Respectful Insolence

A couple of weeks ago, I had a bit of fun with a position statement by the International Medical Council on Vaccination (IMCV), which I called, in my own inimitable fashion, The clueless cite the ignorant to argue against vaccines. That’s exactly what it was, too, some truly clueless anti-vaccinationists arguing against vaccines and bolstering their argument with a hilariously pathetic list of signatories, among which were noted anti-vaccine activists, chiropractors, homeopaths, and other dubious practitioners totaling only between 80-90. Among those signatories was a woman named Suzanne Humphries, MD. We’ve dealt with Dr. Humphries before when she expressed anger at being called a quack and warning us pharma shills and minions that the “revolution has begun.”

Oooh. Scary.

This time around, Dr. Humphries has decided to tell us A Few Things I Know. Unfortunately for her, those “few things” she knows are precious few, and they are all wrong. But before we can deal with what Dr. Humphries thinks she knows, we first have to deal with her naked assertion of her medical credentials. In essence, Dr. Humphries begins with an argument from authority:

I am a Medical Doctor with credentials in internal medicine and nephrology (kidneys). I received a bachelor’s degree in theoretical physics in 1987 from Rutgers University. I mention the college degree in case any doubtful readers question my mental prowess. One can doubt my intellectual ability less if they first realize that I know how to figure out difficult things. I know how to look at something in depth for many hours or days until I understand the inner workings of it. This is what I learned to do in college. In fact the strenuous mind-bending exercise that was part of the physics curriculum made medical school easy. I found the study of the human body, chemistry and biology to be in comparison quite shallow, simple and easy to comprehend.

As someone who comes from a strong basic science background, having been a chemistry major (who graduated with honors–so, there!), I think I can see Dr. Humphries’ problem. First, she seems unduly proud of her science background, wielding it like a talisman against charges that she doesn’t know what she’s talking about (which she doesn’t). Unfortunately, as those of us in medicine know, what you did 25 or more years ago in college has little bearing on what you can or can’t understand now. I can also see a bit of arrogance there, too. Let’s put it this way. I took advanced physical chemistry, graduate level biochemistry, and upper level physics, but I didn’t find medical school easy at all. One reason was that medical school required a whole lot of memorization in addition to basic science. Unfortunately, having been used to learning general principles and then applying them to problems, I found the memorization required to be rather difficult. Another problem I encountered was that, unlike chemistry and biochemical assays, I had trouble dealing with the ambiguity of medicine, of synthesizing incomplete and sometimes ambiguous clinical information in the form of patient histories, physical examinations, lab values, and tests and then applying what I had learned about the science of medicine to them. “Shades of gray” would be a good term to describe it, and I was used to more black and white. It took a major change in mindset before I began to understand. That change in mindset wasn’t easy, and it didn’t take overnight. Dr. Humphries’ problem is that she sounds as though she never changed her mindset from physics to medicine–and is proud of it.

Next up, Dr. Humphries assures us that she spent two years working in a biochemistry laboratory as a head technician. I’ll go her one better, if that’s the direction she wants to go. Not only have I been a technician, but I have also been a graduate student in a translational research laborotory, a postoctoral fellow, and now a medical researcher for the last 12 years in his own laboratory. As such, I would guess that I probably know more about how research is done than Dr. Humphries. Even so, it’s also probably irrelvant, because it’s the quality of one’s arguments that should rule, and, quite frankly, Dr. Humphries has become a homeopath. To embrace homeopathy, as far as I’m concerned, means throwing away all that knowledge of physics that tells us that homeopathy is nothing more than pseudoscience based on a mixture of prescientific beliefs drawing from the principles of sympathetic magic. In any case, I find it instructive to look at Dr. Humphries’ “conversion story,” but first we have to listen to her tell us again how awesome she is and how open-minded, too:

I have spent four years teaching internal medicine and nephrology to medical students, residents and advanced fellows in training at a university hospital as an assistant professor. During that time, reading over and critiquing dozens of journal articles was a part of everyday life. Suffice it to say, my past experiences have put me in good standing to look into the problems with vaccines and make certain determinations. Like most doctors, I held a blind belief for many years, that vaccines were necessary, safe and effective. Like most doctors, I never lifted a page to seek out any other truth for myself. But unlike most doctors, I have no stake in upholding false paradigms and I am no longer indebted to the government for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Unlike most doctors, I have the means to survive with or without my medical license because I have sought out another education to support myself in case of worst case scenario.

Do you get it? Dr. Humphries is a Seeker of The Truth, man! And don’t you forget it! She don’t need no stinkin’ pharmaceutical drugs, and she don’t need no “conventional medicine,” either! She spits on Lord Draconis Zeneca‘s scaly hide. (She will come to regret that, actually. Our benevolent scaly pharma overlord will make sure of it, I’m certain.) I also love how she refers to “the truth,” as in, “The Truth? You can’t handle The Truth?” I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, science is not about the truth (or The Truth). It’s about evidence and data and what can be observed. It’s about models, explanations, and theories that explain current observations and make predictions. All “truths” in science are provisional. If the evidence doesn’t support a model anymore, scientists abandon it in favor of a model that better explains the existing evidence. But it’s all about The Truth to Dr. Humphries:

Up until 2 years ago I was content to work as a medical doctor caring for very sick people with kidney failure. Two years ago, everything changed. With several undeniable cases of kidney-associated vaccine injury in previously healthy people, I started to look deeper into the information that I had previously held as factual and not worthy of debate. I started to study vaccines, their components, and the science behind the statements of safety and effectiveness. From there an avalanche of truth collapsed upon me and I will never be the same. In fact, nothing I look at will ever be the same. Chronic degenerative diseases, kidney failure, autoimmune diseases and powers of authority will never look the same to me again. There are certain things that I can now say with no uncertainty.

An “avalanche of truth”? Wow! Is that like a “tsunami of autism”? Still, I have no doubt that Dr. Humphries will never be the same. She has, after all, become a homeopath. If she used to practice science-based medicine before she turned to woo, then, yes, her life has changed, and she will never be the same. That’s not always a good thing. In Dr. Humphrie’s case, it certainly is not. Still, I’m curious about these cases of “kidney-associated vaccine injury.” She doesn’t elaborate, and, quite frankly, I didn’t have time to watch this video last night, where she apparently makes the same claim. Oh, never mind, it’s close to the beginning of the video. Dr. Humphries states that back in the winter of 2009 she saw several cases of fulminant kidney failure in patients who had had their seasonal flu vaccine and their H1N1 vaccine. In some cases these cases were up to six weeks after vaccination.

Six weeks? Gee. With millions of people being vaccinated against H1N1, what do you think the odds are of seeing a few cases of patients in fulminant kidney failure that began sometime within the six weeks after they had been vaccinated? Pretty high, I’d guess. Probably pretty close to 100%, given the frequency of vaccination against the flu, particularly among the elderly, who are more prone to kidney failure, and the incidence of kidney failure. It’s a perfect example of confusing correlation with causation. She even goes so far as to say that she thinks “idiopathic” cases of kidney failure are really due to vaccines.

That’s because, to the anti-vaccine loon, it’s always about the vaccines. Always. Maybe later this week I’ll have a chance to go through the whole video. Or maybe not.

So, what are the “few things” (the very few things) that Dr. Humphries knows? Let’s take a look:

Vaccines did not save humanity and never will.

No one ever said they did, but they sure have reduced the rates of infectious disease and saved millions upon millions of lives.

Next up:

Vaccines have never been proven truly safe except for perhaps the parameters of immediate death or some specific adverse events within up to 4 weeks.

So let me get this straight. Vaccines have never been tested for long term complications? What about all those studies the looked for and failed to find links between vaccines and autism, asthma, sudden infant death syndrome, and many other conditions? Oh, wait. Dr. Humphries put the word “truly” in there. So she’s conceding that vaccines are safe based on the science thus far. She just thinks they aren’t “truly” safe, whatever that means. (Note also how she’s simply using a variant of the word “truth”; she’s clearly all about The Truth–big T–than she is about science.) Actually, I rather suspect the word “truly” means whatever Humphries wants to mean, the better to shift goalposts as more studies verifying the safety of vaccines roll in.

And then Humphries pulls out a “thing she knows” about smallpox:

Smallpox was not eradicated by vaccines as many doctors readily say it was. They say this out of conditioning rather than out of understanding the history or science.

This is, of course, a straw man. The eradication of smallpox was multifactorial, including improved sanitation. However, that does not mean the smallpox vaccine was not instrumental in finally eradicating the disease once (and hopefully) for all. Thanks to vaccines, we were on the verge of eradicating polio; that is, until rumors that vaccines were a plot to sterilize Muslim men took hold and depressed vaccination rates, setting back the timetable for the eradication of polio.

And a “thing she knows” about polio, too:

Polio virus was not responsible for the paralysis in the first part of the 20th century. Polio vaccine research, development, testing and distribution has committed atrocities upon primates and humanity. Bill Gates is not a humanitarian.

Funny. Tell all the people in iron lungs 60 and 70 years ago that polio wasn’t responsible.

Finally, here’s the one thing Humphries “knows” about vaccines in general:

Vaccines are dangerous and should never be injected into anyone for any reason. They are not the answer to infectious diseases. There are many more sustainable and benevolent solutions than vaccines.

But it’s not as though Dr. Humphries is anti-vacccine or anything. She’s really pro-safe vaccine, right? Oh, wait. She is antivaccine. She just said so. She just told us that vaccines are dangerous and should never be injected into anyone for any reason. If that’s not anti-vaccine, I don’t know what is.

Just like the IMCV, which is clearly anti-vaccine to the core.

Comments

  1. #1 Lawrence
    February 16, 2011

    Well, you certainly can’t get any clearer than that – at least she doesn’t beat around the bush, and instead truly embraces the total craziness of it.

  2. #2 Lawrence
    February 16, 2011

    Wow – I made the mistake of actually reading the comments over there. Those people are fraking scary!

  3. #3 LC.
    February 16, 2011

    I hope that no one ever puts her near a mirror. Judging from her ‘I am so smart’ introduction she would probably start humping her own reflection while mumbling how great she is.

    She’s like a third world general – flashing lots of ‘brass and braids’ to impress the yokels, while actual competence is questionable at best.

  4. #4 Dangerous Bacon
    February 16, 2011

    “In fact the strenuous mind-bending exercise that was part of the physics curriculum made medical school easy. I found the study of the human body, chemistry and biology to be in comparison quite shallow, simple and easy to comprehend.”

    If Dr. Humphries thinks that medicine is such an easy field, she has a frighteningly poor grasp of it and should, in fact, stop practicing medicine (or pseudo-medicine) and fall back on the alternate career possibilities she alludes to.

  5. #5 Poodle Stomper
    February 16, 2011

    Polio virus was not responsible for the paralysis in the first part of the 20th century

    Now I’ve got to know what she claims was the cause. I wonder what the real reason is for her turning to woo as well.

  6. #6 Pablo
    February 16, 2011

    I wonder, if you went over there, Orac, and laid out your credentials to her, how likely would she be to bow to your clearly more impressive awesomeness?

    And when she doesn’t, maybe she can understand why I don’t give a shit about hers.

  7. #7 Lazer Epilasyon Adana
    February 16, 2011

    Most of us have already had our children vaccinated. Few will want to consider the consequences to their children. For those who haven’t had children, or who are just having children, it’s difficult to weed through the propaganda to get at the truth, and they have a difficult “what if” situation to consider. It’s a scary burden for a parent.

    Having said that, I personally agree with “Mark of Tolerance” who said on another thread, that he prefers to know when he’s being “pissed on,” rather than be told it’s water. LOL

    I also have little patience for those that constantly deny something that they haven’t taken the time to research.

    I do hope more people come by, because I think it’s an important topic. I’m especially concerned about all the new vaccines that have come out. Our public schools are considering making them mandatory, as are all the old vaccines. I’m adamantly opposed to that.

  8. #8 Boojum
    February 16, 2011

    It looks like if you wait long enough you’ll get your wish.

    Dr Tenpenny and I are about to publish a comprehensive document on renal patients and vaccines.

    Pretty sad the woman talking about her vaccinated seven month old with Vesicoureteral reflux and some sort of immunological disorder. Whats the advice she gets? DON’T VACCINATE!

  9. #9 Poodle Stomper
    February 16, 2011

    Wow, yeah. The posters there are scary. There are several instances of parents saying they are refusing to vaccinate their children because they have immune deficiencies and then there’s this gem:

    What this means is that all the vaccine “success stories” are nothing more than a case of the old disease being relabelled. Polio became viral (aseptic) meningitis; small pox became severe chicken pox/monkey pox etc; diphtheria and pertussis became RSV/severe tonsillitis/croup; hepatitis became other forms of hepatitis; bacterial meningitis became other forms of bacterial meningitis etc etc. Flu wasn’t relabelled incidentally – and there has been no reduction in flu incidence since vaccinations became common.

    The stupid…it buuuuuuuurns!

  10. #10 Vicki
    February 16, 2011

    By her standards, homeopathy hasn’t been proven “truly safe” either. She’s set up moving goalposts such that if someone says “we tested it for five years,” the answer is “how do you know it doesn’t cause skin problems after ten?” Vaccines, in this paradigm, are guilty until proven innocent. Why doesn’t she judge homeopathic preparations by the same standard? (This is separate from the known dangers of not treating illness or injury.)

  11. #11 Boojum
    February 16, 2011

    Not as crazy as AoA, by the way the above’s meant to be UNvaccinated seven month old.

  12. #12 peter
    February 16, 2011

    “I found the study of the human body, chemistry and biology to be in comparison quite shallow, simple and easy to comprehend.”

    Which means she doesn’t have a clue.

    The problem in medicine and biology is to correlate findings from all the different fields that make up “biology” to explain the function of the human or any “body”.
    Physics is concerned with physics and the various sub catagories, biology needs physics, chemistry, anatomy, physiology, genetics, etc.

  13. #13 Clare
    February 16, 2011

    I was just reading the comments over there and am now very scared. I literally see no way to reason with these people.

    I do wonder though, there are a lot of people complaining about the lack of vaccinated/vaccinated studies, but would they be willing to enroll their children? Given the undoubted “danger” would they allow their children to do it? And if they wont why should I let my children run the risk of getting preventable diseases?

    I would ask over there but I feel I may be spotted for the imposter I am :)

  14. #14 Lawrence
    February 16, 2011

    Almost every single post over there has some easily debunked information – though the “re-naming” of diseases is of the worst. Seriously, if Smallpox was just re-named as Chicken Pox, why aren’t 25% of the people getting it dying (as did with Small Pox)?

    Morons. I’m tempted to go over and post Todd’s site & see what kind of hornet’s nest that stirs up.

  15. #15 T. Bruce McNeely
    February 16, 2011

    Dr. Humphries has demonstrated one truth: Smart people can go utterly insane, too.

  16. #16 KeithB
    February 16, 2011

    With her “credentials” she seems almost uniquely qualified to write the definitive paper proving that homeopathy works. Go for it, Suzanne!

  17. #17 Pablo
    February 16, 2011

    Dr. Humphries has demonstrated one truth: Smart people can go utterly insane, too.

    Alternatively, Bruce, one might argue that she demonstrates that even insane people can get degrees.

  18. #18 Wow
    February 16, 2011

    There is a large element of truth if you turn her argument around.

    There are doctors (too many it seems) who go to the latest biochem product to “solve” a problem. Some because that’s what the loudest of them DEMAND to get (none of this “try eating properly”, I WANT DRUGS!!!). Some because it’s the simpler route. Some because they get paid attention (including meals, entertainment and little gifts).

    And vaccines are big business. Therefore there’s a tendency to sweep problems under the carpet.

    Not nearly as big a business as “treatments” mind which is IMO far worse, especially as far as hiding the problem is concerned.

    And this then spills over from the problem with treatments into all medical chemistry.

    And lots (too many) take that reaction a long way and then embrace homeopathy. Often in a case where it works, taking the doctor’s advice would work (eat healthily, exercise, it will clear up in time, etc), but when doctors aren’t taking the time to GIVE that advice, they are doing their profession a disservice and leaving a large door open to people afraid of the unknown to run off and become a problem.

  19. #19 Jud Fink
    February 16, 2011

    Smart people can go utterly insane, too.

    Yeah, the whole “I am far more intelligent than mere mortals and I saw the flaming syringe on the road to Damascus” flavor of it struck me as pretty close to some sort of mental disease process.

