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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Natural Products and anti-vaccines (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Natural Products and anti-vaccines
Jake
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
first come the thoughts and comments. the scientific rebuttals can come next.

thoughts and comments: this woman is a dingbat. she's to health and pediatric and dietary sciences what the Discovery Institute is to geology and biology: a clueless, incredulous, incurious black hole of half-baked idiocy that they would rather die than abandon as a matter of faith. Indeed, she even apparently contributes to NaturalNews, which instantly puts out some alarm bells. also she says she was diagnosed with chrohn's and cured it doubtlessly with her ~raw natural living~ and naturopathy. yes, she cured chrohns! WOW! that's never happened before let's celebrate how she did it probably with oregano and vitamin c or maybe just good vibes and a non-GMO diet. boy i sure hope that chrohn's typical cycles of inactivity followed by severe flare-up with dramatic health concerns don't happen like they generally do and force her to recognize the absolute crap of her statement!

in her About Her post she not only says "we do not vaccinate" she says "we do not medicate" — she pimps out naturopathic garbage, does a completely excruciatingly anemic diet plan for her kids that reads like she played diet "no-no food" fad bingo and as such restricts her kids from even the consumption of gluten, which is not at all harmful to people who do not specifically have an autoimmune condition called Celiac Sprue that causes inflammation in response to gluten exposure. She's an idiot about science, medicine, diet, parenting, nutrition, insists on giving birth without even a doula present. she can be as much of a hippy-crunchy woo-head as she wants with all that other bullshit, but it comes to me as no surprise that she has also decided to be a mouthbreathing imbecile on the subject of vaccines. I see she is already afraid of microwaves, possibly on account of all those ~unnatural energy waves~ it puts in your food that makes it badderer and less natureler. I cannot wait for her future revelations and discoveries about fluoride and — dare I hope, chemtrails.

Every part of her article made me even just a tiny bit angrier than the last part. I don't know what individual part most made me want to manifest the article in realspace so that I could angrily throttle and yell at it as an avatar of idiot anti-vax. Perhaps it was when she criticized the True Total Scientificalness of the claim that vaccines are safe and effective because she felt that you can't make this claim credibly when according to her 'they are not subjected to double-blind placebo controlled studies using a saline solution that is the standard for evidence-based medicine' then later in the same article pretty much says 'and we live in an age of chronic disease now how can we not blame it on the vaccines!' oh i guess those kinds of assertions don't need double blind trials or anything. it's a good thing that chronic diseases are on the rise and this is totally unrelated to the extention of lifespan due to modern medicine and much more complete methods of conclusive diagnosis, no it's just that people didn't have as many chronic diseases before, it must have been the vacciiiiiines

maybe it was the double mention of GBS (nasty thing, GBS, my recommendation is to go through nothing like it please) that just showed a mind-throttling inattention to the ambiguous understandings in general of autoimmune conditions like GBS and MS, but let's just kitchen sink it in with a condemnation of vaccines

maybe it was her garbleflarble pseudolegal logic involving the constitution, presuming it to do things it does not do in terms of blanket support of "i'm the parent so i can do this and this and this"

maybe it was when she said "Herd immunity does not exists (sp) when it comes to vaccines."

oh my god shut up, shut up you dumb terrible person

at least you can get your claptrap published on naturalnews as Dr. Megan Heimer, NHE, J.D, N.D. to teach people the TRUTH of vaccines next to the TRUTH of colloidal silver, fluoride, wild oregano oil, homeopathy, chakra cleansing, and unironically drilling a hole in your skull for health benefits. I'm glad your article also finds a home at the daily sheeple next to ads for machines that use one "weird" trick the power companies don't want you to know about to run your car on water, and emergency seed bins for surviving the coming collapse next to your silver and gold bullion piles. yes this is all unfair guilt by association simply because of the communities that pick up on your unscientific garbage but i don't care because you're stupid and your article is stupid and you should feel bad, you pseudoscientific dope.

So you liked it?
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Darth_Mauve
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There is a saying--"If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything."

I find this saying completely opposite. "If you stand unwavering for something, you'll stand unquestioning for anything."

I say this because I do occasionally listen to conservative radio. I want to hear their true beliefs and opinions. Every conservative and Christian radio station I listen to is filled with Natural-Food-Additive, Fad-Diet, Psuedo-Science cures for everything from Vaccinations alternatives to hair-growth. They are the most outlandish claims and bad-science imaginable.

It may be that they hope the religious station will give them credibility, but I think its more than that. The type of person who listens to and believes religious and conservative conspiracy theories all day is the type of person who will believe their psuedo-science conspiracy theories and buy their products.

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GaalDornick
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
first come the thoughts and comments. the scientific rebuttals can come next.

thoughts and comments: this woman is a dingbat. she's to health and pediatric and dietary sciences what the Discovery Institute is to geology and biology: a clueless, incredulous, incurious black hole of half-baked idiocy that they would rather die than abandon as a matter of faith. Indeed, she even apparently contributes to NaturalNews, which instantly puts out some alarm bells. also she says she was diagnosed with chrohn's and cured it doubtlessly with her ~raw natural living~ and naturopathy. yes, she cured chrohns! WOW! that's never happened before let's celebrate how she did it probably with oregano and vitamin c or maybe just good vibes and a non-GMO diet. boy i sure hope that chrohn's typical cycles of inactivity followed by severe flare-up with dramatic health concerns don't happen like they generally do and force her to recognize the absolute crap of her statement!

in her About Her post she not only says "we do not vaccinate" she says "we do not medicate" — she pimps out naturopathic garbage, does a completely excruciatingly anemic diet plan for her kids that reads like she played diet "no-no food" fad bingo and as such restricts her kids from even the consumption of gluten, which is not at all harmful to people who do not specifically have an autoimmune condition called Celiac Sprue that causes inflammation in response to gluten exposure. She's an idiot about science, medicine, diet, parenting, nutrition, insists on giving birth without even a doula present. she can be as much of a hippy-crunchy woo-head as she wants with all that other bullshit, but it comes to me as no surprise that she has also decided to be a mouthbreathing imbecile on the subject of vaccines. I see she is already afraid of microwaves, possibly on account of all those ~unnatural energy waves~ it puts in your food that makes it badderer and less natureler. I cannot wait for her future revelations and discoveries about fluoride and — dare I hope, chemtrails.

