Respectful Insolence

In the more than a decade since I first discovered, to my shock, that there are actual people out there who not only don’t believe that vaccines are safe despite overwhelming evidence that they are but in fact believe that they don’t work and are dangerous, I thought I had seen every antivaccine argument out there. After all, I just wrote about the tactics and the tropes of the antivaccine movement in which I reviewed, well, the tactics and tropes of the antivaccine movement. One of the favorite (and therefore most commonly used) tropes of the anti-vaccine movement is that vaccines are somehow “unnatural.” There are many variants of this particular trope, for example the claim that “natural” infection is better than vaccination. This delusion sometimes reaches the point where some antivaccine parents will do something as stupid as to try to send lollipops licked by their children with chickenpox through the mail to other parents, the aim being to allow those parents to expose their children the chickenpox in order to give their children the “benefit” of “natural immunity.”

Yes, I thought I had seen every variation of the “unnatural” trope so beloved by antivaccinationists that, I must admit, the following took me rather by surprise. It’s on a website whose name GreenMedInfo.com tells you just about all you need to know about it. My brief perusal of the site reveals that it’s chock full of “natural” medicine quackery. Consistent with this, it appears to be rabidly antivaccine, as evidenced by a little dittie by someone named Sayer Ji, who is the person responsible for this website, entitled The Vaccination Agenda: An Implicit Transhumanism/Dehumanism. it’s a crank trifecta, combining antivaccine tropes, conspiracy mongering, and the natural fallacy in heaping helpings, all topped off with fear mongering implying that vaccines are somehow responsible for making us less “human.” At this late date, having been in the trenches for a while, even I don’t recall having seen a screed so full of crazy. It’s perfect for a Friday, when, even though I rarely do “Your Friday Dose of Woo” anymore, this might have been a good candidate for it. You’ll see what I mean right away:

In fact, ever since the adaptive, antigen-specific immune system evolved in early vertebrates 500 million years ago, our bodies have been doing a pretty good job of keeping us alive on this planet without need for synthetic, vaccine-mediated immunity. Indeed, infectious challenges are necessary for the development of a healthy immune system and in order to prevent autoimmune conditions from emerging as a result of TH2 dominance. In other words, take away these natural infectious challenges, and the immune system can and will turn upon itself; take way these infectious challenges and lasting immunity against tens, if not hundreds of thousands of pathogens we are exposed to throughout our lives, would not be possible.

Ah, yes. The appeal to nature gussied up with a bit of evolution. In other words, according to Ji, because we co-evolved with pathogens, living with pathogens is “natural.” And so it is. So are cancer, old age, and death. These are all completely “natural” too, as are strychnine and any number of “natural” toxins. (If you’ll recall, a “toxin” is by definition something made by a living organism.) The point, of course, is that just because something is natural does not make it good, benign, or even just neutral. Nature is harsh, and the battle for survival brutal, and it’s completely “natural” for all manner of animals to be eaten by bigger, faster, and hungrier animals. Yet the mindset behind so much of “alternative” medicine and antivaccine views is that natural is always good and that anything synthetic should be viewed with extreme suspicion. It’s silly, because even “natural” nutrients and medicines are just as much chemicals as any synthetic nutrient or chemical. We have to judge whether such chemicals are harmful based on science and where the evidence leads us, not based on whether the chemical is “natural” or not. Yet it is this assumption that leads Ji to ask:

Can vaccines really co-opt, improve upon, and replace natural immunity with synthetic immunity?

How many will this require?

Are we not already at the critical threshold of vaccine overload?

By “improving” on our humanness in this way, are we not also at the same moment departing dramatically from it?

I’m really at a loss to figure out how, even if we were in a state of “vaccine overload” (we’re not) vaccines would somehow be “departing dramatically” from our humanness. Is there a “vaccine skeptic” out there who can explain this to me using actual science rather than prescientific understandings of the function of the human body and how it is disrupted by disease? I doubt there is, but you never know. In any case, the entire argument behind Ji’s article is that vaccines are somehow stripping us of the things that make us human. The first way they’re doing it, according to Ji, is by challenging us to way too many–get this!–antigens.

Yes, antigens. Scary, scary antigens. Plus the dread aluminum, of course:

A new paper published in the journal Lupus entitled Mechanisms of aluminum adjuvant toxicity and autoimmunity in pediatric populations, points out that as many as 125 antigenic compounds, along with high amounts of aluminum (AI) adjuvants are given to children by the time they are 4 and 6 years old, in some “developed” countries. The authors also state: “Immune challenges during early development, including those vaccine-induced, can lead to permanent detrimental alterations of the brain and immune function. Experimental evidence also shows that simultaneous administration of as little as two to three immune adjuvants can overcome genetic resistance to autoimmunity.”

I actually have already seen and read this paper, even though it just came out within the last few days. In fact, I had even thought of blogging this paper. Then I remembered. This paper looked mighty familiar. So I searched my blog on the names of the author, and, sure enough, I quickly found that I had dealt with this sort of thing before just last month. I read my old post, and quickly became apparent to me that this article in Lupus is basically the same article as the one in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry that I had likened to an “argumentum ad pirates,” or confusing correlation with causation the way that was so deftly illustrated a few years ago when global warming was linked to the decrease in the number of pirates. And that, dear readers, is why I didn’t bother with this article. I didn’t need to. It’s more or less the same article; at least it uses very much the same arguments. So I’ll just point you to my original deconstruction and leave it at that. Let’s just say that both articles are a pair of fetid dingo’s kidneys.

What follows next is a rapid-fire listing of common antivaccine tropes, most related to the “natural” gambit. For example, we have what I like to call the “toxins gambit”:

Common adjuvants include: aluminum, mineral oil, detergent stabilized squalene-in-water, pertactin, formaldehyde, viral DNA, phosphate, all of which are inherently toxic, no matter what the route of exposure.

We have the “naturalistic fallacy” applied to the route of administration of vaccines:

Many parents today do not consider how dangerous injecting adjuvants directly into the muscle (and sometimes blood, due to incorrect and/or non-existent aspiration techniques), especially in non-infected, healthy offspring whose immune systems are only just learning to launch effective responses to the innumerable pathogens already blanketing their environment.

I’ll give Mr. Ji minimal credit. He at least seems to know the difference between injecting vaccines intramuscularly and injecting them “directly into the bloodstream,” which appears to be the approved description favored by antivaccine activists. (Don’t believe me? Google “vaccine injected directly into bloodstream.”) Realizing the difference, he had to mention “incorrect and/or non-existent aspiration techniques” as a way to imply that vaccines are frequently injected “directly into the bloodstream” by accident. It’s all nonsense, of course, particularly the bit about how injecting antigens into the muscle is harmful when administered to babies “whose immune systems are only just learning to launch effective responses to the innumerable pathogens already blanketing their environment.” I suppose in this natural world babies never suffer injuries that introduce pathogens into their subcutaneous and even intramuscular spaces. Perhaps the most telling line is when Ji characterizes humans as having “strayed from their mammalian roots by creating and promoting infant formula over breast milk and then promoting synthetic immunity via vaccines over the natural immunity conferred through breastfeeding.”

Do I really need to say it again? If breast feeding was so effective in saving babies from infectious disease, then why was the smallpox vaccine needed? Why did the measles affect so many thousands of children before the development of the measles vaccine? Why did Hib affect so many children, even kiling some, until just around 20 years ago. The disease only came under control after the vaccine against it came into widespread usage. Don’t get me wrong. In most circumstances, breastfeeding is undeniably best. But the passive immunity conferred by breast milk is not long-lasting and can’t be counted upon to prevent diseases that vaccines can prevent.

Then my irony meter exploded.

Ji likens vaccination to transhumanism, which he apparently abhors because he views it as a “movement which intends to improve upon and transcend our humanity, and has close affiliation with some aspects of eugenics.” He then continues:

The CDC’s immunization schedule reflects a callous lack of regard for the 3 billion years of evolution that brought us to our present, intact form, without elaborate technologies like vaccination — and likely only because we never had them at our disposal to inflict potentially catastrophic harm to ourselves. The CDC is largely responsible for generating the mass public perception that there is greater harm in not “prophylactically” injecting well over 100 distinct disease-promoting and immune-disruptive substances into the bodies of healthy children. They have been successful in instilling the concept into the masses that Nature failed in her design, and that medical and genetic technologies and interventions can be used to create a superior human being.

In this culture of vaccination, the non-vaccinated child is “inferior,” “dirty,” perhaps even “sub-human” to those who look upon vaccination as the answer to what perfects the human immune system. Transhumanism participates in a dialectic which requires a simultaneous and systematic dehumanization of those who do not share the same way of thinking and behaving. The eugenic undertones of mass vaccination and the cult of synthetic immunity are now only thinly veiled, as we move closer to the point where a psuedo-scientific medical dictatorship lays claim to our very bodies, and the bodies of our children.

“Eugenics undertones” to mass vaccination programs? How ridiculous! How is it “eugenics” to administer a preventative measure that saves children from infectious disease? Isn’t that saving the “weak” and “subverting nature’s intent”? The whole idea behind eugenics is that modern medicine is saving the “unfit” (who would normally have died if it weren’t for modern society, science, and medicine preventing that) and thereby “weakening” the gene pool by letting the “unfit” reproduce. In the U.S., eugenics led to mandatory sterilization of the mentally ill and developmentally disabled. In Nazi Germany, it lead to the killing of children who were deemed Lebensunwertes Leben (“life unworthy of life”), either because they were developmentally disabled, had serious illnesses, or were deemed to be of “inferior” racial stock, among other reasons.

Now that’s eugenics. Vaccination to save all children? Not so much.

Not surprisingly, as well, there is a strong undercurrent of “health freedom” in Ji’s argument. Note the appeals to fear of a “cult of synthetic immunity” (actually that’s one cult I could actually get behind–what’s wrong with immunity?) and to a medical dictatorship that “lays claim to our very bodies, and the bodies of our children.” It’s not about science, given the copious evidence that vaccines are safe and effective. It’s about fear of the government and big pharma. It’s also about fear:

The point of no return (if not already traversed) is only around the corner: the mass introduction of DNA and Recombinant Vector Vaccine technology. Vaccines moved through the following stages (a tortured history of failures and massive “collateral damage”): Live Vaccines > Attenuated Vaccines > Subunit Vaccines > Toxid Vaccines > Conjugate Vaccines, only now reaching towards converting our living tissue into “vaccine-making factories” through the use of DNA and Recombinant Vector Vaccines, which are designed to directly alter cells within the vaccinated person’s body so that they create the antigens normally provided by vaccines themselves.

That’s right! Those evil scientists are, like the plot of a 1950s B-grade science fiction or horror movie, usurping Nature (with a capital “N,” of course!) and accessing Forbidden Knowledge and Making Themselves Into Gods. You know, all the horror movie cliches. In this instance, to Ji vaccines are the fruits of such forbidden knowledge and are turning us into monsters as a result. There are reasons to be very careful and conservative about vaccines designed to infect cells and thereby generate antigens that provoke an immune response, but Ji goes really overboard. DNA vaccines are nothing more than injecting naked plasmid DNA into the muscle, whose cells take up the DNA and express the proteins encoded therein. They don’t integrate into the genome or permanently alter the cells.

Ji’s article is the naturalistic fallacy on megadoses of steroids. To him, science isn’t just subverting Nature (with a capital “N,” again!) but it’s producing vaccines that are allegedly going to permanently alter us to make us no longer “human.” Vaccine scientists and doctors are somehow “callous lack of regard for three billion years of evolution,” as though evolution could never be improved upon. What is medicine, after all, if not interfering with evolution. Antibiotics interfere with evolutionary selection in that they save lives that might otherwise have been lost, allowing reproduction that might never have happened. So does surgery, a whole host of medicines, and a number of other treatments. That’s the idea.

It’s an idea Sayer Ji appears to reject utterly. This would be bad enough if he just rejected it for himself and his family, but he’s not content with that. He wants to persuade others to follow his boneheaded example, too.

Comments

  1. #1 Julian Frost
    January 27, 2012

    [E]ver since the adaptive, antigen-specific immune system evolved in early vertebrates 500 million years ago, our bodies have been doing a pretty good job of keeping us alive on this planet without need for synthetic, vaccine-mediated immunity.

    Then why did most people die before reaching adulthood?
    Also, I loved his error.

    Common adjuvants include:…viral DNA…

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but the viral or bacterial DNA is the active ingredient, not an adjuvant.
    Lastly, could a philosopher or ethicicst or whatever kindly explain what transhumanism means. I suspect it’s a load of horse apples, but I’d like an expert opinion.

  2. #2 Lawrence
    January 27, 2012

    Humans reproducing like rabbits is what has kept us on this planet. Given that things like the Toba Eruption 70,000 years ago might have reduced our total population to around 100,000 individuals or less, high birth rates have been necessary (because so many of us just go and die off. Nature has done a wonderful job of culling humanity over the years, how dare we take a step back and try to save more than nature has dictated will die (though through our own inhumanity to man, we’ve also done a good job of culling ourselves.

    What morons.

  3. #3 hellocthulu
    January 27, 2012

    @ Julian Frost

    Actually, viral or bacterial DNA can also be an adjuvant. In humans and other animals (plants? all eukaryotes? I can’t remember) CGs in our DNA are almost always methylated. Bacterial (unmethylated) CG activates TLR9, a pathogen-detecting receptor in the innate immune system.

  4. #4 El Jay
    January 27, 2012

    Do reptiles and fish use infant formula and vaccination, or am I reading far too much into the words “mammalian roots?”

    @Julian Frost

    could a philosopher or ethicicst or whatever kindly explain what transhumanism means

    The Transhumanist FAQ should describe it well.

  5. #5 El Jay
    January 27, 2012
  6. #6 Renate
    January 27, 2012

    Of course, it’s far better to die from “natural” diseases than to live thanks to “unnatural” medicine and vaccins.

    I know what I would prefer. Life may have it’s downsides, but still I prefer being healthy and alive thanks to medicine and vaccins.

  7. #7 Greg Fish
    January 27, 2012

    Because I study AI, my blog ended up covering a lot of transhumanist themes and scrutinizing them for scientific accuracy, and many ideas espoused by transhumanists can easily stray into comic book science territory, especially about cyborgs and sentient computers. But there’s a good core argument for transhumanism, mainly that humans have been trying to improve their environment and beat disease and death for ages. So if we have the technology to change ourselves for the better, why not try to use it? Contrary to this quote,…

    Transhumanism participates in a dialectic which requires a simultaneous and systematic dehumanization of those who do not share the same way of thinking and behaving.

    … transhumanists want every human to have a chance to modify him or herself according to personal preference. Don’t want to swap out your heart for an efficient future machine? Fine, don’t. But the point is that the technology is there so if your heart fails or you simply change your mind.

    The article dissected in the post is a prime example of what transhumanists like to call “biological conservatism” and it’s an utterly asinine notion to think that an impersonal set of biological processes that resulted in us should dictate who and what we are, what we are to do, and how we should go about our lives. Unless, of course, you’re just doing the New Age thing and substituting “nature” for “God.”

  8. #8 MikeMa
    January 27, 2012

    Sayers idea that vaccines change humans in ways evolution would not is ridiculous of course. Vaccines mimic evolution, just faster. Sayer apparently likes death and disease as the slower, natural course might take a few million years and new pathogens would continue to evolve as well meaning we’d leave the world open to preventable disease and suffering forever.

    What vaccines do change in some cases, is the environment we live in. We are now rid of smallpox and will soon, with luck and effort, be rid of polio. Without vaccines, reservoirs of those diseases would exist worldwide popping up to devastating effect. Poor Sayer. Wrong about everything.

  9. #9 Dianne
    January 27, 2012

    I read my old post, and quickly became apparent to me that this article in Lupus is basically the same article as the one in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry

    That sort of thing is usually frowned upon by journals. How’d they get away with it?

  10. #10 Robert S.
    January 27, 2012

    To an google philosopher Vaccines and Eugenics are exactly the same.

    Shorter woo:
    Vaccines save lives, and Eugenics is all about killing people like the Nazis, right? Just two sides to the same coin, right? It’s all about the man having power, and messing with evolution for his own ends, and stuff, and wow have you ever looked at your hands? I mean realllllly LOOKED at them?

  11. #11 Orac
    January 27, 2012

    I’m not sure how they got away with it. The articles are very similar, but they’re different lengths and have a different structure. The arguments, however, are damned near identical, which is why I didn’t see the need to address the new article. My guess is that they wrote two articles and submitted them to different journals. Then, somehow they lucked out in getting both of them accepted around the same time.

