Respectful Insolence

The fixed mindset of the anti-vaccine activist

One of my interests in skepticism and critical thinking has been the similarity in the fallacious arguments, approach to data, and general behavior of those who are–to put it generously–not so skeptical or scientific in their approach to life. I’m talking about believers in the paranormal, quacks, anti-vaccine activists, conspiracy theory mavens, Holocaust deniers, creationists, anthropogenic global warming denialists, and cranks of all stripes. Indeed, it is this similarity in mindset that led Mark Hoofnagle to coin the term “crank magnetism,” a perfect description of how people who believe in one form of crankery often believe in other forms of crankery as well. Examples include Dr. Lorraine Day, who’s a believer in cancer quackery (indeed, lots of other forms of quackery, too) and is a rabid Holocaust denier as well; Melanie Phillips, who is anti-vaccine and doesn’t believe in AGW or evolution, either; Vox Day, who hits the crank trifecta of anti-vaccinationism, evolution denialism, and anthropogenic global warming (AGW) denialism; Nicholas Kollerstrom, who hits the different crank trifecta of Holocaust denial, astrology, and crop circles; and Mike Adams, whose crank magnetism encompasses virtually all forms of pseudoscience except for than AGW denialism.

But crank magnetism is not the only aspect of the believer in pseudoscience, and that’s an extreme “us versus them” mentality. True, this is not a characteristic unique to cranks or even defining of cranks, but when you verbiage like this in combination with dubious science, chances are that you are dealing with a grade-A woo-meister, a crank par excellance:

I want to win the “Vaccine-Autism War.”

It’s probably why I spend inordinate amounts of my scarce free time watching History Channel specials on military battles and tactics. The books I read also tend to be about great historical struggles and what eventually happened.

And sometimes I simply can’t believe we haven’t already won.

These are the words of Kent Heckenlively, whom we’ve met multiple times before on this blog. He’s one of the main bloggers for the anti-vaccine crank blog Age of Autism and, over its history, has written some truly appalling posts, such as when he described borrowing $15,000 from his daughter’s grandparents to take her to a clinic in Costa Rica for a quack stem cell treatment for autism that involved injecting “stem cells” right into his daughter’s cerebrospinal fluid. Another example was when he enthusiastically embraced a model of autism in which he speculated that bacteria made toxic heavy metals that caused autism. His most recent appalling post came not long before TAM, when Heckenlively quoted a passage from Psalm 94 praying to God for vengeance upon the enemies of Israel. The implication was obvious; Heckenlively was praying for the Lord to bring vengeance upon those who support vaccine science. He also cited Stephen King’s novel The Stand, which featured an apocalyptic nuclear explosion in Las Vegas in its climax. Given that the post was written only a couple of days before 1,600 skeptics descended upon Las Vegas, the timing of the post was certainly concerning.

After proclaiming his love for all things military and regurgitating common anti-vaccine canards, such as confusing correlation with causation with regards to vaccines and autism and citing parental testimonials, Kent decides to get down to business trying to analyze The “Mindset” of Our Opponents. First, he cites a book by Carol Dweck entitled Mindset, which to him has special relevance to his study as a brave maverick anti-vaccinationist. Next, he absolutely obliterates yet another of my irony meters (and this was one that I wrapped in flame retardant protective armor, too!):

Sometimes it’s not enough to have facts on your side, you have to understand the psychology of the other side and use it to your advantage.

Seriously. If there’s a person on this planet with less self-awareness than Kent Heckenlively, I’ve never seen it. Kent and his fellow travelers in the anti-vaccine movement are the very definition of a group that clings to an idea regardless of evidence, facts, science, or reason. As I’ve learned over the last several years, while combatting the anti-vaccine movement, it is not enough to have facts on your side, which is why, ove the years, I’ve tried to understand the psychology of the other side. The problem is, that doesn’t seem to work, either. Anti-vaccinationists cling to their beliefs that vaccines are evil and cause autism with a ferocity that a fundamentalist would be hard-pressed to match.

Kent then tries to use the thesis of Dr. Dweck’s book to argue that those evil doctors are close-minded, arrogant clods, and that only he and his fellow anti-vaccine believers are open-minded and enlightened. While it’s true that there are doctors out there who are close-minded, arrogant clods (and, having had to deal with my fellow doctors on a daily basis for the last 25 years, don’t I know it!), it’s even more true that if there’s anyone off whom facts, logic, and science bounce as harmlessly as stones off a tank, it’s anti-vaccine activists like Kent Heckenlively. That’s why the meat of Kent’s post strikes me as revealing something else very integral to the crank “mindset” (to steal Kent’s terminology), namely projection. Time and time again, how often do we see cranks of all stripes projecting their mindset, their attitudes, onto defenders of science?

The relevance of Dr. Dweck’s book comes in where she identifies two types of mindsets among people, the “fixed” mindset and the “growth” mindset. The fixed mindset, according to Kent, involves a tendency to avoid challenges, to give up easily when frustrated, and to ignore useful negative feedback. One key aspect of the fixed mindset is a tendency to view criticism of one’s work or ideas as criticism of the person, and the reaction is invariably highly defensive. In other words, criticism of a person’s ideas, skills, or results of his work is all too often taken as a direct attack or an insult. Personally, again, I have a hard time thinking of another group of people possessing these traits in more abundance than anti-vaccine activists. Another aspect of the fixed mindset that Kent doesn’t mention is this:

Usually when others succeed, people with a Fixed Mindset will try to convince themselves and the people around them that the success was due to either luck (after all, almost everything is due to luck in the Fixed Mindset world) or objectionable actions. In some cases, they will even try to tarnish the success of others by bringing up things that are completely unrelated (“Yes, but did you know about his…”).

In other words, ad hominems are the rule of the day. Think of how the anti-vaccine movement deals with Paul Offit. Think of how anti-vaccine loons gleefully leapt all over the fraud investigation and indictment of Paul Thorsen.

In contrast, Kent tries to paint the “brave maverick doctors” producing autism pseudoscience and quackery as possessing the opposite of the fixed mindset, namely the growth mindset, while marveling that most doctors don’t view autism quackery the way they do:

By contrast, the person with a growth mindset is lead by a desire to learn and will therefore embrace challenges, persist in the face of obstacles, and try to learn from criticism. Those rare doctors you have met with this mindset are probably among your heroes, even if they haven’t yet been able to fully resolve the problems of your child.

In other words, it’s the DAN! doctors, the Andrew Wakefields, and the Mark Geiers of the world who are to Heckenlively the doctors with the “growth mindset.” Meanwhile, he likens doctors to the executives at Enron who drove the company into the ground:

Dweck points to Enron as an example. They believed in the “talent” rather than the effort theory of hiring potential employees. In a movie about the Enron debacle they were termed “the smartest guys in the room.” Nobody called them the hardest-working guys. Their brains were supposed to be their secret weapon, even if they didn’t use them. They believed in themselves so much they became convinced that if they thought of an idea which could make them money they could put that amount of money in their account books as income. Those of us who live in the real world know that just because we think of a potential money-making idea doesn’t mean the bank will put that money in our bank account.

Of course, this is not quite telling the whole story. The guys from Enron might have been the smartest guys in the roo,, but they were also the most deceptive guys in the room. They used highly unethical accounting practices to intentionally misrepresent the company’s earnings and debts. Its accounting practices were downright dishonest. In fact, if anything, many autism “entrepreneurs” remind me more of the “guys” of Enron than any legitimate scientist. Part of being the “smartest guys in the room” at Enron was to heap contempt for being “unimaginative” or “close-minded” upon other businesses and accountants who had the temerity to point out that their accounting and business practices were risky, unethical, and even illegal. Sound familiar? Perhaps like the way that autism quacks castigate conventional autism scientists for being close-minded and unimaginative? There’s also a profound anti-intellectualism and anti-science mindset embedded in these tirades against doctors and scientists. Note Kent characterizes them as acting far more out of a desire to appear smart than anything else, as viewing themselves as the “smartest guys in the room” (just like Enron executives!), or as arrogant.

The bottom line is that projection frequently is a major characteristic of cranks, every bit as much as crank magnetism and a fast-and-loose approach to scientific data. I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve seen creationists, quacks, anti-vaccine activists, and other cranks castigate scientists for being “close-minded” and possessing characteristics of the fixed mindset without actually mentioning the fixed mindset. While it’s true that doctors are sometimes too dismissive of patient concerns and unwilling to listen, if you want to see rigid, “fixed mindsets” in action, check out the anti-vaccine movement.

And don’t even get me started on how Kent accused doctors and scientists of “magical thinking.”

ADDENDUM:

Another irony meter is blown by one of the commenters:

I think you are on to something here, Kent. It is the desire to “look smart” that is motivating many in this disaster. And unfortunately, the vaccine pushers know this. That is why the internet is over-run with vaccine-promoting bullies.

Verbal bullies intimidate their targets by name-calling and ridicule. Why do they do this? As I have told my daughter, who has sadly been a victim of bullying, bullies act the way they do because they are insecure about themselves. They call others names because somehow it makes them feel better about themselves to put others down. They are the ones who have mental and emotional problems–not the people they are bullying. Even though the effect of their horrible behavior is often to make those they bully feel bad or stupid or inadequate, the truth is that the bully is really the one who is bad, stupid, inadequate and most seriously in need of help.

Who later says:

So what do those who feel most threatened do? They react by calling their opponents names–ignorant, misled, anti-vaccine, baby-killers, etc. etc. etc. We have all read their bullying tirades on various blogs and comment streams. Rather than admit the limitations of their own knowledge and abilities, or of medical and scientific knowledge, they resort to bullying and threats. If you don’t do what we say, then we won’t treat you. (Blackmail.) If you don’t follow our directions, we’ll turn you in to CPS. (Extorsion) If you question vaccines, it must be because you are stupid enough to listen to a crazy Playboy bunny rather than a clearly more educated doctor. (Ridicule.)

You see, when it’s J.B. Handley threatening his enemies or calling them names, he’s fighting the good fight, and the anti-vaccine minions at AoA praise him for being tough, aggressive, and “giving as good as he gets.” When it’s a scientist criticizing J.B., that’s a close-minded reaction borne out of being threatened with not appearing to be the “smartest guy in the room.”

Comments

  1. #1 Bellerophon
    September 2, 2011

    I think your first paragraph has something of the strawman construct about it and you could find many examples to question it. To take AGW as an example, this is a concept that has been questioned by none other than James Randi, hardly known for his crank views.
    http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/swift-blog/805-agw-revisited.html
    Whereas one of the great proponents of AGW is that woomaster general Prince Charles.

  2. #2 Rich Scopie
    September 2, 2011

    Interestingly, for someone who prides himself on his investigative skills, Kent puts forward the example of Patton defeating Rommel by reading his book on tank warfare. It was always my understanding that Patton never actually engaged Rommel in a major battle – although there is a video game; “Patton Versus Rommel”…

  3. #3 Bellerophon
    September 2, 2011

    Quite right. Rommel was only defeated once in a major battle, at el Alemein, by the British under Montgomery. Even in Normandy he only really personally confronted the British, at Caen. Kent seems to have that lamentable Americocentrism that so irritates us in Europe.

  4. #4 anarchic teapot
    September 2, 2011

    Ah, the fixed mindset. An absolutely classic textbook case was observed not long ago, trying to bully rationalists into silence and going as far as trying to get a much-appreciated epidemiologist fired.

    Actually, I’m not sure it’s the Enron executives that are the best analogy here. The auditors, Arthur Andersen, seem to me to be a better example: again, the smartest guy in the room mindset (you didn’t even get a job interview if you weren’t doing an Honours degree in Accountancy). The trouble wasn’t that they weren’t working hard. They were. The trouble – and what destroyed the firm as it did Enron – is that they were acting contrary to everything they had learned during their long and expensive training.

    Compare to a police officer who becomes corrupt, or a medical doctor who starts actively promoting woo.

  5. #5 Matthew Cline
    September 2, 2011

    He also cited Stephen King’s novel The Stand, which featured an apocalyptic nuclear explosion in Las Vegas in its climax. Given that the post was written only a couple of days before 1,600 skeptics descended upon Las Vegas, the timing of the post was certainly concerning.

    I think you’re reading too much into that. I take it that he’s saying “Big Pharma is a lot more powerful than us, but we have God on our side, so we’ll eventually win”. Though quoting Psalm 94 as he did is concerning.

  6. #6 palindrom
    September 2, 2011

    Bellephron @1 — I love James Randi!

    But the post you referred to is not his finest hour. The last paragraph begins “In my amateur opinion …” — and looking at the rest of the post, his opinion is extremely amatuerish. He really doesn’t offer any arguments that have not been thoroughly refuted. This stuff has been chewed on for decades in the scientific literature, and it’s still there. That doesn’t mean that it’s the gospel truth, of course, but it does mean that obvious objections such as those put forth by the denialist industry have long since been worked through and found wanting.

    Oh, and the fact that Prince Charles believes it, even though we may disagree with his outlook in general, has no bearing on the matter. I’m sure other astute readers can supply the correct Latin name for this particular logical fallacy.

  7. #7 MikeMa
    September 2, 2011

    As I recall the Heckenlively/TAM incident, many here were concerned that he had slipped a cog and might slip much further. With this post he seems to have recovered some but made no progress toward reasoned thought or self-awareness. The person I have the most sympathy for is his daughter.

  8. #8 herr doktor bimler
    September 2, 2011

    Oh, and the fact that Prince Charles believes it [AGW], even though we may disagree with his outlook in general, has no bearing on the matter.

    But that is not Bellerophon’s point, which was not about AGW per se. The point being that the concept of ‘crank magnetism’ is not strongly predictive. Knowing that a person has espoused three forms of reality-denialism (crank polygamy!) makes it more likely that the person will succumb to the attractions of a fourth form, but he or she may still resist the pull of magnetism and recognise the actual evidence rather than the consolations of fantasy.

  9. #9 palindrom
    September 2, 2011

    Herr Doktor @8 — Ah, I see now. I’m so shell-shocked from front-line duty in the HuffPo climate threads that all subtlety is lost on me. Sorry about that.

  10. #10 herr doktor bimler
    September 2, 2011

    The books I read also tend to be about great historical struggles and what eventually happened.
    And sometimes I simply can’t believe we haven’t already won.

    The strategy of “Not believing we haven’t already won” has been tried frequently in great historical struggles, but the outcomes are generally poor.

    you have to understand the psychology of the other side and use it to your advantage.
    That’s the part I don’t get. I mean, if Heckenlively is correct with his psychobabble-based insights into the personalities of Orac et al., where is the advantage? It does not help him change minds… indeed, it provides a smug sense of superiority and certainty that the minds on the other side cannot be changed.

    And conversely, I don’t feel any better-off for understanding (or thinking I understand) Heckenlively’s psychology. Apart from a smug sense of superiority — which is not to be despised.

  11. #11 Wow
    September 2, 2011

    “To take AGW as an example, this is a concept that has been questioned by none other than James Randi, hardly known for his crank views.”

    This doesn’t prove his stance on AGW not crank.

    “Whereas one of the great proponents of AGW is that woomaster general Prince Charles.”

    What woo?

    Organic farming? We’ve had 10,0000 years on woo then to thank for our current state.

    I suspect the actual issue is that YOU, personally, DO NOT WANT AGW.

    Therefore you’ll look for any case where someone you can parade as “rational” to support your case.

    In counter to that, I give you Screaming Mad Lord Monckton.

  12. #12 Vincent Iannelli, MD
    September 2, 2011

    That they see it as a “vaccine-autism war” and not a debate seems telling, although hardly surprising. I guess that is why we see so much anti-vaccine propaganda in place of facts in their arguments.

  13. #13 DLC
    September 2, 2011

    Bellerophon: science stands or falls on it’s merits, not on who believes. Randi is an intelligent fellow, but not a god, and it is his natural “default” position to be skeptical of everything. He does however change his position to suit the facts, when the facts necessitate such changes.

  14. #14 palindrom
    September 2, 2011

    Wow @11 — That was my reaction too (post 6) but after the good Doktor’s intervention (see post 8), I think — or at least hope! — that Bellephron’s original point was that non-crank James Randi can sometimes hold somewhat crankish views, thereby showing that the ‘crank magnetism’ hypothesis is more of a guideline than an absolute rule.

    Crank magnetism does seem to be a good rule of thumb, though. I’d think the etiology of crankish tendencies would make a great study for some enterprising psychologist, assuming it hasn’t been done.

  15. #15 MikeMa
    September 2, 2011

    @Wow,
    Isn’t that Screaming Mad Lord Monkton?

  16. #16 Orac
    September 2, 2011

    As I recall the Heckenlively/TAM incident, many here were concerned that he had slipped a cog and might slip much further.

    Indeed. Several people actually sent D.J. Grothe (the President of the JREF, for those who don’t know) links to Kent’s post expressing concern. In retrospect, it was probably just a coincidence and Kent had no idea TAM was happening in a couple of days in Las Vegas, but at the time it was concerning, given the combination of Kent’s choice of a story in which Las Vegas is blown up with a nuclear weapon to destroy the ultimate evil plus his quoting Bible versus pleading with God to destroy his enemies.

  17. #17 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    September 2, 2011

    “Whereas one of the great proponents of AGW is that woomaster general Prince Charles.”

    What woo?

    Prince Charles has been known to promote homeopathy and other forms of unproven CAM.

  18. #18 Beamup
    September 2, 2011

    “Whereas one of the great proponents of AGW is that woomaster general Prince Charles.”

    What woo?

    Most notably homeopathy.

  19. #19 doug rogers
    September 2, 2011

    I think you’re on to something in terms of general direction. Something that ties it all together is ‘identity’.

  20. #20 cervantes
    September 2, 2011

    Granted we haven’t had rigorous research to prove that crank magnetism exists, or establish its prevalence. The statistical requirement would be that believing in crankery(sub1) is associated with increased probability of believing in crankery(sub2). Put another way, there is a higher probability of believing in 2 or more crankeries than would be predicted by a random distribution of crank beliefs in the population.

    If you look at it that way, it hardly seems surprising. Whatever the etiology of any given crankery, it is likely to contribute to other crankeries. These would presumably include a predisposition, for whatever reason, to doubt scientific consensus; a self-image as a courageous dissenter against oppressive orthodoxy; perhaps a pecuniary or status interest in pretending to be a doctor without having to go through all that bother of medical school. Much crankery is associated with libertarian ideology and identification with corporate interests, and that can also create clusters. In short, so long as these phenomena share some risk factors, they are likely to be seen together.

  21. #21 Denice Walter
    September 2, 2011

    A while back, I attempted to produce a few chips in the brick wall mindset of one Jake Crosby: needless to say, it didn’t work ( although one never knows what goes on within the recesses of the private mindspace of a true believer). At the very least, I presented an alternate view of the universe: which he might remember someday if he hears a similar theme from a person he respects.

    Orac mentions( last paragraph, addendum) KH’s incapacity to even attempt *taking the view of the other*: this is a skill most people develop usually through adolescence ( with variable results) in the area of “person perception”, “social cognition”. We’ve all seen those old war movies where one of the soldiers reflects that the “enemy” are “guys like us with homes, families, love of country, not evil monsters” which makes his story all the more tragic. These movies targetted a general audience not the intelligentsia.

    When I tried to inveigle young Jake into considering *how* we came to our own view about vaccines ( through our studies, life experiences; as *individuals*, not through mass instruction via our esteemed leader/ pharma-com): he questioned the legitimacy of my education**. He would not accept alternatives to the conspiracy novelisation he had been taught ( law of prior entry, gone mad it would seem) instead he questioned my inept education about how conspiracies work.

    At risk of saying something (that has gotten another absolutely slaughtered): remember that we are dealing with individuals on the spectrum and their families: ASD involves difficiencies in social and communicative abilities. As we know from studying the SMIs, even family members unaffected by the actual disorder often have cognitive differences from the norm and that the degree of relation is reflected in liklihood of having the disorder itself or other problems.

    ** -btw- research re stereotypes about women who were successful ( 1970’s) shows similar questioning of their legitimate education ( Carol Gilligan, others).

  22. #22 Denice Walter
    September 2, 2011

    @ cervantes:

    Might be an overarching factor that subsumes these sets of beliefs.

  23. #23 palindrom
    September 2, 2011

    Denice @21 — This is off track, but your mention of Carol Gilligan reminds me of the cleverest joke I have come up with in 20 years of continual, if mostly mediocre, witticisms.

    As background, Gilligan had posited at one point that women view moral and ethical questions through a more sympathetic and empathetic lens, whereas men tend to use stricter rule-based systems to decide right and wrong.

    A philosophy colleague of mine was telling me that he had started an experimental collaboration (of all things) with people in the neuroscience department, in which they stuck people in an MRI, asked them to consider ethical questions, and then looked at what part of the brain lights up as they’re pondering the issue.

    I suggested to him that if they found that a part of the brain linked to emotion was lighting up under these circumstances, that it should be named “Gilligan’s Island.”

    [rim shot.]

  24. #24 allie.pixie
    September 2, 2011

    “If you don’t do what we say, then we won’t treat you. (Blackmail.)”

    This drives me crazy. It was an especially popular posture from the natural childbirth folks during my pregnancy. “My mean, mean, OB! She says that if I insist that she be not allowed to get near me with a fetal monitor or an IV or antibiotics or Rhogam or any of the other life-saving treatments she spent decades learning about and putting into practice, that if I insist that she don scuba equipment and submerge herself in a fecal-matter-contaminated baby pool nowhere near an OR in order to birth my child then I have to find alternate care. It’s so unfair! Why can’t she just do exactly what I want her to, no matter what her vast experience and education indicates otherwise?”

    Blackmail? Please.

  25. #25 MikeMa
    September 2, 2011

    @Denice,
    Many here have tried to put a chink in Jake’s armor but anytime even a glimmer of light appeared, his fellow travelers repaired the hole. They are traveling against the tides of history and will end up on the wrong side of it. A sad but seemingly insurmountable waste.

  26. #26 Denice Walter
    September 2, 2011

    @ MikeMa:

    It’s very sad. I do wonder how much is due to propaganda efforts and how much to an underlying incapacity to do otherwise.

  27. #27 LovleAnjel
    September 2, 2011

    @allie.pixie

    Luckily in pregnancy/birth it’s only mom & babes that are at risk. With vaccination, anyone in the doctor’s waiting room is at risk. That’s not blackmail, that’s preventing an outbreak.

  28. #28 jenbphillips
    September 2, 2011

    If you don’t do what we say, then we won’t treat you. (Blackmail.)

    I’m sure the Today show piece yesterday about Pediatricians excluding unvaxed kids from their practices made their precious little heads explode. Sure, ‘blackmail’, or, ‘not putting infants and/or immunocompromised patients at risk of contracting an infectious disease when they visit their doctor’. Potayto, Potahto.

    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/44356327/ns/today-today_health/

  29. #29 Matt Carey
    September 2, 2011

    “Quite right. Rommel was only defeated once in a major battle, at el Alemein, by the British under Montgomery. Even in Normandy he only really personally confronted the British, at Caen. Kent seems to have that lamentable Americocentrism that so irritates us in Europe.”

    Mr. Heckenlively may be partially remembering the movie “Patton”. In it, Patton is shown with Rommel’s book on his nightstand. Later, in the first confrontation between Patton and Rommel’s tanks in Africa, Patton wins. He says something like “Rommel, you magnificent bastard! I read your book!”

    He later learns that Rommel was in Berlin sick at the time of the battle.

  30. #30 augustine
    September 2, 2011

    With vaccination, anyone in the doctor’s waiting room is at risk.

    No they’re not! Aren’t they vaccinated? Ever heard of maternal fetal antibodies? Keep drinking the Kool-Aid of fear.

    That’s not blackmail, that’s preventing an outbreak.

    Sherri Tenpenny has a database where these pediatrician bullies can be reported. Let the free market sort them out.

    Oh, but they can’t handle the free market with their piss poor beside manners. They need the government to mandate and intimidate. Unbeknownst to those pediatricians they are props, not participants. The are a cog in a big system of business, propaganda, and ideology.

  31. #31 Liz Ditz
    September 2, 2011

    MikeMa and Denise Walter — Jake’s mother, at least, is a strident member of the “autism is vaccine injury/mercury poisoning brigade”. Over the last x years (I’m not sure of the value of x) he’s received a LOT of positive attention and reinforcement for his beliefs and well, unpleasant way of expressing himself. I think those two factors have more to do with his inability to consider the facts than his Asperger’s. People with Asperger’s are perfectly capable of learning and growing.

    It will be interesting to see what effect his graduate studies have upon his world-view.

  32. #32 cervantes
    September 2, 2011

    I actually don’t think that pediatricians should refuse to treat children whose parents refuse vaccination. The actual risk to anybody else in the waiting room is really trivial. Pediatricians waiting rooms are full of sick kids all the time, after all. And it’s not the children’s fault that their parents are deluded. Finally, somebody has to take care of those kids so they’re just kicking the problem on to somebody else. I think that sort of behavior by a physician is unethical. They owe their patients, especially children, a duty of benevolence. Best to maintain a relationship with the family and hope to change their minds one day.

  33. #33 Rogo5
    September 2, 2011

    Every time I hear or read about “crank magnetism”, I think about the quack magnet detox therapy my neighbors are into. Their form of therapy involves lying down on their back and having a “trained practitioner” wave strong magnets over the entire body to “draw out” the trapped mercury. When the mercury is “free”, they then take oxygen supplements. Their “rationale” for this is since mercury ions are +2 and oxygen ions are -2, the mercury and oxygen will combine into a “neutral form” (HgO) thus rendering it harmless. This is so insane (or more appropriately, inane) that I can’t possibly make this up. I don’t know how popular this detox therapy is elsewhere, but I’m hoping this isn’t popular or doesn’t become so.

  34. #34 Shay
    September 2, 2011

    “If you do not know the enemy as well as you do yourself, you are a fool and will meet defeat in every battle.” Sun Tzu.

    Pity Heckenlively won’t pay attention.

  35. #35 Composer99
    September 2, 2011

    Our own ugh troll is a classic case of crank magnetism.

    Indeed, his contribution on this thread combines at least two forms of crankery.

  36. #36 Narad
    September 2, 2011

    Oh, but they can’t handle the free market with their piss poor beside manners.

    Heh. How’s it treating you, Augustine? Lot of people knocking on the door?

  37. #37 Gray Falcon
    September 2, 2011

    Medicine used to be handled under the free market. That was back when cocaine and heroin were available over the counter.

  38. #38 Anton P. Nym
    September 2, 2011

    Let the free market sort them out.

    A free market requires transparency of process and symmetry of information between those conducting a transaction. Both have to know the process (though not necessarily the techniques) about equally well in order for them to agree on the best service at an equitable price.

    This is why the free market serves health care services so poorly; there is a huge asymmetry, in that the buyer (termed “patient” in these transactions) knows vastly less about the process and is unable to obtain much of the information him/herself that the seller (termed “practitioner”) must have in order to select the optimal service. This asymmetry means that free market practices just won’t work well; it’s too easy for the patient to misunderstand what’s needed or even possible, and also too easy for practitioners to “game” market mechanisms to manipulate patients into unfair deals.

    By all standards but those of the most strident laissez faire doctrinaires, health care cannot be adequately supported by the free market. Some other method is needed, be it regulation or other forms of state intervention or some other mechanism.

    — Steve

  39. #39 Vincent Iannelli, MD
    September 2, 2011

    “Sherri Tenpenny has a database where these pediatrician bullies can be reported.”

    How do you boycott an office that refuses to see you?

    FWIW, the AAP doesn’t recommend that pediatricians stop seeing patients who aren’t getting vaccines unless “a substantial level of distrust develops, significant differences in the philosophy of care emerge, or poor quality of communication persists.”

  40. #40 Denice Walter
    September 2, 2011

    @ Liz Ditz : Sure- he’s gotten propaganda his whole life ( Mom plus) and has been *rewarded* for being a spokesperson for AoA *but* I wouldn’t discount ASD as being a factor in his rigid way of dealing with information. His style makes him more susceptible to this type of manipulation ( not impossible, for non-ASDs, but *less likely*).

    When people have problems with executive functioning ( and I venture a guess that he does) it can be difficult for them to accept others’ viewpoints or veer from their own set-piece explanatory system. Also more “black-and-white” thinking, hard to judge own abilities, problems with abstractions, et al: it’s a long list.

  41. #41 Sciency goodness
    September 2, 2011

    Slightly OT, but probably of interest:

    BMJ Editor Fiona Godlee will be speaking to the NIH on the Wakefield affair.

    Description: Please join BMJ Editor Fiona Godlee for a discussion of the stunning investigation she published earlier this year that revealed the MMR scare was based not on bad science but on deliberate fraud. The three-part series was produced by journalist Brian Deer, who spent seven years investigating Andrew Wakefield’s infamous study linking the MMR vaccine with autism, discovering Wakefield had been paid by a lawyer to influence his results and had blatantly manipulated the study data.

    In an editorial accompanying Deer’s report, Godlee and colleagues noted, “Science is based on trust. Without trust, research cannot function and evidence based medicine becomes a folly. Journal editors, peer reviewers, readers, and critics have all based their responses to Wakefield’s small case series on the assumption that the facts had at least been honestly documented. Such a breach of trust is deeply shocking. And even though almost certainly rare on this scale, it raises important questions about how this could happen, what could have been done to uncover it earlier, what further inquiry is now needed, and what can be done to prevent something like this happening again.”

    The talk will be videocast on Tuesday, September 06, 2011, 11:00:00 AM ET. Anyone interested should be able to watch here:

    http://videocast.nih.gov/summary.asp?live=10558

  42. #42 Joe
    September 2, 2011

    Remember parents and children, just say “YES” to drugs!

  43. #43 Chris
    September 2, 2011

    Joe, what kind of comment is that? Do you deny antibiotics for strep infections?

  44. #44 Billy
    September 2, 2011

    Christian blogger Fred Clarke discussed implications of Kent’s belief system on his “Slacktivist” blog http://www.patheos.com/community/slacktivist/2011/07/20/a-lamentation-for-an-antivaxxer/

  45. #45 Joe
    September 2, 2011

    Chris, if you are currently taking 10 anti-depressants and you are still depressed, Cybalta might be right for you. Side effects may include suicidel thoughts, suicide, liver failure, heart-attack, stroke, kidney failure, excessive weight gain, sexual death (just to name a fraction). Ask Doctor Orac if Cybalta is right for you!

  46. #46 augustine
    September 2, 2011

    Chris, Chris, Chris

    Joe, what kind of comment is that? Do you deny antibiotics for strep infections?

    “Antibiotics for Strep Do More Harm Than Good” – Emergency Medicine Monthly

    http://www.epmonthly.com/columns/in-my-opinion/antibiotics-for-strep-do-more-harm-than-good/

    The administration of antibiotics for strep throat, endorsed universally by practice guidelines and professional societies, is based exclusively on data from the world’s most concentrated epidemic of rheumatic fever. Using this to guide modern therapy is like administering antibiotics to prevent bubonic plague.

    But don’t let evidence change your mind.

  47. #47 brian
    September 2, 2011

    @ Denice Walter

    Yes, when evaluating Jake’s many posts it’s important to remember that Jake has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome/high-functioning autism. Jake may have some real difficulty in, for example, understanding who to trust.

    The authors of a recent FMRI study of individuals like Jake concluded that their subjects with Asperger’s syndrome/high-functioning autism have “difficulties providing appropriate moral justifications and evaluating the seriousness of transgressions” that “may be explained by an impaired cognitive appraisal system that . . . fails to use relevant information.”

    Thus, I suppose, Jake’s cheerleading on behalf of Wakefield and the Geiers while attacking Offit may be understandable: Perhaps he just can’t help it. Accordingly, perhaps we should cut him some slack, regardless of how clueless and annoying he may seem.

    Zalla T, Barlassina L, Buon M, Leboyer M. Moral judgment in adults with autism spectrum disorders.
    Cognition. 2011 Oct;121(1):115-26.

  48. #48 augustine
    September 2, 2011

    Sure- he’s gotten propaganda his whole ( Mom plus)

    So have you. Except your propaganda has been rubber stamped by your experts.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8657518?dopt=AbstractPlus

    From the full article text:

    “The key is to write for the desired health behavior, rather than for high level knowledge.”

    Ie., “Trust your government and experts on this one folks, Just get your damn vaccines.”

    Check it out next time you’re in the liberry.

  49. #49 augustine1
    September 2, 2011

    Dr. Vincent Ianelli

    How do you boycott an office that refuses to see you?

    Do you kick parents out of your practice if they refuse to follow the governments mandatory vaccine schedule? Are you an agent of the state or do you serve the health of your individual patients/customers?

  50. #50 Bellerophon
    September 2, 2011

    Prince Charles. What woo???

    How about the Princes Foundation for Integrative Medicine?, Now superceded by the so called College of Medicine, every lunatic quack therapy you can think of under one roof

  51. #51 JustaTech
    September 2, 2011

    “It’s probably why I spend inordinate amounts of my scarce free time watching History Channel specials on military battles and tactics. ”

    Seriously? The History Channel? That’s where this guy gets his ideas? No wonder he’s more than a bit odd. I mean, this is the channel with “Ancient Aliens” and 4 billion shows on Nostradomus/Mayan 2012/The Illuminati. (Not that they don’t have some good stuff, but there’s a lot of chaff.) I didn’t know it was possible to take this guy less seriously.

  52. #52 herr doktor bimler
    September 2, 2011

    I think you’re on to something in terms of general direction. Something that ties it all together is ‘identity’.

    It probably doesn’t help to have major political parties writing Creationism and the non-existence of AGW into their manifestos, as purity tests to impose upon candidates.

  53. #53 Matt Carey
    September 2, 2011

    Sciency goodness,

    thanks for that link! I just blogged it. I wish I could attend. It’s a bad time to tune in here, but I’ll see how much I can listen to.

  54. #54 lilady
    September 2, 2011

    Speaking from experience here, I think I understand why Heckenlively clings to his belief system…been there, done that.

    But, I don’t understand why he has not progressed beyond that stage of “why me and why my child” and why he has gone down that path of pseudoscience and anger directed at those who don’t believe in his unique pseudoscience beliefs.

    I find that parents who “early in the game” confront the realities of having a child with a disability (or multiple disabilities) and go through the stages of grief associated with that reality, eventually (sooner rather than later), find themselves in a place of profound peace and understanding. They realize that sometimes “sh** happens” and that sometimes you lose the genetic crap shoot that determines whether or not your child will have disabilities. You learn to enjoy your child, revel in your child’s accomplishments and developmental milestones and would never expose an innocent child to alternative dangerous treatments to “effect a cure”.

    Unfortunately, Heckenlively hasn’t ever really accepted his child and at this late stage, I fear he never will. He would rather seek junk science “cures”, “dangerous” treatments and rail against “the forces” that caused his child’s disability….sad.

  55. #55 Dini Sohbet
    September 2, 2011

    asdfThe broader issue is the politicization of the scientific review process. I have been dealing with this issue since the publication of my controversial paper in 2006. I have dealt with this by addressing the editor and telling them that I expect this paper to be controversial. I list examples of reviewers on both sides of the debate that have made public statements on the topic, and requested that they not be reviewers, and requested an extra effort to identify impartial reviewers. In my two most controversial papers (most recently the uncertainty monster paper, which is now in press), this has worked well.

  56. #56 Ken
    September 2, 2011

    Gray Falcon @36: Medicine used to be handled under the free market. That was back when cocaine and heroin were available over the counter.

    I read a fun little book this summer, Jane Eastoe’s The Victorian Pharmacy (I think it’s a tie-in to a BBC show). It listed many of the old recipes, marking the ones that you shouldn’t try. Really, really, shouldn’t.

    I recall one for a refreshing Lemon Squash drink: sugar, oil of lemon, and shredded asbestos. Then there was Mother’s Soothing Syrup “to quiet babies”, basically a solution of laudanum in grain alcohol. I imagine it worked quite well.

    Mercury and arsenic showed up in a lot of the recipes. Of course Agatha Christie fans will remember that one could once trot down to the chemist’s and buy arsenic or cyanide over the counter, to kill rats and wasps.

  57. #57 Chris
    September 2, 2011

    Ken, you should read Deborah Blum’s The Poisoner’s Handbook. Similar stuff.

    (in the 1970’s I could buy ant killer which was just sugar water spiked with arsenic)

  58. #58 laura
    September 2, 2011
  59. #59 Chris
    September 2, 2011

    Laura, not really:

    Dr. Humphries knows natural treatments are being suppressed since they cure the patient and, if cured, the patient no longer needs a doctor, eradicating the income of the medical-industrial complex. I presume, of the above were true, her practice is like that of an infectious disease doctor with no long term patients, because I cure the majority of my patients.

  60. #60 laura
    September 2, 2011

    @chris-

    What do you cure?
    I thought MD’s facilitate the natural healing capacities of the body-

    No doctor ever cured me!

  61. #61 laua
    September 2, 2011

    @chris-
    But I love the absolutely dedicated Emergency Room MD’ s Thank God for them!
    And surgeons too.

  62. #62 FossilFishy
    September 2, 2011

    Laura: I read that article and all I see are un-evidenced assertions, appeals to emotion, the argument from authority fallacy and the perfection fallacy. Nowhere in that article is there anything even remotely resembling an evidenced based argument. A sad, sad showing indeed.

  63. #63 Chris
    September 2, 2011

    Laura, actually read the link, it is the part that is in blue text (that means it goes to another web page). The part in the blockquote is a quote from the article. Read the article, click on the author’s name, and read about what kind of doctor he is. And we are not the same person, despite the similarity between his last name and my first name.

  64. #64 Chris
    September 2, 2011

    I guess I should explain what part is the “blockquote.” The “blockquote” is the part of my comment that is indented (that means it starts a bit to the right of the main area) and has a vertical line to the left (that is the up and down line next to it, and it is a line even though it is made of little dots).

  65. #65 augustine
    September 2, 2011

    #1 Science Bloggin Doctor in the World

    because I cure the majority of my patients

    You’re also the reason we have MRSA.

    You forgot to say that you also cause yeast infection, rashes, diarrhea, kidney damage, liver damage, and anaphylaxis.

    I guess it’s easy to take credit for self limiting infections when you give every patient an antibiotic.

    Try putting your antibiotics into a maggot infested cow and see how much curing you do, Dr. Rainmaker.

    Talk about a god-complex.

  66. #66 Chris
    September 2, 2011

    FossilFishy, I looked at the article and it was indeed sad. No references, just argument by blatant assertion. That does not go very far on this blog.

  67. #67 novalox
    September 2, 2011

    It was all I could do not to keep from laughing at all the logical fallacies from the link that laura posted.

  68. #68 FossilFishy
    September 2, 2011

    Just because I’m avoiding work: In that article the good Dr. uses 977 words of which 599 are biographical (more or less) for a whopping 61% of the total. If that doesn’t set of your skeptical Octo-alert “Wooop, wooop, wooop….argument from authority ahead…wooop, wooop, wooop!” nothing will. Oh, and the needle on my irony meter is now wrapped around the high limit peg.[That’ll teach me to buy an analog model] The tag line on that site is “Critical thinking for a critical problem”.

    One of the first things I learned about critical thinking was that without presenting evidence it doesn’t matter what your credentials are, your argument isn’t credible. Fail.

  69. #69 laura
    September 2, 2011

    I was somewhat pro-vax but this blog has not held up to my expectations- too few
    links, a lot of stupid comments, not too many facts. It’s turned me in the other
    direction where egos don’t reign supreme and they actually have compassion for
    the vaccine-injured.

  70. #70 JohnV
    September 3, 2011

    Thanks for the laugh laura. I was totally antivax til I read your idiocy and realized there was no way I could be associated with someone like you.

  71. #71 lilady
    September 3, 2011

    @ Fossil Fish: Well Dr. Humphries, in certain circles, has some unique credentials. She was interviewed recently by Mike Adams Health Deranger and she is listed as a “friendly anti-vax doctor” in Bangor, Maine on an (in)famous mommy’s blog.

    Wouldn’t you think that the good doctor who claims to have treated patients who went into kidney failure due to receiving the H1N1 vaccine, would publish those results?

  72. #72 Chris
    September 3, 2011

    Ah, Laura, I gave you a link! What was wrong with it? That you could not tell it was a link?

    By the way, show us the how we are so wrong about the “vaccine-injured.” Show us exactly how many more are injured by the MMR vaccine than are by measles (one out of a thousand get encephalitis), mumps and rubella. Show us how many are injured by DTaP compared to diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (ten babies killed last year by pertussis just in one state!).

    Come on! Give us evidence! Give us the facts that you desire, because that link you gave had none!

  73. #73 laura
    September 3, 2011

    Thanks Chris,

    I am not arguing my position, am being respectful nor am I trying to convince anyone.

    I have an opinion and that is all it is -opinion- but, for example, reassurance from the FDA that PCV1 is harmless just doesn’t reassure me…

    http://healthomg.com/2011/04/25/doctors-can-use-rotavirus-vaccine-again-fda/

    That’s my problem.

  74. #74 Chris
    September 3, 2011

    Laura, exactly how does that show that the MMR is more dangerous than measles, mumps or rubella or that the DTaP is worse than diphtheria, tetanus or pertussis?

    All it shows is that the rotavirus vaccine is safe. Yay! Remember everything is better with bacon! (it is an oral vaccine, so the little extra porky proteins are similar to eating bacon)

    So, if you have some actual scientific evidence that show vaccines are evil, please present them. Because a silly doctor writing that she is so cool and all that she only needs to do argument by assertion and that one particular vaccine had some extra porky bits is not real evidence.

    Have you figured out what “quotes” are, and how to click on links yet? Did you find out who wrote the quote I used in the “blockquote” I used? Were you confused by the term “logical fallacy” used by others responding to your. Those are summarized here (put your mouse over the funny colored text, see the arrow turn into a little hand, depending on your computer settings, and the click on it… it is a new web page!).

    Do I need to continue the “How to use the Internet” lessons for you?

  75. #75 Chris
    September 3, 2011

    Ahhg… it is late at night: “responding to your.” is supposed to be “responding to you.”

    And really, what do you have against pork and bacon?

    Since I have had to live through real rotavirus, both in a toddler and myself… I much prefer eating bacon. You don’t know what diarrhea is until you have to start wearing your kid’s diapers (both the cotton and plastic varieties). Rivers of poo does not even begin to describe it!

    Then there is trying to keep the toddler hydrated, especially when he gets picky about pedialyte (granted, the stuff was vile twenty years ago). But guess what? Diarrhea causes dehydration, which causes changes in brain electrolytes. Changes in brain electrolytes causes seizures!

    Seeing a little tiny boy go from happy to shaking, and then full convulsions on the living room floor causes a call to “911”! Then there are large fire fighters in a teeny tiny house hunched over a tiny little unconscious boy… and a trip to Children’s Hospital via ambulance.

    Don’t you ever tell me what joy rotavirus is, and don’t even tell me how the vaccines to prevent it are it evil. I lived through it. My kid was never the same after that seizure. He is still quite disabled.

    Stop being an idiot. Show us that vaccines are worse than the disease with real scientific evidence. No news reports, no random websites… but real scientific papers.

  76. #76 laura
    September 3, 2011

    I am really sorry about your son.

    I am questioning the safety of this vaccine.

    PCV2 was found in RotaTeq http://t.co/vEp43TU

    This is how PCV2 infects pigs-

    http://t.co/CL1fCQK This is infected bacon.

  77. #77 Chris
    September 3, 2011

    So what? My son is not a pig.

  78. #78 Chris
    September 3, 2011

    And this has nothing to do with MMR nor DTaP. Did you even read those links?

  79. #79 Tamakazura
    September 3, 2011

    Oh man. That article has the too much too sooners coming in in force.
    I’ve never understood the too much too soon argument. It’s based on a view of parenthood that is a complete fantasy.
    Your perfect sterile little poppet is going to be crawling around in the dirt trying to stuff roaches in their mouth in just a few months. And you are going to be hard pressed to stop it. A few shots aren’t going to phase their little immune systems.

  80. #80 Chris
    September 3, 2011

    Wait, do you not understand he (and I) got the actual disease? Not the vaccine? We did not get any of the bacon goodness, but just the runny poopy after effects from getting the full born rotavirus.

    Show us exactly how both vaccines are worse than the virus in humans, not pigs. Give us the journal, title, date and authors of the papers that show both oral vaccines are worse than the disease. I’ve lived through the disease, I have washed the dirties from the disease, and I have been though the Children’s Hospital emergency department with IV needles and all that because of that disease!

    The links you post better be peer reviewed journals! If not, then you are literally full of the results of rotavirus!

  81. #81 laura
    September 3, 2011

    I would prefer a separate pertussis vaccine since tetanus is not contagious and
    diphtheria is rare.
    Also separate measIes vaccine.
    My son was fully vaccinated prior to 1980- he is fine.

    Thank you for your comments.

  82. #82 Chris
    September 3, 2011

    Tamakazura, have you met Th1Th2?

    She is presently holding her insane Htrae court over on this thread.

  83. #83 lilady
    September 3, 2011

    @ Chris: I hope “laura” doesn’t get all sniffly and teary eyed because you called her out on her silly pseudoscience postings:

    “I have an opinion and that is all it is -opinion- but, for example, reassurance from the FDA that PCV1 is harmless just doesn’t reassure me…

    http://healthomg.com/2011/04/25/doctors-can-use-rotavirus-vaccine-again-fda/

    That’s my problem.”

    Yes, laura that would be a problem. Are we to assume that your “opinion” carries more weight than scientists at the FDA who investigated the porcine DNA viral strands…after they tested batches of the rotavirus vaccines. You do know of course that the FDA was notified by both manufacturers of the Rotavirus vaccines, that the DNA had shown up and that prompted a temporary halt in rotavirus immunizations. It also seems to me that Big Pharma did the correct thing and it seems obvious that Big Pharma and the FDA are not involved in any conspiracy.

    You haven’t even checked PubMed to see if the “life changing” event of purportedly treating patients with renal failure following H1N1 vaccines was ever reported by your heroine Dr. Humphries in any journal (peer reviewed or not)…it wasn’t.

    Laura, you have to learn that when you state something “as an opinion” it is not acceptable on this site. And, you have to learn that statements made by you should be backed up by citations and data…you don’t want us to think you are another crank troll, do you?

    I’m just waiting for VAERS reports stating that Little Johnny and Little Suzie, starting oinking the same day of vaccine administration and that they are now little piglets.

  84. #84 Chris
    September 3, 2011

    Laura:

    I would prefer a separate pertussis vaccine since tetanus is not contagious and diphtheria is rare.

    Wow, you really are stupid. What killed the brother of Henry David Thoreau?

    So you don’t do any gardening? There is no herd immunity for tetanus because it is a soil born bacteria! I do garden, and because of a deep gash due to a rose bush incursion the technician at the blood drive discounted that arm as candidate (the other arm was okay!).

    Laura said: “My son was fully vaccinated prior to 1980- he is fine.”

    And that is one anecdote. Again, so what? He got the DTP and the MMR. And depending on his date of birth, he may have had at least one dose of a smallpox vaccine (we don’t know if Laura’s son was ten or thirty by 1980).

    Explain exactly how your son surviving vaccines shows that the MMR is worse than measles, mumps and rubella and how the DTaP is worse than diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. And really show how either the RotaTex and RotaRix vaccines are worse than rotavirus (and having lived through the actual disease, and paying the actual hospital bills… I really want to know this!).

  85. #85 laura
    September 3, 2011

    Swine-Origin Influenza A (H3N2) Virus Infection in Two Children — Indiana and Pennsylvania, July–August 2011

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm60e0902a1.htm

  86. #86 Chris
    September 3, 2011

    And that is related to tetanus and rotavirus how?

    Laura, is it not just a problem with using the Internet that you have, but actually an issue with basic reading?

  87. #87 lilady
    September 3, 2011

    “I would prefer a separate pertussis vaccine since tetanus is not contagious and
    diphtheria is rare.
    Also separate measIes vaccine.
    My son was fully vaccinated prior to 1980- he is fine.”

    And I would have preferred to have my childhood friend still part of my life…she died of polio 58 years ago. I would have preferred that my cousin didn’t contract measles that left him with lifelong neurological impairments.

    I also would have preferred that vaccines that prevent rotavirus were available years ago so that each year 50,000 youngsters in the United States didn’t face prolonged hospitalizations and that parents of the 40-60 babies who died each year from rotavirus before vaccines against the virus were available, didn’t have to go through the unbearable grief of losing a baby to rotavirus.

    I’d also prefer that smug parents whose children survived infancy and early childhood intact, don’t offer up their “opinions” based on junk science.

  88. #88 Chris
    September 3, 2011

    Laura, do you understand that influenza is not the same as rotavirus, polio, Hib, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, and pertussis? Please indicate that you are not so idiotic as to confuse those diseases.

  89. #89 Chris
    September 3, 2011

    lilady:

    I’d also prefer that smug parents whose children survived infancy and early childhood intact, don’t offer up their “opinions” based on junk science.

    You are a wonderful person. I hope to meet you in real life some day. Thank so much for being here.

  90. #90 FossilFishy
    September 3, 2011

    Laura: You don’t give us any kind of argument for your position other than a link. One has to assume that that link contains something you agree with. The article in that link contains nothing but un-evidenced assertions, no links, nothing. And then you complain that we give you no links? Do you see the irony here?

    It seems clear that you are new to critical thinking so here’s a link for you.

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

    Conformation bias is a well known and studied psychological trait. We all do it even if we’re aware of the phenomenon. The scientific method is our primary means of combating conformation bias. A properly designed study controls for it by double blinding among other things. Your choice and interpretation of the two links you have presented show clear signs of conformation bias. You are giving weight to the things you already believe despite the evidence presented by one and the lack of evidence presented by the other.

  91. #91 lilady
    September 3, 2011

    @ Chris: “laura” is a troll, who only pretends she doesn’t know how to use the internet for research. It is quite possible she is a shill for some CAM supplements or CAM “practitioners”.

    I suspect that “laura” is the same “laura” that we have tangled with before…their behaviors seem to be similar. Unfortunately, when we tangled with “laura” and drove the stake in her troll heart, she resurrects herself occasionally only with a different cause. Stick a fork in this troll…she’s done.

  92. #92 FossilFishy
    September 3, 2011

    Sorry, thread moved on before I could post. Damn this gainful employment. :)

    The two links I’m referring to are the un-evidenced assertions in 57 and the evidenced conclusions in 71.

    I too did a search for Dr. Suzanne Humphries on pubmed and found only one paper on bone marrow transplantation. In case you don’t know Laura, pubmed is an index of peer reviewed scientific papers in the medical field. If it isn’t on there it’s very likely that Humphries has never published any real scientific research in the medical field.

  93. #93 laura
    September 3, 2011

    @chris @lilady@FossilFishy

    When are you planning to return to school for your MD degrees?
    Practicing medicine without a license is a felony.

  94. #94 FossilFishy
    September 3, 2011

    lilady:

    “laura” is a troll, who only pretends she doesn’t know how to use the internet for research.

    Eh, it can be worthwhile engaging even known trolls in the hope that there might be a fence-sitting lurker out there who will learn something.

  95. #95 laura
    September 3, 2011

    @fossilfishy-
    The Geiers papers are still on PubMed.

  96. #96 lilady
    September 3, 2011

    @ laura: when are you ever going to go to school for some basic science courses…better yet why don’t you go to clown school…the local circus has an opening for you.

    Laura only pretends to know some science and some law…the ability to research the internet and the ability to interpret scientific and medical research and make cogent comments about your drivel, does not constitute “practicing medicine without a license”.

    P.S. take the other trolls with you…there are always openings at the local circus…if your shilling career doesn’t work out for you.

  97. #97 laura
    September 3, 2011

    The name lilady is not appropriate-Big Goon is.
    I pity you.

  98. #98 Chris
    September 3, 2011

    Laura:

    Practicing medicine without a license is a felony

    Since when is discussing science considered practicing medicine?

    What science do you have that the MMR is more dangerous than measles, mumps and rubella? How is the DTaP carry more risk than diphtheria and pertussis?

    And really, why are the rotavirus vaccines less pleasant than the vaccines to prevent rivers of poo? Truly a real mom must have some incentive to prevent that amount of laundry.

  99. #99 herr doktor bimler
    September 3, 2011

    I was somewhat pro-vax but this blog has […] turned me in the other direction

    I used to be somewhat pro-Evolution until that Thomas Huxley man was so incivil to nice Bishop Wilberforce. That completely turned me in the direction of creationism.

    the vaccines to prevent rivers of poo

    Wait, there is a vaccine for avoiding the Second Malebolge of Inferno? Why was I not informed?

  100. #100 MikeMa
    September 3, 2011

    I suppose laura gets points for every post that raises a response. Logic & value from laura are sadly absent.

  101. #101 Dangerous Bacon
    September 3, 2011

    “I was somewhat pro-vax but this blog has not held up to my expectations- too few links, a lot of stupid comments, not too many facts. It’s turned me in the other direction”

    I don’t think laura realizes how many tone trolls have taken this tack here before (including antivax pediatrician Jay Gordon). Ignoring solid evidence-based postings on the value of immunization in favor of obsessively honing in on “uncivil” comments from pro-vaccination posters (while overlooking the hateful nonsense spewed by the antivax contingent) is a shopworn and dishonest tactic.

    If you genuinely want to be informed, filter out any and all “uncivil” remarks and stick to the evidence. It’s pointing consistently in one direction – confirming the safety and value of immunization.

    I am impressed by the venomous ignorance of antivaxers – but it’s the ignorance (not the venom) that I find most convincing.

  102. #102 TBruce
    September 3, 2011

    @chris @lilady@FossilFishy

    When are you planning to return to school for your MD degrees?
    Practicing medicine without a license is a felony.

    Laura, I do have an MD and a full license to practice medicine. My professional opinion is that you are full of shit.

  103. #103 laura
    September 3, 2011

    @TBruce
    Really helpful comment.
    PCV2 virus was found in Rotateq-I posted links that negated that this would affect
    humans, yet the CDC recently released info that 2 children caught the flu from
    pigs. Isn’t there a possibility that PCV2 can infect children.
    Purely theoretical.
    (The comment about practicing medicine was a lame joke.)

  104. #104 Denice Walter
    September 3, 2011

    Oh Lord!

    Via the AoA KH link and several commenters, we have possible working examples of executive dis-function in adults**:
    these are higher order *variable* abilities ( plural) that develop over time and cover a lot of ground. They are the means by which adults negotiate the intricacies and subtlties of life- there’s one in particular that’s relevant here-

    Judging one’s own abilities and those of others.

    Whenever I hear a woo-meister critique subject matter that he or she has never studied to any depth or a layperson suddenly become an “expert” in immunology or autism or a commenter downgrade Orac’s or more expert commenters’ information: a little alarm bell goes off in my head. Uh oh.

    Most people have reasonable skills by adulthood. A common example : your car won’t start- you try a few things you know, *then* call a mechanic. You don’t persist because you need the car to get to work. You don’t consult a homepathic mechanic for a few weeks or get the car’s chakras re-alligned.

    People who can’t evaluate their own and others’ skills or knowledge are prime candidates for the Big Sell by woo-meisters: I hear and read this everyday, courtesy of the usual suspects. The charlatans take advantage of their marks’ inability to differentiate expertise ( and their poor judgment) as well as the *time* lag for most health concerns ( unlike the mechanic who has to show immediate results).

    It is dis-heartening to me (and somewhat frightening) to listen to a trusting person call a charlatan for advice concerning a family member or themself – sometimes for serious illnesses. They choose to trust someone who simultaneously scares them off of real doctors/ professionals *and* prescribes ( yes, I will use that word) supplements and other nonsense as “cures”.

    I realise that what is transparently obvious to me ( sales techniques) is not clear at all to many other people ( ability is not equal). Poor science education and person perception, alone or in interaction, may conspire against them. Thus, I attempt to illustrate the warning signs that set off *my* alarm bells: suspect educational credentials, derisive comments about the scientifc consensus, and being multiply expert – in several fields- are major concerns to me.

    -btw- I had a flu shot with thimerisol yesterday: could that explain my increased concern for others’ welfare?

    ** lots of reasons why people have these problems- including SMI, development /learning disabilities, autism, stroke, head injury, etc.

  105. #105 Science Mom
    September 3, 2011

    PCV2 virus was found in Rotateq-I posted links that negated that this would affect
    humans, yet the CDC recently released info that 2 children caught the flu from
    pigs. Isn’t there a possibility that PCV2 can infect children.
    Purely theoretical.

    Laura, viable virus was never found in either of the rotavirus vaccines, DNA fragments were. Neither PCV virus has any human implications anyhow. Swine flu is not PCV, two entirely different viruses and influenza viruses have always been zoonoses, this is nothing new.

  106. #106 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    September 3, 2011

    Laura – TBruce’s comment to you had precisely the same meaning as your lame joke, though more directly stated.
    Contamination of food and drugs is certainly something to be concerned about. These incidents should be evaluated and appropriate remedial and preventive action taken. It appears that this happened more than a year ago in the case you bring up. Could other incidents occur? Yes, of course – just as spinach could be contaminated with salmonella and sprouts with e. coli. Are they trivial? Of course not.

  107. #107 laura
    September 3, 2011

    Re: DNA fragments

    * Transduction: transfer of genetic material by viruses
    1. Virus infects cell: host DNA degraded into fragments, viral DNA takes over control.
    2. Host DNA fragment gets packed into virus progeny by accident.
    3. Virus progeny infects another cell, injects previous host’s DNA fragment.
    4. Fragment enters cell, find its homologous counterpart, and crossover.

  108. #108 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    September 3, 2011

    @Denice Walter,

    -btw- I had a flu shot with thimerisol yesterday: could that explain my increased concern for others’ welfare?

    As that would be a homeopathic preparation of ethylmercury, it should improve your message delivery abilities, increase your speed, reduce fever, and keep you up all day. On the down side, it will prevent you from receiving deliveries of flowers and you’ll have an aversion to anyone named “Ethyl”, premium gasoline, and by extension sports cars.

  109. #109 Liz Ditz
    September 3, 2011

    Part the first:

    Billy @44: thanks for sharing Fred Clarke’s essay. I hadn’t read it and found it useful for straightening out my thinking

    http://www.patheos.com/community/slacktivist/2011/07/20/a-lamentation-for-an-antivaxxer/

    Part the second: Laura @ 79

    I would prefer a separate pertussis vaccine since tetanus is not contagious and diphtheria is rare.
    Also separate measIes vaccine.

    I would prefer to have a full-time housekeeper and a personal assistant. I have neither of those things because the cost of those services exceeds the benefits.

    Developing a new vaccine takes years and is highly expensive. What would be the value, the benefit, of separate vaccines for pertussis, tetanus, and diphtheria? None, nothing. In addition to the costs of vaccine development, health care providers would also bear the marginal cost of ordering and stocking these vaccines…again, for no benefit.

