Respectful Insolence

I’ve been following the anti-vaccine movement for nearly a decade now, first as a regular on the Usenet newsgroup misc.health.alternative and then, beginning almost seven years ago, blogging away. Along the way, somehow I stumbled into the role of countering the pseudoscience, misinformation, and nonsense promoted by the anti-vaccine movement. It’s dangerous misinformation, too. For instance, in the U.K., misinformation claiming that the MMR vaccine somehow contributes to autism, a lie based on the work of Andrew Wakefield, has led the MMR uptake rate there to plummet. As a result measles, once vanquished back in the 1990s thanks to the MMR has come roaring back. Here in the U.S., there are areas where there are pockets of low vaccine uptake, and as a result vaccine preventable diseases are making a comeback in some areas. We can only hope that the relatively high vaccine uptake rates elsewhere prevent those pockets from enlarging, spreading, and metastasizing.

Over the last decade or so, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over all that time covering the anti-vaccine movement, it’s that it’s generates some masters of cherry picking and obfuscation. I’ve also learned that the favored topic of the anti-vaccine movement is to conflate correlation with causation, thus trying to lure readers who might not have a scientific background into confusing correlation with causation. The most infamous example of this technique is, of course, thimerosal in vaccines. Apparent autism incidence has risen considerably since the early 1990s, largely due to expanded diagnostic criteria, diagnostic substitution, and more intensive screening. The vaccine schedule was also expanded during the 1990s, with an increasing use of vaccines containing thimerosal as a preservative. Because thimerosal contains mercury, it provided a convenient “bogeyman ingredient” that anti-vaccine activists could blame for the apparent “autism epidemic.” In 2011 (actually, as early as 2005), it is obvious that mercury in vaccines is not a cause of any sort of “autism epidemic,” given that thimerosal was removed from vaccines by the end of 2001 and autism incidence has not declined. If mercury in vaccines were a major cause of autism, one would expect that removing the thimerosal from vaccine would lead to a rapid decline in autism incidence. We’d even expect that this decrease would be evident within three to five years, given that autism is commonly diagnosed at around age three or four. No matter how the anti-vaccine movement tries to parse, this has not happened.

What’s more interesting (well, sometimes) is to watch anti-vaccine activists apply the same sort of flaws in science and reasoning to other aspects of vaccine science. I just saw a whopper of an example of this in what is now a four-part “investigation” on the anti-vaccine crank blog Age of Autism. It’s written by Mark “Not A Scientist, Not A Doctor” Blaxill and Dan “Where are the autistic Amish?” Olmsted. Blaxill is rather amusing because, alone of bloggers, he loves verbosity even more than Orac does. Where Orac might sometimes use 3,000 words where 1,500 might serve, Blaxill would use 6,000 words to say exactly nothing. This might explain why the example of mistakenly confusing correlation with causation that I’m about to discuss was mercifully divided into four parts; that is, four parts so far. I’ve been watching from afar, waiting to see how many parts Blaxill would throw in, and this might represent premature blogging, but, hey, it’s Friday, and I rarely post on the weekend anymore; so it’s now or wait until next week, and I don’t want to wait until next week.

So let’s take a look at the not-so-Glimmer Twins’ “expose” on the polio vaccine:

The five parts thus far can best be viewed as a massive confusion of correlation with causation, which is, as far as I’m concerned, the sine qua non of anti-vaccine arguments, such as they are. First, B&O (Blaxill and Olmsted) begin with an ominous prediction:

Polio is the iconic epidemic, its conquest one of medicine’s heroic dramas. The narrative is by now familiar: Random, inexplicable outbreaks paralyzed and killed thousands of infants and children and struck raw terror into 20th century parents, triggering a worldwide race to identify the virus and develop a vaccine. Success ushered in the triumphant era of mass vaccination. Now polio’s last hideouts amid the poorest of the poor in Asia and Africa are under relentless siege by, among others, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Eradication is just a matter of time, and many more illnesses will soon meet the same fate.

But based on our research over the past two years, we believe this narrative is wrong – and wrong for reasons that go beyond mere historical interest. The misunderstanding of polio has warped the public health response to modern illnesses in ways that actually make them harder to prevent, control, and treat.

Polio has always bothered anti-vaccinationists. The reason, of course, is because it is unequivocally a success story for vaccines that demonstrates the power of vaccination to alleviate suffering. Anti-vaccine activists think they are the master of narrative, whereby they tell anecdotes and stories about children seemingly regressing right after vaccines, but opposing that narrative is an even more powerful narrative about the elimination of iron lungs that were so common in the 1940s and 1950s. In an amazingly short period of time, after the introduction of a vaccine for polio, gone were the iron lungs. Gone were the terrifying outbreaks of polio. Gone were the yearly summer warning signs about swimming pools. Most people viewed this as a good thing.

B&O apparently do not.

No, it’s not that they want children to be paralyzed due to polio. What they don’t like is that the success of vaccination campaigns against polio gave scientists confidence that, yes, vaccines can make a difference in the health of children. Of course, we already had the example of smallpox, where vaccination ultimately led to the only complete eradication of a disease in history that I’m aware of. B&O are not pleased about this:

But based on our research over the past two years, we believe this narrative is wrong – and wrong for reasons that go beyond mere historical interest. The misunderstanding of polio has warped the public health response to modern illnesses in ways that actually make them harder to prevent, control, and treat.

The reality, we believe, is that the virus itself was just half the epidemic equation — necessary but not sufficient to create The Age of Polio. Outbreaks were not caused solely by poliovirus – the microbe was an ancient and heretofore harmless intestinal bug — but by its interaction with a new toxin, most often innovative pesticides used to treat fruits and vegetables.

And thus the groundwork for a beautiful case of confusing correlation with causation is laid.

This confusion begins with a description of the invasion of gypsy moths in the mid-19th century. At the time, gypsy moths were a real problem, and a frantic effort to find ways to control them was undertaken. What worked in killing these moths, it turned out, was adding lead to arsenic compounds commonly used to kill other insect pests. This new mixture was effective in eliminating gypsy moth larvae and was apparently deployed on a large scale in New England in 1893 and 1894. Confusing correlation with causation like the masters they are at doing that, B&O opine:

Fortunately – or so it seemed – a scientist working for the commission quickly found a solution. Adding lead to arsenic proved lethal to the larvae, and the new compound was sprayed on trees in and around Boston starting in 1893. It quickly proved its value against not just gypsy moths but all manner of agricultural pests. In fact, it worked better against codling moths, the source of the proverbial “worm in the apple.”

“In the case of insects which do not readily yield to Paris Green, a different substance, used with great success by the Gypsy Moth Commission, with which it originated, may be applied,” wrote George H. Perkins, state entomologist of Vermont in his annual report for 1893, published in early 1894. “This is arsenate of lead; sodic arsenate 29.93%, lead acetate 70.07%, are mixed in water, from which arsenate of lead is soon formed.”[ii]

Something else of note happened in 1893 in the Boston area. Two doctors used to seeing sporadic cases of paralysis in infants became concerned when the small caseload suddenly increased, to 23. There had only been six in the same September-November time span the year before.

Does this sound familiar? It should. Fast forward 100 years, and B&O did exactly the same thing with mercury in vaccines and autism, and they did the same sloppy job. This time around, they are trying to claim that polio epidemics and outbreaks were not due solely to the polio virus itself, but to an unholy combination of the polio virus and arsenic-based pesticides. They make the case explicit by listing a whole bunch of agricultural areas where outbreaks occurred 1893 and 1910 and speculate that some combination of the polio virus and lead arsenate-based pesticides was responsible for the paralysis that polio caused. They even go so far as to spin an elaborate tale about Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his battle with polio. Because FDR was 39 at the time he contracted polio, his was an unusual case. In particular B&O blather on and on about how Roosevelt happened to be in the world’s commercial blueberry capital at harvest time and ominously intone that it must have been more than just the polio virus. It must also have been the lead arsenate used as a pesticide, implying hilariously:

None of this shows FDR eating a mound of fresh blueberries treated with lead arsenate in August 1921, but it seems more probable than not.

Yep, it was the blueberries plus polio that paralyzed Roosevelt, not just polio alone! Why? Because lead and arsenic can cause neurological damage. Seriously. That’s B&O’s argument. Never mind that lead and arsenic poisoning don’t produce a syndrome like polio. Never mind that polio has probably been known for hundreds of years, possibly as far back as ancient Egypt. At the very least, polio was known back in the 18th century. Moreover, polio wasn’t confined to areas where agriculture might bring people into contact with pesticides, lead-arsenate-based or otherwise. It swept through cities as well, including New York City, where 2,500 cases were reported in 1907. In 1916, there were over 2,000 deaths from polio in New York City alone. (Yep, I can read Wikipedia, too.)

In fact, some of the worst epidemics of polio occurred in the 1940s and 1950s, when lead arsenate pesticide use was on the wane. So how do B&O explain that inconvenient observation? Easy. they pivot and switch to a different pesticide. Yes, we’re talking DDT, baby! DDT was introduced in the late 1940s and soon supplanted lead arsenate-containing pesticides. Just as B&O borrowed from the mercury playbook, in which they try to claim that mercury poisoning produces symptoms just like autism and now tried to claim that, because lead arsenate can cause neurological damage, it must have been a combination of lead arsenate pesticides plus polio that really caused those epidemics of infantile paralysis (and hence vaccines didn’t save us). Now B&O pivot seamlessly to DDT, amazing the world at how two such different chemicals can somehow interact with the polio virus in the same way in order to produce paralysis. It’s magic:

In 1949, the same year as the Life article, Drs. Morton S. Biskind and Irving Bieber published “DDT Poisoning – A New Symptom With Neuropsychiatric Manifestations” in the American Journal of Psychotherapy. “By far the most disturbing of all the manifestations are the subjective reactions and the extreme muscular weakness,” they reported.[ii]

In subsequent papers and testimony, Biskind linked DDT directly to cases of poliomyelitis – including a Dec. 12, 1950, statement to the Select Committee to Investigate the Use of Chemicals in Food Products, United States House of Representatives.[iii] He quoted another doctor that “wherever DDT had been used intensively against polio, not only was there an epidemic of the syndrome I have described but the incidence of polio continued to rise and in fact appeared where it had not been before.

Amazing how two different chemicals with entirely different mechanisms of action apparently cause the same thing. The problem, of course, is that, just as mercury poisoning doesn’t cause a syndrome that looks like autism, neither DDT nor lead arsenate produce syndromes that look like polio. DDT, for instance, does not cause paralysis. In fact, its mechanism of neurotoxicity at high doses is fairly well known. The symptoms it causes tend to be mild at anything other than very high doses. In the case of acute exposures to DDT, the weakness and paralysis can occasionally (but unreliably) be observed, tend to be of only distal extremities (hands and feet), and require very high exposures to DDT, exposures far above residues that could possibly be left on fruits and vegetables, even at the height of DDT use. At intermediate exposures, the effects tend to me more along the lines of parasthesias and nausea. Remember, too, that by “low,” I still mean pretty hefty doses relative to residues on foods. Finally, in a very superficial way, if you really, really want it to and squint hard enough at the comparisons, you can make some of the symptoms of DDT poisoning sound a little bit like symptoms of polio, but you have to be as–shall we say?–creative as Age of Autism flacks were when they “mapped” the symptoms of autism to those of mercury poisoning as a means of “proving” that autism is due to mercury poisoning from vaccines.

In fact, in part 5 (and you knew it was coming), B&O try to pull mercury into the mix of lead arsenates and DDT as well. More importantly, they seem implicitly to recognize that their graph of U.S.-only outbreaks with time in part 2 was incomplete; so they fill it in with outbreaks from elsewhere in the world in a graph here:

i-ef134c234fce789c33da390c1940ab4c-bosillygraph-thumb-480x360-69416.jpg

Note that they put the line at 1893 representing the introduction of lead arsenate insecticides in Boston, but this makes no sense from a scientific or epidemiological standpoint. If they really wanted to make the case, they would have to try to correlate the introduction of lead arsenate insecticides with polio outbreaks for each and every location that they examine. Lumping them together on a graph like this might look persuasive to people with no scientific background, but epidemiologists and scientists would laugh uproariously or shake their heads in disbelief (or both) at such amazing ignorance. After all, what is the rationale for placing a line at 1893? Certainly there is no obvious break point or change in slope of the line that began at 1893; one could just as plausibly, if not more so, place such a line back around 1880 based on the curve alone. However, the line at 1893 draws the eye to it and produces an illusion of a definite break point where the line is–and B&O put that line there based on a historical event, not on any detection of a true break point in the curve. It’s bad math of a sort that Mark and David Geier used five years ago, as was so well explained by Mark Chu-Carroll.

B&O might as well try to correlate the number of pirates with global warming or the introduction of compact discs in the U.S. with the rise in autism. Or the introduction of thimerosal in vaccines with the “autism epidemic.” Oh, wait. They just did.

Truly, B&O are a one trick pony.

So why on earth did B&O engage in such napalm-grade burning stupid, trying to claim that somehow pesticides mixed with the polio virus to produce epidemics of infantile paralysis. The reason, it seems to me, is simple. Their claims otherwise notwithstanding, B&O are profoundly anti-vaccine. Unfortunately for them, the elimination of polio is a major success story for vaccines and vaccine science. Vaccination against polio eliminated polio in the United States in short order, as it does wherever high levels of vaccine uptake can be achieved. It’s an iconic example of how effective a public health measure vaccines are and how many lives can be saved, not to mention cases of paralysis prevented. They have to tear it down if they are to convince people that vaccines are harmful and cause autism. After all, to anti-vaccine loons like B&O, no matter how much they deny it or try to claim otherwise, it’s all about the vaccines. It’s always been about the vaccines. It always will always be about the vaccines. Also, if they can “prove” that some environmental influence like pesticides somehow interacted with a virus to cause epidemics, then, in their mind apparently, they can claim plausibility that vaccines somehow cause autism.

I think. B&O’s “reasoning” is quite unclear on this other than their desire to try to discredit the polio vaccine.

And if it takes some conflation of correlation with causation, either intentional or not, so be it. Whether B&O know what they are doing or not, I really don’t know. If they do know what they’re doing as far as statistical and mathematical analysis go, the only possible conclusion is that they are intentionally trying to deceive. If they don’t know what they’re doing, then the conclusion must be that they’re hopelessly scientifically and mathematically illiterate. I suppose they could be a little of both, but personally I favor the conclusion that they’re hopelessly scientifically and mathematically illiterate. Even “better,” B&O promise more to come:

But none of these reached the scale, or occurred with the frequency, of poliomyelitis outbreaks after 1893 and the invention of lead arsenate. This leads to the second test of our theory – once lead arsenate and DDT disappeared from the scene, why did poliomyelitis outbreaks continue, albeit in diminished fashion?

Stay tuned.

Unfortunately, calling B&O’s crackpot idea about pesticides and polio a “theory” or even a “hypothesis” is stretching the term beyond recognition. More importantly: Does anyone want to speculate how they’ll explain this one? My guess: They’ll try to correlate the introduction of mercury-containing vaccines to areas of the world where polio outbreaks still occur.

ADDENDUM: I can’t believe I didn’t find this in all my Googling, but it’s been pointed out in the comments below that B&O cribbed their entire “hypothesis” from…Whale.to! In fact, the Whale.to article is an even more exquisite example of confusing correlation with causation and cherry picking three insecticides to add together to give a curve that looks like the incidence curve of polio in the middle part of the 20th century. It almost might be worth a post itself!

Mr. Blaxill and Mr. Olmsted, you do remember Scopie’s Law, don’t you?

Comments

  1. #1 Science Mom
    September 23, 2011

    It took them two years to come up with that? What a couple of sad little men.

  2. #2 Reuben
    September 23, 2011

    They say that Steve Jobs has a reality-bending field around his keynote speeches and products. B&O (love that moniker) have taken that to a whole new level. It’s as if they have a spinning wheel with chemicals listed on it, another wheel with a decade on it, and then a third wheel with a vaccine-preventable disease on it. They spin all three and then draw up a “hypothesis” from the result.

    In this case, pesticides, 1890, and polio must have come up.

    No science, no evidence, just plain guessing… Or, in this case, “dumb luck”.

  3. #3 palindrom
    September 23, 2011

    I think it’d be really fun if, just to get this guy’s goat, an Evil Big Pharma Lord decided to name a drug “Blaxill”. It kind of sounds like a drug name. This might cause Mr. B. a Santorum-like “Google Problem”.

    Bwaa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

  4. #4 MikeMa
    September 23, 2011

    These guys (B&O) will never make the big time until they break new ground. So far its just poor science, ignorance, logical failures and heavy metals. They have the ‘Wakefield Example(tm)’ showing them just how to achieve anti-vax stardom. Committing fraud is just within their grasp I am sure. Go for it B&O! We know you want it.

  5. #5 Jake Crosby
    September 23, 2011

    “In 2011 (actually, as early as 2005), it is obvious that mercury in vaccines is not a cause of any sort of “autism epidemic,” given that thimerosal was removed from vaccines by the end of 2001 and autism incidence has not declined. If mercury in vaccines were a major cause of autism, one would expect that removing the thimerosal from vaccine would lead to a rapid decline in autism incidence. We’d even expect that this decrease would be evident within three to five years, given that autism is commonly diagnosed at around age three or four. No matter how the anti-vaccine movement tries to parse, this has not happened.”

    It didn’t happen because children were being diagnosed at younger and younger ages and because thimerosal was added to flu shots and remained in other vaccines for an unspecified period of time – and last but not least – because the California database used to “prove” your claim was overhauled before any meaningful data could be extracted from it, after it showed signs of leveling off which could have signs of a coming decrease in cases.
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/03/the-fallacy-of-thimerosal-removal-autism-increase-a-failure-of-science-a-bigger-failure-to-children-.html

  6. #6 anarchic teapot
    September 23, 2011

    @palindrom
    I vote for Blaxill as the name of a pesticide!

  7. #7 MikeMa
    September 23, 2011

    @anarchic teapot,
    Share the fun: call it Bloxstead.

  8. #8 Sid Offit
    September 23, 2011

    You know what the funniest thing is? Your side actually believes polio epidemics began because the world got clean all of a sudden. Hilarious!

  9. #9 Lawrence
    September 23, 2011

    Wow – Jake & Sid in the same thread (and quoting AoA & submitting declarations without supporting evidence).

    How quaint….

  10. #10 don best
    September 23, 2011

    Canada vaccinated half a million children, none of whom contracted polio after vaccination. Like the field trials of 1954 in the U.S., the Canadian experience with the Salk vaccine proves that a safe and effective vaccine can be produced and used. What the American debacle puts in question is not the safety of the vaccine but whether private enterprise can produce a safe and effective vaccine.

  11. #11 Science Mom
    September 23, 2011

    It didn’t happen because children were being diagnosed at younger and younger ages and because thimerosal was added to flu shots and remained in other vaccines for an unspecified period of time – and last but not least – because the California database used to “prove” your claim was overhauled before any meaningful data could be extracted from it, after it showed signs of leveling off which could have signs of a coming decrease in cases.

    @ Jake, when you hand in research papers, probably literature reviews, do you use AoA as a citation? AoA is not a valid source for science or reviews of scientific materials. Please post citations that are acceptable.

  12. #12 Science Mom
    September 23, 2011

    You know what the funniest thing is? Your side actually believes polio epidemics began because the world got clean all of a sudden. Hilarious!

    Sure Robert, real hilarious and of course, not an accurate contention at all.

  13. #13 Sid Offit
    September 23, 2011

    And we know the Egyptians suffered from polio because of a stele depicting a guy with a bad leg. Amazing “science” there as well.

    No defenders of the cleanliness theory???

  14. #14 MikeMa
    September 23, 2011

    Oooh, the squirrels have arrived with nuts. Or is that the other way around.

    Silly Sid. The polio vaccine works in spite of or regardless of cleanliness although that might help in other areas. But of course you pay no attention to other parts of the world.

  15. #15 Lawrence
    September 23, 2011

    It is amazing what we can do with DNA & other forensic tools – including finding out what actually killed King Tut, identification of cancer & heart disease in mummies, etc.

    Stuff it Sid, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

  16. #16 Denice Walter
    September 23, 2011

    What is their next project- an analysis of how taking mercury and arsenic meds for syphilis ( c. WWI) caused Isak Dinesen ( nee Karen) to become autistic- losing all abilities to understand and maintain intricate human relationships, innovate complex communication in foreign languages, and portray gender realistically? Oh wait, she didn’t lose those capacities actually, that’s what she did well. Let’s see… takes mercury and arsenic, becomes famous writer. What if? **

    B&O have fallen into the bucket of woo: “correlation equals causation” is probably the slimiest ingredient in that witches brew but there are a few others I hate nearly as much:

    If you can think it, it must be so. ( e.g. If I can imagine a link between a toxin and a condition, it must exist)
    If a little helps one condition, a lot may cure all conditions.( e.g. a minute quantity of vitamin C keeps off scurvy, a lot will cure cancer)
    If SBM accepts something, soon all woo will be acceptable.( e.g. massage is SB for certain conditions, therefore Reiki rulz).

    One of the problems we have as advocates for SBM is that the merchants of woo are not using the same lines of demarcation as we are, including linguistic ones ( that must sound familiar to regulars here). So, if we say something in clear. perfect. English. don’t expect alt med advocates to receive the message untwisted and un-discombobulated as we have intended.

    Of course, Mike Adams & Co., make use of the slides and spreads of meaning I describe above, then charge their message with emotive intensity that hits a nerve: the anti-intellectual, anti-elitist one. Unfortunately, they have an audience.

    ** Don’t try this at home.

  17. #17 lilady
    September 23, 2011

    “It took them two years to come up with that? What a couple of sad little men.”