  12. #12 MI Dawn
    January 27, 2012

    Where on earth do these people get the idea that “N”ature gives a damn about us? Or that natural things are so much better than what science has discovered to be good for us? Nature will try to freeze us to death, give us sun poisoning/dehydration/disease. Nature is not kind. Nature doesn’t CARE. It simply exists. We are not in its target at all, except as something that is.

    Emily claims that Natural Living will cure all ills in another thread, even pulling out the “doctors used to recommend smoking” trope. Yeah, some did. Often during times of high infection rather hoping, like garlic necklaces (now THERE’S something natural for Emily), that the smoke would prevent the germs from infecting the person.

    Me? I’ll take vaccines. I’ll take modern medicine. I’ll listen to my doctor and follow his recommendations – try to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, drink only in moderation, continue to not smoke. I’ll also follow his recommendations to take my medications for my health – while my blood pressure HAS decreased thanks to weight loss and dietary changes, it was still high but is controlled by medication. My cholesterol has responded to dietary changes and exercise, so guess what? He DOESN’T want me on medications for it. I asked him for the flu shot, and next year I’ll get my shingles vaccine and whatever else I can get. He offers but doesn’t require them. Guess he doesn’t get paid enough by Big Pharma….

  13. #13 SirBedevere
    January 27, 2012

    I believe you can get a good insight into the minds of anti-vaxxers by reading The Grizzly Maze by Nick Jans (ISBN 978-0452287358). It’s the story of Timothy Treadwell, a self-styled lover of grizzly bears who, in typical new-age fashion, thought that all nature was kind and loving and all you have to do is open your heart to it and everything will be fine. He conned people out of money to spend summers camping out with grizzlies… until one killed him. It’s this same “all nature is good” mindset that pervades the anti-vax world. And basically, though in less dramatic fashion, leads to the same results.

    Recommended reading, seriously.

  14. #14 Scott Cunningham
    January 27, 2012

    Mr. Sayer is condemning vaccines for being an ambitious intervention, and Transhumanists are his scary scenario of where ambition to save lives leads. Wow. I’m used to seeing Transhumanists criticised for being day-dreamers advocating expensive or impossible cosmetic interventions they’ve plagiarised from the high-impact scientific journal X Men, not for simply having aspirations. This isn’t the first time the Naturalistic fallacy has stunk of fatalism, but he’s really stunk up the room with it this time.

  15. #15 palindrom
    January 27, 2012

    On my browser, Creepy Cenegenics Dude is back to gaze upon the transhumanism discussion! How did he know?

  16. #16 ArtK
    January 27, 2012

    Taking the argument reductio ad absurdum we should eschew any technology that alters our environment. Houses? Sorry, gotta live under the trees. Agriculture? Nope, back to being hunter-gatherers. Roads and cars? Nature gave us feet, so why do we need anything more?

  17. #17 Alfred G.
    January 27, 2012

    What I find so interesting about Orac’s critique is his inability to address the actual questions this paper brings up. Is it, for instance, a sensible approach to use aluminum hydroxide as an adjuvant in vaccines, especially in children? Is the CDC’s vaccine schedule not an implicit acknowledgment that we must move beyond our natural human state, to a semi-synthetic “uber human” state of enhanced, vaccine-mediate immunity? Also, if you look at this author’s other works, you will find that he is referencing the Cochrane Collaboration’s own findings that vaccines in children under 2, health adults, the elderly and those who care for the elderly, have not been shown (unequivocally) to be effective http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/shocking-lack-evidence-supporting-flu-vaccines

    Seriously, ORAC, if you claim to represent “science” let’s talk about the science itself, and not use the old ad hominem approach to seriously questions brought up by this man’s work.

  18. #18 Denice Walter
    January 27, 2012

    Well, I guess I should be ashamed of myself for subverting Nature: I just took my anti-biotics and oh, do I feel great!
    Pharma, I’m yours!

    Orac mentions the evil scientists who usurp Nature** becoming as Gods: in woo-topia, they are countered by the Brave Maverick Doctor- Martyr- Scientific Revolutionary- Paradigm-Shifter who is pure of motive like Nature herself- not beholden to the corruption of the Corporate Power Elite-Government-Media Cartel.

    It seems to me that a parallel universe is evolving: fuelled by the net and new media, a counter-culture best exemplified by the writings of Mike Adams that has political aspirations as well as entrepreneurial ones. They publish their own material and spread it around like organic manure. And this is not Alex Jones and David Icke, hidden from view in the dustiest corners of cyberspace, but closer to the mainsteam, marshalling support for small government/ free enterprise/ less regulation. The whole natural, healthy alternative meme has a great effect in the marketting of products especially foods, not just in tiny, low-impact markets, as financial television reports.

    ** Funny how all of this stuff get extra capitals… like in German.What’s wrong with these people, isn’t normal English expressive enough for them?

    AND: More anti-vax follies: seems AoA writers are worried about how the DSM-5 will change diagnoses of autism.

  19. #19 Chris
    January 27, 2012

    Alfred G.:

    Seriously, ORAC, if you claim to represent “science” let’s talk about the science itself, and not use the old ad hominem approach to seriously questions brought up by this man’s work.

    If you are going to pull the “represent science” canard, then you are obligated to actually use it yourself. That means posting the original research to support your statements and not a link to some random website. Especially since your website just links to other of your own pages, and uses less than adequate papers (cherry picking).

  20. #20 Beamup
    January 27, 2012

    Is it, for instance, a sensible approach to use aluminum hydroxide as an adjuvant in vaccines, especially in children?

    Yes. Well-studied, and a closed issue.

    Is the CDC’s vaccine schedule not an implicit acknowledgment that we must move beyond our natural human state, to a semi-synthetic “uber human” state of enhanced, vaccine-mediate immunity?

    It’s an explicit acknowledgement that vaccination is superior to mass death from infectious disease. To attribute some deeper meaning is inaccurate.

    Also, if you look at this author’s other works, you will find that he is referencing the Cochrane Collaboration’s own findings that vaccines in children under 2, health adults, the elderly and those who care for the elderly, have not been shown (unequivocally) to be effective

    Cherry-picking. Certain vaccines aren’t as effective as we might like, but overall they work quite well. I note that the article you cite is expressly about the flu vaccine, but then you extend that to ALL vaccines. Might want to get a fire extinguisher before those pants burn you too badly.

  21. #21 Anton P. Nym
    January 27, 2012

    If vaccines are transhumanism, then so is mechanised agriculture… before which, typical heights for adult males (in most of Europe, anyway) were around the 5’6″ mark and typical longevity was somewhere in the 50s.

    Seriously, ORAC, if you claim to represent “science” let’s talk about the science itself, and not use the old ad hominem approach to seriously questions brought up by this man’s work.

    Sorry, Mr G, but there are no serious questions brought up by this man’s work… any points raised in that rather dubious paper, as Orac pointed out in this article, have been discussed and dismissed multiple times over in this blog… even if you limit your searching to the past year.

    Is the CDC’s vaccine schedule not an implicit acknowledgment that we must move beyond our natural human state, to a semi-synthetic “uber human” state of enhanced, vaccine-mediate immunity?

    Not any more than handwashing, water filtration, and public sewers do. (Or any less, if you wish to view it from that perspective.)

    — Steve

  22. #22 lilady
    January 27, 2012

    “Realizing the difference, he had to mention “incorrect and/or non-existent aspiration techniques” as a way to imply that vaccines are frequently injected “directly into the bloodstream” by accident.”

    Huh? Health care personnel who actually administer vaccines, no longer use an “aspiration technique”. They follow the recommendations of the CDC to not employ “aspiration” for any vaccine, based on the fact that SC and IM shots, when done correctly do not “hit” any blood vessels. There have been studies that “not aspirating” causes less pain at injection sites and pre-loaded with vaccine “safety” syringes do not allow “aspiration”.

    Hey it’s Friday…I wonder who Boy Wonder Ace Reporter is stalking. After all, it is *Jake’s right as a ‘steakholder’ to disrupt public meetings.

    *Per Ginger Taylor and her friends at AoA.

  23. #23 Calli Arcale
    January 27, 2012

    Why do some people think that there are human actions which somehow aren’t natural or not part of evolution? What arrogance does it take to think any part of us is somehow above evolution?

    *Everything* we do is natural. *Everything* we do is part of the evolutionary process. Good or bad, it’s all natural and it all counts towards evolution. We evolved the intellectual capacity and creativity to develop things like vaccines; that’s entirely fair and legitimate. I know some people would say that it allows the weak to survive; baloney. You can only say that if you’re arrogant enough to judge some people to be weak and some to be strong. The only tests of fitness are survival and reproduction. Doing it with some esoteric sense of nobility for doing it “the hard way” is purely optional, and utterly irrelevant to evolution.

    When our ancestors evolved milk glands, were they cheating, in that those less able to find good food for their babies were now able to survive? Of course not. That’s ridiculous. Evolving sophisticated intelligence has obviously served us enormously well. Whether it will continue to do so is unknown, but the “vaccination subverts evolution” argument is patently absurd. (Also pretty creepy, frankly.)

    And then there is the argument that because Nature evolved us to our present form, we should not tamper with it. Why not? Evolution doesn’t stop, and merely because we are what we are does not mean we are ideal. We evolved to be enormously adaptable, and survive and thrive in a truly staggering range of conditions, from rainforest to desert, from tropics to the polar regions, from plains to mountains, from ocean to savannah, we live everywhere. Hell, we’re the only animals living at the South Pole.

    It’s true, we didn’t evolve with aluminum-adjuvanted vaccines being injected into our bloodstreams. We also didn’t evolve with computers, the wheel, aquaducts, plumbing, animal husbandry, milling, weaving, metal tools, glass, electricity, peanut butter, etc. The world changes, and we change, and that is not inherently a bad thing. The argument is nothing more than a medical version of “when I was a kid, we didn’t have all these newfangled MP3 players and videogames and things; we had BOOKS and we were happy!” Are new things always good? No. They’re also not always bad. Being new doesn’t make things dangerous.

    And Alfred G, no, the vaccine schedule is not an implicit acknowledgement that we must move beyond our natural human state. It is not possible to move beyond our natural human state, and vaccine immunity is really no different than the regular kind anyway. It doesn’t make us uber-humans. It just lets us get immunity to a few things without getting so sick. Like cooking food allowed us to get more nutrients without getting so sick. (And I’m not just talking about spoiled food either; two of the world’s most important starches, cassava and potato, have the potential to be poisons if prepared improperly.) It’s a new thing, just like chimps who fish for ants are doing a new thing, but it’s using the same equipment our genes have been giving us for thousands of years, cultivated within our fabulously sophisticated societies.

    It’s true there have been studies showing that vaccine efficacy is more nuanced than one might think or hope. That’s not a bad thing; if we want the best vaccine program, we need to do science to find out where it has weaknesses and how to improve upon it. There is nothing remotely unnatural about that, even if it does mean going against the people who don’t like change.

  24. #24 Anton P. Nym
    January 27, 2012

    By the by, and having extremely little to do with medicine, this article has propitious timing; Good Old Games announced yesterday the re-release of the original Deus Ex computer game… the central theme of which is the merits and faults of transhumanism.

    “Game of the Year” edition is $9.99 by direct download from their web site, with no DRM, if you’re interested.

    — Steve

  25. #25 Mojo
    January 27, 2012

    The whole idea behind eugenics is that modern medicine is saving the “unfit” (who would normally have died if it weren’t for modern society, science, and medicine preventing that) and thereby “weakening” the gene pool by letting the “unfit” reproduce.

    Elsewhere, I’ve argued with someone who has used this as an argument against medicine, and in favour of homoeopathy. Homoeopathy as a form of eugenics!

  26. #26 kruuth
    January 27, 2012

    Since the human genome was sequenced it’s been found that there are plenty of genetic “dead ends” in our code, some ancient as hell. I think they’re called introns but I haven’t taken a bio course in over a decade. Wouldn’t that mean that we’re programmed naturally to rewrite our genetic code and wouldn’t that mean that regardless of whether or not the intervention is through natural exposure or vaccination mean that the genteic code will be changed?

    The end result seems the same.

  27. #27 Narad
    January 27, 2012

    My guess is that they wrote two articles and submitted them to different journals. Then, somehow they lucked out in getting both of them accepted around the same time.

    Given that this was a special issue of Lupus, I was thinking they may have been asked for a summary version of the previous paper, perhaps by Shoenfeld; I’m not offhand seeing a call for papers, so I assume it was planned out in advance, and they do self-cite the earlier one.

  28. #28 Elf M. Sternberg
    January 27, 2012

    Scott: Transhumanism does, I’ll admit, sometimes have a wacky, far-out feel to it, but at one level it’s basically a bog-standard progressive ideology. Vaccination is transhumanism, in the same way that Grandma’s hip replacement makes her a cyborg: for the first time in the 50,000 years H. sap has been wandering the planet, we can prevent some diseases and replace or enhance some damaged body parts. That “some” is key. One year, zero; the next decade, a paltry few; now, many more.

    Just as the anti-evolutionists have yet to find that one key principle in biology and physics that proves evolution couldn’t have happened, anti-transhumanists have yet to point to the one key principle in biology and physics that proves we won’t be able to replace or enhance all of them.

    I doubt it’ll happen in my lifetime. I doubt Edward Jenner expected in his lifetime the end of smallpox or polio. I doubt the average peg-legged pirate foresaw a day when people with prostheses could run faster than those with their limbs as nature gave ‘em.

    So give the man his due: he’s right. Vaccination is transhumanism. Read your Dickens and appreciate how we’re no longer required to go through the oh-so-human experience of watching a beloved child die from a preventable disease.

  29. #29 MI Dawn
    January 27, 2012

    Hmmmm…either the internets ate my much earlier comment or it’s still in moderation. I’ll check again later. It was either too long or too insolent for the filters; I doubt Orac was bothered by it and I don’t THINK I used any forbidden words.

  30. #30 Dangerous Bacon
    January 27, 2012

    Slightly peripheral to the subject of vaccines:

    In the category of “if all you’ve got is a hammer…”, we now have Erin Brockovitch (“environmental activist”) “starting her own investigation” into the mysterious Tourette’s-type symptoms in Le Roy, New York. A local neurologist treating most of the kids says he thinks it’s a conversion disorder (a.k.a. mass hysteria), but Brockovich is focusing on a link to a train derailment back in 1970 that spilled cyanide and the solvent TCE. The USA Today story 1/27 quotes Brockovich as saying “We don’t have all the answers, but we are suspicious”. It’s been 42 years, and there is no known linkage between Tourette’s-type symptoms and TCE, but it’s gotta be the Toxins.

    Brockovitch’s quote could almost serve as the motto for the antivax movement, with slight alteration: “All the answers have gone against us, but we are still suspicious”.

  31. #31 MikeMa
    January 27, 2012

    MI Dawn,
    The filters in place seem to be for length and links only, not any bad words I am aware of or that I have ever read Orac delineate. I expect the blinking lights will release the post when it wakes up!

  32. #32 Glaxxon PharmaCOM Orbital
    January 27, 2012

    MESSAGE BEGINS—————————

    Shills and Minions,

    The villanous rebels have clearly discovered Secret Plan Nº. 12™ to use Teh Toxins™ in vaccinations subjugate your species into a stupefied army of docile, not-quite-human, mouth breathing idiots. I rub my scaly hands together in uninhibited glee at the thought of sullying your species pristine Natural State© with all our lovely PharmaToxins®.

    Minions Lilady, DW, Ren, Big Blue and Narad: Initiate Plan 9.5, a special chemtrail run for our little green friends secret headquarters. Load the sprayers with Glaxxon Monkey Mist™ B7 (Paralyzing Papaya flavor) and spare no one! And hit the nest of that Alfred creature, I think it’s on to us . . . it’s the only way to be sure.

    Now I really must go, Portlandia is on (and to think the Scilons almost got their hands on Fred Armisen. What a loss that would have been.) . . .

    Lord Draconis Zeneca VH7iL

    Grand Vitara of Edina VII, Forward Mavoon of the Great Fleet, Pharmaca of Terra, Spray it Like You Mean It

    Glaxxon PharmaCOM Orbital
    001111110111011101010101111

    —————————-MESSAGE ENDS

  33. #33 Janet J.
    January 27, 2012

    Those who claim to understand and appreciate the science behind vaccination should read this:

    Note: inactivated flu vaccines in children under 2 have not been proven effective, nor safe, but are scheduled for six month olds or older in both US and Canada…

    Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Apr 16;(2):CD004879.
    Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy children.
    Jefferson T, Rivetti A, Harnden A, Di Pietrantonj C, Demicheli V.
    SourceVaccines Field, Cochrane Collaboration, Via Adige 28a, Anguillara Sabazia, Roma, Italy, 00061.

