Pharyngula

What an excellent name for a website

It’s called Stop Jenny McCarthy. Yes. Please do.

Comments

  1. #1 PGPWNIT
    October 17, 2008

    Some proofreading of the site is in order.

  2. #2 Glen Davidson
    October 17, 2008

    But she believes it, and that’s all that’s important. At least that’s how it is to the sizable anti-intellectual contingent in America.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  3. #3 PGPWNIT
    October 17, 2008

    I wouldn’t single out America. Most of Europe have their quirks. Homeopathy, for example.

  4. #4 JackC
    October 17, 2008

    How appropriate that our Science Cafe (Cafe Scientifique) locally this month is “Stuff and Nonsense: A Field Guide to Pseudoscience”

    But then, I guess it could be that any given month.

    JC

  5. #5 Glen Davidson
    October 17, 2008

    I wouldn’t single out America. Most of Europe have their quirks.

    I was singling out her primary audience, anti-intellectual America.

    While I’ve heard that Europe has plenty of unused brain capacity on these matters as well, I don’t feel like I have sufficient knowledge to, for instance, ascribe that to a high European valuation of “belief.” Here, the sense that “belief” is at least a partial sanction for BS is evident in a lot of the arguments over creation/evolution, UFOs, and quack medicine.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  6. #6 Jonathan Arnold
    October 17, 2008

    Almost as good a web site as

    http://www.sweetjesusihatebilloreilly.com/

  7. #7 warthog
    October 17, 2008

    The subject of people believing celebrities over qualified scientists was the subject of Science Fridays today on NPR. A professor from Cardiff spoke on the subject of people not getting MMR vaccinations for their kids in Britain, and they are seeing a rapid increase of measles, nearing an epidemic level. It is sad that people will cling to what they want to hear coming from an unqualified con artist, but won’t believe a qualified expert because the message, regardless of its truth, conflicts with their desires.

  8. #8 Zifnab
    October 17, 2008

    :-p My mother has completely bought into this thing and its gotten me somewhat freaked out as well. It’s too damn easy for disinformation like this to get kicked around. God bless the internets.

  9. #9 Ichthyic
    October 17, 2008

    It is sad that people will cling to what they want to hear coming from an unqualified con artist, but won’t believe a qualified expert because the message, regardless of its truth, conflicts with their desires.

    not for the first time do I find this Science article relevant:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/316/5827/996

  10. #10 Glen Davidson
    October 17, 2008

    Better than crashing a poll, how about crashing a drawing for 10 “Expelled” DVDs? Most of us would like to see it for free, and to keep them out of the hands of the gullible.

    Go to the Disco Institute and sign up for the free drawing, here:

    http://discovery.org/csc/expelled_giveaway.php

    Glen D

  11. #11 WRMartin
    October 17, 2008

    Some proofreading of the site is in order.

    And some graphics work too. The logo in particular.
    Brilliant idea, though. I wish them luck.
    Maybe we should all pray for them. ;)

  12. #12 Gin Enguehard
    October 17, 2008

    Interesting how blaming vaccines relieves Ms. McCarthy of any genetic responsibility for her son’s autism…

  13. #13 potamologist
    October 17, 2008

    Can’t she just go back to being naked for money

  14. #14 Alex
    October 17, 2008

    Was is it with you people? Why are you so against academic freedoms? I mean, what is wrong with talking about things from a different perspective? She obviously cares very much about the cause and just wants to be able to contribute. It’s really sad that anytime someone offers a different perspective on a controversial subject, they get criticized by the dogmatic scientists. This is exactly what is wrong with America today. No moral leadership, no spiritual conviction, only dictators from science spreading FUD about anyone who questions their dogma.

  15. #15 Dennis N
    October 17, 2008

    #14 joking?

  16. #16 Anders
    October 17, 2008

    #14 ? Idiot?

  17. #17 Joe
    October 17, 2008

    @14: I doubt anyone here is against academic freedom, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with looking at something from a different point of view. I think the objection here is that what she goes on and on about directly contradicts actual research that has been done.

  18. #18 Dennis N
    October 17, 2008

    I thought we had a level-headed regular Alex who comments here?

  19. #19 Alex
    October 17, 2008

    #15. Yeah. Sorry. It’s Friday, I’m feeling a little punchy. Was kinda hoping for a bigger dog-pile though. Oh well. Too much poe around.

  20. #20 tsg
    October 17, 2008

    Was is it with you people? Why are you so against academic freedoms?

    “academic freedom” != “freedom to spout bullshit unchallenged”

    I mean, what is wrong with talking about things from a different perspective?

