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Jenny McCarthy: ABC hires antivaccine “View”

Sometimes, as I sit down to write a blog post, I have no idea what I’m going to write about at first. Fortunately, it’s rare that I truly have zero idea what I’m going to write about. Usually, there are options, and I don’t know which one I’m going to pick. Sometimes, however, something happens that demands that I write about it. Either that, or it’s something that I know my readers will want me to write about and will be disappointed if I do not. Unfortunately, in this case, the timing is such that there’s been nearly a full day since the announcement of this particularly stupid decision (and I know you know what I’m talking about, even though I haven’t explicitly stated it yet) that everyone and his grandmother has already blogged about it. I have a highly demanding day job; so I have to wait, to the point where I’m already bored with this story, having seen endless Tweets, Facebook posts, and blog posts that I perused just over lunch earlier today, with more having poured in over the several hours since lunch. At this point, should I even bother?

What the hell? Why not? After all, my ego tells me that whatever all those other bloggers have to say is as nothing compared to the awesomeness that is Orac’s ability to dissect antivaccine nonsense, and few have followed the antivaccine “career” (such as it is) of Jenny McCarthy.

By this point, anyone who gives even a part of a rodential posterior about the antivaccine movement has already heard that the producers of the daytime chat show (I love the British term; so posh) have made an enormous, bone-headed, idiotic mistake on par with hiring Colin Baker to play the sixth Doctor back in the 1980s. No, much worse. Colin Baker didn’t promote dangerous pseudoscience, and, I hate to admit, I did occasionally like his portrayal of my favorite Time Lord. Yes, I’m referring to the hiring of Jenny McCarthy to be a regular on The View.

I can’t help but point out right here that it’s been very clear to me over the last couple of years that Jenny McCarthy has been making a conscious effort to—shall we say?—deemphasize her antivaccine crankery. Oh, sure, she still shows up every year to bask in the adoration of the antivaccine faithful at their yearly Autism One quackfest and even did it just this May. But the rest of the year she’s nowhere near as visible promoting “her” organization Generation Rescue as she used to be a few years ago. Indeed, other than last week’s post about the speculation that she might become a regular on The View it’s been a long time since I’ve written a post that was primarily about something Jenny McCarthy did. This post defending Andrew Wakefield in 2011 might well have been her most recent appearance as “star” of a post by me on this blog. Sure, I’ve written posts that have mentioned her secondarily, but it’s been at least a couple of years since she was the primary recipient of some of Orac’s not-so-Respectful Insolence. Heck, even when a bill was being considered in California to make it harder to obtain non-medical exemptions, it fell to Saturday Night Live alumnus Rob Schneider to bring the stupid home and step up—or, if you prefer, down—to be The Official Celebrity Antivaccine Idiot rallying opposition to the law. Not so long ago, that job surely would have fallen to Jenny McCarthy, but she was nowhere to be seen. Even Chuck Norris is outdoing Jenny McCarthy in laying down flaming swaths of antivaccine stupid these days. No longer do we get such brilliant statements from Jenny McCarthy as:

Examples:

  • “Without a doubt in my mind, I believe that vaccinations triggered Evan’s autism.”
  • “Following bio-medical treatment — which is basically changing the diet, giving vitamins and supplements and detoxing the body from metals or candida — and he recovered. And the reason the medical community has such a hard time with this is because we are treating and healing a vaccine injury … this is truly a revolution.”
  • “People are also dying from vaccinations. Evan, my son, died in front of me for two minutes. You ask any mother in the autism community if we’ll take the flu, the measles, over autism and day of the week. I think they need to wake up and stop hurting our kids.”
  • “The reason why [the medical community] is reluctant to talk about it is because there’s such a huge business in pharmaceuticals.”
  • “I look at autism like a bus accident, and you don’t become cured from a bus accident, but you can recover.” — She said in a Time magazine profile, The Autism Debate: Who’s Afraid of Jenny McCarthy?
  • “Let me see if I can put this in scientific terms: Think of autism like a fart, and vaccines are the finger you pull to make it happen.”

And let’s not forget her famous rant in the TIME Magazine article mentioned above:

I do believe sadly it’s going to take some diseases coming back to realize that we need to change and develop vaccines that are safe. If the vaccine companies are not listening to us, it’s their fucking fault that the diseases are coming back. They’re making a product that’s shit. If you give us a safe vaccine, we’ll use it. It shouldn’t be polio versus autism.

No more, but I don’t believe McCarthy has changed her views. Her silence on autism and vaccines is very much more likely to be part of a plan to resurrect her career. It’s apparently all worked. Jenny McCarthy has become “respectable” enough to land a high profile gig on The View. Or maybe I should say that she is no longer disreputable enough to be denied such a gig. It used to be that the only jobs she could land were low-budget direct-to-video gigs, starring in video games, and other sundry bottom-feeding entertainment jobs. Memories are clearly short, though. She soon started appearing in a recurring guest role on Two and a Half Men and landed a spot as a cohost of Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Years Eve. Eventually, somehow she got some guest shots on The View, and now she’s a regular. Hiding her antivaccine proclivities has served her well. Five years ago, she was leading antivaccine cranks in marches on Washington demanding that politicians “green our vaccines.” In 2013, she’s the new cohost of The View.

So what’s the big deal? Everyone deserves a second chance, right? If McCarthy keeps her yap shut about vaccines while she’s on The View, then who cares? To some extent, I can understand and partially agree with that view. There are plenty of performers with political or other views that I find odious whom I nonetheless find entertaining enough to watch. Nor does hiring someone to be on a coffee klatch that provides infotainment by discussing the issues of the day in a light, fluffy, frothy morning brew of a show, even more forgettable as a typical summer blockbuster imply that ABC agrees with her views. After all, the woman she is replacing, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, has some—shall we say?—questionable views, but this is different. Jenny McCarthy’s views endanger children by encouraging parents not to vaccinate. Sure, McCarthy denies to high heaven that she has told parents not to vaccinate, but she has a history of spreading the sort of misinformation that frightens parents, claims that vaccines cause autism. I’ve been writing about it for years.

Jenny McCarthy’s ignorance of science and antivaccine views are perhaps best encapsulated in this video, in which she parrots easily debunked antivaccine misinformation claiming that vaccines contain aborted fetal tissues, ether, and antifreeze, none of which is accurate. She blames autism on children reaching a “toxic tipping point” and claims that autism can be healed by various “detoxification.” If you want to see an example of sheer, unmitigated antivaccine stupid, watch the videos below. The antivaccine crank blog originally posted this video, but took it down, apparently out of embarrassment. But YouTube knows all, and I hope that as many people as possible watch these videos and read my deconstruction of them here:

Pay particular attention to the part where McCarthy tries to give a discourse on neurology. As I wrote at the time, I rather suspected (and still do) that the shock would cause poor Steve Novella to clutch his chest with crushing chest pain if he tried to watch it, as she describes neurons as the “kings” and the glial cells the “chefs,” which, according to her, can “morph into Rambo” and fight off Iran and Iraq. In fact, she even describes it and acts it out. Her analogy? Allergies change the “chef cells” into “Rambo cells,” and the “king cells” starve.

Painful.

I also encourage people to look at the sorts of signs that were carried by protestors at the rally that Jenny McCarthy led:

i-b8657678e6f861a6ef8b5ab26daf2eee-stoppoisoningchildren.jpg
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i-12a2c5f878dd3e2cab13c061702d3521-poisongovernment.jpg

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i-8d2fd398845e030a011c463c4d42690f-preservechildren.jpg

i-9e4cca60e7ca0873648bfa213599cc60-Stolentoxic.jpg

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More images can be found here. You get the idea. This is not just a matter of hiring someone with misguided ideas that are kooky but harmless. This is someone who has not only been an antivaccine activist and a leader of a rally on Washington designed to get the government to “acknowledge” that vaccines cause autism.

No doubt ABC will argue that that’s all in the past, except that it’s not. Not really. Jenny McCarthy still shows up every year at the antivaccine quackfest known as Autism One. Before, when she showed up, she was just a washed up former Playboy Playmate, comedienne, and actress with fringe views. Now she’s on a show with 3 million viewers broadcast nationally, which raises her status immensely. Before, when she showed up at the Autism One quackfest, no one outside of antivaccinationists and those of us who oppose them cared. Now, one can anticipate that her new status will allow her to raise the profile of the quackfest. Indeed, it will be interesting to see if McCarthy does the keynote for the 2014 Autism One meeting, as she has done for the past several years. Unless a ban on McCarthy appearing at such events is written into her contract, I don’t see how ABC could stop McCarthy from appearing there and raising its profile by her now magnified celebrity.

Even though The View is fluffy infotainment, it’s fluffy infotainment with millions of viewers, many of whom are young mothers who might be wondering whether it’s safe to vaccinate or not. If Jenny McCarthy is allowed to let her antivaccine freak flag fly again in this venue, the damage could be severe, as questions of science are presented as manufactroversies in which pseudoscience is presented as science. I’d be shocked if McCarthy’s antivaccine friends in Generation Rescue aren’t plotting right now to give her talking points and ways to work them into conversations on the show where they don’t sound out of place or forced, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see her slipping such messages in every now and then. It might not even be noticeable to anyone without a deep knowledge of the antivaccine movement, at least not at first.

ABC, what have you wrought?

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]

691 replies on “Jenny McCarthy: ABC hires antivaccine “View””

That 2nd photo in the signs section – is she balancing that sign on her thumb? Why can’t I see the handle of that sign?!

Seriously though, great post. I occasionally watched the View, but no matter who else they bring in, the combination of Sherri and Jenny is just too much stupid. Maybe they’re trying to appeal to the Dr. Oz demographic?

I don’t know how significant it is, awful decision as it surely is. A Venn diagram of people dumb enough to treat The View as a serious scientific forum and those already likely to be drawn to anti-vaccine campaigning would overlap pretty significantly I’d wager. Also, if any of the other View members object to McCarthy’s anti-vaxx stuff they can bring on someone to debunk her claims, and those millions of viewers will be exposed to that too.

Also, it seems to me McCarthy has gotten mileage from a persecution fantasy, of defying the mainstream media, scientific institutions blah blah. Joining a popular TV show where she has to adhere to the constraints of the show (i.e. she can’t just talk about vaccines every day, engage in self promotion, unchecked bloviating) might undercut her impact in a way.

I do take your point on slipping talking points in though, but I’m not sure she’d be that adept at such a thing herself.

I wouldn’t worry too much. It’s probably in her contract to disassociate herself from any talk of vaccinations/autism etc.
Her appearances at Autism One will no doubt cease too.

I keep rolling my eyes….

Well, at least she updated her look so she’s no longer doing a blonde version of the Kardashian make up.

Hey Guys,

Have you heard about free speech? You guys are supposed to be science people so surely you should respect the concept. So what if Jenny is joining The View? Every TV personality should only take a stance on the issues that you agree with?

Hey Guys,

Don’t let your fear pull you to the Dark Side. It will eat you up, it will consume you. You must resist! Resist your fear! Resist the dark side!

— Oh wait! You’re already there! Never mind. (hee,hee,hee)

@Greg: Giving Jenny McCarthy a daytime TV job is like giving Jim Jones the keys to San Francisco City Hall (which really happened). It gives them a legitimacy they don’t deserve, and will exploit to destructive ends.

No use debating a troll, but I felt I had to say it.

As has been pointed out to you before, Greg, freedom of speech does not mean:
1) the right to a platform for that speech, and;
2) freedom from criticism for that speech.

Greg,
We are lamenting the choice by pointing out JMs idiocy. We are not preventing her continuing to be an idiot.

@MikeMa – the hope is that she says things so absolutely ridiculous that she’ll finally be seen by the entire general public as the wack-a-loon that she really is – not to mention the chance that she’ll anger the anti-vax community by not making “public” enough stance on vaccines…..so, it could be a win-win.

@Lawrence,
Excellent points. Her prior anti-vax idiocy exposure was limited. On the View she will have a much larger audience to disgust and horrify.

The common defense is that her views offscreen shouldn’t punish her for her ability to be entertaining onscreen.

Apply the same logic and go ahead and fight for Paula Deen to keep her job on TV.

I didn’t save the link, but last week I thought I saw an item claiming that Jenny’s son actually does not have autism; his development has progressed significantly in recent months in ways that are supposedly incompatible with autism. Did anybody else see that, and did somebody save the link?

Not that it absolves Jenny of anything. She was pushing a view that had long since been discredited in the scientific world, and endangering other people’s kids in the process. I don’t see what she has to offer The View, unless she was specifically chosen to play the role of a dumb blonde. In her case, that may not involve acting; it’s because of people like Jenny that the dumb blonde stereotype exists. (I know plenty of smart blondes, but none of them are in Hollywood.)

Aww,, video game voices aren’t bottom feeding entertainment jobs. Lots of big names do it, and they often do it concurrently with other high profile gigs. It’s easy money and lots of fun. Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars) did the voice for the character in a bunch of Assassin’s Creed games concurrently with her gigs on Veronica Mars, Gossip Girl, and major motion pictures.

But yeah to everything else. JMcC is looney toons.

Arguing Jenny could be good if she’s just prevented from talking about vaccinations is like giving Eichmann a job as mass transit coordinator. After all, he proved highly capable of moving a large number of people under adverse conditions, and as long as he doesn’t have a say on what happens after they leave the subway …

Mu @16 — I think we should lay off the Nazi analogies, since we get so P’d O when the other side does it. Plus, Godwin.

The probem isn’t McCarthy, it’s Walters, who is nearing the end of her life and whom, I tend to believe, wants to take as many people with her. Some giant egos are like that.

Screw Godwin, the analogy fits. Jenny didn’t kill any of the kids who died of measles or whooping cough personally either, but she sure contributed by her conduct.

I don’t see what she has to offer The View, unless she was specifically chosen to play the role of a dumb blonde.

I think she was chosen to play the edgy (for daytime TV) “dirty girl” – like a slightly outrageous best friend of the younger women in the audience who talks about sex a lot and makes fart jokes. If ABC is smart they will have told her to keep her yap shut about vaccines and stick to smutty jokes and potty humour. It will be interesting to see if she cuts the antivax crowd loose now that she’s got a sweet mainstream gig. She doesn’t need them anymore, really.

@Lawrence,

“the hope is that she says things so absolutely ridiculous that she’ll finally be seen by the entire general public as the wack-a-loon that she really is – not to mention the chance that she’ll anger the anti-vax community by not making “public” enough stance on vaccines…..so, it could be a win-win.”

Lawrence, Lawrence, oh buddy Lawrence, can you guys ever truly win? The way I see it, even when you win you lose!

The more you ‘convince’ the public that vaccines do not cause autism and the more they vaccinate, the more ‘mystery’ autism we will have. And, the more we don’t have an explanation that accounts for this ‘mystery’ other than vaccines, the more suspicious the public will be, and the more they will consider that vaccines do cause autism.

Lawrence, this little game serves perfectly as an exercise in futility.

@Edith Prickly,
I expect you are correct. They are not yet crowing about her new job a AoA yet, and one would have expected them to be shouting this to the rooftops. She’s still clearly listed on Generation Rescue, but if she disappears from that in a few days, we will know that she’d decided to put the antivaxers behind her.

I think they hired her so that she could “shock” viewers with sexual innuendo and disgusting details about biological processes and still look reasonably acceptable to women at the same time.

Her ‘controversial’ ( actually, manufactuversial) views might actually be a plus to boost ratings- if they are losing 2 or 3 personae in rapid succession- viewers might tune in to see if and how she works her backwards medical views into conversations. Even smart people who usually would never watch the show ( e.g. Orac’s minions).

@Eric Lund,
There was some speculation several years ago that Jenny’s son actually has Landau-Kleffner syndrome. I don’t think it’s ever been formally confirmed.

BTW pro-vaxxers, are you guys not worried that you don’t have any spokesperson looking as gorgeous as Jenny? (Hee,hee,hee).

What does it say about how nature views our side that it would bestow us with such magnificent looks?

What does it say about how nature views our side that it would bestow us with such magnificent looks?

Nothing. A person’s physical attractiveness does not make their statements about vaccines (or anything else, for that matter) true.

@Edith Prickly

Indeed. And if “looks” determined “truth”, well, they’ve also got Rob Schneider, so…

Greg,

[…] can you guys ever truly win? The way I see it, even when you win you lose!

Some food for thought:

An opinion poll in April this year found that more Americans believe that an alien spaceship crashed in Roswell in 1947, and that the US government covered it up, than believe that vaccines cause autism.
According to The World Health Organization:

Estimated global diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis 3rd dose (DTP3) coverage among children aged <12 months in 2011 was 83%, ranging from 71% in the African Region to 96% in the Western Pacific Region, and representing 106.8 million vaccinated children. Estimated global coverage for BCG, Polio 3rd dose (Polio3), and measles-containing-vaccine 1st dose (MCV1) was 88%, 84%, and 84%, respectively. During 2011, 130 (67%) countries achieved ≥90% national DTP3 coverage, and 46 (24%) achieved the Global Immunization Vision and Strategy goal of ≥80% DTP3 coverage in every district or equivalent administrative unit. DTP3 coverage was 80%–89% in 32 (17%) countries, 70%–79% in 13 (7%) countries, and <70% in 19 (10%) countries.

That doesn’t look much like losing to me. We won’t truly have won until vaccine coverage is maintained at a high enough level to eradicate polio, measles, and other diseases that have no non-human reservoirs, at which point vaccination will become unnecessary for those diseases. I think it’s a shame that some people, like you Greg, seem to be determined to stop that from happening.

I’m just hoping Jenny McCarthy’s cousin Melissa isn’t an antivax nut, too. I’m afraid to look it up.

Hey now… Colin Baker’s Doctor has been quite redeemed by his performance in the Big Finish Productions audios. Every classic Who fan should check out BF’s offerings – audio plays featuring the 4th – 8th Doctors. They totally saved the 8th Doctor and that’s no small order.

Aaaanyways. While I don’t watch daytime TV I agree that it’s a cause for concern that JMcC is getting a larger audience for her fringe views – whatever they happen to be this week…

What does it say about how nature views our side that it would bestow us with such magnificent looks?

I hate to break this to you, Greg, but she’s not particularly good looking. A rotating cast of fake breasts, artifically bulging cheeks, quite possible mediocre nose job, botox addiction, and frankly horsy jaw (there’s a reason she’s rarely shot in profile) are not exactly the sort of thing that would cause everyone to even reach the question whether to toss her out of bed for eating crackers.

Indeed. And if “looks” determined “truth”, well, they’ve also got Rob Schneider, so…

Ha! Forgot about Rob Schneider. Wasn’t Rob such an effective spokesperson that he got his backside handed to to him by a couple of radio shock-jocks?

What does it say about how nature views our side that it would bestow us with such magnificent looks?

The misogyny reminds me of some wingnuts who went on and on about how pretty they thought Ann Coulter or Sarah Palin are. Wake up call, children: Appearances have nothing to do with the issue. Don’t judge a woman’s arguments by her appearance.

The way “nature” views our side. Just about says all we need to know about Greg. So nature gave your side looks instead of brains (when nature first heard about the upcoming vaccine skirmish) and your happy with that? Good luck gettin by on your looks.

@ Bronze Dog:

You are correct. Also note the anthropomorphism- re ‘nature’ (whatever that is) “viewing”..
Interestingly though, certain alt med folk also judge men the same way..

Where’s Dr. Jay? The pediatrician to the stars should be here defending Jenny.

The Sixth Doctor is one of my favorites (though honestly, there’s no Doctor I dislike), and I am quite confident that his third season would have redeemed him anyway. There was a story arc they were working on, and it all would have settled out in his third season. But politics got involved, and people above JNT ordered Baker’s contract be broken. And then of course there was so much upheaval on the production side during his entire tenure. His Doctor is maligned for entirely the wrong reasons, unfortunately.

@Edith Prickly

Wasn’t Rob such an effective spokesperson that he got his backside handed to to him by a couple of radio shock-jocks?

Yes. Twice. That was on the Radio From Hell show on X96 in Utah. The second time, before he made an appearance, the hosts were talking about his previous visit. Also, despite promises that he wouldn’t talk about vaccines, since he was there to hawk his standup show, he nonetheless expounded on numerous, easily disproven claims. The hosts were fantastic.

