Respectful Insolence

File this under another “better late (as in after Christmas) than never.”

Remember Elyse Anders? Remember how she successfully rallied skeptical activists to try to put the kibosh on an effort by the anti-vaccine group SafeMinds to infiltrate theaters with their commercials desguised as public service announcements over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend? Remember how she actually had considerable success, particularly with AMC Theaters? Well, it turns out that our job might not yet be done:

Last night, after I had a glass of wine and a delicious butter pecan cupcake, I got a disturbing text from fellow Skepchick Maria.

She was at Studio Movie Grill in Holcomb, Ga, and was about to enjoy some Christmas Eve movie wonderfulness when… BAM… in her face, 70 ft x 30 ft of nauseating news:

The Safe Minds PSAs, the ones we had pulled from AMC last month, are still playing in other theaters. (This may not be the exact PSA running, but the message is the same.)

An update indicates that SMG won’t be playing these faux PSAs anymore, but it’s clear that we need to be on our guard, which is why Elyse asks:

If you do see these ads, please leave a comment here, or if you’d rather not leave a comment, contact me using the Link? Question? Comment? link on the left side bar or email me at elyse(at)womenthinkingfree.org.

Once we have a list, we can work on writing letters, making phone calls and organizing our boycott. Jamie Bernstein of the WTFF is working on compiling a list as best she can… which is difficult without calling every single theater in the country today.

I’ll also point out something I’ve noticed. SafeMinds and the anti-vaccine movement are also trying to get their message out through outlets other than movie theaters. They’ve hit on what they apparently believe to be a winning propaganda talking point that they’re trying to get media personalities to repeat. For example, as my wife and I were driving about on Christmas Day, I heard the DJ on a Sirius/XM station (I think it was the ’70’s station) say that there are two types of flu vaccines and that you should make sure to ask for the “mercury-free” version. If you hear this sort of stuff on the radio or TV, please complain. If you see this sort of propaganda in an op-ed article, write a letter to the editor refuting it. SafeMinds will of course claim that it’s simply trying to promote “safe vaccines,” but in reality what it is doing is trying to poison the well and dissuade people from taking the flu vaccine at all. The problem is that that their messages imply that somehow the thimerosal-containing flu vaccines are somehow unsafe (they aren’t). I fully expect that SafeMinds will continue to do so as long as it can get away with it, which means it’s up to us to make sure such messages don’t go unanswered.

Comments

  1. #1 Denice Walter
    December 27, 2010

    More well poisoning ( i.e. vaccination diversion) from ( who else?) Mike Adams ( NaturalNews; today): “Swine flu pandemic outbreak sweeping through Britain even though 70 percent were vaccinated last year.”

  2. #2 Anonymous
    December 27, 2010

    “in reality what it is doing is trying to poison the well”

    Precisely so. And the fear industry chugs along.

  3. #3 Tziva
    December 27, 2010

    I heard the DJ on a Sirius/XM station (I think it was the ’70’s station) say that there are two types of flu vaccines and that you should make sure to ask for the “mercury-free” version. If you hear this sort of stuff on the radio or TV, please complain.

    I don’t really keep up to date on vaccine information aside from what I read here, so I am not really sure:

    What is the inaccuracy in these kinds of statements: Is this because the mercury is a miniscule amount that it can’t harm you? Or is this because there are not two vaccines? Or is mercury not even used in them anymore?

    That is a genuine question.

  4. #4 augustine
    December 27, 2010

    Wait a minute! Are you saying we should purposely seek out a mercury containing vaccine because it is better?

    Are you saying that because YOU feel there isn’t a difference then nobody should have a choice?

    Poisoning the well is Orac’s main Modus Operandi. Can’t be having anyone else on the “other side” doin that.

  5. #5 Bluegrass Geek
    December 27, 2010

    Tziva, there is no mercury used in the flu vaccines at all. None. So this group is “poisoning the well” by making people worried they might get mercury if they get a vaccine, so that these people will avoid vaccines entirely.

  6. #6 ababa
    December 27, 2010

    “Mercury” is not in those vaccines. Thimerasol is in some multi-dose Flu vaccines. Thimerasol contains the mercury atom, similar to the way salt contains the atom for Chlorine (a poisonous gas) and Sodium (a highly reactive metal). It has been removed from almost all vaccines because of the ominous sound of it, and could hurt vaccine uptake. Not everyone will read or ask like you did beyond the “ZOMG it has MERCURY in it!!1!11″, similar to that DJ.

    The word “Mercury” is used because it sounds bad, and the average person knows it is deadly in certain quantities, but it is no more accurate than using safety levels of Chlorine for determining appropriate salt intake. It would be similar to telling someone to not drink water because it contains Hydrogen, and that’s what caused the Hindenburg to blow up!

    In some cases, people do have allergies to Thimerasol, and do need the version without it. That’s why it exists, not because vaccine companies are selling a “safe” and “unsafe” version for people that don’t “know better”.

  7. #7 Chris
    December 27, 2010

    Tziva, there are influenza vaccines available without thimerosal. In fact, some states (California for one) have legislated that children and pregnant women only receive those vaccines. Plus, the Safeminds video distorts the issue with the pools of liquid mercury visual.