    Her perspective is demonstrably wrong and dangerous.

    She obviously cares very much about the cause and just wants to be able to contribute.

    But she’s wrong. How much she cares doesn’t change that.

    It’s really sad that anytime someone offers a different perspective on a controversial subject, they get criticized by the dogmatic scientists.

    She’s demonstrably wrong. That deserves criticism. If it could be shown that vaccinations cause autism, the scientific community would embrace the idea and work to fix it.

    This is exactly what is wrong with America today. No moral leadership, no spiritual conviction, only dictators from science spreading FUD about anyone who questions their dogma.

    Sheer projection. Thanks for playing. You fail.

  21. #21 Greg
    October 17, 2008

    @ #14:

    There’s a distinct difference between having a conflicting point of view on a topic that’s controversial, and spreading incorrect information about on a large scale claiming that it’s true. If she had some actual evidence to support her views or was perhaps educated in medicine at all, that would be a different story.

  22. #22 tsg
    October 17, 2008

    #15. Yeah. Sorry. It’s Friday, I’m feeling a little punchy. Was kinda hoping for a bigger dog-pile though. Oh well. Too much poe around.

    Okay, you got me.

  23. #23 Alex
    October 17, 2008

    Actually tsg, I can haz poe. I didn’t fail. Nice rebuttal though.

    Cheers.

  24. #24 Qwerty
    October 17, 2008

    Let’s hope #14 is joking as avoiding vaccination because you believe it might cause a genetic disease is quite dumb.

    Maybe in the near future, some parents will sue Jenny after losing a child to a disease that could have been prevented by a vaccination the child didn’t get because the parents believed her message.

  25. #25 Emmet Caulfield
    October 17, 2008

    #14 joking?

    Either that or a retard.

  26. #26 Michelle
    October 17, 2008

    I believe the overall site needs some improvement, but this is a great idea and a great truth.

    I just read the story of this James R. Laidler, MD fellow. quite an ordeal he went through… I can only imagine the number of parents that are going through this diet nonsense without realizing that they aren’t doing anything…

  27. #27 tsg
    October 17, 2008

    Actually tsg, I can haz poe. I didn’t fail.

    That wasn’t me.
    I knew you weren’t serious, I was just practicing.
    You were serious.
    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

    Nice rebuttal though.

    At least it wasn’t a total loss…. ;)

  28. #28 Greg
    October 17, 2008

    @ #23
    Your poecraft is strong, sir.

  29. #29 Jello
    October 17, 2008

    @14

    The issue of academic freedom is irrelevent to the argument as the claims made by McCarthy and those like her have been demonstrated to be completly false over and over again. The false perception she spreads that vaccines are dangerous has imperiled the public health by scaring millions of parents out of protecting their children from very real, very dangerous diseases. Neither the scientific community, nor the general public has any obligation to regard the claims of this rediculously missinformed woman with anything but utter contempt.

  30. #30 Alex
    October 17, 2008

    “Either that or a retard.”

    For sure.

    Sorry DennisN, you thought right though. Thanx for the compliment.

  31. #31 Brownian, OM
    October 17, 2008

    Alex in #19 admitted to Poeing at #14.

    But out of curiosity, what does FUD stand for, Alex?

    (Boy, it’s hard to end a question addressed to an ‘Alex’ without going on to write, “and I’ll take ‘Internet Acronyms’ for $200″).

  32. #32 Alex
    October 17, 2008

    #28 Greg

    Thanx Greg. But truthfully, I feel kinda dirty now, like I’ve betrayed my fellow pharyngulites. For this I have regret. Perhaps drowning my sorrows is the key. Yeah, I think I’ll get over it sometime around 8:00 this evening.

    Cheers

  33. #33 tsg
    October 17, 2008

    But out of curiosity, what does FUD stand for, Alex?

    Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. Otherwise known as “Microsoft’s Marketing Strategy.”

  34. #34 tsg
    October 17, 2008
  35. #35 Rey Fox
    October 17, 2008

    Alex, youuuuuuuu dirty rat…

  36. #36 Alex
    October 17, 2008

    “…known as “Microsoft’s Marketing Strategy.”

    Thanks tsg. My understanding is that now the term is now used more ubiquitously and generically.

  37. #37 tsg
    October 17, 2008

    But truthfully, I feel kinda dirty now, like I’ve betrayed my fellow pharyngulites.

    We all need a dose of humility every once in a while.

    For this I have regret. Perhaps drowning my sorrows is the key. Yeah, I think I’ll get over it sometime around 8:00 this evening.

    Have a beverage of your choice on me.

    Cheers

    [raises glass] Seinfeld.

