Respectful Insolence

Even with the H1N1 pandemic flu going around you should still be vaccinated against the seasonal flu. revere has the details.

I guess that means Dr. Doug Bremner must think that revere is an idiot. After all, Bremner tells us that the flu vaccine is all a plot for big pharma to make money, don’t you know? Subtlety and weighing of risk-benefit ratios in a manner that doesn’t turn into an anti-big pharma rant is beyond him. Fortunately it is not beyond revere:

The truth is this. No one knows what’s going to happen. We’re all guessing. But in my estimation, the risk-benefit calculation for vaccine side-effects and flu is so markedly in favor of the vaccine that I made the decision to get vaccinated and that’s what I’d advise others, too. How confident am I? I’m confident it is the most rational thing to do given what we know.

Exactly.

I may not always agree with revere on a lot of things, but I know he’s not an idiot. I’d love to see Bremner try to counter the arguments of a highly respected senior epidemiologist who can calmly discuss the pros and cons of flu vaccines from a scientific and practical standpoint based on evidence. Bremner points to “experts” who say that vaccination against the seasonal flu is a waste of money and time, but here’s one expert I bet that Bremner can’t refute. I won’t hold my breath waiting for him to try, though. It’s so much easier just to say that you’re an idiot if you get vaccinated.

Comments

  1. #1 Todd W.
    September 17, 2009

    I wonder if he buys into David Icke’s conspiracy theory that it’s all an illuminati plot to make money by killing everyone in the U.S.

  2. #2 Greg F.
    September 17, 2009

    @Todd,

    I don’t think so but I know that Meryl Dorey and a number of anti-vaxers do. And just a slight technicality there, but Icke thinks that it’s a plot by the alien lizard people who call themselves the Illuminati to cull the human population and conduct biological experiments rather than to make a quick buck…

    http://worldofweirdthings.com/2009/09/17/david-ickes-warning-about-flu-vaccines/

    Money is of no use to those not of this world and with limitless access to all the planet’s money via a tap into the banking system. Or so I hear.

  3. #3 Pablo
    September 17, 2009

    I have a 10 mo old baby at home. I get so distressed when he just gets a cold because there is really nothing I can do to help him with it. I feel so sorry for the poor guy and wish there was something I could do.

    Imagine how I would feel if he got the flu because I wouldn’t get myself vaccinated and came down with it, exposing him?

    Of course, it goes beyond that. What about everyone else? Do you care that you might expose my son to the flu? I would hope that you wouldn’t want to do this, even if you don’t have to watch him suffer through it. At the same time, I am getting the shot, not just because it helps protect my son, or me, but it also protects you. With the vaccine, I am less likely to be carrying around that bug to transmit it to you. So me getting the shot benefits everyone, not just me. In the same way, you getting the shot benefits us all, including you. Let’s all help each other, right? I’ll do my part to help you. Is it too much to ask that you step up and help out in return, if you can?

  4. #4 Mike
    September 17, 2009

    I’m a bit confused. People at The Cochrane Collaboration who review research on influenza say that the evidence in favor of flu vaccine is very poor.

  5. #5 Phoenix Woman
    September 17, 2009

    Mike, that was over a month ago, back when it was thought that we’d need several different flu shots. Work since then has developed a single flu shot that should cover both H1N1 and more typical strains of flu.

  6. #6 Mike
    September 17, 2009

    I might be wrong but The Cochrane Collaboration talks about flu shots in general.

    See http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/333/7574/912

  7. #7 Chris
    September 17, 2009

    Mike, that is almost three years old.

  8. #8 diatom
    September 17, 2009

    Chris: Are you suggesting the information contained in the BMJ paper has somehow reached an arbitrary expiration date? The study has been cited at least a half dozen times between 2007 and 2009 in various peer reviewed journals, including the American Journal of Public Health and Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

  9. #9 Orac
    September 17, 2009

    Actually, that’s not a study. It’s a commentary. There’s a difference.

    The actual most recent Cochrane Reviews (included in the link below among a lot of other flu-related Cochrane Reviews) are far less negative towards the flu vaccine:

    http://www.cochrane.org/influenza/reviews.html

  10. #10 Chris
    September 17, 2009

    Actually, it mostly noted the shortcomings of the studies reviewed. Also, since the influenza virus changes each year and it is a guess to which to create a vaccine with, it is kind of a crap-shoot in the first place. Some years are good, and some years are not so good.

    Even if the paper had been cited, that does not change the fact that the vaccine of five years ago is equivalent to the one this year. Nor does it change the premise that there were really few adequate studies to base review on.

    Plus, I was thinking about Phoenix Woman’s comment about it being “a month ago”. Three years is more than one month.

  11. #11 diatom
    September 17, 2009

    Yes, the 2006 BMJ paper is a commentary, not a study.

    Any comments on this 2009 study on discrepancies between study results and conclusions regarding influenza vaccines which includes this statement: “Influenza vaccination continues to be recommended globally, despite growing doubts about the validity of the scientific evidence underpinning policy recommendations.”

    http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/338/feb12_2/b354

  12. #12 diatom
    September 17, 2009

    Orac,

    Does your flu vaccination recommendation extend to children under two years of age? A 2009 Cochrane review “Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy children” states that little evidence is available for flu vaccine efficacy in children under two. The review also contains these statements in its summary and conclusion:

    “It was surprising to find only one study of inactivated vaccine in children under two years, given current recommendations to vaccinate healthy children from 6 months old in the US and Canada. If immunization in children is to be recommended as a public health policy, large-scale studies assessing important outcomes and directly comparing vaccine types are urgently required.”

    “It was not possible to analyze the safety of vaccines from the studies due to the lack of standardization in the information given but very little information was found on the safety of inactivated vaccines, the most commonly used vaccine, in young children.”

    “Extensive evidence of reporting bias of safety outcomes from trials of live attenuated vaccines impeded meaningful analysis.”

    These are surprising statements, given that 51 studies were reviewed.

  13. #13 Booger Flinger
    September 17, 2009

    There is no way in hell I am getting vaccinated (unfertilized?) especially with nutjobs in the Obama administration running around embracing mandatory sterilization and population control. Where the hell did these fascist freaks come from? They should be sterilized and made to graze grass like the asses they are.

    The whole swine flu crap is media hyped anyway just like global warming: “AHHHHH! We’ll all die from global warming tonight at 9:31 p.m. if Bubba don’t stop filling up his SUV and working so hard! AHHHHH> It’s getting wrmer already! AHHHH!

    These loons and moonbats don;t know it but it’s going to universe warming where they are headed … HELL. there is a lot of warming going on there and implicating light bulb swat nazis like the EU is doing wil not cut down the heat one single degree.

    Anyway, I refuse to get vaccinated in ana age where whackjob marxist fascists are running science departments. It’s too dangerous. There’s no telling what’s in that vaccine and what kook in washington backs it. No way in hell will I take anything made by leftists with an agenda to exterminate old people to prop up their party. Remeber Van Jones? A pshychopathic communist with an agenda to kill people under population control methods. Now do you really trust Obama now? So far his administration’s czars make Vlad the Impaler look like Santa Clause. This is the most left wing fascist administration in world history. Even Hugo Chavez and Castro do have nuts like these working for them. They do have a shred of dignity left.

    Beside the swine flu was man made. If stupid scienitsits would stop creating illnesses we wouldn’t have to worry about gettting it in the first place. Probably where AIDS came from. Except that backfired and ended up in San Francisco … probabaly where it belongs.

  14. #14 Orac
    September 17, 2009

    Booger Flinger has to be a joke. He’s managed to cram more anti-vaccine, conspiracy theory, anti-Obama, New World Order-fearing, whacko nonsense into a single comment than I’ve seen in a long time. The crazy, it is strong in him.

  15. #15 Rae
    September 17, 2009

    I snickered quietly to myself when I read Booger Flinger’s comment. The LULZ is strong with him.

    I am even more amused by the fact he spelled Santa Claus as “Santa Clause”. Clearly, he is a Tim Allen fan.

  16. #16 Sid Offit
    September 17, 2009

    The flu vaccine works about as well as a car that starts up one out of every three times you try to drive it

  17. #17 punter
    September 17, 2009

    If you were to ask a doctor whether vaccines should be held responsible for the rise in autism, SIDS, asthma, diabetes, ear infections, gastro problems, childhood arthritis and allergies given the statistical relationship over the past 50 years or so and that many parents see their children come down with some of these illnesses soon after a vaccine, these doctors will tell you that correlation doesn’t equal causation, and regale you with a lecture in logic on post hoc ergo proctor hoc and argument by anecdote fallacies.

    Fair enough I suppose. However, if you were to ask those same experts in logic: how do we know that vaccines work? They will point to the statistical relationship between the polio vaccine and polio reduction (and smallpox and others). They will also regale you with anecdotes about countries that have reduced their vaccination rate (such as Britain’s MMR take-up after Andrew Wakefield’s report) and experienced a rise in measles or some other illness.

    But aren’t correlation equals causation and arguments by anecdote supposed to be fallacies?

    Of course we might ask whether the ‘coincidental’ adverse events surrounding vaccination occur equally before and after vaccination (hence coincidence) or only after? In addtion one might ask whether it is simply common sense that an injection of various poisons and foreign substances into a baby (or adult for that matter) is more likely than not going to lead to problems, be they mild and temporary or severe and chronic. Why for example is it considered extremely dangerous to inject someone with the wrong blood type (if they don’t have the A and/or B proteins) but dead viruses (which are foreign proteins) are considered safe.

    To give some explanations for their (the disease prevalence) falls:

    Polio was barely, if at all, reduced much less eradicated. One of the main causes of polio was vaccinations (for example, the new diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus shot that came out in the late 40s). When the polio vaccine was introduced, the definition of polio was changed so that almost all cases of it were now called viral (aseptic) meningitis. Hence the skyrocketing numbers of kids with meningitis and plummeting number of kids with polio in the past 50 years. Statisticians wiped out polio, but the vaccine most certainly did not. Other names for polio are – cerebral palsy and Guillian-Barre. In general, the diagnosis for polio is only ever made if you have not been vaccinated for polio and you have been to one of the few countries that governments admit it still exists in. This is a beautiful way to work the numbers. It looks like the vaccine is absolutely effective because by definition, if you have been vaccinated and you get the exact same symptoms, you must have something else.

    Small pox is now called severe chicken pox (which is why if you query with your doctor the purpose of getting a chicken pox shot they will tell you that kids today can actually die from chicken pox). It may well be true that less people get it than say 200 hundred years ago – but, if true, that would more likely be because of better living conditions than vaccinations.

    Pertussis (whooping cough) will be called croup.

    Diphtheria is now called (severe) tonsillitis.

    After the Hib (bacterial meningitis) vaccine was introduced, the numbers of that particular type of bacterial meningitis plummeted – a perfect success! Unfortunately – by pure coincidence I’m sure – the number of different ‘strains’ of bacterial meningitis skyrocketed. (Incidentally, the proteins in the Hib vaccine are almost identical to that found in peanuts – bet you can’t guess when anaphlyaxis to peanuts started to become common).

    See the pattern here?

    Of course you might say that in cases of polio, diphtheria etc a particular pathogen (virus, bacteria etc) is present, however detection of the supposedly culpable germs in these cases is fairly uncommon today (particularly in developing countries) let alone 60 years ago making such an argument specious. In addition, (and more on this below) the presence of the same symptoms but different (or no) germs should make people ponder whether or not it is the germs that are actually causing these diseases in the first place.

    But this is just scratching the surface.

    We are told to get boosters for various diseases. Why do you think that is? Whenever a vaccinated person comes down with the mumps say, doctors, not being the brightest group of people (as well as wanting to cover their a*ses), determine that the problem is that people are not vaccinated enough, and order a fresh round of vaccinations for everybody. It is a perfect system, if there is a correlation between disease reduction and vaccination, then the vaccine is lauded, if there is no correlation then the decision is made to vaccinate more! And the people believe it! If somebody has only been vaccinated once and still gets the mumps, the doctors will declare that they are unvaccinated and tell everybody that it just goes to show that vaccinations are needed.

    Of course, there is another excuse that gets used for diseases like the flu. The virus, cunning little bastard that it is, is supposedly mutating so quickly that it is impossible for our heroic vaccine researchers to keep up. But why does this virus mutate so quickly? The theory of evolution maintains that all mutations are random, so why hasn’t the so-called small pox virus mutated? Or the measles virus? It seems unlikely that if all mutations are random then the flu vaccine can mutate 4 or 5 times a year and the measles not once in hundreds! I believe mathematicians would give this probability a zero. Still, people swallow this crap and continue to line up like cattle to get the flu shot, despite even the CDC data demonstrating that there has been no reduction in flu incidence since flu shots started.

    But this is restricting ourselves to the usefulness of vaccinations under the assumption that the germ theory is actually true. It is not:

    Why do people have germs that supposedly cause disease but have no symptoms? I won’t bother with specific examples as this is true with all germs.

    Why do people with the same symptoms not have any of these germs? As above

    How could vaccinations work? How do our T-cells remember how to fight pathogens, they don’t after all have brains? Of course the alternative theory is that we already have the necessary T (B? (the theory seems to change every other day)) Cells and vaccines ‘stimulate’ these cells making them produce so many more such that at a later date viral/bacterial exposure will be rapidly fought off. But given that viruses are always supposedly mutating there must therefore be an infinite number of potential viruses and hence we would need an infinite number of types of T-cells! Seemingly unlikely. And even then, the obvious question is why wouldn’t our bodies just create these T-cells en masse in the first place rather than force us to go through the dangerous process of having the disease. If, on the other hand, our bodies find benefit to having the disease (or costs of having the T-cells produced en masse) wouldn’t vaccination be an incredibly stupid thing then?.

    Why do we only decompose after we die – wouldn’t that suggest that bacteria only attack dead cells? If, as some have said, that our immune system protects us when we are alive, how is it that our skin decomposes readily with the rest of our body. After all our skin does not have any T-cells protecting it and yet it remains remarkably undecomposed throughout our lives.

    Why don’t doctors get sick all the time? The corrollary of this is: Why isn’t visiting a doctor’s office suicide? If you are sick, why would you want to be around a place with trillions of supposedly pathogenic bacteria, viruses etc that others have coughed, sneezed or breathed out. If most of us are immune because of previous exposure, what about taking babies to the doctor – isn’t that a form of infanticide?

    Why do supposed pandemics come and go without herd immunity or vaccinations, such as SARS or bird flu? The only explanation (that is consistent with the germ theory being true) is that trillions of viral particles all simultaneously mutated into a benign form – seemingly unlikely.

    If viruses are not actually alive, how can our bodies fight them? How can we kill something that is already dead? How can vaccine manufacturers kill them with formaldehyde?

    Many people are exposed to people who supposedly have a viral infection but are unaffected. The mainstream medicine explanation for that is that in order to be susceptible to viruses your immune system must be down for some other reason. But if viruses only attack us when we are weak and subsequently weaken us still further, then how could anybody ever recover after falling sick from a virus?

    And here’s a link explaining the trustworthiness of the medical system vis-a-vis the safety of vaccines.

    http://insidevaccines.com/wordpress/back-to-basics/how-are-vaccines-evaluated-for-safety/

  18. #18 Sid Offit
    September 18, 2009

    http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1847794,00.html

    Turns out that flu shots seemed not to make much difference: Kids who got immunized did not get the flu at lower rates than unvaccinated kids. In fact, the immunized youngsters were just as likely to be hospitalized or to visit the doctor as kids who never received the vaccine.

    —————
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/25/AR2007092501042.html
    TUESDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) — The ability of flu shots to reduce the risk of influenza-related death among people 65 and older may be greatly exaggerated, say researchers who reviewed the available scientific evidence.
    ——————————
    Does Flu Vaccination Lower Risk for Pneumonia in Elders?
    Covering: Jackson ML et al. Lancet 2008 Aug 2; 372:398
    Belongia EA and Shay DK. Lancet 2008 Aug 2; 372:352

    …influenza vaccination offered no benefit in broad measures of risk for community-acquired pneumonia. Editorialists noted that this study has several strengths that have been missing in many other studies: It was conducted during seasons when the antigenic match between influenza strains and vaccine was good; CAP was ascertained with chart audit rather than by evaluating administrative data; the analysis was controlled for a wide range of chronic disease and functional status measures; and both inpatient and outpatient cases were identified.
    ——————————

    This one’s like shooting alien lizard people in a barrel

  19. #19 dt
    September 18, 2009

    So much concentrated antivax idiocy it makes me weep.

    “How do vaccines work? How do our T cells remember how to fight pathogens, they don’t after all have brains?”

    The real mystery here is how Punter is able to type something that actually looks like a sentence written in the english language.

  20. #20 Orac
    September 18, 2009

    I might be wrong but The Cochrane Collaboration talks about flu shots in general.

    See http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/333/7574/912

    Actually, this speaker list at the NVIC’s conference might interest you:

    http://www.nvic.org/Events/speakers.aspx

    Note who’s on the list around the letter J.

