The blog post of mine that arguably “put me on the map” in the skeptical blogosphere was my very Insolent, very sarcastic deconstruction of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s deceptive pseudoscience-ridden bit of fear mongering that he called Deadly Immunity. It was originally jointly published both by Salon.com and Rolling Stone, a blot that neither publication will ever overcome. At least Salon.com retracted the article over five years later. Rolling Stone never did, although the article is now available only to its paid subscribers.

The reason I mention this “past glory” (if you can call it that) is not to brag, but rather to point out that my earliest “splash” was achieved refuting Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s claim that the mercury in the thimerosal used as a preservative in childhood vaccines caused an “epidemic” of autism. It’s a lie he’s still flogging in 2015, partying, as I put it, like it’s 1999. In other words, before I delve into my current topic, I wanted to point out that it is an article of faith among a segment of the antivaccine movement (sometimes referred to as the “mercury militia”) that the primary cause of the increase in autism prevalence observed over the last 25 years is thimerosal-containing vaccines. Never mind that it is a thoroughly discredited hypothesis. Never mind that there hasn’t been thimerosal in childhood vaccines other than the flu vaccine since 2002 and that there are thimerosal-free versions of that vaccine, meaning that children are exposed to less mercury from vaccines than any time since before the “autism epidemic” started. In other words, the continued increase in the prevalence of autism and autism-spectrum disorders long after the removal of thimerosal from nearly all childhood vaccinations has been the single strongest bit of evidence arguing against the hypothesis that thimerosal has anything to do with autism.

of course, leave it to a believer in quackery to turn that explanation upside down. In this case, it’s Beaux Reliosis, who bills herself as a “20-year survivor of Lyme disease” whose mission is “to get the Lyme criminals prosecuted so the millions suffering can be properly diagnosed and treated.” She’s also the author of a post entitled The Vaccine Scientific Exemption: Not Just for Cows. The title might be puzzling to you now, but hold on. It won’t be for long. Reliosis starts out with an odd story. Basically, she references a report from the MMWR Weekly from 1998 about human exposure to Brucella abortus strain RB51:

On May 26-27, 1997, nine persons (a farmer, four veterinary clinicians, and four veterinary students) in Manhattan, Kansas, participated in an attempted vaginal delivery, a cesarean delivery, and a necropsy on a stillborn calf that died because of Brucella abortus infection. The infection was confirmed by isolation of B. abortus from placental and fetal lung tissue cultures. The National Animal Disease Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), identified the B. abortus isolate from the calf as the RB51 vaccine strain. RB51 is a live, attenuated strain that was licensed conditionally by the Veterinary Services, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA, on February 23, 1996, for vaccination of cattle in the United States.

So basically, in 1997 somehow a calf died of an infection that was due to the vaccine strain of B. abortus. The humans who had been exposed took a prophylactic course of doxycycline, and none of them showed signs of infection by the vaccine strain of B. abortus. So why focus on a disease of cows? Here’s why:

Recap: Pregnant cow gets vaccine. Unborn calf gets the disease that the vaccine was supposed to prevent. Calf is stillborn; heifer is euthanized. Everyone involved in the surgery is treated with antibiotics for fear they also will contract the disease. Says the CDC.

Are they killing vaccine-injured people in California yet?

I can hear the vaccine rah-rah crowd saying, oh, but that’s in COWS. That couldn’t possibly happen with people. People are not cows.

Yes, “vaccine shedding” is a common myth among antivaccinationists. Any live attenuated vaccine, to hear them tell it, can lead to shedding and endanger people around them. It’s a convenient myth that allows antivaccinationist to falsely portray the vaccinated as spreading disease just as much, if not more, then their unvaccinated children. So why did she bring this up? I ask this because her story of the calf has nothing to do with what comes next, although what comes next is just as off-base:

In 2001, “except for influenza (flu), thimerosal is removed from or reduced in all vaccines routinely recommended for children 6 years of age and under manufactured for the U.S. market.” http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/thimerosal/timeline.html

Which is the worst, stupidest thing our government could possibly have done.

