Respectful Insolence

A long, long time ago in a ScienceBlogs far, far away (well, it seems that way anyway, given the halcyon times back then before Pepsigate), Mark Hoofnagle coined the term “crank magnetism.” It was a fantastic term used to describe how susceptibility to one form of quackery, pseudoscience, or just plain crankery tended to be associated with other forms of quackery, pseudoscience, or crankery. It explains why so many creationists tend to be into quackery and/or antivaccinationism, why so many 9/11 Truthers also tend to flirt with Holocaust denial or anthropogenic global warming denialists go birther, why so many quacks tend to be susceptible to the anti-GMO hysteria, creationism, and anthropogenic global warming denialism. The examples are legion, and I’ve documented quite a few of them over the last eight years, as have many other skeptical bloggers. Sometimes, many, many forms of crankery congregate in a single individual, such as Michael Egnor, whose activity led to a corollary to the principle of crank magnetism, namely the “vindication of all kooks,” which implies that, if one kook or crank is ever vindicated, then science is hopelessly screwed up and they all could be vindicated. It’s all of a piece with the unified theory of the crank.

There’s another corollary, though, that I’ve been thinking about this week. Unfortunately, it brings us back to Stanislaw Burzynski, but I can’t help it. Basically, it’s what I like to refer to as the “all truth comes from live public debate” corollary to crank magnetism. Many are the examples when I’ve come across this corollary. For instance, just last week, antivaccine guru Andrew Wakefield challenged Dr. David Salisbury to a “live public debate” about whether the MMR vaccine causes autism or not. (Hint to Wakefield: It doesn’t.) Indeed, it was this incident that was echoing in my fragile eggshell mind when I came across the same behavior just last night. Other examples regular readers might remember through they years include Suzanne Somers’ doctor, antivaccinationist, and all around supporter of all things quacking, Julian Whitaker, debating Steve Novella at FreedomFest last summer; an HIV-AIDS denialist trying to trick me into a “debate” with HIV-AIDS denialist Christine Maggiore back in 2007; Michael Shermer’s “debate” with Deepak Chopra; antivaccine propagandist David Kirby debating author Arthur Allen; and, of course, antivaccine activist Nick Haas’ challenge to have a blogger from Science-Based Medicine do a live public debate about vaccines. As I’ve pointed out before, time and time again, I don’t “debate” cranks, at least not live on stage in such artificial events, because such events (1) make it appear that there is an actual scientific debate when there is not and (2) give the crank the freedom to Gish gallop to his or her heart’s content.

This very same corollary is on display in spades among Burzynski followers right now. Well, at least it’s on display in spades among at least one Burzynski follower plus a couple of his fans, but the others are picking it up. It began with the Twitter rantings of a former commenter here, Didymus Judas Thomas (DJT). Most of you probably recall DJT. He was a commenter so prolifically annoying and trolling that he actually earned one of the very rare, very coveted (among cranks, at least) Respectful Insolence ban hammers. I know, I know, it’s amazing! Only maybe four or five commenters in the entire eight-plus year history of this blog have ever achieved this level of troll greatness, and often it took many moons, but Didymus did it in a mere month or two. In any case, DJT quickly stalked off to WordPress to form his own blog, where he continued his ramblings in much the same way that he did in the comments of this blog, thus demonstrating for me that banning an obnoxious troll does not in any way harm that troll’s First Amendment rights (although it does make the comment threads so much more pleasant for the rest of us). In addition, he burns through Twitter accounts with reckless abandon. Most recently, he has appeared as @QbertQbert, where he is currently posting bizarre Twitter poetry challenging my blog bud Peter Lipson (a.k.a. PalMD, who wrote a very good post about how Eric Merola used a bogus DMCA takedown notice to remove a video by C0nc0rdance critical of The Burzynski Clinic) and The Skeptics™ to a live debate:

I kind of have to give DJT “credit” for his rather stream-of-consciousness Twitter poetry, but my puzzled pseudo-admiration for his prestidigitation with 140 characters doesn’t change the fact that he’s following a tried-and-not-so-true crank playbook. Elsewhere, on a public pro-Burzynski group called the Burzynski Facebook Patient Group, a man named Randy Hinton also called out Peter Lipson:

The only way to ever successfully deal with a growing number of medical mafia internet propaganda minister’s trying to smear and undermind Stanislaw Burzynski is to do exactly what I have tried to do for the last 24 hour’s. Call these maggot’s out and publically dare them to debate the topic of ANP verses chemotherapy in front of a large live audience with no restriction’s or sensoring of information or statement’s. Multiple attempt’s yesterday to get Peter Lipson who wrote that pile of crap in Forbes to agree to this got virtually no response. The same will true of the other pharmawhores doing the same thing all across the country right now. These INTERNET KEYBORAD GOBLIN’S will never agree to it because they cann’not CONTROL the conversation the way they do on their blog’s. CALL THEM OUT TO A PUBLIC DEBATE AT EVERY TURN.

Later in the comments after his post, Mr. Hinton says:

I have got money that say’s they run from a live debate like scared rabbit’s. I have told Eric he need’s to CALL THEM OUT!!!

Mr. Hinton is obviously referring to Eric Merola, Stanislaw Burzynski’s propagandist, who has in the past unwisely characterized your humble blogger host here as a white supremacist and someone too busy eating puppies to bother to read the scientific literature about Burzynski. I had actually never heard of Randy Hinton before in all my reading about Stanislaw Burzynski and his patients, having only first seen him in the comments of Peter’s post about the Burzynski Clinic. The reason, it turns out, is that neither Randy Hinton nor any of his family were apparently ever patients of Burzynski. This is who he is:

A little over a month ago, I personally met with newly elected Congressman Jeff Duncan of South Carolina. The meeting was organized by SC resident Randy Hinton, whose daughter died of a DIPG (diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma) brain tumor a few years ago. Randy Hinton has been a staunch supporter of Dr. Burzynski after he later realized that not a single oncologist in the state of South Carolina bothered to inform him that there was another option available to his daughter other than chemotherapy and radiation—after his daughter had already died. That coupled with the fact that a DIPG is essentially incurable with some of the only cures in history being demonstrated exclusively through Burzynski’s Antineoplastons FDA clinical trials.

As I’ve said on many, many occasions, my heart goes out to anyone who has lost a child to cancer, even someone who apparently views me as his enemy because of my skepticism and criticism of Stanislaw Burzynski. I can only imagine the pain, as I tried to do with the family of Amelia Saunders when she died. However, it must also be said that Mr. Hinton also seems to have latched on to Burzynski as the only person who could have saved his daughter. Since he seems to believe this sincerely, his anger is understandable, but just because he sincerely believes it and the pain he feels is real does not make it true. One also can’t help but note a similarity here between DJT and Mr. Hinton, but what that means I will leave to each individual reader to decide for him or herself. In any case, I don’t so much blame Burzynski patients for thinking that Burzynski saved them as Eric Merola and Stanislaw Burzynski for cynically using them as “human shields” to deflect scientific criticism and deserved criticism of their behavior. The patients’ and patients’ families’ behavior is understandable. They sincerely believe that the man who saved their lives or the lives of their loved ones is being unjustly attacked. Merola, Burzynski, and Burzynski’s other sycophants, toadies, and lackeys cynically use that sincere belief to defend themselves, in essence using patients and families as cannon fodder in their war against skeptics.

In any case, DJT and Randy Hinton demonstrate once again the “all truth comes from live public debate” corollary to crank magnetism. I’ll call it the omne verum est a forensem principle. (Latin sounds so much more cool for this, but I have no idea whether this is the best translation—or even grammatically correct; maybe Latin scholars out there can suggest better.) They seem to think that science is decided in public debates and view the quite proper reluctance among scientists like myself and skeptics to engage cranks in such spectacles as “cowardice.” It is not, but cranks continue to labor under the delusion that science is somehow decided in such forums, which are a variant of a sort of argumentum ad populum, in which something is argued to be true because it is popular or, in a debate, an argument is thought to be closer to the truth because it is more popular. Science doesn’t work that way. It is decided on evidence presented at scientific conferences and peer-reviewed journals, where the real scientific debate plays out until it is temporarily settled and scientists come to a provisional consensus. That provisional consensus, of course, is always subject to change as new observations, data, and experimental results come to light, but it takes observations, data, and experimental results to change the consensus, not “live public debates.” Such “live public debates” are meant for one thing and one thing only: To sway public opinion to a viewpoint not supported by science, in the process elevating pseudoscience or the unproven to the same plain as the scientific consensus as a scientifically viable “alternative.”

If Stanislaw Burzynski—or antivaccinationists, purveyors of “alternative medicine,” HIV/AIDS denialists, creationists, 9/11 Truthers, or the like—want to convince scientists, there is one way to do so: Publish their data and do battle where scientists normally do battle, in the scientific literature and in scientific conferences. “Live public debates” might sway a few souls when the odd hapless scientist or skeptic unprepared for the Gish gallop makes the mistake of going up against a smooth talking crank, but the scientific consensus remains unchanged. Burzynski can change my mind and the minds of my fellow Skeptics™. It just takes him publishing all the evidence from his completed phase 2 clinical trials. If we find the data compelling, we will start to rethink our positions. Skeptics thrive in uncertainty, while those whose views we criticize crave certainty. I’ve said this all along, and nothing has happened to change that. In the meantime, cranks do not deserve debate, and Eric Merola, at least, is definitely a crank.

Comments

  1. #1 Dangerous Bacon
    April 26, 2013

    Nonsense.

    All Truth lies in accepting and winning a Public Challenge, like Jock Doubleday’s “Drink These Vaccine Ingredients And Die, Fool” challenge.

    You can’t win if you don’t play, and if you try to play we’ll find ways to make sure you can’t, so you lose. :)

  2. #2 Orac
    April 26, 2013

    Don’t even get me started on the Jock Doubleday challenge…

  3. #3 Heliantus
    April 26, 2013

    The SkeptiCowards

    Ah, playing chicken.

