Respectful Insolence

CAM and scientific terms

One of the great things about this blog is the community that has built itself up over the last eight and a half years of this blog’s existence. It’s a truly amazing an humbling thing to me. I can’t believe that such an incredibly smart and talented bunch of advocates, gadflies, and quackbusters. True, I’ve also had my share of trolls, most frequently of the antivaccine variety, but you guys all take care of them so well that I only seldom feel the need to intervene myself. That’s why, from time to time, I like to try to intentionally (rather than unintentionally) spark a bit of conversation and then sit back and see what you guys come up with. Besides, you might come up with something that I can blatantly steal to use as blog fodder. This particular idea came to me while I was working on today’s post for my not-so-super-secret other blog.

An important fundamental difference between CAM and real medicine is that CAM practices are not rejected based on evidence. Unlike science-based medical treatments found to be ineffective, they never go away. Take homeopathy, for example. It’s the ultimate chameleon. Even 160 years ago, it was obvious from a scientific point of view that homeopathy was nonsense and that diluting something doesn’t make it stronger. When it became undeniable that this was the case, through the power of actually knowing Avogadro’s number, homeopaths were undeterred. They concocted amazing explanations of how homeopathy “works” by claiming that water has “memory.” It supposedly “remembers” the substances with which it’s been in contact and transmits that “information” to the patient. No one’s ever been able to explain to me why transmitting the “information” from a supposed memory of water is better than the information from the real drug or substance itself, but that’s just my old, nasty, dogmatic, reductionistic, scientific nature being old, nasty, dogmatic, reductionistic, and scientific. Then, of course, there’s the term “quantum,” which has been so widely abused by Deepak Chopra, his acolytes, and the CAM community in general, while the new CAM buzzword these days to explain why quackery “works” is epigenetics.

Basically, whenever a proponent of alternative medicine uses the word “epigenetics” or “quantum” to explain why an alternative medicine treatment “works,” what he really means is, “It’s magic.” This is a near-universal truth, and even the most superficial probing of such justifications will virtually always reveal magical thinking combined with an utter ignorance of the science of quantum mechanics or epigenetics.

This got me to thinking: What other scientific terms do quacks appropriate to “explain” how their woo works? To me, “epigenetics” and quantum mechanics are the big two. Another is surely “energy.” But I know there are others. Who knows? I might—ahem—appropriate your ideas for a post on the use and abuse of scientific terms.

Comments

  1. #1 THS
    July 29, 2013

    I’ll start here: magnetism is sometimes involved. Earth magnetism, for example, with some cool shoes.

    Eventually there will be a long list.

  2. #2 lilady
    July 29, 2013

    Oh, I get to go first!

    Hot off the presses of Medical Hypotheses…*”Iatrogenic Autism”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Hahr%20JYAuthor&cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=23706997

    “Iatrogenic autism.
    Hahr JY.
    Source

    Childrens Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, United States. Electronic address: jyhahr@att.net.
    Abstract

    Autism as we know it, is caused iatrogenically and occurs reportedly one in 88 live birth [3]. Now national survey pegs autism prevalence one in 50 school-age children and the incidence is rising much fast in recent years. The author is hypothesizing idiopathic autism is caused by feeding of infant formula. Majorities of formula in the world are milk based and the molecular weight of the cow’s milk is much higher than that of human breast milk. These increased solutes contributes to increased osmolality of the environment of the newborn infant, is directly affecting hemodynamics of normal homeostasis of the developing human brain cells. Formula makers fortified new substances in the process of formula making whenever they found previous unknown substances in the breast milk, for past several decades. When those solid substances were added in the process of formula making to make 20cal/oz of infant formula, this resulted displacing free water in the formula. When new substances were added, same amount of free water has to be displaced from the formula. That is why we are seeing more autism in recent years, compared to previous several decades.

    Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    * “Iatrogenic Autism” also used by anti-vaccine parents to describe their “vaccine-damaged” autistic children.

    I’ll be waiting for Dr. Jay to weigh in on this “Iatrogenic Autism”, caused by not breast feeding and feeding babies infant formula.

  3. #3 THS
    July 29, 2013

    Oh, let’s not forget the immune system – quacks frequently evoke it without a clue, quite cheerfully & with great confidence. Immune stimulation of this or that – and mind-body stuff.

    DNA was being woo-repaired before epigenetics hit the circuit.

  4. #4 The Typical Pharma Shill
    NWO HQ, Denver
    July 29, 2013

    Never forget the Toxins™

  5. #5 THS
    July 29, 2013

    Good one, lilady – what, that’s an Elsevier journal? The science pirate publishers have quackery under their purview as well as most other things? Do we have to pay for the full article?
    Let’s see now – hemodynamics of normal homeostasis of the developing human brain cells – what is this meaning?
    It won’t work with mice.

  6. #6 elburto
    July 29, 2013

    “Inflammation” – A term with a specific medical meaning, but one I’ve seen abused by quackupuncturers to explain how their magic voodoo pins work.

    “Gene-targeted” – As per our Polish friend.

    “Immune response” – I’ve seen that used by the Pin Cushion Posse I mentioned above.

    It’s 6am and I’m running on two hours of sleep so I’ll leave it for now, but not before this piece of horror-woo:

    prolopuncture.com

    I searched your blog archives and didn’t find any results for it, so I hope it’s as shiny and new for you as it is for me! Be sure to read the section called How Prolopuncture came to be. It’s crammed to bursting-point with woo-tropes.

    I particularly enjoyed his recollection about treating the injuries he sustained in a motorbike crash by putting hundreds of acupuncture needles in each joint. Simultaneously.

    That one front page alone misuses so many scientific terms that it’s like a decade worth of Christmas+birthdays in one go.

    Enjoy!

  7. #7 Burrahobbit
    In the woohaven that is India
    July 29, 2013

    I am getting the feeling that”stem cell therapy” is the new frontier in quasi scientific woo.

  8. #8 Christine (the public servant Christine)
    July 29, 2013

    The one I like is “food as medicine.” Eat the right food in sufficient quantity and you can cure any ailment!

    Why the food, where the key ingredient is found in varying quantities and mixed with other stuff, is better than a drug that synthesises the key ingredient and delivers it in a measured dose every time, has never been properly explained to me.

  9. #9 Christine (the public servant Christine)
    July 29, 2013

    elburto, don’t forget “inflammation” is really the cause of many ailments (that actually have nothing to do with inflammation).

  10. #10 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    July 29, 2013

    I’ll take ‘placebo response’, and a “me too” on ‘toxins’.

  11. #11 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 29, 2013

    My favorite is “frequency”. Every person has a unique “frequency” their body “resonates” at, and if you can find some quack nostrum that “reinforces” your natural “frequency” (or maybe “cancels” the “frequency” of whatever’s ailing you—they seem to go back and forth) you’ll be “in tune” with the universe again.

    “Dr.” Nancy Malik was spamming a previous thread with drivel about how “Fourier transforms” of spectra of homeopathic remedies retained the “frequencies” of the original nostrum. Now if only like really cured like you’d really have some…no, no you wouldn’t.

  12. #12 LC.
    July 29, 2013

    Tricky, because the terms keep shifting as real science marches on, or they get called out for mangling the terms.

    A good starting point is sci-fi buzzwords from pulp novels – in order to make something seem “sciency” you simply slapped a buzzword on as a prefix….

    Some buzzwords over the decades…..
    1910 – Electric!
    1920 – Radio!
    1930 – Tele!
    1940 – Atomic!
    1950 – Electronic!
    1960 – Laser!
    1970 – Computerised!
    1980 – Nano!
    1990 – Quantum!

    So you can have a cure that works by “Nano particles” in the 1980’s, “Atomic snake oil” in the 40’s, and a medical device which works by adjusting “Radio waves” in the 1920’s.

  13. #13 Asymptotic
    July 29, 2013

    How is it? Are quacks still for “vibrations”? I think that was certainly a big thing already decades ago. Above mentioned “frequency ” suggest that vibrations still have some appeal.

  14. #14 Neil J
    July 29, 2013

    Frequencies. As a physicist, this rates right up there with Chopra’s “quantum” on my cringe scale.

  15. #15 Christine (the public servant Christine)
    July 29, 2013

    Right on cue… one of the fibromyalgia FB groups has a big post with many !!!! extolling the benefits of turmeric. It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory (heart attacks caused by inflammation) and is an antidepressant too! The poster takes 3 turmeric tablets a day and no longer has to take anti-inflammatories and has less severe pain mood swings, so it must be true!!!

    Fibromyalgia attracts the woo peddlers to a dangerous degree.

  16. #16 lilady
    July 29, 2013

    “Leaky Gut Syndome” and dysbiosis…and not to be confused with peritonitis:

    http://www.leakygut.co.uk/Dr%20Gilbere.htm

  17. #17 Christine (the public servant Christine)
    July 29, 2013

    @lilady: Leaky Gut is a new one on me! Love the way it’s linked to IBD… which has a very distinct pathology, whereas this leaky gut thing seems to be a list of symptoms that could actually be the signs of a genuine, dangerous disease.

  18. #18 LC.
    July 29, 2013

    Speaking of CAM, I thought I may as well throw up this link to YT video of a humorous (and informative) video on Homeopathy.

    http://tinyurl.com/kmagqzo

  19. #19 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    July 29, 2013

    Paul Offit’s latest work was reviewed on Friday in The Star, a Johannesburg daily. I’m just waiting for an antivaxxer to spout lies and get published, and then it’s target practice time.
    P.S. elburto, you win the internet. I enjoyed “Pin Cushion Posse”.

  20. #20 DrBollocks
    July 29, 2013

    “Detox” is a sure sign of woo.

  21. #21 elburto
    July 29, 2013

    @Julian- Thank you, I’m here all week!

    @ChristineTPS – Yep, “Inflammation” is $CAM-speak for “Hmm, dunno why this happens. Let’s put it down to inflammation or immune system deficiencies!”

  22. #22 Seppo
    July 29, 2013

    Synergy – describes the holistic interactions between nutrients and thus explains why diet is more powerful than those ‘reductionist’ drugs.

  23. #23 Renate
    July 29, 2013

    @ Elburto
    That prolopuncture site really looks like a target-rich environment. The guy seems to have been absorbed by every woo in the book. Sometimes he sounded a bit like a child with his: “when do I finally learn to heal people”.

  24. #24 elburto
    July 29, 2013

    @Renate – I know, right? Shades of “Mummy mummy, are we nearly there yet?”

    The whole thing sounds like a kid writing a “What I did during the holidays” essay. “I went to China and it was AMAZING and I discovered the 10.000 year old art of acupuncture which was BRILLIANT, then I went to Germany (That’s in Europe!!!!) which was so COOL, and learned about mesotherapy which was AWESOMESAUCE, and then, and then, and then…

    And then I invented the All American Bald Eagle Mom and Apple Pie Nevar Forget Land of the Free Don’t Tread on Me Therapy, and lived happily ever after.

    The End”

  25. #25 Matutines
    July 29, 2013

    Homeoprophylaxis. The arrogance, the self deception. Makes me intensely cross.

  26. #26 Happy Sheep
    July 29, 2013

    Heavy metal poisining that takes years to “detox”
    “Other ways of knowing” instead of the patriarchal medical model, this one is usually used for childirth and women’s problems, but I’ve seen it used for mystical treatments too.
    Any time a site speaks of adrenal fatigue, or strengthening the immune system or my favorite: natural immunity being far superior than an ebil vaccine.

  27. #27 Rebecca Fisher
    July 29, 2013

    Ooh look – as if we’d asked them outright, Age Of Idiocy has posted a link to this naturally target-rich environment…

    http://www.autismfreebrain.org/

  28. #28 Dangerous Bacon
    July 29, 2013

    “Healing” and “cure” have been appropriated by wooists to a nauseating degree.

    “Die-off” is another buzzword, though it had limited applications in science.

    There’s another term often used to justify the typically magical view that whole herbs are better than purified extracts – not synergy, though it’s a related concept. Maybe I’ll think of it after the morning coffee jolt sets in.

  29. #29 Chris Hickie
    July 29, 2013

    “These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA”

    To me that’s a big tip-off of almost certain quackery, but here is a product that is actually proud of having to put this on its web site as part of its claim to prevent/battle influenza: http://naturalfludefence.com/fda_and_ftc_censorship.html

  30. #30 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    July 29, 2013

    “Epidemic” is always a lovely word tossed about rather carelessly by the woo-inclined. Everything is an epidemic, which means we must, of course, panic about it. And those who don’t do anything about whatever the supposed epidemic is, well, they must be sheeple or in on the conspiracy.

  31. #31 Denice Walter
    July 29, 2013

    Gadfly? I thought I was a magpie.

    I like ‘protocol’ for woo routine.
    Also anything with the prefix – ‘exito-‘
    Putting the woo into ‘lay language’
    ‘tipping point’ used for either a physiological or ecological catastrophe
    ‘peer review studies’ ( sic)
    ‘scientism’ is another term used frequently but you’d probably never see it in any respectiable source,
    phyto- anything..

  32. #32 Chris Hickie
    July 29, 2013

    “iatrogenic autism” from formula?

    Good grief. Now “thinking moms” who can’t produce enough breast milk will become terrified to supplement with formula and instead go to things like cow’s milk and goat’s milk, which I’ve seen land some infants in the hospital gravely ill with the symptoms of food protein enterocolitis.

    Also, JY Hahr (aka JY Harh) looks to be a pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin who may have last published in 1975 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Harh+JY%5BAuthor%5D)

  33. #33 Skeptico
    July 29, 2013

    “Allopathic doctors” or “allopaths.”

    And don’t forget The Secret and the Law of Attraction.

  34. #34 Daisy
    July 29, 2013

    You know the woo works if you get a Herx. A Herx in Woo-land is when their treatments make you much more ill than your pre-existing condition. A Herx effect is evidence that your body is fighting dis-ease. The more ill you become the better, as this is further evidence of the effectiveness and appropriateness of their treatments. Sustained levels of increased illness and pain are most desired, as chronic illnesses require chronic and aggressive treatment. Keeping the patient with ‘one foot out of the grave’ seems to be the goal of some practitioners.

    In contrast, mainstream medicine defines a Herx as a Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction, which is a potentially fatal but short-lived response appearing within a few hours of initiating antibiotic therapy.

  35. #35 Denice Walter
    July 29, 2013

    Woo uses:
    natural, green, earth-friendly, chemical, NUTRITION, balance/ d, spiritual, health, science, statistics, RESEARCH, biased, pharmaceutical and quack/ quackery
    all in its own idiosyncratic way

    I should look at TMR: they have their own set of codewords

  36. #36 JGC
    July 29, 2013

    I’d say ‘traditional’ is the fundamental quackery magic word

    To the rest the world it means “of long standing”, but to woomeisters it means “self-evidently beyond all doubt”.

  37. #37 Bronze Dog
    July 29, 2013

    LC @ 18 pretty much covered what I wanted to say.

    I recall one old quack (Rife?) who had a machine that allegedly healed people by adjusting their electric vibrations or something like that, since electricity was the bee’s knees back then.

    I also recall visiting a site that showed a lot of radioactive quackery with vita-rays and such.

  38. #38 Denice Walter
    July 29, 2013

    How could I forget:
    paradigm shift, psychoneuroimmunology, healing crisis

    from TMR – skimming recent posts:
    vaccine-injury, thinker, neuro-toxins, PTSD, detox, mainstream media, methylation

    @ JGC:

    what’s hilarious is that I’ve heard ‘traditional’ applied to woo, e.g. “traditional Chinese medicine” “herbalism”
    but also applied to SBM (!) because it is old-hat and the incoming wave of futurity is of course, alt med.

    -btw- they also say ‘tsunami’, ‘cascade’ and ( Lord help us)
    SUSTAINABILITY

  39. #39 palindrom
    July 29, 2013

    Y’know, I don’t know why we get so upset about people pushing various kinds of snake oil. I mean, so what if it’s unregulated? Couldn’t hurt anyone, right?

    http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/offbeat-news/10-radioactive-products-that-people-actually-used/1388?image=7

    Oh …

  40. #40 Denice Walter
    July 29, 2013

    And lately, both Adams and Null toss around ‘psychopath’ in reference to anyone who is recognised as an expert and/ or has governmental/ social/ financial power according to the mainstream.
    similar usage: ‘fascist’

  41. #41 Johanna
    July 29, 2013

    @lilady

    Whenever I see the word “Iatrogenic” I keep expecting something like “Cthulhu ftaghn!” to follow it…

  42. #42 mho
    July 29, 2013

    Methyalation.
    Also, anything to do with balancing the “terrain” to “make it inhosptibale to cancer.”

    anything said by a FABNO–a naturopath who has achieved the status of a specialist in cancer

    new one orthobionomy

  43. #43 Gary C
    July 29, 2013

    Must not forget ‘orgone therapy’.

  44. #44 Stu
    July 29, 2013

    The still on-going fad in nutritional supplement quackery is anti-oxidant. Cox-10, krill oil, fish oil, krill-fish oil, anti-oxidants that are 10,1000, 1000000 times stronger than Vitamin E.

    Search your local AM stations on weekend mornings and you’ll know exactly what I mean.

  45. #45 Stu
    July 29, 2013

    Oh, random pickings of smelly words: innate, wave (of innovation/research/breakthroughs), balancing the dynamics, proper proteins, nutrient purity, multiplier and (maybe this is too localized) a weird return of “body wisdom”.

  46. #46 Denice Walter
    July 29, 2013

    @ Stu:

    we shouldn’t forget “high ORAC” foods/ supplements.

  47. #47 Denice Walter
    July 29, 2013

    LIVING foods..

  48. #48 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    July 29, 2013

    Good grief. Now “thinking moms” who can’t produce enough breast milk will become terrified to supplement with formula and instead go to things like cow’s milk and goat’s milk, which I’ve seen land some infants in the hospital gravely ill with the symptoms of food protein enterocolitis.

    Oh no my dear; it’s camel’s milk. Really, check out AoA.

  49. #49 alittlesense
    July 29, 2013

    Cleanse! Colon cleanses, those stupid pads you put on your feet to draw out the toxins….Also the obsession with regularity and “probiotics”. The National Bureau of Standards will now set its atomic clock by Jamie Lee Curtis’ bathroom schedule.

  50. #50 Daisy
    July 29, 2013

    Embedding scalar energy into herbs with custom energetic imprints to alter and heal your DNA. Proof can be seen with Kirlian photography.

  51. #51 Captian_a
    July 29, 2013

    “xxXXXxx” protocol (insert Woo Guru name). My favorite is the “Shoemaker protocol” for treatment of Mold Toxins. Dr. Shoemaker is also fond of using “Innate Immunity”.

    C

  52. #52 AdamG
    July 29, 2013

    My new favorite one that keeps popping up everywhere is ‘probiotic.’ This term has basically no meaning when you look into it.

  53. #53 JustNuts
    July 29, 2013

    The newest meme I’ve see from the anti-vax crowd is that anesthesia causes autism!

  54. #54 Chris,
    July 29, 2013

    As a former structural vibration engineer, one of my favorite are: vibrations and healing frequencies.

    I keep wanting to know both the eigenvalues and eigenvectors of the stuff that “heals.”

  55. #55 Denice Walter
    July 29, 2013

    cytokines and OXIDATIVE stress.

  56. #56 Old Rockin' Dave
    ...can be found in the snack food aisle of your local grocery store!
    July 29, 2013

    I once went several rounds with a chiropractor over “innate intelligence” that the body was supposed to have. It apparently meant that because the body functioned, it must be conscious, which was proven because it functioned. Or something.
    “Personalized” is another one.
    I also love the “high ORAC” thing. I have always wanted to eat breakfast cereal made with Tariel cells.
    Gluten is a popular buzz lately. So are shamans (Shamen? And are there shawomen too? And is it “shah-man” or “shay-man”? I still don’t know.).
    Of course there’s the ever-popular “boost” as in “boosts the immune system”, but also boosting other things. It sometimes gives way to “promotes”.
    “As used for centuries by the [name of some tribe or defunct civilization] people of [name of remote region]“, which gives the eye a break from “traditional”.
    And “superfoods”, we can’t forget them. My daughter brought home some “superfood of the Inca warriors”; I asked how come with such a superfood on their side a few dozen malnourished scraggly Spaniards could defeat thousands of them in one day of fighting. No answer has been forthcoming.
    Let’s not forget how many things must not only be natural and organic, but also GMO-free, gluten-free, without high-fructose corn syrup, zero trans-fats, cage-free, cruelty-free, without antibiotics, and without growth hormones.