    For more information on vaccines and thimerosal, read this page. That table shows eight different influenza vaccines, and half of those are thimerosal-free, and another one has only a trace amount.

  8. #8 Anonymous
    December 27, 2010

    I wonder how many babies, or adults for that matter, know if they are allergic to thimerosal?

  9. #9 Chris
    December 27, 2010

    The allergy to thimerosal is more often in contact lens solution, not usually vaccines. I am allergic to the stuff when I put it on my eyes (which is only one reason I stopped wearing contact lenses), but never had a problem with thimerosal in vaccines. So that is a specious argument, Anonymous.

    The most often allergic reaction to vaccine is due to egg proteins.

  10. #10 gregg-alan
    December 27, 2010

    You remember from our last episode of “Andrew Wakefield Gets Another Pass from the Idiot Fringe”, “Dr” Wakefield stands by his “research” (apologies for the quotation marks, but in this case;highly appropriate), irrespective of having his paper pulled from the Lancet (better late than never) and simply lying as to how the research was conducted.
    Odd that the morons who are endangering their kids and the rest of us, that is to say ALL of the rest of us, view the remonstration of Wakefield as another conspiracy. It was he who conspired, by ginning up his “research”, to defraud the public, and as a result placing the diseases previously in check, back on the list of diseases-you-can-get-now. Of course Jenny Mcarthy’s medical credentials are impeccable, so that should keep this nonsense going for quite some time.
    Look, I’ve got an autistic nephew, but I’m not an idiot. All the looking into this I’ve done, and it’s a fair amount,
    points to a genetic source of autism. I’ve never been so mad about anything. I’d love to know how many of these people vaccinate their pets.

  11. #11 Daniel J. Andrews
    December 27, 2010

    make sure to ask for the “mercury-free” version.

    When you’re buying regular table salt, make sure to ask for the “chlorine-free” version.

  12. #12 augustine
    December 27, 2010

    Daniel Andrews:

    When you’re buying regular table salt, make sure to ask for the “chlorine-free” version.

    I guess mercury is part and parcel with vaccines. Nice analogy. Perfect. No flaws. Genius. Checkmate.

  13. #13 augustine
    December 27, 2010

    Orac:

    Remember Elyse Anders? Remember how she successfully rallied skeptical activists to try to put the kibosh on an effort by the anti-vaccine group SafeMinds to infiltrate theaters with their commercials desguised as public service announcements over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend?

    Remember how she over dramatically claimed she was threatened with rape, murder, and child abuse? Turned out she just wanted more scienceblogs attention.

  14. #14 Chris
    December 27, 2010

    Little Augie, should he have said that salt be “sodium free”? Because thimerosal is a compound made with a molecule that contains a mercury atom (oh, and a sulfur atom and a sodium atom!): C9H9HgNaO2S

    Do tell us how that is liquid mercury. Just like how is NaCl full of sodium metal and chlorine gas. Do the carbon and hydrogen atoms make thimerosal a hydrocarbon? Or is it a sulfur dioxide because it has one sulfur and two oxygen atoms? Come on, tell us about your chemistry education

  15. #15 augustine
    December 27, 2010

    Mommy Chris:

    Little Augie, should he have said that salt be “sodium free”?

    I knew I could get your killfile attention without having you play necromancer police. Muuahh. Right on the kisser!

    Come on, tell us about your chemistry education

    You c’mon, man. Tell us how the vaccine doesn’t work without the crucial mercurial compound.

  16. #16 novalox
    December 27, 2010

    @13

    Which is to say, judging from his comments (ad hominems, lack of basic chemistry), augie has little to none at all.

  17. #17 Chris
    December 28, 2010

    novalox, well he know Little Augie is a homeschooled adolescent (yes, folks, he admitted he has a homeschool teacher while ago… and it has nothing to do with homeschoolers, just this particular homeschooled fool). So perhaps his parents have decided that he not learn anything related to science since it is generally against religion.

    Or do chemistry experiments, because he might learn about certain simple explosives. The reason I was denied a chemistry set after what my older brother did with his! (though I recognized one in a recent movie that involved cleaning supplies, except with extra energy output!).

  18. #18 augustine
    December 28, 2010

    Novalox

    Which is to say, judging from his comments (ad hominems, lack of basic chemistry), augie has little to none at all.

    You really think this is about chemistry, Nova? It’s about people having a choice. But you wouldn’t understand that being an SBMer. You do understand that the ultimate SBMer politics is a totalitarian style government with no choice, right? Right!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Totalitarianism

    Totalitarianism (or totalitarian rule) is a political system where the state, usually under the control of a single political person, faction, or class, recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientism

    1. It is used to criticize a totalizing view of science as if it were capable of describing all reality and knowledge, or as if it were the only true way to acquire knowledge about reality and the nature of things;
    2. It is used to denote a border-crossing violation in which the theories and methods of one (scientific) discipline are inappropriately applied to another (scientific or non-scientific) discipline and its domain. An example of this second usage is to label as scientism any attempt to claim science as the only or primary source of human values (a traditional domain of ethics) or as the source of meaning and purpose (a traditional domain of religion and related worldviews).