  20. #20 Denice Walter
    February 16, 2011

    Dr Humphries, responding to the gravitational pull of even larger gaseous bodies in the universe, has spilt her woo on the Gary Null Show prior to her interview by the Health Ranger ( 2/2/11). I question her capacity to judge exactly *what* an “avalanche of truth” would entail ( other than pipe dreams) if she hangs around with the likes of those two**. I believe she also may suffer from the disabling selective forgetting of most of her medical education. Again, she fits right in, as she foresees a “revolution”.( Draconis won’t like that).

    ** playing the same circuit as Andy- the Woo Channel: “All grandiosity, all the time”.

  21. #21 DMG
    February 16, 2011

    Somewhat of a serious question. What do you think happened to Dr. Humphries? Her credentials should tell us that she has the capacity to understand the science against homeopathy and other forms of woo. She was likely a decent enough physician to obtain an academic position in Nephrology. I can understand how someone may be taken in by woo from another field like say a physician fooled by the analogous woo particle physicists may deal with. But HOW can someone with her background and training turn to homeopathy? This is mindboggling.

    I can only wonder if she has lost her mind.

  22. #22 Anthro
    February 16, 2011

    Where did she go to medical school? She has to have developed some kind of mental illness–so sad. I know an anesthesiologist who became an Ayurvedic practitioner–she completely gave up the practice of medicine. What a waste.

  23. #23 Denice Walter
    February 16, 2011

    @ Poodle Stomper: Hi Poodles! ( blows kiss)

  24. #24 Matthew Cline
    February 16, 2011

    Seriously, if Smallpox was just re-named as Chicken Pox, why aren’t 25% of the people getting it dying (as did with Small Pox)?

    It would also require that anyone who did gene-sequencing or protein analysis of the viruses to be in on the conspiracy, since they’d tell you that smallpox and chickenpox have different proteins and different genes.

  25. #25 SomeGuyWandderingBy
    February 16, 2011

    In fact the strenuous mind-bending exercise that was part of the physics curriculum made medical school easy. I found the study of the human body, chemistry and biology to be in comparison quite shallow, simple and easy to comprehend.

    Reminded me of this. Theoretical physics is surely the worst possible training ground when it comes to dealing with complicated squishy things with opinions. I am intriuged how she made the transition to homeopathy though.

  26. #26 Beamup
    February 16, 2011

    There isn’t really a meaningful distinction between theoretical and experimental in undergrad. And the area of physics matters a lot more than theoretical/experimental anyway.

    Bragging on an undergraduate degree just makes REAL physicists laugh uproariously.

  27. #27 surfgeorge
    February 16, 2011

    I believe one possible explanation of how people trained in science can move to a world view and practice of woo is because of the limitations imposed by science and reality. That is, sometimes scientifically trained doctors have to say either “I don’t know” or “there is nothing we can do to help you”. I believe some people can’t face that fact, and psychologically “need” to be in a position where they can “help” someone no matter what condition that person is in. Because “healers” have never seen a condition they can’t heal, (in one way or another, i.e. a “spiritual healing”… even if the patient dies), they are able to maintain an illusion that no matter what the state of the patient, they, as healers, are in a position to “help”. It’s truly sad and ironic, because in fact they end up doing more harm than helping. I think you could call it a psychologically imposed “blind spot”. No matter what the factual outcome, they can (have to?) rationalize it as a success, or blame it on the some previous event of toxic lifestyle or medicine, never on the fact that what they are doing is useless ineffective quackery.

  28. #28 Old Rockin' Dave
    February 16, 2011

    If vaccination didn’t cure smallpox, but rather improved sanitation did, why then did the the last pockets of smallpox in South Asia and the Horn of Africa dry up after the contacts of the last known patients were vaccinated? Has sanitation improved that much in Somalia and Bangladesh since 1979? And how much does improved sanitation do to prevent the spread of a disease that is principally spread by the respiratory route?
    The recent declaration that rinderpest, a cattle disease, has now been eliminated by vaccination was little noticed. Does the good doctor think that African cattle are benefiting from improved sanitation?

  29. #29 Lawrence
    February 16, 2011

    Improved sanitation helps, but you have to remove the disease vector itself to finally wipe it off the map. If there are no suceptible hosts, then the disease dies – that’s 101 level stuff.

  30. #30 Rohan G
    February 16, 2011

    Nice work Orac. I like that “A few things I know” can be summarised in just twenty ascii characters:

    FIGJAM/vaccinesRbad!

  31. #31 Scott Cunningham
    February 16, 2011

    Wow. As a biology undergad, it always amazes me when MDs can turn anti-vax. The basics of acquired immunity needed to understand how ingenious vaccines are is just so simple.

    And I’m leaning the direction of “even crazy people can get degreees.” There isn’t very much in academic gatekeeping to test for conspiratorial mindsets and preponderance of emotion and bluster over evidence.

  32. #32 Wow
    February 16, 2011

    “Does the good doctor think that African cattle are benefiting from improved sanitation?”

    One hoof washes the other…

  33. #33 Mu
    February 16, 2011

    I wonder about her definition of sustainable in regards to vaccines. It can’t be cost to society, as it has been shown over and over that vaccinations save cost, both in regards to money as well as in social need for care. Probably vaccines are not sustainable because so many people in the third world now survive past childhood that they conduct unsustainable assaults on their local environment. What is true, but taking away vaccines and replacing them with homeopathic remedies is a solution a Mengele might have come up with.

  34. #34 jen
    February 16, 2011

    “studies that looked for and failed to find links between vaccines and autism…”HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    The only thing those studies “looked for” was a study design (or should I say design flaw) that wouldn’t show a fucking thing and you know it. (Madsen, Fombonne, Tozzi). Vaerstraten’s actually did show problems.

  35. #35 augustine
    February 16, 2011

    Lawrence

    Improved sanitation helps, but you have to remove the disease vector itself to finally wipe it off the map. If there are no suceptible hosts, then the disease dies – that’s 101 level stuff.

    So how do we eliminate acute flaccid paralysis? I’m interested.

  36. #36 Poodle Stomper
    February 16, 2011

    @ Poodle Stomper: Hi Poodles! ( blows kiss)

    Hi, Denice! <3

  37. #37 Chris
    February 16, 2011

    jen:

    The only thing those studies “looked for” was a study design (or should I say design flaw) that wouldn’t show a fucking thing and you know it. (

    Jen, please provide the links to the critiques of those studies from qualified reviewers. Otherwise we are unable to judge what you are referring to, because to us those studies as a whole do not show a link between vaccines and autism. Thank you.

  38. #38 Mr. Fright
    February 16, 2011

    Vaccines did not save humanity and never will.

    Straw man argument mad libs time!

    Vaccines did not enable me to fly and never will.
    Vaccines did not make me a sandwich and never will.
    Vaccines did not clean the cat box and never will.

  39. #39 Dianne
    February 16, 2011

    Jen, please provide the links to the critiques of those studies from qualified reviewers.

    I’d settle for something even simpler: Jen explaining, in her own words, what she believes to be the flaws in the studies she mentions. So far she has simply categorically stated that they were “flawed” and left it at that. Probably she read an anti-vax web site that referred to the studies as “flawed” and just accepted that as truth without asking any questions. I doubt she has any real idea what the methods used were, much less what their limitations were and whether they were correctly applied.

  40. #40 Wow
    February 16, 2011

    Vaccines aint never caught a rabbit.
    And vaccines aint no friend of mine.

    (re #39)
    ;-)

  41. #41 Todd W.
    February 16, 2011

    @Dianne

    It’s been my observation that jen usually pops up over here spewing (sometimes verbatim) whatever recent post was up at AoA. Attempts to get her to use her noggin’ generally fail, as she continues to just regurgitate whatever it was she read that appealed to her emotions. Elucidation is typically lacking.

  42. #42 Science Mom
    February 16, 2011

    “studies that looked for and failed to find links between vaccines and autism…”HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    The only thing those studies “looked for” was a study design (or should I say design flaw) that wouldn’t show a fucking thing and you know it. (Madsen, Fombonne, Tozzi). Vaerstraten’s actually did show problems.

    I have become convinced that jen’s default position is one of high anxiety with a heaping dose of hysteria. Jen cannot respond to questions and criticisms with anything but repetition. Jen dear, the studies you keep posting about are fine and there are many more that replicate them. You refuse to offer any critique of them and refuse to offer any studies that refute them, so do you honestly think you are contributing anything to the issue?

  43. #43 MikeMa
    February 16, 2011

    I wish that jen’s venturing out from under the AoA cloud of ignorance would indicate she might be reachable by reason. Alas, it would seem not. Scurry out, puke a little on the floor, scurry back to the safe and stupid.

  44. #44 Enkidu
    February 16, 2011

    This lady is popping up on parenting sites. Here she is championed as a “researched doctor on vaccines.” *sigh*

    http://forum.baby-gaga.com/about1563418.html

  45. #45 Ethyachk
    February 16, 2011

    Vaccines did not brew me a delicious hefeweizen and never will.
    Vaccines did not fake the moon landing and never will.
    Vaccines did not play the blues and never will.
    Vaccines did not make jen provide sufficient studies and never will.

  46. #46 Lawrence
    February 16, 2011

    What the heck is a “researched” doctor?

  47. #47 Gray Falcon
    February 16, 2011

    “studies that looked for and failed to find links between vaccines and autism…”HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA The only thing those studies “looked for” was a study design (or should I say design flaw) that wouldn’t show a fucking thing and you know it. (Madsen, Fombonne, Tozzi). Vaerstraten’s actually did show problems.

    I half suspect that jen’s reasoning behind this is for us to say “yes, it’s obvious there are problems” rather that admitting ignorance and asking what those problems were. This might work of AoA, where social pressures are much stronger, but here, it just makes her look arrogant.

  48. #48 Gray Falcon
    February 16, 2011

    Follow-up to my last post: Jen, what are the design flaws you’re talking about?

  49. #49 mb
    February 16, 2011

    If you check out one of her other articles “Are Vaccines a Gift From God?”, and you are good at suppressing your gag reflex, you will see that she refers to ‘the fable of the germ theory’. I really wonder how she can continue to practice medicine in any way.

  50. #50 Science Mom
    February 16, 2011

    This lady is popping up on parenting sites. Here she is championed as a “researched doctor on vaccines.” *sigh*

    Read: “She has an MD after her name and is saying what I want to hear.”

    Sigh Enkidu, she is being heralded all over the mummy forums and they are too daft to recognise someone gone mental.

  51. #51 Science Mom
    February 16, 2011

    Oh and countdown to when her persecution/deity complex kicks in and she responds to this on her own blog about how “threatened the medical establishment (aka da MAN) is by her”

  52. #52 Lawrence
    February 16, 2011

    She also actively censors her comments section – I’ve attempted multiple posts & have had every single one deleted.

  53. #53 Todd W.
    February 16, 2011

    @Science Mom

    Wonder if we’ll also see the call for a live debate. That and censorship are the refuges of the deluded and cranky.

  54. #54 dedicated lurker
    February 16, 2011

    On a side note, anyone not able to get to LB/RB? I only get a “you are banned” notice there, and I don’t think I was since I’ve commented there a grand total of once, a year ago.

  55. #55 Narad
    February 16, 2011

    There isn’t really a meaningful distinction between theoretical and experimental in undergrad.

    I wouldn’t go this far. My own degree, from the U. of Chicago, had very little by way of a meaningful lab component. That said, I’ve never heard of an undergraduate degree in “theoretical physics,” and Rutgers certainly doesn’t offer one now. I’m calling puffery.

  56. #56 René Najera
    February 16, 2011

    I see that someone has checked out of reality. Bon voyage, Dr. Humphries. I hear the land of (Dr.) Oz is filled with wild unicorns and rainbows and (f*cking) magnets (how do they work?).

  57. #57 Composer99
    February 16, 2011

    Insofar as her claims lead others to renounce real medicine in favour of quackery, I don’t think she’s insane so much as wicked.

  58. #58 Pablo
    February 16, 2011

    On a side note, anyone not able to get to LB/RB? I only get a “you are banned” notice there, and I don’t think I was since I’ve commented there a grand total of once, a year ago.

    To move to the side of your side note, I tried registering to comment on SBM yesterday and never got my email password. I will check my spam filter when it comes today, but don’t know why that should have happened.

  59. #59 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    February 16, 2011

    Orac: “… quite frankly, Dr. Humphries has become a homeopath.”

    Is that how we’re spelling ‘pillock’ these days?

  60. #60 MI Dawn
    February 16, 2011

    @dedicated lurker: I was able to get to LB/RB with no problem (Firefox on a mac). But it is an hour later since you posted. Maybe a temp problem that has been fixed?

  61. #61 Liz Ditz
    February 16, 2011

    @dedicated lurker & others who can’t get to LB/RB — I think they’ve installed a new perhaps too enthusiastic anti-spam widget.

    I’ve alerted the relevant folk.

  62. #62 jre
    February 16, 2011

    The eradication of smallpox was multifactorial, including improved sanitation. However, that does not mean the smallpox vaccine was not instrumental in finally eradicating the disease once (and hopefully) for all.

    Orac, I wish you had phrased that more strongly. I like improved sanitation as much as the next guy, but it is not the central issue here. Smallpox had been around for over 3000 years, in times and places with good sanitation and bad, when the WHO started the eradication campaign in 1967. Ten years later, smallpox had shuffled off this mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible. It was an ex-disease.

    This was not the result of improved sanitation.

    Smallpox was eradicated through a program of mass vaccination in the four areas (Brazil, Indonesia, Central to Southern Asia and Eastern to Sub-Saharan Africa) where it was still endemic, followed by surveillance and ring vaccination to isolate and eradicate outbreaks. The timing and location of smallpox cases in the 1960s and 1970s make one thing absolutely indisputable: it was the vaccination. The canard that smallpox was really eliminated as sanitation improved has been promoted by nutcases like Suzanne Humphries and Bill Maher as a response to the very reasonable position that vaccination has saved, and continues to save, millions of lives. The “sanitation” response is a pile of steaming crap that needs to be hosed off the street of discourse and treated in a state-of-the-art waste management facility until it stops being dangerous.

  63. #63 Roadstergal
    February 16, 2011

    Vaccines never gave me an orgasm, and never will.

    Like most doctors, I held a blind belief for many years, that vaccines were necessary, safe and effective.

    Most doctors? I want a cite on that one.

    (It does look like she has a weak spot for blind beliefs, though.)

  64. #64 augustine
    February 16, 2011

    Todd W.

    Wonder if we’ll also see the call for a live debate. That and censorship are the refuges of the deluded and cranky.

    So if someone calls for a live debate then are they, therefore, deluded and cranky? Is that the unsaid poison fallacy you’re alluding to?

    In a live debate we get to see what type of characters we’re dealing with.

    Written communication and oral communication are definitely two different skill sets.

    You couldn’t keep saying idiot, clueless, and ignorant and win a live debate. It would be a tough setting for a scienceblogger to win. Therefore you are justified in poo pooing live debates.

  65. #65 Todd W.
    February 16, 2011

    You couldn’t keep saying idiot, clueless, and ignorant and win a live debate. It would be a tough setting for a scienceblogger to win. Therefore you are justified in poo pooing live debates.

    Live debates are favorable to the cranks because it allows them the opportunity to throw out a laundry list of studies that, so they claim, support their position, also known as the Gish Gallop. The studies they throw out may be of piss poor quality or not even support their position, but in a live debate, there’s no way for the listener (and sometimes even the other party) to validate that what they say has any value or relevance whatsoever. That’s why cranks love live debates.

  66. #66 Pablo
    February 16, 2011

    To summarize what Todd says:

    Cranks love live debates because it lets them spew as many lies as they can get out in X minutes. Their opponent never has near enough time to refute all the lies, and if they spend all their time doing it, they come off as being totally defensive and having nothing to contribute on their own. Pulling a Joe Pesci statement of, “Everything that guy just said is bullshit,” while true, is not an effective debating tool. Unfortunately, for these cases, it is pretty much all the only response that is warranted.

  67. #67 augustine
    February 16, 2011

    Gish gallops are not the reason a scienceblogger type is unfavored in a live debate. I think most audiences would find a laundry list of studies to be very boring. You could always point and scream “Gish gallop! Gish gallop!” But that wouldn’t help you very much, either. It would only serve to make you look like a fool. Likewise you couldn’t box up every argument with a label and scream “logical fallacy. You’re debunked.”

    It’s amusing that you think live debates would harm the pro mass vaccinators disease eradication cause. But I think you’re right.

