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Marianne Williamson is NOT a skeptic

Faye Flam of Bloomberg Technology defended Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson against charges of being antivaccine and antiscience. It does not go well. Flam ignores the worst nonsense and misunderstands science.

Last week I wrote about Marianne Williamson, Oprah’s spiritual advisor and New Age self-help guru (and antivaxer) turned quixotic Presidential candidate for the Democratic nomination. Three things interested me about her. First, as I mentioned, she is an antivaxer of the “I’m not antivaccine…BUT…” variety, you know, the kind who says “I’m not antivaccine, but…” and after the “but” a whole lot of antivaccine tropes and conspiracy theories flow to qualify the just-professed allegiance to vaccines. The end result is to justify her antivaccine views by claiming to be a vaccine safety advocate or professing distrust of big pharma. Second, for some apparent reason, the media love her. She gets a lot more attention than her fringe candidacy would warrant. Third and final, in response to my pointing out on Twitter and elsewhere that Williamson is antivaccine, I’ve noticed a fair amount of pushback from people who really should know better. That form of pushback would be hard to summarize in a post, but fortunately the hapless Faye Flam of Bloomberg did it for me in the form of an article in the Technology & Ideas section entitled Marianne Williamson Is a Skeptic, Not “Anti-Science.”

There was much facepalming at that title, but the bruises from this activity took a truly alarming turn when I read the subtitle of this article: “What could be more scientific than questioning dogma and calling for more inquiry?” Yes, that demands a Godzilla-sized facepalm right there.

Godzilla facepalm

How you “question dogma” and “call for more inquiry” is even more important than questioning dogma and calling for more inquiry. Faye Flam is definitely doing it the wrong way and even more definitely needs to learn the difference between conspiracy theory-driven denial and pseudoscience and actual “skepticism.” (Hint: What Williamson is selling is not skepticism.)

Let’s take a look:

The accusation of being “anti-science” has become a popular and effective way to discredit people, at least in certain circles. Self-help guru turned presidential candidate Marianne Williamson is learning that after her debate performances. People often end up accused of being “anti-science” when they question scientific dogma, but questioning dogma is what science is all about. Donald Trump could be more accurately labelled as anti-science for the blatant cutting of funds for important scientific studies – though even he may not be opposed to the scientific enterprise so much as he is trying to protect his friends in industry at the expense of science and people exposed to pollution.

Notice how Flam takes a point with a germ of truth to it (sometimes people are a bit too quick on the draw to label someone “antiscience”) and runs right off the cliff with it. First, I’d point out that there are different ways to be antiscience. What Flam describes Trump doing is one way. Denying—excuse me, “questioning”—well-established scientific findings without evidence for your position sufficient to justify that denial—excuse me again, “questioning”—is another way. So is denying—oh, dear, excuse me a third time, “questioning”—such well-established science based on conspiracy theories and pseudoscience. Guess which two of the three Marianne Williams engages in?

Next up, Flam pulls a rather lovely gambit. I’ll give her credit; it’s fairly clever:

A particularly scathing anti-Williamson critique appeared in The Daily Beast, though the author couldn’t seem to find much fault with anything said in this week’s debate, instead digging up past statements. Indeed, she has dealt with some new-age ideas that are unscientific or even antithetical to science, but not more so than much organized religion is.

Note Flam’s comparison of Williamson’s New Age woo to religion. This is, of course, a valid comparison. After all, as was documented 27 years ago by Martin Gardner, Williamson got her start in New Age grift peddling religion, specifically her spin on something called “A Course in Miracles,” which was New Age woo heavily influenced by Christian beliefs. A week ago, Lindsay Beyerstein covered similar ground with an update that described Williamson’s long history of New Age religious grift that fuses Christian beliefs with “The Secret”-like wish fulfilment and victim-blaming. (For example, Williamson claims that “over-identification” with the physical body at the expense of the spirit places a “stress on the body that the body was not meant to carry and that that’s where sickness comes from.”) There’s definitely no denying the religious/spiritual element of such beliefs. Here’s the thing.

Here’s the clever part. Flam then pivots to Williamson’s antivaccine views, as though, compared to her gauzy New Age religious beliefs, they were more rooted in reality. She airily dismisses concerns about just how wrong, how unmoored from reality, Williamson’s beliefs are, and dives into a bit of obvious mischaracterization:

According to the piece, Williamson has opposed mandatory vaccinations, though she now says she recognizes their importance, and it seems fair to judge her on what she says now. She has apparently also questioned the use of antidepressants for kids. It’s unscientific to assume all drugs are evil, but there’s nothing wrong with trying to minimize drug use or with questioning the ratio of risks to benefits for popular prescription drugs.

Here’s the thing about science (and being “antiscience”). There’s a hierarchy, gradations, if you will, of how unscientific or antiscientific your beliefs are. Believing something for which there is no scientific evidence and, in fact, there is plenty of scientific evidence that refutes that belief is on the extreme end, as is believing such things based on conspiratorial thinking. That’s what Williamson has a long history of doing with respect to vaccines. Remember what she has said on more than one occasion?

For instance, there’s this Tweet:

And then there’s this interview Williamson did on Wednesday MSNBC’s Ari Melber:

The interview starts out with her trying very hard to backpedal her previous statements on Russell Brand’s podcast denying the existence of clinical depression by dismissing it as something someone in the clinic diagnosed. She even apologizes for her having so blithely dismissed real clinical depression and mental illness. Then, however, she quickly pivots to antipharma conspiracy mongering. For one thing, she seems unhappy that most clinical testing of new drugs is done by pharmaceutical companies, but one has to ask: What would one replace it with? No one’s willing to spend the money it would take to beef up the FDA to the point where it could take over all the clinical trials of new drugs. The best that can currently be done is to provide oversight and rigorous standards that pharmaceutical companies must meet to obtain FDA approval for their drugs.

No one, least of all myself, is going to claim that pharma is a paragon of virtue, but that’s the straw man that she likes to attribute to us, as she did in this Tweet:

She pulls a similar trope in her interview with Ari Melber. She even uses the same phrase, “paragon of virtue” (and even adds “have pure intent” and “concern for the common good” ) as in claiming that those of us who insist on rigorous science as the basis of medicine actually do assume that pharmaceutical companies are paragons of virtue. We most assuredly do not, nor is such an assumption necessary as a precondition to accepting the safety and efficacy of vaccines. I can’t resist going back to Ben Goldacre’s ever-useful response to such misdirection on the part of promoters of woo:

Yes, it must be conceded that there is a legitimate debate to be had over the treatment of mental health and the issue of regulatory capture in the regulation of pharmaceutical companies and their products, but Williamson’s dismissal of so much depression as “medicalizing normal grief” is a vast oversimplification and exaggeration. Of course, when Melber gets around to the issue of “skepticism” on vaccinations (a horrible horrible, horrible choice of a word for this) and tries to press her on it, we see her lay down this “I’m not antivaccine” antivaccine patter:

I think it’s an overstatement to say that I cast skepticism on vaccination. [Orac note: Actually, it’s an understatement.] On the issue of vaccinations I’m pro-vaccination, I’m pro-medicine, I’m pro-science. On all of these issues, what I’m bringing up that I think is very legitimate and should not be derided and should not be marginalized, particularly in a free society, is questions about the role of predatory Big Pharma.

I’ll take “I’m not antivaccine, I just question big pharma” for $800, Alex.

Melber brought up Williamson’s comparison of vaccine mandates to abortion in which she said that the government “doesn’t tell any citizen, in my book, what they have to do with their body or their child” and characterized school vaccine mandates as “draconian” and “Orwellian,” a view for which she was forced to apologize for having “misspoken” before, leading to Williamson’s response this time:

This is the issue. When I was a child we took far fewer vaccines, and there was much less bundling. There was much less chronic illness. I don’t know why—you know this is not a topic that I have consciously chosen to—this is not some big topic for me, but I have to tell you, it should not be—

At this point, Melber interrupted, asking, “Do you think vaccinations are contributing to things being worse now? Is that what you’re suggesting?” Looking a bit flustered, Williamson responded:

No, no, what I’m saying is that in 1986 there was this vaccine protection law. There was, and there have been $4 billion in vaccine compensation payments that have been made. There was much less chronic illness. There was something like 12% chronic illness in our children previous to that law, and there’s 54% now. I don’t see why in a free society. I mean, what is going on here? When you look at the fact tha big pharmaceutical companies lobbied Congress to the tune of $284 million last year alone, as opposed to oil and gas, which has lobbied Congress to the tune of $125 million last year, when you look at all the money that is spent by pharmaceutical companies even on our news channels, when you look at the fact that there are two pharmaceutical lobbies for every member of Congress, and even when you look at the tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars that have been paid into the coffers of even Presidential campaigns, why are we so okay with complete shutdown of any conversation about this topic?

This is basically the same nonsense that Williamson laid down on Twitter:

Here’s a hint: If you refer to the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act as the “vaccine protection law,” you are antivaccine. That’s an antivaccine talking point. If you try to imply that the payouts from the Vaccine Court indicate that vaccines are dangerous, you are antivaccine. (In reality, as I discussed before, when taken in context of the billions of doses of vaccines to hundreds of millions of children given during that time it’s not really that large a figure.)

As I said last time, if I had any doubts that Williamson is hard core antivax, she shattered them last week, and this week she’s stomping on the shards with her doubling down. First of all, as was pointed out on Twitter in response to Faye Flam’s editorial, Williamson is engaged in the time-dishonored crank tactic of “just asking questions,” or, as we like to put it, “JAQing off.” John Charpentier pointed this out:

And this is exactly what Williamson was doing in her response above. She was taking a straw man (that vaccine defenders argue that big pharma is always a “paragon of virtue” and this is why vaccines should be accepted as safe and effective) and then lists problems with big pharma as a reason to question vaccine safety and then implying without actually coming right out and saying it that the expansion of the vaccine schedule over the last 25 years is responsible for the increase in chronic illness among children. She then ties it all together with a rancid conspiracy bow by playing the free speech martyr and claiming that there is a “complete shutdown of any conversation about this topic.” Flam, predictably, ignored all of this, characterizing it as reasonable questioning of big pharma.

I wasn’t sure where Williamson had picked up the figure of 54% of children having chronic illness, but I recognized it as a talking point treated as gospel among antivaxers. It is, of course, odd, given that, according to the 2015 National Health Interview Survey, among those under 18, more than 85& are in excellent or very good health, which is roughly in line with what we would expect if around 12% of children had chronic health problems. I know, I know, it’s a rough comparison, but the 54% figure doesn’t jibe. There’s a reason for that. The figure of 54% of children with a chronic illness appears to come, as far as I can tell, from antivaxer Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s Children’s Health Defense. It’s not peer-reviewed. I thought about signing up to get the E-book that makes this claim, and maybe someday I will, but in the meantime I note that in 2007 a whole issue of JAMA was devoted to children’s health and noted that the definition of chronic illness was very critical, listing estimates of from 0.22% to 44%, depending on specific operationalization of the definition. Another review from that issue estimated that the 1994-1995 National Health Interview Survey on Disability indicated that chronic conditions of any type affect 15% to 18% of US children and adolescents but also noted that “these estimates substantially undercount some prevalent conditions, especially obesity and mental health conditions.” This was over 20 years ago.

In any case, the infamous “54% chronically ill” figure is a cherry picked figure. It’s based on a 2011 analysis of the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health. The deceptive trickery was well explained over at Vaccines Work. Basically, most of the total (43% of the entire population) was obesity:

Most of the children in the study who required special services are obese. 43.2% as of May 2011 when this study was published. That has nothing whatsoever to do with vaccines. Risk of developmental delay is likely linked to the number of premature babies surviving birth and the number of drug-addicted babies surviving birth, not vaccines. This study was conducted with children born before vaccines were recommended in pregnancy so there is no link there. Allergies and asthma have been shown not to be caused by vaccines. Peanut allergies are more likely resulting from the late introduction of solid foods. Pollution and lack of exposure to the microbiome are also thought to be causes of allergies and asthma.

Yes, antivaxers do like to cherry pick, distort, and leave out context in order to create a scary number. In reality, children today are pretty healthy. Vaxopedia notes:

If you have only been listening to the alarmists who talk about the unhealthiest generation all of the time, you likely wouldn’t know that:
  • while 2.6% of kids were thought to be in fair or poor health in 1991, that is down to just 1.8% today (2015)
  • fewer kids today (4.5%) report having had an asthma attack in the previous year than they did in 1997 (5.4%), and that fewer kids have asthma today (8.5%) than in 2003 (8.7%)
  • since 1997, fewer children, whether or not they have insurance, are visiting the emergency room
  • fewer children are requiring overnight hospital stays, down from 5.5% to just 2.1% today (2015)
  • rates of hay fever or respiratory allergy are down since 1997, from 17.5% of kids to 15.6% of kids today (2015)
  • rates of epilepsy have been stable in children for at least 40 years
  • fewer kids have multiple ear infections since 1997, when 7.1% of kids had 3 or more ear infections, to just 5% of kids today (2015)
  • fewer kids are being prescribed antibiotics
  • childhood cancer rates have been rising, but only slightly, and mortality rates have been declining
  • suicide rates are rising, but only from historic lows – they used to be about the same or higher in the early 1990s

Of course, it is true that some conditions are on the rise, including ADHD, type 1 diabetes, food allergies, eczema, obesity, and most autoimmune diseases. Even so, we’re not looking at over 50% of children being chronically ill, as Williamson claims. What do you call a woman who mindlessly parrots a figure cherry picked by an antivaxer like RFK, Jr.? An antivaxer or a fool. Flam ignores the foolishness and cherry picks the germs of reasonable criticisms laid down by Williamson as her whole argument, completely ignoring the antivaccine talking points Williamson regularly parrots, such as the implication that vaccines have caused an epidemic of chronic diseaese. I was disappointed in Melber for not following up and pressing Williamson on the source of that rather remarkable 54% figure. He just accepted it, and that’s a big problem; the media rarely pushes candidates for the sources of the statistics they cherry pick for their own message. This is not just a problem with how the media treat Williamson, either. The media treat other candidates the same way.

Particularly painful was the closing segment, where, in response to Melber’s question about whether she thinks that state and federal vaccine mandates are justified:

There are with any medical intervention, there are benefits and there are risks. The government always has to come down on the side of the public good. I was vaccinated. My daughter was vaccinated. Of course. Of course I am. I just want to know that, when it comes to the review of our drugs, when it comes to all issues related to drugs, just as we have to allow from what is happening in the opioid crisis, I want independent regulation that is conducted by the government that is not paid for by big pharma.

Ms. Flam might not realize it, but this is very much the same sort of antivaccine dog whistle that Jill Stein was called out for using. She’s also wrong about corporate influence when it comes to determining which vaccines ar eapproved. As David Weigel pointed out, most members of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee work at academic or medical institutions, not drug companies. Yes, there are representatives from drug companies there, but they are a minority, and they are nonvoting members. Moreover, VRBPAC business is nearly all conducted in public. There are only very rarely nonpublic working groups, and all meeting materials are posted to the FDA website. Williamson can peruse them herself going back many years if she so desires. In fact, I urge her to do so. Also, VRBPAC has vigorous screening for financial conflicts of interest. If a member has any that member can’t vote. There’s also the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the primary committee that determines the vaccine schedule in the US. It’s so open in its proceedings that it allows antivaxers to dominate the public comment period.

Yes, Williamson is antivaccine, and Faye Flam is clueless, as she reveals at the end:

Science writers often call out members of the public as anti-science for doubting that vaccines and GMOs are safe. But “safe” isn’t a scientific term. What makes more sense is to talk about the risk-benefit ratio – something I learned from talking with epidemiologists and statisticians such as Sander Greenland from UCLA. Standard childhood vaccines are well-tested and likely to be safe: low risk. They protect kids against diseases that can be nasty: high benefit. Don’t skip them. Williamson seems likely to disappear from the national conversation soon, and critics are right to go after her lack of policy experience. Criticizing her, or any other candidate, on the basis of ideas and experience makes perfect sense. But trying to discredit skeptics with the label of “anti-science” is not very scientific.

One more time, Ms. Flam. I don’t call Williamson “antivaccine” or “antiscience” just because I want to discredit her. I apply the label of “antivaccine” and “antiscience” because she says and does antivaccine and antiscience things, like regurgitating antivaccine talking points, mindlessly citing a dubious figure for the percentage of children with chronic illnesses again and again and again and implying that vaccines are responsible, and pulling what I like to call the “Help, help! I’m being repressed!” gambit when she’s criticized for repeating pseudoscience, conspiracy theories, and antivaccine tropes. I will continue to keep doing so unless and until Williamson fades from the public spotlight to the point where she doesn’t matter and/or stops spewing antivaccine talking points, conspiracy theories, and persecution fantasies. Sadly, I suspect that I will be at this for a long time.

If you doubt it, let’s shift gears for a second. After Faye Flam’s article, after Ari Melber’s interview, Marianne Williamson appeared on Anderson Cooper 360 last night, leading to another deceptive headline from The Daily Beast.

In this segment, Anderson Cooper focused primarily on Williamson’s past statements about antidepressants and psychiatric drugs. Cooper pressed her on her past statements about antidepressants “numbing” people, pointing out quite reasonably that depression itself numbs people. In responses, Williamson goes full woo, denying that she’d ever said what she’s been documented saying and then going on:

What I’ve talked about is a normal spectrum of human despair, normal human despair, which traditionally was seen as the purview of spirituality and religion, that which gave people comfort. gave people hope and inspiration in their time of pain. And with the advent of modern psychotherapy, a lot of the baton passed from religion and spirituality to modern psychotherapy, which was an interesting transition. Then, over the last few years, very very quickly, the baton was passed again to psychopharmacology, and so a nuanced conversation was lost regarding the nature of human despair.

Holy hell. Marianne Williamson’s entire objection to modern psychopharmacology for depression is that it has pushed aside religion and spirituality as the primary means of dealing with “human despair.” Given that she’s a New Age grifter, one shouldn’t be surprised. She doesn’t like a disease-based model of clinical depression because it cuts into her grift. She even goes on to suggest that the treatment of depression is seeking to keep us from feeling normal sadness after, for instance, the death of a loved one, which is a complete mischaracterization of modern psychotherapy.

If that isn’t antiscience, I don’t know what is.

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: orack[email protected]

369 replies on “Marianne Williamson is NOT a skeptic”

Let’s look at what John “Not Jon” Snow and then Pasteur (working off of Snow’s and others’ work) did when changing the paradigm with Germ Theory. They didn’t challenge scientific dogmas. If anything, they stuck to the dogmas of science in order to discover new ways at looking at where infectious disease comes from. They stuck to using a comparison/control in their experiments. Snow didn’t just map out one or two blocks in London and draw inferences on the city as a whole. They considered alternative explanations for their findings until no other explanation was possible. Then they published their findings and accepted criticism and modified their studies accordingly.
None of this is the way of the anti-science person. They don’t look at the counterfactual. They draw inferences on entire populations based on few anecdotal observations. God forbid you criticize them because you’re being mean, evil or paid off by Pharma. And they sure as heck don’t consider more simple and more plausible explanations.
No, no, no. They’re anti-science when, in wanting to push their own agendas, they do everything against science that they can possibly do.

AND the John Snow reference – I learned about him 40 years ago in an Epidemiology class – he should be right up there with Pasteur, but I’d never heard of him. And I like your summary of science vs. anti-science…

Williamson is utterly ignorant about the nature of severe depression.

Too bad people are finding real help with medication instead of paying clueless New Age “gurus” for psychic overhauling.

MW – “…when you look at all the money that is spent by pharmaceutical companies even on our news channels,…”
Straight out of RFK, Jr.’s anti-vaccine playbook – That big-pharma has captured and controls mainstream news via advertising dollars.
It seems MW gets an awful lot of her anti-science, anti-vaccine disinfo from Junior and his minions.
Maybe next she will reveal she is against 5G wireless, GMOs, and all pesticides since those are some of the topics Junior’s org. has expanded into… the better to increase the grift and damage to society.
.
MW being an RFK, Jr. acolyte makes sense since Junior employs a GnuAge woo-woo to write articles for his Children’s Health Endangerment website:
https://childrenshealthdefense.org/child-health-topics/known-culprit/electromagnetic/5g-the-global-human-experiment-without-consent/
Read the article and try to keep your head from exploding at the unevidenced konspiracee (complete with NWO government surveillance!!!!!11!!) and complete lack of knowledge of “radiation”.
(Wait till Greene finds out the ultra-high frequency of visible light compared to 5G. She’ll have a nervous breakdown each sunrise.)
.
Then read the CV (such as it is) of the ‘energy medicine specialist’ Debra Grifter Greene:
http://debragreene.com/bio/
Impressive! /sarc
Her GnuAge credentials eclipse MW’s by a long shot!
.
Junior sure knows how to pick them to increase his credibility.
Add that to his penchant to pal around with infamous science frauds like Wakefield and it makes one wonder why any pol would even speak with him if he wasn’t a constituent.
Well done MW and RFK, Jr. on being a couple of dishonest anti-science, anti-vaccine GnuAge grifters.