  19. #19 augustine
    December 28, 2010

    Chris:

    novalox, well he know Little Augie is a homeschooled adolescent (yes, folks, he admitted he has a homeschool teacher while ago… and it has nothing to do with homeschoolers, just this particular homeschooled fool).

    Poor little Chris. Poor little Chris. You’re a naive one. But that’s not your only weakness.

  20. #20 augustine
    December 28, 2010

    Nova:

    Which is to say, judging from his comments (ad hominems, lack of basic chemistry), augie has little to none at all.

    Novalox, do you concern yourself with truth, logical consistency, or just protecting your own ideological beliefs?

    There is no evidence of you ever attacking your fellow science blogging skeptic/scientism believers for using ad hominems. Why not? HMMMM.

    Because they don’t use ad Hominems or poisoning of the well?

  21. #21 Chance Gearheart
    December 28, 2010

    Orac,

    There was some similar nonsense on the news blog of the Memphis newspaper yesterday in an article about Tennessee leading the nation in vaccine uptake for children. The article didn’t delve into the “controversy”, but I was proud to see the few commenters making anti-vaccine remarks getting smacked down by facts and knowledge from eight times their number.

  22. #22 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    December 28, 2010

    “Little Augie is a homeschooled adolescent (yes, folks, he admitted he has a homeschool teacher while ago… and it has nothing to do with homeschoolers, just this particular homeschooled fool).”

    Sad to say, but true nonetheless… if augie is indeed home-schooled, then the situation there is probably the best ‘anti-vertisement'(such as this word exists) for homeschooling.

    augie’s handles on chemistry and biology are totally lacking: were this person to take a standardised public examination (e. g., the UK’s G. C. S. E.) in either, I would not expect a pass at grade C or above. There are people who have been home-schooled in the two countries that I have experience of (the United Kingdom and Finland) who have managed to pass such exams. So, one has to ask: why is augie not able to get the basics of chemistry and biology that any reasonably home-schooled person would be able to get?

    “So perhaps his parents have decided that he not learn anything related to science since it is generally against religion.”

    Given augie’s outbursts against anything scientific (asserting that Orac’s blog is a shill for atheism, and so on), I would be willing to accept that as a reason.

  23. #23 augustine
    December 28, 2010

    David N. Andrews M.E.,C.S.I, Ph.D.,L.M.N.O.P

    (asserting that Orac’s blog is a shill for atheism, and so on)

    I wouldn’t call him a “shill” for atheism. He truly believes in scientism and perceives atheism as a mere byproduct of his thinking(It could be argued different). It’s more of a partnership. David would you say that the idea of god benefits from “science”blogging? Does the idea of atheism benefit?

    Though he tends to stay on medical scientism, consistency in his beliefs can be assumed to apply to all areas of life.

    Much like Paul Offit truly believes his crap. That is how he rationalizes his conflict of interest.In his own mind it’s not really shilling. The financial benefits are just a byproduct of his vision.

    As he’s (ORAC) said before. A little bit of science. A little bit of critical thinking. Mixed in with skepticism (a priori of skepticism is atheism).

    Science itself does not lead to atheism, hence many scientists are theists. It takes this little formula to convert the pessimist and angry.

    Are you really defending mercury or are you defending an idea and a method?

  24. #24 novalox
    December 28, 2010

    @20

    Because, augie, unlike you and your ilk, they actually present evidence, support it with published research, and present it coherently, while you just keep using ad hominems, insinuations and lack of basic science skills.

    You have given me a good laugh at your childlike behavior and lack of reasoning skills in almost every post you have presented here.

  25. #25 nybgrus
    December 28, 2010

    Thimerosal is NOT needed for a vaccine to work. It IS needed to preserve the multi-dose vials to make the vaccine cheaper and more available so we can protect our population without bankrupting our country. Augie is his usual idiotic troll self and has no grasp on reality whatsoever. But in specific response to Tziva in #3 – it is poisoning the well because it makes people afraid of vaccines in general. There is thimerosal present (but ONLY in the multi-dose flu vaccines) but it has been shown with about as much certainty as is possible that thimerosal does NOT have any negative health effects in the quantities given to patients (even in larger quantities, but of course if you give someone a shot of pure thimerosal it is toxic. Before Augie jumps all over that one – aspirin in a large enough dose will kill you. But I got money the troll has something inane to say about that).

  26. #26 nybgrus
    December 28, 2010

    Thimerosal is NOT needed for a vaccine to work. It IS needed to preserve the multi-dose vials to make the vaccine cheaper and more available so we can protect our population without bankrupting our country. Augie is his usual idiotic troll self and has no grasp on reality whatsoever. But in specific response to Tziva in #3 – it is poisoning the well because it makes people afraid of vaccines in general. There is thimerosal present (but ONLY in the multi-dose flu vaccines) but it has been shown with about as much certainty as is possible that thimerosal does NOT have any negative health effects in the quantities given to patients (even in larger quantities, but of course if you give someone a shot of pure thimerosal it is toxic. Before Augie jumps all over that one – aspirin in a large enough dose will kill you. But I got money the troll has something inane to say about that).

