Not Conclusive After All - Autism and Vaccines

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Noah_Scape
Not Conclusive After All - Autism and Vaccines

  sorry babblers, I am sure that you, like me, are weary of this particular debate about "autism and vaccines" and wished that it would just be settled.

  It isn't settled - news that the author of the Denmark Study has committed fraud means we have to reconsider the basis of our contentment over childhood vaccines as concerns autism.

 [this is an introduction post to fool the editor tool, main thread to follow]

Noah_Scape

 If the lead author of the famous Denmark Study was charged with financial fraud [stealing medical research funds] would you put your child's well-being in his hands?

   FYI, the Denmark Study was the one where they showed that the rates of autism went up, not down, after Thimerisol was removed from childhood vaccines. The conclusion, as quoted from the study, was: "Our ecological data do not support a correlation between thimerosal-containing vaccines and the incidence of autism."

   Maybe the "ecological data" itself was fraudulent. Maybe something else was added to the vaccines given to the children in the study that caused autism rates to go up, something to replace the Thimerisol, something that was not disclosed?

   The type of person who would steal medical research funds surely has the capacity to fudge numbers to create false impressions of vaccine safety, especially when his bosses at the CDC were hoping for that kind of conclusion.

   Maybe. Maybe may be as good as it gets for now, and where does that leave parents as they wonder if it is a good idea or not to vaccinate their child 36 times for illnesses that any healthy child would easily survive. Maybe it would be prudent just to vaccinate against the most deadly of childhood illnesses - but that choice is not normally given to parents.

  More on this issue at these links:

   CDC vaccine scientist who downplayed links to autism indicted by DOJ in alleged fraud scheme -
http://www.naturalnews.com/032216_Thorsen_fraud.html

"AAP Calls For Better Chemical Risk Management. Now That's Funny" -
http://www.ageofautism.com/

"14 studies" [that prove nothing] -
http://www.fourteenstudies.org/

Noah_Scape

 If the lead author of the famous Denmark Study was charged with financial fraud [stealing medical research funds] would you put your child's well-being in his hands?

   FYI, the Denmark Study was the one where they showed that the rates of autism went up, not down, after Thimerisol was removed from childhood vaccines. The conclusion, as quoted from the study, was: "Our ecological data do not support a correlation between thimerosal-containing vaccines and the incidence of autism."

   Maybe the "ecological data" itself was fraudulent. Maybe something else was added to the vaccines given to the children in the study that caused autism rates to go up, something to replace the Thimerisol, something that was not disclosed?

   The type of person who would steal medical research funds surely has the capacity to fudge numbers to create false impressions of vaccine safety, especially when his bosses at the CDC were hoping for that kind of conclusion.

   Maybe. Maybe may be as good as it gets for now, and where does that leave parents as they wonder if it is a good idea or not to vaccinate their child 36 times for illnesses that any healthy child would easily survive. Maybe it would be prudent just to vaccinate against the most deadly of childhood illnesses - but that choice is not normally given to parents.

  More on this issue at these links:

   CDC vaccine scientist who downplayed links to autism indicted by DOJ in alleged fraud scheme -
http://www.naturalnews.com/032216_Thorsen_fraud.html

"AAP Calls For Better Chemical Risk Management. Now That's Funny" -
http://www.ageofautism.com/

"14 studies" [that prove nothing] -
http://www.fourteenstudies.org/

Snert Snert's picture

How very desperate.  I wonder if he had some outstanding parking tickets as well, and whether that might also, through some kind of illogical wishful thinking, shed doubt on his scientific research.

Noah_Scape

Ok. I was just reporting stuff, no need for the barbed sarc, Snert! [I forgive]

The vaccine thing sure stirs up emotions eh?  Maybe it has to do with that sinking feeling when we realise that our toxic lifestyle has messed up a significant percentage of the next generation[s], and caused the cancers we have been battling. Vaccines are just one small part of that toxic lifestyle, and it cannot all be swept under the rug, Snert, by calling the reporter "desperate".

oops, a barbed sarc of my own! Forgive me Snert?

 Oh darn, now I am emotional. I am re-reading that about "parking tickets" and I see how short sighted [and demeaning] your barbed sarcasm is... Parking tickets as compared to stealing medical research funds?? For one thing, medical research funds could actually be used to verify the claims of either side of the vaccine debate, but PARKING TICKETS?? - those only indicate a willingness to flout the law.

