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More antivaccine stylings from someone who is Dunning-Kruger personified

I was measured, science-based, and reasonable in yesterday’s post about the new American Cancer Society guidelines for screening mammography (which is obviously why that post garnered so few comments, thus teaching me my lesson yet again0, but regular readers know that I can be quite obnoxious and sarcastic and there’s a reason why this blog is called Respectful Insolence. It’s based on a quote from a character (a computer, actually) in a 35 year old British science fiction series. That character, Orac, is my namesake, and the adopted quote is, “A statement of fact cannot be insolent.”

Of course, you and I both know that a statement of fact can most definitely be very, very insolent indeed. That’s why I like to apply science and fact liberally and—dare I say?—insolently to quacks, cranks, and pseudoscientists. Sure, I can be quite restrained and even-keeled when I want to be, but—let’s face it—there are people who are not deserving of such respect. After I named the blog Respectful Insolence, it didn’t take me very long at all to realize that there are those who deserve what I like to refer to as not-so-Respectful Insolence™.

Matt Jonker, who is responsible for the font of antivaccine idiocy known as Dinner For Thought, is just such a man.

We’ve met Mr. Jonker before, but I’ve only blogged about him once because a particular post of his, 15 Things You Should Know Before Becoming An Anti-vaxxer, went viral around the holidays last year. Suffice to say, Jonker’s understanding of science was about as…lacking… as that of any antivaccine loon. He earned my attention not because of his very run-of-the-mill antivaccine pseudoscience, but rather because of his confident, even arrogant, regurgitation of antivaccine tropes so hoary that they were probably circulating within a year of Edward Jenner’s discovery that he could inoculate with cowpox to protect people against smallpox. Yet, there Jonker was, delivering standard antivaccine tropes as though they were astoundingly brilliant insights that he himself had been the first to think of with unassailable logic and relentless research. That his logic wasn’t quite so unassailable as he thought it was and his research consisted primarily of perusing wretched hives of scum and quackery and misinterpreting studies apparently never occurred to him but was painfully obvious to anyone with an understanding of vaccine science.

Well, he’s back, this time with another listicle. Yes, Jonker seems to have figured out that listicles make good clickbait, although he does share one characteristic with me that prevents his listicles from truly achieving true viral status: He’s just too damned long-winded for it. Of course, I never pretend to be otherwise, and my long-windedness usually has a purpose, namely in depth explanation of medicine and science. In any case, Jonker’s latest is Why don’t you vaccinate?, and it’s a doozy, briefer than the first post that brought me to his attention but chock full of antivaccine pseudoscience nonetheless. It’s like a black hole of antivaccine stupid, threatening to suck all intelligence from anyone with a brain who reads it. Fortunately, Orac is made of sufficiently stern stuff that he is not concerned about such threats to the integrity of his neurons. Neuron-apoptosing stupidity is (usually) beaten back by Orac’s neuronal survival pathways.

Enough science geekiness, though. Let’s see what nonsense Jonker is laying down. First off, you can see from the graphic he uses to illustrate his post that he’s into the whole #CDCtruth thing, which is at the heart of the antivaccine protest rallies that will be taking place in Atlanta and Oakland this weekend. I assume that he also buys into the “CDC whistleblower” nonsense. He has ten reasons. All are straight from the antivaccine playbook. None are particularly compelling. Most are outright ignorant. All contain a lot of conspiracy mongering, like this:

To some, I may seem like some sort of modern day renegade; some kind of rogue in a vast wilderness of pharmaceutical influence. I suppose I am different, although I don’t feel that way most of the time. What may set me (and millions of others) apart is how I reached this decision.

Translation: I’m different and awesome. I understand things you mere peons do not and am going to educate you clods with my brilliance thusly:

There is not one sole reason that I’ve stopped vaccinating my kids; there are many reasons.

I’ve been researching this topic in depth for quite a while now(spurred on by an adverse reaction my second child had to her twelve month round of shots), and I’ve come to the eye opening realization that the rabbit hole is much deeper than most people realize. I have many reasons for not trusting common vaccine science, but there are ten reasons that I feel compelled to specifically address whenever the topic comes up.

And there’s the conspiracy you were waiting for.

So let’s march down the ten reasons. Some I will only deal with briefly because they are, quite simply, not worth my spending much time on. Others I will discuss in a bit more detail. The first two are relatively easy:

10. Vaccine manufacturers are immune from any and all liability.

This is, of course, one of those half-truths that antivaccinationists like to parade out as though they were Gospel Truth. Yes, in 1986, the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act was passed, and this act created the the Vaccine Court, whose payouts are funded by a tax on each dose of vaccines. Of course, the Vaccine Court uses civil standards of evidence (50% and a feather, as some have put it) and pays the court costs of those bringing cases to it, which is quite different (and more advantageous) than suing in regular old civil court. Complainants who lose in Vaccine Court can still sue in the federal courts. Granted, it’s more difficult, but it can be done. I also can’t help but note that the very reason the NCVIA was necessary was because of a flood of frivolous lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers that threatened to drive vaccine manufacturers to stop selling vaccines in the US. Basically, Jonker sounds as though he watched a Canary Party propaganda video and confused it with reality, which has been described here.

