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The One Conversation public debate/ discussion devolves into an antivaccine crankfest

One Conversation was originally sold as a public debate or discussion about vaccine that would represent “both sides.” When the real scientists who had been enticed by Britney Valas and Shannon Kroner’s seeming sincerity found out about the antivaxers on the panel and just what they do and believe, things fell apart. Now what’s left is an antivaccine crankiest.

Long ago, I came to the conclusion that it’s a bad idea for skeptics and real scientists to agree to a public debate about areas of pseudoscience, such as creationism, climate science denialism, antivaccine pseudoscience, and the like. My reasons are many. First is what I like to call the tendency of cranks to believe that all truth comes from public debate, which is a corollary to crank magnetism, the tendency of cranks who believe one form of pseudoscience and conspiracy theory to believe multiple types. Basically, I’ve noticed that many cranks value public debates in front of sympathetic audiences as the best way to get at the truth of a question. Of course, as I’ve described many times before, the problem with such forums is that, even if the moderator isn’t biased against the scientist, such forums value rhetoric and verbal cleverness over actual scientific evidence, which is one reason why science isn’t decided by a public debate. Such forums also allow cranks to do what we call the “Gish gallop.” This debate technique, named after creationist Duane Gish (who was a master of it) involves burying the skeptic in misinformation, half-truths, and dubious studies, forcing him to spends so much time trying to refute it all that he has no time left to get his own positive points across properly. Most scientists aren’t sufficiently familiar with the common tropes of the pseudoscience in their field and flounder, drowning in a sea of misinformation. Worse, cranks win staged debates like this just by letting the crank appear on the same stage with a real scientist as a seeming equal. The same thing applies to “forums” and “roundtables” that include cranks, which is why, when I was invited to participate in a roundtable-style discussion called “One Conversation,” I immediately recognized an antivaccine trap and politely declined.

Unfortunately, I was not the only real medical authority invited, and, equally unfortunately, some of them accepted, seemingly unaware of what they were getting themselves into. After all, as I had documented before, the One Conversation panel was stocked with antivaccine activists, including Del Bigtree, producer of a antivaccine propaganda film disguised as a documentary (VAXXED); Christopher Shaw, a scientist who’s turned to the Dark Side and now engages mainly in highly dubious studies designed to “prove” that aluminum adjuvants in vaccines are horribly dangerous and has made claims that HPV vaccines kill; Sherri Tenpenny, a physician who’s turned to the Dark Side of antivaccine quackery even having gone so far as to claim that vaccines are “contaminating” human DNA in the name of transhumanism; Toni Bark, a “holistic” doctor who’s into homeopathy, and Mahin Khatami, a former NIH scientist who appears to have gone rogue (and into cancer cure conspiracy theories) since her retirement. You get the idea.

It was two weeks ago when last I checked in with One Conversation. Earlier this week, I wondered what had happened in the interim. Basically, I wondered whether the three real scientists—Dr. Catherine Roe, a neuroscientist; Dr. Jubilee Brown, a gynecologic oncologist; and Dr. H. G. Stringer, an infectious disease specialist—who had agreed to appear were still on the bill now that their names had been publicly revealed. So I checked, and I immediately noticed that all of them were listed as having canceled. Then, the other day, a couple of readers who had registered to go to One Event got this email:

Dear One Conversation Ticket Holder,

We have an announcement regarding our panelists.

As of September 24, 2018, some of our confirmed panelists have changed. As you may be aware, topics pertaining to vaccinations are often controversial and have a tendency to light emotional responses in some people. The motive behind One Conversation has always been to remove the barriers which divide, address YOUR questions and explore scientific responses with various perspectives represented. Due to heavy outside influences and coercion from respected national medical organizations (whose main concern is maintaining only one message of vaccine importance and safety to ensure public compliance), several panelists have since withdrawn their participation from the event.

One Conversation is more committed than ever to present to you scientific information and clarification to the questions which are asked the most. Block 2 of the event will be the “Scientific Block” and Block 3 will be the “Conversation Block” in which clarifications will take place.

