumerate, but insane. She thinks anything introduced into your body from outside is an “infection”–attenuated virii, dead virii, protein fragments, whatever. If you give anyone a vaccine, you’re polluting the purity of their precious bodily fluids–it doesn’t matter if you’re protecting them from sickness, disability, or death. They’ve been “infected!” Oh no! Leper, outcast, unclean!!

When you’re dealing with this level of pathology, arguing with it is counterproductive–ridicule, however, should be applied liberally.

Thingie is not just innumerate, but insane.Now augustine is simply innumerate-

Annoyingly stupid vs. stupidly annoying.

She thinks anything introduced into your body from outside is an “infection”–attenuated virii, dead virii, protein fragments, whatever.

Not quite. The antigen has to come from a pathogen (as opposed to an allergen), and it has to be ingested by a white blood cell and then presented on its surface. But if a white blood cells ingests a dead bacterium and presents the bacterial antigens on its surface, then, according to Th1Th2, that white blood cell is infected.

But if a white blood cells ingests a dead bacterium and presents the bacterial antigens on its surface, then, according to Th1Th2, that white blood cell is infected.

What I can’t understand is, even accepting her eccentric definition of “infection”—this is bad, how exactly?

Th1Th2 still hasn’t answered my questions about where she’s getting her information, aside from insisting it’s “common sense”.

It’s tempting to believe that Mr. Pilkington is just trying to prove Poe’s Law when he states that the news story under discussion “meets the ‘scientific’ burden” and therefore should carry the same weight as a study in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.  Whether or not he’s serious, though, there may be others who don’t quite see why his suggestion is so very off-base, so it’s worth explaining why.

Science is a continuing process of gathering evidence, formulating hypotheses to try and explain this evidence, and being guided both to further searches for evidence and further refinement (or rejection) of hypotheses according to how well they fit the evidence gathered.  This much is probably known already to everyone reading this, but we absolutely must point out an aspect that far too many laymen miss completely:  just being consistent with the evidence is not enough.  What is necessary, before you can say “the scientific evidence points to this conclusion,” is that the hypothesis in question must match up with the evidence better than all other hypotheses.

And what the average layman does not want to hear is that an awful lot of those hypotheses that need to be eliminated in order to call a different hypothesis scientifically supported are simply not sexy hypotheses, in any way.  We want to hear that the organic compound detected during examination of the meteorite is proof of life in outer space, not a lab contaminant!  We don’t want to say “we’ve been looking hard for the cause of this disorder,” we want to say “we know the cause of the disorder!”  There’s just that little problem where wishing doesn’t make it so.  When there is a dramatic, sexy explanation of the evidence and a simple, unsexy explanation that matches the evidence equally well, the simpler explanation is more probably correct, and we cannot say the evidence is pointing to the sexier explanation, even if that’s the one we really want.

So when Mr. Pilkington claims that a news story, on a ‘report’ that was submitted apparently straight to the news media, bypassing examination by experts in the field, based not on scientific evaluation of the data but of legal decisions, the most charitable explanation is that he’s engaged in wishful thinking.  Science is about trying to eliminate possible sources of error and this ‘report’ has gone by a route that seems designed to introduce them.  Misunderstanding by a news media that has a terrible track record in reporting on science (especially this particular reporter); the fact that legal decisions are based on legal rather than scientific standards (and in Vaccine Court, are explicitly tilted in favor of claimants); the bypassing of peer review – these are massive opportunities for error to waltz in and for any possibility of actually advancing our understanding to drain like water out of a sieve.

Since the anti-vaccine crowd wants to turn to legal decisions and legal reasoning, let me put it this way – cases are made by eliminating reasonable doubt.  But with all their missteps, the anti-vaccine activists who put forth this ‘report’ introduced so much doubt that it simply cannot be ignored.

Kristen

helping mom in the garden (a favorite at my house)

A favorite for you or for your children? I visualize your exploited children forced to labor in the hot sun and the deadly dangerous dirt to grow food 🙂

Wow! Surprised to come back after a few hours and see the thread blew up to almost 150 comments. Then I saw Thing1thing2, and i realized the troll had come out 🙁

It’d be interesting to know how the practice of keeping children on nice clean sidewalks instead of vaccinating them is supposed to play out globally. I’m guessing Thing would prefer the money currently spent on vaccines to go toward paving over sub-Saharan Africa. If so, she’s clearly a shill for Big Asphalt.

Dear Straw Men,

#25, Archangl508, started with the name-calling and, without any basis in fact, stated I believed in pseudoscience.

#33, beamup followed up, citing the CBS news article I excerpted as pseudoscience.

#106 JayK said, That isn’t science. That is the use of statistics to imply causation through correlation.

#107 Chris said, You’re joking, right? They investigated court cases, not real data.

Of course, the article IS science.

Let me repeat:
The “news story” meets the “scientific” burden. The study uses empirical data, provides supporting documentation and the means to repeat the study.

You may not like the data, but that doesn’t make it pseudoscience.

What is science? A better question:
What is NOT science? Science IS NOT art.
Blogging is art. Which you’ve all got down to a science.

Mr. Pilkington, the news story does not meet any scientific burden. It does not use real empirical data, because it involves outcomes of legal court cases, which are opinions based on a legal standard, not qualitative observations of any fact.

What science is not: a ruling from a court case.

The Thing gets it’s medical knowledge from the collective, of course. Resistance is futile…

@Richard Pilkington:

What is the hypothesis that this “science” put forth?

You do realize that most people here are active in “science” and publish, review or research. You aren’t fooling anyone, you’re just grasping at straws and encouraging your own confirmation bias. Again, correlation does not equal causation. The news article had a preconceived conclusion and found data to match that conclusion, that autism and vaccines are linked. Part of science is also acknowledging the data and research that doesn’t agree with your premise, which the article did not do, because it was arguing a biased point. That is not science.

And you’re clearly not a scientist.

@ Richard Pilkington: It’s not a scientific review of cases, merely a publicity stunt by lawyers who represent clients in the vaccine court…a gambit to get more cases. It is also an exercise in legal research for the Pace Law School students. The main investigator…the ex-cop…who says he has autistic triplets…is totally unqualified to conduct a medical investigation. The diagnostic (parent questionnaire) tool that they used cannot take the place of actual neurological diagnoses.

I had a posting directed to Dr. Lawson upthread who now claims that her child has autistic-like behavior…yet her blog describes her child’s episodes of seizures following immunization and the resulting medical diagnosis as encephalopathy. We read the legal papers that awarded her child annuity payments and her youngster received the settlement due to a diagnosis of encephalopathy…not autism.

Autistic-like behaviors do not meet the medical criteria for autism. Kids who have severe developmental delays and kids who have been diagnosed with encephalopathy do exhibit autistic-like behaviors…but that does not meet diagnostic criteria for Autism.

Dr. Lawson’s child and others applied to the vaccine court and met the time limited criteria for high fevers-seizures-encephalopathy, following an immunization. There is no conspiracy on the part of the government to hide autism monetary settlements.

You say you want the option for personal choice but you are totally blinded by the anti-vaccine junk science that you would be willing to put your children and others in the community at risk. I say you’re playing the herd immunity game and that you and your ilk are a public health menace.

Chris/JayK

The article does not provide any conclusion. The study observed data in court documents and counted observed results. It’s that simple. Some want to call it pseudoscience; it’s NOT pseudoscience. So what would it be? It’s not art. It’s a simple (little) study. It’s “science.”

The article/study highlighted (as I did) what they observed.

If you want to INVALIDATE the study, then pick it apart. Cite what’s wrong. But, don’t say it’s not science (or call it pseudoscience) just because it does not meet your criteria as a “scientific, peer-reviewed study.”

To JayK

I did not read ANY correlation/causation.
Why do you keep saying that?

Where is the argument/bias?

Mr. Pilkington, you claimed the review of court data was scientific because they can “repeat the study.” The problem is that it is based upon rules that change, in addition to whose opinion that form the basis for the rulings. That fundamentally makes it unscientific.

First off, it is not a “study.” It is a counting of legal rulings, not a measurement of repeatable data. Unlike the natural “laws” of science (like the acceleration of gravity or how many moles of H2O are contained in a liter), the legal rules change. Look how scientific research pulled seizures from the DTP vaccine off the table of vaccine injuries.

Despite the following plea:

But, don’t say it’s not science (or call it pseudoscience) just because it does not meet your criteria as a “scientific, peer-reviewed study.”

… you don’t get to make up the rules of what constitutes scientific data. Re-read what Orac wrote. Science is not determined in a court room, and it is not done by credulous news reporters. Especially reporters who are biased enough to leak emails to biased blogs. That is called a “Conflict of Interest.”

Now, answer my question from Comment #84: “How does one choose not to get a disease? How do you tell the various viruses and bacteria that your choice it to not be exposed to them?”

While you are at it, tell us how many people have mitochondrial disease, and how well they fare with actual diseases. Then tell us exactly how risky the MMR vaccine is compared to measles. I would really like to know what evidence you have that young Ms. Poling would have done if she had actually been exposed to the wild measles virus instead of the vaccine.

Remember, use only real peer reviewed scientific papers, no news reports.

@145

“#25, Archangl508, started with the name-calling and, without any basis in fact, stated I believed in pseudoscience.”

Actually, I didn’t call you any name. I was making a generalization about the “pro-choice movement” that you referred to, but apparently the comments hit a little too close to home, huh?

What I was suggesting is that there is no need for a pro-choice movement since no one has attempted to take away your choice. As I said, even IF everyone on this website, or even most of the industrialized world, considers you (that is the royal you, not you Richard Pilkington) a moron for believing in the pseudoscience that vaccines cause autism, that doesn’t remove your choice. But again, the choice itself isn’t sufficient for you, obviously. So, since you already have the choice, and there don’t appear to be pending laws forcing parents to vaccinate their children, what else is it that the “pro-choice movement” is attempting to get?

As to whether that “paper” above would or would not count as pseudoscience, if you actually read the evidence it becomes quite clear that this “empirical data” is nothing of the sort:

Parental statements claiming autism or autism-lik­e symptoms – 35
Parental statements as above plus parental completion of SCQ – 14
Court documents stating autism or autism like symptoms – 14
Same as previous plus parental claim – 5 (one with SCQ as well)
Court documents describing symptoms the authors consider “consisten­t with autism” – 5
Same as previous plus parental completion of SCQ – 3
Authors claim they have actual confirmati­on on file of autistic disorder – 7

So, the authors have 7 actual cases of confirmed autistic disorders out of 2500 total subjects. For the rest, these non-medica­l authors are making broad assumption­s. In addition, in all categories except the 7 confirmed they are including cases where there are some symptoms, but not necessaril­y enough to diagnose autism. If that is your opinion of “empirical” perhaps you need to go back to graduate school and return your PhD.

But, that still doesn’t address the point of why you need a pro-choice movement. Who is taking away your ability to decide whether to vaccinate your child or not? Where are the laws that force you to vaccinate your child? Or, am I correct in that you simply want the societal rewards without having the same risks that everyone else does?

I’ll try to respond to the rest of your post (and other’s posts, although maybe not until later a.m.), but first this–

#84, Chris asks, “since you say you are “pro-choice”, how does one choose not to get a disease? How do you tell the various viruses and bacteria that your choice it to not be exposed to them?”

I have not seen a doctor for a cold or the flu since I was a child (probably 40+ years). I’m not saying I haven’t been sick, just not that sick. What would compel me to get a flu vaccine? Why would I risk potential vaccine side-effects? Annually?

Oh, right. For the greater good.

It’s probably not fair to leave it at that, but . . .

Richard, can I ask what you would do after being bitten by a rabid dog, or being stabbed with a syringe full of HepB positive blood?

You know in all my years of life I’ve never died. Therefore I assess my risk of death as zero. Which is why I don’t see the point of medicine. I also don’t understand why people are so silly as to die of AIDs related illnesses, I mean they know they’re immunocompromised why don’t they just avoid infection by walking on the concrete. It’s so simple!

Richard Pilkington writes:

I have not seen a doctor for a cold or the flu since I was a child (probably 40+ years). I’m not saying I haven’t been sick, just not that sick. What would compel me to get a flu vaccine? Why would I risk potential vaccine side-effects? Annually?

What were the mortality and hospitalization rates for H1N1 in the USA? What were the mortality and hospitalization rates for the H1N1 vaccine? (“I knew I wouldn’t get infected with H1N1” is not an acceptable answer unless you can tell me who’s going to win, place and show in the Preakness and you turn out to be right.)