Next, number nine:

9. Financial incentives and conflicts of interest turn me off.

That’s nice. Antivaccine pseudoscience and quackery turn me off. Really, that’s all this idiotic objection deserves. Well, that and a mention of how many antivaccine luminaries make money being antivaccine luminaries. Conflicts of interest are not good, but it’s undisclosed COIs that really matter.

Next, number eight:

8. The vaccines aren’t as effective as you’re led to believe.

Some, like the pertussis, influenza, mumps, and meningitis vaccines, are easy to observe with the failing rates, by simply looking at a large percentage of vaccinated people that still contract these diseases. Even the CDC hesitantly admits some of them aren’t as effective as advertised.

Others are a little more difficult to observe, because disease outbreaks in the US have become so rare. In the case of polio, measles, diphtheria, and tetanus, we can see clearly that cases were already declining before vaccine introduction, so it’s almost impossible to prove that the vaccines are what saved us from outbreaks.

Ooh boy, this sounds like the “Vaccines didn’t save us” gambit (more on that later, when Jonker explicitly invokes that gambit). More importantly, Jonker doesn’t understand very basic math. Because no vaccine is 100% effective, even if a population is 100% covered by a given vaccine, there will be a percentage of people still vulnerable to the disease. That’s the importance of herd immunity (more on that later, too). Because the vast majority of any given population is usually vaccinated, in an outbreak there will be vaccinated people who come down with the disease. What matters is not the raw numbers, but rather the percentages. When outbreaks are studied, the attack rate is always much higher in the unvaccinated. For example, those not vaccinated against pertussis are at a 23-fold higher risk of becoming ill with pertussis during an outbreak. Looking at raw numbers is profoundly deceptive. I suspect that smarter antivaccinationists know that. I also suspect that Jonkers is too ignorant to understand that; he really believes he’s making a valid point.

Next up:

7. I don’t believe that vaccines eliminated diseases.

At least, not in the manner that we’re force-fed. It becomes quite clear from studying historical graphs of disease morbidity and mortality rates, that most of the diseases we vaccinate for today were already on a steep decline before their respective vaccines were widely introduced. While this may go against everything you’ve ever been taught to think, I’d ask you to look into this further before laughing it off. As it turns out, hygiene/sanitation has played the biggest role in reducing disease than any other factor. Again, I do believe vaccines have helped curb outbreaks in some ways, but I do not give them near the full credit as many people do without even studying the facts.

“I don’t believe”? Oh. My. God. The stupid, it burns.

This is the lie that I like to refer to as the intellectually bankrupt gambit known as Vaccines didn’t save us. Heck, Jonker even uses the same damned graphs that I mocked. His take on this is so stupid that I really don’t see any point in doing any more than providing the aforementioned link to my takedown of this particular bit of antivaccine idiocy. Basically, it’s a transparent bit of misdirection and misinformation that intentionally conflates disease incidence with disease mortality. The CliffsNotes version is that antivaccinationists like Jonkers argue that, because mortality rates for various vaccine-preventable diseases were falling before the introduction of vaccines against them, that must mean that the vaccines had nothing to do with the elimination of the disease. Of course, in most cases, better medical care was what was responsible. Besides, it is the incidence of diseases that matter for determination of vaccine efficacy, not mortality, and whenever disease incidence is plotted against the introduction of vaccines we always see that there is a rapid and obvious decline in disease incidence after the introduction of a vaccine for that disease.

Then there’s this:

5. Herd immunity does not exist.

Nonsense. Yes it does. There are even a lot of mathematics to quantify it. Jonker just plain doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Imagine that.

And the beat goes on:

4. The ingredients in vaccines scare the crap out of me.

That’s nice. What antivaccine fear mongering such as Jonker’s can do scares the crap out of me, even as I laugh at his ignorance. I think of children developing vaccine-preventable diseases because their parents are misled by antivaccine propaganda of the sort that Jonker is regurgitating, such as “toxins gambit” writ large:

Formaldehyde is used not only for embalming dead bodies, but also to kill the viruses or bacteria in inactivated vaccines. It has been labeled a carcinogen in other areas, yet we’re injecting it into our bodies. Sure, a pear might contain the same amount of formaldehyde as a single vaccine, but when’s the last time you injected a pear, or even fed one to your 2 month old? The bottom line is, it hasn’t been tested for safety in infants. Go ahead, check. Even the package inserts themselves state explicitly that vaccines have not been tested for carcinogenic or mutagenic effects. Have you noticed the epidemic of childhood cancer that is happening today? No, they don’t know what’s causing it.

Except that there is no “epidemic” of childhood cancer today. Some cancers are increasing in incidence. Some are decreasing. Mortality from all of them is decreasing. I would point out that the reason mortality from childhood cancer is decreasing is science, but I suspect that observation would be lost on our “friend” spewing antivaccine talking points. I would also point out that formaldehyde is produced in normal metabolism and that the amount in childhood vaccines is so far below that amount that it doesn’t significantly increase blood levels in infants. Nor is there any believable evidence that mercury causes autism, as Jonker seems to believe, or any evidence that aluminum adjuvants are harmful.