For all undecided lurkers out there, here is yet another –peer reviewed!– study reporting a link between inflammation and autism, and supporting the ‘crazy’ notion that vaccines do cause autism. After Orac’s VCADOD group is finished criticizing the study, the important question to ask is why such studies exist in the first place.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/autism-epidemic-linked-to-epidemic-of-vaccine-induced-diabetes-215213361.html

Greg, perhaps we are on the Dark Side.
I would rather be there, than with you on the Dumb Side.
Use the Farce, Greg.

“People are also dying from vaccinations. Evan, my son, died in front of me for two minutes.”

She keeps using that word. I do not think it means what she thinks it means.

@Greg – hmmmm….let’s see:

http://www.vaccines.net/newpage4.htm

So it appears that Classen Technologies has patented a couple of alternative “vaccine” technologies, including a test for……wait for it…..type 1 diabetes….and is looking to license said technology to the highest bidder.

No, not a conflict of interest there at all. Moron.

@Greg – also, Classen is pushing technologies to allow for “more” vaccinations at birth….how do you feel about that?

@Lawrence

No, no. You see, it’s just trying to be justly rewarded for the hard work they’ve done. It’s not a conflict of interest. You see, just because he would profit if his research is correct wouldn’t motivate him to “find” results that fit his hypothesis at all. His results can totally be trusted.

For all undecided lurkers out there, here is yet another –peer reviewed!

Greggie, don’t post the same thing to multiple threads.

@Calli

Well, fooling around with the Director General’s wife is bound to predispose him to disliking the project.

Mind you, Grade wanted to cancel the show long before *that* little fracas blew up. He would have fired Colin, one way or another. The way CB chose to speak about the Beeb during his convention tour the summer of… 86? (My memory is hazy) couldn’t have helped. He tore the Beeb up one side, down the other and then was apparently surprised that his behavior was among the publicly-cited reasons for his termination…

(re: third season story redeeming a Doctor – I know that was true of Sylvester McCoy’s run. Things shut down just as they were getting interesting. No idea what they had in mind for CB…)

The way “nature” views our side. Just about says all we need to know about Greg.

And as Narad points out, not everyone would agree that Jenny is beautiful. And he confirms my first impression that the photo of her at the top of this post isn’t of someone I’d call a natural beauty (though I couldn’t put my finger on what, exactly, didn’t look right). But that has nothing to do with the substance of her message. Which, to the extent there is any, is a harmful message.

And as Bronze Dog points out, it was the same thing with Sarah Palin. It was from one of Palin’s fans that I learned the acronym MILF. The problem with Palin, as with Jenny McCarthy, is that neither of them ever had any, ahem, assets other than their looks, as they demonstrate whenever they open their mouths.

@ Edith Prickly

I’m a daily reader at Salon and I often find Alex Pareene over the top, even for an old liberal like me, Sometimes he’s dead right. Like now. My favorite part of that column is that he calls out HuffPo for all the quackery they’ve promoted and allowed to stay up. I avoid HuffPo for that very reason.

So it appears that Classen Technologies has patented a couple of alternative “vaccine” technologies, including a test for……wait for it…..type 1 diabetes….and is looking to license said technology to the highest bidder.

“Classen Immunotherapies” has an address of Classen’s house as given in the current pape, and he’s using a Gmail account. I haven’t the energy to look closely at his legal adventures, particularly given that Myriad is well and truly over. There’s one summary here.

@Michelle – I used to read Pareene when he wrote for Wonkette, so most of his Salon output seems downright tame by comparison. 🙂 He’s kept enough irreverence from his time at Wonkette that his media criticism is usually spot-on

I got fed up with the Huffpo years ago – from the beginning it struck me as little more than a monument to Arianna Huffington’s ego. It was like an online high-school yearbook – all the pictures and stories feature the editor’s friends.

@Michelle – I used to read Pareene when he wrote for Wonkette, so most of his Salon output seems downright tame by comparison. 🙂 He’s kept enough irreverence from his time at Wonkette that his media criticism is usually spot-on

I got fed up with the Huffpo years ago – from the beginning it struck me as little more than a monument to Arianna Huffington’s ego. It was like an online high-school yearbook – all the pictures and stories feature the editor’s friends.

sorry for the double post, my computer has been acting strange all day.

Johanna — the Cartmel Masterplan comes to mind, yes. We never got to see that pan out either. Part of me would be rather pleased if John Hurt turns out to be the Other. The other part of me is hoping they come up with something different just for the joy of surprise. 😉

Yay, Dreg’s back!

There’s one great thing about a petulant, irritating child like Dreg paying a visit. His running at the mouth, yapping, flailing, and careening about is as much fun as anal warts, or cancer of the glans, but when he flounces? The peace and quiet is fvcking breathtaking. It’s like the first rain after a heatwave, or the sound of birds singing after two weeks of noisy roadworks.

Dreg – you might fancy yourself as quite the entertainer, but in reality you’re the online equivalent of a three year old fed exclusively on Skittles and cappuccino. Your debate skills are no match for a Labrador on crack, let alone human beings with an interest in the world of science.

Once again you’ve unleashed your battle cry of “FREEDUMB!”, and once again you’ve proven that you understand neither your own country’s precious First Amendment, nor that science is about cold hard facts, not opinions and feelings.

Poor little fool, suckled so long at Wakefield’s crap-dribbling tit that you actually believe that “Vaccines cause autism cos I said so!” and “You are all UGLY!” are effective forms of debate.

Sorry Dreg, your side is on a slide to the bottom. You’ve been revealed as the lying, bullsh¡t merchants that you are, all of your “proof” has been found wanting, and children (and adults) are dying because people believed what the likes of Ms McCarthy said.

Vaccines do not cause autism. People with asthma and diabetes are not dying in childhood, so they seem greater in number. You anti-vax muppets need to stop obsessing over the “loss” of the “perfect child” that you were never promised, stop using your situation to justify the abuse of vulnerable children and adults, and your freeloading on the social conscience of others. Drop the disgusting ableism, stop lying to yourselves and everyone else, stop pretending autism is a tragedy, and look at the evidence that’s out there about the likely roots of ASDs.

It’s time to grow up, stop wasting time and money by diverting research funds and man-hours to Wankfield’s long-debunked nonsense that “Vaccines cause autism”. All you lot do is make noise and cause trouble, doused in self-pity on your crusade to… well, apparently do nothing but make noise and cause trouble. Groups like AOA exist purely for the sake of existing. Where’s the public health education, research into learning and teaching strategies for autistic children, programs to help young autistic adults live independent lives? All AOA and co. do is fight for the right to anally violate children (with bleach), hawk spurious supplements and cruelly restrictive diets, and spew abuse at scientists and activists who are trying to make a real difference. How very noble and productive of you all.

BTW Other Mrs elburto and I met Colin Baker. He’s lovely, and very small. OMe got a hug from Nicola Bryant who is still gorgeous, not to mention impossibly youthful. Oh and Sophie Aldred is sooo quiet and shy. She’s not at all like Ace, who was one of my first crushes, but she braved the horrors of a bad cold to speak at the con. I wasn’t initially keen on the Daleks I met, but their musical number won me over. As a former child-fan of DW who was terrified of the Daleks, it’s still quite uncanny being in a room with them, especially as I can’t climb stairs either!

BTW Other Mrs elburto and I met Colin Baker. He’s lovely, and very small. OMe got a hug from Nicola Bryant who is still gorgeous, not to mention impossibly youthful. Oh and Sophie Aldred is sooo quiet and shy. She’s not at all like Ace, who was one of my first crushes, but she braved the horrors of a bad cold to speak at the con. I wasn’t initially keen on the Daleks I met, but their musical number won me over. As a former child-fan of DW who was terrified of the Daleks, it’s still quite uncanny being in a room with them, especially as I can’t climb stairs either!

@elburto – oh, I’ve nothing against any of the actors, at all. I’ve met a few of ’em as well (thank heavens I live pretty close to one of the three Doctor Who conventions in the USA!) and they’re fab folk. And I’ll never hear a word against Sophie Aldred, in particular. Have you met her kids? Adorable!

*ahem*

Meanwhile, back on the thread – a beautiful drubbing of Dreg, Elburto! Bravo! 😉

PS – Elburto, if you like the notion of musical Daleks, listen to “Jubilee” by Big Finish. It’s a 6th Doctor story featuring, well, I don’t want to spoil it any further for you…

(trivia note: it was heavily adapted as the 9th Doctor story “Dalek”. You’ll note that there were no musical Daleks in that one…)

I’ll hold off on the Cremora-powered flamethrowers for the nonce, Elburto, you seem to have sufficient firepower without them.

(Besides, the spousal unit is getting cranky about the scorch marks on the garage walls).

“Let me see if I can put this in scientific terms: Think of autism like a fart, and vaccines are the finger you pull to make it happen.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, this right here illustrates the sum total of the depths of Jenny McCarthy’s understanding of science.

@Narad

Narad, c’mon man, how can you say Jenny is not good-looking? And I thought I had a hard time getting you guys to admit that vaccines cause autism! Narad, please scroll-up and tell me if that is not a picture of a good-looking woman. Sometimes I wonder why I bother.

Ah OMe has ‘Jubilee’, I’ll get her to transfer it to my phone when she gets in!

Don’t worry. I didn’t think you were slagging any actors off, I was just namedropping! The only one I refuse to even think about is “He who does not exist”, ie. the one between Seven and Nine. My other half thinks my distaste for the alleged Eighth is hilarious, but even she knows not to get me started on the pathetic excuse for The Master in that abomination. May Rassilon’s tombstone fall, and crush him to a pulp!

I’m totes not a geek, as you can see. Ahem.

As for Dreg’s drubbing, thank you. I’m at the end of my political tether today, mad as hell and refusing to take it anymore. The Muppet in question will no doubt laugh it off, but I’m beyond caring at this point, I just needed to vent and he was the perfect target. I do love a good rant, it angries up the blood!

@Orac

The other thread that I was posting my ‘question of the day’ and other themes is getting too long at 800 comments, and loading really slow. May I carry on with the same stuff on this thread? I can’t see why it would matter since your blogs are all the same mush, with you foaming at the mouth about the ‘quacks’ and ‘cranks’.

It must have been so exciting the first time Greg showed up. To see what so strongly resembled attempts at communication by something that didn’t appear to be sentient – the biologists among us must have been fascinated!

It’s a pity the noises turned out to be nothing more than clicks and whirring.

elburto, for shame! As a former member of the Paul McGann Estrogen Brigade, I must protest. He did a fine job as Doctor, and has continued to do so in Big Finish productions. Not his fault the story he appeared in was somewhat less thrilling than we’d all been hoping for. And while Eric Roberts was certainly neither Anthony Ainley nor the incomparable Roger Delgado, well, honestly I don’t like what Russell T Davies made John Simms do with the part either. (And actually, neither does John Simms, who wanted to play it more like Delgado, all suave sophistication and not raging insanity.)

@Greg – so no comment on the fact that company you are “touting” is recommending more infant vaccines?

@Shay – sometimes it’s handy having a mother who’s a dragon. I don’t even need to drink lighter fluid or anything, I’m just a born flamer!*

As for perturbed spousal units, if the scorch marks are unnerving then the wasp-cannon will be devastatingly scary. Slip ’em some “Don’t Fret Pet”, my own proprietary blend of fentanyl, zolpidem and all-natural raspberry flavouring. Sweet dreams guaranteed!

*Why yes, there is such a thing as a camp lesbian. Fairly rare, but pretty low maintenance. Well, apart from having to constantly vacuum up glitter.

Greg: Let me clue you in on what ‘free speech’ means on the ‘net and TV. It means the same as in Hyde Park or Times Square: You get to say whatever you want, but no one’s obliged to lend you a soapbox or a megaphone, and the crowds are free to talk among themselves or throw vegetables. The View is free to offer J her own little megaphone, and we are allowed to stand on the corners of Orac’s blog and criticize it. Also, the View is supposed to be based in this reality, so that’s another point against this move.
I realize you are commenting from a parallel ‘verse, and I’m sure you’re wrong there too, but do try and keep up.

Greg, what evidence supports your claim that a causal relationship exists between routine vaccination and the development of autism spectrum disorders?

A failure to respond by the end of the day will be considered an explicit concession on your part that no such evidence exists.

@Calli – but that curly frightwig! Dios mia! Also, I’m really just joking, except for the whole Eric Roberts thing! We were appalled at what RTD ended up doing to the Master. Flying around and talking about meat? Bloody rubbish.

I’ve really enjoyed Paul McGann’s Big Finish stuff, in fact BF in general is a purveyor of some astoundingly good material. We’re big Iris Wildthyme fans. I want a panda.

@MEwens – aye, we were excited by the tantalising prospect of intelligent life and civilisation in anti-vax space. Alas, all we got was a “thousand monkeys at a thousand typewriters” scenario, by which I mean handfuls of sh:t being flung about, accompanied by incomprehensible screeching, then the occasional random word, and the lower-ranked monkeys taking frequent breaks to engage in vigorous frottage and tribadism with high-ranking ones.

My only comment on the DW franchise is that I’m not watching it until Moffat goes away. Wish they could snag Whedon to handle the writing.

@Calli, a friend of mine made a very good point re: The Master in the TVM. That outrageous outfit of his? He found that _inside the TARDIS_. Says something for Eight’s sartorial tastes, hm?

FWIW, I wasn’t a fan of PMcG’s Doctor at all until Big Finish rehabilitated him. Now I’m a gibbering fangirl. Wait, I’m a gibbering fangirl in general… 😉

@ Mewens:

Psychologists are enjoying themselves as well.,

@ PGP:

DW franchise?
Oh, I see, *different* DW franchise.

@Elburto,

“It’s time to grow up, stop wasting time and money by diverting research funds and man-hours to Wankfield’s long-debunked nonsense that “Vaccines cause autism”. ”

You sure do have a way with words — I will hand that to you. Still, let me say this again: For the parent who watched how vaccines destroyed their previously health child, no half-baked pharma study that says otherwise will convince them. I said it once, I said it twice, and I will say it a million times — vaccines cause autism!

As the tradegy plays on, don’t expect everyone in the audience to ‘suspend their disbelief’.

A failure to respond by the end of the day will be considered an explicit concession on your part that no such evidence exists.

You forgot the (hee hee hee) portion of Greggum’s pubescent drek JCG.

It’s a sad testament (albeit unsurprising) that the anti-vaxx representatives have only got, “nah nah boo boo, our spokesperson is totes better looking than yours”. Fake parts, botox, dyes and a trowel-full of makeup is hardly ‘beautiful’ incidentally. Oh and a fake pair of glasses does not make one erudite.

@Lawrence

“@Greg – so no comment on the fact that company you are “touting” is recommending more infant vaccines?”

I would need more info to form an opinion about whether there is indeed a conflict of interest factor. At this point, however, I think the more pertinent matter is whether there is credence to his study. And, so far, none of you has challenged it on this ground.

What does it say about how nature views our side that it would bestow us with such magnificent looks?

Wilful stupidity is extremely unattractive.

Greg, that “paper” is a joke. Aside from the deep methodological problems with it, the author claims to perform a “Wilcoxon log rank analysis” yet he only reports the p-values, not the Odds Ratios or Relative risks. He claims that there are “statistically significant associations” but never even bothers to give their magnitude.

Have you even read the actual article, Greg?

I will say, Classan’s website is interesting from the standpoint of instead of selling supplements or some other quack treatment, they are instead selling patents – selling them to whomever wants to buy (up to and including Pharma companies).

Sounds like a conflict of interest to me……

Dreg – anecdata =/= evidence, correlation =/=causation, opinion =/= fact. Sorry bucko.

As for the parents who allegedly watched vaccinations instantly destroy their child(!), let’s take the two most notable proponents of that claim, Jenny McCarthy and Barbara Loe Fisher.

Jenny McCarthy’s story has changed more times than her bra size, and seems to morph to fit whatever agenda she’s pushing on any given day.

Barbara Loe Fisher’s story could win the Pulitzer prize for fiction. It’s complete and utter bilge, either an out and out lie, or the product of a dangerously warped imagination, fuelled by her demented crusade to paint vaccines as the root of all evil.

And that’s not to mention the people who’ve claimed the usual “The light went out of his eyes as the needle went into his arm” legend, who’ve provided video footage of their “previously perfect child” only to have it show that said child had been exhibiting autistic traits since infancy. What of them?

I can understand the ableist imperative of wanting to blame an external factor rather than admit that the problem is likely to have been inherited, but that mindset is causing deaths and permanent disabilities from VPDs. People need to give their bloody heads a shake and realise that sh¡t happens, and nobody is immune from illness or disability. Life isn’t fair, and inventing bizarre reasons for random events is a wasted of time. Crusading against those imagined causes of random events is utterly fruitless, can never be productive, and has the potential for harm.

Claiming that vaccination causes autism is like claiming that toast causes car crashes, or sleep causes herpes.

@DW fans – I loathe misogynist Moffat.

@(the real)DW – Maybe his Lordship could arrange for a collection of ‘Shills and Minions Action Figures’? Each with their own accessories and disguises, for when mingling with mere mortals is sadly necessary. I bet the Domina Walters one would be fab. It should have a voice chip so that it could wryly say “Artisanal enema bags eh? Do tell all, I find adherents of colonic hydrotherapy to be simply fascinating creatures”.

The archable eyebrows would be an optional extra.

Greg, repeating the same stupidity time after time, after time, after time, doesn’t make it thru.

If autism is discovered after vaccination, it doesn’t mean, the two are linked. Any relation between vaccinations and autism never has been proved.
If I walk under a car, after having read one of your comments, it doesn’t mean, your comment has anything to do with it and no-one is going to sue you for having a hand in me walking under a car.

Narad, c’mon man, how can you say Jenny is not good-looking?

Quite easily, as I did. Indeed, I think the reason she seems to be forever appearing in primitive, adolescent-level pseudoporn stylings such as “hot teacher” and “French maid” and “look at me stick a lollipop in my mouth” and “hey, I’m straddling a garden hose when she’s not simply baring her laboratory-created breasts should be obvious.

Narad, please scroll-up and tell me if that is not a picture of a good-looking woman.

Are you under the impression that I somehow missed it in the first place? Looks like she’s going to need some work on her neck before too long, as well.

You seem to have universalized a rather juvenile conception of attractiveness that is detached from comportment. McCarthy relies upon a persona that is charmless and graceless.

Sometimes I wonder why I bother.

As, I suspect, does everyone who has wasted time engaging you in matters of actual relevance, given your ceaseless streak of failure and trying to the subject.

@Karl Withakay

“Let me see if I can put this in scientific terms: Think of autism like a fart, and vaccines are the finger you pull to make it happen.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, this right here illustrates the sum total of the depths of Jenny McCarthy’s understanding of science.

Now, be fair. Jenny McCarthy, in her typically crude fashion, actually came up with a good analogy. After all, pulling on a finger does not in fact cause a fart — there is a supervening cause — and only someone of infantile intelligence would believe that it does. A crude but accurate analogy for the belief that vaccines cause autism, indeed. 

Aside from the deep methodological problems with it, the author claims to perform a “Wilcoxon log rank analysis” yet he only reports the p-values, not the Odds Ratios or Relative risks.

Indeed. Is this even an appropriate estimator? My eyes keep glazing over when I try to parse the thing.

Seems the rest of the world does not much care about the protestations of a few hundred vaccine cultists.

At this point, however, I think the more pertinent matter is whether there is credence to his study. And, so far, none of you has challenged it on this ground.

Aside from the fact that it has nothing to do with inflammation other than as an excuse for self-citation tacked on to the end?

@LW – Wait, you mean other people’s uncles* don’t have a direct connection between their finger and their digestive tract? Color me, and all acupuncturists**, shocked.

* My uncles never pulled the “pull my finger” gag and I didn’t understand the reference until I saw the Ingmar Bergman film Fanny and Alexander or, later, Mystery Men.

** It is commonly known that the finger is the endpoint of the rectal meridian. Or it should be.

Sid – care to expand upon that statement? Based on what evidence to you state:
– rest of the world
– care
– few hundred
– cultists

Thanks.

@ elburto:

Well, thank you. I would agree only if Mssrs Costa and Bailey designed the clothes. Oh wait, they already do.

I primarily wear androgyne-minimalism with a splash of punk or neo-Romanticism- neutral tones, black, grey, blue, never brown, expensive things that don’t look it. Neat clothing, artfully messy hair, large tortoise shell sun glasses, wire frame reading glasses, dark red leather bags, scarves by B, etc.
I gotta walk tall in hipster-ville, so clothes make the woman/ man/ scene. You see, someone has to do it, why not me?

Seems the rest of the world does not much care about the protestations of a few hundred vaccine cultistsfailed fire scientist .