Well, he has that name..

Also earlier on, through complicated events that you can read about, he became an activist lawyer to help clean up the Hudson River, suing manufacturers who dumped waste into the river and supporting legislation for environmental concerns. So most of this effort is not anti-science, It should be noted however that these efforts happened as manufacturing itself was dying a slow death in the Hudson Valley so the final results can’t be attributed entirely to activists’ efforts. Actually, the area has become a scenic wonder and tourism hub complete with wineries, art galleries, parks and gentrified housing.

Like many woo-meisters, he takes science based information ( chemicals in rivers kill fish) and adds his own spin:( chemicals in vaccines damage people) He’s made statements that he got interested in vaccine toxins after women attending protests about the environment asked him to look into vaccines. Then I heard a conflicting story about his start that was closer to home.
.
Most of the nonsense I survey starts with grains of truth or one foot in reality.

His tenure with cleaning up rivers started as a community service ordered by a judge after a drug conviction.

@Chris

Thanks much for that. It seems the media coverage of Kennedys leaves out certain details.

He also got a pass on fronting for the Chavez attempting to increase his footprint in the USA via heating oil sales. Venezuela has more heavy oil than they know what to do with and gets it by simple land drilling, no undersea platforms or fracking required. It was no problem for them to sell at a “discount”.

I am not sure I am understanding. Is she antivaccine for a good reason or just easily influenced?

If I were you, I’d not care as much about what politicians say now (they lie) as much as I would care about why they say it. Has she been personally & adversely impacted by vaccines or is she just pandering to influential people?

Your best option, if compulsory vaccine legislation is your top priority; will be the most cuckold candidate on the ballot, because compulsory anything is not the default setting for most voters.

Has she been personally & adversely impacted by vaccines or is she just pandering to influential people?

What “influential people”? Protip: Posting anything that pops into your head just for the sake of posting serves little purpose other than annoying the rest of the commentariat.

. . . Is she antivaccine for a good reason. . . Has she been personally & adversely impacted by vaccines . . .

Your best option, if compulsory vaccine legislation is your top priority; will be the most cuckold candidate on the ballot, because compulsory anything is not the default setting for most voters.

Seriously, really? “Cuckold candidate?” WTF do you mean by that and what does it have to do with anything about vaccines?
Exactly what do you consider to be a good reason to be anti-vaccine, other than a mistaken, very poorly supported idea that they cause harm except, possibly in such rare cases that they are worth the risk?

The use of “cuckold” in this context reveals quite a lot and it is not becoming to your appearance here.

The use of “cuckold” in this context reveals quite a lot….

In particular, that she can’t distinguish between the real word and the alt-right appropriation of the first syllable. Cue Barney Frank.

@ sirhcton,

Cuckold candidate?” WTF do you mean by that and what does it have to do with anything about vaccines

I meant that if I were to vote for her, based on her being antivaccine?

She would turn her back while you bent me over & f**ked me with your compulsory vaccination dick.

Did I keep that in the appropriate context for you?

I meant that if I were to vote for her, based on her being antivaccine?

This is barely English and has no discernible connection to your apparently thinking that “cuckold” both is whatever part of speech that flits between your ears and also is some sort of semantic Play-Doh.

Is she antivaccine for a good reason or just easily influenced?

Nice use of false dichotomy. Throughout history, there have been numerous cases of people who, in all sincerity, believed some really idiotic things. Heck, Isaac Newton was into alchemy in a big way.

@ Julian,

Nice use of false dichotomy

Mkay.

Is she antivaccine because either herself or a loved one has had a serious adverse event after vaccination or has she only been influenced by the anecdotal?

Is that better? It makes a difference but you are free to ignore that at your own risk.

Are you willing to look at why your posts have so many more unsolicited personal insults than most of those by others? Are you willing to think about why you are so much more aggressive than other posters? I doubt it, but you have the opportunity. Of course the use of insults, on a purely logical level, does not bear on the credibility of theses. But unrelenting personal attacks are strong, if defeasible, evidence of having nothin’.

Compulsory vaccination is similar to compulsory adherence to traffic signals. Massively safer, far less risky, and conducive to public order. I favour mass vaccination because health is good.

I had the dubious pleasure of seeing these interviews- the first live and the second as a late night repeat. I thought that both Melber and Cooper questioned her sufficiently although I realise that television hosts can’t call a guest ” a real fucking idiot” even if they would like to because it would put a damper on the possibility of return visits.

MW’s views on mental illness mirror those of PRN.fm and NN: the first especially preaches about “spiritual psychotherapy” and pastoral counselling. Cooper mentioned that she used material from Scientology’s front group which sounds about right.

I am happy that television stations allowed/ encouraged (?) their show hosts to call her out. Ten years ago perhaps, anti-vaxxers might have been given more leeway such as Jenny & Co.

As a long-time depression sufferer, I really would like to see a good public discussion on the medicalization of personal character. But it seems like the only people talking about it are loo-loos like Ms. W. This is an issue that really needs addressing, but denial is not a good way to address it. Worse than useless.

Reality: “Maybe next (Marianne Williamson) will reveal she is against 5G wireless, GMOs, and all pesticides”

She’s way ahead of you. From her campaign website:

“Sources of corruption in our food include the following:

Excessive pesticides/herbicides/fertilizers*
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs)...

“While its manufacturers claim that GMOs increase yield and, thus, help feed the starving of the world, scientists question whether that assertion is true. In fact, GMOs contaminate our gene pool, can be poisonous to birds and other living things, and have led to the production of increasingly dangerous herbicides such as Roundup.”

(Williamson appears blissfully unaware that Roundup was a popular herbicide long before Roundup-Ready crops were developed. (the “increasingly dangerous” claim doesn’t stand up to scientific scrutiny, but that’s another kettle of woo).

So GMOs “contaminate our gene pool”? Sounds a lot like antivaxers claiming that “foreign DNA” in vaccines does the same thing.

*though there’s a point to be made about overfertilizing and wasteful and/or counterproductive pesticide spraying, it’d be fun to ask MW what pesticides/herbicides/fertilizers are OK with her, and which are “excessive”…again, much like it might be revealing to have her go on the record as to which vaccines she’d recommend for children and adults, seeing as how she’s so vigorously “pro-vaccine”.

GMOs “contaminate out gene pool”..

Riiiiiiiiight!
I’ve heard woo-meisters actually claim that the manipulated genes in food make the jump into human DNA-
would that create vegetable/ human hybrids? Corn Man or Tomato Girl?

I’m joking but woo-meisters do fear GM’d plant or animal genes leaping into people.I’ve heard it more than once at the usual locales,

Speaking of vegetable/human hybrids…

Donald Trump and his sons Don Jr and Erik were out for dinner. The waiter arrives at the table.

Waiter: “Mr President, are you ready to order?”
Trump: “I’ll have the strip loin steak, well done, ketchup on the side.”
Waiter: “And the vegetables, sir?”
Trump: “They’ll have what I’m having.”

Good luck pinning down this type of anti-vaxxer on which vaccines they recommend, let alone this type with political ambitions. When I see this type of anti-vaxxer in clinic, it’s a good day if they’ll let me give even one vaccine to their child (but mind you, they’re not anti-vaccine at all….)

” You can submit your questions now ” for the website Real Time with Bill Maher
She’ll be a guest on his show tonight!

That’s a conundrum for Bill:
what to do- she likes woo just as he does but she’s religious

Oh, bloody hell. I don’t know if I can stand to do a rerun of her 2015 appearance on Maher’s show! Watching would probably be enough to prod me to get out the single malt scotch and sip until her nonsense doesn’t bother me any more. Not healthy for the liver.

Here, I’ll just repost my link from her appearance on Real Time in 2015 and leave it at that:

https://respectfulinsolence.com/2015/02/09/after-five-years-bill-maher-lets-his-antivaccine-freak-flag-fly-again/

Oh, I’ll watch it. I have someone here who will shriek at the television screen.
Bill will have to decide whether she is a friend or foe ( i.e a fellow traveller of woo or an enemy, i.e religious).
I’ll wager that he won’t be that hard on her despite her spiritual bent because of Trump plus woo.
I’ll just take the prophylactic ibuprofen/ Pepcid combo in order to circumvent the inevitable headache/ nausea.

I’m betting that they’ll talk about the woo and ignore the religion. I’ll let someone else watch to see if that’s the case.

Methinks Faye Flam* is more antiscience and antivax than Marianne Williamson,. The phrase “scientific dogma” is Flam’s, not a quote from MW, and the frame Flam chose for the entire piece. Flam also totally misapplies the idea of risk/benefit ratio in relation to vaccines, implying that the risks of vaccines might include the central concerns of antivaxers – including ASD, of course – which they don’t.
Propaganda for BS typically works better the more truth and reasonability used in constructing it. This often means distorting those valid points, but sometimes just misusing them, drawing unwarranted conclusions from them that they really don’t support. Thus, the fact that points ‘A’ ‘B’ and ‘C’ may regularly appear as part of the rhetoric of total BS ‘X’, are X-tropes as it were, does not mean they are BS, or that their appearance in discourse is a sign of ‘X’-y BS.
If we’re going to call Williamson “antivaccine”, we have extended the term far enough to empty it of meaning. If you tell parents they need to protect the public health by getting their kids vaxed, you’re not an AV. If you flip-flop on vaccine mandates, you’re not an AV, because no true AV would ever “recognize their importance”. OTOH, her last response to Ari Melber with that ” chronic illnesses to 54% since the Vaccine Protection Law” is some serious WTF. I saw that interview live, and what the text can’t convey is how rattled and choppy Williamson was in delivering that answer. The Occam’s razor conclusion about someone who’s that all-over-the-place and visibly very uncomfortable in talking about something would be that they’re just very confused on the subject. In the case of vaccines that might be bad enough.
My inclination is always to look below the surface, and I suspect Williamson isn’t so much confused on the reality of vaccines as being pulled in opposite directions. My first suspicion, probably no surprise, is that she’s pandering to some important supporter who’s AV. It’s not like such folk are all that rare in the Hollywood pool she swims in. But i tried re-examining the quotes Orac pulled apart from any received context, and what the face of them reveals is that the attack on Big Pharma is what she’s about. An AV leverages legit wariness of the pharmas to support what is actually a baseless conspiracy theory. Williamson appears to be dipping her toes into a baseless CT now and then to leverage it in a campaign against the pharmas. And it’s clear to me that Williamson would be totally “willing to spend the money it would take to beef up the FDA to the point where it could take over all the clinical trials of new drugs”. Of course, she’s not going to be in the position to do that, but I’m not convinced that would be a bad idea or a better use of government funds than endless wars, military spending boondoggles, corporate bailouts, etc. etc. etc.
As an actual long-suffering chronic depressive, I didn’t have much of a problem with the things I’ve heard her say about despair and psychopharmacology as part of the campaign coverage, and I actually think there’s some merit in it. (Not being a fan, I don’t know what she’s said in the past). In what I heard, she made a pretty clear distinction between chronic depression and situational grief – the death of a loved one, for example. Depending on how such grief descends into despair, a short term RX for anti-depressants might be justified or even essential in checking suicidality. But, based on my own losses, and what I’ve heard in group from other patients struggling with loss, I think it’s just wrong to give such folks a bottle of pills and send them home, and that does happen. Any health plan I know of covers psych meds. OTOH getting any kind of talking therapy is like pulling teeth, if it’s even available at all. (My plan, e.g. has no groups that fit me, i just get a limited number of 1-on-1 sessions with a psychologist, separate from the MD who does my meds — who I have to go see NOW, so, bye and apologies for maybe short-shrifting this issue…

Actually, I think you have it backward. Williamson’s oft-repeated evidence-free implication (in a JAQing off sort of way) that chronic childhood illness skyrocketed after 1986 (when the NCVIA was passed) and now because of vaccines is pure antivaccine, particularly coupled with her pharma conspiracy mongering. Her rhetoric is straight out of the RFK Jr. playbook, almost word-for-word. Indeed, my guess is that’s who most influenced her. What I think is that she’s surprised that her previous antivaccine statements are now coming back to haunt and hurt her and is doing everything she can to backpedal and deny that she’s antivaccine. Her “apology” that she misspoke when she called vaccine mandates “Orwellian” and “draconian” is always—always—accompanied by caveats, the most prominent of which is her repetition of RFK, Jr.’s claim that 54% of children have chronic illness now coupled with her definite JAQing off insinuation that it’s the expansion of the vaccine schedule since the NCVIA was passed that’s to blame. Sorry, but that’s antivaccine as hell. Indeed, her overly emphatic statements that she now supports vaccine mandates sound very much to me like RFK Jr.’s claim that he’s “fiercely pro-vaccine.”

Maybe she’s gullible, or biased to give some limited credence to any anti-pharma screed. Or maybe she’s got some social connection to RFKJ that’s important to her various other projects, and has to pander to him specifically. I wonder if she’s ever been properly been exposed to the critique of that 54% number. (Or maybe vaccines don’t cause autism, but do lead to obesity… just kidding…) Whatever, as her debate comments about wonkiness reveal, deep dives into the details aren’t her thing. The thing we know about RFKJ is that he’s a total BSer when it comes to explaining his stance on vaccines. He’s not “fiercely pro-vaccine”, he’s not really “for vaccine safety”. And he knows it. i just think there’s a good chance that Williamson actually is what RFKJ pretends to be, an actual skeptic (common usage) about vaccines –– coming down on the public health/get-the-shots side, but just wary enough to keep some questions open. This hardly puts her beyond criticism, because this IS an important public health issue, and if she’s going to step into that corner of the public sphere she ought to get her sh!t straight. That is, there’s no real excuse for that kind of skepticism other than ignorance. Of course, pretty much any time you (Orac) encounter anyone presenting themselves as “I’m just not sure”, they’re just posing. But that doesn’t mean the real thing isn’t out there, somewhere, however rare. Williamson’s an odd duck: she seems to genuinely think self-help babble and Bernie Sanders style progressive activism go together, though they seem mutually exclusive to me [see Barbara Ehrenreich for a blistering left-political critique of the victim blaming in ‘positive thinking’ self-help discourse.] She could also be odd enough to be on both sides of vaccine issues at the same time.

If I seem to be defending Williamson, that’s not my end. First, I’ve long thought we (pro-vaxers) have problems with using ‘antivaxer’ in far too elastic a way, confusing ourselves first of all about what kind of folks we’re talking about, and collapsing differences that matter. These may be differences of degree along a linear spectrum in some cases, but a babbling brook and a raging water rapids are not the same thing. If MW is a “hard core antivax” then what the heck is Del Bigtree? I doubt MWs flip-floping on mandates is winning converts on AoA. Second, excoriating Williamson as you do above risks mixing the baby with the bathwater in ways that can ultimately be quite harmful to our efforts against anti-vaxism. But explicating that would need be another longish post, which I may or may not be up to…

cheers..

@ Sadmar,

My inclination is always to look below the surface, and I suspect Williamson isn’t so much confused on the reality of vaccines as being pulled in opposite directions. My first suspicion, probably no surprise, is that she’s pandering to some important supporter who’s AV

When I said that; people here started foaming at the mouth.

“On Friday, Williamson took to Twitter to clarify her comments on mental health, tweeting, “So let’s state it again. I’m pro medicine. I’m pro science. I’ve never told anyone not to take medicine.”

Gee, that sounds familiar.

“Williamson also apologized Thursday in the interview for previously calling clinical depression “a scam” while on a podcast, acknowledging that it was “a glib comment” that was “wrong of me to say.”
When pressed by (Anderson) Cooper, Williamson did not directly address her previous implications that antidepressants were a factor in late comedian Robin Williams’ death.
“I have never argued that anybody who is on an antidepressant should get off an antidepressant,” she said, adding that she was not “some Tom Cruise about antidepressants.”
When Cooper asked about Williamson’s comments after late fashion designer Kate Spade’s death — in which she wondered “how many public personalities on antidepressants have to hang themselves before the FDA does something” — Williamson referenced Food and Drug Administration warnings that antidepressants could increase suicidal ideations for patients under 25.
Williamson also argued that a clergy member or “a spiritual person is just as qualified an expert to talk about issues of deep sadness, even depression” as a medical professional.”

https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/01/politics/marianne-williamson-depression-cnntv/index.html

I find it hard to come up with a better description of Williamson’s views on depression than “dangerously full of shit”.

@ Narad,

I’m just trying to help ya’ll out. I don’t vote for candidates based on vaccines but if I were provaccine; I’d vote for her.

If anything; I’d prefer to vote your Pan in to get this show on the road & watch from the sidelines with popcorn as compulsory immunization for adults is put on the table.

I’m just trying to help ya’ll out.

I will note in passing that there is no good evidence for y’all as a mamesh contraction. “Ya’ll” is senseless on its face. The word is simply ‘yall’.

So why are people attracted to BS artists like MW? Or attempt to emulate them themselves?

I’d guess that they want to put themselves above the ‘common herd’ showing experts how everything is done correctly:
that’s why I always say that woo needs conspiracy because if your perfect theory is not accepted universally… well, there must be a nefarious plot .. shadowy types and powerful enemies out to stop your brilliance in its tracks.

People without credentials envy those who have them and seek to knock them off of their high horses. Some of those I survey may have thought themselves to be fabulously intelligent as teenagers but were stopped in their tracks when applying to universities, never getting accepted in life sciences or in decent universities so they took the alternate route: non-science majors ( business related), self-study, alternate degree paths, correspondence schools, alt med schools and attainment by assertion.

Isn’t it amazing that two of the people who have cast the most aspersions upon Orac, calling him criminal and “not too bright”
haven’t between them a standard degree – even a bachelor’s- in a life science? Or even a standard liberal study major? One has written many screeds accusing him of crimes against patients ( NN) and the other has written dozens of articles detailing his scepticism, SBM and lack of intelligence.( PRN).

Of course, I ask, ” How could THEY tell who is intelligent or accomplished?”
I would guess that some of the same jealousy propels the anti-vax contingent.

Orac, her “argument” against vaccines boils down to this: there is more chronic illness today than before the vaccine protection law , hence vaccines are bad.
Right? So it’s the classic correlation is not causation error she is making.
It’s like saying there were no computers in 1950 and less chronic illness then, so it’s computers that are causing chronic illness.

What I’ve talked about is a normal spectrum of human despair, normal human despair, which traditionally was seen as the purview of spirituality and religion, that which gave people comfort. gave people hope and inspiration in their time of pain.

Has it occurred to Ms. Williamson that despair was in the purview of religion and spirituality and religion because they were a significant cause of human despair?

Also, is Flam’s middle name Flim?

@ Colin Day,

A very thought provoking statement. Is anti-religion part of the pro-vaccine platform?

I think that, on average, scientists are less likely to be religious than the national average. Can’t remember where I read it though. Not sure if anti-religion is correct. Maybe anti using religion to make what should be an evidence based decision?

Isn’t it a principle of the American constitution that there should be a separation of church and state?

When someone claims to “not be anti-science,” it is useful to ask if that person has any real idea of what science actually is. It’s OK to be skeptical of, for example, overly ambitious claims for stem cell therapies, but to really understand any scientific report, you have to know a lot about the subject. The same argument goes, I would suggest, for simplistic remarks about GMOs. By tossing out that 54% number, she demonstrates a remarkable lack of nuance in her thinking.

All that having been said, I think that the political influence of the pharmaceutical industry is a serious problem, just as the influence of defense contractors is a serious problem. I suspect that the price of insulin is going to be the major buzz-term in popular discourse for a while. I can’t wait to see how Lilly et al try to defend the practice.

By the way, you shouldn’t deride plant-human hybrids so casually. Don’t you remember James Arness as the plant person they find in the antarctic?

@ Christine Kinkaide

” ‘Cuckold candidate?’ WTF do you mean by that and what does it have to do with anything about vaccines?”
I meant that if I were to vote for her, based on her being antivaccine? She would turn her back while you bent me over & f**ked me with your compulsory vaccination dick.
Did I keep that in the appropriate context for you?

Your carefully expressed and cogent reply has been deeply informative about your position and thinking and clarifies any doubts I might have had about them. Thank you for your kind efforts in this direction.

@ Sirhcton,

I tried to not go there but people seemed confused over my use of the word ‘cuckold”; which was the best term for how
i see Williamson.

If I am antivaccine & MW is antivaccine; wouldn’t you think I would support her? Most here seem to invest quite a bit of effort into the identification of threats to your provax agenda but frankly; you get it wrong. Alot.