Now here’s one that made me laugh out loud when I read it:

3. Many vaccines contain foreign animal DNA.

There is no way around the fact that every vaccine contains some type of foreign DNA. Tissue from several animals is needed to cultivate viruses and bacteria. There are no safety studies on injecting foreign DNA and what it does to the body.

I’ve decided that I don’t like the thought of my children getting injected with pig, cow, monkey, mouse, rabbit, and dog DNA; I don’t care if it’s widely deemed “safe”.

With no studies on the effects, and my own common sense, this should be enough. No thanks.

Here’s a rule of thumb: Whenever someone invokes “common sense” before discussing science, there’s a pretty darned good chance that what will follow will be anything but “common sense.”

In any event, this particular entry in Jonker’s list is so amusingly silly that there’s not a heck of a lot to say about it. It basically boils down to, “Ewww, icky!” Perhaps I should come up with a fancy Latin phrase that translates to “appeal to ickiness” or “repeal to personal revulsion.” Of course, just because you find something repulsive does not mean it’s harmful or dangerous. Besides, if Jonker is afraid of “foreign DNA,” he really shouldn’t be eating meat. Heck, he shouldn’t be eating vegetables, either. I bet Jonker doesn’t have clue one what happens to “foreign DNA” that finds its way into the bloodstream. He seems to think it will somehow contaminate him or his child. In actuality, the body deals with it quite rapidly.

This is, of course, a very common theme in antivaccine pseudoscience, that vaccines will somehow sap our purity of essence or contaminate our precious bodily fluids. I mean, seriously. Is Jonker Jack D. Ripper?

Which brings me to:

2. Many vaccines are designed using aborted fetal tissue as a growth medium.

Huh? What does this even mean? Aborted fetal tissue as a growth medium? Jonker clearly has no idea what the meaning of the term “growth medium” is in science. It has nothing to do with cells; rather, it is the liquid that contains all the substances necessary for cell growth in tissue culture. A word of advice: If you’re going to refer to something like tissue culture, know what the hell it is you are talking about. Learn the basic terminology. The failure to do so only reveals your ignorance and thus lack of credibility on the subject. Not that our intrepid antivaccine loon is the least bit deterred by something as trivial as a lack of knowledge of the relevant science. Don’t believe me?

Behold:

While there is no fetal tissue in vaccines (a common misconception), there are unavoidable traces of fetal cells/foreign human DNA in many of them. There are no safety studies that prove this isn’t dangerous or doesn’t cause adverse effects. There are studies, however, that do find a strong correlative link to the case spikes in autism and the introduction of vaccines containing human fetal cells.

I’m impressed. At least he realizes that there isn’t actual fetal tissue in vaccines. On the other hand, that’s about the minimum one should expect; so Jonker didn’t hit a very high bar.

Not surprisingly, Jonker neglects to mention that the “studies” that claim to find a “strong correlative link to the case spikes in autism and the introduction of vaccines containing human fetal cells” are crap studies by antivaccine ideologues like Theresa Deisher, whose twisting of science in the service of religious dogma is, unfortunately, epic.

All of this brings us, countdown-wise, to #1:

1. It’s MY choice.

It’s not up to the government, the pharmaceutical giants, the health department, my doctor, or you to decide for me how to raise my kids. I’m not neglecting or abusing my kids by not having them vaccinated, despite a new push to paint this image into the minds of the public.

No, I stopped vaccinating my kids because I love them so much that I realized I really needed to be researching such an important topic; one that has destroyed the lives of many families.

No, not exactly. The “it’s my choice” gambit is, as I’ve described before, an antivaccine dog whistle. Contrary to what Jonker seems to think, his children are not his property. Parents are stewards of their children, not their owners. They do not have the unfettered right to do whatever they want with respect to their children’s medical management, and it is not an unconstitutional infringement of freedom to require children to be vaccinated as a condition of attending school or day care.

What this listicle shows is that Matt Jonker is suffused with what I like to refer to as the arrogance of ignorance. He thinks that his Google University learning and his “deep research” outweigh the real deep knowledge that scientists and physicians who’ve dedicated their professional careers to studying autism and vaccines. If you don’t know much about science or vaccines, he sounds as though he knows what he’s talking about, apparently subscribing to the philosophy that if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit, confidently delivered.

Harkening back to my discussion of who does and who doesn’t deserve respect when taken down by skeptics, Matt Jonker is clearly one who does not. His unabashed arrogance of ignorance, coupled with is truly cringe-worthy assessments of evidence preclude that.

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]

172 replies on “More antivaccine stylings from someone who is Dunning-Kruger personified”

Others are a little more difficult to observe, because disease outbreaks in the US have become so rare.

It’s a bit difficult to figure out if whale hunting is the reason whales are disappearing, because hunting ships have troubles finding whales.

Sarcasm aside, one can point to the occasions where some vaccines were withhold (Japan in early 80’s, Ukraine in the 90’s) and the following increase in the occurrence of the relevant disease.
But I guess it was just people who suddenly and coincidentally forgot to wash their hands.

To some, I may seem like some sort of modern day renegade; some kind of rogue in a vast wilderness of pharmaceutical influence.

Is there some kind of law, like Scopie’s or Godwin’s, that can be invoked as soon as the “brave maverick” claim surfaces? Garner’s Law, maybe?