    The NVIC is an antivaccine group led by Barbara Loe Fisher. I really hope that he didn’t know that when he agreed to speak.

  21. #21 Chris
    September 18, 2009

    punter: Small pox is now called severe chicken pox ….

    Pertussis (whooping cough) will be called croup.

    Diphtheria is now called (severe) tonsillitis.

    Punter, you really should not be going to whale.to for medical information. The symptoms of percussis are different from croup (the “whoop” is not like seal bark, and you can test for the bacteria), and the symptoms of diphtheria are very different from tonsillitis (and again, there are these things called “microscopes” and other ways to test for types of bacteria). Comparing smallpox to chicken pox is just stupid.

    Also, the webpage “insidevaccines” is from a pair of rabid anti-vaccine folks in the UK (Clifford Miller and John Stone) who do get their “medical” information from John Scudamore of whale.to. Read more about them at http://jabsloonies.blogspot.com/ .

  22. #22 bob
    September 18, 2009

    Sid Offit: “The flu vaccine works about as well as a car that starts up one out of every three times you try to drive it”

    Nothing substantial to say, so you construct a crummy analogy? Wouldn’t a better comparison be a safety system that protects you from one out of every three accidents? Of course, I’m sure you won’t agree, since it makes vaccines sound good and we can’t have that …

  23. #23 trrll
    September 18, 2009

    Polio was barely, if at all, reduced much less eradicated. One of the main causes of polio was vaccinations (for example, the new diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus shot that came out in the late 40s). When the polio vaccine was introduced, the definition of polio was changed so that almost all cases of it were now called viral (aseptic) meningitis. Hence the skyrocketing numbers of kids with meningitis and plummeting number of kids with polio in the past 50 years. Statisticians wiped out polio, but the vaccine most certainly did not.

    The level of stupidity here is astonishing. Somebody would have to be very young and also very ignorant of history to buy this.

    Those of us who were around before the polio vaccine know first hand that polio was not wiped out by statisticians, because the paralysis produced by polio is quite distinctive. We remember the iron lungs. We remember our friends with crutches and withered limbs. You don’t see the distinctive polio paralysis any more (and if polio is really caused by vaccination, how is it that we have more vaccination and less paralysis?). The polio virus is likewise gone. And this did not happen until the polio vaccine was introduced. Polio-style paralysis persists only in those parts of the world in which vaccination levels or low (mainly because of false vaccine fears like those promoted by whale.to). Indeed, no disease has ever been eradicated except by vaccination.

  24. #24 Militant Agnostic
    September 18, 2009

    @trrll

    The level of stupidity here is astonishing.

    Shortly after I started following this blog I ceased being astonished by the stupidity of antivaxxers. There is no statement too stupid for them to make.

    Punter – I had an Aunt (now no longer with us) who had Polio – her knees were surgically fused so that she could walk (with the aid of crutches). You are either dishonest, willfully ignorant as a tree stump, mentally ill or any combination of the above.

  25. #25 Chris
    September 18, 2009

    The re-naming of diseases reeks of John Scudamore’s whale.to website. Back when it was still the 20th century and I ventured on to Usenet I used to see that claim by Scudamore every so often. I actually tried to reason with him. I stopped being naive fairly quickly.

  26. #26 Joseph
    September 18, 2009

    Fair enough I suppose. However, if you were to ask those same experts in logic: how do we know that vaccines work? They will point to the statistical relationship between the polio vaccine and polio reduction (and smallpox and others).

    Or they might point to trials of vaccines. And yes, there were trials of the Polio vaccine.

    @punter: You don’t seem to understand statistics. It’s true that correlation does not imply causation. But it’s not so simple.

    For example, if the number of TVs per capita has increased at the same time as the administrative prevalence of autism has increased, it’s reasonable to assume that’s a coincidence.

    But suppose the number of TVs increased in 1980, then decreased in 1985, then increased in 1990, then decreased in 1995, and so on. Suppose autism diagnoses followed the same pattern, with a lag of a few years. Then it would be harder to argue that correlation does not imply causation in that case, wouldn’t it?

    There are ways to control for possible coincidence (nonstationarity of series) in statistical models, and good studies do that.

  27. #27 diatom
    September 18, 2009

    Thanks for the NVIC link. Quite a diverse group of speakers for their upcoming conference, what brings them all together? Merely pecuniary interest? Or perhaps desire for an inter-disciplinary and open dialogue on an important topic. I may have to pay more attention to NVIC in the future.

    I may be wrong, but Orac’s post 20 implies that T. Jefferson is either seriously misinformed about NVIC (doubtful) or “guilty” by association. I note that there is no criticism of T. Jefferson’s work with the Cochrane Group, just a comment about his association with undesirables. That would imply that guilt by association extends to all the NVIC speakers, including George Annas and Diane Harper. Given their current positions and credentials I would be more than surprised if these two individuals are “anti-vaccine” or uninformed. Certainly they are educated regarding the benefits and risks of vaccination and public health policies, perhaps more so than any contributors to this blog. Any MPHs lurking out there?

    Summary dismissal of individuals because of a NVIC speaking engagement is not very scientific. I reserve judgment until I’ve observed and analyzed what these individuals have to say at the October conference.

    Chris, can you please provide documentation for the claim that Miller and Stone are responsible for the inside vaccines website? Thanks.

  28. #28 Chris
    September 18, 2009

    diatom, I made a mistake. They are associated with “childhealthsafety” (read the first paragraph). I mixed them up. Sorry.

    (it was the oft brought up theme of diseases being renamed that led me astray)

    I know I read about insidevaccines in the past. It is actually run by a group, and there is this comment on how they tend to cherry pick: JREF comment by DeeTee

    Again, sorry about the mistake. It is still not a reliable website.

  29. #30 Chris
    September 18, 2009

    diatom, I made a mistake. They are associated with “childhealthsafety” (read the first paragraph). I mixed them up. Sorry.

    Ack! Read the second paragraph. Okay, I will stop now, the program I am waiting to install on other computer should be done by now!

  30. #31 a-non
    September 18, 2009

    diatom,

    Impressive credentials do not equal common sense.

    See Pauling, Linus.

  31. #32 diatom
    September 18, 2009

    Thanks Chris. a-non, I am not personally acquainted with any of the individuals under discussion, and therefore have no knowledge of their “common sense”, do you? Again, I’ll refrain from speculation until I hear what they have to say.

  32. #33 diatom
    September 18, 2009

    BTW, I did not refer to the credentials of Annas and Harper because they are impressive (though they are). I referred to them because the MPH designation indicates they are likely to be well versed on the topic of vaccination. I am interested in what they have to say.

  33. #34 JohnV
    September 18, 2009

    Punter I’m going to ignore the wall of nonsense to ask for a clarification on one statement:

    “Small pox is now called severe chicken pox [snip] It may well be true that less people get it than say 200 hundred years ago – but, if true, that would more likely be because of better living conditions than vaccinations.”

    Are you suggesting that small pox is not eradicated from the wild* and that its apparent eradication is not due to a universal vaccination program, but just due to its having been rebranded to “severe chicken pox”?

    *CDC still uses it for experimental infections in monkeys, for example

  34. #35 Orac
    September 18, 2009

    may be wrong, but Orac’s post 20 implies that T. Jefferson is either seriously misinformed about NVIC (doubtful) or “guilty” by association. I note that there is no criticism of T. Jefferson’s work with the Cochrane Group, just a comment about his association with undesirables. That would imply that guilt by association extends to all the NVIC speakers, including George Annas and Diane Harper. Given their current positions and credentials I would be more than surprised if these two individuals are “anti-vaccine” or uninformed.

    Why would you be surprised? Most mainstream scientists don’t pay much attention to the anti-vaccine fringe, which is why they can be so easily duped. Harper and Annas, I do not know, but if they are reputable, ask yourself this: Why would they share the stage with Andrew Wakefield, who is well known as an anti-vaccine loon? Or speak at a conference organized by Barbara Loe Fisher, who is one of the grande dames of the anti-vaccine movement? The two most reasonable potential explanations for their accepting a speaking engagement at the NVIC conference are ignorance of the true nature of NVIC or sympathy with the aims of NVIC. These reasons apply to Jefferson as well. I leave it to the reader to decide which reason is closest to correct.

    In any case, I just learned this morning a bit of a lovely tidbit about Jefferson and the NVIC conference that leads me to think he was indeed either duped or insufficiently diligent in checking out the group that invited him to speak. Suffice it to say, I know from what I consider to be a reliable source that he was most displeased to find out that he was scheduled to speak at an event where Andrew Wakefield is going to be the keynote speaker. I will blog about this when I have more information and, more importantly, verifiable information.

  35. #36 diatom
    September 18, 2009

    I am curious as to whether Pablo of post 3 is going to get his 10 month old child vaccinated for seasonal flu and H1N1, since he mentions how we should all help each other by getting vaccinated.

  36. #37 diatom
    September 18, 2009

    Regarding post 35, I can think of at least one more reasonable potential explanation that reputable people want to speak the NVIC conference, which I already stated: a desire for open interdisciplinary dialogue on an important topic. Apparently some are not fearful of virtual contamination by their co-speakers. I leave it to the reader to decide if the list of reasonable explanations is limited to two.

    And yes, I would be surprised. I have yet to see any reputable MPHs taking an “anti-vaccine” stand. Please enlighten me if I have missed any.

    Will await Orac’s insider gossip with bated breath.

  37. #38 Pablo
    September 18, 2009

    I am curious as to whether Pablo of post 3 is going to get his 10 month old child vaccinated for seasonal flu and H1N1, since he mentions how we should all help each other by getting vaccinated.

    My son is going to be going to daycare in January. You damn straight he will be vaccinated.

  38. #39 diatom
    September 18, 2009

    BTW, Wakefield is not the keynote speaker at the NVIC conference According to the schedule on the NVIC site, the keynote speaker is Annas, followed by Harper then Jefferson. Wakefield appears on the second day.

  39. #40 Phoenix Woman
    September 18, 2009

    Diatom, it’s you antivaxers who have the obsession with contamination — that’s why you insist on things like coffee enemas and the misuse of chelation therapy and freaking out over the miniscule amounts of ethyl mercury used in vaccines when study after study has shown that ethyl (unlike methyl mercury) doesn’t hang around in the body long enough to do anything to any tissues. The reason legitimate scientists wouldn’t want to be on a quackademic panel is to avoid giving it the undeserved appearance of legitimacy. But of course you know all that.

    Chris, my “month ago” comment referred to the most recent Cochrane comment of which I was aware. Orac has newer and better info, as it turns out.

  40. #41 diatom
    September 18, 2009

    Phoenix female is apparently an omniscient (amateur) taxonomist. It would behoove her to gather more evidence and review taxonomy and nomenclature before prematurely and ignorantly affixing labels and assigning categories.

  41. #42 diatom
    September 18, 2009

    BTW, what on earth are you talking about, coffee enemas? Tres bizarre.

  42. #43 Ken
    September 18, 2009

    I had an Aunt (now no longer with us) who had Polio – her knees were surgically fused so that she could walk (with the aid of crutches).

    I also had an aunt with polio. She came down with it in 1946, at the age of 16. She spent her last 50 years married, and in a wheelchair.

  43. #44 diatom
    September 18, 2009

    Since the anecdotes are getting thick here, I’ll relay that my father-in-law is a healthy 85 year old with 5 adult children and 5 grandchildren. He contracted polio as a teenager, but did not end up in an iron lung or a wheelchair.

    I still cannot fathom the purpose of coffee enemas, except perhaps a novel method to imbibe coffee for people with their heads firmly lodged.

  44. #45 Chris
    September 18, 2009

    diatom, polio actually paralyzed a small percentage of those who got it. The problem was that in the mid-20th century was that it was so prevalent. Hence, lots of folks got it, and the numbers of those who got paralysis, temporary and permanent, was large.

    But you are correct in that the plural of anecdote is not data. The data did show that vaccines did reduce polio greatly after its introduction. The data for the influenza vaccine is not so clear, and is always fluctuating, because predicting the strains for the next season is an educated guessing game. There is an interesting blog on virology (by a polio specialist, who also does a “This Week in Viruses” podcast which are linked in the blog), here are the influenza posts:
    http://www.virology.ws/tag/influenza/

    The coffee enema bit is a spill-over from the Gonzalez protocol threads. It is an example of some of the fractured reasoning that has been experienced over many issues discussed on this blog.

  45. #46 Sid Offit
    September 18, 2009

    @Phoenix Woman

    —————-
    ethyl mercury) doesn’t hang around in the body long enough to do anything to any tissues.
    —————-
    Your link doesn’t provide any actual science supporting your assertion that there is some arbitrary time frame preventing mercury from inflicting damage. Is it just a guess, wish, hope, opinion or do you have more substantial evidence

  46. #47 trrll
    September 18, 2009

    Your link doesn’t provide any actual science supporting your assertion that there is some arbitrary time frame preventing mercury from inflicting damage. Is it just a guess, wish, hope, opinion or do you have more substantial evidence

    However, basic knowledge of chemical kinetics will tell you that extent of reaction depends upon time, and so all things being equal, a rapidly eliminated compound will be less toxic than one that is eliminated more slowly.

  47. #48 Sid Offit
    September 18, 2009

    @trrll

    We may not disagree all that much. My particular point here is that a definitive statement such as Pichichero’s “… it’s obvious that ethyl mercury’s short half-life prevents toxic build-up from occurring. It’s just gone too fast,” are unjustified.

    As to your points:

    Rapidly eliminated from the blood isn’t necessarily rapidly eliminated from the body

    As ethyl mercury and methyl mercury are different compounds, not all things are equal

    We don’t actually know how much methyl mercury is toxic – unless were to believe the estimations and extrapolations derived from the Iraqi grain contamination incident.

    Less toxic isn’t necessarily safe

  48. #49 dt (aka
    September 18, 2009

    [Thanks for the reminder about the JREF stuff I posted way back, Chris.]

    Re “Inside vaccines”…..

    I certainly would not trust the site to give unbiased information, for the reasons I mentioned.
    I actually can see that there are slightly different degrees of craziness among its contributers. “Minority View” is the one who set up the site, and the woo is strong with him. However there is a contributer called “generic” who actually once posted a decent rebuttal of the toxins in vaccines myth.
    http://insidevaccines.com/wordpress/2008/03/13/common-anti-vaccination-myths-and-misconceptions/

    Unfortunately that post appeared to be a one-off, and even misled Epiwonk into thinking InsideVaccines was a decent site. Their stuff is generally, as I indicated in the JREF post, quite distorted antivaccine pseudoscience. I suspect they left the toxins in vaccines rebuttal up because it made them seem reasonable and it was one thing they couldn’t continue to mislead their readers over.

  49. #50 Rebecca
    September 18, 2009

    So, should we presume then that anti-vaxxers never drink soda or alcohol, never eat out, never take a tylenol, never breathe the air… I was going to say “never drink coffee” but we know what they do with that. I mean come on, people. I’d wager the vax is safer than, say, a triple chocolate whipped cream brownie fudge trans-fatilicious delight with a cherry on top and as side order of fries.

  50. #51 Uncle Dave
    September 19, 2009

    “Anyway, I refuse to get vaccinated in an age where whackjob marxist fascists are running science departments.

    This comment from “Booger Flinger”.

    “I have to agree completely with this assessment”
    signed,
    Feces Flinger

  51. #52 trrll
    September 19, 2009

    Rapidly eliminated from the blood isn’t necessarily rapidly eliminated from the body

    Any drug in the body distributes into the blood stream to some degree. So yes, rapidly eliminated from the blood does mean rapidly eliminated from the body. If there is some bodily compartment from which the drug is eliminated slowly, then there will be a corresponding slow phase of elimination from the bloodstream (e.g. it will be biexponential rather monexponential). Also slow elimination and slow uptake go together. So even if there is a compartment of the body (e.g. brain) from which the drug is slowly eliminated, very little of the drug will ever have time to get into that compartment if the drug is rapidly eliminated with the blood. This is why toxicologists are concerned about accumulation of things like heavy metals with long term chronic exposure at low concentrations, whereas is single exposure to a much higher concentration can be perfectly safe (it is also why standards for acceptable levels of substances in drinking water cannot be applied to levels in vaccines).

    As ethyl mercury and methyl mercury are different compounds, not all things are equal

    No, but given the much more rapid elimination of ethyl mercury than methyl mercury, it would have to be much more toxic than methyl mercury to pose a hazard. The evidence from animal toxicity studies does not support that. So we have no toxicological basis to expect a hazard for ethyl mercury in vaccines, and all of the epidemiological studies of thimerosal in humans also show no indication of adverse effects. So of the thousands of substances that children are exposed to more today than in the past, ethyl mercury is one of the least likely to be a hazards.

    Less toxic isn’t necessarily safe

    Nothing in this world is truly safe. You could walk out of your door and be hit by lightning. But we don’t spend our time cowering in Faraday cages, because experience has shown us that while it is not safe to venture outside where lightning can strike us, the risk is too low to waste time worrying about it.