I don’t think you realize that is why you are perpetually annoyed about the ‘I’m not antivaccine’ thing. What people are saying is that they are not ‘your antivaccine’. It’s like showing up to the ring with my gloves on, only to watch you scurry off into the water in your Speedo. It’s bizarre.

Yeah, MW is cuckold. You can’t trust her & neither can I.

I tried to not go there but people seemed confused over my use of the word ‘cuckold”; which was the best term for how
i see Williamson.

Women can’t be cuckolds, you dipshit. You fucked up use of the alt-right neologism ‘cuck’.

I don’t think you realize that is why you are perpetually annoyed about the ‘I’m not antivaccine’ thing. What people are saying is that they are not ‘your antivaccine’.

You just don’t get it.

Here’s what the “I’m not antivaccine” thing is: “I’m not antivaccine BUT…

I just want safe vaccines
I don’t want Too Much Too Soon
I don’t want mercury or aluminum or aborted fetuses or foreign DNA or carcinogenic viruses or (your toxin de jour here) in my vaccines

and other heaping helpings of FUD.

I say it’s antivaccine and I say the hell with it.

“If I am antivaccine & MW is antivaccine; wouldn’t you think I would support her?” No. Why would you think this?

“Most here seem to invest quite a bit of effort into the identification of threats to your provax agenda but frankly; you get it wrong.” My agenda is public health. Vaccines are a means to an end; basically nobody likes vaccines for their own sake.

“I don’t think you realize that is why you are perpetually annoyed about the ‘I’m not antivaccine’ thing.” The issue is the plain dishonesty. Are you quite sure that you are able the read the minds of dozens or hundreds of people who disagree with you?

As far as I can tell, you believe falsely, that public health advocates are concerned with the inner workings of your mind. A bit of projection as far as I can tell. The fact is though that I’m not a vaccine advocate because I have some dislike for antivaxxers. I’m a vaccine advocate because health is good. You’re free to believe, in your own mind, that this has something to do with tribalism.

For what it is worth, Christine K-sympathetic lurker, I’m on the other side of the aisle from large numbers of posters here and on SBM. I would not vote for Ms. W because like most of the candidates, she is a right-wing liberal with nothing to say except reasons we can’t have programs.

Christine K-sympathetic lurker, listening is important.

I watched Williamson on Maher’s show ( Yahoo has a video- 7 minutes)

Maher asked if her “spiritual psychotherapy” was like Scientology and if the book was really narrated to the author by Jesus- Williamson says that the book doesn’t say that and it’s not religion: it’s about “love and forgiveness”

But he then congratulates her : she’s not about surface politics but deeper causes. She agrees, as in health it’s not just symptoms but deeper causes** Politics are so “20th Century” but ” we’re in the 21st Century now”. So they start agreeing about health ( not “sick care”), diet, pharma, toxins, agriculture, the environment, government control by multi-national corporations ( insurance, guns, pharma, fuel, defense) Pharma “doesn’t have the purest motives”.Why are so many people sick now? ( hint: because so many of them live to be 90 or are obese with poor health habits: SBM knows that)

He nearly agrees with her about depression but not quite. Over use of ,meds, depression vs “sadness” . You don’t need meds, you need advice, a spiritual guide You may need a “.dark night of the soul”

The audience applauded her several times and Maher commented that she was the most “searched candidate” on google after the debate.

Personally, I think her ideas are a crock of shit cleverly disguised with minute touches of reality*** to make it smell better.Things that anyone could say. She carries off her masquerade as a wise advisor smugly which people seem to like. She resembles the type I survey: no real education or training in medicine, psychotherapy or social work but tossing out opinions like candy coated confetti. Simple thoughts from a simple mind. Her arrogance is betrayed by her facial expressions and tone of voice adding up succinctly to know it all.

I did like her necklace: I would totally wear that.

** Oh, that’s DEEP !!!
*** corporations control everything- no shit, Sherlock

@ Denice,

because so many of them live to be 90 or are obese with poor health habits: SBM knows that

SBM knows that a 90 year old or an obese person is likely to be in poor health but you can be a travelling carnival worker & know that; no science base needed.

What SBM seems to be ignoring is that so many young, non-obese & healthy looking people are chronically or mentally ill right now. Which is another thing that any travelling carnival worker could tell you. SBM isn’t very quick on the draw these days.

What SBM seems to be ignoring is that so many young, non-obese & healthy looking people are chronically or mentally ill right now.

Any evidence for that statement? Besides “travelling carnival workers”?

And by travelling carnival workers, I include RFK Jr, of course.

“What SBM seems to be ignoring is that so many young, non-obese & healthy looking people are chronically or mentally ill right now. ” If you take a cursory look at the research that goes on in medical faculties, it would not seem that way to you. Far from ignoring this matter, it is a matter of constant attention. Opposite of ‘ignore’.

The fact remains that despite the many problems and health issues Americans experience, health is still generally much better than years ago. It’s night and day. Further, many or most of these health problems are related to affordability, not vaccines.

Do you have any systematic and convincing evidence that medicine is ignoring large swaths of public health issues? If you do, shame on you for not sharing it earlier.

If you have any evidence, I’m all ears. I remind you that my biases are deeply against ‘Big Pharma’. Ya see, if you made a good case, I would change my mind and start agreeing with you.

Oh, I hope that Orac doesn’t think I wanted to preempt him but I had to get rid of that commentary before its toxin nature made me even more sick. So I hope that I’m not being wrong here. Sorry if I am.
Orac would certainly hate her appearance as well but would describe it in his own inimitable fashion.

I am depressed but not surprised to hear my prediction was accurate.

How the hell does the guy still have an HBO show? He should be on basic cable at 2am at best.

You know, it seems not much. Maybe she said the word somewhere. Her advisers may have got on her after Melber and Cooper.
I can’t bear to replay the video.

So they start agreeing about health ( not “sick care”)

Oh man, that makes me crazy. WTF is so bad about “sick care”?
People get sick, we care for them. We investigate to find out what the problem is. We treat the problem, we go after the cause if possible, we relieve symptoms, we treat, we cure, we manage, we rehabilitate, we counsel.

Why is that so horrible?

But but but, TBruce
if everyone became a vegan, never ate GMOs, had pure water and purer thoughts, was spiritual, expressed gratitude, exercised for an hour a day
( 5 days aerobically, 2 days strength training), took handfuls of supplements with green juices and had meaningful, non-toxic relationships no one would ever need “sick care”.
See I can create a reasonable facsimile of woo meistery almost without thinking.
Maybe I should write a book: “A Course in Fol de Rol”,

Denice is absolutely right about Wellness and dis-ease prevention, but in addition to pure, glyphosate-free water one should drink one’s own urine for its unlimited benefits.

Sometimes we just miss the obvious – like AoA’s revelations about what infants would tell us, if they could speak and thus express their innermost thoughts (this is from a “best of” feature during the website’s summer vacation hiatus, sort of a Greatest Ditz).

“What if your baby could talk? Here are some things I think they would surely say:”

"Please don’t poke me with sharp needles! Those hurt!"

Yes, that is exactly what Baby would say. It turns out that Baby is born a full-blown antivaxer, and screams because it’s panicked about myriad Toxins, desperately fearful that the Men In The White Coats are out to do it harm. It may look innocent, but it’s a seething paranoid mess.

Sheez. Give me a nice Labrador retriever any time.

DW: Please? Or go on the standup circuit?

CK:Is anti-religion part of the pro-vaccine platform?

Not really, but as Numberwang said, very few scientists are religious. Largely because most American churches and their flocks are Creationists (as you know, Mrs. Fundie), and it’s hard to reconcile facts about biology, physics or even geology with faith. (It’d be interesting to do a breakdown somehow and see if, say, Islamic scientists or Jewish scientists have an equally hard time reconciling their faith with their careers and knowledge, or if they are still active in their faith while working.)

@ PGP,

Mrs. Fundie

LOL, if only. I could give you just 1 or 2 links … but I sorta like the whole, ‘I’m a fundie’, under-the-radar type thing. I could use that somehow, I’m sure. I’d be interested to see that breakdown too, though.

Not really, but as Numberwang said, very few scientists are religious. Largely because most American churches and their flocks are Creationists

It just never stops with you, PGP, does it?

Well, I have no idea what the differences in levels of ‘religiosity’ might be but I imagine it’s hard to keep faith in a hard line, literal, interpretation of holy book X when your day to day work contradicts it. Maybe scientists are more likely to be religious in a less obnoxious style. Could vary by science too. Geologists probably have a hard time with young earth creationism. Biologists with faith healing. That sort of thing.

I’m less interested in the individual details and more in the fact that a greater understanding of the nuts and bolts of reality inevitably leads one away from faith, in average. However, the ability of the human mind to partition reality is astonishing. Hence it’s possibly to believe statistical analysis that shows whatever fits your world view but disbelieve statistical analysis showing vaccination has no connection with ASD incidence.

@ PGP:

Oh I’ve thought of doing a parody but the problem is, so much of their material already sounds exactly like a parody. I actually read/ hear the jokes I make presented as serious instruction by woo-meisters.
It’s more fun to point out their errors in general information, how they mispronounce, mis-use ( language), commit malaprops, predict unlikely scenarios: if someone purports to be an expert in field such as art, history, politics ( or a genius in general) and then makes egregious, hilarious errors.. well, I have to point it out.

“…very few scientists are religious.” Untrue, though the numbers are definitely lower than the general population.
“…most American churches and their flocks are Creationists…” Clearly false.
“…as you know, Mrs. Fundie…” Accusation made without evidence.
“…it’s hard to reconcile facts about biology, physics or even geology with faith…” I agree with you, but some intelligent religionists have found a way.

You don’t need to believe that your opponents are all whackos and fanatics, and such belief reduces your effectiveness as a political and cultural observer. The world is not black and white.

@ TBruce,

Any evidence for that statement? Besides “travelling carnival workers

No, not really. That was just me yammering on & on.

It’s not like I’m the only one & if I wanted to badly enough; I think I could find some stats on mental illness to back me up. Otherwise, I was just insinuating that our healthy, well vaccinated populace is well-vaccinated but not actually healthy.

You were also insinuating that people are mentally ill because they’re vaccinated [citation needed]. That’s as evidence-free as claiming that yes, there’s mental illness, but there would be twice as much without the polio vaccine [citation would be needed if I was actually claiming this].

This isn’t even “correlation is not causation,” because you haven’t even demonstrated a correlation. Where’s the evidence that the rate of mental illness has actually increased over some meaningful time period? “More people will talk about being depressed” doesn’t mean “more people have been diagnosed with depression,” and that in turn wouldn’t mean more depressed people, rather than (say) more people talking to a doctor instead of a priest.

@ Vicki,

You were also insinuating that people are mentally ill because they’re vaccinated

Now that is VERY interesting that you say this because I actually didn’t try to insinuate that at all. Yet I do believe that’s true. The same biomarkers of inflammation found in autism are also found with schizophrenia.

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.710.2626&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Nowhere in that article did they mention vaccines … I’m just saying it first because it’s inevitable. Yes, I know that. I’m showing why I believe it to be true, not that anyone else does. Yet.

“I’m just saying it first because it’s inevitable. Yes, I know that. I’m showing why I believe it to be true, not that anyone else does. Yet.”

So you’re just making things up, despite a complete lack of evidence, because it fits your lack of understanding. Again. That seems to be a pattern with you and the other anti-vaccination science deniers.

Off the top of my head, I can think of at least 3 good reasons why mental illness seems to be more prevalent. The severely mentally ill were locked away in asylums. Now they are in the community. Whether or not this is a better solution is still debatable, but it does make us more aware of mental illness. Also, less severe psychiatric disorders were often underdiagnosed or simply denied. It is only relatively recently that clinical depression has been officially recognized in children and adolescents. Also, there used to be a lot of shame regarding mental illness, so that sufferers and their families would keep it under wraps. There still is some shame, but this has definitely improved, and the people who are affected are talking. You claim that they are not healthy. Well, more people are getting help, which in my opinion is “healthy”.
I am certain that vaccines have nothing to do with a real (or spurious) increase in mental illness.

Marianne Williamson is well-known as a purveyor of “The Secret”, which is the infantile belief that if you want something enough, the Universe will bend itself to your will. I know no better rebuttal to this tripe than this:
“You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn’t it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.” – Marcus Cole, Babylon 5

Narad: Dude, there’s a Creationist THEME PARK that clears several million a year. The customers have to be coming from SOMEWHERE. And when was the last time you saw or heard someone who publicly professed to be religious using ‘evolution’ as anything but a snarl word?

I dunno, Pope Benedict XVI, who is one of the more conservative popes in recent memory, wrote something like this:

Currently, I see in Germany, but also in the United States, a somewhat fierce debate raging between so-called “creationism” and evolutionism, presented as though they were mutually exclusive alternatives: those who believe in the Creator would not be able to conceive of evolution, and those who instead support evolution would have to exclude God. This antithesis is absurd because, on the one hand, there are so many scientific proofs in favour of evolution which appears to be a reality we can see and which enriches our knowledge of life and being as such. But on the other, the doctrine of evolution does not answer every query, especially the great philosophical question: where does everything come from? And how did everything start which ultimately led to man? I believe this is of the utmost importance.

This is pretty much what Stephen J. Gould called non-overlapping magisteria. We also had Pope John Paul II:

In his encyclical Humani generis (1950), my predecessor Pius XII has already affirmed that there is no conflict between evolution and the doctrine of the faith regarding man and his vocation, provided that we do not lose sight of certain fixed points. … Today, more than a half-century after the appearance of that encyclical, some new findings lead us toward the recognition of evolution as more than a hypothesis.

The Catholic Church has wholeheartedly endorsed vaccination, even accepting those fetal cell-line derived vaccines like that for rubella.

Dude, there’s a Creationist THEME PARK that clears several million a year. The customers have to be coming from SOMEWHERE.

This is far different from “most American churches and their flocks are Creationists.” Gallup concurs that you’re just trotting out your typical motivated hyperbole.

@ PGP,

I never thought that ‘religious’ was synonymous with ‘creationist’, despite that being religious is probably a prerequisite for being a creationist.

I dunno, evolution actually seems to be pretty cohesive with religious doctrine, with the exception of the fundamentalists but fundamentalism is certainly not synonymous with religion. They are a fringe.

@ Orac,

*She even goes on to suggest that the treatment of depression is seeking to keep us from feeling normal sadness after, for instance, the death of a loved one, which is a complete mischaracterization of modern psychotherapy

If that isn’t antiscience, I don’t know what is*

Well, are you quite sure?

After my daughter died, I was under outpatient psychiatric care. Not very willingly, however but my ability to care for her high-acuity special needs twin brother was being questioned; so I complied. Doctors orders; an antidepressant. I felt this was wrong. I realize they thought I was suicidal:

A week after she died I had woken up on a hot, bright sunny day, calmly taken the 357 magnum loaded with hollow point bullets & walked out my back patio door. Through the gate & past several apartment buildings with people out & about who just stood in shocked silence & stared at me as I walked by, acknowledging no one.

I climbed down the riverbed & sat out of view, put my elbows on my knees & held the gun to my head. And I stayed like that for about an hour. After reconciling myself to life without her, I walked back home, where people had by then noticed that the gun & I were gone & were frantically searching for me.

As I got on the phone with my MIL to assure her I was ‘okay’ & our ‘late to the party’ PD SWAT team burst through the door, guns drawn; which sent me screaming hysterically to the floor. I guess it’s safe to say I was a bit unstable.

But I didn’t agree with being medicated away from my situational … versus clinical … depression. I complied for about two months, at which time I had started presenting with a very flat affect; retelling the details of my daughters death like a narrator reading a script.

20 years of horrific PTSD ensued, of which the antidepressant may or may not be to blame. I guess I just don’t do grief well. But I distinctly remember knowing ‘I need to feel this. If I don’t do it now; it will be waiting for me’. And wait, it did.

Just food for thought. I could have used some nurturing. Not neutralizing.

@ Christine K:

The reason they gave you meds was because you were suicidal: you made an attempt that was noted by others. If they didn’t, you might have gone through with killing yourself at a later date. Meds and possible counselling ( I don’t know how much you received from “outpatient psychiatric care”) may be the reason you are alive today

…. Did you ever think that MAYBE you need counselling now?

You come to RI to argue theories of autism with people many of whom are professionals. Isn’t that a way to improve self-esteem ( which could be affected because ASDs can be stigma or from the stresses/ isolation of being a caretaker) ?
Like many parents at AoA or TMR you know better than thousands of scientists and doctors: you’re out to show them all
They have “professors” and “science editors” and “warrior moms” who know better than SBM and physiology. Is that likely?

Orac spent time enlightening you: he’s a busy man and has dogs. Other commenters try to point you in the right direction. There is a wealth of information referenced by Orac that illustrates why vaccines DON’T cause autism ( and what DOES)- use the handy, dandy search box at upper left of tis page. There must be hundreds of articles related to your interests. Think of it as a free education.

Are you possibly looking for something else – like advice? Or friendship? People here are VERY open to others but no one will give you a pass if you disparage meaningful research. I think that you may have an advantage ( the RN studies) that may put your chances of learning above those of AoA/ TMR writers. Why not read more of Orac?

@ Denice,

Before I respond to the bulk of your reply, I need to respond to this:

Isn’t that a way to improve self-esteem

No, these last few weeks here have been horrible for my self-esteem. As in ‘hang-my-head-&-cry’ horrible.

One of the hardest things I’ve ever done is to keep coming back & take the non-stop insults that have been thrown at me. I know I’m in way over my head as far as brains & scientific experience but I’m not the worst you’ve had, as far as antivaxxers go.

This won’t make much sense to you but I’m here because it’s hard to hate me forever. You won’t hear those you hate. That’s the best I have to bring to the table.

Christine,
what I am saying is that people with low self-esteem may try to show their merit by arguing with professionals- if you could ( pardon my word choice) trump all the experts worldwide- that would be quite an accomplishment of which to be proud. (Parents at AoA/ TMR/ etc think that they have all the answers. I hope you’re more realistic.)
In addition, you could escape the label that ASDs are genetic ( in your case though, you already admit that this is partially true).

SBM- vaccines- could be blamed as the final cause ( of multiple causation) that led to your son’s ASD, NOT YOU.
( Although ASDs are genetic- they’re not anyone’s fault . They happen. Some – de novo variation- are not even something you “pass down” – they’re new.)

If you feel badly, learning the truth, wouldn’t it be worse to stay in the dark? In the long run? Information might help you and your son.
I think you return because you know at some level that no one here has any ill will towards you and that Orac speaks the truth.

This won’t make much sense to you but I’m here because it’s hard to hate me forever.

There’s a chasm between “hate” and “frustration.”

This sad creature aroused both pity and indignation as do importunate beggars everywhere. She was not one of the beautiful people, or even one of the interesting people. She was a “sad sack,” as Bill put it, a professional victim, a “passive aggressive,” to use the jargon, who knew the whole time she pretended not to know, exactly what was going on, what game she was playing, what she was spoiling, and how it would all end.

She would make those she envied feel guilty by forcing them to reject her, and thus give some meaning and emotional intensity to her otherwise meaningless and dim existence. She would be a reproach, a curse, a blight. A ghoul’s life, to be sure, but at least this particular example of the species was brave enough, or crazy enough, to attempt her emotional rip-off on the rich. Usually, they only practice on those as weak and poor as themselves.

No, I don’t hate you Christine, but I pity you fool (with apologies to Mr. T). We have tried to take the time to engage with you yet you continue to persist in your beliefs despite there being no good evidence for them and plenty of good evidence against them. Around here we stick to science as it seems to be the best way for us to know how the universe works, and the way the world has been changed by it is startling. Edward Jenner developed the smallpox vaccine a couple of centuries ago, and then his successors refined it and in so doing managed to bring to an end the cruel reign of a scourge that killed and maimed billions over the past ten thousand years. Polio is on its last legs thanks to similar efforts, but it continues to persist in some places thanks to a combination of geopolitics and anti-scientific sentiment akin to yours. The measles could also be someday eradicated in the same way as it is a disease that hosts only in humans, but it is on the rise again thanks to those like you who for no good reason foolishly cast fear, uncertainty, and doubt upon the safety and effectiveness of the tools we use to fight it. So it is pity that your foolishness brings rather than hate.

Well sure, I’d vote for an overnight internet sensation and self help entrepreneur! She will have to dig deeper into causes and treatment of the nation’s ills before she moves my anti-interest. Medicine is a very rich source of fact and compassion that she seems to overlook. On the other topics, I suppose she has the same weakness and terrible advising.

