Respectful Insolence

You know what to do…

Sigh.

Why, oh, why do news organizations do such ridiculously stupid things?

In this case, the CBC decided to put up a poll regarding the chickenpox vaccine. Here’s the setup:

The Canadian Pediatric Society (CPS) says children should receive two doses of the chickenpox vaccine to avoid losing immunity and developing the disease as adults.

Chickenpox is an infectious disease that results in a blister-like rash, itching, tiredness, and fever. (Dr. John Noble, Jr./CDC)”Adults who get chickenpox have more serious illness, are more likely to get pneumonia and to be admitted to hospital. They also have a higher death rate from the disease,” said Dr. Marina Salvadori, the author of the society’s statement.

Since 2007, all Canadian provinces and territories have had routine immunizations programs consisting of one dose of the vaccine.

And here’s the poll:

Do you agree with the Canadian Pediatric Society position on chickenpox vaccination?

  • Yes
  • No
  • I’m not sure

As of now, it’s not as bad as I expected, with “yes” being at about 45%. We supporters of science can do better.

Oh, and someone should tell the CBC just how pointless these polls are.

Comments

  1. #1 Alison Brandon
    September 6, 2011

    The comments section is atrocious. Pharma companies are seeking more profits bla bla bla.
    My doc recommended my daughter get the booster last week. We’ll be gettingit done on Friday ( my daughter knows about it and is a good little trooper during her vaccines, she’s 5).

  2. #2 DaveH
    September 6, 2011

    I disagree with the “pointless” part. Well, only a little. While polls like this have zero validity as any sort of gauge of truth or actual public opinion, they are one of the few points of contact in an inline environment anti-vaxers have that isn’t an echo chamber.

    The CBC is usually fairly good about this sort of thing (they aren’t doing the “tell both sides, no matter how stupid” crap), and as a major news organization, they attract lots of people. Occasionally, I feel up to engaging people in the comments (when I am feeling a bit masochistic), and for some, that might be the crack that starts the flood. If I could convince even one parent to vaccinate their children in my entire life, it would be worth it.

  3. #3 DaveH
    September 6, 2011

    Addendum: I went back and check again, and the top rated comments are all pointing out the anti-vaxers stupidity. To a large extent, probably just some RI readers going over there, but my faith in my fellow Canadians and humanity in general is (slightly) restored.

  4. #4 Vicki
    September 6, 2011

    61.5% yes at 1:27 EST. Not bad.

  5. #5 lilady
    September 6, 2011

    I’m chuckling after reading the first comment:

    Anyone know how one goes about learning the composition of these smallpox vaccinations (i.e. ingredients, additives, etc.)?

    There were a couple of replies…no one corrected “smallpox”.

  6. #6 grenouille
    September 6, 2011

    @DaveH

    The CBC is usually fairly good about this sort of thing (they aren’t doing the “tell both sides, no matter how stupid” crap)

    Ever seen the episode of The Fifth Estate entitled The Unofficial Story? They gave the Truthers a big stage and didn’t really call them on any of their bizarre theories. A huge stumble for the CBC in terms of false balance and a big reason I don’t take them too seriously.

  7. #7 Dr Zorro
    September 6, 2011

    Now up to 75% yes. That’s more like it.

  8. #8 Willibrord
    September 6, 2011

    Grenouille:

    The Unofficial Story was hilarious! Come on: do you really think the CBC takes the truthers seriously? Engaging with crazy people who (unlike the anti-vaxers) aren’t harming anyone just makes you look silly.

  9. #9 palindrom
    September 6, 2011

    Some sanity is seeping into the comments section — I especially liked this one:

    “What I want to know is why this “survey” is even being done – last time I checked, the average CBC forumer didn’t have expertise in pediatric medicine or vaccine science, so what we think is largely immaterial. All this does is give false legitimacy to the antivax crowd.”

    Eggs-ackley.

  10. #10 Peter G
    September 6, 2011

    Seems about right to me. As I have been fond of pointing out to our American cousins who are wont to belabor the stupidity to the American electorate the US is no different from any other in terms of the distribution of intelligence. Canada too is no different. If you consider this opinion poll in that light it merely serves as confirmation.

  11. #11 MI Dawn
    September 6, 2011

    Ah, becoming nicely pharyngulated. 74% yes when I voted (and I don’t vote early and often..)