  52. #53 punter
    September 19, 2009

    I see everybody managed to successfully ignore the substance of my post – relaying their own anecdotes (as I said they would) about how their grandmother got polio and therefore vaccinations must have cured polio QED.

    Not that I would expect anything else from this website where independent thought = crazy. From the same people that pour scorn on those who see their child become autistic moments after a vaccine linking this phenomena to said vaccine, comes anecdotes about how because we used to use iron lungs to treat child paralysis and we don’t anymore – vaccines reduced polio QED.

    The notion that we test for bacteria or germs in the case of diphtheria (or any other disease) is spurious. It is predicated on the assertion that the bacteria is what actually causes the disease. But lots of people have the diphtheria bacteria (or meningitis or herpes or varicella or any other virus/bacteria you care to name) without any of the symptoms – that is common knowledge.
    In addition, just how much isolation of these pathogens do you think ocurred in 1850? Even if we assumed that our current tests are compelling evidence you still run into the problem that all comparisons against historical data is worthless because such tests were simply not possibly and/or not widely done. The point was (and I could have sworn this was obvious) that in the days before powerful microscopes (and even for quite a while after) diagnoses were made purely on the basis of symptoms. The symptoms for many (supposedly) different diseases can easily be confused, ergo comparing polio stats today with those of 50 years ago is lunacy. For the posters who mentions levels of infantile paralysis, I agree that it would be interesting to see the level of child paralysis in today’s children compared to previous times, but the point I made was that we have many different names for such paralysis today so you need to integrate all of these diseases (cerebral palsy, meningitis, etc) and compare them to polio previously. It is possible that paralysis is less or more than historical averages – I don’t know. In the early 50s there was a massive outbreak of infantile paralysis because – I believe – of the massive vaccine campaign previously for DPT. I am happy to accept this particular vaccine was more dangerous than any of the current vaccines – but this would scarcely prove that vaccines are a good idea would it? Actually, going by some of the logic demonstrated here it would probably be interpreted by many of you to be that way.

    I love the “arguments” against my insidevaccines link – they are anti-vaccine therefore they must be wrong. QED. The level of logic on display in this site is astonishing. The question for you people is not whether this site is anti-vaccine, but whether any of the charges they level against vaccine safety tests are wrong.

    dt – if my question is idiotic then someone as smart as you will have no trouble answering it.

    I have laid out over a dozen questions – any one of which (if not answered) comprehensively destroy the vaccine/germ theory paradigm. And none of them have been. Because you can’t. Noone can.

  53. #54 punter
    September 19, 2009

    JohnV – try reading and attempting to understand a single word of my post. I specifically state that the germ theory is a crock – every last part of it. Small pox is not caused by a virus – so regardless of whether a particular germ that scientists arbitrarily blamed for small pox exists or not is irrelevant. I said that small pox is generally called severe chicken pox, but it can also be called other things like monkey pox etc. There are outbreaks in poorer countries but again it is always just assumed that because small pox doesn’t exist – it can’t be small pox. Like every aspect of the germ theory – facts are changed to fit the theory rather than the other way round.

    And Joseph I am pretty good with statistics it so happens. But please show me the stats that show without equivocation that the reduction in certain diseases can only have come about due to the vaccines themselves, and not due to other conditions such as increased health due to better sanitation, nutrition etc or rediagnosis

  54. #55 Marishka
    September 19, 2009

    @53 thank you for that insite.
    Now this memory makes more sense to me…My daughter has cerebral palsy. When my grandmother(102yrs) met her for the first time years ago, she said “my heavens, I havent seen a child with polio in ages”. Even after it was explained to her, she still insisted it looked just like the polio of her day.

  55. #56 Chris
    September 19, 2009

    punter:

    It is predicated on the assertion that the bacteria is what actually causes the disease.

    I have laid out over a dozen questions – any one of which (if not answered) comprehensively destroy the vaccine/germ theory paradigm. And none of them have been. Because you can’t. Noone can.

    Ah, yes, definitely someone who denies reality. If we don’t answer his/hers question the way s/he/it likes, it means that s/he/it has “won” the argument and germs do not exist!

  56. #57 a-non
    September 19, 2009

    punter,

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. If you’re going to claim that the “vaccine/germ theory” is bogus, you need provide unassailable proof. Not the other way around.

  57. #58 Dedj
    September 19, 2009

    “I have laid out over a dozen questions – any one of which (if not answered) comprehensively destroy the vaccine/germ theory paradigm. And none of them have been. Because you can’t. Noone can”

    Because no-one can be bothered. The only questions you’ve asked in that barely literate mish-mash Gish-Gallup of yours can be answered by cracking open almost any entry level book on the relevant area of study, or attending (not that any course is likely to accept you) more or less any basic academic course on the subject.

    Don’t accuse us of ignorance when you are clearly missing the basics.

    Are you really as stupid as to think that you have discovered something that has passed several entire professions and area of study by? How egotistical of you. How utterly shamefully arrogant.

    Really shameful.

    Please don’t darken this place until you’ve actually done some study.

  58. #59 trrll
    September 19, 2009

    I see everybody managed to successfully ignore the substance of my post – relaying their own anecdotes (as I said they would) about how their grandmother got polio and therefore vaccinations must have cured polio QED.

    Yes, and probably nobody will. If you’ve managed to deny not merely the enormous body of experimental data demonstrating that microorganisms cause disease, but the personal experience of people who have lived in the years before these diseases were largely eliminated by vaccination, there’s clearly no conceivable evidence that could change your mind. In the words of Barney Frank, it would be like arguing with a dining room table.

  59. #60 punter
    September 20, 2009

    I take back everything I said about you guys being against independent thought – I don’t know what I was thinking making such a baseless accusation.

    Your arguments are:

    a) you are wrong because even though we don’t know any of the answers to your questions we presume that somebody else has and it is just a matter of asking those people – whoever they may be; and
    b) how could you have noticed something that millions of others have missed? (I’ll give you a hint – when anybody else dares to look they are dismissed with the exact same arguments you guys just used)?

    In other words, as expected you guys reverted to appeals to authority and appeals to popularity (these arguments are considered fallacious for a reason you know).

    But it doesn’t matter – I didn’t expect to change the minds of anybody on this website. You guys will stop believing in vaccinations when the so-called experts tell you to do so and not a moment sooner. None of you have ever had an independent thought and you never will.

    And for as long as none of you bother to answer any of my questions I won’t darken this place with any more of my nasty, evil independent thoughts again. I will let you guys get back to your usual drivel of telling each other how smart you are and how positively stupid and crazy those people who dare to question and look at evidence rather than just willingly submit to authority must be.

  60. #61 Chris
    September 20, 2009

    Being a germ theory denier does not make you an independent thinker, it makes you an uneducated thinker. Your “independent thought” has as much intellectual substance as a dining room table.

    To to be charitable to tables, they are actually useful.

  61. #62 Dedj
    September 20, 2009

    Punter – you have no right to demand answers to your questions. To demand that we must answer your exact questions now is both arrogant and outright rude.

    It is you – as the person asking the questions – who must show that your questions are worth our effort rather than yours.

    Stop for a moment and think about how stupid you look. You are asking what you have claimed are basic questions that supposedly refute the germ theory.

    Now, don’t you think if they occured to you, then they might also have occured to people who are actually educated and trained in this area? Don’t you think that if they were such basic questions that there might be an answer somewhere?

    Let’s talk this elementary question, answered in any relevant entry level textbook:

    “How do our T-cells remember how to fight pathogens, they don’t after all have brains?”

    There are even T-cells that have the purpose of ‘remebering’ pathogens. The process of how they do this is well known and well described.

    But then, someone who has done the basic reading that a ‘idiot’ dr. has done would know this.

    I think you should consider that possibility that you simple are clueless and unaware of it.

    Explain how the mainstream explanation of T-cell memory does not answer your question and do it now!

    You have one replt to do so and one reply only. Failure to do so will be taken as indication that you are clueless and have not done a smidgeon of the required reading.

    If you want to treat other people like clueless morons, then that is how you will be treated. I don’t think you’ll hack it.

  62. #63 Joseph C.
    September 20, 2009

    None of you have ever had an independent thought and you never will.

    Independent thought suggests that you came up with it on your own. But germ theory denialism is well over 100 years old. You didn’t come up with it on your own. You read it on some nutjob website, like Whale.to, and now you’re parroting it back to us.

  63. #64 trrll
    September 20, 2009

    And for as long as none of you bother to answer any of my questions I won’t darken this place with any more of my nasty, evil independent thoughts again.

    These guys always like to pat themselves on the back as being independent thinkers, not realizing that they are parroting ridiculous cant that was old decades ago. The glaring ignorance beyond these assertions makes it obvious that not a one of them has actually bothered to independently read the scientific literature, much less do an independent experiment.

  64. #65 Chris
    September 20, 2009

    trrll:

    The glaring ignorance beyond these assertions makes it obvious that not a one of them has actually bothered to independently read the scientific literature, much less do an independent experiment.

    Or take a basic science class in high school.

  65. #66 Joseph
    September 20, 2009

    And Joseph I am pretty good with statistics it so happens. But please show me the stats that show without equivocation that the reduction in certain diseases can only have come about due to the vaccines themselves, and not due to other conditions such as increased health due to better sanitation, nutrition etc or rediagnosis

    That’s not as difficult as you think, punter. There’s data from hundreds of countries. It’s obviously not coincidence (except to a denialist) when the same pattern repeats as predicted at different times in different locations.

  66. #67 Chris
    September 20, 2009

    Also the “better sanitation” bit tends to fall apart when it comes to polo. Better sanitation made it so polio struck after infancy when it was most likely to cause harm.

    Then there is the return of measles in countries (UK, Japan, Switzerland, Germany and elsewhere) where measles vaccine uptake was reduced. Japan stopped vaccinating for mumps, and it is now endemic there. There several other examples of diseases coming back after a reduction of vaccines all over the globe, from pertussis in Japan to diphtheria in the Ukraine and polio in Nigeria.

  67. #68 Chris
    September 20, 2009

    It is funny that a germ theory denier even brings up sanitation in the list of disease reduction reasons.

    This shows that this is not independent thinking because it is so common in the anti-vax websites like whale.to. Anyone who really denies that bacteria and other microbes cause disease should not be concerned with those little things in drinking water.

    Actually, I am concerned is that punter and friends do not wash their hands after using the toilet!

    By the way, punter, no one denies that sanitation and nutrition have not had an impact in diseases. They have had an impact on diseases like cholera, typhus, typhoid, bubonic plague, amoebic dysentery, and other water born or insect born diseases. Do you see any of those on the current vaccine schedule?

  68. #69 punter
    September 20, 2009

    Well it didn’t take me long to break my promise.

    First you guys accuse me of supreme arrogance in questioning what everybody knows to be true and how shameful it is of me to suggest that the majority of people could get it so wrong for so long. Now you guys accuse me of being an idiotic conformist with no ability to think for myself. Which is it?

    But more importantly – I love this notion that I have no right to force you to answer my questions (although I don’t recall holding a gun to your heads). But isn’t the whole point of this blog about criticizing the anti-science whackjobs that seem to get such a large audience on the internet? Well I can’t imagine a bigger anti-science whackjob than me – a germ theory denier (and believe me this is just the start of my whackjob beliefs). You would think that this is your bread and butter – your chance to sink the boot into us loons real good. And yet you refuse. Why?

    I have asked some (what should be) simple questions and instead of answering them you have come up with every pathetic excuse under the sun in order to avoid doing just that. Why won’t you answer them if the entire raison d’etre of this site is about pointing out the foolishness of those who question medical and scientific orthodoxy? Anybody with any integrity reading this blog would find it a bit strange that those who devote so much time to weeding out unorthodox opinions would run so far when challenged about their own. I guess it’s lucky that there are so few readers of this blog in that category.

    I love how you guys just assume that someone somewhere must have the answer to all of these. People herd. They follow others in the presence of uncertainty (this caveat is extremely important). This is instinctive (and in a sense rational) and whilst the impulse to herd can be ignored in place of reason, for most it is easier to just herd. Doctors have this instinct just as much as those in financial markets, politics, religion and every other institution. If the answers are there, then those who have taken it upon themselves to be such staunch defenders of orthodox medicine should be prepared to find them and explain them all to a fool such as me. The fact that you are not suggests that you are terrified that if you dig too deeply you just might find something out that you really don’t want to know.

  69. #70 T. Bruce McNeely
    September 20, 2009

    Punter:

    Why for example is it considered extremely dangerous to inject someone with the wrong blood type (if they don’t have the A and/or B proteins) but dead viruses (which are foreign proteins) are considered safe.

    That you are asking this question points to the fact that you know very little or nothing about the immune system.
    In brief and greatly oversimplified, if you are administered blood of the wrong type, you already have antibodies against the antigens carried by the donated cells, and your immune system will destroy the donated cells, causing a severe hemolytic reaction.
    When a “dead virus” is administered, your immune system does not carry antibodies to it, but will produce them as a response to the viral proteins. On subsequent exposure, the antibody reaction is “primed” and ready to go, neutralizing the virus before it can multiply. Destruction of a dead virus doesn’t produce a severe reaction. Also, a pint (or more) of mismatched blood is a hell of a lot more than the quantity of viral protein in a vaccine.
    I hope you appreciate this answer. However, I would suggest that you do some basic reading in immunology and microbiology before charging in here with your questions again. You have a hell of a nerve calling us arrogant, when you claim to know that the germ theory is bunk while you appear to be completely ignorant of the basics. That’s why you piss me off.

  70. #71 dedicated lurker
    September 20, 2009

    punter – you think smallpox can be called severe chicken pox. Even if you deny viruses exist and think these diseases are all caused by, say, the smallpox and chicken pox fairy, there’s still no comparing the two. Smallpox has an extrordinarily different presentation than chicken pox. Even without germ theory, both diseases are present far in the past.

    Oh, and microscopes have existed since the sixteenth century, so I’m willing to bet quite a bit of isolation of organisms was being done in 1850. And bacteria can be seen under those. If diptheria is being called tonsillitis, why are throat cultures still routinely done?

  71. #72 Dedj
    September 20, 2009

    “Which is it?”

    It can be both, they’re not mutually exclusive.

    “Why?”

    Because all of your questions demonstrate a lack of understanding or functional knowledge of the mainstream view of germ theory, rather than being legitimate questions about germ theory than requitre specialised knowledge to answer. None of your questions cannot be answered by the preliminary research that any competant person would have already done in order to feel as if they have a legitimate right to demand answers to their questions. Translation: you haven’t done your homework and it shows. Badly.

    You were even asked to validate a simple question. You failed to even show knowledge of what the generally accepted understanding of the process involved actually was, much less demonstrated any understanding of it. Certainly nowhere near enough to be a worthwhile opponent.

    You keep bleating on about the orthodoxy, yet don’t appear to have any actually functional knowledge of what that is. If you did, you’d know exactly where to look for your answers. In the work of the trained qualified respected experts.

    Just like we’ve been telling you.

    “I love how you guys just assume that someone somewhere must have the answer to all of these.”

    Not assumption, most of us here have done at least basic human biology courses or modules at the university degree level.

    Even logically, if the questions occured to you (and as someone else already pointed out, it’s clear none of this is your own work), then they’re likely to have occured to the people who actually study this stuff for a living. The answers are already out there, in exactly the places a competantly trained and educated person would think to look. This is clearly not you.

    You have no right to demand answers, especially not as you have dodged very simple elementary questions about your questions. If you can’t even justify asking them, then you can get right to fuck if you think people are going to spend their free time answering them.

  72. #73 punter
    September 20, 2009

    Thank you T Bruce – you actually bothered to attempt to answer one of my questions. Kudos to you.

    Couple of follow up questions:

    Let us say that there is half a gram of protein in a vaccine – how many grams of proteins are there in a lethal dose of another blood type? (I am sure there are more, but I never said that one vaccine was as dangerous as receiving the wrong blood in a transfusion, just that foreign proteins were dangerous in even relatively small quantities.)

    Secondly, and here is something that I find terrifying. If what you are saying about a hemolytic reaction is true then wouldn’t that mean that the vaccine “boosters” we routinely get for various diseases are astonishingly dangerous? If we already have the antibodies (which some people surely must) from the first vaccine and we get another dose – then doesn’t this mean that we would get a hemolytic reaction to the viral proteins just like if we got the wrong blood donated to us?

    And of course there is still the point about what constitutes a ‘dead’ virus given viruses were never alive to begin with.

    Dedicated lurker – Why is this so hard for you to understand. It doesn’t matter if isolation could be carried out or if it was carried out some of the time. What matters is that given that it was not carried out all the time in all places in previous eras and indeed now, the statistical “evidence” must be called into question.

    In addition today, doctors would never diagnose smallpox because they don’t believe it exists no matter what symptoms they are presented with. This is why epidemiological data should only ever be used to point people in the right direction – never to draw concrete conclusions. You will note I didn’t say that smallpox exists at the same level today as it used to I just don’t know. What I said was that it still exists we just call it severe chicken pox – hence the “necessity” of getting a vaccine for a disease that all throughout the ages was considered harmless.