Have to agree about difference between skeptic and anti-science. I don’t believe she’s qualified to tell anyone what to do because she doesn’t have facts to help anyone do better. I suppose she knows how to sell and write self help books. It seems she willingly accepts inaccuracy, which to me, at the very least, is a disregard for the many little pictures (observations) that make up the whole picture. Science I suppose. Vaccination is a benefit. Being a skeptic about vaccination isn’t to help people not get them, it is to improve their effectiveness because it keeps the vast majority of people from harm — I think this has been said over and over, right here. Unfortunately mental illness is a harder subject to manage. Pretty sure though, reading one of her books doesn’t make the severe problems go away. That would require scientific study. Don’t get me wrong, I am soooo outta sight pro-feel better.

https://verilymag.com/2015/10/mental-health-issues-on-the-rise-awareness

@ DB,

One day there could be a vaccine to prevent mental illness

Just as redundant as the one for Alzheimer’s.

“Redundant”? I’m trying to listen to the Cubs game, but upon cursory examination, my only complaint with, e.g., this paper is the confusion between β and ß.

@ Aarno,

Biomarkers of imflammation are present when there are inflammation, like measles

Obviously. I said it wrong. For that matter, there are probably biomarkers of inflammation to be found after getting a sunburn.

Neuroanatomical changes in the brain from a maladaptive immune response, such as the overactive synaptic pruning seen in Schizophrenia & the underactive synaptic pruning seen in Autism & Alzheimer’s with the similar biomarkers (cytokine profiles) found in all three.

Pruning hypothesis (by you )predicts normal brain with more synaptic connections. Actually, an overgrowth with less connections is present. In addition, pruning may not be caused by immune system (autophagy is suggested, and there is actually related symptomic gene) and vaccines do not modulate it. So many holes here.
Known autism genes seem to be mainly growth repressors-.
And accidentally, pruning hypothesis in literature suggests overpruning.

From the article linked by TBruce:

“Williamson…has suggested we should “pour God’s love on our immune systems” in defense of swine flu.”

For atheists, would a homeopathic solution of God’s love work just as well and be less toxic?

ChristineK : I think it’s too early (not to mention kinda crass) to speculate. An overdose isn’t always intentional.
Also, um you were waving a GUN around and you think the police department and your neighbors overreacted? For all they knew, you might have been planning to take the whole complex along with you.

I second DW’s recommendation. You need help, and you’re not going to find it on 4chan or any of the usual anti-vax watering holes. (Also, you know those people hate autistic people. Why are you siding with people who at best would give you a pat on the head and at worst insist ‘you’re not really autistic’ or just expel you from the group?)

@ PGP,

you were waving a GUN around

No, I wasn’t. I calmly took it to the river. You do realize this was 25 years ago in June? Something tells me I am not the only person on this forum that has stared down the barrel of a gun & decided to choose life instead.

I do not need help. I need to help others to not become me. You do realize that’s what antivaxxers are all about? They are afraid of becoming disabled, or are afraid of their child becoming dead or disabled. That’s me. All three. They are afraid of becoming me.

But why do you say antivaxxers hate autistics?

Because they do. The current scientific consensus seems to show that autism is largely genetic, but is unacceptable to them, because it means that there is no “cure” and they simply got a bad roll of the genetic dice. And so they latch onto vaccination as the cause for their children’s autism, the way their forebears in a previous age might have blamed faeries replacing their child with a changeling. They believe without basis that vaccination robbed them of the perfect child they feel they should have gotten, and so take out their frustration on their autistic children whom they think of as broken and in need of fixing. So they take dangerous therapies like the infamous “miracle mineral supplement”, which is actually industrial bleach, and make their children drink it or use it as an enema, among other things. Orac puts it very well here:

…She doesn’t seem to view her child as fully human; her “real” child was the normal son she had before his symptoms of developmental delay and autism manifested themselves. Once that happened, the very human tendency to need an explanation manifested itself, and unfortunately, for whatever reason, the explanation that most resonated with her was vaccines.

I don’t think that antivaxxers are afraid of their children becoming autistic as they are afraid of what they think autism is. They are still caught up in the primitive curse/shame/stolen child thinking. Many are still stuck on the stereotypes of head-banging helmet-wearing children in places like Willowbrook.
Depression is real. It has been a major theme of my life for years. My situation inclines me to depression, but I mostly try to keep it masked, because my life could be worse and in very specific ways, even catastrophic, if I didn’t. All this on top of Bipolar Type II disorder. My family think I am going through life blithely. I don’t think they can understand or could deal with the abyss I often find myself in.
I have had the horrible sensation of wanting to be dead, but I am too squeamish for myself and too concerned about the effect on the people I love or the first responders who would have to deal with my dead body to ever act on it.
Being autistic is mostly responsible for the loneliness I live in every day, but on the other hand it has made me more able than most to cope with it.
And I have stared down the barrel of a pistol, but it was across a table, in the hand of (I suspect) a psychopath. .25 caliber doesn’t sound very big, but from two feet away it looked big enough to jump into and hide, which for one lunatic instant I thought of doing.
Well, I don’t know if this helps anyone else, but confronting it in a space where I am relatively unknown actually makes me feeo a little better.

@ Old Rockin Dave,

I am sure glad you are still here & I am sure your story has helped someone else.

The only thing I really knew about autism before I watched my son’s regression was just my own experience & maybe Rainman. When I would say ‘he’s autistic’; people thought I was saying ‘artistic’. Now I don’t say anything & people say “oh, its okay; my little brother, uncle, neighbors kid, grandson, etc … is autistic too’.

My heart breaks for him on a daily basis now. It is far worse than my wildest dreams could have imagined. This is truly like nothing known ever before & anyone who would see me trying to make it through the first hour of the day, or a trip to the store or walking the dog would need no words to understand that this is something to be feared.

Autistic like me? Not as much but who knows where on the spectrum one might fall.

“…before I watched my son’s regression…” You didn’t watch that, because it didn’t happen. You latched onto a story to help you deal with your issues, and now you blame scientists.

Born that way.

@ Denice,

what I am saying is that people with low self-esteem may try to show their merit by arguing with professionals

oh sorry, I misunderstood you there.

Do any of you here ever go on antivaxxer forums?

@ Denice,

If you feel badly, learning the truth

The truth already made me literally ill several years ago. It can’t hurt me anymore, that way at least, for now.

Vaccines are causing genetically vulnerable people to have neurologically catastrophic, maladaptive immune responses.

I acknowledge the research that shows genetics as correlated to autism.
I acknowledge that vaccines have not been shown to correlate with autism.

But I have shown you that research correlates neurologically catastrophic & maladaptive immune responses with autism.

I have not been shown any research that rules out neurologically catastrophic , maladaptive immune responses in genetically vulnerable people, as not being correlated with vaccines. Or any research showing it has, for that matter. If we were certain that genetics were the answer-all for autism; wouldn’t you be able to show me that?

How can you say for sure; that I do not speak the truth?

I’m not an epidemiologist BUT
–if there were people with a particular genetic vulnerability to autism following vaccination, we would know by now. Research is sensitive enough to discern problems that are 1-in-100,000** ( early rotavirus vaccine)
There have been many studies tracking millions of children in countries with health registries such as Scandinavia
–Secondly, infant vaccines don’t happen at the time when brain development is most susceptible to interference ( early pre-natal). They also test for maternal vaccines -btw-
— If Orac trusts vaccines, I’ll go with that. ( also Ren and RI regulars)

** anti-vaccine activists believe that the autism “epidemic” ( 1 in 100 or less) is at least partially attributable to vaccines
that’s not 1 in 100,000.

@ Denice,

Secondly, infant vaccines don’t happen at the time when brain development is most susceptible to interference early prenatal

The learning based synapses for social awareness begin to develop at around the age of 2 years old …

Nobody ever said ‘my child stopped making sounds’. They say he forgot how to use his words

They don’t say ‘he can’t use his hands to pick up his toys’. They say he forgot how to play with his toys

They don’t say ‘he can’t hear anymore’, They say he doesn’t respond to his name anymore

Learn about what happens to children’s development if dangers** occur DURING THE FIRST TRIMESTER of gestation.
Easy to find.
Regression in ASDs has been studied by SBM: it’s not vaccines. Easy to find.

I give up trying with you..

** infection, drugs, alcoholism, poisons

Overgrowth and genetic pruning explains regression. At first, growth will be inside normal parameters, and hyperlexia may occur, but later problems appear.
I have lately read vaccine court cases. Testimonies and medical records often do not agree.

“I acknowledge that vaccines have not been shown to correlate with autism.” End of fucking argument then. You’re admitting you have nothing.

“I have not been shown any research that rules out neurologically catastrophic , maladaptive immune responses in genetically vulnerable people, as not being correlated with vaccines. ” a) If this were true, it would show up as a general correlation. Are you assuming biostatisticians are too incompetent to consider this obvious possibility? b) I have not been shown any research that rules out neurologically catastrophic, maladaptive immune responses in genetically vulnerable people, as not being correlated with vaccines playing Dungeons and Dragons listening to symphonic doom metal reading mathematics reading Respectful Insolence.

You’re angry, that’s all. I’m sorry you’re angry, and even sorrier that this sort of anger endangers the young of America.

@ RJ,

Me: I have not been shown any research that rules out neurologically catastrophic , maladaptive immune responses in genetically vulnerable people, as not being correlated with vaccines

You: if this were true, it would show up as a general correlation. Are you assuming biostatisticians are too incompetent to consider this obvious possibility

I’m not assuming a damn thing. I highly doubt ‘incompetence’ has anything to do with it but regardless; it’s not being done. Oh flip I can’t find those comments exchanged with Narad about the pubmed searches but there is like 27 studies or something lame like that since the 1980s that sort-of-kind-of (not) address the issue & the majority of them show abnormal cytokine profiles post-vaccination but they don’t include pre-immunization baselines.

So; NO. Nothing for biostatisticians to consider, competent or not.

OK, so scientists are ignoring easily observed issues for reasons you can’t even speculate on? Why would they do that?

Again, if genetically vulnerable individuals were affected by vaccine, it would show up on general correlation. If there was an effect to detect, someone would be detecting it.

“…it’s not being done…” Flatly false. Scientists have bent over backwards to find the (mysteriously undetectable) statistical effect you insist on. Yes, they have looked really, really hard for evidence of a vaccine/autism link. Your hypothesis has been given the prince’s treatment, despite your denials.

In short: scientists have given your ideas a more than fair chance. Maybe they’re all stupid, unlike you.

You conceded the case in this thread, but you still are somehow right. Reminds me of Gulf War proponents.

” if genetically vulnerable individuals were affected by vaccine, it would show up on general correlation. If there was an effect to detect, someone would be detecting it.” Such a correlation would be expected to show up only if a genetically vulnerable individuals are a large proportion of the population or the dataset included the genetic information needed to study that specifically. A small vulnerable subset of the population would not necessarily show up as a positive correlation in the studies that have been done.

No, scientists have not “bent over backwards to find the (mysteriously undetectable) statistical effect you insist on.” In fact, a close examination of the data reveals that if anything, they seem to be bending over backwards not to publish study results that those who suspect a vaccine-autism link keep requesting – i.e. a study large enough to have a small type II error probability comparing vaccinated to non-vaccinated children. The data needed exists in other studies and in the databases the CDC maintains. It’s not a difficult analysis. Yet such a study has never been published.

We have many studies on the MMR alone, some on one of the other vaccines, some looking at particular ingredients of multiple vaccines, such as thimerosol or number of antigens. Where is a basic regression analysis of number of vaccines (we do give kids a lot of them) with autism? Showing that there was no effect in such a study would go a long way to convince the vaccine skeptics that the relationship isn’t there. I’ll grant you that even if an effect was found in such a study, it would have issues with confounding due to self-selection of vaccination status and lifestyle choices which influence that, so it wouldn’t be conclusive proof of a relationship. But looking at vaccines and ingredients piecemeal does not provide strong evidence that vaccines (plural) have no relationship with autism.

Beth: “In fact, a close examination of the data reveals that if anything, they seem to be bending over backwards not to publish study results that those who suspect a vaccine-autism link keep requesting…”

Except studies have found genetic sequences sensitive to fever issues with vaccines that cause issues along the spectrum. The big one is Dravet Syndrome and a few mitochondrial issues. The problem is that the disease caused fever would also trigger those issues. Here is where you may explore that research further: https://www.sfari.org/research/

“… – i.e. a study large enough to have a small type II error probability comparing vaccinated to non-vaccinated children.”

Which have been done. They are called epidemiological studies which have been done in several countries around this planet in the last two decades. There was a recent study covering several hundred thousand kid in Denmark. The results are all the same, there is no correlation between autism and vaccines. How did you miss that? Orac wrote about in March (oh, wait… you did, and apparently you did not like it).

If you do not like those studies and since you are a professional statistician it would be a easy for you to design a study that conformed to the Belmont Report. Just design a study that would meet the rigors of human testing ethics, get it past a real Independent Review Board (no relatives, no need to emulate the Geiers), and then write a grant to fund it. Then submit that grant to SafeMinds, Generation Rescue or the Selz Foundation. Unfortunately the money spigot from Mr. Dwoskin has been shut off.

No go do that! Until then stop complaining about the over a dozen actual epidemiological studies that do not show the results you want. You are just like those parents in the PTA that want things done, but do not want to lift a finger to get it done. This is why when someone requested something, we immediately nominated and voted that they were the new committee chair to get that random task done.

Beth Clarkson, I nominate you to do that vaulted comparison of vaccinated to non-vaccinated children. All in favor say aye!

AYE!

Silly typo: “Now go do that!

Oh, wait I commented again… I can vote again for Beth to do that study every anti-vax person wants:

AYE!

@ CHris –

“The problem is that the disease caused fever would also trigger those issues. ” – Yes, if the trigger is the high fever, it’s certainly possible that the disease would also cause the problem. What is the probability of the child getting the disease and developing such a fever at a young enough age to cause those issues? If that is the case and we could identify the genetic sequence(s) associated with the issue, it would be worth delaying vaccines until the child is old enough to weather such a fever without triggering so much damage.

“here was a recent study covering several hundred thousand kid in Denmark. The results are all the same, there is no correlation between autism and vaccines. How did you miss that?” – I didn’t miss it. In fact, it contributed to my cynicism regarding the published research. That study was for MMR specifically, not vaccines generally or in combination. Although they had the data necessary to do the study I’ve suggested, that wasn’t what they published. In addition, their choice of statistical analysis procedure treated autism as if it were a contagious disease and the MMR vaccine as an exposure to that contagious disease. The details of why this is an issue get technical, but it results in a bias against finding a statistically significant difference between vaccination and non-vaccination status if the vaccination was one possible trigger for autism among multiple possible triggers in genetically susceptible children.

” I nominate you to do that vaulted comparison of vaccinated to non-vaccinated children. ” – I would be delighted to do such a study. I’ve requested the data from the CDC, but they won’t release it without IRB approval for the analysis. I’ve checked with my institution about getting that. It would take approx. a year to work it’s way through the queue if they were willing to consider it. And they won’t consider it because it isn’t related to the work they pay me for. I don’t have the $ to spare to pay the cost of getting IRB approval from an independent IRB board. If you are willing to fund getting IRB approval in order to access the data, I’ll donate my time and expertise to do the study.

“Yes, if the trigger is the high fever, it’s certainly possible that the disease would also cause the problem.”

Except, it is also more possible now because of you and your anti-vax friends. Measles has been making the rounds, chicken pox is quite common… and we just cannot wait for Hib to make meningitis great again!

“I’ve requested the data from the CDC, but they won’t release it without IRB approval for the analysis.”

Oh, come on! Why should you get the data from the CDC!? Get it yourself! Find an IRB yourself. Recruit the families that don’t care if their kids are vaccinated or not.

Funding? Pshaw! That is what your friends at SafeMinds, Generation Rescue and the Selz Foundation are for. I am sure that Mrs. Selz would just love to give you all the money you want.

Go do it! Don’t whine at us anymore about the lack of a study that meets your very stringent carbon fiber structure criteria without doing your own human study. Especially since one factory line may be shut down soon.

Chris says “Why should you get the data from the CDC!? Get it yourself! Find an IRB yourself. Recruit the families that don’t care if their kids are vaccinated or not. Funding? Pshaw! That is what your friends at SafeMinds, Generation Rescue and the Selz Foundation are for. I am sure that Mrs. Selz would just love to give you all the money you want”

You mean conduct a study from the ground up like this one? https://www.talkingaboutthescience.com/studies/Mawson2017.pdf

Personally, I would be more convinced by a study using CDC vetted data that included thousands of children’s documented health and vaccination records. IRB approval would be more affordable than building a similarly high quality database from scratch as you are now suggesting, but it’s still more than I can personally fund.

By the way, I have a full time job and family and a life. Given data, I wouldn’t mind donating a bit of my time and skills to do the analysis, but what you are now suggesting requires a commitment far more extensive than I’m willing to take on without pay. I don’t know anyone at SafeMinds, Generation Rescue or the Selz Foundation, much less have friends there so they haven’t offered me any more funds to accomplish the research that you did when you enthusiastically suggested I do such a study.

What! You don’t want to leap at an opportunity that you know more statistics and how to do a human study than all of the epidemiologists who worked on the more than a dozen studies showing that vaccines are safe and effective?

Oh, come on! You come in here telling us all of those studies are not valid, yet you refuse to edumacate the folks who actually work for public health in the USA, Denmark, Japan, Australia and elsewhere. So, just design the study and send it to all of the authors of those studies that have discussed on the blog for years. You should start with this recent study that Orac discussed not so long ago: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/article-abstract/2737582

And perhaps to the folks wrote this meta-study (plus the authors of the papers they included): https://autismoevaccini.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/vaccines-are-not-associated-with-autism.pdf

Because you are stickler for how to do statistical analysis. Obviously since you found flaws* in all of those, you must know how to do it better. You really should go tell them how to do it correctly. Just stop bringing up this magical study that you want someone else to do. Just like some very annoying PTA parents.

And at least, unlike Mawson, you should know better than to use a self selected survey.

Though we all know you will find a flaw in any study that shows vaccines are safe and effective. That is just how you roll. Which is why it is fun to throw the thing into your lap. The excuses are beautiful.

You should also send your suggestions on how to do epidemiology to Kaiser Permanente. I am sure they would love to hear how they can do their job better. I mean, if they could spend less money on these sneaky “chronic” diseases, they would love it.

Though they might be a bit squeamish about increasing infections that cost lots of money for things like saline, oxygen tanks and other things used to keep folks with pneumonia, encephalitis and meningitis alive.

@ Chris “You don’t want to leap at an opportunity that you know more statistics and how to do a human study than all of the epidemiologists who worked on the more than a dozen studies showing that vaccines are safe and effective?” – Hmmm. What opportunity is that? I wouldn’t term your nomination of me to do such a study, without being willing to provide resources to conduct it, an ‘opportunity’. Nor do I think I know more than they do about the details of how to do a human study along those lines. What I know is how to analyze the data that has been already been carefully collected and used in other studies to answer questions that haven’t currently been answered about the relationship between autism and vaccinations plural. Access to that data would constitute an opportunity I’m willing to take on, but clearly not one you are willing to support with more than lip service about what I should do.

Chris says “You come in here telling us all of those studies are not valid, ” I’m sorry that you have misinterpreted my comments. I haven’t said the studies are not valid. I’ve stated that the studies do not provide an answer to the questions parents would find most relevant. This does not imply the studies are not valid. They are usually well-designed and answer the questions that the corporate sponsors want answers for and include the appropriate caveats regarding their study results. I have criticized some of the analysis methods used in some cases, but again, that doesn’t make the studies invalid, it just adds to the caveats that need to be kept in mind when interpreting the results. Mainly I’ve corrected posters here for overstating what those studies show, like stating that no relationship exists between vaccines and autism when the published studies fall short of that broad claim.

Chris says – “Because you are stickler for how to do statistical analysis. Obviously since you found flaws* in all of those, you must know how to do it better. You really should go tell them how to do it correctly.” – What makes you think I haven’t done that?

Chris says – “Just stop bringing up this magical study that you want someone else to do. Just like some very annoying PTA parents.” You were the one that brought up this “magical” study and nominated me to do it. I said I would provide my time and skills if you wanted to fund getting access to the data that’s already been used in other published papers. I don’t think suggesting a different analysis of existing study data falls under the description of ‘magical’.

“Which is why it is fun to throw the thing into your lap. The excuses are beautiful.” “Excuses” like not wanting to drop everything else in my life and devote myself to working for free do conduct research that I don’t have the resources or expertise to manage from the ground up and which, if I were to do so, would be rejected and ignored just like Mawson’s and Aaby’s and Exley’s work if and when it didn’t confirm what you already know to be true? I’m glad you find my responses as entertaining as I find your suggestions.