Every part of her article made me even just a tiny bit angrier than the last part. I don't know what individual part most made me want to manifest the article in realspace so that I could angrily throttle and yell at it as an avatar of idiot anti-vax. Perhaps it was when she criticized the True Total Scientificalness of the claim that vaccines are safe and effective because she felt that you can't make this claim credibly when according to her 'they are not subjected to double-blind placebo controlled studies using a saline solution that is the standard for evidence-based medicine' then later in the same article pretty much says 'and we live in an age of chronic disease now how can we not blame it on the vaccines!' oh i guess those kinds of assertions don't need double blind trials or anything. it's a good thing that chronic diseases are on the rise and this is totally unrelated to the extention of lifespan due to modern medicine and much more complete methods of conclusive diagnosis, no it's just that people didn't have as many chronic diseases before, it must have been the vacciiiiiines

maybe it was the double mention of GBS (nasty thing, GBS, my recommendation is to go through nothing like it please) that just showed a mind-throttling inattention to the ambiguous understandings in general of autoimmune conditions like GBS and MS, but let's just kitchen sink it in with a condemnation of vaccines

maybe it was her garbleflarble pseudolegal logic involving the constitution, presuming it to do things it does not do in terms of blanket support of "i'm the parent so i can do this and this and this"

maybe it was when she said "Herd immunity does not exists (sp) when it comes to vaccines."

oh my god shut up, shut up you dumb terrible person

at least you can get your claptrap published on naturalnews as Dr. Megan Heimer, NHE, J.D, N.D. to teach people the TRUTH of vaccines next to the TRUTH of colloidal silver, fluoride, wild oregano oil, homeopathy, chakra cleansing, and unironically drilling a hole in your skull for health benefits. I'm glad your article also finds a home at the daily sheeple next to ads for machines that use one "weird" trick the power companies don't want you to know about to run your car on water, and emergency seed bins for surviving the coming collapse next to your silver and gold bullion piles. yes this is all unfair guilt by association simply because of the communities that pick up on your unscientific garbage but i don't care because you're stupid and your article is stupid and you should feel bad, you pseudoscientific dope.

While I appreciate your passion, it's hard to use any of that to convince my sister of the importance of vaccinations for my nephew. Can you break down some of her main points? Is there any substance to the claim that certain diseases were on the fall before their vaccines were introduce? Is there proof of its inaccuracy? What about the claim that vaccines aren't subjected to double-blind placebo controlled studies?
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MattP
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quote:
Is there any substance to the claim that certain diseases were on the fall before their vaccines were introduce?
http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/03/29/the-intellectual-dishonesty-of-the-vacci/

quote:
What about the claim that vaccines aren't subjected to double-blind placebo controlled studies?
http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/08/24/its-so-cute-when-anti-vaxers-try-to/
http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/03/20/if-you-hand-me-some-stupid-yes-in-fact-i/

It's all pretty high on snark, but also information-dense.

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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by GaalDornick:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
first come the thoughts and comments. the scientific rebuttals can come next.

thoughts and comments: this woman is a dingbat. she's to health and pediatric and dietary sciences what the Discovery Institute is to geology and biology: a clueless, incredulous, incurious black hole of half-baked idiocy that they would rather die than abandon as a matter of faith. Indeed, she even apparently contributes to NaturalNews, which instantly puts out some alarm bells. also she says she was diagnosed with chrohn's and cured it doubtlessly with her ~raw natural living~ and naturopathy. yes, she cured chrohns! WOW! that's never happened before let's celebrate how she did it probably with oregano and vitamin c or maybe just good vibes and a non-GMO diet. boy i sure hope that chrohn's typical cycles of inactivity followed by severe flare-up with dramatic health concerns don't happen like they generally do and force her to recognize the absolute crap of her statement!

in her About Her post she not only says "we do not vaccinate" she says "we do not medicate" — she pimps out naturopathic garbage, does a completely excruciatingly anemic diet plan for her kids that reads like she played diet "no-no food" fad bingo and as such restricts her kids from even the consumption of gluten, which is not at all harmful to people who do not specifically have an autoimmune condition called Celiac Sprue that causes inflammation in response to gluten exposure. She's an idiot about science, medicine, diet, parenting, nutrition, insists on giving birth without even a doula present. she can be as much of a hippy-crunchy woo-head as she wants with all that other bullshit, but it comes to me as no surprise that she has also decided to be a mouthbreathing imbecile on the subject of vaccines. I see she is already afraid of microwaves, possibly on account of all those ~unnatural energy waves~ it puts in your food that makes it badderer and less natureler. I cannot wait for her future revelations and discoveries about fluoride and — dare I hope, chemtrails.