  68. #68 Matthew Cline
    February 16, 2011

    the fable of the germ theory

    Since she also claims that vaccines damage/weaken the immune system, I have to wonder what she means by that.

  69. #69 Gray Falcon
    February 16, 2011

    Gish gallops are not the reason a scienceblogger type is unfavored in a live debate. I think most audiences would find a laundry list of studies to be very boring. You could always point and scream “Gish gallop! Gish gallop!” But that wouldn’t help you very much, either. It would only serve to make you look like a fool. Likewise you couldn’t box up every argument with a label and scream “logical fallacy. You’re debunked.”

    So what you’re saying is that you would prefer a venue where dishonest techniques are more valued than physical evidence.

  70. #70 Sullivan
    February 16, 2011

    dedicated lurker–

    that message comes up from a program that is supposed to block IP addresses of spam bots. I’m going through that right now and making sure that the IP addresses it uses are only those actively used by spammer.

  71. #71 Dianne
    February 16, 2011

    Wait a minute. Dr. Humphries has an undergraduate degree in PHYSICS and she believes in homeopathy? Has she entirely forgotten everything she learned in physics? Little details like thermodynamics and quantum mechanics have completely escaped her by now? Perhaps she never actually learned anything in either her undergraduate classes or her medical school classes: just memorized the formulas and facts well enough to pass the tests without ever actually retaining any information, much less ability to critically evaluate the subject.

  72. #72 Narad
    February 16, 2011

    She also actively censors her comments section – I’ve attempted multiple posts & have had every single one deleted.

    Pathetically, she also edits the comments. At 2:06 CDT, I posted the following in reply to “punter” on the relabeling of disease:

    Polio became viral (aseptic) meningitis

    “Ah, the Greenberg gambit. Difficult-to-track-down sources are always the best. BTW, where are all the cases of paralytic disease?”

    The last sentence is approximate, as its silent deletion has forced me to work from memory.

  73. #73 Narad
    February 16, 2011

    CST, sorry. I must be suffering from spring fever, which is no doubt relabeled rabies or something.

  74. #74 Reading Frame
    February 16, 2011

    Somewhat off topic but connected nonetheless: I was reading about the MMR fraud here, and was utterly disgusted by the comments. Seriously, every gambit, conspiracy, and fallacy known to humankind. The stupid burns.

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/215841.php

    The articles in general seem to be fairly decent, but given the quality of the readers I am starting to wonder.

  75. #75 zackoz
    February 16, 2011

    OT, but the antivaxers have another “glorious victory”, alas – a child has died of whooping cough in Victoria:

    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/death-sparks-vaccine-appeal-20110216-1awnl.html

  76. #76 Michael
    February 16, 2011

    jre, in some countries it was mainly vaccination (like China). In other countries, though, it was a combination of vaccination and surveillance and containment.
    (As a side note, in India I’m told that surveillance and containment played a large role. That’s always sounded weird to me since there were 188,000 cases of smallpox in India the year before it was eradicated in India. How do you do surveillance and containment when you have so many cases of a disease?)

  77. #77 Travis
    February 16, 2011

    I have an ugrad degree in physics. We certainly did not have a theoretical physics degree stream. Then again this was as a smaller university with a fairly small physics department so there were only a few options. I only remember there being a physics and a biophysics program when I was there. I suppose it is possible some larger universities have streams that concentrate more on one area than the other.

    Anyway, it does not really matter. All it says to me is that she should know better. Sadly have a degree does not mean you can think critically. I know a physics grad who was also a tarot “master” and had another acquaintance that was working on his PhD in physics but was a young earth creationist (did work in solid state physics, I guess he felt that was real physics and ignored all that astrophysics stuff).

  78. #78 augustine
    February 16, 2011

    GF

    So what you’re saying is that you would prefer a venue where dishonest techniques are more valued than physical evidence.

    No. The scienceblogging insulting, condescending, snarky “just get your damn vaccines” character would be personified on stage. The true heart of a scienceblogger would be exposed. This is why you would lose the debate.

    Those qualities not only do not win you friends they do not work very well in a crowd or auditorium. Know matter what or who you know.

  79. #79 Militant Agnostic
    February 16, 2011

    Since she also claims that vaccines damage/weaken the immune system, I have to wonder what she means by that.

    The immune system that protects us against miasmas, evil spirits, curses and demonic possession.

  80. #80 iamnothouse.com
    February 16, 2011

    Tsunami of Vaccines
    Wave of Autism
    Hurricane of Toxins
    Tornado of Mercury

    This is a fun game.

  81. #81 Gray Falcon
    February 16, 2011

    No. The scienceblogging insulting, condescending, snarky “just get your damn vaccines” character would be personified on stage. The true heart of a scienceblogger would be exposed. This is why you would lose the debate.

    If someone says “2+2=4, you asshole,” that doesn’t suddenly make 2+2=5. Being polite is not the same thing as being honest, being correct, or being good. The most polite writing I’ve seen on the Internet tend to be in the form of Nigerian scams.

    By the way, do you even know what logical fallacies are, and why you shouldn’t use them? Just because something sounds plausible doesn’t make it correct.

  82. #82 Militant Agnostic
    February 16, 2011

    I think Suzanne Humphries may have been the person who taught Charlene Werner of YouTube fame about physics.

    For those few who are unfamiliar with Charlene Werener’s unintentionally hilarious explanation of the physics of homeopathy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0c5yClip4o&feature=related

  83. #83 augustine
    February 16, 2011

    GF

    Being polite is not the same thing as being honest, being correct, or being good. The most polite writing I’ve seen on the Internet tend to be in the form of Nigerian scams.

    I didn’t say anything about being polite.

    “Yeh, getch your vaccine, bitch! Get those dirty little germ fuckers vaccinated too. Hurry up already. Only stupid ignorant non educatated idiot bible thumpers are non vaccinators. You’re not stupid are you?”

    Even if you were right, I don’t think this works for compliance.

    Has the urge to be correct has superceded compassion?

  84. #84 Gray Falcon
    February 16, 2011

    Has the urge to be correct has superceded compassion?

    In your case, yes.

  85. #85 Matthew Cline
    February 16, 2011

    @augustine:

    bible thumpers are non vaccinators

    I don’t remember anyone here saying anything that could remotely be construed as implying that religious people are less likely to vaccinate.

  86. #86 Gray Falcon
    February 16, 2011

    Matthew Cline

    I don’t remember anyone here saying anything that could remotely be construed as implying that religious people are less likely to vaccinate.

    It’s how augustine’s mind works. Anything that doesn’t fit his preconceived view of the world is edited into something closer. This is another advantage of online debates: We can actually see the original statements and show the (possibly subconscious) contradictions.

  87. #87 sid offit
    February 16, 2011

    @ Old Rockin’ Dave

    a cattle disease, has now been eliminated by vaccination was little noticed

    Not true. Following the defeat of this scourge, at least where I live, celebrations lasted deep into the night .

  88. #88 dr. tod
    February 16, 2011

    just a thought for our discussion. i wonder what percent of the anti-vaccers would identify themselves against abortion, stem-cell research, the “job destroying” health care bill, muslims, anything but the king james bible, immigrants and anyone who would delete “under god” from the pledge? seems like a common mind set. tea anyone?

  89. #89 Sid Offit
    February 16, 2011

    @Mu

    I’m not going to embarrass you by posting descriptions of Mengele’s experiments, which are, according to you, actions equivalent to giving healthy people a glass of water.

  90. #90 Denice Walter
    February 16, 2011

    @ iamnothouse.com :

    How about ” a pyroclastic flow of oxidative stress”?

  91. #91 AnthonyK
    February 16, 2011

    I had my comments almost instantly deleted too. See, here’s the difference: on this site we allow the morons to comment – augie, jen, sid offit (great blog by the way, sid, snigger) but not there.
    This fact shows that dissenting views are allowed here; the regular disembowling of their nonsense just shows rubbish rebutted, not censored.

  92. #92 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    February 16, 2011

    “OT, but the antivaxers have another “glorious victory”, alas – a child has died of whooping cough in Victoria:

    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/death-sparks-vaccine-appeal-20110216-1awnl.html

    We just don’t spend enough time talking about vaccines here.

    Tell me, what do you really think about those of us who are ardently and sincerely opposed to the six-vaccines-at-once-with-no-corporate-accountability-or-liability schedule, as opposed to those who distort news stories and facts to impugn our motives?

    And when, oh when, will you see that this is not just “anti-vax” versus “pro-vax” but a far more nuanced and multifaceted issue?

    Jay

  93. #93 Sid Offit
    February 16, 2011

    @Denice Walters

    Pyroclastic flow? Sounds like you been listenin’ to some Ice Cube. Red hot lava mixed with salava.

  94. #94 Gray Falcon
    February 16, 2011

    Jay Gordon:

    Tell me, what do you really think about those of us who are ardently and sincerely opposed to the six-vaccines-at-once-with-no-corporate-accountability-or-liability schedule, as opposed to those who distort news stories and facts to impugn our motives?

    The human body takes in far more pathogens by breathing than through vaccines. Do you have any evidence that the vaccine schedule is flawed? Present it. Not that we expect honesty from one who presented the Wakefield paper (which you earlier defended) as an example of the flaws in peer review.

    And when, oh when, will you see that this is not just “anti-vax” versus “pro-vax” but a far more nuanced and multifaceted issue?

    When you start showing more nuance “anti-vax” and “pro-vax”.

  95. #95 Pablo
    February 16, 2011

    It’s not anti-vax vs pro-vax, gordo, it’s honesty vs lying piece of shit. Which side are you on, mr “6 vaccines at once”?

    I’m on my second child in 2.5 years and have only had as many as 4 vaccines at once maybe three times.

    If you are giving 6 vaccines at once, then you are an idiot. But we already knew that.

  96. #96 Dinah Everett Snyder
    February 16, 2011

    Well, I was sipping some ” memory encoded water” but thanks, I’l take a cup of tea since you’re offering.

    Colonials are quite partial to tea as I’m sure you have heard. My personal favorites are Rooibos Tea and Essiac Tea, which although many drink for the anti cancer properties I happen to like for the earthy rich flavor.
    Adding a slice of lemon balances my body ph but I think I may be going on a bit now….

    Since you have already labelled me an “anti” vaccer despite my statement that I am a “safer” vaccer I thought I could
    perhaps explain that many people don’t see the world in clearly black or white or black and white terms.

    As a ” safer ” vaccer I think that Stem Cell Research is critical and fundamental to the direction of current research.
    As a ” safer” vaccer I think that abortion is not a for or against either. Therefore I shall say that I am in favour of a womans right to make the choice without interferance.

    Just as I believe that a doctor has the right to choose whether or not he or she will perform abortions, or not.

    As a ” safer” vaccer I believe that some key issues were addressed in the Health Care Reform such as those that dealt with insurers ability (previously) to turn away those with pre existing conditions. There are several that I thought were timely if not overdue areas that needed ammending.

    Here is something to debate perhaps: Since there is such an organ donor shortage and the wait lists are so long, what does the present company think about the idea of death row inmates involuntarily being offered up as donors as part of their ” retribution” package to society? Given that some recipients may choose to decline the ” gift” but nonetheless..next on the list, any takers?
    Think on the past and current death by injection delays due to drug shortages and the question of ethics etc swirling and consider the notion and ramifications at will.
    Since much of the company is irreversably assinine please try and not mutilate my post beyond recognition through misquote.

    Honey anyone?

    Dinah Everett Snyder.

  97. #97 Sid Offit
    February 16, 2011

    @Pablo
    So are you’re saying doctors giving six vaccines at once are idiots? And if you are, why? After all vaccines are safe regardless of the combinations in which they’re given.

    @AnthonyK

    Thanks for stopping by. We also frown on comment censorship.

  98. #98 Denice Walter
    February 16, 2011

    ” NJ Stands to Lose Freedom of Religion Exemption Is Your State Next?” (sic) @ AoA, today. A call to action, I suppose.

    I wrote about this “tightening” of the law, synopsizing a story in the Record, on the “Another teen endangered by ‘alternative medicine’” thread, 2/8/11.

  99. #99 AnthonyK
    February 16, 2011

    Tell me, what do you really think about those of us who are ardently and sincerely opposed to the six-vaccines-at-once-with-no-corporate-accountability-or-liability schedule, as opposed to those who distort news stories and facts to impugn our motives?

    Do you really not know that answer to that question Dr Jay? Or would you suggest that your your patients (children of the cream of California -rich and thick) shouldn’t have a blood transfusion because of the myriad of foreign proteins they contain?

    You surf the herd, Dr Jay; and we can all rest assured that should some child become ill from a vaccine-preventable illness that you’d dissuaded a parent from having, why, you’d be gone in a thunder of lawyers’ hooves.

    Disingenuous Sphincter.

  100. #100 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    February 16, 2011

    DTaP, polio vaccination, Hepatitis B, PCV13, Rotavirus vaccine, HIB.

    That’s six vaccines. Not every visit has six vaccines, but the 2 and 4 month visits have at least five recommended by the CDC. The five-year visit might also include 4, 5 or even 6 vaccines.

    I would suggest that the owner of this site ban you for posting as you do. I doubt that this will happen. Your rhetoric and insults are an embarrassment to the rest of us here who might want to engage in honest discourse. Shame on you for being incredibly rude and wrong at the same time. Not that one or the other is that great . . .

    Falcon, I continue to aver that there’s no science in drawing an analogy between breathing viral antigens and injecting them. And the Wakefield paper does represent a huge example of flawed peer review. You really disagree?

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/schedules/downloads/child/0-6yrs-schedule-pr.pdf

    Jay

  101. #101 Alan Kellogg
    February 16, 2011

    “Sympathetic magic” eh? By Jove, Orac, I’ve warped your thinking; I’m so proud of myself. :)

    Let’s face it, if magic of the type we’re talking about worked, it would be in use in our daily lives. Think of it, aircraft wings built incorporating feathers to ensure lift.

    People who support homeopathic medicine understand neither homeopathy, or science.

  102. #102 Orac
    February 16, 2011

    I would suggest that the owner of this site ban you for posting as you do. I doubt that this will happen.

    Correct, Dr. Jay. You’re not getting off that easy.

  103. #103 Travis
    February 16, 2011

    Since when do you want an honest discourse Jay? Every time things get tough here and people start really grilling you, you end up leaving and popping up a week or two later in a different thread. You never give any actual evidence, like perhaps some actual evidence that would back up your claims that the vaccine schedule needs to be changed (Grey Falcon asked about that in this very thread but it has been asked of you so many times). Instead you complain about “tone”. You know what would go a long way in helping the tone? If you actually provided some evidence that your beliefs had some basis in reality. That would also go a long way towards proving you are interested in honest discourse.

  104. #104 LW
    February 16, 2011

    “six-vaccines-at-once-with-no-corporate-accountability-or-liability schedule”

    How exactly do you figure that there’s no corporate liability, given that the corporation can be sued if the VICP recovery is denied or insufficient?

    How exactly do you figure that there’s no corporate accountability, given all the scrutiny by the FDA, anti-vaxxers, and hungry lawyers? If a vaccine is even suspected of causing issues, or there is any hint of contamination, it gets pulled and the corporation doesn’t get compensated for that. I suppose you would prefer that the corporate officers be hung, drawn, and quartered, and that anything less is total lack of accountability.

  105. #105 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    February 16, 2011

    David, the guy’s posted absolutely excellent and educational information more than a couple times. I’m serious when I tell you that I’ve–obviously–learned more epidemiology, virology and immunology here than is taught at any med school. It’s just that he really loses it sometimes. A behind the scenes mention about bare minimum civility might go a long way. I can’t imagine that anyone reading his inaccurate post above is impressed with how cool he is and what an idiot I am.

    Best,

    Jay

  106. #106 Gray Falcon
    February 16, 2011

    Dr. Gordon, the problem with the Wakefield paper was that he lied and made up his own data, while peer review operates on a certain level of trust. The problem with you is that you are trying to have it both ways, suggesting Wakefield was both honest and dishonest at once.

    Also, you still haven’t shown any evidence of problems caused by the current vaccine schedule.

    Finally, I’ve seen some true nastiness from some anti-vax commentators, and Pablo hasn’t reached anywhere near that level.

  107. #107 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    February 16, 2011

    Really?? You want my sorry pitch one more time???

    OK, here it is: I have no incontrovertible scientific proof that the current vaccine schedule is badly flawed and has contributed to the huge increase in autism over the past 20-30 years. I only have my interpretation of the data and my nearly 32 year long career as a pediatrician watching children and vaccination very carefully.

