Over the years this blog's been in existence, I've fallen into a habit in which I tend to like to finish off the week taking on a bit of science (well, usually pseudoscience) that is either really out there, really funny, or in general not as heavy as, for example, writing about someone like Stanislaw Burzysnki. Indeed, for nearly two years, I even turned into a feature, Your Friday Dose of Woo. Eventually, I got a bit tired of being straitjacketed into having to find something kooky or wacky every Friday, and I let the feature lapse. That doesn't mean that I don't still deliver an occasional Friday Dose of Woo, but now I do it on my schedule and when I feel like it, rather than having forced myself into doing it every single Friday. Things are much better that way.
This week, there were two candidates for doing another Friday Dose of Woo, "inspiring" me to want to do one. The problem was, I couldn't pick. Think about it. Which one of these would you pick? There was a post talking about Gian Paolo Vanoli, who is apparently a 70-year-old Italian scientist, journalist and, unfortunately, antivaccinationist. What brought Vanoli attention outside of Italy is is apparent belief that vaccines turn you gay. No, I kid you not. That's really what he has said and really the view he promotes:
The vaccine is introduced into the child, the child then grows and tries to find its own personality, and if this is inhibited by mercury or other substances present in the vaccine which enter the brain, the child becomes gay. The problem will especially be present in the next generations, because when gays have children, the children will carry along with them the DNA of their parent’s illness. Because homosexuality is a disease, even though the WHO has decided that it is not. Who cares! The reality is that it is so. Each vaccination produces homosexuality, because it prevents the formation of one’s personality. It is a microform of autism, if you will. You will see how many gays there will be in the next generation, it will be a disaster.
That's right. According to Vanoli, not only are vaccines so powerful that they can turn a child gay, but they apparently rewrite the child's DNA to produce heritable changes that lead to the gayness being passed on to any children the vaccinated child goes on to have when he or she grows up. There's so much wrong in the paragraph above that it goes beyond black hole density when it comes to wrongness. I realize that that's not possible for matter, but such amazing stupidity is capable of doing things that matter cannot, and one of those things is to become even denser than the densest black hole. Indeed, if Vanoli had the least bit of quack savvy, he would have invoked the alternative medicine magic of epigenetics to explain everything (and, remember, in the world of quacks, epigenetics, just like quantum, can do anything), but apparently he's too ignorant to do even that.
First off, the amount of mercury in childhood vaccines is at most trace amounts these days. Second, even if significant quantities of mercury were in vaccines, there's no evidence that mercury exposure is in any way associated with homosexuality. But even that's not enough for Vanoli. He seems to view homosexuality as a form of autism, again without evidence. The phrase "so wrong he's not even wrong" comes to mind. Or it would, at least until Vanoli "surpasses" himself:
"But we have to say that it’s an illness, something that does not respect the order of life," he told the outlet. "One of the main causes is represented by vaccines, which go against life, disturbing our mind and our spirit. The proof of that is the big increase in the number of homosexuals. Since mass vaccination began, this is the result."
Of course, there is no evidence that the prevalence of homosexuality has been increasing. There is, however, evidence that gays are more accepted and therefore more of them are "coming out," which can give the appearance that there are more homosexuals. Maybe Vanoli would prefer it if gays were still all in the closet! Whatever the case, Vanoli is as antivaccine as any American or British antivaccinationist. In this article in Italian (which I perused, thanks to Google Translate), he rants against vaccines, claiming to be an "expert on vaccines," saying, "One of the worst things you can do to the immune system is to vaccinate a child. The vaccine suspends the formation of the immune system."
Uh no. Not even close.
As I said, though, Vanoli is an all purpose quack. In particular, he is enamored of urine therapy, claiming that it can cure any disease, even cancer.
However, on this particular Friday, Vanoli, as nutty as he is, was outdone. He was outdone in a big way by an old "friend." I'm referring of course to that all-encompassing crank extraordinaire, that New World Order conspiracy theorist and antiscience loon, Mike Adams. Not content with his usual antiscience rants, Adams decides he needs to publish not one, but ten such rants under the umbrella title of Top ten ways humanity is being murdered in the name of 'evidence-based science'.
The first thing I can't help but mention is that "evidence-based science" is rather redundant. Science, by its very definition, is evidence-based. The only reason that the term "evidence-based medicine" was coined is because medicine is not, strictly speaking, a science, hence the use of the term to emphasize that medicine should be based in evidence. However, there are other considerations, such as each patient's unique situation, that can impact the application of evidence to individual patients. The same is true of science, when the term science-based medicine was coined. In any case, the ten items in Adams' "Top Ten" list of medical evils are the usual suspects. I'll "cherry pick" my favorites (based, of course, on my usual blogging propensities) and let you, my readers, have some fun with the rest of Adams' list, which he introduces thusly:
Of all the threats to humanity today, none is more destructive than modern-day "evidence-based science." And by the word "science," I don't mean the humble pursuit of knowledge using genuine scientific methods. What I mean is the dogmatic, corporate-driven brand of distorted science based on falsified evidence, bribery of gatekeepers and corruption of government regulators.
That "science" is killing us all with hormone disruptors, hidden food chemicals, heavy metals, genetic engineering and neurological disruptors. The pushers of this corporate-driven "evidence-based science" claim to be aiding humanity, yet their actions prove they are only destroying the health of the population and the future viability of the life-sustaining ecosystem as well.
The most amusing thing about this little introductory screed is how Adams apparently views himself as a judge of what is and is not good science. Now there's some chutzpah! This is, after all, a man who never met a form of pseudoscience he didn't like, parrots every lie about vaccines that the antivaccine movement can come up with, and portrays the evidence-based use of chemotherapy as Nazi-like doctors marching women into concentration camp-like structures to be forced to be injected with "poison." Basically, if Adams supports a treatment, chances are it's the purest of pure quackeries, all justified with a heapin' helpin' of conspiracy theories. First up, not surprisingly, are genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Adams is not known for subtlety or logic, and he maintains that reputation here:
Given the deadly results of consuming GMOs, every "scientist" who pushes GMOs is an indirect murderer. To push this dangerous technology without any long-term safety testing whatsoever is a violation of the "precautionary principle" that used to be honored in scientific circles. But caution has been abandoned in favor of corporate profits, and now it's all about selling more food, seeds and chemicals, regardless of how many men, women and children are killed or damaged in the process.
When you see a "scientist" arguing in favor of GMOs, think to yourself, "That's a homicidal maniac" because widespread death is the ultimate result of their irresponsible, dangerous actions.
I guess I must be Hannibal Lecter, then, because I consider the furor over GMOs to be overblown. Indeed, I laughed when Adams used a particularly bad recent study to justify his rant. I covered that study in depth back in September. Suffice to say that it was some of the worst science I have ever seen. No wonder Mike Adams likes it so much. But, then, what do I know? I'm obviously a homicidal maniac.
Next up, unsurprisingly, are vaccines. The only thing that surprised me, in fact, was that vaccines weren't the first on Adams' hit list. After all, any good crank believes that vaccines are the root of all evil and disease, not to mention the cause of bad breath. Adams' bit on vaccines consists of the usual antivaccine tropes, right down to the particularly vile claim by antivaccinationists that the "shaken baby syndrome" is a misdiagnosis for vaccine injury, but one caught my eye, as I was unfamiliar with it:
Over 145,000 children have been murdered by vaccines over the past two decades. Babies that receive the most vaccines are also the most likely to be hospitalized (or die). Furthermore, when pregnant women are injected with flu shots, it results in a 4,250% increase in fetal deaths.
When you encounter a doctor, a nurse or a pharmacist recommending a vaccine and telling you it's "perfectly safe" with "no side effects," think to yourself, "That's a lying child killer!"
And remember, vaccines are pushed in the name of "evidence-based science." It's all "scientific," they say, to inject your child with mercury and watch as they experience convulsions, comas or death. Yet there is actually no science whatsoever to demonstrate that vaccines improve the health outcomes of children. The vaccine pushers are terrified of comparing vaccinated children against non-vaccinated children, because they know the non-vaccinated children are far healthier. So the studies are never done, and the vaccine myths are pushed via propaganda instead of real evidence.