Every part of her article made me even just a tiny bit angrier than the last part. I don't know what individual part most made me want to manifest the article in realspace so that I could angrily throttle and yell at it as an avatar of idiot anti-vax. Perhaps it was when she criticized the True Total Scientificalness of the claim that vaccines are safe and effective because she felt that you can't make this claim credibly when according to her 'they are not subjected to double-blind placebo controlled studies using a saline solution that is the standard for evidence-based medicine' then later in the same article pretty much says 'and we live in an age of chronic disease now how can we not blame it on the vaccines!' oh i guess those kinds of assertions don't need double blind trials or anything. it's a good thing that chronic diseases are on the rise and this is totally unrelated to the extention of lifespan due to modern medicine and much more complete methods of conclusive diagnosis, no it's just that people didn't have as many chronic diseases before, it must have been the vacciiiiiines

maybe it was the double mention of GBS (nasty thing, GBS, my recommendation is to go through nothing like it please) that just showed a mind-throttling inattention to the ambiguous understandings in general of autoimmune conditions like GBS and MS, but let's just kitchen sink it in with a condemnation of vaccines

maybe it was her garbleflarble pseudolegal logic involving the constitution, presuming it to do things it does not do in terms of blanket support of "i'm the parent so i can do this and this and this"

maybe it was when she said "Herd immunity does not exists (sp) when it comes to vaccines."

oh my god shut up, shut up you dumb terrible person

at least you can get your claptrap published on naturalnews as Dr. Megan Heimer, NHE, J.D, N.D. to teach people the TRUTH of vaccines next to the TRUTH of colloidal silver, fluoride, wild oregano oil, homeopathy, chakra cleansing, and unironically drilling a hole in your skull for health benefits. I'm glad your article also finds a home at the daily sheeple next to ads for machines that use one "weird" trick the power companies don't want you to know about to run your car on water, and emergency seed bins for surviving the coming collapse next to your silver and gold bullion piles. yes this is all unfair guilt by association simply because of the communities that pick up on your unscientific garbage but i don't care because you're stupid and your article is stupid and you should feel bad, you pseudoscientific dope.

While I appreciate your passion, it's hard to use any of that to convince my sister of the importance of vaccinations for my nephew. Can you break down some of her main points? Is there any substance to the claim that certain diseases were on the fall before their vaccines were introduce? Is there proof of its inaccuracy? What about the claim that vaccines aren't subjected to double-blind placebo controlled studies?
There are multiple logical problems with the essay you linked. Starting with this one:

quote:
I had many problems with this article, and you should too, because it infringes on your constitutional rights as a parent...
Somehow the opinion of someone else infringes on her rights?

quote:
...blatantly suggests that “vaccines are safe and effective,...”
...yes. Indeed it does. That this is presented as a damning point helps illuminate that this person is arguing from her conclusions.

quote:
Is my educated opinion that vaccines are harmful to the human body of less value than yours?
Is your opinion based on studies that try to account for and remove the influence of bias, using the scientific method? If not, then yes - your opinion on whether vaccines are safe and effective is worth less than that of a trained scientist whose opinions are based on scientific evidence.

quote:
What about the millions of Americans and medical professionals who think the same?
This is a cute trick. She wants the weight of "millions" and the authority of "medical professionals" but she throws in random Americans and medical professionals into the same bucket. Of course there aren't millions of medical professionals who agree with her position on vaccines. The medical professionals who DO agree with her position don't have any influence on the professional organizations such as AAP and AMA, because they are a tiny, nutty minority.

quote:
You claim vaccines are safe. Have you read the package inserts, studies, or checked out the VAERS database lately? If you had, you would see side-effects like these: (Boostrix - Tdap) blood and lymphatic system disorders, immune system disorders, myocarditis, nervous system disorders, convulsions, seizures, encephalitis (brain swelling), facial palsy, skin disorders; (Pediarix IPV + DTaP + Hep B) Sudden infant death (SIDS), death, seizures, meningitis, paralysis, anaphylactic shock, encephalitis, skin and tissue disorders; (Chicken pox / Varicella) eczema, vaccine-strain chicken pox, lower respiratory infections, seizures, encephalitis, cerebrovascular accident, transverse myelitis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, Bell’s palsy, aseptic meningitis, pneumonia; (Merk’s Hep-B) Guillain-Barré Syndrome, ringing in the ears, multiple sclerosis, myelitis including transverse myelitis, seizure, febrile seizure, peripheral neuropathy including Bell’s Palsy, herpes zoster, migraine, arthritis. Merk’s MMR vaccine insert is laughable. And I quote,

“Measles, mumps, and rubella are three common childhood diseases, caused by measles virus, mumps virus (paramyxoviruses), and rubella virus (togavirus), respectively, that may be associated with serious complications and/or death. For example, pneumonia and encephalitis are caused by measles. Mumps is associated with aseptic meningitis, deafness and orchitis; and rubella during pregnancy may cause congenital rubella syndrome in the infants of infected mothers.”

Assuming for a moment that the MMR vaccine actually works, the above sounds pretty good…until you get to the bottom of the insert where you see that the vaccine is associated with the same side-effects of the disease it’s designed to prevent:

“Panniculitis; atypical measles; fever; syncope; headache; dizziness; malaise; irritability, vasculitis, pancreatitis; diarrhea; vomiting; parotitis; nausea, diabetes mellitus, thrombocytopenia, purpura, regional lymphadenopathy; leukocytosis, anaphylaxis and anaphylactoid reactions have been reported as well as related phenomena such as angioneurotic edema, arthritis, myalgia, athralgia, encephalitis; encephalopathy; measles inclusion body encephalitis, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE); Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS); acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM); febrile convulsions; afebrile convulsions or seizures; ataxia; polyneuritis; polyneuropathy; ocular palsies; paresthesia.”

I’m sorry, I’m vaccinating against a rash that has a less chance of causing death than you falling out your bedroom window, being struck by lightening, and drowning in a puddle, so that I can increase my child’s chance of getting one of the side-effects listed above? No thanks. I don’t gamble (especially with those odds). That’s not safe or effective.

There is a lot going on here. First, note that she doesn't offer any definition of "safe". Of course, something with potential side effects might be more or less safe depending on how likely those side effects are. If those side effects happen one out of 100,000 times, it's probably fair to call the treatment safe. She doesn't define safe, because she doesn't want to be trapped into a discussion of numbers and relative risks.

She lists a ton of potential side effects because they sound scary, but she doesn't mention how likely they are. She also doesn't seem to demonstrate any awareness that medications and medical treatments list as possible side effects anything bad that happens during the study, whether there's any proven causal link between the medicine and the event or not.

What about the risks of not vaccinating? She acknowledges that the diseases can cause the same problems as the vaccines, but fails to allow that the vaccines make those diseases and their adverse effects less likely. She avoids talking about the numbers, here, still (forever).