    Avoiding the comments. Had a good day and don’t want to spoil the end of it.

  12. #12 DLC
    September 6, 2011

    poll crashed.

  13. #13 ken
    September 6, 2011

    URGENT ALERT FROM THE CDC

    EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS A MUST

    http://emergency.cdc.gov/socialmedia/zombies_blog.asp

  14. #14 a -nonymous
    September 6, 2011

    Nice. More poll- crashing. Hope skewing results is what you scientists are after.

  15. #15 Chris
    September 6, 2011

    a -nonymous, self selected polls are not scientific. They are worthless. So get over it.

  16. #16 Travis
    September 6, 2011

    Nice. More poll- crashing. Hope skewing results is what you scientists are after.

    Anyone who thinks skewing the results of an online poll is wrong has no business discussing science. This demonstrates just why online polls should not be used, with the nice side benefit of making it impossible for an anti-vaxer to point to the poll as some sort of justification.

  17. #17 machintelligence
    September 6, 2011

    I wish the vaccine had been available when I was a kid. I have a large pox scar in the center of my forehead and have had shingles (cingulus)* twice as an adult. I had the shingles vaccine two years ago, not long after it became available.

    *FYI shingles is a corruption of the latin word cingulus or girdle. The girdling rash is a common symptom.

  18. #18 a- nonymous
    September 6, 2011

    Chris and Travis, people like you make them worthless. A shameful moment for something called Scienceblogs. They are just trying to catch people who read that paper, not people who have been called upon to skew. Enough said.

  19. #19 Chris
    September 6, 2011

    a- nonymous:

    Chris and Travis, people like you make them worthless.

    Take a beginning course in statistics. Learn how any self-selected poll or survey is completely worthless. This includes radio call in shows, high school polls for prom king and queen and internet surveys.

    Also, read the page that the poll is posted on… look closely at the statement in parentheses just before the comments. It says:

    (This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers’ responses.)

    What does the first sentence in that statement say?

    It might help for you to read page 49 of this book (search for the word “selected”).

  20. #20 Chris
    September 6, 2011

    Comment in moderation, but a- nonymous, look at the voting page. Read the statement in parentheses just before the comments. What does the first sentence of that statement say?

  21. #21 novalox
    September 6, 2011

    Voted.

    Around 80% for the yes vote now.

  22. #22 Travis
    September 7, 2011

    No, they are wrong whether or not they get crashed. Please do as Chris recommends and learn a little bit about statistics, especially self-selection.

  23. #23 Th1Th2
    September 7, 2011

    Wow. This explains why chicken pox/herpes zoster can never be eradicated for as long as these stupid infection promoters exist. I hope they knew that they actually signed up for shingles.

  24. #24 lilady
    September 7, 2011

    Please ignore delusional troll…we have quite successfully ignored the other troll.

  25. #25 Trish Gannon
    September 7, 2011

    Now Orac, be fair… it’s at least possible that CBC is planning to use the poll as the focus of a future story. Either “Online poll shows that some people are dumber than dirt” or maybe “Online poll shows that respondents are not as afraid of vaccines as Joe Mercola would like them to be.”

  26. #26 Julian Frost
    September 7, 2011

    Just voted. 80.8% in favour now!

  27. #27 Harold L Doherty
    September 7, 2011

    Polls are pointless? Is the distinguished medical scientist “Orac’ now a political science expert?

  28. #28 Julian Frost
    September 7, 2011

    Nice strawman Harold. Orac has said before that science is not decided by opinion polls or popular vote the same way that elections or the winner of Idols is chosen. Orac is saying that using an opinion poll as a measure of scientific truth is idiocy.
    PS. The vote is now 81.78% in favour. Suck on it, antivaxxers!

  29. #29 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    @Julian and Chris

    I think what most objective and reasonable people would be concerned about is not whether the polls are scientific.

    (Sometimes problem solving revolves around letting voices be heard and ideas and commentary be generated…however unscientific that may be.)

    But what it says about skeptiks and their approach to this debate in general.

    Thoughts ?

  30. #30 Lawrence
    September 7, 2011

    Actually, it says much more about the anti-vaxxers & their side of the debate – which is based completely on emotional appeal with no evidence.

    Bring some evidence to the table & then you’ll have a debate.

  31. #31 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    @Lawrence

    So you believe that the poll did not have any input from the ordinary public that just wanted to offer an opinion ?
    …and that there are not a variety of differing stances and perspectives in the ‘vaccine debate’.