Mr Pilkington:

The study observed data in court documents and counted observed results. It’s that simple. Some want to call it pseudoscience; it’s NOT pseudoscience. So what would it be? It’s not art. It’s a simple (little) study. It’s “science.”

The study itself, pg 3:

This assessment of compensated cases showing an
association between vaccines and autism is not, and does not
purport to be, science.

@Pilkington

The article does not provide any conclusion. The study observed data in court documents and counted observed results. It’s that simple. Some want to call it pseudoscience; it’s NOT pseudoscience. So what would it be? It’s not art. It’s a simple (little) study. It’s “science.”

Something can follow the forms of science and still produce invalid results. It’s “garbage in, garbage out.” If you want to draw a medical conclusion, then you need medical input. The input to this process was legal, not medical, so all you can do is draw legal conclusions.

I have not seen a doctor for a cold or the flu since I was a child (probably 40+ years).

Have you seen a docotr for any infectious diseases? If so, do you think you might have been better off being vaccinated against that disease?

This assessment of compensated cases showing an association between vaccines and autism is not, and does not purport to be, science.

Well, if it’s not science, it must be art, right? I mean those are the only two categories…

Analogy time for Pilkie: I could ask my boyfriend (who can just about tell a rose from a paeony) to go out into the garden and take a survey of the green plants out there. No matter how carefully I analysed his data, I still wouldn’t get a meaningful result because I think I’m being generous if I said he could correctly identify a tenth of the species out there. If I asked my Dad, the results would be even worse. If I asked my Mum or my Granny, the results would be accurate enough to be useful as guides to further research, at least for cultivated species; if I went out there myself with a field-guide to local weeds I could probably manage 100% accuracy (maybe not on moss species!), and we could draw fairly firm conclusions.

More succinctly: GIGO.

At most, an analysis of court rulings in such cases might be sociology: say, comparing whether plaintiffs are more likely to prevail in some areas of the U.S. than others, or whether/how plaintiff race, class, or level of education affects results. But that wouldn’t be biology or medicine: it would be data for a study of how the legal system works. Some kinds of clustering might suggest biased judges: and that again is a legal question, not a medical or biological one.

@Mr. Pilky: Correlation/Causation means that two variables have been measured, but there is no conclusive evidence presented that indicates that the two variables are linked in any way. The only way the author links them is by the implied assumption that vaccines are a major cause of autism.

If someone turned that CBS article into me as an assignment in an advanced course, I would tell the student that they need to go into journalism or liberal arts and to get out of the sciences.

Science does not start out with an assumption that has already been proven false, and then seek out any correlation possible to encourage confirmation bias.

As for biases in the article? The author is obviously biased towards naturalism and shows a bias against vaccines, and that is just the main bias. As I mentioned the confirmation bias, there is also cognitive bias and media bias (not political).

#155, dt

Richard, can I ask what you would do after being bitten by a rabid dog, or being stabbed with a syringe full of HepB positive blood?

I’m NOT anti-vaccine. But, it would depend on the specifics.

#156, boojum

I also don’t understand why people are so silly as to die of AIDs related illnesses

Me neither. I tested positive for HIV OVER twenty (20) years ago.

#157, Jud
Answering my questions with a questions– shame on you.

#158, MartinM

This assessment of compensated cases showing an association between vaccines and autism is not, and does not purport to be, science.

Thank You! Yeah! Someone [MartinM] actually looked at the study! Since they don’t purport to be science, then it can’t be pseudoscience. Correct?

One more thing, Mr. Pilky: It is pseudoscience because it ignores all of the data out there on vaccines and autism, just like you.

Thank You! Yeah! Someone [MartinM] actually looked at the study! Since they don’t purport to be science, then it can’t be pseudoscience. Correct?

So, at first it couldn’t be pseudoscience because it was science, and now it can’t be pseudoscience because it’s not science?

Is there anything that, in your humble opinion, could be considered pseudoscience?

Thank You! Yeah! Someone [MartinM] actually looked at the study! Since they don’t purport to be science, then it can’t be pseudoscience. Correct?

What? Why are you arguing about whether “pseudoscience” is the right word to use or not? That’s as trivial a quibble as anyone could come up with. Are you doing this because you have absolutely no real argument?

Besides, although the disclaimer is in the document, did anyone at the press conference point that out? Has any of the media coverage of this pointed this out? It’s like the Quack Miranda. “We’re not really doing science here (wink-wink), we’ll just act as if we are by claiming that we have ‘proof’.”

“We are a pro-choice movement” as stated by Pilkington at # 7 above. In big bold letters he touts another of his source “studies”…a news broadcast on CBS News…that mentions the Hannah Poling case of mitochondrial encephalopathy.

After being roundly criticized for using the CBS “study” and the Pace Law School “study”…that only “analyze” settlements for supposed vaccine injuries associated with immunization of children against vaccine-preventable childhood diseases, he still maintains there is a government conspiracy. He then questions why we don’t believe that the two “studies” aren’t considered scientific by posters here.

Nice seque now, posting above how wants to retain his ability to chose whether or not he personally opts for the seasonal influenza vaccine.

No Mr. Pilkington, you are a true anti-vax crank. You are totally clueless about what constitutes a scientific study, and you remain clueless.

Mr. Pilkington, your “pro-choice” stand has everything to do with the undermining of public health initiatives and nothing to do with scientific-based inquiry. Just another troll dabbling in science and possibly shilling for anti-vax groups and alternative (non) medicine.

JayK/ArtK/wintermute

This all started because someone stated the article excerpt I posted was pseudoscience. If we agree NO ONE is implying it is science then, of course, it can not be pseudoscience.

I DID NOT reference the (new) study.
I DID NOT imply any conclusion.

You folks just like to obfuscate and attack.

The conflation of ‘autism’ and ‘autism-like symptoms’ reminds me of the old claims that autism is mercury poisoning, because some aspects of autism are similar to some aspects of mercury poisoning. It’s like claiming that sleep is the same as death, because some aspects of sleep are similar to some aspects of death.

If we agree NO ONE is implying it is science then, of course, it can not be pseudoscience.

Would you consider the following (from comment #145) as implying that the article is science?

Of course, the article IS science.

Let me repeat:
The “news story” meets the “scientific” burden. The study uses empirical data, provides supporting documentation and the means to repeat the study.

How do you think the author of that comment came to make such an unambiguous statement on its scienceitude, if no-one is implying that it’s science? Or, to put it another way, one might as well claim that if we agree that no-one is implying the sun is hot, then we can live there.

Mr. Pilkington. I sincerely regret if I’ve confused you or made you feel attacked. In the spirit of that, let’s bring things back to the subject of this blog post, which is a paper and subsequent press conference.

I’ll express this as questions; you can pick and choose whichever you would like to answer: What, if anything does this paper prove? What should change in the world as the result of this paper? Does the paper provide evidence of anything related to the science around vaccines or autism?

Richard Pilkington writes:

I tested positive for HIV OVER twenty (20) years ago.

#157, Jud
Answering my questions with a questions– shame on you.

Because you asked in one of your comments why you should wish to expose yourself to the “risk of vaccine side-effects,” I asked questions to determine whether you had actually engaged in any sort of rational risk analysis, or were simply using language about vaccination risks to stand for whatever irrational motivations you might have.

If your HIV status was not a false positive, there are now only two alternatives:

– You have advanced HIV disease and even the flu vaccine with inactivated virus is contra-indicated in your case.

– You do not have advanced HIV disease but are at least somewhat immuno-compromised, and not getting the flu vaccine makes you an incredible sodding idiot utterly incapable of properly assessing the attendant risks.

I tested positive for HIV OVER twenty (20) years ago.

Correct me somebody if I am wrong: wouldn’t vaccines be contraindicated for an HIV positive person anyway?

#168, lilady

Mr. Pilkington, your “pro-choice” stand has everything to do with the undermining of public health initiatives

That is EXACTLY what I’m interested in doing. Seriously.

So Pilkington upthread describes a news article describing a legal review as science, as a rebuttal to claims that it is pseudoscience:

Of course, the article IS science. [bolding and all-caps original]

Pretty unambiguous, right, Mr Pilkington?

Then, when someone points out that the article itself indicates it is not meant to be scientific, Pilkington craftily moves goalposts:

Since they don’t purport to be science, then it can’t be pseudoscience. Correct?

And, downthread (not linking to hopefully avoid going into moderation):

This all started because someone stated the article excerpt I posted was pseudoscience. If we agree NO ONE is implying it is science then, of course, it can not be pseudoscience.

The categories “not science” and “pseudoscience” are not, in fact, mutually exclusive. That Mr Pilkington seems to suggest they are is curious.

But then, that is a mere quibble compared to the fact that Pilkington bluntly and unambiguously claimed the article was science and then, when presented with unequivocal evidence to the contrary, shifted position to suggest he had not, in fact, made such a claim at all.

#174, Kristen

wouldn’t vaccines be contraindicated for an HIV positive person anyway?”

Not all of them.

#172, ArtK,
What, if anything does this paper prove?
More work needs to be done.
What should change in the world as the result of this paper?
More studies.
Does the paper provide evidence of anything related to the science around vaccines or autism?
No.
The paper served its purpose. I’m fairly certain you’ve heard. Congress holding hearing today.

#173, Jud

I asked questions to determine whether you had actually engaged in any sort of rational risk analysis

Yes. I haven’t gone to the doctor in OVER 40 YEARS (for cold or flu). Vaccines present risk. There is NO epidemic in communities, regions or places I will go. What more do I need to know?

Actually, if Pilkington was diagnosed as HIV positive twenty years ago and is not classified as having severe immuno-suppression there is no contraindications to receiving seasonal flu vaccine.

If he is now immunosuppressed, then it is strongly recommended that he receive inactivated seasonable flu vaccine…you know the vaccine delivered the old fashioned way with a shot. Immunosuppressed people…diagnosed with AIDs.. or with congenital or treatment related immunosuppression, just like pregnant women and young children are at increased risk for serious sequalae resulting from influenza. Inactivated vaccine cannot infect you with influenza (Immunology 101). The “vaccine police” will not arrest you if you opt out of this preventive vaccine that is recommended by your physician.

Why do I think that Pilkington now shares his HIV status with us? Am I being cynical in assuming his tosses in HIV now, to evoke our sympathy or to show he has some science credentials? Pilkington I still believe you have no science background, have an inability to separate science from the dross and are anti-vaccine…masquerading as a “free choice” adherent. Tacky, tacky.

#176, Composer99

that Pilkington bluntly and unambiguously claimed the article was science

I didn’t “bluntly” claim. Someone invoked “pseudoscience” which we’ve determined it is neither. Stop quibbling over semantics. We agree its an information article. So what. It is what it is; it served its purpose.

No, Pilky, as was proved by using citations of your earlier comments, you asserted that it was science in no uncertain terms. No one has to quibble over semantics, we’re just calling you out for what you are, a liar.

#178, lilady
You said people die of AIDS related illness.

Why do I think that Pilkington now shares his HIV status with us? Am I being cynical in assuming his tosses in HIV now, to evoke our sympathy or to show he has some science credentials? Pilkington I still believe you have no science background, have an inability to separate science from the dross and are anti-vaccine…masquerading as a “free choice” adherent. Tacky, tacky.

If I took state-of-science in America for its word (i.e. AZT et al) I do believe I’d be closer to death, death . . . Of course, that’s my opinion.

If no-one implied that the study was science, why were you so certain that it was? Wherever did you get that idea?

And why do you deny that you did, even in light of direct quotes where you say it bold-capital-letters IS science?

Don’t you think it’s odd that more people are living longer than ever before with AIDS than before AZT et al came along? What caused AIDS to go from something that would kill you in six months to something you could live with in decades?

Phila:

It’d be interesting to know how the practice of keeping children on nice clean sidewalks instead of vaccinating them is supposed to play out globally. I’m guessing Thing would prefer the money currently spent on vaccines to go toward paving over sub-Saharan Africa. If so, she’s clearly a shill for Big Asphalt.

😀

Me, I’ve always wondered why the sidewalk is assumed to be clean. Birds poop on it, bugs crawl on it, pets are exercised on it, plants grow out of cracks in it, and after a rainfall, my goodness, the number of earthworms that squirm across it, dragging dirt all over it!

ArtK
Thanks for being a good sport. I want to expand my answers to your questions but, gotta get ready for work. I’ll read some more via phone (very hard to type on it though).