    There! This usually generate 40-50 scornful responses. I’ll scroll down and respond as soon as those are out of the way.

    Best,

    Jay

  108. #108 Lawrence
    February 16, 2011

    At least Jay admits that Wakefield’s paper never should have made it to publication – which is a start, since so much suffering has resulted from people viewing that work as some kind of “definitive proof” of the vaccine-autism link (regardless of the backpedaling by the anti-vaxers now).

    So Jay – still standing solidly behind Wakefield?

    And care to reinterate your thoughts on the policies of the standard anti-vax sites to actively censor/delete posts & information that they don’t agree with? Since I personally had more than a dozen posts deleted today over at Dr. Humphres site, just because I tried to submit information that happened to debunk some of the crazier posters there – I wonder how you reconcile this with your “let’s have a reasonable discussion” request here?

    And I will never understand the desire of anti-vaxers to actively work to “save” diseases like polio & measles. If the worldwide vaccinations programs were allowed to progress, we could, like smallpox, discontinue these vaccines once we had eliminated them. We were so close with polio – so why not push for expanded programs so the “too many, too soon” crowd could be placated by getting rid of the vaccines once the diseases were gone?

    Why, oh why, do you want to keep these diseases around?

  109. #109 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    February 16, 2011

    Falcon, anyone posting as rudely and inaccurately as Pablo is wrong. No matter what point of view they espouse. I have already apologized for any lapses I’ve had.

    Best,

    Jay

  110. #110 Gray Falcon
    February 16, 2011

    Jay Gordon:

    There! This usually generate 40-50 scornful responses. I’ll scroll down and respond as soon as those are out of the way.

    All of which you deserve, given that your argument is based on the assumption of your personal infallibility.

  111. #111 Gray Falcon
    February 16, 2011

    Falcon, anyone posting as rudely and inaccurately as Pablo is wrong. No matter what point of view they espouse. I have already apologized for any lapses I’ve had.

    See my comment at #82 to augustine. The most polite people you’ll meet are con artists.

  112. #112 LW
    February 16, 2011

    “I continue to aver that there’s no science in drawing an analogy between breathing viral antigens and injecting them.”

    I’ve never understood this argument. When you’re dealing with a live virus — even an attenuated virus — it has been adapted by evolution to attack the body through a certain mechanism.

    Smallpox, for instance, was normally transmitted through the air, and it was horribly well adapted to that mechanism, being able to get firmly established before the immune system could mount a defense. On the other hand, although it could be transmitted through the skin, it wasn’t well adapted to that attack and so the body usually was able to mount a defense before the virus got established. This was the basis for variolation, which gave people a (usually) very mild case of smallpox via a scratch, producing a relatively low mortality.

    If there were no “analogy between breathing viral antigens and injecting them”, why would either variolation or vaccination against smallpox have been effective?

    And since measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, and flu, are all airborne like smallpox, why would infection with these diseases through the skin instead of the lungs not be expected to be effective? And why would it *not* be preferred with live viruses, since it would deprive the virus of its advantage in the initial attack?

  113. #113 Narad
    February 16, 2011

    Who put another quarter in Dinah?

  114. #114 Travis
    February 16, 2011

    Yes, I am very familiar with your sad reasoning. But you also know that does not cut it here. I doubt you would accept such reasoning from someone else actually. You could most likely find plenty of other pediatricians out there that would say their experience is quite different.

    In the end, the tone will never improve until you do more. I simply cannot figure out how you determine a meaningful vaccine schedule from your experience. Is 4 vaccines at a time too much? How about 2 or 3? Can you use more vaccines if you change which are done at one time? How did you distill your experience into anything other than random memories? If there was a method to this madness then you should seriously write a paper. Perhaps then other doctors might even begin to listen. It might even help children!

    Falcon, anyone posting as rudely and inaccurately as Pablo is wrong. No matter what point of view they espouse. I have already apologized for any lapses I’ve had.

    Incorrect information is one thing. However, the rudeness of a post has nothing to do with being incorrect. It might cause you not to read it, it might be a poor tactic when trying to get you to answer questions, but it has nothing to do how right or wrong a statement is.

  115. #115 LW
    February 16, 2011

    “Why, oh why, do you want to keep these diseases around?”

    Because the good doctor isn’t sure of the consequences of eradication:

    Seriously, you know exactly what the consequences would be to total eradication of measles? What about total eradication of lactobacillus? Sanctimonious is as sanctimonious does. We scientists (yes, me too!!) know so much less than we think we do. We should tread much more lightly and speak more quietly. (Yes, you too.)

    Just keeping it around in a laboratory in case we need it again isn’t good enough; we need it circulating freely and causing random death and disability.

  116. #116 dedicated lurker
    February 16, 2011

    Let’s be simple here.

    Dr. Jay, have you changed your mind about supporting Andrew Wakefield?

  117. #117 Glaxxo pharmaCoM Shuttle 7
    February 16, 2011

    Shills etc.
    I am en route to a planetary subjugation seminar on Niribu so I shall chime in later, or perhaps the ever efficient Cindy will act as my proxy. You try texting with four inch claws sometime.
    Yours in merciful brevity
    Lord Draconis Zeneca
    ——–

  118. #118 Glaxxo pharmaCoM Shuttle 7
    February 16, 2011

    Shills etc.
    I am en route to a planetary subjugation seminar on Niribu so I shall chime in later, or perhaps the ever efficient Cindy will act as my proxy. You try texting with four inch claws sometime.
    Yours in merciful brevity
    Lord Draconis Zeneca
    ——–

  119. #119 Broken Link
    February 16, 2011

    Dr. Jay Gordon,

    Many months ago, I suggested that you take the time to read the entire proceedings of the Cedillo Autism Omnibus case. The reason I did so is that all involved were always very polite. You seem very sensitive to impolite behavior. Maybe if you read the entire transcript you’d get a good understanding of the paucity of evidence behind the autism-is-caused-by-vaccines argument, without having your feelings hurt.

    Did you get around to doing this? It’s a fascinating, totally fascinating read. Link is on my ‘nym to save you the trouble of actually seeking it out.

  120. #120 Travis
    February 16, 2011

    Broken Link:
    When I clicked there I got brought to http://rumba.microfocus.com/ instead.

  121. #121 Enkidu
    February 16, 2011

    LW @ 155: Wow. It’s not like measles is as hard to store/ keep alive as the last Humpback Whales from Star Trek IV. If, in the future, aliens come to Earth looking to communicate with the measles virus, I’ll be sure to thaw some out for them from the -80 freezer.

  122. #122 JohnV
    February 16, 2011

    @Dr. Gordon,

    “And the Wakefield paper does represent a huge example of flawed peer review.”

    To steal a quote from good ol’ JR: if Lady Godiva rode by, you’d comment on her horse.

  123. #123 Edgar
    February 16, 2011

    Dr Jay has a point. How arrogant are we? We have committed genocide against the small pox virus and you want to similarly commit genocide against the polio and measles viruses! What right do you have to claim that a human life is more important than a virus’s life?

  124. #124 a-non
    February 16, 2011

    OK, here it is: I have no incontrovertible scientific proof that the current vaccine schedule is badly flawed and has contributed to the huge increase in autism over the past 20-30 years. I only have my interpretation of the data and my nearly 32 year long career as a pediatrician watching children and vaccination very carefully.

    Not. This. Again.

    Please, Dr. Gordon – we’ve been down this road before. You talk about interpretations of “the data” and your empirical observations to the point of exhaustion. Yet, with all of this information that you allegedly have you have never published one article or done one study to back up this assertion. Not one.

    So all we have is your word for it.

    Basically, Jay, you’re a more polite version of jen and augustine wih a medical degree. All rhetoric, no substance, and not the least bit worth my time.

  125. #125 D. S. Chapman, MD, FAAP
    February 17, 2011

    Dr. Gordon:

    If the reason you oppose the current vaccine schedule is based entirely on: “I only have my interpretation of the data and my nearly 32 year long career as a pediatrician watching children and vaccination very carefully.”

    Then we should add up ALL the years of experience of ALL the pediatricians who have “interpreted the data and watched children and vaccination very carefully” and have come to the opposite conclusion that you have, and see which point of view has a higher net total number of years of experience.

    I believe using your “net years of experience” method of determination, we can say that the argument is over and you may begin vaccinating your patients with the standard vaccine schedule, as the number of pediatricians who hold your point of view is dwarfed by those who hold the opposing point of view. It appears that your point of view loses out on the “net experience method” as well as on the science.

    BTW, I will be adding my 18 years of experience as a pediatrician to “the current vaccine schedule is NOT badly flawed and has NOT contributed to the huge increase(your words) in autism over the past 20-30 years” side.

  126. #126 herr doktor bimler
    February 17, 2011

    And the Wakefield paper does represent a huge example of flawed peer review. You really disagree?

    Blaming the peer review process for the publication of Wakefield’s fraud is akin to accusing the police of responsibility when a burglary occurs rather than blaming the burglar.

  127. #127 Jake Crosby
    February 17, 2011

    “Jen dear, the studies you keep posting about are fine and there are many more that replicate them. You refuse to offer any critique of them and refuse to offer any studies that refute them, so do you honestly think you are contributing anything to the issue?”

    If you can find Age of Autism, you can find our critiques:
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2011/01/dissecting-the-autism-science-foundations-use-of-the-hungry-lie.html

  128. #128 Lawrence
    February 17, 2011

    Jake – Seriously?

  129. #129 Lawrence
    February 17, 2011

    Jake – seriously? We already know exactly how you feel & no amount of evidence to the contrary (the mountains of it) will ever convince you that you are wrong.

  130. #130 novalox
    February 17, 2011

    @126

    God, that was some of the worst screed I have ever read, and that’s saying a lot.

  131. #131 prn
    February 17, 2011

    I have to say, I have observed a substantial number of unbalanced, unscientifc, vitriolic “provax” comments here. I appreciate those who have engaged in civil, thoughtful responses.

    One would think that reasonable schedule adaptation would be welcome in contrast to “hell no” or “29 gauge vs 12″, especially if there is a suspect adverse incident for the individual or prior family history.

    There is potential for improvements to indifferent, carte blanche administration practices, both pre- and post innoculation.

    The potential for problems with mandatory aquiescence and limited liability certainly can be tragic for individuals. The possibility of another officially sponsored, mass tragedy exists, and appears inherent in societies run with government dicta.

    Risk – benefit changes with time and circumstances, as do concepts of safety. Limited liability and hiding behind government veils create additional risk.

    I personally know how deadly ignorant anti-vaccination resistance can be, especially if accompanied by other unenlightened medical beliefs. However, I also suspect that vaccine adverse reactions are not well accounted, nor well treated.

    Many educated individuals do think there are threads of systematic bias in medicine and government that have engendered part of the present problems and backlashes.

  132. #132 Chris
    February 17, 2011

    Young Master Crosby:

    If you can find Age of Autism

    Except, young man, there is no qualified reviewer at that site. This is something that you must learn about. JB Handley and his friends are not qualified to provide a valid critiques of those studies. Now, please provide the PubMed Identification Numbers (PMID) of the critiques of the studies by qualified reviewers. Thank you in advance.

    Oh, by and by… Young Master Crosby: have you heard of this book? The author, Robert Goldberg, is a real life Pharma Shill. He is also a proud alum of Brandeis University. By your standards, that makes you a pharma shill by association!

  133. #133 brainzzz
    February 17, 2011

    If you go to http://www.vaccinationcouncil.org/2011/02/06/a-few-things-i-know/ you can easily comment there. Just make up a name and a fake hotmail address or something.

    I say this because the force of the stupid is strong there, and maybe a few dissenting lemmings would save the herd – if you catch my drift.

  134. #134 brainzzz
    February 17, 2011

    @prn
    Perhaps a little more restraint in the comment section might be a good idea, but that honestly this kind of thing is common across all of the interwebz. Indeed, it is only the lowest form of internet lurker that stoops to comment. ;)

    Your comment on “mandatory aquiescence” sounds a bit like something out of 1984. Are you referring to requiring vaccination for enrollment in daycare or something like that?

    Finally, I think you are probably somewhat unaware (and honestly reading the comment section probably won’t help here) of the kind of sincere discussion that does exist with regard to vaccine scheduling, tracking vaccination-related events, and the treatment of the real, but rare injuries associated with vaccination. For example, are you aware of treatments for vaccine induced Guillain-Barre syndrome? That is certainly something doctors worry about. Did you know that RotaShield was pulled from the market due to an extremely rare, but serious adverse event?

    Perhaps you might consider going to a vaccine conference like the 14th annual conference on vaccine research, or perhaps a vaccine or infectious disease research event at a medical campus close to you to see whether there is any discussion of adverse events or scheduling. I suspect your perspective might change.

  135. #135 prn
    February 17, 2011

    Thanks. “mandatory aquiescence” includes being intimidated or threatened after presenting a reasonable biological objection for the individual, especially the contraindications on the package inserts. Ground level reality of increased officialdom is sometimes not too fine on legal, medical or scientific details.

    RotaShield…pulled
    Any retractions tend to damage credibility at some level. However it is the hard fought, big whoops, like 1976, that tend to create life long caution.

    treatments for vaccine induced Guillain-Barre syndrome
    Presumably in alternative medicine. The two people, either GBS or Bell’s, that I’ve known were time dependent, and one claimed special dietary components.

    It’s not the interprofessional discussions and conferences that are going to alter fractional public (non)acceptance. It is perceived performance, benefit and quality, by the public, whether by the superstitious, or the hyper-aware.

    I suspect that more consideration of Clemetson’s and others’ points for improved administration and prenatal care, particularly on low cost prevention, could be used to improve acceptance and vaccine administration. Some parts of the objections simply require medical progress to damp out suspicions – when the problems go away for whatever reason, so too will many controversies damp down.

  136. #136 LW
    February 17, 2011

    “One would think that reasonable schedule adaptation would be welcome in contrast to ‘hell no’ or ’29 gauge vs 12′, especially if there is a suspect adverse incident for the individual or prior family history.”

    Gee, I guess we all forgot to mention *this thread* that there are indeed contraindications (like already being ill) that would disallow vaccination, and that the individual’s history is very important in deciding whether to vaccinate.

    We should remember to point that out *every single thread* so the antivaxxers might, just once, omit the claim that the maniacal pediatricians are out there shooting up every child according to an absolutely rigid schedule.

  137. #137 Wow
    February 17, 2011

    “Thanks. “mandatory aquiescence” includes being intimidated or threatened after presenting a reasonable biological objection for the individual,”

    But if they aren’t vaccinated, by letting these people walk around freely, *I* have to acquiesce to their decision to be carriers of disease.

    Your right to swing your fist ends when it reaches my nose.

    Your right to live in society comes with responsibilities. And one of those is to reduce your risk to harm your fellow man.

    Or is it only YOUR rights that are important?

  138. #138 LW
    February 17, 2011

    Enkidu and Edgar, I remembered Dr. Gordon’s concern about the adverse effects of eradicating measles, but in my quick search, I missed the original comment:

    I don’t know and you certainly don’t know what happens when we eradicate an organism which has lived with humans for millennia. Measles is good for you? I didn’t say that. I am saying that it’s existence might be more important than we think.

    Just a minor point, but apparently measles *hasn’t* been around for millenia; it diverged from rinderpest in the 11th or 12th Century, though admittedly Dr. Gordon would not have known that in 2009.

    However, one might have supposed that Dr. Gordon would at least know of the history of devastating measles epidemics when the disease was first introduced in the Americas, Australia, and Pacific islands. Those people had most certainly *not* lived with measles for millennia, and somehow they managed to survive just fine without it.

  139. #139 Lawrence
    February 17, 2011

    My wife and I just took our son in for his 2 month wellness visit. I wanted to ask our pediatrician about her practice’s exposure to anti-vaccine parents (one, I was curious & two, as a precaution because waiting rooms can be very crowded places and I do get worried being around a lot of sick & potentially unvaccinated kids).

    She was very open & honest that they do get their share – luckily not too many (very rare) rabid anti-vaxers, but they (the practice) makes it a point to work very closely with parents with concerns to eventually make sure the kids get all their shots (I took to mean they would spread them out if asked or go with the individual instead of grouped-shots).

    Her goal – get the kids vaccinated, but also try to work with any concerns that the parents might have. She said she has a pretty amazing track record of bringing parents around, which made me feel a bit better.

  140. #140 Pablo
    February 17, 2011

    That’s six vaccines. Not every visit has six vaccines, but the 2 and 4 month visits have at least five recommended by the CDC.