Personally, I prefer Bill Mayer’s term, bubble people. After referring them to the history of hepatitis A and B, along with yellow fever, I dare them to spend a few months in the central Amazon without vaccinations.

About #9:

COIs of those who profess anti-vax propaganda as well as those who sell supplements and naturalistic protocols- in general- are not entirely ‘undisclosed’ but followers must experience a _failure of inference_. Seriously.

– anti-vaxxers’ presentations are rife with tales of children being “lost” after vaccination and “recovered” after following various fol de rol. Tellers of these tales are USUALLY parents of the children described, providers of the protocols or someone who has a book or film concerning the preceding or occasionally, 2 of these or even all 3.

– the aforementioned may experience rewards both monetary ( see AJW) and social ( see AoA,TMR), occasionally both. Obviously parents who write books published by Skyhorse on the subject may never earn much money but may instead receive increased prestige amongst their peers and followers which may even lead to ‘careers’ as speakers, advisers, ‘experts’ and quasi-celebrities in their groups.
( see Kim Stagliano, LJ Goes, Ann Dachel, TMR).

In addition, parents who feel slighted by Nature ( having a so-called imperfect child) can be a bit compensated through secondary gain.

– woo-meisters with websites and alt media ( PRN and Mike’s newest project, Talk Network) bang on about conspiracies to enhance their own following ( number of listeners, readers, friends, clicks, ad payments) who in turn may also purchase products from their web site “stores”. This can lead to increased prestige and ego puffing as well.
( Like they need more !)

Their followers most likely don’t put these hints together thus I say, “a failure of inference” – I wonder why that is?

I’ll answer that:
BECAUSE they do whatever they can to DISTRACT their audiences and potential clients from their own COIs by forever, tirelessly, endlessly pointing out their critics’ ( SBM and the reality-oriented) alleged COIs, malfeasance and downright devilry.

Conspiracies rule because they serve as a distractor away from what I described previously:
it is a *distraught parent* relating this
or someone who provides a woo treatment, sells books, supplements or films about the issue.
They are not free of conflicting interests.

People who study cognition know how much distraction can interfere with WHERE attention is focused-
suppose I keep direcingt you towards material about A in order to keep you from looking at B- you’ll be thinking and remembering A more likely as not instead of B. .UNLESS of course, you’re on to me. I doubt most followers of anti-vax prophets question their leaders’ motives because after all, they are pure and just, as they tell you over and over and over again. Why question paragons of virtue like them- devoted parents and providers-and when you have daemons around like Offit, Orac and Deer?

[email protected]: It’s a version of the Galileo gambit, with a side of martyr complex. Jonkers is casting himself as a modern-day Galileo fighting against the dogma of the Church of Big Pharma. There are many problems with that analogy, not the least of which is that he is incorrectly identifying the side of this so-called debate that’s being dogmatic (almost theologically so) about their position.

I’m not going to dignify Jonkers by comparing him to Bozo the Clown. Bozo was at least competent in his field of work.

Denice @5: Exactly. The pharma shill gambit is pure projection. Don’t buy those nasty chemical products from that giant corporation, buy my products instead. What’s unsaid is that since the woo-pushers are making (I insist on the Americanism here, because they certainly aren’t earning it) big money on their products (else they wouldn’t be selling said products), Big Pharma must be in it for the money as well.

Speaking of the Dunning-Kruger effect:

SafeMinds has a new “review” of the data that they don’t like from the studies that they wish they had not funded. The review was written by two marketing specialists and a nurse. Because waaah.

http://www.safeminds.org/blog/2015/10/19/safeminds-review-of-vaccine-safety-and-autism-like-outcomes-in-a-non-human-primate-model-identifies-distortion-in-public-reporting-and-argues-need-for-full-disclosure-of-research-documents/

@ Eric Lund:

Sure. Woo-meisters are business people.
All of them though- parents, woo-meisters / vitamin pushers- present themselves as humanitarians- selfless, martyred saints whose ONLY concerns are -respectively- their precious children- indeed ALL children- and all humankind around the globe and the TRUTH of course!

If they are so concerned about humanity why do these guys live in veritable palaces instead of donating most of their earnings to the impoverished? Why do their services and products cost so much?
I should really do a pricelist sometime.

“I was measured, science-based, and reasonable in yesterday’s post about the new American Cancer Society guidelines for screening mammography (which is obviously why that post garnered so few comments, thus teaching me my lesson yet again)”

Insolence or no insolence, I still read your posts religiously every day and enjoy them, may they be making fun of some clueless bozo or outlining the subtle nuances of a given medical practice. I guess it’s just easier to crack jokes at the former rather than making pertinent observations at the latter, especially when you have no expertise in that field like me.

If herd immunity does not exist, how does one explain how the recent measles outbreaks “originating” at Disneyland petered out quite rapidly?
I sometimes wonder if “they” think herd immunity actually means that if most of the herd is immune that herd members who aren’t will somehow acquire immunity from those who are. I’ve seen lots of “it doesn’t exist” claims, but never anything beyond that assertion. I’ve seen a few claims that it can only exist with “natural” immunity, not as a result of vaccination, which is what leads me to believe they think some sort of mother-to-child or peer-to-peer process is in play.

