Antivaccine nonsense

Respectful Insolence

Category archives for Antivaccine nonsense

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…

About ten or twelve years ago, back when I was in essence, a newly minted skeptic and public supporter of science-based medicine, I was so naive. There I was, having just discovered the Usenet newsgroup misc.health.alternative and confronting the original wretched hive of scum, quackery, and pseudoscience, and I thought I had seen everything. Yes,…

Chiropractic is supposed to be the “respectable” face of “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM). At least, that’s what chiropractors want you to think. After all, chiropractors are licensed in all 50 states and thus their specialty has the imprimatur of the state to make it appear legitimate. Unfortunately, chiropractors are, as I have said so…

Recently, I got an e-mail from someone who had just discovered my blog that made me think a bit, which is usually a good thing. At least, in this case it was. Basically, this reader asked me a question I hadn’t been asked in a very long time and hadn’t thought about in a very…

I’ve made no secret of my opinion of Jenny McCarthy. To put it mildly, I don’t think that much of her, particularly her flaming stupid when it comes to her promotion of dangerous antivaccine nonsense. To her, vaccines are chock full of “toxins” and all sorts of evil humors that will turn your child autistic…

Yet another zombie antivaccine meme rises from the grave to join its fellows Oh, no, not again! It was just two days ago that I decided to take on a zombie antivaccine meme that just keeps rising from the dead over and over and over again. I’m referring to the claim that Andrew Wakefield has…

No mas! No mas! I surrender. Even though what I’m about to blog about is over a week old (ancient history in blog time), the combined force of you, my readers, sending this link to me and my seeing it on Twitter, Facebook, and elsewhere compels me. Oh, I resisted. I read it and thought…

Whenever I take a day off from blogging, as I did yesterday because I was too busy going out with my wife on Wednesday night to celebrate my birthday, I not infrequently find an embarrassment of riches to blog about the next day. Sometimes it’s downright difficult to decide what to write about. So it…

As supporters of science-based medicine know, in the woo-sphere, there is only One True Cause of Autism, and that is vaccines. At least, so it would seem. The idea that vaccines cause autism is based largely on anecdotes tinged with confirmation bias and selective memory mixed with a massive confusing of correlation with causation whereby…

The “fundamentals” of voltage quackery

In medical school, or so we’re told, aspiring young doctors are taught the fundamentals of medicine. What we science-based physicians usually mean by “fundamentals” includes the basic science necessary to understand human health and disease, the mechanism by which human disease develops, and the basics of how to treat it. We also learn a way…

Antivaccine legislators are at it again

Here we go again. The “Holy Grail” (well, a “holy grail”) of the antivaccine movement is to have a “vaccinated versus unvaccinated” study performed, or, as it’s frequently abbreviated a “vaxed verus unvaxed” study. They believe that such a study will confirm their fixed belief that vaccines are the root of nearly all health issues…

You might find this hard to believe, but sometimes I find the antivaccine crank blog Age of Autism to be useful. Obviously, I don’t find it useful in the same way that its editors think it is useful. Those paragons of the arrogance of ignorance and fetishism of hatred of science-based medicine don’t actually teach…

Mike Adams (a.k.a. the “Health Ranger”) has been a regular blog topic for several years now. There are many reasons for this, not the least of which is that, among supporters of quackery, no one quite brings the crazy home the way Mike Adams does, be it writing antivaccine rap songs, abusing dead celebrities by…

I promised myself that I was done writing about Jenny McCarthy this week. Two posts, a lengthy one and a brief one, lamenting her being hired for a national daytime talk show was, in my view, enough. Unfortunately, something’s happened that makes me want to make like Arnold Schwarzenegger in that famous scene from the…

Sometimes, the mainstream press gets it (mostly) right, and Jake Tapper actually got it right in a report on CNN yesterday about Jenny McCarthy’s having been hired by ABC as a regular on The View. Although I don’t like how Jake Tapper describes Generation Rescue as an “autism organization” (it is clearly an antivaccine group),…

Sometimes, as I sit down to write a blog post, I have no idea what I’m going to write about at first. Fortunately, it’s rare that I truly have zero idea what I’m going to write about. Usually, there are options, and I don’t know which one I’m going to pick. Sometimes, however, something happens…

Like Steve, I’m off to The Amazing Meeting today. I don’t know how much I’ll be posting, but, as Han Solo so famously said, “Hey, it’s me.” I’m sure I won’t be able to resist. In any case, I’ll be taking part in the Science-Based Medicine workshop tomorrow, and, for the first time ever, I’ll…

I don’t know why I’m interested in this, to the point where I’m on my sixth post about it since February. I sometimes even ask myself that very question, because taking an admittedly somewhat perverse interest in the internecine feuds among antivaccinationists. Maybe it’s a bit of schadenfreude. Maybe it’s just me. Whatever the reason,…

A little more than a week ago, I took note of Dr. Paul Offit’s new book, Do You Believe in Magic? The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine and a story in which he was featured in USA Today about the nonsense that is alternative medicine. The news story coincided with the release of Paul…

Once again, real life, mainly the eternal search (i.e., groveling) for grant money to keep my lab going, interferes with unreal life. Three grant applications due the same week will do that. Hopefully this will be the last time for a while, at least until unreal life might interfere with unreal life in a couple…

Every so often, I like to try to get into the mind of an antivaccine crank, a quack, or crank of another variety, because understanding what makes cranks tick (at least, as much as I can given that I’m not one) can be potentially very useful in my work trying to counter them. On the…

It’s been a while since I’ve written about MMS. You remember MMS, don’t you? It’s an abbreviation for “miracle mineral solution,” a solution first promoted by a man who is inaptly named Jim Humble. Basically, as I’ve described in multiple blog posts, MMS is bleach, specifically chlorine dioxide (ClO2). I first became acutely aware of…

I’ve been trying to lay off the blogging on the weekend for a long time now, and, for the most part, I’ve been successful, as I’m sure regular readers will have noticed. However, sometimes I just can’t help but take a few minutes to note particularly entertaining or important developments. This particular development falls into…

Sometimes, in the course of blogging, I come across a story that I don’t know what to make of. Sometimes, it’s a quack or a crank taking a seemingly science-based position. Sometimes it’s something out of the ordinary. Other times, it’s a story that’s just weird, such that I strongly suspect that something else is…

What’s Keith Kloor got that I haven’t got? What’s Laura Helmuth got that I haven’t got? Why won’t Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. call me to complain about all the not-so-Respectful Insolence I’ve directed his way over the years. I mean, seriously. I spend nearly eight years criticizing his antivaccine crank views, and these two get…