Thimerosal was put in vaccines to prevent fungal growth in the vial. Fungal contamination leads to immunosuppression, which results in the reactivation or activation of the very viruses the vaccines are intended to prevent. Many of these viruses are known to be neurotropic and to interfere with neurodevelopment. It is glaringly obvious that this is the reason for the autism epidemic, and probably SIDS, ADHD and childhood cancers.

The CDC certainly knows that this vaccine-induced brain damage is going on. They most certainly are aware of this mechanism, since it is proven by their own data.

See why this post caught my attention? Here I’ve been hearing for more than a decade, since even before RFK, Jr.’s dishonest conspiracy mongering fear piece, that thimerosal is the root of all evil, that it’s the cause of autism, neurodevelopmental disorders, tics, and all maner of problems. Yet here we have an antivaccinationist claiming that taking thimerosal out of vaccines was the “stupidest thing our government could possibly have done.” Even more riotously laugh- and cringe-inducingly, she based it on experience in a cow with a live attenuated virus vaccine. Here’s a hint: Thimerosal was never in live attenuated virus vaccines, because it kills the virus.

When it comes to quacks, there is a tendency to want to make like physicists and come up with a “grand unified theory” of all disease. We see this in Robert O. Young, who believes that cancer, AIDS, and all disease are caused by “excess acid.” We also see it in Hulda Clark, who blamed cancer, AIDS, and—yes—all diseases on a liver fluke. We see it in the “chronic candida” crowd, who blame all manner of symptoms and chronic illness on chronic infection with candida albicans, a fungus. In this latter case, it’s true that humans can be infected with candida. However, in the absence of significant immunosuppression such infections are usually superficial and rarely serious. And let’s not forget Morgellon’s disease, in which some sort of “fibers” (which have never been proven to be anything more than clothing fibers) are blamed for all manner of symptoms.

Then there’s chronic Lyme disease, which is arguably the granddaddy of them all when it comes to being The One True Cause of all illness. There is, of course, no such thing as chronic Lyme disease, but that doesn’t stop a large number of people from blaming their vague, nonspecific symptoms to chronic Lyme, from a veritable army of quacks from coming up with a cornucopia of quackery to treat it (and a sad number of real doctors treating it with prolonged courses of antibiotics), and legislators from pandering to these patients and quacks by passing laws to protect the quacks from consequences due to their quackery.

So it’s not surprising that this “Beaux Reliosis” tries to fold the causes of autism and Lyme disease into one large mass of “fungal-viral damage.” What does she base this idea on? It’s some pretty thin gruel, scientifically speaking:

III. Thimerosal is put in vaccines to prevent fungi because they help activate viruses via immunosuppression, and inhibition of apoptosis of fungally infected B cells in particular.

2012, Dec, NYTimes; Doctors admit Thimerosal is put in vaccines to prevent fungi:

Vaccine Rule Is Said to Hurt Health Efforts
“But a proposal that the ban include thimerosal, which has been used since the 1930s to prevent bacterial and fungal contamination in multidose vials of vaccines, has drawn strong criticism from pediatricians…. They say that the ethyl-mercury compound is critical for vaccine use in the developing world, where multidose vials are a mainstay…Banning it would require switching to single-dose vials for vaccines, which would cost far more and require new networks of cold storage facilities and additional capacity for waste disposal, the authors of the articles said.'” http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/17/health/experts-say-thimerosal-ban-would-imperil-global-health- efforts.html

OK, so thimerosal prevents fungal contamination. There’s nothing new there, and there’s nothing that any scientist would deny. of course, that’s what preservatives are for: To prevent the growth of microorganisms, including fungus, in multidose vials! That’s the purpose of any preservative used in multidose vials of any medicine! The shocking thing would be if thimerosal didn’t inhibit the growth of fungus. If that were the case, it’d be pretty useless as a preservative.

