Respectful Insolence

About a week and a half ago, Dr. Bob Sears, he of the “alternative vaccine schedule,” appeared on Fox & Friends. Somehow, someway, even though I meant to deconstruct it I never got around to it. Believe it or not, during the interview Dr. Sears stooped to the anti-vaccine idiocy that calls vaccines “unnatural” because they are “injected directly into the bloodstream” (they’re not, by the way), and I couldn’t let that pass.

But I did.

Fortunately, ScienceMom at Just the Vax has taken it on so that I don’t have to anymore.

Comments

  1. #1 Drivebyposter
    October 12, 2010

    So this “doctor” bob is a doctor in….?
    A child with modest observation skills should be able to tell him that the needle never goes into a vein.

  2. #2 triskelethecat
    October 12, 2010

    Wow, Sciencemom, that is a GREAT post. However, I can’t comment on it from work so have to use Orac as a substitute. I’m glad he linked to this post.

    @Drivebyposter: unfortunately, like Dr Jay, Dr Bob is a MD, I believe he is also a pediatrician. I’m very glad that none of my pediatrcians/family doctors was like either them.

  3. #3 FreeSpeaker
    October 12, 2010

    ScienceMom was Orac-ian in her awesome deconstruction. It was an utter delight to read.

    And, Bob Sears has great and appropriate initials!

  4. #4 Science Mom
    October 12, 2010

    Hey thanks for the cookie Orac. That interview was painful to transcribe since it forced me to listen several times. Thanks all for the kind words but it was pretty low hanging fruit. I had no idea he was in league with SafeMinds until that interview, not surprised given his affiliations with Mothering Magazine, Thoughtful House and ARI (the DAN! people) and explains a lot. Heh, and he calls me a shill.

  5. #5 Enkidu
    October 12, 2010

    Awesome job Science Mom. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

  6. #6 gaiainc
    October 12, 2010

    Given that I just had to deal with a dad who was worried about mercury in an influenza vaccine for his 3 yo son, I just want to say, thanks, Dr. Bob, for making my job that much harder. Thanks. Really. Thanks for being a sanctamonious twit with a completely inflated sense of self-importance whose promoting a schedule that is quite literally pulled out of your ass. Thanks for continuing to promote fear instead of countering it. Thanks for fricking nothing.

    Idjit. Gah!

    A sincere thanks, Science Mom, for the cogent and eminently readable takedown. I greatly appreciate it.

  7. #7 Pablo
    October 12, 2010

    Thanks for being a sanctamonious twit with a completely inflated sense of self-importance whose promoting a schedule that is quite literally pulled out of your ass.

    I will say, my irony meter blew when he started about how the vaccination approach has not been adequately tested.

    But to a more important point, I like to think about how SM’s analysis would compare to someone on AoA discussing someone like Paul Offit. Science Mom talks about the actual claims, and addresses the comments very effectively. In contrast, read an anti-vaxxer talking about Paul Offit. All they can do is complain that he makes money from his vaccine. That’s it. No addressing the science or anything, just claim that he is in it for the money.

    The crazy part is that with Bob Sears, you COULD just as easily go there. How much money does maverick Dr. Bob make off his book? Of course, it doesn’t matter, because we don’t need to resort to that to show that he is full of shit.

  8. #8 augustine
    October 12, 2010

    [gaianic: Thanks for continuing to promote fear instead of countering it. Thanks for fricking nothing.]

    And he wouldn’t be in your office if it weren’t for you promoting the influenza through fear tactics. Insinuating he or his son will die or kill someone else if they don’t take your influenza vaccine.

    Fear is the only thing that can sell the influenza vaccine. Information alone will not sell a vaccine without an emotion of fear attached to it.

    It is hypocritical of you to claim someone else is using fear when you use it on such a daily basis that it doesn’t even invoke a hormonal response in yourself. It’s just so matter of fact that you don’t even see your own tactics for what they are.

  9. #9 gaiainc
    October 12, 2010

    Augustine, wow. So you know why the father had his son in the clinic and what I said to the father about the influenza vaccine and about mercury in vaccines in general? Really? Inquiring minds would like to know how since a) there were only three of us in the room; and b) there is no recording equipment in the room. So I’m somewhat at a loss as to how you know what I said. Actually, I’m pretty sure you weren’t there since your characterization of what I said was completely wrong, impressively so.

    Then again, I doubt that you will believe me. So it goes.