On the matter of the measles outbreaks, does anyone know of a nice summary of where they occurred, how many were infected and how long each outbreak lasted?

To most rational folk, Jonker seems like just another false meme-belching antivax loon; a turd in a vast punchbowl of scientific literacy.

@ Garou

[…] which is obviously why that post garnered so few comments

I had a similar reaction.
Breast cancer screening? Um, not a clue here, I will just sit at the back and watch.
Antivax nonsense? (or antisense?)
OK, SIWOTI kicking in, full speed. Time to dust off my microbiology/physiology/immunology 101, or what’s left of them.

Either way, if I remember to pay attention, I learn stuff.

I love this post, and am deeply grateful to Orac for responding to these baseless claims, but I want to correct something in relation to #10. Orac says: “Complainants who lose in Vaccine Court can still sue in the federal courts. Granted, it’s more difficult, but it can be done”

That’s not quite accurate.
Petitioners who lose in NVICP can appeal to the federal courts – first to the Court of Federal Claims, then to a circuit court, with a potential (if hard to get) appeal to the Supreme Court.

But suing in state courts, which is what anti-vaccine activists seem to think they should have, is harder. Under Breusewitz v. Wyeth, they can’t sue for design defects at all. They can sue for other things, however, for example, manufacturing defects. As Orac points out, winning in the regular courts would be harder.

I would add that the causation standard used in NVICP is also less demanding than that in federal courts.

The document to look for is the petitioner appeal brief in Cedillo. This sets out why – in the submission of the omnibus petitioners themselves – why they don’t need to prove that the vaccine causes harm to win in vaccine court.

It’s wonderful exposition that blows the bottom out of all this crap about all these billions in compensation means that vaccines cause autism.

@Brian Deer: I’d be a little more cautious. They do need to meet the program’s standards for proving causation, if there’s no settlement. Cases are denied for not proving causation. It’s just that the standard is a pretty low, relaxed one.

“when you have daemons around like Offit, Orac and Deer?”

Offit, Orac and Deer, oh my!
Offit, Orac and Deer, oh my!

(With apologies to a long dead composer.)

15 things you absolutely know after becoming an anti-vaxxer:

1. You are the specialest snowflake in all the world.

2. Google U. is fully accredited.

3. Doctors and scientists are only in it for the money.

4. Andrew Wakefield is only in it for kitten smiles and sunbeams.

5. Your children do not need rights. They have You.

15. “You can’t tell me what to do!!!!!!”

Did I forget any?

“There is no direct scientific proof, Michelle concedes,
that vaccines cause autism. As the Federal Circuit noted in
Althen, the field is “bereft” of science in this area. 418 F.3d
at 1278. However, she also submits, substantial circumstantial evidence, albeit indirect evidence, supports such a link. Indeed, Michelle says, similar circumstantial evidence, preponderant evidence, consisting of the statements of treating physicians in medical records, expert opinions, scientific literature, and concessions by the respondent’s experts, has been sufficient to support compensating a wide variety of injuries in the Program.
In this regard, Michelle is sure, each of the respondent’s seventeen experts in her case would deny that vaccines are capable of causing any of the below-cited injuries. There is simply no scientific proof. None of thesecases would survive a Daubert motion in a civil court. However,
Michelle submits, all of the below petitioners were compensated in the Vaccine Program because of the Program’s relaxed standards of proof. All were compensated because they, like she, presented preponderant evidence, legally sufficient evidence, that a vaccine injured them.”

@has – Oh, I might be able to think of a few:

6) Your Mommy (or Daddy) instinct gives you the ability to intuitively and inerrantly parse the cause-effect relationship(s) between any two events

7) You can fully understand a research paper merely by reading the title and abstract

8) Anyone who disagrees with you is either a clueless sheeple or part of the conspiracy

“As it turns out, hygiene/sanitation has played the biggest role in reducing disease than any other factor. ”

Of course he’s right. I remember when I was a child, my Grandma would send me out without breakfast or warm clothes, to make mud pies in the cesspool. Then, when she finally let me back in the house, there was no sissy hand washing or washing after using the open pit toilet in the living room. And food? We didn’t eat any of those expensive fruits and vegetables. We ate dirt, and were glad to get it. I’m not sure exactly when hygiene and sanitation came into vogue…I think it was about the same time as the polio vaccine came on the market. Remarkable coincidence, no?

3. Many vaccines contain foreign animal DNA.
There is no way around the fact that every vaccine contains some type of foreign DNA. Tissue from several animals is needed to cultivate viruses and bacteria.

Now let me correct you on a couple of things, OK? Yeasts are not animals. The petri dish was not named after Flinders Petrie the Egyptologist. Puziss-Wright 1095 culture medium* is not actually made from Drs Puziss and Wright. Those are all mistakes, Otto Matt. I looked them up.

* For culturing anthrax. Purely synthetic, made by combining glucose, various amino acids and salts in the stated proportion.

