Respectful Insolence

My first big splash in the blogosphere will have occurred five years ago in June, when I first discovered the utter wingnuttery that is Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. It was then that I wrote a little bit of that not-so-Respectful Insolence that you’ve come to know and love entitled Salon.com flushes its credibility down the toilet, a perfect description of an article by RFK, Jr. published in Salon.com and simultaneously in Rolling Stone entitled Deadly Immunity. As I look back, I realize that, as widely linked to and discussed as it was at the time, that post, arguably more than any other, was the one that established me as one of the go-to bloggers when it came to vaccines. Of course, it may also have been the gloriously Orac-ian verbiage I employed. As longtime readers may (or may not) recall, at the time, I referred to RFK’s article as the “biggest, steamingest, drippiest turd I’ve ever seen it [Salon.com] publish, an article so mindnumbingly one-sided and uncritical that in my eyes it utterly destroys nearly all credibility Salon.com has had as a source of reliable news and comment.” Nothing in the five years since then has changed my assessment of RFK, Jr.’s investigative prowess. Indeed, if anything, he’s gotten worse, such as the time he tried to out-crank CBS News’ resident antivaccine propagandist Sharyl Attkisson (who has been in bed with someone at Age of Autism to coordinate counterattacks on its enemies) or the time he teamed up with David Kirby and Generation Rescue to cube the stupidity.

That was over a year ago, and since then RFK, Jr. has been fairly quiet, at least on the vaccine front. Maybe it had something to do with his being ignored by the then-new Obama administration when his supporters lobbied very hard to get him appointed to head the EPA. Or maybe it was embarrassment at having so successfully cubed the stupid. Who knows?

Whatever the reason for his year-long disappearance from the anti-vaccine fray, it would appear that he’s been pulled out of storage, dusted off, and sent once again to tilt at mercury windmills. It feels like 2005 all over again. That’s because RFK, Jr. has laid yet another one of his steamy, drippy, corn-textured turds on the blogosphere as only he can in the one place where such a stench of bad arguments and pseudoscience can go completely unnoticed among all the other turds that routinely drip from it. That’s right, RFK, Jr. has reappeared on that bastion of anti-vaccine pseudoscience, The Huffington Post, and the title of his latest turd is Central Figure in CDC Vaccine Cover-Up Absconds With $2M. In what appears to be an obviously coordinated attack, Generation Rescue’s anti-vaccine crank blog Age of Autism is promoting RFK, Jr.’s article and adding a few of its own with titles such as Poul Thorsen’s Mutating Resume by the not-so-dynamic duo of fact-challenged anti-vaccine propagandists Mark “Not a Doctor, Not a Scientist” Blaxill and Dan “Why can’t I find those autistic Amish?” Olmsted and NBC 11 Atlanta Reports: Vaccine Researcher Flees with $2M, featuring this news report:


Looks like the mercury militia got to another reporter. There’s Lyn Redwood spewing misinformation and nonsense hither, thither, and yon.

So what’s going on here? Let’s look at RFK’s article and how he starts it:

A central figure behind the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) claims disputing the link between vaccines and autism and other neurological disorders has disappeared after officials discovered massive fraud involving the theft of millions in taxpayer dollars. Danish police are investigating Dr. Poul Thorsen, who has vanished along with almost $2 million that he had supposedly spent on research.

Thorsen was a leading member of a Danish research group that wrote several key studies supporting CDC’s claims that the MMR vaccine and mercury-laden vaccines were safe for children. Thorsen’s 2003 Danish study reported a 20-fold increase in autism in Denmark after that country banned mercury based preservatives in its vaccines. His study concluded that mercury could therefore not be the culprit behind the autism epidemic.

You know, either heaven shines on them or the anti-vaccine movement must be the luckiest bunch of pseudoscientists in the world. Here it is, a mere couple of weeks after Andrew Wakefield’s fall was complete, after he had, in rapid succession, been found guilty of research misconduct by the General Medical Council in the U.K.; had his pride and joy retracted from the scientific literature, his 1998 Lancet paper claiming a link between the MMR vaccine and “autistic enterocolitis,” a paper that, with the help of Wakefield himself and the credulous, scandal mongering U.K. press, sparked a fear of the MMR vaccine that persists 12 years later and has resulted in MMR uptake rates plummeting; had his most recent pride and joy, an unethical bit of bad science in which he subjected baby Macaque monkeys to experimentation all in the name of “proving” that the hepatitis B vaccine causes autism and/or neurological damage withdrawn from the literature; and been ignominiously forced to resign from Thoughtful House by, of all people, Jane Johnson, heiress to the J&J pharmaceutical fortune. The result has been some truly tinfoil hat worthy conspiracy mongering from Age of Autism and Jenny McCarthy herself. And what happens? There’s a vaccine scientist who appears as though he may have absconded with as much as $2 million dollars, giving Generation Rescue and the anti-vaccine crankosphere an opportunity to go full mental jacket putting a face to vaccine scientists that they could attack. As Paul Offit knows, that’s what the anti-vaccine movement does best. (Certainly it’s not science that it does best.)

But was Thorsen really the driving force behind the Danish vaccine-autism studies that the anti-vaccine movement hates so much? I’ve been paying close attention to the vaccine-mercury-autism manufactroversy for nearly five years now, and I’ve never heard of him, although I had heard of one of his coauthors. If Thorsen was so important to the pro-vaccine movement, you wouldn’t know it from the two studies that the mercury militia is hoping to discredit by turning up its propaganda machine to 11 about Thorsen’s possible criminal behavior. Those papers are:

It is the Pediatrics paper that the mercury militia appears to be concentrating mostly on because it directly deals with thimerosal in vaccines. But look at the citations above for both papers anyway. Do you notice something? Look where Thorsen’s name is in the list of authors in both studies. Notice that it is not first, nor is it last. This is important because author order matters in scientific and medical studies. In straight science studies, the two most important authors are usually the first author and the last author. The last author is usually the senior author in whose laboratory the work was done, while the first author is the person whose project the work represents and who was the primary author of the manuscript. In medical papers, as in Pediatrics or NEJM, the author list usually signifies the relative contribution of each author to the article, the first being the most important and the last being the least important. In both types of articles, there is always designated one author who is the corresponding author. In scientific papers, the corresponding author is almost always the last author; in medical papers it is usually the first author. The corresponding author is responsible for answering inquiries about the study and, way back in the age before PDF files, used to be the author to contact to request reprints. Not only that, the corresponding author is generally considered to be the primary author for the paper.

Notice something else?

That’s right. Poul Thorsen is not the first author for either of these studies. He is not the last author, either. He is not the corresponding author; that would be Kreesten M. Madsen, MD, who was corresponding author on both the NEJM and Pediatrics papers. As it turns out, Thorsen is safely ensconced in the middle of the pack of co-authors. That’s why, when RFK, Jr. refers to the Pediatrics study as “Thorsen’s study,” he is either grossly ignorant or outright lying. (Take your pick.) Anyone who knows anything about how the scientific literature works would be able to spot that immediately just by looking at the abstracts of these articles. Trust me, if studies this large really were Thorsen’s babies his name would not have been relegated to fourth or sixth on the list of authors. Basically, Thorsen’s position in the author lists of these two papers indicates that, whatever leadership position he may have held at Aarhus University and in its vaccine studies group, he clearly was not the primary contributor for these studies, and they were not his studies primarily.

Not that that stops the mercury militia from going out of its way to paint him as such, referring to him as a “central figure.” I have to tip my hat to RFK, Jr. his language throughout his article is truly Orwellian, a propaganda masterpiece of prestidigitation of language and innuendo. Here are just a few examples of perfectly loaded phrases sprinkled throughout the article, all designed to suggest concealment and conspiracy:

  • …”built a research empire…”
  • “…failed to disclose…”
  • “…has disappeared…”
  • “…damning e-mails surfaced…”
  • “…culprit behind…”
  • “…leading independent scientists have accused CDC of concealing the clear link between the dramatic increases in mercury-laced child vaccinations.”
  • “…safe to inject young children with mercury…”
  • “…CDC officials intent on fraudulently cherry picking…”

RFK, Jr. also parrots anti-vaccine lies about the study that were hoary back when David Kirby first published the mercury militia Bible, Evidence of Harm, lies like:

His study has long been criticized as fraudulent since it failed to disclose that the increase was an artifact of new mandates requiring, for the first time, that autism cases be reported on the national registry. This new law and the opening of a clinic dedicated to autism treatment in Copenhagen accounted for the sudden rise in reported cases rather than, as Thorsen seemed to suggest, the removal of mercury from vaccines. Despite this obvious chicanery, CDC has long touted the study as the principal proof that mercury-laced vaccines are safe for infants and young children. Mainstream media, particularly the New York Times, has relied on this study as the basis for its public assurances that it is safe to inject young children with mercury — a potent neurotoxin — at concentrations hundreds of times over the U.S. safety limits.

Notice how RFK Jr. really, really wants you to believe that the Danish studies are the primary foundation upon which the science exonerating MMR and thimerosal-containing vaccines as a cause of autism rests, the be-all and end-all of the epidemiology studying thimerosal-containing vaccines, when in fact there are multiple studies and lines of evidence, of which the Danish studies are but a part. Also notice how he conflates a study’s being weak with its being fraudulent. The two are entirely different concepts, and it is entirely possible for a study to be poorly designed and executed without even a whiff of fraud. (In fact, fraud is almost certainly far less common than that.) Be that as it may, the Danish studies, although they have weaknesses inherent in a retrospective design, are actually pretty darned good studies. As I said before, RFK’s whine in the passage above is the parroting of a hoary criticism of the Danish studies cribbed straight from anti-vaccine sites. The criticism goes like this. Anti-vaccine propagandists argue that because, beginning in 1994, outpatient records were used in addition to inpatient records for case ascertainment in Denmark for purposes of these studies, the whole set of studies must be crap. As Steve Novella points out, this change was not chicanery, and in fact Madsen et al tried to test whether the change in case reporting by doing this was significant. Here is a quote from Madsen et al:

In additional analyses we examined data using inpatients only. This was done to elucidate the contribution of the outpatient registration to the change in incidence. The same trend with an increase in the incidence rates from 1990 until the end of the study period was seen.

In other words, Madsen et al considered the possibility that adding outpatient records to inpatient records beginning in 1994 might change the results. They tested for that possibility and determined that the addition of outpatient cases did not change the trend of increasing autism diagnoses. Again, RFK, Jr. is either grossly ignorant of the facts or lying through his. (Take your pick–again.) The same is true of J.B. Handley when he repeats the same misinformation time and time again, particularly on his Fourteen Studies website, and and of Ginger Taylor when she in her arrogance of ignorance parrots the same lie. Come to think of it, so is SafeMinds when it touts the fact that many of the study authors are employed by Statens Serum Institut (SSI), claiming that it is a conflict of interest because as a “government-owned vaccine manufacturer,” supposedly SSI makes a lot of money off of vaccines and would be liable legally if thimerosal in vaccines were found to cause autism. Believe it or not, this distortion was dealt with by a guest blogger Kristjan Wager (whose regular blog is here) way back in 2006. Not surprisingly, it’s utter nonsense born of a misunderstanding (either unwitting or deliberate) of the medical and legal systems in Denmark. Unfortunately, anti-vaccine lies never die; like a certain undead dictator, they always rise again.

Meanwhile, Not A Doctor, Not A Scientist (Mark Blaxill, in case you forgot), along with No Longer a Journalist (Dan Olmsted) lay down flaming stupid like this:

Thorsen, of course, is pre-eminently one of those leading scientists and was a co-author of a New England Journal of Medicine study on the MMR. Thorsen and Aarhus, as we’ve reported for years, made important contributions to some of the most influential autism-vaccine mercury (thimerosal) studies – studies disputed as poorly done and unconvincing by critics that over the years have grown to include the head of a panel mandated by Congress to study the issue. But based on five studies, three of which included Aarhus – and one of which Thorsen co-authored — the U.S. Institute of Medicine concluded in 2004 that “the evidence now favors rejection of a relationship between thimerosal and autism.”

Here’s what’s going on. In the wake of debacle the implosion of Andrew Wakefield represented, the anti-vaccine movement needed a distraction badly, and they needed it fast. It would be even better if the distraction were one that they could spin to make it look as though there were some dark corruption at the heart of the vaccine science that has exonerated vaccines as a cause of the “autism epidemic.” Like manna from heaven, Dr. Thorsen’s case dropped seemingly from the sky. I’m going to admit right now that I have no idea of Dr. Thorsen is actually guilty of absconding with $2 million in grant money. He may well have, and if he did justice needs to be done. He needs to be caught and tried. But here’s the rub.

It makes absolutely no difference to the science exonerating vaccines or thimerosal in vaccines as a cause of autism whether Thorsen is a criminal and thief or not.

As one of my readers pointed out, trying to argue that because Thorsen may have fled with stolen money is akin to arguing that if the fourth co-author of one of Einstein’s papers describing the Theory of Relativity ran off with $2 million it would somehow invalidate the Theory of Relativity. Maybe J.B. Handley, No Longer a Journalist, RFK Jr., or Not a Doctor Not a Scientist can help me out here. Was there an allegation against Poul Thorsen of actual scientific–rather than financial–fraud of which I wasn’t aware? Was there an allegation that somehow this alleged financial fraud had anything whatsoever to do with the design or excecution of Danish studies that failed to find a link between either MMR or thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism? Is there any evidence anywhere that Poul Thorsen committed scientific misconduct on the order of what Andrew Wakefield did? Seriously. I don’t see anything in any of the number of vicious attacks on Poul Thorsen (who may or may not be a criminal), the SSI (which doesn’t deserve them), or Aarhus University in Denmark (which also doesn’t deserve them). It’s a pure smear against these latter two institutions, guilt by association.

In other words, it’s very typical of the anti-vaccine movement. The bottom line is that this is not a scientific scandal. It is a financial scandal that happens to involve a scientist.

Here’s the other thing to remember. Even if RFK, Jr., Mark Blaxill, J.B. Handley, Dan Olmsted, and the rest of the merry band of anti-vaccine loons currently attacking these institutions were completely correct and the Danish studies were actually hopelessly tainted by Thorsen’s alleged criminality–even if both studies were completely expunged from the medical literature–it would not change the scientific conclusion that neither MMR nor thimerosal-containing vaccines. That’s because of a little pesky thing known as reproducibility. The Danish studies are not the only studies exonerating thimerosal as a cause of autism. There are Canadian, U.K., and U.S. studies whose results are concordant with those of Madsen et al.

For the anti-vaccine movement, the problem with the idea that thimerosal-containing vaccines cause autism was always that it makes a testable hypothesis. Remove the thimerosal from vaccines, and autism rates should plummet. This experiment has been tried in at least three countries, and the results have always been the same. Autism rates continued to rise after thimerosal was removed from childhood vaccines. Indeed, thimerosal exposure from the vaccine schedule in the U.S. is currently lower than it was in the 1980s (there is still trace thimerosal in some childhood vaccines, and the flu vaccine still has thimerosal), but there has not been a decline in autism prevalence to what it was in the 1980s. The hypothesis that thimerosal causes autism has been roundly falsified, not just by the Danish studies but by several other studies.

In the end, anti-vaccine propagandists are very much like creationists and other cranks. They focus on the person more than the science, and they labor under the delusion that there is a single study (or tiny handful of studies) that are the whole support for the scientific conclusions they despise and that, if destroyed, would lead to the edifice of the science they hate collapsing. That’s why they prefer to attack persons rather than use evidence and reason to argue ideas. It’s also why they are always seeking that one study that they can tear down and thus “prove” that evolution didn’t happen, vaccines cause autism, the moon landing never happened, or the Mossad and the Bush administration were beind 9/11.

ADDENDUM: Further confirming that Thorsen was not a major player in the Pediatrics and NEJM publications reporting the Danish studies is this article at Philly.com:

In 2002, Thorsen was the sixth named author of a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that analyzed whether where is a connection between the MMR vaccine and autism by examining 537,303 children born in Denmark from 1991 through 1998.

The researchers concluded that their data provided “strong evidence” that there is no link.

“Poul Thorsen had absolutely no influence on the conclusions regarding this paper,” wrote Mads Melbye, head of the division of epidemiology at the Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen and senior author of the study, in response to e-mailed questions.

“Thorsen was not actively involved in the analysis and interpretation of the results of this paper,” Melbye said.

The second study, published in Pediatrics in 2003, examined 956 Danish children diagnosed with autism from 1971 to 2000. It concluded the incidence of autism increased in Denmark after thimerosal was removed from vaccines.

Kreesten Meldgaard Madsen, the lead author, said Thorsen played a minor role.

“Dr. Thorsen was not in a position to change or compromise the data,” Madsen wrote. “Dr. Thorsen was part of the review cycle, but never very active in giving input. Dr. Thorsen never had access to the raw data nor the analysis of the data.”

Which is pretty much what I would have expected based on his position in the list of co-authors. Of course, this makes me wonder why his name was on either paper at all. Ah, well, that’s academia; you can sometimes get your name on papers for which you did very little work.

In the meantime, the comments after the Philly.com article make baby Jesus cry, so full of anti-vaccine pseudoscience, misinformation, and outright lies are they. The anti-vaccine contingent is there in full force, polluting the discussion thread with their ignorance. Come to think of it, they’re there in the comments of RFK Jr.’s HuffPo article, too.

Comments

  1. #1 deetee
    March 12, 2010

    If anyone with any taint of impropriety (for whatever reason) had their studies expunged from the scientific literature, at least we wouldn’t have to tolerate references to the work of any of the antivax crew’s favored pseudoscientists. I can’t think of one of them who has not been accused of something unsavory.

    Bring it on, I say.

  2. #2 Rene Najera
    March 12, 2010

    So one lonely guy runs with some money (allegedly) and all vaccine studies are worthless lies? Yet one chick is proven to be faking her so-called dystonia by being caught on tape walking normally and driving her car, and the anti-vaccine groups that comfort and supported her knew nothing about it?

    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at the double standard anymore.

    I hope not one of your supporters is with fault, or those loons “over there” will come after you, Orac.

  3. #3 reasonablehank
    March 12, 2010

    “In the end, anti-vaccine propagandists are very much like creationists and other cranks.”

    Thank you. I’m *almost* convinced that the anti-vaccinationist debate is a faith-based debate. There is a point in creationist arguments where science is left out in the hayshed (where the strawmen are assembled), and out of the argument. That point is not much earlier than when an anti-vaccinationist does the same. That is the point where evidence-based science is no longer an issue for one side, and we know which side that is.

  4. #4 symball
    March 12, 2010

    It seems that it is unlikely that he is the person wanted for stealing the money (some more information here http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2010/03/update-dr-poul-thorsen-not-missing-not-suspected-in-theft/)

    a spectacular own goal from the anti’s- perhaps this just isn’t their year.

  5. #5 Terry
    March 12, 2010

    Not only creationists, but scientologists. Isn’t this the same as the “dead agenting” tactic they use? reasonablehank is right, this has been faith based all along; we knew that when McCarthy uttered her “my son is my science” screed. Like scientology: when you can align the belief systems of the gullible and vulnerable to the needs of the profiteers, you have a powerful and alluring combination.

  6. #6 Omri
    March 12, 2010

    So, since everyone and his cousin is speculating wildly about Thorsen and the money, can I do it to? To me, a former university staffer, it smells like Thorsen got into a snit either with his teammates or with the Aarhus admins about how to allocate this grant money, and then transferred the money where it could be returned to the CDC in a flash.

    That’s the only explanation I can see for why he would feel safe walking around the US having gotten into a dispute over federal grant money. So this might not even be theft, just a case of duelling prima donna professors.

  7. #7 David Wescott
    March 12, 2010

    just curious – does anyone know if the cast of characters mentioned in this piece had their own kids vaccinated?

  8. #8 Jen in TX
    March 12, 2010

    “…steamy, drippy, corn-textured turds…”

    You do have a way with words, Dr. Orac! LMAO

  9. #9 Orac
    March 12, 2010

    just curious – does anyone know if the cast of characters mentioned in this piece had their own kids vaccinated?

    And what relevance does this have to the mercury militia’s smear campaign?

  10. #10 MikeMa
    March 12, 2010

    symball @4,
    Great link. By AoA’s standards then, anything Olmstead and Blaxill turn up is bogus. They surely screwed up the Offit investigation so how can we ever trust them to do anything correctly?

    Priceless (but typical) hypocrisy.

  11. #11 v
    March 12, 2010

    The Handley-Blaxill-RFK anti-science spin machine has revved it up to 11 on this one.

    @reasonablehank – go get in some of their discussion boards sometimes (AoA, ABMD, and others) and your suspicion of them functioning as a cult will be reinforced and engraved in polished granite.

  12. #12 Seb30
    March 12, 2010

    Waitaminute. The news were only online yesterday, and RFK is already talking about it. I say it’s suspicious. How did he get the info that fast? And who gave it to him?

    Mode sarcasm off. My brain is hurting.

  13. #13 Brian Deer
    March 12, 2010

    What struck me about the Kennedy article was the poor calibre of the person who wrote it. I’d naturally assume that someone with those family connections would have some sense of measure in their language, and a general demeanour of intelligence and professionalism. I believe he may have been to law school, also, and have some sense of the difference between, say, a falsehood and a lie, or between “missing” and “couldn’t be contacted”. Little things, which you find, for example, in the Philadelphia Inquirer report, which was, plainly, the work of an intelligent professional.

    But there was none of that. It was like it was written by a college sophomore. Oozing malice and prejudicial, unsupported assertions, it was just of such poor quality. Like you, I’ve no idea about this Thorsen guy, who is plainly not a major player in the relevant research, but I was shocked by the hysterical tone of this man Kennedy’s contribution. It’s plain that neither Olmsted nor Kirby are professional journalists, but I’m just left wondering why the heroes of vaccine-autism believers are all of such meagre talent. It’s kind of sad really.

  14. #14 Orac
    March 12, 2010

    Actually, Olmsted was at one time a professional journalist working for UPI. What happened to him, I don’t know, but I can guess. He wrote a series of articles he called “Age of Autism” (hence the name of the anti-vaccine crank blog) in which he first promulgated the myth that the Amish don’t get autism and don’t vaccinate (the do both) and couldn’t even find an institute right in the heart of Amish country that takes care of autistic Amish. So, yes, he once was a professional journalist and apparently a reasonable one, but over the last several years he’s devolved into just another vaccine crank.

  15. #15 symball
    March 12, 2010

    @ Brian Deer

    If anyone with an ounce of journalistic talent gets anywhere near the anti vaxxers cause, they will run away holding their noses as fast as they can. Even a cursory check on the evidence shows this to be a conspiracy theory- which leaves only the dregs who can’t or won’t* look at it objectively to write this sort of dross.

    (*I’m not sure where people like Melanie Phillips stand)

  16. #16 Skeptico
    March 12, 2010

    In your list of RFKisms you forgot “mercury-laced.” It’s an old favorite.

  17. #17 zach cp
    March 12, 2010

    orac; you da man

  18. #18 Brian Deer
    March 12, 2010

    FYI:

    To the station manager, NBC11 Atlanta

    I write concerning an item yesterday by your Jayne Watson, who has caused to be broadcast a significantly misleading report. I can understand that Jayne may have been anxious to convince her managers that her material had some substance behind it, and wasn’t merely the recycling of anti-vaccine campaigners’ suppositions, but to misuse material taken from the NBC network’s Dateline, and specifically footage concerning my own work in The Sunday Times of London, is unprofessional beyond belief.

    The following is the message I posted at your station’s relevant webpage:

    “I am very concerned by the ethical standards at NBC’s Atlanta affiliate. You have used a clip giving viewers the impression that a report by me in The Sunday Times of London, headlined “MMR research scandal”, concerning Dr Andrew Wakefield, is in fact related to the allegations you make against a Danish scientist.

    “I find it hard to believe that your action was accidental. It appears to me that you have sought to give viewers the impression that your report was based on some wider anxiety, and have intentionally misused my report to help you make your point.

    “I know nothing of Dr Thorsen, but I strain to avoid the conclusion that, whatever he may or may not have done, you have acted dishonestly, with the intent to mislead your viewers.”

    I look forward to hearing that you have looked into this matter, and removed any online clips, and made the necessary correction and apology.

    I have notified the Dateline producer of this matter.

    Yours sincerely,

    Brian Deer

  19. #19 cbe
    March 12, 2010

    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/homepage/87437502.html

    there may be some truth to the grant accusation if the Philly Inquirer is to be believed.

  20. #20 Phoenix Woman
    March 12, 2010

    People, go check out what symball @ 4 found — it looks like the antis smeared an innocent man:

    Update: Dr. Poul Thorsen not missing, NOT suspected in theft

    For some reason, there seems to be a redirect on the direct link (has someone been hacking LBRB?), but I found a link to a comment therein that will get you to the post if the direct link doesn’t work: http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2010/03/update-dr-poul-thorsen-not-missing-not-suspected-in-theft/#comment-79324#ixzz0hyYrvnbK

  21. #21 superdave
    March 12, 2010

    In other words, it’s one big poisoning the well fallacy.

  22. #22 Denice Walter
    March 12, 2010

    RFK jr. co-hosts a radio show,the enigmatically named “Ring of Fire”(originally on the now-defunct Air America),which apparently continues and has a website,ringoffireradio.com. It appears to allow comments.Gentlemen and ladies,start your engines.

  23. #23 bones
    March 12, 2010

    “That’s because RFK, Jr. has laid yet another one of his steamy, drippy, corn-textured turds on the blogosphere as only he can in the one place where such a stench of bad arguments and pseudoscience can go completely unnoticed, given all the other turds that routinely drip from it”

    Damn, Orac, tell us how you really feel! Lol…quite the visual, thanks.

  24. #24 CS Shelton
    March 12, 2010

    Y’know, offline and away from the info, I was feeling my way through the issues (not thinking rationally or caring), and it occurred to me that I like RFK Jr. He had all that family tragedy, the sad stutter, the look of a beaten dog, some vocal concern for real issues. I was considering posting a question on SciBlogs wondering whether the one-sided nature of your stances may blind you to possibilities of corporate malfeasance – Not that I believe for an instant in antivax BS, but that maybe ol’ RFKjr was taken in by a very reasonable suspicion of The Man.

    But seeing this post (and associated links) illuminated the truth of the matter to me: RFKjr is a charlatan who is undoubtedly sowing profits by helping a ring of malicious con men bleed the unfortunate and gullible. Oh yes, he can go to hell.

    -

  25. #25 MartinB
    March 12, 2010

    One very minor nitpick (SIWOTI syndrome?):
    The practice you name as universal in scientific papers (first and last authors most important, minor ones in between) is not that universal: In theoretical physics, for example, common practice is to list authors alphabetically, no matter what their contribution was. I have also seen papers where the sequence of authors was exactly the sequence of “importance”:
    PI, guy who did all the work, everyone else.

    Not that this changes anything of substance in your post…

  26. #26 Orac's Wackosphere
    March 12, 2010

    “Oozing malice and prejudicial, unsupported assertions, it was just of such poor quality”.

    Sort of like anything that I have read by you in regards to Dr. Wakefield.

  27. #27 val
    March 12, 2010

    I am a creationist. Intelligent design makes me happy :)

    I am not really into the anti vac thing. But, I had wondered about it for years since my daughter has autism. She is seventeen now. The theory never computed for me. There are deficits, beyond getting the shots, that caused the neurological condition of autism…

    I think many parents of autistics have hung their hat on MMR as the cause. It gives them comfort to do so, for varied reasons. Then there are also doctors out there encouraging the belief. I guess if they can blame the shots, they can allow the idea that detoxing the child will cure him or her. I am not clear on how many this has actually happened for.

    I am sorry that the parents become conspiratorial in their comments, and lash out. I encourage your patience as you kindly and persistently continue to point to facts and science – the hard headedness that we parents of autistics display also translates to going the extra mile for them.

    There were things that I believed in the past, with regard to autism and how it might be handled, and I was proven wrong – but it took many years and a lot of “butt kickings” from my daughter’s several years spent in worsening psychosis, from initial label of autism. We both came out of it a little different, a little better. I now understand how little we all know, and how important she is as an individual in spite of her challenges. No matter the cause of her challenges.

    She is doing pretty great at seventeen years old.

  28. #28 bensmyson
    March 12, 2010

    So the 2 million dollar question is, if Thorsen is proven to be a fraud and dishonest in his career as a scientific researcher should his work be called into question? And since Thorsen is the founder of the University’s North Atlantic Neuro-Epidemiology Alliances and Keersten Madsen is paid thru the NANEA wouldn’t it stand to reason that this could turn into a huge problem regarding a chain of custody as it pertains to the studies both Madsen and Thorsen worked on together?

  29. #29 Gus Snarp
    March 12, 2010

    I just wanted to thank you for your work on this. When my first child was born in 2006, someone forwarded me the RFK Jr. article, and I assumed he was being honest and doing a decent job of journalism simply because of his name and didn’t do much further checking. Fortunately, I did do a little checking and found that the thimerosal had been removed from most childhood vaccines by then. I’m not sure, even had I not found that, that the article would have been enough to convince me not to vaccinate, but I’m sure for many people (including the family member who sent me the article) it was. I went ahead with the standard vaccine schedule with my child, and my second child is following the vaccine schedule as well, especially since later searches on the subject led me hear and to Bad Astronomy.

    It is simply irresponsible for any outlet, Rolling Stone, Salon.com, the Huffington Post, or anyone else with a shred of credibility to be publishing this tripe. I only hope that your work, and the work of others will help to counter the dangerous effects of RFK Jr. and other anti-vaxer’s work and of HuffPo and other credulous outlets. Thank goodness for the publicity created for this issue by the recent Wired Magazine piece, since it seems that the side of reason rarely gets good media coverage.

    Keep up the good work.

  30. #30 Adam_Y
    March 12, 2010

    For some reason, there seems to be a redirect on the direct link (has someone been hacking LBRB?), but I found a link to a comment therein that will get you to the post if the direct link doesn’t work

    No. The first person to link to the article screwed it up. There is an extra ) which is causing the redirect.

  31. #31 Anthro
    March 12, 2010

    I figured you’d do a post on this. I was over there yesterday hitting reply and doing my best to be as insolent as the censors would allow, but it was a big job. The believers were surely in the majority. I wish you had done the same on Dana Ullman’s latest screed.

    I used to respect RFK, Jr, but now I am suspect of anything he is involved in. What a waste.

  32. #32 rrt
    March 12, 2010

    Rene @ 2: Actually, Desiree is probably NOT “faking”. As Steve Novella and others have observed, “psychogenic” does not equal “faking”. It’s a real psychological condition that she’d rather not have. It just so happens it’s not a direct physical disorder. She needs a good psychotherapist, in other words.

    bensmyson@28: Um. Did you read this article? Your questions were addressed. At present there’s no evidence or allegation of scientific misconduct (and now Thorsen may be off the hook entirely). But I do slightly disagree with Orac’s claim that this would be completely irrelevant. Without evidence of scientific fraud, I agree that it would be unlikely to affect the study’s validity. Nonetheless, I do think any such outright financial misconduct would raise a little bit of worry. It calls his ethics and character into question in such a way that would leave his scientific integrity less than certain, as I think it relies on similar behaviors and choices. Not remotely enough to bin the study and again, hopefully he’s not a crook anyway, but I do think that would be a factor if it were true.

  33. #33 Ian
    March 12, 2010

    @bensmyson

    So the 2 million dollar question is, if Thorsen is proven to be a fraud and dishonest in his career as a scientific researcher should his work be called into question? And since Thorsen is the founder of the University’s North Atlantic Neuro-Epidemiology Alliances and Keersten Madsen is paid thru the NANEA wouldn’t it stand to reason that this could turn into a huge problem regarding a chain of custody as it pertains to the studies both Madsen and Thorsen worked on together?

    The 2 million dollar question REALLY is, if Tiger Woods cheated on his wife during his career as a professional golfer, should his game be called in to question? Furthermore, since he was sponsored by Nike, and was one of their leading spokespeople, wouldn’t it stand to reason that Nike encourages marital infidelity?

    Or how about this one. Winston Churchill was a drunk. Doesn’t that call into question his abilities as a politician? Since he was the political leader of the United Kingdom during WWII, doesn’t it stand to reason that England actually LOST that war?

    Or this one! Mel Gibson is a drunken lunatic anti-Semite. He is only TWO DEGREES away from Kevin Bacon. Doesn’t it stand to reason that Kevin Bacon gets drunk and smashes his car into synagogues on a regular basis?

    (The answer to all of these questions is “no, stop being an idiot”)

  34. #34 bensmyson
    March 12, 2010

    @ian

    Actually Thorsen’s questionable intergity seems to be of more importance. These studies effect lives.

  35. #35 Ian
    March 12, 2010

    In statistics, there is a concept called “leverage” in linear regression. This has to do with a point that lies outside the expected spread of data around the “best fit” line. It is possible that this outlying residual may influence the slope of the line, which depends on a number of factors: how far away it is, how many other data points there are, and where on the line it lies (if it lies towards the ends of the X axis it exerts more influence than if it’s in the middle).

    Let’s say that Thoursen is the most diabolical and corrupt person in the world (his data point is far away). He still fails to exert enough influence on these studies to affect their scientific validity (he lies somewhere in the middle of the dataset, rather than on the ends). Furthermore, he is one of several authors of one of several papers refuting the thimerosal/autism link (there are many other data points). Strictly speaking, he lacks the leverage for this to make any difference at all.

  36. #36 Militant Agnostic
    March 12, 2010

    RFK jr is an arrogant jerk who is typical of someone “who was born on second base and thinks they hit a double”. Like Prince Charles, his major accomplishment has been making the correct choice of parents.

    He is also I a total hypocrite on environmental matters as illustrated by his reaction to a proposed wind power project that would have spoiled his ocean view. I heard him interviewed on the CBC radio One program “The Current”. He thought oil prices should be subsidized – that will really help with global warming.

    As to whether he is colossally ignorant or lying – since he is a politician, I go for both.

  37. #37 Ian
    March 12, 2010

    @bensmyson

    Right, because nobody died in WWII. My bad.

    Also, thanks for missing the whole point of my incredibly hilarious retort, which is that your “reasoning” is as full of holes as Churchill’s liver. If this guy stole money, that doesn’t have anything to do with the science he’s done (except insofar as now there’s $2m less to fund it). The argument that him being a thief makes him scientifically untrustworthy is only valid if nobody checked his work… ever… and if there were ethical violations inherent in his study.

  38. #38 Scott
    March 12, 2010

    Sort of like anything that I have read by you in regards to Dr. Wakefield.

    Please cite the unsupported allegations Orac has written about Wankerfield.

    I shall now demonstrate my psychic abilities by predicting that the troll shall do nothing of the sort.

  39. #39 a-non
    March 12, 2010

    @Orac:

    Actually, Olmsted was at one time a professional journalist working for UPI.

    Considering that UPI’s the in-house news agency for the cult-owned Washington Times, saying that Olmsted was a “professional journalist” is being very generous.

    @bensmyson:

    So the 2 million dollar question is, if Thorsen is proven to be a fraud and dishonest in his career as a scientific researcher should his work be called into question?

    Let’s assume, for a moment, that Thorsen really is guilty as charged. If you want to argue that the Denmark vaccine-related studies suddenly need to be revisited (even though Thorsen wasn’t a primary author on any of them) then fine.

    But at the end of the day, does it really change anything, when the results of said studies have been replicated several times in other parts of the world? The answer is no, and if you were the least bit intellectually honest, you’d agree with that. Of course, that assumes someone like yourself has the capacity for intellectual honesty.

  40. #40 Rene Najera
    March 12, 2010

    @rrt #32
    No, she is faking. If you look at the latest video from Inside Edition (http://goo.gl/RMDE), you can see her symptoms come and go, appearing only when she knows the camera is on. Then again, being a pathological liar is a psycho-logical condition.
    There’s crazy, and then there’s batshit crazy.

  41. #41 Natalie
    March 12, 2010

    bensmyson – chain of custody? They’re scientists, not cops.

  42. #42 Ian
    March 12, 2010

    @Natalie

    They’re scientists, not cops.

    I’ve seen CSI. It’s the same thing. Also, at least one of the authors is a former stripper with a heart of gold and an ass that refuses to quit. My guess is Hviid.

  43. #43 Dan Weber
    March 12, 2010

    I haven’t digested all of the stuff over at LeftBrainRightBrain, but it certainly looks like the anti-vaxxers really screwed themselves.

    First, someone has a news story that someone at Aarhus University has been accused of theft.

    Then, someone published a poorly-forged document saying that it was Thorsen.

    Lastly, the idiots run with what they wish so hard to be true that they do not even bother with their bullshit detectors.

    The amazing thing is that some major media have taken the story back and reported on it.

    This could be actual libel.

    Anyone want to take bets on how long it takes for the anti-vax crowd to decide that the person who forged the document is part of the Pharma conspiracy? (I had some friends insisting that the memos Dan Rather put on the air were forged by Karl Rove.)

  44. #44 Maureeh
    March 12, 2010

    Only one question are you all on the payroll or are some of you just stupid.

  45. #45 cbe
    March 12, 2010

    has anyone read this? http://www.philly.com/philly/news/homepage/87437502.html

    The Inquirer is reporting that there really is an investigation into Thorsen going on and that he has left a few posts this week because of it.

    I know the post at LFRB seems to say that he is “off the hook” but the Inquirer piece says the opposite.

  46. #46 Dan Weber
    March 12, 2010

    “CDC is aware of the allegations by Aarhus University against Poul Thorsen,” agency spokesman Tom Skinner said in a statement.

    Can some real journalist call Tom Skinner to say if he really made this statement?

  47. #47 LovleAnjel
    March 12, 2010

    “Also, at least one of the authors is a former stripper with a heart of gold and an ass that refuses to quit. My guess is Hviid.”

    *snorting coffee out my nose*

  48. #48 mad the swine
    March 12, 2010

    Only one question are you all on the payroll or are some of you just stupid.

    That’s two questions.

  49. #49 Bensmyson
    March 12, 2010

    @a-non

    You said: “But at the end of the day, does it really change anything, when the results of said studies have been replicated several times in other parts of the world? The answer is no, and if you were the least bit intellectually honest, you’d agree with that. Of course, that assumes someone like yourself has the capacity for intellectual honesty.”

    At the end of the day if the studies have been replicated and there are no other studies that dispute it then yes Thorsen’s work is useless. But my problem is Im not smart enough to examine and understand all these hundreds of studies that claim vaccines are safe. Also I wonder if there have been studies for things like Vioxx that were corrupt that werent actually discovered for years. Oh here’s something http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123672510903888207.html

    Chain of custody refers to the chronological documentation or paper trail, showing the seizure, custody, control, transfer, analysis, and disposition of evidence, physical or electronic such as material gathered from 432,000 subjects in a particular study.

    Chain of custody is also used in most chemical sampling situations to maintain the integrity of the sample by providing documentation of the control, transfer, and analysis of samples. Chain of custody is especially important in environmental work where sampling can identify the existence of contamination and can be used to identify the responsible party.

  50. #50 Scott
    March 12, 2010

    so, at least one of the authors is a former stripper with a heart of gold and an ass that refuses to quit. My guess is Hviid.

    I’d be more confident about agreeing with you if it were spelled Hvidd…

  51. #51 An drew
    March 12, 2010

    @Maureeh:

    “Only one question are you all on the payroll or are some of you just stupid.”

    It’s not appropriate to assume that antivaxxers are on the payroll of some anti-American organization, or that they are incapable of understanding simple concepts. They are merely mistaken. Please be more considerate

  52. #52 The Gregarious Misanthrope
    March 12, 2010

    Orac,

    As always, hats off to you for diving into the muck. I’ve learned a great deal here about how to critically evaluate scientific papers and how to deal with rhetorical fallacies. Thanks a million.

    One thing to add, Thorsen actually IS the “central” figure in those papers because his name is in the “middle” of the list. I guess his detractors were being literal (or maybe illiterate, hard to say).

  53. #53 Ian
    March 12, 2010

    @Scott

    I’d be more confident about agreeing with you if it were spelled Hvidd…

    *Slow clap* Took me a second there… double D… nice.

  54. #54 David N. Brown
    March 12, 2010

    “Phoenix Woman”,
    I wrote the articles for LBRB. My initial appraisal was that the document was forged, and I stand by the evidence I presented as raising that possibility. At this point, I consider authenticity still an open question, but don’t plan on saying anything more without some comment from Aarhus on the matter. I also stand by my conclusion that, PRIOR to this CDC statement, there was no direct identification of Thorsen as suspect.
    I have noticed the influence of Kennedy on this affair. A comment I wrote for an unfinished article is that his initial article “has been shot into more pieces than Robert Patrick in Terminator 2.”

  55. #55 Pete D
    March 12, 2010

    Uhhh, until a few days ago I think you could have found Thorsen at Drexel University in Philly…and he gave a presentation there in Oct 2009.

  56. #56 has
    March 12, 2010

    Ooh, it’s giant-smear-by-association season. I like this game. OK, how about: “Roy Kerry killed a kid, therefore Robert, Jenny and Dan are child killers too?” Next up: a pitchfork wielding mob.

  57. #57 Joseph
    March 12, 2010

    At this point, I consider authenticity still an open question, but don’t plan on saying anything more without some comment from Aarhus on the matter.

    @David: Even if Aarhus doesn’t ever say anything about it, I think at some point you have to post a correction, e.g. when Thorsen is formally charged. It was a blunder to make accusations of forgery, and also to give undue importance to Thorsen’s guilt or innocence. We all make mistakes. The difference between us and the likes of AoA is — I hope — that we do admit making mistakes.

  58. #58 Vindaloo
    March 12, 2010

    Jesus H Christ, they’re squeezing blood from a stone to get at this guy. Here’s the way science works: As a lead author or a communicating author I’m responsible for every freaking piece of data and analysis that goes into the paper. The fifth guy on a paper will have his work checked. If coauthors don’t they run the risk of getting spanked and no one wants that. The only time I don’t check a coauthor’s data is if I have a long relationship built on trust.

    @bensmyson is right about a chain of custody but he/she and the other bleevers are spending time pole vaulting over mouse turds to compensate for a lack of science that back up their beliefs. If the water is muddy enough, there could be anything there at the bottom.

  59. #59 bones
    March 12, 2010

    It’s really not that complicated – AoA employs an us-vs-them mentality. Their idol, Wakefield, has been completely discredited. Therefore, they seek out an expert of the “enemy”, and purposefully create a controversy where none exists.

    Enter Thorsen.

    Once the troglodytes at AoA feed their minions the conspiracy fodder, it becomes irrelevant whether there is a shred of truth to story. The misinformation being voraciously ingested, it is then regurgitated throughout the anti-vax community until it becomes so interwoven with their other fables as to render moot any defense or explanation.

    AoA did it’s job. It justified its existence by creating controversy where none exists, and diverted attention away from the fact that they have absolutely no scientifically credible evidence demonstrating their claims….as ever changing they may be.

    They’re a very predictable group.

  60. #60 Scott
    March 12, 2010

    *Slow clap* Took me a second there… double D… nice.

    *takes a bow* Thank you, thank you. No applause please, just throw money.

  61. #61 Ian
    March 12, 2010

    As soon as my Big Pharma cheque comes in. Any year now, I’m sure…

  62. #62 themann1086
    March 12, 2010

    As a Philly native, I’m sorry about the Philly.com comments; My New Year’s Resolution was to not read the comment section of local papers. The stupid burns.

  63. #63 a-non
    March 12, 2010

    At the end of the day if the studies have been replicated and there are no other studies that dispute it then yes Thorsen’s work is useless. But my problem is Im not smart enough to examine and understand all these hundreds of studies that claim vaccines are safe.

    In other words, bensmymom, you’re not intellectually dishonest, you’re intellectually lazy. That’s a distinction, but it’s a zero-sum one because the result is the same.

    And by the way, nice attempt to tie vaccine safety to Vioxx. So using that same criteria, because Dr. Wakefield is a fraud whose research was bogus, all research that suggest there’s an autism-vaccine link is equally bogus. I think that’s fair, then, don’t you?

  64. #64 Dan Weber
    March 12, 2010

    Okay, now that I’ve gone through LBRB, I don’t think we have forged documents — at least, forged by AoA or their friends.

    The Denmark newspaper didn’t identify Thorsen, although he certainly seems like the person based on their descriptions. But European newspapers often have different standards. They may not want to use Thorsen’s name until he has been charged or more. (This is a good thing. A lot of people have been found not guilty in America yet the newspapers are filled with stories about the accusations.)

    And the PDF from January wasn’t accusing Thorsen of stealing money, either.

    I do wish I could find the CDC statement somewhere on the CDC’s website, but they probably do lots of statements every day that they don’t publish like that. American newspapers don’t seem to have covered this much, but they may think it’s a Denmark story for now.

  65. #65 BKsea
    March 12, 2010

    Thought these quotes from the Philadelphia Inquirer linked in #19 were good. They show exactly what contribution a middle author from a study makes – essentially none.

    “Poul Thorsen had absolutely no influence on the conclusions regarding this paper,” wrote Mads Melbye, head of the division of epidemiology at the Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen and senior author of the study, in response to e-mailed questions.

    “Thorsen was not actively involved in the analysis and interpretation of the results of this paper,” Melbye said.

    Kreesten Meldgaard Madsen, the lead author, said Thorsen played a minor role.

    “Dr. Thorsen was not in a position to change or compromise the data,” Madsen wrote. “Dr. Thorsen was part of the review cycle, but never very active in giving input. Dr. Thorsen never had access to the raw data nor the analysis of the data.”

  66. #66 a-non
    March 12, 2010

    Oh, and a quick point about Desiree Jennings. If she truly is faking or overstating her dystonia symptoms intentionally than that is one of the most appalling things I’ve ever seen. Especially after watching that video of kids and adults suffering with real case of dystonia.

  67. #67 rrt
    March 12, 2010

    Rene: Yeah, I saw that broadcast when it aired. It didn’t seem to change Dr. Novella’s opinion (from what I recall), and as a non-doctor, it at least seems plausible to me that it could still be psychogenic. It’s a non-physical psychological condition, after all…so if some part of her brain is already saying “you’re sick! Act like it!”, I could also see it saying “These people don’t believe you’re sick and they have cameras…make sure you look sick!”. And likewise, having no problem with her symptoms being inconsistent and mild (or nonexistent) when she’s not on the spot since they are of course a hassle.

    So I’m not saying I’m sure she isn’t faking, but I can still buy it. Inconsistency is one way to spot the psychogenic (and the sham). But if so, I’d think the latter Inside Edition report would be a good tool for a therapist to pry open her delusion.

  68. #68 James Sweet
    March 12, 2010

    Of course, this makes me wonder why his name was on either paper at all. Ah, well, that’s academia; you can sometimes get your name on papers for which you did very little work.

    Yeah, really. The conference paper I submitted to accompanying my master’s thesis in Computer Engineering, all of the people in the department who had had anything to do with it, even if all they did was sit in on the defense, wanted their name on it. I wasn’t exactly in a position to complain, and truth be told I didn’t really care either (my master’s thesis turned out to be a bit of a dud, which wasn’t really anybody’s fault; sometimes you pursue a research angle and you turn up a big nothing — which doesn’t mean the work was bad, but it often means that nobody is going to cite it, and barely anybody is even going to read it. Ah well, c’est la vie)

    Madsen’s e-mail makes it sound like he read through an early draft and pointed out a spelling mistake or something. Ooooooo….

  69. #69 Prometheus
    March 12, 2010

    You know, for a guy who’s supposedly “fleeing”, Poul Thorsen is surprisingly easy to find.

    As for him (or someone else with the same name) “stealing” $2 million in grant money – well, that’s not so easy. It’s not like the granting agency just sends the PI a box of cash (small, unmarked bills, please) – they send the money to the university, foundation, research center, etc. and their financial folks do the doling out of funds for equipment and salaries.

    Only in the rare case where the “research center” is a small fly-by-night organisation can someone actually “take the money and run”. And Aarhus University is not a small or disorganised organisation.

    In my years of research, I’ve seen similar accusations flung about when a researcher receives a grant while working at one university and takes it with him (figuratively – they don’t actually take the cash) when he moves to another university (or research center). Twice it has happened to people in my department.

    The argument usually plays out like this – the university (research center, etc.) feels that the money is theirs because the researcher wouldn’t have gotten it if they weren’t working at such a prestigious facility and the researcher sees the money as theirs because they were the one who wrote the grant and did the research (and, curiously, most granting agencies see it that way, too).

    Did I mention that universities and research centers skim 50+% “off the top” of all grants they administer? They call it “overhead”. There are other names used by other people. Anyway, it suggests that Aarhus University may have….other motivations when it comes to accusing Dr. Thorsen of theft.

    Unless someone is arguing that Poul Thorsen somehow deceived the financial dept. at Aarhus University into paying for a boat or Swiss chalet from his grants or paying him an outrageous salary, the use of “theft” to describe what happened is pure hyperbole.

    I expect that when this all sorts out, we’ll find that Aarhus University was peeved when Dr. Thorsen transferred his grant money – which had been held at and managed by (and skimmed off by) Aarhus University – to pay for research that was done somewhere else. The “theft” – I suspect – will turn out to be their “cut” (“overhead”) that they feel entitled to despite not providing any of the services and facilities (the usual rationale for “overhead”) for Dr. Thorsen’s work while he was working out of the country…at a different research facility.

    I could be wrong, but I find it difficult to imagine any other way Dr. Thorsen could have been said to “steal” grant money from Aarhus University without them handing it to him in a bag (which – as I said above – would be a singular event, indeed). He simply doesn’t have access to the money in that way.

    And even if he did take the money – at gunpoint, say – it wouldn’t reflect on his research (although it might make it harder to get grants in the future).

    Prometheus

  70. #70 ezwriter
    March 12, 2010

    I just saw Kennedy in the DVD for the recent Oscar-winning documentary “The Cove”. I was looking forward to seeing the movie, which is about dolphin slaughtering in Taiji, Japan. After I watched it (and enjoyed it), I checked out the “special features”, one of which is a short documentary titled “The Cove: Mercury Rising”. Kennedy appears in it at length, literally lying through his teeth about the long-disproven “link” between Thimerasol and autism, while simultaneously claiming to be “pro-vaccine”, “pro-science”, and, most laughably, “pro-truth”.

    As much as I agree with the filmmakers of “The Cove” on their stance regarding the capture, captivity, and slaugher of dolphins and whales, I will not support their cause as long as they continue to use harmful anti-vax lunacy in an attempt to bolster it.

  71. #71 Omri
    March 12, 2010

    “Unless someone is arguing that Poul Thorsen somehow deceived the financial dept. at Aarhus University into paying for a boat or Swiss chalet from his grants or paying him an outrageous salary, the use of “theft” to describe what happened is pure hyperbole.”

    Could it be that the admins at Aarhus are not familiar with the conditions that come with American Federal grant money?

  72. #72 David N. Brown
    March 12, 2010

    Dan,
    “I don’t think we have forged documents — at least, forged by AoA or their friends.”
    It was never my intent to accuse AoA or any other party of a forgery. Conventional wisdom among those who deal with such things (see “P&G Satanism” rumor, which I have previously researched and written about) is that it’s nearly impossible to trace a “bogus warning” type document to a specific source.

  73. #73 Omri
    March 12, 2010

    8942 1139
    Jørgen Jørgensen , Universitetsdirektør jj@adm.au.dk
    Mobil: 2467 0040 Rektoratet (1430-214)

    Okay, the one thing in the story that does check out is that this guy is the director. I am writing him an open letter later.

  74. #74 Scott
    March 12, 2010

    I find it difficult to imagine any other way Dr. Thorsen could have been said to “steal” grant money from Aarhus University without them handing it to him in a bag

    Adding some fictional postdocs to the payroll and collecting their checks would qualify. Depending on the systems in place, it might also be possible to inflate the cost of purchased equipment and pocket the difference.

    There are a few possibilities. I’m not, of course, saying that he did any such thing – just that, in principle, such things could happen.

  75. #75 Orac
    March 12, 2010

    Did I mention that universities and research centers skim 50+% “off the top” of all grants they administer? They call it “overhead”. There are other names used by other people.

    Well yes and no.

    Federal grants, at least NIH grants and DOD grants (both of which I’ve had) usually add in overhead at a negotiated rate on the dollar, usually somewhere in the vicinity of 50%, depending upon what the university has negotiated with the feds. Let’s say I land a nice, juicy R01 from the NIH for $250,000 a year and, for simplicity’s sake, let’s assume my institution’s federal overhead rate is 50%. That means the NIH will dole out to my university $375,000 a year. I get to use $250,000 of that for my research; the university pockets the $125,000 for “overhead,” usually with lots of complicated arrangements for how much goes to the department, to the school, and to other entities that make up the university. So, in reality, the university doesn’t really skim 50% off the top; the government ladles 50% more on the university, which it keeps for “overhead.”

    Now, it is possible that Dr. Thorsen didn’t understand this arrangement and spent too much, such that the university thought that it was owed the overhead, although $2 million in overhead would have had to mean that the total grants he controlled had to be on the order of around $4 million (or $6 million if you add $2 million in overhead to a $4 million grant).

    There’s no arguing about one thing, though. Grant money isn’t just ladled out to the investigator or handed over in a large bag containing unmarked bills. It’s given to the university, which then disburses it, and the government has rules demanding careful accounting of how the money is spent. Investigators can only access the money through the university, using it to order supplies, hire technicians or postdocs, what have you (all of which is paid for through university purchase orders for supplies or the university payroll to pay for grant-funded employees). I can say from experience that it is rarely the investigator that can take the money. Usually, I’m poring over budget and spending reports line by line to figure out how the university shorted me when my estimate of my spending doesn’t match the balance shown in my accounts reports.

    Consequently, I find the explanation that there was some sort of dispute over the funds when Thorsen left Aarhus and took his grants with him very plausible.

  76. #76 Scott
    March 12, 2010

    There are a few possibilities. I’m not, of course, saying that he did any such thing – just that, in principle, such things could happen.

    I should additionally add that the possibilities mentioned wouldn’t be easy to pull off if there are ANY safeguards in place (which there almost certainly are). But such things happen.

  77. #77 Regan
    March 12, 2010

    Has a charge actually been filed yet?

  78. #78 RickD
    March 12, 2010

    I made the mistake yesterday of looking at the HuffPost comments section. Yikes!

    In response to repeated requests for a paper saying that there was no link between thimerosal and autism, an enlightened commenter provided likes to a half dozen papers at PubMed. These links were dismissed because “they are also at NIH”.

    Apparently the person
    a) didn’t know the difference between the CDC and the NIH
    b) didn’t know what PubMed was at all
    c) thought that a paper listed at PubMed must have been authored at NIH, and thus, at CDC.

    I pointed out that PubMed lists every single article published in every major medical or biological journal and asked what would be left if the suggested purge of literature were enforced.

    (sigh)

    The whole thing is sad.

    I noticed that HuffPost was also rating actresses at the Oscars for how well they showed their cleavage. They might be well-advised to stick to the latter type of reporting.

  79. #80 Scott
    March 12, 2010

    @79:

    Was this an appeal on the test cases or something? It so sounds like old news.

    At the moment, the comments include:
    1. MERCRY IS TEH TOXINZ
    2. Admirably sane
    3. It’s all vitamin D from the GUVMINT telling people to stay out of the sun
    4. IT’S JUST ONE INGREDIENT, STILL THE VACCINES
    5. Also admirably sane

    40% is a surprisingly good ratio, even with the small numbers. And that depresses me.

  80. #81 cervantes
    March 12, 2010

    Now, it’s new news — spanking new news. The previous rulings were about MMR sans thimerosal; and the girl with the mitochondrial disorder. These are the three thimerosal test cases. This is the money shot. “Special Court Rules Connection Between Vaccination and Autism ‘Scientifically Unsupportable” This afternoon, just a few minutes ago.

  81. #82 brian
    March 12, 2010

    @ Cervantes–

    I’m not sure how you can consider this over. Some of the so-called “evidence” considered by the court came from papers that received ratings of negative 5 on the famous ’14 Studies’ 0 to 40 point scale! Oh, never mind . . . .

  82. #83 Scott
    March 12, 2010

    @81:

    Ah, the other three test cases. Makes perfect sense, thanks.

  83. #84 a-non
    March 12, 2010

    I’ll harken back to my high school athletic days, and start singing the “warm up the bus” song to the anti-vaxers.

    Time to get off the court, guys. Both figuratively and literally.

  84. #85 Science Mom
    March 12, 2010

    http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/Hastings.King%20Decision.pdf

    http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/Campbell-Smith%20Mead%20Autism%20Decision.pdf

    http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/Vowell.Dwyer.FINAL.pdf

    Here are the 3 decisions that just came out today. I call Shenanigans! This is a plot by the illuminati. These decisions were clearly rendered intentionally to distract from the global intrigue about an author no one has ever heard of, who held a minor role in the Danish MMR and Thimerosal studies but Handley, Olmstead, Blaxhill, Kennedy & Associates are going to inflate its value well beyond insanity.

  85. #86 Matthew Cline
    March 12, 2010

    As one of my readers pointed out, trying to argue that because Thorsen may have fled with stolen money is akin to arguing that if the fourth co-author of one of Einstein’s papers describing the Theory of Relativity ran off with $2 million it would somehow invalidate the Theory of Relativity. Maybe J.B. Handley, No Longer a Journalist, RFK Jr., or Not a Doctor Not a Scientist can help me out here. Was there an allegation against Poul Thorsen of actual scientific–rather than financial–fraud of which I wasn’t aware?

    No, no, you see, what Aarhus University thought was theft was actually a bribe. Big Pharma indirectly put pressure on the NIH through Congress and/or directly bribed members of the NIH to send $2 million Thorsen’s way to fabricate data, so the NIH intended for Thorsen to get the money, and they would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for those meddling kids Aarhus University’s sharp eyed accountants.

  86. #87 Mu
    March 12, 2010

    I agree with Prometheus, a lot of the story sounds like a typical “guy changes job, takes customer/contact list/grant money/secretary with him”, and the old employer is griping. Add the “he had a contract with a new employer while still working for the old one” and it gets nasty fast. Add the international angle, plus him moving to the country the sponsoring agency is located (making legal life for the Danish university tricky), and you have a “scandal”. Only RFK could spin it worse than a National Inquirer headline.