    I’m actually interested in how you define an “anti-vaxxer” and some scientific research on their numbers across various demographics ?

  32. #32 Gray Falcon
    September 7, 2011

    For a great period of time, most of humanity thought the world was flat. Did that change the shape of the planet?

  33. #33 Julian Frost
    September 7, 2011

    @Blackheart:

    I’m actually interested in how you define an “anti-vaxxer” and some scientific research on their numbers across various demographics ?

    We define anti-vaxxers as people who:
    Exaggerate the risks of vaccination;
    Deny or downplay the effectiveness of vaccination as a disease prevention tool; and
    Downplay the risks of vaccine preventable diseases.

  34. #34 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    @Gray

    “For a great period of time, most of humanity thought the world was flat. Did that change the shape of the planet?”

    So give me a defining statement on vaccines. Something that is representative of the majority view as espoused by commentators like Orac.

  35. #35 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    @Julian

    So let’s turn that around to define ‘pro vaccine skeptiks’

    We define skeptiks as people who:

    Down play the risks of vaccination;
    Over emphasise the effectiveness of vaccination as a disease prevention tool; and
    Over emphasise the risks of vaccine preventable diseases.

    A defining moment in this debate then ….

  36. #36 Dianne
    September 7, 2011

    Yes running over 80% now. Congratulations, I believe you’ve just pharyngulated a poll.

  37. #37 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    Sorry I should have used “I” … I like to stand on my own two feet.

  38. #38 Gray Falcon
    September 7, 2011

    Blackheart, my point was that popular opinion does not determine reality. Do you have any evidence that vaccines are worse than the diseases they are supposed to prevent?

  39. #39 Todd W.
    September 7, 2011

    @Blackheart

    So let’s turn that around to define ‘pro vaccine skeptiks’

    We define skeptiks as people who:

    Down play the risks of vaccination;
    Over emphasise the effectiveness of vaccination as a disease prevention tool; and
    Over emphasise the risks of vaccine preventable diseases.

    A defining moment in this debate then ….

    Except that that is a straw man, since the folks here do not over or under emphasize the risks/benefits, but rather state them as they are and support their assessments with actual science. Anti-vaccine folk state their opinions in spite of evidence to the contrary.

  40. #40 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    @Dianne

    So let’s present a nice hypothetical for you. If this was indeed a ‘scientific’ poll what negative consequences could arise through your behavior and the behavior of others ?

  41. #41 Gray Falcon
    September 7, 2011

    If this were a scientific poll, it wouldn’t have been placed on the internet in the first place.

  42. #42 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    “Except that that is a straw man …”

    How can that be a ‘strawman’ argument those types of arguments are very much part of the ‘anti-vaxxers’ complaints lodges at commentators like Orac and other militant skeptik sites.

    If the Institute of Medicine can’t give a number to the risks/benefits then how can you without access to the same data ?

    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

  43. #43 squirrelelite
    September 7, 2011

    Actually, Blackheart, I think most skeptics take an “I’m from Missouri” approach. That is, I am willing to be convinced but you have to “show me” the evidence.

    Simple assertion unbacked by evidence doesn’t cut it and neither does an easily distorted opinion poll.

    We are looking for real numbers that can be tested and verified and independently confirmed.

    So, skeptics prefer to

    Assess the risks of vaccination based on the actual incidence of side effects related to the vaccination and use the scientific method to determine if the incidence of those effects is greater than in people not receiving the vaccination.

    Assess the effectiveness of vaccination (and other disease preventing or treating methods) based on changes in the actual incidence of the disease (morbidity).

    Also assess the risks of not vaccinating based on the actual incidence of the disease and its side effects up to and including death (and other costs).

    And, which was left out in the little exchange of comments, compare the risks and benefits of vaccinating (including possibly eliminating some diseases and the need to vaccinate against them) with the risks and benefits of not vaccinating to obtain a useful risk versus benefit assessment.

  44. #44 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    @Gray

    “If this were a scientific poll, it wouldn’t have been placed on the internet in the first place.”

    I’m pretty sure you could design and implement a poll with enough ‘scientific robustness’ to be placed on the internet.

    But even so … it’s a hypothetical on ‘ethics’ and consequences.