  10. #10 augustine
    October 12, 2010

    [gaininc: So you know why the father had his son in the clinic and what I said to the father about the influenza vaccine and about mercury in vaccines in general?]

    Let me guess what you didn’t say.

    There is a chance that this vaccine will not work.
    There is chance that this vaccine is not needed.
    There is a chance that you could get flu like symptoms from the shot itself. But I’ll go ahead and tell you right now it NOT the flu.And for the record I’ll tell you it’s not from my shot.
    There is a chance you could get influenza symptoms regardless if you take the shot or not.
    There is a chance that you could have permanent neurological damage from this shot.
    Ethyl mercury is absolutely needed in the shot to make it effective or the pharmaceutical companies I trust so much would not put it in there. I trust them. You trust me, don’t you?

    The majority of people do not get clinical influenza that is covered by the vaccine.

  11. #11 Kay
    October 12, 2010

    This is what gets me so riled about the skeptic pro-vaccine stance. You’re so busy calling anti-vaxxers shills and quacks (and for the most part I would agree) that you never take a good hard look at yourselves and the pharmaceutical industry that peddles a great deal of this stuff completely needlessly. Influenza is the perfect example – what a joke. Here in Europe we simply don’t routinely vaxx for flu, and no we don’t see astronomical flu rates in fact the last WHO stats I saw showed lower rates than US. Same goes for plenty of vaccines that are routine in the US – chicken pox anyone? It’s declining in Europe, despite no vaccine, and is not considered a threatening disease by anyone (kids where I live, Holland, are not even required to stay home from school). The US is as usual over-medicated and over-paranoid and this is a completely separate issue that is NEVER addressed by those of you who are critical of the anti-vaxxers. I can’t wait until the skeptic movement shows some REAL medical skepticism – such as a recognition of the simple fact that there is no way in hell a company trying to sell a product is going to be the best go-to-guy for factual information concerning that product. This is such a blindingly obvious fact that I feel I’m beating my head against a wall that skeptics as a whole ignore it and pretend that somehow the pharmaceutical industry is a bastion of morality and somehow immune to the well-known phenomenon called “conflict of interest”. It is ludicrous how hard you all seem to find this to believe – but with a farce of a healthcare system based on ability to pay rather than need, and pharmaceutical adverts everywhere for demonstrably unnecessary products (this is illegal where I live, like tobacco ads) surely you MUST be able to see that all is not as it should be. If I as a skeptic were looking for a model of good, science-based medicine I sure as hell would not be taking the US as an example.

  12. #12 desiree
    October 12, 2010

    dr. sears’ vaccine book was so difficult for me to read. i had borrowed it from a friend who had checked it out from her mother’s library (using her mother’s library card). all i could think about were the unsuspecting moms and dads that were going to read all that nonsense after me and believe it! (if you don’t have small children, you might not realize what a cult following the sears family has. it’s big, and people put a lot of trust into them. misplaced, in my opinion). anyway, i SO, SO wanted to break out my red pen and make some corrections. but it was a library book! checked out by my friend’s mom! i just couldn’t bring myself to do it. so i settled for some post-it notes with referenced corrections. i try.

  13. #13 Staceyjw
    October 12, 2010

    Thanks for posting this, I HATE DR SEARS! if you think his vaccine book is bad, you should (NOT) check out one of his other gems “The Baby Book”. It is FULL of pseudoscientific nonsense about how Attachment Parenting is SOOOO great, the only way to be a good parent, and the converse, the issues your kids will have if you don’t do it.

    Most dangerous is his attitude towards Post partum depression; he states that the best treatment is to attach your kid to you, via sling and family bed, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for several weeks!!! This advice is going to get someone killed! There is ONE measly sentence about getting outside help, but this is only after several pages claiming that the “baby is the best cure” for ppd.

    His attitude towards women is also retrograde, and he makes it clear that if you were attached enough you wouldn’t want to go back to work! He says its ok to work if you have to, but you wouldn’t WANT to if you were a good mommy. GAG ME.

    when I learned he is a fundie, I was not at all surprised. I hate the book, but refuse to throw it away or retune it, in case some other new mom might find it. I think it deserves a watery, ocean grave.

  14. #14 Anna
    October 12, 2010

    I love science mom ;)

  15. #15 Science Mom
    October 12, 2010

    Augie, please stop rectally-sourcing your assertions when you clearly don’t have any idea what the circumstances are. Or not and continue to make a fool of yourself to make a vapid non-point.

    @ Kay, please visualise paragraphs.

