I've mentioned Dr. Paul Thomas before as a rising star in the antivaccine movement. A month and a half later, it occurs to me that I haven't given proper due to his co-author, Jennifer Margulis, as an equally prominent rising star in the same crank movement. Here, I rectify that oversight.
Orac has heard some really silly arguments by antivaxers against vaccines in his time blogging. Indeed, he thought he had heard them all. He was wrong. Did you know that the Bible didn't mention vaccines? And that pharmaceuticals are sorcery? Brittney Kara tells us so!
Autism Awareness Month is nearly upon us again. Unfortunately, the antivaccine movement has found a new way to ruin it by hijacking autism awareness to promote their antivaccine pseudoscience and quackery, along with contempt for autistic people. Behold #SaidNoMother and #SaidNoFather.
One of the central myths of the antivaccine movement is that vaccines cause autism. Consequently, researchers looked at vaccination rates in children with autism spectrum disorder and their younger siblings and found both groups were significantly less likely to be fully vaccinated. Thanks, antivaxers.
Recently, Dr. Peter Hotez characterized antivaccine groups as "hate groups," and antivaxer Barbara Loe Fisher took great umbrage, accusing Dr. Hotez and the public health community of "bullying" parents of "vaccine-injured" children. Did Dr. Hotez go too far? And what about Fisher's hypocrisy, given that Dr. Hotez has received death threats credible enough to warrant police protection and Fisher herself has sued her critics, in effect trying to bully them into silence?
A year ago, I wrote about some bad science from Italy from Stefano Montanari and Antonietta Gatti, in which an electron microscope was used and abused to claim that vaccines are contaminated with horrific "nanoparticles." A year later, Gatti and Montanari's homes, labs, and offices were raided and their computers seized in an investigation. Not surprisingly, the antivaccine movement has spun a conspiracy theory out of the raid. The real explanation is likely to be much less sinister.
For credibility, the antivaccine movement needs antivaccine pediatricians, such as Dr. Jay Gordon and Dr. Bob Sears. Meet the pediatrician who is the latest rising star in the antivaccine movement, Dr. Paul Thomas. He even claims to have his very own "vaxed vs. unvaxed" study.
In the US, there is an unfortunate attitude that the parents own their children. When the parents are religious zealots belonging to a church like the Followers of Christ, which believes in prayer instead of medicine, the results are tragic. Unfortunately, we as a society value religious freedom more than children.