    Why should we vaccinate children against rubella at all? According to Alison MacNeil, who said “”I have never met a parent willing to sacrifice their child for the good of the herd”, we shouldn’t. After all, rubella is a mild disease of childhood with very low mortality and mortality.

    We vaccinate for the community immunity to protect the developing fetuses of pregnant women who lack immunity. Before widespread uptake of rubella vaccine, infections in pregnant women caused spontaneous abortion, or for infants who survived to term, Congenital Rubella Syndrome.

    I would like laura to say if she supports vaccinating children against rubella.

  110. #110 Narad
    September 3, 2011

    Re: DNA fragments

    Wow, a lift from mcat-review.org. Unusual choice, but I guess that takes care of that. The Snout People are coming.

  111. #111 Science Mom
    September 3, 2011

    laura re: 105, your regurgitation of viral transduction is moot, no live virus was found in the vaccine. The presence of DNA indicates that virus did contaminate an excipient used upstream in production, the source was identified and no viable virus was found http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21093497. PCVs do not produce productive infection in humans: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15099209

  112. #112 Orac
    September 3, 2011

    I was somewhat pro-vax but this blog has not held up to my expectations- too few links, a lot of stupid comments, not too many facts. It’s turned me in the other direction where egos don’t reign supreme and they actually have compassion for the vaccine-injured.

    Please. Don’t insult my intelligence and that of my readers.

    I don’t believe for one minute that you were “pro-vax” or that you’d be “pro-vax” were it not for people like myself and my pro-science commenters being so mean and nasty to you. You were clearly already at the very least leaning towards the anti-vaccine position, and you just used the justified criticism you received for spewing fact-free, science-free nonsense in the comments of this blog as a convenient excuse to justify not listening to opposing viewpoints anymore.

  113. #113 laura
    September 3, 2011

    @liz ditz-
    My grandchildren are all up to date on their immunizations and in school.

  114. #114 Denice Walter
    September 3, 2011

    @ Mephistopheles O’Brien:

    Good to know!

    -btw- I am supposed to attend an Irish wedding later- and the Irish love me, I have no clue as to why – so I shall rest assured that the Hg won’t interfere.

    ………..

    In other news: Mike Adams now resides outside Austin, TX, where he raises chickens, drinks raw eggs, and fights “the Man” ( NaturalNews; today)

  115. #115 Scottynuke
    September 3, 2011

    I sincerely doubt that laura had any ability (other than providing misinformation) to affect her grandchildren’s immunization status, but nonetheless laura has yet to answer liz ditz’s question.

  116. #116 laura
    September 3, 2011

    @orac –
    please answer 101

    then read 105 110

    Much appreciated.
    Respectfully yours,
    Laura
    I obviously have no science background and do suffer from age related(I’m a senior) memory problems. (have had 10 flu shots as least- of course no causal relationship.)

  117. #117 Chris
    September 3, 2011

    Perhaps Laura is descending into age related dementia. Her response to direct questions is to post some odd link about a different disease.

    Laura, please ask your children to find a suitable care facility for you as soon as possible.

    And do make sure that you are up to date on your tetanus booster. The most vulnerable persons to tetanus are older people who forget to update their protection to that particular soil born bacteria, which is literally everywhere. You might want refresh your fading memory on the difference between “contagious” and actually “everywhere”!

  118. #118 Orac
    September 3, 2011

    @laura

    Although this doesn’t directly address #101, it does address the scientific ignorance you demonstrate in #105 because it takes on someone who made the same sort of silly claims for a different claimed case of DNA in vaccines:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/04/the_resident_anti-vaccine_reporter_at_cb.php

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/07/joe_mercola_plays_the_religion_card_agai.php

    Seriously, you really are out of your depth here, which is why I ask you to read the above really, really carefully. When you say you have no science background, I’m not at all surprised. Your posts make it painfully obvious that you have no science background. If you did, you wouldn’t make such silly statements about homologous recombination. One wonders if you’ve been reading the Age of Autism spin on Dr. Ratajczak’s nonsense about homologous recombination due to vaccines.

  119. #119 Chris
    September 3, 2011

    Laura, perhaps to help your age related memory problems you should pick up an active hobby. Perhaps gardening, but remember that gardeners need to be on top of their tetanus boosters. I got scratched by a rose thorn over a week ago that seemed to get a bit infected. Fortunately I got a Tdap booster a couple of months ago.

  120. #120 Orac
    September 3, 2011

    @laura

    Oh, and tell me: You say your grandchildren are up to date on their vaccines. Do you agree with their mother’s decision to vaccinate them according to the recommended schedule? Yes or no.

  121. #121 Militant Agnostic
    September 3, 2011

    Orac

    silly statements about homologous recombination.

    Orac, you of all people should know that it is the homologous recombalation tiniker that is the real danger.

  122. #122 Liz Ditz
    September 3, 2011

    @Laura, I asked you a simple question:

    Do you support vaccinating children against rubella?

    Please answer yes or no. In the case of no, please provide your reasons.

    Your grandchildren’s vaccination status is irrelevant, unless you are their legal guardian.

    And the age card: I’ve been a card-carrying member of AARP for a number of years now. And I too have had my annual flu shot since 1997. The latter has not only protected my health but protected others around me (my grandchildren, my even-more-elderly friends) from the risk of me transmitting the disease to them.

  123. #123 Matthew Cline
    September 3, 2011

    @laura:

    Re: DNA fragments
    * Transduction: transfer of genetic material by viruses
    1. Virus infects cell: host DNA degraded into fragments, viral DNA takes over control.

    That happens to host DNA (DNA inside of the host’s cells), not DNA fragments in the vaccine.

  124. #124 brian
    September 3, 2011

    @ laura

    The authors of the recent paper linked below estimate that in the USA a minumum of 830 ASD cases and a maximum of 6225 cases of ASD cases were PREVENTED by MMR vaccination from 2001 through 2010.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21592401

    Since (as noted in the recent Institute of Medicine report) “The evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between MMR vaccine and autism,” do you think that children should skip the MMR vaccine and thus INCREASE the prevalence of ASD?

  125. #125 laura
    September 3, 2011

    @ orac @brian @liz ditz
    I am not qualified to suggest not getting vaccinated nor getting vaccinated with the MMR since the IOM also stated….

    “The committee finds that evidence convincingly supports a causal relationship between some vaccines and some adverse events—such as MMR, varicella zoster, influenza, hepatitis B, meningococcal, and tetanus-containing vaccines linked to anaphylaxis.”

  126. #126 Chris
    September 3, 2011

    Laura, perhaps you should try reading this very carefully. Then come back and tell us exactly how much more risk a child has from getting the MMR vaccine versus getting measles, mumps and rubella.

  127. #127 Chris
    September 3, 2011

    Laura, make sure you read the whole article and get to the end where Orac says:

    The IOM report is yet another indication that serious vaccine reactions are rare and that in general most adverse reactions to vaccines are mild in nature. That is not to say that they are nonexistent, but they are much less frequent and much less severe than the impression that is intentionally promoted by anti-vaccine activists.

  128. #128 laura
    September 3, 2011

    @chris

    No time to read -at your suggestion I’m contacting my son to bring me to some spa-
    I’m sure they will tell me it’s a spa for commitment as suggested in 116- preferably with a garden, hopefully I will not impale myself with garden shears.

  129. #129 Chris
    September 3, 2011

    I am sure your son will find you a nice retirement home with plenty of medical support.

  130. #130 herr doktor bimler
    September 3, 2011

    * Transduction: transfer of genetic material by viruses
    1. Virus infects cell: host DNA degraded into fragments, viral DNA takes over control.

    In which universe is this happening? Certainly not this one. A cell with “host DNA degraded into fragments” is dead.

  131. #131 Narad
    September 3, 2011

    I am sure your son will find you a nice retirement home with plenty of medical support.

    I’m not sure that Th1Th2 is really going to be up to it.

  132. #132 Poodle Stomper
    September 3, 2011

    @Narad, Matthew Cline, and herr doktor bimler,

    Re: DNA fragments…Wow, a lift from mcat-review.org. Unusual choice, but I guess that takes care of that. The Snout People are coming.

    And unless I’m incorrect, that particular section referred to bacteriophages, which explains her confusion. Lambda phages can cause the fragmenting of their host’s DNA. This can and sometimes does lead to homologous recombination. Laura seems a tad confused (or more likely simply does not understand the material and just copies and pastes). =P

  133. #133 Poodle Stomper
    September 3, 2011

    @Laura,
    Please see here. Thanks!

  134. #134 scidog
    September 4, 2011

    it’s not magnetism,their stupid about everything.

  135. #135 Blackheart
    September 4, 2011

    I must admit I have never seen such a bigger bunch of sheep in my life.

    Actually I’m lying, they abound in militant skeptik organisations … they gather around such commentators as Dawkins and Hitchens on religion for instance.

    They worship the god of ‘science’to their peril for to put so much trust in one solitary concept risks manipulation that they are so vehemently opposed to.

    They tend to overlook some inconvenient truths about the scientific points of view and the mistake ridden past of their professions , their organisations and the scientists they defend as ‘critical thinking.’

    Arise sheep and multiply … be the first sheep to stand on their own two feet.

  136. #136 herr doktor bimler
    September 4, 2011

    I must admit I have never seen such a bigger bunch of sheep in my life.

    Perhaps you should get out more. Try visiting the countryside.

  137. #137 Blackheart
    September 4, 2011

    Why is there a skeptik picnic ?

  138. #138 MikeMa
    September 4, 2011

    @Blackheart,
    Sheep on 2 feet you say? Cool!

    To you more lunatic assertion: Science corrects itself as part of the process. Religion and faith just go on being wrong. Which camp makes more sense?

  139. #139 Blackheart
    September 4, 2011

    “To you more lunatic assertion”

    Sorry Mike couldn’t follow that.

    “Science corrects itself as part of the process”

    Only a skeptik would see it that way. Most of us would just see it as ‘science makes mistakes”.Seems a more honest appraisal rather than denial. Next you’ll follow up with the “science’ has no responsibility.

    “Religion and faith just go on being wrong.”

    That could well be right … but how does that make you correct ?

    “Which camp makes more sense?”

    Depends on the individual and what they are seeking. The irrefutable fact that spirituality in some form or other is shared by nearly all humans and over it’s long history seems to indicate that it is indeed part of the human condition.

  140. #140 The Christian Cynic
    September 4, 2011

    Only a skeptik would see it that way. Most of us would just see it as ‘science makes mistakes”.

    Mistakes which, when they occur, are caught by…wait for it…science. Certainly they weren’t caught by people who are totally ignorant of the mechanisms of science.

  141. #141 Blackheart
    September 4, 2011

    “Mistakes which, when they occur, are caught by…wait for it…science.”

    Not quite sure that’s correct either. I’ll let you think about that one.

    I am interested in the “The Christian Cynic” tag some sort of bias or prejudice you’d like to express before your next commentary. I thought ‘science’ was based on some sort of ‘objectivity”.

  142. #142 lilady
    September 4, 2011

    @ Blackheart: Well that’s four comments you’ve made and will you eventually state something that adds to the discussion about vaccines…or are you a drive-by troll?

    Funny, how I mentioned driving a stake through a troll’s black heart…coincidence/yes or no?

  143. #143 Blackheart
    September 4, 2011

    “Well that’s four comments you’ve made and will you eventually state something that adds to the discussion about vaccines…or are you a drive-by troll?”

    There are many different layers to Orac’s latest article. One of them happens to be contained in the opening statement that usually indicates the focus of the discussion to be presented.

    “One of my interests in skepticism and critical thinking”

    So far the critical thinking has gone my way …

    As far as vaccines is concerned I’m sure we will eventually get on to that subject.

    “Funny, how I mentioned driving a stake through a troll’s black heart…coincidence/yes or no?”

    Coincidence …

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

    So back to ‘science’ make mistakes does it ?

    Self correcting ?

    Neutral ?

    There’s the challenge can you critically think through those questions.

  144. #144 TBruce
    September 4, 2011

    The irrefutable fact that spirituality in some form or other is shared by nearly all humans and over it’s long history seems to indicate that it is indeed part of the human condition.

    So is schizophrenia and drunkenness.

  145. #145 lilady
    September 4, 2011

    I’ve made my comments on this blog associated with vaccines and immunology already and we are still waiting for yours.

    Do you have anything to add to the subject of this blog or are you just being a troll?

  146. #146 Militant Agnostic
    September 4, 2011

    The irrefutable fact that spirituality in some form or other is shared by nearly all humans and over it’s long history seems to indicate that it is indeed part of the human condition.

    The same can be said is racism, sexism, and illogical thinking such as confirmation bias and the post-hoc fallacy. Also, “spirituality in one form or another” mostly consists of mutually incompatible beliefs. Furthermore there is an inverse correlation between religiosity and societal well being.

  147. #147 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    September 4, 2011

    @Blackheart,
    So 5 comments from you. The first was simply a gratuitous insult. The second followed up on it. The third states that spirituality has a long tradition (something I don’t recall anyone disagreeing with). The fourth makes cryptic comments about science not necessarily catching its mistakes, but presents neither evidence nor rationale behind that. The fifth links to an apparently irrelevant Wikipedia article and challenges people to critically think through “those” questions, but does not state what the questions, exactly, are.
    If you have a point, you’re doing a remarkably fine job of disguising it.

  148. #148 Dangerous Bacon
    September 4, 2011

    “they abound in militant skeptik organisations … they gather around such commentators as Dawkins and Hitchens on religion for instance.

    They worship the god of ‘science’to their peril”

    It’s puzzling that some religious types who view science as their enemy, think that the ultimate insult they can direct at science-based individuals is to call them religious.

    Saying “You bad people are just like me!” indicates a bizarre level of self-hatred.

    Fortunately, there are plenty of devout folk (among them, lots of scientists) who are able to separate their religious beliefs from their ability to think clearly and rationally about the world around them.

  149. #149 The Christian Cynic
    September 4, 2011

    Not quite sure that’s correct either. I’ll let you think about that one.

    What is there to think about? You made a bold assertion without anything to support it.

    I am interested in the “The Christian Cynic” tag some sort of bias or prejudice you’d like to express before your next commentary. I thought ‘science’ was based on some sort of ‘objectivity”.

    Right after you explain how your handle means that you either 1) are a moral monster or 2) have some sort of heart defect.

    But in the meantime, feel free to join the club of people who think that my handle is in any way relevant to whatever discussion is at hand. (Not that I’m surprised by such ad hominems anymore…)

    By the way, I also think that the “science makes mistakes” discussion will be fruitless (well, even more fruitless) if we don’t separate out two distinct positions that could be described as such: 1) science has been incorrect on some positions in the past, and 2) science has led to things that were immoral. I’m not ultimately concerned with the latter position, but the history of the former reflects quite nicely on science’s ability to adjust its theories based on new evidence and to shift paradigms where necessary.

  150. #150 augustine
    September 4, 2011

    Porky Pig

    Fortunately, there are plenty of devout folk (among them, lots of scientists) who are able to separate their religious beliefs from their ability to think clearly and rationally about the world around them.

    See what I mean, Gray? They hate you. They only tolerate you until you talk about your incongruent(dangerous irrational thinking to the skeptic like Bacon) belief in god. This is your brother? This is who you defend?

  151. #151 augustine
    September 4, 2011

    “Science corrects itself as part of the process”

    “Mistakes which, when they occur, are caught by…wait for it…science.”

    This irresponsible gambit is a real kicker. No accountability.

    So if ORAC throws science on a table it will just eventually morph into something more perfect?

    Or does science sit around with a net in it’s hand waiting to catch mistakes?

    I didn’t know science had self-awareness built into it’s definition.

    Whenever someone makes this charge you can rest assured that they are believers in Scientism. They have an idol like belief in the “power” of science. It(although science really isn’t an “it”) is infalliable because any imperfection is ALWAYS in the past. Those who hold a social Dawinistic view of Utopia are not concerned with the past. They only believe in the Utopia that the scientific idol is leading them to.

    Oh, christian ORAC believers ie Gray FAlcon, lilady, callie, etc. Metaphysical Naturalism and the belief in any god is a diametrically opposed idea. Think about that one. Think about it real deep. And then you’ll see why atheists congregate here and share their congruent views while you are secretly mocked and snickered at for your immature incongruency.

  152. #152 The Christian Cynic
    September 4, 2011

    Augie, the fact that you can’t distinguish “they hate you” from “they think you are wrong” says a lot about your worldview.

  153. #153 augustine
    September 4, 2011

    Correction Gray and LIlady. Christian Cynic doesn’t hate you, it just thinks you’re wrong and therefore it is right.

  154. #154 Chris
    September 4, 2011

    Blackheart:

    There’s the challenge can you critically think through those questions.

    You didn’t leave any questions, just a wiki page about some dead dude who wrote books I have never heard of, and would never read. So this must mean you want to answer our questions.

    Yay!! Finally someone who will actually and honestly answer my questions. For some reason the anti-vax folks find ways to avoid answering them, and here you come along telling us that superior to us, and all that! Okay, here they are:

    1. a) Please tell us how much more dangerous the MMR vaccine is compared to measles, mumps and rubella. Remember to document your answer from real scientific literature.

    b) Please do the same for the DTaP and Tdap vaccines. Show they are worse than diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis supported by the scientific literature.

    2. The following is USA census data on measles incidence (which is the same as morbidity) from 1912 to the late 1990s. You will notice that the incidence of measles in 1970 is only 10% from 1960, and has not been as high since. What caused the sudden decrease of measles in the USA during that decade (and no other decade)? Remember the MMR vaccine did get approved until 1971.

    From http://www.census.gov/prod/99pubs/99statab/sec31.pdf
    Year…. Rate per 100000 of measles
    1912 . . . 310.0
    1920 . . . 480.5
    1925 . . . 194.3
    1930 . . . 340.8
    1935 . . . 584.6
    1940 . . . 220.7
    1945 . . . 110.2
    1950 . . . 210.1
    1955 . . . 337.9
    1960 . . . 245.4
    1965 . . . 135.1
    1970 . . . . 23.2
    1975 . . . . 11.3
    1980 . . . . . 5.9
    1985 . . . . . 1.2
    1990 . . . . .11.2
    1991 . . . . . .3.8
    1992 . . . . . .0.9
    1993 . . . . . .0.1
    1994 . . . . . .0.4
    1995 . . . . . .0.1
    1996 . . . . . .0.2
    1997 . . . . . . 0.1

  155. #155 c j f
    September 4, 2011

    Good news and bad news from the CDC. They’ve released the results of their latest survey on toddler (19-35 months) vaccination rates.

    The percentage of children who had not received any vaccinations remained low (less than 1%). For most vaccines, no disparities by racial/ethnic group were observed, with coverage for other racial/ethnic groups in 2010 similar to or higher than coverage among white children. However, disparities by poverty status still exist. Maintaining high vaccination coverage levels is important to reduce the burden of vaccine-preventable diseases and prevent a resurgence of these diseases in the United States, particularly in undervaccinated populations (1).

    –snip–

    During 2010, national coverage with all recommended vaccines increased or remained stable compared with 2009 (Table 1). Coverage with vaccines with longstanding recommendations has remained stable since the mid-1990s§§ (i.e., diphtheria, tetanus toxoids, and acellular pertussis vaccine [DTaP], poliovirus vaccine, varicella vaccine, and ≥3 doses of HepB). For MMR, after a decrease from 92.1 in 2008 to 90.0 in 2009, coverage with ≥1 dose increased to 91.5% in 2010.

    –snip–

    Coverage among children living below poverty level††† was lower than coverage among children living at or above poverty level for ≥3 and ≥4 doses DTaP, the primary and full series of the Hib vaccine, ≥3 and ≥4 doses PCV, rotavirus vaccine, and the 4:3:1:3:3:1:4 series with and without Hib (Table 2). Coverage with the birth dose of HepB was higher among children living below the poverty level compared with children living at or above the poverty level.

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6034a2.htm?s_cid=mm6034a2_w

    So, as before, it’s important to be vigilant in assuring that government cutbacks don’t include cuts to programs that make vaccines more accessible to children living in poverty. As the mother of an immunocompromised child, this concerns me more than the actions of the small numbers of anti-vaccine parents.

  156. #156 laura
    September 4, 2011

    My Last Post-

    How you all are so sure that the current vaccine schedule is safe is beyond belief. And the fact that you knock Jay Gordon MD who is clearly not anti-vax.

    No I didn’t want my child to suffer through measles, mumps, chicken pox and quite possibly pertussis (but that is a vague memory of a day and night of non-stop coughing) like I did.
    – he was vaccinated with a sane schedule.

    This report from the CDC is shocking

    http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/features/birthdefects-dd-keyfindings.html

    I don’t remember any developmentally disabled children from my childhood but I
    remember Bunny with her braces from polio.

    (One of the symptoms of narcissism is an inability to tolerate other points of view
    with a resulting venomous outburst against a perceived opponent -too many on this blog)

  157. #157 Poodle Stomper
    September 4, 2011

    Laura,

    It is one thing to tolerate another’s point of view if it is valid and based on facts. It is another to claim that everyone’s point of view must be equally respected, even if it is based on lack of science, lack of knowledge, and is potentially dangerous. Yours is clearly based on a lack of science background (see your link to an MCAT prep test on bacteriophages to support your point). Clearly you need to look a bit more into the whole science thing before embracing conclusions simply because it is what you want to believe. Science is about verifying facts and, if they don’t equal what you want to believe, sucking it up and changing your view on life to fit the facts and not the other way around.

  158. #158 Laura
    September 4, 2011

    @poodlestomper-
    Not refering to you but to those who called me a troll etc.
    Thank you for your link to transduction.

  159. #159 lilady
    September 4, 2011

    @ cjf: I don’t think you have to worry about access to vaccines for children living in poverty…the Vaccines for Children Program (VFC) is firmly in place for children living at or below the poverty level as well as children whose parents do not have insurance or children who are “under-insured”…those whose health insurance doesn’t cover immunizations.

    “My Last Post-

    How you all are so sure that the current vaccine schedule is safe is beyond belief. And the fact that you knock Jay Gordon MD who is clearly not anti-vax.”

    Here is Dr. Jay Gordon’s “who is clearly not anti-vax” opinion on his website regarding MMR vaccine:

    Feb 23, 2010
    MMR Vaccination, An Important Notice from February 2006

    “I no longer give or recommend the MMR vaccine. I think that the risks exceed the benefits. Obviously, discuss this with your doctor but please know that the CDC declared rubella officially eradicated in the U.S. in 2005, measles remains a rare disease in America (30-40 cases/year) and mumps is also not very common.

    Mumps can cause decreased fertility in teenage boys who get the illness and suffer testicular infection, but this is a very rare occurrence.

    All three of these viruses continue to be associated with severe life-threatening complications in other countries, but the vaccine—including the “split” vaccines—enough risk to outweigh the benefit for healthy North American or European children.”

    There are other “opinions” about all the recommended childhood vaccines on Dr. Jay’s website which clearly show that he is “not anti-vax”.

    (One of the symptoms of narcissism is an inability to understand the science behind vaccine preventable diseases with a resulting troll-like venomous outburst against a perceived opponent -too many on this blog)

  160. #160 herr doktor bimler
    September 4, 2011

    @ Blackheart: Well that’s four comments you’ve made and will you eventually state something that adds to the discussion about vaccines…

    I was`wondering whether Blackheart wanted the 5-minute argument or the 10-minute argument.

  161. #161 Poodle Stomper
    September 4, 2011

    Laura,

    You are very welcome. The thing is, when anyone comes to threads like this and post long ago debunked ideas and other memes from the typical antivax repertoire, people are bound to label them trolls.

    There is no reliable evidence that the “too many, too soon” idea has any merit at all. So, calling the vaccine schedule “insane”, whilst demonstrating a lack of basic science (and please do not take this as an insult, it is not meant to be), will definitely inspire people to not take you seriously. If you truly want to get facts, feel free to ask people here. We can usually point you to reproducible studies in reputable, peer-reviewed journals.

    The thing about science is that it isn’t always easy to understand for lay people, meaning that you need to exercise caution when it comes to which sources are credible and which aren’t. The danger is that of confirmation bias, where anything that seems to support your current ideas are held as credible and more important than those that oppose it. This is a danger to anyone, which is why science focuses so much on reproducibility. If you have honest, genuine questions and are willing to do some legwork, then ask them here. If you plan to simply quote-mine or repeat the previously debunked BS from quacks then realize that you do so at the risk of being labeled a troll, and then, in my opinion, rightly so.

  162. #162 Laura
    September 4, 2011

    Definitely my last post-

    Dr. Jay Gordon’s sane vax schedule-( hardly anti-vax ) Cautious yes.

    http://drjaygordon.com/vaccinations/vaccination-schedule.html

  163. #163 Denice Walter
    September 4, 2011

    @ laura:

    DD kids were in *institutions*, and like people with SMI, were invisible to general society. Their issues became more apparent after institutions *closed*. Historians can point out vast complexes of buildings that used to house these people.

    Many who were labelled DD (or MR) prior to 1994 would now be called ASD. They were out of sight *and* called something else (- not autistic-) despite their social/ communicative incapacities. A great deal of the “rise” in numbers of those with autism is due to diagnostic substitution.

  164. #164 Lawrence
    September 4, 2011

    Dr. Jay’s schedule has been discussed here before – what he is advocating is children getting vaccines after the critical period, meaning that children 0 – 12 are basically unprotected, at an age where lethality is much higher than if they received their vaccines later (i.e. a three month old has a much greater chance of dying, should they catch measles, mumps or rubella – not to mention pertussis).

    Fewer & not as often is not safer.

  165. #165 Dangerous Bacon
    September 4, 2011

    laura: “Dr. Jay Gordon’s sane vax schedule-( hardly anti-vax ) Cautious yes.

    laura, that link lists no vaccine schedule at all, just Dr. Jay’s allusion to being suspicious about vaccines. He has admitted previously on Respectful Insolence (see post #293 in that link) that he hardly vaccinates kids at all.

    “”My vaccine schedule? Either none or just a DPT in the first 24 months of life. I think that there’s a greater risk vaccinating males under 24 months and would prefer not to unless there are special circumstances. I use very few other shots except the Varivax as a child approaches ten years because teen and adult pox are nasty and even a little dangerous especially during pregnancy.”

    So by his own words Jay has acknowledged he sees no value in immunizing children against such pathogens as Hemophilus influenzae, Pneumococcus, mumps, rubella, polio, hepatitis A and B and influenza viruses, administering (grudgingly) suboptimal protection against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, while minimizing the danger of measles (he has elsewhere said he gives measles shots rarely). All of the above are part of the routine childhood vaccination schedule recommended by the American Association of Pediatrics, of which Jay Gordon boasts of being a member.

    If you consider that “hardly anti-vax”, “sane”, or sound pediatric practice, you should re-evaluate what those terms means.

  166. #166 Science Mom
    September 4, 2011

    Definitely my last post-

    Dr. Jay Gordon’s sane vax schedule-( hardly anti-vax ) Cautious yes.

    http://drjaygordon.com/vaccinations/vaccination-schedule.html

    I doubt it’s your last post but anyway, what basis does Dr. Jay Gordon use for his schedule? What testing has this undergone? Can he demonstrate that the children who use his schedule don’t acquire VPDs more than responsibly-vaccinated children? This is a man who had a teenager sitting in front of him with all of the symptoms of pertussis, during a damned outbreak no less and refused to test her. By the way, I’m not a militant ‘do it the CDC way or the highway’ commenter. But what these ‘brave maverick doctors’ advocate is evidence-free and puts children at risk.

  167. #167 lilady
    September 4, 2011

    Nah, Dr. Jay isn’t anti-vax…he just advocates for a “sane” vaccine schedule, as per his “follow me on twitter” page:

    JayGordonMDFAAP Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    bit.ly/SecondChildWit… Please delay or defer vaccines and avoid other possible, albeit unproven, triggers if first child ASD.
    15 Aug

    Nice, Dr. Gordon, in light of the deaths of 10 infants in California last year from pertussis.

  168. #168 Chris
    September 4, 2011

    laura:

    I don’t remember any developmentally disabled children from my childhood but I remember Bunny with her braces from polio.

    That is because developmentally disabled children were denied an education in the public schools, and were often sent to institutions like Willowbrook in Staten Island, New York.

  169. #169 Liz Ditz
    September 4, 2011

    Dear Laura:
    Since you and I are both senior citizens, I feel free to respond to you:

    How you all are so sure that the current vaccine schedule is safe is beyond belief

    I ask you, safe compared to what?. The risk/benefit calculation for today’s vaccine schedule is clearly safer than what you and I experienced as children, when there were no vaccines against polio, measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria…the list goes on. In terms of injury or adverse outcome, it is more risky to drive a child to the doctor’s office than it is for a child to receive the recommended vaccines.

    The onus is on you, Laura, to prove that the 2011 vaccine schedule is unsafe.

    And the fact that you knock Jay Gordon MD who is clearly not anti-vax.

    As ScienceMom relayed, Jay had a child (a teen)in his practice that with hindsight…probably had pertussis. He denied that pertussis was a problem in his practice…until he finally admitted that he had seen an unvaccinated patient who probably had pertussis. He neither tested nor vaccinated that teen. How many infants too young to be vaccinated did that teen put at risk?

    And then there’s the safety issue: compared to the recommended CDC schedule, how does Dr. Jay know that his approach to vaccination leads to better health outcomes — not only for his patients, but for the children his patients come in contact with?

    This is a direct question to you:

    How do you, Laura, know that an “alternative” vaccine schedule, such as that recommended by Jay Gordon MD or Bob Sears MD, has better health outcomes for children than the recommended CDC schedule?

    Next issue

    I don’t remember any developmentally disabled children from my childhood but I remember Bunny with her braces from polio.

    Here’s a phrase for you to remember, Laura: “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” In this context, it means just because you don’t remember children with developmentally disabilities as peers in your childhood does not mean they did not exist.

    Since we are of an age, Laura, I don’t remember any developmentally delayed children from my childhood, either.

    That does not mean that those children did not exist.

    To my surprise, I found out when I was 14 (1965) that my best friend had an older sister with Down Syndrome who lived in an institution.

    To my surprise, I found out when I was 11 (1962) that I had a second cousin who was deaf and blind who was a full-time boarder at a “school” for the deaf-blind.

    To my surprise, I found out as an adult that there had been a rubella outbreak in our community when I was 6 (1957) and that my mother lost a pregnancy that year.

    Since you are a grandmother and (I surmise) have school-aged grandchildren, you might want to educate yourself about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It began in 1975 as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 94-142), and has been expanded and reauthorized several times. IDEA guarantees all children, no matter their cognitive or physical capabilites, a “free and appropriate public education.”

    One of the symptoms of narcissism is an inability to tolerate other points of view with a resulting venomous outburst against a perceived opponent

    Laura, I think you did not notice one important clue. Respectful Insolence is hosted at ScienceBlogs. “Points of view” is one thing — but in science, evidence is paramount. It’s not about “points of view” (being equal) but the evidence one marshals to support one’s point of view.

  170. #170 maydijo
    September 4, 2011

    I’m in my 30s, and I dare say most of my peers won’t remember that many developmentally disabled children from their childhood either. I do – because my dad was their teacher; and he made a point of making sure they were visible to us, even though they were shut off from the rest of the school district in their own little classroom. They’ve always been there. A friend of mine in her 40s talks about a child her mother knew, in a very small community (well under 100 people), who was developmentally disabled, and because there weren’t any services available his parents kept him locked up – literally padlocked – in the dining room. Given the time that occured I dare say that child wasn’t vaccinated. Reading historical accounts of people in the middle ages who had ‘devils’ cast out of them – there is very little doubt that some of those ‘devils’ were actually a developmental disability for which they had no other explanation. Certainly they couldn’t blame vaccinations, so they created their own boogie-men.

    Many children who are now classed as ‘autistic’ would’ve been diagnosed with anything from a learning disability to full-on mental retardation in my childhood. Some were taught in a mainstream classroom (I’m sure you remember the kid who was just a little ‘odd’? Perhaps he had undiagnosed autism?) and some were segregated, sent to be taught by my dad and his aides. I don’t know how you can possibly teach 30+ kids with a range of disabilities, everything from Down’s Syndrome to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome to autism (although in his very long teaching career, he only had one child who was diagnosed ‘autistic’ – he stopped teaching special ed around the time they rejigged the diagnostic definitions); but they did a pretty good job of it; and most of their former students are now living away from home – generally in a group home situation, but with jobs and social lives.

    Given the very high incidence of autism in my husband’s family, I worried, when my son was a baby, that he might be autistic. But then I thought – As a parent, what do you want for your children? You want to know that they’ll be okay, even after you’re gone. For most autistic children – indeed, for most children with Down’s Syndrome, or any other sort of developmental or intellectual disability – that is an obtainable goal. A child with an intellectual disability may never become a doctor or a lawyer (insert lawyer joke here about how it could actually be beneficial to them) or a rocket scientist (although chances are strong that there are rocket scientists out there who have Asperger’s) but is still quite capable of having a job he or she enjoys, contributing to society in a real and meaningful way, and having a full and rich social life. It may not be the life you imagined that child having, as you cradled them in your arms in the middle of the night; but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth living.

  171. #171 Narad
    September 4, 2011

    One of the symptoms of narcissism is an inability to tolerate other points of view with a resulting venomous outburst against a perceived opponent

    No, not at all, if you’re trying to allude to DSV-IV 301.81. On the other hand, leveling the complaint (really, it works better against individuals; just a tip) while repeatedly declaring one’s imminent departure very well might be.

  172. #172 lilady
    September 4, 2011

    @ Liz Ditz: Yes, us ladies of a “certain age” rarely saw developmentally disabled children when we were growing up, for the very reason that Chris mentioned. Before the passage of PL 94-142, parents of children with developmentally disabilities were told “your child is exempt from schooling”.

    There were absolutely no services for children in public schools and parents did resort to placing their children in “developmental centers”. They were human warehouses where the children’s basic needs were sorely neglected and there was no attempt to provide them with any therapies or any educational opportunities. Oftentimes, the child became a ward of the State with “guardianship” taken over by the state.

    I had never seen the inside of a developmental center until after the birth of my multiply handicapped son in 1976, but a short time after his birth, I did visit developmental centers and also psychiatric centers (where many of the institutionalized children and adults diagnosed with “classic” autism were misplaced). I cannot quite blot out the memories of those visits…the stench…the neglect…the physically impaired transported en masse in large “crib carts”… the sense that these were places of despair.

    I suppose if you have never visited such places and you are completely unaware of the large number of former institutionalized developmentally disabled people now living in your own community in group homes and apartments…you could possibly make silly statements about the increase in disabilities and totally avoid the history of how far we as a society have progressed.

  173. #173 Narad
    September 4, 2011

    ^ if you’re trying to allude to DSV DSM-IV 301.81

  174. #174 augustine
    September 5, 2011

    @Chris,

    How many years BEFORE the measles vaccine was the deaths in the thousands?

  175. #175 augustine
    September 5, 2011

    although chances are strong that there are rocket scientists out there who have Asperger’s

    Are you talking about Chris? He/She’s a rocket scientist and…an expert in everything else including health topics, vaccines, and mental retardation.

  176. #176 Blackheart
    September 5, 2011

    lilady

    “I’ve made my comments on this blog associated with vaccines and immunology already and we are still waiting for yours.”

    certainly we will get around to that subject I’m just trying to tease out any biases that may exist or some areas of critical thinking that may be amiss. Often what we believe drives how we interpret the world around us.

    Perhaps a simple statement from you on vaccines may assist.

    Militant Agnostic

    Confirmation Bias … I can see how that relates here.

    Perhaps a simple statement from you on vaccines may assist.

    Mephistopheles O’Brien

    “If you have a point, you’re doing a remarkably fine job of disguising it”

    In critical thinking it is sometimes best not to spoon feed the possible conclusions.

    Dangerous Bacon

    “science as their enemy”

    I use and practice science every day. I don’t see science as an enemy but let’s say potentially dangerous.

    Any thoughts ?

    The Christian Cynic

    “What is there to think about?”

    Well is it only science that corrects science … has not scientific endeavour been ‘corrected’ by other mechanisms that stand outside ‘science’.

    “1) science has been incorrect on some positions in the past, and 2) science has led to things that were immoral. I’m not ultimately concerned with the latter position”

    There’s some critical thinking going on…

    So the application of those statements can be made to religion / spirituality as well could it not…?

    herr doktor bimler

    “I was`wondering whether Blackheart wanted the 5-minute argument or the 10-minute argument.”

    I’m sure this could get quite complex….

    ————————————————–

    So the general gist is that science is right because it self corrects even though it makes mistakes. More specifically it has no role to play in

    So Orac provides quite the list of ‘crank magnetism’ but does “science” have any involvement in these or any other forms of ‘out there ‘ stuff….?

    Let’s have a look at the Paranormal (yes we will be getting to vaccines)

    Which includes Ghosts , Extra Terrestrials, Unidentified Flying Objects , cryptozoology and the usual “Uri Geller’ stuff.

    Paraphysical Association

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

    The Nobel-prize-winning physicist Brian Josephson has studied the brain and the paranormal for 30 years.

    http://www.tcm.phy.cam.ac.uk/~bdj10/mm/articles/PWprofile.html

    Stanford University

    SRI International, founded as Stanford Research Institute, is one of the world’s largest contract research institutes. Based in Menlo Park, California, the trustees of Stanford University established it in 1946 as a center of innovation

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

    Duke University

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

    University of Edinburgh

    In 1985 a Chair of Parapsychology was established within the Department of Psychology at the University of Edinburgh.

    Princeton University

    Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Lab

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

    …and on to Extraterrestrials …

    “Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking in 2010 warned that humans should not try to contact alien life forms. He warned that aliens might pillage Earth for resources. “If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans,”

    NASA

    “Scientists at NASA and Penn State University published a paper in April 2011 addressing the question “Would contact with extraterrestrials benefit or harm humanity?” The paper describes positive, negative and neutral scenarios”

  177. #177 Blackheart
    September 5, 2011

    “Finally someone who will actually and honestly answer my questions. For some reason the anti-vax folks find ways to avoid answering them, and here you come along telling us that superior to us, and all that! Okay, here they are”

    Thanks Chris for the high praise …

    1.a) Please tell us how much more dangerous the MMR vaccine is compared to measles, mumps and rubella. Remember to document your answer from real scientific literature.

    I can’t Chris because according to the recent IoM report which is apparently the most comprehensive evaluation on vaccine safety for some 17 years they couldn’t give a value to the risk / benefit thingy.

    Here’s the link …

    http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2011/Adverse-Effects-of-Vaccines-Evidence-and-Causality.aspx

    and a report from the briefing

    “In the report, the committee noted that many of the adverse events it examined are “exceedingly rare in the population overall,” and most often occur without being preceded by vaccination.

    But in the briefing, Clayton and other committee members could not put a number on “rare.”

    Without numbers, it’s impossible to compare the risk of an adverse event to the risk that an unvaccinated child might get seriously ill from a disease.”

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2016010742_vaccines26m.html

    Answer – The science hasn’t been done.

    2. “What caused the sudden decrease of measles in the USA during that decade (and no other decade)? Remember the MMR vaccine did get approved until 1971.”

    Is this one of those ‘trick’ questions – OK wild stab in the dark.

    The Measles Vaccine introduced in 1963

    http://www.vaccineinformation.org/measles/qandavax.asp

  178. #178 ken
    September 5, 2011
  179. #179 dan
    September 5, 2011

    Orac-

    Don’t you see the fixed mindset in your article as well?

  180. #180 Dangerous Bacon
    September 5, 2011

    dan: “Don’t you see the fixed mindset in your article as well?

    Let’s have a look at what Carol Dweck thinks is a “fixed mindset” as viewed through the filter of Kent Heckenlively:

    “The fixed mindset, according to Kent, involves a tendency to avoid challenges, to give up easily when frustrated, and to ignore useful negative feedback. One key aspect of the fixed mindset is a tendency to view criticism of one’s work or ideas as criticism of the person, and the reaction is invariably highly defensive…Usually when others succeed, people with a Fixed Mindset will try to convince themselves and the people around them that the success was due to either luck (after all, almost everything is due to luck in the Fixed Mindset world) or objectionable actions. In some cases, they will even try to tarnish the success of others by bringing up things that are completely unrelated (“Yes, but did you know about his…”).”

    What I take from Orac’s article is a sense of the enormous, irony meter-blowing levels of un-self-awareness that permit antivaxers to perceive faults in others that in reality, they overwhelmingly display themselves.

    I do not perceive in the many articles on this blog (and comments from pro-immunization advocates) a tendency to avoid challenges (antivax theories, research papers, court cases and the like are openly discussed and analyzed). I don’t see a tendency to frustrate easily and blame setbacks on bad luck or evil machinations requiring a resort to Biblical prophecy, and certainly negative feedback is not ignored or stifled (we may bemoan the dearth of useful feedback and spend too much time disposing of trollesque feedback, but it is certainly not ignored).

  181. #181 Calli Arcale
    September 6, 2011

    Regarding the institutions where disabled children were kept, back in the day (and, in some cases, still are — the old state institutions are not totally gone)….

    My mother-in-law and her mother-in-law both know quite well that there were disabled kids in the old days. They both worked at one of those “state schools”. By state school, they didn’t mean a technical college or university; they meant an institution for housing the disabled. They got to see those kids, and help feed them their meals, and recognize the grim future that existed for them. Their basic physical needs were attended to, but they were kept inside all the time; it was as healthy for them as a concrete zoo is for wild animals. The institution is actually still open, though today it is branded as a school and not a lunatic asylum.

    I think we forget that Arkham Asylum, from “Batman”, wasn’t just some kooky comic book writer’s invention. Such institutions existed. There are still mental hospitals and nursing homes with locked wards, but they are far fewer than they once were. It used to be that just being a bit strange could get you locked up — and if you weren’t mad when you went in, you certainly were by the time anyone came to check up on you. If they ever did.

    I’ve become hooked on escape games lately, flash-based games where you have to navigate around a room or building or other environment, find clues, solve puzzles, and work out how to escape. One particularly good author of these games is a fellow who goes by Selfdefiant, of melting-mindz.com. Many of his games are made using photographs of real locations. Some are exotic tropical mansions, but others are very creepy — set in old, abandoned mental institutions. The very places where the developmentally delayed used to be warehoused. Peeling paint, abandoned papers, rust, crumbling medical equipment, occasionally an abandoned wheelchair or gurney, very narrow bedrooms with tiny little cots to sleep on . . . some of them are exceptionally creepy. And they’re real. The landscape is so dotted with institutions, if you know where to look, that some people have made a hobby out of entering and photographing them (which is where Selfdefiant gets the pictures for his games). But most are difficult to redevelop, due to a combination of inconvenient location, government ownership (they’re not the most convenient seller to work with), toxic materials in these old buildings (you can bet they’ve got asbestos insulation and lead paint that any buyer will have to deal with), and just general creepiness. They are silent testimony to the shameful way our society used to treat the disabled.

  182. #182 lilady
    September 6, 2011

    @ Calli Arcale: I actually visited some of those “developmental centers” and locked psych wards run by the State, since closed now and every condition you describe I witnessed. I also testified at hearings for plans to deinstitutionalize these places. At one of the hearings I testified at, I met David Rothman, Professor-Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, who co-authored with his wife Sheila Rothman, “The Willowbrook Wars”. It is an excellent book about the history of caring for the “febble-minded” and the “insane” in large institutions.

    David and Sheila Rothman detail the conditions that were prevalent at Willowbrook that prompted the Federal Court Class Action Lawsuit, the parental involvement and the slew of lawyers that sued NY State on behalf of the “class” for humane treatment.

    The Class Action Lawsuit settled in 1975 was a landmark decision that prompted other class action lawsuits in NY State and other states.

    Yes, we have come a long way because of the advocacy of parents and others who want disabled people to have the basics of humane care and the opportunity for normalization, not being hidden in human warehouses.

    Important legislation has been passed recently about insurance coverage for extensive (and expensive) therapies for the developmentally disabled. In this political climate and with the state of fiscal constraints, parents of the developmentally disabled should be advocating so that therapy insurance coverage is not slashed…instead of pushing an agenda of the pseudoscience theories of “vaccine injuries”.

  183. #183 Denice Walter
    September 6, 2011

    Somewhere there is a list floating around cyberspace that lists existing institutional building complexes in the US/ UK.

    A 1914 short story by Jack London,” Told in the Drooling Ward”, documents life at these places. FYI London made his home in Glen Ellen, CA near a such an institution, which still stands and is used.

  184. #184 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    “The British Medical Journal still welcomes the application of Electroconvulsive Treatment even though a review of the literature found that between 29 per cent and 55 per cent (depending on the study) of people who had undergone ECT reported persistent memory loss.

    It is still given to about 11,000 people a year. About 1,500 ECT patients a year in the UK are treated without their consent under the Mental Health Acts or the provisions of common law

    Apparently Geddes of Oxford University thought it had short term benefits but this qualified by most of the trials were old and conducted on small numbers of patients; some groups (for example, elderly people, women with postpartum depression and people with treatment-resistant depression) were under-represented in the trials even though ECT is believed to be especially effective for them.”

    It is an interesting insight into the rationalist mindset.

    So that would be the paranormal plus electroconvulsive therapy.

  185. #185 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    @ Chris

    Anymore questions ?

    Or should we continue to provide examples of the fixed mindset of the Rationalist Mind.

  186. #186 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    So far in the rational mindset we have seen a propensity for the exploration of…

    Telekinesis

    Telepathy

    Remote Viewing

    Mind Control …and a ton of other paranormal investigation that would have Randi spluttering and coughing and making all sorts of accusations.

    Even the realm of rational ? physics and cosmology is tainted with flights of fantasy about extra terrestrials and alien invasion.

    What about medical science and the treatment of psychiatric patients …

    Electroconvulsive Therapy where patients in Scotland 23% of the patients were not able to give confirmed consent.

    20% of patients had memory problems 8% cognitive problems and 16% mental confusion …

    There were 13 severe events out of some 436 patients.

    Zapping Granny (most patients are female) seems fairly reasonable ? They didn’t want to zap any Great Grandmothers over 90 or Great Grandfathers over 95 which was the maximum age.

    Oh 32% of the patients were 70 and over …. and finally the reason they were zapping the Little Old ladies… Resistance: Antidpressants (245)

    Antidpressants …. well that would be another story entirely.

  187. #187 herr doktor bimler
    September 7, 2011

    examples of the fixed mindset of the Rationalist Mind

    All your examples seem to involve lack of fixity. I am bemused.

  188. #188 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    Which ones herr doktor ?

    ECT ?

    Paranormal research ?

    Alien Invasion ?

    The search for ET ?

  189. #189 Lawrence
    September 7, 2011

    Hmmm……well, most of what you assert is “science” is generally looked down upon by real researchers (all of the paranormal garbage)& is firmly in the realm of the woo-tastic.

    As far as the search for extraterestrial life – how exactly is that not part of basic science?

    And the “alien invasion” stuff – well, mostly in the vein of Hollywood, not science (maybe some conjecture from time to time – and people do ask scientists about that stuff, are they not allowed to have opinions?)

    I have yet to understand your basic premise – which isn’t surprising, since you don’t seem to have one.

  190. #190 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    I’m glad to see herr Doktor has an understudy to answer for him … by real researchers you mean that Princeton , Duke , University of Edinburgh, Stanford , the Department of Defense, Oxford , Cambridge … all those eminent institutions were …well.

    Stephen Hawking ???

    “I have yet to understand your basic premise – which isn’t surprising, since you don’t seem to have one.”

    I think herr doktor got it….ask him.

    So much irrationality in the scientific mind …”the blinding ….”

    …and there’s a ton more stuff.

  191. #191 Gray Falcon
    September 7, 2011

    Do you have a point, Blackheart? Trust me, you’d rather explain it yourself than have someone else guess it for you.

  192. #192 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    Perhaps Lawrence and herr doktor could patch together some scientific evidence for “Alien Invasion” or Aliens in general – the ones that come in “Flying Saucers” with ray guns and take over the world ?

    I realise some medical journals have been indulging in some conspiracy theory recently but even they wouldn’t …or would they ?

  193. #193 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    @Gray

    Post 189

    “So much irrationality in the scientific mind …”the blinding ….”

  194. #194 Lawrence
    September 7, 2011

    I still don’t get your point – are you denying the possibility of extraterestrial life?

  195. #195 Gray Falcon
    September 7, 2011

    So, your argument is “guilt by association”, right? Same logic where people won’t trust black or Arabic neighbors based on what they’ve seen on TV.

  196. #196 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    Lawrence it’s not about …me.

    It’s about rational minded scientists like Stephen Hawking who believe in “When Aliens Attack”.

    I do believe I can help with you and the herr doktor patching up some evidence …

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battlefield_Earth_%28novel%29

    There’s a nice introductory video of the author here …

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dziK04-9qqQ

  197. #197 Lawrence
    September 7, 2011

    And you pull out a Scientology book as evidence, of what exactly? Well, maybe not Scientology directly, but an LRH book? Especially one as god-awful as BA?

    I still have no idea what you are trying to say.

  198. #198 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    @Gray

    See how it applies withthe skeptikal argument presented here first and then get back to me.

  199. #199 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    Lawrence …

    OK I’ll try some visuals

    Think of a van a black van with a “science rationalist” sticker on the rear bumper driving down the freeway of rational scientific empirical evidence .. watch as the driver slowly veers off from the straight and narrow and starts to give thoughts to pseudo -science watch as the driver hallucinates with dreams of moving objects by telekenesis, reading the thoughts of the enemy or exchanging information via the transference of mind.

    Watch as he slumbers into a dreamworld of alien invasion …

    Crash ….smoke and ruin. Nothing damaged just the underlying credibility that science as portrayed by Orac is rational , evidenced and reasoned.

    Cheers … I’ll put it on powerpoint asap.

  200. #200 Gray Falcon
    September 7, 2011

    So… Guilt by association it is. Thank you, now get lost.

  201. #201 W. Kevin Vicklund
    September 7, 2011

    One of my interests in skepticism and critical thinking has been the similarity in the fallacious arguments, approach to data, and general behavior of those who are–to put it generously–not so skeptical or scientific in their approach to life. I’m talking about believers in the paranormal, quacks, …

  202. #202 Lawrence
    September 7, 2011

    So, because someone, at sometime, might have looked into an area in which you believe doesn’t hold up to scientific scrutiny, all science is bunk?

    WTF?

    And the vast majority of scientists would agree that paranormal research is nothing but hooey (and more the realm of Deepak Chopra, really) – but I’m still really hazy on your fixation on ETs – since things like SETI & the search for potential life-bearing planets is about as mainstream as you can get.

  203. #203 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    Thanks Gray …that’s all the confirmation that was needed.

  204. #204 Gray Falcon
    September 7, 2011

    Tell me, if science is so awful, how are you posting here? The Internet isn’t held together with fairy dust.

  205. #205 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    @Gray

    I think you need to reflect critically on both the positive and negative aspects of ‘science rationalism’.

    Just as Orac does if he’s going to take the ‘moral’ high ground on ‘quackery’.

    That will be interesting ….

  206. #206 Gray Falcon
    September 7, 2011

    What is that supposed to mean? Nothing you said had anything to do with vaccination. Why shouldn’t it apply to electronics, as well?

  207. #207 Composer99
    September 7, 2011

    One gets the impression that Blackheart is full of it.

    Blackheart: if you are going to snidely assert actual researchers in physics, biochem & medicine are equivalent to UFOlogists, start providing some evidence.

    Otherwise your opinions are as valuable (and as valued) as any held by the regular trolls.

  208. #208 Chris
    September 7, 2011

    Blackheart:

    Anymore questions ?

    No, just answer those. Since you have failed to provide an answer, or any kind of cogent discourse I have come to the conclusion you are a blow hard and should be ignored.

  209. #209 Stu
    September 7, 2011

    Blackheart, could you do us all a favor and come back when you’re not black-out drunk?

  210. #210 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    September 7, 2011

    Do some people attempt to use scientific methods to study things which most agree are non-existent? Yes, of course.
    Do some of those people publish what they claim to be positive results based on faulty methodology, poor logic, improper analysis of the data, bad statistics, wishful thinking, or other reasons? Yes, of course.
    Might they some day find reproducible results based on well thought out methods and proper analysis that proves something that most agree to be non-existent actually exists? While in many cases it seems highly unlikely, the might.
    How do we determine whether results are factual or not? Science.

  211. #211 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    September 7, 2011

    And if someone could point to the statement from Dr. Hawking showing that he seriously believes that an alien invasion either a) has happened or b) is an imminent threat, please share. His warning, on the other hand, seems like reasonable caution if you believe fast interstellar travel might be possible.

  212. #212 herr doktor bimler
    September 7, 2011

    So, because someone, at sometime, might have looked into an area in which you believe doesn’t hold up to scientific scrutiny, all science is bunk?

    More than that… the point of listing these people (some of them real scientists, others not) who were open-minded enough to research in directions that turn out in retrospect to be unproductive, is to prove that research is a rigid, closed mental set.

    It doesn’t make a lot of sense, but since Blackheart only came here for an argument (and is becoming increasingly agitated because no-one is contradicting him), it doesn’t have to.

  213. #213 Stu
    September 7, 2011

    Blackheart only came here for an argument (and is becoming increasingly agitated because no-one is contradicting him)

    Contradict what? Was there an actual point in there somewhere that I missed?

  214. #214 Heliantus
    September 7, 2011

    Think of a van a black van […] smoke and ruin. Nothing damaged just the underlying credibility that science as portrayed by Orac is rational , evidenced and reasoned.

    Um. This accident reflects poorly on the driving skills of this van’s driver, but it doesn’t tell us anything about the other drivers’ skills, or about the qualities of the van or of the freeway. The man was at fault, but not the tools he was using.

    So no, sorry, we don’t get your point. Unless you mean that scientific education should be improved and generalized all around? Obviously, this driver could have done with a few more driving lessons.

  215. #215 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    @Composer99

    “start providing some evidence.”

    I did with actual quotes from the leading scientist and key science educator Stephen Hawking. Whose opinions influence directly thousands of other scientists and lay persons around the world.

    Here it is again…

    “Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking in 2010 warned that humans should not try to contact alien life forms. He warned that aliens might pillage Earth for resources. “If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans,”

    Perhaps you can can come up with your own evidence of Alien Invasion – Project Blue Book perhaps ? An Alien autopsy ?

    Science loves its own brand of quackery.

  216. #216 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    @ Mephistopheles O’Brien

    “His warning, on the other hand, seems like reasonable caution if you believe fast interstellar travel might be possible.”

    Of course it does …

    @Heliantus

    “The man was at fault, but not the tools he was using.”

    The scientist was at fault, but not the science he was using..”

    Thought the second part would be debatable as well.

  217. #217 Lawrence
    September 7, 2011

    Again, I have no idea what you are trying to say – because your attempted explanations make no sense.

  218. #218 The Christian Cynic
    September 7, 2011

    Augie:

    Correction Gray and LIlady. Christian Cynic doesn’t hate you, it just thinks you’re wrong and therefore it is right.

    First, I’m not an “it”; there’s no need to dehumanize me because you can’t be bothered to find a personal pronoun that works. (If it helps, I’m male.) Second, are you assuming I’m an atheist? Because you might just be the first person to interpret my handle as “person who is cynical about Christianity” rather than the correct “cynic who is also a Christian.”

    Blackheart (not that I expect an answer):

    “What is there to think about?”

    Well is it only science that corrects science … has not scientific endeavour been ‘corrected’ by other mechanisms that stand outside ‘science’.

    You don’t seem to understand how this works. When you make an assertion, the burden is upon you to support that assertion with facts, evidence, etc. You have not done so, so telling me to “think about it” is useless – there is no “it” to think about.

    “1) science has been incorrect on some positions in the past, and 2) science has led to things that were immoral. I’m not ultimately concerned with the latter position”

    There’s some critical thinking going on…

    So the application of those statements can be made to religion / spirituality as well could it not…?

    Again, if you have a complaint, it’s best to specify it. When I say, “I’m not ultimately concerned,” I really was meaning for the purposes of the discussion at hand, and when the question (#2) is appropriate, I don’t think it says anything useful about science other than that it can be co-opted (which is kind of a “duh” conclusion).

    And yes, those questions could pertain to religion, but I’m not sure what relevance that has here.

  219. #219 Chris
    September 7, 2011

    It is like someone who has taken some kind of intoxicant and thinks they are being brilliant, but is spouting pure nonsense.

    (recently listened to a podcast on music, Alcohol, Drugs, and Music, where Matt Schickele admitted to writing music while on pot thinking he was brilliant, only to see that what he wrote was worthless)

  220. #220 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    @The Christian Cynic

    I’m happy to apologise for my error.

    You’re a “cynic who is also a Christian” the word order you used can lead to ambiguity.

    “You don’t seem to understand how this works.”

    Your expectation is that you will spoon fed the argument not so … this is not what ‘critical thinking’ is about.

    “so telling me to “think about it” is useless”

    It is called reflection and what it tries to achieve is self exploration. To look at differing perspectives of an argument.

    “When I say, “I’m not ultimately concerned,” I really was meaning for the purposes of the discussion at hand”

    So is science undertaken in a moral or ethical vacuum. Does the application and interpretation of science have an effect outside the sphere of science.

    Economics , engineering , medicine , demographics , urban planning, sociology …

    “I don’t think it says anything useful about science other than that it can be co-opted (which is kind of a “duh” conclusion).”

    I would imagine that was the most important part of all …critical thinking.

    Is what you being told the ‘truth”. Is what you believe the ‘truth’…..and if you do believe then what construct / philosophy underpins those beliefs.

    Science rationalism perhaps ?

  221. #221 Narad
    September 7, 2011

    Is what you being told the ‘truth”. Is what you believe the ‘truth’…..and if you do believe then what construct / philosophy underpins those beliefs.

    What “construct / philosophy” do you think would be problematic? You’re basically looking at a refutation of time, which is all fine and well but leaves you with certain other problems.

  222. #222 The Christian Cynic
    September 7, 2011

    Blackheart: The comment about my name wasn’t addressed to you, and I didn’t notice you making the error.

    Your expectation is that you will spoon fed the argument not so … this is not what ‘critical thinking’ is about.

    Critical thinking requires an object, i.e. something to direct it at. If you want me to conjure up your argument, you’re barking up the wrong tree; I’m not going to be baited into accusations of straw men because you can’t be bothered to actually present an actual argument to assess.

    At any rate, your “argument” thus far is the equivalent of “Nuh uh!” – it’s merely a negation of what I said. There are lots of examples of science self-correcting; where are the examples of other factors doing so? Even if you can find some, I’d bet two things: 1) science was involved, even if the mechanisms weren’t explicitly scientific (i.e. not through the normal peer review process), and 2) they are few and far between.