I must now breathe deep, slow, relax... Ok, I am better now, fire away Snert!!

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
The vaccine thing sure stirs up emotions eh?  Maybe it has to do with that sinking feeling when we realise that our toxic lifestyle has messed up a significant percentage of the next generation[s],

 

In my case the sinking feeling comes from seeing science once again play second fiddle to superstition on babble.

 

But if you really believe there's some kind of connection here, why not investigate it? In other words, you appear to believe that "where there's smoke, there's fire", and that a researcher who would commit financial fraud would also commit research fraud.

 

So... check that out. If he did indeed commit research fraud, that's very noteworthy. But if he didn't, or if you don't know one way or the other, then this is just a smear.

Unionist

He may be in league with Assange. This gets bigger and bigger. Excuse me, I have to phone to cancel my vaccination.

 

6079_Smith_W

Unionist wrote:

He may be in league with Assange. This gets bigger and bigger. Excuse me, I have to phone to cancel my vaccination.

 

 

What.... you're going to a plastic surgeon to get your smallpox scar removed?

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Noah, for fuck's sake, stop posting bullshit from quack blogs.  You know goddam well that this shit is lies and propaganda.  Poul Thorson was a minor contributor to the study that debunked vaccines as a cause of autism, what he did was wrong but was unconnected to said study and Mike Adams has a bias and an axe to grind when it comes to modern medicine (you know, the kind that might actually work sometimes as opposed to altmed, which doesn't). The study was conclusive, there's an enormous array of information that made the link tenuous even without that particular study.

An actual medical professional's take on this, as opposed to a con man's:

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/04/tpoul_thorsen_vaccine_safety.php

George Victor

  • Autism and Vaccines: Lancet Retracts Controversial Autism Paper ...
    3 Feb 2010 ... The scientific paper that served as a central pillar for the idea that vaccination could increase children's risk of developing autism has ...
    abcnews.go.com › HealthABC News Autism Coverage - Similar
  • Lancet Renounces Study Linking Autism And Vaccines : Shots ...
    2 Feb 2010 ... A flawed scientific study that fueled a backlash against vaccination is being withdrawn 12 years after it was published. Parts of the paper ...
    www.npr.org/.../lancet_wakefield_autism_mmr_au.html - Similar - Add to iGoogle
  • British Journal Retracts Paper Linking Autism and Vaccines ...
    2 Feb 2010 ... The paper in The Lancet, which was retracted after years of ... doctors who discourage vaccinations because of a seeming link with autism. ...
  • Enough of the "maybe" paranoid crap for sure.

    Timebandit Timebandit's picture

    Measles was very rare just a decade ago - in the west, anyway.  Google the news for the last 24 hours and here's what you get now:

    http://bit.ly/kzdAEX

    We are in the middle of the resurgence of a serious and thoroughly preventable disease.  Babies die from this.  Children lose their hearing from this.  Thanks to links like yours, paranoia and fear of something safe and effective is driving the numbers back up.  Thanks to people like you, Noah, children are getting sick.  Saying you're just the "reporter" is no excuse, NONE WHATSOEVER, for spreading and reinforcing this mendacity. 

    You should be ashamed of yourself.

    Caissa

    Having two sons on the autism spectrum makes this near and dear to my heart. I can do no better than to echo Time bandit's sentiments.

    timebandit wrote:
    Noah, for fuck's sake, stop posting bullshit from quack blogs.  You know goddam well that this shit is lies and propaganda. ...You should be ashamed of yourself

    6079_Smith_W

    I held back from posting on this last night because frankly I feel torn. 

    No, we should not post conspiracy theories and fake reports. Personally I am satisfied that the evidence of the autism-vaccination connection was debunked. And I think a firm correction and a reminder of the importance of vaccines was in order.

    But lies? propaganda? smears? shame for bringing this up?

    I'm sorry but if anything the medical establishment has to wear at least some of the blame for this paranoia and mistrust. They poisoned the water long ago on many fronts with their insistence that their word is the only word, not to mention lies, rigged data, ignorance and suppression of evidence, and regularly harming people through their methods.

    When I have a problem which warrants it I go to a medical doctor without question, and I am glad that system is in place. But do I trust them in all things? No way, and that is based on numerous personal experiences. 