  57. #57 Kelsey
    July 29, 2013

    Any time there are testimonials, and testimonials that are taken as absolute fact and that are valued even more highly than data.

    Or, someone who, to quote Dara O’Briain, says something to the effect of “There’s more to life than evidence.”

    Or, even better, a news clip that goes from a doctor or professor to a quack in the name of “balance”. My arse.

  58. #58 Daisy
    July 29, 2013

    Infections are where it’s at. Everyone’s chronically infected.

    MSIDS – Multiple Systemic Infectious Disease Syndrome

    The new money-making ailment to replace “chronic” Lyme dis-ease.

  59. #59 Krebiozen
    July 29, 2013

    Woo weasel words?

    QUIP (quantum inseparability principle) gets thrown around as an explanation for telepathy, consciousness and healing.

    Zero point energy is also misused as an explanation for the hypothetical bioenergy that so many talk about (qi, orgone, prana, od), but which is apparently impossible to measure consistently (probably because it doesn’t exist).

    Then there’s alkaline ionized water, with allegedly free electrons floating about in it, which can be measured with an ORP meter – I’m pretty sure that what they are really measuring is chlorine or hypochlorite from electrolyzing salts in the water used.

    Gadgets that use skin conductivity to measure pretty much anything you can imagine, through alleged acupuncture points to diagnose specific conditions, allergies especially, get my goat.

    Resonance is my pet peeve. What is resonating with what? Vibrations too. Everything at above absolute zero is vibrating, it’s called temperature. Higher vibrational frequencies on my planet are called ‘heat’. Is Brownian motion a carrier frequency for some other signal modulated on it, or is something other than matter vibrating?

  60. #60 Denice Walter
    July 29, 2013

    How about the appropriation of quasi-medical terms from pre-industrial cultures to ‘splayn phenomena understood perfectly well by SBM:
    xi, chi, ki, prana, mana

    as well as talking about “tribes”,”healers”, “shamans”, “medicine men/ women”,”loss of soul”, “vision quest” et al

  61. #61 Craig Good
    United States
    July 29, 2013

    I’ll second “boosts” or “promotes” followed by Some Good Thing such as the immune system or joint health. I know that’s not technically an *explanation* of how it works, but it’s part of the sciency word salad SCAMmers use.

    Also watch for “alignment” of some thing or another.

  62. #62 Kelly M. Bray
    July 29, 2013

    *Farmacy*. All of the health you need to treat dis-ease is in healthy, locally sourced, non GMO, organic, cruelty free, food raised by virgin bi-sexual wood elves.

  63. #63 Sastra
    July 29, 2013

    What other scientific terms do quacks appropriate to “explain” how their woo works?

    Well, they’ve also taken physicist David Bohm’s hoary and highly speculative holographic model of the universe and run blithely into the woo with it.

    I’ve had this one expounded to me by some proponents — they thought it would satisfy my urge for ‘science’ and help me get an answer to “how?” The Hologram Universe idea is used to explain the supernatural nature of reality in general and the paranormal in particular and boy, does it ever sound science-y.

    As one woo-ster puts it:

    The universe is a consciousness hologram. Reality is projected illusion within the hologram. It is a virtual experiment created in linear time to study emotions. Our hologram is composed of grids created by a source consciousness brought into awareness by electromagnetic energy at the physical level. The hologram is created and linked through a web, or grid matrixes based on the patterns of Sacred Geometry. The hologram had a beginning and it has an end, as consciousness evolves in the alchemy of time. As the grids collapse, everything within the hologram will end, helping to understand what is going on in the world today.

    Apparently “today many physicists are researching” this. Yeah. I’ll bet they are.

    So there’s another example for you: Hologram Theory.

  64. #64 Daisy
    July 29, 2013

    Reiki

    Past-life trauma

  65. #65 Chris Hickie
    July 29, 2013

    @Science Mom #48:

    Oh no my dear; it’s camel’s milk. Really, check out AoA.

    Q:How did the AoA member get killed drinking camel’s milk?
    A: The camel slipped and fell on his head.

  66. #66 Bronze Dog
    July 29, 2013

    Zero point energy is also misused as an explanation for the hypothetical bioenergy that so many talk about (qi, orgone, prana, od), but which is apparently impossible to measure consistently (probably because it doesn’t exist).

    Funny thing that this brings to mind for some reason: In sci-fi, it seems to me that a lot of the technology works “harder” where in real life, we’re generally stuck with trying to work “smarter.” Sci-fi machines get generators with absurd output to do mundane tasks, like anti-gravity hoverboards and forcefield prison cells. Meanwhile in the real world, we’re generally trying to squeeze out just a little more efficiency from the devices and materials we’ve already got.

    In a way, I think woos have partially caught onto that problem, since scientists are very good at detecting stuff. So, they try to come up sneaky “smart” ways to do what they claim with “subtle” things. Of course, it’s mostly to produce unfalsifiable hypotheses in an effort to avoid easy refutation.

  67. #67 lilady
    July 29, 2013

    @ Rebecca Fisher: Not only has Age of Idiocy featured an article on the autismfreebrain.org…they have a huge ad for that group and that group is now a “sponsor” of AoA:

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/07/welcome-to-autismfreebrainorg-.html

    Then there is the head of that organization, who is the proprietor of Algonot.com, which appears to be a one man/one quack operation run by Theo Theodalakis, MS, PhD, MD, who sells supplements over the internet and who has teamed up with the luminaries of the anti-vaccine world to lecture parents about iatrogenic autism treatments:

    http://www.algonot.com/appearances.php

  68. #68 lilady
    July 29, 2013

    ^ Theo Theoharides, MS, PhD, MD

  69. #69 Foglaw
    San Francisco, CA
    July 29, 2013

    The expensive food movement appropriated the scientific term “organic.” I’d wager most people who buy the stuff don’t know what the term means in either context.

  70. #70 herr doktor bimler
    July 29, 2013

    My first thought was “Herxheimer reaction”, but I see that Daisy at #34 was there long ago.

  71. #71 herr doktor bimler
    July 29, 2013

    “xxXXXxx” protocol (insert Woo Guru name).

    A good revealer of the cargo-cult mentality there. Let’s dress up in white coats and recite the language of the oncologists we hate so much, and surely the Cargo will come!

  72. #72 Indigo_Fire
    July 29, 2013

    I see it far more amongst the anti-evolutionists, but many alties also seem to misuse the word “theory” a lot. If they disagree with a scientific theory than “theory = totally unproven hypothesis” in their minds, but if it’s their own wackadoodle ideas we’re talking about their definition suddenly changes to “theory = OMG I had this great idea that is automatically COMPLETELY true and anyone who disagrees with me is a stinky stupid-head” or something of that sort.

    Oh sweet, sweet hypocrisy.

  73. #73 lilady
    July 29, 2013

    Camel Milk?

    Donkey Milk?

    Water Buffalo Milk?

    All excellent alternatives to “recover” your kid from autism, “recover grandma from Alzheimer disease, and “recover anyone from diabetes or Lyme disease”, according to this naturopath:

    http://www.camelmilkusa.com/about.html

  74. #74 Old One Eye
    Colorado
    July 29, 2013

    I find lotsa Woos plagued with “Parasites” and “Candida /Fungal Overgrowths”! Many claim that veggies like potatoes and tomatoes are related to deadly nightshades and therefore should not be eaten. Sugar appently feeds their “Overgrowths”, and is religiously avoided–sadly, no desserts for those afflicted.

  75. #75 Krebiozen
    July 29, 2013

    Camel Milk? Donkey Milk? Water Buffalo Milk?

    It’ll be Venezuelan beaver milk next.

  76. #76 Chris Hickie
    July 29, 2013

    I dare them to try and get orca milk.

  77. #77 Stu
    July 29, 2013

    Shamen? Did someone say Shamen?

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

  78. #78 sheepmilker
    July 29, 2013

    You’ve got it all wrong! Obviously the best milk for everything is sheep milk!

    Disclaimer: I have no financial interest in sheep milk, oh wait…

  79. #79 sheepmilker
    Good grief!
    July 29, 2013

    Chris Hickle: I was going to mention that I had read about someone who tried to milk an elephant, and got trampled as a result. To try and make sure the story was true, I Googled “elephant milk”, and got distracted by some of the results.

    If you want to see mind numbing examples of homeopathy provings at their worst, look up homeopathic milk.

  80. #80 Stu
    July 29, 2013

    Oooh! That reminded me! One of the AM informercials this weekend had a guy on claiming his antioxidants were the best because of “massive research”, including reflexology.

    Ahem.

  81. #81 Xplodyncow
    July 29, 2013

    Biofeedback. Also, “neuro”-anything.

  82. #82 lilady
    Not in Thailand
    July 29, 2013

    Milking an elephant?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTcT28-moyo

    Denice Walter: I need your help to develop a business plan for unicorn milk marketing

    Who’s going to volunteer their back 40 acres for my unicorn herd?

  83. #83 Christine (the public servant Christine)
    July 29, 2013

    Don’t forget, it must be RAW MILK. Because that horrible pasteurisation process ruins it, doncha know.

  84. #84 Christine (the public servant Christine)
    July 29, 2013

    Well, Old One Eye, tomatoes and potatoes are part of the Solanaceae family, which includes deadly nightshade.

    Of course, the Amanitaceae includes death caps and destroying angel mushrooms, as well as several extremely delicious and totally non-toxic mushrooms (rather like all the fungi families).

    If you are going to avoid plants that have deadly relatives, you’ll probably have to stop eating plants.

  85. #85 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    July 29, 2013

    If you want to see mind numbing examples of homeopathy provings at their worst, look up homeopathic milk.

    Doesn’t hold a candle to homeopathic light of Saturn.

  86. #86 Quokka
    July 29, 2013

    Anything that has “clinically tested” in the title makes my spidey senses tingle

  87. #87 Denice Walter
    July 29, 2013

    @ lilady:

    We need classic mediaeval unicorn images – not the anime-like crap you would find in new age storefronts alongside patchouli scented candles- to identify the brand ( see unicorn tapestries @ Musee de Cluny or @ the Cloisters).

    Then we need to dream up a tale to enrapture – ” Milked by virgin dryads”, or maybe “by virgin, androgenous multicultural boys”. Oh wait… “milked at dusk……” ” in the moonlit mountain meadows of”… I’ll think of something because Narnia is already taken.

    Don’t worry about land for the herd- since they don’t exist either in quantity or at all. We can however get some other milk and water it down, toss in glitter and lavender oil ,* et voila*! What they don’t know won’t hurt them… it’s all about the vision and the dreamscape.

  88. #88 Christine (the public servant Christine)
    July 29, 2013

    lilady: I hear there’s plenty of cheap, prime real estate available in Cloud Cuckoo Land. You could put the unicorns there.

  89. #89 Denice Walter
    July 29, 2013

    OT – but are science journalist poseurs attempting to get noticed any way they can EVER really OT @ RI?

    Jake @ Autism Investigated recounts his encounter with Seth Mnookin and unleashes a flood of innuendo about conflicts of interest whilst never mentioning his own.

    On a lighter note: I am trying to get a few uninitiated ( business) people to read Jake’s material for an honest non-SBM perspective HOWEVER this has proved to be harder than I thought..
    the first described it as “off putting” after a several minutes.
    He wasn’t at all thrilled by the prospect of a repeat trial.

  90. #90 Kelly M. Bray
    July 29, 2013

    Some of them are dumb enough to milk a steer

  91. #91 Old Rockin' Dave
    Out in the virgin woods (all will be made clear below)
    July 29, 2013

    @Kelley M. Bray:”All of the health you need to treat dis-ease is in healthy, locally sourced, non GMO, organic, cruelty free, food raised by virgin bi-sexual wood elves.”
    Kindly lay off the virgin bisexual wood elves. My wife has taken to wondering what I’m doing out in the woods every day. Don’t ruin it for me.

  92. #92 Alain
    July 29, 2013

    @ Denice,

    I went ahead and read his post as well as Seth Mnookin’s post and there’s lot of contrast between the 2. In any case, you know where I stand on all of this.

    Alain

  93. #93 lilady
    July 29, 2013

    Thanks for the advice Denice. :-)

    I “managed” to link to Seth Mnookin’s 4-part blog on Jenny McCarthy on some of the other science blogs I post on, and I also posted directly at Jake about his less-than-six-degrees-of-separation-from-Kevin Bacon connections:

    http://blogs.plos.org/thepanicvirus/2013/07/25/crosbys-labyrinth-or-why-i-couldnt-stop-myself-from-replying-to-the-vaccine-conspiracy-theorist-to-end-all-conspiracy-theorists/

  94. #94 KatE
    July 29, 2013

    Someone posted an anti-vaccination meme today, stating that when a baby is teething, histamines open up the blood brain barrier, making the baby more susceptible to neurotoxins… (Or something like that) lol

  95. #95 Alain
    Offtopic
    July 29, 2013

    Furthermore @ Denice,

    I recently secured a letter intent from my doctor to apply for med school (to be specific, he’ll write a letter for me to be accepted into med school) if I maintain the path we’ve set out (stop drinking, do my courses, reduce stress as much as possible…) so I went ahead and made a spreadsheet of the course I need to do to fill out the prerequisite of med school as well as to finish my bachelor.

    After I was done adding the basic minimum of my courses to get my bachelor (neuroscience), I wasn’t done because I needed some more physics course (optics) before applying to med school. I choose to add a physics minor…shouldn’t be a big deal but it bring in its own set of required math courses….fine, let’s add them and see….Turn out I’m 4 courses from a major…Let’s add those course….not too bad, 150 credits…Let’s add the neuroscience honour…might as well add the physics honour.

    195 credits later (this is an engineering bachelor in the states, right?), I set out to calculate how many semesters (not quite a gazillion but then I could retire after having done all these courses….33 semester at 6 credits per semesters, not counting the labs).

    I could reduce the courses count and be less ambitious there and more ambitious somewhere else (grad school, MD, even an MPH) but for the past……7,8 or 9 years I’ve chased after my tail and darn near lost everything including my sanity. There’s something to be said for saving money to pay for my courses at the rate of 2 courses per semester (870.02$ per semesters if I include 2 labs, makes an average of 145$ per month over 12 month for the price of 2 semesters).

    During the summer, I have a paid internship planned next year and could make a living with summer internships. And the reason I want to do both honour in physics as well as neuro is because I want to write a book. I don’t know the topic yet but rest assured it will be both PhD material and accessible.

    Is that a fine way to make a living? The courses are hard, especially physics courses but then, I have found out a godsend in the form of “Schaum’s outlines” books and I’ve begun to make math exercises which turn out to be easy.

    Alain

  96. #96 c0nc0rdance
    July 29, 2013

    I’m pretty sure they ran out of legitimate “ethnopharmacology” leads a long time ago. All the hoodia and quinoa and St. John’s wort were snapped up and are now old news.

    Somewhere, there must be some guy randomly grabbing plants and a local, writing down whatever they call said plant, and selling a tiny amount of the ground up leaves/stems/roots/dirt and selling it as a miracle supplement!

    That one is called Dragon’s Toenail! It cures bad breath!
    Over there is Bing-bong Walla-Walla! It’s great for eye boogers!
    This one is called Ecky-Ecky Wallafizbang (local dialect translation: “What? it’s just a plant”)! It cures heavy wallet syndrome!

  97. #97 THS
    July 30, 2013

    Enzymes (enzyme anything). This one bugs me on accoint of my biochemistry background
    As in: Bio-energized Manchurian Enzymated Blue Green Algae
    Also: Orthomolecular
    And many Neuro-things.

  98. #98 THS
    July 30, 2013

    also – Bodywork (many flavors)

  99. #99 lsm
    July 30, 2013

    The buzz words I hear most from my dear quack family members:

    1. “Pure” are their bodies, to fight off disease, except for all the diseases they have actually had (including cancer).

    2. “Powerful” supplements.

    3. “Auras”.

    4. “ANECDOTES/testimonials”.

    5. But the one that is the craziest of all is “do the research”.

  100. #100 Krubozumo Nyankoye
    July 30, 2013

    Has anyone here ever ried to milk a camel? I thought not.
    8-)

  101. #101 lilady
    I'm not in Dubai
    July 30, 2013

    Has anyone ever tried to milk a camel?

    Here…take your pick :-)

    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=milking+a+camel&oq=milking+a+camel&gs_l=youtube.3…4043.8088.0.8630.15.12.0.3.3.0.267.1425.5j6j1.12.0…0.0…1ac.1.11.youtube.VmY0MWOLb3A

  102. #102 elburto
    July 30, 2013

    @Chris Hickie – Long, long ago, before records began, when man and saddled dinosaurs lived in peace together…

    Oh OK then, in 1997, the comedy duo Lee and Herring had a sketch that ran throughout their series, and it was called “Food and Milk”, a parody of the cookery/lifestyle show “Food and Drink”.

    Rich didn’t try orca milk, but I believe blue whale milk was on the menu in one episode:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzCbf-pylEc

  103. #103 Narad
    July 30, 2013

    what, that’s an Elsevier journal? The science pirate publishers have quackery under their purview as well as most other things? Do we have to pay for the full article?

    Yes, $31.50 for a two-page (if that) article with an abstract in broken English. The Elsevier brand itself means nothing; journals publishing is largely a race to the bottom. The first article I selected (PDF) from their open-access stable categorically demonstrates not just that they’re simply feeding manuscripts into a hopper and pressing the “make article” button, but that there’s no quality control whatever and no effort was put into the design.

    Simply spitting out LaTeX is one thing, but actively screwing up what isn’t an “enterprise solution” in the first place is amazing. Check out the paragraph containing equation (3.9).

  104. #104 Narad
    July 30, 2013

    (If anybody is willing to sign up for “DeepDyve,” it can be “rented” for free. The preview of the first page will probably suffice, given that it includes the sections “Introduction,” “Text” [I sh*t you not], and a good chunk of “Discussion.”)

  105. #105 AdamG
    July 30, 2013

    The preview of the first page will probably suffice

    But then you miss the best part!

    Additionally when infants were fed formulas, infants tend to have profuse amount of cold sweating when they are sleeping, even though temperature is cool and comfortable. Their bodies are loaded with large amount of excessive solutes and their bodies are fighting to survive by getting rid of excessive solutes. This has been my personnel observation as well as reports from parents.

    The formula fed infant are generally bigger and heavier than that of breast fed infant. When cow’s milk formula were fed to human baby, they grow faster and bigger, because cows grow faster than human.

  106. #106 Carl
    July 30, 2013

    The most misused word in CAM is “supports”.

  107. #107 Rebecca Fisher
    July 30, 2013

    @lilady:

    I’ve got a back yard in East London that would be ideal for your unicorn herd. Very reasonable rent. :-)

  108. #108 lilady
    I'm not in Henderson, Nevada or Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    July 30, 2013

    I’m trying to figure out where the Milwaukee, Wisconsin Pediatrician, Dr. Hahr is licensed:

    http://online.drl.wi.gov/LicenseLookup/CredSummaryDetails.aspx?chid=105621

    @ Rebecca Fisher: Thanks for your kind offer…heck, we can have an international cartel, selling unicorn milk.

    http://media.photobucket.com/user/GrahamalanHull/media/milk.jpg.html?filtersterm=funny%20milk&filtersprimary=images&filterssecondary=videos&sort=1&o=10

  109. #109 Rebecca Fisher
    July 30, 2013

    “Warning. May taste a bit like cows milk.”

  110. #110 Krebiozen
    July 30, 2013

    Has anyone here ever tried to milk a camel?

    I’ve eaten camel, but I don’t suppose that counts.

    As for the unicorn milk marketing exercise, first we have to explain that unicorns are not a myth, something like…

    A small herd survives in a remote valley in the Himalaya, just as dinosaurs survive in the swamps of Central Africa, but we have to keep the exact location secret to protect them from poachers. Have you any idea how much genuine unicorn horn goes for? The milk of this gentle creature is renowned for its powerful medicinal properties among the Hunza, whose longevity is legendary.

    We supply this rare and precious substance in the form of tiny lyophilized pills, which dissolve under your tongue and which look remarkably like the lactose tablets that homeopaths use, but which are far more powerful (and expensive) than any homeopathic remedy, so use with care.