The differences between vaccination versus natural immunity will be discussed along with many other pressing topics. Please join us for an engaging evening filled with valuable information, dynamic conversation and an incredible panel!

While I had chuckled when reading the list of panelists a three days ago and noticing that the real scientists and doctors who were pro-vaccine had all canceled, I laughed out loud when I saw this email, particularly the part about how “heavy outside influences” and “coercion from respected medical organizations” having been responsible for Drs. Roe, Brown, and Stringer having withdrawn from their event. More likely, people just informed these medical professionals just what they were getting into and who, for instance, Del Bigtree, Toni Bark, and Chris Shaw are. Then, realizing that they had been duped and not wanting to lend their names to such an event dedicated to demonizing vaccines, they quite reasonably canceled, having learned a tough lesson before the damage to their reputations was too bad.

So let’s say you’re an organizer of an antivaccine conference whose plan had been to include three real, pro-vaccine scientists on a panel with rabid antivaccine activists in order to make it appear that their pseudoscience, conspiracy theories, and fear mongering are worthy of serious consideration. Let’s say that, less than three weeks before your event, your pro-vaccine panelists catch on to your plan and withdraw. What do you do?

Why, you double down on the antivaccine quackery, of course!

Gone are three real scientists. Oddly enough, also gone is Mahin Khatami. (Who knows why?) In are:

Dr. James Lyons-Weiler, PhD
CEO of the Institute of Pure and Applied Knowledge

Research scientist and author of “Cures vs. Profits“, “Environmental and Genetic Causes of Autism“, and “Ebola:An Evolving Story” Dr. Lyons-Weiler is a long-time veteran in the areas of genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics and evolutionary biology. He earned a PhD in Ecology, Evolution & Conservation Biology, and won a US DOE/Sloan Postdoc in Computational Molecular Biology at Pennsylvania State University under the mentorship of Drs. Webb Miller and Masatoshi Nei. He has served as faculty, Senior Research Scientist, and Scientific Director in support of translational research, systems biology, sequence analysis, and the creation of novel algorithmic solutions for the analysis of complex and challenging data.

And:

Dr. Gayle DeLong, PhD
Associate Professor of Economics and Finance in the Bert W. Wasserman Department of Economics and Finance at Baruch’s Zicklin School of Business.

Dr. DeLong has published in leading journals, including Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of International Money and Finance, Financial Management, and Journal of Financial Research. Research interests include bank acquisitions, regulatory capture, and conflicts of interest.
Mother of two children with Autism.

Publications include: Conflicts of interest in vaccine safety research. Accountability in Research, 19, 65-88.
A positive association found between autism prevalence and childhood vaccination uptake across the U.S. population. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A/Taylor & Francis, 74(14), 903-916.
A lowered probability of pregnancy in females in the USA aged 25-29 who received a human papillomavirus vaccine injection. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Pages 661-674 | Received 05 Aug 2017, Accepted 14 May 2018, Published online: 11 Jun 2018

I laughed even louder, because these are two more antivaccine cranks whom I’ve written about before. For instance, earlier this year James Lyons-Weiler caught my notice when he got into a pissing match with antivaccine crank and former homeopath Leslie Manookian over who was the most antivaccine. Basically Manookian attacked Lyons-Weiler for not being sufficiently pure in his antivaccine opposition to school vaccine mandates, after which Lyons-Weiler fired back. Let’s just say that Lyons-Weiler, who used to be a legitimate systems biologist but now runs the pseudoscientific Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge, is no longer particularly rigorous about scientific evidence. Alternatively, he might be as rigorous as before except when the evidence involves studies claiming to implicate vaccines as a cause of harm. Either way, he’s quick to blame certain vaccines for death when there is no evidence that they killed the person who died. He’s as antivax as they come, and, like Christopher Shaw, seeks to slap a patina of seeming scientific respectability onto pseudoscientific nonsense about vaccines.