    This is what gets me so riled about the skeptic pro-vaccine stance. You’re so busy calling anti-vaxxers shills and quacks (and for the most part I would agree) that you never take a good hard look at yourselves and the pharmaceutical industry that peddles a great deal of this stuff completely needlessly.

    The very author of this blog has written numerous critical posts about the pharmaceutical industry. In fact many sceptical bloggers like Dr.s Ben Goldacre and Steve Novella have done the same. While I’m not in the same league as they are, I have been critical of some vaccines and public health policy regarding them.

    Here in Europe we simply don’t routinely vaxx for flu, and no we don’t see astronomical flu rates in fact the last WHO stats I saw showed lower rates than US. Same goes for plenty of vaccines that are routine in the US

    A citation with geographical region, years and statistics would be helpful.

    chicken pox anyone? It’s declining in Europe, despite no vaccine, and is not considered a threatening disease by anyone (kids where I live, Holland, are not even required to stay home from school).

    Again, citation please? Chicken pox has a very high infectivity rate, such that incidence corresponds with the birth cohort so it is doubtful that it is declining without vaccination effects.

    I can’t wait until the skeptic movement shows some REAL medical skepticism – such as a recognition of the simple fact that there is no way in hell a company trying to sell a product is going to be the best go-to-guy for factual information concerning that product. This is such a blindingly obvious fact that I feel I’m beating my head against a wall that skeptics as a whole ignore it and pretend that somehow the pharmaceutical industry is a bastion of morality and somehow immune to the well-known phenomenon called “conflict of interest”.

    I don’t think you can possibly be a frequent reader here or other sceptical sites if this is what you believe. The vast majority of research for vaccines is done under the auspices of academic and government institutions. What makes you believe that conflicts of interest are ignored?

    It is ludicrous how hard you all seem to find this to believe – but with a farce of a healthcare system based on ability to pay rather than need, and pharmaceutical adverts everywhere for demonstrably unnecessary products (this is illegal where I live, like tobacco ads) surely you MUST be able to see that all is not as it should be. If I as a skeptic were looking for a model of good, science-based medicine I sure as hell would not be taking the US as an example.

    It is always amusing when someone like you comes in with both barrels blazing to educate us hicks. Again, are you even in the right place?

  16. #16 Dangerous Bacon
    October 12, 2010

    “Fear is the only thing that can sell the influenza vaccine. Information alone will not sell a vaccine without an emotion of fear attached to it.”

    Aside from the contradiction inherent in this sentence (augie says only fear can “sell” the flu vaccine, then concedes information accompanied by fear will do the trick), it’s nonsensical because it ignores why we take many commonsense precautions.

    We demand good safety features in cars and wear seatbelts (even mandating their use) because we’re afraid of crippling injury and death. The same goes for motorcycle helmets, trigger locks on guns kept in houses with children, and lots of safety features built into myriad other products, even those precautions potentially inconvenience us or in a small number of cases even cause injury themselves. In medicine we urge lifestyle/diet changes which carry an undercurrent of fear – if you don’t stop smoking for instance, your heart could give out prematurely and/or you could get cancer.

    Call it fear, common sense or whatever you want – it’s a motivator. The only difference when it comes to urging people to get vaccinated, is that antivaxers’ irrational fear and hatred of vaccines is such that they perceive some sort of extraordinary emotional blackmail when it does not exist.

    The overwhelming irony, of course, is that antivaxers are simultaneously promoting all sorts of nutty fears about vaccines with no basis in reality. Their own sins lead them to see sin everywhere. :)

  17. #17 augustine
    October 12, 2010

    @Bacon,

    So your whole post is in justifying the use of fear as a motivating tactic.

    [Bacon: Call it fear, common sense or whatever you want – it’s a motivator.]

    I call it fear because that is what it is. Take it out of the equation and your coerced compliance drops. But you’re right. Fear is a strong motivator. But it only lasts so long. You’re going to have to keep up the fear campaigns if you plan on selling more vaccines and bringing more vaccines to market.

    There’s only so many more times you can cry wolf.

  18. #18 Todd W.
    October 12, 2010

    @Kay

    I can’t wait until the skeptic movement shows some REAL medical skepticism – such as a recognition of the simple fact that there is no way in hell a company trying to sell a product is going to be the best go-to-guy for factual information concerning that product.

    Which is why we go to the scientific literature instead of a pharma company PR or sales department. You know, scientific literature, with articles written by academics and government agencies from around the world.