    “There is one of us too many. Let’s settle it in the main street by noon.”

    Oh, and the usual blather about Free Speech. “I should be free to say whatever I like without anyone daring to tell me I’m an idiot.”

  4. #4 Spectator
    April 26, 2013

    At least Randy Hinton upholds the internet nuisance cannon by availing himself of solecism school of spelling, the caps lock venting of the Humors and, perhaps as a paper badge of k3wl cromulence, the doofus apostrophe.

    Hm … methinks a live writing sample (with no dictionary, internet or sms available) would flush out many a headache producing employee before hire.

  5. #5 Squillo
    April 26, 2013

    But if it were live debate, we’d be deprived of Mr. Hinton’s creative use of the apostrophe. (I assume the ALL CAPS could be adequately replicated with shouting.)

    As for free speech, it really was terrible of the SkeptiCowards to attempt to use the legal system to silence critics. Oh, wait…. that was Marc Stephens and Eric Merola.
    Never mind.

  6. #6 sirhcton
    April 26, 2013

    It should be noted that the Burzynski supporters have not yet answered the important question in science: where is the data (real, published, able to be studied data).

  7. #7 Denice Walter
    April 26, 2013

    Egads!
    Is anyone else taken by the sheer volume of output by DJT at his so-called blog?

    Reminds me of that scene in “A Beautiful Mind” when Nash’s wife discovers what he’s been ‘working on’.

  8. #8 elburto
    April 26, 2013

    @Spectator – I was twitching and grimacing at Hinton’s little tirade. If I could hold a pen I’d have had to unleash the red marker of death on my screen.

    Also, what with the “this country” thing? Don’t we suspiciously foreign types get any credit for how much we despise Scamislaw? Hmph. I’m rather put out now.

    I was also unaware that doctors were compelled to inform patients/parents of every possible course of action, legitimate or otherwise. After all, isn’t that why we’re refereed to specialist consultants, because they have the training, knowledge and expertise to determine appropriate courses of treatment?

    A dx of something like DIPG in your beloved child must be agonising. It’s a cruel, almost hopeless entity. The available medical treatments are very difficult and can have extreme and permanent side-effects.

    To then lose that child is a deep and brutal wound, and no doubt can totally unhinge people, but to take up metaphorical arms for a monstrous old quack with no fvcking evidence of anything but a lust for the green stuff and a callous disregard for the lives of the desperate people he toys with on the basis ofsomeone’s ludicrous claim that “He could have saved her but Big Pharma lied to you”? Who the hell’s been pulling his chain? That’s the last bloody thing he needed, and it’s absolutely perverse.

    But we’re the evil ones. Keep remembering that.

    If my fury was made physical right now I could leave a six mile crater, a flattened and desolate zone with buildings toppled as if they were no more than 70gsm paper houses.

    I wish I believed in karma/hell/final judgement. It might temper my growing anger at Burzynski and his band of cronies.

    For the shruggies, the “What’s the harm?”, and “Persecuted maverick!” bleaters, please go to the following link and read it. All of it. Read the lies, observe the patterns, and let the truth settle in your stomach like a lump of rotten meat. I dare to read at least twenty patient stories and still have the nerve and audacity to defend him and his enablers.

    Do it.

    theotherburzynskipatientgroup.wordpress.com/

  9. #9 Mu
    April 26, 2013

    Sure do a live public debate on vaccines. Just ask that the moderator can “bleep” out a debater whenever they say nonsense. Then pick Paul Offit as moderator.

  10. #10 elburto
    April 26, 2013

    Orac – ignore the comment that went into mod. I used my throwaway email address by accident!

    @Spectator – I was twitching and grimacing at Hinton’s little tirade. If I could hold a pen I’d have had to unleash the red marker of death on my screen.

    Also, what with the “this country” thing? Don’t we suspiciously foreign types get any credit for how much we despise Scamislaw? Hmph. I’m rather put out now.

    I was also unaware that doctors were compelled to inform patients/parents of every possible course of action, legitimate or otherwise. After all, isn’t that why we’re refereed to specialist consultants, because they have the training, knowledge and expertise to determine appropriate courses of treatment?

    A dx of something like DIPG in your beloved child must be agonising. It’s a cruel, almost hopeless entity. The available medical treatments are very difficult and can have extreme and permanent side-effects.

    To then lose that child is a deep and brutal wound, and no doubt can totally unhinge people, but to take up metaphorical arms for a monstrous old quack with no fvcking evidence of anything but a lust for the green stuff and a callous disregard for the lives of the desperate people he toys with on the basis ofsomeone’s ludicrous claim that “He could have saved her but Big Pharma lied to you”? Who the hell’s been pulling his chain? That’s the last bloody thing he needed, and it’s absolutely perverse.

    But we’re the evil ones. Keep remembering that.

    If my fury was made physical right now I could leave a six mile crater, a flattened and desolate zone with buildings toppled as if they were no more than 70gsm paper houses.

    I wish I believed in karma/hell/final judgement. It might temper my growing anger at Burzynski and his band of cronies.

    For the shruggies, the “What’s the harm?”, and “Persecuted maverick!” bleaters, please go to the following link and read it. All of it. Read the lies, observe the patterns, and let the truth settle in your stomach like a lump of rotten meat. I dare to read at least twenty patient stories and still have the nerve and audacity to defend him and his enablers.

    Do it.

    theotherburzynskipatientgroup.wordpress.com/

  11. #11 Eric Lund
    April 26, 2013

    There is an old saying which applies here: It isn’t smart to argue with a fool. Listeners can’t tell which is which.

    That’s because the “debate” they are asking for is one in which normal standards of evidence do not apply. They would not consider a real debate with real standards of evidence to be a fair fight, because one side has data and the other has hot air.

    Burzynski himself knows these rules. He could silence his critics at any time by publishing in a reputable journal peer reviewed data showing the efficacy of antineoplaston therapy. His failure to do so, or even to attempt to do so, speaks volumes.

  12. #12 Spectator
    April 26, 2013

    @ elburto

    I admire your patience in engaging and responding with restraint to the miasmatic mush of cancer and autism frauds. I don’t have the stomach for it myself; to me the con artists and their shills are usually venomous predators, not innocent dupes. They may have convinced themselves that the favored fantasy is the truth, but the conviction comes from a fundamental selfishness and hostility towards others which amputates any stirrings of interest in what is true vs what’s useful for feeding their anger.

    There’s value in calmly pointing out BS; the woo-niverse is large and pervasive enough that _some_ can get caught up in parts with good intentions. You can make a difference with those folks, catching some before they make significant decisions based on that stuff.

  13. #13 lsm
    April 26, 2013

    Hinton et al. would have to be debated with the thing Burzynski fans hang all their hopes on (sadly): anecdotes and Burzynski’s statistics that are so far unreported. In the debate, one would have to relate with great detail and emotion, stories of those who have survived brain cancer through cutting edge science and clinical trials. A quick google search shows lots of these stories. Without going further than the first 3 links in a google search:

    http://csn.cancer.org/node/137027
    http://www.webmd.com/cancer/brain-cancer/features/the-faces-of-brain-cancer?page=2
    http://www.virtualtrials.com/survive.cfm

    The difference is that real science doesn’t hide the total number of patients, and that the percent of those who survive is extremely small.

    As for statistics, I have seen Burzynski/fans say multiple times that his survival rate is 20%, 30%, and even 40%: which is it? Yet if you assume that he has treated 5,000 patients (a number given elsewhere) and the Burzynski Patient Group lists around 63 survivors, isn’t that more like 1.2% survival? Maybe I’m missing something.

  14. #14 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    April 26, 2013

    It would appear as if DJT’s latest Twitter incarnation has, like his previous ten, been suspended. I wonder if he’s firing off angry messages to the “president of Twitter” complaining, like he complained to Jimmy Wales at Wikipedia.

    “Oh no, I’m being repressed! Now we see the fascism inherent in the system!”

    No doubt this subject will warrant a screed on his blog any minute now. The man is deeply, deeply disturbed. Bob B. called him mentally ill on Twitter yesterday.

  15. #15 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    April 26, 2013

    Is there ever a situation in life where a Monty Python clip is not apropo?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Xd_zkMEgkI

  16. #16 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    April 26, 2013

    Not being a Twitter user myself (I lurk), I am wondering why his accounts keep getting suspended. Does someone have to complain or report him, and if so, on what grounds? I’ve seen other spammers whose accounts aren’t suspended. In what way does he cross a line that others seem to avoid crossing?

    The other night, just before an earlier account of his was suspended, he tweeted about 30 times to every media outlet you can imagine (all US TV networks, CNN breaking news, The New York Times, PBS, and several crank and conspiracy websites) to inform them of the censorship on Forbes and the “conspiracy” that Orac is friends with Dr. Lipson.

  17. #17 Mewens
    April 26, 2013

    But “cann’not” is almost poetic. It’s like Dunsany went to Wales or something.

  18. #18 Orac
    April 26, 2013

    Oh, dear. I might have to replace the Tweet above with my screenshot of the Tweet. Poor DJT. :-)

  19. #19 Orac
    April 26, 2013

    I’m honestly not sure why Twitter keeps trashing DJT’s accounts. The first time around, I think it was sheer volume and harassing other users. Maybe the last few times around it’s been his morphing to do what is obviously the same thing. However, I really don’t know. Certainly, I’ve never complained about him. He actually kind of amuses me, at least when he’s in the right mood and when he’s not directing dozens of Tweets at me.

  20. #20 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    April 26, 2013

    Orac,

    I really don’t know how you, Bob B. and Guy Chapman restrain yourselves in the face of the constant abuse and insults from DJT. I would have just told him to “F off” a long time ago. He’s still harping on the same things he did here back in December: SEC filings as “evidence”, for example.

    He is absolutely obsessed with responding to each and every comment about Burzynski posted on any blog or discussion board anywhere. Does he really think he’s ever going to change anyone’s mind?