    It is called reflection and what it tries to achieve is self exploration. To look at differing perspectives of an argument.

    That’s all well and good when the subject at hand is yourself, not so much when it’s something external.

    So is science undertaken in a moral or ethical vacuum. Does the application and interpretation of science have an effect outside the sphere of science.

    You have misconstrued – deliberately, I think – what I was saying. I was delineating two positions, the first about the accuracy/correctness of science and the second about the morality of science. Your desire to talk about the latter is a diversion. I’m not saying it’s not important in the grand scheme; it’s just irrelevant to any discussion about whether or not science has made incorrect claims and how those claims were corrected (i.e. science).

    I would imagine that was the most important part of all …critical thinking.

    You keep using those words. I do not think they mean what you think they mean.

    Is what you being told the ‘truth”. Is what you believe the ‘truth’…..and if you do believe then what construct / philosophy underpins those beliefs.

    This is weapons-grade conspiracy-mongering. That doesn’t pass as critical thinking by any reasonable measure.

  223. #223 herr doktor bimler
    September 7, 2011

    You’re basically looking at a refutation of time, which is all fine and well but leaves you with certain other problems.

    Problem #1 is that you have to be Jorge Luis Borges.

  224. #224 Calli Arcale
    September 7, 2011

    Blackheart:

    Your expectation is that you will spoon fed the argument not so … this is not what ‘critical thinking’ is about.

    No, the expectation of the Christian Cynic and others here is that if you are attempting to make some sort of a point, you will want to make it so that it can be understood. Otherwise, what are you here in this thread for?

    You use the phrase “spoon fed”, which is interesting. I’m wondering, do you think that it shows some sort of weakness to actually state your case, clearly and concisely, or to expect that cases be so stated? If so, you are probably better suited to politics, where the objective is to not be seen to lose, than to science, where the objective is increase understanding.

    I suppose it suits a desire to “win” to be coy about your actual argument; after all, if you don’t come out and state your case, nobody can effectively refute it. This is why the Presidential debates so far have been so infuriatingly pointless; they’re avoiding being caught making actual statements that could later be held against them. But it’s very childish, quite honestly, and completely opposed to what science tries to do.

    You seem very hung up on the issue of scientists having erred, as if this shows a fundamental weakness of science. Do you think that admitting an error, even when there is ample evidence to prove that it is an error, is some sort of weakness? Do you prefer the scientific/skeptical approach, or do you prefer the person who refuses to ever admit to being wrong?

    So is science undertaken in a moral or ethical vacuum. Does the application and interpretation of science have an effect outside the sphere of science.

    Of course it is not undertaken in a moral or ethical vacuum; it is conducted by humans, after all, and while humans have a wide range of opinions on the subjects of morality and ethics, they do use those opinions to guide their actions. In this, science is really no different than any other human endeavor.

    What does make science different, however, is the recognition of absolute truths that exist beyond human philosophy, and the view that these truths will remain so regardless of how anyone feels about them. Celestial mechanics works whether you believe in it or not, after all. This is not to say that science and ethics are separate; on the contrary, there is considerable overlap (in addition to being nicer, ethical studies tend to be far more reliable), and the world is best when they walk together.

  225. #225 blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    “Critical thinking requires an object, i.e. something to direct it at.”

    Which is ‘science rationalism’.

    “There are lots of examples of science self-correcting; where are the examples of other factors doing so?”

    There are … but science is also ‘corrected’ by moral , ethical and political dimensions.

    As experimentation on human subjects is often ‘corrected’. For example ECT – antidepressant medications … seems as though further correction may be required.

    “Your desire to talk about the latter is a diversion. I’m not saying it’s not important in the grand scheme; it’s just irrelevant to any discussion about whether or not science has made incorrect claims and how those claims were corrected (i.e. science).”

    Certainly not … the world is not a vacuum for the application of “science rationalism”. People often find it’s processes and implementation abhorrent from animal experimentation to human experimentation. To coersive practices and outright fraud … thus they ‘correct’ the application and implmentation of science through ethics ,legislation and political advocacy.

    “You keep using those words. I do not think they mean what you think they mean.”

    I’ve applied it to Orac’s argument … the argument seems to be at clear fault.

    “This is weapons-grade conspiracy-mongering.”

    There is of course a very acute irony that you yourself give the perfect example of “science rationalism” and an inability to self correct.

  226. #226 Gray Falcon
    September 7, 2011

    Blackheart, if you have such a dim view of science, please send all further messages by clay tablet or telepathy.

  227. #227 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    “attempting to make some sort of a point”

    I thought the point was particularly obvious .. Orac’s argument is undermined by his own philosophy of science rationalism that indulges in its own brands of ‘quackery’.

    “where the objective is increase understanding.”

    There’s certainly understandings to be made … one is not to rely on ‘scientific rationalism’ …guess what it might be wrong, it might be biased, it might be driven by another agenda , it might be manipulated and it might be outright fraud.

    Then of course it might be simple ignorance…. which when applied to the vaccine debate all of the above seems to apply.

    Obviously I have the role of Devil’s Advocate.

    “You seem very hung up on the issue of scientists having erred, as if this shows a fundamental weakness of science.”

    Not particularly … (nice try) but it is interesting that there is so much cognitive dissonance surrounding science rationalism.

    “Do you think that admitting an error, even when there is ample evidence to prove that it is an error, is some sort of weakness?”

    Do you have an example so you can clarify your point ?

    Do you prefer the scientific/skeptical approach, or do you prefer the person who refuses to ever admit to being wrong?

    Nice try. So who are these people that who refuse to ever being wrong ?

    “Celestial mechanics works whether you believe in it or not, after all.”

    So which particular aspect of celestial mechanics do you think your argument applies to ?

    “This is not to say that science and ethics are separate; on the contrary, there is considerable overlap (in addition to being nicer, ethical studies tend to be far more reliable), and the world is best when they walk together.”

    Which makes my point …. “science rationalism” cannot stand on its own ethics and moral judgement must be applied and they are not part of scientific methodology. They sit outside science.

  228. #228 Michael Ralston
    September 8, 2011

    um, Blackheart, your argument is presuming many, many, things that are not in evidence.

    Please lay out your premises and then explain how they lead to your conclusions.

    What quackeries do you think Orac’s philosophy of science rationalism engages in?

    Because uh. no. Scientific rationalism cannot be be driven by an another agenda. By definition, if something is agenda-driven, it is not scientific rationalism. If there is manipulation, fraud, bias, or error *in the data* … science might go wrong, but the same goes for ALL methods of human acquisition of knowledge. And at least science has a way to recognize bad data.

    And ethics and morality very much do not sit outside of science.

    I present you with a button. What is the moral thing to do? Well, that depends on what the button does. How can you know? Why, science.

  229. #229 The Christian Cynic
    September 8, 2011

    I’d really like to get a definition of “science rationalism” (which sounds like a phrase a non-native speaker of English might use, all apologies to non-native but fluent English speakers out there) before I even bother responding to anything referring to the term. (I suspect that it’s “scientism” rearing its ugly stupid head again.)

    There are … but science is also ‘corrected’ by moral , ethical and political dimensions.

    This is why I delineated the positions in an earlier post: you shifted from “corrected” in the factual sense to “corrected” in the ethical sense. Try again without a bait and switch.

    Certainly not … the world is not a vacuum for the application of “science rationalism”.

    And I didn’t say it was, just that questions of factual accuracy are distinct from ethical quandaries. You don’t seem (or want) to grasp this very simple point.

    I’ve applied it to Orac’s argument … the argument seems to be at clear fault.

    In your head, maybe, but not out here in reality where we’re still waiting for an argument in the first place. All you can do is go on about “science rationalism,” but if I’m understanding you right and you are alluding to a position often called scientism, your perception of what people believe here is very likely a straw man.

  230. #230 Blackheart
    September 8, 2011

    @Michael Ralston

    “What quackeries do you think Orac’s philosophy of science rationalism engages in?”

    Michael that has already been partly covered start with Paranormal activities and Alien Invasion.

    “Because uh. no.”

    Sorry didn’t realise it was a rhetorical question.

    “By definition, if something is agenda-driven, it is not scientific rationalism.”

    Which is indeed part of the cognitive dissonance. Are you suggesting that ‘science rationalists” aka skeptiks have no agenda ? I often see them writing on subject such as religion for instance.

    “And at least science has a way to recognize bad data.”

    I think there might be some disagreement on the perfection of the way science recognises or indeed responds to bad data. I believe the British Medical Journal is currently wrestling with research integrity and the peer review system that seem to have become hopelessly immersed in ‘bad science’ and politics/ agendas.

    “And ethics and morality very much do not sit outside of science.”

    There is a ‘scientific methodology’ to ethics and moral application is there ?

    “I present you with a button. What is the moral thing to do? Well, that depends on what the button does. How can you know? Why, science.”

    Which came first the button or the moral implication ?

  231. #231 Michael Ralston
    September 8, 2011

    Blackheart, you have failed to explain how Hawking’s concern that broadcasting messages to space to try to contact any aliens that MIGHT BE out there is more likely to have negative consequences than positive ones is quackery.

    Which is because you can’t, because you are engaging in pure demogoguery – you are equating something rational to the nonsense of alien abduction accounts.

    As for the paranormal … can you cite any pro-paranormal publications? Simply because something is being studied doesn’t mean the outcome will be favorable to the concept, which is as it should be.

    and, uh, do you propose the existence of anything that is /better/ than science at dealing with bad data?
    I assume not, given that you haven’t. Science is flawed, yes. So what?

    And yes, skeptics have agendas. But are you arguing against skeptics, or are you arguing against skepticism? Because the former are people, and the latter is a method, and your arguments are treating them as if they were the same thing.

  232. #232 Blackheart
    September 8, 2011

    @Michael

    I have to explain a statement that is best summed up as “Alien with Big Ray Gun will attack Earth” ?

    Demagogue – A person who champions the causes of the common people….I would suspect so.

    Or should I be advancing the agendas of the ‘scientific elite’ as espoused by Galton. Not to my moral or ethical taste really.

    “As for the paranormal … can you cite any pro-paranormal publications?”

    I think that is adequately covered previously.

    “do you propose the existence of anything that is /better/ than science at dealing with bad data?”

    Not only do I have to point out the problem I have to solve it …

    “Science is flawed, yes. So what?”

    I’d imagine there might be some very serious implications to science that is flawed.

    “But are you arguing against skeptics, or are you arguing against skepticism?”

    A bit of both …. morally and ethically healthy skeptiks and skepticism is a good thing. Which is what I engage in.

    I’d imagine you would disagree with that?

  233. #233 Matthew Cline
    September 8, 2011

    @Blackheart:

    I thought the point was particularly obvious .. Orac’s argument is undermined by his own philosophy of science rationalism that indulges in its own brands of ‘quackery’.

    So since some scientists have indulged in quackery, the philosophy of science rationalism itself indulges in quackery?

  234. #234 Blackheart
    September 8, 2011

    @Christian

    “I’d really like to get a definition of “science rationalism”

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

    and you place the word ‘science’ in front of it to discriminate it from such concepts as political , economic rationalism.

    “you shifted from “corrected” in the factual sense to “corrected” in the ethical sense. Try again without a bait and switch.”

    No bait and switch just a broader insight. Part of the problem of having a left brain propensity I’d imagine.Fortunately I see the world in a more ‘ecological’ perspective. Something science could gain from if it did more of.

    “just that questions of factual accuracy are distinct from ethical quandaries.”

    …and I clearly disagree factual accuracy is often at the behest of those investigating , interpreting and reporting and has implications both morally and ethically.

    “All you can do is go on about “science rationalism,”

    It underpins Orac’s argument as well as many other ‘pro vaccination skeptiks” I’m just deconstructing it.

    I thought that was fairly obvious from the first ‘sheep’commentary.

    “you are alluding to a position often called scientism, your perception of what people believe here is very likely a straw man.”

    Skeptiks seem to have their own continuum … it would seem that some might be more on the “fixed mindset end”.

    That’s the thing about militancy …. you get a bit of a reputation and a fixed position which is sometimes hard to extricate yourself from… especially when new facts overturn previous paradigms.

  235. #235 lilady
    September 8, 2011

    “Skeptiks seem to have their own continuum … it would seem that some might be more on the “fixed mindset end”.

    Really, name one example.

    “That’s the thing about militancy …. you get a bit of a reputation and a fixed position which is sometimes hard to extricate yourself from… especially when new facts overturn previous paradigms.

    Okay, lets deconstruct that statement. The subject of this particular blog is about vaccine. Orac and the “regulars” here discuss vaccines frequenty…what “new facts” have you presented to overturn “previous paradigms”?

    We also discuss psuedo-science including CAM treatments such as reiki, acupuncture, supplements and the junk science of vaccine “injuries”….what “new facts” have you presented to overturn “previous paradigms”?

    (We do expect citations from peer reviewed journals…which you are loathe to provide).

    Instead of providing citations for efficacy of CAM treatment and efficacy and safety of vaccine you chose to discuss a jumble of other peoples “theories”…which, I might add you quote mine from “Google” and present as your own…with (more than) a touch of plagiarism I might add.

    You need to organize your disordered thinking processes and your sense of megalomania with these behaviors…it leads us to believe that you take pleasure in seeing your word salad postings, your games of semantics and your troll-like behaviors.

  236. #236 Blackheart
    September 8, 2011

    @Matthew

    “So since some scientists have indulged in quackery, the philosophy of science rationalism itself indulges in quackery?”

    I think the question should more accurately read –

    “So since some (well a lot) of science has indulged in quackery, the philosophy of science rationalism itself indulges in quackery?”

    That seems to be the case …

  237. #237 Blackheart
    September 8, 2011

    @Lilady

    “Really, name one example.”

    Richard Dawkins

    “The subject of this particular blog is about vaccine.”

    I disagree and it seems to be evidenced by this statement “ramblings of a surgeon/scientist on medicine, quackery, science, pseudoscience, history, and pseudohistory (and”

    But if you wish to ramble on about vaccines feel free to ramble on…

    “what “new facts” have you presented to overturn “previous paradigms”?”

    The Institute of Medicine report was briefly mentioned.

    http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2011/Adverse-Effects-of-Vaccines-Evidence-and-Causality.aspx

    “We also discuss psuedo-science including CAM treatments such as reiki, acupuncture, supplements and the junk science of vaccine “injuries”….”

    An interesting list of topics … so is it your position that the science relating to vaccine injury is ‘junk’?

    I’d certainly have some sympathy for that position.

    What empirical evidence have you got that states vaccines are safe ? and how have you quantified that safety.

    “(We do expect citations from peer reviewed journals…which you are loathe to provide).”

    de riguer

    “Instead of providing citations for efficacy of CAM treatment and efficacy and safety of vaccine you chose to discuss a jumble of other peoples “theories”…”

    Sure you’re speaking to the right person.

    “You need to organize your disordered thinking processes and your sense of megalomania with these behaviors…it leads us to believe that you take pleasure in seeing your word salad postings, your games of semantics and your troll-like behaviors.”

    That is what you call a coherent statement is it ?

    Now that you have finished perhaps you can come up with some of the necessary evidence that supports your viewpoint that vaccines are safe and efficacious.

  238. #238 Matthew Cline
    September 8, 2011

    @Blackheart:

    “So since some (well a lot) of science has indulged in quackery, the philosophy of science rationalism itself indulges in quackery?”

    1) Is science itself and the actions/pronouncements of scientists the same thing? If not, then it would seem that you’re using guilt by association.

    2) How do you determine the threshold for the amount of quackery done by scientists, beyond which threshold science rationalism itself is contaminated by quackery? Is it something that’s just intuitively obvious? If not, what is that threshold, and how do you determine that it’s been crossed?

  239. #239 lilady
    September 8, 2011

    Hmm, you first. Orac and the “regulars” here have presented multiple analyzes of the recent IOM report and other reports from science researchers Ad infinitum regarding the real science of immunology, disease process, vaccine safety and efficacy. We have also discussed in depth the extremely rare serious neurological events following MMR vaccine…so rare in fact 1:1,000,000…that they are statistically insignificant.

    We have also referred you to textbooks on statistics, which you obviously remain obstinately clueless about; clueless also about prevalence and incidence, morbidity and mortality of childhood diseases before and after preventive vaccines became available.

    I think Mephistopheles O’Brian stated it succinctly after only five of your postings, four days ago:

    @Blackheart,
    So 5 comments from you. The first was simply a gratuitous insult. The second followed up on it. The third states that spirituality has a long tradition (something I don’t recall anyone disagreeing with). The fourth makes cryptic comments about science not necessarily catching its mistakes, but presents neither evidence nor rationale behind that. The fifth links to an apparently irrelevant Wikipedia article and challenges people to critically think through “those” questions, but does not state what the questions, exactly, are.
    If you have a point, you’re doing a remarkably fine job of disguising it.

    Posted by: Mephistopheles O’Brien | September 4, 2011 10:52 AM

    You’ve now posted another 100 times and we still cannot figure out from any other them whether or not you have a point and why you keep avoiding questions posed to you.

    Time to man up now, stay on point, provide some citations, stop quote mining and stay off the substances you have either been drinking, sniffing or inhaling.

  240. #240 Blackheart
    September 8, 2011

    @Matthew

    1) Is science itself and the actions/pronouncements of scientists the same thing? If not, then it would seem that you’re using guilt by association.

    I don’t believe ‘science’ can be undertaken pragmatically without scientists.

    Perhaps you should therefore ask Orac whether he is undertaking ‘guilt by association’.

    “2) How do you determine the threshold for the amount of quackery done by scientists, beyond which threshold science rationalism itself is contaminated by quackery?”

    Any quackery contaminates.

    “Is it something that’s just intuitively obvious?”

    It can be. Intuition is often actually driven by knowledge, experience and education.

    Having said that “intuition’ is certainly an understudied concept vague as it may be.

  241. #241 lilady
    September 8, 2011

    “”Is it something that’s just intuitively obvious?”

    It can be. *Intuition* is often actually driven by knowledge, experience and education.”

    And, real science is driven by those who have real knowledge, real experience and education.

    *Intuition*…that explains a lot about this troll.

  242. #242 Matthew Cline
    September 8, 2011

    @Blackheart:

    As far as I can tell, you seem to be saying that the problem with science is that scientists aren’t 100% rational every single waking minute of their lives. Either that, or that scientists are “on the job” 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and that everything they say and do is a part of science.

  243. #243 Blackheart
    September 8, 2011

    @lilady

    “Hmm, you first.”

    You apparently have watertight evidnce on vaccine safety and are reluctant to put it forward. Wow …

    “Orac and the “regulars” here have presented multiple analyzes of the recent IOM report and other reports from science researchers Ad infinitum regarding the real science of immunology, disease process, vaccine safety and efficacy.”

    I think we might disagree with “the real science” part.

    But off you go …citations please.

    “We have also referred you to textbooks on statistics”

    You have …give me a post number and I’ll check at this time I haven’t seen one and I have been reasonably good at getting back to most posters.

    “I think Mephistopheles O’Brian stated it succinctly”

    I think we even disagree on what succinctly means.

    “You’ve now posted another 100 times”

    I have ?

    “and we still cannot figure out”

    That’s my fault ?

    “Time to man up now, stay on point, provide some citations, stop quote mining and stay off the substances you have either been drinking, sniffing or inhaling.”

    Blah blah blah.

  244. #244 Blackheart
    September 8, 2011

    lilady

    Are you always so vehemently defensive about your ideals ?

  245. #245 blackheart
    September 8, 2011

    @Matthew

    “As far as I can tell, you seem to be saying that the problem with science is that scientists aren’t 100% rational every single waking minute of their lives. Either that, or that scientists are “on the job” 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and that everything they say and do is a part of science.”

    I can’t see how you came to that interpretation.

  246. #246 Matthew Cline
    September 8, 2011

    @Blackheart:

    Then why, exactly, is it a problem for science that Hawking said whatever-he-said about space aliens? Assuming, for the sake of the argument, that what he said was supremely irrational, so what? Is it that what he said implies the existence of faster than light travel, which is impossible according to relativity?

  247. #247 Blackheart
    September 8, 2011

    @Matthew

    “So what?”

    It clearly undermines ‘science rationalism’ as espoused by Orac and other

    Why – because it is based on nil evidence and is purely speculative. Quackery.

    When the Space Aliens arrive with ray guns and conquer earth I will duly apologise to all concerned.

  248. #248 Matthew Cline
    September 8, 2011

    @Blackheart:

    It clearly undermines ‘science rationalism’ as espoused by Orac and other

    Why does it undermine “science rationalism”? Because it was said by a scientist? If it’s merely because he’s a scientist, isn’t that saying that scientists are supposed to be rational every waking minute of their lives?

    Why – because it is based on nil evidence and is purely speculative. Quackery.

    Wait, speculation in-and-of-itself is quackery? If speculation was the basis for a particular medical modality, that would be quackery, but I don’t see talking about things which are speculations is a problem.

  249. #249 Lawrence
    September 8, 2011

    There is speculating, brainstorming, tossing ideas about, and a whole host of other expressions that are nothing more than people fielding various ideas – examining them and seeing if there is any merit for pursuing them.

    To take one expression or idea out – that you just happen to claim is nonsense & try to use that to build some sort of argument is a blatant recognition of the weakness of your overall position (which by itself is completely illogical, ill-defined & generally stupid).

    Just like idiot troll, just because you say something is true, doesn’t make it so. We can look at the totality of evidence to support the various scientific positions & back it up with actual evidence – or in the case of scientific conjecture, utilize understandings based on established theories and facts to speculate on what may or may not be possible (and in some cases test it out).

    Unlike woo-tastic supporters and practicioners, who say a lot but provide no real basis or understanding for their proposed “solutions” or “treatments” or even understandings of how the world or things like physics work, real researchers and scientists can apply what is known and what we figured out in the past to present new ideas that do have a basis in reality.

    Hawkings presented an idea, based on the historical process by which a society with superior technology, upon meeting a culture/society with lesser technology tends to act as the aggressor and take from the lesser party – since it happened historically, it is quite easy to apply that lesson to the hypothetical event should we ever be contacted by an extraterestrial species.

    I don’t understand how that could be considered quackery – and just because you say it is (with no evidence or rationale to back it up), doesn’t make it so.

  250. #250 Blackheart
    September 8, 2011

    @Matthew

    Thanks Matt but as I said when the Alien Invaders smoke the Earth I’ll be happy to apologise to all concerned.

    “Wait, speculation in-and-of-itself is quackery?”

    It is if you believe…

    Just like …

    Robert Ehrlich, a physicist at George Mason University agreed, further imagining that the aliens would be “adaptable robots whose mental processes reflect those of their senders.”

    Danger Will Robinson … Danger.

  251. #251 blackheart
    September 8, 2011

    @Lawrence

    “We can look at the totality of evidence to support the various scientific positions & back it up with actual evidence – or in the case of scientific conjecture, utilize understandings based on established theories and facts to speculate on what may or may not be possible (and in some cases test it out).”

    OK .. which one would you like to evidence Alien Monsters with Ray Guns or the Killer Robots ?

    or should we continue with

    Extra Sensory Perception

    Telekinesis

    Mind Control

    Remote Viewing

    Teleportation

    Unidentified Flying Objects

    The Search for ET

    Cryptozoology

  252. #252 Matthew Cline
    September 8, 2011

    @Blackheart:

    Thanks Matt but as I said when the Alien Invaders smoke the Earth I’ll be happy to apologise to all concerned.

    Huh? I asked:

    Why does it undermine “science rationalism”? Because it was said by a scientist? If it’s merely because he’s a scientist, isn’t that saying that scientists are supposed to be rational every waking minute of their lives?

    How is what you said an answer to my question?

  253. #253 herr doktor bimler
    September 8, 2011

    as I said when the Alien Invaders smoke the Earth I’ll be happy to apologise to all concerned.

    So it was you who INVITED THEM??!!

  254. #254 blackheart
    September 8, 2011

    @Matt

    It is if you believe and advise other people on what action or in this case ‘inaction’ to take.

  255. #255 blackheart
    September 8, 2011

    Apparently herr doktor it was NASA and that plaque.

  256. #256 Lawrence
    September 8, 2011

    As with anyone with a weak or non-existent argument, BH (need to come up with troll moniker here) ascribes the most radical interpretation of his opponents arguments (or makes the most extreme interpretation of his evidence) to attempt to bolster his own case.

    Since he won’t address the logic, statistic or any other rational response to his deluded attempts to come to some kind of point, he isn’t worth even responding to at this point.

    Makes me wonder what he thinks about actual quakery – like Dr. Oz & his ilk.

  257. #257 Todd W.
    September 8, 2011

    So, to recap, we have an article on how anti-science woo-meisters are wedded to their beliefs, while science-based individuals are, generally, more open to change. Enter Blackheart, who tries to argue on this topic by discussing the ethics of hammers (metaphorically speaking).

  258. #258 Calli Arcale
    September 8, 2011

    Blackheart:

    There’s certainly understandings to be made … one is not to rely on ‘scientific rationalism’ …guess what it might be wrong, it might be biased, it might be driven by another agenda , it might be manipulated and it might be outright fraud.

    This in fact the very point of science: our perceptions and opinions may be wrong, may be biased, may be driven by another agenda, etc. The objective of science is to recognize and account for these human foibles as we investigate the world around we inhabit. Perhaps what you are arguing against is not really science itself, but whatever you mean by “science rationalism”. Whatever you mean by that, I don’t think it’s what Orac or others on this thread are promoting. Do you mean blind acceptance of scientific dogma, or what others have dubbed “scientism” or similar terms? There are certainly people guilty of that, but I really don’t think Orac is one of them. He wouldn’t be a scientist if he was; as the comedian Dara O’Brian said, if science had all the answers, then it would *stop*. Scientists are the people who know it doesn’t have all the answers and consequently see a great opportunity for exploration and investigation.

    “Do you think that admitting an error, even when there is ample evidence to prove that it is an error, is some sort of weakness?”

    Do you have an example so you can clarify your point ?

    Several have already been mentioned offhand in the thread, but one good example is the ether. I’m not talking about the stuff once used widely as an anesthetic; I’m talking about the medium through which light was proposed to propagate. We know light behaves very much like a wave, right? Today, people speak of the wave/particle duality of light. But it was not always so; light clearly behaved as a wave (there are plenty of experiments you can do to demonstrate this), with wavelengths and intensities and everything you’d expect waves to have, but there’s one tricky part — waves can only exist in a medium. In space, no one can hear you scream — so how come they can still see you in space? Through what medium is the light wave propagating? Respectable scientists everywhere concluded that there must be a medium through which the light waves propagated, unseen and so far undetectable — rather like our modern theories of dark matter and dark energy. Indeed, this was used as the foundations for other theories, and as it happened, those theories turned out to work well, so the ether was assumed to exist. But there was still the niggling problem that it was undetectable. As physics advanced, the value of a fixed reference frame was becoming increasingly apparent, and scientists realized that the ether would represent that fixed reference frame they really wanted. So it became vitally important to finally detect it. The idea was simple — if the ether exists, then it should produce sort of a breeze as the Earth passes through it. Light would travel faster or slower depending on whether the Earth was moving the same direction as the ether or opposite it. The Earth changes direction all the time as it orbits the Sun, so this presented a convenient opportunity to try to measure it. Michaelson & Morlay conducted the most famous experiment to measure the ether wind — but today, it’s famous as the experiment that determined the speed of light. Why? Because the results were completely different than what they expected. Measuring the speed of light to far greater precision than anyone had ever managed before, at different times in the year, they found to their great surprise that it was always exactly the same. It took them a while to believe what they were seeing; the very tiny deflections they were expecting were so small they had to be sure they weren’t just being swallowed by experimental error. They ran the experiment again at greater precision, their students ran it, others ran it — but it became increasingly clear that everyone had been completely wrong about light. The ether wind did not exist, and the speed of light was constant regardless of one’s velocity. This was a revolutionary insight which would later influence Einstein, and many have repeated the experiment through the decades, to ever greater precision, always confirming the astounding thing they’d discovered. The ether never existed; the speed of light is constant.

    That’s one of the more famous examples of science being wrong and those involved admitting it. It was such a massive paradigm shift (and rather a mind-bending thing to accept) that it took a while to be fully accepted by the scientific community. But in time, it was.

    So, now that you have an example, does that demonstrate a weakness or strength for the scientific community to admit that the luminferous ether was never real in the first place?

    Do you prefer the scientific/skeptical approach, or do you prefer the person who refuses to ever admit to being wrong? Nice try. So who are these people that who refuse to ever being wrong ?

    Well, I mentioned politicians as one example; that was largely snark, but being able to dodge admissions of error seems to be practically a job requirement in that field. I’ve been reading too much about the presidential campaign, basically. (November of 2012 cannot come soon enough.) Better examples include John Best, Nancy Leiderer (she of “Nibiru” infamy), Andrew Wakefield, and Mike Adams. They will tell you they have the answers, and no amount of contrary evidence will budge them. It’s an impressive thing to witness, sometimes; they’re startlingly stubborn.

    “Celestial mechanics works whether you believe in it or not, after all.” So which particular aspect of celestial mechanics do you think your argument applies to ?

    I was responding to your question about science operating in a vacuum. It doesn’t, because scientists are people, but the overriding principles behind science indicate that something should be true whether people believe it is or not — that is, the ethics of a situation don’t change the facts of it.

    Celestial mechanics is one of the more elegant examples of this, and also one of the older — today, particle physics is where it’s at if you want to be a whiz-bang physicist, but a few centuries ago it was celestial mechanics. It’s all about predicting the motion of objects in space, and although there are details still to be worked out, and in some cases the math is fiendishly difficult, but when you get right down to it, it’s all just extensions of a few very simple rules governing motion, thrust, and gravity. I’ve met a guy who seriously doesn’t believe that satellites can really orbit the Earth. If you point a satellite out to him in the night sky, he actually claims it’s an airplane or balloon put up there specifically to maintain the fiction that satellites exist. Yet though he doesn’t believe in it, celestial mechanics keeps working. The Moon goes around the Earth, the Earth goes around the Sun, the Sun travels its wobbly course around the Milky Way.

    Galileo presented some uncomfortable evidence against geocentrism; many persisted in believing in geocentrism until Kepler figured out about ellipses and about objects traveling faster at periapsis than apoapsis and was first able to accurately predict planetary motion. Even then, some kept denying it, indeed sometimes on moral grounds (though the trouble Galileo had with the Church was less about that and more about pissing off the wrong cardinal) but that didn’t change whether or not it was *true*.

    So while science, like any human endeavor, cannot operate in a vacuum, it expects the real facts of any matter to do so, or at least to continue passing their tests without assistance.

    Which makes my point …. “science rationalism” cannot stand on its own ethics and moral judgement must be applied and they are not part of scientific methodology. They sit outside science.

    Yes, and that’s sort of the point — things are true whether we want them to be or not, and we shouldn’t use our own personal biases to determine that. A lot of people think homosexuality is immoral, or that polygamy is immoral, or that the death penalty is immoral; these views should not be allowed to influence scientific studies on the subjects. Some people do not like that; they think science could only have value if it produced results which conformed to their idea of morality. For instance, observe the controversies surrounding studies of human sexuality. Sometimes they discover things which are very inconvenient to certain moral codes, and these findings are then vehemently objected to. In fact, many oppose the very idea of studying things which are “immoral”. Science, of course, has no opinion on morality; as far as it’s concerned, any subject is fair game — it’s whatever the researchers chooses to investigate.

    That said, you seem to have missed my parallel point that ethical considerations can be very important to the scientific value of a particular finding. Consider Andrew Wakefield’s infamous study linking the MMR vaccine to “autistic enterocolitis”. There were massive ethical problems with that study, and one of them was that Wakefield was directly benefiting financially from demonstrating that such a link existed, and failed to disclose this fact in the study itself. While this does not mean that he really did allow himself to be suborned by money, it should make people very suspicious. Suspicious enough to investigate and find that the results of the trial were, in fact, largely fabricated and it had no scientific value. So, ethical considerations are important. In fact, I would go so far as to argue that *ethics* is important to science, in particular the ethics of doing things rigorously enough to be meaningful, but morality less so, as it tends to be more a matter of codifying people’s opinions and prejudices* and things. In short, scientists absolutely need a code of ethics to make sure they are doing the right things with sufficient rigor to make them meaningful.

    *I know the word “prejudice” can be loaded, but here I am using it in its neutral sense: things we expect to be true before we find out. One can have “friendly” prejudices, but any kind of prejudice can be detrimental to science. One cannot allow one’s prejudices to influence the results. Michelson’s prejudice that the luminferous ether existed influenced his interpretation of his results, and the first paper on the subject assumed their measured drift to be real, even though it was way too small and later turned out to be experimental error; eventually, he (along with most of the community) had to accept that they weren’t just finding the wind to be absurdly slight; they were finding it to be nonexistent. Some prejudices are so deeply held we don’t even realize it, and if you go through your entire career believing something exists, it’s hard to recognize when you find out that it doesn’t. Nobody’s perfect.

  259. #259 Calli Arcale
    September 8, 2011

    I have a comment in moderation, probably due to length (I do tend to get verbose sometimes). But now I want to address Blackheart’s comment at 250. And odds are, the same thing will happen to it. :-D

    Blackheart, you want to know what business science has discussing crazy ideas. I think science has business discussing pretty much anything; there shouldn’t be limits placed on what’s fair. The only limit it can have is that the idea has to be testable in some way. Otherwise, it’s just a placeholder until the idea does become testable. For instance, is there a God? Not testable. Did God create the universe 6,000 years ago? Testable. Science can discuss the limits around the idea of a God, but the idea itself is not falsifiable and therefore science isn’t very helpful there. It ends up with no opinion on the subject. As for the other subjects you listed, I’ll tackle them individually.

    OK .. which one would you like to evidence Alien Monsters with Ray Guns or the Killer Robots ?
    The existence of aliens is not presently falsifiable. The best we can do with science is try to explore the limits of the idea. Are there other worlds which might be able to support alien life long enough for an advanced civiliation to arise and develop, for instance, ray guns or killer robots? Well, first we need to figure out how long that seems likely to take and whether or not any suitable worlds have remained suitable long enough. Turns out, the answer is yes — there are worlds where such a thing might possibly happen. Did it ever? No data. It *is* a testable claim; there are ways to look for alien civilizations. SETI is trying one, though honestly, it’s a pretty faint hope — worse than looking for a specific needle in a haystack made of needles. But it’s not impossible; maybe they’ll get lucky. I’m not holding my breath. Speculation about whether they’ll be armed or send killer robots to render our world suitable for exploitation by them is, in my opinion, largely a reflection on humanity — what would we do, if we were in their shoes? Since we’re the only example we have of a technologically advanced civilization, it’s not unreasonable. But it can’t be tested yet. Possibly it never will be.

    Extra Sensory Perception Wacky as the idea is, science can be used to test it. So far, it’s turned up bupkis. This doesn’t stop some very optimistic folks from continuing to try.

    Telekinesis Pretty much the same situation as ESP. Unless you count remote control devices which read brain electrical activity (and that’s cheating, IMHO), it’s never been observed in a properly controlled environment. Again, there are optimists who keep trying.

    Mind Control There is a great deal of motivation to find a way of doing this. Depending on what you mean by “mind control”, some of it’s not that crazy; a shrewd understanding of psychology allows salespeople to manipulate people’s decisions to some degree (there is a reason why Coca-Cola sells considerably better than store brand cola), and tremendous amounts of money are spent to research this. There’s also the rather creepy research into mind control by parasites. That actually does happen to some animals (e.g. ants, fish, and mice, where a parasite drives the animal to behave in a manner which will suit its propagation), and there’s really no a priori reason to assume it can’t happen to us too. There has also been considerable research into brainwashing, and how a person can be made to do things they wouldn’t ordinarily want to — and this research ranges from serious to crackpot, and from sensible to downright creepy. The good news: the scientific consensus is that the magical mind control devices depicted in science fiction don’t appear to be possible (at least at present) and you can’t be made to do something you don’t want to do under hypnosis. The bad news: you can be made to do something you don’t want to do in plenty of other ways.

    Remote Viewing See what I said about ESP and telekinesis above; it’s in pretty much the same boat.

    Teleportation Star Trek style teleportation does not appear to be possible with any currently conceivable technology. However, quantum teleportation (which is not really the same thing, not that the mass media seems to realize it) is possible, albeit currently mostly only useful for probing the nature of the subatomic world.

    Unidentified Flying Objects Strictly speaking, a UFO is just anything unidentified in the air or space. There are lots of those. Some turn out to be aircraft you didn’t know about; others turn out to be weather phenomena (sprites are an interesting case to read about; they’re an electrical discharge in the upper atmosphere broadly related to lightning, but were not accepted to exist by the scientific community as a whole until fairly recently, when they were finally photographed in 1989); others turn out to have not existed (radar glitches, lens flare, misidentified debris, etc); and a great many others are never identified at all. As with mind control, research into this field ranges from serious to seriously whacked out, both in terms of subject matter and in terms of quality.

    The Search for ET This isn’t an entirely ridiculous thing. Remember, for science to act upon a claim, it merely has to be testable. This one isn’t easy to test, given the size of the universe, but not impossible either. There’s no real reason to assume Earth is somehow special, so why assume life only arose here? Why assume it only achieved sentience here? We can’t assume that. But we can test it, and the simplest way is by looking for some other life. I say “simple”, but I just mean that in the argumentative sense; actually finding other life turns out to be pretty difficult. Even if there really is life elsewhere, our own solar system looks pretty barren apart from Earth. We haven’t really adequately explored it yet, though.

    Cryptozoology This is the study of creatures which may not exist. It is not considered a proper branch of science; someone who studies these creatures in a serious, scientific manner would be called simply a zoologist. There are serious zoologists who do seriously study “cryptids” (things like the chupacabra or the Loch Ness Monster); for the most part, they’re not so much attempting to prove these creatures exist as they are attempting to identify whatever it was that was really responsible for the various alleged sightings. One of the more enthusiastic and accesible of these whom I’ve followed on the Internet is Darren Naish of the excellent blog . He’s managed to identify several alleged cryptids; many are actually decayed specimens of quite ordinary species. There are also those who are more optimistic about actually finding, for instance, a pleisiosaur in Loch Ness rather than exploring how much floating logs resemble pleisiosaurs. Some are even doing good science on the subject, since after all, even a null result is a result. I think they’re wasting their time, but well, it is their time to waste, and some of them have turned up some interesting but unrelated things in their surveys. There are also the outright kooks, of course, and what they do is generally not scientific.

    I hope this helps. It is entirely possible to test paranormal claims using science. The results are generally null, and I would consider it a waste of time and effort to look into them further, but hey, replication is one of the crucial elements of science, so it’s not a complete waste when they do the test again and find it’s still zip.

  260. #260 tresmal
    September 8, 2011

    From 243:

    You’ve now posted another 100 times”

    I have ?

    “and we still cannot figure out”

    That’s my fault ?

    Yes. Yes it is your fault. You’ve been bloviating here for 2 or 3 days now. During that time a number of very bright, literate, thoughtful and well educated people have attempted to engage you and try to understand your point. Yet nobody here, besides yourself, actually knows what your point is. I thought Matthew Cline @242 had it figured out, but apparently he was wrong. Clearly you are failing at communicating your view. That failure is all yours. I suggest you drop the oracular/socratic mode and just spell it out.

  261. #261 Chris
    September 8, 2011

    Calli Arcale:

    I have a comment in moderation, probably due to length (I do tend to get verbose sometimes).

    And they are always excellent.

  262. #262 Matthew Cline
    September 8, 2011

    @Blackheart:

    It is if you believe and advise other people on what action or in this case ‘inaction’ to take.

    So, then, a scientists is always acting in the role of a scientist when giving out advice, and thus a scientist giving out irrational advice tarnishes science? What if Hawking had given out highly irrational advice on dating? Would that also tarnish science?

    And is giving advice the only thing where a scientist is always acting the in role of a scientist? If so, what so special about the act of giving advice? If not, what else counts? In what ways can a scientist act irrational that doesn’t tarnish science?

  263. #263 Blackheart
    September 9, 2011

    @Tresmal

    “I suggest you drop the oracular/socratic mode and just spell it out.”

    Post 135

    I must admit I have never seen such a bigger bunch of sheep in my life.

    Post 139

    Most of us would just see it as ‘science makes mistakes”.

    Post 139

    The irrefutable fact that spirituality in some form or other is shared by nearly all humans and over it’s long history seems to indicate that it is indeed part of the human condition.

    Post 143

    “One of my interests in skepticism and critical thinking”

    One of my interests is skepticism and the lack of critical thinking.

    Post 176

    “I’m just trying to tease out any biases that may exist or some areas of critical thinking that may be amiss. Often what we believe drives how we interpret the world around us.”

    “So Orac provides quite the list of ‘crank magnetism’ but does “science” have any involvement in these or any other forms of ‘out there ‘ stuff….?”

    Post 177

    “Finally someone who will actually and honestly answer my questions. For some reason the anti-vax folks find ways to avoid answering them, and here you come along telling us that superior to us, and all that! Okay, here they are”

    Post 185

    “Or should we continue to provide examples of the fixed mindset of the Rationalist Mind.”

    Post 190

    “So much irrationality in the scientific mind …”the blinding ….”

    Post 198

    “See how it applies with the skeptikal argument presented here first and then get back to me.”

    Post 205

    I think you need to reflect critically on both the positive and negative aspects of ‘science rationalism’.

    Just as Orac does if he’s going to take the ‘moral’ high ground on ‘quackery’.

    That will be interesting ….

    Most of us would just see it as ‘science makes mistakes”.

  264. #264 Blackheart
    September 9, 2011

    @Calli Arcale

    “I don’t think it’s what Orac or others on this thread are promoting.”

    I have yet to see any particular cadre of ‘minions’ that disagree with the views of Orac and put that in writing.

    “Do you mean blind acceptance of scientific dogma, or what others have dubbed “scientism” or similar terms?”

    I think there is considerable dogma being displayed on these forums especially relation to Complimentary and Alternative medicine and Vaccine Safety.

    “There are certainly people guilty of that, but I really don’t think Orac is one of them.”

    I think Orac would acknowledge that. The statements he has made on vaccine safety and Complimentary and Alternative medicine place him in a very tight “dogma strait jacket”.

    —————————————
    Michaelson & Morlay Example

    “So, now that you have an example, does that demonstrate a weakness or strength for the scientific community…”

    It is representative of both clearly it supports my arguments for dogma and the inability to change through ‘self critical thinking’ rather than relying on ‘outside’ influences.

    “but being able to dodge admissions of error seems to be practically a job requirement in that field.”

    You should get to know some more politicians often they are actors on the big stage when in politics and completely different when not playing the “Great Game.”

    ——————————————–

    “Better examples include John Best, Nancy Leiderer (she of “Nibiru” infamy), Andrew Wakefield, and Mike Adams.”

    How did you come to the conclusion that the allegations against Andrew Wakefield are correct ?

    ——————————————-

    Celestial Mechanics

    So do these mechanics operate in the same way from the Big Bang to the Big End ? Is it only a slice of time we perceive ? Does this operate across all alternative universes that are postulated ?

    Do we know or should we be forthright and admit our ignorance ?

    ——————————————-

    “Some prejudices are so deeply held we don’t even realize it, and if you go through your entire career believing something exists, it’s hard to recognize when you find out that it doesn’t. Nobody’s perfect.”

    I can certainly agree with that … so I’m still interested in how you came to your conclusions about Andrew Wakefield ?

  265. #265 Blackheart
    September 9, 2011

    @Matthew

    “So, then, a scientist is always acting in the role of a scientist when giving out advice, and thus a scientist giving out irrational advice tarnishes science?”

    The circumstances surrounding the statement would indicate that.

    “What if Hawking had given out highly irrational advice on dating?”

    If that was an area of expertise then that may weigh more heavily and the circumstances supported this.

    “And is giving advice the only thing where a scientist is always acting in the role of a scientist?”

    I’d imagine there are other circumstances when he is a ‘scientist’ and when he is a ‘private’ citizen’.

    “If so, what so special about the act of giving advice?”

    It is often related to his leadership role in a community or a world community for example. Perhaps a world recognised leader in his field and recognised and celebrated for this.

    “In what ways can a scientist act irrational that doesn’t tarnish science?”

    That would be very subjective.

  266. #266 Blackheart
    September 9, 2011

    @Calli Arcale

    “I think science has business discussing pretty much anything…”

    Everyone has that right. But does anyone have the right to stifle debate ?

    “there shouldn’t be limits placed on what’s fair”

    So you are in direct opposition to Orac’s position on subjects like CAM, vaccine safety etc

    “The only limit it can have is that the idea has to be testable in some way.”

    I disagree … I would point to cosmology as an example.But I get your POV.

    For instance, is there a God? Not testable.

    I disagree.

    “Did God create the universe 6,000 years ago? Testable.”

    Philosophically interesting. How did you test it if you can’t test for God ?

    “therefore science isn’t very helpful there.”

    There are limits to every age’s knowledge.

    “It ends up with no opinion on the subject.”

    You mean ‘science’ or scientists ?

    Richard Dawkins speaks on behalf of science does he not ?

    “As for the other subjects you listed, I’ll tackle them individually.”

    The interesting part of this discussion is do you feel that it is right and proper for people to undertake scientific investigation into … well some of Orac’s favourite subjects…

    Acupuncture
    Herbal Medicine
    Traditional Medicine
    Indigenous Medicine
    Vaccine safety and efficacy

    …and religion/spirituality.

    there shouldn’t be limits placed on what’s fair. The only limit it can have is that the idea has to be testable in some way. Otherwise, it’s just a placeholder until the idea does become testable. For instance, is there a God? Not testable. Did God create the universe 6,000 years ago? Testable. Science can discuss the limits around the idea of a God, but the idea itself is not falsifiable and therefore science isn’t very helpful there. It ends up with no opinion on the subject. As for the other subjects you listed, I’ll tackle them individually.

  267. #267 Gray Falcon
    September 9, 2011

    Blackheart, that was a whole lot of words, but no real meaning. Of course scientists are going to test telepathy and telekinesis! Just think of what kind of applications those would have if they were real!

  268. #268 Composer99
    September 9, 2011

    Blackheart is looking more and more like an upscale version of augustine. IMO too sophisticated (and full better sophistry) to be a sockpuppet, though.

    Do you have anything useful to say, or just piles of unintelligible, largely off-topic BS?

    Wait… what do we have here?

    How did you come to the conclusion that the allegations against Andrew Wakefield are correct ?

    I think someone needs to poke around this site a bit more. Do a search for ‘Wakefield’ and look at some of the earlier posts. Also go visit Brian Deer’s website & Science-Based Medicine.

  269. #269 blackheart
    September 9, 2011

    @Gray

    “Of course scientists are going to test telepathy and telekinesis! Just think of what kind of applications those would have if they were real!”

    Yes we could ‘mind control’ the Killer Robots. That’s some kind of ‘science rationalism” going on there.

    ————————————————–

    It’s OK everytime you propose such things you undermine Orac’s original post and perhaps all the arguments he has made previously … science rationalism / evidenced based science…

  270. #270 Julian Frost
    September 9, 2011

    Blackheart:

    I have yet to see any particular cadre of ‘minions’ that disagree with the views of Orac and put that in writing.

    Th1Th2 and augustine repeatedly disagree with Orac. Other commentators also do.

    How did you come to the conclusion that the allegations against Andrew Wakefield are correct?

    By looking at the evidence.

  271. #271 Calli Arcale
    September 9, 2011

    Ah, answering questions with more questions; you’re good at that, Blackheart. And you left a lot of my substantive points unanswered. As I’m short on time today, I’ll have to do the same in return. I’ll go for just this one right now, because it pertains most directly to the subject of this thread:

    “Better examples include John Best, Nancy Leiderer (she of “Nibiru” infamy), Andrew Wakefield, and Mike Adams.” How did you come to the conclusion that the allegations against Andrew Wakefield are correct ?

    (Note: I omitted the carriage return between your quote of my text and your own text not out of malice but because the commenting software here likes to make sure HTML tags get closed; so I can’t enclose the entire quote in a blockquote element unless I take out carriage returns.)

    I find it interesting that you didn’t blink an eye at any of the examples other than Andrew Wakefield. I could understand if you hadn’t heard of Leiderer; you pretty much have to be interested in outer space kookiness to have heard of her. (And I’m a massive space geek.) Best and Adams, however, are alt med kooks, and anti-vaccine as well. Perhaps you’re not familiar with them either. I enjoy reading about conspiracy theories and other kookiness, so that’s why I’m familiar with them.

    Andrew Wakefield has been discussed very extensively on this blog. If you’re familiar with him, I’m surprised you aren’t aware of his fall from grace. I know a lot of people preferred to assume there was a conspiracy than to believe he was wrong — certainly, that’s the option he chose. When presented with contrary evidence, he did not change his views. He became more entrenched. Well, he did change his *tactics* — initially, his efforts to demonstrate that MMR causes “autistic enterocolitis” were aligned with his measles transfer factor which he was doing some business development on, looking for investors in what he proposed as both a treatment for measles and a preventative which would directly compete with existing measles vaccine. He evidently abandoned this tack, though I’m not sure whether it was because the transfer factor wasn’t panning out or he wasn’t getting adequate investment or the alternatives simply appeared more lucrative. In any case, he shifted to being an expert witness in court cases where parents alleged that their child had been injured by the measles vaccine.

    Initially, his paper seemed a bit weak, but that was all. 12 children is not a very large sample size, after all, and it seemed a bit improbable what he was claiming. Personally, I wanted more evidence before I’d believe what he was saying. You might blame that on dogma, but it’s just caution — being open-minded doesn’t mean believing everything everybody tells you, after all. Then more problem started to emerge. There were ethical issues; he had failed to disclose that not only would he benefit financially from proving a problem with MMR, but he was *already* benefiting financially from it — in fact, the funding for the study came from an association of lawyers who were representing parents. That’s circumstantial evidence, of course; just because he’s being paid to come up with the evidence that will be useful at trial doesn’t mean it’s actually wrong. But why didn’t he tell anybody about that conflict of interest? It was a cause for concern, because it’s a major, undisclosed source of bias, and though he later claimed it was an honest mistake, he’d have to have been a complete idiot and incompetent to not realize that that counted as a conflict of interest, and that also should counsel one to be extra cautious in analyzing his published results.

    More came out over time. One child in the study was grievously injured by the study itself, left struggling for life after his colon was perforated in multiple places during the colonoscopy required to obtain the biopsy specimens; this leads one to question the skill of the gastroenterologist who performed the procedure, which in turn casts doubt on the quality of the specimens. Then the pathologist involved spoke up; he had not read the study when it first came out, but subsequently had and discovered that what he’d found for Wakefield was not what was reported in the study — the pathologist had found essentially normal tissue specimens in nearly all of them (11, I think, though the exact number eludes me), yet the study claimed that all 12 had abnormal results. The PCR results were also questioned; Wakefield had claimed to have isolated measles RNA from the biopsy specimens. The specimens had been retained; another group attempted to replicate his results and failed. Further, analysis of his methods revealed very sloppy work; there was a high likelihood that he’d merely detected contamination by their control sample. (A bit like when De Beers announced they’d found a diamond deposit in Canada, except it later turned out they’d just found broken-off chunks of their own drill bit. One has to be careful about that, and Wakefield was not at all careful.) And it gets worse — not only were the biopsies normal, but there was no evidence that most of the children had any signs of GI problems before the trial, although they wound up with GI diagnoses when they presented at the hospital for their colonoscopies. They had to; if they had no symptoms of GI distress, the hospital would never have permitted the colonoscopies. It’s not ethical to perform invasive tests on asymptomatic children. That ethical problem doesn’t invalidate the results, but it’s still important — their own doctors had recorded no history of GI problems, leading one to seriously question why they were selected for the study. Turns out, they were referred not really because they actually had GI problems, but because they had relationships with lawyers wanting to sue vaccine manufacturers — in other words, explicitly to produce some sort of expert evidence that an actionable harm had been done by the vaccine, despite the complete lack of any evidence that the claimed injury had even occurred to these particular children.

    So, to summarize, the children mostly had normal guts, they were given colonoscopies anyway, the pathologist said the samples looked normal, yet by the time of publication all were identified as showing signs of inflammation, measles RNA was detected in a very sloppy use of PCR which nobody else was ever able to duplicate (including a woman who was actually trying to exonerate Wakefield) . . . .

    And still Wakefield insists he did no wrong, and is simply the victim of a conspiracy to protect the vaccine manufacturers. He never addressed the criticisms; he didn’t even appear in court when he had the opportunity to defend himself, perhaps because he really has no defense. Yes, I came to the conclusion that the allegations are correct. Given the weight of the evidence, it’s very difficult to conclude otherwise without willfully deceiving oneself.

  272. #272 herr doktor bimler
    September 9, 2011

    I have yet to see any particular cadre of ‘minions’ that disagree with the views of Orac and put that in writing.

    Comment #1 in this thread disagrees with Orac’s view. How many minions make a cadre?

    Richard Dawkins speaks on behalf of science does he not ?
    No.

  273. #273 lilady
    September 9, 2011

    “How many minions make a cadre?”

    I don’t know…but I’m glad I’m not commenting on an orthodox Judaism site…I would be dis-qualified.

    “A minyan (Hebrew: מִנְיָן‎ lit. to count, number; pl. מִניָנִים minyanim) in Judaism refers to the quorum of ten Jewish adults required for certain religious obligations. According to many non-Orthodox streams of Judaism adult females count in the minyan.” (Wikipedia)

  274. #274 blackheart
    September 9, 2011

    @Calli Arcale

    “Ah, answering questions with more questions; you’re good at that, Blackheart.”

    You are implying that there is something wrong with questioning your position.

    “And you left a lot of my substantive points unanswered.”

    Most of the substantive points you made just revealed that you believe the investigation of paranormal activity to be “scientifically rational” even though there is little to no evidence to back up any of the claims.

    Some would call that ‘woo’.

    If you believe in ‘woo’ then that undermines the argument from Orac in regards to “science rationalism”.

    “I find it interesting that you didn’t blink an eye at any of the examples other than Andrew Wakefield.”

    I don’t know any of the others. I had to Google them.

    “How did you come to the conclusion that the allegations against Andrew Wakefield are correct ?”

    You have misunderstood the matter at hand. I’m not interested in a run down of you arguments of Wakefield’s guilt or not but how you came to that conclusion.

    Did you read a book ? A newspaper article ? Read a posting on a blog site ?

    What critical investigation and thinking did you apply to this ?

    What evidence did you did you gather to support your view ? Or was it a subjective opinion ?

    * I’ll note this many of the statements you made in regards to the Wakefield matter are factually wrong.

  275. #275 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    September 9, 2011

    The interesting part of this discussion is do you feel that it is right and proper for people to undertake scientific investigation into … well some of Orac’s favourite subjects…

    Acupuncture

    Herbal Medicine

    Traditional Medicine

    Indigenous Medicine

    Vaccine safety and efficacy

    …and religion/spirituality.

    At this point I’d say that most such investigations into Acupuncture, Traditional Medicine, and religion/spirituality are pretty much a waste of time, just like research into homeopathy is. Herbs can be studied in a rigorous scientific way to determine whether they contain useful chemicals, and in fact are.
    However, not everyone is convinced by the current evidence that acupuncture is merely a highly theatrical placebo with no real benefits (this is, of course, by way of example only). If someone wanted to conduct a study to prove that acupuncture has value in treating, say, the common cold – why not? I wouldn’t pay for it, and would be willing to place a bet on the results, but if the study is well done it will provide evidence of something. That evidence can be added to the growing mountain and used, perhaps, to convince a few more people that acupuncture really won’t cure what ails them.
    Now, I can think of far better questions to occupy a scientist’s mind, but…

  276. #276 Blackheart
    September 9, 2011

    @herr doktor bimler

    eins …

    @lilady

    Oxford Dictionary

    “a follower or underling of a powerful person, especially a servile or unimportant one:

    Example – he gets oppressed minions like me to fob them off.”

    “Origin:

    late 15th century: from French mignon, mignonne”

    Wiki

    1490, from Middle French mignon (“lover, royal favourite, darling”),

    from Old French mignot (“dainty, pleasing, gentle, kind”),

    of Germanic origin,

    from Frankish *minnjo (“love, friendship, affection, memory”)

    from Proto-Germanic *minþiō, *mindiō (“affectionate thought, care”)

    from Proto-Indo-European *men-, *mnā- (“to think”).

    Cognate with Old High German minnja (“love, care, affection, desire, memory”),

    Old Saxon minnea (“love”).

    It’s beginning to become quite ‘cult’ like ….

  277. #277 Blackheart
    September 9, 2011

    @Mephistopheles O’Brien

    I’m not sure how you hold that position cognitively …

    Herbs and other natural products are extensively studied by western medicine and actually are the foundation of modern pharmacology but are basically ‘woo’.

    Both Traditional Medicine and Indigenous Medicine have a heavy reliance on herbs and other natural products in their treatment regimes. But you consider ‘woo’.

    Chinese medicine of which acupuncture is a part uses extensively herbs and other natural products as part of health interventions.

    …and Religion and Spirituality which permeates all of the above.

  278. #278 Gray Falcon
    September 9, 2011

    I thought your big complaint about science was about how it didn’t dismiss things off the bat. And it doesn’t. We tested many herbs and traditional medicine, most of them simply didn’t work. And as far as we can work out, God doesn’t dispense favors based on popularity contests.

  279. #279 Blackheart
    September 10, 2011

    @Call Arcale

    “How did you come to the conclusion that the allegations against Andrew Wakefield are correct ?”

    Did you read a newspaper or similar article ?

    A TV show ?

    Did you do your own independent research ?

    Did you check the evidence ?

    Did you take time to look at the researchers replies ?

    Did you listen to the replies of parents and patients ?

    Have you applied any critical thinking and research into that issue ?

  280. #280 DT35
    September 10, 2011

    Blackheart @ 274: “I’ll note this many [sic] of the statements you made in regard to the Wakefield matter are factually wrong.”

    How did you learn the accurate facts which enabled you to determine that Calli’s statements were wrong? Newspapers? TV? Blogs? What is the appropriate “research into the issue” which you, unlike Calli, have conducted?

  281. #281 W. Kevin Vicklund
    September 10, 2011

    Did you read a newspaper or similar article ?

    Yes.

    A TV show ?

    No. I don’t normally watch TV for news, as I have found the medium no longer conveys useful information.

    Did you do your own independent research ?

    Yes, to the extent a non-researcher can.

    Did you check the evidence ?

    Yes, to the extent a non-researcher can.

    Did you take time to look at the researchers replies ?