Ah – the “hygiene/sanitation” saved us” gambit once again! I always relish pointing out a few things at anti-vax blogs about how and why “hygiene/sanitation” has really had little effect:

– Most (~80%) of the vaccine preventable diseases are respiratory aerosol transmitted.
– Others are spread by sexual contact, sharing needles or airborne and crawling insect vectors.
– Only a few VPDs are fecal/oral transmitted (Cholera, Hepatitis A, Polio & Typhoid Fever) where hygiene/sanitation is a factor.
– For the vast majority of viral, bacterial & parasitic diseases that are fecal/oral transmitted world-wide, there are no vaccines!

Oh Orac of old, how many problems would have been avoided if the crew had just listened to you … rather like Orac the blogger really.

It is curious how improved sanitation began ‘eliminating’ pertussis infections in the 1940’s in the US, but didn’t also eliminate measles almost 30 years later beginning in 1968 and didn’t impact chickenpox until 1995 or shingles infections until 2006 (remarkedly, coincident with the development/approval of vaccines against these infectious diseases)>

I guess some dirt is dirtier than other dirt…

Other than claiming “polio is still there, they’ve just renamed it,” I haven’t seen any anti-vaxxer offer up an explanation for how polio has been recently eliminated in countries where, to my limited knowledge, hygiene practices have not improved much for a significant fraction of the population any time during the course of the vaccination push.

Someone in the comments for a CBC article mentioned that incidence of diphtheria in Canada dropped dramatically soon after the introduction of the vaccine. Anyone seen any good data for that? Presumably the effect was similar in the US.


“Puziss-Wright 1095 culture medium* is not actually made from Drs Puziss and Wright.”
“Baby Oil” is similarly misleadingly identified.

10. Vaccine manufacturers are immune from any and all liability.

This is, of course, one of those half-truths that antivaccinationists like to parade out as though they were Gospel Truth.

I would submit that this is not even a half truth. Vaccine manufacturers can still be sued for manufacturing defects, which makes the claim about “any and all liability” wrong.

Someone in the comments for a CBC article mentioned that incidence of diphtheria in Canada dropped dramatically soon after the introduction of the vaccine. Anyone seen any good data for that?

Some date here.

On the subject of diphtheria and vaccination, this is a fascinating article. Obviously, around 1980 there was a collective loss of memory of how to wash hands.

And now I see why there were so few comments yesterday. Nothing in that informative and factual post (however controversial some of your positions may be among professional colleagues) made me want to reach through the computer screen and strangle anyone.

“Vaccines didn’t eliminate diseases.” Arragh! When was the last time you saw an iron lung, Mr. Jonker? When was the last time you got vaccinated against smallpox? Arrogant twerp.

[email protected]

Obviously, around 1980 there was a collective loss of memory of how to wash hands.

Hmmm, around the same time pertussiscases started increasing too. Clearly you’re onto something.

“Baby Oil” is similarly misleadingly identified.

It is not boiled out of them?
I was misinformed.

I met Agar the surrealist painter at her last exhibition in 1989. She denied being the inventor of Agar plates.

@herr doktor bimler #34

You certainly were – everyone knows you don’t boil babies to get baby oil – you render them.

“pig, cow, monkey, mouse, rabbit, and dog DNA”

Or, as it’s known, DNA. Same backbones and bases as ours, same backbones and bases as the stuff in food and apoptotic cells that our body deals with just fine. Man, they are terrified of the most random things.

Mr. Jonker: “Others are a little more difficult to observe, because disease outbreaks in the US have become so rare. In the case of polio, measles, diphtheria, and tetanus, we can see clearly that cases were already declining before vaccine introduction, so it’s almost impossible to prove that the vaccines are what saved us from outbreaks.”

It would be interesting to how he would dodge my American 20th century measles incidence data. I have yet to get anyone to tell me what other than vaccines caused measles incidence to drop 90% between 1960 and 1970. Though there have been some interesting answers.

I kind of remember John Stone trying to get away by using death data from England and Wales. I had to tell him that neither of those were American states.

By the way, that census data also includes polio, pertussis and diphtheria, but not tetanus. It is on page 10. This is a useful table because it does include the data before 1950 when some of the vaccines were not available.

Or, as it’s known, DNA. Same backbones and bases as ours, same backbones and bases as the stuff in food and apoptotic cells that our body deals with just fine. Man, they are terrified of the most random things.

Yah, and besides eating food, it’s been mentioned on numerous threads here (often involving APV) that we get foreign DNA IN OUR BLOODSTREAM (!!!eleventy!) pretty GD often, like say when we cut ourselves while chopping vegetables, if an animal bites/scratches us, etc. I recently cut my finger, in fact, when I was chopping onions; strangely enough, I have not turned into an onion or anything. I don’t think.

French water cervids, what did I start!?

The real question, of course, is does the oil contain proteins and what happens if you ethoxylate it and use it in vaccines? Will it make children allergic to …? The horrors!


ChrisP, thanks for the info on diphtheria.

… outbreaks in the US have become so rare. In the case of polio, measles, diphtheria, and tetanus

Tetanus outbreaks? Does this bozo think tetanus is a communicable disease?
It isn’t too hard for me to imagine some “natural” decline in tetanus, simply due to the reduction in the number of people doing things where they are likely to be punctured or cut by dirty objects, such as farming and gardening.