  87. #88 Anne
    March 12, 2010

    What it looks like, from the Aarhus statement, is that Thorsen pulled down some advances from Aarhus based on possibly forged documents related to CDC funding. So I’m assuming that Aarhus made some advances expecting money to be coming in from the CDC, and the money didn’t come. What the advances were used for isn’t clear, but I assume that Aarhus didn’t just write a check to Thorsen so he could “abscond” with the money. This is all speculation of course.

  88. #89 SLC
    March 12, 2010

    Re Cervantes

    As dandy Don Meridith used to say on Monday Night Football, turn out the lights, the partys’ over.

  89. #90 Enkidu
    March 12, 2010

    @78

    I once had an anti-vaxxer tell me that they wouldn’t believe any article I pulled off PubMed because it was a “government” site and couldn’t be trusted (you know, http://www.pubmed.gov).

    My response: it’s a search engine, dipstick. ::huge eyeroll::

  90. #91 T. Bruce McNeely
    March 12, 2010

    I took a look at Junior’s article and was struck by his assumption of Thorsen’s guilt. Uh, what about presumption of innocence, Junior? Were you nodding off the day that was covered in law school?
    Once again, I call on the late Dominick Dunne to give his verdict on RFK Jr:

    “I don’t give a fuck about what that little shit has to say,” Dunne spits back. “That fucking asshole. This pompous, pompous, POMPOUS man. I don’t care what he has to say. He’s not a person that I have any feeling or respect for.”

    Read more: Dominick Dunne vs. Robert Kennedy http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/crimelaw/features/n_8816/#ixzz0i0mYEg00

  91. #94 Otto
    March 12, 2010

    You didn’t answer the question posed @63, Tre.

  92. #95 Science Mom
    March 12, 2010

    bensmyson @93, The Thorsen story will probably end up being rather mundane. Just so you don’t think that I am an apologist for any ‘pro-vax’ scientists that go tits up, I hope that, when this all shakes out, and if he has committed fraud, that he will be summarily punished for it. However, you won’t get your deep desired wish that the science is shite. His role in those studies was too insufficient to have manipulated data and results and there are still many more that have replicated it. You don’t seem to have any problem accepting replication by the same, incestuous group of authors swirling about and including ol’ Andy, but you stick your fingers in your ears when it is pointed out that the Danish studies have been independently replicated. Must be funsies in your opposite world.

  93. #96 Dan the Man
    March 13, 2010

    Science Mom – Do you have any links for the independantly replicated studies? It would help me out greatly, thanks in advance.

  94. #97 Zetetic
    March 13, 2010

    @ bensmyson #93:
    What a pathetic attempt at committing the Genetic Fallacy.

    It’s very simple…If the studies were fraudulent then it should be possible to prove such, like what happened with Wakefield’s work. Unless you can provide evidence to that effect, then you’re just making using a fallacy to avoid discussing the lack of evidence (not to mention credibility) of the anti-vax position.

    BTW are you going to answer the question at #63?

  95. #98 bensmyson
    March 13, 2010

    Im sorry I missed the part about Wakefield being a fraud. I read that he paid some kids at a birthday party for a blood sample but fraud? Hasnt his work been replicated? http://www.la-press.com/article.php?article_id=1816

    Thorsen is a horse of a different color dont you think?

    And seriously, stranger things have happened. You have the CDC’s authorities of vaccine safety taking money and favors from drug companies, you have a famous researcher faking his studies on Vioxx and other drugs for money. This alleged stealing of 2 million and forgery is nothing like that.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123672510903888207.html

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/18/health/policy/18cdc.html

    Im sure somewhere on some dusty shelf there is a study that backs up Thorsen’s study. Just like Im sure there is a study somewhere saying that smoking Marlboros brings out the cowboy in you.

  96. #99 bkrider9
    March 13, 2010

    Yes, rambling describes your writing well. Methinks thou dost protest too much. And the 6-7 comments I’ve read evidence not so much scientific detachment and dispassionate reasoning as sycophancy. Ramble on.
    Respectfully and insolently yours,
    bkrider9

  97. #100 bkrider9
    March 13, 2010

    I’m open to a pro-vaccines viewpoint, but here the emotions run too high to be considered reliable objective science. And the 6-7 comments I’ve read evidence not so much dispassionate reasoning as sycophancy. This website claims much, but the smell of lobbying is overpowering.

  98. #101 SLC
    March 13, 2010

    Re T. Bruce McNeely @ #91

    Although I have no use for Robert Kennedy Jr., who is clearly a whackjob on the subject of vaccines, I would hardly consider the late cokehead, Dominick Dunne, a reliable source of information. The issue that was the cause of the brouhaha between Kennedy and Dunne was the accusations Kennedy made against him relative to the trial and conviction of the formers’ cousin, Michael Skakel, for the murder of Martha Moxley. Kennedy blamed Dunne for the leak of a private investigators’ report of an interview with Skakel; the private investigator had been hired by Skakels’ father.

    Actually, Skakel senior made a fatal mistake when he personally hired the investigator. Had he obtained the services of an attorney to hire the investigator, the report would not have been admissible as it would be considered work product under the attorney/client privilege. Thus Kennedys’ complaint against Dunne was ill founded because no attorney/client privilege was in force.

    However, like CNN whore Nancy Grace, Mr. Dunne had the bad habit of declaring defendants guilty before trial and pillorying their legal counsel. In fact, he once stated that we shouldn’t get too excited about erroneous guilty verdicts because the defendant was probably guilty of other crimes where either there wasn’t enough evidence to support a conviction or the latter was guilty of crimes for which he was not a person of interest.

  99. #102 SLC
    March 13, 2010

    Re T. Bruce McNeely @ #91

    In addition, cokehead Dunne made an atrocious accusation for which he provided not a jot or a tittle of evidence. He claimed that Rushton Skakel was faking Alzheimer’ disease when he testified on the witness stand that he had no memory of the events surrounding the Moxley murder. This despite the testimony of several physicians. It should be noted that the elder Skekal died fairly shortly after the trial of his affliction.

    In short, cokehead Dunne was a scumbag.

  100. #103 Orac's Wackosphere
    March 13, 2010

    “Please cite the unsupported allegations Orac has written about Wankerfield.

    I shall now demonstrate my psychic abilities by predicting that the troll shall do nothing of the sort”.

    Dear Scott,

    While it would be a lot of fun to waste time getting that information for you… The quote that I referenced was from Brian Deer, not Orac. I see that Reading Comp isn’t one of your areas of expertise.

  101. #105 MikeMa
    March 13, 2010

    Wacko,
    Brian Deer’s investigative reporting was thorough and supported by evidence. Wakefield foolishly tried to sue Deer and lost, in part because the evidence was supported.

    Wakefield will likely lose his license and should complete his despicable career in obscurity except for the odd reverence he engenders in the loon anti-vax community. That despite his efforts to replace the MMR with a vaccine of his own. Cognitive dissonance.

  102. #106 Sue M->Common Sense->Orac's Wackosphere
    March 13, 2010

    The benismymom-Sue M antivax hissing cockroaches are antivax. Back under your rocks, ladies. There you can take the time necessary to open your minds to science and reason so you don’t miss the part about Wakers being a fraud… or you can keep posting your little hopes and dreams on AoA and ABMD to the willing 10′s of like-minded lemmings.

  103. #107 Sue M->Common Sense->Orac's Wackosphere
    March 13, 2010

    The benismymom-Sue M antivax hissing cockroaches are antivax. Back under your rocks, ladies. There you can take the time necessary to open your minds to science and reason so you don’t miss the part about Wakers being a fraud… or you can keep posting your little hopes and dreams on AoA and ABMD to the willing 10′s of like-minded lemmings.

  104. #108 Sue M->Common Sense->Orac's Wackosphere
    March 13, 2010

    The benismymom-Sue M antivax hissing cockroaches are antivax. Back under your rocks, ladies. There you can take the time necessary to open your minds to science and reason so you don’t miss the part about Wakers being a fraud… or you can keep posting your little hopes and dreams on AoA and ABMD to the willing 10′s of like-minded lemmings.

  105. #109 Sue M->Common Sense->Orac's Wackosphere
    March 13, 2010

    The benismymom-Sue M antivax hissing cockroaches are antivax. Back under your rocks, ladies. There you can take the time necessary to open your minds to science and reason so you don’t miss the part about Wakers being a fraud… or you can keep posting your little hopes and dreams on AoA and ABMD to the willing 10′s of like-minded lemmings.

  106. #110 Sue M->Common Sense->Orac's Wackosphere
    March 13, 2010

    The benismymom-Sue M antivax hissing cockroaches are antivax. Back under your rocks, ladies. There you can take the time necessary to open your minds to science and reason so you don’t miss the part about Wakers being a fraud… or you can keep posting your little hopes and dreams on AoA and ABMD to the willing 10′s of like-minded lemmings.

  107. #111 Sue M->Common Sense->Orac's Wackosphere
    March 13, 2010

    The benismymom-Sue M antivax hissing cockroaches are antivax. Back under your rocks, ladies. There you can take the time necessary to open your minds to science and reason so you don’t miss the part about Wakers being a fraud… or you can keep posting your little hopes and dreams on AoA and ABMD to the willing 10′s of like-minded lemmings.

  108. #112 Sue M->Common Sense->Orac's Wackosphere
    March 13, 2010

    The benismymom-Sue M antivax hissing cockroaches are antivax. Back under your rocks, ladies. There you can take the time necessary to open your minds to science and reason so you don’t miss the part about Wakers being a fraud… or you can keep posting your little hopes and dreams on AoA and ABMD to the willing 10′s of like-minded lemmings.

  109. #113 Sue M->Common Sense->Orac's Wackosphere
    March 13, 2010

    The benismymom-Sue M antivax hissing cockroaches are antivax. Back under your rocks, ladies. There you can take the time necessary to open your minds to science and reason so you don’t miss the part about Wakers being a fraud… or you can keep posting your little hopes and dreams on AoA and ABMD to the willing 10′s of like-minded lemmings.

  110. #114 Sue M->Common Sense->Orac's Wackosphere
    March 13, 2010

    The benismymom-Sue M antivax hissing cockroaches are antivax. Back under your rocks, ladies. There you can take the time necessary to open your minds to science and reason so you don’t miss the part about Wakers being a fraud… or you can keep posting your little hopes and dreams on AoA and ABMD to the willing 10′s of like-minded lemmings.

  111. #115 Sue M->Common Sense->Orac's Wackosphere
    March 13, 2010

    The benismymom-Sue M antivax hissing cockroaches are antivax. Back under your rocks, ladies. There you can take the time necessary to open your minds to science and reason so you don’t miss the part about Wakers being a fraud… or you can keep posting your little hopes and dreams on AoA and ABMD to the willing 10′s of like-minded lemmings.

  112. #116 Sue M->Common Sense->Orac's Wackosphere
    March 13, 2010

    The benismymom-Sue M antivax hissing cockroaches are antivax. Back under your rocks, ladies. There you can take the time necessary to open your minds to science and reason so you don’t miss the part about Wakers being a fraud… or you can keep posting your little hopes and dreams on AoA and ABMD to the willing 10′s of like-minded lemmings.

  113. #117 Sue M->Common Sense->Orac's Wackosphere
    March 13, 2010

    The benismymom-Sue M antivax hissing cockroaches are antivax. Back under your rocks, ladies. There you can take the time necessary to open your minds to science and reason so you don’t miss the part about Wakers being a fraud… or you can keep posting your little hopes and dreams on AoA and ABMD to the willing 10′s of like-minded lemmings.

  114. #118 Sue M->Common Sense->Orac's Wackosphere
    March 13, 2010

    The benismymom-Sue M antivax hissing cockroaches are antivax. Back under your rocks, ladies. There you can take the time necessary to open your minds to science and reason so you don’t miss the part about Wakers being a fraud… or you can keep posting your little hopes and dreams on AoA and ABMD to the willing 10′s of like-minded lemmings.

  115. #119 bensmyson
    March 13, 2010

    Thanks Orac, although Im sure your opinion and that of Brian Deer are well thought out dont you think that would be like me quoting or linking to a AoA blog?

    What I found was the GMC said that children had been subjected to invasive procedures that were not warranted, a disciplinary panel ruled. They had undergone lumbar punctures and other tests solely for research purposes and without valid ethical approval. And that he did not tell the Lancet that £55,000 funding for the study came from the legal aid board. Wakefield was advising Richard Barr, an attorney who was acting on behalf of the parents of children with autism.

    Was there any proof that Wakefield’s article was slanted to favor Barr? Wasn’t it the CDC’s money that funded Thorsen’s investigation? Aren’t a large majority of research studies funded by either the CDC, the NIH or pharmaceutical companies?

    Forging signatures, lying on grant applications and absconding with a couple of millions of dollars seems to be a horse of a different color.

    BTW, hardly anti-vax here, I had my son vaccinated.

    Back under the rock, opening mind.

  116. #120 MikeMa
    March 13, 2010

    bensmyson
    Glad Ben is vaccinated.

    Read through Brian Deer’s investigation here. Eye-opening.

  117. #121 Otto
    March 13, 2010

    “BTW, hardly anti-vax here, I had my son vaccinated.”

    So, this was written by someone else?

    http://preview.tinyurl.com/yjcsvk4

  118. #122 Science Mom
    March 13, 2010

    Dan @96
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16818529
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez/15342825
    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/114/3/793
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez/12880876
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez/14595043
    http://tinyurl.com/ylqkfam
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14519711

    Bensmyson @98:

    Im sorry I missed the part about Wakefield being a fraud. I read that he paid some kids at a birthday party for a blood sample but fraud? Hasnt his work been replicated?

    Don’t play coy; you are a regular of AoA amongst other anti-vax sites so you know what Wakefield has been found guilty of. How could you even consider yourself to be informed if you haven’t read the OAP? Wakefield was dropped as a petitioners’ witness for very good reason, which was highlighted by Dr.s Bustin and Chadwick.

    That is not independent replication of Wakefield’s work; it’s just the same incestuous group slopping together a pseudo-scientific paper in a non-peer reviewed vanity journal put together and is overseen by Wakefield. Don’t be a drooling sycophant, content to get spoon-fed pabulum by agendised organisations like AoA, read for yourself, discuss the studies with those that know what their talking about.

  119. #123 Chris
    March 13, 2010

    Dan the Man:

    Science Mom – Do you have any links for the independantly replicated studies? It would help me out greatly, thanks in advance.

    List of journal articles here.

    Summary of research here. List of thimerosal studies from that link (cut and paste), notice that they are from four different countries:
    Source Study design Location
    Stehr-Green et al., 2003 [22] Ecological Sweden and Denmark
    Madsen et al., 2003 [23] Ecological Denmark
    Fombonne et al., 2006 [9] Ecological Canada
    Hviid et al., 2003 [24] Retrospective cohort Denmark
    Verstraeten et al., 2003 [25] Retrospective cohort United States
    Heron and Golding, 2004 [26] Prospective cohort United Kingdom
    Andrews et al., 2004 [27] Retrospective cohort United Kingdom

  120. #124 Otto
    March 13, 2010

    @107: Or this?

    “At a year old our son’s pediatrician looked my wife in her eyes and insisted to her that vaccines are safe just before our normally developing was injected with 3 shots containing 8 vaccines. After that nothing was ever the same. He crashed. Vaccines are not safe, it says so right on the side of the box they come in. He lied.”

    http://bit.ly/7FSpb2

  121. #125 T. Bruce McNeely
    March 13, 2010

    I would hardly consider the late cokehead, Dominick Dunne, a reliable source of information

    Do you consider the quotation I provided “information”?

    And as far as declaring someone guilty before trial, what’s with the “cokehead” shot?

  122. #126 Science Mom
    March 13, 2010

    Dan @96
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16818529
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez/15342825
    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/114/3/793
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez/12880876
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez/14595043
    http://tinyurl.com/ylqkfam
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14519711

    Bensmyson @98:

    Im sorry I missed the part about Wakefield being a fraud. I read that he paid some kids at a birthday party for a blood sample but fraud? Hasnt his work been replicated?

    Don’t play coy; you are a regular of AoA amongst other anti-vax sites so you know what Wakefield has been found guilty of. How could you even consider yourself to be informed if you haven’t read the OAP? Wakefield was dropped as a petitioners’ witness for very good reason, which was highlighted by Dr.s Bustin and Chadwick.

    That is not independent replication of Wakefield’s work; it’s just the same incestuous group slopping together a pseudo-scientific paper in a non-peer reviewed vanity journal put together and is overseen by Wakefield. Don’t be a drooling sycophant, content to get spoon-fed pabulum by agendised organisations like AoA, read for yourself, discuss the studies with those that know what their talking about.

  123. #127 mmmbuck
    March 13, 2010

    where was RESPECTFUL INSOLENCE during the tobacco years?

  124. #128 Chris
    March 13, 2010

    Huh?

  125. #129 bensmyson
    March 13, 2010

    It wasn’t too long ago in history when the Nazi Government of Germany professed to its people and the rest of the world that scientific evidence from research showed the Aryan people to be superior to all other races.

    In our own U.S. history we took so called scientific research at its word in the 1940s and 1950s when it was determined by researchers a select few should be sterilized because of discoveries of mental disorders which were thought to be hereditary. We also legitimized the direct exposure to nuclear blasts for a number of experiments in the name of science and stood by watching silently as human beings suffered and died from syphilis.

    Surely the scientists of that era had found evidence to support such claims and actions. Such is science.

  126. #130 Orac
    March 13, 2010

    Oh, wow. An invocation of Godwin’s law all mixed up with a silly and fallacious invocation of the “science was wrong before” gambit.

    A true crank masterpiece!

  127. #131 bensmyson
    March 13, 2010

    Thank you! I do my very best, its nice to be recognized. I wish I could take all the credit but I can’t.

  128. #132 Ian
    March 13, 2010

    It’s too bad nothing has changed in the realm of medical science since the 1950s. At all. As a specific reaction to those things bensmyson just talked about.

    Yes, science has been wrong before, and the word “science” has been abused (even though there is no science supporting Aryan supremacy, the safety of radiation, or justifying the non-treatment of syphilis). You know what’s been wrong even longer? Stupidity.

  129. #133 Militant Agnostic
    March 13, 2010

    Thank you! I do my very best, its nice to be recognized. I wish I could take all the credit but I can’t.

    I take it this an admission to copy pasting antivax lunacy from here, there and verywhere as you own.

  130. #134 Science Mom
    March 13, 2010

    bensmyson, instead of invoking strawmen, why don’t you look at how the scientific process works. Tobacco companies failed in their endeavour because the science that demonstrated the association between smoking and lung cancer prevailed. Your ilk like to invoke Needleman’s research confronting corporate interests; his science was sound.

    Now I find it positively bombastic that you would even mention the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment without recognising that your own champions have violated the Declaration of Helsinki such as the Geiers and Wakefield et al. I wouldn’t be too damn proud of that if I were you.

    Wakefield’s science was built upon a fraud from the get-go and that is why it can’t be replicated. Can you really not see this? Does it mean so much to you to defend an unethical, dishonest man because he told you something that you wanted to hear? I’ll bet a lot of smokers and the physicians that touted smoking were happy to hear that smoking didn’t cause lung cancer but they were deluded now weren’t they?

  131. #135 mmmbuck
    March 13, 2010

    “Oh, wow. An invocation of Godwin’s law all mixed up with a silly and fallacious invocation of the “science was wrong before” gambit.

    science usually gets it correct eventually – just not in oncology

  132. #136 Travis
    March 13, 2010

    mmmbuck,
    Come on, at least put a little effort into it. At least bensmyson usually writes more than one sentence and tries to make a point even if it is silly, wrong, or just ignorant. My initial response to your posts is something like “Boring troll is boring (and stupid)” because of the lack of content.

  133. #137 bensmyson
    March 13, 2010

    Im sorry if I gave you the impression that I am defending Wakefield. I am not educated enough to understand, in such detail as what you are familiar with, one scientific paper from another. But some things make sense when compared to personal experience and others dont, that’s my science I guess. For instance, Im sure eugenics means one thing to some and another thing to others.

    Did not mean to side track this Thorsen story. My point is that as it seems to me and my uneducated tin-foil hat covered pea brain, Thorsen’s situation could be something much worse than what Wakefield did with his son’s friends at a birthday party.

    And Declaration of Helsinki, what’s that? I honestly have no idea.

  134. #138 mmmbuck
    March 13, 2010

    bensmyson – why do you bother with this site?
    i stumbled upon it, have wasted about 5 min and will now move on; maybe you should to.

    oncology is still a gong show

  135. #139 Travis
    March 13, 2010

    bensmyson, I have not been following this story so much so I am not going to reply to all of your post in 125, I am sure those who have been participating will do that. But the Declaration of Helsinki is a set of ethical principles for the medical community related to experimentation using humans.

  136. #140 Otto
    March 13, 2010

    “Im sorry if I gave you the impression that I am defending Wakefield. I am not educated enough to understand, in such detail as what you are familiar with, one scientific paper from another.”

    Tre, who exactly do think you’re crappin’?

    http://bit.ly/aP21Ve

  137. #141 bensmyson
    March 13, 2010

    Oh that Helsinki thing, the one the FDA doesnt recognize right?

    “At the end of April (2008) the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a regulatory change ending the need for clinical trials conducted outside of the US to comply with the Declaration of Helsinki. The FDA’s decision had been in the making for several years and is a major victory of corporate interests which have sought to loosen the ethical standards for international clinical trials.” http://www.socialmedicine.org/2008/06/01/ethics/fda-abandons-declaration-of-helsinki-for-international-clinical-trials/

    http://www.issuesinmedicalethics.org/173ED118.html

  138. #142 Orac
    March 13, 2010

    And Declaration of Helsinki, what’s that? I honestly have no idea.

    Google it.

    While you’re at it, Google the Common Rule and the Belmont Report. These are documents that set forth the ethical principles upon that all biomedical research is expected to follow. In fact, search this blog for these terms as well, because I’ve written about them on multiple occasions over the last five years.

    Really, if you can’t be bothered to learn relevant background that is mind-numbingly easy to find, why should we bother to spoon feed it to you?

    As for claiming that what Wakefield did was “just” offering kids money at a birthday party to let him draw their blood, you clearly have no clue. I posted the links showing Wakefield’s undisclosed conflicts of interest, his incompetent science, his subjecting children to invasive medical procedures such as colonoscopy and lumbar puncture without a valid medical indication, and his very likely research fraud, but you obviously didn’t bother to read them. The posts to which I linked all contain additional links to the primary sources.

  139. #143 SLC
    March 13, 2010

    Re T. Bruce McNeely @ #113

    1. Let me amend my comment by stating that Mr. Dunnes’ opinions are worth about as much as any information he may convey. Namely zilch.

    2. Mr. Dunne, by his own admission, was a long time user of cocaine. He claimed to have kicked the habit interview he gave in which this admission was made. However, it is my information that long term use of cocaine is not the way to preserve brain function.

    Re mmmbuck

    One certainly hopes that, if Mr. mmmbuck is diagnosed with cancer, he will eschew seeking treatment from an oncologist.

    Re Bensmyson

    Since Ms. Bensmyson essentially admits that she doesn’t know her posterior orifice from an excavation in tierra firma, maybe she should acquire some knowledge on the subject before commenting.

  140. #144 bensmyson
    March 13, 2010

    Thanks Orac, I got the links, I went through what you had to say, your interpretations seem a valid opinion based on your understanding and the understanding of others. To me though a colonoscopy is a necessary investigative tool when dealing with children with bowel disorders, likewise if one discovers measles virus in the intestines to do a lumbar puncture to see if the gut has leaked into the brain. I know a child that had cancer and was being treated with chemotherapy and radiation, made him very uncomfortable and it was a tough decision for his parents to experiment on him that way.

    An April 2000 paper presented by Professor John O’Leary to the Committee on Government Reform reported the investigation whether measles virus was present n the gut biopsies of autistic children, and if so, where and how much. The paper reported that the biopsies of 24 out of 25 (96%) of the autistic children examined were positive for measles virus, and that amongst normal (non-autistic) controls, only 1 out of 15 children (6.6%) were positive, strongly suggesting a connection between measles virus and autism.

    A February 2004 paper presented by Singh, Department of Biology Center for Integrated Biosystems, Utah State University, to the US Institute of Medicine, Washington DC, measured antibodies in autistic children to five viruses, measles, mumps, rubella, CMV and human herpes virus 6. Researchers found that the antibody level of the measles virus alone, and not the other four, was significantly higher in autistic children than in normal children. The research also found a correlation between measles antibody and brain autoimmunity, which was marked by myelin basic protein antibodies. The two markers correlated in over 90% of the autistic children tested for them, suggesting a causal link between measles virus and autoimmunity in autism. The serology to other viruses and other brain autoantibodies did not show this correlation. This suggested a temporal link of measles virus in the etiology of autism.

    An earlier 1999 paper Bitnun et al, Measles Inclusion-Body Encephalitis Caused by the Vaccine Strain of Measles Virus, Clinical Infectious Diseases Journal, 1999, 29 855-61 (October) has previously and independently confirmed the presence of measles virus in the brain tissue of a previously-healthy child following exposure to MMR, when the child had no history of wild measles infection.

    Stands to reason that Wakefield may have believed he was on to something when he began his work with those children.

    But again we are drifting away from Thorsen arent we?

  141. #145 Otto
    March 13, 2010

    “To me though a colonoscopy is a necessary investigative tool when dealing with children with bowel disorders, likewise if one discovers measles virus in the intestines to do a lumbar puncture to see if the gut has leaked into the brain.”

    This has got to be a put-on.

  142. #146 Dedj
    March 13, 2010

    “This has got to be a put-on.”

    No, I can assure you that this is how bensmyson is on all websites I’ve witnessed xir on, and on all topics, in all conversations with all people.

  143. #147 Luna_the_cat
    March 13, 2010

    I have neither time nor inclination to get into a complicated discussion right now, but @bensmyson — perhaps you missed the bit of the evidence against Wakefield, which pointed out that more than half the children in his study did not, in fact, have the GI symptoms he claimed they did. (This is made explicit in the GMC ruling, available at http://www.gmc-uk.org/static/documents/content/Wakefield__Smith_Murch.pdf .) The colonoscopies etc. were not clinically indicated, because Wakefield was lying about what GI symptoms were present and when. Which is also clear research fraud.

    Explain to me, please, just for my curiosity, what serious cognitive compartmentalisation allows you to ignore this.

  144. #148 bensmyson
    March 13, 2010

    Thanks Dedj, glad youre a fan!

  145. #149 Ian
    March 13, 2010

    @bensmyson

    Stop saying “it stands to reason”. That phrase doesn’t mean what you think it means. You haven’t used anything close to reason even once on this thread.

  146. #150 bensmyson
    March 13, 2010

    Ian- I use that term a lot? Really? Thanks Ill try to use something else, maybe Ill just say, “it seems to me” from now on.

    Seems to me Thorsen’s work should be called into question, even if it is just a simple hearing that’s open to the public in order to explain how he had no influence over any of the work, that he just signed on because he was head of the organization receiving the grant.

  147. #151 Science Mom
    March 13, 2010

    Im sorry if I gave you the impression that I am defending Wakefield. I am not educated enough to understand, in such detail as what you are familiar with, one scientific paper from another.

    Cut the coy act; you look psycho. You are quite an outspoken defender of Wakers although I agree that it is done by one that is not educated enough to understand, in such detail as what you are familiar with, one scientific paper from another.

    Did not mean to side track this Thorsen story. My point is that as it seems to me and my uneducated tin-foil hat covered pea brain, Thorsen’s situation could be something much worse than what Wakefield did with his son’s friends at a birthday party.

    Thorsen’s situation could very well be worse than that single incident on Waker’s behalf. But that is not Waker’s only offence, in fact, probably one of the lesser revolting of many. I find it so curious that you choose to only recognise that as his only offence. Is that because he was captured on videotape joking about it and can’t slime his way out of it with his mindless sycophants?

    I don’t think that you are actually reading the materials that you are being provided with if you think that this is any replication of Waker’s 1998 study. O’Leary’s lab was subject to an extensive audit by Dr. Stephen Bustin (someone who actually knows how to do PCR) and there was no way, O’Leary could have found measles vaccine-virus. You see, measles virus is an RNA virus and O’Leary’s lab left out the crucial reverse transcription step for some of the samples. His instruments were also not calibrated correctly which would have also altered the results and he didn’t have sufficient starting material, i.e. RNA in samples. Still want to defend this piece of tosh as replication? Given what O’Leary and Wakers claimed to have found, it would only require a study size of 15 to get a statistically significant difference between autistic and normal cohorts when detecting measles vaccine virus. But guess what? Studies that employed more rigorous detection methods with larger sample sizes couldn’t find a damn thing:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18769550
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18252754
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16555271
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez/11318548
    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/118/4/1664

    Thorsen was not a point man on the Danish MMR and thimerosal studies, he was not responsible for any data collection or analyses and since the lead author has spoken as to Thorsen’s role (or lack thereof) in those studies, I don’t foresee them coming into question accepting those, like you that have such a tenuous grasp on reality to begin with. What may be scrutinised, are the studies that he had in the pipeline for which this grant money was allocated for, if that was indeed, the case.

    A February 2004 paper presented by Singh, Department of Biology Center for Integrated Biosystems, Utah State University, to the US Institute of Medicine, Washington DC, measured antibodies in autistic children to five viruses, measles, mumps, rubella, CMV and human herpes virus 6. Researchers found that the antibody level of the measles virus alone, and not the other four, was significantly higher in autistic children than in normal children. The research also found a correlation between measles antibody and brain autoimmunity, which was marked by myelin basic protein antibodies. The two markers correlated in over 90% of the autistic children tested for them, suggesting a causal link between measles virus and autoimmunity in autism. The serology to other viruses and other brain autoantibodies did not show this correlation. This suggested a temporal link of measles virus in the etiology of autism.

    Bollocks! These findings don’t mean what he thinks they mean: http://justthevax.blogspot.com/2009/04/mmr-vaccine-roseola-and-autism.html The mere presence of anti-myelin basic protein antibodies is meaningless as well.

    An earlier 1999 paper Bitnun et al, Measles Inclusion-Body Encephalitis Caused by the Vaccine Strain of Measles Virus, Clinical Infectious Diseases Journal, 1999, 29 855-61 (October) has previously and independently confirmed the presence of measles virus in the brain tissue of a previously-healthy child following exposure to MMR, when the child had no history of wild measles infection.

    Nice quote-mining. The child was found to have an immunocompromised disorder and that is the only case of MIBE after MMR vaccination. MIBE is a specific diagnosis with specific clinical features, not GI issues, nor autism and given that these works were published after Waker’s 1998 study, how could he think he was ‘on to something’? Or is that part of the anti-vax group-think time warp?

    Keep digging though, it’s always fun when your lot come to sites like this to edumcate us and spread your twoof. You are doing more to educate parents as to the perils of anti-vaxxing then we ever could.

  148. #152 Otto
    March 13, 2010

    “Seems to me Thorsen’s work should be called into question, even if it is just a simple hearing that’s open to the public in order to explain how he had no influence over any of the work, that he just signed on because he was head of the organization receiving the grant.”

    I recommend the site of the Spahn Ranch as a venue. You’ll feel right at home.

  149. #153 TemporarilyAnonymous
    March 13, 2010

    “Thanks Orac, I got the links, I went through what you had to say, your interpretations seem a valid opinion based on your understanding and the understanding of others. To me though a colonoscopy is a necessary investigative tool when dealing with children with bowel disorders, likewise if one discovers measles virus in the intestines to do a lumbar puncture to see if the gut has leaked into the brain. I know a child that had cancer and was being treated with chemotherapy and radiation, made him very uncomfortable and it was a tough decision for his parents to experiment on him that way. ”

    To me, as an autistic who knows what it’s like to be an autistic kid, I think that a colonoscopy would have been an absolutely terrifying experience, to the point of health-threatening anxiety. And that is apart from the normal risks of colonoscopies, especially when they mean comrposmising the integrity of the colonic mucous to remove a sample. I also know that lumbar puncture would have been no fun either.

    To me, as an adult, this looks like a perfect example of the need for independent institutional review boards to oversee experimentation on human beings, the same kind of oversight that Wakefield deliberately evaded.

  150. #154 Zetetic
    March 13, 2010

    @ bensmyson:

    First of all, you may not have noticed (whether it’s due to a lack of comprehension, Morton’s Demon, or you’re just lying…I don’t know), but it’s NOT “Thorsen’s work” as you claim in what seems to be an attempt to make a deliberate lie. Rather, it is a couple of papers for which Thorsen was a participant.

    Please read the following…Autism-study doctor facing grant probe
    Also, please note the parts about Thorsen’s limited involvement in the reports.

    Once again you’re resorting to the Genetic Fallacy. You’re asserting the if Thorsen was involved in the studies then they must be tainted, ignoring not only the quality of the reports and the other (more influential researchers involved) and ignoring the body of other independent research that also come to the same general conclusions. You also seem to be hoping that we won’t notice the systematic corruption and fraud in the anti-vax industry (because lets face it..it’s a business) as well as the utter lack of credible supporting evidence for a link between vaccines and autism.

    So yes, it will be investigated, but in the end it won’t matter because even if the papers Thorsen was involved in were fraudulent (and that looks rather unlikely at this point, since it seems to be simply a matter of possible graft) there is still the body of independent work that still supports the scientific conclusion that there is no link between vaccines and autism. Just as one hoax fossil does nothing to undermine modern evolutionary theory. So even if (and that’s a BIG “if”) the studies are found to be fraudulent, it does nothing to change the rest of the body of evidence against the anti-vax position, and it does nothing to provide the still missing credible positively supporting evidence for the anti-vax position.

    So once again the anti-vax community is trying to put the pro-science side on the defensive with baseless accusations and guilt by association. Meanwhile ignoring both the body of evidence against their position, the lack of credible evidence supporting the anti-vax side, and the rancid stink of corruption coming from their own house.

    —————————————————————————–

    Others have already pointed out Wakefield’s fraud and how the only “replication” of his work involved equally bad science. Not to mention Wakefield’s deliberate attempts to hide his financial conflicts of interest, and attempts to silence Deer when he tried to bring the truth about Wakefield into the light.

    ——————————————————————————

    So when are you going to answer the question at #63?

  151. #155 bensmyson
    March 13, 2010

    I find it ever so humiliating to respond politely to such vicious personal attacks. It seems to me that many of you feel I am a threat, otherwise why take this so personally?

    Personal, you know what’s personal? Having your 12 months old child’s brain swell, his fever reach critical levels, seizures, measles titers 15 times the high norm, loss of nearly every developmental milestone and the over $50,000 of uninsured therapy and the enormous loss of income associated with our need to give him every chance humanly possible to bring him back.

    Now to me this was absolutely no coincidence, this happened immediately after his 12 month vaccines. That’s just me, my observation, my science and I realize those of you who have never experienced anything remotely like it will never understand or believe. To me, resorting to personal attacks is just wrong. I am no threat, I mean no harm, there are lots of questions I have and I seek answers.

    I don’t have the education and experiences many of you have, but I have what is in the next room, playing with his Thomas the Train, pretending, using his imagination, theory of mind I think it is called. This education and experience I have comes from that 4 year old little boy and all that we have been through together the past 3 years to get him so he can play, pretend, wonder where I am, when I am coming into the room to play along side. I’ve lived this, I know what happened to my child, I know for nearly 2 years he suffered. I know he is a great kid, a kid that has been diagnosed several times with autism, not an ASD, autism. I know he is different than many kids his age, its not that hard to see. I know that on April 18th, 2007 as he lay in his mothers lap, screaming, that the shots he got 3 hours earlier were wrecking his brain. I know this without an MRI, or what ever it would take to see inside him, I know this because it was that night when asked, “What’s wrong?” he responded “Me miss daddy” and that was the last thing he spoke for nearly a year.

    Maybe your sense of right is to attack me personally, to attempt to portray me as an idiot, a tinfoil hat wearing loon. Fact is you might be right, I dont know anymore, but isnt that like calling someone in a wheelchair a cripple, or my son a retard? What sport is that?

  152. #156 TemporarilyAnonymous
    March 13, 2010

    “Now to me this was absolutely no coincidence, this happened immediately after his 12 month vaccines. That’s just me, my observation, my science and I realize those of you who have never experienced anything remotely like it will never understand or believe. To me, resorting to personal attacks is just wrong. I am no threat, I mean no harm, there are lots of questions I have and I seek answers. ”

    Yes, that is just you and your observation. It is not, and will never be, your science. It is ample justification for you to feel strongly about the situation. But that is itself justification for setting your opinion aside when the science doesn’t support it. And it is not a justification for your behavior on this site.

  153. #157 Ian
    March 13, 2010

    Maybe your sense of right is to attack me personally, to attempt to portray me as an idiot, a tinfoil hat wearing loon. Fact is you might be right, I dont know anymore, but isnt that like calling someone in a wheelchair a cripple, or my son a retard? What sport is that?

    A person in a wheelchair or someone with a developmental disorder didn’t choose to be the way they are. It’s cruel to taunt someone over a difference they can’t control and didn’t choose. You, however, are alternating between being willfully ignorant, parroting old and oft-refuted arguments completely uncritically, and fishing for sympathy because you’re just a woeful mensch who can’t understand all this big fancy book learnin’. Even if you don’t have the education to interpret the literature, there are lots of science blogs (this one included) that have discussed the studies at length in layman’s terms. Instead, you seem to prefer to spout faux-concern and then, when cornered, you cry about how people are attacking you personally. Pointing out stupidity isn’t an attack, it’s an observation of fact. The people who have been responding to you have been attacking your poor logic and unsupported assertions.

    While I am sympathetic to your history and that of your son, it’s completely irrelevant to whether or not the science is correct. It is also completely irrelevant to the validity of the unsupported aspersions you’ve been casting at the authors of the study. The fact that your family has suffered doesn’t give you any scientific insight, it means you have personal experience. It’s absolutely appropriate to talk about gaps in service or lack of care for autistic kids – that’s something your experience makes relevant. But leave scientific commentary alone until you understand the process better.

    You are one of the more polite combatants I’ve seen on these forums, though. So thanks for that.

  154. #158 Phoenix Woman
    March 13, 2010

    Interesting — “bensmyson” is already in my killfile, yet I don’t remember putting him there.

    Is it yet another incarnation of Happeh?

  155. #159 KWombles
    March 13, 2010

    @bensmyson,

    Your attempt to get people to pity you in your woe-is-me post at #143 strikes me as more than disingenuous at best, given your tendency in other venues to engage in highly questionable comments that are vaguely menacing:

    “My feelings exactly. Im scared, Im angry, Im depressed, Im broke, Im frustrated, Im sick, hurt, and did I say angry? It’s a good thing I dont know how to fly a plane…. by remote control. :)” AoA, Feb 21, 2010 9:09 am

    “I hope this guy is found and brought in alive, there are a few questions Id like answered.” AoA, Mar 11, 2010, 8:55 am

    “Thorsen, whatya wanna bet, won’t make a single headline. My guess is if he is mentioned at all it will be because he was found in the trunk of some burned out car.” AoA, Mar 10, 2010 6:58 pm

  156. #160 a-non
    March 14, 2010

    @bensmyson,

    know that on April 18th, 2007 as he lay in his mothers lap, screaming, that the shots he got 3 hours earlier were wrecking his brain. I know this without an MRI, or what ever it would take to see inside him

    I am hopelessly sad for you, because that quote shows me the charlatans and quacks in the anti-vaccine movement have convinced you that your child’s condition was caused by the MMR vaccine. Science or medicine be damned.

    I am not going to argue whether the events you described really happened, or whether your timeline is accurate. Only you know that for sure.

    What I must argue is that there is no credible scientific evidence that vaccines in general, or the MMR in particular, cause autism. There just isn’t. And if you want to remain willfully ignorant of that reality because you prefer the echo chamber of the AoA crowd, then so be it.

    But by doing so, do not pretend that you want to engage in any meaningful discourse on the topic. That’s insulting to everyone’s intelligence.

  157. #161 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 14, 2010

    Now to me this was absolutely no coincidence, this happened immediately after his 12 month vaccines. That’s just me, my observation, my science and I realize those of you who have never experienced anything remotely like it will never understand or believe.

    First of all, I am very sorry that your son has the condition he has. It must be very difficult for you to deal with.

    But that doesn’t justify you remaining willfully ignorant. You will almost certainly yammer back with self-pitying bullshit about “oh how dare you launch your vicious personal attack on me I choose to interpret that as proof that I must be right because otherwise why would you so cruelly attack saintly little me –” Because you are willfully ignorant, refusing to learn anything that would contradict your presently held ideas, that’s why I’m calling you willfully ignorant.

    I’m sorry that you and your son have a hard row to hoe. But calling what happened to your son “my science” is like interviewing a single person and calling it “my poll.” “Mr. President, how can you ignore a clear mandate from the people? 100% of the Americans who responded in my poll said they wanted your top priority to be elimination of crabgrass! Why are you ignoring the people??” Sound silly? Well, guess what. It sounds equally silly to anyone who knows science when you say “Event A happened and 3 hours later Event B happened and that proves that Event A causes Event B, that’s my observation and that’s my science.”

    Let me explain something to you very clearly. Emotion does not trump reality. You seem to think that telling us why you are so emotional on the subject of the alleged vaccine-autism connection will convince us that you are an expert on the alleged vaccine-autism connection. “those of you who have never experienced anything remotely like it will never understand or believe …” “I know this without an MRI, or what ever it would take to see inside him, I know this because it was that night when asked, “What’s wrong?” he responded “Me miss daddy” …”

    But it doesn’t work that way. I could get kidnapped tomorrow by Muslim terrorists, but that wouldn’t make me an expert on the Middle East. You had the heartbreaking experience of seeing your son regress into autism but it doesn’t mean you know what causes autism. Caring very much for your son with autism doesn’t mean you know what causes autism.

    You tell us you want answers and God knows that’s understandable; who could possibly be in your position and not want answers?? But when you tell us that you already have the answers to the puzzle of autism, answers that have eluded researchers who make it their life’s work, and you have these answers not because you actually went through a sane process of inquiry which would eventually produce the correct answers and weed out the plausible-seeming-but-incorrect answers, but merely because autism has caused you heartbreak, you are making no sense.

    If I got kidnapped by Muslim terrorists, it would certainly motivate me to try and figure out what’s really going wrong in the Middle East. But if I started showing up on forums devoted to studying the situation in the Middle East and announcing that my kidnapping already taught me what I needed to know about the Middle East, and I sneered at anyone who tried to tell me anything about the Middle East that didn’t fit with my existing “knowledge”, people would very soon start treating me as an idiot or a tinfoil-hat-wearing loon. For the very good reason that I’d be acting like one.

  158. #162 Zetetic
    March 14, 2010

    bensmyson @ #143:

    I find it ever so humiliating to respond politely to such vicious personal attacks.

    Do you seriously think that the people here pointing out the fallacies in your reasoning and how your past comments contradict your current statements is a “vicious personal attack”?!?! Really?

    You should try posting on Pharyngula! ;-)

    It seems to me that many of you feel I am a threat, otherwise why take this so personally?

    Not really, it’s just about countering obvious falsehoods/fallacies in order to not let them mislead any fence-sitters (at least for me it is).

    Everything in the above article, and the links, already pointed out that Thorsen was apparently just a part of the teams involved here, there is no evidence that he was the principle author or a major influence.So why you to keep talking like he was when you know you have nothing to support that assertion?

    You already should know that the abuse of public funds and fraudulent research are two different things, so why do you act like they’re not different?

    You should already know that there is a vast body of research supporting showing a lack of connection between autism and vaccines, so why do you act as though these two studies are somehow so important? While on the subject, have you ever asked yourself why the anti-vax groups don’t try to fund credible research over their own? Why is that the anti-vax research always turns out to be poorly-done/fraudulent/incompetent?

    Personal, you know what’s personal? Having your 12 months old child’s brain swell, his fever reach critical levels, seizures, measles titers 15 times the high norm, loss of nearly every developmental milestone and the over $50,000 of uninsured therapy and the enormous loss of income associated with our need to give him every chance humanly possible to bring him back.

    Now to me this was absolutely no coincidence, this happened immediately after his 12 month vaccines

    If true, I’m sorry to hear that, but considering how easy it is to induce false memories and how often the parents of autistic children tend to misremember the progression of symptoms in their child’s condition, I’m afraid that unverifiable anecdotes aren’t that convincing. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that people are often wrong about many things, especially when deep emotions are involved. They tend to be confident in their recollection of things that didn’t happen the way they recall. That’s not a slight against you personally, but it’s a fact, all humans have the problem of being poor witnesses. I personally would gladly change my position if credible evidence that the damage caused by vaccines outweighed the harm, but what I find instead are strings of logical fallacies, bogus “evidence”, and excuses.

    That’s why the pro-science side keeps asking for scientifically credible evidence, but when asked for it the anti-vaxers almost invariably get offended or start to make excuses. What we don’t see are credible studies being performed that show support for the position that vaccines cause autism, just a few such studies could change the world of medicine(if the premise is true) and help thousands of future children. So why aren’t the anti-vax groups trying to perform credible tests/studies that are ethically acceptable?

    Maybe your sense of right is to attack me personally, to attempt to portray me as an idiot, a tinfoil hat wearing loon. Fact is you might be right, I dont know anymore, but isnt that like calling someone in a wheelchair a cripple, or my son a retard? What sport is that?

    For me it’s not about making fun of you. It’s about arriving at the truth (or something reasonably close to it) so as to maximize human welfare. Bad logic and unfounded assertions don’t cut it when trying to rationally determine what is best for the general public. To borrow your analogy, it’s not like making fun of someone in a wheelchair, it’s more like trying to quarantine Typhoid Mary to prevent harm to innocent people.

    If what you say about your child is true then maybe your time would be better spent trying to encourage others in the anti-vax community to push for some credible research from the anti-vax organizations. Personally though, I’m not holding my breath for any such research from groups like AoA and Generation Rescue.

  159. #163 Dan the Man
    March 14, 2010

    Thanks Science Mom and Chris for the links to those studies. I am not so good with that sort of thing. They have been a big help to me, cheers.

  160. #164 bensmyson
    March 14, 2010

    In a moment of weakness I pulled out the hankie to offer up a bit of background regarding what fuels the fire that drives me to post the things I do. Some of you have see what I witnessed with my own two eyes as I guess a coincidence and others as false memory. To me it is my science, my own personal science. I could care less what others experience in their world, it is my world that is important to me. Do I need to read and pour over in detail a study that says coffee/caffeine tastes good or bad for me to know whether or not I will drink it? My tasting of it is my science.

    Two things disturbed me most about your responses. One, “Typhoid Mary?” Harm to innocent people? Please! Exactly how immune are you right now to the diseases you have vaccinated against? Hand washing (sanitary conditions) , food and access to proper health care have been known to save a few lives.

    The other thing that disturbs me but in weird, wacky kind of way is KWombles collection of my prior posts and her attempt to portray me in a particular “vaguely menacing” light. Vaguely menacing? WTF is that? How silly! :)

    I do sense a genuine spirit of compassion regarding my son and I am appreciative. I am not surprised because Im sure a majority of you are parents yourselves, parents who love and cherish your own child and know in your heart of hearts that you would do anything to see to it your child has every advantage possible. They say there is no greater love than what a parent has for their child.

    Some of you may be under the mistaken impression that I have fallen for quackery and voodoo. Nope, I havent. But I will say this about that, whatever a parent chooses to do for their child is their right. They want Jesus to heal them, fine, want to rub oil of pecans on them, fine, want to carry them to a doctor who tells them that sticking the child in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber in hopes of helping them, fine.

    Some of you are smart enough to look up studies about hope versus no hope. Hope is telling the world things are looking up. No hope is what happened to 8-year-old Jude Michael Mirra in a Manhattan hotel. I want parents to have hope, even if it is false hope, long enough for them to find solid ground and proper support.

    Enough of this. Save your stories of chelations gone wrong and Lupron and the rise in measles and McCarthy for someone who cares. Time to get back on to the topic.

  161. #165 Otto
    March 14, 2010

    “But I will say this about that, whatever a parent chooses to do for their child is their right. They want Jesus to heal them, fine, want to rub oil of pecans on them, fine, want to carry them to a doctor who tells them that sticking the child in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber in hopes of helping them, fine.”

    You left out “sell them to a dog-fighting ring as training bait.”

  162. #166 Pablo
    March 14, 2010

    I want parents to have hope, even if it is false hope, long enough for them to find solid ground and proper support.

    And here is the difference between you and us. We want the parents to have REAL hope, and not waste their time and money with charletons who are profiting off of their dispair.

    I support people who are seriously looking for honest answers and solutions. You are like Suzanne Sommers, and running to anyone who is willing to tell you what you want to hear, even if they lie to you. You know what happens when you do that? They lie to you.

  163. #167 KWombles
    March 14, 2010

    @Bensmyson,

    “In a moment of weakness” my arse. You made an appeal to pity. You insist that your science is a personal science of one and all you need. Bleh. You really don’t understand science, then. That’s anecdote, and faulty at best.

    You assert here and elsewhere that parents can do whatever they like with their children, whatever that may be, and I cry foul on that as well. Legally (and you of all people should know better) you do not have the right to do whatever you like for and to your child. Morally, you do not, either. And you sure don’t have the right to behave in whatever fashion you like regarding your child and not deal with the societal repercussions of your actions.

    You are not a victim. I’ll very much grant that your child may be, though, but vaccines aren’t what he’s a victim of.

    False hope is no hope at all.

  164. #168 bensmyson
    March 14, 2010

    @Pablo
    You said, “You are like Suzanne Sommers, and running to anyone who is willing to tell you what you want to hear, even if they lie to you.”

    You obviously have no idea who I am. Because you made such a assertive statement about something you have no idea about, what kind of person does that make you?

    Any idea about placebo effects and why they work?

    http://www.apa.org/monitor/mar02/placebo.aspx

    A 2004 study in the British Medical Journal of physicians in Israel found that 60% used placebos in their medical practice, most commonly to “fend off” requests for unjustified medications or to calm a patient. The accompanying editorial concluded, “We cannot afford to dispense with any treatment that works, even if we are not certain how it does.” Nitzan U, Lichtenberg P. 2004 Questionnaire survey on use of placebo. BMJ. Oct 23;329(7472):944-6. PubMed

  165. #169 Science Mom
    March 14, 2010

    You obviously have no idea who I am. Because you made such a assertive statement about something you have no idea about, what kind of person does that make you?

    I think your activities here and elsewhere speak volumes about who you are, your ethos and what you are willing to do to your child, not to mention what you may be capable of doing to those you perceive as causing your child’s autism.

    Any idea about placebo effects and why they work?

    Are you seriously trying to equate the ‘biomed’ crap you subject your child to with a placebo? If only that was all you were truly giving your child. It’s for you, only for you because you feel like you have to do something radical or you have failed.

    If you were truly in the throes of de-programming, you would have so many questions and you would, undoubtedly, be treated much differently. But you aren’t as your easily-found internet activities establish. I don’t know what your game is, but it sure isn’t ‘to learn’. You have been provided with a lot of good information and your response has been contrary to one who is looking for answers.

  166. #170 Vindaloo
    March 14, 2010

    #132 @bensmyson = whale.to plagiarist

    It’s like watching ping pong with this one – waaaah, I’m not smart enough, quote whale.to, waaaah, I’m not smart enough, quote whale.to, waaaah, I’m not smart enough, quote whale.to.

    You came here to make a point. You did. It wasn’t the point you intended. But I will give credit to you and Handley’s other five web-mouths: you’re loud.

  167. #171 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 14, 2010

    Some of you have see what I witnessed with my own two eyes as I guess a coincidence and others as false memory. To me it is my science, my own personal science.

    And now you have no excuse to complain when people call you a willfully ignorant loon. You have already had it explained to you why a single personal experience, no matter how emotional it was for you, cannot be promoted to the status of “science,” but you insist on doing so.

    And by the way, telling people that there is something you would do in your state of anger and depression, if you were able to fly a plane by remote control, that it’s “lucky” you’re not able to do? Everybody understands the implication you’re making. You’re talking about a violent act of mass destruction at the very least if not murder. KWombles is not being “silly” in the least by describing that as menacing; you are being silly when you pretend that it’s not menacing to talk about how you envision yourself lashing out violently to satisfy your anger.

  168. #172 Ian
    March 14, 2010

    This is why AoA will gather the faithful more easily than we will; they’re muuuuuch nicer than us :P I love watching the comments on AoA articles where someone will say something COMPLETELY off-the-wall (like ‘whatever parents decide for their children is their right’) and instead of countering that dangerous assertion, they line up to kiss the behind of whoever has the saddest story.

    Maybe we should hire some PR people, or get some popular figure to be our spokesperson. I hear Andy Wakefield’s looking for work – people seem to love him.

  169. #173 bensmyson
    March 14, 2010

    @ Antaeus Feldspar – Do you not see the little smiley face at the end of that quote?

    It really is enlightening to see how all your black and white, analytical minds have absolutely pegged me so perfectly with your keen perception and dead-on sense of reasoning with almost mystical powers and of course clairvoyant like social skills. Amazing, no wonder you have such a superior indisputable grasp of all things science, especially how it relates to autism. (I know some of you think you are autistic because at 40 you got a diagnosis of aspergers but Im talking about autism) Raise your hands if you currently care for someone diagnosed with autism. Wombles? Otto? Sciencemom? Any of you other “cockweasel douchenozzle” know-it-alls?

    Someone, anyone, please tell me exactly what if any bio-med programs I have involved my son in, tell me what if any invasive procedures I have subjected my son to, please prove that you have any knowledge of what I do or dont do with my son in regards to therapy and treatment. You know absolutely nothing yet you post things like this, “You are not a victim. I’ll very much grant that your child may be, though, but vaccines aren’t what he’s a victim of.” “I think your activities here and elsewhere speak volumes about who you are, your ethos and what you are willing to do to your child” “‘biomed’ crap you subject your child to” and “you feel like you have to do something radical or you have failed” And you know this how?

    And again Antaeus Feldspar, I said “To me it is MY science, MY own personal science.” Did I say anything about expecting it to be yours?

  170. #174 Pablo
    March 14, 2010

    You obviously have no idea who I am.

    True. I only know you from what you say.

    Hence, my response.

    If you are not a sucker like Suzanne Sommers, who prefers to be lied to rather than to face reality and the truth and work within that, then stop acting like you are.

    And as others have noted, your concept of a placebo effect is so far afield from reality that I don’t even know where to start.

  171. #175 bensmyson
    March 14, 2010

    Many times Pablo hope is just a placebo. Churches are full of people of faith based on hope. And if you spent a second or two looking at the science of placebo effects and what effect false hope has on healing and the physiological transformations that take place in the brain of the believer you might want to say you’re sorry for being so ignorant.

    Are people who get on their knees and pray fools? Do they waste their time? You ever wish someone “Good luck”

  172. #176 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 14, 2010

    And again Antaeus Feldspar, I said “To me it is MY science, MY own personal science.” Did I say anything about expecting it to be yours?

    There is no such thing as “your own personal science.” It’s as asinine to talk about such a thing as it would be for a convicted criminal to say “Well, yeah, I was caught red-handed in the actual act of first-degree murder, and the jury did find me guilty beyond all reasonable doubt of the crime, but my verdict, my own personal verdict, is that I am not guilty.” The criminal has his own wish for what the verdict was, but that does not mean that wish can be artificially promoted to the status of a verdict, or referred to by any such asinine locution as “his own personal verdict.”

    But you know something? Even if, for the sake of argument, it was possible for people to have “personal” sciences, what you have been referring to as your “own personal science” still would not qualify. Science is a process of looking at multiple hypotheses and evaluating their likelihood based on the evidence. By your own admission you simply selected a hypothesis to explain your child’s autism and ruled out all others based on your emotional convictions.

    This means when you tell us that your conviction about what happened to your son is “your own personal science” and expect it to be respected it’s as dishonest as a counterfeiter passing a phony $100 bill and expecting it to be honored because he calls it “my own personal currency.” ;) See the little smiley face? Doesn’t that make everything better? ;) It’s so versatile! ;) I can say that you are an ignorant dishonest manipulative untrustworthy whackball loon and you can’t claim I insulted you because I used a smiley face! ;) Because if you claim that it remains an insult despite the smiley face at the end, then the logical conclusion is that a statement about lashing out violently to satisfy one’s sense of entitlement is still a statement about lashing out violently to satisfy one’s sense of entitlement even if a smiley face is appended! ;)

  173. #177 Orac's Wackosphere
    March 14, 2010

    “There is no such thing as “your own personal science.”

    Personal science and/or experience works… When vaccines damage a child, it is that child’s (family’s) personal experience. Period. This isn’t difficult people.

  174. #178 Pablo
    March 14, 2010

    Are people who get on their knees and pray fools?

    It depends. What are they praying for?

    As I told Calli Arcade some months back, praying for the earthquake victims in Haiti doesn”t help them. Send them $5 and you will do a lot more.

    Similarly, you just illustrate the point that you don’t understand a placebo effect. How does praying for someone help them? It doesn’t, it only helps the person praying. Similarly, you have made it very clear that you want whackadoodle treatments to make the parents feel better. Why does the placebo effect on autistic kids depend on whether their parents have “hope” or not?

    I have no problem wishing nothing but the best for autistic kids, and I hope they do well. But for the parents, my wish is to do something to actually help your child!!!! Don’t screw around with them just because it makes you feel better. Do things that make THEM better.

    It’s not about the parents, and making them feel good. It’s about helping the child.

    And that is why we disagree. You think it’s about you.

  175. #179 Whirl
    March 14, 2010

    After reading the back and forth between bensmyson and all the rest, and on top of my own experience with the antivaxers, I’m beginning to get the sense that many antivaxers are true narcissists with control issues. It’s not just about name calling; they seem to make the issue very much about themselves and hope to get attention.

  176. #180 Chris
    March 14, 2010

    Wacko:

    When vaccines damage a child, it is that child’s (family’s) personal experience. Period. This isn’t difficult people.

    And it is just too bad when the actual disease causes damage? Perhaps it was because the child was not “healthy” due to some random definition? I’ve actually had some say that somehow my son deserved his seizures and permanent disability due to some perceived guess at his “health.”

    Again, what evidence do you have that shows that vaccines damage children at the levels you claim? What evidence shows that the MMR vaccine causes damage greater than measles does? Measles is known to cause permanent damage at about one of a thousand cases.