    Yes.

    Did you listen to the replies of parents and patients ?

    Yes, though they are of limited value.

    Have you applied any critical thinking and research into that issue ?

    Yes. You don’t seem to have done so.

  282. #282 lilady
    September 10, 2011

    “How did you come to the conclusion that the allegations against Andrew Wakefield are correct ?”

    You have misunderstood the matter at hand. I’m not interested in a run down of you arguments of Wakefield’s guilt or not but how you came to that conclusion.

    Did you read a book ? A newspaper article ? Read a posting on a blog site ?

    What critical investigation and thinking did you apply to this ?

    What evidence did you did you gather to support your view ? Or was it a subjective opinion ?

    * I’ll note this many of the statements you made in regards to the Wakefield matter are factually wrong.”

    Black Heart, I read a lot about Wakefield in newspapers and on websites and watched certain TV shows…I also read the actual 9 page decision rendered by the GMC:

    Andrew Wakefield: Determination on Serious Medical Misconduct

    I suggest you go to the actual source as well…obviously your “sources” are not too good and you don’t have the analytic background to understand why the GMC made their decision to “erase Wakefield from the register”.

    Here’s a question for you Black Heart…Wakefield was given 28 days to appeal the GMC Decision…why didn’t he?

  283. #283 Blackheart
    September 11, 2011

    Some very interesting responses which mostly indicate that the opinions formed were mainly based on a little bit of newspaper article reading, some blogs (Respectful Insolence etc I’d imagine). lilady went a smidgen further by actually reading the GMC decision.

    I’m underwhelmed that people apparently taking a science rational stance would spend such little time on this matter.

    Hope Calli has done better …

    @DT35

    “What is the appropriate “research into the issue” which you, unlike Calli, have conducted?”

    Well a bit more than reading a couple of newspaper articles and some blog posts.

    @W. Kevin Vicklund

    That’s a pretty startling statement to make seeming I haven’t made a statement on Wakefeild or any aspect of the research surrounding this issue.

    @lilady

    “I suggest you go to the actual source as well…obviously your “sources” are not too good and you don’t have the analytic background to understand why the GMC made their decision to “erase Wakefield from the register”.”

    Another bold statement … I’ve read most of the necessary documentation surrounding this issue including the material on skeptik websites.

    What I can tell you is that the evidence is weak and there are obvious arguments against the decision made at the GMC.

    “Here’s a question for you Black Heart…Wakefield was given 28 days to appeal the GMC Decision…why didn’t he?”

    Andrew Wakefield actually has a lot more time than that … which is another part of the tale to tell. I also note that John Walker-Smith has an appeal lodged but not to the GMC to the UK High Court.

  284. #284 Krebiozen
    September 11, 2011

    Blackheart,

    I have read all Brian Deer’s articles on Wakefield (I subscribe to the Sunday Times), I read the original paper in the Lancet and most if not all of the subsequent articles in the Lancet and the BMJ, and I also read the ruling of the GMC. I have also read most but not all of the evidence on Brian Deer’s website, and many, many pages of the responses by anti-vaccinationists, including the parents of some of the children involved (who were recruited from Jabs, a UK anti-vaccination group).

    I didn’t notice any inaccuracies in Calli Arcale’s comment, though he missed out some of Wakefield’s misdeeds – the lumbar punctures that were not clinically indicated, the birthday party bloodtaking and the lack of ethics committee permission for invasive tests for example.

    What do you think Calli got wrong, and what evidence do you have for thinking that?

  285. #285 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    September 11, 2011

    Blackheart – I don’t see how you can object to my position that scientific research into the various items you list probably won’t produce positive results, but may well produce useful negative results.

  286. #286 Dangerous Bacon
    September 11, 2011

    “Herbs and other natural products are extensively studied by western medicine and actually are the foundation of modern pharmacology but are basically ‘woo’.”

    After “herbs and other natural products” are studied and the useful aspects incorporated into medicine, the remaining dregs are, from a practical standpoint, woo.

    The quoted statement illustrates a paradox with which the woo-ful are afflicted. On the one hand “herbs and other natural products are extensively studied by western medicine” and X percentage of modern drugs owe their existence to “herbs and natural products”, as we hear so often from the woo-ful. The same people, however, are insistent that medicine ignores “herbs and natural products” because they can’t be patented and offer no profits to Big Pharma.

    Something doesn’t add up here.

    And if “herbs and natural products” are the basis of modern medical practice which the woo-ful loathe and deride, then those same “herbs and natural products” bear a heavy responsibility for how horrible medicine has become.

    O the burden of guilt and shame that the woo-ful must endure.

  287. #287 Krebiozen
    September 11, 2011

    I just noticed that I inadvertently referred to Calli as ‘he’ above. Sorry Calli, that was a typo.

  288. #288 Bronze Dog
    September 11, 2011

    The quoted statement illustrates a paradox with which the woo-ful are afflicted. On the one hand “herbs and other natural products are extensively studied by western medicine” and X percentage of modern drugs owe their existence to “herbs and natural products”, as we hear so often from the woo-ful. The same people, however, are insistent that medicine ignores “herbs and natural products” because they can’t be patented and offer no profits to Big Pharma.

    Something doesn’t add up here.

    All it takes is a little double-think, which is not a problem for woos. They switch their story to whichever is most convenient at the moment.

  289. #289 lilady
    September 11, 2011

    “Andrew Wakefield actually has a lot more time than that … which is another part of the tale to tell. I also note that John Walker-Smith has an appeal lodged but not to the GMC to the UK High Court.”

    Really? Do tell.

    BTW, Wakefield sued a slew of people including Brian for libel…tried to delay the libel suits…Deer pushed to have the libel suit “heard” and Wakefield discontinued all the libel suits and was forced by the court to pay all the legal costs of all the defendants he had sued.

  290. #290 Dedj
    September 11, 2011

    “I’m underwhelmed that people apparently taking a science rational stance would spend such little time on this matter.”

    Not sure why. Wakefield as a person is not as important to us as he clearly is to you.

    The people here would rather look at the research. If you’d rather devote yourself to spending a disproportionate and functionally value-less portion of your free time looking at the researchers instead, then that is your own business.

  291. #291 Chris
    September 11, 2011

    Andrew Wakefield published an article that was a small case series on twelve children. The study did not establish that their symptoms were caused by either MMR vaccine they had received (there were two forms of the vaccine with different mumps strains, the UK changed the vaccine in 1992, and one child was an American).

    The red flags on Wakefield first appeared in the video press announcement where he made statements that were not supported by the paper. This is why a researcher at the same institution, Brent Taylor, conducted and published studies that contradicted Wakefield in just a few years:

    Autism and Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccine: No Epidemiological Evidence for a Causal Association.
    Taylor B et al.
    Lancet 1999;353 (9169):2026-9

    Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura and MMR vaccine.
    Miller E, Waight P, Farrington CP, Andrews N, Stowe J, Taylor B.
    Arch Dis Child. 2001 Mar;84(3):227-9

    MMR and autism: further evidence against a causal association.
    Farrington CP, Miller E, Taylor B.
    Vaccine. 2001 Jun 14;19(27):3632-5.

    Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccination and Bowel Problems or Developmental Regression in Children with Autism: Population Study.
    Taylor B et al.
    BMJ 2002; 324(7334):393-6

    There continue to be more in the literature, and that is only one researcher. There are also several studies in several countries covering hundreds of thousands of children that proved Wakefield wrong, wrong, wrongety wrong!

    And in case Blackheart tries to pull the idiotic Gish Gallop of listing the series of studies that “independently replicated” Wakefield, well a few of us decided to tackle that list. We found it was worthless:
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/2011/05/still-no-independent-confirmation-of.html

    Wakefield should have been forgotten a dozen years ago.

  292. #292 Chris
    September 11, 2011

    Comment in moderation. Wakefield was countered from day one, and his case series of a dozen children should have been forgotten a dozen years ago.

    Also, lilady, I just put a library hold on the book you mentioned, The Willowbrook Wars. Thanks for mentioning it!

  293. #293 TBruce
    September 11, 2011

    What I can tell you is that the evidence is weak and there are obvious arguments against the decision made at the GMC

    Obvious? What are they?
    You’re bluffing – and doing a lousy job of it.

    Andrew Wakefield actually has a lot more time than that … which is another part of the tale to tell.

    I doubt it. Even if this is true (note the “if”), what’s he waiting for?

  294. #294 lilady
    September 11, 2011

    @ Chris: I confess, I purchased the book because I know many of the key players involved in the Willowbrook Class Action Lawsuit…the children who were named plaintiffs, the expert witnesses from both sides as well as the individuals who worked at Willowbrook. About 25 years ago, I met the Willowbrook employee who used his key to open the locked wards so that Geraldo Rivera and his film crew accurately portrayed the actual conditions that existed there. “Willowbrook: The Last Great Disgrace” a small video clip about Rivera’s visit is available on You Tube.

    “Andrew Wakefield actually has a lot more time than that … which is another part of the tale to tell”.

    “I doubt it. Even if this is true (note the “if”), what’s he waiting for?”

    (As my irreverent brother used to state)

    “When pigs fly and when sh** turns to apple butter.”

  295. #295 Blackheart
    September 11, 2011

    Mephistopheles

    “probably won’t produce positive results”

    I was interested in “probably won’t”

    Dangerous Bacon

    “Something doesn’t add up here.”

    That would be your ‘invented argument’in regards to “The same people, however, are insistent that medicine ignores “herbs and natural products” because they can’t be patented and offer no profits to Big Pharma.”

    Your response seems to be

    lilady

    Through the same process John Walker-Smith is taking. UK High Court and other justice mechanisms in the UK trump any non justice system tribunal.

    Dedj

    “Wakefield as a person is not as important to us as he clearly is to you.”

    How do you come to that conclusion . Medicine safety is a very important issue. BTW I was responding to Calli who bought up Wakefield amongst several names.

    “The people here would rather look at the research.”

    I’ve asked them to present their case . There seems to be a certain reluctance to do so.

    TBruce

    “You’re bluffing – and doing a lousy job of it.”

    Do you have a specific point ?

    “I doubt it. Even if this is true (note the “if”), what’s he waiting for?”

    I’d imagine the UK High Court.

  296. #296 DT35
    September 12, 2011

    I asked: “What is the appropriate “research into the issue” which you, unlike Calli, have conducted?

    Blackheart @ 283: “Well a bit more than reading a couple of newspaper articles and some blog posts. . . . I’ve read most of the necessary documentation surrounding this issue including the material on skeptik [sic] websites.”

    I can’t really claim to be disappointed with this “answer” because it is just the type of non-response I anticipated from you — glittering generalities and no specifics. “The necessary documentation,” not otherwise specified, is a meaningless term in this context.

    You claim that Calli’s account is factually wrong in multiple respects, but have not identified even one of these supposed errors. You assert that the evidence presented to the GMC was “weak,” but have provided no example to justify this sweeping conclusion. You express contempt for all the commenters here because they are not nearly as well-informed about the case as you, but you decline to identify any source, much less all sources, from which you have derived your encyclopedic knowledge. This pattern has convinced me that your opinions, on the Wakefield matter at least, rest on nothing more substantial than your smug certainty of your own infallibility.

  297. #297 lilady
    September 12, 2011

    @ Black Heart: You think the evidence is weak against Wakefield I don’t…nor do most of the posters here. But the important thing is that the GMC, after the longest and most expensive hearing in its history made the determination that Wakefield was guilty of multiple counts of medical misconduct.

    Wakefield most egregious acts of medical misconduct were the subjecting of children to needless painful invasive procedures including gastrointestinal endoscopy, lumbar puncture and blood draws.

    The monetary sleight of hand committed by Wakefield include the referrals of “patients” from a law firm that was pursuing a lawsuit against MMR vaccine manufacturers, while simultaneously setting up a corporation under his wife’s name to receive royalties from a single antigen measles vaccine that he was developing. In addition, he was a hired gun expert witness of that same law firm…and would have perjured himself with any of his “espertise” using the fraudulent research that was published in the Lancet.

    IMO, Wakefield’s erasure from the register was proper (and long overdue). The reason why he is not appealing is that he and his lawyer offered no defense during the hearing to the indefensible acts of medical misconduct he committed and there is no new excupable evidence as a basis for appeal.

    Black Heart why not give it up now. You’ve shown yourself to be totally clueless about medicine and now with this latest “legal” opinion totally clueless about the law.

  298. #298 blackheart
    September 12, 2011

    DT35

    “The necessary documentation,” not otherwise specified, is a meaningless term in this context.”

    It is ? I would suggest that it would be a prerequisite to actually read the Lancet 12 Case Study in its entirety to begin with and the letters surrounding the issue published in the Lancet both to and from the authors. Particularly as these are primary source documentation.

    I’ve also read the GMC transcripts which show clearly two sides of the legal debate.

    “of your own infallibility.”

    I have no problem being presented with an alternative version of events that is reasoned and objective. When that happens we’ll be able to debate this issue in a mature fashion.

  299. #299 Chris
    September 12, 2011

    Blackheart:

    How do you come to that conclusion . Medicine safety is a very important issue. BTW I was responding to Calli who bought up Wakefield amongst several names.

    Wakefield only did a tiny set of case series. Nothing else.

    The paper that was retracted was a case series of only a dozen children, and it did not show autism or gut issues were related to either MMR vaccine the children had received. Not many people realize that the UK changed which MMR vaccine was used in 1992, and that one of the children in the case series was an American who received the MMR used in the USA since 1971.

    I still have a comment in moderation that explains it more fully… but in short, in a video press conference on the paper in 1998 he made claims that were not supported by the now retracted paper. He lied.

    This did not go unnoticed, and there several papers dating prior to 2003 that show Wakefield was wrong. And he is still wrong. As are those who think he has anything relevant to say on the matter of autism and vaccines.

    Wakefield should have been ignored and gone into obscurity a dozen years ago. Two papers that showed he was wrong, from someone at the same hospital:

    Autism and Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccine: No Epidemiological Evidence for a Causal Association.
    Taylor B et al.
    Lancet 1999;353 (9169):2026-9

    Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccination and Bowel Problems or Developmental Regression in Children with Autism: Population Study.
    Taylor B et al.
    BMJ 2002; 324(7334):393-6

  300. #300 blackheart
    September 12, 2011

    lilady

    “You think the evidence is weak against Wakefield I don’t…nor do most of the posters here.”

    Wow …there’s a surprise.

    “Wakefield was guilty of multiple counts of medical misconduct.”

    …and as they are not a court of law it is rather meaningless in determining guilt or innocence. That’s why the defendants and their legal teams are not wasting their time with the GMC.

    Surely you yourself and other supporters would like to see testimony from Wakefiled and other key players, under oath ? Or a Parliamentary Commission perhaps ? Like the current media investigation ?

    “indefensible acts of medical misconduct he committed ”

    For something so ‘indefensible’ It seems ‘odd’ that the parents,carers and patients continue to support the team of doctors at the Royal Free.

    Any explanation for that ?

  301. #301 Blackheart
    September 12, 2011

    Chris (post 291)

    “…a dozen children should have been forgotten a dozen years ago.”

    Twelve severely disabled children should be forgotten should they ?

    Isn’t that the whole point of the case study to forward medical research into why these children presented as they did ?

    To examine the actual children and give them a chance at a better future regardless of cause.

  302. #302 Blackheart
    September 12, 2011

    Chris (post 297)

    “Two papers that showed he was wrong, from someone at the same hospital”

    How do these two epidemiological studies counter the physiological work undertaken by the Royal Free Hospital by a team of specialists in their field ?

  303. #303 Chris
    September 12, 2011

    Many people contend that Wakefield’s study was “independently replicated”, and then they list a long list of studies. The posting of lots of studies without explanation of a form a “Gish Gallop.” After seeing it used by someone multiple times, some of us looked at the paper being presented. None of them “independently replicated” the retracted Lancet study.

    It is summarized here:
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/2011/05/still-no-independent-confirmation-of.html

    In short: Wakefield lied and children died.

  304. #304 Matthew Cline
    September 12, 2011

    @Blackheart:

    “Here’s a question for you Black Heart…Wakefield was given 28 days to appeal the GMC Decision…why didn’t he?”

    Andrew Wakefield actually has a lot more time than that … which is another part of the tale to tell.

    So, then, the time is not yet right for him to file his appeal, but when the time is right he will? Is that also why he hasn’t yet sued Brian Deer for libel?

  305. #305 Chris
    September 12, 2011

    Matthew Cline:

    Is that also why he hasn’t yet sued Brian Deer for libel?

    Didn’t he try that before? Only it kind of backfired on him. It turns out that it allowed Mr. Deer access to more data, and in the end Wakefield had to write a check to Mr. Deer!

    Does anyone think that Wakefield will repeat that mistake again?

    Our only hope is to catch Wakefield actually to be pretending to be a real doctor in the USA and get convicted on practicing medicine without a license (in any country!). It would be lovely to get him deported from the USA.

    But, I am afraid, that is a pipe dream. Look how long it has been to get the license revoked for Mark Geier, and his son charged with practicing medicine without a license. That is still an ongoing process.

  306. #306 Dedj
    September 12, 2011

    “Dedj

    “Wakefield as a person is not as important to us as he clearly is to you.”

    How do you come to that conclusion.”

    Because you’ve spent a significantly longer time banging on about Wakefield as a person than anyone else here has in a recent timeframe. You make claims to have read pretty much all relevant material and you constantly snipe at other people for allegedly not doing sufficient work.

    Excuse me for taking what you write about yourself as honest and accurate. I won’t make that mistake again.

    “The people here would rather look at the research.”

    I’ve asked them to present their case.”

    Without doing us the honour of presenting your own, I notice. You’re asking people to do work that you’re apparently not willing to do yourself – you keep claiming to have done research and proper work on this, yet you’ve demonstrated no such thing.

    You’re the blog equivilant of the older co-worker who berates the younger co-workers for not pulling their weight, yet seems strangely hesistant to do that actual work themselves….

  307. #307 blackheart
    September 12, 2011

    Matthew

    “So, then, the time is not yet right for him to file his appeal, but when the time is right he will? Is that also why he hasn’t yet sued Brian Deer for libel?”

    There is a UK High Court appeal in regards to senior co-author John Walker-Smith that needs to be determined before anything else.

    “Is that also why he hasn’t yet sued Brian Deer for libel?”

    I’d imagine so. Though there are plenty of personal and family issues that I would imagine prevent this course of action as well.

    I’m still wondering why the families and patients that attended the Royal Free Hospital and were looked after by John Walker-Smith and his fellow team of highly skilled and eminent medical professionals still support them.

  308. #308 lilady
    September 12, 2011

    @ Matthew Cline: Black Heart “hints” about some secret knowledge of what Wakefield and his lawyers will do to appeal the GMC ruling…which is totally discounted by anyone who actually verified what his pathetic (virtually non-existent) defenses were during the actual GMC hearing. I’m no expert on British laws, but am well versed in American law and the only grounds for an appeal would be new excupable evidence…which Wakefield doesn’t have.

    Wakefield did in fact sue Brian Deer and and newspapers that published Deer’s excellent investigative reporting on Wakefield’s “activities” alleging libel committed against him, before the final decision was rendered by the GMC. Wakefiled then petitioned the court for a delay (continuance) of the lawsuit during the “discovery” (put up or shut up time) phase of the libel lawsuits. As I recall Deer made a motion to the court to deny Wakefield’s motion to delay and the court directed Wakefield into court to present his case. Unable to produce any evidence of libel in the face of the irrefutable non-libelous statements printed about him…truth being the only defense to an allegation of libel…Wakefield then discontinued all the libel cases. He was also was directed to pay all of Deer’s legal costs and the legal costs of the other parties he attempted to sue.

    While not a total admission on the part of Wakefield of his using the courts as instruments of harrassment to silence Deer and the newspapers, it certainly would be look upon unfavorably by any other jurist in the U.K. should Wakefield re-institute libelous action lawsuits against Deer and the others. It is known in American courts, that persistent crank litigants “do not have the right to two bites from the same (rotten) apple”.

    Days ago the ever boring troll stated that I did not provide actual proof…proof to what I might ask? Troll’s ramblings only amount to vague generalities about science-based medicine and the day he makes a specific statement about the dangers of a particular vaccines, the immunology of vaccine development, the diseases they prevent, the incidence and prevalence of those diseases before and after licensing and the medical epidemiology of the diseases, is the day I will answer those specific questions or allegations.

    I spite of troll’s statement “I work with science ever day”, he is totally clueless about the science of medicine and I don’t do well with replying to troll’s brain droppings. Still waiting for any definite statements backed up by citations from peer reviewed journals to take this troll on.

  309. #309 Dedj
    September 12, 2011

    “BTW I was responding to Calli who bought up Wakefield amongst several names.”

    And then you ran with the ball, as it were. You then proceeded to berate and dismiss people for ‘only’ reading newpaper articles and some blogs.

    You somehow – I’m sure it’s pure coincidence and not a deliberate ploy to make yourself look better – managed to neglect to mention that many of those articles and blogs made direct reference to formal documents in the case, that many of them provided extensive discussion of many of those documents, and that many of them provided direct links to public documents in the case.

    I’m sure this was an oversight that you will no doubt have the honesty and integrity to correct immediatly. Right after you list exactly what documents you’ve read and which ones gave you which idea about the case. You know, just like you expect everyone else to do.

    I’ve a feeling I’ll be a waste of my time waiting for your answer.

  310. #310 Blackheart
    September 12, 2011

    Dedj

    “Because you’ve spent a significantly longer time banging on about Wakefield as a person than anyone else here has in a recent timeframe.”

    Apparently answering questions is impolite ?

    “Without doing us the honour of presenting your own”

    Am I the one making a series of allegations against a team of eminent medical researchers ? Didn’t think so.

    “you keep claiming to have done research and proper work on this, yet you’ve demonstrated no such thing.”

    I already have … re the UK High Court.

  311. #311 blackheart
    September 12, 2011

    Dedj

    “You then proceeded to berate and dismiss people for ‘only’ reading newpaper articles and some blogs.”

    Berate people ? … interesting read.

    I asked people who profess that they are science / evidenced based rationalists what information they based their views on.

    Newspapers and blogs was the main source of information apparently. One had read the GMC decision but not the underlying arguments presented by both the “prosecution and the defense”

    lilady also managed to fit in a television show…and 9 pages of GMC paperwork.

    I can’t see how this bolsters anyone’s argument that they have attended to this particular issue with any sort of thoroughness that would be expected of the self styled ‘skeptik”.

    An interesting oversight one imagines.

  312. #312 Blackheart
    September 12, 2011

    Dedj

    “managed to neglect to mention that many of those articles and blogs made direct reference to formal documents in the case”

    a blog is a blog is a blog … pro and anti is not evidence and neither is the commentary within.

    If you have specific evidence linked within a pro militant skeptik website I’m sure we can look at it …

  313. #313 Matthew Cline
    September 12, 2011

    About Wakefield dropping his libel case against Deer, I’ve seen the excuse that Wakefield was going to surprise the GMC prosecution with something, so he needed to keep that something secret, but the discovery in the libel lawsuit would have forced him to hand that secret over to Deer, so he dropped the libel lawsuit let him keep the secret secret until he sprung it in the GMC trial. The same person who made that excuse also said that there were tactical/strategic reasons for Wakefield to delay initiating a second libel lawsuit against Deer.

  314. #314 Dedj
    September 12, 2011

    “I’ve a feeling I’ll be a waste of my time waiting for your answer.”

    Should read ‘it’ll be’.

  315. #315 Calli Arcale
    September 12, 2011

    Blackheart:

    You are implying that there is something wrong with questioning your position.

    Not at all. Everything is fair game for questions, IMHO. However, if all you do is ask questions without answering any, then it weakens your own position. That’s your choice, of course.

    Most of the substantive points you made just revealed that you believe the investigation of paranormal activity to be “scientifically rational” even though there is little to no evidence to back up any of the claims.

    Again, everything is fair game for questions. That includes claims of the paranormal. There are good ways and bad ways to investigate such claims; in general, good, solid, scientific investigations tend to turn up null results. There’s nothing wrong with that, scientifically speaking. Now, there *is* something wrong when *bad science* is used to uphold claims of the paranormal or quack medicine or whatever, and some scientific (as opposed to pseudoscientific) researchers of the paranormal do so expressly out of concern for people fleecing the public with bogus claims. In particular, some people get a lot of money from faith healings, seances, dowsing, etc, and it’s painful to watch people enrich these con artists. Scientific studies of the subject can be helpful in demonstrating the fraud.

    Of course, it’s usually a waste of time to study the paranormal. It’s not bad science, but with only so much grant money to go around, it’s fair to question why they’d spend money on questions which honestly have already been answered. This is why the vast majority of scientists long ago abandoned research into telepathy, telekinesis, etc.

    If you believe in ‘woo’ then that undermines the argument from Orac in regards to “science rationalism”.

    I have two points in response to that. First, that I think it’s fair to research crazy claims doesn’t mean I believe the claims are correct. In fact, if researchers only study what they already believe to be true, aren’t they severely biasing their results? Second, what I believe has no bearing on Orac’s arguments. He can speak for himself. ;-)

    I don’t know any of the others. I had to Google them.

    Fair enough. You may find them interesting, though. You’ll find more stuff on Leiderer these days; she’s sort of latched on to the 2012 bandwagon and is back in the doom-and-gloom biz for another round.

    You have misunderstood the matter at hand. I’m not interested in a run down of you arguments of Wakefield’s guilt or not but how you came to that conclusion.

    Essentially, from learning about the things I listed.

    Did you read a book ? A newspaper article ? Read a posting on a blog site ?

    I thought you wanted to know why I thought Wakefield was a fraud who refused to admit his own guilt, in my own words, so I gave you that. It came from many sources. All of the above, plus television, plus other Internet sources than blogs, and legal documents. Some were pro-Wakefield, actually. I try to avoid relying on a single source for anything as important as this.

    What critical investigation and thinking did you apply to this ?

    When one is evaluating a claim, any claim, one has to look at a lot of things. Is it plausible? How much evidence is there to support it? Does it come from multiple sources? How rigorous is the evidence? What is the potential for bias on each of the lines of evidence? In the case against Wakefield, it was very strong. I’ve already discussed the weaknesses of his own case, but for judging the case against him, we have the great advantage of it being entered into evidence in actual court cases (there was first the GMC case and then the libel case that Wakefield brought against Deer). That makes the supporting material available to the public. I’ve read some of it myself.

    * I’ll note this many of the statements you made in regards to the Wakefield matter are factually wrong.

    I’d be interested to hear your corrections, then. I like to be set straight on things, since the alternative is to go on being wrong. I’m surprised you didn’t set me straight right away, but maybe you were worried about your comment going into moderation. If it does, don’t worry — Orac will approve it when he gets the chance, and I’ll be patient.

  316. #316 Denice Walter
    September 12, 2011

    There has been continuing chatter amongst the woo-meisters and anti-vaxxers whose miserable work I survey that there is indeed a Big Court Case in the works that will totally exonerate the brave maverick doctor and punish evil-doers paid by pharma/ Murdoch/ Satan himself to besmirch his pristine reputation. However, we should remember that these people have Big Court Cases in the works as frequently as most people purchase groceries.

    Suing people- or confabulating grounds for cases- is a mark of desperation on their part: because their business and/or fame relies upon attacks on SBM and its defenders they need to keep their followers running on more than the fumes of paradigm-shifting science discovered to be fraudu… I mean, unfairly sullied through the machinations of paid mercenaries in opposition to the Truth.

    Right now, there is also talk of suing the government ( US and EU) about restrictions on supplements.

  317. #317 Calli Arcale
    September 12, 2011

    Sweet! I got a comment posted without it going into moderation! I bet one more word would’ve pushed it over. :-D I do note one bit of clumsiness in my post above:

    Now, there *is* something wrong when *bad science* is used to uphold claims of the paranormal or quack medicine or whatever, and some scientific (as opposed to pseudoscientific) researchers of the paranormal do so expressly out of concern for people fleecing the public with bogus claims.

    This sentence should’ve been broken up into two, because it sounds like the “some scientific researchers” are using bad science to uphold claims of the paranormal. That’s not what I meant, and I’ll restate it.

    Now, there *is* something wrong when *bad science* is used to uphold claims of the paranormal or quack medicine or whatever. Some scientific (as opposed to pseudoscientific) researchers of the paranormal study such claims expressly out of concern for people fleecing the public with bogus claims — they want to protect the public from false claims.

  318. #318 Militant Agnostic
    September 12, 2011

    Blackheart

    I’m still wondering why the families and patients that attended the Royal Free Hospital and were looked after by John Walker-Smith and his fellow team of highly skilled and eminent medical professionals still support them.

    Any fraud squad detective can answer this one. People do not want to admit they have been conned because they feel admitting they have been defrauded means admitting they are stupid. To preserve their self esteem they concoct elaborate defenses of the person who defrauded them.

    As an example we once had dealings with an insurance agent in the small Mennonite town of Linden, Alberta. This town subsequently became infamous for a Affinity Fraud Ponzi Scheme which swept through the town and spread to the Mormon town of Cardston Alberta. A year or two after the scheme was exposed, I heard an interview with the RCMP fraud squad officer and our former insurance agent. The Mountie expressed his frustration at the lack of cooperation from the victims, many of whom were convinced that the perpetrators who had fled to the USA were actually trying to track down the missing money. The clung to this belief even though an American bank had managed to snag some of the money as it passed through their hands. The insurance agent mentioned he had tried to warn people about the fraud and had lost a lot of friends as a result. Very few people thanked him for trying to warn them. If people can delude themselves about something as obvious as a financial fraud it is much easier to delude themselves about a complex medical issue. Bottomline – no one wants to admit they have been conned.

  319. #319 Chris
    September 12, 2011

    Blackheart:

    Twelve severely disabled children should be forgotten should they ?

    Obviously I did not say that. What you did was only quote part of the whole sentence, and that changed its meaning. That is a form of lying.

    It is sad and telling that the only way folks like Blackheart and Laura can try to make their case is by lying, and do it by using partial quotes.

  320. #320 Chris
    September 12, 2011

    And to the idiot liar, Blackheart, you obviously also missed that the case series of 12 kids did not find what Wakefield claimed, even with the data fraud. Plus there have been many many more case series that showed Wakefield was wrong, wrong, wrongety wrong.

    Wakefield and his little paper should have been forgotten a dozen years ago. He has done nothing for disabled children, who are better served with real science.

  321. #321 Chris
    September 12, 2011

    What is it with the iron-fisted moderation? This comment was not that long, I did not use bad words, and it only had one little link. I’m sure it is wasting lots of Orac’s time to go back and approve many of the perfectly fine comments. Anyway, here it goes again:

    And to the idiot liar, Blackheart, you obviously also missed that the case series of 12 kids did not find what Wakefield claimed, even with the data fraud. Plus there have been many many more case series that showed Wakefield was wrong, wrong, wrongety wrong. (and here was the PLOS link to Mady Hornig’s attempted replication to Wakefield. “Lack of Association between Measles Virus Vaccine and Autism with Enteropathy: A Case-Control Study”).

    Wakefield and his little paper should have been forgotten a dozen years ago. He has done nothing for disabled children, who are better served with real science.

  322. #322 lilady
    September 12, 2011

    @ Black Heart: The question you had posed was what our sources of information are about the Wakefield drama…I replied that I saw a PBS television show and read the GMC’s decision. You did not ask what professional knowledge I had, yet you disparage my reply:

    “lilady also managed to fit in a television show…and 9 pages of GMC paperwork.”

    I actually worked as a public health nurse/division of disease control in a large County health department. I have an epidemiology background and have actually investigated cases of vaccine-preventable diseases…along with dozens of other communicable diseases/food-borne and vector-borne disease outbreaks for which there are no preventive vaccines.

    You on the other hand state that you “work with science every day”…without mentioning what your educational background is and your position in the “science community”. By your vague statements up thread, I’m calling bullshit about your science background and bullshit about your science-based profession. Provide me and others with some (non-vague) studies and I will reply. (hint) you might want to look at “laura’s” arguments both before and after she provided citations to see how we addressed her unscientific arguments against vaccines.

  323. #323 Dedj
    September 12, 2011

    “Apparently answering questions is impolite ?”

    I didn’t say this, nor is it required to make an arguement.

    Being asked a question does not validate any answer, nor does it mean any answer is proportionate and appropriate.

    I notice that the original mention of Wakefield was not, in fact, even a question. You chose to go off on one concerning Wakefield, all other mentions of him spring from that.

    “Am I the one making a series of allegations against a team of eminent medical researchers ? Didn’t think so.”

    Didn’t say you were, nor would I be required to be in order to notice that you haven’t presented any arguement for why your opinions regarding the commentators here, the GMC, Deer and others are all wrong.

    Saying ‘that’s not my arguement’ only works if your opponent is claiming that it is. You don’t get away with not properly presenting your own arguement by claiming you’re not presenting another (that you weren’t accused of presenting anyway).

    “I already have … re the UK High Court.”

    Which was entirely your own unsupported, unreferenced assertion.

  324. #324 Dedj
    September 12, 2011

    “If you have specific evidence linked within a pro militant skeptik website I’m sure we can look at it ..”

    Not sure why you’re restricting it to ‘pro-militant skeptic’ websites. I would suggest that you’re deliberatly doing so as to limit the number of blogs that you will allow as evidence.

    In a few minutes search, I have found that:

    the jdc325 blog has multiple articles with links to the determinations. It has multiple links direct to Andrew Wakefields own comments and also has links to discussions involving Wakefields defenders. It also provides discussion as to how and why some of those defences are wrong,

    bad science has an editorial with a formerly working link to the full determination,

    Orac has made several articles concerning this, and has linked to outside sources, including direct quotes from formal documents, and to articles which have references to formal documents,

    lbrb has a link to the determinations, has extensively discussed the Lancet article and the vaccine patents with comments from members of AoA, OCG, GR, CHS and others, and has extensively discussed various defences of Wakefield with direct references to the hearing transcripts.

    vaccineswork has direct quotes from and discussion of the hearings, and has a link to the transcripts and determinations. It also extensively discussed various defences of Wakefield and indicates which part of the hearing demonstrates those defences to be wrong.

    That’s just from websites I can remember. Several others had direct links to individual days from the hearings, references to the original Dawbarns circular, references to the patents, and references to articles by Wakefield himself, and live links to presentations by Wakefield.

    For someone claiming to have read material on ‘skeptic’ websites, you appear to have a very poor knowledge of what they actually contain.

    ‘a blog is a blog is a blog …’ is not a sufficient answer when someone points out that various blogs have directly linked to and discussed various peices of evidence. It’s rather foolish to believe that all blogs are of similar quality as the standards on, say, blogs for professional organisations is significantly higher in general than blogs about cats written by crazy cat ladies.

    This niavety (snobbery?) and the apparent lack of knowledge about the breadth of quality of blogs makes the comment ‘pro and anti is not evidence and neither is the commentary within.’ especially foolish – as linking to the evidence in a blog is still linking to the evidence.

  325. #325 Dedj
    September 12, 2011

    “as linking to the evidence in a blog is still linking to the evidence.”

    Of course, just because Blackheart claims to have read evidence it doesn’t mean that:

    a) they actually have read it,
    b) that it was of any decent quality,
    c) that it was in any way accurate,
    d) that it was from any reliable source,
    e) that it means what they think it does,
    f) that is demonstrates what they would claim it does.

  326. #326 DT35
    September 13, 2011

    Blackheart @ 298 — finally you list some of what you consider “the necessary documentation” one must review before knowledgeable discussion of the Wakefield affair is possible. The original case study and letters in response are indeed a reasonable place to start, as they are only a few pages and are readily accessible. Then you tell us, “I’ve also read GMC transcripts which clearly show two sides of the legal debate.” I note your wording has been left vague enough that you can later claim either that you read the transcript of the entire two years of hearings, or (more credibly) admit to having read only selected portions, whichever suits your purpose better at some future point.

    To excuse Wakefield’s failure to pursue an appeal of the GMC ruling, you theorize that an appeal will be taken directly to the UK High Court, and that this will be a better approach all around, stating @ 300: “Surely you yourself and other supporters would like to see testimony from Wakefield and other key players, under oath?” But I’ve already seen that testimony, reams of it, and so have you! Don’t you remember, Blackheart? When you “read the GMC transcripts,” there were days and days of testimony, three weeks or more from Wakefield alone, plus several days each from Murch and Walker-Smith. While an oath was not administered at these hearings, the witnesses formally affirmed that they would tell the truth, and if they did not honor that commitment, I doubt that taking an oath would make much difference.

    @307 you state:”There is a UK High Court appeal in regards to senior co-author John Walker-Smith that needs to be determined before anything else.” You seem to be arguing, with your customary lack of clarity, that Wakefield is somehow precluded from pursuing his appeal, or suing Brian Deer for libel, until the Walker-Smith matter is concluded. I would be fascinated to see the legal authority from which you derived this conclusion, as it runs counter to every statute, court rule, caselaw holding and administrative regulation I have ever seen on the issue.

  327. #327 lilady
    September 13, 2011

    @ DT35: You are giving Black Heart more credit than he deserves. He has a “pretend” education in science and contrary to what he stated (“I work with science every day”), is not employed in any job that is associated with the science of immunology, such as chemistry or biology and is certainly not a licensed health care professional.

    BTW, He is now using a sock puppet (Black Sheep)

  328. #328 blackheart
    September 13, 2011

    Militant Agnostic

    Your argument certainly sounds very contrived to me … but I’d imagine it would be pointless arguing the toss. Except to say here’s the evidence of the actual parents video presentation , signed letter and all.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHrgYxqcU0w

  329. #329 blackheart
    September 13, 2011

    @Calli Arcale

    “Again, everything is fair game for questions. That includes claims of the paranormal.”

    Apparently not on this website … there’s seems to be a clear exclusion zone on CAM and vaccine safety for instance. In fact it seems that you are the only one to make a sincere attempt at least presenting a reasonable and balanced position.

    “In fact, if researchers only study what they already believe to be true, aren’t they severely biasing their results?”

    I think they do believe. In fact I doubt there’s little question of that. As long as they present the research obkectively then there is little concern other than as you indicated a ‘possible’ bias. Which applies to research undertaken by ‘science rationalists’ as well as ‘woo’.

    “He can speak for himself. ;-)”

    …and is subject to the same scrutiny as the purveyors of ‘woo’. Facts need to be facts and opinion needs to be balanced, reasonable and objective. If not then it’s fair to be slightly dismissive ?

    “You’ll find more stuff on Leiderer…”

    I’ll keep it in mind. My first google attempt revealed very little of any substance but I’m wasn’t really trying.

    “Essentially, from learning about the things I listed.”

    So if this was a debate surrounding a less ‘emotive’ issue which evidence would you weigh more favourably.
    Given that there is a clear imbalance in say various media outlets and how they present stories etc.

    “When one is evaluating a claim, any claim, one has to look at a lot of things. Is it plausible? ”

    Certainly … let’s have a look at the allegations that Wakefield manipulated the research and that he had a very large profit motive to gain in doing so.

    The first questions regards plausible ? (And applies to all members of the Royal Free team substantially)

    Was Andrew Wakefield a recognised professional in the study of gastroenterology / histapathology ?

    Was John Walker-Smith (University Department of Paediatric Gastroenterology) ?

    Was Simon Murch (As above )?

    Was Mike Thomson (As above) ?

    http://www.paediatricgastroenterologist.co.uk/home.htm

    Had he published and undertaken research work in this field previously and to what level ?

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=%22Wakefield%20AJ%22Author

    Had Professor John Walker-Smith ?

    Did he work for a well respected medical institution ?

    Did any of the research presented previously follow quite plausible biological and research grounds ?

    Were there any major controversies over previous research , other than the usual questioning, which is part of ‘science’ ?

  330. #330 blackheart
    September 13, 2011

    @Chris

    Sometimes hyperbole comes back to bite one.

    “Wakefield and his little paper should have been forgotten a dozen years ago. He has done nothing for disabled children, who are better served with real science.”

    So can you outline what medical investigation surrounding these children’s disability and disabling gastroenterology conditions was undertaken by medical authorities ?

    Were the children ever visited by health authorities ?

    Were investigations undertaken by other medical professionals with an expertise in gastroenterology ?

    Were the parents ever interviewed ?

    Are they continuing to receive medical care ?

    … many many unanswered questions on how these children have been treated by medical authorities and others.

  331. #331 Blackheart
    September 13, 2011

    @Chris

    “And to the idiot liar, Blackheart, you obviously also missed that the case series of 12 kids did not find what Wakefield claimed, even with the data fraud. Plus there have been many many more case series that showed Wakefield was wrong, wrong, wrongety wrong.”

    “As Academic Editor of this manuscript …

    It is true that the sample size is relatively small and the subjects were not ‘randomly’ sampled from the populations of children with and without autism.”

    http://www.plosone.org/annotation/listThread.action?inReplyTo=info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fannotation%2Fd4f7a862-6b49-4f37-8924-0a0929ccc46e&root=info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fannotation%2Fd4f7a862-6b49-4f37-8924-0a0929ccc46e

  332. #332 blackheart
    September 13, 2011

    DT35

    GMC transcripts – I certainly have read them and even have a copy or two of them.

    “or (more credibly) admit to having read only selected portions, whichever suits your purpose better at some future point.”

    …as they contain some 15400 pages of legal debate I imagine that there’s not a person on the planet that’s read them in their entirety.

    Perhaps you should address that question to “skeptik” sites and even the peer reviewers of the BMJ series of articles ?

  333. #333 blackheart
    September 13, 2011

    DT35

    “I doubt that taking an oath would make much difference.”

    Perjury Act 1911 UK legislation

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Geo5/1-2/6

    You might also be interested in

    Contempt of Court Act 1981 UK legislation

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1981/49/contents

  334. #334 blackheart
    September 13, 2011

    lilady

    I could be a used car salesman / plumber (apologies) for all that matters … deal with the arguments put forward.

    So when it comes to legal arguments we will just dismiss any points you make ?

    …and for the record I am not Black Sheep.

  335. #335 Blackheart
    September 13, 2011

    DT35

    “You seem to be arguing, with your customary lack of clarity, that Wakefield is somehow precluded from pursuing his appeal…”

    No … that’s not my argument at all. I’d imagine that if the decisions made against John Walker-Smith are overturned then … well I think you can work it out.

  336. #336 Dedj
    September 13, 2011

    “No … that’s not my argument at all.”

    Then you need to make it clear what your arguement is.

    It’s not clear whether or not you think:

    a) Wakefield is making a good faith effort to construct an appeal,
    b) such an appeal has a reasonable chance of success,
    c) that the appeal will be based on the idea of the GMC overstepping their powers under the Medical Act and others, and therefore thier decision will be judged non-legal,
    d) that the appeal will be based on the GMC decision being proceedurally or evidentially unfair and therefore invalid on the grounds of being unfair and/or unjust.

    Please put some effort in.

  337. #337 Dedj
    September 13, 2011

    “DT35

    “I doubt that taking an oath would make much difference.”

    Perjury Act 1911 UK legislation….

    You might also be interested in

    Contempt of Court Act 1981 UK legislation…..”

    The point made by DT35 was that Wakefield and co. were already under significant risk (delicensing, potential career end, loss of public trust) and pressure (regulatory body hearing, parental expectations, expectations of supporters, maintaining avenue of income and public fame) yet they (especially Wakefield) to ‘tell the truth’ yet failed to do so and did so in a significantly counter-factual way.

    Expecting Wakefield to turn around and suddenly tell the truth (thereby losing the majority of his support network and likely the entirity of his earnings, quite possibly recieving threats and direct action from his former supporters to boot) simply because he *might* be found guilty of perjury if he didn’t, is giving Wakefield more credibility and intergrity than he is known to have shown.

    Wakefield *might* get ‘up to’ 7 years for perjury *if* he ever gets around to making an appeal rather than just talking about it, but as the Jeffery Archer case demonstrates, people are more than willing to commit perjury to prevent loss. Archer had less to lose in comparative terms by not committing perjury, yet he willfully did so anyway. There’s no reason to think Wakefield will magically reform himself and take the non-perjury option when he has so much to lose.

    With how much Wakefield potentially has to lose by launching an appeal, I would suggest that he is unlikely to ever make a good-faith effort in doing so, as his supporters seem to be willing to pay his way anyway. He could conjure up any number of reasons why he is ‘sitting on the appeal’ and their faith in him wouldn’t budge a simdgeon. JWS already has one underway, and Wakefield does not legally or proceedurally require the JWS appeal to be concluded in order to launch his own.

    I notice that, of course, you didn’t actually make any form of statement as to whether or not you think Wakefield would/would not risk perjury to protect himself.

  338. #338 Todd W.
    September 13, 2011

    I’ve noticed that blackheart, like augie, stays assiduously away from making any definitive statement of his/her own opinion, opting instead to just ask vague questions and never directly address any questions put to him/her. It may be a decent approach (now and then) for a teacher in a classroom, but it wears thin pretty quickly in a conversation, online or otherwise. Ultimately, in a forum like this, it succeeds only in making the user of this rhetorical technique look as if they are intellectually bankrupt, lacking any real argument of substance. In short, blackheart, you are making yourself look like you’re full o’ crap.

  339. #339 Calli Arcale
    September 13, 2011

    blackheart:
    Apparently not on this website … there’s seems to be a clear exclusion zone on CAM and vaccine safety for instance. In fact it seems that you are the only one to make a sincere attempt at least presenting a reasonable and balanced position.

    Thank you for the kind words, though I think the main reason you’re not seeing that from others is just that there have been a number of very irritating trolls recently, and this has shortened their patience. Be glad you didn’t have to run into any of them. ;-)

    There is no exclusion zone on this blog; I’ve been following it long enough to know that. However, Orac’s time is limited, so he can’t blog about everything. He blogs about whatever has piqued his interest on a particular day. Two of his major sources of irritation are anti-vaccination pseudoscience and Holocaust denial and cancer quackery, so those will tend to be represented more — after all, when you’re a busy man, you’ll write more about the things that tick you off enough to motivate you to spend the time. But even so, he doesn’t just address CAM and vaccine safety. He’s written about Vioxx before, so I quick googled that; here’s a good one he wrote a few years ago about a particularly sneaky and nefarious strategy used by Merck to subvert the scientific process for marketing purposes. It’s a good read, and though not relevant to vaccines, I recommend it.
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/08/when_clinical_trials_are_designed_by_marketing.php

    For a broader look, I suggest you look at sciencebasedmedicine.org; that one has a variety of bloggers writing for it, which allows it to cover more diverse topics.

    Orac speaking for himself:
    …and is subject to the same scrutiny as the purveyors of ‘woo’. Facts need to be facts and opinion needs to be balanced, reasonable and objective. If not then it’s fair to be slightly dismissive ?

    Yeah, that’s fair. My point was just that you can’t assume the opinions of Orac’s supporters are also Orac’s opinions. And I think you agree about that.

    Nancy Leiderer:
    I’ll keep it in mind. My first google attempt revealed very little of any substance but I’m wasn’t really trying.

    Well, only bother pursuing further if you want some laughs. She’s not even internally consistent, and I’ve wondered if she’s just a compulsive liar. (I hate armchair psychology though.)

    So if this was a debate surrounding a less ‘emotive’ issue which evidence would you weigh more favourably.
    Given that there is a clear imbalance in say various media outlets and how they present stories etc.

    Depends on what the issue was and what evidence was available. I had problems with Wakefield’s original paper, even before all the rest came out. It was such a small sample size, yet very big claims were being made. There are a lot of studies like that, totally ignoring what later came out about possible mistakes and even outright fraud. The MMR is given to millions of children every year, intestinal disorders are not that unusual, and autism strikes about 1% of the population — even ignoring the later evidence and claims that Wakefield was manipulation the data, 12 kids who had MMR, bowel problems, and autism doesn’t seem like a very unusual group, especially since they were not selected at random but referred specifically for a combination of these symptoms after the MMR (again, ignoring that they may not all have even had the symptoms). If you’re looking for 12 people who meet these criteria, I’m sure you can find them even if there is no connection at all; I’d want to see these results replicated on a much larger scale. That Wakefield failed to pursue that question meant, to me, that he wasn’t interested in making sure his conclusion was correct.

    There are a lot of scientists who get lazy like that, and it’s a big mark against their conclusion.

    The first questions regards plausible ? (And applies to all members of the Royal Free team substantially)

    The original hypothesis that Wakefield presented didn’t seem very plausible to me (though I’m not an immunologist — I’m a software engineer). That was a strike against it. I couldn’t see how the attenuated measles virus injected intramuscularly in MMR could migrate specifically to the gut (and apparently cause no other problems en route) and set up camp there.

    Was Andrew Wakefield a recognised professional in the study of gastroenterology / histapathology ?

    Gastroenterology, yes. Histopathology, no. That’s why he used another worker to take care of reading the specimens (a fact which proved detrimental to him later on, when the pathologist criticized the published work for being inconsistent with his findings). And he is not a recognized professional in neurology or neurodevelopment or psychology, all of which would be useful for his subsequent claims of “autistic enterocolitis”.

    I won’t list the others individually, as my response to them is less interesting — yes. Same for having undertaken work in this field before. They all have. Wakefield was at the time relatively young, but not a total newb or anything. (Which brings up another thought: all of those involved really should have known better than to produce a piece of dreck like this study. But advanced degrees and prior experience is no guarantee of competence. It’s just a good hint.)

    Did he work for a well respected medical institution ?

    Yes.

    Did any of the research presented previously follow quite plausible biological and research grounds ?

    No, not really. (See above, where I discuss the plausibility.) If you read about the measles transfer work, it’s really peculiar stuff. Almost as nutty as homeopathy.

    Were there any major controversies over previous research , other than the usual questioning, which is part of ‘science’ ?

    I’m not aware of much of a big to-do, but I’m also not sure how relevant that is. Most of the time, scientists only get one major scandal and then their careers are just about shot. Look at the South Korean cloning scientist (his name escapes me at the moment). He had a very lauded career, publishing many studies, right up until the time his fakery came out. Past lack of scandal is not a good predictor of future performance, evidently — either they’re ethical geniuses, or they just haven’t been caught yet.

  340. #340 Dedj
    September 13, 2011

    “The first questions regards plausible ? (And applies to all members of the Royal Free team substantially)”

    You first questions are relevant, but are not needed. We can safely assume all the people involved are actually the people involved and not imposters. Thier clinical and academic background is not in doubt.

    The pertinant questions are:

    Was Wakefield in a posistion to bias the sample? Is there evidence that he did so, inadvertantly or otherwise?

    Yes, he is known to have prior active non-clinical contact with several parents, and several are known to have been referred with intent to be included in the sample. There is no reasonale way the sample subjests can all be deemed ‘self-referred’, nor – despite Wakefields protests – does calling the sample ‘self-referred’ make it ‘obvious’ that the sample was biased with researcher pre-involvement.

    Was he in a posistion to bias, or change, the interpretation of test results, to produce a favourable outcome?

    Yes, he was attested as being heavily involved in the pathology review sessions and review team. Yes, he was attested as having dismissed unfavourable lab results.

    Was he in a posistion to immediately or consequently benefit from a biased outcome?

    Yes, he intended to produce a replacement vaccine, and was involved as a paid witness for the same legal firm that obtained funding for the research, the same firm that was working for clients with prior connections to Wakefield.

    Oddly, all of this is covered in the documentation you imply you have read…….

  341. #341 DT35
    September 13, 2011

    Blackheart @333: What is your point in citing the perjury statutes? Are you saying that Wakefield et al felt free to play fast and loose with the facts because they affirmed that they would tell the truth to the GMC rather than swearing an oath? The statutes also provide criminal penalties for making false statements “other than on oath,” so the deterrent effect would presumably be much the same for an oath or an affirmation.

    At 335, you again refuse to state your position, going instead for ellipses and “I think you can work it out.” You seem to be saying that Wakefield, rather than stand shoulder to shoulder with his colleague before the High Court and reinforce Walker-Smith’s arguments with his own, is leaving his associate to expend all the money and effort necessary to mount an appeal. Then, if it is successful, Wakefield can jump in and say, “Hey, me too!” Is he also going to wait and see if Walker-Smith sues Brian Deer for libel and wins before he pursues that remedy?

  342. #342 lilady
    September 13, 2011

    @ Todd W. I think that your observation sums up the lack of substance of any of Black Heart’s postings.

    I challenged him repeatedly to provide a succinct medical statement backed up by citations and he slithered away…only to come back with new baseless arguments.

    I was pretty much on point with the legal ramifications (perjury) of Wakefield attempting an appeal of the GMC ruling or re-instituting libel suits against Brian Deer and newspapers and “Dedj” clarified how laws in the U.K. would view his worthless testimony. Again, I am uncertain if he would even have grounds for appeal of the GMC ruling. In the United States, in order to have a court even consider an appeal from a doctor for reinstatement, you would have to make a motion that is credible about administrative bias. If a lower court has made a decision and you seek redress in a higher court, an appellant would have to show new and exculpable evidence to proceed. (I’m married to an attorney and knowledge gained through osmosis.)

  343. #343 Chris
    September 13, 2011

    Blackheart:

    Sometimes hyperbole comes back to bite one.

    You were caught lying by selectively quoting me. It was both lame and stupid. It means you do not want to have an honest discussion. The fact you later quoted perjury statutes was pathetically ironic.

    So can you outline what medical investigation surrounding these children’s disability and disabling gastroenterology conditions was undertaken by medical authorities ?

    No. Can you? And that does not matter, it does not involve Wakefield. He is the one that was never qualified to treat anyone, much less children (he was never a clinician). He is the one that ordered unnecessary invasive tests, one that ended up perforating the colon of one child later.

    You should ask Dr. Brent Taylor who was at the Royal Free and studied the same cohort of children. Did you notice I listed some of his papers?

    And the attempt to move goal posts with the Hornig paper was silly. You are not just a liar, you are just plain pathetic.

  344. #344 Dedj
    September 13, 2011

    “…and as they are not a court of law it is rather meaningless in determining guilt or innocence. ”

    Well, apart from the fact that it’s the legislated power of the GMC FTP panels to make determinations of fitness to practice, and it’s their legislated power to advise professionals on what constitutes conduct and ethics.

    Saying that their judgement is meaningless because they’re not a court of law, when they are the legally empowered regulatory body, is…..rather stupid.

  345. #345 blackheart
    September 14, 2011

    Calli Arcale

    “The original hypothesis that Wakefield presented didn’t seem very plausible to me…”

    Physiology of autisitcs patients have shown not only inflammation in the bowel as per John Walker-Smith’s clinical investigations. But also signs of inflammation in the brain and CSF of autistic patients.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15546155

    There are a number of differing hypotheses that would need further investigation. But even the most hardened skeptik would have to acknowldege that vaccines that work directly on the developing infants immune system would be a highly plausible candidate (unpalatable as this position may be).

    “Gastroenterology, yes. Histopathology, no.”

    Andrew Wakefield is a a well credentialed medical professional with memberships to both the Royal College of Surgeons 1985 and the Royal College of Pathologists 2001. Both indicate a solid professional standard in Gastroenterology, Wakefields specialist field and Histopathology.

    Was John Walker-Smith (University Department of Paediatric Gastroenterology) ?
    Was Simon Murch (As above )?
    Was Mike Thomson (As above) ?

    Let us not forget other members of the team at the Royal Free all engaged in the work undertaken particularly the Lancet paper.

    All well credentialed and eminent research professionals. Walker-Smith acknoweledged as the UK’s leading and pre-eminent paediatric gastroenterologist.

    Recognised by a life time achievement award from
    http://www.espghan.med.up.pt/

    GMC transcripts

    “He has an enviable international reputation with more than 300 published scientific and medical papers and publications in the field of paediatric gastroenterology.'”

    Professor Allan Walker

    “John is one of the most revered paediatric gastroenterologists in the world. Finally, and I believe you may already be aware of this because it was in the letters that you got, John has been given a distinguished achievement award by the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterologist and Nutrition and, to my knowledge, this is the first time that it has ever been given, a lifetime achievement award, to a paediatric gastroenterologist. I think that underscores the view of John Walker‑Smith as a paediatric gastroenterologist on a world‑wide basis.’ ”

    Did he work for a well respected medical institution ?
    Yes – Glad to see some agreement

    Did any of the research presented previously follow quite plausible biological and research grounds ?

    No ? Hard to come to that conclusion of a team of UK’s finest gastroenterologists thought it was well worth investigating and coming up with very positive results…

    Bowel abnormalities.

    “this mucosal abnormality has been apparent in 47/50 children within the autistic spectrum, whether or not there is any perceived link with immunisation. Thus the lymphoid hyperplasia/ microscopic colitis changes were found in over 90% of the autistic children studied.”

    Walker-Smith The Lancet 1998

    Treatment Regimes.

    “…we have noted important behavioural responses in several of the children when their intestinal pathology is treated. Plain radiography confirms severe constipation with acquired megarectum in almost all affected children, despite many receiving treatment for constipation.”

    Walker-Smith The Lancet 1998

    …and further confirmed at

    http://www.pediatricsdigest.mobi/content/112/4/939.full

    Were there any major controversies over previous research , other than the usual questioning, which is part of ‘science’ ?

    I’m not aware of much of a big to-do, but I’m also not sure how relevant that is.

    It goes to the character of the research and the excellent character of the accussed.

  346. #346 blackheart
    September 14, 2011

    Dedj

    You are an amusing fellow…

    Post 337

    “Expecting Wakefield to turn around and suddenly tell the truth …”

    Is that the “skeptik version” of the truth.

    Post 336

    It’s not clear whether or not you think:

    a) Wakefield is making a good faith effort to construct an appeal.

    I’m not privy to Andrew Wakefield’s legal advise or opinion on this matter. But if John Walker-Smith’s ‘conviction’ is overturned then there could be no logical way that the ‘conviction’ against Simon Murch or Andrew Wakefield would stand.

    It’s not rocket science.

    b) such an appeal has a reasonable chance of success

    I’d imagine so. If it was heard in a court of law such as the UK High Court where political or media manipulation would not occur

    c) that the appeal will be based on the idea of the GMC overstepping their powers under the Medical Act and others, and therefore thier decision will be judged non-legal

    No.

    d) that the appeal will be based on the GMC decision being proceedurally or evidentially unfair and therefore invalid on the grounds of being unfair and/or unjust.

    I have seen some indications that this may be so.

    “JWS already has one underway, and Wakefield does not legally or proceedurally require the JWS appeal to be concluded in order to launch his own.”

    I thought that was quite obvious.

    “I notice that, of course, you didn’t actually make any form of statement as to whether or not you think Wakefield would/would not risk perjury to protect himself.”

    I must admit that there is a puzzling enigma that the there have been no criminal investigation as to these matters ? Strange, seeming as the skeptik evidence is apparently so strong.