FTFY.

It’s a sad testament (albeit unsurprising) that the anti-vaxx representatives have only got, “nah nah boo boo, our spokesperson is totes better looking than yours”.

Even better, “we” get Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Garner, Salma Hayek,* Kristi Yamaguchi, Kerri Russell, and Julie Bowen.

* Yah, the protestations seem to fall flat.

@ Mephistopheles:

That ” cult” – of vaccine supporters is a few hundred?
-btw- It includes doctors, nurses, researchers worldwide- not just bloggers. commenters- unlike antivaxxers.

How many doctors are there who speak English- worldwide?
Researchers? RNs? Public Health offficials? The great majority of whom support vaccination.

Then, there are those who speak other languages.

Just heard a nice story on this on All Things Considered. Apparently Jenny McCarthy has done things with her clothes on that people enjoy. I am unfamiliar with those, I have to admit, but I don’t have cable.

@Denice Walter – well, I was wondering about the numbers.

I personally do not wish Ms. McCarthy ill and would not attempt to hurt her earning potential. Not that I could – I neither watch that particular daytime show (or any of them, for that matter, as I “work” for a living until Lord Draconis sends me my monthly share of Filthy PharmaLucre) nor am I their target demographic. Thus my objection would be in the realm of “I don’t watch your show and won’t watch it DOUBLE if Ms. McCarthy is on and fully dressed.”

@ Mephistopheles:

According to Mnookin’s Parade article last autumn, only 1% of US parents don’t vaccinate at all and 10% selectively vaccinate. The UK has somewhat similar figures on overall rates of vaccination ( the latter figure) IIRC.

A year earlier, an NPR Reuters poll showed that only 30% of parents with children under 18 had ANY questions whatsoever about any vaccine; older people ( age 65+) had even less concerns ( 18% IIRC).

Thus, a cult of reality.

@Denice – So that tutu you wore at Lord Drac’s “Better Living Through Vaccine-Induced Transhumanism” shindig wasn’t usual? I must say you pulled it off remarkably well. Not many people could pull off a tutu/donkey jacket/velvet DMs combination with such panache.

That conference was great. I particularly enjoyed the ‘Fire Science for Minions’ workshop, and the ‘Inflammation – bug or feature?’ lectures. The rec sessions were great fun too, especially the blow dart gallery with human hatchlings as targets. Should prove useful when Plan Alpha is put into effect.

@103
Fascinating. The illusion of self-awareness has been refined by almost 2 magnitudes – it’s able to mimic an intelligent creature’s actions in something like 1/70th the space.

Do you think this “Greg” is the next generation of content aggregation and spam dissemination?

Even if Jenny’s child is autistic, significant improvement is not at all uncommon — in fact in all but the most profoundly affected it’s typical. Higher-functioning individuals can even become outwardly “normal,” though they may accomplish this via compensatory adaptations. As an older (pushing 60) individual on the spectrum, I’m quite familiar with this…

Just heard a nice story on this on All Things Considered.

Yah, I heard that as well, but it didn’t command my full attention. The transcript’s not up yet, but the audio is.

If I walk under a car, after having read one of your comments, it doesn’t mean, your comment has anything to do with it and no-one is going to sue you for having a hand in me walking under a car.

I often feel like walking under a car after reading Giggles’ comments, simply out of despair that the likes of him is a fellow human being. If I end up doing it, could I sue him then?

For the parent who watched how vaccines destroyed their previously health child, no half-baked pharma study that says otherwise will convince them.

Call that parent Parent A.

Call the parent who swears that the cause of their child’s problems is the evil hex placed on the tot by a witch, and will never be convinced otherwise, Parent B.

If you believe that Parent A must be correct in blaming vaccines for their child’s autism, purely because they’re so stubbornly insistent, then you must believe that Parent B is correct to blame evil witchcraft, too.

Ok Orac’s VCADOD Group,

I want to confess something that you may have already guessed. I truly admire Anne Dachel. I admire her because she always asks the simple questions that strike at the heart of the autism cover-up. She asks where are the autistics in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and why are we being told that 80% of autistics are under 18 years of age? She asks why are we being told of preparation measures to address the autism crisis such as Emergency Staff training into autism or push for more housing for adults with autism if autism has always been amongst us and it’s apparent recent surge is merely due to better diagnosis.

Reading another article by Dachel in which she addresses the complacent attitude we seem to have recently developed towards non-verbal disables also struck me. As I child growing up, I heard of mute individuals and it was always seen as a serious disability. And, in truth, reflecting on things, so it should. I was always taught our ability to speak and communicate was a define quality that brought about our supremacy as Homo sapiens. That an individual lack this essential quality should never be seen as a trifling thing.

Yet, with the autism crisis and estimates that nearly 25 – 50% of autistics are non-verbal there seem to be a newfound complacency. We hear the stories about autistics and the ‘non-verbal’ term seems to be thrown around often without much regard. Yet, stop and think what ‘non-verbal’ means for a second. We are talking about at least 25% of the autistic population who cannot speak! They are mute! They cannot communicate their basic feeling and desires. They are lacking one of the most fundamental qualities of being human.

Should we not be moving mountains to find out why they are like this? Pro-vaxxers argue that autism is genetic in origin, then by what process do they speculate that genes turned these individuals into mutes? Does anyone have any answers? Does anyone care?

http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/07/if-autism-brought-blindness-instead-of-apraxic-mutism-would-media-care.html

At this point, however, I think the more pertinent matter is whether there is credence to his study. And, so far, none of you has challenged it on this ground.

So I guess Greg is going to completely ignore the points it made about the Brennan study now that people have actually read it and provided valid criticisms as to its ‘credence.’ Poof! Down the memory hole it goes.

I’ve heard of people who admire all kinds of people. It doesn’t mean those people are worthy of admiration from any rational standard.

I want to confess something that you may have already guessed. I truly admire Anne Dachel.

Someone whose main vocation is to litter article comments with walls of cut-and-paste dreck and then run the hell away? Yes, I imagine you would.

Gee Dreg – you admire a woman of no substance (well, two women, apparently) who can do nothing more than spam, spam, spam and call for help when her pitiful attempt at debate is shot down handily by folks in the know who actually understand the science?

Ok, more power to you, I s’pose.

Sometime, I get to wonder….when Dreg post a wall of text full of wrong assumption, I get to wonder why? There’s so many wrong that it’s not possible to straighten it out without having a 2 month exchange of comments for absolutely nothing.

Alain

offtopic comment of the day:

I want to learn hand language sign 🙂

Make it easier to connect with a whole number of peoples and clearly the best way to impress in a noisy discotheque.

Alain

At least protesting Jenny gives the shut ins and outcasts something to do

I like Greg. He’s funny.

They did refute that crap excuse for a study that you posted without reading, Greg. Care to refute their refutation? Did you even understand it?

Still, as any anti-vaxxer and Barbie knows: math is hard!

😀

Now Sid, no sense being jealous of the shut ins and outcasts. Someday you’ll move out of your mother’s basement and into the ‘real world’.

@ Broken Link, I read through some of the comments and while I’m glad to see that McCarthy’s slow back-away from her anti-vaxx nonsense is what she is most roundly criticised, I’m also rather perplexed as to why her ongoing sponsorship and endorsement of abusive and dangerous ‘treatments’ of child autists is barely mentioned. Why don’t people know (or care) about what she is perpetrating against a defence-less population? More outrage seems to be heaped upon those who abuse animals. Not here mind you but in the general population.

I want to learn hand language sign

Which kind? Oliver Sacks, who just turned 80, as I recall, had what seemed to me at the time, in Seeing Voices, interesting take on spatial grammatization in Ameslan. But the H.J.H. BSL cover of “S-n of a Pr–cher M-n” simply kicks ass.

It was also subject to repeated DCMA takedowns by the swine at Whiskey Mike Golf. Unfortunately for them, some information doesn’t just “want” to be free, it positively demands it (low-res FLV).

(I’ll also note that I had a [hearing] friend and colleague at a previous gig whose parents were deaf, and as such he was fluent in ASL. When I pointed him at this, his comment was something very close to “I don’t know what they mean, but he sure can sign.”)

Wait, what’s that you say? Of course there’s a French cover.* It’s atrocious. I mean, seriously, the first thing that occurred to me was an image of Charo. But it turns out, to my amazement, that Charo actually studied classical guitar with Segovia.

* Nicoletta, “Le Grand Amour.”

@ Narad,

how about French language sign? Quebec French language sign of course but then I may move in the US in about a year and half (or in any case, no later than 2 years).

Alain

Jake Tapper at CNN has weighed in on Jenny McCarthy and interviewed Seth Mnookin. (The “other Jake” is not too pleased with the bad PR associated The View’s choice and is tweeting about it):

http://thelead.blogs.cnn.com/

ASL is derived from French Sign Language.

And neither one is LSQ. Very interesting stuff, and in some cases, seemingly a sociological version of the habit of languages at geographic perimeters to remain differentiated from their relatives.

The 30,40, 50 year old autistics are out there. Some of them were diagnosed when they were children… others get diagnosed when their children get diagnosed.

And I will ask again – what do the “vaccines cause autism” crowd have to say about the millions of children who are vaccinated and haven’t developed autism? Not that I expect an answer, I’ve never gotten one before.

@ Christine (TpsC) :

“The 30,40, 50 year old autistics are out there. Some of them were diagnosed when they were children… others get diagnosed when their children get diagnosed.”

Don’t be silly Christine. Anne Dachel states that she never saw autistic children when she was growing up…ergo, “it must be so”.

Dachel claims that we are facing an “autism tsunami” of younger autistic people whose individual care for the future will cost millions of dollars each. I wonder if she includes her own 27 year old autistic child who wasn’t diagnosed until he was 7 years old, who has his own Facebook page, who has a driver’s license and, who, should be gainfully employed.

(Which is not to suggest that Maarit’s “Laakson Lilja” isn’t tasteful in its way, but it ain’t no 14-year-old Tanya Tucker on Hee Haw in 1973.)

The 30,40, 50 year old autistics are out there. Some of them were diagnosed when they were children… others get diagnosed when their children get diagnosed

My colleagues who work on sequencing autism trios and quads have mentioned on several occasions that they see this all the time…they even have a way of noting it on the pedigree (‘ASD-like features’). Anecdotally, after sequencing it turns out many of these parents share causal variants with their ASD kids.

The 30,40, 50 year old autistics are out there. Some of them were diagnosed when they were children… others get diagnosed when their children get diagnosed

My colleagues who work on sequencing autism trios and quads have mentioned on several occasions that they see this all the time…they even have a way of noting it on the pedigree (‘ASD-like features’). Anecdotally, after sequencing it turns out many of these parents share causal variants with their ASD kids.

@Christine – Don’t be silly, everyone over 18 is completely neurotypical! No ASDs, no ADDs, no cognitive disabilities, nada.

That’s why people like Temple Grandin, Kim Peek, and Stephen Wiltshire don’t exist.

I have a 50 year old brother that is autistic…growing up no one knew what this was, even some doctors had never heard of it. When my brother was born it was blamed on the ‘coldness’ of the mother (they were called ‘refrigerator mothers’). The blame game has been resurrected…
What I find perplexing is no one is taking her to task for comments she has made ‘blaming the mothers’ (those that do not agree with her hare-brained theories) by her statements that many mothers of autistic children are victims and enjoy that role: “Fall in the the victim role…and they are loving it”…“They didn’t get attention in their lives and then this incredible door opens…and they’re loving it”
As the guardian and caretaker of my brother, whom I love dearly, you have no idea how painful it is that a creature like this gets a ‘pass’ for making comments like this and is going to be given a new forum to spew her ignorance.
The scary part is…I have known women that watch the “View” and actually could/would be influenced by her… Yes, there are people, lots of them, that are that dumb…they are also fertile…

Bolen has another article posted

Wow, that’s a doozy. I’m actually starting to feel sorry for Jake, between this and having been taken in by Polish spammer.

Elburto @ 59

Thanks for the lulz Elburto. That was the funniest take down of a troll I have ever read and beautifully crafted, looking forward to seeing more of them 🙂

She makes me want to vomit! The arrogance that she seriously thinks she speaks for all autism mothers in the world angers me to the point I’d be ready and able to rip all her hair out if I came within arms reach of her. She’s lucky that she doesn’t live near me and I don’t have to see her hideousness near me. Her stupidity makes my skin crawl. I dare someone to ask me if I’d prefer flu (not to be confused with a cold) measles or any other VPD over autism. I prefer my son, the way he is and has been from birth, autism and all, to death or debilitating disability that can be caused by VPDs. Sure autism can at times seem like it’s debilitating, but that is because most of the time people will see a rocking, humming, non verbal person and assume there isn’t anything going on in their minds. Give them the means to communicate and they will show you otherwise. I could be a better co-host then this sorry excuse for a human being. I have more experience raising children, more experience with disabilities and I’m pretty sure my transition from anti-vax to pro-vax is much more compelling then her stories. Mine doesn’t change though so maybe not…

Oh, and since I raised four boys, I’m pretty good at telling fart jokes to so I should be a shoe in!

@Christine

“And I will ask again – what do the “vaccines cause autism” crowd have to say about the millions of children who are vaccinated and haven’t developed autism?”

The same thing about the millions of people who smoked cigarettes consistently over the course of their lives and never developed cancer…….

Greg:

The same thing about the millions of people who smoked cigarettes consistently over the course of their lives and never developed cancer.
Getting a little better, Greg, but still lame. The percentage of people who were regular smokers and never developed cancer, heart diseases etc. is vastly lower than the children who were vaccinated and never developed autism. In addition, the mechanism by which smoking causes cancer and heart diseases is well understood, while every hypothesis for vaccines causing autism has been shown to be wanting, to put it mildly.
scratch scratch scratch

Wow – Jake must be so proud to be working with Bolen…..couldn’t imagine a better partnership.

I want to learn hand language sign

I had a basic grounding in Makaton a few decades ago, when I used to volunteer at a hospital for the profoundly intellectually disabled, though I have forgotten it all now. It’s a sign language designed to be easy for people with intellectually disabilities people to learn. This is one way that non-verbal autistic individuals can learn to communicate.

By the way, in my opinion ‘normal’ is overrated.

I want to learn hand language sign

I had a basic grounding in Makaton a few decades ago, when I used to volunteer at a hospital for the profoundly intellectually disabled, though I have forgotten it all now. It’s a sign language designed to be easy for people with intellectually disabilities to learn. This is one way that non-verbal autistic individuals can learn to communicate.

By the way, in my opinion ‘normal’ is overrated.

Sorry about the glitch – that should read, “easy for people with intellectual disabilities to learn”.

Oh – another fine morning, you peddlers of concoctions of toxic poisons for kids everywhere!

Anyway, let’s start our program with our question of the day (I didn’t get an answer from Orac about whether its cool to carry on with this theme from another thread here, but I am assuming it’s ok. Orac gives me quite a lot of slack in exchange for my helpful suggestions of how to make RI less of a sleep-aid).

Anyway, here we go: Initially I asked the question of despite the pharma-conflict-of-interest-only-looking-into-a-few-vaccines-contents-and-authored-by-a-fugitive-studies that did not find a link whether you guys truly believe that vaccines do not cause autism, and to respond with a one-word ‘yes’ or ‘no’ reply. Being that you are obviously highly intelligent people, I expected those that did respond to either lie and say ‘yes’ or tell the truth and say ‘no’. The vast majority of you chickened out and did not respond, mostly likely because your conscience would not permit you to lie. Still a few of you responded ‘yes’, including Lilady, Edith Prickly, and Julian. Lilady and Edith Prickly’s replies were expected – if you know what I mean! But what was to be made of Julian’s answer? Working with my autistic clients, I am constantly reminded what truly bad liars they are. For the most part, they lack the social adeptness at lying successfully.

Julian’s response really puzzled me for a while, until I finally arrived at the conclusion that Julian was telling the truth. Incredibly, Julian truly personally believes that vaccines do not cause autism! No doubt Julian with his penchant for honesty cannot see through neuro-typical, pro-vaxxers web of dishonesty involved in selling the no-link hypothesis.

(Sorry, for my long prelude guys but I thought it was important.) So here is my question of the day: When the concession is made that vaccines do cause autism, what provisions will you make in breaking the news nicely to autistics like Julian who truly believe that vaccines do not cause autism? How will you admit it to him that he was lied to all along, knowing that he is likely to not take the news very well?

Greg:

When the concession is made that vaccines do cause autism, what provisions will you make in breaking the news nicely to autistics like Julian who truly believe that vaccines do not cause autism? How will you admit it to him that he was lied to all along, knowing that he is likely to not take the news very well?

You’re hilarious, Greg. In 2010, I read about a gastroenterologist named Andrew Wakefield who had been found guilty on a string of charges (I used to google the news for stories on autism or autistics). Curious, I decided to read more. Internet opinion was split into two camps. One side regarded Wakefield as a hero, the other as a fraud. The more I read, the more I realised just how little sense the Wakefield supporters were making, and that the anti-Wakefield camp was correct. 3 and a half years later, I’ve seen no good evidence that would change my mind.
That you think that I’m a halfwit who unthinkingly swallowed propaganda instead of someone (great heavens!) who looked at the evidence and made up his own mind speaks volumes about how you view autistics.

Greg, when did you stop masturbating in public? When did you stop beating your wife? When did you stop hacking into other people’s computer networks?
I stand by an earlier statement, my daughter’s autism was caused by the presence of mangoes in Canadian supermarkets. They were not around when I was a child and now they are always available so the mangoes are surely the cause of my daughter’s autism.
Prove me wrong, Dreg.

Hard of answering too, despite it being his favourite accusation to others.

How’s that ‘non-refuted’ study doing again, Greg?

You asked someone to refute it, they did (after politely taking the time to read it at your behest). Then they asked you to reply – and you have totally ignored them since.

Such breathtaking debating skills you have – not to mention basic manners. I bet you reckon people end up ignoring you just because they’re incapable of answering you, hey?

Thankfully, everyone else reading this thread knows better.

(Don’t stop though. You are a great example of an anti-vaxxer.)

Sometime, I get to wonder….when Dreg post a wall of text full of wrong assumption, I get to wonder why? There’s so many wrong that it’s not possible to straighten it out without having a 2 month exchange of comments for absolutely nothing.

It’s a very good question, Alain.

Greg knows he’s not going to convince anyone who’s undecided. He knows he’s actually making the antivax side look bad, worse than the typical antivaxxer makes them look (and man, that takes some doing.) So what does he really get from it?

And, in the end, who cares? His motives are no more worth understanding than the pathetic teenage creep who shoplifts something from a store and then destroys it, in the illusion that this somehow represents a victory for him over the System. He’s a creep and the world is a worse, not better, place for his efforts. Nuff said, I think.

Greg, I assume that you accept that there is a very large amount of evidence (PDF) that neither MMR, measles vaccine nor thimerosal cause autism, since you have mentioned this before.

It is true that there is less evidence that other vaccines don’t cause autism, mainly because it is only relatively recently that antivaxxers have shifted their focus (goalposts) away from MMR, and the research hasn’t yet fully caught up (though personally I think it’s waste of time continually refuting implausible hypotheses that have no evidence to support them in the first place).

I’m curious. Which vaccines specifically do you believe are responsible for causing autism? It can’t simply be the accumulated effects of repeated vaccinations, otherwise the eyewitness testimony of parents who saw their children “disappear” in the minutes, hours or days after a specific shot, testimony that you hold in such high regard, must be mistaken. So, which vaccines cause autism?

Oh look, disgusting ableist Dreg is back. Like the turds through the sewer pipes, so are the Trolls of our Lives…

Dreg, in his “mission” to enlighten us all about the nonexistent evils of vaccination, apparently believes that ignoring the voices of non-NT people who disagree with him, or actively mocking them, is a wise communication strategy.

Dreg also claims to have “autistic clients”, hopefully at an eBay comic book shop rather than in any therapeutic capacity, and believes that this makes him qualified to speak on behalf of anyone affected by ASDs. I wonder if he considers himself a spokesperson for any other marginalised groups? I mean, how noble is that eh? Speaking over marginalised people because he knows what’s best for them.

Brings tears to my eyes. Truly a remarkable being.

Perhaps he should take up the cause of women’s rights, the fight for aboriginal rights, the plight of abused LGBT teens. Just think of all the lived experiences he could be ignoring, the voices he could be silencing, the backs he could be climbing over in order to tell various minority groups what’s best for them!