I guess I'm not just a homicidal maniac, but a lying child killer, too. Well, if Adams thinks I'm one, I'll wear the mantle proudly, because being called a child killer by Adams is a mark of honor for anyone with a science-based perspective on medicine—or life, for that matter. In the meantime, I couldn't help but notice that Adams' claim that babies who receive the most vaccines are the most likely to be hospitalized is based on a truly bad study that I already blogged in detail a mere three months ago by Neil Z. Miller and Gary S. Goldman, two antivaccine "researchers" who think they know what they're doing but in reality epitomize the arrogance of ignorance. What about the claim that flu shots result in a massive increase in fetal deaths? Nonsense, of course. Isn't it funny how I've already covered most of the pseudoscience and quackery that Adams is laying down? No, it's not.
Some of the other things Adams attacks include, not surprisingly fluoride and, of course, pharmaceuticals. Indeed, of pharmaceuticals, Adams says:
Every drug-dealing doctor who pushes statin drugs, ADHD drugs, blood pressure drugs or antidepressants is a criminal co-conspirator of the drug cartels. Every one of them should be indicted for poisoning their patients with deadly chemicals, yet under the label of "science" this mass poisoning continues.
Hyperbole, much, Mikey?
Particular bile is reserved for chemotherapy, which is a frequent target of quacks because, well, it works, and quacks hate that. Mikey is no exception. He starts out with a Godwin, talking about mustard gas derivatives that produced the first chemotherapy drugs and then saying that the "Nazis got their hands on the technology." Never mind that these drugs' use as chemotherapies wasn't actually appreciated until the postwar period. The number of lies and the sheer quantity of misinformation in this brief article is truly astonishing. I've covered most of it before, including the distortion that most physicians refuse to undergo chemotherapy themselves, which is completely untrue. Meanwhile, he cites a study that shows that tumor cells can secrete a protein (WNT16B) that can increase the growth and invasiveness of surrounding cancer cells. Of course, he neglects to note that this was a preclinical study and didn't actually show that this happens in humans and that it generated hypotheses to test to increase the efficacy of chemotherapy.
All of this leads Adams to say:
Cancer clinics need not show ANY positive results from their treatments. If a patient dies from the chemo, everyone says they "died of cancer." If the patient lives, they are heralded as a "cancer survivor," after which they have a 95% chance of the chemo causing new cancers, resulting in yet more revenues for the cancer centers. No cancer center blames patient deaths on the poisons being dripped into their veins.
First off, as usual, Adams is wrong when he says that cancer survivors have a 95% chance of their chemotherapy causing new cancers. It's nowhere near that high. Moreover, oncologists do not hide or deny the risk to patients. They lay it on the line and are very honest about the possibility. Indeed, there are multiple publications (like this one) that estimate the risks (which are more on the order of single digit percentages than 95%), and the frikkin' American Cancer Society even has a large and detailed web page on the subject.
When it comes to One Crank To Rule Them All, there's only one right now that I can think of, and it's Mike Adams. Poor Gian Paolo Vanoli. He didn't have a chance. In a war of woo, he only has a few weapons, such as urine therapy and claiming vaccines cause homeosexuality. Adams has mastered every form of quackery and crankery. Few are in his league, and we should be grateful for this.
@Orac - want to bet that anti-vaxxers will forgive #2 (that vaccines cause one to be "gay") because he got #1 right (that vaccines are "bad.")?
Each vaccination produces homosexuality
Given rich world vaccination rates, there has to be an awful lot of people still in closets ...
Also, has Vanoli missed the whole "flamboyant gay" stereotype? Or does he somehow manage to construe it as autistic?
With an estimated population of gay humans at 6%, vaccines are lousy at producing Vanoli's bogus result.
Adam's is just a basic huckster playing on credulous fears to rake in cash.
Tough to pick the worst.
“But we have to say that it’s an illness, something that does not respect the order of life,” he told the outlet.
I imagine him discussing this wisely with an electrical outlet.
"One of the main causes is represented by vaccines, which go against life, disturbing our mind and our spirit.
Against life? If you're a virus, sure.
Furthermore, when pregnant women are injected with flu shots, it results in a 4,250% increase in fetal deaths.
When a pregnant woman is given a flu shot, her baby dies and so do the babies of a dozen or so unvaccinated women around her. Everyone knows that.
A copy of the April American Journal of Psychiatry was mistakenly left in my mailbox yesterday (apparently a shrink has moved in down the block). It's a good thing I'm not an antivaxer or I'd be frothing in rage over the articles.
One is about a case-control study showing higher risks of autism in children who exhibited substantial abnormalities in fetal growth (especially below-normal, but also above normal). Another article found positive results for a nicotine vaccine that produces antibodies against nicotine which then is blocked from crossing the blood-brain barrier, resulting in lower cravings for a smoke and 40% less smoking over the short term (findings contrast with a phase III clinical trial which found the vaccine didn't work very well, possibly because in the trial antibodies titers were lower).
Not only are the journal's editors and authors homicidal maniacs, but now I've got a homicidal maniac for a neighbor!
Dear Mike Adams, from the same source as your 145,000 murdered babies, vaccines have saved 200,000,000 kids over the same period of time. So a 1,000,000:1 success rate. I've bought lottery tickets on worse odds.
Fascinating still, that the anti-vaxxers can latch on to the 4,250% figure, yet not do the math to realize that rate of increase would now include all pregnancies, everywhere.
You will see how many gays there will be in the next generation, it will be a disaster.
Even if he is right, why would this be a disaster? Though I'm straight I can think of many reasons the world would be improved if there were more gay people in it.
Where is Lord Draconis when you need him?
I wondered how long it would take the antivaxers to wake up to the evil conspiracy to destroy the human race. Bill Gates has done a good job, what with murdering millions of babies with toxic vaccines, but now the prime depopulation function of vaccines has been unmasked - if they don't kill you, you'll be gay.
I think someone has been reading "The ScrewFly Solution."
Orac: " Indeed, for nearly two years, I even turned into a feature, Your Friday Dose of Woo. Eventually, I got a bit tired of being straitjacketed into having to find something kooky or wacky every Friday, and I let the feature lapse."
So who says you need to limit the "dose of woo" to Fridays? You should be flexible. Recall for example, Churchy la Femme, the "Pogo" comic strip character who considered the 13th of every month Friday the 13th. For example, "Friday the 13th come on a Thursday this month." So I look forward to your next Friday Dose of Woo a week from Monday! Tuesday would also work...
Furthermore, when pregnant women are injected with flu shots, it results in a 4,250% increase in fetal deaths.
Did all these people have the same math teacher?
when gays have children, the children will carry along with them the DNA of their parent’s illness. Because homosexuality is a disease, even though the WHO has decided that it is not.
Now this whole "Vaccines cause teh ghey!" thing is hilaribad, but now I'm confused.
You see, I never got the full complement of vaccines because of an allergy to eggs, a popular culture medium. Am I just a bit gay?
Also, my parents are straight. Not only that but, of all of my gay friends and acquaintances, I can't think of anyone with gay parents.
The gay friends I have who've had children have failed miserably to bring about the End Times, as their kids are all apparently straight. I know one friend who adopted a child, that child is gay. Is she a first generation infectee? Bloody vaccines!
WRT the "disease" thing, I wish all of my health problems were like my case of the gay. It's never stopped me doing anything, there's no pain or sensory issues, no neurological problems*, no need for assistive devices/tech. It's also brought me the other Mrs Elburto, some truly amazing experiences, and the fact that I never, ever, have to fear accidental pregnancy.
So if scientists and Ebil Big pHARMa want to work on making all of my conditions so "terrible", that'd be great, ASAP.
Could an epidemiologist pls explain how the gay is transmitted genetically by straight people? Is it recessive genes, epigenetics, or just an idiotic theory, thought up by a bigot, that holds as much water as a hairnet? Thanks!
*I do experience terrible confusion while watching RuPaul's Drag Race, as does the other Mrs Elburto. Clearly a neurological/sensory issue, but none of our doctors will take us seriously. It is a terrible burden... for about an hour and a half on Tuesdays.
Speaking of our old friend Mike, your blogmate Mark Hoofnagle linked to an article by Mike that advocated connecting greenhouses to, of all things, coal plant exhaust. Which, ironically, is one of the leading sources of mercury pollution. Mark's post happens to be dated 1 April, but he was acting as if it were a serious thing. (The claim that CO2 enhances plant growth is hardly novel; it's a standard trope among global warming denialists.)