The last paragraph is something else. She says that the "rash" has less of a chance of causing death than some extreme sequence of unlikely events. But she does not use numbers. She's just making the claim without data. She is staying very far away from territory where her claims can be evaluated on their merits, where we can even BEGIN to evaluate the quality of any data that she is using to inform her beliefs (but again, remember that there's an objective difference between the value of data that is collected with scientific methods vs. data that doesn't benefit from the same controls for bias and error), because she doesn't believe in scientific evidence. She demonstrates her belief that the way to distinguish good evidence from bad evidence is how she feels about it, not whether there was any reliable method employed to reduce the influence of bias and error. (Unless, of course, she thinks she can use a scientific study to support her argument - then she wants THAT science to be credible.)

quote:
Does this seem like evidence-based medicine to you? Do you think this pharmaceutical company can’t establish a causal relationship between vaccinations and side-effects because of the poor manner in which they conduct their studies (and because they do not want to insinuate fault)? As a parent, don’t you think the wisest thing to do is to make sure these substances are held to the highest testing and safety standards before they’re injected into children? Are you really making me choose between a measles rash and brain encephalitis?
She's ignoring the oversight of the FDA and peer review that help ensure that studies are well designed and their conclusions valid. She's ignoring the numbers, still.

quote:
And I love how the package insert insinuates that the vaccine some how played a role in eradicating measles, mumps, and rubella:

“For measles, 894,134 cases reported in 1941 compared to 288 cases reported in 1995 resulted in a 99.97% decrease in reported cases; for mumps, 152,209 cases reported in 1968 compared to 840 cases reported in 1995 resulted in a 99.45% decrease in reported cases; and for rubella, 57,686 cases reported in 1969 compared to 200 cases reported in 1995 resulted in a 99.65% decrease.”

I find this correlation (that the vaccine eradicated or reduced these illnesses) interesting especially because the first measles vaccine wasn’t even put on the market until 1963. So we have twenty years unaccounted for here and the actual data shows a stark decline in mortality of measles before the vaccine was introduced. Isn’t that convenient? The same is true for polio, pertussis, diphtheria, and the rest. (Here’s a good read on that).

She starts out with a claim about the incidence of measles and then tries to debunk it with a chart about the mortality of measles. Apples and oranges. I admire the (novel) inclusion of some data, but it doesn't help me trust her rigor or objectivity when she doesn't notice the basic error she is making in comparing two different things.

Of course improving medical technology is going to reduce fatalities from these diseases. That's not the same as preventing them from occurring. And a lower mortality rate isn't as good as not getting the disease in the first place.

quote:
But we’ll just pretend that the high prevalence of these diseases in other parts of the world like Africa and India have nothing to do with the fact that there are millions of people living in poverty without access to clean living conditions or water.
NOBODY PRETENDS THIS. She is making up a complete straw man.

quote:
But wait, what about whooping cough?
Not only was the mortality rate practically nonexistent before the introduction of the pertussis vaccine, the actual prevalence of pertussis was relatively unaffected by the vaccine until 2003-2004 when the outbreaks doubled. Of course this was attributed to “better diagnostic and reporting methods” which is code for “the new vaccine we created to replace the old vaccine has failed miserably and has made the vaccinated asymptomatic carriers that can infect anyone in the population…Oops.” I know, the unvaccinated are easy scapegoats but according to the science, we’re not the carriers causing the outbreaks here.

She's twisting the evidence here. In fact, what it looks like is that unvaccinated people are the ones getting sick. Seems like an argument for vaccination. http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm376937.htm

quote:
the FDA conducted the study to explore the possibility that acellular pertussis vaccines, while protecting against disease, might not prevent infection.
Here you have the FDA admitting that vaccines are not perfect and exploring the possibility that they might not work as perfectly as intended/thought. Should we throw out the baby with the bathwater, then? And continue to propagate the idea that the FDA doesn't care about the evidence? Or should we take this as a sign of good will and sincere effort to let scientific data teach us and help us improve disease prevention?

The article writer has no respect for the scientific method or community except when they happen to say something she can bend to her own worldview. She discounts the evidence she doesn't like. She minimizes the horrors of the diseases vaccines have nearly eradicated. She gives credence to the completely-debunked MMR vaccine-autism link.

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GaalDornick
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Thank you for taking the time to write all of that out, scifibum. It's very helpful.
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scifibum
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I don't think I've done justice to the topic.

Part of the problem is that parental rights and freedom of choice when held up against the importance of herd immunity and public health interests in general - it's a sticky, difficult topic. It should not be trivialized. It deserves serious thought and discussion.

That's because it's distinct from the misinformation torrent that comes from anti-vaccination enthusiasts.

I think it would be great for people to be pressing for discussion on the ethics of public health mandates and how much (and in what kinds of cases) public policy can trump individual judgment on whether to vaccinate. But that discussion is not the same discussion as to whether vaccines are safe and effective. There's some overlap, but not that much. One is an ethics conversation, and the other is a science conversation.

It does no service to the ethical discussion when people like Megan abuse sciencey-sounding arguments to misinform people. (What really dismays me is that it appears to be sincere - and there appears to be no obvious way to convince people like Megan that they are wrong.)