    For example imagine during say the Crimean War doctors who had a hundred patients all with a pox condition and they all died as a result, however, one of them (who died) had a slightly different type of pox to the others and so the doctor stipulates that in fact all but one of them had small pox and the other guy was completely unaffected by small pox but coincidentally had a fatal case of chicken pox instead. Do you think that is likely? Or do you think it slightly more plausible that doctors would have simply lumped them all in together when making their diagnosis? They all had the pox, they all died, small pox is a lethal form of the pox, ergo they all had small pox.

    When doctors make a diagnosis they don’t just look at your symptoms they look at other factors. If you have a form of partial paralysis, fever and stiff neck and you have never been vaccinated and just stepped off the plane from a trip helping poor people in Nigeria and Pakistan, they will think polio. If you have the exact same symptoms and you have been fully vaccinated and never left the US or Australia or some other rich Western country, the thought of polio won’t even cross their minds. But don’t believe me if you don’t want to – do this experiment for yourself with a couple of different doctors. This is the point I was making. It should have been obvious. But of course it is obvious from the perspective of people wanting to learn and understand as opposed to the perspective of those who want to maintain the faith.

  73. #74 dedicated lurker
    September 20, 2009

    punter, perhaps you did not get my point. Smallpox and chicken pox are not remotely similar. Chicken pox has a primary symptom irregularly shaped marks that are clustered on the torso and face. Smallpox consisted of identical lesions that were evenly clustered throughout the body, including the throat and mouth. Before the electron microscope and the discovery of the signatures of viruses, people were still able to tell them apart. Even in the Middle Ages doctors correctly identified two different types of the plague. (The common bubonic is not transmitted from person to person; the pneumonic plague is however and was also present in that day, in case you’re going to argue that since the plague isn’t epidemic today vaccines aren’t needed. You have to be bit by an infected rat or flea to get the bubonic.)

    The blood protein thing – your blood, unless you are type AB, posseses antibodies in various forms. A blood has B antibodies, B blood has A antibodies, and O blood has both A and B antibodies. Once infused, it will infect the entire vascular system leading to what is essentially a giant allergic reaction. AB people can receive any type of blood because they do not react that way. Besides existing in smaller amounts, vaccine proteins are put under the skin, or into a muscle.

    I certainly can’t just go to a bunch of doctors and say I’ve got symptoms I don’t, so I’m not sure what your point is there. But if I somehow became a doctor and someone came in with those symptoms, polio would be in the “rule out” category. Whether it was first or much farther down the list would depend on a bunch of things.

  74. #75 Rebecca
    September 20, 2009

    I have what I hope isn’t a stupid or irrelevant question:

    Why are vaccines administered into the muscle? Is it as simple as just being easier to jab in?
    And another if I may:
    How does serum act as an adjuvant? I know serum has been added to some of the H1N1 vaccines and I wondered if it had to do with agglutinins. Is that how the immune response is ramped up?

    If anyone knows of a better place for me to be asking these question, please kindly tell me. Thanks!

  75. #76 gaiainc
    September 21, 2009

    Punter reminds me of the two year-old who keeps asking “why?”. The difference is that Punter seems to think that tiring of answering “why” all the time is a sign that there’s knowledge out there that we don’t want to find out instead of really, it’s gets fricking tiring answers the same questions over and over and over again. It’s also tiring since the answers are found in basic science books that can be found in the library. I’m just sufficiently annoyed that I’m putting in my two cents, for what they are worth.

    BTW, Punter, in trying to figure out what is wrong with someone, a patient’s history is HUGE. The history guides me, helps me form a reasonable idea of what is going on, and create a plan of action. Included in that plan of action is a list of potential diagnoses. Some diagnoses are a lot more likely and probable than others. When I hear hoofbeats, I think horses, not zebras. Partial paralysis, stiff neck, and fever could also be bacterial meningitis. History helps me figure out do I chase after the bacterial meningitis or should I bring polio into the picture or even something else. A list of symptoms are just a list of symptoms. Believe it or not, there’s more to diagnosing a patient than just that list.

    A MAJOR difference between blood-type incompatibility reaction (there’s a more technical term, but right now, I’m tired so deal) and vaccines is the amount of antigen that’s presented. A few milliters of blood has a huge antigen load in it compared to the antigen load in vaccines, probably on the order of several magnitudes. ABO incompatility reactions is like a full-on armed invasion and your body’s immune system reacts like that. A vaccine is more like getting stuck talking to someone at a party that you have no desire to and would like to avoid in the future. Simplistic, leaves out a whole lot, I know, but the best I can come up with this late and this sleep-deprived.

    Chicken pox DOES NOT look like smallpox. Pick up a derm book or do a Google images search. Diptheria does not look like tonsillitis. It’s not fricking diagnostic substitution. To whomever said above that other H influenzae serotypes were taking over, yeah, so what? Serotype B was and is the problematic one. If the other serotypes were problematic, then I’d expect to see the same cases of meninigitis and epiglottis that my teachers and attendings told me about. I haven’t. I graduated from medical school 10 years ago. I take care of kids. I currently at tertiary care center and academic hospital. Our children’s hospital just does not have the same burden of disease that we had before the Hib vaccine. The vaccine worked and you can bet my son is getting his full series.

    Vaccines are administered into the muscle or under the skin. It has to do with how to get the immune system to recognize there’s something there and take care of it. Injecting directly into the bloodstream just doesn’t work as well. I don’t know why. I also don’t know what you mean by serum either. Sorry, Rebecca.

  76. #77 punter
    September 21, 2009

    Dedicated lurker – thanks for at least attempting to answer some of my questions respectfully – although this was one of the peripheral points rather than the main thrust of the argument. But at least you have had the grace to respond properly rather than with evasion. I realise that the symptoms often present differently, but for most diseases there are a range of symptoms. Some people with diptheria had a “bull neck” but this was not necessary for diagnosis. There are those with small pox who are completely covered by lesions and others with significantly less. Surely you understand that whilst for some people with various diseases diagnosis is clear cut, for many though it is far from obvious. My point is that it would not be hard to confuse small pox with severe chicken pox or diptheria from severe tonsillitis. It may be easy to discern the two, it may not. However, and here is the thing, because it is not always obvious and doctors take into account a range of factors when making diagnoses (and their beliefs play a large role in how they see the world) it is easy to imagine that historical data could be distorted.

    Dedj – what does it mean to “get right to fuck”? That was the most incomprehensible part of your incomprehensible response.

    These questions are likely to have occurred to others? Did they occur to you? If so then surely you have the answers. If they occurred to you and you didn’t bother seeking out the answers then you would have to be the most intellectually uncurious person to have ever existed. And given this – what the hell are you doing on a scienceblog?

  77. #78 MI Dawn
    September 21, 2009

    OK. Going to try again, darn computer ATE my answer to punter. (I hate PCs…I want my Mac at work…)

    @Punter: Do you understand how bacteria/viruses are linked to diseases? It is basic immunology. I’ll happily detail the steps if you don’t know. Or, if you are interested, 2 really good books, short stories and easy reading for the lay public, are The Medical Detectives, Volumes 1 and 2, by Berton Roueche (I can’t do the accent over the last e). Although the stories are old, the information for many of the stories is still valid.

    Regarding smallpox, in particular, in Volume 2 there is a story called “A Man from Mexico”, about smallpox. In this story, you see this paragraph:

    “Two patients, whose trouble was at first believed to be chicken pox, had overnight developed eruptions that looked alarmingly like those of smallpox.”

    The paragraph goes on to explain how the initial error had been made, and now was corrected. So yes, in the initial stages, smallpox and chicken pox could be confused. However, once the pox reach the eruptions stage, they are easily differentiated (chicken pox is characterized by a ‘dewdrop on a rose petal’ appearance as the fluid within the eruption is clear, while smallpox has a cloudy,pus filled fluid). Doctors today, who see very little of either, might be very confused by the smallpox lesions since they don’t look like chicken pox. If you have ever seen chicken pox, you know what it looks like. Due to my age, I have never seen smallpox, except in pictures, but they definitely look different than chicken pox lesions.

    I hope this helps explain a little more about how diagnoses are made. If you want more information about how diseases are linked to bacteria/viruses, I’ll be happy to explain more but I have to get to work now.

  78. #79 Dedj
    September 21, 2009

    “Dedj – what does it mean to “get right to fuck”? That was the most incomprehensible part of your incomprehensible response.”

    It’s usually a request to drop a idea, normally with the implication that the idea is offensive, silly or otherwise personally repugnant.

    “These questions are likely to have occurred to others? Did they occur to you? If so then surely you have the answers.”

    Answers: Yes. Yes, when I was studying this in the UK equivilant of 10th Grade. And yes, but you haven’t actually justified your asking of them. I gave you a chance earlier on a simple question. You blew it.

    In fact, the ease with which people have provided answers to your questions, and the subsequent odd and bizarre questions indicates that, maybe, just maybe, your questions are nothing new.

    You claim I’m not intellectually curious, yet you appear to have given no effective thought to this, and have clearly not made the most basic of attempts to find out answers for yourself. As pointed out by those that have answered your questions, it’s all basic elementary stuff. Some of this stuff isn’t even degree level, but is basic encylopedia stuff, as has been pointed out.

    If you’re going to insult people, then you’re just going to get it back. But you won’t get answers until you show that you have arsed yourself to put effort into your questions.

    You clearly have not, as has been pointed out by multiple people, multiple times. Demanding that I must personally answer all your questions now is both rude and arrogant. Go and learn for yourself. There is more than enough data in the mainstream down you local college bookshop, subject library or online.

    Do not make an attempt to reply, until you can justify all your questions and indicate where the mainstream understanding is allegedly flawed.

  79. #80 gaiainc
    September 21, 2009

    Surely you understand that whilst for some people with various diseases diagnosis is clear cut, for many though it is far from obvious.

    Ummm, no. Wrong. Sorry. This is a fundamentally incorrect statement. The correct statement is that for most people the diagnosis is clear cut and it is the rare person for whom it is not. And when it is not, there are all sorts of things we can do to figure out the answer. Seriously. Common things happen commonly and present in a common fashion. Weird stuff can happen, but it is rare, orders of magnitude rare, and not the norm. If you cannot understand that simple concept then really, I don’t know what more we have to discuss.

  80. #81 Natalie
    September 21, 2009

    Rebecca,

    A quick Google search suggests that intramuscular vaccination is equally effective at provoking the desired immune response, but has a lower rate of undesirable side effects. The scientist types in the audience might know why that is.

  81. #82 Tsu Dho Nimh
    September 21, 2009

    @73 – Let us say that there is half a gram of protein in a vaccine – how many grams of proteins are there in a lethal dose of another blood type?

    The “lethal dose of another blood type” is not because of antibodies in the recipient’s or the donor’s blood, it’s because the outcome of those antibodies is hemolysis – and when hemoglobin is released in large quantities, bad shit happens, such as death. I could kill or seriously damage you by taking out a unit of blood, hemolysing it, and putting it back into you.

    There are 15 micrograms of viral protein in the entire dose of the just-approved swine flu vaccine. There are 450ml (about 500g) of blood in one unit, and even getting the whole unit of the wrong type is survivable. (I used to work in blood banks. we studied this stuff a lot.) It takes about 5cc (5g) of the wrong type to immunize you against that type.

    that foreign proteins were dangerous in even relatively small quantities Like the “foreign proteins” on the end of the rose thorn or cactus spine you accidentally jab yourself with? Mosquito spit? Bee stings? Snake venom?

    Secondly, and here is something that I find terrifying. If what you are saying about a hemolytic reaction is true then wouldn’t that mean that the vaccine “boosters” we routinely get for various diseases are astonishingly dangerous? No, because it’s not the antibodies that kill you in hemolytic tranfusion reactions, it’s the hemoglobin that is released. If boosters had a high risk of causing death, they would not be recommended.

    If we already have the antibodies (which some people surely must) from the first vaccine and we get another dose – then doesn’t this mean that we would get a hemolytic reaction to the viral proteins just like if we got the wrong blood donated to us? No. In very rare cases, people develop extreme immune reactions to proteins in substances like bee stings and go into anaphylactic shock. But part of the routine development of vaccines is testing to make sure they aren’t going to make hemolysis happen, or anaphylaxis.

    And of course there is still the point about what constitutes a ‘dead’ virus given viruses were never alive to begin with. It’s slang for “disabled so that it can’t replicate”. In the case of some viruses, it’s been treated with something that damages the proteins permanently, in others the vaccine only uses a few bits of the virus. In the one case, it’s as likely to cause disease as a hard-boiled egg is to hatch. In the second case, it’s as likely to cause disease as a forkful of scrambled egg is to hatch.

    In addition today, doctors would never diagnose smallpox because they don’t believe it exists no matter what symptoms they are presented with. Oh really? Right now, in the USA, there are drills on how to recognize smallpox. See http://www.acponline.org/clinical_information/resources/bioterrorism/smallpox_mimics.htm for how they differ.

    What I said was that it still exists we just call it severe chicken pox – hence the “necessity” of getting a vaccine for a disease that all throughout the ages was considered harmless. Provide proof please. Chickenpox was first identified by Muhammad ibn Zakariya ar-Razi (865–925), known to the West as “Rhazes”, who clearly distinguished it from smallpox and measles.

    They have been analysed and classified – they are not the same virus!
    Chickenpox:
    Group: Group I (dsDNA)
    Family: Herpesviridae
    Subfamily: Alphaherpesvirinae
    Genus: Varicellovirus

    Smallpox:
    Group: Group I (dsDNA)
    Family: Poxviridae
    Genus: Orthopoxvirus
    Species: Variola vera

    Tsu “Speaker to Tables” Nimh

  82. #83 Tsu Dho Nimh
    September 21, 2009

    I have what I hope isn’t a stupid or irrelevant question:

    Why are vaccines administered into the muscle? Is it as simple as just being easier to jab in? If I remember my immunology right, you need a certain density of antigen in a small area for a certain amount of time to provoke an immune response. So sub-cutaneous and IM are the preferred spots. Given into a blood vessel, the antigen would be so diffused it wouldn’t attract attention of the immune system.

    How does serum act as an adjuvant? It doesn’t. It (calf serum) might be present in some vaccines as a trace contaminant because it’s part of the nutrient solution you grow cells in.

    I know serum has been added to some of the H1N1 vaccinesHow do you know this? and I wondered if it had to do with agglutinins. Is that how the immune response is ramped up? Serum (from calves, AFAIK) is used while growing the cells, as part of the nutritive medium, but serum is not an adjuvant.

    Anything that causes a bit of inflammation at the site of the injection will enhance the immune response, and is called an “adjuvant”. Alum, squalene, even mineral oil, have been used as adjuvants. Serum proteins would be poor adjuvants.

  83. #84 punter
    September 21, 2009

    Dedj – if you don’t want to (read can’t) answer the questions then don’t. But surely you must realise that coming up with endless excuses – each more pathetic than the last – just makes you look weak?

    I had no idea people had to earn the right to have their questions answered (now it seems I have to earn the right to post). What do I have to do? Get a PhD in microbiology before I am allowed to ask these questions? Does this apply to all fields of knowledge? Only those who already have expertise in economics, politics, law, physics, etc can actually ask any questions about them. Of all the pathetic excuses you guys have used to evade the questions – this is definitely one of them.

    Tsu Dho Nimh – mostly reasonable points, whilst I am quite sure that the injections of poisons into people is harmful to some degree I do not claim to know exactly how this harm comes about and whether it is the vaccine working alone or, more likely, in the presence of some other condition. A vaccine has (I believe) about 0.5 to 1 mL in it. It has a mixture of various proteins and other substances but I honestly have no idea how said injection specifically causes harm. I should have made my point clearer when I talked about the injection of another’s blood. I could drink other people’s blood all day and it would be harmless. But even a relatively small dose of somebody else’s blood injected into me can be lethal. The point is that the effect of injections vs oral consumption are not just different in degree they can be different in type.

    However, again not the main point of my argument which is that vaccinations cannot work and the germ theory is spurious. I merely alluded to vaccinations possibly being dangerous as a peripheral point to my argument which was that they don’t and can’t work. If the benefits are zero and the costs are something positive then the idea is a non-starter. Even if the only costs to vaccination are a temporary fever and nothing else then it still wouldn’t be worth it because vaccinations can’t work and I have asked people to explain how they could. Instead all I get is excuses and that I have no “right” to ask such questions.

    I also made the point that mainstream medicine picks and chooses what sort of evidence that it deems appropriate. For the efficacy of vaccines then statistics and anecdotes are fine, if it is the harm of vaccines then only the most rigorous evidence will do. Do you not see the problem here?

    And I understand completely that “dead” is slang for unable to replicate I want to know how this could be so?