    Abstract
    BACKGROUND: The consequences of influenza in children and adults are mainly absenteeism from school and work. However, the risk of complications is greatest in children and people over 65 years old.

    OBJECTIVES: To appraise all comparative studies evaluating the effects of influenza vaccines in healthy children; assess vaccine efficacy (prevention of confirmed influenza) and effectiveness (prevention of influenza-like illness) and document adverse events associated with influenza vaccines.

    SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2007, issue 3); OLD MEDLINE (1950 to 1965); MEDLINE (1966 to September 2007); EMBASE (1974 to September 2007); Biological Abstracts (1969 to September 2007); and Science Citation Index (1974 to September 2007).

    SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs), cohort and case-control studies of any influenza vaccine in healthy children under 16 years of age.

    DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently assessed trial quality and extracted data.

    MAIN RESULTS: Fifty-one studies with 294,159 observations were included. Sixteen RCTs and 18 cohort studies were included in the analysis of vaccine efficacy and effectiveness. From RCTs, live vaccines showed an efficacy of 82% (95% confidence interval (CI) 71% to 89%) and an effectiveness of 33% (95% CI 28% to 38%) in children older than two compared with placebo or no intervention. Inactivated vaccines had a lower efficacy of 59% (95% CI 41% to 71%) than live vaccines but similar effectiveness: 36% (95% CI 24% to 46%). In children under two, the efficacy of inactivated vaccine was similar to placebo. Variability in study design and presentation of data was such that a meta-analysis of safety outcome data was not feasible. Extensive evidence of reporting bias of safety outcomes from trials of live attenuated vaccines impeded meaningful analysis.

    AUTHORS’ CONCLUSIONS: Influenza vaccines are efficacious in children older than two but little evidence is available for children under two. There was a marked difference between vaccine efficacy and effectiveness. No safety comparisons could be carried out, emphasizing the need for standardisation of methods and presentation of vaccine safety data in future studies. It was surprising to find only one study of inactivated vaccine in children under two years, given current recommendations to vaccinate healthy children from six months old in the USA and Canada. If immunisation in children is to be recommended as a public health policy, large-scale studies assessing important outcomes and directly comparing vaccine types are urgently required.

    Update of
    Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006;(1):CD004879.

  34. #34 MI Dawn
    January 27, 2012

    @MikeMa: yeah, I’m sure if it’s in purgatory Orac will release it in time. I’m just never sure (since my internet has been -let’s be polite here – a little wonky lately) if it’s in purgatory or it’s been eaten alive. The comment wasn’t that long, either. But I know that the filters have moods, so I’m rather more amused than anything else. (And it always makes me laugh when it happens to me or one of the usual commenters, and then you read some troll whining about censorship and such….)

  35. #35 Orac
    January 27, 2012

    @Alfred G. I discussed the near twin of the article to which I referred in great detail:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/12/and_global_warming_is_caused_by_the_decr.php

    I even pointed out that the reason I didn’t discuss Tomljenovic’s excretions is because I had already dealt with them before. As for flu vaccines, I’ve discussed the evidence for them on many occasions on this blog. For example: http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/10/mike_adams_vs_the_flu_vaccine.php

  36. #36 Daniel J. Andrews
    January 27, 2012

    Glasses, contacts and other corrective lenses interfere with evolution too. Actually, modern cities do as well. They’re an anomaly, a barely noticeable blip, on the scale of human evolution alone.

    We’re human because we had to survive against predators and other humans. Just like a gazelle is the way it is because of the cheetahs and lions, so are we human because of our predators and other ecological influences.

    Now that we’ve moved into cities that influence from our relationship with Nature (with a capital “N”) is now disrupted. Evolution is subverted. We need to torch the cities, loose mere anarchy and the blood-dimmed tide upon the world to let the rough beast slouch forward for birth*, disperse, become hunter-gatherers, and allow evolution to mould us as it always intended (should I use a capital E for evolution too?).

    *(Apologies to Yeats for mangling his stanzas. I think an English professor dies every time someone mangles Yeats).

  37. #37 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 27, 2012

    Janet J. @33. That’s very interesting. Did you have a specific point you wished to make about that in the context of this discussion?

  38. #38 Janet J.
    January 27, 2012

    The point I would like to make is that ORAC enters the discussion with the a priori viewpoint that vaccines are safe and effective, even while the weight of the evidence (meta-analytical studies) peer-reviewed biomedical research itself indicates that they are not. I’m still trying to figure out how ORAC’s perspective is “scientific,” rather than strictly scientism.

  39. #39 Calli Arcale
    January 27, 2012

    Daniel J Andrews:

    Glasses, contacts and other corrective lenses interfere with evolution too. Actually, modern cities do as well. They’re an anomaly, a barely noticeable blip, on the scale of human evolution alone.

    They do not interfere with evolution; the phrase “interfere with evolution” is meaningless, because it presupposes that evolution has a particular purpose in mind. It doesn’t. Evolution never intended us to become hunter-gatherers; it didn’t intend anything. Whatever happens, no matter what we do, it is, by definition, natural and part of evolution. Nature isn’t in cities? Balderdash. To say that, you have to believe humans are above nature — that we are angels, not merely the place where the rising ape meets the falling angels. Admittedly, this is a very popular perspective. But it’s wrong. It’s a product of our brains’ species recognition mechanisms; how to tell “human” from “not-human”. It’s great for picking a mate and getting on with collaborative work, but if we start applying it to the world, for the purpose of judging the world or deciding what our future should be, we’re definitely stretching it beyond its utility and we’re going to get ourselves into trouble.

    (BTW, “The Second Coming” is one of the most awesome Yeats pieces. My heart grew two sizes when it got quoted on “Babylon 5″.)

  40. #40 Anton P. Nym
    January 27, 2012

    If I had any drawing talent at all, I’d be tempted to draw a cartoon of a caveman reviling another for subverting the natural order with a transhumanist agenda… by wearing clothes.

    We’re humans. We use tools to moderate our environment and better adapt ourselves for survival. That’s the schtik our species evolved, and it’s no less natural than parrots eating clay to neutralise toxic oils in their diet or beavers building dams and lodges.

    — Steve

  41. #41 Th1Th2
    January 27, 2012

    Do I really need to say it again? If breast feeding was so effective in saving babies from infectious disease, then why was the smallpox vaccine needed?

    I don’t know Orac but you can always verify your information before asking a stupid question? Do babies really get smallpox vaccine?

  42. #42 Here Thingy..
    January 27, 2012

    Pharmacaust denialism in the house?

  43. #43 Science Mom
    January 27, 2012

    The point I would like to make is that ORAC enters the discussion with the a priori viewpoint that vaccines are safe and effective, even while the weight of the evidence (meta-analytical studies) peer-reviewed biomedical research itself indicates that they are not.

    @ Janet J. (who appears to be a sockpuppet), do you think it is rational to extrapolate data from one type of vaccine to all vaccines? If so, please explain how and if not, then how do you find your use of a single vaccine systematic review apropos of accusing our host’s post as “scientism”?

  44. #44 MI Dawn
    January 27, 2012

    @Janet J: Vaccines are, in general, safer than actually getting the disease. If you had read your lovely copy/pasta, you would have noticed the Cochrane report (2008 – isn’t there a more recent one?) was discussing the FLU vaccine and its effectiveness. There are many issues with the Flu vaccine – we have to guess which variant will be prevalent each year, how severely it will effect the population, how many people will get the vaccine.

    Now, how about discussing the vaccines that are really under discussion: DTaP, MMR, HepB, etc?

    And, before you go there again: NO ONE on this site, not even Orac, claims that all vaccines are perfectly safe, that everyone should be vaccinated, and that there are no reasons for people not to be vaccinated.

    So, stick to facts, stick to documented research, and please, stick to the point without the long copy/paste (you could have just given the reference; most of us DO know how to use PubMed).

  45. #45 Anton P. Nym
    January 27, 2012

    ORAC enters the discussion with the a priori viewpoint that vaccines are safe and effective, even while the weight of the evidence (meta-analytical studies) peer-reviewed biomedical research itself indicates that they are not.

    I’m sorry, but you are flat out wrong Ms. J. The vast bulk of “peer-reviewed biomedical research” shows that vaccines are (overall) safe and effective. Some specific immunisation methods have been shown to be less safe or less effective than others, but those ones get replaced as soon as an alternative becomes available.

    Vaccines certainly are much more safe and effective than crossing one’s fingers and hoping not to encounter the illness in the wild, which is the real “alternative” modality offered by CAM.

    — Steve

  46. #46 Narad
    January 27, 2012

    I don’t know Orac but you can always verify your information before asking a stupid question? Do babies really get smallpox vaccine?

    Does someone have to pin a note to your shirt before you’re allowed out?

  47. #47 lilady
    January 27, 2012

    (Before Orac “kills” the sock puppet)

    @ Janet J. Try looking up “transhumanism and homologous recombinant tinikers” for more ‘accurate’ citations.

  48. #48 Roadstergal
    January 27, 2012

    In other words, according to Sayer, because we co-evolved with pathogens, living with pathogens is “natural.”

    Well, yes. We evolved with all kinds of bacteria, fungi, worms, all of the massive diversity of microorganisms that are living commensally, cooperatively, or parasitically with us, and with most of those, we’re just fine. It’s a substantial minority of microorganisms that cause Real Problems – the smallpoxes, polios, measles, tetanuses, etc, of the world. And it’s fantastic that we can specifically target our immune system, via vaccines, to just those specific ‘troublemakers.’ (OK, death and disfigurement makers.)

    I don’t think that’s what he was getting at, but I think it’s a lovely concept. :)

    As was mentioned, one substantial way in which we have ‘evolved’ to deal with the more devastating of these pathogens is to breed enough of us to keep on going after we’ve been decimated. ‘Natural’ it might be, but I’ll take my assisted immunity over that any day.

    in order to prevent autoimmune conditions from emerging as a result of TH2 dominance

    Why do I get all these Th1 and Th17 markers when I assess samples from patients with autoimmunity? Must be something wrong with my assays…

  49. #49 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 27, 2012

    Janet J.,
    1. I believe your use of a priori is incorrect in this context. Based on what he’s written, Orac’s view on immunization is based on his reading of the evidence and not independent of experience. Orac can comment further if he feels so inclined.
    2. The study you quoted did say that the influenza vaccine was of limited value in children under 2 and that there had only been one study using children under 2. However, it did say “Influenza vaccines are efficacious in children older than two”. How do you square that with your comment that (to paraphrase) the weight of the evidence is that vaccines are not effective?
    What I read in that Cochrane study was that there is good reason to question the effectiveness of influenza vaccine in children under 2. If you want to generalize that vaccines are ineffective in more cases, you’ll need better data.

  50. #50 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 27, 2012

    Hmmm… babies used to get smallpox despite breast feeding. Then the percentage of babies who got smallpox decreased after people started getting vaccinated, even though the babies themselves didn’t get vaccinated until they were older. I wonder if there’s some phenomenon that might explain that.

  51. #51 Composer99
    January 27, 2012

    IMO sites like GreenMedInfo really do lay bare the old-school religious underpinnnings of anti-vax thought:

    (1) Concern with ritual purity (scary antigens, adjuvants, and teh toxinz!) – check
    (2) Veneration of what amounts to a deity or deific force (in this case, “E”volution) – check
    (3) Proselytization – teh evul vaccinz must be stopped! – check
    (4) Fear & loathing of those who seek to upset the “natural order of things” and of their works – check

    IMO just replace vaccines & scientists with Satan & his fallen angels and replace evolution with Yahweh and you’ve got hardline Protestantism.

  52. #52 lilady
    January 27, 2012

    Here is an abstract about flu vaccines effectiveness in children two years of age and under. Is this “new enough” for Janet J.?

    Vaccine. 2011 Oct 6;29(43):7529-34. Epub 2011 Aug 4.
    Effectiveness and safety of influenza vaccination in children: European perspective.
    Heikkinen T, Heinonen S.
    Source

    Department of Pediatrics, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland. terho.heikkinen@utu.fi
    Abstract

    Accumulating evidence for the substantial burden of influenza in children has increased interest in the vaccination of young children against influenza. So far, however, few European countries have issued official recommendations to vaccinate healthy children, which is largely due to the popular belief that inactivated influenza vaccines are ineffective in young children. Virologically confirmed studies performed during different seasons have yielded widely varying estimates for vaccine effectiveness and suggested that the match between the vaccine and the circulating strains of influenza viruses is one of the key drivers of the effectiveness of the vaccine. In seasons with good antigenic match, inactivated influenza vaccines are clearly effective also in children younger than 2 years of age. The live attenuated influenza vaccine provides even greater effectiveness in children, but the overall potential of this vaccine is limited by its licensure for only children older than 2 years of age. The safety record of seasonal inactivated influenza vaccines is excellent even in the youngest children.

    Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    PMID:
    21820481
    [PubMed - in process]

  53. #53 Composer99
    January 27, 2012

    On my theme of religious & magical thinking, Janet J IMO expresses a picture-perfect example by trying to wield the Cochrane systematic review as a talisman against pro-vaccine advocates and then trying to wield “scientism” (yet what a brilliant Orwellian smokescreen of a meaningless word) in the same way.

  54. #54 lilady
    January 27, 2012

    @ Lord Draconis: The helicopters are loaded with the teh evil spray and I am awaiting orders from Glaxxon PharmaCOM Orbital Headquarters, to begin the spraying, “hovering” around 1000 feet.

    Just one question Lord and Master…if I could “procure” a larger helicopter from Glaxxon PharmaCOM Orbital Headquarters, would it be advantageous to our “cause” to drop some trolls from the hovering craft?

  55. #55 dedicated lurker
    January 27, 2012

    Does someone have to pin a note to your shirt before you’re allowed out?

    As I’ve said before, I wonder where the thing gets enough brain power to covert oxygen to carbon dioxide.

  56. #56 Th1Th2
    January 27, 2012

    I wonder if there’s some phenomenon that might explain that.

    Well, ask yourself. Is that “phenomenon” acquired by babies?

  57. #57 palindrom
    January 27, 2012

    This is completely off-topic, but it’s simply a request for information that I got earlier from this forum.

    The topic was evolution, and someone mentioned a biology professor at a Christian college whose website said, in effect, that evolution is an excellent theory — powerful, consistent, empirically supported, and so on — but that he didn’t choose to believe it because it contradicts the Bible. I found this astonishing and have often wanted to refer to it — but being a geezer of a certain age I can’t remember the name!

    If someone in the Hive could remind me, I’d appreciate it. Thanks.

  58. #58 palindrom
    January 27, 2012

    Th1Th2 — “Is that “phenomenon” acquired by babies?”

    When nearly everyone is immunized, the disease essentially disappears, and the babies are spared, too.

    Now remember, don’t tear that note off your shirt and eat it like the last time.

  59. #59 Th1Th2
    January 27, 2012

    When nearly everyone is immunized, the disease essentially disappears, and the babies are spared, too.

    You didn’t explain the “phenomenon”. What gives?

  60. #60 Elizabeth Reid
    January 27, 2012

    My life was probably saved by prednisone when I was a small child, because it prevented my death from severe asthma. I think that was great. I reached adulthood instead of dying from smallpox, polio, measles, pertussis, diphtheria, or any of the other vaccine-preventable diseases. I think that’s great too. If someone wants to come up with a recombinant treatment for my child’s genetic illness, I will REALLY think that’s great. If this is transhumanism, ladle me out some more.

  61. #61 Narad
    January 27, 2012

    What gives?

    What gives is that you are desperate for playmates. Perhaps you should try an imaginary friend.

  62. #62 Th1Th2
    January 27, 2012

    What gives is that you are desperate for playmates. Perhaps you should try an imaginary friend.

    I don’t know Narad but you already have a “phenomenon”.

  63. #63 mikel
    January 27, 2012

    palindrom:
    Todd Wood.

  64. #64 Ren
    January 27, 2012

    @Glaxxon PharmaCOM Orbital

    The flight lessons are going very well, by the way. I will post a picture to your Facebook profile to confirm the proper investment of my Pharma Shill® earnings.

  65. #65 Gilgamesh417
    January 27, 2012

    Hey, I say let’s go all forward with transhumanism. Use technology to totally and universally improve the human condition to make us all stronger, faster and longer lived. Evolution is slow, erratic, and only produces the species best suited for its ecological niche and not the most absolute physically fit species. How else are we going to fight off the impending alien invasion predicted by Stephen Hawking if we are not all deus ex machina and can punch through walls, jump and land hundreds of feet, run hundreds of milks an hour, think super fast and interface with machines.