    Compare this with folks like, oh, I dunno…Dr. Sears, for example. He provides “information” with no scientific basis on a site that has multiple products for sale: supplements, vitamins, books, slings and so forth.

    This is such a blindingly obvious fact that I feel I’m beating my head against a wall that skeptics as a whole ignore it and pretend that somehow the pharmaceutical industry is a bastion of morality and somehow immune to the well-known phenomenon called “conflict of interest”.

    As Science Mom already said, you aren’t very familiar with the skeptical blogosphere, huh? Where there is clear wrong-doing by a pharma company, we call them out. We are under no illusions that they are “bastion[s] of morality” or that they are immune to COIs.

    a farce of a healthcare system based on ability to pay rather than need

    Yep. The U.S. health care insurance system sucks and is in desperate need of reform. Oh, wait. I’m a skeptic. Scratch that. “Rah, rah! Up with the greedy! Pay for play and screw the needy!”

    pharmaceutical adverts everywhere for demonstrably unnecessary products

    Believe it or not, but I agree with you that direct-to-consumer advertising was a bad move on the part of our legislature. Oh, darn it! I’m a skeptic. Scratch that, too. What I meant to say was “What’s wrong with a little harmless advertising to people that don’t know the difference between Celebrex and Cialis. In our glorious consumer-driven economy, they will go to their doctors and demand the latest and greatest pill they have no clue as to what it does. This post brought to you by the makers of lobotomex. Just a pill a day keeps the idiocy away.”

    If I as a skeptic were looking for a model of good, science-based medicine I sure as hell would not be taking the US as an example.

    If you were a skeptic, you would also see through the holes in antivaxer logic. You would go to original sources, and you would (hopefully) provide citations when you make claims.

  19. #19 Composer99
    October 12, 2010

    Wayne Gretzky’s comments on Brett Hull are, I daresay, appropriate to describe augustine.

    Now I have to track down my parents’ hockey quotes book so I can paraphrase it…

  20. #20 triskelethecat
    October 13, 2010

    @Science Mom and Todd W: first, I sincerely doubt that Kay lives in “Holland” (unless she means Holland, Michigan). As I learned long ago from my neighbor who married someone and moved to The Netherlands, natives do NOT call it Holland.

    Secondly, a quick google search turned up a few interesting tidbits (I was trying to find quarantine regulations for The Netherlands).

    First:

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/l8178r3632686650/

    The project examined the incidence of chickenpox reported in sentinel networks in England and Wales, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain (two regional networks) in January–June 2000 and the potential underestimate from patients who did not consult. An investigation of secondary household contact cases was undertaken. Reported incidence of chickenpox (all ages) in England and Wales was 25 per 10,000, in the Netherlands 13 per 10,000, in Portugal 21 per 10,000, in Spain Castilla y Leon 27 per 10,000 and in Spain Basque 55 per 10,000.

    Second: I wasn’t able to find anything official about regulations. There was a statement on a different blog (Lonelyplanet) that children are allowed to attend daycare/preschool with chicken pox as long as they don’t feel ill.

    Personally, considering how miserable my kids were with chickenpox (and, back in the day, how miserable I was…) I can’t fathom sending my children to childcare when they are that ill. It would wax and wane; they would wake up feeling fine and in a few hours be miserable. So, I could send my kid to daycare feeling fine and while there they would begin to be miserable? No thanks.

    Todd: Now I’m confused. As a skepic, am I supposed to be pro-government or anti-government? I realize my BIG PHARMA checks are not based on that, but I need to know how I feel about healthcare reform. (grin).

  21. #21 triskelethecat
    October 13, 2010

    Well, I see 2 things. First, I am still signed in from Pharyngula so the last post is mine (MI Dawn).

    Second, I see I forgot one line from the abstract that I wanted to include (bolding mine):

    Analysis of secondary contact cases suggested underestimation of incidence between 2.4% in Spain Castilla y Leon and 32.2% in The Netherlands.

    Guess the coffee hasn’t kicked in yet.

  22. #22 dizi izle
    October 13, 2010

    It is always amusing when someone like you comes in with both barrels blazing to educate us hicks. Again, are you even in the right place?

  23. #23 Chris
    October 13, 2010

    I love what the spam bot repeated! I believe its little website is being targeted in the wrong place.

    (the dizi izle and some other odd looking usernames that are links are spam bots for a porn site, usually they are ignored)

  24. #24 Prometheus
    October 15, 2010

    Augie (again):

    “Fear is the only thing that can sell the influenza vaccine. Information alone will not sell a vaccine without an emotion of fear attached to it.”