    Noah Scrape's points definitely deserved correction, but frankly I'd cut a bit of slack on the paranoia. And more importantly I wouldn't want to shame people into silence for asking questions about a system which clearly cannot be trusted in all things.

    Snert Snert's picture

    There's a difference between asking questions, and asking honest questions.  Would Noah_Scape have been just as curious, and just as eager to expand guilt, if Jenny McCarthy were convicted of financial fraud?  Or is there maybe a chance that these "questions" were just the eensiest bit partisan?

    6079_Smith_W

    Snert wrote:

    Or is there maybe a chance that these "questions" were just the eensiest bit partisan?

    Unlike any other comment on this site by anyone on any issue....

    He got corrected, and I think that is a good thing. And for the record, I think that correction was made in good faith. I don't suspect anyone here of being a shill for the drug companies.

    On the other hand - although I think Noah has not presented real evidence on this issue, I can certainly understand the general suspicion of the medical establishment, and the tendency to not want to accept their data at face value. 

    If there is overrreaction, and a tendency to fall for quackery, the medical establishment bears a great deal of the responsibility for that. My main point is that I don't want to see legitimate questions and challenges suppressed by the assumption that standard medical practice is the last word on the issue. It has been proven wrong and even harmful enough times in the past.

     

    Timebandit Timebandit's picture

    6079_Smith_W wrote:

    I held back from posting on this last night because frankly I feel torn. 

    No, we should not post conspiracy theories and fake reports. Personally I am satisfied that the evidence of the autism-vaccination connection was debunked. And I think a firm correction and a reminder of the importance of vaccines was in order.

    But lies? propaganda? smears? shame for bringing this up?

    I'm sorry but if anything the medical establishment has to wear at least some of the blame for this paranoia and mistrust. They poisoned the water long ago on many fronts with their insistence that their word is the only word, not to mention lies, rigged data, ignorance and suppression of evidence, and regularly harming people through their methods.

    When I have a problem which warrants it I go to a medical doctor without question, and I am glad that system is in place. But do I trust them in all things? No way, and that is based on numerous personal experiences. 

    Noah Scrape's points definitely deserved correction, but frankly I'd cut a bit of slack on the paranoia. And more importantly I wouldn't want to shame people into silence for asking questions about a system which clearly cannot be trusted in all things.

    I think we're past the point of firm corrections. 

    I agree with you that accepting any medical advice without question is not a good thing to do.  I will go so far as to say that drug companies have done things that are just plain wrong, and medical people will make mistakes - and all of the above should absolutely be held accountable for the wrong they have caused.  I don't think anyone is suggesting or has ever suggested that you trust anyone without question. 

    What I'm objecting to is the sophism.  The idea that, since harm has happened in medicine, it's okay to completely and irrationally reject it and to uncritically accept the assertions of alternative medicine which have no basis in fact.  That have, actually, sucked up research money with said assertions that might have been better put toward making better treatments and preventions for disease - ones that might have a hope in hell of working.

    What you're excusing (or asking some of the rest of us to excuse) here is something bigger than understandable nervousness.  This is not the first time we've had this discussion on babble.  I've spent time digging up refutations from a variety of sources on this subject (and altmed cancer treatments, and homeopathy, etc, etc, etc.), so has Sineed, so have Caissa and Unionist to name just a few.  And we've responded directly to Noah, so the point and correction has already been firmly made.  Noah is well aware that what he's posting and linking to are lies and propaganda.

    Make no mistake:  Natural News and Age of Autism are propaganda sites, cons that skate just this side of US law.  They have a strong profit imperative because they sell treatments to dupes who they whip up into an irrational paranoia of mainstream medicine.  They lie, they rig data, they do all that you have pointed out mainstream medicine does.  Harm?  Does the freaked out yuppie who decides not to vaccinate and whose kids pick up whooping cough and then transmit it to the neighbor's newborn who then dies (this has happened, ask me for the link if you like), does she not do harm? 

    When do we start making the fearmongers accountable?  Aren't they at least partially responsible?  Isn't Noah fearmongering?  Why should I give him a pass?

    Noah has been told this.  He has been "firmly corrected".  That he continues to spread the lies and propaganda seems to me to be either stupidity or malice.  I'm not allowed to call people stupid on babble, so let's go with malice, shall we?