  38. #38 Jello
    October 17, 2008

    Alex

    My complements, you have your impression of a fluffy brained troll down pat.

  39. #39 tsg
    October 17, 2008

    Thanks tsg. My understanding is that now the term is now used more ubiquitously and generically.

    In fact, it didn’t originate with Microsoft. They just made it such an integral part of their business strategy that it has become synonymous with them. “Embrace and extend” once again.

  40. #40 Alex
    October 17, 2008

    “…a fluffy brained troll…”

    Priceless. I shall integrate “fluffy-brained” into my vernacular.

    “In fact, it didn’t originate with Microsoft.”

    Thanx for the background tsg. I’m going to the Wikipedia link now to learn more. It’s something I’m trying to do more – that is, to add a little more depth to the things we refer to as “common knowledge”. There’s no excuse these days with the intarwebs and all. I even work in the industry. Shame on me.

  41. #41 Ray
    October 17, 2008

    Alex @#14 McCarthy doesn’t only want to look at the problem differently. She actively denies the science and insists without evidence that vaccines are to blame. She makes money giving people disinformation and may cause real harm by convincing others not to vaccinate their children. I can’t speak for anyone else, but that’s “what it is” with me.

    Cheers,
    Ray

  42. #42 Lance
    October 17, 2008

    Can’t someone convince Jen Jen that her breast implants caused her to have an autistic baby? I remember when Oprah and the rest of the MSM helped lead the witch hunt against Dow Corning.

    The woo at that time was that leaking silicone breast implants caused everything from auto immune diseases like Lupus to cancer. Of course all the science debunked the claims but that didn’t stop Oprah from leading the call to sue Dow Corning since women “felt” that their breast implants had caused their illnesses.

    Of course Jenny might have a hard time finding enough bimbos with fake boobs and autistic babies to make a phony correlation but hey if she really “felt” like it was her fake boobs that did it that would probably be enough for her and Oprah.

  43. #43 Alex
    October 17, 2008

    #41 Ray

    There was no where to go for me on this one. The previous posts to mine covered it as far as I’m concerned. What they do is put a pretty dress on blatant ignorance and peddle it to the vulnerable. The really sad part is that these morons (like Jenny) actually think that they are subject-matter experts after cursory exploration of a topic. To them a medical degree, biology degree, etc., is pretty much for the egg-heads. They don’t appreciate the scope or depth of knowledge and understanding that is required to even begin to appreciate topics such as these. Simpletons with pretty faces and access to media is all they are.

  44. #44 Benjamin Geiger
    October 17, 2008

    I’m glad to report that all hope is not lost on the vaccination front.

    My nephew got a series of vaccinations a few days ago (three shots and the oral polio vaccine). According to my mother, the first words out of the doctor’s mouth were “Now, these do NOT cause autism.” Mom never bought into that particular pile of crap—though she has ‘practiced’ astrology and tarot in the past—but it’s good to see that they’re preemptively refuting the lies.

  45. #45 Kitty
    October 17, 2008

    Alex – awesome.
    BUT —- Let’s not forget the truly dreadful effect this woman is having.
    My daughter teaches autistic children and has to cope on an almost daily basis with the anguish parents experience when they are bombarded with the crap these self-important gurus spout.
    These people cause real harm, they are not clever or inspiring. Children suffer because of their ignorant blethering.
    Alex your post at #43 says it all.

  46. #46 Alex
    October 17, 2008

    For sure Kitty. It’s disgusting. The trauma they cause because of their self-important delusions should be considered a crime only because it effects medical and emotional state directly. Getting swindled by a shady car salesman is one thing, but there should be legal repercussions along the lines of misrepresentation if you want to proscribe medical and/or scientific action and you are not accredited for either. Period.

  47. #47 Ray
    October 17, 2008

    Wow, Alex. When I saw your comment at #14 there were only 16 total, by the time I typed in my comment and posted it there were 41 and the joke had been shown up and beaten to death.I gotta learn to type and post faster!

    Cheers,
    Ray

  48. #48 WayBeyondSoccerMom
    October 17, 2008

    Okay, I would feel more comfortable with the site you posted, if it didn’t have the “Indigo Child” image on its home page.

    Sorry, but an “indigo child” site trying to debunk Jenny McCarthy, is more of a “pot, meet kettle” relationship.

    Do you know about the idea of “Indigo Child”? From wikipedia.org,

    In the New Age movement, Indigo children are children who are believed to represent a higher state of human evolution. The term itself is a reference to the belief that such children have an indigo colored(really has nothing to do with color) aura. Beliefs concerning the exact nature of Indigo children vary, with some believing that they have paranormal abilities such as the ability to read minds, and others that they are distinguished from non-Indigo children merely by more conventional traits such as increased empathy and creativity.