    The irony of this (there goes another irony meter!) is that Augie uses fear – groundless fear, in fact – to “sell” his opinion that vaccines are not only useless but dangerous.

    I’m not a salesman (thank the FSM!), but it seems to me that there are really only two things that “sell” any product: fear and desire. Most things that are “good for you” but not enjoyable (e.g. vaccinations) have to be “sold” with fear – fear of the consequences of not “buying” them.

    Where “selling through fear” becomes “fear-mongering” is when there is no data that support the fear, as is the case with much of the anti-vaccination propaganda (as evidenced by our favorite troll, “Augie”).

    There are people who argue (in a fear-mongering way) that since several people every year are killed in post-crash automobile fires because they could not release their seat belts, seat belts should not be used (or, at least, that their use should not be mandatory). This “argument” (such as it is) ignores the thousands of people who are spared injury and death each year by seat belts.

    In a like fashion, “Augie” (and others of his ilk) argue that since vaccinations injure or kill a hundred or so people every year, that they are dangerous and should be avoided. Of course, the only way that this fear-mongering can work is if you – as “Augie” does – ignore or deny the thousands of lives saved every year by vaccines. This is “classic” fear-mongering: overstate the risks, deny or ignore the benefits.

    As more and more vaccine-preventable diseases re-emerge in the developed world – as pertussis has this year in my state – there will be less need for doctors to remind people of the fear these diseases can evoke. Once children start dying of measles, mumps, pertussis or (FSM forfend!) diphtheria, the vaccines will “sell” themselves.

    Prometheus

  25. #25 Pablo
    October 15, 2010

    There are people who argue (in a fear-mongering way) that since several people every year are killed in post-crash automobile fires because they could not release their seat belts,

    Bah, if they actually did that, it would a huge step forward. As it is now, most of these people argue that since it is POSSIBLE that someone could die in a post-crash automobile because they couldn’t release their seatbelts, that they are better off not being used.

    The number of those morons who could actually tell you how many people have died from such a complication is probably smaller than the actual number of people who did die from that complication.

  26. #26 gaiainc
    October 15, 2010

    Augustine, in a word, no. Yeah, really, you just have no idea at all. So it goes.

    BTW–the thimerasol that contains the ethylmercury is a preservative used in multidose vials to prevent contamination, like from bacteria or fungus. It has nothing to do with how effective the vaccine is.

    And what Prometheus said.

  27. #27 novalox
    October 16, 2010

    Thanks, ScienceMom, for the summary.

  28. #28 madder
    October 16, 2010

    Like Prometheus said–

    Augie is playing a sophomoric word game.

    Fearmongering is wrong because it encourages and relies on an abandonment of reason.

    Telling people that groups who vaccinate experience less morbidity and mortality than those who don’t, and therefore people without known contraindications to vaccination should get their shots, is an embrace of reason.

  29. #29 augustine
    October 16, 2010

    [it doesn’t Madder : Telling people that groups who vaccinate experience less morbidity and mortality than those who don’t, and therefore people without known contraindications to vaccination should get their shots, is an embrace of reason.]

    So where is this controlled experiment that compares totally unvaccinated vs. vaccinated and assesses overall health? Since you’re the voice of reason one would assume you’ve read it. And.. since there is a lack of evidence of your assummption the SBMer’s resort to fear tactics. Because they know fear is the only thing that will sell vaccines.

    Health authorities and trade organizations such as the AAP use fear as part of their marketing ploy. You are going to lose that argument if you don’t think they do. It’s not an idea. It’s history.

  30. #30 augustine
    October 16, 2010

    [Promotheus vaccinius salesminus: As more and more vaccine-preventable diseases re-emerge in the developed world – as pertussis has this year in my state – there will be less need for doctors to remind people of the fear these diseases can evoke. Once children start dying of measles, mumps, pertussis or (FSM forfend!) diphtheria, the vaccines will “sell” themselves. ]

    …as he just conjures up fear.OHHH I’m scared. Diseases will come back and kill me and my entire state if I don’t listen to authorities. Do as your told or you’re gonna get it.ooohhhh!

    Insanity I tell you. Total denial. A total disconnect by self serving elitists.

  31. #31 augustine
    October 16, 2010

    [gaiainc: BTW–the thimerasol that contains the ethylmercury is a preservative used in multidose vials to prevent contamination, like from bacteria or fungus. It has nothing to do with how effective the vaccine is.]