As for Gayle DeLong, we’ve met her a few times before, too. Her most recent antics include the promotion of a horrible study that she did purporting to find that HPV vaccines lower female fertility. When the mistakes in her incompetent study were pointed out, she tried to correct it by blogging—badly. The first time I encountered her, however, was when she published a truly risibly bad study claiming to show that vaccines cause autism. The hilarious thing about DeLong is that she isn’t even a scientist. She’s an economist. She has no knowledge of epidemiology; at least none is discernable from her abuse of statistics and epidemiology in her antivaccine “studies.” DeLong, not surprisingly, is the mother of two children with autism and believes that vaccines caused it.

Shannon Kroner and Britney Valas, the organizers of One Conversation, might think that it was the nefarious forces of big pharma and organized medicine that put the muscle on its three pro-vaccine panelists and frightened them into withdrawing, but in reality it was simply, well, reality. From my own personal experience with Kroner and Valas, I know that they come across as very earnest and sincere. Maybe they are earnest and sincere. Even after I had declined their invitation and blogged about their panel, they kept trying to persuade me. Indeed, on Sunday I received this email from Shelly Wynter, a radio personality in Atlanta who will be moderating One Conversation:

My name is Shelley Wynter and I am the host of the Shelley Wynter Show and I will be having Dr. Kroner and Ms. Valas will be on my show tomorrow morning at 630AM eastern discussing their event on October 11th in Atlanta, GA. We will also be discussing vaccinations: safe or sorry.

I wanted to invite to listen at http://www.talk1067atlanta.com​ and feel free to call in to the show ar 844-404-1067 with cooments or questions. I thought I would invite you on since you assumed I was a anti vaccer due to my support of Trump. Not how the two go together but I have been accused of much in my life so its all good.

I hope you can listen in and again feel free to call in.

Shelley Wynter

First off, I didn’t conclude Wynter is antivax because he supports Trump (although there certainly does appear to be a correlation in general). Rather, I speculated that he might be based on what I found on the web and his coziness with Nation of Islam members who are antivaccine. (It also didn’t help that he was apparently chosen by two antivaxers to be their panel moderator.) Be that as it may, the desperation was palpable. I declined, of course, because I was at work.

In any case, One Conversation has collapsed, and I’m not at all sad to see that it has turned into what it was always destined to be: An antivaccine crankfest.

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]

82 replies on “The One Conversation public debate/ discussion devolves into an antivaccine crankfest”

By the way, everyone: Sorry this post was so late. For some reason the scheduled post feature didn’t work, and this new contribution didn’t post as scheduled earlier this morning. I didn’t notice that it hadn’t published until just now.

Bad WordPress! I guess I’m going to have to be much more anal about checking to see if my morning post has published every day while I wait for a tech support ticket.

AS we speak, the Autism Education Summit ( see AoA/ AES’ eponymous website) kicks off near Dallas: the three day quack fest features Jenny, JB, Dr Kartzinel, Rossignol, Shade, Ruggiero et al. I don’t see any SB contributors but lots of venders at their Marketplace. .

Ruggiero: In 2017 he published a peer-reviewed study where he discusses the implications of his novel theories in in the field of quantum biology as it relates to autism where the theory of consciousness based on quantum phenomena presents exciting and innovative perspectives for prevention and cure.

That would be this study: http://www.aimspress.com/article/10.3934/molsci.2018.1.90/fulltext.html
“On the impact of quantum biology and relativistic time dilation in autism”.

Not actually “peer-reviewed”, because (1) AIMS is one of those scabby little predatory publishers that will print any scammer’s press release; and
(2) because it is an Editorial. Ruggiero has ascended to the giddy empyrean of editing half-a-dozen or so of these scabby little journals, allowing him to publish his press releases and advertise his products in them for free.

Oh, dear L-rd, I could only skim that before my head started sending seismological warning signs. Reference 1, which is heavily relied upon, seems to be essentially the same editorial.