But before that, before the Gobsh¡te King saves the world entire, perhaps he could link us to any evidence that Vaccines cause autism? C’mon Dreg, whaddya say? Just. One. Piece. Throw us evil, babykilling, toxin-pushing doggies a bone.

Now onto other things.

BAN MANGOES!

@Rebecca – Isn’t that great? Jake’s now free of all that rage and pain his parents fed him on.

@Delurked – Thanks! The combination of insomnia, heat exhaustion and powerful drugs gives me the power of blistering invective. Don’t worry though, I only use my powers for good!

@Lara – As ever, words fail me when it comes to summing up just how fabulous you are. I wish I could force the ~Warrior Mommies~ to attend compulsory “Lara Lessons”.

The curriculum could include courses such as “The Big Picture – The Insignificance of ‘Me'”, and “Sit Down and Drink a Cup of STFU – Why it’s Not Always About You”.

There’d also be core biology and chemistry modules, taught by models, fire scientists, and disgraced doctors. It will appeal to their warped sense of authority.

A girl can dream… I just have to remember that apart from noisy mob on AOA and TMR, most parents of non-NT kids are just like you, Autismum, Matt Carey, etc. Caring, devoted parents who understand that with the choice to create a new person, you have to accept that anything- good or bad- could happen to any of those little people.

But you know that, and know that the “perfect child” isn’t the one with the best grades, or the prettiest face, but the one you have right there.

Well, Dreg has done it again. He’s successfully hijacked the thread from the original topic, to now be about all Dreg, all the time.

Surely by now we have enough evidence to know that Dreg is just an attention-seeking twit. I honestly doubt that he is even interested in autism. If we all ignored him, he’d probably fly off and infest an evolution blog, or a climate change blog, just to get his jollies. Even the most annoying trolls could actually cite, and interpret studies by using PubMed. Has Dreg ever done this? All he can do is copy stuff from anti-vax sites and indulge in word play to get a rise out of us. Unfortunately it works.

@Mark McAndrew

Mark, the rebuttals of the study are duly noted. I will have to get some expert opinions (perhaps I will need to speak to the author) and report back. Still, considering the big picture, what does it say that vaccines are constantly being linked to the crime of autism to the extent that it is always needing to be exonerated? At what point do we say enough is enough, and pursue the definitive studies that will give us our answer?

“At what point do we say enough is enough, and pursue the definitive studies that will give us our answer?”

Already been done.

Millions spent on a global wild goose chase thanks to Wakefraud, gullible conspiracy theorists and a handful of ‘thinking moms’ who are thinking about nothing more than the compensation lawsuits for their ‘vaccine-damaged children’. (Oh, and forcing their poor kids to have bleach enemas.)

Study after study already gave the definitive answer. Country after country, year after year. Just wasn’t the answer you – or they – wanted.

Get over it.

Greg:

what does it say that vaccines are constantly being linked to the crime of autism to the extent that it is always needing to be exonerated?

What does it say that black cats are constantly being linked to bad luck and witchcraft to the extent of needing to be exonerated?

@sheepmilker

“If we all ignored him, he’d probably fly off and infest an evolution blog, or a climate change blog, just to get his jollies.”

Actually sheepmilker, I am an atheist. I believe in evolution and reject creationism. I also believe in climate change science (although I don’t have enough info to say if it’s indeed man-made). I also reject crank theories such as ‘flat-earth’ and ‘911 being an inside job’.

And sheepmilker, I also firmly believe that vaccines do cause autism!

It’s curiosity that keeps me vaguely interested in Greg. He says he believes in evolution and global warming, and rejects crank theories like those of ‘9/11 Truthers’ and Flatearthers, yet he subscribes to a movement equally loopy and unsupported by any evidence, and appears to be immune to reason.

I don’t get it. Surely if the government, the FDA and the CDC have lied and fabricated evidence about vaccines and autism, they have probably lied about 9/11, global warming, Roswell, spoon-bending, shape-shifting alien lizards and broccoli.

Once you reject reason and evidence, how do you decide who to believe?

In that case, Greg, I owe you an apology!

WRT vaccines and autism, how about posting the evidence that everyone has been asking for?

If McCarthy is indeed barred from further anti-vaccine activities in her ABC contract, who wants to bet Jake Crosby will notice? Who else thinks he might stalk McCarthy at one of her tapings in the name of his “investigative journalism”?

@Krebiozen

“yet he subscribes to a movement equally loopy and unsupported by any evidence, and appears to be immune to reason.”

‘Equally loopy’, Krebiozen? Really? Please direct me to numerous studies (including peer reviewed ones) that refute evolution, and also support ‘9/11 Truthers’ and Flatearhters.

If McCarthy is indeed barred from further anti-vaccine activities in her ABC contract, who wants to bet Jake Crosby will notice? Who else thinks he might stalk McCarthy at one of her tapings in the name of his “investigative journalism”?

My one hope in all this is that McCarthy’s ABC contract will bar her from speaking at Autism One and other antivaccine quackfests and perhaps even give up her position with Generation Rescue. Time will tell. If that’s the case, she might not have to do so until September, when she starts working on the show.

@sheepmilker – Greg continues to demonstrate “cognitive dissonance” to the extent that he could be a case study all by himself…..

Another example – Flight 400…..there are numerous individual that truly believe that the plane was shot down by a missile, that they “saw” a flaming streak approach the plane moments before it exploded. Using that as a basis for investigation, it was ultimately found that the “streak” was burning fuel & the actual cause was faulty wiring in the central fuel tank.

Of course, this Science isn’t enough to convince the “true believers” but still, the initial idea was enough to at least warrant investigation.

In the case of autism & vaccines (and vaccines & other severe reactions) the initial stories were enough to warrant investigation, which has been done (over and over and over again) but the lack of any plausible biological mechanism or link based on population or retrospective studies doesn’t seem to put a dent in the hardcore anti-vax beliefs.

Since Greg can’t point to any legitimate piece of evidence or study to support his beliefs, he definitely falls into the category of “True Believer” – or as I have compared him in the past to the Catholic Church, persecuting Galileo because his Scientific Proof went against their beliefs. In fact, Greg has yet to counter this argument, probably because he knows it is the best possible description of his situation.

How about you direct us to ONE study* that supports the anti-vaxxer belief system?

*A proper, peer-reviewed, published in a reputable journal, not withdrawn-in-total-disgrace study. (Sorry, Mr Wakefield…)

I sometimes wonder whether Greg is actually akin to those members of the Flat Earth Society that, although they know and in reality support the idea of an oblate spheroid Earth, would purposefully argue in favor of such an absurd idea as a Flat Earth simply to get a rise out of others and to provoke logical, coherent arguments that support a round Earth. But that might be giving Greg too much credit.

@Orac

Indeed. I wonder if she would be asked to step down from the GR Board of Directors.

@Todd – perpetual motion machines have been debunked over and over again, yet that doesn’t seem to keep people from jumping on the bandwagon – just because people keep going back to the well, doesn’t mean they are going to find any water……

What does it say that vaccines are constantly being linked to the crime of autism? Not much, really, when you look at who is doing the linking. If you have some group with an idée fixe and you manage to prove them wrong, they will shift the claims as little as possible to retain their illusion.

What does it say about alien abduction that so many people claim to have incidents that sound vaguely similar? What does it say about witchcraft that so many people were able to identify the people who must have cursed them?

‘Equally loopy’, Krebiozen? Really? Please direct me to numerous studies (including peer reviewed ones) that refute evolution, and also support ’9/11 Truthers’ and Flatearhters.

You want me to prove that antivaxxers are loopy by proving that 9/11 Truthers and FlatEarthers aren’t? That brings to mind experiments that appeared to show the earth was flat, and the copious evidence on 9/11 conspiracy sites that purports to prove various hypotheses.

If you really want to refute my assertion, you need to direct me to “numerous studies (including peer reviewed ones)” that support the hypothesis that vaccines cause autism, and I don’t mean crappy studies that can be torn apart after a few minutes dissection.

Wow. Not even one piece of research. What a surprise

In other truthy news: 7/7 was a false flag operation, the Queen had Diana killed, and Paul is Dead.

I still assert that any parent who is stupid enough to believe the antivaccine idiocy of someone whose latest TV commercial (for Carl’s Jr) involves her eating a salad like a starving pig and spilling half of it into her cleavage is a parent who is too stupid to convince on vaccines.

That being said, given McCarthy’s association with Dr. Jay Gordon and his abominable antivaccine views as a board-certified pediatrician (along with those of Dr. Bob), she will, if she flies her antivaccine freak flag (or, esp if she brings Sears or Gordon onto this neuronally apoptotic show) bring more unknowing parents into the dangerous fold of non-vaccination.

Basically, someone has to monitor this twit and whenever she says anything antivaccine, we all let ABC know our SBM VIEW.

@Krebiozen

“If you really want to refute my assertion, you need to direct me to “numerous studies (including peer reviewed ones)” that support the hypothesis that vaccines cause autism, and I don’t mean crappy studies that can be torn apart after a few minutes dissection.”

Come now, Krebiozen! Why don’t you be a good little boy and follow through with your homework. Provide me with one ‘scientific’ study, ‘crappy’ or otherwise, that refutes evolution or supports ‘911 Truthers’ or Flatearthers.

“When the concession is made that vaccines do cause autism, what provisions will you make in breaking the news nicely to autistics like Julian who truly believe that vaccines do not cause autism?”

But Greg, by failing to respond to my post @74 you’ve already conceded there is no evidence that vaccines cause autism.

Could Greg possibly be a tad masochistic and actually enjoy having his arse handed to him on a platter repeatedly by elburto, Krebiozen, PGP, Antaeus, Chris, Mephistopheles, Alain, Todd W. and many others? Hey, variety is the spice of life.

Although I would NEVER, ever criticise anyone’s proclivities I don’t know that our esteemed and gracious host who appears to run a rather clean site would approve of that scenario if true.

Maybe he keeps re-appearing because he likes getting savaged by smart people..

In other news:
Jake recites a list of ‘talking heads’ ( translate as “not reality-challenged”) who are speaking against the Jen-monster including Orac.

Come now, Krebiozen! Why don’t you be a good little boy and follow through with your homework. Provide me with one ‘scientific’ study, ‘crappy’ or otherwise, that refutes evolution or supports ’911 Truthers’ or Flatearthers.

In the spirit of proving that you can find evidence of a sort to support pretty much any half-assed, loopy hypothesis:
Evolution “refuted” by scientific studies.
Thermite found in dust from 9/11/.

I’ll follow up with some “evidence” that the earth is flat in another comment, to avoid moderation.

Let me be very clear, I am not suggesting that this “evidence” supports what it claims to, just that it is possible to pony up vaguely credible-looking stuff to support any old nonsense. Like antivaxxers do all the time.

@ Krebiozen:

One of the most repeated phrases at PRN is “peer reviewed studies”:
according to their head woo-slinger, all statements he makes about health are supported by “peer reviewed studies” that he names, re-iterates and translates into “lay language” for his audience which is composed of average folk as well as ‘professionals’ like himself….
.hold on a minute…

OK, thanks, I had to wipe away the tears caused by laughing uproariously for several minutes… I’m better now.

His nonsensial ‘documentaries’,”investigations” and “learned” tomes are also rife with pages upon pages crammed with references to peer reviewed studies….he claims to have “500,000” of them supporting his views.

All the woo say this;
the only problem is that the studies they rely upon aren’t worth the electrons which were wasted in the process or refer to totally un-related issues.
They know that their entranced audience will never read them.

@ Denice Walter: Months ago, I made that same observation about The Troll, whose behavior here is so similar to Thingy.

If your recall, Thingy craved attention and reveled in any response she elicited…even if that attention heaped scorn on her. Best to just ignore ignorant, deranged craving-for-attention Troll.

Notice how Jake lists the “talking heads”, yet hasn’t ventured to post on any of their blogs, in defense of Jenny?

In other news AoA has a post up defending Jenny:

http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/07/vaccines-benefits-outweigh-risks-implies-children-injured-by-vaccines-are-expendable.html

Greg,

You don’t seem to get it. The comparison is that you and your anti-vaccinationist fellow travelers are similar to 9/11 Truthers and Flat-Earthers in that you have absolutely no valid scientific evidence to your beliefs, and yet you continue to believe that people smarter and better-educated than you are part of a conspiracy to hide the truth from you lot.

You are the one alleging that one of the most successful medical treatments in human history (vaccination) has debilitating side effects, and that the vast majority of the entire medical profession is trying to cover that up. You’re the one making extraordinary claims–PROVIDE SOME EXTRAORDINARY EVIDENCE!

elburto:

@Calli – but that curly frightwig! Dios mia!

In all fairness, that was the result of a miscommunication. McGann had full, gorgeous, wavy hair when he auditioned. Really gorgeous hair; watch “Withnail & I” to see it. And then he showed up for rehearsals, having just gotten a buzz cut. Ack! He didn’t realize that the costumers had really been planning on that hair, to go with the Edwardian costume they’d worked out for him. So a wig was hastily procured.

We may see a repeat of that at Christmas. Stephen Moffatt has jokingly said he hates Ryan Gosling for having gotten Matt Smith a buzz cut for his horror movie. In an interview, Moffatt joked that they’re sprinkling fertilizer on Smith’s head, but honestly, I don’t see how they can possibly grow that out in time. I hope they have a better wigmaker than the TVM’s production crew did! (Knowing the Beeb, I probably shouldn’t worry. Their costume department is legendary.)

@ lilady:

Jake, like many tyros, reveals more about himself than about his targets of inquiry:
who does he attack? Primarily, scientists and journalists ( especially a guy from Philadelphia and a bloke from London): two professions to which he aspires. He attacks their successes ( both are quite impressive) as being illegitimate or non-existent. Because he won’t acknowledge that OTHER people have merit or ability. He dislikes Orac because the Doctor has a quite few recognised, pronounced skills of which he hasn’t even a sliver.

People who write can learn how to present a very neutral self-portrait or indeed, throw up a screen of distractors in order to prevent un-wanted invasions into their own private worlds ( unless of course if their purpose IS confessional or self-analysis). Adults usually develop the composure and restraint that allows them to keep themselves from blurting out their own issues…( remember I like to talk about executive functioning/ formal ops/ ego fxs? Here it is.)

Thus, the more he writes, the more we learn- but only about him, not about the real world of science and other people.

In the Classen article Greg’s been touting he opems with the following claim:

“Vaccines have been shown to increase the risk of type 1 diabetes in a prospective clinical trial and in animal models.”

To support this claim Classen offers an article by—you guessed it–himself, a paper whose methodology is given as “We attempted to determine if the Hemophilus influenza B (HiB) vaccine was associated with an increased risk of IDDM by looking for clusters of cases of IDDM using data from a large clinical trial” and which offers the conclusion that ”Exposure to HiB immunization is associated with an increased risk of IDDM”.

But what large clinical trial did he draw his data from?
Marjatta Karvonen’s “Association between type 1 diabetes and Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccination: birth cohort study” (BMJ 1999;318:1169).

What did that clinical trial find?

“No statistically significant difference was found at any time during the 10 year follow up in the risk of type 1 diabetes between the children born before the vaccination period and those vaccinated at the age of 24 months only (relative risk 1.01). The difference in the risk between the cohort vaccinated first at the age of 3 months and the cohort vaccinated at the age of 24 months only was not statistically significant either (1.06).”

And what did that clinical trial conclude?

“It is unlikely that H influenzae type b vaccination or its timing cause type 1 diabetes in children.”

@Calli

The Beeb no longer has a costume department, per se. That got outsourced (and the wardrobe sold off – *sob*) years ago.

As an itinerant costumer, myself, this breaks my heart.

The fun part I see in the comparison of anti-vaxxers like Greg to Twoofers is that I think the conspiracy to cover up the alleged harm caused by vaccines would require a much more massive cover-up, if only due to the larger number of generations involved. The problem with big conspiracies is that more conspirators means more points of failure. Someone will eventually slip up on accident or intentionally blow the whistle. Even if you try to buy their silence, it’s going to get prohibitively expensive when you’re working on a global scale. That cost is going to ruin any profits, and vaccines aren’t exactly the most profitable thing in the first place. Add in time as a factor, and some conspirators will get guilty consciences simply because they’re human, not mustache-twirling cartoons, and blow the whistle. There’s also the problem that some people just aren’t motivated by money, either out of principle, or diminishing returns if they don’t have anything they’d want to spend the extra cash on. Some doctors get into the business because they want to help people, not because they want to be rich. These same problems plague just about all quack conspiracies.

There’s also the anti-authoritarian streak in the scientific community to contend with. Conspiracies usually need clear hierarchies where powerful leaders can threaten or otherwise control subordinates. The scientific community doesn’t have an explicit hierarchy. There are big names, but they can easily fall from grace if they start relying on perceived authority instead of scientific evidence to support their ideas.

We know the scientific consensus has been wrong before and what it took to overturn those mistakes. A lie is essentially an intentional mistake, so the same general principles apply. We also know how propaganda tactics can be used to support a false consensus because we see them used all the time to support popular psuedoscience. Conspiracy theorists generally rely on those same propaganda tactics instead of doing or citing legitimate science. Is it any wonder that we aren’t easily moved by well-known fallacies? Heck, appealing to conspiracy without citing appropriate evidence is itself a propaganda tactic.

Vaguely on topic – Jenny was actually reasonably entertaining when she did a guest slot on a UK breakfast show called “The Big Breakfast” in the late 90s. I think she might have kept her crazy woo to herself at that point.

Of course back then I was a student so I was probably drunk at breakfast time.

@Krebiozen

“In the spirit of proving that you can find evidence of a sort to support pretty much any half-assed, loopy hypothesis:
Evolution “refuted” by scientific studies.
Thermite found in dust from 9/11/.”

Nice try Krebiozen, but not really scientific studies with testable hypothesis. More like arguments. Now go back to drawing board and come up with actual studies.

In other news AoA has a post up defending Jenny

Kind of obligatory, given that Jenny interviewed the Dachelbot for her Sun-Times pseudoblog. Of course, this was the kicker, not just because it’s not a “parenting column,” but because Kirk’s name didn’t appear on the announcement and later personally had the endorsement of GR and AO removed.

@Greg – man up & start answering questions….this constant “bait and switch” is not only tiresome, but shows that you got nothing…..the Pope is calling, he wants his dogmatic beliefs back….

Nice try Krebiozen, but not really scientific studies with testable hypothesis. More like arguments. Now go back to drawing board and come up with actual studies.

Given that you’ve already admitted that your reading skills are so poor that you can’t even understand Classen, a two-page paper with an almost certainly fake received date, by what reason do you suppose that you are capable of evaluating the evidence that you were just supplied?

@Calli – I adore Withnail, and I. Splendid stuff.

I’ve seen Matt’s buzzcut on the DW website, he looks like a borstal boy!

Doesn’t Greg realize that he’s disproving his own contention & actually proven our own – because there are no legitimate scientific studies / evidence around Creationism or 9/11….yet Greg has yet to cite a single legitimate study or evidence of a connection between vaccines and autism….

Which means, Greg is admitting that his stance is on par with Creationists & 9/11 Truthers…..

So, the only way Greg can dig himself out of this particular hole (rather than dig deeper) would be to actually cite real evidence / scientific studies that support his “beliefs.”

If not, well, that speaks for itself.

Always interested in what the heroin addicts are saying

Hey look! A real live ad hominem!

@ elburto:

Is it correct- in Northumbrian – to call a female a “wanker”?
Or should we go with another slur?
There are so many.

Nice try Krebiozen, but not really scientific studies with testable hypothesis. More like arguments.

How is this not a real scientific study? It has a digital object identifier, an International Standard Serial Number and everything. It’s even published in an open access journal, just like so many of the antivaccine studies you admire.

Now go back to drawing board and come up with actual studies.

After you. No really, I insist.

To be fair, there is a difference between the belief that vaccines cause autism, and a really silly belief such as, an alien spaceship crashed in Roswell in 1947.

Not as many people believe that vaccines cause autism (#29).

Vous savez, je crois que j’avais un peu de problèmes à lire une études scientifique complexe parlant, par exemple, de molécules et d’ARN mais cependant, je me demande un peu si Dreg est scientifiquement analphabète?

umm…..

Alain

That 9/11 thermite paper is quite amusing. For example:

In June 2007, Dr. Steven Jones observed distinctive bi-layered chips, with both a red and a gray layer, in a sample of the WTC dust. Initially, it was suspected these might be dried paint chips, but after closer inspection and testing, it was shown that this was not the case.

