Respectful Insolence

Last week, I did three posts about the anti-vaccine movement. (What? Only three? Well, last week was slower than usual on the anti-vaccine craziness front. It happens.) Two of them were variations on a theme, namely how the anti-vaccine movement vehemently, desperately does not want to be seen as “anti-vaccine, even though that’s what many of them are. First, I pointed out how the “health freedom” movement is teaming up with the anti-vaccine movement next week in Chicago to hold an anti-vaccine rally in Grant Park as part of its annual autism quackfest known as AutismOne. My second post asked a simple question: Why, if Age of Autism is about doing better for autistic kids rather than being anti-vaccine, do the the bloggers there spend so much time and verbiage ranting about Gardasil, which, even if the vaccine-autism connection were true, couldn’t possibly cause autism because it’s given a decade after the typical first onset of autistic symptoms?

My answer is that it’s always, first and foremost, about the vaccines, not autism.

Every so often, though, the anti-vaccine crank blog Age of Autism provides me with an insight to how the anti-vaccine movement thinks. This time around, Julie Obradovic serves that purpose with a post entitled How to Actually Save the Vaccine Program. My first impression was that, it’s very, very nice of die hard enemies of the vaccine program to give public health officials advice on how to “save it.” In essence, the post is a list of what Ms. Obradovic thinks public health officials should do before the the anti-vaccine movement will listen to them. In doing so, she demonstrates perfectly exactly why it’s virtually impossible to reason with die-hard anti-vaccine loons. She also demonstrates the utter sense of entitlement that so many of them have, a sense that the world must cater to her. First, she assails the “strategy” used by public health officials:

1. Tell the truth. Stop claiming that science has completely resolved this issue. At best, the limited science thus far (done by those with tremendous conflicts of interest) has shown us that with regard to Thimerosal, it might be good for kids and it might be bad for them, and with regard to the MMR, that for the general population, it doesn’t appear to be a problem. That’s hardly the same thing as the sweeping statement that all vaccines in any child, at any time, with any ingredients, in any amount, in any combination don’t cause Autism. Furthermore, Thimerosal is not gone from vaccines, and the trace amount touted as safe is still far too toxic to flush down a toilet. Plus, according to the Material Safety Data Sheet, it should never be combined with aluminum because of how highly reactive it is, and yet, there are multiple vaccines that combine the two right now. Moving the goal posts? More like clearly identifying the end zone.

Of course, it never occurs to Ms. Obradovic that the scientific community has been telling the truth about vaccines. She just refuses to listen. She’s also good at building up straw men of burning man size and then aiming a flamethrower of burning stupid at them, incinerating them and then high fiving her fellow vaccine rejectionists as though she’s actually scored a victory. No one says that “all vaccines in any child at any time” are completely safe. What science says is that there is no good scientific evidence that vaccines given according to the current vaccine schedule cause autism and that there is a lot of evidence that they are not at all correlated. There is also a huge amount of evidence supporting the safety and efficacy of vaccines. Obradovic claims that mixing mercury with aluminum causes problems because of “high reactivity,” betraying such an ignorance of basic chemistry and pharmacology that it is really, really hard not to be snarkier about it than I’ve been.

The rest of the list is rather long; so I’ll cherry pick the ones that were either the most egregious or amused me the most. For example:

2. Acknowledge your lack of objectivity in this matter. By pretending to be unbiased, you lose credibility.

I call a strawman and raise you a “pot, kettle, black.”

The next one actually rather amuses me:

3. Remove Paul Offit as your spokesperson; he is hurting your cause. You have chosen to give a man who has never treated a single child with Autism the authority to speak for your profession on what doesn’t cause it: the very product that has made him rich. You must realize how poorly that sits with the parent community you serve.

I bet the anti-vaccine movement would like it a lot if Dr. Offit gave up, if he refused to do battle with the anti-vaccine movement anymore. He is arguably the single most tenacious and effective combatter of anti-vaccine nonsense there is. Of course the anti-vaccine movement would like to see him removed from the battle!

This next one demonstrates even more powerfully than I ever could why you can’t reason with the leaders of the anti-vaccine movement:

4. Understand that you are under investigation by the parent community for a crime: medical negligence. Understand that no amount of self-investigation will ever be good enough to convince them of your innocence.

Actually, no amount of investigation, period, will convince someone like Ms. Obradovic that vaccines don’t cause autism. It doesn’t matter who does it. It doesn’t matter who funds the research. It doesn’t matter how bulletproof the research is from a scientific standpoint. It won’t convince Ms. Obradovic. It won’t convince J.B. Handley. It won’t convince Jenny McCarthy. It won’t convince any of the leaders of the anti-vaccine movement. The best way to illustrate this, should you ever get into a discussion with a die-hard vaccine rejectionist, is to ask that person to tell you in very specific terms exactly what evidence would make her change her mind and vaccinate her child. Then follow up on the questions. Inevitably, what you’ll find is that no evidence will. Either that, or the level of evidence will be so unrealistically high that science could never provide that level of certainty.

Here’s perhaps the most difficult one to deal with:

6. Reach out to your loudest critics. Rather than dismiss them, recognize these are the parents who listened to what you told them verbatim and are utterly convinced you completely betrayed them and their children. They have nothing left to lose by speaking out until they believe justice has been served. Your campaign will only make them louder.

Actually, been there, done that. What makes Ms. Obradovic think that the public health community hasn’t reached out to its loudest critics? I once criticized a friend for naïveté for proposing exactly the same thing. In doing so, I pointed out several examples of scientists and public health officials doing just what Ms. Obradovic claims that she wants to see. Not only did it not work, but at every turn representatives of the anti-vaccine movement took advantage of the gullibility of those trying to “reach out” to them in order to cause more trouble.

This is not to say that we shouldn’t reach out to parents. Of course we should! Parents who are confused, parents who keep hearing that vaccines cause autism and are afraid, parents who don’t know the science and don’t know whether they can trust their doctors, these are the people we should reach out to. These are the people whom we should treat with respect. The J.B. Handley, Julie Obradovics, Kim Staglianos, and Jenny McCarthys of the world, not so much. The reason is that they have shown themselves over a long period of time to be about as close to unreachable as can be. In essence, through a combination of the arrogance of ignorance and, in some cases, being far more insulting and dismissive of those supporting vaccination than even Orac can (or would want) to be, they have forfeited a reasonable expectation of civility. If you want evidence of just how hypocritical it is of Obradavic to demand “civility,” simply check out the infamous “baby eating incident,” in which AoA badly Photoshopped the heads of Steve Novella, Amy Wallace, Trine Tsouderos, Paul Offit, and Tom Insel into a picture of people sitting down for a Thanksgiving feast of dead baby.

“Civility” like that only deserves contempt.

The rest of Ms. Obradovic’s post is a bunch of the standard talking points: Tell both sides! (“Teach the controversy!”); the “toxin” gambit; repeating the “measles versus autism” false dichotomy; demanding a “vaccinated versus unvaccinated” study; and this gem:

It is no longer acceptable to inject heavy metals such as mercury or aluminum into a human being, as we continue to learn just how vulnerable we are to amounts we previously thought harmless. To repeatedly pierce the flesh, bypass the natural immune system the body has created in the nose, mouth and digestive tract, and directly inject more and more chemicals, metals, and viruses into it without studying the life long and/or unintended consequences for having done so is no longer a miracle; it is madness.

No, some of the comments after Obradovic’s post are madness. For example:

  • It is impossible to save the vaccine industrial complex. Julie Obradovic is brain-washed. (Media Scholar.)
  • “The term ‘vaccine preventable disease’ is a form of propaganda since most vaccines have a high failure rate and do not prevent the disease they were designed to prevent. And ofcourse additionally they can cause a laundry list of unintended side effects.” (Sylvia.)
  • “I am ANTI-vaccine. I wear my “label” proudly. I make no apologies for my stance either. Until someone (anyone) can give me a clear cut answer as to WHY my son was distroyed by something that was supposed to protect him then I will continue to wear that label. Like a badge. Riley has to wear the ‘label’ (his purple heart) of autism (NOT vaccine injured) because mommy was too stupid to question until it was too late. It is my believe that if more people were willing to wear the ANTI-vaccine label and NOT the green vaccine label, that maybe, just maybe , the government and the pharma industry would stand up and FINALLY take notice. You can’t sell a product to people that are 100% against it. They do not make any money from this household.” (Rileysmom.)
  • “Let the vaccine industry go as did the tobacco industry. Smoking used to be a sign of the sophisticated, educated and higher class. Now, it lurks under the surface of society, while everyone knows, universally, that it is bad for you. No amount of honest studying of vaccines could ever result in supporting a system that accepted even the most conservative “schedule.”” (Cynthia Cournover.)
  • “My basic knowledge about vaccines when I stopped them for my daughter was that they contained Mercury and aborted fetal tissue and that was all I needed to know at that time to be thoroughly convinced of their physical and spiritual danger. Now that I have researched this subject fully in the past few years, the amount of scientific evidence is massive in condemning vaccines, I realize how blessed I was in being forewarned about thier dangerous potential. ALTHOUGH my Christian faith was the primary reason that I discontinued vaccines, with what I have learned now, I would be anti-vaccine even if I was an atheist!!! HOWEVER, it is not logical to imagine that vaccines will ever be discontinued until the time when the King of Kings and Lord of Lords establishes his kingdom rulership over mankind.” (Autism Grandma.)
  • “I AM anti-vaccine, and I am not ashamed of that label. I don’t care who knows it or what they think about it. If YOU want to shoot that crap into YOUR body, that is your business. Good luck to you.” (Lisa.)
  • “I don’t think it’s possible to green a vaccine. They are filthy and toxic. I also think folks who believe in an alternate schedule or rolling back to the 1980′s are not facing the issue squarely. Children would still suffer vaccine injury…albeit less severely or in fewer numbers. The issue is….DO VACCINES WORK AND HOW DO THEY WORK? WHAT ARE THE LONG TERM CONSEQUENCES TO THE INDIVIDUAL? I realize that no one wants to be labeled anti-vaccine, but eventually that is what it will come to….better to face it now. I believe the saying is ‘shit or get off the pot.’ I don’t think you can have it both ways…at least not with childhood vaccines. Also, the theory of herd immunity is just that…a theory. Have we ever seen studies that prove this theory? Where are the statistics that the evidence-based medicine crowd demand of us? Show us the proof.” (CT Teacher.)

I wonder if CT Teacher has been hanging around creationist discussion boards. That’s usually where I hear the “just a theory” gambit.

No, it’s not the current vaccination program that it madness. Far from it. Rather, it’s the anti-vaccine movement that is madness. It is madness to try to pursuade parents not to vaccinate based on fears born from fear and ignorance and suckled on pseudoscience and conspiracy mongering. What Obradovic seems to want is for scientists to “destroy the vaccine program in order to save it.” She doesn’t want “dialog,” at least not any meaningful dialog where both sides listen. Her post makes it abundantly clear that she wants to be heard without having to listen in turn. Rather, what she is in essence demanding is complete and unconditional surrender of her “enemy” to the demands of the anti-vaccine movement as a precondition for negotiations. Under such circumstances, it would be madness to give in, because, as Ms. Obradovic has shown us in no uncertain terms that anything less than total capitulation to what she wants is unacceptable! In fact, she goes beyond that by saying at the end of the post that her list is “an incomplete list, but it is a good start.”

“Reaching” out to such people runs the very real risk of giving up more and more ground in a futile hope that a reasonable accommodation can be reached, until one day everything has been given up and there is nothing left. What the anti-vaccine movement wants is nothing less than the utter destruction of the current vaccination program. After all, her leader J.B. Handley himself has said as much! The sad thing is that Ms. Obradovic, for all her spewing of anti-vaccine canards, misinformation, and pseudoscience combined with a sense of utter entitlement, is, compared to the commenters on AoA, about as close to reasonable as anti-vaccinationists come.

And that’s what’s so depressing to me, the thought that someone like Ms. Obradovic is about as close to rational as there is at AoA.

ADDENDUM:

Another crazy comment from a commenter by the ‘nym WILLIE from AoA that reveals the true attitude behind much of the anti-vaccine movement:

To get to the point vaccines are a hoax, a canard, a fraud, a failed scientific experiment, a medical charade with catastrophic consequences whose full apocalypse has yet to be disclosed. Vaccines will ultimately be proven to be responsible for the deaths and sufferings of untold numbers of children and adults from a seemingly myriad of unrelated diseases that all have at their genesis a viral etiology, iatrogenic in nature that will be proven with the identification of the DNA footprinting of the viral genome.
Please do not ever forget that and do not become delusional and think vaccines have some measurable medicinal value as they simply do not. The intent of vaccines was noble (small pox, polio vaccine) however the execution of the vaccine research and subsequent implementation has never arisen to anything more than the level of human experimentation and violation of all ethical codes and principles that make up the blood and backbone of human medical science. The success, efficacy and safety of vaccines been greatly exaggerated and is the result of nothing more than a poorly executed and expensive marketing ploy by pharmaceutical companies who have engaged in incestuous relationships with the government agencies charged with monitoring them. “First do no harm” is the oath and creed that all ethical physicians swore they would work and live by and that has been thwarted perverted and otherwise completely abandoned with the advent of vaccines.

The author of this article clearly means well and has made some points however the bigger picture looms and cast a much greater shadow. Please Do not continue to reach into the vaccine toilette to try to find something good in there, there is nothing good in the vaccine toilette for you or for your family and no matter how many times you reach into this toilette or how far you reach into this toilette you still come up with the same thing that you find in any toilette. So please stay out of this toilette, further stop trying to find a way to share what you think you found in this toilette with others because it is not good for them either and no matter how it is packaged it is still the same thing you find in any toilette.

Wow. Just wow. And this guy claims to be a doctor.

But that’s not all. Here’s another from Suzanne, in response to the accusation by WILLIE that Julie and other AoA denizens are “getting weak” and Julie’s post is evidence of it:

“I am glad that I checked in with you folks as it appears that some of you are getting weak again”

I say: Is the arrogance of that statement lost on you? Good thing you were able to swoop down and set us straight! We always talk about how “they” don’t understand us, how “they call us names and mischaracterize us”. Then some of us turn around and do the same, to members of their own community even! It is one thing to disagree with someone’s opinion, but to accuse people whose opinion is different than yours “getting weak”, that is arrogant. Isn’t it generally considered cult-like behavior to expect everyone in a group to agree 100% on everything, then if someone doesn’t to marginalize them and call them names- and yes, referring to people as “getting weak” is name calling.

Keep thinking Suzanne. Seriously. You’re so very, very close to the truth: AoA and the anti-vaccine movement are a cult. They do attack anyone who strays too far from the anti-vaccine line. Seriously, you’re so close. All you need to do is to take one more step, just one more step, and soon you might find yourself on the road to rationality.

I would also point out that I am most grateful to WILLIE and the other AoA commenters. Whenever someone like Suzanne protests that AoA is not “anti-vaccine” in response to one of my posts, these commenters back up my accusation far more effectively than any evidence I alone can come up with. Thanks, WILLIE and Autism Grandma, for bringing the crazy home and thus helping support my assertions! I knew I could count on you!

Comments

  1. #1 Rogue Medic
    May 18, 2010
    Plus, according to the Material Safety Data Sheet, it should never be combined with aluminum because of how highly reactive it is, and yet, there are multiple vaccines that combine the two right now.

    I guess that explains why the kids keep blowing up when they get vaccinated.

    Next they’ll be telling us that something as dangerous as nitroglycerin can be used to treat a heart attack. They must think we are crazy.

    4. Understand that you are under investigation by the parent community for a crime: medical negligence. Understand that no amount of self-investigation will ever be good enough to convince them of your innocence.

    Sentence first – Verdict afterward.

    Big Pharma is hte Hilter!!11!!!

    Bring back the smallpox, now.

    We want only natural immunity, but we won’t even need that because we wash our hands.

  2. #2 David N. Brown
    May 18, 2010

    “Autism Grandma” appears to be the same nut who assumed I was Kevin Leitch,played the “pharma shill” gambit and suggested that my quite truthful description of myself as a student of theology was part of a scam.

    It seems like this year AoA’s content is going downhill, even by their dismal standards. An egregious indicator I noticed is that they accepted another contribution by David Burd. I viciously mocked his last contribution, which claimed that Australia had no H1N1 vaccine and was not experiencing H1N1 deaths, and even AoA commenter. I think there is a very real possibility that AoA will cease to exist in another year.

  3. #3 Ender
    May 18, 2010

    Explosives in my heart? You have to be kidding OMGWTF!!!11!BBQ!”1!! etc.

    Those comments are so wrong, it’s incredibly infuriating.

  4. #4 David N. Brown
    May 18, 2010

    Explanation for a fragment: Even AoA commenters pointed out that Australia had had a vaccine for months. Apparently, this lie was so ludicrous even the AoA censors couldn’t prevent its correction.

  5. #5 Julian Frost
    May 18, 2010

    I think there is a very real possibility that AoA will cease to exist in another year.

    Here’s hoping. Like I commented on Friday, the Hazelhurst Appeal was turned down. More and more people have started to realise just how misguided and dangerous the anti-vaccers are. A commenter by the name of Greg Freeman has warned that BioPharma should steer clear of anti-vaccers as if (when?) outbreaks occur, they will be tainted by association if they join them. What bothers the Autism Advocates is that we may suffer by association if (when?) outbreaks occur.

  6. #6 Lawrence
    May 18, 2010

    It can get the loudest, just before the dawn – in this case, the anti-vaccers have been hit with so much bad news over the past year (Wakefield, the Special Court rulings, now the Appeals Court, Jenny’s breakup with Jim Carey, etc), that they are grasping at whatever straws are left & getting increasingly divorced from reality.

    Hopefully, at this point, they will be so marginalized that the middle-of-the-roaders will jump back on the vaccine train and cut down on some of these pockets of anti-vaccination (and prevent more outbreaks).

    Of course, I find it very interesting in the article that what they are asking for is a complete surrender to their demands – without any indications that they accept even one scrap of legitimate scientific evidence that any of their positions are false or even a whiff of compromise.

    It boils down to “Do what we say, and we’ll still hammer you into the ground.”

  7. #7 Orac
    May 18, 2010

    I think there is a very real possibility that AoA will cease to exist in another year.

    Wishful thinking, I’m afraid. AoA is unlikely to go anywhere. It may change form, but my bet is that it will still be here this time next year.

  8. #8 Jud
    May 18, 2010

    As the AoA folks and those like-minded keep going off on vaccines, while science slowly, methodically at last begins to find some potential causes for which there is actual evidence (e.g., parental age), it reminds me more and more of the old “Niagara Falls” routine – “TEH VACCINES! Slowly I turned, step by step, inch by inch….”

  9. #9 Science Mom
    May 18, 2010

    3. Remove Paul Offit as your spokesperson; he is hurting your cause. You have chosen to give a man who has never treated a single child with Autism the authority to speak for your profession on what doesn’t cause it: the very product that has made him rich. You must realize how poorly that sits with the parent community you serve.

    There is so much hypocritical goodness wrapped up in the bolded. Who are their authorities who have treated or are experts in autism? Their DAN! doctors are profiting off of dubious and unproven ‘autism treatments’. Compare that to an effective, clinically-trialed vaccine that Dr. Offit and his co-inventors worked on for almost 20 years. Why shouldn’t he make money from his invention?

  10. #10 Jose Garcia
    May 18, 2010

    Rogue Medic- If pressed these people will often deny that smallpox has been eradicated. If smallpox had been eradicated that would indicate that vaccines work so obviously the smallpox eradication meme was created by the evil conspiracy to trick us.

  11. #11 Ben Hernandez
    May 18, 2010

    Orac, How many vaccines have you had in the past year? H1N1? Seasonal Flu? Hepatitis A? Any? Please share this information with us. I bet the answer is nilch, non. How about you Orac worshipers. Taken any vaccines in the last year?

  12. #12 D. C. Sessions
    May 18, 2010

    If pressed these people will often deny that smallpox has been eradicated.

    Sometimes they’ll say that smallpox was going away on its own or thanks to nutrition and sanitation.

  13. #13 Rene Najera
    May 18, 2010

    I had to stop reading the comments section of this post when I read the comment from Autism Grandma whose “Cristian Faith” stopped her from vaccinating. Even as a Christian myself, I can see why religious zealots like her make the rest of us look like loons in the extreme. I would love for her to tell me where and when Jesus ever said that vaccines were not good. Luke, who was a physician, would probably be hissed at and spat on by her if he suggested vaccination at the behest of Jesus Himself. People like her and televangelists make my blood boil to the point that I wish there was a different name for followers of Christ who accept truths as the become unveiled through science… And, no, Christian Scientists will NOT do.

  14. #14 Daniel J. Andrews
    May 18, 2010

    I’m rather amazed that this antivaccine movement is so strong. With such weak arguments and fallacies, you’d think it would be obvious to even a cursory glance that there was no evidence for their stance–e.g. “*That’s* your evidence?” :face-palm:

    I think this type of thing will spread. As science advances, more people will be left behind, and at a point, science information will be indistinguishable from magical thinking to those who haven’t been able to keep up. With the education systems failing to teach sciences (e.g. see http://www.starstryder.com/2010/05/14/a-scientific-mind-is-a-terrible-thing-to-waste/, and also Dr. Plait’s post on Rep. Ralph Hall at Bad Astronomy over at Discovery blogs) the antiscience it’s-a-conspiracy crowds will grow and spread to other disciplines. I think we’re just seeing the beginnings of movements that will tear nations apart.

    Yeah, I’m an optimistic fella. btw, at Ben-troll. Tetanus shot. Hate to get tetanus while a day’s helicopter flight from help.–dan

  15. #15 Rene Najera
    May 18, 2010

    @Ben This year, I got my thimerosal-rich flu vaccine. No autism, no GBS. Then I got my MMR booster. Again, nothing. And then my tetanus booster, just for kicks, to see what would happen. Again, nothing. My individual experience is leading me to not believe you anti-vaccine trolls anymore. Just kidding, it’s the science that leads me not to believe you.

    Also, you’re a comment troll… We’re going to be here all day.

  16. #16 Jim Ernst
    May 18, 2010

    @Ben Hernandez

    I have taken the flu vaccines. My kids are all fully vaccinated. I have twin daughters that are moving into the sixth grade soon. Guess what? I’m going to have them get the suggested vaccines. Yes, that does include the one for HPV.

    I asked the middle-school nurse about the vaccination rates. I was gratified to learn that there were only 3 students out of about 1,200 that had “opted out”.

    Even in rural Virginia, there is hope.

  17. #17 bludevilRA
    May 18, 2010

    @11, Ben Hernandez, come on now! Are you trying to find out if Orac or any other Big Pharma minions take regular vaccines? Why hell yes! I assume this is some sort of ill-conceived attempt at an ad hom attack. “See they don’t take vaccines either, they’re hypocrites!”

    Apparently, you don’t get it Ben. We do whatever Master tells us. In the last two years, I have had two seasonal flu shots, one H1N1 flu shot, one tetanus (plus diptheria and pertussis) booster, and I had to repeat my Hep B series because my titers came back negative.

    The difference between us and the anti-vaxers is that I would never extrapolate my situation (I have had 30+ shots in my life and I am pretty sure I do not have autism) to the rest of the population. One anecdote does not equal data. Similarly, lots of anecdotes do not equal data either. I do not proclaim shots to be 100% safe or effective, but they are one of the best medical interventions that we have. At least, that is what Master tells us.

    Master says so, and good Smeagol does.

  18. #18 Marc
    May 18, 2010

    @Ben,

    I had Hepititis A and B, Tetanus booster, and Diptheria shots in September of last year, along with live oral Typhoid in October and H1N1 in November. I’m not sure what your point is about folks taking them within the last year because people are on different schedules and at greater or lesser degrees of risk, but with all these “toxins” in my body I was able to travel through areas of the world where the diseases in question are endemic without even the redness, soreness or slight fever that one can expect as possible side effects.

  19. #19 Enkidu
    May 18, 2010

    @ Ben #11

    I have gotten the seasonal flu, H1N1, and TDaP vaccines within the past year. Suck it.

  20. #20 Todd W.
    May 18, 2010

    @Ben Hernandez

    How many vaccines have you had in the past year? H1N1? Seasonal Flu? Hepatitis A? Any? Please share this information with us. I bet the answer is nilch, non. How about you Orac worshipers. Taken any vaccines in the last year?

    Ben, what business is it of yours? Further, would you actually believe him if he (or any of the commenters here) said they had received vaccine X, Y or Z in the last year? Or would you just think that they were saying they received those vaccines but really didn’t?

    For what it’s worth, and whether you believe me or not, I will share what vaccines I’ve received in the past year, as well as my experience surrounding them. I don’t just talk the talk.

    Last year, I received the seasonal flu shot. The nurse giving it to me asked if I had had one before (I hadn’t) and asked if I were allergic to eggs or any other vaccines. Since I hadn’t had the shot before, she asked me to wait around for about 15 minutes to make sure I didn’t have any bad reactions. I felt fine after 15 minutes. I felt fine after that, too. No bad reactions at all.

    When it became available to me, I also had the H1N1 shot. Same routine (minus the waiting), same outcome. No bad reaction.

    When I went in for my annual checkup this year, my doctor suggested I get the Hep A and Hep B series, since they were not around when I was a kid and my blood work from the previous checkup didn’t show any antibodies. The vaccines and the diseases were explained to me, and I was asked if I had any questions. I am due to finish up the series later this year.

    The only other vaccine that is recommended for me is a tetanus booster in a couple years, which I will get, coupled with pertussis.

    Any more questions, Ben? Oh, and for your reading pleasure, you may want to give a look to antiantivax.flurf.net. I encourage you to follow the links there to further information that may shed some light on questions and/or doubts you have.

  21. #21 Pablo
    May 18, 2010

    Orac, How many vaccines have you had in the past year? H1N1? Seasonal Flu? Hepatitis A? Any? Please share this information with us. I bet the answer is nilch, non. How about you Orac worshipers. Taken any vaccines in the last year?

    What are the stakes of the bet, Ben? Hmmm?

    In the past year, I have had an H1N1 vaccine, seasonal flu vaccine, and a TDaP booster (mainly for the pertussis boost).

    So your “Gotcha!” attempt is a total fail, and I feel perfectly justified in telling you to kiss my ass.

  22. #22 Marc
    May 18, 2010

    Endiku made me check my vax records–I did indeed get the Tdap, not separate shots. D’oh! Apparently teh vaxes killed my brane sellz ‘cuz I forgot!!1!

  23. #23 XYZ
    May 18, 2010

    @11
    I had the H1N1 vaccine in November, as did my husband and two children. We live in Canada, so we had the scary adjuvant in our vaccine to boot. My kids are up to date with their vaccines, following the recommended schedule. They’ve had the vaccines that weren’t available when I was a kid (chicken pox, prevnar etc.).

  24. #24 Michael
    May 18, 2010

    “Sometimes they’ll say that smallpox was going away on its own or thanks to nutrition and sanitation.”
    That always amuses me. So India went from having the biggest outbreak of smallpox in two decades to smallpox disappearing entirely in a year due to changes in nutrition and sanitation?

  25. #25 Pablo
    May 18, 2010

    Oh, if we are allowed to mention vaccines that our kids were given, then I have a lot more to add – basically, it was all the shots that occur at 6 mos, 9 mos, 12 mos, and 15 mos. And an H1N1 and seasonal flu shots. That’s something on the order of 15 different vaccinations that he got in the last year.

  26. #26 Jim
    May 18, 2010

    H1N1 and seasonal flu here. Probably would’ve had more if I’d kept my well visit appointment.

    The boys got . . . a few shots. I don’t have the records with me. One got a slight fever, as usual, the other just whined and demanded ice cream.

  27. #27 MikeMa
    May 18, 2010

    Bumbling Benny,
    I’ve had the Seasonal and H1N1 flu shots in the last year.

    I am due for a tetanus booster though as that barbed wire fence incident was a wee bit more than 10 years ago.

  28. #28 paranoid android
    May 18, 2010

    @Ben Hernandez:

    Flu shot last year, tetanus booster after an accident three months ago, planning to get at least two vaccines before traveling to South America this summer.
    Satisfied?

  29. #29 Jojo
    May 18, 2010

    I distinctly remember Orac mentioning getting at least one flu shot in the fall. Then again, I’m not sure how you inject an Orac with one, seeing how he’s just a box of blinking lights and wires. Maybe he uses McAfee antivirus software?

    I had both the seasonal and H1N1 flu shots this year. My son had the seasonal by needle and H1N1 nasally. He’s going in for his 4 year tune up tomorrow and will be receiving any boosters that are scheduled at this time.

    I’m hoping this comment is enough to earn me my own black helicopter.

  30. #30 Bob
    May 18, 2010

    @Ben – I got a TDaP booster last week because I’m about to go on immunosuppressants to treat very painful psoriatic arthritis. I need to protect myself against the poor kids turned into potential plague rats by their paranoid, ignorant, entitled parents, deluded by the likes of AoA.

    Your move, bitch.

  31. #31 Pablo
    May 18, 2010

    Of course, I find it very interesting in the article that what they are asking for is a complete surrender to their demands – without any indications that they accept even one scrap of legitimate scientific evidence that any of their positions are false or even a whiff of compromise.

    Actually, Lawrence, what _I_ find interesting is that they are asking for a surrender to their demands, despite the fact that they are being completely destroyed. There hasn’t been a single good development for the anti-vax movement in a long time, and all the news that comes out is another example of them folding. Wakefield losing all credibility has really hurt the anti-vax sentiment among the general population (we all knew the study was worthless, but it had been sold as the lynchpin – the formal retraction not only destroyed that, but it was highly advertised, so everyone knows that the study was retracted). The Hazlehurst ruling was just the latest in a stack of court cases that have gone against them.

    So after taking all these blows, leaving them weakened and staggering, they ask the scientific community to surrender to their demands? They sound like a character in a Bugs Bunny cartoon who has been beaten badly, and can barely stand, and asks the guy who has beaten the snot out of him if he is ready to give up yet?

    There is the old saying that you can lose the battle but win the war. What we have here is a “movement” that has lost ALL the battles, and then is asking the other side to surrender.

