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Antivaccine nonsense Autism Medicine Popular culture Science

Why do cranks favor ad hominem attacks over scientific arguments? They work!

Cranks, quacks, and pseudoscientists favor ad hominem attacks against scientists over arguments based in science. Unfortunately, new research suggests that ad hominem attacks against scientists making a scientific claim can be as effective as attacks based on science and evidence.

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Antivaccine nonsense Medicine Politics Popular culture

Antivaxers are targeting minorities with their misinformation and conspiracy theories

Orac has been writing about this a long time. Finally, the mainstream media are noticing how antivaxers target minorities with their message.

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Antivaccine nonsense Autism Medicine Movies Popular culture Pseudoscience Quackery Religion

The Pathological Optimist: When “not taking sides” over Andrew Wakefield means taking a side

The Pathological Optimist is a recently released documentary by Miranda Bailey about Andrew Wakefield that I got a chance to see. In interviews and in the film’s promotional materials, Bailey takes great pains to emphasize that she “doesn’t take a side” about Wakefield. Unfortunately, her film demonstrates that, when it comes to pseudoscience, “not taking a side” is taking a side, and that a film’s bias is often more evident in what is not shown and told than in what is.

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Antivaccine nonsense Autism Medicine Skepticism/critical thinking

Del Bigtree wastes the CDC’s time during the COVID-19 pandemic with an abusive FOIA lawsuit

In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, antivaxxer Del Bigtree wastes the CDC’s time with an abusive FOIA request and lawsuit to dishonestly claim that there’s no evidence some vaccines don’t cause autism.

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Antivaccine nonsense Bad science Medicine Politics Popular culture Television

Sharyl Attkisson is back, and she’s flogging a new-old antivaccine conspiracy theory

As a reporter with a decade-long history of credulously reporting antivaccine conspiracy theories and pseudoscience as news, Sharyl Attkisson is an old “friend” of the blog. This time, she’s reporting a new-old conspiracy theory about the Autism Omnibus proceedings. I say “new-old” because she tries to mightily to produce a new version of the central conspiracy theory of the antivaccine movement.