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scifibum
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In short I'm pretty mad about this too, and I feel bad for not being able (or qualified, really) to do a better job of helping to counteract the influence of anti-vaccine nonsense. It takes patience and time and it's already been done and some people just...well, it's not that they don't want to be correct and follow the evidence - because they probably DO, they think that's what they are DOING - it's that there's something bigger broken in the way that people engage with this topic and I don't know how to fix it.
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scifibum
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except i feel somewhat confident that people should not be taught certain epistemologies and then have them reinforced constantly as central to the most important moral and political questions that everyone cares about no matter what the science says, don't listen to the scientists, they are evil and corrupt and you know the truth because you know it because we know it because we were told to know it
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GaalDornick
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I showed my brother in law your response to the article and this is what he had to say:

All good arguments, however, I'm sure she has a lot more data to back up everything she said. With that said, I don't think she is negating the medical vaccine world! All she is saying is that people should be educated more and make their own decisions. If the graphs she shows are accurate, then she has a good point that we give too much credit to vaccines when credit is not due.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by GaalDornick:
While I appreciate your passion, it's hard to use any of that to convince my sister of the importance of vaccinations for my nephew. Can you break down some of her main points? Is there any substance to the claim that certain diseases were on the fall before their vaccines were introduce? Is there proof of its inaccuracy? What about the claim that vaccines aren't subjected to double-blind placebo controlled studies?

In short: 1. yes, i can excoriate her points patiently point by point, 2. no there is not, 3. yes there is, 4. she dumb and don't know what she's talking about so yeah

BUT

the issue is that unless your sister is still somewhere on the fence and willing to engage in a straightforward dialogue on the subject that I could offer if it were possible (and I would be extremely patient, thorough, and eminently professional) anti-vax is thoroughly illogical to the point of not being alterable with logic, or scientific fact, or the fundamentals of rationality underpinning both.

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/02/vaccine-denial-psychology-backfire-effect

quote:
So as a rational person, you might think it would be of the utmost importance to try to talk some sense into these people. But there's a problem: According to a major new study in the journal Pediatrics, trying to do so may actually make the problem worse. The paper tested the effectiveness of four separate pro-vaccine messages, three of which were based very closely on how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) itself talks about vaccines. The results can only be called grim: Not a single one of the messages was successful when it came to increasing parents' professed intent to vaccinate their children. And in several cases the messages actually backfired, either increasing the ill-founded belief that vaccines cause autism or even, in one case, apparently reducing parents' intent to vaccinate.

The study, by political scientist Brendan Nyhan of Dartmouth College* and three colleagues, adds to a large body of frustrating research on how hard it is to correct false information and get people to accept indisputable facts. Nyhan and one of his coauthors, Jason Reifler of the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, are actually the coauthors of a much discussed previous study showing that when politically conservative test subjects read a fake newspaper article containing a quotation of George W. Bush asserting that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, followed by a factual correction stating that this was not actually true, they believed Bush's falsehood more strongly afterwards—an outcome that Nyhan and Reifler dubbed a "backfire effect."

Unfortunately, the vaccine issue is prime terrain for such biased and motivated reasoning; recent research even suggests that a conspiratorial, paranoid mindset prevails among some vaccine rejectionists. To try to figure out how to persuade them, in the new study researchers surveyed a representative sample of 1,759 Americans with at least one child living in their home. A first phase of the study determined their beliefs about vaccines; then, in a follow-up, respondents were asked to consider one of four messages (or a control message) about vaccine effectiveness and the importance of kids getting the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine.

quote:
Nyhan adds that in order to protect public health by encouraging widespread vaccinations, public communication efforts aren't the only tools at our disposal. "Other policy measures might be more effective," he notes. For instance, recently we reported on how easy it is for parents to dodge getting their kids vaccinated in some states; in some cases, it requires little more than a onetime signature on a form. Tightening these policies might be considerably more helpful than trying to win hearts and minds. That wasn't really working out anyway, and thanks to the new study, we now know that vaccine deniers' imperviousness to facts may be a key part of the reason why.
basically, the people who comprise the overall quantity of anti-vax people who are now legitimately imperiling public health? they are part of a field that largely self-selects for being too illogical to be swayed by facts and reason. If they didn't have this underlying tendency they would probably not be anti-vax anymore. Your best hope is to compile enough information for a sit-down talk about it, include this article, include what other people are generously donating in terms of factual counterpoint, and HOPE that she is in the category of people who are anti-vax not due to underlying illogical stubbornness, but just not having had enough good data thrown her way while still sort of in an impressionable fence-sitting position.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by GaalDornick:
I showed my brother in law your response to the article and this is what he had to say:

All good arguments, however, I'm sure she has a lot more data to back up everything she said. With that said, I don't think she is negating the medical vaccine world! All she is saying is that people should be educated more and make their own decisions. If the graphs she shows are accurate, then she has a good point that we give too much credit to vaccines when credit is not due.

three things for him

One: "I'm sure she has a lot more data" is giving the benefit of the doubt in a completely unearned way. The determination of facts in scientific and medical affairs can't be judged this way. You can say the same thing about someone writing an article that's scarce on real facts and which is claiming that the earth is flat. You can't defend that article by saying "I'm sure the author has more data somewhere!" it's a non-starter. it's less than nothing. it's basically admitting that the author is on the Perish side of paucity of facts.

Two: he said "All she is saying is that people should be educated more and make their own decisions." This statement is completely one hundred percent on its face unambiguously false. That is not at all 'all she is saying.' That is one thing she is saying. It comes packaged with a number of other things about vaccines that she presents as fact, and is in fact a sort of an endpoint she is trying to uphold and defend as part of general vaccine denial. He needs to have this pointed out to him, that this is something he literally just said in defense of this article, because it !says something very important! about how he is doing the work of traducing the article down to its barest most defensible points FOR the author. Like point number one, this is less than nothing. it's showing weaknesses of the article, not strengths.

Three: "If the graphs she shows are accurate" WELL funny story about that

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Rakeesh
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That's about as good an example of assuming what one is trying to prove as can be encountered, I think. 'If one of the absolutely vital bits of data used to prove one's point is right, that point is right, and that tells us something!'
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Samprimary
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yeah also it's like, hey, let's be sure what we're reading here — "I don't think she is negating the medical vaccine world!" he says of a person who wrote an article profoundly negating the medical vaccine world. "All she is saying is that people should be educated more and make their own decisions." he says of an article where she is implicating vaccines as the cause of rising chronic diseases using pathological post hoc reasoning.