    Shame?  Yes.  He should be ashamed - because he already knows better.  I, for one, am done being diplomatic about this.  And rabble/babble should be ashamed for allowing it.

    6079_Smith_W

    @ Timebandit. 

    You know what, I hear you, I accept your good faith and I largely agree with your position, particularly as it concerns the safety of the most vulnerable in our society. 

    But I can't help but point out that preventing the death of children is a great show-stopper of an argument. And most people of my generation went through measles, mumps, german measles, chicken pox and the lot.

    Let me say two things - if there is history between you two I wasn't aware of it, and again, that Noah's tale of misappropriated funds has no bearing on the science. 

    But there are still things in your argument which I have a problem with. Your assertion in your third paragraph (nost recent post)  that we should not look at alternatives because they are not financially viable, and a drain on things they could be better spent on - goes back to my concern that not all medicine is rock solid in its theory or its application. 

    By all means correct him. And again, if you two have some history I don't object to your cry of "shame" so much as its implication of heresy.

    If you're in the right, you should have no fear of the ignorant, nor of those out to deceive. As I said, it is those raising legitimate alternatives I am concerned about. 

     

    polly bee

    Timebandit wrote:

    Noah has been told this.  He has been "firmly corrected".  That he continues to spread the lies and propaganda seems to me to be either stupidity or malice.  I'm not allowed to call people stupid on babble, so let's go with malice, shall we?

    Shame?  Yes.  He should be ashamed - because he already knows better.  I, for one, am done being diplomatic about this.  And rabble/babble should be ashamed for allowing it.

    See, posts like this are the reason that I don't stop here very often anymore.  TB assumes that he/she is the final word and the holder of all scientific knowledge, and hollers and stomps and insists on this every single time the subject(s) come up. In my world you don't treat fellow adults like misbehaving children ....."shame on you!  Bad!  Bad! This is the last time I am going to say this!!  Why - because I am the mom and I know more than you."  Hopefully we don't even do that with misbehaving children.

    I don't know about anyone else on babble, but for me I got very sick of TB (and others)  telling people what they can and can not talk about here.  Give it a rest.  We're all adults, we can all read and research and make our own decisions.  We don't need  intervention, or sputtering outrage, every time  that someone "dare post this dangerous misleading bla bla bla"...it's just not that important.  It is information (or mis-information if you will), freely available to anyone with internet and a mouse.  Noah's re-posting it here is certainly not going to convince me that I made a mistake getting my kids that MMR shot, and I think that we are all capable of our own decision making on that one.

    In real life, I have had some interesting conversations with people about this very subject.  Why they believe what they do, and how it's affected the decisions they have made, and what they might do differently.  I have seen the websites that Noah refers to, and the ones that TB refers to.  Believe it or not, most of us can handle information filtering without any help.  It's an interesting topic, and I don't think babblers need to be shielded from it.

    Well that was five minutes I won't get back.  Off to shovel more dog poop.

     

     

     

     

    Timebandit Timebandit's picture

    I wouldn't classify previous threads as "history" specifically between myself and Noah - there are regulars who line up in both factions and I am not alone in my opposition.

    I'm not saying that we should not look at alternatives - however, in this case, the Danish studies reiterated what epidemiologists had already pointed out many times:  There was no strong evidence of a link.  The studies were paid for and undertaken because of the ongoing noise of propagandists, and we can count Adams and Handley as two of the loudest voices.  I'd also like to point out that the whole mess was started by Andrew Wakefield, a scientific fraud who had a strong profit motive and bilked as much money as Thorson ever did out of research funding organizations.  But Handley and Adams and their colleagues lionize Wakefield because his "findings" (and he most certainly did fake his research, please see links in George's response) will help justify their causes and bolster their bottom lines.

    Short answer:  Money was wasted to "prove" what we already knew.  Not that it changed their tune any, not that Noah isn't still parroting the same tired, debunked propaganda.

    If there is strong anecdotal evidence, yes, absolutely we should study.  But when the numbers are in and whatever it is doesn't stand up to scrutiny, we should not keep spending money on studies to show us what has already been thoroughly demonstrated.

    In the case of vaccines causing autism, there was never strong anecdotal evidence in the first place.  All we had to go on was Jenny McCarthy's "mommy instinct".