Not surprisingly, Beaux Reliosis then goes on to do a bit of ranting about pharma, but it’s so beside the point that I don’t want to dwell on it. It is, as I like to say, background noise. Instead, she goes on to go full Godwin:

Choice is what makes the top cops in the country look away from the blatant evidence of neurologic injury from contaminated vaccines. The DOJ chooses to let us suffer and our children continue to be maimed.

Choice is also what we the people will use to exert our scientific exemption over Nazi-style forced vaccination. The scientific exemption, the proof that fungal contamination in vaccines causes autism, cannot be taken away from us.

Do you think there would be autistic cows if they didn’t just kill them before the calves developed symptoms?

I’ll admit that when I first came across this post I had higher hopes for it. I thought that there might be a coherent idea behind it, even if that idea was very wrong. What I got instead was a series of very wrong ideas but not even coherently presented. I must admit that I was a bit disappointed. When I was done reading this, all I could ask was: That’s it? That’s the best she could come up with? I mean, seriously. Her idea is that fungus causes autism and therefore removing thimerosal from vaccines led to an epidemic of fungus-caused autism. It’s as though she doesn’t realize that, in place of thimerosal-containing multidose vials, vaccines were made available in single dose vials, which actually lessen the chances of fungal contamination compared to multidose vials, even those containing thimerosal.

Oh, well. It was entertaining while it lasted. Too bad it turned out to be even less than I had expected.

Comments

  1. #1 Meg
    December 16, 2015

    @Cheryl-

    No, Todd doesn’t believe that at all. He was asking if you believed/agreed with Ms. Dickson’s assertions which he then proceeded to list.

  2. #2 herr doktor bimler
    December 16, 2015

    I am disappointed that the Morgellons crowd haven’t turned up.

  3. #3 Politicalguineapig
    December 16, 2015

    HDB: Don’t give ’em any ideas.

  4. #4 Cheryl
    December 16, 2015

    @Meg, I never implied that Todd believed what he stated, I simply copied and pasted his statements and answered them based on what I know of them because he asked. @ Science Mom, ” in the crank world no hypothesis is ever incorrect; it is simply a spectrum of valid ideas that overlap.”~Agreed! I’ve been trying to find stuff that backs up the assertions and cannot.@Krebiozen, that article is AWESOME, it’s good to see more research FINALLY..tired of reading the same old, same old on the Mighty Morphing Power Rangers. 😉 Thank you..I’ll shed some light on this! Btw..I’m not a “crank”…I’m a crank debunker..and not just in the field of medicine

  5. #5 madder
    December 17, 2015

    The only sense I can make of Cheryl’s comments 398 and 404 is that she disagrees with Ms. Dickson’s entire argument, but is defending that same argument for some reason… despite being unable to find “stuff that backs up the assertions.”

    Draw your own conclusions about Cheryl’s intentions.

  6. #6 Cheryl
    December 17, 2015

    Defending HER…not the argument =) I’d need more reliable science to back any of it. Some of it is very true, some could be true. When the world has 100% accurate information on Lyme Disease I’m sure I’ll back it 100%..until then I remain as open minded as possible. A lot of the research seems plausible but what “could be” and what actually IS are 2 very different things. It’s bad enough these so called “Lyme literate” doctors (LLMDs) are treating the masses w/dozens of antibiotics for 18 months to 2 years because it “could be” that they’re not getting all the spirochetes o.0

  7. #7 herr doktor bimler
    December 17, 2015

    Borrelia burgdorferi doesn’t have a cell wall deficient pleomorphic form, according to this paper:

    I am not sure how much credence to put in this report —
    Persisting atypical and cystic forms of Borrelia burgdorferi and local inflammation in Lyme neuroborreliosis
    — given that the lead author is out there on the fringe and believes Alzheimer’s Disease to be a form of neurosyphilis or neuroborreliosis.