    Of course you will come back with your normal insults that are completely devoid of data.

  177. #181 Bronze Dog
    March 14, 2010

    Personal experience. The messianic model of science fed to us by Hollywood. The delusion that a human being can attain godlike infallibility in regards to causal relationships by observing ONE event, divorced from a worldwide context.

    We don’t buy into that bullshit, Wacko. Human beings are fallible creatures. That’s why we need science. That’s why science is largely a process of enforced humility. We won’t let you prop up anyone as a god. You’re just angry that we won’t worship you and your friends as superior beings.

  178. #182 Joseph
    March 14, 2010

    Personal science and/or experience works…

    Wacko is sort of right about this. There’s a reason we have a biological instinct to assume correlation is causation. It must be an adaptive trait to some extent, so it must work more often than not.

    However, when your personal experience is at odds with more careful population-level observations, then it’s a good idea to question your personal ad-hoc “science.” (Coincidences do happen.) This is a luxury that technological humans have and that our ancestors didn’t have. Use it.

  179. #183 bensmyson
    March 14, 2010

    “By your own admission you simply selected a hypothesis to explain your child’s autism and ruled out all others based on your emotional convictions.”

    What other hypothesis have I ruled out? And what exactly are my “emotional convictions” You honestly think that while my son was suffering from chronic fevers, seizures and encephalitis I didn’t look at fifty causes? That the staff of doctors at major university hospitals zeroed in on vaccines as the cause of my son’s injury? Did I not go through very expensive genetic testing to look for a clue?

    Again you think you know me and you dont.

    *”But for the parents, my wish is to do something to actually help your child!!!! Don’t screw around with them just because it makes you feel better. Do things that make THEM better.”*

    What things are there to do that MAKE them better? If their immune system was comparable to someone suffering from AIDS would you boost their immune system? If they couldnt talk would you get them speech therapy? Would you cram experimental drugs down their throat? Do you have any idea what I have done or didnt do?

    And Pablo, you said “How does praying for someone help them?” I guess you would have to ask the billion people that ask for prayer on a daily basis.

    “Science is a process of looking at multiple hypotheses and evaluating their likelihood based on the evidence.”

    Merck’s ProQuad (an MMRV) was written up by the FDA for having contamination, faulty measurement equipment, high incidents of seizures. Merck in November of 2008 filed a report with VAERS that ProQuad caused two deaths, bringing the total for the year to 4. It was black labeled, removed from the AICP recommendation list and is still not back on the market.

    My son immediately developed a fever, seizures, uncontrolled crying, and a few days later a body rash that was diagnosed by his pediatrician over the phone as roseola. He lost his language, changed his eating habits, and a couple of months later he stopped responding to outside stimuli and did not register any discomfort to pain.

    The blood work taken after his vaccines showed a compromised immune system. Six months ago Ben’s measles titers were 15 times the high norm.

    It is well documented that vaccines cause injuries, and they injured my son. I have evidence of that. But do I have evidence that a vaccine caused his autism? No. As far as I know there is no blood test or anything that proves the date of onset of autism. I know we recognized a serious change in behavior within a couple of days, we just didnt suspect autism.

    Perhaps with some of your already proven psychic abilities of discernment you can tell me exactly what caused my son’s regressive autism. Ruling out of course vaccines, we know that’s not possible right?

    As far as I know, no one has looked at records of all those tens of thousands of children who regress every year and interviewed parents, looked at home movies, journals, medical records for a common link. Are all parents left handed, exposed to a certain chemical toxin, blue eyed, of German decent, tick bit, dog owners, shell fish eaters, or what have you?

    There have been studies looking at the MMR alone, studies looking for genetic traits, head sizes, etc but no one has knocked on my door, no one has given me some paperwork to fill out. No CDC investigator phoned for an interview.

    And now the Thorsen allegations and the so many other news articles of drug studies faked and conflict of interests.

    It really is hard for simple minded people like me to know what the truth is.

  180. #184 trrll
    March 14, 2010

    Some good scientists turn out to be rather poor financial managers. There are lots of ways to get into trouble for misusing funds that do not necessarily involve converting grant funds for personal use. I’ve seen most of these happen:

    1) Using money awarded for one grant to fund studies that were not proposed on that grant. Most scientists do this to some extent. It is almost the only way to do the preliminary studies needed to initiate a new project. Most funding agencies understand this and tolerate it to some extent, but one can get into trouble by doing it too flagrantly. Many scientists tend to treat all of their grant funds as one big pot of money, and not worry too much about which product is going to use, for example, a particular chemical (besides, often the answer is “both of them”). Standards have gotten tighter, and things that a scientist may regard as routine practice may not be perceived in the same way by an auditor.

    2) Running over budget. Many universities do not keep close track of grant funds. At some institutions, grant funds are only debited once invoices are paid. As this may happen weeks or months after placing the order, those funds will still be listed for some time in one’s grant balance even though the money has actually been spent, and it is possible for a careless investigator to spend the same money more than once, only to have the grant end up overspent. If this is extreme, this could result in legal action.

    3) Moving equipment from institution to institution. Most institutions allow grants to be transferred to other institutions, although they do not have to. Technically, the grant is to the institution, not the investigator, and the institution can potentially decide to retain the grant and assign a new principal investigator. However, there is a sort of “gentleman’s agreement” among universities not to do this when somebody is moving to another academic institution. However, this does not apply when somebody moves to a private company, and in any case, equipment can be a source of disputes. Depending upon what funding source a piece of equipment was purchased with, a university may insist that some of the equipment purchased for a project must remain at the institution. Usually, there is negotiation involved over what an investigator gets to take and what they have to leave behind, but sometimes an investigator will simply pack up and move equipment that is not theirs to take as far is the university is concerned, and this can result in legal action. Similar issues can arise regarding valuable research materials created at a university, such as transgenic animals.

    4) Commercially valuable discoveries made using university facilities are technically the university’s “intellectual property.” The investigator may not see it this way, and there may be disputes about to when and where a particular discovery was made if an investigator leaves a university to found a private company to exploit some particularly valuable idea or discovery.

  181. #185 dedicated lurker
    March 14, 2010

    benismyson: If your child really had an immunocompromised state equivalent to late stage AIDS you would have known about it long before any MMR vaccine. Look up “severe combined immunodefiency” and “agammaglobulinamena” for some examples.

  182. #186 Jen in TX
    March 14, 2010

    bensmyson,
    If you have a chance, find a copy of Dawkins’ The Greatest Show on Earth and read about the “gorilla film.” It’s a great example of how obervations and experiences can be horribly unreliable and misleading.

    BTW, what did you use to treat your son’s high fevers?

  183. #187 bensmyson
    March 14, 2010

    Jen, used various anti-inflammatories.

    dedicated lurker – post MMR, not before MMR, and who said anything about late stages?

    Thanks trrl for getting back on topic

    Question-

    It seems that there may be a possibility of what I term “double dipping” and in so doing someone could very easily use product or funds from one source commingling funds and technically be in violation of the law. What is telling about the press release from the university was that they claim no knowledge that Thorsen also worked for Emory at the same time which to me may indicate some of that, “hey he stole from us” kind of reaction particularly if there was some paper source showing 2 million went to some Emory study.

    Sorry, the question is, who else has been brought up on charges for something like this? Is there any history of that?

  184. #188 bensmyson
    March 14, 2010

    jen, sorry that earlier answer might have been too vague, we used Motrin periodically when needed (more than we wanted to, but he responded well to it) and Curcumin prophylactically on a daily basis for about a year, maybe 8 months.

  185. #189 Jen in TX
    March 14, 2010

    So, you didn’t use Tylenol at all, ever? Did your wife use acetaminophen-containing drugs while pregnant or lactating? Sorry, I have to ask, and if I’m being too nosy, feel free to tell me so! Like you, I seek answers. I am genuinely curious.

  186. #191 Science Mom
    March 14, 2010

    What other hypothesis have I ruled out? And what exactly are my “emotional convictions” You honestly think that while my son was suffering from chronic fevers, seizures and encephalitis I didn’t look at fifty causes? That the staff of doctors at major university hospitals zeroed in on vaccines as the cause of my son’s injury? Did I not go through very expensive genetic testing to look for a clue?

    What diagnostics were used to conclude encephalitis? What staff of doctors at what major university hospitals ‘zeroed in on vaccines’?

    What things are there to do that MAKE them better? If their immune system was comparable to someone suffering from AIDS would you boost their immune system? If they couldnt talk would you get them speech therapy? Would you cram experimental drugs down their throat? Do you have any idea what I have done or didnt do?

    You are now saying your son has an immunodeficiency disorder akin to AIDS? But it was the vaccines? I do have an idea of what you have done but why don’t you clear that up for us.

    Merck’s ProQuad (an MMRV) was written up by the FDA for having contamination, faulty measurement equipment, high incidents of seizures. Merck in November of 2008 filed a report with VAERS that ProQuad caused two deaths, bringing the total for the year to 4. It was black labeled, removed from the AICP recommendation list and is still not back on the market.

    I know that Merck was having production problems but you don’t provide any supporting evidence for contamination. You have an interesting spin on reality. A pharmaceutical company is required by law to file a VAERS report if an adverse reaction is reported to them. It still needs to go through investigation. In other words, filing a VAERS report isn’t proof of causality. ACIP didn’t ‘black label’ ProQuad, they withdrew their preference for it over MMR and V: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5710a3.htm Also in the link provided is the increased rate of seizures associated with ProQuad, not seizures. Please get your facts straight as the 2 are vastly different and febrile seizures have not been shown to be associated with any short or long term sequelea.

    My son immediately developed a fever, seizures, uncontrolled crying, and a few days later a body rash that was diagnosed by his pediatrician over the phone as roseola. He lost his language, changed his eating habits, and a couple of months later he stopped responding to outside stimuli and did not register any discomfort to pain.

    Funny but that is not what you or your husband report: http://bensmyson.wordpress.com/2009/02/02/science-in-for-a-bumpy-ride/ So nothing at all happened after his 1 year jabs as you claim and you didn’t report a concern with speech for a full 6 months after those jabs.

    The blood work taken after his vaccines showed a compromised immune system. Six months ago Ben’s measles titers were 15 times the high norm.

    So what is his immune disorder? Did no one inform you that a high, even very high, anti-measles titre is meaningless? http://photoninthedarkness.com/?p=172

    As far as I know, no one has looked at records of all those tens of thousands of children who regress every year and interviewed parents, looked at home movies, journals, medical records for a common link. Are all parents left handed, exposed to a certain chemical toxin, blue eyed, of German decent, tick bit, dog owners, shell fish eaters, or what have you?

    I see you don’t read much literature. You are mistaken about reports of regression and how they translate to reality. There are numerous studies (look up Catherine Lord for starters) that have examined ‘regression’ and most cases aren’t really. What do you think is being done with autism research? Do you even keep abreast? You and your ilk revile genetics research but what do you think is going to identify commonality or patterns the fastest, most efficient way? If you want it done your way, go tell JB Handley and Jenny McScience to put up or shut up.

    There have been studies looking at the MMR alone, studies looking for genetic traits, head sizes, etc but no one has knocked on my door, no one has given me some paperwork to fill out. No CDC investigator phoned for an interview.

    How in hell is anyone supposed to know who you even are? Do your DAN! doctors even bother to inform you of the autism studies that are recruiting? Do you think you might want to be a bit pro-active about such things? I have friends whose children are under the care of properly-trained neurodevelopmental paediatricians and therapists who are constantly informed of clinical studies that are recruiting and they jump on any they can.

    It really is hard for simple minded people like me to know what the truth is.

    I, for one, would like to believe you but I don’t. You give absolutely no indication that you are really confused, quite the contrary as your post history all over the place establishes. You are quite certain that vaccines cause autism, caused your son’s autism and vaccines are teh evil. And please don’t pull your, “I’m not anti-vax” schtick. Anyone who perpetuates the ‘AIDS was caused by vaccines’ myth, is a dyed-in-the-wool anti-vaxxer. I’m afraid it’s going to take a lot more than some languid statement of bewilderment to convince me that you are interested in the facts.

  187. #192 bensmyson
    March 14, 2010

    Jen – yes we used Tylenol at the beginning, in fact it was what the doctor recommended but it didnt work as well as Motrin. When he was bad off and the fever was tough to knock down we would alternate with Tylenol.

    Ben’s mother is pretty healthy however after Ben’s birth she developed some gallbladder complications and used Tylenol briefly a couple of times to manage pain. He was breast fed.

    The only other med he was given prior to being a year old was Prevacid for acid reflux.

  188. #193 KWombles
    March 14, 2010

    @Bensmyson,

    Three. Tre, I have three children on the spectrum. Which is completely irrelevant. You don’t get to cast yourself as the victim, period.

    Smiley faces and just kidding don’t let you say anything you like with no consequences.

  189. #194 Jen in TX
    March 14, 2010

    @bensmyson:
    Thank you for clarifying. The subject of fever suppression/analgesic use and autism interests me greatly. :)

  190. #195 Pablo
    March 14, 2010

    And Pablo, you said “How does praying for someone help them?” I guess you would have to ask the billion people that ask for prayer on a daily basis.

    I’ll take this as you not being able to answer, then. Got it.

  191. #196 bensmyson
    March 14, 2010

    wombles, Good to know you say the same prayers at night as the rest of us. But it’s not irrelevant, it honestly isnt because I can have a touch more respect for you knowing how much you care and love your children, the amount of time sacrificed over the years working with them, giving yourself totally to them with hopes of progress (I wont go woo on you) and a better life. Just curious what you think caused the autism in your children or does it matter to you?

  192. #197 bensmyson
    March 14, 2010

    wombles, pablo made me think if a question you might be able to answer for me. Is there a God? Was Jesus resurrected? Is there any science to that? Any science to being the beneficiary of prayer? Does prayer help?

  193. #198 Rob
    March 14, 2010

    “Prayer. How to do nothing and still feel like you’re helping.”

    Nothing fails like prayer.

  194. #199 KWombles
    March 14, 2010

    @Bensmyson,

    As I doubt you had any respect for me prior this, Tre, I’m not going to be bowled over by you having a “touch more respect for” me now.

    Your respect for me should not be tied to whether I am a parent of children with a disability. I do not use my children to elicit sympathy in order to make others feel guilty for arguing against my points.

    You miss the point, actually. Scientific evidence isn’t dependent on pity over another person’s situation. Anecdote doesn’t trump scientific evidence. And a “science” of one is not science. It’s anecdote.

    Memory is horribly flawed, and we work ourselves into all sorts of memories, convictions, beliefs of what has happened and why, and we self-justify ourselves out of our cognitive dissonance. It’s why we don’t rely on anecdote.

    It’s irrelevant what “caused” my children’s autism; sometimes why doesn’t matter nearly as much as what next. Maybe it’s time you learned that.

    And you’re more than capable of finding research on the internet and mangling the research findings; I’ve read you all over the internet for the last year, so I know the false humility of your postings here on this thread.

    Where is the relevance of whether I believe there is a god and whether Jesus was resurrected or not? You should know there’s no science on that, but you’re more than welcome to go read Deepak; he’s got a new post up at Huff on god.

    You want to know if prayer helps the beneficiaries of it? Look it up yourself.

  195. #200 Science Mom
    March 14, 2010

    What other hypothesis have I ruled out? And what exactly are my “emotional convictions” You honestly think that while my son was suffering from chronic fevers, seizures and encephalitis I didn’t look at fifty causes? That the staff of doctors at major university hospitals zeroed in on vaccines as the cause of my son’s injury? Did I not go through very expensive genetic testing to look for a clue?

    What diagnostics were used to conclude encephalitis? What staff of doctors at what major university hospitals ‘zeroed in on vaccines’?

    What things are there to do that MAKE them better? If their immune system was comparable to someone suffering from AIDS would you boost their immune system? If they couldnt talk would you get them speech therapy? Would you cram experimental drugs down their throat? Do you have any idea what I have done or didnt do?

    You are now saying your son has an immunodeficiency disorder akin to AIDS? But it was the vaccines? I do have an idea of what you have done but why don’t you clear that up for us.

    Merck’s ProQuad (an MMRV) was written up by the FDA for having contamination, faulty measurement equipment, high incidents of seizures. Merck in November of 2008 filed a report with VAERS that ProQuad caused two deaths, bringing the total for the year to 4. It was black labeled, removed from the AICP recommendation list and is still not back on the market.

    I know that Merck was having production problems but you don’t provide any supporting evidence for contamination. You have an interesting spin on reality. A pharmaceutical company is required by law to file a VAERS report if an adverse reaction is reported to them. It still needs to go through investigation. In other words, filing a VAERS report isn’t proof of causality. ACIP didn’t ‘black label’ ProQuad, they withdrew their preference for it over MMR and V: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5710a3.htm Also in the link provided is the increased rate of seizures associated with ProQuad, not seizures. Please get your facts straight as the 2 are vastly different and febrile seizures have not been shown to be associated with any short or long term sequelea.

    My son immediately developed a fever, seizures, uncontrolled crying, and a few days later a body rash that was diagnosed by his pediatrician over the phone as roseola. He lost his language, changed his eating habits, and a couple of months later he stopped responding to outside stimuli and did not register any discomfort to pain.

    Funny but that is not what you or your husband report: http://bensmyson.wordpress.com/2009/02/02/science-in-for-a-bumpy-ride/ So nothing at all happened after his 1 year jabs as you claim and you didn’t report a concern with speech for a full 6 months after those jabs.

    The blood work taken after his vaccines showed a compromised immune system. Six months ago Ben’s measles titers were 15 times the high norm.

    So what is his immune disorder? Did no one inform you that a high, even very high, anti-measles titre is meaningless? http://photoninthedarkness.com/?p=172

    As far as I know, no one has looked at records of all those tens of thousands of children who regress every year and interviewed parents, looked at home movies, journals, medical records for a common link. Are all parents left handed, exposed to a certain chemical toxin, blue eyed, of German decent, tick bit, dog owners, shell fish eaters, or what have you?

    I see you don’t read much literature. You are mistaken about reports of regression and how they translate to reality. There are numerous studies (look up Catherine Lord for starters) that have examined ‘regression’ and most cases aren’t really. What do you think is being done with autism research? Do you even keep abreast? You and your ilk revile genetics research but what do you think is going to identify commonality or patterns the fastest, most efficient way? If you want it done your way, go tell JB Handley and Jenny McScience to put up or shut up.

    There have been studies looking at the MMR alone, studies looking for genetic traits, head sizes, etc but no one has knocked on my door, no one has given me some paperwork to fill out. No CDC investigator phoned for an interview.

    How in hell is anyone supposed to know who you even are? Do your DAN! doctors even bother to inform you of the autism studies that are recruiting? Do you think you might want to be a bit pro-active about such things? I have friends whose children are under the care of properly-trained neurodevelopmental paediatricians and therapists who are constantly informed of clinical studies that are recruiting and they jump on any they can.

    It really is hard for simple minded people like me to know what the truth is.

    I, for one, would like to believe you but I don’t. You give absolutely no indication that you are really confused, quite the contrary as your post history all over the place establishes. You are quite certain that vaccines cause autism, caused your son’s autism and vaccines are teh evil. And please don’t pull your, “I’m not anti-vax” schtick. Anyone who perpetuates the ‘AIDS was caused by vaccines’ myth, is a dyed-in-the-wool anti-vaxxer. I’m afraid it’s going to take a lot more than some languid statement of bewilderment to convince me that you are interested in the facts.

  196. #201 Kristen
    March 15, 2010

    bensmyson@161

    Raise your hands if you currently care for someone diagnosed with autism. Wombles? Otto? Sciencemom? Any of you other “cockweasel douchenozzle” know-it-alls?

    I also have a son with autism, I don’t want brownie points or symapthy. It is not about me, or my “personal science”, it is about the facts. You are not interested in the facts, just standing on your soapbox and yelling at the top of your voice.

    @184

    Good to know you say the same prayers at night as the rest of us…the amount of time sacrificed over the years working with them, giving yourself totally to them with hopes of progress (I wont go woo on you) and a better life.

    You are very pretentious thinking you know how all mothers feel, I doubt Kwombles has much in common with you, other than having children with similar challenges.

    Also, you sound like you are bragging about what you have done for your son. Guess what? You are not a saint, when you became a mother you signed up for this. You are doing your job!

    Just curious what you think caused the autism in your children or does it matter to you?

    What ’caused’ my son’s autism is completely irrelevant to the job at hand; helping him accomplish all that he can, improving his skills, and helping him find a place in the world. There are many very intelligent and accomplished professionals who are working on finding the “cause” of autism. I will stay out of the way and let them do their jobs. You are so arrogant to think you know better then the scientists and doctors who spend their whole lives trying to solve these puzzles just because you read the bile that AoA spews.

    I am not impressed.

  197. #202 dadsmydad
    March 15, 2010

    Hey, Bensmyson, if you want to give shout-outs, what about one for my dad who spent his professional career educating children with autism, Down’s Syndrome, and a range of other conditions that cause mental disabilities?

    And unlike so many in the “my son’s f***** up because he’s got autism” camp, he actually liked his students. Respected them as people. And fought tooth and nail for them, every step of the way.

  198. #203 Otto
    March 15, 2010

    “In other words, filing a VAERS report isn’t proof of causality.”

    Tre has had this explained plenty of times. It doesn’t care. VAERS 331194 and 331196 (and, sometimes, 331195!) are an idee fixe.

  199. #204 Rob
    March 15, 2010

    @bensmyson

    So your child had a fever of 107 degrees (!) in January 2007, prior to receiving the vaccines you claim caused him to develop autism? That he was also having immune problems with low white blood cell counts? And that there was no immediate reaction to the MMRV?

    In other words, according to your own words, he was having serious health problems before being vaccinated?

    These are very large discrepancies with what you’ve told us here?

    Twist the facts much?

  200. #205 Pablo
    March 15, 2010

    Rob – it’s not about “twisting the facts.” It’s about completely lying through his teeth.

    I’ll admit, I didn’t believe much of the crap that was being said about how “he got shots, and immediately things went bad.” Now we know the REAL timeline:

    Jan 2007 Bad fever
    April 2007 Shots
    June 2007 Fell and cut lip
    Aug 2007 Bad fever and problems started

    Who in the bloody hell could honestly blame vaccines for the problem?

    bensmyson – you have complained that “I don’t know you.” As I said, you are right. I can only judge you by what you say, and to that extent, I was wrong. I just assumed you were an idiot. Now I know better. You are actually a lying sack of shit.

    I feel bad for your son. He deserves so much better.

  201. #206 bensmyson
    March 15, 2010

    @wombles – “Where is the relevance of whether I believe there is a god and whether Jesus was resurrected or not? You should know there’s no science on that” So then you deny the existence of God? You dont talk to God daily? Just curious because of this issue of hope vs false hope.

    @sciencemom – Merck’s plant was contaminated, vaccines were recalled, ProQuad has not been put back on the market since then. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24388001/

    “your son has an immunodeficiency disorder akin to AIDS”

    Who says?

    “And please don’t pull your, “I’m not anti-vax” schtick. Anyone who perpetuates the ‘AIDS was caused by vaccines’ myth, is a dyed-in-the-wool anti-vaxxer.”

    Who says I think AIDS is caused by vaccines?

    I certainly hope you are a little but more careful with your suppositions at work than you are here.

    @ Kristin – you said, “What ’caused’ my son’s autism is completely irrelevant to the job at hand; helping him accomplish all that he can, improving his skills, and helping him find a place in the world.”

    Suppose you find your daughter laying unconscious in the driveway, head bleeding, a broken 2×4 laying next to her. You rush her to the hospital ER, she is still unresponsive, what question do you think the doctors will want to ask right off the bat? “What happened?” It is extremely relevant.

    @otto – you saying vaccines never killed anyone?

  202. #207 Otto
    March 15, 2010

    “@otto – you saying vaccines never killed anyone?”

    No, I’m saying what I said, which is that you seem to trot out the same ProQuad VAERS line of horseshit anytime you think it might slip under the radar.

  203. #208 Kristen
    March 15, 2010

    @194

    Suppose you find your daughter laying unconscious in the driveway, head bleeding, a broken 2×4 laying next to her. You rush her to the hospital ER, she is still unresponsive, what question do you think the doctors will want to ask right off the bat? “What happened?” It is extremely relevant.

    WTF? How would I know what happened (even if this was a plausible scenario…what’s with the 2X4)? I would tell the doctor; ‘I don’t know what happened, this is how I found her’. One thing I would damn well not do is argue with the doctor on whether or not her injuries could be cause by the additives in the asphalt on the driveway.

    I see you chose to take issue with one very minor point I made in my comment. I am with Pablo on this one; you are full of it.

    And also, I am not a highly educated person. I, too am a mother, that is the extent of my expertise on this matter. But I come here to learn, and I am willing to listen when I am shown evidence contrary to my understanding. I don’t sit at the computer all day telling people they are wrong and whining that I am not all that learned. Do you think you deserve deference for your inane babble because you are willfully ignorant?

  204. #209 Rob
    March 15, 2010

    @bensmyson

    A person is rushed to the hospital from being in a car accident. Do the doctors ask what happened? Do they ask which car the patient was driving? WTF? Do you really believe what you write?

    How about addressing the timeline discrepancies? Why do you lie?

  205. #210 Natalie
    March 15, 2010

    bensmyson:

    @otto – you saying vaccines never killed anyone?

    Oh, for god’s sake – are you being deliberately obtuse, or so you actually believe anyone here is stupid enough to not recognize the enormous strawman you just erected here?

  206. #211 Otto
    March 15, 2010

    By the way, that answer to the question @63 is still absent. Just to “get back on topic.”

  207. #212 Kristen
    March 15, 2010

    @198

    Oh, for god’s sake – are you being deliberately obtuse, or so you actually believe anyone here is stupid enough to not recognize the enormous strawman you just erected here?

    I don’t think it is either. I don’t think she understood Otto’s comment at 191.

  208. #213 bensmyson
    March 15, 2010

    Jan 2007 Bad fever – recovered from it, still gaining ground, meeting and surpassing milestones, still very much a part of this world

    April 2007 Shots – immediately changed, lost language, drastic behavioral changes, change in sleep and eating habits.

    June 2007 Fell and cut lip – yep, showed no discomfort, no reaction to pain

    Aug 2007 Bad fever and problems started – Problems started? What problems started? I believe that is when I became aware of the things my wife had been telling me for months.

    We are not the kind of people that run to the doctor over every thing. We had no idea about anything. I honestly was not home enough back then to know exactly what was going on and I really wasnt interested in reports that my son refuses to eat, or come when he is called. As far as I was concerned he had just turned into a stubborn and difficult kid that wanted to be on his own. The concern over loss of language was no big deal initially because it fell into that whole stubborn and difficult want to be alone thing. Pretty soon my wife is crying about it and I finally heard her. I believe her words to me that night were, “Its like he is a shell of who he was, our son is gone” And at the time neither of us knew anything about autism, or the potential for brain injuries from vaccines. And yes this is August, it took another 2-3 months before the word autism came up. Pediatrician notes show they dismissed my wife as an overly concerned parent, “child appears normal” My wife had it bad, she got it from the pediatricians and from me, overly concerned. Turned out she was right as are so many other mothers out there who witness this regression.

    There’s no need to lie, its not like any of you actually care what happened. You are just interested in the circle jerk of being right. I could care less.

  209. #214 Kristen
    March 15, 2010

    My bad, I should have be referring to bensmyson in the masculine. I apologize.

  210. #215 bensmyson
    March 15, 2010

    #63 – who said there is no truth to his work? You telling me that there is no disproportionate share of gut problems in children diagnosed with autism?

  211. #216 Otto
    March 15, 2010

    “#63 – who said there is no truth to his work?”

    Oh, sorry, I forgot that you were just calling for “a simple hearing that’s open to the public in order to explain how he had no influence over any of the work, that he just signed on because he was head of the organization receiving the grant,” while waving around a Vioxx flag.

    “You telling me that there is no disproportionate share of gut problems in children diagnosed with autism?”

    You changing the subject?

  212. #217 Science Mom
    March 15, 2010

    @sciencemom – Merck’s plant was contaminated, vaccines were recalled, ProQuad has not been put back on the market since then. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24388001/

    A news report? Actually, I’m familiar with this incident, however, you stated, “Merck’s ProQuad (an MMRV) was written up by the FDA for having contamination, faulty measurement equipment, high incidents of seizures.” So, ProQuad, specifically wasn’t contaminated and how does the FDA ‘write up’ a company for ‘high incidents of seizures’? Answer: They didn’t. Get your facts straight.

    “your son has an immunodeficiency disorder akin to AIDS”

    Who says?

    You did @ post#171:,“What things are there to do that MAKE them better? If their immune system was comparable to someone suffering from AIDS would you boost their immune system?”

    Who says I think AIDS is caused by vaccines?

    You do. From: http://tinyurl.com/yc5vbg7

    “vaccines can give you AIDS.”?
    Submitted by bensmyson on February 2, 2010 – 4:43am.

    You said, “vaccines can give you AIDS.”

    Are you talking about the 2007 report that Merck’s experimental AIDS vaccine delivered in South Africa was actually causing AIDS?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/24/AR200710

    Or are you talking about the world’s leading vaccine expert, Dr. Maurice Hilleman, who explains why Merck’s vaccines have spread AIDS, leukemia, and other horrific plagues worldwide? An on camera admission that Merck drug company vaccines have traditionally been injecting cancer viruses (SV40 and others) in people worldwide can be seen here.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edikv0zbAlU

    Those are some serious mental gymnastics you are performing there.

  213. #218 bensmyson
    March 15, 2010

    kristen – what I said was “what question do you think the doctors will want to ask right off the bat? ” It’s a very important question. Some of us ask ourselves that question every day, “what happened” it is a very important question for many reasons. Suppose methods of treatment would vary depending on what the cause was, or that you want to have another child and dont want the same thing to repeat. Suppose it was an assault, someone to blame, some potential that more harm could come to others if there is not attention brought to the potential for danger.

    Im not going to allow doctors to poke and prod and inject, and sedate and scare the bejeebus out of my son to search for answers. Its not right, we can test to make sure he is healthy, that he is not in danger of an infection or something, we can keep an eye on him, make sure he is not regressing further. As long as he is thriving, as he is today, there is no need to stick a needle in his brain, his back, sedate him and stick him in an MRI or CAT or push something up his butt. I dont want to try this drug or that until he can say it causes him to itch or that his stomach hurts or something. We are moving extremely deliberate and conservative now. At the beginning it was all about boosting his immune system, repairing that and even then it was basic missionary style variety of treatments, nothing freaky.

  214. #219 Science Mom
    March 15, 2010

    Jan 2007 Bad fever – recovered from it, still gaining ground, meeting and surpassing milestones, still very much a part of this world

    April 2007 Shots – immediately changed, lost language, drastic behavioral changes, change in sleep and eating habits.

    June 2007 Fell and cut lip – yep, showed no discomfort, no reaction to pain

    Aug 2007 Bad fever and problems started – Problems started? What problems started? I believe that is when I became aware of the things my wife had been telling me for months.

    We are not the kind of people that run to the doctor over every thing. We had no idea about anything.

    Aaah, the timeline mangled to fit what you posted here and all over the place. So you are not the type to run to the doctor for every thing? You went for a split lip but didn’t go for what you claimed was an episode of encephalitis the day of his jabs? You. Are. Full. Of. Shit.

  215. #220 Rob
    March 15, 2010

    @bensmyson

    “I’m not going to allow doctors to poke and prod and inject, and sedate and scare the bejeebus out of my son to search for answers.”

    How the fuck else do you think they will find answers? Osmosis?

    Didn’t you have dozens of diagnostic tests done including blood draws, possibly used mis-prescribed antibiotics, had allergic assays performed, etc.? How is that not prodding and poking?

    Isn’t that what you felt Wakefield was justified in doing? Didn’t you downplay his actions and state that they were far less egregious than Thorsen’s financial misdeeds?

    You really need to find a storyline and stick to it, as you have completely lost any credibility here by your contradictions and outright lies.

  216. #221 JohnV
    March 15, 2010

    @bensmyson

    “To me though a colonoscopy is a necessary investigative tool when dealing with children with bowel disorders, likewise if one discovers measles virus in the intestines to do a lumbar puncture to see if the gut has leaked into the brain.”

    Getting caught up on my reading, sorry for the late response to this. I’ve mentioned before that despite my biology degrees I never took anatomy and physiology. Both semesters were at 8 am, so I took botany in the fall and ecology in the spring (1 pm, much better time). So I ask this in all seriousness, as I have no clue about what a body looks like under the skin.

    ARE THE INTESTINES REALLY IN A POSITION TO LEAK INTO THE BRAIN?????

  217. #222 Rob
    March 15, 2010

    @JohnV

    You’ve never been called a “shit-head” before? What do you think that means?

    Your intestine leaked shit into your head, duh!

  218. #223 Militant Agnostic
    March 15, 2010

    JohnV asked rhetorically

    ARE THE INTESTINES REALLY IN A POSITION TO LEAK INTO THE BRAIN?????

    The large intestine certainly is in a position to leak into the brain. How else can you explain all the shit for brains creationists, 911 troofers and anti-vaxxers?

  219. #224 Rob
    March 15, 2010

    Here is a choice quote from bensmyson on the subject of whether vaccines cause autism. Our expert here stated that vaccines causing autism is “a one in a million event.”

    One in a million.

    There were 12,250 deaths per million people due to car accidents in 2008.

    There are 1,070 deaths due to measles per million people worldwide in 2002.

    In children aged 10-14, there are 1,300 deaths by suicide per million people in 2006.

  220. #225 bensmyson
    March 15, 2010

    @sciencemom – AIDS thing is BS and you know it

    You did @ post#171:,”What things are there to do that MAKE them better? If their immune system was comparable to someone suffering from AIDS would you boost their immune system?”

    Do you see the word “THEIR” in there? Was I talking about my son? Them, their, someone…. please!

    And now to Merck and ProQuad http://bensmyson.wordpress.com/2009/02/03/proquad/

    Food and Drug Administration Team conducted an inspection of Merck’s vaccine facility in West Point, PA, over several weeks from November 2007 through January 2008, producing a 483 with 49 items citing multiple issues in the quality, production, laboratory, materials, and other systems.

    Investigators Ann Montemurro, Joan Loreng and Jacqueline Diaz-Albertini noted that Merck’s investigations “into unexplained discrepancies did not always extend to other lots/products that may have been associated with the discrepancy.” They specifically cited the company’s failure “to quarantine/assess all product or process intermediates affected by atypical events pending completion of investigations” as required by the company’s SOP.

    For example, the team noted that an investigation into foaming during product filtration concluded that the problem lay with certain filter membranes and that “any culture media manufactured with the same lots of filters as the subject lots are potentially impacted by this atypical event.” However, the firm only quarantined distilled water lots associated with the observed foaming.

    Merck’s packing methods for vaccine products shipped with dry ice allowed ingress into the headspace head·space.

    Although Merck requested regulatory approval for changes to its packing and shipping methods, the company “did not acknowledge the ingress as the reason for the change” and did not notify regulatory authorities of the issue.

    The investigating team further cited Merck for failure to thoroughly review and correct any unexplained discrepancy or failure of a batch or its components to meet specifications.

    ****The FDA team also reported that during an investigation into the sterility failure of ProQuad, “the thaw bath was determined as the most likely source of the contamination,” due to insufficient disinfection of the can’s exterior. Loose clamps on the cans could have been a “potential mechanism for sterility failure,” that report stated. However, the FDAers wrote, the investigation “failed to specify how this potential cause was investigated and how it was ruled out.”

    Batch production and control records did not include complete information relating to the production and control of each batch, the report stated. PedVax bulk batch records did not include records of equipment sterilization.

    Validation protocols for detecting volume-of-fill defects for vaccine products “were not representative of the actual automated inspection process in that there was no assessment made for non-defective vials,” the inspectors wrote.

    Procedures for scheduling the cleaning, sanitizing and maintenance of equipment were deemed deficient by the FDAers. They noted as an example that Merck had not documented the change-out in PedVax bulk processing tanks, and no schedule for replacement or routine sterilization existed for the WFI transfer hoses used in PedVax bulk operations.

    Single-use vent filters used as sterile boundaries across manufacturing areas, “including bulk bacterial vaccine, bulk viral vaccine and formulation/filling operations,” are not integrity-tested, the report stated. The can database designed to maintain the history and control over use, certification testing and retesting of cans used to store sterile material contained inaccurate information, the 483 added.

    The control procedure for sterility test methods “does not direct that any anomaly concerning the product or sample preparation, such as leaking vials or test canisters, over-pressurized vials or particles, be documented on the testing worksheet.” The control procedure for performing plaque assays to measure varicella varicella: see chicken pox. potency and the training of the staff to perform the procedure are deficient, the investigators found.

    The FDA team stated that although Merck’s SOP calls for quarantined and rejected materials to be separated from products in process, a quarantined bulk lot of PedVax and ProQuad was not separate from work-in-progress materials. They also noted that the company did not practice first in/first out (FIFO (First In First Out) A storage method that retrieves the item stored for the longest time. Contrast with LIFO. See traffic engineering methods.FIFO – first-in first-out ) for using bags “prior to the deviations that identified particles on vial stoppers stoppers, nor was FIFO instituted as a corrective action for this deviation. Since FIFO was not used, Merck could not conclusively identify the timeframe when the unsuitable bags were used.”

    Hope this is helpful.

  221. #226 bensmyson
    March 15, 2010

    @sciencemom 207- “Aaah, the timeline mangled to fit what you posted here and all over the place. So you are not the type to run to the doctor for every thing? You went for a split lip but didn’t go for what you claimed was an episode of encephalitis the day of his jabs? You. Are. Full. Of. Shit.”

    The split lip was gaping open, still has a scar from it. Fell face first on brick steps. He never cried.

    Encephalitis presents itself how? This is a 12 month old child with high fevers. Would you rush your child into the ER with a fever of 104? Would you be able to tell if anything else was wrong with him?

    You really are making yourself look silly.

  222. #227 bensmyson
    March 15, 2010

    @sciencemom 207- “Aaah, the timeline mangled to fit what you posted here and all over the place. So you are not the type to run to the doctor for every thing? You went for a split lip but didn’t go for what you claimed was an episode of encephalitis the day of his jabs? You. Are. Full. Of. Shit.”

    The split lip was gaping open, still has a scar from it. Fell face first on brick steps. He never cried.

    Encephalitis presents itself how? This is a 12 month old child with high fevers. Would you rush your child into the ER with a fever of 104? Would you be able to tell if anything else was wrong with him? The night after the shots, the doctor said over the phone that he was fine. Never suggested any thing out of the norm.

    You really are making yourself look silly.

  223. #228 Otto
    March 15, 2010

    “AIDS thing is BS and you know it”

    Well, I guess that explains why you asserted that the Maurice Hilleman video “explains why Merck’s vaccines have spread AIDS, leukemia, and other horrific plagues worldwide.”

    Unless, of course, the problem is now HORRIFIC CONTAMINATION.

  224. #229 KWombles
    March 15, 2010

    @bensmyson 215,

    I personally would (and have taken) take my child with a fever of 104 into the doctor, health clinic, or ER if the first two aren’t available. High fevers are dangerous.

    You’re saying you didn’t take your child in, but then can after the fact decide he had a case of encephalitis? You, with your admittedly limited scientific background, can diagnose your child with encephalitis?

    Your story doesn’t hold together, and that’s your own fault.

    Might I also suggest, if you and your wife are using the same screen name all over the place, that you clearly distinguish which one of you is posting?

  225. #230 Bluegrass Geek
    March 15, 2010

    A bit late, but…

    @benmyson

    But I will say this about that, whatever a parent chooses to do for their child is their right. They want Jesus to heal them, fine, want to rub oil of pecans on them, fine, want to carry them to a doctor who tells them that sticking the child in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber in hopes of helping them, fine.

    No, it is not their right to do whatever they want. Do a quick Google search and you’ll find parents who let their child die from a urinary tract infection, because they didn’t take him to the doctor in time. Prayer is not medicine and it is not okay to subject a child to useless actions when medicine has actual results.

  226. #231 Science Mom
    March 15, 2010

    @sciencemom – AIDS thing is BS and you know it

    Of course I know it’s bullshit, but you don’t seem to know that as evidenced by your post.

    You did @ post#171:,”What things are there to do that MAKE them better? If their immune system was comparable to someone suffering from AIDS would you boost their immune system?”
    Do you see the word “THEIR” in there? Was I talking about my son? Them, their, someone…. please!

    Who do you think you’re kidding? Is it just a coincidence that you are ‘boosting’ your son’s immune system?

    And now to Merck and ProQuad

    A lengthy C&P that is not properly referenced does not provide you with the latitude to state that ProQuad, specifically had contamination.

    The split lip was gaping open, still has a scar from it. Fell face first on brick steps. He never cried.

    Encephalitis presents itself how? This is a 12 month old child with high fevers. Would you rush your child into the ER with a fever of 104? Would you be able to tell if anything else was wrong with him? The night after the shots, the doctor said over the phone that he was fine. Never suggested any thing out of the norm.

    You really are making yourself look silly.

    Pretty funny coming from someone who has outright lied and distorted numerous truths. You stated that you knew your son had encephalitis and you didn’t need an MRI for. If my child presented the way you described here, you bet your ass I would be at the ER. You are furiously back-peddling and haven’t even answered any of the questions that I posed to you earlier. The jig is up Tre, you aren’t kidding anyone but yourself. Now shouldn’t you be off changing your blog entries to fit with the ‘new truth’ you manufactured? Screen shots be damned.

  227. #232 bensmyson
    March 15, 2010

    wombles: well guess what, we called the doctor, he said it was nothing to be concerned about. And since Im not a doctor why would you expect me to diagnose him? After months of fevers, seizures, doctors visits, blood tests, we were sent to a neurologist. I believe that is the proper way to have something diagnosed.

    And wombles, there is no rule about who can share a screen name. You honestly believe one person can keep up with all this? It would be a full time job, we have a child to take care of.

    You never answered the question from back at 194

    You asked “Where is the relevance of whether I believe there is a god and whether Jesus was resurrected or not? You should know there’s no science on that” So then you deny the existence of God? You dont talk to God, pray for people? Just curious because of this issue of hope vs false hope. Id say belief in God is hope and could even be to some as false hope. I believe you are a Christian and as such have faith in something you cant prove scientifically. It is a belief, it is hope. How can you not get how important hope is to parents who so desperately need answers and feel as if they are doing something to help? I dont know, maybe you have renounced God, but surely you have someone you love, a parent, a sister, brother that has strong faith in Christ, would you make it your life’s work to destroy his/her faith in the hope he has that God exists? You honestly believe you would make him/her a better person for that? I get you on the exposing the Jimmy Swaggarts and false profits but there is a really fine line that you need to be aware of. People do jump off of bridges, and hold up in hotel rooms with bottles of pills. You have to remember not everyone is you or your brother.

  228. #233 bensmyson
    March 15, 2010

    sciencemom – “You stated that you knew your son had encephalitis and you didn’t need an MRI for.”

    I knew my son had encephalitis AFTER the neurologist told me so. It took months to get to the neurologist, much less to an infectious disease specialist. Everything is documented, every necessary test was performed. You forget Im not a doctor, I paid someone to see to it I passed my science classes, Im an idiot, Ben is my first and only child, what do I know what is normal or not. He presented with fevers and seizures. We took him to his doctor. The pediatrician said the fevers were nothing to worry about and the seizures were more than likely febrile, again nothing to worry about. “Kids get sick.”

  229. #234 KWombles
    March 15, 2010

    @bensmyson,

    You perhaps wouldn’t read like you were undergoing multiple mood shifts if the two of you weren’t posting under the same screen name. There may be no “rules,” but most people have a sense that others assume that when they are talking to a screen name, they’re talking to one person. If there’s more than two of you using a screen name that you actually have to type in (and you do here and at AoA), you could at least have the courtesy to sign it off with Ben’s Mom or Ben’s Dad.

    The two of you can’t decide on a story. You (collective pronoun) are the two who can’t decide on what happened and when. Your blog contradicts you, you contradict yourselves here. Either own the contradictions, take a minute, try to reflect where the truth actually is, and come back and share, or expect that very few of us will hold either one of you with any credibility.

    I don’t have to answer your question regarding god, and I certainly don’t need a sermon from you regarding hope versus false hope. And I have no idea what you’re talking about sibling wise. Do you or are you trying to distract others?

    False hope through the use of quack treatments is dangerous. Period. And has nothing to do with religious beliefs, unless those religious beliefs are affecting treatment choices.

  230. #235 bensmyson
    March 15, 2010

    208 rob-
    I’m not going to allow doctors to poke and prod and inject, and sedate and scare the bejeebus out of my son to search for answers.”

    How the fuck else do you think they will find answers? Osmosis?

    Since my son was thriving I saw no need for that.

    Didn’t you have dozens of diagnostic tests done including blood draws, possibly used mis-prescribed antibiotics, had allergic assays performed, etc.? How is that not prodding and poking?

    Blood draws, were critically important at the time. No antibiotics, Ben has only taken them twice in his life. Hair and urine samples.

    Isn’t that what you felt Wakefield was justified in doing? Didn’t you downplay his actions and state that they were far less egregious than Thorsen’s financial misdeeds?

    Wakefield’s patients had gut issues, Wakefield was a gastrointestinal expert, Ben never saw Wakefield or any other gastro.

    210 rob – finally!

    212 – “There were 12,250 deaths per million people due to car accidents in 2008.

    There are 1,070 deaths due to measles per million people worldwide in 2002.

    In children aged 10-14, there are 1,300 deaths by suicide per million people in 2006.”

    What are you talking about? Are you saying that over 3 million people die in car crashes every year in the US?

    And how is my one in a million quote used? We all know the number of children diagnosed with autism is at about 1 in 110. Do you honestly think I believe there are only 300 people in the US diagnosed with autism? My math is a little better than yours I think.

  231. #236 Otto
    March 15, 2010

    “And wombles, there is no rule about who can share a screen name.”

    Uh, Breaker One-Nine, this here’s the Rubber Duck
    You got a copy on me Pig-Pen? C’mon

  232. #237 KWombles
    March 15, 2010

    @bensmyson,

    You paid someone to pass your science classes? Interesting the sudden loss of punctuation you have in your response to Science Mom.

    You said earlier your doctor told you not to worry and diagnosed a rash over the phone. Your story is inconsistent from comment to comment.

  233. #238 bensmyson
    March 15, 2010

    kwombles- there are no conflicting stories, and I suspect I am just not communicating properly. For instance your failing to grasp the importance of the idea of hope. I used the example of God for a reason. You stated in your blog that you “talk to God everyday” and that at one time you wanted to be a missionary. I suspected that you might relate somewhat to an analogy of believing in something science cant provide evidence for and how quite possibly you might feel some sense of comfort in your faith in something hoped for. To me this would be very similar to what many parents are doing, clinging to hope, finding comfort in the faith that things will get better for their child. I thought you might see how destroying this hope may cause serious ramifications, even if you’re right. Im sure a debate on the issue of whether or not God exists or whether Jesus was resurrected would fuel more spit and anger than any antivaxxer ever could. But what good would it be to argue with someone about that? Same with what many of you do with desperate parents who believe in restoration. There is no proof as to what causes autism any more than there is any proof God exists yet people have their own ideas, there own science and I believe it is to be respected.

  234. #239 Kristen
    March 15, 2010

    @bensmyson

    So, let me get this straight…your pediatrician diagnosed roseola over the phone, and told you that a fever of 104F was no big deal. Sounds like either your doctor is an idiot, or you are a liar.

  235. #240 Otto
    March 15, 2010

    So #225 is Mrs. Bensmyson? This disparity in tone is the whole reason that I opined @133 that there was a put-on afoot.

  236. #241 bensmyson
    March 15, 2010

    sigh… Wombles said, “You said earlier your doctor told you not to worry and diagnosed a rash over the phone. Your story is inconsistent from comment to comment.”

    The night of the vaccines the doctor was called to report Ben’s fever and discomfort. We were told it was normal to have reactions like that. The next day called to report that he was still sick, told to just keep an eye on him. A day or two later called in again to report a body rash, he was diagnosed over the phone as having Roseola. Not once did we suspect a life threatening emergency. Were just upset that our son was sick, same as any parent. Had no doubt at the time that the doctor was lazy.

  237. #242 Science Mom
    March 15, 2010

    The night of the vaccines the doctor was called to report Ben’s fever and discomfort. We were told it was normal to have reactions like that. The next day called to report that he was still sick, told to just keep an eye on him. A day or two later called in again to report a body rash, he was diagnosed over the phone as having Roseola.

    Nope. As per your blog, the roseola incident was well-prior to his 12 month immunisations:

    Science is that Ben was sick in January 2007 with a serious week long bout with a fever. The fever was recorded at home by ear at 107, prior to that it was 105 and over most of the day. We reported the 105 earlier to the doctor’s call in service at UNC Hospitals.

    Science shows that on January 2, 2007 Ben had some abnormal scores on his blood work. Primarily very low white blood cells (3,000), his GRAN was at 0.8 and low red blood cells (4,500). His RDW was high at 14.6 and his PLT was low at 131. Ben was very sick. Later broke out with Roseloa.

    And not a single entry on your blog about this supposed encephalitis episode that accompanied his 12 month jabs but other, less spectacular incidences are.

  238. #243 Rob
    March 15, 2010

    bensmyson

    Your doctor diagnosed roseola over the phone? Are you serious?

    Roseola has an incubation of 10-15 days, and is caused by a herpes virus. It is spread by fecal-to-oral contact.

  239. #244 Kristen
    March 15, 2010

    @228

    I’m calling BS. IMHO and experience no good pediatrician would diagnose a rash over the phone. My son’s doctor wouldn’t even give me an educated guess over the phone when my son had a rash that turned out to be roseola, he said the only way to diagnose a rash was to see it.

    Unless they have started selling medical licenses at Wal-Mart, I am going to just go with you being a liar.

  240. #245 bensmyson
    March 15, 2010

    kristen – “So, let me get this straight…your pediatrician diagnosed roseola over the phone, and told you that a fever of 104F was no big deal. Sounds like either your doctor is an idiot, or you are a liar.”

    Ben’s pediatrician was incompetent. Has since left the practice and moved on to another state. In January when Ben’s fever reached 107 at home and 106.5 at the hospital he was feverish for more than 24 hours prior to it and we were told that children can handle higher fevers than adults and that we should not be worried unless the fever reaches over 105. That night in January when Ben’s fever reached 105 we called again for the 50th time it seemed. We were told it was ok (over the phone by the call center nurse) because Ben seemed alert. To just keep an eye on him. The next time we checked (by ear) he was at 107, dunked him in the tub (didnt know better) wrapped him in a blanket and flew to the ER. The entire time I was demanding that Ben’s pediatrician call me. At the hospital while Ben sat on a gurney screaming I called one last time and told the call center nurse that I would find the doctor at home in 15 minutes if he didnt call me back in 2 minutes. He finally called back. Ben’s fever dropped, got some fluids, later he developed a rash and he was diagnosed with roseola over the phone (this is January) So again in April when fevers spike, rash appears a diagnosis was made of Roseola over the phone and it made sense to us at the time.

  241. #246 KWombles
    March 15, 2010

    @bensmyson,

    My full statement was “Even though I don’t believe, I talk to God everyday. I joke that he/she/they listen as well as my kids, my husband, and my students.”

    And you’re conflating hope with engaging in all manner of dangerous, crackpot treatments and outright condoning people’s use of it. You can have hope, real sustainable hope, without resorting to woo, or for that matter, god.

    I see by looking at your Huff comments, that you did, in fact, mean that you paid your way through your science classes (whichever one of you that is).

    If you had no doubt your doctor was lazy and if your son was so ill, why would you not take the child in to be seen by someone else?

    And having made clear that the two of you are posting under the same name, having had it made clear to you that it’s rude not to distinguish to whom we are speaking, well, it’s more than rude to continue to not note who’s posting.

    I think the two of you need a better support system than you have, that AoA does you far more harm than good, and that at this point, the two of you are not helping yourselves cope adaptively. And one of the ways that this lack of adaptive coping is reflected is in the odd need to have one screen name for the two of you. I recommend you read back through the posts the two of you have made here. Copy and paste them over into a word document and then take some time to read through them as if you were an outsider. Compare your posts to your blog. See where the stories conflict. Search Countering for my Memory Like Wine post and do some cogitating. I guarantee the above activities will be more productive and rewarding that what you’re engaged in now.

  242. #247 bensmyson
    March 15, 2010

    sciencemom – “And not a single entry on your blog about this supposed encephalitis episode that accompanied his 12 month jabs but other, less spectacular incidences are.’

    Do you have any idea when he first saw a neurologist? When encephology was even suggested?

    Again do you know how encephalitis even presents itself? How it is diagnosed?

    Kristen & Rob – No lie. Both times over the phone. You dont want to get me started on the whole “I think my son is having seizures” thing over the phone. Being told it is most likely febrile seizures. Again and again. I asked how Im supposed to tell and was told if he has a fever it is febrile.

  243. #248 bensmyson
    March 15, 2010

    wombles – “If you had no doubt your doctor was lazy and if your son was so ill, why would you not take the child in to be seen by someone else?”

    Hell one of my best friends is a pediatrician (he lives out of state) and I never even once called him about any of this until Ben got his diagnosis of autism and I got copied of Ben’s files. He suggested I talk to an attorney. The doctor is gone.

    You really have to understand I had no clue what was the right protocol. I was not the second guess a doctor kind of guy. Its not easy being stoopid.

    And thanks for the advice on how to look to see how our perception of events may vary, maybe if what I had to say were to actually mean anything to anyone I might take the effort to do just that. But this all seems a bit masturbatory to me, its not like any of this is going down in some history book or actually does anything more than give someone something to do without having to brush your teeth or spend some money at a coffee shop to have conversation. I dont take this as serious as it may seem. Its just something to do. Its not like I got as real life away from autism.

  244. #249 Science Mom
    March 15, 2010

    sciencemom – “And not a single entry on your blog about this supposed encephalitis episode that accompanied his 12 month jabs but other, less spectacular incidences are.’

    Do you have any idea when he first saw a neurologist? When encephology was even suggested?

    Again do you know how encephalitis even presents itself? How it is diagnosed?

    Yes I do know how encephalitis presents itself and how it is diagnosed. You seem to have the magical power of diagnosing it without any benefit of established diagnostics. From post #143:

    Personal, you know what’s personal? Having your 12 months old child’s brain swell, his fever reach critical levels, seizures, measles titers 15 times the high norm, loss of nearly every developmental milestone and the over $50,000 of uninsured therapy and the enormous loss of income associated with our need to give him every chance humanly possible to bring him back.

    Now to me this was absolutely no coincidence, this happened immediately after his 12 month vaccines. That’s just me, my observation, my science and I realize those of you who have never experienced anything remotely like it will never understand or believe. To me, resorting to personal attacks is just wrong. I am no threat, I mean no harm, there are lots of questions I have and I seek answers.
    [snip]
    I know that on April 18th, 2007 as he lay in his mothers lap, screaming, that the shots he got 3 hours earlier were wrecking his brain. I know this without an MRI, or what ever it would take to see inside him, I know this because it was that night when asked, “What’s wrong?” he responded “Me miss daddy” and that was the last thing he spoke for nearly a year.

    Yet not a single mention of this in his medical chart that you posted and not a single mention of any testing for encephalitis and not a single concern expressed about language skills until 6 months later. You can’t even keep the roseola diagnosis straight, which would have absolutely nothing to do with vaccines. You are trying so desperately hard to pound a square peg into a round hole. You should really take Wombles advice and examine all of the glaring inconsistencies with your information and find some better support for yourselves. This is truly sad.

  245. #250 KWombles
    March 15, 2010

    @bensmyson,

    So we can add lazy to the list of things, as well as being disingenuous and inconsistent.

    If this were about your son and helping him achieve his full potential, if this were about making your lives better, then you’d want to take stock of where you might be wrong so that you could adjust what you’re doing.

    Instead, you’ve essentially admitted this is for shits and grins for you and yet again attempted to elicit sympathy with the “Its not like I got as real life away from autism.”

    I’d submit, and gosh, I’ll play the personal card with my experience parenting three awesome kids who just happen to be on the spectrum, that your life is what you make it.

  246. #251 bensmyson
    March 15, 2010

    wombles – “And you’re conflating hope with engaging in all manner of dangerous, crackpot treatments and outright condoning people’s use of it. You can have hope, real sustainable hope, without resorting to woo, or for that matter, god.”

    I have no idea what is or isnt dangerous. Obvious right? I condone parental rights. Father knows best kind of thing. Look, sometimes hope is all that someone has left. There is a period of grieving for most people when autism suddenly hits and the education begins. There is also a period of anger. Most people cope with events like this with denial, some escape. For some people acceptance may be escape, the “my child’s autism is a gift from god” kind of people. However you or any other parent decides how to cope is fine with me, as long as it isnt harming the child. There are worse things than handing your kid vitamins every day or attempting to remove toxins under the care of a doctor.

    I know there are quacks out there, to me now every doctor is suspect. But parents believe in these things and it boosts their hope and reaffirms their faith in their child’s recovery and keeps them close to their child, creates a bond with the “new” son or daughter.

    My suspicions as to what caused my son’s autism is vaccines. Do I care if someone proves something else causes autism? Id rejoice because in a sick way, all of us who suspect vaccines have a potential for enormous guilt, we held them down while they were being injected. We participated. We signed the paperwork. It is our job to protect our children. So if there were some other cause proven to cause autism it would let us all off the hook.

  247. #252 MI Dawn
    March 15, 2010

    @Bensmyson (either mr or mrs): Why, yes. I DO happen to know how encephalitis is diagnosed. In newborns, children and adults. I could describe presentations, but you would have to be specific on how old Ben was when he had it. The presentation is very easy to make and I doubt any ER physician would have missed it. It requires a spinal tap which Ben apparently didn’t have when he actually HAD the encephalitis. It does not look like roseola.

    Febrile seizures do occur with a fever. However, unlike true seizures, they are usually self limiting and rarely have a postictal period.

    Shall I go on?

  248. #253 Raging Bee
    March 15, 2010

    I find it ever so humiliating to respond politely to such vicious personal attacks.

    First you make ignorant statements, then you ADMIT your ignorance, then you keep on making ignorant statements while expecting us to take pity on you because of your ignorance. And now you’re playing the victim and crying about “personal attacks?” Who the Hell do you think you’re fooling here?