It seems obvious to me that some of the steel on some of the buildings at the WTC was painted with aluminum paint, which contains particles of elemental aluminum. So these are chips of dried aluminum paint attached to bits of rust – whether the steel rusted before or after the paint was applied, who knows?

I don’t find it terribly surprising that paint chips ignite when heat is applied to them with a blow torch, or that you might see a thermite-like reaction from rust and aluminum paint. The whole paper is a desperate and unsuccessful attempt to prove that these chips are not paint chips attached to rust.

On the whole though, I find the paper marginally more plausible and convincing than some of the antivaccine papers I have read, Tomljenovic and Shaw’s papers on death by Gardasil for example. At least there’s a plausible mechanism for thermite getting into the WTC, however implausible it may be that this actually took place.

Poor Offal…he resorts to ad hominem attacks…yet supports the conspiracist Bobby Kennedy’s dreadful article about the Simpsonwood Conference.

Why don’t you join Crosby and his tweets to Kennedy to publish his new book about the Government’s Thimerosal coverup, Boob?

@ JGC: Dr. Classen is a crank anti-vaccine researcher is not an immunologist, has never practiced medicine and is a known pathological liar:

Here…

http://webspace.webring.com/people/il/lmorgan/fearmongers/john_b_classen.htm

http://webspace.webring.com/people/il/lmorgan/fearmongers/classen_credibilty.htm

elburto: Following Ann Dachel’s reasoning, three generations of my family do not exist. I think once my tea is done icing, I shall immerse my non-existant self in water- catching up with you all is great, but it’s 95 here today.

@PGP – You have quite the existential dilemma, don’t you? I’d say you have a good case for not paying rent though, you’re a third generation non-exister!

Can non-present beings take baths? Have fun trying though.

@DW – ‘Wanker’ is more skewed to the masculine, but works for women too.

@ elburto:

I’ve been tending to go gender-neutral with insults as well ( b!tch, wh0re, sl#t) but was hoping that you might have a creative label just for female wankers.. I have a few candidates but I ‘l keep quiet for the time being…

Denice Walter – I have to ask – how is bitch (a female dog) gender neutral? I’ll buy slut, though I’m not sure it’s a term that has any derogatory meaning post sexual revolution.

@ Mephistopheles:

I am attempting to use formerly gender-specific insults in a gender-neutral manner**- e.g. calling men what used to be reserved for women and vice versa.,
Although perhaps ‘sl#t’ may no longer be an insult, more like recogniition of prowess or availability.

** oh why not? Work with me, c’mon.

@Denice Walter,
Aha, I’m being a tad dense today. There’s a term that is female specific here (it rhymes with “runt”) which I’m told is not female specific in other locations. I don’t see why a woman can’t be a prick unless you believe George Carlin. When bitch is used for a man it typically has a different sense than when used for a woman.

Of course, if your a dimorphic postgender trans-sexual then almost anything is lewd (to paraphrase Tom Lehrer).

Just wondering when someone like Dreg, who is admirably fulfilling his role to educate us lurkers in the ways of the unscientific mind ceases to serve his function here? When does our venerable plexiglass box of blinking lights nuke him? This is not a plea for his banning as the lulz just keep coming but merely a question. I do inhabit other sandboxes in cyberspace, one in particular is a very serious place and any insights would be invaluable to me.

@DW

a creative label just for female wankers…

Self-frotteur? Chair-humper? Thigh-stroker?

or just ladywanker? (OK, not terribly creative…)

@Delirked Lurker,

Based on Orac’s previous bans:
– if he starts getting excessively abusive, particularly with Holocaust and Nazi references.
– if he starts hijacking multiple threads and turning them all towards s common theme that was NOT the topic of the post.
– if he gets really, really, incoherent and tedious
– if he gets threatening.

But I am not Orac and do not speak for him. Just passing on what I’ve observed.

@Krebiozen

Ok, after a presumably long search you found one study — one! — that suggests that they found suspicious soil at WTC site. This is a far cry from suggesting that 911 was an inside job. You found zero studies that argue against evolution. Krebiozen, now try searching for studies that link vaccines to autism. Tell me how many you find and how long it took you to find them. At the end of the day, please let us know if you can in good conscience conclude that the idea of vaccines causing autism is really so loopy.

Better yet, Krebiozen, if the idea is so loopy, why don’t you guys bury us anti-vaxxers once and for all. Give us that study that shows an unvaxed population with a 1 in 50 autism rate. What about an animal study, Krebiozen, reporting that vax/unvax monkeys have the same health outcome? That old adage applies here, Krebiozen: Talk is cheap!

Elburto: It was more of a wallow, really. Local kiddie pool is just a block away, and I didn’t feel like getting out the bike. Really ought to learn to drive.

Greg – Krebiozen has found all kinds of studies that say that vaccines are not linked to autism. You are the one who says they are. Please provide links to the studies you believe are most compelling.

Frankly, I don’t expect you to respond because you’ve frequently stated that you don’t care what the studies say if they conflict with the stories you’ve heard (or read fourth hand) from parents. But please surprise me.

Thanks in advance.

@MOB

Thx, for the info but why would you guys really want to ban me? Think about it, but without me RI would just be one rather boring, echo chamber. Seriously, I am truly honoured that despite your protests you guys just can’t seem to get enough of me.

MOB, come closer, I must whisper a secret in your ear: (whispery voice) You guys love me because what I say are the suspicions in the back of your heads that you dare not echo out loud.

What a wonderful cathartic release I serve, and yet you curse me. Ungrateful knaves!

Really not the ‘question of the day’ since I already asked it this morning in regards to how you guys will break the vaccines causing autism news to Julian, but this Jenny topic got me reflecting. How will you guys feel when history records that a ‘dumb-blond’, Playboy Bunny got the autism-vaccines link right, and you intellectual elites with your advanced degrees and having spend over a billion dollars on genetic research into autism got things so sadly wrong?

Greg @231:
“How will you guys feel IF history records that a ‘dumb-blond’ …?”
Very, very surprised.
WHEN seems a teeny little bit presuppositional.

Mephistopheles:

Dang it, I meant pan-sexual instead of trans-sexual.

On the Whovian theme above, I think that would be Captain Jack Harkness.

@AdamG

“Copy number variants (CNVs) are thought to play an important role in the predisposition to autism spectrum disorder (ASD).”

Keep beating that genetic research drum there, Adam. Just curious though — do you think if we exhaustively study the genes of lung cancer victims we might find some ‘predisposition’ there? Perhaps we really did give Big Tobacco a bad shake.

Je perçois un changement de goal-post. Maintenant, ayant prouvé l’analphabétisme scientifique de Dreg, il essait d’invalider l’ensemble des connaissance scientifique sur l’autisme avec les pirouettes acrobatique de Jenny “too many too soon” McCarthy 😛

Belle façon de cacher son anaphabétisme 🙂

Alain

do you think if we exhaustively study the genes of lung cancer victims we might find some ‘predisposition’ there?

Yup.

Greg – you completely misunderstand me. I have no interest in asking Orac to ban you and have never asked to ban anyone. A question was raised by someone who also claimed no interest in seeing you banned.

The question was asked purely for informational purposes. I gave my answer – valuable or not as it may be – in that spirit.

@Calli Arcale – re:

On the Whovian theme above, I think that would be Captain Jack Harkness.

Touche!

@Bronze Dog

“The problem with big conspiracies is that more conspirators means more points of failure.”

Totally agree Bronze Dog, but who is talking about a massive worldwide conspiracy? Again the main problem with vaccine safety science is that it’s incomplete — having merely looked into thimerosal and MMR. We can perform such studies in every country in the world and still not have our answer of whether vaccines in their totality as administered in a recommended childhood immunization schedule are safe. And, the hesitation to perform such studies is truly what lends to the suspicion of a cover-up — not so much as any real smoking-guns of what has been done to date.

“Copy number variants (CNVs) are thought to play an important role in the predisposition to autism spectrum disorder (ASD).”

Oh, look, Greg managed to tough it out all the way through the first sentence of an abstract. Well done.

Again the main problem with vaccine safety science is that it’s incomplete

“Again”? Do pardon me if you’ve run away from so many things that it’s hard to keep track.

I must have mislaid you explanation for the data on measles incidence, as well.

Greg – be honest. Your main problem with vaccine safety science is that you value parental anecdote over study results. As long as you hear a parent tell you, “them there vaccines stole my Becky from me” there’s no study you’d accept. I wish you were actually as open minded as you sometimes say, but you’ve admitted as much.

@Greg

Again the main problem with vaccine safety science is that it’s incomplete — having merely looked into thimerosal and MMR.

So it’s safe to say that you agree that the MMR and thimerosal do NOT contribute to or cause autism, right?

Come on, you can do it…

And, the hesitation to perform such studies is truly what lends to the suspicion of a cover-up

In your tiny peanut mind, perhaps.

Your insisting in ignoring the unethical nature of your precious “vax-vs-unvax” study truly demonstrates your malignant stupidity and immorality.

Greg – and, as I’ve commented before, you’re a bully. You think you can browbeat others into submission by taunting them or enraging them. You think you’re a charming bully, but you’re frankly nasty to people. I honestly hope you think about that – I suspect you won’t – because I fear you carry that trait around in your normal life and it won’t serve you well.

It does pose an interesting question, doesn’t it? If we presume – as I am – that this “Greg” entity isn’t truly self-aware, then it’s logical to assume that it has no real understanding of anything that it observes. (Even “observe” is too strong a verb; perhaps “processes”? Much as a blending machine does to ice, or ENIAC did to punch cards?)

After all, if we posit that, whatever it is, “Greg” is mimicking the behavior it processes, then selects mimicry that elicits longer responses – providing it with more behavior to process, natch – wouldn’t the resulting behavior be … troll-like?

Isn’t that the point of trollish behavior? To elicit responses that are far out of proportion to the offensive material?

Can you imagine – if the “Greg” entity does become self-aware, its sentience would be rooted in the irritation of others. It’d truly exist simply to annoy and enrage; the more emotional the response, the more satisfied it’d be. How pale such an existence would seem to outsiders!

As I always say, Greg is impervious, but for any actual lurkers who might be reading his drivel:

Again the main problem with vaccine safety science is that it’s incomplete — having merely looked into thimerosal and MMR. We can perform such studies in every country in the world and still not have our answer of whether vaccines in their totality as administered in a recommended childhood immunization schedule are safe.

Looking into thimerosal and MMR was already a huge waste of time and effort. It has been demonstrated time and time again that there is no correlation between the vaccine schedule as it is given and autism. If the entire schedule shows no correlation, doing expensive studies of individual vaccines, or combinations of vaccines, or individual ingredients in one vaccine or another is an absolute waste of precious money, time, and resources!

Also, trying to dream up fanciful mechanisms to explain a phenomenon that we know for a fact does not occur is a complete waste of time!

@ Politicalguineapig:

You really need a car: it is the gateway to independence, self-determination and positive self-image- especially for women. Unless if you are living in a large city with effecient, affordable, safe public transportation, you need a car.

(I know, I know Portland and Amsterdam use bikes- but most people don’t live there.)

Greg, are you really trying to defend your “ha ha, I am sure of this bullpuckey theory without any proof” stance with “ha ha, you can’t prove this other bullpuckey theory without any proof”? You do realize you are now actively arguing against yourself, right?

Right, Greg?

Greg?

but who is talking about a massive worldwide conspiracy?

YOU are, Greg. YOU are. Sheesh.

Broccoli, Satan’s cabbage -yum

There’s a 60-something non-verbal guy named John(?) living in south Etobicoke. Used to live on my street in the 60s. Then there’s the kids/teens/adults Sis worked with in the 70s & 80s who also had autism (amongst other afflictions like hydrocephaly)

@ Edith:

*Une auto-frotteuse*? And I was thinking along the lines of ‘rubber’ or ‘poker’… be that as it may. we may perhaps just have to stick with wanker: it sounds dismissive enough.

At any rate, that fabulous autism-vaccine-diabetes study is being greeted as amongst the first signs of earthshattering paradigm shift- by none other than Gary Null ( PRN, today @ 19 minutes in).
That alone tells us a great deal.

Greg,

Ok, after a presumably long search you found one study — one! — that suggests that they found suspicious soil at WTC site. This is a far cry from suggesting that 911 was an inside job.

It didn’t require a search at all; I already knew about it since I’m quite familiar with 9/11 conspiracy theories. If you do just a little digging you will find highly qualified people make all sorts of claims of varying ridiculousness, many of which are at least as well supported as any “vaccines cause autism” hypotheses I have seen i.e. not very well.

BTW, it isn’t a paper about “suspicious soils”, it’s a paper claiming that thermite was planted in the WTC and was used in a controlled demolition. A ridiculous theory? Yes, yet it has higher quality evidence supporting it than the evidence you can scrape together to support your vaccine-autism dogma.

You found zero studies that argue against evolution.

Actually the page I linked to gave 4 scientific references it claimed are evidence against evolution, again about as convincing as the scientific evidence that supposedly supports “vaccines cause autism” hypotheses. Anyone can find some lousy evidence to support any theory, however silly. What is important is the quality of the evidence, and to some extent the quantity, in terms of replication. Where’s the high quality evidence that supports your assertions?

Krebiozen, now try searching for studies that link vaccines to autism. Tell me how many you find and how long it took you to find them. At the end of the day, please let us know if you can in good conscience conclude that the idea of vaccines causing autism is really so loopy.

We have been asking you to provide such studies for months now, and you have failed to come up with anything. As a matter of fact I have looked for such studies, and I have never found anything that even makes me think for a moment, “maybe”. There are lists of studies that are circulated on antivaccine websites, but without exception they don’t say what they are claimed to.

Better yet, Krebiozen, if the idea is so loopy, why don’t you guys bury us anti-vaxxers once and for all. Give us that study that shows an unvaxed population with a 1 in 50 autism rate.

Like the Generation Rescue study that found 1 in 27 unvaccinated children were autistic you mean? You never did explain why that study was unreliable.

What about an animal study, Krebiozen, reporting that vax/unvax monkeys have the same health outcome?

How many monkeys would you need to prove or disprove your theories? You are claiming that vaccines cause autism in 1 in 50 children, correct? How many monkeys would you need in the vaccine group and the control group to detect this difference with a 95% confidence? Any idea?

Anyway, why would anyone waste/abuse any monkeys on disproving a theory that nothing but anecdotal evidence to suggest it is true, and lots of epidemiological evidence that strongly suggests it is not? Where are the monkey studies disproving the TV-autism connection, the underarm deodorant-autism connection, the broccoli-autism connection etc. etc.?

It would be as much a waste of time and money as investigating 9/11 and looking for Zionist false-flag bombers. Even if it was done, I have no doubt at all that you and your AoA friends would find some reason to dismiss it, or would come up with yet another theory.

That old adage applies here, Krebiozen: Talk is cheap!

You don’t see the irony in you stating this? No, I don’t suppose you do.

Your insisting in ignoring the unethical nature of your precious “vax-vs-unvax” study truly demonstrates your malignant stupidity and immorality.

Oh, no, he concedes this issue, if only in scare quotes, because that’s the easy out. What he has proved incapable of doing is providing the relevant parameters to determine the sample size were it possible. Given that he has plainly stated a need “to get some expert opinions” (or “speak to the author”) in order to pretend to muster a single sensible remark (having already revealed blathering about it without reading it by way of trying to BFF pD) about Classen’s desperate CV-padding attempt now that the patents have gone south, I have a hard time characterizing just what it is.

If we presume – as I am – that this “Greg” entity isn’t truly self-aware, then it’s logical to assume that it has no real understanding of anything that it observes. (Even “observe” is too strong a verb; perhaps “processes”? Much as a blending machine does to ice, or ENIAC did to punch cards?)

Something something reflex Bomb 20 something.

Except that the bomb could, you know, think.

“So it’s safe to say that you agree that the MMR and thimerosal do NOT contribute to or cause autism, right?

Come on, you can do it…”

At this point I would say they shouldn’t be our main areas of focus. We need to capture the big picture and I think with the inflammation hypothesis we are almost there. Something about vaccines in their totality is causing autism.

No, something about the parents’ genetic makeup is causing autism.

@Mewens – You know those cockroaches with them-there electronical backpack whose-a-whatsits? I think we’ve got a wild one in here, if you get my drift.

@Denice – I’m now using entirely original, beautifully profane, artisanal insults these days. No ableism, homophobia, misogyny or racism.

I’ve spewed some of my gutter-filth here before. I call this collection ‘Dedicated to the Dregs of Society’:

arsebadger
sh¡tweasel
tosswomble
crapferret
slimevulture
miserysponge
scumslurper
pis$mop
droolfunnel
guanomuncher
crapcassoulet
merkinmouth
scatbadger
coloniccocktail
dungplodger*
pusgargler
taintsnorter
biffenbreath^
etc.

Not marvellous, but the source of my inspiration isn’t exactly Merveilleux, is he?

One local term of disparagement is “He couldn’t shove coal up a back alley”. For someone fond of running at the mouth there’s always the classic “gob$hite” or for general annoyances “waste of a wankstain”.

*In local argot “plodging” means “paddling”

^ a “biffen” is also local vernacular, a slang term for the perineum

Oh, @PGP – You can’t drive, sillyboots, you don’t exist!

Oh, @PGP – You can’t drive, sillyboots, you don’t exist!

Can I haz my driverz license for that pretty please?

Alain

@MOB

“Your main problem with vaccine safety science is that you value parental anecdote over study results”

Wrong! The problem is not that I value anecdotal evidence over the pharma’s ‘science’ that vaccines do not cause autism. The issue is whether we have a plausible resolution when science is in conflict with anecdotal evidence or common sense. Without such a resolution, it is foolhardy to expect anyone to blindly accept ‘science’.

I once gave the example of the earth appearing flat when science says it’s round. What plausible account can we give for why the earth appears flat when it’s round? Well, we can readily accept that since the earth is so large that from our vantage point while on it, it appears flat. If we scan a ship on the distant sea, we see the mast before we see the sails, proving that the curvature of the earth obstructs the sail.

What plausible resolution is there then for why countless parents are mistaken in believing vaccines caused their children’s autism with pharma studies saying otherwise? Well actually — none! We are told that vaccines merely coincide with autism — some quasi symptomatic factor that we don’t even know its cause or even its underpinning biological processes. We are presented with the most asinine circular reasoning. Listen again to how it sounds:

‘Vaccines do not cause autism, and autism and vaccines are merely coincidental in nature. What is autism? Well we really don’t know, but since it’s not caused by vaccines it must be something, so I guess we will just have to describe it in terms of its symptoms.’

Yes, ‘good’ science is superior to anecdotal or common sense evidence in determining truth. But with science, we are dealing with a process that the average Joe has no say in. How then can he be sure that he is dealing with ‘good science’, and he is not being duped? The answer again is that he measures the science against his crude, but loyal common sense measuring stick, and in the event of a disagreement he should be shown where his measuring stick is wrong.

Anything else, amounts to asking our friend to try his luck with BS.

We need to capture the big picture and I think with the inflammation hypothesis we are almost there. Something about vaccines in their totality is causing autism.

And thus you demonstrate that your understanding of how the scientific process works is a mathematical singularity. Tell me, Greg, to the best of your recollection, what was your first comment to invoke the “inflammation hypothesis”?

Or tell me about your “common sense” regarding string theory, Greg. You may not immediately grasp why I am asking this question, but I suspect that a nonnegligible fraction of the spectators to your Bad Luck Streak in Pamplona School routine will.

Greg:

The issue is whether we have a plausible resolution when science is in conflict with anecdotal evidence or common sense. Without such a resolution, it is foolhardy to expect anyone to blindly accept ‘science’.
It has been poitned out to you on other threads that common sense is often wrong, and that anecdotal evidence is subject to human cognitive failures. I own a copy of “Kluge” by Gary Marcus. Marcus’s hypothesis is that the human brain is a kluge. He also points out examples of cognitive failures in the book. Did you know that simply by changing the wording of a question, you can get vastly different answers? Or that humans can actually edit their memories?
Jenny McCarthy’s version of events about Evan’s autism has changed several times. Michelle Cedillo’s parents submitted videotape of Michelle before her MMR jab to show that she was normal, only for an expert to show that Michelle was already displaying autism.
Researchers have been able to convince people that they went on a balloon ride many years before, even when they hadn’t.
Now, let’s think. Take a couple with an autistic child and tell them that MMR may cause autism. The narrative is compelling. Would they edit their memories to fit the narrative? From what we know about the brain, the answer is yes.