    It talks of spherical versions of the bacterium, produced by “budding” or “granulating”. These fragments were definitely cell-walled, since ospA antibodies were used to detect them. OTOH, there was little evidence that the buds / granules / fragments were actually viable cells.

    The main claim that Borrelia variants are wall-less seems to be this one from 1996:
    Formation and cultivation of Borrelia burgdorferi spheroplast-L-form variants.

  8. #8 Cheryl
    December 17, 2015

    Yes, I was quite surprised when I read the link provided by Krebiozen. Apparently the “L form” was a bad name given to this stage of the Borrelia because they’re NOT cell wall deficient nor are they in “biofilms” which Lyme doctors are STILL using specific antibiotics for believing they’re “cyst busting” as if the dozens of antibiotics to destroy the spirochetes isn’t enough! You link is about the “blebs”..supposedly they contain genetic material of the spirochete.There’s 3 known forms and only the whole body spirochete is known to be destroyed by antibiotics. It takes a while for them to start their Might Morohing Poer Ranger antics so it’s best to start treatment immediately after the bite IF you find the tick or happen todevelop the bull’s eye rash,unfortunately not everyone does,as I stated above,I didn’t but I did manage to test positive on the 2 tiered test, only a small minority do. As far as Alzheimer’s Disease goes, as far as I know it’s one of the many diseases “The Great Imitator” (Lyme Disease) assumes BUT people can have MS,Lupus,Alzheimer’s, etc without having been infected with Lyme Disease so I tend to take any of these correlations with a grain of salt. As far as I can see, if the spirochetes persist this “Chronic Lyme Disease” is a constant state of inflammation due to their presence. Seems there’s 2 of them =/ http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/lymedisease/Pages/co-infection.aspx “B. miyamotoi, a bacterium that is related to the bacteria that causes tick-borne relapsing fever, is known to be present in all tick species that transmit Lyme disease. In 2013, NIAID-supported investigators showed evidence of B. miyamotoi infection in the United States and studies to better understand this pathogen continue to be supported (N Engl J Med. 368(3):240-5 and 291-3, 2013). One of these preliminary studies showed patients with acute Lyme disease were more likely to be co-infected with B. miyamotoi than people who did not have Lyme disease.”AND if you look up B.miyamotoi it states it sends you into the wonderful world of relapsing fever with this SPIFFY paragraph in relation a a vaccine, “Currently, no vaccine against relapsing fever is available, but research is on-going. Developing a vaccine is very difficult because the spirochetes avoid the immune response of the infected person (or animal) through antigenic variation. Essentially, the pathogen stays one step ahead of antibodies by changing its surface proteins. These surface proteins, lipoproteins called variable major proteins, have only 30–70% of their amino acid sequences in common, which is sufficient to create a new antigenic “identity” for the organism. Antibodies in the blood that are binding to and clearing spirochetes expressing the old proteins do not recognize spirochetes expressing the new ones. Antigenic variation is common among pathogenic organisms. These include the agents of malaria, gonorrhea, and sleeping sickness. Important questions about antigenic variation are also relevant for such research areas as developing a vaccine against HIV and predicting the next influenza pandemic.” The disease gives me a migraine just reading about it, I try NOT TO play “connect the dots” otherwise I may end up seeing something that might not really be there(I’ll wait for the book lol) More research needs to be done and I try to stick to the facts..none of this, “maybe it’s this” or “maybe it’s that” shenanigans

  9. #9 Cheryl
    December 17, 2015

    Holy CRAP..did I type all of that? O.O

  10. #10 herr doktor bimler
    December 17, 2015

    I try NOT TO play “connect the dots” otherwise I may end up seeing something that might not really be there

    Measles and chicken-pox do provide more opportunities, however.

  11. #11 herr doktor bimler
    December 17, 2015

    Apparently the “L form” was a bad name given to this stage of the Borrelia because they’re NOT cell wall deficient

    Much of the Chronic-LD theorising demands that Borrelia *does* spend most of its existence in a form without any cell-wall, to explain how so many people can assign themselves a Lyme status despite having no antibodies to ospA.