That citation is remarkable.

the molecular mass and the electromagnetic fields generated by the movement of highly charged macromolecules at 37 °C are responsible for gravitational effects on time

Such a gem. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I’d swear that sentence outdoes every possible picture. In one sentence, the guy confirms he knows nothing about quantum mechanics, relativity and stat mech, all at once…

Just wow.

Yeah, I forgot to mention that she wasn’t listed as having canceled, like the others. Perhaps it’s because she’s antivaccine. Notice how all the cancellations listed are pro-vaccine scientists. The obvious propaganda message is to appear as though they did their best to include “the other side” but that we’re all either too deluded, too scared, or too much ideologues that we backed out.

Also, in my communications with Kroner and Valas, I was informed that J.B. Handley would be appearing. Yet he’s not on the final list. (He’s probably too busy selling his antivax book that was recently released.) Again, as you say, they’re trying to shame the pro-vaccine scientists who backed out.

The profile of Christopher Shaw for some reason doesn’t mention his multiple retracted papers, or his recent affirmation to quit “dabbling” in vaccine research.

A. I have to wonder what kind of coercion they think could or would be used in this situaiton. I don’t see any good way anyone could prevent someone from appearing on such a panel if they wanted. They could always sincerely say “we wanted to give a counter and speak up for science”, and people might think it’s a mistake, but that’s it.

B. For all we know, DeLong might be wonderful at economics. But I’m not sure why she thinks she can, with no co-authors, do epidemiology.

“I wonder what kind of coercion…”

My bet is that in the antivaxxer mind, all pro-vaccine doctors/researchers are paid big pharma shills and the threat of being removed from the big pharma payroll is all it takes to convince the shills to cancel.

Complete BS of course, and I could certainly be wrong about the antivaxxer mind. But in multiple discussions with antivaxxers, big pharma is the root of all evil so I would be surprised if I am very far off base.

Maybe I’m just in a crummier than normal mood today, but it’s irksome to see those two anti-vax loon additions (both PhDs) being prefixed by “Dr” as well. That and neither of them know jack squat about medicine or vaccines.

Dr. Kent Hovind’s PhD thesis is out there if you want to see what it takes to get a doctorate from a diploma mill.

As a PhD myself, I NEVER want to be referred to as “Doctor”, due to the confusion regular folks are likely to make with MDs. But that’s the established honorific, and people apply it sometimes whether I like it or not. I can’t fault the Organizers of One Conversation for this, since they clearly identify these folks as PhDs and list the fields in which they received their degrees. And it’s not like receiving an MD is a guarantee of non-looniness. As for Christine’s thought amounting to ‘anyone can get a PhD’, that’s not really true. What is true is that PhDs are typically awarded for VERY narrow research work, and folks can complete adequate dissertations within such very specific topics while holding utterly nutso ideas outside those boundaries.

I wish there was another honorific prefix to distinguish medical Dr.s from doctorates in other fieldd, but then, I wish a lot of things…

Humorous anecdote: One of my former flatmates in grad school had her checks printed up with “Dr.” in front of her name after she received her PhD (she’d already been an Assistant Professor at that point) because she’d gone through a bankruptcy and having that title on the checks made it easier for her to get them cashed.

I’ve mentioned this before, but back when I was a journals editor, the use of “Dr.” for Ph.D.’s was strictly prohibited (this mainly applied to the acknowledgments). It was “Prof.” or nothing. In correspondence, however, is was “Dr.” by default. I even often had difficulty bringing myself to use “Mr.” or “Ms.” for graduate students who were corresponding authors; when one is monkeying around, even skillfully, with one’s manuscript, deference was called for.

@ Narad

While some professors are not PhDs, getting an academic job without one these days requires either a roughly equivalent degree (e.g. an MFA) AND an established record of professional work, or absolutely oustanding expertise (the creative writing teacher at my last college i worked at had only UG schooling, but had published four well received literary novels, received a Guggenheim, etc. etc.)

OTOH, there a lots of folks with PhDs, especially in the humanities, who never make the cut for a tenure-track job.