  111. #111 Rebecca Fisher
    July 30, 2013

    @Krebiozen, @lilady

    Any preference for domain name? :-)
    Sadly unicornmilk.com is taken – we could still have the .co.uk… ;-)

  112. #112 Chris Hickie
    July 30, 2013

    Don’t the unicorns all live at Candy Mountain, sans a kidney or two?

    Liliady–I noticed that too, about JY Hahr–is he living in WI with a NV license (but he doesn’t show in the NV medical board website) or does he have a WI license but lives in NV? I also can’t find him on the Children’s Hospital of WI website, which makes him something of a spectre.

    Back to milk–I think either porcupine milk (think of how hard you can claim it is to get this, which would of course imbue it with magical mystical properties) or etruscan shrew milk (the world’s smallest mammal–so you could only get a wee bit of milk which would make it even more precious) would be how I’d go if I was going to scam parents into thinking that their child with autism will be helped by drinking a very exotic non-human milk product.

  113. #113 Denice Walter
    July 30, 2013

    We also need a brand name- may I suggest something vaguely Celtic ( Welsh?) or Franglo-Welsh? Like Braedwynn’s or Clairaeth’s… I look up what Enya’s full name is and we can francaise it up. Gotta get both sides in and we can’t steal any names form Tolkien. TOO obvious.

    THEN:
    we have to create a list of conditions which unicorn’s milk legendarily treats.
    Heh.

  114. #114 Greg
    July 30, 2013

    Good Morning VCADOD Group!

    And, how has it been in autism-land? I see you guys have still not repented and asked forgiveness for your sins. Anyway, I am back after a wonderful retreat to a tropical resort. It was quite a beautiful trip with my family. Still, at times I felt a little bad that many of my autistic families due to their circumstances would never be able to get away on such vacations, and even though they really need the break.

    Anyway, let`s reflect on this thought for our question of the day. When you guys are staying at your super posh resorts (probably a lot nicer than the one I stayed at) do you guys feel guilty? Do you feel guilty knowing that your professions that afford you such trips are the same professions that promote immunization that will result in autism and autistic families not being able to partake in such privileges?

  115. #115 Rebecca Fisher
    July 30, 2013

    Fuck off Greg.

  116. #116 Denice Walter
    July 30, 2013

    @ Alain:

    I don’t know what the best path is – only you will, when you chance upon it. I can only suggest that you study something that you care about BUT which also alllows you to accumulate skills which are applicable in the work place.

    For example, my undergrad degree is not in psychology but I did manage to get skills that made me attractive to the business world ( in advertising) and my graduate work/ degrees encompass different aspects of social science that gave me some freedom to work as a counsellor and in non profits, other business etc. So had I left my universities at any point I could have found employment. At one time, I have assisted someone I care about in his career as well as managing investments for myself and others.

    I’m sure that right now you already have skills that involve computers and perhaps lab work that may be a real foundation for you to build upon.

    -btw- I was very surprised to learn that my late cousin’s daughter – who is attaining a graduate degree in architecture- is also accumulating courses at her u’ s ( well-known) business school that deal with management of architectural and related firms.

  117. #117 Chris Hickie
    July 30, 2013

    I feel a stirring in the farce….

  118. #118 Denice Walter
    July 30, 2013

    @ Dr Chris:

    Which one ? I am currently aware of three:
    today’s Teresa Conrick article @ AoA,
    Jake’s most recent,
    here.

    Maybe they’re all inter-related – you know, like that meme about a butterfly’s wing’s movement causing all manner of catastrophe worldwide or suchlike.
    Or inter-related because of a higher order phenomenon called….. BAD science.

  119. #119 AlisonM
    July 30, 2013

    To my way of thinking, “proven” is a giant red flag of woo.

  120. #120 JGC
    July 30, 2013

    Greg, the evidence that routine childhood immunization confers an increased risk of developing an autism spectrum disorder would be…?

    Oh, that’s right–you’ve conceded you don’t have any.

  121. #121 JustNuts
    July 30, 2013

    @Alain – I hope all goes well in your quest for medical school acceptance! I painfully recall my own angst quite a number of years ago while applying to med school! I’m an RN with extensive ED and ICU experience who, following military service, went back to univeristy in a pre-med program on the GI bill and applied as an older applicant with a non-traditional background to med schools. I had average marks pre-military but a stellar performance in the pre-med program, respectable MCAT scores plus recommendations from a number of MDs I worked with in the military and a family friend MD who was part time faculty at a medical school. But my female classmates who applied (with records inferior to mine) were ALL accepted and I was also informed that I was too old by two schools (pre-Bakke decision). I only attained the alternate list at one school and resigned myself to continuing to grad school in laboratory sciences & public health epidemiology.

  122. #122 elburto
    July 30, 2013

    Adam G@105 – That is comedy gold. Do babies fed on goat milk sprout beards and start eating their bedding? If not, why not? Science is failing us!

    @Dreg – Not grounded anymore? Hope your trip to Granny’s house was fun, I bet she spoiled you rotten.

    I’m pissing myself laughing, BTW, at your bizarrely childlike assumption that Lord Draconis pays us so much that life is an endless round of holidays at ;posh resorts”.

    In November I’ll be going on my first holiday in eight years. Hilariously enough, given your assertion that people with ASDs can’t have holidays, the place I’m going to is a holiday park solely for people with disabilities, and their families. Every outdoor activity, from canoeing to quad biking, is designed to be accessible to anyone with a physical disability. They also have activities catering to children and adults who have ASDs, or are otherwise non-NT. There’s a fabulous sensory suite, a special horse-riding activity group, and all of the staff at the resort are fully trained in the handling of physically disabled people, and the needs of people who are non-NT.

    Not only can PWD go there with their families, they can also go alone on respite holidays. There are special themed weeks catering to certain age groups, or for singles (because Dreg, when PWD and non-NT people aren’t headbanging and throwing shit, we like a good shag as much as the next person) or for young lads or lasses in their late teens or early twenties, so they can holiday away from their parents. Care is included in the price.

    Sounds great, doesn’t it? Not very posh, it’s in a fu€king forest, but sort of bollockses up the bizarre theory that PWD and non-NT people can’t have holidays.

    So Dreg, now that mummy and daddy have restored your internet access you should have no problem showing us proof that vaccinations cause autism.

    No anecdata, no claims dragged from your arse, no fevered postulations and deflections, on YouTube (or other) videos, we want proof. A peer-reviewed research study by a scientist, published in a high-impact journal, that definitively proves that vaccination can, has, or will cause autistic spectrum disorders.

    Should be easy, if your previous bluster is to be believed. Now off you go, we’ll be waiting for you to return with your “evidence”, and we’ll keep asking for it until you provide it. OK?

  123. #123 elburto
    July 30, 2013

    Adam G@105 – That is comedy gold. Do babies fed on goat milk sprout beards and start eating their bedding? If not, why not? Science is failing us!
    I’ve just eaten some cheese and I’m not mooing or anything. Should I try collecting dog milk from my brother-in-law’s dog with pseudocyesis, then feeding it to my great nephew to see if he grows a tail?

    @Dreg – Not grounded anymore? Hope your trip to Granny’s house was fun, I bet she spoiled you rotten.

    I’m pissing myself laughing, BTW, at your bizarrely childlike assumption that Lord Draconis pays us so much that life is an endless round of holidays at ;posh resorts”.

    In November I’ll be going on my first holiday in eight years. Hilariously enough, given your assertion that people with ASDs can’t have holidays, the place I’m going to is a holiday park solely for people with disabilities, and their families. Every outdoor activity, from canoeing to quad biking, is designed to be accessible to anyone with a physical disability. They also have activities catering to children and adults who have ASDs, or are otherwise non-NT. There’s a fabulous sensory suite, a special horse-riding activity group, and all of the staff at the resort are fully trained in the handling of physically disabled people, and the needs of people who are non-NT.

    Not only can PWD go there with their families, they can also go alone on respite holidays. There are special themed weeks catering to certain age groups, or for singles (because Dreg, when PWD and non-NT people aren’t headbanging and throwing sh¡t, we like a good shag as much as the next person) or for young lads or lasses in their late teens or early twenties, so they can holiday away from their parents. Care is included in the price.

    Sounds great, doesn’t it? Not very posh, it’s in a fu€king forest, but sort of bollockses up the bizarre theory that PWD and non-NT people can’t have holidays.

    So Dreg, now that mummy and daddy have restored your internet access you should have no problem showing us proof that vaccinations cause autism.

    No anecdata, no claims dragged from your arse, no fevered postulations and deflections, on YouTube (or other) videos, we want proof. A peer-reviewed research study by a scientist, published in a high-impact journal, that definitively proves that vaccination can, has, or will cause autistic spectrum disorders.

    Should be easy, if your previous bluster is to be believed. Now off you go, we’ll be waiting for you to return with your “evidence”, and we’ll keep asking for it until you provide it. OK?

  124. #124 Old Rockin' Dave
    In my super-posh guest bedroom/office
    July 30, 2013

    Gregger, I see you’ve taken on the role of clergyman. It does not suit you.
    You should consider employment more fitted to your talents, such as a career as a compost heap or biomass. Or you might find employment as raw sewage more fulfilling. At least you would no longer have to justify the bad smell you emit here.

  125. #125 lilady
    July 30, 2013

    @ Troll: Ditto to what Rebecca Fisher said.

    Do we allow The Troll to take over another thread…or do we just ignore the attention-craving pest?

  126. #126 JGC
    July 30, 2013

    I think it’s best to simply remind lurkers greg has offered no evidence whatsoever to support his claims, and move on.

  127. #127 Renate
    July 30, 2013

    Perhaps Greg needs a girlfriend to keep him occupied. I don’t know if there is any woman who is willing to cope with the dirty smell that surrounds him.

    Even if Greg was the last person on earth I wouldn’t want him anywhere near me. Glad there is at least an ocean between him and me.

  128. #128 Chris,
    July 30, 2013

    Greg: “Anyway, let`s reflect on this thought for our question of the day.”

    You have yet to answer any of my questions. So either you tell us which vaccine on the American pediatric schedule causes more seizures than the disease, or just go away.

  129. #129 Antaeus Feldspar
    July 30, 2013

    I think it’s best to simply remind lurkers greg has offered no evidence whatsoever to support his claims, and move on.

    Also, from long before Greg went off on his vacation, I made a public offer for anyone who thought Greg had any shred of a point anywhere in his blatherings to simply say so, and I would do my best to answer it.

    No one taking up the offer = no one, not even other anti-vaxers, think any of Greg’s nonsense has any value.

    No one has taken up the offer.

  130. #130 Alain
    July 30, 2013

    @ Denice,

    To make a short resume, regardless of courses that I take, I’ll graduate from my undergrad double-honour at age 55….While being on SSDI….Except during the paid summer internships. I could get away with doing a single honour and still graduate at age 48; still being on SSDI.

    The realistic prospect for that is that I have minimal chance of being a medical doctor (add 4 years to the bachelor for the med school requirement so even at 52-53, there’s the residency) and instead, I’d make a darn good lab assistant/manager or I could apply for grad school and update the book I have written as part of my undergrad honours thesis.

    I have some external pressure to graduate as fast as possible and it’s bothering me. I really dislike being pushed and there’s another part of me who is a perfectionist so this is why I want to do a double-honours and write the (neuroscience & biophysics) book.

    In conclusion, is it a fine goal of graduating at age 55 from my undergrad bachelors with many publications as well as a book? I feel like I’ll be doing a PhD thesis in parallel with my bachelor.

    Alain

  131. #131 Alain
    July 30, 2013

    @ JustNuts,

    Thanks you very much. The thing is, I’m not sure I’ll apply for med school given my aforementioned comment but maybe I’ll retire with a few books that I wrote.

    Alain

  132. #132 JustNuts
    July 30, 2013

    @Alain: An option that was open to me many years ago (but a road not taken) was med school in Mexico. A former collegue of mine went that route when in his early 40s, weathered through the FMG process to get credentials back in the USA, got a residency in radiology and is still practicing today in his late 60s on the east coast.

  133. #133 elburto
    July 30, 2013

    @lilady – it’s simple, wherever the Dreg pops up we ask him for proof of his claim that childhood vaccinations cause ASDs.

    I like Chris’ approach, just repeat the question to him until he either provides proof, or till he buggers off back to whatever sordid little grief hole he climbed out of.

  134. #134 Kelly M. Bray
    July 30, 2013

    @ Chris Hickie…….”I feel a stirring in the farce….”

    With Greg here it’s more like a stirring in the feces….

  135. #135 lilady
    July 30, 2013

    Hi Kelly: Glad to see you back on the blog…I’ve missed you. :-)

    Let’s not forget how we handled Thingy, where we ignored her, poked fun at her and posted around her…to deny her the attention she desperately craved.

  136. #136 Derek
    July 30, 2013

    *Platypus* milk – not quite as rare as unicorn milk, but probably nearly so. And platypuses don’t have teats, milking would consist of wiping the milk off the mother’s abdominal skin.
    @Lilady at 73 – how did you find that site? it’s priceless. I particularly like that “Camel blood and the urine contains unique antibodies that are smaller in structure than those of mammals” and that “Studies done in Belgium with camel blood antibodies and colon cancer and in Saudi Arabia with the nano-particles from camel urine with leukemia, lung, colon, pancreatic, stomach, brain and breast cancer have been exceptional.” There, they’ve even got a “nano”; but remind me not to get cancer treatment in either of those countries.

  137. #137 Denice Walter
    July 30, 2013

    @ elburto:

    I’ve always taken an interest in educational and recreational opportunities for adults of all ages – with or without disabilities- it actually was a section of my studies in lifespan developmental.

    On a recent trip, at a standard hotel ( OK, somewhat posh), I was pleased to find that they had just installed lifts/ hoists for both the swimming pool and whirlpool – so new they still had the wrappings on. I learned that several rooms at ground level had been converted into suites for PWD. It’s the right thing to do and I’m sure they will also be rewarded with increased business: the place is used by business people and also for weddings/ family reunions. No one forced them into providing these amenities.

    Re posh resorts:
    yes, Draconis sends us away every 6 weeks or so. They call them “training seminars” or “team building”. We laugh at those appellations: we know better! We’re going to Tahiti!

  138. #138 lilady
    I did not attend the Autism One 2012 Conference
    July 30, 2013

    @ Derek: If camel’s milk was featured at the A-1 Conference, why wouldn’t you believe the therapeutic value for autism treatment…and er, the anecdotal reports for camel’s milk as being as helpful as “Viagra”?

    http://www.autismone.org/content/camels-milk

  139. #139 Indigo_Fire
    July 30, 2013

    I remember going to the county fair a couple of years ago and innocently wandering over to see a momma camel and her adorable little baby. Little did I know that the cuteness was just a way for the camel ranchers to lure people into their little exhibit so they could regale us with tales of the wonders of camel milk, such as how it “bolstered the immune system” and could ameliorate just about every symptom of every disease known to man. My eyes were rolling so far into the back of my head that I’m surprised my optic nerve didn’t snap.

    At least I got to coo at a cute baby camel.

  140. #140 Stu
    July 30, 2013

    Anyway, let`s reflect on this thought for our question of the day.

    No Greg, let’s first reflect on the fact you are too stupid to know a backquote from an apostrophe. I think the rest of your comment (and all of your comments, really) should be viewed in that light.

  141. #141 Stu
    July 30, 2013

    Ironically, one of the healthiest foods around (coconut) is not exploited by the supplement industry… probably because the actual food industry has jumped on it. (I swear, one more new brand of coconut water at my local grocery store and I will SCREAM).

  142. #142 Chris,
    July 30, 2013

    Stu, you obviously haven’t met Carlos Oliveira at the coconut oil thread at SBM.

  143. #143 Greg
    July 30, 2013

    Ok VACADOD Group,

    Aside from a few well wishes, including a very special one from Rebecca Fisher, you still didn’t answer the question of how you enjoy yourselves at posh resorts knowing that most the kids your are maiming and their families will never have the chance to partake in such privileges. I will give you more time to reflect, so please feel free to weigh in on the matter.

    As for my current program (again Orac, my intention is not to steal your show, but you must see how things are getting rather humdrum that I must provide some entertainment) I want to revisit the topic of how we reconcile the discrepancy between pharma’s science and the parents’ anecdotal evidence. First though, I was very impressed with this comment from AoA that I thought I would share it….

    “I agree with you 100%. I don’t understand it myself, but nearly everyone I know has told me that there has been no real increase in autism rates, it’s all just better diagnosis, because that’s what all the media have told them. When I say that there were NO autistic children in the schools I went to growing up, they say that they used to be sent to institutions in the country, if they were not kept locked in a closet at home. I say What institutions? Who paid for them? So in the past, one out of every 25 children was sent to an institution, their lifetime upkeep paid for by whom? What, secret underground bunkers paid for by a secret government program that no one has ever heard of? And the families never breathed a word about their interned children again for the rest of their lives? So what did pioneer families (Victorian, medieval, etc. etc.) do with their many autistic children in the days before institutions, why did none of them so much as breathe a word about their existence? It’s only now, in the last five years, that our enlightened culture has taught us to welcome and acclaim all the endearing eccenticities of this newly-discovered group of the differently-abled? ”

    So again, VCADOD Group, could anyone of you please advise me as to where are all the non-verbal, head banging, screaming autistics who are in their 30s, 40s, and 50s? Anyone?

  144. #144 Chris,
    July 30, 2013

    Greg, either provide us the PubMed indexed study by a qualified reputable researcher that a vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule causes seizures more often than the disease, or just go away.

  145. #145 Greg
    July 30, 2013

    @Renate

    “Even if Greg was the last person on earth I wouldn’t want him anywhere near me. Glad there is at least an ocean between him and me.”

    Actually, I also never thought of you in that way Renate, but now that you brought it up can you at least send pics so that I can see what I am missing? Also,reading your comment reminds me of the Al Pacino’s Scarface……..

    “Now what is your problem, lady? Eh, you gotta problem? You’re good looking, you gotta beautiful body, beautiful legs, beautiful face; wit all dese guys in love wit you, mein; only you gotta look in your eye like you haven’t been (ph)ucked in a year” / “Hey, Jose; who, why, when, and how I (ph)uck is none of your business, okay?” / “Now jou’re talking to me, baby; that I like, okay, keep it coming, baby” / “Don’t call me baby, I’m not your baby” / “Eh, not yet, you gotta give me some time” / “Even if I were blind, desperate, starved and begging for it on a desert island, you’d be the last thing I’d ever (ph)uck” (Tony & Elvira)

    What a great movie! Ranks up there with The Warriors. Don’t you think, Narad?

  146. #146 Indigo_Fire
    July 30, 2013

    So in addition to being an unrepentant and obnoxious reality-challenged troll who wouldn’t know truth if it hit him square between the eyes, we can now also add crass, slimy, and misogynistic to Greg’s description.

    If he keeps going at this rate he may end up checking off every single item in the “vile human being” list before the end of the week.

  147. #147 BrewandFerment
    July 30, 2013

    usually when the words goddess and Gaia are used, there is some serious woo very close at hand…especially if there are hot mineral waters involved

  148. #148 Chris,
    July 30, 2013

    Greg, either provide us the PubMed indexed study by a qualified reputable researcher that a vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule causes seizures more often than the disease, or just go away.

    (and yes, wordpress, I said it before, and I will continue to say it until Greg either answers or goes away!)

  149. #149 Alain
    July 30, 2013

    @ Denice,

    Rereading your message, it make a bit more sense wrt my career. About my skillset, I, indeed, have lab experience as well as computational skills[1] as well as writing skill in French and English. What I’m looking to expand is quantitative skills in order to work with a statistical (biological) model and come up with a mathematical model of how the organism (the brain really) work.

    Equations which could get plugged in a massive computers to simulate a brain, or part of it. Dr. Henry Markram already work with a computer simulation of a part of the rat brain which sources its data from the pubmed (or equivalent) gene database and other biological database of research data.

    In my case, I already killed my computer’s ram & swap (about 12GB) trying to do a linear regression of over 71000 brain coordinate (sources: https://github.com/neurosynth/neurosynth) to infer the area of the brain and since then, I’ve been coming up with a spec list for a supercomputer that I’ll build over the next 3 years (mainboard: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813182346 ) that I hope to equip with at least 192GB of ram (I tend to do a bit of forward thinking and current 64GB do fine with actual needs but then, in 5 years, I expect to have progressed to the point of using these 192GB of ram, good thing the board support 768GB).

