fetaldnavaccine

There are some myths, bits of misinformation, or lies about medicine that I like to refer to zombie quackery. The reasons are obvious. Like at the end of a horror movie, just when you think the myth is finally dead, its rotting hand rises out of the dirt to grab your leg and drag you down to be consumed. Of course, the big difference between zombies and these bits of zombie quackery is that in most stories a single shot to the brain will kill the zombie. The same is not true of zombie quackery. You can empty clip after clip of reason, science, and logic into the “head” of the zombie quackery at point blank range, and the best you’ll do is to drive it away for a while, only tor rise up again when you least expect it.

Of course, antivaccine pseudoscience, in my experience, is one area of quackery that is rich, if not the richest, in zombie quackery and zombie memes. The same old lies keep popping up again and again and again, like Whac-A-Mole. Sure, they’ll sometimes go away for a while (or appear to go away for a while), but sooner or later the exact same misinformation, occasionally with minor alterations. Think the claim that the CDC conspired at Simpsonwood to “hide” that thimerosal in vaccines causes autism, a myth first popularized by antivaccine icon Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. back in 2005 whose rotting corpse recently been resurrected to shamble about like so many extras on The Walking Dead. One of the advantages of having been at this blogging thing for nearly a decade is that I’ve come to recognized many of these zombie memes immediately on sight. Where other people think they’re new, I recognize them as something old, often something I’ve written about before at least once, if not many times. The disadvantage, on the other hand, is a tendency to become jaded or bored with refuting the same nonsense over and over again. Sometimes I marvel that in December it will have been a decade since I started blogging and sixteen years since I started refuting online nonsense.

The latest zombie meme struggling to make a comeback is a particularly brain dead one, even by antivaccine zombie meme standards. It comes in the form of a press release on ChristianNewsWire for a new “study” (and I do use the term loosely, even though apparently it was published in a peer-reviewed journal) entitled New Study in Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology Correlates Autism Disorder Increase and Human Fetal DNA, Retroviral Agents in Vaccines. The first thing that you should notice about this press release is that it is on ChristianNewWire, whose news sources consist mainly of—you guessed it!—fundamentalist Christian and conservative Catholic organizations, with very few legitimate scientific organizations.

The next thing you should notice is who put out this press release: Katie Doan of the Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute. A quick click rapidly reveals that the SCPI believes vaccines cause autism and that it’s somehow related to “fetal DNA” in vaccines, complete with a list of “aborted fetal product”- This, you might recall, is part of another antivaccine zombie meme, namely the claim that vaccines are made using “aborted fetal tissue.” This comes from the simple fact that a human cell line originally derived from an aborted fetus decades ago is used to grow the viral stocks used to make some vaccines. This is such a non-issue that even the Catholic Church says it’s acceptable to use these vaccines because “the risk to public health, if one chooses not to vaccinate, outweighs the legitimate concern about the origins of the vaccine” and because parents “have a moral obligation to protect the life and health of their children and those around them.” That doesn’t stop radical antiabortionists from trying to represent cells hundreds of cell divisions removed from the original fetus from which they were derived as somehow being “fetal tissue” or “fetal parts,” rather than what they are: A cell line.

A second part of this antivaccine zombie meme is that it is in actuality DNA from these “fetal cells” that somehow gets into human neurons, recombines with the DNA there, producing foreign proteins that show up on the surface of the neurons and provoke an immune response, thus damaging the neurons. I’ve already explained in my usual painful detail how utterly ignorant of biology and homologous recombination one has to be to accept this hypothesis as anything other than incredibly implausible at best, with no evidence to support it, to boot.

So what are the hypothesis and conclusion of this “study” being touted? Let’s take a look at the press release and then go to the study itself:

A new study published in the September 2014 volume of the Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology reveals a significant correlation between autism disorder (AD) and MMR, Varicella (chickenpox) and Hepatitis-A vaccines.

Using statistical analysis and data from the US Government, UK, Denmark and Western Australia, scientists at Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute (SCPI) found that increases in autistic disorder correspond with the introduction of vaccines using human fetal cell lines and retroviral contaminants.

Even more alarming, Dr Theresa Deisher, lead scientist and SCPI founder noted that, “Not only are the human fetal contaminated vaccines associated with autistic disorder throughout the world, but also with epidemic childhood leukemia and lymphomas.”

Theresa Deisher? Where have I heard that name before? Oh, right. Here. She’s the founder of SCPI and has been laying down the serious stupid about “fetal DNA” in vaccines since at least 2009, when I first noticed her. It explains much about why the press release also mentioned the whole “CDC whistleblowermanufactroversy being flogged by the antivaccine movement right now. It also explains why this press release cherry picks information from an FDA presentation from 2005 by Keith Peden at the Division of Viral products on Issues Associated With Residual Cell-Substrate DNA.

Funny how they fail to note that 106 or 107 μg of cellular DNA would be needed to produce an oncogenic event, and that the oncogenic risk for 2 ng DNA would be around 5 x108 to 5 x 109. In actuality, it’s even higher than that, around 7.5 x1013 to 7.5 x 1014, given the size reduction of DNA to around 200 bp fragments that occurs. The authors in the study itself claim that there is anywhere from 142 ng to 2000 ng of “fetal DNA,” but, one notes, that they didn’t do PCR on this DNA to prove that it was fetal DNA, rather than DNA used to make the virus, nor did they show any gels demonstrating the claimed size of the DNA fragments. All they did was to use an ELISA for single- and double-stranded DNA and called it a day. From a molecular biology perspective, this is not nearly enough to prove that the DNA they are measuring, even assuming they are using the assay kits correctly, is in fact fetal DNA. Particularly amusing is this passage:

Notably, the viruses in the Meruvax, MMRII, and HAVRIX vaccines are mRNA viruses, not DNA viruses, and since the mRNA was degraded by heat treatment prior to oligonucleotide measurements, the DNA results are indeed specific for human DNA, the only DNA in the mRNA virus vaccines.

Of course, one wonders whether Deisher et al took the specificity of PicoGreen into account. Its specificity for dsDNA over RNA is not perfect; indeed, take a peak at the graph here. It’s clearly at least 100=fold more sensitive to dsDNA at 520 nm than it is for RNA, but remember, there’s a lot of RNA in a concentrated solution of RNA virus relative to the contaminating dsDNA. True heating the RNA will result in its degradation, but not as much as Deisher et al apparently think. Anyone who’s done plasmid preps the old fashioned-way before columns existed to remove RNA contamination knows that a lot of small RNA fragments remain in such preps, even after heating. If Deisher et al had really wanted to measure only DNA, they should have treated these vaccine vials with RNAse to guarantee that no small fragments of RNA were left. In any case, there’s no evidence presented that these small amounts of DNA are dangerous, much less that they have anything to do with autism. Remember, we’re talking about nanogram quantities, at most a microgram or two, injected intramuscularly. As I explained, the thought that such a tiny amount of DNA could cross the blood-brain barrier and get into neurons in sufficient quantities to actually recombine with host DNA sufficiently to cause neuroinflammation is incredibly implausible. To really do this rigorously would have required measuring the RNA, dsDNA, and ssDNA in several vials, and then to subject some of the vaccine solution to PCR using appropriate primers to prove the source of the RNA and DNA.

Of course, none of this really matters, at least for purposes of this study, because the investigators never demonstrate that there is a correlation between the introduction of “fetal human cell”-containing vaccines and increased rates of increase of autism prevalence. True, the authors do the mother of all studies confusing correlation with causation, complete with a lot of linear regressions between autism prevalence in multiple datasets and the uptake of vaccines such as Varivax and Hepatitis A for specific birth cohorts. It’s an excellent demonstration of the adage that if you look hard enough you can fit almost any data in a linear regression.

Then there’s the change point analysis. A change point is, as it sounds, a point where the slope of a curve changes suddenly, most commonly seen when one curve consistent with a straight line “changes slope.” Of course, the assumption that the relationships between change points between time and autism prevalence are linear is a rather dubious assumption right off the bat. Of course, as Mark Chu-Carroll put it:

One big catch here is that least-squares linear regression produces a good result if the data really has a linear relationship. If it doesn’t, then least squares will produce a lousy fit. There are lots of other curve fitting techniques, which work in different ways. If you want to treat your data as perfect, you can use different techniques to progressively fit the data better and better until you have a polynomial curve which precisely includes every datum in your data set. You can start with fitting a line to two points; for every two points, there’s a line connecting them. Then for three points, you can fit them precisely with a quadratic curve. For four points, you can fit them with a cubic curve. And so on.

Similarly, unless your data is perfectly linear, you can always improve a fit by partitioning the data. Just like we can fit a curve to two points from the set; then get closer by fitting it to three; then closer by fitting it to four, we can fit two lines to a 2 way partition of the data, and get a closer match; then we can get closer with three lines in a three way partition, and four lines in a four way partition, and so on, until you have a partition for every pair of adjacent points.

The key takeaway is that no matter what you data looks like, if it’s not perfectly linear, then you can always improve the fit by creating a partition.

Which appears to be exactly what Deisher et al did, as I described. Mark Chu-Carroll also described how using this sort of “iterative hockey stick” analysis is a completely inappropriate analysis for this sort of data, as well as how it is very difficult to identify real change points without massive data sets and a very dramatic change in slope, neither of which qualify here. Basically, this study appears to be more of the same thing as the last study; I look at it as the previous “study” put out by Deisher, only on steroids of stupid. My main thought was this: It took them over four years to produce this after their last study? Really?

Not surprisingly, Deisher et al reported change points very similar to what they found last time, too: 1980, 1988, 1996. These are the same change point years as last time, give or take at most a few months. I can’t resist recycling what I wrote last time, because it’s so freakin’ appropriate, although I’ll spare you quoting it exactly.

Apparently the tainted DNA from ground-up murdered babies is so powerful in causing autism that it can do so immediately. These “change points” correlate within a year to the introduction of vaccines made from ground up cells from murdered babies. For example, the rubella vaccine was approved in the U.S. in 1979, and the first changepoint detected was in 1980. The second dose of the MMR vaccine was added to U.S. recommendations in 1988, and in 1988 there was a changepoint. Then the chickenpox vaccine was recommended in 1995, and there was a changepoint in 1996. Autism is usually diagnosed between ages 2 and 4; so, unless the power of these evil tainted vaccines to contaminate the DNA of our precious children can also travel back in time, it’s hard to take correlations between these change points and vaccine introduction as anything more than spurious pseudo-correlations. It would be so hilarious if the consequences of such fear mongering weren’t so dire, although even then it’s still useful as a cautionary tale worthy of extreme mockery of how not to do linear regression and inflection point “hockey stick” analysis.

Comments

  1. #1 Lawrence
    September 9, 2014

    So, if these vaccines have the ability to “immediately” induce autism (the stories we hear about children immediately regressing after their vaccines – then why are the vast majority of children diagnosed with autism between ages 2 – 4….long after the receipt of these “ebil” vaccines?

  2. #2 StrangerInAStrangeLand
    September 9, 2014

    “…even though apparently it was published in a peer-reviewed journal)…”

    And a quick check at Jeffrey Beall´s website “Scholary Open Access” shows that “Academic Journals”, which publishes the “Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology”, is a typical “predatory publisher” that prints everything you want as long as you pay their fees. The peer review in the case of this paper was most likely only verifying that the authors´ cheque didn´t bounce.

  3. #3 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    September 9, 2014

    There’s one point I’d like to raise about the ethics of using an aborted foetus to generate the cell lines used to make the vaccine.
    The woman pregnant with the foetus in question developed rubella, and the foetus would almost certainly have been born with Congenital Rubella Syndrome. The Catholic Church permits abortion for medical reasons. This would have been a valid medical reason.
    I suspect that the extremists are trying to insinuate that the foetus was aborted for the sole purpose of making vaccines, and not what actually happened.

  4. #4 Helianthus
    September 9, 2014

    the foetus would almost certainly have been born with Congenital Rubella Syndrome. The Catholic Church permits abortion for medical reasons.

    Sadly, some fundamentalists won’t even accept abortion for medical reasons, even if the mother should die of it.
    For Pete’s sake, they don’t accept abortion for ectopic pregnancy, if I am to believe Jen Gunter’s blog posts.
    The fetus is dead, will be dead soon, or isn’t even a fetus at all, but no, don’t touch it.

    I suspect that the extremists are trying to insinuate that the foetus was aborted for the sole purpose of making vaccines

    You can scratch the “I suspect” part. Extremists are on record for accusing “liberals” of pushing for abortions; accusing them of using baby corpses for witchcraft is just the next step.

  5. #5 LW
    September 9, 2014

    The woman pregnant with the foetus in question developed rubella, and the foetus would almost certainly have been born with Congenital Rubella Syndrome.

    And the antivaxxers are doing their level best to ensure that there are lots more such tragedies.

  6. #6 fusilier
    September 9, 2014

    Julian Frost, @3

    The Church does not permit abortions, the same way the Church does not permit divorce. Period.*

    In the case of an ectopic pregnancy, the surgery is _solely _ to save the life of the mother, and we simply don’t yet know how to save the baby at the same time.

    Ask any Jesuit.

    fusilier
    James 2:24

    *Unless, of course you are a prominent (current or former) US Representative or Senator.

  7. #7 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    September 9, 2014

    Fusilier, with respect, I’m a catholic (albeit a lapsed one) and you are wrong. The church DOES permit abortion for medical reasons. Oh, and there are circumstances where the church will grant an annulment.
    Please do not speak on things when you have no knowledge or an incomplete understanding.

  8. #8 Helianthus
    September 9, 2014

    @ fusilier

    In the case of an ectopic pregnancy,[…] and we simply don’t yet know how to save the baby at the same time.