    I realize that many of us went through mumps, measles, whooping cough and the rest.  But they take a toll.  Some kids - sure, maybe a smallish percentage - died.  Others were left with lasting effects.  The fatalities and side effects that these diseases leave kids with are far more frequent and far more serious than averse reaction to the vaccines and the frequency of their occurence.  And you're right that there are no absolute guarantees in medicine - but they're better than what alt med or avoiding vaccines will give you, if you care to calculate the odds.

    I do think we should fear this kind of deception.  It does harm because it convinces people to make bad choices.  It harms the smallest, who can't be vaccinated, and the immuno-compromised who already have enough challenges.  The more the mantra of vaccine=bad gets repeated, the stronger the meme becomes.  Hey, I delayed my second child's vaccinations - but after having done a bit of research (I was looking at a doc on the vaccine controversy), I would not make that decision now.

    Rather than being afraid of vaccines, we should be afraid of those who would have us give them up.  They are every bit as bad as Big Pharma.

    Timebandit Timebandit's picture

    polly bee wrote:

    See, posts like this are the reason that I don't stop here very often anymore.  TB assumes that he/she is the final word and the holder of all scientific knowledge, and hollers and stomps and insists on this every single time the subject(s) come up. In my world you don't treat fellow adults like misbehaving children ....."shame on you!  Bad!  Bad! This is the last time I am going to say this!!  Why - because I am the mom and I know more than you."  Hopefully we don't even do that with misbehaving children. 

    I never said I was the holder of all scientific knowledge or that I have the final word on anything.  Ever.  So we start with mischaracterization and a flat out lie. 

    What I will cop to is not suffering fools gladly.  Not that I'm rude about it.  I'm very good at using my very best, reasonable grown-up voice and a nice, affable expression when I tell someone he or she is wrong. 

    You will notice I'm not saying anything nasty or personal about you or mischaracterizing you in any way.  Maybe we can make it go both ways next time. 

    I also notice that you aren't arguing the substance, just the style.

    Quote:
      I don't know about anyone else on babble, but for me I got very sick of TB (and others)  telling people what they can and can not talk about here.  Give it a rest.  We're all adults, we can all read and research and make our own decisions.  We don't need  intervention, or sputtering outrage, every time  that someone "dare post this dangerous misleading bla bla bla"...it's just not that important.  It is information (or mis-information if you will), freely available to anyone with internet and a mouse.  Noah's re-posting it here is certainly not going to convince me that I made a mistake getting my kids that MMR shot, and I think that we are all capable of our own decision making on that one.

    And I got very sick of you and others making extraordinary claims without evidence and then expecting, nay, demanding that we respect your position.  I think that's an ureasonable expectation.  I also think that a site like rabble has some responsibility to make sure it isn't supporting points of view that are harmful.  That's my opinion. 

    Quote:
      In real life, I have had some interesting conversations with people about this very subject.  Why they believe what they do, and how it's affected the decisions they have made, and what they might do differently.  I have seen the websites that Noah refers to, and the ones that TB refers to.  Believe it or not, most of us can handle information filtering without any help.  It's an interesting topic, and I don't think babblers need to be shielded from it.

    Well that was five minutes I won't get back.  Off to shovel more dog poop.

    Again, if we could see some evidence that the information is actually being filtered, that would be helpful.  But I don't.

    The point is, this is not a subject about belief.  It's about facts and lies.  Age of Autism and Natural News are rife with lies - a nice example is that AIDS and Ebola being manufactured so the New World Order can reduce our populations and rule us all (digging around Natural News is interesting, seriously).  Now, there are people who believe that.  Does its expression have a place on a progressive site?

    6079_Smith_W

    Timebandit wrote:

     Now, there are people who believe that.  Does its expression have a place on a progressive site?

    Well that would be the crux of the argument. wouldn't it? 

    As I said, I am in agreement with you on much of this argument - the autism-vaccine question certianly.

    As for what is allowed, how is one to separate the serious stuff from the bullshit - and with respect, there is a fair bit of bullshit passed off as gospel here -  if there is a bullshit filter at the door? And who gets to fine-tune that bullshit filter? 

    I am sure that if you start looking at it you'll see you are posing an impossible question. Better - and more respectful -  to just trust that people have their own bullshit filters.