  21. #21 jane
    April 26, 2013

    I sincerely sympathize with your refusal to engage in public debates with ideological opponents. My own subfield of expertise does not attract public controversy, but I admit that I would not have the patience to debate politely at much length with someone who was plainly ignorant of it.

    That said, it wasn’t always the case that scientific debates were held only through costly and inaccessible journals and conferences, with the winning hypotheses [that were preferred by scientists from a given culture] then watered down and spoon-fed to the ignoramus public. Remember the well-attended public debates on evolution after the Origin of Species was published, or for that matter the Lincoln-Douglas debates? Before mass media, we used to be a culture in which average people were proud of learning and thinking about serious issues. Why couldn’t we be again? The public is not inherently stupider now than they were a few generations ago.

    I believe that the high-school debate mentality has reduced Americans’ ability to discuss issues across the board almost as much as television. Far too many on all sides have come to believe that serious questions can be settled by determining who can shriek out more questions and objections in two minutes than his opponent can shriek out pat answers in a response of similar length. We are also steeped in the binary-thinking assumption that there are only two sides to any issue; you never get a third guy on the stage to represent a compromise position and a fourth to represent some totally different alternative. The trouble is that nobody ever leaves one of these artificial two-sided debates with a viewpoint he didn’t already hold, unless one of the speakers is particularly good or bad at his job.

    I see no reason that the next generation could not take more interest in scientific issues. Today’s public are already much better informed than past generations on certain subjects, sometimes to the chagrin of anointed experts. But if you want people to have a broader interest in abstract questions, knowledgeable people will have to actually discuss those questions with the public, rather than always talking down to them or over their heads, or at best getting on stage to engage in mutual Gish-galloping with a single, allegedly 100% opposite opponent. Why couldn’t we have public conversations instead?

  22. #22 Politicalguineapig
    April 26, 2013

    Jane: The public is not inherently stupider now than they were a few generations ago. Today’s public are already much better informed than past generations on certain subjects, sometimes to the chagrin of anointed experts. Why couldn’t we have public conversations instead?

    Oh, god, where do I even start? To begin with, Jane, have you considered a career in comedy? Yes, the public *is* much dumber than in generations past. Reading is socially unacceptable, and many school districts, even entire states, are operating off their own set of “facts.” The simple truth is that most Americans cannot handle or understand even the most basic science.

  23. #23 Gray Falcon
    April 26, 2013

    Another reason cranks want live public debates: It’s a lot harder to quote someone’s own words against them in such a debate. On Shot of Prevention, an anti-vaccine parent declared “I wasn’t calling parents stupid” in a comment, only for someone else to quote directly her as saying “The parents are just stupid”, making it clear she was trying to pull a fast one.

  24. #24 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    April 26, 2013

    Jane,

    You’re quite correct that people have over the years engaged in public debates over scientific issues. Evolution is a good example; Lincoln-Douglas would not be a particularly good one as they covered a matter of public and social policy more than a question of science.

    A valid issue, though, is whether such debates actually prove anything. Some people who argued in favor of evolution lost the debates, at least in the minds of their audiences. Qualities such as rhetorical skill, quick wits, outer beauty, an air of authority/authenticity, and willingness to bend the rules a little can count for more than mere facts and logical inference.

  25. #25 Edith Prickly
    April 26, 2013

    He actually kind of amuses me, at least when he’s in the right mood and when he’s not directing dozens of Tweets at me.

    I have long harboured a suspicion that DJT’s antics are some kind of elaborate performance art. His posts had a certain demented poetic quality – unlike the tiresome gasbag who’s been filling up the GMO thread with his pompous effluvia.

  26. #26 JGC
    April 26, 2013

    Jane, I don’t think it’s that the public is inherently stupider than generations ago, it’s that they’re lazier and demand instant graitification. If they’re genuinely interested in considering the argumetns for and against MMR safety, or antineoplaston efficacy, the evidence and arguments for and against are readily available in peer-reviewed journals (which after all are the forum in which working scientists publish their observations and present and defend the conclusions derived from those observations.

    Debates are most appealing to those who have no actual evidence in support fo their claims, and wish to conceal that lack of support.

  27. #27 herr doktor bimler
    April 26, 2013

    a man named Randy Hinton
    Clearly he is in the pay of the Apostrophe lobby.

    my fragile eggshell mind
    Noted.

  28. #28 herr doktor bimler
    April 26, 2013

    Qualities such as rhetorical skill, quick wits, outer beauty, an air of authority/authenticity, and willingness to bend the rules a little can count for more than mere facts and logical inference.

    I don’t know if Huxley scored highly on “outer beauty” in his Evolution debate with Wilberforce, but he had an unfair advantage on all the other qualities.

  29. #29 Narad
    April 26, 2013

    The reason, it turns out, is that neither Randy Hinton nor any of his family were apparently ever patients of Burzynski.

    Let’s not forget that he’s also the only person to ever be granted a meeting with the FDA over this matter (this story seems to have varied over the years).

  30. #30 janet
    The Frozen Tundra
    April 26, 2013

    Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Janet, I’m a DVM/PhD (for no fiscally responsible good reason) and I’ve been lurking here for weeks, enjoying the the mindplay and the wordplay. I am inspired to write today, because the collective “you” saw fit to decry the HEINOUS spelling and punctuation. The nuns who insisted I learn grammar in all its forms would be so proud. And to Marc at #15, I have never found a situation in which Monty Python was inappropriate.

  31. #31 Narad
    April 26, 2013

    Regarding Randy Hinton’s “meeting with the FDA,” here’s an earlier version of the tale.

  32. #32 lilady
    April 26, 2013

    I think it is incredibly sad that yet another politician has been taken in by a Burzynski patient’s family…make that a potential patient of Burzynski.

    I suspect that Mr. Hinton and Congressman Duncan do not have the ability to evaluate how Dr. Burzynski has been scamming vulnerable patients and their families for more than thirty years.

  33. #33 Narad
    April 26, 2013

    Hinton’s story here as related by Merola (“he later realized that not a single oncologist in the state of South Carolina bothered to inform him that there was another option available to his daughter other than chemotherapy and radiation—after his daughter had already died”) fails to reveal that he did in fact go to Burzynski and opted instead for nimotuzumab.

  34. #34 herr doktor bimler
    April 26, 2013

    not a single oncologist in the state of South Carolina bothered to inform him that there was another option available to his daughter other than chemotherapy and radiation

    So unless Hinton tracked down and consulted every single oncologist in SC, he is so self-centred as to expect the entire profession to know of his case and to contact him out of the blue to suggest alternative treatments.

  35. #35 Dangeroous Bacon
    April 26, 2013

    Hi, Janet.

    Do you know of any cheap, 100% effective no-side-effect cures for craziness in a three-year-old female black Labrador?

  36. #36 MI Dawn
    April 26, 2013

    @Narad: so, surprise, surprise, Randy Hinton has been lying to everyone. Amazing how stories can change in your own mind until you are the victim. And the poor soul has bought into the “antineoplastins aren’t toxic chemotherapy” mindset.

    No, not toxic at all. Just highly likely to lead to hypernatremia unless the person drinks tons of water and can urinate it out…yeah, force your child to drink 2 gallons of water a day…

  37. #37 jre
    Bouldah, mon
    April 26, 2013

    Qbert Qbert? Didn’t he have some kind of obsessive thing for Eric Merolita?

  38. #38 herr doktor bimler
    April 26, 2013

    Bonus Hinton:

    We are trying to meet with congressmen to pass a law that would make all doctor’s and hosptials tell you about all treatments that are available not just the ones they have.

    Including coffee enemas, the Gerson protocol, alkali-blood diets, Hulda’s parasite zapper, radionics and Black Salve.
    Could be a lengthy consultation.

  39. #39 Old Rockin' Dave
    From Hell, Mishter Lusk
    April 26, 2013

    Could it be that they’re taking a leaf from the evolution supporter’s playbook, and hoping for a Huxley-over-Wilberforce kind of victory?
    Pretty ironic, if true.

  40. #40 Sastra
    April 26, 2013

    I think the “all truth comes from live public debate” is a corollary to the “do your own research and make up your own mind” trope. Both bits of wisdom work fairly well for simple issues which are fairly balanced and don’t require scientific expertise — like deciding where to go for pizza, say. They have an intuitive appeal and they’re both flattering. If you just pay attention and think about it, then your conclusion is just as good as anyone’s.

    As you point out, science doesn’t work that way. Yes, it’s a search for consensus — but not a political consensus. Experts in the field play by very strict rules to convince other experts. You can’t just evaluate the superficial rhetoric or look at what pops up on google and consider yourself just like a scientist.

  41. #41 herr doktor bimler
    April 26, 2013

    @Narad: so, surprise, surprise, Randy Hinton has been lying to everyone
    The ‘Halyley5′ in Narad’s link is apparently Mrs Randy Hinton (though she is evidently writing on the word-processor as her husband, with the same random-apostrophe macro). Also she sees visions IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROPHECY.

    a law that would make all doctor’s and hosptials tell you about all treatments that are available not just the ones they have.
    The corollary is worth noting: all oncologists will have to be aware of every single quack clinic and snake-oil salesman, the better to advice patients of their availability.

    I’m sure there is plenty of spare time in the average med school curriculum for the extra class, and equally sure that Orac will enjoy teaching it.

  42. #42 Narad
    April 26, 2013

    The method behind Randy’s being granted unprecedented access to the FDA? Explained here.

    The FDA confirmed the results of the trial to me and there number is 1-800-463-6332 ask for the special health issues office.I believe Mr.Barnes was the guy’s name.

  43. #43 lilady
    April 26, 2013

    Randy Hinton has been posting on a Forbes blog about Burzynski (Expand All Comments). Scroll over to Page 3 to see his rant and his challenge to debate people.

    I replied to him (Page 4) and invited him to join us on RI to discuss/debate Burzynski’s treatment. He hasn’t replied to me.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterlipson/2013/04/19/a-film-producer-a-cancer-doctor-and-their-critics/#comment-170

  44. #44 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    April 26, 2013

    Slightly off-topic, but when I read the title of the post, I can’t help but think, “All your truth are belong to us!”