  27. #27 Melisssssssssa
    December 28, 2010

    @21, Chance Gearheart, I am so glad to hear that! I’m a Tennessee native, and I do my part to see that my family is up to date on all our vaccines and boosters *and* I talk up their benefits in the (very pro-vax) elementary school my son attends! Of course, it probably helps that his school has a high percentage of immigrants from Africa, where they still know what a vaccine-preventable illness looks like and are keen to take advantage of public health efforts! I believe my son’s school had close to 100% H1N1 vaccine coverage last year, and by golly those kids are healthy!

  28. #28 augustine
    December 28, 2010

    nybgrus:

    Thimerosal is NOT needed for a vaccine to work.

    Egg-zactly!

    nybgrus:

    It IS needed to preserve the multi-dose vials to make the vaccine cheaper and more available so we can protect our population without bankrupting our country.

    More available to protect the population? That’s debatable. Without bankrupting our country? The overuse of medicine is already bankrupting our country. Vaccines included.

  29. #29 Kochanski
    December 28, 2010

    The overuse of medicine is already bankrupting our country. Vaccines included.

    Evidence?

  30. #30 augustine
    December 28, 2010

    I suspect vaccines are one of the many, many, many man-made pathogens to purposely lower the human population. That’s just what I would suspect. I love my country, I fear my government, okay. There have been all kinds of things produced in the last 50 years in various laboratories – and things like that – that are designed to kill people. Bottom line. I think vaccines are probably one of those man-made pathogens, like probably AIDS is the same thing

  31. #31 Duzio
    December 28, 2010

    novalox,
    methinks thou dost protest too much. Augie’s comments don’t really show the ad hominem attacks that you and nybgrus seem to revel in.
    Your knowledge of chemistry is underwhelming as well–pure mercury is dangerous, methyl-Hg is more, dimethyl-Hg is vastly more. As for ethyl-Hg (the type in thimerosal), it converts to inorganic Hg salts in the brain (not the NaCl kind)–very nasty indeed. Sometimes the compound is less dangerous that the atoms (NaCl), but sometimes it is much more dangerous as is the case here.

  32. #32 Kochanski
    December 28, 2010

    I suspect vaccines are one of the many, many, many man-made pathogens to purposely lower the human population. That’s just what I would suspect. I love my country, I fear my government, okay. There have been all kinds of things produced in the last 50 years in various laboratories – and things like that – that are designed to kill people. Bottom line. I think vaccines are probably one of those man-made pathogens, like probably AIDS is the same thing

    You are exceedingly paranoid. What makes you think your government wants you dead? They can’t get taxes from dead people. Dead people can’t work and produce things to bring money to the government.

    And what makes you think that doctors and researchers would work to create vaccines that they know will kill people? What makes you think that doctors would give vaccines that would kill people? The doctors and researchers that work on these things are dedicated to helping people. They may not know for certain that the vaccines will be 100% effective and that they won’t cause some adverse reactions in people. Heck, they go out of there way to tell people about the risks associated with every pill, potion and vaccine they give.

    And news flash, you are your government, if you don’t like what they are doing, then you contact them and tell them. If they don’t respond to your concerns, then you look for candidates that will.

    Either that or you find yourself a cave to live in alone and live your life in fear.

  33. #33 augustine
    December 28, 2010

    augustine imposter

    I think vaccines are probably one of those man-made pathogens, like probably AIDS is the same thing.

    Imitation is flattery! It also means a scienceblogger has lost their mojo and can’t defend their ideology properly.

  34. #34 augustine
    December 28, 2010

    Kochanski: “You are exceedingly paranoid. What makes you think your government wants you dead?”

    Augustine imposter,

    Ironically, you’re only making fools out of your fellow sciencebloggers.

    Maybe you should attach jr. to your name to differentiate and show your admiration.

  35. #35 Roadstergal
    December 28, 2010

    The overuse of medicine is already bankrupting our country. Vaccines included.

    True. It’s a lot cheaper to treat people for the diseases they prevent.

  36. #36 T. Bruce McNeely
    December 28, 2010

    Get back on your meds, augie.

  37. #37 Chris
    December 28, 2010

    Little Augie:

    I suspect vaccines are one of the many, many, many man-made pathogens to purposely lower the human population.

    Get yourself a copy of the latest National Geographic Special on Population. It explains that families start having fewer children when the chances of those children reaching adulthood increase. Vaccines, medical care, sanitation and reliable food are what increases those chances. That is how population is stabilized.

    Another thing that reduces population growth, according to the article, is educating women. Well, we know how you feel about that. You seem to think that educated women are a threat, and that programs to educate girls are a another form of genocide!

  38. #38 Militant Agnostic
    December 28, 2010

    You seem to think that educated women are a threat, and that programs to educate girls are a another form of genocide!

