Respectful Insolence

Has it really been one whole year?

One whole year of antivaccinationist lunacy, that is.

Sorry, that’s one birthday I won’t be sending good wishes over. No other blog brings home the stupid when it comes to vaccines with such regularity. It’s a veritable black hole of intellect there, from which no science and reason is ever seen to escape.

Comments

  1. #1 Zeno
    November 11, 2008

    I went over to AOA to check out the post you linked to and browsed through the comments. Lots of praise for the fearless job AOA does in the face of scientific evidence to the contrary. One commenter said that contributors to AOA make it possible to “anecdotally prove” their pet theories about autism. That a high standard for proof, isn’t it? Anecdotal proof. Sheesh.

  2. #2 Jennifer
    November 11, 2008

    Whenever the autism/vaccine link comes up for debate, I always think of the “rock that keeps tigers away” from The Simpsons.

    “The Bear Patrol must be working like a charm”
    “That’s specious reasoning, Dad”
    “Well, thank you, honey”
    “That’s like me saying this rock keeps tigers away”
    “Well, how does it work?”
    “It doesn’t work. It’s a stupid rock.”
    “Uh-huh”
    “But I don’t see any tigers around here, do you?”

    Correlation does not equal causation. When you look back and notice when “autism” as a disorder was first defined in the DSM, and the awareness campaign that has lead more doctors to diagnose it (as well as autism spectrum disorders) more and more frequently… well, that happened to occur about the time vaccines became more effective.

    Rightly so on the awareness campaigning, since the earliest intervention is the best. Unlike ADHD/ADD, I don’t believe early autism diagnosis includes medication, so the early intervention can’t really hurt if the disorder is over diagnosed.

    However, any more measles outbreaks amongst kids because of this hysterical unscientific mentality is unfortunate, to say the least. From what I remember about that outbreak, a few children who were vaccinated succumbed as well – but of course, the mentality is that even if vaccines are important, if *my* child skips it, everyone else is covered, so what’s the harm?

    Multiply that by a significant percentage of a classroom and there’s your potential for harm.

    There’s a billboard in my town that mentions the rising statistics in the number of diagnosed autism cases. I look at that billboard and wonder how many wouldn’t have been diagnosed, period, a few decades ago – until that’s answered, the statistic is meaningless to me. Psychology is still a soft science in many respects.

    Others surely look at that and wonder what has changed that could have caused such an alarming rise.

  3. #3 Mike
    November 11, 2008

    Read some of the comments in their “science” section. Lots of gut feelings and strong belief. No interest or trust in scientific study. A whole parade of morons unable to deal with a bad reality without blaming someone else.

    One study posited that drinking alcohol while pregnant may contribute to autism. Many of the comments said “I only drank until I knew I was pregnant” meaning they consumed alcohol at precisely the time, developmentally, that their fetus was most at risk. No blame to themselves though. Others claim their wife never had a drop while preggers but I’ll bet there’s a lot these guys don’t know about their wives and aren’t about to learn now.

    Poor deluded buggars.

  4. #4 Skeptico
    November 11, 2008

    Orac, you really should assign the nofollow relationship to a link like that.

  5. #5 Orac
    November 11, 2008

    I’m shocked you have so little faith in me. Take a look at the source code.

  6. #6 Natalie
    November 11, 2008

    Jennifer, you forgot the best part, which is also highly relevant to autism quackery:

    Lisa: It doesn’t work. It’s just a stupid rock. But I don’t see any tigers around here, do you?
    Homer: Lisa, I’d like to buy your rock.

    And Lisa sells it to him.

  7. #7 lagolamour
    November 11, 2008

    I find these folks are classic narcissists & narcissists by proxy- “MY CHILD is special and will not need these horrible substances because he is MAGICAL and MY LOVE will protect him. Oh, and if some other kids get sick, um, well, not my problem”. Their desperation is akin to midlife religious converters and end stage cancer patients traveling to far flung locales for some mystical aid. They so desperately want an explanation, any answer to why their child is afflicted. I also think it’s a healthy dose of the American “sue them” mentality- someone must be responsible, and it sure ain’t GAWD or the random mix of genes and environment. The latter is a Big Science scam and the former is impossible by their beliefs. Sigh..it makes me sad to think that this is part of the general population at large.

  8. #8 Skeptico
    November 12, 2008

    Ah, you changed it.

    In other news, John Best has reappeared in the comments on my blog, posting as “Sarah Palin.” I think the real Sarah Palin would make more sense.

  9. #9 Orac
    November 12, 2008

    No, I changed nothing. The rel=”nofollow” tag was always there. I always use it when linking to AoA or any crank blog whose Google rankings I don’t want to improve.

  10. #10 Skeptico
    November 12, 2008

    I must have misread it then. Apologies.

  11. #11 Patrick
    November 14, 2008

    oops, seems I missed it. Well I had better make up for it.

    In the spirit of one of Kim’s first posts (which was not on AoA):
    Crappy Birthday to you
    Crappy Birthday to you
    Crappy Birthday AoA blog
    Crappy Birthday to you