  45. #45 Khani
    April 27, 2013

    #4, 5 Like the poor, apostrophe abuse is ever with us.

  46. #46 Khani
    April 27, 2013

    #7 Last I checked, most of it was copy-pasted from other places.

    Honestly, I hated Jerry Maguire, but it’s like we’re all sitting here shouting SHOW ME THE SCIENCE and Burzynski is just… not… doing it.

    We’re begging to be convinced that Burzynski has a cancer cure. We’re pleading for him to publish the study that shows it works. We’re desperate for him to share the cure with the world through a reputable, rigorous publication.

    We would throw a party. A new cancer treatment! Another option to help people!

    But it keeps not happening.

    We want to believe, but eventually we had to face the facts:

    Either he’s cruelly withholding the cure for his own profit, or he’s a scam artist.

  47. #47 The Danish Salmon of Doubt
    Spring in Dublin
    April 27, 2013

    One way of arguing Randy Hinton could be to have him use Victor Borge’s Phonetic Punctuation. That way he could include all his apostrophes, exclamation marks etc., and assuming he played by the rules it ought to be good for a laugh. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lF4qii8S3gw for an example

  48. #48 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    April 27, 2013

    Merola is promising a “surprise celebrity guest” at the Newport film screening today (and no, he’s said it’s not SRB himself.) Any idea who this might be? Please tell me it’s not Josh Duhamel. Does he qualify as being known by “everyone on the face of the earth?” Suzanne Somers, possibly? I can’t think of any other celebrity who has endorsed Count Stan…

    From his Facebook post:

    Pretty much everyone on the face of the earth knows who this celebrity is. We can’t let the cat out of the bag just yet. I will announce it in the morning.

  49. #49 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    April 27, 2013

    I just saw this follow-up on Merola’s FB page. Still no idea what celebrity has been a spokesman for a major cancer organization:

    Hint: The surprise celebrity guest planning to participate in the April 27 screening of “Burzynski: Part 2″ at the Newport Beach Film Festival – was once an official spokesperson for one of the largest USA-based cancer organizations… ;) Stay tuned….

  50. #50 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    April 27, 2013

    To indicate how clueless Suzanne Somers is, she tweeted this recently:

    Suzanne Somers‏@SuzanneSomers12 Apr
    To Andy Hoffman,father of 7 yr. Old with brain cancer, Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski in Houston is having major success with children w/o drugs!

    First it was “no side effects,” now it’s “without drugs”?!! What does he use? Magic pixie dust and interpretive dance?

  51. #51 Krebiozen
    April 27, 2013

    was once an official spokesperson for one of the largest USA-based cancer organizations

    Or to put it another way:

    is no longer an official spokesperson for one of the largest USA-based cancer organizations

    I wonder why.

  52. #52 Greg
    April 27, 2013

    So Orac, you won’t debate the anti-vaxxers ‘quacks’ who ‘don’t have a leg to stand on’? …..Chicken!!! Pwoooccc, pwooc, pwooc!!!

  53. #53 Lawrence
    April 27, 2013

    @Greg – that debating tactic went out of style in Grade School….proud of yourself?

  54. #54 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    April 27, 2013

    Greg – you need to double-dog dare him next. That’s a perennial favorite.

  55. #55 LW
    April 27, 2013

    I’m trying to imagine a debate between Orac and Greg.

    Orac: detailed and informed explanation of why the quacks are wrong

    Greg: “So’s your old man!”

    Orac: further detailed and informed explanation of why the quacks are wrong with examples of resulting harm

    Greg: “I’m rubber and you’re glue. Whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you!”

    Orac: heavy sigh

  56. #56 Chris,
    April 27, 2013

    Greg:

    Chicken!!! Pwoooccc, pwooc, pwooc!!!

    Greg, I asked you a very simple question on the Wakefield thread. Be so kind and answer it, please.

  57. #57 novalox
    April 27, 2013

    @greg

    Considering that you consistently refuse to answer questions asked of you, your comments smacks of hypocrisy.

  58. #58 lilady
    April 27, 2013

    Randy Hinton posted a comment 8 hours ago on Peter Lipson’s Forbes blog…now demanding a “public debate”. (Expand All Comments-pg 11)

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterlipson/2013/04/19/a-film-producer-a-cancer-doctor-and-their-critics/

    “randy hinton 8 hours ago

    I have heard this propaganda crap now for 6 year’s and I know the fact’s. I will not waste my time with a CHAT on line where you people alway’s control the conversation. ANYTIME you want to debate this in front of a live audience, all you have to do is set it up as long as there are no restriction’s on what is said or expressed. If you do this I promise you that you will end up so embarrassed it will take you a year to get over it. Stanislaw Burzynski was the only one who told the truth to me at all and the Ronald McDonald House refused us a room because we were at his clinic. Then Texas Children’s Hospital REFUSED TO PUT A SHUNT IN MY DAUGHTER’S HEAD because we would go back to his clinic. Then M.D.Anderson repeatedly ignored me when I pointed out a problem about my daughter over and over again and this lead to a MASSIVE seizure that put her out of commission for 3 day’s. THEN they admitted they screwed up. Then 2 year’s later I learn that the trial that MUSC told me did not exist and the treatment that MUSC told me did not exist HAD SAVED 4 ASTROCYTOMA AND 2 PONTINE GLIOMA PATIENT’S without radiation or chemotherapy and the FDA told me. SO ANYTIME YOUR READY BOY.”

    I again posted back at him

    “lilady 10 minutes ago

    “I already offered you a forum on a science blog to debate with a real respected surgical oncologist, with a guarantee that he never moderates the “debate”.

    I’m calling you out on your anecdotal stories and your support of Burzynski’s *treatment*. So prove me wrong by coming to this blog:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/04/26/all-truth-comes-from-public-debate-a-corollary-to-crank-magnetism/

  59. #59 herr doktor bimler
    April 27, 2013

    Randy Hinton has been posting on a Forbes blog about Burzynski (Expand All Comments). Scroll over to Page 3 to see his rant and his challenge to debate people.

    I suspect that his grammar and general incoherence is doing more to discredit the pro-Burzynski perspective than anything that comments from Orac’s minions could contribute.

  60. #60 Greg
    April 27, 2013

    Hey Orac,

    Seriously, man-up and grow some and debate those anti-vaxxers ‘quacks’ publicly. Stop hiding behind your whiny, sissy blogs. I am just a layperson and already went a good number of rounds against the ‘scientists’ and ‘experts’ here. Surely you could hold your own against the Blaylocks in a public debate. Just be careful though not to trip over your skirt on your way to the podium…..Hee, Hee, Hee!

  61. #61 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    April 27, 2013

    I am just a layperson and already went a good number of rounds against the ‘scientists’ and ‘experts’ here.

    And got your arse handed to you. Keep it up, dimwit. It’s going to be fun gnawing on you.

  62. #62 Lawrence
    April 27, 2013

    @Greg – you do realize how incredibly stupid you look right?

  63. #63 MI Dawn
    April 27, 2013

    It will be interesting to see if Randy Hinton (Mrs?) comes over to talk with us. I love ever changing stories that can be traced on the internet. How many ways can a story change? Let’s count!

    @Greg: Oh, yes, you went a “good number of rounds…” here…you lost each time, but hey, I will give you a cookie for your persistence in repeating woo.

  64. #64 Chris,
    April 27, 2013

    Greg:

    Seriously, man-up and grow some and debate those anti-vaxxers ‘quacks’ publicly.

    Greg, why don’t you “man-up” and answer my very simple question on the Wakefield thread? Is it too tough for you?

  65. #65 Narad
    April 27, 2013

    It will be interesting to see if Randy Hinton (Mrs?) comes over to talk with us.

    The missus is Wanda. At least one of the posts linked above is signed jointly.

  66. #66 Chris,
    April 27, 2013

    By the way, Greg, my question is very similar to the one I asked before you ran away ten days ago. So do “man-up” and come up with an answer.

  67. #67 Khani
    April 27, 2013

    #60

    Holy sexism and denigration of women. Nice to know how you really feel about half the people in the world.

    Yowsa.

  68. #68 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    April 27, 2013

    Greg,

    I am just a layperson and already went a good number of rounds against the ‘scientists’ and ‘experts’ here.

    Was I napping during those rounds or were you?

  69. #69 novalox
    Watching a game
    April 27, 2013

    @Chris

    Considering greg’s blatant sexism, I’d say the chances of him answering you honestly is about nil. But then again, what would we expect from such a typical anti-vaxxer.

    But at least with greg, we see a perfect example of D-K in action.

  70. #70 ARD
    April 27, 2013

    MOB, #68: I suspect you were both napping. A boxing match that’s just multiple consecutive TKOs is rather boring, no?

  71. #71 lilady
    Here, and still waiting for Randy Hinton.
    April 27, 2013

    Randy Hinton has not replied to my two posts on Peter Lipson’s Forbes blog and my invitations to “debate” here….but DJT, just replied in his stead.

    See pg 11 (Expand All Comments)

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterlipson/2013/04/19/a-film-producer-a-cancer-doctor-and-their-critics/

  72. #72 Narad
    April 27, 2013

    Surely you could hold your own against the Blaylocks in a public debate.

    Has Russell “Illuminati Agenda” Blaylock developed a second head? Sort of a Ray Milland affair?

  73. #73 Chris,
    April 27, 2013

    Narad:

    Has Russell “Illuminati Agenda” Blaylock developed a second head?

    Perhaps that is a side effect from using his own “Brain Repair Formula.”

  74. #74 Shay
    April 27, 2013

    ” You know that, if you had a bent tube, one arm of which was of the size of a pipe-stem, and the other big enough to hold the ocean, water would stand at the same height in one as in the other. Controversy equalizes fools and wise men in the same way. And the fools know it.” ~ (Oliver Wendell Holmes)

  75. #75 herr doktor bimler
    April 28, 2013

    Has Russell “Illuminati Agenda” Blaylock developed a second head?
    I’ve seen that movie!.