HEY WHOA I JUST FOUND A NEW THING TO HATE IN THE ARTICLE

quote:
So my child could get the simple childhood chicken pox as a child and have lifetime protection, or she could get vaccinated, get sick anyway (by chicken pox or one of the many other diseases associated with the vaccine), have only temporary (if any) immunity, and increase her chances by 50% of getting shingles as an adult?
Dear Moonbat Starchild Dakota McWoo: my name is sam and I am an individual who suffered a medically exceptional case of shingles that left me paralyzed with excruciating pain for the greater part of a month and was on a significant cocktail of drugs that did their best to suppress my neurological pain response so that I would not be in so much pain that it would overload my nervous system and leave me with permanent peripheral neuropathy for the rest of my life.

I am pretty sure that if I had been a child in your care at the time I would not have received these drugs because they have scary sounding chemicals in them or they're too non-organic GMO western medicine for you and you would have opted for naturopathic solutions instead and probably fed me some echinacea or read The Secret to me and waved a rainstick over my chakras and I would probably have ended up with phantom pains throughout my chest for the rest of my life, and you would immediately assume that this was the fault of vaccines or frankenfoods or ambient gluten or something, as opposed to your complete obsequious pursuit of factually delinquent quackery. I'm sorry, I'm getting off topic.

The point is, I hate you. You're an idiot. You're selling other parents on your dangerous idiocy, so you're part of a community of peabrained dolts who legitimately, by now — and I want you to hear this on every level — have blood on your hands. You are a public health menace. I'm sorry if telling you this hurts your feelings. Maybe you can alleviate your hurt feelings with some st. johns wort or rubbing some afterbirth on your face or whatever you naturopaths have cooked up and/or crudely appropriated from native traditions these days. I'm sorry, I'm really getting off topic here and I have to remember that the point is that I hate you.

No! Wait. There was a simpler, more important point. It's not that I hate you (but I do), it's that you're an idiot. And one of the ways in which you are an idiot is the one that finally inspired me to speak to you personally on, because it involves a real medical phenomenon that I suffered greatly from and so it touched a nerve that made me feel I should speak towards it in particular. It is that in your article, you are making the claim that the chickenpox vaccine increases the risk of adult shingles. You're an idiot because that's completely false! But it's something you want to believe so you'll just sort of kind of ignore that study and try to find some studies anywhere you can misread to put a thin veneer of credibility on your claim and keep telling falsehoods to impressionable parents like yourself.

I would like to hope that having this mistake of yours pointed out to you would cause you to rationally rectify at least this one little individual instance of a lie that I caught out in particular buried in your sea of lies about vaccines. But since that sea of lies also includes implicating vaccines in the rise of autism despite this being a pile of unquestionably false crap created by a profiteering con man, who got caught and whose claim has been entirely revealed to be crap and you seem intent on clinging to even the most soundly rebuked crap I doubt less loudly rebuked crap will remain as part of your stinky fairybrained pseudoscientific oeuvre and you will not budge even just a little bit.

In reality, nationwide shingles cases will probably fall in response to the relatively new process of standardized chickenpox vaccination and even if it turns out it does not significantly positively reduce shingles rates there's a way to make sure you don't get shingles past age 50 and that will DEFINITELY reduce shingles rates. Too bad the solution is a vaccine (specifically, the clinically proven Zostavax vaccine) which you will be super scared of and disbelieve as real medicine because there's no book in your local hippie bookstore where Dr. Andrew Weil sloppily gushes and shills about how awesome it is for your chi meridians or something.

Perhaps you have noticed that the tone of my rebuttal to you is rather profoundly hostile and curt and I'm sure someone at your drum circle, clutching their sacred native american bead necklace in consternation, wants to lecture me about how incivility has no place here, or that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar, but I'm writing this from a place of being not at all under the illusion that informing you of the facts changes anything, because you're a lost cause. You're the kind of person who writes articles talking about how not-strenuously-scientifically-for-sure-tested-completely vaccines are, while simultaneously shilling for or practicing crap that doesn't pass ANY scientific falsifiability standard, like homeopathy, or naturopathy, or chiropractic. You're hopeless. No real argument I could offer to you — no matter how politely — stands a decent chance of changing your views in a way that gets you to stop spreading dangerous misinformation and paranoia about vaccines. Apparently, you and your ilk are super special people who express the bountiful talent to not change your mind in response to facts and that's probably why you're in the business of anti-vax bullpucky in the first place. So you'll just keep on keeping on. Go you. Congratulations, maybe you can lecture us sheeple about how you gained your immunity to reason naturally, without vaccines.

In conclusion, I hate you. I'm truly sorry for your children and I really hope for their sake that you don't get polio and die, forcing probably more competent parents to raise them. Fortunately we live in an age of vaccines where the horrors of things like polio are not in the living memory of today's parents, affording them the luxury and comfort and privilege to trade pictures on their facebook listing the scary ingredients and toxins in vaccines, such as the fact that vaccines have formaldehyde in them. Much like eggs, or pears. So the dying from polio thing is a fairly remote probability, thankfully. I also definitely hope you don't die in childbirth because you literally don't even have a trained doula present for your home births and could bleed to death in minutes because of complications that happen to women all over the world Naturally™. And last but not least as a parting gift for you here is a video of a baby with pertussis which someone should make you watch a hundred times in a row Clockwork Orange style because this is starting to happen to babies more and more often because they get infected by the growing number of clods like you who forego DTaP and Tdap and get schools shut down for whooping cough breakouts because omg scary vaccines cause GMO autism cancer.