    I get the impression, from looking around within that milieu, that “stealth” and “morph” are important shibboleths to use.

  12. #12 Narad
    December 18, 2015

    Now, where was I?

  13. #13 Cheryl
    December 18, 2015

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3054554 I don’t understand HOW a person can become infected and not mount an immune system response. Perhaps they’re immunocompromised to begin with?? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7796837 Doctors are using PCR tests now to diagnose LD and it’s persistence after treatment,

  14. #14 Cheryl
    December 18, 2015

    YES, Narad, I read all of her stuff…so do a lot of people in “Lyme Land”

  15. #15 herr doktor bimler
    December 18, 2015

    Doctors are using PCR tests now to diagnose LD and it’s persistence after treatment,

    Sin Hang Lee thinks everyone should be using his test.

  16. #16 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    December 18, 2015

    @Cheryl

    YES, Narad, I read all of her stuff…so do a lot of people in “Lyme Land”

    Since you answers were a bit confusing, I’ll ask again, do you agree with Ms. Dickson’s arguments?

  17. #17 Cheryl
    December 18, 2015

    I agree with some of what she posts, I really don’t remember all of her comments on here. I agree with what I can back up, the rest I treat the same as I do with other people’s theories, I remain open-minded and when some evidence pops up I try to make sense of it. Can I say I agree that ospA is fungal? But there’s a lot of controversy surrounding LD and other diseases so I have to stay as open minded as possible..she does have a lot of good science to back up what she says about other things

  18. #18 Cheryl
    December 18, 2015

    Sorry,I meant to say,”No” I can’t agree with that

  19. #19 Cheryl
    December 18, 2015

    Sin Hang Lee is a doctor who is quoted by Milford Molecular Diagnostics that uses the PCR test as well.

  20. #20 Cheryl
    December 18, 2015

    UGH! herr doktor bimler why did you have to tell me this doctors name? Now I just HAD TO go Googling him and found this http://naturalsociety.com/independent-lab-confirms-viral-dna-merck-vaccine/ WHAT do people EXPECT to BE in vaccines? Of course there would be HPV DNA in a HPV vaccine what the hell else DNA would they expect to create antibodies Kool Aid DNA? I HAD HPV..it’s like the MOST sexually transmitted virus there is and in men there’s usually no symptoms..I’ve also HAD cervical cancer a long time ago when they first put 2 and 2 together and realized it causes it, I was treated BECAUSE I make sure I see my Gyno yearly unlike most women and when they came out with the vaccine I was so amazed!! I have 3 daughters, 2 have already received the series of vaccines and rest assured the 3rd one will as well when she’s old enough. I don’t get this whole antivaccine thing, people react differently to vaccines..the benefit outweighs the risk in my world

  21. #21 Narad
    December 18, 2015

    Of course there would be HPV DNA in a HPV vaccine what the hell else DNA would they expect to create antibodies Kool Aid DNA?

    You really have no idea how any of this works, and you’re opining that KD has “a lot of good science”?

  22. #22 Narad
    December 18, 2015

    Oh, and…

    I’ve also HAD cervical cancer a long time ago when they first put 2 and 2 together and realized it causes it, I was treated BECAUSE I make sure I see my Gyno yearly unlike most women

    This is obnoxiously stupid victim-blaming and nearly tantamount to the stock anti-Gardasil line that Pap smears obviate the vaccine. If you want to put over the impression that, unlike KD, you’re tethered to reality, you’re going to have to start learning to tell the difference between sh*t and shinola.

    Typing “Sin Hang Lee” into the search box strikes me as an excellent way to start.

  23. #23 herr doktor bimler
    December 18, 2015

    Of course there would be HPV DNA in a HPV vaccine what the hell else DNA would they expect to create antibodies Kool Aid DNA?