    And I should say I sympathize with your alarm , because I reacted in a similar way to the anti-voting contingent.

     

    polly bee

    Timebandit wrote:

    And I got very sick of you and others making extraordinary claims without evidence and then expecting, nay, demanding that we respect your position.  I think that's an ureasonable expectation.  I also think that a site like rabble has some responsibility to make sure it isn't supporting points of view that are harmful.  That's my opinion.

    Hmmmm.  Such as?  Just curious what extraordinary claims I have been making.

    And to be fair, Noah posted a link to something he found interesting.  It was particular to the subject he was discussing.  He did not try to convince anyone that ebola and aids are manufactured for the dastardly New World Order.

    Unionist

    6079_Smith_W wrote:

    Unionist wrote:

    He may be in league with Assange. This gets bigger and bigger. Excuse me, I have to phone to cancel my vaccination.

    What.... you're going to a plastic surgeon to get your smallpox scar removed?

    Ok, she told me I could get the scar removed for all intents and purposes, but apparently the medical consequences of the actual smallpox vaccine are irreversible!

    I guess I'll just have to resign myself to longevity.

     

    polly bee

    Timebandit wrote:

     

    Again, if we could see some evidence that the information is actually being filtered, that would be helpful.  But I don't.

     

     

    What type of evidence would you accept?  What would have to happen to make you believe that your fellow babblers are all intelligent thinkers and capable of making rational decisions without you protecting them or filtering their available information?

    Timebandit Timebandit's picture

    Well, they could stop linking to Natural News, Age of Autism and globalresearch for a start.  We'll go from there once that happens.  Wink

    polly bee

    Timebandit wrote:

    Well, they could stop linking to Natural News, Age of Autism and globalresearch for a start.  We'll go from there once that happens.  Wink

     

    Or you could trust that the good people here have the grey matter to decide for themselves what to take seriously.

    George Victor

    Agreed. There should be a clear demarcation between the content of the tabloids at the grocery checkouts and the chatter of babble.  There should be an attempt to emulate the veracity of rabble to avoid embarassment all 'round.

    Timebandit Timebandit's picture

    Absolutely everyone?

    It's not necessarily about grey matter, anyway.  It's having developed the critical skills to discern good information from bad.  I've had to teach university students to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable sources to write academic papers - they were neither more nor less intelligent before or after they'd acquired the skills to tell the difference.

    I note a marked absence of ability to discern good information from bad in some babblers, and extreme resistance to learning much of anything from others.  Neither trait speaks to intelligence.

    Unionist

    Ok, for those of you awaiting an update:

    Turns out the "doctor" who gave me my smallpox vaccination had an arrest (not conviction) for financial fraud, a whole slew of unpaid parking tickets, and - wait for it - was seen without his white coat and tie in massage parlor in 1946!

    I can't believe anyone still buys into this vaccination stuff. How much more of a link do you need with white-collar crime??

     

    Timebandit Timebandit's picture

    6079_Smith_W wrote:

    Timebandit wrote:

     Now, there are people who believe that.  Does its expression have a place on a progressive site?

    Well that would be the crux of the argument. wouldn't it? 

    As I said, I am in agreement with you on much of this argument - the autism-vaccine question certianly.

    As for what is allowed, how is one to separate the serious stuff from the bullshit - and with respect, there is a fair bit of bullshit passed off as gospel here -  if there is a bullshit filter at the door? And who gets to fine-tune that bullshit filter? 

    I am sure that if you start looking at it you'll see you are posing an impossible question. Better - and more respectful -  to just trust that people have their own bullshit filters.

    And I should say I sympathize with your alarm , because I reacted in a similar way to the anti-voting contingent.

     

    Oh, come on.  There are lots of things that aren't tolerated on babble.  Deeply held beliefs, even.  I also recall a young poster who brought up the "AIDS manufactured to kill us off" conspiracy and was shut down by the mods very quickly.  So how is this issue any different?  Granted, it's based on judgement calls, some by management, some by mods.  But this is not a wide open forum.  Never was.  There has always been a bullshit filter, it's just selectively applied, sometimes of necessity.

    polly bee

    Timebandit wrote:

    Absolutely everyone?

    It's not necessarily about grey matter, anyway.  It's having developed the critical skills to discern good information from bad.  I've had to teach university students to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable sources to write academic papers - they were neither more nor less intelligent before or after they'd acquired the skills to tell the difference.