  32. #32 Visitor
    May 18, 2010

    The thing that always makes me so sad about these people is how poorly they are served by their so-called experts. Take Age of Autism’s “legal editor”, who appears to have some kind of legal qualification, but I wonder how he got it. In his latest outpouring:

    “By Kent Heckenlively, Esq.

    “For many years I’ve been telling a lie. I sincerely apologize, but plead extenuating circumstances. The simple truth is I didn’t know.”

    Now, call me picky, but it is impossible to tell a lie and not know it. In fact, it is part of the meaning of a lie that you intend to do it.

    Personally, I’d expect a lawyer to know this. Mmmm, on second thoughts, if it’s anything to do with vaccines…

    Tragic.

  33. #33 Pablo
    May 18, 2010

    Your move, bitch.

    Hmmm, I told Ben to kiss my ass, but I think Bob has stated it a little better than I did.

  34. #34 Marc
    May 18, 2010

    @Pablo–”suck it” was a nice rejoinder as well. Wish I had thought to include any of them….

  35. #35 Jud
    May 18, 2010

    Re Ben @11: Within the past 12 months I’ve had one of the Tetanus combos for adults (I think DTaP, b/c I believe I remember a discussion about pertussis with my doc), seasonal flu, and H1N1. I got my wife the H1N1 shot for Valentine’s Day – told her it might not be romantic, but I wanted us to be together for a good long time. (Same thing I told her when I said I’d ask her to marry me if she quit smoking. It’s been 3 1/2 years since she quit and 2 1/2 since we were married. :-)

    So what’s the deal, Ben? Are you so fearful of TEH VACCINES that you can’t imagine anyone who isn’t too scared to be vaccinated?

    Reminds me of when I was a little kid, and I took it into my head that the shot the pediatrician wanted to give me would really, really hurt. Ran all around her office for a while before finally surrendering. It turned out to be hardly a scratch, and I was mighty embarrassed about the show I’d put on.

    So when, through good, hard scientific research, they find the actual causes of autism, and the umpteenth study comes back showing no relationship between vaccines and the myriad ills they’re now accused of causing, will you have sense enough to be embarrassed, Ben?

  36. #36 MI Dawn
    May 18, 2010

    Oooh, oooh can I play too? @Ben: I had TDaP this year. No flu (office ran out before I could get over to get it), and no H1N1 because my doctor had limited amounts and I am of an age where I was exposed as a child. I preferred to not get H1N1 and allow those at higher risk – my 2 children, my pregnant friends, my younger coworkers – to get it first. When my employer offered it again later on, to those of us not really eligible the first time, I was in line to get it when they ran out.

    My kids are fully vaccinated. Flu, H1N1, Hep B, (my eldest will get Hep A this summer when she starts working in a hospital, the younger child has not had Hep A but it wasn’t in her vaccine schedule when she was getting them), updated DTaPs, MMR, etc.

    My husband got Flu, H1N1 (higher risk due to diabetes), DTaP this fall at his annual.

    We DO walk the walk, as well as talk the talk here on this blog.

  37. #37 Pablo
    May 18, 2010

    We DO walk the walk, as well as talk the talk here on this blog.

    Every once in a while, there is some moron who comes in with the “I bet you don’t get vaccinated” gambit (hey! I defined a gambit!), and when that happens, it is always fun to watch the group here pile on.

    A lot of people come out of the woodwork (they are less active posters, but still regular readers), but even the most prolific posters can talk about their shots.

    It’s actually fairly impressive. I mean, it’s one thing for everyone to say they’ve had their flu shots, but we have examples of adult MMR, Hep A and B, and a ton of TDaPs (which is generally the adult version – DTaP is the kid version)

    As Dawn says, we DO walk the walk here. I think that’s why I love you all so much…

    (sorry, pregnancy hormones are getting me)

  38. #38 squirrelelite
    May 18, 2010

    @Ben Hernandez,

    I second Todd W’s point. I once told my children that nothing was true just because I said it was. (That may not be strictly true. If I say that I like chocolate chip ice cream, it is sufficient evidence that I like chocolate chip ice cream.) It was often inconvenient because I then had to explain why something was true and there wasn’t always enough time to do so. But, in retrospect I am glad I did so.

    If vaccines are highly safe and mostly effective, it is true because the scientific evidence supports it, not merely because I say it is true. And for it to be false, we need to see significant evidence, not just your assertion. A few vaccines have been withdrawn because of concerns about their safety and replaced with safer versions. But, the overwhelming evidence shows that vaccines are much safer than allowing the wild diseases to thrive, spread and infect people. It also shows that incidences of the disease (morbidity) and deaths from the disease (mortality) both decrease after effective vaccination programs are instituted. These points have been made over and over again on this and other blogs.

    But, yes, I do have the courage of my convictions. All four of my children received the standard immunization schedule. And, for a tiny bit of anecdotal evidence, none of them have been diagnosed with ASD. Just yesterday, I was explaining to my daughter why she should get the HPV vaccine. And, in the last year, I received both the seasonal and the H1N1 flu shots. And I also got a DTaP booster. (Just as an aside, since they are both for the same three diseases, is there a difference between the DTaP and the TDaP vaccines or is it merely nomenclature preference?)

  39. #39 Tony
    May 18, 2010

    “Your move bitch”. “Kiss my ass”. “Suck it (your dick I assume Enkido?)”. Way to let him have it! I love you guys! He’s probably anti-Risperdal for autistic kids too (just because it makes little boys grow big lactating breasts).

  40. #40 T. Bruce McNeely
    May 18, 2010

    Wow, these people are ignorant.

    heavy metals such as …aluminum

    – which is why they use it to manufacture aircraft.

    And maybe WILLIE should learn to spell a word correctly (toilette???) before he uses it EIGHT times in one paragraph.

    Oh yeah, Ben, I had H1N1 and seasonal flu, and I am currently being tested for HepB antibodies to see if I need the vaccine.
    So here’s another boot to your well-bruised posterior, fool.

  41. #41 Vicki
    May 18, 2010

    Let’s see: H1N1 and seasonal flu and a TDaP booster. Also several lidocaine shots, but those aren’t a vaccine, they’re dental anesthetic.

    So, when are the anti-vaxxers going to start arguing against lidocaine on the grounds that the needle is bypassing the skin and its immune protection, and claim that only nitrous oxide gas is an acceptable dental anesthetic?

  42. #42 Angie
    May 18, 2010

    I don’t think I’ve ever posted, but I’ll jump in to say that I received the regular flu vaccine and the H1N1 vaccine this past year, and I was pregnant (still am for about another month). Being pregnant was one of the main reasons I got the H1N1 vaccine.

  43. #43 squirrelelite
    May 18, 2010

    Actually my first thought, but I had to respond to Ben Hernandez’s argument, was that it was especially funny that Ms Obradovic calls aluminum a “heavy” metal. Aluminum is atomic number 13 which makes it one of the lightest of metals. If aluminum is bad because it is heavy, then calcium and iron must be worse because they are even heavier (20 and 26 respectively).

    And, as Wikipedia notes, “Aluminum is the most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust, and the third most abundant element therein, after oxygen and silicon. It makes up about 8% by weight of the Earth’s solid surface.”

    Pure atomic aluminum is so reactive that it doesn’t exist in nature. If you somehow came in contact with it, it would be harmful indeed. But aluminum compounds like aluminum oxide and aluminum hydroxide are abundant and can’t be avoided. We live in an environment that is practically inundated with them. If we were as vulnerable to them as Ms Obradovic wishes to assert, our species would probably have died out long ago.

  44. #44 MikeMa
    May 18, 2010

    KWombles has a similarly nice takedown of Ms Obradovic over at Countering Age of Autism. So much stupid.

  45. #45 JohnV
    May 18, 2010

    @squirrelelite

    “then calcium and iron must be worse because they are even heavier (20 and 26 respectively).”

    No wonder they’re always pushing chelation so hard!

  46. #46 Pablo
    May 18, 2010

    “heavy metals such as …aluminum”

    Bruce – that comment actually struck me more from a chemistry standpoint. “Heavy metal” isn’t defined as much by density, but from a chemistry standpoint. When I, as a chemist, think of “heavy metals” I tend to think of transition metals and maybe the main group row 4 or below. In particular, I look for the presence of d electrons. Aluminum has unoccupied d orbitals, so no d electrons. It is the d electrons that usually give metals some of their great metallic properties. If we are talking “heavy” metals, I am absolutely looking beyond argon. None of the elements below argon are considered “heavy” in any respect.

    There are other things to consider. Some textbooks don’t even call aluminum a metal, but classify it as “metalloid,” along with something like silicon.

    But the most striking thing is that, as a chemist, it almost makes me cringe to see mercury and aluminum lumped together in any classification. These two metals are as about as different as you can get on the periodic table. Despite being one column apart, group 12 and group 13 have absolutely nothing in common, especially when comparing row 3 with row 6.

    To lump mercury and aluminum together shows a complete ignorance of the science.

  47. #47 Pablo
    May 18, 2010

    Pure atomic aluminum is so reactive that it doesn’t exist in nature. If you somehow came in contact with it, it would be harmful indeed.

    Oh no way. Not at all true. If you INGEST it, maybe, but contact? Nah. I’ve done it plenty of times.

    It is true that when you have aluminum cans and whatnot, you are not exposed to metallic aluminum, but you contact the oxide layer. However, I’ve machined aluminum in the past, and when you do that, you create a clean aluminum surface. The oxide layer is formed pretty quickly (within minutes, for the most part), but the exposed aluminum before then is not dangerous to contact.

  48. #48 Kristen
    May 18, 2010

    You must realize how poorly that sits with the parent community you serve.

    I just can’t stand that they claim to talk for me, and other autism parents. It is just like what Rene said about “Christians” who give all who believe in Christ a bad name. I don’t think Jesus likes children suffering from things that can be prevented.

    To repeatedly pierce the flesh, bypass the natural immune system the body has created in the nose, mouth and digestive tract

    I remember from my Sophomore year in high school how my (really, really cool) science teacher taught us about the immune system: He pricked his finger with a thorn, then proceeded to tell us what his body was doing to fight the insult. From that lesson (when I was 15 for FSM sake) I learned that this argument is completely brainless.

    Where did these idiots go to school, were they too busy “learning” about crop circles and alien abductions and gov-ment conspiracy to study? How can even a high school-educated person say the immune system is solely stationed in the mucous membranes?

    WHY my son was distroyed

    When one becomes a parent, they sign up for the good and the bad. When a parent says their child was “destroyed” I can’t help but feel like they don’t deserve their wonderful (albeit imperfect) children.

    Autistic children are not destroyed, they are different. Most will learn to be self-sufficient and they have one advantage on “normal” children; a razor-sharp focus on any subject that interests them. Which can be very valuable to an employer that wants a productive employee, even if they need a little (or even a lot) of help in other aspects of their daily lives.

    @Ben

    How about you Orac worshipers. Taken any vaccines in the last year?

    I can do you one better; my children are my life, and (oh noes) they are fully vaccinated. In fact, in January: My four-year old got: DTaP, Varicella, MMR, and IPV. My two-year-old got: DTaP, Hib, IPV, and Pneumococcal (at the same visit as her sister). Four-year old got eight at once(according to anti-vax math)!

    Worst of all; my twelve-year-old is scheduled to get her first HPV next week, so I fully expect her to be a vegetable by December.

  49. #49 Kristen
    May 18, 2010

    Forgot to mention: Paul Offit is a hero he prevents things like this

  50. #50 Denice Walter
    May 18, 2010

    The anti-vaxxers are *selectively sceptical*- they reject information solely based on its *source*.If Orac(or Offit or the CDC or the AMA or _one of us_)told them some totally innocuous,easily confirmable,unrelated fact,it would be disputed. It’s not about the information or the research- it’s about *us* (based on our beliefs).Some anti-vaxxers will *unconditionally* accept the analyses of research by *like-minded* leaders(despite their lack of qualifications) and *untested* treatments for their children.(I have previously shown similar sentiments expressed in a 50 year old collection of articles from “Prevention” magazine (J.I.Rodale, Editor,Rodale Press, 1960):vaccines are dangerous, unnatural, and unnecesssary;cleaniness are diet are more salient factors in eliminating disease; healthy people don’t need vaccines).Of course, we can probably *never* reach the adamant,*but* it’s those “on the fence” and observers who have demonstrated attitude change.((Hey Pablo:Watch out for those hormones,they make you want to go out and buy stuff!))

  51. #51 Jolo5309
    May 18, 2010

    I only got H1N1 and the seasonal flu shot last year, and since I too am Canadian, ours had the adjuvants in it. My wife and I went in together (how romantic!). We didn’t get Hep A&B because we got that in 2008…

  52. #52 njk
    May 18, 2010

    I wonder when these chumps will start to play the “Small pox never existed!! It’s just propaganda!!” card?

    @11: I only had the seasonal flu vaccine this year. H1N1 was delayed where I work, and I got swine flu before I got the vaccine. Note to self: don’t be a cheapskate in the future.

  53. #53 Liisa
    May 18, 2010

    @BenHernandez

    Re practicing what we preach: In the last 12 months, seasonal flu, H1N1 (adjuvanted), MMR booster and TDaP.

    My 2 year old and 4 year old: Fully vaccinated, plus H1N1 (adjuvanted) plus paid out of pocket for Hep A and Menactra.

    I sleep better since they got the last two.

  54. #54 Yagotta B. Kidding
    May 18, 2010

    Maybe the few of you who have been telling Ben off really did get vaccinated — assuming, for the moment, that you’re not lying — but look at all of the people who read this blog and haven’t replied that they got the shots. They obviously knew better than to take that risk themselves, which proves Ben’s point.

    Silence is louder than words.

  55. #55 Jud
    May 18, 2010

    Re the link provided by Kristen @ #49 (to an article about the effects of rotavirus, for which Paul Offit developed a vaccine), here’s a bit that caught my eye: “The median age of children in need of intensive care was 9.1 months….”

  56. #56 Jojo
    May 18, 2010

    Kristen

    I cringe every time I read something like this:

    WHY my son was destroyed

    Can you imagine being raised by someone who considers you to be nothing but damaged goods? Way to advocate for ASD.

  57. #57 Richard Smith
    May 18, 2010

    Quoth WILLIE:

    …toilette…toilette…toilette…toilette…toilette…toilette…toilette…toilette.

    That reminds me, I just went to the toilette, and wiped my derrière with the same papier WILLIE’s diploma was printed on.

  58. #58 Enkidu
    May 18, 2010

    @48

    Speaking about needles, my daughter had 1.5 seasons worth of anti-RSV antibody shots (Synagis)… that’s 8 “extra” needle pricks that most babies don’t get! Not to mention that the antibodies in the shot are 5% murine.. I expect her to sprout a little mouse tail any day now! ;)

  59. #59 bluemaxx
    May 18, 2010

    BEN at 11:

    DEAR BENJAMIN… just to add to the dogpile of folks willing to prove your faulty logic:

    H1N1 and Seasonal Flu this year.
    Tetanus booster about a year ago ( with PERTUSSIS added by my request!)
    seasonal flu vaccine every year for the last 33, I believe. Including the SWINE FLU shot back in 76/77.
    Hepatitis B, Hepatitis A, meningitis
    Anthrax x 4. and then another series of 4.
    Cholera every 6 months for about 5 years, 87-92?
    Yellow fever, typhoid, (both shots and at least one oral dose)
    had MUMPS as a Child, along with Scarlet Fever same time.
    had Chicken Pox as a child.. nasty case. Now I get shingles.
    smallpox… last shot was late summer 1980 if I recall correctly.
    MY grandmother used to treat my and my siblings cuts and bruises with MERCURACHROME. no autism.

    3 kids, all FULLY VACCINATED as per schedules at the time.
    no autism. and I let them play with aluminum!.

    BUT BEN: what about you… any vaccines? or living off the gracious protection of the herd? Got any kids? Want to protect them from ACTUAL, REAL RISK of MORBIDITY or MORTALITY of actual diseases?

  60. #60 a perfect circle
    May 18, 2010

    @54 Please, use your supernatural ability to know the minds, motivations and actions of others to enumerate those readers of RI who “knew better than to risk themselves.” Names, please. Then enlighten us as to how you know any of this. Oh, just pulling that out of your ass? Thought so.

  61. #61 squirrelelite
    May 18, 2010

    Thanks for the explanation, Pablo. And, I see you had already answered my question about the TDaP/DTaP. I’ll have to recheck my shot record.

    I probably overstated the reactivity of aluminum a little. If it were as reactive as beryllium or sodium, we probably couldn’t use it for wire or wrap food in aluminum foil.

    I do remember though that some people at the Air Force base near where I live used to grind or pulverize it into little flakes or powder which could then be blown into special burners where they were mixed with oxygen to produce a very bright and hot flame. They were used for simulating the thermal radiation effects of nuclear weapons. There was some concern about how long they would be able to continue doing that because they were approaching the limit (presumably set by the EPA) for how much aluminum oxide they could dump into the surrounding landscape.

  62. #62 DayOwl
    May 18, 2010

    @Rileysmom

    I sure wish the pneumoccocal meningitis vaccine had been available for my son who contracted pneumoccocal meningitis in 1991. Perhaps the he wouldn’t have suffered neurological damage that lead to loss of hearing in one ear and substantial speech difficulties, as well as behavioral and learning problems.

    I’m appalled at the people who complain about vaccines that increase their children’s chances of surviving long enough to develop other diseases. If they had died of of measles, mumps, diphtheria, rubella, pertussis, or tetanus, autism wouldn’t be a concern, would it?

  63. #63 squirrelelite
    May 18, 2010

    @Yagotta B. Kidding,

    You were probably just being ironic or sarcastic, but just in case.

    The rule of the law is that silence denotes consent. Since none of them have posted to point out that they do not vaccinate themselves or their children, I think the default assumption is that they consent to the consensus of the comments. Which is that a lot of informed people do choose to vaccinate themselves and/or their children.

  64. #64 Erika
    May 18, 2010

    Ben Hernandez–I had H1N1 and seasonal, live, nasal viruses this fall. So did my husband. So did my 6 yr old, along with most of her friends. She also had her varicella (chicken pox) booster. Oh, and I just recommended that my 75-yr old mother get the shingles vax. None of us seem to have ASD. Any other questions?

  65. #65 Sir Eccles
    May 18, 2010

    Something interesting I read on the BBC:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8686750.stm

    Apparently someone is suggesting a link between ending the use of the smallpox vaccine and the rise of HIV. The theory being that the smallpox vaccine interferes with the way HIV multiplies.

  66. #66 Bluegrass Geek
    May 18, 2010

    @ben #11

    I’ve had H1N1, seasonal flu and TB titers this year. I think my Hep was last year, along with a tetanus booster.

    Then again, I work in health care. TB & Hep are required for my position, since I work with direct patient care in the ER. Tetanus is just smart to have, and I took both flu vaccines, given the number of flu-positive people who’ve been through here. It’s the safest thing, both for me and for all the patients who come through these doors.

    So, yeah. I understand how vaccines work, and the risks involved. And the benefits far outweigh the risks.

    Oh, and my pediatrician brother-in-law made sure my nephew got his full round of vaccines. My nephew just turned one, and we’re celebrating his birthday this weekend. He’s a healthy, clever boy.

  67. #67 MommaD
    May 18, 2010

    Vaccines I asked for this year: Hepatitis A, polio, typhoid, adult version of tetanus ALL ON THE SAME DAY!!! Gasp! Plus, a TB test. And when I’m old enough, I’ll get the Shingles vaccine, because there was no chicken pox vaccine when I was little, and I actually got chicken pox, so am at risk of shingles. I’ll also get the PnemoVax for old folks. Plus by then, I’ll need another tetanus.

  68. #68 squirrelelite
    May 18, 2010

    One more and then I’d better take care of some other business.

    @Richard Smith,

    Perhaps Willie should try flushing his derriere in a bidet. It might clean up his thought processes.

    @bluemaxx,

    I had most of those diseases as a kid, too. But, fortunately I was lucky. I remember getting red stains on my skin from mercurachrome, also.

    I can be a bit single-minded at times, but I don’t think I’m autistic. At least not yet.

  69. #69 Todd W.
    May 18, 2010

    For anyone that is interested in posting comments (respectful and on-topic) on Ms. Obradovic’s article, I’ve created a thread at >a href=”http://silencedbyageofautism.blogspot.com/2010/05/censored-on-how-to-actually-save.html”>Silenced by Age of Autism in case you get censored. Save a copy of your AoA comment and post it at Silenced if the editors kill your post.

  70. #70 Broken Link
    May 18, 2010

    I’ve had a HepB series of vaccines in the recent past, since I’m on the emergency response team, and didn’t have them as a child. I’m also up to date on tetanus.

    And my children, one with ASD, one without are up to date on their shots. However, in the interests of full disclosure, I will tell you than when my daughter with ASD was due for her six year old MMR booster, at the time when Wakefield still had credibility, I had her titres checked rather than giving her the booster. Now that Wakefield is know to be a fraud, I wouldn’t have hesitated to have her vaccinated with MMR. My child with ASD is coming up for her Gardasil shots shortly, and you better believe she’ll be getting them. She’s had other vaccines recently, and there’s been no sign of regression at all.

  71. #71 kmiller
    May 18, 2010

    ‘Worst of all; my twelve-year-old is scheduled to get her first HPV next week, so I fully expect her to be a vegetable by December.’

    This whole topic should not be treated as a joke. I would be careful what you wish for…a car accident could give you just what you expected.

    To all you ‘perfect’ parents out there who are so judgemental about the way other parents deal with their autistic child- you need to shut up because you dont know those peoples’ lives. I have 2 ‘very damaged’ children who are on the extreme end of the autistic spectrum. I LOVE my damaged children very very much! When a child has been playing for years, and then spontaeously regresses to a completely non responsive shell for 14 years…Yes, they were damaged! That does not mean they are garbage. Just because damage is done to you, doesnt mean you arent loved. Oh please, just stop the ‘poor child whose parent thinks they are damaged’ saga. You try to fix things that are damaged, you love them, you care for them. Please be quiet!

    Dont forget, there are people who cant tolerate vaccines and many other things. That it is why it is so important for everyone else to get vaccinated because some people can not. Well, you may not know your child is one of them who shouldnt be vaccinated until it is too late. Dont forget those children who sacrificed their life for all you. No need to be judgemental.

  72. #72 Pablo
    May 18, 2010

    I do remember though that some people at the Air Force base near where I live used to grind or pulverize it into little flakes or powder which could then be blown into special burners where they were mixed with oxygen to produce a very bright and hot flame.

    Note that elemental aluminum is the fuel in the “solid rocket booster” on the space shuttle. Oh yeah, it burns (although it is difficult to ignite). However, the oxidant used in the combustion is ammonium perchlorate, not elemental oxygen (which is kind of hard to get solid).

  73. #73 Joseph
    May 18, 2010

    The most wacky part of Ms. Obradovic’s post is the unstated assumption that she’s in a position to make demands of this nature. In reality, at this point I don’t believe anyone will give her ilk the time of day. I think Orac uses her post for the sheer entertainment value it provides.

  74. #74 Todd W.
    May 18, 2010

    HTML fail. Here’s the right link:Silenced by Age of Autism.

  75. #75 augustine
    May 18, 2010

    @rene

    You do know this is an atheist website, cloaked with the banner of science right? Does anyone want to give her a lesson in logical consistency? Perhaps you should change your bible to reflect your beliefs.

    “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy vaccines and thy medicine they comfort me.”

  76. #76 Ian
    May 18, 2010

    I had seasonal and H1N1 flu shot. We got them at work. The worst thing that happened to me was that I had to take my shirt off in front of the whole office, because I couldn’t roll my sleeves up far enough.

    Which, when I think about it now, made me decide to start running (8 hours of science desk-work a day doesn’t exactly lead to rock-hard abs). So, by the crank transitive property, vaccines prevent heart disease.

  77. #77 rob
    May 18, 2010

    @Ben Hernandez:

    i got my H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccines this year. i also requested the anti-stupid vaccine. apparently it is working cause your posts are starting to fade from sight.

    p.s. Soylent Green Vaccines are Fetuses!

  78. #78 Ender
    May 18, 2010

    “This whole topic should not be treated as a joke.”

    It is not your place to decide what people should joke about. Nor is making a joke while discussing things the same as ‘treating the whole topic as a joke.’

    “I would be careful what you wish for…a car accident could give you just what you expected.”

    No you sick fuk she was talking about vaccine induced vegetability, you’re just menacing her with the possibility her child will be hit by a car for no reason. Fuk off.

    For Ben: I have not had any vaccinations this year, or last year or the year before. Vaccines still don’t cause autism. I will take a vaccine when it’s next called for. What was your point exactly?

  79. #79 kmiller
    May 18, 2010

    77 you are a very angry person. Of course she was talking about vaccines and making a sick joke about it. Since that actually has happened to some peoples’ children, it is a very sick joke. That kind of thing randomly happens like all accidents. The point was not to joke about it, just like you got so angry over the joke analogy. Do you understand.

  80. #80 Ender
    May 18, 2010

    “You do know this is an atheist website, cloaked with the banner of science right? Does anyone want to give her a lesson in logical consistency? Perhaps you should change your bible to reflect your beliefs.”

    WTF are you on about? I searched ‘rene’ on this thread and nothing came up. Who are you talking to?

    What’s this nonsense about this being ‘an atheist website, cloaked with the banner of science’? What a load of nonsense, clearly coming from someone unfamiliar with this site but without the humility to know when they’re overstepping their knowledge base, or an idiot who is familiar with this website.

    Have you not seen the whole furore when Dawkins threw science under the bus in favour of atheism? That alone shows you how wrong you are.
    And it would not be a criticism of the site if it were an atheist site, either.

  81. #81 Ian
    May 18, 2010

    @Rene Najera

    Some day, friend. Some day the world will recognize that Renee is a woman’s name, and Rene is a man’s.

    DISCLAIMER: The above statement represents the personal and professional beliefs of everyone I have ever worked with, and anyone I have had even a brief conversation with.

  82. #82 T. Bruce McNeely
    May 18, 2010

    @Ben:

    With all the vaccination needles I’ve had, why should I be bothered by a prick like you?

    (The preceding is a shameless ripoff of Dorothy Parker)

  83. #83 Anthro
    May 18, 2010

    @Yagotta b kidding

    Honestly, I wasn’t going to post as it seemed redundant, and even though you are clearly unhinged, I can’t resist indulging your fetish.

    This year I have had the following vaccinations: Seasonal flu, H1N1, Pneumonia, tetanus booster and the one that’s like varicella for shingles.

    Also, one of my kids was vaccinated TWICE before age 10 because the school lost her shot record. Somehow she manages to live a normal life at age 40.

    All six of my grandchildren are completely vaccinated on the recommended schedule. No autism.

    I also get allergy shots twice a week for over a year and will keep going for as long as it takes. Not quite the same thing, but no doubt an “assault” of some kind by your reasoning.
    ———
    @Willie

    By the way, I reach into my “toilette” about once a week with a sponge and a bit of bleach and give it a good scrub. Did you know you speak some French?

  84. #84 augustine
    May 18, 2010

    @ender

    post #13. It clearly says “rene”.

    “And it would not be a criticism of the site if it were an atheist site, either.”

    It is what it is. There is no nonsense about it.

  85. #85 Pablo
    May 18, 2010

    Ian – in fact, babynames.com is very explicit about this. Renee is listed for a girl’s name, and Rene is listed under boy’s names. For an alternate spelling of Renee, it gives Renae. For Rene, it says

    Originally a male name that has crossed over into female form. However the female form usually has an extra E (Renee).

    So there you go.

    Then again, babynames.com also lists Moonunit under boy’s names, when, as we all know, it is a girl’s name.

  86. #86 Elf M. Sternberg
    May 18, 2010

    @Ben: Just to add to the chorus, I’ve had seasonal flu and H1N1 this year. I need to get by Hep-A and Hep-Bs pretty soon.

  87. #87 Rene Najera
    May 18, 2010

    @Ian – People who try to formulate a logical argument, writing as if they’re the end-all be-all of all things, and then mess up the gender of my name make me laugh.

    Why go through the trouble of having to school me only to mess up something so basic as Rene vs. Renee, like fiance and fiancee?

    Anyway, I know some of you on this blog are atheists, and that’s fine with me. I do get a little hurt when few are more anti-theists than atheists. But those are just my feelings, and I don’t let them get in the way of a reasonable debate. Just like I don’t let ancient knowledge get in the way of modern discovery.

  88. #88 Ender
    May 18, 2010

    You can shove your opinion of me as a person, derived from just one post, right back where you pulled it out of, kmiller.
    Yes that post made annoyed me. Any post that threatens a parent “Don’t joke about vaccines, your child could get hit by a car tomorrow!” is stupid enough to get worked up about.

    Saying “Don’t joke, something else bad could happen!” is not an analogy, if you don’t know that, or if you can’t understand that now it has been pointed out to you then you aren’t smart enough to be worth arguing with.

  89. #89 Ian
    May 18, 2010

    @augustine

    Everyone knows this isn’t really an atheist site. Oh sure, they’d like you to think that it’s wrapped in a cloak of science, but look closer – you’re only part of the way down the rabbit hole. It’s actually a front for the Marovingians in league with the Templars, who funnel money and political influence to the Greys in their high-orbit satellite spacecraft headquarters under the auspices of the Lizard People.

    But all that is just a smoke-screen to hide the fact that it’s actually a shill for Big Nerd.

  90. #90 Vicki
    May 18, 2010

    Augustine–

    Take a look at the URL: This is Respectful Insolence, not Pharyngula. (In fact, I seem to recall PZ over there complaining that Orac was focusing on what he is and not flying the atheist flag.)

  91. #91 Rene Najera
    May 18, 2010

    Dammit, I keep forgetting…

    DISCLAIMER: So you had the steak instead of the lobster. Does that mean that your employer is against funding the unsustainable lobster harvest or for the indiscriminate use of antibiotics and questionable practices in the feeding and raising of livestock? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Listen, what I write is my opinion, and anyone thinking that I represent any group of organization (big or small) is giving me too much credit. I’m just a simple Epidemiologist trying to make my way through the galaxy.

  92. #92 Ender
    May 18, 2010

    post #13. It clearly says “rene”.

    Sorry, you’re right, somehow I borked the search so badly it didn’t even pick up any of the many repetitions of ‘rene’ or words containing ‘rene’ on this page.