But props to Signor Vanoli for coming up with something new. I was beginning to think that the woo-niverse was lacking in a certain creativity.
And by the word “science,” I don’t mean the humble pursuit of knowledge using genuine scientific methods. What I mean is the dogmatic, corporate-driven brand of distorted science based on falsified evidence, bribery of gatekeepers and corruption of government regulators.
Translation: By the word 'science', I don't actually mean science at all.
Shay @15: A 4250% increase would be a 43.5-fold increase in the rate of fetal deaths. That might be based on real numbers, but even if it is, I suspect that the rate of fetal death in mothers who do not get flu vaccines is underreported. ISTM that mothers who get flu shots while pregnant are more likely to be seeing a doctor regularly during pregnancy than those who don't, and the ones who don't see a doctor regularly but miscarry probably don't show up as fetal deaths. IOW, Mike is making the standard sort of correlation/causation mistake.
"Set hormone disruptors on 'stun', Mr Chekhov."
"Wight away, kepten."
When I saw this news item yesterday, my first thought was that the anti-chemo cranks would hate this.
Since they're all about boosting the immune system instead of poisoning people, and all that.
Mikey is not just the epitome of crankery, it is motivated crankery:
if you read his swill- over time- you will realise that it is programmed to engender certain core beliefs-
- most food is dangerous for health ( pesticides, GMOs)
- most doctors are dangerous for your health
- most pharmaceutical products are dangerous
These bad ideas are buttressed by additional bad political ideas-
-government is out to get you
- you lack freedom and liberty
- guns are the answer ( see today's 'civil war is upon us' post)
Thus, the endtimes are upon us and you're on your own, up the creek without a paddle-
BUT you have Mikey on your side - lucky you!
If you go over to his "Store" ( on website) you will find solutions to all of the problems he's been frightening you about these past several years ( but no guns yet):
Bad foods? He sells freeze dried organic fruits and is affiliated with a company that ships organics to your door.
There will be food shortages and riots? He sells storeable goods and heirloom non-GMO seeds.
Evil doctors and/ or lack of access to care? He sells myriad supplements to improve your health and remedies. And water filters.
Society colllapsing everywhere around you, even as we speak? He has the survivalist supplies you covet. And instructional videos, e-books and other finely-tuned educational products.
MIke follows a similar format to Null- who has been spreading the crap for over 35 years:
what I've noticed over the past few years is how both have become cavalierly derisive of government and how they disavow elected officials that their fellow citizens have selected- the government is illegitimate and should be ousted because of its inherent corruption.
On the economic front, Adams often sounds like Porter Stansberry ( who advertises on Natural News) whilst the other idiot showcases "trend-caster", Gerald Celente, who predicts doom, gloom and economic disaster on a regular basis. Their investment advice is abysmal- if you had followed it in 2009, your losses would have never been recovered. I actually did the precise opposite- and quite well indeed.
I find it bizarre that reading or listening to natural health gurus like these two more often results in hearing outlandish political claptrap designed to frighten and perhaps, light a fire under disturbed -and disturbing -people. I think it's important to realise that their fans steep themselves in this garbage and that a few might someday act on their cherished beliefs.
Given that Stupidity can evidently surpass the density of a Black Hole, it follows that Stupid also travels faster than light. In fact, Stupid appears to travel even faster than Plaid. So . . . is anything faster than Travelling at the Speed of Stupid?
I find it bizarre that reading or listening to natural health gurus like these two more often results in hearing outlandish political claptrap designed to frighten and perhaps, light a fire under disturbed -and disturbing -people. I think it’s important to realise that their fans steep themselves in this garbage and that a few might someday act on their cherished beliefs.
I lurk on some political blogs, so I have seen this movie before. You are quite right to fear that a few might act on what Mike and his friends are saying: we have already seen this with a number of political fringe groups in this country, mainly those associated with the political right. Anti-abortion extremists who murder doctors, for instance. We already know that Mike is into conspiracy theories; see, e.g., his message about preserving the integrity of our bodily fluids.
Each vaccination produces homosexuality, because it prevents the formation of one’s personality.
Alexander the Great, Henri d'Anjou, Don Giovanni and their good male friends were sure lacking in personality. No-one remember them.
The vaccines make you gay notion is, as my son would say, "so gay."
@ Eric Lund:
I think they turned up the volume after the 2008 crash- perhaps seeing that people might choose NOT to spend their money on over-priced supplements, they had to find other ways to get people "on their side"- not just pro-health but also anti-establishment, capitalising on hidden grievances and deep seated fears.
I've also noticed that both have really spewed their venom on a particular black man who resides in a white house.
Be careful what you ask for my canine-inspire Minion, I have come up from some terribly important interrogations down on sublevel 40 (where my schtakv'haat-eating 'sponder is utterly useless) for this important announcement. The Great Gates may be mopping up our depopulation project with vaccines simply laden with Teh Toxinz™, but let us not forget his greatest contribution to planetary subjugation: Windows™. More of your species have succumbed to the ballistophrenic effects of this vexing technological terror than drugs and vaccines combined. Why do you think we killed the tiresome Mr. Jobs off? To drive your species over the edge, we need all the awful we can get.
Now, will somebody please capture that dreadful Adams thing and bring him before me? I could use the laughs.
Lord Draconis Zeneca, VH7ihL
Forward Mavoon of the Great Fleet, Pharmaca Magna of Terra, Angry Birds Champion of the H'laan Sector
Glaxxon PharmaCOM Terrabase DIA
Well shoot, I'm all vaccinated, had an extra shot when I went abroad as a kid and I've even had three shots in the past year and a half, how am I not yet gay? Am I just not trying hard enough, or what?
BOOBIES! ... nope, nothing. Still not working.
More shots must be needed.
Orac, when have you ever said vaccines were “perfectly safe” with “no side effects”?
On the subject of vaccines, there's currently an epidemic of measles in Swansea, in Wales, directly linked to the Wakefield scare and particularly one local newspaper that jumped on that bandwagon hard:
He sells freeze dried organic fruits and is affiliated with a company that ships organics to your door.
That monster! Doesn't Mikey know organic food causes autism?
G.P. Vanoli isn't an "italian scientist", not even a journalists he's a famous newsgroup troll. Once (i think 10 years ago) he made a petition to ban the DHMO...
When I think of all the vaccinations that US military personnel have to undergo...wow. Do you think that's the real reason the Pentagon finally deep-sixed ol Don't Ask-Don't Tell?
Goodness me - have I been in denial all my life about my vaccine-induced gayness? I still get a flu shot every year and I've even had booster shots recently! OMG, that means Mr. Prickly must be gay and in denial too - tonight's dinner conversation is going to be a little AWKWARD....Seriously though, homosexuality is a disease? Only the most die-hard cranks and religious fanatics are still peddling that nonsense.
Of all the threats to humanity today, none is more destructive than modern-day “evidence-based science.” Mike Adams and Gary Null.
There, that's better.
Gian Paolo Vanoli, who is apparently a 70-year-old Italian scientist, journalist and, unfortunately, antivaccinationist.
As Shaw noted at #32, Vanoli is not a scientist and has never claimed to be. Why would he? He hates scientists.
The title was bestowed upon him by the HuffPost reporters when they translated the Italian article, presumably because they also hate scientists and consider it to be a term of abuse. From there, every journalist recycling the Vanoli story has repeated the same error... going past HuffPost to the original source is apparently too hard.
Vanoli [...] is enamored of urine therapy, claiming that it can cure any disease, even cancer
Further research reveals that he combines the urine therapy with enema woo: "The deep and prolonged intestinal lavage for 7 days, with urine or aloe vera, assisted by the reintegration of the urine orally"...
Although I am not entirely fluent in Italian, I know enough to recognise rather spectacularly bad woo - urine, enemas and psychic energy. And. other. stuff.
Ever the one to try look at things from different angles,* I wonder if some of these '4,250%' type of gaffes are due to the writers not knowing that some European nations, e.g. France, use a comma where the USA, etc. use a period.
Urine enemas? Exquise me?
I knew some people's kinks got pretty weird, but daaaaaang..... o_0
@Grant: no, that would be far too understandable. Read what Orac had to say about the 4,250%:
"Orac, when have you ever said vaccines were “perfectly safe” with “no side effects”?"