    And gaiainc – what do you think exactly is the point of telling me something that we both know to be a complete lie? If diseases are so incredibly easy to diagnose why on earth do doctors earn the salaries that they do? Why do governments protect them with monopolies? Why do we even need doctors when self-diagnosis must be so simple. If, as you say, diseases are so incredibly easy to diagnose the vast majority of the time, wouldn’t disease management be simply a matter of going to a pharmacist and telling them what drug you need? Why would doctors bother to ask us our behavioural history when we tell them of our symptoms? If it is so easy then wouldn’t they just look at you, peer down your throat and voila! Diagnosis done in virtually all cases. Nonetheless, I have to thank you for pointing out that common things happen commonly – that is most enlightening.

  84. #85 T.Bruce McNeely
    September 21, 2009

    I had no idea people had to earn the right to have their questions answered (now it seems I have to earn the right to post). What do I have to do? Get a PhD in microbiology before I am allowed to ask these questions? Does this apply to all fields of knowledge? Only those who already have expertise in economics, politics, law, physics, etc can actually ask any questions about them. Of all the pathetic excuses you guys have used to evade the questions – this is definitely one of them.

    No one has suggested you have to get a PhD. Go to Wikipedia and look things up. You are not “asking questions”, you are making wild claims, and then asking “How come I’m right and you’re not?” It’s as if someone walked into an aeronautics museum and said: “Hey guys, planes are heavier than air and therefore they can’t fly! How come you say they can? Huh? Huh?”
    I’m not afraid to answer questions, I just don’t want to waste my time.

  85. #86 Joseph
    September 21, 2009

    For the efficacy of vaccines then statistics and anecdotes are fine, if it is the harm of vaccines then only the most rigorous evidence will do. Do you not see the problem here?

    @punter: Again, that’s false in that retrospective statistics and anecdotes are not the only evidence that is pursued when testing the efficacy of vaccines. There are also trials.

    It’s also a straw-man. I know you’re asking for concrete examples, so try this. Glanz et al. (2009) found that the risk of getting Pertussis among vaccine refusers was RR=22.8 (6.7-77.5).

    That’s a statistical correlation, but correlation does not imply causation, you might say. How is this different to finding a high risk ratio of autism for children who got their vaccines in 1995 vs. children who got their vaccines in 1989, with less thimerosal?

    First, the risk ratio for Pertussis is huge and difficult to argue with. How do you explain it away?

    Second, the authors of that paper know what they are doing, and they did consider possible confounds and so forth.

    There is no reasonable alternative explanation for the Pertussis finding. In the case of the hypothetical autism finding, on the other hand, there’s an explanation that fits Occam’s Razor: In that period of time (1989 – 1995) it just so happens that the thimerosal dose was increasing, just as many other things in the world were increasing (number of cellphones, number of computers, medium income, etc.), and the number of diagnoses of autism were also increasing at that time – they pretty much have been increasing since the term ‘autism’ was invented. There’s nothing unusual about two trends that move upward at the same time.

    The hypothetical autism association is a naive temporal association, if you will, which has a common pitfall. Good researchers know how to deal with these problems, but some don’t (like the Geiers.) The Pertussis association does not have this problem.

    Moreover, there’s the issue of prior probability and plausibility. The Pertussis finding is basically a confirmation of what is already known. It’s not a surprise. It’s an ordinary claim, which does not require extraordinary evidence. An association between vaccination and autism, on the other hand, lacks plausibility, so it does require extraordinary evidence.

  86. #87 Chris
    September 21, 2009

    punter (are you a real wood table, or just pressboard?):

    What do I have to do? Get a PhD in microbiology before I am allowed to ask these questions?

    Perhaps some basic understanding of science would suffice. Much of the stuff Dedj wrote about is known by a high school student who has taken biology and chemistry, and actually remembers the world or European history class.

    You seemed to have skipped that part of what some of us would call a basic education. Especially when some of you have the opposing views that bacteria do not cause disease, yet sanitation caused diseases to go away (um, sanitation tends to remove bacteria). You also seemed confused to the fact that some microbes are actually beneficial (like the the ones in your gut that help with digestion, not to mention the various microbes used to make cheese, bread, beer, yogurt and so on), while there are some that not so good. You also seemed confused about the issues with blood type factors (which are actually covered in basic biology classes, usually involving Punnett squares and explanation of what happens).

    You also claim that statistics show that vaccines have not had an effect on diseases, yet you do not show what statistics you are using. If you did, I would know exactly which website you were “researching” … since I’ve seen a few. They often start at about the beginning of the 20th century, counting only deaths (not incidence) and a y-axis scale that minimizes the values of the latter half of the 20th century to tiny blips. That is a classic way to “lie with statistics.” (here is an idea, make a chart showing only the ten years before the vaccine, and ten years after the vaccine)

    But the folks who do those charts are not above lying. There is a old but good website that shows how some of the classic anti-vax sites manipulated data, and misrepresented studies:
    http://www.pathguy.com/antiimmu.htm

    Scroll down and read the stuff about SIDS, the pertussis vaccine and Japan. Now that was a classic substitution of diseases! They blamed the pertussis vaccine for SIDS, so delayed the vaccine until age two. Except even more children ended up dead! This time they could not blame the vaccine, because, well… none of the children had received the vaccine. The vaccine was put back into the schedule.

    Oh, unlike you… I can actually cite a paper that outlines that bit of history: Acellular pertussis vaccines in Japan: past, present and future.

    An antivaccine movement developed in Japan as a consequence of increasing numbers of adverse reactions to whole-cell pertussis vaccines in the mid-1970s. After two infants died within 24 h of the vaccination from 1974 to 1975, the Japanese government temporarily suspended vaccinations. Subsequently, the public and the government witnessed the re-emergence of whooping cough, with 41 deaths in 1979. This series of unfortunate events revealed to the public that the vaccine had, in fact, been beneficial.

    The events did lead to the development of the DTaP vaccine in Japan. (Not for the humor impaired: Does that make it “Eastern” medicine?)

    Oh, and by the way, Japan actually stopped using their version of the MMR vaccine (different mumps strain, Urabe instead of Jeryl Lynn) in the 1990s. Then measles returned. So they brought back a MR vaccine, skipping out on the mumps portion. So now mumps is fairly common, with some interesting consequences (look up “Japan mumps unilateral hearing loss” on PubMed)

  87. #88 punter
    September 22, 2009

    For people who hate anecdotal evidence you sure use a lot of it. This may be hard for you guys to understand but there is in fact no universal law that says that everything our Year 9 history or biology teachers told us must be correct. Although I do recall learning in Year 10 history (this is 15 years ago) that by the time I got to 25 that robots would be doing most of the work and humans wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves – so that was pretty much spot on. I guess if our teachers could predict that so spectacularly well then nothing would stop these omniscient beings from being able to track precisely which microbes were causing which particular disease in every single person in the world 100 years ago.

    Joseph I have already provided an explanation of the reduction in pertussis. It is now labelled as croup particularly if the sufferers have been vaccinated. This diagnostic bias can easily account for the discrepancy. I haven’t read the study but I am guessing it was an epidemiological rather than a double-blind trial so this explanation is perfectly plausible.

    As for the autism-vaccination connection. I don’t know how to make this more clear to you guys. My arguments are not that my cherry-picked stats are better than your cherry-picked stats or he said she said. This is how you guys want the debate to run. My arguments get right to the very core of the idea that vaccinations do or even could possibly work. They take commonly accepted facts and use them as a syllogism against the notion of effective vaccinations. You can either argue against the facts themselves or point out why the syllogism is fallacious. That is your choice. You have done neither, instead preferring to repeat the statistical arguments over and over as though such repetition makes them more valid.

    I didn’t use any stats. I merely pointed out that the stats that are used by the pro-vaccine camp can easily be explained away by rediagnosing the same disease into different diseases (or, if you have more confidence in today’s doctors, correcting past diagnostic confusions). Either way the stats are inconclusive. If the stats were accompanied by a raft of physical evidence and double blind placebo controlled trials for efficacy and safety then they would be far more compelling. But there is as far as I am aware (and you guys are choosing to remain coy) the grand total of zero physical evidence for vaccinations. For example get some T-cells in vitro, introduce them to a virus, time how long it takes for the T-cells to fight the virus. Wait several years, take the same T-cells introduce them to the same virus. Take another set of T-cells from the same person, introduce them to said virus and see which set of T-cells “wins”. This would constitute physical evidence that T-cells can “learn” how to fight off infection. But that is just my suggestion. If you guys can think of a better way, or you think we need to introduce antibodies, B-cells, or any other type of cell into the equation so that you can demonstrate immune system “memory” go right ahead.

    If you want to tell me that this is not possible in vitro then fine, but stop telling me that the germ theory is beyond reproach. Either there is compelling physical evidence or there isn’t. If there isn’t and the best you have got is some dodgy stats then it seems to me to be perfectly reasonable to call the whole institution into question.

    You can also do double blind placebo controlled trials. But, just a suggestion, in order to be even remotely compelling, you have to use actual placebos not another vaccine or toxicant/toxin.

    As for sanitation – if you rub a lot of dirt into someone’s open would it will get infected, it is not the presence of the germs but the dirt itself that will make it infected (for example if you pull a splinter out and don’t bother disinfecting it it will heal just fine). I agree that most people would equate sanitation with getting rid of germs but that clearly wasn’t my point (and you were right to question me on it). Sanitation is not particularly important in the general sense (I was thinking more along the lines of overcrowding etc having other effects) and it more or less slipped out when I also mentioned nutrition.

    Actually I take the previous paragraph back. You have no right to question my beliefs and you can all “get right to fuck”. Until you show me your Nobel Peace Prizes I refuse to countenance any of your views.

    And Tsu, why would I provide proof that doctors tell us we should get vaccinated for chicken pox. That makes absolutely no sense. Is it really worth me sending you the link to the list of the CDC’s vaccination schedule. Maybe you are referring to ‘proof’ that what we used to call small pox we now call chicken pox. You kind of missed the style of the argument I was using. None of the ‘facts’ that I have regaled you with are controversial. What is controversial is the interpretation of said facts. My interpretation of the ‘fact’ that recently there has been an increasing prevalence of ‘severe/fatal chicken pox’ is that this is simply because we have now called all small pox cases chicken pox (or monkey pox etc). The fact is uncontroversial, it is my interpretation that is unconventional. However, I believe that my interpretation is superior because of all the other facts that I have alluded to. If you think my interpretation is stupid then that is fine – answer the questions that I have raised and we can all be happy.

    I truly wish that the germ theory/vaccine paradigm was true. It would make me much happier about my tax dollars. I have no financial stake in it not being true and I truly wish that all I had to do to keep my children safe was to give them a little pin prick. But it is a crock. An absolute crock. Until someone, anyone answers my questions – regardless of whether or not I have the right to ask it – I will refrain from believing in the germ theory and therefore getting my children vaccinated.

  88. #89 Militant Agnostic
    September 22, 2009

    Mark Crislip’s comment on those who do not get the flu vaccine.

    http://www.pusware.com/gobbet/gop8.mp3

    Because the world can not get enough Mark Crislip.

  89. #90 MI Dawn
    September 22, 2009

    @punter: I don’t know if you are being a troll or are just obtuse.

    You say “because vaccinations can’t work and I have asked people to explain how they could.” Vaccines work just like getting a disease works to induce your body to fight it.

    Simplified explanation: If you are exposed to a disease (let’s say measles), your body reacts to the appearance to foreign proteins in the body and develops immunities to that protein (B cells and T cells). Those cells remain in your system for many years, but they can decrease to the point where they are so few you may get the disease again.

    A vaccine induces an immune response to the body by exposing the body to those foreign proteins, just in a much smaller amount so that people don’t develop the full-blown illness. Because your body doesn’t know that it’s a vaccine and not the disease, it creates the full amount of immunity, just like you had the disease.

    Now, this does not work in all people. Some people don’t develop a full blown immune response. (For example, I have had measles, and several MMR shots – required for college and grad school – and I do not have a measurable immune response to the disease. For some reason, my body doesn’t see measles as a threat. On the other hand, my brother, who had measles at the same time I did, has never needed the MMR because he shows full immunity, 40+ years after we had the disease).

    The interesting thing, for women, is that a baby is not seen as a foreign protein, in MOST circumstances. Pregnancy hormones generally inhibit a woman’s immune response, similarly to the medications given to transplant patients to prevent them from rejecting the transplanted organ. However, some women do not have a decreased immune response and tend to have a history of multiple miscarriages as the body attacks the blastocyst as a foreign item.

    End of elementary class in immunology. Please do the assigned reading before the next class.

  90. #91 Joseph C.
    September 22, 2009

    Until you show me your Nobel Peace Prizes I refuse to countenance any of your views.

    And what does a peace prize have to do with science expertise? Sure, some noted scientists have won that award, like Linus Pauling and Norman Borlaug. But it’s not a science award. It’s a peace prize. It’s not even awarded in Stockholm. And I’m guessing you don’t know where it’s awarded without looking it up.

  91. #92 Todd W.
    September 22, 2009

    @punter

    Could you please provide citations for the following:

    1) Citation showing that the germ theory is wrong.
    2) Citation showing that sanitation resulted in a decline of diseases.
    3) Citation showing that disease names have simply been changed.

    You’ve made several claims, but have not provided evidence for any of them. I await your (brief) reply.

  92. #93 Joseph
    September 22, 2009

    Joseph I have already provided an explanation of the reduction in pertussis

    @punter: This has exactly zero to do with my example, which was the risk of pertussis in vaccine refusers. Clearly, you are not paying attention and you are not interested in learning anything.

  93. #94 Chris
    September 22, 2009

    punter:

    I merely pointed out that the stats that are used by the pro-vaccine camp can easily be explained away by rediagnosing the same disease into different diseases (or, if you have more confidence in today’s doctors, correcting past diagnostic confusions).

    ….

    I truly wish that the germ theory/vaccine paradigm was true.

    Ah, I see you are not a table made of any cellulose fibers, but one of a solid corundum. No amount of actual science or information can penetrate your noggin.

    You either a liar or a very pathetic troll.

    You have not made any effort to back up any of your assertions, especially the disjointed idea that sanitation had more of an effect than vaccines but that germs do not exist. You don’t even seem to understand why there is a problem with it.

  94. #95 Sid Offit
    September 22, 2009

    @Chris

    Also the “better sanitation” bit tends to fall apart when it comes to polo. Better sanitation made it so polio struck after infancy when it was most likely to cause harm.
    —————————————

    The cleanliness theory is about as valid as the ones about cats and flies causing the disease

    http://www.emedicine.com/pmr/topic6.htm
    Acute Poliomyelitis
    Author: Yingqi Xing, MD, MS,

    Poor sanitation and crowded circumstances are 2 additional factors associated with dissemination

  95. #96 gaiainc
    September 22, 2009

    And gaiainc – what do you think exactly is the point of telling me something that we both know to be a complete lie?

    Because it’s not a lie. Since you think I’m lying and I know I’m not, we’re never going to come to any consensus. There is also the problem that you think that germ theory is bunk and I’m 100% sure that it is not. As such, I’m not sure what the point is in continuing to argue. However, I have to respond to one more thing.

    If diseases are so incredibly easy to diagnose why on earth do doctors earn the salaries that they do? Why do governments protect them with monopolies? Why do we even need doctors when self-diagnosis must be so simple. If, as you say, diseases are so incredibly easy to diagnose the vast majority of the time, wouldn’t disease management be simply a matter of going to a pharmacist and telling them what drug you need? Why would doctors bother to ask us our behavioural history when we tell them of our symptoms? If it is so easy then wouldn’t they just look at you, peer down your throat and voila! Diagnosis done in virtually all cases.

    I never said self-diagnosis was so simple. I said that the difference between chicken pox and smallpox is clear, just as the difference between croup and pertussis is clear to someone trained to make that diagnosis and see the difference. Diagnosis involves the interface of a patient’s history with the patient’s description of symptoms plus a physical exam and if relevant investigatory studies against the background of the epidemiology of the disease and the recognition that common things happen commonly. It’s not ONE single thing. If it was, it sure would make my life easier.

  96. #97 Todd W.
    September 22, 2009

    Just got my seasonal flu immunization this morning. Thus far, no adverse events. I haven’t developed fever, chills, aches, congestion nor, as far as I’m aware, autism (eye contact is okay, no stereotypy, no obsessive behaviors developing, no loss of language).

    Amazingly, the slight sniffle I had before going in this morning has gone away.

    The only thing I’ve really noticed is a loss of motivation and a desire to leave work…but I suspect that has nothing to do with the vaccine.

  97. #98 trrll
    September 22, 2009

    Poor sanitation and crowded circumstances are 2 additional factors associated with dissemination

    Sorry Sid, you missed the point. Polio, like many diseases, is more likely to have severe consequences in older patients than in young children. So when sanitation is poor, everybody gets polio at a very young age, but few people end up paralyzed. Improvements in sanitation reduce the spread, but polio is very infectious, so even with the best sanitation imaginable, a lot of people will get it eventually–and at an age when they are far more likely to end up paralyzed.