    Ugh.

  49. #49 Sastra
    October 17, 2008

    WayBeyondSoccerMom #48 wrote:

    Sorry, but an “indigo child” site trying to debunk Jenny McCarthy, is more of a “pot, meet kettle” relationship.

    Don’t worry. I’m pretty sure that image on the front page is referring to the fact that Jenny McCarthy is known to be an enthusiastic believer in “indigo children,” and has written on it in the past. That’s one of the strategies for undermining her credibility: her beliefs on this issue are so fruit loops and outside the mainstream, that if publicized it may make the otherwise reasonable people who are concerned about vaccinations realize that she’s not a reliable source. To put it mildly.

  50. #50 Brownian, OM
    October 17, 2008

    WayBeyondSoccerMom, I interpreted the ‘Indigo Child?’ caption on the image as more of a WTF? than any sort of support for that bullshit.

    I understand Jenny McCarthy is somehow herself a supporter of the idea, hence the image.

  51. #51 Ichthyic
    October 17, 2008

    Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. Otherwise known as “Microsoft’s America’s Marketing Strategy.”

    Hopefully the failure of that particular marketing strategy over the last 8 years will signal the end of it.

    Sadly, I doubt it.

  52. #52 WayBeyondSoccerMom
    October 17, 2008

    Thanks, Sastra and Brownian, OM, for your comments. I’m relieved.

    I do wish the “Stop Jenny” site was more clear about its disdain for the whole woowoo Indigo Child stuff.

    I don’t think the home page should be a place for nuance.

  53. #53 Sam
    October 17, 2008

    More and more of my patients are refusing vaccines. For some diseases (polio, for instance) they are unlikely to hurt their child, though the population’s risk will go up. For other diseases (pertussis, for example) the risk is much greater, and I’m seeing more and more little babies admitted with pertussis. It is really a shame – one of the greatest medical breakthroughs of the 20th century, and it risks being slowly undone by this nonsense.

  54. #54 Michael
    October 17, 2008

    Jenny McCarthy is a parasite. She has a great heart and good “lungs”… but she feeds on the ignorance of others when it comes to biology.

    P.S. : to P.Z. – is there any way to make the newest replies show first rather than the oldest?

    Anyway…

    The site is brand new and hasn’t had time to grow yet. The kinks will be worked out… Please just don’t let spelling, style or grammar get in the way of the message.

  55. #55 Notorious P.A.T.
    October 17, 2008

    I like Jenny.

  56. #56 bluescat48
    October 17, 2008

    The typical “unmarried marriage counselor.”

  57. #57 tsg
    October 17, 2008

    Hopefully the failure of that particular marketing strategy over the last 8 years will signal the end of it.

    Sadly, I doubt it.

    I think you might be confusing FUD with “Fear, Fear and God Told Me To”.

  58. #58 The Pale Scot
    October 18, 2008

    Allow me second the nomination of Jenny’s breasts as the cause of her son’s autism.

  59. #59 Stop Jenny
    October 18, 2008

    Thanks for plugging the site, PZ!

    I am one of the skeptics responsible for the Stop Jenny site. To answer a few people’s concerns on this, no, we’re not endorsing her wacko indigo stuff. Ideally, I want to have a link to Jenny’s infamous indigo essay with little comment as to not use it as a giant ad hominem but not overly push the indigo thing as I think that may turn off people. But it’s got to be addressed one way or another.

    And the reason the site is so rough is because it just went up last week and was thought up a few days before that. Hopefully, in the coming weeks we’ll have the kinks worked out and I’m hoping a better logo. If anyone wants to design a better logo out of the goodness of their hearts, please contact us through one of the emails listed on the site. Likewise, if anyone would like to contribute to the site, also feel free to contact us.

  60. #60 Badger3k
    October 18, 2008

    I was just going to mention the indigo child BS of hers, but I can see why one might not want to expose that much lunacy at once, but if people associated her indigo-woo with her anti-vax-woo, maybe it might get a bit more play.

  61. #61 the pro from dover
    October 18, 2008

    The real question is why do immunizations (more correct than “vaccinations” which specifically refer to vaccinia as a protection from variola and are scratched into the skin rather than subcutaneously injected) only cause autism in the USA and nowhere else. This means there has to be a cofactor to produce this unwanted effect. I would suggest it’s the presence of astrology denying scientists who do not care that these children are being immunized when the stars and planets are not favorable.