  45. #45 squirrelelite
    September 7, 2011

    By the way, Blackheart,

    are “complaint lodges” like sweat lodges and which is safer?

  46. #46 Antiquated Tory
    September 7, 2011

    Blackheart @29 asks:

    Thoughts?

    My thought is that Blackheart is obsessed with sceptics.
    My justification for this is Blackheart’s efforts to derail every single thread into an argument about the limits of scepticism or rationalism, although scepticism is a tangental subject of this blog.
    My advice to him would be to either go to PZ Myers’ blog, where he can have the kind of argument he so wants to have, or to find some philosophy, philosophy of science, or even HistSci community, where he could have a constructive conversation on problems with sceptical/hyper-rationalist arguments.

  47. #47 Todd W.
    September 7, 2011

    @Blackheart

    We know the risks of many of the complications from diseases, e.g., 1 in 20 risk of pneumonia and 1 in 1,000 risk of death for measles. We also have a rough idea of the risk of serious complications from vaccines. Again, looking at measles, the risk of severe allergic reaction or encephalitis from MMR is 1 in 1,000,000.

    For some of the serious complications from vaccines, while we may not know an exact risk, we do know that it is at least much rarer than the complications from the disease being prevented. If vaccine AEs were more common, then we would have a much, much easier time giving a more precise odds ratio of it occurring. As it is, the majority of serious complications from vaccines are in the realm of 1 in 1,000,000 or even rarer.

  48. #48 Reuben
    September 7, 2011

    Here’s how you conduct a scientific poll, Mr. Doherty:

    You look at the population you are trying to poll and define it by geographical boundaries, age groups, socio-economic status. You then use random sampling to pick a sample of people from that population. You certainly do not direct them to come to you, because that is called selection bias. Bias is very bad, Mr. Doherty. (That’s why you don’t have a birthday party and draw blood from kids that came. It’s essentially the same bias. Sound familiar?)

    Once you conduct the poll, you give out the full results of your polling and make the data set publicly available for scrutiny. None of that stuff about throwing away the results that disagree with your hypotheses, Mr. Doherty. Also, you define your results according to the random sampling you got. No 3 year-olds in your sample? Then you’re not allowed to say that your results can extend to 3 year-olds. No Hispanics in your sample? Then you’re not allowed to say that Hispanics also agree/disagree with the polling questions.

    The questions also have to be objective, Mr. Doherty. None of this: “Do you believe that the corrupt pharmaceutical industry who pay thousands of lawyers to defend their products and lobbyists to get legislation through a corrupt Congress for promotion of their ‘devil’s brew’ of vaccines should be represented at the next gathering on immunization practices held by the Mason’s and Illuminati?”

    No. You let the person being question make and keep their own opinions to themselves. The question above is more truthful and effective if it is asked like this: “Should the pharmaceutical industry have a say in immunization practices?”

    Ta-da! Honesty.

    Know what I mean?

    This is why polls from Age of Autism and others are such jokes. They try to come off as epidemiologists when they don’t even have the know-how of a lab assistant. Heck, I’d trust some undergrad students to have more sense in designing a study.

    Then again, Jake Crosby is getting an MPH, so he might learn a thing or two about bias and – oh, the horror – science. Though he’s going to have to reconcile his hatred for scientific studies if he wants to pass Epi 101.

  49. #49 Lawrence
    September 7, 2011

    Well, Orac already addressed the “rare” complications issue – and it was also very well addressed in the study itself, that there were some complications that happened so infrequently & in such a small number that it was impossible to truly equate them to the vaccine (or exclude them).

    I take from that, given the millions of vaccines that have been administered, that some complications are so rare as to not occur frequently enough to be statistically significant, that the risk of them is much, much lower than the disease that the vaccine prevents.

  50. #50 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    @squirrelelite

    So the most comprehensive study on vaccines undertaken for some 17 years couldn’t address some of these issues notably vaccine safety and the risk/benefit calculation (if that’s a viable calculation to run medical science on)
    then how do skeptiks address that conundrum ?

  51. #51 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    @squirrelelite

    “By the way, Blackheart,

    are “complaint lodges” like sweat lodges and which is safer?”

    Are you really going to play the typo / grammar card ?

  52. #52 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    @Todd W

    “We know the risks of many of the complications from diseases, e.g., 1 in 20 risk of pneumonia and 1 in 1,000 risk of death for measles.”