    We are going on a derail tangent here, but I just want to precise my point:
    In ectopic pregnancy, it was my understanding that there isn’t even a baby to save. The fertilized egg has nested outside of the uterus and, since it’s not in the proper environment to do so, it is not going to develop correctly into a fetus.
    The egg’s cells will proliferate until they colonize the Fallopian trumps and burst them under the pressure.
    Unless you can rewind time before the egg nested outside of the uterus, or slightly more realistically unless you can surgically relocate the egg in the next few days after implantation, I am afraid it’s too late for the fetus. The egg needs a very specific environment to organize rapidly dividing cells into an embryonic sack and tissues. The proper parts of the uterus wall and the fetus cells should collaborate to form the placenta.
    If this environment is not available on time, you don’t get a baby. You get chaos and pain…

  9. #9 Dangerous Bacon
    September 9, 2014

    “scientists at Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute (SCPI)”

    This alone is enough to get the manure meter pinging loudly. It’s almost as bad as “researchers at the NaturalNews testing lab”.

  10. #10 OneOther
    September 9, 2014

    Julian, you are a bit confused:

    The Catholic Church has no doctrine that permits abortion for medical reasons. None. However, to understand this, you must first understand how the Catholic Church defines abortion. To qualify as an abortion under Catholic law, the act must be undertaken with the INTENT of ending fetal life. That’s it.

    The Catholic Church’s stance is that if a medical procedure is undertaken that results in the termination of fetal life as a SIDE EFFECT, that is morally permissable, since the intent was not to terminate the fetal life, but to treat the mother.

    This came up several years ago because a Salon writer alleged that Rick Santorum, who was a presidental candidate at the time and rabidly pro-life, had consented to an abortion for his wife. However, it was not true. Santorum’s wife was pregnant, developed an infection, and was administered antibiotics that resulted in her pre-term labor, the birth of their very premature son and his death. Catholic doctrine permits this, since the treatment was administered with the intent to save her life and the loss of the pregnancy was a side effect.

    The portion of Catholic law that deal in terminations is Canon 1398. It makes it extremely clear that the Church makes no exception for any acts which intent to end fetal life. The exception you argue for simply does not exist within Canon Law. Now, I think you can argue that it actually does exist in a very round-about way, but you’re technically incorrect that the Church condones any abortion, in any form.

    That is enough of this derail, although I must say I’m thrilled that my Theology doctorate has finally proven itself useful on a science-based website! I never thought I’d see the day.

  11. #11 Shay
    September 9, 2014

    Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute

    All these lovely buzzwords like “safe,” “natural,” “sound”…I have the same reaction when I read of any group with “patriot” or “freedom” in their name, because they aren’t and that’s the last thing they want.

  12. #12 Eric Lund
    September 9, 2014

    Another case of data being tortured until it confesses. The “analysis” reminds me of much of the economic “analysis” I have seen in the last decade: people who already know the desired conclusion interpret the data in such a way as to support the desired conclusion.

    Thanks to SIASL@2 for investigating the journal in question. It’s hard, without making a full time effort of it, to keep track of all the journals out there and figure out which ones are really in the field of nocturnal aviation. The question arises: were the authors of this paper scammed, or did they know it was a scam journal and published there precisely because, as noted above, the peer review would consist of making sure the check wouldn’t bounce?

  13. #13 Renate
    The Netherlands
    September 9, 2014

    @ Shay
    I suppose those groups with ‘freedom’ in their name, are mostly for their own freedom, but they don’t care about other peoples freedom.

  14. #14 Michael
    September 9, 2014

    Funny you conveniently contextualize the issue of fetus cell lines and RNA particles, etc..as a fanatical anti-vax, anti-abortion, anti-science, nutcase type of thing…

    In reality, most parents are unaware of the use of such things and I know very well that many are alarmed after finding out what is actually injected into their children. It does not matter if a parent is for or against abortion – using aborted cell lines in whatever regard rightly raises a few eyebrows. SV-40 and a host of other possibilities come to mind. Again, nothing to do with anti-X…it’s sound questioning and about informed choice. I personally am not interested in participating in such an experiment – I do not want x-cross specie or human cell line fragments injected in any form or fashion into my body (though it has happened in the past – I receive experimental flu vaccine in the military and damn near took me out)…this blog, nor anyone in the scientific community fully knows the impact of these substances – in other words we are in the midst of ongoing study – and a group of unelected people have decided the whatever benefit outweighs the risk..as citizens become more informed, the more they will push back (you already see it) and become enraged at the presumptuous and arrogant attitudes of those in the science community. This is further exacerbated by conflicting studies (you can attempt to debunk them all you want – science is never settled – to say so defies the very nature of scientific inquiry) and the fact that scientists are coming forward to express fraud in a meaningful way – the PA courts allowed the Merck whistleblower case to move forward (I see you have not spent much time on that story) and let’s see what the 100K documents released Snowden style to the Congressman have to say….Scienceblog has a lot to lose (like many others who pushed in all of their chips) if the whistleblowers prevail. Your desperation shows in the recent articles where you attempt to bash and slam any possibility that you might be wrong. Or that there is a flaw in the science – of which, there has to be – too many variables, too many opportunities for corruption, not enough checks and balances, etc…happens all the time and the level of scandal and fraud seems to get bigger and bigger.

    I attempt to read your material objectively but good lord, one day it’s the disgruntled anti-vax scientists, the other it’s the misinformed, stupid anti-vas parents and now it’s those crazy anti-abortion religious nuts…at some point the entire world can’t be crazy – it might be you….Again, there is a lot of reputations on the line – you want those damn whistleblowers to go away. Many sleepiness nights searching for articles that slip by the mainstream black hole…yes, you catch those articles and revelations that are forced into the alternative space and then scienceblog goes into hyper mode asking the rhetorical question “if it was legit, why are these nut jobs not covered by the mainstream – and here they are on some conspiracy site…the Merck whistleblower case is a perfect example – this story along with Thompson should be headline news….

    So please keep up with you bashing…you are fully exposing yourself to those who came here seeking an objective opinion – nice work!!

  15. #15 Orac
    September 9, 2014

    Funny you conveniently contextualize the issue of fetus cell lines and RNA particles, etc..as a fanatical anti-vax, anti-abortion, anti-science, nutcase type of thing…

    In this particular case, if the shoe fits…

    Seriously. The lack of understanding of science that went into the SCPI travesty of a “study” is truly astounding. Also, I don’t actually blame most parents (just a few of them who have risen to become leaders of the antivaccine movement) because they honestly don’t know any better and have an insufficient scientific background to understand why the line they’re being fed about “fetal DNA” and “contamination” is utter piffle and that the claim that somehow that fetal DNA from vaccines (1) can cross the blood-brain barrier in sufficient quantities to become and issue; (2) can get into neurons in sufficient quantities to become an issue; and (3) can homologously recombine with host (the baby’s) DNA in such a fashion to produce mutant proteins that provoke an autoimmune reaction is so far beyond the pale, so inconsistent with our understanding of molecular biology, that it deserves the ridicule it gets.

  16. #16 JC
    United States
    September 9, 2014

    “This is further exacerbated by conflicting studies (you can attempt to debunk them all you want – science is never settled – to say so defies the very nature of scientific inquiry)”

    Translation- it doesn’t matter what the data tell us, I can choose to believe any “study” I want so long as it confirms my beliefs.

  17. #17 Bags
    United Kingdom
    September 9, 2014

    @Michael… The thing is, you read here and its backed up by scientific facts, theories, Testing techniques etc. If Orac is wrong he is called out on it and if needed he adjusts his opinion and his article (Good scientists do this agreed?) .. Orac is very well known among these groups that publish misinformation but i have yet to see any of them come here and form a cogent argument as to why Orac is wrong. its just push bad science until it breaks then start insulting people. then of course they go back to their holes and whine on their own one sided, comment moderated, no dissent, websites. If you can’t see that then stop reading now because its pointless!

  18. #18 herr doktor bimler
    September 9, 2014

    Funny you conveniently contextualize the issue of fetus cell lines and RNA particles, etc..as a fanatical anti-vax, anti-abortion, anti-science, nutcase type of thing…

    When the word “fetal” is brandished as the verbal equivalent of eerie theremin music playing in the background — as if the DNA of a human cell culture carries some sort of cellular memory of parturition status, and is radically different for a fetal source than for an adult human source — then it is nothing but magical thinking and oogie-boogie words. Yes, “fanatical anti-vax, anti-abortion, anti-science, nutcase” seems appropriate.

  19. #19 Krebiozen
    September 9, 2014

    Maybe I’m not paying close enough attention, and perhaps Google hasn’t picked it up yet, but I don’t think anyone has mentioned the PBS special on vaccines tomorrow night. Paul Offitt and some other luminaries are credited, so hopefully it will give a fair and balanced view (I mean truly balanced, not balanced by including Barry, who believes vaccines are milked from the teats of Satan’s familiars).

  20. #20 Calli Arcale
    http://fractalwonder.wordpress.com
    September 9, 2014

    Michael:

    In reality, most parents are unaware of the use of such things and I know very well that many are alarmed after finding out what is actually injected into their children.

    Only when it’s framed dishonestly, as the antivaxxers in this case have done.

    Aborted fetal cell tissue is simply not in the vaccines. Cell cultures derived from a single fetus aborted decades ago (actually before the parents of today’s young children were even born) are used to grow rubella virus. This virus is then taken and used to produce the vaccines. The odds of any fetal DNA getting into the vaccine is very slim, along the lines of cow’s milk getting from a washed saucepan into some ground beef that’s cooked in the pan next, yet Orthodox Jews will not tolerate that even if the pan is washed so thoroughly that a person with severe bovine casein allergy will not react to it. This is along those lines. The quantity of fetal DNA would be *homeopathic*. Even if it weren’t, how could it even cause a problem? It would be, at worst, fragmentary human DNA floating around loose. It can’t “infect” anything; with the rather specific exception of the sperm cell, human cells lack any mechanism for adding their DNA to that of another.

    I’m glad you attempted to read this material objectively. However, you appear to have come to it with a fairly strong opinion ahead of time that would predispose you against the content. And it did. You are attempted valiantly to read objectively, but I do not think you succeeded.

  21. #21 Helianthus
    France
    September 9, 2014

    Funny you conveniently contextualize the issue of fetus cell lines and RNA particles, etc..as a fanatical anti-vax, anti-abortion, anti-science, nutcase type of thing…

    Well, some vocal objectors do say they are against the use of fetal tissues for moral reasons.
    And this is the angle used by opponents: hinting at cannibalism and baby-killing.
    Others objectors are just rejecting mainstream science, preferring to believe the few conflicting studies, and pulling the card “science is never settled” if their favored article is debunked. That’s anti-science in my book.
    Rationalization by grasping for supposed risks comes after.

    In reality, most parents are unaware of the use of such things and I know very well that many are alarmed after finding out what is actually injected into their children.

    This I can grant, to some extent. In my country, most people finishing high school would have had a chance to learn that vaccines are made of gross stuff, but it could easily be overlooked.
    On the other hand, I blame Hollywood science, where good science is sanitized, made of crystal clear liquids (or occasionally funky green, but in a jolly way).
    In reality, biology is gross. A vaccine is made of more or less killed germs. So yeah, there is some gross organic stuff in a vaccine. What did you expect?

    By the same token, did you know that milk is coming from the udder of cows? Or worse, that eggs come from the @ss of hens? That doesn’t stop you from giving it to your children. More or less raw (if the yolk is running, that’s not fully cooked, sorry – still somehow raw) .

    It does not matter if a parent is for or against abortion – using aborted cell lines

    If it doesn’t matter, then why do you say “aborted cell lines”?
    The cells were not “aborted”. These are fetal cell lines.
    Or were. The currently used cell lines are the great-(great)x-great-daughters of the original cells.
    It’s like I was calling myself Spanish because more than 6 generations ago, my ancestor came from Spain.

  22. #22 Chris Hickie
    September 9, 2014

    I was looking at this “paper” yesterday. In the analysis, the refer to their combined hockey stick model in panel E, but I could not find panel E anywhere in the paper. To me, the first sign of a suspicious paper is that it reads like crap and is not easy to follow and is riddled with errors that should have been caught in proof reading.

  23. #23 Denice Walter
    September 9, 2014

    Orac said:
    ” I don’t actually blame most parents (just a few of them who have risen to become leaders in the antivaccine movement)

    Totally agreed: I feel this way generally even far beyond the issue presently under consideration. Parents who rise in status in the movement are adept at disseminating mis-information in an emotionally engaging way: Jon Brock ( CrackingtheEnigma) wrote about a focus group that illustrated how parents accepted vaccine information more readily from *other* parents rather than from professionals.

    Sites like AoA and TMR maintain readership because of this mode of proselytisation:
    the contributors ( and to a degree, commenters) tell their tales, give their reasons and empathise with readers who may be in similar predicament because their child has an ASD. They mis-represent themselves as educators and experts- which can seem attractive to readers who may feel shunned by parents of NTchildren, family members, uncaring professionals and society at large. Isolated people with difficult daily lives make the best captive audience.

    Unfortunately, a few who form the ( rotten) core of this unrealistic counselling bureau/ group therapy gone wrong have a background in psychology and social work and thus know how best to gather adherents and incite loyalty with their own histrionic antics. In addition, at least one has been in marketting lending a professional stamp to their messaging.

    I often find it hard to feel sympathy for a distressed parent ( usually mother) who becomes an active voice against vaccines and SBM / psychology and leads naive parents into the same bad choices and actions.

  24. #24 JGC
    September 9, 2014

    I do not want x-cross specie or human cell line fragments injected in any form or fashion into my body

    Given the absence of any evidence indicating whatever cross-specie or human cell line fragments may remain in final vaccine preparations engender increased risk or cause actual harm, one has to wonder why you’re concerned this might happen.