@ Chris: “You have to admire an ego so big that she cannot tell she is being mocked” What makes you think I can’t tell when I’m being mocked? I find your spurious insults, incorrect assumptions about me, and other attempts to get me to shut up and go away amusing, not enraging. BTW, I consider your response which consists solely of a gratuitous personal disparagement a public acknowledgement that you have no counterarguments to the substance of my remarks.

I guess this kind of clueless reaction that one can get from someone who is never satisfied with the answers (like vaccines are associated with less SIDS) that you have been given several times. I am now really not surprised that you have actually tried telling epidemiologists how to do their job. That is truly an astronomical ego.

It is not so much to “shut you up”, but to get you to realize how mind numbing your repetitive refrain of trying to tell us why the science showing vaccines are safe and effective is so terribly flawed. It is boring. You will never be satisfied, so the answer was to tell you to show us how it is supposed to be done by designing the study that you would accept.

But, alas! You refuse because this, that, and the other thing. Neglecting to include the real reason: you are not qualified to do epidemiology.

In fact, a close examination of the data reveals that if anything, they seem to be bending over backwards not to publish study results that those who suspect a vaccine-autism link keep requesting – i.e. a study large enough to have a small type II error probability comparing vaccinated to non-vaccinated children.

Oh, yay, it’s Prometheus time again. Calculate the sample size please, Ms. Clarkson.

Showing that there was no effect in such a study would go a long way to convince the vaccine skeptics that the relationship isn’t there.

Fat fucking chance.

@ Denice,

All the MIA research is trying to say late gestational age & that is wrong too. I am talking about regressive autism. How does a fetus regress developmentally?

Thank you for trying. Sorry I’m frustrating.

“I am talking about regressive autism.” The existence of this syndrome has never been demonstrated.

How about ‘autism’? Your usage, ‘regressive autism’, is highly tendentious and would be even if you are right and Orac wrong. Thus, it’s usage is intellectually dishonest.

Why do you express irritation when asked to speak honestly and fairly? It’s not a ‘gotcha’; it’s a ‘speak honestly please’.

late gestational age & that is wrong too

You’re not “frustrating” so much as “shit-flinging bonobo,” as I think I’ve already mentioned. I’m sticking with engagement at any cost. And sad sack.

@ Narad,

I’m sticking with engagement at any cost

Says the guy who quoted me on gestational age for MIA just to call me a ‘shit-flinging bonobo’. Although, that actually is funny.

@ Narad,

How can you be sure that he didn’t speak the truth

OMG, personally, I prefer schizophrenic Pi theories to cube ones. I may not have SBM to wave around but I do have a science based theory. Isn’t that what all SBM started from?

I may not have SBM to wave around but I do have a science based theory.

You don’t have a “theory,” you have something crudely resembling a hypothesis with the unfortunate ab initio trait of being pulled from your ass. If you could state a position coherently, it would probably map to the Butterfly Effect.

And some nets are so visually full of breaks and holes that you can know fish will not stay in, without bothering to put it in the water.

“You can’t hate me forever.”

LOL. You think we care enough to hate? In order to hate, there has to be some sort of personal connection. Otherwise, we’d be sociopaths. I have a hard time believing anyone here hates you, or that anyone here cares enough to hate you.

Personally, the only reason I responded to you is because I care, not about you, but about the children you hurt with anti-vaccine misinformation. They’re the ones worth protecting. You? You’ve had a life. They’re just starting, and getting them vaccinated is the best way to prevent them from having an increased risk of death or life-long sequelae from vaccine-preventable diseases.

@ Rene,

the children you hurt with anti-vaccine misinformation

How provocative but I’ll try to resist.

So glad you care so much about a fever & spots while I grieve the death & disability of my children (that was restraint).

And I grieve the children I’ve seen die amid screams of horror from the deformities of Congenital Rubella Syndrome, or the unending fever of meningitis AFTER they’ve had their limbs cut off, or the rib-fracturing coughs of pertussis. We can compare notes all you want, and vaccines will still be safe, effective and life-saving… All without making the discussion about oneself.

“…while I grieve the death & disability of my children…” But that is unrelated to vaccines. Even preventing the mildest fever is reason enough to have vaccines, as they aren’t associated with autism.

The cases are not similar. Your children have experienced issues, unrelated to vaccines. Other children, and yours, can be saved the inconvenience of ‘fever & spots’, the agony of whooping cough, and actual death, by vaccines.

Your issues are unrelated to vaccines, and you’ve allowed fools into your ear because your issues are difficult.

People like you are as bad as smokers, spreading your filth to people who don’t want it, and causing their death and disability.

@ Rene,

Personally, the only reason I responded to you is because I care, not about you, but about the children you hurt with anti-vaccine misinformation

Good. You can make me go away & you get to be savior of the babies if you have the information I’m looking for. We know genetics are a prerequisite for autism & we know abnormal cytokine profiles are found with autism.

Where can I find the research that shows abnormal, baseline, pre-immunization cytokine profiles for autistics? You may not include known prenatal confounders. If you can show me that autistics have abnormal cytokine profiles before immunization, then I might be wrong. I will go away

Remember that ‘biostatisticians would have already noticed this by now ‘ so surely, the info is somewhere.

If you don’t wanna play I would totally understand. I wouldn’t either.

But because there is no correlation between vaccine uptake and autism, these things don’t matter. Shouldn’t we focus our efforts on things that matter?

@ Rene,

You think we care enough to hate

Not me personally. You hate antivaxxers, And you personally do not care about children. Mine, (you strike me as ‘childfree’) or otherwise. Unless they died from a fever & spots & then you would build a shrine & hold a press conference.

Damn I’m not resisting too well, am I.

“You hate antivaxxers…” Assumes facts not in evidence.
“And you personally do not care about children…” Assumes facts not in evidence, and facially implausible.

Have you considered the possibility that people support vaccines because of their proven efficacy and very minor downsides? You seem to think that people love vaccines for their own sake, and dislike ‘antivaxxers’ for no damned reason. It’s like those RW politicians who seem to honestly beleive that Islamists hate America ‘for our freedoms’, as if anyone would go ‘oh, they can talk freely in public I must kill them’.

Very complicated hypotheses, if you insist on believing that people disagree with you out of hatred. It’s simpler if you believe that vaccine/autism correlations are hard to find because they are not there.

Try harder – you don’t have to continue this way. Not too late to admit you were taken.

@ Leonard Sugarman

Hypotheses are nets: only he who casts will catch

My hypothesis is that pre & post immunization cytokine profiles done on infants will show normal pre & abnormal post cytokine profiles in the children who by 8 years old required support for autism. As compared to normal pre AND post profiles for non-autistic 8 year olds.

Nothing about this sort of study would be unethical yet I have been accused of “endangering” children by ‘he who could cast but won’t’. This, despite that I am not an activist & do not even follow nor communicate with antivaxxer groups or social media.

That’s more like ‘He who is afraid to cast must be afraid to catch’. I’m ‘justamom’ in landlocked Colorado. He who casts nets here may catch a bear.

Well, people have checked out your hypotheses, extensively, so any claims that people are afraid of these hypotheses are facially unreasonable. You are bearing false witness and while I’m no Christian, some of their rules are correct.

@ RJ,

people have checked out your hypotheses, extensively

Then where is the data? And thank you for validating that is a worthy hypothesis to have been checked out. Extensively, even. Baselines are so … basic. I’m actually pretty sure I’m not the first person in the world to have considered this.

Definitely, if baseline pre-immunization cytokine profiles were found to have been abnormal in autistic children* it would have been screamed from the rooftops. You know; BORN THAT WAY

So I’m in agreement there: Checked out extensively. And then what? Where are they (the data)?

That’s for your comfort zone only. It should read: ‘If pre-immunization cytokine profiles were abnormal in infancy in children who would later be diagnosed with autism … ‘ but it takes too long to unbunch people’s drawers here.

FYI the idea that some children have some special sensitivity to vaccination is a very common anti vaxxer trope. How they think this explains all cases of ASD without showing up in statistical analysis is anyone’s guess.

RJ- this seems a fairly straightforward hypothesis of CK’s, particularly if nothing more is added to it like ‘vaccines’, antivax, hatred , grieving and much more . If it has been extensively studied the you should have no difficulty providing CK with the references, and make her think again.

@ Rene,

All without making the discussion about oneself

Because discussions about others are purely anecdotal. At least my appeal to pity is my own.

In other sceptical news…

We must be making progress because woo-meisters ( PRN.fm, today) are writing long diatribes against SBM leaders AGAIN
Medical Skepticism: Today’s Scientific Cultural Disease
Right, it’s like a ” persistent Candida yeast infection. It is painful to common sense”.. ” a natural outgrowth of white-dominant patriarchal entitlement”; leaders are “typically long-winded” and have a “brutally amateurish understanding of human psychology”.. SBM is “medical imperialism”..

They name and quote SBM participants especially Drs SN, DG and HH, MC and refer to how SBM, Dr Barrett and Quackwatch are related as well as the Guerilla Sceptics’ contribution. They really don’t like Dr DG..
Another feather for his cap.

With this sort of rhetoric, these folks will never be able to link up with their natural allies on the far right. This is good news; they are less likely to harm us this way. Let’s hope the PRN folks continue to link their beliefs to faux-feminism. We should encourage it, actually. The far right no longer are willing to make feminist-like noises which they sometimes have in the past, so any reference to ‘patriarchy’ will be rejected. Without a link to the far right, medical woosters are much less likely to be politically dangerous.

Thank you Ms. Walker.

ACTUALLY, RJ, they try to play both sides ( in order to get more customers, I suppose):
they started out on a lefty station, were dropped due to their hiv/aids denialism, started PRN, picked up again by the lefties for fundraising. now do both
Thus, there is lip service to women, black people, LGBTQ…. BUT
deep down the head woo is quite traditionalist from Appalachia, purity, spirituality, anti-meds, anti-liberals etc and getting more so even playing Tucker Carlson and Jordan Peterson.
Discourage medical birth control and women’s expanding roles- glorifying life on the farm, the old ways, mother rolesm, universities are suspect, only spiritual feminism will do ( whatever that is)
but very sneaky about his conservatism and silent about his vast wealth when he complains about the elites

Adams is more honestly rightist

“So glad you care so much about a fever & spots while I grieve the death & disability of my children (that was restraint).”

Turning on your computer or phone, going to https://respectfulinsolence.com, looking at the comments section, writing disjointed comments and strange anecdotes about being suicidal, waiting for replies, then replying to those replies… That’s how you grieve?

Am I the only one that sees some sort of pathology at play here?

I’m not playing this game with her.

@ Rene,

Strange anecdotes about being suicidal

A comment on a thread regarding a politicians views on mental illness where I did not mention vaccines. Among comments from your peers regarding their own personal experiences with depression & you have the gall to hit me below the belt like that?

I’m not playing this game with her

Yeah, with that kind of strategy; you probably shouldn’t.

Yeah sure, I was suicidal – and it has no bearing on whether vaccines cause autism. Yeah, I was depressed – and it has no bearing on the uselessness of Ms. W. It’s almost as though reality is not maximally adjusted to our attitudes and needs, and that these attitudes and needs are irrelevant to the efficacy and side effects of vaccines.

On the other hand, you seem to have no difficulty devising narratives about the thinking of people with whom you disagree.

Seriously, you deserve better.

You are not the only one to see IMHO — useless information … um, supposed to fire my imagination. I can’t see no satisfaction here. This is a dead rock conversation (IMHO) , but I learned something productive and spiritual today, so thank you!

“Medical Skepticism: Today’s Scientific Cultural Disease”
“Right, it’s like a ” persistent Candida yeast infection. It is painful to common sense”

How about a giant white patriarchal roundworm in the intestinal tract of woo, rendering it wan, anemic and prone to feeble whining?

Works for me.

Speaking of the White Patriarchy, isn’t it odd that the leaders of woo-and-supplement-sales (Null, Mercola and Adams) are a bunch of white guys? And there’s a distinct lack of People of Color heading up the antivax movement.*

*add in the targeting of minority communities (Wakefield preaching antivax to the Minnesota Somali-Americans, attempts to create racial division over the Thompson non-revelations) and there’s a whole bunch of white patriarchal (and matriarchal) exploitation going on.

Not only are they white guys but Adams and Null ( much more so than Mercola) dog whistle a more traditional, old timey vibe: life on the farm, less focus on “careerism”, city life and university educations: medical care through foods and herbalism, crafts and home skills are admirable.
Although Null was originally based in NYC, he claims to have lived on “a farm or a ranch all his adult life” ( he has estates in FL and TX that he calls ‘ farms and ranches’). He grew up in small town WV where good doctors ( not atheists like Orac or you) actually pray with patients. His mother was a medical sensitive like Edgar Cayce and he inherited her gift so he does “energy work” at his health retreats.. at his estates.
Adams is from Kansas and worked on family farms and now has a ranch outside of Austin where he raises chickens and pure foods. His political rhetoric disparages city life and university education as well: when the SHTF, he says, the country folk,, hardworking and self sufficient, will triumph over the citified snowflakes, atheists, immigrants and criminals who poop in the streets.**
SO they’re talking to a particular set who may be politically conservative as well. Ten years ago, they were different. Maybe righties buy more vitamins.

** -btw- driving through SF last month I didn’t se any poop in the streets- perhaps they cleaned up for the Pride events.

@ Denice,

I live in a conservative Republican city of just about 1 million & the only people I know who are outspokenly antivaccine are very liberal, new-agey types & non-whites. Then again, this was a 70s-90s boom town & is surrounded by 5 military installations (meaning almost everybody here is from somewhere else), so maybe not representative of the country as a whole.

@ RJ,

Have you considered the possibility that people support vaccines because of their proven efficacy and very minor downsides

Of course. I concluded that people support vaccines because of their proven efficacy and what they think are very minor downsides. Perfectly reasonable.

@ Anonymous Coward,

Because they do

Please don’t say I hate my child. That’s wrong & you know it. You can’t meet him & not like him. Its impossible.

I was not talking about you in particular, but rather about antivaxxers in general. Unless you are the type of person I’ve described who can’t accept their child being autistic and goes about looking for a reason and a “cure”. Only the real reason was not vaccines, it was more probably a bad roll of the genetic dice, and there is no real science-based “cure” for it, any more than there is a cure for, say, Duchenne muscular dystrophy or Down syndrome. I have a cousin with the latter, and his mother, instead of going around looking for some bogus “cure”, is just giving him all the love and support he needs. If you are more like my aunt, then bless you and keep giving your son all the love he needs. A lot of the antivax crowd on the other hand think that because vaccines supposedly caused the autism, there must be a way to undo it. And so we have these autistic kids being subjected to horrible and dangerous quackery like the miracle mineral supplement I mentioned earlier, chelation therapy, and many others. This is the path that their “logic” (such as it is) is meant to lead to.

And by the way, if you think that biomarkers of inflammation tend to cause autism and mental illnesses, why is the effect specific to vaccination, and not caused by the actual disease? If your hypothesis is true, then the much greater inflammation produced by the disease itself would be even more conducive to causing autism..

@ Anonymous Coward,

Unless you are the type of person I’ve described who can’t accept their child being autistic and goes about looking for a reason and a cure

Okay, thank you for clarifying. No; I cannot justify looking for a cure without evidence of a cause, despite my hypotheses. I can’t risk doing more harm than good.

I only supplement with chewable multi-vitamins because he has a sensory problem with eating fruits & veggies. I will not consent to off-label use of pharmaceuticals or experimental methods. He has paradoxical reactions to anesthesia & opiates so I use only liquid or chewable over-the-counter meds for pain/fever & I do not consent for general anesthesia to be used in any setting other than an accredited children’s hospital. He does require conscious sedation for dental procedures & responds well to that (until it starts to wear off & then the paradoxical reaction takes hold).

He has a huge family of brothers & sisters & cousins, neices & nephews & a grandpa who thinks the world of him. He is included in ever holiday & event. Every wedding, baptism, funeral, etc … I engage him in the community every day & I try everything he has ever expressed an interest in; swimming lessons (important for safety), boxing, working out, hiking, sledding, horseback riding, camping, glamping, traveling, etc …

He has not always been autistic but he will now always be autistic. There will not be a cure, Not ‘unless it was the vaccines’ but especially if it was the vaccines & mostly; if it is genetics + vaccines. I always have loved him & I always will love him. I will protect him & nurture him the best I know how. I hope that will be enough, I couldn’t live with myself if I let him down.

If your hypothesis is true, then the much greater inflammation produced by the disease itself would be even more conducive to causing autism

Not necessarily. The disease itself must first encounter the integument, the mucous membranes, the respiratory system & the gastric system & without adjuvents. Could there be a crucial process of the immune response that the process of vaccination is bypassing? Is the fact that the antigen is a ‘processed’ pathogen impacting this in any way?

@Christine K:

Could there be a crucial process of the immune response that the process of vaccination is bypassing?

1) This is another antivaccie trope.
By that logic, people who get dirt in wounds through cuts and scrapes and people who get pricked by dirty thorns would be in grave danger as these also “bypass” the immune system. Yet we survive.

Julian,

Being pricked by thorns IS potentaiily a grave danger, as it can cause tetnus. But only if you’re an anti-vaxxer.

Being pricked by thorns IS potentaiily a grave danger, as it can cause tetnus.

Ah, but C. tetani is an obligate anaerobe, so hydrogen peroxide will solve the issue, retrograde axonal transport be damned. I swear to G-d, I read this on MDC over and over again.

@ RJ,

OK, so scientists are ignoring easily observed issues for reasons you can’t even speculate on

They could only easily observe if they had been establishing baselines. I’ve been told here that would be expensive & cumbersome & I can’t find any data so I’m not sure if it’s been done & not published or if it has not been done at all.

There are studies that show abnormal cytokine profiles after vaccination, which would be expected.

There are studies showing abnormal cytokine profiles at a statistically significant higher rate in autistic people than in non autistic people.

I can’t find any data on what the cytokine profiles were for any of these people prior to immunization. That’s what I mean by a baseline; pre-immunization cytokine profiles.

@ RJ,

I’m so distractable. My point above is that if I could find data on pre-immunization cytokine profiles & those autistic people’s profiles were already abnormal before ever being vaccinated; it would seem as though vaccines were at least not responsible for an immune-mediated process in autism.

@ Beth Clarkson,

Such a correlation would be expected to show up only if a genetically vulnerable individuals are a large proportion of the population or the dataset included the genetic information needed to study that specifically. A small vulnerable subset of the population would not necessarily show up as a positive correlation in the studies that have been done

I know. That’s a big hurdle. I think vaccines are only causing problems in that small subset. In those big data studies that do not establish genetic vulnerability; would that be enough to swing the results to non-statistically significant?

@ Beth Clarkson,

Yes. Such correlations are hard to identify because differences related to small subgroups can easily be subsumed in the variability of the overall dataset

Thank you.

That’s why it’s so helpful to assume that the correlations are there, and take mortal offense at any one who dares disagree. It’s like when the tobacco companies claimed that smoking soothed the pains of lung cancer, and that anyone who disagreed was an enemy of freedom and an ivory-tower smarty-pants.

@ Beth Clarkson,

I am actually replying to your post below where you stated:

Find a genetic sequence that correlates strongly with autism in children who received the MMR while those who have that genetic sequence and are unvaccinated rarely have autism

So I poked around for a second & find this:

Important genetic regulators of measles vaccine-induced immunity, such as HLA class I and HLA class II genotypes, single nucleotide polymorphisms in cytokine/cytokine receptor genes (IL12B, IL12RB1, IL2, IL10) and the cell surface measles virus receptor CD46 gene, have been identified and independently replicated

This would be found here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3570049/

Now I’m not trying to get stuck in mod so that’s the only link for this post but on another thread I gave citations for cytokine studies & I swear … that abnormal profiles for those cytokine/cytokine receptor genes (IL’s) were consistently noted with Autism.

I will double check to make sure but would this not be at least a clear indication of where researchers need to look next?

@Christine K:

I think vaccines are only causing problems in that small subset.

Another antivaccine trope, the “susceptible subgroup”.
We have studies that analyse this hypothesis with literally millions of subjects. If MMR vaccines were genuinely causing even a minority of cases these studies would have detected the affect. Yet still they found no signal.

In those big data studies that do not establish genetic vulnerability…

One of the studies had over 14 million subjects. At that level, if there genuinely was a “genetic vulnerability”, surely it would have been detected?
Serious question: what, to you, would be necessary to prove a “genetic vulnerability” to MMR that resulted in autism?

“One of the studies had over 14 million subjects. At that level, if there genuinely was a “genetic vulnerability”, surely it would have been detected?” The MMR vaccine has been extremely well studied. On the other hand, there have also been professionals who worked at the CDC on such studies who have since claimed that signals were found with regard to the MMR but they were not allowed to publish the findings. It doesn’t matter how big the sample is if certain findings aren’t allowed to be made public then the conclusions cannot be trusted.