    If you know you’re ignorant, and admiot you’re ignorant as part of a ploy to get our sympathy, then you should be smart enough to guess that further ignorant statements will get you humiliated.

    It seems to me that many of you feel I am a threat, otherwise why take this so personally?

    Are you hiding behind self-pity as a helpless waif in a debate you can’t understand; or are you a “threat” to all of us? Pick one and stick to it — trying to do both at once is transparently dishonest.

    As for why we might consider people like you a threat: we all know, from direct and indirect experience, that lies — like the ones you’re parroting with your fake-innocent tone — are dangerous.

    Personal, you know what’s personal? Having your 12 months old child’s brain swell, his fever reach critical levels, seizures, measles titers 15 times the high norm, loss of nearly every developmental milestone and the over $50,000 of uninsured therapy and the enormous loss of income associated with our need to give him every chance humanly possible to bring him back.

    And your self-righteous asinine attidude here is helping your child…how? If you’re so concerned for your child, why haven’t you made more effort to correct your admitted ignorance of the relevant issues?

    Your posts here — and the mindset they reveal — do NOTHING to help your child; so invoking your child’s suffering will get you no sympathy here.

  249. #254 Science Mom
    March 15, 2010

    @Rob and @Kristen: The battalions of incompetent paediatricians is also a prevailing theme amongst the vaccines-cause-autism crowd. In fact so much so, that not a single one seems to be able to find a competent physician, outside of DAN!, of course. So don’t get snookered by that, yet another appeal to emotion.

  250. #255 bensmyson
    March 15, 2010

    sciencemom – is this really that hard to understand? “I know that on April 18th, 2007 as he lay in his mothers lap, screaming, that the shots he got 3 hours earlier were wrecking his brain. I know this without an MRI, or what ever it would take to see inside him, I know this because it was that night when asked, “What’s wrong?” he responded “Me miss daddy” and that was the last thing he spoke for nearly a year.”

    I KNOW THIS BECAUSE IT WAS THAT NIGHT WHEN ASKED, “WHAT’S WRONG?” HE RESPONDED “ME MISS DADDY” AND THAT WAS THE LAST THING HE SPOKE FOR NEARLY A YEAR.

    Am I just not being clear to you? Looking back I knew something happened that night because it was the sentence he spoke for nearly a year. I didnt need to look back as some MRI scan to prove anything to me.

  251. #256 Raging Bee
    March 15, 2010

    …all of us who suspect vaccines have a potential for enormous guilt, we held them down while they were being injected.

    And this, I strongly suspect, is one of the major reasons why parents will ALWAYS be inclined to blame vaccines for whatever happens to their kids: the trauma of willingly allowing their precious babies to be INJURED and MADE TO CRY. Notice the HUGE and GLARING photomontage on whale-dot-to: countless precious little kids CRYING INCONSOLABLY because they’ve just been stuck with a needle by an uncaring-looking man in a white coat.

    This is another case of science and common sense being shouted down by pure, blind emotion.

  252. #257 RJ
    March 15, 2010

    “I didnt need to look back as some MRI scan to prove anything to me. ”

    And yet you know it was the vaccine. Why did you rule out the stress from the injections or even just the doctors visit? People with the genetic disposition to schizophrenia may appear normal, then wham! Some traumatic incident in their lives, typically in their late teens/early 20′s induces a fundamental change in brain function and the behavioral changes described as schizophrenia ensue.

    And this is just one possibility.

    So, how were you able to eliminate all the other possibilities and narrow it down to the vaccine(s) based on changes in behavior? Or better yet, why won’t you entertain other possibilities now?

  253. #258 Science Mom
    March 15, 2010

    My suspicions as to what caused my son’s autism is vaccines. Do I care if someone proves something else causes autism? Id rejoice because in a sick way, all of us who suspect vaccines have a potential for enormous guilt, we held them down while they were being injected. We participated. We signed the paperwork. It is our job to protect our children. So if there were some other cause proven to cause autism it would let us all off the hook.

    The more I think about this, the more it chaps my ass. Newsflash for you; This isn’t about you or your guilt or ‘letting you off the hook’ for something that you have contrived yourselves, it’s about your son. Just because you can’t rule something in, doesn’t mean that you can’t rule something out.

    Now, coping with autism doesn’t have to go to such extremes; acceptance does not mean not having hope. You have doomed your son before he has even had the chance to show the greatness that he could very well be capable of someday. Accept who he is and that he is different but every bit as equal.

  254. #259 Raging Bee
    March 15, 2010

    Yes, bensmyson is bringing out the full emotional artillery: the repetition, the CAPSLOCK, the hysterical insistence that she “knows,” regardless of what information is presened to her, even as she flatly admits: “I have no idea what is or isnt dangerous.”

    And note the handle, “bensmyson:” she’s not assuming any identity of her own, or taking any responsibility as an adult in her own right; her life is notghing but her son, and nothing else — even the doctors who are trying to help her, or the information that might help her understand what’s really wrong with her son — is real to her.

  255. #260 Science Mom
    March 15, 2010

    Am I just not being clear to you? Looking back I knew something happened that night because it was the sentence he spoke for nearly a year. I didnt need to look back as some MRI scan to prove anything to me.

    I’m not the one that needs convincing now am I?

  256. #261 Scott
    March 15, 2010

    Looking back I knew something happened that night because it was the sentence he spoke for nearly a year.

    More than anything, this sounds like selective memory. Once you get an idea in your head, your memories of previous events start getting rearranged to support that. Happens to all of us.

    Unless it was written down at that time that he suddenly stopped speaking, human memory is simply too fallible to draw such a firm conclusion from.

  257. #262 Rob
    March 15, 2010

    @bensmyson

    You said: “There is no proof as to what causes autism any more than there is any proof God exists yet people have their own ideas, there own science and I believe it is to be respected.”

    You are wrong on numerous counts.

    First, science will prove what causes autism. It is only a matter of time and money and the efforts of intelligent scientists.

    Second, there will never be any proof of God, because it is impossible to prove the existence of something that doesn’t exist. Legends and myths from illiterate, superstitious pre-historical goatherds cannot be proven.

    Third, ideas are not science. If by ideas, you mean hypotheses, then you are still wrong. If you mean explanations, you are yet again wrong.

    Fourth, science is not a belief. Science is a process by which the natural world is understood.

    Fifth, beliefs do not deserve respect, especially if they have clearly been shown to be unreasonable or wrong. That we are told to respect other’s belief systems is unreasonable if the belief system is unreasonable.

  258. #263 Vicki
    March 15, 2010

    Bensmyson–

    If you have no life outside of autism, give yourself at least a little bit of one. Take the time you’re spending at the keyboard and reading discussion groups, and go for a walk. Maybe even see a movie. (If you can’t get a sitter, go to the same movie on alternate nights, so you can talk about it, or go to Netflix and watch something at home.)

    You don’t need to drop following actual medical news online, but arguing with us won’t help your son. I don’t know what causes autism (I suspect there is no single cause), but whatever it is, your son is already autistic. Genes, vaccines, bacterial infection, lead poisoning, werewolves, it doesn’t matter: what your son needs is help with day-to-day stuff. Let people who aren’t so snowed under handling the day-to-day worry about causes.


    That whole “parental rights”/”Father knows best” attitude is also dangerous, and not just because it tends to be linked with a trust in other authority figures: that’s the culture in which cancer patients not only didn’t choose their own care, they usually weren’t told they had cancer. Father doesn’t always know best–however loving, neither motherhood nor fatherhood conveys omniscience. Sometimes mother knows better, or the doctor or teacher or cousin. And some sick and evil people use that attitude to shield them: a loving parent may not even realize that there are people out there who, when they say “parental rights” or “I know best, I’m his mother,” mean “my children are my property and I can abuse them if I want.”

  259. #264 Rob
    March 15, 2010

    #250 should read:

    Fifth, beliefs do not necessarily deserve respect,…

  260. #265 dedicated lurker
    March 15, 2010

    benismyson: Whether you are referring to late stage AIDS or not (and mind you, severe immunosupression only appears near the end of the disease) the only conditions that can cause that kind of immune state are genetic. As in one hundred percent genetic, you get the gene(s) at conception or not. (Prenatal HIV infection could of course cause it, but I’m willing to bet there’s no history of that.)

  261. #266 bensmyson
    March 15, 2010

    Bee – “As for why we might consider people like you a threat: we all know, from direct and indirect experience, that lies — like the ones you’re parroting with your fake-innocent tone — are dangerous.”

    Dangerous? How so? How am I dangerous?

    MI Dawn – yes please go on.

    Tell me what the symptoms are for a 12 month old.

    And as for the febrile seizures, again originally diagnosed over the phone, I have videos of Ben lost, starring off into space. Also one of the scary things, prior to any diagnosis, was his pulling away from us. I honestly though it was some kind of night terrors. Again all this PRIOR to him seeing a neurologist. BTW he has no more seizures.

  262. #267 bensmyson
    March 15, 2010

    “Accept who he is and that he is different but every bit as equal.”

    You have got to me kidding me! Equal? Equal to what, a 2 year old? Equal to a well trained dog?

    I accept who my son is, we are all different, he is awesome. But equal? Seriously.

    This is really tiring, half of you cant understand what I write (my fault Im sure) and the rest of you just want to swing away at some demon I must represent to you.

    And Vicki, you said, “I don’t know what causes autism (I suspect there is no single cause), but whatever it is, your son is already autistic. Genes, vaccines, bacterial infection, lead poisoning, werewolves, it doesn’t matter: what your son needs is help with day-to-day stuff.” Thank you!

    But just to clear something, what I mean by “father knows best” is that Im not a social worker, I have no authority nor right to project my own beliefs and values onto another. I have yet to hear of a DAN doctor do anything any worse than any pediatrician. Jeez didnt some pediatrician just get arrested for raping a hundred or so of his patients? Im just talking about allowing parents to choose what they think is best. Feeding kids a GFCF diet and mixing cocktails of various supplements is hardly something that’s going to cause serious injury.

  263. #268 bensmyson
    March 15, 2010

    rob – “Second, there will never be any proof of God”

    You know what, my guess is that there are a billion people that will argue that with you to the death.

  264. #269 maydijo
    March 15, 2010

    I’m confused. You mention when your son fell over and split his lip he didn’t even cry (#215). I’m not a doctor or a scientist, but I am a mom, and my child not crying after a serious traumatic incident would make me worry. Specifically, it would make me wonder if perhaps there was a larger underlying problem, that he could seem so detached from something so serious. At the very least, I think I would mention the “he didn’t cry” bit to the treating physician, to see if it set off any alarm bells for a trained medical professional.

  265. #270 RJ
    March 15, 2010

    “You know what, my guess is that there are a billion people that will argue that with you to the death.”

    Perhaps a billion people who are irrational too.

    No one can prove the existence of a god (or gods). If they argue otherwise, they are not being rational. If they choose to believe in a god, then that’s through an act of faith (often, a product of being brought up with that belief system in practice). Not through evidence.

    Please answer my questions posed in post #245.

  266. #271 Prometheus
    March 15, 2010

    Memory – one of the least reliable forms of information but, regrettably, the one that is most often used when discussing child development. During the Autism Omnibus Proceedings, video recordings showed that the recollections of at least one set of parents were dead wrong.

    This is not a new development – police and attorneys have known for decades that “eyewitnesses” are notoriously unreliable. Not because they “lie” (although some do), but because human memory is not good at keeping “fact” separate from “fiction”. We all routinely “mis-remember” events because our memories are “edited” by our beliefs and our expectations.

    This phenomenon has been studied so much and for so long it is hard to believe there are still people who feel confident putting their “recollection” forward as if it were anything more than hearsay.

    I have no doubt that “bensmyson” (all possible iterations) believes their recollections are correct. That’s the way memory is – it can be very persuasive even when it is wrong. However, I have seen too many demonstrations of how human memory is “altered” by before-the-fact ideas and after-the-fact suggestions. And that doesn’t even begin to get into the whole question of post hoc, ergo propter hoc (roughly, “happened after, therefore was caused by”). Even if “Ben” regressed and became autistic exactly as his parents recall, it still doesn’t “prove” that vaccines had anything to do with it.

    Perhaps I’m being a “Pollyanna”, but I hesitate to accuse parents of “lying” about the events surrounding their child’s autism unless I catch them in a deliberate lie. Even contradictions are not necessarily prima facie evidence of lying, since they can also occur when memories have been “edited” by beliefs. The fact that the people don’t, themselves, immediately see the contradiction is good evidence that they are unaware that they have “tampered” with their own memories. A deliberate lie would avoid obvious contradictions.

    Once a belief – no matter how correct or incorrect – becomes firmly entrenched, any memory that would contradict that belief is subject to “editing”. Again, this is not “lying” in the sense we normally think of it. However, just because something is not a lie does not make it the truth. Edited memories, like edited video, are not reliable sources of information.

    So, when someone’s memories are in conflict with reality, it’s not reality that should be questioned.

    Prometheus

  267. #272 Otto
    March 15, 2010

    “Fourth, science is not a belief. Science is a process by which the natural world is understood.”

    Yah, if there’s one thing this argument needed, it’s the flag-waving of primitive materialism.

  268. #273 bensmyson
    March 15, 2010

    rj – “So, how were you able to eliminate all the other possibilities and narrow it down to the vaccine(s) based on changes in behavior? Or better yet, why won’t you entertain other possibilities now?”

    Doctors (plural) did the work for me. And I do entertain any and all possibilities. As I said and was made fun of earlier, I dont want it to be vaccines.

    maydijo – you ever been hit in the mouth in a fight or playing a rough sport? I have many times. 9 times out of 10 you wipe what you think is sweat or spit off your face or lip or nose and it turns out that its blood. He cried being examined. I wish I could be like you, smart, thinking these things out but Im not. In fact I was out of town and handled that one over the phone.

  269. #274 maydijo
    March 15, 2010

    There’s a difference between being hit in the mouth during a fight or contact sport as an adult, and falling over and hitting your face as a child. Children tend to cry a lot more than adults, and require a lot less of a reason to do so. Certainly sustaining a blow to the face that was serious enough to leave a scar would make most children cry.

    Look, I can’t say *for sure* that it’s a sign of anything – but if I had an autistic child and was looking back for past signs that maybe it’d been there all along, surely a non-reaction to a serious injury would at least make me pause and go “huh”.

  270. #275 sirenity
    March 15, 2010

    @Orac
    Wonderfully written as always. I am very grateful to you for battling the vast amount of pseudoscience that seems to thrive online.

    I also sympathize that Bensmyson or Bennysmom or w/e has hijacked your post.

    Happy Posting
    Hugs and Laughter,
    Sirenity

  271. #276 bensmyson
    March 15, 2010

    Prometheus- I agree with you 100% And Im sure I would be the last to know if my memory wasnt serving me correct. Ive often excused it because whether something was Saturday or Sunday it was beside the fact that the important thing about it was that there was a dinner party 10 years ago at so-n-so’s house. I realize that whether or not what I say jives with a particular order of events posted in my blog may seem that I might be lying. But the truth is that the blog was written with notes and journals and medical records in hand. My posts here are from memory. I have videos documenting nearly everything. These videos have been seen by most of the doctors treating Ben including one that serves on a board with the AAP. Someone who used my video compilation as a teaching tool to illustrate true regression. And who also said to me, totally unsolicited, that vaccines can not be ruled out as a cause of his autism. I was extremely careful not to say anything about vaccines, anything at all because of this doctors reputation and standing in the AAP community I didnt want to muddy the water. But I know this will be somehow dismissed as a doctor saying that nothing can be ruled out since there is no known cause.

  272. #277 young skeptic
    March 15, 2010

    “Yah, if there’s one thing this argument needed, it’s the flag-waving of primitive materialism.”

    This is what draws the great division between rational skeptics and the ‘altmed’ community. The methods we proper skeptics use to evaluate data is rejected by them. In fact, it seems any rubric used to discern ‘truth’ from fiction is met with accusations of bias and prejudice as if objectivity was a quality man cannot posses and the default position was ‘believe whatever you please.’

  273. #278 bensmyson
    March 15, 2010

    Maydijo – you said, “Look, I can’t say *for sure* that it’s a sign of anything – but if I had an autistic child and was looking back for past signs that maybe it’d been there all along, surely a non-reaction to a serious injury would at least make me pause and go “huh”.”

    Here’s the thing, at the time I had no idea he was autistic, no idea that his not crying was not normal. Though it odd yes, of course but I explained already that I applied my own personal experience to that incident.

    And yes, looking back at that and the 100 other examples of not showing a typical experience to painful events. But at the time, to me, he was just being a hardheaded, tough kid that liked to take risks and didnt mind getting hurt like most people. His mom has an extremely high tolerance to pain too so we never really thought too much of it until the diagnosis, then yes, it made us pause and go “huh”

  274. #279 Joseph
    March 15, 2010

    I have no doubt that “bensmyson” (all possible iterations) believes their recollections are correct.

    With anti-vaxers, I don’t know anymore. It’s possible some of them are in fact trying to deceive. Ginger, for example, has altered old blog posts of hers to make her story “fit” better with her current “advocacy.”

    Lingam et al. (2003) showed that parents changed their stories post-Wakefield. But did they change them inadvertently?

  275. #280 maydijo
    March 15, 2010

    Okay. My next question to you is this: In light of the lip-splitting incident, in light of “the 100 other examples of not showing a typical” response, are you still so certain that his autism is vaccine-related at all?

  276. #281 Rob
    March 15, 2010

    @bensmyson

    Re: billions of people

    As the late, great Frank Zappa once said: “Why do you necessarily have to be wrong just because a few million people think you are?”

    An overwhelming number of people who have the skills to evaluate the science do not find evidence that vaccines cause autism, but you refuse to accept this.

    An overwhelming number of people believe in magic gods and angels, and I refuse to accept this.

    There is a major difference, though. There is no credible evidence that vaccines cause autism, yet you cannot see this. Neither is there is credible evidence that gods exist, yet you accept this. Why?

    That is the difference between rational and irrational people.

  277. #282 bensmyson
    March 15, 2010

    maydijo – “Okay. My next question to you is this: In light of the lip-splitting incident, in light of “the 100 other examples of not showing a typical” response, are you still so certain that his autism is vaccine-related at all?”

    Why should I? The lip splitting was AFTER the vaccines.

    rob – “Neither is there is credible evidence that gods exist, yet you accept this.”

    That’s not true. I do not accept it. I used it as an example because Kwombles said she talked to god daily and used to want to be a missionary. I thought she might be able to relate to my point whatever that was 200 comments ago.

    Isnt this getting old yet>?

  278. #283 maydijo
    March 15, 2010

    As were all of the other 100 atypical responses? This child showed no atypical responses *at all* prior to a vaccine? But suddenly after a vaccine he is almost immune to pain?

  279. #284 KWombles
    March 15, 2010

    @Bensmyson,

    Dude, seriously, your attempt was to redirect attention. God (the reality of and whether or not you can talk to the accidental cosmos while thinking it’s not listening to you) is completely irrelevant to the conversation. It got old a long time ago, but you continue to raise it and folks continue to respond to you, and in all honesty, far more nicely than your compatriots would elsewhere to any of us.

    You (both husband and wife) have shown a predilection for obfuscation that boggles my mind. You pretend to have no idea whether I have children on the spectrum (despite several months of having actually responded to each other’s posts in several places) and then betray that you’ve read one of my blogs that isn’t actually read by very many people and refer back to a post from nearly two months ago.

    You pretend you’re not very smart and know nothing of science (and I’ll grant that may very well be true as you reach erroneous conclusions), yet one of you posts links to journal articles and talk of science as if you understand it well, no hint of the “poor, little me who doesn’t get science” — you’ve already admitted here you’re essentially bored and have nothing better to do than clog the thread and prove the fine art of distraction all over again.

    If I were one of the loyalist AoAers (and as such totally into the conspiracy theory scene) I’d almost have to conclude that you are one of the collective sent here to keep us to busy to respond to AoAers elsewhere, like at Forbes.

    Alas, I’m not that far into whole conspiracy theory thing, but I will tell you that I personally think there’s little to be gained in discussion with you.

    I hope for Ben’s sake that the two of you get the assistance you need to help him achieve his potential.

  280. #285 bensmyson
    March 15, 2010

    “I hope for Ben’s sake that the two of you get the assistance you need to help him achieve his potential.”

    While you are pondering conspiracies, is there really a Ben?

  281. #286 bensmyson
    March 15, 2010

    “But suddenly after a vaccine he is almost immune to pain?”

    Not only that, we never saw him scratch an itch, also he would walk on sharp rocks barefooted but could not stand to walk in the grass. We used to not need a playpen in the yard, we could take his shoes off and put him on a blanket and he would never leave the blanket. For an experiment once we put a second blanket down, just a touch out of reach to see how he might negotiate the move.

  282. #287 Raging Bee
    March 15, 2010

    bensmyson: none of what you say about your child’s symptoms even comes close to proving they were caused by vaccines. You can tell all the horror stories you want, but if you don’t have proof, you don’t have a case.

    If you actually think there’s a link between vaccines and autism, don’t you think at least a few scientists would be doing credible work on it, at least to get a Nobel prize and lots of money for such an earth-shaking discovery? Do you really think so many scientists would knowingly conspire to shaft themselves by blocking pursuit of a line of inquiry they knew was valid?

  283. #288 Raging Bee
    March 15, 2010

    Jeez didnt some pediatrician just get arrested for raping a hundred or so of his patients?

    So ONE pediatrician committing a crime means the entire field is untrustworthy forevermore? Trust me, if you apply that reasoning, you won’t be getting any help from any field for anything.

    Oh, and what about those pediatricians you DO trust to support your emotion-based prejudices? Or do criminal incidents only matter when you’re not being told what you want to hear?

  284. #289 Chadski
    March 15, 2010

    @256 – bensmyson

    As if you haven’t proven yourself enough of a moron…

  285. #290 Zetetic
    March 16, 2010

    bensmyson @ #152:

    One, “Typhoid Mary?” Harm to innocent people? Please!

    Sorry about the delay in response. I was actually trying to be generous in my estimation of you. Typhoid Mary apparently never intended to infect innocent people, in fact it seems that she just didn’t believe that she was a carrier. The forcible quarantine was necessary since Mary just refused to believe the evidence that she was spreading disease. Who would want to believe that about themselves? In the comparison I was simply alluding to the possibility that you might be similarly posing an unwitting threat to public health through your actions.

    Judging by your following comments I apparently may have been to generous.

    Exactly how immune are you right now to the diseases you have vaccinated against?

    Far more protected than without vaccination. At least vaccines give your system a “head start” on exposure to infections. Feel free to look up the effectiveness studies of any vaccine you care to.

    Hand washing (sanitary conditions) , food and access to proper health care have been known to save a few lives.

    Yes they have (duh) but so have vaccines. Tell us bensmyson… When was the last time someone died of Smallpox? How many people in the USA today die of polio versus in 1952? Without a widespread program for the smallpox vaccine millions of children around the world would still be dying every year from disease. Humanity is very close to wiping out polio.

    The fact of the matter is that hand washing, and sanitation only goes so far (especially when dealing with diseases that have transmission routes that aren’t effected by such measures). Also, you can’t count on everyone to wash their hands, etc.

    Enough of this. Save your stories of chelations gone wrong and Lupron and the rise in measles and McCarthy for someone who cares.

    Thank you for finally coming clean that you don’t actually care about the children being harmed and killed by anti-vax propaganda and snake-oil salesmen.

    I find it rather telling how anti-vaxers will often acknowledge that their policies will harm and kill people, but they just don’t care. There’s always seems to be an undercurrent that everything revolves around them and their feelings/ego. The attitude is often one of “Me, me, me, screw everyone else”. The arrogance and self-absorption in much of the anti-vax community is astounding.

  286. #291 Zetetic
    March 16, 2010

    @ bensmyson:
    By the way…
    You never did answer the question @ #63.

    Nor did you answer my question as to why the anti-vax groups don’t try to fund a scientifically credible study of the relation between vaccines and autism. They’ve already tried some studies, but they were so incompetent (perhaps deliberately fraudulent) as to be useless. As I earlier pointed out, just a few such studies would be a huge medical breakthrough. The anti-vax groups have the the money, and they’ve had the time to perform such a study.

    So where is it?

    If they really care about protecting children (and they’re not just about the money) why the hesitation? IMO they don’t perform the study because they’re afraid of proving themselves wrong (“Bye, bye money!” if that happens). It’s so much easier to ignore studies showing a lack of connection between vaccines and autism when it the other guy’s study. It becomes much harder to play it down when it’s your own study.

  287. #292 bensmyson
    March 16, 2010

    bee said “none of what you say about your child’s symptoms even comes close to proving they were caused by vaccines.”

    Well Im glad that’s settled.

    “So ONE pediatrician committing a crime means the entire field is untrustworthy forevermore?”

    You talking about Wakefield? Im not sure he actually was proven to commit a crime.

    Chadski – you telling me there arent a billion religious fanatics in this world that would fight to the death to defend their God?

    Zetetic – “Thank you for finally coming clean that you don’t actually care about the children being harmed and killed by anti-vax propaganda and snake-oil salesmen. ‘

    Ill match you two for one, for every kid harmed by a DAN protocol Ill give you two that have been harmed or killed from malpractice by a pediatrician or the drug or vaccine that they prescribed.

    “Humanity is very close to wiping out polio. ”

    Sure they are. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/11/health/11iht-polio.1.7847606.html?_r=1

  288. #293 bensmyson
    March 16, 2010

    Zetetic- “The anti-vax groups have the the money, and they’ve had the time to perform such a study.”

    What “anti-vax” groups are you talking about? How much money does a study like this cost?

    “Feel free to look up the effectiveness studies of any vaccine you care to. ”

    I have, the MMR in some cases is about 70-80% effective. Meaning if 100 million people are vaccinated with the MMR, 20-30 million of them have zero immunity. So how exactly is that wiping out the measles? http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00000359.htm http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/abstract/316/13/771 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1646939/

    Im curious, how certain are you that you are immune to the measles or mumps or the rotavirus or polio?

  289. #294 Otto
    March 16, 2010

    @young skeptic: “This is what draws the great division between rational skeptics and the ‘altmed’ community. The methods we proper skeptics use to evaluate data is rejected by them. In fact, it seems any rubric used to discern ‘truth’ from fiction is met with accusations of bias and prejudice as if objectivity was a quality man cannot posses and the default position was ‘believe whatever you please.’”

    You should run for president of the Anarchists’ Club.

  290. #295 Rob
    March 16, 2010

    @bensmyson

    You continue to be absolutely wrong on all accounts. Most of what you write is so ridiculous that it isn’t even wrong.

    Twenty years after the MMR vaccine was first used in the United States, a study published in Pediatrics (1985, 76, 524-532) estimated that the vaccine prevented 52 million cases of measles, 17,400 cases of mental retardation, and 5,200 deaths.

    My wife’s sister has been deaf and slightly retarded since birth because my wife got German measles (rubella), infected her mother when she was pregnant with her sister. A vaccination would have prevented her sister from a lifetime of problems and my wife from considerable guilt.

  291. #296 Rob
    March 16, 2010

    @bensmyson

    In your citation of the CDC study of transmission of measles among vaccinated children, you may have failed to read the conclusion to the study:

    “A serologic study has shown that up to 15% of persons lose detectable measles specific antibody, measured with standard techniques, within the 16 years following vaccination. Upon revaccination, such individuals typically produce secondary immune responses, implying they are still protected from measles disease (6). Further evidence against waning immunity is that measles incidence is at near record low levels 21 years after vaccine licensure. If loss of immunity with time since vaccination were a major problem, higher incidence rates would be expected. Nevertheless, since this outbreak suggests a potential problem, detailed investigations of other measles outbreaks in highly vaccinated populations should address this issue.

    If waning immunity is not a problem, this outbreak suggests that measles transmission can occur within the 2%-10% of expected vaccine failures (5,7). However, transmission was not sustained beyond 36 days in this outbreak, and community spread was principally among unvaccinated preschool children. The infrequent occurrence of measles among highly vaccinated persons suggests that this outbreak may have resulted from chance clustering of otherwise randomly distributed vaccine failures in the community. That measles transmission can occur among vaccine failures makes it even more important to ensure persons are adequately vaccinated. Had there been a substantial number of unvaccinated or inadequately vaccinated students in the high school and the community, transmission in Sangamon County probably would have been sustained.”

    Highlighted for your reading comprehension. The fucking study states clearly this was an ISOLATED instance and that it would not have occurred if all children had been vaccinated.

    Your citation actually nullifies your argument. FAIL

  292. #297 JohnV
    March 16, 2010

    “Dangerous? How so? How am I dangerous?”

    People like you continue to erode the public safety net of universal vaccination. That is how you are dangerous.

    I’m still waiting on my anatomy lesson to explain how the intestines and brain are able to leak into each other.

  293. #298 bensmyson
    March 16, 2010

    rob- In 1985 one fifth of the population of the US got an MMR? I wonder how many children were saved from a developmental disorder from advances in prenatal care, in the food stamp program, WIC, in early detection, in antibiotics, in birth control, abortion, in seat belts, child proof bottle caps, preterm natal care?

    You wife being vaccinated against the measles would have been no guarantee of her immunity.

    Im not saying that a vaccine against the measles isnt needed to help save lives, Im just saying it aint a sure thing and there are many other things one can do as a society to help stop people from dying of infectious disease and premature death.

    “Most of what you write is so ridiculous that it isn’t even wrong.”

    So you saying Im correct?

  294. #299 Scott
    March 16, 2010

    Im not saying that a vaccine against the measles isnt needed to help save lives, Im just saying it aint a sure thing and there are many other things one can do as a society to help stop people from dying of infectious disease and premature death.

    You do realize that this entire line of thought has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with anything at all, right?

    So you saying Im correct?

    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Not_even_wrong

  295. #300 Joseph
    March 16, 2010

    Kim is right @272. I recall a previous run-in with bensmyson over at LBRB. He pretended he couldn’t understand concepts like disability. For example, he insisted that for someone to be disabled, they must not be able to hold a job (which is nonsense in practice, despite technical definitions used in, say, social security benefit laws.) He was complaining about autistic adults who appear high functioning to him, all the while telling us that his own son is high functioning himself (IQ over 90.)

    He would insist that saying his son is autistic is the same as saying his son is autism.

    He’s shown to be wrong in one comment, and a couple comments later repeats the same argument that was shown to be nonsense.

    It’s hard to tell if he’s honest and just clueless, or a troll who is intentionally out to provoke. I believe Sullivan over at LBRB decided it’s the latter when he banned bensmyson.

  296. #301 Rob
    March 16, 2010

    @bensmyson

    52 million cases over 20 years. Can you fuckin’ read?

    No, you are not correct. Your statements are so incoherent, off-topic, obtuse, or incomprehensible that they cannot be evaluated as right or wrong, so what you write is so stupid that it isn’t even wrong. Truly, can you understand English?

  297. #302 Science Mom
    March 16, 2010

    “Accept who he is and that he is different but every bit as equal.”

    You have got to me kidding me! Equal? Equal to what, a 2 year old? Equal to a well trained dog?

    Words simply fail me.

    “Feel free to look up the effectiveness studies of any vaccine you care to. ”

    I have, the MMR in some cases is about 70-80% effective. Meaning if 100 million people are vaccinated with the MMR, 20-30 million of them have zero immunity. So how exactly is that wiping out the measles?

    Typical cherry-picking and mangling of statistics. Why don’t you look at more contemporary literature? Since those studies, a 2-dose strategy has been implemented and there have been no indigenous measles cases. And cases have all been imported and occurred in more than 90% that are unvaccinated. Have you bothered to look at recent statistics? You should have used mumps, your measles example failed, but then again, no one is making claims of mumps eradication.

    Im curious, how certain are you that you are immune to the measles or mumps or the rotavirus or polio?

    There is no adult rotavirus vaccine, no need, and rotavirus infection only confers temporary immunity. I keep up on boosters and then some. All in all, I’ve had more vaccines than my children have had.

  298. #303 Kristen
    March 16, 2010

    @287
    bensmyson

    “So ONE pediatrician committing a crime means the entire field is untrustworthy forevermore?”

    You talking about Wakefield? Im not sure he actually was proven to commit a crime.

    Maybe you and your wife/husband should read one another’s comments.

    bensmyson commented at 255;

    Jeez didnt some pediatrician just get arrested for raping a hundred or so of his patients?

    Everyone, this troll is not worth our time. I’m impressed with Orac’s patience when it comes to thread-hijacking trolls. I would have banned this moronic asshole about sixty comments ago. Everyone else will do what they want, but I am officially ignoring this dolt. There isn’t even a word in the English language that describes this degree of idiocy.

  299. #304 Kristen
    March 16, 2010

    @290
    Sciencemom

    I was tempted to reply to the same comment about equity, but I would have used way too much profanity.

    When he/she said that, that is when I decided that this (these) person (people) is one of those ‘my child is not good enough for me because he isn’t perfect’ ass monkey dick holes. To me, this is so offensive, it is not even offensive (apologies to Wolfgang Pauli).

  300. #305 bensmyson
    March 16, 2010

    kristen – “There isn’t even a word in the English language that describes this degree of idiocy.”

    Yet you try and try and try.

    sciencemom- “And cases have all been imported and occurred in more than 90% that are unvaccinated. ”

    90%, really?

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00000359.htm

    http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/abstract/316/13/771

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1646939/

    Imported? Once again…

    http://www.jstor.org/pss/4461020

  301. #306 bensmyson
    March 16, 2010

    kristen – ‘my child is not good enough for me because he isn’t perfect’

    yep you got me, thats me, been so used to perfection all my life then I get stuck with a kid that’s not perfect. Christ sake, is that the best you can do?

    I know others that have 12 -15 year old boys in diapers, unable to speak, 200 pounds, large breasts dripping milk from the anti-psychotic fed to them to keep them from hurting people, shit smearing adolescents that will run naked in the ice and snow to jump into a creek to chase after a windblown leaf. Ive actually met and talked with a police officer that was part of a group of officers that piled on a combative adult with autism and suffocated him by positional asphyxiation. Last summer less than 30 miles from my home a 9 year old autistic girl drown in park fountain, it had 3 inches of water in it. Equal? To what?

  302. #307 Science Mom
    March 16, 2010

    sciencemom- “And cases have all been imported and occurred in more than 90% that are unvaccinated. ”

    90%, really?

    Dumbass. Since 1992, after the implementation of a second MMR dose, there have been no indigenous cases because herd immunity interrupted circulation. Now all measles cases in the U.S. are imported and nearly all occur in unvaccinated. There have been less than 200 cases annually since then. How many cases of congenital rubella syndrome have you heard of in recent decades? Do you know that maternal rubella infection causes autism? The last was a case report of MIBE after MMR vaccination. Your lack of science education really shows.

    Equal? To what?

    You really need to STFU you incredibly vile duo of dickwaddery.

  303. #308 Vindaloo
    March 16, 2010

    Because these things only happen to autistic children and adults. The troll has wasted an incredible amount of whitespace with this highjack. I’ll say it again, these AoA lemmings are talented mouths with an antivax, antiscience agenda of pure hatred. They are fighting reality and losing terribly.

  304. #309 Rob
    March 16, 2010

    Science Mom,

    “duo of dickwaddery”

    Not bad, not bad. :-)

  305. #310 Dan Weber
    March 16, 2010

    for every kid harmed by a DAN protocol Ill give you two that have been harmed or killed from malpractice by a pediatrician or the drug or vaccine that they prescribed.

    Undoubtedly. Given the vast number of mainstream pediatricians, a 1% error rate for them would completely overwhelm a 90% error rate for DAN! doctors.

  306. #311 bensmyson
    March 16, 2010

    vindaloo – “They are fighting reality and losing terribly.”

    Sure they are.

    Check the scale of Merck’s vaccine business problem, according to its Q1 2009 earnings report:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/21/merck-sees-57-percent-dro_n_189395.html

    Drugmaker Merck & Co. on Tuesday posted a 57 percent drop in first-quarter profit, falling short of expectations and sending its stock down.

    Merck said net income amounted to $1.43 billion, or 67 cents per share. A year ago, first-quarter net income was $3.3 billion, or $1.52 a share.

    * The decline in sales of HPV vaccine Gardasil alone was more than $100 million.

    * The overall 2009 revenues for Rotateq® are down, driven by U.S. revenue declines of over 25%.

    Akorn Takes 3Q Loss On Weak Vaccine Revenue …

    Swine flu was the biotech industry’s cash cow for much of 2009 thanks to government stockpiles. MedImmune, won a contract for up to $453 million to manufacture and deliver its FluMist vaccine to the federal government, boosting its parent company’s revenue and stock price. At least two other companies, Novavax Inc. and Cel-Sci Corp., sped up flu-related vaccine research. But now the Department of Health and Human Services will likely leave $64 million of that original $453 million contract with MedImmune on the table. With 74 million unused H1N1 vaccine doses of its own, the department plans to redirect those toward the next seasonal flu vaccine, which will include the H1N1 strain. Overall, the feds spent $1.6 billion on flu vaccines last year.

    Despite flu drug sales Glaxo’s U.S. revenue fell 12 percent.

  307. #312 Pablo
    March 16, 2010

    Despite flu drug sales Glaxo’s U.S. revenue fell 12 percent.

    I guess that explains the cut in my kickback from them!

  308. #313 Calli Arcale
    March 16, 2010

    benmyson@132:

    Thanks Orac, I got the links, I went through what you had to say, your interpretations seem a valid opinion based on your understanding and the understanding of others. To me though a colonoscopy is a necessary investigative tool when dealing with children with bowel disorders, likewise if one discovers measles virus in the intestines to do a lumbar puncture to see if the gut has leaked into the brain.

    Others have already spoken to the perils of colonoscopy, as well as the fact that several of the children in Wakefield’s original study did not, in fact, have bowel disorders prior to the colonoscopy. So I would like to add some perspective on the lumbar punctures, if you think it is at all reasonable to perform one merely to find out if the gut has “leaked” via some hitherto unknown mechanism into the brain.

    When I was four years old, I developed a terrifyingly high fever — 107. I had a blinding headache and a very stiff neck, classic signs of meningitis. I was rushed to the emergency room, where the triage nurse immediately put me at the front of the line (irritating a family who was there for a boy with a broken arm, but then, broken arms don’t get much worse in an hour; 107 fevers can kill in the same time). The nurses immediately got to work trying to get my temperature down, and doctors came to perform a lumbar puncture to a) definitively diagnose meningitis, and b) determine the pathogen (and therefore the treatment, since you manage viral menigitis differently from bacterial meningitis). The spinal tap was performed, and the sample was sent off to the lab. As my fever was so high, I was delirious and not entirely aware of the process.

    It was a very busy day at the hospital, as this was the peak of flu season. Somehow, the sample was lost on the way to the pathology lab. Given the seriousness of meningitis, the doctors ordered a second one, and my spinal membran was punctured again. The nurses had managed to get my fever down a little, and I do remember this one. It was excruciating, and though I remember screaming, my mother says I only gave a little whimper. (I was quite weak by this time.)

    The hospital managed to lose the second sample as well. Despite the fact that it was very important to give me the proper treatment, they decided not to perform a third puncture. The risks (excruciating pain, infection, paralysis) exceeded the benefit (determining the proper treatment for my meningitis). They decided instead to assume the worst (haemophilus influenzae b, for which there is now a vaccine) and treat per that. I was put into an isolation ward and given intravenous antibiotics, though the later course of the disease suggested it was probably actually a viral infection.

    I want to repeat that: the doctors felt that lumbar puncture was not indicated for me even though I had an actual condition that needed immediate diagnosis. The risks were too great, even though what they wanted to diagnose in me was something that threatened my life.

    Given that even in the case of someone with meningitis, an additional puncture was deemed too risky, what possible justification could there be to perform a lumbar puncture on an otherwise healthy child? Pure science is not adequate, yet that is essentially what Wakefield was after. Children are not guinea pigs. You cannot put them at risk if whatever you hope to gain will not actually directly help them.

    Lumbar puncture is not a trivial procedure. It’s simple, but that’s not the same thing. The risks are similar to epidural anesthesia and spinal blocks — infection in an extremely vulnerable area, excruciating headache which typically does not respond to any pain relievers or even narcotics, and permanent nerve damage. (My husband’s grandmother had a lumbar discectomy a few years back. The membranes were accidentally punctured, and she did develop nerve damage. She’s completely incontinent now, and has to be careful walking because she has very little sensation below the waist.) The risks are low enough for the procedure to be used, but not low enough to use it lightly, and certainly not low enough to use it in children for the sole objective of testing a theory of autism causation.

  309. #314 Rob
    March 16, 2010

    @bensmyson

    Very nice example of selective quoting. Fosamax sales were down 44%, as were the sales of many other drugs, including Zetia (-18%), Vytorin (-28%).

    What you didn’t note, however, as would have someone who read more carefully, is that sales of Gardasil are recorded as equity income from company affiliates.

    Furthermore, Rotateq sales were down in 2009 because the company recorded $41M in revenue in 2008 as a result of government purchase for stockpiling. So, in fact, sales of Rotateq were only down slightly (about 11%), consistent with overall declines in across-the-board revenues.

    Zostavax sales were up slightly, despite significant back-orders. Isentress (HIV integrase inhibitor) sales went from $47M in 1st quarter 2008 to $148M in 1st quarter 2009.

    And finally, sales of Merck’s other oral viral vaccines including Varivas, MMR-II, and Proquad were up 12% (i.e., increased) over the same quarter in 2008.

    Now STFU about things you know so little about.

  310. #315 JohnV
    March 16, 2010

    Profits down during an extended recession? Thats unpossible!

  311. #316 han
    March 16, 2010

    @Kristen and Science Mom

    Thank you for the incredibly apt phrases “ass monkey dick holes” and “vile duo of dickwaddery”. I intend to incorporate both into my lexicon for when I’m dealing with idiots like the tireless troll infesting this thread.

  312. #317 Science Mom
    March 16, 2010

    Rob and han: I guess if the science can’t prevail then profanities are at least more memorable and of use to some. ;)

  313. #318 han
    March 16, 2010

    More fun, too.

  314. #319 Prometheus
    March 16, 2010

    Bensmyson notes:

    “Drugmaker Merck & Co. on Tuesday posted a 57 percent drop in first-quarter profit, falling short of expectations and sending its stock down.

    and

    Merck said net income amounted to $1.43 billion, or 67 cents per share. A year ago, first-quarter net income was $3.3 billion, or $1.52 a share.

    He/she/they attribute this to a decline in the public’s trust in vaccine safety.

    In today’s Wall Street Journal, I noted that housing starts are down, as well, presumably reflecting a decline in the public’s trust of house safety.

    In fact, one of the few products which has shown a steady increase in sales over the past year has been guns and ammunition, reflecting – according to Bensmyson’s logic – an increase in the perceived safety of guns in the public mind.

    Of course, it is entirely possible that the declines seen in vaccine sales are due to the current recession, but where’s the fun in that?

    Prometheus

  315. #320 Calli Arcale
    March 16, 2010

    Pablo @ 116:

    It depends. What are they praying for?

    As I told Calli Arcade some months back, praying for the earthquake victims in Haiti doesn”t help them. Send them $5 and you will do a lot more.

    Similarly, you just illustrate the point that you don’t understand a placebo effect. How does praying for someone help them? It doesn’t, it only helps the person praying. Similarly, you have made it very clear that you want whackadoodle treatments to make the parents feel better. Why does the placebo effect on autistic kids depend on whether their parents have “hope” or not?

    I agreed with you at the time, I seem to recall. Praying helps the one saying the prayer, and perhaps people who know about the prayer. The former is helped mostly in the sense of having their mind put at ease (meditation is helpful for this, whether a deity is invoked or not) and the latter is helped in the sense that it tells them they haven’t been forgotten. Beyond that, sending $5 is the best way to *materially* help in Haiti. (And Chile, and any disaster area, really.)

    The “placebo effect” is a bit of a misnomer, because it’s not really an effect. It’s a perception. Several factors contribute to the perception. One is post hoc ergo propter hoc; some people will get better anyway, regardless of what you do, and if it happens to be right after they took the placebo, they may think that’s what made them better. A more significant one is the fact that when we perceive the world around us, it is a combination of what our senses tell us and what our experience tells us we *should* perceive. So if we think we should get better, we will unconsciously alter our perception to fit that expectation. That “unconsciously” part is important; it’s not something we can entirely control, and every human being on the planet is susceptible to it. That’s why you it’s dangerous to rely on anecdote and personal experience; we cannot reliably discern what part of our perception is real and what is fabricated by our brains in order to flesh out the reality-model that is human perception.

    Prayer works mainly because people expect it to, but, and this is the important part, it only works in areas influenced by human perception and never farther than that portion of perception which is generated by our brains. Prayer *can* lead to help in Haiti, by getting more people to donate money, but again, this is an area where it is working soley by its influence on human perception. We think prayer will help, so when we think about giving money, we perceive God moving us to give money, so we give money and perhaps more money than we would have otherwise.

    So yes, the placebo “effect” can affect people’s perceptions and thereby their behavior — but this is not because of any special property on the part of the actual placbo, nor because of a mystical self-healing capacity that humans possess if only they could unlock it (as some woo-peddlers like to claim). To put it bluntly, it’s because we’re good at lying to ourselves, and willing to collude with other liars.

    (Lest any Christians take offense, let the record state that I am Christian, and pray regularly. Make of that what you will, but I just think one ought be able to think critically regardless of one’s opinions on that which is untestable.)

    Otto @ 224

    Uh, Breaker One-Nine, this here’s the Rubber Duck
    You got a copy on me Pig-Pen? C’mon

    I always heard it as “Big Ben,” personally. :-P “Mercy sakes, looks like we got us a convoy.”

  316. #321 Pablo
    March 16, 2010

    I always heard it as “Big Ben,” personally. :-P

    It’s Pig Pen, because he’s hauling hogs (I don’t remember if that is the Kenmore that he is driving or not).

    At one point, they had to back off because the stench of the pigs was getting too strong.

    (man, this is scary that I remember this stuff)

  317. #322 Calli Arcale
    March 16, 2010

    Argh. Screwed up the blockquotes above. Pablo’s quote ends with “Why does the placebo effect on autistic kids depend on whether their parents have “hope” or not?”

    And actually, I realize now I didn’t answer that question. The answer is simple: the parents are the ones evaluating the treatment, and hope will color their perceptions of the treatment. One thing a lot of people forget is that the placebo effect isn’t about the patient. It’s about perceptions, after all, so it’s really about the observer. For most medical treatments, the patient and the observer are one and the same; you report less pain while on a placebo treatment because you think you should experience less pain. For a child, the observer is usually the parent. “Is he calmer? Does she use full sentences?” Diagnosis is often heavily dependent on parent perception — and the placebo effect alters perception. If the parent thinks the kid should be getting better during a treatment, they will perceive things a little better while the child is on the treatment. And hope is perhaps the most powerful form of the placebo effect.

    That’s not that hope is bad. Hope is good; it’s what gives you the motivation to keep on going. But it means you have to take a step back and examine your conclusions and observations a little more critically than usual, lest you make a serious mistake. Like not noticing that your child dislikes the treatment but isn’t really being helped by it.

  318. #323 Raging Bee
    March 16, 2010

    …to do a lumbar puncture to see if the gut has leaked into the brain.

    How the Hell does someone’s gut leak into his/her brain? Seems to me there’d be a few obstructions in the way, like the skull, half the head, the neck, heart, lungs, diaphragm, stomach, liver, pancreas, etc. It seems this incredibly self-important shrieking hyeteric “bensmyson” doesn’t even know basic anatomy.

    Why are we wasting time trying to talk sense to someone this stupid?

  319. #324 Pablo
    March 16, 2010

    The answer is simple: the parents are the ones evaluating the treatment, and hope will color their perceptions of the treatment. One thing a lot of people forget is that the placebo effect isn’t about the patient. It’s about perceptions, after all, so it’s really about the observer.

    Which is why the animal accupuncture loons, for example, are wrong when they claim there can’t be a placebo effect in animals.

    In fact, there is a huge potential for placebo effect in animals, because assessment of pain, for example, is so challenging. You can’t ask the animal to point to a face on the wall that most closely resembles their current feelings (which also has it’s problems, but fewer than trying to do an external assessment)

  320. #325 Todd W.
    March 16, 2010

    Good article on the placebo effect over on Science-Based Medicine.

  321. #326 Otto
    March 16, 2010

    “It’s Pig Pen, because he’s hauling hogs (I don’t remember if that is the Kenmore that he is driving or not).”

    The Kenworth is pulling logs, the Jimmy hauling hogs.

  322. #327 Scott
    March 16, 2010

    @312:

    In addition, it’s certainly possible for animal subjects to respond to their handlers’ attentions. A treatment that involves handling the animal, for instance, could very easily have an objective effect on the animal’s behavior (I hesitate to say ‘state of mind’ because that’s so amorphous and unmeasurable). It would be entirely reasonable to label such an effect placebo.

  323. #328 Calli Arcale
    March 16, 2010

    And a cabover Pete with a reefer on, don’t forget. ;-) Pig Pen does make sense; I just always heard it the other way. A mondigreen. I’ve actually got most of the song memorized now, because I put it on my “driving CD”. (Followed immediately by “Doppler Shifting” by Astrocappella.)

    Raging Bee: that puzzled me for a long time, too, about the leaky gut hypothesis. I had this picture in my mind about the gut leaking material into the abdominal cavity, because I usually think “rupture” when I hear “leak”. Turns out, that’s not what they mean. It’s part of the mercury hypothesis, and the toxin gambit as well. The idea goes like this: measles or gluten (depending on who you ask) damages the cilia, breaking down their natural defenses against toxins. They become more permeable, allowing in toxins that would normally be kept out, or allowing in more of them than normal, and these toxins then travel through the blood to damage the central nervous system, which is either uniquely sensitive to the toxins or uniquely sensitive in those individuals predisposed to autism.

    You can see the problems in that, of course. There are several remarkable assumptions, none of which has been empirically validated, but because their children had vaccines/gluten/etc and are presently autistic, the entire chain of reasoning is presumed valid.

  324. #329 Calli Arcale
    March 16, 2010

    (Er, I have a mistaken citation there. “Doppler Shifting” is by The Chromatics, and the album is “Astrocappella”. Very nerdy, highly recommended, suitable for grade-school classrooms.)

  325. #330 Todd W.
    March 16, 2010

    @Calli Arcale

    And all this time, I thought that gluten resulted in less absorption due to flattening of the villi.

  326. #331 Otto
    March 16, 2010

    “I’ve actually got most of the song memorized now, because I put it on my ‘driving CD’.”

    It’s a complete show-stopper in French.

  327. #332 bensmyson
    March 16, 2010

    So Im confused, whats wrong with giving a parent who just lost their child to regressive autism a bit of hope, to allow a placebo effect to get them to recognize and appreciate small positive changes in development that may or may not have taken place regardless of treatment, to give the parent time to bond with their child they see as changed, lost, unrecognizable instead of crush their spirit with talk of woo and scare the bejeebus out of them with your “science”

    Most of these parents are in this forever, there is no escaping the diagnosis for most of them. And not all of these children are “high functioning” or verbal or gentle. Some of these children are not very pleasant to be around and require great patience and self discipline. Hell some of these parents are single moms, abandoned and left to care for this one child with autism and perhaps more.

    We all know the stories of mothers killing their autistic child, we know of the children abused and neglected with or without autism. We hear of children with autism who are sick and failing to thrive, children who will not likely experience their 30th birthday and yet require love and attention and they need someone to give hope and encouragement to them and their families.

    What’s so wrong with giving a parent a little hope? A little time to work things out. What’s wrong with saying a prayer or believing in a better world, a baptism, nirvana, recovery from autism? What’s wrong with a few vitamins, a splash of “woo” how is looking for the good in a child’s development, getting excited from a word or a hand that touched a face in “love” so wrong?

  328. #333 Scott
    March 16, 2010

    @320:

    A short list of the problems with that:

    1. It’s called “lying”, not giving hope.
    2. It’s expensive.
    3. It’s uncomfortable for the child.
    4. It’s actively dangerous for the child, in many cases.

    Any parent who can ignore points #3 and #4, especially, in order to provide themselves some completely false comfort – well, let’s just say I pity their children and leave it at that.

  329. #334 Todd W.
    March 16, 2010

    @bensmyson

    What’s the harm in believing in a placebo? Apart from the examples found at that site, selling woo gives people false hope and engenders a belief in magical thinking and “tooth fairy medicine”.

    Let’s take a look at Facilitated Communication. That gave lots of families “hope” that they would be able to communicate with their child, at long last. It turned out to be nothing but a sham, though. There was no real communication, and it diverted time away from effective support and therapy to pursue things which ultimately did not benefit the child. In some cases, belief in FC led to demonstrable harm to families.

    Just because something gives hope does not mean that it is a good thing. Think about the possible costs: time, money, emotional investment…all wasted on things that do nothing.

  330. #335 JohnV
    March 16, 2010

    “So Im confused”

    Should have just made that your first post and not festooned us with your insanity over the last couple of days.

  331. #336 bensmyson
    March 16, 2010

    Calli Arcale – Judging by the number of lumbar punctures Ive had to undergo in my lifetime I assumed they were extremely ordinary. Same with a colonoscopy, seems every Matt Lauer and Katie Couric is getting one. Sort of like an enema. If Wakefield ordered them who am I to second guess.

    Ive witnessed a child receive a spinal, and I have to say that it was 100 times easier (quicker) than it was for me.

    But I am aware that it has its risks as does a HepB vaccine given within a child’s first hour of life.

  332. #337 bensmyson
    March 16, 2010

    Todd W. – “wasted on things that do nothing.”

    What does something for severely autistic children? What can a parent to from day one that will help the child’s cognition, their pain, their inability to communicate, to express love? What is wasted on spooning some cod liver oil into their mouth?

    Not that my son was initially seen as being severely autistic, but autism meant to me for life. The idea that there is an alternative way to approach autism was almost life saving. It wasnt like from the moment I learned the diagnosis that I was going to do anything else but work on my son. Fortunately I had money at the time. $50,000 dumped into traditional therapies, maybe $10,000 into blood tests, genetic testing, fish oil, and vitamins and other supplements. I honestly believe we have seen progress, a near recovery and as a self deceived parent who loves his child more than anything else in this world, perhaps abnormally so, I think the biggest part of his recovery is the amount of love and attention we gave him. Now if we lived in the woods somewhere, had no access to OT, ST, ABA, DAN!, behaviorists, neurologists, and only held and played and talked and loved this boy as we have for the past 2 and a half years since the diagnosis I honestly do not know whether or not he would be any different. Ego, narcissism, deception, insanity who knows but Im just telling you that hope is huge, HUGE.

    The question is, would he have made the progress he has made without us, his parents? Stick him in a well funded, well staffed clinical environment, give him the approved OT, ABA, etc and how would he have thrived?

    That vax v unvax study has ethical problems, as would something like hope v no hope.

    Im not sure you can say giving one hope, even if it is later proven to be false hope, is a lie.

  333. #338 trrll
    March 16, 2010

    You telling me that there is no disproportionate share of gut problems in children diagnosed with autism?

    In fact, it is by no means clear that there is a disproportionate share of gut problems in children diagnosed with autism. Here are a couple of studies that have failed to find evidence for a substantial increase in gut problems in people with autism:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19886906
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19651585

    Even if there is an increased incidence, the relationship to autism may be indirect, because many autistic individuals have high levels of anxiety, which can affect GI function. Autism researchers that I’ve spoken to are receptive to the possibility of associated gut disorders, not because of the Wakefield hypothesis (which no scientist I know considers even remotely plausible), but because many genes involved in development of the brain are also expressed in the gut, so if (as is the dominant hypothesis) autism is fundamentally a genetic disorder, then it is very plausible that there would be abnormalities in the enteric nervous system in at least a subset of individuals with autism.

    Many parents seem to believe that the “regression” which is frequently observed in children with autism is strong evidence of an environmental trigger. Neuroscientists see this very differently, because development of the brain is very different from the steady increase in height or weight that occurs as a child ages. Despite the appearance of a steady gain in capabilities in normally developing children, there are dramatic developmental changes that are occurring in the brain over the first few years of life, with many critical points at which things could conceivably go very wrong. For example, large numbers of synapses are lost in the normally developing brain. If these are not the “right” connections being pruned, then it is easy to see how a loss of function can result. Indeed, children with Rett syndrome, which is characterized by autism as well as other problems, typically exhibit regression, even though Rett syndrome is well established as a genetic disorder, with a specific gene defect identified.

  334. #339 JohnV
    March 16, 2010

    “Same with a colonoscopy, seems every Matt Lauer and Katie Couric is getting one.”

    For the love of all that’s holy… are you even trying? Do you think this has anything to do with their age and the recommendations of when annual colonoscopies should begin?

    Here’s a hint, if you think the age is “little kids” you’re off by an order of magnitude.

  335. #340 Joseph
    March 16, 2010

    You have got to me kidding me! Equal? Equal to what, a 2 year old? Equal to a well trained dog?

    I accept who my son is, we are all different, he is awesome. But equal? Seriously.

    @bensmyson: Are you stating, for the record, that disabled people are not equal? I’ll give you a chance to read the Wikipedia article on Social Equality before you respond:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_equality

  336. #341 Raging Bee
    March 16, 2010

    Im not sure you can say giving one hope, even if it is later proven to be false hope, is a lie.

    Well, that pretty much proves bensmyson is unreachable and totally disengaged from reality. He/she has fully retreated into self-delusion, and judges the truth or falsehood of a statement based on nothing but how it makes him/her feel. If it makes hom/her feel good, it’s not a lie, even if it’s proven false. There’s no sense arguing with her — she’s delusional, and probably pestering us here just to make him/herself feel relevant.

  337. #342 Calli Arcale
    March 16, 2010

    benmyson @ 320:

    So Im confused, whats wrong with giving a parent who just lost their child to regressive autism a bit of hope, to allow a placebo effect to get them to recognize and appreciate small positive changes in development that may or may not have taken place regardless of treatment, to give the parent time to bond with their child they see as changed, lost, unrecognizable instead of crush their spirit with talk of woo and scare the bejeebus out of them with your “science”

    First off, this isn’t about the parents. It’s about the children.