    I note a marked absence of ability to discern good information from bad in some babblers, and extreme resistance to learning much of anything from others.  Neither trait speaks to intelligence.

     

    See, this sounds very elitist and arrogant.  But maybe that's just my own personal bullshit filter.  Carry on.

     

     

    Timebandit Timebandit's picture

    No, it would be elitist to suggest that such a skill couldn't be learned, that you either have it or you don't.  That's not the case.  It's something learned - it isn't even something you have to have a higher level of education for. 

    Demanding that anyone respect a viewpoint that disregards fact in favour of belief is arrogant.  Which is not to say one doesn't have every right to hold that viewpoint - but expecting others to regard it as equivalent to fact is unrealistic.

    6079_Smith_W

    @ Unionist 

    I heard that the smallpox vaccine wore off over time, which is quite unsettling, when you think about it.

     

    @ TImebandit

    Yes, I know there are some very serious things which are not allowed here. Frankly I would have a problem with extending an outright ban to material like this. Although this case may seem clear cut it is getting pretty close to what I see as a grey area, 

    Besides. It seems to me this got dealt with pretty quickly without a ban. It took a little over 15 minutes to call him on it. What's the problem?

    Timebandit Timebandit's picture

    The repeated necessity of being called on it.  If he can't move on from the last discussion, where he was also called on this, maybe there does need to be some intervention.  How many times does one get to repeat the same falsehoods before enough is enough?

    There are sites that we don't want people to link to because of their ideology.  I'm not sure how this is different.  The links that Noah presented were from hateful sites that manufacture controversies by lying.  We wouldn't tolerate that from people holding right-wing opinions, nor do we expect babblers to cut them slack or respect their beliefs and opinions.  Did you know Natural News actively campaigned against public health care in the US?  It took me under 5 minutes to find out.  If Noah spent any time on the site, he'd be hard pressed not to have noticed.

    6079_Smith_W

    I can see the reason for that in some cases and I respect it here.

    I am personally against banning site links, and I think that in any decision to do so the potential for damage has to far outweigh the limitations of preventing people from seeing them.

    I see a ban as a last resort, not something which is good at all as a regular policy, especially when it is more to the point for a moderator to tell someone to stop belabouring on an issue. After all, even if one site is banned, similar information can probably found on any number of sites.

    Or an even better way to deal with it is how it was done here - debunk the claim, simply and quickly. 

     

    Papal Bull

    What bothers me most about some in the anti-vax crowd is how cynically they bandy about autism in such a way. The same goes for the other side, but not the same degree. Autism is life changing for a family and the individual should come first, not having an aspect of their person be used as a rhetorical cudgle.

    Tommy_Paine

    This kind of debate is raging everywhere.  We have entertained the fantasitic to such an extent that people are being hurt by it, and killed by it.  It's little wonder many would resort to making it illegal to entertain such fantastic notions, either in a broad context like prosecuting holocaust deniers, or wanting to ban discussion of the topic here from a message board.

    My gut reaction is that we shouldn't react that way in any case big or small, that reason and debate should be the arbitor.

    But on the other hand, we've seen in examples like Crop Circles, the Oak Island Treasure, Big Foot, Rosewell, Birthers, etc., that these things take on a life of their own, and no amount of de-bunking can rid the public forum of their nusance.

    Those are nusances. 

    Some fantastical notions kill.   There are kids who died because their parents were scared into not vaccinating them.  To think this issue is one for tollerance of fantastical ideas, like Big Foot, are wrong.

    But what to do, I don't know.  I can see both sides of the argument.

    And I think it's an argument that is going to grow in the public discourse.   There has been too much, and continues to be too much damage done because of lies, and the general inability-- and will-- to stand up to them.

    NorthReport

    The guy, the researcher, who said you develop autism by a measles vaccine has been fired and his theory debunked.

    Parents get your kids vaccinated, if not for your own child, then for other children they come in contact with.

     

    NorthReport

    Officials believe child in Manitoba with measles is probably an isolated case

    http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/Confirmed-case-of-measles-found-i...