The real question, of course, is does the oil contain proteins

If cold-pressed there is likely to be a small protein component. This can be removed if you go for the more industrial hexane extraction.

Now watch out , minions-
I can imagine the commenters at AoA discussing those
“CRUEL, childless pharma shills”-
selling foetal parts willy nilly is not good enough for them. NO! They have to boil babies down to retrieve their valuable essential oils an then sell it on Etsy!

Yes! WE can call it *L’huile de Bebe* or *Eau d’enfant*

Great read. Thanks. I think I’ll have a glass of dihydrogen oxide now, and go to bed.

“Healthy User Bias: Why Most Vaccine Safety Studies Should Not Be Trusted.” (Vaccine Papers):

Good grief. Not the VaccinePapers website.

The owner and writer of that website certainly suffers from Dunning-Kruger syndrome.

So rather than send us to that website, how about you describe in your own words why that article is 1) interesting and 2) worthy of reading?

@Puddin’ Tane, Vaccine Papers describes itself as “An Objective Look at Vaccine Dangers”, so already I’m suspicious. But, as Orac says, “let’s dig in, shall we?”

Vaccine safety studies are typically done by comparing health outcomes of those who get the vaccine, with those that don’t…
But vaccinated and unvaccinated people are not similar. Vaccinated people tend to be healthier and have greater access to medical care.

Already that’s deceptive. In vaccine trials, people don’t know if they’re getting the vaccine or a placebo, so that’s wrong.

It is common practice in medicine to avoid vaccination of people with health problems. Good doctors do not give vaccines to people with signs of neurological or immune disorders, for example. Consequently, people with these health problems become concentrated in the unvaccinated control group. Since they have health problems, they have increased risk of having adverse events, even if they don’t receive the vaccine.

Another half truth. Vaccination is delayed but not halted. And I could be wrong, but I don’t think “neurological problems” are grounds for delaying vaccination.

n 1992, CDC researchers Dr. Paul Fine and Dr. Robert Chen published an important paper describing evidence for healthy user bias in studies of the DTaP vaccine and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
[quotes]
Link to Vaccine papers article on the study. Suspicious.
In this article, I will show you exactly how healthy user bias can make even very dangerous vaccines appear completely safe.

Use of emotive language.

The risk ratio (RR) is fundamental to vaccine safety studies. It’s a simple calculation that is intuitive for many people. Its a ratio of percentages. If the RR is close to 1, then the vaccine and control groups are equally likely to have adverse outcomes and the vaccine is determined to be safe…
Below is an ABCD table showing an outcome of a hypothetical vaccine study with 9,900 vaccinated subjects and 1,100 controls.
[diagram]
The RR is 0.68, which for many studies, is close enough to 1 to conclude that there is no risk from the vaccine. A RR less than 1 suggests that the vaccine has a protective effect…this example may indicate that the vaccine is preventing the adverse outcome.
But There is a Problem
am going to show you how healthy user bias conceals a true RR of 3. In this example, the vaccine is actually causing a 3X increase in adverse outcomes.

Healthy user bias occurs when there is a “high risk” subgroup with two characteristics:

1) Lower vaccination rate, and
2) Higher risk of adverse outcome,

compared to other study subjects.

And there is the lie. Any subgroup with a lower vaccination rate and a higher risk of adverse outcomes would either be completely excluded from any vaccine safety study, or randomised so that representative proportions appear in both the treatment and placebo groups.
The article is clever propaganda. Orac, I think you should take a look at the “Vaccine Papers” website. “Target Rich” is an understatement.

From Puddin’ Tane’s link

In this example, the vaccine is actually causing a 3X increase in adverse outcomes.

[…]

This calculation is based on the following illustrative assumptions:

1) Size of high risk subgroup. We assumed 1,000 out of 11,000 or about 9.1%
2) Vaccination rate of high risk subgroup. We assume 40%. This means that doctors and parents can identify high risk children about 60% of the time.
3) Vaccination rate of healthy subgroup. We assume 95%.
4) The risk of adverse outcomes in the high risk subgroup. We assumed 6% and 2%, a risk ratio of 3X, for illustration.
5) The risk of adverse outcomes in the healthy subgroup. We assumed 0.6% and 0.2%, a risk ratio of 3X, for illustration.

[…]

Note that the absolute numbers of adverse outcomes were selected to be high, so that this example calculation can be performed with easy-to-follow whole numbers.

Emphases added. Somehow this doesn’t strike me as definite or irreproachable evidence for the dangers of vaccines.

@gaist: yeah, well spotted. VP makes a bunch of dubious assumptions. In fact, it’s almost as if he was trying to load the deck.