    Hope is good, hope is wonderful, but hope can also blind. False hope is the worst kind, because it wastes precious time. Time that can be spent with more effective treatments, but also time that could be spent coming to terms with the situation and, yes, bonding with the child.

    Hope is wonderful. But so is truth. I’d rather do what is right for my child than what will make me sleep better at night. I’m a parent; I’d rather suffer than let my child suffer. So it’s not about what makes me feel better. It’s about what makes my child better.

    Hope is important through that; it keeps you going, because suffering on behalf of your child is painful and stressful and you need *something* to keep you going. But be ware of false hope. Prayer’s okay if it helps you keep it all together. Vitamins are harmless, and if your kid has trouble eating a balanced diet, useful, but don’t overdo it; if nothing else, there’s no reason to spend extra money on something that isn’t going to help.

    And then there are the genuinely risky interventions, and the painful ones. Those subject the child to risk, and in some cases actual harm. If the only benefit is hope for the parent, then something is seriously messed up.

    benmyson @ 324:

    Judging by the number of lumbar punctures Ive had to undergo in my lifetime I assumed they were extremely ordinary. Same with a colonoscopy, seems every Matt Lauer and Katie Couric is getting one. Sort of like an enema. If Wakefield ordered them who am I to second guess.

    Ive witnessed a child receive a spinal, and I have to say that it was 100 times easier (quicker) than it was for me.

    But I am aware that it has its risks as does a HepB vaccine given within a child’s first hour of life.

    I don’t know why you had to have so many lumbar punctures, but I hope they were all for an actual indication; it’s done often enough that nurses are good at it, but it’s not something to mess around with. Same with colonoscopy; it’s done enough that they’ll even recommend it for the general population above a certain age, but it has enough risks that you don’t want to do it unless there’s a reasonable chance of finding something out that’ll save the patient’s life. These are riskier than the Hep B vaccine. Seriously. Complications are much more common with lumbar puncture than with vaccination. (In particular, the relatively common risk of severe migraine, which, as it is not life-threatening, is not considered a serious health risk.) In addition to my two spinal taps, I have also had one epidural anesthetic, and one spinal block. These carry pretty much the same risks, since it’s all mechanically pretty similar; I had no complications for those.

    Bottom line, the test is pretty safe. But not safe enough to justify doing it purely to satisfy curiosity. There has to be an actual medical benefit to the patient to justify it, especially in a child. (An adult can give consent to something like that; I don’t believe a child can.)

    benmyson @ 325:

    Fortunately I had money at the time. $50,000 dumped into traditional therapies, maybe $10,000 into blood tests, genetic testing, fish oil, and vitamins and other supplements.

    That is a LOT of money to spend on stuff. It is of course impossible to tell whether your son really needed all of that money spent on him, or whether he would’ve done fine with only some of it or even none of it. But what if you didn’t have money at the time? What if you mortgaged your house, with an ARM, at the peak of the housing boom, in order to fund that stuff? The results could be disastrous for your family, creating a pretty significant net loss for your son.

    So how does a parent decide what to do for their autistic child? Well, you do the best you can; it’s what we all do. Love them. Care for them. Laugh with them. And do whatever you believe will help. Knowing that personal experience is inadequate, I seek the knowledge of experts — and I look to see if their work has been replicated, and what has been shown across large numbers of autistic children. So, not just what worked for my child, but what worked for hundreds of children in controlled conditions. This sort of evidence isn’t available for all therapies, but I work with what I have. If it’s plausible, not too expensive (I do have mouths to feed), and carries no extra burden of risk — sure, I’ll go for that. But as the risk goes up, my willingness to just try stuff goes down dramatically. It doesn’t take much risk at all before I will decline to try something which is largely speculative. I have seen no evidence that vitamin supplementation helps, but there’s half a century of safety and efficacy data on methylphenidate, so I do use that. I do not feel there is enough evidence for some of the other pharmaceuticals, so I do not use them. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s what I’ve got.

    I wouldn’t say that false hope is neccesarily a lie; after all, something is only a lie if it was intentionally wrong. Most false hopes are not intentionally wrong. Most are born of noble intentions. They can be very tragic, though, especially during that moment when one realizes that they are false hopes.

  338. #343 Prometheus
    March 16, 2010

    Bensmyson asks:

    “So Im confused, whats wrong with giving a parent who just lost their child to regressive autism a bit of hope, to allow a placebo effect to get them to recognize and appreciate small positive changes in development that may or may not have taken place regardless of treatment…”

    Well, for starters, if it is a placebo, then any “small positive changes” are definitely not (not “may or may not be”) due to the “treatment”. By definition, a placebo has no effect of its own.

    However, the “placebo effect” is alive and well in “biomedical therapy” of autism. Any improvement is seen as a direct result of the “therapy” and any setbacks or deterioration are seen – usually with the help of the “practitioner” – as either a need for “more therapy”, a need for different “therapies” or the result of not following the therapeutic recommendations closely enough.

    It’s a classic case of “Heads I win, tails you lose”, although it would be better phrased as:

    “If he gets better, the treatment is working, if he doesn’t get better (or gets worse), it’s the parents’ fault.”

    Here are some reasons given by DAN! practitioners (and non-affiliated quacks) for why their prescribed “biomedical treatment” didn’t work:

    1. If you’d come to me sooner, it would have worked.

    2. You’re not eliminating every scrap of gluten and casein – be more vigilant!

    3. The worsening of his behavior is a sign that the “toxins” are coming out of his system.

    4. You need to keep treating for two years or more [despite having said - at the beginning - that the treatment would "work" in two or three months]. Don’t give up before the miracle!

    5. He is better – you just don’t see it because you’re with him every day. [the "Emperor's New Clothes" excuse]

    6. The treatment can’t work if you don’t believe in it.

    These are not things I’ve made up – they’ve all been said to me or to my friends with autistic children.

    There is nothing wrong with using a placebo…if!

    [1] If there is no other effective treatment available or if using the placebo doesn’t prevent or discourage the use of effective treatments.

    [2] If using the placebo doesn’t prevent the patient/parent from dealing with reality.

    [3]If there is no charge for the placebo.

    I think that most of the “alternative” practitioners “fail” on at least the third condition. I submit that most of the placebo-based “alternative” treatments for autism also fail the second condition.

    Finally, given all of the heated rhetoric about the “conflict of interest” that pharmaceutical companies have (which, by the way, is the reason they are monitored and regulated by the FDA), I am shocked [ala Capt. Renault (Claude Rains) in Casablanca] to see that the people advocating “alternative” treatments fail to see the massive (and unregulated) conflicts of interest of the practitioners who peddle these “treatments”.

    Well, there are none so blind as those who will not see…

    Prometheus

  339. #344 Science Mom
    March 16, 2010

    So Im confused, whats wrong with giving a parent who just lost their child to regressive autism a bit of hope, to allow a placebo effect to get them to recognize and appreciate small positive changes in development that may or may not have taken place regardless of treatment, to give the parent time to bond with their child they see as changed, lost, unrecognizable instead of crush their spirit with talk of woo and scare the bejeebus out of them with your “science”

    Oh get a damn clue already, or buy one since you can afford it. There isn’t an onslaught of ‘regressive autism’ as you describe of yourself and fellow ‘my bebe is vaccine-damaged’ comrades. The problem is, is that it isn’t innocently giving an autistic child some cod-liver oil or nutritional supplements where there are true nutritional deficits.

    It’s about
    this insanity

    and this insanity
    oh,
    and this bit of insanity.
    Do you question your homebase of AoA when they call for the undying support of king quackpins,
    Rossignol and Ussman
    , the former for diagnosing a child over the damn phone and the latter for administering an atrocious regimen of shite based upon dubious tests!? Let’s not forget chemically castrating children for profit. And how many of you are still deluded into believing that
    OSR
    is just some harmless dietary supplement? It should scare the hell out of people because there IS no science to support it and every indication that doing many of these can cause serious harm.

    Do you think you are doing any favours to yourself, your child and others to perpetuate the belief that vaccines caused your child’s autism? Really? Someday Ben will be able to read all of this that you both have posted all over the place and gets to know that he is ‘damaged’. And unfortunately, he may never know that he isn’t really damaged, but is in his own parents eyes because they have decided it must be and all based upon their own faulty recollections and inability to accept what nature has dealt them. Blame. You thrive on it and DAN!s sell it. You all suck.

  340. #345 bensmyson
    March 16, 2010

    Joseph – Equal to what? Social equality? Of course. Thanks for answering my question. However Im not sure that’s what sciencemom was getting at.

    trrll – have they identified the areas of the brain effected by this natural process of pruning? It would have to be in the exact same area for there to be so similar presentations.

    JohnV- I was relating my own experiences to my own beliefs, such as a kid playing with a balloon is dangerous or when you take the balloon from him it causes him to suffer.

    Bee – “He/she has fully retreated into self-delusion, and judges the truth or falsehood of a statement based on nothing but how it makes him/her feel.”

    When you are cold do you feel it or do you have to look it up in a book?

    Callie – “First off, this isn’t about the parents. It’s about the children.”

    Of course it is. The first thing I was taught as a lifeguard was if you cant control the situation get out of it and try another approach. If a parent’s mind isnt right, depressed, hopeless, angry how are they going to care for the child at an optimal level?

    Doing what’s right for my child is what helps me sleep at night. And the only person that knows what’s right is me and/or my wife.

    Prometheus- First of all my son’s DAN practitioner is none of the above. We have been extremely conservative. Im sure there are doctors that take advantage of their patients just as there are doctors that take advantage of the medicaid system, stealing hundreds of millions from the public.

    You said: “Finally, given all of the heated rhetoric about the “conflict of interest” that pharmaceutical companies have (which, by the way, is the reason they are monitored and regulated by the FDA), I am shocked [ala Capt. Renault (Claude Rains) in Casablanca] to see that the people advocating “alternative” treatments fail to see the massive (and unregulated) conflicts of interest of the practitioners who peddle these “treatments”. ”

    You’re a bright man, extremely bright, why you can’t see why public opinion is not on the side of the government regulators/watchdogs is beyond me. Seriously how could you be “shocked” as to why people run to alternative treatments?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/18/health/policy/18cdc.html

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/20/health/policy/20avandia.html

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/02/14/60minutes/main3831900.shtml

    and lastly a story I worked on

    http://www.newsobserver.com/2009/02/25/94385/fda-ignored-debris-in-syringes.html

  341. #346 Dave
    March 16, 2010

    So Im confused, whats wrong with giving a parent who just lost their child to regressive autism a bit of hope

    Is it just me or is the use of the phrase, “lost their child” rather striking? I mean, the kid is still alive.

  342. #347 bensmyson
    March 16, 2010

    dave – does the phrase “lost my mind” mean my brain is missing?

    (god this can be fun sometimes!)

  343. #348 Dave
    March 16, 2010

    benwasmyson@334 — No, it means your mind is missing.

  344. #349 ebohlman
    March 16, 2010

    Sentences I never expected I’d ever read, #63524:

    udging by the number of lumbar punctures Ive had to undergo in my lifetime I assumed they were extremely ordinary.

  345. #350 Calli Arcale
    March 16, 2010

    Callie – “First off, this isn’t about the parents. It’s about the children.”

    Of course it is. The first thing I was taught as a lifeguard was if you cant control the situation get out of it and try another approach. If a parent’s mind isnt right, depressed, hopeless, angry how are they going to care for the child at an optimal level?

    Doing what’s right for my child is what helps me sleep at night. And the only person that knows what’s right is me and/or my wife.

    That’s well and good, but when you emphasize the importance of how the treatment looks and feels for the *parents* then it seems that you are placing your own comfort *above* that of your child’s, rather than on a par with it. I don’t know whether that’s true (I doubt it is) but it looks bad, and if you take a moment to look at it that way, you’ll see why it has bothered a number of commenters.

    In particular, you have indicated that it is important for the parents to have hope, even if the treatment is useless for the child. Since no treatment is entirely without risk, how can you justify that?

    I repeat what I said before: if the only benefit is hope for the parent, then something is seriously messed up. Probably, it means the parent needs help. There’s nothing wrong with needing help; there’s what folks in the biz call “respite care”, for instance, and that can be enormously helpful. If you need a break, take a break. Spending time and money on false hope doesn’t strike me as much of a break.

  346. #351 MI Dawn
    March 16, 2010

    @bensmyson: you said: “Judging by the number of lumbar punctures Ive had to undergo in my lifetime I assumed they were extremely ordinary.”

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME??????? Extremely ordinary? NO, NO, NO!!!!!

    A lumbar puncture is a MEDICAL procedure, performed by physicians or specially trained nurse-practitioners. It is NOT within a regular (not advanced practice) nurse’s scope of practice. It can KILL you. Doctors don’t do them for shits and giggles. They entail threading a needle between the bones into the spinal column to obtain spinal fluid. However, if the fluid pressure is high (which can occur with many illnesses), the sudden release of that pressure can be fatal. It can also lead to infection (hey, let’s introduce bacteria right into the fluid that bathes the brain…and these idiots worry about vaccine if they think these procedures are ‘no big deal?????’).

    I find it very hard to believe that bensmyson has had “a number” of them. If he/she has, then he/she has serious health issues. Most people go through life never having it done. It is NOT the same thing as an epidural anesthesia (which many women have for childbirth). They are painful to have done, usually require 4-8 hours of lying FLAT afterwards to prevent debilitating headache, and are NOT a walk in the park.

  347. #352 Joseph
    March 16, 2010

    Joseph – Equal to what? Social equality? Of course. Thanks for answering my question. However Im not sure that’s what sciencemom was getting at.

    @bensmyson: Which other equality were you talking about? Define equality.

    In order to be equal to someone else, do you need to have the same skills?

  348. #353 dedicated lurker
    March 16, 2010

    MI Dawn: my dad has had back problems for a long time and has had several lumbar punctures as a result. He never described them as ordinary, though – he mentioned even if you lie flat the headaches still show up and they are quite involved.

  349. #354 bensmyson
    March 16, 2010

    calli – You know what I think, I think none of you know me. Never been around me, never had a beer with me, never seen me at work, at play, never grew up with me. Sometimes I expect people to know me or at least give me the benefit of the doubt. But it’s my fault for allowing this to get personal. I dont think when I write this stuff and even if I did I dont think I could gather up the necessary skills to get my points across.

    To me, sometimes, you get your head working and other stuff begins to happen. Sort of like the black belt that can smash bricks with his fists. At the beginning I didnt have to will myself to want to “heal” Ben. To me it was a natural act. But I did have to will myself to make sacrifices later on and the only way I could have made those sacrifices was to convince myself I was on the right path. And I am, or at least I FEEL as if I am.

    The way I see it is that the problem most of you have with me is that I believe a parent has a right to do what they feel is best for their child, vaccinate, not to vaccinate, chelation, acupuncture, shamanism. Within reason of course, no blood sacrifices please. I also feel a great deal of people suffer from the failings of the FDA and CDC. I dont trust much of anything along those lines since my son’s diagnosis.

    Calli I truly appreciate your tactical suggestion for some rest. (Gee does it show?) My wife and I are both at home with him, sharing the load. We take turns, each has plenty of time to blog, take the day off and go somewhere with friends, nap, watch tv. I keep getting misunderstood about hope. The best I can do is relate it to someone who is a fundamentalist Christian, or Muslim. (I live in the South, more familiar with Christians) I would no more tell my next door neighbor that Jesus is dead than I would tell someone on AoA that they are fools for believing in Wakefield’s work. I get your concern that a belief in Jesus is harmless unless you take into account the fanaticism regarding our nationalism and the Israel, Arab conflict. I get your concern that Wakefield followers are scary and anti-vaxxers could cause the world’s children to die from various horrible diseases. I totally get how you may find comfort in the whole protect the herd mentality. But Im not buying it and the tough part for me is like I said, I expect you to know me, and to respect my opinion much the same way I do yours. Not once have I called any of you a fool. Not once. Not even whispered it to myself either.

  350. #355 MI Dawn
    March 16, 2010

    @dedicated lurker: when I started nursing, we used spinal anesthesia for c/sections (very few places were doing epidurals then, and they had a very high risk of headache also due to dural puncture). I can well recall caring for those poor women. One in particular…she had a hideous spinal headache for 3 days and ended up getting a “blood patch” (they drew blood from her arm and injected it into the area over her spinal column where she had her spinal anesthesia) the blood clotted and stopped the leakage of spinal fluid and she was finally able to sit up). I saw enough complications and problems with spinals (not to add the lumbar punctures we had to assist with on very ill newborns) that I hope to never have one.

    My sympathies to your father for having to go through them several times. I’m sure they were medically needed, but I’m also sure your father didn’t think they were “nothing out of the ordinary”.

  351. #356 bensmyson
    March 16, 2010

    MI – “I find it very hard to believe that bensmyson has had “a number” of them. If he/she has, then he/she has serious health issues.”

    An aneurysm in my 20′s, so every time I get a headache someone has to take a look to make sure I didnt spring a leak. Usually the procedure has to be done by a neurosurgeon because my back muscles bend the needle so much. One time I spent an hour on a fluoroscope table, it was a scene out of Marathon Man.

  352. #357 Science Mom
    March 16, 2010

    Sometimes I expect people to know me or at least give me the benefit of the doubt.

    Now how could you even entertain that thought while you and your wife are tag-teaming with the same username, can’t even keep your stories straight and don’t even know what each other is posting where?

  353. #358 bensmyson
    March 16, 2010

    Joseph – “In order to be equal to someone else, do you need to have the same skills?”

    I am extremely competitive, sports, gambling, etc and to me if something is equal it weighs the same, same size, equal intelligence, same potential. My left hand is not equal to my right hand. In golf if you are not equal one will get a handicap.

    So when someone says a child with autism is equal to a child that is not then of course Im thinking that’s absurd.

  354. #359 bensmyson
    March 16, 2010

    science mom – story is straight, you just cant follow along, or want to.

  355. #360 Joseph
    March 16, 2010

    I am extremely competitive, sports, gambling, etc and to me if something is equal it weighs the same, same size, equal intelligence, same potential.

    @bensmyson: So according to your definition of equality, no one is equal to anyone else, right?

  356. #361 bensmyson
    March 16, 2010

    “So according to your definition of equality, no one is equal to anyone else, right?”

    Depends. Two fighters, both with 12 wins, both 235 pounds might be equal in terms of betting purposes. Like two dogs, one a black lab the other a french poodle might be equally good pets. I might think two different breweries make equally as tasty beer. I compare people sometimes in a way that’s not the way you might.

    But to answer your question, one person is equal to another in terms of rights, no two people are exactly equal. Equal to me is a term of measure. I am not your equal, nor could I be.

  357. #362 maydijo
    March 16, 2010

    “I totally get how you may find comfort in the whole protect the herd mentality. But Im not buying it”

    As someone who has spent a brief amount of time in sub-Saharan Africa, sentiments like that frighten me. Polio is still a problem in that part of the world; and often it’s quite hard to get the people there to trust Western medicine. Imagine the damage that could be done by the anti-vax movement in a place like that.

    I would love for people who are anti-vax to be held legally responsible for the pain, suffering, and death that results from their narrow-minded, ill-informed stupidity.

  358. #363 dedicated lurker
    March 16, 2010

    MI Dawn – thanks. He’s had back problems most of my life (he even had back surgery on my tenth birthday) and has been through a few medical procedures for it, and he still says that’s the worst. (My stepfather after being diagnosed with multiple myeloma said bone marrow aspiration was the most painful thing in the world.)

    benismyson: “Equality” and “sameness” are not the same thing.

  359. #364 bensmyson
    March 16, 2010

    maydijo – “I would love for people who are anti-vax to be held legally responsible for the pain, suffering, and death that results from their narrow-minded, ill-informed stupidity.”

    And id love people responsible for the pain, suffering, and death of people who were injured from vaccines to be held legally responsible. As it stands now there is a law that protects them. An eye for an eye? What’s fair is fair. You get it your way when I get it my way.

  360. #365 Science Mom
    March 16, 2010

    And id love people responsible for the pain, suffering, and death of people who were injured from vaccines to be held legally responsible.

    In the U.S. it’s called NVICP, get over it. Vaccine manufacturers can still get sued, every one of the denied NVICP claims can do so.

    People are on their own when their child becomes disabled or dies from a wild-type infection, VPD or not.

  361. #366 bensmyson
    March 16, 2010

    Sued? SUED? I want an eye for an eye, I want criminal charges brought against PEOPLE. We pay all pay the judgements in higher costs. Also if the corporations were held accountable it would be the stockholders to have to pay. Nope I want someone to sit in prison for 29 years, right after they are horse whipped. In China a corrupt head of a drug company that sold tainted product was taken outside after he was found guilty and shot. Sounds reasonable to me, his product killed babies.

  362. #367 Prometheus
    March 16, 2010

    Bensmyson retorts:

    “…why you can’t see why public opinion is not on the side of the government regulators/watchdogs is beyond me. Seriously how could you be “shocked” as to why people run to alternative treatments?”

    Clearly, my reference to the movie Casablanca was lost on Bensmyson – doesn’t anyone study the classics anymore?

    I’m not sure if Bensmyson simply didn’t understand what I was saying or was trying to “strawman” the point of my “shocked” from ignoring conflict of interest to running to “alternative” treatments.

    I’m not at all puzzled why people run to “alternative” treatments – the “alternative” practitioners are (in)famous for claiming they have the “cure” for ailments that real doctors know are difficult or impossible to treat.

    The basis of most “alternative” medicine is the well-known tendency of people to prefer a pleasing lie to an unpleasant truth. Given the choice between a practitioner who says “This may help, but there is no cure.” and one who claims “This will cure you without any side effects.”, I find it amazing that so many choose reality. It’s a testament to the innate common sense of most people. There are exceptions, of course, else the “alternative” practitioners would be out of business.

    The argument that “everybody’s doing it” didn’t work with my mother and shouldn’t work with any adult. Despite the fact that some people “run to alternative treatments”, those “treatments” haven’t been shown to work (and some have been shown to not work). The gullibility of a minority of people is not a very convincing argument.

    Public opinion is important in some things – like elections – but is completely irrelevant to whether or not “alternative” treatments work. They either do or don’t, regardless of “public opinion”.

    Prometheus

  363. #368 maydijo
    March 16, 2010

    Actually I’d be quite happy to put up my home as collataral for anyone who can actually prove, using hard science, that autism is caused by vaccines. I’d be reasonably confident that I’ll never have to forfeit my home. About as confident as I am that the sun will come out tomorrow.

    What is known – what can be proven, using hard science, and even softer science like history – is that diseases like measles, pertussis, polio, etc., kill. And that vaccines are effective in combatting disease.

    You are dishonest when you compare herd immunity – a concept that is based on science and shown to be true – to faith. But considering the other lies that you’ve told here, I doubt anyone is surprised.

  364. #369 maydijo
    March 16, 2010

    “Sounds reasonable to me, his product killed babies.”

    And you are killing babies with the lies you choose to believe and propogate re: vaccines. Does that mean we can take you outside and shoot you?

  365. #370 Kristen
    March 16, 2010

    @304
    Han

    Thank you for the incredibly apt phrases “ass monkey dick holes” and “vile duo of dickwaddery”. I intend to incorporate both into my lexicon for when I’m dealing with idiots like the tireless troll infesting this thread.

    Thank you for the shout-out. I thank my Grandfather, this is but a sample of the inventive word-combinations he has come up with.

    Dave@333

    I have noticed that parents who are only thinking about how bad life is for them because they have a ‘damaged’ child tend to talk like this. He/she is saying that this isn’t the child they were supposed to have, their real child was lost, taken from them by teh toxenz.

    I don’t see matters the same way. My son is who he is, not damaged, he is not a shell of the boy he should be, he is who he should be. There is nothing that infuriates me more (as those who read RI threads regularly know) than someone who doesn’t appreciate the unique traits their children have because they are different.

  366. #371 Science Mom
    March 16, 2010

    Sued? SUED? I want an eye for an eye, I want criminal charges brought against PEOPLE. We pay all pay the judgements in higher costs. Also if the corporations were held accountable it would be the stockholders to have to pay. Nope I want someone to sit in prison for 29 years, right after they are horse whipped. In China a corrupt head of a drug company that sold tainted product was taken outside after he was found guilty and shot. Sounds reasonable to me, his product killed babies.

    You are engaging in the genetic fallacy again. Your perception of injustice and likening vaccines to tainted Chinese pharmaceuticals is a complete machination of your own doing with considerable help from the bandwagoneers. This is part of why you cannot be taken seriously. You see injustice where there is none because you have gone so far down that rabbit hole, you no longer have light.

  367. #372 trrll
    March 16, 2010

    trrll – have they identified the areas of the brain effected by this natural process of pruning? It would have to be in the exact same area for there to be so similar presentations.

    Pruning goes on throughout the cortex. Of course, if pruning is occurring incorrectly, some cortical centers may be more impaired than others, depending upon the connectivity. It is known, for example, that certain neurotransmitter receptors, especially GABA receptors, are depleted in the brains of autistic adults, although there is no loss of neurons, suggesting that some synapses may be missing.

    But I think that you are missing the point, which is not that synaptic pruning is the ultimate explanation for the deficits in autism (although it is a candidate). Rather, the point is that maturation of the brain is not a monotonic process, even though it may look that way. Synapses are being lost, other synapses are being made, some genes are turning on, others are turning off. So there are many points at which some crucial step can potentially fail and undo previous progress. It is a bit like constructing a building. If it seems to be going up OK, but then suddenly collapses, it doesn’t necessarily mean that something knocked it over; it could just as well be that something was wrong with the foundation all along, but it didn’t result in dramatic consequences until the construction reached a point at which the integrity of the foundation became critical.

  368. #373 trrll
    March 16, 2010

    Sued? SUED? I want an eye for an eye, I want criminal charges brought against PEOPLE.

    There is no law that protects vaccine manufacturers from prosecution for criminal activity. However, there is no evidence of any kind criminal malfeasance, or indeed that the people who develop and distribute vaccines are motivated by anything other than a sincere desire to protect people from dangerous diseases. For that matter, the evidence indicates that the risks of vaccines are less than those of many other things that children are routinely exposed to (e.g. automobiles, bicycles, baseball bats, other children who may be unvaccinated and carry dangerous communicable diseases, etc.)

  369. #374 bensmyson
    March 16, 2010

    maydijo – “And you are killing babies with the lies you choose to believe and propogate re: vaccines. Does that mean we can take you outside and shoot you?”

    You can do anything you want, have at it, however the Constitution has this thing called the First Amendment. I can shout from the rooftops that vaccines injure and kill. I could even say it is biological warfare, genocide. Shoot me and you go to prison.

    However, thru negligence, omission or with intent you injure anyone there are laws against that and you will be charged with a criminal offense and punished if convicted. Vaccines kill people, thats a fact. Doctors say they are safe, they say someone could inject 10,000 vaccines into a baby with no possibility of injury. Its a lie and that lie hurts people, it kills people.

    So use your paranoid excuse for hate and threats of violence and sit in front of a judge and beg for your life. Ill be on the rooftops shouting whatever I feel like, hell I might even blog about it too!

    Kristen – “There is nothing that infuriates me more (as those who read RI threads regularly know) than someone who doesn’t appreciate the unique traits their children have because they are different.”

    Unique traits like what? Smearing crap on the walls, breaking furniture because he got a drop of water on his shirt? Running off into the woods when you turn your back to freeze to death? Maybe you never got to know your child before he became autistic, maybe he didnt regress, maybe he spent 90% of his waking hours at daycare, maybe you are more screwed up than you think.

    science mom – “likening vaccines to tainted Chinese pharmaceuticals is a complete machination of your own doing with considerable help from the… New York Times? http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/18/health/policy/18cdc.html

    Hell even Paul Offitt didnt make a very convincing case for vaccine safety http://i46.tinypic.com/24lt1y1.jpg

  370. #375 bensmyson
    March 16, 2010

    trrll – “Rather, the point is that maturation of the brain is not a monotonic process, even though it may look that way. Synapses are being lost, other synapses are being made, some genes are turning on, others are turning off. So there are many points at which some crucial step can potentially fail and undo previous progress.”

    I get you but if this is true, that shit just happens, then why now, why are we seeing such increased numbers in developmental disorders? Environmental triggers?

    And

    “For that matter, the evidence indicates that the risks of vaccines are less than those of many other things that children are routinely exposed to (e.g. automobiles, bicycles, baseball bats, other children who may be unvaccinated and carry dangerous communicable diseases, etc.)”

    You’re right, the risks are less. But the risks are still there. If your son is brain injured in a runaway Toyota crash, or a vaccine injury does it matter? You are still left holding a brain injured child. I might have knowledge of the potential for harm from a Toyota, what information is readily available about vaccinating your child? Anyone ask me if my son was allergic to eggs before they stuck him with a HepB vaccine the day he was born? Anyone tell me before they jabbed my son with an MMRV that studies show that he would have a chance of having encephalitis or dying? Small chance, very small chance but dont you think I should have been made aware of that? I mean my god I know viagra might cause an erection of longer than 4 hours but nothing about any of the vaccines injected into my child.

    Criminal charges against vaccine manufacturers? So that’s possible huh? And who would bring the charges? Me or the Attorney General? Didnt I see a movie once about the tobacco industry, some guy leaked memos to 60 minutes showing how they knew their product was killing people, I forget the ending, did anyone go to prison?

  371. #376 Djinna
    March 16, 2010

    Strangely, I seem to be the only one who read this post and was left with a burning desire to know who some of the coauthors were on some of Einstein’s better known publications, or even some of the lesser known ones. Enough stories from various profs in phys chem classes left me with the impression that many of the early theoretical psysicists could be described as, um, colorful rascals. Was honestly expecting at least a couple of them to have turned out to have some unsavory personal aspects. Surprisingly, I can’t seem to turn up many of his publications that even had coathors. The few that did have a coauthor listed, for the early versions, it was almost always J Laub. Do seem to be a few later papers with Podolsky, who had some espionage allegations. Don’t remember a single physics or phys chem prof indicating that there may have been any problems with the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen work because of these allegations.

  372. #377 Djinna
    March 16, 2010

    Missed saying that if the cold war era, commies under every rock types could understand that being accused of financial impropriety (since he was accused of spying for money, instead of ideology) does not necessarily mean that your work as a coauthor is completely suspect, that really does not say much positive about the anti-vaxxers hyping on Thorsen. Seriously, one of, if not the most powerful group of paranoids in recent history, if they have a better grasp of this concept, that does not make those who think this proves anything look good.

    If they could get otherwise famous Hollywood types blacklisted, surely they did not have problems ruining careers over (mostly) unrelated issues. My only explanation is that the Operation Paperclip was too recent in memory to think that scientists could be permanently tarred by their politics. Then again, the Nobel that Pauling won for Peace, and the problems he had with his passport related to his anti-nuke stance (if I’m remembering correctly), show that there wasn’t necessarily complete and utter forgiveness of personal issues if the science was sound

  373. #378 Calli Arcale
    March 17, 2010

    Regarding the vicious pleasure that exists in seeing the head of a Chinese dairy executed for the melamine scandal, I’d like to point out that this execution was largely political. The government wished to appear that it was proactive in something that frankly it hadn’t bothered to adequately regulate. It found a fall guy, and killed him. Then moved on. It did nothing to stop the actual problem; melamine is continuing to sicken Chinese babies fed tainted formula. Depressing.

    bensmyson:

    calli – You know what I think, I think none of you know me. Never been around me, never had a beer with me, never seen me at work, at play, never grew up with me. Sometimes I expect people to know me or at least give me the benefit of the doubt. But it’s my fault for allowing this to get personal. I dont think when I write this stuff and even if I did I dont think I could gather up the necessary skills to get my points across.

    You sell yourself short. I think you are very articulate, and I think you do an admirable job of remaining polite. Because that’s what’s really needed in any discussion between people of differing viewpoints, if anything useful is to be acheived.

    The way I see it is that the problem most of you have with me is that I believe a parent has a right to do what they feel is best for their child, vaccinate, not to vaccinate, chelation, acupuncture, shamanism. Within reason of course, no blood sacrifices please.

    I think you misunderstand our concern — or at least, my concern. I probably shouldn’t try and speak for others. I also believe that every parent has the right to do what they feel is best for their child, within reason. If they wish to do something harmful to the child, that is not acceptable.

    My concern is more that I feel parents need accurate information upon which to base their decisions — and the empowerment to realize that no, you don’t have to just take some self-declared expert’s word for it. You’ve said often that you don’t know these things, that you’re not smart enough, but it’s not true. You *are* smart enough. The trick is critical thinking, and that’s something everybody can do.

    Calli I truly appreciate your tactical suggestion for some rest. (Gee does it show?) My wife and I are both at home with him, sharing the load. We take turns, each has plenty of time to blog, take the day off and go somewhere with friends, nap, watch tv. I keep getting misunderstood about hope. The best I can do is relate it to someone who is a fundamentalist Christian, or Muslim. (I live in the South, more familiar with Christians) I would no more tell my next door neighbor that Jesus is dead than I would tell someone on AoA that they are fools for believing in Wakefield’s work. I get your concern that a belief in Jesus is harmless unless you take into account the fanaticism regarding our nationalism and the Israel, Arab conflict. I get your concern that Wakefield followers are scary and anti-vaxxers could cause the world’s children to die from various horrible diseases. I totally get how you may find comfort in the whole protect the herd mentality. But Im not buying it and the tough part for me is like I said, I expect you to know me, and to respect my opinion much the same way I do yours. Not once have I called any of you a fool. Not once. Not even whispered it to myself either.

    You’re welcome on the respite ideas; it’s simple stuff, but easily overlooked.

    I appreciate your refraining from cheap shots. I really do. And maybe it doesn’t always seem like it, but I do respect your opinions. I just don’t agree with all of them.

    I wouldn’t say, though, that “protect the herd mentality” is something I find comfort in. I find comfort in my family, my faith, my extensive Doctor Who collection, some Dove chocolate . . . . Rather, I feel that protecting the herd is a sensible thing to do. I regard it the same way as I do public education; it’s for the good of our community, and as I want to live in our community, doing things for the good of our community is prudent. Some call this “enlightened self-interest”. If I thought vaccines caused autism, I would doubtless hold a different opinion, as do you. The key is that I do not think that vaccines cause autism; I have looked at a fair bit of evidence, and it seems to me that it’s pretty conclusive that they do not. Remove thimerosal; no decline in autism rates. Halt use of MMR, as was done in Japan; no decline in autism rates. Whatever causes autism, it can’t be thimerosal and it can’t be MMR; these observations seem to invalidate the hypotheses.

    I do understand where you are coming from, and I respect very much the love you both clearly have for your son, and I respect you both for fighting on his behalf. That just doesn’t mean I’ll always agree with you. ;-) Nor should it; the world would never get anywhere if everybody always agreed about everything.

  374. #379 maydijo
    March 17, 2010

    “So use your paranoid excuse for hate and threats of violence and sit in front of a judge and beg for your life.”

    Honey, when I threaten you, you’ll know. That wasn’t a threat. Not even close. So who’s being paranoid, exactly?

    You are calling for blood, with no evidence whatsoever that you will actually kill a guilty party. We all get that you’re pissed off and feel like you were gipped off from getting the kid you deserved. Well, life’s not fair. And inciting murder (which is what you did, quite clearly) just to satisify your feelings of disappointment with your “substandard” child? You’re just after someone to blame.

    But if you’re going to be so quick to call for blood – watch out. Unlike your shoddy theories which are based on shoddy science, there is real, hard evidence that vaccines save lives. By advocating against vaccines, you are killing real, live people (that is, if anyone is dumb enough to listen to you). If you want blood for some hypothetical wrong that was done to you and your kid, that you can’t even prove – just don’t expect anyone to be there to have your back if someone goes after you for real (not fake, airy-fairy, all in your head) damages to them and their kid.

    You are wrong. You know you are wrong – there is such overwhelming evidence that proves it, beyond a reasonable doubt. You just feel ripped off. Well, get over it, and start loving your son for who he is instead of resenting who he’s not.

  375. #380 bensmyson
    March 17, 2010

    maydijo – There is real, hard evidence that vaccines kill and that message needs to be delivered so that parents can make a decision based on fact.

    As Ive said, 100 times, Id love it if there was proof something other than vaccines contributed to the injury that caused my son to present with characteristics of autism. There isnt.

    You so rudely stated: “and inciting murder (which is what you did, quite clearly) just to satisify your feelings of disappointment with your “substandard” child?”

    Disappointment? Substandard?

    Obviously you have no understanding of human compassion or autism.

  376. #381 bensmyson
    March 17, 2010

    Calli – I think they shot the corrupt official that allowed the manufacturer to sell the deadly product. Sorry Ill look it up later.

    “I do understand where you are coming from, and I respect very much the love you both clearly have for your son, and I respect you both for fighting on his behalf. That just doesn’t mean I’ll always agree with you. ;-) Nor should it; the world would never get anywhere if everybody always agreed about everything.”

    Thank you for being civil. We shall agree to disagree then. Id hope people realize that there are what, 100 million people on the internet at any given time? And how many pay any attention to this site, AoA, LBRB, or any other site I or you or any of us here reading this? I can tell you that 32 people over the past 3 days have come to my blogsite from this site. With all the back and forth here and all the geniuses who post here regularly, only 32 people. No one pays any attention to any of this crap about who is right or not, who has what proof of what. This argument and all the others, for most, is an act of masturbation, no one really cares accept the person typing.

  377. #382 Calli Arcale
    March 17, 2010

    I think you’re right, now that I think about, that it was a low-level official. Still doesn’t change my opinion that he was just a fall guy. Yeah, he was corrupt, but he was certainly not the whole problem. I imagine he was just far enough from Beijing (politically speaking) for them to easily distance themselves from the problem by almost *literally* throwing him under the bus.

    That’s pretty cool that you got 32 hits to your blog specifically from this one. For a personal blog, that’s not bad at all.

    It’s true that not everyone pays attention to who is right and who is not, and who has proof and who doesn’t. Some are just in it to watch the fireworks, and a great many have their minds already made up. But it’s not universally true; in fact, I suspect most people really do care about whose argument is better supported by evidence. It’s just that most people don’t post. Most people lurk, and a fair number of lurkers actually do care, so it’s not just the people typing. That’s something I’ve learned from my time as a message board moderator; remember the lurkers. It’s easy to slip into the thinking that this is a private conversation, but it’s not, and many of those listening care very much. Impossible to know their perspective, of course, since they aren’t sharing it, but that’s totally up to them. Some people aren’t comfortable posting publicly, and that’s okay.

  378. #383 Kristen
    March 17, 2010

    @362

    Unique traits like what? Smearing crap on the walls, breaking furniture because he got a drop of water on his shirt? Running off into the woods when you turn your back to freeze to death? Maybe you never got to know your child before he became autistic, maybe he didnt regress, maybe he spent 90% of his waking hours at daycare, maybe you are more screwed up than you think.

    Yes, he is challenging. Raising him is harder than anything I have ever done before. But you know what? He does have great qualities. He has an interest in physics at six and he reads chapter books.

    He didn’t become autistic, he is autistic. I can deal with the behavior issues (he has given me more than one black eye), the difficulty speaking, very poor gross motor skills and the fact that he can’t be around other children without constant supervision (he might injure them). I could list so much more, but I deal with the bad, because the good is there. Even when you have to look really, really hard.

    No, he has never been to a daycare. I gave up my career to take care of him. I wait tables to help support our family (so I am home during the day). In fact, my husband graduated from the US Air Force Academy and left the Air Force (he was a captain) so he could help raise him. Gave up his future dreams. And we would do it again.

    The difference between you two and us; we know what it means to lose a child (our first son). Trust me, it is far worse then dealing with a child who has special needs.

    Maybe you should look for the good in your child, and consider that maybe, just maybe science is right and autism is at least in part genetic. And don’t question my parenting, you don’t know what I have been through. I didn’t question your parenting, I took issue with your perception of your son.

  379. #384 Science Mom
    March 17, 2010

    science mom – “likening vaccines to tainted Chinese pharmaceuticals is a complete machination of your own doing with considerable help from the… New York Times?
    Hell even Paul Offitt didnt make a very convincing case for vaccine safety

    Oh I see, a highly-publicised case of COIs, which were no secret to begin with and a propaganda piece on Dr. Offit are enough to convince you that pharma is producing a product that is wilfully killing children. It never ceases to amaze me what a low standard you accept when it justifies your pre-conceived notions but reject high quality evidence when it doesn’t.

    maydijo – There is real, hard evidence that vaccines kill and that message needs to be delivered so that parents can make a decision based on fact.

    As Ive said, 100 times, Id love it if there was proof something other than vaccines contributed to the injury that caused my son to present with characteristics of autism. There isnt.

    Given the rarity of the actual event of a vaccine causing death in a child and your rantings about vaccines causing autism, the above response leads me to believe that you are equating killing with autism.

    No one pays any attention to any of this crap about who is right or not, who has what proof of what. This argument and all the others, for most, is an act of masturbation, no one really cares accept the person typing.

    That is probably true for you since you are involved with a small but loud coterie of people that kvetch about the same old tired conspiracy, all the while watching it crumble before your eyes and are powerless to do anything. But there are parents that do have questions and are concerned that do benefit from dialogues, such as this, about the science involving vaccines.

  380. #385 Raging Bee
    March 17, 2010

    There is real, hard evidence that vaccines kill and that message needs to be delivered so that parents can make a decision based on fact.

    Notice how bensmyson only says the “message” needs to be delivered. She doesn’t say the ACTUAL EVIDENCE in support of that “message” needs to be delivered; nor does she make any attempt to deliver any such evidence herself. Because there really is no evidence, is there? MILLIONS of kids get vaccinated with no ill effects, and have been for decades, and lives are saved as a result.

    And the fact that bensmyson doesn’t even offer a link or a pointer to the alleged “real, hard evidence,” pretty much proves (again) that she really doesn’t give a shit about facts or evidence. She can’t get a grip on reality, she’s unwilling to stretch her mind to get a grip, she wants to be respected as a parent but doesn’t want to act like a grownup, she’s horribly angry and frustrated that the Universe won’t accomodate her, and all she can do is hide in her raw emotions and scream and accuse and demand and bother other people and pretend she’s smart by ignoring the education and experience of other people. In short, she’s a loony and there’s no use trying to treat her as a sane adult, because she clearly doesn’t want to act like one.

  381. #386 Raging bee
    March 17, 2010

    And how many pay any attention to this site, AoA, LBRB, or any other site I or you or any of us here reading this?

    If this blog is so irrelevant, why are you here? And why do you only point this out after you’ve lost your hyper-emotional argument and had all of your major shrieking-points debunked and kicked to the curb?

  382. #387 Zetetic
    March 17, 2010

    Sorry about the SIWOTI everyone…

    bensmyson @ #280:

    “Humanity is very close to wiping out polio. ”
    Sure they are.

    Nice citation of a news story from 2007. You do realize don’t you that vaccines can be reformulated to cover new strains, don’t you? Do you realize that even if a strain changes, that vaccines still offer better protection against exposure than being unvaccinated? Do you realize that in countries such as the USA that have had more thorough vaccine compliance that they use the the killed virus vaccine that can’t mutate? As in the article you cited (but apparently dind’t spend much thought on)…”In 2000, the United States switched to injected vaccine made from killed virus, which cannot mutate.”

    Oh and there’s this part from your own article [emphasis added]…”Aylward pointed out that 10 billion doses of oral vaccine had been given in the past 10 years, so such mutations are presumably extremely unusual.”.
    The fact still remains (if you had bothered to think about it) that the benefits of the vaccine still out weight the risks. Also, with greater inoculation of the population the populations can switch to the even safer versions of the polio vaccines, perhaps even one day eliminate the need of it altogether, people like you are an obstacle to that goal.

    BTW…I noticed you avoided comparing the rates of polio deaths in the USA before and after the vaccine, I wonder why? Perhaps for the same reason you failed to make an observation on smallpox perhaps?

    Others have already suitably dismantled your feeble defense of DAN. But while we’re on the subject care to cite any credible evidence for DAN’s “success rate” versus approved medical drugs and vaccines?

    —————————————————————————

    bensmyson @ #281:

    What “anti-vax” groups are you talking about? How much money does a study like this cost?

    So now you never heard of DAN, AoA, or Generation Rescue, etc? You’ve never heard of any of their wealthy and famous supporters? Yeah, right. As for the cost it depends on the extend of the study. As I earlier pointed out to you (but unsurprisingly your memory seems to be very selective) anti-vax groups have already attempted such studies, but they were an utter joke in their methodology. I already pointed out to you the likely reason why their methodology was so flawed.

    Im curious, how certain are you that you are immune to the measles or mumps or the rotavirus or polio?

    Reasonably certain within the probabilities established by clinical testing of the relevant vaccines effectiveness. Of course those odds improve (for both myself and everyone else, even the unvaccinated) with “herd immunity”. The cool thing about science is that it I wanted to I could could actually have myself tested to see if my blood contained the desired antibodies. In fact that one of the ways they’re tested to see if they work.

    Of course the other problem with your childish argument is that even “if” the vaccine didn’t work, I’m still no worse off than if I wasn’t vaccinated.
    So…
    If they work= Benefit.
    If they don’t work= No worse off than without the vaccine.
    Obviously considering the low risks that have been shown with vaccines it’s logically the correct course to chose vaccination, since odds of benefit (to myself and the general public) are greatly outweighed by any risks. It’s so simple even a child could understand it, but most anti-vaxers will refuse to.

    So when are you going to explain to us how the abuse of many alt-med treatments, or increasing the spread of preventable disease (and the accompanying harm and death) in a given culture is a public good? I’d really like to hear that particular rationalization.

    ——————————————————————————————

    bensmyson @ #286

    You wife being vaccinated against the measles would have been no guarantee of her immunity.

    What is it about the anti-vaxer mentality that causes them to think that vaccines are supposed to be a “magic shield” of some kind? It seems to be a form of simplistic binary logic, no room for probabilities.

    It’s very simple bensmyson…Just like driving safely doesn’t guaranty that you won’t get killed in a car crash (it just improves your odds) a vaccine doesn’t magically keep you protected, it just improves the odds, and those odds get better the more people in a population are vaccinated (or drive safely). Remember my question about smallpox?

    Im not saying that a vaccine against the measles isnt needed to help save lives, Im just saying it aint a sure thing and there are many other things one can do as a society to help stop people from dying of infectious disease and premature death.

    Did it ever occur to you that all of those other efforts “aint a sure thing” either? It should, I already pointed that out to you earlier. Did it ever occur to you that by your reasoning we shouldn’t bother with them either? It’s very simple, the more things we do (including vaccination) in a population as a whole, the better everyone’s odds are. What’s so hard about that?

    —————————————————————————————–

    bensmyson @ #320:

    What’s so wrong with giving a parent a little hope? A little time to work things out. What’s wrong with saying a prayer or believing in a better world, a baptism, nirvana, recovery from autism? What’s wrong with a few vitamins, a splash of “woo” how is looking for the good in a child’s development, getting excited from a word or a hand that touched a face in “love” so wrong?

    If it stopped there I personally would have little problem with it (in spite of the waste of time and money that could be better spent elsewhere).

    The problem is that it doesn’t stop there. Instead we get children being fed untested industrial chemicals labeled as “supplements” and/or chemically castrated. Instead we get children that are sometime killed during “exorcisms” to cure the autism. Instead we get anti-vaxers trying to indirectly kill other peoples children by spreading misinformation, fear-mongering, and ignorance. Increasing the spread of potentially dangerous diseases.

    You know…the things you said earlier that you didn’t care about, but the pro-science community does care about.

    ——————————————————————————————

    bensmyson @ #325:

    That vax v unvax study has ethical problems, as would something like hope v no hope.
    Im not sure you can say giving one hope, even if it is later proven to be false hope, is a lie.

    You know what might give people real hope? Actual scientific research into the real causes of autism, instead of an anti-vax witch-hunt, or wasting more money studying yet again the same dis-proven link.

    While we’re on the subject of hope though, why do you want to take away the hope of parents to protect their children from harmful diseases? That is what you’re trying to encourage. Just as you’re trying to increase the despair and grief of parents whose children will contract dangerous diseases. Did you ever think of that side of the equation? I doubt it.

    ————————————————————————————-

    bensmyson @ #333:

    You’re a bright man, extremely bright, why you can’t see why public opinion is not on the side of the government regulators/watchdogs is beyond me. Seriously how could you be “shocked” as to why people run to alternative treatments?

    …and with that we get the Genetic Fallacy yet again and now add Argumentum ad Populum to bensmyson’s list of logical fallacies…

    So tell us bensmyson are you ever going to answer the question about the corruption and tainting of treatments and testing in alt-med? Oh that’s right… you said you don’t care about those cases, apparently you only care about the ones where scientific (non-alt med) medical companies are at fault. Tell us are you weighing in the effectiveness of modern medicine as a whole in to your assessment?

    Once again it’s very simple. The solution is better testing and oversight, not abandoning proven medical techniques for woo, or gratifying your feelings.

    —————————————————————————————

    bensmyson @ #342:

    But it’s my fault for allowing this to get personal.

    Finally something we can agree on!

    I dont think when I write this stuff and even if I did I dont think I could gather up the necessary skills to get my points across.

    I agree that not thinking things through can be a problem, but it’s one that can be overcome.

    The big problem though is that aside from a deeply effecting personal incident (from what you’ve said so far), you don’t really have any other points. All of your other arguments come down to falsehoods, logical fallacies, and ducking the hard questions. You can’t make a point with such weak arguments, at least not among skeptics and the scientifically inclined. That’s why my first post to you was to point out the fallacy you were employing and to make a link to it’s explanation. Did you ever try to understand (or even read) it? How about the second one I pointed out to you in this post (just above)?

    The way I see it is that the problem most of you have with me is that I believe a parent has a right to do what they feel is best for their child, vaccinate, not to vaccinate, chelation, acupuncture, shamanism.

    Aside from the risks of some of those procedures (which you already stated you don’t care about) the big problem is the one with vaccination since in that case you’re not just endangering your own child’s life, but worse yet you are endangering the lives of other people (often other parent’s children) that are exposed to you and your child. It might be less of a problem to the general public if anti-vaxers isolated themselves from the rest of the public (setting aside for the moment the statistical risk to the anti-vaxer’s own children), but anti-vaxers aren’t making any efforts to live on a vaccine free commune. So no, you’re oversimplifying it, yet again….

    Not vaccinating your children is more akin to driving recklessly with your children in the car, it’s not just you and your kids that you’re putting at risk it’s everyone else on the road. Your rights as a parent stop there.

    ———————————————————————————————

    bensmyson @ #354:

    Sued? SUED? I want an eye for an eye, I want criminal charges brought against PEOPLE.

    First you’d have to provide evidence of some sort of negligent or malicious harm. In case you haven’t noticed, aside from a few incidents you’ve been failing to do that through all of your posts so far. Also, in the cases where such claims have been brought to court the link between autism and vaccines has been failed to be demonstrated, repeatedly.

    ———————————————————————————

    bensmyson @ #362:

    Vaccines kill people, thats a fact. Doctors say they are safe, they say someone could inject 10,000 vaccines into a baby with no possibility of injury. Its a lie and that lie hurts people, it kills people

    That vaccines carry a small amount of risk (such as allergic reaction) is a well known and well documented fact. Hell, it’s in the damn paperwork they give you, and you can look it up online too! Some Secret! ::rolls eyes:: It’s also a fact that the known risks are far outweighed by the benefits to public health. Think otherwise? Please provide credible evidence to the contrary.

    People die slipping in the tub or shower everyday, does that mean that the risks for bathing outweighs the health risks if no one ever bathed? Does it mean that there’s a conspiracy to hide the dangers of bathing from people? What about the corruption in the cosmetics industry, maybe they want to protect their soap profits?
    Yeah….right.

    As to your claim that it’s being covered up…Is it another case of “binary thinking” where you have trouble with understanding the concept of relative risk? In case you don’t understand I’ll make it very simple for you. While vaccines do have some risk it’s a risk that is much lower compared to the risk of disease than if the public went unvaccinated. It’s easy to forget that when most of the public is vaccinated and the risk of disease has already been reduced by vaccination.

    BTW your 10,00 vaccines line is a deliberate anti-vax lie (whether you know it’s a lie, or you just never bothered to check it out is something you’ll have to tell us), it’s a deliberate distortion of Dr. Paul Offit’s comment to the effect of that babies can receive an antigen load equal to 10,000 vaccines safely NOT 10,000 vaccines! How do we know that a baby can handle that level of antigen load? Because they are exposed to levels like that amount almost every day after they’re born. (If any one with actual medical knowledge would care to correct any mistakes I made in my explanation, please do so).
    Please read the following bensmyson…The Infection Schedule versus the Vaccination Schedule You might find it informative.

    You are right about one thing though bensmyson. Lies do kill people. Thanks to anti-vax misinformation there are many dead children that otherwise would still be alive today. Care to talk to their parents about “hope”?

    science mom – “likening vaccines to tainted Chinese pharmaceuticals is a complete machination of your own doing with considerable help from the… New York Times?

    No sorry…bensmyson you’re still just resorting to the genetic fallacy while ignoring the problems in your own camp. Blanket accusations may seem compelling to someone that can’t make a critical evaluation, but if you want to make a compelling case you need to provide specific evidence against specific vaccines. Aside from a relatively few case of corruption/negligence for specific vaccines, you have offered nothing to discredit any of the long established vaccines (that have a long track record of relatively low risks) let alone some of the newer ones. Therefore you have offered nothing to call into question the vaccine schedule as a whole.

    Hell even Paul Offitt didnt make a very convincing case for vaccine safety

    You left out the part that the man the anti-vax movement has spent so much time demonizing voted against using the smallpox vaccine because the small risk of complications was greater than the essentially zero risk of anyone getting smallpox from a terrorist attack. Once again it’s about relative risk. Why do you have trouble with understanding that?

    It’s like comparing the small risk of driving to the store to stock up on canned goods versus the chance of being killed in an extraterrestrial invasion. It’s not a reasonable risk to make the trip to the store (even though the risk may be small) to protect yourself against something that is so improbable.

    ————————————————————————————–

    bensmyson @ #368:

    No one pays any attention to any of this crap about who is right or not, who has what proof of what.

    Perhaps not but the fact of the matter is that diseases kill, that vaccines help to protect against them (at a lower risk than the diseases), and that aside from anecdotes that anti-vax movement still has offered nothing in the way of credible and verifiable evidence of vaccines causing autism.

    This argument and all the others, for most, is an act of masturbation, no one really cares accept the person typing.

    Probably not, but then why aren’t you doing something more productive like trying to encourage the anti-vax community to fund credible research into the causes of autism? Instead the anti-vax community just relies on everyone else to do the research, and just dismisses it when it doesn’t support their desired conclusion.

  383. #388 Rob
    March 17, 2010

    @bensmyson

    For fucks sake, listen to yourself!

    “…if there was proof something other than vaccines contributed to the injury that caused my son to present with characteristics of autism…”

    There is NO PROOF that vaccines caused your son to present the characteristics of autism. None whatsoever. There is not one shred, not one iota of evidence. The absence of another cause DOES NOT logically lead to the conclusion that something you want to believe is true.

    This is why people who are scientists, as I am, find you and the rest of the so-called anti-vaxers to be so horrible, so illogical, and so dangerous. You believe what you want to believe because you believe it to be true in the total absence of any scientific evidence for your belief and an enormous amount of scientific evidence to the contrary.

    Show me one respectable, peer-reviewed study that shows a conclusive link between vaccines and autism. One study that has been replicated at least once by another scientific group. YOU CAN’T!

  384. #389 Todd W.
    March 17, 2010

    @bensmyson

    And id love people responsible for the pain, suffering, and death of people who were injured from vaccines to be held legally responsible. As it stands now there is a law that protects them.

    Please cite this law. As others have pointed out already, it doesn’t exist, except in the minds of those who have been duped by the leaders of the anti-vax movement.

    An eye for an eye? What’s fair is fair.

    An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.

    Vaccines kill people, thats a fact.

    Vaccines do carry the risk of death, but it is so incredibly remote as to be insignificant. Do you rail against automobiles, which have a much higher risk of death? Even vitamins kill in the right circumstances.

    they say someone could inject 10,000 vaccines into a baby with no possibility of injury

    Citation, please.

    As Ive said, 100 times, Id love it if there was proof something other than vaccines contributed to the injury that caused my son to present with characteristics of autism. There isnt.

    Actually, there is a good bit of evidence that vaccines do not cause autism. What there isn’t is good evidence that vaccines do contribute to autism. Please feel free to cite something, though.

  385. #390 Pablo
    March 17, 2010

    As Ive said, 100 times, Id love it if there was proof something other than vaccines contributed to the injury that caused my son to present with characteristics of autism. There isnt.

    There is just as much evidence (we’ll avoid the concept of proof, since there is none of that) that breast milk caused your son’s autism as there is for vaccines. Now, lest you think I’m making any accusation, keep in mind that there is NO evidence that breast milk caused your son’s autism. But that is no different from vaccines.

    I have to ask – did you happen to use any Creamy Desitin for your diaper rash? There is as much evidence that it has caused the problem.

    Jeez, even looney jen and her anti-tylenol crusade has provided an alternate hypothesis.

    Why do you focus on vaccines, when there are countless other possibilities with just as much evidence for them?

  386. #391 Pablo
    March 17, 2010

    crap.

    To add on to my last post, how could I forget the guy who was around recently blaming fluorescent lights?

    So even in the world of the whack-a-doodle, there are multiple alternatives to vaccines as a cause.

  387. #392 Poogles
    March 17, 2010

    “But there are parents that do have questions and are concerned that do benefit from dialogues, such as this, about the science involving vaccines.”

    “in fact, I suspect most people really do care about whose argument is better supported by evidence. It’s just that most people don’t post. Most people lurk, and a fair number of lurkers actually do care, so it’s not just the people typing.”

    As I just commented on another thread – this is exactly why these discussions can be so important. I, for one, was planning on not vaccinating my future children before I started reading RI. I rarely contribute but I’m frequently reading and it is truly invaluable to me. Thank you Orac and all the other regular commenters who take the time to deconstruct the anti-vacc arguments and point out the fallacies etc.

  388. #393 Calli Arcale
    March 17, 2010

    Regarding bensmyson’s use of the term “lost” to describe their son….