There’s also this study done in North East London in 2003, five years after Wakefield’s fraudulent paper was published:

Widespread public concern about the possible relation between autism and MMR began in August 1997, with the pre-publication release of information about the Wakefield study, which attracted considerable and ongoing media attention.[…] From August 1997 the reported presence or timing of regression changed in 13 cases. For six of these, regression was mentioned for the first time after August 1997, even though many health professionals had seen these children before this date. In seven cases the recorded timing of onset of regression changed in relation to MMR: six closer, one further away.

This is good evidence that some parents have edited their memories of the timing, and even the occurrence, of their child’s autistic regression after they became aware of the claim that MMR causes autism.

So Dreg, your whole argument is essentially:

“I don’t understand the scientific evidence that debunks my quasi-religious beliefs. It doesn’t make sense to me, and that makes me feel stupid. They’re deliberately trying to trick me, I don’t like it when I don’t understand what those stuck-up scientists say, so I get frustrated and I lash out at people who claim to understand what the evidence says”<u.

Greg,

My purpose in diverting into the world of 9/11 Truthers and FlatEarthers was really to point out to you just how similar these groups are to the antivaxxers:

They have their own forums where they discuss their pet theories, within the parameters allowed by the group, and any serious dissent is forbidden.

They cling to studies published by cranks in open access journals, distort evidence to fit their dogma and reject any evidence that contradicts it.

They gloat about how clever they are, and how dumb the rest of the sheeple are in not seeing The Truth.

They console themselves for their marginalized and ridiculed status by fantasizing about the day when they are proven right, and all the people who laughed at them have to eat humble pie.

Does that sound familiar?

Whoops, dozed off there!

Try again.

So Dreg, your whole argument is essentially:

“I don’t understand the scientific evidence that debunks my quasi-religious beliefs. It doesn’t make sense to me, and that makes me feel stupid. They’re deliberately trying to trick me, I don’t like it when I don’t understand what those stuck-up scientists say, so I get frustrated and I lash out at people who claim to understand what the evidence says

@Dreg-
WRT defining autism by it’s symptoms- you’re surely not suggesting ASDs are the only health issue where diagnosis is made based on symptoms, rather than on test results?

As for your “Vaccines DO cause autism because…TIMING! ” schtick, here’s what you sound like:

Every morning, when it’s still dark, the rooster crows. As soon as he does that the sun comes up.

It’s obvious that roosters make the sun rise. Prove to me that’s not true. I’ve seen it happen every day of my life”

As others have pointed out, there’s lots of information available about the unreliability of eyewitness testimony, and how easy it is to manipulate people’s memories. I particularly like <a href="http://www.holah.co.uk/study/loftus/"this study which elegantly demonstrates that the language used in questions can affect people’s memories, in this case estimates of the speed at which colliding cars seen in a video were traveling at.

Stress can adversely affect people’s ability to remember, and when you consider that parents may have felt very stressed, anxious and confused around the time their child’s autism became noticeable, it is very easy to see how their memories could be distorted by a simple and satisfying explanation of what they experienced, especially when it makes what happened somebody else’s fault.

I find it very amusing that Dreg keeps coming back here for an arse whipping. I think it must believe it is winning 🙂

@Narad

“Or tell me about your “common sense” regarding string theory, Greg. You may not immediately grasp why I am asking this question, but I suspect that a nonnegligible fraction of the spectators to your Bad Luck Streak in Pamplona School routine will.”

Yes, some phenomena will not be so easily resolved with common sense. They will always seem to escape a common sense explanation. Yet, if truth be told, these phenomena are rare, and those that harp upon them are merely in a conniving way pushing the notion of believing without asking questions. Yes Narad, if the truth be told about this whole autism-vaccine debate you are the ones showing yourselves to not be the enlightened ones. You are asking folks to trust the science and stop asking the simple questions.

When one asks, if vaccine do not cause autism then why are vaccine courts compensating for autism claims, you say trust the science. When Dachel asks where are all the headbanging, non-verbal autistics in their 30s, 40s, and 50s again you say trust the science. When others ask why does autism seems to be an immune-inflammation issue, the same immune-inflammation that vaccines are known to cause, again you tell them to trust the science.

You are the ones using the Faith Card, Narad: Believe in pharma science without questions!

Greg:

When one asks, if vaccine do not cause autism then why are vaccine courts compensating for autism claims

The courts are not compensating for autism claims. Once again, you mindlessly regurgitate falsities.

@Julian

“It has been poitned out to you on other threads that common sense is often wrong, and that anecdotal evidence is subject to human cognitive failures.”

Taking a piece from pro-vaxxers playbook, Julian, if you guys are going to allege that the countless parents are wrong in believing that vaccines caused their kids autism then the onus is on you guys to prove this. Also, finding one or two cases where parents ‘missed’ the sign that their kids were showing signs of autism even before MMR is not sufficient. It is not sufficient because we don’t know if the kids were reacting to other vaccines given before MMR. It is also not sufficient because these are just mere few cases out of the countless other cases.

There again we see the value in pursuing the definitive studies — studies that test vaccines in their totality. Not only will we have our answer about whether vaccines cause autism, but we would simultaneously also find out if vaccines and autism were truly coincidental.

Greg, you still haven’t told us when you stopped masturbating in public. Regardless, you have it backwards, it is not up to us to show that vaccines DON’T cause autism, it is up to you to prove they DO. So far, you have failed miserably.

Greg:

if you guys are going to allege that the countless parents are wrong in believing that vaccines caused their kids autism then the onus is on you guys to prove this.

Krebiozen gave you a link to a study in #269 giving examples of how parents of autistics edited their memories to fit into the MMR autism causation hypothesis.
Multiple studies have been done looking at precisely this. Did you forget the Generation Rescue phone survey mentioned before that found numerous unvaxxed autistics?

finding one or two cases where parents ‘missed’ the sign that their kids were showing signs of autism even before MMR is not sufficient. It is not sufficient because we don’t know if the kids were reacting to other vaccines given before MMR.

I refer you to Kim Stagliano’s third daughter: totally unvaccinated and autistic. Also, nice goalpost shift moving from MMR to all vaccines.

For the sake of lurkers who may be swayed by Greg’s demands for more studies of the supposed vaccine/autism connection:

A question to ask yourself before anything else is, “why vaccines?”

Why suspect that vaccines cause autism as opposed to, for instance, older fathers, older mothers, prematurity, overweight mothers, fluorescent lights, latex pacifiers, exposure to the Internet, baby shampoo, or organic foods — all of which have been seriously proposed as possible causes?

Claims have been made that certain vaccines cause autism through certain mechanisms; those claims have been investigated; they have not been borne out. Why continue to study a vague claim that “some vaccines or other, administered in some order or other or some combination or other, somehow cause some fraction of autism cases”?

If someone wants to investigate that claim, of course, it’s up to them. But if the great majority of researchers aren’t interested in investigating such a claim, they should not be condemned for that decision. 

Good Morning, VCADOD Group!

I got detracted there responding to some rebuttals from last night, but now I guess we can get on with our show. Oh yes — what a lovely morning it is! Just reflecting though on how many kids will be vaccinated today only to develop autism 3 years down the road. Based on the autism rate, a crude estimate reports the mind boggling stat of 1 every 15 mins! Scary!!! (LW, don’t run to the bank with this and start with your advanced calculus, showing that I am claiming that all autistic cases are the result of vaccination—hee hee hee!)

Listen! — yes–doctor sticks the needle in: Oh yes — we have another one!

Anway, so let’s get started with our program by having our ‘question of the day’:

I am particularly struck by how these normal, neurotypical appearing parents seem to be having kids with severe autism. Surely if autism is genetic some of these parents should have autistic traits, if not mild ones such as Aspergers. My question then is whether you guys think it would be a good idea to conduct a blind-study to see if parents of autistic children significantly display autism over parents who have neurotypical children?

Greg:

Surely if autism is genetic some of these parents should have autistic traits, if not mild ones such as Aspergers.

Like my father, you mean? Or what about the mothers of diagnosed autistics, labelled “refrigerator mothers” who were themselves very likely on the spectrum?

Like my father, you mean? Or what about the mothers of diagnosed autistics, labelled “refrigerator mothers” who were themselves very likely on the spectrum?

Just goes to show how institutionalized sexism poisons everything. If it had been obvious in the ’50s how many diagnosed autistics had “refrigerator mothers” or “refrigerator fathers” or both, the genetic nature of the condition would have been crystal clear. Unfortunately, refrigerator fathers were considered “normal” in those days.

@Greg,

Your question of the day is an easy one. There are many studies on the rate of BAP (broader autism phenotype) in parents of children diagnosed with ASD. A pubmed search of BAP and autism will find them. Here’s one, and the full text is on-line.

Iran J Psychiatry. 2012 Fall;7(4):157-63.
Broader Autism Phenotype in Iranian Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders vs. Normal Children.
Mohammadi MR, Zarafshan H, Ghasempour S.
Source
Tehran University of Medical Science, Psychiatry & Psychology Research Center, Tehran, Iran.
Abstract
OBJECTIVE:
The aim of the present study was to compare the broader autism phenotype in Iranian parents of children with autism spectrum disorders and parents of typically developing children.
METHOD:
Parents of children with ASD and parents of typically developing children were asked to complete the Persian version of the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ). In the ASD group, families included 204 parents (96 fathers and 108 mothers) of children diagnosed as having autism (Autistic Disorder, or AD) (n=124), Asperger Syndrome (AS) or High Functioning Autism (HFA) (n=48) and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) (n=32) by psychiatrists based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-4thedition (DSM-IV-TR) criteria. In the control group, 210 (108 fathers and 102 mothers) parents of typically developing children. Parents of typically developing children were selected from four primary schools. Based on family reports, their children did not have any psychiatric problems. Total AQ score and each of the 5 subscales were analyzed using two-way ANOVAs with sex and group as factors.
RESULTS:
The mean age of ASD fathers was 40.6 years (SD=5.96; range 31-54), and of ASD mothers was 34.7 years (SD=4.55; range 28-45). The mean age of control fathers was 37 years (SD=4.6; range 29-45) and of control mothers was 34.11 years (SD=4.86; range 28-45). Group differences were found in age (p ‹ 0/001). On total AQ, a main effect for group and sex was found. ASD parents scored higher than controls (F(1,410)=77.876, P ‹ 0/001) and males scored higher than females (F(1,410)=23.324, P ‹ 0/001). Also, Group by Sex interaction was significant (F(1,410)=4.986, P ‹ 0/05). Results of MANOVA analysis displayed significant differences between ASD’s subgroups on total AQ and subscales scores (F (15, 1121)=13.924, p < 0.0005; Wilk's Lambda= 0.624, partial =0.145). Pairwise comparisons between ASD's subgroups and Normal group showed that mean scores for the Asperger group are significantly more than other groups in total AQ, attention switching and communication subscales (p < 0.05). The frequencies of BAP (X^2=52.721 (DF=1), P ‹ 0/001), MAP (X^2=17.133 (DF=1), P ‹ 0/001) and NAP (X^2=12.722 (DF=1), P ‹ 0/001) in ASD parents were significantly more than control parents. The frequencies of Broader Autism Phenotype (BAP) (X^2=3.842 (DF=1), P›0/05) and Medium Autism phenotype (MAP) (X^2=0.060 (DF=1), P›0/05) did not significantly differ in ASD fathers and mothers, but the proportion of fathers in Narrow Autism Phenotype(NAP) range was more than mothers (X2=14.344, P ‹ 0/001).
CONCLUSION:
Results of the present study revealed that parents of children with ASD scored significantly higher than control parents on total AQ and its subscales and the rates of BAP, MAP and NAP were higher in ASD parents than in controls. In addition, in ASD's subgroups, the parents of Asperger children scored significantly more than other subgroups (Autism and PDD-nos) and the normal group on total AQ and some subscales.
KEYWORDS:
Autistic disorder, Child, Iran, Parents
PMID: 23408558 [PubMed] PMCID: PMC3570573 Free PMC Article

This study is very interesting to look at, because it shows that not all of the parents of children with ASD are autistic, but more of them are on the spectrum than are parents of typically developing children. See Figs. 1 and 2.

This is why it’s not enough to simply say “I know one set of parents of one severely autistic child and they are perfectly normal.” That would miss the extremely strong correlation you find when you look at more than a few families.

@Broken Link

Thx for the info, but how much are these studies measure for mere ‘quirky’ qualities in the parents that a questionnaire would likely solicits? It could be the case that the parents are influenced by what they see around them in their kids and it’s shaping their answers.

Even high functioning aspergers ‘stims’ — perhaps a better sign of autism. Do these studies measure for such things?

Greg, the study is on line for free. Look at it, please. Just google “PMID: 23408558”

@Broken Link – but it uses big “Sciency” words….I don’t think Greg is capable of comprehending them.

Greg, try standing on a railroad track. When a train comes, pretend it isn’t there. Will you still be run over? Stop ignoring our evidence.

Thx for the info, but how much are these studies measure for mere ‘quirky’ qualities in the parents that a questionnaire would likely solicits? It could be the case that the parents are influenced by what they see around them in their kids and it’s shaping their answers.

Just when I think I can’t be any more surprised by Greg’s depths, or lack of them, I read this. This Autism Spectrum Quotient questionnaire is the one used to actually diagnose ASDs in Iran, so does this mean that autism may merely be a collection of quirky qualities that parents pick up from their children and vice versa?

@ TBruce:

Agreed.

While we’re at it, we should note that SMI was once ALSO attributed- by some theorists- to how the subject’s mother behaved – perhaps both theories ( refrigerator mother/ schizophrenegenic mother) had a tiny grain of truth in that one parent or the other contributed *something* to the situation ( i.e. genes)-
then, there is another complicated topic, even if a condition IS rooted in genetics, external constraints ( how significant people act, poverty, opportunity etc) have an effect on outcomes but NOT causation. ( for an up-to-date look, see schizophrenia.com/ causation/ I believe that eventually a similar multi-causal picture will emerge for ASDs).

For SMI and ASDs, the evolution of causation has ranged from mythology ( demonic possession/ changelings) to causation by disturbances in infancy ( abuse or neglect by parents, vaccines) to more genetically-based theories that also examine pre- and peri-natal influences.
Peri-natal does not include vaccines at 18 months of age.

ASDs involve the development of communication skills which usually are observed around age 1-2. Although developmental deficiencies may be noticed then by parents, more subtle signs have been assessed at much earlier ages. People may be motivated to “not see” worrisome signs and symptoms until they are shockingly apparent- like a 2 year old who is entirely non-verbal.

Krebiozen discussed one well-known memory flaw, there are many others- : people can be motivated to see and remember what suits their world view best- stereotyping/racism has been studied in cognition as well as in sociology.

LW

Why suspect that vaccines cause autism as opposed to, for instance, older fathers, older mothers, prematurity, overweight mothers, fluorescent lights, latex pacifiers

Oh jeez, don’t summon the latex guy up again…..

Unlike other daytime talk show hosts, Barbara Walters is not an entertainer but an actual journalist with a long history in TV news. I don’t think she would have had Jenny McCarthy speaking her vaccine views on “The View” 17 times and now passing the torch to Jenny as she nears retirement if Jenny pushed pseudoscience. Obviously Jenny’s concerns about vaccines are moderate and legitimate and I’m thrilled someone finally had the courage and integrity to hire this courageous woman for a daily gig on mainstream TV. The fact that she was hired by Walters of all people only confirms that Walters is the journalistic hero for women that she’s lauded for being, and is not afraid of the pharmaceutical industry and medical establishment.

@LW – I’ve decided that either broadband internet, or the USA’s program of nuclear testing after WWII are the cause of autism. Might as well pick stuff at random, eh?

@Broken Link – Loving you right now, but for Dreg’s benefit you may need to find an illustrated version of the study aimed at seven year olds.

@Denice – We were still being taught the schizophrenogenic family theory of SMI in 1999. This was in an honours psych programme that was rated as “outstanding”. Genetics wasn’t even given a toe in the door!

@Dreg – Can’t prove a negative Bobo, but keep on reaching. Do roosters cause the sun to rise?

@elburto #261 —

“crapcassoulet” earns you 1 MILLION internets. Please see Lord Draconis’ cashier for your check.

🙂

@ elburto:

That’s truly a shame.

Here’s a confounder:
the sub-set of parents who have SMI/ ASDs themselves may pass along genes but ALSO may not be the best instructors for their children in the areas of interpersonal relations, social modelling, self- monitoring, other ex fx skills, etc ( I’m generalising – of course- some have some skills in these areas**,etc), So perhaps there is more disadvantage because the underlying condition might have been offset a little by better training: if the parent doesn’t have these skills themselves to a high degree how can they help their children to develop their own?

This is true for any cognitive and/ or social skill outside the area of ASDs/ SMIs also.

** I have to be careful how I phrase this: it got someone else into a heap of trouble.

Hey Guys,

Are you still not mildly fascinated about the exact process whereby ‘proposed’ high functioning aspers genes are consistently giving us these non-verbal, screaming, head banging autistics– and it only seems to be occuring of late? What’s up with that?

Just reflecting though on how many children will be born today only to develop autism 3 years down the road. Just reflecting though on how many children will be taken home from the hospital today only to develop autism 3 years down the road.   Just reflecting though on how many children will be given a pacifier today only to develop autism 3 years down the road.   Just reflecting though on how many children will have their fingernails clipped for the first time today only to develop autism 3 years down the road.   Just reflecting though on how many children will be laid to sleep on their backs today only to develop autism 3 years down the road. 

Yes, some phenomena will not be so easily resolved with common sense. They will always seem to escape a common sense explanation. Yet, if truth be told, these phenomena are rare, and those that harp upon them are merely in a conniving way pushing the notion of believing without asking questions.

No, Greg, I asked you about string theory. You’re plainly a ready expert in any scientific domain, and the analysis requires nothing other than “common sense” and “asking questions.”

not one of his better LPs, even with all the talent playing alongside

“Bill Lee” redeems all.

The issue is whether we have a plausible resolution when science is in conflict with anecdotal evidence or common sense.

No, the issue is simply whether or not evidence exists falsifying the conclusions previously drawn from anecdote or reliance on ‘common sense’. You’ll still have been proven wrong even if you can’t figure out how you got things wrong.

Without such a resolution, it is foolhardy to expect anyone to blindly accept ‘science’.

Hardly, as the evidence indicating the lack of a causal association between vaccines and autism is published and freely available for their examination.

The only person asking anyone to blindly accept anything is you, greg, as you keep insisting we accept the assertion ‘vaccines cause autism’ despite having conceded you have no evidence whatsoever supporting that claim.

Hardly, as the evidence indicating the lack of a causal association has been published and is freely available for their examination.

@ Kate # 295: Surely you joke about Barbara Walters hiring of Jenny McCarthy. We don’t know why Walters hired her, but my suspicion is that Walters did so to gin up the ratings.

You do know, don’t you, that Walters and McCarthy have a history of conflicting views about developmental disabilities, don’t you? Here, where Jenny publicly and viciously attacked Walters at a public rally and following the release of Walter autobiography that revealed Walters’ sister was born with a developmental disability:

http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2013/07/15/jenny-mccarthy-angling-for-a-spot-on-the-view/

Kate, the next time you come posting here, you’d better have some proof for your statements about vaccines causing autism.

Greg: normal, neurotypical appearing parents

Dude, ever heard of recessive genes? Also, the key word here is ‘appears’- we’re probably dealing with adults who have managed to pass as NTs.

Greg: Even high functioning aspergers ‘stims’ — perhaps a better sign of autism. Do these studies measure for such things?

Greg, I don’t think you’ve ever met an Aspie in your life. Or maybe you have and they didn’t identify themselves because of your flaming ableism. I know two people with Aspergers- went to school for years with both of them, one in childhood, one as an adult, and I have never ever seen them stim. Btw, both have Master’s degrees.
As for vaccines, let me share why I don’t think they cause autism. According to your crowd, they also cause ADD and ADHD. I have ADD and was fully vaccinated. However, my father, who I am v ery similar to, exhibits symptoms of ADD as well- and he had measles and mumps. Grandpa might have some or maybe some variety of Aspergers, and he was born well before the polio vaccine.
If ADD runs in families- and believe me, I’ve seen it with my schoolmates too- it isn’t that hard to believe that autism might as well.
Actually, given the way the parents ‘fix’ on the idea, it’s not hard to believe that they know it too and just refuse to believe it.