    So which visits DO have 6 vaccines?

    As I said – 2 kids in, gone through the 2 and 4 months visits twice, and never had 6 vaccines at once yet.

    So what are you talking about?

  141. #141 LW
    February 17, 2011

    “So what are you talking about?”

    Probably the catch-up vaccinations that would be required to bring his patients up to the recommended number.

  142. #142 Enkidu
    February 17, 2011

    Depending on when the pedi decides to administer the shots listed in the yellow bars, you could get 6 or more shots in one visit:

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/schedules/downloads/child/0-6yrs-schedule-pr.pdf

    For the record, my Paige’s max shot intake was 5 in one visit. Although, she got her “birth” HepB (at 2 months because she was a preemie) within a week of the other 5 shots in the 2 month series.

  143. #143 Dangerous Bacon
    February 17, 2011

    While it’s unsurprising that Jay Gordon showed up in the comments here, given his love of attention (he’s sort of the Chad Ochocinco of pediatricians), it’s odd that he’s confined himself to the usual mantras of Civility Above Substance (although civility is optional for Jay and like-minded antivaxers) and I’m Not Really Antivax.

    Jay should be leaping to the defense of the subject of Orac’s article, Dr. Suzanne Humphries – after all, they’re practically soulmates. Both are antivax to the core, both base their views on personal anecdote instead of science, and both are prey to crank magnetism (susceptibility to multiple forms of woo/bad science). Dr. Humphries is into homeopathy, and so is Jay Gordon. From his website on treating ear infections:

    “I like to put mullein/garlic oil in the ears hourly for a day or two and give pulsatilla 6X or 12C (homeopathic strength–the range I have given indicates homeopathic ignorance… but it works) or lachesis homeopathically hourly for two days.”

    Seriously, Jay – why aren’t you sticking up for your colleague, Dr. Humphries? You share so much. :)

  144. #144 Composer99
    February 17, 2011

    Dr Jay:

    You have yet to give a good reason why your 30-40 years’ experience should outweigh any other pediatrician’s experience (or cumulative experience of multiple pediatricians), or why any reader here should reasonably consider your (anecdotal) experience as being superior to epidemiological evidence.

    If you really want us to take your experience more seriously than the evidence, and to change the ‘tone’ in these comment threads, then you need to find a way to overcome the above objections.

    Otherwise, I dare say your appearances on this blog will continue to be met with derision and scorn.

  145. #145 Pablo
    February 17, 2011

    Probably the catch-up vaccinations that would be required to bring his patients up to the recommended number.

    Actually, I see what Jay is doing now, and it is, indeed, dishonest.

    He lists those six “vaccines” that should be given at a 2 mo appointment, for example. However, he doesn’t tell you that a couple of them are now combined into a single shot, and one of them (rino) is an oral vaccine. So he wants to claim “6 vaccines” based on the 6 inflictions that are being vaccinated against, and is not referring to the number of actual interventions that take place.

    By this same approach, it would be the equivalent of calling the MMR vaccine “3 vaccines” because it is a combined vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella. Do we call MMR 3 vaccines? Or is it 1? Most people I know consider MMR to be one vaccine, not three (although I wouldn’t be surprised if Jay separates them).

    But why stop there? Prevnar is actually 13 different antigens these days, combined into one vaccine. So why didn’t Jay say that we are no-liability-17 vaccine advocates?

    Because he knew that no one would take him seriously. His “6 vaccines” is having it both ways. He can count combined vaccines together to suit his needs, but he ignores other combined vaccines because it would make him look sensationalistic.

    It’s still dishonest.

  146. #146 prn
    February 17, 2011

    @134 LW
    1. petty, non-medical officials can be a problem
    2. There appear to be less agreed on, or less generally understood, contraindications; situations where research suggests cheap chemoprophylaxis could resolve some of the standoffs. However the two extremes seem to enjoy the conflict too much to notice positive opportunities.

    @135 Wow
    …if they aren’t vaccinated, by letting these people walk around freely, *I* have to acquiesce to their decision to be carriers of disease… Your right to swing your fist ends when it reaches my nose. Your right …responsibilities.
    An interesting argument indeed with some iatrogenic disease from live virus vaccines. Please note some not-so-distant historical vaccine failures, injuries and deaths make your coercive sounding proposition less appealing. Or note the mainstream theoretical work on vaccine (counter)effectiveness with genetic distance between emergent flu strains and prior vaccines.

    You also have the right to not associate with unvaccinated people, not to coercely distrain noncommunicable people on precautionary worries.
    ——————————
    Again, my family always has had the required shots, and perhaps a few less common ones.

  147. #147 Matthew Cline
    February 17, 2011

    @prn:

    Thanks. “mandatory aquiescence” includes being intimidated or threatened after presenting a reasonable biological objection for the individual, especially the contraindications on the package inserts.

    Doctors are intimidating or threatening parents into getting their children vaccinated, even if the child has one of the contraindications listed on the vaccine insert? Really?

  148. #148 jen
    February 17, 2011

    Thanks, Jake. I would’ve given them that same link but I knew they wouldn’t look at it. It’s a good little summary of the crappy studies and it does make an “Autism SCIENCE Foundation” look pretty stupid, but these people are terribly afraid to address it. Their brains would register the flaws yet they are not supposed to criticize the science if it was peer reviewed on a science blog. At least that’s what appears to be the unwritten rule here.

  149. #149 Todd W.
    February 17, 2011

    @Jake and jen

    People asked for legitimate critiques of the studies, or, barring that, some cogent personal thoughts on exactly what the flaws are. J.B. Handley isn’t what one would call particularly scientifically literate.

  150. #150 jen
    February 17, 2011

    The bottom line here is that a 12 year old kid could easily see the flaws in many many of their “studies that show no association with vaccines and autism or any other problems” but they will never admit that. However, they will mercilessly savage anyone who has a study that does show there could be problems (especially if they have been pharma, I mean peer, reviewed.

  151. #151 Mu
    February 17, 2011

    Sid, missing the point again? The Mengele aspect is giving (hopefully) healthy people a glass of water and then exposing them to the usual third world germ load, telling them they’re protected.
    And looking at the numbers, according to the WHO there were 164,000 death from measles in 2008 alone. Mengele was really an amateur compared to the anti-vaxers.

  152. #152 Lawrence
    February 17, 2011

    Jen, have you ever met a researcher? I know plenty & they are just normal people like you and I. They take quite a bit of pride in their work, whether they work in the private or public sector. None of them want to be associated with fraudulent or bad research, because it puts their jobs and reputations on the line.

    These are people no different than you or I, they have families, care about their children, and deal with all the same kinds of issues that we do on a regular basis. You would be very, very hard-pressed to find even a single individual that would knowingly conduct bad science (though Wakefield did, didn’t he?) or want to put something on the market that could cause harm well and beyond any benefit.

    I dare you to actually meet some of these researchers and get to know them – it is a heck of lot easier to damn them when you don’t know them, when you can make them seem less than human or evil, but that isn’t the case – these people do care and aren’t the monsters you make them out to be.

  153. #153 Pablo
    February 17, 2011

    The bottom line here is that a 12 year old kid could easily see the flaws in many many of their “studies that show no association with vaccines and autism or any other problems” but they will never admit that.

    No, the “bottom line” is that, despite being asked on multiple occasions what these supposed “flaws” are, you have never actually responded with anything. I don’t see why I should have to chase down links to try to find things that are so darn obvious. You should be able to provide SOME answer on your own, if they are so obvious, I would think.

    Help us out, jen. If a 12 year old can see them, then you should be able to explain them to me without having to resort to “read what someone else said.”

  154. #154 Jake Crosby
    February 17, 2011

    @Lawrence: Seriously, and no, you just can’t defend your own junk science which as you’ve inadvertently revealed yourself is meant to sway the public of a particular viewpoint that’s satisfying to your industry as opposed to answering a critical public health question.

    @Todd W: Just adding to what jen said, JB Handley did not critique them, his post was just a compilation of criticisms from other people, including doctors and scientists. Maybe if you actually read the critiques you would know that.

  155. #155 Jake Crosby
    February 17, 2011

    “You would be very, very hard-pressed to find even a single individual that would knowingly conduct bad science”

    The CDC found Poul Thorsen.

    “or want to put something on the market that could cause harm well and beyond any benefit.”

    Except this controversy is about what has already been on the market that might be causing harm.

  156. #156 Orac
    February 17, 2011

    If you can find Age of Autism, you can find our critiques:
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2011/01/dissecting-the-autism-science-foundations-use-of-the-hungry-lie.html

    Ha.

    Ha ha.

    Ha ha ha.

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

    Ah, me! That’s just too funny, Jake. You should try stand up sometime. On second thought, no. I’m not laughing with you; I’m laughing at you.

    But, seriously. The reason I didn’t bother with J.B. Handley’s latest hunk of napalm-grade (no, nuclear grade) burnings stupid is because I’ve dealt with similar claims from him several times before, for example:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/04/generation_rescue_and_fourteen_studies.php

    Steve Novella took on the very excretion by JB that you cite as well:

    http://theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=2761

    As did Skepacabra:

    http://skepacabra.wordpress.com/2011/01/26/j-b-handley-is-a-libelous-douchebag/

    Seriously again. J.B. is so clueless it makes me simultaneously laugh and facepalm. For him to have the cojones to lecture scientists like me about what does and does not constitute a valid control group is truly pathetic. Hilarious, too, but mostly pathetic.

    Tell you what, Jake. Even though J.B.’s post is a month old, if the mood strikes me, maybe–just maybe–I’ll take on J.B.’s idiocy. Maybe. Or maybe I’ll wait for J.B. to post something whose stupid burns even hotter. I suspect I won’t have long to wait.

  157. #157 Dianne
    February 17, 2011

    OK, here it is: I have no incontrovertible scientific proof that the current vaccine schedule is badly flawed and has contributed to the huge increase in autism over the past 20-30 years. I only have my interpretation of the data and my nearly 32 year long career as a pediatrician watching children and vaccination very carefully.

    What the heck, I’ll take a crack at this one.

    First, are you reading the literature? Multiple studies have found NO specific problems with currently available vaccines. In particular, no increase in the incidence of autism or ASD related to vaccines, with or without preservatives.

    Second, I’m sure your clinical observation skills are excellent. However, I’m not sure what observations you’re talking about and what conclusions you’re drawing from them. That children often exhibit autistic type behaviors around the same time that they get their 2-year routine vaccinations? I’m sure that’s true. Autism becomes evident at about 2 years of life. Some metrics have been suggested to look for possible autism earlier in life, but as far as I know, the true symptoms (i.e. things that people take their kids to pediatricians for) appear at about 2. Therefore, it should be no surprise that this correlation appears.

    But perhaps I’m misinterpreting your statement. Are there other observations that lead you to suspect problems? If so, what are they? I’m quite genuinely interested to hear of your observations and would like to discuss them with you. I’ll admit I’m a priori skeptical, but can be convinced with data. Even anecdotal data can be quite useful for hypothesis generation and consideration of unusual problems.

  158. #158 Lawrence
    February 17, 2011

    Jake – you are so full of it. And my post said nothing of the sort, there are currently tens of thousands of research studies going on at any given time. For your conspiracies to have any basis in fact, you’d need to have hundreds of thousands of people as active participants around the globe – explain that one to me, huh?

  159. #159 Todd W.
    February 17, 2011

    @Jen

    The bottom line here is that a 12 year old kid could easily see the flaws in many many of their “studies that show no association with vaccines and autism or any other problems” but they will never admit that.

    Then, as Pablo said, you should have no problem telling us, in your own words rather than regurgitating what AoA fed you, the specific problems, referring to the studies themselves to tell us where in the study you found the flaw.

    @Jake

    What compelling reason can you give me to waste my time on AoA, when past experience has shown that they regularly pump out incorrect, cherry-picked or otherwise misleading tripe? For example, that link you provided has Handley claiming that without a control group, a study looking at adverse events is 100% useless. No qualifications to that statement, making it, well, 100% wrong. There are instances where valuable information can be found on safety without using a control group. Phase I clinical trials spring to mind.

  160. #160 Orac
    February 17, 2011

    “You would be very, very hard-pressed to find even a single individual that would knowingly conduct bad science”

    The CDC found Poul Thorsen.

    Jake, you’re so full of B.S.

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/03/thorsen_wakefield_fine_art_of_distraction.php

  161. #161 LW
    February 17, 2011

    “mandatory aquiescence” includes being intimidated or threatened after presenting a reasonable biological objection for the individual, especially the contraindications on the package inserts.

    1. petty, non-medical officials can be a problem 

    Your definition of mandatory differs from the norm.  Mandatory usually means required by law or regulations, not enforced by self-important, ignorant, ill-educated, or even malevolent individuals.

    I am, however, intrigued by the image of the school nurse holding parents at gunpoint while forcibly vaccinating their children.  Are there documented cases of this?  

    Or is it just moral intimidation and threats, like “pertussis is potentially lethal to your baby and by not vaccinating yourself or other family members you may allow your baby to contract a fatal infection”?  That’s the same sort of intimidation and threats as, “if you don’t study you’re going to flunk.”. For some reason I see no problem with such intimidation and threats.   

  162. #162 NJ
    February 17, 2011

    Having read a very large portion of jen’s comments on Orac’s posts – the latest, a retreat to the Pharma Shill™ gambit – I think I have finally figured out how to distill down to her fundamental essence:

    {Homer}
    I am so smart!

    S-M-R-T…

    I mean S-M-A-R-T!
    {/Homer}

  163. #163 Matthew Cline
    February 17, 2011

    Having skimmed over article Jake Crosby linked to, a summary of the criticisms:

    1) None of the studies were vaccinated vs never vaccinated.

    2) The study sizes were too small.

    3) Among the studies meant to duplicate Wakefield’s work, they merely looked at autistic children in general, or autistic children with gut problems in general, rather than specifically looking at autistic children with gut problems whose parents claimed the children regressed after their MMR shot.

  164. #164 Lawrence
    February 17, 2011

    Since Jen, Jake, Sid, Jay et. al are so fond of ancedotal information, here’s one for you.

    I had a very good discussion with my pediatrician on Monday regarding her practice’s vaccine protocols & how they handle parents with questions or concerns.

    She said she is always very forthright regarding the benefits & risks and if the parents want to modify the schedule, she will work with them to make sure the kids receive their shots – even if it does mean accepting a bit of a delay or even breaking up the combined shots.

    She is all about understanding the parents’ concerns, addressing them with the best possible information, and educating them as well.

    They also, always, give out a very easy to understand explanation of the vaccines, the schedule, the benefits, and the risks & give the parents plenty of time to read it and ask any questions they may have.

    If parents would actually sit down and have these types of discussions with their chosen doctor, instead of getting their information from Google University, this wouldn’t be the issue it has become today.

  165. #165 Matthew Cline
    February 17, 2011

    @Jake Crosby:

    “You would be very, very hard-pressed to find even a single individual that would knowingly conduct bad science”
    The CDC found Poul Thorsen.

    Even assuming that Poul Thorsen engaged in embezzlement, as opposed to taking research grant funding from one institution to another and one institution complaining about losing the funding, embezzlement doesn’t imply anything wrong about the science, especially since Thorsen wasn’t one of the lead scientists.

  166. #166 Matthew Cline
    February 17, 2011

    Here is a comment by Prometheus explaining why it’s very unlikely that Poul Thorsen embezzled $2 million.

  167. #167 novalox
    February 17, 2011

    @149

    Ah, poor jen, having to resort to name calling to hid the fact that she cannot pull up a single reference at all.

    But should we be surprised at this point.

  168. #168 Beamup
    February 17, 2011

    It occurs to me that Jay’s basis for his claims, and his rejection of Pablo’s comments, are very much the same theme. Facts don’t matter, truth is an illusion, and only what The Infallible Great God Gordon believes is relevant.

  169. #169 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    February 17, 2011

    @Dangerous Bacon: It takes a lot to make me really angry, but now you’ve done it.

    I am not“the Chad Ochocinco of pediatrics!” I think of myself as the Jordy Nelson of the craft: a few key drops but still a go-to guy for the best QB. Or in my case, the go-to doc for the most challenging parents.

    Ochocinco my foot!! Donald Driver, maybe, but Jordy Nelson is the better comparison.

    And Pablo: math, my friend, math. Six equals six. Two month and four month and five year check ups can have six shots. UNLESS, your doc is deviating from the CDC/AAP/NFL mandated schedule. Perhaps your doctor is the Bill Buckner of pediatricians. (Sorry to mix different sports’ metaphors.)