JayK/Wintermute

And why do you deny that you did, even in light of direct quotes where you say it bold-capital-letters IS science?

Dear Strawpeople, I humbly apologize.

Average lifespan of an HIV-positive person is generally considered 10 years. A carrier does not necessarily go on to develop AIDS. 20 Years ago it was considered a death sentence because they didn’t know how long carriers could survive, it was assumed everyone infected would develop AIDS.

Seriously? Quoting your actual words, in the assumption that you meant what you said is a straw-man attack?

In that case, I posit that we have no reason to assume that when you said “Of course, the article IS science”, you didn’t really mean “People should wear hats.”

If you don’t think the words you use in a discussion should have any relationship to the ideas floating around in your brain, why should we waste any time trying to read your mind to figure out what your point actually is?

Pilkington if you are HIV positive…perhaps you have AIDs-related dementia…or is it non-AIDs-related dementia? You deliberately…or as a resulted of some sort dementia, misquoted me.

I stated that high risk people who are not immunized against influenza “are at increased risk for serious sequelae resulting from influeza”

Now we know you are full of it; misquoting other posters, arguing about definitions, playing the semantics game and interjecting a phony HIV positive blood test result.

In addition to being a jerk, uneducated, inculcated with junk science, a free-choice vaccine nut/anti-vaccine crank troll, you now add HIV denialist to your credentials.

Tacky, tacky….and more tacky!

JayK writes:

A carrier does not necessarily go on to develop AIDS.

Estimates of the percentage of such people (long-term non-progressors, or LTNPs) varies from 1-2% to 5-15%. This is affected by the fact that most LTNPs do eventually develop AIDs, so the percentage of current LTNPs decreases as a given cohort is followed.

Mr. Pilkington says he tested HIV-positive more than 20 years ago, and expressed a negative opinion regarding AZT, etc., which I take to indicate he isn’t on anti-retrovirals. He also says he hasn’t been to see a doctor in 40 years for a cold or flu, but has been sick. Based on these statements, I can think of 3 possibilities:

– His test was a false positive.

– He is one of a microscopically small percentage of people who’ve had HIV for 20 years, haven’t developed AIDs, and haven’t even been significantly immunocompromised, to the point that colds and flu don’t make him terribly ill.

– He’s lying.

Because the second possibility is so very rare, I would conclude that 1 or 3 is far more likely.

You know, if I had had a positive test for an infectious and often-fatal disease, and was showing no symptoms, I would get retested. I would do that even if I was convinced that all the currently prescribed treatments were worthless or harmful, because there are things that an HIV+ person should avoid for other people’s sake. Yes, safer sex precautions are a good idea for everyone who is sexually active, but “I want to use condoms because it’s a good idea for everyone” is a different statement from “I want to use condoms because I’m HIV+.” A positive test, even a diagnosis, does not ethically require celibacy, but it does require disclosure to actual and potential sex partners.

Re: positive HIV test 20 years ago.

It isn’t at all unheard of for someone with a positive HIV test to live the rest of their life without signs of AIDS…if the result was a false positive.

The HIV tests of 20 years ago had a false-positive rate of 1 per thousand (or so), which means that there were a large number of false positives, especially in – for example – Illinois, where a well-meaning but scientifically illiterate state legislature required HIV testing to get a marriage license.

I believe the Illinois legislature later eliminated that requirement because, as they were testing a very low risk population, nearly all of the positive results were false positives.

If, on the other hand, Mr. Pilkington has truly been infected with HIV for 20 years, he should contact one of the many HIV research centers – his case may be of inestimable help to AIDS research.

Prometheus

Adding to my last comment:

Chance of a false positive HIV result with the testing protocol in use more than 20 years ago was around 1.5%. (That probability was drastically reduced by the testing protocol that began in the early 1990s.) Adding this to the approximately 1-2% chance that Mr. Pilkington is one of the “lucky few” *very* long term non-progressors, we arrive at a probability that he is lying of approximately 96.5%.

Richard,

Thanks for showing your true colors. Apparently your idea of evidence is outright lies (kind of like Wakefield). And stupid lies, too, where the irrefutable proof is right there in plain sight.

So why exactly should anyone place any credence whatsoever in a single word you say?

#175 Richard Pilkington states that he wants to undermine public health initiatives.

Which specific public health measures did you have in mind Richard? Just vaccines? Or would you go further?

I’m just curious.

The EBCALA paper also confuses “autistic disorder” with “autism spectrum disorders.” Make me wonder who peer reviewed this paper prior to publication in a journal run by law students.

Mr Pilkington,

You were the one who said, with all-caps and bold, that:

Of course, the article IS science.

How, exactly, is that not a blunt, unambiguous claim?

How, exactly, does asserting that an article, which explicitly disavows being scientific in nature, “IS science” constitute anything other than pseudoscience in action?

How, exactly, does turning around and emphasizing “NO ONE” is implying the article was scientific, despite the earlier claim that it “IS science”, constitute anything other than intellectual dishonesty?

Jarred C,

Especially since the conversation was talking about encephalitis in general, and specifically about two different causes of encephalitis compared to each other.

Please re-read #73 and don’t play stupid. The type of encephalitis that is being compared here is the one specifically caused by the measles virus derived either from natural infection or from the vaccine. So no, we’re not discussing encephalitis in general but rather measles encephalitis.

Heh; some people can’t even admit enough error to say, “I meant X, obviously”. Instead they have to pretend there was no ambiguity whatsoever in what they said, while refusing to notice how stupid this actually makes them look. My four-year-old does this, but then, she’s four, so she’s got an excuse.

Mr. Pilkington still doesn’t get it, so let’s see if we can explain it another way.  Mr. Pilkington claims that:

The “news story” meets the “scientific” burden. The study uses empirical data, provides supporting documentation and the means to repeat the study.

So, I will talk about Dr. Scott Reuben.  That should be a familiar name to many; he was an aesthesiologist who published 21 influential papers detailing studies in pain relief.  Unfortunately, as was later discovered, the studies and in some cases the patients as well were entirely invented, and all 21 papers were retracted.

Which of those 21 papers would not meet Mr. Pilkington’s “‘scientific’ burden”?

The empirical data, the supporting documentation, the means to repeat the study – those were all there, even if they had been generated from fertile imagination rather than careful and honest observation.  So in Mr. Pilkington’s phrasing, it would seem that Dr. Reuben’s studies “meet the ‘scientific’ burden” and should bear a great deal of weight, just as he thinks the current study of legal decisions should.

Here’s what Mr. Pilkington seems determined not to understand:  the factors that he presents as the whole of “the ‘scientific’ burden” are important, but they are where good science starts, not where it ends.  There are many things that you can do to screw up what otherwise could have been a meaningful study, and the authors of the current ‘report’ have done many of them:

* Use of inappropriate surrogate endpoints.  If we wanted to know how tall the average fourth-grader is, we could pick a sample population of fourth-graders and measure each one of them from head to toe with a tape measure.  If we chose instead to wait until a fourth-grade class made a trip to an amusement park, and then counted how many were turned away from rides with “you must be this tall to ride” signs, everyone would wonder, rightfully, why we were deliberately choosing to use data that was (even if technically “empirical”) clearly at a significant remove from the best data that we could have used.

* Avoidance of evaluation by experts.  Suppose you own two properties, and each of them needs repairs to bring them up to code.  You hire two contractors, one for each of the two properties.  One says, “All right, I’ll do the repairs, and after the state inspector examines the repairs and confirms that they’re up to code, you pay me the money for the job.”  The other says, “All right, I’ll do the repairs, and after you pay me the money for the job, you can call in the state inspector to examine the repairs.  And he’ll surely confirm that they’re up to code.”  You suggest to the second contractor that he should, like the first, wait until his work passes inspection to take money for it, and he gets highly agitated.  “No!  I have to get my money before the inspection, you hear?  I can’t wait and get my money only if a professional confirms that I did it right!  I have to get my money before any professional gets a look at my work!”

Sure sounds like that second contractor knows that the job he did will never pass inspection, doesn’t it?  Sounds like he’s planning to ‘take the money and run,’ doesn’t it?  Well, that’s the impression that ‘science by press conference’ gives to those who know how science is really done.  It may be “grab the publicity and run” rather than “grab the money” but really, the principle’s the same.  If the authors of this ‘report’ thought their work was actually sound enough to survive scrutiny by experts in the field, they would have submitted it to experts in the field for examination, and then the results could have been publicized and had all the more authority because experts in the field had confirmed that the science was basically sound.  Instead, they chose to make sure their claims hit the headlines before anyone could double-check their work.  You should wonder why.

The point, once again, is that what Mr. Pilkington presents as all that’s needed to meet “the ‘scientific’  burden” is really a minimal – exceedingly minimal – starting point.  Just because a ‘report’ manages to make it up to this very modest bar does not make it good science.  Of course, I think that if he were to be fully honest, Mr. Pilkington would admit that he doesn’t regard this ‘report’ as good science because it meets the burden he described; he regards it as good science because it says what he wants to hear.

CG,

You said:

Given that the measles vaccine strain is a live virus it does cause an infection, although very minor one that rarely causes disease.

And then you refute your own statement by claiming this:

The vaccine does not confer the measles infection.

What else are you going to contradict? Hold up here’s another one:

The vaccine does not aim to cause the measles infection. It aims to stimulate immunity by creating memory T cells and B cells that will quickly act upon subsequent measles virus detection.

Subsequent measles detection? Oh you mean subsequent reinfection? Don’t worry I got you.

Matthew Cline,

[…]thus encephalitis caused by a measles vaccine is measles encephalitis. You’re not going to convince Th1Th2 otherwise: […]

Well, I am not a germ denialist, are you?

>What would compel me to get a flu vaccine? Why would I risk
>potential vaccine side-effects? Annually?

I know what you mean – people keep telling me not to speed in school zones, but what’s in it for me? It’s not like I get hurt if a child gets killed.

The South Korean study is completely irrelevant unless the same screening test they used in their study was also used on the vaccine-injured-compensated children. You can’t just say, oh the test found the rate is three time higher and the vaccine injured kids have a rate of autism that is three times higher so therefore it is no different! No, because you don’t know how many more cases would have been found among the vaccine injured if they used a different screening test.

Let me just say, as someone in the legal field, that the idea that legal decisions have little, if any, relation to objective truth. The standard of vaccine court is extremely low. You basically have to show the possibility of causation. By that standard, if I get mugged by a tall man, every guy over six feet who doesn’t have a timestamped alibi is guilty. Not just a suspect, but actually guilty.

@ Jessica:

You just blew out my irony meter. After all, the entire case put forward in the “study” is that the rate they “measured” was higher than in the general population. By your same argument, those numbers can’t be compared since they used different tests.

So tell me, do you reject those results as meaningless too?

@Jessica: The authors discussed the methodologies and their use of cross-cultural back-translation techniques plus verification in order to make sure the test was applicable.

Then there is the statistical analysis, which is a large enough of a population sample that the comparison can be made, at least at a general level.

Maybe we just didn’t understand your point. Can you clarify, please?

I just noticed #27 from Mr. Pilkington

I get it now. In science drunk drivers are not the cause of a victims death or injury. Clarity!

Did you read the next sentence after the part you quoted? I’ll remind you. “Avoidance of vaccines as a potential ‘trigger’ in patients who harbour a SCN1A mutation does not make biological sense”.

Th1Th2,

Listened to a talk on HCV yesterday, concerning NK responses in exposed uninfected individuals. Someone who is exposed, but does not need adaptive immunity to clear the pathogen is not INFECTED. Get it? The patients were EXPOSED (what you claim being infected is), but did not become infected. You try and prove your position by quoting a post by another person, aka, me, and then say that CG said it. Just an example of the lies you use to support your position.

You’re clearly TOO dumb to look who posted what.

FMJ,

Ooops. Sorry my bad. I didn’t know you were refuting CG’s stance that measles vaccines indeed cause measles infection. Well, that happens all the time when infection-promoters like you contradict one another like Gray and Chris. Obviously, nobody is going to criticize you except me. So how do you feel about CG’s claim?

And as for you, you claimed:

Someone who is exposed, but does not need adaptive immunity to clear the pathogen is not INFECTED. Get it?

How do you expose someone to a pathogen?

I’ve been slumming again at Age of Autism. Fox News has done a follow-up story regarding the amateur government conspiracy “study” done by lawyers, ex-cop father of autistic triplets and Pace Law school students.