    I would add Science Mom…”It took Jake 4 weeks into his MPH-Epidemiology Program and Offal to come up with that? What a couple of sad little men.”

    Just when I thought I was going to spend another dreary rainy Friday being totally bored…along comes Jake and Offal to brighten my day.

  18. #18 blog.cordialdeconstruction.com
    September 23, 2011

    “Of course, we already had the example of smallpox, where vaccination ultimately led to the only complete eradication of a disease in history that I’m aware of”

    In humans, yes, but one other infectious disease has been eradicated (also thorough vaccination): Rinderpest in cattle and other even-toed ungulates. Where are all the autistic cows?

  19. #19 blog.cordialdeconstruction.com
    September 23, 2011

    I still haven’t figured out why when I post from this computer, the comments post as my URL and not my name.

    -Karl Withakay

  20. #20 Reuben
    September 23, 2011

    @Jake Did you learn that in Epi 101? Because Dr. Cleary does a much better job of teaching than what you’re exhibiting, young one.

  21. #21 Sid Offit
    September 23, 2011

    @baglady

    So why did polio emerge in epidemic form in the 20th century? What’s the alternative to the pesticide theory. And what’s the evidence to support it?

  22. #22 Gray Falcon
    September 23, 2011

    “Sid”, if somebody proposes a hypothesis, is it up to them to support it, or somebody else to refute it? Do you have any evidence for the pesticide hypothesis?

  23. #23 MikeMa
    September 23, 2011

    So why did polio emerge in epidemic form in the 20th century?

    I’ll take as wild a guess as B&O did. Genetics? A previously less harmful virus mutated? Or do you not believe in evolution?

  24. #24 Science Mom
    September 23, 2011

    So why did polio emerge in epidemic form in the 20th century? What’s the alternative to the pesticide theory. And what’s the evidence to support it?

    It would really behove you to know anything substantial regarding microbial ecology and epidemiology Robert. Pathogens can come and go with changes in living conditions, populations and movements, weather and even food availability, all which affect pathogen reservoirs and spread. Polio is a disease of antiquity as are many others and simply because they become identified or exhibit changes in epidemiology, doesn’t mean that there is some dubious force involved. And please stop using the word “theory”; it doesn’t mean what you think it means. Or you do know what it is and are artificially inflating the “pesticide fantasy” credibility.

  25. #25 Hleiantus
    September 23, 2011

    the microbe was an ancient and heretofore harmless intestinal bug

    “headdesk”

    Repeatedly.

    [speaking very fast} Viruses are obligatory parasites and while it’s true that a virus and host can end in a symbiosis of sort that doesn’t make the virus harmless and you have plenty of ancient bugs which are still quite harmful[panting]

    Oh cr**. I give up.

  26. #26 Sid Offit
    September 23, 2011

    @SciMom

    Pathogens can come and go with changes in living conditions, populations and movements, weather and even food availability, all which affect pathogen reservoirs and spread.

    Strange with all the investigations regarding polio, no one ever found that change in living conditions you mention. And with many changes such as the ones you mention having occurred since the 50s, it seems you’re saying it’s far from certain that we’d have polio epidemics now even if everyone stopped vaccinating, right?

  27. #27 Science Mom
    September 23, 2011

    Strange with all the investigations regarding polio, no one ever found that change in living conditions you mention. And with many changes such as the ones you mention having occurred since the 50s, it seems you’re saying it’s far from certain that we’d have polio epidemics now even if everyone stopped vaccinating, right?

    I will thank an insipid idiot such as yourself to stop inserting alternate self-serving interpretations into my comments. When you have thoroughly studied disease anthropology, molecular biology, epidemiology and microbial ecology, even for just polio, you can get back to me. Because I know you, Blaxill and Olmstead have done nothing of the sort and merely rectally-sourced your material so you are no where in the same league as those who actually do study these genre. Stop embarrassing yourselves by acting as though you do.

  28. #28 AutismNewsBeat
    September 23, 2011

    Ask your doctor if your head is big enough to take Blaxill. Do not take Blaxill if you are sensitive to personal humiliation, self delusion, or lack of self awareness. Side effects may include chest thumping, reality-detachment disorder, narcissism, leaps of logic, and Dunning-Kruger Effect. If your pointless and self-absorbed anecdotes last longer than four hours, seek immediate medical help. Stop taking Blaxill if you experience a sudden loss of respect.

  29. #29 Th1Th2
    September 23, 2011

    It’s nice to see Orac with his usual “safety first” approach like a tiny moth swirling around a candle light.

    It’s very predictable.

  30. #30 brian
    September 23, 2011

    Jake:

    It’s not clear why you would attempt to refute a claim by discussing the limitations of only one of the papers from independent investigators that show that dramatic reductions in exposure to thimerosal-containing pediatric vaccines have been followed by continuing increases in the prevalence of ASD. See this one, for example:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21070699

  31. #31 Antaeus Feldspar
    September 23, 2011

    I’m not sure why you think that’s “hilarious,” Sid. I’m going to apply the principle of charity and presume you not to mean that the polio epidemics themselves are hilarious. I suspect you mean instead that you believe the mainstream theory about polio epidemics resulting from the improvement of sanitation to be “hilariously” incorrect.

    However, you’ve done nothing to explain why you think that theory is incorrect. Why don’t you try explaining it for us?

    For those reading not familiar with the theory of improved sanitation starting the cycle of polio epidemics, it goes roughly as follows: Prior to the early 20th century, sanitation was so poor that most people were exposed to the polio virus in infancy. That was actually the best time to encounter the virus in the wild, if you were going to: maternal antibodies helped the infant fight off the virus, and also develop their own antibodies to the disease. When sanitation improved (thus reducing deaths from other diseases, like cholera) it broke this cycle, and now when people encountered the polio virus, it was at a much older age, with no maternal antibodies to protect them.

    So if you think that’s not what happened, Sid, why don’t you explain for us what your alternate hypothesis is?

  32. #32 Science Mom
    September 23, 2011

    So if you think that’s not what happened, Sid, why don’t you explain for us what your alternate hypothesis is?

    I believe he already has by hitching his wagon to the “Bloxstead hypothesis”

  33. #33 Pedantman
    September 23, 2011

    “Apparent autism incidence prevalence has risen considerably since the early 1990s, largely due to expanded diagnostic criteria, diagnostic substitution, and more intensive screening.”

  34. #34 Th1Th2
    September 23, 2011

    When sanitation improved (thus reducing deaths from other diseases, like cholera) it broke this cycle, and now when people encountered the polio virus, it was at a much older age, with no maternal antibodies to protect them.

    When sanitation improved it broke the chain of infection, idiot.

    and now when people encountered the polio virus, it was at a much older age, with no maternal antibodies to protect them.

    Now? At what age?

    Prior to the early 20th century, sanitation was so poor that most people were exposed to the polio virus in infancy. That was actually the best time to encounter the virus in the wild, if you were going to:

    Fool. What do you mean by “best time”? Who wants to be exposed to a disease that can cause paralysis?

    maternal antibodies helped the infant fight off the virus, and also develop their own antibodies to the disease.

    Does that mean a newborn, born to an uninfected mother, does not have any maternal antibodies?

  35. #35 Gray Falcon
    September 23, 2011

    Don’t bother with Th1Th2, she thinks science consists of yelling a lot.

  36. #36 Militant Agnostic
    September 23, 2011

    Gray Falcon@35

    Don’t bother with Th1Th2, she thinks science consists of yelling a lot

    It sounds more like she is squeaking feebly at trees.

  37. #37 Narad
    September 23, 2011

    Don’t bother with Th1Th2, she thinks science consists of yelling a lot just really craves attention.

    FTFY.

  38. #38 AutismNewsBeat
    September 23, 2011

    Thanks for the explanation, Antaeus. The wonderful PBS American Experience episode on polio mentioned that improvements in sanitation in the 30s contributed to the spike in incidence in the 40s, but didn’t go into much detail as to why.

  39. #39 Roadstergal
    September 23, 2011

    @ ANB #28: You made my Friday.

  40. #40 Elf M. Sternberg
    September 23, 2011

    Toxin gambits like this are becoming scarily commonplace. One I saw just today was about “The Evils of Wheat And Why It Makes You Fat.” The author totally blew his credibility with a toxin gambit: “New strains [of wheat] have been generated using toxins such as sodium azide. … Poison control people will tell you that if someone accidentally ingests sodium azide, you shouldn’t try to resuscitate the person because you could die, too, giving CPR.”

    Um… yeah? Is there any evidence sodium azide is actually in the wheat I consume? Where’s the correlation here, much less causation? I eat chlorine every day in the form of sodium chloride, should I make a WWI trench warfare reference here?

    Come to think of it, I think this deserves a touch of Insolence. Can we bring back Your Friday Dose of Woo?
    http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/09/20/on-the-evils-of-wheat-why-it-is-so-addictive-and-how-shunning-it-will-make-you-skinny/

  41. #41 rob
    September 23, 2011

    it was Colonel Mustard, in the Library…WITH THE VACCINE!!1!!!11!1!1!

  42. #42 Science Mom
    September 23, 2011

    Ask your doctor if your head is big enough to take Blaxill. Do not take Blaxill™ if you are sensitive to personal humiliation, self delusion, or lack of self awareness. Side effects may include chest thumping, reality-detachment disorder, narcissism, leaps of logic, and Dunning-Kruger Effect. If your pointless and self-absorbed anecdotes last longer than four hours, seek immediate medical help. Stop taking Blaxill™ if you experience a sudden loss of respect.

    This bears repeating (with a minor edit). ANB for the win.

  43. #43 Warning Label
    September 23, 2011

    If while taking Blaxill you find your head has swelled for more than 24 hours, this could be an indication of a life-threatening condition and you should seek medical help immediately.

    “Do not take Blaxill if you are sensitive to personal humiliation, self delusion, or lack of self awareness.”

    You are thinking of a different drug. Take Blaxill if you *are* sensitive to self humiliation, self delusion and lack of self awareness. Studies show that Blaxill will render the patient immune to sensitivity to all of these conditions, and more.

    Do not take Blaxill if you are currently using the gifts God gave you for some valuable purpose.

    Do not take Blaxill if you are capable of making a point in fewer than 4,000 words.

    Do not take Blaxill if you are currently taking Olmsted. A synergistic toxicity will occur, magnifying the adverse reactions to Blaxill.

  44. #44 lilady
    September 23, 2011

    Please ignore delusional Troll and its feeble attempts to derail discussions.

    Offal & Jake: You might want to “Google” “Naturally Acquired Passive Immunity”. Look specifically for maternal placental IGG antibodies transfer and colostral transfer of IGA antibodies against enteroviruses including polio. They would be the protective antibodies that protected infants from enteric diseases caused by untreated water and other unsanitary conditions that were once prevalent in the United States. See also Antaeus Feldspar’s posting above for the numbers of older children/adults whose maternal passive immunity waned and the incidence of polio before the development and availability of the preventive vaccine.

    Perhaps Jake will explain to Offal the usual mode of transmission (fecal-oral transmission) and the other mode through oral secretions and saliva (oral-oral transmission) of the polio virus. Maybe Jake will also explain the link between poor sanitation and the transmission of other enteric diseases in other countries where salmonella typhi, cholera and polio are endemic.

  45. #45 Sid Offit
    September 23, 2011

    @Antaeus Feldspar

    Yes, the cleanliness theory. The only problem is that it is just speculation. If it were true, how do you explain the fact that there were no polio epidemics even though many societies had a wealthy class that enjoyed excellent living conditions. And how do you explain polio occurring under the miserable conditions present in Africa?

  46. #46 Julian Frost
    September 23, 2011

    Ah, the old correlation causation error. I recall reading somewhere that someone was able to link the performance of the NYSE to the production of Nak (female Yak) Butter in Bangladesh. He did it as a joke. He chose something that could have no possible link to the Stock Echange to show the correlation causation error. To his intense frustration, some people took it seriously.

  47. #47 Sid Offit
    September 23, 2011

    Additionally, only one out of one hundred cases developed paralysis, so getting polio at a later age was hardly an issue for 99% of those contracting the virus.

    @baglady
    So the water got clean in NYC in 1916 but no where else – then polio retreated over the next several decades because we went back to dirty water. Finally in the 40s we went back to clean water and as a result more widespread outbreaks. And the bucolic environments in which the first epidemics occurred were hardly, prior to the early outbreaks, protective bastions of filth. Your “theory” makes no sense and is far less compelling than the pesticide one.

  48. #48 Science Mom
    September 23, 2011

    Yes, the cleanliness theory. The only problem is that it is just speculation. If it were true, how do you explain the fact that there were no polio epidemics even though many societies had a wealthy class that enjoyed excellent living conditions. And how do you explain polio occurring under the miserable conditions present in Africa?

    There can be equally valid hypotheses for why different populations can be affected with the same disease, i.e. poor sanitation can be protective in one population while contributing to the epidemic of another. Of course I’m oversimplifying as there are other factors involved. Why don’t you use it as a little thought experiment rather than mindlessly glom onto the ranting of a couple of inept non-scientists?

  49. #49 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    September 23, 2011

    Sid,

    Are you arguing that a disease that causes muscle weakness, paralysis, permanent crippling, or death in only 1% of the cases is not sufficiently important to bother with? What’s your threshold?

  50. #50 Sid Offit
    September 23, 2011

    @Mephistopheles O’Brien

    No. The point is 99 out of 100 infected with polio at an older age suffered little or no ill effects. That indicates age of infection is not the key factor affecting virulence. What made that 1% vulnerable is the question.

  51. #51 Todd W.
    September 23, 2011

    @Sid

    You know, instead of using the “That doesn’t make sense to me, therefore it must be wrong” method of argumentation, perhaps you could try, I dunno, doing a little research before posting. Then, when you propose an alternative explanation, you could provide citations to that research to support your arguments.

  52. #52 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    September 23, 2011

    @Sid

    OK, I get you now. Can you point to any research that shows in a predictable way which people are part of that 1%? It’s easy to determine after an infection; can it be determined before infection and how do you know it can?

  53. #53 Denice Walter
    September 23, 2011

    Because I have the day off:

    I had thought about addressing Jake ( and others) in my ” What’s the liklihood…. ” mode but thought better of it. Prior to even considering extrapolating upon data and research ( or doing actual research), we need to ask ourselves about probability. Should we even go there? How likely is that?

    A long time ago, I attempted to find ways to communicate complicated ideas about the world in everyday language : why should real knowledge about the real world be limited to the wonks? I did this in several venues and was encouraged by well-meaning professionals who valued my so-called “gifts” in language, number, and the drawing of complex diagrammes.” You have a way of getting through to people”, I was told oft and again, usually accompanied by beaming smiles of approval. Of course, I believed them: I was ( and am) often quite successful.

    Lately, however, I am becoming more realistic about talking reality . Often @ RI, as those “in the know” can “go with flow”, following the currents, contemplating how minor rivulets proceed from the stream, some will get dashed on the rocks and while others silently drown, “in over their heads”.

    How can we reach more people by responding to the egregious mistakes of those who are probably, by any definition, already outliers? In a way, we might so engender solidarity with those who are just getting their feet wet, testing the waters. I try to envision the great middle section of the curve of visitors who would like to get into the swim.

    Alt med proselytisers often play upon the in-equality of information between the professionals and the general public in a way that plays upon differences. I think that there is another way that we can operate that facillitates a move towards leveling the disparity. A rising tide lifts all boats, right?

  54. #54 lilady
    September 23, 2011

    @ Offal: You speak about the incidence of paralytic polio in the past tense, “Additionally, only one out of one hundred cases developed paralysis, so getting polio at a later age was hardly an issue for 99% of those contracting the virus.” Has the incidence of paralytic polio following infection with the virus changed?

    Offal, I suggest you go back to school…I knew that the excellent education I received in the NYC public school education deteriorated after I graduated…but until you remarked that you attended those public schools…I was unaware of how serious the problems were.

    Now get this down pat Offal…polio is mostly spread through fecal-oral transmission and availability of clean drinking water is only a small part of the transmission of the virus…as you stated above.

    You don’t have to actual dine on human feces to become infected. You forgot Offal…or never read the natural history of the disease. The lack of indoor plumbing (latrines in the back yard) in rural communities and the lack of bathrooms in tenements (one filthy toilet on each floor, down the hall) in New York City and other large metropolitan areas had an impact on the transmission of polio, as did the lack of personal hygiene because the outdoor latrines and the tenement toilets had no sinks to wash up. Dirty hands on fomites spread the disease to others. The use of “night soil” (human feces) as fertilizer added to the disease burden, as well.

    Still today, it is estimated that 10 % of the food produced in 3rd world countries is fertilized with human feces and irrigated by untreated human waste water..See:

    National Geographic News: Human Waste Used by 200 Million Farmers (August 21, 2008)

    I suspect Offal, you don’t even know the difference between sanitation and personal hygiene…you better stay from public toilets and not travel to any foreign countries where you might be exposed to dirty food handlers. Indeed, you better stay away from restaurants, where you might encounter a food-borne illness or a dirty food handler.

    BTW, Reuters is reporting a new outbreak of polio in China…the first since China had been declared free of polio in 1999…according to the WHO.

  55. #55 herr doktor bimler
    September 23, 2011

    Looks like B&O are cherry-picking… and the cherries are poisoned with pesticide!

  56. #56 palindrom
    September 23, 2011

    autismnewsbeat@28 — You took my little suggestion and ran with it all the way downfield for a touchdown — beautiful work, laugh-out-loud funny. Kudos.

  57. #57 Sauceress
    September 23, 2011

    B&O might as well try to correlate the number of pirates with global warming

    That’s blasphemous Orac! The decline in the number of Pirates (that’s Pirates with a capital “P”) DOES correlate to a global warming incline.
    WE HAVE A GRAPH !!!111!!

  58. #58 Antaeus Feldspar
    September 23, 2011
    When sanitation improved (thus reducing deaths from other diseases, like cholera) it broke this cycle, and now when people encountered the polio virus, it was at a much older age, with no maternal antibodies to protect them.

    When sanitation improved it broke the chain of infection, idiot.

    No, that’s not what happened.  Sanitation improved; it did not suddenly elevate to a mystical, perfected state ‘gainst which no micro-organism could prosper.  The virus was still endemic, but no longer so ubiquitous that exposure was nearly certain to happen in the infant years.

    Why do you even believe in chains of infection?  If you believe in chains of infection, you should be able to understand the herd immunity phenomenon. 

    Prior to the early 20th century, sanitation was so poor that most people were exposed to the polio virus in infancy. That was actually the best time to encounter the virus in the wild, if you were going to:

    Fool. What do you mean by “best time”? Who wants to be exposed to a disease that can cause paralysis?

    People who would probably still be exposed to that disease, only at a time when the effects would be worse, that’s who.  If your reading comprehension is up to snuff, you can read that clause which you yourself quoted, “if you were going to,” and understand that it means “If you are exposed to the disease at some time in your life, it’s better to be exposed while you have protective maternal antibodies in your system, than it is to be exposed at some later time.”  

    Of course, whether people “wanted” to be exposed to a given disease or not was irrelevant.  No one understood until much later the connection between the improved sanitation and the changes it had made to how most of the population did or didn’t acquire immunity to this disease.  Their choices simply had a particular effect, regardless of whether they understood or wanted that effect.

    maternal antibodies helped the infant fight off the virus, and also develop their own antibodies to the disease.

    Does that mean a newborn, born to an uninfected mother, does not have any maternal antibodies?

    Yes, very good, you got that right.  A mother can pass on certain antibodies to her infant, but she can’t pass on antibodies that she’s never developed because she’s never been exposed to any form of that particular pathogen.

  59. #59 Guardiana
    September 23, 2011

    “Apparent autism incidence has risen considerably since the early 1990s, largely due to expanded diagnostic criteria, diagnostic substitution” – so… are you trying to say that autism is such an obscure disease that it run largely unnoticed before 1990??? Just what diagnostic ‘innovations’ took place to make that possible and if specialty diagnostic is necessary, hmm… how did they discovered it in a first place, visitors from the future, perhaps?

    According to Wikipedia Autism in US is about 9 times higher than in other countries, so no correlation with being the highest vaccinated country?

    Thimerosal was removed only in SOME vaccines, reduced or kept in others. Here is fda.gov publication for ya: http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/SafetyAvailability/VaccineSafety/UCM096228

    Further more, it’s not the only ajuvant/toxin present…

    Way to debunk polio outbreaks, but hmm… something still cause them, right? Since the virus lives in the gut without causing the disease, something has to trigger it, right??? WHAT?

    So smallpox was eradicated thanks to the only naturally occurring vaccination agent, how come other vaccinatable diseases are still alive and well? How come vaccinated people still get diseases they are vaccinated against?

    Here is an interview about vaccines and other matters I found useful explaining those pesky ‘elephants in the room:’
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/09/17/stephanie-seneff-on-sulfur.aspx?e_cid=20110917_DNL_art_1

  60. #60 Johnny
    September 23, 2011

    A mother can pass on certain antibodies to her infant, but she can’t pass on antibodies that she’s never developed because she’s never been exposed to any form of that particular pathogen.

    I’d be willing to bet $5 that Thingie will take exception to this, and claim that a mother *can* pass protection to pathogens that the mother wasn’t exposed to.

  61. #61 lilady
    September 23, 2011

    Please ignore delusional disease-promoting Thingy Troll. (Are “Blaxill”(TM) and “Olmsted”(TM) effective for “terminal disinfection” of trolls?)

    @ Guardiana: It is not considered “good form” to be posting on this blog with a series of questions…and not backing them up with science. And, linking to Mercola is no better than Jake Crosby linking to AoA.