Back in the days when I was on the job market, I had lots of interviews at lots of different kinds of colleges and universities. I developed a little scheme about distinguishing ‘good’ schools from mediocre ones: It was always a bad sign to me if anyone on the faculty of the department in question was always referred to by the staff, students and colleagues as “Doctor So-And-So”. like having a PhD is some really big deal. OTOH, pretty much all the first-rate scholars I ran into just went by their first names with everybody (except undergrads, to whom they were “Professor”). If you have to profess your authority too much, you probably don’t have it…

[In my academic editing days (mid-1980s) we didn’t use any honorifics for contributors at all in the journal, and in correspondence it was “Prof.” or nothing. That was pretty much standard in our field. But for our little journal, we especially wanted some measure of equality given to essays from senior faculty on one hand and grad students on the other. ]

After I defended, I celebrated by putting ‘Dr.’ on my name in my United Airlines frequent flier profile, but that’s the only place. I have no real plans to mistake my PhD for an MD or to go around calling myself doctor… no matter how much my Dad keeps teasing me with it;-)

Lyons “Pure and Applied Knowledge” – Weiler is currently promoting a 10/6 teleconference on the subject of whether measles harms or helps the immune system (the presenter will be one-time researcher and current full-bore antivax loon Tetyana Obukhanych). So I’m guessing measles will be presented as a major boon.

L-W has also reposted a Facebook post from Ginger Taylor. It says that if your state or federal representative is supporting the idea that we should Believe All Women (re sexual abuse), that means they should also believe all women who claim their kids were vaccine-injured and Demand An F.B.I. Investigation.

The intellectual company L-W keeps is…strange. One expects him to one day appear in an antivax video starring The Refusers and the Nation of Islam.

Kim Rossi does a variant of this as well: ( AoA, @ kimrossi1111 etc)
she morphs Abortion/ Choice and women’s rights into vaccine choice and equality for anti-vaxxers. Their voices are censored, left out of the debate on the media.
So if I think their ideas are wack- I am an anti-feminist .

RE: Lyin-Wheeler’s teleconference featuring Tetyana “I’ve never been employed in my field” Obukhanych.
.
Gee, how unusual that two anti-vax kooks are hosting an event/publishing a book/giving a lecture/etc.
.
Grifters gotta’ grift or the bills don’t get paid.
.
I’m just surprised there’s enough gullible loons out there to make these hundreds and hundreds of anti-vaccine “events” each year, by the dozens of grifters, pay.
At what number of grifters does the anti-vax cash cow reach burst phase?

“The differences between vaccination versus natural immunity will be discussed”

Weren’t we told very recently that vaccinologists don’t know how immunity works? Clearly they should be attending to learn not only how immunity works but how one kind differs from another.

Yes, a vaccinologist should attend one (but just one) of these gatherings to develop an effective, life long immune response to anti-vaxxers. There may be a side effect to this treatment: a short term rise of blood pressure.

Wonderful news!
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This fiasco has indeed become “One Conversation” as the devious anti-vaccine hosts had planned… except the “One Conversation” has devolved into the standard anti-vax echo chamber featuring the usual line up of babbling kooks, cranks, and crackpots.
Ticket holders can get the same loondrool on the web every day by merely visiting the kooksites such as AoA, TMR, etc.

I wonder if it ever dawns on the marks that the “experts” on the anti-vax side are always from the same small group of loons? Babs Fisher, Merde-ola, Tenpenny, Humphries, Shaw, Lyin-Wheeler, DeLong, Handley, Blaxill, etc., etc., etc.; and that the pro-vax side always has a vast number of participants such that the names are often unknown to even the most experienced pro-vaccine advocate?
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In any even, congratulations to the 3 scientists for cancelling and “thanks” to anyone who helped them come to this decision by alerting them to the anti-science, anti-vaccine nature of this event and “panel”.

“I wonder if it ever dawns on the marks that the “experts” on the anti-vax side are always from the same small group of loons?”