    Well if educating women reduces population growth then maybe Augie has a point :) It must be part of the reptilian plan to reduce the population.

  39. #39 Joseph
    December 28, 2010

    I suspect vaccines are one of the many, many, many man-made pathogens to purposely lower the human population.

    @augustine: OK, believe that if you want. But you clearly have no moral standing to be pontificating about how reasonable others’ worldviews are. You just don’t.

  40. #40 augustine
    December 28, 2010

    Joseph,
    read #33 for the source of #30.

    It’s not fair of your scienceblog brothers to do that to you is it?

  41. #41 augustine
    December 28, 2010

    Chris:

    You seem to think that educated women are a threat

    Yet another fallacious use of logic by Chris. After all of your huffing and bluffing you’re just left with slander.

    Please show the sound logic that came to this conclusion. Sorry you can’t.

  42. #42 youngskeptic
    December 28, 2010

    “Well if educating women reduces population growth then maybe Augie has a point :) It must be part of the reptilian plan to reduce the population.”

    But I thought the reptillian overlords ate our infant children?

  43. #43 T. Bruce McNeely
    December 28, 2010

    Re pseudoaugie:

    Poe’s Law strikes again!

  44. #44 seattle chiropractor
    December 28, 2010

    Americans like to pride ourselves as having the best healthcare system the world but unfortunately that is not the case. We have a medical care system, not a healthcare system. The current system of care focuses on disease treatment in which the Allopathic /Pharma / industrial food / insurance industry earmarks what research gets funded, and nobody really questions their premises, which are often dead wrong.
    We need a change to a system that is focused on disease prevention and health promotion.

  45. #45 novalox
    December 28, 2010

    @31

    You do know that thiomersal has been removed from most US vaccines, right?

    Even if there were, the amount of thiomersal in a regular vaccine is so minute that the body can clear it away without any damage.

    @44

    Sigh… Not another conspiracy theory….

  46. #46 Dedj
    December 28, 2010

    “Please show the sound logic that came to this conclusion. Sorry you can’t.”

    Sorry, but she already did in the very post you are responding to.

    Show how and why her logic is fallacious. Lying and pretending it doesn’t exist is both morally corrupt and rather stupid given that it is clearly visible and identifiable to any and all readers.

    Even if it’s not what you believe, that would be because you’re either ignorant of it, or have applied a seperate logical structure to it. Nothing in Chris’ comment is inconsistant with the arguements you have put forth.

    Any response that does not directly address Chris’ logic will be deemed spam and trolling. You have been given one chance only.

    Step to it.

  47. #47 augustine
    December 29, 2010

    Dedj:

    You have been given one chance only.

    In the words of Chris Rock, “Who is you?”

    Since you’re on your high horse why don’t you systematically show the logical consistency yourself. You can piece the quotes together just for proof and I will deconstruct your poor use of logic and reasoning for you.

    Here’s a hint, dedji lou sue. Make sure the quotes are from me!

  48. #48 Chris
    December 29, 2010

    From the Spammer at #44, the Seattle Chiropractor:

    We need a change to a system that is focused on disease prevention and health promotion.

    You do know that vaccines prevent diseases, right?

    Please tell us what chiropracty prevents and how it saves money, with something resembling actual scientific evidence. Something like the following:

    Economic Evaluation of the 7-Vaccine Routine Childhood Immunization Schedule in the United States, 2001
    Zhou F, Santoli J, Messonnier ML, Yusuf HR, Shefer A, Chu SY, Rodewald L, Harpaz R.
    Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005;159:1136-1144.

    An economic analysis of the current universal 2-dose measles-mumps-rubella vaccination program in the United States.
    Zhou F, Reef S, Massoudi M, Papania MJ, Yusuf HR, Bardenheier B, Zimmerman L, McCauley MM.
    J Infect Dis. 2004 May 1;189 Suppl 1:S131-45.

    Impact of specific medical interventions on reducing the prevalence of mental retardation.
    Brosco JP, Mattingly M, Sanders LM.
    Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006 Mar;160(3):302-9. Review.

  49. #49 TylerD
    December 29, 2010

    The spoofing of Auggie is amusing, but I doubt Orac will let it continue for long. He seems to be an ethical fellow, unfortunately. In the mean time we can all laugh at how well parody matches reality!

  50. #50 Chris
    December 29, 2010

    TylerD, unlike many, Orac does not censor except in dire circumstances. He has banned a couple of folks for extreme crassness directed at his immediate family, and one guy for linking to a stupid site that splayed obnoxious pictures on our screens… but he pretty much leaves insipid stupidity stay unchecked.

    This is how we can see the complete lack of any essence of reality experienced by those who think vaccines pose a greater threat to children than exposure to the real diseases.

    Little Augie, children get exposed to more than 22 viruses in the wild before they are a year old… it is just that those are mostly benign. We really only vaccinate against the ones known to cause serious damage. These are rotavirus, hepatitis A and B, polio (3 types), influenza (3 types), varicella, measles, mumps and rubella. That is a total of thirteen viral diseases. How exactly is that 22 separate viruses?