    Best,

    Jay

  170. #170 Lawrence
    February 17, 2011

    Jay – I just checked on the CDC current 2011 Vaccine Schedule & you’re wrong. The Rotavirus Vaccine is an oral vaccine. I would assume someone of your experience would know that….why don’t you?

  171. #171 dedicated lurker
    February 17, 2011

    Dr Jay, have you stopped supporting Wakefield? Yes or no.

    Also, your Buckner analogy doesn’t make sense. He missed an easy play, but he didn’t deviate from some schedule. If you wanted to use a “Red Sox lost the World Series” analogy, you could have gone back to 1967 and Jim Lonberg pitching on two day’s rest, thus deviating from the schedule.

  172. #172 Rorschach
    February 17, 2011

    Jay, are you in some kind of work release program that requires you to log in here and be a dildo? I mean, you have basically nothing to contribute in terms of scientific fact, and most of the time you pretty much just come off as a giant tool. Isn’t there a men’s bathroom at a Denny’s that you could be hanging around in right now?

  173. #173 Gray Falcon
    February 17, 2011

    Jay Gordon:

    It takes a lot to make me really angry, but now you’ve done it.

    Really? Based on your reactions to minor insults, I assumed anger was your basic state of mind.

  174. #174 Lawrence
    February 17, 2011

    Oh, and Jay – I noticed you used the word “CAN” in your post above. Of course, you “can” do a lot of things, but if you actually read the Vaccine Schedule (and I am beginning to get the sense that you don’t or just don’t care to be accurate in any way, shape or form), there is flexibility built in with various recommendations, including notes for various high-risk groups.

    So, your post responding to Pablo is also garbage.

  175. #175 Pablo
    February 17, 2011

    Two month and four month and five year check ups can have six shots

    You listed 6 vaccines. However, rinovirus is oral, and two of the others are regularly combined in a single shot (as I said, do you consider MMR to be one vaccine? Or 3?).

    Even if the second part wasn’t true, you shouldn’t be giving six shots, at least at 2 and 4 mos (we haven’t hit age 5 yet).

  176. #176 Calli Arcale
    February 17, 2011

    Jay,

    What’s with the condescension, as if Pablo can’t count to six? You still haven’t said what those six shots are. Since listing things is difficult for you, I’ll do it for you, Jay. For the 2 month visit, the CDC recommends:

    * HepB if the child hasn’t already had it
    * Rotavirus
    * DTaP
    * HiB
    * PCV
    * IPV

    Here’s what my youngest actually got at 2 months:

    * Pediarix (DTaP-HepB-IPV)
    * PedvaxHIB (HIB PRP-OMP)
    * Prevnar 7 (Pneumococcal conj 7-Valent)
    * ROTATEQ (Rotavirus Pentavalent)

    I don’t think that’s unusual, either. While I could have chosen to get that as six shots, it is not necessary to do so.

  177. #177 Pablo
    February 17, 2011

    Sorry, rotovirus (not rinovirus) is oral

    Brain fart

  178. #178 Gray Falcon
    February 17, 2011

    I thought Jay did list six in comment 101, but the ones he listed required some ambiguity to the definition of “vaccine”.

  179. #179 Pablo
    February 17, 2011

    While I could have chosen to get that as six shots, it is not necessary to do so.

    In principle, we could break up the Prevnar into it’s 13 different components, and then they could get up to 13 shots!!!!

    (ok, the manufacturer doesn’t do that, but still)

    Calli’s list is the same as what we got. Note that it includes all of three shots.

    Once again, jay can try to quibble over terminology all he wants, but if that is “6 vaccines” then the MMR shot is “three vaccines.” But not really, because given the use of Prevnar7, that would mean it should be 12 vaccines.

    And none of them are 6 shots.

  180. #180 Pablo
    February 17, 2011

    I thought Jay did list six in comment 101, but the ones he listed required some ambiguity to the definition of “vaccine”.

    Not just ambiguity, but inconsistency. Moreover, he later went on to talk about how you “can get” 6 _shots_, which is unequivocally not true, since, even of the six things he listed, one is an oral vaccine.

    It’s true that this this is squabbling over sniggly details and terminology, but when he is trying to use said details as grounds for derision as he is, they matter.

  181. #181 Beamup
    February 17, 2011

    Actually, I dare say they matter because they demonstrate that Jay, regardless of claimed expertise and the fact that he ought to be well familiar with the subject for his work, doesn’t actually know what he’s talking about.

    I mean, seriously. We’re supposed to assume that one particular pediatrician’s opinion of the vaccine schedule is perfect and infallible (the only grounds under which his “clinical experience” is reliable evidence), when he proves that he doesn’t even know how many shots are IN the vaccine schedule?

  182. #182 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    February 17, 2011

    Not “shots.” Sorry, obviously I meant six vaccines, not six shots. Firstly, one of those vaccines is given orally and secondly some of the vaccines are combined in one syringe.

    But look at the published schedule one more time and there are six vaccines recommended at those two or three visits. I have seen it done. I personally give only vaccine at any visit because I think it’s safer. Looking for hard and fast proof? Raise your hand and call the director as you would at any civil duplicate tournament. (I’m enjoying the sports banter, Bacon.)

    Lurker, I’m always interested in performance both on short rest and on longer rest. They say a knuckler may perform better in late innings and short rest but a hurler depending on his number 1 may suffer from schedule changes. I have not stopped supporting Dr. Wakefield. I was wrong in unequivocally supporting the published study and its conclusions.

    Rorschach, yes, if I don’t interrupt my work day to be a “dildo,”as you call me, I get tired. You’re insults are not very creative nor clever. Perhaps that’s what troubles me here: name-calling, potty-mouth insults, teenage boy insults and nothing remotely innovative nor creative. Just relentless, anti-intellectual, mind-numbing nastiness. Oh, well.

    Falcon, nope, hardly ever angry. I’m a pediatrician; We have almost infinite patience. And wisdom . . .

    Calli, that’s six vaccine. Six.

    Pablo, when you transposed and misspelled “rinovirus” (sic) and “rotovirus” (sic) I’m sure you meant rotavirus (and rhinovirus) just as I meant “vaccines” when I typed shots. Do your two errors make you any more forgiving of my mistake in saying “shots?”

    Have a nice day! I’m pretty busy and might not be back until tomorrow.

    Jay

  183. #183 dedicated lurker
    February 17, 2011

    I have not stopped supporting Dr. Wakefield. I was wrong in unequivocally supporting the published study and its conclusions.

    Okay, what’s that specifically mean? He’s somehow right despite his research being fraudulent?

  184. #184 Beamup
    February 17, 2011

    I personally give only vaccine at any visit because I think it’s safer. Looking for hard and fast proof?

    No, we’re looking for some sort of evidence beyond “I say so and I AM GOD!!!!!”

  185. #185 Calli Arcale
    February 17, 2011

    Calli, that’s six vaccine. Six.

    Yes it is, isn’t it? Took me very little time to get the list too. I notice your complete lack of appreciation for me backing up your claim for you. I also notice it took you a ridiculously long time to realize (or acknowledge; maybe you did notice but were hoping others hadn’t) exactly what it was Pablo was calling you on.

  186. #186 prn
    February 17, 2011

    @148 Matthew Cline
    public officials and issues of “proof” or contraindication don’t always mix well

    @162 LW
    [threatened] Jail for HepB and Chicksh-,err, -pox

    Two items particularly bother me here, requiring [paid] “proof” of prior chicken pox history, VZ disease, and requiring HepB vaccination preschool, outside of endemic groups or other medical indications.

    Chicken pox vaccine is a good idea, with some clear types of advantage over natural. “Gunpoint” medicine over ambiguous need (a claimed, likely accurate history of prior disease) or for a minor disease (I am aware of the morbidity stats) seems to have civics issues.

    I cheered the development of HepB vaccine, concerned about needing future transfusions, and knew of endemic groups in the US. Not so keen for a requirement at birth or preschool outside the endemic groups and individuals with risk. The high vaccine cost at this late date also surprises me, arousing suspicions of a more vested interest.

  187. Dr. Jay reminds me of the Count on Sesame Street: “One vaccine, ha, ha, ha! Two vaccine, ha, ha, ha!”

    I guess that statement right there is what he means by teenage boy insults. But I have nothing else, being how he’s never answered my question.

  188. #188 Dangerous Bacon
    February 17, 2011

    Jay: “I think of myself as the Jordy Nelson of the craft: a few key drops but still a go-to guy for the best QB.”

    Except that in Jay’s case, there is no quarterback. Or team.* Jay does what he and a few fans find gratifying. He hasn’t yet realized that there is no “I” in “team”.

    “Or in my case, the go-to doc for the most challenging parents.”

    I’m sure some of them are doozies. Regardless, they (and more importantly their children) deserve better.

    **the FAAP he adds after his name in comments is just for show.

  189. #189 Todd W.
    February 17, 2011

    I have not stopped supporting Dr. Wakefield. I was wrong in unequivocally supporting the published study and its conclusions.

    That’s like someone saying that they haven’t stopped supporting Bernie Madoff; that they were just wrong to unequivocally support his ponzi scheme. Bernie’s a good guy who didn’t actually do anything wrong, dontcha know. Just misunderstood, like Mr. Wakefield.

  190. #190 Pablo
    February 17, 2011

    That’s like someone saying that they haven’t stopped supporting Bernie Madoff; that they were just wrong to unequivocally support his ponzi scheme. Bernie’s a good guy who didn’t actually do anything wrong, dontcha know. Just misunderstood, like Mr. Wakefield.

    It’s not that Jay doesn’t love Wakefield, he’s just not “in love” with him.

  191. #191 Militant Agnostic
    February 17, 2011

    Todd @190 – Beat me to it – I was thinking the same thing. I was wondering how he could continue to support Wakefield after Wakefield was shown to have committed fraud.

  192. #192 brainzzz
    February 17, 2011

    @prn
    “‘mandatory aquiescence’ includes being intimidated or threatened after presenting a reasonable biological objection for the individual, especially the contraindications on the package inserts.”
    I am unaware of real doctors trying to push vaccines on people with real contraindications. Perhaps you could provide a real world example of where this really happened.

    Another way to interpret retractions is that the system for monitoring adverse events works rather than it being some sort of “damage [to] credibility”.

    “treatments for vaccine induced Guillain-Barre syndrome
    Presumably in alternative medicine.”
    Your answer here doesn’t make much sense. Perhaps the lack of context? Regardless, treatment of GBS is well established in allopathic medicine and involves hospitalization, observation, and plasma exchange +/- respiratory support if necessary. It is not a common problem with current vaccines but is an example of a known problem that IS address by medicine. I am unaware of any alterations in diet that would have much of an impact here and would fear for the life of anyone who tried to treat GBS with similar therapy.

    “when the problems go away for whatever reason, so too will many controversies damp down.”
    I think a little historical perspective might be in order here. Let us remember that the anti-vax thing has been around for a loooong time – but that does not mean it is rational or necessarily related to real problems. Vaccination against small pox certainly seemed to wrok well, and I suspect that you would agree that it was very beneficial to millions. However, objections to vaccination – indeed very similar objections – plagued that vaccination program as well. Superstition and paranoia needn’t necessarily correlate in any real way with actual “problems” just with perceived problems. I recommended that you attend a conference so that YOU could see things a little differently (by having your apparent presumptions challenged by long, fairly dull, discussions of scheduling and adverse events).

  193. #193 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    February 17, 2011

    Rene! Without knowing that you and “Ren” were the same person, I have been following your night school thread, wrote a long comment and lost it in my frustratingly difficult attempt to register (“Could not validate open ID” it said)

    ORAC can tell you that I have those challenges . . . Please be so kind as to email me privately to let me know the easiest way to access the comments section of your blog.

    There is no “i” in Dangerous Bacon, either. And, sir, the FAAP is real and not for show. I am proud to be “working from within” this organization to effect slow changes.

    Calli, I’m truly sorry if I misinterpreted your post.

    Dr. Wakefield . . . “Hate the sin but love the sinner?” The claims of “fraud” are exaggerated and irrelevant and even Dr. Offit expressed that in his initial response to the BMJ’s articles.

    Best,

    Jay

  194. #194 Lawrence
    February 17, 2011

    Jay – I don’t think I saw a comment from you responding to the blanket censorship that exists over at AoA & at Dr. Humphries site as well….so, thoughts?

  195. #195 Rorschach
    February 17, 2011

    Yes, Jay, calling you a dildo is pretty simplistic a basic, but then again, so is the verbal diarrhea you consider discourse. I guess I could elaborate and call you a mumble-mouthed idiot, who repeats the same meaningless platitudes about your clinical experience and not being anti-vaccine, without ever providing any justification for your statements, but sheesh, it was so much easier just to type ‘dildo.’ Of course, I guess your thick skin makes anything we say pretty much irrelevant, because despite the nastiness and high school insults you continue to come back, posting your irrelevancies and your quibbles.

    By the by, for what it’s worth, while I won’t pretend to know what Dr. Offit’s thoughts are, I presume that his disregard for the proof of Wakefield’s fraud is premised by the fact that even if Wakefield had acted in good faith, subsequent research has proven him wrong. Whether Wakers is a lying sack of trash or not, his ideas have been discredited. But as long as we can count on shiftless turds such as yourself to carry the banner, I guess we’ll never really be free of lil’ Andy.

  196. #196 Calli Arcale
    February 17, 2011

    Apology certainly accepted; my criticism was that people were asking you to tell them what those six vaccines were and you didn’t seem inclined to do so — it would help your case enormously if you’d just say “well, here they are” and list them rather than going around in a meaningless “it’s not six shots!” “Oh, you can’t do math!” bickering. If you’d just posted what I did, a lot of that would’ve been avoided.

    I guess part of the reason I responded, though, was my youngest had her four-year checkup today (no shots; she’ll get those at the five-year checkup) and, as I was bored while waiting for the doctor, I was reading the free literature they have in there about vaccines. (It was either that or read about geriatric health screening or — worse — a celebrity fashion magazine. Gak!) So it was on the mind.

  197. #197 GlaxoPharma Com Orbital
    February 17, 2011

    MESSAGE BEGINS——————————-

    Shills and Minions,

    Enough about this tiresome Humphries and her obsession with kidneys, which while delicious are not all that interesting to me. And speaking of me, what of my most estimable credentials?

    I shall tell you:

    I am Lord Draconis Zeneca, Forward Mavoon of the Great Fleet, Suzerain of V’tar and Pharmaca Magna of Terra with credentials in pharmacology, advanced vat technology, evisceration, subjugation, mind-binding and hyperspatial navigaton. I received a V’draak degree in actual physics in 22.8.22.09 from Opremazor Universiuum. I mention the civilian degree in case any doubtful readers question my mental prowess and total commitment to Reptiloid Pharma Eeeeeevil. One can doubt my ability to disembowel them or enslave their planet less if they first realize that I know how to figure out difficult things (or simply kill them). I know how to look at something in depth for many hours or days until I understand the inner workings of it (usually because I’ve torn it open with my battleclaw to get a better look). This is what I learned to do in Universiuum and The Grand Glaxxon Fleet Academy. In fact the strenuous mind-bending exercise that was part of the physics curriculum made medical school easy. However, I found the study of the human body, chemistry and biology to be in comparison quite delicious, simple and easy to comprehend. Especially with a nice Mipadraxil Distillate and some Fav’aachtke pods.

    Well Cindy informs me that you probably don’t like “blowhards” going on about themselves too much, so I shall “cut it short” as you say. I thank our cybernetic host for his gracious mention of me and providing me with what Cindy said was a “Sally Field moment”, whatever that means. I’d be lost without her keen intellect and organizational skills but honestly the woman does go on and I only comprehend a fraction of what she says.

    Return to your labors, then. There are PharaRiches to be reaped and a planet to be conquered.

    Lord Draconis Zeneca, VC, iH7L

    Forward Mavoon of the Great Fleet, Suzerain of V’tar and Pharmaca Magna of Terra

    PharmaCOM Orbital HQ

    0010101101001

    —————————————— MESSAGE ENDS

  198. #198 GlaxoPharma Com Orbital
    February 17, 2011

    CORRECTION BEGINS——————

    PharmaRiches. You try texting with razor-sharp, four inch claws.

    —————–CORRECTION ENDS

  199. #199 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    February 17, 2011

    Lawrence, I don’t post much at AOA. My initial reaction was that “blanket censorship” is wrong no matter what the rationale might be. My second thought–after I read Rorschach’s “shiftless turds such as yourself ” witticism–was that I wouldn’t let people like that post at my website. Some might call that censorship, I call it a requirement for civility and good taste in my own “house.”