Now we have a parent interviewed…Heather McLennand whose son had reactions to vaccines in early infancy and survived them without any sequalae. Her son started to deteriorate at age 18 months and was diagnosed with autism at age 4. “He has multiple allergies to the components in all vaccine…he should have never been given any vaccines”, according to mommy’s intuition.

The “expert” interviewee is Richard Deth, Ph.D (pharmacology) famous for his two testimonies at Congressional hearings about Thimerisol and its link to autism. Deth serves on the “Science Advisory Board” of The National Autism Association, along with such luminaries as Boyd Haley and Andrew Wakefield. The Governing Board of the National Autism Association has two celebrity-types; Deidre Imus and Katie Wright.

When questioned about any CDC “cover-up” as revealed in press releases, Deth states “the CDC has an agenda”.

(Notice the gazillion supplements available at the National Autism Association website…Mercola has competition)

Th1Th2

How do you expose someone to a pathogen?

I’m assuming we’re talking about isolated incidents with known highly infectious diseases, because as we both know we all live in a bath of bacteria and viruses.

So in response, a needle stick.

@Orac: Did you notice how well cited Craig’s posting was? I mean, he obviously knew that the only reason that the CDC, the authors of the Korean study and most recent studies on autism all use the 1:100 rate for autism is because of the one British study. He sure showed all them intellectual academic fools!

And I notice you’ve been poisoning the well again, what have we told you about that?

No, no, no, no, JayK, you’ve got it all wrong! I’m shifting the goalposts! Craig himself says so in the comments of his post (Blogger’s down, and Craig hates me so much that deletes any comment I leave on his blog):

I mentioned this on FB, but an observation just occurred to me. The reason that Orac and his followers are so focused on the prevalence is that, to me, they are clearly trying to shift the goalposts. The claim is that vaccines don’t cause autism, and when cases (using the government’s own data, mind you) are presented that disprove this claim, they shift the goalposts and say, “Oh, well the prevalence is the same as in the Korea study.”

First off, the government’s own data do not “prove” that vaccines cause autism. Second, there is no “shifting of goalposts.” I could have easily made the same argument without the South Korean study. It was nothing more than conveniently timed icing on the cake. Craig simply does not understand the concepts that (1) correlation does not necessarily equal causation; (2) in order to justify looking for causation, you need to have at least correlation, which the PACE study doesn’t provide, given that it can’t show a significantly higher risk of autism in the VICP-compensated population; and (3) that legal evidence is not scientific evidence.

Poor Craig. With his realization that Andrew Wakefield is a fraud, I thought there was hope for him. I really did. But he appears to be backsliding.

Richard Pilkington wrote

I have not seen a doctor for a cold or the flu since I was a child (probably 40+ years). I’m not saying I haven’t been sick, just not that sick. What would compel me to get a flu vaccine? Why would I risk potential vaccine side-effects? Annually?

I have no known chronic illness. To the best of my knowledge, in the last 30 years, I have never seen a medical provider for either the common cold or for influenza.

What would compel me to get a flu vaccine?

I started getting the flu vaccine annually over a decade ago, when someone dear to me became immuno-compromised from chemotherapy. I understood that I could be infected with the flu viruses and be contagious for the disease before I noticed any symptoms, and I would be putting my dear one at risk.

A while later, I became active in a social group that included people in their 70s and 80s. That reinforced my decision to be immunized annually against the flu, because (a) elders are more susceptible to the flu; (b) are more likely to have serious consequences from infection and (c) even if they are themselves immunized against the flu, the effects of advancing age means that they are less likely to mount an effective immune response if immunized.

In other words, elders rely in part on vaccine-mediated community immunity for protection against infection with influenza.

The risks to me from having an annual influenza vaccine are tiny (even microscopic, and possibly even at the homeopathic level) compared to the risk I would pose, if infected with the flu virus, to people not just in my social circle, but folks I don’t even know I have been in contact with.

In other words, I recognize I do not live in a bubble that prevents viruses or bacterium from exiting or entering my person. I am in casual contact with many many people in the course of my normal life — people I may not even known I have had an effect on. From my routine, daily life, some examples might be people I share airspace with: when I take public transit, when I use a public library, when I enter a grocery store, a or a movie theater.

The question that Thingy always raises in my mind is where does he/she live that the sidewalks are sterile? I went out to look at the sidewalk just outside my building and it was DISGUSTING. Gum, dirt, what I suspect was dog urine. Yuck.

Terrie,

I went out to look at the sidewalk just outside my building and it was DISGUSTING. Gum, dirt, what I suspect was dog urine. Yuck.

Oh I’m sure Chris would love to be in the place like that. She knows dirt is good for kids not to mention gums, don’t they Chris?

When my younger son was between three to five I sometimes find him chewing gum. I did not give them gum because it would be found in unfortunate places. I asked him where he got the gum, and then he pointed to spot on the sidewalk where he had pried up off some to chew. He has a very robust immune system, is fully vaccinated and very healthy.

And complement that with dog pee, what more could you ask for?

I must get to Thingy when she has to quote me. At least my story points out that kids have resilient immune systems and do not need to live in the sterile fantasy she has devised in her delusional mind.

The question that Thingy always raises in my mind is where does he/she live that the sidewalks are sterile? I went out to look at the sidewalk just outside my building and it was DISGUSTING. Gum, dirt, what I suspect was dog urine.

After it rains, our driveway and sidewalk are covered in worms. The sun comes out and dries them up. Then Offspring the Elder goes out and picks them up and throws them in the grass.

I probably shouldn’t have taught him that, but I thought it was better than him trying to eat it like the dog was. I was under no pretense that I was going to be able to teach him to not touch them.

Chris,

At least you’ve made the children useful in the community by teaching them to clean up the streets. So how many grams of used gum and dirt do you require children to eat per day in order for them to become robust and healthy? Also, don’t forget to tell schoolers to always check under their desks for some gooey surprise.

FMJ,

I’m assuming we’re talking about isolated incidents with known highly infectious diseases, because as we both know we all live in a bath of bacteria and viruses.

Well, a healthy newborn who routinely receives HbsAg from a needle stick is not an isolated case. A naive child who is being given live poliovirus is also not an isolated case. There are at least a dozen of known pathogen-associated inoculations being given to children in the first year of life. Certainly, this is not an isolated case.

So in response, a needle stick.

Dead-on analysis.

Unthinking respect for authority is the worst enemy of truth. Scientism is not Science. The Pharmaceutical Industry is not in buisness to protect your health. Vaccines cause chronic illness which are a pathway to profits. Prior to 1980 vaccines were given to children before they entered school around the age of 4 years. Injecting so many foreign agents into a baby defies logic on a grand scale. It’s necessary for evey parent to educate themselves on this subject and to stop following what the so called experts are preaching. In a society so focused on power and wealth, why would anyone put their childrens health into the hands of an industry that has been proven time and time again to falsify its own data. Put your trust in Nature. It’s been around for a long time and when you follow it’s basic rules, you will be rewarded with vibrant health and well being.

Oh yeah Jim, that wonderful nature that gave us Smallpox, Black Death, plus a myriad other diseases over the past hundred thousand years or so.

And what was the average lifespan of our “natural” forefathers? 25 – 30 years tops? Somehow I think we’ve managed to better than that with modern medicine over the last hundred years.

Moron.

Put your trust in Nature. It’s been around for a long time and when you follow it’s basic rules, you will be rewarded with vibrant health and well being.

You mean like the Black Death, the Spanish Flu in 1918, malaria in present-day Africa…? Or do you mean the “Nature” pushed by Big Vitamin and Big Health Food? (You know they effectively lobbied Congress to prevent any health and safety regulation, right?) Or some other bastardized modern-day idealized vision of Nature purveyed to people who wouldn’t last a day on a medium-stress camping trip, let alone in actual untrammeled natural conditions?

Chris

At least my story points out that kids have resilient immune systems and do not need…

…Vaccines!

Thank you Chris!

Oh yeah Jim, that wonderful nature that gave us Smallpox, Black Death, plus a myriad other diseases over the past hundred thousand years or so.

Your metaphysical views shine through. No wonder you have a philosophical basis for the “need” of medicine. You’re scared and insecure. The medicine makes you feel better about the nature of life. Return to the Oracle for wise counsel.

And what was the average lifespan of our “natural” forefathers? 25 – 30 years tops? Somehow I think we’ve managed to better than that with modern medicine over the last hundred years.

In 1950, the life expectancy for a 50 year white man was 21.6 MORE years! According to you he should have died 25 years earlier. 100 years later we factors not only including medicine added approx. ONE year to the avg. lifespan. Today the same aged man, on a population avg has gained about 7.5 more years.

Ill let you say it to yourself Doh

Moron.

By the toll of a billion deaths, man had earned his immunity, his right to survive among this planet’s infinite organisms, and that right is ours against all challenges, for neither do men live nor die in vain.

natural selection 

the process by which forms of life having traits that better enable them to adapt to specific environmental pressures will tend to survive and reproduce in greater numbers than others of their kind, thus ensuring the perpetuation of those favorable traits in succeeding generations.

Vaccines have removed this natural law. Vaccines have weakened the entire human race and we are seeing this first hand in our children.

Lawrence seems to be good at calling people names but not so good at Science.

From “augustine” (#227):

“In 1950, the life expectancy for a 50 year white man was 21.6 MORE years! According to you he should have died 25 years earlier. 100 years later we factors not only including medicine added approx. ONE year to the avg. lifespan. Today the same aged man, on a population avg has gained about 7.5 more years.”

Uh, “augustine”, the year is 2011 – one hundred years after 1950 would be 2050, 39 years in the future.

Also, by 1950 we already had most of the “modern” conveniences (in the US) like refrigeration, sanitary sewers, municipal water supplies, etc., so that’s not exactly comparable to our “natural” ancestors, is it?

The fact that white males have added only a few years more life (comparing men born in 1900 to men born in 1961, in “augustine’s” example) isn’t exactly an idictment of modern medicine. Despite the fact that we get less exercise and take more medications and are exposed to (hypothetically) more “chemicals”, we humans just keep living longer and longer. It’s gotta frost your pipes, “augustine”, since it puts the lie to your “sicker” society claims.

Pointless, I know, to argue with a pathological contrarian, but I just couldn’t let him/her get by with it.

Prometheus

Jim,

So, you would rather select for innate immunity to smallpox than for intelligence? For the ability to survive rabies without treatment (one (1) case on record ever) than for social behavior?

Tool-making is a human adaptation, as much as the shape of our feet or our teeth. The same is true of social behavior.

If vaccines are unnatural, so is hygiene, so are knives, so are containers, so are crop plants and buildings and indoor plumbing. I’ll take artificial comfort, thank you.

“among this planet’s infinite organisms”

As this planet has a finite size and finite resources, I don’t see how it could have infinite organisms. Infinite is not just a 1 word version of “a lot”.

@ Lawrence:
@ Jud:

Ah, the Natural World! My friend, an artist, graduated college in the late 1970’s: she spent her vacations (from ad work) by travelling throughout the Third World photographing folks making crafts ( what can I say, it was the late 1970’s!) and documenting open-air markets overland between Turkey and India and then later when the political situation worsened, in South and Central America. She caught many interesting and exotic diseases (non-venereal) as she was not always totally astute prophylactically. Needless to say, although I was once invited to come along, I feared the plasmodia, amoebi, and other wonders of nature too much.

Wow – boring troll is purposely misunderstanding again. When I said “forefathers” I was reaching all the way back to pre-history (especially since some bible-thumpers claim people back then lived 900 years or more – yeah right), when even the slightest cut or abrasion could be fatal due to infections.

So yeah – you’re a moron.

And Jim, being a proponent of natural selection has obviously thrown away all trappings of modern life and must be getting his internet from the ether & living in a tree somewhere (to escape the various predators that would love nothing more than to eat him).

And we’ve gotten a lot smarter over the years – we no longer have to tolerate the death of billions by simple diseases. I would say that makes us a lot stronger, not weaker, as a species (and especially given the ever increasing rate of advancement, I’d say we are much stronger).

I mean really boring troll – you’ve avoided every direct question about your own qualifications, education or employment, isn’t about time to put up or shut up, or better yet, just shut up.

And you never answered my questions about your own “de-humanizing” comments, nor the actions of others of your ilk (the Thanksgiving AoA cannibalism cartoon specifically), or why you are so against disease eradication.

So, you’re a non-entity, a nobody, and nobody cares.