    Me:”And it would not be a criticism of the site if it were an atheist site, either.”

    You: It is what it is. There is no nonsense about it.

    You appear to be unclear about what I said. It is nonsense to say this site is an atheist site. There’s no two ways about that.

    Saying that it is makes you sound like one of the paranoid theists that so often make religion and the religious look stupid.

  93. #93 augustine
    May 18, 2010

    @ender

    You are on the wrong website. This is SCIENCEblogs. You should go to EMOTIONALblogs.com. You’ll be able to contribute more there.

  94. #94 Jon H
    May 18, 2010

    @Ben: A seasonal flu vaccine, plus I get tested for TB every six months, for work. That’s a .1ml subdermal injection of tuberculin+water+NaCL+preservatives, which I figure is close enough to a vaccination for an anti-vaxer to fear it.

  95. #95 Jon H
    May 18, 2010

    @Ben: Oh, and the only reason I didn’t get the H1N1 too is that I overslept and missed the free vax clinic where I work.

  96. #96 Pablo
    May 18, 2010

    Awwww, I don’t think Ben is coming back. Man, I am going to miss that crazy guy.

  97. #97 Ian
    May 18, 2010

    @Ender re: #92

    Oh snap, son! No he DI’INT!

    *Sigh* Sometimes I miss high school…

  98. #98 Ender
    May 18, 2010

    Yes, you are right augustine, this is a scienceblog therefore we are all grey emotionless drones at all times. It is the only way to be. There is no place for emotion in the halls of a blog about science.

    Oh wait, that’s just stupid. If my human reaction to idiocy is unpalatable to you then you should find another blog to read.

  99. #99 Ender
    May 18, 2010

    @Ian
    :D :D

  100. #100 squirrelelite
    May 18, 2010

    Hang in there, Rene.

    With all the strange variations in name spelling we see these days in the schools, most of them from parents just trying to be different, I try not to worry about them too much. But, sometimes it’s nice to know just for background information.

    @pablo,

    I’m pretty sure these systems used liquid oxygen, but it was a ground based system, not a rocket engine. It’s been quite a few years and the memory trail grows cold, so I’ll try to see if I can find out.

  101. #101 augustine
    May 18, 2010

    “Yes, you are right augustine, this is a scienceblog therefore we are all grey emotionless drones at all times. It is the only way to be. There is no place for emotion in the halls of a blog about science.”

    No you should spout your ideology and personal musings on philosophy and then call it a “blog about science” to confuse everyone.

  102. #102 jadeK
    May 18, 2010

    ender, Is it possible that your idiocy is unpalatable to the rest of our human emotions?

  103. #103 Pablo
    May 18, 2010

    I’m pretty sure these systems used liquid oxygen

    The main (center) tank is liquid O2 with liquid H2. However, the solid rocket boosters, which are the side guys, are SOLID fuel and oxidizer. It’s about 70% ammonium perchlorate, 16% aluminum, and the rest is catalyst and polymer binder (which also burns).

  104. #104 squirrelelite
    May 18, 2010

    @pablo,

    Here is a link to a technical report on the system.

    http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=ADA168707

    I think this was written a few years before I started working in the office, but it definitely mentions liquid oxygen.

  105. #105 squirrelelite
    May 18, 2010

    @Pablo,

    Thanks for the info.

    I hadn’t realized or forgotten that the solid rocket boosters used aluminum. Probably I just had not read the details carefully enough.

  106. #106 rob
    May 18, 2010

    my orbital mind control lasers are working perfectly today.

    bwa ha ha.

  107. #107 derelicthat
    May 18, 2010

    HOWEVER, it is not logical to imagine that vaccines will ever be discontinued until the time when the King of Kings and Lord of Lords establishes his kingdom rulership over mankind.

    I keep rereading this in the hopes that my eyes are malfunctioning and it will transform into a nice reasonable statement that doesn’t ruin my brain.

    Fucking magnets, how do they work?

  108. #108 Pablo
    May 18, 2010

    I’m confused. Why is everyone jumping on Ender?

    Let me rehash what happened:

    Rene: Whacky christians are an embarrassment to us more moderate types

    Augustine: “You do know this is an atheist website, cloaked with the banner of science right? ”

    Ender: “This isn’t an atheist site. Didn’t you see Dawkins get ripped here recently for choosing atheism over science?”

    Why are you folks ragging on him/her, and calling him/her an idiot? It’s augustine who is the issue here.

  109. #109 bluemaxx
    May 18, 2010

    @PABLO… don’t worry..I can feel, via my Reiki enhanced global positioning Cosmic Ray therapy device… that BEN isn’t gone…. he is just waiting in the line at the travel vaccine medicine clinic!

    and @105 rob:

    is the Volcanic Ashe interfering at all with your laser targeting? I have had to increase the dilution of my homeopathic Cosmic Rays to penetrate space over the UK

    BLUEMAXX.., loyal servant of the BigPharma-Toyota-Tobacco-World Government-BUSH/Cheney Conspiracy organization.

  110. #110 Composer99
    May 18, 2010

    @ 54(Yagotta)
    I hope you are being sarcastic. Otherwise, your comment is grade-A cow patty.

    @ 71 (kmiller)
    More educated commenters (such as daedalus2u) will point out that ASDs have principally genetic causes. Indeed, d2u points out that ASD people have different minicolumn structure in the brain than ‘neurotypical’ people and that this structure forms in utero.

    This being the case, it very, very unlikely for children to be ‘damaged’ by vaccines into autism, even if their early development appears normal and then appears to regress. Indeed, they are not damaged at all. Merely less suited to function effectively in a society constructed by and for neurotypicals.

    Both wikipedia (http://daedalus2u.blogspot.com/2008/10/theory-of-mind-vs-theory-of-reality.html) and d2u’s blog (http://daedalus2u.blogspot.com/2008/10/theory-of-mind-vs-theory-of-reality.html)

    Also, you are positing something of a strawman. It is the anti-vaccine movement which is most focused on treating autistic people as ‘damaged’ goods.

    By contrast, genuine vulnerability to vaccines results from allergies or from immunodeficiency concerns, and people with these disadvantages rely on herd immunity to protect them from diseases which they are less capable of resisting, herd immunity which specious claims of ‘vaccine damage/injury’ endangers.

  111. #111 Jojo
    May 18, 2010

    kmiller

    No, I will not be quiet. I find all the talk of damaged children to be offensive. I find some of the treatments people put their autistic children through to be barbaric, nothing short of experimentation on children that cannot advocate for themselves. If that bothers you, too bad.

    As for this:

    Don’t forget, there are people who cant tolerate vaccines and many other things. That it is why it is so important for everyone else to get vaccinated because some people can not.

    Are you saying that other people should get vaccinated so that the ones who can’t tolerate it don’t have to? I’m fine with that, as long as we are identifying those that can’t tolerate a specific vaccination based on scientific evidence and not mommy gut feelings. How do you propose we do that? How do we tell which children will be damaged when there is no decent evidence that vaccines cause autism?

  112. #112 Kimberly
    May 18, 2010

    Am I the only one here who’s had the Pneumococcal vaccination as an adult? My doctor felt I was in the high-risk group for it. I won’t lie – that sumbitch hurt, and the arm in which I received the injection was sore for a week. Big red rash, I felt like I had a fever for 36 hours, etc. etc. But it was the right thing to do, given my medical history – my three pneumonia-and-bronchitis-free years following the vaccine were worth it.

  113. #113 XYZ
    May 18, 2010

    Well, I have MS and when I was going to get the H1N1 vaccine in the fall, I entered into the echo chamber of crazy that are some MS boards and read about all the terrible things that would happen to me if I got the shot and I went and…nothing. Nothing happened. Symptoms didn’t get worse, no relapses…nothing.

    I futher embrace Big Pharma by taking my MS meds which are “poison”. Er, sorry…”POISON”. Need the caps for emphasis. Big Pharma is not trying just to “poison” me, they’re trying to “POISON” me.

    To watch your body fall apart in this way at 35, not really where I saw myself at this point in my life. Left hand not working for six months? Can’t do up my own coat? Numbness? Pain? Good times. What could be worse than that? Oh, death. I keep up with my shots b/c I’d rather have MS than be dead. Life is good.

  114. #114 Ana Observer
    May 18, 2010

    Yes, well. I’ll start thinking about playing nice with the AoA types when they start treating autistic people as worthwhile human beings who are capable of rational thought and who have a voice of their own.

    Which means never.

    Thanks, Orac, for all you do.

  115. #115 Composer99
    May 18, 2010

    Hmm… HTML fail by me when posting links.

  116. #116 Dangerous Bacon
    May 18, 2010

    Same old denialism and continued shifting of goalposts from the AoA crowd.

    Hi Ben – I’ve had both H1N1 and seasonal flu shots in the past six months. Yes indeed, the nurse “repeatedly pierce(d) (my) flesh” with a sharp object, bypassing the normal route infectious disease organisms usually take in making me sick!

    A question for Ben – how many vaccine-preventable infectious diseases have you actually had – or are you wishing them on today’s children, secure in knowing that you had the shots as a child and have little to no chance of getting sick yourself? (note: I’ve had measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox, and wouldn’t want anyone else to suffer through them).

  117. #117 Rene Najera
    May 18, 2010

    @Derelicthat: Thanks, now I won’t be able to get that ICP song out of my effing head. Talk about burning stupid. They took it to a whole new dimension… A pelican ate his phone? What?

    DISCLAIMER: Insane Clown Posse is not a miracle. The miracle is that anyone listens to their music without being overwhelmed by an aneurysm.

  118. #118 Dianne
    May 18, 2010

    @11 Can I play too? I had both seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccines last year. I’ve also had the hep B series, all the childhood vaccines available when I was a kid, and a Td in 2007. I’ll admit to being remiss about the hep A but that’s a matter of poor organization not fear of the vaccine (never remember the thing at the right moment.) I’d get the HPV vaccine except that no one will give it to a 42 year old monogamous woman. (Really, so narrow minded. What if I want to start having orgies when I’m 80?) I’ve also been partially vaccinated against FSME. Had to stop due to vaccine reaction (fever). Oddly enough, I didn’t get pressured by evil drug companies to keep going despite the bad reaction. Weird, huh?

  119. #119 Vicki
    May 18, 2010

    It now appears that a vaccine that I was among the youngest to get routinely has some protective value against AIDS. This isn’t the long-sought AIDS vaccine, and they’re not recommending people go out and get the smallpox shot yet, but it’s an interesting thought.

  120. #120 augustine
    May 18, 2010

    “I’d get the HPV vaccine except that no one will give it to a 42 year old monogamous woman.”

    Then why would you want it? The benefit would be close to zero.

    “(Really, so narrow minded. What if I want to start having orgies when I’m 80?)”

    Then why not get the shot at 79 if you feel that it would somehow prevent cervical cancer?

  121. #121 Poogles
    May 18, 2010

    Haven’t had any vaccines in the last year, but not because I was avoiding them. Just recently even realized there may be vaccines (besides the yearly flu) that I should have as an adult!

    Planning on trying to rescue my shot records from my father, but he may be enough of an asshole to refuse, so I may need to get my titers checked and re-take some, as well as get any boosters I would’ve needed anyways :-)

  122. #122 Dianne
    May 18, 2010

    Then why would you want it? The benefit would be close to zero.

    Because I’m apparently not currently infected with HPV. I’d like to die non-infected with HPV. After a long, long period of living non-infected and having sex. And while I’m currently monogamous AND terribly geeky, who’s to say that I’ll never change?

  123. #123 TonyBateson
    May 18, 2010

    So this is a science blog is it? You would never know it. My question is nothing to do with science but it is arithmetic, simple arithmetic. Whay are there no autisic people amongst the two to three millions unvaccinated with childhood vaccines in the UK. I keep getting people rubbishing my question but they provide not one jot of evidence of the existence of these individuals. Is there any such evidence of unvaccinated autistic people in the USA (and not exposed to vaccine materials).

    Surely this information is known, how can those who argue for vaccines know so much about the small numbers of autistic kids to be able to say that vaccines are not involved but know so little about the unvaccinated?

    Tony Bateson, Oxford, UK.

  124. #124 augustine
    May 18, 2010

    “I’d like to die non-infected with HPV.”

    Why? You don’t necessarily need the vaccine for that. And…it only covers 4 strains.

  125. #125 Ian
    May 18, 2010

    There are autistic unvaccinated kids in the UK. I don’t know who you’ve been talking to, but they’re lying to you.

    Kim Stagliano had a kid who was unvaccinated and who has autism. The AoA boards are full of people saying they have unvaccinated autistic kids. There have been studies published in academic journals that find the risk of autism to be the same in vaccinated vs. unvaccinated populations.

    Tony… are you having a stroke?

  126. #126 kmiller
    May 18, 2010

    110 Jojo,

    you only quoted the first sentence which was leading up to the next sentence that says you cant always know which child would react to the vaccine. The medical professionals are the ones who labelled my daughters (twins) with autism. Actually, I would say it is severe brain damage due to hypoxia, not autism. They both had severe allergic reactions to their 4 yr vaccines while we were still at the clinic. No problems with prior vaccs and no problems found with the particular vaccines. They were treated, but never recovered. They are non responsive, not verbal or emotional. They cant or dont want(drs arent sure) to chew, so they are tube fed.

    I just think you might consider that people mean their kids have damage–brain damage, arm damage, eye site damage, what have you….but they still love them very much. I dont think being damaged is offensive. Not to mention, sometimes the grieving process involves confusion and anger, and I dont assume that means they dont love their child. I think they are downright scared and would probably recover quicker with some support.

  127. #127 Todd W.
    May 18, 2010

    @Ian (and other newer readers)

    Tony Bateson is a troll that shows up now and then claiming that there are no unvaccinated autistic individuals, despite being repeatedly shown that there are. Sometimes, he claims there are no unvaccinated autistics anywhere. Other time, he’s a bit cagier and limits it to just the U.K. (That usually happens when someone points out that Kim Stagliano’s youngest daughter is completely unvaccinated and yet still autistic.) Tony just refuses to accept that there are people who are not vaccinated and yet still autistic.

  128. #128 CanadianChick
    May 18, 2010

    Ben – if you’re still around, I had my flu shots this year – seasonal and H1n1

    I haven’t had any others as I’m generally in a low risk environment, and I’m on immunosuppressants for otherwise crippling arthritis. But thanks for the reminder – I need to mOe an appointment with my GP to see what vaxes I should get to protect myself against the infectious children of assholes like you.

    And seriously – could the autism mommy warriors please stop being attention whores and talking about their “lost” and “damaged” children? I have a good friend with two autistic sons ( who knows enough to NOT blame vaccines) who would never refer to her boys like that. Instead she focusses on helping them cope and progress and they DO progress with time and love and work. She’s passionate about research into causes and treatments, but not to the exclusion of common sense, decency and understanding.

  129. #129 Ian
    May 18, 2010

    @Todd W.

    Thanks. Frok, I hate feeding trolls. Apologies.

  130. #130 Orac
    May 18, 2010

    Yeah, I’m seriously thinking of banning Bateson. He serves no useful purpose, and he posts in essence the same thing very time, a nonsensical claim that there are no unvaccinated children in the U.K. with autism. It’s gotten very tiresome–not even mildly entertaining anymore.

  131. #131 Rene Najera
    May 18, 2010

    Tony, please seek care for your condition. Simple Google searches (you know, where Jenny got her degree in immunology) will give you the answer. Unless, as you will surely now argue, all those papers, all those data, all of it, in its entirety, were written and produced by Farma La Grande.

    Also, if the information you get through Google is wrong, then what does that make of Jenny?

  132. #132 Chris
    May 18, 2010

    Tony Bateson, you have been given several answers to your question that there are unvaccinated people with autism, including several pointers as to the real evidence. It is just you who keeps lying about it (ooh, look you moved the goal post in thinking that Kim Stagliano’s childhood vaccines are the cause of her youngest unvaxed kid having autism).

    Bateson, you are a lunatic.

  133. #133 Orac
    May 18, 2010

    You do know this is an atheist website, cloaked with the banner of science right? Does anyone want to give her a lesson in logical consistency?

    Uh, no. This is not an atheist blog. It’s a medical blog, a skepticism and critical thinking blog.

    Do learn the difference.

  134. #134 Pablo
    May 18, 2010

    why are there no autisic people amongst the two to three millions unvaccinated with childhood vaccines in the UK.

    Whenever I see something like this, I think of Eric Cartman:

    “If dolphins are so smart, why do they live in igloos?”

  135. #135 augustine
    May 18, 2010

    “Uh, no. This is not an atheist blog.It’s a medical blog, a skepticism and critical thinking blog.”

    Really?
    In this blog’s view what’s the difference?

  136. #136 Ian
    May 18, 2010

    Atheist blogs talk about God. This one doesn’t. If He shows up in the comments, or the ravings of one of His followers makes a useful illustrative point, that’s purely accidental. It doesn’t happen with nearly enough frequency or regularity to qualify as an “atheist blog”.

    I think you actually do understand the difference, you’re just being belligerent to prove a point that is clear to you and you alone.

  137. #137 Dedj
    May 18, 2010

    Please stop reffering to Bateson as a lunatic, it implies his behaviour is both uninsightful and that there is an external locus of control.

    Bateson has demonstrated with his repeated and extreme misreprentations of the concerns put forth about him that he is fully aware of how he behaves and presents but chooses to continue doing it anyway.

    He fully believes that his poor quality and unvalidated, if not outright incompetant, research and research methods are superior to the bulk of the professional and academic literature.

    Please call him arrogant and uninformed, rather than mentally ill.

  138. #138 Vicki
    May 18, 2010

    Augustine–

    Speaking as an atheist, I think you have just insulted a number of my friends, who are basically rational but religious. I think they’re wrong, but wrong does not mean irrational, stupid, or incapable of critical thinking. (I’ve seen people turn up where some of them blog, complaining in the comments about the “atheist” or “anti-Christian” views there, not having bothered to notice that three of the people running the blog are practicing Catholics.)

  139. #139 Jojo
    May 18, 2010

    Kmiller

    First you say:

    I have 2 ‘very damaged’ children who are on the extreme end of the autistic spectrum.

    Then you say:

    Actually, I would say it is severe brain damage due to hypoxia, not autism.

    My problem is when people refer to those with ASD as damaged. All indications are that ASD has a genetic component, and that there are physical differences in the brains of people with ASD. They are not damaged, they are different. Can you imagine what it must be like for people with ASD to grow up being told they are damaged? As if life isn’t going to be challenging enough for them, let’s label them as defective and damaged. No, I cannot stomach that.

    The situation you describe with your daughters is not the same as what the AoA group is saying. It is known that there are negative reactions to vaccinations that can lead to brain damage and death. They are extremely rare, and are not the reactions AoA is talking about where millions of children are being damaged each year.

    Clearly, the fact that the risk of vaccination is very small provides little comfort for you, since your daughters were harmed by the rare allergic reaction. I’m very sorry that your daughters and your family have had to go through this. As a mother I can understand how heartbreaking that would be, and I would certainly be angry.

    However, I don’t think overstating the risks of vaccination as AoA does is going to be helpful to the children that are truly harmed, nor is it going to help any of the children that will end up harmed by infectious diseases that they could have been protected against.

  140. #140 Sid Offit
    May 18, 2010

    Don’t limit yourselves to the currently available vaccines. There are plenty of ongoing and planned vaccine trails in which you can participate.

    http://www.niaid.nih.gov/volunteer/vrc/pages/default.aspx

  141. #141 Shay
    May 18, 2010

    Ben@11 — seasonal flu, H1N1 and DTAP. What’s your point?

  142. #142 augustine
    May 18, 2010

    “I think they’re wrong, but wrong does not mean irrational, stupid, or incapable of critical thinking.”

    As long as you know the difference between fact and opinion…

  143. #143 Chris
    May 18, 2010

    Sorry, dedj. I wanted to avoid demeaning the lovely birds known as loons. Perhaps a more accurate description of Bateson is “liar.”

  144. #144 Scott
    May 18, 2010

    He fully believes that his poor quality and unvalidated, if not outright incompetant, research and research methods are superior to the bulk of the professional and academic literature.

    Please call him arrogant and uninformed, rather than mentally ill.

    Actually, I’ve moved well past that view where Tony is concerned. Given how many times the scenario has played out as:

    “There are no unvaccinated autistics, and nobody has ever presented any evidence to the contrary.”
    “Here is evidence to the contrary.”
    “See? Nobody even tries to present any evidence! It’s proven!”

    I have to reach the conclusion that Tony isn’t simply arrogant and uninformed. He’s also a deliberate, repeated, liar. Or, he actually BELIEVES that he hasn’t been shown anything, which would fall into the same category as a belief that the purple spiders are crawling all over everything in sight.

  145. #145 Kristen
    May 18, 2010

    @kmiller

    ‘Worst of all; my twelve-year-old is scheduled to get her first HPV next week, so I fully expect her to be a vegetable by December.’

    This whole topic should not be treated as a joke. I would be careful what you wish for…a car accident could give you just what you expected.

    To all you ‘perfect’ parents out there who are so judgemental about the way other parents deal with their autistic child

    Thank you for the WTF comment. What does the possibility of her getting hit by a car have to do with (what anti-vaxers claim are) the horrible, horrible, life-ending consequences of getting the HPV shot?

    And I do know what it is like to have an autistic child. What I don’t do is take umbrage for every little comment that might, possibly, sort-of, kind-of maybe be a little offensive if you look at it just right, at just the right moment. I love how you say “could give you what you expected”, how wonderfully vaguely threatening.

    @Ender

    Yes that post made annoyed me. Any post that threatens a parent “Don’t joke about vaccines, your child could get hit by a car tomorrow!” is stupid enough to get worked up about.

    I have one more person who comments here that I love. :)

  146. #146 Ian
    May 18, 2010

    Augustine, Bateson, Ben, Yagotta, and now Sid Offit.

    Orac, did you post this while under a bridge? ‘Cause there’s a LOT of trolls around.

  147. #147 G
    May 18, 2010

    Okay, I just went and read the thimerosal MSDS. Where, exactly, is it supposed to say anything about aluminum?

    I love reading stuff written by people with a very little knowledge about chemistry. One of my favorites was “it’s sodium based, so it’s as safe as the salt on your table.” Whew.

    You guys make me feel inadequate. I haven’t had a vaccine since 2005 (TDaP). Since I don’t interact with people as frequently as others do, I try to leave the flu vaccines in my area for people who have greater need. Hubby gets them, though.

  148. #148 Tertia
    May 18, 2010

    Well said Kirsten

  149. #149 Shay
    May 18, 2010

    TDAP. Not DTAP. I can spell, really, I just can’t type.

  150. #150 malia
    May 18, 2010

    @ Kimberley (111)
    I got the Pneumococcal vaccine this year as well (I’m only in my late-20′s but it was recommended as I have asthma) – the shot itself was fine, but my arm was sore for about 2 days.

    @ ben, et al.
    I think I’ve only posted here once, but I feel like I have to chime in and mention I also got the H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccines, as well as my yearly TB titer.

  151. #151 Scott
    May 18, 2010

    Okay, I just went and read the thimerosal MSDS. Where, exactly, is it supposed to say anything about aluminum?

    I think she was reading the MSDS for some form of aluminum. Of course, the fact that she even goes to an MSDS is ample proof that she just doesn’t get it.

  152. #152 MikeMa
    May 18, 2010

    @Kimberley
    Forgot about that. I had the Pneumococcal vaccine too although IIR, that is required every 2 years so it might be over a year since I had it. Doc keeps better records than I do:)

  153. #153 Julian Frost
    May 18, 2010

    Hello again,
    Augustine (nice to name yourself after an early Christian saint and theologist), this is a science based website. Your remarks suggest that anyone who is religious is not scientific or capable of rational and sceptical thinking. Rene is right: you are an embarrassment to us Christians who are capable of rational thought.

  154. #154 Jud
    May 18, 2010

    #s 147 & 151 – I was gonna use vinegar on my salad the other day, but then I saw it was adulterated with acetic acid.

  155. #155 augustine
    May 18, 2010

    Ian:
    “Atheist blogs talk about God. This one doesn’t. If He shows up in the comments, or the ravings of one of His followers makes a useful illustrative point, that’s purely accidental.”

    I didn’t say it was blog about atheism. It’s a blog that reflects the views of atheists.

  156. #156 kittywhumpus
    May 18, 2010

    Ben reminded me to check on my son’s vaccinations and make his two-year appointment. He also reminded me to check my own immunization report (TDaP, H1N1, Seasonal Flu in last two years).

    So, thanks!

    Not only that, but he prodded me to go back into one of my blogs and place addenda to the posts I made while in the middle of The Great Vaccine Fugue of 2008-9, from which I have now recovered.

    This is just in case anyone looking for reasons NOT to follow to CDC schedule stumbles upon those posts and becomes swayed by my emotional state at the time.

    My boy is all caught up and on track. Orac’s posts on the Cult of Anti-Vax had a lot to do with clearing the haze of fear.

  157. #157 augustine
    May 18, 2010

    “Your remarks suggest that anyone who is religious is not scientific or capable of rational and sceptical thinking.”

    That is the exact OPPOSITE of my sentiments. Your appraisal is premature.

    “Rene is right: you are an embarrassment to us Christians who are capable of rational thought.”

    Did rene say that about me? Listen before you speak.

  158. #158 Jud
    May 18, 2010

    augustine writes:

    It’s a blog that reflects the views of atheists.

    To the extent there are atheists in the world, so do many blog posts reflect the views of atheists, and so does virtually every blog that allows comments, since at least a few of those comments will almost certainly be from atheists. A greater proportion of scientists than of the population-at-large professes to be atheists (and I would guess the same may be true to some degree of lay science enthusiasts), so the proportion of blog posts and comments reflecting atheist views here on Scienceblogs is quite likely greater than among blogs-at-large.

    Therefore, one must ask, whatever are you on about?

  159. #159 augustine
    May 18, 2010

    frost:”Rene is right: you are an embarrassment to us Christians who are capable of rational thought.”

    Embarrassment in front of whom?

  160. #160 Rene Najera
    May 18, 2010

    @Agustine: It’s the blog that reflects the views of anyone who sees the scientific method as the best and only way to analyze and discover the natural world. I know plenty of atheists who believe in myths and conspiracies. We’re not all two-dimensional.

    Further, Orac has done a great job of actually being reasonable even when dealing with religious types. Sure, there’s snark. Yes, there’s insolence. But, at the end of the day, he has my respect and that of his peers, which is more than I can say for comment trolls.

    DISCLAIMER: blah, blah, blah, you know what I mean.

  161. #161 MI Dawn
    May 18, 2010

    @augustine: you said: “I didn’t say it was blog about atheism. It’s a blog that reflects the views of atheists.”

    What are the views of atheists? I have seen nothing here that are views exclusive to atheists. Are you saying that vaccines are atheistic?

    Orac, himself, has declared in the past that he is not an atheist. While many of the commenters may be atheists, what brings us together here is a belief in science-based medicine (and the insolence…). Religion – of any sort -is not important on this blog. Science is. (And maybe Orac’s other love – besides his wife – WWII).

  162. #162 gaiainc
    May 18, 2010

    To Ben, ummm… yeah. I walk the walk as well as talk the talk to the tune of having MMR at least four times in my life to get my titers up and keep them up (I hate the MMR-that sucker hurts). My little one is up to date on immunizations as per the CDC schedule. If I could get my husband to get the flu shot, I’d be happier, but he gets so vasovagal with needles that he wouldn’t do it. He did get his varicella vaccine, but that was a struggle. Will try again on the flu shot this fall.

    Sid Offit-participated in a trial for a typhoid vaccine. Your point?

    My institution is investigating a vaccine to help people stop smoking. interesting line of investigation. I have no idea if it will work or not.

    Pneumovax is recommended for all those age 65 and older as well as people who smoke, have asthma, diabetes, COPD, sickle cell, or lungs that would really do badly with pneumonia. Of course, it will NOT prevent all causes of pneumonia. There are too many, but it will cut down one’s chances. Usually one dose is enough, but from memory, if you had one dose before age 65, then the CDC recommends another one after age 65.

    Synvisc-liquid platinum (maybe liquid diamonds considering the cost), but if your child’s lungs need it, I’ve got nothing else to try and prevent RSV infection.

    I am thankful every day for Dr. Offit and the Rotavirus vaccines. Completely anecdotal, but a lot less vomiting and diarrhea has come through my clinic this winter. I was on service in the hospital in December and admitted no kids with rotavirus. Woo hoo!

  163. #163 Oroboros
    May 18, 2010

    @Jim Ernst:

    I wouldn’t count too much on the school nurse’s statistics for hope. Last week I met a mother (coincidentally in Virginia) who has chosen to not vaccinate her three childre (and she pledged to resist any attempts to do so with her life). She’s also homeschooling her children. I suspect that is fairly common among the most hardcore anti-vaccine parents.

  164. #164 Kathryn
    May 18, 2010

    Re WILLIE: “Toilette” means “getting ready in the morning,” not “receptacle for human waste,” you ignorant fool.

  165. #165 Ian
    May 18, 2010

    @augustine

    Any critical thinking blog is going to be closely aligned with “the views of atheists”. That’s because when you apply critical thinking to the subject of religion and require evidence and logic to support your conclusions, religion fails to meet the standard. If you believe just because you believe, then that’s your choice. By the way, “atheists” as a group only have one “belief” in common, which is actually a lack of belief in God. That’s it. Any other attributes you feel like attaching to us as a group are purely the product of your own ignorance and prejudice.

    What you’re essentially saying is that critical thinking is an inherently “atheist” tool. The theists here are understandably offended by your characterization. I’m sure the atheists among us probably agree with you. If that’s not what you mean, you should probably take a minute and figure out what it is you’re trying to say.

    P.S. if everyone, theists and non-theists alike, thinks you are wrong, you might also want to use that time to check your premises.

  166. #166 Calli Arcale
    May 18, 2010

    2. Acknowledge your lack of objectivity in this matter. By pretending to be unbiased, you lose credibility.

    Okay, so she’s seriously saying that for the CDC et al to be taken seriously by them, they need to first acknowledge that they cannot be taken seriously by them? She’s coming right out and explicitly saying they cannot please her, no matter what they do. One might ask why she expects them to try to please her, except for one detail: she obviously does not expect them to, and has instead arranged for her own satisfaction because she can take any response whatsoever as confirmation of her own beliefs.