Lots of helpings of identical antivax pablum are soothing to the confused mind. If it’s repeated over and over and over again, it magically becomes evidence.

In the same way, each new antivax book that rolls off the vanity presses becomes a “game-changer” that They (the Medical Mafia/Big Pharma/Media Elites/Government Stooges/Skeptics/Shills/Heedless Public) can’t ignore, despite the fact that these volumes are all stuffed with the same anecdotes, tropes and mindless accusations.

“Lots of helpings of identical antivax pablum are soothing to the confused mind. ”

You people seem to live in some alternate reality than the rest of us. The characterization that anyone who even questions a vaccine, be it one that was pulled off the market because it was dangerous or otherwise, is a “loon” just doesn’t square with the fact that the majority of unvaccinated kids come from private schools, who obviously have well to do, successful and likely well educated parents, and the states with the highest vaccination rates are Mississippi, Alabama, etc.

The characterization that anyone who even questions a vaccine, be it one that was pulled off the market because it was dangerous or otherwise, is a “loon” just doesn’t square with the fact that the majority of unvaccinated kids come from private schools, who obviously have well to do, successful and likely well educated parents, and the states with the highest vaccination rates are Mississippi, Alabama, etc.

That thar’s a heapin’ helpin’ of non sequiturs.

There are several flavors of those who do not vaccinate. The amount of education and material wealth is not a factor. Unfortunately the ones that we encounter on this blog tend to be the ones who tend to blindly repeat the same stuff repeated by the those that populated that “One Conversation” panel.

Dangerous Bacon was specifically referring to the that group. Read the article more carefully They are banging on issues that are pretty much fictional. Like every child who gets speech/language intervention is automatically autistic (Gayle De Long) Things like homeopathy (which is literally nothing, Toni Bark), and thimerosal in vaccines… which one very anti-vax group failed to find almost two decades ago:

Subject: Thimerosal DTaP Needed
From: Sally Bernard
Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2001 00:01:50 -0400
Yahoo! Message Number: 27456
Onibasu Link: http://onibasu.com/archives/am/27456.html

Hi all:

A group of university-based researchers needs several vials of the older DTaP vaccine formulations which contained thimerosal for a legitimate research study. If anyone knows an MD who might have some of these vaccines or knows where to get them, please email me privately.

Thank you.

Sallie Bernard
Executive Director
Safe Minds

Exactly. Gayle DeLong is a professor in a business school. Handley and Blaxill are business guys. Brian Hooker is an engineer, as is Gary Goldman. Some prominent anti-vaxers are lawyers. Who knows how Bigtree was educated.

Plus Wakefield was a gastrointestinal surgeon. Dr. Geier specialized in genetics. Neither are an immunologist, infectious disease doc nor even a developmental psychiatrist.

There is a reason why I ask for PubMed indexed studies qualified reputable researchers. Because both Wakefield and Geier have been legally stripped of their right to practice medicine they are not even reputable.

Who knows how Bigtree was educated.

It’s not on his LinkedIn profile (which I can’t see)? Color me unsurprised.

While I don’t generally approve of making little kids billboards for your personal views, this infant outfit might cause an agreeable stir at day care:

https://www.amazon.com/inktastic-Vaccinate-Stupid-Infant-Creeper/dp/B073R92M7N/ref=sr_1_56?ie=UTF8&qid=1538238441&sr=8-56&keywords=vaccination

Another weird item on Amazon – detailing an “accident” that really should be reported to VAERS:

http://amazon.com/smallpox-vaccination-competitors-Alexander-accident/dp/B07FLQRXKW/ref=sr_1_130?ie=UTF8&qid=1538238577&sr=8-130&keywords=vaccination

“Plus Wakefield was a gastrointestinal surgeon. Dr. Geier specialized in genetics. Neither are an immunologist, infectious disease doc nor even a developmental psychiatrist.”

Fair point. I’ll just add this blogger is a cancer surgeon, so I guess I’ll use your own argument against you there.