  98. #99 Sid Offit
    September 22, 2009

    @trrll

    You still haven’t told me how Paul Offit’s vaccine saved millions of lives

  99. #100 Sid
    September 22, 2009

    @trrll

    So when sanitation is poor, everybody gets polio at a very young age, but few people end up paralyzed
    ————————

    If poor sanitation is protective we shouldn’t need vaccination programs in India, Nigeria and the Swat Valley

  100. #101 trrll
    September 22, 2009

    You still haven’t told me how Paul Offit’s vaccine saved millions of lives

    You are probably right that it is still a bit early for the total number of lives that Offit has saved to be in the millions. After all, “only” half a million children a year die from the virus that Offit’s vaccine protects against, and his vaccine was only approved in 2006.

    If poor sanitation is protective we shouldn’t need vaccination programs in India, Nigeria and the Swat Valley

    I think this is another “Well, duh!” moment.

    Improved sanitation makes the incidence of paralysis higher, so the disappearance of polio paralysis in developed countries cannot be attributed to improved sanitation (even if it made historical sense, which of course it doesn’t)–you simply can’t make sanitation good enough to prevent polio epidemics (there’s always going to be some people who don’t wash their hands). But that doesn’t mean that the risk is zero with poor sanitation–just lower than it is with good sanitation. So the best solution would be to wipe out the disease entirely with worldwide vaccination, just as we did with smallpox.

  101. #102 punter
    September 22, 2009

    See now the responses are completely incoherent. For those of you jumping on board the bandwagon late, you need to read my original post. Especially you MI Dawn.

    Joseph C. – you must be some sort of genius. Do you not get the joke? I thought it was kind of obvious to anybody with an IQ above 10 but read the posts by Dedj to give you some assistance.

    Todd W. – Que? I repeat. Que? Do you have the slightest understanding of logic? There are no citations that show the germ theory is wrong nor are there citations that show it is right. Research can only show facts not the theory binding those facts. I could of course give you papers written by people who don’t believe in the germ theory – but what the hell would that prove?

    And as for citations showing the names of diseases have been changed – funnily enough the CDC doesn’t put on its website that that is what has occurred. What I have done is take the facts as they are presented and made an interpretation of said facts. For example, fact: there was no such thing as viral meningitis before the late 1950s. Fact: the range of symptoms for viral meningitis is the same as the range of symptoms for polio. Fact: there has been a marked increase in cases of viral meningitis and a marked decrease in cases of polio.

    One interpretation of these commonly accepted facts is that at the exact same time as the polio vaccine was introduced a brand new disease with the exact same symptoms as polio sprung up out of nowhere and started infecting large numbers of people. This interpretation would look to most people as completely ridiculous which is why doctors try and downplay the fact that childhood paralysis actually hasn’t fallen that much if at all. Nonetheless this is (ostensibly) the only interpretation that is consistent with the idea that the polio vaccine worked.

    Another interpretation – my interpretation (amongst many others, I have never claimed that my views were original merely that I don’t take others opinions into account when formulating my views (that is what it means to be an independent thinker) but I digress) – is that polio was simply renamed as viral (aseptic) meningitis, as well as cerebral palsy and others and the polio vaccine was completely useless. This to me seems far more plausible than the alternative explanation.
    So there you go – Citation: punter 2009.
    Joseph – I did explain it and I explained it again just to be sure. Doctors often take into account vaccination status when diagnosing diseases. Non-vaccinated get labelled pertussis vaccinated get labelled croup. But obviously we are not going to believe each other. That is why the only way such a study could in any way be compelling it would have to incorporate all respiratory type diseases and vaccination status. Similarly in order to prove that the polio vaccine worked, a study would have to incorporate all infantile paralysis cases etc. As for not wanting to learn anything. Hahahahaha!!! I have changed my opinions on virtually every major scientific, economic and political issue. I am going to go out on a limb and say that everybody here who believes in the germ theory has believed in it for as long as they can remember. Given this how could I possibly be accused of being the one who refuses to learn? (I am not saying this makes me right of course merely that the accusation that I am close minded is completely ridiculous.)

    Chris – I haven’t backed up my assertions? Que? Which assertions (ie facts which aren’t common knowledge) haven’t been backed up? And when did I say that germs did not exist? Can I give you a hint? If you are going to accuse (or even suggest) somebody of being a liar then it would be best not to make a blatant lie in the next sentence. I said that germs don’t cause disease.
    I specifically said that sanitation is not as important as many might think, although obviously I do believe that in the sense that vaccines are completely useless sanitation was more effective than vaccines.

    Gaiainc – I find this comment of yours quite remarkable. My original point was that doctors take into account a range of factors when formulating a diagnosis because the symptoms themselves are often ambiguous. These factors could be things like behaviour, people you associate with, physical activity and yes, even vaccination status. Because of this, comparisons of historical epidemiological data are always going to be inconclusive because once doctors get it into their minds (rightly or wrongly) that certain types of people are more likely to have certain types of diseases there is a diagnostic bias. For example, Kaposi’s Sarcoma and homosexuality or collapsed veins and intravenous drug use.
    But back to your comment. I made the original point which you said was absolutely wrong and demonstrated how foolish I was and that I didn’t understand that common things happened commonly and that virtually all diseases were remarkably easy to diagnose. I then said if that was the case why do doctors get paid so much and that we both knew your statement was a complete lie because doctors take into account a range of factors when making a diagnosis. You then said that what you said wasn’t a lie but then went on to say that indeed doctors do take into a range of factors when making a diagnosis and that diagnosing diseases for people such as yourself (presumably a doctor) is difficult. Exactly the point I made originally. So yes you were lying. Luckily you corrected it at the end and ended up in complete agreement with my point. All is forgiven.

    And I find it interesting that not a single one of you have challenged me on my assertion that there is precisely zero physical evidence for the efficacy of vaccines.

  102. #103 Rogue Epidemiologist
    September 22, 2009

    “And I find it interesting that not a single one of you have challenged me on my assertion that there is precisely zero physical evidence for the efficacy of vaccines.”

    That’s because we have already concluded that you’re a complete dumbass and that your completely preposterous claim is worth addressing.

    but i’ll just feed the troll a little bit and go back to lurking.

    SMALLPOX. The vaccine worked, and it’s gone forever.

    But you’ll just call it chickenpox because you’re just that deluded. Call a donkey a horse all you want, it’s still a donkey. Call variola varicella all you want, it’s still variola.

  103. #104 Militant Agnostic
    September 22, 2009

    But you’ll just call it chickenpox because you’re just that deluded. Call a donkey a horse all you want, it’s still a donkey. Call variola varicella all you want, it’s still variola.

    I think punter just took the goalposts clear out the stadium and hid them under a bridge. Maybe it is time to give up on the troll all you “speakers to tables”.

  104. #105 T. Bruce McNeely
    September 22, 2009

    Okay, punter, here I am again.
    Your insistence that perussis and polio are still endemic, but are now renamed is ludicrous.

    Pertussis and croup are very different illnesses. They have different signs and symptoms, different treatments, and different bacteria are isolated on culture. They are different illnesses.

    Non-paralytic polio is in fact a viral meningitis. Rarely, other viruses can produce a paralytic syndrome resembling paralytic polio. However, viral cultures and antibody testing will demonstrate these other viruses, and NOT poliovirus.
    We simply do not find polio in the Western world, except in the few populations who don’t immunize. We may find other paralytic illnesses, but they are not polio. BTW, cerebral palsy wouldn’t be confused with polio. It is present at birth, and results in a spastic paralysis. Polio causes a flaccid paralysis.

    I realize that I’m probably pissing into the wind here, but maybe punter will realize that he doesn’t know it all.
    Actually, I think this is a job for St. Jude.

  105. #106 Joseph C.
    September 22, 2009

    Joseph C. – you must be some sort of genius. Do you not get the joke? I thought it was kind of obvious to anybody with an IQ above 10 but read the posts by Dedj to give you some assistance.

    Believe it or not, I have better things to do than read every last comment here in detail. Looking back, your “joke” makes little sense. I still don’t believe you actually knew the difference, which kind of goes along with your pattern of immense ignorance. Face it: You’d have problems finding those cities on a globe.

    You fancy yourself a freethinker, but your baseline knowledge is so low that you don’t even know what you’re rebelling against.

    Tell us more about your awesome T-cell experiment. That’s going to work so well without APCs to present the antigens.

  106. #107 Joseph
    September 22, 2009

    Doctors often take into account vaccination status when diagnosing diseases. Non-vaccinated get labelled pertussis vaccinated get labelled croup.

    @punter: And what evidence do you have that this is standard practice, outside of your imagination?

  107. #108 MI Dawn
    September 22, 2009

    @punter: oh, I did read all your earlier comments. Just didn’t want to pile on initially until I was certain you weren’t asking questions honestly. There are those who do.

    How I WISH the cough I had for 3 months was only croup. And I’m sure Dana’s parents in Australia will be very surprised to hear she died of croup.

    And considering my kids had chicken pox but were never vaccinated against smallpox, if smallpox ever returns they are in trouble until they are vaccinated!

  108. #109 MI Dawn
    September 22, 2009

    Oops. Meant to say “There are those who do ask questions honestly, because they actually want to learn. Those people don’t deserve to be piled on.

  109. #110 Dedj
    September 22, 2009

    “Dedj – if you don’t want to (read can’t) answer the questions then don’t”

    You still don’t get it. YOU should have already answered your own questions – for example, your questions about vaccines and haemolytic reactions would have been answered by looking up what haemolytic reactions actually are, the answer someone else gave is both the most easily found and most obvious one. Your questions are so muddle headed, it’s often hard to know what your question actually is. The only way many of them make sense is if we assume you know all the words but not what they mean.

    This has been pointed out to you many times over.

    “I had no idea people had to earn the right to have their questions answered”

    That may be why you blundered in here demanding that we absolutely must answer your questions otherwise our many years of education ‘must’ have been based on lies and falsehoods.

    You demand that we spend our time on this yet you haven’t. That is why you must ‘earn’ the right. You’re demanding something of us that you are not willing to give in return.

    Your replies only really have entertainment value due to your desperate attempts to slime and berate others rather than vailidate your opinions with demonstration of actual understanding. The posters here are basically doing no more now than just poking you with sticks.

    I would advise the closure of this thread if it weren’t for the fact that you serve as a very good example of why you should know what you’re talking about before accusing others of being liars or dupes.

    I’d advise you not to carry this attitude of yours over to when you’re old enough to go to bars, or college. We’re very tame compared to the adult environments many of us have had to work or study in.

  110. #111 trrll
    September 22, 2009

    There are no citations that show the germ theory is wrong nor are there citations that show it is right. Research can only show facts not the theory binding those facts. I could of course give you papers written by people who don’t believe in the germ theory – but what the hell would that prove?

    And here, punter reveals that he is not merely denying germ theory, but the entire scientific method. Crank magnetism in its purest form.

    There really is no point in trying to educate somebody like this, because he is actively avoiding acquiring any actual knowledge about immunology, medical diagnosis, bacteriology, or biology of disease. He doesn’t even have enough knowledge to come up with his own critique of germ theory, as all of his questions are clearly cribbed from crank sites. Cranks like this have an overwhelming need to believe that they have special insight and intelligence, and that the great number people who have devoted decades to studying a subject and carrying out original research are fools, liars, or both. He cultivates denial because it allows him to imagine himself as an original thinker challenging orthodoxy, even though his is merely parroting cant that was old decades ago. To maintain this delusion, it is essential that he avoid confronting the actual data, the hundreds of thousands of papers that have studied the growth of microorganisms, the mechanisms whereby they cause disease, detailed study of the structure and function of bacterial toxins, animal models of infectious diseases, the function of the immune system, animal models of immunization. If he actually cared about any of this, he could find it in any basic textbook, but you’ll never get him to look at it, because it is all about him, and maintaining his self image as the brilliant outsider who doesn’t need to look at the details of the data to see the truth. Real science is dangerous to his self-image, because science, and especially biology is very humbling. It takes a great deal of effort merely to learn enough to understand the terminology, much less the reasoning. Struggling to understand would be deadly to his self-image as the guy with brilliant insight. He has to believe that all of that complexity and detail is merely a smokescreen, that anything worth knowing can be explained in a few nontechnical words on a blog. He comes here not seeking knowledge, but to reinforce his self-image. He will leave sincerely believing that he came here asking a few questions, and that the supposed scientists on this blog were awed by his brilliance and completely unable to answer his challenge. And anything you say to him will simply reinforce that belief.

  111. #112 punter
    September 22, 2009

    This is just so much fun. Over a dozen questions, absolutely none answered but I have been psychoanalysed. trrill I don’t consider myself that brilliant – not comapared to people who can do things like build skyscrapers and fancy computers. All I said was that I come to my conclusions independently – ie that whilst I listen to others’ arguments and facts I don’t take into account others’ opinions when formulating my views even if everybody else thinks they are experts. This is particularly so when the so called experts are not in a position to independently verify the validity of their beliefs (ie I would trust an engineer when they told me how to build an engine or a surgeon when they told me to how to fix a gun-shot wound but not a GP who injects various substances into children).

    But no matter – if there are hundreds of papers that demonstrate the pathogenicity of viruses/bacteria (get the virus, purify it, inject it into some human cells in vitro and observe the expected pathogenicity) then you should have no trouble at all providing just the one. Oh but wait, I don’t deserve to see these papers do I? They exist of course, but Father Christmas MD won’t show them to anybody who is on the naughty list.

    And I certainly never expected you to be awed by my brilliance on the contrary I expected you to get extremely angry that someone dared to challenge you. I have made these points countless times to countless people, lay people, geneticists, immunologists and of course GPs. None of them have any answers and instead tend to just get angry that you should even ask the question. Because of this it occurred to lil ol me that maybe the answers don’t exist after all. I certainly never assumed that I could see what billions of others hadn’t and instead I have given the protagonists the chance to have their right of reply. Instead of taking that opportunity they get angry and abusive and tell me I don’t have the right to ask questions and to “get right to fuck” (sorry to labor the point Dedj but you actually had the gall to defend your idiocy so I am getting extra mileage out of it).

    And word of advice Joseph C: when you hit rock bottom – stop digging.

    And it is not my T-cell experiment you clown. I shouldn’t have to explain it because it is so goddamn obvious but I will. I made an assertion that you guys have no physical evidence. I made a suggestion as to what form that physical evidence might take but you can do any experiment you like. If you or someone else has already done this experiment then please send me the link/reference with a brief explanation as to what was done and why it “proved” immune system memory vis-a-vis vaccinations. If not I will go on believing that the concept of T-cell, B-cell or whatever-cell memory is a fairy tale. Comprenez?

    And T Bruce McNeely – maybe the reason we only find polio in immunized people in the Western world is because that is the only place we look? But amazingly, despite everything I have said, that thought never occurred to you.

    And Dedj – the foreign blood thing was the only thing that came even remotely close to being answered and it wasn’t even the main point of my argument.

  112. #113 Joseph C.
    September 22, 2009

    If not I will go on believing that the concept of T-cell, B-cell or whatever-cell memory is a fairy tale. Comprenez?

    Did your parents drop you a lot as a baby? Like on the head, repeatedly.

    You can’t criticize something that you know nothing about. You’ve clearly never even heard of an antigen-presenting cell, which means you haven’t really even begun to attempt to learn any of this. You’re the guy who reads a bad review of a movie, and then goes out and tells everyone that it sucked.

  113. #114 gr8blessings
    September 22, 2009

    punter says: But no matter – if there are hundreds of papers that demonstrate the pathogenicity of viruses/bacteria (get the virus, purify it, inject it into some human cells in vitro and observe the expected pathogenicity) then you should have no trouble at all providing just the one. Oh but wait, I don’t deserve to see these papers do I? They exist of course, but Father Christmas MD won’t show them to anybody who is on the naughty list.

    Here you go – knock yourself out. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/

    You can limit your search for “free online text” since you have no idea what a medical research library looks like.

  114. #115 trrll
    September 22, 2009

    But no matter – if there are hundreds of papers that demonstrate the pathogenicity of viruses/bacteria (get the virus, purify it, inject it into some human cells in vitro and observe the expected pathogenicity) then you should have no trouble at all providing just the one.

    And somehow, crank denialists always seem to end up demanding “just the one” paper that proves whatever they want to deny, whether it be HIV and AIDS, evolution, or global warming. They cannot face the reality of a scientific enterprise in which the conclusions of people working in the field rest not on “just the one” key paper, but on thousands and thousands of pages of detailed experimental studies. All of that fine print and complicated jargon must be just smoke and mirrors. It can’t really be so complicated that people can’t explain all of the key evidence to him in a few hundred words of a blog reply. If people keep referring him to thick, hard-to-read textbooks and a PubMed index to hundreds of thousands of papers on the subject, it only proves that they don’t know the answers to his “simple” questions.