    I know people who have lost children in the most absolute sense, to accident or disease, and in one tragic case, suicide. I also know people who have had children very severely disabled. Though in the latter case, you still have the child, there is still something you have lost, and this word is accurate. It is not that you have lost your child — it’s that you have lost the future you intended for your child. And I’m not sure it’s really easier to deal with a disabled child than a dead child, because at least in the case of death, everything is final. When the child is disabled, you are continually having to confront the situation in a very visceral way, and the act of caring for the child is draining. And at least if a child is dead, they are not in any pain. Some disabled children are in constant pain, and that can be agonizing for the caregivers (parents, relatives, friends, schoolteachers, doctors, etc).

    It isn’t even limited to children. My grandfather is now going through something similar with my grandmother. After a series of strokes, she is the same woman but she is definitely changed. Her old spirit is still there, and if you ask her general knowledge questions, she knows the answers. But recognizing places and people, that’s much harder, and she often seems to be moving through a dreamworld. All his plans have had to be reevaluated; the future he’d planned out for them is no longer possible. (In particular, he’d planned on her outliving him, a bet which is probably not going to pay off, especially as her care is now very expensive. She needs constant supervision, day and night, lest she fall and be seriously injured.) He is clearly going through the process of grieving, but with her still living, he can’t complete the process; he feels that he is betraying her if he gives up hope that she will get better and be able to leave the nursing home on her feet. But in the meantime, he is stuck, trapped in the grieving process, paralyzed by indecision. He wants circumstances to reveal the right choice, but in six months of waiting, it still hasn’t and probably won’t.

    He hasn’t lost his wife. But he has lost the future that he thought they would have together, and that can actually hurt just as much. I don’t think there are any points for quantity of suffering; losing a child versus having a child become severely disabled is not something that it’s worth comparing. They’re all different situations.

    My daughter’s disability is relatively minor; I haven’t had to grieve anything. But I know it has not been so easy for others, and I will not presume to question another person’s grief.

  389. #394 bensmyson
    March 17, 2010

    Calli – the term lost is how it felt when we realized what happened when nearly everything changed. The best way I can explain it is like Alzheimer’s. The person is still there but the mind isn’t. My memories, my ability to pour water into a glass, tie my shoes, recall my friends names all are a part of who I am. The way I look is not who I am. My son looks great. In still photos many times he his looking directly into the lens as if he recognizes the person viewing the photo. But in actuality 20 pictures had to be take to get that one shot of him looking into the lens. His mind changed, much like someone with Alzheimer’s, there was a lost spirit, a lost developed mind. He really did not know us for a while, did not speak, look at us, play as he used to, he had changed.

    So if I lost Ben in April of 2007, the new Ben was found sometime after that when we began to catch pieces of this new personality. Truth is it takes watching old home movies to remember him back then. We are so in love with the new Ben and I swear, if the old Ben magically reappeared, fully developed, with no problems and the new Ben disappeared (Im crying right now thinking about it) I would grieve horribly, god so horribly. I love my son, he is so great, we have 100 stories or more documented of joy and accomplishments and cute things that dont just make us smile recalling them but crack us up. I would love to have the opportunity to raise both the old Ben and the new Ben together. I think they would be great friends.

    Im sure Im not telling anyone anything they dont know but because of Ben’s brain injury his brain has had to make accommodations for the problem. His perceptions and calculations on how to do, to speak or move even are not natural so because they are not natural he comes at something from an unfamiliar place and can still make it work, be it communication or moving a toy across a floor. I dont know why I bring this up except that I appreciate that, you know? I admire that. He is overcoming his problem brain by creating a new way to wire it, on his own much of the time. In some ways he comes across highly intelligent, while other times not any more mature than a 2 year old, but then dont we all.

    I dont want anyone to get the impression from what others have posted, that I regret having the new Ben. Nothing is further from the truth. Ive asked this questions many times in blogs sites, If there was a magic button that would rid autism in your child, that there would be no memory whatsoever of the period of time your child suffered autism, would you push that button. When I first started asking that question I honestly would not have hesitated for a second to push the button. But the more time moves and the less my memory recalls the old Ben, the harder it is for me to imagine life without my little boy that has become such a wonderful project and a great little companion.

  390. #395 Calli Arcale
    March 17, 2010

    The best way I can explain it is like Alzheimer’s. The person is still there but the mind isn’t. My memories, my ability to pour water into a glass, tie my shoes, recall my friends names all are a part of who I am.

    My mom uses language like that to describe her mother. My grandfather hasn’t yet fully accepted the situation, but sometimes uses those words too. I’m trying to avoid doing so, because when I talk to her, I can tell that she is still there. The mind is there, even if it’s unable to maintain focus long enough to ground itself, even if she’s become abusive to my grandfather, even if she begs and pleads like a little kid far past the point that is dignified, behaving in ways which would have horrified her a year ago. It’s . . . difficult, finding the right words, because I think we as a society try to avoid talking about this sort of thing until we are embroiled in it, by which time we’re in too much pain to think very clearly on the subject.

    It is impossible to avoid imagining the “might have beens”. I have a friend with a severely disabled child (*really* severely, I mean certainly worse than what Ben is dealing with — Stephen Hawking has more function right now), and I know it keeps him and his wife up at night. And there’s something very magical and wonderful in your vision of raising the “old Ben” and the “new Ben” together.

    It does become a part of who they are, doesn’t it? I can totally relate to that. It’s also why a lot of autistics have railed against Age of Autism and others; they genuinely do not want to be cured, because it’s part of who they are. It also makes me think of deaf people who reject cochlear implants for their deaf children; there are interesting issues there, and I can’t help but be sympathetic to the issues, even when I’m not sure where I stand on them.

    I know my daughter would not be the same, and that would be very hard to deal with. Though I do still wish I could make life easier for her.

    You mention how the brain finds ways to work around the defects (using the term neutrally, because this applies whether the defects were present from birth, developed over time, or are the result of injury). I’m a software engineer, and I find the brain’s ability to work around defects quite humbling. You should meet my brother, who had to deal with autism *and* a severe anoxic brain injury. (He was a gnat’s eyebrow away from being a SIDS statistic.) Nearly half his brain *died*, and today he’s a functioning adult. The brain is truly breathtaking.

  391. #396 bensmyson
    March 17, 2010

    Zetetic- Thanks for taking the time to do a little criticism. Sure you have better things to do.

    Couple of things, you said; “Hell, it’s in the damn paperwork they give you, and you can look it up online too! ”

    When Ben went in for his vaccines, we expressed concerns, not because we knew anything about Wakefield, Jenny, Autism etc. We were concerned because we had heard it could cause discomfort. We were convinced that it is best to get it all over with at once. There was no papers handed to us, no poster on the wall. There was no CNN headline news story about recalling ProQuad. Nope, we were handed a video by Paul Offitt, not a DVD, but a video to take home and watch.

    Of course it’s all about the risk of catching a deadly disease is far greater than any adverse reaction to a vaccine. Made sense.

    Truth is millions are protected and many people’s lives are saved because of vaccines. But when it is your child that is injured, the world suddenly takes a backseat to my child. Someone asked me about equality a while back. What is equal. What is not equal is my son compared to yours. My son is far more important.

    “It’s like comparing the small risk of driving to the store to stock up on canned goods versus the chance of being killed in an extraterrestrial invasion. It’s not a reasonable risk to make the trip to the store (even though the risk may be small) to protect yourself against something that is so improbable.”

    Lets do this, your neighbor needs to drive three miles to the grocery, he scoops his toddler up off the ground and places him in the back end open bed of his pickup truck and drives away. The weather is warm, the roads are not very busy, the odds are that the baby will make it without injury on the trip to the grocery. Maybe even the same kind of odds that the baby would not be injured by a vaccine. Wouldnt you be more cautious with your own child than your neighbor was with his? Would you take issue if he placed your son in the back end of that pickup truck and went on a trip?

    What do odds mean when it comes to your own judgment, your own interpretation of the odds, your own comparative experience?

  392. #397 bensmyson
    March 17, 2010

    Calli- I respect those adults that dont want to be “cured” or the remarkable story of the deaf parents and their child. I respect them because I too want to be respected for the decisions I make on what is best or not for my son.

    The brain is truly breathtaking. Yes it is. What an education and experience to see how it works, how it adapts, how powerful it is. And Im not just talking about Ben. Im talking about what Ive witnessed in my own brain, perception, experience. This is why I keep bringing up the hope, the placebo, the false hope even and how important it is. Everyone deceives themselves. I mean what is love? Where will you be 20 years from now? Where will America be? There is no evidence to the truth in many things in life, it is how we perceive things. 20 years from now my son will bring by his son and we will sit on the porch and he will ask me to babysit while he and his wife go hiking. The little boy, my grandson will remind me of Ben, his dad. Same eyes, same smile, same little fellow but different.

  393. #398 bensmyson
    March 17, 2010

    380 Poogles – “I, for one, was planning on not vaccinating my future children before I started reading RI.”

    The ante gets a bit steeper once you start planning things with real children.

    371 kristen – “Maybe you should look for the good in your child, and consider that maybe, just maybe science is right and autism is at least in part genetic. And don’t question my parenting, you don’t know what I have been through. I didn’t question your parenting, I took issue with your perception of your son.”

    I do look at the good, its all around me, hard to miss.

    Yes I believe there is some genetic predisposition. I have my own suspicions based on the genetic work we have done.

    I am sorry to have questioned your parenting. And I appreciate not questioning mine. I did not mean anything towards you personally. I was just reacting to other comments. No excuse. Thank you for sharing your own story with me.

    Im sorry I am so hard to understand. I hear things like, cure-bees hate their kids because they arent perfect and I flip out.

    In real life I never really bring up vaccines, if someone asks, and strangers will ask, I will say I have no proof, just a coincidental event that makes me think it was vaccines. That’s about as specific as I get.

  394. #399 Raging Bee
    March 17, 2010

    bensmyson: you say you’re putting your own child first, last and always in your priorities; and even as you say this, you’re doing a whole host of things that, AT BEST, do your child absolutely no good at all: ignoring reality, refusing to educate yourself, wallowing in emotion, refusing to care about others while you demand we care about you, clinging to false hopes long after they’ve been proven false, and advocating dangerous and useless “treatments” while trashing proven medicine that has saved countless children’s lives.

    Your child is your only priority, and you’re still doing him no good at all. Isn’t it about time you took another look at how you’re doing things?

    You cannot properly care for a child if you’re still a child yourself.

  395. #400 bensmyson
    March 17, 2010

    Raging Bee- Proven medicine? As in the Vioxx kind of variety?

    If you were to stick to the “no proof” thing I cant argue, I can only relate to personal belief and my own science. Lunacy perhaps, I mean how would I know anything unless someone wrote a paper on it and I happened to read it. Crazy of me to have lived my entire life based on my own opinions and beliefs and faith. How much should I eat, how many bowel movements should I have, should I read a study?

    Here’s what I know. I know that damn near instantly my son changed when he got his vaccines. I know some studies suggest age of mother, age of father, vinyl flooring, rainy weather, television, family history, big head, difficult delivery, this gene, that gene, a whole range of possible causes. I know the MMR was looked at, thimerosal, I know there are those that believe and those that dont. But again, I know my son changed, almost immediately. That’s my science. When we have our second child Ill do a vaccinated vs unvaccinated study and let you know the results of my findings. Might need a grant to get that one off the ground though, think you can hook me up with Thorsen?

  396. #401 Vicki
    March 17, 2010

    Parent of Ben:

    Several years ago, I took the day off from work (I had vacation time I needed to use up), left the house on a sunny morning, and voted in a local election. Within the hour, the World Trade Towers were burning.

    Does this mean I shouldn’t take the day off if there’s an election I plan to vote in? Or is that safe as long as it’s raining?

    Or, maybe, does the mere fact that the towers were destroyed shortly after I voted on a sunny morning say absolutely nothing about cause and effect?

    If we do enough things–and we do many things every week, and there are many millions of us remembering some of those things–it will look as though there are connections. If something is really common, you won’t think you see causality: nobody thinks their child is autistic because they brushed their teeth or because the child was born on an odd-numbered day, for example. And if it’s really rare, few people will think they see causality: I’m not seeing claims that autism was caused by the 9/11 attacks. But in between, we’re not very good at knowing how common events are, or which connections are significant. That’s why we had to invent science and statistics: intuition is good for a lot of things, but it tends to find false positives, because the loss from thinking that a shadow is a tiger is much less than the loss from thinking that a tiger is a harmless shadow.

  397. #402 Rob
    March 17, 2010

    @bensmyson

    After 387 entries, you still really don’t get it. You haven’t done any science. Others have, however, and every study has failed to provide evidence that relate vaccines to autism. Finding an answer to a very serious health issue is not a matter of belief. Watching your son change, as unfortunate as it is, is a personal observation, a single anecdote.

    At to re-route this thread back to the original topic, no matter what financial improprieties committed by Thorsen, his and his collaborator’s science stands. To even suggest otherwise is to say that a bridge will collapse if its builder commits a felony. Andrew Wakefield committed research misconduct. As a consequence, his research was questioned and found to be lacking. His actions were directly related to the conclusions of his research. Thorsen’s are not.

  398. #403 Poogles
    March 17, 2010

    “The ante gets a bit steeper once you start planning things with real children.”

    Exactly. Which is why I’m so incredibly grateful I found Science Blogs before I’ve actually had my children.

  399. #404 bensmyson
    March 17, 2010

    This just in

    http://www.cphpost.dk/component/content/48525.html?task=view

    Rob according to Aarhus University, Thorsen was in charge of appropriating the funds from the CDC to do the MMR and thimerosal. 2 million went missing.

    “Police are currently investigating the disappearance of around 10 million kroner from grants given to it by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, used to help fund the autism project.”

  400. #405 Kristen
    March 17, 2010

    @381
    Callie

    Thank you for your comment. You always make me think, and sometimes even realize that I don’t know as much as I would like to believe I do. You are always so thoughtful and understanding of other’s feelings; I want to be just like you when I grow up. :)

    I do understand referring to a child as ‘lost’ when there is a severe mental and/or physical disability. But I do have a problem with using this word when speaking of autistic children. In all but the most severe cases, autistic children are able to grow, to function a little more each year. It is a delay in development, not an arrest of development. Lost doesn’t seem right to me.

    @386
    bensmyson

    I am sorry to have questioned your parenting. And I appreciate not questioning mine. I did not mean anything towards you personally. I was just reacting to other comments. No excuse. Thank you for sharing your own story with me.

    Thank you for your apology. As I am sure you are well aware; we, as parents tend to get very emotionally involved in these issues. I am just trying to not let my emotions cloud my judgment. There are not answers to some of our biggest questions, this bothers me too.

    The experts on the brain’s development are working on the answers, we just have to wait. That is why I read RI, because it is a good way to get the information without having to read all the studies myself. It would take me days to comprehend some of these things because I have a limited understanding of…well alot of stuff. But Orac points me in the right direction and always links to the original article in case I am skeptical of his explaination.

    Nobody should follow anyone else without question, but Orac is a very smart box of blinking lights.;) I hope you stay here and learn from him. I am not suggesting you follow blindly, but try to listen. And be humble enough to consider that your understanding of matters may be wrong.

  401. #406 Rob
    March 17, 2010

    @bensmyson

    Please, please pay attention to what I wrote. He stole money? What does that have to do with the scientific studies spearheaded by another scientist with whom he collaborated?

    If I publish a paper demonstrating the mechanism of a new anticancer agent, and later I am arrested for assault, does my arrest nullify my discovery? This is a yes or no question.

  402. #407 Joseph
    March 17, 2010

    He is overcoming his problem brain by creating a new way to wire it, on his own much of the time. In some ways he comes across highly intelligent, while other times not any more mature than a 2 year old, but then dont we all.

    That’s an erroneous way to look at it, bensmyson. An autistic person is a different type of person, period. You can’t expect him to develop just like a non-autistic person, except slower. His development is not a way of “overcoming his problem.” It’s just the way he develops. Your normal-but-broken model must be confusing to you, and that’s why you wonder why he sometimes comes across highly intelligent, while at others he’s like a 2 year old.

    Even an autistic adult with a PhD might have trouble understanding basic social things that 2 year olds understand.

    It’s akin to watching a kitten become a grown cat, all the while expecting the cat to become a dog.

  403. #408 bensmyson
    March 17, 2010

    kristen – “I am not suggesting you follow blindly, but try to listen. And be humble enough to consider that your understanding of matters may be wrong.”

    As I have said before, I want to be wrong. Someone had to hold him down when he got his shots, someone had to sign the release/permission. I fight it but I cant help but feel guilty. If it is anything else then there was nothing I could have done to prevent it.

    But I try, I swear I do. Thanks.

    rob- If my aunt had nuts she’d be my uncle.

    “If I publish a paper demonstrating the mechanism of a new anticancer agent, and later I am arrested for assault, does my arrest nullify my discovery?”

    It would depend on who you assaulted and why. Maybe you and your co-conspirator fought over the 2 million dollars you stole and in a drunken brawl you drew the attention of a neighbor that called the police. You were arrested for assault when you smacked your buddy right in front of the cops. At the station when you emptied your pockets a credit card in the name of someone from a drug company with an anticancer drug soon to be on the market. In public records there is a list of items taken from you at booking, in that list is the credit card and the name on the credit card.

    Your co-conspirator stupidly told his mistress all about the scam because he was drunk and pissed. A year later when she wants him to leave his wife she threatens to expose him.

    Ive been in too many courtrooms and read too many police reports, should have used another scenario.

  404. #409 Kristen
    March 17, 2010

    @395
    Joseph

    Even an autistic adult with a PhD might have trouble understanding basic social things that 2 year olds understand

    I was really going to be done with this thread, but I loved this comment. My husband has Asperger’s and he is always asking me what people mean by the things they say. He is one of the most intelligent people I have ever met, but he still answers “why?” when I ask his opinion on my appearance.

  405. #410 maydijo
    March 17, 2010

    Kristen, I love that ancedote. I have friends whose son is moderately autistic. They say, “When someone asks why he’s not normal, we ask, Define normal. He’s fine the way he is. If someone else thinks he’s not normal, it’s their problem.”

    I really do think we get so caught up in this very narrow definition of “normal” that we want to label anything that falls outside of the parameters, to make us feel better: Oh, that person just isn’t ‘normal’ so I don’t have to treat him like he is. Why not broaden our definition of normal instead? There’s nothing ‘wrong’ with someone who is autistic, or has spina bifida, or Down’s syndrome – they are just a different variation on normal.

  406. #411 Rob
    March 17, 2010

    @bensmyson

    Way to go! Avoid the question completely.

    You truly should write fiction, as you have so much practice.

    So fucking wrong. Just wrong, wrong, wrong.

    I think I’ll go teach my cat to knit. Be easier than having a logical, adult conversation with you. I’ll teach organic chemistry to my tomato plants. They would learn faster than you.

    You want say you want to understand, but you make no effort.

  407. #412 bensmyson
    March 17, 2010

    rob- a cat lover. And knits… and you wonder why I make no effort with you, seriously dude come-on. .

  408. #413 Rob
    March 17, 2010

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. How can you continually get it so damned wrong?

  409. #414 Calli Arcale
    March 17, 2010

    Adding to what Joseph and Kristen said, my uncle was fortunate enough to attend a talk given by Temple Grandin here in the Twin Cities recently. She’s utterly brilliant — no question whatsoever. Yet when a cell phone went off in the middle of the lecture, she stopped, and had to start over from the beginning. It had interrupted her train of thought at a crucial moment.

    Joseph, regarding bensmyson’s language pertaining to their son overcoming his handicap — again, I think we’re quibbling too much about the language. The Paralympics just completed; you hear lots of people talking about double amputee skiiers who have overcome their handicap. Nobody’s seriously suggestingn they’ve grown new limbs; rather, they’re saying they’ve found a way to be successful in spite of the handicap, and I think that’s what bensmyson means here.

    That said, your kitten turning into a dog analogy is not entirely accurate. Children *do* come off the autism spectrum from time to time, often enough that in some cases it is reasonable to suppose it might happen in a particular case. (It is by no means universal; in most cases, being autistic is something lifelong, and even in those who drop off the spectrum, they likely retain the underlying learning issues that led to their delays in the first place. They’ve just caught up.)

    One thing I’d like to say to bensmyson that I forgot about earlier — it’s awesome to think how an autistic child’s brain rewires itself, but the same thing happens in normal childrens’ brains. In fact, in a normal child, it appears to happen more than in autistics. (One of the leading theories of autism is that it’s a defect in how the brain organizes itself, though the reason for the defect is less clear, and the theory is not universally accepted yet, so take it for what it’s worth.) All children rewire their brains constantly. (So do adults, though nowhere near as dramatically.) It’s pretty cool.

  410. #415 bensmyson
    March 18, 2010

    Calli – Youre right, my son’s recovery is not like growing a new limb, it is more like learning to do without. When my son recovers it wont be like he is over the flu or a bad cold. I know there will be a lifetime of residue, it was a brain injury, it was bad.

    Neuroplasticity, fascinating stuff.

  411. #416 JohnV
    March 18, 2010

    “I can only relate to personal belief and my own science”

    To paraphrase Daniel Patrick Moynahan:

    You are entitled to your own beliefs but you are not entitled to your own science.

  412. #417 bensmyson
    March 18, 2010

    Their Own Worst Enemies

    Why scientists are losing the PR wars.
    Published Mar 18, 2010
    From the magazine issue dated Mar 29, 2010

    “Another factor is that the ideas of the Reformation—no intermediaries between people and God; anyone can read the Bible and know the truth as well as a theologian—inform the American character more strongly than they do that of many other nations. “It’s the idea that everyone has equal access to the divine,” says Harper. That has been extended to the belief that anyone with an Internet connection can know as much about climate or evolution as an expert. Finally, Americans carry in their bones the country’s history of being populated by emigrants fed up with hierarchy. It is the American way to distrust those who set themselves up—even justifiably—as authorities. Presto: climate backlash.

    One new factor is also at work: the growing belief in the wisdom of crowds (Wikis, polling the audience on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire). If tweeting for advice on the best route somewhere yields the right answer, Americans seem to have decided, it doesn’t take any special expertise to pick apart evolutionary biology or climate science. My final hypothesis: the Great Recession was caused by the smartest guys in the room saying, trust us, we understand how credit default swaps work, and they’re great. No wonder so many Americans have decided that experts are idiots.”

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/235084

  413. #418 Rob
    March 18, 2010

    @bensmyson

    The only thing I can say about that article is that I am glad I do not have children, because the world I would have left them is incredibly fucked. Good luck with that, ’cause you will need it. I’ll be dead.

  414. #419 Rob
    March 18, 2010

    I mean, hasn’t global warming been totally debunked? I read on the internet that it had. Don’t those stolen email prove that it is a giant hoax on the part of scientists, who were only in it for the money?

  415. #420 susie
    March 18, 2010

    FYI, all you self-important, non-educated people who say there cannot be a link between vaccines and the current autism epidemic:

    1) Autism’s prevalance has went from 1:10,000 to 1:100. This increase has correlates EXACTLY with the increase in vaccines.

    2) There is no way that people are just better at diagnosing autism today than 50 years ago. The symptoms are too obvious.

    3) Science has already conceded that there is no such thing as a genetic epidemic. Although there are genetic pre-dispositions that contribute to the susceptibility to autism, the TRIGGER is environmental. Although environments can vary from location to lacation, the most prevalant and biggest trigger that occurs from coast to coast of this country is childhood vaccines.

    4) No Study — I repeat — NO STUDY has EVER been done that compares the vaccinated children to unvaccinated.

    5) If you people are all so interested in the TRUTH — then, please — bring on the study that compares vaccinated to unvaccinated populations. Until that study is done, you are just blathering on about epidemiological studies that are designed and paid for by the vaccine industry and the government — both of whom have a lot to lose if vaccines are implicated in the autism epidemic.

    6) Another major deficit that I see unaddressed by those of you who make claim vaccine safety has “been studied” is the fact that the studies you are talking about look only at SINGLE vaccines. NONE of the studies explore the synergistic (multiplied) toxic effect that multiple vaccines in a single visit have. NO long term studies address the consequences of the current experimental CDC vaccine schedule.

    7) There are literally THOUSANDS of children who’ve received the diagnosis of “autism” who have been recovered from that diagnosis using a protocol that treats VACCINE INJURY. These protocols have been developed by dedicated researchers and doctors, most of whom became active in developing vaccine recovery protocols when their own children were injured by vaccines. OPEN YOUR EYES PEOPLE — the truth is out there for all to see.

    8) The above are all facts — here’s my opinion. What is so noble about instituting a one-size-fits all vaccine schedule that causes injury and death to a sizable percentage of the population? Is it asking too much for parents to expect that the safety of these vaccines be studied and thoroughly verified? So, I am proudly ANTI-VAX until the studies that need to be done are done. Anyone who says these studies will show nothing has nothing to lose, so lets get on with it. What are you so afraid of??????????

    9) And a last comment as someone who believes that I have the right to say what gets injected into my child. If I choose not to vaccinate – I am NOT endangering your child. If you believe vaccines truely are effective in preventing disease, then your vaccinated child is protected. And, my unvaccinated child stands a much lower chance of developing autoimmune diseases, cancer, social anxiety and anxiety disorders, learning disabilities, ADHD, OCD, autism, asperberger’s — all these are epidemic since our stupid, greased government and our laxy medical community has blindly and stupidly increased the vaccines given to our children.

    To benmyson — carry on, but don’t waste your time on the idiots here who are not interested in ALL THE SCIENCE.

  416. #421 JohnV
    March 18, 2010

    Susie is totally correct. Why, just check out all the sources she provided for her statements. There aren’t any! As we all know, sources are a mere hindrance for those interested in THE SCIENCE.

  417. #422 Chris
    March 18, 2010

    susie:

    There are literally THOUSANDS of children who’ve received the diagnosis of “autism” who have been recovered from that diagnosis using a protocol that treats VACCINE INJURY.

    Evidence?

    She continues:

    The above are all facts — here’s my opinion.

    Wrong. All it was a regurgitation of the misinformation found on certain websites. What we have been asking for years is actual documentation for those claims, and all we get is the same cut and paste similar to what you posted.

  418. #423 Rob
    March 18, 2010

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. Susie, how can you be so wrong? Every single statement, completely wrong. WRONG!

  419. #424 not susie
    March 18, 2010

    I call Poe on Susie. Absolutely fantastic parody of an anti-vaxer. Really good job, you almost had me there. I especially love how you really took a dig at their stupid belief that there is an autism epidemic. Great!

  420. #425 Scott
    March 18, 2010

    1) Autism’s prevalance has went from 1:10,000 to 1:100.

    False. Diagnoses have so increased; this does not necessarily imply an increase in actual prevalence.

    This increase has correlates EXACTLY with the increase in vaccines.

    Also false. Were this true, changes in the vaccine schedule would be mimicked by changes in the rate of autism diagnoses. There is no such correlation. They are simply two trends individually correlated with time.

    2) There is no way that people are just better at diagnosing autism today than 50 years ago. The symptoms are too obvious.

    And again, we have a complete falsehood. Even obvious symptoms may be diagnosed as something else (e.g. mental retardation).

    3) Science has already conceded that there is no such thing as a genetic epidemic.

    Presumption of false point #1.

    Although there are genetic pre-dispositions that contribute to the susceptibility to autism, the TRIGGER is environmental. Although environments can vary from location to lacation, the most prevalant and biggest trigger that occurs from coast to coast of this country is childhood vaccines.

    False. TV, the Internet, cell phones, etc. are equally prevalent, if not more so. And equally correlated.

    4) No Study — I repeat — NO STUDY has EVER been done that compares the vaccinated children to unvaccinated.

    Generation Rescue actually did one, and found that vaccinated children were LESS likely to be autistic.

    5) If you people are all so interested in the TRUTH — then, please — bring on the study that compares vaccinated to unvaccinated populations. Until that study is done, you are just blathering on about epidemiological studies that are designed and paid for by the vaccine industry and the government — both of whom have a lot to lose if vaccines are implicated in the autism epidemic.

    The study you describe is grossly unethical, as it would leave one arm of the study unprotected from vaccine-preventable disease. Ever hear of the Tuskegee syphilis study? This would be worse.

    6) Another major deficit that I see unaddressed by those of you who make claim vaccine safety has “been studied” is the fact that the studies you are talking about look only at SINGLE vaccines. NONE of the studies explore the synergistic (multiplied) toxic effect that multiple vaccines in a single visit have. NO long term studies address the consequences of the current experimental CDC vaccine schedule.

    False. All new vaccines are studied in the context of the current vaccination schedule.

    7) There are literally THOUSANDS of children who’ve received the diagnosis of “autism” who have been recovered from that diagnosis using a protocol that treats VACCINE INJURY. These protocols have been developed by dedicated researchers and doctors, most of whom became active in developing vaccine recovery protocols when their own children were injured by vaccines. OPEN YOUR EYES PEOPLE — the truth is out there for all to see.

    There are also thousands that have recovered from the diagnosis without such protocols, and no evidence that the protocols were responsible in the cases where they were used. And none of the protocols you mention actually treat “vaccine injury”; they’re simply whatever the quack du jour decided to make up.

    8) The above are all facts — here’s my opinion.

    Not a single one of your claimed “facts” actually bears any resemblance to reality.

    What is so noble about instituting a one-size-fits all vaccine schedule that causes injury and death to a sizable percentage of the population?

    There is no “one-size-fits-all” schedule; it is routinely adjusted to the needs of the individual (e.g. for allergies to particular components). And there is no evidence of injury or death to any percentage of the population that could reasonably be described as “sizable.”

    Is it asking too much for parents to expect that the safety of these vaccines be studied and thoroughly verified?

    Not at all. That’s why this was all done long ago.

    So, I am proudly ANTI-VAX until the studies that need to be done are done.

    So, you are no pro-vaccine, as said studies have been done over and over again?

    Anyone who says these studies will show nothing has nothing to lose, so lets get on with it. What are you so afraid of??????????

    Indeed, why are you so afraid of admitting facts?

    9) And a last comment as someone who believes that I have the right to say what gets injected into my child. If I choose not to vaccinate – I am NOT endangering your child. If you believe vaccines truely are effective in preventing disease, then your vaccinated child is protected.

    False. Vaccines are not 100% effective, so it is unquestionably true that your choice puts my child at risk.

    And, my unvaccinated child stands a much lower chance of developing autoimmune diseases, cancer, social anxiety and anxiety disorders, learning disabilities, ADHD, OCD, autism, asperberger’s

    No, actually he or she doesn’t.

  421. #426 Chris
    March 18, 2010

    Scott:

    The study you describe is grossly unethical, as it would leave one arm of the study unprotected from vaccine-preventable disease. Ever hear of the Tuskegee syphilis study? This would be worse.

    What is often cited along with the Tuskegee study is what happened at Willowbrook. That is where disabled children were deliberately infected to test the effectiveness of a new vaccine. A summery here.

  422. #427 Calli Arcale
    March 18, 2010

    Yikes; that’s a nasty, nasty study. In a tangential way, one could argue that those children developed hepatitis as a result of autism, and that those who were vaccinated, were vaccinated because they were autistic, rather than the reverse which is usually claimed.

    bensmyson @ 405:
    Interesting article. I disagree with much of what he says; I don’t think she really understands the historical milieu (and, indeed, content) of the Reformation, for instance, a point aptly demonstrated when she reduces it to an integral part in the American experience, and rather laughably claims it had more influence on the American character than that of any other country. But I’ll just respond directly to one of her points in the bit that you quoted:

    My final hypothesis: the Great Recession was caused by the smartest guys in the room saying, trust us, we understand how credit default swaps work, and they’re great. No wonder so many Americans have decided that experts are idiots.

    The Great Recession (I’m not sure that’s a good name for it; I think it’s probably going to turn out to be a full-on Depression) wasn’t caused by the smartest guys in the room. It was caused by the sneakiest, connivingest guys in the room, which is an entirely different kettle of fish. The players at the center of it were, for various motivations, making choices motivated by the promise of easy, short-term returns, while entirely disregarding long-term outlooks. A subprime ARM loan only looks good (to either party) in the short-term; it’s terrible in the long-term for all concerned. I believe this same problem also afflicts the industrial machine of America, and is why, with a few exceptions, we’ve had a real dearth of innovation in the past decade. The executives don’t care about the 5-year outlook. Just the 6-month, and sometimes can’t even look past their quarterly report.

  423. #428 Chris
    March 18, 2010

    That same researcher also used Willowbrook to study measles vaccines. Doing some searches on Willowbrook and studies I found lots of material on ethics in clinical studies, including this book: The Ethical Conduct of Clinical Research Involving Children.

  424. #429 Scott
    March 18, 2010

    A subprime ARM loan only looks good (to either party) in the short-term; it’s terrible in the long-term for all concerned.

    If that were fully true, it would have reduced the problem a good deal. But for the banks offering and securitizing the loans, short-term was all there was – when the borrower couldn’t pay up years down the line, it wasn’t their problem because they’d sold the mortgage to somebody else. So rather than being terrible in the long-term for them, it was just as profitable long-term as short-term.

    Then the buyers of the securitized loans woke up to how bad of a deal they were getting, stopped buying, and all of a sudden the long-term applied to the banks too.

  425. #430 susie
    March 18, 2010

    Not Susie:

    good comeback when confronted by too many inconvenient truths.

    Let me know when that vaccinated vs nonvaccinated study gets done, moron.

  426. #431 Jen in TX
    March 18, 2010

    “Let me know when that vaccinated vs nonvaccinated study gets done, moron.”

    Hmmm…I’ve done that study. One of my boys is fully vaccinated, and the other completely unvaccinated. The result: Two autistic boys.

  427. #432 Todd W.
    March 18, 2010

    @susie

    Let me know when that vaccinated vs nonvaccinated study gets done

    Scott already addressed this. Generation Rescue did a phone survey and found that vaccinated individuals had less risk of autism than those who were not vaccinated or only partially vaccinated.

    If you meant, instead, a prospective, randomized controlled trial, then, as Scott also already pointed out, such a study would be grossly unethical. Please do some research into human subjects research and ethics protections. Review the Tuskegee syphilis study, read the Belmont Report and the Nuremberg Code. In fact, here is a link to the Office for Human Research Protections. Much of the information you should read can be found there.

  428. #433 Calli Arcale
    March 18, 2010

    Scott — that’s what the banks thought, yes, that they could pawn the ARMs off to other lenders. But it didn’t work out that way. The problem was the sheer volume of them. You can get away with packaging a few stinky loans in a pile of good ones, but if there are a lot of stinky loans, somebody’s going to be insolvent pretty soon, and because of all the buying and selling of investment portfolios in the financial world, when one large institution goes insolvent, it affects everyone. So in the long term, these loans were NOT good for the banks who first issued them, and if anybody had been thinking far enough ahead, they would have forseen that. (And some did, but they weren’t listened to. The wisdom of the masses — or at least the hopes and dreams of the masses — overruled them.)

  429. #434 Chris
    March 18, 2010

    susie:

    Let me know when that vaccinated vs nonvaccinated study gets done, moron.

    As I said, those studies were done over several years at the Willowbrook Institution. I even posted a link to the complete paper of the measles study done on those disabled children. It is quite chilling. Maybe you missed it because you did not know that the blue letters indicate links. Here it is again:
    http://ajph.aphapublications.org/cgi/reprint/52/Suppl_2/16.pdf

    Also, at about the same time there were large scale polio vaccine studies where bunches of children were vaccinated, and others were not. You can read about them in the this book: http://www.amazon.com/Polio-American-David-M-Oshinsky/dp/0195307143

    In the 1970s there was a big hullabaloo over the ethics of those studies, especially with the treatment of disabled children. The cry for the type of study from Handley, Blaxill and friends goes against all of the clinical ethics guidelines hashed out over those discussions (I have a link to a book about that above). So please try to explain very carefully why withholding actual medical care from a large swath of children is a good idea.

  430. #435 susie
    March 18, 2010

    Not Susie:

    The medical establishment has already admitted that there is an autism epidemic. Don’t try to minimize how serious this is by outright lieing.

  431. #436 Travis
    March 18, 2010

    susie,

    The medical establishment has already admitted that there is an autism epidemic. Don’t try to minimize how serious this is by outright lieing.

    No they have not.

    This has been addressed here, on SBM, and many other places over and over. It is not at all well established there is an autism epidemic, only an apparent one.

  432. #437 Chris
    March 18, 2010

    susie, argument by assertion does not work here. Please try to provide some actual evidence.

    Also, explain why it is ethical to have a large number of children vulnerable to diseases like pertussis and measles (which are coming back) for this study that you propose? Have Blaxill and Handley offered up any kind of funding for any of those studies?

  433. #438 Rob
    March 18, 2010

    Guys, easy.

    Susie knows what she believes is true because she believes what she believes.

    I believe it is called a tautology.

    What Susie believes to be true is true because she believes it.

    true belief = believe true

  434. #439 susie
    March 18, 2010

    As I’ve pointed out, there already IS a big and growing population of kids who are not vaccinated, so the study could easily be done without asking anyone to give up their vaccines, which Scott already admitteded don’t work anyway.

    The problem is that the government and the pharmaceutical industry know that vaccines cause autoimmune disorders and autistic spectrum disorders and they will not do such a study because they know what it will show. That is obvious and if you people had a shred of objectivity, you could see that. And if you had a shred of interest in a truely objective, independant study finally putting the issue to rest, you’d agree that a study of vaccinated vs non-vaccinated should be done.

    Any of you people read the Simpsonwood transcript? The hearings that were done in the US Congress regarding mercury in vaccines? (btw, mercury is not the only problem with vaccines and it has NOT been removed from all the vaccines).

    The denial about harm caused by vaccines mirrors the arrogance and obtuseness we witnessed from the medical establishment about women’s hormone replacement therapy causing cancer. It only took 50 years for the medical establishment to come clean on that one. History repeats itself.

  435. #440 Rob
    March 18, 2010

    Susie,

    Why don’t you spend your time working to raise money for autism research? That way, you would be making a contribution to solving the problem. There are many independent agencies, both public and private, that support autism research, and the private, non-profits could use more funding. I know my university is trying to set up a very large, comprehensive research institute to study all aspects of autism. The faculty involved number more than 80 and represent eight different colleges and departments, including psychology, chemistry, pharmacy, medicine, etc. We can’t get funding from the state to get the program off the ground. Perhaps a well-funded private foundation could provide the seed money. Between the time you and bensmyson spend on these boards achieving nothing, you could lead efforts to do some real research.

  436. #441 Todd W.
    March 18, 2010

    @susie

    there already IS a big and growing population of kids who are not vaccinated, so the study could easily be done without asking anyone to give up their vaccines

    And how do you propose to control for confounding variables, like socioeconomic status, lifestyle, etc.? In order to reduce those confounders, it would be necessary to randomize the population to either receive vaccine or to not receive vaccine. Assuming, for the moment, that an IRB would actually approved that kind of study, you are going to have problems with recruiting enough subjects. Those who are afraid of vaccines would not want to take the risk that their kid might get a vaccine. Those who are more science-savvy and understand the benefits from vaccines and the risks from not vaccinating would likely be unwilling to have their kids end up in the non-vaccinated group.

    The problem is that the government and the pharmaceutical industry know that vaccines cause autoimmune disorders and autistic spectrum disorders and they will not do such a study because they know what it will show.

    Citation, please.

  437. #442 JohnV
    March 18, 2010

    Susie:

    “And if you had a shred of interest in a truely objective, independant study finally putting the issue to rest, you’d agree that a study of vaccinated vs non-vaccinated should be done.”

    And if you had a shred of ethics and scientific knowledge, you’d understand why a study of vaccinated vs non-vaccinated can’t be done.

  438. #443 bensmyson
    March 18, 2010

    So when drug companies do clinical trials for say, cancer. And one cancer victim gets the drug, the other one doesnt? He gets a placebo? OK maybe they dont do that for cancer, let’s pick a study on anti-psychotics for children under 12 or some antibiotic for ear infections, they dose some and others dont get dosed?

    Wait, do they actually do clinical drug trials on children? If not then what do they call prescribing kids untested drugs, off label or something right?

    Do they run tests on kids with vaccines? Or just give it to them off label hoping that by keeping a watchful eye on those given the shots will catch the bad vaccines before it injures … injures… too many? How many is too many?

    Seriously is it ethical to experiment on kids? Kids from Africa, Sudan, Harlem, Mexico, anywhere?

  439. #444 Todd W.
    March 18, 2010

    @bensmyson

    And one cancer victim gets the drug, the other one doesnt? He gets a placebo?

    In a cancer clinical trial, what will most likely happen is that both groups will get standard of care and one group will get the investigational new drug, while the other will get a placebo.

    do they actually do clinical drug trials on children?

    Yes, they do. And there are specific ethical guidelines and regulations that apply to children.

    Do they run tests on kids with vaccines?

    Again, yes, they do. Any new vaccine is tested in the population for which it is intended. For new vaccines, since the efficacy is not yet known, they can give it to one group, but not the other.

    For more on human subjects research, please visit the web site for the Office of Human Research Protections.

  440. #445 susie
    March 18, 2010

    John V
    Please clarify why the study “can’t” be done. There are plenty of unvaccinated kids around to compare to the sickly vaccinated ones.

    Rob:
    Since you’re in research, I suggest you take a good hard look in the mirror and ask yourself if the scientific community is being intellectually honest with itself. Its not my job to raise money to support lazy researchers who sit around and poo-poo the merits of a simple, straight forward study like comparing vaccinated vs non-vaccinated kids.

  441. #446 Rob
    March 18, 2010

    @bensmyson

    Cancer trials only test new treatment regimens against existing regimens. Not giving a drug to a person with cancer is somewhat unethical. This is a truly stupid question, and undoubtedly one you already knew the answer to.

    Yes, children must be in clinical trials if the drug will be prescribed for children. This has been a big problem in the past, and the FDA has largely fixed it.

    http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm048699.htm

    Would have taken you 10 seconds to find this, using Google.

    Do you even know what the fuck “off-label” means? Obviously not. Off-label prescribing is when when drugs are prescribed by a doctor for an indication for which the drug is not approved.

    Yes it is ethical to experiment on children. Usually we get them by trolling slums in Mexico City, Calcutta, or other large metropolitan area where people have brown skin.

  442. #447 JohnV
    March 18, 2010

    Because its unethical. It is unethical to purposefully leave individuals susceptible to disease particularly so in a double blind study.

    Why does it have to be double blind? Your phrasing (“There are plenty of unvaccinated kids around to compare to the sickly vaccinated ones.”) is why.

    The breakdown of herd immunity also increases the risk for all people, including those of us who are vaccinated. So some properly done trial that purposefully leaves people susceptible threatens the health and well being of people who aren’t involved in the fight against vaccines.

    And since its properly done, the rest of us don’t even know who to avoid :p

  443. #448 Calli Arcale
    March 18, 2010

    It is ethical to experiment on kids, but in a much narrower set of circumstances than adults. It’s a serious problem, because the ethical problems inherent in testing in children mean that a lot of drugs are never tested in children except via aftermarket surveillance. Some certainly are, because they can’t be labeled for children until they’ve been proven in children. But there are an awful lot of lifesaving medications that are not tested in children.

    This is also true of medical devices, BTW, and related to it is a shortage of medical equipment for very small patients. My brother (the one on the spectrum) was injured as a result of the endotracheal tube being too large, but it’s hard to get an ET tube small enough for a four-month-old baby. Harder still for preemies, and sometimes I wonder if it could be quantified, how much harm this lack causes, and whether or not it could be corrected. (Part of the problem there is also that it may not be financially practical for a company to make things for infants, since very few will need them. Will the sales make back the production cost?)

    And yes, if it’s a drug that hasn’t been tested in children, prescribing it to children is offlabel. I think you once said you gave your son Prevacid as an infant. That’s worthwhile; having battled GERD all my life, I can attest that it’s awful, and you don’t want to deal with the scarring and cancer risks associated with untreated reflux. But AFAIK, it has not had a pediatric clinical trial, and it is not approved for use in infants. In fact, I think that’s true of *all* acid reducing drugs (the major risk of which is that they can impair calcium absorption, which is a problem for growing bodies; solution is fairly simple — increase dietary calcium). So there’s an example of an offlabel use of a drug which, ironically, could really benefit a lot of infants. (Reflux is more common in infants than adults.)

    Vaccines are tested in children; they are considered safe enough that it’s not a problem, and it’s expected that the kids are getting vaccines anyway, so adding an experimental vaccine shouldn’t be a big problem. They test against a placebo injection, so in that sense, it is a vax versus unvax study — but crucially, they are not studying outcomes during actual exposure to the pathogen, which is what would be an ethical nightmare, but would be the ultimate test of how well the vaccine does what it is intended to do (protect the individual from a disease). As a proxy for that, they test rates of seroconversion — how well does the vaccine produce the desired immune response? (They also test safety — is the vaccine tolerated?) What they don’t test clinically is whether the intended immune response will actually protect the patient; that’s determined in other ways, since nobody wants to deliberately expose people to disease.

    Well, mostly nobody. There are some infamous examples to the contrary, as noted above.

  444. #449 Scott
    March 18, 2010

    without asking anyone to give up their vaccines, which Scott already admitteded don’t work anyway.

    Hello, liar. “Not 100% effective” is not “don’t work.” So why should anyone bother listening to anything you say, since you’ve now proven yourself willing to tell any lies you happen to feel like?

  445. #450 JohnV
    March 18, 2010

    “Seriously is it ethical to experiment on kids? Kids from Africa, Sudan, Harlem, Mexico, anywhere?”

    Careful, you’re treading into Sid Offit “who cares if brown skinned people die” territory. I point that out not because I think you feel that way (I have no idea and my default opinion on people is that they don’t harbor such feelings) but because one of the other anti-vaccine people who posts here does feel that way.

  446. #451 bensmyson
    March 18, 2010

    Thanks Calli. Im sure there are so many safe guards (my sister is a researcher in the pharma clinical trials world) in place but surely there are some complications that would unavoidably expose a child to a serious adverse reaction. When something like this occurs do they stop the trial for everyone or notify parents and let them choose to opt out?

    Are parents of children paid for these studies?

    It would be hard for me to be one of the first to “try” something that has a potential for serious harm.

    Thanks again.

  447. #452 Calli Arcale
    March 18, 2010

    Ack, hit submit too soon.

    bensmyson, there are several ways that new drugs get tested in clinical trials, whether the subjects are children or adults.

    1) The placebo controlled trial. This is the best known. One half, randomly assigned, gets the experimental treatment. The other gets a placebo. It’s much easier to control for confounders, but there are problems. One is that some drugs are too obvious; if the patient can tell whether or not they got the placebo, then it’s not much of a placebo. Another is an ethical issue — it’s not fair to withhold a lifesaving treatment that you think will help from someone who needs it. So if you’re testing a new bronchodialator, you don’t give half of the asthmatics a fake inhaler.

    2) The comparison to standard treatment. This is what you’d do in my hypothetical bronchodialator example. Half of them get albuterol, and half of them get your new drug, randomly assigned. If your change is only a tweak (say, a new delivery system), then this is actually better than the placebo controlled trial, because it tells you exactly what you want to know — does it work better than the old stuff? The big drawback is the confounders, especially if the two treatments turn out to be close in effectiveness, or if the old one was never tested against a placebo.

    Some vaccine trials do #2, especially when it’s an improvement to an old vaccine. They want to know if the patients getting the new vaccine have a better outcome than patients getting the old one. That one’s pretty safe, ethically speaking. The old one has already been established to be effective, so nobody is being withheld treatment.

  448. #453 susie
    March 18, 2010

    John V:
    I still don’t see why you could not do a study looking at the overall health of the vaccinated vs unvaccinated kids. Until this is done, the CDC and the pharaceutical industry are only going to see higher and higher numbers of people who will not vaccinate due to what this board generally refers to as the negative PR and information being put out there by “AntiVaxers”.

    So, I still am asking why this cannot be done? Why doesn’t our CDC want to show all these “anti-vax” kooks how wrong they are? Its because they know the truth and they don’t want to be responsible. Read the Simpsonwood transcripts — its all right there — right down to the doctor who left the conference to urgently call his son whose wife was giving birth to tell her not to vaccinate.

    Regarding your general fear of contracting measles or whooping cough, I suggest you go buy yourself a bubble. You’re even more paranoid than an anti-vaxer / PRO – INFORMED CONSENT person like me.

  449. #454 Vicki
    March 18, 2010

    Bensmyson–

    If there is no treatment known to be useful for a cancer, yes, one group gets the new drug and the other gets a placebo. When there is a drug but it only works part of the time, often the study will compare the existing drug (or best of several existing drugs) with the proposed new drug. This approach may not be perfect, but it’s the best we have: the alternative would be to give people untested drugs that might have harmful side effects, and hope that they also did some good.

    And no, the ethics of testing drugs on kids in Harlem or Sudan are no different than the ethics of testing them on kids in a rich white suburb. Medicine and science haven’t always realized that, unfortunately; look up the Tuskegee syphilis study, if you don’t already know that story. That’s one of the things that’s going on when people here point out the problems with doing a vaccinated/unvaccinated study: just because kids are from poor families doesn’t mean you can use them as the untreated (or vaccinated, if you think that’s net harmful) group.

  450. #455 Calli Arcale
    March 18, 2010

    bensmyson @ 438:

    Thanks Calli. Im sure there are so many safe guards (my sister is a researcher in the pharma clinical trials world) in place but surely there are some complications that would unavoidably expose a child to a serious adverse reaction. When something like this occurs do they stop the trial for everyone or notify parents and let them choose to opt out?

    Are parents of children paid for these studies?

    It would be hard for me to be one of the first to “try” something that has a potential for serious harm.

    Thanks again.

    I believe that some clinical trials do indeed pay a stipend, but it is supposed to be small, since for ethical reasons, they should be in it for altruistic purposes. (Note, however, that it’s hard to achieve that goal. A great many people enroll in clinical trials not for money but for the free medical care that comes with it, and in hopes of actually getting the study medication and getting better.)

    What happens if there is an adverse reaction? Well, first of all, in all trials, any patient (or patient’s guardian) has the right to back out at any time, for any reason at all. If you read a few papers from these trials, you may notice that they document how many people actually complete the trial. It is invariably smaller than the number they started with. People drop out for all kinds of reasons. They got better. They got fed up with seeing the doctor regularly for bloodwork or whatever was needed to evaluate the drug’s performance. They didn’t feel like they were getting better. Their employer had them move to another state. They got sick after taking the medicine and don’t want to take any more.

    Secondly, if there are serious adverse effects definitely tied to the study medication, the trial will be halted entirely. That will also happen if there is insufficient evidence of people getting better early in the trial — and sometimes also if there is overwhelming evidence that it is working. At the start of the trial, the researchers will need to declare threshholds at which the study will be halted, and an ethics review board has to sign off on that. They are then bound by those limits.

    Note: this is all what I’ve gleaned from reading Respectful Insolence. Orac is a medical researcher himself, and he’s shared this sort of information. I find it fascinating.

  451. #456 susie
    March 18, 2010

    scott:

    “Not 100% effective” — I suppose doctors are telling this to parents when they are guilting and pressuring them to comply with an untested, overly aggressive vaccine schedule? No, they are NOT.

    If doctors did tell the parents that the vaccines don’t always confer immunity, would they tell them this before or after they have then sign the waiver promising not to sue if their kid is injured or has adverse side effects from the vaccine?

    Do you think that doctors should read and understand what the vaccine insert says — I’m just curious? Do you think parents have the right to understand what’s in that insert?

  452. #457 Chris
    March 18, 2010

    One word for susie: Willowbrook.

  453. #458 maydijo
    March 18, 2010

    Ah, this idea that parents aren’t told about the risks. Does that actually ever happen? When my children were born, when I took them home from hospital, I took with me a booklet that listed all of the vaccines, all of the associated risks of vaccines, and all of the associated risks of actually catching the disease. Every time I’ve taken my kids in for their vaccines – no matter where I take them, and I don’t always take them to the same place/person – the nurse has gone over it all with me again – the risks of the vaccine, the risks of the disease, etc. I have left every single appointment with a little fact-sheet that tells me what vaccines my child recieved, where they were injected, and what adverse symptoms to look for (both mild and major). And every single time I have left with the nurse saying, “If you have any worries at all, don’t hesitate to call me on this number.” You seriously expect me to believe that there are a whole bunch of medical professionals who don’t take these precautions? Any time you’re given any treatment and not informed of the associated risks that’s a pretty serious breach of ethics that can result in pretty serious sanctions. And I’m supposed to believe there are that many doctors and nurses who don’t care about their patients, careers, insurance rates, etc?

    Either you’re flat-out lying or you’re going to some really crappy doctors and nurses.

  454. #459 maydijo
    March 18, 2010

    And – FWIW – where I live, at least, anyone can get you to sign anything at all, but that doesn’t mean it’ll stand up in court. If there is real negligence, it doesn’t matter if you signed 100 pieces of paper, you can still sue.

    Keep in mind I said “real negligence”. That would mean things like, the nurse says she’s going to give your child MMR and instead injects her with someone else’s blood. That wouldn’t mean the nurse says she’s going to give your child MMR vaccine, she gives your child MMR vaccine, and your child is one of the very slim minority that actually has an adverse reaction. (Because yes, it happens – which is even more reason for the rest of us to be vigilant with our vaccinations, because I, for one, would feel absolutely crappy if I was the reason my friend’s child, who can’t get vaccinations because of adverse reaction, got the measles because I was too selfish to take my child in for an MMR shot.)

  455. #460 Travis
    March 18, 2010

    maydijo, I agree, I wonder who these people’s doctors and nurses are. The last time I got a vaccine was this past fall, for H1N1, at the hospital I work at. When I arrived at the clinic I was given a form indicating what side effects could occur, what to look out for, who should or should not get the vaccine and what version of the vaccine etc. I was required to sign that I had indeed read this. The nurse reiterated the contents of it and I got it. Maybe there are doctors and nurses that just jab you but I have not seen them.

  456. #461 Rob
    March 18, 2010

    “Why doesn’t our CDC want to show all these “anti-vax” kooks how wrong they are?”

    Because they don’t care.

    Because they are wrong.

  457. #462 Rob
    March 18, 2010

    @bensmyson

    Don’t worry, they get them kids fur testin’ from Mexico City or Calcutta or somewhere. Only brown kids, none of them white kids liken your’uns.

  458. #463 susie
    March 18, 2010

    Rob
    Only time will tell who’s right and who’s wrong about our experimental vaccine schedule, as no studies have been done that study the cumulative effect of vaccines or that compare the health of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated populations.

    But, I do agree that you are right about one thing, the CDC doesn’t care about the kids who have vaccine injury, neither does the pharmaceutical establishment, nor the government. The truth is something they are going out of their way to cover up.

  459. #464 Chris
    March 18, 2010

    Willowbrook

  460. #465 Rob
    March 18, 2010

    Wrong, Susie. You lose.

    Why would anyone set out to prove someone wrong? That is not how science works, if you’ve ever had any experience with the discipline. Wrong is wrong.

    Time always tells. Like Copernicus, et al. Science always discovers what is correct and what is falacious. Truth is irrelevant. Science does not address truth, it addresses what is true and what is false. There is a difference, I’m sure you realize.

    “Admire those who seek the truth, beware those who find it.”

    André Gide, Nobel Laureat for Literature

  461. #466 Rob
    March 18, 2010

    Oh, shoot.

    Forget to tell you. Literature is that writin’ stuff. You know, lots of words on the page, no pitures. Damn, that shore is borin’. Kind of like readin’ that science stuff. Equations and them tables, damn hard to make it through the press release, let alone the darned science stuff. I shore don’t know why them scientistical guys can’t write in plain speakin’. Much easier just to skip the tuff stuff. Ain’t no use to us regular folk. We just know what we’all know. Damn those friggin’ intellectualisictic types. Sorry, I don’t type so good.

  462. #467 bensmyson
    March 18, 2010

    446 maydijo- “You seriously expect me to believe that there are a whole bunch of medical professionals who don’t take these precautions? ”

    At least one that I know of didnt. We got handed a video by Paul Offitt. Not a DVD, a video cassette. I still havent seen it.

    Rob- “Science always discovers what is correct and what is falacious.”

    (kinda)

    Early in the 1900s scientists disagreed about the cause of pellagra, a prominent disease in rural southern America. Some contended it was a dietary deficiency, others said it was caused by a germ. Each theory led to a different course of public action. An independent commission was established to resolve the debate scientifically. Its head was Charles Davenport, director of the prestigious Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Ultimately, the commission concluded that pellagra was, instead, genetic. In retrospect, we can see Davenport’s biases. He was a racist and eugenicist, who saw the problem of the poor as their own shortcomings, not caused by social conditions. The “scientific” conclusion was wrong, yet it remained the basis for policy for many years. Later, Joseph Goldberger identified pellagra as a vitamin deficiency. Davenport’s evidence seemed to support his theory because persons in the same family tended to share the same impoverished diet.

    Errors in scientific claims can remain for decades.

    Davenport also exercised great influence in conceiving intelligence (as measured by IQ) as hereditary. Social implications included immigration and eugenic social control of reproductive rights. Should “feeble-minded” persons be prevented from having children, based on the scientific claim that they would only produce more “feeble minded” to burden society? Were individuals from certain geographical regions or races inherently inferior mentally, such that the government should limit admitting them into the country? Davenport studied numerous families and presented his findings in terms of genetic pedigrees. He persuaded many people to believe that low intelligence was genetic, not a product of an environment and poor education shared by successive generations of the same family. Immigration quotas and sterilization legislation followed from Davenport’s and others’ “scientific” claims and remained for decades.

    So you were saying?

  463. #468 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 19, 2010

    Responding to some interesting points from our latest volunteer “Goofus”:

    7) There are literally THOUSANDS of children who’ve received the diagnosis of “autism” who have been recovered from that diagnosis using a protocol that treats VACCINE INJURY.

    A protocol that treats vaccine injury, hmmmm? I think we all know what protocol the Goofus is referring to, but let’s call it “the DUM protocol” for ease of writing.

    To spell out the implied syllogism:
    1) IF (a) autism is caused by vaccine injury and (b) the DUM protocol is an effective treatment for vaccine injury, THEN many of the autistic children treated with the DUM protocol could be expected to be “recovered” from the diagnosis of autism.
    2) Many autistic children treated with the DUM protocol are “recovered” from the diagnosis of autism.
    3) Therefore, (a) autism is caused by vaccine injury and (b) the DUM protocol is an effective treatment for vaccine injury.