  51. #51 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    December 29, 2010

    augie: “David N. Andrews M.E.,C.S.I, Ph.D.,L.M.N.O.P”

    Want me to actually take anything you say seriously?

    Refer to my qualifications correctly, then!

    “He truly believes in scientism and perceives atheism as a mere byproduct of his thinking(It could be argued different). It’s more of a partnership. David would you say that the idea of god benefits from “science”blogging? Does the idea of atheism benefit?”

    No. He just doesn’t believe in implausible fairy-stories the way that you do. Orac has his religious beliefs – and I’m prepared to respect them because he doesn’t ram them down anyone’s throat here – but I’m an atheist. I have no belief in any god. I find no evidence to support a belief in one. What Orac believes in, as well as his god, is the use of science as a means of sifting out the effective stuff in medicine from the rubbish. As to whether any idea of god benefits from science blogging… I don’t know and I’m not sure I actually care. But if I were the god you’d claim made the universe, I’d rather people investigated it methodically and systematically. Rather than – you know – making crap up!

    There’s a difference between science and scientism, and you clearly do not know it.

    “Are you really defending mercury or are you defending an idea and a method?”

    I defend science. And that includes the fact that the mercury in thiomersal (the INN name for the preservative) is not elemental mercury.In the same way that the sodium in common salt is not elemental sodium. And your lack of understanding of this fact is an indictment on your home-schooling.

    “A little bit of science. A little bit of critical thinking. Mixed in with skepticism (a priori of skepticism is atheism).”

    Are you able to recognise how stupid you’re sounding? Orac is about a lot of science, a lot of critical thinking and – yes – a lot of skepticism. But this idea that skepticism is basically predicated on atheism… whoever taught you that obviously never studied either science or philosophy or even religion properly. Atheism is not an a priori for skepticism and never has been. Here is some information in a form even you should be able to understand on religious skepticism. You’ll note the caveat that says: “Religious skepticism is a type of skepticism relating to religion, but should not be confused with atheism. Religious skeptics question religious authority and are not necessarily anti-religious but are those skeptical of a specific or all religious beliefs or practices.” In other words, one can be skeptical about one’s religious beliefs and practices without being an atheist. Ergo, skepticism is not – as you claim – predicated on atheism.

    On the issue of scientific skepticism, you’ll notice here that the purpose of scientific skepticism is “to evaluate claims based on verifiability and falsifiability and discourage accepting claims on faith or anecdotal evidence.”

    In other words, to test the validity of claims made regarding anything, in order to make sure that the claims are supported by the evidence. This sort of questioning is essential for progress: without it, we have no clue what works or what doesn’t (in medicine, for example). If you have a problem with the idea of anyone questioning authority – be it religious or not – then you are really a person with some very serious problems. Not least of which is that your educational background is incredibly poor.

  52. #52 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    December 29, 2010

    nybgrus: “Augie is his usual idiotic troll self and has no grasp on reality whatsoever.” (my italics)

    In psychology, we call that ‘psychosis’.

    “Before Augie jumps all over that one – aspirin in a large enough dose will kill you. But I got money the troll has something inane to say about that.”

    augie and augie’s type are not very well educated really: the notion of dose-dependence of effects doesn’t seem to click with them. Given my specialism in psychology (teaching, learning & development), I’ve always been rather behind home-schooling as a viable alternative to school for some learners; but encountering augie here really is challenging my thinking on the topic of home-schooling now. But the quality of the home-schooling depends heavily on those who provide the learning opportunities. And it’s not evident that augie got many of those, and certainly none of any quality.

  53. #53 Samantha Vimes
    December 29, 2010

    Augustine, please boycott professional health care when you get sick. I’d hate to see you compromise your principles or take the risk of being culled by the government when you can take some nice homeopathy and prayer, instead.

    (Yeah, guys, I know I’m being wicked, but he’s creeping me out with his paranoia schtick.)

    I’ve taken plenty of vaccines and recently sought out another (as I suspected, a test showed I had no immunity to chicken pox). No one’s used it as an opportunity to murder me, strangely enough.

  54. #54 augustine
    December 29, 2010

    chris

    Little Augie, children get exposed to more than 22 viruses in the wild before they are a year old…

    Chris, you should know the difference between my posts and one of your scienceblogger impersonators. But then again you don’t appreciate self deprecating humor and believe that I’m a home schooled teenager.

  55. #55 Kevin
    December 29, 2010

    @ Augie…

    You’re not a home-schooled teen-ager? OK, then, you’re 12.

    That’s the level of intellectual and emotional maturity you’ve displayed here, in any event.

    Hard to distinguish between a “real” 12-year-old and one whose development is so stunted.

  56. #56 Happy Camper
    December 29, 2010

    Since sock puppetry and imposters are not tolerated by Orac and science blogs I would expect some of the comments to disappear. Time will tell.

  57. #57 Dedj
    December 29, 2010

    “Here’s a hint, dedji lou sue. Make sure the quotes are from me!”

    Why would I use quotes from you to prove that Chris did something you claim she didn’t? That’s bizarre.