  62. #62 StopJenny2
    October 18, 2008

    Thank you! This explains the great emails that have started to come in.
    As the author of the content, I do apologize for the spelling and grammar. I normally have great spelling and grammar skills (getting an A in English 210 when attending college). However, between 2 jobs and 3 kids, the site went up rather haphazardly in the spare moments I had over the last week. I was quite alarmed by the attention McCarthy has been getting in the media, and felt something needed to go up as soon as possible.

    There are three of us involved with the http://www.stopjenny.com site, and we’re working hard to address the issues as soon as possible. I feel the indigo/crystal nonsense will need to be moved to the “Why Jenny is Wrong” page to point out why it is even on the site. We feel it points to Jenny’s overall ignorance. It cannot be an attack though, as our purpose is to educate rather than ridicule. People are entitled to think of their children as “crystals”, but not to miseducate others with disinformation. This puts children in harm’s way, and Jenny is rather demonstrating total cluelessness about this.
    Thank you Mr. Myers (I’m a big fan), and everyone here. The feedback is much appreciated, and will help us out.

  63. #63 Orac
    October 18, 2008

    I’ve been meaning to plug this site for a while.

    As an aside, someone sent me the forward to Jenny’s latest book. This forward, written by Dr. Jay Gordon, pediatrician to the stars’ children and apologist for the antivaccine movement, and it’s horrific. A takedown is in order. Soon.

  64. #64 RexuAngel
    October 18, 2008

    I was pleased to see that site. But (with a self-plug) that may not be surprising

    http://www.rescueangel.org

  65. #65 StopJenny2
    October 18, 2008

    Hi RexuAngel,

    May we link your site under our
    [Information about Autism "Cures":]
    It’s on the bottom of the page at: http://www.site.stopjenny.com/StopJenny.html
    Please email me back at: information@stopjenny.com
    Thank you!

  66. #66 StarChildSkull
    October 18, 2008

    The Indigo Children have been incarnating on the Earth for the last 100 years. The early Indigos were pioneers and way-showers. After World War II, a significant number were born, and these are the Indigo adults of today. However, in the 1970s a major wave of Indigos was born, and so we have a whole generation of Indigos who are now in their late twenties and early thirties who are about to take their place as leaders in the world. Indigos continued to born up to about 2000, with increasing abilities and degrees of technological and creative sophistication.

    The Crystal Children began to appear on the planet from about 2000, although some date them slightly earlier. These are extremely powerful children, whose main purpose is to take us to the next level in our evolution, and reveal to us our inner power and divinity. They function as a group consciousness rather than as individuals, and they live by the “Law of One” or Unity Consciousness. They are a powerful force for love and peace on the planet.

    The next quantum leap involved the creation of molecules. I suggested the creation of Spirit atoms and Earth atoms. Spirit atoms tried to remain

  67. #67 StopJenny2
    October 18, 2008

    Evidence?

  68. #68 StopJenny3
    October 18, 2008

    Dr. Jay Gordon, as mentioned above as the person who wrote the foreword on Jenny’s book, is peddling ADD/ADHD cures in even more books. These folks are just like Trudeau. Peddling false promises under the guise of controversay. All of them are just con artists taking parents for a ride. It’s truly sad.

  69. #69 Kel
    October 18, 2008

    Got to love the Indigo Children. There’s no scientific support at all to the claims, but new agers will go on and on about it.

  70. #70 MoxieHart
    October 18, 2008

    If you like Stop Jenny McCarthy, then you’d probably like StopSylviaBrowne

  71. #71 defectiverobot
    October 18, 2008

    I mean, seriously, how did it come to this? Who looked up one day and said to themselves “You know, this Jenny McCarthy is worth listening to?” It’s JENNY McCARTHY, people! She bleached her crotch for Playboy! How does that make her a spokesman for anything? We have the common sense to dis Tom Cruise (who’s an Einstein by comparison) for his inane bashing of psychology but we still listen to Jenny McCarthy?

    Oy. I used to be an optimist…

  72. #72 Ruth
    October 19, 2008

    I am a scientist with an autistic child and lots of engineers in the family-yes, autism has a genetic component. But could some of you refrain from using ‘retard’ in that insulting way. Retarded is a valid clinical term, ‘you retard’ is a cheap shot.

    I beleive autistic children should be treated-with respect.

  73. #73 Ruth
    October 19, 2008

    ‘believe’

    Need more coffee-

  74. #74 The Kenosha Kid
    October 19, 2008

    @71 Jenny McCarthy did NOT bleach her crotch for playboy! Evidence available by clicking my name (NSFW). I like to back up my arguments.

The site is undergoing maintenance presently. Commenting has been disabled. Please check back later!