  62. #62 Antaeus Feldspar
    September 23, 2011

    So smallpox was eradicated thanks to the only naturally occurring vaccination agent, how come other vaccinatable diseases are still alive and well?

    Because other vaccine-preventable diseases have natural reservoirs of infection, meaning that we would have to eliminate the disease not only in the human population, but in one or more animal populations, to completely eradicate it. The reason why smallpox was eradicated, and we have realistic hopes of doing the same for polio, is that they have no hosts other than humans.

    How come vaccinated people still get diseases they are vaccinated against?

    Because vaccines are not 100% effective, nor are they claimed by their proponents to be. Do people who wear seatbelts still get hurt in car accidents? They do indeed, but if you compare equal numbers of unbelted people who get in accidents, and properly belted people who get in accidents, those who use the belts have far lower rates of injury and fatality. The same is true of vaccines: they drastically reduce your chances of being hurt, even if they can’t reduce it all the way to 0%.

    By the way, Mercola.com is not a very good source of information. Even if the misinformation Mercola purveys isn’t as jaw-droppingly wrong as that passed out by Mike Adams or John Scudamore, it’s still often just plain wrong, like his frequent invocation of the “antifreeze” gambit or his claim that Gulf War Syndrome has been tied to the squalene in a vaccine that … didn’t have squalene.

  63. #63 Narad
    September 23, 2011

    According to Wikipedia Autism in US is about 9 times higher than in other countries

    Oh, really? Where?

  64. #64 Guardiana
    September 23, 2011

    Dear Antaeus Feldspar,

    Do seatbelts infuse your blood with a cocktail of known and unknown toxins?

    Strangely enough, that was interview of Dr. Stephanie Seneff, which happens to be by Mercola, who I don’t have affinity for, but once in a while he brings up some good researchers.

    “lilady” you must have missed that in your infinite arrogance, as well as the link to fda’s statement pointing to the author’s fraudulent statement that Thimerosal was completely removed

  65. #65 Narad
    September 23, 2011

    Strangely enough, that was interview of [Not-A-]Dr. Stephanie Seneff

    Ph.D.’s in electrical engineering don’t count, sorry.

  66. #66 dedicated lurker
    September 23, 2011

    Do seatbelts infuse your blood with a cocktail of known and unknown toxins?

    What, yours don’t? All the best models do, donchaknow.

  67. #67 herr doktor bimler
    September 23, 2011

    Further more, [thiomerosal]‘s not the only ajuvant/toxin present…

    Now that the “thiomerosal -> autism” hypothesis has been disproven, feel free to replace it with a more general “any adjuvant -> autism” hypothesis, but this would not even have the weak correlation that was used to justify the earlier version.

  68. #68 Guardaina
    September 23, 2011

    Narad,

    Maybe a little merriam-webster would help: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ph.%20d.

    Strangely enough, but in English people with a doctorate degree are referred to as doctors. And she has more credentials to her name as well: http://people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/

  69. #69 herr doktor bimler
    September 23, 2011

    Ph.D.’s in electrical engineering don’t count, sorry.

    Do Ph.D.s in perceptual psychology count? Asking for a friend.

  70. #70 Chris
    September 23, 2011

    Guardiana:

    “lilady” you must have missed that in your infinite arrogance, as well as the link to fda’s statement pointing to the author’s fraudulent statement that Thimerosal was completely removed

    First off, this is an article specifically on polio. Neither polio vaccine version ever had thimerosal. Since the USA is now just using the IPV, I think you should show exactly what scientific evidence you have that it has caused more harm than polio.

    By the way, when I say “scientific evidence” I mean actual studies done by real scientists. No random websites (especially Mercola’s), no news articles or just a string of statements. Just tell us the journal, date and title of the article that shows the IPV causes more harm than polio.

    Actually, it would be more accurate to say that every pediatric vaccine is available without thimerosal. For instance, there are three DTaP vaccines and only one has a trace of thimerosal, and there are at least nine influenza vaccines and at least four of them are without thimerosal.

  71. #71 Antaeus Feldspar
    September 23, 2011

    Do seatbelts infuse your blood with a cocktail of known and unknown toxins?

    What, I answer two of your questions honestly and sincerely, giving you useful and clear information, and you can’t say a word of thanks?  Or even admit that if you didn’t know a fact as basic as “vaccines are not claimed to be 100% effective” then maybe you should be trying to learn more of the things you don’t know, rather than trying to lecture people on the things you think you do?

    Seatbelts do not “infuse your blood with a cocktail of known and unknown toxins.” Seatbelts also don’t provide any form of protection against infectious diseases.  Vaccines don’t do anything to keep you from being thrown out of a car in the event of a crash; parachutes don’t keep your home from being burglarized; home alarm systems don’t warm you if your beer has gone skunky…  Intelligent people try to refute analogies by focusing on whether the main point of the analogy holds up; tedious people whose desire to argue outstrips their ability are the ones who resort to irrelevant comparison of the outer features of tenor and vehicle.

    As for whether vaccines “infuse your blood with a cocktail of known and unknown toxins,” that is an article of faith for certain denominations of antivaxism, rather than a conclusion from reason and facts.  The very fact that the assertion is being made about “unknown toxins,” making it a clear argument from ignorance, should indicate to the perceptive person that we are dealing with dogma, not rationally obtained knowledge.

    Strangely enough, that was interview of Dr. Stephanie Seneff, which happens to be by Mercola, who I don’t have affinity for, but once in a while he brings up some good researchers.

    Saying “It’s not actually by Mercola himself” doesn’t really refute anything; I said that Mercola.com purveyed unreliable information, not that it was all authored by Mercola.

  72. #72 Valerie
    September 23, 2011

    Anti-vaccine advocates are in the same group as religious doomsdayers. They all believe [insert silly idea] because they have weak minds.

    Other people figure that showing them facts is a good way to help them see their mistakes — but the problem is that these people aren’t interested in seeing that they’re just plain wrong. Or maybe they just aren’t smart enough.

    When you show them solid evidence, they twist it (“the database was edited!!!!), claim that whoever created it was a minion of the “pharmacide industry,” or was “paid off” by some unknown evil rich dudes hiding in the shadows of power. Maybe they really believe this. Or maybe trying to understand Koch’s postulates or correlation-causation errors is just too hard. Either way, the result is the same.

    There’s effectively no difference between thinking that polio is caused by pesticides and that the world will end on [insert date in near future]. The May 21 loons believed Harold Camping when he said that even though all us sinners were still around on May 22, god accomplished what he wanted to do anyway — but make sure you’ve been saved by the new scheduled date for the apocalypse (October 21)! See: http://www.familyradio.com/x/whathappened.html

    If people swallow that stuff, why wouldn’t someone believe that lead arsenate causes polio? Pesticide-polio is no crazier than Harold Camping’s nonsense.

    All of these people have weak minds, and there is simply no way around that. We just have to find ways to convince everyone else who can actually, you know — think — that they’re loony and must be ignored.

  73. #73 Narad
    September 23, 2011

    Strangely enough, but in English people with a doctorate degree are referred to as doctors.

    Madam, rather than pointing at on-line dictionaries and making proclamations about what happens “in English,” you might want to obtain a clue about the real-world use of the honorific. I’ve spent quite some of time in academic publishing. The journals I’ve worked with have absolutely forbidden the use of “Dr.” for any but medical doctors. You’re “Professor” or referred to by name otherwise, and generally the whole business should be kept to the acknowledgments.

    Now, do we deploy it in correspondence? Hell, yes. In fact, it gets tossed out for grad students and the occasional undergraduate who winds up shepherding some observational work through the process. It’s a nicety, and nobody really wants to track down whether you have your degree yet. This is all it is. Colleagues do not generally wander around playing Goofy Gophers of this sort with each other.

    You, on the other hand, would like to inflate the relevance of your Mercola interviewee to anything at all by simply dishing out some “Dr. So-and-So” routine. You are pretending to use an honorific with no intention other than “honoring” yourself. So screw off with the English lesson.

  74. #74 Guardiana
    September 23, 2011

    Chis,

    The statement pertaining to removal of Thimerosal was taken out of paragraph pertaining to “antivaccine movement” rant, so it was not applicable to just polio he put “thimerosal in vaccines” pl. and thus, the statement is fraudulent:

    “Over the last decade or so, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over all that time covering the anti-vaccine movement, it’s that it’s generates some masters of cherry picking and obfuscation. I’ve also learned that the favored topic of the anti-vaccine movement is to conflate correlation with causation, thus trying to lure readers who might not have a scientific background into confusing correlation with causation. The most infamous example of this technique is, of course, thimerosal in vaccines. Apparent autism incidence has risen considerably since the early 1990s, largely due to expanded diagnostic criteria, diagnostic substitution, and more intensive screening. The vaccine schedule was also expanded during the 1990s, with an increasing use of vaccines containing thimerosal as a preservative. Because thimerosal contains mercury, it provided a convenient “bogeyman ingredient” that anti-vaccine activists could blame for the apparent “autism epidemic.” In 2011 (actually, as early as 2005), it is obvious that mercury in vaccines is not a cause of any sort of “autism epidemic,” given that thimerosal was removed from vaccines by the end of 2001 and autism incidence has not declined. If mercury in vaccines were a major cause of autism, one would expect that removing the thimerosal from vaccine would lead to a rapid decline in autism incidence. We’d even expect that this decrease would be evident within three to five years, given that autism is commonly diagnosed at around age three or four. No matter how the anti-vaccine movement tries to parse, this has not happened.”

    Chris, can you prove that vaccines cause more good than harm?

    Perhaps, we can hold hands and travel to a parallel Universe, one without vaccines and see who wins? Because without it neither one of us can prove the point beyond the reasonable doubt. If I had friends in Startreck I would surely volunteer to unvaccinate the hell out of myself. Even though we cannot unvaccinate anybody or travel into parallel Universe two facts are still indisputable:

    A. Vaccinated people do get sick with the diseases they were vaccinated against

    B. Vaccines have dangerous side-effects

    So if something cannot be proven to be effective it should not be mandated. Forcing people to drug their kids is criminal. With that said, everyone has a right to pick their poison

  75. #75 Narad
    September 23, 2011

    ^ I’ve spent quite some of time

    What do you want for three minutes’ composition?

  76. #76 Narad
    September 23, 2011

    Do Ph.D.s in perceptual psychology count? Asking for a friend.

    I’ll have to check with my friend Dr. Media Studies.

  77. #77 Antaeus Feldspar
    September 23, 2011

    … two facts are still indisputable:

    A. Vaccinated people do get sick with the diseases they were vaccinated against

    B. Vaccines have dangerous side-effects

    Except those two facts aren’t the whole of the story, and you can’t pretend they are. The following two facts are also indisputable:

    C. Vaccinated people get sick from the diseases they were vaccinated against far less often than unvaccinated people do, and

    D. The number of people who suffer serious health consequences from vaccine-preventable diseases is far greater than the rare number of people who suffer serious side effects from vaccines.

  78. #78 Denice Walter
    September 23, 2011

    @ herr doktor bimler:

    Perceptual psychologist? Sir, I have spent time in small darkened rooms with perceptual psychologists and can personally attest that they *do* count.

  79. #79 Lawrence
    September 23, 2011

    Wow – “the stupid, it burns!”

    Yes, guardiana – we can prove that vaccines cause more good than harm. All we have to do is look at the incidence of disease before vaccines compared to today – in almost all cases, incidences have been reduced between 95 – 99% for a variety of diseases (measles, mumps, rubella, pertussis, et. al).

    The known side-effects for vaccines are also much less common than the known side-effects / complications for the diseases they protect against.

    Vaccines are not 100% effective, nor have they ever been claimed to be 100% effective – the key is to immunize enough individuals to break the “chain of infection,” and thus remove the disease from the population at large. For those dieases with other “pools of infection” such as animals, it is extremely difficult to attempt to eradicate those diseases – but for smallpox it was possible, and will be for polio as well (since there is no other reservoir of infection out there to catch).

    Get your head out of your ass & actually read some of the scientific literature for a change – and not what the anti-vax woo-meisters spin to make a buck off “alternative” treatments.

    Todd’s anti-anti-vax website would be a good place to start.

  80. #80 Guardiana
    September 23, 2011

    Feldspar,

    Can you provide an independent research data, not one paid for by the vaccine makers to back up the data that unvaccinated people do get sick more often than vaccinated? Can you prove that vaccinated people did not get sick because they were vaccinated? Can you prove that unvaccinated people would not get sick if they were vaccinated?

    I know first hand a number of people who did not subject their children to any vaccines and they are much healthier than their vaccinated buddies, no exceptions. I wish I had those parents…

  81. #81 Lawrence
    September 23, 2011

    guardiana – how about not repeating the various lies from Mercola & Co?

  82. #82 Valerie
    September 23, 2011

    @Guardiana (#79): “Can you provide an independent research data, not one paid for by the vaccine makers to back up the data that unvaccinated people do get sick more often than vaccinated?…I know first hand a number of people who did not subject their children to any vaccines and they are much healthier than their vaccinated buddies, no exceptions.”

    This is a perfect example of what I was saying:

    * “The big evil vaccine makers fund all the studies and you can’t trust anything any study says!!!”

    This is called “making stuff up” and is precisely what weak-minded people do when they don’t like the evidence or don’t understand it: they just make a simple-minded bogus blanket statement.

    * “I know lots of healthy unvaccinated people!!”

    Here, this commenter shows that he completely fails to understand correlation and causation. Think of it this way: more murders are correlated with higher sales of ice cream…but it wasn’t toxins in the ice cream that made Johnny kill Joey. The hundred-degree heat and the sweltering city put Johnny on edge and made him more likely to get violent.

    Anti-vaxers basically claim that not eating ice cream makes the murder rate go down.

    Remember…just because you haven’t caught whooping cough yet doesn’t mean you won’t.

  83. #83 Guardiana
    September 23, 2011

    Valerie,

    It looks like you are overdue for another rabies shot and while you are at it put some in your ice cream

  84. #84 Guardiana
    September 23, 2011

    Here is one simple independent research you can do:

    Compare a number of those who get flu shots and still get sick to those who opted out and got sick. At my work place optouts were in better shape than the injects.

  85. #85 Doug Hayden
    September 23, 2011

    Guardiana @98: and that’s it? No thought that there might be confounding factors…like maybe people who know they are more susceptible are more likely to get the vaccine, just in case they get the disease, so it won’t be so terrible? Or maybe because they have a close relative/associate who *can’t* have the vaccine, and may get it and pass it on despite the best reasonably possible hygiene? You need to account for confounders before making such a blanket statement…it’s also an argument from anecdote, and so it’s useless in a proof.

  86. #86 Narad
    September 23, 2011

    At my work place optouts were in better shape than the injects.

    In what way? How did you do this “one research”? Oh, right.

  87. #87 Valerie
    September 23, 2011

    Guardiana is making another simple-minded comparison.

    Scientists who really want to understand a question like this one will study a big group of people. A small group (such as your coworkers) is too small for drawing conclusions. You need to have a lot of people to be sure that what you see is due to vaccines, rather than random chance.

    Researchers also know that you can’t just say “vaccinated people were sicker” because the flu vaccine is specific for only ONE disease. So they use tests to diagnose sick people. They know that some sick people have the flu, but others will have a cold or food poisoning or a stomach virus or something else. This is why you can’t just make blanket statements.

  88. #88 Sauceress
    September 23, 2011

    Valerie
    You’ve made me see that I left out support for causation from my previous post.

    I hasten to add an Appendage to my previous post.
    The evidential factors supporting the causation of the correlation shown on our Graph are observations of participants who noted that, during a significant number of Piratical presentations hosted in geographically seperate gatherings,
    the temperatures were generally significantly lower than average.
    These observations provide strong support for our Theory which holds that the Noodly Monster is very pleased with such representations of His Chosen and manifests His pleasure by altering the temperature in the vicinity of these Pirate facimile and their accompanying Piratical paraphenalia.

    I should add, that, none of this actually shows that the FSM lowered the temperature with His Noodly Appendage, but it seems more probable than not.

  89. #89 Th1Th2
    September 23, 2011

    No, that’s not what happened.  Sanitation improved; it did not suddenly elevate to a mystical, perfected state ‘gainst which no micro-organism could prosper.  The virus was still endemic, but no longer so ubiquitous that exposure was nearly certain to happen in the infant years.

    It can never be a perfected state, sanitation, for as long as there are infection promoters who are still inoculating children with disease-causing microorganisms. No amount of sanitation can keep a child who was given OPV from shedding the virus and infecting close contacts. Vaccinators promote the chain of infection by establishing primary infection and secondary spread. 

    Why do you even believe in chains of infection?  If you believe in chains of infection, you should be able to understand the herd immunity phenomenon.

    Herd immunity is a fiction. What is real is herd infection and the chain of infection is through vaccination. 

    People who would probably still be exposed to that disease, only at a time when the effects would be worse, that’s who.

    You said it was the “best time”, now you’re saying “probably”. So do you think the 21,000 cases of paralytic poliomyelitis that happened in 1952 was the “best time” or “probably”? How about the 36,000 cases of nonparalytic poliomyelitis in that same year?

     If your reading comprehension is up to snuff, you can read that clause which you yourself quoted, “if you were going to,” and understand that it means “If you are exposed to the disease at some time in your life, it’s better to be exposed while you have protective maternal antibodies in your system, than it is to be exposed at some later time.”  

    That’s BS! So who’s making that wise decision to be exposed? The infant? The toodler? Obviously, you’re not referring to maternal antibody-deprived minor or adults. Ridiculous assumption.

    Of course, whether people “wanted” to be exposed to a given disease or not was irrelevant.

    What do you mean it’s not relevant? You proudly claim it was  the “best time” to be exposed! 

     

    No one understood until much later the connection between the improved sanitation and the changes it had made to how most of the population did or didn’t acquire immunity to this disease.  Their choices simply had a particular effect, regardless of whether they understood or wanted that effect.

    Two words. Unrelenting ignorance. 

    Yes, very good, you got that right.  A mother can pass on certain antibodies to her infant, but she can’t pass on antibodies that she’s never developed because she’s never been exposed to any form of that particular pathogen.

    Haha. So if the mother is uninfected then she won’t be passing any antibodies to her newborn right? If this is your insane assertion, therefore, healthy and uninfected newborns born to healthy and uninfected mothers should never be vaccinated primarily because there won’t be any antigen-specific antibody response against vaccine antigens. Think twice before you post.

  90. #90 CG
    September 23, 2011

    Sid, we actually know why polio only paralyzes a tiny percentage of those infected.

    The virus has to migrate up the nervous system. That’s quite a bottleneck and it very rarely happens.

    It’s also more likely to happen the older you are when you are infected. Better sanitation decreased the odds you would be infected with polio, which meant if you did get infected, you were probably older.

    Before sanitation, pretty much everyone was probably infected, but the rate of paralysis was lower due to the age of infection.

  91. #91 Reuben
    September 23, 2011

    Think twice before you post.

    Hahahahahaha! That has got to be the funniest thing I’ve read from the troll in a while. Think twice before you post? Like she does any thinking AT ALL.

    Oh, my God, I am laughing so hard. I really am.

    Anyway, look, polio has not been eradicated because not everyone gets vaccinated and not everyone who gets vaccinated becomes immune AND because silly Banana Republic governments continue to focus more on warring it out with each other instead of providing their people clean water and food AND vaccines AND medical care. (I’m looking at you, India and Pakistan.)

    The problem is not as simple as vaccinating everyone against polio, but it’s a good start. It’s also not as simple as not vaccinating and then just making sure all the food and water are clean. That’s also a good start, the clean food and water part.

    The rest, the complete ignorance of immune processes, viral infections, and overall science that the trolls produce is irrelevant. They need to be ignored and left to their own devices, as they so much wish. In essence, let them do their worst while we do our best.

  92. #92 Chris
    September 23, 2011

    Guardiana:

    Chris, can you prove that vaccines cause more good than harm?

    First you must answer my question. This is how the game works, I ask a question and you answer it. Then if you have an honest question I will answer it.

    So exactly what real scientific evidence do you have that the IPV is more dangerous than polio?

    Now, here is some data from this set of census data (just do a search of “polio” on the large pdf to find the table):

    Year…. Rate per 100000 of polio
    1912 . . . . 5.5
    1920 . . . . 2.2
    1925 . . . . 5.3
    1930 . . . . 7.5
    1935 . . . . 8.5
    1940 . . . . 7.4
    1945 . . . 10.3
    1950 . . . 22.1
    1955 . . . 17.6
    1960 . . . . 1.8
    1965 . . Less than .05
    1970 . . Less than .05
    1975 . . Less than .05
    1980 . . Less than .05

    Now, as part of answering your question, I think it would help if you told us what happened between 1950 and 1960 to the rate of polio.

  93. #93 Antaeus Feldspar
    September 23, 2011
    Why do you even believe in chains of infection?  If you believe in chains of infection, you should be able to understand the herd immunity phenomenon.

    Herd immunity is a fiction. What is real is herd infection and the chain of infection is through vaccination. 

    Anyone who can think through a hypothetical situation logically (sadly, this excludes you) can see that if there is a method for raising people’s personal immunity to disease and it is used in a population in sufficient numbers, this will begin to break the links in chains of infection as the numbers of people who can pass on the disease fall.  We call this phenomenon herd immunity.  You are blind to it, because you choose to be.  Too bad for you.

    People who would probably still be exposed to that disease, only at a time when the effects would be worse, that’s who.

    You said it was the “best time”, now you’re saying “probably”. So do you think the 21,000 cases of paralytic poliomyelitis that happened in 1952 was the “best time” or “probably”? How about the 36,000 cases of nonparalytic poliomyelitis in that same year?