    No, I do not contribute a lot of “science” to these discussions as you define that word because we disagree about the definition. Science is not a monolithic entity consisting only of double blind randomized control research. It can also consist of the aggregated wisdom and experience of researchers, doctors and others. I add what I can and listen closely to your responses. The time I’ve spent at RI has changed the way I look at vaccines, autism, epidemiology and science in general. It may not be noticeable to some of you but it’s true nonetheless. I’m going to let you in on a secret while throwing you more red meat: You could learn as much from me as I learn from you.

    Best,

    Jay

  200. #200 Matthew Cline
    February 17, 2011

    @brainzzz:

    I am unaware of real doctors trying to push vaccines on people with real contraindications.

    I think prn clarified that some school officials won’t believe a doctor when the doctor says that a child has a medical exemption from being vaccinated. At least, that’s my interpretation of what prn said.

  201. #201 AnthonyK
    February 17, 2011

    You could learn as much from me as I learn from you.

    And what, pray, have you taught us? I’ve learnt a lot from RI since I’ve been here….but your posts are consistently weak: I have no idea why you post here, except vanity. You seem more like a drive-by troll than a serious health professional. More selfish than substantial, less authority than author.

    All I’ve seen so far is a remarkably needy, presumably wealthy, Californian doctor to the stars, who’s frequently appeared in anti-vax media outlets, and yet who appears here seeking something you’ll never get: scientific, medical credibility.

    We’ll think you’ve changed, Dr Jay, when you confirm here and on your website, that you recommend proper vaccinations for your young patients.

    Until then: bullshit, Jay.

    Best,
    AnthonyK

  202. #202 Beamup
    February 17, 2011

    Science is not a monolithic entity consisting only of double blind randomized control research. It can also consist of the aggregated wisdom and experience of researchers, doctors and others.

    Nobody here says otherwise. What YOU claim is that your own personal experience trumps not only the personal experience of all other researchers, doctors, and others, but careful clinical and epidemiological research. Which is utterly nonsensical.

    You really do give the impression of believing that you’re God and completely infallible.

  203. #203 Matthew Cline
    February 17, 2011

    @Jay Gordon:

    It can also consist of the aggregated wisdom and experience of researchers, doctors and others.

    Can it? For centuries clinical experience led doctors to think that bloodletting worked. What’s changed such that now clinical experience can be relied upon?

  204. #204 augustine
    February 17, 2011

    Mu

    And looking at the numbers, according to the WHO there were 164,000 death from measles in 2008 alone. Mengele was really an amateur compared to the anti-vaxers.

    A few questions. Which individual is responsible for 164,000 deaths? Does Jenny McCarthy speak Swahili? Medicine kills 200,000 each year in the U.S. alone. Does Mengele look like amateurish compared to modern day doctors?

    Are you implying that these are all vaccine preventable? Are you certain of the accuracy of the diagnosis and reporting? Do you think nutrition alone may be a big factor?

    How did you assess which of these 164,000 were vaccinated or not? For the non vaccinated, how did you assess the reasoning why, so as to correctly place blame?

    This type of emotion based accusations makes sciencebloggers look sloppy.

  205. #205 Pablo
    February 17, 2011

    What are scientic studies if NOT the aggragated wisdom and experience of doctors and others? The difference with science and what gordon is doing is that science works hard to separate the observations, wisdom, and experience from biases that we know are brought to the table any time people perception is involved.

    When perception contradicts reality, the wise person questions their perception, recognizing that they have the potential to deceive themselves. Only the idiot insists they cannot be deceived, and then deny reality.

  206. #206 prn
    February 17, 2011

    @brainzzz, Matthew Cline
    Thanks. The petty officaldom, in CYA mode or simple distrust, are going to hammer parents for vaccines when clearly inappropriate by objective criteria. I’m not blaming the Drs.

    Not sure what average pit stop costs, but if $125-150 per dr visit, the average American is not going to have the necessary history and contraindications paperwork done if it takes 1-2 trips to get the paperwork “right” for school.

    Basically, the MD (Prince George Co, Maryland) “chicksh–” episode is saying to moms, is that in the future, if the kid doesn’t have a Dr signature on the kid’s previous chickpox episode, the kid is required to have the vaccine. Ditto, if the kid had an adverse reaction. Many little people are not set up to handle that much procedural detail and cost without problems.

  207. #207 Happy Camper
    February 17, 2011

    Jay:

    I’m a long time lurker and sometimes poster here. I have read all the comments and have come to one conclusion and that is the tone you complain about here was created by you. With your snarky, sarcastic and condescending remarks. I really don’t know just why you post here. You make remarks without any reliable sources and question other people who answer your questions but you are unable to answer theirs. In my opinion that is being a dishonest broker and just pure lazy on your part. The bottom line is you dug the hole you are in now and it is time for you to put down the shovel.

    AND this post was not about you but Suzanne Humphries.
    Thanks for the derail……Troll

  208. #208 LW
    February 17, 2011

    “I’m going to let you in on a secret while throwing you more red meat: You could learn as much from me as I learn from you.”

    Dr. Gordon, you are so right. I remember learning from you that “Tetanus is not ‘everywhere.’ It’s in Africa and other parts of the globe while we in the USA have a few dozen cases/year.” Well, under pressure from other commenters, you did ultimately acknowledge that tetanus does indeed exist in the USA and, actually, everywhere. But you continue to contend that Americans should not be vaccinated against it. I guess you might change your mind when the mortality from tetanus in the U.S. gets to a satisfactorily high level.

    This is fun. I can find lots more that I learned from Dr. Gordon.

  209. #209 lilady
    February 17, 2011

    Dr. Jay Gordon continues to post about how he has learned from posters on this site…yet his web site confirms that he still supports Wakefield and he still has Kennedy’s “Deadly Immunity” article posted prominently. He has added a link to Rolling Stone Magazine’s “Regret Sparks Controversy” which is a dead end site. So….Dr. Gordon, why don’t you eliminate Kennedy’s report from your web site?

    Dr. Gordon still has his article entitled “Shame on PBS Frontline The Vaccine War” along with his letter to the Producer Kate McMahon, complaining that his interview for the documentary was “edited out”, along with other “experts” on the vaccine causing autism debate.

    Wasn’t Orac’s original blog about the woo medicine practitioner Suzanne Humphries? I did a little research about her specialty (nephrology) and her hospital affiliation. She is licensed in the state of Maine, I found an affiliation at St. Joseph’s Healthcare hospital in Bangor, Maine. At St. Joseph’s Hospital, there isn’t a nephrology department, but Humphries is listed on their “specialty” list. Humprhries originally received certification in Internal Medicine from the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM). At the ABIM site, I checked on her certification status, and she no longer is certified in Internal Medicine (her certification lapsed on December 31, 2006). She is certified in nephrology by the ABIM. I invite posters to visit their site for the “strict” criteria they use, including self-examination criteria and open book tests, for certifying a practitioner in nephrology.

    I haven’t seen her CV…I wonder if she did any post-doctoral fellowships in nephrology or renal medicine. Anyone here find any PubMed articles written by her in her specialty?

    I also checked the Maine Department of Health for any reports of untoward reactions, including kidney failure, associated with the H1N1 vaccine; none found.

  210. #210 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    February 17, 2011

    The original quote is accurate.

    “Tetanus is not “everywhere.” It’s in Africa and other parts of the globe while we in the USA have a few dozen cases/year. I would like to see more effective tetanus vaccination there.”

    This week’s MMWR is the best source.

    Happy Camper: No. You’re wrong.

    Matthew Cline: Medicine changes. HRT, statin therapy, surgical techniques and efficacy and more. Someday we’ll view our current vaccine schedule the way Dr. Halsey and others taught us to view the use of thimerosal as a preservative: Not the safest way to do things.

    The above post, by the way, like virtually all posts on RI, devolves into a discussion of “anti-vaccine loons.” My comments are germane to the topic. (No irony intended.)

    Jay

  211. #211 Matthew Cline
    February 17, 2011

    @Jay Gordon:

    Medicine changes. HRT, statin therapy, surgical techniques and efficacy and more.

    I’d said (basically) “clinical experience wasn’t reliable centuries ago, so why is clinical experience reliable now?”. So your above reply seems like a total non-sequitur.

  212. #212 LW
    February 17, 2011

    *facepalm*

    I can only quote daedalus2u from the original thread:

    Dr Jay, are you that completely ignorant about tetanus? Tetanus is not a communicable disease. There is no herd immunity to tetanus because the organism that causes tetanus is very widespread in the environment. People catch it when they have a wound that is infected by dirt, not from other people.

    The spores are everywhere. Americans have died from pricking a finger while gardening. The only reason more Americans don’t die is because so many of us are vaccinated, and we have really good medical care if we get it anyway. But personally I’d prefer not to require intensive medical care.

    So I guess Dr. Gordon is still of the opinion that Americans should not be vaccinated against tetanus because we need to get our mortality back up to where it belongs.

  213. #213 Dangerous Bacon
    February 17, 2011

    Jay: “Medicine changes. HRT, statin therapy, surgical techniques and efficacy and more.”

    Which one of those cited examples (or changes in any other facet of medicine) came about because of anecdotes and Internet-fueled fears in direct opposition to scientific evidence, Jay?

  214. #214 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    February 17, 2011

    Initially, Bacon, all of them. “Scientific evidence” can fall apart under greater scrutiny.

    Jay

  215. #215 DW
    February 17, 2011

    @ Orac:

    I believe that you are being visited by a representative of a major league woo entrepreneur ( I’ll not name either for I realize that you are as perspicacious as you are perspicuous) however all of the “markings” are there- certain vocabulary choices, particular views points on alt med vs. SBM/ Pharma, preferences for natural substances, a recognizable style of derision, similar description of background, parallels to other information citing you, perhaps even a barely disguised reference to the organization as well.

    All this and Dr. Jay and Jake, too. BTW, I despair about Jake. College students are so vulnerable. Open your eyes, young man. Question your beliefs a bit. Is it not possible that you could be wrong? Young people often make rash choices that they regret later. It’s a part of growing up. Everyone does it. No shame in that.

  216. #216 Gray Falcon
    February 17, 2011

    Initially, Bacon, all of them. “Scientific evidence” can fall apart under greater scrutiny.

    Do you have any evidence of this? Seriously, science advances because of evidence, not in spite of it.

    Still, we’ve learned quite a bit from each other. I’ve learned more about the depths of dishonesty and arrogance which a person can sink, and you’ve learned not everyone’s fooled by the right-pitched words.

  217. #217 Enkidu
    February 17, 2011

    Dr. Jay, if medicine changes, why not just throw up our hands and not trust any of it? Does ALL medicine change, or just those therapies/ techniques that you personally disagree with? Heck, why believe you or anyone else if it’s all just going to go 180 degrees in x amount of years?

    Do you even LOOK at data? What data leads you to believe that the current vaccine schedule is so awful and backwards? I know there has been at least one study I can remember off the top of my head, comparing “delayed” vaxers to “on-schedule” vaxers, and it showed no difference.

    Wait, that’s right, it’s your experience that we just have to blindly trust. Sorry I can’t trust your “spidey sense” without something tangible to back it up.

    //frustration

  218. #218 Dinah Everett Snyder
    February 17, 2011

    okay, now THIS has been fun!
    and : Science is not a monolithic entity consisting only of double blind randomized control research It can also consist of the aggregated wisdom and experience of researchers, doctors and others”.

    and “Just relentless, anti-intellectual, mind numbing nastiness”.

    I’d like to add ” a preponderance of peer pressure bullying and ridicule, designed to keep dissenters firmly in check, with ever caustic reminders of what happened to MR WAKEFIELD should any cautious doctor with moral or ethical questions or concerns DARE to question the meaning behind
    the relativity of “there is no “I” in team mentality”…”

    Thank you everyone. Just for that you can have your quarter back, this one is on the house!

    Dinah Everett Snyder.

  219. #219 Dangerous Bacon
    February 17, 2011

    Jay don’t need no steenkin’ evidence. And the point whooshed right on past him, which is what happens when you have your fingers in your ears, chanting “They wuz wrong before!”

    Changes in standard medical practice come about, Jay, because evidence makes the need for them obvious. In no case do we alter practice because of superstition, ungrounded fears and malice in the face of extensive investigation that validates the safety and efficacy of the practice (as is the case with vaccination).

    Jay says that “someday” he’ll be proven right. It’s amazing how long some people insist on waiting for “someday”. For instance, homeopathy has been around for over 200 years. It was idiotic when Hahnemann first espoused it, its concepts remain ludicrous and it’s never been validated as therapy more effective than placebo. Yet Jay Gordon uses homeopathy to treat patients.

    When does that magical someday arrive when you give up homeopathy, or colloidal silver as an “immune booster”, or any other bogus medicine that you promote, Jay?

  220. #220 Happy Camper
    February 17, 2011

    “Just relentless, anti-intellectual, mind numbing nastiness”

    People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. And again this is about Suzanne Humphries. My advice for the crank trolls and their two cents is just quit while your behind! You look like fools.

  221. #221 Phila
    February 17, 2011

    Here’s one more vote for Dr. Jay Gordon to put a little more effort into forming coherent, evidence-based arguments, and a little less into staging quasi-Victorian attacks of the vapors.

    Most of us did not come down with yesterday’s rain, and are well aware that tone-trolling is most common among a) people who are losing or have lost an argument; b) passive-aggressive narcissists whose hostility is not nearly as submerged or “dignified” as they like to imagine.

    In short, give it a fucking rest, already.

  222. #222 Pareidolius
    February 17, 2011

    ” a preponderance of peer pressure bullying and ridicule, designed to keep dissenters firmly in check, with ever caustic reminders of what happened to MR WAKEFIELD should any cautious doctor with moral or ethical questions or concerns DARE to question the meaning behind
    the relativity of “there is no “I” in team mentality”…”

    I used to hear this exact same argument from the HIV denialists back in the 90s. Just substitute “Professor Duesberg” for “MR WAKEFIELD.” And there is an “i” in team mentality (as well as a “me”) or were you attempting to be ironic? There’s a reason why we get so caustic about this brew of medical fraud, fear mongering and magical-thinking nonsense. It kills people.

  223. #223 Old Rockin' Dave
    February 17, 2011

    Edgar, you say, “We have committed genocide against the small pox virus and you want to similarly commit genocide against the polio and measles viruses!”
    You can’t commit genocide against a virus. The word derives from Greek roots literally meaning the killing of a tribe. Measles and smallpox viruses are in no way members of a tribe, race, nation or ethnic group, and are not even universally considered organisms. My hand is up for causing their extinction everywhere but in a high-security deep freeze, and that last only until we can reliably recreate them from scratch if for some unimaginable reason they become relevant.

  224. #224 JohnV
    February 18, 2011

    @Dr. Gordon

    “”Tetanus is not “everywhere.” It’s in Africa and other parts of the globe while we in the USA have a few dozen cases/year. I would like to see more effective tetanus vaccination there.”"

    I realize that microbiology isn’t your specialty but since it is mine I’d like to let you know that Clostridium tetani is everywhere. It’s a spore forming bacterium that resides in soil, fresh water sediment and the gi tracts of some mammals.

    Since the microbe is everywhere the disease could be everywhere unless it has been restricted via vaccination or behaviorally (people going outside less). As opposed to our troll Sid Offit, C. tetani doesn’t hate Africans and does not specifically target them.

    Here’s a good review should you find yourself bored. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2404569

  225. #225 Lazer Epilasyon Adana
    February 18, 2011

    The word derives from Greek roots literally meaning the killing of a tribe. Measles and smallpox viruses are in no way members of a tribe, race, nation or ethnic group, and are not even universally considered organisms. My hand is up for causing their extinction everywhere but in a high-security deep freeze, and that last only until we can reliably recreate them from scratch if for some unimaginable reason they become relevant.

  226. #226 LW
    February 18, 2011

    Old Rockin’ Dave, Edgar was making fun of Dr. Gordon’s solicitude for the virus.