    Any thoughts on this Dedj ?

  347. #347 blackheart
    September 14, 2011

    Chris

    “So can you outline what medical investigation surrounding these children’s disability and disabling gastroenterology conditions was undertaken by medical authorities ?”

    No. Can you?”

    Well no Chris I can’t because to the best of my knowledge no rigorous investigation was made as to the disabling conditions these children suffered or as to it’s cause.

    Very troubling indeed.

    “He is the one that ordered unnecessary invasive tests, one that ended up perforating the colon of one child later.”

    He is ? I thought it was junior doctor under the auspices of Simon Murch and I haven’t seen corrobarating evidence that it was indeed related to any Lancet 12 study.

    “You should ask Dr. Brent Taylor who was at the Royal Free and studied the same cohort of children. Did you notice I listed some of his papers?”

    I’m not convinced that Dr Brent Taylor is an impartial figure in this debate. Plus I have already indicated very important problems associated with the methodology of his research paper at 331

  348. #348 blackheart
    September 14, 2011

    Dedj

    344

    “Saying that their judgement is meaningless because they’re not a court of law, when they are the legally empowered regulatory body, is…..rather stupid.”

    I thought there were broader issues at hand such as research fraud and monetary fraud ?

    I haven’t been able to understand why as a skeptik that you and others are so reluctant to have this matter heard in a UK court of law with all the checks and balances that this entails.

    Any reasoned explanation for this conundrum ?

  349. #349 Julian Frost
    September 14, 2011

    Blackheart:

    I’m not privy to Andrew Wakefield’s legal advise or opinion on this matter. But if John Walker-Smith’s ‘conviction’ is overturned then there could be no logical way that the ‘conviction’ against Simon Murch or Andrew Wakefield would stand.

    Wrong, Blackheart. Even if Walker-Smith successfully overturns his conviction, there is enough evidence against Wakefield to ensure he never practises medicine again.

    If it was heard in a court of law such as the UK High Court where political or media manipulation would not occur.

    You are insinuating that manipulation occurred in the original GMC hearing. Please provide proof of such manipulation, or shut up.

    “He is the one that ordered unnecessary invasive tests, one that ended up perforating the colon of one child later.”

    He is ?

    Yes.

    I’m not convinced that Dr Brent Taylor is an impartial figure in this debate.

    Evidence of lack of partiality, or STFU.

  350. #350 Lawrence
    September 14, 2011

    Here’s something that the anti-vaxxers can never seem to explain – when it comes to the “bowel / gastro” issues Wakefield supposedly was studying (and ultimately relating back to the MMR – autism hypothesis):

    If the measles vaccine was the cause of these issues & thus also to autism, why wouldn’t regular measles cause this same problem (because the immune response is the same)? And why wouldn’t regular measles be a cause for autism, if it was truly an issue?

    I’d like to have someone try to explain the logic, because even at face value, it doesn’t make any sense. Again, if the vaccines are “bad” why can’t the same problems be the result of the original diseases (and potential worse, since the known complications of the diseases are a magnitude or so higher then known side-effects of the vaccines)?

    And BH troll is a waste of time – he shifts goalposts & avoids questions even more so than boring troll.

  351. #351 blackheart
    September 14, 2011

    Julian

    Such a defensive posture … having trouble adjusting paradigms ?

    In regards to your well thought out and elucidated questions ….

    meh.

  352. #352 herr doktor bimler
    September 14, 2011

    Andrew Wakefield is a a well credentialed medical professional with memberships to both the Royal College of Surgeons 1985 and the Royal College of Pathologists 2001. Both indicate a solid professional standard in Gastroenterology

    The what? Why should either membership require experience in the field of gastroenterology? My sequitur is completely nonned.

    I haven’t been able to understand why as a skeptik that you and others are so reluctant to have this matter heard in a UK court of law with all the checks and balances that this entails.

    I don’t remember any of the commenters here expressing any reluctance about Andrew Wakefield appealing his censure in a UK court of law. It would be silly to be “so reluctant”, since we don’t have any say in the matter. In the unlikely event that Wakefield were to ask for our opinion, I suspect that there would be general encouragement: “Go for it!”

    But even the most hardened skeptik would have to acknowldege that vaccines that work directly on the developing infants immune system would be a highly plausible candidate (unpalatable as this position may be).

    I consider myself a skeptic (though not particularly hardened), but No, I would not have to acknowledge any such thing. Please do not put words in my mouth. It is an unsanitary habit.

    Vaccines “work directly on the developing infants immune system”, but SO DO INFECTIONS. So do encounters with cats, pollen, shampoo, other people, small furry animals gathered together in a cave, clothes, and pieces of detritus picked up off the floor. This is what the immune system does. Since none of those encounters are considered “highly plausible candidates” for causing “signs of inflammation in the brain and CSF of autistic patients”, then neither are vaccines.

    In this issue of brain / CSF inflammation, the abstract to which you link specifically invokes “innate neuroimmune reactions”. Need I explain the word “innate”? Need I explain the irrelevance of the paper to the argument you seem to be trying to make?

    I note with concern that your most recent comments lack the ellipses that punctuate your earlier contributions to this thread. I hope you have not used up your quota for the month, or lost access to an elliptical trainer, or anything dire like that.

  353. #353 blackheart
    September 14, 2011

    herr doktor

    “Why should either membership require experience in the field of gastroenterology?”

    If you don’t know … then I’m certainly not going to explain the entrance , examination and auditing processes that each Fellow undertakes in regards to his or her specialist area as well as general surgery skill sets.

    “Please do not put words in my mouth. It is an unsanitary habit.”

    I couldn’t possibly manage that … there seems to be a rather large foot impeding access.

    “SO DO INFECTIONS”

    Then perhaps you should read this …

    “genitourinary infections more frequently diagnosed in children with autism. In the first 30 days of life, the frequency of having an infection was slightly higher among children with autism (22.6% vs 18.7%).”

    “Data suggest that children with autism may have modestly elevated rates of infection in the first 30 days and that, during the first 2 years, children with autism may be at higher risk for certain types of infections and lower risk for others. Additional studies that explore the associations between prenatal and early childhood infections and autism may help clarify the role of infection and the immune system in the etiology of autism spectrum disorder.”

    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/119/1/e61.full

    “A total of 7379 children were diagnosed as having ASDs. Children admitted to the hospital for any infectious disease displayed an increased rate of ASD diagnoses (HR, 1.38 [95% confidence interval, 1.31-1.45]).”

    ps Did you see who undertook that study ?

    http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/164/5/470

    “We demonstrate an active neuroinflammatory process in the cerebral cortex, white matter, and notably in cerebellum of autistic patients. Immunocytochemical studies showed marked activation of microglia and astroglia, and cytokine profiling indicated that macrophage chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 and tumor growth factor-beta1, derived from neuroglia, were the most prevalent cytokines in brain tissues.”

    … life can get complicated for those with a rigid cognitive outlook.

  354. #354 Calli Arcale
    September 14, 2011

    Blackheart:

    Physiology of autisitcs patients have shown not only inflammation in the bowel as per John Walker-Smith’s clinical investigations. But also signs of inflammation in the brain and CSF of autistic patients.

    But is it a causal connection? Again, even ignoring that the evidence in Wakefield’s paper was later shown to have been altered before publication, even assuming it was all correct, bowel inflammation is more common than autism; finding the two together is not that unlikely, even in a random group of autistics, but this wasn’t a random group. They were supposedly selected specifically because they had both autism and bowel problems. Of course they would all have both autism and bowel inflammation.

    There are a number of differing hypotheses that would need further investigation. But even the most hardened skeptik would have to acknowldege that vaccines that work directly on the developing infants immune system would be a highly plausible candidate (unpalatable as this position may be).

    Why would this be “highly plausible” and why would this be “unpalatable”? Vaccines are not really that unusual a thing as far as the immune system is concerned, and that’s what makes the argument implausible — if vaccines could routinely trigger autism, autism should be much more commonplace than it is — and also pretty much unavoidable, since it isn’t realistically possible to avoid challenges to the immune system. Heck, even when we do avoid challenges (via cleanliness, isolation, etc) our immune systems manage to find challenges — at least, if the hygiene hypothesis is correct. (I don’t think it’s been adequately proven, but I find it compelling, and it appears to be at least predictive in some specific cases, such as the relationship between GI rates and parasitic load in epidemiological studies.)

    Andrew Wakefield is a a well credentialed medical professional with memberships to both the Royal College of Surgeons 1985 and the Royal College of Pathologists 2001. Both indicate a solid professional standard in Gastroenterology, Wakefields specialist field and Histopathology.

    Actually, they don’t indicate that. They indicate membership in a professional organization. Wakefield’s credentials have been somewhat inflated, especially in the US where the details of the British medical system aren’t as well understood. For instance, Wakefield was not actually authorized to perform procedures; elsewhere you refer to the gentleman who performed the colonoscopies as a “junior” doctor, but that’s untrue. He wasn’t a subordinate of Wakefield, nor a novice in the field. He did, however, have the right authorization to perform procedures at the Royal Free. (Short version: there’s more bureaucracy in British medicine.)

    I don’t see any reason to rehash whether I think any of the other people involved with the research project and the paper were “well-credentialed” — they all were. Including Wakefield himself, there was no real reason to reject the paper on the basis of inadequate expertise. As I said before, these are all people who really should have known better. But this is certainly not the first time, nor the last time, bad science has been published by respected scientists and physicians — in general, while lack of expertise can draw conclusions into question, the converse isn’t very predictive.

    To illustrate that point, if Wakefield’s credentials are enough reason for you to believe him, why aren’t Orac’s? (There is a very good reason, of course; it’s because credentials aren’t everything. Claims should really stand on their own. If your best counterargument is a lengthy recitation of qualifications, then the claim isn’t doing very well.)

    No ? Hard to come to that conclusion of a team of UK’s finest gastroenterologists thought it was well worth investigating and coming up with very positive results…

    Your innocence is charming. ;-) I am cynical enough to remember that just because they seem so nice and earnest doesn’t mean they’re right. There are a lot of dead ends pursued in science. It is not at all unusual. And because of pride, it can be difficult for those involved to admit it was a dead end. But just because they are still optimistic their research will go somewhere doesn’t mean we should believe it before they’re done. Like the Loch Ness Monster; there are respectable scientists who study that. Doesn’t mean we should think its existence is at all likely.

    “this mucosal abnormality has been apparent in 47/50 children within the autistic spectrum, whether or not there is any perceived link with immunisation. Thus the lymphoid hyperplasia/ microscopic colitis changes were found in over 90% of the autistic children studied.”

    There has been some indications that autistic people (not just children; it bothers me that so much of the research focuses exclusively on children) have increased rates of autoimmune disorders, though I’m not sure whether it’s been quantified adequately. I know it hasn’t been demonstrated to be a causal connection, and what evidence I’ve seen has been quite preliminary. The spectrum of autoimmune disorders is so broad (and not all that uncommon) that it’s a complicated question to study. You really need very large sample sizes to get above the noise. (And no, 50 is still not a sufficient sample size. That’s what makes studies like this expensive.) But it is an intriguing connection. If it pans out, it could possibly lead to actionable data — how to prevent autism, how to treat it, what other disorders to watch for in autistic patients. But it’s not clear whether it really is more common in autistics, much less why. Still, if it is true, it could well explain findings such as that. Could vaccinations be involved? I don’t think it’s very likely; the timing is all wrong, especially with increasing evidence that autism tends to be present from birth, but not immediately apparent until they are older and have missed some crucial developmental milestones. (You can’t, for instance, tell that a two-month-old can’t read properly.) And if autism were triggered by an immune response, then vaccines would honestly be the least of our worries — babies get more immune challenges just being born.

    “…we have noted important behavioural responses in several of the children when their intestinal pathology is treated. Plain radiography confirms severe constipation with acquired megarectum in almost all affected children, despite many receiving treatment for constipation.”

    I am aware that autistic children can have bowel disorders, and that some of them have very difficult bowel disorders which are very important to treat. This doesn’t mean there is something unusual going on with respect to vaccines. Remember, this sort of thing can happen to “neurotypical” children as well, but if you’re only looking for it in autistics, you might be excused for thinking you’ve found something unusual. Of course, it still has nothing to do with measles vaccine. Even if autistics have more bowel disorders than the general population, it doesn’t mean the bowel disorders cause autism (in fact, there has been some suggestion it may be the other way around in some cases, since autism can cause problematic dietary and toileting behaviors which of course affect the bowel). And it certainly doesn’t mean that the bowel disorders are caused by the attenuated measles virus present in the MMR vaccine.

    It goes to the character of the research and the excellent character of the accussed.

    Again, character can be useful in deciding whether or not to reject a paper immediately, or at least not spend the time reading it. It can’t tell you whether or not it is correct. Most scandals involve someone of very high repute (mostly because they would have been caught earlier otherwise). Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons were considered experts in their fields when they announced that they had detected anomalous heating that could only be explained by nuclear fusion occurring at relatively cold temperatures. What exactly happened is still unclear (though the original researchers subsequently discovered and acknowledged a measurement error that made the effect appear much larger), but efforts to replicate the experiment have been largely negative, and occasionally ambiguous.

    Being highly respected and credentialed doesn’t make a person infallible, nor does it give one’s claims a free pass. The claims ultimately have to stand on their own. I’m actually a little surprised that you appear to give so much more weight to the credentials of Wakefield et al that to the actual material and subsequent findings. I didn’t peg you for the sort of person who would do that.

  355. #355 Krebiozen
    September 14, 2011

    Andrew Wakefield is a a well credentialed medical professional with memberships to both the Royal College of Surgeons 1985 and the Royal College of Pathologists 2001. Both indicate a solid professional standard in Gastroenterology, Wakefields specialist field and Histopathology.

    Just for the sake of accuracy, Wakefield was not formally trained as a pathologist, was not a professional pathologist and was a surgeon, not a pathologist. His membership of the RCP is (or was – I’m not sure if it is current) an honorary one. In any case, I have known plenty of members of the RCP who have no clue about histopathology, specializing in other areas of pathology, such as biochemistry, hematology or microbiology.

    There’s an interesting letter here regarding Wakefield, Walker Smith and autistic enterocolitis.

  356. #356 Chris
    September 14, 2011

    Lawrence:

    And BH troll is a waste of time – he shifts goalposts & avoids questions even more so than boring troll.

    Exactly. He has already been caught lying. My feeling is that there is no way to discuss anything with a liar, and this one is particularly slimy.

    Personally, all I am interested in are the answers to the questions that I posted ten days ago. He has refused to even attempt to answer them. So he will be ignored until he does.

  357. #357 TBruce
    September 14, 2011

    As a histopathologist, I am very skeptical of these diagnoses of “lymphoid hyperplasia” and “microscopic colitis” made on children.

    Unless a pathologist is based in a paediatric centre, I doubt that they would have adequate experience with GI biopsies in children to evaluate these specimens properly. GI biopsies are rarely performed on children and, at least in my region, would normally be referred to the pathology department of the regional children’s hospital. Were the pathologists involved in this study associated with a paediatric pathology department?

    The biopsy appearance of the intestinal tract in children is different from that of adults. There is a lot more active lymphoid tissue, and lymphoid follicles are frequent. “Lymphoid hyperplasia” would be a subjective diagnosis, meaning more and larger lymphoid follicles than normal. There’s a lot of room for error and bias in this assessment.

    “Microscopic colitis” is a fairly frequent diagnosis in adults, and there are specific abnormalities that can be assessed. There is, however, an overlap with normal, and misinterpretation is possible. These features also can be a result of artifacts like bowel preps. Interestingly, in adults, microscopic colitis is associated with chronic diarrhea, and often is associated with celiac disease. I understand that the GI symptoms in the children studied included constipation, not a characteristic of true microscopic colitis.

    A while back, a “certain friend” of mine commented here on a presentation made by Wakefield about the histopathology from his studies. He stated that the “findings” were a hodge-podge of non-specific abnormalities and normal histology. Nothing I’ve encountered since has changed my mind on this.
    (I’ll get the reference later today when I have more time)

  358. #358 Militant Agnostic
    September 14, 2011

    Laawrence @350

    If the measles vaccine was the cause of these issues & thus also to autism, why wouldn’t regular measles cause this same problem (because the immune response is the same)? And why wouldn’t regular measles be a cause for autism, if it was truly an issue?

    Because measles is natural and vaccines are made by Big Pharma. Natural is always is always safer which is why people lived so much longer and healthier lives during the middle ages and the only cases of autism then were due to fairy abduction replacements.

  359. #359 Dedj
    September 14, 2011

    “I thought there were broader issues at hand such as research fraud and monetary fraud ?”

    Yes, but the GMC hearing expressly covered FTP issues, as is thier power.

    “I haven’t been able to understand why as a skeptik that you and others are so reluctant to have this matter heard in a UK court of law with all the checks and balances that this entails.”

    Don’t believe I’ve ever said or implied something like this. I would love to see Wakefield appear in court, but I’m also aware that there are multiple streams of strategic reasons why it benefits him not to risk anything.

    You’ve even demonstrated exactly the sort of thinking that he’d be relying on. If JWS ‘wins’, Wakefield can easily claim it ‘obviously’ vindicates them all, and just leave it at that. If JWS ‘loses’, Wakefield can simply extend his current publically stated conspiracy theories to include agents acting to influence the court.

  360. #360 Dedj
    September 14, 2011

    “I’m not privy to Andrew Wakefield’s legal advise or opinion on this matter. But if John Walker-Smith’s ‘conviction’ is overturned then there could be no logical way that the ‘conviction’ against Simon Murch or Andrew Wakefield would stand.”

    That would depend on why (if) the appeal stands.

    “‘d) that the appeal will be based on the GMC decision being proceedurally or evidentially unfair and therefore invalid on the grounds of being unfair and/or unjust.’

    I have seen some indications that this may be so.”

    If the JWS appeal is granted based on the grounds that the strength of the evidence against Wakefield unfairly influenced the case against JWS, this would weaken, not strengthen, Wakefields own appeal.

    If the appeal is granted on the grounds that the GMC did not give enough weight to evidence that exonerates JWS (of any or all charges), this does not mean that the self-same evidence exonerates Wakefield (of any charge nevermind all).

    “‘I notice that, of course, you didn’t actually make any form of statement as to whether or not you think Wakefield would/would not risk perjury to protect himself.'”

    I must admit that there is a puzzling enigma that the there have been no criminal investigation as to these matters ? Strange, seeming as the skeptik evidence is apparently so strong.”

    Bear in mind, the skeptic evidence is in regards professional misconduct and research fraud, so nothing strange at all there. Neither is a crime, but they are grounds for delicensing. The only possible crime here is monetary fraud.

    Banging on about the crime element (a very small element of the Wakefield situtation overall) is merely distracting from the professional element.

    “Any thoughts on this Dedj ?”

    Yes, my thought are that you should start answering the questions put to you and stop going off on rather fragmented tangents.

    You’ve been given enough chances to do so. Time for you to do so. After all, you wouldn’t want to be ‘impolite’ for not answering questions would you?

  361. #361 DT35
    September 14, 2011

    Blackheart’s argument from authority at 345: “Let us not forget other members of the team at the Royal Free all engaged in the work undertaken particularly the Lancet paper. All well credentialed and eminent research professionals.”

    And let us not forget that 10 of Wakefield’s 12 well-credentialed and eminent co-authors were sufficiently appalled at how he had duped them that they formally retracted their support for his interpretation of the paper’s findings. They didn’t know the half of it then; their retraction was way back in 2004, long before his fiddling with the data had come to light.

  362. #362 Chris
    September 14, 2011

    DT35:

    And let us not forget that 10 of Wakefield’s 12 well-credentialed and eminent co-authors were sufficiently appalled at how he had duped them that they formally retracted their support for his interpretation of the paper’s findings.

    And don’t forget the one PhD student who refused to have his name put on the paper and later testified in the USA Autism Omnibus trial. He showed that Wakefield lied.

  363. #363 herr doktor bimler
    September 14, 2011

    @ Blackheart:
    Then perhaps you should read this …
    [followed by excerpts from papers, and citations]

    Sometimes a commenter at Respectful Insolence will make extravagant claims about disease etiology without providing any evidence; the result is a barrage of criticism and demands for citations.

    You are doing the opposite… you are providing evidence, without stating the claims it is meant to support.
    I am loath to hunt around within your comments, looking for an implicit statement. This may be because of my rigid mind-set but I prefer to ascribe it to my laziness.

  364. #364 DT35
    September 14, 2011

    The statement at 346 that “if John Walker-Smith’s ‘conviction’ is overturned then there could be no logical way that the ‘conviction’ against Simon Murch or Andrew Wakefield would stand” demonstrates Blackheart’s apparent lack of experience with both logic and law. The charges against Walker-Smith and Wakefield had some overlap, but were far from identical, and this is even more true of the evidence upon which the charges were found proved. Specify for us, if you can, the “indications” you have seen showing the GMC decision to be unfair and unjust, other than the fact that you disapproved of the outcome.

  365. #365 DT35
    September 14, 2011

    Chris @362: Oh, yes, poor Nick Chadwicke! I’ve often wondered if it hampered his career to have refused to go along with the PCR scam. He looked like a hero at the Omnibus hearings, but that was 10 years down the line; I don’t remember reading what he was doing in the meantime.

  366. #366 DT35
    September 14, 2011

    I, for one, would be enthusiastically in favor of bringing the issues leading to Wakefield’s de-licensing before a court of competent jurisdiction for a full public airing. Still more, though I wish no ill to Mr. Deer, I would enjoy seeing the threatened libel suit actually prosecuted. Either would, I expect, produce a very edifying demonstration of the Streisand effect. Sadly, I suspect the sharp lesson of Wakefield’s last venture into libel litigation will discourage a repeat of that particular idiocy.

    Oh, and Blackheart, when you speak of Murch’s ‘conviction’ at comment # 346, what was he convicted of? I understood he was found to have acted in good faith, to have committed no serious professional misconduct, and was permitted to return to his practice without sanctions or restrictions. But since, as you have told us, you are better-informed about the Wakefield Affair than anyone posting here, no doubt you can direct me to the section of the GMC transcript that details Murch’s ‘conviction’ and the basis for it. Ta!

  367. #367 Chris
    September 14, 2011

    DT35:

    Sadly, I suspect the sharp lesson of Wakefield’s last venture into libel litigation will discourage a repeat of that particular idiocy.

    A dramatization of the Wakefield MMR debacle has been made. It includes very dramatic running of lawyers stopping the libel suit to prevent Deer from reading the medical reports. You can see it here.

  368. #368 lilady
    September 15, 2011

    Wakefield has lost his license due to fraudulent research. It was also determined by the GMC that he medically abused developmentally disabled child by performing invasive tests on them.

    Brian Deer calls him a charlatan and I would add that Wakefield is a public health menace.

    I’ve posted before on this blog that I would contribute to any fund for Wakefield to appeal the GMC ruling. All the anti-vax websites certainly would make an appeal to their constituents for funds to send Wakefield back to the U.K. to appeal the GMC ruling…yet he steadfastly refuses to start the appeal process…I wonder why?

    Thanks Chris for the excellent video.

  369. #369 Matthew Cline
    September 15, 2011

    @lilady:

    All the anti-vax websites certainly would make an appeal to their constituents for funds to send Wakefield back to the U.K. to appeal the GMC ruling…yet he steadfastly refuses to start the appeal process…I wonder why?

    It’s obviously because The Time Is Not Yet Right. When the time is right he’ll file and win his appeal, and all us pro-vaxxers will have egg on our faces.

  370. #370 blackheart
    September 15, 2011

    Calli

    “They were supposedly selected specifically because they had both autism and bowel problems. Of course they would all have both autism and bowel inflammation.”

    This seems to be at odds with your previous statement can you clarify your position ?

    “but there was no evidence that most of the children had any signs of GI problems before the trial, although they wound up with GI diagnoses when they presented at the hospital for their colonoscopies. They had to; if they had no symptoms of GI distress, the hospital would never have permitted the colonoscopies.”

    The evidence shows clearly they had

    ‘mucosal abnormalities’ (inflammation of the mucosal tissues) ,

    lymphoid hyperplasia ( is the rapid growth proliferation of normal cells that resemble lymph tissue)

    microscopic colitis – Microscopic colitis refers to two medical conditions which cause diarrhea: collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis.

    Plus we have probably 50 independent General Practitioner GP referrals to a Gastroenterology unit and specialists.

    I would imagine that your previous position is now … untenable.

    Congratulations though, you made reasonable attempt I was certainly amused when you started questioning the credentials of researchers in this field … perhaps you didn’t think out the consequences to this line of argument ?

    post script – To illustrate that point, if Wakefield’s credentials are enough reason for you to believe him, why aren’t Orac’s?

    Of course I do. I would imagine that Orac’s training, and experience would make him a very competent commentator on the medical field he specialises in.

    Add to that any substantial evidence and reasoned debate and I’ll be happy to acknowldege the ‘correctness’ of his position.

    That’s the difference between myself and a fixed mindset.

  371. #371 blackheart
    September 15, 2011

    Chris

    “Personally, all I am interested in are the answers to the questions that I posted ten days ago. He has refused to even attempt to answer them. So he will be ignored until he does.”

    I think post 177 adequately covered this topic. Posted in an amazing coincidence September 5, 2011 3:26 AM 10 days ago.

    I try to get back to everyone as quickly as possible…they were actually good questions.You should take the answers on board.

  372. #372 lilady
    September 15, 2011

    @ Matthew Cline:

    “It’s obviously because The Time Is Not Yet Right. When the time is right he’ll file and win his appeal, and all us pro-vaxxers will have egg on our faces.”

    I wonder what Wakefield’s time frame is? I hope it is sometime in the relatively near future. After he “prevails” and his license is restored, we can arrange a press conference and publicly apologize…before the public flogging. Let me see, there is a long list of people who will owe Wakefield that public apology…Orac, me, you, Chris. Dedj, Brian Deer and….the list is endless.

  373. #373 blackheart
    September 15, 2011

    Dedj

    “Yes, but the GMC hearing expressly covered FTP issues, as is thier power.”

    Thanks I always like the acknowledgement that I was indeed correct …again.

    “If JWS ‘wins’, Wakefield can easily claim it ‘obviously’ vindicates them all …”

    It will be an interesting moment in time. But the rigid thinking of skeptik commentators will continue to forward a ‘conspiracy theory’ surrounding the “Medical Establishment”.

  374. #374 blackheart
    September 15, 2011

    TBruce

    “Unless a pathologist is based in a paediatric centre …”

    You might have missed this … from the General Medical Transcripts.

    Professor Allan Walker

    “John is one of the most revered paediatric gastroenterologists in the world.

    Finally, and I believe you may already be aware of this because it was in the letters that you got, John has been given a distinguished achievement award by the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterologist and Nutrition and, to my knowledge, this is the first time that it has ever been given, a lifetime achievement award, to a paediatric gastroenterologist.

    I think that underscores the view of John Walker‑Smith as a paediatric gastroenterologist on a world‑wide basis.’ ”

  375. #375 Julian Frost
    September 15, 2011

    Blackheart:

    In regards to your well thought out and elucidated questions ….

    meh.

    So you admit that you have no proof that manipulation occurred in the original GMC Hearing, or that Dr. Brent Taylor is not impartial. In short, you have f-all evidence, while Wakefield’s critics have hard evidence that he is a thoroughly dishonest and unscrupulous individual.

  376. #376 blackheart
    September 15, 2011

    Krebiozen

    Your commentary may make sense if Wakefield was a lone voice in this matter but he was one of two senior co-authors.

    Personally I think you should just logically agree to the clear position that this was no ordinary team of researchers or professionals. Well credentialed very experienced and recognised.

    I’m also puzzled how you can actively attack the credentials of a whole team of researchers , but counter with one person with similar qualification…

    Fuzzy cognition…

  377. #377 blackheart
    September 15, 2011

    Dedj

    “Yes, my thought are that you should start answering the questions put to you and stop going off on rather fragmented tangents.

    You’ve been given enough chances to do so. Time for you to do so. After all, you wouldn’t want to be ‘impolite’ for not answering questions would you?”

    I checked posts 359 and 360 for questions posed. I could find non. Can you clarify this ?

    All I can read is some convoluted arguments regarding appeals … It’s not rocket science Dedj.

    Think senior co-authors.

  378. #378 blackheart
    September 15, 2011

    Dedj

    “The only possible crime here is monetary fraud.”

    You have my full attention … outline your case and evidence.

  379. #379 blackheart
    September 15, 2011

    Chris

    “And don’t forget the one PhD student”

    I just can’t remember his name …

    DT35

    “Chris @362: Oh, yes, poor Nick Chadwicke!”

    ummm… that’s Nick Chadwick. without the “e” and the exclamation mark.

  380. #380 blackheart
    September 15, 2011

    Julian Frost

    meh m.e.h. meh.

  381. #381 blackheart
    September 15, 2011

    herr doktor bimler

    I’m sorry I made a mistake of assuming that you were aware of a number of the major theories concerning the immune system dysfunction and autism.

    Obviously next time I’ll allow some further uptake time. Understanding complex matters can be taxing thus inducing a certain intellectual lassitude.

  382. #382 Chris
    September 15, 2011

    blackheart:

    I think post 177 adequately covered this topic. Posted in an amazing coincidence September 5, 2011 3:26 AM 10 days ago.

    Sorry, I missed it. It must have been held up in moderation. In the future try just using the journal, title, date and author of the paper, or just the PubMed Identification. For example: PMID: 10227304, which is:
    JAMA. 1999 Apr 28;281(16):1482-3.
    From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Impact of vaccines universally recommended for children–United States, 1900-1998.

    You did answer mostly, except misinterpretation of the IOM the news paper article about it does not count, and did not prove that the vaccines are more dangerous than the diseases. At least you knew that the first measles vaccine was introduced in 1963.

    So with your posting the IOM report you agreed that vaccines are safe, including the MMR and DTaP vaccines.

    Still does not excuse the lying and moving of goal posts. Or your undying love for Wakefield.

  383. #383 Chris
    September 15, 2011

    Of course, knowing how blackheart has been operation. He probably knew that comment 177 would be held up in moderation and would be missed if he posted enough of his badly formatted barely comprehensible posts.

  384. #384 Calli Arcale
    September 15, 2011

    blackhearT:

    “They were supposedly selected specifically because they had both autism and bowel problems. Of course they would all have both autism and bowel inflammation.”

    This seems to be at odds with your previous statement can you clarify your position ?

    Note the word “supposedly”; that’s the key to understanding what I was getting at. In the original paper, and in submissions to the ethics board that approved the study, Wakefield indicated that the children were all referred for a combination of neurodevelopmental delay and bowel problems. When the paper was initially published, there was no reason to assume that Wakefield’s actual data was falsified. Now, of course, evidence has come out that shows that at least some of the children lacked any abnormal GI symptoms whatsoever, and that the biopsies had not shown abnormal pathology after all.

    BUT . . . even if we ignore that the diagnoses have since been called into question and the evidence seriously compromised, even if we assume Wakefield’s initial data to be correct, there’s still the problem that if you take a group of kids with GI disorders and autism, of course you’ll find GI disorders and autism in all of them. It still doesn’t show a correlation, let alone causation. That was one of my problems with the study right from the outset, before any of the scientific misconduct accusations were laid.

    The evidence shows clearly they had [list of findings omitted for brevity]

    The evidence presented by Wakefield et al in the original paper, yes. The pathologist who actually examined the specimens later came forward and indicated that that wasn’t what he found, or what he submitted to Wakefield.

    Congratulations though, you made reasonable attempt I was certainly amused when you started questioning the credentials of researchers in this field … perhaps you didn’t think out the consequences to this line of argument ?

    I didn’t question the credentials of researchers in the field; perhaps you have me confused with someone else? I agreed that they all had good credentials, including Wakefield. Credentials aren’t everything, don’t you agree? Surely the actual *claims* are important to consider.

  385. #385 Dedj
    September 15, 2011

    “Dedj

    “The only possible crime here is monetary fraud.”

    You have my full attention … outline your case and evidence.”

    I’m not making an accusation of monetary fraud. It would be interesting to see how Wakefield can provide evidence for where the money he supposedly gave to charity went (despite it not being in his remit to do so), but that’s about it.

    You’ve ‘somehow’ managed to pick up on a single sentence in the post and have ‘somehow’ managed to miss out on the point that the professional misconduct aspect of the case is not dependant on any actual or potential criminal misconduct aspect. Yet, you still bang on about it anyway. Suspiciously convenient.

  386. #386 Dedj
    September 15, 2011

    “Thanks I always like the acknowledgement that I was indeed correct …again.”

    You were correct that there are broader issues, but that is about it. That was not what the GMC hearing was about, and is not what we’re talking about when we talk about the hearing. Remember, we were talking about the appeal, and therefore the GMC hearing, not any possible future criminal hearing were Wakefield will defend himself against criminal accusations.

    I’m sure you must remember, you’ve been talking about it for the past few days. Odd then, that you should suddenly and conveniently decide to swerve away from the subject of actual real-worl professional misconduct onto purported accusations of criminal misconduct. It’s almost as if you don’t want to address the subject, as your lack of any sufficient arguement indicates.

    Any appeal will be based on what was heard at the FTP hearings, which concerned professional misconduct. This did include the financial mismanagement, but that was not intrinsically fraud.

  387. #387 Dedj
    September 15, 2011

    “I checked posts 359 and 360 for questions posed. I could find non. Can you clarify this ?”

    Yes, there aren’t any in those posts.

    You will note that I did not claim there was. You will note that you cannot be unaware that you have been repeatedly asked specific questions by other posters regarding particular opinions that can be inferred (indeed, have to be inferred as you deliberetly withhold from making particular statements) that you hold from your statements.

    How convenient that you selected only those two posts to look at. One might almost think you did it on purpose.

  388. #388 TBruce
    September 15, 2011

    “John is one of the most revered paediatric gastroenterologists in the world.

    Finally, and I believe you may already be aware of this because it was in the letters that you got, John has been given a distinguished achievement award by the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterologist and Nutrition and, to my knowledge, this is the first time that it has ever been given, a lifetime achievement award, to a paediatric gastroenterologist.

    I think that underscores the view of John Walker‑Smith as a paediatric gastroenterologist on a world‑wide basis.’ ”

    You may not be aware that a gastroenterologist has no training or expertise in interpreting histopathology specimens.

    If you are aware, then you should be ashamed of yourself.

  389. #389 Krebiozen
    September 15, 2011

    Blackheart,

    Your commentary may make sense if Wakefield was a lone voice in this matter but he was one of two senior co-authors.

    What a very strange response. You claimed that Wakefield has a “solid professional standard” in Histopathology. I was simply pointing out that that is incorrect as he never, to my knowledge, took the MRCPath examinations. He is an honorary Fellow of the RCP.

    Personally I think you should just logically agree to the clear position that this was no ordinary team of researchers or professionals. Well credentialed very experienced and recognised.

    I agree that this team of researchers was well-credentialed etc. I have had professional dealings with the Royal Free, and I have also attended the hospital as a patient, so I am well aware of its reputation. This makes it all the more shameful that two members of this team of researchers deceived the others, and abused their positions to the extent that the GMC saw fit to strike them off the medical register.

    I’m also puzzled how you can actively attack the credentials of a whole team of researchers , but counter with one person with similar qualification…

    You do seem to be puzzled. How is pointing out that Wakefield never trained as a pathologist, or for that matter remarking that a letter is “interesting”, attacking the credentials of a whole team of researchers?

    Fuzzy cognition…

    You seem to be suffering from a bad case.

  390. #390 blackheart
    September 15, 2011

    TBruce

    Perhaps then you should nip down to the local medical library and take out

    Practical pediatric gastroenterology
    By John A. Walker-Smith, John Richard Hamilton, W. Allan Walker

  391. #391 Dedj
    September 15, 2011

    “Perhaps then you should nip down to the local medical library and take out ”

    For what purpose?

    Which section is relevant?

    Why do you think it is relevant?

    Which part of the contents do you think substantiates your point? Why and how?

  392. #392 blackheart
    September 16, 2011

    Dedj

    All you have to do to answer your reflective questions is pick up the book.

  393. #393 blackheart
    September 16, 2011

    Krebiozen

    “You claimed that Wakefield has a “solid professional standard” in Histopathology.”

    I did and you haven’t show anything to refute this.

    “I was simply pointing out that that is incorrect as he never, to my knowledge, took the MRCPath examinations.”

    Never to my knowledge ?

    Did I comment “solid professional and academic qualification” ? Well no.

    Was histopathological data part of the Lancet 12 paper or any other academic papers that Wakefield published or presented ? Yes

    Did Wakefield collate histopathological data and publish this material in a peer reviewed journal of the highest standard ? Yes.

    I say that this shows Wakefield reached a’professional standard”.

  394. #394 Beamup
    September 16, 2011

    Except for the fact that, you know, he made it all up.

  395. #395 blackheart
    September 16, 2011

    Beamup

    “Except for the fact that, you know, he made it all up.”

    Krebiozen made it all up … I knew there was something fishy going on.

    Thanks for the heads up.

  396. #396 Julian Frost
    September 16, 2011

    Blackheart:

    Did Wakefield collate histopathological data and publish this material in a peer reviewed journal of the highest standard ? Yes.

    Umm, no. The data completely contradicted Wakefield’s hypothesis, so he cooked it. Also, I’d like to remind you that The Lancet retracted Wakefield’s paper after he was found to have committed a number of ethical breaches.
    You seem to think that if a paper is published by a peer reviewed journal, that’s the end of it. It isn’t. Papers have been retracted, and not just for fraud, when new evidence emerges.

  397. #397 blackheart
    September 16, 2011

    Julian

    “The data completely contradicted Wakefield’s hypothesis, so he cooked it.”

    Jumping the gun there … let’s go back and reflect on the questions I asked previously…

    *********************************************************

    “Certainly … let’s have a look at the allegations that Wakefield manipulated the research and that he had a very large profit motive to gain in doing so.

    The first questions regards plausible ? (And applies to all members of the Royal Free team substantially)

    Was Andrew Wakefield a recognised professional in the study of gastroenterology / histapathology ? Yes proven

    Was John Walker-Smith (University Department of Paediatric Gastroenterology) ? Yes proven

    Was Simon Murch (As above )? Yes

    Was Mike Thomson (As above) ? Yes

    Had he published and undertaken research work in this field previously and to what level ? Yes including most of if not all the team members were active researchers with a list of accomplishments.

    Had Professor John Walker-Smith ? Most certainly Life Time Achievement Award comes to mind from Europe’s premier peak body.

    Did he work for a well respected medical institution ? Yes The Royal Free (Teaching Hospital)

    Did any of the research presented previously follow quite plausible biological and research grounds ?

    Certainly there was and is very strong evidence of the role of immune system dysfunction and Gastro symptoms in ASD children from at least 1984 and probably longer.

    Were there any major controversies over previous research , other than the usual questioning, which is part of ‘science’ ? No. Nice clear track record of good honest endeavour and rigorous scientific research.

    *******************************************************

    I know there’s been some commentary on this but really … it hasn’t been of much if any merit.

    What else do we know ?

    Were the patients referred through their General Practitioner / Paediatrician ? Yes

    Is this the normal procedure for referral in the UK ? Yes

    What were the children referred for ? Gastroenterology complaints.

    How do we know this ? Parent testimony / GP referral to specifically a Gastroenterology team at Royal Free.

    ********************************************************

    Nothing wrong here …

  398. #398 Dedj
    September 16, 2011

    “Dedj

    All you have to do to answer your reflective questions is pick up the book. ”

    First of all, I need you to tell me why I should even bother to look the book up. Your mere opinion isn’t sufficient.

    Then you need to indicate the relevent section, and why you think it answers TBruces observations.

    Get to it and stop wasting time.

  399. #399 Chris
    September 16, 2011

    Dedj:

    First of all, I need you to tell me why I should even bother to look the book up. Your mere opinion isn’t sufficient.

    Indeed. It was published in 1996 as a textbook. What I believe is that Blackheart has not even looked at it, and is just pushing it because it was co-written by Walker-Smith. He probably found it by searching for “histopathology”, a word he may never had heard of before Tbruce’s comment.

    Being the co-author of a text book did not make Dr. Walker-Smith immune to being erased from the medical register for performing unnecessary invasive procedures on children.

    Blackheart, do you also support putting disabled children through invasive and risky procedures for no reason?

    You’ve established by pointing out the IOM report that the risks of measles, mumps and rubella are far greater than the MMR vaccine. So you have absolutely no reason to support anyone who participated in the now retracted paper.

  400. #400 Chris
    September 16, 2011

    I hate the moderation here. I’ve had comments go in with one link, when it should be more than two links. Here it is without the links:

    Indeed. It was published in 1996 as a textbook (link to Google books). What I believe is that Blackheart has not even looked at it, and is just pushing it because it was co-written by Walker-Smith. He probably found it by searching for “histopathology”, a word he may never had heard of before Tbruce’s comment.

    Being the co-author of a text book did not make Dr. Walker-Smith immune to being erased from the medical register for performing unnecessary invasive procedures on children (link to GMC ruling on Walker-Smith).

    Blackheart, do you also support putting disabled children through invasive and risky procedures for no reason?

    You’ve established by pointing out the IOM report that the risks of measles, mumps and rubella are far greater than the MMR vaccine. So you have absolutely no reason to support anyone who participated in the now retracted paper.

  401. #401 Krebiozen
    September 16, 2011

    Blackheart,
    I think you are nitpicking. Nevertheless, I think you are wrong about the nits you pick.

    “You claimed that Wakefield has a “solid professional standard” in Histopathology.” I did and you haven’t show anything to refute this.

    A solid professional standard in Histopathology of the level required to examine histopathological material and make diagnoses (much less to identify a previously unknown inflammatory condition of the bowel) would require a person to take and pass the MRCPath examinations specializing in Histopathology, which requires 4 years of specialist training. Wakefield has not had that specialist training and has not taken those examinations.

    “I was simply pointing out that that is incorrect as he never, to my knowledge, took the MRCPath examinations.” Never to my knowledge ?

    Do you have evidence that he did? At the time I wrote that I wasn’t entirely certain that Wakefield had not taken the MRCPath exams. Now I am certain he did not.

    Did I comment “solid professional and academic qualification” ? Well no.

    There is no form of “solid professional standard” in any area of medical specialities in the UK that doesn’t involve academic qualifications. I can say this with some confidence as I spent 23 years working in Pathology in the UK with many people with MRCPath qualifications and with those studying for them. Wakefield was given a fellowship on the basis of published research some 3 years after the Lancet paper was published, before it was known that it was fraudulent. Such a fellowship does not qualify a person for unsupervised practice and does not make them eligible for a Consultant post.

    Was histopathological data part of the Lancet 12 paper or any other academic papers that Wakefield published or presented ? Yes

    Papers which included trained and qualified Histopathologists amongst their authors. Do those Histopathologists now have a solid professional standard in Gastroenterology as a result of having co-authored a paper with a Gastroenterologist? Of course not.

    Did Wakefield collate histopathological data and publish this material in a peer reviewed journal of the highest standard ? Yes.

    Have all but one of his fellow authors distanced themselves from the study, and has the study been retracted from the peer-reviewed journal? Yes.

    I say that this shows Wakefield reached a “professional standard”.

    You can say what you like, but he did not train as a Histopathologist or pass any examinations on the subject, and was not qualified to practice as a Histopathologist unsupervised. That’s not what I would call a “solid professional standard”.

  402. #402 lilady
    September 16, 2011

    @ Chris:

    “So you have absolutely no reason to support anyone who participated in the now retracted paper.”

    I’m not convinced the Black Heart is a totally disinterested party. We know certain facts about Black Heart:

    He definitely has not science background…”I work with science every day”…is utterly untrue.

    He is not a lawyer…even I was able to deconstruct some of his legal opinions.

    That would leave only one possibility IMO. He has a disabled child “damaged” by vaccine and he saw the “opportunity” to “score” big time if Wakefield’s fraudulent research was accepted and if Wakefield prevailed at the GMC hearing.

    So, I suspect that the answer to the question you posed to Black Heart about belief in putting disabled children through invasive and risky procedures for no reason, would be yes.

    The only meeting of the minds we share with Black Heart is our desire to have Wakefield return to the U.K. to appeal the GMC decision.

  403. #403 W. Kevin Vicklund
    September 16, 2011
    You may not be aware that a gastroenterologist has no training or expertise in interpreting histopathology specimens.

    Perhaps then you should nip down to the local medical library and take out

    Practical pediatric gastroenterology
    By John A. Walker-Smith, John Richard Hamilton, W. Allan Walker

    Perusing the book, the only mention of histopathology is in Chapter 20, written by a Dr. Kamath. How is this supposed to show that a gastroenterologist has training, let alone expertise, in interpreting histopathology specimens?

  404. #404 Matthew Cline
    September 16, 2011

    You seem to think that if a paper is published by a peer reviewed journal, that’s the end of it. It isn’t. Papers have been retracted, and not just for fraud, when new evidence emerges.

    Even if a paper is published in a peer reviewed journal and isn’t retracted, it doesn’t mean that it must be correct. That’s why scientific papers have p-values.

  405. #405 TBruce
    September 16, 2011

    390
    TBruce

    Perhaps then you should nip down to the local medical library and take out

    Practical pediatric gastroenterology
    By John A. Walker-Smith, John Richard Hamilton, W. Allan Walker

    Nice snow job. There may be a job waiting for you at our local ski resort.

  406. #406 blackheart
    September 16, 2011

    Krebiozen

    It is disappointing to see such rigidity in thought and an unwillingness to critically examine ones arguments. This is the basis of Orac’s fixed mindset post and my rebuttal to it.

    You have refused such a simple element that Andrew Wakefield had as I put it reached a ‘solid professional’ level in histopathology. Even though the evidence I presented is thorough and clear.

    The evidence for :

    Membership Royal College of Pathology given in recognition of the high professional standards of Andrew Wakefield.

    Senior Lecturer at Royal Free (Teaching Hospital).

    Numerous professional research articles, papers, lecturers and other professional related tasks.

    Supervision and mentoring of medical/research students.

    Senior Author / co author in research with duties including the collation and interpretation of histopathological data and evidence.

    Director Inflammatory Bowel Disease Study Group.

    ***********************************************

    …and

    Senior Lecturer in Medicine and Histopathology

    Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine

    Pond Street
    London NW3 2QG

  407. #407 blackheart
    September 16, 2011

    Chris

    “Blackheart, do you also support putting disabled children through invasive and risky procedures for no reason?

    Chris I think you need to raise the intellectual standard of your questions.

    Do I think that children with a disability exhibiting serious and multiple debilitating conditions deserve the thorough examination of their conditions to enable a better quality of life for them and their parents / carers – Yes

    Should that role be undertaken by UK medical authorities without prejudice or bias as laid out in their professional work standards ? Yes

    Should the medical support and investigation of these children be maintained over time ? Yes

    You’ve established by pointing out the IOM report that the risks of measles, mumps and rubella are far greater than the MMR vaccine.

    Yes. I would be thoroughly discouraged that modern medicine would put forward a medicine that did more damage than good.

    But do medicines ever cause or trigger disease ? Yes

    Do medical authorities withdraw medicines because they have a risk to the general public ? Yes

    Are all risks defined and calculated when it comes to the safety of medicines ? No

    Do we know the varying interactions and complexities of the infant immune system and medicines that are given ? No

    Does medicine safety investigation require robust, objective and reasoned debate and investigation ? Yes

    Do we have the prerequisite data collection and additional evidence ‘gathering’ to obtain a clear and transparent picture of medicine safety? No

    Am I satisfied that there is a thorough investigation, oversight, monitoring and release of material in medicine safety ? No

    Quite frankly the science is not of sufficient quality and robustness to underscore the safety of medicine delivery to out most vulnerable population – our children.

  408. #408 Dedj
    September 17, 2011

    I think we can all agree that you can only manipulate test results and commit other forms of misconduct if you are in a posistion to do so.

    Pointing out that Wakefield was in the perfect posistion to manipulate results and get away with it (if it wasn’t for those meddling kids) doesn’t really do much for the arguement that he wouldn’t ever do that (remember that GMC, HPC and NMWC FTP defendants are all qualified professionals by definition) and positively harms the arguement that he didn’t or couldn’t.

    If people want to argue that Wakefield did not commit misconduct in regards to test results in spite of the evidence presented in front of the GMC, they would do a lot better than inadvertenly strengthen the arguement that he had opportunity and ability to do so.

  409. #409 Chris
    September 17, 2011

    blackheart:

    Do I think that children with a disability exhibiting serious and multiple debilitating conditions deserve the thorough examination of their conditions to enable a better quality of life for them and their parents / carers – Yes

    So you approved of the atrocities that went on at Willowbrook, because the vaccine tests were said to be to protect children in those institutions (they included deliberately infecting the children). Not only are you a liar (and I see you backtracking, you really did not realize what the IOM said), but that you have a cruel heartless soul that cares nothing for children.

    Or you are really very stupid. You did not understand that the invasive tests were medically unnecessary. This means the children were put through painful dangerous procedures for no reason. Perhaps you should work on your English comprehension.

    Blackheart, you are in absolutely no position to comment on the intellectual standard of anyone here. Especially with this idiocy: “Are all risks defined and calculated when it comes to the safety of medicines ? No”

  410. #410 Th1Th2
    September 17, 2011

    Why are you complaining Chris? You should be grateful these disabled children were found useful in vaccine trials, yeah next to monkeys. I meant no offense but that is what Salk did in 1953.

  411. #411 Gray Falcon
    September 17, 2011

    Given your attitude towards disabled children, I thought you’d have approved:
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/05/the_2011_measles_outbreak_and_vaccines_i.php#comment-4065513

  412. #412 Th1Th2
    September 17, 2011

    Then who gave Salk the approval to experiment on disabled children? I smell fish.

    Would Chris, Venna et al sacrifice their children to the experiment for the greater glory of good?

  413. #413 Chris
    September 17, 2011

    No child should be sacrificed for medical research, idiot1idiot2 and idiotheart.

    What stupid people. They haven’t even read the history of vaccines. Whatever it is, that is one of the reasons (especially the hepatitis trials) that created rules for experimentation on humans, especially children.

    Those are the rules that were broken by both Wakefield and Smith-Walker, and the stated reasons to remove them from the medical registry. It is clearly stated in the Smith-Walker GMC ruling link in my approved comment #399. Try working on your reading comprehension with it.

  414. #414 Th1Th2
    September 17, 2011

    No child should be sacrificed for medical research,[…]
    They haven’t even read the history of vaccines. Whatever it is, that is one of the reasons (especially the hepatitis trials) that created rules for experimentation on humans, especially children.

    Maybe you’re the one who needs to learn Chris. You started off with hepatitis trial and I can go back as far as 1935-1936 when children were used as guinea pigs!

    You should be proud Chris and stop whining.

  415. #415 Chris
    September 17, 2011

    Big freaking deal, idiot1idiot2. Try reading for comprehension:

    Because of those unethical trials that actually went back for centuries (like the royal who fed two prisoners different things and then had them executed and dissected), the rules were changed.

    Both Wakefield and Smith-Walker ignored the rules and experimented on children without permission.

    They were caught.

    They were finally removed from the medical register.

    I have a kid who had seizures from a real disease and is permanently disabled. Your stupidity, lies and heartlessness knows no bounds. Are you and idiotheart a couple?

  416. #416 lilady
    September 17, 2011

    Nasty Thingy Troll again bestows its brain droppings on us. This odious troll has an “imaginary” education in the medical sciences, an “imaginary” career in the health care field with a particular “imaginary specialty knowledge” of immunology, vaccines and the epidemiology of vaccine-preventable diseases.

    Delusional hate-filled disease-promoting troll needs “terminal disinfecting”.

  417. #417 Th1Th2
    September 17, 2011

    Chris,

    All I am saying is that you should be proud of your disabled child because they were among the founding pillars of vaccine experimentation.

  418. #418 lilady
    September 17, 2011

    Thingy still has not explained the link between her brilliant (imaginary) career in the hospital/brilliant (imaginary) career in medical epidemiology/suspect measles containment and “terminal disinfection”…We are all waiting for that brain dropping.

  419. #419 lilady
    September 17, 2011

    @ Black Heartless:

    The GMC whose members are REAL doctors have ruled that tests ordered/performed (lumbar punctures and gastroscopy), by your hero Wakefield on the disabled children constitute medical malpractice. The GMC also ruled that Wakefield falsified the test results.

    Now, we all know you “work with science every day”, so what would, in your “experience”, justify these invasive tests?

    Heartless bastard, Chris and I have children who underwent these painful invasive procedures for REAL medical reasons.

  420. #420 lilady
    September 17, 2011

    Thingy why aren’t you answering the question that I posed to you one hour ago…about your hospital/epidemiology experience and your advice about containment of a possible measles case…using “terminal disinfection”?

  421. #421 lilady
    September 17, 2011

    Thingy: It’s been more than two hours since I posed the question and asked for your explanation:

    “Thingy still has not explained the link between her brilliant (imaginary) career in the hospital/brilliant (imaginary) career in medical epidemiology/suspect measles containment and “terminal disinfection”…We are all waiting for that brain dropping”.

  422. #423 lilady
    September 17, 2011

    Actually Thingy, you had answered the question about your brilliant (imaginary) career in health care/epidemiology and disease containment, when you were questioned about how to contain a possible exposure in a hospital emergency room. Here is your method of “containment” and my reply to your method of “containment”:

    “No, I don’t use any timer because I don’t need to. We only use that in the hospital for terminal disinfection of the room previously occupied by a known infectious patient.” (Thingy at #182 above)

    That statement infers that Thingy actually works in a hospital…what a joke. Terminal disinfection of a hospital room takes place after the patient is discharged from the hospital and before another patient is assigned to the hospital room. There are completely different isolation protocols put in place when a suspect case of measles may have contaminated a hospital, clinic or doctor’s waiting room or examination room and it involves “a timer” that Thingy never uses.

    Thingy is not qualified to work within the health care setting in even the most menial categories; uneducated and unlicensed. The closest Thingy ever gets to the health care professions is possibly his/her/its collection of scrubs that he/she/it wears in a variety of colors.

    Thingy doesn’t even qualify as a troll…dumbest category.

    Posted by: lilady | July 15, 2011 1:37 PM

    (RI blog “Joe Mercola plays the religion card against vaccine”, July 11, 2001)

    Perhaps Thingy would like to clarify what his/her/its (non-imaginary) qualifications are by answering a few questions:

    1. What university-conferred degree does Thingy possess?

    2. What licensing/credentialing in the health care field does Thingy possess?

    Nasty delusional disease-promoting troll needs “terminal disinfection”.

  423. #424 lilady
    September 17, 2011

    P.S. Thingy:

    University degree does not include a degree from Hamburger U.

    License does not include the license you have for your dog.

  424. #425 Krebiozen
    September 17, 2011

    Blackheart,

    You continue to miss my point. Wakefield is not and never has been a histopathologist. He never trained as a histopathologist and never took much less passed the Royal College of Pathology exams. Nothing you have written suggests that he did. He was not qualified to work unsupervised as a histopathologist, and if he was doing so he was stepping outside his professional remit. When and where do you think he got this “solid professional standing” that it takes real histopathologists four years of hard work to acquire? Did he get it by osmosis?

    Imagine a histopathologist with no training in surgery, and who has passed no exams in surgery. He has co-authored some papers with surgeons, and has been given an essentially honorary membership of a professional body of surgeons on their basis. Would you be happy for him to perform surgery on you?

    It does seem strange that Wakefield was awarded a Fellowship of the RCP on the basis of his published work at a time when red flags were being raised about his credibility, and I am surprised his Fellowship has not been withdrawn (or perhaps it has – I have just written to the RCP askng about this).

    In the hospitals I have worked in someone with no training or qualifications in a medical specialty would not be considered to have a solid professional standing in that speciality. That’s not rigidity of thought, that’s the reality of how medical training and qualifications work in the UK medical system.

    By the way Wakefield was not a “Senior Lecturer in Medicine and Histopathology”, it seems he signed letters with this title, but according to the GMC he was a “Senior Lecturer in the Departments of Medicine and Histopathology” which is not quite the same thing. The first implies that he lectured on the subject of histopathology, the second does not.

  425. #426 Th1Th2
    September 17, 2011

    So you’re not arguing about terminal disinfection, are you? Good. At least that’s a lot better than your idiotic idea to just close the door. Wherever did you learn that?

    About my “career” in the healthcare field, I’d say it’s none of your business.

  426. #427 lilady
    September 17, 2011

    Thingy: You were busted repeatedly about your knowledge of an exposure to a measles case. Dumb Troll, you don’t even know the difference between Universal Precautions (terminal disinefection) and the specific steps that infection control practitioners take to contain an exposure to measles and to prevent transmission of the disease in a hospital setting.

    You have no education in the sciences, no professional licenses and no career in health care…your education, licensing and health care career exist only in your imagination.

    I smell dying nasty delusional disease-promoting troll here, overdue for “terminal disinfection”.

  427. #428 Chris
    September 17, 2011

    Krebiozen:

    By the way Wakefield was not a “Senior Lecturer in Medicine and Histopathology”, it seems he signed letters with this title, but according to the GMC he was a “Senior Lecturer in the Departments of Medicine and Histopathology” which is not quite the same thing. The first implies that he lectured on the subject of histopathology, the second does not.

    As an illustration on how far Wakefield has descended, today this was put out on Infowars (I saw it by chance as they left a trackback at LeftBrainRightBrain), I am only going to cut and paste the verbiage due to recent moderation:

    Exclusive: Forced Injection of Children Without Parents Consent – Dr. Andrew Wakefield

    TheAlexJonesChannel
    September 17, 2011

    Guest host Mike Adams talks in-studio with Dr. Andrew Wakefield about the dangers of the Gardasil vaccine. In 1998, Wakefield and other scientists connected bowel disease, autism, and the MMR vaccine. Also in the interview is shocking audio from Merck scientists admitting that cancer viruses are added to the vaccines and laughing about it.

  428. #429 lilady
    September 18, 2011

    @ Chris:

    I viewed the entire video between Adams and Wakefield and it is the same old story. Now the carney barker is pushing his junk science about the HPV vaccine.

    Wakefield should go back to the U.K. and appeal the GMC ruling and he is a public health menace.

  429. #430 Chris
    September 18, 2011

    lilady, you have a stronger stomach than I do. I have no intention of watching Wakefield’s smarmy excuses.

    I noticed Thingy does not understand my son is most likely disabled due to a real disease. She really is an idiot.

  430. #431 Blackheart
    September 18, 2011

    Chris

    Some interesting insights into medical ethics , if a little crudely put. #409

    Life isn’t as black and white as ‘science rationalism’ would have it.