Further, as I said above, even if the studies were conclusive regarding the MMR, looking at vaccines and ingredients piecemeal does not provide strong evidence that vaccines (plural) have no relationship with autism.

How to prove a genetic vulnerability to MMR that resulted in autism? Find a genetic sequence that correlates strongly with autism in children who received the MMR while those who have that genetic sequence and are unvaccinated rarely have autism. I don’t think this type of data is available at this point, but it might be in the next few decades. How would you answer that question?

@ Julian,

Another antivaccine trope, the susceptible subgroup

I thought the establishment of susceptible subgroups was part of identifying confounders?

what, to you, would be necessary to prove a “genetic vulnerability” to MMR that resulted in autism

I think that first, the cytokine study would have to confirm that pre-vax profiles were normal before immunization & became abnormal post-vaccination.

Then, DNA analysis would have to be done on those children who regressed into autism to look for consistencies. We have those databases that have compiled all those genes ‘associated’ with autism. Why not start with those?

@Beth Clarkson:

[T]here have also been professionals who worked at the CDC on such studies who have since claimed that signals were found with regard to the MMR but they were not allowed to publish the findings.

Orac has already blogged about that. Suffice to say, that is a misrepresentation of what happened.

…looking at vaccines and ingredients piecemeal does not provide strong evidence that vaccines (plural) have no relationship with autism.

This is actually a very dishonest argument. The reason that MMR was suspected of causing autism was because of a temporal correlation between it and when signs of autism first became recognisable. When the OAP verdicts were returned, antivaxxers then claimed it was the vaccine schedule as a whole that caused autism. It was shifting the goalposts.

@Christine Kincaid:

I thought the establishment of susceptible subgroups was part of identifying confounders?

This is a complete non sequitor. The “susceptible subgroup” was another goalpost shift by the antivaccine. The “theory” is that even though there are unvaccinated autistics, some autistics are genetically susceptible to vaccine injuries that end in them developing autism, and that had they not been vaccinated, they would not be autistic.

Like I mentioned, a metaanalysis of over 14 million subjects was done. If this hypothesised susceptible subgroup existed, it would have been detected.

@ Julian Frost “Orac has already blogged about that. Suffice to say, that is a misrepresentation of what happened.”

Yes, Orac has blogged about that. I don’t find his justifications for ignoring those whistleblowers sufficient. I think I expressed my disagreement with him at that time.

“This is actually a very dishonest argument. The reason that MMR was suspected of causing autism was because of a temporal correlation between it and when signs of autism first became recognisable. When the OAP verdicts were returned, antivaxxers then claimed it was the vaccine schedule as a whole that caused autism. It was shifting the goalposts.”

Why do you think that argument is dishonest? BTW, I thought it was Wakefield’s paper that started the whole “MMR” and autism concern. At any rate, shifting the goalposts is not a problem in science though it is annoying in internet conversations. In science, once one hypothesis has been rejected, it’s considered a good thing to move on and test other hypotheses rather than stop researching the issue when the problem still exists and we still don’t know what is causing it.

If there appears to be a temporal correlation between vaccination and autism symptoms and studies on the MMR vaccine haven’t found a correlation, then looking at vaccines plural (most kids get other vaccines at the same visit they get an MMR) is a reasonable next step. If no connection was found would help reassure concerned parents who are hesitant about vaccinating their child often. What is your objection to doing further analysis to answer those questions with evidence rather than assumptions?

@Beth:

Why do you think that argument is dishonest?

If you read the rest of my paragraph, you’d know.

BTW, I thought it was Wakefield’s paper that started the whole “MMR” and autism concern.

No. There were suspicions before Wakefield came along. Wakefield was hired by solicitor Richard Barr to find proof. He didn’t, and cooked his data.

At any rate, shifting the goalposts is not a problem in science…

You’ve just shown you have a woeful understanding of science. Antivaxxers starting from the premise that vaccines cause autism and using ad hoc moves to bolster their case is not the same as refining a hypothesis in light of new evidence.

What is your objection to doing further analysis to answer [if vaccines cause autism] with evidence rather than assumptions?

1) No plausible mechanism of causation.
2) I’ve mentioned that Michelle Cedillo was showing autistic behaviours before her MMR. That would also argue strongly against other vaccines causing her autism.
3) From personal experience, antivaxxers will simply shift the goalposts yet again.

“No. There were suspicions before Wakefield came along.”

What!? Who did not know that? Also, who did not know that between 1988 and 1992 that the UK had three different MMR vaccines. They withdrew two of them in 1992. Also Wakefield’s tiny case series had an American kid with yet another MMR vaccine (introduced in the USA in 1978 after the rubella vaccine strain in the original vaccine approved in 1971 caused medical issues).

So Wakefield’s “study” with just about a dozen kids was on about four different MMR vaccines. Who else sees a problem with that? Is it just me? Someone who did parameter studies where only one variable was changed, and the others remained the same. How hard could it have been to make sure they all had the same MMR vaccine?

Not to mention the testimony of Dr. Nick Chadwick who testified in the US Vaccine Court that the data of “measles in the gut” did not match Wakefield’s published claims.

@ Beth Clarkson,

Showing that there was no effect in such a study would go a long way to convince the vaccine skeptics that the relationship isn’t there

THANK YOU.

I have repeatedly been asked’ ‘What would it take to convince you that vaccines don’t cause autism?’

I narrowed it down to immune-mediated. With a quantifiable parameter. That already had decades of supporting evidence but was oddly missing one key feature: The baseline.

So I answer & the replies range from “That can’t be done’ to ‘That’s been done so many times’ to ‘What about Denmark?’

If they didn’t want to know why did they ask?

@christine kincaid If they didn’t want to know why did they ask? My guess is to develop a personal insult using your response, whatever it is. See my exchange with Chris as an example. 🙂 It can lead to an interesting exchange sometimes.

@ Beth Clarkson,

I don’t understand, though. I’ve not been one to think them obtuse because they are much more valuable if they truly believe vaccines are safe than they would be if they knew they were not,

This is critical, I’m positive they truly believe that vaccines are safe.

It’s the utter abandonment of critical thinking on just this one specific topic that confounds me. It doesn’t seem to permeate the rest of their cognition. It’s only regarding vaccines.

I replied to you above regarding a study that identified genes important to cytokine regulation for the measles vaccine. They are the very same genes, the main ones, actually; identified as associated with autism.

Not one bite. Not even a nibble. The answer remains ‘the Big Data studies would have found it but they didn’t so your wrong’.

The study was by the same author that found a higher prevalence of those very same genetic variants in the Somali community back in 1998 & confirmed it again in 2003. The outbreak in 2016 (i think) was primarily because the Somali community believed the MMR was causing autism. The community was found to have higher rates of autism. The research showed higher prevalence of those genes.

Nobody addressed the community’s concerns. They said the Measles was the fault of antivaxxers. The Measles was not the concern; autism was.

The answer remains ‘the Big Data studies would have found it but they didn’t so you[‘re] wrong’.

Before you can hypothesise why something is happening you must be able to show that it is happening. And I realise you were being rhetorical, but that is the truth. The Big Data studies would have found a susceptible subgroup. As Denice pointed out:

Research is sensitive enough to discern problems that are 1-in-100,000 ( early rotavirus vaccine)

Assuming an autism rate of 1 in 100, if the supposed “susceptible subgroup” existed and was responsible for 1 in 1,000 autistics, the affect would have been picked up. It wasn’t. Therefore, we must assume that the susceptible subgroup is nonexistent.

@Christine Kincaid In case of MMR and autism, there is an actual experiment. Japan get scared after Wakefield’s fraud, and MMR vaccination in Yokohama practically stopped. Result:
No effect of MMR withdrawal on the incidence of autism: a total population study
Hideo Honda Yasuo Shimizu Michael Rutter
The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
First published: 18 February 2005 https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2005.01425

About cytokine profiles:
Specific T Cell Frequency and Cytokine Expression Profile Do Not Correlate with Protection against Tuberculosis after Bacillus Calmette-Guérin Vaccination of Newborns
Benjamin M. N. Kagina, Brian Abel, Thomas J. Scriba, Elizabeth J. Hughes, Alana Keyser, Andreia Soares, Hoyam Gamieldien, Mzwandile Sidibana, Mark Hatherill, Sebastian Gelderbloem, Hassan Mahomed, Anthony Hawkridge, Gregory Hussey, Gilla Kaplan, Willem A. Hanekom
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine Vol. 182, No. 8 | Oct 15, 2010
https://doi.org/10.1164/rccm.201003-0334OC PubMed: 20558627
Received: March 02, 2010 Accepted: June 16, 2010

Actually all vaccines will have a different cytokine profile. Adjuvanted of course, and a virus and a bacteria will cause a quite different reaction.

@ Aarno,

Japan banned the MMR in 1993 due to adverse events, way before Wakefield was on the scene.

It was because they were using the Urabe mumps strain. They went to an MR (measles/rubella) vaccine, and made getting it voluntary. As a result they had an outbreak of measles that killed almost 90 children, and lots of deafness from mumps.

Japan also had several children die from pertussis because they bent over after two SIDS deaths in the 1970s. It turned our pertussis came back to kill lots more babies.

They are now also dealing with the return of Congenital Rubella Syndrome because of using politics instead of science to decide vaccine policy. And the medical care givers in that country are suitably angry at their idiot politicians: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3824286/

In addition the UK dropped both of the MMR vaccines with the Urabe mumps strain in 1992. Wakefield thought he was brilliant in realizing this ten years later. Also when Wakefield told parents to get single vaccines it caused private clinics to illegally import single mumps vaccines, which turned out to be the Urabe strain: https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20141206195204/http://www.mhra.gov.uk/home/groups/pl-p/documents/websiteresources/con2031106.pdf

This is again you bringing out an old anti-vaccine trope but with it missing large chunks of information. Which is actually lying from omission.

Christine said:

<

blockquote> “Japan banned the MMR in 1993 due to adverse events, way before Wakefield was on the scene.”</

.
This is a perfect example of motivated reasoning and rejection of data which doesn’t match your predetermined conclusion. You rejected the information for totally irrelevant reasons. Wakefield has NOTHING to do with the data in the study but your first reaction is to deploy your evidence-blocking shields and fire off a random shot.
.
I would like to think that you have the metacognitive skills to see this, but based on your posts it is very unlikely.

Borked the tags
.
Christine said:
“Japan banned the MMR in 1993 due to adverse events, way before Wakefield was on the scene.”
.
This is a perfect example of motivated reasoning and rejection of data which doesn’t match your predetermined conclusion. You rejected the information for totally irrelevant reasons. Wakefield has NOTHING to do with the data in the study but your first reaction is to deploy your evidence-blocking shields and fire off a random shot.
.
I would like to think that you have the metacognitive skills to see this, but based on your posts it is very unlikely.

Exactly, Opus. She got the whole episode with the Urabe mumps strain completely wrong. Wakefield did not even realize that there were actually different formulations of MMR vaccines. Which is why his small case series published in 1998 could have been on four different vaccine: the three used in the UK before 1992 and the one American with the USA version.

I admit that I hate Wakefield’s gut. However, if you read the paper (do Google Scholar search with the name of the paper) you notice that his paper did have a bad effect: vaccination rates were recovering, and then.
What about answering the main point: MMR vaccination stopped, but autism rates went up.

RJ- yes, but all nets need looking at first before you ascertain their unsuitability for the task, as you are be doing in this case The nets could vary, be repaired or even renewed. Some of these ‘unsuitable ‘ nets may have a surprising ability to catch some unexpected or unknown subjects. Do not throw them away too soon.

Antivaxers like to argue that on the one hand, ASDs are so common that they’re going to swamp the health care system, yet are such a “minor subgroup” that large-scale population studies showing no vaccine-autism link can’t detect them.

You can’t have it both ways.

EXACTLY!
Anti-vaxxers blame vaccines for much or most of the rise in ASD dx since the 1980s. If that number is now more than 1-in-100, 1-in-50?- let’s give them that vaccines are not the exclusive cause but a major one., so hypothetically, if even they are at least 50% of all new cases or a partial cause – that’s a lot of cases. Those shouldn’t be hiding in the data for over 20 years since Andy got them going.
There have been many studies all over the world but these shy results keep on hiding from us.

@ Denice,

Those shouldn’t be hiding in the data for over 20 years

This is assuming that Denmark identifies in the same manner as we do. The two biggest Denmark studies did use the ‘8 year-olds’ parameter but in the US, the CDC uses DOE data for autism rates, not healthcare records, Denmark’s vaccine schedule is different than ours & Denmark’s autism rate is lower. Despite that autism is so genetic; they don’t discuss genetic predispositions.

If something was trying to hide; it wouldn’t have to try very hard,

@ DB,

Antivaxers like to argue that on the one hand, ASDs are so common that they’re going to swamp the health care system

Autism rates are assessed in 8 year olds while children can be covered on a parent’s private insurance until age 26. Even for the kids that are on SSI with automatic medicaid coverage; medicaid remains as the secondary insurance while the private coverage is the primary.

The autistic people ‘swamping’ the health care system right now were born prior to 1993, when the autism rate rose from around 1 in 5,000 in 1975 to 1 in 800 & when those born in 1993 turned 8 years old in 2001, it was about 1 in 250.

When my son (born in 2003) turned 8 in 2011; the rate was 1 in 100 but his age cohort won’t truly ‘swamp’ the system until 2030.

Those big data studies followed kids born during the 1990s to early 2000s, so there will be a discrepancy between their rates & the ‘swamp’

If you want to see a more immediate impact; look at the SPED burden in the educational system.

“We” like to say that because it provides a small measure of comfort knowing that one day; you will not so easily escape the devastation you are so callously ignorant of. As you are now, blithely going about your day, participating in the workforce, consumerism, interpersonal relationships & in society without a care in the world.

I’d say ‘Ask me how my morning has been’ but I already know … you don’t care.

Here’s what research CAN find**

In 1976, after administration of the swine flu vaccine, a small increase in GBS was found- there were 1 or 2 cases more of GBS per 100, 000 people vaccinated.

Later, they found 1 or 2 additional cases per 1,000,000 vaccinated.
GBS itself is a rare illness and it occurs after a fever.
It is more likely to occur from flu than from vaccines. Vaccines prevent flu.

Thus, even if it did cause GBS, it was at a rate of 1 or 2 per 100,000 ( or lower).
RESEARCH FOUND THIS!

** CDC page on Guilain-Barre Syndrome

@ Denice,

RESEARCH FOUND THIS

Ufortunately, GBS found it’s victims first. No do-overs allowed.

@ Chris,

This is again you bringing out an old anti-vaccine trope

No. Japan banned the MMR due to adverse events in 1993. That is known as ‘a fact’.

This strain, that strain & when all else fails; this one is more effective or we changed it to placate parents but at the end of the day; the vaccine was causing too many adverse events. End of story: The vaccines cause unacceptable adverse events at an unacceptable rate, ad nauseum & they continue to do so even after decades of ‘Ooops!’

Antivaxxers don’t want to be the next or God forbid another, Ooops. Period.

Wrong, wrong, wrongety wrong. I even explained to you why it is wrong.

Here is another fact: that political decision caused several deaths.

Here are quotes from the paper I gave you:

“Regarding the reporting system for measles in Japan, through 3,000 sentinel clinics or hospitals for pediatric infectious diseases and 450 clinics for adult measles surveillance, patients with clinically suspected measles were reported to Regional Health Care Centers. In the late 1990s to early 2000s, 20,000–30,000 cases of measles, including several dozen deaths, were reported yearly.”

“According to the immunization gap in younger generations around 30 years of age, an outbreak of rubella was observed in 2011–2013, with some imported cases from Southeast Asia, resulting in congenital rubella syndrome [29]. Rubella is now prevalent (in 2013) among men around 30 years of age who have not been immunized because of the immunization gap.”

“In 1974–1975, two accidental deaths were reported after the administration of DTwP and, thereafter, DTwP was temporarily discontinued. It was reintroduced for children aged 2 years old and older, or the DT vaccine was used instead of DTwP. The number of pertussis patients and pertussis deaths increased because of the low vaccine coverage”

“Although issues on immunization should be discussed based on scientific evidence as a third party, it belongs to the political side at present. It may be hard to listen to the clinical needs of general physicians for the improvement of immunization practice. It should be organized for the purpose of promoting public health with a longitudinal vision for immunization policies and prompt responses to the critical issues, without the influence by political changes.”

Because Japan was relying on political decisions lots of children died. Lying by omission is still lying. Leaving out more relevant facts is lying. Stop lying.

”I’d say ‘Ask me how my morning has been’ but I already know … you don’t care.”

No one needs to ask in order for you to share your ongoing life story.

This is your personal blog, after all.

Because it is all about Christine Kincaid as she shouts “Me, me, me!” to us all day long. Because only her children are important, and we should just ignore all other children. Only her “facts” are relevant, even though she blithely skips over other more pertinent facts, like the disability and death toll that Wakefield and stupid politicians have caused.

@ Chris,

I have to advocate for my child because he is so invalidated by high-profile people in the medical community. Raising a disabled child is hard enough but raising a validated disabled child would be so much easier.

His very existence & my advocacy for him threatens your stupid vaccines, which have been little more than a comedy of errors from the very beginning. A series of unfortunate events. All for less fevers with spots (oh sorry i meant Death Toll).

Here is what I should have said to you from the beginning about how you found The Bandim Health Project’s work so ‘irrelevant’ in a first world country:

If their findings of increased infant mortality from vaccines is not relevant in the US, due to our 1st world status; then their mortality rates from VPDs aren’t relevant here, due to our 1st world status either. Now it is you who cannot have it both ways.

So what? You are not the only one, and your anti-vax campaign is one that harms other children. Especially when you are using a study done in country with a high child mortality rate, that is dangerous pure ignorance: https://knoema.com/atlas/Guinea-Bissau/Child-mortality-rate?compareTo=US

Now compare to Japan: https://knoema.com/atlas/Japan/Child-mortality-rate?compareTo=US

They made the MR vaccine voluntary, and the rate of autism stayed the same. The number of deaths increased.

@ Julian.

This is another antivaccie trope

Well, okay but I didn’t get it from tropers, Tropees? Tropists. Whatever.

Calling an argument a ‘trope’ is a way for others dismiss it without responding to the substance of it.

@ Opus,

Wakefield has NOTHING to do with the data in the study

No shit. I didn’t bring up Wakefield, I was replying to Aarno.

Your ‘reply’ to Aarno didn’t address his main point, which had to do with the study which he linked to.

Your ‘reply’ to me didn’t address the substance of my comment, which had to do with your rejection of data that doesn’t match your preconceptions.

I really didn’t expect you to prove my point in one simple sentence, but you did it.

Congratulations!!

@ Chris,

She got the whole episode with the Urabe mumps strain completely wrong

No I didn’t. It’s completely irrelevant. If ‘a strain’ in the vaccine is causing problems; the vaccine is problematic. After that has been addressed; the vaccine becomes less problematic.

A problematic vaccine caused problems & was banned. This is not hard.

Well it was not the measles portion. Stop lying. Children died because of Japan’s stupid decision. They should have done what the UK did and switch to an MMR vaccine with the Jeryl Lynn strain.

Also they replaced it a measles rubella vaccine, which they made voluntary. That is fact you leave out. Then kids really died: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1177963/

Which says: “In Japan, measles vaccine coverage has remained low, and either small or moderate outbreaks have occurred repeatedly in communities. According to an infectious disease surveillance (2000), total measles cases were estimated to be from 180,000 to 210,000, and total deaths were estimated to be 88 [11,12]. Measles cases are most frequently observed among non-immunized children, particularly between 12 to 24 months.”

Stop lying.

I wonder if they’re going to do a follow-up study on general infections, given what we now know about the increased vulnerability to infection after a course of measles…

@ Chris,

Stop lying

Not only am I not lying; I’m not even talking about Measles. Aarno said Japan was scared off by Wakefield & I refuted it because they banned the vaccine in 1993.

Provaccine Measles discussions are boring. Propagandized provaccine people are interesting.

“Aarno said Japan was scared off by Wakefield …”

So what? There has always been an antivax sentiment in Japan. It was tenuous in the 1990s, they did not need Wakefield. But his lies did not help. So both statements are correct. You would know this if you bothered to read the links I gave you.

And the never mind not even reading the other link that has a long bit on Japan trying to control measles over ten years later. A quote from that paragraph: “The Japanese Government implemented a two-dose strategy in 2006, a combined measles and rubella vaccine (MR) for children at 1 and 6 years of age [17]. Therefore, the elimination of measles was expected. However, patients with measles were increasingly reported in March 2007, and this outbreak subsequently expanded throughout the Japanese districts, peaking in the middle of May.”