    Well, at least she knows what’s important in life: her own pride. All else is subordinate.

    Lawrence @ 6 summed it up perfectly: It boils down to “Do what we say, and we’ll still hammer you into the ground.”

    To repeatedly pierce the flesh, bypass the natural immune system the body has created in the nose, mouth and digestive tract

    And yet they oppose Rotateq, which explicitly triggers the immune system in the digestive tract via entirely natural pathways…. And FluMist, which does the same thing in the nose, though I’ve never seen them quite as much up in arms about that one. (Also, does she seriously think we have no immune system other than in the nose, mouth, and digestive tract?)

    Autism Grandma, in the AoA comments:

    ALTHOUGH my Christian faith was the primary reason that I discontinued vaccines, with what I have learned now, I would be anti-vaccine even if I was an atheist!!! HOWEVER, it is not logical to imagine that vaccines will ever be discontinued until the time when the King of Kings and Lord of Lords establishes his kingdom rulership over mankind.

    May I please offer an apology on behalf of Christians everywhere? We’re not all self-absorbed arrogant twerps with a doomsday complex.

    Rene Najera @ 13:

    People like her and televangelists make my blood boil to the point that I wish there was a different name for followers of Christ who accept truths as the become unveiled through science… And, no, Christian Scientists will NOT do.

    My mom moved to a smaller house, and I’m storing her books temporarily. While sorting through them, I found one rather interesting text: the central Christian Science text “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”. Turns out, my great-grandparents had dabbled with Christian Science. (I’ve got a pretty varied Christian background, with some of the more interesting Protestant bunches, including two separate Covenanter groups.) The book obviously hasn’t been read much, as it’s in pristine condition. It even still has an astonishingly condescending note in the middle, probably from the printer/bookbinder, explaining the “correct” way to open a book. I read bits of it with a sort of horrified fascination. It did explain why my great-grandfather not only died at home, but had no medical assistance summoned until rigor mortis had set in and the body needed to be removed. (Presented a bit of a challenge for the medics, apparently, as he was in his bedroom up a narrow and twisty flight of stairs.)

    T. Bruce McNeeley @ 40:

    Wow, these people are ignorant.

    heavy metals such as …aluminum

    - which is why they use it to manufacture aircraft.

    Actually, some people do consider it a heavy metal; it depends on who you ask. Some chemists consider the term deprecated because its meaning is so variable as to be nearly useless. Some say it has to be a transition metal; others put the dividing line at iron (which I once heard poetically as the dividing line between stardust and stardeath — it’s the break-even point of nuclear fusion). Some put the dividing line as far down as carbon! Which, frankly, just goes to show how meaningless the term has become. It certainly isn’t a meaningful proxy for “toxic metal”, which is how the anti-vaxxers use the word.

    Lastly, my vaccines for the past year: TdaP, seasonal influenza (inactivated), 2009 H1N1 (inactivated). Since college, a whole bunch of seasonal influenza shots, Limerix (but did not complete the series, as the vaccine was withdrawn), MMR, and, though it’s not exactly a normal vaccine, Rhogam (twice — I’m Rh-negative).

  167. #167 augustine
    May 18, 2010

    ml dawn: “Orac, himself, has declared in the past that he is not an atheist.”

    Well, that is just semantics then. He is amazingly logically consistent and non-contradictory to his beliefs.

  168. #168 augustine
    May 18, 2010

    ian: “Any other attributes you feel like attaching to us as a group are purely the product of your own ignorance and prejudice.”

    It goes both ways.

  169. #169 Pablo
    May 18, 2010

    ome chemists consider the term deprecated because its meaning is so variable as to be nearly useless. Some say it has to be a transition metal; others put the dividing line at iron (which I once heard poetically as the dividing line between stardust and stardeath — it’s the break-even point of nuclear fusion). Some put the dividing line as far down as carbon!

    Who in the blazes puts the line for heavy metal at carbon? Certainly not a chemist, or anyone to take seriously.

    Some people might consider aluminum among the metals, as opposed to metalloid, and that is arguable. However, no one I have ever talked to (as a chemist) would ever call it a “heavy” metal. As far as metals go, it’s pretty damn light (right up there with sodium and magnesium).

    If aluminum is a “heavy” metal, then there basically are no such things as non-heavy metals.

  170. #170 Adam_Y
    May 18, 2010

    I have a feeling that augistine is trying to compare our facts as religious belief.

  171. #171 Rene Najera
    May 18, 2010

    @Agustine
    This is the last comment for the day, because there is no other way to end this, it seems…

    People, again, are not two-dimensional. We all live on spectra, not a spectrum. You cannot apply the scientific method to God any more than you can apply the scientific method to the color yellow. Is yellow pretty? You might think it is not; I think it is. Fructose, to me, is sweet, to others, it is not. So you cannot apply the scientific method to some facts of life. And that is okay.

    Now, when you can apply the scientific method and come up with a reasonable, biologically plausible, and reproducible result, and you still deny it with all your heart… well, then you’re just denying the truth.

    Try to convince me that the color yellow is not pretty using science. It would be like me trying to convince you that you have not experienced love or heartache.

    So let’s agree to disagree, shall we? Let us theists think whatever we want to think so long as the evidence doesn’t make us fall into the category of loons. And we’ll let you atheists (and anti-theists) think what you think, so long as the lack of evidence doesn’t make you fall into the category of… well… loons.

    DISCLAIMER: Saccharine, gasoline, I’ve got no reason for the state I’m in. I know what I am, they know who they are, so let me be.

  172. #172 Ian
    May 18, 2010

    @augustine

    It goes both ways

    Aww, did the big mean atheists hurt your feelings?

    Why don’t you find some examples of when Orac has inaccurately characterized religious people in his posts? I’ll save you some time – it’s never happened. This isn’t a religious or anti-religious blog; it’s about science and medicine without any mention for or against any religious tradition. If you’re getting all bent out of shape because people in the comment sections aren’t particularly polite to religious nutjobs (even I tend to leave the moderates alone), I invite you to get un-bent and welcome you to the internet (and to the latter half of the 20th century – now with dame voters!).

    The side benefit of getting un-bent is that (thanks to “atheist” physics) your head will finally pop out of your ass.

    DISCLAIMER: I am not implying (or out and out stating) that you are stupid because you are religious. Your stupidity and your religious beliefs, while related in this particular context, are in fact two separate entities.

  173. #173 boscher
    May 18, 2010

    @Ben Hernandez

    Within the last year, I received the H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccines, Guardasil (I’m a woman in my 20s and just squeaked in under the recommended age), and a Tdap booster. Plus, because of a trip to Central America, I received the first Hepatitis A shot and the oral typhoid vaccine just last month.

  174. #174 boscher
    May 18, 2010

    @Ben Hernandez

    Within the last year, I received the H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccines, Guardasil (I’m a woman in my 20s and just squeaked in under the recommended age), and a Tdap booster. Plus, because of a trip to Central America, I received the first Hepatitis A shot and the oral typhoid vaccine just last month.

  175. #175 Johnny
    May 18, 2010

    I also get allergy shots twice a week for over a year and will keep going for as long as it takes. Not quite the same thing, but no doubt an “assault” of some kind by your reasoning.

    I’ve wondered about this. There is no evidence that vaccines cause autism (or much of anything beyond a sore arm for most people). So, for all the misguided people who think vaccines are evil – why don’t allergy shots cause autism? Weekly shots aren’t uncommon for children, so those kids should be seriously ‘damaged’ by your “logic”. But you idiots don’t seem to make that claim… Why aren’t they the same as far as ‘causing autism’ is concerned?

  176. #176 augustine
    May 18, 2010

    Ian:
    “Your stupidity and your religious beliefs, while related in this particular context, are in fact two separate entities.”

    And your saying I’m stupid because of why?

  177. #177 T. Bruce McNeely
    May 18, 2010

    I didn’t say it was blog about atheism. It’s a blog that reflects the views of atheists.

    - with the exception of Bill Maher.

  178. #178 Ian
    May 18, 2010

    @augustine

    I dunno… bad parenting? Lead in the ground water? I have no earthly clue why you’re stupid.

  179. #179 augustine
    May 18, 2010

    adam: “I have a feeling that augistine is trying to compare our facts as religious belief.”

    A fact is a fact can’t we agree? But a scientific opinion is still an opinion or is it a fact?

    “Our facts”? do you own some facts that others aren’t privy to?

  180. #180 Ian
    May 18, 2010

    @Augustine

    If you don’t know the difference between fact and opinion, you may find this article helpful.

    DISCLAIMER: Shameless self-promotion.

  181. #181 augustine
    May 18, 2010

    ian: “I dunno… bad parenting? Lead in the ground water? I have no earthly clue why you’re stupid.”

    Is that all you have? Name calling. Is that the state of your intellectualism? There are some smart people on here. There should be no need for unnecessary name calling coming from you. It’s an emotion coming from your feelings. You should be able to communicate better than that and not let your emotions cloud your “science”.

  182. #182 Matthew Cline
    May 18, 2010

    Obradovic claims that mixing mercury with aluminum causes problems because of “high reactivity,”

    IIRC, if metallic mercury is exposed to metallic aluminum, then the mercury acts as a catalyst in an exothermic reaction. Of course, neither the mercury nor the aluminum in vaccines are in a metallic form…

    T. Bruce McNeely @ 40:

    Wow, these people are ignorant.

    heavy metals such as …aluminum

    - which is why they use it to manufacture aircraft.

    I recall reading somewhere that, in a medical context, aluminum toxicity is counted under heavy metal toxicity. Of course, I Am Not A Doctor.

    Calli Arcale @ 166:

    2. Acknowledge your lack of objectivity in this matter. By pretending to be unbiased, you lose credibility.

    Okay, so she’s seriously saying that for the CDC et al to be taken seriously by them, they need to first acknowledge that they cannot be taken seriously by them?

    To be fair, I think she’s saying that the CDC would have to admit that they had been non-objective, and say that they were working on becoming objective.

    Yagotta B. Kidding @ 54:

    Maybe the few of you who have been telling Ben off really did get vaccinated — assuming, for the moment, that you’re not lying — but look at all of the people who read this blog and haven’t replied that they got the shots.

    What, you expect every single reader of this blog, including the lurkers, to respond? Geez.

    Oh, by the way, I really like the “assuming, for the moment, that you’re not lying” bit.

  183. #183 MosesZD
    May 18, 2010

    Ben the Troll:

    Yes, I’ve gotten the jab in the last year. As has every adult in my immediate family. My 13-year-old daughter had her third Gardisil. And something else, but I can’t remember what.

    I’ve also had a LOT more immunizations than most people as I was in the military. So not only did I have all the childhood schedule, but I also got a boat-load of tropical disease vaccinations, too.

  184. #184 augustine
    May 18, 2010

    ian: “Why don’t you find some examples of when Orac has inaccurately characterized religious people in his posts?”

    Why? I never claimed he did. Pay attention!

  185. #185 Ian
    May 18, 2010

    Oh I absolutely can communicate better than name-calling, and I most often do – I have at several points during this exchange refrained from calling you names. However, I extend the respect of courtesy and well-reasoned response only when I think there’s any chance that communication is possible. You’re not here to communicate, you’re here to grind an axe. Your attitude, quote-mining and refusal to address any of the multitude of other commenters who have presented valid refutations of your pointless diatribe is typical of someone who is not attempting to conduct a rational discussion, but to preach from a soapbox. Your sniveling rejoinders about name-calling are an ineffectual attempt to deflect attention from the shortcomings of your own argument rather than admit that YOU MIGHT BE WRONG.

    Also, I disagree with your characterization of my name-calling as “unnecessary”. When you ask me why you’re stupid (whilst simultaneously spelling it “your” instead of “you’re”), you’re effectively begging on your knees to have someone insult you. The only feeling I have for you is annoyance, coloured with a bit of contempt.

    And it’s not “my science” any more than they are “my facts”. If you’re going to be a pedant, at least be consistent.

  186. #186 augustine
    May 18, 2010

    ian: “Oh I absolutely can communicate better than name-calling, and I most often do – I have at several points during this exchange refrained from calling you names.”

    You have great personal restraint. You should be proud of your personal discipline and courtesy

    “Your sniveling rejoinders about name-calling are an ineffectual attempt to deflect attention from the shortcomings of your own argument rather than admit that YOU MIGHT BE WRONG.”

    Wrong on what? Do you always argue just to argue. You’re jumping the gun prematurely.

    “you this, your that”. Your above post amounts to nothing but ad hominem attacks. Is this scienceblogs greets people?

  187. #187 Ian
    May 18, 2010

    (I know I should stop, but it’s a slow day at work…)

    ian: “Why don’t you find some examples of when Orac has inaccurately characterized religious people in his posts?”

    Why? I never claimed he did. Pay attention!

    Augustine, your complaint was that your prejudice and ignorance about atheists “goes both ways” – essentially, your point was that Orac (in his “atheist blog”) was equally ignorant and prejudiced about religious people. I then asked you to provide some examples to support your statement. You should pay attention to your own statements. Luckily, they’re all written down right there:

    - You do know this is an atheist website, cloaked with the banner of science right?

    - No you should spout your ideology and personal musings on philosophy and then call it a “blog about science” to confuse everyone.

    -

    “Uh, no. This is not an atheist blog.It’s a medical blog, a skepticism and critical thinking blog.”

    Really?
    In this blog’s view what’s the difference?

    - I didn’t say it was blog about atheism. It’s a blog that reflects the views of atheists.

    Are you younger than, let’s say, 20 years old, Augustine? I’m not trying to be insulting here, I just don’t relish the idea of picking on a kid. It’s not exactly sporting.

  188. #188 redacted
    May 18, 2010

    I had the tetanus and flu shots (seasonal). The flu one really cut down the damage from flu this year in grad school.

  189. #189 kb
    May 18, 2010

    @Kristen and kmiller:

    If I remember correctly, when they were doing clinical trials for the HPV vaccine, the most common cause of the fatalities was from car accidents. The rate wasn’t above that of the general population (of that age group). Therefore, you can safely assume they have nothing to do with each other, and it’s scientifically supported! : )

  190. #190 trrll
    May 18, 2010

    It is typical of the level of paranoia among antivaccine cranks that they often imagine that doctors do not vaccinate themselves and their own families. I grew up in a medical family, and we were always first in line when the new vaccines became available. So were all the other kids from medical families. I almost certainly received the SV40 contaminated polio vaccine (with no adverse effect, so far, and speaking as somebody who has seen polio damage, I’d do it again). This year, I had both the seasonal and “swine” flu vaccines (no ill effects other than a little temporary muscle tenderness). But it is a good discussion, because it remainded me that I wanted to speak to my doctor about getting the shingles and pneumococcal vaccines.

  191. #191 Travis
    May 18, 2010

    I am pretty disappointed Ben did not come back and was just a drive by troll. I wonder if he even read the comments made afterward or just sat back, happy with the knowledge he contributed to his cause. I remember hearing anti-vax people push around some number involving the number of doctors who do not get vaccinated themselves but I cannot find what the claim was. Does anyone have any idea what I am thinking about?

    If Ben did read this blog regularly, or searched the archives he could have found out that Orac did get vaccines for the flu. I remember him talking about his hospital getting H1N1 vaccines.

    I only got the H1N1 vaccine in the past year however. Some of the posters here seem to really practice what they preach. I almost wish I needed more vaccines so I could be a good example.

  192. #192 augustine
    May 18, 2010

    ian: “essentially, your point was that Orac (in his “atheist blog”) was equally ignorant and prejudiced about religious people.”

    No, no it wasn’t. You make too many assumptions and then go off of those assumptions. pay attention. That is a skeptic’s sin.

    I haven’t said one word about “religious” people. YOU felt the liberty to use that characterization.

    In your haste…

  193. #193 MosesZD
    May 18, 2010

    When a child has been playing for years, and then spontaeously [sic]regresses to a completely non responsive shell for 14 years…Yes, they were damaged!

    I’m sorry, but from all I’ve read on the issue, there is no evidence of an actual condition called “regressive autism.” That was made up by the Vaccines Cause Autism Industry and was part and parcel of Wakefield’s discredited “research.”

    Backed by a press conference and a video news-release, the five-page paper’s claims received huge media attention, and were followed by a sustained attack on the vaccine. This included further publications by Wakefield, criticising MMR, and led to an unprecedented collapse in public confidence in the shot, which, since the late 1980s in the UK and the early 1970s in the US, has been given almost universally to children, soon after they are one year old, almost eradicating measles and rubella.

    The prime cause of the alarm was findings in the paper claiming that the parents of two thirds of the 12 children blamed MMR for the sudden onset of what was described as a combination of both an inflammatory bowel disease and what Wakefield called “regressive autism”, in which language and basic skills were said to have been lost. Most disturbingly, the first behavioural symptoms were reported to have appeared within only 14 days of the shot.

    Although the research involved only a dozen children, and its results have never been replicated, many medical breakthroughs have begun with small-scale observations, and, if true, Wakefield’s findings might have been the first snapshot of a hidden epidemic of devastating injuries. “It’s a moral issue for me,” he said at the 1998 press conference, where he called for a boycott of the triple MMR, in favour of breaking it up into single shots, to be given at yearly intervals. “I can’t support the continued use of these three vaccines, given in combination, until this issue has been resolved.”

    The bottom line is that, sad is it may be, you’ve been had by people who want to use your personal tragedy for their agendas. They don’t care about you or your kids. They’re just in it for the quackery, the fame, the feeling of self-importance, etc and just use you…

    As for Wakefield, he wasn’t even a crank. His goal was to get rid of the old “dangerous” MMR vaccination and replace it with his single-shot varieties. Thus the whole phony scare he manufactured with his bullshit paper.

    So, sorry to say, but you’ve been duped twice. By the same man and the horde of professional victim agitprops that feed off your pain.

  194. #194 squirrelelite
    May 18, 2010

    @Pablo,

    I think I remember hearing on Astronomy Cast that in the astronomical usage, anything heavier than lithium (which was the heaviest element produced in the big bang) is considered a “heavy metal”. In that context where you worry about whether elements have been here since the big bang, are produced in all stars, or only when really big stars go supernova (which is when everything heavier than iron comes from). And the presence or absence of these elements is an important clue to the age of stars and galaxies.

    But that includes a lot of elements that aren’t even metals in the usage of normal chemistry (like oxygen and neon). I sort of wonder if Julie Obradovic knows the difference, but don’t really care all that much.

    And, Calli, thanks for your comment on the metal question. (and the rest) I always look forward to reading your comments.

    On the religion question which someone seems intent on beating to death, I decided long ago that I didn’t think God created the universe as a cosmic lie, so I prefer to use the scientific method to learn about it.

    I prefer this blog and SBM over Pharyngula because about half of the material there seemed to consist of anti-religious arguments and encouraging the readers to pester and make fun of people with religious beliefs. I prefer to worry more about the scientific questions. As my church taught me, I leave “everything else to the conscience of the believer”.

  195. #195 The Gregarious Misanthrope
    May 18, 2010

    @Pablo #31

    The classic example of the defeated making demands is the scene with the Black Knight in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” After denying the grievous nature of his injuries as mere “flesh wounds” (missing all four limbs to those few who have not seen it), our villain says to King Arthur “We’ll call it a draw.”

    No, AoA, you get to writhe about on your bloody stumps and we shall simply step past you.

    @WILLIE – Dude’s got issues. My, but his potty training must have been traumatic.

  196. #196 Tansy
    May 18, 2010

    I could make a lot of money selling troll food pellets here.
    How come anti-vax folks never mention rabies? What do they do when a bat looks at their child cross-eyed? I swear sometimes that’s all it takes to send other folks running to the ER. Really,I am curious the rationale for not bringing up rabies issues?
    Augustine, do you prefer your pellets hair-shirt flavored or ash and sack cloth?

  197. #197 Ian
    May 18, 2010

    No, no it wasn’t. You make too many assumptions and then go off of those assumptions.

    My mistake. I was wrong. Please clarify what your point is/was.

  198. #198 augustine
    May 18, 2010

    “I almost wish I needed more vaccines so I could be a good example.”

    Wow! vaccine envy! What happened to risk vs. benefit and value judgment?

  199. #199 MosesZD
    May 18, 2010

    Then why would you want it? The benefit would be close to zero.

    “(Really, so narrow minded. What if I want to start having orgies when I’m 80?)”

    Then why not get the shot at 79 if you feel that it would somehow prevent cervical cancer?

    Posted by: augustine | May 18, 2010 1:07 PM

    lol. You need to get out more. Three out of every four husbands cheat on their wife with another woman. One-third of those women are prostitutes. Then there is the rape issue, which has some significance on the matter. Then we have the whole Ted Haggard-like crowd…

    So, even if SHE is monogamous, there is still quite a bit more risk than you are, apparently, aware of…

  200. #200 Travis
    May 18, 2010

    augustine, are you really that obtuse? The statement was simply made because it would counter Ben’s silly statement to have more vaccines. It in no way indicates I actually want to get a lot of vaccines for no reason.

  201. #201 augustine
    May 18, 2010

    Seriously Moses,

    Is that the scientific answer?

    3 out of 4 of the 100% of infections will be cleared by the human body. Context. Context. context.

  202. #202 Travis
    May 18, 2010

    But actually, augustine is not that obtuse, I am fairly certain they are just a troll and love bugging people. So I will not be responding to anything else that they say. And to help me to this I am leaving the house to see my parents.

    Hopefully more entertaining trolls will arrive.

  203. #203 jfb
    May 18, 2010

    @all the people piling on Yagotta B. Kidding; I think you all need your snark meters adjusted. That was clearly a clever parody of the old “the lurkers support me in email” trope.

  204. #204 JustaTech
    May 18, 2010

    @Tansy 196: That’s what I was wondering! I know some anti-vax folks don’t even want to vaccinate their pets (those laws are much more strict). And man, if there were ever a vaccine that’s “scary” it’s rabies. I remember my mother describing it in excruciating detail (12 giant shots in the stomach!) as a way to discourage us from touching wild animals.

    @Ben: Seasonal flu, HPV. Didn’t ever get around to H1N1. Thinking about my Yellow Fever, since we use it in the lab. Oh yeah, and ~3 years ago I got the smallpox stab (it’s not really a shot so much as a tiny pitchfork they stab you with). That sucked, but mostly since I couldn’t go swimming all summer. (Can’t go around spreading that virus, since it can be dangerous to some people.)

  205. #205 Chris
    May 18, 2010

    augustine:

    “Our facts”? do you own some facts that others aren’t privy to?

    That sounds like a question one could ask Tony Bateson or Andy Wakefield or JB Handley or John Stone or Clifford Miller or Mark Blaxill or Jenny McCarthy or the others who seem to think differently than the major scientific consensus.

  206. #206 Prometheus
    May 18, 2010

    That was an amazing amount of stupid from Ms. Obradovic, but it wasn’t even 1% of the stupid in the comments. One of my favorites (from “Willie”):

    “Vaccines will ultimately be proven to be responsible for the deaths and sufferings of untold numbers of children and adults from a seemingly myriad of unrelated diseases that all have at their genesis a viral etiology, iatrogenic in nature that will be proven with the identification of the DNA footprinting of the viral genome.”

    For starters, “Willie” doesn’t seem to know that “DNA footprinting” is an actual technique – and it’s not how you find viruses.

    Secondly, “Willie” appears to be alleging a version of the “One crankery to Rule them ALL” fallacy, where there is one true source of all dis-ease. Of course, “Willie” may simply be claiming that a number of different viruses will be found to cause a large number of “unrelated diseases”. Either way, it seems unlikely and is – at any rate – pure conjecture in search of data.

    My other favorite – from Ms. Obradovic this time – is this one:

    “Thimerosal is not gone from vaccines, and the trace amount touted as safe is still far too toxic to flush down a toilet. Plus, according to the Material Safety Data Sheet, it should never be combined with aluminum because of how highly reactive it is, and yet, there are multiple vaccines that combine the two right now.”

    This is a veritable Gish Gallop of thimerosal mis-information. The amount of thimerosal in children’s vaccines is “trace” (as Ms. Obradovic admits), but the “trace” amount in vaccines is defined as less than 0.3 mcg/dose or less than 0.6 mcg/mL. This works out to less than 0.6 mg/L, which is below the EPA’s limit for disposing of mercury-containing “waste” in sanitary sewers (less than 2 mg/L).

    I won’t even mention that the EPA regulations are intended to address large amounts of waste, not volumes of less than one milliliter.

    I can’t determine where Ms. Obradovic got her next mistaken idea – that the MSDS states the thimerosal should “…never be combined with aluminum because of how highly reactive it is…”

    I’ve looked at two MSDS for thimerosal:

    http://www.sciencelab.com/xMSDS-Thimerosal-9925236

    and

    http://www.conncoll.edu/offices/envhealth/MSDS/neuroscience/thimerosal.pdf

    Neither of these MSDS mentions the reactivity problem Ms. Obradovic is so concerned about. In fact, they don’t mention aluminium (or aluminum) at all.

    The aluminium in vaccines is in the form of its oxide or hydroxide, which are some of the least reactive forms of aluminium. I suppose you could use the Oersted process (mixing the aluminium hydroxide with an amalgam of potassium and mercury) to get a reaction, but the mercury in the Oersted reaction is simply a “solvent” for the reaction; it is the metallic potassium that does the reduction of aluminium (III). Mercury by itself won’t react with aluminium and neither will thimerosal.

    Perhaps Ms. Obradovic should try reaching out to the scientific community in an attempt to get better information about vaccines, not to mention basic chemistry.

    Prometheus

  207. #207 Kevin
    May 18, 2010

    @201: The scientific answer is 8 and 34.

    You need to vaccine 8 girls to prevent one case of genital warts and 34 to prevent one cervical cancer.

    And, just as you can’t predict whether or not you’re going to need that seatbelt you probably click into every time you start your car, there’s no way to predict which girls will need to be protected from cancer.

    So, please be so kind as to shut the fuck up.

  208. #208 Sid Offit
    May 18, 2010

    @Kevin
    You need to vaccine 34 girls to prevent one case of cervical cancer.

    How, pray tell, did you come upon that ratio

  209. #209 augustine
    May 18, 2010

    Kevin: “So, please be so kind as to shut the fuck up.”

    Is this how scientists talk? Is this how they persuade the conclusions of their data?

    Could you cite the source of your NNT?

  210. #210 Rogue Epidemiologist
    May 18, 2010

    FWIW, not only do I get my shots every year, I’m an early adopter of whatever vaccines are available to me.

    I get my flu shots without fail. It gets me out of the office for 30 minutes, like a pinchy coffee break.

    I didn’t have chicken pox as a kid, so I asked for the pox vaccine when it came out. That was astounding to my parents because I hate needles. But I’m also a terrible scratcher, and would likely have skinned myself alive if I had varicella.

    I got Gardasil when it first came out because I was in my mid-20′s, hadn’t exactly sowed my oats, and didn’t have a history of HPV-related symptoms. Would like to avoid HPV-related symptoms. Would also like to sow oats, but I fail at being a slut.

    @112 Kimberly
    I also got the pneumococcal vaccine, and I’m still under 30.

  211. #211 Dangerous Bacon
    May 18, 2010

    “How come anti-vax folks never mention rabies? What do they do when a bat looks at their child cross-eyed? I swear sometimes that’s all it takes to send other folks running to the ER. Really,I am curious the rationale for not bringing up rabies issues?”

    I put the question of what to do in the event of rabies exposure to a diehard antivaxer one time. His response was that he’d forego the vaccine in favor of “natural” remedies (his biggie as I recall was colloidal silver, nature’s own cure-all).
    The good thing is that humans infected with rabies generally wind up in the hospital early on and often show concern for those around them in between maniacal phases. Thus, in addition to the rarity of human rabies in general, it is unlikely that we’d have to worry much about exposure to a rabid antivaxer.

    The remaining problem (how to distinguish a rabid antivaxer from an truly infected rabid antivaxer) can be troublesome, of course.

  212. #212 Landru
    May 18, 2010

    Man, I step away for just a bit…

    H1N1, seasonal influenza, pneumonia booster (risk group).

    Oh, and @Ian and Augustine? Please get a room.

    DISCLAIMER: Not really. Just get a room. I’m begging you.

  213. #213 madder
    May 18, 2010

    Bloody hell, Dangerous Bacon, you made me spit expensive scotch all over my monitor and melt in a fit of guffaws that is only now fading to what I fear is a chronic case of the giggles. Well done.

  214. #214 Diane-with-one-N
    May 18, 2010

    Late to the game,and Ben seems to have been a drive-by troll, but FWIW: Hep A, Hep B (nursing school reqs), seasonal flu and H1N1.

  215. #215 sheldon101
    May 18, 2010

    @ben

    There were two vaccines I could have got. I only got one. Because of concern over some studies, Ontario, where I live decided to give the elderly the seasonal vaccine, give the H1N1 vaccine out in priority order and then give the seasonal vaccine to everyone.

    By the time every one who wanted the H1N1 vaccine got it,it was clear that there was no need to get the seasonal vaccine as 2009 H1N1 replaced practically all of the other flu viruses. So I did not get it.

    On the first day it was available to me, I got a shot of the superior Canadian H1N1 vaccine. Needing only 25% as much virus stuff, it only 20% as much thimerosal as the standard US dose (not that it mattered at all). It was a better vaccine because it was more immunogenic, it produced a stronger response so that it would work better on those with weakened immune systems. It would also protect better in the extremely unlikely case that the virus strains infecting were different from the California strain used worldwide to make the vaccine. It also meant that more doses of vaccine were available. Of course, it was AS03 with the magic ingredient squalene that made it possible.

  216. #216 T. Bruce McNeely
    May 18, 2010

    His response was that he’d forego the vaccine in favor of “natural” remedies (his biggie as I recall was colloidal silver, nature’s own cure-all).

    The natural remedy for rabies is death. It’s foolproof, if nothing else.

  217. #217 augustine
    May 18, 2010

    “You need to vaccine 8 girls to prevent one case of genital warts and 34 to prevent one cervical cancer.”

    Please tell the source of these NNTs.