    You really are an idiot, aren’t you?  Do you really think you’re just entitled to grab words that people say in one sentence about one subject and apply them to completely different words about a completely different subject and then expect people to debate you as if you weren’t raving like a lunatic? When I used the phrase “best time,” I was talking about the best time in an individual’s life cycle, not a specific calendar year like 1952!  “Experts feel that the best time to apply corrective orthodontics is between the ages of ten and twelve.”  “Oh yeah??  So that means that you think every single person who was alive in the year 1952 should have been strapped down screaming and braces forced on them, right?!  Isn’t that what you believe??  Children, old folks, teenagers, hamsters, fish, everyone is at the mercy of you orthodontics promoters!!”  Aren’t you ever ashamed of telling so many frigging lies, Thingy?  Don’t you ever stop and wonder why you have to make up false versions of what your opponents say, if you’re supposedly so in the right?

    If your reading comprehension is up to snuff, you can read that clause which you yourself quoted, “if you were going to,” and understand that it means “If you are exposed to the disease at some time in your life, it’s better to be exposed while you have protective maternal antibodies in your system, than it is to be exposed at some later time.”  

    That’s BS! So who’s making that wise decision to be exposed? The infant? The toodler? Obviously, you’re not referring to maternal antibody-deprived minor or adults. Ridiculous assumption.

    You haven’t been able to follow the conversation in the slightest, have you, Thingy?  At this point I’m not sure you’re even doing anything except letting your eyes select two or three words at a time from the screen and free-associating wildly from there.

    To answer your (lunatic) question for the benefit of sane people (i.e., not you) we’re not talking about a decision anyone made to expose people to the wild poliomyelitis virus.  We’re talking about the conditions of poor sanitation that existed prior to the early 20th century, conditions which had the effect of exposing most individuals to the wild poliomyelitis virus at a very early age.  It didn’t require anyone deciding to make this effect happen; it didn’t even require people to understand that it was happening.  Because they were taking the actions, they got the effects, whether they were good or bad.

    Of course, whether people “wanted” to be exposed to a given disease or not was irrelevant.

    What do you mean it’s not relevant? You proudly claim it was  the “best time” to be exposed! 

    See above, where it’s written in a form that sane people (not you, Thingy) can get.  They got the results of their actions, regardless of whether they intended those effects or even understood how those effects related to their actions.

    No one understood until much later the connection between the improved sanitation and the changes it had made to how most of the population did or didn’t acquire immunity to this disease.  Their choices simply had a particular effect, regardless of whether they understood or wanted that effect.

    Two words. Unrelenting ignorance.

    Quite accurate; in all the time you’ve been haunting this blog like some dread fell specter of oafish fanaticism, you have never once relented in your crusade to be ignorant and preach ignorance.

    Yes, very good, you got that right.  A mother can pass on certain antibodies to her infant, but she can’t pass on antibodies that she’s never developed because she’s never been exposed to any form of that particular pathogen.

    Haha. So if the mother is uninfected then she won’t be passing any antibodies to her newborn right? If this is your insane assertion, therefore, healthy and uninfected newborns born to healthy and uninfected mothers should never be vaccinated primarily because there won’t be any antigen-specific antibody response against vaccine antigens. Think twice before you post.

    My God, you’re a moron!  “Think twice before you post”?  Did you even think once?  Did it never occur to you that maternal antibodies and the infant’s own immune system overlap, and that the maternal antibodies (which do not stay in the system forever) serve primarily to protect the child while their own immune system is maturing?  “There won’t be any antigen-specific antibody response against vaccine antigens!”  Of course, numbskull; what do you think the whole point of vaccination is??  It’s to upgrade the immune system from one that does not generate an appropriate antibody response to one that does!  Are you really so bloody thick that in all the time you’ve been arguing against vaccines, you haven’t even grasped that much of the subject?

  94. #94 Valerie
    September 24, 2011

    @Feldspar:

    Do you really think you’re just entitled to grab words that people say in one sentence about one subject and apply them to completely different words about a completely different subject…

    This is a common tactic!

    The troll or kook opens by saying that you’re wrong.

    Next: s/he writes lots of stuff that uses big words and sounds technical, but is actually nonsense. This way, the people who don’t understand the words will think that s/he knows stuff and that the nonsense is actually important information. People who’ve studied biology recognize the nonsense, but very few people have studied biology — this is how they get away with what they do.

    Finally, the person ends by repeating that you were wrong, and claims that the nonsensical stuff in the second part proves it. A really good example is the claim that vaccines cause disease, when it’s been proven again and again that the OPPOSITE is true. This is what these people do: they keep shouting lies and twist any real data you present.

    I’ve given up engaging people like this. It’s pointless. Responding to kooky individual points is what they want you to do, because it distracts from the main point and their general loopiness. I try to describe their tactics so that other people who haven’t studied biology or medicine can recognize what they’re up to. This is a more general solution than responding point-by-point.

    I think it’s better to try to convince other people who are interested in actual facts (as you did in your message).

  95. #95 lilady
    September 24, 2011

    Superb job Reuben…but could we please ignore the delusional infection-promoting Thingy Troll and its feeble attempt to derail our discussions.

    “I know first hand a number of people who did not subject their children to any vaccines and they are much healthier than their vaccinated buddies, no exceptions. I wish I had those parents…”

    And, I know first hand two people children who contracted diseases before vaccines became available. My cousin contracted measles and was left with lifelong disabilities due to measles encephalopathy. My childhood friend died from polio 58 years ago.

    And, in my professional practice at the County health department I know of infants who succumbed to pneumococcal meningitis before PCV vaccine was licensed and available. I know dozens of kids who died or were left with neurological deficits and limb amputations from invasive meningicoccal disease before the development and licensing of the MCV4 vaccine. I know of one infant who succumbed to pertussis traced back to a household contact who was not immunized against the disease.

    I know of hundreds of infants who avoided lifelong infection with the hepatitis B virus because their mothers were tested during pregnancy for chronic carriage of the virus; they received HBV and Hepatitis B immune globulin within 12 hours of their birth.

  96. #96 Th1Th2
    September 24, 2011

     

    Did it never occur to you that maternal antibodies and the infant’s own immune system overlap, and that the maternal antibodies (which do not stay in the system forever) serve primarily to protect the child while their own immune system is maturing?

    So are you saying maternal transfer of antibodies only happens when the mother has been exposed to the disease or gets infected?

    “There won’t be any antigen-specific antibody response against vaccine antigens!”  

    Maternal antibodies against measles vaccine. 

    Of course, numbskull; what do you think the whole point of vaccination is??  It’s to upgrade the immune system from one that does not generate an appropriate antibody response to one that does! 

    You’re only upgrading it means something had already occurred at an earlier point in time. 

  97. #97 lilady
    September 24, 2011

    Ignore delusional disease-promoting Thingy Troll.

  98. #98 Chemmomo
    September 24, 2011

    Those two words from Th1Th2:

    Two words. Unrelenting ignorance.

    Irony, or a moment of self-awareness?

  99. #99 Imogen
    September 24, 2011

    Jake:

    …and last but not least – because the California database used to “prove” your claim was overhauled before any meaningful data could be extracted from it, after it showed signs of leveling off which could have signs of a coming decrease in cases.

    Sigh

    I had a big long rant here, but I suddenly got very depressed. Imagine having constructed your reality to include a “ruling elite” (Illuminati, lizards, Big Pharma etc.) which ‘damages’ and kills babies (and then presumably has them for Thanksgiving dinner)…
    I feel a little sad for Jake right now. What a depressing construct to live in.

  100. #100 herr doktor bimler
    September 24, 2011

    Perceptual psychologist? Sir, I have spent time in small darkened rooms with perceptual psychologists and can personally attest that they *do* count.

    I would like to be able to say that I met the Frau Doktorin while spending time with her in a darkened room but the truth is that I was a guinea-pig in a drug trial she was conducting.
    I am not sure whether this follows current ethical guidelines.

  101. #101 Marc
    September 24, 2011

    I can’t believe a whole Orac post and 100 comments, and no one mentioned that B&O cribbed their hypothesis from Whale.to? http://www.whale.to/vaccine/west5a.html. This article alone, and debating it, was my primary impetus to get involved with the skeptical movement three years ago. I’m sure EpiRen would have a field day with both the original and Blaxill/Olmstead’s take.

  102. #102 Th1Th2
    September 24, 2011

    Anyone who can think through a hypothetical situation logically (sadly, this excludes you) can see that if there is a method for raising people’s personal immunity to disease and it is used in a population in sufficient numbers, this will begin to break the links in chains of infection as the numbers of people who can pass on the disease fall.  We call this phenomenon herd immunity.  You are blind to it, because you choose to be.  Too bad for you.

    And this phenomenon you called herd immunity can only be attained if sufficient people gets the disease, yes or no? 

    When I used the phrase “best time,” I was talking about the best time in an individual’s life cycle, not a specific calendar year like 1952!

     Nah you’re bluffing. Here’s what you clearly said: “That was actually the best time to encounter the virus in the wild” when “most people were exposed to the polio virus in infancy.”

    That happened in 1952 when most people were exposed to poliovirus. Do you deny this?

    “Experts feel that the best time to apply corrective orthodontics is between the ages of ten and twelve.”  “Oh yeah??  So that means that you think every single person who was alive in the year 1952 should have been strapped down screaming and braces forced on them, right?!  Isn’t that what you believe??  

    Wrong analogy. Try pulling something that makes sense instead. Yeah something relevant to getting infected. The one you gave is corrective. If you meant by the “best time in individual life cycle”, then that individual can do it today- a nice vacation trip to Chad in Africa.

    We’re talking about the conditions of poor sanitation that existed prior to the early 20th century, conditions which had the effect of exposing most individuals to the wild poliomyelitis virus at a very early age.

    You keep on saying “most individuals” despite your lack of any evidence to back up your claim. Where are your numbers?

     It didn’t require anyone deciding to make this effect happen; it didn’t even require people to understand that it was happening.  Because they were taking the actions, they got the effects, whether they were good or bad.

    Just like I said. Unrelenting ignorance. Apparently, you’re doing the same.

  103. #103 Rene Najera
    September 24, 2011

    @Marc #101: What if the EpiRen doesn’t exist?

    “He must… He must…” – Commissioner Gordon

  104. #104 Antaeus Feldspar
    September 24, 2011
    Nah you’re bluffing. Here’s what you clearly said: “That was actually the best time to encounter the virus in the wild” when “most people were exposed to the polio virus in infancy.”

     

    That happened in 1952 when most people were exposed to poliovirus. Do you deny this?

     

    There’s an old quip that goes, “I can’t talk to you in English if you’re listening in Gibberish.”  This response of Thingy’s makes it clear that she is listening in Gibberish.   Saying that most people in 1952 were being exposed to the poliovirus in infancy is to get things completely backwards!  People were no longer being exposed to the poliovirus in infancy, and even those who were, were less likely to be born to mothers who had themselves encountered the polio virus and could provide maternal antibodies to it.

    The polio epidemics of the 40s and 50s were made up of people who were exposed to the wild virus at later ages, or if exposed at infancy, exposed without the protective benefit of maternal antibodies.  Thingy asks “Do you deny?” what anyone who was actually following the conversation would deny.

  105. #105 Denice Walter
    September 24, 2011

    @ Valerie: Exactly. You’re on the right track Sista, you were born that way**.

    @ herr doktor bimler: the first rule of you-know-what is that we don’t talk about you-know-what.
    -btw- psychometricians also count.

    @ rene najera: but if we shine the Ren Signal, will he respond?

    ** my apologies to Lady Gaga.

  106. #106 lilady
    September 24, 2011

    @ Rene and Denice: I think we were able to keep Gotham City relatively safe from its enemies…Catwoman, The Riddler, The Joker, The Troll(s) and other assorted characters, during EpiRen’s absence.

    Somehow I think EpiRen has been following our activities and is pleased and I suspect that Lord Draconis will be weighing in shortly.

    BTW, We missed you Rene.

  107. #107 Th1Th2
    September 24, 2011

     

    People were no longer being exposed to the poliovirus in infancy, and even those who were, were less likely to be born to mothers who had themselves encountered the polio virus and could provide maternal antibodies to it. The polio epidemics of the 40s and 50s were made up of people who were exposed to the wild virus at later ages, or if exposed at infancy, exposed without the protective benefit of maternal antibodies.

    Haha. What are you blathering about? Most people lose their maternal antibodies in as early as nine months. Do you also call them infants?

    You are so easy. Let’s see if your hypotheticals can save you.

  108. #108 Th1Th2
    September 24, 2011

    Now, as part of answering your question, I think it would help if you told us what happened between 1950 and 1960 to the rate of polio.

    That would be the infamous Cutter incident in 1955.

  109. #109 lilady
    September 24, 2011

    Ignore delusional disease-promoting Thingy Troll in need of “terminal disinfection”.

  110. #110 Denice Walter
    September 24, 2011

    AoA shills its new fan mag with its cover of Raphael Kellerman…
    Raphael Kellerman!!
    I even read one of his books (!!!): it’s call “Gut Crap” or something.
    Orac shall be pleased.

  111. #111 Narad
    September 24, 2011

    I think there are some open questions waiting for you on a different thread, Th1Th2. It’s unseemly to go begging for attention from door to door.

  112. #112 Phoenix Woman
    September 24, 2011

    Denice, Valerie, Narad, Antaeus Feldspar and the rest of you fighting the good fight:

    Don’t think that you’re wasting your time debunking even the silliest attention-hungry trolls. Your true audience is not them, but the average readers who don’t comment but are curious. These are the people who may be quite bright, but scientifically untrained (or who, because they don’t have occasion to use it, forgot what little they may have learned in high school science and math classes and thus strove to avoid dealing with such topics ever afterward).

    Please, keep it up.

  113. #113 David N. Brown
    September 24, 2011

    “one could just as plausibly, if not more so, place such a line back around 1880 based on the curve alone.”

    It seems to me the curve suggests two “jumps”, one in ca. 1880 and one in ca. 1905. Both could have separate causes, including i) improved record keeping and ii) absolute increases in the human population.

    It also occurs to me that one could expect no less of a correlation between, say, pesticides and anthrax. In that case, however, it would obviously be non-causal: Naturally occuring anthrax microbes are transmitted through soil, putting farmers at presumably greater risk, and of course farmers use pesticides on their crops. And, it bears at least passing notice that polio was saved from extinction by an exceptionally ludicrous vaccine scare in Nigeria.

  114. #114 Rene Najera
    September 24, 2011

    I’m always around.

  115. #115 Th1Th2
    September 24, 2011

    I’d be willing to bet $5 that Thingie will take exception to this, and claim that a mother *can* pass protection to pathogens that the mother wasn’t exposed to.

    You should have bet your house. Just don’t gamble more than you can afford to lose.

  116. #116 Sauceress
    September 24, 2011

    Thingie will take exception to this, and claim that a mother *can* pass protection to pathogens that the mother wasn’t exposed to.

    I remember its stance on this about 6 months back. Has it actually learnt something about immunological memory and passive immunity since then?

  117. #117 Gray Falcon
    September 24, 2011

    Th1Th2, was that a yes or a no? Try to communicate clearly for once.

  118. #118 herr doktor bimler
    September 24, 2011

    If I understand B&O’s claim correctly, polio virus + lead / arsenic pesticide = paralysis. Also polio virus + DDT = paralysis. But polio virus + arsenic-based pesticide does not equal paralysis; nor does virus + environmental lead, nor virus + any of the other pesticides that have come and gone. All those other pesticides are simply ignored because they do not fit the model. This is the classic Texas Sharpshooter fallacy.

    But however shonky its foundation, the theory would have something going for it if (for instance) surveys of agricultural workers who’d been exposed to lead arsenate showed an increased, dose-dependent rate of polio. No, wait, there is no such increase.

    Since lead arsenate was adopted in different countries at different times, do B&O find a match with international variations in polio cases? Or a match with state-by-state variations within the US?

    Guardiana seems to have worn herself out and stopped commenting. The Gish Gallop must be tiring.

  119. #119 alfie
    September 24, 2011

    always a pleasure getting a laugh reading pseudoscientific skeptic talk.

    you guys are funny.

  120. #120 Chris
    September 24, 2011

    So are you, alfie. Your content free comment was hilarious.

  121. #121 alfie
    September 24, 2011

    that’s brilliant, chris!

    content-free comments…that’s what you should call your commenting section.

  122. #122 Chris
    September 24, 2011

    Then provide us some content, alfie. Tell us exactly how much more dangerous the IPV is compared to polio. Give us the journal, title and date of the papers that support your position.

    And while you are at it, tell us what happened to reduce the rate of polio between 1950 and 1960, using this census data that I linked to above:

    Year…. Rate per 100000 of polio
    1912 . . . . 5.5
    1920 . . . . 2.2
    1925 . . . . 5.3
    1930 . . . . 7.5
    1935 . . . . 8.5
    1940 . . . . 7.4
    1945 . . . 10.3
    1950 . . . 22.1
    1955 . . . 17.6
    1960 . . . . 1.8
    1965 . . Less than .05
    1970 . . Less than .05
    1975 . . Less than .05
    1980 . . Less than .05

    This is the stuff that Guardiana refused to address. I am sure you can come up to the plate and provide real answers to these simple questions.

  123. #123 Th1Th2
    September 24, 2011

    Gray,

    Yes it’s true.

  124. #124 Sauceress
    September 24, 2011

    Oooh look..it’s a sock.

    That reminds me…
    *writes “new joggers” on shopping list*

  125. #125 Lawrence
    September 24, 2011

    Wow – so insane troll is saying that we can be immune from diseases we’ve never had? Wow……

  126. #126 Th1Th2
    September 24, 2011

    Chris has stopped learning and never bothered to scrutinize the change in diagnostic criteria that happened since polio vaccine was introduced in 1955.

  127. #127 delurked lurker
    September 24, 2011

    Alfie as your notion is diametrically opposed to reality it is you who is in fact funny. I look forward to watching the minions go into their feeding frenzy and the ensuing Lulz :)

  128. #128 Valerie
    September 24, 2011

    Th1etc. is using a pretty common tactic pulled out by anti-vaccine people when they’re just plain wrong. Here’s what happened: someone showed us good solid data, and Th1 claimed that it’s misleading.

    In this case, Th1 claims that the real reason for the fall in the number of polio cases was that the diagnostic criteria for polio changed in 1955. This is a lie.

    There was no amazing change in polio diagnostics in 1955. But there was an amazing polio vaccine introduced that year. Thanks to that vaccine, thousands of people haven’t been paralyzed or ended up dying slowly inside iron lungs. And others were born because polio didn’t kill their parents or grandparents.

    Anyone reading this blog could be one of those people.

  129. #129 Th1Th2
    September 24, 2011

    Valerie,

    Just follow the discussion here

    And learn from their mistakes.

  130. #130 Chris
    September 24, 2011

    alfie, why haven’t you come back to answer my questions? I am sure the answers will be very amus… er… educational.

    If you try the “change in diagnostic criteria”, please make sure that you document that quite thoroughly. In an era where the serotype of the polio virus can be determined, the “diagnostic criteria” claim is extraordinary. And extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

    And all Thingy has proven with her extraordinary claims, including toddlers know to stay on sidewalks, is she is delusional.

  131. #131 GlaxoPharma Com Orbital
    September 24, 2011

    MESSAGE BEGINS———————–

    Minion Palindrom,

    Consider it done and consider yourself elevated to a Class VII Shill with M’vaak Clusters for your brilliant idea. You shall receive a little extra something in next week’s courier bag and a vehicle upgrade. Just think of it, in the not-so-very-distant future everyone will be able to ask their doctor if Blaxill™ is right for them. Now, what shall I have the ladies on Level 7 cure with it? Something simply awful in the monkey nether regions seems appropriate.

    Stay craven, traitorous and self-serving my Minions, these PharmaRiches™ don’t spend themselves you know.

    Lord Draconis Zeneca, VC, iH7L
    Forward Mavoon of the Great Fleet, Suzerain of V’tar and Pharmaca Magna of Terra, Monkey Salve Promoter
    PharmaCOM Orbital HQ
    0010101101001
    —————————————— MESSAGE ENDS

  132. #132 GlaxoPharma Com Orbital
    September 24, 2011

    MESSAGE BEGINS——————

    Dearest Minion Lilady, Chris and Not-a-Shill-or-Minion Najera (double nictating membrane wink)

    How lovely to see you all swinging merrily away for your most eeeeeevil Glaxxon PharmaPayMasters™. It makes my hearts feel almost . . . warm. Please don’t let me interrupt your batting the always delusional Thingy and exceptionally vacuous Alfie about, I just wanted to greet you and cheer you on before hitting the vats. I feel a molt coming on.

    Carry on . . .

    Lord Draconis Zeneca, VC, iH7L
    Forward Mavoon of the Great Fleet, Suzerain of V’tar and Pharmaca Magna of Terra, Monkey Salve Promoter
    PharmaCOM Orbital HQ
    0010101101001
    —————————————— MESSAGE ENDS

  133. #133 Valerie
    September 24, 2011

    Th1 is now using yet another tactic employed by people who are wrong: if you’re obviously wrong and and can’t defend anything you’re claiming, just change the subject.

    Trying to distract everyone’s attention from the main point is a common way of cheating in a debate. But once other people learn to recognize this tactic, it becomes really obvious to them, which makes it harder for the cheaters to get away with what they’re trying to do.

    The key is to never, ever, let them change the subject. You have to keep saying, “Answer the question!” or “Stick to the point!” Don’t let them off the hook until they finally give an honest answer.

  134. #134 Chris
    September 24, 2011

    I am most honored Lord Draconis.