  115. #116 Chris
    September 23, 2009

    poke…. poke… poke…

    Oh, Corundum Table (punter), the fact that you even bring up “diagnostic substitution” in an era of modern microbiology puts you directly in the camp of the germ theory of disease deniers. While it may be difficult at times, samples are taken (often!) and analyzed (and if it is suspected polio, a PCR can be used to detect what version it is, like the type that just appeared in Nigeria). It doesn’t help when the symptoms of the diseases are not terribly similar (like pertussis and croup, and or diphtheria versus tonsillitis… hello? what in your solid corundum imagination makes you think there would not be a throat culture?).

    But, hey! When you get your information from certain anti-vax sites, and refuse to learn the basics, you tend to miss the obvious inconsistencies.

    poke… poke… poke…

    Here is the blog of a real infectious disease doctor, and he illustrates what kind of detective work has to be done to get a diagnosis: Because The World Needs More Mark Crislip ™.

    poke… poke… poke…

    Anyway, since you crave reading material and are too lazy to go to a library to read some basics, here is another source of data: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/summary.html

    poke… poke… poke…

    Oh, and like Dedj said, we are laughing at you.

    If you really want us to stop laughing, you should do some basic reading of real stuff. Here are some books that show the history of infectious disease and efforts to diagnose and treat:

    Plagues and Peoples by William H. McNeill
    Polio, an American Story by David M. Oshinsky
    The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson
    Microcosm by Carl Zimmer
    Flu! by Gina Kolata
    The Great Influenza by John Barry

    poke… poke… poke…

    But I only offer this on the premise you are actually willing to learn enough so we don’t have a reason to laugh at you. Though it might require that you actually go to (gasp!) a library and (gasp!) read at least one whole book!

    poke… poke… poke…

    None of the books are difficult (okay, the first one is a bit), but I managed to get through them and I am only an engineer with only one class in biology.

  116. #117 punter
    September 23, 2009

    Thank you trrll for admitting that there are in fact no papers that demonstrate the validity of the germ theory /vaccine paradigm. What you actually have reminds me of when Bart Simpson was given millions of dot com stock instead of money and he asked “What’s a million times nothing? And don’t tell me it’s nothing.”

    Either the evidence is there or it is not. If it is point me to it. Pretty simple concept really. If what is needed is several papers together forming a logical argument then point me to them. If not don’t give me garbage about how thousands of papers have been published on the germ theory. Thousands of papers have been published about astrology too, it doesn’t make it correct. The notion that the number of papers being published proves the validity of a theory is absolutely absurd. What is the threshold for a theory becoming true? Does 100,000 do it, a million, two million? If the threshold is 1 million does that mean that if there are only 999,999 papers then the theory is a bunch of crap, but the moment one more paper gets published all of sudden the theory completely reflects reality?

    And Chris – you guys are right. I hate so much being laughed at by such wonderful people as yourselves. Consequently I will ignore the fact that every single last one of you has refused point blank to answer my seemingly simple questions and change my mind. I don’t know what I was thinking valuing truth over popularity.

    But I don’t believe you guys are laughing. You guys are in fact extremely angry. Here is a guy with limited knowledge of medicine pointing out that the Emperor has no clothes. You guys laugh nervously and ridicule me, tell me I have no right to ask these questions, and you send me on wild goose chases but you can’t for the life of you find those damn clothes. Not even a figleaf.

  117. #118 T. Bruce McNeely
    September 23, 2009

    And T Bruce McNeely – maybe the reason we only find polio in immunized people in the Western world is because that is the only place we look? But amazingly, despite everything I have said, that thought never occurred to you.

    Of course it occurred to me, you fool. What makes you think it didn’t? And what about pertussis and croup?

    You just might get a more favourable response to your “questions” if you didn’t come on like a narcissistic hostile prick. Just sayin’…

  118. #119 Chris
    September 23, 2009

    Still laughing. Too bad being so clueless and resistant to learning isn’t actually painful.

  119. #120 trrll
    September 23, 2009

    Either the evidence is there or it is not. If it is point me to it. Pretty simple concept really. If what is needed is several papers together forming a logical argument then point me to them.

    It can’t possibly be true that scientists base their conclusions on not just one paper–or a most a small handful–that can be explained in in a few hundred words in a blog post, but on the sum total of evidence from thousands and thousands of studies. It just can’t be true that one has to read those thick textbooks and thousands of pages of experimental reports in order to evaluate the evidence. It just can’t!

    And since he will never dare to read the textbooks, much less the original research, nothing in this world can ever disabuse him of the notion that if the evidence can’t be summarized to him in a few words, then it must not exist.

  120. #121 MI Dawn
    September 23, 2009

    Well, punter, since you have proven yourself to be a troll, and an idiot to boot, I don’t plan on interacting with you any more. Like the others, I have given you reading suggestions to answer your questions.
    But, before I stop replying, here is a basic primer as to how bacteria/viruses are linked to a disease:
    Step 1: take samples from sick person (depending on the presentation of the disease, this might be skin, blood, spinal fluid, saliva, whatever)
    Step 2: try to isolate any foreign cells in the sample and grow them in a cell-growth solution
    Step 3: inject the cells into lab animals and see if they get sick (sometimes they will skip step 2 and go to step 3 since they can’t initially identify cells)
    Step 4: take samples from sick animals and inject them into other well animals and see if they get sick
    Step 5: see if the same foreign cells are present in all the animals that got sick and not in any of the well animals
    Step 6: name the foreign cell (virus/bacteria) as the disease causing item

    Bacteria are pretty easily identified this way if they cause disease. Viruses are much more difficult since many of them require a specialized medium to live.

    Now, since you won’t do any work on your own to learn more (no, there is not 1 magic paper that proves all pathogenic bacteria/viruses cause their diseases), I will recommend 1 more piece of reading. Again in the book I recommended before, The Medical Detectives, Volume II, there is a story (only 17 pages, I’m sure you can read that many) called The Alerting of Mr Pomerantz, where a new disease, caused by a previously unknown bacteria-like organism is identified.

    So now, good bye. I will leave you to trrll and the others who are better than I am at dealing with trolls and defiantly stupid people.

  121. #122 MI Dawn
    September 23, 2009

    Ooops…forgot the close the italics quote. Sorry, anyone who reads my comment!

  122. #123 Todd W.
    September 23, 2009

    @punter

    Okay, so you admit that you have no evidence to back up your claims that germ theory is wrong.

    Next set of questions:

    1) What medical and/or scientific education have you had?
    2) Where have you gained your expertise in evaluating and questioning the medical concept that bacteria and viruses cause disease?
    3) You say that you trust the engineer when he tells you how to build an engine, or a surgeon on how to fix a wound, but why do you not trust the scientist specializing in infectious disease or microbiology when he tells you that bacteria and viruses cause disease?

    And stop complaining about people not giving you the info that shows the germ theory is correct. You have been pointed to numerous texts and resources, yet have failed to utilize any of them.

    But, I have a more definitive way to show that the germ theory is correct. Find some way to gain access to a BL3 or BL4 lab and go in while work is going on without wearing a respirator, gloves or other protective gear. Handle/inhale the bacteria/virus medium being work with. If you’re right, you shouldn’t suffer any adverse reactions at all. You shouldn’t get sick. You should be able to refuse all treatment for yourself since you won’t need it, right? (Though they may want to quarantine you, just in case you’re wrong.) So, what do you say? Wanna get a nice lung-full of, say, TB? Perhaps ebola?

  123. #124 trrll
    September 23, 2009

    Once upon a time, there was a blind man who did not believe in elephants. His friends, who were blind also, went frequently to the zoo, and brought back many tales of the marvelous beast that they had encountered and touched. But the he was unmoved.

    “I am not so gullible as you.” he said, “It is clear to me that no such outlandish beast can exist. I believe you may be the victims of a fraud that the zookeeper has concocted to cozen you out of your admission fees. I do not have time to waste on fake beasts. But I’ll tell you what. I’ll accompany you to the zoo one time, and I believe that I can prove that I am right.”

    When they arrived at the zoo, he told them, “I do not care to spend a great deal of time investigating an obvious fraud, but I’ll tell you what I’ll do. Each of you can show me what you consider to be the most distinctive feature of this so-called elephant, and I will touch each one for myself.” So one led him to the tail, and he exclaimed, “Ah, I see how you are deceived. You have clearly mistaken a piece of rope for part of a marvelous beast.” Another led him to a leg, and he exclaimed, “You are deceived. This is clearly just a tree.” A third led him to the side of the elephant, and he exclaimed, “But this is merely a wall.”

    His friends cried out, “But this is not the way to know the elephant. You must walk all around him, climb on top of him and crawl under him, and touch every part of him to understand how all of the parts relate.”

    “Nonsense,” he told them. “You clearly have no understanding of logic.” I have felt what you described as the most distinctive parts of the elephant, and have shown you that each could be something else entirely, and thus is no evidence for a marvelous beast. What is the point of touching it in more places? A million times nothing is still nothing. I have not the time to spend on wild goose chases”

    Despite his friends’ repeated entreaties, he refused to approach the elephant further. “It is all right,” he told them. “I understand why you are upset with me–you are angry that I have shown you all to be wrong and myself to be right.”

  124. #125 Joseph C.
    September 23, 2009

    Consequently I will ignore the fact that every single last one of you has refused point blank to answer my seemingly simple questions and change my mind. I don’t know what I was thinking valuing truth over popularity.

    But you’re not actually trying to learn anything. You’re just here to troll. Must be still pissed off about that F you got in 4th grade biology just before you dropped out and you’re here to enact your revenge on those propeller-headed science nerds.

    Just doesn’t you don’t know or don’t understand something does not make it wrong. And just because something doesn’t “make sense” to you, in your very limited fund of knowledge, doesn’t make it wrong either.

    You might get more respect if:

    1) You had even a cursory knowledge of these subjects and asked specific, sincere questions.
    2) You weren’t a proud ignoramus.
    3) You didn’t come off as an argumentative teenager whose only has “nuh-uh” in his argumentative repertoire.

  125. #126 Dedj
    September 23, 2009

    “And Dedj – the foreign blood thing was the only thing that came even remotely close to being answered and it wasn’t even the main point of my argument.”

    Both incorrect and irrelevant.

    The point that you missed was that you would not have even had to ask the question had you done the precursory study of looking up the mainstream explanation. The same for your ‘immune system memory’ question, and indeed most of your questions. This isn’t even degree level study. It’s stuff that is amply explained through the numerous FAQ and encylopedia sites that one gets if you put the most obvious words into a google search. You have even stated clearly that you expect the answers to be handed to you, rather than go looking for them yourself. This is both rude and downright selfish.

    When it takes a non-medically trained person (my training is in occupational therapy) less than a minute to find numerous results answering your questions, using non-specialised terminology on a non-sebject-specific search engine, it’s safe to say that you have not done the research or did not do it very well.

    I have the evidence right in front of me that clearly suggests that you haven’t done the most basic of checks to see if the answers are already out there. If you have, you clearly did not understand a word of it. You still don’t get it that if these questions occured to you, then they’re likely to have occured to mainstream scientists, whose work is likely to be available.

    You demand answers on a plate, but provide nothing in return.

    It is not our responsibility to educate you, and if it was, you’d certainly be expected to pay for it.

    Now get off your arse and hit the library. Stop being a lazy teen and do your own work.

  126. #127 diatom
    September 23, 2009

    Hey Orac, any verification of your rumor from post 35? I see Jefferson is still on the NVIC speaking schedule. Always best to verify the truth before spreading rumors.

  127. #128 punter
    September 23, 2009

    More pathetic excuses and obfuscation. The only person who came close to saying anything remotely interesting was MI Dawn. Congratulations.

    But this still wouldn’t be physical proof that germs cause disease would it? If there is a particular germ that gets stimulated when we are sick (for some other reason) and the injection of foreign particles into our bloodstream poisoned us then all of these conditions would be fulfilled and yet still no proof of pathogenic germs. I have seen many tests taking a similar MO and it was clear that the animals were poisoned because those animals that got large quantities of the “virus” died whereas those who got low quantities survived (those who got medium doses took a while to die). This is clearly not consistent with the notion that the viruses replicate inside our bodies. In short, this process certainly doesn’t constitute proof. I could only read about some of the “isolation” of rickettsialpox but this also mentioned dose-dependent morbidity and mortality which tells me that, again, proof of pathogenicity (as opposed to poisoning) is still lacking.

    And thanks for the story trrll. Great read. Except that if all science could be predicated on evidence so tenuous, then we should all believe the most ridiculous things (but then again, I guess we do). I could make the same argument for homeopathy but here you guys refuse to believe it because it is not “logical”. Why is the standard of evidence different for one theory than for another? (I am not a supporter of homeopathy I am just making the point that you guys are completely inconsistent).

    And Todd W. Look up the story of Max von Pettenkofer http://ocp.hul.harvard.edu/contagion/vonpettenkofer.html These tests have been done. If you eat germs they won’t harm you (unless the quantity is enormous). And yes if you want I could stand in a room of ebola virus with complete confidence. Of course I wouldn’t allow you to inject me with anything.

    And Joseph C. – are you kidding me? I have been remarkably polite, sensible and coherent. I have endeavoured to answer all of the questions that people have put forward despite the fact there are dozens of you and only one of me. I have asked time and time again for people to give me the answers to my questions. I don’t and never did expect any of you to actually answer them. But I gave you the chance. You refused to take that chance. You guys spend so much time ridiculing anybody by calling them woo or whatever. As if there is any way I could have behaved that would make you guys do anything other than despise me. I have called into question your entire worldview and done it in a way that not a one of you have the slightest clue how to answer.

    People of integrity would say – geez punter you have come up with some really interesting points there and to be honest I really don’t know the answers to any of them. I will do some further research and get back to you, if I can’t find these answers then I will have to admit that maybe my worldview isn’t quite as clear cut as I originally assumed.

    On the other hand clowns would say – get lost punter, what right have you got to ask these questions? You obviously don’t know what you are talking about. Go and read every single published article ever written on medicine and then get back to me. It isn’t my job or anyone else’s here to defend our positions just because we spend our entire lives ridiculing everybody else’s positions as ‘woo’. Of course the answers to all these questions exist but why should I tell you? We don’t provide this sort of information for free you know. We expect you to turn up to get your vaccines like good citizens doing their bit for herd immunity, we expect you to listen to us when we tell you that you need to be quarantined or take antibiotics (indeed a large number of us believe vaccinations should be compulsory) but nonetheless we have absolutely no reason whatsoever to defend our views to you or anybody else. We are right and we know it. We don’t need your stinking logic or evidence, we have authority and popularity and that is all that matters.

  128. #129 Todd W.
    September 23, 2009

    @punter

    Care to answer those other questions I asked? Thank you.

  129. #130 Dedj
    September 23, 2009

    “People of integrity would say – geez punter you have come up with some really interesting points there and to be honest I really don’t know the answers to any of them.”

    But you didn’t as was pointed out numerous times, and most if not all of your questions that were tackled were answered. You still don’t get it that you’re not the first person to come up with this.

    “We don’t provide this sort of information for free you know……. but nonetheless we have absolutely no reason whatsoever to defend our views to you or anybody else.”

    Nor should we provide your education for free. That is your responsibility, not ours. It still hasn’t occured to you that the mainstream view has become how it has become by having evidence behind it. It still hasn’t occured to you to actually look in the mainstream. No-one is asking you to look everywhere – thats a lie that won’t fly here – just in the basic places.

    Absolutely none of what you have attributed to us is actually true, and I’m sure I’m not the only person who is personally offended by your blithe and sarcatic bastardisations of what we have told you.

    “I have been remarkably polite, sensible and coherent”

    False, you have been rude, arrogant, self-referential, dismissive and deliberetly malicious in your bastardisation and misattribution of your opponents arguements. You have repeatedly mocked people and lied to us.

    “I have endeavoured to answer all of the questions that people have put forward despite the fact there are dozens of you and only one of me”

    False. I’ve asked you one that you did not answer. So I’ll restate it: with reference to the mainstream explanation of how memory t-cells work, detail how this explanation is incompatible with the idea that vaccines can be used to confer immunity to the recipient.

    No accusations, no dodging. Just pure answer.

  130. #131 T. Bruce McNeely
    September 23, 2009

    I have been remarkably polite, sensible and coherent

    PFFFFFFFFTHTHTHTHFFFF!!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks a bunch, punter. Now I have have to buy a new keyboard.

  131. #132 punter
    September 24, 2009

    Dedj – the answer to your question is that it is perfectly consistent. I never argued the theory of vaccinations was internally inconsistent (at least in this respect) I argued against the premise that T-cells can remember things. In short, the syllogism: T-cells have memory, vaccinations stimulate that memory meaning that such cells can more easily detect future exposure to pathogens, ergo vaccinations confer immunity is a valid argument. However, it is not sound because T-cells can’t remember things. I’m sorry I thought this was perfectly clear from my original argument.