    Goofus commits the logical fallacy called affirming the consequent. As I’ve explained before, one could “prove” by a similar syllogism that a particular condition had been induced not by just any vaccination, but one given by a one-armed, one-eyed, bronco-busting Albanian dwarf – and that syllogism would be exactly as valid as the syllogism the Goofus offered to us which purports to prove that autism is a vaccine injury which the DUM protocol treats. Either they’re both valid – or they’re both invalid. They’re both invalid, of course, because both are based on the affirming the consequent fallacy.

    As I’ve pointed out, there already IS a big and growing population of kids who are not vaccinated, so the study could easily be done without asking anyone to give up their vaccines, which Scott already admitteded don’t work anyway.

    Goofus commits another fallacy here, usually called false dilemma or the either-or fallacy. It is the fallacy of taking two utterly extreme positions and declaring that one must be true and the other false. In this case, Goofus is setting up a false dilemma between “vaccines are 100% effective” and “vaccines don’t work.” In reality, vaccines have high rates of effectiveness, but just like, oh, just about everything in the known universe, their effectiveness isn’t 100%.

    One of the reasons Goofus sets up this false dilemma is to argue that if vaccines were 100% effective as is supposedly claimed for them, then cranks who chose not to vaccinate wouldn’t hurt anyone except the cranks themselves. But in the real world, even if vaccines were 100% effective, anti-vax cranks would still not be harmless. That’s because, as effective as vaccines are, not everyone can take vaccines. There are people with allergies to the ingredients; there are people with abnormal immune systems. These are people who are just as deserving of protection from disease as anyone else. You know what the cranks are saying to those people? They’re saying “F*ck you, buddy; I’m volunteering to be a reservoir of infection that endangers your life!”

    Goofus proposes doing a study between vaccinated and unvaccinated populations that would “finally put[] the issue to rest.” In doing so, Goofus demonstrates ignorance of the fact that there are two kinds of scientific studies, each with distinct advantages and disadvantages.

    In prospective studies, researchers are the ones who decide which study subjects receive the intervention whose effect is being researched. The advantage of such studies is that researchers are much better able to rule out “confounding factors” (factors other than the one the researchers want to measure the effect of – more on this later.) The disadvantage is that when it is a medical intervention that is being studied, making the decision to give or withhold that intervention has very serious ethical ramifications. You can’t just say “Okay, we’ve got hundreds of years of data telling us that this intervention saves lives – but we’ve got some crank from the Internet who insists that the intervention isn’t so great after all, so we need to deny lots of study subjects the life-saving properties of the intervention, just to prove something to the cranks!”

    Retrospective studies are the kind that Goofus is obviously thinking of when she says that “there already IS a big and growing population of kids who are not vaccinated” and this would make the study “easily done”. In retrospective studies, it’s not the researchers who decides who gets the intervention and who does not; it is most frequently the study subjects themselves who decide whether they are going to give themselves the intervention or not. The advantage of retrospective studies is that it relieves the researchers of many ethical burdens, since they are making fewer decisions about what happens to their study subjects. The disadvantage is that if you gather a group of people who all differ from the general population in that they have all chosen to give themselves a particular intervention (or in the case of the purportedly “easily done” study Goofus proposes, chosen to deny themselves an intervention with well-established benefits) it’s actually more likely than not that they all differ from the general population in some other ways as well. These are the confounding factors mentioned earlier; every way you can think of in which a group of parents who have made the deliberate choice not to vaccinate their children differs from the general population of parents is another possible cause to explain whatever effects you see in the data.

    So Goofus is wrong that a study on self-selected populations would be “easily done” and would put the issue “to rest”. A prospective study would come closer to putting the issue “to rest” (which is not to say that it, or any study, could ever be guaranteed to break through the donkey-headed stubbornness of an anti-vax crank’s denial) – but a researcher who would do a prospective study on vaccines against preventable diseases would be a monster. Meanwhile, a retrospective study would be easier to do in an ethical fashion, but it would be extremely hard to extract meaningful data from it, and it certainly wouldn’t put the issue “to rest.”

    Which Goofus should actually know, since she claims that no vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study has ever been done, at the same time that she is repeating false rumours about the Simpsonwood CDC conference where the results of exactly such a study (which turned out to be unreliable due to confounding factors) were discussed.

    One final point:

    Read the Simpsonwood transcripts — its all right there — right down to the doctor who left the conference to urgently call his son whose wife was giving birth to tell her not to vaccinate.

    We should not be surprised that our Goofus is not telling us the actual facts here. She appears to be referring to a remark by a Dr. Johnson which begins on page 198 and ends on page 200. Dr. Johnson did not “urgently call his son whose wife was giving birth to tell her not to vaccinate.” What he said was that he had been called the night before regarding the birth, and that he did not want his grandson to get a vaccine that contained thimerosal “until we know better what is going on.” That was a perfectly understandable attitude given the data they were examining at that meeting, but apparently Goofus is incapable of reading, or of reporting honestly, what Dr. Johnson said just before mentioning the emergency call of the previous night: “… it seems pretty clear to me that the data are not sufficient one way or the other.”

  464. #469 Zetetic
    March 19, 2010

    bensmyson @ #384:

    Zetetic- Thanks for taking the time to do a little criticism. Sure you have better things to do

    Thanks for the concern, it’s appreciated but unnecessary. It actually took me far less time to type that than you might think. It really doesn’t take much effort to refute the same worn out arguments, especially when you (or both of you) keep repeating the same refuted point over-and-over thinking that somehow it will become valid through repetition.

    A better question is what you are hoping to accomplish? Do you really think that repeating the same refuted arguments repeatedly , is making the anti-vax side look any better? Do you think that not admitting when you’ve been clearly shown to be wrong on a given point (even when it’s relatively minor in relation to your ultimate point) helps your position look any better? Such antics are why it’s difficult for many here to take your claims seriously.

    At this point it’s almost like you’re trying to make the anti-vax movement look bad, although “susie” seems to be trying to give you some competition on that front.

    Truth is millions are protected and many people’s lives are saved because of vaccines. But when it is your child that is injured, the world suddenly takes a backseat to my child. Someone asked me about equality a while back. What is equal. What is not equal is my son compared to yours. My son is far more important.

    Ah! So know we get to the truth at last! I figured that that was exactly what you were thinking.

    So you admit that vaccines save many lives, but you don’t care about the damage that getting rid of them would cause since you’re (understandably) upset about what you think they did to your child. That’s exactly what I figured was going through your head, remember when I mentioned about the arrogance and self-absorption that seems to be typical among the anti-vax movement. You don’t seem to care how many children’s corpses you stand upon as long as they’re someone else’s children and you get some sense of satisfaction out of it. Apparently it’s not about helping children for you, it’s about your own feelings, nothing more.

    Thank you for proving my point for me.

    Lets do this, your neighbor needs to drive three miles to the grocery, he scoops his toddler up off the ground and places him in the back end open bed of his pickup truck and drives away. The weather is warm, the roads are not very busy, the odds are that the baby will make it without injury on the trip to the grocery. Maybe even the same kind of odds that the baby would not be injured by a vaccine. Wouldnt you be more cautious with your own child than your neighbor was with his? Would you take issue if he placed your son in the back end of that pickup truck and went on a trip?

    I think you missed the point of my analogy, specifically it was why Dr. Offit opposed the use of the smallpox vaccine, even with low risks, when what it was to protect against what was an even lower risk.

    But lets look at how flawed your analogy is. First of all I wouldn’t take those risks with any child, even if it’s not my own, I suppose that one of the differences between you and me. Secondly your analogy is flawed since there is nothing to gain under the circumstances by taking such a chance, even if it’s small, that would outweigh the consequences. This is of course a different situation from vaccines by your own admission in the same post.

    ———————————————————————————————————-

    You make have thought I was being flippant when I used your same reasoning to argue against bathing, but I really wasn’t. I was demonstrating that the same arguments and reasoning can be used to argue against any activity no matter how beneficial, as long as there is some element of risk to it (which includes almost everything).

    Let’s go back to your comment about risks (or rather the appearance of risk). Which is safer travel by car, or travel by airplane? The correct answer is travel by airplane. What if your child is killed in a plane crash, which is safer? The answer is still air travel, it may not feel that way to you, but it’ll still be true. You can cite cases of corruption and incompetence in the airline industry but it’ll still be safer than driving, and while you may feel better having any other children travel by car they’ll still be less safe than if they flew. Trying to ban all air travel may make you feel better, but you’d only be endangering other people’s (and their children) over a misguided sense of satisfaction.

    Your feelings do nothing to change either the facts nor the statistics.

    ——————————————————————————————————————
    bensmyson @ #386:

    The ante gets a bit steeper once you start planning things with real children.

    Agreed, but that’s why it’s so important to understand the actual odds. Unfortunately you’ve made it perfectly clear that you don’t care about those, you’d rather be putting other people’s children at risk over your own feelings.

    ——————————————————————————————————

    bensmyson @ #388:

    Proven medicine? As in the Vioxx kind of variety?

    No proven medicine as in the tested by multiple independent bodies from multiple governments around the world kind of proven medicine. Especially if it’s been studied and tested over decades as is the case with many vaccines.

    This is as opposed to the I’m going to chemically castrate this children for some-reason-I-pulled-out-of-my-ass medicine that many in the anti-vax camp endorse. Or, the I’m going to use this procedure that makes no sense at all, and has been show to be ineffective, but it gives me “hope” medicine that anti-vaxers seem fond of.

    ————————————————————————————————————

    bensmysono @ #392:

    Rob according to Aarhus University, Thorsen was in charge of appropriating the funds from the CDC to do the MMR and thimerosal. 2 million went missing.

    This just in…..
    bensmyson STILL doesn’t seem to understand that committing the Genetic Fallacy in regards to a minor researcher still does nothing to invalidate the research, especially when it’s been repeatedly backed up by other studies from other sources.

    So bensmyson, are you going to offer ANY evidence that the studies in question are invalid? Don’t worry we won’t be holding our breaths.

    In related news the Australian Vaccination Network (not just one individual, but the organization) is being investigated for giving invalid medical advise and illegal fund-raising? So by your own logical fallacy what does this say about anti-vax claims, bensmyson?

    Still waiting for you to answer the question posed to you back at #63.

  465. #470 not susie
    March 19, 2010

    “I know what I know, and that’s all that I (want to) know.”

    not susie

    (Also known as the head up the poop-chute syndrome. Tough to cure.)

  466. #471 Scott
    March 19, 2010

    “Not 100% effective” — I suppose doctors are telling this to parents when they are guilting and pressuring them to comply with an untested, overly aggressive vaccine schedule? No, they are NOT.

    Since no “untested, overly aggressive vaccine schedule” exists, any statement about what doctors do when discussing it is technically true. (Note that completely untested schedules do exist – Sears’ being one example – but they cannot fairly be characterized as “overly aggressive”.)

    In the real world, however, when discussing the carefully tested and properly balanced vaccine schedule, doctors ALWAYS tell parents this.

  467. #472 JohnV
    March 19, 2010

    “So, I still am asking why this cannot be done? ”

    Because its unethical to purposefully leave people susceptible to disease. And it would have to be a double blind because, honestly, the ethics (and selective memory etc) exhibited by anti-vaccine types pretty much exclude anything else.

    “Regarding your general fear of contracting measles or whooping cough, I suggest you go buy yourself a bubble.”

    No you imbecile. We don’t have to worry about these diseases BECAUSE OF VACCINATION. The concern only starts to mount when you people purposefully wreck the herd immunity layer of protection.

  468. #473 Todd W.
    March 19, 2010

    @bensmyson

    Calli got many of the major points of ethics in human clinical research. I’m a member of an Institutional Review Board, so if you (or anyone else reading) have any other questions, I’d be happy to answer them for you. E-mail me at todd (at) flurf (dot) net.

  469. #474 Todd W.
    March 19, 2010

    @susie

    Again, go visit the web page for the Office for Human Research Protections. There is a lot of information there on the ethics of human research. I suggest you read that, then come back and make your case for a vax vs. unvax study with ethics in mind.

  470. #475 susie
    March 19, 2010

    John V
    In the years from 1900 to 1963, prior to measles vaccine being introduced in 1963, the death rate from measles had dropped by 97.3% — WITHOUT vaccines. Pertussis and diptheria death rates had dropped by over 90%. Vaccines cannot claim credit for the decline of mortality of these diseases!!! This was attribted to better nutrition, clean water.

    Meanwhle, since the CDC has mandated that pediatricians load kids up with 33 vaccines before the age of 2, we now have an epidemic (which some people on this blog actualy have the rocks to deny) of autistic spectrum disorders, type 1 diabetes, bowel disorders, autoimmune disorders. The over-vaccination of our kids has given us some very sick kids. This is stupid.

    But, again, we saw the medical establishment deny womens hormone replacement therapy was causing cancer for about 50 years, so I’m not surprised to see the same stupid arrogance demonstrated in the vaccine issue.

    I guess it is somewhat heartening to see on this blog that some people actually admit that not all people can tolerate the ingredients in these vaccines. Unfortunately, I think the number of kids who cannot tolerate vaccines is much larger than the medical community and certainly the vaccine manufacturers will ever want to admit.

  471. #476 Scott
    March 19, 2010

    susie,

    What you “think” means absolutely nothing whatsoever unless you have evidence to back it up. Unfortunately for your delusions, the evidence is unequivocal that you are completely wrong.

  472. #477 Todd W.
    March 19, 2010

    @susie

    In the years from 1900 to 1963, prior to measles vaccine being introduced in 1963, the death rate from measles had dropped by 97.3% — WITHOUT vaccines. Pertussis and diptheria death rates had dropped by over 90%. Vaccines cannot claim credit for the decline of mortality of these diseases!!! This was attribted to better nutrition, clean water.

    You should really stop getting your vaccine history from anti-vax sites. First off, you left out improvements in treatment of measles, which allowed people to survive. Second, how, exactly, does clean water contribute to surviving measles, pertussis or diphtheria? Nutrition could play a nominal role: nutritional deficiencies do make one more susceptible to poorer outcomes from infection.

    But most of all, you are focusing solely on deaths, when you should really be focusing on incidence. Incidence rates (that’s cases of infection) dropped dramatically after introduction of vaccines. And, this might come as a shock to you, but if there are fewer people becoming infected, then there will, of course, also be fewer people dying.

  473. #478 Kristen
    March 19, 2010

    Illiterate troll is illiterate.

    Persons here have explained so many times why the vaccinated vs vaccinated study would be unethical and/or ineffective. Yet they keep asking why at the tops of their voices. It is pointless to argue with someone who is unwilling to listen. I am just exhausted reading bensmyson, Smarter Then You, and now Susie.

    I know Orac doesn’t ban people, but this is getting out of hand.

    Trolls, STFU…thank you.

  474. #479 Rob
    March 19, 2010

    Susie,

    For some FACTUAL information on the efficacy of the measles vaccine, see the chart:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/98/Measles_incidence-cdc.gif

    Note that the y-axis is “Cases (thousands)”. Note that the incidence dropped from around 500,000 cases/year to less than 100,000 cases/year within three years of the introduction of the measles vaccine, and that the number of cases is essentially zero today, with the exception of certain highly localized outbreaks.

    It is estimated that more than 5,000 deaths were prevented during the first 20 years of use of this vaccine.

    Source:

    Bloch, A.B., et al. Pediatrics 1985, 76, 524–32.

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/6mishome.htm

    I’m sure many of us would appreciate it if you took similar care to back up your assertions. What you think and what is real appear to be different. If you want to convince people of something, documented facts help.

  475. #480 JohnV
    March 19, 2010

    “The over-vaccination of our kids has given us some very sick kids.”

    Just in case no one ever pointed this out to you before, correlation does not necessarily mean causation. Otherwise I declare the following to be causes of autism: anti-vaxxers, microwave ovens, color tvs, cable, satellite tv, cell phones, touch tone phones, cars, trucks, suvs, wireless phones, wireless internet, mcdonalds, credit cards, caffeine free diet dr pepper, and the internet.

    Furthermore, the following are all implied, via correlation, as preventing autism: rotary phones, AM radio, black and white tv, 1 room school houses, leaded gasoline, cars with less than 20mpg, prayer in schools, measles mumps rubella hepB haemophilus influence streptococcus pneumonia INFECTIONS, small pox, wetlands, and the soviet union.

    “This is stupid.”

    Took the words out of my mouth.

  476. #481 bensmyson
    March 19, 2010

    feldspar _ “There are people with allergies to the ingredients; there are people with abnormal immune systems. These are people who are just as deserving of protection from disease as anyone else. You know what the cranks are saying to those people? They’re saying “F*ck you, buddy; I’m volunteering to be a reservoir of infection that endangers your life!”

    Allergies, abnormal immune systems? As in predisposed to a vaccine injury? Allergic to egg for instance in the HepB vaccine given at birth? Do they do a immune check at the pediatricians prior to vaccinating? Look to see if he has any demyelination or check the levels of glutathione?

    We know that about 90% of the ASD children have antibodies to myelin basic protein. I just found this in the Journal of Child Neurology: Anti-myelin associated glycoprotein positivity was found in 62.5%. And I need one of the real scientists to explain what the difference is between this particular anti-myelin glycoprotein and myelin basic protein antibodies.

    Any check on the family history of autoimmunity?

    My son is vaccinated, I am not anti-vax, I just think it is important to take precautions. Vaccines injured my child, as a result of his injury he developed autism. Did he get autism from the vaccines? Cant prove it. Did the vaccines cause my son injury? Yes can prove that. And yes, it is entirely possible that the injury caused fevers and seizures caused autism But without the vaccines my son would not have autism, Im quite sure about that.

    “First of all I wouldn’t take those risks with any child, even if it’s not my own, I suppose that one of the differences between you and me. Secondly your analogy is flawed since there is nothing to gain under the circumstances by taking such a chance, even if it’s small, that would outweigh the consequences.”

    Im wouldnt take the risk either, thats the point. And gain? As in your child would be protected against deadly communicable disease right? My point is that most parents are unaware of the risks, and even if they are and choose not to subject their child to harm, no matter how high the odds are, it should be their right to just say no, or to say, spread out the schedule.

  477. #482 susie
    March 19, 2010

    Anteaus:

    You don’t know anything about vaccine injury or the protocol these parents are using to fully recover their kids and reverse the vaccine injury.

    This is representative again of what is wrong with our medical establishment today. Instead of looking further into the merits of natural interventions that are reversing autism and other autoimmune disease that are the result of vaccine injury, the medical community doesn’t want to hear of it. And the reason for that? Because acknowledging that the symptoms of the vaccine injury are greatly reduced by these interventions means that you must also acknowledge that the injury has taken place. By defining the exact injury and treating the injury, NOT THE SYMPTOM, it is revealed that the actual cause was the vaccine.

    Oh, well, I can see I’m talking over your head. Common sense is not something that prevails with a group of people who’ve been bought and paid for by pharma.

  478. #483 Todd W.
    March 19, 2010

    @bensmyson

    Allergies, abnormal immune systems? As in predisposed to a vaccine injury? Allergic to egg for instance in the HepB vaccine given at birth?

    Not quite. First off, in order to have an allergic reaction, a person needs to have been exposed to the offending substance at least once before. So, newborns would not have an egg allergy.

    While allergy tests are not (to my knowledge) routinely done prior to vaccination, it is common practice to ask if the patient has any known allergies. For example, when I went to get my seasonal and H1N1 flu shots this year, I was asked if I had any allergies, esp. to eggs.

    Regarding abnormal immune systems, that does not mean predisposed to vaccine injury. More often than not, it generally means that they gain no (or only minute) immunity from the vaccine. For example, individuals infected with HIV, undergoing chemotherapy, taking immunosuppressants due to organ transplant, etc., for the most part gain little benefit from the vaccine. In those cases, the risks outweigh the benefits (though a number of vaccines have been and are being tested in clinical trials to determine their efficacy in these special populations).

    Other immune dysfunctions that might lead to an injury are extremely rare (e.g., mitochondrial disorder) and, even in those cases, the vaccine may still be safer than not getting vaccinated. Since the most likely trigger for such an injury is an immune response (e.g., fever), injury would probably be more serious from infection itself.

  479. #484 Rob
    March 19, 2010

    “Common sense is not something that prevails with a group of people who’ve been bought and paid for by pharma.”

    What exactly do you mean? Are you somehow implying that I receive payment from a private company for some purpose related to violating scientific ethics? Are you implying that the scientists who are posting on this thread are unethical? That’s a pretty broad generalization for which you do not have one single fact of support.

    Just so you know, and what I am telling you is a FACT, of the dozens of people whom I know are involved in autism research on my campus, I do not know a single scientist who receives funding from a pharmaceutical company. Pharmaceutical companies do not generally fund basic research at universities. These scientists receive funding largely from the National Institutes of Health through the peer-review process of funding. (And please don’t show your ignorance of that process by trying to tell us how it works, as many of us here have been directly involved with peer review or research grants and know far more about it than you.) Our science is beholden to no one.

    I really wish you had the least inkling about how biomedical science is performed in this country. It would make you appear far less stupid.

  480. #485 Kristen
    March 19, 2010

    @470
    Hey she pulled the pharma shill gambit. I propose we make a law, similar to Godwin’s law: ‘As a discussion about vaccines grows longer, the probability of someone being accused of being paid by pharmaceutical companies approaches 1′.

    Can we call it ‘Orac’s law’?

  481. #486 Rob
    March 19, 2010

    Kristin,

    I second your motion.

    Orac’s Law

    “As any discussion about vaccine safety progresses, the probability of a pro-vaccination poster being accused by an anti-vaccination poster of being bought and paid for by big pharma approaches 1.”

  482. #487 Kristen
    March 19, 2010

    Rob

    Cool, you said it way better than I did.
    How’s ’bout it, Orac?

  483. #488 Vicki
    March 19, 2010

    Kristen–I think we have to call it Kristen’s law (unless you’d like it under some other form of your name).

    JohnV–Let’s see if we can organize a campaign to restore wetlands and prevent autism. Sure, the correlation is bogus, but it might get us more wetlands, which have all sorts of other value.

  484. #489 Kristen
    March 19, 2010

    Vicki,
    I am not worthy. I bow at the awesomeness of Orac’s powerful blinking lights.

    (unless you’d like it under some other form of your name).

    Ummmmm, my nickname is Orac, it has been for, like 30 seconds.

  485. #490 Chris
    March 19, 2010

    susie, you seem to be ignoring me… again I say:
    Willowbrook

    Also, the Pharma Shill Gambit is old and tired.

    Now it is the “measles deaths went down x%” (the number varies). Here is a list of year and incidence of measles. Explain what happened between 1960 and 1970. From http://www.census.gov/prod/99pubs/99statab/sec31.pdf
    Year…. Rate per 100000 of measles
    1912 . . . 310.0
    1920 . . . 480.5
    1925 . . . 194.3
    1930 . . . 340.8
    1935 . . . 584.6
    1940 . . . 220.7
    1945 . . . 110.2
    1950 . . . 210.1
    1955 . . . 337.9
    1960 . . . 245.4
    1965 . . . 135.1
    1970 . . . . 23.2
    1975 . . . . 11.3
    1980 . . . . . 5.9
    1985 . . . . . 1.2
    1990 . . . . .11.2
    1991 . . . . . .3.8
    1992 . . . . . .0.9
    1993 . . . . . .0.1
    1994 . . . . . .0.4
    1995 . . . . . .0.1
    1996 . . . . . .0.2
    1997 . . . . . . 0.1

  486. #491 Calli Arcale
    March 19, 2010

    Adding to what Todd said at 471:

    Not quite. First off, in order to have an allergic reaction, a person needs to have been exposed to the offending substance at least once before. So, newborns would not have an egg allergy.

    While allergy tests are not (to my knowledge) routinely done prior to vaccination, it is common practice to ask if the patient has any known allergies. For example, when I went to get my seasonal and H1N1 flu shots this year, I was asked if I had any allergies, esp. to eggs.

    I’ve had allergy tests. They are no fun at all. (For my last one, at about 8 years of age, it took three nurses to hold me down.) It would, in my opinion, be unethical to perform them before all vaccinations, given the low percentage of people likely to benefit, to say nothing of the exorbitant cost. It’s much simpler to ask if the patient has any known allergies, and then advise the parent what to watch for and when to go to the clinic or ER.

    One major problem with allergies is unfortunately not solvable — there is no way to predict who will become allergic to what. At present, it seems to be somewhat random, though some allergies are more common than others. It seems people inherit a propensity towards allergies rather than the allergies themselves.

    The only way to find out is through exposure, and this will always take a minimum of two exposures — on the first exposure, the person isn’t allergic yet. The second exposure might not trigger an immune response either, or at least not an obvious one. It’s not terribly uncommon for the response to get progressively worse with each exposure. What’s really frustrating about this is that a minor immune reaction might not be picked up by an allergy test — but perhaps the next exposure will jack up the response.

    So the allergy test idea, while sensible in principle, is painful, is not helpful for most kids, and stands a good chance of false negatives. It’s just not worth it.

    Note: there is one known way in which thimerosal can hurt people, even in vaccine doses. It is possible to form an allergy to it. The result is not autism; the result can be much worse. But it is very uncommon. Egg albumin is, by far, the most common cause of allergic reactions to vaccines. There is now an egg-free influenza vaccine, which is pretty cool.

  487. #492 Chris
    March 19, 2010

    susie:

    Oh, well, I can see I’m talking over your head. Common sense is not something that prevails with a group of people who’ve been bought and paid for by pharma.

    Yet, you seem to be deliberately ignoring me.

    Willowbrook.

  488. #493 Todd W.
    March 19, 2010

    @Calli Arcale

    Another thought occurred to me. For allergy tests, isn’t it possible to test positive for an allergy but have no significant allergic reaction in everyday life?

  489. #494 Dave
    March 19, 2010

    Well hopefully someone can do some investigative reporting into these authors – all of them and see what they were making over the last 20 years and see if they had a financial incentive or other incentive to manipulate data to draw unsubstantiated conclusions.

    This is probably blown out of proportions, but a thorough investigation to discover how each and every author worked on this study would certainly be called for. If there is no wrong doing then this airing out will give the papers/studies more weight if true.

    People have the right to question the science, of course even if the data is forged or manipulated it doesn’t disprove or prove anything… it will just highlight the critical need for more research!

  490. #495 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 19, 2010

    Anteaus:

    You don’t know anything about vaccine injury or the protocol these parents are using to fully recover their kids and reverse the vaccine injury.

    If someone (let’s call him Loonball) says to me:

    “1) Zarquon is a mouthwash with a secret ingredient.
    2) Marilyn Monroe is sometimes falsely rumored to have had six toes.
    3) Therefore the secret ingredient in Zarquon mouthwash is the most effective bad-breath-fighting ingredient on the market.”

    then amazingly enough, I don’t need to know what the secret ingredient in Zarquon is to determine that Loonball’s argument for that secret ingredient is complete nonsense. It’s inherent in the form of the argument.

  491. #496 a-non
    March 19, 2010

    susie:

    You don’t know anything about vaccine injury or the protocol these parents are using to fully recover their kids and reverse the vaccine injury.

    Awesome! I’m sure you can point me to a list of studies on PubMed that details these awesome protocols in detail.

    Let me guess, these doctors are “too busy helping people” to do pesky things like publish journal articles about novel treatments that might save or improve thousands of lives.

    This is representative again of what is wrong with our medical establishment today. Instead of looking further into the merits of natural interventions that are reversing autism and other autoimmune disease that are the result of vaccine injury, the medical community doesn’t want to hear of it. And the reason for that?

    Is because these people proposing these theories *want* to work outside the system. There’s more money there. If they had the cure for “vaccine injury”, and it held up scientifically, they would be famous and wealthy beyond their wildest dreams. But then they’d have to prove it, and when somebody doesn’t want to hold their protocol up to peer-reviewed scrutiny, that should scare the living crap out of you as a patient.

  492. #497 Rob
    March 19, 2010

    @Dave

    What papers are you talking about? The Thorsen papers?

    If that’s the case, perhaps you may not realize that Thorsen has not been accused of Research Misconduct. Nothing that has happened is in anyway relevant to these papers. Additionally, Thorsen was not the PI on the studies. He contributed in a minor way to the work, and the actual PI is uninvolved in any of Thorsen’s adventures.

    As I said before, and even though bensmyson could not understand the rather major distinction, criminal behavior by a scientist that is unrelated to the performance, interpretation, or publication of his/her research has no bearing on their research.

    If I publish a paper in the area of medicinal chemistry, which is my speciality, and then get drunk and punch a cop in the nose and get arrested for aggravated assault, how does that raise questions about whether my research has or has not been falsified, fabricated, or plagiarized, which are the ONLY criteria of Research Misconduct? Even if I fill out a fraudulent travel request and collect money from my grant for travel I never took, it still doesn’t matter.

  493. #498 bensmyson
    March 19, 2010

    479 callie_ “It’s much simpler to ask if the patient has any known allergies, and then advise the parent what to watch for and when to go to the clinic or ER.”

    I refused to allow my son to receive a HepB vaccine on the day he was born. I refused only because I did not want him given any more pain than necessary. It was about the prick of the needle not what was in the shot. We had a talk with the doctor about it and she was in full agreement, no shot. A few minutes after delivery I noticed off in the corner of the room a nurse poised with a needle about to inject Ben with HepB, I hollered for her to top. This was recorded on video. After the diagnosis 18 months later I requested all medical records. The hospital record showed Ben received that shot that day. Against my specific instructions.

    Some of you have wonderful doctors, perfect experiences at hospitals, your mind is sharp and clear and you seem well educated. Some people, other people, get screwed sometimes, are stupid, uneducated, live in the boondocks, a one MCDonalds town.

    No one asked me if I had any allergies, any immune system issues, no one said squat prior to injecting one of the more dangerous vaccines into my child against my wishes. Now HepB did not seem to effect my son, but the point is that not everyone plays by the rules, not everyone can be trusted.

    Anyone saying anything different has not walked in Ben’s shoes.

    And let’s not forget the phone calls to the doctors immediately after the year old vaccines, fevers? Normal. Seizures, dont worry they look worse than they are. Rash? Roseola, no need to bring him in, thanks for calling, have a nice day.

  494. #499 Rob
    March 19, 2010

    “a one McDonalds town”

    I like that. Funny. Says a lot about our culture.

  495. #500 Todd W.
    March 19, 2010

    @bensmyson

    A few minutes after delivery I noticed off in the corner of the room a nurse poised with a needle about to inject Ben with HepB, I hollered for her to top. This was recorded on video. After the diagnosis 18 months later I requested all medical records. The hospital record showed Ben received that shot that day.

    Is it possible that they recorded it in his record before going to give him the shot and never corrected it? In other words, they wrote it down, went to give the shot, you stopped them and they never corrected his chart?

    Some of you have wonderful doctors, perfect experiences at hospitals, your mind is sharp and clear and you seem well educated. Some people, other people, get screwed sometimes, are stupid, uneducated, live in the boondocks, a one MCDonalds town.

    Having a bad doctor does not make vaccines bad. If the doctor did something wrong, and it resulted in injury, blame the doctor, not the vaccine. If someone drops a piano on you, are you going to blame the piano?

    No one asked me if I had any allergies, any immune system issues, no one said squat prior to injecting one of the more dangerous vaccines into my child against my wishes.

    Why would they ask you about your allergies prior to giving a vaccine to Ben? Also, how is HepB one of the more dangerous vaccines? Can you provide some citations that it is “more dangerous”?

  496. #501 Raging Bee
    March 19, 2010

    The over-vaccination of our kids has given us some very sick kids.

    What a load of bullshit. I got the full range of vaccines when I was little, and so did all the other kids with whom I went to school. And we were all quite healthy, and none of us because autistic, thankyouverymuch.

    Anyone who can keep on making that flat assertion quoted above, in the face of so much obvious evidence to the contrary, is either an idiot, a raving hyperemotional lunatic, or a liar.

    And no, Big Pharma did not pay me to write this comment. I wish I could get paid for stating the obvious — I have lots of bills to pay.

  497. #502 Pablo
    March 19, 2010

    Why would they ask you about your allergies prior to giving a vaccine to Ben? Also, how is HepB one of the more dangerous vaccines?

    That’s easy. Process of elimination. See, even bensmyson knows full well that vaccines like MMR and DTaP are not really dangerous. However, she also knows that vaccines overall are very, very dangerous. Therefore, if it isn’t MMR or DTaP, then HepB must be one of the dangerous ones.

    Damnit! Some vaccine MUST be dangerous! All the anti-vax websites have said so.

  498. #503 Bensmyson
    March 19, 2010

    john- “Is it possible that they recorded it in his record before going to give him the shot and never corrected it? In other words, they wrote it down, went to give the shot, you stopped them and they never corrected his chart?”

    Yep at this hospital anything is possible, and isnt that part of my reason to question EVERYTHING now? Vaccines are potentially dangerous if not administered properly, for whatever reason. And do I know a link to the HepB being one of the most dangerous vaccines out there? Well I cant think of any on the market off the top of my head that cause MS or even death like HepB vaccines do. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-501263_162-4770907-501263.html Bu till look if you want.

    http://iansvoice.org/days1thru2.aspx

  499. #504 susie
    March 19, 2010

    Raging Bee:

    Re your “full range” of vaccines you received . . .

    How many years ago was that? Are you talking about 4 vaccines being the “full range” at the time? Or are you under 20 years old, and you got all 33 vaccines before the age 2?

    I have stated on here that the CURRENT vaccine schedule is dangerous and is making kids sick. Are you in the affected age group? I doubt it.

  500. #505 Raging Bee
    March 19, 2010

    I refused only because I did not want him given any more pain than necessary. It was about the prick of the needle not what was in the shot.

    In other words, bensmyson was “thinking” at the same level of maturity as her baby: nothing matters but the imminent short-term pain of the next minute, the end of that pain — in a scant few minutes after injection — is beyond her time-horizon, and the actual purpose of the needle is simply beyond her ability to understand.

    And the rest of her nonsensical ravings show the same level of maturity: wild imaginings, night-terrors and muddled dreams that she still can’t distinguish from reality.

    There are few things more pathetic than a parent who’s too busy being a child to raise her child.

  501. #506 Pablo
    March 19, 2010

    I’m curious as whether Ben is circumcised.

    I’ve seen that a lot. Moms who freak out about all the shots their babies get, yet have their son circumcised.

  502. #507 Raging Bee
    March 19, 2010

    I have stated on here that the CURRENT vaccine schedule is dangerous and is making kids sick.

    And you’ve offered no evidence to back up your statement.

  503. #508 Todd W.
    March 19, 2010

    @bensmyson

    Thank you for the links. So, we have two reports of pretty rare events. It is unclear if the individuals in those links (here’s the direct link to the VICP ruling, btw) would have suffered the same injuries had they not been vaccinated and at some subsequent date were infected with HepB. That point is particularly important for the VICP case, since the injury was due to similarities between the vaccine antigens and the patient’s antigens. I won’t dispute that adverse reactions occur. All medicines (indeed, everything in life) carries risks.

    The next question to ask, then, is at what rate do these events occur? While any death is one death too many, the total risk from the vaccine needs to be weighed against the risk from the disease. If the average person is more likely to die if infected than if vaccinated, then it is still better to vaccinate than not. Of course, non-fatal adverse events also need to be taken into account, too.

    At any rate, the court case established that it was “more likely than not” that the patient died due to the vaccine. There may have been other factors that contributed to her death that coincided with the timeline of the vaccine and subsequent health deterioration. That’s one of the drawbacks of the vaccine court rulings: they are well below the threshold for establishing scientific, medical fact.

  504. #509 Raging Bee
    March 19, 2010

    The CBS article cited by bensmyson is incomplete to the point of being dishonest. It admits that ONE person is known to have died from the Hep B vaccine; it mentions a number of people suffering “injury or death” from the vaccine, without saying how severe the injuries were or how many died; and it doesn’t even estimate the total number of people vaccinated.

    I’ve seen that a lot. Moms who freak out about all the shots their babies get, yet have their son circumcised.

    Not to mention all the moms who freak out about all the shots their babies get, while driving their babies around in cars every day.

  505. #510 Rob
    March 19, 2010

    @susie

    Where do you get 33 from? There are 11 vaccines on the current schedule, and there are very specific guidelines about when and how they should be given.

  506. #511 Rob
    March 19, 2010

    @bensmyson

    “If the average person is more likely to die if infected than if vaccinated, then it is still better to vaccinate than not.”

    So being crippled by polio or getting measles and causing birth defects in your pregnant mother don’t matter in your accounting about the utility of vaccinations?

  507. #512 bensmyson
    March 19, 2010

    Pablo- “I’m curious as whether Ben is circumcised.”

    Not on the same day he was born and I held him when it happened.

    Todd – No dispute that injuries such as death are extremely rare, as stated many times prior, vaccines save lives but at what cost? Who actually determines whether 5 is too many or 5,000 is too many?

    My beef is that there should be measures taken to inform parents the same way they inform people about viagra. I saw a warning poster in a veterinarians waiting room about vaccines, there are no posters in pediatricians offices. Let me know the risks, saying theyre safe is a matter of opinion. Saying that 4 children out of 6,000,000 died is accurate factual, scientific information that I can make the decision on.

  508. #513 Rob
    March 19, 2010

    That should read “…birth defects in the child of your pregnant mother…”

  509. #514 Dave
    March 19, 2010

    benismyson:

    isnt that part of my reason to question EVERYTHING now?

    The problem is you ARENT questioning everything. As has been pointed out to you before, you are accepting things that reinforce your preconcieved notions on some of the flimsiest evidence and questioning things that have massive amounts of solid eidence behind them.

    To a certain extent, everyone is subject to some confirmatory bias, its the nature of the way humans think. Many of us try to guard against it or at least minimise it. Be honest with yourself and take a look at the things you question: Do you tend to question certain ideas more thouroughly than others? Which ideas and why?

  510. #515 Dave
    March 19, 2010

    Rob@498 — I suspect Suzie is counting actual jabs. Remember that most childhood vaccines are given a couple of times (ex: HepB at birth, 1-2 mo and 12-18 mo.)

  511. #516 susie
    March 19, 2010

    Raging Bee:
    By your own admission, Raging Bee, you have pointed out that you (and your age group) got the full range of vaccines “And we were all quite healthy, and none of us because autistic, thankyouverymuch.”

    Well, that certainly is not something that the kids who get vaccinated according to the CDC’s schedule today can say. We have a sick population of kids today. It is very relevant that back when you and I were kids and we received MANY less vaccines that we had better overall health.

    It is scarey that the CDC keeps adding unnecessary vaccines to the schedule too. Take Rotateq for example — its NOT necessary here in the US. And, that vaccine had 29 deaths attributed to it according to figures from the VAERS database which are almost more than a year old.

    Its all about the money. What the pharmceutical industry and the CDC and the FDA are guilty of in causing harm to our youth’s health is beyond unethical — it is criminal.

  512. #517 Raging Bee
    March 19, 2010

    We have a sick population of kids today.

    For the third time: where is your supporting information? And where is your proof that the sickness in question (which you still haven’t actually cited) is caused by vaccines?

    It is scarey that the CDC keeps adding unnecessary vaccines to the schedule too.

    Such as…?

    And, that vaccine had 29 deaths attributed to it according to figures from the VAERS database which are almost more than a year old.

    29 deaths out of how many people vaccinated?

  513. #518 Dave
    March 19, 2010

    Take Rotateq for example — its NOT necessary here in the US.

    I suppose that depends on your definition of necessary. Prior to the vaccine, one out of 200,000 children died from rotavirus. Thats about 20 kids per year, or 80 lives saved since it was added to the schedule four years ago. Maybe saving those 80 lives wasnt “necessary,” but it certainly seems like a good idea.

  514. #519 bensmyson
    March 19, 2010

    Dave- I am looking at the reasoning of causation in my son’s autism through my own personal experiences. Others have pointed out that perceptions change from reality when reality is unclear. Im not a scientist, I do not have scientific proof my son’s autism was caused by a vaccine, I do have scientific evidence that he was vaccine injured whether or not it led to his autism who knows.

    That is really not my point, my point is that vaccines cause injuries all the time. Some extremely serious, some causing death. No one knows the lifespan of a person with autism. It is assumed that it is a normal lifespan, but there is no documented evidence backing that up, believe me Ive looked.

    I would love to be able to scratch vaccines off the list of the causation. It lets me off the hook to some degree. After all I held him down. I signed the waiver.

    But my lack of trust in the FDA, the CDC, the other international agencies investigating the safety of vaccines will not allow me to accept studies like the Denmark one. It is my lunacy, my complete wacko mentality but I own it.

    If I believed my lone voice, my foolishly sounding claims would be the cause of any child to suffer I would never utter a word publicly. Its just me. I checked, those linking from this site to my blog are at 41 total, this has been going on for a week now and only 41 people came to my blog. How many of those you suspect are looking for answers on whether or not to vaccinate. How many do you suspect come to AoA?

    These 1 in 4 people in the US that think autism is caused by vaccines are not thinking that because of Jenny McCarty or AoA or me or David Kirby, they do so because they know someone or know someone who knows someone that has regressed immediately after vaccines. Plus people are curious about conspiracies. And these conspiracies are fueled when things like Thorsen come up or when Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of HHS, has asked newspapers, magazines, television journalists, who knows who else- specifically NOT to listen to parents and scientists in the autism community, not to respect their concerns, not to take seriously the condition of chronically ill children with autism and to disregard a growing body of evidence questioning the safety of our infant and toddlers’ immunization schedule. This and the headlines about deaths caused by vaccines. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/3336455/Secret-report-reveals-18-child-deaths-following-vaccinations.html and http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iz5dsOE-Fu1X9ryU_oiVPZhTRFCQD9EH1U0G0

    Its not just me, I swear it, its all around us.

  515. #520 susie
    March 19, 2010

    Dave:

    Eighty kids lives “saved” — impossible to say because generally kids (in the US) who die of diarrhea have other health complications that make them unable to tolerate any viral infection. So, maybe they were saved, or maybe they just were saved from dieing of rotavirus specifically.

    We still have the 29 kids who died as a result of the complications from the vaccine. That’s a fairly high number of deaths to saved ratio, isn’t it?

  516. #521 Dan Weber
    March 19, 2010

    Rotateq for example — its NOT necessary here in the US. And, that vaccine had 29 deaths attributed to it according to figures from the VAERS database which are almost more than a year old.

    Rotavirus was estimated to be the cause of approximately 60,000 hospitalizations and 37 deaths annually. Black infants had a significantly higher risk of being hospitalized with and dying from rotavirus disease early in life.

    That was quoted from “Hospitalizations and deaths from diarrhea and rotavirus among children less than 5 years of age in the United States, 1993–2003″. J. Infect. Dis. 195 (8): 1117–25.

    Maybe susie thinks it’s not worthwhile because it tends to kill black babies.

  517. #522 David N. Brown
    March 19, 2010

    “It is scarey that the CDC keeps adding unnecessary vaccines to the schedule too.”
    To the best of my knowledge, the last time the CDC added a vaccine was in 2006.

  518. #523 David N. Brown
    March 19, 2010

    420
    “Generation Rescue did a phone survey and found that vaccinated individuals had less risk of autism than those who were not vaccinated or only partially vaccinated.”

    I did my own analysis from GR’s numbers, and found what I can only regard as outright, massive fraud, most notably the exaggeration of the autism rate in the fully vaccinated group by more than 50%. (See “Stupid Like a Fox” on evilpossum.weebly.com “Handley” page.) But even then, they couldn’t hide that the highest rates were in the partially vaccinated group.

  519. #524 susie
    March 19, 2010

    Chris:

    No comparison whatsoever can be drawn between ethics of a proposed study of vaccinated vs. non-vaccinated and what happened at Willowbrook.

    The Willowbrook population was a confined group of patients and even caregivers who were infected with HepB. That is not the case with the diseases that kids get vaccinated for now. There is absolutely no comparison that can be made.

    The fact that there is so much resistance to the gathering of data on the health of vaccinated vs. non-vaccinated populations definitely indicates that the CDC, gvt and pharmaceutical industry know they have traded one set of illnesses with another in instituting an aggressive, dangerous and experimental vaccine schedule. The population of unvaccinated people exists — a study of their health vs. vaccinated needs to be done. Don’t we owe that due diligence to our kids?

  520. #525 Rob
    March 19, 2010

    Re: circumcision

    “At 1.25 million circumcisions of newborns in the US per year, a 0.5% infection rate amounts to 6000 cases per year, and a 4% overall rate of complications requiring treatment represents 48,000 patients experiencing avoidable morbidity.”

    “…424 (4.7%) out of 8,967 operations in 2003-7 were for complications resulting from previous neonatal circumcision” (at Mass General)

    Totally preventable.

    Why would you have the skin cut off your kid’s dick when there is nearly a 5% chance that there will be complications that require treatment in a hospital.

    (Yes I’m circumcised, and no, I’m not Jewish. I’m also 50 years old.)

  521. #526 susie
    March 19, 2010

    Dan Weber:
    I think the current vaccine schedule is harming out kids, and that makes me a racist?

    You must be an Obama supporter — anyone who doesn’t agree with his politics is also a racist.

    That’s really weak.

  522. #527 v.rosenzweig
    March 19, 2010

    If we don’t know the average lifespan of people with autism, it’s because we haven’t had that as an identified group long enough.

    Once upon a time, autistic people would either have gone basically unlabeled (their families might have said they were shy, or weird, or wondered how to convince their sons to date, but they wouldn’t have thought they had a medical issue) or, in more severe cases, labeled as crazy or mentally retarded and, probably, institutionalized with minimal care. I doubt there’s any way to separate those people with autism from, for example, those with Down syndrome, who used to die young from heart failure. There’s lots of speculation that this or that scientist had Asperger’s; not testable, as the more careful writers note, but it suggests that Asperger’s, at least, does not imply a poor life expectancy. Note “suggests”–by definition, the ones we’ve heard of were professional successes, meaning they had some kind of support structure. A boss or a department secretary isn’t a family, but they’ll notice if someone doesn’t show up at the lab, maybe even remind them to get to the doctor or take a lunch break.

  523. #528 Calli Arcale
    March 19, 2010

    bensmyson @ 479:

    Like Todd, I suspect the hospital recorded the Hep B vaccine before going to give it, but because you intervened, he did not receive it. No way to tell, unfortunately. I think it’s safe to say that one of the biggest places for improvement in modern medicine is the hospital. I’m not down on hospital doctors or nurses; they are fine people and do fine work. The problems tend to be procedural. Your situation is an example of it; the message to withhold a particular routine intervention was not relayed to the nurse. Again, I have nothing against doctors and nurses in this situation; it’s usually not their fault but the fault of the institutional procedures that stand between them. But that gets into other issues that are probably beyond the scope of this discussion; suffice to say, it’s a big issue.

    No one asked me if I had any allergies, any immune system issues, no one said squat prior to injecting one of the more dangerous vaccines into my child against my wishes. Now HepB did not seem to effect my son, but the point is that not everyone plays by the rules, not everyone can be trusted.

    With all due respect, asking you if you had any allergies would not be relevant. You are not Ben; your allergy experience is of little value in predicting his. More significantly, even if he were to develop an egg allergy later in life, he could not have had one at that time. It just doesn’t work that way.

    I disagree that Hep B is “one of the more dangerous” vaccines. Last I read it, like most vaccines, had an extremely good safety record. Of course, you and I disagree on whether or not things like autism are actually related to vaccines, so it is perhaps unsurprising that we disagree on this point.

    And let’s not forget the phone calls to the doctors immediately after the year old vaccines, fevers? Normal. Seizures, dont worry they look worse than they are. Rash? Roseola, no need to bring him in, thanks for calling, have a nice day.

    Yeah, I think it’s pretty safe to say you had a jerk of a pediatrician. There’s another one of those procedural things; the system does not do a good job of identifying and correcting problems. A bad doctor can practice for twenty years without anyone raising the slightest red flag. It’s unfortunate, but true. My personal experience suggests that the majority of doctors are good ones, though; it sucks to get one of the lousy ones, especially since most people are really not in a position to know a bad doctor from a good ones, unless they’ve been unfortunate enough in life to have a lot of experience with doctors. (With luck, a person shouldn’t need to see a doctor more than once a year, but we’re not all that lucky.)

    There’s one doctor whom I won’t see anymore except for the easy stuff like bladder infections. Twice now he’s treated me poorly when I’ve come in with asthma symptoms. He’s a very nice man, and a friend of the family, but he clearly does not understand asthma management.

  524. #529 Todd W.
    March 19, 2010

    @susie

    The fact that there is so much resistance to the gathering of data on the health of vaccinated vs. non-vaccinated populations definitely indicates that the CDC, gvt and pharmaceutical industry know they have traded one set of illnesses with another in instituting an aggressive, dangerous and experimental vaccine schedule. The population of unvaccinated people exists — a study of their health vs. vaccinated needs to be done. Don’t we owe that due diligence to our kids?

    Wow. Have you read any of the stuff that we’ve been telling you? About the ethics involved in a prospective, randomized trial? About the confounding variables in any sort of retrospective trial? Did you visit the site for the Office for Human Research Protections?

    Put your blinders to the side for a moment, read what has been posted here, read the info at the OHRP (especially the Belmont Report) and then try actually using that grey matter between your ears.

  525. #530 Chris
    March 19, 2010

    susie:

    Willowbrook

    Though going on what you said about “have other health complications” it is obvious you don’t care about kids with health issues or disabilities. You probably think my son deserved the illness he got that put him in the hospital.

    susie, the obvious troll is obvious.

  526. #531 Chris
    March 19, 2010

    susie, this study was not about hepatitis (yeah, you really don’t click on even the obvious links): http://ajph.aphapublications.org/cgi/reprint/52/Suppl_2/16.pdf

    You still have not explained why it would be ethical to withhold vaccines from a large group of children, especially when the risk of measles, mumps and pertussis are increasing.

  527. #532 Rob
    March 19, 2010

    Chris,

    Susie want a study of kids who haven’t been vaccinated compared with kids who have. Just go out and enroll as many kids as you can find, see if autism rates are different. She cannot understand why such a study would not provide the information that she wants. The study could be done, but it would essentially be impossible to correct for innate biases in the subjects.

    I don’t think she understands the concept or importance of randomization in medical studies and why it is so important that they be blinded to obtain meaningful, statistically significant data.

    She also cannot understand why the two populations would be innately different with respect to a wide variety of parameters, and although one could correct for all these variables, every correction makes the conclusions less reliable.

    Think of a similar example. How about body mercury levels comparing people who have silver amalgam fillings with those who never had silver amalgam fillings. Just sign them up, draw a little blood, and compare the two groups. Presto, you have meaningless data, as it is impossible to correct for environmental exposure differences, which will likely be significant due to socioeconomic differences between the two groups. The study may indicate that people without fillings have higher mercury levels because of some unknown exposure due to innate differences in the two populations.

    I don’t think we should expect Susie to have experience in population studies or statistics, but we should expect her to listen to people who do.

    Oh, gotta go. The mailman is here with my check from Merck. I get paid by the word; how do the rest of you shills get paid?

  528. #533 MI Dawn
    March 19, 2010

    Between bensmyson and susie, this is becoming a never-ending thread. And all because bensmyson and susie can’t accept what science tells them. Bensmyson admits that he/she feels guilty that their son has autism because it “is their fault”. Why can’t he/she accept the genetics more easily? It removes fault (you can’t help your gene pool, anyway).

    As a nurse, I have a lot of questions about how BMS’s birth story is presented. I have never worked in a hospital that gave ANY injection right after birth. Even vitamin K is held off for at least an hour. If they utilized a birthing room where you labor, deliver, and stay in the room until you go home, I suppose I can see it, but even with those, most babies go to the nursery for initial exam and shots, along with erythromycin eyedrops. And, again, every place I worked at required a consent from the parents for Hep B. How did he get it without the parent’s consent? This story bugs the heck out of me.

    @susie: my kids had the full amount of shots for their ages (now 20 and 22). Even the old DTP instead of DTaP. Neither is autistic, and we do have family members who would fall at least under the ASD spectrum, if not fully autistic (wasn’t a common diagnosis when these persons were young).

  529. #534 Rob
    March 19, 2010

    Susie,

    Here is how a proper study would be done. Sign-up volunteers who are pregnant. You would need several thousand. Do extensive histories, economic status, education, employment, many, many other things. Randomly assign each volunteer into two groups, ensuring the assignment accounts for any differences in the above factors.

    Then, when the women have their babies, each child would get the full regimen of shots, with half the group getting saline and half the group getting real vaccines. Neither the parents nor doctors know which is which. Then you follow every child for about 10 years, taking detailed medical histories along the way. Tons and tons of data, but no one knows who is in the vaccinated versus unvaccinated groups. Finally, you unblind the study, do a bunch of statistics, and see if there are statistically significant differences.

    The problem is that half of these kids have been unvaccinated and are highly susceptible to the diseases for which they are not vaccinated.

    See a problem with this?

  530. #535 Dan Weber
    March 19, 2010

    The good news is that we can now deploy mosquitos as a vaccine delivery system!
    http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/editors/24947/?ref=rss

  531. #536 cynic
    March 19, 2010

    Todd @ 517: About the ethics involved in a prospective, randomized trial?

    Thousands of people have refused vaccines for their kids, already. Why is it unethical to study the overall health outcomes of vaccinated and unvaccinated kids?

    About the confounding variables in any sort of retrospective trial?

    Like studying 7 to 10 year olds for neuro outcomes from thimerosal exposure they got in infancy?

  532. #537 Joseph
    March 19, 2010

    About the confounding variables in any sort of retrospective trial?

    Like studying 7 to 10 year olds for neuro outcomes from thimerosal exposure they got in infancy?

    @cynic: Exactly. If you think Thompson et al. (2007) is flawed, you’ll no doubt find excuses about the results of any retrospective study of vaccination vs. non-vaccination. That’s the point. It doesn’t matter how careful the study is, or how well the confounds were accounted for, or how open to the participation of anti-vax consultants it is.

    If you don’t think so, enlighten us on how Thompson et al. (2007) could have been better and convincing to anti-vaxers.

  533. #538 bensmyson
    March 19, 2010

    513

    Re: circumcision

    “At 1.25 million circumcisions of newborns in the US per year, a 0.5% infection rate amounts to 6000 cases per year, and a 4% overall rate of complications requiring treatment represents 48,000 patients experiencing avoidable morbidity.”

    “…424 (4.7%) out of 8,967 operations in 2003-7 were for complications resulting from previous neonatal circumcision” (at Mass General)

    Totally preventable.

    Why would you have the skin cut off your kid’s dick when there is nearly a 5% chance that there will be complications that require treatment in a hospital.

    (Yes I’m circumcised, and no, I’m not Jewish. I’m also 50 years old.)

    Is this the way you comprehend data? Who said anything about 5% requiring hospitalization? “Complications” may be the child needs ointment on his penis.

    And hey, the numbers included in with the “complications” were cosmetically unsatisfactory results. http://www.circumstitions.com/Complic.html

    Circumcision, whether to do it or not, was a big issue. There was much debate on it, we had some “complications” as well, but we talked about it, and were concerned as to what was the right thing to do. Is there any science one way or the other? Why is the procedure allowed? As I said, we were so concerned about it we stood there with him and did our best to comfort him, and were actually surprised as how bloodless and painless it was.

    521 MIdawn

    Yes the room had a section in the back that all this was done. It was done while Ben was being cleaned up and we were dealing with the placenta (saved it for a donation to cadaver dogs) maybe 10-15 feet away. There may have been a release stuck in with all the initial paperwork at admittance. But the doctor knew weeks before, no HepB at birth. And yes, I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt that it was written in the record PRIOR and for some reason (that does not excuse it) it was never corrected. What else was wrong in the report?

    Ben stayed in the room until the following morning when he was taken for some reason that escapes me now, but it was briefly. Then we went home.

    Why can’t he/she accept the genetics more easily?

    No one in my family tree has autism or anything like it. No mental illness other than a couple of alcoholics and dementia in some elderly relatives. A Parkinsons, an MS, a few dyslexias, some ADHD, long list of heart problems, most lived to over 75, some in their 90s, no child deaths in the last 100 years. Some extremely high achievers and high IQs, most extremely social and outgoing.

    Now why would I think genetics as THE cause? I suspect a relationship with the heart issue though may be something worth looking into. MTHFR C677T single mutation and narrowed small arteries in the brain. Hyperhomocysteinemia is an independent risk factor for cerebrovascular disease and the homozygous C677T mutation in the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene can induce hyperhomocysteinemia.

    I believe we may find some answers as we learn more about epigenetics. This to me could explain a great deal, but not the regression.

    516 calli

    “With all due respect, asking you if you had any allergies would not be relevant. ”

    Seems to me it might, why not ask? But I will yield to you on that. It was just a thought, maybe before giving vaccines ask the parents about allergies and any immune disorders in family history.

  534. #539 David N. Brown
    March 19, 2010

    cynic,
    “About the confounding variables in any sort of retrospective trial?
    Like studying 7 to 10 year olds for neuro outcomes from thimerosal exposure they got in infancy?”

    Like the fact that two children who aren’t vaccinated could otherwise be so different in hygiene, nutrition, access to medical care, genetics, etc., that they cannot usefully be treated as a single group.
    Also, it’s very problematic for the anti-vax movement that it is disproportionately upperclass and white, and that what it condemns vaccination, which is as much as possible made equally available to people of all social classes, in favor of things (nutrition, sanitation, etc.) that disproportionately benefit the upper class.

  535. #540 dedicated lurker
    March 19, 2010

    Is this the way you comprehend data? Who said anything about 5% requiring hospitalization? “Complications” may be the child needs ointment on his penis.

    Yeah. Just like potential complications from a vaccine could be a rash. Or some lingering arm pain. Or crying.

    See the point? Anything can sound scary if phrased the right way.

  536. #541 susie
    March 19, 2010

    Joseph:

    Thanks for asking about the Thompson et al. study from 2007 and how a Pro Informed-Consent person like myself can have a problem with that study.

    I am going to paste below the disclosures that appeared on the study abstract that cited significant the authors’ ties to 8 vaccine manufacturers — one individual alone had ties to six vaccine manufacturers!! Given the track record we’ve had with Vioxx, Celebrex, Avandia etc,(Merck and Bristol Myers Squibb manufacturers as well), is there any reason why this data should be trusted?