  135. #135 Sauceress
    September 24, 2011

    #125 Lawrence

    Wow – so insane troll is saying that we can be immune from diseases we’ve never had?

    Wow indeed! Can’t wait for humpty’s explanation of how a newborn acquires antigen specific antibodies which haven’t been passed from mother to baby via the placenta.
    Perhaps some weird version of the Vital Force(TM) puts them there.
    Won’t be holding my breath for it to provide the details though.

  136. #136 Militant Agnostic
    September 24, 2011

    herr doktor bimler @118

    Guardiana seems to have worn herself out and stopped commenting. The Gish Gallop must be tiring.

    As far as I am concerned she can buck off for good.

  137. #137 Denice Walter
    September 24, 2011

    @ Phoenix Woman:

    Sure. I go as far as to tailor my messages to the general audience: I try to relate to them as I do to friends/ relations who are relatively bright ( arts, business, technical) but not well versed in science/ psych.

  138. #138 lilady
    September 25, 2011

    @ Valerie: You raised some good points…many of which apply to sane trolls:

    “The key is to never, ever, let them change the subject. You have to keep saying, “Answer the question!” or “Stick to the point!” Don’t let them off the hook until they finally give an honest answer.”

    But, Thingy is insane and delusional and it gets its “jollies” by posting here, engaging people and derailing posts. It is so insane that it also derives its “jollies” from the derision heaped upon it.

    Thingy has not education, has no job in health care and is unemployable and totally alienated from the rest of society.

    It is impossible to get a straight answer out of Thingy because it is a pathological liar. Dr. Harriet Hall tried to get Thingy to stay on topic and answer a number of questions. Dr. Hall stated that trying to get an answer out of Thingy is like trying to nail jello to the wall.

    Please ignore delusional insane Thingy troll…it needs “terminal disinfection”.

  139. #139 Valerie
    September 25, 2011

    Lilady,

    Yes, I agree with you on all counts.

    If you notice, I don’t address my comments to Th1; I’m writing to anyone else out there who might be interested in why Th1’s claims are bogus and how to recognize bogosity. I don’t think this is the same as responding to individual trollish claims (I agree that this just encourages them). I hope I’m actually discouraging them by exposing their weaknesses.

  140. #140 lilady
    September 25, 2011

    Lord Draconis I am honored that you include me in your salutations, with the ever-pleasing delightful Chris and Najera.

    Alas, the delusional Thingy is too far gone and alfie is just gone, for me to have a whack at them.

  141. #141 lilady
    September 25, 2011

    I remember when Troll didn’t understand the difference between antigen and antibody and I suggested that it sashay over to a local bookstore and get a copy of Stedman’s Medical Dictionary. I guess the troll has not gotten past the letter “A” and still cannot comprehend what transplacental transfer of antibodies is:

    passive immunity n.
    Immunity acquired by the transfer of antibodies from another individual, as through injection or placental transfer to a fetus.
    The American Heritage® Stedman’s Medical Dictionary
    Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

  142. #142 Narad
    September 25, 2011

    I hope I’m actually discouraging them by exposing their weaknesses.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about Th1Th2 convincing anybody of anything, anywhere. The whole polio thing is in fact pretty low-class for it, lacking as it does the slightest trace of originality.

  143. #143 Chris
    September 25, 2011

    Narad:

    lacking as it does the slightest trace of originality.

    I believe I read those claims by John Scudamore of whale.to over ten years ago on Usenet. They are just as laughable then as they are now. And that was before Scudamore posted instructions on how to avoid dangerous ley lines, like the ones that burned his posterior!

  144. #144 lilady
    September 25, 2011

    Yes Chris, Rich Scopie defined (“Scopie’s Law”) what Whale.to is all about:

    Whale.to is a website run by Herefordshire pig farmer John Scudamore. It is a notorious dumping ground for all things pseudoscientific… as well as a few other things. Like the complete text of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, documentations of Illuminati mind control plots, and articles about the Catholic world conspiracy.[2] It contains every (and we do mean every) half-baked pseudoscientific theory ever concocted.

    Shockingly, it was used as a source by the plaintiffs in the Autism omnibus trial, and it has seen increasing use as a “source” by anti-vaccinationists and propagators of the vaccine-autism connection (Sourced from Rational Wiki)

    “Everyone” knows that Thingy is just as qualified (and just as delusional) as the pig farmer is, to discuss vaccines

  145. #145 Krebiozen
    September 25, 2011

    The discussion Th1Th2 has directed us to is one where I pointed out a study that found the number of children with acute flaccid paralysis, the primary and sine qua non symptom of paralytic polio, in California in the 90s was a tiny fraction of what it was in the USA in 1952.

    Th1Th2 was utterly incapable of understanding the study despite my repeated attempts to explain it to her. Eventually she accused me of lying, at which point I gave up. Now she is apparently claiming victory, which is a bit sad really. It’s futile arguing with someone who can’t or won’t understand something as simple as that.

  146. #146 MikeMa
    September 25, 2011

    @Lawrence @ ~125
    I was born in the mid-fifties and remember lining up to get my smallpox vaccination at elementary school. It was the arm scratch thing. Mine didn’t take. I think they tried a second time which also did not take. I am one of the few of my generation without that mark. The medicos inferred from this that I had natural immunity. I have no idea if this is true but that would be a case of being immune to a disease I never had.

    Doesn’t make the trolls any more entertaining or enlightened but there it is.

  147. #147 LW
    September 25, 2011

    MikeMa, I too was vaccinated twice and I too have no scar. I thought this implied natural immunity, but according to Richard Preston in The Demon in the Freezer, it actually implies a complete failure of immunization; we were as vulnerable as if we’d never been vaccinated. It’s a very good thing for us that the Eradication was ongoing and was so successful.

  148. #148 Th1Th2
    September 25, 2011

    Wow indeed! Can’t wait for humpty’s explanation of how a newborn acquires antigen specific antibodies which haven’t been passed from mother to baby via the placenta.

    So are you saying that there would be absolutely no maternal antibody being transferred to fetus and newborns whatsoever unless the mother had previous infection or disease?

  149. #149 Th1Th2
    September 25, 2011

    The discussion Th1Th2 has directed us to is one where I pointed out a study that found the number of children with acute flaccid paralysis, the primary and sine qua non symptom of paralytic polio, in California in the 90s was a tiny fraction of what it was in the USA in 1952.

    And whereabouts is your evidence of a case study and case definition of AFP in 1952?

  150. #150 Th1Th2
    September 25, 2011

    With that crude science Jenner started, no wonder people make crude reasoning as to why their vaccine did not “take”. Pretty hilarious.

  151. #151 lilady
    September 25, 2011

    @ MikeMa & LW: I volunteered and was chosen to receive smallpox vaccine during the run-up to the WMD scare. Only “older” public health nurses, who had received the vaccine in childhood were eligible; eight nurses from my county health department received the first vaccinations. We drove to our state’s capital and were joined by several hundred other doctors and nurses from each county in the state and were vaccinated against smallpox with a bifurcated implement by CDC doctors. The vaccine used was “Dryvax” that was more than forty years old and the only type available in the United States at that time. It was stored and is still stored in one high security laboratory “somewhere” in the United States. The only other laboratory that had smallpox vaccine at the time was in Russia.

    The vaccine was not injected with a needle, but rather with ten jabs (variolation) of the reconstituted vaccine on a sharp bifurcated small metal implement. If the patient did not have evidence of punctures (small amounts of oozing blood) at the variolation site on the upper arm, then none of smallpox vaccine was introduced into the body.

    A short time after the “successful” variolations we received, an oozing sore formed and then a scab…evidence of successful immunization against smallpox…which was reported to the state health department and the CDC. Only then were we provided the Dryvax vaccine and we set up two clinics at our department headquarters and vaccinated a few other health department nurses and doctors as well as 3-4 nurses and doctors from each of the area hospitals. It never became necessary to vaccinate any other “first responders” as the WMDs never were in Iraq.

    Mike you were not “vaccinated” and you were not immune…but you had the benefit of herd immunity because most of the “vaccinations” given to the general populace were successful.

  152. #152 Th1Th2
    September 25, 2011

    I wouldn’t worry too much about Th1Th2 convincing anybody of anything, anywhere. The whole polio thing is in fact pretty low-class for it, lacking as it does the slightest trace of originality.

    Have you deduced that once again from your hypothetical situation-based evidence? I see.

  153. #153 lilady
    September 25, 2011

    Please do not feed the delusional insane Thingy Troll…let it keep posting its inanities and we should be holding discussions around Thingy.

  154. #154 Th1Th2
    September 25, 2011

    Mike you were not “vaccinated” and you were not immune…but you had the benefit of herd immunity because most of the “vaccinations” given to the general populace were successful.

    I’d ask lilady if vaccinators then wore gloves.

  155. #155 LW
    September 25, 2011

    lilady, I do not remember the first time I was vaccinated against smallpox but I had a certificate so I know it happened. I do remember the second time, and I remember the doctor examining my arm for the sore and scab and certifying that they were there before I was allowed to be taken out of the country. Yet I still didn’t form a scar. It was and is puzzling to me.

  156. #156 Denice Walter
    September 25, 2011

    Oh lurkers and silent, unseen watchers, hear my words:

    “How likely is that?” is the question I think we should consider *before* we go on to argue about claims made by pseudoscientists like B&O. This can be applied when looking at conspiracy theories as well. A few examples:

    Orac, a scientist critiques B&O, non-scientists: how likely it is that non-scientists can pick up on something that thousands of scientists working in this field (and related ones) for 90 years have missed. Note: this is not the “argument from authority” ( “they’re right *because* they’re scientists”) but purely an estimation of liklihood. It may not be *impossible* but it’s highly improbable. Science has become increasingly technical: it’s not 1750 when a gifted person might stand a chance.

    We estimate liklihood in everyday life: decisions like this guide our activities and choices- we don’t have research to consider in most situations.

    Often pseudoscientific theories ( and conspiracy theories) involve multiple parts that need to function together seamlessly in order to produce the stipulated event. Is it more likely that a Baroque series of treacheries ( across 2 continents, involving governments, media,institutions, et al) was concocted to “explain away” AW’s results ( many cheats) or that a single person “fixed” data ( one cheat). Again, this is not saying that complex conspiracies *never* occur, but that they’re less likely.

    Many of the “explanations” of vaccines/ toxins “causing” autism similarly consist of multiple interrelated factors to acquire the postulated result. Again, this is not saying that complex events don’t occur in nature ( Orac studies cancer: remember current theories about cancer didn’t spring up overnight but derive from the work of many researchers over decades).

    If your car doesn’t start is it more likely to be one problem or many operating in concert: the latter is not impossible, it’s just less likely.

    When you read alt med “explanations” of how physiological processes work or how the powers-that-be have kept this information from the public, ask yourself, ” How likely is that?” before you read any more.

  157. #157 lilady
    September 25, 2011

    @ LW: I have two small (less than 2 cm.) spots on my upper left arm that are not scarred, but rather have loss of pigmentation. I had three smallpox vaccines in my lifetime. The first one was administered in a Brooklyn firehouse following the diagnoses of an imported case of smallpox and I had not received my smallpox vaccine…prior to entry into school. The second vaccination was given by the health department, spring 1971 prior to my first trip to Europe and the third administered administered during the WMD scare. I, like you, don’t remember the formation of a scab when I was a child, but recall the scabs that formed following the other two smallpox variolations.

    Should I have self-reported the lasting loss of pigmentation directly attributable to small pox vaccine to the VAERS? (More valid and truthful than other self-reporters to the VAERS.)

  158. #158 LW
    September 25, 2011

    Another point to consider with respect to a global conspiracy to ignore vaccination as a cause of autism, or to suppress cancer cures, or whatever, is that the conspiracy is composed of people, a lot of people, and has been going on for decades. How do the conspirators hope to ensure that none of the higher-ups has a deathbed conversion and spills the beans? How do they avoid blackmail by disgruntled members of their own team (I get a promotion and a very large raise, or you’ll see these internal memos on the Internet…)?

    I suppose conspiracy theorists would claim that these things are avoided through death threats or targeted murders, but do they avoid idealistic new employees learning the truth and deciding to reveal it at risk of their own lives? Such things have happened, after all.

    It’s easier to believe that the various entities (government health organizations, independent researchers, pharma companies, etc.) are telling the truth to the best of their ability when they so broadly agree, than to believe that they are *all* in a giant conspiracy that somehow avoids the kind of problems that one would reasonably expect.

  159. #159 Denice Walter
    September 25, 2011

    ….And,

    Because outlandishly unlikely alt med scenarios that “explain” autism**( while discarding scientific consensus) must *simultaneously* rely upon similarly unlikely far-fetched conspiracy-mongering to “explain” away their dismissal by SBM- to estimate total unliklihood we need multiply the extremely low probability of the first by the exceedingly low probability of the second to get:

    an extravagantly low proability.( just for fun, think .01 x .01, and I’m being kind).

    ** or any other condition “researched” by pseudo-scientists.

  160. #160 lilady
    September 25, 2011

    Gotta dash now…I like your explanations LW and Denice of the grand conspiracies. I’ll check back later for more “lessons”.

  161. #161 MikeMa
    September 25, 2011

    @LW & lilady,
    I always enjoyed the idea of natural immunity but as that seems unlikely, I will accept and thank the rest of the vaccinated folk for their herd immunity which has kept me safe.

  162. #162 Th1Th2
    September 25, 2011

    Again, before they label me a conspiracy theorist, did vaccinators, especially during mass inoculation with smallpox vaccine, wear gloves?

    It’s Sunday and it could be also be the end for this thread. But I’ll give them chance to answer.

  163. #163 Th1Th2
    September 25, 2011

    I always enjoyed the idea of natural immunity but as that seems unlikely, I will accept and thank the rest of the vaccinated folk for their herd immunity which has kept me safe.

    Diagnosis: Regression, late onset (red flag: security blanket)

    Differentials: Superstition, chronic
    Delusion
    Hallucination

  164. #164 Gray Falcon
    September 25, 2011

    Th1Th2, do you know what evidence is?

  165. #165 alfie
    September 25, 2011

    blah, blah, blah, chris et al.,

    unfortunately you’re too blind or gullible to see that pharma doesn’t care about your health…why should they? your health doesn’t feed their bottom line and satisfy their shareholders…your unhealth does.

  166. #166 novalox
    September 25, 2011

    @alfie

    LOL at your conspiracy theory fearmongering again.

    Citation and evidence please, or you are just pulling stuff out of your ass again, as usual.

  167. #167 Chris
    September 25, 2011

    So, alfie, you are totally unable to answer my simple questions. Perhaps you should try this one, it is really not very hard.

    Please open and read this report. Go to page 30 and look at the table. Where do vaccines fall on that list?

    All you have to do is open the file, go to page 30, and tell us the number that is to the left of the word “vaccines.” The difficult part is you figuring out what it means.

  168. #168 Narad
    September 25, 2011
    I wouldn’t worry too much about Th1Th2 convincing anybody of anything, anywhere. The whole polio thing is in fact pretty low-class for it, lacking as it does the slightest trace of originality.

    Have you deduced that once again from your hypothetical situation-based evidence? I see.

    By all means then, pony up examples of successful proselytization on your part. I’d hate to have this possibility linger as a purely hypothetical situation itself.

  169. #169 Lawrence
    September 25, 2011

    So alfie – you’re saying that Big Pharma wants us to be sick, thus you should believe that vaccines are good, since they are preventative (and medical professionals would make substantially more money treating vaccine-preventable illnesses).

  170. #170 Denice Walter
    September 25, 2011

    @ LW:

    Again, their “explanations” in response to your realistic qualms would of course, *increase* the unliklihood of the original being so: their hitherto Baroque creation is transformed into a Rococo imbroglio of elaboration.Or, to borrow a phrase: “more shuffling and dancing”.

    Many of the usual suspects promulgate more than one conspiracy to substantiate their own positions, piling unlikliness upon unlikliness: crank magnetism is a source of multipliers.

    Even though we only estimate the number of variables involved, we can still do the math.

  171. #171 Chris
    September 25, 2011

    Lawrence, you just gave me another question to ask alfie.

    Okay, alfie, what gives “Big Pharma” more money: giving a thousand people an IPV series to protect them from polio, or just letting the thousand people get polio naturally and dealing with the one hundred that suffer paralysis (and some needing respiratory support)? Support your answer with some actual evidence.

    Now to help you figure the costs, I found a full paper from 1970 on what it takes to care for someone who needs help breathing after having polio: Hospital or home care for the severely disabled: a cost comparison. Now you will have to take into account that there has been considerable inflation in the last forty years, and that they use pounds instead of dollars. But since you have declared yourself smarter and better than the rest of us, I am sure you will figure it all out.

  172. #172 Th1Th2
    September 25, 2011

    Th1Th2, do you know what evidence is?

    Yes, I do. I know because you have neither anything to say nor present so where are these audacious yet stupid Lawrence and Sauceress?

  173. #173 Gray Falcon
    September 25, 2011

    I don’t need to present evidence. Th1Th2, do you understand the concept of burden of proof?

  174. #174 Gray Falcon
    September 25, 2011

    Correction: We already produced our evidence, namely, the records of the rate of polio infection. Where’s yours?

  175. #175 Th1Th2
    September 25, 2011

    Gray,

    Answer this and provide evidence for the claim: From #149

    So are you saying that there would be absolutely no maternal antibody being transferred to fetus and newborns whatsoever unless the mother had previous infection or disease?

  176. #176 Th1Th2
    September 25, 2011

    Gray,

    Correction: We already produced our evidence, namely, the records of the rate of polio infection. Where’s yours?

    Where is your record of AFP cases since 1955?

  177. #177 Gray Falcon
    September 25, 2011

    Here’s the study from #145:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20159431
    Read it carefully.

  178. #178 Gray Falcon
    September 25, 2011

    Th1Th2@176: How are antibodies formed? Magic?

  179. #179 Th1Th2
    September 25, 2011

    Here’s the study from #145:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20159431
    Read it carefully.

    Hey idiot! I said records of AFP cases since 1955!

  180. #180 Narad
    September 25, 2011

    By all means then, pony up examples of successful proselytization on your part. I’d hate to have this possibility linger as a purely hypothetical situation itself.

    Yooooo hooooo… where are your reecooooords?

  181. #181 Th1Th2
    September 25, 2011

    Th1Th2@176: How are antibodies formed? Magic?

    Whose antibodies are you referring to?

  182. #182 Valerie
    September 25, 2011

    I’m with lilady regarding Th1etc. Ignore this person: s/he’s only baiting you. There’s no point debating with a person who is obviously irrational. Would you try to debate a resident of the local mental hospital on a topic that inflames him? Of course not. Think of trolls as being in the same category.

    In the absence of a moderator, if you ignore people like this, there’s a higher probability that they’ll get bored and go away eventually.

  183. #183 Th1Th2
    September 25, 2011

    Yooooo hooooo… where are your reecooooords?

    The record shows the “AFP surveillance was initiated in December 1996 with a pilot project in Lagos”.

    You could verify that information and actual AFP cases from the WHO website.

    Now where are the records of AFP in 1955?

  184. #184 Narad
    September 25, 2011

    The record shows the “AFP surveillance was initiated in December 1996 with a pilot project in Lagos”.

    I’m not talking about polio, Mr. Insight. Read the slanty letters.

  185. #185 Th1Th2
    September 25, 2011

    Narad,

    I’m not talking about polio, Mr. Insight. Read the slanty letters.

    How about reading yours? Huh

    #142

    I wouldn’t worry too much about Th1Th2 convincing anybody of anything, anywhere. The whole polio thing is in fact pretty low-class for it, lacking as it does the slightest trace of originality.

    Stop playing around and man up.

  186. #186 LW
    September 25, 2011

    Yet another problem with the conspiracy to suppress the cure for cancer, or to suppress the proof that vaccines cause autism, or whatever medical claim, is that there are other powerful entities that would dearly love to see the cure for cancer revealed or autism completely prevented, and so on. Not just the victims because we know they are a helpless, brainwashed group who cannot exert any influence, nor the doctors who got into the business with a sincere wish to heal people because we know that all doctors are corrupt and evil and glory in avoidable human suffering**, but those institutions that pay for the care of cancer victims, people with autism, and others with medical problems. 

    Yes, I’m talking about governments in many countries (and in the U.S. too, since they pay a lot of medical expenses, particularly for the elderly, who are most likely to develop cancer) and the hated insurance companies.  However inadequately they may cover the costs of these illnesses, they’d rather not pay for them *at all*. 

    If the insurance companies believed that vaccines cause autism, they’d be declaring that you lose your insurance coverage if your child is vaccinated.  If government health services believed vaccines caused autism, they’d order their employees not to vaccinate. They’d take these actions, not out of a concern for human health or a desire to protect people (because we all know that they are heartless, ruthless monsters), but because autism impacts their bottom line. 

    If insurance companies had *any suspicion* that there was a cheap, effective cure for cancer, they’d be demanding that it be used. *They* don’t care to ensure that oncologists make money — they’d cheerfully drive oncologists out of business if they had a cheaper and equally effective alternative.  The usual complaint about insurance companies (and government health services, for that matter) is that they refuse to pay for certain treatments, claimed to be effective and life-saving, because they are *too expensive*. You think people like that would hesitate to push for treatments that were both effective and unpatentable …. if such treatments existed?

    So, yet another unlikelihood to be piled on the others.      

    **I trust I’ve made these claims look sufficiently absurd that I will not be taken as stating them as truth.   

  187. #187 Th1Th2
    September 25, 2011

    Valerie,

    I’m with lilady regarding Th1etc.