Jim:

Vaccines cause chronic illness which are a pathway to profits. Prior to 1980 vaccines were given to children before they entered school around the age of 4 years.

Cite? Especially for the not giving kids vaccines before age four, because I have read many papers and my own shot records that show it was common to give kids DTP and OPV before age one.

Vaccines have removed this natural law. Vaccines have weakened the entire human race and we are seeing this first hand in our children.

Then why are you using a computer? What part of natural law allows you to use electricity?

How can you relate internal medical intervetions to external objects. Technology can be a tool for increased life span (ex..sanitation) but it can also be a source of pollution and toxic burdens.

With the exception of man’s oldest disease, Malaria, the scourges of mankind have resulted from dense populations living in small compact areas…overcrowded cities with little or no sanitation. This is why Native populations of the Americas lacked immunity to the infectious diseases that ravaged Europe and Asia for centuries.

How effective was vaccination?:

…Not only had poor sanitation and nutrition lain the foundation for disease, it was also compulsory smallpox vaccination campaigns in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that played a major role in decimating the populations of: Japan (48,000 deaths), England and Wales (44,840 deaths, after 97 percent of the population had been vaccinated), Scotland, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, Holland, Italy, India (3 million — all vaccinated), Australia, Germany (124,000 deaths), Prussia (69,000 deaths — all re-vaccinated), and the Philippines. The epidemics ended in cities where smallpox vaccinations were either discontinued, or never begun, and after sanitary reforms were instituted (Smallpox Vaccination).

What part of natural law allows you to use electricity?

Haha..are you kidding??

You’re moving the goalposts: one minute you were claiming that deaths from smallpox are natural selection and hence good, so vaccination is bad, and now suddenly you’re arguing that the problem with smallpox vaccination is that it increases the death rate [citation needed]. Pick at most one: if smallpox infection is good, you should applaud an ineffective vaccine program, because it exposes more people to the pathogen.

Seriously: you’re arguing in favor of people, including children, dying in misery as somehow good for society/the species.

I’ve heard a lot of odd claims about the pre-Columbian Americas, but the idea that most of the people were living in “overcrowded cities” is a new one. [citation needed]

jim @ 235:

This is why Native populations of the Americas lacked immunity to the infectious diseases that ravaged Europe and Asia for centuries.

And nothing at all to do with the fact that there was almost no movement of infected people from Asia or Europe to the Americas over that whole period. No, nothing to do with that at all.

So, tell us, exactly what is the color of the sky in your world?

What part of natural law allows you to use electricity? Haha..are you kidding??

Nope. Electric appliances aren’t natural, so why are they good but not vaccination? Also, where are you getting your numbers? We have no obligation to take your word for anything.

Jim states “Prior to 1980 vaccines were given to children prior to entering school around the age of 4 years. Injecting so many foreign agents into a baby defies logic on a grand scale”.

Really Jim? How many children were you caring for and how many children did you take to their pediatrician for every well-baby visit…prior to 1980?

My babies, born in the 1970s both received the DPT and Oral Polio Vaccines…on time before the first birthdays. After their birthday, each received measles, mumps and rubella vaccines. Fortunately, they never contracted any of these serious diseases, before they were fully immunized due to the benefits of herd immunity. My daughter even received a smallpox vaccine in 1971; in 1972 it was removed from the “Recommended Childhood Vaccines” list.

Back in the 1970s there was none of this utter nonsense promulgated by woo meisters using junk science. Young parents and their grandparents had experiences with these potentially deadly diseases…I lost my childhood friend to polio before Salk vaccine became available. An older cousin was in a coma for six weeks with measles encephalitis…survived it with lasting sequelae.

In the 1970s, no vaccine was available to protect infants and toddlers from deadly invasive Strep Pneumoniae or Haemophilus Influenzae Type B diseases, or to protect neonates from perinatal transmission of Hepatitis B from their hepatitis B carrier mothers. Nor was there a vaccine to protect infants from Rotavirus or Varicella.

So Jim, tell us what your experiences are with children born before 1980 and why administering the vaccines available before 1980 versus administering the vaccines available today…”defies (your) logic on a grand scale”.

We would also like to see some statistics in the form of citations that analyze disease prevalence and incidence in the United States before the vaccines became available versus disease prevalence and incidence today. We would also like you to expand on your theories and provide us with citations that back up your theories. Citations should be from peer-reviewed Journals.

Jim:

Haha..are you kidding??

Absolutely not. You might want to avail yourself to another thing that is not natural: your local public library. You seem to lack a basic knowledge of history, biology, anthropology, logic, and a bunch of other subjects. I suggest you read about the history of malaria, which used to be common in both Europe and the United States.

Or you can keep posting your drivel, it is good for a laugh.

@Jim

With the exception of man’s oldest disease, Malaria, the scourges of mankind have resulted from dense populations living in small compact areas…overcrowded cities with little or no sanitation. This is why Native populations of the Americas lacked immunity to the infectious diseases that ravaged Europe and Asia for centuries.

Here’s a book for you: Guns, Germs and Steel, that addresses why European diseases ravaged the native populations.

It’s nice to see these two groups of infection-promoters (pro-pox vs pro-vax) arguing on how to prevent infection. Oh the irony.

Uh, “augustine”, the year is 2011 – one hundred years after 1950 would be 2050, 39 years in the future.

1850.

Lawrence,

And we’ve gotten a lot smarter over the years – we no longer have to tolerate the death of billions by simple diseases. I would say that makes us a lot stronger, not weaker, as a species (and especially given the ever increasing rate of advancement, I’d say we are much stronger).

“Great, if you want to be Miss America.” —Bruce Nolan, Bruce Almighty

when even the slightest cut or abrasion could be fatal due to infections.

You mean like nonsocomial infections and iatrogenesis today?

1.7 million hospital acquired infections resulting in 99,000 deaths per year

Augustine, even taking the year 1850 into account, the value you gave was someone’s lifespan after they made it to fifty. Quite a number didn’t, usually dying in infancy. Do you consider it honest not to take that into account?

Th1Th2 you still haven’t shown that vaccination causes infection, you’ve merely asserted it without providing any evidence. Why do you think we should accept your statements without any evidence?

1.7 million hospital acquired infections resulting in 99,000 deaths per year

Would you prefer not having medicine, which would be far more infections and deaths per year? Or do you have an alternative that, you know, works?

augustine writes:

In 1950, the life expectancy for a 50 year white man was 21.6 MORE years! According to you he should have died 25 years earlier. 100 years later we factors not only including medicine added approx. ONE year to the avg. lifespan.

Oh dear, my poor dear augustine.

Listen, some friendly (really) advice: Next time you’re thinking of posting on a subject that has ANYTHING to do with math – don’t.

You have no idea how actuarial tables work, do you? Remaining life expectancy at age 50 does not equal life expectancy at birth minus 50 years. So the two quantities you cite (21.6 more years for a 50 year old in 1850, ~72.6 year life expectancy for someone born in 1950) aren’t nearly comparable in the simplistic way you imagine.

Now you’ve been told, you can go ahead and look up the correct numbers on your own, or I can come back after I’ve had some time and leisure to look and post the correct figures for you.

Would you prefer not having medicine, which would be far

more infections and deaths per year? Or do you have an alternative that, you know, works?

Nice strawman.

It’s also the ole I’ve done more good deeds than bad deeds doctrine therefore I’m a good person. Completely ignoring that 99,000 people were needlessly killed. It’s also how war mongerers rationalize collateral damage.

How many people died from measles in the 10 year period before vaccines again? Did I hear a 9iner in there?

Trolls trolls everywhere, and nary a drop of intelligence amongst them.

Augie thinks people should just die at home, rather than go to a hospital, thingie doesn’t show much of a clue about the discussion and Jim is just throwing out BS in order to get a rise out of people. Hey, 80 people died of measles last year in the US, so vaccines are bad, m’kay?

No need to apologize or humble yourself.

Indeed, Jud does not, ugh troll, since, by (a) failing to read his comment for comprehension and (b) failing to read the tables you cited for comprehension, you didn’t disprove him.

I’ll take cherry-pick fail for $200, Alex.

Ummm….Augustine, I do not think you’re arguing what you think you are arguing.
You are correct – per that table, if a white male reached the age of 50 in 1850, he could expect to live another 21.6 years. On the other hand, the life expectancy of a newborn was only 38.3 years. So a substantial number of white males did not live to see 50, much less 71.6. On average white males did not live past 40 and a substantial percentage died before age 10 (per the chart – you’ll notice that 10 year olds could expect to live 48 more years).

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It’s funny how auggie yells at us for only being concerned with numbers but at the same time when he’s shown someone killed by a disease he shrugs and says 99% of the people with it survive anyway.

Continuing with Mephistopheles’ point, a white male born in 1850 had a life expectancy of a mere 38.3 years. A white male born in 1950 had a life expectancy of 66.31 years, an extra 28 years. That’s because so many born in 1950 didn’t die in infancy or childhood.

augustine has now demonstrated that it not only is totally ignorant of the most elementary concepts of probability and statistics, it also can’t even read a very simple chart.

Augustine,

I’ve been reading this blog for two years without commenting. I find your participation in these discussions consistently amusing but I have to repeat a question you’ve been asked before: What exactly do you want medicine to do?

You don’t think people should vaccinate. You apparently don’t think people should go to hospital for surgery(1). You haven’t suggested any reforms to the delivery or operation of your healthcare system. You haven’t suggested any improvements to treatment. What is it you want?

(1) From your second cite: “Patient-safety incidents with the highest rates per 1,000 hospitalizations were failure to rescue, decubitus ulcer and postoperative sepsis, which accounted for almost 60 percent of all patient-safety incidents that occurred.”

augustine wants medicine to end, utterly and completely, and all doctors, nurses, and any other medical practitioners to quit entirely and do something else. Because no matter how dire the patient’s situation, and no matter how safe the intervention, there is always a risk that the patient might die as a direct result of the intervention.  And to augustine there is absolutely no defense to a charge of murder in that case:

It’s also the ole I’ve done more good deeds than bad deeds doctrine therefore I’m a good person. Completely ignoring that 99,000 people were needlessly killed. It’s also how war mongerers rationalize collateral damage.

LW,

Because no matter how dire the patient’s situation, and no matter how safe the intervention, there is always a risk that the patient might die as a direct result of the intervention.

783,936 iatrogenic deaths per year. Thank you Doctor Smarty Smarts!

Isn’t it cool how the number of iatrogenic deaths goes up every time it’s given? It’s like a game of telephone.

By the way, augustine and Th1Th2, do feel free to stay far, far away from any medical treatment of any kind. Rely on sanitation and herbs. I doubt anyone here will mind.

Jim (#223)

In a society so focused on power and wealth, why would anyone put their childrens health into the hands of an industry that has been proven time and time again to falsify its own data.

Like how Andrew Wakefield falsified his data after he was offered large amounts of money to fabricate a link between autism and vaccines, you mean?

LW,

Isn’t it cool how the number of iatrogenic deaths goes up every time it’s given? It’s like a game of telephone.

Simple. Because…

[…]we’ve gotten a lot smarter over the years – we no longer have to tolerate the death of billions by simple diseases. I would say that makes us a lot stronger, not weaker, as a species (and especially given the ever increasing rate of advancement, I’d say we are much stronger).–Lawrence

LW,

By the way, augustine and Th1Th2, do feel free to stay far, far away from any medical treatment of any kind. Rely on sanitation and herbs. I doubt anyone here will mind.

Translation: Doctors are always right when it comes to medical diagnosis and intervention no matter what. Therefore, the 783,936 iatrogenic deaths that occur every year should not be a cause for concern, at least, it’s a professional way to die or deteriorate slowly. Patients should not panic but rather continue to trust their health (and life) to their doctors.

Th1Th2,
I don’t recall LW ever saying that doctors are always right no matter what. Would you please point to a message that specifically said so? Otherwise, your last message is merely a lie.

Doctors are always right when it comes to medical diagnosis and intervention no matter what.

Man, who does that remind me of?

@jim

“With the exception of man’s oldest disease, Malaria,”

citation please?

Well, is it 700,000 or 600,000 who die by *medicine* each year? Ever wonder how these figures became so popular in troll parlance**? If you fire up the google for “Death by Medicine” you’ll find a spate of articles, a book, video clips, and now a full-length “documentary” by Gary Null, Carolyn Dean, ND &(ex)MD, and cohorts. It’s been written about by James Laidler and Harriet Hall among others. I haven’t read more than a few pages: if I’m going to read *fiction*, I prefer talented writers with meaningful messages.