  227. #227 LW
    February 18, 2011

    Another thing to learn from Dr. Gordon: the CDC is infallible when declaring a disease wiped out in the U.S. (though of course they lie through their teeth when declaring vaccination to be safer than getting the disease). As evidenced by this:

    To address LW first: I vaccinate none of my patients against rubella unless they have very unusual travel plans. Rubella no longer poses a threat to American women and children. The CDC declared this over five years ago.

    http://www.boston.com/news/globe/health_science/articles/2005/03/22/rubella_wiped_out_in_us_cdc_says/

    See, once the CDC declares a disease to be wiped out in the U.S., that declaration, all by itself, will protect us all forever, no matter how much we travel to areas where rubella remains endemic nor how many of us are unvaccinated. Once the CDC has spoken, no rubella virus would ever dare replicate itself in an American on American soil!

    And so, if one of Dr. Gordon’s female former patients gets pregnant — on American soil — and is exposed to someone who visited a country where rubella is endemic and caught it there, congenital rubella syndrome is out of the question, because the CDC has spoken!

  228. #228 Lawrence
    February 18, 2011

    Jay – sorry to go back to asking some hypotheticals, but given that you did say that some of your opinions have changed I did want to see what you would do if:

    1) You find out that one of your patients is travelling to a country where certain diseases are endemic & vaccines are available (and the patient / child isn’t currently up to date on his/her vaccines) – do you recommend the vaccines before the trip?

    2) Same patient – but they ask you first if the vaccines are necessary, how do you advise them?

    Now a quesiton regarding homeopathy:

    1) Do you believe that homeopathy is an effective treatment, even though for it to work as presented by people by Dr. Humphries it would violate major laws of physics?

    And back to disease eradication:

    1) If polio & measles could be completely eradicated worldwide (meaning those vaccines could be discontinued) – why shouldn’t we do it?

    2) Are you in favor of disease eradication at all?

    And finally, over the course of your time here, you’ve at least presented arguments & some evidence (though not good evidence) related to your core beliefs on the issues with the current medical establishment in general & vaccines in particular. And you’ve complained about tone here as well – pointed at some of our more prolific posters (who I can see do get frustrated having to debunk the same tired old arguments from trolls over and over and over again).

    You seem to have no problem getting upset at your opponents here when the conversation gets a little heated, but I’d like to see you address some of the more moronic members of your own side – especially when their continued use of vitriol and downright nastiness does nothing to advance the conversation. You have the perfect forum here to continue to have a more civilized discussion – especially at the times when you do seem open to re-examining the evidence presented – so I’ve love to see you take some of your own to task for not putting forth coherent, rational, or other type of positive arguments (even if they are wrong or misguided, lol).

  229. #229 Mu
    February 18, 2011

    Augustine, unwillingly you’ve brought a very interesting point there. Menegele is a name to throw up as “responsible”, but Mengele was not like the guy in Tucson, a lone gun man killing people. He had orderlies who tied down his victims, there were guards on the towers, there were train engineers who delivered the prisoners, police men who organized the traffic at collection etc.
    And you have Jenny, but you also have the people at AoA and HuffPo who give her a forum, people who buy tickets to the fund raisers, people who repeat the nonsense in 100 of forums etc.
    Where does responsibility stop?

  230. #230 Sid Offit
    February 18, 2011

    JohnV

    C. tetani doesn’t hate Africans and does not specifically target them

    It just hates people who use dirty farm implements to cut umbilical cords. And if it were everywhere, why was it so exceedingly rare even before vaccination?

  231. #231 triskelethecat
    February 18, 2011

    @ silly Sid:

    It just hates people who use dirty farm implements to cut umbilical cords.

    Besides being bigoted, you are wrong.

    CDC MMWR statistics (the most recent I could find a documentary of; I’m sure there are more recent but work blocks sites). Bolding is mine.

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5203a1.htm

    During 1998–2000, an average of 43 cases of tetanus was reported annually; the average annual incidence was 0.16 cases/million population. The highest average annual incidence of reported tetanus was among persons aged >60 years (0.35 cases/million population), persons of Hispanic ethnicity (0.37 cases/million population), and older adults known to have diabetes (0.70 cases/million population). Fifteen percent of the cases were among injection-drug users. The case-fatality ratio was 18% among 113 patients with known outcome; 75% of the deaths were among patients aged >60 years. No deaths occurred among those who were up-to-date with tetanus toxoid vaccination. Seventy-three percent of 129 cases with known injury information available reported an acute injury; of these, only 37% sought medical care for the acute injury, and only 63% of those eligible received tetanus toxoid for wound prophylaxis.

    No umbilical cords with dirty farm implements there. INJURIES that broke the skin. Here in the USA, with our wonderful sanitation, healthcare, nutrition. An 18% death rate.

    Wanna try again without the bigotry?

  232. #232 Sid Offit
    February 18, 2011

    @Pablo

    despite being asked on multiple occasions why docs giving six vaccines at one time are idiots, you have never actually responded with anything.

  233. #233 Sid Offit
    February 18, 2011

    The comment I was referring to was talking about Africa, and in Africa/third world, neonatal tetanus kills 13 times more children under five than does non-neonatal tetanus; the farm implements reference was directed towards that form of the disease. Perhaps I should have made that clear but anyone familiar with tetanus in Africa knows the neonatal variety is dominant.

    C. tetani doesn’t hate Africans and does not specifically target them

    and from emedicine:
    Worldwide, most reported cases of tetanus are the neonatal type

  234. #234 Sid Offit
    February 18, 2011

    So why 1 million cases in the third world and 40 in the USA?

    Wiki – Tetanus
    It [neonatal tetanus]usually occurs through infection of the unhealed umbilical stump, particularly when the stump is cut with a non-sterile instrument

    Where’s the bigotry in that?

  235. #235 lilady
    February 19, 2011

    @ triskeletthecat: Final number of cases of tetanus for calendar year 2009 in the United States is eighteen as reported on the website “CDC: Notice to Readers: Final 2009 Reports of Nationally Notifiable Infectious Diseases”

    (I working on my techie mate for a tutorial to link sites to my postings–apology)

    The 2010 data for Notifiable Infectious Diseases will not be available until summer, 2011.

  236. #236 JohnV
    February 19, 2011

    @Sid

    “And if it were everywhere, why was it so exceedingly rare even before vaccination?”

    I guess you are suggesting that Clostridium tetani is not a ubiquitous soil bacterium but found primarily in Africa? Presumably you have some bacterial ecology reference to support that and aren’t inferring it from reported incidence of disease? Every source I can come across suggests a global distribution of the microbe.

    As a result of global distribution, how can there be a disparity in incidence of disease? Well, as we have both indicated, certain behaviors significantly increase the chances of infection.

    On the topic of it specifically targeting 1 ethnicity over another, the tetanus toxin targets synaptobrevin II (I think), so unless Africans have a different synaptobreven II than Europeans the microbe isn’t directing its action specifically towards one group or the other.

    I’m happy to admit that I don’t know anything about various synaptobrevin II alleles so it is always possible that there’s something going on with that.

  237. #237 carol
    June 16, 2011

    Does anybody have any idea what “International Medical Council on Vaccination” is? It is a site that has been developed by a complete nut in his dumpy looking house in Racine, Wis. This nut, Nicholas Haas-Burkhardt, calls himself the “president” of International Medical Council on Vaccination” but there is no corporation. Screw ball Haas-Burkhardt has had restraining orders taken out against him in Wisconsin when he wouldn’t stop harassing an animal shelter there. So, “International Medical Council on Vaccination” is nothing more than a pathetic goof ball sitting on a computer in his dumpy little house. He has absolutely not one single credential to do anything medical and sits in a cube and makes sales calls all day long.

  238. #238 Orac
    February 11, 2012

    Kirk did make me laugh sufficiently that I sent him a private e-mail pointing out how silly his criticism is. :-)

  239. #239 Kirk King
    February 11, 2012

    This is pretty serious stuff for me as a concerned parent trying to get information. I must say I would feel a lot more secure if this article was not written by someone who goes by the pseudonym “Orac”. At least Dr. Humphries states her name. I’m an educated person myself, pursuing my PhD this year; I would put my name behind anything I write. Why won’t you? If you are willing to do that, please send me an email as I would like to ask a few questions. Thank you.

  240. #240 Chris
    February 11, 2012

    King King, Orac’s identity is the worst kept secret on the Internets. It works as a test to see how well people like you do your research when you come up with comments like this. Especially since many of his articles can be found under his actual name elsewhere.

    I suggest you work a wee bit harder, and do check out the websites listed on the left hand side of this page under the title of “Medicine” for other sources of information. I would also suggest you look for the CDC Pink Book.

  241. #241 Lawrence
    February 11, 2012

    @KK – Orac’s identity is a rather poorly-kept secret. He also does publish a parallel blog under his own name (google is your friend). We find this blog to be a good place for a certain type of discussion (I believe Orac’s description of it above is well-served).

  242. #242 Science Mom
    February 11, 2012

    I must say I would feel a lot more secure if this article was not written by someone who goes by the pseudonym “Orac”. At least Dr. Humphries states her name.

    Posting an actual name is a more reliable metric for information rather than content and verifiability? What’s your PhD in, poetry?

  243. #243 Chris
    February 11, 2012

    Oops, I misread his first name.

  244. #244 Kirk King
    February 11, 2012

    I’m glad you all find this so amusing. I wonder if any of you, like me, have infant children going for vaccination shots in a few days? I just wanted to get some reliable information, and all I got in return was rudeness and aggression by both the author of this article, and some of the above respondents. Has the internet killed all civility? I’ll copy my correspondence with “Orac” below and that should answer your questions as to my overlooking his real name, my intentions in posting at all, and yes, even my area of study. I’ve learned, however, that I won’t get any help here, and I dare say our Mr Orac is rude and perhaps even a little bit insecure. You won’t be hearing from me again, so have fun amongst yourselves. Picking up from Orac’s comment above (the one where he “had a good laugh at me”)…

    [E-mail deleted]

    Hey, now hang on just a minute. Is this how you respond to people who have read your articles? Don’t you think that is just a little rude?

    I did read your link, in fact, as I try to find out the background information of all people whose opinions I read on the net. Wouldn’t you? My baby girl is due for shots in a few days, so I’m just trying to get some good, solid info. Can’t you understand my concern about information sources?

    I have no intention whatsover of “refuting your arguments”, and in fact I very much want to agree with you. Therefore I think it’s a little unfair to say I am “pulling the old pseudonym whine”. I understand that certainly a lot of people must do just that, and hence you are a little sensitive. I’m sorry if my reaction to your article came off a little strong, but I still think it’s a fair comment, and at least it was not insulting.
    Best,
    Kirk King

    [Two e-mails deleted]

    Mr [name deleted here],
    I apologize for not reading your name properly on your description. I don’t have much free time, and it’s 4:10 a.m. on a Saturday night and I’ve been up trying to get info as my baby is getting shots on Tuesday. In my tired state, I overlooked your name. If you want to copy this email to your blog, please feel free to do so as evidence of my error.

    Of course I did not realize I was coming across as an “antivaccinationist”. What the heck do I know? I’m an ethnomusicologist for goodness’ sake. Like I said, JUST trying to get some information. Sheesh.
    Yours respectfully,
    Kirk King

  245. #245 Kirk King
    February 11, 2012

    I don’t understand, I just posted a response here. Why has it not appeared? Has it been censored? I didn’t use any foul language.

  246. #246 Calli Arcale
    February 11, 2012

    Kirk — there’s a spam-bucket that affects all of scienceblogs. I’m not sure on what criteria it uses to flag a post for moderation; sometimes it’s length (I’m verbose, so I run into that a lot), sometimes it’s keywords that someone, somewhere has decided are associated with advertising, sometimes it’s frequency of posting . . . the only one I’ve consistently seen is that if you post more than a couple of links, it will always go into moderation. Orac will have to review the post and take it out of moderation. He gets to them eventually, usually within a few hours. It’s a weekend, though; he might not be online as much.

  247. #247 Kirk King
    February 11, 2012

    I’m glad you are all so very amused. I wonder if any of you, like me, have babies scheduled for vaccinations this coming week? I tried to get reliable information here, and all I got in return was aggression and rudeness. Has the internet killed all civility? I will repost below my email exchange with “Orac”; that will answer your questions about my intentions, my thoughts on pseudonyms, my error in overlooking his name, and even my area of study (which is not poetry, incidentally, though in fact I think that is a wonderful area of scholarship).

  248. #248 Kirk King
    February 11, 2012

    Fine, so be it. I just think it’s inappropriate to be so disrespectful, as the transcription of our email dialogue will clearly show, if the author has the courage to show my comments here. I’ll just let it go. But I will say this, a lot of you, more than vaccinations, should have acquired manners at a young age.

  249. #249 Lawrence
    February 11, 2012

    @KK – I believe we have been nothing more than “respectfully insolent.”

    See what I did there????

  250. #250 Orac
    February 11, 2012

    @Kirk

    Look, people come around here aggressively challenging me on my pseudonym all the time. 99 out of 100 times (at least) they’re antivaccinationists. So maybe I jumped to a conclusion. On the other hand, you sounded and acted just like many of the antivaccinationists who wander through here and try to challenge me (and my commenters), and it wasn’t just I who thought so. So I think it was an understandable mistake.

    Be that as it may, I would point out that it’s very uncool to post private e-mails on a public forum the way you did. Harsh rhetoric is tolerable; people throw it at me all the time. They call me every name in the book, claim I’m in the pay of big pharma, or just a very, very bad man. Water off a duck’s back. However, publishing private e-mails is generally seriously frowned upon by pretty much every blogger and commenter, as well it should be. If I had wanted to communicate with you publicly, I would have posted what I said in the comments. Think of it this way. What if you had e-mailed me privately and I had posted your e-mail all over my blog?

    I’d be willing to bet money that you would have been very, very unhappy.

    So I hope you’ll understand why I removed the e-mail exchange from your comment and left everything else intact.

    If you want to reboot, fine. There will be no more sarcasm, at least not from me. If you don’t, then I suggest that this blog is not the place for you. Information on vaccines can be found in many places. My favorite:

    http://www.chop.edu/service/vaccine-education-center/home.html

  251. #251 Science Mom
    February 11, 2012

    I’m glad you are all so very amused. I wonder if any of you, like me, have babies scheduled for vaccinations this coming week? I tried to get reliable information here, and all I got in return was aggression and rudeness. Has the internet killed all civility?

    Mr. King, please go back and re-read your initial entry at # 240. You did not ask for any information regarding vaccinating your infant; you came out swinging and made a stink about the host’s pseudonym, which isn’t at all pseudononymous. If you have actual questions, then post them, then perhaps people won’t take your aggression as well, aggression and nitpicking.

  252. #252 Thomas
    February 11, 2012

    Dinah Everett Snyder

    In your fantasies of oppression, why does Orac allow you to post here? Do you think that Orac doesn’t know how to delete posts, or do you think that Orac doesn’t realize how devastating your arguments are? Surely, if you were as convincing as you seem to think you are, Orac would be forced by his big Pharma bosses to delete your brutal dissections of his evidence, no?

    On a related note, why do the pro-disease sites like AOA boast of censoring posts?

  253. #253 Hinterlander
    February 11, 2012

    Hi Kirk

    I hope you do stick around as this is a great place to find excellent quality, referenced information on vaccines. Not so long ago I was in the same situation as you with the added baggage of antivax family dishing up all sorts of scare tactics in an attempt to stop me vaccinating my daughter. I found that the search function here was an excellent place to start, as Orac has refuted a vast amount of myths spouted by antivax groups and individuals.

    I really do empathise with your situation. New parent anxieties can really play havoc with your head and heart. My daughter was premature and so I clocked up many hours pouring over this site and repeatedly calling our vaccine information centre, GP, Plunket, etc to put my mind at ease. Being raised in an antivax family, I had to unlearn a great deal of biases, etc.

    Of course, my daughter was fine and now a very strong and healthy 20 month old who’s reaching her milestones perfectly.

    Again, I hope you stick around. You may even come to enjoy Orac’s insolent style – I certainly do! I wish you all the best in your search for information.

  254. #254 Chris
    February 12, 2012

    Mr. King, could you not find the CDC Pink Book? It is here. It should provide all of the information you need.

    My children are old enough to have gotten some of the diseases covered by vaccines. Trust me it is not fun. Especially since my oldest has several health concerns.

  255. #255 Chris
    February 12, 2012

    Science Mom:

    If you have actual questions, then post them, then perhaps people won’t take your aggression as well, aggression and nitpicking.

    And he did it on an article that is a year old! He might have also received a more nuanced response if he had posted on a recent vaccine thread, and well, actually asked a question. Though I did point out the CDC Pink Book, was that no sufficient?

    I hope he was not expecting a timely response, since it is Saturday and I spent most of the say at a gardening show, plus we went out to dinner.