    “And, just as you can’t predict whether or not you’re going to need that seatbelt you probably click into every time you start your car, there’s no way to predict which girls will need to be protected from cancer.”

    clicking on your seatbelt is not a medical procedure.

  218. From Estimating the number needed to vaccinate to prevent diseases and death related to human papillomavirus infection:

    Among 12-year-old girls, we estimated that the number
    needed to vaccinate to prevent an episode of genital warts
    would be 8 (80% credibility interval [CrI] 5–15) and a case of
    cervical cancer 324 (80% CrI 195–757). These estimates were
    based on the assumption that the vaccine procures lifelong
    protection and that its efficacy is 95%. If vaccine protection is
    assumed to wane at 3% per year, the predicted number
    needed to vaccinate would increase to 14 (80% CrI 6–18) and
    9080 (80% CrI 1040–does not prevent), respectively. The latter
    number would be greatly reduced with the addition of a
    booster dose, to 480 (80% CrI 254–1572).

  219. #219 augustine
    May 18, 2010

    NNT

    You must be joking.

  220. Nope. Are you?

  221. #221 augustine
    May 18, 2010

    NNT,

    That’s a paper written for drug reps to take to the doctor. Don’t tell me that’s where you got it from. Did you?

  222. #222 Jay Gordon
    May 18, 2010

    Really excellent video. Worth watching to the end.

    Best,

    Jay

    http://bit.ly/a9i0ai

  223. #223 dedicated lurker
    May 18, 2010

    Jay, what does a video about cosleeping have to do with vaccines? Really now.

  224. #224 Kristen
    May 18, 2010

    Dr. Jay,
    The adults are talking now, go play with your friends.

  225. #225 Travis
    May 18, 2010

    I have been wondering if “Jay Gordon” is the real one or not. Doesn’t Dr. Jay normally add his credentials to the end of his name when posting? Something like Jay Gordon, MD FAAP.

  226. #226 Chance Gearheart
    May 18, 2010

    @219, Augustine

    Yes, clearly 34 girls is TOO MANY to risk those nasty vaccine side effects. It’s clearly preferable from both a profit standpoint and a safety standpoint we let that one get cervical cancer, even though we could have prevented it!

    Oh, and just think of the money we could make if that 1 out of 4 got Genital Warts! Valtrex for life!

    (Yeah, the amount of stupid in those statements just made my head hurt. I think I’ll go back to pushing my accursed beliefs upon augustine, ala http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o76WQzVJ434&feature=fvst . Damn you secret athiest agenda to make him mad, damn you to Xenu!)

  227. #227 Orac
    May 18, 2010

    Dr. Jay, you’re bordering on spamming my blog. I do not appreciate it.

  228. #228 augustine
    May 18, 2010

    So chance, tell me. How many ACTUAL girls in that study didn’t get cervical cancer BECAUSE of the vaccine. And had they not had the vaccine WOULD have gotten cervical cancer?
    What was the age?

    Besides the fact that it was practically written by merck it is a hypothetical “what if this happens” paper. Not very scientific.

  229. #229 Sid Offit
    May 18, 2010

    @ Numbers needed…

    Thanks for the link. I thought 1 in 34 sounded a bit optimistic

  230. #230 monado
    May 18, 2010

    I got the H1N1 vaccine as soon as it was available in Ontario for non-priority categories. Then a few weeks later I got the seasonal vaccine. I’ve had the vaccines that were available against diseases when I was growing up: smallpox, which has 20 times the antigens of the entire currently recommended schedule; polio, which had crippled one of my older cousins; diphtheria, which had killed my mother’s brother in childhood; and tetanus, which is almost always lethal once the symptoms show. (I understand that one or two people have now been saved by massive doses of anti-tetanus vaccine at the first sign of symptoms.) I had chicken pox, so I can look forward to shingles. I had influenza, measles, flu, mumps, flu, rubella, flu, whooping cough and more flu. Since I started getting the seasonal flu shot I have had no flu.

    I get a new tetanus inoculation about every eight years, because it’s good for about ten and I don’t want to die in great pain of a scratch or minor cut.

    I also renewed my smallpox vaccination in my 20s, when people began to talk about other countries keeping stockpiles of the live virus. Dr. Paul Offit spoke against bringing back the smallpox vaccine during that same biological-warfare scare, because it has too many side effects. That does not sound to me like a man who is pro-vaccine all the time: just when it’s justified. Years later, I asked about it for my son and the doctor said it is now considered too dangerous since smallpox is not circulating.

    There was no vaccine against the Haemophilus B bacterium that causes much of our meningitis: we just all worried quietly — a lot — when cases occurred in our community. I am planning to get the Twinrix shots as soon as I dig up my prescription. Better safe than sorry! And I sure hope that someone comes up with a vaccine for SARS, although as a coronavirus it probably mutates like a bastard. I am hoping to see HPV vaccines extended to boys as it cuts down some of their cancers, too.

  231. #231 D. C. Sessions
    May 18, 2010

    Let’s give Jay credit for at least keeping the heavy drinking to the evenings.

  232. #232 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawmqD_mcUIrSfOTlK3iGVsnEDcZmI43srbI
    May 19, 2010

    NNT: No. I’m not joking. So, I assume by your reply that you have no refutation of the science.

    As I said before, you can shut the fuck up anytime you want.

    Unless you’re advocating that cervical cancer isn’t that big a deal and preventing it wouldn’t be in the best interests of women.

    No. Don’t answer that. Just shut the fuck up.

    Uneducated troll.

  233. #233 The Gregarious Misanthrope
    May 19, 2010

    @JustaTech

    I had the rabies series as a kid in the 70′s. It was a lot of shots and from what I’ve read recently, not very effective. It wasn’t a wild animal, just a neighbor’s pissy little pekingese, but it didn’t have its shots even though they were required. Not much fun, especially when you’re 4 or 5.

    @augustine

    By God, you really ARE obtuse. It’s highly doubtful that many, if any, cervical cancers have been prevented yet. It’s been 4 years since Gardasil was approved and HPV can take 15-20 years to cause cancer. It’s really a matter of math. Gardasil prevents infection by strains of HPV that cause about 70% of cervical cancer. Worldwide, 16 per 100,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year and 9 per 100,000 die. Break out your calculator.

  234. #234 maydijo
    May 19, 2010

    I had my seasonal flu shot about 3 weeks ago, which included an H1N1 component. Looking forward to my DTP next month. Next month DS will get his varicella and the month after DD will get her MMR. If you’d asked the question a few years ago, just before I went to Africa, I could’ve added MMR, typhoid, polio, hepititis, and yellow fever. Yellow fever is the only vaccine I’ve ever had a reaction to – I had a goose egg on my arm that wouldn’t go away for *three whole days*! I love vaccines; they do a world of good to so many people. (Yellow fever, for instance – IIRC if you come into contact with it for the first time as an adult, you’ve got a 25% chance of dying from it. I’d rather have a sore arm for a few days.) One of my “wouldn’t it be cool if” goals – you know, the type you’ll probably never do because there’s not much point, but sort of think would be pretty nifty – is to get every vaccine listed in my little WHO book.

  235. #235 Chris
    May 19, 2010

    Oh, Dr. Jay, look at this paper, note that it is on topic. What do you think about these parts of the reports?…

    Found with blood in mouth and nose; co-slept with mother in bed

    co-slept with mother on couch, found on back on floor beside couch

    Congenital epidural cyst of right maxillary sinus; “sniffles/sneezing” 2-3 d; co-slept with mom in bed, found on left side

    mother heavy smoker; co-slept with mother in bed, found on left side

    This one was interesting:

    Baby fed, then choked, milk seen coming from nose, stopped breathing, went limp, parent “shook” child; CPR done, respirator support, declared “brain dead” 1-2 d later, respirator turned off; provisional diagnosis: subarachnoid hemorrhage (“CSF bloody” per family physician)

    Several of the babies in that paper had some severe but previously undiagnosed congenital disorders. The child who was shaken may have had one of those, but the instinct to shake the child to make it breathe may have been the little bit that went very wrong.

    The only thing your little video has to do with vaccines is that vaccines have nothing to do with SIDS. There are even several papers that show that vaccination for pertussis is protective against SIDS, from review titled Do childhood vaccines have non-specific effects on mortality? (page 4):

    Studies of DTP vaccine and SIDS reported a strong protective effect of vaccination, even in the large US study that included careful collection of and control for multiple maternal and infant characteristics that were potential confounding factors (19).

    Disclaimer: I did occasionally co-sleep with babies. Though in truth my preferred method was to have the bassinet near by, but far enough away that I did not have to hear baby snores (which is why it was often located near on in the master bathroom, depending on the house we lived in!). For some strange reason I woke up at every change of breathing… including the child just shifting position. I really only fell asleep in bed with a baby was when I was breastfeeding (the normal routine was that the baby would cry, dad would get up and change baby and hand to mom… mom would feed baby… and then put back in bassinet, if mom had not fallen asleep).

  236. #236 Beth
    May 19, 2010

    In the past year, I had both flu vaccines and the pneumonia one.
    A couple years ago, I took part in a vaccine study. For that I got a tetanus shot and three doses of a vaccine that was expected to confer me no benefit whatsoever.

  237. Jumping on the bandwagon, my answer is that I hjave had dun dun dun…. no vaccines at all in the last year!

    However, I’m booked in for seasonal flu and H1N1 next week. And two years ago I went to China, and I had all sorts of boosters. Tetanus, typhoid, Hep A & B IIRC. I’ve been thinking of getting a pertussis booster, since no less than three of my friends have now had it. (Thanks, antivaccers!)

    Also, I’ve just had my cats done for cat flu & the other things in the standard kitten shots, plus feline AIDS & leukemia. No need for rabies shots in Aus.

  238. #238 SkydiverIm
    May 19, 2010

    Ben Hernandez: Orac, How many vaccines have you had in the past year? H1N1? Seasonal Flu? Hepatitis A? Any? Please share this information with us. I bet the answer is nilch, non. How about you Orac worshipers. Taken any vaccines in the last year?

    I’ve had 4; Boostrix, Vivaxim, seasonal flu and H1N1. Husband has had all the same, plus all 3 hepB shots. I had a sore arm after one of them, does that count as a adverse reaction? Were you trying to prove some BigPharma conspiracy with that question? Fail!!

  239. #239 AnneS
    May 19, 2010

    Just to add another one to the pile: had the seasonal flu vaccine (which includes H1N1 in Australia this winter) last month and my first Gardasil shot on the same day.

    The Gardasil hurt like a bitch, but during the two days I was wincing every time something brushed my arm I reminded myself that cervical cancer would hurt alot more. (Not to mention the other types of cancer caused by HPV that I could be preventing by getting the shot. I gather the jury is not in on whether it protects against HPV-induced throat cancer etc., but it seems scientifically plausible that it might.)

    The most painful part was the damage to my wallet – I’m outside the recommended age range and therefore not eligible for the free government vaccine. Since I’m currently not infected with HPV and have no intention of avoiding exposure for the rest of my life, though, I gritted my teeth and forked over the money.

  240. #240 SkydiverIm
    May 19, 2010

    I used to work on the specimen “cut up” bench of a pathology lab. Those Fischer Cone and Lletz biopsies always used to make me cringe (specially the ones that came in many pieces and looked like they were hacked out). I’m booked in for my Gardasil. Who knows what the future holds?

    “An ounce of preparation is better than a pound of cure”.
    Nuff said!

  241. #241 For the record...
    May 19, 2010

    Just wanted to let everyone know that I didn’t get a single shot this year. Not one. Guess what? I didn’t die from that horrible H1N1 “pandemic”. Nor did I get the flu. No issues… Imagine that?

  242. #242 LOL!
    May 19, 2010

    “Just to add another one to the pile: had the seasonal flu vaccine (which includes H1N1 in Australia this winter) last month and my first Gardasil shot on the same day”.

    You fell for the Gardasil shot??? LOL! Oh man… when will people learn? You actually PAID money to be a guinea pig? Shouldn’t they at least pay you when you are part of an experiment like Gardasil?

  243. #243 Seb30
    May 19, 2010

    @ Kathryn 164

    Re: Toilette
    To be fair, in Quebecois’ French “la toilette” is the usual receptacle for human waste. I suspect Willie has been to Montreal.
    In France’s French, “les toilettes” (plural form) has the meaning of washroom. And toilette (singular) is indeed morning ablutions, combing, whatnot.

    Oh, @ Ben 11: H1N1 flu shot last december, and a few boosters (Diphteria, Tetanus) 4 years back. I should remember to get another booster in a few years. Also HepB before going to University, more than a decade ago. Maybe I should ask my doctor about titers. Thanks for reminding me.

  244. #244 augustine
    May 19, 2010

    gregarious misanthrope:
    “It’s highly doubtful that many, if any, cervical cancers have been prevented yet. It’s been 4 years since Gardasil was approved and HPV can take 15-20 years to cause cancer.”

    No ACTUAL evidence that it prevents cancer? HMMM! Evidence based medicine? I think not. Theory based medicine.

  245. #245 Seb30
    May 19, 2010

    @ Augustine 244

    “No ACTUAL evidence that it prevents cancer? HMMM! Evidence based medicine? I think not. Theory based medicine.”

    But evidence that HPV causes specific cancers. Thus a vaccine which stop the virus should stop it from causing these cancers. Sorry, evidence-based medicine it is.
    Rendezvous in 20 years to see if the vaccine dropped the cancer incidence.

  246. #246 Todd W.
    May 19, 2010

    Re: Gardasil efficacy

    Chosen from among the first page of PubMed search results for “Gardasil efficacy”, skipping most reviews/letters:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19855170
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19853193
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19823051
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19453788

    Amazing what a very simple search on PubMed turns up.

  247. #247 augustine
    May 19, 2010

    “but evidence that HPV causes specific cancers. Thus a vaccine which stop the virus should stop it from causing these cancers. Sorry, evidence-based medicine it is.
    Rendezvous in 20 years to see if the vaccine dropped the cancer incidence.”

    I expect more from a group who champions their critical thinking skills. So again, no actual evidence that it prevents cancer. telling me there WILL be evidence in 20 years does not substitute for the fact there is NO evidence today. Until then you’re relying on a theory. Unfortunately that is not “evidence based medicine”.

    Do you not agree? or do you just want to be right? I do hope you can see the difference.

  248. #248 Todd W.
    May 19, 2010

    @augustine

    I have a post in moderation with links to just four studies, out of many, examining the efficacy of Gardasil. A simple search for “Gardasil efficacy” on PudMed turns up a lot of studies. The ones I picked were just from the first page. There was even one study that I was going to include but decided not to since it stated that it was funded by Merck. Figured you wouldn’t accept that. Thankfully, there were plenty of others to choose from.

    Perhaps you can clear up a question for me. Are you just being contrarian for the sake of being contrarian? It seems that the sole reason you are here is to argue.

  249. #249 OttawaAlison
    May 19, 2010

    I thought my daughter was showing signs of having an ASD, around that time we were getting her diagnosed we submitted to *THEM* and got the H1N1 vaccine for her and now, her speech which was quite delayed is now high average…. yah! Will ensure she gets her boosters this summer for pertussis, diphtheria and tetanus. I had the H1N1 shot and no adverse effects either… I even accidentally had the HepB vax when I was pregnant (didn’t know I was at the time), G just had the speech delay her dad had.

    It is very sad that many people over at AoA have developed their own “truth” and won’t listen to science or reason. Sure I have a mommy instinct and it tells me that I know a lot less than people who study biochemistry and medicine.

  250. #250 historygeek
    May 19, 2010

    just thought u should know that one of my friends died at 20 from cervical cancer and another one lost her cervic at 23 that means no kids for her but at least she lived.

    if i had a daughter the day after her 12th b-day she would be in the doctors office. i prefer live sinner childern to dead pure one

    by the way my firend that died she got it before she was 17 she didn’t graduate high school her family got to watche her die for years so 3 cheers for the vacines wish my friends and i had the chance to have it

  251. #251 augustine
    May 19, 2010

    @Todd

    “Amazing what a very simple search on PubMed turns up.”

    You say that like you just proved something. You didn’t.You could post 1 million studies. The fact remains that there is NO evidence of cervical cancer prevention. Just theory. It sounds like a good theory. It sounds like it Should work.
    A lot of medical strategies had good theories but later found out not to work. So don’t count your chickens yet. This is not evidence based medicine.

    Do you understand what they mean when they say “cervical disease” in those studies?

    Does cervical dysplasia=cancer to you?

  252. #252 Corina Becker
    May 19, 2010

    @Ben Hernandez

    I’m autistic, and in the past year I got the H1N1 vaccine and the seasonal flu shot as part of the high-risk group. I live in Ontario, so that means that it was the “scary” Thimerosal and adjuvant containing vaccines. Guess what? Contrary to anti-vax conspiracy, I did not “regress” or become “more” autistic.

    A few months later, I got a Tetanus vaccine. Still no regression.

  253. #253 Vicki
    May 19, 2010

    Augustine–

    As far as I can tell, your argument is that we don’t know yet that this vaccine prevents cancer because cancers take years to develop. and therefore nobody should get vaccinated, they should all wait for the studies that show that when a lot of women are vaccinated, 20 years later fewer of them will get cancer. But the studies can’t be done, because it would be wrong to vaccinate women until the studies are done.

    Do you object to researching other forms of preventive medicine on the basis that we can’t do them until we know they work, but we can’t know they work until we’ve done them for a while? Or is this specific to vaccines, or specific to a vaccine that will help sexually active women?

  254. #254 Natalie
    May 19, 2010

    I didn’t get any interesting shots in the last 12 months, just seasonal flu. H1N1 was sort of hard to come by around here, so I left that to the higher risk populations.

    I did want to mention that 2 years ago, I was directly inspired by this blog and the comments to ask my doctor about any boosters I was due for. I got the TDaP or DTaP or whatever the adult combo vax is because I wasn’t up to date. So thanks for being a positive influence, you big meanies!

  255. #255 Seb30
    May 19, 2010

    Augustine m’a tuer

    When you asking for evidence of Gardasil efficiency, what sort of evidence are you talking about?

    It’s true my critical thinking skills are nothing to write home about.
    That’s why I rely upon recognised experts on the field, sustained by a string of publications.
    We know since more than 25 years about papillonavirus’ link to cervical cancer and other cancers. This is not new.
    We know enough about immunology and vaccines to know that, if we inject a dead virus, it will increase the chance of the body stopping the live virus if encountered later, and reduce the morbidity associated with this virus’ infection. This is not new.
    We even have studies that the Gardasil vaccine is indeed showing evidence of efficiency. This is new, and easily available (thanks Todd).

    Now, if you want a picture of the vaccine bravely fighting off a cancer cell with its tiny fists, sorry, no-one has this.

    And me saying we have to wait 20 years for more evidence? I was just emphasizing the post from the Gregarious Misanthrope. We cannot say now how many cancers have been avoided because the peoples receiving the vaccine haven’t have a chance to get these cancers yet. We will need retrospective epidemiology studies for this.
    You are basically asking us to take a time machine, go in the future to see what’s the incidence rate of cervical cancer, and come back now to tell everybody “yep, it’s working, after we give these vaccines today to so many peoples, in 35 years the cervical cancer incidence will be divided by ten”.

    “Do you not agree? or do you just want to be right? I do hope you can see the difference.”
    Cauldron, pot. Pot, cauldron.

  256. #256 augustine
    May 19, 2010

    @historygeek: “i prefer live sinner childern to dead pure one”

    What does that have to do with the evidence?

    Your story is anecdotal and out of the norm. The avg age of a cervical cancer patient is 49 yo.

  257. #257 Calli Arcale
    May 19, 2010

    Pablo @ 169:

    Who in the blazes puts the line for heavy metal at carbon? Certainly not a chemist, or anyone to take seriously.

    Astrophysicists, mainly. Of course, their perspective is very different — they are dealing with exotic states of matter, and the vast majority of stuff they are interested in is lighter than iron. Our own star will never fuse carbon (except in brief spurts during novas, perhaps), and indeed, the vast majority of stars will never fuse carbon. So from this perspective, it’s a heavy element.

    Mind you, the word “metal” means different things in stellar evolution than it does in chemistry, because matter is in such strange states. There is growing evidence that sub-stellar mass bodies, such as Jupiter, may have liquid metallic hydrogen at their cores.

    I even heard someone argue once that *helium* should be the dividing line! Really! That was the point where I decided the word didn’t mean anything anymore. I rarely use the term outside of discussing rock and roll.

    (Ah, I see squirrelite has also addressed this. Cool!)

    Matthew Cline @ 182:

    To be fair, I think she’s saying that the CDC would have to admit that they had been non-objective, and say that they were working on becoming objective.

    Ah, yes. I see that now. Thanks. That makes it just astoundingly arrogant, and not actually contradictory. ;-)

    Prometheus @ 206:

    The aluminium in vaccines is in the form of its oxide or hydroxide, which are some of the least reactive forms of aluminium. I suppose you could use the Oersted process (mixing the aluminium hydroxide with an amalgam of potassium and mercury) to get a reaction, but the mercury in the Oersted reaction is simply a “solvent” for the reaction; it is the metallic potassium that does the reduction of aluminium (III). Mercury by itself won’t react with aluminium and neither will thimerosal.

    The handling issue that she’s probably referring to is the weird and interesting behavior of elemental mercury when applied to a chunk of aluminum metal. It lifts off the aluminum oxide layer – very rapidly. The thing about aluminum is that it oxidizes VERY fast. But unlike, say, iron oxide (rust), aluminum oxide is very strong and very hard. (Grow a nice big crystal of it and you have corundum, one of the hardest substances known to man. Gem-quality ones are rubies or sapphires, depending on color.) It forms such a good protective barrier in a matter of minutes that you could be forgiven for htinking it was unreactive. But pour some liquid mercury on it and all that will change. The aluminum oxide will flake off, exposing the aluminum beneath to atmospheric oxygen. I’ve seen a video of an aluminum i-bar brushed with mercury; it rusted through in half an hour. For this reason, elemental mercury should be kept well away from any aluminum metal you may have around. On aircraft, it’s verboten without special permission, because an accident could lead to a catastrophic structural failure.

  258. #258 Todd W.
    May 19, 2010

    @augustine

    The fact remains that there is NO evidence of cervical cancer prevention.

    True, we do not have current evidence that Gardasil prevents cervical cancer (or any other sequelae from infection). We do know, however, that it is effective in preventing infection. So, going forward, we should see declines in infection sequelae, including CC.

    Now, for a clarification from you. What, specifically, is your stance on the use of HPV vaccine? Should it be used for the prevention of infection with the 4 main strains of HPV that cause cervical cancer?

  259. #259 Dangerous Bacon
    May 19, 2010

    augustine: “The fact remains that there is NO evidence of cervical cancer prevention. Just theory.”

    Beyond the issue of whether prevention of HPV infection will lessen cervical cancer deaths (something not in dispute among experts in the field), augustine is, like many antivaxers, disregarding all the problems and disabilities caused by the infection short of death. Take the last of the papers whose abstracts Todd linked to:

    “RESULTS: Vaccine efficacy against lesions representing immediate cervical cancer precursors (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2/3 or adenocarcinoma in situ) related to HPV 6/11/16/18 in the per-protocol population was 100.0%[95% confidence interval (95% CI), 89.8-100.0].”

    Commonly, the treatments for high grade dysplasia and adenocarcinoma in situ are expensive, painful and potentially impair fertility – not to mention the added doctor visits to monitor the patient for recurrent dysplasia/malignancy. The HPV vaccine is already well worth it for those women who’ve been able to avoid these problems.

  260. #260 Todd W.
    May 19, 2010

    Out of curiosity, I did a search for “”measles encephalitis” vaccine efficacy” on PubMed. You know what? Only two studies came up, and one of those wasn’t even in humans! We have no evidence that MMR prevents measles encephalitis! True, we have plenty of evidence that MMR prevents infection with the measles virus, but how do we know that it would prevent measles encephalitis?

    That’s what augustine’s argument sounds like to me. Granted, with measles encephalitis, there’s only one cause: measles. But then, MMR’s purpose is to prevent infection with the measles virus, just like Gardasil’s purpose is to prevent infection with any of 4 strains of human papillomavirus. MMR’s purpose is not to prevent measles encephalitis (though that’s a nice consequence). Likewise, Gardasil’s purpose is not to prevent cervical cancer, though, again, that is a nice and hopefully major side benefit.

    Gardasil does not treat the symptom (cancer) but rather targets the cause (HPV). Isn’t that what anti-”Western medicine” types are always going on about? That we need to treat the cause?

  261. #261 Chris
    May 19, 2010

    @123 Tony,
    As a practicing pediatrician in an area with a fairly high anti-vaxx population, I can help you out. I currently care for 2 chldren who were unvaccinated by choice, ironically out of fear of autism, who subsequently were diagnosed with ASD. Given the overall unvaccinated population here, with apologies for the small n, this is not terribly different incidence than that of the general, fully vaccinated population. Interestingly, there are more and more once-anti-vaxx parents who have realized the bogus nature of the anti-vaxx arguments and have come around to a pro-vaxx stance. So for those who are fighting the good fight, there is hope.

    Chris

  262. #262 augustine
    May 19, 2010

    @todd: “What, specifically, is your stance on the use of HPV vaccine?”

    I specifically don’t use it. The risks outweigh the benefit.

    Todd: “True, we do not have current evidence that Gardasil prevents cervical cancer (or any other sequelae from infection). We do know, however, that it is effective in preventing infection. So, going forward, we should see declines in infection sequelae, including CC.”

    Therefore this is a cancer vaccine without evidence of actually preventing cancer. You people kill me.

    Do you truly believe in evidence based medicine or is the ideology of mass vaccination a stronger belief even without the evidence? What gives?

    @Bacon: “Beyond the issue of whether prevention of HPV infection will lessen cervical cancer deaths (something not in dispute among experts in the field)”

    Appealing to authority? Consensus is is a poor criteria for truth. Experts have been known to be wrong. Government’s have been known to be wrong. Large groups of people have been known to be wrong.

  263. #263 Scott
    May 19, 2010

    Therefore this is a cancer vaccine without evidence of actually preventing cancer. You people kill me.

    Do you truly believe in evidence based medicine or is the ideology of mass vaccination a stronger belief even without the evidence? What gives?

    It’s entirely scientific to consider surrogate endpoints, so long as the evidence linking the surrogate endpoint to the underlying endpoint is adequate. Here, it is.

    Appealing to authority? Consensus is is a poor criteria for truth. Experts have been known to be wrong. Government’s have been known to be wrong. Large groups of people have been known to be wrong.

    While what you say is technically true, the consensus of experts is the best approximation of “truth” available to anyone without the background (and TIME) to fully evaluate the state of all the evidence.

    Accordingly, it is not reasonable to reject the consensus of the experts without specific grounds to do so.

  264. #264 bluemaxx
    May 19, 2010

    AUGUSTINE..@262, and earlier

    Way to go, dude. Ignore both common sense AND critical reasoning. Keep arguing against germ theory, immunology, and FOR skipping vaccines that are proven to reduce infection (measles and HPVx4/gardisil, in your postings). We (medical science) moving towards a “prevent the cause” method as immunology science continues to improve.

    But keep in drinking that wacky serially diluted kool aid. And please keep your children OUT of my children’s college, school, classrooms and daycare.

  265. #265 historygeek
    May 19, 2010

    @ AUGUSTINE

    i brought it up becaused u where poop pooping the risk and i thought there needed to be human connection that it is real problem to young women.

    by the way 49 as an avarge means there are a lot of young women contracting the cancer it isn’t like they all caught the virse at 19 and then wham hit the 20 year mark and everybody gets cancer. geez even my non mathmaical self knows that. by the way retorical skills are an insult to the orinial Augstine

  266. #266 BlueMaxx
    May 19, 2010

    Scott @ 263.

    very well said, Sir.

    and if I can again quote the earlier post of AUgustine…
    “large groups of people have been known to be wrong”…
    I offer the following convenient example: ANTI-VAX activists.

  267. #267 augustine
    May 19, 2010

    bluemaxx: Way to go, dude. Ignore both common sense AND critical reasoning. Keep arguing against germ theory, immunology, and FOR skipping vaccines that are proven to reduce infection (measles and HPVx4/gardisil, in your postings).

    Once you come down from your emotional cloud please give evidence of your claim against me. Or is that just your feelings and BELIEF system?

    BTW do you have evidence that the cervical cancer vaccines prevent such? no. You don’t. You have what you BELIEVE will happen. And that’s OK just don’t call it “science” or “fact” until it is. Recognize it for what it really is. If not you’re only deceiving yourself.

    scott: “It’s entirely scientific to consider surrogate endpoints, so long as the evidence linking the surrogate endpoint to the underlying endpoint is adequate.”

    You mean like treating risk factors to get a certain endpoint? It may be practical in some instances but not a science.

  268. #268 augustine
    May 19, 2010

    Bacon: “Beyond the issue of whether prevention of HPV infection will lessen cervical cancer deaths (something not in dispute among experts in the field), augustine is, like many antivaxers, disregarding all the problems and disabilities caused by the infection short of death.”

    When one loses a point that one adamantly clings to (cervical cancer vaccine is evidence based) and then one changes that particular issue to argue another point, it is called “moving the goalposts”. I call it vaccine judo.

  269. #269 Todd W.
    May 19, 2010

    Therefore this is a cancer vaccine without evidence of actually preventing cancer.

    Augustine, you are not using logic. Here’s an analogy.

    Suppose we are looking at “drowning in the ocean” as an endpoint. The subject is you. The intervention is me. For purposes of this thought experiment, let us allow that if you are in the ocean, you will drown. Now, I cannot prevent you from drowning if you are in the ocean. I can, however, prevent you from entering the ocean 86% of the time. If entering the ocean results in “drowning in the ocean”, then preventing entering the ocean would have the result of not “drowning in the ocean”.

    Back to Gardasil. We know that several strains of HPV cause cervical cancer. So infection (entering the ocean) can lead to cervical cancer (drowning in the ocean). Gardasil prevents infection (entering the ocean). Therefore, using logic, it leads to not getting cervical cancer (not drowning in the ocean).

    So, while we do not have observable data showing conclusively that Gardasil prevents cervical cancer, we do have data showing that it prevents some of the causes of cervical cancer. No cause, no effect. That is a reasonable conclusion to draw and is not incompatible with science-based medicine.