Lots of times. He was also in the movie "The Fugitive", telling cardiologists that the drug RDU90 was fantastically effective with absolutely no side effects.
Urine enemas? Exquise me?
I am not hung up on 'listening to my body' (on account of the bad advice it has given me in the past -- never trust your body for investment decisions), but for this I make an exception. And what my kidneys are telling me is "Hey, dude, we went to the trouble of secreting that stuff because it's no good to you any more".
No mention of homeopathetics from Mikey?
Well, I've been vaccinated and far from gay... In fact I'm in love with a cute girl, the problem is that... uh, she's Draconian.
Oh, and I salute my Lord! All glory to the Order!
There was a post talking about Gian Paolo Vanoli, who is apparently a 70-year-old Italian scientist, journalist and, unfortunately, antivaccinationist.
I've kind of been wondering about the "scientist" bit, which has faithfully been repeated in the English media, since the story broke. His own description of his credentials tells a somewhat different story. Indeed, one might note that the site map for mednat.org has no links under the "Scienza" category.
His putative credentials are examined further here.
This one is also somewhat timely, in that he seems to have fallen big time for the dihydrogen monoxide gambit back on Usenet.
(Ah, I now see that Shaw beat me to the punch.)
Holy moly the ultimate woo technique, combining quacks' obsessions with urine and enemas into one, how didn't we foresee this?
Another article found positive results for a nicotine vaccine that produces antibodies against nicotine which then is blocked from crossing the blood-brain barrier, resulting in lower cravings for a smoke and 40% less smoking over the short term (findings contrast with a phase III clinical trial which found the vaccine didn’t work very well, possibly because in the trial antibodies titers were lower).
This? It doesn't look too bad on its face (if one ignores the possible COIs). I don't think it's going to do much to save NicVAX, though.
Vanoli appears to think that homosexuality breeds true!
My thoughts would tend towards some difficulty in breeding from "true" homosexuals. Have to admit, though, I haven't been able to find any good science on the topic.
I don't know about vaccines making you gay, but BPA can cause abnormal hormonal changes and excess estrogen in males. It does make sense that since the increase in BPA useage, an increase in male feminism has also occured in the USA. Countries that prohibit BPA have more manly men and less homosexuality. Could be a potential link. That is the "scientific" approach to it. There were rumors that USA and Russia both had bioweapons that could make people gay back in the 1980s. Of course if there were such a thing, we would have used it in Iraq. The jist of gayism is that it is a satanic inspired event that happens over time. porn abuse, childhood abuse, single family homes where the mother is dominant source of guidance, and other factors contribute to gayism, but ultimately it is a sin no matter the cause.
Rhandi, take your hateful, pseudoscientific crap somewhere else. We're not buying it.
He has the survivalist supplies you covet.
I believe that are now called "preppers" (not to be confused with preppies). I think the old term carried too much right wing wackaloon baggage. Same paranoids, different label as far as I can tell.
@ Militant Agnostic:
Thus I stick to the older, descriptive terminology : survivalist.
"Preppers" sounds like a combination of "prepping" plus "poppers"... probably not a good idea.
Rhandi Page, that is exactly the kind of thinking that made us think you were "Medicien Man"/"Rob Hood". Take this wee bit of advice, read more of this blog before you comment.
Also another wee bit of information: One phrase that is used here quite often is "citation needed." Learn what that specifically means.
Oops, I misspelled your last name. I am very sorry Rhandi Paige.
(yeah, it happens to me lots... I also have single syllable last name that has variable vowels, plus a first name with variable consonants)
@ Rhandi Page:
Could you please define exactly what a "manly man" is?
Are you refering to appearance, fashion choices, sporting interest, career inclinations, ability to repair small motors uninstructed.. or is it something more arcane and mysterious?
I don't know what it means. And I know a lot of men in many different capacities- family, friends, colleagues, partners.
I think that they're all manly.
"Countries that prohibit BPA have more manly men and less homosexuality."
 *everywhere.
Wait, ADHD drugs? As a regular consumer of those, I am puzzled by his claim, since as far as I can tell, I am not, as yet, dead.
Maybe one day I'll concentrate so hard my brain will explode, or something.
@Handi Jai -
The 14th century called - they want their religiously-inspired bigotry back.
I thought the Rhandi Paige comment (50) was an attempt at a joke or something like that. There is a growing literature that BPA has weak estrogenic like effects, that it can affect development of brain cells in culture, and that in strong doses it affects males in terms of desire and erectile function, as deduced from questionaires provided to men who work in factories where there is high exposure:
PMID: 20467048 "Relationship between urinary bisphenol-A level and declining male sexual function" by Li et al in the Journal of Andrology, 2010.
Thus the known effects seem to involve turning everything down, rather than some stimulation towards the same sex. There are lots of papers studying the physiological and genetic effects in people and in animal model systems.
I would like to make a comment about the use of the term "citation please." The please is actually the more insulting part of the phrase, as it is simultaneously sarcastic and condescending. I think what is really meant is something like the following: "What you wrote is just plain ignorant and not very bright either, and I challenge you to provide one iota of proof, in the form of a well designed study and credible results, for the silly comment you made. I don't think you can do it, but I will write a pro forma invitation for you to try."
Perhaps the retort can be done a little more diplomatically, but to invite one single solitary citation for a daft assertion is to invite the target to point to one of the papers that Orac rips apart on a weekly basis. In other words, the invitation to provide a citation isn't productive and comes across as a little catty. We should be inviting a cogent argument based on demonstrable facts and logic, whether it is some landmark publication or the summed wisdom of mountains of work.
The Gay Weapon, a component of our flagship product, the chemical blend Toxin™, codename Bisphenol-A was developed by Lord Draconis' best scientists for the good of the feminist agenda, because "The Manly Men" were detrimental to the wellbeing (or as you call it, 'wellness') of a lot of sweet beautiful nubile maidens both human and Draconian. You see, the Forward Mavoon of the Great Fleet is a well intentioned extremist, but well intentioned in the end.
@Bob G - see Pharma Shill's comment? That's a joke. Jokes are funny.
What Rhandi said? Not funny in the slightest. If that's your idea of humour, I'd hate to see your DVD collection.
It's hate speech, pure and simple. Naked hatred that I've heard countless times.
Also, WRT "catty", lurk more. If we had to replace  (a scientifically valid request on a science blog) with:
“What you wrote is just plain ignorant and not very bright either, and I challenge you to provide one iota of proof, in the form of a well designed study and credible results, for the silly comment you made. I don’t think you can do it, but I will write a pro forma invitation for you to try.”
I guarantee you that two things would happen.
1. Using your suggestion to challenge statements of "fact" from every troll, quackpot and wooligan would make the server go ar$e over t¡t, due to the extra space needed.
2. The regular posters here would become crippled by RSI.
 is neither "catty" nor sarcastic. Check out a few Wikipedia articles and you'll see it liberally sprinkled throughout. Same goes for any scientific discussion forum.
A request for citations is just that. Calling someone "not bright", when all you want them to do is back up a claim like "It's been proven that MMS recovers autistic children", is counterproductive.
The call for citations can, quite often, lead the claimant to find out (via googling) that actually, there are no papers. It can help them to see that repeating baseless propaganda, parroted in cess-pools like TMR, AOA and HoPo, causes an echo-chamber of science-denial and paranoia that defeats the very object of their quest for "truth".
Anyone posting here needs to understand that all claims of "proof", statements of "fact" and "conspiracies" need to be backed up with evidence. This is not the kind of venue where anecdata and wild claims of "Conspiracy to keep Doctor X from ever unleashing his miracle cure on the world", or "Vaccines are a government plot to enslave humanity" and "Iatrogenic deaths run into the millions!!!".
It's a case of proof, or GTFO.
Countries that prohibit BPA have more manly men and less homosexuality.
Seems like it might be a bit early to detect any such signal. In the meantime, I suggest you familiarize yourself with the term "muscle bear."
There's an interesting article in The Guardian regarding Wakefield's attempt to leverage his fame by starting an autism reality TV show.
The article includes this nugget:
In January, Wakefield told a media outlet in Austin that there has been a "relentless assault on the few – perhaps five, 10 – scientists in the world who are prepared to work on the possible association between vaccines and childhood developmental disorders like autism"
So who are those brave, those happy few?