  431. #432 lilady
    September 18, 2011

    @ Chris:

    Of course the Thingy Troll knows you and other posters have disabled children…she is a cold uncaring troll. We would do well to just ignore this troll and the other resident troll…they “channel” each other.

  432. #433 blackheart
    September 18, 2011

    “You continue to miss my point.”

    No I’m quite well aware of your ‘point’ layered as it is.

    “He never trained as a histopathologist…”

    Which has little to do with my arguments as Wakefield did not conduct the histopathology nor did he have to.

    “Imagine a …”

    Yes, imagine ordinary MD’s and lay people making decisions on complex theories regarding gastroenterology and histopathology amongst other issues without academic or professional experience. (Extraordinary)

    Yes, imagine someone making accusations against 13 professional researchers without any apparently any academic or scientific qualifications to do so. (Extraordinary)

    “It does seem strange that Wakefield was awarded a Fellowship of the RCP…”

    Perhaps it is because Andrew Wakefield is an excellent researcher and lecturer in his field and all that pertains to. He was also a honorary consultant in experimental gastroenterology.

    “In the hospitals I have worked…”

    Quite a brilliant young man rather than your ‘run of the mill’ pathologist.

    “That’s not rigidity of thought.”

    Yes it is …. the whole world does not revolve around your experiences and perceptions.

    “By the way Wakefield was not a “Senior Lecturer in Medicine and Histopathology”, it seems he signed letters with this title…”

    No he didn’t. Official Royal Free Hospital letterhead.

    “The first implies that he lectured on the subject of histopathology, the second does not.”

    No …it doesn’t.

    But thanks for your input.

    Time to move forward unless one is perceived to be of a ‘rigid mindset’ …

  433. #434 blackheart
    September 18, 2011

    It has been bought to my attention that certain commentators are concerned at the clinical investigations on severley disabled children undertaken by a team of eminent doctors at the Royal Free. Perhaps it is time to clarify this issue.

    I find it useful to refer to original documents, known as primary source material, rather than opinion from questionable alternative sources.

    Professor John Walker-Smith undertook the following role

    “We took histories, including details of immunisations and exposure to infectious diseases, and assessed the children. In 11 cases the history was obtained by the senior clinician (JW-S).”

    The children

    “12 children, consecutively referred to the department of paediatric gastroenterology with a history of a pervasive developmental disorder with loss of acquired skills and intestinal symptoms (diarrhoea, abdominal pain, bloating and food intolerance), were investigated. All children were admitted to the ward for 1 week, accompanied by their parents.”

    What could a clinical investigation involve that sort clear identification of the cause of the children’s obvious pain and suffering entail.

    In European countries inclusive of Sweden, Denmark and Norway that would be evidenced by one of Scandanavia’s most well known autism experts –

    “This paper reviews some of the very considerable evidence that exists which implies the need for specific medical/psychological work-up in autism. Detailed clinical guidelines for work-up are provided on the basis of this review. It is concluded that all young children with autism need a comprehensive medical/laboratory examination.”

    “Relevant laboratory analyses in all medium/low-functioning and certain high-functioning cases with autism and autistic like conditions.”

    We see amongst the investigations a chromosomal test, an MRI scan and then we see CSF protein, EEG and various other tests. By CSF protein we get a little footnote:

    “Lumbar puncture for CSF analysis is a safe and relatively non-traumatic procedure. In the Scandinavian countries, it is always considered in the work-up of young children with severe developmental disorders. If there is a nearby laboratory doing CSF amino acids (phenylalanine in particular), CSF monoamines and CSF endorphins, these tests should be considered since the child has to have a lumbar puncture anyway (to exclude progressive encephalitis/encephalopathy).”

    General Medical Council Transcripts

    I’d like to congratulate John Walker-Smith on his professional and thorough clinical examination of these children and in starting to advance a clear treatment regime that was evidenced to give very positive results to these children. (#345).

    I await the positive commentary to follow…

  434. #435 Krebiozen
    September 18, 2011

    Blackheart,
    Do you actually know what a histopathologist is? Have ever met a histopathologist? Have you even set foot in a histopathology laboratory, or any other UK pathology laboratory for that matter? It is clear to me that you really don’t have the first idea of what you are writing about in terms of someone having a “solid professional standing” in histopathology.

    Wakefield did not conduct the histopathology nor did he have to

    Really? The whole autistic enterocolitis issue is quite interesting. Originally the Royal Free histopathologists reported that all but one of these children’s biopsy samples showed no significant inflammation, and in that one child the inflammation had gone when a second ileocolonoscopy was performed two months later. When a second look was taken at the same samples, this time grading them on a sliding scale, Wakefield was listed as one of the four clinical and experimental pathologists taking that second look. Someone (it is not clear who but it was probably Wakefield) then interpreted these scores to show that 11 out of the 12 children had “non-specific colitis” which then transmuted into “autistic enterocolitis”. This change from normal to non-specific colitis to “autistic enterocolitis” was crucial, yet we don’t know for sure who made this interpretation, and the biopsy samples have now apparently disappeared. Somewhat flimsy evidence to base the discovery of a new bowel condition on, you might think. It looks to me as if “autistic enterocolitis” was entirely invented by Wakefield.

    This also puts Wakefield in a bit of a quandary, as he now insists this was a clinical case series, and not research at all, yet he was not qualified to make clinical assessments of histopathological material. If it was research, unethical investigations were performed, if it was a clinical case series, investigations that were not clinically indicated were carried out, and Wakefield shouldn’t have been involved as he was only allowed to do research. It was partly this Catch 22 that resulted in him being struck off.

    One more thing:

    “By the way Wakefield was not a “Senior Lecturer in Medicine and Histopathology”, it seems he signed letters with this title…” No he didn’t. Official Royal Free Hospital letterhead.

    That’s actually funny. Anyone can get their secretary to type a bogus title on a piece of official headed paper, it proves nothing.

    Time to move forward unless one is perceived to be of a ‘rigid mindset’ …

    Since clearly nothing will sway you form your rigid belief that Wakefield did no wrong, despite the mountains of evidence against him and the ruling of the GMC, I agree. Time to move on.

  435. #436 Th1Th2
    September 18, 2011

    I noticed Thingy does not understand my son is most likely disabled due to a real disease. She really is an idiot.

    Vaccinators would love to work on disabled children. They have done that before. Wakefield or Salk doing that is nothing new. So be proud of your child. They always have a special place in vaccine experimentation. But hey, you’re a partaker, aren’t you?

  436. #437 Krebiozen
    September 18, 2011

    I can’t let this slip by:

    Lumbar puncture for CSF analysis is a safe and relatively non-traumatic procedure.

    Have you seen a lumbar puncture being performed on a child? I have, and non-traumatic is not the phrase that springs to my mind.

    I’m amazed that the same people who think vaccinations are dangerous think that casual lumbar punctures are just fine.

  437. #438 lilady
    September 18, 2011

    @ Black Heartless: I await the positive commentary to follow…”

    Here are my comments and they are not positive….

    The subject of this discussion is the GMC ruling regarding Andrew Wakefield…not John Walker Smith.

    All your posturing as of late, have been on John Walker Smith and, prior to that you were posturing about Wakefield.

    The questions posed to you by me and other posters dealt with the ruling of the GMC regarding Wakefield and LPs:

    The findings of the GMC with regard to Wakefield and LPs for children numbers 3, 9 and 12 are that “he caused (them) to undergo in invasive lumbar punctures (and) repeatedly breached fundamental principles…his actions in this area done were sufficient to amount to serious medical misconduct”

    Being that you are not a doctor although you have stated, “I work with science every day”, I posed the question why you would superimpose your “expertise” and “opinion” on the ruling of the doctors who sat on the GMC panel?

    You in turn now bring up some of the evidence? from Walker-Smiths’ hearing and research? from Scandivavia. Not that I want to add to your derailing of the subject of this thread, but the Walker-Smith GMC ruling stated that 7 children underwent colonoscopies and children numbers 3 and 9 underwent lumbar punctures which were not clinically indicated.

    Back to the questions posed by me and other posters about
    Wakefield; which you have not answered.

    Have you ever assisted a physician performing a lumbar puncture…I have. Do you have a child who has undergone even one LP?…my child underwent multiple lumbar punctures to rule out bacterial meningitis and following episodes of status epilepticus and postictal Todd’s paralysis. They are painful invasive procedures and the GMC’s ruling in both cases were that Wakefield repeatedly breached fundamental principles and that Walker-Smith regarding 7 colonoscopies and 2 LPs were not clinically indicated.

    You still have not answered our questions about the ethics of Wakefield performing/ordering painful invasive procedures.

  438. #439 blackheart
    September 19, 2011

    Krebiozen

    I see your ‘scientific rationalism’ and evidenced based arguments have deteriorated. Not surprising really.

    Do you have anything else to raise ? Yes an article by a freelance journalist.

    Strange cognition I thought we just finished talking about the credentials of some of the main players in this issue.

    Perhaps you could outline this journalist’s medical and scientific qualifications and their experience.

  439. #440 blackheart
    September 19, 2011

    lilady

    Here are my comments and they are not positive….

    There’s a surprise.

    The subject of this discussion is the GMC ruling regarding Andrew Wakefield…not John Walker Smith.

    No it’s not. It is in fact anything pertaining to this issue… and in fact is very much a core issue.

    The questions posed to you by me and other posters dealt with the ruling of the GMC regarding Wakefield and LPs

    The evidence, Lancet 12 paper clearly shows John Walker-Smith in charge of clinical investigation was posted previously.Post 434

    “We took histories, including details of immunisations and exposure to infectious diseases, and assessed the children. In 11 cases the history was obtained by the senior clinician (JW-S).”

    I posed the question why you would superimpose your “expertise” and “opinion” on the ruling of the doctors who sat on the GMC panel?

    It’s not rocket science … I and others disagree with the GMC decisions.

    You in turn now bring up some of the evidence? from Walker-Smiths’ hearing and research? from Scandivavia.

    Yes … evidence.

    Back to the questions posed by me and other posters about Wakefield; which you have not answered….

    These are not questions they are personal experiences.

    Are you suggesting they are valid and evidence based ?

    You still have not answered our questions about the ethics of Wakefield performing/ordering painful invasive procedures.

    My first logical position – I have seen no evidence of Andrew Wakefield either performing or ordering said procedures.

  440. #441 blackheart
    September 19, 2011

    Krebiozen

    Have you seen a lumbar puncture being performed on a child? I have, and non-traumatic is not the phrase that springs to my mind.

    I’m amazed that the same people who think vaccinations are dangerous think that casual lumbar punctures are just fine.

    Perhaps then you’d be interested in this research …

    Risk of aseptic meningitis after measles, mumps,and rubella vaccine in UK children

    Immunisation Division, PHLS Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre

    Cases of aseptic meningitis associated with measles/mumps/rubella vaccine were sought in thirteen UK health districts following a reported cluster in Nottingham which suggested a risk of 1 in 4000 doses, substantially higher than previous estimates based on cases reported by paediatricians (4 per million).

    Cases were ascertained by obtaining vaccination records of children with aseptic meningitis diagnosed from cerebrospinal fluid samples submitted to Public Health Laboratories…

  441. #442 Chris
    September 20, 2011

    blackheart:

    Cases of aseptic meningitis associated with measles/mumps/rubella vaccine were sought in thirteen UK health districts following a reported cluster in Nottingham which suggested a risk of 1 in 4000 doses, substantially higher than previous estimates based on cases reported by paediatricians (4 per million).

    Giving a generic title, no date and not specifying which MMR vaccine is another kind of lie. It is a lie from omission.

    You don’t help yourself by using lies.

    The UK changed the MMR vaccine from those that used the Urabe strain of mumps, to the one that uses the Jeryl Lynn mumps strain in 1992. This fact made Wakefield’s case series of a dozen children even less relevant. They were not given the same MMR vaccine, and it was even more muddied by including an American child.

    Most of us know that, why don’t you?

  442. #443 lilady
    September 20, 2011

    @ Chris:

    Here is the entire citation. You nailed it and your nailed Blackheartless:

    Lance (1993)
    Volume: 341, Issue: 8851, Pages: 979-82

    * ISSN: 01406736
    * PubMed: 8096942

    Available from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
    or Find this paper at:

    * openurl.ac.uk
    * WorldCat®
    * Google Scholar
    * Edit library access links

    Abstract

    Cases of aseptic meningitis associated with measles/mumps/rubella vaccine were sought in thirteen UK health districts following a reported cluster in Nottingham which suggested a risk of 1 in 4000 doses, substantially higher than previous estimates based on cases reported by paediatricians (4 per million). Cases were ascertained by obtaining vaccination records of children with aseptic meningitis diagnosed from cerebrospinal fluid samples submitted to Public Health Laboratories or discharged from hospital with a diagnosis of viral meningitis. Both methods identified vaccination 15-35 days before onset as a significant risk factor and therefore indicative of a causal association. With both, half the aseptic meningitis cases identified in children aged 12-24 months were vaccine-associated with onset 15-35 days after vaccine. The study confirmed that the true risk was substantially higher than suggested by case reports from paediatricians, probably about 1 in 11,000 doses. However, the possibility that the aseptic meningitis induced by vaccination was largely asymptomatic and a chance laboratory finding in children investigated for other clinical conditions, particularly febrile convulsions, could not be excluded. Comparison of national reports of virus-positive mumps meningitis cases before and after the introduction of this vaccine indicated that the risk from wild mumps was about 4-fold higher than from vaccine. Altogether, 28 vaccine-associated cases were identified, all in recipients of vaccines containing the Urabe mumps strain. The absence of cases in recipients of vaccine containing the Jeryl Lynn strain, despite its 14% market share, suggested a higher risk from Urabe vaccine. A prospective adverse event surveillance system using the study methods is currently being established to assess the risk, if any, from the Jeryl Lynn strain which is now the only mumps vaccine used in the UK.

  443. #444 Calli Arcale
    September 20, 2011

    blackheart:
    Cases were ascertained by obtaining vaccination records of children with aseptic meningitis diagnosed from cerebrospinal fluid samples submitted to Public Health Laboratories…

    You are presenting this in response to a question why you support performing lumbar punctures on autistic children, but there is an important point you are missing in your response. The children who had spinal taps performed in the study you reference were not asymptomatic, and the taps were not performed for the purpose of the study. They had spinal meningitis, and the taps were performed to diagnose it.

    I’ve had spinal meningitis. It is not very much fun. I don’t remember the whole two weeks in the hospital; for the first week, I was only sort of present. I was hallucinating, and what memories I do have of the time do not square well with the memories of those who witnessed it, mostly because I had a temperature of 107. For instance, I remember trying to fight off the staff when they came to perform the spinal tap; in reality I was so weak I could barely move. And everyone was simultaneously pressed in tight around me and extremely distant — my perception of space was seriously distorted. It was a strange experience. It also left me with a deep terror of city-lit clouds at night and tall smokestacks, because out my window at night, all I could see were clouds lit by the lights of St Paul and the chimney of the NSP power plant. I got over that terror eventually, but it persisted for years.

    You do a spinal tap on any child presenting with meningitis because it is *vitally* important to know what kind of meningitis they have. It is their best chance of survival. By a cruel twist of fate, the specimen taken from me disappeared en route to the pathology lab. (There was a big influenza epidemic at the same time, so the ER was seriously overloaded.) They did a second tap. That was also lost. So they decided to treat me on the assumption that it was Haemophilus influenzae B; this was before the vaccine was developed, so HiB meningitis was not terribly uncommon. I was put into isolation and given intravenous antibiotics. Eventually, I improved; the course of the disease suggests that my case was viral, not bacterial, but it’s impossible to know for sure without that sample. Had the sample not gotten lost, they would have known that neither isolation nor the antibiotics were necessary. But HiB is so nasty they had to assume the worst and treat accordingly, though without a specimen they’d have to guess on the best antibiotic.

    That’s why they did lumbar punctures on the children with meningitis in that study, blackheart. Not to find a link to the MMR vaccine but so they’d have a decent shot at saving their lives.

    In Wakefield’s work, however, the punctures were done for no reason at all other than science. And that is not acceptable. Children are not guinea pigs. Lumbar punctures carry substantial risks: infection of the central nervous system, severe headache that cannot be controlled by any pain relief, damage to the cord itself with the potential for paralysis. You don’t do that lightly. Spinal block for surgery is a good reason; diagnosis of meningitis is a good reason; a fishing expedition for possible problems with the MMR vaccine is not.

  444. #445 Chris
    September 20, 2011

    Thank you for clarifying, Calli Arcale. I just noticed the lack of identifying information on the cite.

    a fishing expedition for possible problems with the MMR vaccine is not.

    Again, to be clear the children in Wafefield’s case series were given a variety of MMR vaccines. Some had the Urabe strain of mumps (which was known to cause meningitis), and some had the Jeryl Lynn strain of mumps (which has been used in the USA since 1971). It was not “the” MMR vaccine, as there were at least two, possibly three different versions.

  445. #446 Th1Th2
    September 20, 2011

    They had spinal meningitis, and the taps were performed to diagnose it.

    Shocking? Or is it because a C-tap is second best next to an autopsy? Duh

    So they decided to treat me on the assumption that it was Haemophilus influenzae B; this was before the vaccine was developed, so HiB meningitis was not terribly uncommon. I was put into isolation and given intravenous antibiotics. Eventually, I improved;

    But correlation does not equal causation especially after that SWAG diagnosis, right? Must be bad hair day. Possible.

    Children are not guinea pigs.

    Oh yes they are especially the disabled. Vaccinators love to work with them.

  446. #447 Calli Arcale
    September 20, 2011

    True; the word “the” is a bit misleading. It doesn’t change the point, though. You just don’t draw CSF off of kids on a whim. I wanted to make sure people like blackheart understand that a lumbar puncture is not at all the same level of risk as, for instance, a blood draw.

  447. #448 Th1Th2
    September 20, 2011

    That’s why they did lumbar punctures on the children with meningitis in that study, blackheart. Not to find a link to the MMR vaccine but so they’d have a decent shot at saving their lives.

    Like I said, C-tap is for the living. There is always a connection between the CNS and the MMR vaccines because these vaccines are neurotropic. Whether or not encephalitis or meningitis have been ruled by a lumbar tap, the gold standard would still be an autopsy.

    You just can’t hide the virus.

  448. #449 Chris
    September 20, 2011

    Exactly.

    Though it brings about two points about Wakefield’s work:

    1) the unnecessary invasive procedures

    2) the lack of consistently on which MMR vaccine was being studied (the UK mother of one child who had meningitis from the Urabe component actually had to start her lawsuit over because it named the wrong pharmaceutial company)

  449. #450 Blackheart
    September 20, 2011

    Calli

    That’s why they did lumbar punctures on the children with meningitis in that study, blackheart. Not to find a link to the MMR vaccine but so they’d have a decent shot at saving their lives.

    Are you denying a link with a vaccine caused the serious illness in these (meningitis)children ?

    Are you suggesting that a major health crisis associated with a MMR vaccine (just a few years previously before the Lancet 12 study) should be ignored, particularly as the parents and carers were associating it with a similar vaccine ?

    Perhaps you can give me the aetiology of the possible ‘illness’ those Lancet 12 children were suffering ?

  450. #451 lilady
    September 20, 2011

    @ Chris: I found the 1993 study published in Lancet, that the citationless Blackhearted did not provide and I posted with the conclusions of the study…held up in moderation.

    You nailed it Chris. The children in the study had LPs because of febrile-induced seizures, not because of any concern of vaccine induced encephalitis. Coincidentally, the children had the Urabe strain of the mumps vaccine.

    Here again is the FULL abstract:

    Abstract

    Cases of aseptic meningitis associated with measles/mumps/rubella vaccine were sought in thirteen UK health districts following a reported cluster in Nottingham which suggested a risk of 1 in 4000 doses, substantially higher than previous estimates based on cases reported by paediatricians (4 per million). Cases were ascertained by obtaining vaccination records of children with aseptic meningitis diagnosed from cerebrospinal fluid samples submitted to Public Health Laboratories or discharged from hospital with a diagnosis of viral meningitis. Both methods identified vaccination 15-35 days before onset as a significant risk factor and therefore indicative of a causal association. With both, half the aseptic meningitis cases identified in children aged 12-24 months were vaccine-associated with onset 15-35 days after vaccine. The study confirmed that the true risk was substantially higher than suggested by case reports from paediatricians, probably about 1 in 11,000 doses. However, the possibility that the aseptic meningitis induced by vaccination was largely asymptomatic and a chance laboratory finding in children investigated for other clinical conditions, particularly febrile convulsions, could not be excluded. Comparison of national reports of virus-positive mumps meningitis cases before and after the introduction of this vaccine indicated that the risk from wild mumps was about 4-fold higher than from vaccine. Altogether, 28 vaccine-associated cases were identified, all in recipients of vaccines containing the Urabe mumps strain. The absence of cases in recipients of vaccine containing the Jeryl Lynn strain, despite its 14% market share, suggested a higher risk from Urabe vaccine. A prospective adverse event surveillance system using the study methods is currently being established to assess the risk, if any, from the Jeryl Lynn strain which is now the only mumps vaccine used in the UK.

  451. #452 Krebiozen
    September 20, 2011

    Blackheart,

    I see your ‘scientific rationalism’ and evidenced based arguments have deteriorated. Not surprising really.

    Is that how you conduct a discussion? When someone shows that your arguments are utterly wrong you claim their “evidence based arguments have deteriorated”?

    Do you have anything else to raise ? Yes an article by a freelance journalist.

    Published in a peer-reviewed journal. Do you deny that the histopathology reports on those biopsy samples were signed by Wakefield? You claimed above that:

    Wakefield did not conduct the histopathology nor did he have to.

    Yet it says in Wakefield’s retracted 1998 paper, “All tissues were assessed by three other clinical and experimental pathologists (APD, AA, AJW)” where AJW is Andrew J Wakefield. Are you suggesting this is not true?

    Strange cognition I thought we just finished talking about the credentials of some of the main players in this issue.

    This exchange started when I pointed out that your assertion that Wakefield had a “solid professional standing” in histopathology was incorrect because he had no training or qualifications in histopathology. You have not presented any evidence at all to the contrary. Your claim that you don’t need academic qualifications to have a “solid professional standing” in histopathology is simply wrong. You clearly don’t understand that histopathology is a medical specialty in its own right.

    Put simply, Wakefield was not qualified to clinically assess histopathological biopsy samples. He had no training or qualifications in histopathology. Deer is a journalist and is perfectly well qualified to gather evidence and write about it.

    Perhaps you could outline this journalist’s medical and scientific qualifications and their experience.

    What possible relevance does this have to anything? Do you think people here are so stupid they don’t recognize your inept attempts to distract attention from the important issues. There is a big difference between having the training and qualifications to clinically assess a patient or a biopsy sample, and having the ability to read, understand English and put together evidence that someone has been up to no good.

    Oh, by the way, is your habit of asking rhetorical questions and answering them yourself extremely irritating? Yes it is.

  452. #453 blackheart
    September 21, 2011

    Krebiozen

    Is that how you conduct a discussion?

    Well yes it is … when you stray outside ‘evidence’ and start arguing with emotive and poorly constructed suppositions.

    Published in a peer-reviewed journal.

    Which means what ?

    Do you deny that the histopathology reports on those biopsy samples were signed by Wakefield? You claimed above that: Wakefield did not conduct the histopathology nor did he have to.

    Yes … the ‘grunt work’ as I understand it was undertaken by Dhillon and Davies perhaps Linell. Systematically reviewed by Wakefield, Dhillon and Anthony.

    I could be wrong but I’m always happy to acknowledge that … it is how we learn and grow.

    “You have not presented any evidence at all to the contrary.”

    I haven’t …?

    Senior Lecturer in Medicine and Histopathology

    Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine (Teaching Hospital)

    Membership Royal College of Pathology given in recognition of the high professional standards of Andrew Wakefield.

    Numerous professional research articles, papers, lecturers and other professional related tasks.

    Supervision and mentoring of medical/research students.

    Senior Author / co author in research with duties including the collation and interpretation / review of histopathological data and evidence.

    Director Inflammatory Bowel Disease Study Group.
    Major University / International Standard.

    Your claim that you don’t need academic qualifications to have a “solid professional standing” in histopathology is simply wrong.

    I’ve never made that argument. In fact my argument shows that Andrew Wakefield did indeed have ‘academic qualifications’and research experience that enabled him to be employed as a Senior Lecturer in Histopathology

    This is quite distinct from your perception that you can only have a ‘professional standard’ through MCRPath and day to day ‘grunt work”.

    You see Wakefield trained and mentored medical officers and students a far more eminent position.

    Put simply, Wakefield was not qualified to clinically assess histopathological biopsy samples.

    Wakefield was a brilliant man with qualifications and expertise at University / International level involved at the cutting edge of research and having a much deeper knowledge.

    I would expect that this type of expertise would be of the most important benefit in examining and reviewing any material in the Lancet 12 study.

    What possible relevance does this have to anything?

    Well I’m not sure that I want science issues resolved by journalists.

    I remember and so should you Krebiozen a number of articles by Sunday Times journalists in the early to mid 90’s surrounding AIDS Denialism. One was Neville Hodgkinson I believe.

    I’d be interested to hear your position on this ?

  453. #454 blackheart
    September 21, 2011

    Chris and lilady

    Most of us know that, why don’t you?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1544592/Vaccine-officials-knew-about-MMR-risks.html

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0264410X9190223S

    Thanks … you just confirmed that your position that ‘vaccines are safe’ is undermined by your own tacit acknowledgement that vaccines can indeed cause serious harm.

    The study confirmed that the true risk was substantially higher than suggested by case reports from paediatricians, probably about 1 in 11,000 doses.

    So what’s your position on these vaccines being used in other countries ?

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0163445304002373

    That ‘Gotcha’ moment didn’t quite work out the way you thought it might.

  454. #455 Blackheart
    September 21, 2011

    Now that Lumbar Puncture LP has been shown to be safe and efficacious and used by clinical professionals in certain more highly developed countries perhaps we should move to other issues …

    It has been bought to my attention that certain commentators are concerned at the clinical investigations on severely disabled children undertaken by a team of eminent doctors at the Royal Free. Perhaps it is time to clarify this issue in regards to colonoscopy.

    I find it useful to refer to original documents, known as primary source material, rather than opinion from questionable alternative sources or personal experiences for that matter.

    Dr Williams

    Bachelor Degree in physiology in 1960 and subsequently with the degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Oxford in 1964.

    Elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 1983 and the Royal College of Surgeons in 1998

    Consultant physician specialising in gastrointestinal endoscopy at St Mark’s Hospital, which is a hospital which in turn specialises in intestinal and colorectal disorders.

    Honorary Physician in Endoscopy at both Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children and Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Sick Children in Hackney.

    Honorary Physician in an endoscopy role at the Royal Free Hospital following transfer of Professor Walker-Smith’s unit from Bart’s to the Royal Free.

    Adapted from GMC Transcript

    Question

    “I want you to help a bit about the set-up, the working arrangement that you had with Professor Walker-Smith. You were a dedicated endoscopist. He did not do any endoscopy himself, or colonoscopy certainly. How did the relationship work? How would you see the patients that he had decided required colonoscopy or other investigations?”

    Answer

    A It was understood that there was one half-day session a week in which he and his team had the right to the endoscopy area, and I knew that in my calendar that I was booked, so to speak, for that. So it was a low pressure occasion with rather fewer patients than usual on an adult list and I would be told shortly beforehand whether this was one child or two children – I think rarely more than that. From my point of view it was a rather privileged, easy occasion and I found it a great pleasure to work with the paediatric team.”

    “So the maxim is anyone with bowel frequency, anyone with any slight whiff of possible inflammatory disease or anyone who is being very fully investigated for whatever reason, whether it be anaemia or other things, if in doubt, if you are going to do the job really properly, have a few biopsies that are just part of the case record and then no-one can be unhappy.”

  455. #456 blackheart
    September 21, 2011

    Dr Christopher Williams
    continued …

    Question

    Of this particular procedure. To Mrs Dean I think you said that there is an insignificant risk, and I think to Dr Webster you said it is a completely safe procedure.

    Answer

    In the right hands.

    Further

    I have had no perforation in 30,000 and, to the best of my knowledge, in the St Mark’s teaching hospital environment I think they have had two perforations in the last 20,000 and that is with all-comers, including all junior staff.

    GMC Chairman

    Thank you. I think you are very clear on that, thank you

    On Simon Murch…

    Q Dr Murch was at St Bartholomew’s before he moved to the Royal Free. Was he one of your pupils, as it were? Did you teach him endoscopy?

    A Yes.

    Q Was he, sparing his blushes, a good pupil? Did he become a good colonoscopist?

    A Yes, sir. I would say he was in the best three or four people I have taught in my whole time, whether for adult practice and certainly paediatric practice, simply because he is a very cautious, gentle man and he took the same approach to endoscopy. If anything, we had to give him courage to do this unlikely deed, because he was so kind and so careful. But the end result was that I knew that if I was not available, he could do anything that I did as well in practical terms as I did.”

  456. #457 Krebiozen
    September 21, 2011

    Blackheart,

    Your mindset regarding Wakefield is clearly fixed, so I give up on that. How anyone can read the GMC transcripts and still believe him to be blameless I honestly do not understand.

    However, your attitudes to colonoscopy, lumbar puncture and the Urabe mumps strain in MMR intrigue me.

    A 1 in 10,000 risk of a perforated bowel is “safe” but a 1 in 143,000 risk of a mild form of meningitis after vaccination with MMR containing the Urabe mumps strain means it causes “serious harm”?

    You also claim that lumbar puncture in a child that requires sedation or even general anaesthesia for no good reason is no big deal. The risk of a serious adverse event after lumbar puncture (such as headaches lasting from 8 days to 1 year, cranial neuropathies, prolonged backache, nerve root injury, or meningitis) is about 1 in 330.

    You really haven’t the faintest idea about any of this, have you?

  457. #458 Chris
    September 21, 2011

    Which MMR vaccine was Wakefield’s withdrawn Lancet study on? Was it the one used in the UK before or after 1992?

    blackheart:

    Thanks … you just confirmed that your position that ‘vaccines are safe’ is undermined by your own tacit acknowledgement that vaccines can indeed cause serious harm.

    That is a lie. None of us have said the “vaccines are safe.” We have acknowledged that there are side effects, but at rates much less than the diseases. Even the meningitis caused by the Urabe strain of mumps was less than the problems caused by the actual diseases, measles, mumps and rubella.

    Plus the Jeryl Lynn strain as been used in the American MMR since 1971. If you can find data that it is more dangerous than measles, mumps and rubella that is dated before 1998, please share it with us.

    Again, for at least the third time, we are asking you to stop lying.

    So what’s your position on these vaccines being used in other countries ?

    Stop trying to deflect the discussion just because you got caught not knowing about the different MMR vaccines. If you try to tell us you knew about them all along, we will assume that is a lie. Mostly because of your recent use of blatant lies.

    I do know that Japan just dropped the mumps portion, and only use an MR vaccine (not “think about”, “know”). They are now experiencing large numbers of mumps, which has caused many children to lose their hearing, and more getting aseptic meningitis:

    Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2009 Mar;28(3):173-5.
    An office-based prospective study of deafness in mumps.
    Hashimoto H, Fujioka M, Kinumaki H; Kinki Ambulatory Pediatrics Study Group.

    Vaccine. 2007 Mar 30;25(14):2742-7. Epub 2006 Jan 31.
    A comparative study of the incidence of aseptic meningitis in symptomatic natural mumps patients and monovalent mumps vaccine recipients in Japan.

    “The incidence of aseptic meningitis was 13/1051 (1.24%) in patients with symptomatic natural mumps infection and was estimated to be 0.7-1.1% of overall infection in considering asymptomatic infection, and 10/21,465 (0.05%) in vaccine recipients. Although aseptic meningitis is a clear side effect of the mumps vaccine, the incidence is considerably lower than among those with symptomatic natural infection. Our results provide an informative data for consideration to resume mumps vaccine as a part of routine immunization schedule for Japanese children.”

    Auris Nasus Larynx. 2005 Jun;32(2):125-8. Epub 2005 Apr 7.
    Epidemiological study of mumps deafness in Japan.
    Kawashima Y, Ihara K, Nakamura M, Nakashima T, Fukuda S, Kitamura K.

  458. #459 Chris
    September 21, 2011

    Again with the moderation, and there were no links!

    Here is the first part:

    Which MMR vaccine was Wakefield’s withdrawn Lancet study on? Was it the one used in the UK before or after 1992?

    blackheart:

    Thanks … you just confirmed that your position that ‘vaccines are safe’ is undermined by your own tacit acknowledgement that vaccines can indeed cause serious harm.

    That is a lie. None of us have said the “vaccines are safe.” We have acknowledged that there are side effects, but at rates much less than the diseases. Even the meningitis caused by the Urabe strain of mumps was less than the problems caused by the actual diseases, measles, mumps and rubella.

    Plus the Jeryl Lynn strain as been used in the American MMR since 1971. If you can find data that it is more dangerous than measles, mumps and rubella that is dated before 1998, please share it with us.

    Again, for at least the third time, we are asking you to stop lying.

  459. #460 Chris
    September 21, 2011

    Now for the second part of the comment that is in moderation:

    So what’s your position on these vaccines being used in other countries ?

    Stop trying to deflect the discussion just because you got caught not knowing about the different MMR vaccines. If you try to tell us you knew about them all along, we will assume that is a lie. Mostly because of your recent use of blatant lies.

    I do know that Japan just dropped the mumps portion, and only use an MR vaccine. They are now experiencing large numbers of mumps, which has caused many children to lose their hearing, and more to get aseptic meningitis:

    Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2009 Mar;28(3):173-5.
    An office-based prospective study of deafness in mumps.
    Hashimoto H, Fujioka M, Kinumaki H; Kinki Ambulatory Pediatrics Study Group.

    Vaccine. 2007 Mar 30;25(14):2742-7. Epub 2006 Jan 31.
    A comparative study of the incidence of aseptic meningitis in symptomatic natural mumps patients and monovalent mumps vaccine recipients in Japan.

    This one says:
    “The incidence of aseptic meningitis was 13/1051 (1.24%) in patients with symptomatic natural mumps infection and was estimated to be 0.7-1.1% of overall infection in considering asymptomatic infection, and 10/21,465 (0.05%) in vaccine recipients. Although aseptic meningitis is a clear side effect of the mumps vaccine, the incidence is considerably lower than among those with symptomatic natural infection. Our results provide an informative data for consideration to resume mumps vaccine as a part of routine immunization schedule for Japanese children.”

    Auris Nasus Larynx. 2005 Jun;32(2):125-8. Epub 2005 Apr 7.
    Epidemiological study of mumps deafness in Japan.
    Kawashima Y, Ihara K, Nakamura M, Nakashima T, Fukuda S, Kitamura K

  460. #461 blackheart
    September 22, 2011

    Krebiozen

    Your mindset regarding Wakefield is clearly fixed, so I give up on that.

    I’d say from the discussions it isn’t me who has difficulty with critical thinking.

    How anyone can read the GMC transcripts and still believe him to be blameless I honestly do not understand.

    I read the defense and the prosecution cases and make up my own mind. The natural question that follows is Have you ?

    However, your attitudes to colonoscopy, lumbar puncture and the Urabe mumps strain in MMR intrigue me.

    They do … I think they are quite reasonable.

    A 1 in 10,000 risk of a perforated bowel is “safe” but a 1 in 143,000 risk of a mild form of meningitis after vaccination with MMR containing the Urabe mumps strain means it causes “serious harm”?

    Is this a rhetorical question ? No

    Colonoscopy is surgery and Urabe vaccine (1 in 12400) is a paediatric medicine.

    You also claim that lumbar puncture in a child that requires sedation or even general anaesthesia for no good reason is no big deal.

    LP needed to examine CSF. In Scandanavia they are of the expert medical opinion that it should be undertaken.

    That’s an expert medical opinion …not a Krebiozen says so.

    LP has risks that are reasonably well defined … severely ill children with an unknown diagnosis and aetiology … well they need thorough clinical examination.

    So you can let us know what those children were ‘suffering’ and the aetiology behind it ?

    You really haven’t the faintest idea about any of this, have you?

    Another personal attack ? How very intellectually robust.

  461. #462 blackheart
    September 22, 2011

    Chris

    Which MMR vaccine was Wakefield’s withdrawn Lancet study on? Was it the one used in the UK before or after 1992?

    That would be Priorix. Manufactured by the same company and in the same premises I believe as Urabe Strain vaccine Pluserix / Trivirix.

    See that relationship … why wouldn’t you investigate if parents and patients were making claims of a relationsip between the two.

    Two very similar vaccines … one with a clear causation and one with a proposed causation both relating to neurological complications in children.

    It’s not rocket science… and it’s not the only time a vaccine has been show to trigger a neurological condition.

    That is a lie. None of us have said the “vaccines are safe.” We have acknowledged that there are side effects, but at rates much less than the diseases.

    So it’s not “Vaccines are Safe” it’s “Vaccines are sort of Safe…well no worse than the disease they are trying to protect against”.

    Chris vaccines are hopefully a lot more safer than that and on the balance of evidence that would be a very good supposition to make.

    But do vaccines have say side effects we do not plan for or understand ? These are called non-specific effects…

    …and of course there is a public expectation that vaccines are better than actually catching the disease they are designed to prevent …

    The central question which you seem to have accidentally overlooked is – How do you determine diseases of the central nervous system ?

    How do you clinically investigate a unknown condition that has obvious effects on the nuerology of a patient ?

    Well just as the doctors did with aseptic meningitis and
    urabe strain vaccine Pluserix / Trivirix by LP.

    So do you have an adequate explanation why Public Health authoritites did not clinically investigate the claims of parents and MMR vaccine ?

  462. #463 blackheart
    September 22, 2011

    Krebiozen

    I thought you and Calli could clarify the evidence regarding that ‘perforated bowel’ that keeps coming up (under the heading of skeptikal Urban Myths).

    and I’m yet to see any comment on those Sunday Times science journalists like Neville Hodgkinson and AIDS denialism.

  463. #464 blackheart
    September 22, 2011

    Chris

    Must be some of that science rationalist telekenesis ,/b> or some other ESP woo happening … just out on the Skeptik Friendly press aka Daily Mail UK

    “The triple jab was banned in Japan in 1993 after 1.8 million children had been given two types of MMR and a record number developed non-viral meningitis and other adverse reactions.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-17509/Why-Japan-banned-MMR-vaccine.html#ixzz1YgAuRg8f

    Official figures show there were three deaths while eight children were left with permanent handicaps ranging from damaged hearing and blindness to loss of control of limbs.

    An analysis of vaccinations over a three-month period showed one in every 900 children was experiencing problems. This was over 2,000 times higher than the expected rate of one child in every 100,000 to 200,000.

    The ministry switched to another MMR vaccine in October 1991 but the incidence was still high with one in 1,755 children affected.

    Tests on the spinal fluid of 125 children affected were carried out to see if the vaccine had got into the children’s nervous systems. They found one confirmed case and two further suspected cases.

    Dr Hiroki Nakatani, director of the Infectious Disease Division at Japan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare said that giving individual vaccines cost twice as much as MMR ‘but we believe it is worth it’.

    However, he admitted the MMR scare (Urabe Scare) has left its mark.

    With vaccination rates low, there have been measles outbreaks which have claimed 94 lives in the last five years.

    The world’s an amazing place ….

  464. #465 Gray Falcon
    September 22, 2011

    Does the Ford Pinto invalidate all forms of transportation?

  465. #466 Krebiozen
    September 22, 2011

    Blackheart,

    We have been discussing the vaccines used in the UK, not those manufactured and used in Japan. I linked above to a study giving the risk of aseptic meningitis after vaccination with Urabe-containing MMR used in the UK, which was 1 in 143,000, not 1 in 12,400 as you have claimed. The vaccine used in Japan was not the same as the one used in the UK. Incidentally the legal aid money that Wakefield misappropriated could have been used to get compensation for the families of children who were affected by Urabe, but of course it was not.

    Colonoscopy is surgery and Urabe vaccine (1 in 12400) is a paediatric medicine.

    So what? If a procedure is not clinically indicated, which the GMC concluded it was not for these children, any risk is unacceptable, as there are no benefits. The benefits of vaccination are clear, and greatly outweigh the risks, even when the Urabe mumps component is used.

    I honestly don’t understand why you think that performing procedures with risks but no benefits is acceptable, but those with demonstrable benefits and much lower risks are not.

    On to lumbar puncture.

    In Scandanavia they are of the expert medical opinion that it should be undertaken. That’s an expert medical opinion …not a Krebiozen says so.

    The risks of lumbar puncture are not my opinion, I gave a reference to a study that found this. We have also been discussing what is considered a clinical indication for lumbar puncture in the UK, not in Scandinavia, or anywhere else. In the UK it is not normal to investigate autism or any developmental disorder with a lumbar puncture. What they do in Scandinavia has no bearing on this.

    severely ill children with an unknown diagnosis and aetiology … well they need thorough clinical examination

    Of course, but lumbar puncture is not useful as a part of this, and in the absence of any benefits its risks are not acceptable.

    Here’s part of the cross-examination of Professor Rutter, who is a well-qualified UK expert, from the GMC transcripts (Day 35-21)

    Q You have been through a range of investigations and explained how they may or may not be appropriate in the individual case of autism. When investigating an autistic child in the mid-1990s, would a clinician who is experienced in the investigations of autism carry out a lumbar puncture?
    A I know of no paediatric neurologist or child psychiatrist in the UK who would have done so at that time.
    Q Before I go any further on that, can I ask you, in fact, is that a position that has changed between now and then and now?
    A It is the same.
    Q If I asked you the question as of yesterday rather than 1996, would you have given the same answer?
    A Same answer.
    Q Leaving aside just for a moment, and I will return to it, whether or not it is an accepted investigation, can you tell us, is it in your view, when it is being carried out on children with autism or an autistic disorder of some sort, a decision to be taken lightly whether or not that child should undergo a lumbar puncture?
    A No. A lumbar puncture is an invasive investigation, in a minor way it is true, but what is critically important in relation to individuals with autism is that their limited understanding means that their cooperation in the undergoing of lumbar puncture cannot be relied upon, so almost always it would have to be done either with heavy sedation or with a general anaesthetic. That adds a different dimension, so that doing it on a child who is fully cooperative is one thing, doing it on a child where they have to be sedated in order to make it possible is another. Obviously, if there is a relevant important clinical indication, then you would do so, but you would hesitate and check in your own mind, is there really an indication in this child that it is necessary to do that.

    This is followed by a discussion of one Swedish doctor who advocates lumbar puncture, but as Prof Rutter points out, there is no evidence that it provides any useful information in the investigation of autism. I have to say, I have examined hundreds, probably thousands of CSF samples in UK Pathology laboratories over the years, and I have never seen one taken from a child to investigate autism or any other developmental disorder. They have always been taken to investigate suspected meningitis, subarachnoid haemorrhage or, very occasionally, MS.

    As for whatever nonsense the Sunday Times published about HIV/AIDS some decades ago, that does not have the remotest relevance to the scientific evidence that shows that Wakefield was wrong in linking MMR and autism, or to the GMC’s findings about Wakefield’s fitness to practice. Deer brought Wakefield’s misdeeds to the attention of the authorities, and they have been very thoroughly investigated. If Deer was wrong he would quickly have been exposed as such.

    I thought you and Calli could clarify the evidence regarding that ‘perforated bowel’ that keeps coming up (under the heading of skeptikal Urban Myths).

    The risk of a perforated bowel as a result of colonoscopy is a “skeptikal Urban Myth”? Where do you get your misinformation from? Maybe you are referring to the specific case of Jack Piper, of which Wakefield wrote:

    While perforation is a rare but recognised complication of colonoscopy, in this instance its occurrence was inexcusable, negligent, and the basis for Jack’s settlement.

    I think you will find that perforation is a known risk of colonoscopy that is mentioned on the consent form should you ever have to undergo one.

  466. #467 Militant Agnostic
    September 22, 2011

    Are we playing intellectual dishonesty bingo to blackout here? Blackheart has filled in just about every square.

  467. #468 lilady
    September 22, 2011

    “Are we playing intellectual dishonesty bingo to blackout here? Blackheart has filled in just about every square.”

    Actually, we are playing intellectually dishonest bingo with multiple bingo cards here…I think Black Heartless is on his fifth or sixth (I’ve lost count) bingo card.

    Let us know Black Heartless, when the trustee-controlled fund is set up in the U.K. to assist Wakefield in filing an appeal of the GMC ruling. Also let Andy know that “lilady” will transfer funds to support his appeal.

  468. #469 Chris
    September 22, 2011

    Citing the Daily Mail is not equivalent to the scientific cites I used. Considering the reputation of the Daily Fail, it is another form of lying.

    blackheart:

    That would be Priorix. Manufactured by the same company and in the same premises I believe as Urabe Strain vaccine Pluserix / Trivirix.

    Then why was there an American child in the study? A child who would have received the Merck MMR with the Jeryl Lynn mumps component? Or the older UK children who would have had an MMR vaccine with the Urabe strain?

    You really don’t know the answer.

    blackheart is not only foolish, he is a liar.

  469. #470 Chris
    September 22, 2011

    blackheart, where in this retracted paper does it specify which MMR vaccine was studied? I could not find it. ‘

    But I did find this statement:

    We did not prove an association between measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and the syndrome described. Virological studies are underway that may help to resolve this issue.

    (you can view it with free registration)

  470. #471 blackheart
    September 23, 2011

    We have been discussing the vaccines used in the UK, not those manufactured and used in Japan ,/b>

    Check post #460

    I linked above to a study giving the risk of aseptic meningitis after vaccination with Urabe-containing MMR used in the UK, which was 1 in 143,000, not 1 in 12,400 as you have claimed.

    No laboratory-confirmed cases of mumps meningitis were detected … found for mumps meningitis with Urabe vaccines (1:143,000 doses).

    No cases of aseptic meningitis were detected … observed risk of 1:12,400 for Urabe vaccines.

    The vaccine used in Japan was not the same as the one used in the UK.

    In what way did it differ ?

    legal aid money that Wakefield misappropriated

    There was a cheque with Andrew Wakefield written on it was there ?

    could have been used to get compensation for the families of children

    Legal aid money is used to pay for legal services for those unable to afford legal representation. Not compensation.

    So what?

    ummm … approx 750,000 infants in the UK receive MMR vaccination per annum. Colonoscopy … ? Medication / Surgery …

    I honestly don’t understand why you think that performing procedures with risks but no benefits is acceptable

    Well it’s called Clinical medicine and the last two years of a medical degree are usually spent on it.

    The risks of lumbar puncture are not my opinion …

    Post #437 Have you seen a lumbar puncture being performed on a child? I have … (opinion).

    What they do in Scandinavia has no bearing on this.

    Clinical medicine is clinical medicine .. apparently your cognitive constructs on this matter do not include the international community.

    Of course, but lumbar puncture is not useful as a part of this

    We could take brain tissues biopsies … encephalitis / encephapathology.

    http://jcn.sagepub.com/content/14/1_suppl/S9.abstract

    This is followed by a discussion of one Swedish doctor

    Several Scandanavian Health Authorities. But hey … whose counting.

    I have to say, I have examined hundreds, probably thousands of CSF samples …

    Nice Op ED … but then you ain’t Johns Hopkins Medical.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15546155

    As for whatever nonsense the Sunday Times published about HIV/AIDS

    Are you for AIDS Denialism or against perhaps a clear unequivocal statement may assist.

    Maybe you are referring to the specific case of Jack Piper…

    I certainly am … but I’m not seeing the linking of evidence to Andrew Wakefield or the Lancet 12 study.

    Links of evidence would be nice …

  471. #472 blackheart
    September 23, 2011

    Chris

    Considering the reputation of the Daily Fail, it is another form of lying.

    I’ll certainly be balance your opinion when the issue of Jack Piper comes up.

    I’m surprised that you believe that you can’t ‘believe’ all that is written in the newspaper. Why is that ?

    Then why was there an American child in the study?

    Rough stab in the dark … he was sick with an unknown neurological condition where he exhibited ‘autism like features’ and gastroenterology disease symptoms.

    Or a money mongering litigant living in the USA suing UK vaccine manufacturers makes more sense ?

    It’s you guys with the …

    BIG CONSPIRACY THEORY

  472. #473 lilady
    September 23, 2011

    Black Heartless: Why didn’t you offer your services to Wakefield while the GMC hearing was open?

    You did say “I work with science every day”…didn’t you?

    Or maybe you should have sat at the defense table with Wakefield, since you seem to have some basic knowledge of the GMC administrative hearing process. You hinted that Wakefield is preparing an appeal…because you have some secret knowledge about Wakefield’s strategy.

    Hate to disabuse of the fact that he was found guilty and the GMC struck him from the register. It appears that Wakefield himself knew the outcome because he secured a position in Austin Texas at Thoughtful House and moved his entire family to the U.S…seven years before judgment was rendered. It is just my opinion, but he should have stayed in the U.K. and perhaps sent his offshore corporate partner/wife back to work as a physician and proceeded with the libel cases against Brian Deer and the media outlets.

    So when are you starting that appeals fund? I promised you that I would transfer funds to support his appeal.

    Troll-like behavior in the U.S. isn’t any more “acceptable” than it is in U.K….so get busy on setting up Wakefield’s appeals fund and for providing him with expert legal and medical defenses.

  473. #474 Chris
    September 23, 2011

    Wow, blackheart really is an idiot.

  474. #475 Krebiozen
    September 23, 2011

    I got a response from the Royal College of Pathologists about Wakefield.

    Dr Wakefield was erased from the College register following the outcome of the GMC hearing. As such he is no longer a fellow of the College and no longer entitled to use the FRCPath designatory letters.

  475. #476 Chris
    September 23, 2011

    I suspect that blackheart is just learning about many of the details we have presented, possibly because they are not included in the anti-vax websites he frequents. So now he is doing some desperate hand waving, which is actually kind of amusing.

  476. #477 Krebiozen
    September 23, 2011

    Blackheart,

    I think you have been very dishonest in the way you have conducted this discussion. You seem incapable of addressing a point directly, and continually try to distract from the important issues with irrelevant red herrings. You also constantly confuse opinion with observations, clinical investigations with research, and you demonstrate a serious ignorance about a number of issues, but you seem utterly unaware of that ignorance. I am only continuing this because I hope you, I or someone else reading this might learn something.

    We have been discussing the vaccines used in the UK, not those manufactured and used in Japan

    Check post #460

    You are the one that linked to articles mentioning Japan at #456. Chris pointed out that even in the Japanese case, the risks associated with the vaccine were considerably less than the risks associated with having mumps. When we are talking about the relative risks considered acceptable for British children I don’t see how a vaccine only given in Japan is relevant.

    I linked above to a study giving the risk of aseptic meningitis after vaccination with Urabe-containing MMR used in the UK, which was 1 in 143,000, not 1 in 12,400 as you have claimed.

    No laboratory-confirmed cases of mumps meningitis were detected … found for mumps meningitis with Urabe vaccines (1:143,000 doses).

    Sorry, I was sloppy with my use of language there, I should have written “mumps meningitis”, which as I’m sure you are aware is aseptic meningitis that has been confirmed to be caused by the mumps virus.

    No cases of aseptic meningitis were detected … observed risk of 1:12,400 for Urabe vaccines.

    That was based on only 4 cases of aseptic meningitis after 49,585 doses of the Urabe vaccine, which could have been caused by something else. There were 16 cases of laboratory confirmed measles meningitis after 2,288,000 doses of the Urabe vaccine giving a more reliable figure of 1 in 143,000.

    In any case this is another distraction, even assuming the 1 in 12,400 figure is correct, this does not clarify why you approve of procedures with a risk of possible serious side effects of 1 in 330 (lumbar puncture) or 1 in 250 to 1 in 500 (risk of perforation in diagnostic colonoscopy according to Medscape) and no demonstrable benefits, but disapprove of one with much lower risks but great benefits.

    The vaccine used in Japan was not the same as the one used in the UK.

    In what way did it differ ?

    I don’t know, do you? It was made by a different manufacturer so we cannot assume it was the same. Just because two vaccines are made from the same virus does not mean they are identical.

    legal aid money that Wakefield misappropriated

    There was a cheque with Andrew Wakefield written on it was there ?

    The money that was provided by the Legal Aid Board was not used for the purpose for which is was intended. “In law, misappropriation is the intentional, illegal use of the property or funds of another person for one’s own use or other unauthorized purpose.” The GMC ruled that Wakefield did this dishonestly, so it was misappropriation. Some of that money certainly did make it into Wakefield’s pocket, via Richard Barr, at least £435,643 (excluding expenses), according to the Legal Services Commission (formerly the Legal Aid Board).

    could have been used to get compensation for the families of children

    Legal aid money is used to pay for legal services for those unable to afford legal representation. Not compensation.

    I was not suggesting anything of the sort. That legal aid money could have been used to pay lawyers to represent the children who really had suffered adverse effects from the Urabe vaccine, instead of being wasted on a wild goose chase after the measles component. I think that people damaged by vaccines, however rarely that occurs, should be compensated, don’t you?

    So what?

    ummm … approx 750,000 infants in the UK receive MMR vaccination per annum. Colonoscopy … ? Medication / Surgery …

    The absolute numbers of procedures carried out are irrelevant in this case. It is the risks to an individual child that matter. If you are talking about public health policy then absolute numbers are important, but when you are talking about 12 specific children, it is their individual risks and benefits that matter. It is of little consolation to the mother of a child with a perforated bowel that it only happened to a few other children.

    In any case, the GMC agreed that these investigations were not clinically indicated in these cases, and that there was no ethics committee approval for them. You may think this is simply a matter of red tape, but it isn’t, it is a very serious matter indeed.

    I honestly don’t understand why you think that performing procedures with risks but no benefits is acceptable

    Well it’s called Clinical medicine and the last two years of a medical degree are usually spent on it.

    Clinical medicine is about performing procedures with risks but no benefits? Are you serious? Really it is hard not simply dismiss you as a clueless idiot when you come out with statements like that.

    The risks of lumbar puncture are not my opinion …

    Post #437 Have you seen a lumbar puncture being performed on a child? I have … (opinion).

    It is a fact that I have observed a lumbar puncture being performed on a child, and it is my opinion that the procedure is traumatic. Do I need some qualification to interpret a child screaming and struggling as a sign of trauma? The risks of the procedure are not my opinion, I referred to a peer reviewed study about that.

    What they do in Scandinavia has no bearing on this.

    Clinical medicine is clinical medicine .. apparently your cognitive constructs on this matter do not include the international community.

    My “cognitive constructs”? Clinical medicine is actually practiced very differently in different countries, but I don’t want to head off on another digression. Lumbar puncture is not considered to be clinically indicated in the investigation of autism in the UK. That’s a fact, not my opinion, as Professor Rutter made clear. The GMC also agreed, as it ruled that the lumbar punctures done were not clinically indicated.

    We could take brain tissues biopsies … encephalitis / encephapathology.
    [link removed to avoid moderation]

    Are you serious? That link is to a paper about using CSF to investigate undefined encephalopathies, but I don’t have full access. Does it suggest either lumbar puncture or brain tissue biopsies for the clinical investigation of autism?

    This is followed by a discussion of one Swedish doctor

    Several Scandanavian Health Authorities. But hey … whose counting.

    Which Scandinavian Health Authorities were they, and where are they mentioned? I can only find a statement by one Swedish doctor that says, “In the Scandinavian countries, it is always considered in the work-up of young children with severe developmental disorders… In the Scandinavian countries, a lumbar puncture with CSF protein electrophoresis is considered one of the basic procedures in the work-up of severe developmental disorders without a clear cause”. Of which Professor Rutter says “Incidentally, I do not know that his practice is typical of the whole of Scandinavia, but it is typically true of him and his colleagues”. I would only add that you might consider a lot of different investigations, depending on the clinical presentation, and it is stretching things to describe the Wakefield 12 as suffering from “severe developmental disorders without a clear cause”.

    I have to say, I have examined hundreds, probably thousands of CSF samples …

    Nice Op ED … but then you ain’t Johns Hopkins Medical. [link removed to avoid moderation]

    You should really find out the difference between an observation and an opinion. I was not stating an opinion I was stating a fact, an observation. There is a big difference. If you are accusing me of lying then please say so directly.

    You should also find out the difference between clinical practice and research, again there is a big difference which you apparently don’t understand. The CSF samples I examined were taken as part of the patients’ clinical care, mostly investigating suspected meningitis. The John Hopkins study was pure research which would have required specific approval from their institutional review board (the US equivalent of an ethics committee).

    Are you for AIDS Denialism or against perhaps a clear unequivocal statement may assist.

    Now you are interested in my opinion, but only when it has no possible relevance to Wakefield. I am convinced by the mountains of scientific evidence that AIDS is caused by HIV, is that unequivocal enough for you?

    Maybe you are referring to the specific case of Jack Piper…

    I certainly am … but I’m not seeing the linking of evidence to Andrew Wakefield or the Lancet 12 study. Links of evidence would be nice …

    The original press release from Wakefield is missing from the Thoughtful House website, but the colonoscopy was clearly carried out by one of Simon Murch’s team at the Royal Free. The point is that colonoscopy is not the trivial risk-free procedure you suggest, even at the Royal Free, and when carried out by this team.

  477. #478 blackheart
    September 23, 2011

    That’s Ok if skeptiks cannot put forward their case using evidence then it just undermines your position.

    As I haven’t been found in error on any point yet …it makes it difficult to understand how you can uphold the totality of your arguments. That’s that fixed mind set stuff.

    Certainly awaiting some robust evidence on Jack Piper and AIDS Denialism… that’s an interesting position you guys and girls hold.

  478. #479 blackheart
    September 23, 2011

    Krebiozen

    Jack Piper linked evidence at post #457

    “I had always wondered how Wakefield had gone about getting those colon biopsies.”

    Well you should be because Wakefield did not perform colonoscopies.

    “Obviously, he must have done colonoscopies on autistic children.”

    Neither did John Walker-Smith seems we are running out of candidates.

    “I had heard that there had been at least a couple of complications doing colonoscopies that were, in essence, not justified medically.”

    You had .. I saw no record of this in the GMC trial transcripts seems a very strange ommission.

    “In expert hands, colonoscopy is a pretty safe procedure.”

    Yes so obviously this is not an expert. So that rules out Professor Simon Murch.

    “True, there is the risk of bleeding or perforation, but it’s uncommon, with the risk of perforation being around 0.2% after a routine colonoscopy”

    Thanks for clarifying that. In fact it’s probably lower 0.1% but it is surgery and surgery carries risk. But so does Inflammatory Bowel Disease with a substantial risk of the development of colon cancer. So does a child beating their head against a wall because they are hypersensitive to underlying untreated bowel conditions.