    Alain

  150. #150 Alain
    July 30, 2013

    Forgot to say, my computer was killed with the linear regression within 10 minutes of being started, thus the leap and bound in memory need for my next computer (this is really huge for a dataset).

    Alain

  151. #151 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    July 31, 2013

    So again, VCADOD Group, could anyone of you please advise me as to where are all the non-verbal, head banging, screaming autistics who are in their 30s, 40s, and 50s? Anyone?

    I already did you little tosspot and on two continents no less. It just doesn’t jibe with your beliefs that you refuse to acknowledge it.

  152. #152 Stu
    July 31, 2013

    Ok VACADOD Group,

    Did you come up with that precious little acronym all by yourself? On one hand, it seems sufficiently dense, tin-foil-hattish and obnoxious that you did… on the other hand, you haven’t displayed a single original thought yet…

    Aside from a few well wishes

    DIAFF, you obnoxious lying weasel.

    didn’t answer the question of how you enjoy yourselves at posh resorts

    The most inane attempt at red herring I have ever seen. You are pathetic.

    knowing that most the kids your are maiming

    Sorry, THIS is the most pathetic one. You have not even attempted to prove this in any way. This is nothing more than the tritest slander. I don’t know whether to laugh, cry, yawn or outright slap you for being such a douche.

    and their families will never have the chance to partake in such privileges.

    Obvious. Stupid. Disproven. Lie.

    Pathetic.

    I will give you more time to reflect, so please feel free to weigh in on the matter.

    No more time needed. Your delusions of grandeur are duly noted and are continuously being laughed at.

    You are not as smart as you think you are. In fact, you are dumber than a sack of hammers. You do realize that the amount of cognitive dissonance you are building up putting your self-worth into being this witty and smart while in reality being denser than your average garden snail is about to open a rift in time and space, rigjht?

    As for my current program

    Look, my little failed Napoleon, you wouldn’t be able to spell “program” without digital aid. You are accomplishing nothing here except for deep, lasting embarrassment that will haunt you forever.

    You do realize people can look this up, right? You do realize people can scroll back or — shudder — look up your comments on other threads and see you for the chromosomally challenged zygote you are… right?

    we reconcile the discrepancy between pharma’s science and the parents’ anecdotal evidence.

    “Anecdotal evidence” is a contradiction in terms. I know you don’t understand what that means, but let me just give you a pro-tip: using that phrase pegs you as a dumbass.

    First though, I was very impressed with this comment from AoA that I thought I would share it….

    You were impressed by a comment on AoA? There’s peg number… oh, whatever.

    [Snipped asinine quoted comment]

    Maybe you should research sanatoriums, orphanages, rates of mental retardation diagonoses and such. You know, before you start talking again.

    Clown.

    where are all the non-verbal, head banging, screaming autistics who are in their 30s, 40s, and 50s? Anyone?

    Most of them grew out of it (at least partially). I wouldn’t expect you to understand this, sweetheart. “Developmental delay” is too complicated for you.

  153. #153 Old Rockin' Dave
    East of the sun, west of the moon, and north-northeast of Asteroid B-612
    July 31, 2013

    Where were they, Gregger of the wooden head? They were at Willowbrook. They were at the Suffolk State School for the Mentally Retarded. They were in a thousand other institutions around the country, because no one knew what to do for them or how to help them. They were warehoused along with the mentally retarded, and never improved because they had no one to model themselves on who could improve them, because they were treated like dumb, dirty, dangerous animals. That’s where they were.
    Where are they now? They were de-institutionalized. They were taken home to families torn with guilt over the hellholes they had been sent to. They went to group homes, They went to better places than the ones they were in. They died of infectious diseases they caught from the other inmates because no one cared to spend the taxpayer’s money on decent hygiene for them because they were just a bunch of useless, brainless retards in the common view.
    Look it up, dumbass. Use that grey lump between your ears as something more than ballast for your otherwise empty head. Learn about the real lives of real autists. Maybe if you understood that you are talking about real people and not things to score verbal points with then you would understand why I find you so contemptible. Maybe then you would go away and leave the grownups alone and go play on the mental dungheap that spawned you.

  154. #154 Old Rockin' Dave
    On the loo, giving Gregger some siblings.
    July 31, 2013

    “So what did pioneer families (Victorian, medieval, etc. etc.) do with their many autistic children in the days before institutions, why did none of them so much as breathe a word about their existence?”
    Good question, Gregger, little noisemaker. That’s exactly what they did – not breathe a word about their existence. They were a shame and a disgrace, or devil spawn, or God’s curse. They were kept in attics and cellars and woodsheds, and when someone came to call they were put where they could neither be seen nor heard. They were taken away by mountebanks to cut capers in the gutter for the crusts and small coins that were thrown at them. They were put out to beg in the filthy streets. They were used for simple repetitive mindless labor, like turning mills, where they were “paid” with rags to wear, slops to eat, and dirt floors to sleep on. They were put in Bedlam and Maudlin with the mad folk. Nobody wanted them. Nobody cared about them. Only a tiny percentage, a lucky few, might have been treated with patience and care.
    The depths of your ignorance have yet to be plumbed. Please call a plumber and spare us the task.

  155. #155 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    July 31, 2013

    @Dreg:

    [H]ow you enjoy yourselves at posh resorts knowing that most the kids your are maiming and their families will never have the chance to partake in such privileges.

    Last year, I went on my first overseas vacation since moving into my own place. Four years of saving up to go to the Algarve in Portugal for two weeks. I stayed at the Hotel Globo, which although very nice, was by no means a “posh resort”.
    You think we’re swimming in PharmaLucre. We’re not, and you’re just a dimwitted conspiracy theorist whose arguments are contradicted by the evidence.

  156. #156 Narad
    July 31, 2013

    I noticed that too, about JY Hahr–is he living in WI with a NV license (but he doesn’t show in the NV medical board website) or does he have a WI license but lives in NV?

    The latter. I haven’t the foggiest what the relationship is with Ali Reza Ghahraman, who is licensed in Wisconsin but domiciled in Aliso Viejo, California, but Manta seems to think there is one.

  157. #157 Narad
    July 31, 2013

    Good Morning VCADOD Group!

    *plonk*

  158. #158 Bill Price
    July 31, 2013

    #149, Alain, July 30, 2013

    Equations which could get plugged in a massive computers to simulate a brain, or part of it. Dr. Henry Markram already work with a computer simulation of a part of the rat brain which sources its data from the pubmed (or equivalent) gene database and other biological database of research data.

    In my case, I already killed my computer’s ram & swap (about 12GB) trying to do a linear regression of over 71000 brain coordinate (sources: https://github.com/neurosynth/neurosynth) to infer the area of the brain and since then, I’ve been coming up with a spec list for a supercomputer that I’ll build over the next 3 years

    Alain,. have you considered looking into how we did linear regressions ans such 50 years ago, when our computers and disks were much slower and RAM and disks much smaller than current technology?
    I wasn’t involved with this kind of work — I dealt with architecture, operating systems, and compilers — but I had to be aware of what some of the real-life problems were that we were trying to help our customers with. This awareness did not translate into expertise in linear regression or anything like that, but did include awareness of some of the techniques of matrix mashing and the like.
    Some of these techniques were published in “Collected Algorithms” by the ACM. There were texts on the subject, now considered obsolete, but maybe they aren’t so obsolete after all…
    Items that come to this ancient mind:
    Don’t count on virtual memory for data store on disk — do it yourself, based on the algorithms in use. The swapping algorithms in the OS are general purpose, and rely largely on guesswork and rules of thumb in choosing what to swap out. The data files make automatic breakpoints, too, helping handle planned or unplanned service interruptions.
    Do matrix stuff with submatrices — invert a submatrix at a time, then put the pieces back together.
    Transpose one of the matrices, so you can multiply them by dot products of adjacent elements rather than jumping all around one of them.
    Use sparse matrices where feasible.
     
    “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

  159. #159 Kelly M. Bray
    July 31, 2013

    My brother was born in 1962 with Prader-Willi, CP, and mental retardation. He stayed at home on weekends, and Monday through Friday he lived at the Spastic Children’s Foundation in Los Angeles. i spent many years volunteering there starting when I was just a kid. I saw many children, teens, and adults who were on the ASD spectrum. They were institutionalized where you could not see them. So Greg, please shove it.

  160. #160 Delurked Lurker
    LOLing in orbit around a small unregarded yellow Sun
    July 31, 2013

    :) I hear he’s back.

    Glutton for punishment that little troll :)

  161. #161 al kimeea
    www.quackademiology.com
    July 31, 2013

    “So again, VCADOD Group, could anyone of you please advise me as to where are all the non-verbal, head banging, screaming autistics who are in their 30s, 40s, and 50s? Anyone?”

    Poltroon, this has been answered half a dozen times. Johnny used to live on my street, now still in the area and still being cared for by his Mum. He is as old as your IQ is low,.

  162. #162 Greg
    July 31, 2013

    Where are all the non-verbal, head banging, screaming autistics who are in their 30s, 40s, and 50s? Anyone?

    Stu says….
    “Most of them grew out of it (at least partially). I wouldn’t expect you to understand this, sweetheart. “Developmental delay” is too complicated for you.

    Stu — c’mon man (or woman)–I thought autism was argued to be a permanent lifelong disability? Remember how you guys use this line to dismiss the ‘quacks’ who claim they cure their kids? Yes, we hear stories of a few previously high functioning autistics who don’t display the symptoms anymore (but some argue that they are merely learning how to mask their symptoms rather than overcoming them). Yet, are we to believe that 8yrs old autistics who are non-verbal, who head bang, scream, at some point will outgrow these things and become ordinary NTs in their 30s, 40s, and 50s? Wait–I have an idea! How about we contact some of these previous autistics in their 30s, 40s, and 50s and find out when their parents reported that they stopped head banging, screaming, biting, hand flapping, and so on? I am sure with a 1 in 50 ‘constant’ childhood autism rate we shouldn’t have too hard of a time finding them.

    Where are all the non-verbal, head banging, screaming autistics who are in their 30s, 40s, and 50s? Anyone?

    ORD says…

    “They were taken home to families torn with guilt over the hellholes they had been sent to. They went to group homes, They went to better places than the ones they were in.”

    ORD, so you are not entertaining Stu’s argument that autism is not stasis? And you guys accuse me of cognitive dissonance? Anyway, you still didn’t really answer the question. You are suggesting that previous non-verbal, screaming, head banging autistic children who are now in their 30s, 40s, and 50s were taken back in their homes or sent to group homes, but again ORD, we are not finding them in these places. Where are they now? You also suggested that some of them died from past mistreatments. But seriously ORD, what life-threatening abuses were being inflicted on them back in the 50s and 60s? We are talking about the 50s and 60s, not the 1800s! Even if that were the case and they died, it would have had to be a significant majority to the point that we are not finding them in our current society. ORD, please report back to me when you guys get your stories straight.

  163. #163 Antaeus Feldspar
    July 31, 2013

    Learn about the real lives of real autists. Maybe if you understood that you are talking about real people and not things to score verbal points with then you would understand why I find you so contemptible.

    Dreg likes to tell himself that we secretly value him, secretly respect him, etc. I think that if he ever truly understood what a disgusting spectacle he has made of himself, not just in our eyes but in the eyes of anyone who truly respects and values the autistic people Dreg purports to care about, he’d run away in shame.

    “I agree with you 100%. I don’t understand it myself, but nearly everyone I know has told me that there has been no real increase in autism rates, it’s all just better diagnosis, because that’s what all the media have told them. When I say that there were NO autistic children in the schools I went to growing up, they say that they used to be sent to institutions in the country, if they were not kept locked in a closet at home. I say What institutions? Who paid for them? So in the past, one out of every 25 children was sent to an institution, their lifetime upkeep paid for by whom? What, secret underground bunkers paid for by a secret government program that no one has ever heard of? And the families never breathed a word about their interned children again for the rest of their lives? So what did pioneer families (Victorian, medieval, etc. etc.) do with their many autistic children in the days before institutions, why did none of them so much as breathe a word about their existence? It’s only now, in the last five years, that our enlightened culture has taught us to welcome and acclaim all the endearing eccenticities of this newly-discovered group of the differently-abled? ”

    See, people say, “Even a blind pig sometimes stumbles on an acorn.” What they don’t mention is that all too often, the blind pig says “What, I suppose you’re going to tell me that’s an acorn? What malarkey! Go on, tell another one!”

    The blind pig quoted at AOA obviously doesn’t care about getting things right, otherwise they wouldn’t have conflated “children so severely disabled they were institutionalized” with “children with some form of ASD” (for which 1 in 25 is still clearly an inflated figure, but still.) Yet they still got the basics right: state funds paid for “state institutions for the mentally retarded” (a phrase the blind pig could easily have Googled), and people sent their children there and didn’t talk about it because it was seen as a stigma. It was not a “secret government program”, FFS, it was a publicly known government program that no one liked to talk about.

  164. #164 Greg
    July 31, 2013

    Good Morning VCADOD Group!

    Yes, the dawn is breaking so very nicely over autism-land. Stick a needle in — watch them change — deny everything–where it ends?–no one knows!

    So I got detracted, again, attending to some rebuttals from last night’s program. Anyway, let’s get our show on the road with today’s question of the day:

    Things are definitely looking really bad for you guys with the recent clinical trials failures of drugs to treat autism. If we are to believe that vaccines exposure during a critical period of infant brain development causes a re-wiring of the brain, and resulting in autism, is there any hope that drugs will ever be developed to correct this problem once the brain becomes fixed?

  165. #165 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    July 31, 2013

    Greg:

    If we are to believe that vaccines exposure during a critical period of infant brain development causes a re-wiring of the brain, and resulting in autism.

    Thank you Greg. In that one sentence you actually managed to show just how ridiculous the vaccine-autism causation theory is. How exactly would vaccine exposure cause a rewiring of the brain resulting in autism?

  166. #166 ChrisP
    July 31, 2013

    Greg, you are still boring.

  167. #167 elburto
    July 31, 2013

    Links please Dreg. Scientific research conducted by scientists, with the report peer-reviewed and published in a high-impact science journal, that proves even a link between routine immunisation against VPDs, and the development of ASDs.

    Links, or GTFO.

    BTW I’ve just noticed your little sh¡tnugget about the “differently-abled”. Fu<king patronising, ableist little tosspiece.

    The word is "disabled“, some people prefer a person-first approach like “people with disabilities”, but we are not “differently-abled” That’s just something that smug, patronising, AB arsewaffles say because difference makes them ~uncomfortable~.

    We’re not X-Men*. Inability to walk isn’t offset by telekinesis, lack of verbal communication development isn’t concomitant with the ability to fly. But keep talking Dreg, keep proving what an absolute enemabag you are. Let the misogyny, and ableism ooze out of you, as you continue to prove that you have as much worth as the crumpled tissues under your mattress.

    Fact check – nobody here has ever said that autism is an incurable stasis of inability, quite the contrary, actually. The reason we can confidently pronounce that the biomeddling mommies haven’t “cured” their children is because sugar pills and bleach enemas cannot have positive results, let alone curative ones. Any progress those kids make is in spite of abusive biomeddlers, not because of them.

    “What I wouldn’t give for the ability to inflict headsplosions via internet protocol. Still, a girl can dream.

  168. #168 Greg
    July 31, 2013

    @Stu

    With your heated response, I am sensing that you have stayed at your fair share of posh resorts. Did that ‘rogue’ thought that repeatedly popped into your head spoil your filet mignon dinners? (ssshh) You can tell me — it will be our little secret! (hee hee hee).

  169. #169 Gray Falcon
    July 31, 2013

    Greg, if you had any interest in honest debate, you would be talking about evidence, rather than what hotels we stay in. I suggest you learn: 1) What ethics are, and 2) Why they exist, before continuing to debate here.

  170. #170 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    July 31, 2013

    By the way:

    So I got detracted, again..

    I think you meant to say “distracted”. Having said that, we are most certainly detracting you for your lies, ableism, sanctimony and refusal to back up your assertions.

  171. #171 Greg
    July 31, 2013

    Anyway, VCADOD Group,

    I have a busy day ahead so I must attend to other matters. Please continue to provide your answers on the hope of finding a drug to treat autism. If time permits, I will take your answers up this evening.

    Your concerned interventionist/counsellor, Greg

  172. #172 Chris,
    July 31, 2013

    Greg, either provide us the PubMed indexed study by a qualified reputable researcher that a vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule causes seizures more often than the disease, or just go away.

    And just stay away, because you are annoying. Especially with idiotic unproven claims.

  173. #173 Old Rockin' Dave
    The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave (I have to say that, who knows who's watching?)
    July 31, 2013

    Okay, Gregthing, we have to get our stories straight? Why? Do you sincerely believe we’re conspirators, plotting…well, who can say? I can’t think of anything we could be conspiring on. Yes, some did improve, the ones who were treated humanely, who were fortunate enough to have care instead of warehousing. “ORD, so you are not entertaining Stu’s argument that autism is not stasis? ” I saw what was going on in the 60s, I know the prevailing attitudes of the time. To you it’s something you read about on antivax blogs. Me? It happened in my lifetime. It was going on when my mother was working in some of those places while getting her masters. Yes, there were still people who wanted to hide those relatives away, who kept them in sheds and attics and dog kennels if they didn’t send them to the Willowbrooks and other hellholes. Back in those evil times, more markedly autistic children were not always diagnosed properly and got lumped in with retardates and others with other conditions, making the stats you want hard to sort out. You want to talk about deaths? The death rate was appalling. Staff in some of those places were abusive, and force and dangerous restraining techniques were commonly used. Deaths might go uninvestigated – they were just a bunch of “retards” after all. And we feed back into the poor hygiene. Have you ever heard of hepatitis B? Do you know how it spreads? Do you know what it does? It kills, little man. It kills.
    Don’t presume to lecture me, little snotnose. I know more about from living through those times than you will ever learn from siliconic has-been “starlets”.
    I still despise you.

  174. #174 Denice Walter
    July 31, 2013

    @ ORD:
    ( and lurkers)

    Dave, earlier on, the greg-creature informed me that he had studied psychology; he refers to himself as an “interventionalist…. counsellor”. Altho’ ANYONE can say this,
    I don’t see any evidence of a higher education, let alone one in psychology/ social sciences.

    You shed light upon a history which is common knowledge to most people over a certain age and is specifically TAUGHT to younger people who study in this area. If he were a student, he’d be aware of this and not need your excellent tutelage. Other issues include how the concept of ‘child’ itself has developed historically and how it might determine how children are treated by parents, teachers and society in general.

    People who work as counsellors and therapists usually follow a specific pathway that includes graduate level education and training. regardless of their national origins.

    One thing we know from developmental psych is that even small children tailor their messages to their audience: thus it wouldn’t be unusual for an eight year old to instruct a younger sibling in simpler language than he would use for a peer or an adult. They can TELL the difference between different levels of knowledge/ information that others possess and also in relation to their own.

    A while back, I characterised an exchange between a SB journalist and a well-known woo-meister succinctly as ‘about 2 sd’- probably in more than one measurable ability.. When I read over these threads, I might even up that number a tad. Unlike our average 8 year old mentioned previously but like the woo-meister, he doesn’t seem to be able to discern that he is talking down to people who understand much more than he does.

    Then he perseverates upon his theme: ‘SB advocates damage children via vaccines and get paid for their dastardly deeds,’ presuming specialised, arcane inside information that no mainstream media outlets would touch…
    OK, so I just compared G to both Gary Null and Jake Crosby- and that’s significant in that it reflects upon both their abilities AND their ways of explaining how the world works.
    And perhaps where he gets his ideas.

    SO any lurkers might want to look at exchanges between the scoffer and the minions with a few things in mind:
    people reveal their abilities and backgrounds through writing- not only do they display their grasp and dexterity with language but also the breadth of their studies.

    Developmental differences are also apparent- we can even see that in children’s person perception as I illustrate above. There are quite a few characteristscs that have been studied that differentiate levels of both cognitive and social cognitive development.
    One you might want to look at is : complexity. Another is the degree of abstraction… going beyond what you can see or hear. Another involves the generation of hypotheses.