Five I can name: Wakefield, Krigsman, Mark and David Geier, and Stephen Walker (whose "measles virus in the guts of autistic children" abstract from 2006 has still not matured into a publication--likely bacausse it was eviscerated by D'Souza in work presented at that same meeting--and since published).
Do Hornig and O'Leary make the cut, or were they cut because their case-control study "eliminates the remaining support for the hypothesis that ASD with GI complaints is related to MMR exposure"?
Who else makes Wakefield's elite list? I suppose that LG Gonzales, who is now working with Walker and Krigsman and who (according to Wakefield devotees) earlier "replicated" Wakefield's work by showing that yes, kids with autism can have GI issues--although, of course, MMR was never mentioned) should make the list. I suppose that some other candidates for the last few possible maverick doctor positions might be listed here:
Brian, some more names on this list:
@elburto and possibly others:
I suppose I could do the journalistic thing and just say that I stand by my original statement, but I think there is a rationalist response, so I'll give it a try.
I do use Wikipedia on occasion. It's actually very good for some protein information. That's because one group thought things through in advance and "seeded" the pages of Wikipedia with dummy pages for a few thousand proteins, allowing the biology community to fill in the details. If you look up collagen-12A1, for example, you will find what is mostly the dummy page, but if you look up myostatin, you will find a filled-in, fairly lengthy summary which includes the molecular biology, physical effects, and potential for human misuse.
In this kind of article, a statement such as "one human case of myostatin insufficiency has been described" would be a true statement,, but if present without a citation, might very well generate the "citation needed" remark. In other words, Wikipedia uses that term "citation needed" in the same way I do, namely the request for a link to a published journal article that confirms (or at least asserts) what is probably a true statement in the text.
On the other hand, there is this sort of statement: "One maverick scientist has shown that there is a lower energy state of hydrogen, beneath the traditionally accepted ground-state, and that collection of such hydrogen particles can be used for the creation of huge amounts of cheap energy." Most of us understand that this is nonsense, although a former editor of mine not only thinks it's true, he flogs it in his blog. I believe you can buy shares in a company that claims to be developing the process.
If someone were to write the above sentence about sub-ground-state hydrogen in RI, it would be possible to reply with "citation please," or the less catty "citation needed," and you would be bombarded with citations assertedly supporting the claim. it still would be wrong, wrong, wrong, but there would be the citation.
I think that your argument (1) and the first part of (2) actually support my point. After all, you refer to statements made by "every troll, quackpot, and wooligan." I will assume that the term wooligan is an insult on a par with troll and quackpot.
As for the rest, I tend to think that inviting one of those trolls or quackpots to go off and research the literature, only to find that there is no citation, is not too terribly realistic. Those with rational capabilities wouldn't have written the quackpot argument to begin with, and those with views based more on ideology and indoctrination will ooze and slide along with their ridiculous attempts at looking rational and convincing. And often enough, they do have a citation to give you. It will be a horrible study full of cherry picked results and suffering from numerous methodological errors, but it will be a citation. I've seen exactly that in RI at least a couple of times in the recent past.
More briefly, when you mean to say that something is ridiculous but you couch your remark in the guise of a legitimate request such as we see on some Wikipedia entries, you are simply asserting sarcastically that the quackpot (good term) is, indeed, a quackpot.
As to your remarks about humor and my sense of, or lack of the same, I would point out that some attempts at humor are not always obvious. I learned the term "Poe" reading this board. The Paige remark looks something like a Poe, something like a sincere, but possibly misguided, attempt at making a point, and something like what you called it. The remark about my sense of humor and my DVD collection is, shall we say, ad hominem. I would simply point out that there are jokes that are supposed to be laugh out loud funny, and jokes that are a little mean, and not very funny. That doesn't mean that I can't recognize them for what they are.
Curiously, you have pushed one other button of mine. I dislike the term "lurker" for someone who reads a blog but doesn't comment very much. I think the proper term is "reader." I recently wrote a political article for a local site that got 400,000 hits in the first 2 days. I would hate to think of my readers as "lurkers." They are readers. A very few wrote me to discuss various aspects of my article, but I would hate to think of the remaining 399,992 in negative terms. I understand that this term has become an internet staple, but we don't have to subscribe to it.
From a new article on justthevax:
Oh, good grief.
As for the rest, I tend to think that inviting one of those trolls or quackpots to go off and research the literature, only to find that there is no citation, is not too terribly realistic
More often than not, the request for citations and evidence is not to make the person go off and find it, because you are right, they have no idea how to do it. It is to illustrate to others who are reading (and are unfamiliar with the issues) that there is nothing to support the claims.
Also, reactions to Paige stem from another comment she posted on another article. She seems new here because she did not understand the "Brave Sir Robin" meme that has been used here before. She was also mistaken for someone who has been banned because she spelled "medicine" wrong.
Oops, Brian linked to the Guardian page. Obviously I was not paying that much attention.
"I believe that are now called “preppers” (not to be confused with preppies). I think the old term carried too much right wing wackaloon baggage. Same paranoids, different label as far as I can tell."
Not all who prepare are paranoid. Some of us live in areas that can have extreme weather events. I prefer to take care of myself & family rather than depend on FEMA or the kindness of strangers.
However, I do occasionally learn from the more extreme preppers. One thing I've learned is to take the ravings of the very paranoid with a large dose of salt. :)
That Guardian that Brian (and Chris) linked to, is authored by Alex Hannaford, who published a scathing review of the epicenter of autism quackery (Austin, Texas), that Orac linked to in a prior blog:
Shill, er . . . Shill, I suppose.
The Gay Weapon, a component of our flagship product, the chemical blend Toxin™, codename Bisphenol-A was developed by Lord Draconis’ best scientists for the good of the feminist agenda, because “The Manly Men” were detrimental to the wellbeing (or as you call it, ‘wellness’) of a lot of sweet beautiful nubile maidens both human and Draconian. You see, the Forward Mavoon of the Great Fleet is a well intentioned extremist, but well intentioned in the end.
You misunderstand our species due to our outward, panic-preventic, shifted appearance. Of course we look male and female and we act the act, but our reality is quite different.
We are a Matrilineal Collective PharmaOvoarchy. We are also known to change gender when environmental pressures require it. Our relation to "manly" and "sweet" are, shall we say . . . fluid. Let it be known however that our greatest warriors and leaders are what you would call female. Our clade EggMother, Empress Clopidogra Invicta XXIII (may her rage/mercy be swift) has eaten people for using the wrong fork at a state dinner and then sung the moving aria "Schmee achk chaa m'vek" from V'herdi's Aida vs. the Beta Monster, bringing a table full of bickering overlords to tears with her tenderness. Really. I've seen it.
My own, dear/terrifying/fertile mate, Astra not only outranks me, but is an Overlord in her own right and commands twice the number of Shills and Minions that I do. She holds the title of Grand Vitara of The Outer Rim. I am but a Forward Mavoon and Pharmaca Magna, though terrifying and glorious in my own humble way.
Our chemtrail-dispensed MonkeyMist™ VII and many of our products in the Terran Vaccination Project have the intentional effect of homosexuality because, who wouldn't want an army of, muscular primates to do one's manual labor? But we are also highly evolved and culturally advanced. We want our slave monkeys to be fabulous.
Besides, diseases are bugs, queerness is a feature.
And speaking of bugs, I'm still waiting to find little Mikey in our holding tank . . . let's go Shills and Minions, let's go!
Lord Draconis Zeneca, VH7ihL
Foreward Mavoon of the Great Fleet, Pharmaca Magna of Terra, Fuckin' Badass Queen with a BattleClaw
Glaxxon PharmaCOM Terrabase DIA
Wouldn't it be lovely if Adams and other anti-science cranks eventually started deciding that one of the most invidious, pernicious, deadly causes of disease and death in humans was the technological development of the computer and/or internet?
"Writing on websites causes cancer!!"
"I cured my fibromyalgia by going permanently offline!!!"
"Computers emit invisible electronic vibrations which will make you sick!!! Stay away from them!!1!11!"
That's a form of pseudoscience we might choose to forgo debunking.