    And I find it amazing that you have posted so many “responses” to me all saying the same thing: You are not going to provide me with the information I seek despite the fact that it is all there sitting right in front of you and you could hit the send button any time you want. You just don’t want to. Now if you did hit the send button then what a fool I would look like, all this crap I have been spouting and in one foul swoop you would reduce me and my ideas to a withering mess. This leads to two possible conclusions. Either you are very concerned about my fragility and don’t want to hurt my feelings, or you are a liar and have no such answers. Well I hate to question your integrity Dedj but I just don’t believe you care for me that much.

    And Todd W your first two questions were nothing more than an attempt to smear me as being ignorant. In reference to the third I thought it was obvious but here goes. When an engineer builds an engine he flicks the on switch and the engine starts to roar – or doesn’t. From this he can determine if his theory of building engines is valid. Simply because if the engine worked then it is highly unlikely that his engine building theory was wrong – possible but not likely. Similarly for a doctor saving someone’s life from a gun shot wound – this is probably slightly less clear cut, nonetheless it would be hard for a doctor to save thousands of people in similar situations unless their method was effective. But no such signal exists for GPs providing vaccinations. The child does not flash a neon sign on their forehead when their T-cells have gained memory from a particular virus. Consequently doctors do not have access to any privileged information as to the efficacy of vaccines. And like all situations where personal experience is useless at providing independent verification of a theory doctors tend to herd rather than do their own independent verification of the evidence. So they simply trust the reports put out by others that say that a particular vaccine triggers the production of certain antibodies and these presumably demonstrate that the child is now immunised etc.

    Engineers don’t herd (at least not in the sense referred to above) emergency medicine practitioners don’t either, but lots of other types of “experts” do – economists are another prime example. Economists cannot independently verify from their experience whether their theories are correct so they look to other’s opinions. This is a good rule of thumb for you and all the others here to determine when it is reasonable to trust authority and when it is extremely dangerous to do so. More valuable lessons I reckon you guys have learnt more from me in a couple of days than you have from others your entire lives. It’s all right, no need to thank me.

  132. #133 Todd W.
    September 24, 2009

    @punter

    My first two questions were not to smear you as ignorant. You have already demonstrated that much by being unaware of the evidence that supports germ theory. Ignorance is not necessarily a bad thing. Refusal to take responsibility to do something about that ignorance, however, is not particularly a redeeming quality. I asked because I am genuinely curious as to your background so I can better understand where you are coming from. So, I will ask again:

    1) What medical and/or scientific education have you had?
    2) Where have you gained your expertise in evaluating and questioning the medical concept that bacteria and viruses cause disease?

    As to my third question, you apparently did not read it closely enough. I did not ask about general practitioners. You called into question the validity of germ theory. Which means you question the conclusions of experts in the field: scientists specializing in infectious diseases and microbiologists. Of course GPs are not experts in this. No more than a general contractor is a structural engineer or a general surgeon is a specialist in heart surgery. So, since you failed to answer my third question, too, here it is again:

    3) You say that you trust the engineer when he tells you how to build an engine, or a surgeon on how to fix a wound, but why do you not trust the scientist specializing in infectious disease or microbiology when he tells you that bacteria and viruses cause disease?

    Thank you.

  133. #134 Scott
    September 24, 2009

    Punter, nobody could possibly “smear” you for being ignorant more than you’ve already done yourself.

    And if you’re really so clueless as to believe that assembling such information takes no time at all and just requires hitting a button, you’re even stupider than you appeared before.

  134. #135 T. Bruce McNeely
    September 24, 2009

    More valuable lessons I reckon you guys have learnt more from me in a couple of days than you have from others your entire lives. It’s all right, no need to thank me.

    Oh yes, I have learned a lot from you, that’s for sure. For instance, the extent to which an apparently sane person can be delusional about himself.

  135. #136 trrll
    September 24, 2009

    @punter

    Well, I must admit that you have finally said something of interest. I am intrigued by you rationalization of the results of injecting pathogens. It’s wrong of course (the results you describe are entirely consistent with viral replication in the body), but that’s not the point. I’m interested in how you would explain a more detailed experiment, of a type that has been repeated many times, with many different pathogens.

    Experiment:

    A group of animals is randomly divided into three groups, A-D

    Group A is injected with a bacterial pathogen

    Group B is injected with a same pathogen, but “cooked” (heated to a temperature that destroys its ability to reproduce by cell division).

    Group C is injected with the same pathogen, and then with a chemical inhibitor of an enzyme found only in bacteria, one that is critical for repair of the cell wall after division. The chemical has been shown to kill bacteria in culture.

    Group D is injected with the same vehicle solution used for the bacterial injections, but with no bacteria included.

    Results:

    Group A becomes sick. Sampling their blood reveals high levels of bacteria, far more than were present in the original injection. Half of group A is then injected with the same chemical inhibitor previously given to group C. They recover, and sampling of their blood reveals low levels of bacteria. The animals not give the inhibitor die.

    Group B does not become ill. Sampling their blood reveals no detectable bacteria.

    Group C does not become ill. Sampling their blood reveals no bacteria.

    Group D does not become ill.

    Follow-up experiment:

    After several weeks the surviving animals from group A (the ones previously given the inhibitor) and the animals in Groups B-D receive an injection of the pathogen. Those from groups A-C survive with mild or no symptoms of illness, and are found to have low levels of bacteria in their blood. Those from group D become sick and die, with high levels of bacteria in their blood.

    Your explanation?

  136. #137 Dedj
    September 24, 2009

    “However, it is not sound because T-cells can’t remember things.”

    In short, no, your description of the mainstream view was not only wrong and missing a huge and very vital gap, but was also circular

    I even gave you a reaaaaaaaally big clue in the question and you fluffed it.

    “I’m sorry I thought this was perfectly clear from my original argument.”

    Indeed it was not, and actually indicated a huge gap in knowledge and understanding, which you have just amply confirmed.

    That was all I needed to know.

  137. #138 Dedj
    September 24, 2009

    We should get back to the thread topic.

    As entertaining as punter has been, he would be better off spending his time on his schoolwork. He might learn something then.

  138. #139 Todd W.
    September 24, 2009

    @Dedj

    We should get back to the thread topic.

    Good point. Well, it’s been two days and a few hours, now, since I got my seasonal flu shot. Still no fever, sniffles, nausea, loss of eye contact, loss of language, horns or any other bad nastiness.

  139. #140 T. Bruce McNeely
    September 24, 2009

    Still no fever, sniffles, nausea, loss of eye contact, loss of language, horns or any other bad nastiness.

    No horns? Dammit. Horns would be SO COOL.

  140. #141 Todd W.
    September 24, 2009

    @T. Bruce McNeely

    No horns? Dammit. Horns would be SO COOL.

    Agreed, though I imagine it would make wearing a bike helmet a bit tricky. Then again, my coworkers keep saying I’m evil, so perhaps its good that I haven’t developed any horns yet. It would just give them more fodder.

  141. #142 trrll
    September 24, 2009

    I had some mild muscle soreness where i got the shot. No other symptoms, gone in a couple of days. That is the worst side effect that I’ve ever had from a flu shot.

  142. #143 rennee
    September 24, 2009

    Hackers expose Illumianti “One World Religion” agenda:

    http://rikijo.blogspot.com

    #######################
    Haven’t they learned what happens when they embark on such a path? Is history that distant that rememberance of the ‘Nimrodian failure’ at the tower of Babel is not possible for them?

    I mean, there was already a ‘Nimrod’ who failed to execute this ideology because it was deemed too dangerous by much higher powers for mankind to engage it. This is why the languages were confounded, to prevent Nimrod from destroying humanity.

    -But they’re back like a bad dream at their so called secretive G-Nation summits, scheming behind closed doors, always planning forward to their satanic Nimrodian enslavement of all humanity.

    The ancient Nimrodian god complex has not abated. The mindset is still present with these modern world leaders.
    The Elite want to actually try to finish what Nimrod of old failed to accomplish which is a “One World Government” under one ruler..

    -Realizing this “Truth” I have to consider the fact that the Elite of the world are in fact “Nimrods” or ‘Nimrodian slaves’ to the failed
    “New World Order” policies of Nimrod of old.
    -This situation is ironic from a certain perspective..Due to the fact that God already let us in on the “New World Order” Nimrod-lesson from His Word in the Holy Bible.

    -Nimrod paid the price for not getting the serious nature of his mistake, and this “grave error” turned his very name into a self-inflicted “joke”

    Satan is laughing at his newest NWO pawns, like Barack Obama, Bush, and the entire elite secret society network of satan worshippers, who are working feverishly, and are very busy once again, setting up the old “New World Order” joke or ‘dictatorship hoax’ upon humanity.

    Their coming New World Order dictatorship will be like Nazi Germany reborn.
    The New World Order is simply an Illuminati “TRAP” to enslave all of Humanity under Satanic (Luciferian) intiation, before the Coming of the true Lord, Jesus Christ.

    -And we’re not laughing, we’re preparing for escape, because this is what anyone who knows what’s coming would do if they knew Biblical history.
    -And that is find salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ, due to the serious implications of this coming great “New World Order” deception. It will prove to be the worst time in Human history.

    This is all coming to a serious confrontation between the forces of light and of darkness.
    I mean, these pagan Illuminati new age occultists are the real hangers-on of Nimrod’s failed and blasphemous one-world policies.

    -But these New Age Theosophists and `New World Order adherents like Oprah and Obama actually believe that Lucifer will “win” this time around.
    These worshippers of Satan have failed to understand that Satan was already defeated, and He is now just waiting for his judgment along with the rest of mankind.

    There is a reason the name ‘Nimrod” is used in derision to this very day.

    Thousands of years ago a Man actually “became” his own name,
    “NIMROD” -Written in history as a noted attempt by Man to go directly against the will of the true Lord Jehovah God.
    Nimrod’s documented failure was supposed to be a lesson and a serious warning for any and all of Earth’s future “New World Order” ‘Nimrodian god-wannabees’ like Bush, Obama, Oprah, and all those influencial world business leaders and “New Age-anything goes” practitioners pushing hard against common sense, and rushing quickly towards their own destruction.

  143. #144 diatom
    September 24, 2009

    Here’s a systematic review by T. Jefferson et al regarding influenza prevention.

    http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/339/sep21_1/b3675

    “The disparity in effectiveness between the high profile of influenza vaccines and antivirals and the low profile of physical interventions is striking. Public health recommendations are almost completely based on the use of vaccines and antivirals despite the lack of strong evidence. Vaccines work best in those who are universally considered least to need them, namely, healthy adults.”

  144. #145 Chris
    September 24, 2009

    Diatom, read this comment about Jefferson.

  145. #146 diatom
    September 24, 2009

    deetee’s personal opinion and blanket dismissal of Jefferson as a “toe rag” based upon a 3 minute video interview is not convincing. Nor does the attempt to smear Jefferson detract from his large and meticulous body of work. Further, it does absolutely nothing to negate the findings of the systematic review I cited in my last post. Juvenile name calling cannot be taken seriously by those of us who actually read Jefferson’s work. Criticize his comments in the interview, if you will, chalk them up to misunderstanding or irresponsibility, but a knee jerk dismissal of all the Cochrane reviews? Come now, not very scientific.

  146. #148 Jennifer B. Phillips
    September 25, 2009

    Holy crap, Dr. Bremner. Your ‘response’ is ridiculous and insubstantial, and your fact-free snipes at Orac reveal much more about you than they do about him. Furthermore, you absolutely suck at Photoshop.

  147. #149 Chris
    September 25, 2009

    Wait, what? Isn’t Bremner a psychologist? What does he know about immunology? Truthfully that is why I did not click on his link. If I want to know about influenza and viruses I go to the “This Week in Virology” podcast, and/or the blog of the main guy: http://www.virology.ws/

  148. #150 Orac
    September 25, 2009

    I saw it before, and I’m so impressed by Dr. Bremner’s maturity and scintillating wit. His mad Photoshop skillz, not so much.

    Geez, Dr. B., even an 8th grader would recognize your post as a childish response. Oh, and you share one trait with J.B. Handley in that you totally ignored the longer, more substantial and measured commentary I wrote over at the other blog where I’ve been known to hang out. I know you read it; I posted a link to it on your blog in a comment that you never approved, and I may have even e-mailed it to you.

    Believe it or not, I did expect better of you. Now I know better. I won’t make the same mistake twice.

  149. #151 Doug Bremner
    September 25, 2009

    I did read that other post and I did not intentionally not approve your comment, I went back and looked for it and couldn’t find it (I dont leave my comments on moderation) but in any case I put the link in there as an update.

  150. #152 Chris
    September 25, 2009

    I guess this should be reposted, it is by an infectious disease doctor and in a form that should get the point across:
    http://www.pusware.com/gobbet/gop8.mp3

  151. #153 Orac
    September 25, 2009

    Hey Orac, any verification of your rumor from post 35? I see Jefferson is still on the NVIC speaking schedule. Always best to verify the truth before spreading rumors.

    Go to the NVIC website now. Look over the list of speakers for the conference. Look at the conference schedule. Do you see Dr. Jefferson’s name listed anymore?

  152. #154 diatom
    September 25, 2009

    Ah well, I did want to hear Jefferson’s presentation. I’d say congratulations to you Orac for that bit of sleuthing, but I’m sure you have already given yourself a hearty pat on the back. I suppose the silver lining about the NVIC cancellation is no new ammunition for Jefferson’s character assassination at sbm. Holy smokes Orac, you know insiders that know T. Jefferson, and your alter ego is acquainted with moles at NVIC…..is espionage your sideline? Between such clandestine behaviors and maintaining your prolific blogger profiles, I can’t imagine how you find time for your primary occupation.

  153. #155 Joseph C.
    September 25, 2009

    I just took a look at that Photoshop job. Man, that is quality work.

  154. #156 Militant Agnostic
    September 25, 2009

    Holy smokes Orac, you know insiders that know T. Jefferson, and your alter ego is acquainted with moles at NVIC…..is espionage your sideline?

    Orac is not who you think he is – he is actually Che Guevara – Che got tired of the revolutionary business and wanted to put his medical degree to use so he arranged to have his death faked. Since public health was always a major concern of his he decided to take on anti-vaxxers and quacks of all stripes.

  155. #157 Booger Swallower
    October 17, 2009

    For all of you who dispute the ‘germ theory’ I have only one question: Do you wash your hands regularly?
    Because if you don’t ‘believe’ in germs, you don’t need to wash ‘em. Oooh. That’s right. You can go wee-wee and poo-poo and it will never-ever hurt you.

    Those of us who do will thank you for removing yourself from the population.

  156. #159 Booger Swallower
    October 17, 2009

    Did you have a point? Or did you need a ‘reason’ to wank off?

  157. #160 Dr. Jim Lane
    October 20, 2009

    Those of you who have posted favorable comments about flu vaccines; please, by all means, get one. That way we will have a few less 83%ers around to contend with. As for me, and everyone else who has half-a-brain, I will not get a flu shot. Instead, I will take my 5000 units of vitamin D3 faithfully every day. I will also avoid fluoride toothpaste, and I will not cook my organically grown and raised foods in a microwave oven. I will not eat junk food, especially sugar. In other words, I will do all I can to keep my immune system functioning properly and I will not do things to suppress it. And, in case all my efforts are to no avail and I contract the flu, which I never do, I will take Oscillococcinum, which is a very effective homeopathic remedy for treating the flu.

  158. #161 Chris
    October 20, 2009

    You seem to have problems understanding the immune system. Try listening to Dr. Crislip’s podcast Boost your immune system And die.

    Also, confessing to taking homeopathic Oscillococcinum, which is sold usually at 200C. That means that is part of duck bit to 10400 parts of solvent. That would be more than twice the numbers of atoms in the known universe.

    Now, exactly what kind of a “doctor” are you?

    (and yes, we are now all laughing at you)

  159. #162 Prometheus
    October 20, 2009

    Dr. Lane admits:

    “As for me, and everyone else who has half-a-brain, I will not get a flu shot.”

    People with a complete brain, on the other hand, will be lining up for their influenza vaccinations.

    The list Dr. Lane provides is a catalogue of bad and useless advice commonly given by “doctors” who know nothing about viruses, immunity, physiology and physics.

    Please tell me that you are a naturopath or a chiropractor, Dr. Lane – I’d hate to think that you went to a real medical school and ended up this ignorant.

    For those who are wondering, oscillococcinum is administered at a “homeopathic dilution” of 200 C – that’s 200 consecutive hundred-fold dilutions, or 10^-400. For those who have a hard time getting that into perspective, try the following thought experiment:

    Imagine that you have an extremely small drop of oscillococcinum, say about one milligram (about the weight of a large grain of sand). To make a 200 C dilution of that, you would need to dissolve that very tiny drop – almost too small to see – in 10^391 tonnes of water.

    If that still seems a bit inaccessible, think that the mass of the entire solar system (sun, planets, moons, asteroids, comets, etc.) is only 10^27 tonnes. You’d need a mass of water equal to 10^364 solar systems. In fact, the mass of the entire visible Universe is only about 10^52 tonnes.

    If that doesn’t convince you that homeopathy (and, by extension, Dr. Lane) is just plain silly, I think you’re reading the wrong ‘blog.

    Prometheus

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