  175. #175 ARD
    July 31, 2013

    While I suspect this post will be ultimately futile, I would recommend that the slimeball called “Greg” crack open any of the dozens of books written by American progressive reformers around the year 1900–a good many do discuss sanatoria for the mentally ill in the outer reaches of major cities. In New York, for example, these sanatoria were located in Long Island or one of the lesser islands in the Hudson estuary. These were financed through a combination of state funds and donations by religious or otherwise private charitable organizations. As psychology as a science was in its infancy at the end of the Long Nineteenth Century, most mental disorders got lumped into a small number of broad categories–if you’re looking for the autistic children of the Victorian Age, you’ll find them in the sanatoria, undergoing, among other things, shock therapy, as treatment for what might have been called “retardation,” “psychopathy,” or “schizophrenia.” Their life expectancy in those days was not too long–unsanitary conditions and the occasional TB epidemic would see to their swift removal.

  176. #177 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 31, 2013

    ARD:

    Yeah, a little historical consciousness about the early 20th century would do a lot of good in a lot of quarters. Before that, as many have said, families just kept their mentally challenged members in the attic—at best. The “reformers” of the early 20th century thought “scientifically” run institutions were the right way to go, while reduction in the numbers of such “drains on society” should be accomplished by eugenics. Of course we know who found American eugenics laws inspirational.

    This was also the era when abortion became an issue, because the strength of a nation was measured in the number of military-age young men available in time of war. Abortion had been a perfectly normal practice up till then, but now it began being outlawed in state after state, while the outcome every pregnancy had to be certified as either a legitimate miscarriage or sanctified with a “Certificate of Live Birth”.

    It’s hilarious how the birthers think a CLB is some inferior bogus version of the ceremonial “Birth Certificates” that hospitals started handing out in the Baby Boomer era. Most of them are anti-abortionists who don’t even know the genesis of the “Certificate of Live Birth“!

  177. #178 SkepticalSlug
    Blaming my macro-flatulence on the dog.
    July 31, 2013

    Monatomic / Monoatomic / ORMUS.

    Hucksters are still selling their magic* elixirs containing _individual_ atoms of noble metals (gold, platinum, etc.). Health claims include healing your DNA, increasing the bandwidth of your nervous system and achievement of a higher level of consciousness.

    I tried the monatomic sodium and my mouth blew up.

    * If you simply ignore the laws of chemistry and physics!

  178. #179 Old Rockin' Dave
    July 31, 2013

    “As Greg[or Samsa] awoke one morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect-like creature.”
    – “The Metamorphosis”, Franz Kafka
    “Ungeziefer has sometimes been translated as “cockroach”, “dung beetle”, “beetle”, and other highly specific terms.” – Wikipedia article on “The Metamorphosis”
    Says it all.

  179. #180 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 31, 2013

    I tried the monatomic sodium and my mouth blew up.

    Before atomic power came along, a staple of science fiction was monatomic hydrogen as a rocket propellant. Of course, keeping it from recombining prematurely was the problem. If these geniuses are so good, they should get to work on that.

  180. #181 Agashem
    Southeast Saskatchewan, apparently a super post resort (don't tell my in-laws)
    July 31, 2013

    Greg, when did you stop masturbating in public and were you able to go back to this ‘habit’ at the resort you stayed at?

  181. #182 Kelly M. Bray
    July 31, 2013

    I think Silvermaven is Greg’s wife…………

  182. #183 Edith Prickly
    July 31, 2013

    I think that if he ever truly understood what a disgusting spectacle he has made of himself, not just in our eyes but in the eyes of anyone who truly respects and values the autistic people Dreg purports to care about, he’d run away in shame.

    You are too generous Antaeus — the burbling cauldron of stoopit that is the Dregtroll is entirely lacking in shame. It fancies itself a brave maverick truthteller when it is actually a mindless regurgitator of dreck straight from the roiling depths of AoA.

    The troll’s current display of complete ignorance regarding the history of institutional “care” for the developmentally disabled suggests that he has zero education in psychology or developmental disorders. It’s all vaccines all the time, just like AoA says.

  183. #184 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    July 31, 2013

    Re: NIH mulls rules for validating key results

    I think it’s reasonably well established that there is such a thing as publication bias, and that we need better replication and confirmation of results. This is particularly true in health fields.

  184. #185 Stu
    July 31, 2013

    Hi Greg! You’re really bad at everything you try. You’re even bad at trolling.

    So Greg, DIAFF. (hee hee hee)

  185. #186 LW
    July 31, 2013

    Greg drooled:

    Things are definitely looking really bad for you guys with the recent clinical trials failures of drugs to treat autism. If we are to believe that vaccines exposure during a critical period of infant brain development causes a re-wiring of the brain, and resulting in autism, is there any hope that drugs will ever be developed to correct this problem once the brain becomes fixed?

    I wonder if he pops over to curebie sites and explains to the curebies that there is no hope that their various tortures they inflict on their children will “correct this problem once the brain becomes fixed”?

  186. #187 Kelly M. Bray
    July 31, 2013

    “Things are definitely looking really bad for you guys with the recent clinical trials failures of drugs to treat autism.”

    It sounds like he enjoys the idea. His writing style (or lack thereof ) seems familiar. I think it trolls other places with a different name.

  187. #188 Greg
    July 31, 2013

    @Silvermaven
    Thx for the link.

    @Denice Walter
    Ms. Walters (I used ‘Ms’ because I sense you are divorced and probably multiple times) you are over-diagnosing, again, and should learn to think more simple. I am starting to feel compelled to give up on you. You are like an onion. I try to peel at your layers and all I get are layers stacked upon layers — no core!

    @Old Rockin Dave
    How can someone named Old Rockin Dave
    despise me? You comment is really quite hurtful. Seriously, I am a nice guy. I can’t tell you how much people in the course my day stop me and tell me so.

    @VCADOD Group
    I a little dissapointed that as of yet, you guys have not weighed in on the prospect of finding a drug to treat autism. If you want to benefit from our exchanges then you will need to follow through with my requests. It’s really not fair when one person is doing all the work.

  188. #189 Chris,
    July 31, 2013

    Greg, where is that PubMed indexed evidence from reputable qualified researchers that any vaccine on the American pediatric schedule causes more seizures than the disease? You made a claim, and in several months you have failed to support that claim. Now produce that evidence or just go away.

  189. #190 Krebiozen
    July 31, 2013

    Skeptical Slug,

    Monatomic / Monoatomic / ORMUS

    I got interested in that a few years ago; I’m always being curious about odd beliefs, especially to do with chemistry. Basically they add sodium hydroxide (lye, caustic soda) to seawater, preferably from the Dead Sea, this reacts with any magnesium chloride to form relatively insoluble magnesium hydroxide, which precipitates out. This precipitate is what they call Ormus. Magnesium hydroxide is the main ingredient in milk of magnesia, so you might expect its most noticeable effect when ingested to be diarrhea.

    There are claims that the magnesium hydroxide forms clathrates that capture the monoatomic elements from seawater, which sounds very similar to some of the claims made about homeopathy.

    Some people claim to make monoatomic gold out of gold, or monoatomic copper out of metallic copper, using chemical techniques that sound downright dangerous to me. There’s a world of weird information out there if anyone’s interested in such wackery.

  190. #191 Denice Walter
    July 31, 2013

    Notice how Greg tries to make Dave and me ( and RI minions) the issue in order to distract readers away from looking at the way he behaves. Or perhap to blunt our words.

    What we do or say has nothing to do with HIS words or actions. Woo-meisters do this all the time: they usually narrate how evil, greedy, corrupt doctors are prior to presenting their altie nonsense.

  191. #192 Stu
    July 31, 2013

    If you want to benefit from our exchanges then you will need to follow through with my requests.

    Greg, you are dumber than a sack of hammers. Nothing above, say, your average sea sponge would benefit from an exchange with you. You are a petulant, ignorant douche.

    You are also not fooling anyone. I keep feeling a need to point this out because you are a moron and obviously are not realizing this on your own.

  192. #193 bad poet
    July 31, 2013

    Crystal children, applied kinesiology, subluxations, integrative medicine, succussions, enemas (especially those involving industrial bleach), and reiki are but a few things I can add to the anti-science based medicine buzzword bingo.

  193. #194 Khani
    July 31, 2013

    #130 Alain

    I don’t know what it’s like in Canada, but in the US, to get into a med school you are going to need extensive volunteering stints on your resume, as medically-related as possible. I don’t know how that’s weighted, but it was pretty important to at least one person I know who got into several schools.

    Also, in the medical program I am thinking of, it is not possible to work while you are in it. The rigor is extreme and you would be studying for several hours a night to keep up.

    How you’re going to manage your finances and do this is a good question; it’s another reason that medical school seems to be becoming more a thing of privilege than it used to be. Who can afford to not work for four years?

    Of course, all that’s the US, and the experience of only one close friend, so it is but one anecdote. :)

  194. #195 novalox
    July 31, 2013

    @Denice Walter, Stu

    At the risk of engaging the troll:

    I’ve actually pointed out greg’s post to a few of my friends at work and where I volunteer at a local hospital. Everyone who has seen his posts have said that the ignorance that greg posts reeks of stupidity, would put children at risk, and none of them would take him seriously. A doctor when I pointed out his/her/its posts to him, said that he didn’t think that greg actually had a psych degree.

    I also showed some of his posts to a former co-worker and current manager at the MR/DD facility where I used to work. (and yes, they have individuals in their 40s and 50s who have autism) She said that if someone at that workplace had posted the stuff that greg had posted, they would be disciplined or let go due to his malfeasance towards the MR/DD individuals as well as possible abuse towards MR/DD individuals.

    I would highly doubt that greg would act like he does posting here in real life, since he probably knows that his postings here could get him in trouble with his job in real life (that is assuming that greg actually has an actual job)

    Of course, greg could be the perfect example of the online disinhibition effect, or GIFT, if you want to colloquially know it by.

    (Google penny arcade GIFT)

  195. #196 Alain
    July 31, 2013

    Dear Greg :P

    Ms. Walters (I used ‘Ms’ because I sense you are divorced and probably multiple times) you are over-diagnosing, again, and should learn to think more simple.

    You haven’t exposed a counterpoint to her over-diagnosis. Do you have an example of her over diagnosis? I don’t see any over-diagnosis.

    I am starting to feel compelled to give up on you. You are like an onion. I try to peel at your layers and all I get are layers stacked upon layers — no core!

    Ahhh…..because she’s a master of presenting only what she want us to see which is, in my opinion, very beautiful and to the point….if you beg to differ, who care…

    Now about your behavior, I’m just observing while eating a very nice cheese & carrot cake made by my flatmate who is an excellent chef cook.

    Proud Minion of Denice Walter.

  196. #197 Denice Walter
    July 31, 2013

    Well, what do you know, I have a minion..and a Francophone one yet! Woo hoo.
    Alain is a minion’s minion.

    At any rate, a few things here:
    most people can judge others’ abilities to a certain extent- verbal ability is most readily available . Other things like depth of knowledge in particular areas is more difficult to assess because often the judge is NOT well versed enough. The most obvious example is medical information: the average person isn’t expert and needs to rely upon professionals for advice- however charlatans step into this gap and ape what THEY think sounds science-y to the in-experts, a step below themselves. In other words, the blind leading the blind. And they do so in tone-deaf fashion: medical folk can HEAR the rankling malapropisms and obvious errors.

    I often try to apply terms from developmental and cognitive psychology in situations like the above- I have an ulterior motive: interested lurkers can look these topics up and read more about them. I do this because they are not general knowledge and most people even don’t know that people study these things. There are hundreds of subjects like this that are relevant to daily life. A tennis instructor was surprised that people actually studied how serial physical actions become automatised ( automaticity).

    Unlike the woo-meister, who wants you to think that he ( and most of them are male) has very privileged, arcane information available to only the elect like himself, I want to make this stuff more accessible to a general audience- that’s why I put in the correct terms – or a researcher’s name- so that they are findable.

    And, there is no diagnosis- just observations about abilities by comparison.

  197. #198 Alain
    July 31, 2013

    You make an excellent PI (or is Domina) Denice :D

    Alain

  198. #199 Denice Walter
    July 31, 2013

    I am so totally NOT looking for it but- believe it or not, I have quite a few people whom I direct, advise, guide financially and otherwise – and I’m not talking about clients either- but cousins, friends, gentlemen- this has been the case for a long time.

    Fortunately, I do not take advantage of them because:
    “with great power comes great responsibility”
    ain’t it the truth?

  199. #200 Alain
    July 31, 2013

    “with great power comes great responsibility”
    ain’t it the truth?

    Yes it is.

    Alain

  200. #201 Old Rockin' Dave
    July 31, 2013

    @Bad Poet: “Succussion” is also a legitimate medical term that refers to a method of physical diagnosis that involves shaking the patient in an attempt to hear the motion of free fluid in a body cavity. It’s an obsolescent skill, so I guess the woomeisters pretty much have a free run on using it.

  201. #202 Old Rockin' Dave
    In the dark of graveyard chatter, in the light of freedom's call, in the heat of any matter...
    July 31, 2013

    Greg(or Samsa) says:
    “How can someone named Old Rockin Dave
    despise me?” What does my nom de ‘net have to do with what my opinion of you? Does it have some secret subtle connotation that I am not aware of? And you left off the apostrophe.
    “You comment is really quite hurtful.” It was meant to sting. You are a nuisance and an ignoramus.
    “Seriously, I am a nice guy.” If you are such a nice guy why do you continue to talk down to so many educated and sophisticated individuals in these comments? Why are you so snide? Nice guy, my ass.
    “I can’t tell you how much people in the course my day stop me and tell me so.” I assume you mean “how many people”. I suspect the reason you can’t tell me “how much people’ is that the number is considerably less than one, especially if you speak to them as you do to us. Equally, it might be that they really do tell you that in order to avoid either a teary meltdown or a temper tantrum on your part.
    No sale.

  202. #203 Greg
    July 31, 2013

    Ok VCADOD Group,

    Repeatedly you have suggested that I have been giving pharma’s vaccine-autism studies a bad shake. You accuse me of valuing the parents’ anecdotal stories over everything.

    Guys, I have been quite clear and consistent about what I think of such studies. They are incomplete — mainly focussing only on thimerosal and MMR. Again, they do not tell us if vaccines as administered in their totality as recommended by the CDC’s childhood immunization schedule cause autism. The Cochrane Reviews say as much.

    Anyway, as I mentioned even if these studies were worth the paper they are printed on, or the storage space they take up as a file on a computer (and I don’t think they do), there is still the issue of resolving their discrepancies with the parents’ stories. We need to be shown where the parents are mistaken in believing vaccines changed their children.

    I mentioned the ‘bad remembering’ argument that has been put forth is inadequate. The claim is that some parents missed the signs that their kids were indeed showing signs of autism even before MMR. Yet, this is not sufficient in itself because there is no saying that prior vaccines were not causing an impact and an additional round of MMR tipped things over the edge. And, the very fact that MMR aggravated things so severely is further evidence that vaccines, and specifically MMR are to be blamed.

    Challenging the ‘bad remember’ claim are also the clear documented cases where children were indeed developing normally only to swiftly and dramatically descend into autism after a round of vaccines. These cases include many that were conceded in vaccine court such as the Poling case. And, with video footages supporting these stories the ‘bad remembering’ argument is essentially left in tatters.

    Realizing how weak the ‘bad rembering’ claim is pro-vaxxers sometimes tacitly concede the stories but only to chalk things up to coincidence. Autism and vaccines are said to occur within the same timeframe just out of sheer coincidence. Yet, again, the coincidental argument has repeatedly been shown to be lacking.

    Dissecting the coincidental claim, we see how the claim can be made that two events are coincidental and not causal when a third or more plausible events can be proposed as a casual factor. Let’s, for example, imagine a squirrel running across a road and getting hit by a car (event 1), and subsequently dying (event 2). The two events occurred within the same time frame and it’s reasonable to say that the car striking the squirrel caused the animal’s death. But, what if someone were to propose that the squirrel in that instant before the car struck it suffered a heart attach (event 3) and died from the heart attach, and the car striking it was merely coincidental with its death? Is this a plausible explanation? Actually, it’s not. We have to deal with the sheer unlikely chance that of all the possible times that the squirrel would have had a heart attach, it would occur just at the instant that it was about to get struck by the car. In fact, no other plausible event exists to explain the squirrel death other than being struck by the car.

    With vaccines (event1) and autistic behaviours (event2), we are told that they are merely coincidental because the behaviours are results of autism (even 3), with autism being a genetic condition. Yet, this genetic condition is entirely speculated. No one knows what it is exactly, and what causes it. Genes are speculated to give rise to it, but no genes have been conclusively identified as causing autism, nor is there a proposed mechanism for how these genes bring on the autistic condition. Essentially then, there is no real event 3. It is mere guesswork and therein the coincidental argument spectacularly fails.

    In a last ditch attempt to bury the anecdotal stories, pro-vaxxers sometimes resort to the desperate tactic of arguing that anecdotal evidence in their nature are unreliable. The implication being that they should be dismissed outright on this ground. Yet, this is utter connivance in abdicating their duty of challenging precisely the parents’ stories and showing them to be wrong.

    Antaeus (watch-me-make-another-earth-shattering-speech-that’s-going-to-make-anti-vaxxwes-shake-in-their-boots-and-heck-it-will-be-so-good-that-it-may-singlehandedly-reduce-the-autism-rate) Felder, gave the example of past generations belief in witchcraft, which was meant to show how unreliable anecdotal evidence is. Yes, we would not expect to find any scientific evidence supporting witchcraft. It violates the laws of nature. Likewise, we would also be inclined to dismiss a person who claimed that his plump, middle-aged female neighbour, who lives alone in cottage and has many cats cursed a townsfolk and indeed at the stroke at midnight the curse came true – the person turned red, came down with a violent stroke, and died.

    Still, what if that person has video footage showing the ‘witch’ cursing her neighbour and also showing exactly at the stroke at midnight the ‘cursed’ person turning red and dying in an instant? Would this anecdotal evidence not get us to think real hard about a plausible explanation for this apparent ‘real’ case of witchcraft? Would we not endeavour to re-examine the evidence and show precisely where it’s faulty?

    As I mentioned before, the Average Joe has no say in the scientific process and has no insurance that he is not being duped. He needs his common sense measuring stick to determine if the science he is being asked to swallow is legit. Asking him to abandon his common sense and trust science, without even being showing where his common sense evidence is wrong is extremely disingenuous. Who can blame him if he does not comply?

  203. #204 Lawrence
    July 31, 2013

    Anyone else see the irony in Greg relying on CDC & NIH numbers for the prevalence of autism yet rejecting the science (from the CDC & NIH) showing no link between autism and vaccinations?

    He has yet to comment on this series of studies as well:

    http://www2.aap.org/immunization/families/faq/vaccinestudies.pdf

    Also, notice that once again this “person” makes claims, yet provides no evidence (because, if events happened as claimed, there should be well-documented evidence, right?) The Omnibus Hearings – http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/node/5026 put a stake through the heart of the “regression” evidence, as it was shown to be false and the supposed “experts” to be laughable.

    Again, this is a very interesting psychological study, but at this point, the old troll is just a rehash of blatantly absurdest trash postings designed to be nothing more than attention-gatherings “look at me, I’m provocative!” posts. Now it is just ho-hum, been there, done that…..

  204. #205 Chris,
    July 31, 2013

    Greg, you made the claim that the vaccine cause seizures, and therefore that is part of causing autism. Now you made that claim, so you must support that claim with real evidence. It has nothing to do with the MMR or thimerosal, but the effects of the vaccine themselves.

    So where is that PubMed indexed research by competent researchers that any vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule causes more seizures than the disease? You’ve had several months to come up with that evidence, why is it taking you so long?

  205. #206 AdamG
    August 1, 2013

    Genes are speculated to give rise to it, but no genes have been conclusively identified as causing autism, nor is there a proposed mechanism for how these genes bring on the autistic condition

    You’ve simply got no idea what you’re talking about. This is demonstrably false. Here’s a paper that does exactly that:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23727450

    There are many more examples of similar cases, but I won’t Gish Gallop you, because you probably won’t even bother to respond to this just like last time (remember the diabetes ‘article’ with no reported odds ratios?).