    I invite you to show where the logic is flawed, though.

  270. #270 Kristen
    May 19, 2010

    Todd (and everyone else who has been engaging with augustine),

    I don’t think he is interested in logic. He has come to a conclusion and is deluding himself by imagining he has come up with an argument that is completely fool proof. He has found the answer, the idea that will end all vaccine debate.

    He is Don Quixote; immune to reality.

    *Disclaimer: I have referred to augustine in the masculine because of his/her allonym (St. Augustine, I assume).

  271. #271 Zaher Bey
    May 19, 2010

    I am enjoying Augustine’s little terminology switcheroo. His/her entire argument hinges on calling Gardasil a cervical cancer vaccine. It is an HPV vaccine, you only refer to it as a cervical cancer vaccine to make your argument appear to hold water.

  272. #272 monado
    May 19, 2010

    No one has jumped on my mistake yet, but I was wrong: it’s not the smallpox vaccine that has 20 times the current load of antigens, it’s the old pertussis vaccine that was used in the 1960s to 1980s.

    You can see the figures here: Antigen load in vaccines, 1900 to 2000 and there are links to the resulting graphs.

  273. #273 Lawrence
    May 19, 2010

    I know is like arguing with a brick, but here you go:

    1) Certain strains of HPV are known to lead to cervical cancer.

    2) The HPV Vaccine prevents woman from contracting those particular strains.

    Therefore, women that are vaccinated against HPV won’t get cervical cancer from those sources (thus preventing the cancer from occuring).

    I think that’s as simple as I can make it for you.

  274. #274 monado
    May 19, 2010

    Anti-vaxxers, if autism is caused by foreign substances via injection insulting the body, explain that graph!

  275. #275 Scott
    May 19, 2010

    You mean like treating risk factors to get a certain endpoint? It may be practical in some instances but not a science.

    Please justify this statement of “not a science.”

  276. #276 squirrelelite
    May 19, 2010

    Probably too simple for Augustine to confess to it, but good try Lawrence. I was thinking along the same lines.

  277. #277 Composer99
    May 19, 2010

    @Augustine:

    You have come on this board and whined about people appealing to the established body of scientific research on Gardasil, as well as to basic immunology.

    But in the sciences an appeal to authority such as that is an appeal to the established evidence – it is not just some white-coat’s say-so. The white-coat has to have the goods to back up what he says.

    By contrast, I wonder on what grounds you are basing your opposition to Gardasil? Did you:
    - review the basic science behind it and find some glaring deficiency in its proposed mechanism of action?
    - get your hands on the pre-clinical & clinical trials and find them lacking?
    - study the bulk of the research done on Gardasil thus far?

    In short, whatever you think about the HPV vaccine (not a vaccine against cancer, contra your note in comment #268), did you come to think it because of a comprehensive review of the available evidence?

    If not, then it is reasonable to conclude you are appealing to some outside authority/source for your opinion. On what grounds do we have to conclude that this source is as reliable as the established scientific evidence?

    Since I am not a scientist, I hope you do not interpret my comment as being a reflection on actual scientists when I not-so-respectfully suggest you piss off if you persist with your insensible argument.

  278. #278 augustine
    May 19, 2010

    @lawrence: “I think that’s as simple as I can make it for you.”

    The logic of the theory is not in question by me on this thread. I get it. What is in question is the ACTUAL evidence that would comprise the title evidence based medicine.

    So you defenders are fine enough with the theory without the actual evidence of cancer prevention?

    So lawrence you could make this really simple if you provided the actual evidence instead of the logic of the theory.

    This is good. We haven’t even gotten into the socio-political aspect of this vaccine. You guys are still spinning your windmills on the scientific evidence.

    kristin: “He is Don Quixote; immune to reality.”

    So in the real world there must be actual evidence of cancer prevention. This should be elementary for an “evidence based” crowd. Reality is becoming stranger than fiction.

    @zeher: I didn’t coin the term “cancer vaccine” for gardasil. I didn’t put out a commercial about “ONE LESS”(one less what? HPV case? i don’t think that’s what they mean.)But there are supposedly rational people on here hellbent on defending it as such.

    @todd: I ask you. Where is my logic flawed. Where am i unreasonable. it seems only one person has conceded the obvious. the others, well, keep up the good fight. Theory has trumped evidence in this case.

  279. #279 Liz Ditz
    May 19, 2010

    Ben at 11
    TDap booster, or whatever the adult formulation is. (1) Due for tetanus (2) to protect my about-to-be-born grandchild from risk of pertussis (it’s endemic around here). Plus seasonal flu & H1N1.

    Travis at 225

    I have been wondering if “Jay Gordon” is the real one or not. Doesn’t Dr. Jay normally add his credentials to the end of his name when posting? Something like Jay Gordon, MD FAAP.

    I’ve been wondering the same thing. I’m inclined to conclude that “Dr. Jay” without the initials is an impostor.

    D.C. Sessions at 231

    Let’s give Jay credit for at least keeping the heavy drinking to the evenings.

    I think the timestamp is two or three hours ahead of Dr. Jay’s time (he lives in the Pacific Daylight Timezone) — so it’s not really the late evenings for him.

    augustine at 251:

    Does cervical dysplasia=cancer to you?

    Augustine, as a person who has had a cone biopsy for cervical dysplasia (the results were in fact carcinoma in situ) — I wouldn’t wish a cone biopsy even with negative results on anybody. It was expensive, painful, and the recovery was annoying on a number of levels. And oh, by the way, good thing I was done with making babies, as it reduced the chances of me carrying a child to term by a significant margin, according to my OB-GYN.

  280. #280 Ian
    May 19, 2010

    it seems only one person has conceded the obvious. the others, well, keep up the good fight.

    I hope you aren’t talking about me. I asked you… 24 hours ago… to state your point. Then I got bored with your inane circular argument and goalpost shifting, so I went out for beers. I can’t believe you’re still haunting this thread, and that people haven’t become inured to your bulls*** yet.

    “Oooh, waaah, can’t you do any better than swear? You’re soooo emotional!”

    You’ve been wrong about everything you’ve said so far, and ignored the multitude of times people have pointed out the flaws in your arguments, instead preferring to cherry-pick quotes out of context and keep this ridiculous and utterly meaningless battle going rather than make a point. In doing so, you have forfeited any legitimate claim to deserve any kind of courtesy from anyone.

    In other words, you’re a dick, Augustine.

  281. #281 Composer99
    May 19, 2010

    augustine, I would check out:

    - The history of the positron
    - Einstein’s early work
    - The Broad Street pump story (cholera & epidemiology – before the bacteria behind cholera was identified)

    before going on and on about theory vs. evidence (especially since you are using the layman definition of theory).

    The hypothesis is that HPV vaccines prevent the spread of HPV (specifically, the strains most associated with cervical cancer and genital warts); the supporting evidence for this is already in (see, for example, the sources cited by Wikipedia in its entry on Gardasil).

  282. #282 Scott
    May 19, 2010

    Augustine’s complaint is very similar to:

    “When a chair breaks, the occupant falls on the floor.”
    “OK.”
    “A chair made with stronger glue is less likely to break.”
    “OK.”
    “Therefore a person sitting in a chair made with stronger glue is less likely to fall on the floor.”
    “NO!!! You have to explicitly measure the rate of floor contact with the different chairs!!!”

  283. #283 AnthonyK
    May 19, 2010

    Yeah, Augustine really is a pointless troll (if that’s not an oxymoron)
    He gives it away by bringing religion into it: even if Orac were an atheist, and posted on religion here, the science – which has no need for religion – would still be valid. After all gravity, and the electrons involved in reading this post, still work regardless of whether one believes in them, or is even aware of their existence.
    It’s not a religious, or anti-religious blog – thank goodness – there are other blogs for that. So to introduce atheism is completely irrelevant.
    But you are also anti-vax, so when you bring in a (possibly) thought provoking point about demonstrating the effectiveness of gardasil and are given a reply:

    We know since more than 25 years about papillonavirus’ link to cervical cancer and other cancers. This is not new.
    We know enough about immunology and vaccines to know that, if we inject a dead virus, it will increase the chance of the body stopping the live virus if encountered later, and reduce the morbidity associated with this virus’ infection. This is not new.
    We even have studies that the Gardasil vaccine is indeed showing evidence of efficiency. This is new, and easily available

    You ignore it, and continue to witter on.
    Silly person, dull troll.

  284. #284 Orange Lantern
    May 19, 2010

    I know you know this, Augustine, but there is strong evidence that certain strains of HPV cause cervical cancer. There is strong evidence that Gardasil prevents these strains of HPV.

    Therefore there is strong evidence that Gardasil prevents cervical cancer.

    Just because there are not studies to show directly that HPV has already prevented cervical cancer does not mean that “there is NO evidence of cervical cancer prevention” as you put it. Not all evidence is a case-controlled study.

    There is, indeed, lots of evidence. So much so, that it would be unfortunate and unethical to withhold the vaccine until case-controlled studies showing a reduction in cervical cancer have been completed.

  285. #285 Sauceress
    May 19, 2010

    @278

    We haven’t even gotten into the socio-political aspect of this vaccine.

    Finally attempting to tie in your personal ideological objections Augustine?
    You’re new at the trolling gig aren’t you?

    Yeah, Augustine really is a pointless troll….He gives it away by bringing religion into it

    Yes he is and yes he does.

  286. #286 Chris
    May 19, 2010

    Augustine is a troll. He only understands troll logic, which is a variation of the logic taught on Bizzaro World, also known as Htrae. The Bizarro code is “Us do opposite of all Earthly things! Us hate beauty! Us love ugliness! Is big crime to make anything perfect on Bizarro World!”.

    Troll logic is to cherry pick things that they only agree with, and to state their own facts. This is why vaccines are bad and chemical castration with Lupron is good.

  287. #287 augustine
    May 19, 2010

    chris: “Augustine is a troll. He only understands troll logic, which is a variation of the logic taught on Bizzaro World, also known as Htrae. The Bizarro code is “Us do opposite of all Earthly things! …”

    Can’t deal with the facts? just ad hominem attack. Or please produce the evidence. At least some are trying to explain why there is no evidence.

  288. #288 Bob
    May 19, 2010

    And to drop another quarter in the “‘Ben Hernandez’ is a leaky douchebag” slot, I got round 1 of both Hep A & Hep B vaccine series on the advice of my liver doctor. It’s not how I’d have preferred to spend my afternoon but at least I’m not part of the problem.

    Antivaxxers can go eat a bag of dicks.

  289. #289 jen
    May 19, 2010

    Oh my God, Lizditz, you are making the cone biopsy sound way worse than it is. I had one with a serious (grade 4)displasia and it wasn’t that bad. They found a problem, they took care of it and that was 15 years ago and I went on to have another child. Not any problems since, whatsoever. I’d rather have gone through that process than some seizure crap or autoimmune reaction from a Gardasil vaccine. My body, my choice.

  290. #290 Chris
    May 19, 2010

    No, augustine, that was not an ad hominem, it was an insult based on observation. Especially since you have provided no “facts” that are actually, well, facts.

    I did not say you were wrong because of some feature you possess. I said you are a troll. It is kind of a descriptive insult. It is based on your claim this is an atheist blog, that Gardisil does not prevent cervical cancer because it only protects against HPV (the disease associated with the cancer), your refusal to accept corrections to your “facts” and on and on.

    If you are going to refuse the answers given to the more than patient folks here, then you are going to have to deal with the results. If you don’t like the reactions then your choices are:

    1) Actually learn from the information being provided (which might mean attempting to open your mind to let some facts actually in!).
    2) Grow a backbone or thicker skin.
    3) Stay away from the Internet.

  291. #291 gaiainc
    May 19, 2010

    Women after cone biopsies have an not-insignificant risk of an incompetant cervix, pre-term labor and/or pregnancy loss. That jen didn’t have a problem having a successful pregnancy doesn’t mean that all women will follow her same path. I had a patient who had CIN III that ended up clearing up on its own. Should I base all my practice on her?

    Oh wait… according to anti-vax logic, I should. I also shouldn’t use amoxicillin in my patients since I had a rash when I took it. I probably also shouldn’t use pseudoephedrine in my patients as it makes me feel like hell. I definitely shouldn’t use Benadryl in my patients because it makes me too sleepy to do anything at all. I can’t use oxycodone either as it makes me nauseas and vomit. I also can’t use any scopolamine patches because I get a skin reaction to the adhesive, because, you know, one person’s experience triumphs over all others at all times in all situations.

    GAH!

    What really gets me that MILLIONS of people have no problems with immunizations at all, yet because there is a possible one in a million chance of a serious reaction to an immunization the pro-disease idjits don’t want to immunize anyone for anything. Gah! By the FSM, it just pisses me off to no end. It also angers me because all the rhetoric I’ve heard from the pro-disease side basically boils down to it’s better to be dead than autistic. Really? Really? Then please tell that to my cousin’s child who is an Olympic medalist and state champion bowler. I’m sure she’d love to know that.

    Double GAH!

  292. #292 augustine
    May 19, 2010

    @anthonyk: “We know since more than 25 years about papillonavirus’ link to cervical cancer and other cancers. This is not new.
    We know enough about immunology and vaccines to know that, if we inject a dead virus, it will increase the chance of the body stopping the live virus if encountered later, and reduce the morbidity associated with this virus’ infection. This is not new.
    We even have studies that the Gardasil vaccine is indeed showing evidence of efficiency. This is new, and easily available

    You ignore it, and continue to witter on.
    Silly person, dull troll.”

    How about this little history lesson? Maybe you have a hard time distinguishing between pure science and applied science. Proving, scientifically, the causation of disease is one thing. Treating or curing is a different scientific manner.

    In 1905 Schaudinn discovered that, under certain conditions, the spirochete Treponema pallidium could cause the onset of syphillis. In 1910, Ehrlich unveiled the long-awaited treatment- arsenic. You might laugh that arsenic was,at the time, considered “scientific medicine”. It was hailed and defended as scientific medicine at the time it became it became popular to do so. Arsenic was effective. But, being effective does not make something scientific. In 1928 Fleming discovered penicillin and arsenic was pushed aside for a more scientific discovery.

    The function of science it to produce through systematic observation of the scientist, the laws which explain facts. Establishing facts is not the job of science.

    Definition of science (Dorlands medical dictionary)

    1) the systematic observation of natural phenomena for the purpose of discovering laws governing those phenomena. 2)the body of knowledge accumulated by such means.

    Applied science…the application of discovered laws to the matters of everyday living.

    Pure Science… concerned soley with the discovery of unknown laws relating to particular facts.

    Clearly we are talking about applied science here. Pure scientists are bent on finding the why of a particular fact. Applied scientists often don’t bother with the why. Aspirin was used for the better part of a century without the knowledge of why it worked. That is not to say that something needs to be known fully before it is used but the point is medicine is less than purely scientific.

    Some of you are having a hard time with that concept.

  293. #293 augustine
    May 19, 2010

    @chris: “It is based on your claim this is an atheist blog, that Gardisil does not prevent cervical cancer because it only protects against HPV (the disease associated with the cancer), your refusal to accept corrections to your “facts” and on and on.”

    Where did I say that gardasil does not prevent cervical cancer? Do tell.

    Details, my friend, details. i hope you’re not this sloppy in your everyday work. Errors pass you by.

    I stick by my claim that this is an atheist blog.

  294. #294 Seb30
    May 19, 2010

    Augustine

    “please produce the evidence”

    I’m a bit confused, now. Evidence of what? I’m not sure what you want us to prove, and what forms of evidence you will accept. You won’t accept anything published by Merck, I got that. What else would you accept?

    Actually, I already asked this question in a previous post, but obviously you missed it.

  295. #295 Seb30
    May 19, 2010

    Augustine

    “I stick by my claim that this is an atheist blog.”

    If you want to believe this, it’s your right. I fail to see the relevance to anything discussed here, but everybody is entitled his/her opinion, so go ahead.

    Now, can we go back to the matter at hand? Again, what evidence would you accept about Gardasil, and to prove what?

  296. #296 augustine
    May 19, 2010

    @seb30: “I’m a bit confused, now.”

    You’re confused because there is no ACTUAL evidence of cancer prevention.

  297. #297 Seb30
    May 19, 2010

    Augustine

    Come on, don’t dodge my questions.
    You say there is no evidence, we believe there is some, but we are not sure about what you want evidence. If you don’t ask a clear question, how do you want us to answer clearly?

    What evidence would you accept?

  298. #298 Orac
    May 19, 2010

    I stick by my claim that this is an atheist blog.

    Then you’re an idiot.

  299. #299 Kristen
    May 19, 2010

    @seb30

    augustine has gotten very boring. I think he probably stopped listening to grownup talk a very long time ago. It is obvious that he is just bating those here to see how long we will feed into his delusion (that he is by far more scientific then anyone else here).

    I know there are Doctors, Surgeons, Chemists, Physicists, and goodness know what other kinds of professional scientists who comment here. I am sure he knows more, though.

  300. #300 Chris
    May 19, 2010

    augustine:

    Where did I say that gardasil does not prevent cervical cancer? Do tell.

    Evidence:

    augustine (May 19, 2010 1:41 PM):

    BTW do you have evidence that the cervical cancer vaccines prevent such? no. You don’t.

    augustine (May 19, 2010 1:48 PM):

    When one loses a point that one adamantly clings to (cervical cancer vaccine is evidence based) and then one changes that particular issue to argue another point, it is called “moving the goalposts”. I call it vaccine judo.

    augustine (May 19, 2010 4:21 PM):

    So in the real world there must be actual evidence of cancer prevention. This should be elementary for an “evidence based” crowd. Reality is becoming stranger than fiction.

    Followed by several posts by people who tried to explain to you that preventing the cause of a particular cancer (HPV) does prevent that cancer. A concept you seem to refuse to let into your little closed mind.

    And then you finish with:

    I stick by my claim that this is an atheist blog.

    Because you live on Bizarro World and have a very closed mind with a limited. Personally I don’t care. You are a troll and this is the last time I will address you and your silly troll questions. And I did not even address my comment about you employing a variation of Bizarro World logic to you.

    Get over yourself. Even Sid Troll is a sometimes amusing troll (jen is just stupid).

  301. #301 Chris
    May 19, 2010

    Oops, I failed to fully edit out a sentence. It was going to say “with a limited understanding of science and logic.” Actually having a mind permanently welded shut is a sufficient description.

  302. #302 Todd W.
    May 19, 2010

    @augustine

    I realized that you haven’t yet answered my questions from earlier:

    What, specifically, is your stance on the use of HPV vaccine? Should it be used for the prevention of infection with the 4 main strains of HPV that cause cervical cancer?

    You responded with:

    I specifically don’t use it. The risks outweigh the benefit.

    I was not asking about your specific use, but rather its use in general. You also failed to answer my second question. And now, I’m going to add an additional few questions, based on your response.

    What are the specific risks from the vaccine?
    What are the specific benefits from the vaccine?
    What is you basis for your list of risks, benefits and the calculation of the balance?

    I am curious about your answers to these questions. Further, it would be beneficial for you to share with us what you mean by “evidence” when you use it.

    The rest of my post, you do not need to respond to; these are just my observations.

    Chris is right. She insulted you. She did not resort to an ad hominem fallacy. Ad hominem is, as she explained, would be, for example, if she said that your arguments are wrong or invalid because you are a troll.

    You are being somewhat intellectually dishonest, as well. Gardasil is a vaccine against four strains of HPV; it is not a vaccine against cancer (though, again, that is a very important secondary target). By preventing infection with HPV, it will also prevent genital warts, cancer of the head, neck, vagina, vulva, penis or anus, or warts in the throat. Please see my earlier analogy showing how we can draw these conclusions and how this is science-based medicine.

    Another mark of intellectual dishonesty is that while you play very carefully with your wording (“there is no evidence of cancer prevention”), the subtext and implication of your posts is that Gardasil does not prevent cervical cancer. It is a subtle difference and, as demonstrated by some of the other comments, a reasonable conclusion to draw. Your mincing of words allows you to claim “That’s not what I said” when someone does reasonably interpret your comments as above.

    Additionally, you keep saying that saying that Gardasil can prevent cervical cancer is not “evidence-based” and is just based on “theory”, yet you have failed to show why it is not evidence-based. You also freely use “theory” in the colloquial sense, while at the same time using a more stringent definition of science.

    Finally, what’s with the whole “this is an atheist blog” nonsense? While that may be your opinion, there is nothing here to indicate that it is an atheist blog or a non-atheist blog. You have not presented any evidence of such. And, regardless of whether it is or not, it is irrelevant. The implication to be drawn, then, is that you are using it to try to cast a negative light on the blog, using “atheist” as a sort of epithet.

    As I said, these are my observations. I may be wrong, but, based on what has been presented so far, they are reasonable conclusions to make.

  303. #303 D. C. Sessions
    May 19, 2010

    On aircraft, it’s verboten without special permission, because an accident could lead to a catastrophic structural failure.

    And does the TSA check for it? Nooooooo.

  304. #304 augustine
    May 19, 2010

    @chris

    your cut n pastes did not produce “the evidence”.

    kristen: “I know there are Doctors, Surgeons, Chemists, Physicists, and goodness know what other kinds of professional scientists who comment here. I am sure he knows more, though.”

    Orac has already commented on credentialing does not necessarily make one immune to woo. i would add that it doesn’t make one scientific either. Your statement says nothing or proves nothing. It’s called an appeal to authority.

    @seb30: A substantial decrease in cervical cancer correlated exactly with the uptake of the vaccine. Is that unreasonable? Would that qualify as evidence?

    The posters of this blog are clearly not a sharp as Orac with their critical thinking skills.

  305. #305 AnthonyK
    May 19, 2010

    Maybe you have a hard time distinguishing between pure science and applied science

    Personally, I don’t believe there is a difference.

    Heaven’s sake, what a moron, you are!
    You think this is an atheist blog: it isn’t: and even if it were, it would make no difference to the validity of its scientific content.
    Why don’t you just abandon your pathetic attempt to knock the valid, proven, medicine behind vaccination, get on your knees, and talk to your God? Sure, it would be a waste of time, but of your time only.
    Oh, and while you’re down there, ask him why he’s made you such an ignorant creep. I’m afraid medicine can’t help answer that question for you.

  306. #306 AnthonyK
    May 19, 2010

    The posters of this blog are clearly not a sharp as Orac with their critical thinking skills.

    And from what authority would you be making that judgement?
    It’s a tri-partite fail on your part, I think.

  307. #307 Seb30
    May 19, 2010

    Augustine

    “A substantial decrease in cervical cancer correlated exactly with the uptake of the vaccine.”

    So this is that you want. Good.

    And since a cervical cancer may take up to 15 years to develop after exposure to HPV, we will have to wait a bit to get the data you request.
    Be patient. As I told you before, rendezvous in 20 years.
    In the meantime, most of us will be satisfied with the evidence that Gardasil is good at training our immune system to fight a few HPV strains linked to cancer.

    Kristen, you are right, Augustine is boring.

    Bye troll. We will talk again in 20 years, when we will have the evidence you sought.

  308. #308 Chris
    May 19, 2010

    Todd, I really admire your patience. I got tired of Augie Troll after it started on about the “cervical cancer vaccine” bit. I knew its little mind was welded shut when it started the “atheist blog” nonsense.

    I will read your interesting posts. The troll I will ignore.

    By the way, Dr. Crislip’s latest Quackcast makes a reference to Bizarro World. He is my age, and just like me must have spent too much of his allowance on Superman comics. I had to stop buying them in the early 1970s when they started to cost more than about thirty five cents! It is a podcast you would enjoy.

    I was thinking he stole the ND means “Not a Doctor” bit from the comments I posted in his Nine Questions blog post, until I remembered that I actually stole it from one of his earlier Quackcasts. :-)

    The world needs more Mark Crislip.

  309. #309 augustine
    May 19, 2010

    anthonyK: “And from what authority would you be making that judgement?”

    from what authority do you disagree? You’re sharper than Orac? Do you believe that the posters are equal in congruency and non-contradiction? Are their critical thinking skills equal to or above Oracs?

    “Personally, I don’t believe there is a difference.”

    You should write your OWN medical dictionary then.

  310. #310 augustine
    May 19, 2010

    seb30:”Bye troll. We will talk again in 20 years, when we will have the evidence you sought.”

    Because you don’t have it now but your ego won’t admit it.

  311. #311 Djinna
    May 19, 2010

    My favorite part of what Orac quotes:

    Furthermore, Thimerosal is not gone from vaccines, and the trace amount touted as safe is still far too toxic to flush down a toilet. Plus, according to the Material Safety Data Sheet, it should never be combined with aluminum because of how highly reactive it is, and yet, there are multiple vaccines that combine the two right now.

    I’m pretending to myself that this means they think that if you eat a can of tuna, you’re not allowed to use the bathroom for a couple of days, and have to use toxic waste disposal procedures, since we know they think all forms of mercury are interchangable. And that this explains why tuna is sold in steel cans, instead of aluminum. Oh nos! The new no-drain pouches! Those are aluminum-shiny looking, surely they’re a potential explosion waiting to happen!

    I feel like such a slacker on the recent vaccine front, only one in the last year, H1N1. I so rarely get the flu that I only get the seasonal vaccine for that when it’s being offered by my employer, or I’m at the doctor’s when they have it, and they only had H1N1 when I happened to go there this year. I was especially paranoid since I kept hearing that it was healthy people with strong immune systems that were hit worst. I’m the queen of the strong immune system, but I had two bacterial things last year that left me with fevers over 102, so I was very familiar with how miserable a strong immune response can be. Had just finished the Hep A/B series a little over a year ago, since it wasn’t around when I was little.

    Oh, and I also have to find out if the tetanus shot almost 3 years ago was tetanus alone, or the adult combo booster that was just starting to be common around then. So, several in the last three years, but only one in the last year. Not afraid of needles, love being vaccinated, just there aren’t that many to get in an average year as an adult.

  312. #312 Kristen
    May 19, 2010

    Your statement says nothing or proves nothing. It’s called an appeal to authority.

    No, it is pointing out how very arrogant you are. I am speaking of these professionals’ knowledge of the subject, not saying ‘Look, a scientist said it, it must be right’.

    credentialing does not necessarily make one immune to woo.

    No shit, Sherlock!

    And I am so proud of you for being able to Google ‘logical fallacies’.

  313. #313 Liz Ditz
    May 19, 2010

    Jen at 289:

    Oh my God, Lizditz, you are making the cone biopsy sound way worse than it is. I had one with a serious (grade 4)displasia and it wasn’t that bad.

    While I am glad for you that you found your cone biopsy “not that bad” I had an entirely different outcome, as have many other women. I am not a physician and certainly not a surgeon, but I do know here are different grades and procedures for cone biopsy.

    I suppose this argument is a case of duelling anecdotes, but you may want to read read this study on preserving fertility in cervical cancer

    Cone biopsy in all its different manifestation is still an invasive procedure requiring general anesthesia with a recovery period of six to eight weeks.

    I would rather have my daughter and granddaughters avoid one cause of cervical cancer (HPV), and I would encourage all my children and grandchildren (now that it also recommended for boys) to be vaccinated against HPV before they are at risk of encountering the virus.

    Nothing in life is without risks. The risk/reward calculus for HPV vaccination — if you look at the facts rather than the distortions and outright lies — are that vaccinating against HPV is safer than contracting the disease.

  314. #314 D. C. Sessions
    May 20, 2010

    I was thinking he stole the ND means “Not a Doctor” bit from the comments I posted in his Nine Questions blog post, until I remembered that I actually stole it from one of his earlier Quackcasts. :-)

    It’s been in use on MHA for years and years.

  315. #315 David N. Brown
    May 20, 2010

    To build on Liz’s comment: I had a “harmless” HPV infection around age 8. The only lasting effect was a scar on my foot where they cut off a papilloma. But, the operation was definitely a very unpleasant experience to go through as a child.

  316. #316 Chris
    May 20, 2010

    D. C. Sessions:

    It’s been in use on MHA for years and years.

    I may have seen it there also. I wandered around Usenet under a few names/accounts between 1999 and 2007 or so. I may have been reminded of the definition in a Crislip Quackcast.

  317. #317 augustine
    May 20, 2010

    Todd,

    You are the most courteous of all the posters who have responded. Even though I may disagree with your views I respect your previous civility and rational questioning. As to your questions?

    “What are the specific risks from the vaccine?”

    methodologically speaking we’d have to know the ingredients of the placebo used in the trials to find the statistical risk above not vaccinating. Then we could ascertain the true risks of not vaccinating compared to vaccinating. Unfortunately you’ll never get such a comparison.

    Anecdotally, neurological complications, convulsions and death are a complication. also this has been reported as the most painful shot of all the vaccines(the usual red, itchy, swollen complaint stuff. There are many other hopefully less serious risks.

    todd: “What are the specific benefits from the vaccine?”

    A reduction of 4 versions of HPV which MAY cause cervical cancer eventually in a vast minority of certain hosts.

    The next question that you didn’t ask but plays an important role in the individual choice and decision making “is the vaccine necessary for me personally?” and “are there other options?” “What if I don’t vaccinate at all?” Does my individual or community health status matter?”

    todd: What is you basis for your list of risks, benefits and the calculation of the balance?”

    My basis for the risks is that we don’t truly know. All that we do know is that vaccines, as a medical procedure, are not free of serious risk. If the scientific majority believe they are then I propose that they become OTC.

    The benefits? Well, it’s sold as a cervical cancer vaccine. The marketing certainly implies it. Do you have specific incidence rates over the past 3 years that indicate a reduction in cervical cancers? Is it really needed in developed countries? On a percentage what countries have bought the most of this vaccine? Which countries do you believe would benefit the most? How many do you believe need it? Do you believe herd theory applies in this case?

  318. #318 augustine
    May 20, 2010

    david brown:
    “To build on Liz’s comment: I had a “harmless” HPV infection around age 8. The only lasting effect was a scar on my foot where they cut off a papilloma. But, the operation was definitely a very unpleasant experience to go through as a child.”

    The question is do you BELIEVE the HPV vaccine would have prevented that and how do you know?