  76. #76 Narad
    April 28, 2013

    Perhaps that is a side effect from using his own “Brain Repair Formula.”

    But in the most detailed extant documentary evidence, the new head is the more rational of the two.

  77. #78 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    April 28, 2013

    Ready to find out who Merola’s “international celebrity” special guest at the Newport screening was?

    Fabio!

    I kid you not. Apparently he did some PR work for the American Cancer Society a few years ago, hence Merola’s hint.

    Is Fabio now shilling for Count Stan too? Joining the list of other “C” list celebrities like Duhamel and Somers?

    There aren’t enough LOLs in the world to cover this.

  78. #79 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    April 28, 2013

    Here’s Fabio’s anti-smoking poster for the ACS from the early 90s. His grandmother died of smoking-related cancer so he agreed to do this campaign.

    http://lite987.com/fabio-knows-what-your-lips-are-meant-for/

  79. #80 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    April 28, 2013

    A newspaper article covering Fabio’s ACS activities from 1993. He also donated 10% of net earnings from his cologne to the ACS.

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2002&dat=19931029&id=obUiAAAAIBAJ&sjid=5rQFAAAAIBAJ&pg=1491,6654275

  80. #81 Lawrence
    April 28, 2013

    @MSII – Fabio, really? That’s who Merola is trotting out?

    Hilarious…..

  81. #82 Greg
    April 28, 2013

    @Chris

    Chris, whether the risks from VPD is greater than the side effects of the vaccines themselves is difficult in determining. The stats of side effects from vaccines come from VAERS, which many experts concede is an inadequate reporting system. Less than 10% of complications after vaccines are said to be reported. Parents of injured children either fail to alert officials, or officials themselves refrain from filing claims due to not wanting to undermine the vaccination campaign. Further, VAERS claims only take into account short-term side effects and not long-term neurological impairments such as ADHD, speech delays, and autism. You may argue that studies have never implicated vaccines in causing such impairments. Again, setting aside the independent studies that have found a link, the existing body of pharma peer reviewed studies have only explored MMR and Thimerosal, and now only one study on antigens, and do not tell us if vaccines in a cumulative way as administered in the CDC childhood immunization schedule can cause such long-term impairments. Even Dr. Sears has admitted that if vaccines are contributing to these long-term impairments then they are not worth the risks. As for the figures you gave me for measles complications, I would have to ask how old are these stats and whether they are for healthy individuals. Measles, for instance, are known to cause more complications in individuals in poorer countries. In any event, it would be beneficial to know the actual health outcomes of infected individuals from the Swansea measles outbreak and whether such outcomes are consistent with the figures you provided.

    Hopefully this response will satisfy you. I am still waiting for Orac to ‘man-up’ and go beyond his grumpy, name-calling, inane ranting blogs. Yes Orac, show us that you have more colour than just yellow and agree to debate the anti-vaxxers Blaylocks anytime and anywhere. Until you do so, I will continue to treat you with these eloquent words: …Pwoooc, pwoooc, pwooc!!

  82. #83 Greg
    April 28, 2013

    @novalex

    It’s not about sexism because I know quite a few ladies who have more ba**s than Orac. The man is just plain yellow. I wish he would admit such and save me time reading his boring blogs.

  83. #84 Lawrence
    April 28, 2013

    @Greg – please, your continued ignorance is showing….VAERS is not the end all, be all, for vaccine safety surveillance and you should know that. Not only is the entire testing process overseen by the FDA (and the multitude of other governmental regulatory bodies worldwide), but continued post-release studies are conducted for the life of the vaccine as well by organizations like WHO & the CDC.

    Again, what purpose is served by a debate with individuals who have already lost in the actual scientific debate?

    Seems to me, the last time there was a public discussion between a pro & anti-vax individual (discussed on this very blog), the anti-vax side was shown to be complete bereft of real evidence or a supportable position (not to mention a graph that showed that 100% of the population will be autistic by 2040).

    So Greg, get a bit of maturity – because you’re really making yourself look like a complete and utter moron.

  84. #85 Orac
    April 28, 2013

    I’m calling you out on your anecdotal stories and your support of Burzynski’s *treatment*. So prove me wrong by coming to this blog:

    Well, DJT tried to comment last night and got caught in the moderation trap. I’m not letting DJT through. He’s been banned for very good reason, and I will not rescind the ban. Mr. Hinton, however, may comment if he so desires, but he has to do it under his own name.

  85. #86 Orac
    April 28, 2013

    Is Fabio now shilling for Count Stan too? Joining the list of other “C” list celebrities like Duhamel and Somers?

    Yeah, I knew it was likely to be Fabio a few days ago, but wasn’t entirely sure. Apparently Merola is going to post the video “within a week”; so we’ll see. BTW, how did you find this out? I haven’t been able to find anything out online about it yet. I’m also getting a report that Merola trotted out a “skeptic” who has become a believer, but I don’t know if that’s true either.

  86. #87 Krebiozen
    April 28, 2013

    Greg,

    In any event, it would be beneficial to know the actual health outcomes of infected individuals from the Swansea measles outbreak and whether such outcomes are consistent with the figures you provided.

    During the current measles outbreak in Wales 83 out of 942 measles sufferers have so far required hospitalization, that’s 8.8%. The single death so far has not yet been confirmed as being caused by measles.

    The outbreaks in France between 2008 and 2011 are also instructive, since France has excellent healthcare, considerably better than that in the US according to the WHO which ranked France as having the best health system in the world. Here are the highlights of the effects of this outbreak, which affected more than 20,000 people:

    During the 4-year study period, 2,582 (11.6%) measles cases involved complications; most frequently reported were pneumonia (1,375 cases, 6.2%), acute otitis media (321 cases, 1.4%), and hepatitis or pancreatitis (248 cases, 1.1%). Diarrhea was reported in 100 cases (0.4%).

    Overall, 4,980 (22.4%) measles patients were hospitalized, with substantial differences in hospitalization rates between age groups. Hospitalization rates were 28% for infants <1 year of age and 31%–38% for adults. Among hospitalized patients, the most frequently reported complication was pneumonia (1,023 cases, 20.6%) . The male-female ratio (1.0) for patients with complications was similar to that for patients without complications; median patient age was 24 years (IQR 11–32 years). The proportion of pneumonia cases increased with age, reaching 28.8% in adults >30 years of age (p<0.001 for comparison of proportion of pneumonia in adults and overall rate of pneumonia).

    Neurologic complications included 1 case of myelitis and 26 cases of encephalitis (rate 0.6/1,000 cases). Of the encephalitis cases, 25 were acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, and 1 was measles-inclusion body encephalitis occurring 4 months after the initial appearance of measles rash. Patient male-female ratio was 0.8; the median age was 16 years (IQR 12–24 years).

    Liver and/or pancreatic complications were reported in 5.0% of patients >15 years of age (p<0.001 for comparison of proportion of liver/pancreatic complications among patients >15 years of age and overall rate of liver/pancreatic complications). The proportion of hospitalized patients with otitis media (1.3%) varied significantly, from 5.1% for infants <1 year of age to <0.5% for patients >15 years of age (p<0.001).

    Ten patients died (0.45 deaths/1,000 cases). Causes of death were pneumonia (7), encephalitis (1 acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, 1 measles-inclusion body encephalitis), and myocarditis (1). Nine of these patients were <30 years of age (median 23 years, range 11–68 years); 7 were female (male-female ratio 0.4). Seven patients were immunodeficient; 1 had congenital immunodeficiency and 6 had acquired immunodeficiency (e.g., Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Crohn’s disease, HIV, immunosuppressive treatment).

    Don’t you think we would have noticed if vaccines caused these kinds of adverse events at similar or greater rates? More than 500 million doses of MMR have been administered worldwide, so we would expect to have seen 225,000 deaths due to MMR alone if you are correct.

  87. #88 Krebiozen
    April 28, 2013

    Here’s the WHO ranking of health systems, to support my comment about French healthcare.

  88. #89 Greg
    April 28, 2013

    @Orac,

    Prooocc, prooocc,prooocc!!

  89. #90 Greg
    April 28, 2013

    @krebiozen,

    Thx for the helpful figures. Still would take the odds of complications with the measles over SIDs, ADHD, speech delays, and permanent brain damage autism.

    Cheers, Greg

  90. #91 jre
    April 28, 2013

    Still would take the odds of complications with the measles over SIDs, ADHD, speech delays, and permanent brain damage autism.

    For my part, I would take the odds of complications with the measles over being hit by a meteorite, or nuclear war. However, there is no evidence that vaccines cause those things– or, for that matter, SIDs, ADHD, speech delays, and permanent brain damage autism (whatever that is). Choosing between unrelated things is kind of a dumb exercise, in my view. But thanks for providing a textbook example of “begging the question”!

  91. #92 novalox
    April 28, 2013

    @greg

    Ah, thanks for admitting that you are sexist and infantile as well. I’m sure that you are a shining example of D-K in action. Your refusal to answer questions, as well as your consistent use of childlike insults, does make you look hypocritical.

    So, let’s see if you can answer Chris’ questions in 3 posts. If you don’t, it will be seen as an implicit view that you do not have any evidence backing up your statements.

  92. #93 Lawrence
    April 28, 2013

    @Greg – so you’ll take your chances with very real and debilitating side effects of real diseases over the fiction of your unsupported beliefs?

    You are f*ing insane.

  93. #94 Pareidolius
    April 28, 2013

    So Greg, you have swept in to astonish and humble us all again with your brilliant mind. Now you’re using unfamiliar words to taunt us. Prooocc? Is that Russain? Is it pronounced “prook,” “proose,” or “prock?” Do let us know.