    You asked Chris for “….the sound logic that came to this conclusion” then implied she hadn’t shown any, despite it being very clearly laid out in her post. I challenged you and pointed out that her post contained the sound logic you requested.

    Somehow, I’ve now got to prove her post contained the sound logic you asked for by – get this everybody – quoting from an entirely different person!

    You’re attempting to address a concern I never raised. I would suggest that you are doing so deliberatly, as I made it so explicit and simple for you that no-one could be stupid enough to misunderstand it.

    To reiterate what we’re talking about, you claimed:

    “I suspect vaccines are one of the many, many, many man-made pathogens to purposely lower the human population.”

    Which can be reasonably inferred as a view that vaccines are a threat due to lowering the world population.

    Chris stated:

    “……Another thing that reduces population growth, according to the article, is educating women. Well, we know how you feel about that. You seem to think that educated women are a threat, and that programs to educate girls are a another form of genocide!”

    which follows the logic that if vaccines are a threat due to lowering world population, then educating women is a threat as it has the effect of lowering world population.

    Why was that so hard for you to understand and address that you had to lie about the existance of a very clearly written and publically viewable arguement – which you are known to have read as you responded directly to it – then pretend my challenge to your lie was actually about something else?

    Why is it that so many people here are intentionally making themselves as clear and explicit as possible, yet you are still clearly finding this whole thing very hard going?

  58. #58 Chris
    December 29, 2010

    Little Augie, you are still an idiot who seems to be preaching from the First Taliban Church of the Scientifically Illiterate, and a sockpuppet would have to pull a pretty blatant Poe to be distinguished from your stupid ravings.

  59. #59 augustine
    December 29, 2010

    Dedji:

    To reiterate what we’re talking about, you claimed:

    “I suspect vaccines are one of the many, many, many man-made pathogens to purposely lower the human population.”

    Which can be reasonably inferred as a view that vaccines are a threat due to lowering the world population.

    I didn’t say that! So there’s your problem.

    Even if I did say that, you’re logic is ambiguous,evidence free, and a non sequitur.

    which follows the logic that if vaccines are a threat due to lowering world population, then educating women is a threat as it has the effect of lowering world population.

    ????

  60. #60 Rohan G
    December 29, 2010

    Why not just ban the loathsome troll f’tard known as augustine?

  61. #61 novalox
    December 29, 2010

    @60

    Because his posts, with all the unintentional humor, are so amusing to read, perhaps?

  62. #62 augustine
    December 29, 2010

    David Andrews, pschiatric expert

    But if I were the god you’d claim made the universe, I’d rather people investigated it methodically and systematically.

    I think your Asbergers is kicking in. Don’t worry. You’re not him. And I don’t believe in the greek gods.

    David Andrews

    What Orac believes in, as well as his god, is the use of science as a means of sifting out the effective stuff in medicine from the rubbish.

    If Orac believes in a god then I’ll say he’s contradictory. But he’s pretty much logically consistent so I’m pretty sure he doesn’t believe in a god.

    Besides he doesn’t believe in fairies and believing in god is the equivalent of believing in fairies.

    Here is some information in a form even you should be able to understand on religious skepticism.

    Apparently you don’t know what skepticism we’re talking about here.

    If you have a problem with the idea of anyone questioning authority – be it religious or not – then you are really a person with some very serious problems.

    It’s also apparent that you either don’t read this blog, don’t listen, don’t comprehend, or your asbergers has kicked in.

  63. #63 Antaeus Feldspar
    December 29, 2010

    If someone is impersonating Boring Auger, I do ask them to stop. There are levels of behavior that we are best advised not to lower ourselves to, and impersonation is one of them.

    (Of course, Augie’s non-record of personal integrity is such that I wouldn’t be too surprised if the “fake” Augie was, surprise surprise, Augie after all…)

  64. #64 T. Bruce McNeely
    December 30, 2010

    (Of course, Augie’s non-record of personal integrity is such that I wouldn’t be too surprised if the “fake” Augie was, surprise surprise, Augie after all…)

    I don’t think that poor Augie has the wit to pull off something like that.

  65. #65 Dedj
    December 30, 2010

    “I didn’t say that! So there’s your problem.”

    If you mean it was the false-augie that said “I suspect vaccines are one of the many, many, many man-made pathogens to purposely lower the human population”, then you should have said so in your initial response to Chris.

    You did not, but instead pretended that Chris had not presented her logic – despite it being clearly laid out in the post.

    If the initial response at 41 was by the false-augie, then your subsequent responses are just bizarre.

    Your response at 47 to my 46 challenge of 41, does not challenge ownership of the post that was challenged by Chris in 37 – indeed, it relies upon it.

    If you DID make post 47, then you’re implicitly (and quite aggressively) defending a post you claim not to have made – which is frankly bizarre behaviour from anyone.

    If you did NOT make post 47, then your denial in post 59 may be factually correct but is missing essential information – the omission of which is just bizarre and confused. You’re essentially responding to a chain of discussion involving someone that you may argue isn’t actually you, but you’re doing it in a way that indicates it was you.

    For all we know, 30 could be the real augie and 33 the imposter, assuming there even is one.