  319. #319 Dangerous Bacon
    May 20, 2010

    augustine claims that others here are wrong about the HPV vaccine when they cite experts in the field, since they’re making an “appeal to authority”. Here’s what the “appeal to authority” fallacy is actually about:

    “An Appeal to Authority is a fallacy with the following form:
    Person A is (claimed to be) an authority on subject S.
    Person A makes claim C about subject S.
    Therefore, C is true.
    This fallacy is committed when the person in question is not a legitimate authority on the subject. More formally, if person A is not qualified to make reliable claims on subject S, then the argument will be fallacious.

    If I note the scientific consensus about the HPV virus causing cervical dysplasia and cancer, and cite research on the value of preventing HPV infection in reducing the incidence of these conditions, that is not a fallacious “appeal to authority”. It’s using evidence to make a reasoned point.

    An actual example of the appeal-to-authority fallacy is believing Jenny McCarthy is knowledgeable about vaccination due to her use of Google, and citing her claims about vaccination and autism as proving one’s point. “Appeal to authority” is not a strong enough term for such a fallacious argument – appeal to ignorance fits better.

  320. #320 augustine
    May 20, 2010

    augustine claims that others here are wrong about the HPV vaccine when they cite experts in the field, since they’re making an “appeal to authority”.

    That’s where you’re wrong, bacon. Another logical error. Haste, haste, haste.

    Should you be more careful.

  321. #321 David N. Brown
    May 20, 2010

    “The question is do you BELIEVE the HPV vaccine would have prevented that and how do you know?”

    If I had received an HPV vaccine that was effective against the strain I was infected with, there would have been no papilloma and no operation to remove it. How is that an issue of “belief”?

  322. #322 Sauceress
    May 20, 2010

    @278 augustine

    We haven’t even gotten into the socio-political aspect of this vaccine.

    I’m still very curious about this comment.
    To your mind augustine, what “socio-political aspect” would that be?

  323. #323 Ender
    May 20, 2010

    You are demanding ‘evidence’ augustine but are not educated enough to understand what comprises evidence in scientific terms, therefore you reject the evidence that has been presented and sit complacently believing your point has not been disproven.

    There is reliable (but not absolute) evidence that Gardasil will prevent much HPV and therefore HPV-caused cancer.

    There is no evidence that Gardasil has already prevented any cancers. This is what you are after but this is not what is needed for evidence that Gardasil will prevent cancer.

  324. #324 Todd W.
    May 20, 2010

    @augustine

    “What are the specific risks from the vaccine?”

    methodologically speaking we’d have to know the ingredients of the placebo used in the trials to find the statistical risk above not vaccinating. Then we could ascertain the true risks of not vaccinating compared to vaccinating. Unfortunately you’ll never get such a comparison.

    Anecdotally, neurological complications, convulsions and death are a complication. also this has been reported as the most painful shot of all the vaccines(the usual red, itchy, swollen complaint stuff. There are many other hopefully less serious risks.

    Ah, so you have anecdotes, rather than data, upon which you are basing your risk analysis. What is your source for these anecdotes? If it is VAERS, then what have the follow-up investigations found? To take one item from your list, “death”, the reports of death following Gardasil vaccination have been investigated. To date, none have been found to be causally related to the vaccine.

    Furthermore, what is the rate of those serious reactions you listed? How do they compare to the rate of those events in the general population? What are the rates out of all who have received the vaccine?

    A reduction of 4 versions of HPV which MAY cause cervical cancer eventually in a vast minority of certain hosts.

    You left out a number of other things it can cause: genital warts, warts in the throat or cancer of the head, neck, vagina, vulva, penis and anus. You also left out that the four strains account for the vast majority of such cases.

    My basis for the risks is that we don’t truly know.

    Argument from ignorance. On the other hand, we do have a surveillance system in place, as well as on-going clinical trials examining the risks. We already have a good bit of scientific data showing what many of the risks are, as well. And, just as with everything in life, we will never “truly know” everything there is to know. We can, however, come close to knowing the majority of what we need to know to make an informed decision.

    All that we do know is that vaccines, as a medical procedure, are not free of serious risk.

    And no one says that they are free of serious risk. Again, as with everything in life, there are risks. You could, potentially, kill yourself by simply stubbing your toe.

    If the scientific majority believe they are then I propose that they become OTC.

    You do not understand how products gain OTC status. Vaccines probably never will, because there are certain skills required for their administration (correct injection site, correct procedure for injection, etc.). It is not simply the risk profile of the substance itself, but also the expertise required for its proper use/administration.

    Do you have specific incidence rates over the past 3 years that indicate a reduction in cervical cancers?

    I do not have any on hand, at the moment.

    Is it really needed in developed countries?

    Considering that HPV doesn’t care one jot about economic status, population density, sanitation, etc., yep. Are you suggesting that HPV is less of a problem in developed countries? That it only causes cancer in developing nations?

    On a percentage what countries have bought the most of this vaccine? Which countries do you believe would benefit the most? How many do you believe need it? Do you believe herd theory applies in this case?

    Not sure how may have bought it. I think all countries could benefit from it and that it has the potential to eliminate those virus strains completely, a la smallpox and (eventually) polio, as I believe it is only found in humans. And herd immunity most definitely applies. High vaccination rates mean fewer vectors to spread the virus. Fewer vectors means the virus can’t spread.

    Now we have a couple more logical failures to add to the list: argument from ignorance and hypocrisy (you demand scientific evidence from us, yet base your own arguments on hunches and unvalidated stories).

  325. #325 augustine
    May 20, 2010

    @todd? “You do not understand how products gain OTC status. Vaccines probably never will, because there are certain skills required for their administration (correct injection site, correct procedure for injection, etc.). It is not simply the risk profile of the substance itself, but also the expertise required for its proper use/administration.”

    That is a very poor argument. I should start all of my posts with “you just don’t understand.” Come on. Expertise? certain skills? How many years of training does it take to learn to give a a self injection? Diabetics don’t have a problem with it. If you need help the drug store employees could help you. Tylenol is more dangerous than vaccines. Cough syrup is more dangerous than vaccines. Aspirin is more dangerous than vaccines. They’re all OTC.

  326. #326 augustine
    May 20, 2010

    Todd: “Considering that HPV doesn’t care one jot about economic status, population density, sanitation, etc., yep. Are you suggesting that HPV is less of a problem in developed countries? That it only causes cancer in developing nations?”

    Cervical cancer does!

  327. #327 Todd W.
    May 20, 2010

    @augustine

    Diabetics don’t have a problem with it.

    Again, you display your lack of understanding. I’m not sure where you go, but I have never seen insulin or their needles for sale on the racks in drug stores. They require a prescription, which must be filled with the pharmacist.

    Tylenol is more dangerous than vaccines. Cough syrup is more dangerous than vaccines. Aspirin is more dangerous than vaccines.

    Tylenol and aspirin also gained OTC status due to long popular use, rather than as a result of examination of clinical studies. For a good explanation of OTC, BTC and Rx distinctions, please read this article by pharmacist Scott Gavura.

    While “You don’t understand” by itself is not a good argument, what follows bolsters it up. I explained why your OTC argument was wrong and why I thought you did not understand what goes into OTC considerations. I would also add that every product is (or should be) evaluated on its own merits. Saying that Tylenol is more dangerous than vaccines, therefore vaccines should be OTC is an improper comparison, though it was rather interesting to see you state that tylenol and aspirin are more dangerous than vaccines, which potentially undermines your argument that the risks of vaccines (Gardasil) outweigh the benefits.

  328. #328 Todd W.
    May 20, 2010

    @augustine

    Cervical cancer does [care about economic status, population density, sanitation, etc.]!

    Are you suggesting by this that it is the availability of resources to treat cervical cancer once it starts that makes the difference? So we shouldn’t bother with preventive measures (by, e.g., preventing the cause) if we have the means to treat the problem after it starts?

    Pardon me, but that is just silly.

  329. #329 augustine
    May 20, 2010

    @Todd

    yet base your own arguments on hunches and unvalidated stories).

    Straw Man! Your brain is working like the brains of people who watch the old 16mm film. Its filling in things that are not there. You asked a specific question.

    todd: “Argument from ignorance. On the other hand, we do have a surveillance system in place, as well as on-going clinical trials examining the risks.”

    If I were basing on argument on not getting the HPV vaccine because of unknown or unknowable risks then maybe you could use this. It is an error on your part. More straw please.

    Please describe the scientific shortcomings of this “surveillance system”. Or is it impeccable. And who is funding these clinical trials and what is the scientific purpose of these trials. What is the a priori?

  330. #330 AnthonyK
    May 20, 2010

    That is a very poor argument.

    More drivel. Au contraire, Todd’s argument was extaordinarily clear. I now know – through the vector of your ignorance – much more about Gardasil, HPV, and the problems of getting another wonderfully useful and life-saving vaccine to the people who may benefit (which I guess, indidrectly, is all of us)

    This is despite worrying about hypertension as I read your repeated doses of disingenuity. Is this the risk/benefit problem referred to so often?

    But you’re a liar. You asked a question, but disregard the answers. You don’t want to find out anything, or to know anything – you just want to shit in the living room, and then complain about the smell.

    If you do have a shred of honesty – if – one of the things you believe is that the people who blog here are all part of a conspiracy to conceal the truth, and that if you probe long enough you might find the cracks in our certainity. Well, you’ve found them. Yes, the experts on this site (not me, and certainly not you) do have a weakness – and it’s this: they cannot be certain. On the other hand that is their strength: they know this. Hence the conclusions are based on endless testing, refinement, and improvement. They know the errors, and they know the prevelance.
    They do this because it is supremely useful, beneficial to mankind, and because it is a safeguard against exactly that delusion into which you have fallen.

    You’re promoting disease.

    Stop it, fool.

  331. #331 T. Bruce McNeely
    May 20, 2010

    Are you suggesting that HPV is less of a problem in developed countries? That it only causes cancer in developing nations?”

    Cervical cancer does!

    On the surface that’s true. There’s a much higher rate of invasive cervical cancer in developing countries because Pap testing and followup is much less available and used. However, invasive cervical cancer still appears in the wealthy nations, particularly among the poor and others without access or inclination to receive health care services.
    However, Augie Doggie, it has never been proven (according to your standards) that Pap testing prevents cervical cancer. Shall we just abandon it? After all, it’s inconvenient and expensive, and followup can have serious consequences.

  332. #332 augustine
    May 20, 2010

    “Are you suggesting by this that it is the availability of resources to treat cervical cancer once it starts that makes the difference?”

    That may be one partial possibility/explanation. But it is not the only possible reason. The rest of your questions are straw.

  333. #333 Todd W.
    May 20, 2010

    @augustine

    Straw Man!

    Another logical fallacy that you appear not to understand. You do demand scientific evidence from us. You did declare the basis of your arguments to be your beliefs and anecdotes, not scientific evidence. Because of that disparity, you are a hypocrite. No straw man involved.

    If I were basing on argument on not getting the HPV vaccine because of unknown or unknowable risks then maybe you could use this.

    But you did base it on unknown risks. To refresh your memory, you said:

    My basis for the risks is that we don’t truly know.

    That is an argument from ignorance. And again, not a straw man.

    Please describe the scientific shortcomings of this “surveillance system”.

    The surveillance system, VAERS, is a database to collect adverse events involving vaccines. Manufacturers are required to report all AEs that they learn about. They face penalties (including removal of approval to market medical products) if they fail to do so in the time required by law. Physicians and other health providers are encouraged to report, as well, though there is no law mandating compliance. Consumers may also report AEs. The lack of mandatory reporting for health providers can lead to under-reporting. That any AE is reported to VAERS can lead to events being erroneously attributed to a vaccine without further investigation. So, VAERS, while not ideal, is a good tool to prompt investigative action by FDA or CDC, as well as for identifying epidemiological targets for study.

    And who is funding these clinical trials and what is the scientific purpose of these trials.

    Some are funded by the manufacturers as they conduct Phase IV studies required by FDA. Some are privately funded. Some are funded by government grants. There is a wide range of funding sources. The scientific purpose is to gather further data on the products, to add more evidence to the safety and efficacy profile of the product.

  334. #334 augustine
    May 20, 2010

    anthonyK: You’re promoting disease.

    Another logical fallacy. hypocrisy abounds. This is supposed to be a critical thinking blog not an ideology blog.

    “If you do have a shred of honesty – if – one of the things you believe is that the people who blog here are all part of a conspiracy to conceal the truth,..”

    More fallacy…or guessing.

  335. #335 augustine
    May 20, 2010

    todd: “But you did base it on unknown risks. To refresh your memory, you said:

    My basis for the risks is that we don’t truly know.”

    Reread the context instead of taking it out of such. You engaged with questions to set up your own argument. I answered them in that context. Apparently you don’t even know what and why I asked for cervical cancer vaccine evidence.

    My personal reason for not taking the HPV vaccine is a lack of benefit. Why would I fallaciously argue from “ignorance” about the safety of it. The fact is you’d have to know the contents of the placebo vs. the vaccine to get a true apples to apples comparison of the clinical trial results. It is common to use another vaccine instead of a true placebo when comparing adverse events. This is not truly scientific. Now don’t go “moving the goal posts” on me.

    If you have sources that say otherwise about this vaccine I’d be happy to look at that.

  336. #336 augustine
    May 20, 2010

    @Todd:”Some are funded by the manufacturers as they conduct Phase IV studies required by FDA. Some are privately funded. Some are funded by government grants. There is a wide range of funding sources. The scientific purpose is to gather further data on the products, to add more evidence to the safety and efficacy profile of the product.”

    apriori?

  337. #337 augustine
    May 20, 2010

    @Brucy: “However, invasive cervical cancer still appears in the wealthy nations, particularly among the poor and others without access or inclination to receive health care services.”

    What other attributes do these groups have in common?
    If HPV caused cervical cancer then everyone who became infected would GET cervical cancer. The vast majority don’t. Therefore there are other factors involved.

  338. #338 Todd W.
    May 20, 2010

    @augustine

    My personal reason for not taking the HPV vaccine is a lack of benefit.

    You did not state that previously. When asked about your thoughts on the use of the vaccine, you said:

    I specifically don’t use it. The risks outweigh the benefit.

    Your basis for the risks is “that we don’t truly know”. Your argument of the risks is, therefore, an argument from ignorance. Your weighing of the benefits and risks is, therefore, flawed. How can you state that the risks outweigh the benefits when you do not base your evaluation on the evidence? Have you even read any of the clinical trials and other research on Gardasil?

    The fact is you’d have to know the contents of the placebo vs. the vaccine to get a true apples to apples comparison of the clinical trial results.

    Not really. A placebo is, by definition, a biologically inert substance. If it has a measurable biological effect, then it is not a placebo, but an active control.

    It is common to use another vaccine instead of a true placebo when comparing adverse events.

    That would be an active control, not a placebo. However, it is common to use such an active control as compared to the active control plus novel product to determine the risks of using the products in combination.

    This is not truly scientific.

    It is scientific. While using an active control as the comparator does not answer the question of the risks vs. no treatment, it does answer a scientific question.

  339. #339 MI Dawn
    May 20, 2010

    @augustine: Are you stupid or just pretending to be? You said “Apparently you don’t even know what and why I asked for cervical cancer vaccine evidence.”

    You have been told this numerous times, but I’ll repeat again:

    Gardisil is NOT a cervical cancer vaccine. It is a vaccine that prevents women from being infected with 4 types of HPV that have been shown through clinical testing to be one cause of cervical cancer in women. HPV also causes genital warts, and can cause warts on other parts of the body.

    Now, from a clinical point of view: yes, we can treat HPV -sort-of – with caustic acid for external warts,cone biopsies to remove cervical tissue, etc. We can discover that a woman has been exposed and is infected through pap smears if HPV is found, then she can be monitored. However, all of these are expensive. Yes, the vaccine is expensive at the outset. However, if it prevents MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE treatment later on, then it is cheaper in the long run.

    You also say: “My personal reason for not taking the HPV vaccine is a lack of benefit….”

    Fine. NO one is saying YOU need to get the HPV vaccine. I wish I could get it, but I am WAY out of the age that they give it to women. My daughters both elected to get the vaccine series. I did not push it one way or the other. I gave them the literature from the MD, they did research on line and made up their own minds. They had sore arms the day of each injection, otherwise, no side effects. They still get regular pap tests and practice safe sex. But we all feel much happier that they are protected from at least 4 of the HPV.

    Clinical anecdotal note: I wish this vaccine had been out years ago. When I worked in a gyn clinic, I saw many young girls, early, mid and late teens, with HPV. One poor girl was suffering from severe pain, her perineal area looked like she had a cauliflower growing there. It took several weeks of caustic acid treatment to get to the point we could even SEE her labia. I wouldn’t wish that on ANYONE.

  340. #340 Todd W.
    May 20, 2010

    @augustine

    apriori?

    You’d have to ask the researchers what their a priori assumptions were. I cannot speak for them.

  341. #341 AnthonyK
    May 20, 2010

    Why would I fallaciously argue from “ignorance” about the safety of it.

    Why indeed? What are your motives? You complain constantly about a lack of “critical thinking” on this blog but exhibit no personal self-awareness.

    And how is it a logical fallacy to assert that you are “promoting disease”? It may be incorrect, but it’s hardly a fallacy: people like you who say vaccines are ineffective, or more dangerous than the diseases they prevent are simply wrong – as shown by the numerous epidemological studies demonstrating how well they work (and how rare – though not unknown – are serious side-effects).

    But again, it’s not a fallacy to question your real beliefs and motivations. If I’m wrong, say so. Do you or do you not think that “we” that is Orac and those here who support his excellent, campaigning blog, are lying to cover up evidence of vaccine harm?

    And hey, there’s a major difference between you and the medical professionals who blog here: they are responsible, legally and morally, for the advice they give and the treatments they dispense. You, with your uninformed prattle bear no such responsibility. If you persuade someone not to get vaccinated and they subsequently get measles, or whatever, you can’t be held responsible. A doctor giving bad advice, however, could.

    You’re still a lying troll, and have learned nothing from the interesting professionals who post here.

  342. #342 T. Bruce McNeely
    May 20, 2010

    If HPV caused cervical cancer then everyone who became infected would GET cervical cancer.

    Logic FAIL. Big surprise.

  343. #343 augustine
    May 20, 2010

    todd: “It is scientific. While using an active control as the comparator does not answer the question of the risks vs. no treatment, it does answer a scientific question.”

    If I (the consumer) am asking a question about one thing and you(the seller) do not answer that question but give the answer to another question under the guise that they are the same question then is that honest? If I were purchasing that product I’d want to know what the absolute risks are. Don’t you think that’s pretty important or is that just an impediment to the sale? What is the objective of the seller? To give fair and balanced information or to guide my purchase?

  344. #344 Todd W.
    May 20, 2010

    @augustine

    If I (the consumer) am asking a question about one thing and you(the seller) do not answer that question but give the answer to another question under the guise that they are the same question then is that honest?

    Ignoring, for a moment, that you are subtly shifting the argument away from a scientific discussion to a marketing discussion…

    If you asked “Is the car blue?” and I said “Yes, it isn’t black,” I’m not certain it would be dishonest. Incorrect or irrelevant, yes. Non-sequitur, perhaps.

    If I were purchasing that product I’d want to know what the absolute risks are.

    An impossibly high standard, since the absolute can never be known. However, we can gain a reasonable approximation of the total risks. These are listed in the product labeling (which are made available to all subjects, either voluntarily or upon request), along with descriptions of the clinical trials that were involved. If it says placebo, then they used a placebo.

    What is the objective of the seller? To give fair and balanced information or to guide my purchase?

    The objective of the seller is to sell the product. This may be different than the objective of the manufacturer, whose goal is to get a product to market, meeting regulatory requirements and producing a quality product. If there are undue safety issues, it is bad business to brush them aside or try to cover them up.

    All that said, what do these market questions have to do with the scientific issues we are discussing? What I stated regarding comparators is true. It is scientific. If you want a scientific answer, you don’t go to the salesman. You go to the scientific papers.

  345. #345 augustine
    May 20, 2010

    Todd: “Your basis for the risks is “that we don’t truly know”. Your argument of the risks is, therefore, an argument from ignorance.”

    Did you miss the qualifier? Did I say “we dont know nuthin about nuthin? NO!

    We do know that vaccines carry risks. So there is some risk known and unknown. Now on the benefit side, how can you pretend to know if I need this vaccine? In order to even potentially benefit one would have to know if I were even going to get cervical cancer or warts? If I were never going to get those then there would be zero benefit.How do you know my personal benefit and or the benefit of other options? Are you really concerned about me getting cervical cancer or genital warts? Or are you concerned with selling ideology?

  346. #346 Ian
    May 20, 2010

    … and this is still going on.

    “A wise man told me don’t argue with fools,
    Because from a distance you can’t tell who is who.”

    We’re all acutely aware that the fool is a foolish fool. There can be no progress with such a combative and circular attitude. We’re now into hour 48 of this farce. The fool doesn’t seek understanding or to make a point, merely to get attention (“waaaah! where’s your eeeeeevidence? That’s emooooootion!” Silence, fool!).

    I can’t pretend to have any influence over any of you – obviously you will do as you want. I’m just pointing out that the only way to stop the madness is to stop responding. Maybe this is just a bit of sport, in which case by all means have at it. Just know that you’re trying to staple Jell-O to a wall.

  347. #347 D. C. Sessions
    May 20, 2010

    The word of the day is “sophistry.”

  348. #348 Poogles
    May 20, 2010

    “Now on the benefit side, how can you pretend to know if I need this vaccine? In order to even potentially benefit one would have to know if I were even going to get cervical cancer or warts? If I were never going to get those then there would be zero benefit.”

    This argument reminds me of the homebirth/”natural” birth crowds arguments re:C-sections. It seems to be too much to grasp that there is no way to know with certainty whether any given baby showing signs of potential distress will be ok without that c-section or whether they are going to be compromised, until after the fact. They seem to think doctors have a magic crystal ball with which they can tell the future :-/

  349. #349 Todd W.
    May 20, 2010

    @augustine

    We do know that vaccines carry risks. So there is some risk known and unknown. Now on the benefit side, how can you pretend to know if I need this vaccine? In order to even potentially benefit one would have to know if I were even going to get cervical cancer or warts? If I were never going to get those then there would be zero benefit.How do you know my personal benefit and or the benefit of other options? Are you really concerned about me getting cervical cancer or genital warts? Or are you concerned with selling ideology?

    Your argument is still one from ignorance. Onto your personal benefit. I assume, by the logic in this post, that you do not have any type of insurance, that you do not buckle your seatbelt when in a car, that you do not look both ways before crossing the street. All of those are precautionary measures without absolute evidence of any subsequent benefit. If you never have a fire in your house or get into an accident with your car, then, by your reasoning, there is no benefit to home or auto insurance. If you never get into a car accident in which you get tossed about or thrown out of the car, then there is no benefit to wearing your seatbelt. If you never get hit by a car while crossing the street, then there is no benefit to looking both ways before crossing.

    I don’t know what your outcome would be if you were infected. However, I do know that if you were vaccinated, your risk of infection and, therefore, of subsequent complications would be greatly diminished. Now, whether you get the HPV vaccine or not, I don’t particularly care. It’s ultimately your choice. Heck, it might not even be indicated for you, as you may already be infected with HPV or you may be outside the population for which the vaccine is indicated.

    My point in addressing your arguments is not to sell an ideology. It is not even to change your mind. Rather, I address your incorrect arguments so that those who are reading this thread will see where you are wrong and, more importantly, why you are wrong. If you change your mind, great! If not, meh. At least I tried. Thus far, you have not shown yourself to be right, nor me (or the science behind Gardasil) to be wrong.

    At this point, it seems that you will have little else new to add to the discussion, and I think my point has been adequately made. I probably won’t respond further.

  350. #350 augustine
    May 20, 2010

    bruce: “Logic FAIL. Big surprise.”

    Really, Bruce? Really? Do you and anthony have the same critical thinking teacher? Think about it.

    anthony: “And how is it a logical fallacy to assert that you are “promoting disease”?

    Let’s use the arsenic example (now don’t go saying i’m comparing arsenic to vaccines that would be another fallacy)

    It’s 1910, I refuse the scientific treatment for syphillis- arsenic. Medicine man says that since I refuse his treatment that I must be FOR the disease his treatment kills. Maybe I have had a bad experience with arsenic before. Maybe I saw someone in my family get arsenic poisoning. Maybe I do like arsenic but not for the purpose of treating syphillis.

    Maybe I AM a sick scientist and love watching disease consume life. But not BECAUSE of this logic. It’s fallacious.

  351. #351 Pablo
    May 20, 2010

    Ian – I just want to say that, perhaps one of my proudest moments in the last day when I told people to lay off Ender because Augustine was the real issue (post 108). That was only after about 3 or 4 of her posts. I would love to be able to say I foresaw the trainwreck that was impending, but, alas, that was based solely on the “it’s an atheist website” nonsense.

  352. #352 Orange Lantern
    May 20, 2010

    Ian, I agree with you somewhat. I can’t speak for Todd, but sometimes I argue with the unteachable for a couple of reasons.

    1.) I enjoy the debate. I enjoy sharpening my skills in addressing concerns, even when the other person doesn’t use logic in turn.

    2.) I’m considering the lurkers and want to present a well-reasoned argument in the face of ridiculous claims or poor logic.

  353. #353 Pablo
    May 20, 2010

    This argument reminds me of the homebirth/”natural” birth crowds arguments re:C-sections. It seems to be too much to grasp that there is no way to know with certainty whether any given baby showing signs of potential distress will be ok without that c-section or whether they are going to be compromised, until after the fact. They seem to think doctors have a magic crystal ball with which they can tell the future :-/

    Well, they will be quick to point out that the complication rate of those births that occur at home are no worse than those that occur in the hospital.

    Of course, that ignores the 12% of attempted homebirths that don’t end up that way because they have to get transported to the hospital.

    IOW, if you do a homebirth, and it turns out OK, then you are just as safe as doing it in a hospital. If it doesn’t go ok, I guess you can just do an emergency transport to the hospital.

  354. #354 augustine
    May 20, 2010

    todd: “If you never get into a car accident in which you get tossed about or thrown out of the car, then there is no benefit to wearing your seatbelt”

    Ahhh, the seatbelt gambitt! I’m pretty sure that I won’t go into a febrile seizure because of my wearing a seatbelt.

    Todd: “However, I do know that if you were vaccinated, your risk of infection and, therefore, of subsequent complications would be greatly diminished.”

    Compared to what? That you DON’T know! To pretend otherwise is insane. Can you admit that or are your emotions clouding your thinking?

    @Pablo, Touche. Proudest moment of the day?

    I find it amusing that many on here use a logic ruler to measure others and chastise them but when the same ruler is used on them then emotions and name calling come flying out. Panties get all in a wad. A lot of huffing and puffing not much science.

  355. #355 Todd W.
    May 20, 2010

    Okay. I know I said I probably wouldn’t respond, but…

    Todd: “However, I do know that if you were vaccinated, your risk of infection and, therefore, of subsequent complications would be greatly diminished.”

    Compared to what? That you DON’T know! To pretend otherwise is insane. Can you admit that or are your emotions clouding your thinking?

    That has got to be one of the thickest things you written in this thread. Compared to what? Compared to not vaccinating. This has already been addressed up thread. I won’t go into it again.

    And, I can assure you that, other than amazement, I haven’t been particularly emotional in my comments.

  356. #356 Prometheus
    May 20, 2010

    Augustinian logic:

    “If HPV caused cervical cancer then everyone who became infected would GET cervical cancer.”

    Corollaries to the above:

    If smoking caused lung cancer, everyone who smoked would get lung cancer.

    If Epstein-Barr virus (HHV-4) caused Burkitt’s lymphoma, then everyone who got Epstein-Barr virus (causative agent of infectious mononucleosis) would develop Burkitt’s lymphoma.

    For someone who claims to know a great deal about biology, “augustine” seems curiously unaware of some key facts of virus-induced carcinogenesis.

    He’s shown enough of his “arrogance of ignorance” for me to stop paying attention to him.

    Prometheus

  357. #357 AnthonyK
    May 20, 2010

    Huffing and puffing….yup. Not much science: wrong – none at all. You simply don’t know what you’re talking about and are promoting a quasi-religious, anti-science agenda.

    To stop arguing with idiot for a while, could anyone who knows something about vaccines please answer this question: when you have a vaccination and you have a mild adverse reaction (eg swelling, or even a slight fever) is this actually you getting a very mild dose of the disease itself (eg typhoid), or is it simply an allergic reaction to a foreign protein?
    I think the latter, but I may be wrong.
    And, further, if you have several at once, as when I went on holiday to Vietnam recently, is the reaction likely to be worse?
    (I had several at once, as advised by the nurse; she fully informed me of any possible side effects and what to do if I had any – I had none – and best of all, this being the UK, they were completelly free of charge!)

  358. #358 Poogles
    May 20, 2010

    “many on here use a logic ruler to measure others and chastise them but when the same ruler is used on them”

    LOL! Sorry the visual I got reading that was augustine holding a scrap of paper on which he has drawn his own measurements and stamping his feet, whining: “but it’s a ruler! See! It has marks and measurements and everything! It’s just as good as yours! Maybe even better!”

  359. #359 augustine
    May 20, 2010

    @Todd
    I just knew you’d be back.

    “That has got to be one of the thickest things you written in this thread. Compared to what? Compared to not vaccinating.”

    Thank you. Now tell me what you know will happen to me as a result if I don’t vaccinate. Don’t be so arrogant as to try and answer that. Have some humility and admit that you do NOT and CANNOT know. It is a big piece of the decision for ME to not vaccinate for HPV. It is a question that your studies cannot answer.

  360. #360 augustine
    May 20, 2010

    “You simply don’t know what you’re talking about and are promoting a quasi-religious, anti-science agenda.”

    You’re one of the lower minions on here, along with ender. I’m surprised they haven’t already cannabalized you.

  361. #361 Todd W.
    May 20, 2010

    @AnthonyK

    when you have a vaccination and you have a mild adverse reaction (eg swelling, or even a slight fever) is this actually you getting a very mild dose of the disease itself (eg typhoid), or is it simply an allergic reaction to a foreign protein?

    As I understand it, the mild reaction is typically an immune response to the antigen and not typically an allergic reaction. E.g., if you get flu-like symptoms after receiving a flu vaccine, that is your immune system responding to the viral particles in the vaccine. I think an allergic reaction might be a bit more severe. That’s my lay interpretation.