    Like others have said to you, just because you don’t read or understand the science doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

  206. #207 AdamG
    August 1, 2013

    For anyone genuinely interested in the current state of autism genetics, this recent paper does a great job reviewing the current state of the field, including large-scale association studies, family-based sequencing studies, and various in vitro/vivo functional studies:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23875794

  207. #208 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    August 1, 2013

    Greg:

    there is still the issue of resolving their discrepancies with the parents’ stories. We need to be shown where the parents are mistaken in believing vaccines changed their children.

    You are worse than Tony “no unvaccinated autistics” Bateson. You have been told about Michelle Cedillo and about how Jenny McCarthy’s story has changed multiple times, and given a link to a study that showed how post Wakefield, parents of several autistic children edited their memories to fit the vaccine autism causation hypothesis. You are either lazy, too stupid to understand, or not acting in good faith and I’m leaning towards the last option.

    Yet, this is not sufficient in itself because there is no saying that prior vaccines were not causing an impact and an additional round of MMR tipped things over the edge. And, the very fact that MMR aggravated things so severely is further evidence that vaccines, and specifically MMR are to be blamed.

    Goalpost shift (“other vaccines”) and assuming facts not in evidence. Where is your proof that the MMR triggered or worsened autism? You haven’t given us any good evidence that it does.

    These cases include many that were conceded in vaccine court such as the Poling case.

    Hannah Poling had a mitochondrial disorder that the Special Masters conceded may have been worsened by her vaccines. THAT was why she was compensated, not for autism. As for your claims of many cases conceded, post the rulings of these cases. The OAP Test Cases were all refused, with the Special Masters tearing into the Petitioners’ “experts”.

    Still, what if that person has video footage showing the ‘witch’ cursing her neighbour and also showing exactly at the stroke at midnight the ‘cursed’ person turning red and dying in an instant?

    One problem with your analogy: the videotape evidence so far refutes the vaccine-autism causation hypothesis.

    As I mentioned before, the Average Joe has no say in the scientific process and has no insurance that he is not being duped.

    You are wrong. In the scientific process, other scientists look closely at the original research. Errors in data gathering and hypotheses not matching the data get found and the research gets torn apart. That’s an excellent guard against duping.

    He needs his common sense measuring stick to determine if the science he is being asked to swallow is legit. Asking him to abandon his common sense and trust science, without even being showing where his common sense evidence is wrong is extremely disingenuous.

    The disingenuous one here is you, Greg. We have given you examples of how common sense has been wrong in previous threads, including how to deal with a brush fire and if mental illness is affected by the moon. “Common Sense” can be affected by prejudice, and is often a shorthand for “it stands to reason”. As we know, things that seem reasonable are often wrong.

  208. #209 lilady
    August 1, 2013

    I nailed The Troll months ago, when he posted his drivel here, right after he posted that same drivel on AoA. Every time The Troll was questioned about his statements and asked for a citation, he immediately went back to the mother ship, for assistance. Imagine that! He, of course got no assistance from the brain trust at AoA.

    The Troll claims to be educated and employed as a “developmental specialist”…which does require a college degree, at a minimum, but usually an advance degree in developmental psychology.

    The Troll, so obviously is not a college graduate…more likely a high school dropout…just like Thingy who posted on mothering dot com, that she worked as a registered nurse in a hospital.

    ARD @ 175, posted a history of psychiatric centers that were built on Long Island to warehouse in custodial care, those with chronic psychiatric problems and those with old age dementias prior to the development and licensing of the psychotropic, anti-psychotic, major and minor tranquilizers, Lithium and anti-depressant medications. Those three psychiatric facilities (Kings Park Psychiatric Hospital Central Islip Psychiatric Hospistal and Pilgrim State Hospital were filled to capacity…and beyond capacity, in spite of Pilgrim State Hospital being the largest psychiatric hospital in the world, which housed 13,000 patients.

    Those three State-operated Psychiatric Hospitals are now closed and the former “inmates” who survived their experiences are now living in communities with appropriate medications or in group homes.

    The Long Island Developmental Center for the mentally retarded/developmentally disabled population, is also closed now:

    http://www.asylumprojects.org/index.php?title=Long_Island_Developmental_Center

    As a result of a Federal Class Action Lawsuit and Consent Decree, those 3,000 plus former residents of the LIDC, are residing in community-based housing of various types (Independent, Supportive Living apartments, Group Homes and Intermediate Care Facilities for the most intellectually impaired/medically fragile.

    I’ve been in every one of those facilities, and fought to have them closed, so that the mentally disabled and developmentally disabled people could live out their lives with dignity…right at home, right in the community.

    Now we have The Troll and his pals at AoA, who put all their efforts into disrupting faith in our public health system, who waste their money on bogus *treatments/cures*, who actually donate money to keep Wakefield, Tommey and their clans in the lap of luxury in Texas…and who demand that we waste even more money for more studies about vaccines and the totally disproven link to the onset of autism.

    They b!tch and moan that private insurance won’t reimburse them for supplements, chelation and bleach enemies and have the expectation that day programs, vocational programs and appropriate residential spots will be there for their kids and adult children, once they age out of the protective environment of educational programs at age 21. It ain’t going to happen; there are tens of thousand of young adults who have been on waiting lists for years for all of those programs.

  209. #210 Delurked Lurker
    LOLing in orbit around a small unregarded yellow Sun
    August 1, 2013

    :) This just gets better

    It really has overestimated it’s abilities :)

  210. #211 Greg
    August 1, 2013

    Good Morning VCADOD Group!

    It’s another awesome day in our evolution as we exist in our cosmic world circling a giant fireball on a rock. And, what a specular advanced specimen we are! So intelligent — but with all this brain-trust why don’t we know better than not to poison our kids?

    Well VCADOD Group, I will only be with you one more day before I must depart again –my schedule is a little complicated in August. Let’s make the most of our day though.

    Looks like I did not receive much response to yesterday’s question of day of what the future holds for drugs for autism. Again, if we really want to learn from each other you will need to do a little better following through with my requests.

    Lots of talk though of how the ‘mentally retarded’ were indeed housed in institutions that are now closed. Still, would be interesting to review these cases and see how many of these institutions housing the ‘mentally retarded’ described those with classic autism — the head banging, the hand waving, the ritualistic bahaviour, and so on. Guys, nevertheless, I still don’t have my answer as to where are all the current day non-verbal, head banging, hand flapping, biting, screaming, and so on, autistics who are in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. With the institutions now closed surely they should be amongst us in droves. Anyway, here is to hoping for an answer.

    Well folks, I am sure we have wasted enough time, so let’s get on with our question of the day:

    With your frustrations dealing with anti-vaxxers do you sometimes find yourselves secretly wishing that vaccines did not cause autism so that you could do the definitive studies that would shut them up for good?

  211. #212 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    August 1, 2013

    Greg:

    Guys, nevertheless, I still don’t have my answer as to where are all the current day non-verbal, head banging, hand flapping, biting, screaming, and so on, autistics who are in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. With the institutions now closed surely they should be amongst us in droves.

    Right above you, lilady said in comment #209:

    State-operated Psychiatric Hospitals are now closed and the former “inmates” who survived their experiences are now living in communities with appropriate medications or in group homes.

    To quote the Joseph Ducreux meme, “Deceiver, deceiver, underwear aflame. Your proboscis is the length of a telephone cable.”

  212. #213 Greg
    August 1, 2013

    @Lilady

    I am still getting that warm, fuzzy feeling when you are talking about me and not really ‘ignoring’ me. You like me — you really, really like me! (hee hee hee).

  213. #214 sheepmilker
    August 1, 2013

    This just gets better

    It really has overestimated it’s abilities

    I dunno. I thinks its main function is to be all about Greg, all the time. It’s doing pretty well; since it reappeared, there have been 99 posts, Greg stars in 66 of them.

  214. #215 Gray Falcon
    August 1, 2013

    There is one place I can think of that would let Greg work around autistic people: The Judge Rotenburg Center.

  215. #216 Krebiozen
    Still curious to see if Greg can be educated
    August 1, 2013

    Greg,

    We need to be shown where the parents are mistaken in believing vaccines changed their children.

    A certain number of cases of regressive autism will occur within a few days of vaccination by pure chance. What we need to do is to see if there are more cases of regressive autism within a few days of vaccination than we would expect by chance.

    Average age of regression in children with autism is 18 months. Let’s say for the sake of argument it occurs between 12 and 24 months. There are 365 days between those two ages, and three well-child visits to the doctor, during which vaccinations will be given, are recommended during that period.

    What are the odds of regression occurring within, for example, 3 days after vaccination? With 3 different vaccination dates there are 9 days that would be 3 days or fewer after vaccination. If regression happened on a random day within the 12 month period, there would be a 9 in 365 or 1 in 41 chance of it happening within 3 days after vaccination.

    Assuming that 1 in 50 children are autistic, and that 41% regress, since there are approximately 4.3 million births in the US each year, we would expect 86,000 autistic children, of which 35,260 would have regressive autism, each year. Of these, we would expect approximately 1 in 41, that is 860 children to show regression within 3 days after vaccination (and 155 to experience regression within 1 day) by pure chance, each and every year.

    What do we find if we look at VAERS? Between 2003 and 2012 inclusive, there were 143 reports of children developing autism or an ASD within 3 days after vaccination, which is an average of 14.3 per year.

    Even assuming that only 10% of cases of regressive autism due to vaccines were reported to VAERS, this is still very much lower than you would expect from chance alone, in fact it is less than 2% of the numbers we would expect merely from chance. The numbers are almost 2 orders of magnitude off what you would expect if your hypothesis was correct.

    Wouldn’t we expect to see more reports of regression after vaccination than we would expect by pure chance, if vaccines were really to blame, not fewer?

  216. #217 Greg
    August 1, 2013

    @Julian

    “State-operated Psychiatric Hospitals are now closed and the former “inmates” who survived their experiences are now living in communities with appropriate medications or in group homes.”

    Head banging, non-verbal, hand flapping, screaming autistics in their 30s, 40s, 50s and all ‘living in communities with appropriate medications or in group homes’? Really Julian?

    Julian, I live in a very large city. During the course of my work, I routinely meet my autistic clients at the largest recreational and fitness institution for the disabled within my city (guys you may want to suspend your disbelief that I work with autistics and humour me here). Anyway Julian, now you would expect to find all the disabled at this institution, including the non-verbal, head banging, screaming autistics in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. Do you know what you find at this institution, Julian? The disabled individuals over 30 yrs of age are usually the ones that fit the traditional ‘mentally retarded’ label — some are physically disabled and many just appear ‘slow’ without displaying any of the typical ‘stimming’ autistic traits. And, Julian, for the others under 30 yrs of age, including a significant amount of kids who are under 18 yrs, you will find them at this institution sticking their hands in their ears, hand flapping, screaming, and displaying all the classic signs of autism.

    If you don’t believe me, Julian, I challenge you to search out such a fitness and recreation institution for the disabled in a large NA city, and see for yourself if what I described is untrue.

  217. #218 Krebiozen
    August 1, 2013

    Oops. There are two working links, one at the beginning, one at the end of the mess in the middle.

  218. #219 Julian Frost
    August 1, 2013

    Greg,
    I don’t follow your logic.

  219. #220 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 1, 2013

    Guys, I have been quite clear and consistent about what I think of such studies. They are incomplete — mainly focussing only on thimerosal and MMR. Again, they do not tell us if vaccines as administered in their totality as recommended by the CDC’s childhood immunization schedule cause autism. The Cochrane Reviews say as much.

    Except, as we’ve pointed out to Greg and others over and over, if vaccines caused anywhere near the ‘massive explosion’ of autism he and like-minded folk claim, it would have produced a very visible correlation in the epidemiological studies. I believe the last figure Greg cited (not from any source that had a clue, obviously) was 1 in 25. Epidemiological studies have successfully detected side-effects on the order of 1 in 100,000. If any component of any vaccine in the vaccine schedule was causing the effect the antivaxxers claim, there is no way it could be missed — no matter whether the component was thimerosal, something only contained in the MMR, polysorbate-80, heavy water accidentally used instead of regular water for mixing the vaccine, it doesn’t matter. If “vaccines as administered in their totality as recommended by the CDC’s childhood immunization schedule” caused autism, then we would see a different rate of autism between children vaccinated on that schedule and children not vaccinated on that schedule; we have looked for exactly that difference in rate, and it is not there.

    If you claim that an elephant walked through the soft mud in your garden, people are naturally going to ask where the footprints it left are. If you say “Well, there are no footprints, the mud isn’t disturbed at all, there are no big depressions such as a big heavy elephant moving through mud would have left, but it doesn’t change the fact that the elephant went through, and those creatures are terrible, because they leave footprints in 1 out of 25 gardens and so you have to do something about it!!!” people are going to conclude quickly that you have some sort of mental malfunction.

  220. #221 Krebiozen
    August 1, 2013

    Greg,
    Why do you assume that individuals with autism (which as you well know is developmental delay not stasis) do not either grow out of these behaviors, or find ways to control them as they get older?

    When I volunteered at a hospital for the ‘mentally handicapped’ in the late 70s and early 80s, there were lots of younger residents who exhibited the behaviors you describe, but I don’t remember older residents who did, apart from rocking when distressed or anxious, but I know neurotypical people who do that.

  221. #222 Krebiozen
    August 1, 2013

    Antaeus,
    Strangely I wrote something very similar to your elephant analogy earlier, about evidence for an elephant having been in my back yard last night, but decided against posting it. I think it’s a good way of explaining that often when a scientific study says, “there is no evidence to support X hypothesis”, it means “we have looked long and hard for evidence we would expect to see if X were true, and it isn’t there, so X is very probably not true”. I think sometimes science is too conservative for its own good, and people either misunderstand, or attempt to take advantage of perceived wriggle-room that isn’t really there.

  222. #223 Krebiozen
    August 1, 2013

    BTW, in my experience it is half-eaten buns that give the previous presence of elephants away.

  223. #224 Old Rockin' Dave
    In a fantasy world, where Greg actually gets it (Which "it" I'm not saying.).
    August 1, 2013

    Gregger, two things.
    One, let me tell you a story about the state of mental health diagnosis. My mother witnessed this when she was taking her MS in special education. In one of the institutions she was working at, there was a boy of about nine years who had come in at the age of three. He lived with the rest of the general population and behaved like them. He made inarticulate noises, ate with his hands, all the things you might expect. One of the staffers noticed something different about him. New testing was done, and he was found not to have ever been retarded as diagnosed. He was profoundly deaf. No one had ever checked for something as simple as that. Having had only the general population of the institution to model himself on, he acted just like them. I don’t know precisely what became of him but I know his family intended to get him more appropriate care.
    This leads into the second part. As you probably don’t know, autists, no matter how deeply autistic they are, aren’t completely cut off from the world. When my mom was working in these settings, she was part of a project trying something that had never been studied systematically in those settings: operant conditioning. In case you don’t know what that is, it’s the use of rewards to encourage desirable behavior in place of the undesirable. Short story: it works. That’s one reason why a lot of the stuff you are voyeuristically so hot to see is gone.
    See, Gregor Samsa, there is no substitute for actual knowledge.

  224. #225 Edith Prickly
    August 1, 2013

    ORD@224

    One of the staffers noticed something different about him. New testing was done, and he was found not to have ever been retarded as diagnosed. He was profoundly deaf. No one had ever checked for something as simple as that.

    The DD treatment centre I worked at did a study on their adult clients that included hearing tests and discovered that a significant percentage of them (sorry, can’t recall the exact number) had undiagnosed hearing loss. Had this been discovered and corrected when they were children, most of them would not have been labeled developmentally disabled. After that, hearing tests became a mandatory for all new clients. Science, ain’t it grand?

    Dreggles the cockroach would no doubt blame vaccines.

  225. #226 Greg
    August 1, 2013

    @Antaeus,

    Very well then, if the Epidemiological studies clearly do not show such a link, what’s then with all the hesitation to due the decisive studies which undoubtedly (insert sarcasm) will also not show a link, but will shut-up the anti-vaxxers for good?

  226. #227 Gray Falcon
    August 1, 2013

    Greg, sny hypothesis save for the null hypothesis is automatically assumed to be false. We don’t have to prove you wrong, you have to prove you’re right. Simple as that.

  227. #228 Bronze Dog
    August 1, 2013

    I was wondering why this thread was getting so many comments. Scrolled up to find Dreg trying to whitewash the historical treatment of the mentally ill with his willful ignorance. Denying the past and believing life used to be a perfect, cheerful black and white sitcom before X came around is convenient propaganda for so many kinds of deceitful people.

    I know I’ve had a privileged childhood, but I’ve seen some shows that depicted the horrors of insane asylums and other institutions of yesteryear. Knowing what I know, I’m pretty damn confident even those were probably sanitized for audiences. Movie and broadcast standards and practices aside, a lot of people probably weren’t ready to swallow the whole bitter pill.

    I don’t buy into paradise lost myths. The bad things people complain about in new generations are typically things that have always been around. It’s practically a null hypothesis. The major differences I usually see are:

    1) We’re better informed about the horrors of the world than we were in the allegedly golden days.

    2) Nostalgia tends to apply whitewash by way of childhood ignorance: Adults pay attention to things in the present that they were ignorant of or even shielded from when they were children in the past.

    3) We have a lot more people willing to openly talk about these issues. This one probably sticks in the craw of paradise lost believers the most, since many love hiding their favorite era’s dirty laundry behind “polite company” taboos. That’s part of how they erected the nostalgic facade in the first place.

  228. #229 Denice Walter
    August 1, 2013

    @ Bronze Dog:

    Just the other day, MIkey rhapsodied about the 1950s. Things were great; people were smart and healthy; ad nauseum.
    Take a look.

    Usually, the Golden Age glorified by woo-meisters existed shortly prior to 1900: no pollution, natural whole foods, no pharmatocracy…. Right

    Anyone ever see either the UK or US show, “1890s House”?
    Or read your ancestors’ musings or see newspapers?

  229. #230 Bronze Dog
    August 1, 2013

    To clarify on null hypotheses: We assume the null hypothesis (non-causation in this case) is true until the evidence falsifies the null hypothesis. The burden of proof is on the person arguing for causation.

    It’s kind of similar to the presumption of innocence in a court of law. In principle, the defense doesn’t have to prove innocence. The prosecution has to prove guilt. If the prosecution doesn’t make their case, the defense shouldn’t need to do anything, though it’s useful to point out the sloppiness of the evidence or logical fallacies for the sake of reasonable doubt.

    To cover one other thing: “Anecdotal evidence” is about as sloppy as you can get in science. Basing scientific claims of this magnitude on anecdotes requires ignoring everything we know about humanity’s cognitive biases.

  230. #231 Old Rockin' Dave
    In the present, tense.
    August 1, 2013

    Denice and Bronze Dog, you both are so right about life in the 50s and 60s. Though my age was in single digits, I remember the 50s very well. I remember the things we rebelled against in the 60s, and the things we learned then about the 50s. Anyone who thinks those were halcyon days is probably white and male, to begin with. An anecdote that captures a small part of the flavor of the times: At age 15 I applied for an after-school job at the public library. One of the forms I had to fill out was a notarized affidavit that I had never been a member of the Communist party or any other subversive organization at any time since a date twenty years before I was born. It was okay to be a member of the American Nazi Party or the KKK, but if you were much to the left of Goldwater or Nixon, you were suspect.

  231. #232 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 1, 2013

    Very well then, if the Epidemiological studies clearly do not show such a link, what’s then with all the hesitation to due the decisive studies which undoubtedly (insert sarcasm) will also not show a link, but will shut-up the anti-vaxxers for good?

    If Greg is talking about the prospective vax-vs.-unvax studies that anti-vaxxers have been clamoring for since forever, then it’s wrong to say there’s “hesitation”. “Hesitation” is when you at least might do something, but instead of going ahead and doing it, you delay. Prospective vax-vs.-unvax studies are not going to be done, period – and any anti-vaccine parent who understood what the study would really mean wouldn’t want the study done either.

    There are two kinds of studies, retrospective and prospective, and each one has different issues. The kind that produces stronger, more decisive data is prospective studies.

    What makes a study prospective instead of retrospective is that you take control of the variables. If you want to do a prospective study to answer the question “does a shattered rib cage disrupt a student’s ability to learn?”, for instance, then you’d get two groups of students, alike as you can get them, and you’d methodically make sure the rib cage of each student in one chosen group was shattered. Then you’d sit them down for a quick classroom lesson, with a pop quiz to follow to test how well each group had learned the material.