    Oh, I see. So mercury is needed to make it safer? Or… since the government said “take it out”, then it must not be necessary after all. Or do you believe it is necessary and that everyone receiving mercury-less vaccine are in danger of getting a potentially unsafe vaccine?

    You shouldn’t have fell for that one. Mercury is not necessary. Mercury was a financial decision.

  32. #32 Science Mom
    October 17, 2010

    So where is this controlled experiment that compares totally unvaccinated vs. vaccinated and assesses overall health?

    Strawman. There are numerous trials that demonstrate the effectiveness of vaccines versus placebo or no intervention.

    …as he just conjures up fear.OHHH I’m scared. Diseases will come back and kill me and my entire state if I don’t listen to authorities. Do as your told or you’re gonna get it.ooohhhh!

    Insanity I tell you. Total denial. A total disconnect by self serving elitists.

    Then don’t get vaccinated, no one is making you. It obviously infuriates you that the vast majority of thinking individuals don’t validate your beliefs. If we did stop vaccinating, within 10 years, numerous diseases such as pertussis, measles, mumps and rubella would circulate with pre-vaccine rates. You are, of course, inflating risk communication techniques so that you can abuse them.

  33. #33 titmouse
    October 17, 2010

    Oh, I see. So mercury is needed to make it safer? Or… since the government said “take it out”, then it must not be necessary after all. Or do you believe it is necessary and that everyone receiving mercury-less vaccine are in danger of getting a potentially unsafe vaccine?

    Single use vials are not as prone to contamination as multi-use vials. So you can skip the thimerasol in a single use vial that doesn’t sit in the fridge too long, but you need it in the larger multi use vial.

    You seem to be implying that “the government” decides to use or not use a preservative arbitrarily. Maybe your agenda is to encourage public mistrust of the US government?

    I’m as cynical of bureaucracy as the next guy. But reflexive, blind mistrust can only serve the interests of our enemies.

  34. #34 madder
    October 17, 2010

    @Science Mom–

    The post you wrote that was the impetus for this thread was quite good, by the way.

    Augie is absolutely hilarious. To him, any discussion of risk or consequences is automatically fearmongering and must be resisted. In order to avoid hypocrisy, Augie takes no actions that the rest of us would deem prudent. He runs with scissors, mixes bleach with ammonia, flashes wads of cash in the bad parts of town, and leaves his tricycle unlocked outside of school. But his own vaccine refusal has nothing to do with fear, of course. Totally reasonable.

    As you point out, each vaccine has been tested for safety and efficacy. He doesn’t even know how to use that pitiful little gambit to any effect.

    Maybe I’ll killfile him after all.

  35. #35 AnthonyK
    October 17, 2010

    You shouldn’t have fell for that one. Mercury is not necessary. Mercury was a financial decision.

    God, you’re stupid. And. seemingly, at every level.
    Shall I count the ways?

    1) You’ve been a troll here for…oooooh 6 months? And you still haven’t learnt how to blockquote.
    2) Your posts are repetitive, saying the same dumb thing over and over.
    3) You haven’t altered your “argument” by a jot. Sophistication is no doubt something you think is a sinful sexual technique.
    4) Your posts are examples of another one.
    5) You persist in imagining that people who post here are taken in/paid by a shadowy medical conspiracy. This is incorrect.
    6) Your posts show an execrable grasp of English grammar. The quote above has an example. Can you find it?
    7) You’re dull and witless.
    8) You are completely wasting your time. No, really. Are you such a worthless individual that there is nothing you can do with your life than make an idiot of yourself on a clever blog?
    9) ……..etc etc

    Please go and do something else with your life.
    Otherwise, you’re just a waste of atoms.

  36. #36 Chris
    October 17, 2010

    9) He targets female participants with vile comments
    10) ……..etc etc

  37. #37 augustine
    October 17, 2010

    [madder: Maybe I’ll killfile him after all.]

    Typical of an egotistical SBMer. This somehow makes you feel like you have some sort of control doesn’t it? Good.

    Maybe that is the root of this debate. You want control of disease. And you want control of your neighbors by coercing medication into them so YOU will feel better about it all. That makes sense.