  66. #66 Liz Ditz
    January 27, 2012

    Somewhat off-topic question for the hive mind:

    I have a cold. (Acquired from 24 month old grandson sticking his slimy fingers up MY nose as I was trying to wipe HIS dripping nose.)

    How many antigens are associated with the common cold or rhinovirus?

    Is that a simple question or do I need to rephrase it?

  67. #67 lilady
    January 27, 2012

    @ palindrom: One biology professor at a Christian college, who now teaches “the bible”…and not evolution to his students, is Gary Parker, Ed.D (Just Google his name)

    Another “wealth of evolution nonsense” is at the Conservapedia website.

  68. #68 Ren
    January 27, 2012

    @Liz

    Rhinovirus is not the only virus that causes a cold. But, supposing you’re only talking about Rhino…

    There are over 100 serotypes, each capable of causing disease. When they do cause disease, each mL of nasal secretions has about 1,000 virons in it. Each viron alone can cause disease. It causes disease by attaching to the epithelial cells of your upper respiratory tract. (It doesn’t like lower respiratory since it’s too warm there for it to replicate.) Each virus attaches to a receptor on epithelial cells…

    There are many, many receptors on each cell, and just as many (or more) on each virus.

    Yeah, this doesn’t answer the question, but it explains how we’re being assaulted with these things all the time and look at us… Still here.

  69. #69 lilady
    January 27, 2012

    “Another “wealth of evolution nonsense” is at the Conservapedia website.” should read ‘wealth of ANTI-evolution nonsense’

  70. #70 oakfarm
    January 27, 2012

    Since the first time I read the argument of “natural immunity”, I have thought “wait a minute, are infectious diseases so natural?” Infectious diseases began to seriously plague mankind after agriculture had been introduced, for example measles was a cow virus and had no chance to evolutionarily adapt to humans before we domesticated cows (correct me if I’m wrong). And agriculture is not natural, it’s culture, agriCULTURE.

    See what I’m trying to say, “natural immunity” makes no sense if plagues arn’t natural.

  71. #71 herr doktor bimler
    January 27, 2012

    the old-school religious underpinnnings of anti-vax thought:
    (1) Concern with ritual purity (scary antigens, adjuvants, and teh toxinz!) – check

    Mary Douglas’ work comes to mind here (particularly “Purity and Danger”). Phenomena that don’t fall neatly into our culture’s structure of mental categories (straddling boundaries) = transgressive, threatening, SCARY.

  72. #72 mo
    January 27, 2012

    Maybe they are transhuman, but nothing subverts evolution, everything adds to evolution ;)

    If many people are rescued from childhood death by vaccines, selection can act on the traits they will express in their further lives, so the quantity of traits evolution can act on is enriched.

    Same falsity as saying evolution has stopped because of better medical care for the invalid or because not every second person is eaten by a lion.

  73. #73 Calli Arcale
    January 27, 2012

    oakfarm — measles is related to rinderpest, but I’m not sure we can definitively say that it didn’t exist in humans prior to domestication of cattle. In any case, diseases absolutely do exist in nature. Look at it this way: if there are disease which target wild chimpanzees, for instance, why would there never have been diseases which targetted wild humans?

    You mention plague, which makes me think of bubonic plague. This disease’s spread was probably facilitated by agriculture and civilization, because it allowed rats to thrive in close proximity to humans (eating our grain stores in cities). But you can also get it by visiting an infected prairie dog colony in America today, far from civilization; it can happily exist without agriculture.

    Agriculture, however, is very much natural. Culture is natural. Chimpanzees have culture. Orcas have culture. Crows even have culture; it’s a trait of sophisticated social animals with high learning ability. And agriculture is even practiced by some non-sentient animals; the classic example is ants rearing aphids for their honeydew. They even raise fungus as livestock feed.

  74. #74 Krebiozen
    January 27, 2012

    So agriculture and cities were humanity’s big mistakes? As Douglas Adams wrote, some people think it was a mistake to come down out of the trees in the first place.

  75. #75 Narad
    January 27, 2012

    I don’t know Narad but you already have a “phenomenon”.

    Oh, I see. You only work in (unobservable) Platonic forms.

  76. #76 AllieP
    January 27, 2012

    By this argument, wearing skins for warmth and killing our food with sticks is an argument for transhumanism, not to mention band aids, eyeglasses, and the wheel.

    I am a happy transhumanist, looking forward to further transhumanization.

  77. #77 Th1Th2
    January 27, 2012

    Oh, I see. You only work in (unobservable) Platonic forms.

    You’re the one who claimed to have observed this “phenomenon” but why can’t you explain it using science?

    Again, how do babies acquire this “phenomenon”?

    Until then, you cannot convince me to believe in your imaginary friend.

  78. #78 Denice Walter
    January 27, 2012

    @ Composer99:

    When I read Frazer I never imagined that I would be applying his ideas to the 20th & 21st Century West!

    Altho’ the woo-centric contingent romanticises Nature and centuries prior to our own- like the 19th Century- if you read writers of those times you find that they weren’t exactly thrilled with Nature: someone is always dying young of the ravages of a devastating disease ( without GSK) or trapped in the rising storm on the barren heath (without Gore-tex)and the poor babies would be dying, leaving their mourning mothers distraught ( without SSRIs): Eugene O’Neill has a character rant against talk about the “Good Old Days” where all lived on a bog and everyone died of consumption… perhaps prayers were for protection *from* Nature.

    New Age mystics are insulated enough from reality to mix things up. If you go back to Classical times, you’ll notice gods and goddesses of Nature ( wind,sea, sun, earth) and Culture( the hearth, learning, medicine, agriculture).

    Since I am battling the ravages of Nature myself ( with the help of Pharma), perhaps I should go read some Thomas Hardy and make myself feel even more miserable and forlorn.

  79. #79 Narad
    January 27, 2012

    You’re the one who claimed to have observed this “phenomenon”

    Oh, really?

  80. #80 mikel
    January 27, 2012

    @palindrom @56: I think the name you’re looking for is Todd Wood. I tried posting this earlier with a link but that got cast into Pit of Moderation.

  81. #81 Th1Th2
    January 27, 2012

    Oh, really?

    Once in a while defend your movement.

  82. #82 Science Mom
    January 27, 2012

    Once in a while defend your movement.

    Nah, that’s what we have Rob Hood, Mississippi frog gigger for.

  83. #83 Vincent Iannelli, MD
    January 27, 2012

    It is easy to see how Sayer Ji’s experience led him to write that article – BA, Philosophy, 1991 – 1996 Rutgers.

    Sawyer Ji Resume

  84. #84 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 27, 2012

    You know the name of the phenomenon. It is the observable condition that occurs when a sizable percentage of the population is immune to a disease; there are no epidemics of that disease. There can be isolated cases or outbreaks in small portions of the community, but not epidemics. Those who are not immune are significantly less likely to be exposed, and thus become ill in far fewer numbers. The reduction in disease is disproportionate to the percent of the population that is immune. The percentage of the population that needs to be immune for this phenomenon to be observed varies by the virulence and method of transmission of the disease.
    And no, the phenomenon is not acquired by babies. Babies do benefit from it.

  85. #85 Janet J.
    January 27, 2012

    Cute – post 1 study on flu vaccines in children with probable industry funding (which is why the Cochrane Collaboration is so powerful: they separate out the garbage checkbook science from the phenomenological/empirical stuff)and ignore the high-powered meta-analysis that looked at over a quarter of a million children, going back to 1950, and proved only 1 safety study had ever been performed in children under 2. Again, ORAC appears to want to discredit a website and an author who brings up solid points, but won’t even talk about the research itself. For those with the balls read Sayer’s report on the lack of evidence supporting flu vaccines, and debunk that: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/shocking-lack-evidence-supporting-flu-vaccines I’ve tried. I couldn’t. I learned something.

  86. #86 Narad
    January 27, 2012

    Once in a while defend your movement.

    The Alice’s Restaurant Th1Th2 Self-Massacree Movement? I suppose I should send off for a card, but watching this sustained series of total blunders is awfully diverting.

  87. #87 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 27, 2012

    Janet J. – How do you square your statement with the following conclusion in the quote you posted: “Influenza vaccines are efficacious in children older than two”? Which do you believe?
    If it helps “efficacious” means “works”.

  88. #88 Beamup
    January 27, 2012

    @ Janet J:

    5 minutes on Pubmed turned up PMIDs 21464195, 21596087, 21513762, and 21513761. On the first page of results. From 2011.

    IOW, Sayer is either a liar or grossly incompetent to be making such claims.

  89. #89 Science Mom
    January 27, 2012

    @ Janet J., you haven’t answered my question back at # 42. Would you care to or continue the wild-ass hand-waving?

  90. #90 lilady
    January 27, 2012

    @ Janet J. See my posting at # 51 above. The PubMed citation is from 2011…which trumps your Cochrane Collaboration Meta Analysis from 2006…by five years. Try again, troll.

  91. #91 Th1Th2
    January 27, 2012

    And no, the phenomenon is not acquired by babies.

    And you don’t have a name for that “phenomenon”? Hmmm…interesting. But kids do have names for their imaginary friends, don’t they?

  92. #92 palindrom
    January 27, 2012

    mikel and lilady — Thanks so much! Todd Wood was the name I was trying to recall.

    Wood’s The Truth About Evolution (also linked above) is an amazing document. Here are the money quotes:

    “Evolution is not a theory in crisis. It is not teetering on the verge of collapse. It has not failed as a scientific explanation. There is evidence for evolution, gobs and gobs of it. It is not just speculation or a faith choice or an assumption or a religion. It is a productive framework for lots of biological research, and it has amazing explanatory power. There is no conspiracy to hide the truth about the failure of evolution. There has really been no failure of evolution as a scientific theory. It works, and it works well.”

    But then, just a little later:

    “It is my own faith choice to reject evolution, because I believe the Bible reveals true information about the history of the earth that is fundamentally incompatible with evolution.”

    This is the point where my eardrums pop as if I’ve just dropped 10,000 feet in a second.

    I have to admire Wood for his intellectual honesty, but his choice is simply bizarre to my way of thinking.

  93. #93 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 27, 2012

    I know the name of the phenomenon; you know it too. We’ve discussed it before. In fact, there are multiple names for the phenomenon, depending on how you feel about applying a term used for cattle to people, or how strong you believe the phenomenon to be.

  94. #94 Th1Th2
    January 27, 2012

    And no, the phenomenon is not acquired by babies. Babies do benefit from it.

    Also please define “benefit” on the context of immunity. Well?

  95. #95 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 27, 2012

    “Benefit” was previously defined by implication as “Those who are not immune are significantly less likely to be exposed, and thus become ill in far fewer numbers.”

  96. #96 Sauceress
    January 27, 2012

    But kids do have names for their imaginary friends, don’t they?

    You mean like the way you call yours “my adoring audience”?

    I’m betting Th1Th2 has eaten all its purple and green crayons again.

  97. #97 Th1Th2
    January 27, 2012

    “Benefit” was previously defined by implication as “Those who are not immune are significantly less likely to be exposed, and thus become ill in far fewer numbers.”

    Say that again.

  98. #98 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 27, 2012

    The benefit: babies are less likely to get sick with a specific disease even if they are not, themselves, immune.

  99. #99 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 27, 2012

    “that again”

  100. #100 Th1Th2
    January 27, 2012

    The benefit: babies are less likely to get sick with a specific disease even if they are not, themselves, immune.

    But how come the benefit of using OPV is to promote secondary spread of infection to those who are not immune?

  101. #101 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 27, 2012

    Assumes facts not in evidence nor topical to this discussion.

  102. #102 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 27, 2012

    You may bring that position into this conversation if you can show that non-immune children in locations where the vast majority of the population is immune to polio catch the disease polio (not merely an infection from the weakened virus provided in OPV, assuming such occur) at least as frequently as non-immune children in locations with a lower overall polio immunity rate.
    Otherwise, the conversation started off talking about smallpox. While I have tended to generalize my statements, that was not an invitation to go off on wild tangents.

  103. #103 palindrom
    January 27, 2012

    Regarding the “phenomenon” under discussion:

    Air Force General (at breakfast): “Honey, and men — I have something awesome to announce. Two flying saucers have just — landed on my plate.”

    Subordinate: “You mean … the eggs, Sir?”

    Air Force General: “Let’s just call them …. the phenomena.”

    Firesign Theater; Everything You Know Is Wrong.

    Hilarious, and surprisingly ageless.

  104. #104 Th1Th2
    January 27, 2012

    Assumes facts not in evidence nor topical to this discussion.

    Handwashing, good hygiene, better nutrition…what else?

  105. #105 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 27, 2012

    Handwashing, good hygiene, better nutrition

    All good things. They don’t relate to this discussion.

  106. #106 Narad
    January 27, 2012

    Handwashing, good hygiene, better nutrition…what else?

    Tell us more about your hygiene.

  107. #107 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 27, 2012

    Lest I be considered flip: hand washing, good hygiene, and better nutrition can help reduce the spread of disease. Soap, in particular, is one of the great inventions in reducing disease.

  108. #108 Th1Th2
    January 27, 2012

    You may bring that position into this conversation if you can show that non-immune children in locations where the vast majority of the population is immune to polio catch the disease polio (not merely an infection from the weakened virus provided in OPV, assuming such occur) at least as frequently as non-immune children in locations with a lower overall polio immunity rate.

    I never doubted for one moment that you are a germ denialist.

    Otherwise, the conversation started off talking about smallpox. While I have tended to generalize my statements, that was not an invitation to go off on wild tangents.

    I know that recently smallpox-vaccinated individuals are a threat to babies so to have them come close is not recommended. Other than that, I don’t see any of what you called “benefit” that will be beneficial to a baby’s immunity. Hence, I’d been asking you explain the mechanism of such “phenomenon” with regards to their immunity?

  109. #109 Chris
    January 27, 2012

    Janet J:

    For those with the balls read Sayer’s report on the lack of evidence supporting flu vaccines, and debunk that:

    I did, back in comment #19. Mr. Ji references his own articles and cherry picks poor studies to support his contentions. And if you read what Orac wrote, you will see that he really does not know what he is talking about (exactly which vaccines are given directly into the bloodstream?).

    And others have debunked you contentions by posting a more a 2011 study.

    Now if you have actual evidence that the MMR vaccine is more dangerous than measles, mumps and rubella, or that the vaccine for Hib is more dangerous that form of bacterial meningitis, that either the DTaP or Tdap are more dangerous than the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis the just post the title, journal and date of the PubMed indexed papers.

  110. #110 Th1Th2
    January 27, 2012

    Lest I be considered flip: hand washing, good hygiene, and better nutrition can help reduce the spread of disease. Soap, in particular, is one of the great inventions in reducing disease.

    At least you can explain the connection. But what about your so-called “phenomenon”?

  111. #111 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 27, 2012

    I see a fundamental difference between an infection and a disease. This does not make me a germ denialist. I am, in your words, an infection promoter. Please get it straight.
    One person being immunized does not affect another person’s immunity. I thought I was quite clear on that. It does affect the other person’s chances of being exposed to the disease and – therefore – of becoming sick. Since you believe it’s better to be sick than to be not sick, I feel for you.

  112. #112 Th1Th2
    January 27, 2012

    I see a fundamental difference between an infection and a disease.

    Are VAPP and VDPV diseases or infection?

  113. #113 Th1Th2
    January 27, 2012

    And no, the phenomenon is not acquired by babies. Babies do benefit from it.

    But according to vaccinators, to be a part of that “phenomenon”, one has to “acquire” something, is it not?

  114. #114 Th1Th2
    January 27, 2012

    One person being immunized does not affect another person’s immunity. I thought I was quite clear on that. It does affect the other person’s chances of being exposed to the disease and – therefore – of becoming sick. Since you believe it’s better to be sick than to be not sick, I feel for you.

    But what about the “phenomenon” and its benefits for the non-immune?

  115. #115 Gray Falcon
    January 27, 2012

    Th1Th2, is smallpox still around? Why or why not? Is polio as common as it once was? And claiming all cases of AFP are, in fact, polio is an outright and easily provable lie, so don’t say that.

  116. #116 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 27, 2012
  117. #117 Vicki
    January 27, 2012

    I am descended from uncountable millions of unvaccinated ancestors. Every single one of them is dead.

  118. #118 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 27, 2012

    But according to vaccinators, to be a part of that “phenomenon”, one has to “acquire” something, is it not?

    It is not.

    But what about the “phenomenon” and its benefits for the non-immune?

    You’re being deliberately obtuse. That statement is an indication of my respect for you.

  119. #119 Bronze Dog
    January 27, 2012

    Why do some people think that there are human actions which somehow aren’t natural or not part of evolution? What arrogance does it take to think any part of us is somehow above evolution?