    And your mastery of the feminine perjorative does seem well practiced. Yes, we know you think that all things female are bad, bad, bad. We get it. Only “balls” are good. So good in fact that women need them to be on the same level as the naturally superior men. Wearing a skirt is for sissys. Your mastery of rhetoric and science leaves us all feeling inadequate and trembling with fear.

    Go the prooocc away you prat.

  94. #95 Chris,
    April 28, 2013

    Greg:

    Chris, whether the risks from VPD is greater than the side effects of the vaccines themselves is difficult in determining. The stats of side effects from vaccines come from VAERS

    Someone who is just making excuses has no call in taunting anyone with silly animal noises.

    Just find the PubMed indexed study that shows the MMR vaccine causes more seizures than measles. The more appropriate set of data would be from the Vaccine Safety Datalink, from which there have been several studies. I also provided several for you to look at on the Wakefield thread, along with a link to a review titled “Clinical Significance of Measles.” If you had even glanced at the latter, you would not have had to ask to see what happens to the people with measles in Wales (people don’t end up in the hospital just because they have a fever and spots).

    Now “man-up” and prove that the MMR causes more seizures than measles. Or admit that you have nothing.

  95. #96 Chris,
    April 28, 2013

    Pareidolius:

    Wearing a skirt is for sissys.

    Try saying that at the Highland Games!

  96. #97 Chris,
    April 28, 2013

    Greg:

    Still would take the odds of complications with the measles over SIDs, ADHD, speech delays, and permanent brain damage autism.

    Prove that the MMR vaccine causes those things.

    First off, how would you, a “grown man” get SIDS? While “infantile” may be a good description of your behavior, the word “infant” in SIDS means a child less than a year old. The MMR vaccine is only given after the first birthday, so it is impossible for an event in the future to cause death.

    Now provide the PubMed indexed studies from qualified researchers* that the MMR vaccine causes permanent brain damage more than measles.

    *qualified researchers would mean no one who has had their medical license revoked, or has an inappropriate educational background like law, finance, geology, computer science, business, journalism, etc.

  97. #98 Spectator
    April 28, 2013

    @Gregg

    “Prooocc, prooocc,prooocc!!”

    Thanks for summing yourself up so succinctly.

  98. #99 Narad
    April 28, 2013

    Further, VAERS claims only take into account short-term side effects and not long-term neurological impairments such as ADHD, speech delays, and autism.

    Funny, I get 32.643 total entries with onset times greater than 120 days; narrowing this to outcomes of “permanent disability” yields 534 entries, of which 69 specifically mention autism. Maybe you should try actually using it before making pronouncements.

  99. #100 Narad
    April 28, 2013

    It’s not about sexism because I know quite a few ladies who have more ba**s than Orac.

    Oh, great, now I’ve got “Walk on the Wild Side” stuck in my head.

  100. #101 LW
    April 28, 2013

    The MMR vaccine is only given after the first birthday, so it is impossible for an event in the future to cause death.

    You underestimate the wiles of Big Pharma.

  101. #102 Chris,
    April 28, 2013

    I can’t wait to see Greg try to tell us that the Vaccine Safety Datalink is funded by Big Pharma. It uses the medical databases of health maintenance organizations (HMOs), which are a type of health insurance.

    If he thinks health insurance are thralls of “Big Pharma”, then he has never dealt with health insurance. If the insurance company does not approve of the medication, you are not going to get it. Even if the doctor insists, as noted by Dr. Lipson:
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterlipson/2013/02/26/do-insurance-companies-want-you-dead/

  102. #103 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    April 28, 2013

    Orac,

    I saw a photo of Toni Moreno (the teenage patient of Burzynski) with Fabio backstage at the Newport screening on her Twitter account. I then checked and found out about Fabio’s campaign with the ACS in 1993:

    https://twitter.com/moreno_tori/status/328385019443826688/photo/1

  103. #104 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    April 28, 2013

    Here’s another photo of Fabio with a Burzynski shill. Looks like a testimonial ad for the “Hair Club for Men”:

    http://t.co/y514nmPIaX

  104. #105 Krebiozen
    April 28, 2013

    Greg,

    Still would take the odds of complications with the measles over SIDs, ADHD, speech delays, and permanent brain damage autism.

    Let me put this very simply. MMR leads to convulsions requiring hospitalization in about 1 in 1,150 doses. Measles leads to convulsions requiring hospitalization in up to 2.3% of cases, that’s 1 in 43. Which of these do you think is most likely to cause “permanent brain damage”?

    By the way, would you really prefer encephalitis, pneumonia, deafness or death to being any of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_with_autism_spectrum_disorders"these people?

  105. #106 Krebiozen
    April 28, 2013

    Let me try that again.

    By the way, would you really prefer encephalitis, pneumonia, deafness or death to being any of these people?

  106. #107 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    April 28, 2013

    Here’s someone looking to raise $4500 a month for the “case management fee”:

    In about a week, the Burzynski Clinic wiill have the results of biopsy tests, from which they will design his Phase Two treatment plan. The cost of this phase is uncertain, but we know that he will have pay $4,500 a month in case management fees.So, on the advice of their financial counselor, we have increased our total goal to $45,000.

    Note the line that says “on the advice of their financial counselor.

    http://www.gofundme.com/Save-Stevens-life

    After all, it’s spring in Texas and Count Stan probably has to pay a lot of gardeners and groundskeepers to maintain the lawn at his sprawling estate.

    I thought all Phase II trials were completed last July, according to Dolcefino? Did Burzynski register MORE Phase II trials?

  107. #108 elburto
    April 28, 2013

    @Bacon -

    Do you know of any cheap, 100% effective no-side-effect cures for craziness in a three-year-old female black Labrador?

    About eight years. I wish I was joking. Mine was 11/12 before she settled down and matured. That’s black labs for ya. Can’t wait to have another, one day.

    @Greg . Your onomatopoeic toofowlery is indicative of your mental state. When you make Thingy and Augustine look like eloquent, sensible orators, then you’re a sad specimen indeed.

    Denser than horse sh¡t and ten times more offensive, apparently holding the belief that the Daily Heil is a scholarly and unimpeachable source of scientific data, you’re a blight on this place.

    Take your ableism and misogyny and cram it into your tightest orifice.

  108. #109 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    April 28, 2013

    The comment DJT tried to post here is on his own blog, alongside a “critique” of this posting. More of the same old, same old.

    He also has a new Twitter identity.

    He’s like a case study of obsession, compulsion, and mental illness.

  109. #110 elburto
    April 28, 2013

    Arse. Stupid t9

    Your onomatopoeic tomfowlery

    Also, does said chickensquawking remind anyone of Arrested Development?

    WRT Fabio – is he the hair and romance novel covers dude? If so, how is he an exciting celebrity? That’s setting the bar so bloody low that even one of Greg’s autistic mice wouldn’t get under it.

  110. #111 Chris,
    April 28, 2013

    Krebiozen:

    Let me put this very simply. MMR leads to convulsions requiring hospitalization in about 1 in 1,150 doses.

    That paper specifies that is the MMR vaccine with the Urabe mumps component, which was only used in the UK between 1988 and 1992. And never in the USA, which used and still uses the Jeryl Lynn mumps component. From that paper:

    Subsequent reports from other countries showed that aseptic meningitis was associated with all mumps vaccine strains except the Jeryl Lynn strain (9, 10). Interestingly, unlike other mumps vaccine virus strains, the Jeryl Lynn vaccine strain is a mixture of two distinct isolates with heterology in the hydrophobic protein gene (11).

    This is one reason that I specifically named the MMR used in the USA when I asked Greg on the other thread.

  111. #112 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    April 28, 2013

    elblurto,

    I think the “significance” of Fabio’s appearance in that he was a spokesperson for the ACS way back in 1993, for a limited anti-smoking campaign. The fact that he’s now shilling for Burzynski indicates he’s another one who has “seen the light” and turned his back on the mainstream cancer industry which can only (all together now) “slash, burn and poison” cancer patients.

    Or maybe I’m wrong. After all, I have no citations, references or links to show my FACT-CHECKING.

  112. #113 Denice Walter
    April 28, 2013

    Here we go again….

    Since it’s Sunday, I thought I might play *agent provocateur* ** again- (you’ll note how I got Jay to ‘open up’ to us) but I see that dear elburto has already arrived there first.

    I should add that questioning someone else’s masculinity is often a way of avoiding looking at your own shortcomings in that department.

    DW
    all evil, all the time

    ** I’m not associated with the brand -btw-

  113. #114 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    April 28, 2013

    Maybe Burzynski uses the term “Phase II” in a generic way, not in the context of FDA trials. Read the comment I posted above; it just says they’ll be designing his Phase II treatment. Maybe every patient, in Burzynski nomenclature, has a Phase II when they show up in Texas and sign up for Stan’s program.

    Like the underpants gnomes of South Park fame.

    Phase I: Lure a patient to Houston with testimonials, websites and advertising
    Phase II: Design a “treatment plan” that will cost >$4500 a month
    Phase III: PROFIT!

    This is really only funny if you know the “underpants gnome” bit from SP.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tO5sxLapAts

  114. #115 Khani
    April 28, 2013

    #83 Then quit equating cowardice and weakness with female traits, from the “skirt” to the continued “man up” comments. Us skirt-wearing nonmen don’t appreciate it.

  115. #116 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    April 28, 2013

    elburto,

    I am SO sorry…I accidently used DJT’s insulting name for you instead of typing your real ‘nym! I just noticed now, when reading back over other comments. No offense intended, and I am NOT (obviously) a sockpuppet for DJT!

  116. #117 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    April 28, 2013

    Do all these Burzynski patients pay their own way to travel to these screenings? Or does Merola cover their travel expenses? It must get rather expensive for a family of three.

    Or maybe he charges them a “travel management fee” to arrange their trips.

    I hope Burzynski’s groundskeepers charge him a huge “lawn management fee’ to maintain his estate.

    Or maybe Stan has convinced the gardeners they’re part of some turf-growing clinical trials and they pay HIM?