    There are some obvious questions to ask about your risk assessment including whether this data reflects the technological changes and the pragmatic situation on the ground at this time ?

  53. #53 Lawrence
    September 7, 2011

    I believe Todd’s website addresses some of this (click on his name) – but if I recall correctly, we’ve actually seen a greater risk of complications in the most recent outbreaks.

    Do advances in medical technology increase survival rates – absolutely, but not getting the disease in the first place is obviously your best bet.

  54. #54 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    Unfortunately Lawrence somethings in life can’t be avoided.

  55. #55 Julian Frost
    September 7, 2011

    Blackheart:

    So the most comprehensive study on vaccines undertaken for some 17 years couldn’t address some of these issues notably vaccine safety and the risk/benefit calculation (if that’s a viable calculation to run medical science on)then how do skeptiks address that conundrum?

    Strawman argument, Blackheart. That the risks were so slight to be statistically insignificant does not mean that the study couldn’t address issues of vaccine safety. It did. It showed that the risks were very, very slight, and an order of magnitude less than the diseases they protect against.

  56. #56 Reuben
    September 7, 2011

    Unfortunately Lawrence somethings in life can’t be avoided.

    Like smallpox… Oh, wait.

  57. #57 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    @Julian

    I believe one of the most popular phrases in that study was….

    “The evidence is inadequate to accept or reject a causal
    relationship …. blah blah blah.”

  58. #58 Todd W.
    September 7, 2011

    @Blackheart

    I believe one of the most popular phrases in that study was….

    “The evidence is inadequate to accept or reject a causal
    relationship …. blah blah blah.”

    Yes. And the interpretation of that is the events were so rare that data did not rise to the level of statistical significance, and thus a definitive connection could neither be confirmed nor ruled out. In other words, the risks are so incredibly rare as to be insignificant in comparison to the risks from the diseases prevented, even if there were a definite causal connection.

  59. #59 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    @Rueben

    No samples lying around ?

  60. #60 Lawrence
    September 7, 2011

    Yes, because the number and freqency of complications was so low as to be statistically impossible to include or exclude – i.e. “rare.”

  61. #61 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    “And the interpretation of that is the events …”

    Your interpretation perhaps … as opposed to ‘the science has not be done’ interpretation.

  62. #62 Todd W.
    September 7, 2011

    @Blackheart

    Your interpretation perhaps … as opposed to ‘the science has not be done’ interpretation.

    Uh, no. The science was done. It’s discussed in the hundreds of pages report from the IOM, in which they found that there was insufficient data (i.e., the events were too rare) to make a definitive conclusion regarding causality. Go back and read the report again, this time the whole thing and read for comprehension.

  63. #63 Reuben
    September 7, 2011

    @Bleakhart

    Nope. (And you’ll have to find me and torture me before I tell you otherwise.)

  64. #64 Krebiozen
    September 7, 2011

    The actual wording in the IOM report was:

    We do want to emphasize many of the adverse events we examined are exceedingly rare in the population overall, and in most instances any particular adverse event, be it arthritis, meningitis, or any of the other vaccine-adverse events that the committee considered, are not preceded by immunization.

    Is it rational to be afraid of something that is exceedingly rare in general, and even rarer after immunization? The benefits of vaccines have been demonstrated in thousands of studies, but serious adverse events are so rare they can’t even be quantified? You might as well refuse to go outside for fear of being hit by a meteorite.

    No samples lying around ?

    I’m beginning to wonder if Blackheart is a Th1Th2 sockpuppet…

  65. #65 Todd W.
    September 7, 2011

    @Krebiozen

    I was starting to wonder the same thing.

  66. #66 Anton P. Nym
    September 7, 2011

    I’m pretty sure you could design and implement a poll with enough ‘scientific robustness’ to be placed on the internet.

    I’m not a statistician, but I do handle some number-crunching at work… and I’m pretty sure that placing an open poll on the Internet is the antithesis of “scientific robustness”. See the multiple links above discussing the statistical problems with “self-selecting sample” polls… the only way to have a robust poll on the Internet would be to make the poll only accessable to a random sample of the specific audience needed, and the results would have to be masked until all replies had been received in order to prevent early replies from influencing later ones.