    Yeah why not. Follow her lead. She went vamoose. Probably went to her local library just to find out whether vaccinators then wore gloves.

  188. #188 herr doktor bimler
    September 25, 2011

    Does anyone know why B&O’s “Size of Poliomyelitis outbreaks” graph stops in 1910? After all, their primary source (Hull, “A`graphical study of the epidemiology of poliomyelitis”) continues up to the large 1916 epidemic (28000 cases). That epidemic being the motivation for Hull’s paper.

    This was a spike rather than a jump to a new plateau (as shown by the data in the secondary source)… without any sudden change in exposure to lead-arsenate pesticide to explain it.

  189. #189 Denice Walter
    September 25, 2011

    Yes, LW.

    Oh crap! I just realised that many of our opponents also believe in homeopathy so a probabilty of .0000000001 might seem *powerful* to them.

  190. #190 Narad
    September 25, 2011
    I wouldn’t worry too much about Th1Th2 convincing anybody of anything, anywhere. The whole polio thing is in fact pretty low-class for it, lacking as it does the slightest trace of originality.

    Stop playing around and man up.

    “Man up” to what? Where’s the problem that you see here? The shopworn polio-was-just-redefined routine isn’t anything you came up with yourself, and there’s no evidence in sight that you’ve ever produced an adherent to Th1Th2-think.

  191. #191 LW
    September 25, 2011

    “I just realised that many of our opponents also believe in homeopathy so a probabilty of .0000000001 might seem *powerful* to them.”

    More likely they don’t have a clue what probability means.

  192. #192 Th1Th2
    September 25, 2011

    Narad,

    “Man up” to what? Where’s the problem that you see here? The shopworn polio-was-just-redefined routine isn’t anything you came up with yourself, and there’s no evidence in sight that you’ve ever produced an adherent to Th1Th2-think.

    I’m with you there for whosoever invented AFP. Not I. So who did?

    See? That’s why I am waiting for your evidence to refute that “polio-was-just-redefined routine.”

  193. #193 Narad
    September 25, 2011

    See? That’s why I am waiting for your evidence to refute that “polio-was-just-redefined routine.”

    I told you that I wasn’t talking about polio. I was simply pointing out that your general impotence is now shambling around in hand-me-downs.

  194. #194 lilady
    September 25, 2011

    @ Valerie: We had great success by ignoring another of our resident trolls…who was put into moderation “purdah” by Orac for a few days and then returned…and has since (thankfully) disappeared. But, this other resident troll was a b.s. artist about “imaginary” children, “imaginary” education and “imaginary” gainful employment. Thingy has all those imaginary facets of its life as well…but is also insane.

    In fact, I have pondered if Thingy is in some sort of “custodial” care provided by the government and has unlimited access to a computer to keep it “busy”. That being the case, access to other outlets (computer porn site and phone sex) to get its “jollies”, is denied by its keepers.

    As a postscript to my prior posts about smallpox vaccine administration I forgot to add that I did not wear gloves…nor have I ever worn gloves while administering any vaccines, with the exception of administering a vaccine to patients with very poor hygiene or a patient who has obvious drug tracks on his/her arms…just following OSHA regulations.

  195. #195 Th1Th2
    September 25, 2011

    lilady,

    As a postscript to my prior posts about smallpox vaccine administration I forgot to add that I did not wear gloves…nor have I ever worn gloves while administering any vaccines, with the exception of administering a vaccine to patients with very poor hygiene or a patient who has obvious drug tracks on his/her arms…just following OSHA regulations.

    Exactly why these ignorant infection promoters are so proud of their so called herd immunity because they themselves link and reinforce the chain of infection.

    And for no-gloves-lilady,

    Should gloves be worn when administering smallpox vaccine?
    Yes, gloves are recommended whenever there is a possibility of exposure to reconstituted smallpox vaccine. Persons administering the vaccine should wear gloves. After a person is vaccinated and the needle placed in a sharps container, gloves should be removed and discarded, hands should be disinfected with soap and water or a waterless hand product, and a new pair of gloves donned before the next person is vaccinated.

    So for those who are still clueless as to why there was no “take” on their previous smallpox vaccination. There’s the answer.

  196. #196 Narad
    September 25, 2011

    That being the case, access to other outlets (computer porn site and phone sex) to get its “jollies”, is denied by its keepers.

    Perhaps the cost of gloves was becoming prohibitive.

  197. #197 Th1Th2
    September 25, 2011

    I told you that I wasn’t talking about polio. I was simply pointing out that your general impotence is now shambling around in hand-me-downs.

    Moral lesson you’ve learned: Think twice before you post.

  198. #198 Narad
    September 25, 2011

    Moral lesson you’ve learned: Think twice before you post.

    Thanks for the non sequitur, Aesop.

  199. #199 Gray Falcon
    September 25, 2011

    Th1Th2, do you understand the concept of “burden of proof”?

  200. #200 lilady
    September 25, 2011

    Here’s a first for the troll…it is partially correct. I did wear gloves ten years ago after I was successfully re-immunized against smallpox…and then provided immunization to other clinicians in the health department and certain clinicians in area hospitals.

    However, Thingy is dead wrong with its statement, “So for those who are still clueless as to why there was no “take” on their previous smallpox vaccination. There’s the answer”.

    Proof of successful variolation against smallpox is the appearance of small oozing pustules then scabbing over at the variolation site. It was tracked by the vaccinator who administered the vaccine or another immune vaccinator, documented on the smallpox vaccination form and sent to the county and state health departments and the CDC.

    Prior to the WMD “scare” with the run-up toward invasion of Iraq, kids who got smallpox vaccine as part of their regular childhood immunizations and travelers out of the country were never directed to have their vaccination “checked” for the appearance of small pustules/scabbing over…therefore, some vaccinations didn’t “take”…and of course, it was the skill of the vaccinator, not the wearing of gloves that determined whether or not there was a “take”.

    A short time after I was re-vaccinated against smallpox in 1971 prior to travel to Europe, my one-year old daughter received her childhood smallpox vaccine. Neither one of us returned to the doctor for confirmation of immunity but we both scabbed over. Her birth (1970) cohort were the last kids in the USA to receive smallpox vaccine as part of the Recommended Childhood Vaccines…as of January 1, 1972…that recommendation was rescinded by the CDC.

    @ Narad: LOL and do you want to “elaborate” about the use of gloves?

  201. #201 Sauceress
    September 25, 2011

    #149 Th1Th2

    So are you saying that there would be absolutely no maternal antibody being transferred to fetus and newborns whatsoever unless the mother had previous infection or disease?

    Nope. I’m saying nothing of the sort.
    I said anigen specific antibody. You know the type that confers immunity? No? Of course you don’t!
    You’re simple trying to cover up the fact that don’t know the difference between naive antibody and antigen specific antibody. You’re oblivious to the difference between an immune response and immunity. This is immunology 101 dear.

    Now can you detail the mechanisms by which a newborn is supposedly protected against antigens that it’s mother was never exposed to? No? Of course you can’t.

    Seems you’re determined to remain ignorant of even the most basic mechanisms of the immune system because you know that if you were to learn anything, your little antivaxx house of cards would come crashing down. What would you be doing with your time if you weren’t an antivaxx troll? Who would then pay you any attention?
    You rely on your ignorance to maintain your self image as some great antivaxx warrior.
    Anyway thanks for playing and once again broardcasting the fact that you have no idea of that which you attempt to argue against.

  202. #202 Sauceress
    September 25, 2011

    “the difference between naive antibody and antigen specific antibody.”

    My bad. I referred to naive antibody here rather than naive B cells.
    On my way out. I’ll explain later.

  203. #203 Narad
    September 25, 2011

    Seems you’re determined to remain ignorant of even the most basic mechanisms of the immune system because you know that if you were to learn anything, your little antivaxx house of cards would come crashing down.

    Oh, Th1Th2’s is not a little house. It is full of priest holes and riddled with tunnels. There are doors that open onto walls, and rooms without doors that are only connected by dumbwaiters decorated with Escher prints to the (apparently poorly maintained) fish hatchery in the basement. Engaging it is nothing more or less than a cartographic expedition.

  204. #204 palindrom
    September 25, 2011

    Lord Zeneca —

    I am most honored and will give my utmost to be worthy of the v’Maak clusters you have bestowed upon me.

    Humblest Salutations,

    Palindrom

  205. #205 lilady
    September 25, 2011

    I posted about transplacental and colostrum immunity up-thread and “suggested” that the Thingy read up about antigen and antibodies in a medical dictionary. Here again is the definition of maternal passive immunities from Wikipedia:

    Naturally acquired maternal passive immunity

    Maternal passive immunity is a type of naturally acquired passive immunity, and refers to antibody-mediated immunity conveyed to a fetus by its mother during pregnancy. Maternal antibodies (MatAb) are passed through the placenta to the fetus by an FcRn receptor on placental cells. This occurs around the third month of gestation.[2] Immunoglobulin G is the only antibody isotype that can pass through the placenta.[2] Immunization is often required shortly following birth to prevent diseases such as tuberculosis, hepatitis B, polio, and pertussis,

    Passive immunity is also provided through the transfer of IgA antibodies found in breast milk that are transferred to the gut of the infant, protecting against bacterial infections, until the newborn can synthesize its own antibodies.[4]

    (hint) MMRV vaccines are only given after 1 year of age…with the exception of infants 6-12 months of age who will be traveling to a foreign country where measles is endemic…to provide them with “some” transient protection. MMRV vaccines given under one year of age are not “valid”…the infant still requires the 2-dose series after one year of age.

    Why doesn’t Thingy take its arguments based on its immunology “expertise” to the folks at Wikipedia and provide its “theories” of maternal passive immunity…based on its “theory” of immunology?

    Also, why doesn’t Thingy contact the WHO, the CDC, the IDSA (Infectious Disease Society of America) and local hospitals based on its “expertise” to “consult” and “revise” the policy and procedures Infection Control Manuals about measles containment following exposure to a suspect measles case in a health care setting implementing its “theory” of “terminal disinfection”?

  206. #206 Th1Th2
    September 25, 2011

    Sauceress,

    Nope. I’m saying nothing of the sort.
    I said anigen specific antibody. You know the type that confers immunity? No? Of course you don’t!

    OK but before I answer the rest of your questions, I’d just like to focus on that assertion of yours first because I am very certain whose “house of cards” is going to go down. So what you’re saying really is that the uninfected mother would still be providing her fetus or newborn with maternal antibodies in that these antibodies are not so specific to a particular disease?

  207. #207 Sauceress
    September 25, 2011

    Because of your ignorance I’ll simplify for you.
    Save your rhetorical gymnastics and produce a woman who has never been exposed to any antigen who has had a healthy baby. Also explain how naive B cells are activated to produce antibody.
    It’s you who needs to back up your assertion that a woman who has not been exposed to antigen can provide transplacental immunity to their baby.
    Simple!

  208. #208 Th1Th2
    September 25, 2011

    Sauceress,

    Why can’t you answer a simple question and stop wasting bandwidth?

  209. #209 Gray Falcon
    September 25, 2011

    Th1Th2, she did answer your question. Now let me ask you something. Why should we believe you?

  210. #210 Th1Th2
    September 25, 2011

    It was just a simple yes or no. I might have missed that.

  211. #211 Gray Falcon
    September 25, 2011

    It was a yes. However, the specific antibodies would not exist to be passed on. Now answer one question for me: Why do you believe what you say is true?

  212. #212 Th1Th2
    September 25, 2011

    So it was yes. Thank you.

    No further question.

  213. #213 Gray Falcon
    September 25, 2011

    Her main point, however, was that the general antibodies are not as effective at warding off infection as the specific ones. I have little knowledge of biology, and even I was able to figure that out. Now, tell me, Th1Th2, do you believe you are incapable of error? Do you think you are so perfect you never have to explain your reasoning for anything?

  214. #214 Militant Agnostic
    September 25, 2011

    Gray Falcon to Thingy

    Do you think you are so perfect you never have to explain your reasoning for anything?

    What reasoning? I haven’t seen any.

  215. #215 Th1Th2
    September 25, 2011

    Her main point, however, was that the general antibodies are not as effective at warding off infection as the specific ones.

    Shocking? Primary immune response is not as effective as secondary immune response. Since both the mother and the newborn are uninfected, don’t expect the latter to mount an effective immune response against primary infection. Nonetheless, they have naturally acquired maternal antibodies for immediate protection. You guys are so hideous and intellectually corrupt.

    I have little knowledge of biology, and even I was able to figure that out.

    I know what the problem is. You have little knowledge of Biology and even more so in Immunology.

    I just could imagine the plethora of lies you are all preaching to people.

  216. #216 Narad
    September 26, 2011

    You guys are so hideous and intellectually corrupt.

    Lonely at the top, eh?

  217. #217 Chris
    September 26, 2011

    Yoo-hoo, alfie! Where are you?

    So what are your highly educated answers to my questions?

  218. #218 Th1Th2
    September 26, 2011

    So is this it? It wasn’t so hard to debunk a long-held superstitious belief, the vaccine myth. I just hope the errors you all guys have made are reversible especially for those vaccine-damaged children.

    Shut this thread down now before someone else gets victimized.

  219. #219 Gray Falcon
    September 26, 2011

    Why do you believe you’ve debunked vaccines? Are you aware that asserting things isn’t the same as proving them?

  220. #220 Chris
    September 26, 2011

    Gray Falcon, it is because she is a manipulative delusional liar. In her head she believes that her statements are believed.

  221. #221 Narad
    September 26, 2011

    I just hope the errors you all guys have made are reversible especially for those vaccine-damaged children.

    Shut this thread down now before someone else gets victimized.

    I like the new “concerned” persona. Perhaps it will graduate from saving the children one trolled thread at a time to donning a sandwich board and taking it to the streets.

  222. #222 Reuben
    September 26, 2011

    How can a thread victimize anyone? We’re keeping it civil. We’re even presenting evidence and reason. If anyone is going to victimize anyone else, I would put my money on the trolls, the ones spreading outright lies.

  223. #223 lilady
    September 26, 2011

    B & O have Part 6 up on the AoA site…more of the same but they have associated the endemic polio regions of the world with areas of the world with high arsenic levels in well water. So we have gone from one case (FDR) of paralytic polio due to his enjoyment of blueberries to the worldwide effort to eliminate polio…in 6 days…amazing!

    Upcoming Part 7 (Next “Where was God?”—Lessons learned and Lost) should be a doozy.

    Nine people in China with Type 1 polio have been confirmed according to WHO Worldwide Polio Eradication Initiative…after China was declared polio-free in 1999. Public Health officials are concerned about the upcoming Hajj and its implications for re-introducing polio to other areas of the world that have been declared polio-free.

    I declare that this thread is still open in spite of the delusional insane Thingy’s attempts to derail it.

  224. #224 Prometheus
    September 26, 2011

    So, now Mark (not a doctor; not a scientist) Blaxill and Dan (no longer much of anything) Olmsted think that it was the combination of lead arsenate and the polio virus that led to paralytic polio in the first half of the 20th century?

    Really?

    This is pretty simplistic thinking, even for this dynamic duo. As they point out, lead arsenate was “invented” in 1893 (actually, it was discovered to be an effective insecticide in 1893 – it was “invented” before the earth was formed). Paralytic polio was first described in 1789 (it existed long before that) and was prevalent enough in Germany that there was extensive work on it in the mid-1800’s (see: “Heine-Medin disease”).

    Since paralytic polio was well-known over 100 years before the “invention” of lead arsenate, their “hypothesis” fails…miserably.

    Not to let a hypothesis die in peace, Mr. Jake Crosby (#5) pipes up in reference to the fact that removing thimerosal from children’s vaccines hasn’t altered the rise in autism prevalence:

    “It didn’t happen because children were being diagnosed at younger and younger ages and because thimerosal was added to flu shots and remained in other vaccines for an unspecified period of time – and last but not least – because the California database used to “prove” your claim was overhauled before any meaningful data could be extracted from it, after it showed signs of leveling off which could have signs of a coming decrease in cases.”

    Being diagnosed at “younger and younger ages” wouldn’t have an impact on the prevalence of autism at, say 6 years of age, yet the prevalence in 6 year-olds – as reported in the IDEA annual reports to Congress – continues to climb unabated by the removal of thimerosal in 2002.

    The “thimerosal is still in flu shots” (it wasn’t “added” – it was always in them, although “flu shots” have been available without thimerosal for years) argument is pretty weak, since the under-three crowd has pretty poor uptake of the influenza vaccine (it’s much more popular among the over-60 crowd) AND it’s only one vaccine a year.

    And even if a child gets an influenza vaccine every year, they’re still getting much less thimerosal in the first five years of life than they got prior to 2000,yet the autism prevalence continues to climb. Mega-fail, Jake.

    Finally, the argument that the California DDS database was “overhauled” sounds a lot like conpiracy-theorising (of which Jake is a Master-class competitor) and, even if true, is irrelevant. IDEA statistics – which, like the Cal DDS data are purely adminstrative (i.e. don’t adhere to a rigorous or even consistent diagnostic criteria) – show the same pattern as the Cal DDS data – and neither show a “plateau”.

    There isn’t a plateau and – in fact – there wasn’t one in the articles Jake cites. What they show is the natural “nose” of the curve in the younger age groups because that’s when the diagnosis is made. When you compare a graph of the data made each year, it shows the same apparent “plateau” in the younger ages – even in a graph made of the 1999 data (before thimerosal was removed).

    This is all material that Jake will be covering in his graduate school coursework, so there is some hope that he will eventually stop bringing such nonsense into a public forum like this.

    Prometheus

  225. #225 Sauceress
    September 26, 2011

    #212

    212
    It was just a simple yes or no. I might have missed that.

    There is no yes or no answer. It’s not a viable question.
    The premise of the question, that a woman whose immune system has never been exposed to antigen could even live to childbearing age and produce a healthy child, is ridiculous!

    By the way, what happened to the antivaxx “our children must be exposed to natural diseases to strengthen their immune system”?
    #217

    Shocking? Primary immune response is not as effective as secondary immune response. Since both the mother and the newborn are uninfected, don’t expect the latter to mount an effective immune response against primary infection. Nonetheless, they have naturally acquired maternal antibodies for immediate protection. You guys are so hideous and intellectually corrupt.

    This is a pile of utterly clueless crap. Seems humpty took my typo re naive antibody from above and ran a little fantasy on it. There is no such thing as naive antibody.

    A little immunology 101.
    B cells (B lymphocytes)are produced in the bone marrow. Each individual naive B cell has a unique receptor.
    They are considered immature or “naive” until they have encountered an antigen which has a surface molecules (antigen) that match this receptor. After such an encounter the B cell is stimulated to produce antibody specific for that antigen. They also clone memory cells which will be cloned in the event of subsequent exposures to the same antigen. These memory cells are the basis of a secondary response enabling the response to be faster and stronger than the first.
    The whole process of B cell maturation prior to antigen encounter is much more involved and complicated. Wiki gives a good overview.

    The thing here is: No antigen encounter = no antibody.
    As to IgG, the only antibody which crosses the placenta, there are four subtypes which have different binding affinities and different effector functions. Google IgG subtypes for more info.

    Th1Th2 is so far down the rabbit hole it doesn’t know which way is up. It’s grasp on how immunity is formed is non-existent and its posts amount to nothing but verbal diarrhoea.

  226. #226 Gray Falcon
    September 26, 2011

    On the plus side, I’ve learned something from this. Thanks, Sauceress, and sorry if I made any mistakes.

  227. #227 Sauceress
    September 26, 2011

    Oh and humpty’s post @217 is definitely a keeper :)

  228. #228 herr doktor bimler
    September 26, 2011

    B & O have Part 6 up on the AoA site…more of the same but they have associated the endemic polio regions of the world with areas of the world with high arsenic levels in well water.

    Yet they have already established that arsenic on its own is not enough to push the polio virus over the threshold of virulence (for before the advent of lead arsenate in 1892 / 1893, arsenic-based pesticides were widely used, evidently without any ill-effect).

    Distribution of polio cases around the world here:
    http://www.ribi.org/assets/_files/images/jul_09/hm__1246721126_casemap.gif

    Distribution of arsenic-contaminated water supplies here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Weltkarte_arsenrisikogebiete.gif

    Not entirely surprisingly, there is almost no overlap.

  229. #229 Sauceress
    September 26, 2011

    Gray Falcon
    No need for apology. We, as opposed to the antivaxx trolls, learn from our mistakes. Myself included. Th1Th2 has been engaging in its usual tactic of using a little bait and switch.

  230. #230 Orac
    September 26, 2011

    Actually, I’m waiting until the series is complete to blog about it again. There’s at least one more part promised, and it wouldn’t surprise me if there’s more than one. I’d rather take on the second half of B&O’s nonsense all at once, rather than in pieces.

  231. #231 lilady
    September 26, 2011

    @ Sauceress: Super post, Brava.

    At the risk of another Thingy “theory” about tetanus vaccine (who could ever forget its many posts a while back), Wikipedia “Tetanus” site has this about passive maternal vaccine immunity and its impact on neonatal deaths:

    Neonatal tetanus is a form of generalized tetanus that occurs in newborns. Infants who have not acquired passive immunity because the mother has never been immunized are at risk. It usually occurs through infection of the unhealed umbilical stump, particularly when the stump is cut with a non-sterile instrument. Neonatal tetanus is common in many developing countries and is responsible for about 14% (215,000) of all neonatal deaths, but is very rare in developed countries.

  232. #232 Th1Th2
    September 26, 2011

    Sauceress,

    There is no yes or no answer. It’s not a viable question.
    The premise of the question, that a woman whose immune system has never been exposed to antigen could even live to childbearing age and produce a healthy child, is ridiculous!