@Bob G #67 (re the "button")
I think the term "lurker" is applicable only to the comments section, not to the blog/website and its readership as a whole. It only separates who comments (regularly) and who does not -- and there's no stigma attached. I doubt very much if the regulars who hang out in the "comments" assume that those who read only the articles -- or only read comments without contributing -- are somehow second rate or stupid. If anything, we're more likely to grudgingly admit that the people who are too busy to wade through the back chat might be busy doing Important Things.
@Bob - The whole point of a Poe is that it's so hilarious that you just can't tell if it's the seriously unhinged rantings of someone barely sane or an amazing parody thereof, not a frothing stream of bigotry.
Rhandi is serious. I've seen the same sh¡t virtually word for word on havens of hate and woo for what.. 19 years now.
Also, amidst your teal deer about how mean it is to be told to "lurk more", you're showing a metric arseload of projection. Sastra is spot on, 'Lurker' is not an insult. or a synonym for 'reader'. Furthermore, "lurk more" does not mean "You're a lurker". How could it? It's actively telling you to do more lurking, to not only gauge the tone, argot and customs of a given forum, but to figure out who or what is likely to be trolling.
Following that instruction is orders of magnitudes wiser than:
-attempting to change the conventions and culture of a long established comment section by whining about how mean everyone is to science-deniers. On a science blog. On Scienceblogs.com. Ahem.
-Telling the commentariat just how funny a disgusting homophobic troll is, and then trying to BLOODY JUSTIFY it's remarks by calling them "sincere and misguided" I mean, really? Let's look again at Rhandi's "sincere and misguided" take, shall we?
I don’t know about vaccines making you gay, but BPA can cause abnormal hormonal changes and excess estrogen in males
High levels of oestrogen have nothing to do with male homosexuality. Gay men are men, not women, and not men with hormonal disorders.
It does make sense that since the increase in BPA useage, an increase in male feminism has also occured in the USA.
1. Americans did not invent "the gayism".
2. Why are men who support gender equality a bad thing, and what has that got to do with being gay?
Countries that prohibit BPA have more manly men and less homosexuality. Could be a potential link.
1. Which countries have no homosexuality?
2. What are "manly men", and what is their connection to being gay? IDGI. Something to do with penises and love of sport, maybe?
3. As mentioned upthread, bears. Bears bears bears bears. I dare Rhandi, or anyone, to walk into a gathering of Bears and challenge their masculinity.
That is the “scientific” approach to it. There were rumors that USA and Russia both had bioweapons that could make people gay back in the 1980s. Of course if there were such a thing, we would have used it in Iraq
Yes, because as any fule kno, being gay is far worse than being vapourised by bombs.
. The jist of gayism is that it is a satanic inspired event that happens over time. porn abuse, childhood abuse, single family homes where the mother is dominant source of guidance, and other factors contribute to gayism, but ultimately it is a sin no matter the cause.
That's the misguided sincerity you're defending Bob. The kind that equates single parenting and empowered women with child abuse. The kind that insists that gay men and women, like me, Bob, are a satanic plague on the Earth.
If you want to die on that hill, then fine, but I hope that wherever you walk until that day involves you doing so barefoot in a world strewn with broken Lego pieces.
Perhaps then you might empathise with the constant pain of anti-science idiots braying like donkeys that people like me (disabled, non-NT and now apparently my sexuality is involved too) are a blight on the planet as humanity's punishment for vaccinating against VPDs.
Sastra @ #74:
I wish we could spread rumors that teh Intarwebz caused teh ebilz cancerz!!11!!one! Then maybe we could get some of these woowoos off the 'net for good.
Unfortunately, we might end up scaring some innocent/gullible people in the meantime, and we don't want that.
as any fule kno
I have always loved this phrase and encourage its wider use. e.g. as a substitute for citations.
My beliefs are not up for sell, so you could not buy them if you wanted to. HatefiuL? Please explain how you thin sin is good! Then we will talk.
As mentioned upthread, bears.
Well, I did say muscle bears. All the same, the (non 1%er) Iron Order Motorcycle Club seems pretty manly.
My beliefs are not up for sell, so you could not buy them if you wanted to.
I have plenty of things that aren't "up for sell" either. That doesn't mean they have any market value in the first place.
HatefiuL? Please explain how you thin sin is good! Then we will talk.
OK, let's start with the Ninth Commandment. Is bringing false accusations against others a sin?
a “relentless assault on the few – perhaps five, 10 – scientists in the world who are prepared to work on the possible association between vaccines and childhood developmental disorders like autism”
Once again, I am reminded of the world's relentless assault on Captain Redbeard Rum:
Opinion is divided on the subject...
All the other captains say it is; I say it isn't.
Oh, and while we're at it, please address the matter of pride as well.
Who else makes Wakefield’s elite list?
Hewitson, I imagine.
Another cookie please. My laptop is hungry.
porn abuse, childhood abuse, single family homes where the mother is dominant source of guidance, and other factors contribute to gayism, but ultimately it is a sin no matter the cause.
I'm gay. You are essentially saying that I am a porn abuser, was abused as a child, or that some other terrible, aberrant thing must have happened to me to make me gay. Do you not see how this is hateful?
And don't even bother trotting out the tired old 'love the sinner, hate the sin' nonsense. Have you eaten shellfish or pork recently? Why isn't that also a "satanic inspired event?"
Why isn’t that also a “satanic inspired event?”
New Covenant, man. Don't give her wiggle room. It strikes me as more straightforward to observe that Jesus didn't wander around babbling about the devil; indeed, when tested in the desert, Jesus simply ignored him.
On the other hand, one might note that by having the hubris to claim to identify "satanic inspired events," Rhandi has essentially sunk into the realm of demonology, which is not a fit pursuit for a Christian.
I understand the point about the meaning of lurker and cast no aspersions on the people (and lizard people) here. I just don't like the use of that word for people who read blogs, some of which consist of nothing but threaded comments. I think I first saw the word used in this usage about ten years ago, and I found it strange at the time. It kind of conjures up an image of somebody hiding behind a tree, waiting to steal your wallet. Regarding this board, nothing personal was meant. As to the rest of the discussion about whether it is more correct to say that a citation is needed, as opposed to saying that something is nonsense, I would suggest that the use of "citation please" is a local custom on this board. Maybe it's used in other places, but I haven't seen it used in the same way anywhere else. Certainly it's not scientific practice, and it's not used on the Macintosh computer discussion sites, and it doesn't seem to appear on any of the political blogs I read. Perhaps it's a more diplomatic method for saying what other people say using profanity, racism, and ad hominems, which I do see all over the place on the internet.
I think I first saw the word used in this usage about ten years ago, and I found it strange at the time.
When I first ventured online over a dozen years ago when there were phone modems, email listservs and the forums were either Usenet or the ISP groups (I was on Compuserve), there were some files that explained bits of "netiquette."
I was on Compuserve, and participated in some of their groups (ADD, Disability, Sewing). These included files you could download to read (since online reading was had a meter that charged by the minute). One I read explained how to function in an online community. It emphasized that before you started to post is was a good to "lurk" and get to know the culture of the group. This was along with using good grammar, and reading your comment before hitting send to make sure you really really wanted the world to see it.
Oops, I forgot to say, the  is a rip-off of Wikipedia standards. It placed where an volunteer editor makes a claim without a reference.
Some of us have decided to make a bit more polite by changing it to "citation, please." And some, like myself, have gone further by specifying that the "title, journal and date of the PubMed indexed paper/study" be provided to support the claim being made. It beats "prove it."
#87 "Perhaps it’s a more diplomatic method for saying what other people say using profanity, racism, and ad hominems, which I do see all over the place on the internet."
I'm not sure what you think is so rude about requesting people to back up their claims, but it's pretty easy to say "Please back up your claims" without using any profanity, racism, or in fact saying anything about the person making such claims at all. Actually, I just did.
However, if you would like to claim that saying "" is a way of "saying what other people say using profanity, racism, and ad hominems," I invite you to please give us some sources for that information.
I'm guessing there hasn't been any scholarly research on the subject, but in this case, I think an admission from someone stating baldly that "Oh, I just don't use profanity, racism and ad hominems anymore, I say  instead." will do.
Bob - Please tell us why scientific evidence would need to be provided on a Mac discussion group or political blog?
As I've explained to death,  does not mean "This is rubbish, f*ck off troll". It means "You have entered a conversation about a scientific topic, on a science blog, on Scienceblogs.com. If you're making a scientific claim then you need to back it up with empirical evidence and data, rather than anecdotes"
 takes less time, especially for those of us not using a computer.