  25. #25 JGC
    September 9, 2014

    Funny you conveniently contextualize the issue of fetus cell lines and RNA particles, etc..as a fanatical anti-vax, anti-abortion, anti-science, nutcase type of thing…

    I have, however, only seen thisobjection advanced by people who are fanatically antivax or anti-abortion, who are anti-science and who far, far too often do qualify (on the basis of their own statements) as nutcases. Noting that fact is descriptive rather than pejorative..

  26. #26 herr doktor bimler
    September 9, 2014

    x-cross specie

    I think this means “coins which have been marked with a cross” (possibly Spanish doubloons, in preparation for breaking them into pieces-of-eight).

  27. #27 JGC
    September 9, 2014

    It’s like I was calling myself Spanish because more than 6 generations ago, my ancestor came from Spain.

    Given the number of generations these cells are removed from the original tissue sample, it’s more like calling yourself an australopithecine.

  28. #28 The Grouchybeast
    September 9, 2014

    I know one thing — if DNA would really happily cross the blood-brain barrier, enter neurons and start expressing proteins just by giving it as an intramuscular injection, then molecular neuroscience would be a LOT easier than it is. Either that, or the people I worked with wasting a lot of time engineering those fancy vectors. Hell, it isn’t that easy to get DNA inside a cell that’s just sitting in a tissue culture dish.

  29. #29 Ren
    September 9, 2014

    Oh, there are plenty of people who claim that the Supreme Court allowed abortions because other countries were doing away with them and there was a concerted effort by Big Pharma, natch, to decriminalize abortions in order to have a steady supply of aborted fetuses. Because, you know, we don’t grow flu vaccine in eggs, we grow it in fetuses, rows and rows of aborted fetuses. It’s like a scene from the Matrix or something.

    Worse yet, people who claim that foreign DNA injected into their bodies will somehow do all of these horrible things don’t stop for a second and think of all the times they have been exposed to foreign DNA through eating, drinking, having sex, kissing, scraping their knee on the ground, cutting themselves while cooking chicken or beef or whatever. It’s all about the vaccines. That’s where the money’s at. No one is going to donate to your cause (or your mansion in Texas) if you expose yourself to all of “teh toxinz” naturally, as in just by the mere fact that you’re alive.

    But we’re the sheeple.

  30. #30 Chris
    September 9, 2014

    From the last paragraph: “For example, the rubella vaccine was approved in the U.S. in 1979, and the first changepoint detected was in 1980.”

    There a decade error in the rubella vaccine, it was approved in 1969 in the USA. Then included in the first MMR vaccine in 1971.

    There was a change in rubella strain in the MMR in 1978. And it was not due “market share” issues, but that Hilleman and others thought it was better.

    From one of those evil Pharma dudes who developed an early rubella vaccine: The History of Rubella and Rubella Vaccination Leading to Elimination:

    Over the next decade, accumulating evidence led to changes in the United States. First, the duck embryo and dog kidney vaccine strains caused significant joint reactions [24–27]. Second, reinfection on exposure to wild rubella virus was demonstrated frequently with all strains except the RA 27/3 vaccine [28–30]. Third, the good safety record of the RA 27/3 vaccine in Europe, plus the majority opinion of scientists, led the US Food and Drug Administration to license RA 27/3. Important pressure for this decision came from Dorothy Horstmann at Yale, who was convinced by her comparative studies of rubella vaccines [31], and by Maurice Hilleman at Merck, who sought a better rubella strain for measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.

    One of the studies showing joint pain issues with the original American rubella vaccine is fully available:
    http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/95/1/59.full.pdf

  31. #31 Denice Walter
    September 9, 2014

    re the ‘foreign DNA’ list Ren gave
    And how many of Orac’s minions have ever been scratched unto bleeding by a cat.? If this were true, I’d have cat DNA.

  32. #32 Shay
    September 9, 2014

    DW: This would explain my fondness for tuna and naps.

  33. #33 Jud
    September 9, 2014

    The same old lies keep popping up again and again and again, like Whac-A-Mole.

    Why don’t we see this game around any more? Nothing is more fun than trying to bash things with a hammer while half-drunk!

  34. #34 doug
    September 9, 2014

    Does the plastic bag in which it travels somehow magically remove DNA and RNA from whole blood bound for transfusion?

  35. #35 Lawrence
    September 9, 2014

    @Doug – but “its the vaccines!!!!” whatever super-special, super-secret process the reptilian factory workers use to make the vaccines gives their ingredients the incredible ability to perform biologically impossible feats…don’t you know that?

  36. #36 Spectator
    September 9, 2014

    O/T:

    Re #13 “I have the same reaction when I read of any group with “patriot” or “freedom” in their name, because they aren’t and that’s the last thing they want.”

    Different kingdom. Science covers a domain limited enough that truth can be objectively decided; politics covers an area of recursive confusion. It is also attempting to act upon the subject, not only to observe and model it.
    …………
    A group of x label could simply be a reaction to the corrupt nature of politics (necessarily corrupt, as its based on human nature), without the full realization that complete escape from that condition is impossible.
    Were I forced to choose, I’d prefer the delusions typically included under the patriot label to those growing on the utopian farm.

  37. #37 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    September 9, 2014

    Does the plastic bag in which it travels somehow magically remove DNA and RNA from whole blood bound for transfusion?

    Very good point and to add, transfusions are gasp IV infused. Vaccines are SQ or IM.

  38. #38 Denice Walter
    September 9, 2014

    @ Science Mom:

    According to many anti-vaxxers, vaccines are IV too.

  39. #39 Calli Arcale
    http://fractalwonder.wordpress.com
    September 9, 2014

    Spectator:

    politics covers an area of recursive confusion.

    Recursive confusion — that is a truly fantastic description of politics. Thank you!

  40. #40 doug
    under a blanket of fresh snow
    September 9, 2014

    “…don’t you know that?”
    I guess I haven’t been educating myself or doing my own research adequately.

    The long lists of horrible things in vaccines are, all by themselves, evidence that the compilers of the lists know remarkably little whereof they whinge.
    The last list I saw had “formalin” listed right after “formaldehyde”. I can’t remember if “both” phenoxyethanol and ethylene glycol monophenyl ether were listed, but the latter was, with the usual “antifreeze” nonsense. Curious (OK, not really) how they pick up on the ethylene glycol (not a whole lot more toxic than the antifreeze, preservative, biocide, fuel and industrial solvent consumed at TMR) but completely ignore the benzene in the molecule.

  41. #41 Bob G
    Los Angeles
    September 9, 2014

    As others can attest, it is incredibly hard to get functional DNA into living cells in an animal or human. Lots of techniques have been tried, but the overall record of gene therapy has been pretty poor. Perhaps some new method will improve the odds, but attempts at treating muscular dystrophy by putting in a part or all of the Dystrophin gene have been weak. That’s one reason that the world has been moving towards stem cell therapy — at least you know that there is a functioning cell going more or less where you want it, and maybe it will do something good.

    One reason that there has been so much work on vaccines against viral illnesses is that until recently, there haven’t been anything equivalent to the antibiotics that go after bacteria. The other reason is of course that vaccines have been very effective. For a lot of us, smallpox was a real thing earlier in our lives, and for me, polio epidemics happened within my memory. The idea that there might be some risk associated with the Salk vaccine against polio was a lesser consideration than the idea that we could stop worrying about getting polio. When you have an uncle who spent 3 weeks in an iron lung in County General, the message is pretty clear.

    My view is that the anti-vaccination movement is more or less equivalent to something growing underneath a rock. It’s up to the mass media to turn that rock over and shine a light on it. This is gradually starting to happen, but it has been a slow process. I think this topic is worthy of a few more columns and letters to the editor.

  42. #42 Comrade Carter
    September 9, 2014

    As a former Catholic, I can easily refute the claim from fusilier about ending a marriage:

    My sister, still a Catholic, has one. My sister is not a member of the Government, in fact, she was born in Scotland.

  43. #43 JC
    September 9, 2014

    “As others can attest, it is incredibly hard to get functional DNA into living cells in an animal or human.”

    Agreed. Even DNA transfections in vitro in the lab are hard when first getting started. And that’s with microgram quantities of DNA that won’t get diluted when injected with a vaccine.

  44. #44 Eric Lund
    September 9, 2014

    There a decade error in the rubella vaccine, it was approved in 1969 in the USA. Then included in the first MMR vaccine in 1971.

    So these people can’t even torture their data right? Why am I not surprised?

    Why don’t we see this game [Whac-A-Mole] around any more? Nothing is more fun than trying to bash things with a hammer while half-drunk!

    There is a place called Funspot, in Weirs Beach, NH, which has a couple of them (or at least did a few years ago), as well as some other video games you may remember (if you are about my age or older) from the early 1980s, like an original PacMan machine. But storefront arcades went out a while back, and other places that would have had such games, like restaurants and bars, have gotten rid of them over the years. Today all of those arcade games are collectors’ items. I blame PlayStation, Xbox, Wii, and the like.

  45. #45 Chris
    September 9, 2014

    “So these people can’t even torture their data right? Why am I not surprised?”

    Actually is not quite so simple. The original rubella strain in the first MMR was not from fetal cells, but from other things. From the paper I linked to: “Parkman, Meyer, and colleagues [14] attenuated rubella virus in AGMK cell cultures (HPV-77), Hilleman et al. [15] in duck embryo cells (HPV-77/DEV), Prinzie et al. [16] in rabbit kidney (Cendehill), and I and my colleagues [17] in a human diploid fibroblast cell strain. The HPV-77 virus developed by Parkman was also adapted for commercial use in dog kidney cell cultures.”

    Except there were some serious side effects from the original non-fetal cell strain.

    I was actually confused by the dates in the last paragraph, so I looked at the Dr. Deisher’s paper, and did a PubMed search on the history of the rubella vaccine. I now realize that she could not blame the first MMR vaccine.

    But, and this is a big “but”, Deisher is ignoring that the fetal cell line single rubella vaccine, RA 27/3, was being used in the USA and Europe in the early 1970s. In the UK it was just being given to girls. She does not include this in Table 3.

  46. #46 MarkN
    September 9, 2014

    Thank you for offering the discussion on this. My perspective views the inflammation process and predisposition. While I can’t follow the poster presented all the way through its conclusion (how they came up with autism ??), gaining information on cell behavior isn’t that bad an idea to try and get a better handle on predisposition.

  47. #47 Lucario
    Sunny SoFla
    September 9, 2014

    It’s lies, falsehood, and hatred like this that makes me wish we could just unleash another crusade, another Inquisition upon the people who spread misinformation like this. You know, purge them from society so that their impurity can no longer defile us?

    (forgive me, I’m feeling in a very vengeful mood right now and have no room for nonsense like this)

  48. #48 sadmar
    Highway to Hell
    September 9, 2014

    Ren: ‘people don’t think of all the times they’ve been exposed to foreign human DNA through having sex and kissing.’
    Yea, for I am Righteous, I doth not commit Adulterous Original Sin, nor Fornicate with my Wife but for God’s Command to Go Forth and Multiply. We Kiss, but not as the Damned French who extend their Serpants’ Tongues. As the Lord hath brought us Together and Blessed our Holy Matrimony, I know He has Insured that our DNA shall only interact to the Glory of His Divine Plan. And should we ever require a Tranfusion, or otherwise contact the DNA of the Unholy, the Lord hath Revealed to us the He shall Smite and Purify anything that enters Our Sacred Bodies with His Grace.

    SIASL: ‘The peer review of this paper was most likely only verifying that the authors´ cheque didn´t bounce.’
    Just as Blonde Jesus drove the Hook-Nosed Philistines from the Temple, the Righteous shall not publish the Work of God’s Science with money-grubbing Christ-Killers. The only True peers of Dr. Dreisher’s Team are Godly Medical Scientists like the Honorable Dr. Paul Broun (R) of Georgia, who have surely vetted the Study with proper Scrutiny to The Scriptures. I pray for the sake of your Eternal Soul that you shall Repent your Blasphemous Calumny against these Righteous Researchers, accept Christ as your Personal Savior, and get Right with God.

    Amen.

  49. #49 Denice Walter
    September 9, 2014

    @ sadmar:

    I’m impressed.
    However I usually riff off of the Apocalypse.

  50. #50 Lucario
    Night in SoFla
    September 9, 2014

    So, why is it that we can’t simply take our revenge out on these people? I’m sick of their lies and hatred.

  51. #51 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    September 9, 2014

    Lucario, what revenge? That is not a thought process nor potential action that would gain support from any here. That would make us no better than they. That kind of talk is not welcome.

  52. #52 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    September 10, 2014

    Lucario, Science Mom nailed it. In addition, I’d like to give you a quote from Terry Pratchett. I’m paraphrasing, but I think I give the meaning.
    “There are a lot of stupid people in the world, and it often felt like giving them a slap would make the world a better place, but…
    1) It would only make the world better for a very short time;
    2) It thereafter make the world a good deal worse, and;
    3) You’re supposed to be smarter than they are.”

  53. #53 Rebecca Fisher
    That London
    September 10, 2014

    Unsurprisingly, Age of Autism is trumpeting this nonsense. Anne Dachel’s idiotic comment?

    The mainstream press refuses to cover challenging research like this and their failure to do so is making them obsolete and irrelevant.

    Or, to translate;

    Listen to MEEEE!!! ME! ME! ME! LISTEN TO MEEE!!!

  54. #54 herr doktor bimler
    September 10, 2014

    their failure to do so is making them obsolete and irrelevant.
    “I am going to ignore a prominent though flawed channel of information because it is not telling me what I want to hear.”
    I remember hearing this sentiment decades ago, when still at university, from the old-school Trotskyites.

  55. #55 The Smith of Lie
    September 10, 2014

    As a former Catholic, I can easily refute the claim from fusilier about ending a marriage:

    My sister, still a Catholic, has one. My sister is not a member of the Government, in fact, she was born in Scotland.