** especially if they use *iatrogenic*.

Leprosy seems to be the oldest disease known to man. That’s what I’ve been able to find at least. Can’t find anything referring to malaria as man’s oldest disease.
random troll Jim fails.
Auger misunderstands literally everything.
Th1Th2 is still speaking Thinglish.
The sun rose and set.

augustine has now demonstrated that it not only is totally ignorant of the most elementary concepts of probability and statistics, it also can’t even read a very simple chart.

It’s such an elementary and transparent error that no matter whether he didn’t realize it, or thought he’d get away with it, it doesn’t reflect well either way.

Yes, this chart and others like it show a profound reduction in child mortality as their most apparent feature. For example, the US vital statistics for 1990 put out by the National Center for Health Statistics shows the following for white males. (I chose them because comparative numbers don’t exist for the “Black” category for the earliest relevant period, and because for males the factor of death from childbearing doesn’t overlap age categories, so the change in childhood mortality can be seen more clearly.)

At birth, life expectancy in 1900-02 was 48.23 years; in 1990 it was 72.7 years, a difference of over 24 years. At age 1, the figures were 54.61 of additional life expectancy in 1900-02, 72.3 more years in 1990, a difference of less than 18 years. So almost 7 years of the difference in average life expectancy between 1990 and the turn of the 20th century is accounted for by infants dying within the first year after birth. That is a huge figure over populations of tens of millions of white males in 1900-1902, and nearly 100 million by 1990.

At age 20, additional life expectancy in 1990 was 54 years, while in 1900-1902, it was 42.19 years, a difference of just under 12 years. Thus an additional 5+ years of the difference in life expectancy between 1900-02 and 1990 is accounted for by the deaths of children and teenagers.

So about 12 years of the 24-year life expectancy difference at birth is due solely to survival through childhood and adolescence. (For comparison, changes in survival during ages 20-65 account for about 8 years of the difference, and at age 65 there is less than a 4-year difference in life expectancy between 1900-02 and 1990.)

So, augustine, you’ve helped us show the medical care we provide our kids is the single greatest advance in human survival over the past century or more. Way to go there, fella! See, I *will* apologize, because all along I thought you opposed what modern medicine was doing for children, but here you’ve pointed out statistics that dramatically support it.

@ Yojimbo

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You deserve a few internets. I salute you.

Augustine,

Are these other posters correct? Is it really that simple? Are you implying that a sin of omission is preferable to a sin of commission? That it is better to fail to render aid than to intervene and risk causing harm?

Well done, Jud. The difference in child mortality is so huge that I think it’s hard for us moderns to really imagine what it was like to live in a world where so many children simply died young.

In one of Dickens’ books there is a statement that runs something like, ” They had a visitor who stayed for a short time and then turned her face to the wall and departed.” I remember it because I puzzled over it for a while before it dawned on me that this was a delicate way of saying that they had a baby that died young. Dickens assumed his readers would understand that because of course it was a common experience.

“Translation: Doctors are always right when it comes to medical diagnosis and intervention no matter what.”

No, actually, the translation is, “doctors’ lives are difficult enough trying to figure out the many things that can go wrong with something as incredibly complicated as a human body. There’s no reason they should have to deal with nasty bigots like you at the same time “

It amazes me (actually, no it doesn’t) that the trolls who bandy about those ever-changing figures about how supposedly many iatrogenic deaths there are each year never seem to realize: nothing in “iatrogenic” specifies Western medicine. A child killed by a DAN! doctor’s chelation is just as much an iatrogenic death as one who dies from complications of surgery.

Also, having found the (poorly and improperly cited) table where Thingy pulls the number from, it includes 115,000 deaths from… bed sores.

LW,

No, actually, the translation is, “doctors’ lives are difficult enough trying to figure out the many things that can go wrong with something as incredibly complicated as a human body.

Despite all that, the clueless doctor will still end up with a medical diagnosis and intervention while the patient runs the risk.

No drama please.

Antaeus,

[…]nothing in “iatrogenic” specifies Western medicine.

One word: Denial

Th1Th2 is clueless; doctors are not. As I said, there’s no reason any doctor should have to deal with a nasty bigot like Th1Th2.

Terrie,

Also, having found the (poorly and improperly cited) table where Thingy pulls the number from, it includes 115,000 deaths from… bed sores.

Or decubitus ulcer which is the hallmark sign of being a longtime faithful to the Church of Modern Medicine. It just depends on where it lands on the death certificate, that is, as immediate, antecedent or underlying cause.

To quote Wiki:

Bedsores are often fatal – even under the auspices of medical care – and are one of the leading iatrogenic causes of death reported in developed countries, second only to adverse drug reactions.

So, Th1Th2, do you have any evidence that medicine causes more deaths that it prevents? Or do you have a perfect solution that you aren’t telling us about? Here’s a hint, “Don’t get sick” isn’t a perfect solution.

LW,

Th1Th2 is clueless; doctors are not. As I said, there’s no reason any doctor should have to deal with a nasty bigot like Th1Th2.

Trans: The faithfuls of the Church should never challenge the Priest. Likewise, the Priest should not question the infallibility of the Pope.

“Or decubitus ulcer which is the hallmark sign of being a longtime faithful to the Church of Modern Medicine.”

My first reaction was contempt for Th1Th2’s inability to read the very wiki page it cited, which pointed out that bedsores occur in acute care (hospitals), in long term care (nursing homes), and in home care, and that they are due to pressure where the patient isn’t able to move to relieve the pressure, or doesn’t realize the need to do so. I knew someone who developed a bedsore while living at home and going to work most days; he had some nerve damage and couldn’t feel the injury that was occurring, and in fact he died of the infection. Bedsores do not exclusively occur in hospitals as Th1Th2 apparently believes.

But my second reaction was to agree that, yes, most bedsores probably do occur in people who have received a lot of medical care: the immunocompromised, the elderly and infirm, the paralyzed. Of course, they’d mostly have died much earlier if they *hadn’t* been receiving that care.

Th doesn’t even understand Catholicism – the Pope is not infallible in general. Specific judgements, under certain rules are considered infallible, but everything any pope says or does is not.

Like so many bigots, Th1Th2 appears to have never even met a member of the class it hates, despises, and maligns. It reminds me of Woody Allen in Love and Death discussing whether Jews have horns or stripes.

Certainly patients can question doctors, or get second opinions, or take whatever herbs and tonics they want; any sane person knows that. (I once insisted to a doctor that what he considered a simple asthma attack was much more serious, so he did more tests and determined that it was pneumonia — he didn’t excommunicate me for arguing!) Certainly doctors can question the consensus of the profession; look at our favorite pediatrician to the stars.

Th1Th2 is so blinded by hatred and bigotry as to be incapable of perceiving obvious facts. So there’s no point in further interaction with it.

LW,

I knew someone who developed a bedsore while living at home and going to work most days; he had some nerve damage and couldn’t feel the injury that was occurring, and in fact he died of the infection.

R.I.P. OK. 115,000 minus 1 but it’s also 88,000 plus 1 who died of infection. That’s quite reassuring, isn’t it?

Of course, they’d mostly have died much earlier if they *hadn’t* been receiving that care.

If it makes money then it makes sense regardless of whatever care that was rendered by different c(r)ooks i.e. wound care specialists, ID doctors, et al. Patients will always remain faithfuls of the Church.

@ LW: One of my favorite Woody Allen movies “Annie Hall” has some of the best dialogue about Jews; the scene at the dinner table with Annie’s family was classic Woody Allen. (I just learned recently that the actor cast in the role of Annie’s creepy brother was Christopher Walken) See:

Memorable Quotes for Annie Hall IMDb

Some trolls who post here shouldn’t bother looking at the site…they simply “don’t get it”…too nuanced for them.

“That’s quite reassuring, isn’t it? ”

Yes. If your second biggest cause of ‘iatrogenic’ deaths is pressure sores, then it’s a pretty big indication that you do not understand who gets pressure sores and why, or what iatrogenic means and what is required to be so.

You have effectively reconfirmed why you should not be ignored, but laughed at at every opportunity, and that we should continue to laugh at your weak attempts at abuse and misbehaviour until you develop a clue.

Thanks for that.

Gray Falcon,

Here’s a hint, “Don’t get sick” isn’t a perfect solution.

“Don’t drive recklessly”. Surprisingly, Gray does not agree because he had been planning to do exactly that. Drivers beware!

Th1Th2:

“Don’t drive recklessly”. Surprisingly, Gray does not agree because he had been planning to do exactly that. Drivers beware!

People have been in car crashes while driving safely. There’s no such thing as a perfect precaution. Of course, Th1Th2 still doesn’t know that.

“”Don’t drive recklessly”. Surprisingly, Gray does not agree because he had been planning to do exactly that. Drivers beware!”

Why should any other driver ‘beware’? Surely if they don’t drive recklessly, they have nothing to worry about?

You seriously need to reconsider this habit of yours of letting rip with an uzi in the general direction of your toes.

Seriously, you spend ages arguing that you can avoid all health risks, then you turn around and use and analogy that argues that others can be an unavoidable risk to yourself.

Get a grip you utterly inconsistant prat.

lilady,

Yes. If your second biggest cause of ‘iatrogenic’ deaths is pressure sores, then it’s a pretty big indication that you do not understand who gets pressure sores and why, or what iatrogenic means and what is required to be so.

Oh here’s one. Those patients who survived ADRs and medication errors, who went into shock, intubated and now paralyzed by Doctor Smarty Smarts.

Hint: If it is an iatrogenic death, then “All roads lead to Rome.”

“Oh here’s one. Those patients who survived ADRs and medication errors, who went into shock, intubated and now paralyzed by Doctor Smarty Smarts.”

For a start, learn how to reply to the correct person.

Second, I honestly can’t tell if you’re drunk or just stupid. Your post startd right in the middle of an idea and doesn’t appear to reach the end of it.

Please have the decency to put effort into making your posts readable, or kindly stop wasting my time.

Third, the point was that you appear to have an overly broad and non-specific definition of ‘iatrogenic’. Proudly showing off the one example you got right (likely by accident), isn’t much of an answer. It’s no more of an answer than answering ‘well apples are a fruit!’ when someone points out that your earlier claim of ‘cats are a form of fruit!’ just happens to be wrong.

In short, shape up or ship off.

If it is an iatrogenic death, then “All roads lead to Rome.”

I think I’ll use that next time I teach symbolic logic.

Th1Th2, a simple question for you. If I don’t see a conventional doctor and I don’t get vaccinated, how do I avoid getting sick? (Hint: If you have a good way that really works, you can make millions.)

Batshit crazy an tedious Thing continues to be batshit crazy and tedious.

Ignore stupid troll, she’s still ticked about losing custody of her children – because she’s batsh*t crazy.

If we go with Thing’s broad concept of causation, then, because I was a hospital birth, every thing that happens to me is iatrogenic.

Dedj,

the point was that you appear to have an overly broad and non-specific definition of ‘iatrogenic’.

Really?

A. i·at·ro·gen·ic (-tr-jnk)
adj.
Induced in a patient by a physician’s activity, manner, or therapy.

B. Iatrogenic
Referring to injuries caused by a doctor.

C. iatrogenic
[ī′atrōjen′ik, yat-]
Etymology: Gk, iatros, physician, genein, to produce
caused by treatment or diagnostic procedures. An iatrogenic disorder is a condition that is caused by medical personnel or procedures or that develops through exposure to the environment of a health care facility.

D. iatrogenic [i-at″ro-jen´ik]
resulting from the activity of a health care provider or institution; said of any adverse condition in a patient resulting from treatment by a physician, nurse, or allied health professional.

E. iatrogenic (ī´atrōjen´ik),
adj originating as a result of professional care;

——

Like I said, if it is an iatrogenic death, then “All roads lead to Rome.” It just depends on Doctor Smarty Smarts where to put it in the death certificate. A. Immediate cause B. Antecedent cause C. Underlying cause.

Holy shit! Th1Th2 can copy and paste from a dictionary! THAT IS EXACTLY THE SAME AS UNDERSTANDING WHAT IS SAID!
fuck YOU doctors

Well, I wish Christopher Reeve had known thingy, then maybe he wouldn’t have died from his pressure wounds…..

Oh and maybe we should hang the horse that caused Christopher Reeve’s quadraplegia……oh what? It wasn’t a doctor? Really? Oh, never mind thingy I guess it wasn’t iatrogenic afterall…..