    Saying “I didn’t make posts xx, xy, or xz” shouldn’t be beyond anyone, but it apparently is.

  66. #66 stripey_cat
    December 31, 2010

    I’m confused: I thought Augie was the father of the unfortunate homeschooled kid. While I’m not a fan of centralised schooling at all (mostly because my own family’s experiences were so overwhelmingly negative), Augie is exactly the sort of parent who’d have me cheering on the truant officer. Pity any kid being indoctrinated by that grade A moron!

  67. #67 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    December 31, 2010

    “I think your Asbergers is kicking in.”

    Is this the best that augie can come up with? OMFG! Makes me wonder why we bother!

    “Apparently you don’t know what skepticism we’re talking about here.”

    I understand skepticism very well. You don’t. You make that very plain. There was a reason I chose the religious skepticism thing for you. You telling me you haven’t figured that out yet? Well… given your evident lack of education, that’s to be expected.

    “Besides he doesn’t believe in fairies and believing in god is the equivalent of believing in fairies.”

    WTF are you on about? As far as it goes… yeh, they are equivalents functionally, in the same way that a coffee cup and a dough-nut are topologically equivalent! But their respective particulars are very different, in the same way that believing in faeries and believing in (a) god are very different.

    “It’s also apparent that you either don’t read this blog, don’t listen, don’t comprehend, or your asbergers has kicked in.”

    Are you really too stupid to see how crass that last bit makes you look?! Using someone’s diagnosis as a means to ridicule them or otherwise make them seem lesser than oneself… even if the idea was somewhat invalid in the first place! You’re obviously not intelligent enough to not have to try this tack!

    I prefer the phoney augie… that one shows more intellectual ability than you do!

  68. #68 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    December 31, 2010

    “I think your Asbergers is kicking in.”

    Is this the best that augie can come up with? OMFG! Makes me wonder why we bother!

    “Apparently you don’t know what skepticism we’re talking about here.”

    I understand skepticism very well. You don’t. You make that very plain. There was a reason I chose the religious skepticism thing for you. You telling me you haven’t figured that out yet? Well… given your evident lack of education, that’s to be expected.

    “Besides he doesn’t believe in fairies and believing in god is the equivalent of believing in fairies.”

    WTF are you on about? As far as it goes… yeh, they are equivalents functionally, in the same way that a coffee cup and a dough-nut are topologically equivalent! But their respective particulars are very different, in the same way that believing in faeries and believing in (a) god are very different.

    “It’s also apparent that you either don’t read this blog, don’t listen, don’t comprehend, or your asbergers has kicked in.”

    Are you really too stupid to see how crass that last bit makes you look?! Using someone’s diagnosis as a means to ridicule them or otherwise make them seem lesser than oneself… even if the idea was somewhat invalid in the first place! You’re obviously not intelligent enough to not have to try this tack!

    I prefer the phoney augie… that one shows more intellectual ability than you do!

  69. #69 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    December 31, 2010

    wow! that was good!

    the send thing took my comment twice!

    must really not live ‘ickle augie!

    LoL!

  70. #70 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    December 31, 2010

    like*

  71. #71 Helen of the North like Canada eh?
    January 4, 2011

    I am enjoying your comments very much.
    Discovered this site today in my research on dear old Dr Hugh Fudenberg and Dr David Wakefield. Recent articles dispelling flu vaccines have surfaced thru out rural Canada.

    As a Healthcare Occ Health nurse I have little patience with the offerings of naysayers of vaccines.
    It gets so tiresome to hear the concerns regarding mercury, formaldehyde etc and then continue to see such dated “evidence”.

    Here is the same old, same old article in a different format. http://www.cottagecountrynow.ca/opinion/letters/article/922760–less-likely-to-get-flu-if-you-haven-t-had-vaccine-reader

    The Dr noted at the bottom of the article is an optometrist! You know that the average Joe Blow is going to think that it is a credible article because the name has Dr in front of it!!Articles like this are being supported generally by naturopaths and chiropractors but also by some MD’s!

    I have been trying to find out who the BCTV reporter in Vancouver is. This article seems to be going “viral”.

    Information like the crap in this article increases the amount of time talking to the staff as well as the general population who come in for flu shots. (Free to all residents of Ontario, Canada)

    It is disturbing to see that so many nurses believe in this misinformation.

    What I find so hard to understand is that no one is being held accountable for all of the misinformation being sent out,posted on websites or published in magazines.

    I am trying to compile a myths versus facts sheet which goes farther than the basic info that Public Health publishes. I have added the ethyl mercury info and want to get into the rest of the “scare” tactics being spewed forth.

    Would anyone suggest a couple of sound sites where I can get further information without having to decipher a lot of scientific data that might be way over my head.

    I hope you don’t mind me dropping in.
    I look forward to spending more time visiting. You share great information as well as interesting and entertaining comments!!

  72. #72 Chris
    January 4, 2011

    Hi, Helen. First, have you seen this Canadian blog: http://www.skepticnorth.com/

    And here is another site to check out:
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/reference/?cat=3

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