    If your reaction is “Wait, wait, what the f***, you can’t just go shatter people’s rib cages for a study like it’s no big deal!” then you should be commended, because you get it. You can’t just go doing any damn thing you please to people, and justify it by saying “Oh, it’s for science”.

    If the things you intend to do to people, to test what the effects are, have even a reasonable potential to bring harm to the subjects, that means there are big questions of right and wrong in play. Does the chance that an experiment will give us good, useful scientific data that will benefit everyone going forward, justify us doing something dangerous to these people, here, before us now? Sometimes the answer in a particular instance might be “yes” – if we really need that data; if we can’t get it any other way; if we keep a close eye on the trial so that we don’t continue exposing the subjects to unneeded risk once the answer is clear – then the moral course may indeed be to go ahead.

    But see, those circumstances in which a dangerous prospective study might possibly be justified are nothing like the circumstances in which the antivaxxers keep calling for a prospective vax-vs.-unvax study. “Do vaccines cause autism?” is not a question that we can’t answer any other way; it’s a question where we already got the answer, and antivaxxers want to go ahead with a study that endangers its participants purely because they don’t like that answer!

    And make no mistake, the prospective vax-vs.-unvax study that antivaxxers propose is one that endangers its subjects, no matter which result you believe it would come out with. If you’re reality-based, you realize that the group which gets deprived of their vaccinations in such a study would be left vulnerable to diseases that could maim and kill them. If you’re anti-vaccine, however, and you believe that the vaccines have a much higher chance than the diseases to inflict harm, you believe that a significant number of the children in the study are going to be subjected to exactly that risk of harm. Even those who believe with all their heart that a prospective vax-vs.-unvax study would, unlike all other studies on the matter, indicate a link between vaccines and autism, believe that doing the study will harm children – it is, in fact, no exaggeration to say that they are counting on it.

    And finally, in brutal honesty, that part about “will shut the anti-vaxxers up for good”? Nope. That wouldn’t happen no matter what the study showed. We’ve seen it before. “Autism is caused by thimerosal! There’s no question about it! We know for a fact what’s going to happen! When thimerosal is taken out of the vaccines, autism rates are going to plummet!” When thimerosal was taken out and rates didn’t plummet, it was bizarre special pleading – “well, sure, thimerosal may have been taken out of the vaccines, but, see, there’s mercury floating over the ocean from Chinese power plants, and coming from cremations of people who had dental amalgams, and that’s somehow happening to exactly compensate for the mercury that came out of the vaccines!” – and accusations of skulduggery – “sure, thimerosal-containing vaccines may be so hard to find now that we have to put out a special call to try and find anyone who still has some, but if we can find one vaccine that might be gotten by children, no matter how obscure it is, that means that thimerosal hasn’t really been taken out of vaccines after all!” – the one thing we didn’t get was “It looks like all our sureness about thimerosal being the cause of autism was wrong,” or any reasonable variant thereof.

  232. #233 Greg
    August 1, 2013

    @Bronze Dog

    Oh yes — the ‘burden of proof’ defense! Imagine that our brave, maverick scientiest would abandon their thirst for truth and now cower under such a defense like some sad felon desperate to save his a$$? Are these not the same ‘inquisitive minds’ that will so eagerly blast rockets into space on the mere suspicion that it harbours life? Yet, look how they now show no such zeal in investigating a product that is suspected of harming kids in epidemic numbers. Even a car manufacturer does not stoop to the ‘burden of proof’ defense (nor are they allowed to) when safety concerns fall on their veichles. They, instead, will exhaust all safety tests until the problem is solved. Pity that our ‘esteemed’ scientists do not treat our kids with similar respect and care.

  233. #234 Krebiozen
    August 1, 2013

    Yet, look how they now show no such zeal in investigating a product that is suspected of harming kids in epidemic numbers.

    That’s because the truth is that no sensible, educated people who have looked at the evidence with an open mind seriously suspect any such thing.

    Thimerosal was taken out of vaccines, and many studies looking at the alleged link between thimerosal or MMR and autism were carried out, wasting millions of dollars that could have been spent on something worthwhile, like supporting the families of severely autistic individuals you are so concerned about. Why would anyone want to throw good money after bad, especially when the vast majority of parents fully vaccinate their children.

    The scientific questions have been answered and there is already plenty of scientific evidence to win the PR war, such as it is.

  234. #235 AdamG
    August 1, 2013

    Even a car manufacturer does not stoop to the ‘burden of proof’ defense (nor are they allowed to) when safety concerns fall on their veichles.

    Yet again, another claim by Greg that’s demonstrably false:

    If NHTSA makes a final decision, can the manufacturer challenge that decision?
    Yes. Once the agency has made a final decision of a safety-related defect and ordered a manufacturer to recall, the manufacturer may challenge that order in a Federal District Court. The agency can also go to court to compel a manufacturer to comply with its order. Once a case is in court, the burden of proof lies with the agency. In other words, the agency’s evidence that a defect exists and that it is safety-related must be sufficient in the opinion of the court to outweigh evidence to the contrary presented by the manufacturer.

    Whoosh! Down the memory hole this’ll go too, like every other time people have proven you wrong.

  235. #236 Agashem
    Close to the North Dakota border
    August 1, 2013

    Greg, you still haven’t answered my question about masturbating in public. You also haven’t proven my theory wrong about mangoes causing my daughter’s autism. Stop bullspitting around and defend yourself, you ignorant slut.

  236. #237 Stu
    August 1, 2013

    I haven’t made it all the way through yet. I just had to respond to this first.

    I’ve actually pointed out greg’s post to a few of my friends at work and where I volunteer at a local hospital. Everyone who has seen his posts have said that the ignorance that greg posts reeks of stupidity, would put children at risk, and none of them would take him seriously. A doctor when I pointed out his/her/its posts to him, said that he didn’t think that greg actually had a psych degree.

    Who claimed that he had one? Did Greg himself claim that?

    I will put down $100, cash, of my own money, right now, to call bullshit on that. Only caveat: the degree has to be from an accredited institution. I’m not going to pay $100 to cover a bullpuckey $29.99 diploma mill “degree”.

  237. #238 Denice Walter
    August 1, 2013

    @ Stu:

    Actually I think he said that he “studied” psych- which can mean anything just like many call themselves “autism researchers”.
    On my planet, ‘study’ usually leads to degrees from accredited universties and ‘research’ should be published in credible journals.

  238. #239 Bronze Dog
    August 1, 2013

    @Dreg: Do you read what you type? Heck, did you read what I typed, or did you just produce a script based off of keywords like a madlibs spambot?

    Scientists do experiments precisely because they’re trying to prove their own hypotheses that contradict a null hypothesis. If you have an idea that conflicts with the consensus, you get out there and do the research and work so that you have something to say when skeptics ask the necessary, probing questions designed to poke holes in your human biases.

    Heck, part of being a scientist is humbly questioning yourself before you even write the grant requests. You think through your experimental design so that they know you won’t be wasting their money on a sloppy exercise that can’t give a clear answer. The scientific community is there to think of the critical questions you don’t, hence we have peer review to find holes and tell you how to plug them up with better protocols.

    They may have laughed at Galileo and the Wright Brothers, but they also laughed at Bozo the Clown. As skeptics, we’ve taken up the often thankless job to sort out the rare Galileos from the endless hordes of cookie-cutter Bozos who think they’re something new and unique. If we find a Galileo with verifiable orbital charts proving the accuracy of his solar system model over the consensus model, we get to eat delicious, delicious humble pie with a side order of exciting new questions to devise experiments around. The scientific consensus changes to include the new, proven hypothesis. Don’t let Hollywood tell you it’s done differently.

    There are evidential and logical hurdles to overcome to change our minds, and that’s what the burden of proof is. You don’t get to demand a free pass when you make a positive claim. Science isn’t easy, and we try to make sure claimants do the hard work to prove that they haven’t fallen into the same old traps so many gullible and arrogant people have fallen into before. Dreaming up new ideas is a good thing, but sooner or later, you have to do something to sort out the good, accurate ideas from the bad ones.

    Science works because the community is made to cultivate synergy between skepticism and imagination. The adversarial approach works infinitely better than the yes-man approach.

  239. #240 Greg
    August 1, 2013

    @Stu

    “I will put down $100, cash, of my own money, right now, to call bullshit on that. Only caveat: the degree has to be from an accredited institution. I’m not going to pay $100 to cover a bullpuckey $29.99 diploma mill “degree”.”

    Stu, how did we get off to such a bad start? You are angry — very angry! You must control it. It will do nasty things to you. And yes, save your $100 — it’s from an accredited university.

    Anyway, please understand my reservation in playing the intellectual elitism game. If you ask me what one thing that has gotten us into this autism mess, I would say it’s precisely that.

    Seriously, how many decades now have the ‘stupid’, ‘uneducated’ parents been telling the ‘smart’ doctors with advanced degrees that vaccines are destroying their children. Yet they just refuse to listen.

    But one would think that with all this brain-power surely we should have more answers to explain autism. Over a billion dollars spent on genetic research and we still have nothing. Nothing!

    Stu, sometimes ignorance has its benefits.

  240. #241 Greg
    August 1, 2013

    VCADOD Group,

    I just posted a comment and for some reason it’s in moderation. Maybe I am finally banned. Remember Orac whenever you do indeed ban me to publicly announce it.

  241. #242 Greg
    August 1, 2013

    Oh Geezz,

    I did not get banned after all. Let’s see then about re-posting my earlier post to Stu…..

    @Stu

    “I will put down $100, cash, of my own money, right now, to call bullshit on that. Only caveat: the degree has to be from an accredited institution. I’m not going to pay $100 to cover a bullpuckey $29.99 diploma mill “degree”.”

    Stu, how did we get off to such a bad start? You are angry — very angry! You must control it. It will do nasty things to you. And yes, save your $100 — it’s from an accredited university.

    Anyway, please understand my reservation in playing the intellectual elitism game. If you ask me what one thing that has gotten us into this autism mess, I would say it’s precisely that.

    Seriously, how many decades now have the ‘stupid’, ‘uneducated’ parents been telling the ‘smart’ doctors with advanced degrees that vaccines are destroying their children. Yet they just refuse to listen.

    But one would think that with all this brain-power surely we should have more answers to explain autism. Over a billion dollars spent on genetic research and we still have nothing. Nothing!

    Stu, sometimes ignorance has its benefits.

  242. #243 ChrisP
    August 1, 2013

    Greg, I think it is at least 4 months now that we have been asking you for data to support your claim that vaccines cause more seizures than the diseases they are used against. Are you going to provide this data? Or was the claim just another elaborate lie of yours?

  243. #244 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 1, 2013

    Greg’s latest comments on “burden of proof” invite (and reflect) significant amount of confusion. The root of the confusion is that there are actually two separate and distinct meanings of “burden of proof” – for each of two systems that are themselves separate and distinct.

    Comments about a “‘burden of proof’ defense”, and about whether car manufacturers are “allowed to” make observations about where the burden of proof lies, are clearly based on the “burden of proof” of the legal system. Who bears the legal burden of proof in a given situation, and how much of a burden, is of course highly dependent on which legal system we are talking about, and it can fluctuate deeply based on the decisions of legislative bodies, and judicial precedents. The most obviously relevant example is that when the United States government instituted what’s commonly called the ‘Vaccine Court’, they made the decision that petitioners alleging damage caused by vaccines would face less of a burden of proof in that court than they would face bringing the same allegations in a more standard court. They could do that because Vaccine Court, like every court in the land, like every law whose application those courts adjudicate, is a wholly human-created system, which can be tinkered with to fit human needs.

    But science is not really a human-created system at all. We don’t get to say “We want this kind of evidence to be strong evidence”, or “We want the answers to never be too tricky to get right”, because the universe doesn’t care what we want. We did not create the principles of scientific discovery, such as all the rules which determine where the burden of proof lies; they were already inherent in the system, and we simply discovered them. And they stay the same, whether they benefit “one side” or another “side”, whether they are pleasing to us or intensely frustrating at a given moment, because they are what they are: the best process yet discovered by humans for figuring out what is true about this world of ours and what isn’t.

    So far, this is the state of the evidence: there is no good evidence to indicate that vaccines cause autism, and substantial evidence to indicate that they do not.

    Is it a possibility that, despite the state of the evidence described immediately above, vaccines do cause autism after all?

    Yes, it is a possibility.

    But we cannot base our ideas on what is on “is it what I want to believe, and is it at least possible? Okay, then I’ll believe it.” That’s just asking to get fooled by your own biases.

    We do not have a reason to start believing that vaccines cause autism until someone can significantly change the state of the evidence: make the weight of evidence that indicates vaccines cause autism not just non-zero, but even stronger than the weight of the evidence that indicates they don’t cause autism. If you can’t produce the evidence that supports your idea, that’s very likely because your idea isn’t true, and trying to figure out what’s true is what science is all about.

  244. #245 Greg
    August 1, 2013

    VCADOD Group,

    Let’s have our day’s recap:

    It looks like you guys did not respond to the question of the day of whether sometimes you secretly wish that vaccines did not cause autism so that you could provide the definitive evidence that would shut the anti-vaxxers up for good. Anyway, continue to think about the question and respond at your choosing.

    Also, sheepmilker wrote this…

    “I dunno. I thinks its main function is to be all about Greg, all the time. It’s doing pretty well; since it reappeared, there have been 99 posts, Greg stars in 66 of them.”

    Sheepmilker, what possessed you to actually count all the posts directed at me? Really — such a strange thing to do.

    For some reason I was also thinking about Old Rockin’ Dave and Autism Mom. Some of you get peeved at me for obvious reason, but I have to ponder why others do.

    ORD and Autism Mom, I want to ask you guys a personal question but I won’t hold you to a response. I won’t hold you to a response because MOB accused me of being a bully and I definitely take issues with this characterization.

    Anyway, are you guys petrified that the house of denial the you’ve built to deal with your personal situations, and which provides you with comfort (and even if that comfort is a false one) will someday come spectacularly crashing down?

    Finally guys, for tomorrow’s program I won’t have our question of the day. I will re-posts all the previous questions before going off on another hiatus.

  245. #246 Orac
    August 1, 2013

    No, you won’t.

  246. #247 Old Rockin' Dave
    Apparently in Gregger's fantasy world...
    August 2, 2013

    Greg, little dung beetle, let me make clear why I despise you. Let me count the ways.
    1) You posit your questions, have them shot down by facts, and return over and over to the same ones with the “yes, but what about?” persistence of an OCD’er.
    2) You make statements as if they were facts and when challenged, cite no sources, or cite ones that are dubious, to say the least. Then you keep on posting the same ones.
    3) You make claims about posters here that are not factual, nor based on anything but your own desire to needle.
    4) Worst, to you, autists are counters, pawns, in your mind games; things you use to try to score points; hand-flapping feces-flingers; anything but real people, with real emotions, real needs, real suffering. You spout on about the causes of autism (and try to hammer home a point with a paper mallet), but you show no understanding of what autism is and is not. One thing I know it is not is Gregger’s hobbyhorse.
    Go find something productive to do with your time and don’t worry your silly childish mind over my situation. I am handling mine pretty well, and I am sure the rest of us here who have been been dealing with autism spectrum conditions either of our own or our loved ones can say the same, because we are dealing with reality and facts. You are not.

  247. #248 Old Rockin' Dave
    Back in reality.
    August 2, 2013

    @Bronze Dog: The old chestnut about how they laughed at Galileo is plain wrong. They (the Vatican) were terrified of him; they put him on trial, threatened him with torture, and placed him under house arrest. They didn’t laugh, and for one reason – he had the goods. He was right and they knew it, and he could replicate his findings and did so, time and again. Get that, Gregger the noisemaker? He delivered. Your “heroes” don’t.
    Wakefield? McCarthy? Doctor Whatsisname in the pirate outfit? They got nothin’ but their cult followers.

  248. #249 ChrisP
    August 2, 2013

    Greg, any chance of presenting the data to support your claim that vaccines cause more seizures than the diseases they are used against? Or are you going to just post more lies?

  249. #250 Greg
    August 2, 2013

    VCADOD Group,

    Perhaps then we should end our program now and don’t start fresh tomorrow. I will be off on another extended break. Please review all my questions of the day and perhaps when I return we may take them up. Goodbye for now.

  250. #251 Alain
    August 2, 2013

    You know, tonight, I was researching the diagnostic criteria of dementia praecox as described by Eugen Bleuler and found plenty of paper on its successor, childhood schizophrenia which is an interesting diagnostic in itself because of its similarity of an autism diagnose and on that subject, I’d recommend the case history of Polatin & Hoch, 1947:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20287650

    In which you can email me for a copy (alain.toussaint at securivm.ca). The age range of these schizophrenic are ranging from 14 years old to 38 years old and they don’t have the same prognosis as usual adult schizophrenic. As informed guess, I’d say that the subject mentioned in the papers are mostly asperger syndrome or HFA.

    Oh, btw, did you know why the DSM came into being? to help doctors fill out census data in 1910 which required diagnostic of patients but in that time, each hospital had its own diagnostic code.

    Alain

  251. #252 lilady
    August 2, 2013

    Alain, there is no one online except us chickens. I’m waiting for a pain pill to kick in…what’s your excuse?

    The DSM was first published in 1952, for the purpose of a psychiatrists to reach a consensus about mental disorders.

    The terminology “dementia praecox” has an interesting history; I believe it was used to describe early onset degenerative (and incurable) neurological disorders…which looking back at the primitiveness of medical diagnostics (no CT, no MRI scans, poorly diagnostic pneumoencephalograms), could have been caused by a variety of physical disorders, caused by viruses, bacteria, prions and genetic degenerative disorders.

    I recall reading some of my mother’s old medical texts from the 1930s where dementia praecox patients were “hopeless cases”…as opposed to waxing and waning disorders such as schizophrenia and dysthmias. Those old texts may be available to you in large medical school libraries…perhaps in their entirety in volumes in storage or on microfilms.

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

    I’m saying goodnight now, Alain.

  252. #253 Delurked Lurker
    In a Universe where time is an illusion....Lunchtime doubly so
    August 2, 2013

    The Troll is becoming boring and has shown his true colors.

    Time for it to be exterminated ;)

  253. #254 Krebiozen
    August 2, 2013

    Greg,

    Why do you persist, in the face of all reason, in this charade? When you first posted here I thought you were well-meaning but misled, but we have shown you good evidence that contradicts your claims, and you have presented literally nothing but the same unsupported claims, with no arguments against the evidence we have shown you, and anecdotes (no evidence, I notice) of “countless” parents who have witnessed their children regress into autism after vaccination.

    Not only that, but you seem to enjoy playing a weird game of pretending that we are all so dumb that we secretly disbelieve the powerfully persuasive evidence we have shown you. Why would we do that?

    What opinion would you form of someone who behaved in the way you have?

    Anyway, I wanted to address the “countless” parents you repeatedly mention. Let’s see if we can estimate how many there might be, using VAERS, the go to data source for antivaxxers of all persuasions.

    Between 2003 and 2012 inclusive, for all ages, all vaccines, all dates, all nationalities, 989 cases of autism or ASD associated with vaccination were reported to VAERS, fewer than 100 each year.

    As I pointed out above, we would expect 86,000 autistic children to be born each year (in the US alone, though I included VAERS reports from all countries), of which 35,260 would have regressive autism. Yet despite the greatest efforts of the antivaccine movement to encourage people to report their children’s autism as a vaccine reaction*, fewer than 0.3% report this “obvious” vaccine reaction to VAERS.

    Even if we accept the claim that “only 10% of adverse reactions are reported”, that still means that 97% of parents of autistic children are not sufficiently convinced that their child’s autism was caused by vaccination to report it as such.

    * There are 409 links to the VAERS database, mostly with instructions on how to report a vaccine reaction on the SaneVax website, and 463 links to VAERS on the Age of Autism website.

  254. #255 janerella
    Cookieland
    August 2, 2013

    Leaky gut syndrome is a big catchcry in the equine world too. Oh, right, diarrhoea. And apparently apple cider vinegar is the equine elixir of health, along with equine Bowen practitioners, and my favourite, the animal shamans. I regularly kill threads on horse forums with the help of Google Scholar.