    1. Non-rhetorical reply to a rhetorical question — Yeast DNA. Recombinant yeast, with fragments of HPV genes spliced into its genome, so that it fills its fermentation tank with the proteins that comprise the HPV shell. It’s those proteins that are supposed to train the vaccine recipient’s immune system.

    So there may be fragments of yeast DNA in the vaccine, although the objective is to extract only the virus-shell proteins from the fermenter.

    2. Sin Hang Lee is entertainingly shameless in his career grifting. That is a separate issue, however.

  24. #24 MI Dawn
    December 19, 2015

    @Narad: put on your sarcasm detector, dear. Cheryl was NOT impressed with Sin Hang Lee, nor was she freaking out about the HPV vaccine. While her gyno comment perhaps wasn’t charitable,I do know many women who don’t see their gyno for annual paps and “don’t think it’s necessary since …(choose: I’ve only slept with my partner/I’m a lesbian/never had an STD etc)

    You either need sleep or more coffee.

  25. #25 Cheryl
    December 19, 2015

    Thanx MI Dawn..YES, I am always very heavy on the sarcasm. herr doktor bimler, wouldn’t fragments of HPV genes be detectable with a PCR test? Grouchy Narad, I advocate the vaccine BECAUSE not all women go for their annual pap tests which is absurd since Planned Parenthood offers them for free., so it would help in the early detection (dysplasia) of cervical cancer. I’ve ALWAYS had my annual pap tests done and still ended up with HPV so how does that make ME appear that I am saying this will obviate the vaccine? It’s why I am so happy they created it =)

  26. #26 Cheryl
    December 19, 2015

    http://eusa-riddled.blogspot.com/2012/08/an-unscrupulous-opportunistic-attempt.html ROFL @ the comments!! Seems Dr. Lee is a tad disgruntled so now he’s preying upon the conspiracy theorists because they’re so dumb and paranoid they’ll believe anything..I see this stuff during my internet “travels” all the time..what is wrong with people?

  27. #27 MI Dawn
    December 20, 2015

    Cheryl: next time, especially since you are fairly new to the site, end your sarcastic comments with /sarcasm so everyone is aware that you are being sarcastic. Unfortunately, we have a lot of visitors to the site who are uneducated enough (well, OK, they have their Google U degrees) to believe Dr Lee’s site and many others.

  28. #28 Michael J. Dochniak
    Iowa
    December 20, 2015

    Science Mom says (#399),

    …in the crank world no hypothesis is ever incorrect.

    MJD says,

    I respectfully disagree, once a researcher verifies that the null hypothesis is correct they then conceptually accept that the hypothesis is incorrect.

    Q. What’s the difference between nasty and respectfully insolent

    A. Insulting verbosity

  29. #29 gaist
    December 20, 2015

    Can you name a type of woo now abandoned by it’s advocates?

    I can cite several examples from the world of traditional medicine, but not a single one from the alternative medicine crowd.

  30. #30 Vicki
    December 20, 2015

    Cheryl–

    Yes, Planned Parenthood offers them for free (when not prevented by terrorist attacks). It still takes time to actually have the test (and to get to and from the office), and it’s still unpleasant. Even if I can do it at a time that’s convenient for me, in my doctor’s office an easy walk from my house, that doesn’t mean it won’t hurt. And that convenience isn’t there for everyone: for some women it means taking unpaid time off from work, or arranging extra child care.

    A lot of the time, if people skip preventive medical stuff and tests, it’s because nothing hurts now, but the preventive care will hurt (dental stuff can be like that) or the test will. You’re not going to persuade people to put themselves through that by telling them that they’re being foolish not to do it because all it will cost them is round-trip bus fare.

  31. #31 Michael J. Dochniak
    Iowa
    December 20, 2015

    gaist asks (#429),

    Can you name a type of woo now abandoned by it’s advocates?

    MJD says,

    Bloodletting

    http://www.history.com/news/a-brief-history-of-bloodletting

  32. #32 Gray Falcon
    December 20, 2015

    To call bloodletting the forerunner of modern medicine is like calling “Jumping off the roof while flapping your arms” the forerunner of modern aerospace engineering.