    To be precise, Catholic Church does allow, in certaincases, declaration that marriage was not valid (sorry if I use wrong terminology at times, my legal English is a bit rusty). It is functionally different from divorce, which is institution of civil law.

    The annulment (see my caveat about terminology) of marriage is given by Church only if one of few circumstances listed in canonic law happened to render it null and void from the very beggining. Technically people who got such verdict from the church were never actually married, at least in the eyes of the church.

  56. #56 Lucario
    Morning in SoFla
    September 10, 2014

    People say that revenge is bad because it makes you no better than the enemy, but where in history is this borne out? It seems like all I hear in the media is revenge, revenge, revenge, and it always seems to be portrayed in a good light, as a way to get what one wants in the world when one is wronged.

  57. #57 Gray Falcon
    September 10, 2014

    @Lucario: That explains why My Little Pony has somehow become a hot TV show.

  58. #58 Christine
    hertfordshire
    September 10, 2014

    *But, and this is a big “but”, Deisher is ignoring that the fetal cell line single rubella vaccine, RA 27/3, was being used in the USA and Europe in the early 1970s. In the UK it was just being given to girls. She does not include this in Table 3*

    It was also only given to teenage girls.

  59. #59 fusilier
    September 10, 2014

    My Bad for not including a “/sarcasm” tag.

    I would point to the late US Sen. Theodore Kennedy and former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich as individuals whose divorces were … not condemned … by the Church. And many are familiar with the last pregnancy that the wife of former Sen. Santorum and how it turned out.

    Not that anyone is interested, but, I have 16 years of Catholic education, 42 years experience as a lector and eucharistic minister at various parishes in the midwest, and, when we got married, the Lutheran pastor of My Beloved and Darling Wife’s congregation had a family friend (my side) co-officiate. That fellow later became Provincial of the Detroit Province of the Society of Jesus.

    fusilier
    James 2:24

  60. #60 Lucario
    Morning in SoFla
    September 10, 2014

    I’d still like to know about a time in history when an act of revenge made an individual or a group sink down to the level of the enemy. You know, evidence, that this philosophy has merit.

  61. #61 Helianthus
    Not that far from Alsace
    September 10, 2014

    @Lucario

    People say that revenge is bad because it makes you no better than the enemy, but where in history is this borne out?

    Bush going to war in Irak? A selling point was to get revenge for 9/11. See how it did pan out. Wrong target, religious extremists reinforced and having now their own state, political destabilization of the whole region. And all sympathy the US may had in European countries for 9/11 evaporated.

    “Ils n’auront pas l’Alsace et la Lorraine”. German-France war of 1870. First World War. Second World War.
    Any endless circle of vendetta in the history of, notably, Italy, Spain, and a few other Mediterranean countries.
    The never-ending conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

    For a fictional example of revenge having nefarious effects, (although likely based on true events), the Red Wedding in Games of Throne.
    Many parts of Games of Throne actually, starting with the boy king ordering the beheading of a fallen political opponent for petty revenge and ending with a queen taking revenge on almost anything that moves, to disastrous political effect (trying to avoid spoilers here).

    And anyway, what does “revenge” has to do with vaccination?
    If you start killing people because they are mislead into taking wrong decisions, there won’t be many people left on Earth.
    Please bring your bloodthirsty suggestions somewhere else.

  62. #62 Lucario
    Morning in SoFla
    September 10, 2014

    So, pretty much a lot of history, then. And could you recommend a few good beginner’s books on the Franco-Prussian War or WW1? (I’ve been meaning to read the ASOAIF series myself, so it looks like I’ve got my fall reading cut out for me.)

    Anyway, what is a person supposed to do, other than seek revenge for a wrong, perceived or otherwise?

  63. #63 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    September 10, 2014

    Anyway, what is a person supposed to do, other than seek revenge for a wrong, perceived or otherwise?

    Act like a grown-up?

  64. #64 Fergus Glencross
    September 10, 2014

    “92% of children who are vaccinated have been potentialy injected with DNA from an aborted fetus.”

    What about DNA from other sources? Is that ok as long as it’s not from those evil aborted fetuses? Eg Bacteria, viruses, mycoplasma DNA – all been in your blood at some point. BTW there are the remnants of about 30,000 retro viruses in the modern genome, but we still seem to survive.

  65. #65 Tracy
    Cayman Islands
    September 10, 2014

    I came on here for a scientific viewpoint of the study but your hatred filled post is annoying, can’t you stick to the facts rather than name call and bash. Science should be open to questions, debate and critique which you’ve provided somewhat but it’s very very difficult to read through the ranting.
    Scientists should be encouraging an environment of continuous safety testing and research for vaccines or anything else we put into our bodies, you may not agree with every paper but maybe critique it in a more eloquent way, you are only encouraging walls and we will learn nothing that way!

  66. #66 Ed Palinurus
    September 10, 2014

    The Catholic Church does not accept abortion for “medical reasons.” It accepts abortion to save the life of the mother, that is, if, by taking medical action to save the life of the mother the baby dies, that is not a moral evil. There’s a big difference; I think you probably know this.

    You may be right in your conclusions; I will be glad to read this, because the truth is what matters. But I’d be less suspicious of your motives and honesty if you adopted a far less arrogant and dismissive tone with people who disagree with your agenda.

  67. #67 KayMarie
    September 10, 2014

    And don’t see “don’t seek revenge” as “do nothing about the situation”.

    Sometimes acting like a grown up is called doing something productive about the situation that seeks justice and creates something better in the world. Especially when it is something that isn’t just “one of those bad things that will happen to you eventually”. Sort of the weather didn’t decide to rain on you and only you out of some vendetta against you and only you. It’s raining on everyone.

    One example I always think of is John Walsh. Sure after his kid was kidnapped and killed in a horrific way he could have gone all vengeful vigilante stalking anyone he thinks may hurt kids and kill them before they have the chance. He could have chosen revenge on which ever criminal they kinda thought maybe was the one that did it this week, but instead he ended up doing something that helped a lot of people, IMO.

    A lot of parents do that, probably why we have so many laws named after children. Sure there is some desire to just do to the criminal what they did to your kid, but which is better. Spending the rest of your life in prison for killing a bad person, or try to do some good in the world that may mean some other family who you may never know gets to live the life you felt you deserved and never got to have.

  68. #68 Narad
    September 10, 2014

    increases in autistic disorder correspond with the introduction of vaccines using human fetal cell lines and retroviral contaminants

    Ah, yes, retroviral contaminants. What does it actually say? Oh, wait, this machine won’t cut and paste from a PDF. Let me paraphrase: “Something something HERV-K transcriptase activity something schizophrenia.”

    Hardly worthy of putting in the hed of a press release.

  69. #69 Neil
    September 10, 2014

    ha ha ha, oh dear lord, not again Orac. Are you still writing? I see the fear is still there in you, and rightly so. There is an ever growing anti vaccine movement as well as those who are unsure. Medicine is slowly losing it’s power as it is slowly being exposed through countless books, articles etc.
    I have no doubt that you are a very intelligent individual, and probably a high achiever and successful surgeon. However, this has nothing to do with common sense or understanding science.We can learn from scientific research and we can learn from experience, our own experiences and the experience of others.
    With the exception of trauma care, the entire medical system is built on 3 lies – we have no control over our health, that we are a victim of good or bad luck, and that you can’t heal yourself.
    Up to 35 shots by around five years of age? Anyone would think that this child must live in the most atrocious conditions surrounded by disease after disease all the time.
    I will stick with the ‘Scientific law of nature’, the only true science, not medicine who have been blinded by science. Medications, vaccinations are not natural and should only be used if absolutely necessary.

  70. #70 Chris
    September 10, 2014

    Christine: “It was also only given to teenage girls.”

    Not in the USA, a much larger country than the UK. From the Plotkin article I linked to in comment #30:

    When rubella vaccination became feasible, both the United States and the United Kingdom embarked on vaccination programs. In the United States, the strategy was to vaccinate infants, so that eventually the reservoir in childhood would be abolished [52]. In contrast, the United Kingdom decided on a program of vaccinating adolescent girls [53]. Both strategies were partial successes, in that CRS incidence began to decrease. However, both were also partial failures, because in the United States pregnant women were still being exposed to rubella in children and adults, and in the United Kingdom unvaccinated girls who refused vaccination were still exposed to rubella cases because of circulation of virus in the male population and children.

    The RA 27/3 was not one the types used in the USA. It was used enough in Europe, though the article does not clarify which strategy was used. It only says the safety was demonstrated over ten years enough for the FDA to approve it in the USA.

    Still, it was used in the USA starting with the 1978 MMR II. I have been seeking documentation that autism increased substantially before 1990. The bizarro “change point” graphs are not convincing.

  71. #71 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    September 10, 2014

    @Tone Troll Tracy:

    Scientists should be encouraging an environment of continuous safety testing and research for vaccines or anything else we put into our bodies, you may not agree with every paper but maybe critique it in a more eloquent way, you are.

    Vaccines are tested thoroughly before being released, and there are stringent post-release systems to catch problems. Case in point: rotarix, withdrawn after monitoring suggested an increased risk of intussuception (apologies if I spelt that wrong).
    @Neil:

    [T]he entire medical system is built on 3 lies – we have no control over our health

    Better keep that gargantuan strawman away from any open flames. I have never heard that. In fact, many doctors encourage us to give up smoking, eat correctly, and get enough sleep and exercise.

    that we are a victim of good or bad luck

    A lot of diseases are genetic in origin. There are things you can do, but if you have the genes for Type 1 Diabetes or Retinitis Pigmentosa, you’re flat out of luck.

    and that you can’t heal yourself.

    A semi-strawman. Healthy living can reverse or delay many problems, but it can’t fix everything.

    Up to 35 shots by around five years of age?

    Please list the shots and how many times each one is administered. I’m getting rather tired of this demonstrably false claim.

  72. #72 Calli Arcale
    http://fractalwonder.wordpress.com
    September 10, 2014

    Neil, kids do not get 35 shots by age five unless they’re very sick. The sources that have misinformed you tried counting up the names of things being vaccinated for in order to inflate the number of shots and make it look scarier.

    You want to talk about learning from scientific research? First start by learning about intellectual honesty. Because that claim is dishonest, and designed to mislead.

    Meanwhile, your “three lies” that supposedly underpin the medical system are strawmen. Of course we have control over our health; that’s pretty much the point of medical science. If you get strep throat, you don’t have to just let it run its course; you can actually *do* something about it. And most of medicine is about helping the body heal itself. You know all those kids in the hospital with that new enterovirus? They’re getting supportive care — keeping their bodies alive and taking some of the burden of maintaining the system while the kids’ immune systems destroy the virus. And pretty much all of surgery depends critically on the body’s ability to heal itself. And while doctors acknowledge that you can’t control how you’re born and many events in life are outside your control, they tend not to think of patients as helpless “victims”. No, that’s alt-med that does that, right before it blames them for their predicament, as if that’s somehow helpful.

    I definitely agree that medications and vaccinations are unnatural. So is clothing. So is central heating. But they have value. Remember, nature doesn’t have your best interests in mind. Nature has no mind at all. It is completely indifferent to your personal survival. Trust it at your peril.

  73. #73 Tracy
    September 10, 2014

    @ Julian Frost I am aware of the current safety tests pre release however I believe there should be more and there should be continuous post-release tests. I believe vaccines play their part in medicine but I really don’t think they are foolproof, only through further continuous rigorous testing can we improve upon. I resent being called a troll for expressing my opinion.

  74. #74 JGC
    September 10, 2014

    Anyway, what is a person supposed to do, other than seek revenge for a wrong, perceived or otherwise?

    I beleive forgiveness is rated highly but if you must seek anything in response to a perceived wrong, seek justice instead of revenge, and work to redress the harm that wrong might cause.

    As in this case, by countering anti-vax proselytizing with accurate facts and evidence demonstrating their misinformation is…well, just that and no more.

    Ther’s an old saying (I forget from which culture) that goes “If you would seek revenge first dig two graves”. Think they had the right of it.

  75. #75 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    September 10, 2014

    Tracy, are you serious?
    Gardasil was tested in a sample of tens of thousands. How much more rigorous do you want the tests to be? As for post-release, have you not heard of VAERS and VSD? Post release surveillance of vaccines is fine tooth comb level. And nobody here says or even believes vaccines are foolproof. However, they are exceptionally safe, far safer than getting the diseases.
    The reason I called you out for being a troll was not for expressing your opinion, it was the way in which you expressed your opinion.

  76. #76 Antaeus Feldspar
    September 10, 2014

    Lucario, I recommend that you read “The Better Angels of Our Nature” by Steven Pinker.

    He presents a compelling case that the world has become far less violent (which, ironically, leads us to perceive it as more violent – as violence becomes the exception rather than the rule, it paradoxically captures our attention more and appears to be larger.)

    He also makes a very compelling case that, contrary to what many of us would expect, the pursuit of “justice” is one of the factors that pushes the world towards more violence, not less – because we all view things from an inherently self-centered perspective, and we are very good at seeing when someone else has sinned against us … not so good at seeing and understanding when we are the ones who did wrong.

    A society in which it’s considered normal and acceptable to go out and get your own “revenge” is going to be a society full of senseless violence. The Santa Barbara spree killer thought HE was getting revenge.

  77. #77 lilady
    Still trying to figure out which rubella vaccine my children and I received
    September 10, 2014

    Chris…from the CDC Pink Book-Rubella Chapter:

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/rubella.pdf

    Rubella Vaccine

    Three rubella vaccines were licensed in the United States
    in 1969: HPV-77:DE-5 (duck embryo), HPV-77:DK-12 (dog
    kidney), and GMK-3:RK53 Cendevax (rabbit kidney) strains.
    HPV-77:DK-12 was later removed from the market because
    there was a higher rate of joint complaints following vacci-
    nation with this strain. In 1979, the RA 27/3 (human diploid
    fibroblast) strain (Meruvax-II, Merck) was licensed and all
    other strains were discontinued.