    And don’t get me started on the anti-Hendra vaxxers. People reading of anedotes of vague symptoms in someone their friend’s brother’s sister knows….aaargh. The latest was the reports of masses of deformed foals being born – FFS, the vaccine hasn’t been around as long as an average mare’s gestation period.

  255. #256 Krebiozen
    August 2, 2013

    That should really read, “97% of parents of children with regressive autism are not sufficiently convinced that their child’s autism was caused by vaccination to report it as such.”

    If you include all autism and ASD the percentage is almost 99% (again assuming that only 10% report to VAERS).

  256. #257 lilady
    August 2, 2013

    @ Krebiozen: Who first made that statement that only “10 % of adverse events are reported”? That may have been the case, years ago…but I’m finding that difficult to believe. We now have all those crank anti-vaccine blogs/websites that reach out to parents and urge them to report events that took place far removed in time from a vaccination…and still those report of autism onset, ADHD, allergies that supposedly appeared after a vaccine.

    Ruben, recently reported on his blog a self-styled “expert”/parent who is self-educated in vaccines (and diabetes), who adamantly claims his child’s Type I diabetes, was caused by a vaccine….three years after the child received the vaccine.

  257. #258 Krebiozen
    August 2, 2013

    lilady,

    Who first made that statement that only “10 % of adverse events are reported”? That may have been the case, years ago…but I’m finding that difficult to believe.

    I don’t know where that figure came from, but I seriously doubt it too, especially with serious adverse events. My point was that even if we accept that figure, the number of reports of autism after vaccination on VAERS is far, far smaller than the “countless” numbers Greg and his cronies endlessly repeat.

  258. #259 Alain
    August 2, 2013

    Alain, there is no one online except us chickens. I’m waiting for a pain pill to kick in…what’s your excuse?

    I did not go to sleep until I finished my research about dementia praecox and childhood schizophrenia. I even went ahead and bought (on amazon) the DSM-I.

    Alain

  259. #260 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    August 2, 2013

    Who first made that statement that only “10 % of adverse events are reported”?

    It emanated from the FDA: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Safety/MedWatch/UCM168505.pdf
    See “Underreporting”. It is of course routinely abused by anti-vaxxers and they always leave off the fact that autism-chasing attorneys have padded VAERS.

  260. #261 Shay
    August 2, 2013

    Oh, janerella — I have a friend with a cranky mare (I think it’s PMS but what do I know). She’s started her on acupuncture, at her veterinarian’s recommendation.

    GAAAH!!!!

  261. #262 Shay
    August 2, 2013

    Perhaps then we should end our program now and don’t start fresh tomorrow.

    Resident troll is suffering from Brave Sir Robin syndrome, I see.

  262. #263 zet150
    August 2, 2013

    Huge, the pseudoskeptiks and the scientism (No science).
    Hahaha, James Randi the fraud magician:

    http://www.homeopathic.com/Articles/Media_reports/The_Protocol_Used_by_the_BBCs_Horizon_Progra.html

    Let us, Randi is a Quackpetic idol.

  263. #264 Stu
    August 2, 2013

    In case some of our younger ‘uns don’t catch Shay’s reference (and if you don’t, shame on your parents):

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

  264. #265 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 2, 2013

    Based on Orac’s comment 246, I suspect that Greg may have been persuaded not to re-post all his questions of the day by direct means.

  265. #266 Old Rockin' Dave
    August 2, 2013

    @janerella: That’s all well and good, but how many horses have become autistic from vaccination?
    Please tell before Gregger comes up with a fact-free “statistic”.

  266. #267 Alain
    August 2, 2013

    @ Everyone here,

    I think, by Orac’s comment, that it is safe to assume that Gregger has received the ban hammer.

    Alain

  267. #268 Khani
    August 2, 2013

    Good. He keeps dragging threads totally off-topic, and I for one am sick of it. It’s not like there aren’t plenty of threads on which he could post that would have been on topic, but instead he decided to clog the entire site with his contemptuous ableist crap.

  268. #269 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 3, 2013

    Alain, I don’t think Greg got banned. It’s not that Greg doesn’t deserve it, it’s that Orac tends to hold off on banning people until they’ve gone way beyond what responsible adults trying to have intelligent civilized discussion can tolerate.

    I know, I know, the obvious question is “how can Greg not already be there, especially as he’s almost certainly trying for exactly that?”

    But if Greg didn’t get banned for his disgusting comments of about a month ago, comparing autistic people who come to their own conclusions about what causes autism instead of falling in line with his ideas to Jews who collaborated with the Nazis, I doubt that merely saying he’s going to repeat all the stupid questions he’s asked before which meaninglessly hinge upon our belief in something we don’t believe would bring down the ban hammer.

    Plus, Orac does not fool around with bans. If Orac’s “No you won’t” comment was his way of announcing the ban, Greg wouldn’t have been able to post after that.

    Greg, if you’re reading this, and I know you are, take a lesson from this: real adults try to figure out what is true. Only the immature waste all their time trying to live in a fantasy world of “I wish this was true.” You contribute absolutely nothing to the conversation here, and won’t be missed when you’re gone, but the fact that it would be nice if you were banned doesn’t mean we can conclude that it’s so.

    If only you had the brains to turn your own questions around on yourself, and ask yourself, how will you feel when even you realize that vaccines don’t cause or contribute to autism and all the time and effort you put into being an asshole to those who wouldn’t “admit” the “truth” was actually just your deranged stalking of innocent people who knew the truth before you did?

  269. #270 Orac
    August 3, 2013

    No, Greggy hasn’t been banned. I was merely warning him that he could get put double secret probation (i.e., automatic moderation of all of his posts) if he carried through and started reposting stuff he’s already posted. Just getting that nonsense once from him gets old in a hurry. He’s been skating on the edge for a very long time; so I have little patience with him.

  270. #271 Liz Ditz
    August 3, 2013

    For nonUSians, and those too young to have reveled in the divine Animal House, here’s a clip

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0cF2piwjYQ

    Backstory:

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/National_Lampoon's_Animal_House

  271. #272 lilady
    August 3, 2013

    @ Alain & Khani: The Troll has not been banned (Orac’s blog, Orac’s rules).

    Stop feeding the attention-craving, ignorant Troll. Just talk around him, as we have done with other Trolls.

  272. #273 Old Rockin' Dave
    Off on a comet...
    August 3, 2013

    I was just joking when I asked about autism in vaccinated horses, but on reflection, there might be a serious question hiding in there.
    Horses, dogs, and cattle are all very social animals, that relate to their own kind and to humans in fairly predictable ways. Domesticated individuals of those species are usually vaccinated very young, and many are raised under controlled and monitored conditions. So, is there any evidence that vaccines affect their ability to socialize with humans or their own species in ways analogous to autism? It could be an interesting study, and it would probably not be unethical to have the unvaccinated controls the antivaxers want, provided they could be kept safe from the relevant infections.
    Done well and replicated, it might make a useful contribution to the issue.

  273. #274 Denice Walter
    August 3, 2013

    @ ORD:

    Dave, it’s interesting because pets are often selected for their ‘friendliness’ ( communication skills) to humans: you may pick out a cat or dog because it reacted to you, seemed to like you, looked at you imploringly as if to say, “Choose me!”: I know I have.

    Now wouldn’t it be revealing if pet owners reported anecdotally that the “light went out or his eyes” or ” she regressed and stopped responding to her name” after receiving vaccinations? So far I haven’t ever heard this.

  274. #275 Old Rockin' Dave
    Down at the Sunset Grill...
    August 3, 2013

    @Denice:
    Besides selection for friendliness or tractability, dogs and horses have thousands of years of selective breeding for those traits and others. I think if there was anything to the idea then vets, breeders, trainers, handlers, etc., would be weighing in to the discussion. Maybe it’s time to ask them.
    I also wonder if the Gregger will now be asking where all the paw-flapping, headbanging dogs went.

  275. #276 LW
    August 3, 2013

    @Denice Walter:

    Now wouldn’t it be revealing if pet owners reported anecdotally that the “light went out or his eyes” or ” she regressed and stopped responding to her name” after receiving vaccinations? So far I haven’t ever heard this.

    But now that you’ve put the idea in their heads…

  276. #277 Julian Frost
    August 3, 2013

    Comments of mine in moderation.

  277. #278 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    August 3, 2013

    Oh Denice, it’s been done already: http://www.merseysideskeptics.org.uk/2010/03/dogs-and-autism-human-sanity-concerns-over-canine-health-concern/

    Yup, regressive, vaccine-induced autism in dogs.

  278. #279 Joseph Hertzlinger
    August 3, 2013

    While we’re at it… I have a question: What the do New Age loons mean by “energy”? Do they think it’s the same thing as subjectivity? Do they think it means “We can believe whatever we want?” Can their version of energy be measured in kilowatt hours?

  279. #280 Shay
    August 3, 2013

    According the sister of mine who is a charge nurse with the VA system, exercise, diet, massage therapy, etc, all fall under the heading of CAM because they are non-intrusive.

    In the interests of peace I had to bite my tongue.

  280. #281 Shay
    who needs her chrystals looked at, or something
    August 3, 2013

    M. Hertzlinger, it’s like chakra. If you have to ask, you can’t possibly understand.

  281. #282 Krebiozen
    August 4, 2013

    Joseph Hertzlinger,

    What the do New Age loons mean by “energy”?

    It’s a reification of subjective somatic sensations and/or affect.

    Few of them agree on what it actually means. Some talk of positive and negative energy that they clearly believe can be passed from one person to another, sometimes across large distances, to heal for example, or that can linger in a place. Others talk of resonance in connection with healing, the idea being that a healer with higher vibrations can increase the lowered vibrations of a sick person through physical proximity, “raising their vibrations” and thus healing them.

    There are some attempts to be more specific; orgone, for example, which (allegedly) has measurable physical effects, and which has different forms, such as DOR (deadly orgone radiation).

    I have also seen biophotons, infrasound, ultrasound and infrared posited as physical explanations for these subjective effects; I’m pretty certain this is all tooth fairy science.

  282. #283 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 4, 2013

    to zet150: just because the notorious Dana Ullman can blather doesn’t mean his blather is correct.

  283. #284 Denice Walter
    August 4, 2013

    @ Joseph Hertzlinger:

    While I agree with Kreb about the somatic aspects, we also have to consider how it is linked to more psychological experiences like “will” and “intention”.Although alt med presents a gobblydegook of writings upon the subject, it seems as though energy can often be controlled by the correct actions or thoughts. e.g. ” Direct your energy on…”

    There’s an essay on “Psychic Energy” by Jung which relates primitive humans’ experiences of “power” like ruach, mana, prana or chi to what those of his generation called “libido” or life energy.

    So perhaps it’s the sum total of what people experience from sensations of physical power ( muscular strength) to vague spiritual feelings that they call their own.

    LIke the early humans, they may also link that energy to other worldy/ transpersonal sources – a deity or the universe itself- which can be ‘tapped into’ as an ever-present reservoir there for the asking.

    Thus whenever a woo-meister runs out of convenient physiological concepts to bend to his or her will, “spirit” or ‘soul” can always be inserted to cover the gaps.

    Truthfully, I have a great more but am rather exhausted and I have errands to do. Let’s just say that woo-meisters link this to personal actions and intent.

  284. #285 Militant Agnostic
    Orbiting the Sun
    August 4, 2013

    @ORD

    The old chestnut about how they laughed at Galileo is plain wrong.

    I prefer to think of Greg as the Robert Goddard of douche rockets.

  285. #286 Bronze Dog
    August 4, 2013

    To some extent, I think energy is favored because it’s sciencey-sounding while being vague and/or abstract in its other uses. Soft science fiction also loves to invent special kinds of energy with whatever plot-relevant properties they want, which probably feeds the woo meme. There’s also a thing woos seem to like in those tropes since they’ll often talk about energy being Off the Scales and/or Invisible to Normals. In real life, energy is quite measurable, with physicists and engineers essentially being energy accountants who can calculate where all the joules are going.

    Thinking about it, it’s like the earlier points where woo appropriated electricity, atomic power, quantum mechanics, and such for the language. We had some big leaps in how we produce and use energy in the 20th century, so there’s an implied trend that we’ll continue learning new energy tricks beyond improved efficiency and collection.

    We’re still doing weird physics experiments, so we’ll continue to produce buzzwords for woos as we expand the frontiers of our detection ability. They hide their stuff with the frontier language because 1) we know a lot about the older stuff and can empirically call BS on them by measuring their energy, 2) it makes them sound like they’re pushing the cutting edge, even though they’re riding the coattails of real scientists, and 3) it makes it sound like they’re right on the edge of a scientific revolution, rather than looking like stodgy old mystics refusing to accept that they’ve failed and that science has marched on.

  286. #287 Denice Walter
    August 4, 2013

    @ Bronze Dog:

    Wait until alties start using the concept of ‘strings’ to explain their woo.

  287. #288 zet150
    August 4, 2013

    Antaeus Feldspar:

    Nope, Ms. Ennis gave me confirmation of the BBC Horizon fraude.

    P.D. Firm the change petition:

    https://www.change.org/es-LA/peticiones/cient%C3%ADficos-ingenieros-m%C3%A9dicos-p%C3%BAblico-en-general-que-se-acuse-a-james-randi-por-fraude-cient%C3%ADfico

  288. #289 zet150
    August 4, 2013

    Correction:

    @ Antaeus Feldspar:

    Nope, Ms. Ennis gave me confirmation of the BBC Horizon fraud. Mr. Bland recognizes that it is a replication, but Ennis nope.

    P.D. Firm the change petition:

    https://www.change.org/es-LA/peticiones/cient%C3%ADficos-ingenieros-m%C3%A9dicos-p%C3%BAblico-en-general-que-se-acuse-a-james-randi-por-fraude-cient%C3%ADfico

  289. #290 Bronze Dog
    August 4, 2013

    @ Bronze Dog:

    Wait until alties start using the concept of ‘strings’ to explain their woo.

    You mean they haven’t? ;)

    I don’t know any examples, but there’s probably some by now.

  290. #291 Narad
    August 5, 2013

    I prefer to think of Greg as the Robert Goddard of douche rockets

    “You’d be walking on the street, in bed just dozing off suddenly here comes this farting sound over the rooftops….”

  291. #292 Narad
    August 5, 2013

    I don’t know any examples, but there’s probably some by now.

    By now“?

  292. #293 herr doktor bimler
    August 5, 2013

    You’d be walking on the street, in bed just dozing off

    A squeaking comes across the sky…

  293. #294 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 5, 2013

    Nope, Ms. Ennis gave me confirmation of the BBC Horizon fraud. Mr. Bland recognizes that it is a replication, but Ennis nope.

    *rolls eyes* Oh, well, that setlles it. I mean, if the person who made the original allegation isn’t a reliable independent source for confirming that the allegation is more than just the whine of a self-deluded woo-ster who lost a challenge and doesn’t want to face reality, who is, amirite?

  294. #295 JGC
    Tis years award for completely missing the forest for the trees goes to...
    August 5, 2013

    May we have the envelope, please?

    Again, they do not tell us if vaccines as administered in their totality as recommended by the CDC’s childhood immunization schedule cause autism.

    But that isn’t the relevant question, is it?

    The relevant question isn’t “What evidence proves routine childhood immunization does not cause autism” but instead “Does any evidence suggest routine childhood immunization does cause autism?”

    And Greg has already conceded he’s unaware of any evidence supporting such a causal link.

  295. #296 Denice Walter
    August 5, 2013

    @ Narad:

    OMFG! She mentions strings- HOWEVER I am truly disappointed that she didn’t proceed into great rigamarole in search of analogies concerning vibrating strings, violins, symphonic harmonies et al..

  296. #297 zet150
    August 6, 2013

    OMFG! James Randi is a huge fraud!

    The “ghost” of Marcello Truzzi and Jacques Benveniste chase a “Comitte for Skeptikal Investigation”.

  297. #298 Narad
    August 6, 2013

    Huge, the pseudoskeptiks and the scientism (No science).

    I’ve got 50 quatloos on Benneth.

  298. #299 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 6, 2013

    zet is going away! zet is going away and annoying someone else!

    (well, zet seems to think that if you repeat something you wish was true enough times, it becomes true. I’m just testing the principle…)

  299. #300 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 6, 2013

    I wanted to flesh out a comment I made a few days ago, on the burden of proof and how it relates to anti-vaccine claims; I hope that someone finds it helpful and no one who already knows this stuff minds me covering it again.

    The scientific burden of proof consists mostly of just two rules:

    1) When evidence has been collected, and it’s pointing towards one conclusion, that conclusion becomes our default, and anyone who thinks we should be drawing a different conclusion bears the burden of proof.

    The reason for this is pretty obvious; I don’t need to belabor this point. Complaining because that’s how science works is like whining about the fact that you can only become the holder of a world record by out-doing the previous record; what other way of doing things would make any sense??

    2) When the evidence collected is insufficient or ambiguous, the conclusion we take as default is the one that represents us making the least claims to knowledge. This conclusion is also known as the “null hypothesis”. Anyone who thinks we should be drawing a different conclusion from that default, again, is the party that bears the burden of proof.

    An illustration of how this works, which also emphasizes the fact that everybody who does science operates under this standard:

    Right now, the evidence points to autism having a strong genetic factor. If someone comes along and says “I don’t think that should be our conclusion; I think our conclusion should be that there isn’t a strong genetic factor to autism”, the burden of proof is on them to provide evidence for the no-genetics conclusion, enough to outweigh all the evidence for the yes-genetics conclusion. That’s rule 1 in operation.

    But suppose a researcher pops his head up and says, “Hey, we think we know which gene it is that causes all these cases of autism, it’s the gene A5B51, which no one’s really paid attention to before now.” So which conclusion becomes our default: that A5B51 is a key gene in autism, or it isn’t? Just knowing that there’s a strong genetic factor doesn’t tell us whether A5B51 is a key gene; it only gives the idea some prior plausibility.

    That’s where rule 2 comes in. If you say “A5B51 is a key gene in autism,” you’re claiming to know much more than if you say “A5B51 doesn’t have any real connection to autism.” That makes the latter statement – “A5B51 doesn’t have any real connection to autism” – the null hypothesis, the default. If our researcher wants us to instead accept the conclusion that A5B51 is a key gene, he is going to have to provide the evidence which convinces us that conclusion is better supported than the null hypothesis. That’s rule 2 in operation.

    There are more complications to “burden of proof” than just those two rules, but they form the majority of the system. So let’s look at some typical antivaccine claims and see how they relate to rules 1 and 2.

    The first is the “vaccine-caused autism epidemic” claim. Well, as already explained, the epidemiological studies that would detect a large number of children who developed autism because they got vaccinated, do not. Epidemics are what epidemiological studies detect. The conclusion “there is no vaccine-caused autism epidemic” is far better supported by the evidence, and by rule 1, stands as our default conclusion.

    Some antivaccine activists understand the importance of the epidemiological data (some don’t) and those that do have proposed a second idea that seems, to them, to get around that inconvenient data. “Okay, so the epidemiology shows that in the vast majority of children that get vaccinated and develop autism, the autism isn’t caused by the vaccination. But suppose there’s at least some cases where it is?? Suppose there’s an extremely rare genetic pre-condition, so rare that epidemiology studies can’t detect it, which, when a child with that pre-condition gets vaccinated, the vaccines act as a trigger, and so in that child, vaccines do cause autism!”

    In our previous example, of the researcher hypothesizing a key role for A5B51, we arrived at a situation where there was a lack of evidence for or against because no one had studied that specific gene before. Here, we arrive at a similar situation because it’s specified that this hypothesized genetic pre-condition is rare enough that previous studies could have missed it.*

    But in both cases, a lack of sufficient specific evidence for or against means that rule 2 rather than rule 1 applies. Rule 2 says that our default conclusion is the one that represents the least claim to knowledge. Claiming “there is a genetic pre-condition which can lead to autism, and furthermore the specific trigger which determines whether it does or doesn’t cause autism is vaccination, in some form” is definitely a larger claim to knowledge than “whatever genetic factors are involved in autism are not triggered by vaccines.” The latter stands as our default conclusion unless and until those who want the “vaccines-trigger-a-genetic-precondition” hypothesis to be true can produce actual evidence to establish that conclusion.

    * In accordance with the principle of charity, we’re going to ignore the all-too-numerous putzes who then go on to say “And there’s clearly an epidemic of autism, caused by vaccines triggering this pre-condition so rare that it’s avoided the very studies that detect epidemics!”

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