vaccines

Respectful Insolence

Tag archives for vaccines

Almost everyone knows the story of Victor Frankenstein and his monster. It’s such a classic tale that has been around so long and told so many times in so many ways that it’s almost impossible for someone living in this country not to have encountered it growing up. Frankenstein’s monster is also a tale that…

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…

I sense another disturbance in the antivaccine Force. Yes, I realize that it was just a couple of days ago that I sensed a previous disturbance rippling through the antivaccine Force. That’s when antivaccinationists brought David Kirby out of mothballs from whatever journalistic slime pit he’s currently residing in to use every trick at his…

This is going to be uncharacteristically short, for me that is. I sometimes listen to NPR as I drive home from work, and I happened to be doing just that yesterday evening when I heard a story about the new Institute of Medicine report on vaccines and the vaccine schedule. (Stay tuned for my post…

I sense a disturbance in the antivaccine Force, which is, of course, by definition the Dark Side. Whenever I sense such a disturbance, there are a number of possible reactions that it provokes in me. One such reaction is alarm, as when antivaccine activists say something that is just clever enough to sound plausible enough…

I certainly don’t even try to keep secret my opinion of Andrew Wakefield, the British gastroenterologist who is almost single-handedly responsible for bringing the measles back to the UK, thanks to his bad science, for which he was well-paid by trial lawyers and his falsification of data and scientific fraud. Since 1998, when Wakefield first…

Quacks despise science-based medicine in general, but there are certain specialties that they detest more than others. Arguably, the specialty most attacked by quacks is psychiatry. Many are the reasons, some legitimate, many not. In particular, Scientologists despise psychiatry, even going so far as to maintain a “museum” dedicated to psychiatry that they charmingly call…

Antivaccine quackery: You be Orac today!

Some antivaccine (and quack, but I repeat myself) tropes come up time and time again, and I’ve blogged about them time and time again. Obviously, at times this can get a bit repetitive, particularly when I’ve been blogging nearly every day for eight years. On the other hand, even after eight years, I still regularly…

One of the oldest topics I’ve dealt with on this blog, a topic that I’ve been writing about on and off (unfortunately, mostly on) about the antivaccine movement. Ever since I first discovered about a decade ago that, yes, there are people ignorant enough about science and medicine that they actually think that vaccines are…

Whenever I blog about atrocities against science like the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), I’m frequently asked how just such an edifice designed to promote pseudoscience could have come to be as a full-fledged center in the National Institutes of Health. The answer is simple and boils down to woo-loving legislators. In…

As I looked over the ol’ blog last night, I was shocked to realize that I haven’t blogged about the antivaccine movement and its offenses against science in nearly three weeks. That’s right! The last time I did a vaccine post was when I examined a particularly egregiously bad paper from a couple of scientists…

The “toxin gambit,” resurrected

Well, I’m here. That’s right. As I mentioned yesterday, I’m at CSICon. As is the case when I’m at conferences, be they skeptical conferences or professional conferences, it’s hard to predict the blogging time available. It could be a lot; it could be a little. Or it could be none. (Well, obviously it’s not none,…

The “no debate” debate, briefly revisited

Just yesterday, I commented on a typical whine from the antivaccine crew at the crank blog Age of Autism in which Dan Olmsted became indignant over being reminded that science does not support his belief that vaccines cause autism, that they don’t work, and that they are dangerous. Olmsted, clueless as ever about science, viewed…

The “no debate” debate

I like the word “manufactroversy.” It’s a lovely made up word that combines the two words “manufactured controversy” and is, to boil it down, defined as the art of creating a controversy where none really exists. In the case of science, it’s the concerted effort to make it seem as though there is a legitimate…

On Friday, I wrote about the sort of case that outrages me every bit as much as cases of cancer quackery that lead to the death of patients. I’m referring to the case of Amanda Sadowsky, a four month old infant who died after suffering traumatic brain injuries that appeared consistent with shaken baby syndrome…

Remember Alan Yurko? To remind those of you not familiar with this particularly odious excuse for a human being, I’ll briefly relate who he is and why he’s so vile. Alan Yurko is a baby killer, pure and simple. He shook his 10-week-old son to death. Normally, such a pitiful excuse for a human being…

I’m having a hard time keeping myself from laughing uproariously. I’m talking gut-wrenching belly laughs, the kind that are so intense that you have trouble catching your breath between paroxysms of laughter, the kind that threaten to force the contents of your stomach to go the wrong way, up and out. What, you may ask,…

About a week ago, I wrote one of my usual meandering posts in which I pointed out the similarities between two different anti-science movements. On the one hand, there are anti-vaccinationists, who fetishize the naturalistic fallacy (i.e., the belief that anything “natural” is better and that anything human made or altered by science is dangerous)…

I suppose it’s possible that there might be doubt that Rob Schneider has become a complete and total antivaccine wingnut. Possible, but not reasonable. After all, he’s shown his cards and risen to prominence with his attacks on vaccine science made as part of his effort to oppose the passage of California Bill AB 2109,…

I’ve been blogging a lot about California Bill AB 2109. Basically, it’s a bill that was proposed as a means of addressing the increasing problem of non-medical exemptions to school vaccine mandates because religious and philosophical exemptions are too easy to obtain. Boiled down to its essence, AB 2109 would require parents to see a…

It’s feast or famine in the ol’ blogging world, and right now it’s such a feast that I can’t decide what to blog about. For instance, there are at least two studies and a letter that I wouldn’t mind blogging about just in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine alone. Then…

I was out late last night for a function related to my work. As a result, by the time I got home I was too tired to blog. (I know, I know, how can a Tarial-cell powered megacomputer ever get tired?) However, I did have enough time this morning before work to act on a…

Fear and loathing and vaccines

As hard as it is for me to believe when I look back at it, I’ve been writing about the antivaccine movement now for more than seven years here on this blog and combatting it online for at least a decade now. I like to think that over the years my response has evolved somewhat.…

In common colloquial usage, there is a term known as “gaydar.” Basically, it’s the ability some people claim to have that allows them to identify people who are gay. Whether gaydar actually exists or not, I don’t know, but I claim to have an ability that’s similar. That ability is the ability to sniff out…

More data on why people reject science

Although I focus mostly on medical topics, such as vaccines, alternative medicine, and cancer quackery, I don’t limit myself to such topics. True, I used to write a lot more about evolution and creationism, the paranormal, and other standard skeptical topics, but over the last couple of years I’ve realized where my strength is and…