    My daughter was born 1970 and received one of those vaccines. I received a rubella vaccine, prior to conceiving my son who was born in 1976.

    None of us quacked like a duck, barked liked a dog or hopped like a rabbit…in spite of receiving those vaccines which contained foreign DNA.

    @ Julian Frost: Nice post about the three rota virus vaccines which were licensed in the United States. A wee nit pick; Rotashield vaccine was voluntarily removed from the marketplace by the vaccine manufacturer, just before the government ordered the vaccine removed, after the VAERS reports showing upticks in cases of intussusception:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18202442

    Clin Microbiol Rev. 2008 Jan;21(1):198-208. doi: 10.1128/CMR.00029-07.

    Rotavirus vaccines: an overview.

    Dennehy PH.

    Abstract

    Rotavirus infection is the most common cause of severe diarrhea disease in infants and young children worldwide and continues to have a major global impact on childhood morbidity and mortality. Vaccination is the only control measure likely to have a significant impact on the incidence of severe dehydrating rotavirus disease. In 1999, a highly efficacious rotavirus vaccine licensed in the United States, RotaShield, was withdrawn from the market after 14 months because of its association with intussusception. Two new live, oral, attenuated rotavirus vaccines were licensed in 2006: the pentavalent bovine-human reassortant vaccine (RotaTeq) and the monovalent human rotavirus vaccine (Rotarix). Both vaccines have demonstrated very good safety and efficacy profiles in large clinical trials in western industrialized countries and in Latin America. Careful surveillance has not revealed any increased risk of intussusception in the vaccinated groups with either vaccine. The new rotavirus vaccines are now introduced for routine use in a number of industrialized and developing countries. These new safe and effective rotavirus vaccines offer the best hope of reducing the toll of acute rotavirus gastroenteritis in both developed and developing countries.

  78. #78 Krebiozen
    September 10, 2014

    Neil,

    ha ha ha, oh dear lord, not again Orac. Are you still writing?

    He’s still writing, still getting more attention than AoA and lately being quoted as a reliable source by CNN and other major media outlets. Do CNN come to you for accurate information about vaccines? Thought not.

    I see the fear is still there in you, and rightly so.

    Projecting Neil? I see no sign of fear in Orac’s post.

    There is an ever growing anti vaccine movement as well as those who are unsure.

    As evidenced by less than 1% of children not being vaccinated? It’s a little worrying, but hardly a huge movement.

    Medicine is slowly losing it’s power as it is slowly being exposed through countless books, articles etc.

    From where I’m sitting it looks as if medicine is growing in power, as effective treatments are found for more and more diseases. In the UK, where I live, more than 50% of cancer patients live more than 5 years, an amazing triumph of medicine over a very tricky disease (many diseases, really).

    I have no doubt that you are a very intelligent individual, and probably a high achiever and successful surgeon. However, this has nothing to do with common sense or understanding science.

    Spending years learning about science, doing research and practicing medicine doesn’t lead to understanding science? Who knew?

    As for “common sense”, that often seems to be used as an excuse for ignoring cognitive biases and all the ways we fool ourselves, which is the main reason science was developed in the first place. So, if academic qualifications and years of experience don’t teach a person about science, what does? Google University?

    We can learn from scientific research

    I’m with you there.

    and we can learn from experience, our own experiences and the experience of others.

    Not so much. Anecdotal evidence can be very misleading. That’s why randomized clinical trials were invented.

    With the exception of trauma care, the entire medical system is built on 3 lies –we have no control over our health,

    Why does my doctor insist on giving me advice on a healthy diet, exercise, keeping my weight, cholesterol and blood pressure down, checking my blood glucose. Why is preventative medicine such a big part of modern medicine?

    that we are a victim of good or bad luck,

    There is no doubt that getting cancer, and a number of other diseases is largely down to luck. If the right bits of DNA are damaged and our repair mechanisms screw up, we get cancer. We can reduce or increase our risks, but only within fairly modest limits. If you have no immunity to measles and someone sneezes out billions of viable viruses that you then inhale, you will almost certainly get measles (irrespective of whatever diet and health regimen you believe in). You can’t practically control who sneezes near you, but you can get vaccinated and prevent getting measles that way.

    and that you can’t heal yourself.

    Some things heal by themselves, some things don’t. A surgeon depends on his patient’s body healing itself. Somehow I suspect you don’t mean that, and that you believe in some unproven CAM modality. What is it? Acupuncture? Homeopathy? Naturopathy? Therapeutic touch? Reiki? Or all of the above?
    It’s ironic that your three lies are themselves lies.

    Up to 35 shots by around five years of age?

    That is the maximum possible for a sick child who gets the flu vaccine every year, but I fail to see why that number should frighten anyone. Surely getting 35 shots is better than getting any of the diseases they protect against.

    Anyone would think that this child must live in the most atrocious conditions surrounded by disease after disease all the time.

    You don’t need “atrocious conditions” to catch any of the VPDs the vaccine schedule protects against. Most are airborne, or transmitted by close contact, like you get in institutions like schools.

    I will stick with the ‘Scientific law of nature’, the only true science, not medicine who have been blinded by science.

    Ooh, the scientific law of nature. What’s that exactly?

    Medications, vaccinations are not natural and should only be used if absolutely necessary.

    There is no such thing as “natural”. It’s a meaningless word, used by the ignorant to label things they don’t like. You could just as well argue that acupuncture is unnatural, as is homeopathy, taking vitamin tablets, juicing, fasting, and any number of other alternative medicine interventions.

    It isn’t “absolutely necessary” for children to get the MMR, but without it we would see large numbers of sick children, permanent disabilities and deaths. Surely a vaccine with side effects that are extremely rare is better that that, isn’t it?

  79. #79 JGC
    September 10, 2014

    Science should be open to questions, debate and critique which you’ve provided somewhat but it’s very very difficult to read through the ranting.

    Science is open to questions, debate and critique. Not all questions are menaingful and relevant, however, and some questions (such as whether or not there’s evidence of a causal association between routine childhood vaccination and autism specrtrum disorders) have been answered. Debate is only apprpriate when there’s roughly equal bodies of evidence supporting the two or more opposing sides–and that isn’t the case with resepct to vaccine safety and efficacy. ANd citicism must be genuine–i.r., be both relevant and rooted in fact (which again isn’t the case with anti-vax ‘critiques’ of vaccine safety).

    Scientists should be encouraging an environment of continuous safety testing and research for vaccines or anything else we put into our bodies,

    Given that such an environment does exist (did you belevie that VAERS and the National Safety Datalink arose de novo from quantum vacuum?) one must ask: why have you pre-sumed that vaccine safety isn’t being assessed continually?

  80. #80 Tracy
    September 10, 2014

    @ julian frost.
    Gardasil is banned in Japan with Israel currently considering a ban. Spain has also recalled it. All due to safety concerns with the vaccine.

  81. #81 JGC
    September 10, 2014

    I am aware of the current safety tests pre release however I believe there should be more and there should be continuous post-release tests.

    Why exactly do you believe this–i.e., what evidence suggest that the current testing regimen fails to adequately characterize the the safety profile of newly developed vaccines?

    Note also that we do continuosuly monitor the safety profile of vaccines postmarketing, and that monitoring is remarkably efficient, able to detect adverse consequences that occur on the order of one instance in 1 million doses delivered (e.g., encephalopathy associated with MMR vaccination).

  82. #82 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    September 10, 2014

    Gardasil is banned in Japan with Israel currently considering a ban. Spain has also recalled it. All due to safety concerns with the vaccine.

    Japan did not ban Gardasil, Israel did consider a ban but has not acted and Spain’s health ministry recalled a single batch as a knee-jerk response.

  83. #83 JGC
    September 10, 2014

    Gardasil is banned in Japan with Israel currently considering a ban. Spain has also recalled it. All due to safety concerns with the vaccine.

    Gardisil has not been banned in Japan. however: Japan’s Health Ministry instead rescinded their recommendation all women receive it. Its use has not been suspended and it is still available upon request.

    The decision to cease recommending it was a consequence of concerns that the vaccine was associated with diffuse abdominal pain (complex regional pain syndrome)—a decision that has been extensively criticized by health care professionals both abroad and in Japan.

    Such as the researchers at the University of Tokyo) who point out that

    This directive was issued due to fears of adverse events, especially complex regional pain syndrome. However, the present system of reporting adverse events does not follow a systematic process for identifying causality; a rigorous scientific approach is needed to investigate adverse events associated with HPV vaccines. Furthermore, the decision to suspend the vaccination programme was taken by a 3:2 vote of the VARRC, without presentation of adequate scientific evidence. (HPV vaccination programme in Japan, Gilmour et al, Lancet, Volume 382, Issue 9894, 31 August–6 September 2013, Page 768)

    This is the second time that the Health Ministry has withdrawn recommendation—the first time was with respect to MMR, with no result other than the incidence of the diseases skyrocketing.

  84. #84 Chris
    September 10, 2014

    Tracy: “Gardasil is banned in Japan with Israel currently considering a ban.”

    And that is convincing because…?

    Japan is not the source of good vaccination policy. They have a habit of bending to political pressure, with deadly consequences.

    First it was pertussis. From Impact of anti-vaccine movements on pertussis control: the untold story:

    After two infants died within 24 h of receiving DTP, the Ministry of Health and Welfare eliminated whole-cell pertussis vaccine altogether. They later allowed it only for children older than 2 years. Pertussis coverage for infants fell from nearly 80% in 1974 to 10% in 1976. A pertussis epidemic occurred in 1979 with more than 13000 cases and 41 deaths. Japan began replacing whole-cell with acellular pertussis vaccines in 1981, and a striking fall in pertussis incidence followed (figure 2).

    Then it was measles. From Measles vaccine coverage and factors related to uncompleted vaccination among 18-month-old and 36-month-old children in Kyoto, Japan:

    In Japan, measles vaccine coverage has remained low, and either small or moderate outbreaks have occurred repeatedly in communities. According to an infectious disease surveillance (2000), total measles cases were estimated to be from 180,000 to 210,000, and total deaths were estimated to be 88 [11,12]. Measles cases are most frequently observed among non-immunized children, particularly between 12 to 24 months.

    Before you cite a country’s vaccine policy as some kind of example, check to see if it caused deaths from vaccine preventable diseases.

  85. #85 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    September 10, 2014

    This is the second time that the Health Ministry has withdrawn recommendation—the first time was with respect to MMR, with no result other than the incidence of the diseases skyrocketing.

    They also did it with DTP several years ago and only realised that mistake after pertussis cases skyrocketed and several infant deaths occurred. Japan seems to have a skewed nationalism when it comes to some things like vaccines; they don’t like to import them and would rather manufacture and distribute themselves.

  86. #86 Politicalguineapig
    September 10, 2014

    Anteaus: He presents a compelling case that the world has become far less violent (which, ironically, leads us to perceive it as more violent – as violence becomes the exception rather than the rule, it paradoxically captures our attention more and appears to be larger.)

    I’ve heard of Pinkerton’s book. I think it’s dangerously naive. Crime will always be with us, and humans will always prefer to do the wrong thing than to do the right thing. Also, there are a lot of crimes that aren’t defined as such: in the 1950s, rape wasn’t a prosecutable crime (unless it crossed racial lines) child murder went unnoticed, and people who murdered women were rarely prosecuted or arrested. Even today, getting the police to take rape or domestic abuse seriously is a waste of time. I think the reason we have more ‘crime’ now is that more things are defined as crimes.

    Ed Palinarius: It accepts abortion to save the life of the mother, that is, if, by taking medical action to save the life of the mother the baby dies, that is not a moral evil.

    Isn’t saving a woman’s life a moral evil in itself?

  87. #87 Chris
    September 10, 2014

    lilady: “Chris…from the CDC Pink Book-Rubella Chapter:”

    Thanks. I was initially confused by saying the dates in the above article, and I tried to find out more. That is when I learned about the other one and why they switched.

    The funny thing is that the RA 27/3 was developed by Plotkin in the USA, but only first approved in Europe. It actually took Hilleman and other researchers to convince the FDA that it was better.

    This is one reason why I wish folks would remember that more than one MMR vaccine exists, with varying vaccine strains.

  88. #88 Tahoe Nevada
    United States
    September 10, 2014

    To answer question #1, it’s because every body claims anecdotally that it’s shortly after the 2year old booster shots.

  89. #89 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    September 10, 2014

    @lilady: thanks for the correction re rotarix and rotashield.
    Politicalguineapig @86, I’m going to have to call you out on your comments. Crime may be with us until the last human dies, but that doesn’t mean that the crime rate isn’t going down. Freakonomics also mentions that deaths from homicide have fallen every century since the 15th century.

    Even today, getting the police to take rape or domestic abuse seriously is a waste of time.

    They take it far more seriously than they used to.

  90. #90 Lucario
    September 10, 2014

    Antaeus @ #76:

    The problem I see with justice is it’s too slow, it takes too long. Revenge, at least in my mind, is swift, thorough, final, gets the job done. Or am I just too impatient?

  91. #91 JGC
    September 10, 2014

    The problem I see with justice is it’s too slow, it takes too long. Revenge, at least in my mind, is swift, thorough, final, gets the job done.

    Which argues that we should make dispensing justice more timely–dedicate more resources, streamline court procedures, etc.–but not that we should substitue personal vengeance seeking for justice.

  92. #92 KayMarie
    September 10, 2014

    Impatient or more committed to making sure the problem continues on and on and never ends because those you take revenge on will then have to take revenge on you.