    That’s one thing about woos that really bugs me. I’ve had some woos talk about the double-slit experiment as if human-manufactured tools used to observe the experiment were outside the universe, looking in from the divine realm, instead of being a part of the experimental system. That way, they could doublethink their way into being surprised when the observation changed the result.

  120. #120 Denice Walter
    January 27, 2012

    @ Bronze Dog:

    It’s bizarre to see human products labelled as “unnatural” after all, weren’t our cognitive abilities – including the more abstract, hypothesising, creative and rational- all selected naturally? Aren’t cultural and communicative abilities also *natural* human abilities? They didn’t arise out of nothing or from the extra-natural.

  121. #122 Anton P. Nym
    January 27, 2012

    # Antaeus: I forgot about that strip until now. Still pertinent, alas. (And still funny, fortunately.)

    @ Denice: I’d bet that, deep down, a lot of the woos *do* think cognition came from nothing or the extra-natural; there’s an awful lot of assumed vitalism in the field, and a lot of folks tend to assume that “evolution” is according to some purpose or is part of a plan. So if we use it in a manner that invalidates or violates their perceptions of what is planned or what the purpose is, then we’re acting “unnaturally” according to them.

    In my experience, “natural” tends to be whatever we grew up with plus some nostalgia passed down from earlier generations, seasoned with a bit if wistful thinking… and it takes a fair bit of education and reflection to consider otherwise.

    — Steve

  122. #123 W. Kevin Vicklund
    January 28, 2012

    But what about the “phenomenon” and its benefits for the non-immune?

    Let’s walk through this. A given infectious disease has what’s called a basic rate of reproduction (R0). R0 is the number of people an infected person is expected to infect in a population with no immunity before that person is no longer infectious. Thus, for a disease with R0=10, we would expect an infectious individual to infect 10 people. These 10 people then infect 10 more each, and so on.

    But what happens if a sizable portion of the population is immune? Say 80%. Of the 10 people that we would expect to be infected, 8 are immune and thus only 2 get infected. These 2 people then infect 2 more each, and so on.

    Already, we can see that the spread of the disease is drastically reduced (9 people infected vs. 1001 infected after 3 rounds, including the original case). If nothing else, this gives more time to implement secondary measures, such as quarantine and ring vaccination.

    Now what happens if very high levels of immunity exist, say 95%? Of the 10 people our infectious individual would be expected to infect, 9.5 are immune and thus only 0.5 get infected. Wait, how can half a person get infected? The answer is, on average, half a person gets infected. That means that more than half the time (because sometimes more than one gets infected), nobody else gets infected. This follows a Poisson distribution. So here’s the breakdown on odds of the exact number of people infected, not including the original case, but including people infected by people who weren’t the original case:

    0: 61%
    1: 18%
    2: 9%
    3: 9%
    4: 3%
    5 or more: less than 0.1%

    Let me re-iterate. That is the total number of people infected during the course of the outbreak, not just the people infected by the original case.

    This is for any sufficiently large population. So for a population of 100 with 95% immunity, there’s a better than 75% chance that any given person without immunity will not get infected. For a population of 1000, that rises to a better than 97% chance. For a population of 10,000 you’re looking at less than 0.25% chance of getting infected.

    That, my friends, is how herd immunity works.

  123. #124 Roadstergal
    January 28, 2012

    Hell, nuclear reactors are natural. Nature does some crazy things.

    (Well, in addition to the obvious one.)

  124. #125 marty
    January 28, 2012

    @Glaxxon PharmaCOM Orbital:
    Does PharmaCOM pay in PharmaShillings?

  125. #126 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    January 28, 2012

    This delusion sometimes reaches the point where some antivaccine parents will do something as stupid as to try to send lollipops licked by their children with chickenpox through the mail to other parents, the aim being to allow those parents to expose their children the chickenpox in order to give their children the “benefit” of “natural immunity”.

    If some people are really stupid enough to do this (which forms a criminal offence of reckless endangerment!) … the eugenicists may just have had a bloody point! They’re actually providing support for that horrible notion that we should get rid of people based on the messy notion of ‘mental ability’ (or lack thereof). Why do these people want to give eugenicists such brilliant reasons for pushing their crap?

    Oh – I know ….

    Because they’re bleeding stupid!

    I’m fast losing patience with the general populace.

  126. #127 Here Thingy..
    January 28, 2012

    If that’s the case then Wheat is Transhumanism on Steroids!

  127. #128 Denice Walter
    January 28, 2012

    @ Anton P. Nym :

    Sure, Steve: I run into a great deal of talk about the spirit, chi, higher vibrations, soul- they may have problems conceptualising our more abstract abilities as natural and imagine them as gifts of the extra-mundane. Our capacities to create novel thoughts and images must have seemed g-d like to people in earlier times: the insubstantial as channel for the divine.

    On the hand, we hear talk of the “g-d less” scientists, “playing g-d” and “soul-less”-ness by proselytisers who often rely upon *emotional* grand-standing to lure in followers. Altho’ accepting alt med arguments rests upon lack of information about biology et al, poor knowledge of psychology makes people easier targets for alt med sales techniques as well as for the use of mysticism to explain everyday cognitive and emotional experience.

  128. #129 Denice Walter
    January 28, 2012

    @ David N. Andrews M.Ed. C.P.S.E.

    Well, look what the cat dragged in- and aren’t we glad!
    Seriously though, David, don’t totally lose patience with them. You see, you have an advantage in that you know what you’re doing and you’re are a leader of sorts- an educator. So you need just chill a bit, dude.

    I realise how much “bleeding stupid” is out there- the extent of which is truly mind-boggling. But what choices have we? We could ignore it and go on our merry respective ways focusing purely on our own self-interests or attempt to change the landscape by communication. They had these coffee houses 200 years ago where guys met and talked of the new: nowadays we have the internet – making the coffee house’s possibilities for clientele much larger. ( While it would probably be fun to be a lovely Georgian lady hosting a salon, this way I don’t have to go through all the trouble with corsets and wigs and other nonsense- but I’d probably look really great )

  129. #130 Krebiozen
    January 28, 2012

    I realise how much “bleeding stupid” is out there- the extent of which is truly mind-boggling.

    Consider how “bleeding stupid” the average person is. Statistically speaking, 50% of people are even more “bleeding stupid” than that. With apologies to whoever I stole that from.

  130. #131 Denice Walter
    January 28, 2012

    @ Krebiozen:

    I know. And critics call us “the elite”- they’re sort of correct as the SB position is the extreme end of the curve; but in our continuously evolving enlightment, 200+ years on, the entire curve keeps shifting onwards in synch with its new vanguard so the median isn’t as abysmal as it once was. I just add this lest we make ourselves even more depressed. And reading the type of crap I do, I need to believe that- “It’s only a passing phase”. Right. Stupidity will evolve to new heights I’m sure, even if only relatively.

  131. #132 Th1Th2
    January 28, 2012

    Mephistopheles,

    But according to vaccinators, to be a part of that “phenomenon”, one has to “acquire” something, is it not?

    It is not.

    Is that your final answer? Our survey says…..

  132. #133 Th1Th2
    January 28, 2012

    A given infectious disease has what’s called a basic rate of reproduction (R0). R0 is the number of people an infected person is expected to infect in a population with no immunity before that person is no longer infectious.

    How about the R0 of infectious diseases amongst the fully vaccinated and those who have previously had primary infection? Have you heard about asymptomatic reinfection? It seems though you’re thinking that the vaccinated are no longer susceptible to reinfection in which they can also be a contributor in the chain of infection.

    But what happens if a sizable portion of the population is immune?

    Could you tell Mephistopheles how to become a part of that “phenomenon”?

  133. #134 Lycanthrope
    January 28, 2012

    The CDC’s immunization schedule reflects a callous lack of regard

    Is that like callous disregard?

    OH SNAP

  134. #135 Old Rockin' Dave
    January 28, 2012

    “Many parents today do not consider how dangerous injecting adjuvants directly into the muscle…, especially in non-infected, healthy offspring whose immune systems are only just learning to launch effective responses to the innumerable pathogens already blanketing their environment. Even ignoring the missing verb, the other flaw in that sentence is obvious. Look again at the end of it: “whose immune systems are only just learning to launch effective responses to the innumerable pathogens already blanketing their environment”. What does he think babies are doing when they put everything they can get their hands on into their mouths, sometimes including their own feces? This is not a Freudian oral stage. This is a very natural, ordinary way to challenge and teach the immune system, even if it’s not the “intended” evolutionary reason for it. The whole world is an immunological challenge for every infant and toddler; I can hardly believe that adding a few more challenges in the form of vaccines is going to do any more harm than everything that gets on their hands and into their mouths from the family dog, the soil or the floor in the kitchen or the mall. I suggest that the widespread urge to cuddle and kiss babies and the desire of babies to be held are in part, teleologically, a component of the process.

  135. #136 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 28, 2012

    Th1Th2 – you’re still being deliberately obtuse and, apparently, coy.

  136. #137 Old Rockin' Dave
    January 28, 2012

    By the way, Orac, a site full of woo would not be the first thing I would have thought of from a name like greenmedinfo.com. If you hadn’t already told us it was, I would have thought that either they wanted hospitals to recycle more and use less energy, or they wanted us all to eat more broccoli and kale, both of which would be commendable goals. The first would be especially good if it led to a renaissance of physical diagnosis and history-taking as a way to use expensive machinery more wisely.
    This is a simple observation from me – I hope this doesn’t spark a whole new subthread.

  137. #138 Jen
    January 28, 2012

    Old Rockin Dave, pretty sure kids don’t stick adjuvant into their mouths and just because you can’t believe that injecting “a few more challenges” into kids doesn’t mean it is harmless. Injecting. Ingesting. They are different. Do you agree? Better quality safety studies need to be done. Period. That might be extended phase 4 studies or more detailed examination of children who don’t and do receive vaccinations- brain scans, bio- markers, that kind of thing. I am not a scientist, though, so I couldn’t give more specifics.

  138. #139 Narad
    January 28, 2012

    How about the R0 of infectious diseases amongst the fully vaccinated and those who have previously had primary infection?

    If you think really hard, Th1Th2, you may realize that this is an ill-phrased question. But let’s cut to the chase: the small feedback input to S that you want doesn’t induce a qualitative change without careful Game-of-Life-style rigging.

  139. #140 W. Kevin Vicklund
    January 28, 2012

    How about the R0 of infectious diseases amongst the fully vaccinated and those who have previously had primary infection?

    This question is non-sensical as asked. Please reread the definition of R0.

    To answer the question you probably thought you were asking, the effective rate of reproduction (Ri) is the number of people an infected person is expected to infect in a population with a given percentage immunity (i) before that person is no longer infectious. It can be calculated as follows:

    Ri = R0(1-i)

    So to look at the examples above (for a disease with R0=10):

    Ri=0 = R0(1-0) = R0 = 10
    R.8 = R0(1-.8) = .2*R0 = 2
    R.95 = R0(1-.95) = .05*R0 = .5

    Have you heard about asymptomatic reinfection? It seems though you’re thinking that the vaccinated are no longer susceptible to reinfection in which they can also be a contributor in the chain of infection.

    No, I was specifically talking about immunity, not vaccination. 95% immunity is about the highest practical level that can be reached, because of new births, people who are unable to be vaccinated, and people for whom vaccination did not provide immunity. Immunity rates should not be confused with vaccination rates, though vaccination rates can be used as a proxy for immunity rates (if the efficacy of the vaccine is known).

    Could you tell Mephistopheles how to become a part of that “phenomenon”?

    Step 1. Find a population with a high rate of immunity.
    Step 2. Join it.
    Step 3. Hope that not too many other people without immunity join.

  140. #141 ken
    January 28, 2012

    A reminder of the IOM report-
    “The committee finds that evidence convincingly supports a causal relationship between some vaccines and some adverse events—such as MMR, varicella zoster, influenza, hepatitis B, meningococcal, and tetanus-containing vaccines linked to anaphylaxis. Additionally, evidence favors rejection of five vaccine-adverse event relationships, including MMR vaccine and autism and inactivated influenza vaccine and asthma episodes. However, for the majority of cases (135 vaccine-adverse event pairs), the evidence was inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship. Overall, the committee concludes that few health problems are caused by or clearly associated with vaccines. “

  141. #142 Narad
    January 28, 2012

    Is minuscule ken some sort of Blackheart knockoff?

  142. #143 Chris
    January 28, 2012

    ken, so you have just reminded us that vaccines are generally safe. They are definitely safer than the diseases.

  143. #144 Th1Th2
    January 28, 2012

    This question is non-sensical as asked. Please reread the definition of R0.

    The reason I asked is because something does not make sense. Let’s find out shall we?

    You said:

    To answer the question you probably thought you were asking, the effective rate of reproduction (Ri) is the number of people an infected person is expected to infect in a population with a given percentage immunity (i) before that person is no longer infectious.

    But earlier, you said:

    A given infectious disease has what’s called a basic rate of reproduction (R0). R0 is the number of people an infected person is expected to infect in a population with no immunity before that person is no longer infectious.

    So I am going to ask you again based on your revised definition without actually changing my original question: what is the R0 amongst the the people “in a population with a given percentage immunity”? And you know I am referring to the fully vaccinated and to those who have had history of natural infection.

    No, I was specifically talking about immunity, not vaccination.

    Oh really? Do you think that’s a little odd? OK, let’s see…

    95% immunity is about the highest practical level that can be reached, because of new births, people who are unable to be vaccinated, and people for whom vaccination did not provide immunity.

    SO how’d you get or acquire the “95% immunity” level sans vaccination?

    Immunity rates should not be confused with vaccination rates, though vaccination rates can be used as a proxy for immunity rates (if the efficacy of the vaccine is known).

    Ahhh…proxy…well, that’s something I’ve never heard for quite a while.

    Step 1. Find a population with a high rate of immunity.
    Step 2. Join it.
    Step 3. Hope that not too many other people without immunity join.

    Step 1. How?
    Step 2. How?
    Step 3. I think some people would want to join but their asking how?

  144. #145 ken
    January 28, 2012

    ?????
    “However, for the majority of cases (135 vaccine-adverse event pairs), the evidence was inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship.”
    Quite a lot.

  145. #146 adelady
    January 28, 2012

    “Quite a lot.”

    Compared to what?

  146. #147 Narad
    January 28, 2012

    The reason I asked is because something does not make sense.

    That being what?

    So I am going to ask you again based on your revised definition without actually changing my original question: what is the R0 amongst the the people “in a population with a given percentage immunity”? And you know I am referring to the fully vaccinated and to those who have had history of natural infection.

    Nothing was “revised.” What exactly are you complaining about? R0 is the integral over time of the product of infectivity and survival probability. If you want to dork around with it, try some specifics.

  147. #148 ken
    January 28, 2012

    @adelady-
    Read @139

  148. #149 Narad
    January 28, 2012

    Read @139

    *plonk*

  149. #150 Th1Th2
    January 28, 2012

    R0 is the integral over time of the product of infectivity and survival probability.

    Exactly…regardless of immune status.

  150. #151 Science Mom
    January 28, 2012

    ?????
    “However, for the majority of cases (135 vaccine-adverse event pairs), the evidence was inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship.”
    Quite a lot.

    If you were remotely honest then you would ask why and not assume that this was “quite a lot”. So I would ask, what is “quite a lot”?

  151. #152 ken
    January 28, 2012

    There is no doubt that vaccines are weeding out certain groups- Now we have
    “unnatural” selection (man’s intervention) vs. “natural” selection- no intervention by man. Adding to the burden of antigens occuring in nature is considered OK though
    these are “manmade” -“injected” antigens are really “unnatural”.

  152. #153 Krebiozen
    January 28, 2012

    Someone suggested that ken was responsible for 135 unsolved murders, but I pointed out that the evidence is inadequate to accept or reject that accusation. They replied, “That may be, but that’s a lot of murders we can’t be certain he didn’t commit…”

  153. #154 Narad
    January 28, 2012

    Exactly…regardless of immune status.

    You’re not getting this in impressive fashion. Present a simple survival function.

  154. #155 ken
    January 28, 2012

    @Kreb-
    Me being at the scene of the crime 135 times would make me a person of interest.

  155. #156 Th1Th2
    January 28, 2012

    You’re not getting this in impressive fashion. Present a simple survival function.

    Try Russian Roulette. And make sure you’re not gonna bark up at the wrong tree.

  156. #157 Narad
    January 28, 2012

    Try Russian Roulette. And make sure you’re not gonna bark up at the wrong tree.

    Your failure modes are pretty sad, Th1Th2.

  157. #158 Krebiozen
    January 28, 2012

    Me being at the scene of the crime 135 times would make me a person of interest.