    “I don’t have enough details to know whether multiple biopsies were taken.”

    Usually six biopsies are taken. Don’t know indicates a lack of perception in this area.

    “Obviously, it happened, but it does not speak well for Professor Simon Murch, the surgeon who did the colonoscopy”

    I’ll be happy for any independent corrobaration of that…it didn’t appear in the GMC transcripts which kind of makes that position difficult to sustain.

    “the consent form routinely used by Wakefield does not even mention the risk of perforation.”

    It seems plain that Jack Piper was not in any part of the Lancet 12 study thus Andrew Wakefield’s consent form is neither here nor there.

    Nor was it part of the GMC charges / transcripts. I also note that ‘surgery’ requires differing consent forms that are administered and the responsibility of the Royal Free Hospital and the medical personnel that actually perform the surgery.

    —————————————-

    Thanks Krebiozen … glad we could clear that up.

  479. #480 blackheart
    September 24, 2011

    Krebiozen

    I think you have been very dishonest in the way you have conducted this discussion.

    You can withdraw anytime you like … having never proved me wrong on any substantial point. That certainly will be difficult to digest.

    I am only continuing this because I hope you, I or someone else reading this might learn something.

    Good Point back at you.

    You are the one that linked to articles mentioning Japan at #456.

    Go and check #456 …and let me know what you find.

    Chris pointed out … the risks associated with the vaccine were considerably less than the risks associated with having mumps

    I’m not quite sure of the ‘intellectual’ robustness of this argument.

    Are you and Chris suggesting that the UK , Canada , New Zealand and Japanese health authorities made an error when they withdrew this vaccine from the childhood vaccination schedule and that decision was based only on data and information collected from the local UK health areas.

    http://www.foiacentre.com/news-MMR-070305_1.html

    this does not clarify why you approve of procedures … no demonstrable benefits, but disapprove of one with much lower risks but great benefits.

    It’s quite easy to understand …

    Parents are reporting that their child became ‘sick’ after MMR vaccine. ,/b>

    If it is NOT the MMR vaccine what else could it be ?

    CSF investigation can help reveal –

    cerebral edema
    subarachnoid hemorrhage
    meningeal inflammation
    purulent meningitis or tuberculous meningitis
    subarachnoid blockage
    aseptic meningitis
    hydrocephalus
    tumours
    bacterial meningitis

    recent epileptic seizure
    encephalopathies
    heritable mitochondrial disease
    idiopathic seizures,
    traumatic brain injury
    cerebral ischemia
    brain abscess
    neuro syphilis
    Guillain-Barré syndrome
    leakage of CSF
    increases in intracranial pressure or hyperthyroidism

    Really it is hard not simply dismiss you as a clueless idiot

    See above.

    It is a fact that I have observed a lumbar puncture being performed on a child, and it is my opinion that the procedure is traumatic

    ” a ” the use of indicates … one.

    Clinical medicine is actually practiced very differently in different countries

    See above for uses of CSF in clinical practice. I agree and if countries in Scandanavia feel that it is correct to do so … why isn’t that argument just as valid.

    John Walker-Smith was awarded a Lifetime Achievement the first for a paeditric gastroenterologist by the premier European Association which indicates to my mind he was open to the various expertise found on the European continent and not of a ‘fixed mind set”.

    Lumbar puncture is not considered to be clinically indicated in the investigation of autism in the UK.

    See above list for what Lumbar Puncture is clinically used for.

    Are you serious?

    Note – Sarcasm

    Why would you wait for the children to be dead to undertake a clinical investigation as to the cause of their “illness”and its unknown pathology / aetiology.

    ….and the rest is a house of cards argument.

    I am convinced by the mountains of scientific evidence that AIDS is caused by HIV, is that unequivocal enough for you?

    Thanks I’ll store that one away for future reference … anybody else want to “pledge”.

  480. #481 blackheart
    September 24, 2011

    Just to be crystal clear post #457 does not refer to what Krebiozen said but what is contained within his linked evidence. An Orac thread entitled …

    An autistic child pays the price for Andrew Wakefield’s antivaccination “research”

    Thus I am using Orac’s arguments to rebut Krebiozen….and clear up the Jack Piper Urban Myth.

    Thought you’d follow that.

  481. #482 Krebiozen
    September 24, 2011

    Blackheart,

    You can withdraw anytime you like … having never proved me wrong on any substantial point. That certainly will be difficult to digest.

    Have you actually made any substantial points? If so, perhaps you could remind me of what they are, clearly and concisely.

    Picking up on your response to one point I made:

    Clinical medicine is actually practiced very differently in different countries

    See above for uses of CSF in clinical practice. I agree and if countries in Scandanavia feel that it is correct to do so … why isn’t that argument just as valid.

    None of the 12 children had nor were suspected of having any of the conditions that you list, so why was lumbar puncture indicated? Also none of them, not one, had inflammatory bowel disease, so why the colonoscopies? That’s not my opinion by the way, those were the findings of the GMC.

    If you accept that anything used in clinical practice in Sweden is acceptable, how does that fit with your criticism of the use of electroconvulsive therapy at #184 above? ECT is very commonly used in Sweden, as much as 26 times more frequently than in the UK. Annual rates are about 18 ECTs per 100,000 in the UK and 476 per 100,000 in Sweden, assuming the figure of 100,000 per year in the UK is correct.

    To paraphrase what you wrote above, if countries in Scandinavia feel that it is correct to do ECT … why isn’t that argument just as valid? After all, “clinical medicine is clinical medicine.. apparently your cognitive constructs on this matter do not include the international community.”

  482. #483 blackheart
    September 24, 2011

    Have you actually made any substantial points?

    CSF
    Lumbar Punctures
    International Clinical Medicine
    Wakefield qualifications
    Colonoscopies
    Jack Piper
    Aseptic meningitis
    Legal Aid Board
    Journalist credentials

    …and there’s still plenty more to come.

    In regards to your arguments in regards to the use of LP to study CSF I remind you of the clinical benefits above… #480

    …and we haven’t even touched on biomarkers in Autism and other developmental disorders

    Here’s some light reading…

    Neuroscience biomarkers and biosignatures: Converging Technologies, Emerging Partnerships

    By National Research Council (U.S.), Institute of Medicine (U.S.).

    “Another obstacle is public attitudes which view Lumbar Puncture as to invasive….a shift in American attitudes is likely to occur once more is known about the low risks associated with lumbar puncture.

    Some of the most obvious diseases for study include schizophrenia , depression and autism”

    If that last comment is indicative of the arguments to come, then you might consider purchasing a white flag.

  483. #484 Chris
    September 24, 2011

    Krebiozen, in my experience it is pointless to discuss anything with someone who is dishonest. Blackheart has been caught lying multiple times, and has been generally disingenuous and obstinately clueless.

    He responded with “You can withdraw anytime you like … having never proved me wrong on any substantial point. That certainly will be difficult to digest.” after being shown to be wrong on several points. It was pretty clear he only learned some things on this thread, and is hand waving (he had no clue that the dozen children had a variety of MMR vaccines). He is either very very stupid, or simply delusional.

  484. #485 Krebiozen
    September 24, 2011

    Chris,

    Krebiozen, in my experience it is pointless to discuss anything with someone who is dishonest. Blackheart has been caught lying multiple times, and has been generally disingenuous and obstinately clueless.

    I tend to agree, he is almost as evasive as Th2Th2, and I know I am probably wasting my time. However, it got me looking at the GMC transcripts again, and I have come across a few interesting things I hadn’t noticed before. Also, it prompted me to get in touch with the Royal College of Pathologists about Wakefield’s status so we now know for sure that he is no longer a Fellow of the RCP, which I think is important.

    I doubt that anyone following this is convinced by BH’s arguments, but I think it is worth quoting the GMC transcripts again here:

    In all the circumstances and taking into account the standard which might be expected of a doctor practising in the same field of medicine in similar circumstances in or around 1996-1998, the Panel concluded that Dr Wakefield’s misconduct not only collectively amounts to serious professional misconduct, over a timeframe from 1996 to 1999, but also, when considered individually, constitutes multiple separate instances of serious professional misconduct.

    It is the “multiple separate instances of serious professional misconduct” that strike me looking through the evidence presented to the GMC. And:

    The Panel made findings of transgressions in many aspects of Dr Wakefield’s research. It made findings of dishonesty in regard to his writing of a scientific paper that had major implications for public health, and with regard to his subsequent representations to a scientific body and to colleagues. He was dishonest in respect of the LAB funds secured for research as well as being misleading. Furthermore he was in breach of his duty to manage finances as well as to account for funds that he did not need to the donor of those funds. In causing blood samples to be taken from children at a birthday party, he callously disregarded the pain and distress young children might suffer and behaved in a way which brought the profession into disrepute.

    This wasn’t just a bit of careless bookkeeping, or a failure to adhere to some bureaucratic red-tape. This was a serious, premeditated and disgraceful attempt to prove a preconceived and prejudiced conclusion in the face of the evidence, for personal gain, and it put vulnerable children at unnecessary risk in the process. BH should be ashamed of himself trying to defend it – that IS my opinion.

  485. #486 Chris
    September 24, 2011

    Krebiozen:

    This was a serious, premeditated and disgraceful attempt to prove a preconceived and prejudiced conclusion in the face of the evidence, for personal gain, and it put vulnerable children at unnecessary risk in the process.

    Exactly. What makes this even more evident is that Wakefield turned down the offer from Royal Free to do another study with more children, to sue Deer for libel, to even present any evidence to the GMC, and has recently given a speech at a conspiracy rally in Ireland and done videos with Mike Adams of NaturalNews. Wakefield has stooped to the lowest of the low. Whatever credibility he had is now gone, and there is only derision left.

  486. #487 lilady
    September 24, 2011

    @ Krebiozen and Chris: Kudos to you both for your take-down of this odious Black Heartless Troll.

    “Wakefield has stooped to the lowest of the low. Whatever credibility he had is now gone, and there is only derision left.” And, any resemblance he has to an opportunistic carnival barker is not purely coincidental.

  487. #488 blackheart
    September 25, 2011

    Dr Neil Howard Thomas
    Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Cambridge in 1982?
    Royal College of Physicians in 1987, and Fellowship in 1999?
    Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in 1997?
    Consultant paediatric neurologist at Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust held that post since 1993.
    My primary contract is an NHS contract, so my primary role is one of clinical practice, but I teach, because the hospital is the primary teaching hospital for the University of Southampton.

    Paediatric Neurologist

    Q”Can you, as a paediatric neurologist, the only one from whom the Panel has or will hear, understand why Professor Walker-Smith’s team would be interested in exploring whether or not there was an underlying metabolic disorder in these children?
    A The neurological conditions with which these children presented were very serious and they had a major impact on the child’s life, the family’s life and the question as to what was causing that was obviously of paramount importance. I think that therefore it is entirely reasonable to try to investigate that and to gain an answer to the question: what was the underlying cause of that disorder? ”

    Dr Thomas further

    “I was referred somebody three weeks ago who was a child with long-standing autism whose behaviour had changed significantly. While that is recognised as a feature of autism given the circumstances I considered it appropriate to investigate the child further. He is going to have an MRI scan and he will have lumbar puncture and a general anaesthetic when he has his scan because of the nature of the change in his behaviour has been so abrupt.”

    No other Paeditaric Neurologist presented evidence at the GMC hearings.

  488. #489 blackheart
    September 25, 2011

    This wasn’t just a bit of careless psychiatric paper diagnosis, or a DSM checklist tick off.

    This was a serious, scientific and honorable attempt to provide an unprejudiced investigation with clear evidence to do so, for the clinical gain and treatment of children, and it placed those children and their care at the focus of the process.

    Krebiozen and fellows should be ashamed of themselves trying to defend their position – that is not an “opinion” that is clearly evidenced.

    Good Clinical Practice … Good Clinical Judgement

  489. #490 Chris
    September 26, 2011

    Why should we care what you say, blackheart? You have shown yourself to be totally incapable of any kind of honest discussion.

    It is not a coincidence that this is also an apt description of Andrew Wakefield.

  490. #491 blackheart
    September 26, 2011

    Chris

    Why should we care what you say, blackheart?

    Just think as me as your mentor.

    You have shown yourself to be totally incapable of any kind of honest discussion.

    I’ve answered all your questions and more. You seem dissatisfied with the answers.

    Change is often difficult you are moving to a deeper understanding of life …

  491. #492 Krebiozen
    September 26, 2011

    Blackheart,

    If you cherry pick evidence, looking only for what supports your preconceived ideas, of course you will find it. You can’t just ignore some evidence, you have to take a balanced look at all of it, weigh it up and come to a measured view. I really don’t think you have done that.

    Did you read the full cross-examination of Dr Thomas? It is clear that he did not think that lumbar puncture was appropriate for the clinical investigation of autism or autism spectrum disorders when the diagnosis had been made and the patient had been stable, with no abrupt changes in behaviour, for a number of years. He said lumbar puncture would be appropriate if there had been a recent and abrupt change in the patient’s behaviour, as in the example he gave that you quoted, or if a neurological examination suggested that there was underlying organic metabolic disorder.

    This was true only in the case of Child 2, but no one disputes that the lumbar puncture carried out on Child 2 was clinically indicated. The 4 other children who had lumbar punctures were ages 4 or older and in none of them was there a history of recent and abrupt changes in behaviour, or a record of a neurological examination that suggested an organic, metabolic, neurological disorder. That is why the GMC ruled that the lumbar punctures in Children 3, 9, 10 and 12 were not clinically indicated.

    Here are some parts of that cross-examination that are relevant:

    Dr Thomas: “if there were additional changes that had precipitated the referral or the presentation of the child, then I think that further investigation is indicated.”

    Q Professor Rutter has told the Panel that it would not be appropriate – lumbar puncture – as an investigation in the context of autism. I think you would not be in a position to argue with that proposition?
    A No. That is correct

    Q The point that I am making is that autism is a psychiatric diagnosis and not one that you would investigate by lumbar puncture?
    A Most of the time that is correct, yes.
    Q In so far as these children arrive with a diagnosis of autism, a confirmed diagnosis of autism, you would not support treating them as if they needed investigation for some kind of chronic neurological disorder?
    A If their presentation was of classical autism, then that is correct, yes

    Q Dr Thomas, as I understood your evidence to Mr Miller, you were very specifically saying that it would be the new symptom that would prompt your – your – neurological investigations in a child who had a confirmed diagnosis with autism?
    A Yes.

    Q I know you have not looked at all the children, but of the children you have looked at, including indeed Child 2, all the neurological investigations which were undertaken – in other words, the MRIs, the evoked potentials, the lumbar punctures, were all normal.
    A Yes.

    Q Sorry. I was saying there was a complete failure to have these children assessed by available specialists within that hospital in particular, obviously Dr Harvey, and that was wholly unacceptable?
    A I think that to a certain extent the general paediatricians would have contributed as much to a neurological assessment as Dr Harvey himself, given the nature of the children, and the fact that they were children, as opposed to adult patients.
    Q One would have hoped, would one not, Doctor, that if they were going to substitute themselves for a neurologist, albeit an adult one, that they would have carried out basic
    neurological examinations. It comes back to the same point?
    A I have already accepted that it was unsatisfactory that there was no record.

    DR MOODLEY: So when, in your view, would it be appropriate to accept the diagnosis made and call a halt?
    A I think when there has been a period of a number of years where the symptoms are very stable, there have not really been any major changes in neurological abilities or behaviour – things that could not be explained by other things, for instance, like inter-current illness.
    Q “A number of years” being two, three, four?
    A Yes, possibly. I suppose by the time children are four or five. It is difficult to generalise. The most recent person I have seen was 14, and he will have some further investigations because things have changed rather abruptly. But I suspect those investigations will be negative, but the question hangs in the air, really, which is why the tests are being done.

    Here are some notes I (Krebiozen) made about the 5 children who had lumbar punctures. Anything in quotes is directly from the GMC transcripts.

    Child 2 – aged 8 when admitted, had signs and symptoms of an organic metabolic disorder, no one disputes that lumbar puncture was appropriate in this child’s case.

    Child 3 – aged 8 when admitted “the results from the lumbar puncture were normal; there is no evidence in Child 3’s clinical notes to indicate that a lumbar puncture was required. Experts on both sides, Professor Rutter and Dr Thomas both considered that such a test was not clinically indicated.”

    Child 9 – aged 6 when admitted, came with a diagnosis of autism – “firm diagnosis of autism reached by Chris Rolles and his colleague earlier this year and an account of another assessment at school recently”…”some history of loss of acquired skills at 18-20 months”…”This child is now six, and he has been previously investigated, so there is nothing new about the history of a loss of acquired skills”.

    Child 10 – aged 4 when admitted – Neurologist wrote ” I wonder whether the term disintegrative psychosis would be more appropriate for him” no suggestion of organic metabolic disorder, no suggestion of LP by neurologist, no recent changes in behaviour.

    Child 12 – aged 6 when admitted – “Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist who has expressed the opinion that [12] may well have Asperger’s” … no mention of recent changes in behaviour or abilities.

    By Dr Thomas’ criteria, in none of these 4 children was a lumbar puncture clinically indicated.

  492. #493 Krebiozen
    September 26, 2011

    Comment in moderation pointing out what Dr Thomas actually said about the use of lumbar puncture in autism.

    This was a serious, scientific and honorable attempt to provide an unprejudiced investigation with clear evidence to do so, for the clinical gain and treatment of children, and it placed those children and their care at the focus of the process.

    Unprejudiced my arse!
    Here’s part of Wakefield’s costing proposal that he sent to Richard Barr, the lawyer who was paying Wakefield to get evidence that could be used for litigation:

    The objective is to seek evidence which will be acceptable in a court of law of the causative connection between either the mumps, measles and rubella vaccine or the measles/rubella vaccine and certain conditions which have been reported with considerable frequency by families of children who are seeking compensation.

    That is not indicative of an unprejudiced attitude. That is a statement that would make any real scientist cringe.

  493. #494 Chris
    September 26, 2011

    blackheart:

    Just think as me as your mentor.

    Why? Especially since you have been caught lying several times. And you never honestly answered which MMR vaccine Wakefield’s Lancet paper was about.

  494. #495 Gray Falcon
    September 26, 2011

    From what I’ve seen, blackheart’s initial argument was that scientific methodology is bunk because it requires one investigate things rather that just go with what makes sense. For example, it doesn’t make sense that long-range electrical communication is possible, therefore, don’t bother studying it. You can probably guess that this attitude didn’t lead to much.

  495. #496 Sauceress
    September 26, 2011

    If that last comment is indicative of the arguments to come, then you might consider purchasing a white flag.

    phew….this thread stinks of dirty socks.

  496. #497 Chris
    September 26, 2011

    Sauceress, I was wondering if blackheart and Thingy were either related, or perhaps occupying the same day room of a residential facility.

  497. #498 herr doktor bimler
    September 26, 2011

    I was wondering if blackheart and Thingy were either related

    Blackheart is trying to get the most outrage for the least personal effort, and has therefore paid attention to the tricks used by other trolls to provoke a response — including Th1Th2’s oeuvre.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Blackheart is taking each of the carefully-argued comments from Krebiozen and others, and repeating them at some anti-vax pro-Wakefield website somewhere… then taking the responses to those arguments and bringing them back here.
    That’s how I’d do it, anyway.

  498. #499 Chris
    September 26, 2011

    herr doktor bimler:

    Blackheart is trying to get the most outrage for the least personal effort,

    Wait, I am confused. What is “outrage” supposed to look like? On this end the reaction is an eye roll and suppressed laughter.

  499. #500 herr doktor bimler
    September 26, 2011

    What is “outrage” supposed to look like?
    IANAT, but “caring enough to respond” seems to be enough.

  500. #501 Chris
    September 26, 2011

    Try turning “caring enough to respond” to seeing how much more outrageously silly stuff he could come up with.

  501. #502 Krebiozen
    September 26, 2011

    Battling on (holding my nose) for my own amusement more than anything…

    Blackheart’s “substantial points” are very concise but not particularly clear – here’s what I think we have established:

    CSF and Lumbar Punctures – according to both the defence and prosecution experts at the GMC hearing CSF is not useful in the investigation of diagnosed autism unless there is evidence of a sudden change in their condition, or evidence suggesting an organic metabolic problem. Only Child 2 had symptoms that made a lumbar puncture clinically indicated. One Swedish doctor says LP should be *considered* in the investigation of autism. CSF was normal in all 5 children who had it taken.

    International Clinical Medicine – not really relevant when looking at what is considered to be normal clinical practice in the UK. You can probably find an international “expert” to support almost any clinical practice if you look hard enough (for example it took me seconds to find a case study of ECT being used for the treatment of an autistic 11 year-old boy – see PMID: 21249407). Lumbar puncture in these circumstances is unusual enough to require specific ethics committee approval, and a proper neurological examination, neither of which were obtained.

    Wakefield qualifications – he had none in histopathology and was expressly forbidden from having anything to do with the clinical management of patients by the terms of his contract (which is surely unusual for a qualified doctor). He has had his FRCPath revoked.

    Colonoscopies – were normal and were not clinically indicated. Trained and qualified clinical histopathologists found that the biopsy samples taken during them were normal, by some means that is not clear this was then changed to diagnoses of “non-specific colitis” and the samples disappeared.

    Jack Piper – was not one of the Lancet 12 but was clearly one of more than 100 other children (Wakefield spoke of 174 children in one interview) enrolled in the same program at the Royal Free in an attempt to find a link between gut problems and autism, and whose colonoscopy was done by the same medical team as the Lancet 12’s. All I have suggested is that this proves that colonoscopy on children at the Royal Free was not risk free.

    Aseptic meningitis – is often caused by viruses, and occasionally by live vaccines. The risk of aseptic meningitis even after Urabe MMR is a fraction of the risk of a lumbar puncture or a colonoscopy.

    Legal Aid Board – paid out nearly £16 million (that’s about $20 million) for the MR/MMR multi-party action, £439,553 of which went directly to Andrew Wakefield. This action did not result in a single child being compensated for vaccine injury; nearly all that money went to lawyers and doctors.

    Journalist credentials – are irrelevant to any of this. As Brian Deer once put it on this blog, “If you like, I was telling them where the bodies were buried, in the hope that they would go and dig them up. Which is pretty much what happened.” It seems very foolish to complain, in effect, that there was no murder because the person who found out where the bodies were buried was not a policeman.

    Blackheart, you seem to have been wrong about all your substantial points so far.

    I have downloaded the light reading you suggested. It points out that there are currently no known useful biomarkers for autism in CSF. One day some may be discovered, and CSF may become useful for investigating autism, and lumbar puncture may become part of normal clinical care of ASD patients, but that is not yet the case. The CSF samples taken by Wakefield’s team were sent for standard tests that are useful for looking for organic metabolic disorders (which they did not have the symptoms of), not experimental biomarkers as discussed in that paper.

  502. #503 blackheart
    September 26, 2011

    Krebiozen

    Child 1 – No Lumbar *

    Child 2 – Lumbar performed “Leaving aside Child 2, and I am leaving him aside because there are concessions as to the clinical indication of lumbar puncture —

    A I am sorry. Your voice is dropping away. ” Prosecution / Thomas

    Child 3 – “but it would still be my view that lumbar puncture would be an appropriate investigation, given the history” Paeditaric Neurologist Thomas and further ” …but if I consider this patient on his own, without any other features, if he presented in my clinic, I would consider doing a lumbar puncture on him.”

    Child 4 – No Lumbar *

    Child 5 – No Lumbar *

    Child 6 – No Lumbar *

    Child 7 – No Lumbar *

    Child 8 – No Lumbar *

    Child 9 – Lumbar – Child 9 was given a Lumbar Puncture by a Paediatric neurologist at Chelsea and Westminster.
    Obviously based on clinical investigation and need.

    Thomas – “The question of why this child had the problem still remained. He had had a number of investigations in the past, and I think it was appropriate to address that by examination of the cerebrospinal fluid.”

    Child 10 – . “I think that it is a clinical view that further investigation would be indicated and that that investigation might include a lumbar puncture, an examination of spinal fluid.”

    Child 11 – No Lumbar

    Child 12 – Lumbar – “I cannot comment on that in relation to this child, because the records are not clear enough. As a sort of decision, if you are asking me whether I think it is a reasonable investigation to do in the overall assessment of this child, then my answer would be yes; but I cannot answer for the individuals involved at the time. It is not clear to me exactly why those things happened in that order.”

    Child 12’s records are incomplete referral from the United States.

    Summary – It is quite clear that expert evidence by a Paediatric Neurologist on rather limited access to just “medical notes” and without the access to the developmental records of each child and being able to talk directly to parents / caregivers and other specific medical staff is still of the expert opinion that Lumbar Puncture was indeed a necessary part of the clinical investigation of these children.

    Further your case is undermined by the facts as set out that children 1 4 5 6 7 8 and 11 did not undergo LP. Thus clearly evidencing that LP was only undertaken when their was a clear clinical judgement to do so.

    Further your case is undermined in that not one but several Paeditric neurologists and those specialising in Autism in the United Kingdom do indeed undertake LP as a part of their investigations most notably

    Paediatric Neurologist Dr Cavanagh Chelsea Westminster (Westminster Children’s Hospital)

    Dr Robert Surtees paediatric neurologist at Great Ormond Street (Specialist Children’s Hospital)

    Autism Assessment Service Southampton Hospital.

    Good Clinical Practice … Good Clinical Judgement

    What remains is that you have not given a substantial answer to what the underlying pathology or aetiology of the Lancet 12 is…..

    Well one of a number of items you have skipped including Jack Piper.

  503. #504 balckheart
    September 26, 2011

    Krebiozen.

    “Unprejudiced my arse! Here’s part of Wakefield’s costing proposal that he sent to Richard Barr, the lawyer who was paying Wakefield to get evidence that could be used for litigation.”

    Are you suggesting that Andrew Wakefield performed or indeed ordered the clinical investigations ? Please present some evidence.

    Are you suggesting that medical litigation is not a valid part of the medical/justice system ? Please clarify your reasoning.

  504. #505 blackheart
    September 26, 2011

    herr doktor

    You seem to have a some faulty underlying assumptions …

    You also seem to be putting out a call for further extra ordinary assistance from the ‘minions’ that reside on other sites. Obviously you feel it is required…

    …and poor old Chris seems to think ‘ignorance’ is the best solution.

  505. #506 blackheart
    September 27, 2011

    Krebiozen

    CSF and Lumbar Punctures / International Clinical Medicine

    Krebiozen –

    Michael Rutter Renowned Psychiatrist

    Blackheart –

    Chris Gillberg Renowned Psychiatrist

    Paediatric Neurologist Dr Cavanagh Chelsea Westminster

    Dr Robert Surtees paediatric neurologist at Great Ormond Street

    Autism Assessment Service Southampton Hospital.

    Various Health Authorities in Europe and Scandanavia

    Institute of Medicine – United States of America

    Colonoscopies – Basically as above except even more robust.

    Krebiozen

    Evidence presented ?

    Blackheart

    Dr Christopher Williams Paeditaric colonoscopy expert

    Dr John Walker-Smith Paeditaric Gastroenterologist expert with Lifetime achievement award

    Professor Simon Murch Gastroenterology expert

    Wakefield re professional standard either acaden=mic or medical in Histopathology.

    Krebiozen

    Evidence ?

    You have presented no evidence only opinion that Andrew Wakefield had no ‘qualifications’ in Histopathology.

    Blackheart

    Senior Lecturer in Medicine and Histopathology

    Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine (Teaching Hospital)

    Membership Royal College of Pathology given in recognition of the high professional standards of Andrew Wakefield.

    Numerous professional research articles, papers, lecturers and other professional related tasks.

    Supervision and mentoring of medical/research students.

    Senior Author / co author in research with duties including the collation and interpretation / review of histopathological data and evidence.

    Director Inflammatory Bowel Disease Study Group.
    Major University / International Standard.

    You still haven’t explained satisfactorily why he was appointed Senior Lecturer in Histopathology

    Jack Piper

    Krebiozen

    No linked or corroborating evidence of any kind linking Wakefield , Murch or Walker-Smith. No mention in GMC transcripts which directly addressed Colonoscopies.

    Aseptic meningitis

    Krebiozen

    Lame argument that it’s less dangerous than colonoscopy / LP.

    Blackheart

    The medical authorities in

    United Kingdom

    Canada

    New Zealand

    Japan …. thought that the risk was “unaccceptable” and withdrew the vaccines. In regards to your vs LP / Colonoscopy I find it unrelated to the matter at hand and quite disingenuous.

    Legal Aid Board

    Do you have a point ? Or are you just splashing amounts of money around as a casual slur.

    Journalist credentials ,/b>

    You “wallied” on about Wakefield’s credentials in regards to histopathology but when Deer outlines his ‘opinion ‘ on any number of medical issues including a linked article to histopathology you somehow find that credible ? Guess what I don’t.

    Show me any clear evidence that Deer has any science or medical qualification or any body of evidence that he has met any ‘professional standard’ to talk about histopathology , autism , immunology etc etc.

    I make the score Krebiozen – 0 Blackheart 9

    That’s a pretty sound ‘intellectual thrashing’.

  506. #507 blackheart
    September 27, 2011

    Johns Hopkins Medical – Why CSF is so valuable in understanding Autism.

    “the presence of microscopic and immunological findings showing neuroimmune reactions in all of our autistic patients and the cytokine findings in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) support a potential role for neuroglia and neuroinflammation in the CNS effects in a number of individuals with autism.”

    “Our study has also demonstrated the presence of unique profiles of cytokine expression in the brain and CSF of subjects with autism. Two pro-inflammatory chemokines, MCP-1 and TARC, and an anti-inflammatory and modulatory cytokine, TGF-ß1, were consistently elevated in the brain regions studied. MCP-1, a chemokine involved in innate immune reactions and an important mediator for monocyte and T-cell activation, and for trafficking into areas of tissue injury, appeared to be one of the most relevant proteins found in cytokine protein array studies. It was significantly elevated in both brain tissues and CSF. The presence of MCP-1 is of particular interest, since it facilitates the infiltration and accumulation of monocytes and macrophages in inflammatory CNS disease. ”

    “In our immunocytochemical studies, TGF- ß1 was localized mostly within reactive astrocytes and neurons in the cerebellum. Purkinje cells that exhibited microscopic features of degeneration showed marked reactivity for TGF-ß1. These findings suggest that the elevation of this cytokine in autism may reflect an attempt to modulate neuroinflammation or remodel and repair injured tissue.”

    “Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) studies also confirmed a prominent inflammatory cytokine profile in patients with autism. The presence of a marked increase of MCP-1 in CSF supports the hypothesis that pro-inflammatory pathways are activated in the brain of autistic patients.”

    “It remains unclear how and when microglia and astroglia become activated in the brain of autistic patients.

    “Neuroglial responses in autism may be part of primary (intrinsic) reactions that result from disturbances in neuroglial function or neuronal-neuroglial interactions during brain development. They may also be secondary (extrinsic), resulting from unknown factors that disturb prenatal or postnatal CNS development (e.g. infections, toxins, etc). Both astrocytes and microglia are critical for brain development.”

  507. #508 Krebiozen
    September 27, 2011

    That’s a pretty sound ‘intellectual thrashing’.

    If you really think that, you are sadly deluded. I have repeatedly demonstrated you are wrong, but you ignore or evade my points, repeat your incorrect assertions, and then claim victory. It’s pathetic.

    Thankfully the GMC and the scientific community in general agree with me, not you, and Wakefield is no longer allowed to practice medicine. I look forward to Wakefield’s appeal, that should be entertaining, though I very much doubt it will ever happen.

  508. #509 blackheart
    September 27, 2011

    Oh well science rolls on … (unfortunately slowed by unyeilding skeptiks).

    Lancet – 1998

    First, this mucosal abnormality has been apparent in 47/50 children within the autistic spectrum, whether or not there is any perceived link with immunisation. Thus the lymphoid hyperplasia/ microscopic colitis changes were found in over 90% of the autistic children studied.

    Even if there is no immunodeficiency, the lymphoid hyperplasia in many cases is remarkable, with germinal centres showing higher numbers of proliferating (Ki67 positive) cells than we have detected in any immunodeficient controls with lymphoid hyperplasia.

    We are very familiar with the detection of lymphoid hyperplasia in children with minor immunodeficiency, as are Lindley and Milla, and have published several reports on this topic. We were thus ideally placed to detect the exaggerated lesion found in many of these children. The colitis itself is variable, but may feature crypt abscesses, increased macrophage infiltration and unregulated class II major histocompatibility complex expression.

    University of California : Davis 2011

    “Researchers have for the first time identified two biologically different strains of autism in a breakthrough being compared with the discovery of different forms of cancer in the 1960s…”

    Researchers from the University of California Davis’s MIND Institute in Sacramento began the Autism Phenome Project in 2006. They have been studying the brain growth, environmental exposure and genetic make-up of 350 children aged between two and 3.5 years, and have so far found two biologically distinct subtypes of autistic brain development.

    One group of children — all boys — had enlarged brains and most had regressed into autism after 18 months of age; another group appeared to have immune systems that were not functioning properly.

    He says in biological terms there are different types of autism, but they all have similar symptoms.

    “That’s one of the mysteries at this point. We know that there are different biologies but that the behavioural symptoms of children with autism all look basically the same,” he said.

    “Many, many people now are trying to figure out whether all of these various biological causes are focusing on one final common pathway.”

    Professor Bruce Tonge, an autism expert from Monash University’s School of Psychology and Psychiatry, said Dr Amaral’s work built on previous research in the field.

    “These are important findings but not unexpected. We have known for many years that the number of conditions associated with autism are not one disorder. There’s likely to be different types, groups and causes,” he said.

    “He has been able to subtype the two different groups: one have overgrowth in their brains and the other group perhaps have abnormalities in their immune systems which may relate to factors inherited from their mothers.” (Don’t mention the dreaded “V” word.)

    “This now generates hypotheses we now need to follow up. Why do these children have abnormalities in their immune system? It may not be the cause [of autism], it may be the consequence of a cause,” said Professor Tonge, who added that Dr Amaral’s work showed how crucial it is to collect detailed biomedical data on children with autism over a long period of time.”

    Fancy looking at the actual patient … medical world is full of surprises.

  509. #510 blackheart
    September 28, 2011

    Genetic Heritability and Shared Environmental Factors Among Twin Pairs With Autism.

    Susceptibility to ASD has moderate genetic heritability and a substantial shared twin environmental component.

    To provide rigorous quantitative estimates of genetic heritability of autism and the effects of shared environment.

    A large proportion of the variance in liability can be explained by shared environmental factors (55%; 95% CI, 9%-81% for autism and 58%; 95% CI, 30%-80% for ASD) in addition to moderate genetic heritability (37%; 95% CI, 8%-84% for autism and 38%; 95% CI, 14%-67% for ASD).

    ps Thanks to the Herr Doktor for the heads up…

  510. #511 Chris
    September 28, 2011

    No real citations. It can be assumed you pulled it out of thin air, or cut and pasted from whale.to.

  511. #512 blackheart
    September 28, 2011

    Chris

    Ye of little faith…

    http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2011/07/genetic-heritability-and-shared-environmental-factors-among-twin-pairs-with-autism/

    It’s where I get my best information from…thanks Herr Doktor

    Apparently it is causing some concern …

  512. #513 Chris
    September 29, 2011

    I was referring to the previous comment where you just spout off on the children, since the other had not been posted (it looks like it was held in moderation). Plus it does not say what you think it says. The “shared environment” is before birth, and has nothing to do with vaccines (mostly with vitamin level and some pollution issues).

    Still waiting to see what verification you have on which MMR vaccine Wakefield was studying. The UK version with the Urabe mumps component, the UK version with the Jeryl Lynn mumps component, and why was there an American child who had had the American version with the Jeryl Lynn component. And if the major difference was the mumps strain, why go on about measles?

    And show exactly in the now retracted Lancet paper it mentions the mumps strain, and which vaccine.

    And since your comments are commonly in moderation, I could have missed it.

  513. #514 blackheart
    September 29, 2011

    Chris

    I was referring to the previous comment where you just spout off on the children,

    The Autism Genome Project is also referenced from LeftBrain.

    Plus it does not say what you think it says. The “shared environment” is before birth, and has nothing to do with vaccines (mostly with vitamin level and some pollution issues).

    That’s not how I read Twin studies and environmental factors but I agree there are number of investigative routes one could take. Maternal antibodies for instance.

    As there is evidence from the actual physiology of autisitic patients of neuroinflammatory mechanisms and the immune system dysfunction I would imagine that any medication that works specifically on the immune system would be a prime candidate for investigation.

    “Because of the reported high heritability
    of autism, a major focus of research in autism has been
    on finding the underlying genetic causes, with less emphasis on potential environmental triggers or causes. The finding of significant influence of the shared environment, experiences that are common to both twin individuals, may be important for future research paradigms. 23 Increasingly, evidence is accumulating that overt symptoms of autism emerge around the end of the first year of life. Because the prenatal environment and early postnatal environment >/b> are shared between twin individuals, we hypothesize that at least some of the environmental factors impacting susceptibility to autism exert their effect during this critical period of life.”

    Still waiting to see what verification you have on which MMR vaccine Wakefield was studying.

    A variety of MMR was used in the UK and from different manufacturers … do I think it is important at this stage ? If you have a clear point you are welcome to make it.

    “And if the major difference was the mumps strain, why go on about measles?”

    Andrew Wakefield had already undertaken work in measles and Crohn’s Disease.

    From the Lancet paper …

    Asperger first recorded the link between coeliac disease and behavioural psychoses.

    4 Walker-Smith and colleagues5 detected low concentrations of alpha-1 antitrypsin in children with typical autism, and D’Eufemia and colleagues6 identified abnormal intestinal permeability, a feature of small intestinal enteropathy, in 43% of a group of autistic children with no gastrointestinal symptoms, but not in matched controls. These studies, together with our own, including evidence of anaemia and IgA deficiency in some children, would support the hypothesis that the consequences of an inflamed or dysfunctional intestine may play a part in behavioural changes in some children.

    “In the context of susceptibility to infection, a genetic association with autism, linked to a null allele of the complement (C) 4B gene located in the class III region of the major-histocompatibility complex, has been recorded by Warren and colleagues.24 C4B-gene products are crucial for the activation of the complement pathway and protection against infection: individuals inheriting one or two C4B null alleles may not handle certain viruses appropriately, possibly including attenuated strains.”

    And show exactly in the now retracted Lancet paper it mentions the mumps strain, and which vaccine.

    I’m not aware that it does.

  514. #515 Chris
    September 30, 2011

    Then why did you say: “That would be Priorix. Manufactured by the same company and in the same premises I believe as Urabe Strain vaccine Pluserix / Trivirix.“?

    Do you often just make up an answer without thinking about it?

    What evidence do you have that the MMR vaccine with the Jeryl Lynn strain of mumps carries a greater risk than measles, mumps and rubella?

  515. #516 Chris
    September 30, 2011

    Or better yet, what evidence do you have that Wakefield is even relevant? Even if he had not committed fraud, it was a tiny case study that found no relationship between autism and any gastrointestinal problems (that were made up) in the children and any of any of at least three MMR vaccines. Wakefield’s first lie was saying things in the press release that were no even supported by the paper.

    He is now just shilling for conspiracy theorists and supplement sellers. Why is he still worth defending? Why did you lie so much in his defense?

  516. #517 blackheart
    September 30, 2011

    Chris

    Do you often just make up an answer without thinking about it?

    I made a simplistic answer to a rather simplistic question. If you had wished me to make a detailed answer I may have been able to do so … but I was being polite as always and trying to answer as many questions as possible.

    What evidence do you have that the MMR vaccine with the Jeryl Lynn strain of mumps carries a greater risk than measles, mumps and rubella?

    I would point out that there is a public expectation that a vaccine is safer than the disease it is supposed to protect against. If your scenario was correct there would not be a health authority , one hopes , that would continue issuing that particular vaccine.

    Obviously there is some sort of risk / benefit that governments and public health authorities weigh. As seen in the withdrawal of two earlier measles vaccines.

    Or better yet, what evidence do you have that Wakefield is even relevant?

    Why is Andrew Wakefield , John Walker-Smith and the Lancet 12 paper relevant. That’s quite a good question would you like a simplistic response or a detailed one ?

    it was a tiny case study that found no relationship between autism and any gastrointestinal problems

    I’d certainly disagree with that.

    Why is he still worth defending?

    Have you ever considered that you may be wrong on any number of issues ?

    Why did you lie so much in his defense?

    Chris you should spend more time formulating interesting questions than accussing me of lying.

  517. #518 Chris
    October 1, 2011

    Actually, you are still lying. The question was not simplistic, it showed that you did not know about the different varieties of MMR vaccine that the dozen children had received. It also showed that you nothing about study designs where if the goal is to show there is an issue with a product, like a vaccine, that the type of vaccines must be minimized.

    Now the fact that you cannot answer my “simplistic” questions is quite telling.

    Now, answer this “simplistic” question: Why is the now retracted Lancet study more relevant than this attempt to replicated it:
    http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0003140

    Many more children, and better science. No replication.

    What Wakefield did is dead in the water. He is nothing. Clinging to that past is desperate and very sad.

  518. #519 blackheart
    October 1, 2011

    Chris

    The question was not simplistic…

    When someone makes the following statement …

    “And to the idiot liar, Blackheart … that showed Wakefield was wrong, wrong, wrongety wrong.”

    One assumes it best to build their case from the simple concepts first.

    “It also showed that you nothing about study designs where if the goal is to show there is an issue with a product, like a vaccine, that the type of vaccines must be minimized.”

    Why … if it is the measles component of the vaccine that is alleged to be the cause.

    “Now, answer this “simplistic” question: Why is the now retracted Lancet study more relevant than this attempt to replicated it:”

    Because it was a clinical investigation of the actual physiology of children where parents / caregivers associated developmental regression with MMR vaccine.

    What varieties of MMR vaccines did those children in the Hornig paper receive ? (note how this relates to your previous argument)

    Subject Characteristics Autism Group / Controls

    Number 25 / 13
    Male 92 / 69 %
    Female 8 / 31 %
    Ethnicity Caucasian 72 / 92 %
    Age at First MMR – 15.3 / 16.0
    First episode of GI 12 months / 2 months

    MMR before onset 52%
    MMR after onset 48%

    “MMR before GI onset – ASD Group 48% v 23%

    Cases had a high rate of CPEA-defined behavioral regression (loss of language and/or other skills following acquisition), 88%, compared to published rates of 20–40% for the general ASD population [27], [40].

    I was also interested in what this means in regards to the work undertaken by the Lancet 12 team particularly John Walker-Smith. It also reinforces once again that parents were honestly reporting a significant “regression”.

    Autism with GI disturbances is associated with elevated rates of regression in language or other skills and may represent an endophenotype distinct from other ASD.

    There’s an interesting conclusion that reinforces the work undertaken by John Walker-Smith and now University of California.

    Table 4 Number and frequency of AUT/GI subjects receiving MMR before or after GI onset and with index GI episode before or after

    MMR before GI
    ————-

    GI before ASD = 31% GI after ASD = 78%

    GI before ASD = 69% GI after ASD = 22%

    Cases failing to meet full DSM-IV-TR criteria for AUT (299.00 code) were excluded from further analysis, including subjects with diagnoses of any DSM-IV-TR pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) other than AUT (PDD-Not Otherwise Specified, Asperger’s Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Rett’s Disorder) or genetic syndromes associated with ASD features (Fragile X, tuberous sclerosis, neurofibromatosis, trisomy 21).

    Lancet 12 paper Heading

    Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific
    colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children

    also

    “We investigated a consecutive series of children with chronic enterocolitis and regressive developmental disorder.”

    “Authors – John J. O’Leary Trinity College Dublin”

    O’Leary reports on his own work ?

    Competing interests: Authors JOL and OS were compensated for expert witness statements concerning MMR vaccine and autism on behalf of claimants in litigation in the United Kingdom.

    That’s John O’Leary – apparently according to the BMJ articles

    “Unigenetics Ltd, incorporated in February 1999 with a Dublin pathologist, John O’Leary.

    Unigenetics was awarded—without checks—£800 000 of taxpayers’ money 28 to perform polymerase chain reaction tests on bowel tissue and blood samples from children passing through Malcolm ward.”

    Institute of Medicine Vaccine Report 2011

    re: Hornig paper – The publication did not contribute to the weight of mechanistic evidence

    Not as black and white as you supposed Chris … this study is actually a convoluted piece of research that has differing interpretations in regards to the Wakefield Lancet 12 paper and the hypotheses drawn around it.

    Published criticism

    Lack of random selection of subjects, and the small sample size strongly weaken external validity, thereby minimizing the ability to generalize the results of the study to other studies or general conclusions regarding the relationship between autism and measles virus vaccine. (Campbell and Stanley, 1966).

    2. The small sample size, unequal size of the comparison groups, use of weak non-parametric statistics, and the lack of a completely blind protocol render the study lacking in internal validity (Campbell and Stanley, 1966).The use of non-parametric statistics is particularly puzzling as the data are parametric (Cohen, 1965; Stevens, 1957).

  519. #520 Chris
    October 2, 2011

    blackheart:

    Why … if it is the measles component of the vaccine that is alleged to be the cause.

    There are differences in the measles strain. And it should be noted he was hired by the lawyer initially for the problems with the Urabe mumps strain.

    The “published criticism” is the same as for the Lancet paper. It is laughable that you can say “The small sample size, unequal size of the comparison groups, use of weak non-parametric statistics,” when it had a larger set size than twelve, and Wakefield even weeded out kids who did not fit.

    Your comments in no way show it is less relevant than the now fully retracted Lancet paper. Big fail.

    Now explain why the following papers are less relevant to the now retracted Lancet paper. Note they all contain a common author who was also from the Royal Free Hospital:

    Autism and measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine: no epidemiological evidence for a causal association.
    Taylor B, Miller E, Farrington CP, Petropoulos MC, Favot-Mayaud I, Li J, Waight PA.
    Lancet. 1999 Jun 12;353(9169):2026-9.

    MMR and autism: further evidence against a causal association.
    Farrington CP, Miller E, Taylor B.
    Vaccine. 2001 Jun 14;19(27):3632-5.

    Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination and bowel problems or developmental regression in children with autism: population study.
    Taylor B, Miller E, Lingam R, Andrews N, Simmons A, Stowe J.
    BMJ. 2002 Feb 16;324(7334):393-6.

  520. #521 blackheart
    October 3, 2011

    Chris

    There are differences in the measles strain.

    Cases had a high rate of CPEA-defined behavioral regression (loss of language and/or other skills following acquisition), 88%, compared to published rates of 20–40% for the general ASD population.

    The “published criticism” is the same as for the Lancet paper.

    Well no it isn’t … but of course anyone can see the limitations of this Early Report. Did you note this …

    Addendum:

    Up to Jan 28, a further 40 patients have been assessed; 39 with the syndrome.

    “Your comments in no way show it is less relevant than the now fully retracted Lancet paper. Big fail.”

    The one thing that paper does is actually reinforce the high rate of regression 88%.

    Note they all contain a common author who was also from the Royal Free Hospital

    Yes I did notice that … I like skittles.

    Institute of Medicine Report Vaccine Safety 2011

    Five controlled studies (DeStefano et al., 2004; Richler et al., 2006; Schultz et al., 2008; Taylor et al., 2002; Uchiyama et al., 2007) had very serious methodological limitations that precluded their inclusion in this assessment.

    Taylor et al. (2002) inadequately described the data analysis used to compare autism compounded by serious bowel problems or regression (cases) with autism free of such problems (controls).

    One down….

    ——————————————————–

    Taylor 1999 and 2001

    I couldn’t find one ?

    We undertook an epidemiological study to investigate whether measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine may be causally associated with autism.

    We do not think that epidemiological studies have the necessary robustness to identify cases involving different Autism Genomes. see University of California research 2011.

    Children with autism born since 1979 were identified from special needs/disability registers and special schools in eight North Thames health districts

    a) The use of special needs registers and special schools information could be problematic

    b) The geographical location North Thames is not a representative sampling of children in the UK and thus is problematic.

    c) “were identified” I could locate the assessment manual used ICD10. But I could not see which researcher had the necessary qualifications to do so.

    “Brent Taylor, Christina Petropoulos, and Isabelle Favot-Mayaud were responsible for case identification and ascertainment.”

    We identified 498 cases of autism (261 of core autism, 166 of atypical autism, and 71 of Asperger’s syndrome).

    a) I was unable to see how many records were searched and thus have an understanding of the incidence of Autism in the Northern Thames Health District as compared to other studies. This may be problematic.

    b) I was surprised that Core Autism 261 ‘outnumbered’ the cases of PDD and Asperger’s 237

    “Most recent reviews of epidemiology estimate a prevalence of one to two cases per 1,000 people for autism, and about six per 1,000 for ASD;[1]”

    Newschaffer CJ, Croen LA, Daniels J et al. The epidemiology of autism spectrum disorders

    A 2006 study of nearly 57,000 British nine- and ten-year-olds reported a prevalence of 3.89 per 1,000 for autism and 11.61 per 1,000 for ASD; these higher figures could be associated with broadening diagnostic criteria

    Baird G, Simonoff E, Pickles A et al. Prevalence of disorders of the autism spectrum in a population cohort of children in South Thames: the Special Needs and Autism Project (SNAP). Lancet. 2006;368(9531):210–5.

    —————————————

    I would imagine that should suffice for now…. perhaps you could clear up some of those “problematic matters”

    … or is that a strike ?

  521. #522 Krebiozen
    October 3, 2011

    Blackheart,
    In your comments I find it extremely difficult to follow what you have written, what is a quote from another commenter, and what is a direct quote from a source you cite. It would be helpful if you made this a bit clearer.

    You quoted the IOM report, which also stated:

    The committee has a high degree of confidence in the epidemiologic evidence based on four studies with validity and precision to assess an association between MMR vaccine and autism; these studies consistently report a null association.

    And:

    The committee assesses the mechanistic evidence regarding an association between MMR vaccine and autism as lacking.

    And:

    The evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between MMR vaccine and autism.

    This is clearly a dead hypothesis.

  522. #523 blackheart
    October 3, 2011

    Krebiozen

    “It would be helpful if you made this a bit clearer.”

    Institute of Medicine Report Vaccine Safety 2011

    Five controlled studies (DeStefano et al., 2004; Richler et al., 2006; Schultz et al., 2008; Taylor et al., 2002; Uchiyama et al., 2007) had very serious methodological limitations that precluded their inclusion in this assessment.

    Taylor et al. (2002) inadequately described the data analysis used to compare autism compounded by serious bowel problems or regression (cases) with autism free of such problems (controls).

    One down

    ———————————————————
    IOM

    “The committee has a high degree of confidence in the epidemiologic evidence based on four studies with validity and precision to assess an association between MMR vaccine and autism; these studies consistently report a null association.”

    How many studies were originally presented as evidence ?

    What were the studies rejected for ?

    How many studies are left ?

    What does this say about the nature of the research surrounding this issue ?

    What is the hypothesis they are investigating ?

    Is this the correct hypothesis ?

    Are there other hypotheses that can be generated by the Wakefield / Walker-Smith work ?

    Are there any problems in regards to the remaining studies ?

    Is epidemiology the correct’scientific tool’ to investigate neurodevelopmental disorders that are difficult to assess ?

    So many questions yet to be answered.

    ——————————————————–
    IOM

    “The evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between MMR vaccine and autism.”

    Does it ? You should know that the data is more important than the conclusion.

    Do they match the rather high expectations.

    ——————————————————-

    This is clearly a dead hypothesis.

    What hypothesis is that ?

  523. #524 Chris
    October 3, 2011

    Krebiozen:

    In your comments I find it extremely difficult to follow what you have written,

    That is because he is flailing around. He has no argument, and is purposely obscuring everything tiny insignificant details.

    Last I saw Dr. Brent Taylor and Dr. Mady Hornig are still gainfully employed in science, and continue to get published in real journals. While Wakefield is making videos for conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones.

    The science has been done, the link between vaccines and autism does not exist. It is a dead link… “It’s not pinin’! ‘It’s passed on! This link is no more! It has ceased to be! It’s expired and gone to meet its maker! It’s a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed it to the perch it’d be pushing up the daisies! Its metabolic processes are now ‘istory! It’s off the twig! It’s kicked the bucket, it’s shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-LINK!! ” (hat-tip to Monty Python and the dead parrot sketch)

  524. #525 blackheart
    October 4, 2011

    Chris

    Run out of epidemiological studies already … ?

    Thanks for your participation that seems to conclude the many and varied “argumentative statements” from skeptiks.

    Skeptiks 0 – Blackheart 10

    That must be very …

  525. #526 Chris
    October 4, 2011

    Actually, I got bored with your lying obtuseness (and lack of spelling). Do you really want more epidemiological studies? You didn’t even understand the ones you were given. Your “opinion” is absolutely worthless.

    Seriously, what is Wakefield doing these days? Going to conferences where they talk about the Illuminati and black helicopters. Seriously, the guy is a joke. And so are you.

  526. #527 blackheart
    October 4, 2011

    Chris

    There’s no need to start making up conspiracy theories like other commentators in this matter.

    If you have a scientific argument to make you should make it. Otherwise each time you resort to this line of ‘attack’ all it does is belittle any ‘intellectual’ credibility you may have had.

    It seems to be a common theme on these forums and I can’t see any justification for why anyone here deludes themselves into thinking they are anything but either ‘minions’ or as rightly pointed out in my first comment ‘sheep’.

    At least for periods of time Krebiozen and yourself made some attempt at posting evidence and you are to be congratulated on that fine effort.

    Look well done …. next time I’ll shout you a beer and next time you talk to Orac tell him he owes me one to.

    I’m off to do something more constuctive … so should you.

    regards to all

  527. #528 Chris
    October 4, 2011

    Wow, you are an idiot.

  528. #529 Chris
    October 4, 2011

    By the way, explaining that Wakefield’s last gigs were with conspiracy mongers is not “making up conspiracy theories” when it is true: It’s official: Wakefield joins the ranks of Truthers, New World Order conspiracists.

    He has also been featured on several InfoWar videos with the likes of Alex Jones, Richard Gage (Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth), and Mike Adams (NaturalNews).

    He is a joke. And you have become very boring.

  529. #530 Andrew
    October 4, 2011

    Blackheart:

    So you don’t like conspiracy theories, you just think that all the commenters here are part of a conspiracy. Hilarious.

    “I’m off to do something more constuctive”

    I agree that you should certainly start doing something constructive.

  530. #531 Gray Falcon
    October 4, 2011

    Blackheart, one of your first lines of attack consisted of guilt by association. Don’t be surprised that nobody here takes you seriously.

  531. #532 blackheart
    October 6, 2011

    Gray Falcon

    C’mon it took you 531 posts to figure that out.

    ummmm…..what do you think Chris and all the other skeptiks do all day.

    Look at Chris as soon as the science ends he goes for the man …

    One poster comes along and uses the actual evidence and they fall down like some kiddies clown game.

    Play the science not the man. You guys can’t beat me on the science or the evidence.

  532. #533 Chris
    October 7, 2011

    You have shown you do not understand the science. You demonstrated that by citing the IOM report as evidence the MMR vaccine had greater risk than measles, mumps and rubella.

    As it stands, Wakefield had no evidence to support his statements in the 1998 press release for parents to ask for single vaccines. And has Ruth noted, there were several MMR vaccines being used in the UK between 1988 and 1992, something Wakefield did not know.

  533. #534 Gray Falcon
    October 7, 2011

    C’mon it took you 531 posts to figure that out.

    No, I needed to point it out to you.

    ummmm…..what do you think Chris and all the other skeptiks do all day.

    Presented evidence. You know, science. You suggested that science reject ideas because you thought they were absurd.

  534. #535 blackheart
    October 8, 2011

    Unfortunately their evidence failed the most mundane of questioning… so they rely on a bag of dirty tricks.

    Oh well so much for science rationalism….you live or die by the evidence (so to speak)…

  535. #536 Chris
    October 8, 2011
  536. #537 blackheart
    October 10, 2011

    Thanks Chris … Just insert the word skeptik for troll.

    I see you are still unable to provide evidence for your position. I think that would apply to numbers …

    1 2 3 4.

    When you’ve read and understood the evidence Chris I’ll be happy to debate you on any point.

  537. #538 Chris
    October 11, 2011

    The issue is, troll, I have read and do understand the evidence, but you do not. And you cannot communicate without lying. And you are really boring.

  538. #539 blackheart
    October 14, 2011

    When you have finished ‘rending your garments and gnashing your teeth” perhaps you’d like to produce some evidenced based counter arguments to points previously raised.

  539. #540 Chris
    October 14, 2011

    This is the song that never ends,
    It just goes on and on my friends.
    Some trolls started singing it not knowing what it was,
    And they just kept on singing it and this is what it was.

  540. #541 Gray Falcon
    October 14, 2011

    Blackheart’s given up on everything else and has been reduced to declaring his victory repeatedly on an old thread. Pathetic.

  541. #542 blackheart
    October 14, 2011

    Thanks boys …I was being magnanimous.

    MAGNANIMITY, n. [L. magnanimitas; magnus, great, and animus, mind.] Greatness of mind; that elevation or dignity of soul, which encounters danger and trouble with tranquility and firmness, which raises the possessor above revenge, and makes him delight in acts of benevolence, which makes him disdain injustice and meanness, and prompts him to sacrifice personal ease, interest and safety for the accomplishment of useful and noble objects

  542. #543 blackheart
    October 14, 2011

    It’s not missile telemetry …

    You as a “skeptik” have to show …

    1. Vaccine clinical trial data that shows the efficacy and safety of the vaccines in this issue.

    2. You have to produce evidence preferrably from independent sources (not drug companies and government departments that were going to be legally liable) that shows no association with developmental disorders or other negative health outcomes.

    3. You have to show by evidence that medical science has undertaken a thorough physiological and genetic ‘work up’ of autistic patients that rules out developmental disorders or other negative health outcomes.

    4. You have to show and evidence a clear pathology for those developmental disorders or other negative health outcomes.

  543. #544 Chris
    October 16, 2011

    This is the song that never ends,
    It just goes on and on my friends.
    Some trolls started singing it not knowing what it was,
    And they just kept on singing it and this is what it was.

  544. #545 Gray Falcon
    October 16, 2011

    Blackheart, do you understand the concept of “burden of proof”? You made several accusations, so you had better have some evidence to back them up! Of course, if you’re “just asking questions”, I can ask questions. Blackheart, is it true you regularly eat puppies?

  545. #546 blackheart
    October 17, 2011

    Gray Falcon

    “Blackheart, do you understand the concept of “burden of proof”?”

    Yes … that’s why I’m asking for proof.

    “You made several accusations, so you had better have some evidence to back them up!”

    I have ? What “accussations” are they ?

