Respectful Insolence

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…you’ve received some well-deserved recognition! I can’t think of a more deserving up-and-coming antivaccine activist to be inducted into this most “prestigious” of groups of American Loons! I’ve written about Stagliano’s science- and logic-challenged posts many times over the last few years, but it’s good to see that others have noticed as well. From the…

Courtesy of antivaccinationist Kool Aid drinker Ginger Taylor, I saw this new term for those who argue against the scientifically dubious proposition that vaccines cause autism, specifically Paul Offit: Vaccinianity – (Vax.e.an.eh.te) n. The worship of Vaccination. The belief that Vaccine is inherently Good and therefore cannot cause damage. If damage does occur, it is…

As I hang out at the San Diego Convention Center, I can’t resist one last note on the Chili’s debacle that I wrote about yesterday. Remember how Wendy Fournier, president of the National Autism Association (NAA), the antivaccine group posing as an autism advocacy group, whined when Chili’s backed out of its deal to donate…

Yesterday, I did a bit of navel gazing about how cranks, quacks, and antivaccinationists have a penchant for attacking skeptics at work in order to try to intimidate them into silence. Reading the post over again, I realize that it came across perhaps more whiny than it should have, but I guess I was just…

The damaged done by the antivaccine movement is primarily in how it frightens parents out of vaccinating using classic denialist tactics of spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD). Indeed, as has been pointed out many times before, antivaccinationists are often proud of their success in discouraging parents from vaccinating, with one leader of the antivaccine…

Does anyone “recover” from autism?

Way back in the day, when I was a newbie at countering the mass of hysterical pseudoscience that is the antivaccine movement, particularly the myth that vaccines cause autism, a blogger by the ‘nym of Prometheus taught me that autism and autism spectrum disorders (particularly by antivaccinationists and believers in the quackery known as “autism…

It’s not infrequent that I come under fire from antivaccinationists for, ironically enough, calling them antivaccinationists. “Oh, no,” they protest, “I’m not antivaccine. How dare you call me that? I’m actually a vaccine safety advocate.” Of course, when you probe more closely and ask a few questions, almost inevitably you’ll find that in reality they…

Thanks again, antivaccine activists. Thanks for the measles. Again: Last year was the worst year for measles in the U.S. in 15 years, health officials said Thursday. There were 222 cases of measles, a large jump from the 60 or so seen in a typical year. Most of the cases last year were imported —…

Any regular reader of this blog knows who Andrew Wakefield is. He’s the British gastroenterologist who almost singlehandedly ignited a panic about the MMR vaccine (well, not quite single-handedly; the sensationalistic British press helped a lot) with his shoddy, fraudulent research linking the MMR vaccine to “autistic enterocolitis” and then later to autism itself. Ultimately,…

A one trick pony does his one trick

It’s funny, but it’s only been one week since I expressed extreme skepticism that that wretched hive of scum and quackery, The Huffington Post, had reformed itself. The reason, of course, was that HuffPo had announced that it was starting a science section. Even though on the surface it seemed that HuffPo was making the…

It’s no secret that I’ve been highly critical of The Huffington Post, at least of its approach to science and medicine. In fact, it was a mere three weeks after Arianna Huffington launched her blog back in 2005 that I noticed something very distressing about it, namely that it had recruited someone who would later…

On teaching the controversy in medicine

The other day, I wrote to express my disappointment with Dr. Kevin Pho, of KevinMD, for posting credulous crap about alternative medicine. I noted in an addendum that he responded with a comment that in essence said that he posts things he “doesn’t necessarily agree with myself to promote discussion and debate”: Orac, I appreciate…

Things are pretty hairy this week, what with a couple of grant deadlines fast approaching, not to mention a rather important site visit at my institution later this week. As a result, I had been intending to post a “rerun” today, but then I saw something that just cracked me up so much that I…

Remember Elyse? She’s one of the Skepchicks, and a couple of weeks ago she did a most excellent skeptical thing. She organized a campaign to complain to the theaters that had, according to the anti-vaccine propaganda group SafeMinds and the anti-vaccine propaganda blog Age of Autism, accepted the advertisements, which SafeMinds were “framing” to be…

The anti-vaccine movement versus the truth

My alma mater has let me down. As many of you know, I went to the University of Michigan for both my undergraduate degree and for medical school. I still have a fairly strong attachment to the school, which is why I can still be disappointed when its faculty let me down. Unfortunately, it’s happened,…

It’s finally here! The long expected episode of Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, in which the boys take on the anti-vaccine movement in their usual inimitable fashion, will premiere tonight on Showtime at 10 PM. It’s even the eighth season finale, which is appropriate. If there’s a form of “bullshit” other than the irrationality that is…

On Friday, I noted an e-mail circulating around the Internet in which disgraced University of Kentucky chemist and card-carrying general in the mercury militia, Boyd Haley, announced that he was suspending sales of his industrial chelator turned “antioxidant dietary supplement” OSR#1. Now, true to form, Trine Tsouderos at the Chicago Tribune has noticed and published…

Remember Boyd Haley? He’s the Professor and former Chairman of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky whose formerly respectable career tanked because he fell into pseudoscience. For whatever reason, a while back he became enamored first of dental amalgam quackery to the point where he became involved in organizations like Consumers for…

As I’ve pointed out numerous times this week, anti-vaccine loons, led by Generation Rescue and a “health freedom” group, have organized an anti-vaccine rally in Grant Park in Chicago from 3 PM to 5 PM CDT. Anti-vaccine martyr Andrew Wakefield himself will be the keynote speaker, and there will even be very bad music promoting…

Last week, I did three posts about the anti-vaccine movement. (What? Only three? Well, last week was slower than usual on the anti-vaccine craziness front. It happens.) Two of them were variations on a theme, namely how the anti-vaccine movement vehemently, desperately does not want to be seen as “anti-vaccine, even though that’s what many…

Believe it or not, there was once a time when Dr. Mehmet Oz didn’t bother me that much. At least, for all his flirting with woo, I never quite thought that he had completely gone over to the Dark Side. Although I probably knew deep down that I was fooling myself. Maybe it was because…

Here we go again (rest of the post below the fold because there is a video that autostarts):

I realize I complain periodically about when I get into what seems to me to be a rut in which I’m writing pretty much only about anti-vaccine lunacy. This is just such a week, when the news on the vaccine front has been coming fast and furious, first with Andrew Wakefield’s being found to have…

How can I resist such a request?

You know I’m a sucker for a heartfelt plea from an anti-vaccine activist. That’s why, upon seeing Kim Stagliano write in Age of Autism: Hi, I’d appreciate your comments over at HuffPo on my post, The Censorship of Autism Treatment” HERE. I had to admit that I heartily agree. That’s why I’m asking my readers…

The double standard of the anti-vaccine “autism biomed” movement never ceases to amaze me. Imagine if you will, that a pharmaceutical company examined a chemical used for industrial purposes. Imagine further that the chemical this pharmaceutical company decided to look at originated as an industrial chelator designed to separate heavy metals from polluted soil and…