    But that’s the thing, vaccines aren’t “at the scene of the crime” most of the time when these adverse events happen. In fact they are so rare that it is impossible to establish whether they are more common after vaccination not. That’s why there is not enough evidence “to accept or reject a causal relationship”.

  158. #159 W. Kevin Vicklund
    January 28, 2012

    what is the R0 amongst the the people “in a population with a given percentage immunity”?

    R0 is the number of people an infected person is expected to infect in a population with no immunity before that person is no longer infectious. Note that the effective rate of reproduction (Ri) is not the same as the basic rate of reproduction (R0). I guess to answer your question, R0 amongst a population with a percent immunity is the average number of people who will get infected by a single person divided by (1 minus the percent immunity).

    In a similar sense, the rest mass (m0) of an object in motion is the mass of the object at rest. The mass of an object in motion is not the same as an object at rest.

    And you know I am referring to the fully vaccinated and to those who have had history of natural infection.

    Have you heard about asymptomatic reinfection? It seems though you’re thinking that the vaccinated are no longer susceptible to reinfection in which they can also be a contributor in the chain of infection.

    SO how’d you get or acquire the “95% immunity” level sans vaccination?

    How you get to the 95% immunity level is irrelevant to what happens when you are at that level. Of course, vaccination isn’t the only way to get there, but the other methods are not as pleasant and not recommended.

  159. #160 herr doktor bimler
    January 28, 2012

    Me being at the scene of the crime 135 times would make me a person of interest.

    The analogy would be closer if a surveillance system had been established to follow ken around every minute of the day and send in a report whenever a crime occurred anywhere in his vicinity. The question would then arise, is the ken-related crime rate any higher than in all the neighbourhoods where ken is absent?

    “The committee finds that evidence convincingly supports a causal relationship between ken and some adverse events—such as parking offenses and overdue library books. Additionally, evidence favors rejection of five ken-adverse event relationships, including arson and assault on a clergyman. However, for the majority of cases (135 ken-adverse event pairs), the evidence was inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship.”

  160. #161 Vicki
    January 28, 2012

    ken–

    An unlikely statement doesn’t become more likely because you type “There is no doubt” in front of it. In fact, not only is there a great deal of doubt that “vaccines are weeding out certain groups,” I’m not aware of any evidence or argument in favor of the claim. Please elucidate.

    Which groups, and which vaccines? If you can establish those points, we can then investigate a mechanism: but first things first. Show that something is happening, and then it’s time to ask how.

  161. #162 Th1Th2
    January 28, 2012

    Have you heard about asymptomatic reinfection? It seems though you’re thinking that the vaccinated are no longer susceptible to reinfection in which they can also be a contributor in the chain of infection.

    Now if you’re going to concur with that then you would know Ri does not exist. So what are you trying to pull?

    How you get to the 95% immunity level is irrelevant to what happens when you are at that level. Of course, vaccination isn’t the only way to get there, but the other methods are not as pleasant and not recommended.

    You’re the one who’s bragging about 95% immunity level and how compliance is necessary to maintain such level and now you’re going to tell me it’s irrelevant? So again, where did you get that 95% immunity level without the need for vaccination?

  162. #163 ken
    January 28, 2012

    @Vicki-
    I didn’t mean a qualitative difference between immunity acquired by vaccines vs.
    immunity through disease processes- just a difference in the # now acquired-obviously now with the # of vaccines given.

  163. #164 ken
    January 28, 2012

    natural |ˈna ch ərəl|
    adjective
    1 existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind : carrots contain a natural antiseptic that fights bacteria | natural disasters such as earthquakes.

  164. #165 Agashem
    January 28, 2012

    I can’t keep it straight any more. Is the troll for or against vaccinations? It seems to be saying that you have to have vaccination to achieve high levels of immunity. Is the the Thing-Bot around?

  165. #166 ken
    January 28, 2012

    natural |ˈna ch ərəl|
    adjective
    1 existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind : carrots contain a natural antiseptic that fights bacteria | natural disasters such as earthquakes.

  166. #167 ken
    January 28, 2012

    natural |ˈna ch ərəl|
    adjective
    1 existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind : carrots contain a natural antiseptic that fights bacteria | natural disasters such as earthquakes.

  167. #168 lilady
    January 28, 2012

    “I can’t keep it straight any more. Is the troll for or against vaccinations? It seems to be saying that you have to have vaccination to achieve high levels of immunity. Is the Thing-Bot around?”

    The problem Agashem, is not you keeping Thingy’s brain droppings straight…the Troll is unable to keep its own postings straight and coherent.

    Where is Th1Th2 bot to provide Thinglish to English translations?

  168. #169 Chris
    January 28, 2012

    It is hard to figure out what ken is saying. He really needs to figure out how to write out a full sentence that fully explains what is going on in his head. It is like he hears the thought in his head, but half of it disappears by the time his fingers hit the keyboard.

  169. #170 Th1Th2
    January 28, 2012

    I can’t keep it straight any more.

    A normal event among vaccinators.

  170. #171 Narad
    January 28, 2012

    Now if you’re going to concur with that then you would know Ri does not exist.

    This assertion is, simply speaking, blindingly stupid. It contradicts your own position of magically controlling the knob on the contact number.

  171. #172 Th1Th2
    January 28, 2012

    This assertion is, simply speaking, blindingly stupid. It contradicts your own position of magically controlling the knob on the contact number.

    No, Narad. Like a child with imaginary friends, he made that $#i+ up.

  172. #173 W. Kevin Vicklund
    January 28, 2012

    Ah, I see. Thingy is an immunity denier. I was merely using her own words to point out that vaccination and naturally acquired infection on occasion do not convey immunity. But apparently Thingy actually believes that they never convey immunity!

  173. #174 LW
    January 29, 2012

    It’s amazing how dense Thingy appears. I can’t decide if it’s really, genuinely that dense — in which case I wonder how it manages to successfully feed itself, much less type — or it just enjoys frustrating people.

    But anyway, since it seems quite incapable of grasping the simple mathematics described by W. Kevin Vicklund, I will give a story of how herd immunity works.

    Cast your mind back to the halcyon days of yesteryear when there were no vaccines and travel was more difficult than it is today. Measles, mumps, rubella, and smallpox all existed at that time. These diseases are rather special in that they are highly contagious and they generally give the survivors lifelong immunity.

    So, imagine a small community on the fringes of European society, in Greenland or Iceland perhaps. This community goes for generations without being exposed to diseases from the mainland. Then, one day, a sailor arrives with an active case of measles, shall we say. No one in this isolated community has had measles, so no one is immune. Thus, the disease spreads like wildfire and pretty soon practically everyone has had it and the survivors are now immune. We now have a community with a rate of immunity near 100%, without vaccination.

    Now suppose the next year another sailor arrives with an active case of measles. Who can he infect? Very few people are not immune: the few who didn’t get the measles the first time, the few who didn’t manage to develop immunity, and of course the new babies. But the odds of the sailor coming in contact with any of these people are low, and even if he comes in contact with one, that one will be infected but is unlikely to infect anyone else. Thus, even those who aren’t immune, like infants, are protected because of the immunity of the people around them.

    This concept is really quite simple and obvious. I don’t understand why Thingy so doggedly refuses to grasp it.

  174. #175 Narad
    January 29, 2012

    No, Narad. Like a child with imaginary friends, he made that $#i+ up.

    This doesn’t mean anything, and it’s unoriginal to boot. You may as well be raving about The Fiction of the “Length” of the Hypotenuse.

  175. #176 Th1Th2
    January 29, 2012

    Ah, I see. Thingy is an immunity denier. I was merely using her own words to point out that vaccination and naturally acquired infection on occasion do not convey immunity. But apparently Thingy actually believes that they never convey immunity!

    First off, you tortured the meaning of R0, wherein you only included the non-immune (in acquiring primary infection). You’re ignorant about the other group who are also susceptible to re-infection i.e. the fully vaccinated and naturally immune. So where did you get your phony Ri thingy if we’re dealing with a particular infectious disease?

    Second, if you’re going to resort to plagiarism, make sure you are aware of the repercussions because you just looked silly. Now you have to prove if Ri really exist?

    Again, how are you going to “convey” that immunity to the non-immune if it is not being acquired? Heck, you just got a 95% and you don’t know?

    And no, the phenomenon is not acquired by babies. Babies do benefit from it.

    Just a reminder.

  176. #177 Narad
    January 29, 2012

    And if anyone is of a mind to adjust such knobs in a spatial cellular-automata realization, this isn’t half-bad, although it doesn’t well visualize the total population tally.

  177. #178 Phoenix Woman
    January 29, 2012

    The problem Agashem, is not you keeping Thingy’s brain droppings straight…the Troll is unable to keep its own postings straight and coherent.

    The classic behavior of someone who on a given issue is motivated, not by logic or evidence, but by sheer unadulterated emotion. Thingy HATES modern medicine, period, and though she sometimes attempts to mimic scientific arguments, she never gets very far.

  178. #179 Narad
    January 29, 2012

    First off, you tortured the meaning of R0, wherein you only included the non-immune (in acquiring primary infection).

    That’s the definition, you ding-a-ling. If you want to include reinfection, it doesn’t go into R0.

    Of course, you could always work the math yourself and demonstrate that you’re not simply brimming over with fail.

  179. #180 Th1Th2
    January 29, 2012

    That’s the definition, you ding-a-ling. If you want to include reinfection, it doesn’t go into R0.

    R0 defines the susceptible. So who are the susceptible? With a given infectious disease, are the non-immune susceptible to primary infection if exposed? Are the vaccinated and the naturally immune susceptible to reinfection at the same time?

    Don’t cower, just answer.

  180. #181 W. Kevin Vicklund
    January 29, 2012

    With a given infectious disease, are the non-immune susceptible to primary infection if exposed?

    Yes.

    Are the vaccinated … susceptible to reinfection at the same time?

    Those that are non-immune are susceptible, those that are immune are not susceptible.

    Are the … naturally immune susceptible to reinfection at the same time?

    Since they are immune, by definition they are non-susceptible.

    Of course, the people who had a naturally acquired infection but did not develop immunity are susceptible to reinfection at the same time, but you didn’t ask about them.

    Do you not understand what is meant by “immune” and “susceptible”?

  181. #182 Narad
    January 29, 2012

    R0 defines the susceptible.

    No, it does not.

    Don’t cower, just answer.

    “Cower”? You seem to be under the impression that your usual routine will work in a formal system. It doesn’t. Your actual option here would be to rebuild the whole thing and pretend that it didn’t reduce to moving around a couple of pipes and finding a roll of Wet Pruf and a Sharpie, but not only are you plainly not competent to that task, you seem unable to figure out where to start looking for the workbench at all.

  182. #183 lilady
    January 29, 2012

    @ Phoenix Woman: I think I will “sit this one out”…let the guys handle the Thing. Cripes, it really is clinically insane.

    I’ve been looking at your blog and find it to be very interesting. I’ll take some time over there and then off to bed. Good night.

  183. #184 Th1Th2
    January 29, 2012

    Do you not understand what is meant by “immune” and “susceptible”?

    Of course when I say fully vaccinated and naturally immune, I meant exactly like that —if they are also susceptible.

    Be careful what you wished for.

    Estimated susceptibility to asymptomatic secondary immune response against measles in late convalescent and vaccinated persons.

    Serological evidence indicates that measles virus (MV) could circulate in seropositive, fully protected populations. Among individuals fully protected against disease, those prone to asymptomatic secondary immune response are the most likely to support subclinical MV transmission.

    h_ttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9700638

  184. #185 Th1Th2
    January 29, 2012
    R0 defines the susceptible.

    No, it does not.

    Here’s your rope. Need help?

    Another measure of transmissibility is the reproduction number, defined as the (average) number of successful transmissions per infectious person. This number should be maximum when an infectious person is introduced into a totally susceptible population, in which circumstance it is defined as the basic reproduction number or R0.

  185. #186 Narad
    January 29, 2012

    Be careful what you wished for.

    Yah, you too. What, pray tell, do you think the overall effect of this input, which “has never been directly demonstrated” at the time of that writing, to I would be?

  186. #187 Narad
    January 29, 2012

    Here’s your rope. Need help?

    Thanks, but you might want to hang onto it, as I’m not the one in need of a tourniquet from frantic leg-hacking.

  187. #188 Th1Th2
    January 29, 2012

    Yah, you too. What, pray tell, do you think the overall effect of this input, which “has never been directly demonstrated” at the time of that writing, to I would be?

    Really?

    In the absence of clinically overt measles, this suggested that the virus circulated also in healthy vaccinated individuals who could potentially transmit disease to seronegative people [5]. It is likely that this requires a transient viraemia.

    h_ttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1904781/pdf/cei0109-0416.pdf

  188. #189 Narad
    January 29, 2012

    Really?

    Yah, really. Fishing around for vaguely related (to be generous) abstracts does not effectively conceal the fact that you don’t have the slightest grasp of that which you’re purporting to address. Indeed, the flailing itself essentially concedes the whole “herd immunity is a ‘myth'” proposition right out of the gate.

  189. #190 Vicki
    January 29, 2012

    ken @161:

    That doesn’t seem to have anything to do with what I asked. You claimed that vaccines were “weeding out certain groups.” I asked which groups and which vaccines. And you then said that you weren’t claiming a difference between immunity acquired from a vaccine and one acquired in other ways. That’s a reasonable statement, but what does it have to do with my question?

  190. #191 Marry Me, Mindy
    January 29, 2012

    Maybe someone can explain to me the logic behind “catch the disease to acquire natural immunity.”. Especially for something like the chicken pox. The whole point of having “immunity” is to keep you. You from getting the disease. So what are they getting immunity against? Getting the disease again? That happens rarely even if you’ve had the disease (that natural immunity things). Ok so the chance of getting it a second time is a little less than the chance of a vaccinated person getting it once.

    I just don’t get it. “Natural immunity” against what?

  191. #192 Anton P. Nym
    January 29, 2012

    I just don’t get it. “Natural immunity” against what?

    Indeed, I don’t get the objection either; “natural immunity” arrives only after getting the illness, which I think most people would agree is too damned late.

    Illustrative case; the “natural immunity” method for fireproofing a home is to do nothing. Ashes, by their nature, are immune to combustion so a fire is self-limiting and the natural fireproofing is vastly superior to artificial fireproofing techniques. (That this requires experiencing a fire, with all of its consequences, is apparently a secondary consideration.)

    — Steve

  192. #193 Th1Th2
    January 29, 2012

    But the odds of the sailor coming in contact with any of these people are low, and even if he comes in contact with one, that one will be infected but is unlikely to infect anyone else.

    That is false.

    Subclinical measles infection in vaccinated seropositive individuals in arctic Greenland.

    Measles vaccination was performed in the arctic district of Scoresbysund, Greenland in 1968, which had never been exposed to natural measles. More than 90% of the total population was vaccinated and a 94-100% seroconversion was obtained. During a serological survey to examine the immunity status of the vaccinees, it was discovered that a temporary increase in measles antibodies took place in the majority of the population 2-4 years after the vaccination. This was not accompanied by clinically observed measles. Most likely it was due to an inapparent measles infection in a population considered highly immune after vaccination.

    h_ttp://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0264410X89901990

  193. #194 Th1Th2
    January 29, 2012

    I just don’t get it. “Natural immunity” against what?

    There is a natural immunity called innate immunity which is non-specific against many infection by preventing their entry into the body (i.e. skin barrier, mechanical removal, chemical defense etc) and there’s the naturally acquired immunity which is the result of having exposed to infection thus conferring immunological memory against subsequent exposure or reinfection. Natural infection and vaccination are all acquired immunity (i.e. infection-induced immunity).

  194. #195 Th1Th2
    January 29, 2012

    Indeed, I don’t get the objection either; “natural immunity” arrives only after getting the illness, which I think most people would agree is too damned late.

    You’ve confused natural immunity (innate immunity) to infection-induced naturally acquired immunity. Infection promoters like the pro-pox and the pro-vax promote the latter.

  195. #196 Narad
    January 29, 2012
    But the odds of the sailor coming in contact with any of these people are low, and even if he comes in contact with one, that one will be infected but is unlikely to infect anyone else.

    That is false.

    And the article that you coughed up demonstrates this how? The example didn’t involve vaccination in the first place.

  196. #197 Conspicuous Carl
    January 29, 2012

    Didn’t I tell you that th1th2 is nuts? Pure (non-artificial, naturally-occurring) kookoomango. The bugs man, they’re crawling all over me with their little tdap syringes and their tiny 6-sleeved lab coats!

  197. #198 Pareidolius
    January 29, 2012

    (Cue James Earl Jones VoiceOver)

    This is the C-Thingy Network. All thingy, all the time.