    Because you can’t assume you are the one and only who will take revenge and that the venged upon will just sit there and take it and never do anything back.

    That and while it may be fast, do you really want to pay for your vengence in prison or do you assume you would never be caught?

  93. #93 Lucario
    September 10, 2014

    And the best example in history of someone taking revenge on someone and that person taking it back and the whole thing spiraling out of control is…?

  94. #94 Politicalguineapig
    September 10, 2014

    JF: They take it far more seriously than they used to.

    That’s true, they’ll show up now and take statements. But that’s about it.

    Lucario: I have to agree with you on revenge vs. justice. Plus, some people are never, ever going to get any justice. If you’re poor, and the person who wronged you is rich, good luck getting a conviction.

  95. #95 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    September 10, 2014

    And the best example in history of someone taking revenge on someone and that person taking it back and the whole thing spiraling out of control is…?

    WWI?

  96. #96 JGC
    September 10, 2014

    Don’t know if I’d call them the best examples, but the Hatfield/McCoy, and the Earp/Clanton feuds come immediately to mind.

  97. #97 Lucario
    SoFla
    September 10, 2014

    ScienceMom@#95:

    Could you recommend me any good basic non-fiction reading material on WW1? Now that the centennial is upon us and the ACW’s sesquicentennial is coming to an end….

  98. #98 Helianthus
    September 10, 2014

    gets the job done

    I wouldn’t be sure of this.

    Look up “lynch mob”. It’s not just in the past, and it’s not just racists on a killing spree.
    There were two or three cases in UK and France, a few years back, of presumed pedophiles hunted and in at least one case killed by a mob of righteous citizens. Except, oops, wrong guys.
    Did you know that Zimmerman was burgled two weeks before he killed Trayvon Martin? Zimmerman told the police officer on the radio “these [redacted] always get away”. Well, Martin didn’t get away. But oops, wrong guy.
    Let’s not even go into witch-hunting.

    Also about revenge efficiency, in the case of middle-east conflicts, look up “collateral damage”.
    Whenever a Palestinian explodes himself on a crowded market or an Israeli tankist shells a house, they do it as retaliation of past actions from the other side. You will have a hard time convincing me any of these actions is “swift, thorough, final, gets the job done”. The two sides have been at it for more than 50 years now.
    I stopped caring for either side 20 years ago.

  99. #99 Lucario
    SoFla
    September 10, 2014

    I’ve said it several times, I’ll say it again: Could you recommend any good reading material on why revenge is bad? Non-fiction preferred.

  100. #100 Krebiozen
    September 10, 2014

    And the best example in history of someone taking revenge on someone and that person taking it back and the whole thing spiraling out of control is…?

    The Troubles in Ireland get my vote.

    “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind” as someone once said (probably Gandhi).

    The only way revenge really works is if you exterminate your enemies, leaving no one alive to mount a reprisal. But that seems a bit extreme. And probably unethical.

  101. #101 KayMarie
    September 10, 2014

    You might want to start with Game Theory.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoner%27s_dilemma has a fair amount on in it and links to additional resources.

    Although it focuses more on why we stop the revenge and counter revenge cycle.

    But usually the ones who believe only in revenge seem to count on other people will eventually stop revenging back, and sometimes they just don’t.

    For a more personal example try this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatfield%E2%80%93McCoy_feud

  102. #102 Neil
    Australia
    September 10, 2014

    Krebiozen.
    Brainwashed.

    Thanks for your intellectual crap and insight to conventional wisdom. You can’t be challenged, no matter what. You are the typical scientific guru who claims to be right.

    People don’t attack others unless they are in fear, Orac and alike. Why don’t you just stick with what you know instead of criticizing others? Or are you no good at what you do? Haven’t you heard the saying ‘ racehorses don’t look sideways’.

    Ahh yes, the twisted 5 year survival rate statistic, thanks for that insight.

    I said we can ‘learn’ from scientific research, not ‘ believe’ in scientific research. Science has proven to be wrong OVER AND OVER……………? So yes, google is not too bad after all.

    You don’t believe in luck because you don’t understand or practice optimal health. Only less than one per cent of the current population experience this and truly understand it.

    The day i see trials or tests attempted to be done on the super healthy instead of only the super sick will be the day i start thinking differently about modern medicine and big pharma. (the only problem is that you won’t get many volunteers).

    I don’t count, i am not a statistic, medicine makes no money off me, I make no money off medicine, i have no health insurance, i don’t exist.

  103. #103 JGC
    September 10, 2014

    People don’t attack others unless they are in fear,

    Of if that person’s stated position is wrong and/or their actions result in demonstrablly undesirable consequences (like reduced vaccination compliance, undermining herd immunity and leading to outbreaks of reventable diseases like measles and pertussis (as is the case with respect to antivaccine proselytizers).

    The day i see trials or tests attempted to be done on the super healthy instead of only the super sick will be the day i start thinking differently about modern medicine and big pharma. (the only problem is that you won’t get many volunteers).

    You mean like every Phase I clinical trial conducted, Neil?

  104. #104 Shay
    September 10, 2014

    Lucario: for the origins of WW1 you can’t beat Tuchman’s “The Guns of August.”

  105. #105 Orac
    September 10, 2014

    I just read that book a couple of months ago, with all the interest in the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI. It was excellent and clear. Like most people, when I thought of WWI, I thought of trench warfare, but before the war ground to a stalemate and that iconic trench warfare, I was surprised to learn, it really resembled the Blitzkrieg-style of warfare used 25 years later by Hitler, and I hadn’t been aware just how close the Germans came to Paris before they were turned back.

    More surprisingly, from my point of view, I had also been unfamiliar with the atrocities committed by Germans as they plowed through Belgium.

  106. #106 novalox
    September 10, 2014

    @neil

    Ah, instead of making any objections to Krebiozen’s points, you go straight to insults and ad hominems.

    Thanks for proving that your points and assertions are incorrect and that you have nothing positive to contribute here. You admit that you don’t have a point, why should any reasonable person bother with you?

  107. #107 squirrelelite
    September 10, 2014

    @Lucario,
    I thought of The Guns of August, too.
    A quick check on Amazon shows
    The First World War by John Keegan
    The Long Shadow by David Reynolds looks interesting because much of the current Arab-Israeli conflict traces back to conflicting promises made by the British during WWI.
    Lawrence in Arabia… by Scott Anderson covers some of the same material.
    World War I British Poets by Candace Ward gives a different perspective.
    John Keegan also has An Illustrated History of The First World War.
    There’s an abridged version of Winston Churchill’s World Crisis series.
    I didn’t see anything that looked good about Japan’s role in that war (we were allies), but Goodreads listed Austro-Hungarian Submarines in World War I, which is of interest simply because Captain Von Trapp’s “battleship” referred to in The Sound of Music was actually a captured French submarine!
    And, of course for fiction, there is All Quiet on the Western Front.

  108. #108 squirrelelite
    September 10, 2014

    I’d probably add America’s Secret War Against Bolshevism by David S Foglesong, simply because this part of our participation has been so thoroughly buried in the historical records.

  109. #109 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    September 10, 2014

    In addition to the undoubtedly excellent recommendations issued about WWI and WWII how about just turning on BBC and seeing a contemporary example of the atrocious downward spiral revenge lends re: Israel and the Palestinians.

  110. #110 herr doktor bimler
    September 10, 2014

    Criticism from Neil:
    Why don’t you just stick with what you know instead of criticizing others?

    People are always better at dispensing advice to other people than applying it to themselves.

  111. #111 Thomas
    September 10, 2014

    Neil:

    Thank you for confessing that “People don’t attack others unless they are in fear” – that explains why you started your first post in this thread with “ha ha ha, oh dear lord, not again Orac. Are you still writing?” (clearly you need to mock Orac – if you don’t, you risk learning something) and your second with “”Brainwashed”

    Hope you get over your fear soon, and come back to apologize for your oh-so-revealing attacks.

  112. #112 Krebiozen
    September 10, 2014

    Neil,
    Which particular method of attaining super-optimal health do you subscribe to? Just curious.

  113. #113 Brook
    September 10, 2014

    I would totally second Keegan’s book (there’s a wonderful illustrated version of it available).

    Tuchman is gold standard, but you might prefer Margaret MacMillan’s The War that Ended Peace. If you like graphic novels Joe Sacco’s The Great War: July 1st 1916 is amazing. (Even if you don’t like graphic novels this is an incredible book.)

    Or just read or watch Othello

  114. #114 Dangerous Bacon
    September 10, 2014

    “You don’t believe in luck because you don’t understand or practice optimal health. Only less than one per cent of the current population experience this and truly understand it.”

    Let me guess…you have a super-duper immune system, too?

  115. #115 Brook
    September 10, 2014

    Or Lucario take a look at either this article in psychology today http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolution-the-self/201401/5-biggest-problems-revenge-and-its-3-best-remedies (I’m too tired to wrestle with tags today) or this article http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/observer/2011/october-11/the-complicated-psychology-of-revenge.html from the APS Observer.

    Let us know what you think

  116. #116 Lucario
    Night in SoFla
    September 10, 2014

    Thanks, folks, for the reading suggestions (but I’ll skip anything Arab-Israeli conflict-related, thankyouverymuch). I’ve got quite a lot to read, it looks like….

    Anyway, were there any incidents in the (American) Civil War that might teach me why revenge is bad? That might get me *really* interested….

  117. #117 Shay
    September 10, 2014

    Fort Pillow comes to mind.

  118. #118 Shay
    September 10, 2014

    Belay that…read the history of Reconstruction if you want a great example of a revenge-driven, thoroughly bollixed up post-war agenda.

  119. #119 KayMarie
    September 10, 2014
  120. #120 Lucario
    Night in SoFla
    September 10, 2014

    OK, I think I have enough reading material on revenge. Now, what would be some good historical examples of forgiveness? (Outside of a religious context, of course.)

  121. #121 Politicalguineapig
    September 10, 2014

    Lucario: See what you can find on the Truth and Reconciliation tribunals. Of course, those didn’t really work, since the denied South Africans turned, predictably, to violence, often against their near and dears. Might’ve been better if they got the whole thing over in one big paroxysm, rather than turning the whole country into a giant gangland.

  122. #122 TBruce
    September 10, 2014

    Lucario:
    Another problem with revenge is the collateral damage that often results. Think about when revenge becomes part of a divorce proceeding (as it too often does). The “scorched earth” approach wreaks havoc on the children and other family members, as well as the combatants. The only ones who win are the lawyers…

  123. #123 Lucario
    Night in SoFla
    September 10, 2014

    Well, what was history’s most famous divorce proceeding that used the “scorched earth” tactic? (One more answer, and then on to talking about forgiveness.)

  124. #124 Krebiozen
    September 10, 2014

    Now, what would be some good historical examples of forgiveness? (Outside of a religious context, of course.)

    The Forgiveness Project might be a good place to start.

    I think the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland is an excellent historical example. After centuries of killing and reprisals and reprisals for the reprisals, the vast majority of people had had enough, and drew a line under what had happened in the past. Convicted killers were released from prison, and the loved ones of those they had killed for the most part have, if not forgiven them, at least moved on.

  125. #125 brewandferment
    September 10, 2014

    Lucario: I don’t know about “most famous” but IIRC wasn’t it a Baldwin and his wife that made a pretty messy world for their daughter? And the Wales’ (Prince Charles/Princess Diana) book revelations must have wreaked a lot of havoc.

  126. #126 KayMarie
    September 10, 2014

    This may be too small a historical event, but a well known story around here that involves forgiveness is chronicled in this book.

    http://www.pickingcottonbook.com/buy.html

  127. #127 Chris
    September 11, 2014

    I’m sorry, but due to having to be elsewhere I have only paid attention to very little of the “Lucario” thread.

    All I have to contribute is that “education is better than revenge.” That is all.

    We present the information on vaccines here not for the AoA crowd, but for those on the fence. If we use data without injurious emotion we are more likely to get those who are the fence sitters. We are here for those with an open mind, and willing to dig into the research.

    As one can see I was confused about the dates of “the rubella vaccine”, and with a bit of digging I found out that there were those approved in the USA without fetal human cells, but they caused unacceptable side affects.

    The one that had human fetal cells that was developed in the USA but first approved in Europe did not have the same joint issues, and was incorporated into the MMR II in 1978/79.

    I actually learned this by noticing something I thought was wrong in the last paragraph of this article. But I did a search of the PubMed literature and found out where I was wrong, and learned something. So I changed my mind, due to the actual evidence.

    Please note that this is evidence that I have an open mind.

    But I’ll need more evidence that the MMR II caused a steep increase in autism in the 1980s, that is positively documented before 1990.

  128. #128 Sarah
    September 11, 2014

    As an on the fence person I completely agree with Chris above. There is so much anger and acerbic wit on both sides of the debate that it can seem like those involved are more concerned with ego and point-scoring than with the health and wellbeing of our children. It also doesn’t help when the comment thread starts with people citing the time gap between vaccines being administered and autism diagnosis as proof of anything, as most people understand that the NHS can take well over a year to reach an official diagnosis following a parents request for one. I am not a scientist so senior scientific figures on both sides can seem equally persuasive to me when they are arguing in a logical thread, but I am not so ignorant as to believe anyone just because they are telling me in thinly veiled terms that I’m stupid if I don’t. So in summary it is very confusing and yes education, evidence, facts, without the anger and arrogance would be very much appreciated and much more effective to convince those like myself. By the by- at risk of inviting a torrent of abuse my way – would it not just be easier to agree to the NVIC demand to have vaccine safety oversight under a neutral body? (no conflicts of interest etc) That way the ‘anti-vaxers’ will be placated, the general publics faith in vaccine safety will be restored and the rising tide of ‘refusers’ will be stemmed? Seems like a win win situation for all?