    If I am not mistaken, the original premise goes something like this…
    #125

    Wow – so insane troll is saying that we can be immune from diseases we’ve never had? Wow……

    and then you seconded that with this….(well, not exactly. You played it safe by downgrading pathogens to antigens tsk…tsk…tsk)

    #135

    Wow indeed! Can’t wait for humpty’s explanation of how a newborn acquires antigen specific antibodies which haven’t been passed from mother to baby via the placenta.

    So when you say transplacental transfer of antigen-specific antibodies, do you mean antibodies against infection or disease pathogens the mother MUST have or just the ubiquitous innocuous nonpathogenic antigens?

    By the way, what happened to the antivaxx “our children must be exposed to natural diseases to strengthen their immune system”?

    Do you know that I am also an anti-pox? I guess not. So when you say “exposed to natural diseases”, do you mean the mother MUST be exposed to pathogens or antigens? So going back to your premise, you refer “exposure to antigen” as something “ridiculous” how about “exposure to pathogens”?

    This is a pile of utterly clueless crap. Seems humpty took my typo re naive antibody from above and ran a little fantasy on it. There is no such thing as naive antibody.

    Where did you find “naive antibody” in my post?

    The thing here is: No antigen encounter = no antibody.

    And whose antibody are we talking here?

    As to IgG, the only antibody which crosses the placenta, there are four subtypes which have different binding affinities and different effector functions. Google IgG subtypes for more info.

    So what you’re saying is mothers without previous infection or diseases are unable to pass any subtypes of IgG to the fetus or newborn, yes or no?

    Th1Th2 is so far down the rabbit hole it doesn’t know which way is up. It’s grasp on how immunity is formed is non-existent and its posts amount to nothing but verbal diarrhoea.

    Let’s find out.

  233. #233 Chris
    September 26, 2011

    It makes me wonder if they are going to try to sell their purple prose polio pontifications to a book publisher.

  234. #234 Scryer
    September 26, 2011

    Thingy, if my reading comprehension and use of hypothetical situations is any good (and much better than yours), you seem to think that any disease a mother has had confers immunity to her children born thereafter, except when they later are “infected” by vaccines.

    If that is true, then why did I get Chickenpox as a teen (years before the vaccine for it came out) despite my mother having had it as a child?

  235. #235 Gray Falcon
    September 26, 2011

    Th1Th2 once again seems to be unaware that people are exposed to pathogens and antigens every day. Whenever anyone points this out, she immediately tries to switch to “deliberate infection”, without explaining why this is as bad as a wild-type infection.

  236. #236 Th1Th2
    September 26, 2011

    Scryer,

    Thingy, if my reading comprehension and use of hypothetical situations is any good (and much better than yours), you seem to think that any disease a mother has had confers immunity to her children born thereafter, except when they later are “infected” by vaccines.

    True but naturally acquired passive immunity is only a short-term protection for the newborn. Maternal antibodies decay over time (usually in less than a year after giving birth). Vaccination, however, is different. The baby MUST be inoculated with disease pathogens to trigger an immune response against that infection and subsequent re-infection.

    If that is true, then why did I get Chickenpox as a teen (years before the vaccine for it came out) despite my mother having had it as a child?

    Because you were exposed to the pathogen however you were no longer covered by maternal antibodies (as a teen). You are on your own.

  237. #237 lilady
    September 26, 2011

    Per Thingy:

    True but naturally acquired passive immunity is only a short-term protection for the newborn. Maternal antibodies decay over time (usually in less than a year after giving birth). Vaccination, however, is different. The baby MUST be inoculated with disease pathogens to trigger an immune response against that infection and subsequent re-infection.

    Per Wikipedia (Tetanus):

    Neonatal tetanus is a form of generalized tetanus that occurs in newborns. Infants who have not acquired passive immunity because the mother has never been immunized are at risk. It usually occurs through infection of the unhealed umbilical stump, particularly when the stump is cut with a non-sterile instrument. Neonatal tetanus is common in many developing countries and is responsible for about 14% (215,000) of all neonatal deaths, but is very rare in developed countries.

    Still ignorant, still delusional, still disease-promoting troll.

  238. #238 Th1Th2
    September 26, 2011

    Th1Th2 once again seems to be unaware that people are exposed to pathogens and antigens every day.

    OK Gray to what pathogen are you being exposed right now?

    Whenever anyone points this out, she immediately tries to switch to “deliberate infection”, without explaining why this is as bad as a wild-type infection.

    Basing it from your answer above, is what you’re doing really deliberate?

  239. #239 Sauceress
    September 26, 2011

    #232

    So what you’re saying is mothers without previous infection or diseases are unable to pass any subtypes of IgG to the fetus or newborn, yes or no?

    Re-read my post. Try reading really slowly. Perhaps you’ll need to read it two or three times.

    Let’s find out.

    It’s game Over little troll.
    You’ve already had over your six monthly quota of attention from me. Now the adults are talking so run along and read up for yourself. Come back when you have some intelligable answers to the multitude questions asked of you, both on this and pevious threads, which are still waiting to be answered.

  240. #240 Gray Falcon
    September 26, 2011

    Th1Th2, read up on airborne bacteria and viruses, then get back to me.

  241. #241 Sauceress
    September 26, 2011

    Snap! Gray Falcon. Even the same time stamp.

  242. #242 Th1Th2
    September 26, 2011

    Still ignorant, still delusional, still disease-promoting troll.

    I think you are referring to “cutting with a non-sterile instrument” which is akin to your true-to-life story when you deliberately ignored wearing gloves while inoculating the naive with infectious smallpox vaccine.

  243. #243 Th1Th2
    September 26, 2011

    Sauceress.

    Re-read my post. Try reading really slowly. Perhaps you’ll need to read it two or three times.

    This is the second time you did it. Don’t let Gray answer for you. So is it a yes or no? Why are you so scared?

    It’s game Over little troll. You’ve already had over your six monthly quota of attention from me. Now the adults are talking so run along and read up for yourself. Come back when you have some intelligable answers to the multitude questions asked of you, both on this and pevious threads, which are still waiting to be answered.

    I’ve seen the while flag waved. No further question.

  244. #244 Th1Th2
    September 26, 2011

    Gray,

    Th1Th2, read up on airborne bacteria and viruses, then get back to me.

    I see. So you consider yourself diseased right now?

  245. #245 Agashem
    September 26, 2011

    OK now I am really confused. Thingy makes less and less sense. S/he keeps declaring victory and doesn’t answer questions. I learn stuff from the educated here, but not him/her…….what is going on????

  246. #246 Sauceress
    September 26, 2011

    S/he keeps declaring victory and doesn’t answer questions.

    It’s baiting. It’s getting increasingly desperate over the thought that no one will pay it the level of attention it craves.

  247. #247 lilady
    September 26, 2011

    Thingy: I didn’t “deliberately” ignore wearing gloves…I forgot that I had worn them ten years ago and you referred me to a site to “jog” my memory. I also stated that I only wore gloves when I provided thousands of immunizations when a patient had very poor personal hygiene or obvious needle tracks on their arms…per OSHA regulations.

    Still delusional troll…what bacterium might be on the filthy scissors and how might the use of animal dung or mud to seal the umbilical stump, also increase the risk to the infant of dying from tetanus?

    Why don’t you refer to your university science textbooks or the library where you are employed in the health care professions to look up immunology and neonatal tetanus?

    BTW, Where did you go to University?

    What licensing do you have in any health care field?

    Where are you employed in the health care field?

  248. #248 Sauceress
    September 26, 2011

    Why don’t you refer to your university science textbooks

    University?
    Hahahahahahahahahahaha…..
    That was a joke right?

  249. #249 Gray Falcon
    September 26, 2011

    Th1Th2:

    I see. So you consider yourself diseased right now?

    No. Because I don’t hold your nonsensical views on germs and disease.

  250. #250 Th1Th2
    September 26, 2011

    Gray,

    No. Because I don’t hold your nonsensical views on germs and disease.

    And that would make you what? A germ denialist. I see.

  251. #251 lilady
    September 26, 2011

    Why don’t you refer to your university science textbooks

    University?
    Hahahahahahahahahahaha…..
    That was a joke right?

    No Sauceress, it isn’t a “joke”…I posed these questions to Thingy before and it was a “show-stopper”.

    3-2-1…. Reply from ignorant delusional troll: “It’s none of your business”.

  252. #252 Gray Falcon
    September 26, 2011

    Th1Th2:

    And that would make you what? A germ denialist. I see.

    Seriously, did it ever occur to you that your twisted ideas are not germ theory at all?

  253. #253 Narad
    September 26, 2011
    No. Because I don’t hold your nonsensical views on germs and disease.

    And that would make you what? A germ denialist. I see.

    Another candidate for a greatest-hits collection.

  254. #254 Narad
    September 26, 2011

    This is also amusing in that it implies that either (1) there exists someone other than Th1Th2 who holds Th1Th2’s views on the subject, something that Th1Th2 has remained utterly silent on despite direct questioning, or (2) that everybody other than Th1Th2 is a germ denialist.

  255. #255 lilady
    September 26, 2011

    We are all awaiting Thingy’s comments and reply to my posting above:

    Why don’t you refer to your university science textbooks or the library where you are employed in the health care professions to look up immunology and neonatal tetanus?

    BTW, Where did you go to University?

    What licensing do you have in any health care field?

    Where are you employed in the health care field?

  256. #256 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    September 26, 2011

    Th1Th2 – what pathogens are you exposed to right now? How do you know? If you know you aren’t exposed to any, how do you know that?

  257. #257 Th1Th2
    September 26, 2011

    Mephistopheles

    Th1Th2 – what pathogens are you exposed to right now? How do you know? If you know you aren’t exposed to any, how do you know that?

    Ahhh…hmmm. Right now? Well, I don’t know. Did I miss something?

  258. #258 Narad
    September 26, 2011

    Did I miss something?

    Other than your smelling like fish?

  259. #259 Reuben
    September 26, 2011

    @Narad

    Only two things smell like fish. And one of them is fish.

  260. #260 Composer99
    September 26, 2011

    As usual, Th1Th2 shows up and the comments turn into a long, dreary slugfest.

    Th1Th2: please piss off. You are convincing no one; you have not demonstrated any degree of competence or subject matter knowledge in immunology, epidemiology, or related fields; you are wasting your time here (to say nothing of all of everyone else’s precious time spent wading through your bafflegab & bullshit to find interesting or insightful comments).

    Stop arguing with complete strangers over the Internet, get out and enjoy the sunshine. Depending on where you live, there’s not a lot left of it before the rainy fall season sets in.

  261. #261 Sauceress
    September 26, 2011

    Well, I don’t know. Did I miss something?

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha……
    *wipes away tears*
    Seriously, I’m having trouble seeing the keys on my keyboard.
    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Narad @204

    Oh, Th1Th2’s is not a little house. It is full of priest holes and riddled with tunnels. There are doors that open onto walls, and rooms without doors that are only connected by dumbwaiters decorated with Escher prints to the (apparently poorly maintained) fish hatchery in the basement. Engaging it is nothing more or less than a cartographic expedition.

    Yes you’re right. A delightfully accurate description. Escher indeed!

  262. #262 Denice Walter
    September 26, 2011

    @ Agashem:
    Oh I don’t know, I’m sure we can learn a great deal from her: nothing about immunology, SBM, or vaccination but tons about creating dialogue ( monologue, really) representative of certain populations.

    @ Composer 99:
    Fall rainy season? What! You only have one rainy season? Lucky fellow! Recently we seem to have several. When I speak of monsoons, I’m not just outside Bangalore but NYC.

  263. #263 Delurked lurker
    September 26, 2011

    Hello shills and minions

    I have a crow who visits me regularly for a free feed much to the chagrin and annoyance of the smaller birds in the area. Quo, as she is affectionately known shows more intelligence and insight that thing has shown the entire time it has posted here. Considering that thing has very few functioning synapses ridicule is not only easy and entertaining but has the potential to make us all feel better. Trying to pin the thing down to actually typing something that makes sense strikes me as a waste of time and a source of frustration.

    So more ridicule please :)

  264. #264 lilady
    September 26, 2011

    Delusional troll just keeps jabbering away about its imaginary “theories”, education and career…so delusional in fact that it imagines someone, somewhere will agree with it.

    Did someone mention monsoons…how about the dampness and molds…that leave me hacking. Next week I’m going to the Adirondacks for a few days and actually looking forward to cold and dry weather.

  265. #265 A- nonymous
    September 26, 2011

    On the other hand, and as much of a piss off as this might be, Dan and Mark may be correct. Just saying. Now go back to your labs.

  266. #266 Chris
    September 26, 2011

    A- nonymous:

    On the other hand, and as much of a piss off as this might be, Dan and Mark may be correct.

    Exactly how? Did you even read the article, or many of the comments that show that Mark “not a doctor and not a scientist” Blaxill and Dan “what clinic?” Olmsted are completely and thoroughly wrong? Not just wrong, but wrong wrong wrongety wrong!

    By the way, have you figured out the problems with self-selected surveys yet?

    Better, yet, have you figured out how to answer my question on which vaccines cause more seizures than the diseases? I asked you several times on the Michelle Bachmann thread, but you disappeared. Do try this time, and with actual evidence. Thank you.

  267. #267 Gray Falcon
    September 26, 2011

    And you could be a Dalek. Just saying. Of course, without evidence, that’s all one can do.

  268. #268 lilady
    September 27, 2011

    Blaxill and Olmsted aren’t doctors?

    I guess A-nonymous didn’t read this article…too busy I guess reading the crap cranked out by the “journalists/researchers” at AoA and too busy watching Looney Tunes cartoons on TV.

    A-nonymous do you really believe that Elmer Fudd is a doctor…just because Bugs Bunny says to his nemesis Fudd, What’s up doc?”

    Oh, the pesky wabbits.

  269. #269 delurked lurker
    September 27, 2011

    Oh come on lilady @268 that is casting a bad light on some excellent cartoons

    ‘Feed the Kitty’ is an excellent example. You know the one it has the dog Marc Anthony who looks like an Amstaff bulldog cross who falls in paternal love with a little kitten. I think this is a work of art. To link these with the clueless ineffectual trolls we get here is a travesty ;)

    Have fun in the Adirondacks

  270. #270 Antaeus Feldspar
    September 27, 2011

    On the other hand, and as much of a piss off as this might be, Dan and Mark may be correct. Just saying.

    I’ve noticed that this meta-error pervades a lot of antivax and more generally wooish thinking: the idea that being able to say “A may be B,” even without any evidence that A is B, is of great significance. It’s at the root of most “pharma shill” accusations, for instance: how many times have we read here some variant of “the pharmaceutical companies might have paid every scientist who ever studied vaccines to say they were effective when they weren’t, therefore we should disregard every study that indicates vaccine effectiveness!”?

    In truth, you will have a “may be” every time you have a hypothesis that is unfalsifiable, and as those who understand science know quite well, “unfalsifiable” does not imply “not false.” A-nonymous can’t provide a single piece of evidence to indicate that B&O’s notion is actually correct or even likely; he doesn’t even attempt to provide any such evidence. He merely says “It may be so” and expects that to send everyone slinking back to their “labs” shamed by how masterfully he has out-logicked them. Sorry, A, but just pointing out that something is a possibility means little. This world is full of infinite possibilities and few of them are actually true.

  271. #271 Th1Th2
    September 27, 2011

    Sauceress,

    I wonder why you guys are still not up-to-date.

    IMMUNOGLOBULIN LEVELS IN INFANCY

    Serum immunoglobulin levels in infancy vary based upon the maturity of the newborn, placental transfer of maternal immunoglobulin, time since birth, and ability of the infant to produce immunoglobulin.

    Immunoglobulin G — At birth, most serum immunoglobulin (Ig) G is derived from the transfer of maternal IgG across the placenta during the third trimester of pregnancy. As a result, serum IgG levels at birth are commonly equal to or slightly higher than maternal serum IgG levels [2], and premature infants have lower IgG concentrations than full-term infants. Premature infants of 30 to 32 weeks gestation have cord IgG concentrations of approximately 400 mg/dL [3]. Small for gestational age (SGA) neonates may also have somewhat lower IgG levels than full-term neonates, reflecting possible impaired placental transport [4,5].

    So tell me Sauceress are uninfected mothers excluded to this rule?

    Yes or No?

    Grow up and act like a mature adult. And don’t let Gray answer for you anymore.

  272. #272 lilady
    September 27, 2011

    @ delurked lurker: I apologize for linking Looney Tunes characters to A-nonymous’ posting. Fudd and Bugs appeal to a wide audience and even little kids know they are unreal and just cartoon characters and are funny. B & O on the other hand are real, writing for mature audiences about a serious subject. They are unintentionally funny and just because they dive into the rabbit hole for their “theories” that doesn’t make them pesky wabbits.

    Hack, cough, hack, cough…weather prediction is dry and cold for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday upstate and we get to visit the Warrensburg Garage Sale.

    Part 7/Final Chapter is up on the AoA website and it again links sanitation/hygiene improvements to the declining outbreaks of polio…not the availability of the Salk vaccine. It also manages to “suggest” that the HIV virus is man made and that the toxic environment is responsible for the epidemics of autism and asthma.

  273. #273 Prometheus
    September 27, 2011

    Mark (not a doctor; not a scientist) Blaxill and Dan (not a reporter) Olmsted keep missing the meat of the matter.

    They make a large deal of the fact that lead arsenate was used as an insecticide starting in 1893 (it wasn’t “invented” in 1893 – it was “invented” before the earth was formed) just prior to a (coincidental) spike in paralytic polio, but they completely miss the fact that polio was first definitively described in 1789 (it existed long before that) and was prevalent enough – at least in Germany – that there was extensive work on it in the mid-1800’s (see: “Heine-Medin disease”).

    Are B&O arguing that the lead arsenate went back in time to cause the paralytic polio in the 18th and 19th centuries or are they arguing that those cases of paralysis – which match the signs, symptoms and natural course of modern polio exactly – were some other disease that (conveniently for their argument) no longer existed in the late 20th and early 21st centuries?

    Or are they simply saying whatever nonsense they think will keep their pathetic “vaccines are bad” agenda on life support a few days longer?

    Prometheus

  274. #274 Reuben
    September 27, 2011

    From Blaxill and Olmsted’s “guide to writing stupidity and getting every single epidemiological fundamental wrong, part seven”:

    And the live virus vaccine now in use in South Asia and Africa indisputably spreads the virus and, in a small percentage of case, causes poliomyelitis. For that reason alone, vaccination may perpetuate polio in the service of eradicating it. The vaccine strain also can and does mutate. (“Polio spreads fast in Nigeria after rare mutation,” reads a 2009 headline.)[vi] The only thing better than ending polio epidemics, in short, would have been not causing them in the first place. The real polio narrative is an American tragedy as much as the triumph of scientific medicine.

    Sound familiar? It should because it’s the same line of reasoning that the troll has been spreading, that the vaccine spread the disease. Never mind that it’s a completely different strain. Never mind that the number of people who get a form of polio from the vaccine are infinitesimally small compared to those who get it from the wild type. Never mind that the adequate use of the vaccine in North America and Europe have made polio a thing of the past.

    No. Blaxill and Olmstead are not interested in the truth. They are interested in lies and innuendo, in gossip. They use a news headline as a reference, for God’s sakes!

  275. #275 herr doktor bimler
    September 27, 2011

    Are B&O arguing that the lead arsenate went back in time to cause the paralytic polio in the 18th and 19th centuries

    They are proposing (I think) that although the polio virus existed prior to the late 19th century, and could occasionally cause paralysis, it only became virulent when people’s nervous systems were pre-damaged by the advent of lead arsenate.

    They also argue that the “paris green” arsenic pesticide used bfore lead arsenate does not potentiate the polio virus in this way; but also that the persistence of polio (in the absence of lead arsenate or DDT) is caused by arsenic contamination of drinking water.

  276. #276 Allie
    September 27, 2011

    For denice @157,

    That’s a very good point. I agree that the likelihood is very small, yet at the same time, read an article this week about how videogamers were able to isolate a protein related to the AIDS virus that researchers had not been able to for years.

    However, these skilled AIDS researchers had turned to the gamers in this instance given that they possessed a special skillset that the researchers deemed would be useful in this instance.

    In a similar manner, epidemiologists often use the superior satellite imagery skills of, say archaeologists — I have an archaeologist friend who does quite a bit of epidemiology in this way.

    The point here is not that people outside the field might not find something new, but that usually when they do they possess a particular skillset that allows their discovery.

    And in all cases, the infield researchers are more than happy to receive this windfall.

    B&O in this case are positing that they have a special epidemiological analyzing skillset that we see no evidence of, and that it is one the epidemiologists have no interest in. Gee. Wonder why?

    (Count me as another, like insurance companies, who would happily help oncologists — who would probably also be happy — tack up “going out of business” signs if there were a cheap, easy, and effective cure for cancer.)

  277. #277 Th1Th2
    September 27, 2011

    Reuben,

    Sound familiar? BIt should because it’s the same line of reasoning that the troll has been spreading, that the vaccine spread the disease. Never mind that it’s a completely different strain. Never mind that the number of people who get a form of polio from the vaccine are infinitesimally small compared to those who get it from the wild type. Never mind that the adequate use of the vaccine in North America and Europe have made polio a thing of the past.

    According to CDC, the advantages and benefits of OPV are:

    1. Intestinal immunity
    2. Secondary spread

    Are you telling everyone that number 2 is a lie?

  278. #278 Narad
    September 27, 2011

    Are you telling everyone that number 2 is a lie?