  33. #33 herr doktor bimler
    December 20, 2015

    MJD says,
    Bloodletting

    Nope, cutting and bleeding (re-invented with new phony cultural backgrounds) is still popular in the Alt-Med scammosphere.

  34. #34 shay simmons
    December 20, 2015

    Bloodletting was not woo (at least until recently, if the herr Doktor is correkt). It was mainstream medicine.

    https://books.google.com/books/about/Bleed_Blister_and_Purge.html?id=QWQeAQAAIAAJ

  35. #36 JP
    December 20, 2015

    I know this is sort of off topic, but we have had a discussion about Central Asia here before. I’ve been thinking that a trip to the former Kafiristan might be nice some day. I’d have to brush up on my Vasi-Vari, though.

    Perhaps someone should bring some vodka along. It might be illegal there, though.

  36. #37 Krebiozen
    December 20, 2015

    Wet cupping is essentially bloodletting, and is still popular with some Muslims – I recently discovered a local pharmacy offers Hijama.

  37. #39 Narad
    December 20, 2015

    I respectfully disagree, once a researcher verifies that the null hypothesis is correct…

    Beg pardon?

  38. #40 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    December 20, 2015

    Wet cupping is essentially bloodletting

    I have a wet cup in front of me, but the liquid is mostly bourbon.

    Or is that entirely unrelated to your message?

  39. #41 shay simmons
    December 20, 2015

    Mine’s cider. I’ll stick to that.

    Dang…I suppose I should be past being astonished at what people fall for.

  40. #42 herr doktor bimler
    December 20, 2015

    For Shay!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHtfZCMYCP0

    Wet cupping may lead to bloodletting. It depends on the party.

  41. #43 Delphine
    December 20, 2015

    Recently finished about 500+ OB case histories from the mid-Victorian era. Bloodletting. Yes! Because a woman who has suffered from a massive PPH, that’s EXACTLY what she needs, MOAR BLOOD LOSS!

    It wasn’t woo at all. It was just about all they had in their bag of limited tricks.

  42. #44 Delphine
    December 20, 2015

    On a completely unrelated (sorry Orac) note, we are in high gear over Christmas and Santa here, with 4.5 year old Delphinette. Today our hipster neighbours informed us that their son (same age) knows Santa isn’t real, because they don’t believe in lying to their child.

    Seriously, what the f3ck is wrong with people? I lie to her all of the time. “What’s Daddy doing in the music room?” “Working, he’ll be up soon.” (he’s smoking a J out the window and listening to ’77/’78 Grateful Dead, was I supposed to say that?!)

    She believes in Santa. We lied. Good for us all.

    Carry on.

  43. #45 shay simmons
    December 20, 2015

    Verzeihung, herr Doktor — but our bro Kreb has made me very leery about clicking on links. Is this one going to require brain bleach?

  44. #46 dean
    December 20, 2015

    I respectfully disagree, once a researcher verifies that the null hypothesis is correct they then conceptually accept that the hypothesis is incorrect.

    That needs some explaining or a recanting.

  45. #47 Narad
    December 21, 2015

    That needs some explaining or a recanting.

    I think “I don’t understand hypothesis testing” is clear enough on its own.

  46. #48 Chris Preston
    Australia
    December 21, 2015

    I respectfully disagree, once a researcher verifies that the null hypothesis is correct they then conceptually accept that the hypothesis is incorrect.

    MJD has got it all arseabout again. You don’t verify that a hypothesis is correct, you disprove a hypothesis. That then means you accept the alternative hypothesis as the most likely explanation for the time being.

  47. #49 Michael J. Dochniak
    Iowa
    December 21, 2015

    Chris Preston from Austrailia says (#447),

    MJD has got it all arseabout again.