PS: "I was not vaccinated for chickenpox," said sam at the end of his angry rant, causing a record-player-needle-scratch abrupt derail of the obvious rejoinder of "your vaccine obviously didn't help you if you got such bad shingles!" Man, I wish I had gotten vaccinated. The extra autism probably could have helped me on my ACT mathematics testing, too.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Jake:
So you liked it?

oh yeah it was pretty good.

alternate version of rant:

They need to do way instain mother> who vaccinate their babbys. becuse these babby cant frigth back?
It was on the news this mroing a mother in ar who had vaccine her three kids. they are taking the three babby back to new york too lady to rest my pary are with the father who lost his chrilden ; i am truley sorry for your lots

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CT
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GaalDornick, I often discuss vaccinations, both online and offline. I'm not sure why, but a discussion in this format here (with someone not present, and without discussion with you about your thoughts) isn't one I feel good about entering [with any real detail or commitment]. That isn't your fault; it's mine. I am not sure where it comes from, but there it is. [I think it has to do with past interactions in a similar vein, but elsewhere. Nonetheless.]

If you don't know about Skeptical Raptor, it is a site where you can find evidence-based links on various vaccine topics. You might find it useful.

Good luck!

[ April 02, 2014, 02:00 PM: Message edited by: CT ]

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CT
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Also, for clarity:

VAERS is a passive reporting system. It is not vetted at the source. Anyone can file a VAERS report, including health care providers, manufacturers, and vaccine recipients or their parents or guardians.

So, if your child got hit by a car in the WalMart parking lot after getting a vaccine, you (as a parent) can file a VAERS report about it. The unvetted, unedited lists of VAERS reports don't mean much. They have to be analyzed. They can come from a knowledgable person, or someone wearing a tinfoil hat -- literally. The raw data contains anything and everything someone might want to enter. Kind of like Wikipedia, but without editing afterward by other people! [Smile]

Citing a list of VAERS reports without a lot of caveats indicates a lack of understanding of what the system is, generously speaking.

---
Edited to add:

The VAERS is a surveillance system, and so it is set up in a way to encourage overreporting. So, if a patient of mine had a problem that was remotely time-related to the vaccine, I am encouraged as a physician to send it to VAERS. This doesn't mean the vaccine caused the problem, or even that I think the vaccine caused the problem. It's intended -- as something designed for sensitivity, not specificity -- to gather a lot of chaff with maybe a few grains of wheat.

I probably wouldn't report the WalMart motor vehicle vs. child crash. But I might report the headache which I am 99% sure is a migraine triggered by dehydration, or the rash which I'm pretty sure was caught from a kid in his class, etc. 10-15% of the reports are classified as serious, and this means that the event reported was serious (resulting in permanent disability, hospitalization, life-threatening illnesses or death). It does not mean that the vaccine caused the event -- just that someone made a report about something serious. And yeah, a car crash would count as a "serious" VAERS report, even if the car crash had nothing to do with the vaccine the child got three hours before.

That gets sorted out via investigations into VAERS reports later, and it gets folded into design studies and the actual side effects lists in the product monograph. But the homeless fellow who sees flying pigs and has a bone to pick with the vaccine company that randomly shares his wife's last name, the guy using the internet on the free library computer? Yeah, he could be making a VAERS report, and it could show up on the list this article's author just cited.

When someone is citing the raw from-the-horse's-mouth VAERS reports as evidence, then it is a clarion call that they don't know how to understand what they think they understand. There is really nowhere to go with the discussion at that point. From a real evidence standpoint, they might as well be reporting a dream they had last night as proof that a vaccine caused something.

[ April 02, 2014, 02:54 PM: Message edited by: CT ]

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Samprimary
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http://violentmetaphors.com/2014/03/25/parents-you-are-being-lied-to/

here is some more useful article stuff

this one's good

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theamazeeaz
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quote:
Originally posted by GaalDornick:
That wouldn't disprove anything mentioned in the link I posted.

Probably not. But I google imaged smallpox for the first time after first having read about the disease in elementary school, and how the very first vaccines were made for smallpox from cowpox in the 1700s. Did you know Catherine the Great's husband had the disease, survived and was disfigured from it. She started a vaccination program in Russia for it? It's also the first disease humanity eradicated, thanks to vaccines.

AND HOLY (!!) IS SMALLPOX DISGUSTING. Like really really really gross. Anyway, I'm glad that it doesn't happen to people anymore, and I really can't unsee those pictures, but gosh do they make me love vaccines.

I dare you to google it.

[ April 02, 2014, 03:30 PM: Message edited by: theamazeeaz ]

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theamazeeaz
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:


HEY WHOA I JUST FOUND A NEW THING TO HATE IN THE ARTICLE

quote:
So my child could get the simple childhood chicken pox as a child and have lifetime protection, or she could get vaccinated, get sick anyway (by chicken pox or one of the many other diseases associated with the vaccine), have only temporary (if any) immunity, and increase her chances by 50% of getting shingles as an adult?

My grad school roommate got chicken pox when she was six or seven, before the days of the shot. She then proceeded to give it to her 16 or 17 year old sister weeks before she was to take their country's national college entrance exam (the kind where they rank you 1,2,3 all the way down and THAT is how you go to college), as well as her grandfather. She killed him. Or the disease did it. Take your pick.

So just because most young children can survive the disease without any long-term negative, does not mean they can't pass it onto others who can ill-afford to get sick. If you want your kids to be immune to chicken pox, please give them the shot, don't let them kill elderly people or screw up their sibling's (or babysitter's) college chances. Even in the days where "everyone" got chickenpox, there are still older people who never had the disease.

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twinky
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quote:
Originally posted by GaalDornick:
I showed my brother in law your response to the article and this is what he had to say:

All good arguments, however, I'm sure she has a lot more data to back up everything she said. With that said, I don't think she is negating the medical vaccine world! All she is saying is that people should be educated more and make their own decisions. If the graphs she shows are accurate, then she has a good point that we give too much credit to vaccines when credit is not due.

"I'm sure she has a lot more data" is less than worthless when the author in question is making the kinds of fundamental errors that scifi pointed out. Your BIL is clearly willing to reach as far as he has to in order to give her the benefit of the doubt.