So how many PubMed indexed papers has he written on vaccines and autism?

If the guys I listed just restricted themselves to blogging, it would not be an issue. But they wrote bogus papers, many of them financed by sources with a specific agenda (hello Dr. Shaw). Some have even written entire books promoting their nonsense. A few have financially benefited by selling specific “cures.”

Just humor me:

Provide us the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researcher that any vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule causes more harm than the disease.

Fair point. I’ll just add this blogger is a cancer surgeon, so I guess I’ll use your own argument against you there.

Yes but you miss the part that he blogs and understands the evidence surrounding vaccines, not produces bogus studies outside his area of expertise.

Are you sure you don’t want to add any more subjective qualifiers to that request? You want to be sure to add enough qualifiers so that the only possible qualifying answer is the answer you want to hear.

Well, I was going to suggest “not funded by the Dwoskins,” but have it your way: Provide any MEDLINE-indexed paper that shows any vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule causes more harm than the disease. We’ll (tinw) take it from there.

Why would I prefer a medical study by a lawyer over someone who had a PhD a medical field? What is wrong with being qualified?

Also, why would I care about a study by someone who has lost his legal right to practice medicine due to misconduct? What is wrong with being reputable?

Well, it was unfair of Science Mom to specify a “reputable” researcher.

That tends to eliminate antivax researchers who’ve had papers retracted for various malfeasance, had medical licenses taken away etc.

Do you really think I’m that daft? Obviously any study I could link to suggesting what you ask will be by a unreputable author by definition. The fact that their study suggests it would automatically make them non-reputable. If Stanley Plotkin published an antivaccine paper, you’d immediately declare him an unreputable crank.

But I have to ask, if you immediately discount what the folks listed above have to say because they don’t have a PhD in immunology, why do you fawningly believe everything a breast cancer surgeon has to say on the matter?

Obviously any study I could link to suggesting what you ask will be by a unreputable author by definition.

So that would be a no you can’t.

…why do you fawningly believe everything a breast cancer surgeon has to say on the matter?

Still can’t discern between blog and study?

No, we discount what they write because they write nonsense. Gayle DeLong decided to take the numbers of the kids who get speech/language intervention in schools and decided each and everyone of them was autistic. Which would be a very big surprise the deaf kid who lived up the street from us (and who as an adult is an educator to the deaf).

Why should we give credence to someone who thinks homeopathy is real? Why should we care about the made up stuff by Bigtree.

Louis Pasteur was a chemist who pretty much invented biochemistry, along with a few vaccines. Stanley Plotkin is a medical doctor who worked with some of the pioneers of vaccination at Wistar. And he did write some “anti-vaccine” literature, essentially about Pasteur’s rabies vaccine. Which is why a much safer rabies vaccines for humans was introduced in 1968. (read The Vaccine Race by Meredith Wadman)

It is all about context. The criticism needs to be based on science and not conspiracy theories. This is why we do not use the old DTwP vaccine, the OPV, original measles vaccine, original rubella vaccines, first rotavirus vaccine and the first rabies vaccine.

And since folks like you tend to cherry pick, I have to ask for vaccines on the present American pediatric schedule. I got tired of being tossed articles on the dangers of discontinued vaccines, and believe or not: the smallpox vaccine.

Also we ask for PubMed indexed because we are simply tired getting links to videos, random websites and presently Vinu’s goofy opinion pieces. Newsflash: a comment posted at BMJ is not a PubMed indexed study.

Also we ask for PubMed indexed

You ask for PubMed. I asked for MEDLINE. We’ve been through this before.

And I always admit you are better than me. I am just used to typing in pubmed.gov.

Though the point is to avoid things like Vinu screeds/

I’m not better than much of anyone, let alone you. It’s just that PubMed indexes all kinds of open-access stuff that is downright crap.

Oh, sure; there are those three or four items about treating pertussis with vitamin C (didn’t replicate) and so forth. But for cranks like Coelophysis, I don’t want some random OA crap. Then again, it can’t seem to cough up anything at all.