    Coming up next on C-TN: Disease Promoter Theatre followed by Phenomenal Phenomenonand at seven, Name That Compulsion!

    But first a word from our sponsor . . .

    (cut to image of woman sitting by a cracking fire with a gurgling infant and a doe eyed baby fur seal on her lap . . .)
    “Hello, I’m Barbara Lowe Fischer . . .

  198. #199 Th1Th2
    January 29, 2012

    And the article that you coughed up demonstrates this how? The example didn’t involve vaccination in the first place.

    It’s pretty similar to the article I posted on 183. The fully vaccinated are susceptible to asymptomatic reinfection.

  199. #200 LW
    January 29, 2012

    *Sigh*

    Thingy really is astonishingly dim, isn’t it? Perhaps my language was too flowery for it to follow. “Cast your mind back to the halcyon days of yesteryear when there were no vaccines” means “Think about a time in the past when there were no vaccines and therefore there were no vaccinated people“. This is important; the effectiveness of vaccines is not relevant to a discussion of the time when there were no vaccines. Therefore, babbling on about the effectiveness of vaccines in this case is, well, babbling on.

    In the example, we assume an epidemic of measles that rages through this isolated and unvaccinated population. Since measles normally produces immunity in survivors but doesn’t always, the example continues, “Very few people are not immune: the few who didn’t get the measles the first time, the few who didn’t manage to develop immunity, and of course the new babies.” People who are not intentionally misunderstanding will observe that this sentence recognizes that some of these unvaccinated people will not develop immunity, though nearly all will.

    Therefore we will have a population that is almost entirely immune and unvaccinated. I don’t know why it is so difficult to get through to Thingy that a population can become largely immune with or without vaccination, and that a largely immune population will automatically protect the susceptible just by virtue of being largely immune.

  200. #201 evilDoug
    January 29, 2012

    “Thingy really is astonishingly dim, isn’t it?”

    That’s why I’ve always thought of Th1Th2 as “Thick Cubed” or “Thick to the Third”, rather than “Thingy”.

  201. #202 Narad
    January 29, 2012

    The fully vaccinated are susceptible to asymptomatic reinfection.

    And, again, the example didn’t concern vaccination. But let’s graft them together for the hell of it, as it bears somewhat on your inability to understand simple SIR models (and heaven help us come SEIR). The population of Scoresbysund is under 500, which would control the time evolution of an actual virgin-soil outbreak. I’m curious what you think the source of the “inapparent measles infection” was.

  202. #203 Big Blue
    January 29, 2012

    Lord Draconis, Imperator of Terra and Mars, ArchDuke of Jovian Moons and Elector of Sol, etc etc.

    My warmest thanks for the new Rolls Ghost. I’m not sure I understand the highly-customized seating mechanism, but Cindy tells me it will fit just fine after the new health insurance plan goes into effect.

    I’ve submitted the expense report for the Goji Berry Flavor Oncology test market contract out of Berkeley–it’s going “swimmingly”, haha, as we find that the webbing falls off subjects’ fingers after a few days out of water.

    Hope you enjoyed the red velvet cupcakes! Of course, we all look forward to the Rolling Stones playing at the next staff meeting.

    Big Blue

  203. #204 Niche Geek
    January 29, 2012

    Th1Th2, you wrote “You’ve confused natural immunity (innate immunity) to infection-induced naturally acquired immunity.” Putting aside your idiosyncratic terminology, it seems that your position is that the only “real” immunity is innate immunity and further that innate immunity should be sufficient for dealing with any potential threat. Is this the case?

  204. #205 LW
    January 29, 2012

    Innate immunity is great when it works. It plainly doesn’t work very well against measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, polio, or smallpox. If it did, there would never have been epidemics of those diseases. But I do enthusiastically encourage Thingy to rely exclusively on innate immunity and due diligence to avoid disease.

  205. #206 Narad
    January 29, 2012

    @Niche Geek: No, it also requires “exercising due diligence.”

  206. #207 Krebiozen
    January 29, 2012

    Isn’t a pathogen generally speaking a microorganism that has evolved to evade or overcome innate immunity? That excludes opportunistic pathogens that can include things like baker’s yeast. I very much doubt there is any diet, lifestyle or dietary supplement that can reliably strengthen innate immunity enough to make a person without acquired immunity resistant to measles, for example.

  207. #208 Niche Geek
    January 29, 2012

    LW, Narad and Krebiozen,

    Yes, I agree, but I was curious about Th1Th2’s perspective. I’ve been reading her comments for at least 2 years and wanted to explore the interplay between “due diligence” and probability in the Th1Th2-verse.

  208. #209 Marry Me, Mindy
    January 29, 2012

    If we had “innate immunity” we wouldn’t need to vaccinate or “acquire natural immunity by getting the disease” in the bloody first placve.

    Like Kreb says, if we were immune to their effects, they wouldn’t be pathogens in the first place.

  209. #210 Th1Th2
    January 30, 2012
    The fully vaccinated are susceptible to asymptomatic reinfection.

    And, again, the example didn’t concern vaccination.

    Check the title of the article germ denialist. Unbelievable.

    I’m curious what you think the source of the “inapparent measles infection” was.

    Since you’re in for a curiosity quest let me give you a hint. There are only two sources of infectious measles virus and you all know they had already acquired one. So how did they get reinfected? And where did the other source come from?

  210. #211 Th1Th2
    January 30, 2012

    Th1Th2, you wrote “You’ve confused natural immunity (innate immunity) to infection-induced naturally acquired immunity.” Putting aside your idiosyncratic terminology, it seems that your position is that the only “real” immunity is innate immunity and further that innate immunity should be sufficient for dealing with any potential threat. Is this the case?

    No that’s not case. My point is the innate immunity, although it confers immediate protection to the host, is not sufficient for dealing with actual threats like these infection promoters (pro-pox and pro-vax), hence, there is a secondary defense called an adaptive immunity in case there would be a breach in the innate immunity. Even though how thick your skin is, it’s no match to a needle-yielding infection promoter.

  211. #212 Th1Th2
    January 30, 2012

    Innate immunity is great when it works.

    First, you are an infection promoter so why do you care about innate immunity? Do you know how many infections are prevented just by the inmate immunity alone?

    It plainly doesn’t work very well against measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, polio, or smallpox. If it did, there would never have been epidemics of those diseases.

    Well it did work for atypical measles, rinderpest, and smallpox after you had stopped promoting the infection.
    But I do enthusiastically encourage Thingy to rely exclusively on innate immunity and due diligence to avoid disease.

  212. #213 Th1Th2
    January 30, 2012

    Innate immunity is great when it works.

    First, you are an infection promoter so why do you care about innate immunity? Do you know how many infections are prevented just by the inmate immunity alone?

    It plainly doesn’t work very well against measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, polio, or smallpox. If it did, there would never have been epidemics of those diseases.

    Well it did work for atypical measles, rinderpest, and smallpox after you had stopped promoting the infection.

  213. #214 Th1Th2
    January 30, 2012

    But I do enthusiastically encourage Thingy to rely exclusively on innate immunity and due diligence to avoid disease.

    Well, I wish you luck in your infection-promoting agenda.

  214. #215 lilady
    January 30, 2012

    Time to shut down the Thingy troll. It is only looking for “engagement”. It is a delusional, ignorant, uneducated, disease-promoting, health care professional wannabe, SFB troll.

  215. #216 Th1Th2
    January 30, 2012

    If we had “innate immunity” we wouldn’t need to vaccinate or “acquire natural immunity by getting the disease” in the bloody first placve.

    Well the truth is we have innate immunity so logic tells you to stop being a stupid infection promoter.

  216. #217 LW
    January 30, 2012

    And we see again the pointlessness of trying to have a rational discussion with Thingy.

    Thingy denies the existence of herd immunity. I give an example @173 of herd immunity occurring naturally. Thingy acknowledges the example @192, quoting from it (“But the odds of the sailor coming in contact…”) and disputes it on the grounds that vaccines are not always effective. I and others refuse to enter into that argument, pointing back again and again to the example @173, which does not involve vaccination. So Thingy @209 pivots hard ( how does it avoid whiplash?) and pretends that it thinks this whole discussion of an example relates to an example in the original post.

    I take it that means we win and even the Thingy troll can’t dispute the reality of herd immunity.

  217. #218 Th1Th2
    January 30, 2012

    Thingy denies the existence of herd immunity. I give an example @173 of herd immunity occurring naturally.

    Define “naturally”. Do you mean these people have “natural immunity” (innate immunity) against disease without acquiring the disease or these people have had a wide array of recent and acute infection (naturally acquired)? Well?

    Thingy acknowledges the example @192, quoting from it (“But the odds of the sailor coming in contact…”) and disputes it on the grounds that vaccines are not always effective.

    Not just the vaccinated but the naturally immune as well are susceptible to reinfection.

    I and others refuse to enter into that argument, pointing back again and again to the example @173, which does not involve vaccination.

    So what did you prove in 173? People acquiring diseases and passing it on to others. Is that good?

    I take it that means we win and even the Thingy troll can’t dispute the reality of herd immunity.

    You have not explained the mechanism by which that “phenomenon” would protect a little baby.

  218. #219 Anton P. Nym
    January 30, 2012

    Thingy’s world-view does not include probability or statistics; in the Thingyverse, all acts are determinate (action x always leads to result y) and all causes are proximate (action x only affects those present).

    The idea that an entire population can become effectively immune by having a large enough proportion of members have actual immunity, innate or acquired or whatever, is completely alien to such a world-view.

    I suspect that there’s almost zero chance of conveying the concept of herd immunity to him/her as, from this viewpoint, it’s all just spooky action at a distance.

    — Steve

  219. #220 Krebiozen
    January 30, 2012

    On Planet Thingy you can avoid infection by “due diligence” i.e. avoiding contact with people who are contagious. But she doesn’t believe that reducing the number of people in a population who are contagious will reduce the number of people who get infected in that population. That’s why it’s pointless trying to educate her.

  220. #221 Th1Th2
    January 30, 2012

    The idea that an entire population can become effectively immune by having a large enough proportion of members have actual immunity, innate or acquired or whatever, is completely alien to such a world-view.

    Well if you’re going to create a large enough proportion of members having actual immunity by requiring them to “acquire” something then you MUST breach the innate immunity. Therefore, innate immunity is NOT included in that proportion. Does that make sense?

  221. #222 LW
    January 30, 2012

    Thingy @220 : “Does that make sense?”

    No, in point of fact. Epidemics occur naturally. They have always occurred naturally. They occur even when human beings don’t want them too. Nobody needs to “require” anyone to catch a disease in an epidemic. It is entirely possible, and has happened, that nearly everyone in a community has caught a disease despite their best efforts to avoid it.

    I wonder if Thingy is even aware that the world existed before it was born and that large areas of the world exist outside of its immediate surroundings.

  222. #223 Th1Th2
    January 30, 2012

    But she doesn’t believe that reducing the number of people in a population who are contagious will reduce the number of people who get infected in that population.

    Yes that can be done through a lot of ways by breaking the chain of infection (i.e. isolation, exclusion, quarantine, PPEs etc.) and not just by reducing the symptoms (i.e. asymptomatic or subclinical infection caused by vaccination). But then again, you are an avid infection promoter.

  223. #224 Anton P. Nym
    January 30, 2012

    Does that make sense?

    No. Because the mechanism doesn’t depend on the means by which the actual immunity was attained; once a sufficiently large proportion of the population has immunity against an illness, the entire population is protected by the lack of disease vectors.

    To define my terms, “innate” immunity is an inborn response sufficently strong that the body can fight off a wild-strain contagion without becoming infectious. “Acquired” immunity is a similar immune response resulting from previous exposure, be it a previous (infectious) case of the contagion or a weakened/killed version in a vaccine.

    In this case I’m only considering immunological response.
    Dermal and mucosal protection are NOT considered components of this immunity because they are:
    a) almost universally present in the human population (ie: virtually everyone has ‘em) yet historical records indicate disease transmission anyway;
    b) easily compromised, and are therefore insufficient without other immunological responses anyway.

    — Steve

  224. #225 Gray Falcon
    January 30, 2012

    Th1Th2, if you make a statement, is it up to you to prove it, or for somebody else to disprove it?

  225. #226 Th1Th2
    January 30, 2012

    No. Because the mechanism doesn’t depend on the means by which the actual immunity was attained; once a sufficiently large proportion of the population has immunity against an illness, the entire population is protected by the lack of disease vectors.

    I did just demonstrate from the previous articles that fully vaccinated and the naturally immune can also become disease vectors, didn’t I? What made you think otherwise?

    Again, stop the alibis, where is the mechanism? Don’t act like a child with an imaginary friend.

    In this case I’m only considering immunological response.

    And that immunological response is against the infection (oh yes, the infection you’re promoting) whether it be a primary immune response or anamnestic response.

    Dermal and mucosal protection are NOT considered components of this immunity because they are:

    Albert Sabin must be LOL from the grave. And I always knew Paul Offit is a crook.

  226. #227 Anton P. Nym
    January 30, 2012

    I did just demonstrate from the previous articles that fully vaccinated and the naturally immune can also become disease vectors, didn’t I?

    No, you didn’t.

    anamnestic

    I fail to see the relevance; the medical term relates to patient medical histories, not immune responses, and the other uses that Wikipedia dredges up generally involve reincarnation or very small servings of crackers and wine.

    — Steve

  227. #228 W. Kevin Vicklund
    January 30, 2012

    I did just demonstrate from the previous articles that fully vaccinated and the naturally immune can also become disease vectors, didn’t I?

    No, all those previous articles show is that many people who are partially vaccinated (since we now know that full vaccination for measles requires two doses – they only got one dose) are susceptible and that a few people with previous naturally acquired infection are suceptible. What you did not demonstrate was that all fully vaccinated individuals are susceptible or that all individuals with previous naturally acquired infections are susceptible.

    As stated above, vaccination and naturally acquired infection do not always convey immunity. That does not mean that they never convey immunity. And quite often when they don’t actually convey immunity, they reduce or eliminate the symptoms, and may even reduce the susceptiblity or the transmissibility.

  228. #229 Th1Th2
    January 30, 2012

    Th1Th2, if you make a statement, is it up to you to prove it, or for somebody else to disprove it?

    It all started with this claim in #83.

    And no, the phenomenon is not acquired by babies. Babies do benefit from it.

    I was curious so I asked about the mechanism.

  229. #230 Dangerous Bacon
    January 30, 2012

    Speaking of subversion –

    Did anyone notice that story surfacing in the news media about how we supposedly confirmed that bin Laden was living in his hide-in-plain-sight compound in Pakistan? It’s claimed that a Pakistani doctor (who was subsequently arrested) was carrying out a faux hepatitis B vaccination program and was allowed into the compound, from which he was able to bring out enough blood to provide DNA profiles which were linked to OBL.

    I am now waiting for the antivax lunatic fringe* (certain posters’ antennae commence quivering) to pick up on this. “MANDATORY VACCINATION PROGRAMS ARE COVER FOR BIG BROTHER’S ASSEMBLING OF UNIVERSAL DNA DATABASE AND MICROCHIP INSERTION!! NATURALNEWS EXCLUSIVE!!!”

    *yeah, it’s hard to tell the fringe from the mainstream these days.

  230. #231 Narad
    January 30, 2012

    Again, stop the alibis, where is the mechanism?

    “Alibis”? You’re simply demonstrating that your grasp of mathematics is even weaker than your handle on vocabulary. Nothing that you have pointed out amounts to more than a small input to S or I. All the rest is moronic attempts at diversion.

  231. #232 Gray Falcon
    January 30, 2012

    Th1Th2, the fact that smallpox is no longer around is strong evidence that herd immunity works. And don’t go around claiming it’s all “sub-clinical infections”, you have yet to provive a better alternative.

  232. #233 Th1Th2
    January 30, 2012

    No, all those previous articles show is that many people who are partially vaccinated (since we now know that full vaccination for measles requires two doses – they only got one dose) are susceptible and that a few people with previous naturally acquired infection are suceptible.

    Even if you give the measles vaccine for the umpteenth time, it will not protect them from asymptomatic reinfection. They would still be susceptible.

    Repeated subclinical booster reinfections may be important in maintaining immunity to diseases such as measles and rubella.

    As stated above, vaccination and naturally acquired infection do not always convey immunity.

    They convey infection. And the initial immune response is against that infection you’re promoting. The secondary immune response (the “immunity”) would be realized on subsequent exposure or reinfection. So please do mind your place.

    That does not mean that they never convey immunity. And quite often when they don’t actually convey immunity, they reduce or eliminate the symptoms, and may even reduce the susceptiblity or the transmissibility.