IKZ, your second link goes to “Is measles vaccination a risk factor for inflammatory bowel disease?” It was written in 1995, and one of its authors is “Wakefield AJ”.
As for the first, “Association of measles and mumps with cardiovascular disease: The Japan Collaborative Cohort (JACC) study”, I spotted a big problem.
OBJECTIVE: Although it has been suggested that exposure to infections during childhood could decrease risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD), the evidence is scarce. We investigated the association of measles and mumps with CVD.
RESULTS: Men with measles only had multivariable HR (95% confidence interval) of 0.92 (0.85-0.99) for total CVD, those with mumps only had 0.52 (0.28-0.94) for total stroke and 0.21 (0.05-0.86) for hemorrhagic stroke, and those with both infections had 0.80 (0.71-0.90) for total CVD, 0.71 (0.53-0.93) for myocardial infarction, and 0.83 (0.69-0.98) for total stroke. Women with both infections had 0.83 (0.74-0.92) for total CVD and 0.84 (0.71-0.99) for total stroke. We also compared subjects with measles only or mumps only (reference) and those with both infections. Men with both infections had 0.88 (0.78-0.99) for total CVD. Women with both infections had 0.85 (0.76-0.94) for total CVD, 0.79 (0.67-0.93) for total stroke, 0.78 (0.62-0.98) for ischemic stroke and 0.78 (0.62-0.98) for hemorrhagic stroke.
Notice the problem? If you don’t, here it is:
They mention people who had measles, people who had mumps and people who had both, but don’t mention people who had neither. That’s a strange oversight, don’t you agree? Another problem is in the Method.

43,689 men and 60,147 women aged 40-79 years at baseline (1988-1990) completed a lifestyle questionnaire, including their history of measles and mumps.

Questionnaires are known to be questionable.

Re: injecting non-human DNA.
For a long time, diabetics used Pig Insulin. (or was it a different animal).

Surely there would be some study about the health effects of that.

Wonder if Jonker attended the CDC Truth protest? He’d have been in select company if he did.

Jeez, I just saw a Periscope broadcast of the CDC rally on @vialnews. Whoo-boy. The stupid it burns. We see them chanting, “Stop killing our babies!” and “Stop vaccines!”

But they’re not antivaccine. Oh, no…

But Orac, did you get a head count? I am panting to know how many have showed up….

@ Liz:

I looked at one of twittering ninny sites – probably #cdcrally which showed a photo of protesters- one of those close ups which can disguise poor attendance.

If I wanted to show a crowd in a photo I wouldn’t choose that way- compare this to the red shirt rally photos where there actually were more people present.

Professor Reiss helpfully sent me a link… looks like 10s of protesters; sounds like 10s of protesters.

>Perhaps I should come up with a fancy Latin phrase that translates to “appeal to ickiness” or “repeal to personal revulsion.”

This has been described (in a non-Latin way) as an “appeal to disgust”. The phrase “wisdom of repugnance” has been used, meanwhile, by people who wish to support their arguments using this particular type of fallacious reasoning.

It is a particular type of “appeal to emotion”, which of course does have a pretentious Latin form: argumentum ad passiones.

Delusions of granduer?

CDC security cleverly disguised as opportunistic wall washer guy.

#HEARTHISWELL
WE ARE NOT GOING AWAY
#CDCwhistleblower
#CDCtruth

Here’s a funny one:

[email protected] I am saying #HearUs http://TinyUrL.com/AngelsInAtlanta #CDCwhistleblower #CDCTruth Investigate #TCOT GOP @potus @realDonaldTrump

Could not have made that any clearer there. God I #hate Twitter #the #stupid #it #burns.

@ capnkrunch:

Ha!
You’ll notice that like the usual suspects, they multiply their efforts-
– there are quite a few twitter accounts/ thunderclap others
– there are several anti-vax websites/ facebook pages
– there are multiple advocacy groups ( with the same people)
– they take part in many events, films, conferences

like the woo-meisters who have
– multiple websites
– multiple projects
– more than one charity
– diverse income streams
– more than one way to reach their audiences
– always new methods

One of these days, I should list the ways they contact potential customers and exactly what they sell. It’s somewhat shocking. So many ways to woo and so much money to take.
Also- they seem to manipulate charity endeavors/

Like I said a long time ago @ RI-
it’s like an animal puffing itself up in order to appear larger and more substantial than it really is.

Perhaps, should Mr. Jonker mature in his blogging style, his listicles will be dropped..?

I see a new product is coming out soon. The new cure for everything: Slowly pressed and steamed (in a mangle) anti-vaxer oil. Before pressing are anti-vaxers are fed the purest BS available to produce only the finest quality oil. A package of thin mints is provided with each bottle. You do not need to worry about kuru because there are no brain proteins in anti-vaxer oil.

I didn’t see Jake Crosby with his “Autistics for Wakefield” sign among those few dozen anti-vaxxers. Doesn’t Jake care anymore?

@ brian:

As best as I can tell from reading his rag… I mean *blog*, Andy is no longer Jake’s icon, mentor, patron saint or whatever he was. Jake believed that AJW did wrong a while back. I DO mean recently ( concerning an “outing”) not in his data fixing days.

Yeah, it seems Jake is pissed at or has pissed off everyone in the anti-vax community.

On “Doctor” Wakefield, note that prior to 8 AUG 2014, every mention of the guy was “Dr. Wakefield”, and articles that mentioned him were tagged “Dr. Andrew Wakefield” http://www.autisminvestigated.com/tag/dr-andrew-wakefield/ , but after the 22nd of that month, the “Dr.” is dropped, and the articles are just tagged with “Andrew Wakefield” http://www.autisminvestigated.com/tag/andrew-wakefield/

Wonder if Jonker attended the CDC Truth protest?

Surely he would devote another listicle to the names of protesters.

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