    On a side note, if a person does not get vaccinated, then their risk of infection and, consequently, risk of complications will be higher.

  362. #362 ScienceCat
    May 20, 2010

    I’ll play too. In the past year I just had the seasonal and H1N1 shots. Boosters are up to date with the possible exception of HepA/B, which I got because I worked in and around contaminated water. That might need boosting again soon. Those of you being naughty and not keeping up the 10-year tetanus boosters need to review those old woodcuts that illustrate just how bad a tetanus death can be ><.

    I’m too old to have managed to avoid catching mumps and chicken pox the old fashioned way but not too old to have been able to live life without measles, rubella, polio, smallpox, etc. I’m also a metals toxicologist, among other things and yet somehow I don’t have any qualms about getting injected with vaccines containing trace amounts of a mercury-based preservative or an aluminium-based adjuvant. Do the people screaming “toxin” (at toxicants)realize that *diseases* produce actual honest-to-goodness toxins? It’s like listening to some vegans going on about how they are avoiding “toxins” by eating only vegetables instead of animal products. Gah.

  363. #363 Scott
    May 20, 2010

    could anyone who knows something about vaccines please answer this question: when you have a vaccination and you have a mild adverse reaction (eg swelling, or even a slight fever) is this actually you getting a very mild dose of the disease itself (eg typhoid), or is it simply an allergic reaction to a foreign protein?

    Not particularly an expert, but here’s my understanding. With a live virus vaccine it could well be the former to some extent (I’m thinking rash after measles vaccine in particular), but with others it would have to be an immune/allergic response without actual infection.

  364. #364 Calli Arcale
    May 20, 2010

    D. C. Sessions @ 303:

    On aircraft, it’s verboten without special permission, because an accident could lead to a catastrophic structural failure.

    And does the TSA check for it? Nooooooo.

    Oh god, don’t get me started on TSA.

    augustine @ 336:

    If HPV caused cervical cancer then everyone who became infected would GET cervical cancer. The vast majority don’t. Therefore there are other factors involved.

    If gunshooters caused death, then everyone who was shot would die. The vast majority don’t. Therefore there are other factors involved. But only a fool would argue that a gunshooter cannot therefore be guilty of murder.

    augustine @ 353:

    Ahhh, the seatbelt gambitt! I’m pretty sure that I won’t go into a febrile seizure because of my wearing a seatbelt.

    Probably not, but other things might happen. My mother-in-law was in a car accident a few years ago. The seatbelt broke her collarbone, which punctured her lung, requiring emergency surgery and hospitalization. It did not heal properly, and had to be repaired surgically. She has asthma now as a complication of that. That was the only serious injury out of the entire accident (the guy in the other car, who actually caused the accident, wasn’t hurt at all), and it nearly killed her. Nevertheless, she still buckles up every time she gets in the car, lectures her husband about the fact that he doesn’t, and makes sure everybody else buckles up.

  365. #365 augustine
    May 20, 2010

    callie: “If gunshooters caused death, then everyone who was shot would die. The vast majority don’t. Therefore there are other factors involved. But only a fool would argue that a gunshooter cannot therefore be guilty of murder.”

    That is retarded. I’ll put a note that you too are also one of the lower minions on here. Is that supposed to be some sort of analogy? Did you come up with that on your own or did you copy it?

    I’m going to have to establish some sort of heirarchy tree to fetter you attacking posters out.

  366. #366 Calli Arcale
    May 20, 2010

    *shrugs* That’s your prerogative. I’m just giving my perspective on the matter. If you have no response to it, that’s fine.

  367. #367 Pablo
    May 20, 2010

    Um, augustine, what’s the deal. Your recent responses remind me of something said earlier in the thread…

    I find it amusing that many on here use a logic ruler to measure others and chastise them but when the same ruler is used on them then emotions and name calling come flying out. Panties get all in a wad. A lot of huffing and puffing not much science.

    Emotions, name calling, panties in a wad, huffing, puffing, not much science. Yep, you’ve got it all…

  368. #368 AnthonyK
    May 20, 2010

    Why would anyone else here “cannibalise me”? I’m not attacking proper science or medicine, or any reasonable poster here. You’re a troll with a ridiculous anti-vax, religious (“this is an atheist blog”) agenda.
    Your postings are becoming increasingly shrill and incoherent, and this is from a low intellectual startpoint.
    You’re a baloon, and sooner or later you’ll burst and vanish. Keep puffing!
    And low minion? If so, happy to be one.
    Oh, and “retarded”? I don’t think the grown-ups like that insult very much….I certainly don’t.

  369. #369 Sauceress
    May 20, 2010

    ROFL
    Catching up on responses. Am now experiencing a very persistent Jethro Tull, “Thick as a Brick” earwig.
    *goes digging for old JT cassette to rectify*

  370. #370 Poogles
    May 20, 2010

    I’m seriously starting to wonder about the age of augustine. It is so spot-on the kind of responses I would expect from say, a young teen – he’s just absolutely sure he has all the answers, presumes to “lecture” others (who are more than likely more knowledgable) on the subject at hand, constantly mis-uses terms with apparently no awareness of his lack of knowledge…

    Either a teen, someone with the maturity of a teen or a (rather pathetic) troll.

  371. #371 augustine
    May 20, 2010

    Hear, Hear Prometheus,

    Smoking is not THE cause of lung cancer.

    Smoking CAN cause lung cancer in certain individuals.HPV CAN cause cervical cancer under certain conditions in some individuals.

    This is not just semantics. There is a difference of clarification in these statements.

  372. #372 Ian
    May 20, 2010

    @Poogles

    I wondered that myself. It wasn’t until I started getting bored with the back-and-forth that I stopped to look at the quality of language and the way the thoughts are developed/expressed. It reminded me of the stupid debates I’d have with my friends when I was in high school “well you can’t PROVE anything, what IS proof?” Either he/she’s a kid or someone with pronounced cognitive/developmental delay.

    Of course, none of that makes him/her any less right or wrong (it’s wrong, btw), but it’s probably worthwhile knowing what kind of person you’re talking to.

  373. #373 Sauceress
    May 20, 2010

    #367 AnthonyK

    Your postings are becoming increasingly shrill and incoherent

    Seems augustine is getting quite a high off self perception of its own intelligence, knowledge and…LOL..”logic”.
    Completely oblivious to any voices from reality. I wonder how much experience it has with the world outside its bubble.

  374. #374 Chris
    May 20, 2010

    Augie Troll will probably have a very rude awakening when he/she starts taking classes at a college. With “atheist blog” nonsense, he/she is probably being homeschooled using religious based materials. The ones that seem to skip over critical thinking, science (especially in biology) and math teaching using drills that emphasize calculations but skip on understanding the concepts.

  375. #375 Ian
    May 20, 2010

    @Chris

    I’m not sure about that. His/her knowledge of scientific practice seems sound enough. It’s the theory that he/she doesn’t quite grasp yet. That’s normal when coming out of any high school. I knew jack about the philosophy of science when I started uni. Critical thinking is something that requires an adult brain, and you need to (physiologically and psychologically) out of adolescence to be able to do it properly.

  376. #376 Sauceress
    May 20, 2010

    Chris

    Augie Troll will probably have a very rude awakening when he/she starts taking classes at a college.

    There is always Liberty University.

  377. #377 St Norman the Constabulator
    May 20, 2010

    actually AUGIE… can we call you AUGIE? Brash cocky youngsters do like nicknames, right?

    smoking WILL eventually cause cancer in most people, and or emphysema and other KNOWN smoking related diseases… you know… esophageal cancer, oral cancer…

    But you are technically correct in a semantic sense… Smoking is not the ONLY cause of cancer, there are a few other things. And some people, with the right genetic heritage, seem to be able to smoke like chimneys and dont get to die from cancer. Emphysema, perhaps. Hypertension, Cardiac Disease, stroke.. maybe. But to somehow tie Smoking and its KNOWN effects to an anti Vaccine anti Gardisil rant, is rather bizarre and “quite illogical, Mr, Spock.”

    Gardisil WILL prevent the infection and the spread of infection, of 4 types of known pathogenic HPV strains. And we know that in many people that are exposed to those strains, Cervical Cancer is a result. Does everyone who gets HPV get cancer? No. Does everyone who gets a vaccine get immunity? NO. Does everyone that gets MEASLES die? NO. Some just get badly injured and have health problems for the rest of their lives. But if we can eliminate the passage and transmission of HPV strains that we know hurt people, than we can PROTECT THE HERD. Even you, your spouse, your children, their spouse, their children. Wouldn’t it be terrific to have reduced cervical cancer rates to 10-12% of what they are now, in 1-2 generations?

    Knowing you will issue some oblique retort, but you know what AUGIE.. we as a group grow tired of your noise, and will not respond. We will just, as said earlier, point at you and state Whiney QUACK!

  378. #378 Chris
    May 20, 2010

    Ian, I was kind of reflecting the experience with a classmate in my college biology class. In the first couple of weeks the concept of acid and alkaline liquids was being covered as part of the basic chemistry required.

    She piped up and said that her naturopath claims that lemon juice was alkaline. The instructor (who was a pretty snarky guy) did gently tell her that no, that it was based on the hydrogen ions. Then it went downhill from then on.

    First she was sullen in class the next couple of weeks, and then she just stopped coming. Unfortunately she failed to formally withdraw from the class, and the instructor actually tried to call her that she either had to formally withdraw or actually come to class.

    Also, I do kind of disagree that he/she understands scientific practice if he/she does not understand concept of what is acceptable evidence.

    I also think a decent science/math curriculum can teach critical thinking skills in high school. Perhaps the schools I went to in junior and high school were a bit better than average (either Dept. of Defense run schools overseas, or public school next to large military bases… I graduated from the 9th school district I attended mostly in or near towns starting with the word “Fort”). I know we had we had these debates in the science/engineering clubs and the science based Explorer Scout post I belonged to. Sometimes we were incredibly wrong (trying to prove psi abilities), and other times scarily right (like energy issues, okay that was a cheat, it was during the 1973 oil crisis).

    Maybe that is the type of experience Augie is missing. Perhaps he/she will learn just like you did when he/she continues to higher education.

    Until then, he/she is a very good example of the Dunning Kruger effect.

  379. #379 Ian
    May 20, 2010

    @Chris

    I did take a couple of courses in developmental psych and health promotion. One of the topics we discussed was how the reason a lot of early HProm campaigns failed is because they asked young people to reason like adults. Young people reason quite distinctly from adults, and cognitive abilities require both physical and psychological maturation.

    That sucks about your classmate. I’ve known a few sullen sulky-pusses who refuse to reason despite their age. I hope for his/her sake that he/she’s not in that group.

    This who experience is actually a really fun case study in group psychology – the attempted conciliation with, then antipathy toward, then ostracizing of dissenting opinions in a specific cultural group. Neat stuff

  380. #380 augustine
    May 20, 2010

    “Until then, he/she is a very good example of the Dunning Kruger effect.”

    Does this mean orac is incompetent based on this observation? there is no lack of cocksuredness by many posters. Does this apply to them or is this a selective application?

    Norm, why wouldn’t the rates decrease by 70%?
    “Knowing you will issue some oblique retort”

    Thats relative to where you stand isn’t it?

  381. #381 Poogles
    May 20, 2010

    Yeah, totally think “St Norman the Constabulator” is AUGIE (apparently, he doesn’t like that too much, lol).

    I hope you didn’t try very hard to conceal that it was you…

  382. #382 Chris
    May 20, 2010

    Ian:

    Young people reason quite distinctly from adults, and cognitive abilities require both physical and psychological maturation.

    That does make sense. It certainly explains why our opinions change drastically between late teens and early thirties. I know I actually start to blush in embarrassment at some of my goof ball ideas. So I believe I agree with you now.

    (note to Augie, that is known as changing an opinion when given better evidence… oh, and reflecting back on youth honestly)

  383. #383 MI Dawn
    May 20, 2010

    I feel very neglected. (grin) Augie talks to everyone else but never addresses the things I point out to him. (Of course, some of which Todd W has addressed in FAR better ways…I luv Todd…). Maybe because I, as a clinician, have actually SEEN patients with HPV (and yes, I know there are other physicians who have responded)

    But, since he is really getting pretty boring to read, I think the kill file will get used. While I don’t mind intelligent discussion, Augie seems to have just a few set points, and nothing and nobody will ever change his mind.

    I’ll keep checking in, though, to see if he ever DOES address anything I’ve asked him.

  384. #384 The Gregarious Misanthrope
    May 20, 2010

    @Chris

    Growing up as a military brat is a pretty good way to go, no?

  385. #385 Chris
    May 20, 2010

    The Gregarious Misanthrope, it worked for me. How else can you see daily parades by climbing the hill behind your housing? Or learn that there are things that are done differently in different places (though I believe bidets were not meant to clean the bathroom ceiling)? Or when folks wax nostalgically about TV shows of their youth, I tell them I saw them dubbed in another language (oh, and I saw ones not done in the USA, I really want to find the Japanese show about a family of giant robots that transform into rockets, though the child one was human size… it was awesome!)? Or if someone talks about a place, I actually may have been there!

    Though I now hate moving and my kids have had to stay in the same school district from kindergarten to high school graduation. Sigh.

  386. #386 augustine
    May 20, 2010

    saucer: “I’m still very curious about this comment.
    To your mind augustine, what “socio-political aspect” would that be?”

    The philosophy and strategy behind the application of a medical technology upon a society. THIS is where it moves from the field of science out to philosophy. This is where microscope fog sets in and ethics come into play. This is where your Nietchze disciples go nuts.

  387. #387 AnthonyK
    May 20, 2010

    We’ve got him. On the outskirts, with his onanistic meanderings.
    Augustine – grown-up time now.
    Bed?
    No, more a demand than a request.
    And you won’t wear us down, by the way. Or get the last word.
    Idiot!

  388. #388 Sauceress
    May 20, 2010

    The philosophy and strategy behind the application of a medical technology upon a society.

    Yawn…nothing but more empty babbling. Still nothing of substance.

  389. #389 Sauceress
    May 20, 2010

    Oh and I wanted to ask (hit post too soon) augustine, are you aware that you have a rather serious case of verbal diarrhea?
    Perhaps you could do something to take care of that? Would be greatly appreciated if you could as it’s really stinking the blog up.

  390. #390 augustine
    May 20, 2010

    saucer, you have no clue do you? Do you understand the difference between science and philosophy. Are you aware that you have a personal philosophy of how the world works? Did you know that science fits into that worldview. Science is not THE worldview. That is naturalistic philosophy. The viewpoint that science arose from, a quantitative, materialistic, reductionistic view of life.

    anthony, I won’t even ask. He’s low on the tree. I haven’t placed saucy yet.

  391. #391 Sauceress
    May 20, 2010

    Sooo augustine, why don’t you explain to all of us what exactly is “The philosophy and strategy behind the application of a medical technology upon a society.” instead of just blathering on with vague, substanceless word salads.

  392. #392 Sauceress
    May 20, 2010

    THIS is where it moves from the field of science out to philosophy.

    OK I’m typing very slowly for you…define it?
    Where does it move from the field of science out to philosophy?

    This is where microscope fog sets in and ethics come into play.

    Explain exactly where that is?

    This is where your Nietchze disciples go nuts.

    Again define what you mean by where

    Simple enough for you?

  393. #393 augustine
    May 20, 2010

    292

    I’ll explain when a “higher Up” comes along. Saucer it appears you’re on one of the lower tiers.

  394. #394 Sauceress
    May 20, 2010

    I’ll explain when a “higher Up” comes along.

    Someone to explain to you what it all actually means? Your home school teacher perhaps?

    Truth is child, that you really have no idea what you’re talking about. Lower tier? ROFL
    Does that mean Santa won’t come to me now?
    Oh noes…whatever will I do now?

  395. #395 augustine
    May 20, 2010

    the application.

    Do you even know any cervical cancer stats?

    When you brought up the sociopolitical question you probably thought I was talking something about the sexual promiscuity thing didn’t you. you probably couldn’t wait to pounce on that one.

  396. #396 augustine
    May 20, 2010

    “Truth is child, that you really have no idea what you’re talking about. Lower tier?”

    On the hierarchy of intelligence and critical thinking skills on this blog, with Orac being at the top. You are on the bottom rung.

  397. #397 Sauceress
    May 20, 2010

    you probably thought I was talking something about the sexual promiscuity thing didn’t you.

    Ahhh….you think you read minds too!
    But you’re wrong. I have no idea what you are babbling on about…hence the question.

  398. #398 Chance Gearheart, NREMT-P/EMD
    May 20, 2010

    @395

    Is that an ad hominem attack that you spent so much time lecturing us on earlier in this thread? Tu quoque much?

  399. #399 The Gregarious Misanthrope
    May 21, 2010

    I’m beginning to think that Smarter Than You has unleashed his foul spawn upon us. Or maybe just a smarmy sockpuppet. Of course now that I’ve uttered the name of the one who should not be named he’ll appear to ejaculate unparagraphically upon us. Sorry, bad visual.

    Science describes the way the world works, philosophy describes how one wants it to work.

  400. #400 MI Dawn
    May 21, 2010

    More than 12 hours, and little Augie STILL hasn’t addressed my questions. He prefers to babble on about philosophy of science (?).

    @Sauceress: Lower tier? YOU are on the lowest tier? LOL!!! Obviously, little Augie hasn’t read many of the many thoughtful comments you have posted on this blog.

    But, also obviously, we are dealing with a child, since he has to rank commenters in order of importance (at least in his mind). I sincerely doubt, in Orac’s mind, that there are ranks. Only a young child has to “rank” people.

  401. #401 augustine
    May 21, 2010

    chance: “Is that an ad hominem attack that you spent so much time lecturing us on earlier in this thread? Tu quoque much?”

    That’s expected of me much like you expect me to be a homeschooled teenager. You who champion, evidence, “science”,and critical thinking have a higher standard of conduct.

  402. #402 augustine
    May 21, 2010

    missantelope: “Science describes the way the world works, philosophy describes how one wants it to work.”

    Interesting view. HMMM.

    So Dr. Carl Clauberg,Dr. josef mengele,Dr. Herta Oberheuser, and Dr. Karl Brandt were just describing HOW the world works? And as scientists they were immune to their particular philosophy of life as how they see it?

    Very interesting.

  403. #403 Lawrence
    May 21, 2010

    Okay Augie – now you’re just being ridiculous. You pick out the worst of the worst (Nazis even) to manipulate the conversation.

    The nature of Science is to explain how the natural world operates, and the scientific method gives us the ability to test our hypotheses and replicate the results, or show us the errors in the original idea, which results in new testing and new ideas.

    Is that to say that the application of “Science” is 100% pure and without bias? Of course not, humans are capable of faulty ideas & individual bias – which is why there is a peer reviewed process that is used to filter out the incorrect ideas (or the morally questionable activities of some).

    in the same vein, scientific thought is always changing, being challenges and evolving as our base of knowledge increases. Unlike philosophies, which cannot be tested (since they reside as abstract notions), Scientific thought does change over time – as new facts are brought to light.

    Through all of this, I still have no idea what your purpose is, other than to throw bombs into this conversation thread – because you’ve made no points what-so-ever, even in light of evidence provided to your questions.

    And lastly, to go back to my first point, the person in any conversation that has to resort to the “Nazi” card, loses.

  404. #404 augustine
    May 21, 2010

    Larry: “And lastly, to go back to my first point, the person in any conversation that has to resort to the “Nazi” card, loses.”

    Not in this case. It made its point.

  405. #405 Vicki
    May 21, 2010

    Lawrence–

    The original form of Godwin’s law is that as an online discussion continues, the probability of someone comparing one of the other participants to Hitler or the Nazis approaches 1, and when that happens, the conversation is effectively over. That the first person making the comparison is usually thought to have lost is secondary.

    Life being like that, there is a Godwin’s Law FAQ; it assumes the reader is posting to Usenet, but is still relevant.

  406. #406 Lawrence
    May 21, 2010

    Thanks Vicki – I knew of the principle, but had never seen the fact. I think we can all agree, at this point (and probably a couple of hundred posts ago) that this conversation is over.

  407. #407 augustine
    May 21, 2010

    It was not a personal comparison as in name calling.

  408. #408 Pablo
    May 21, 2010

    I have heard others mention how it is possible to create killfiles on Firefox for these types of places. Does anyone have instructions on how to do that?

  409. #409 augustine
    May 21, 2010

    Larry,
    I guess you didn’t like my response to the evidence about wakefield and measles? You sounded so excited and certain that you had evidence to the case.

    Pablo, you should do that. If you don’t want to critically reflect on your view then you need to save your ego as a protective mechanism. Denial is one way.

  410. #410 The Gregarious Misanthrope
    May 21, 2010

    @augustine

    I have nothing against antelope, but you’re renewing my faith in my misanthropy.

  411. #411 Lawrence
    May 21, 2010

    At this point, it won’t matter what evidence we provide. You’ve become a broken record – I don’t think any of us have the desire to continue to feed your ego.

  412. #412 Composer99
    May 21, 2010

    Uggie (I’d ask if I could call you Uggie but I don’t care – I just don’t want to sully St. Augustine’s name by associating it with low-grade Internet trolls), great job with the psychological projection (post #408).

  413. #413 Vicki
    May 21, 2010

    Pablo–

    You can do this using the Greasemonkey addon and the killfile user script. Install them in that order. (I added the script a couple of days ago, prompted by this thread.)

  414. #414 Jud
    May 21, 2010

    augustine writes:

    You’re one of the lower minions on here, along with ender. I’m surprised they haven’t already cannabalized you.

    That is retarded. I’ll put a note that you too are also one of the lower minions on here.

    On the hierarchy of intelligence and critical thinking skills on this blog, with Orac being at the top. You are on the bottom rung.

    Dr. Carl Clauberg,Dr. josef mengele,Dr. Herta Oberheuser, and Dr. Karl Brandt….

    Let me leave you with an old quote to consider, augustine. Perhaps you’re familiar with the source?

    “What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him unclean, but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him unclean.”

  415. #415 Kristen
    May 21, 2010

    Jud,

    All I can say is; well played.

  416. #416 augustine
    May 21, 2010

    I told myself I would stop at post #400. Oops I’ve gone past. perhaps everyone can help Larry out with his measles death count graph (on another post) that absolutely does not show an increase in deaths. Can someone twist that data for him and show me how unreasonable I am to NOT draw the conclusion that Wakefield is responsible for countless measles deaths?
    Am I looking at the wrong chart?

  417. #417 augustine
    May 21, 2010

    @Jud: Let me leave you with an old quote to consider, augustine. Perhaps you’re familiar with the source?

    “What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him unclean, but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him unclean.”

    Jud, Who is your king?

  418. #418 The Gregarious Misanthrope
    May 21, 2010

    As I said, I have nothing against antelope. I harbor no ill will against animals, as they do what they do for no other reason than to survive.

    But for humans who deny their link to this unbroken thread, who claim a special place for themselves and yet fritter away the remarkable, and probably unique, gift of reason, I hold nothing but contempt.

    They have placed themselves above and apart from the animals, with whom we share common ancestry, that unbroken thread. Yet what truly sets us apart, and requires of us a significant and special responsibility, reason, they decry.

    They hoot at the monolith rather than study it. They howl at the Moon rather than visit it. They worship the Sun rather than harness it. They have made animals, not men, of themselves.

  419. #419 augustine
    May 22, 2010

    Missantelope:

    “From an early point of view, misanthropy was a beast-like state. The received view by Aristotle was that the solitary man was not properly human at all.”

    …”whoesever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.” -Francis Bacon

    http://books.google.com/books?id=gHTKzYKrh6wC&pg=PA29#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Thank you for stating your particular metaphysical view of life.

  420. #420 dedicated lurker
    May 22, 2010

    augustine, none of those people were scientists. They were not trying to obtain scientific knowledge and were not using the scientific method. Instead, they tried to use pseudoscientific “experiments” that proved their ideological viewpoint.

    Kind of like Andrew Wakefield.

  421. #421 Scottynuke
    May 22, 2010

    It’s well-established that both Orac and that other place for his “friend” want an unfettered flow of information, so there’s no moderation (except in cases of egregious personal attacks, spamming, etc). However, mindless threadjacking by the clueless chews up far too much space and time on this blog.

    A suggestion — create an permanent RI page where you list “threadjackers” and their pet topics, inability to accept reality, and so on. When they show up in a thread, any regular commenter can simply post the URL to the threadjacker’s entry and suggest people ignore the troll. That way, even the uninitiated can be waved off from engaging the trolls yet again over the same ‘ol drooling unreality.

  422. #422 Lisa
    May 22, 2010

    HOWEVER, it is not logical to imagine that vaccines will ever be discontinued until the time when the King of Kings and Lord of Lords establishes his kingdom rulership over mankind.

    Well, of course it isn’t. When the King of Kings comes all diseases will be abolished. Until then we will need vaccines to prevent those diseases.

  423. #423 augustine
    May 22, 2010

    Lisa: “Until then we will need vaccines to prevent those diseases.”

    Billions don’t need vaccines to prevent “those diseases”. So everyone doesn’t need “those vaccines”.

  424. #424 Sauceress
    May 22, 2010

    Thanks MI Dawn.

    Personally I think this one trick troll’s low categorisation of a poster should be taken as a compliment by said poster.
    It’s been a while since I’ve had a piece of troll.
    For flavour, I’d have to rate this one 1/10. Ostentatious presentation, however once you bite into it, completely tasteless and the texture nauseatingly slimy.

    #402 jack

    Dr. Carl Clauberg,Dr. josef mengele,Dr. Herta Oberheuser, and Dr. Karl Brandt

    augu…no wait…seeing as you’re so keen on the name game thing…I think I’ll call you jack.

    Well jack, I’m sure if I can manage to numb most of my neuronal connections and somehow manage to engage in just the right combination of cognitve dissonant gymnastics, whilst hopping in circles on one foot, I will be able to make the connection between these names, your “socio-political aspect” of Gardasil vacination and “the philosophy and strategy behind the application of a medical technology upon a society.”

    Not in this case. It made its point.

    Your post certainly made my point…that you had/have no idea what you were blathering on about.

    Anyways jack..thanks for playing.

  425. #425 augustine
    May 23, 2010

    Socio-political aspect:

    can anyone tell me where in the world gardasil would theoretically be needed the most?

    Can anyone tell me what country buys the most gardasil?

    Can anyone tell me why gardasil is the most expensive vaccine in the history of the world? When it supposedly would be it’s most effective in the poorest countries in the world? Do you think Merck has awareness of this? Do you understand why julie gerberding now works for merck?

    Who will pay for these countries vaccines who theoretically need gardasil the most? Why would they do that? Do you know what altruism is? Do you understand the complexity of proving a negative?

    answer a few of these and I’ll give you the reasons why merck has fooled your little evidence based as>ses.

  426. #426 squirrelelite
    May 23, 2010

    @dedicated lurker-420,

    It is interesting that A. quotes Francis Bacon (who I think is actually quoting from Aristotle) because Francis Bacon was actually very influential in overturning the grip that the Aristotelian concept of deduction from first principles had on learning and science. I couldn’t find my philosphy of science book which starts with a translation of the Novum Organum, so I went to this link:

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/francis-bacon/

    Although Bacon wrote in a time when what we in retrospect would consider science was intermixed with alchemy, religion and magic, it was very influential “that Bacon “encouraged detailed and methodical experimentation” (Hesse, loc. cit.); and he did this on account of his new inductive method, which implied the need for negative instances and refuting experiments.”

    I also liked this quote:

    “there is yet a much more important and profound kind of fallacies in the mind of man, which I find not observed or enquired at all, and think good to place here, as that which of all others appertaineth most to rectify judgment: the force whereof is such, as it doth not dazzle or snare the understanding in some particulars, but doth more generally and inwardly infect and corrupt the state thereof. For the mind of man is far from the nature of a clear and equal glass, wherein the beams of things should reflect according to their true incidence, nay, it is rather like an enchanted glass, full of superstition and imposture, if it be not delivered and reduced. For this purpose, let us consider the false appearances that are imposed upon us by the general nature of the mind …” (Bacon, III [1887], 394–5)

    It definitely seems that at least one commenter has had his understanding dazzled or snared so that it is like an enchanted glass, full of superstition and imposture!

  427. #427 Antaeus Feldspar
    May 29, 2010

    I had to stop reading the comments section of this post when I read the comment from Autism Grandma whose “Cristian Faith” stopped her from vaccinating. Even as a Christian myself, I can see why religious zealots like her make the rest of us look like loons in the extreme.

    Rene, I will always believe that this is what the commandment against taking the name of the Lord in vain is prohibiting: people falsely attributing their desires to God, claiming “God doesn’t want me to vaccinate!” when the truth is they can’t be bothered to sort out the truth from the fiction about vaccines and they want some excuse to not try.

  428. #428 Antaeus Feldspar
    May 30, 2010

    The natural remedy for rabies is death. It’s foolproof, if nothing else.

    Actually, there was a remedy that could be used in the pre-vaccine days on a bite from a rabid animal, and it really worked (at least some of the time) if the remedy was taken immediately.

    It involved sprinkling gunpowder on the wound and setting it off.

    I’d rather have the vaccine.

  429. #429 BarbSmith
    November 9, 2010

    Just a lot of shouting with no listening on either side. It’s a parents’ duty and right to question and research medical treatment for their children. Unfortunately, when it comes to vaccines, this is near impossible due to the arrogant stonewalling of the medical community vs. the emotional paranoia of the anti-vaccine crowd. It’s frustrating. Big pharma is corrupt & they corrupt many of those around them. So much so that a report stating only 2/3 of doctors allow drug companies to wine & dine them is apparently an improvment. http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2010/11/09/doctor-pharma-industry-freebies.html

    This doesn’t mean that they aren’t good people working for the best of humanity within the industry however. But people should be asking questions. I wish there could be meaningful dialogue around this issue but it’s difficult to find. I certainly don’t find it here.

  430. #430 Todd W.
    November 9, 2010

    @BarbSmith

    I wish there could be meaningful dialogue around this issue but it’s difficult to find. I certainly don’t find it here.

    Then you haven’t looked too hard. For starters, you may want to begin with a more recent post, like this one.

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