Yeah, Wakefield was not the cause, but he sure was not helpful. And still Japan is a perfect example why voluntary measles vaccination is a failure. From the article noting the 88 deaths, this is why they had an increase in vaccination: “As of 1994, an amendment to the Immunization Law made vaccination voluntary and not mandatory.”

Followed by: “The level of vaccine coverage within a community is necessary to develop appropriate measures. Still, no public system in Japan is capable of providing such information on a regular basis.”

Okay, you are not lying. You are just being ignorant. Perhaps you should not speak of things of which you know nothing about. The Japan experience is exactly why it should not be a parent’s choice. That is just too dangerous.

@ Roadsterguy,

You are actually not wrong (so sayeth the antivaxxer). The measles vaccine actually provides positive, non-specific effects & may even be aiding in ‘learned immunity’.

Unfortunately, those studies are coming from countries where people here have pointed out to me that the studies are irrelevant to the U.S. Isn’t that sad; an antivaxxer finds something positive to say about a vaccine but apparently; it’s only positive in Guinea-Bissau.

Additionally unfortunate; these studies come from where the MV is used, not the dumb MMR.

RI, newcomers will find, has its own intelligence test scarcely hidden within its realm which used to be called “the worst kept secret on the internet”..When he moved to a new locale a few years ago, Orac made its solution even easier..Too easy,.

Be that as it may, there are other less explicitly defined ‘intelligence tests’ here, some of which have been discussed by yours truly so I will go there:
— it would be foolhardy- and yes, a sign of ill manners- to argue a particular topic with a person who is an expert in that field especially if you are NOT. Even if the former is not exactly brilliant, people who spend their lives studying and working in an area tend to know what they’re talking about. To chose that path might show a reckless over-estimation of one’s abilities.
— making pronouncements about a particular topic without understanding that it has been the subject of years of discussion – and dozens of posts- would indicate that the newbie hasn’t perused the search box. Actions like these could reveal a shocking impulsivity and general cluelessness: not desirable qualities.
— people at RI can judge a person’s abilities by how they express themselves. If someone claims that they are a PhD or professor and then makes ridiculously simple errors with general information, grammar or basics in science or maths- well, we immediately get the picture. A few of the regulars ( you know who you are) are not native English speakers but still do an incredibly bang up job of communicating.

Any of these conditions inform the regulars to prick up their ears and see if they can spot the poseur/ newbie/ wannabe.
— and never forget, that the lurkers watch everything and learn. They are invincible.

@ Denice,

its own intelligence test scarcely hidden within its realm

The dwarfs are for the dwarfs …

As a group, you are the epitome of the population most vulnerable to propaganda & interestingly; a large number of you seem to exhibit symptoms of vaccine injury. It is curious. And it is sad.

The broad autistic phenotype, which many of you obviously possess; was probably growing in prevalence & necessary for the continued evolution as a highly advanced species but that wasn’t good enough. You want invincibility. Superiority. And as always, it will be your undoing. Apparently; it’s too early for ‘the fittest’ to be represented with brains versus brawn

that the lurkers watch everything and learn. They are invincible

Another Captain Obvious? LOL.

At moments like this, I harken back to words that I first heard in my youth. To be specific, it was the gospel of Saint Melvin, patron saint of day laborers and those who beg for alms at freeway off-ramps.

“And the Saint did speak to the assembled multitude, saying, ‘On that day, every gob shall be smacked. Not a gob shall be left un-smacked. Yea, verily, I say unto you, I shall smite gobs on my left, and gobs to my right. And the number of gobs left un-smacked shall be equal to e to the power of i times pi, plus one.’

“And the doubters said, ‘this is but a cubic cubit of shite.’

“But, lo, when the day came, every gob was smacked, just as the Saint had prophesied.”

You did answer a simple fact: Japan banned MMR, and autism rates rised. A propaganda sufferer is one that rejects facts.

@ Chris,

The Japan experience is exactly why it should not be a parent’s choice. That is just too dangerous

Reposted for the lurkers.

Why? Because 88 that kids actually died from measles that did not get an MR vaccine? You really need to work on your value system. The health of children versus your hate of autism and SIDS, neither of which are caused by vaccines.

Newsflash again: SIDS is more common in premature multiple births — and vaccination helps prevent SIDS. It has come down in that last several years.

Considering you have given birth to over ten kids, including two sets of twins, there is a much higher chance things would go wrong. This includes autism, which often happens to older parents. Here is an interesting thing: in the 1960s one mother who had six kids was kept being told her younger kid was autistic because she was a “refrigerator mother”… she fought back saying her other five kids were fine. She was one of those who fought for actual research and support.

Think about it, Christine, how are you other kids doing? Then think about yourself. You are flooding this blog with your “look at me” and “vaccines bad” posts. Um, what do you expect to accomplish? This is not your personal blog. This is a place you really need to contact, which could provide services for your son: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdhs/find-behavioral-health-help

“vaccination helps prevent SIDS” Could you provide a link to studies that support this claim? Thank you.

Chris says: “I guess this kind of clueless reaction that one can get from someone who is never satisfied with the answers (like vaccines are associated with less SIDS) that you have been given several times. I am now really not surprised that you have actually tried telling epidemiologists how to do their job. That is truly an astronomical ego.” – er no, I haven’t tried telling epidemiologists how to do their job. Rarely is epidemiology an issue that I have concerns about and most studies document the appropriate caveats within the study itself. I have informed authors of some studies of my concerns and suggestions regarding their analysis – which is, after all, my field of expertise. I do find it amusing that you first mockingly tell me to do something and follow that up with a complaint that I have an astronomical ego for having already done so. Not to mention that what you suggested, that an individual with relevant expertise to provide that feedback to published articles, is an important part of the scientific process.

Chris says: “It is not so much to “shut you up”, but to get you to realize how mind numbing your repetitive refrain of trying to tell us why the science showing vaccines are safe and effective is so terribly flawed. It is boring.” – So you continue to read my posts and respond with insults, mockery and disparagement because I’m boring you? Right. Just so you’ll know in the future, I don’t care if my posts bore you and your responses encourage me to continue posting.

Chris says: “You will never be satisfied, so the answer was to tell you to show us how it is supposed to be done by designing the study that you would accept. But, alas! You refuse because this, that, and the other thing. Neglecting to include the real reason: you are not qualified to do epidemiology.”

So, first you ask me what I want. When I answer and tell you what I think should be done, your response is to tell me I should it do such research myself and stop whining about how it hasn’t been done yet. When I state I would be willing to do such research, given the data needed, you complain about the size of the ego you imagine I must have for thinking I could actually do the thing you just told me to go do.

When I ask for links from you to back up a claim you made (“vaccination helps prevent SIDS”) you disparage me for asking, complaining that I’m never satisfied with the answers you give, answers which consist of mockery and disparagement because I did not accept your claims on your word alone – i.e. the word of an anonymous stranger on the Internet who didn’t provide sources that supported the claims he/she/they made.

You provide me with much amusement when you say these things.

@ Chris,

My son is on the Colorado Waiver for services, thanks. It’s not your place to tell me ‘I shouldn’t care about what is causing autism, just go find help’. It’s over because he’s been hurt? Accept it & go away?

Why are you bastions of SBM so eager to tell parents not to worry about what causes autism? You really think that’s going to work?

I’m right & I’m getting closer to proving it every day; while you have near-exhausted your counter-proof resources. You haven’t even been able to respond to my position on cytokine profiles with anything but your tweaked-out epidemiology for over a week. What are you waiting for? Direction? Orders? Someone to tell you what to say?

I have informed authors of some studies of my concerns and suggestions regarding their analysis – which is, after all, my field of expertise.

Well, how has that gone over? Errata? Corrigenda? Acknowledgments? Orders of protection? Don’t be coy.

Most likely it went to the trash bin, because her expertise does not include bio-statistics, epidemiology and the ethics of human studies. Mostly because carbon fiber structures don’t need to comply to the Belmont Report.

Just the love the gall that she wants other to spend money to satisfy her requirements.

What is amusing is that the cries for vaccinated versus unvaccinated studies ignore that is what accomplished with large scare epidemiological studies.

@ Chris:

Sure. Anti-vaxxers create requirements that are unethical ( vaxxed vs unvaxxed) or nearly impossible to administer
because they know that no one will ever do them.
Andy Wakefield didn’t try to replicate his own ( so-called) findings because he knew how it would work out. Others not associated with him who DID try didn’t get the same results.

Perhaps you can recall something ( from10 years ago?):
I remember a German study that somehow compared the unvaccinated to vaccinated AND – possibly in the same study or not- that showed that unvaccinated siblings of kids with autism had higher rates of ASDs.

Yes, it was discussed here: https://respectfulinsolence.com/2011/03/11/for-the-anti-vaccinationists-out-there-t/

Actually, it only showed this: “The evaluation showed that unvaccinated children and adolescents differ from their vaccinated peers merely in terms of the frequency of vaccine preventable diseases. These include pertussis, mumps, or measles. As expected, the risk of contracting these diseases is substantially lower in vaccinated children and adolescents.”

Apparently, it was not good enough. Also neither is the recent study from Denmark studying twins showing autism is genetic. And apparently every study done by Kaiser-Permanente researchers using the Vaccine Safety Database are flawed. Plus all of the recent genetic studies that are being funded by the Simons Foundation are also flawed: https://www.sfari.org/research/funded-publications/

Christine Kincaid: As a group, you are the epitome of the population most vulnerable to propaganda & interestingly; a large number of you seem to exhibit symptoms of vaccine injury. It is curious. And it is sad.

Wow, and you wonder why people here have the general impression that anti-vaxxers dislike autistic people. That’s one of the most jaw-dropping condescending, smug and outrageous statements I have ever seen. Have you ever thought about NOT hating yourself?

@ PGP:

Actually, people have studied propaganda ( and advertising/ “persuasion”) and its workings for a long time: as Hitler was rising, psychologists at Columbia created an institute that focused upon it ( Clyde Miller, 1937) More recently (1990s-today) Drs Barrett, Novella, Hall, Crislip and someone we know.discuss the ways in which false advertising, misinformation and outright lies influence how people make health decisions often to their detriment. Alt med appeals to emotion, the bandwagon effect, testimonials and other means including that old cult reliable- limiting a person’s exposure to contrary information. In contradistinction, sceptics implore readers to look into the inner mechanisms of woo/ alt med/ anti-vax as well as SBM information. Thus we learn how they think, believe and act as well as how they sell their viewpoint to the unwary, as we read their books and websites. Some sceptics at RI may have read more anti-vax lit than prominent anti-vaxxers.

Needless to say, Alties don’t like this and attack sceptics mercilessly: as a matter of fact Dr Novella responds TODAY to one such recent effort (at SBM). Because of his activities and instruction, Orac himself has been the target of alt med proselytisers/ entrpreneurs who know that his writings will affect their bottom line: in fact, one of them has written over 40 attack pieces accusing him of criminal activity ( NN) and another has a shitload of articles insulting him ( PRN) BECAUSE he uncovers how they manipulate people and distort information. If people read Orac, they may not purchase their product line or buy into their theories. Anti-vaxxers also do not have much love for him either because he has written so much uncovering their methods and fallacies- all archived for readers’ convenience.

@ Denise,

How did you say all that without managing to confirm what population is the most susceptible to propaganda?

Alt. med? What a diversion, lol! Alt med does not have the resources to commit mass propagandization. That would be the mainstream media & social media.

Now who was it that was trying to discourage/delete information they didn’t agree with in mainstream & social media? Oh yes. That’s right … The provaccine.

Now who is it actually, who will be the most susceptible to propaganda? Hmm. Let’s see. Oh yes. That’s right … Well educated intellectuals.

Sorry ya’ll but the word ‘Tool” comes to mind.

What Christine keeps referencing is an old political economic theory of propaganda by Noam Chomsky: “the educated are most susceptible to propaganda”. I’m surprised that she didn’t mention Bernays as well.

HOWEVER psychologists have identified other qualities that contradict this- I’m not here to argue. Theories need to be supported by data.

To believe what she says, you’d have to imagine that Drs Barrett, Novella, Orac and the sceptics are simply deluded into accepting whatever the powers-that-be desire without a shred of reflection or self-direction and that people like HER have the absolute unvarnished truth and will supply the answers which neurologists, psychologists and medical researchers have been unable to – that all of these people worldwide are dead wrong and she is right.
That’s the same thing that anti-vax ,mothers and woo merchants rely upon endlessly. Any reference to established research is automatically rejected as propaganda. So then, there is no science, only anti-vax moms and woo.

Christine, you really shouldn’t say such silly things as ‘Alt med does not have the resources…’. Alt med has massive resources. Look up Boiron for a start. Also, you do realise that alt med makes massive use of social media and the internet in general don’t you? What’s the difference between propaganda and the truth? Well, one of those two can be backed up with results, rather than anecdotes and conspiracy theories. Of course the ability to accurately analyse or critique those results requires training, knowledge and experience plus the ability to realise when your knowledge has reached its limit.

On the other hand, you could always just assume that anything you don’t understand is just people making life complicated to hide a big conspiracy. Just like those simple tricks that millionaires don’t what you to know about.

@ NumberWang:

re alt med’s resources

The recent pushback by alt med advocates against sceptics is all about defending their earnings. They have been using social media as a means of selling their ideas, products and to increase their popularity. Facebook, twitter, YouTube et al are all free. Now their usage be limited and they’ll need to set up their own alternatives that they’ll have to pay for. They especially hate Wikipedia because it involves discussion of their backgrounds, methods and information that they’d rather have kept silent. If you look at their websites, much is invective or rants against Google, FB, YouTube, Wikipedia, SBM and sceptics because of newly imposed limits or investigations.

Individuals we write about at RI include high-level earners like Null, Mercola and Adams. Business sites and rational wiki I’ve found -amongst other places- show that their earnings are in the millions ( such as 10-12, 7 and 5, respectively) annually.
They live on estates which are easily found illustrated on the internet. I’ve pointed readers to photos that show the homes of Burzynski, Mercola, Null ( 2 estates), Wakefield ( and his girlfriend’s) and Dr Oz. The last one lives near me, so I’ve seen his palace live.
All of this is easy to find.

Yet they portray themselves as spiritual humanitarians and SBM advocates as money hungry greed monsters, bankrupting poor people. Anti-vax advocates are not as rich but many of them make money because of charities who sponsor them ( Wakefield, Bigtree) or who are paid to administer websites or foundations ( Loe Fisher,Rossi)

@ PGP,

What in the actual heck are you talking about? The broad autistic phenotype is one that I would consider superior, although it likely entails a certain vulnerability to adverse events from vaccines along a neurological lifetime. BAP, the phenotype, becomes pathologically autistic after suffering an adverse event. For that matter; those here with ASD who are communicating well & were able to engage in higher education are likely not vaccine injured but BAP.

Vaccine injury encompasses so much more than autism.

Japan banned MMR vaccine, and autism rates went up. Certainly a good reason to conclude that MMR vaccination does not cause autism. Care to comment ?
You can compare Finland’s vaccination schedule (practically similar to US) and its autism rate (about fourth). I posted links before. Care to comment ?

@ Aarno,

Please note my new reply (just a few minutes ago) above to Beth Clarkson? What is the weak link in my thinking (besides that it came from my brain)?

Please note my new reply (just a few minutes ago) above to Beth Clarkson

Beth is no Roger Stone.

@ Narad,

You’ve really worn this line into the ground

It’s a good representation of how I see the world around me. Especially when I am here.

Vaccine injury encompasses so much more than autism.

As a group, you are the epitome of the population most vulnerable to propaganda & interestingly; a large number of you seem to exhibit symptoms of vaccine injury. It is curious. And it is sad.

A new condition caused by vaccines is discovered; it turns people into “sheeple.” How very interesting.

I suddenly had to think of Pink Floyd – Sheep.

I found anonther version as well, but it looks a bit to adult.

”Vaccine injury encompasses so much more than autism.”

But all of it is so easily cured by baking soda and apple cider vinegar.

So a major example of vaccine injury is the third grad science fair volcano

Well no. Vaccine injury is the outcome of the vaccine science which never advanced past the third grade science fair.

@ DB,

And you; are a doctor, Would you say that to a parent of a child with cancer? Cystic Fibrosis? Cerebral Palsy?

Actually, I bet you would; if vaccines had ever been suspected of causing those. Regarding cancer; they did, which is why it is SO important that you 1. Believe that vaccines are safe 2. Never be allowed to know otherwise.

You are the very last person who will know. A doctor. Probably 99% of the provaccine here can’t know.

@ Denice,

Erm; no. I don’t have the truth. I’m just willing to see it. It’s really not some assumed self-importance. I’m sorry but it’s just not. I wouldn’t call those who you call ‘skeptics’ delusional; it’s just that they aren’t skeptics.

I am a vaccine skeptic. You all here accept without question.

Noam Chomsky Yup.

Anti-vaxx trolls are starting to remind me of logic gates.

Inverter: For every input its output is the opposite.
Latch: Output is the first data it receives and it never again changes state.
OR: For any one input that’s true, it’s all true.
NOR: For any one input that’s true, it’s all false.
Shift register: When triggered all of its bits move to the right.
One shot multi-vibrator: Triggers once then goes silent.
Diode: Only passes positive signals.
DRAM: If data is not continuously refreshed it forgets everything.
ROM: State never changes.
EEPROM: Fails when exposed to sunlight.
Flip flop: Need I say more?

@ Julian,

The “susceptible subgroup” was another goalpost shift by the antivaccine. The “theory” is that even though there are unvaccinated autistics, some autistics are genetically susceptible to vaccine injuries that end in them developing autism, and that had they not been vaccinated, they would not be autistic

I may be saying it wrong.

Some people have a lot of the genetic variants associated with autism but they are not autistic. Others have few but are autistic.

There are genes associated with diabetes, yet one could mitigate the risk of diabetes by lifestyle. Would they not still be a ‘susceptible subgroup”?

Most autistic people have been vaccinated but then again; so have ‘most people’. At least the ones studied. They are all from 1st world countries. I think the unvaccinated but autistic could be explained by maternal immune activation.

I wonder how may adults with autism there are in 3rd world countries. Or children, for that matter. I’m sure someone will say they all died from VPDs.

I saw that, but thought that if she wouldn’t come close to understanding if she bothered to read it. I have recently seen that the rotavirus vaccine is being associated with protecting against type 1 diabetes, which makes the last paragraph significant:

“Besides Coxsackievirus B4, several other viruses have also been associated with type 1 diabetes, including rotavirus, mumps virus, cytomegalovirus, and rubella virus. The premise that viral infection could act as a trigger in a cascade leading to insulin deficiency is intriguing. However, more in vivo studies in outbred mice are needed to clearly define possible causative mechanisms of these viral infections in the context of diabetes and host immunity”

Well there goes the “vaccines cause diabetes” trope. But we know it will still be dragged out.

I wonder how may adults with autism there are in 3rd world countries [sic]. Or children, for that matter.

Yah. Instead of “wondering,” perhaps you could spend five minutes or so to find a relevant paper. But I guess nattering around on various blogs is Important Business.

Interesting: in that paper about how the US and Iran vary in parents’ ideas about causation of ASDs.

Now the rates may reflect the purer, cleaner environment/ healthier lifestyle in those countries OR just the lack of availability of dxs.
Oh, I WONDER which one!**

** I’m JOKING of course.

@ Narad,

My take on that article:

Not only was the sound of hoof-beats actually Zebras but also some Wildebeests, Bison, a smattering of other Bovidae & even a few mythological Pans thrown in for good measure. Absolutely no horses to be found

Christine Kincaid: Sorry ya’ll but the word ‘Tool” comes to mind.

Says the performing seal.

@Julian Frost: If you read the rest of my paragraph, you’d know. I did read it. I wasn’t clear on what you felt was dishonest.

You’ve just shown you have a woeful understanding of science. Antivaxxers starting from the premise that vaccines cause autism and using ad hoc moves to bolster their case is not the same as refining a hypothesis in light of new evidence.

Speculation about a link with vaccination and eliminating one possible vaccine doesn’t negate the hypothesis either. I disagree that it is not part of science to continue exploring that area to better understand why some children have bad reaction and to try and identify them so they and their parents don’t suffer as a result.

1) No plausible mechanism of causation. Determining the exact mechanism of causation can take decades after the relationship is established via correlations.
We are deliberately stimulating the immature immune system which can have a variety of effects in avenues that are not completely understood yet . We don’t know what causes autism. I think it’s an avenue of research worth exploring.

2) I’ve mentioned that Michelle Cedillo was showing autistic behaviours before her MMR. That would also argue strongly against other vaccines causing her autism.

I don’t follow your logic here. But even if I grant you that vaccines didn’t cause her autism, it does not follow that vaccines never cause autism. It’s a complex condition without a known cause at this point.

3) From personal experience, antivaxxers will simply shift the goalposts yet again.