“Do you really think I’m that daft?”

Yes. Especially since, as Science Mom notes, you cannot tell the difference between a personal blog and a scientific study.

By the way, I specify American vaccines because Orac and few others are based in the USA, plus that particular anti-vax panel is happening in Georgia (the one in America).

Many folks do not realize that the vaccines used in one country are not the same as another country. India manufactures lots of vaccines, and they are not the same as the USA.

But when it comes to cherry picking studies, folks like you will invariably bring up things like the narcolepsy from an influenza vaccine in Scandinavia or some kind of measles vaccine problem in India.

And of course, I specify pediatric vaccines because another cherry picking tactic is to mention issues with military personnel not following instructions after getting a smallpox vaccine. I am not aware of anyone under the age of eighteen being in the Army.

Oh, by the way, on the subject of scientists/doctors criticizing vaccines… in 2002 Dr. Paul Offit voted against vaccinating health care workers for smallpox: http://www.ph.ucla.edu/epi/bioter/paneladvisesvacsmallpox.html

As already noted – a physician (or layman for that matter) with an understanding of how science works and the ability to employ critical thinking capacity can weigh in on medical subjects and provide valuable insights.

It’s an entirely different matter when a physician deficient in those areas (and who is untrained in the field(s) in which he claims expertise) churns out defective and unethical research, making unwarranted conclusions as a result.

Not only do they “churn out defective and unethical research” BUT many of these guys also proselytise against SBM and advertise their own ineffective- or even dangerous- products and treatments that are suggested by their research.

Funny though how our critic thinks Orac hasn’t the background but probably would support various alt med folk who have non-medical degrees and no training whatsoever in the fields they discuss. The internet is rife with them.

re Del Bigtree:

I haven’t been able to find any references to his education BUT I might have a little insight into his background:
– I’ve observed when woo-fraught people don’t refer to their education, it may be very limited or unrelated to the subject
– one of my gentlemen’s childhood friends produced NETWORK morning/ news television shows without a degree: for many years: he did electronic work and was later promoted
– my cousin, without a degree, is listed as an engineer on his public resume and has assumed many roles in technical/ IT roles for television news, late night shows, sports broadcasting, music videos and movies.

I doubt that Bigtree has much of a science ( or general) education. Have you ever listened to HighWire?

Just for yucks, I checked the One Conversation website again. Guess who’s now on the list of panelists? No, seriously, it’s “Dr. Bob” Sears! Let the antivaccine misinformation and rants about the tyranny of school vaccine mandates flow!

They also seem to have enticed one more actual scientist back, David Lewis, PhD. I’m not familiar with him, to be honest, but apparently he’s a microbiologist.

Focus for Health ( formerly Focus on Autism/ Focus Autism Inc) has certainly been quiet lately. The foundation was created by Barry and Dolly Segal and has been involved with Autism One. I think they send money to anti-vax orgs. They have had luminaries like Hooker and Lewis as experts.
SRSLY.

-btw- How could Orac ever forget Lewis? He provided so many risible moments.

They also seem to have enticed one more actual scientist back, David Lewis, PhD. I’m not familiar with him, to be honest, but apparently he’s a microbiologist.

Oh you know who he is, he’s just dropped out of sight. He’s the sludge scientist who went daft and became the “whistle-blower” against the EPA then turned his sights to defending Wakefraud against the big bad journalist Brian Deer. He somehow got into the Dwoskins Jamaica “conference” with all the anti-vaxx nutters like Shaw, Exley and Wakefraud. Ring a bell?

@NWO Reporter You should simple put forward your argument here. Orac accepts vinu, creator of “Unified theory of diseases”. Your arguments cannot be much worse than his.
And antivaccine scientist constantly commit scienfific fraud. So I consider them unreliable.

Well, having the chance to become an adult and grow old enough to get age related dementia is one of the known side effects of vaccination. I say this as my 91 year old father who I knew got lots of vaccines in his Army career is presently hunting elk.

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