  117. #118 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    April 28, 2013

    Greg@ 82:

    Chris, whether the risks from VPD is greater than the side effects of the vaccines themselves is difficult in determining.

    Incorrect. The diseases cause complications at a far greater rate than the vaccinations.

    The stats of side effects from vaccines come from VAERS, which many experts concede is an inadequate reporting system.

    True, but not in the way you think. There is very little verification done. One man filed a report that vaccines turned his daughter into the Incredible Hulk. He then had to give permission to the VAERS Admins to remove it.

    [O]fficials themselves refrain from filing claims due to not wanting to undermine the vaccination campaign.

    Nice try Greg. If an official refused to report an adverse reaction, the parent would complain and said official would be disciplined.

    VAERS claims only take into account short-term side effects and not long-term neurological impairments such as ADHD, speech delays, and autism.

    Once again Greg, provide evidence that ADHD, speech delays and autism are caused by vaccination.

    You may argue that studies have never implicated vaccines in causing such impairments.

    You make the claim YOU stump up the evidence.

    [D]o not tell us if vaccines in a cumulative way as administered in the CDC childhood immunization schedule can cause such long-term impairments.

    This has been looked at. Orac mentioned such a study. Heck, his blogpost about it is still on the front page.
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/04/01/the-death-of-too-many-too-soon-not-a-moment-too-soon/.

    [I]f vaccines are contributing to these long-term impairments then they are not worth the risks.

    Operative word “if”, and you haven’t provided any evidence that they are.

    I am still waiting for Orac to ‘man-up’ and go beyond his grumpy, name-calling, inane ranting blogs.

    Irony and hypocrisy meters vapourised.
    Gnaw, gnaw, gnaw…

  118. #119 Bob G
    Los Angeles
    April 28, 2013

    CBS radio news ran a story last night about the measles epidemic in the UK. It made clear that the cases in late teens and young adults were likely due to the epidemic of non-vaccination (my words, not theirs) that occurred in response to the Wakefield warning. The story specifically referred to the Lancet article, claiming that it linked mmr vaccination to autism. The radio story then pointed out that only later was it revealed the Wakefield had a financial interest in a competing vaccine, and lost his license to practice medicine.

    The radio story also mentioned the young man who died from measles, with the comment that the police came to his mother’s door to inform her of his death.

    Aside from omitting a few Britishisms (we don’t use that term “the jab” over her for a shot, and we don’t use the expression “struck off” for license revocation), the CBS news story was pretty solid. If I understand correctly, there is some potential argument over the way that Wakefield presented his views on using the mmr vaccine then in existence — RI has gone into the way he used a press conference to expand on what the paper said — but I can say that to the automotive audience (the likeliest group to have been listening to AM radio at that time of evening) the story was straightforward in its linkage of the epidemic to the lack of vaccination. I believe that it also made clear that the once-hypothetical claim for a vaccine-autism link was disproved long ago.

    It’s interesting that CBS dismissed Wakefield in a very few words by making him into a profit seeking fraud. The story did not treat the use of vaccines as controversial.

    A quick google search shows that CBS has run a number of stories on measles outbreaks over the past several years, but I could not find an online story repeating the radio story.

  119. #120 Peebs
    April 28, 2013

    I’ve been following the coverage of the Measles outbreak on the BBC and overall it’s been excellent.

    An antivaxxer complained on Radio 4′s Feedback programme about the the robustness of the Corporation’s stance that it was due to Wakefield’s “Study” and subsequent low take up of the MMR Vaccine.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/feedback

    It was refreshing to hear the Science Correspondent defend himself and the corporation and certainly cheered up my day.

    Note to the Daily Mail;
    That’s real journalism!

  120. #121 Greg
    April 28, 2013

    Ok Guys,

    Taking a leave again. Will check back in if I come across anything good.

    Cheers, Greg

  121. #122 novalox
    April 28, 2013

    @greg

    Strike 1.

    And let’s see if you stick the flounce this time.

  122. #123 Lawrence
    April 28, 2013

    @Greg – since you refuse to answer any of our questions, I think you’re the one without any balls, testicles or manhood whatsoever….moron.

  123. #124 Denice Walter
    April 28, 2013

    @ Bob G:

    Your comment reveals something that we should remember:
    in the English-speaking world, support for AJW, anti-vax, and generalised woo are all minority views.The radio report would correctly appeal to what most people (& SBM) believe.

    Because we tune into the world wide web of woo, immersing ourselves in outre pseudo-science, we might
    forget that most people DO vaccinate their children, aren’t terrified of SBM or GMOs, aren’t vegans or vegetarians, don’t balance their chakras, relish juicing or consult with Gaian oracles about lifestyle choices.

    Our focus is upon a microcosm of contrarianism that ( because herd immunity is dependent upon a high degree of participation) can unfortunately affect innocent people who don’t subscribe to its tenets as if they were Holy Writ.

    Someone provided a map of MMR coverage in Wales:
    you’ll note that the “red zone” ( Swansea) area had lower rates of vaccination and higher rates of disease. Still, the vaccination rate even there was rather high ( I forget the precise figure) but for this illness, the rate must be higher still.

    Here are a few precise figures ( US):
    2011 NPR- Reuters about 30% of parents with children under age 18 had ANY worries whatsoever about vaccines.

    2012- Seth Mnookin notes that only about 1% don’t vaccinate at all and 10% vaccinate selectively.

    Another commenter has provided county by county rates of vaccination in your own state:
    even then, anti-vax fever is not everywhere. There are red zones for particular VPDs in particular places.

    The material presented at places like AoA, TMR et al, are not what most people accept as rational or informational. However, even these self-selected few can harm vulnerable infants, children and adults with compromised immunity.

    I think that my priority rests with those who can be harmed by illnesses we can easily prevent and that were beginning to vanish because of vaccination.

  124. #125 Krebiozen
    April 28, 2013

    Chris,

    That paper specifies that is the MMR vaccine with the Urabe mumps component, which was only used in the UK between 1988 and 1992. And never in the USA, which used and still uses the Jeryl Lynn mumps component.

    The Urabe mumps strain was linked to aseptic meningitis. I was referring to febrile seizures – from the disucssion at the end of the paper:

    The attributable risk of hospital admission for convulsion following receipt of any MMR vaccine was estimated as 1 in 1,150 doses for the 6- to 11-day postvaccination period, based on an estimated relative incidence of 4.09. The excess risk of convulsion in this period was attributable to the measles component of MMR vaccine and was similar to that reported in other record linkage studies of MMR vaccines in the United Kingdom and the United States and in a large prospective cohort study in the United Kingdom. The last absolute risk estimate was close to that found for single-antigen measles vaccine using similar follow-up methods in United Kingdom children.

    The paper refers to a US study which concluded:

    The number of febrile seizures attributable to the administration of DTP and MMR vaccines was estimated to be 6 to 9 and 25 to 34 per 100,000 children, respectively.

    That works out to a risk of febrile seizures of 1 in 3,333, in the same ball-park as the other study found. There’s no denying that MMR does rarely cause febrile convulsions, but the important fact is that, unlike measles itself, it very rarely if ever leads to permanent damage. As the last study I linked to continues:

    As compared with other children with febrile seizures that were not associated with vaccination, the children who had febrile seizures after vaccination were not found to be at higher risk for subsequent seizures or neurodevelopmental disabilities.

  125. #126 Composer99
    http://composer99.blogspot.ca
    April 28, 2013

    Greg boasted:

    I am just a layperson and already went a good number of rounds against the ‘scientists’ and ‘experts’ here.

    Now, I’ll admit I must have missed whatever set of exchanges which led to Greg’s boast here. But based on his performance in this thread I’d have to say Greg is either deluded (not clinically, just dumbassly) or dishonest if that’s what he thinks. Although of course one can’t rule out being both at the same time.

  126. #127 Composer99
    http://composer99.blogspot.ca
    April 28, 2013

    By the way, the descriptive text of the checkboxes telling me I can receive notification of follow-up comments is in German. Anyone else who is (presumably) not from an IP address in Germany notice this?

  127. #128 palindrom
    April 28, 2013

    Two tangential remarks:

    (1) Barry Bickmore, a Utah climate scientist, has offered to debate “Lord” Monckton on climate change — over the internet, with neutral fact checking. Monckton has of course refused. This suggested format might be used elsewhere.

    (2) There have been some completely legitimate face-to-face debates staged in science, such as the Shapley-Curtis debate about the nature of “the nebulae” (now known to be external galaxies) back in the early 1920s. In that case the data were fragmentary and inconclusive, but tantalizing, and it was useful to have a couple of leading scientists offer and defend their interpretations.

    Debating Wakefield, or Gish, or whoever, now that’s a whole different story!

  128. #129 Chris,
    April 28, 2013

    Krebiozen:

    That works out to a risk of febrile seizures of 1 in 3,333, in the same ball-park as the other study found. There’s no denying that MMR does rarely cause febrile convulsions, but the important fact is that, unlike measles itself, it very rarely if ever leads to permanent damage. As the last study I linked to continues:

    Oops. I was wrong. Thank you for the correction.

    I read it too quickly, and obviously missed the relevant passage. Yes, febrile seizures do happen, and often cause no permanent damage. The pediatric neurologist we took our son to would only say that the seizures “may or may not” be associated with the developmental speech/language disorder.

    When I asked the question I chose seizures because it is something we had experienced from an actual disease, and the evidence is objective rather than subjective. While it may be more difficult to tell if a child has a speech delay (trust me, it can be tricky) or ADHD or autism, etc, it is hard to miss a child collapsing to the floor while violently shaking.

    By the way, Greg, the above is someone (me) admitting to a mistake. I was wrong, and I accept that. I actually try to learn from my mistakes. It is one symptom of having an open mind.

  129. #130 Narad
    April 29, 2013

    WRT Fabio – is he the hair and romance novel covers dude?

    The worst part is that the titles issued under his own name didn’t have any bodice-ripping on the covers.