    — Steve

  67. #67 Chris
    September 7, 2011

    Harold Doherty and Blackheart, I gave you a link to a book on statistics. I suggest you find your library, check it out and read it. In the meantime you can use the “look inside” feature from Amazon using the search word “selected” to read how this is not a scientific poll. (Mr. Doherty political polls are done using random phone number calls, not internet forms)

    Or actually read the words on the page where the poll is posted.

    Are you two really that dense?

  68. #68 Scottynuke
    September 7, 2011

    I’d say Blackheart is just another contrarian troll… Perhaps further up the slippery slope from augustine (and obviously not as right over the edge of the precipice as Thingy), but disagreeing simply for the joy of starting an argument.

  69. #69 Anton P. Nym
    September 7, 2011

    Just to keep up to date, the CBC poll now shows 82.79% in favour of the shot-and-booster protocol. Not scientific results, of course… but not very good ammunition for the anti-vax crowd either.

    — Steve

  70. #70 herr doktor bimler
    September 7, 2011

    “are “complaint lodges” like sweat lodges and which is safer?”
    Are you really going to play the typo / grammar card ?

    This is the Internet, Blackheart. It’s a cruel place. There are people out there who will use your infelicities of spelling or grammar or metaphor as an excuse to amuse themselves with humorous asides, when they should be respecting your Very Serious Demand for a Very Serious Argument.

    Sad, but there it is.

  71. #71 TBruce
    September 7, 2011

    “Complaint lodges” reminds me of Fawlty Towers.

  72. #72 Militant Agnostic
    September 7, 2011

    Chris

    Are you two (Blackheart & Harold Doherty) really that dense?

    Yes

  73. #73 Antaeus Feldspar
    September 7, 2011

    I’m beginning to wonder if Blackheart is a Th1Th2 sockpuppet…

    I don’t think Th1Th2 is capable of such grammatical success. However, I would not be surprised if Blackheart was a Poe; who in their right minds would try to imply something about scientists by citing L. Ron Hubbard, who was never a scientist, only a scientist wanna-be? One might as well try to imply something about marathon winners by citing Rosie Ruiz.

  74. #74 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    @Todd W

    “Uh, no. The science was done.”

    I can see how this clearly links to that other Orac thread on science rationalism. Denial in the face of evidence…hmmm.

    I’ll remind you again and you can explain

    “The evidence is inadequate to accept or reject a causal
    relationship …”

    @Rueben

    “Nope. (And you’ll have to find me and torture me before I tell you otherwise.)”

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/226464.php

    @Anton

    “placing an open poll on the Internet is the antithesis of “scientific robustness”.”

    It wouldn’t be designed around an open poll.

    @Krebiozen and Todd W

    “but serious adverse events are so rare they can’t even be quantified?”

    That’s a pretty interesting scenario where you can’t quantify the number or in fact point to actual data collection. Some very serious flaws going on here.

    Show me the data and the crunching …

    “Sock Puppet” I don’t think so….

  75. #75 Lawrence
    September 7, 2011

    Nothing but word salad there…..

  76. #76 LW
    September 7, 2011

    How frequently do big rocks hit the Earth? We know it happens because it happened at the K/T boundary, but we think it must be very rare because we don’t have that many other cases. However, since we can’t quantify exactly how often it occurs, we can’t say that a big rock hitting the Earth next year is less probable than a volcanic eruption somewhere on Earth next year.

    Thank you, Blackheart. I learn something new every time I read Respectful Insolence.

  77. #77 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    @herr doktor

    oh well … at least its not my credibility crumbling away. That certainly would be cruel.

    @Chris and Militant

    We will see …

  78. #78 Blackheart
    September 7, 2011

    @LW

    We know it happens
    but we think
    we can’t quantify
    we can’t say
    somewhere on

    “Thank you, Blackheart. I learn something new every time I read Respectful Insolence.”

    I thought you would already know that science requires evidence ?

  79. #79 mikmik
    September 8, 2011

    I thought you would already know that science requires evidence ?

    Posted by: Blackheart | September 7, 2011 8:58 PM

    Just as surely as immature fucks require attention.

  80. #80 lilady
    September 8, 2011

    We have a troll infestation right now. Just ignore and remember rule #14 Do not feed the trolls and,

    Rule # 14 a) especially the delusional troll

    Rule # 14 b) especially the ignorant filthy-mouthed troll

    Rule # 14 c) argumentative for the sake of argument troll

  81. #81 Blackheart
    September 8, 2011

    @lilady

    Such a defensive posture. Just make your case for vaccine safety and citations please …. and we’ll see if the science has been done or if it makes the grade.