  38. #38 augustine
    October 17, 2010

    9) He targets female participants with vile comments

    No I target the rationale behind humans thinking they are werewolves, kitty cats, and born in the wrong sex body. And I target the person who says they champion reason and rationality while being a hypocrite for political correctness purposes. That is what you have done Chris. It’s indefensible so you resort to strawman arguments and ad hominems. Like, ORAC said, the “other side” can do it but you have different rules to abide by if you want the SBMer status. You’re at a disadvantage. Keep fighting the good fight though. You’ll find your dragon one day.

  39. #39 augustine
    October 17, 2010

    anthony K,

    You’ve proven once again, that you are one of the most emotionally driven minions representing SBMers. YOu have once again cemented your status as one of lowest minions on here. You are embarrassing the critical thinking champions on here.

  40. #40 augustine
    October 17, 2010

    [Sciencemommy: Strawman. There are numerous trials that demonstrate the effectiveness of vaccines versus placebo or no intervention.]

    Junkscience. None do what i commented on above. Compare vaccinated vs. totally unvaccinated and assess health status. When you stop pretending it does then we can get some real progess. Until then, this blog and its participants, will continue with name calling tactics.

    The science you have has some major gaps in it. You need to ask the government scientists who conducted the syphillis experiments how to do real science. Stupid ethics getting in the way of progress.

    [SM:If we did stop vaccinating, within 10 years, numerous diseases such as pertussis, measles, mumps and rubella would circulate with pre-vaccine rates. You are, of course, inflating risk communication techniques so that you can abuse them.]

    All you have is conjecture.

  41. #41 Bronze Dog
    October 17, 2010

    10) He engages in pure, shameless political spin by referring to thimerosal (a compound) as “mercury” (an element) as if compounds and elements were interchangeable, despite the fact that everyone is supposed to learn otherwise in grade school. Table salt, for example, is neither a silvery reactive metal that causes small hydrogen explosions when dunked in water, nor is it a poisonous yellow-green gas.

  42. #42 Antaeus Feldspar
    October 18, 2010

    11) Claiming that if he’s ever shown to be in error, he’ll admit his error and correct it — and then reneging on that claim no matter how blatant his error is.

  43. #43 T. Bruce McNeely
    October 18, 2010

    12) Chronically and repeatedly misuses terms of logic, and never learns the correct use, even after multiple explanations and corrections.

    Example: has used the term “ad hominem” hundreds of times, always incorrectly.

    This is the hallmark of a pretentious idiot.

    Note for the hard of thinking – the above is NOT an ad hominem.

  44. #44 squirrelelite
    October 18, 2010

    @augustine,

    I mostly gave up on trying to respond to your comments several months ago because it was so hard to get you to give a clear and consistent explanation of what you were arguing in support of.

    But, I still read them and do not killfile them.

    And, I am still awaiting your answer to Chris’s question from this July blog post:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/07/i_know_you_are_but_what_am_i_medical_voi.php#comment-2684238

    If you would like us to discuss something more substantive than speculations about your reasoning skills and why you even bother to post comments, perhaps you could reiterate your answer.

  45. #45 Science Mom
    October 18, 2010

    [Sciencemommy: Strawman. There are numerous trials that demonstrate the effectiveness of vaccines versus placebo or no intervention.]

    Junkscience. None do what i commented on above. Compare vaccinated vs. totally unvaccinated and assess health status. When you stop pretending it does then we can get some real progess. Until then, this blog and its participants, will continue with name calling tactics.

    You are merely vapidly parroting the anti-vax party line. Why don’t you tell us the design of this study? First, define ‘overall health’, which is meaningless. What type of study should this be? What are the parameters? Sample size adequate to detect significant differences between groups? How do you control for confounders? Also, if you don’t like the name-calling, you may wish to refrain from doing it yourself.

    The science you have has some major gaps in it. You need to ask the government scientists who conducted the syphillis experiments how to do real science. Stupid ethics getting in the way of progress.

    You seem to be operating under the assumption that scientific ethics and methodologies haven’t advanced in 40 or so years. That said, you can’t possibly build a solid argument.

    [SM:If we did stop vaccinating, within 10 years, numerous diseases such as pertussis, measles, mumps and rubella would circulate with pre-vaccine rates. You are, of course, inflating risk communication techniques so that you can abuse them.]

    All you have is conjecture.

    You should really try and learn some basic HTML code Augie, it’s not hard. No, I don’t have conjecture, I have observations. There is this discipline called e-p-i-d-e-m-i-o-l-o-g-y and allows us to observe infectious diseases in populations. There are concepts such as infectivity rate, reproduction rate and herd immunity threshold that you need to learn before vomiting denial. I won’t do your homework for you but will give you some direction; look at Japan and Sweden when they suddenly withdrew their DTP vaccines and didn’t replace them with DTaP. Look up some stats regarding the relationship between vaccination rates and corresponding disease rates. Then you can get back to me about conjecture.