It’s not the anti-vaxxers you are trying to convince. Let them shift the goalposts however they want. That’s only relevant to internet arguments. It’s hesitant parents you are trying to convince to vaccinate their kids. Right?

But even if I grant you that vaccines didn’t cause her autism, it does not follow that vaccines never cause autism.

I knew I should have gotten a bottle of Lagunitas Dark Swan ale at the store this evening.

It’s not the anti-vaxxers you are trying to convince. Let them shift the goalposts however they want. That’s only relevant to internet arguments. It’s hesitant parents you are trying to convince to vaccinate their kids. Right?

Of course, hesitant parents wouldn’t possibly use the Web and encounter the same antivaccine cruft over and over again. Right?

I’m sure they do encounter that information on the web. Are you trying to persuade the hesitant to vaccinate their children or win and internet arguments with ardent anti-vaxxers? If the former, then you don’t need to worry about whether their concerns or “goalposts” have changed over the decades.

Are you trying to persuade the hesitant to vaccinate their children or win and internet arguments with ardent anti-vaxxers?

These are not mutually exclusive options.

Beth, you are now being thoroughly disingenuous.

2) I’ve mentioned that Michelle Cedillo was showing autistic behaviours before her MMR. That would also argue strongly against other vaccines causing her autism.

I don’t follow your logic here.

Going to a previous comment of yours:

If there appears to be a temporal correlation between vaccination and autism symptoms and studies on the MMR vaccine haven’t found a correlation, then looking at vaccines plural (most kids get other vaccines at the same visit they get an MMR)

If Michelle Cedillo was showing autistic behaviours before her MMR Vaccination, she was showing autistic behaviours before ALL her 15-18 month vaccinations. That would argue strongly against vaccines causing autism.

Well, then it has to be the vaccines the mother, or the father received, because it’s always the vaccines. Repeat, it’s always the vaccines. Vaccines work their evil magic through generations. Even if it is proven genetic, it’s still the vaccines, because they change the genes.
Reasoning with Cristine and Beth seems to be a lost cause, because they know it has to be the vaccines and nothing will change their minds.

We have a Dutch expression, that would be translated: “One fool can ask more questions, than many wise men can answer.”

That doesn’t logically follow without additional assumptions and further information. Were those her first vaccinations? Is vaccination presumed to be the only possible environmental trigger for autistic behavior? Unless you want to assume the answer to both questions is yes, your logic is faulty. Think about smoking and lung cancer. If you could find an example of someone who showed signs of lung cancer prior to taking up smoking, would that negate the hypothesis that smoking can cause lung cancer?

@Renate: they know it has to be the vaccines and nothing will change their minds.

I can’t speak for Christine, but no, I don’t know anything of the sort. What I know is that the evidence I’ve looked at is not sufficient to conclude no relationship exists and the necessary analysis that would make that conclusion possible hasn’t been published. I have uncertainty regarding the conclusion that they are not related, not certainty that they are related.

I can’t speak for Christine

Given that she seems to have bailed, you’re effectively acting as her stand-in.

Beth, your response is even more disingenuous.

If you could find an example of someone who showed signs of lung cancer prior to taking up smoking, would that negate the hypothesis that smoking can cause lung cancer?

The proportion of smokers who developed lung cancer was an order of magnitude larger than the proportion of nonsmokers who developed lung cancer. The proportion of unvaccinated autistics matches the proportion of vaccinated autistics. W.R.T vaccines and autism we have looked, and looked, and looked. There is no “there”, there.

@ Julian Frost The proportion of smokers who developed lung cancer was an order of magnitude larger than the proportion of nonsmokers who developed lung cancer. The proportion of unvaccinated autistics matches the proportion of vaccinated autistics. W.R.T vaccines and autism we have looked, and looked, and looked. There is no “there”, there.

The analogy was to show the problem with your logic of “Michelle Cedillo was showing autistic behaviours before her MMR. That would also argue strongly against other vaccines causing her autism.” It’s evidence against that hypothesis in the same way that non-smokers developing lung cancer would be evidence against the hypothesis that smoking causes lung cancer. It’s very weak rather than strong evidence. The relative proportion of the population affected does not affect the logic of what can be concluded from a counter-example, so I think your claim of disingenuousness regarding this analogy is as specious as your previous claim of dishonesty on my part.

I’ve already discussed the reasons why I find the current research inadequate to support the claim that There is no “there”, there. so we’ll just have to disagree on that point. BTW let me reiterate, as many posters have confused these two positions: a lack of certainty regarding the lack of a relationship does not equate to certainty that the relationship does exist. It’s the difference between saying the truth is unknown versus claiming one knows the truth.

It’s the difference between saying the truth is unknown versus claiming one knows the truth.

Alpha, power, and the difference to be detected, Beth.

”Beth, you are now being thoroughly disingenuous.”

Dang,did the sun rise in the east again?

@ Chris:

Thanks. That’s part of it. I’ll try to find the sibling study: unvaccinated siblings of kids with ASDs autism rate

In other news….
Guess what SBM and sceptics are being described as NOW?
Skepticism and the New Scientific Inquisition PRN.fm ( written and spoken) Today
Because NOBODY expects…..
Dr Novella will be pleased

I found this: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5875314/

It was done by Kaiser Permanente using the Vaccine Safety Datalink and their own medical databases. It turns they are worried that the younger siblings are vulnerable to vaccine preventable diseases. From the conclusions: “This large multisite study found that children with ASD and their younger siblings were undervaccinated compared with the general population, suggesting that they are at increased risk of vaccine-preventable diseases.”

There might a similar from Germany using KIGGS, ah wait… here it is: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30788538

That is in English. The full text article is in German.

@ Chris:

Thanks again: that’s more of it

In addition, I found – via Vincent Ianelli at verywellhealth:
a study by Jain et al ( 2015) JAMA
with 95K Ss-
no association between vaccination with MMR and ASD ( vaxxed vs unvaxxed) despite elder sibling’s ASD status both groups !%
but greater risk of ASD if sibling had ASD, 7% because you know, genetics
I hope I said that correctly. Maybe Julian refers to this study above

-btw- so glad I don’t have to try to read German

Oh, wait. You actually have pay forty dollars to see the whole paper.

The one written in German?

Can’t tell. It may in both on the same page. Still not going to pay forty dollars to find out.

The figure legend, per G—le Translate:

Vaccination rates for the primary immunization against tetanus, pertussis and hepatitis B and at least one or at least two measles vaccines and for at least one booster dose of tetanus (in percent with 95% confidence interval) compared to KiGGS (2003-2006) and KiGGS Wave 2 (2014-2017) for 3- to 10 year-olds (a) and for 11- to 17-year-olds (b). GI primary immunization

For anyone in need of some diversion/respite:

The Stephans’ retrial was indeed adjourned but has resumed. Once again the Stephans were seeking a dismissal, but I’ve seen no report of the Court’s position (presumably negative, since I would expect the CBC would report if they’d been successful.

The decisions of the Associate Chief Justice Rooke of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench regarding the hearings and his rulings as case management judge prior to the start of the re-trial have just gone up at CanLII. Like most things from Rooke ACJ, they make interesting reading.
http://canlii.ca/t/j1vgf

@ Renate,

Well, then it has to be the vaccines the mother, or the father received, because it’s always the vaccines

Except that is one thing I have never said.

You didn’t perhaps, but others did, because it has to be vaccines, no matter how much proof there is, it is genetic. It has to be the vaccines, because vaccines are bad, to you and your kind of people, who endanger vunerable children.

It’s ironic that antivaxxers point to smoking and lung cancer as their vindication, when they’re the ones making the air unsafe to breathe.

@ Renate,

because it has to be vaccines

It could be the pathogen, via maternal immune activation.

@ Renate,

your kind of people, who endanger vunerable children

So cute; the little chants & incantations of the provaccine.

So cute; the little chants & incantations of the provaccine.

G-d, the irony coming from Ms. “MIA and Healthy User Bias.”

Smoking does not cause all lung cancers, “only” 3/4 of them. Notice difference between hypothesis smoking causes all lung cancers and smoking causes lung cancer, latter supported by epidemiological studies.
There is a paper about vaccination and SIDS:
Do immunisations reduce the risk for SIDS? A meta-analysis
M.M.T. Vennemann, M. Höffgen, T. Bajanowski, H.-W. Hense, E.A.Mitchell
Vaccine Volume 25, Issue 26, 21 June 2007, Pages 4875-4879
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2007.02.077

@ Aarno,

Do immunisations reduce the risk for SIDS

Healthy-user bias. Did you know that neonates in the NICU are not vaccinated?

I’m also mildly interested in how you managed to pull “healthy-user bias” out of your ass regarding a meta-analysis of nine case–control studies.

“Healthy user bias” would mean that non-vaccinated are less healthy. Is this point you want to make ? It would mean that vaccination is fully voluntary, too.

@ Narad,

G-d, the irony coming from Ms. “MIA and Healthy User Bias

Well, it’s not ‘trope’.

@ Aarno,

Healthy user bias” would mean that non-vaccinated are less healthy. Is this point you want to make ? It would mean that vaccination is fully voluntary, too

That’s sort of my question too. See, I read about healthy-user bias first from the Bandim Health Project’s research & initially, it did not register with me that it could apply to a first-world country. In Guinea-Bissau the most frail infants are not vaccinated on the same schedule as the healthy infants are, so as to not ‘overwhelm’ their system.

Obviously, there was a higher mortality rate amongst the frail infants & less amongst the healthy, which led to a confounding of the results as vaccinated = healthy. When the proper adjustments were made, the results showed clearly & repeatedly; that the DTP was correlated with a higher mortality rate in females, while the MV led to decreased mortality of both males & females.

Then I remembered my daughter. Born at 29 weeks, a twin & only 2 lbs 14 oz. (her twin, a boy; 2 lbs 13 oz). They were in the NICU for 8 weeks & not vaccinated until the morning of their discharge with the HepB, which normally would have been given at birth.

I remember feeling upset that they were vaccinating them & pushing them out the door. If it was compromising them to vaccinate for all those weeks while receiving 1:1 nursing care, with neonatal code teams within feet of them; why would they wait to compromise them before sending them home?

Was that a way of saying that vaccination was too dangerous to be done on a 2 lb infant (versus a 4 lb infant)?

The first DTP was given at age 3 months & 24 days (instead of 2 months) & she was gone by morning. They too, were compromised. If they had ever been statistically included in a study; they would have skewed the results.

So no, the non-vaccinated are not less-healthy … the less-healthy; have not been vaccinated.

Vaccines are administered in the NICU, as I pointed out in the “full of shit” link above. Christine just takes whatever her experience was and attaches a universal quantifier to it.

@ Aarno,

The majority of infants in the NICU are preemies & prematurity is considered a confounder in SIDS epidemiology. First-world population epidemiology studies will not include them.

In third-world mortality studies; the bias was found quickly.

The majority of infants in the NICU are preemies & prematurity is considered a confounder in SIDS epidemiology.

Which is why it’s explicitly addressed, e.g., here and here?

They were in the NICU for 8 weeks & not vaccinated until the morning of their discharge with the HepB, which normally would have been given at birth.

So you promptly generalized your experience to the known universe?

Of course. Her personal experience trumps all the research on 100s of thousands of people by different groups of researchers in several countries around the world. Just because.

@ Narad,

Vaccines are administered in the NICU, as I pointed out in the “full of shit” link above. Christine just takes whatever her experience was and attaches a universal quantifier to it

I know what your link shows but my twins were born in a hospital system that I also worked in for years & NICU patients are not vaccinated on schedule due the discrepancy between adjusted age & chronological age, with the exception of infants born to HBsAg-positive mothers.

This creates a statistically similar situation with the third-world country occurrence of healthy-user bias.

I know what your link shows but my twins were born in a hospital system that I also worked in for years & NICU patients are not vaccinated on schedule due the discrepancy between adjusted age & chronological age

Yes, you have just confirmed my point.

This creates a statistically similar situation with the third-world country occurrence of healthy-user bias.

“Statistically similar”? What on Earth do you think that even means? Recall that even Beth bailed on providing alpha, power, and threshold.

@ Squirrelite,

Of course. Her personal experience trumps all the research on 100s of thousands of people by different groups of researchers in several countries around the world. Just because

You realize that the topic of vaccines changes your personality & causes you to speak to people in a manner that is normally beneath you; right?

@ Squirrelite,

Since most of the children in that study died of malaria or diarrhea, how does that affect the risk of SIDS

It didn’t affect the rate of SIDS in a third-world country; the DTP negatively affected mortality by increasing susceptibility to other pathogens. But they found that delaying the DTP & instead providing early vaccination with vaccines that decrease mortality to other pathogens, such as the BCG & the MV; greatly reduced all infant & child mortality.

Even with the easily repeated results & a formal appeal to the WHO; the response has been ‘watchful waiting’. While kids die; they watch.

Are you telling me that a vaccine that leads to higher mortality in an already high mortality country is going to be an improvement on mortality in a first world country; when biomarkers of inflammation are found in the brains of babies dead from SIDS?

Increased susceptibility to other pathogens How so?

Biomarkers of inflammation Does this really require spoonfeeding?

Notice TB vaccination. Things are very different in Guinea-Bissau, no such vaccination in developed countries.

@Christine,

No, they found that when they vaccinated against DTP and BCG and MMR, the child mortality rate was reduced. And, as I pointed out, there wasn’t much difference in the actual number of deaths by age 5 in the two groups.

And none of those deaths was ascribed to SIDS. They weren’t even listing it on cause of death.

The World response has been that this is an interesting possibility, but it needs to be confirmed before we stop protecting children against diseases like pertussis that killed 89,000 people in 2015. And diphtheria is a mostly forgotten disease because of the vaccine. We would like to keep it that way.

I can still chew solid food pretty well, but if you want to support your claim with evidence, you need to link to the evidence. And it should demonstrate your claim, not just discuss possibilities for future research.

@ Terrie,

they’re the ones making the air unsafe to breathe

If that’s how you feel; get vaccinated.

Hey, guess what, members of my family have alpha one and had to get a damn measles titer because of people like you. Excuse me for not wanting members of my family at risk for having their lungs dissolve.

@ Terrie,

members of my family have alpha one

Hey guess what, my child died from a vaccine & I don’t GAF! It’s somebody else’s turn to take one for the herd!

Your family member could self isolate. Too bad I didn’t get options.

Oh wait. Hey, guess what, I’m a nonresponder to the MV & I don’t think it’s your responsibility to take care of me!

Here’s the thing. You’ve spewed so much nonsense, I don’t believe you. You will say anything to make other people look bad, but you’re not always consistent. And due to your refusal to put forth anything more than your story and your “gut feeling” that somewhere, somehow, there is a hidden truth about vaccines, once doubt creeps in, you have nothing.

In my case, it doesn’t matter if people believe me that alpha one occurs in my family. Thirty seconds of googling with show it’s a real disease and that you and your ilk are dangerous to those with the condition.

@ Terrie,

it doesn’t matter if people believe me that alpha one occurs in my family

I have no reason to not believe you.

you and your ilk are dangerous to those with the condition

I’m a nonresponder. I have been vaccinated at least 5 times with the MMR. I was born overseas in a country where Measles was endemic & I had to have titers done before I could enter the US. There is nothing that can be done to keep your family safe from me. My children have unfortunately been vaccinated so they pose no threat to you.

It is compulsory law that threatens my children’s lives as the bio sibling of a child who died within 24 hours of receiving her DTP. Being the bio sibling is not enough to be given a medical exemption.

You know that song about military veterans that goes something like:

All Gave Some, Some Gave All

Well, my daughter gave all to protect you & your ilk that cannot be compelled to self-isolate. You who insist everybody else protect you.

It’s someone else’s turn; you cannot ask any more from me. Especially given how those like me are treated. I feel no more of a sense of obligation to you than the Vietnam Vets did when they returned from the war only to be booed by the very citizens they risked so much to protect.

And @ Terrie, again;

due to your refusal to put forth anything more than your story

I don’t know if there is a way to search my posting history here but if there was, you would indeed see that I have put a lot of effort into ‘putting forth’ more.

@ Narad,

Given that she seems to have bailed, you’re effectively acting as her stand-in

As I’m sure you have now noticed with disappointment; I did not ‘bail’; I took Luke camping. But this painting all antivaxxers with the same brush needs to stop. Nobody can answer for me & I can’t answer for anybody else.

Meaning; there is no such thing as ‘trope’. Provided that the science (for the first time in recorded history ever) is settled, it should be quite easy to ditch the ‘trope’ crutch with a SB reply.

I’m catching up on comments in this thread and have a few responses, but this will be my last post in this thread. Thanks to all who have contributed.

*Beth: The data needed [for a vaccinated unvaccinated study] exists in other studies and in the databases the CDC maintains. It’s not a difficult analysis. Yet such a study has never been published…looking at vaccines and ingredients piecemeal does not provide strong evidence that vaccines (plural) have no relationship with autism.

Chris: stop complaining about the over a dozen actual epidemiological studies that do not show the results you want. You are just like those parents in the PTA that want things done, but do not want to lift a finger to get it done….Beth Clarkson, I nominate you to do that vaulted comparison of vaccinated to non-vaccinated children.

Beth: I don’t have the $ to spare to pay the cost of getting IRB approval from an independent IRB board. If you are willing to fund getting IRB approval in order to access the data, I’ll donate my time and expertise to do the study.

Chris: Don’t whine at us anymore about the lack of a study that meets your very stringent carbon fiber structure criteria without doing your own human study.

Chris: You have to admire an ego so big that she cannot tell she is being mocked

Chris: Just the love the gall that she wants other to spend money to satisfy her requirements.*

@Chris – Certainly a lot of hubris on display in that exchange. You mockingly issue a challenge, I respond as if you were serious and indicate I’m willing to meet that challenge and ask that you put your money where your mouth is. You take offense at my taking your mockery seriously, responding with insults because I’m willing to do the work if you’ll provide the $ needed. I find this behavior humorous. As long as you continue to amuse me with your insults, I’ll continue to respond to your posts.

@ Aarno Syvänen: Thank you for supporting the point I was attempting to make with the smoking and lung cancer analysis. The “difference between hypothesis smoking causes all lung cancers and smoking causes lung cancer” is analogous to the difference between hypothesis that vaccination causes all cases of autism versus vaccination causes some cases of autism. Thank you for the link as well. I’ll take a look at that study.

@NARAD: An alpha of 5%, power of 95% and a threshold (minimum difference the experiment can detect) of 0.1%. This would mean that if 1% of children are autistic, and 1 in 10 of those are due to vaccination (10 in 1,000 children are diagnosed with autism and 1 of those 10 developed autism as a result of vaccination), the study would detect that difference in autism rates between vaccinated and unvaccinated children 95% of time. If the null hypothesis failed to be rejected, we would be 95% certain if a difference existed in autism rates, that difference would be less than 0.1%. The sample size needed to make this detection isn’t always astronomical, but when confounding variables are included in the analysis, the sample size needed to achieve high power rises with as additional variables included in the model.

Antivaxxers certainly claim that all cases of autism are caused by vaccines. I am waiting an example of autism case not caused by vaccines.
In Japan, MMR vaccine was discontinued and autism cases went up. If MMR cause even some cases of autism, rate should have gone down

@ Aarno,

I am aware of some unvaccinated autistics. All the mothers reported having had influenza during their pregnancy & they are all high-functioning.

For some diversion (monoclonal antibodies v. therapeutic vaccines):

CBC ran an article on two recently tested ebola therapies that seem to be very effective. One is apparently a single monoclonal antibody, the other is a mixture of three monoclonal antibodies.

Question for thems as knows: Do such things fall into the the category of “therapeutic vaccines?” I can’t find anything that suggests that they do, but most of what I can find on therapeutic vaccines are hand-wavy rambilings and nothing resembling a formal definition or categorization.

Question for thems as knows: Do such things fall into the the category of “therapeutic vaccines?”

The VSV-vectored vaccine is not, to my knowledge, used in those who are already infected, so that wouldn’t count. Measles vaccine for lymphoma would, I suppose.

@Christine Kincaid If influenza causes autism, everybody should have it. Everybody has had flu.

Vaccine schedule is studied here (and against saline placebo, too):
Britni Curtis , Noelle Liberato , Megan Rulien , Kelly Morrisroe , Caroline Kenney , Vernon Yutuc , Clayton Ferrier , C. Nathan Marti , Dorothy Mandell , Thomas M. Burbacher , Gene P. Sackett , and Laura Hewitson
Examination of the Safety of Pediatric Vaccine Schedules in a Non-Human Primate Model: Assessments of Neurodevelopment, Learning, and Social Behavior
Environmental Health Perspectives Vol. 123, No. 6
Published:1 June 2015 https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1408257
It was funded, amongst others, by Safeminds. You may know them.

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