ArtK,

Th1Th2, a simple question for you. If I don’t see a conventional doctor and I don’t get vaccinated, how do I avoid getting sick? (Hint: If you have a good way that really works, you can make millions.)

The answer is simple. It depends on how you plan to get sick.

Terrie,

If we go with Thing’s broad concept of causation, then, because I was a hospital birth, every thing that happens to me is iatrogenic.

Did you suffer a birth injury due to hospital negligence, medical error or malpractice?

Yes Thingy, this is the real “lilady” posting…

Not being a psychiatrist, I’m going out on a limb here. Think about getting a referral to a mental health clinic.

Oh, you may have already been taken to a psych center and underwent treatment for your hallucinations and paranoid schizophrenic behavior and were prescribed some major anti-psychotic medication…then take your g-d medicine as prescribed before the cops haul you back to the psych center. (hint) If you are “exchanging” your medication to score street drugs…cut it out…you’re brain is already fried.

Whoever’s running “Th1Th2″—seriously, give it up. ELIZA was much more convincing and that was 45 years ago. Your program has failed the Turing Test. Salvage whatever information you can from this failure and start over.

(The same goes for whoever’s running “augustine.” Your algorithm is obviously much more sophisticated, but ultimately no more convincing.)

A) I have my doubts that 310 @ 2:38 a.m. was really lilady.

B) TVRBoK @ 311, I’d prefer to think both algorithms are Bizarro versions of “Cleverbot.”

Lilady, the “real one” did post at 310; I couldn’t resist making an educated armchair diagnosis of Thingy’s “problem”.

I still can’t figure out who/what is running the trolls’ postings…certainly no one with minimal brain function.

@Thingy

The answer is simple. It depends on how you plan to get sick.

Wow man, that was, like, deep. Are you like some kind of Zen-master or something? Wow. That’s like what’s the sound of one hand clapping. Cool. Did you study ti kwan leep as well?

Does it mean that we’re, like, in control of our whole destiny? Cool. I don’t plan on getting sick, so that’s all good. I never new it was, like, so simple.

Have another toke, dude, and just chill.

“Like I said, if it is an iatrogenic death,”

It is required that it be caused bt the medical or health care intervention, not just during medical or health care intervention.

Pressure sores, with the exception of those caused by prescribed (and even then, are notoriously associated with lack of proper medical intervention, not active medical intervention) inactivity, some medications, or by incorrectly applied wound dressing, can only reasonably be iatrogenic if they are a direct result of the medical care.

‘Occured in hospital’ is not equivilant to ‘occured due to being in hospital’ , hencewhy I pointed out that it was broad. It seems wierd that you should quote an already overly braod definition in your defence, yet your application is even broader that your definition.

The answer is simple. It depends on how you plan to get sick.

OK, I plan to get sick while travelling on a trans-continental airline flight when my seatmate – a complete stranger to me – turns out not to be suffering from allergies as she thought but is the early stages of influenza. Naturally, this travel is requested by my employers.

So – How do I avoid getting sick in this situation?

If that’s too easy, I also plan to step on a nail which pierces my shoe and infects me with tetanus. I will not see the nail before I step on it, as I will be busy avoiding the rattlesnake which reared up ahead of me.

drivebyposter,

fuck YOU thank YOU doctors

Doctor: Please come again!

Real-life example from 10 minutes ago.

I am at my place of work (normal 8-5 type job). I use the restroom. As I’m going about my business, water from the bathroom above suddenly drips on me. How do I avoid getting sick in this situation?

Guys – this is trivially easy:

@ Mephistopheles O’Brien 1. Don’t fly on that plane, and 2. if you must leave nails in your yard, disinfect them. And why the heck are you keeping rattlesnakes there, anyway?

@ W. Kevin Vicklund – Don’t stand where water can drip on you.

You guys just want to get sick, don’t you?

Krebiozen,

[…]and 3 cases of acute encephalitis and 3 deaths.

Wow, that sure is a very alarming number compared to the 783,936 iatrogenic deaths per year. I assumed those deceased were efficiently treated by a licensed cook since measles is generally a benign and uncomplicated disease. But you know “too many cook spoil the broth”.

Mephistopheles,

OK, I plan to get sick while travelling on a trans-continental airline flight[…]

You didn’t plan this out very well. You should have gone to the hospital and stayed in close contact with patients who have active case of influenzae. Of course, you shouldn’t have to doubt that you’re getting the right stuff. You know what else is effective and infective, get a live shot.

Thingy, here is a hint for you: no one wants to get sick, they cannot plan for illness.

You still have not come up with a viable way for someone to avoid illness that fits with reality.

Mephistopheles,

If that’s too easy, I also plan to step on a nail which pierces my shoe and infects me with tetanus. I will not see the nail before I step on it, as I will be busy avoiding the rattlesnake which reared up ahead of me.

Real-life example please.

Th1Th2:

Real-life example please.

That is hilarious coming from you!

Real-life example please.

Ok. Exact same example, except it’s an 8 year old child wearing sandals running across the street. The child steps on a rusty nail he didn’t see, and the nail goes right through the sandal, into the child’s foot.

Don’t think that’s “real-life” enough? Well, it’s a real life story that happened to me when I was a kid.

W. Kevin,

I am at my place of work (normal 8-5 type job). I use the restroom. As I’m going about my business, water from the bathroom above suddenly drips on me. How do I avoid getting sick in this situation?

Did you plan this unfortunate incident to happen? I bet you wouldn’t dare to go back to the same spot, would you? Did you inform the maintenance dept to fix the problem?

Th1Th2 – why would you think that’s not a realistic example? In my youth I would sometimes visit my grandfather’s ranch. I did actually step on a nail hidden in the tall grass, and this did pierce my shoe and foot (and yes, I did get a tetanus shot). I have also been surprised by a rattlesnake in the same part of the state (the snake went it’s way, I went mine). I see nothing unreasonable about the chance of encountering the two concurrently.

You also haven’t responded in a useful way to my other example. I have take 4 9-hour flights so far this year (and may have 2 more coming up) – what should I have done in this scenario to avoid getting sick?

dedicated lurker,

Good thing there’s a killed vaccine then, right

There is not an inherent good whatsoever when you’re promoting infection. The goal of using killed vaccines is to promote a noncommunicable form of vaccine-induced infection.

Oh, and here’s one ripped from the headlines (well, jazzed up a bit) 9 years ago.
I get a perfectly innocuous letter in the mail which happened to be in the same mail bag with an envelope full of anthrax spores – which tore and contaminated other envelopes in the same bag.

The goal of using killed vaccines is to promote a noncommunicable form of vaccine-induced infection.

No, you’re wrong. That may well be the goal of using a LIVE vaccine, but dead vaccines do not infect by any definition but your own. That’s why they’re considered killed.

Chris,

The study is a reflection on how inept doctors were in treating a benign and uncomplicated measles. It looked like the doctors themselves had complicated the study and the disease itself. Please read the limitations of the study.

Jarred C.,

Don’t think that’s “real-life” enough? Well, it’s a real life story that happened to me when I was a kid.

Did the kid happen to plan this ahead of time, by stepping on a rusty nail he knew had lab confirmed C. tetani and guess what, that he had to wear only Havaianas sandals? The director must have sold this short film to Pixar.

Th1Th2:

Did the kid happen to plan this ahead of time, by stepping on a rusty nail he knew had lab confirmed C. tetani and guess what, that he had to wear only Havaianas sandals? The director must have sold this short film to Pixar.

No, this is what was known as an “accident” by those of us living in the real world.

You still haven’t shown that all vaccination does is cause infection, just claimed it without evidence. And you haven’t given us a source for your remarkably exact number of iatrogenic deaths. We need some evidence of your claims, not just assertions.

@Th1Th2

Wow, that sure is a very alarming number compared to the 783,936 iatrogenic deaths per year.

So it’s OK for children to die or suffer encephalitis from a preventable disease in Europe because a lot of very sick old people die from bed sores and malnutrition in America? How would you explain that to the parents of those children?

I would like to see a reduction in deaths from poor medical and nursing care, and I would like to see preventable infectious diseases prevented. Measles remains one of the leading causes of death among young children globally, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine. This is shameful.

Krebiozen,

So it’s OK for children to die or suffer encephalitis from a preventable disease in Europe because a lot of very sick old people die from bed sores and malnutrition in America? How would you explain that to the parents of those children?

Vaccines can cause encephalitis and it’s NOT OK more so the 783,936 iatrogenic deaths per year, that you are trying to belittle.

Gray,

No, this is what was known as an “accident” by those of us living in the real world.

Who else beside you here are earnestly planning for an accident to happen?

You still haven’t shown that all vaccination does is cause infection, just claimed it without evidence.

How many times did I hear you claimed that measles vaccines cause measles infection?

Who else beside you here are earnestly planning for an accident to happen?

You must not have insurance. Or a disaster plan.

Vaccines can cause encephalitis and it’s NOT OK more so the 783,936 iatrogenic deaths per year, that you are trying to belittle.

I don’t believe vaccines do cause encephalitis. To quote the University of Maryland Medical Center, “Although there used to be concern that diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus and measles-mumps-rubella vaccines could cause encephalitis, recent research indicates that these childhood vaccines are very safe and do not increase encephalitis risk.”

Measles undoubtedly causes encephalitis in around 1 in 1000 cases. The math is simple.

I also don’t believe the “783,936 iatrogenic deaths per year” figure that Gary Null has cobbled together. Even assuming it is accurate, the answer is not to abandon modern medicine in favor of naturopathy, homeopathy, acupuncture or whatever. We need to improve standards of medical and nursing care. We need better and safer drugs. We need better safety protocols. We need better preventative medicine, of which vaccination is a major component. There are people busily working on all this at this very moment.

Incidentally, I wonder how [insert name of preferred woo-meister here] would cope in a trauma unit, or an intensive treatment unit. I bet you would see some iatrogenic deaths then!

Mephistopheles,

No, you’re wrong. That may well be the goal of using a LIVE vaccine, but dead vaccines do not infect by any definition but your own. That’s why they’re considered killed.

When did it happen that the immune system were able to recognize each vaccines as being “self” despite being foreign and pathogen-derived? I might have missed that.

dedicated lurker,

You must not have insurance. Or a disaster plan.

Do they prevent accidents?

When did it happen that the immune system were able to recognize each vaccines as being “self” despite being foreign and pathogen-derived?

As has been repeatedly discussed (and I don’t believe I’m trying again), the immune system is perfectly capable of responding to substances that are not an infection. Killed viruses would be one such thing. They are not considered “self”, as witnessed by the immune response.

Do they prevent accidents?

You asked about planning, not prevention.

Mephistopheles,

As has been repeatedly discussed (and I don’t believe I’m trying again), the immune system is perfectly capable of responding to substances that are not an infection. Killed viruses would be one such thing.

Oh really? So you’re saying killed viruses are endogenous and normally occurring substances in the body?

Now, try not to be a germ-denialist by referring to these killed viruses as being only substance. Can you put more substance to it and be more specific?

the 783,936 iatrogenic deaths per year

See, as has been pointed out before, this figure is transparently nonsense.
Sigh. Now, sit down, put down your lego, and I’ll tell you.

#1. It’s very precise, isn’t it? To the nearest 1, in fact. Such things could only ever be an estimate – between 7 and 8 hundred thousand say (with an error bar, surely?) like, say, the number of people in your town, or the likelihood that you have any clue what you’re talking about. Actually we know that to a high degree of certaintity.

#2. What does this spurious, rectally delivered, number actually mean? xxxxxxx people were murdered by their doctors? Left to die in fetid sheets? Misdiagnosed in such a way as to fail to prevent the easily preventable? Invented?

#3. What organisation exits, or has ever existed, which would admit to this needless slaughter of eternally living beings? I mean, surely, some of these statistics would have died anyway? People do die in hospitals, you know. Some of them from natural causes – life itself could be to blame, no? And, your source is…….?

#4. Orac has, without doubt, seen many people die even after his best interventions. Was he responsible for their deaths? How is this balanced by the 2,310,576,812 people saved by doctors and health professionals last year?

#5. No. Oh, and, fuckwits, how many lives have you clueless morons ever saved? Hint – it rhymes with “hero”.

#6. Why don’t you stop spilling your ill-retained spittle over this blog, stop posting your bullshit, and spend your time doing something worthwhile, such as helping the poor and needy, being much less of an arsehole to your friends and family (based on your postings here – hint, they think you’re insufferable) – smoking pot, having sex, or, in the case of little augie, just having another wank?