@Denice – fortunately/unfortunately I had direct experience of life in a household dominated by schizophrenia*, and also of two homes where a parent with an obvious ASD was the primary caregiver**. The effect of certain parental behaviours on the children was obvious.

Your explanation makes perfect sense, thank you.

@ScottyNuke – Yay, more Draconi$ Token$ to spend. I should have enough for that MK-ULTRA certification now!

@LW – How many will be swaddled, carried in a sling, dressed in onesies, sung to, kissed on their downy little heads? Ban this sick filth, save these babies!

*My childhood best friend of 15 years. I spent more time in their home than my own, to the disgust of my snobby mother. After all, the parents were jobless, smoked, and deeply troubled people. If she’d known the full bloody story I would have been banned from ever seeing my friend again.

@PGP- Remember, Dreg claims to work with people who have ASDs. A claim as fantastical as his claim that there are no autistic people aged 20+

Like you, I am simultaneously profoundly disgusted and outrageously amused by the paths his vile ableism leads him down. Stimming Aspies indeed…

But hey, what would us faulty and damaged people know, eh? We just spend all day banging our heads against walls, drooling, shrieking, and reciting “Who’s on First?”.

And to think there have been posters here that claim that ableism is not pernicious and harmful, and that it’s disgraceful to compare it to other forms of oppression. That’s the road that leads to the likes of Dreg telling autistic people that they’re basically poor little brainwashed children if they reject his theories.

PGP, despite my contempt for our friend and resident dung beetle, Greg, I have to point out that there are certainly Aspies who stim – I am one such, and though it’s subtle, someone who knows what to look for would easily spot it.
You are right that autism runs in families. I’m an Aspie. My brother’s son has PDD. My mother has identified some relatives who may have had spectrum conditions, and I have seen possible traits in my father and possibly a cousin on that side.
It is even clearer in some other families, where two or more siblings may be on the spectrum although our little wooden rattle the Gregger would twist that around to them having similar vaccination histories.
Making a long-distance diagnosis without solid evidence, I think Greg’s disorder might just be a form of OCD – his obsession is impervious to logic, and any attempt to reason with him is met by “Yes, but what about…”.

Are you still not mildly fascinated about the exact process whereby ‘proposed’ high functioning aspers genes are consistently giving us these non-verbal, screaming, head banging autistics– and it only seems to be occuring of late? What’s up with that?

Greg is certainly fond of treading old ground with part of this. And remaining ableist.

First of all, we’re generally more aware of various mental problems in children because our society has gotten more open about them and more active about trying to help those children. More people see those children as children, not wish fulfillment machines or leeches. Used to, people would institutionalize “problem” children for life and no one would speak about it in polite company. Sometimes I think the only reason people are nostalgic for “good old days” was because of the shiny facades and their childhood ignorance of the dark underbelly, not because things were objectively better back then.

Diagnostic improvements are also a big factor. Once upon a time, autism was labeled as mental retardation. As doctors learned to define and diagnose autism, diagnoses of mental retardation went down while autism diagnoses went up. This is expected for a problem that always existed as it’s researched and understood in greater detail. The autism was always there, but our ancestors didn’t know how to separate it from other development issues.

There’s also some bureaucratic incentives: If a child can get special education or other forms of aid if they have a diagnosis, parents with troubled children will be more motivated to put them through the tests.

Social issues: While there’s still plenty of social stigma about mental conditions, it’s not as bad as it used to be, so there’s less motive for living in denial.

I’ll let someone else handle the finer details of the genetics, but I’ll say this much: Genes are not rigidly deterministic, and inheriting a gene in the first place involves some manner of probability, depending on the makeup of the parents. Both my parents have brown eyes, but I have blue eyes. Blue eyes are a recessive trait, and it seems both my parents possessed the recessive gene, covered up by the dominant brown eye gene. Some gene expressions are influenced by epigenetic and environmental factors, too.

Of course, the big problem with asserting that vaccines are one of those environmental factors is that there’s not much supporting the causation except anecdotes that reek of the post hoc fallacy combined with the assumption that parenthood raises people to the status of infallible deities who can determine causation at a glance. In other words, like many other forms of alties, they disregard the humanity of the people giving the anecdotes.

Oh, and I was diagnosed as a aspie at age 30. I was able to pass as merely geeky in my childhood. As a result of all that, combined with my mother having to give me the same social awareness lessons she gave my father, we strongly suspect my dad’s an aspie, too.

Speaking of ‘Dachel bot’: So as Ms. Dachel keep asking, where indeed are all those head banging, non-verbal, screaming autistics in their 30s, 40s, and 50s hiding? Anyone?

(This is not the question of the day, but I thought I would just throw it out there, nevertheless).

I got detracted there responding to some rebuttals from last night

Hey, you finally got something correct.

Are you still not mildly fascinated about the exact process whereby ‘proposed’ high functioning aspers genes are consistently giving us these non-verbal, screaming, head banging autistics– and it only seems to be occuring of late? What’s up with that?

The severely affected kids with autism have always been around, except that they were labelled “retarded”, “idiots” and “Imbeciles”. They were locked up in warehouse-type institutions and ignored by the rest of society. Now that most of these institutions have been closed, many of these kids are being cared for at home or in small group settings, and can take part in the world at large. Many are more specifically diagnosed as autistic, and early intervention can be applied to their benefit. But of course, you would know nothing about this, since you suffer the handicap of working in this field (or so you say).

BTW, what happened to all the “retarded kids”, the “idiots” and the “imbeciles”? They’re no longer around? Must be the vaccines!

(This is not the question of the day, but I thought I would just throw it out there, nevertheless).

Given that you’ve posted the same thing over and over again, “just throw it out there” is disingenuous in even the most charitable interpretation. You’ve had this explained to you repeatedly.

I’m still ignoring the ignorant craving-for-attention thread-derailing Troll.

dammit, I need another cuppa coffee ^ J.B. Handley has finally crawled out of his hole to drop some turds at AoA

To summarize Handley, then, anyone who criticizes Jenny does it strictly because he/she/it earns their living because of big pharma.

There’s also some bureaucratic incentives: If a child can get special education or other forms of aid if they have a diagnosis, parents with troubled children will be more motivated to put them through the tests.

Which is another question, which I’ve almost certainly asked before, to pose to Greg: What are the two things that Utah and New Jersey have in common in this regard, and the one thing that they historically haven’t?

Perhaps you could use a “Wilcoxon log rank analysis” to tease this one out. Hee fυcking hee.

M’OB: Yup, that’s exactly what Handley is saying. You won’t be seeing Handley posting on any of the science blogs or the mainstream media blogs, though. Perhaps, because I have already done a number on Handley’s Generation Rescue with a link to the Wikipedia entry…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_Rescue

That J.B. Handley piece, really is something. How dare we to go against someone like Charlie Sheen. Still wondering what this guy has done for science.

@ elburto
Did you read some Tintin to come with such a nice list of words?

How dare we to go against someone like Charlie Sheen. Still wondering what this guy has done for science. Provided an interesting case study in mutiple psychopathologies?

Gergles is still humping his own chair leg and giggling inanely. I see. He and the Dachel-bot should go get a room.

How dare we to go against someone like Charlie Sheen. Still wondering what this guy has done for science.

Provided an interesting case study in multiple psychopathologies?

Gergles is still humping his own chair leg and giggling inanely. I see. He and the Dachel-bot should go get a room.

Eh, that correction didn’t work too well, either. I’ll take it that you get my sleep-deprived drift.

Lilady, the point is Barbara Walters has had Jenny MCarthy on her show a record 17 times and is now passing her legendary torch to Jenny as she retires. If Jenny’s science was bad all those times on The View, why would the most admired and influential serious news journalist in the world have her on to talk about vaccines so frequently, and why would Barbara just give her a loving glowing endorsement this week and a super visible hyper-influential job on “The View”. Just when Jenny was marginalized and couldn’t find work on TV, the legendary Barbara Walters has single-handedly saved the anti-vaccine movement and made it mainstream, and there’s nothing you scientists can do but cry. Jenny McCarthy is the personification of anti-vaccination so whether she reads her talking points or not, MILLIONS will see the symbol of the movement on mainstream network TV five days a week with the blessing of America’s most trusted news journalist.

I think there’s a glitch in the Dreg’s programming, it’s stuck on the “Where are the older autistics” subroutine.

P’raps a reboot is in order, or a sharp thump to the side to jog it out of its loop. Worked wonders with my old t.v.

@ORD – I’m not disputing that some aspies stim, I doubt PGP is does either, it’s just Dreg’s ableist assertion that anyone non-NT is visible, that everyone on the spectrum shares exactly the same traits.

Any “fiddlers” or “fidgeters” among us? I just treated myself to a Tangle Jr. It’s so lovely to mess about with. My hands are only just regaining sensation and freer movement, and often try to resort to less acceptable compulsive actions. The Tangle is marketed toward autistic kids, but I am finding mine to be term absorbing.

Lilady, the point is Barbara Walters has had Jenny MCarthy on her show a record 17 times and is now passing her legendary torch to Jenny as she retires.

And yesterday was Yellow Pig Day, to boot.

@Kate

Given how Jenny herself seems to have backed off in spouting that particular nonsense, I’ll actually be quite surprised if she mentions it at all. The View is a sweet gig for her, you’re right – so why endanger it by alienating the percentage of the audience that has more than two brain cells to rub together?

. If Jenny’s science was bad all those times on The View, why would the most admired and influential serious news journalist in the world have her on to talk about vaccines so frequently, and why would Barbara just give her a loving glowing endorsement this week and a super visible hyper-influential job on “The View”

Kate, please recall that jenny’s ‘science’, in her own words, takes the form “Think of autism like a fart, and vaccines are the finger you pull to make it happen.”

Speaking of ‘Dachel bot’: So as Ms. Dachel keep asking, where indeed are all those head banging, non-verbal, screaming autistics in their 30s, 40s, and 50s hiding? Anyone?

As someone who has a close relative who was a special adult education supervisor from the 1970’s to the 1990’s and participated in many years of volunteer service with all ‘functional stages’ of adult autists (many already in their 50’s when I taught), you can now STFU you pathetic waste of keyboard strokes. And the fact that you are doing this for wank material makes you even more of a taint-huffer.

Kate stated…

” Obviously Jenny’s concerns about vaccines are moderate and legitimate and I’m thrilled someone finally had the courage and integrity to hire this courageous woman for a daily gig on mainstream TV. The fact that she was hired by Walters of all people only confirms that Walters is the journalistic hero for women that she’s lauded for being, and is not afraid of the pharmaceutical industry and medical establishment.”

Really Kate? Where are those studies that I asked for?

Did you read the link I provided? I’m assuming that the “journalistic hero” compromised her journalistic integrity to gin up the ratings for her show.

Narad, yesterday was also “Peach Ice Cream Day”, to boot.

If Jenny’s science was bad all those times on The View, why would the most admired and influential serious news journalist in the world have her on to talk about vaccines so frequently, and why would Barbara just give her a loving glowing endorsement this week and a super visible hyper-influential job on “The View”.

Kate, please extract your empty head from your arse, take a break from pathetic adoration of a dumbass hollywood bimbo and consider the fact that Barbara Walters owns The View and is trying to save the tanking ratings with a fresh infusion of talking heads. And what makes you think for a second that The View producers are going to let Ms. McCarthy mention her moronic raison d’être or at least unchallenged? Ms. Walters is also a business woman; her endorsement was for that reason, not as a serious journalist as her past encounters with Ms. McCarthy have borne out.

It doesn’t matter if Jenny mentions her views. Anyone who bothers to learn about her knows her views, and millions are googleing her as we speak. All that matters is the anti-vax lady has finally been fully unequivocally lovingly glowingly endorsed by an actual journalist, and honored with a job that reaches millions and millions of young mothers every day. And not just any journalist, but a feminist icon to millions. Just when Jenny McCarthy’s career was over and no one would hire her and anti-vaxers completely discredited and marginalized, the leading anti-vaxer will be in the homes of millions of moms every week day, under the approving glow of the most credible journalist in America. Jenny’s personal appeal combined with barbara’s credibility and journalistic authority is the best thing to ever happen to anti-vaxers, and just when the anti-vaccine movement was discredited. I will be eternally grateful to Barbara Walters. She single-handedly saved this movement from complete obliteration and that is a truly historic legacy. god I love Barbara walters, the queen of journalism!!!!

Kate – remember that The View is not a news show. It is an entertainment show.

god I love Barbara walters, the queen of journalism!!!!

Well, that makes one of you. I’ve never been able to tolerate even a minute of Baba Wawa, and I’ve never met anyone who could tolerate even a minute of Baba Wawa—in like 45 years I have never encountered a single person who could tolerate Baba Wawa!

god I love Barbara walters, the queen of journalism

Kate, you’re a goddamned joke.

Damn, remembering “Baba Wawa” depressed the Hell out of me. Gilda Radner is gone, but we’re still afflicted with Barbara Walters. TANJ!

@The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge – I have watched and been informed by Barbara Walters at various times. On occasion she has gotten rather silly in her interviews, but she does a good job in general. I consider Lara Logan (as an example) much more of a hard news person these days, but Ms. Walters has been a pioneer in her field and led the way for other women to excel.

I also liked Gilda Radner’s impression, though I thought that Rachel Dratch was spot on for the later Barbara.

@TBruce
“They were locked up in warehouse-type institutions and ignored by the rest of society. Now that most of these institutions have been closed, many of these kids are being cared for at home or in small group settings, and can take part in the world at large.”

Yes, but if what you are saying is true these ‘mentally retarded’ that are autistics should be adults now in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. And with the institutions closed they should now be out in the general society. So again, where are the non-verbal, head banging, poop smearing autistics in their 30s, 40s and 50s?

Please pardon my ignorance on this matter, but I get my news from the internet rather than television, and I’ve never actually seen Barbara Walters on air, so what exactly did she do to merit the glowing praise with which Kate showers her? She just seems to be another talking television head, albeit one that’s been talking longer than I’ve been alive. So, what did she do (besides create The View) to get the title “journalistic hero”?

Elisabeth Hasselbeck espouses strange beliefs, as ORAC has pointed out. People like her believe that your attitude about an unseen omniscient person in the skies is not as right as mine and that I am allowed to stone you to death because of that. Countless millions of people have been killed–and continue to die–because of religion.

Jenny McCarthy questions the science behind the way we administer vaccines. I agree with her. I continue to give vaccines to children every single day but also suspect that the schedule recommended by the manufacturers and their colleagues in the medical community is the safest way to vaccinate. I do not want to see the day when we stop giving vaccines altogether and I know that Ms. McCarthy feels the same way.

As I might have mentioned here before, real scientists and physicians would welcome spirited discussions of the best way to administer vaccines and improve their safety. More rigorous scientific research would be helpful.

Ms. McCarthy has also brought the public’s attention to the need to diagnose and treat children with ASD early rather than late. One must not ignore that aspect of her activism.

I’ve missed you all, too.

Best,

Jay

Not, darn it, not the safest way to vaccinate.

I’m so excited to be back here among you that I can’t type straight!

Old Rockin’ Dave: I don’t know if they do stim or not, I just said that I’ve never seen my friends do so.
Elburto: I fidget a lot; I play with a portable game system, have some interesting things that change size, have lots of polished rocks and loved silly putty and play-doh as a kid. What’s a tangle? Sounds like something I’d like.
Greg: My friends and I are all within 2 or 3 years of thirty. I remember reading about a documentary about two old Swedish men who were autistic and used keyboards to communicate- their commands on the keyboard would be sent to a voice synthesizer.

Is Dreg trying to say that non verbal people with Autism who display behaviors of concern cannot be found over the age of 30? Is he really saying that? Really ??

Funny I work for people who fit the above description. The oldest is 65 and the youngest is 39 and there a five of them in total. Of them all the person who displays the most troubling behaviours of concern is the 65 year old.

I can’t believe the troll actually thinks this, maybe I read it wrong. Well I have to get ready to work with my nonexistant clients now so I will need to reread that post later.

Ms. McCarthy has also brought the public’s attention to the need to diagnose and treat children with ASD early rather than late.

Obvious and stupid lie, Jay. That’s not her agenda at all, and you know it. Who do you think you are fooling with this?

Greg, you are a despicable excuse for a human being. I strongly suggest you seek help for your fecal fixation.

It’s not the autistics that have an issue, Greg. It’s you.

@Denice 🙂

@Stu Actually, that’s her most important goal right now. Mine, too. Too many children are being diagnosed late and too many families are lacking the support they need.

Jay

O bullsh!t on your lame defense of Jenny McCarthy, Dr. Jay.

When has Jenny ever spoken out for early identification and increased resources to help autistic kids and their parents?

@Chris “or, esp if she brings Sears or Gordon onto this neuronally apoptotic show”

Chris, I wish you’d put your wordsmithing to better use, but that phrase is pretty brilliant, anyway! Are you still an AAP denier?

Jay

lilady A pleasure to see you again. I must admit that I have been following your comments almost daily here and at Dave’s other place. Don’t ever change.

The answer to your question is . . . always.

Our old pal CIA Parker is lurking here. Every time I link to a blogger who has posted about Jenny’s new role on The View, Parker comes posting at me.

Parker just posted at Handley on AoA about Jenny’s son’s diagnosis i.e. where did Jenny state that Evan might have Landau-Kleffner Syndrome.

So, I accomodated Parker, by posting this on David Perry’s The Atlantic blog:

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/07/destabilizing-the-jenny-mccarthy-public-health-industrial-complex/277695/#comments

“lilady R.N. • an hour ago

From Jenny McCarthy’s Time Magazine interview about her child’s supposed diagnosis of Autism, (behind a pay wall, but repeated here verbatim on Huffington Post.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

“Evan’s symptoms — heavy seizures, followed by marked improvement once the seizures were brought under control — are similar to those of Landau-Kleffner syndrome, a rare childhood neurological disorder that can also result in speech impairment and possible long-term neurological damage. Or, as other pediatricians have suggested, perhaps the miracle I have beheld is the quotidian miracle of childhood development: a delayed 2-year-old catching up by the time he is 7, a commonplace, routine occurrence, nothing more surprising than a short boy growing
tall. It is enraging to the mother to hear that nothing was wrong with her boy — she held him during his seizures, saw his eyes roll up after he received his vaccines — and how can you say that she doesn’t know what she knows?”

Landau-Kleffner Syndrome is a genetic syndrome, not a reaction to any vaccine.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L

Jenny *claims* she cured her child by special diets and by subjecting her child to chelation. Her child is not cured of his seizures; he was hospitalized last year for seizure control with anticonvulsant medication.

Actually, that’s her most important goal right now. Mine, too. Too many children are being diagnosed late and too many families are lacking the support they need.

Obvious and stupid lie, Jay. Christ on a crutch, twenty seconds on your site proves you wrong. Who do you think you are fooling with this?

(Just in case anyone decides to tone troll this: out of the 4 “information” links on MMR on Jay’s site, 2 go to whale.to)

My comment (# 357), about Landau-Kleffner Syndrome in out of moderation now, Dr. Jay.

Would you care to comment on your patient Evan’s diagnosis of autism associated with the MMR vaccine?

Your main problem with vaccine safety science is that you value parental anecdote over study results

Wrong! The problem is not that I value anecdotal evidence over the pharma’s ‘science’ that vaccines do not cause autism. The issue is whether we have a plausible resolution when science is in conflict with anecdotal evidence or common sense. Without such a resolution, it is foolhardy to expect anyone to blindly accept ‘science’.

It seems to me this translates as “when I don’t comprehend the science, and the science conflicts with anecdotal evidence or ‘common sense’, I put my trust in anecdotal evidence/’common sense’. If someone can actually explain the science in a way that I understand, then there becomes a ‘plausible resolution’ and I can accept the science; if people keep trying to explain it and I still just don’t understand, then I’ll exert blind faith that the anecdotal evidence means exactly what it appears to an untrained eye and accuse everyone who understands the science of being part of a big conspiracy.”

It almost makes sense, as a strategy. Sadly, it’s not a strategy for getting at truth; it’s a strategy for an undereducated person to deal with his feelings of frustated intellectual inadequacy.

We all deal with the frustration of finding some matters beyond our intellectual grasp. The difference between those of us who keep progressing throughout our lives, and those who stall out and live out their lives in sad stasis, is whether we accept that there is something we don’t understand, and keep circling it, keep going back to it to see if there’s some key to understanding we didn’t spot before – or allege that everything we don’t understand must be false, because it doesn’t possess a “plausible resolution” with what we do understand.