    That is demonstrably false. Again, check the previous articles.

  233. #234 Th1Th2
    January 30, 2012

    Th1Th2, the fact that smallpox is no longer around is strong evidence that herd immunity works. And don’t go around claiming it’s all “sub-clinical infections”, you have yet to provive a better alternative.

    Is this another repeat? Apparently, there was no herd immunity between 1971 though 1980, just FYI.

  234. #235 Th1Th2
    January 30, 2012

    What is the plural for alibi?
    In: Plural Nouns [Edit categories]
    Answers.com > Wiki Answers > Categories > Literature & Language > English Language > Grammar > Parts of Speech > Nouns and Pronouns > Plural Nouns >

    What is the plural for alibi?

    Answer:

    The plural for alibi is alibis

    Read more: h_ttp://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_plural_for_alibi#ixzz1kypjqOrI

    What’s the plural for Bozo the Clown, Narad?

  235. #236 Narad
    January 30, 2012

    I just dying to hear what made you think I was complaining about the pluralization.

  236. #237 Th1Th2
    January 30, 2012

    anamnestic

    I fail to see the relevance; the medical term relates to patient medical histories, not immune responses, and the other uses that Wikipedia dredges up generally involve reincarnation or very small servings of crackers and wine.

    I wonder about other things vaccinators don’t know. You have to read more buddy.

  237. #238 lilady
    January 30, 2012

    @ Dangerous Bacon: I don’t think it was a faux immunization program…kids were immunized against hepatitis B, IIRC.

    Yes, conspiracists will say that using a ruse to get into Bin Laden’s compound to “eliminate” this terrorist, is wrong.

    My take on the this is that “conspiracists” support terrorism or are members of al qaeda.

    Last night (60 Minutes TV interview), Defense Secretary Leon Panetta confirmed that the physician who organized the immunization program has been arrested by the Pakistani government and charged with treason. It was also announced recently that our “partner in fighting terrorism” Pakistan, will have 800 million (USD) removed from U.S. military aid money…due to Pakistan’s non-cooperation with anti-terrorism activities.

  238. #239 Narad
    January 30, 2012

    Even if you give the measles vaccine for the umpteenth time, it will not protect them from asymptomatic reinfection. They would still be susceptible.

    You are insinuating that this is always the case, which you have not demonstrated. In particular, the one item that you provided found a susceptibility to secondary immune response upon reexposure after natural infection of under 4%. It does nothing to support your claim that herd immunity is a “myth.”

    Moreover, let’s look again:

    Although viral transmission between protected individuals has never been directly demonstrated, the data describe a population in which protected but infectious persons could potentially be of epidemiological importance.

    Note that actual transmission to seropositive individuals isn’t claimed. What you’re trying to do, whether you realize it or not, is to assert a carrier state (which would be an input to I in any event, but the word “susceptible” apparently can somehow be detached from its qualifier) that also presumably is intended to imply that measles vaccination in and of itself makes eradication impossible. You have failed.

  239. #240 Narad
    January 30, 2012

    Oh, and…

    I’m curious what you think the source of the “inapparent measles infection” was.

    Since you’re in for a curiosity quest let me give you a hint. There are only two sources of infectious measles virus and you all know they had already acquired one. So how did they get reinfected? And where did the other source come from?

    I will take this to mean that you assert it was exposure to imported wild-type measles. (In a population that, absent vaccination, would have been entirely susceptible, BTW, and wound up with a disease effect of bupkis.) What is such a reexposure colloquially referrred to as?

  240. #241 Th1Th2
    January 30, 2012

    You are insinuating that this is always the case, which you have not demonstrated

    Apparently, this is always the case whenever a naive child goes to the clinic just to get infected primarily (“priming”) by the vaccine and even more so on subsequent re-infection (“booster”), symptomatic or otherwise.

    In particular, the one item that you provided found a susceptibility to secondary immune response upon reexposure after natural infection of under 4%. It does nothing to support your claim that herd immunity is a “myth.”

    It’s reinfection while the rest have had primary infection. So where’s the immunity?

    Note that actual transmission to seropositive individuals isn’t claimed.

    It’s stated there: through viraemia. How do you think measles virus is acquired?

    What you’re trying to do, whether you realize it or not, is to assert a carrier state (which would be an input to I in any event, but the word “susceptible” apparently can somehow be detached from its qualifier) that also presumably is intended to imply that measles vaccination in and of itself makes eradication impossible. You have failed.

    Like the OPV, measles vaccination in and of itself makes eradication impossible. If you want to eradicate measles infection then you have to stop promoting the disease. As simple as that.

    And for the carrier state, no. The vaccinated and the naturally immune having an asymptomatic reinfection would only be infectious throughout the period of communicability.

  241. #242 Marry Me, Mindy
    January 30, 2012

    Dear People Who Bloody Ought To Know Better

    Stop feeding the blinkin troll! For Pete’s sake, it thinks that intramuscular injection is intravenous because it gets there eventually. That is all lurkers need to know about the idiocy of said thing.

    Ignore it.

  242. #243 Th1Th2
    January 30, 2012

    I will take this to mean that you assert it was exposure to imported wild-type measles.

    In the absence of “booster” re-infection, the only remaining source of measles virus re-infection would be from the wild. Don’t you always blame it from the “imports” whenever there’s an outbreak?

    (In a population that, absent vaccination, would have been entirely susceptible, BTW, and wound up with a disease effect of bupkis.) What is such a reexposure colloquially referrred to as?

    You tell me.

  243. #244 Narad
    January 30, 2012

    And for the carrier state, no.

    Wrong. It doesn’t matter who is in the bucket, just that someone is. A transition from R to I without symptoms is the defintion of being a carrier. What is left as an exercise that you will surely never complete is the net effect on the gross dynamics.

    The vaccinated and the naturally immune having an asymptomatic reinfection would only be infectious throughout the period of communicability.

    This would be the “period of communicability” that you have not demonstrated the existence of with your chosen example? The “period of communicability” that you utterly deny the significance of in case of primary infection? That one? Congratulations, you have just allowed the “due diligence” routine to be turned against yourself.

  244. #245 Th1Th2
    January 30, 2012

    This would be the “period of communicability” that you have not demonstrated the existence of with your chosen example? The “period of communicability” that you utterly deny the significance of in case of primary infection? That one? Congratulations, you have just allowed the “due diligence” routine to be turned against yourself.

    Let’s see if exercising due diligence works.

    Period of Communicability
    A person can spread measles 4 days prior to the appearance of the rash up to 4 days following the appearance of the rash.

    So what appears prior to the onset of measles rash from a person suspected of having acute measles? Cough, coryza (sneezing, nasal congestion and nasal discharge)and conjunctivitis. Therefore, a duly diligent person would keep out of distance from people with cough, coryza, (sneezing, nasal congestion and nasal discharge)and conjunctivitis whether or not it’s measles.

    What are you going to do now, infection promoter?

  245. #246 Stu
    January 30, 2012

    What are you going to do now, infection promoter?

    Continue to laugh at you, you clinically insane sociopath?

  246. #247 Th1Th2
    January 30, 2012

    Wrong. It doesn’t matter who is in the bucket, just that someone is. A transition from R to I without symptoms is the defintion of being a carrier. What is left as an exercise that you will surely never complete is the net effect on the gross dynamics.

    There is no carrier state for measles.

  247. #248 Narad
    January 30, 2012

    There is no carrier state for measles.

    You have just spent a good amount of time invoking one. It’s not my fault that you don’t understand this.

  248. #249 LW
    January 30, 2012

    Thingy is proudly ineducably, and everyone else got the picture long ago. I will desist.

  249. #250 Narad
    January 30, 2012

    So what appears prior to the onset of measles rash from a person suspected of having acute measles?

    I see, I can suspect someone into having nasal congestion. Good to know. That, and that I have to be sure to get close enough to check people for conjunctivitis and nasal discharge so as to avoid them. All in a day’s work.

    What are you going to do now, infection promoter?

    Point out that somebody’s going to have haul you around in a wagon, which the diving helmet will presumably turn into a nuisance, if you keep shooting yourself in the foot. The fact that contagiousness peaks during the prodromal phase doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist otherwise, and it is you who was trying to play the margins in the first place.

  250. #251 Th1Th2
    January 30, 2012

    You have just spent a good amount of time invoking one. It’s not my fault that you don’t understand this.

    Now it’s my time to say: “I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    Haha Next time Narad, next time.

  251. #252 Narad
    January 30, 2012

    Now it’s my time to say: “I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    Another routine entry in the Annals of I Don’t Understand the Quip But I’ll Try It Anyway isn’t an improvement. You’re not proposing an SIS model, you’re advancing an SIR feedback.

  252. #253 Old Rockin' Dave
    January 31, 2012

    @Jen, #137:
    Since comments were still showing up here as of last night, here I go with another. While I was specifically responding to a silly claim about the number of challenges to the infant immune system, your return to harping on adjuvants and route is to the left of my point. I will answer anyway.
    The adjuvants straw man is the most abused dummy since Adam and Jamie’s Buster. As has been pointed out here and elsewhere innumerable times, many of the “toxins” that antivaxers yell have been out of vaccines for many years, or else never were. Those that are used are used in small amounts and the dosage of vaccines are tiny. As for injection vs ingestion, children continue to receive penetrating wounds even in homes where everything with a point of a corner has been taken away out of reach. Except for the homes of poisoned-arrow hunters, the greatest danger in those wounds is bacteria, not tiny amounts of inert materials. There is also another source of injected material that all but the most carefully guarded children face, and that is insect bites, a source of biologically active substances as well as live bacteria. By your reasoning, a bee sting even in the non-allergic should lead to all kinds of deadly dangerous sequelae. Oh, but I forgot, insect venoms are natural and organic, so they don’t count.
    Having seen someone die of tetanus, and as a parent and polio survivor, I am damned glad we have the vaccines we do and I wish we had more of them and they were more widely distributed than they are. Anyone who doesn’t think that the vaccines we use are far better than letting the diseases they are meant to prevent run wild is pretty seriously reality-deficient. And yes, Jen, I mean you.
    If you like, go ahead and flame me; just watch out that you don’t set all your straw men on fire.

  253. #254 Janet.J
    February 11, 2012

    ORAC – Your character assaults apparently have blown back on you….

    Orac Unmasked – David H. Gorski, M.D., Ph.D. (Updated)

    (Posted by Patrick Sullivan Jr.)

    GorskioracCompliments of Ashleigh Anderson, the infamous Orac of “Respectful Insolence” has been unmasked.

    David H. Gorski
    Assistant Professor
    UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
    Department of Surgical Oncology
    The Cancer Institute of New Jersey

    From Ashleigh Anderson’s post on the EOH Yahoo board. (You have to be an approved member of the group to view posts, so I’ve posted the whole thing here):
    You know, I was reading the oracknows site the other night & you know how all the pro-poisoning people are – they have this little skeptics circle or whatnot. Well anyways, I did a mouse over of his Blogarama button and noticed the name gorski came up.

    So I googled – gorski orac

    Try it. You will be amazed. Orac’s secret identity is secret no more. And man, has he been a nasty boy. What a slimey sleaze.

    No wonder he kept his identity secret. See what he has been doing on the web & his affilication with the Renses/Ratbags.

    Now he loses all his credibility.

    http://www.cyclingforums.com/t136864.html
    http://www.mesotheliomaresource.org/news/alternative-health/alternative-health-p-9016-4.htm
    http://www.medicalconversation.com/showthread.php?t=56548
    http://www2.ca.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/people/m/michael.david/ftp.py?people/m/michael.david/2001/michael.0109
    http://www.ianag.com/health/archive/index.php/t-555193.html
    http://www.groupsrv.com/science/viewtopic.php?p=535231

    To Professor Gorski’s credit, he did say that if you look hard enough, you can figure out who he is. (And one clue that I noticed was when a friend of his commented on his blog, “Dave, where do you get the time for this? It’s cool.”)

    So basically, this “unmasking” is pretty much a non-event. HOWEVER, after arguing ad nauseum with “Gorac,” it is good to finally have some disclosure. It would have been much more credible if it had come from him directly, especially after the repeated calls for disclosure from numerous commentors.

    Professor Gorski, I do have one question: In your blog profile, you say, “I’m an academic surgeon and scientist…” and in the description of your blog, you say “Miscellaneous ramblings of a surgeon/scientist…” and in your medical disclaimer, you say “…the author’s hospital, university, surgical practice, or partners.”

    So why don’t you have any initials after your name? It seems to me that you have allowed everyone, including me, to believe that you are a real doctor.

    UPDATE 9/14 8:27pm from Pat and Patrick Jr. – After discussing this post and the comment by Kev regarding Professor Gorski’s contact info being posted, we decided that we didn’t want to give the impression of this being a character assasination. So we pulled out the contact information from the post. (As Patrick Jr. notes in his reply to back to Kev, the contact info is still available from his profile page, so it is sort of a moot point, but…)

    It is not our intention to “unmask” Orac so that anyone can cyber-stalk/spam/etc. him!! We are proponents of civil debate and discussion. We don’t want to promote the type of character assasination that is unfortunately, quite common on Orac’s blog.

    We have both spent way too much time trying to defend what we believe are highly plausible reasons for numerous things that we believe on Orac’s blog, only to then be ridiculed and attacked personally, all the while ignoring and dodging our arguments. (There are many others who have experienced this as well.)

    Orac believes what he believes and has every right to express that. We happen to think he is very biased, closed-minded, and often just plain wrong. He also loves to call people terrible names assasinating their character instead of simply stating why he disagrees. And I don’t think I’ve ever see him concede any point, ever! (It is not unlike the near total breakdown in civil discourse at the national political level.)

    The “unmasking” is still appropriate because at least now we know who and what we are dealing with.

    UPDATE 9/14 8:57pm from Patrick Jr. – I just read Ashleigh’s comment on this post which lead to this page. Searching for “orac” I found this:

    From: dgorski@xsi-te.net (ORAC)
    Date: 10 Dec 1997 15:05:57 GMT

    (snip)

    ORAC |”A statement of fact cannot be
    a.k.a. | insolent.” ORAC
    David H. Gorski, M.D., Ph.D. |
    University of Chicago |

    The MD and PhD shocked me considering that I was under the impression he wasn’t a doc. So I googled “University of Chicago” “David H. Gorski” which led to this 1998 Univ of Michigan newsletter. Bottom of page 20 has:

    David H. Gorski (BSC 1984, MD 1988;
    PhD 1994, Case Western Reserve (Cellular
    Physiology)) is a Fellow in Surgical
    Oncology at the University of Chicago.

    I would say that I stand corrected from my earlier question to Gorac…He’s a doc after all. No way a Michigan newsletter from 1998 was faked.

    UPDATE 9/14 9:07pm from Patrick Jr. – I changed the title of this post from “Orac Unmasked – Assistant Professor David H. Gorski” to “Orac Unmasked – David H. Gorski, M.D., Ph.D. (Updated)” It seemed like the right thing to do.

    UPDATE 9/14 10:02pm from Patrick Jr. – I emailed Orac earlier today, so after my new discovery, I thought it was only fair to own up to my mistake and email him again:

    —Original Message—
    From: Patrick Sullivan
    Sent: Wednesday, September 14, 2005 9:25 PM
    To: ‘oracknows@gmail.com'; ‘gorskidh@umdnj.edu’
    Subject: RE: This is you right? CORRECTION

    Dave, I did a few more googles on my own tonight and found out that lacking initials on your UMDNJ page, you actually do appear to be a real MD and PhD. There’s no way I’m going to believe that a Michigan newsletter from 1998 was faked, as much I did sort of like the idea of you not being a real doctor. (Trading places, I’m sure you’d have felt the same way… ;-)

    So since I was wrong, I quickly updated/corrected Pat’s blog. Not sure if you’ll actually care, but I thought it was only fair to ping you.

    Here’s to disclosure and civil discourse.

    Patrick Jr.

    —Original Message—
    From: Patrick Sullivan
    Sent: Wednesday, September 14, 2005 12:01 PM
    To: ‘oracknows@gmail.com'; ‘gorskidh@umdnj.edu’
    Subject: This is you right?

    Professor Gorski/Orac, it’s nice to finally meet you.
    http://www.patsullivan.com/blog/2005/09/orac_unmasked_a.html

    Patrick Sullivan Jr.
    President
    480.212.9000 | patrick@jigsawhealth.com

    Jigsaw Health
    14500 N. Northsight Blvd. Ste 112
    Scottsdale, AZ 85260
    http://www.JigsawHealth.com
    The leading resource for chronic conditions.

    Pat Sullivan Blog: http://www.PatSullivan.com

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