  130. #131 Christine (the public servant Christine)
    April 29, 2013

    Damn. I posted a comment in reply to Greg but it seems to have been eaten.
    Speaking as a fellow layperson (Greg’s words) I am WAY more convinced by the scientists and experts that post here than I am by Greg.

  131. #132 Heliantus
    April 29, 2013

    @ Composer99

    #127
    Checkboxes in German here too, for the last 2 days at least, on different threads. I’m not in Germany.
    Actually, just noticing, the two checkboxes have the same German-dubbed text. Shouldn’t the text be conveying two different options?

    #126
    Your good opinion of Greg’s performance is, I think, shared by many readers here.

  132. #133 Krebiozen
    April 29, 2013

    Chris,

    Oops. I was wrong. Thank you for the correction.

    No problem – an easy mistake to make since the study I referred to is primarily looking at adverse events associated with the MMR that replaced the problematic one you referred to. There are no factual errors in what you wrote, and it doesn’t affect the point you were making to Greg at all.

    While we’re on the subject, the risk of mild aseptic meningitis after MMR containing the Urabe mumps component was 1 in 12,400, the risk of meningitis due to mumps itself is up to 15%, or 1 in 6.7. The vaccine (used in the UK but not the US as Chris pointed out) was replaced with a safer one. Mumps is still out there.

  133. #134 elburto
    April 29, 2013

    I’m getting the Teutonic Tickyboxes too. It’s very strange.

    MSII – I didn’t even notice! No offence taken.

    Greggles – pleaaase don’t leave us. Without you our scientific debates will be no more. Our comment threads will be bereft of facts, wit, and your legendary genius.

    I cannot bear it.

    Oh and BTW – I shared your 50s-era “lol wimmenz is weak”, junior league chauvinism with OME. She cast doubt on your testicular fortitude, and wants you to illustrate how your manly-man powers make you stronger than the “weaker” sex. If it tops childbirth and menstruation, all the better. Is there a Mrs Greg? Is she in thrall to your hypermasculinity, and your belief that women and girls are inferior? We’ll happily launch a rescue mission to liberate her from your cave.

    Oh, and a North-East measles update. Disease promoting anti-vaxers will be thrilled to learn that measles has now officially spread from the Teesside and County Durham areas to Tyne and Wear. That means the cat’s welt and truly out of the bag, as T&W is more densely populated, the population is more mobile, and Tyneside is home to a big international airport.

  134. #135 Composer99
    April 29, 2013

    (1) Barry Bickmore, a Utah climate scientist, has offered to debate “Lord” Monckton on climate change — over the internet, with neutral fact checking. Monckton has of course refused. This suggested format might be used elsewhere.

    Monckton did briefly agree to a similar debate against journalist Peter Hadfield (from the UK, I believe), to be undertaken on WattsUpWithThat, but chickened out.

    So I definitely think a written debate, where claims can be carefully checked, is something that can be proposed to cranks in lieu of staged debates.

  135. #136 Politicalguineapig
    April 29, 2013

    Can anyone confirm the existence of this Bickmore fellow?

  136. #138 Composer99
    http://composer99.blogspot.ca
    April 29, 2013

    Politicalguineapig:

    I may be about to make a fool of myself for taking your question seriously rather than as a joke, but Dr Bickmore blogs here, he has his own Wikipedia entry, and there is at least one video on YouTube – “How to Avoid the Truth About Climate Change” – that he narrates. And, of course, he has a profile on Brigham Young University, where he is currently an assistant professor.

  137. #139 Pareidolius
    April 29, 2013

    Oh, I think Dr. Bickmore would fit in very nicely here were his interests skewed toward things medical.

    I especially love the the snork-inducing Bikmore’s laws of Monckton . . .

    Bickmore’s First Law of Monckton: For every person who publicly endorses Lord Monckton’s climate pronouncements for merely irrational reasons, there exists a threshold in Monckton’s behavior which, if crossed, will cause said person to regret their association.

    Bickmore’s Second Law of Monckton: Any behavioral threshold posited by Bickmore’s First Law of Monckton will eventually be crossed by Lord Monckton.

    I don’t think he works for the Glaxxon, though. Which alien species are doing the terraforming anyway? I can’t keep them all straight . . .

  138. #140 Pareidolius
    April 29, 2013

    I’m also seriously considering changing the name of my band from The Baby Seal Club to The Teutonic Tickyboxes.

  139. #141 Melissa G
    April 29, 2013

    Oh wow, that’s darned Insolent of Dr. Bickmore! :D Glad to see him blogging!

    Teutonic Tickyboxes of Transcontinental High-Tech Teleacupuncture Studies and Integrative Laser Medicine– fits right in with the other thread, there! :D

  140. #143 sheepmilker
    April 29, 2013

    Melissa G: You blew my mind man!

  141. #144 Politicalguineapig
    April 29, 2013

    Composer99: Actually, that was a serious question. Thanks for the link.

  142. #145 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    April 30, 2013

    Merola has just posted a four-minute interview with Fabio where he calls Burzynski a “genius” and says he’s the only doctor with the cure for cancer. He also slags off cancer centers like MSK, Johns Hopkins, the American Cancer Society and pretty much every other cancer doctor.

    Is it just me or does this guy sound like Arnold Shwarzenegger? I was waiting for him to sign off with “Ahll Be Bahkkkk…”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mkoz3SW5tc

  143. #147 AuntBenjy
    May 1, 2013

    OT, but just read that Suzanne Humphries is speaking at my University. I have not heard of her before, but so far it doesn’t sound good.

    http://pinvents.com/event/126964514161776/dr-suzanne-humphries-md-discusses-vaccines

    Any insight into her shtick would be appreciated.

  144. #148 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 1, 2013

    Humphries has her own whale.to page. Does that tell you all you need to know?

    http://www.whale.to/a/suzanne_humphries.html

  145. #149 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 1, 2013

    Just curious: what university and in what context is she speaking? Is it an official event by a science-related department or did a group merely book a hall? You’d think anyone concerned with academia would run away as fast as they could.

    I remember a scandal at the University of Toronto a couple of years ago, when the university loudly disassociated itself from some crank anti-vaccine convention that had only rented a hall but made it appear as it the university was endorsing the event. I think Orac even wrote about it.

  146. #150 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 1, 2013

    Sorry, I just realized your link was to the university’s site. So they ARE endorsing this event? Is there anyone in any science-related department there who could refute her? Maybe you could let them know she’s a crackpot? Surely there are some rational people in an institute of higher learning who could oppose her appearance?

  147. #151 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    May 1, 2013

    I can’t tell that the University of Otago is hosting the event, merely that it’s occurring n the Dental Blue Lecture Theatre. This facility appears to rent out to both university customers and the public. The facility seats 90, has a $99/event fee plus $35/hour. Based on the pictures it’s a modern, fairly plush facility.

  148. #152 Chris,
    May 1, 2013
  149. #153 AuntBenjy
    May 1, 2013

    Thanks guys. My google fu has abandoned me in the wake of a projectile vomiting toddler, and I’m not feeling too flash myself…

    Not sure I want to pay real money to see this woman, although I’d be keen to see her taken apart by the local med peeps.

    I’m pretty sure that the University is not sponsoring her talk, just renting the venue, but I have only seen one notice, and the link I posted.

  150. #154 Chris,
    May 1, 2013

    Oh, no! I fully sympathize with you!

    One bit of advice I give to new parents: never hold the child above your head. I learned that after a toddler upchucked all over my face.

  151. #155 Grant
    May 1, 2013

    FWIW, that’s “my” university too; was staff there, etc.

  152. #156 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    May 1, 2013

    @AuntBenjy

    In addition to searching RI, search over at Science-Based Medicine, as well.

    And some advice: if you or anyone you know goes, be cautious about engaging her. You need to be cool and maintain perfect control of your own actions (even down to eyerolls). Stay positive, and hold a friendly demeanor. And, above all, know your sh!t. Like Orac writes in this post, the live situation is not friendly to fact-based debate.

  153. #157 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    May 1, 2013

    @AuntBenjy

    One more thing, it may be helpful to read the account of Steve Novella debating anti-vaxxer Julian Whitaker. One thing that helped was that Steve knew what arguments Whitaker was going to use before he used them, so he could prepare to counter those claims very effectively.

  154. #158 herr doktor bimler
    May 1, 2013

    Stay positive, and hold a friendly demeanor.

    Failing that, hold a projectile-vomiting toddler.

  155. #159 Chris,
    May 2, 2013

    hdb:

    Failing that, hold a projectile-vomiting toddler.

    But do it very carefully. Make sure the snuggles are not face to face.

  156. #160 Janet
    The Frozen Tundra
    May 2, 2013

    To Dangeroous Bacon
    Sorry for the delay. I stepped in a pothole and fractured my ankle–it consumed most of my attention until today.
    I’m sorry about the crazy Labrador Retriever. Science has proven that labs don’t even express a brain until they are at least 5 years old. Hang in there!!

  157. #161 Chris,
    May 2, 2013

    Janet, I can commiserate. I broke my foot on a pothole once, and it is very painful.

    And yes it will consume your day. What I found amusing was when the gentleman doing the X-ray asked where the issue was, I had to tell it was the area that was purple and blue. I actually told him to aim his machine at the dark colored part of my foot

    Don’t even get me started when I broke my ankle in a park because I slipped on dog poo. At least then there were two cops who heard the bones crack! The five to seven year old kids I was in charge of enjoyed riding in the police car, the almost three year old child was not at all happy.

  158. #162 Prfesser
    May 2, 2013

    It’s sad that none of us realized that all truth came from public debate. Let us now take advantage of this. We must hire the best debater in the world and have this person take the affirmative in a public debate: “A person can fly merely by flapping his/her arms.” Just think! Once the debate is won, we’ll all be able to fly! No automobile wrecks, no waits for boarding airplanes, no standing in long lines at the ticket counter.

    ….oh…. it doesn’t work that way?

  159. #163 BrewandFerment
    May 2, 2013

    maybe Greg is an excellent example of the self-esteem program gone horribly awry?

The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.