  129. #129 Lucario
    September 11, 2014

    “Education is the best revenge?” Where in history is that borne out?

  130. #130 Simpson Wood
    September 11, 2014

    “education is better than revenge.”
    NOT
    “Education is the best revenge?”

    dippy

  131. #131 Lawrence
    September 11, 2014

    @Sarah – since the CDC is a government agency, what Conflict of Interest does it have relating to vaccines?

  132. #132 Lucario
    SunnySoFla
    September 11, 2014

    SimpsonWood @#130:

    Sorry about the typo there. (facepalms)

    Anyhoo, where in history is “education is better than revenge” borne out?

  133. #133 Sarah
    September 11, 2014

    Lawrence @#131 – re. Conflict of interest I am just going by news articles such as the following . . .
    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/national-vaccine-information-center-calls-for-removal-of-vaccine-safety-oversight-from-us-department-of-health-and-human-services-2014-09-02
    Is what they are saying here regarding conflicts of interest untrue? If you could clarify how and why that would be great as its articles like this which can be very confusing to the average parent. Many thanks,

  134. […] are trying to convince people that fetal DNA in vaccines cause autism. For the full story, read Orac’s blog post, but in the meantime, here is some absurdity from the press […]

  135. #135 TBruce
    September 11, 2014

    By the by- at risk of inviting a torrent of abuse my way – would it not just be easier to agree to the NVIC demand to have vaccine safety oversight under a neutral body? (no conflicts of interest etc) That way the ‘anti-vaxers’ will be placated…

    Based on their track record so far, I can assure you the antivaxers will NOT be placated.

  136. #136 lilady
    September 11, 2014

    “Lawrence @#131 – re. Conflict of interest I am just going by news articles such as the following . . ”

    That is not a news article Sarah. It is a press release from the curiously name National Vaccine Information Center, which is an anti-vaccine, anti-science group; the NVIC paid for placement of that press release.

    I suggest you open this link to the CDC to see how strictly monitored vaccine safety is accomplished in the United States….it is an exemplary program.

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/index.html

    Here’s the organizational chart for the NTSB:

    http://www.ntsb.gov/about/organization.html

  137. #137 Chris
    September 11, 2014

    Lucario, the Marshall Plan in Europe and the occupation of Japan after WWII. Both required support and educational programs to create stable economies.

    Check out Hans Rowling videos at http://www.gapminder.org/. He has some on the effect of education on health and welfare.

  138. #138 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    September 11, 2014

    Politicalguineapig, as a South African, I have to take issue with your labelling of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee as a failure. Atrocities were committed on both sides, so it was decided that revenge was useless. The TRC’s main goal was to get at the truth.

  139. #139 Krebiozen
    September 11, 2014

    Sarah,
    The NVIC is a notorious antivaccine organization that is devoted to spreading misinformation about vaccines. I wouldn’t trust a word they say.

  140. #140 Lawrence
    September 11, 2014

    @Sarah – just stating that a COI exists isn’t enough to “prove” that one exists.

    As lilady has posted above, there is an extremely robust safety tracking system in place for vaccines, on top of the already rigorous safety testing and clinical trials that occur during the development and licensing process by the FDA.

    In fact, vaccines have a better safety record than most other drugs and treatments on the market today – vaccines have been proven to be safer than driving car or even as safe, if not safer than flying on an airplane.

    People like those at the NVIC do nothing more than spread fear by lying and misrepresenting the facts about vaccines today.

  141. #141 Dangerous Bacon
    September 11, 2014

    “@Sarah – since the CDC is a government agency, what Conflict of Interest does it have relating to vaccines?”

    The CDC provides factual information about vaccines, their usefulness, possible side effects etc.
    From reading CDC materials, one would get the impression that vaccines possess a high degree of safety and are an important part of public health measures.

    So obviously the CDC has a “conflict of interest:” with regard to vaccination, since their findings conflict with the interests of antivaxers.

    Hope that helps.

  142. #142 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    September 11, 2014

    Is what they are saying here regarding conflicts of interest untrue? If you could clarify how and why that would be great as its articles like this which can be very confusing to the average parent. Many thanks,

    Sarah, if you read your link and follow the links within the press release, it becomes rather obvious that NVIC is a notorious anti-vaxx group posing as a vaccine-safety advocacy group even if you didn’t think that to begin with. For example, BLF claims, “he non-profit National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) is renewing its call for oversight of vaccine safety to be removed from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), which is responsible for vaccine development,” That is false and very misleading. The NIH for instance does research on a multitude of topics including but not limited to therapeutics and biologicals. Occasionally, something works, is patented and sold to a pharmaceutical company. The vast majority of drug research and development is done by the pharma industry. BLF misleads readers into thinking that everything from start to finish is done in-house.

    BLF also states, “It is a conflict of interest for DHHS to be in charge of vaccine safety and also license vaccines, and take money from drug companies to fast track vaccines, and partner with drug companies to develop and share profits from vaccine sales, and make national vaccine policies that get turned into state vaccine laws, while also deciding which children will and will not get a vaccine injury compensation award. That is too much power for one federal agency,” But offers no substantiation for these statements which are mostly false. The DHHS does not “partner” with drug companies to develop vaccines and share profits. The DHHS does not get paid to “fast-track” vaccines. States make their own vaccine requirements and are not compelled by the CDC even if their recommendations are a basis. BLF helped to draft the VICP system and because it doesn’t act like a personal piggy-bank for anyone claiming vaccine damage, she’s suddenly critical of it.

    Next, BLF states, “In 2011, NVIC called for the creation of an independent vaccine safety monitoring agency modeled after the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) and has also called for independent vaccine research into health outcome differences between children who are and are not vaccinated according to the federally recommended vaccine schedule. ”

    There is ongoing research into unvaccinated cohorts and at least one should be shortly. BLF is dishonestly veiling her own knowledge of a group well known to her who has also conducted a vaxx v. unvaxx study. As for independence, the IOM is an independent group with stringent COI requirements for it’s members and have conducted numerous reviews of vaccine safety and adverse events: http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2013/The-Childhood-Immunization-Schedule-and-Safety.aspx

    BLF suggests in her “independent” reform draft that, “This independent entity would provide oversight on, but not necessarily operation of, the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) and would take the lead in setting priorities for and oversight of vaccine safety research into the biological mechanisms and high risk factors for vaccine injury and death for the purpose of minimizing vaccine risks for individuals and populations. In addition, this independent entity would be informed by a consumer advisory committee composed of non-governmental, non-
    industry representatives with the authority to recommend investigations and make special reports to the President on specific vaccine safety issues of public concern.”

    That’s code for she wants or a group of her cronies to be the “independent entity” who will guide “vaccine safety” in the direction she wants it to go. So her agenda is far more nefarious than those overseeing human health currently ever could be real or imagined.

  143. #143 MI Dawn
    September 11, 2014

    Question: Neil, above, has his location as Australia. This is the same Neil who boasts he has no health insurance and medicine never makes money off him, correct? In a country with Universal Health Insurance? Or can you opt out entirely?

  144. #144 brewandferment
    September 11, 2014

    @Julian #138–PGP routinely makes sweeping pronouncements about stuff she knows little or nothing about based on her own Eeyore-like view of the world, possibly as some sort of protective armor against having to interact with real people.

  145. #145 LIz Ditz
    Summarizing Critiques of Deisher
    September 11, 2014

    Several faith-based online platforms have severely criticized Deisher’s work. I have been informed that several more are in the works.

    I am keeping track of the critiques at Critical Evaluations of “Impacts of Environmental Factors on the Prevalence of Autistic Disorder after 1979” , Deisher et al. 2014.

  146. #146 Politicalguineapig
    September 11, 2014

    JF: Atrocities were committed on both sides, so it was decided that revenge was useless. The TRC’s main goal was to get at the truth.

    I hope they got it. But I do think that the TRC bear a lot of responsibility for the violence in South Africa now.

    bandf: I do interact with people fairly regularly, I just have to be aware that a lot of them do want to harm me, and plan exit strategies at all times.

  147. #147 brewandferment
    September 11, 2014

    PGP: a lot of people want to harm you? are you serious? unless you are some sort of CIA agent, I have to wonder if you have some sort of paranoia dysfunction. The world is not usually out to get specific individuals–sometimes you are in the wrong place at the wrong time so keeping alert and wits about you is reasonable–but most of the time nobody really cares.

  148. #148 Politicalguineapig
    September 12, 2014

    bandf: a lot of crimes are simply opportunistic. Look like a sheep and the wolves will come; it’s common sense. I don’t smile in public, try to interact as little as possible, and get where I’m going as soon as I can. I suppose it comes of growing up in a span of years where the homicide rate was one every three days. There are still parts of my city I wouldn’t visit without a tank or armor.

    And I know this is true of many states and countries. I’m sure South Africa and India are lovely, but I’d pack a suit of armor to visit them. Statistically (and all human interaction boils down to stats) it ain’t worth it.

    I do however have more to fear from “friendly” people who act nice but aren’t. Easiest way is to avoid having many friends in the first place.

    I have to spend as little time as possible in my local library because of a very nice woman who stabbed me in the back while I was working there- every time I’m there I spend more than half my visit avoiding the staff.

    Love is unrealistic- sure, it could be great, but it’s also a deadly drug. And everyone knows the tale of the ‘nice guy’ and the ‘friendzone.’ Thus, exit plans are needed.

  149. #149 Narad
    September 12, 2014

    Look like a sheep and the wolves will come; it’s common sense. I don’t smile in public, try to interact as little as possible, and get where I’m going as soon as I can.

    That sounds more like reeking of delicious fear than avoiding some sort of imaginary sheepledom.

  150. #150 papango
    New Zealand
    September 12, 2014

    @MI Dawn
    Australia has a public health system rather than universal health insurance. That is, the government directly pays for hospitals and some doctors and so on rather than paying the money to insurance companies to pay to doctors and hospitals. Neil is absolutely able to state he has no health insurance, but it’s a claim that’s less impressive in Australia because his medical costs will be covered by the public system regardless. He cannot, however, claim that medicine makes no money off him as the public system is funded through tax and even if he is avoiding all personal taxes he will still be paying the Goods and Services Tax on almost everything he purchases.

  151. #151 Chemmomo
    where the full moon has set
    September 12, 2014

    Narad and PGP

    That sounds more like reeking of delicious fear than avoiding some sort of imaginary sheepledom.

    in response to PGP’s

    I just have to be aware that a lot of them do want to harm me

    Followed by

    I don’t smile in public, try to interact as little as possible

    Sounds to me more like paranoia and self-fulfilling prophesy.

  152. #152 Helianthus
    September 12, 2014

    From BLF

    a consumer advisory committee composed of non-governmental, non-industry representatives

    If I can add my 2 cents, while setting an independent oversight committee is a laudable goal in itself, the above restrictions may lead to a very ineffectual one.
    If “governement” includes academics and already existing health agencies, and if on top of this you exclude people who have a relative working in either the government or a chemical-related industry, you won’t have many people left. These restrictions will also exclude all people with a passing knowledge in the field.
    You will end up with people who very likely don’t know much about biology or chemistry and thus could easily be misled.
    On the other hand, there is no independent expert. Everybody who knows about a field has necessarily interacted with this field, and thus likely gained some biases.
    There is no perfect solution.

  153. #153 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    September 12, 2014

    Politicalguineapig, I’m afraid I have to agree with BrewandFerment’s comment that:

    PGP routinely makes sweeping pronouncements about stuff she knows little or nothing about based on her own Eeyore-like view of the world.

    The violence in South Africa has NOTHING to do with the TRC. South Africa was (and still is) a very violent country with a strong paternalistic culture. A lot of people (on both sides) were brutalised during the fight against apartheid. Add to that, we have a shockingly incompetent and corrupt government that’s riddled with factionalism and that has attempted (not without success) to undermine institutions like the Prosecution Service and the Public Protector to shield politically connected individuals, and it’s no surprise that violence is so common.
    Not only are you wrong about the TRC being a reason for the violence in South Africa, you are not even wrong. I can make a case that without the TRC, the cycle of violence and revenge would have perpetuated, and a bad situation would have been even worse.

  154. #154 Shay
    September 12, 2014

    “Statistically….it ain’t worth it.”

    Perhaps you should study statistics.

  155. #155 Lawrence
    September 12, 2014

    Given that violent crime rates in the US have decreased year over year (and dramatically over the past 40 years), I think your “fears” are a bit unfounded….and exhibiting more than a trace of paranoia.

    I lived in DC during the worst years of the crack epidemic & not even the better parts of the city, yet I never felt threatened or scared, even once. In fact, it wasn’t until I moved out to a rural area of Maryland that I experienced my first crime….

  156. #156 LIz Ditz
    Back to evaluating Deisher's lousiness
    September 12, 2014

    This is a win. At Rational Catholic, Problems with Deisher’s study— Part I: The numbers by Laura C. at Rational Catholic (September 12 2014)

    (emphasis added)

    In such a scenario, I would have been able to say to myself, like most other people in the scientific blogosphere are doing with the Deisher study, “This is just too absurd, too poorly done to waste any more time refuting it!” But, I can’t do that because you, my brothers and sisters in Christ, deserve to know how badly you are being deceived by a study that is so abominable, it would be an insult to bad science to call it bad science.

  157. #157 Lucario
    Rainy SoFla
    September 12, 2014

    Shay @#118:

    Wasn’t there also a thread of forgiveness in Reconstruction as well (e. g. Lincoln’s and Johnson’s amnesty declarations)?

  158. #158 Medic
    September 17, 2014

    >clip

  159. #159 Shay
    September 17, 2014

    Lucario — Lincoln got shot and Johnson was impeached, so any attempts by the Administration to temper the wind to the shorn lamb was tossed to the side by a vengeful Congress.