    See, Th1Th2, you have a fundamental marketing problem. The only thing you’ve ever had going for you in terms of generating attention is the ability to obfuscate the semantic payload for as long as possible. It’s something like “Doritos: The Quest.” But now, the bulk of the operation can be seen from a mile away, and you remain silent or evasive when cornered about the bits that you don’t care to deal with or haven’t thought about in the first place. You’re terminally past your sell-by date.

  279. #279 Th1Th2
    September 27, 2011

    Of course Narad your hypothetical situation is always there for you to save the day.

    Now grow up like a mature adult.

  280. #280 Gray Falcon
    September 27, 2011

    Th1Th2, do you have any evidence that the polio vaccine is as dangerous as the virus? Where are all the people paralyzed by the vaccine? What evidence do you have?

  281. #281 Narad
    September 27, 2011

    Of course Narad your hypothetical situation is always there for you to save the day.

    What hypothetical situation?

  282. #282 Lawrence
    September 27, 2011

    Hypothetically – if insane troll wasn’t so insane, would it be possible to have any type of reasoned conversation with her?

  283. #283 lilady
    September 27, 2011

    Thingy why don’t you stop lying and stop re-editing the CDC statement about OPV vaccine? Per Thingy:

    According to CDC, the advantages and benefits of OPV are:

    1. Intestinal immunity
    2. Secondary spread

    Here is the actual statement about the use of OPV as per the CDC Vaccines & Preventable Diseases: Poliomyelitis website:

    OPV is recommended for global polio eradication activities in polio-endemic countries due to its advantages over IPV in providing intestinal immunity and providing secondary spread of the vaccine to unprotected contacts.

    Not so clever editing and evidence of pathological lying by the delusional disease-promoting Thingy troll.

    Thingy we are all still awaiting your reply to the questions I posed:

    Where did you go to University?

    What licensing do you have in any health care field?

    Where are you employed in the health care field?

  284. #284 Denice Walter
    September 27, 2011

    @ Allie:

    Of course, but you see, the gamers and archeologists actually *have* skills that relate to the problems being addressed unlike B&O who have none really.

    I also left out the obvious fact that even if B&O were *real* researchers (they’re not) they would only be 2 out of the many thousands working in relevant field over 90 years. Still ultra-low probability.

    Low probability events happen. A few have even happened to me. Not every day. Our woo-meisters would have you believe that scientific revolutions occur every six weeks and that nearly uneducated gurus can re-conceptualise several fields ( medicine, education, social sciences) simultaneously on a regular basis. It ain’t so likely.( Sing, oh Heavenly Muse, of Unliklihood!)

  285. #285 Th1Th2
    September 27, 2011

    Gray,

    Th1Th2, do you have any evidence that the polio vaccine is as dangerous as the virus? Where are all the people paralyzed by the vaccine? What evidence do you have?

    Cutter incident in April 25, 1955, only two weeks after the government had claimed the vaccine was “safe, effective and potent.” As a result, 40,000 people got infected, 56 were paralyzed and 5 died from vaccine-induced poliomyelitis.

  286. #286 Gray Falcon
    September 27, 2011

    Th1Th2, that was only a single example that was recalled, not proof that all vaccines are like that. It’s like using the Trabant as proof all cars are junk. Try again.

  287. #287 lilady
    September 27, 2011

    Thingy why did you re-edit the CDC statement about OPV vaccine to fit your delusional theories about polio and its spread?

    (Still waiting of course, for Thingy to answer my questions.)

  288. #288 Th1Th2
    September 27, 2011

    bare-handed lilady,

    OPV is recommended for global polio eradication activities in polio-endemic countries due to its advantages over IPV in providing intestinal immunity and providing secondary spread of the vaccine to unprotected contacts.

    So is the “secondary spread” of OPV virus beneficial to unprotected contacts akin to your not-wearing of gloves while inoculating smallpox vaccines?

    And how is “secondary spread” of OPV being transmitted? I know lilady will brag about her not wearing gloves again.

  289. #289 Narad
    September 27, 2011

    Really, Th1Th2, you should be more grateful for the limited attention you’re getting as it is.

  290. #290 Sauceress
    September 27, 2011

    Why won’t you answer the questions posed to you Th1Th2? Why are you so afraid to do that?

    #245

    I’ve seen the while flag waved.

    That wasn’t a white flag you saw, it’s the backside of your underwear.

  291. #291 MI Dawn
    September 27, 2011

    @lilady: re: gloves. I can imagine that you *didn’t* wear gloves when giving immunizations for many years. I’m a few years younger, and we weren’t taught to use gloves for injections. Gloves didn’t become au courant for giving injections until, IIRC, the 1990s. In fact, we rarely wore gloves unless dealing with body fluids. Not when giving injections.

  292. #292 Th1Th2
    September 27, 2011

    Gray,

    Th1Th2, that was only a single example that was recalled, not proof that all vaccines are like that. It’s like using the Trabant as proof all cars are junk. Try again.

    You’re just simply reiterating the fact that not all cases of poliomyelitis are paralytic. Duh.

  293. #293 Reuben
    September 27, 2011

    Thing-o, you just don’t get it. Everyone with half a brain knows that the vaccine virus is not pathogenic, i.e., not capable of causing disease in otherwise healthy individuals. That’s why that secondary transmission is not a big deal.

    “But there have been people who get polio from the vaccine!” you will wail in agony and gnash your teeth.

    Yes, but that’s only because your limited reading comprehension skills prevented you from reading the part where otherwise healthy individuals should not fear the virus. You have the same problem that Blaxill and Olmsted have, a total lack of understanding of what you read combined with too much arrogance to ask for clarification, mixed in with delusions of grandeur and a conspiracy theorist mindset.

    In other words, never mind where you went to college… Where the hell did you go to high school? A village is missing its idiot.

  294. #294 Sauceress
    September 27, 2011

    Creationist tactics
    #2 Trumpet any mistakes made by any scientist, and ignore the fact that these mistakes are corrected.
    #3 Shift the burden of proof to your critics any way you can.
    #6 Use cafeteria science.
    #9 When cornered, change the subject.
    #11 When an explanation shows you to be absolutely wrong, ignore the explanation and reassert the original claim.

    Tactics of antivaxx cultists:
    See above

  295. #295 lilady
    September 27, 2011

    Here is the “true” story of the Cutter Incident from Wikipedia. (Thingy has quoted some anti-vax websites such as whale.to)

    The Cutter incident

    In 1955, Cutter Laboratories was one of several companies licensed by the United States government to produce Salk polio vaccine. In what came to be known as the Cutter Incident, a production error caused some lots of the Cutter vaccine to be tainted with live polio virus. The problem had not only been the carelessness of the Cutter company, but the lack of scrutiny from the NIH Laboratory of Biologics Control (and its excessive trust in the polio foundation reports).[1]

    The Cutter incident was one of the worst pharmaceutical disasters in U.S. history and caused several thousand children to be exposed to live polio virus upon vaccination.[2] The NIH Laboratory of Biologics Control, which had certified the Cutter polio vaccine, had received advance warnings of problems: in 1954, staff member Dr. Bernice Eddy had reported to her superiors that some of the inoculated monkeys had become paralyzed (pictures were sent as well). William Sebrell, the director of NIH wouldn’t hear of such a thing…[1]
    [edit] Numbers affected

    The mistake resulted in the production of 120,000 doses of polio vaccine that contained live polio virus. Of the children who received the vaccine, 40,000 developed abortive poliomyelitis (a form of the disease that does not involve the central nervous system), 56 developed paralytic poliomyelitis and of these 5 children died as a result of polio infection.[3] The exposures led to an epidemic of polio in the families and communities of the affected children, resulting in a further 113 people paralyzed and 5 deaths.[4]

    “Abortive Polio” is defined as mildly symptomatic (upper respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms and NOT CNS symptoms and NOT paralytic polio.

    @ MI Dawn: Here are the current ACIP recommendations (January, 2011) about the use of gloves when administering immunizations which concur with OSHA regulations:

    Vaccine Administration

    Infection Control and Sterile Technique

    General Precautions

    Persons administering vaccinations should follow appropriate precautions to minimize risk for spread of disease. Hands should be cleansed with an alcohol-based waterless antiseptic hand rub or washed with soap and water before preparing the vaccine and between each patient contact (85). Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations do not require gloves to be worn when administering vaccinations, unless persons administering vaccinations are likely to come into contact with potentially infectious body fluids or have open lesions on their hands. If gloves are worn, they should be changed between patients.

  296. #296 Th1Th2
    September 27, 2011

    Reuben,

    Thing-o, you just don’t get it. Everyone with half a brain knows that the vaccine virus is not pathogenic, i.e., not capable of causing disease in otherwise healthy individuals. That’s why that secondary transmission is not a big deal.

    Now, that would make you an antivaccinationist then since you’re downplaying the effectiveness of OPV. But for the CDC and the WHO, OPV secondary spread is a MUST particularly for “passive” vaccination. Isn’t that how you guys form the concept of herd immunity? You are an infection promoter, you should know better.

    Anyone with a brain stem knows that diseases can be subclinical also known as asymptomatic infection. Duh.

  297. #297 lilady
    September 27, 2011

    I have a rather long comment about the Cutter Incident and the optional use of gloves for administering vaccines per ACIP and OSHA Regulations awaiting “moderation”.

    Thingy is a delusional pathological liar who needs to be “terminally disinfected”.

  298. #298 Sauceress
    September 27, 2011

    lilady
    When you say “terminally disinfected”
    Are you referring to disinfection or disinThection?

  299. #299 Narad
    September 27, 2011

    You’re just simply reiterating the fact that not all cases of poliomyelitis are paralytic. Duh.

    Like, really grateful. How long did good ol’ “INF-ß” last? Realistically, where else can you turn?

  300. #300 Reuben
    September 27, 2011

    Anyone with a brain stem knows that diseases can be subclinical also known as asymptomatic infection.

    Except for you, of course. Remember when you said that you would know who was infected and who wasn’t because there was no such thing as a sub-clinical infection? Now you’re changing your lies to damned lies. What are you going to throw at us next, made up statistics.

    Oh, wait.

    Secondary infection is only a must in those places where anti-vaccine advocates as yourself have convinced people that the vaccine will make them grow a third eye, or some other lie that you froth forth from your foaming mouth. If it wasn’t, the injected vaccine would be good enough.

  301. #301 lilady
    September 27, 2011

    Thingy now shifts gears after I pointed out that it re-edited the statement from the CDC to “conform” with its bogus “theories” of actual spread of the virus through the use of OPV vaccine. Why does Thingy lie?

    “Now, that would make you an antivaccinationist then since you’re downplaying the effectiveness of OPV. But for the CDC and the WHO, OPV secondary spread is a MUST particularly for “passive” vaccination. Isn’t that how you guys form the concept of herd immunity? You are an infection promoter, you should know better.”

    No Thingy…you should know better…and you would “know better” if you had any education in the sciences beyond junior high school, if you had any minimal concept of immunology, if you weren’t delusional…and if you actually worked in the field of health care.

    Just a nasty delusional lying disease-promoting unemployable troll.

  302. #302 Th1Th2
    September 27, 2011

    Like, really grateful.

    Gray has implied that 40,000 Cutter victims were grateful they were infected with poliomyelitis.

    Thank you. Come again.

  303. #303 Th1Th2
    September 27, 2011

    Except for you, of course. Remember when you said that you would know who was infected and who wasn’t because there was no such thing as a sub-clinical infection?

    Haha. [Citation needed].

    Secondary infection is only a must in those places where anti-vaccine advocates as yourself have convinced people that the vaccine will make them grow a third eye, or some other lie that you froth forth from your foaming mouth. If it wasn’t, the injected vaccine would be good enough.

    Anecdotal, therefore not credible.

  304. #304 Narad
    September 27, 2011

    Thank you. Come again.

    This is great. Do you use props for live stage performances? I’d really like to get tickets if you’re in the area.

  305. #305 lilady
    September 27, 2011

    @ Sauceress: Actually, I mean *”Terminal Disinfection”* of Thingy…although your clever remark adds new dimension to the term.

    * Terminal disinfection refers to a prior post from Thingy. When cornered about steps to be taken following a suspect measles case exposure in an examining room of a health care facility, Thingy who knows zilch about infection control and containment of infectious diseases stated:

    “In the hospital we do terminal disinfection of the examining room.”

    Dumbass Thingy pulled that one out of its posterior and is clueless about infection control and obviously has never worked in a health care setting, is uneducated, unemployable, delusional and insane.

  306. #306 Sauceress
    September 27, 2011

    ….secondary spread is a MUST particularly for “passive” vaccination. Isn’t that how you guys form the concept of herd immunity?

    Seems this humpty is also oblivious to the concept of reducing a reservoir of infection. Who’d have thunk it?

  307. #307 Narad
    September 27, 2011
  308. #308 Sauceress
    September 27, 2011

    In the hospital we do terminal disinfection of the examining room.

    That’s a real gem. Thanks for the update.

  309. #309 lilady
    September 27, 2011

    Here’s are the consequences of the Cutter Incident-Wikipedia Cutter Polio Vaccine:

    Numbers affected

    The mistake resulted in the production of 120,000 doses of polio vaccine that contained live polio virus. Of the children who received the vaccine, 40,000 developed ***abortive poliomyelitis*** (a form of the disease that does not involve the central nervous system), 56 developed paralytic poliomyelitis and of these 5 children died as a result of polio infection.[3] The exposures led to an epidemic of polio in the families and communities of the affected children, resulting in a further 113 people paralyzed and 5 deaths.[4]

    ***Abortive Poliomyelitis is a mildly symptomatic form of polio. Symptoms include mild upper respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms and it is self-limiting…it is NOT CNS involvement and does NOT result in paralysis.

  310. #310 Th1Th2
    September 27, 2011

    Seems this humpty is also oblivious to the concept of reducing a reservoir of infection.

    Oxymoron. Secondary spread vs infection control. Think twice before you post.

  311. #311 Reuben
    September 27, 2011

    Oh, ThingTong, you know what you’ve written before. You’ve denied germ theory, incubation times of diseases, basic principles of science… Heck, the only reason you haven’t denied gravity is because Orac hasn’t written about it.

    You want citations when you yourself won’t give them? Laughable and stupid… Laughably stupid.

  312. #312 Th1Th2
    September 27, 2011

    ***Abortive Poliomyelitis is a mildly symptomatic form of polio. Symptoms include mild upper respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms and it is self-limiting…it is NOT CNS involvement and does NOT result in paralysis.

    Now you sound more like a pro-pox party mom. So when is your polio party gonna be lilady?

  313. #313 lilady
    September 27, 2011

    @ MI Dawn: I worked as a public health nurse for 13 years until my retirement 6 years ago and always followed the ACIP and OSHA recommendations regarding the use of gloves while administering vaccines. Here are the current Recommendations from ACIP regarding glove use (General Recommendations Vaccination, January 2011):

    Vaccine Administration

    Infection Control and Sterile Technique

    General Precautions

    Persons administering vaccinations should follow appropriate precautions to minimize risk for spread of disease. Hands should be cleansed with an alcohol-based waterless antiseptic hand rub or washed with soap and water before preparing the vaccine and between each patient contact (85). Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations do not require gloves to be worn when administering vaccinations, unless persons administering vaccinations are likely to come into contact with potentially infectious body fluids or have open lesions on their hands. If gloves are worn, they should be changed between patients.

    Delusional disease-promoting Thingy is clueless about infection control and is clueless about “General Infection Control Practices”. “Terminal disinfection” is part of the latter and it is the disinfection of the room and fomites by housekeeping staff after a patient is discharged and before a new patient is assigned to the room.

  314. #314 Sauceress
    September 27, 2011

    In the hospital we do terminal disinfection of the examining room.

    Hmmm…could be it has worked in a hospital as a janitor. However I would think even a janitor would have gleaned a great deal more knowledge than Th1Th2 displays simply due to a requirement of having to follow a specific protocol.

  315. #315 Reuben
    September 27, 2011

    “Terminal Disinfection” could also mean that she just wiped a seat with a wetnap like she once did at the airport or the train station.

    Terminal? Get it?

    I know. I know. Not as funny as her idiocy.

  316. #316 Sauceress
    September 27, 2011

    #306

    Seems this humpty is also oblivious to the concept of reducing a reservoir of infection. Who’d have thunk it?

    #310 Th1Th2

    Oxymoron. Secondary spread vs infection control. Think twice before you post.

    Oooh…another addition for my collection. Thank you dokkta humpty.

  317. #317 Sauceress
    September 27, 2011

    *throws a tip at Reuben*

  318. #318 Denice Walter
    September 27, 2011

    I have an alternate hypothesis about the *Ding an sich*:

    Many people develop the more incapacitating symptoms of SMI in their late teens- early twenties: thus it is possible for such a person to get a reasonably good background** in sciences and arts; then perhaps at age 20 or so, deteriorate to a point that no further real education is possible. However, they might cling desperately to the shards of earlier comprehension now seen through the distorting cognitive lens of delusion. We might also see obsessive idiosyncratic ideas as they develop.

    ** see Ian Chovill’s website “the Experience of Schizophrenia” for an autobiographic example.

  319. #319 Narad
    September 27, 2011

    Oxymoron. Secondary spread vs infection control. Think twice before you post.

    That routine isn’t going to work. At the moment, you’re being mocked, not engaged. Mind your place.

  320. #320 lilady
    September 27, 2011

    @ Sauceress: Not even a janitor or on the housekeeping staff…they need to be fully immunized or have serum testing to prove they actually had a vaccine-preventable disease and have immunity.

    Even if it had up-to-date immunizations…it wouldn’t get past a job interview because it is delusional and insane.

    I think the only contact it has had with the health care profession recently are the doctors and therapy aides who staff its custodial care residence.

  321. #321 Gray Falcon
    September 27, 2011

    You’re just simply reiterating the fact that not all cases of poliomyelitis are paralytic. Duh.

    No, I’m reiterating that the Cutter incident was not representative of all vaccines. Do you understand the principles of the probabilities of large numbers? If there’s a one-tenth of a percent chance of paralysis developing from the vaccine, and a hundred million people who receive the vaccine, one can expect a hundred thousand people who are paralyzed by the vaccine!

  322. #322 lilady
    September 27, 2011

    Here is Thingy’s statement and my reply from two months ago regarding “terminal disinfection” when it was asked about measles containment/infection control in a health care setting:

    “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

  323. #323 Narad
    September 27, 2011

    That statement infers that Thingy actually works in a hospital

    I think you’re reading too much into this. English is not its first language.

  324. #324 lilady
    September 27, 2011

    @ Narad: Yes, I forgot. Thingy speaks, comprehends and writes in its “native” language; Thinglish.

  325. #325 Sauceress
    September 27, 2011

    Although this…

    No, I don’t use any timer because I don’t need to.

    directly followed by…

    We only use that in the hospital
    for terminal disinfection…

    does seem indicative of Th1Th2 claiming personal experience.

  326. #326 Narad
    September 27, 2011

    I took it to be a leftover of some German-to-English pronoun number mismapping. Then again, my German as it were is purely a matter of recognizing shadows. Perhaps it was the royal “we” or the scolding “we.” Of course, it could clear the question up on its own if it did that sort of thing.

  327. #327 lilady
    September 28, 2011

    @ Narad: Now I don’t read, speak, comprehend or write “Thinglish”…but I would tend to think Thingy is using the “royal we”, indication of its grandiose delusions, as in “We are not pleased that “we” are not believable.

  328. #328 Th1Th2
    September 28, 2011

    Sorry. No loitering allowed. This thread is done. Just wait for Orac’s next topic instead.

    Good night.

  329. #329 Chris
    September 28, 2011

    Thingy, only because you are a manipulative delusional troll who thinks she is actually relevant. Unlike your home world of Htrae, you are not.

  330. #330 lilady
    September 28, 2011

    @ Chris: Thingy’s “keepers” probably put it to bed and unplugged its computer. This thread is not done…we are just get started, now that the delusional troll is offline.

    With regard to the new outbreak of polio in china, The WHO says the strain known as WPV1 identified in this outbreak is genetically linked to a type already circulating in Pakistan and has been tracked in China for the past two months.

    Also India has posted health care workers on roads and rails leading out of Pakistan and is immunizing all children ages 5 and under, with OPV, at the border crossings. India is very close to eradicating polio…through intensive immunization campaigns…they have reported only 1 case of polio this year from the West Bengal region.

  331. #331 Narad
    September 28, 2011

    Sorry. No loitering allowed. This thread is done.

    Now, now, just because you’ve left in a pretend huff doesn’t mean that there’s no reason not to linger and ridicule you further. For example, one could feed your replies from this very thread into a Markov chain generator and speculate whether the output is perhaps superior to the input.

    Again, before I just hope the newborn right to encounter the claim: while infamous newborn. So when you should have naturally acquired maternal antibodies for immediate protection for your house.

    Nonetheless, they have any antibodies to post? Exactly; mistaken, the newborn. Now?

    Ahhh.

    Exactly all guys have any maternal antibodies, as effective and uninfected mother, MUST have bet your answer a simple brain stem knows that happened in you are you can be vaccinated primarily because you have little any maternal antibody response. Yeah something?

    Follow the mother is the disease? So is not all cases since Hey idiot!

    That’s why I don’t gamble more like a MUST be absolutely no; take on that not.

    Since you’re just don’t expect the what are so easy. Duh.

  332. #332 Orac
    September 28, 2011

    I’ve discussed parts 6 and 7 of Blaxill and Olmsted’s “epic” here:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/09/mark_blaxill_and_dan_olmsted_merrily_con.php

    Given that this thread is over 300 comments, I think I’ll shut down comments here and suggest that everyone move on over to the new thread if you wish to comment further, so that we don’t have two parallel comment threads going on about this.

The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.