Politics and computer preference hi largely about opinions and personality. Science doesn't care about either of those, science is facts and numbers. You can't ever prove "The new iPad is the best tablet computer in the world", we can prove "Vaccinations do not cause homosexuality or autism".
Oh, and kindly address the Rhandi issue please, instead of pretending that you aren't upthread, visibly defending disgusting hate speech with claims that it is both humorous, sincere, and misguided.
I'll be waiting. Oh, and WRT profanity - I'll take that any day, over unadulterated hatred that casts me as inferior at best, and actively evil at worst, for not being straight/able-bodied NT/religious/employable/monied. Maybe you don't belong to any minority groups, but I can tell you now (and gain mass agreement from almost anyone in a marginalised population) that "F*ck off arsehole^" is toddler-talk compared to "Your very existence is worse than the murder of civilian casualties during war. You're satanic and disgusting".
Like I said, I'm waiting for you to proudly plant your flag on the hill you so fiercely defended, or to have the basic level of human decency necessary to say... well, what do you think needs to be said?
^The only reason I self-censor here is because certain words send comments into the moderation hole.
Trust me, if I want to flense someone, I will, and it won't be with a .
I can think of all kinds of topics on a political blog or Mac discussion board that deserve being backed up by a reference to a source. Were one to argue that the Mac is safer (or less safe) than other platforms, I think someone would want to understand the basis for that statement and any data that proves or disproves it. Likewise, if someone were to argue that, say, atheism causes despotism in a political blog, someone might well ask for an analysis that shows that or a link to such analysis.
Bob G - I'm with Chris, though, in not seeing "citation please" as particularly catty, though I cannot recall using that particular construct myself.
Those who lurk sometimes comment.
Those who only read, comment not.
A distinction even a lurker (ahem) can grasp. :)
According to Vanoli, not only are vaccines so powerful that they can turn a child gay, but they apparently rewrite the child’s DNA to produce heritable changes that lead to the gayness being passed on to any children the vaccinated child goes on to have when he or she grows up.
Being generous, I think he could have meant that the child born of one of the parents; ie. in vitro rather than adopted.
Of course, if this were true surely there would be little chance of heterosexuals to exist anymore, given the rather large number of people who are vaccinated.
One of the main causes is represented by vaccines, which go against life, disturbing our mind and our spirit
Isn't this guy old enough to remember the damage caused by many diseases that are now vaccine preventable?
One wonders what kinds of things he did before he retired. Ah yes, naturopathy it seems. Still, way to ignore events happening around you during the past 50 years.
Since mass vaccination began, this is the result.
And also shockingly out of touch with history of people in his own country who were gay. ...
Oh, and how does he account for asexual or bisexual people? People who had only partial vaccinations?
When you encounter a doctor, a nurse or a pharmacist recommending a vaccine and telling you it’s “perfectly safe” with “no side effects,” think to yourself, “That’s a lying child killer!”
Ah, nothing like FUD to make yourself sound convincing!
I would suggest that the use of “citation please” is a local custom on this board.
It's not. I've read it everywhere, both on other science sites and non-science sites alike. It's just shorthand, although I do find your general idea agreeable when discussing with more reasonable, willing-to-listen folks. For the outright cranks, a little tougher attitude is usually the only way to get them to move forward in the conversation. Spend enough time with the cranks and I'm surprised that anyone actually posts a request instead of telling them to go away. They are bloody painful because they are never really interested in discussion, and yet continue to post faff. Eventually it's easier to tell them to put up or shut up instead of regurgitating the same old citation-less assertions.
One I read explained how to function in an online community. It emphasized that before you started to post is was a good to “lurk” and get to know the culture of the group.
I find the best reason to lurk is because you're new and most likely not immediately aware of certain FAQs - and that a little time spent reading before jumping in can usually either answer your questions and/or give you an idea of where to look for the answers. One site I tired of was one in which the newbies never bothered to read the threads first before launching into *yet another post* about a topic that was done to death.
I've found lurking is usually the best way to learn things and not come into the discussion as if the question or answer has never been thought of before.
Off topic, but when was vaccines ever off topic -
I was watching an ad before about some baby product that talked about how perfect babies are, etc etc. It occurred to me that perhaps advertising has had a huge effect on convincing new parents that babies are all born perfectly and healthy and sows fear about using the 'right products'. I'm sure this isn't a new thought to most people, but it was to me.
@ Bob G. I "lurked" here for several months before I posted my first comment.
I continue to "lurk" or "slum" over at the anti-vaccine, anti science blogs...where I never post. Many of the newbies here, will announce that have lurked for a while, before they post.
Yes, I have asked for citations/links to an article/published study, when someone makes a statement. Sometimes, I will post "You do have a citation and a link to a first-tier, peer reviewed medical or science journal, don't you?
When and if that citation/link is posted, I will review it, because crank bloggers *often* cherry pick, omit words and *misinterpret* the conclusions.
BTW, Bob G., you're commenting on a article that appeared in the Ho-Po...where Orac does not post. (He leaves that dirty task to some of his minions).
I think of the lurkers as a diverse group who may read and withhold comments until they get a better understanding of the surround as well as of the subject matter and regulars.
In my area of study, 'holding back' means something- perhaps they are contemplating the material, reflecting and rehearsing replies, maybe they are just around to learn and not necessarily make a splash. Perhaps they're shy. Restraint can have positive consequences as one gathers information and works on it.
All of these are positive attributes that should be encouraged in people. Would you prefer the impulsive?
I usually write with lurkers in mind and am thrilled whenever a long-timer steps up to the microphone and says hello. I think about all of them in the dark, furthest reaches of cyber space, reading and judging, and hopefully gracing us with a comment. Come out, come out wherever you are.
Calling them "lurkers' is not detrimental but is a convention. I look to them as the future and as usually being in quiet solidarity with our esteemed and gracious host ( with the most), Orac- giving time to his position usually demonstrates approval whereas rapidfire response often shows impulsive rejection. Thus, I view luring as positive.
Come out, we appreciate your presence and ideas. We like you even if you don't, however.
I find the best reason to lurk is because you’re new and most likely not immediately aware of certain FAQs – and that a little time spent reading before jumping in can usually either answer your questions and/or give you an idea of where to look for the answers.
That too. Though it seems that it was more relevant to an ongoing discussion format like forums. On this blog all we have to do is point the newbie to a previous article where a topic was under discussion.
Long time "lurker" here....... Come to learn and have nothing important to add so there you have it.
Just wanted to add....... Keep an eye on your wallets, sticky fingers........ may not be able to resist!!!
Words come pre-loaded for all of us. The first time I heard "lurker" I thought it was a totally badass moniker. Even though I wasn't commenting on the alt. where I first saw it, I felt that I was part of a community . . . of lurkers. Eventually, I stopped lurking, but I never forgot the advice about "keep lurking" until you get the lay of the land. Sound advice to this day.
My powers are sometimes astonishing- even to me..
Thank you, LurkeyLoo!
Lurkers -- the Dark Matter of the bloggoverse.
As Narad says, whatever it's merits, "lurker" has been around a long time. I can't remember now when I first saw it, but it'll be a long time ago and is used in a wide range of forums.
Loose thought about "citation, please" - while claims should be supported one catch is that single papers on their own don't really do enough to support a claim. Along with issues of reproduction and complementary evidence, single papers sit within the field, the papers they call on (cite) for support, criticism from other researchers, and so on. I feel in some cases calling for a citation can produce a tit-for-tat effect. It is certainly better than no supporting evidence (!), but there must be a way to ask what the body of evidence from the relevant field says (including the state of play of the issue at hand (as in location)).
Now, now. I know as a definitive fact, vaccines cause 100% fatality in all vaccinated persons who stand unprotected inside of an operating vacuum chamber.
OK, all seriousness aside, as usual on the weekend...
Heard another winner. Monsanto giant mutant worms. Allegedly, the worms and weeds have mutated around Monsanto GMO products and nothing can stop them. Not even the National Guard or something.
Though, I did hear of two valid concerns on GMO crops.