I once gave the example of the earth appearing flat when science says it’s round. What plausible account can we give for why the earth appears flat when it’s round? Well, we can readily accept that since the earth is so large that from our vantage point while on it, it appears flat. If we scan a ship on the distant sea, we see the mast before we see the sails, proving that the curvature of the earth obstructs the sail.

What plausible resolution is there then for why countless parents are mistaken in believing vaccines caused their children’s autism with pharma studies saying otherwise? Well actually — none!

I made a point before, which Greg did not even attempt a refutation to, that millions of parents throughout history have wholeheartedly believed that witchcraft was the source of their children’s woes. That is their anecdotal evidence.

If you do not believe in witchcraft, then you are asserting that millions of parents and their anecdotal evidence can be mistaken.

If, on the other hand, you believe that vaccines must cause autism because there are so many parents who think that is the explanation for what they observed, and you believe that science must be written off as fraudulent if it doesn’t match what all those parents believe – then you are also saying that you throw science out the window when there’s no “plausible resolution” between science and witchcraft. If you think the parents who blame vaccines can’t be mistaken then you think those who blame witchcraft can’t be mistaken. There’s no getting around this.

We are told that vaccines merely coincide with autism — some quasi symptomatic factor that we don’t even know its cause or even its underpinning biological processes.

And?

I’m really trying to figure out what unstated assumptions are being made. There must be some, otherwise the above sentence is just a restatement of three things we know about the entity we call autism:

* We don’t yet know the cause of autism or its underpinning biological processes;
* We define and recognize autism primarily through its symptoms (I assume this is what “quasi symptomatic” is intended to convey);
* Vaccines have been ruled out as a plausible cause of autism.

What unstated assumption causes someone to perceive a contradiction between these statements when there isn’t one? I have to guess that it’s something like the following:

* Until we know for sure what the cause of a phenomenon is, we can’t be sure that anything that someone suspects of being a cause isn’t.

But in reality, we frequently can rule out suspected causes long before we work out what the cause actually is. In the case of autism, if vaccines caused autism through any mechanism, then there would be a difference in autism rates between vaccinated and unvaccinated populations. Well, the studies have been done which would detect such a difference, and there isn’t one. Thus, vaccines get ruled out.

Let’s be more precise, though. Do we mean “ruled out absolutely, now and for all time”? No; that’s not how science works. What we do mean is “ruled out so thoroughly that if anyone wants to insist that it’s still a possibility that should occupy our time and attention, the obligation is with them to prove their case, and naturally the bar is much higher than before.”

That’s the part that most antivaxxers don’t seem to understand. At one point, the perception that there were way too many parents telling similar stories about how they didn’t perceive any signs of autism until shortly after vaccination was enough to start investigating. But anecdotal evidence and unquantified perception are the weakest forms of evidence. They’re where investigation starts, but after you’ve gone past them, you can’t go back to them hoping that they’ll restart the process all over again.

(An analogy: At the beginning of a criminal case, suspicion might fall on a particular individual solely because law enforcement thinks their reactions when they’re questioned are a bit non-standard – for example, extremely calm when the police would expect an innocent person to be brimming with outrage at even being suspected. But once it’s been established that at the time of the crime, the person in question was somewhere else, and that has been established by timestamped surveillance camera footage and the testimony of multiple disinterested witnesses, you can’t go back and say “Well, I judge his reactions to be really weird, so that trumps his iron-clad alibi!”)

When I read people saying things about anecdotal evidence and common sense coming into conflict with science, I shake my head. Because there’s no conflict. Anecdotal evidence is one of the many forms of evidence that the scientific process uses; the fact that the final conclusion is often not the one we would have guessed at from the anecdotal evidence just demonstrates how frequently deceptive anecdotal evidence is, hence why it occupies such a limited role.

As for science conflicting with “common sense”, science is really just a form of super-charged common sense! When you find out that a form of evidence (such as anecdotal evidence), or a heuristic for getting at the truth (such as “that happened after this, therefore this caused that”) keeps leading over and over again to false conclusions, it is common sense to stop relying so heavily on that evidence/heuristic!

(Contrast that with someone who says “Well, sure, it’s already been shown that incidence is a better measure of whether a disease ‘went away’ than mortality; if a disease was rampaging through a population and it was inflicting every kind of misery except actual death, mortality statistics would lie to us and tell us the disease had ‘gone away’ when it hadn’t. Despite knowing that mortality statistics lie to us, though, let’s use them as our source of information and simply assume that the real data, the incidence data, follows along with the mortality data!” It goes without saying, there is no common sense there.)

We are presented with the most asinine circular reasoning. Listen again to how it sounds:

‘Vaccines do not cause autism, and autism and vaccines are merely coincidental in nature. What is autism? Well we really don’t know, but since it’s not caused by vaccines it must be something, so I guess we will just have to describe it in terms of its symptoms.’

Except for the parts that are nothing like what any vaccine advocate said, ever, the above actually sounds quite reasonable, if not terribly articulate.

Autism has been defined in terms of its symptoms since Kanner first described the pattern of symptoms he had seen in multiple children and gave it a name; it requires a certain kind of hubristic paranoia to believe that Kanner described autism this way as part of a sinister, generations-long effort to reveal the existence of autism to the world but simultaneously conceal its cause. (Which he must have known, or else he’d never have described it in terms of its symptoms; if he truly didn’t know the cause, he would have described autism in terms of its cause, amirite??)

Likewise, it hardly takes a genius to figure out that autism is caused by something; it’s rather implied by autism’s very existence. If vaccines have been ruled out (which as already explained they have been to the point where anyone who wants them ruled back in needs to stop whining and pony up evidence) then to say “It must be caused by something other than vaccines” demonstrates not closed-mindedness but simply a grasp of the subject.

Not a shred of circular reasoning to be found.

Yes, ‘good’ science is superior to anecdotal or common sense evidence in determining truth. But with science, we are dealing with a process that the average Joe has no say in. How then can he be sure that he is dealing with ‘good science’, and he is not being duped? The answer again is that he measures the science against his crude, but loyal common sense measuring stick, and in the event of a disagreement he should be shown where his measuring stick is wrong.

Anything else, amounts to asking our friend to try his luck with BS.

Once again, this is an answer to the question “How does average Joe handle his feelings of intellectual inadequacy?” and not “How does average Joe figure out what’s actually true?” Because let’s face it, unless Joe is a Stephen-Hawking-level intellect, which by virtue of being average Joe he is definitely not, at some point he will be faced with science he can’t understand himself, and he will have to employ some strategy for knowing what to believe.

The only world in which the strategy of “assume the real truth known by the experts is exactly the same as what the layman with his ‘common sense’ would guess, and if the experts say differently, belligerently accuse them of lying and covering up the real answer until and unless they can figure out a way of getting the truth into your own thick skull” is a good one is a solipsistic world in which there are no concepts other than those average belligerent Joe can grasp. It’s not our world, because our world has actual complexities. The sad truth is that average Joe is just as prone if not more to being duped by BS when he stubbornly refuses to believe anything that doesn’t match his layman’s guesswork; he’s simply being duped by himself.

Thank you for pointing out the outdated and inaccurate links on my site. Those will be removed as soon as possible.

The website was put together about fifteen years ago as a breastfeeding help site with Attachment Parenting and sleep advice. The vaccine links, as you can see, have not been updated nor monitored closely enough.

Jay

Jay, the ridiculous information on your vaccines websites was pointed out to you months ago on Respectful Insolence.

How about answering my question about Jenny’s son? Did Evan ever have a diagnosis of autism? Was that diagnosis changed to Landau-Kleffner Syndrome?

@lilady You are on probation. As you may recall, some months ago I made the wise decision to ignore everything you said because your unbearable nastiness overwhelmed the many sensible things you posted. I have given you this second chance to be civil and I’d have to say it’s not working out well. Again: 🙂

I have removed as many outdated links as I can and will continue to do so with your help. Thanks.

Yes, it’s public knowledge that Evan was diagnosed with autism and I don’t believe that he was ever diagnosed with Landau-Kleffner.

Thank you for pointing out the outdated and inaccurate links on my site.

Oh knock it off, liar. You said the exact same thing months ago when we pointed out these and other links to utter insane tripe on your site. Here you are again, trying the same bilge.

@lilady You are on probation. As you may recall, some months ago I made the wise decision to ignore everything you said because your unbearable nastiness overwhelmed the many sensible things you posted.

Tone trolling already, Jay? How pathetic.

Who did the diagnosis of autism, Gordon?

(and does anyone else wonder who the puck comes onto somebody else’s blog and announces that another poster there is on probation?)

Hi Jay-

Did you ever bother putting in the references you forgot for chapter 8 of your “Preventing Autism” through healthy spermatogenesis and other silly woo book? It looks like references for chapter 9 got omitted as well. Nice proofreading! Does that mean you just made all that sh*t up in your latest work of fiction? BTW, I don’t need ghost writers for what I pen (right now I’m working on a zombie piece where you’re invisible to Z’s because they can’t smell any brains on you–kind of a comedic reality pulp fiction schtick).

And until the AAP denounces you and Sears for the harm you have done to public health–with absolutely no scientific evidence to back your lies and deceits, I will assert that the AAP leadership is not at all “Dedicated to the Health of All Children”–just like you aren’t either. I am not a denier. I am on who exposes that which needs calling out.

I wanted to add to the above — those links were pointed out the last time you decided to grace this blog with your august presence…and at the time you made the exact same damm’ed excuse and promise. Been in statis for the last 30 days, or what?

Ms. McCarthy has also brought the public’s attention to the need to diagnose and treat children with ASD early rather than late.

Oh really Dr. Jay? I seemed to have missed her public service announcement on the importance of early diagnosis of ASDs and the treatments available. Do you mean faecal transplants? Bleach enemas? Chemical Castration? Chelation? HBOT? Nicotine patches? Unproven and potentially dangerous supplements and diets?

Do share Dr. Jay.

Alright, I swear, I swear, I swear.. this is not a set-up, loaded question or whatever:

Dr Jay:

Groups like the Canary Party ( and other alt media) claim that vaccines ( and other aspects of modernity) cause ASDs and other chronic conditions like asthma, allergies etc.
More recently there is a claim that vaccines link to type 1 diabetes in children…
Do you think this possible?
I’m just curious if you suspect vaccines for conditions other than ASDs. Thanks in advance.

@PGP – When I was in hospital and virtually unable to move my hands I almost died of frustration. I haven’t been able to use my DSi XL since last February, and it was my permanent companion, helped to stop my hands pulling at stuff.

I got mobility back in my thumbs by forcing myself to use my tiny smartphone, powering through the bloody pain, so that I didn’t lose my mind out of boredom. I can now use a small android pad too, so between the phone and the pad (and a DSi emulator!) my hair and skin are safe.

The Tangle is a lovely little fiddlymajig thing, I’ll leave a link to it. I collect weird or nice-feeling objects too, keeps my powers focused on good, rather than evil!

The Tangle – amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B001RQEM28

Elburto: Looked at the link- I might even buy it at some point. But please don’t taunt me with tales of your electronics- I’m in mourning for my nook and my DS is fritzing.

@Antaeus,

“It seems to me this translates as “when I don’t comprehend the science, and the science conflicts with anecdotal evidence or ‘common sense’, I put my trust in anecdotal evidence/’common sense’. If someone can actually explain the science in a way that I understand, then there becomes a ‘plausible resolution’ and I can accept the science; if people keep trying to explain it and I still just don’t understand, then I’ll exert blind faith that the anecdotal evidence means exactly what it appears to an untrained eye and accuse everyone who understands the science of being part of a big conspiracy.”

Again, very disengenuos of you Antaeus. Who said anything about not understanding the science? The pharma science is understood Antaeus and it runs quite, smack contrary to countless stories by parents of how vaccines damaged their children. It’s a straight conflict, Antaeus. Just like the earth appearing flat by common sense evidence, with the actual science saying it’s round. It’s not a case of one big misunderstanding as your are implying.

We have two choices, Antaeus. Either we accept pharma science or the parent stories. You seem to be saying that we should always go with the science because the layperson must concede that he may not have the intellectual rigor to grasp the science — the implication being that the science is always right.

No, Antaeus it’s not an issue of Average Joe being too stupid to understand the science. The matter is whether Average Joe has been adequately shown where his common sense/anecdotal evidence is wrong. And, in the case of the parents contentions that vaccines changed their kids, this has not been done.

That last sentence is an important one, because not only are you suggesting that Average Joe is getting the science wrong, but you are also implying that Average Joe is being shown where his common sense/anecdotal evidence is wrong and he is also just not getting it. Really, Antaeus? Let’s talk specifics. What evidence is there that a parent who witnessed their child stop talking, stop making eye contact, and start ‘stimming’ immediately after vaccines is mistaken in his beliefs as pro-vaxxers sometimes contend? Provaxxers sometimes offer the excuse that the parent is guilty of ‘bad remember’ but this is not evidence, Antaeus, but mere speculation.

Other times pro-vaxxers do not even bother to dispute the stories and simply chalk things up to coincidence. But if they are going to invoke the coincidence claim then the onus is on them to prove it. And, how do we prove that two events are merely coincidental? Often what’s involved Antaeus is providing a third or more ‘plausible’ competing events. In the case of vaccine/autism scenario, we have –event 1–, vaccination, followed by –event 2–child changing, stop talking, losing eye contact, start ‘stimming’. The argument then is that event 1 and 2 are coincidental because there is — event 3 — autism, a ‘speculated’ genetic condition that causes the event- 2 behaviours. But get this Antaeus, event 3 is mere speculation! We have not with any degree of certainty identified specific autism genes. In fact, experts concede that they don’t have any real bio-markers for autism. It’s entirely a condition identified by its outward symptoms. Essentially then, no real evidence is given for the coincidental claim.

Now Antaeus presented his witchcraft analogy seeming to suggest in the same way that people once believe in witches –erroneous anecdotal evidence– they are also believing that their kids were changed after vaccines –erroneous anecdotal evidence. Yet, not so fast again, Antaeus! Yes, believing in witchcraft has been shown to be erroneous anecdotal evidence, but this has not been the case with parents believing that their kids were changed by vaccines.

Again let me offer this final summary of Antaeus rebuttal of arguments: Average Joe is often too stupid to understand science, and he is just as stupid in understanding things when his perceptions and beliefs are shown to be wrong.

Perhaps this may be the case, Antaeus. But, you still did not argue whether this is indeed occurring with vaccines/autism debate. Essentially your rebuttal was merely theoretical in nature and not factual.

(BTW — You and I still know who you are don’t we?)

Dr. Jay, What colossal nerve you have putting me “on probation” on Orac’s blog.

IIRC, you butted in when I mentioned to another poster that my son contracted varicella, just before the vaccine became available here..

http://respectfulinsolence.com/2013/04/18/andrew-wakefield-wants-a-live-public-televised-debate-oh-goody/

You claimed that you had used the vaccine in the mid-1970s under a compassionate use provision. When it was proven to you that you were mistaken, you never backed down and you never apologized to me.

Further along on that thread you posted some ludicrous remarks about the Prevnar-7 vaccine and, you were proven wrong, once again. Rather than admit your error, you resorted to labeling me as having a demeanor that was threatening and you called me uncivil.

You haven’t seen me be uncivil yet, Jay. Just keep posting and I’ll show you how uncivil I can get.

@PGP – My condolences! Other Mrs elburto and I had Sony Readers, they were great, but both died at the four year mark. Now we just have cheap generic android tablets with ebook apps like Kindle and Aldiko.

I know this won’t help you, but Amazon (UK) have 7″ pads for £25 that are more than capable of being ebook readers/basic internet access devices/distraction material. OMe often recommends them to customers who’ve lost their iPad/branded android pad/expensive phone to a watery grave.

Apparently an awful lot of people have taken the “just like paper books” line so literally that they took their device into the bath with them, or poolside, or in two cases – the shower.

Cheapo generic pads are more than capable of being great e-readers with the right app. There’s even a Nook app, I believe. Perhaps you could use one to fill the gap your Nook left behind, should you have any spare cash anytime soon.

@Dreg – Define “immediate”.

Parental memories, as you’ve been told a few hundred times, are not infallible. I’m interested to hear how these “immediate reactions” manifested.

Stories of immunisation followed by immediate stimming are implausible (if we’re using the dictionary definition of “immediate”) and require clarification. It would be helpful for you ask these people who reside in your imagination to explain the actual course of events.

Greg:

Either we accept pharma science or the parent stories.

Here’s a parent story for you, Greg. My mother suspected there was something different about me when I was about a month old. Whenever she came to pick me up, I would react like I didn’t want to be touched. If you believe that parents’ stories should be trusted, you have to accept that there are children who were autistic before they had the MMR.

You seem to be saying that we should always go with the science because the layperson must concede that he may not have the intellectual rigor to grasp the science — the implication being that the science is always right.

No. We are saying that science is the best way to work out the truth. We have also highlighted the problems with parents’ stories as the final arbiters of truth. As for your insinuation of scientific condescension, I know a lot about software but precious little about biology, astronomy and liguistics. I do not know those fields the same way someone who studied them for years would. If I had a question about, say, the mating habits of bottlenose dolphins, I would ask a marine biologist. That the marine biologist knows more than I do is not condescension (or a lack of intellectual rigour on my part). It’s that the marine biologist knows the field better than I do.

@Denice I am not a great supporter of Bart Klassen. I consider immunization to be life-changing medicine and I believe that while many children and others benefit from immunity acquired from vaccines some people have life-changing adverse reactions. There are children born with genetic predispositions to certain illnesses and medical conditions and vaccines may be one of the triggers causing overt disease. Those who claim 100% certainty of these causal links are just as unscientific as those who claim 100% certainty that there is no link at all.

@lilady The original varicella vaccine was available for special use in the late 1970s in the USA. Merck licensed it in 1979 or 1980 from Takahashi’s group,I believe, though official widespread use did not begin until 1995. At Memorial, Sloan-Kettering, it was available in the late1970s for our ALL kids and others pediatric oncology patients. I was there.

Subsequently, many years before official approval, Merck made the vaccine available for selected non-immune adults in mid-to late 1980s.

“Varicella vaccine was developed in Japan in the early 1970s [4, 5]. The Oka/Merck varicella vaccine was evaluated in studies conducted in the United States in the 1980s and early 1990s, with efficacy ranging from <60% to almost 100% [5–7]."
http://jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/197/Supplement_2/S82.long

One of the first journal articles about use in the USA appeared in 1983:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S014067368290006X

You are wrong.

The Prevnar 7 vaccine failed and needed to be replaced by the PCV13.

I’m a little surprised to see Dr Gordon falling foul of Scopie’s Law, but as at the time of writing this (8am BST) the links are still there, I can only conclude that he believes the nonsense on Whale.to, and hence cannot be trusted with anything more interesting than a bathroom sponge.

Regarding Barbara Walters, being British, the “Baba Wawa” reference has gone completely over my head, but thanks to you guys I now have;
“Now put it all together!”
“BABA RARA CUCU DADA!!”
“Well it ain’t Barracuda man, but I think we got a hit record!”
…going through my head.

Thanks. Thanks a lot.

I’ve missed you all, too.

Best, *plonk*

Jay

FTFY. Oh, the sweet, sweet relief.

WRT Greg’s repeated claim that there are, “countless stories by parents” about children regressing into autism after vaccination. I’ll point out yet again that in the study done in North East London in 2003 I linked to at #269, of 567 children with ASDs, in only 12 cases (2.1%) did parents blame vaccines, and in 8 of those cases they blamed MMR, which was eliminated as a possible cause by a previous study by the same authors.
So the overwhelming majority of parents did not blame vaccination for their children’s autism, even more if you eliminate those who thought MMR was responsible, which we know is almost certainly erroneous.

Also:

Yes, believing in witchcraft has been shown to be erroneous anecdotal evidence, but this has not been the case with parents believing that their kids were changed by vaccines.

But this has been the case with “parents believing that their kids were changed by vaccines” since:

1. We have documented cases where parental reports of regression after vaccination have been shown to be erroneous through videos showing autistic behaviors before vaccination.

2. The study I have cited above (and several others) found that those parents who blamed MMR for their children’s autism were mistaken.

3. There is growing evidence that autism has a large genetic component.

4. We know that some maternal infections during pregnancy lead to a greatly increased risk of autism – rubella for example.

5. We know that it is easy to manipulate people’s memories after the event.

Taken together, these facts offer a compelling explanation of parental observations.