    NorthReport

    Rona Ambrose says anti-vaccine movement puts children at risk

    Talk to a doctor if you have concerns about vaccines, health minister says

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/rona-ambrose-says-anti-vaccine-movement-...

    msdressup
    iyraste1313
    Sineed

    From the rabble article, describing Jenny McCarthy when she took her son for his MMR:

    Quote:
    This is the autism shot, isn't it?' And he said, 'No, that is ridiculous....and then the nurse gave [Evan] the shot," she says. "And I remember going, 'Oh, God, I hope he's right.' And soon thereafter -- boom -- the soul's gone from his eyes."

    Wow, what an offensive description of autism (which as it turns out, her son doesn't have).

    Sineed

    When you read the article, what it actually says is that an Italian court has ruled to compensate a child and his family through the Vaccine Injury Court. They have a similar court in the US, and it has caused lots of confusion. The purpose of these courts is to offer financial aid to families with children who have suffered some sort of illness in close proximity to having received a vaccine. These courts have a very soft burden of proof, much less than what would be required for a criminal case, for instance.

    The rulings of vaccine courts don't prove anything.

    msdressup

    Sineed wrote:

    From the rabble article, describing Jenny McCarthy when she took her son for his MMR:

    Quote:
    This is the autism shot, isn't it?' And he said, 'No, that is ridiculous....and then the nurse gave [Evan] the shot," she says. "And I remember going, 'Oh, God, I hope he's right.' And soon thereafter -- boom -- the soul's gone from his eyes."

    Wow, what an offensive description of autism (which as it turns out, her son doesn't have).

    Absolutely!

     

    Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

    Quote:
    Even though telling people that vaccines don't {cause} autism is factual, the way in which it's said only validates people's negative view of autism.

    "Vaccines don't cause autism".

    Wowzers.  Dripping with ableism.

    Quote:
    why don't we start refuting anti-vaccination advocates with the fact that autism isn't a catastrophe.

    I agree it's not a catastrophe, in particular compared with, say, polio.  But if we started saying that then here's the inevitable response:

    "Ah, so now you agree that vaccines DO CAUSE AUTISM and it's just not that bad, in your opinion!!!"

    If K00ky parents don't want their kids to become autistic, and they believe that vaccinations will make them become autistic, then I really think the best and most honest course of action is to keep pointing out the lack of any kind of plausible link.  Science isn't saying that autism is some kind of horrible thing when it says that vaccines don't cause it.

    Aristotleded24

    I'll repeat what I said on the [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/science-technology/measles-disneyland]measels thread:[/url]

    Aristotleded24 wrote:
    Yeah, if autism is the worst that vaccines can do for you, I'll risk having an autistic child over a dead child any day of the week.

    iyraste1313

    By Jamie Deckoff-Jones MD

    Global Research, February 11, 2015

    GreenMedInfo 10 February 2015

     

     

    Here is a compilation of abstracts, 86 Research Papers Supporting the Vaccine/Autism Link, but the media keeps telling us there is no evidence that vaccines can cause autism.

    Why has there never been a well designed study comparing vaccinated to unvaccinated children? Rumor has it that Amish children don’t get autism. Why isn’t the CDC doing everything it can to figure out if that’s true and, if so, why?

     

    Unionist

    iyraste1313 wrote:
    Rumor has it that Amish children don’t get autism.

    85% of Amish children get vaccinated.

    And there's no good evidence that their autism rates are low.

    So interestingly, you could maybe use the Amish to prove that vaccination does cause autism!

    Or, you could let me know where you heard the rumour, so I can spread a few of my own.

     

     

    lagatta

    Actually, autism and polio both have an extremely wide range of effects or severity. I have a friend with two severely affected autistic children. The situation has pretty much ruined her life. That is one end of the spectrum. I don't claim any kind of expertise about this syndrome; what I'm saying about my friend's situation is simply observation.

    iyraste1313

    you miss the point of the article...that studies must be done comparing the effects of vaccinated to unvaccinated children, that there are substantial studies to suggest linkage...I don´t claim any definitive position on this as I haven´t the time to investigate thoroughly.....

    But the point is that the state must not mandate without definitive evidence which it does not have.

    So legally in Canada re Section 1 of our Charter rights, the State cannot impose, unless it can prove greater danger to the public...But of course when did anyone in canada ever take the Charter seriously, certainly not the 98% of judges who haven´t studied Charter rights nor have a clue as to what Section 1 means....

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