    Dr. Thompson reports being a former employee of Merck; Dr. Marcy, receiving consulting fees from Merck, Sanofi Pasteur, GlaxoSmithKline, and MedImmune; Dr. Jackson, receiving grant support from Wyeth, Sanofi Pasteur, GlaxoSmithKline, and Novartis, lecture fees from Sanofi Pasteur, and consulting fees from Wyeth and Abbott and serving as a consultant to the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee; Dr. Lieu, serving as a consultant to the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices; Dr. Black, receiving consulting fees from MedImmune, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, and Merck and grant support from MedImmune, GlaxoSmithKline, Aventis, Merck, and Novartis; and Dr. Davis receiving consulting fees from Merck and grant support from Merck and GlaxoSmithKline. No other potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.Dr. Thompson reports being a former employee of Merck; Dr. Marcy, receiving consulting fees from Merck, Sanofi Pasteur, GlaxoSmithKline, and MedImmune; Dr. Jackson, receiving grant support from Wyeth, Sanofi Pasteur, GlaxoSmithKline, and Novartis, lecture fees from Sanofi Pasteur, and consulting fees from Wyeth and Abbott and serving as a consultant to the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee; Dr. Lieu, serving as a consultant to the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices; Dr. Black, receiving consulting fees from MedImmune, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, and Merck and grant support from MedImmune, GlaxoSmithKline, Aventis, Merck, and Novartis; and Dr. Davis receiving consulting fees from Merck and grant support from Merck and GlaxoSmithKline. No other potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.

  537. #542 Calli Arcale
    March 19, 2010

    bensmyson @ 526

    “With all due respect, asking you if you had any allergies would not be relevant. ”

    Seems to me it might, why not ask? But I will yield to you on that. It was just a thought, maybe before giving vaccines ask the parents about allergies and any immune disorders in family history.

    The main problem is it’s just not a good predictor. That is to say, the answer doesn’t really help them make a good decision for your son, because there’s no way of knowing if he’d have the same allergies or immune disorders. Most immune disorders are poorly understood, and do not have straightfoward genetic origins; they seem to be acquired. Allergies certainly are. They run heavily in my family, yet different members are allergic to different things. I had a nut allergy as a child, which I outgrew. (That does happen.) Nobody else in the family did. I also developed a citrus allergy, which again, nobody else in the family has. My hay fever is shared with several relatives, though the specific pollens are not the same; lilies are my nemesis, but my grandmother (who has the most severe allergies and asthma in the family) is fine with them. I suspect the answer is epigenetic, and I think they hygiene hypothesis, though unproven, has merit. (That’s the one that says maybe we’re too clean, so our immune systems don’t get primed properly and we wind up overreacting to benign stuff.)

    It wouldn’t hurt to mention that family history, of course. If you have some rare genetic condition that does correlate to vaccine problems (which could include something like the mitochondrial problem that afflicted Hannah Poling), then it might be relevant. (In the Poling case, however, I suspect avoiding vaccines isn’t the answer. Rather, the answer is to use them very cautiously; her condition is one that could be triggered by any fever, whether vaccine-induced or from natural infection. Vaccines, if they can be administered while her body temp is carefully monitored, could help reduce that risk. That’s actually also true of Guillaine-Barre Syndrome, which can be triggered by any fever, even non-infectious ones. It’s a bastard of a problem to have, though, because the only way to find it is to be injured by it.)

    cynic @ 524:

    Todd @ 517: About the ethics involved in a prospective, randomized trial?

    Thousands of people have refused vaccines for their kids, already. Why is it unethical to study the overall health outcomes of vaccinated and unvaccinated kids?

    It’s not unethical, exactly. It’s more that it wouldn’t answer the question very well. The problem is that in general, when comparing two groups, you want them to be as similar as possible. If it all possible, they should be exactly the same apart from the one thing that you’re studying. In the real world, that’s impossible, because people are unique. So you settle for getting a really big number, randomizing them, and seeing how the results map to the demographics of the general population. So you wouldn’t be looking to see if only one group gets autism; you’d be looking to see if one group gets it at a significantly higher rate than the general population. So, say the general population has a rate of 1 in 110. If the study group had a rate of 1 in 50, you’d be very worried. Assuming all else is equal, of course.

    There’s the rub — in a group of intentionally vaccinated and intentionally unvaccinated kids, all else is definitely not equal. The groups are not randomized; they are self-selected, and this is liable to introduce bias. After all, people don’t often just accidentally forget to get vaccinated; there’s usually a reason why their parents have opted out, and that will affect the parents’ observations of the child — and parental observations are CRUCIAL to diagnosis and monitoring of autism, because parents spend so much time around their children. If the parents believe something already about vaccines and autism, it is likely to influence their observations.

    Generation Rescue actually attempted this sort of study. They did it as a phone-in study, which is one of the least reliable methods. Not much better than the methods used by opinion polls, really. I wouldn’t put a lot of stock in the results, but their figures actually suggested a modest protective effect — that is, unvaccinated children in the study were at slightly *more* risk of autism than vaccinated ones. This has been widely attributed to the fact that autism often runs in families, and in the Generation Rescue crowd, if one child turns out autistic, the parents are much less likely to vaccinate subsequent ones. But it may just be an artifact of the study; telephone surveys are not very reliable.

    So, the bottom line is that you can do this sort of a study, but it’s not as easy as it sounds because there’s a lot of confounding variables that you have to try and account for.

  538. #543 Todd W.
    March 19, 2010

    @cynic (524)

    Thousands of people have refused vaccines for their kids, already. Why is it unethical to study the overall health outcomes of vaccinated and unvaccinated kids?

    The ethics question was about a prospective, randomized trial where subjects would either receive real vaccines or a placebo.

    A study using children who already have not received vaccines compared to children who already have been immunized would have a lot of confounding variables that would introduce a lot of bias and unreliability into the data.

  539. #544 Rob
    March 19, 2010

    @bensmyson

    I know this is a fine distinction, one which you may have trouble understanding, but vaccination has health benefits, circumcision is elective.

    An yes, that 4.7% REQUIRED TREATMENT IN A HOSPITAL.

  540. #545 JohnV
    March 19, 2010

    “Thousands of people have refused vaccines for their kids, already. Why is it unethical to study the overall health outcomes of vaccinated and unvaccinated kids?”

    Ok lets look at Kim Stagliano. 3 kids, 2 vaccinated 1 unvaccinated. All 3 have autism. Problem solved.

    Oh wait, Kim has said, essentially, that her unvaccinated child caught autism due to her (Kim’s) vaccinations.

    Idiocy like that is why a respective study can’t be done.

  541. #546 bensmyson
    March 19, 2010

    calli – once again we agree on something

    You said:

    “(In the Poling case, however, I suspect avoiding vaccines isn’t the answer. Rather, the answer is to use them very cautiously; her condition is one that could be triggered by any fever, whether vaccine-induced or from natural infection. Vaccines, if they can be administered while her body temp is carefully monitored, could help reduce that risk. That’s actually also true of Guillaine-Barre Syndrome, which can be triggered by any fever, even non-infectious ones. It’s a bastard of a problem to have, though, because the only way to find it is to be injured by it.)”

    Rob- “An yes, that 4.7% REQUIRED TREATMENT IN A HOSPITAL.”

    Nope. You really should be quick about a retraction. Otherwise someone might get the idea you are as bad as one of those “anti-vaxxxxxxers” you love to beat up on so much.

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/9w834626551u8087/

    A total of 8,967 children were operated during the study period, of which 424 (4.7%) were for complications resulting from previous neonatal circumcision. Penile adhesions, skin bridges, meatal stenosis, redundant foreskin (incomplete circumcision with uncircumcised appearance), recurrent phimosis, buried penis and penile rotation were the most frequent complications.

    Buried penis? Again Id have to go with my own personal science on that one. Depends on what it’s buried in.

  542. #547 Rob
    March 19, 2010

    @bensmyson

    Hello?

    A 1-3% complication rate in neonatals for a surgery that has absolutely no health benefits? Subject your kid to a face-lift much?

    That’s only the immediate complication rate, and doesn’t include complications after the child has left the hospital.

    So you discussed giving your kid a dick-lift? Why would you even subject a child to cosmetic surgery?

    Almost 5% of surgeries to correct problems with circumcision? For an operation with no medical value. WTF? How much money does that represent? Totally wasted money so someone’s kid’s dick looks a certain way.

    You have no credibility. You cut the skin off your child’s penis for no medical reason, without his consent.

  543. #548 Dan Weber
    March 19, 2010

    If we are wondering if Ben got a HepB vaccine, couldn’t the titers be checked? Or does HepB not reliably allow that measure?

  544. #549 Travis
    March 20, 2010

    While I agree with the basic point involving circumcision that Rob has raised and I do not think children should be subjected to it in general I do take issue with the statement “For an operation with no medical value.” It does sometimes have value. I had an adult circumcision for phimosis, after having tried other methods of treating it, and am very much more happy now. I think it is of value at times. Of course, none of that changes the problems of doing it on an infant.

  545. #550 Raging Bee
    March 20, 2010

    That is really not my point, my point is that vaccines cause injuries all the time.

    Your point is pure, obvious bullshit. You’re delusional. Get help.

  546. #551 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 20, 2010

    These 1 in 4 people in the US that think autism is caused by vaccines are not thinking that because of Jenny McCarty or AoA or me or David Kirby, they do so because they know someone or know someone who knows someone that has regressed immediately after vaccines.

    Goofus argues by assertion about millions of people that he’s never met, let alone spoken to.

    Even if Goofus had spoken to all those millions of people, and even if they had claimed to him that it was not Jenny McCarthy or AoA or David Kirby who caused them to think autism is caused by vaccines, they have no way of know if what they say is true. Not unless they are in the almost unimaginably small group of people who never had any member of the anti-vaccine brigade put that idea into their heads.

    Let me quote from a novel by the science fiction author Suzette Hadin Elgin:

    “When you look at another person, what do you see? Two arms, two legs, a face, an assortment of parts. Am I right? Now, there is a continuous surface of the body, a space that begins with the inside flesh of the fingers and continues over the palm of the hand and up the inner side of the arm to the bend of the elbow. Everyone has that surface; in fact, everyone has two of them.
    I will name that the ‘athad’ of the person. Imagine the athad, please. See it clearly in your mind — perceive, here are my own two athads, the left one and the right one. And there are both of your athads, very nice ones.
    Where there was no athad before, there will always be one now, because you will perceive the athad of every person you look at, as you perceive their nose and their hair. From now on…. Now it exists.”

    So Jenny McCarthy gets on national television, and she spouts to millions of viewers her bigoted current beliefs (note that “current”!) that autistic children are “damaged” children, damaged by vaccinations. Her fervent expression of those beliefs shapes the way those listening to her see the world, just as delineating for someone the boundaries of the “athad” shapes the way they see the human body.

    When those viewers see an autistic child, they are not seeing only what is there to see; they are seeing what Jenny McCarthy told them to see. Jenny McCarthy constructed a pattern for them, in just the way that the speaker from the novel constructed the pattern of the “athad”. Jenny’s pattern consists of a vaccination, followed by the onset of autistic symptoms. Jenny’s viewers have been told to look for that pattern in autistic children, and they see it – even if, to explain an anomalous case such as autism in a child who was not vaccinated, they have to resort to bizarre special pleading (such as blaming a vaccination received by the mother of the child.)

    But guess what? An “athad” is a man-made pattern. It doesn’t represent anything with an objective existence. It just represents the portion of the world to which a human has elected to pay special attention. So too with Jenny McCarthy’s pattern. It’s being told that the vaccination is relevant to the autism that caused the viewer to see the vaccination as relevant to the autism. Otherwise, we would not be seeing the cases we see all the time, where the parent swears that the vaccination must be the cause of the autism, because the vaccination happened, and then the autism set in, and they choose to entirely ignore the year and a half in between… Or, as I believe happened with more than one of the Lancet children, the parents claimed (and apparently sincerely believed) that the children had received the MMR vaccine and afterwards had begun showing the first signs of autism… yet the medical records showed unambiguously that the parents’ memories were false; that the parents had consulted medical authorities over signs of autism in their child before the MMR vaccination.

    Anyone who is still inclined to argue “no, no! There must be some sort of cause-and-effect relationship between vaccination and autism; it can’t simply be people seeing what they were told they’d see or have convinced themselves they’ll see!” will need to consider something else. Remember how, when we were discussing Jenny McCarthy and her claims that she saw “the soul gone from [her son's] eyes” when he received the vaccination, we called these her “current” beliefs?

    We call them that because she didn’t always even think there was anything wrong with her son, let alone believe that his ‘soul’ was ‘gone.’ That’s right, she thought he was a “Crystal child” and she was an adult “Indigo”. (To hear her tell it then, she accepted that pattern just because a woman on the street suggested it to her!) Now she’s removed all the Crystal-and-Indigo from her website, and it’s all about the anti-vaccine talking points with her. If this pattern of “vaccination-then-autism” she promotes now is supposedly so unmistakable, how is it that McCarthy was oblivious to it for so many years??

  547. #552 bensmyson
    March 20, 2010

    feldspar said – “When those viewers see an autistic child, they are not seeing only what is there to see; they are seeing what Jenny McCarthy told them to see. ”

    And you know this how?

    Goofus argues by assertion about millions of people that he’s never met, let alone spoken to.

  548. #553 Bensmyson
    March 20, 2010

    Doctor participating in drug trial was treating 7-year-old Gabriel Myers when the boy hanged himself with a shower cord in a Margate foster home, had prescribed several powerful mental health drugs — some of which had not been approved by the FDA for use on children and had been linked to dangerous side effects, including an increased risk of suicide among children.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/03/16/1531156/psychiatrist-gets-warning-from.html

    The FDA sent a warning label.

    Someone want to defend this doctor and/or the FDA?

    Please tell me why I should trust anything?

    “For years, drug makers did not study most medications on children, largely due to ethical concerns over using kids as test subjects. More recently, however, Congress passed laws to encourage pharmaceutical companies to test their drugs for safety and efficacy with children by extending patents on drugs approved for adults.”

    Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/03/16/1531156/psychiatrist-gets-warning-from.html#ixzz0ihsRgeBe

  549. #554 MI Dawn
    March 20, 2010

    @bensmyson: I still have some questions, but I’ll let them lie.

  550. #555 Pablo
    March 20, 2010

    You have no credibility. You cut the skin off your child’s penis for no medical reason, without his consent.

    Irrespective of that, remember the reason I brought this up was the comment

    I refused only because I did not want him given any more pain than necessary. It was about the prick of the needle not what was in the shot.

    What an asshole. Whining because of the fear of a “prick of a needle” but no problem with circumcision.

    She doesn’t want him to feel any more pain than necessary. Yet has part of his penis chopped off.

    I’m sure it was all ok, though, because “she held him during the procedure.”

  551. #556 Rob
    March 20, 2010

    The bigger point, Pablo, is that there is a significant risk of moderate to severe complications with circumcision, that the procedure is completely elective, there is no medical purpose for the operation, and it is essentially cosmetic surgery. bensymson ELECTED to cut part of his penis off for no reason other than he/she wanted it to look a certain way, with no medical benefit to be gained, but complains that vaccines hurt her baby.

    What a hypocrite.

  552. #557 cynic
    March 20, 2010

    Todd @531 (others chimed in similarly): A study using children who already have not received vaccines compared to children who already have been immunized would have a lot of confounding variables that would introduce a lot of bias and unreliability into the data.

    Confounders are simply part of it, you cannot escape it… in anything (Thompson, 2007, anyone?). So there is no bias in a study that looks at neurological outcomes of children receiving varying doses of thimerosal in infancy seven years later? This is highly inconsistent.

    Objectively speaking, continuing to claim that this kind of study is not worth doing due to confounders looks really bad. Vaccine defenders should clamor with every breath to prove to antivaxxing nutbags that their vaccinated population is overall healthier and has less incidence of autism than their unvaccinated counterparts. Why don’t they want to do that?

    Calli: It’s more that it wouldn’t answer the question very well. The problem is that in general, when comparing two groups, you want them to be as similar as possible.

    I think you want each group to be as similar as possible. The vaccinated population should have inclusion criteria, as should the unvaccinated group. Each of these groups should be as similar as possible…. and measure various health outcomes, notably autism prevalence, in both groups. Saying that this kind of information would be useless is a bit denialist. I would think that vaccine defenders should want such a study to prove that prevalence is the same…. right?

  553. #558 Dan Weber
    March 20, 2010

    Vaccine defenders should clamor with every breath to prove to antivaxxing nutbags that their vaccinated population is overall healthier

    Just as a hypothetical, imagine if the vaccine defenders did prove such a thing, but the anti-vaxxers refused to listen and demanded some new study be performed? How long would you chase the rabbit down that hole?

  554. #559 cynic
    March 20, 2010

    Dan Weber @546:imagine if the vaccine defenders did prove such a thing, but the anti-vaxxers refused to listen and demanded some new study be performed

    What good does it do to imagine? Reasonable people are not refusing to listen – they are listening. They are not convinced of the overall message.

    They don’t understand why the consensus is hanging their hats on some really bad science. I mean, let’s be honest people. We started universally vaccinating US infants on their day of birth and we have no clue if that was a good idea or not. Anyone that suggests a newborn might have slightly different physiology than an adult is a blasphemer apparently… and of course that artificial exposure to disease with ‘them peyoor antigens is way better than nachural eksposhur’.

    I don’t chase rabbits. I just watch both sides try to catch it and having said that, why should I be surprised that the provaccine garden is empty?

  555. #560 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 20, 2010

    feldspar said – “When those viewers see an autistic child, they are not seeing only what is there to see; they are seeing what Jenny McCarthy told them to see. ”

    And you know this how?

    As already explained, there have been numerous examples where medical records and other documentation made at the time make clear that the real sequence of events was:

    1) Child displays autistic symptoms, sometimes severe enough that medical authorities are consulted;
    2) Child receives a vaccination;
    3) Child displays more autistic symptoms.

    But later, after the parents get the idea that the vaccination caused the autism, they entirely forget that 1) happened – even though they were the ones who took the child to the doctor saying “shouldn’t he be looking at me more? should he be flapping his hands all the time like that?”

    Oh, I suppose we could be very cynical, and we could hypothesize that each and every one of these parents is deliberately lying, trying to pretend that 1) never happened just so that they have a chance of cashing in from a fraudulent lawsuit.

    But if we do not adopt that extremely cynical (and unlikely) explanation for every single such parent, we must find some other explanation for why they would have forgotten about events they themselves lived through. Thankfully, there is a copious body of research studying human perception, and if everything that we know about human perception was summed up into one sentence, it would probably be “What people see is shaped by what they expect to see.” This video certainly demonstrates that!

    Goofus’ assertion that “those think autism is caused by vaccines are not thinking that because of Jenny McCarty or AoA or me or David Kirby” flies in the face of all we know about human perception. There is absolutely no way Goofus could know what he asserts, not unless he is talking about an individual who has never heard from Jenny McCarthy or AoA or David Kirby or any other anti-vaxxer – and even if he could find such an individual, it would only prove that some person perceived such a relationship, not that there was any reality behind the perception.

  556. #561 Todd W.
    March 20, 2010

    @bensmyson

    The FDA sent a warning label.

    Someone want to defend this doctor and/or the FDA?

    Please tell me why I should trust anything?

    The doctor clearly was in the wrong. Why would we defend him? And what are your particular objections to the FDA on this case?

  557. #562 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 20, 2010

    acknowledging that the symptoms of the vaccine injury are greatly reduced by these interventions means that you must also acknowledge that the injury has taken place. By defining the exact injury and treating the injury, NOT THE SYMPTOM, it is revealed that the actual cause was the vaccine.

    Goofus demonstrates even more clearly here that she is committing the logical fallacy known as affirming the consequent.

    Purely for the purpose of illustrating where Goofus’ logic is faulty, let us temporarily pretend that the following points are unquestioned:

    “Autism is damage from vaccine injury”;
    “The DUM protocol reverses damage from vaccine injury and produces better health.”

    Again, no actual belief in these statements is implied. We simply want to simplify Goofus’ argument down to the following syllogism:

    1) IF children in “Group X” are vaccine-injured children, THEN children in Group X who are treated with the DUM protocol will have improved health.
    2) Children in Group X who are treated with the DUM protocol have improved health.
    3) Therefore, children in Group X are vaccine-injured children.

    Now, syllogisms are very powerful when used correctly. They are a way of taking two known facts (the “premises”, seen on lines 1 and 2) and deriving from them a third fact (the “conclusion” seen on line 3) which must be true if the premises are true.

    But this is only the case if the syllogism is a valid form! If any example can be found where two true premises can be combined in a particular form and the resulting conclusion is false, it means that syllogism form is invalid.

    We transform Goofus’ syllogism with the following substitutions:

    * “children in “Group X” are vaccine-injured children” becomes “P”;
    * “children in Group X who are treated with the DUM protocol have improved health” becomes “Q”.

    The syllogism form is thus revealed to be:
    1) If P, then Q.
    2) Q.
    3) Therefore, P.

    Here’s another syllogism that has the exact same form:
    1) If my aunt Pamela is a rabbit, my aunt Pamela would enjoy carrots.
    2) My aunt Pamela enjoys carrots.
    3) Therefore, my aunt Pamela is a rabbit.

    As you may have guessed, my aunt Pamela is not a rabbit. If the two premises of a syllogism is true but its conclusion is false, that means the form of the syllogism is invalid. That means no syllogism in that form proves anything!

    And that is exactly the case with Goofus’ syllogism. It doesn’t prove anything. Just to drive this point home, let’s go back to the original Goofus syllogism and create two more syllogisms from it:

    REVISED GOOFUS SYLLOGISM A
    1) IF children in “Group X” are left-handed vaccine-injured children, THEN children in Group X who are treated with the DUM protocol will have improved health.
    2) Children in Group X who are treated with the DUM protocol have improved health.
    3) Therefore, children in Group X are left-handed vaccine-injured children.

    REVISED GOOFUS SYLLOGISM B
    1) IF children in “Group X” are right-handed vaccine-injured children, THEN children in Group X who are treated with the DUM protocol will have improved health.
    2) Children in Group X who are treated with the DUM protocol have improved health.
    3) Therefore, children in Group X are right-handed vaccine-injured children.

    This leaves fans of the original Goofus syllogism in a bind! Obviously, “vaccine-injured children” includes both “left-handed vaccine-injured children” and “right-handed vaccine-injured children”, so anyone who accepts premise 1 of the original Goofus syllogism must accept premise 1 of both revised Goofus syllogisms. Yet the two revised Goofus syllogisms reach exactly opposite conclusions! At least one of them must be wrong, and this means there is no reason to think any of the Goofus syllogisms come to conclusions that aren’t wrong.

  558. #563 Calli Arcale
    March 20, 2010

    cynic @ 545:

    Calli: It’s more that it wouldn’t answer the question very well. The problem is that in general, when comparing two groups, you want them to be as similar as possible.

    I think you want each group to be as similar as possible. The vaccinated population should have inclusion criteria, as should the unvaccinated group. Each of these groups should be as similar as possible…. and measure various health outcomes, notably autism prevalence, in both groups. Saying that this kind of information would be useless is a bit denialist. I would think that vaccine defenders should want such a study to prove that prevalence is the same…. right?

    I’m sorry, I obviously wasn’t very clear. If you can get the two groups to be equivalent, the data would be very valuable. I’m just not very optimistic about finding a large enough unvaccinated group that can be adequately paired with a vaccinated group. It’s been attempted, and so far, the results have been disappointing; they still end up with too many confounding variables.

  559. #564 Calli Arcale
    March 20, 2010

    Ack, screwed up the blockquotes. Cynic’s quote extends through the second paragraph (up through “prove that prevalence is the same…. right?”)

  560. #565 susie
    March 20, 2010

    Antaeus
    Have you ever spent time around an autistic child? Have you personally observed the escalation of an autistic child’s illness? Autism is NOT a mental illness. It is vaccine injury that affects many systems in the body. Children diagnosed with autism share the same biomedical markers. And it is not something that kids spontaneously recover from. The medical issues are too complex. Untreated children often grow “into” the illness, their medical issues do NOT resolve. These kids are literally too sick to develop, too sick to respond to the outside world. They withdraw, they lose their ability to process back what they take in from external sources. They lose their ability to communicate, they lose coordination, fine motor skills, I could go on but I think you get it.

    They suffer from heavy metal toxicity and immune dysfunction. Most of them have hepatic dysfunction and severe intestinal dysbiosis. Some have neurotransmitter imbalances. They have mitochondrial disfunction and methylation dysfunction.

    Parents, including Jenny McCarthy have and ARE successfully recovering their kids. Go ahead and make fun of that instead of educating yourself and showing the tiniest bit of scientific curiosity as to how she did that. It only emphasizes your arrogance and ignorance and lack of interest in finding truth.

    Despite what the pharma PR machine coining the label and slapping “anti-vax” on her — she has said repeatedly that she is not “Anti-vax”. She has said repeatedly that she wants a more sensible vaccine schedule. She has said that neurotoxins like mercury have no place in any vaccine.

    It appears that you hate someone who’s strong and successful — who didn’t give up on her kid and she saved her son from the abyss of autism. You cannot attack the science she used to recover her son because you haven’t bothered to educate yourself on the details. I sincerely hope you are not employed in pediatrics or public health, but if you were, I would say that you serve as a good example of the what we all dread in a healthcare provider: Know-it-alls who cannot think for themselves, refuse to listen to the people who actually deal with the illness / issue and make fun of something they don’t understand.

  561. #566 Jen in TX
    March 20, 2010

    “It is vaccine injury that affects many systems in the body.”

    Vaccine injury, eh? Care to explain how vaccines caused my unvaccinated child to develop autism?

    Thanks in advance.

  562. #567 Jen in TX
    March 20, 2010

    “It is vaccine injury that affects many systems in the body.”

    Vaccine injury, eh? Care to explain how vaccines caused my unvaccinated child to develop autism?

    Thanks in advance.

  563. #568 susie
    March 20, 2010

    Jen:

    Are you sure the unvaccinated child you have was NOT given the HepB at the hospital without your consent? You could run vaccine titers on him / her to see if he has antibodies to Hepatitis B. I know parents of an autisic child who never authorized that vaccine, but titers show that it had been administered.

    When our son was little, I had specifically told the pediatrician I did not want the triple dose MMR vaccine – not because I had heard about autism, but because the vaccine is cultured in aborted fetal cells and I have an issued with that. When I requested my son’s records, I saw that the pediatrician had lied to me and he had given my son the exact vaccine I told him I did not want. He was too lazy to order the specific vaccines I requested and went out of his way to lie to me the day he injected my son.

    Autism develops when genetically predisposed individuals receive toxic / immune insults that are the “tipping point” that push that child’s immune and detox systems into dysfunction. There may be environmental triggers to autism in addition to vaccines, as toxic and viral exposures can occur outside of vaccine exposure, but vaccines are the single biggest trigger of this illness.

  564. #569 triskelethecat
    March 21, 2010

    @susie: what kind of lies will you think of next? How did you not know your child (if she/he did) got the MMR (1 shot) instead of measles (1 shot), mumps (1 shot) and rubella (1 shot)=3 shots. Or can’t you tell the difference between 1 and 3 injections?

    As for your “aborted fetal tissue” objection: do you KNOW how old that line is? The fetal tissue is from the 1960′s, from a fetus who was aborted because the mother caught rubella early in pregnancy. It was one of the very few reasons, back in those days before Roe vs Wade, that you could get an abortion (a medical indication). The cells from that fetus – and possibly 1 other, I forget now – were nurtured and cultured to obtain the virus and develop the vaccine. Geez, even Mothering.com has THAT information right.

    And, you might read some of Jen from TX’s posts. She knows quite well about her child. I don’t always agree with her, but she at least backs up her assertions with some real science.

  565. #570 Rob
    March 21, 2010

    “Autism develops when genetically predisposed individuals receive toxic / immune insults that are the “tipping point” that push that child’s immune and detox systems into dysfunction.’

    CITATION PLEASE

    Are you saying there are NO cases of autism that are not related to vaccination? In other words, that ALL cases of autism are caused by vaccination?

  566. #571 susie
    March 21, 2010

    triskelethecat:

    I am opposed to abortion, I have a right to be opposed to that, don’t I?

    So, if I went and did the research and told the doc to order in other vaccines instead of the triple MMR from Merck, and he said he did that, then I should have expected that he not lie because he was likely just too lazy to order the vaccines I requested.

    In a free country, I think people have those kind of rights, do they not? I don’t have to explain my ethical positions to someone else, especially when I made an honest effort to keep to the recommended CDC vaccine schedule.

    Regarding the administration of the shots, in the interest of keeping the citation as short as possible, my son OBVIOUSLY received more than just the MMR that day. I questioned the doc on the shot #’s and he said that the number of injections fit the vaccines he got that day. He had an arrogant, “how dare you question what I’m doing here” attitude that I will never forget.

    Like I said, the reason why we’ve got an autism epidemic is because pediatricians don’t LISTEN to parents. They adminsiter assembly-line mentality, one-sized fits all medicine and don’t call me if something happens — that’s what 911 is for.

  567. #572 susie
    March 21, 2010

    Rob:

    Reread the quote: “Autism develops when genetically predisposed individuals receive toxic / immune insults that are the “tipping point” that push that child’s immune and detox systems into dysfunction.’

    As I’ve said before on this post — vaccines are the single, biggest and most consistent, coast-to-coast ENVIRONMENTAL insult these kids are exposed to. They are a TRIGGER to genetically predisposed individuals. I never said that autism could not be caused by some other triggers, but vaccines are a trigger that, unlike the environment, are a consistent insult that occurs to children with immature immune systems across the USA.

    Citation: There is a lot of information from Generation Rescue citing the research that parents of autistic children have used to reverse the vaccine injury that caused the autism. Reverse the injury, the autistic behaviors go away.

  568. #573 Commenting
    March 21, 2010

    Susie: Why don’t you get something into your stupid head. The child is the patient. Not the mother. Because you have some Googlecrank opinions doesn’t mean that a child has to be exposed to unnecessary risk or suffering. The relationship is between the doctor and his or her patient. Your views may be fascinating, particularly to yourself. However, they are determinative of nothing.

    Similarly with the fraudster Wakefield. No parent can give permission for a child to be abused or assaulted: even inside a hospital. What parents may or may not think of the matter is of consequential interest only to themselves.

    So why don’t you go back to your pals at Generation Rescue, and all dribble down the same toilet?

  569. #574 susie
    March 21, 2010

    Commenting:

    Last time I checked, it is still the parents’ legal right and ethical responsibility to make health decisions for their children, not the pediatrician.

  570. #575 susie
    March 21, 2010

    Commenting:

    Re your crude Gen Rescue comment, thank you for again demonstrating the intolerance for dissention that we see demonstrated by the ignorant portion of our scientific community who’s been brainwashed into not questioning their paymasters, the pharmaceutical industry. There are lots of citations to protocols and stories of recovered autistic children on that website. Of course, I realize you’d rather continue to site epidemiological studies that were paid for by pharma and done by people with big time vaccine manufacturer ties.

    With regard to Dr. Wakefield, unlike Dr. Scott Rueben of Boston, who FAKED DATA in 17 published studies, Dr. Wakefield NEVER FAKED HIS DATA. The hearing that was conducted on his medical ethics never brought into question the FINDINGS OF WAKEFIELD’s STUDY. The parents of the children in Wakefield’s study were never allowed to provide testimony to the GMC (who also had extensive ties to pharma). OPEN YOUR EYES!!!!! Amazing that the media is going ballistic over Wakefield, but there was virtually no outcry over Scott Rueben who FAKED DATA, and was found guilty of faking data and admitted to having faked the data and people got strokes and died from Vioxx and Celebrex. Rueben was complicit in the deaths and disablement of how many people? Why aren’t your esteemed medical journals retracting the studies that are based on FAKED DATA?

    If it weren’t for the suffering of all the kids who have autism spectrum disorders and autoimmine diseases from vaccines, I would laugh my butt off at the double standards I see here. Instead I shake my head in disgust at the ignorance and inability to do honest scientific research into the effects of vaccines on the health of our children.

  571. #576 a perfect circle
    March 21, 2010

    @susie

    I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but anecdotes =/= data. Autism is not a static condition, it’s developmental delay. As such, intervention and therapy (and I don’t mean biomedical bs of dubious or disproven efficacy) and sometimes just growing older will mitigate autistic behaviors.

    One or a number of instances of malfeasance on the part of the medical community does not falsify everything science has ever done. What you’re not taking into account is that (despite the recent frothing about Poul Thorsen) the lack of connection or even weak correlation between vaccination and autism is not sitting on one single study.

    However, on the anti-vaccine side, the entire case rests on Wakefield, whose study is riddled with conflicts of interest, shoddy experimentation if not outright fraud (50% of the children in his study did not have the GI symptoms he attributed to them)–a study the results of which have not been replicated by reputable scientists.

    And, yeah, yeah, the Pharma Shill Gambit. It never ceases to sound tinfoil-hatted no matter how stated or how often. We’re all in the employ of our Pharma Masters or, at the very least, gullible sheep for looking at a mountain of data on one side and unethical farts in the wind on the other and coming to the only rational conclusion: vaccines do not cause autism.

    And Vioxx? Yes, that is an instance of fraud. But, if Big Pharma (TM) is so all-powerful, why is Vioxx (despite being very profitable initially) not still on the market? Pharmaceutical companies are so powerful and far-reaching that they can bury data proving the autism-vaccine connection and supposed ruin Wakefield, yet the malfeasance with Vioxx was revealed and the drug removed from the market. Why is that?

    Cognitive dissonance anyone?

  572. #577 susie
    March 21, 2010

    Perfect Circle:

    Merck held data for three years that proved Vioxx caused an increase in the risk of heart attacks and stroke. The company knowingly kept a product on the market that was causing deaths and disabilities. That is indefensible.

    Does Merck make any of the vaccines that have received notariaty for causing significant side effects?

  573. #578 triskelethecat
    March 21, 2010

    @susie: yes, Andy Wakefield FAKED HIS DATA.

    He
    1)lied about some of the children having GI symptoms
    2)lied about finding measles IN the samples
    3)lied about the results in his media appearances
    4)lied about drawing blood at his son’s party (then retracted the lie when shown the video taken)
    5)lied through omission about his conflicts of interest – or don’t you think being paid by lawyers to FIND results is a conflict of interest?

    So you don’t like or approve of abortion. I can respect that. However, even the Catholic church has no problem with the MMR, and I doubt you will find anyone more anti-abortion then them.

    As for your pediatrician…well, I still can’t imagine how you would have missed 2 extra shots. At 12-15 months, a child does get a lot of vaccines, but I can’t understand a mother not knowing how many her child is supposed to get each time (I always knew with mine and my pediatrician re-enforced what he/she gave at each visit, besides which I read the consent(s) I had to sign for the vaccines). Maybe you had a lousy pediatrician. I don’t know. But I still am amazed.

  574. #579 triskelethecat
    March 21, 2010

    Ooops…hit post by accident and somehow deleted part of a paragragh.

    Meant to say:

    I am amazed that you didn’t know how your child got the MMR. After all, when not given as a trivalent vaccine, you have to give the injections approximately 1 month apart. You didn’t question the fact that you weren’t told to come in in a few weeks for the next shot? Or that you weren’t told “today X got the rubella shot. you need to come in next month for the measles shot, then the following month for the mumps shot”. AND, as a mother demanding something out of the ordinary, YOU should have been on top of that and asked about it. (which you obviously didn’t do because you apparently just asked if X got the right amount of shots).

  575. #580 passionlessDrone
    March 21, 2010

    Hi Anteus Feldspar -

    Goofus demonstrates even more clearly here that she is committing the logical fallacy known as affirming the consequent.

    I think that I’m starting to catch on. Let me try one.

    1) We have evaluated for a relationship between the MMR and autism.
    2) The MMR is a vaccine.
    3) Therefore, we have evaluated for a relationship between vaccination and autism.

    Great stuff.

    - pD

  576. #581 cynic
    March 21, 2010

    Calli,

    Yes… we’ll have some confounders to deal with, we always do. We adjust the best we can, and the study is still worthwhile to do. Will it be perfect? What is?

    Isn’t it also worthwhile to study children that have reportedly regressed and ask questions about their vaccination and immune status? Would it be statistically significant, or simply coincidence if they had all been vaccinated in some way, shape, or form? Epidemiology is useful, and can certain detect certain anomalies on a population level, but if the alleged damage that is occurring to young children is not overt, epi studies will tell us nothing.

    The fact is, we have been universally vaccinating babies in the US on the day they are born since the early nineties. What data could possibly be available to demonstrate that this has no ill-effect? When the recommendation was made, there was none.

    There should be no conceivable reason NOT to study a sick population of kids just because their parents think it had something to do with some part of the vaccine protocol. Public health agencies are fully aware of how fear can induce an irrational response in usually rational people. People that question the safety of the current US schedule are not irrational. They realize that we’ve seen an increase in the number of vaccines given, and the age in which they are given. I had five vaccines as a kid, and didn’t have any until I was two, and logical, reasonable questions are: is this kind of expansion really necessary and is the target pathogen contained with nonvax measures? (I mean, we try to remove bugs that become invasive in a very small population of people… why don’t look at that population of people instead of universally vaccinated and remove its circulation? This is playing Russian roulette with nature, and some people don’t like that) and are there data that proves this doesn’t perturb the undeveloped and immature nervous, digestive, and immune system of a newborn / infant? To tell them these questions are irrational and that it makes them an antivaccine crankjob is a message that is not being received very well.

    Seems it’s okay to call those parents psycho and open up debating dictionaries to show the skeptical community that we’ve been paying attention and can dissect debating styles. In the end, parents don’t really care about who constructs the better strawman.

  577. #582 Jen in TX
    March 21, 2010

    “Are you sure the unvaccinated child you have was NOT given the HepB at the hospital without your consent?”

    Yup, I’m sure.

  578. #583 Rob
    March 21, 2010

    susie

    “genetically predisposed individuals”

    Please show me the medical literature on the genetic predisposition to autism.

  579. #584 nawdy doc
    March 21, 2010

    No parent can give permission for a child to be abused or assaulted: even inside a hospital.

    Careful, some here say circumsision is abuse.

    And who cares if the vaccines cause autism or not. It saves a million lives to every one it harms. Id say thats a good return on investment.

    I know it’s hard for parents to accept that their perfect babies were sacrificed on the alter of science but get over it, everything has risks. More kids fall off bikes and get injured.

  580. #585 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 21, 2010

    As we examined before, Goofus showed an attachment to an invalid style of syllogism called affirming the consequent, which (unlike a valid syllogism) can take two completely true premises and return a false conclusion.

    Goofus seems to have decided, at least temporarily, to move away from that particular fallacy. Of course, even if she were to change to using only valid forms of syllogistic logic, it wouldn’t do any good unless she also restricted herself to using true premises!

    Let’s look at some of the premises she presents which are either unverified or known to be false:

    [Autism] is vaccine injury that affects many systems in the body.

    [Autism] is not something that kids spontaneously recover from.

    Kids don’t recover from autism spontaneously, but I think we know that what Goofus really means here is “Kids don’t recover without the particular ‘protocol’ I have in mind, which imagines that autism is vaccine injury.” Yes, they do recover without that protocol.

    [Autistic children] suffer from heavy metal toxicity and immune dysfunction. Most of them have hepatic dysfunction and severe intestinal dysbiosis. Some have neurotransmitter imbalances. They have mitochondrial disfunction and methylation dysfunction.

    All of these are articles of faith for certain denominations of antivaxism. None of them, with the possible exception of “Some have neurotransmitter imbalances”, have anything to back them up except faith.

    Even that exception, “Some have neurotransmitter imbalances,” is only true because autism would have to preclude neurotransmitter imbalances for it to be false. If we took instead the statement “Autistic children have a greater rate of neurotransmitter imbalances than non-autistic children,” we’d be back to assertions based purely on faith.

    Autism develops when genetically predisposed individuals receive toxic / immune insults that are the “tipping point” that push that child’s immune and detox systems into dysfunction. There may be environmental triggers to autism in addition to vaccines, as toxic and viral exposures can occur outside of vaccine exposure, but vaccines are the single biggest trigger of this illness.

    Again, pure articles of faith. The only way it comes close to approaching anything we have objective evidence for is when she talks about viral exposures as a trigger. We know that exposure to rubella in a pregnant mother is associated with a higher probability of autism in the child of that pregnancy. There’s no evidence behind any of the rest.

    Antivaxxers often do cite the case of Hannah Poling, claiming that it is a known case where vaccines triggered autism. However, anyone who examines the case closely realizes that this is not so. Hannah Poling had a rare mitochondrial disease (how rare? only four other cases are known) which resulted in some autism-like symptoms.

    It is not known why the mitochondrial disease abruptly got worse and produced the autism-like symptoms; the government elected to award compensation on the theory that it could have been a febrile reaction to vaccines that caused the abrupt worsening of the mitochondrial disorder. Consider that carefully. If a febrile reaction to vaccines could be the trigger for Hannah Poling’s autism-like symptoms, so could any other febrile reaction, including those induced by the diseases that vaccines protect against. Saying that what happened to Hannah Poling proves that vaccines cause autism is like saying “this child was in the middle of the street; a milk truck was unable to brake in time and the child was hit. This proves that milk is harmful to children.” What was actually harmful to the child was her pre-existing mitochondrial disorder.

    Like I said, the reason why we’ve got an autism epidemic is because pediatricians don’t LISTEN to parents.

    The existence of an “autism epidemic” is itself an article of faith; there is actually no evidence that rates of autism have increased at all. Rates of autism diagnosis have increased, but only because people who would have been diagnosed with other conditions before (such as mental retardation) are now classified as autistic instead.

    (As a side note, antivaxxers sometimes argue the slightly hilarious premise that there is so an epidemic of autism, and that the reason said “epidemic” cannot be detected by the epidemiological studies looking for exactly such a phenomenon is that the autism is the result of the “triggering” of rare preconditions by vaccines, preconditions too rare to be detected with epidemiological techniques that have previously detected side effects occurring at rates less than 1 in 100,000. But previously these same antivaxxers insisted that they knew there was an autism epidemic because supposedly everyone and his brother knew a child who got a vaccination and then became autistic! So now they’re arguing that the “epidemic” is simultaneously a) so prevalent that individuals across the world can personally verify its existence solely through personal observation and b) so rare that it defeats the most searching epidemiological studies. It can’t be both!!)

    Dr. Wakefield NEVER FAKED HIS DATA. The hearing that was conducted on his medical ethics never brought into question the FINDINGS OF WAKEFIELD’s STUDY.

    Fraud through omission is still fraud. Wakefield faked his data the moment he published his observations of the Lancet children without disclosing that they had been referred to him by lawyers because of the confluence of their perceived medical symptoms. One might as well pretend that it isn’t fakery to trumpet “100% of respondents in this poll said they planned to vote for the Republican candidate in the next election!” without mentioning that the “poll” was conducted inside the Republican candidate’s campaign headquarters.

    In regards to the GMC hearing, the GMC stated beforehand that it “[could not] arbitrate between competing scientific theories generated in the course of medical research.” There is no sane reason, therefore, to trumpet that the hearing “never brought into question the findings of Wakefield’s study” because it only means that they confined their inquiry to issues that did not include the correctness of Wakefield’s findings. One might as well trumpet that “the small claims court NEVER DECLARED A VERDICT OF GUILTY ON THE KIDNAPPING CHARGES!” which only sounds like it means something if you don’t know that kidnapping is a federal offense which would never be heard in a small claims court.

    Why aren’t your esteemed medical journals retracting [Scott Reuben's] studies that are based on FAKED DATA?

    And here is where Goofus shows that she says so many false things because she doesn’t do her research. The allegations of fraud against Scott Reuben were first reported the week of March 11, 2009 by Anaesthesiology News. The hospital where Reuben was employed had already contacted the medical journals involved to request the retraction of all 21 papers by that date. The journal Anaethesia & Analgesia had already retracted 10 of Reuben’s studies by that date. The journal Anaethesiology had already retracted 3 of Reuben’s studies by that date. All the above information is located in two articles which are listed on the first page of Google results for “Scott Reuben retract”.

    It took me five minutes, in other words, to discover that 2/3rds of Reuben’s studies have been retracted. (It took only fifteen minutes more to verify that the remaining studies were also, as expected, retracted.) Why should we believe anything Goofus says when she doesn’t do five minutes of Google searching to see if what she’s saying is actually true?

  581. #586 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 21, 2010

    But, if Big Pharma (TM) is so all-powerful, why is Vioxx (despite being very profitable initially) not still on the market?

    Or even closer to the current issue: if Big Pharma supposedly can and will twist the science to say whatever makes for the biggest market for their products, why isn’t it still selling secretin?

  582. #587 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 21, 2010
    Goofus demonstrates even more clearly here that she is committing the logical fallacy known as affirming the consequent.

    I think that I’m starting to catch on. Let me try one.

    1) We have evaluated for a relationship between the MMR and autism.
    2) The MMR is a vaccine.
    3) Therefore, we have evaluated for a relationship between vaccination and autism.

    Nope, sorry. That syllogism reduces to the following form:
    1) A (the MMR vaccine) is a B (something that has been evaluated for its relationship to autism.)
    2) A is a C (a vaccine.)
    3) Therefore, all C are Bs.

    That’s not the fallacy of affirming the consequent; it doesn’t even contain a premise of the form “if P then Q”. It is an invalid syllogism. Which logical fallacy does your syllogism represent?

    Well, any anti-vaxxer trying to pretend that the syllogism actually represents the position of those who support vaccinations is committing the straw man fallacy…

  583. #588 Katharine
    March 21, 2010

    Guys, guys, guys, do you not see it’s pointless to argue with boneheads who don’t know the first thing about actual argument?

  584. #589 Pat
    March 21, 2010

    Dear Susie:

    I find it difficult to believe that autistic behaviors “Go away.” Especially since the definition of diagnostic criteria is quite vast, and they include quite a few behaviors which undiagnosed children, and adults, have as well.

    My son’s echolalia has abated, but it’s not gone away; I realize I have a bit of it myself, in that I have a tendency to repeat out-loud several times something that amused me. My son never had any of the touch-sensitivity which gets a lot of play as a “marker” – would that, by you, be indicative of “gone away,” that he never had a defining symptom, and now still doesn’t have it?

    My son has, however, progressed remarkably, and all of this without any of the interventions recommended to “reverse” “vaccine insults” or whatever you’re calling them nowadays.

    He’s been developmentally delayed. And, if you’d look at real, honest-to-goodness scientific literature (you know, the kind that you’ve been programmed not to trust) you’d see that for autistic and autism-spectrum-disorder children that are not severe, improvement in symptoms, otherwise known as continuing development, is the rule rather than the exception.

    Oddly enough, I enjoy my son’s company immensely – he does have a tendency nowadays to make up neologisms and correct us when we don’t remember them “A tradon is sixty hours,” for instance: this grew out of him realizing sixty seconds is a minute, and sixty minutes is an hour, so there had to be something representing sixty hours.

    I try and imagine how much time I’ve spent with him would have been wasted if I’d been dragging him to chelation therapy or fuming for years about how to get back at the vaccine conglomerate.

    In other words, Susie:

    Are you doing this for your children, or for you?

  585. #590 Pat
    March 21, 2010

    Cynic:
    Really? Are you really making that argument about a poor, delicate baby’s innards?

    Babies are exposed to more insults and substances from their parents than any vaccine – and the parents aren’t bound by any hippocratic oath. How many parents, for want of a pacifier, stick their finger in baby’s mouth; not even certain of where it’s been?

    You think that is somehow less of an insult than what’s in a vaccine?

    Pathogens and vaccines aren’t magic, you know.

    A killed-virus vaccine is effectively a license-plate handed out to neighborhood watch. That license plate tells them what to look out for: a drive-by shooter in an automobile bearing that license-plate. By itself, the license-plate can’t kill anyone; it has no gun, no wheels, no engine.

    Get it? What you complain about goes on anyways with just about any substance introduced to baby. Any protein that might pass to the bloodstream gets the going-over. That includes the host of proteins in a lot of the “herbal” “toxin-cleansers” pushed by some of these fruity individuals. That includes the Drosophila that little Pete ate while you weren’t looking, along with all of the dog-fecal-matter bacterial growth it had just landed on.

    Complain all you like about our efforts to contain preventable infant mortality. Please do. You know, there aren’t enough babies dying at an early age, and they don’t suffer enough. I think I can see your point.

  586. #591 Rob
    March 21, 2010

    Everyone,

    You’re wasting electrons and photons, and wear and tear on your keyboard.

    Let me rephrase a response to Susie’s arguments in a less verbose manner.

    YOU ARE WRONG.

    Truly, the end of the discussion. Wrong is wrong, and everything she says is wrong. She will never be right. ‘Nuff said.

  587. #592 cynic
    March 22, 2010

    Pat@Really? Are you really making that argument about a poor, delicate baby’s innards?

    Well, yeah. Are you really telling me that the development that human babies undergo in the first two years of life is meaningless? Or is that a strawman?

    Babies are exposed to more insults and substances from their parents than any vaccine – and the parents aren’t bound by any hippocratic oath. How many parents, for want of a pacifier, stick their finger in baby’s mouth; not even certain of where it’s been?

    This is really a laughable comparison, and, no offense, I’m growing rather tired of it. Piercing the skin and delivering antigen through the needle is pretty different than encountering disease causing agents by casual contact. Since there is a fair amount of immune response that occurs in the gut, I’m not sure I’m all that bothered by parents sticking their fingers in their kids mouths. It’s a normal route of exposure… and humans have evolved for a hellava long time to be exposed to pathogens in this manner.

    A killed-virus vaccine is effectively a license-plate handed out to neighborhood watch. That license plate tells them what to look out for: a drive-by shooter in an automobile bearing that license-plate. By itself, the license-plate can’t kill anyone; it has no gun, no wheels, no engine.

    Sure, I get it. Generalizing the schedule to killed virus vaccines is dishonest. And how do you explain the folks that have the license plate but get shot and killed anyway? Sorry, they exist… and contradict your position adequately. Antibody levels alone do not demonstrate that any animal will resist the disease causing agent that they’ve been artificially provoked to identify. Are you telling me that people don’t have to metabolize the ingredients in vaccines and that everyone does so equally? Even day old babies? Or is your analogy of a drive by shooting exclusive to a parallel with antibodies? puleez

    Coming into contact with foreign proteins and DNA via ingestion is obviously part of life. Parenteral injections of proteins create anaphylactic responses in the receiving organism. This is not a novel concept and was established more than a hundred years ago.

    Complain all you like about our efforts to contain preventable infant mortality. Please do. You know, there aren’t enough babies dying at an early age, and they don’t suffer enough. I think I can see your point.

    Preventable? And how are you controlling for confounders? Or do they only overwhelm the question when we compare vaxxed and unvaxxed kids? How does breastfeeding impact infant mortality? How do other nonvax measures (quarantine, etc…) affect both morbidity and mortality? How about some plain old consistency skeptics? The difference between you, and the people you despise, is that you have escaped injury… while they care for the children sacrificed at the alter of vaccination – because most of the people that are questioning vaccine safety HAVE vaccinated their kids.

    Keep trivializing their contribution to herd immunity, it’s working very well for your camp.

  588. #593 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 22, 2010

    Rob, Katharine: I am certainly not replying to you-know-who because I have any delusions that she has any capacity to learn and grow and correct her errors. That would require her to let go of her fanaticism and hatred.

    No, when I post in response to her, or to any other “Goofus”, it is because I think the disassembly of their arguments will illustrate for someone else who may be lurking, who might not yet have made up their minds on the issue, why the arguments of the anti-vaxxers are ultimately devoid of merit. Writing for that person is worth it, even though writing for some tiresome lamebrain who actually believes no one could disagree with them if they weren’t receiving a paycheck is definitely not.

  589. #594 susie
    March 22, 2010

    Pat:

    A couple of clarifications for you:

    1) A symptom, like echolalia is NOT a marker, like a measles titer that is 1,500 or 3,000 times, or 30,000 the level of measles antibody necessary to confer immunity. Touch sensitivity is also a symptom, not a biomedical marker.

    2) I never said that I chelated my son. There are other natural protocols that are discussed on AutismOne and Generation Rescue’s websites, but, sadly, very few people on here are willing to go to those websites and educate themselves. They prefer to make fun of what they do not understand.

    I’m sure your slightly guilty conscience will not be happy to hear that we recovered our son fully from severe autism. And, I consider my motives for helping him no different than those of the people who recover their kids from leukemia, etc.

    My son was NOT “born autistic”. He was not meant to suffer a life of chronic illness. We recovered him because, like any other human, he deserves to have a chance to achieve his full potential in life.

    Its funny, I’ve been called a liar and a racist on here and now Pat, you have the audacity to say that parents who recover their autistic children don’t “love their children as they are”. Get real, Pat.

    You people all need to take a hard look at reality. You need to get off your high horses and ask yourselves HONESTLY why we have an autism epidemic. WHY do we have kids who are now sick with autoimmne diseases that were rare before the escalation in number of vaccines mandated?

    You can go on defending a bunch of epidemiological studies that have been done by industry insiders. You can go on believing Paul Offit, who says that vaccines are so safe that you can “safely get 10,000 vaccines in one day”. You can go on labeling and calling down the people who are begging vaccine manufactures and the government to STOP THE INSANITY. STOP MAKING OUR KIDS SICK.

    And, no, I’m not angry. I’m pretty disgusted though. If people in my industry made fun of those who question the status-quo, we’d still be in the stone age.

    You’re like the emporer with no clothes.

  590. #595 Chris
    March 22, 2010

    And your brain has been sealed shut. Nothing that counters your preconceived biases gets through.

    A closed mind is a terrible thing to have.

  591. #596 susie
    March 22, 2010

    Chris:

    My mind is not closed. I listened to the doctors telling me that my son was autistic and there was “no hope” to “go on disability” and that my son “would never live on his own”. And I talked to parents of autistic children who had trusted the medical profession and not sought to reverse the vaccine injury and they regretted it. They are the angry ones who trusted their uninformed and closed minded doctors and didn’t pursue natural treatments or pursued them too late because their doctors told them to “wait and see”. Then I read the lousy epidemiological studies these same uninformed and closed-minded doctors based their “truth” on.

    And then I went further and found people who recovered their kids and I made the informed decision to FOLLOW THE WINNERS, and dump the losers.

    Have you read any of the research or information documented on either AutismOne’s website or Generation Rescue’s website? If not, then you are the one with the closed mind, not me. I’ve read the bullshit science you hang your arguments on and I’m not buying it.

  592. #597 Dan Weber
    March 22, 2010

    There are other natural protocols that are discussed on AutismOne and Generation Rescue’s websites, but, sadly, very few people on here are willing to go to those websites and educate themselves.

    You can find a lot of things “discussed” on a lot of websites, but anyone serious would just look in the medical literature.

  593. #598 Chris
    March 22, 2010

    susie, it is quite clear that your mind is definitely closed. You have offered no real evidence, and despite being corrected several times with real documentation and yet you have not swayed one bit.

  594. #599 susie
    March 22, 2010

    Dan: Regarding your comment, “You can find a lot of things “discussed” on a lot of websites, but anyone serious would just look in the medical literature.”

    Thanks, Dan. If you look at these websites, you will find documentation that will provide references to researchers, and their published work. But, that does require that you go to the websites.

    http://www.generationrescue.org
    http://www.autismone.org

  595. #600 Scott
    March 22, 2010

    Thanks, Dan. If you look at these websites, you will find documentation that will provide references to researchers, and their published work. But, that does require that you go to the websites.

    Anything in Medical Hypotheses or JPANDS doesn’t count. The rest of it has been systematically eviscerated time and again.

    Just because some quack managed to slip a garbage paper past the reviewers doesn’t mean it’s accurate (much less the spin ignorant loons like GR/AoA/AutismOne put on it). This is why the literature must be read and evaluated, not simply taken as gospel.

    And when someone with a bit of understanding and critical thought actually does read and evaluate, it is glaringly obvious that there’s really only one credible conclusion. And it’s not the one you’re reaching.

  596. #601 susie
    March 22, 2010

    Dan:

    If you decide to go to the autismone.org website, you can click on “conference” and “presenters” to see some of the abstracts and research that these people are presenting, as well as information that doctors are sharing to help kids.

    I noticed that there are two researchers that are not mentioned yet this year as presenting at autism one conference and that is Martha Herbert, MD, PhD, Professor of Neuropediatrics at Harvard Medical School and on staff at Mass General. Dr. Herbert has done good research into environmental triggers of autism and reversing autism. Also, S. Jill James, PhD, Director of the Metabolic Genomics Laboratory at ACHRI, University of Arkansas, who has done significant work in the study of genetic predispositions in autism.

    These two researchers will likely present at the AutismOne conference as well, they likely have not commited to dates yet. Worth you time to look at their work.

  597. #602 susie
    March 22, 2010

    Scott:

    Thank you for continuing to demonstrate your own closed-mindedness. If you don’t look, you obviously won’t see anything. So please continue to demonstrate to people how resistant you are to considering ALL THE RESEARCH.

  598. #603 MI Dawn
    March 22, 2010

    @susie: you never addressed our comments about St Andy’s lies. Care to do so?

  599. #604 Scott
    March 22, 2010

    @590:

    Requiring that supposed scientific information be published in a peer-reviewed journal before giving it credence isn’t being closed-minded, it’s having a modicum of understanding of the scientific process.

    And evaluating a paper’s reliability before determining how much credence to give it is the very definition of sane open-mindedness.

    You have apparently resolved to define “closed-minded” as “don’t unquestioningly swallow whatever bunk some loon chooses to feed you.” Sorry, doesn’t fly.

  600. #605 Chris
    March 22, 2010

    So? The conference also still seems to list Wakefield. Plus a bunch of chiropractors and self-described “nutrition” experts. And Dr. Deth, whose testimony in the Autism Omnibus trial were described as lacking coherence.

    Sorry, even if they have a real medical degree… if they just make it up as they go along, it is not real scientific evidence. You have failed to provide any real documentation for your claims.

  601. #606 susie
    March 22, 2010

    Chris@593

    These people at autismone are reversing kids’ autism.

    Then we have the epidemiological studies you keep siting that provide no progress, are severely flawed, conducted by industry insiders, and do nothing but attempt to exonerate vaccines as the cause of autism.

    Keep the websites I mentioned handy, as it is likely that you will know someone someday