  82. #82 Lawrence
    September 8, 2011

    Actually, just click on the link in Todd’s name – there is some actual Science for you to chew on, but of course, you’ll ignore it.

    http://antiantivax.flurf.net/

  83. #83 blackheart
    September 8, 2011

    Lawrence

    You and Todd can bring your evidence to the table if you like …

    There seems to be a certain reluctance. Why is that ?

  84. #84 Lawrence
    September 8, 2011

    Ummm…I don’t know how pointing you directly at the evidence denotes reluctance…..your response does, however, point to a reluctance to listen (or look).

  85. #85 blackheart
    September 8, 2011

    Lawrence

    But your not writing anything Lawrence … just like lilady.

    Do you not have enough confidence in the evidence? Apparently overwhelming as it is ?

  86. #86 Lawrence
    September 8, 2011

    Argument for sake of argument troll – it isn’t necessary for me to sit here & write, verbatim, what has already been compiled. If you refuse to examine the evidence provided, that isn’t my fault and you truly are just here to try to waste people’s time.

    Have fun with that.

  87. #87 Stu
    September 8, 2011

    Do you not have enough confidence in the evidence?

    Aww, that’s so cute. It’s absolutely adorable to see a fledgeling troll try out flailing for the first time. Like a baby taking its first steps while leaving a trail of excrement.

    Blackheart, there is this new invention called the “hyperlink”. It allows you to present information by pointing to it, rather than copying and pasting to it. You’ll know you’ve found one if you see a word, term or phrase on your screen in a different color than the text around it. You then take your mouse, and slide it over your desk or table (note that pointing it directly at the screen does not work) until the little pointer on your screen is directly over the differently-colored text. You’ll know you have done this right when the pointer on the screen changes into a little hand. You then click the left button on your mouse, and will be magically transported to the information referenced.

    It also helps to put some effort into being somewhat coherent, so again, try not to be black-out drunk while you hop onto this site in order to prevent a post like #74. Of course if you wrote that while sober, you are a bit of a gibbering moron and I apologize for accusing you of alcohol abuse.

  88. #88 Krebiozen
    September 8, 2011

    Blackheart,

    Just make your case for vaccine safety and citations please …. and we’ll see if the science has been done or if it makes the grade.

    Which specific vaccine did you have in mind? If you go to PubMed and search for [vaccine name safety efficacy] you will find plenty of evidence.

    As an example, what about HPV vaccines, as they has been discussed here recently. Here’s a recent review of the evidence (I have linked to a full text source) which concludes:

    The HPV vaccines appear safe and effective.

    In this case I think the science has been done and does make the grade. I’m sure you can find similar studies for any vaccine you wish to look at. Of course some people demand impossibly high standards of evidence that a vaccine is safe, though 23 million doses and no sign of an increased rate of any serious condition seems like a high enough standard of evidence to me.

    By the way, the authors of the study state that they have no conflict of interests that might affect their conclusions – in other words they are not funded by Merck or Glaxo Smith Kline.

  89. #89 Reuben
    September 8, 2011

    Just make your case for vaccine safety and citations please …. and we’ll see if the science has been done or if it makes the grade.

    Here, let me fix that for you…

    Just make your case for vaccine safety and citations that meet my standards of evidence and only those that show or attempt to show that vaccines don’t work please …. and we’ll see if the science has been done or if it makes the my grade.

  90. #90 Chris
    September 8, 2011

    Blackheart:

    Just make your case for vaccine safety and citations please …. and we’ll see if the science has been done or if it makes the grade.

    I agree, Stu, he is being such a cute little newby troll. I love how he is demanding evidence from us when he refused to answer my very simple questions. Especially after his comment at #35. If he thinks skeptics downplay the risks of vaccination and overplay the risks of the diseases, he should be prepared to provide some real documentation that we are wrong.

    But I know he won’t. I haven’t got time to read all of his blathering, especially if he can’t be bothered to click on the statistics book I linked to in comment #19 (it is the blue text, goes to an Amazon page, then you click on the “look inside” and put in a search word!).

    Or maybe he is a Poe who is trying to make JJ, Doherty, Ken (who seems upset that the CDC had a tongue in cheek way of highlighting disaster preparedness) and Laura look even more foolish.

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