  160. #160 Shay
    September 17, 2014

    “were.” I can’t blame scienceblogs for my lack of subject/verb agreement.

  161. #161 Lucario
    Night in SoFla
    September 17, 2014

    Shay @#159-160:

    And yet, as the politicans sought vengeance, the common citizens and especially the soldiers on both sides sought forgiveness and a healig of wounds between the two sides. At least that’s how I understand it.

  162. #162 Politicalguineapig
    September 17, 2014

    Lucario: And yet, as the politicans sought vengeance, the common citizens and especially the soldiers on both sides sought forgiveness and a healig of wounds between the two sides. At least that’s how I understand it.

    Um, no. The former Union soldiers and the northern civilians simply forgot, the Southerners just crawled into holes, licked their wounds and raised their children on lies. Why do you think the South is slithering toward secession once again?

  163. #163 LW
    September 18, 2014

    @Politicalguineapig, you despise the South and Southerners. You view them with fear, loathing, hatred, and contempt. Why do you object to secession? Why don’t you see it as “good riddance to bad rubbish”?

  164. #164 Lucario
    Morning in SoFla
    September 18, 2014

    PGP, that question was for Shay to answer. In fact, between you saying that it was immoral to save the life of a woman (like me), and insulting Southerners (which I consider myself, even though I was born in the North) with that last comment, I suggest you kindly stay out of this conversation before you step on any more toes.

    Also, I (and a few other posters on this board) are worried you might have clinical depression. Please seek help ASAP.

  165. #165 Denice Walter
    September 18, 2014

    @ Lucario:

    You may have something there.

    I think that PGP has several valuable qualities- she really supports science; she values education; she can certainly take alties to task; she is intelligent. HOWEVER she tends to go overboard when catagorising political and demographic groups.

    Like all of us, she displays attitudes derived in some manner from personal experience, perhaps magnified by emotional issues. Anxiety and depression can act as distorting lenses and skew our beliefs and interactions with other people. There is help for this.

    Free conversation and interaction with other sceptics @ RI can possibly lead her towards change: other commenters tell her how she is mistaken frequently. Because she supports science, pointing her towards DATA may help, e.g.; the political spectrum is not set in stone by location. We can show that as easily as we can show the true after effects of vaccines as opposed to the mythical ones.

    The other day, I was forced to talk with two rather prejudiced people visiting from outside my area who made the expected remarks about my own liberal utopia- you can imagine- it concerned crime rates and immigrants/ non-whites.
    Perhaps they supposed that because I am rather ridiculously white that I would be as prejudiced as they are..

    I simply pointed out that the crime rate where I live was approximately one third of that where they lived ( and where to look up figures like these easily) PLUS the population density was many times more where I live making my point even more salient ( the figures I use don’t control for population density although they note it).

    Similarly, I narrated how my education consisted of far-flung universities well-known for diversity, how I played tennis with people from all over the world and how my clients represent many different ethnicities. ( To be perfectly frank, the people who have given me the most trouble in my life were nearly all as white as I am – and often related to me- which I didn’t tell them).If you isolate yourself from other people, you’ll never learn what they’re like and your prejudices remain intact and un-challenged.

    I doubt that my statements will have any effect on them as they are older, rigid and set in their ways. PGP though, is a youngster and there’s more hope for her.

  166. #166 Politicalguineapig
    September 18, 2014

    Lucario: Simply put, I doubt the South would have any reason to preserve habitat or parks. Plus they have no infrastructure of their own.

    You didn’t read carefully. God thinks it’s immoral to save women’s lives, I don’t. In fact, I intend to live as immoral a life as possible, just so I don’t get stuck with the sanctimonious twits who make up Heaven.

    Please don’t use the ‘get help’ gambit on me. I *know* I have depression. It’s manageable.

  167. #167 Lucario
    September 18, 2014

    pgp:

    (citations needed) on:

    1. The South being unwilling to preserve habitat/parks;
    2. the South not having infrastructure of its own;
    3. God thinking it’s immoral to save women’s lives (chapter and verse, please).

  168. #168 Laura C.
    rationalcatholicblog.wordpress.com
    September 18, 2014

    Deisher also claims that axons can be conduits for fragmented DNA to bypass the blood-brain barrier. And in other news, Verizon is now telling us that FIOS can now transfer small food particles and they’ll be offering Smell-o-Vision this spring.

    “How could this contaminating DNA reach the neurons in the brain of a young child? DNA injected into a muscle can be picked up by receptors on the nerve ending. Once DNA has been taken up in to the nerve endings, it can be transported back up the nerve’s axon to the brain.” (http://sc.fiatinsight.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Dec_2009_Faith_and_Science_and_Aborted_fetal_DNA_in_vaccines.pdf)

    I would like to apologize for my co-religionists. They do NOT speak for us!

  169. #169 Laura C.
    September 18, 2014

    Should mention, though, Orac, that you did make an error. While Deisher claims that 1988 was the year the 2-dose MMR schedule came into being, the official recommendation by ACIP was not until December 1989 (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00041753.htm). The prior deviations from a 1-dose schedule were for outbreak control (1987 http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00022967.htm) or for areas of recurrent measles (Jan 1989 http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00001328.htm) and is reflected in the 1989 CDC schedule (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/images/schedule1989s.jpg)

  170. […] test with the insufficiency of degrading RNA by heating alone. You can read the details on his blog (though he is not charitable to the religious who promote bad […]

  171. […] 1. This paper is so bad that he must be trolling. But, he’s not. Orac ripped through it here:  Religious fundamentalists try to prove fetal DNA in vaccines causes autism and fail. […]

  172. #172 Green Eagle
    Los Angeles
    October 22, 2014

    Oh my God in heaven above- at the “Children of God for Life” website, Theresa Deisher actually refers to herself as “the Sarah Palin of Stem Cells.”

    I wonder if she gets into brawls at birthday parties.

  173. #173 Lawrence
    October 23, 2014

    There are three words that no self-respecting person should aspire to “Sarah Palin of….”

    Too funny.

  174. #175 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 21, 2014

    When the purported “science” is terrible, Heather, we don’t say “oh, but it’s a SCIENTIST pushing this BS, so somehow it’s still plausible.” That is antithetical to the very meaning of science.

  175. […] with a not-insignificant molecular biology background and published papers in molecular biology, I hang my head in shame at such BS. I can understand why a pathologist might fall for such a ridiculous idea, but Deisher should know […]

  176. #177 Krebiozen
    November 21, 2014

    We are constantly ingesting food containing large amounts of intact DNA and absorbing DNA fragments (mice do, so humans very probably do too). Worrying about vanishingly tiny amounts of DNA fragments with a couple of hundred base pairs seems more than a bit foolish to me. The leap from in vitro studies of DNA fragment uptake to the claim that, “these contaminating fragments could be incorporated into a child’s genome and disrupt normal gene function, leading to autistic phenotypes” is both enormous and unjustified, it seems to me.

  177. #178 Richard D.
    OZ
    November 26, 2014

    After reading this article. I see parallels with quackwatch and we all know who supports the running of the website. Sitting back as an observer, I think the vaccine argument is a lost cause. I know the western media won’t publish adverse articles on vaccines. No, they avoid the big stories such as Japan and European countries banning Pertussis vaccines. No mentions of the class action in Spain and many other countries including Japan regarding HPV vaccine. Want me to continue. No, I have better things to do than read about Zombies from Orac. The web is an amazing place and it is the web that will be the downfall of the toxic drugs that Giant Pharma are feeding the populace.

  178. #179 Chris
    November 26, 2014

    Richard D.: “I know the western media won’t publish adverse articles on vaccines.”

    Really? How come I see them all the time, though often without much data. Like this recent story.

    “No, they avoid the big stories such as Japan and European countries banning Pertussis vaccines.”

    Oh, do give some citations about that. I have this one: Impact of anti-vaccine movements on pertussis control: the untold story

    Be sure to look at the graphs comparing those who stopped pertussis vaccination and those who did not. Check out what happened in Japan, from that paper:

    After two infants died within 24 h of receiving DTP, the Ministry of Health and Welfare eliminated whole-cell pertussis vaccine altogether. They later allowed it only for children older than 2 years. Pertussis coverage for infants fell from nearly 80% in 1974 to 10% in 1976. A pertussis epidemic occurred in 1979 with more than 13000 cases and 41 deaths.

    Hmmm, what I see in is a marked increase in the deaths of babies. So if you think “Great Phama” is bad, you must be in the favor of dead children.

    That is what will be assumed until you can come up with PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers that show any vaccine on the American pediatric schedule is more dangerous than the diseases they prevent.

  179. #180 lilady
    Not in Oz
    November 26, 2014

    “After reading this article. I see parallels with quackwatch and we all know who supports the running of the website.”

    We know you’ve been visiting Patimmy’s blog, where the deadbeat blogger has been trying to get his greedy fists on the money dispensed by Wakefield’s and Hooker’s wealthy benefactors.

    Jake has a new post up and he’s trashing Emily Willingham. Looks like the cub reporter is insanely jealous of Dr. Willingham’s journalism talents and the prestigious journalism prize she was awarded.

    There’s no hope for Jake as an epidemiologist…or as a journalist. His BFFs Wakefield and Hooker haven’t responded to his inquiries and no one provided Jake with this latest communication from Brian Hooker:

    http://www.ashotoftruth.org/blog/warm-thank-you-brian-hooker-phd

    In spite of the retraction of Hooker’s “reanalysis” of the 2004 DeStefano et al study and this latest communication, I won’t be counting on Hooker’s downfall. As long as Hooker has the support of his wealthy benefactors…he’ll keep cranking out those bogus studies and appearing at those anti-vaccine conferences.

  180. #181 JGC
    November 26, 2014

    No, they avoid the big stories such as Japan and European countries banning Pertussis vaccines.

    Except Japan didn’t actually ban the pertussis vaccine, did they? Instead, in 1975 they raised the age at which children received pertussis vaccination by two years–and what were the consequences?

    In the three years prior to 1975, there were 400 cases of pertussis and 10 deaths from pertussis. In the three years following there were 13,000 cases of pertussis and 113 deaths from pertussis.

    It should also be noted that although the side effects of the old pertussis vaccine were high, no child in Japan died as a consequence of receiving pertussis vaccine–the same certainly isn’t true with regard to children becoming infected by pertussis.

    Of course, given that in 1981 Japan introduced acellular pertussis vaccines, 40.3 million doses of acellular pertussis vaccine were given to 2-year-olds from 1982 to 1988 and 59.3 million doses of acellular pertussis vaccine were given to 3-month-olds from 1989 to 2001, one must ask: did you have a point, other than perhaps that newer acellualr pertussis vaccines are far, far safer than older whole-cell vaccines?

  181. #182 herr doktor bimler
    November 26, 2014

    Except Japan didn’t actually ban the pertussis vaccine, did they?
    Nor did European countries. So the news media “avoid the big stories such as Japan and European countries banning Pertussis vaccines” because those stories are bullsh1t.

  182. #183 Narad
    November 26, 2014

    No mentions of the class action in Spain

    You think this is a “class action”? A “big story” that the “western media” is avoiding?

    Here’s an idea: How about you go find the actual suit and it’s promised follow-ons rather than just barfing up some mangled version of a post from “Sane”Vax?

  183. #184 herr doktor bimler
    November 26, 2014

    Now I find myself imagining alternative-universe dystopian scenarios in which pertussis vaccines *have* been banned in European countries, with long prison terms awaiting those who are caught in possession of a contraband syringe, while an underground Acquired-Resistance of doctors do their best to smuggle doses into the continent.
    Someone else can write the screenplay as long as I get credit and a share of the take.

  184. #185 Krebiozen
    November 26, 2014

    Sitting back as an observer, I think the vaccine argument is a lost cause. I know the western media won’t publish adverse articles on vaccines.

    I can see how a credulous and scientifically ignorant person lacking any critical analytical abilities might come to that conclusion. It’s hard work figuring out of what you have read on the internet is true or just a lie invented by someone with an axe to grind, like the claim that vaccines have been banned in Japan.

  185. #186 Narad
    November 26, 2014

    I was prompted to look at Deisher’s CVs today, and it seems that this paper followed a tortured path to the “bogus, Nigeria-based publisher.”

    Here (PDF), “US Autistic Disorder (1970–2002) Changepoints Do Not Coincide with Changepoints for Suspected Sociologic and Environmental Causes” (LaMadrid M, Brown C, Deisher T) was submitted to Autism Research in 2011 March (in a 2013 CV).

    Here (PDF) “Impact of Environmental Factors on the Prevalence of Austistic Disorder after 1979” (Deisher TA, Doan NV, Omaiye A, Koyama K, Bwabye S, la Madrid M) was submitted to Pediatrics in 2011 April.

    One might wonder where else the same “changepoint” routine was submitted…

  186. #187 Narad
    November 26, 2014

    … before Deisher decided to skip the barrel entirely.

    It also turns out that she was gunning for a VSD fishing expedition (PDF) at one point.

  187. #188 herr doktor bimler
    November 26, 2014

    Gunning, as well, for a $260,000 payment-in-advance for expert-witness testimonial.
    Judging from a skim of the document, Deisher seems to have shot down the fishing expedition with her own signed declaration, wherein she testifies that each dose of “the rubella component of the MMRII contain[s] approximately 200 nanograms [of] human fetal DNA”… inspiring the Special Master to conclude that “Dr. Deisher does seem to already have the information petitioners now seek”, and to reject the application for access.

    Do Special Masters often use words like “brazen”?

  188. #189 Snout
    November 27, 2014

    @ Herr Doktor #184, you might need to fight for your share of the take with Ben Elton.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_Faith_(novel)

  189. #190 Narad
    November 27, 2014

    It turns out that LBRB covered this last year.

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