One, a legal issue if pollination or unintentional transfer of grain occurred to non-purchasers of the patented GMO product. But, I strongly suspect that no court in the land (or at least no jurist that wishes to remain seated in their court of law) would find someone culpable for acts of nature. Indeed, Monsanto already announced something to that effect.
A more significant and concerning issue was wind driven pollination of corn in areas that also are growing native, "heritage" (or whatever they're calling it this week) corn, contaminating the original stock.
Still, with a bit of pressure, I'm sure that the GMO producing company can come up with viable solutions to prevent the loss of their patented product and hence, protect against unintended cross-pollination by wind or insects (for corn, it's wind).
Perhaps we should acquaint the antivaxers with the horror of every food and drink product around, indeed, even organic products are tainted with it! It's even in the taps of our homes and flowing fiendishly from our showerheads!
A substance 100% linked to cancer, autism, mental retardation, deafness, impotence, even death!
That horror, hydroxic acid.
A solvent so powerful, it's both an acid and a base at once! Something called for decades, "the universal solvent".
And give them plans to eliminate that harmful substance from their bodies.
Such as in the aforementioned vacuum chamber...
Dunno -- I'm trying to write carefully and perhaps with a bit of nuance, and somehow I end up managing to convince somebody (well, at least one person) that I'm defending the indefensible. So I went back and copied what I actually wrote so that I can paste it here:
"The Paige remark looks something like a Poe, something like a sincere, but possibly misguided, attempt at making a point, and something like what you called it."
For those of you who prefer not to scroll up and reread every comment, the "something like what you called it" refers to the hateful, homophobic sentiments expressed by the persona that goes by Rhandi Paige, and so described by Elburto.
In other words, I was describing a post that seemed all over the place in style, content, and even intent. When I pointed out that one part reads as a sincere but possibly misguided attempt at making a point, that is because one part actually does read like that. Other parts don't. When I used the expression "looks like," that is exactly what I meant. Somebody can write about BPA in a superficially rational-looking way in one place, and then go into nonsense one sentence later. This has nothing to do with my views on the topic in question.
All that having been said, I read the Rhandi Paige posts as trolling. Whether or not the author of these posts actually believes what he/she/it said, the posts are troll posts. The standard axiom is "don't feed the trolls," but we seem to be dishing out a lavish helping to this one.
My final word on the use of the word lurker and the "citation please" or "citation needed" remark. I'm guessing that I have about as long a history of computer work as anybody reading and writing here. My first paid job was writing assembly language programming for what was called a minicomputer, back in the days of paper tape, punch cards, and toggle switches on the front panels of computers. I'm intimately familiar with the origin of the term "boot up," which refers to the way you would input a program called the bootstrap loader, and I know the origins of the word hacker from my undergrad days at MIT. The field is full of terms that come from slang, puns, historical allusions (look up the name of the program called Algol, for example) and dry humor. There is a whole genre of humorous anecdotes that you can find at http://thedailywtf.com/ including stories about job interviews. All this having been said, I would guess that the term "lurker" was originally used in a semi-sarcastic way -- you might think of it as an attempt at humor -- and like so many other terms, it served a purpose, however fitfully, and has therefore survived. In practice, it is a word that newcomers encounter, and eventually figure out. There's no reason not to refer to readers, period.
My last word on the "citations" discussion, whether or not anyone chooses to take another crack at it: I made a distinction between using the request for a citation as a legitimate and honest request for a reference, because the request is appropriate. The converse usage, of asking for a citation in the full expectation of not receiving one, and as an attempt to point out that there is no such citation, is something that I found jarring at first. That's because it took me a while to figure out that the plain meaning of the request was exactly the opposite of the real, underlying meaning. Such intellectual obstructions in writing make understanding slow and more difficult for the reader.
Having said this, I concede that this usage has become accepted practice on this site, although I don't see it used as often as I did at one time. It may be that this usage is common practice on other internet discussion sites, but I confess that I have yet to see one. Certainly the usage on Wikipedia is the more common usage.
Okay, Bob, you explained your reasoning. Perhaps you would like to explain who you would interact with someone who said:
1: "Vaccines are worthless and never prevented any disease!"
2: The fellow who rights long rants and posts websites full of links.
Explain to me how we could have better handled the Haynes', Lowell Hubbs, Kathy, Stephen, Toby Dawson, Waldman, Lloyd Phillips, Jessica, Alcan, Erwin Alber, Vaccines Kill, Robert, NLB, Christy Wolf, Jeff, Matt, Sad Grandma, Marsha and the rest. By the way, many may be the one person, you can never tell who is the sock puppet. Except Mr. Hubbs and Mr. Alber, they are unique on their own.
Please, please, please! Tell us how to better deal with those who think sock puppets, youtube videos and spamming useless propaganda are evidence.
Before my comment with only two links comes out of moderation, I would like Bob G to tell us how to deal with those who think that photos and random links are evidence.
How should we properly respond?
Please, please, please! Tell us how to better deal with those who think sock puppets, youtube videos and spamming useless propaganda are evidence.
Wait? What? Still?
This is hilarious. I hope the cancer conference was fun.
Oh, good grief. The system either hates me or has a warped cyber sense of humor.
Maniacal laughter. Blame the system and that I am on the American west coast, plus some wine.
Whether or not the author of these posts actually believes what he/she/it said, the posts are troll posts. The standard axiom is “don’t feed the trolls,” but we seem to be dishing out a lavish helping to this one.
Rhandi isn't a troll, as she's sincere. As for not feeding them, this really only comes into play when the signal-to-noise ratio is being affected. At the tail end of a thread, I'm perfectly willing to calmly engage her regarding her own sinfulness.
Please explain how you thin sin is good!
No one is arguing that sin is good.
We're simply rejecting your entirely unsupported assertion that being homosexual or engaging in homosexual relations is any more sinful than being heterosexual or engaging in heterosexual relations.
My last words to Blathering Bob, defender of bigots - DFTT doesn't work.
It's actually better to address their piles of vomit, all the better to show [WARNING! BAD WORD ALERT!] lurkers that trolling is pointless, as there are innumerable counterarguments to quash their positively faecal assertions.
Now as we know, Rhandi isn't a troll, she's just a hateful bigot. As you can't be arsed to evaluate your RI debut as a white knight for homophobes, instead preferring to unleash herds of teal deer that deposit endless piles of no1curr about your internet adventures and curriculum vitae, I can only assume that you are the troll.
Still, accepting that is the hardest part, and first step on your road to recovery.
Now, as one of the RI- carnival of muppetry, perhaps you'll give Chris the courtesy of responding to her query. Hmm? If anyone has borne the brunt of their frothing idiocy she has, and always with dignity. So use your immense wisdom to tell her where she's going wrong, eh? Be a gent.
Also, a direct answer is needed. Not your internets credentials, defence of bigotry, theories on the etymology of various online colloquialisms and conventions, your work history, or your dating history. OK?
Respect Chris' authoritah, it's the wise thing to do.
Respect Chris’ authoritah, it’s the wise thing to do.
I don't know why I deserve this praise. Thank you!
Though my methods have changed much over the years. I was often not so dignified on Usenet, and even recently I have been not so patient.
And it was a wee bit weird when this blog did not like me last night. I think it was telling me to go to bed.
I think it was telling me to go to bed.
2 questions, are you in UK? if so, what time is it in UK?
Meta-Question to everyone else:
How to distinguish between Troll (like iDJiT), Sincere but misguided Question JAQuers (for lack of better word) and the 16 777 216 or 6 standard deviations shade of grey between them.
And before I get misrepresented telling UK peoples to go to bed, I never said that and matter of fact, I spent all saturday to sunday night listening to 24 on netflix.
Ditto regarding the meta-question, the answer  may well do the job for 95% of the shades of grey.
Alain, it pertains to the issues I had last night, every comment I made was went into moderation. I am on the American west coast, and I don't remember it being that late.
Gian Paolo Vanoli is not only an antivaxer, but is a member of the protest party of Beppo Grillo (a comedian in Italy).
Beppo Grillo is also an AIDS-denialist and antivaxer.
I do not understand why this anti-gay people dont fuse with Silvios Berluscone movement to make gay free bunga-bunga parties
There is no question about it, Orac. In terms of output and noise, you quack the loudest. You win.
Sandrop - that's your best shot, eh?
Somewhat OT, but tangentially related to this.
James McCormick has been found guilty of selling those bogus "detectors".