#7. Little augie posted to “The Onion” last week. This is a better one – regulars, please read 😉

dedicated lurker,

You asked about planning, not prevention.

Well, most people here, are asking as to how they will avoid getting sick or prevent an accident. And you asserted getting these instead 1. insurance 2. disaster plan. Now, I see where you got lost.

Th1Th2:

The study is a reflection on how inept doctors were in treating a benign and uncomplicated measles.

That is not what the study says. There are three reasons you could have said what you did:

1) You have serious reading comprehension problems.

2) You are delusional and see things on a page which are not there.

3) You are a liar.

Being that you are going on flights of fancy, cannot answer simple questions, change definitions of words and accuse people of things they did not say… I am going to go with #3. You are liar who cannot keep your fantasy world facts straight.

Chris,

Just put them up here, verbatim if you like. Do you want me to do it for you?

I think the simplest explanation is persistent stupidity, Chris.
Let’s just hope there are no children immersed in it.

Anthony K,

How is this balanced by the 2,310,576,812 people saved by doctors and health professionals last year?

Like pets, they are still on leash. You’re saying?
Doctor: “Thank you. Come again”

AnthonyK, that may be the simplest. Though honest people who are stupid do actually learn, albeit a bit slower. She has been smart enough to use deception to steer a conversation her way, so I am guessing she is not stupid. She is a persistent liar.

Th1Th2, are you trying to imply that medicine never helps people, only causes harm? If so, why hasn’t everyone else noticed something so brazenly obvious?

Also, you think measles is harmless, perhaps you can tell me what happened to King Kamehameha?

I stand by my invented figure.
You fall by yours.
100% imbecile.

She also failed to answer the question about Roald Dahl’s oldest child. I doubt she would know the reason for the Whitman Massacre.

Though if she did, she would lie, because she 100% liar.

AnthonyK,

See, as has been pointed out before, this figure is transparently nonsense.

Trans: Iatrogenic death shouldn’t be a cause for concern.

So you’re saying killed viruses are endogenous and normally occurring substances in the body?

You’re going to have to give more detail. Exactly when did I say this? It is not true that any foreign substance in the body is an infection, and I defy you to produce a commonly accepted definition of the term that says it is.

Th1Th2 Since you are so concerned, what is your proposal to reduce iatrogenic deaths?

Mephistopheles O’Brien:

You’re going to have to give more detail. Exactly when did I say this?

Strawman arguments are one of her favorite lies.

Chris,

She also failed to answer the question about Roald Dahl’s oldest child.

“Are you feeling all right?” I asked her.
“I feel all sleepy, ” she said.
In an hour, she was unconscious. In twelve hours she was dead. The measles had turned into a terrible thing called measles encephalitis and there was nothing the doctors could do to save her.

Do you anything about the health status of the host prior to measles infection? How did Roald manage to treat measles at home? What did the doctors use to treat measles especially during the last 12 hours?

Mephistopheles,

You’re going to have to give more detail. Exactly when did I say this? It is not true that any foreign substance in the body is an infection,[…]

Like?

Th1Th2, she was a healthy child. It was in the article, and according to another article by her mother she was in the hospital. Your skipping those details is just another case of you being a liar.

Measles kills previously healthy children. You making excuses that the children deserve to die due to some unknown medical condition is just another lie.

But that is all you know how to do, since you are a liar.

Actually, I think Th1Th2’s trying to blame the doctors for her death. That seems to be the theme of her statements today.

Chris,

Th1Th2, she was a healthy child.It was in the article,[…]

I couldn’t find that word “healthy” at least in this article. MEASLES: A dangerous illness by ROALD DAHL
http://www.blacktriangle.org/blog/?p=715
http://www.encephalitis.info/images/iPdf/Resources/FactSheets/fs043MeaslesMumps.pdf

[…]and according to another article by her mother she was in the hospital.

Duh. That’s a no-brainer. It’s where all the action is. Roald knew her child was unconscious. So what do you do when your child is unconscious, you call Batman?

Your skipping those details is just another case of you being a liar.

I’m not skipping. I was asking accordingly. And you’re evading.

I guess according to Thingy’s logic I’m infecting myself with food three times a day. In fact, I’d die if I didn’t infect myself this way on a regular basis. Hooray for delicious infection! I think I’ll go infect myself with some nummy foreign chocolate substance now!

Chris,

Measles kills previously healthy children.

Doctors are ignorant and don’t know how to diagnose health. Do you want evidence for that?

You making excuses that the children deserve to die due to some unknown medical condition is just another lie.

Or something they did to the child.

Antaneus,

I guess according to Thingy’s logic I’m infecting myself with food three times a day. In fact, I’d die if I didn’t infect myself this way on a regular basis. Hooray for delicious infection! I think I’ll go infect myself with some nummy foreign chocolate substance now!

If your food contains known pathogens like poliovirus, yes, you’re willfully trying to infect yourself. I’m sure you have other options, don’t you?

Okay, it did not say she was healthy. But it did not say she was unhealthy. And neither does the story from her mother. There is no mention of her being sickly, and she lived in a nice home with well-to-do parents.

What evidence do you have that the only reason children die from measles is that they have other health issues? Show us the evidence. Give us the paper that the five hundred deaths that occurred annually in the USA before 1965 were only in people with health issues?

Were the Native Americans whose deaths from measles initiated the Whitman Massacre sickly before? Did they deserve to die because they were not white?

Why do you think children with genetic issues that could affect their hearts, lungs and other systems deserve to die from measles? Why do you think children who have cancer deserve to die from measles? Are only the healthy allowed life in your reality?

Plus, why do you lie?

If your food contains known pathogens like poliovirus, yes, you’re willfully trying to infect yourself. I’m sure you have other options, don’t you?

How do you know the food has poliovirus in it? Do we all have to have in home laboratories now?

dedicated lurker,

How do you know the food has poliovirus in it? Do we all have to have in home laboratories now?

How did they know there was poliovirus in the sugar cubes they gladly gave to millions of naive children around the world? That wasn’t an accident, was it?

Thanks for ignoring my question. I’ll ask again: I serve myself a large plate of chicken and rice. How do I know if there’s poliovirus in it before I take a bite?

Chris,

Okay, it did not say she was healthy. But it did not say she was unhealthy. And neither does the story from her mother. There is no mention of her being sickly, and she lived in a nice home with well-to-do parents.

Nobody would seem to bother. Of course, if the same event happened to a vaccine-damaged child, doctors would be blaming other causes and exonerate vaccines.

What evidence do you have that the only reason children die from measles is that they have other health issues? Show us the evidence. Give us the paper that the five hundred deaths that occurred annually in the USA before 1965 were only in people with health issues?

The health of the host is NOT the only factor that would determine prognosis. Modern Medicine has the capability to cause a wide array of injury, disability, loss of bodily function, end-organ damage, and deterioration which can lead to death, regardless. Both the healthy and not-so healthy child will die in the hands of an inept doctor!

Why do you think children with genetic issues that could affect their hearts, lungs and other systems deserve to die from measles?

First off, why do you intentionally infect them with live measles virus?

Why do you think children who have cancer deserve to die from measles?

Do you feel happy everytime you have to infect them with live measles virus?

Are only the healthy allowed life in your reality?

With Modern Medicine’s infection-promoting agenda in vaccination, I do not think their goal is to make people thrive in health.

dedicated lurker,

Thanks for ignoring my question. I’ll ask again: I serve myself a large plate of chicken and rice. How do I know if there’s poliovirus in it before I take a bite?

Simple. If you put poliovirus in it. Now, did you plan it? Let me know. In contrast, doctors are fully aware they are not just giving plain sugar cubes to naive children. I bet your ‘ol resident nurse lilady knows how to administer OPV on a sugar cube.

I bet your ‘ol resident nurse lilady knows how to administer OPV on a sugar cube.

This is starting to sound suspiciously augustinian.

Doctors are ignorant and don’t know how to diagnose health.

I see a new and creative definition of ‘diagnosis’ on the way here.

Going back to the word ‘iatrogenic’, I happen to be a strict etymological originalist when it comes to definitions, forcing me to insist that ‘iatrogenic’ means ‘giving rise to doctors’. E.g. “Jewish mothers are stereotyped as being iatrogenic”. Any other meaning is just silly… next you’ll be trying to tell me that ‘carcinogenic’ means ’caused by crabs’.

Clearly there are not many fatalities that create a doctor as a side-effect (apart from the ones that inspire an onlooker to enter Med school) so I don’t understand what all the fuss is about iatrogenic deaths.

Like?

Transplanted organs.
Fragments of cells.
Certain metals or organometallic compounds.
Certain proteins.
Urushiol.
Now, what’s the commonly accepted definition of “infect” that applies to all foreign substances in the body?

her doctok bimler,

Clearly there are not many fatalities that create a doctor as a side-effect (apart from the ones that inspire an onlooker to enter Med school) so I don’t understand what all the fuss is about iatrogenic deaths.

Denial.

For your information:

Anyone who claims measles is a mild disease is a liar.

Th1Th2 claims measles is a mild disease.

Th1Th2 is a liar.

Everything she types is a lie.

Mephistopheles,

Are you dumb?

Transplanted organs —it’s not infection, it’s called rejection.

Fragments of cells—like other people’s blood? It’s not an infection, it’s called hemolytic reaction!

Certain metals or organometallic compounds—this is funny. You don’t call that infection; it’s poisoning.

Certain proteins —in certain foods? That’s food allergy, genius. You don’t call that infection.

Urushiol —that causes hypersensitivity? It’s an allergen, not a pathogen.

Now, what’s the commonly accepted definition of “infect” that applies to all foreign substances in the body?

One word. Pathogens. You wouldn’t know because you’re an absolute germ-denialist.

Did you plan this unfortunate incident to happen?

No. Does that have any bearing on whether I will get sick as a result of this incident?

I bet you wouldn’t dare to go back to the same spot, would you?

I don’t have much of a choice, barring finding a new job. Does that have any bearing on whether I will get sick as a result of this incident?

Did you inform the maintenance dept to fix the problem?

Yes. Does that have any bearing on whether I will get sick as a result of this incident?

Antaeus,

And now everyone can see how Goofus changes the subject.  The point that I made, phrased as a syllogism rather than as an argumentum ad absurdam,

Of course, if I throw Science into these bunch of germ-denialists, they will find refuge in syllogism and metaphors. It’s always a predictable response.

1. Goofus interprets the word “infection” so broadly that every introduction of foreign substance into the body would count as “infection,” and insists that all infection is bad for the infectee.

Trans: I’m a germ-denialist. I deny the existence of pathogens. If ever they exist, I will deny they cause infection.

2. But that very broad interpretation of infection actually covers the act of feeding ourselves, which is not only good for the person fed but would be very very bad if it weren’t practiced.

Trans: Since I am a germ-denialist, I do not believe in food-borne diseases. If poliovirus is my appetizer, salmonella would be my entree.

3. Therefore, even if we were to accept Goofus’ revisionary interpretation of the word “infection,” we would have to reject her contention that introduction of foreign substance into the body is always bad.

Trans: I love measles!

Is Goofus able to respond intelligently to this syllogism?  

You mean germ-denialism?

germ-denialism. You keep saying that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Th1Th2, why are you grossly misrepresenting what Antaeus has written? He pointed out to you the bizarre implications of your nonsensical misunderstanding of the concept of infection. He didn’t deny germ theory, he denied what you think germ theory says. If you have evidence otherwise, provide it.

Chris,

Anyone who claims measles is a mild disease is a liar.

I knew the CDC has the tendency to lie most of the time especially when it’s time to spice things up a bit. Caution: There’s no money in the bolded part.

The illness is usually mild or moderately severe; however, measles can result in complications such as pneumonia, encephalitis and death.

Thanks to this comment thread, I believe we have reached the point where, of Thing1Thing2, we can safely claim that “everything she says is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the’.”

With that in mind, DNFTT.

So you deny that the immune system can react to poisons, metals, allergens, and the like?

It just occurred to me how the Thing could actually contribute to science. He should join the Mythbusters!

As the new Buster.

Mephistopheles,

So you deny that the immune system can react to poisons, metals, allergens, and the like?

No, I do not deny it. The immune reaction against by these agents you mentioned is anything but infection. What is so obvious is your disingenuous attempt to hide your germ-denialism by redefining the term “infect” and using it inappropriately.