    MJD from North America says,

    At least I don’t live on the bottom part of the earth. 🙂

  48. #50 Lawrence
    December 21, 2015

    Totally depends on your point of view…..

  49. #51 Helianthus
    December 21, 2015

    @ Cheryl

    WHAT do people EXPECT to BE in vaccines? Of course there would be HPV DNA in a HPV vaccine

    Welcome to the antivax bizarro world, Cheryl 🙂
    As I am a microbiologist by training, I’m too very puzzled by people being offended that vaccines may contain bits of micro-organisms.
    The only explanation I can come with is that these people believe in witchcraft.*
    Keep looking, and you find some complaining about the presence of chlorine in vaccine (in the form of sodium chloride).

    * no offense to Wicca believers.

    @ MJD

    At least I don’t live on the bottom part of the earth

    Stop being so geocentrist. From the point-of-view of our Aussie lectorat, you are the one upside-down.

  50. #52 Michael J. Dochniak
    Iowa
    December 21, 2015

    @ dean & Narad,

    I have a hypothesis that contamination (x) in vaccine (y) affects the incidence of autism spectrum disorders (z).

    The null hypothesis is (x) in (y) has no effect on (z).

    It is unethical to add more (x) to (y) to show the effect on (z).

    But, eliminating (x) in (y) and monitoring the incidence of (z) is an ethical approach.

    If the exclusion of (x) in (y) affects (z) the null hypothesis is incorrect and one may conceptually accept that the hypothesis is correct being (x) in (y) effects (z)

    @ dean (#445) and Narad (#446),

    My apologies for the arseabout. You two really understand hypothesis testing.

  51. #53 Julian Frost
    South Africa
    December 21, 2015

    @MJD:

    have a hypothesis that contamination (x) in vaccine (y) affects the incidence of autism spectrum disorders (z).

    The null hypothesis is (x) in (y) has no effect on (z).

    And you may stop right there. Multiple large studies and a meta-analysis looking at literally millions of subjects found no difference between the autism rates of the vaccinated and unvaccinated. Therefore, we can confidently say that for any given ingredient (x) in vaccines (y), there is no (x) in (y) that raises the risk of (z).
    HTH, HAND.

  52. #54 Jenora Feuer
    December 21, 2015

    Hey, bloodletting is a perfectly valid medical practice.

    Then again, my grandfather had Haemochromatosis, for which bloodletting to reduce the iron levels is actually the accepted medical procedure. There aren’t a whole lot of other conditions for which it’s still indicated.

  53. #55 Krebiozen
    December 21, 2015

    shay simmons,

    Is this one going to require brain bleach?

    It’s Wikipedia, so I doubt it, unless you are very squeamish. Does it help if I tell you that was a fake breast in the offending clip? Probably not. I promise that in future I will add a warning if anything I link to might disturb.

  54. #56 Narad
    December 21, 2015

    If the exclusion of (x) in (y) affects (z) the null hypothesis is incorrect and one may conceptually accept that the hypothesis is correct being (x) in (y) effects (z)

    Only if one doesn’t understand p-values, which tell you nothing whatever about what is “correct” and what is “incorrect.”

  55. #57 shay simmons
    looking around wildly for trigger warnings
    December 21, 2015

    I have led SUCH a sheltered life.

  56. #59 Murmur
    UK-ia
    January 19, 2016

    I’d love to know where he gets his information about “all of the children or most of them are ANA – Antinuclear Antibody Positive” as I know of no testing for such a thing over here…

    Nor have I heard any discussion of this from certain internationally respected autism researchers of my acquaintance…But we would be part of Teh Big Pharma etc…

  57. #60 Chris Preston
    January 19, 2016

    I’d love to know where he gets his information about “all of the children or most of them are ANA – Antinuclear Antibody Positive” as I know of no testing for such a thing over here…

    No seriously you don’t.

  58. #61 Petvet
    January 26, 2016

    Lol when I saw there was an article about how removing thimerosal from vaccines causes autism I was expecting a satire!

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