  46. #46 T. Bruce McNeely
    October 18, 2010

    13) Projection:

    All you have is conjecture.

    Augie should apply for a job at Cineplex.

  47. #47 Seb30
    October 18, 2010

    @ Augustine

    No I target the rationale behind humans thinking they are werewolves, kitty cats, and born in the wrong sex body.

    Well, yes, I would advice any of those to look for counseling to help sort themselves out. Actually, what’s your answer to those people?

    But it’s interesting that you put transsexuals/homosexuals on the same level as zoophiles, to name a cat a cat. Last time I looked, boys and girls are of the same species, so it’s not completely illogical to consider the possibility that some mix-up could happen sometimes.
    But sexual development and orientation are a completely different can of worms than vaccination. Could we stay on topic?

  48. #48 Gray Falcon
    October 18, 2010

    No I target the rationale behind humans thinking they are werewolves, kitty cats, and born in the wrong sex body.

    I’m pretty sure nobody actually said anything of the sort over the course of the debate, you just accused people of that based on some bizarre gender stereotypes. Frankly, I found your attempt to derail the discussions with that far more profane.

  49. #49 Todd W.
    October 18, 2010

    IIRC, augie’s trans-phobia came up because he apparently couldn’t understand that “Chris” can be a woman’s name, too, and that our Chris is, indeed, female. It tried to paint her as confused about her gender or some such. Don’t have the first occurrence to hand.

  50. #50 augustine
    October 18, 2010

    [Todd W.: Don’t have the first occurrence to hand.]

    I’m not transphobic. I could care less. I sensed that Chris would abandon science, logic, and reason for political correctness after she defended Harriet Hall. I gave a scenario of where those contradict and she bit. She abandoned science, logic, and reason for her sympathies by lumping surgical transgenders in with homosexuals.

    Excluding hermaphrodites she believes that people can be “trapped” in the wrong body with the wrong intended appendages and hormones. She believes that surgery and medicine will alleviate the suffering from this organic disorder. Therefore it is all rational based on her thinking.

    And she wants to tell me that non-vaccinators are without rationale, reason, and science. Insanity I tell you. Her judgment is clouded by emotions.

    So by that same reasoning, what does she think about people who believe they are cats at heart? Is it rational that they get tatoos and whiskers? Or is that topic too taboo for the SBMer crowd? No, they (Chris being your representative)plead political correctness. It’s inconsistent with your theme.

    This isn’t halloween we’re talking about here. This is where medicine comes in and medical decisions are made in the name of science.

  51. #51 augustine
    October 18, 2010

    [squirrelite: And, I am still awaiting your answer to Chris’s question from this July blog post:]

    http://ajph.aphapublications.org/cgi/reprint/52/Suppl_2/1.pdf

    Her question is irrelevant for a virus that is 99.99+% fatal or permanent like a chicken pox.

    A relevant question is what happened to the death rates between 1912 and 1960 without the vaccine. Why did they go down? I’ll answer for you. It had NOTHING to do with the vaccine.

    You know what happens when someone gets measles? They recover and get lifelong immunity. That’s what. Kids weren’t running out of school houses like it was a 5 alarm fire afraid of measles (that was the image that PBS erroneously portrayed with its polio vaccine anniversary special). And nearly every kid had measles by 18. That fearmongering was started by people with an agenda to vaccinate to eradicate. People like Skeptic based medicine followers.

  52. #52 Chris
    October 18, 2010

    Plus, this particular “Chris” is an engineer, which did not fit with his warped world view. And to the name-calling he does to other women, like Science-Mom, he is a misogynist tool.

  53. #53 augustine
    October 18, 2010

    [Chris: Plus, this particular “Chris” is an engineer, which did not fit with his warped world view. ]

    What are you even talking about? Are you saying women can’t be engineers?

  54. #54 augustine
    October 18, 2010

    Speaking of Harriet Hall…

    HH to David Gorski: “If science is not the best way to determine what’s moral, what is the best way?”

    The new atheist agenda is of course. Man that Harriet Hall is something special isn’t she? All she has done is take SBM to a step that some are quite ready to go yet. She’s just carrying out SBMers logical conclusions to their end. What’s so wrong with that?

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