    Of course, if you’re “just asking questions”, I can ask questions.

    Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement.

    Ronald Reagan

  546. #547 Chris
    October 18, 2011

    This is the song that never ends,
    It just goes on and on my friends.
    Some trolls started singing it not knowing what it was,
    And they just kept on singing it and this is what it was.

  547. #548 Krebiozen
    October 18, 2011

    Blackheart,

    I thought you had gone, back at #527 you bade us all farewell.

    You ask for:

    1. Vaccine clinical trial data that shows the efficacy and safety of the vaccines in this issue.

    The IoM report takes a very fair and comprehensive look at the evidence and, as I have previously mentioned, concludes:

    The committee has a high degree of confidence in the epidemiologic evidence based on four studies with validity and precision to assess an association between MMR vaccine and autism; these studies consistently report a null association… The committee assesses the mechanistic evidence regarding an association between MMR vaccine and autism as lacking… The evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between MMR vaccine and autism.

    That seems pretty good to me.

    2. You have to produce evidence preferrably from independent sources (not drug companies and government departments that were going to be legally liable) that shows no association with developmental disorders or other negative health outcomes.

    As previously discussed, the IoM concluded that even large clinical trials do not have the statistical power to rule out extremely rare negative health outcomes. Scientifically speaking all you can say is that there is no evidence to support the hypothesis that vaccines cause such outcomes. I know that various antivaccine organizations have seized upon this as evidence that vaccines DO cause these extremely rare outcomes, but that is simply ignorance on their part. Since we know that the negative health outcomes of measles, mumps and rubella are very much more common than the rarest negative health outcomes clinical studies could possibly detect, it makes sense to vaccinate.

    The US has a very fair system that compensates for any conditions that could possibly have been caused by vaccines. The UK (I assume you are in the UK) is less fair, and I think that needs to change. I think anyone with a child who has developmental problems for whatever reason should be properly looked after financially by their government, but that’s another matter.

    3. You have to show by evidence that medical science has undertaken a thorough physiological and genetic ‘work up’ of autistic patients that rules out developmental disorders or other negative health outcomes.

    What does this even mean? Autistic patients have been very thoroughly investigated many times. For example we know that they can have elevated cytokine levels in their CSF. This doesn’t help with diagnosis, or lead to any new treatment, so doing yet more lumbar punctures and cytokine levels is a waste of time and is unpleasant and potentially dangerous for patients.

    Anyway, autism IS a developmental disorder, so how can you rule this out? Are you suggesting that some children are particularly vulnerable to vaccine damage because of underlying disorders? If so, they will very likely be even more susceptible to damage by infection by the diseases that vaccines are intended to prevent. Some mitochondrial disorders, for example, make children vulnerable to encephalopathy when they suffer a fever from any cause.

    4. You have to show and evidence a clear pathology for those developmental disorders or other negative health outcomes.

    You mean vaccines should be considered guilty until some other cause has been elucidated? Why not blame TV and video, or indoor molds, or some other unlikely environmental factor that has more plausibility and more epidemiological evidence behind it than vaccines?

    It is a terrible shame that such a huge amount time and money has been squandered on investigating an implausible and unsupported hypothesis as vaccines causing autism. It has probably set back our understanding of this disorder decades and caused incalculable suffering. Yet some people still insist on pursuing this dead hypothesis, for reasons that I simply do not understand.

  548. #549 Chris
    October 18, 2011

    Krebiozen:

    Yet some people still insist on pursuing this dead hypothesis, for reasons that I simply do not understand.

    See lyrics to the song I posted.

  549. #550 blackheart
    October 19, 2011

    Krebiozen

    The IoM report takes a very fair and comprehensive look at the evidence and, as I have previously mentioned, concludes

    You obviously do not understand what clinical trial information is or you are attempting to dodge the production of that information.

    IoM concluded that even large clinical trials do not have the statistical power to rule out extremely rare negative health outcomes.

    I see no evidence that the IoM had access or used clinical trial information in it’s conclusions.

    Since we know that the negative health outcomes of measles, mumps and rubella are very much more common than the rarest negative health outcomes clinical studies could possibly detect, it makes sense to vaccinate.

    What active surveillance system did you use to come to that conclusion ?

    What does this even mean? Autistic patients have been very thoroughly investigated many times. For example we know that they can have elevated cytokine levels in their CSF. This doesn’t help with diagnosis, or lead to any new treatment, so doing yet more lumbar punctures and cytokine levels is a waste of time and is unpleasant and potentially dangerous for patients.

    That’s a surprising answer … for instance cytokine profiles offer a range of diagnosis hypotheses that can be explored most notably immune system dysfunction.

    Johns Hopkins Medical

    “the presence of microscopic and immunological findings showing neuroimmune reactions in all of our autistic patients and the cytokine findings in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) support a potential role for neuroglia and neuroinflammation in the CNS effects in a number of individuals with autism.”

    “Our study has also demonstrated the presence of unique profiles of cytokine expression in the brain and CSF of subjects with autism.”

    This doesn’t help with diagnosis, or lead to any new treatment, so doing yet more lumbar punctures and cytokine levels is a waste of time and is unpleasant and potentially dangerous for patients.

    See above. If the cytokine expression could be matched to a known pathology …well.

    “Anyway, autism IS a developmental disorder, so how can you rule this out?”

    That point is now very much in doubt. University of California researchers have identified two differing Autism phenotypes.

    http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/mindinstitute/research/app/

    or alternatively miltant skeptik friendly link at …

    http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2011/09/autism-phenome-project-announces-first-results-at-the-asia-pacific-autism-conference/

    You mean vaccines should be considered guilty until some other cause has been elucidated?

    Vaccine interaction on a developing immune system would be a very good, biologically plausible, candidate for a ‘disease / condition’ that had at its heart immune system dysfunction. Whether its role or primary / secondary or even non existent would be worthy of investigation ….that’s what science does….

    “It has probably set back our understanding of this disorder decades and caused incalculable suffering. Yet some people still insist on pursuing this dead hypothesis, for reasons that I simply do not understand.

    Probably because you don’t see or ignore the wider picture of what science is informing us of autism. Especially the physiology of autism children.

  550. #551 Gray Falcon
    October 19, 2011

    Vaccine interaction on a developing immune system would be a very good, biologically plausible, candidate for a ‘disease / condition’ that had at its heart immune system dysfunction. Whether its role or primary / secondary or even non existent would be worthy of investigation ….that’s what science does….

    The investigation has been done, the verdict is “not guilty.”

  551. #552 Calli Arcale
    October 19, 2011

    blackheart:

    That’s a surprising answer … for instance cytokine profiles offer a range of diagnosis hypotheses that can be explored most notably immune system dysfunction.

    Everything offers a range of hypotheses, but I’m not going to let someone puncture my child’s lumbar meninges for the sake of a hypothesis. I’ve had four lumbar punctures myself, and I’m not going to ask that of my child without a damn good reason. Not a hunch, not a speculation, and certainly not a damn fishing expedition, which is, quite bluntly, what you are proposing.

  552. #553 blackheart
    October 20, 2011

    Gray Falcon

    The investigation has been done, the verdict is “not guilty.”

    Not guilty of what ? At least two MMR vaccines were withdrawn over severe adverse reactions in the UK, Vaccines were also withdrawn in Canada , Japan, the Philippines …

    In Japan

    “An analysis of vaccinations over a three-month period showed one in every 900 children was experiencing problems. This was over 2,000 times higher than the expected rate of one child in every 100,000 to 200,000.”

    Another measles vaccine was withdrawn as it was associated with a increased child mortality. It could have cost at least 500,000 additional female deaths per year in Africa alone.

    You should do some real research some time…

  553. #554 blackheart
    October 20, 2011

    Calli Arcale

    I’m not going to let someone puncture my child’s lumbar meninges for the sake of a hypothesis

    I’m surprised you find medical research so abominable it’s what has led to vast improvements in our health and well being.

    As far as being a hypothesis I think the evidence is pretty well confirmed that there is a set of children where immune system dysfunction is directly related to their ‘autism”.

    For skeptiks you guys and girls are particularly backward looking when it comes to science.

  554. #555 Chris
    October 20, 2011

    This is the song that never ends,
    It just goes on and on my friends.
    Some trolls started singing it not knowing what it was,
    And they just kept on singing it and this is what it was.

  555. #556 blackheart
    October 21, 2011

    Chris

    Sorry but science is moving forward … leaving the last of the skeptik neanderthals behind.

  556. #557 Antaeus Feldspar
    October 21, 2011

    As far as being a hypothesis I think the evidence is pretty well confirmed that there is a set of children where immune system dysfunction is directly related to their ‘autism”.

    That’s nice. Why don’t you go away and discuss it with those nice folks who think the evidence is pretty well confirmed that Obama was born in Kenya? You can have a look at the latest Kenyan birth certificate which is of unquestionable validity, having been turned up by … some guy on the Internet. It’s even better than their last unquestionably confirmed evidence, as this one doesn’t get the name of the country wrong.

  557. #558 LW
    October 21, 2011

    I’m not going to let someone puncture my child’s lumbar meninges for the sake of a hypothesis

    I’m surprised you find medical research so abominable it’s what has led to vast improvements in our health and well being.

    That’s what got Wakefield in trouble, you know: thinking that medical research alone is sufficient justification for invasive procedures, not clinically indicated, on children. The general consensus is that medical research can progress adequately while at the same time human subjects are protected from abuse or unnecessary procedures.

  558. #559 Krebiozen
    October 21, 2011

    You should do some real research some time…

    Said the person quoting the Daily Mail, which doesn’t seem to be on my list of journals for Continuing Professional Development in immunology.

    I think the evidence is pretty well confirmed that there is a set of children where immune system dysfunction is directly related to their ‘autism”.

    Even if that is true, why would the antigens on vaccines have such a different effect to the thousands of antigens a child is exposed to every day? To quote Paul Offit:

    When children are born, they emerge from the relatively sterile environment of the uterus into a world teeming with bacteria and other microorganisms. Beginning with the birth process, the newborn is exposed to microbes from the mother’s cervix and birth canal, then the surrounding environment. Within a matter of hours, the gastrointestinal tract of the newborn, initially relatively free of microbes, is heavily colonized with bacteria. The most common of these colonizing bacteria include facultative anaerobic bacteria, such as Escherichia coli and streptococci, and strict anaerobic bacteria, such as Bacteroides and Clostridium.

    How does a child with immune system dysfunction respond perfectly well to these thousands of potentially pathogenic insults to their immune system, yet respond with a developmental disorder when exposed to a relatively tiny amount of antigen in a vaccine? How does it tell one antigen from another? It makes no sense.

    Sorry but science is moving forward … leaving the last of the skeptik neanderthals behind.

    That always seems to be the last cry of the person whose implausible ideas have been tested, found to be false and been consigned to the dustbin of history. That is the cry of the homeopath, the acupuncturist and the therapeutic touch therapist. No one of any influence or importance, or who has any say over public health policy takes any of this seriously, thankfully.

    Blackheart, you crow like someone who has won some great victory, but you have actually suffered a humiliating defeat, and won’t even recognize it. It’s just sad.

  559. #560 Chris
    October 21, 2011

    troll:

    Sorry but science is moving forward … leaving the last of the skeptik neanderthals behind.

    Pot, meet kettle.

    Funny stuff from a guy who does not understand that the science has advance past a retracted 1998 paper where children were forced to undergo painful invasive procedures for no good reason. And who refuses to acknowledge or understand the several studies posted that showed Wakefield was wrong, wrong, wrongety wrong.

    But you’ve been told this before. Several times, over and over and over again, and yet: you keep repeating the same nonsense.

    To repeat:

    This is the song that never ends,
    It just goes on and on my friends.
    Some trolls started singing it not knowing what it was,
    And they just kept on singing it and this is what it was.

  560. #561 squirrelelite
    October 21, 2011

    When I saw blackheart’s comment this morning about

    science is moving forward … leaving the last of the skeptik neanderthals behind

    I was reminded of this headline article from CNN this morning about “skeptics” being left behind by science:

    http://edition.cnn.com/2011/10/21/world/americas/climate-study-warming-real/?hpt=T2

    The new analysis by the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project examined 1.6 billion temperature reports from 15 data archives stretching back over 200 years in an effort to address scientific concerns raised by climate skeptics about the data used to inform reports published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

    Researchers found “reliable evidence” of a rise in average world land temperatures of one degrees Celsius — or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit — since the mid-1950s.

    “Our biggest surprise was that the new results agreed so closely with the warming values published previously by other teams in the United States and the UK,” professor Richard A. Muller, Berkeley Earth’s scientific director said in a statement.

    “This confirms that these studies were done carefully and that potential biases identified by climate change skeptics did not seriously affect their conclusions,” Muller added.

    Of course, the real skeptics are looking carefully at the evidence and analysis and coming to a conclusion based on it, not just refusing to accept it because they don’t like the conclusion or its implications.

  561. #562 blackheart
    October 21, 2011

    Antaeus Feldspar

    “That’s nice”

    Yes it is. The discovery of an underlying pathology for autism would be one of the great medical events of this century.

    As far as the rest of your post …meh.

    LW

    “That’s what got Wakefield in trouble, you know”

    I think this has been adequately covered previously . Post 503 etc

  562. #563 blackheart
    October 21, 2011

    Krebiozen

    “Said the person quoting the Daily Mail…”

    So your disputing the figures then given by Japanese Health Officials ? Perhaps you have an alternative source on the Japanese experience ?

    “How does a child with immune system dysfunction respond perfectly well to these thousands of potentially pathogenic insults to their immune system, yet respond with a developmental disorder when exposed to a relatively tiny amount of antigen in a vaccine? How does it tell one antigen from another? It makes no sense.”

    Probably because we are not all genetically the same.

    Nor are “pathogenic insults” the same.

    There may be other factors such as windows of ‘opportunity’ when a child’s developing immune system is at particular risk. It could relate to timing and schedule or order of insults.

    It could be interactions between viruses or all those elements in gut pathology.

    Perhaps you could outline the validity of clinical trials where childhood vaccines are ‘tested’ on adults rather than children ?

    That always seems to be the last cry of the person whose implausible ideas have been tested

    Huh … Immune system dysfunction in autism has been established by researchers from University of California Medical , Johns Hopkins , Harvard and many others.

    It seems you and your fellow skeptiks are ones with a rather closed mind set.

    Perhaps you’d like to outline on behalf of your fellow skeptikal minions a theory of autism pathology or perhaps you don’t even think there is one ?

  563. #564 blackheart
    October 21, 2011

    Chris

    “Wakefield was wrong, wrong, wrongety wrong.”

    That team of researchers Andrew Wakefield and John Walker-Smith inclusive have pioneered research that has led to new understandings on.

    Autism phenotypes

    Autism and gut pathology including microscopic colitis.

    Autism behaviours and gut pathology.

    Autism and Immune system dysfunction.

    The use of CSF investigation in autistic patients.

    The role of inflammation in autism.

    Gene expression in autism.

    Fancy looking at the actual physiology of autistic children … I’m surprised you’ve actually moved on from ‘refrigerator mom’s” and phrenology.

    Or is autism all in the mind ? Really quite interested in your explanation of autism aetiology.

  564. #565 blackheart
    October 21, 2011

    squirrelelite

    “Of course, the real skeptics are looking carefully at the evidence and analysis and coming to a conclusion based on it, not just refusing to accept it because they don’t like the conclusion or its implications.

    I am blushing at the high praise for my skeptical (as oppossed to skeptikal) position.

    It is interesting as you say that fellow posters on these forums can not accept the clear evidence of immune system dysfunction or the equally clear evidence of a rise in Autism Spectrum diagnosis from varied sources and data sets.

    Equally surprising is the robust evidence of increases in child mortality associated with some vaccines.

    Perhaps the lives of third world children notably girls doesn’t register on the ‘skeptikal’ radar ?

    I suppose what follows is some attacks on ‘moi’ and insincere apologist polemics.

  565. #566 Krebiozen
    October 22, 2011

    Blackheart,

    So your disputing the figures then given by Japanese Health Officials ? Perhaps you have an alternative source on the Japanese experience ?

    Those were figures reported by the Daily Mail, but newspapers often get it wrong, so please forgive me for not taking that quote too seriously. You claim that quote is evidence for MMR causing autism, yet it refers to the Urabe mumps component, which we know has side effects and which has been withdrawn in most countries. Even so, do you have some evidence that any of the “problems” referred to in the article included autism? Can you give a reference to a peer-reviewed journal that confirms these figures?

    As I understand it since abandoning MMR Japan has had outbreaks of measles, mumps and rubella that have caused far more problems than the vaccine did. “According to an infectious disease surveillance (2000), total measles cases were estimated to be from 180,000 to 210,000, and total deaths were estimated to be 88.” Three deaths that might have been caused by the vaccine, against 88 deaths definitely caused by measles seems to be the Japanese experience. Also, there has been no fall in autism diagnoses since they stopped using MMR.

    There may be other factors such as windows of ‘opportunity’ when a child’s developing immune system is at particular risk. It could relate to timing and schedule or order of insults. It could be interactions between viruses or all those elements in gut pathology.

    What window of opportunity is there in which a child is not exposed to thousands of natural antigens and potential pathogens? Only a few decades ago they were exposed to even more pathogens than today, what with vaccine-preventable diseases being so common. Sorry, but this just isn’t a plausible hypothesis, especially in the absence of any evidence at all to support it.

    Immune system dysfunction in autism has been established by researchers from University of California Medical , Johns Hopkins , Harvard and many others.

    There may be a connection with immune system dysfunction in some cases of autism, but this does not mean there is any connection with vaccines. You seem to think any evidence of immune dysfunction in autism means that vaccines cause autism. That just doesn’t follow at all. As far as the immune system is concerned there is no real difference between a natural antigen and a vaccine antigen. If a child is particularly vulnerable to a fever caused by a vaccine, they will be even more vulnerable to one caused by measles, for example. Or do you have evidence to the contrary?

    It seems you and your fellow skeptiks are ones with a rather closed mind set.

    Because we refuse to believe a hypothesis that has been tested (and tested and tested) and has failed? Perhaps you have an unusual idea of what “a rather closed mind set” means.

    Perhaps you’d like to outline on behalf of your fellow skeptikal minions a theory of autism pathology or perhaps you don’t even think there is one ?

    I don’t think there is a plausible hypothesis that explains the majority of cases of autism. I think it’s better to admit ignorance than to blindly adhere to a hypothesis that has no plausible evidence to support it.

  566. #567 Chris
    October 22, 2011

    Is there any particular reason we should care what blackheart thinks? He has shown himself resistant to any new information, especially when he morphs it into something that is completely contrary to reality. He is using the classic troll behavior of repeating erroneous statements like:
    Autism phenotypes

    Autism and gut pathology including microscopic colitis.

    Autism behaviours and gut pathology.

    Autism and Immune system dysfunction.

    The use of CSF investigation in autistic patients.

    The role of inflammation in autism.

    Gene expression in autism.

    Which is interesting in that many of them are wrong, and the one that is correct cannot be attributed to Wakefield. Wakefield is a fraud, and worshiping him like some kind of “autism idol” is just sad.

  567. #568 blackheart
    October 22, 2011

    Krebiozen

    “Those were figures reported by the Daily Mail, but newspapers often get it wrong…”

    You were asked for evidence to support your viewpoint. Perhaps you need some more time to provide it.

    I’m also interested that you feel that we should set aside commentary from journalists …

    You claim that quote is evidence for MMR causing autism

    I do ? Nice hyperbole but what I said was somewhat different. I said science needs to investigate whether there is a role for vaccines in diseases / conditions that have an immune system component.

    I’m also pointing out that vaccines have severe adverse effects…some are even non specific effects.

    … and that the UK government ignored clear health and safety warnings about the vaccine to the detriment of the general public…

    The issues surrounding vaccine health and safety are far more complex than what you obviously understand.

    As I understand it since abandoning MMR Japan has had outbreaks of measles, mumps and rubella that have caused far more problems than the vaccine did.

    Then perhaps you should frame your questions to Japanese Public Health authorities. Obviously they have far more explicit data and have made a conscientious public health decision not to use MMR.

    Why ?

    According to an infectious disease surveillance (2000), total measles cases were estimated to be from 180,000 to 210,000

    I couldn’t gain access to the report you were referencing and thus the time period this was over or whether the situation had significantly changed from the year 2000.

    Once again though you’ll have to write to the Ministry concerned and ask them why they have made this decision.

    What window of opportunity is there in which a child is not exposed to thousands of natural antigens and potential pathogens?

    Well then one may surmise one window might be the waning of maternal antibodies.

    http://www.bmj.com/content/340/bmj.c1626.abstract

    Remember Krebiozen not all infants are gentically the same and not all pathogens operate in the same way.

    Differing antigens and potential pathogens have differing effects on gene expression.

    You seem to think any evidence of immune dysfunction in autism means that vaccines cause autism.

    Once again nice hyperbole … unlike yourself I haven’t assumed that the science around vaccinations has been satisfactorily answered.

    There is quite clearly evidenced immune system dysfunction in autism which is shown by the actual physiology of autistic patients. Any direct insult on the developing immune system during this critical time of development would be an obvious candidate for scientific investigation.

    If a child is particularly vulnerable to a fever caused by a vaccine, they will be even more vulnerable to one caused by measles, for example. Or do you have evidence to the contrary?

    Some children may well have a genetic risk for such an insult and this could well be related to gene expression inclusive of fever and inflammation ‘control’. There’s more than enough literature on this particular topic.

    http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/environmental-influences-on-gene-expression-536

    Or do you have evidence to the contrary?

    Well perhaps you could explain this …

    “One of the most important findings was that a new measles vaccine used in low-income countries was associated with a two-fold increase in mortality among girls. This discovery led to the withdrawal of the vaccine. Had it not been withdrawn, it could have cost at least ½ million additional female deaths per year in Africa alone.

    Because we refuse to believe a hypothesis that has been tested (and tested and tested) and has failed?

    Tested how ? I’ve asked for some robust evidence but all I’m getting is very flawed epidemiological evidence.

    In fact the Institute of medicine rejected 18 / 22 epidemiological studies investigating MMR and Autism.

    That’s a whopping 82% and question marks arise over the remaining.

    Of the remaining 4 (two shared the same data), one found

    “The study did find a positive association between MMR vaccination and first parental concerns in the first six months following vaccination.”

    …and guess what the Honda / Rutter paper you cited above was rejected also…

    “because they provided data from a passive surveillance system lacking an unvaccinated comparison population or an ecological comparison study lacking individual level data.”

    I think it’s better to admit ignorance than to blindly adhere to a hypothesis that has no plausible evidence to support it.

    Good then we’ll let real scientists go about their business without prejudiced interference from ‘skeptiks’.

  568. #569 blackheart
    October 22, 2011

    Chris

    “Which is interesting in that many of them are wrong…”

    In what way … pioneering research is often about opening up science … not closing doors like you and your fellow ‘skeptiks”.

    Are you closing the door on …

    >b>

    Autism phenotypes

    Autism and gut pathology including microscopic colitis.

    Autism behaviours and gut pathology.

    Autism and Immune system dysfunction.

    The use of CSF investigation in autistic patients.

    The role of inflammation in autism.

    Gene expression in autism.

    What a strange position that would be .

  569. #570 Chris
    October 23, 2011

    What is it with trolls overusing ellipses, and not using full sentences? Is it a sign of some kind of brain dysfunction?

    Here is the deal troll, other than genes that have been consistently found in a subset of autistic children, just list the journal, title and authors of the papers that support that rather cryptic list, with the Wakefield paper (withdrawn or not) next to it. But here is the catch: they must be independent, so nothing by Wakefield, and none of his colleagues. So nothing by Krigsman, Singh, Walker-Smith or anyone who has co-authored with Wakefield.

    Do you understand?

  570. #571 blackheart
    October 24, 2011

    Chris …

    I use ellipses so you can have take up time…

    ——————————————————-

    The immune response in autism: a new frontier for autism research. Journal of Leukocyte Biology

    Paul Ashwood , Sharifia Wills and Judy Van de Water

    University of California

    —————————————————-

    Autism and Abnormal Development of Brain Connectivity Journal of Neuroscience

    Matthew K. Belmonte,1 Greg Allen,2 Andrea Beckel-Mitchener,3 Lisa M. Boulanger,4 Ruth A. Carper,5 and Sara J. Webb

    Autism Research Centre, Departments of Psychiatry and Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge et al

    ————————————————

    The Epidemiology of Autism Spectrum Disorders*
    Annual Review of Public Health

    Craig J. Newschafferet al

    1Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Drexel University School of Public Health, Philadelphia et al

    ————————————————–

    Is autism an autoimmune disease?

    Autoimmunity Reviews

    Paul Ashwood, Judy Van de Water

    Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, and UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute, University of California, Davis

    ————————————————–

    Immunity, neuroglia and neuroinflammation in autism
    International Review of Psychiatry

    Carlos A. Pardo et al

    Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine et al

    —————————————————

    Identifying environmental contributions to autism: Provocative clues and false leads

    Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews

    Cindy P. Lawler et al

    National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina et al

    ————————————————-

    Immune transcriptome alterations in the temporal cortex of subjects with autism

    Neurobiology of Disease

    Krassimira Garbetta et al

    Department of Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA

    —————————————————-

    The CHARGE study: an epidemiologic investigation of genetic and environmental factors contributing to autism.

    Environ Health Perspect

    Hertz-Picciotto Iet al

    Division of Epidemiology, Department of Public Health Sciences, School of Medicine, and Medical Investigations of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (MIND) Institute University of California-Davis, Davis, California.

    ————————————————–

    The role of immune dysfunction in the pathophysiology of autism

    Brain, Behavior, and Immunity

    Charity Onore et al

    Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of California, Davis, CA, USA et al

    ————————————————–

    Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) who exhibit chronic gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms and marked fluctuation of behavioral symptoms exhibit distinct innate immune abnormalities and transcriptional profiles of peripheral blood (PB) monocytes

    Journal of Neuroimmunology

    Harumi Jyonouchia

    Division of Allergy/Immunology and Infection Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)-New Jersey Medical School (NJMS)

    ——————————————————

    Genetics of autism spectrum disorders

    Trends in Cognitive Sciences

    Daniel H. Geschwind et al

    Program in Neurogenetics, Department of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California

    ————————————————-

    Schizophrenia and Autism: Both Shared and Disorder-Specific Pathogenesis Via Perinatal Inflammation?

    Pediatric Research

    MEYER, URS

    Laboratory of Behavioural Neurobiology [U.M., J.F.], Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, 8603 Schwerzenbach, Switzerland

    ——————————————————-

    Prenatal exposure of mice to a maternal immune challenge leads to brain MRI and behavioural changes in the offspring relevant to schizophrenia

    International Clinical Psychopharmacology

    Qi, Li et al No institution indicated

    —————————————————–

    Networking in Autism: Leveraging Genetic, Biomarker and Model System Findings in the Search for New Treatments

    Neuropsychopharmacology Reviews

    Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele et al

    Department of Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN, USA [2] Department of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN, USA

    —————————————————–

    Childhood autism and eosinophilic colitis.

    Digestion

    Chen B, Girgis S, El-Matary W.
    Source

    Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Stollery Children’s Hospital, Edmonton, Alta, Canada.

    ———————————————–

    Abnormal Gastrointestinal Histopathology in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders.

    J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr

    Chen B

    Faculty of Medicine, University of Alberta, Canada †Department of Pathology, University Hospital, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

    —————————————————–

    Brief report: “allergic symptoms” in children with autism spectrum disorders. More than meets the eye?

    J Autism Dev Disord.

    Angelidou A

    Molecular Immunopharmacology and Drug Discovery Laboratory, Department of Molecular Physiology and Pharmacology, Tufts University School of Medicine

    —————————————————-

    Mast cell activation and autism.

    Biochim Biophys Acta.

    Theoharides TC

    Molecular Immunopharmacology and Drug Discovery Laboratory, Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston

    ——————————————
    Alterations of the intestinal barrier in patients with autism spectrum disorders and in their first-degree relatives.

    J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr.

    de Magistris L et al

    Department Magrassi-Lanzara, Gastroenterology, Second University of Naples, Italy. laura.demagistris@unina2.it

    ———————————————–

    Autism spectrum disorders and mastocytosis.

    Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol.
    Theoharides TC.

    Molecular Immunopharmacology and Drug Discovery Laboratory, Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston

    ————————————————–

    Brain effects of chronic IBD in areas abnormal in autism and treatment by single neuropeptides secretin and oxytocin.

    J Mol Neurosci.

    Welch MG et al

    Department of Psychiatry, Division of Neuroscience, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York

    ——————————————–

    Dysregulated innate immune responses in young children with autism spectrum disorders: their relationship to gastrointestinal symptoms and dietary intervention.

    Neuropsychobiology. 2005;51(2):77-85.

    Jyonouchi H

    Department of Pediatrics, New Jersey Medical School, UMDNJ, Newark, NJ

    ….and on and on and on….

  571. #572 blackheart
    October 24, 2011

    Immune involvement in schizophrenia and autism: etiology, pathology and animal models.

    Behav Brain Res.

    Patterson PH.

    Biology Division, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA

    ————————————————–

    Elevated immune response in the brain of autistic patients.

    J Neuroimmunol

    Li X et al

    Department of Neurochemistry, NY State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, NY

    ———————————————–

    Cerebrospinal fluid insulin-like growth factors IGF-1 and IGF-2 in infantile autism.

    Dev Med Child Neurol.

    Riikonen R

    Department of Child Neurology, Kuopio University Central Hospital, Kuopio, Finland

    ——————————————–

    Levels of cerebrospinal fluid nerve-growth factor differ in infantile autism and Rett syndrome.

    Dev Med Child Neurol.

    Riikonen R, Vanhala R.

    Department of Child Neurology, Children’s Hospital, University of Kuopio, Finland

    ————————————————-

    Amniotic fluid chemokines and autism spectrum disorders: An exploratory study utilizing a Danish Historic Birth Cohort.

    Brain Behav Immun.

    Abdallah MW

    Department of Epidemiology, Aarhus University School of Public Health, Aarhus, Denmark

    —————————————————–

    Plasma cytokine profiles in subjects with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders.

    PLoS One

    Suzuki K

    Research Center for Child Mental Development, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Hamamatsu, Japan. k-suzuki@hama-med.ac.jp

    —————————————————

    Metabolite alterations in the hippocampus of high-functioning adult subjects with autism.

    Int J Neuropsychopharmacol

    Suzuki K

    Osaka-Hamamatsu Joint Research Center for Child Mental Development, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Hamamatsu, Japan. k-suzuki@hama-med.ac.jp

    —————————————————

    Genetics and epigenetics in autism
    Nihon Shinkei Seishin Yakurigaku Zasshi.

    Nakayama A, Masaki S, Aoki E.

    Department of Embryology, Institute for Developmental Research, Aichi Human Service Center, 713-8 Kagiya-cho, Kasugai, 480-0392 Japan. atsuon@inst-hsc.jp

    ————————————————

    Cerebrospinal Fluid and Serum Markers of Inflammation in Autism

    Pediatric Neurology

    Andrew W. Zimmerman et al
    Department of Neurology and Developmental Medicine, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore Maryland

    ————————————————-

    Immunological findings in autism.
    Int Rev Neurobiol. 2005;71:317-41

    Cohly HH, Panja A.

    Department of Biology, Jackson State University, Mississippi

    —————————————————

    Large Brains in Autism: The Challenge of Pervasive Abnormality

    The Neuroscientist

    Martha R. Herbert

    Pediatric Neurology, Center for Morphometric Analysis, Massachusetts General Hospital

    —————————————————-

    Bridging from Cells to Cognition in Autism Pathophysiology: Biological Pathways to Defective Brain Function and Plasticity (2008)

    American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology

    Matthew P. Anderson,
    Brian S. Hooker,
    Martha R. Herbert

    ——————————————————

    Intestinal Pathophysiology in Autism
    Experimental Biology and Medicine

    John F. White

    Department of Physiology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322

    ——————————————————-

    Decreased transforming growth factor beta1 in autism: A potential link between immune dysregulation and impairment in clinical behavioral outcomes

    Journal of Neuroimmunology

    Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of California at Davis, United States

    The M.I.N.D. Institute, University of California at Davis, United States

    Department of Public Health Sciences, Division of Epidemiology, University of California, at Davis

    Paul Ashwood et al

    —————————————————–

    Familial Clustering of Autoimmune Disorders and Evaluation of Medical Risk Factors in Autism

    Journal of Child Neurology

    Anne M. Comi, MD

    Johns Hopkins Hospital, Division of Pediatric Neurology, and Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD

    ——————————————————-

    You could also listen to Sir Professor Michael Rutter explain in his 2010 lecture to Autism Europe the success of genetics in finding the following

    Copy Number Variations (CNV’s)

    5 – 10 % of Autism

    Rare Pathogenic Gene Mutations

    1% of Autism.

    ___________________________________________________

    There is more … but hey even I have a tolerance level for educating Chris you really should spend more time expanding your cognitive framework.

  572. #573 Chris
    October 24, 2011

    One thing is missing: the equivalent Wakefield paper making the same claim. I also told you to ignore the gene claim. You see I said:

    with the Wakefield paper (withdrawn or not) next to it.

    Do you have some kind of reading disability?

  573. #574 Chris
    October 24, 2011

    Also, please include the dates of both the Wakefield and independent replications so that we can tell which came first.

  574. #575 Chris
    October 24, 2011

    By the way the following needs to rejected because Hooker is a colleague of Wakefield, and it is not indexed in PubMed:

    Bridging from Cells to Cognition in Autism Pathophysiology: Biological Pathways to Defective Brain Function and Plasticity (2008)

    American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology

    Matthew P. Anderson,
    Brian S. Hooker,
    Martha R. Herbert

  575. #576 Chris
    October 24, 2011

    Martha Herbert is also rejected as she is a colleague of Wakefield, and has been a speaker with him at dubious events:
    http://www.nationalautismassociation.org/press090109.php

  576. #577 Chris
    October 24, 2011

    Because there are papers about associating autism with genetics long before 1990, if you wish to make the claim that Wakefield contributed to autism and genetics studies, provide a paper by him that predates these: Candidate genes and favoured loci: strategies for molecular genetic research into schizophrenia, manic depression, autism, alcoholism and Alzheimer’s disease.
    and Autism and genetics. A decade of research.

    Interestingly, many of the articles before that with the search words “autism genetics” are about Fragile X and Rett syndromes.

  577. #578 blackheart
    October 25, 2011

    Chris

    One thing is missing: the equivalent Wakefield paper making the same claim.

    I thought that was fairly obvious …

    http://briandeer.com/mmr/lancet-paper.htm

    ——————————————————-

    You seem to be taking a very defensive posture … is everything OK ?

    ——————————————————-

    The intestinal lesion of autistic spectrum disorder

    European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

    Jass, Jeremy R.

    Department of Pathology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

    —————————————————–

    Frequency of Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders and Association with Family History of Autoimmune Disease

    Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics

    VALICENTI-McDERMOTT,et al

    Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center, Bronx, New York

    ——————————————————-

    Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and Language Regression

    Maria D. Valicenti-McDermott MD, MS et al

    Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center, Rose F. Kennedy Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York et al

    ——————————————————-

    Th1- and Th2-like cytokines in CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in autism

    Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics

    Sudhir Gupta et al

    Division of Basic and Clinical Immunology, Department of Medicine, University of California

    ——————————————————

    Cytokines and etiopathogenesis of pervasive developmental disorders

    Medical Hypotheses

    P. Malek-Ahmadi

    Department of Neuropsychiatry, School of Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas, USA

    ——————————————————-

    Activation of the Inflammatory Response System in Autism

    Neuropsychobiology

    Jan Croonenberghsa et al

    University Center of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Antwerp

    ——————————————————-

    Proinflammatory and regulatory cytokine production associated with innate and adaptive immune responses in children with autism spectrum disorders and developmental regression

    Journal of Neuroimmunology

    Harumi Jyonouchi et al

    Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota

    —————————————————–

    Elevated cytokine levels in children with autism spectrum disorder

    Journal of Neuroimmunology

    Cynthia A. Molloy

    Center for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

    ——————————————————-

    Innate Immunity Associated with Inflammatory Responses and Cytokine Production against Common Dietary Proteins in Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Neuropsychobiology

    Harumi Jyonouchi

    Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota

    ——————————————————-

    Maternal autoimmune diseases, asthma and allergies, and childhood autism spectrum disorders: a case-control study.

    Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med.

    Croen LA

    Division of Research, Kaiser Foundation Research Institute, Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, Calif.

    ——————————————————

    The neurodevelopmental impact of prenatal infections at different times of pregnancy: the earlier the worse?

    Neuroscientist

    Meyer U

    Laboratory of Behavioral Neurobiology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland.

    ——————————————————-

    Serum autoantibodies to brain in Landau-Kleffner variant, autism, and other neurologic disorders.

    J Pediatr

    Connolly AM

    Departments of Neurology and Pediatrics, Washington University, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, St Louis, Missouri, USA.

    ——————————————————-

    Cytokines and the brain: implications for clinical psychiatry.

    Am J Psychiatry

    Kronfol Z

    Departments of Psychiatry and Pathology, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI

    ——————————————————-

    Immune system to brain signaling: neuropsychopharmacological implications.

    Pharmacol Ther

    Capuron L, Miller AH.

    Laboratory of Nutrition and Integrative Neurobiology, NutriNeuro, INRA UMR 1286, University Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2, Bordeaux, France.

    ——————————————————–

    Brain-immune interactions and implications in psychiatric disorders

    Rev Bras Psiquiatr

    Marques AH

    Section on Neuroendocrine Immunology, National Institute of Mental Health, Integrative Neural Immune Program, Bethesda-Rockville, Maryland 20852, USA

    ——————————————————–

    Brief report: immune factors in autism: a critical review.

    J Autism Dev Disord

    Krause I

    Research Unit of Autoimmune Diseases, Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer, and the Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Israel.

    ——————————————————

    Cytokine levels during pregnancy influence immunological profiles and neurobehavioral patterns of the offspring.

    Ann N Y Acad Sci.

    Ponzio NM et al

    Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UMDNJ, New Jersey Medical School

    ——————————————————-

    Prenatal viral infection in mouse causes differential expression of genes in brains of mouse progeny: a potential animal model for schizophrenia and autism.

    Synapse

    Fatemi SH et al

    University of Minnesota, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Neuroscience Research, Minneapolis, Minnesota

    ——————————————————-

    Autism and the immune system.

    J Child Psychol Psychiatry

    van Gent T

    University of Leijden, The Netherlands.

    ——————————————————–

    Cytokines and CNS development.

    Neuron

    Deverman BE et al

    Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology

    ——————————————————-

    Is fever suppression involved in the etiology of autism and neurodevelopmental disorders?

    BMC Pediatr.

    Torres

    Centers for Persons with Disabilities, Utah State University
    ——————————————————–

    Atopic features in early childhood autism.

    Eur J Paediatr Neurol.

    Bakkaloglu B

    Department of Child Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Hacettepe University, Pediatric Neurology, Ankara 06100, Turkey.

    —————————————————–

    Differential monocyte responses to TLR ligands in children with autism spectrum disorders

    Brain Behav Immun

    Amanda M Enstrom

    Departments of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of California at Davis

    ——————————————————–

    Maternal infection: window on neuroimmune interactions in fetal brain development and mental illness.

    Curr Opin Neurobiol

    Patterson PH.

    Biology Division, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California
    ——————————————————

    Reduced levels of immunoglobulin in children with autism correlates with behavioral symptoms

    Autism Research

    Luke Heuer et al

    Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Clinical Immunology, University of California at Davis, Davis, California

    ——————————————————–

    Altered Gene Expression and Function of Peripheral Blood Natural Killer Cells in Children with Autism

    Brain Behav Immun

    A M Enstrom et al

    Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of California Medical Center, Sacramento

    ——————————————————-

    IL-6 is increased in the cerebellum of autistic brain and alters neural cell adhesion, migration and synaptic formation

    J Neuroinflammation

    Hongen Wei

    Department of Neurochemistry, NY State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, New York, USA

    —————————————————–

    Pathways underlying the gut-to-brain connection in autism spectrum disorders as future targets for disease management

    European Journal of Pharmacology

    Caroline G.M. de Theije et al
    Division of Pharmacology, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Science, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands

    ——————————————————

    Amniotic fluid chemokines and autism spectrum disorders: An exploratory study utilizing a Danish Historic Birth Cohort

    Brain, Behavior, and Immunity

    Morsi W. Abdallah

    Department of Epidemiology, Aarhus University School of Public Health, Aarhus, Denmark

    ——————————————————

    The serum level of interleukin-6 in patients with intellectual disability and refractory epilepsy.

    Epilepsy Res.

    Lehtimäki KA

    Department of Neurosurgery, Tampere University Hospital, Teiskontie 35, Tampere, Finland

    —————————————————–

    Science moves forward … despite inherent prejudice.

  578. #579 Krebiozen
    October 25, 2011

    Blackheart,

    I don’t really understand what you are trying to prove here, as you seem to be jumping from one thing to another randomly. I thought you were arguing that Wakefield was right and the measles component of the MMR causes a previously unknown form of colitis linked to autism, but now you seem to be arguing that somehow all vaccines are bad.

    You keep going back to the Urabe component of MMR which no one disputes causes, rarely, a form of meningitis but not autism. You bring up other instances where vaccines have caused problems in the past, that have been detected and corrected as if this is somehow evidence that MMR causes autism, despite good evidence that it does not. You bring up evidence of a genetic component in autism, which no one has denied, and you interpret our rejection of the vaccine-autism hypothesis as meaning that we don’t want to see any research into the causes of autism, which is ridiculous. Then you link to an article on environmental influences on gene expression, which appears to have little to do with any of this.

    You seem to be very confused, and to lack a clear idea of exactly what you are arguing, and what constitutes evidence for a specific hypothesis.

    Well perhaps you could explain this … “One of the most important findings was that a new measles vaccine used in low-income countries was associated with a two-fold increase in mortality among girls. This discovery led to the withdrawal of the vaccine. Had it not been withdrawn, it could have cost at least ½ million additional female deaths per year in Africa alone.”

    It would help if you stated what it is you are quoting instead of forcing me to Google it. In this case it seems to be Wikipedia, which I suppose is a step up from the Daily Mail. It is referring to this study which found that high titer measles vaccine increased mortality as compared to the regular measles vaccine. This increase in mortality was found by a scientific study, and the vaccine was withdrawn. Are you suggesting that vaccines should not be used at all, or that they should not be improved as more is known? Where the reference to “at least ½ million additional female deaths per year in Africa alone” comes from is not clear. It does not say that in the papers referred to in Wikipedia. We were discussing, at least I thought we were discussing, children with immune dysfunction, and I asked for evidence that these children would respond to natural infection differently to vaccination. This paper has no relevance to that at all.

    This same group, the Bandim Health Project, reported this year that, “measles vaccine has a profound impact on survival, reducing mortality by approximately 50% – far more than can be explained by prevention of measles deaths. Hence, measles vaccine seems to have non-specific beneficial effects on survival, and the current policy may have important consequences for overall child mortality.” How does this in any way support your arguments?

    Perhaps the lives of third world children notably girls doesn’t register on the ‘skeptikal’ radar ?

    It seems you want to deprive “third world children” of a 50% reduction in mortality – who is it who doesn’t care?

  579. #580 LW
    October 25, 2011

    Krebiozen, I googled the quote and read the report and some others commenting on it too. I found it interesting that mortality in the high-titre-vaccine group was the same as the control (unvaccinated) group. So the higher mortality for which blackheart condemns skeptics is the same as the mortality that s/he thinks *should* be inflicted by withdrawal of the measles vaccine. The difference being that skeptics support withdrawal of the high-titre vaccine, leaving the lower titre vaccine to save lives as you describe.

  580. #581 Chris
    October 25, 2011

    blackheart:

    I thought that was fairly obvious ..

    Not really. If you think all of those things are in that one Lancet paper, you are very much mistaken. In no way did Wakefield prove those contentions in that paper.

    I have glanced at the most recent Gish Gallop, and it includes stuff from Medical Hypothesis and other questionable sources. I am going to insist you figure out what you are trying to prove and how to show it. I would suggest if you are actually serious that you list your proof in the following form:

    1. What you claim Wakefield proved, ie: “Autism and Immune system dysfunction.”

    2. The paper he proved it in, and a quote of where the statement of proof taken from that paper.

    3. The journal, title, date and author of the independent peer reviewed study that validated that claim.

    Make sure that it is independent, that none of the authors have been co-authors of Wakefield, nor worked with him elsewhere like Thoughtful House or the transfer factor supplement business or talked at any anti-vaccine function.

    I am not trying to move goal posts, but your responses are incomprehensible. Which perhaps matches your worship of a fraud.

  581. #582 blackheart
    October 26, 2011

    Krebiozen

    I don’t really understand what you are trying to prove here …

    I’m not trying to prove anything. Other than the fixed mind set of ‘skeptiks’.

    I thought you were arguing…. all vaccines are bad.

    You and others tend to make a lot of unfounded assumptions. You need to attend to the clear flaws in your own arguments…

    One of the clear postions made by ‘skeptiks’ is that vaccines are extremely safe and only have very rare adverse events of little consequence.

    Guess what … that assumption just proved false.

    You seem to be very confused, and to lack a clear idea of exactly what you are arguing, and what constitutes evidence for a specific hypothesis.

    The confusion if any lies with you … not me. I have a very good grasp of what I am arguing.

    Are you suggesting that vaccines should not be used at all, or that they should not be improved as more is known?

    No … I’ve never taken that position. Why would you make that assumption ? You often speak before you think.

    This same group, the Bandim Health Project, reported this year that, “measles vaccine has a profound impact on survival, reducing mortality by approximately 50% – far more than can be explained by prevention of measles deaths. Hence, measles vaccine seems to have non-specific beneficial effects on survival, and the current policy may have important consequences for overall child mortality.” How does this in any way support your arguments?

    It is at the very core of my argument … science moves forward. Whilst ‘skeptiks’ are “dogged by their own dogma”. I don’t think you even understand what these type of positive and negative outcomes mean in regards to your simplistic veiws on vaccines.

    It seems you want to deprive “third world children” of a 50% reduction in mortality – who is it who doesn’t care?

    As I’m the one arguing for continuing scientific investigation and furthering our understanding on vaccines and the infant immune system, then your statement is absurd.

    I’m sure you and other ‘skeptiks’ will try to reinvent yourselves as ‘vaccine safety advocates’ … and I’m sure I’ll find that position both highly ironic and implausible.

    You should be reflecting on how you ended up up in this very compromised position.

  582. #583 blackheart
    October 26, 2011

    Chris

    If you think all of those things are in that one Lancet paper, you are very much mistaken.

    You don’t seem to understand what is contained within that paper, perhaps you should read it a bit more closely next time.

    In no way did Wakefield prove those contentions in that paper.

    I didn’t make that statement. This is what I posted…

    “That team of researchers Andrew Wakefield and John Walker-Smith inclusive have pioneered research that has led to new understandings on.”

    See the difference ?

    it includes stuff from Medical Hypothesis and other questionable sources.

    If you have an actual question mark then I’m always happy to explain where you went wrong.

    I am going to insist you figure out what you are trying to prove and how to show it.

    Thanks I’ve already figured it out.

    I would suggest if you are actually serious that you list your proof in the following form

    It’s not rocket science Chris.

    I am not trying to move goal posts, but your responses are incomprehensible.

    You should look up some theories of intelligence … here’s a start.

    “Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

    ~ Steve Jobs, Apple CEO, in 2005 commencement address at Stanford University

    Fluid Intelligence

    In exploring personal and global transformation, it is important to talk about the concept of fluid intelligence in relation to the ability to grow and expand our awareness. Fluid intelligence has little to do with IQ or “book” intelligence. It is rather the ability to step outside of our beliefs and consider information which does not fit into our previously accepted view of reality.

    Our deepest beliefs and conceptions about life and the world are to some degree conditioned by our childhood experiences, our education, the mass media, and various other external influences. An individual’s level of fluid intelligence can be determined based on the degree to which he or she is able to let go of previously held conceptions on encountering reliable information or experiences which show these conceptions to be mistaken or overly simplistic.

    At the other end of the spectrum from fluid intelligence is static intelligence. If an individual is rarely willing to reconsider or challenge their established beliefs, they are said to have a high degree of static intelligence. They aren’t much interested in thinking outside of the box.

    Guess which end of the spectrum you and your fellow ‘skeptiks’ are on ?

  583. #584 Chris
    October 26, 2011

    blackheart:

    “That team of researchers Andrew Wakefield and John Walker-Smith inclusive have pioneered research that has led to new understandings on.”

    Prove it.

  584. #585 Krebiozen
    October 26, 2011

    Blackheart,

    I’m not trying to prove anything. Other than the fixed mind set of ‘skeptiks’.

    What specifically do you think ‘skeptiks’ have a fixed mindset about? That we should follow the evidence? That post-marketing surveillance of vaccines is a good idea? That we should withdraw vaccines if a safer effective version is available? That Wakefield was a fraud and his work on autistic enterocolitis and measles viruses in the guts of autistic children was worthless? I think it is ironic that in your attempts to refute Orac’s original post you have shown yourself to be a textbook example of someone who is utterly fixed in their mindset and refuses to budge, no matter what evidence is presented.

    I thought you were arguing…. all vaccines are bad.

    Please don’t distort my words, you have done this before. I wrote, “I thought you were arguing that Wakefield was right and the measles component of the MMR causes a previously unknown form of colitis linked to autism, but now you seem to be arguing that somehow all vaccines are bad.” I think that is a reasonable interpretation of what you have written. It’s hard to see what other position you have. If not, please clarify what you mean. You keep saying, essentially, “look, vaccines have caused problems in the past!”, with the clear implication that current vaccines must also be causing problems. What else are you suggesting?

    You and others tend to make a lot of unfounded assumptions.

    Please give some examples of these assumptions and evidence they are unfounded.

    You need to attend to the clear flaws in your own arguments…

    Please be specific about which arguments are flawed and provide evidence that this is the case. If the flaws are clear you should be able to explain this in clear language without your habitual obfuscation.

    One of the clear postions made by ‘skeptiks’ is that vaccines are extremely safe and only have very rare adverse events of little consequence.

    I don’t think any skeptic would argue that vaccines never have any serious adverse effects. I think it’s clear that serious adverse events are very rare, and that the benefits of vaccines greatly outweigh any possible negative effects. I also think that the current system of clinical trials of vaccines and then post-marketing surveillance is not perfect, but I have not seen any practical alternatives suggested. It’s easy to criticize, but not as easy to come up with viable alternatives.

    Guess what … that assumption just proved false.

    You mean the Bandim Health Project that found the high titer measles vaccine in children led to the same mortality rate as no measles vaccine at all? How is this evidence of frequent adverse events? Even the Urabe mumps component that you keep coming back to doesn’t cause adverse events at anywhere near the same frequency as mumps (or measles, or rubella) does. As this review study says:

    We conclude that extensive experience with the most widely used mumps vaccine strains in many countries has shown that the risk-benefit ratio of live mumps vaccines is highly favourable for vaccination, despite the occasional occurence of aseptic meningitis.

    The confusion if any lies with you … not me. I have a very good grasp of what I am arguing.

    If that is true you are remarkably bad at communicating your arguments. I don’t think I am the only person struggling to figure out quite what you are arguing.

    Are you suggesting that vaccines should not be used at all, or that they should not be improved as more is known?

    No … I’ve never taken that position. Why would you make that assumption ?

    Are you unable to distinguish a question from an assumption? I am asking questions trying to figure out what exactly you are arguing because it still isn’t clear after umpteen comments.

    You often speak before you think.

    So your lack of communication skills is my fault now? I never write here without reading carefully and thinking about what I am writing. You on the other hand seem to think that distraction with irrelevancies and gish-gallops are a substitute for a reasoned argument.

    It is at the very core of my argument … science moves forward.

    Except when you don’t agree with its conclusions, like the 20 studies that found no evidence of a link between MMR and autism? Of course science moves forward, as more evidence becomes available. That doesn’t mean losing your critical faculties, hanging on to disproven hypotheses, speculating beyond the data or making up whatever suits your prejudices.

    Whilst ‘skeptiks’ are “dogged by their own dogma”.

    You mean that dogmatic insistence on evidence? Show me convincing evidence and I’ll change my mind about anything, which is more than can be said for you it seems.

    I don’t think you even understand what these type of positive and negative outcomes mean in regards to your simplistic veiws on vaccines.

    Which positive and negative outcomes are you referring to? The high titer vaccine that failed to reduce mortality, but didn’t increase it, and was withdrawn? Or the regular measles vaccine that reduces overall mortality by 50% and is still in use? What precisely have I failed to understand here with my simplistic views?

    As I’m the one arguing for continuing scientific investigation and furthering our understanding on vaccines and the infant immune system, then your statement is absurd.

    When have I or anyone else here argued against continuing scientific investigation? As far as I can determine, you still insist that MMR causes autism despite a large amount of evidence that it doesn’t.

    I’m sure you and other ‘skeptiks’ will try to reinvent yourselves as ‘vaccine safety advocates’ … and I’m sure I’ll find that position both highly ironic and implausible.

    What do you mean, “reinvent”? As I said, RCTs and post-marketing surveillance are not perfect, but it’s the best system we have of ensuring vaccines are as safe as practically possible. If you have a better way of testing and monitoring vaccine safety, please share it.

    I suspect you are just criticizing for the sake of it when you have no alternatives and no suggestions for improving things at all. I suspect you are another of those who claim to be in favor of safe vaccines but have impossibly high standards such that no vaccine could ever be proven safe to your satisfaction.

    You should be reflecting on how you ended up up in this very compromised position.

    I must admit that gave me a good laugh. How can you possibly claim that after you have utterly failed to support any of your arguments?

  585. #586 blackheart
    October 27, 2011

    Chris

    Prove it.

    I just presented you with 67 studies … you have not responded in any intellectual fashion at all …

    Thanks Chris it’s duly noted.

  586. #587 Chris
    October 27, 2011

    Read what I wrote… Prove that “researchers Andrew Wakefield and John Walker-Smith inclusive have pioneered research that has led to new understandings on.”

    Indicate what studies that are not fraudulent and retracted show they did that pioneering research by Wakefield and Walker-Smith.

  587. #588 Chris
    October 27, 2011

    And here is a simple thing for you to answer: What evidence did Wakefield use to suggest on the video press release on the now retracted paper that the measles, mumps and rubella vaccines be given separately? There was nothing in the paper. What evidence did he base that “advice” on?

    Just list the journal, title, date and authors of the papers that Wakefield used for the statements he made in 1998.

  588. #589 blackheart
    October 27, 2011

    Krebiozen

    What specifically do you think ‘skeptiks’ have a fixed mindset about?

    You answered your own question again…

    “I think it’s clear that serious adverse events are very rare, and that the benefits of vaccines greatly outweigh any possible negative effects.” Krebiozen

    Perhaps your pocket calculator needs readjusting but in the real world when a new measles vaccines (HTMV) is introduced and it …well you can read.

    “One of the most important findings was that a new measles vaccine used in low-income countries was associated with a two-fold increase in mortality among girls. This discovery led to the withdrawal of the vaccine.

    Had it not been withdrawn, it could have cost at least ½ million additional female deaths per year in Africa alone.”

    Peter Aaby Bandim Health Project

    I highlighted some parts of the statement to emphasise the parts you keep ‘overlooking’.

    Obviously most people don’t overlook the figure 500,000 so I didn’t highlight that part.

    I think you should address that issue before you continue … it seems to be a rather large hole in the ‘skeptik’ argument.

  589. #590 blackheart
    October 28, 2011

    Chris

    Indicate what studies that are not fraudulent and retracted show they did that pioneering research by Wakefield and Walker-Smith.

    Anything wrong Chris ? You seem to be getting more and more frustrated at your own inability to put forth a coherent intellectual response to any of the matters I have raised.

    I must admit though it seems you may have actually looked at that Lancet 12 paper a bit more closely, a bit disturbing for your arguments was it ? So now you wish to remove it from the debate…..oh well.

    And here is a simple thing for you to answer

    That would be the 250 page report he compiled in regards to vaccine safety.

    If memory serves me correctly this was also supported by Peter Fletcher who served as

    Chief Scientific Officer at the Department of Health

    Medical Assessor to the Committee on Safety of Medicines,

    Thanks once again for your input. As your mentor I am must admit I am dissappointed in your progress…you need to think before you speak and you need to think before you do what you call “thinking”.

  590. #591 Chris
    October 28, 2011

    blackheart, please answer the question in the form I posted earlier October 25th. Give the claim, the Wakefield/Walker-Smith paper and quote where the claim is made, and then post the supporting replication. You have failed to do that.

    That would be the 250 page report he compiled in regards to vaccine safety.

    Ah, the mysterious report that no one has ever seen! Post a link to it, or we will assume it just does not exist.

    Can if be found here?

    And you are not a mentor to me. I was once a rocket scientist (aerospace engineer). I know the science, how to read a paper (which you don’t), and when someone is full of regurgitated bovine excrement. And you are so full of it, and it for so long that you have composted into pure fertilizer.

    Until you answer my questions to my satisfaction, you will be considered a clueless idiotic hero worshiper of a known fraud.

  591. #592 Chris
    October 28, 2011

    I did some additional searching about this “250 page report” and found this comment:

    The authors of the paper, Wakefield and Montgomery, imply that they have examined all the safety data relating to the licensing of the vaccine1 in the early 1970s (1971 in US and 1972 in UK, not 1975 and 1988 as they say).

    So Wakefield includes such simple errors in a 2000 paper, I am pretty sure there are even more in the 250 page “report” (which may or may not exist).

    blackheart, you are just a pathetic fanboy. Get a clue.

  592. #593 blackheart
    October 28, 2011

    Chris

    please answer the question in the form I posted earlier

    I did but you refuse to accept the Lancet 12 paper. I have posted 67 studies that clearly evidence immune system dysfunction etc.

    Is there any reason you don’t feel like addressing that rather large body of evidence ?

    Ah, the mysterious report that no one has ever seen!

    Mysterious ? The one taken to the press conference , offered to the Dean of Royal Free Arie Zuckermann….and parts subsequently republished Adverse Drug Reactions and Toxicological Reviews…..etc etc etc

    Do you think you can offer anything more than some ‘mysterious’ conspiracy theory Chris ?

    I was once a rocket scientist (aerospace engineer).

    Yeah that’s not quite showing in the quality of your arguments.

    I know the science

    Then perhaps you’d like to address the science instead of trying to create ‘mysterious’ conspiracy theories where none exist. There’s 67 studies and some 500,000 deaths (hypothetical – real number unknown) you’ve failed to address.

    how to read a paper (which you don’t)

    Science isn’t about readin