I have no idea how you go about convicing someone who is that diehard about it. I very much doubt his mind can be changed; I doubt there is any evidence that he would consider valid. He's basically handwaving you away, saying "yeah, that's all well and good, but I'm going to believe her anyway because what she wrote matches what I already think." He has a massive confirmation bias problem and is exascerbating it by only valuing sources that match his preconceptions.

Good luck, but I think you've got a windmill on your hands.

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CT
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Yep. It might be worth considering whether getting involved in this discussion has any possible worthwhile change in outcomes, from your perspective, or if it is just a dance that will always end with everyone's feet in the same position where they started.

If the latter holds, then all the manuevers in between (no matter how brilliant, how rock solid, how well-researched) are just wasted energy.

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MattP
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If you really want to slog it out still (though I agree it's probably hopeless) I'd take a step back and start a conversation about the nature of bias, fallacious reasoning, etc. See if you can find or develop some common ground there and then come back to the vaccine stuff later. If you can't find common ground in that conversation then the vaccine discussion is probably pointless.
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CT
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quote:
Originally posted by GaalDornick:
http://www.livingwhole.org/a-parents-response-to-the-new-york-times-article-eliminate-vaccine-exemptions/

Any thoughts, comments, or in-depth scientific rebuttals are appreciated. [Smile]

I went back to reread, as I could not remember what the author specifically said about the issue I posted above.

This is what she wrote:

quote:
And of course, all of these inserts say the same thing: “This list includes serious events or events which have SUSPECTED causal connections to components of this or other vaccines or drugs. Because these events are reported voluntarily, from a population of uncertain size, it is not possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to the vaccine.”
... only she omitted the bolded part from the standard vaccine monograph wording. Yeah. That's the actual wording. She left out exactly the part that makes that sentence not say what she wants it to say.

*sigh

This is not discussion in good faith. Whether or not your family members are discussing in good faith, I could not possibly comment. But they are using people who lie as sources for information.

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Samprimary
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I believe one of the inserts she linked to did literally say "events which have casual connection to components of this or other vaccines or drugs"

of course since she is saying all of the inserts say the same thing, she's still wrong. Others say 'suspected casual connections,' so there's yet another factual inaccuracy embedded in that article.

It's worth pointing out that as just a specific individual example of how sloppy her case is, while also mentioning that it's really important to dissect and understand that she isn't really showing that she understands the meaning and the scientific accuracy of those quotes and only uses them insofar as they are something that she can present to other people who don't understand the inserts, and in so doing use it as faulty evidence to accuse vaccine trials and medical tests of being sloppy or not up to some constantly shifting goalposts of what she would consider 'real' scientific vetting.

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scifibum
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http://io9.com/can-a-parachute-save-your-life-not-according-to-scienc-1556426507?utm_campaign=socialflow_io9_facebook&utm_source=io9_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow
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Herblay
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Nobody can force MY kids to use a parachute. As a parent I have the right to consult the internet research and decide for myself.
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GaalDornick
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My younger brother, who has mostly been on my side during my debates with my brother-in-law, called me this afternoon to pick him up and drive him to Whole Foods to get some stuff. It turns out the stuff he wanted was homeopathic "medicine" his therapist "prescribed" to him to cure his stress.

The skeptic in me has been living in purgatory lately and doesn't know what it did to deserve this.

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GaalDornick
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I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but my nephew did get one vaccine shot at 9 months old. He's now 1 year old, and my brother-in-law (mostly due to pressure from myself and my mother) agrees to "eventually" get him all the vaccines but wants to space them out more.

He's not an unintelligent person. I just think, as was mentioned here, he has extreme confirmation bias, probably from his chiropractic school days.

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GaalDornick
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Hey CT, you mentioned that you didn't feel comfortable discussing this topic with me in this format. Would there be a format I could discuss it with you further? I had actually been looking forward to a response from you. I remember reading many of your posts in the past that have dealt with medical issues, including this one, and have always found you to be very informative and clear in your explanations.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by GaalDornick:
My younger brother, who has mostly been on my side during my debates with my brother-in-law, called me this afternoon to pick him up and drive him to Whole Foods to get some stuff. It turns out the stuff he wanted was homeopathic "medicine" his therapist "prescribed" to him to cure his stress.

The skeptic in me has been living in purgatory lately and doesn't know what it did to deserve this.

Well, to be fair to either your brother or his psychiatrist, this is rather an interesting conundrum when it comes to evidence based medicine: if you tell someone a placebo will cure their stress, they will be more likely to experience a decrease in stress. So even while double-blind studies of homeopathic medicines might show no benefits medically, the mere act of taking a pill every day as part of a ritual that reminds a person that stress is an issue, can decrease their experience of stress.

Strange that.

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CT
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quote:
Originally posted by GaalDornick:
Hey CT, you mentioned that you didn't feel comfortable discussing this topic with me in this format. Would there be a format I could discuss it with you further? I had actually been looking forward to a response from you. I remember reading many of your posts in the past that have dealt with medical issues, including this one, and have always found you to be very informative and clear in your explanations.

You are very kind!

I find it very draining to have these [vaccination] conversations, probably because arguing for a position means actively extending yourself. I do it a lot, though, because of my daily life.

What I find is that it is helpful to me to do this in one-on-one situations, where I am engaged privately with someone who is also invested for their own sake. Going through a third party (no matter how sympathetic) just doesn't do it -- for some reason, the feeling of being a fountain pouring out to dryness remains. I don't know why, but it is enormously taxing.

So I do it one on one, with the people who themselves want answers (but don't agree with me), and I do it only with people I have specific responsibilities to. I don't think I'd be a good resource for you. But the information is out there, and I wish you the very very best in fighting whatever good fight is on your plate!

One more post of the British Columbia nurses' communication tool pdf for vaccinations:
http://www.bccdc.ca/NR/rdonlyres/DADA3304-7590-48AC-8D2C-65D54ADFC77E/0/CDC_IC_Tool.pdf

[ April 04, 2014, 08:05 AM: Message edited by: CT ]

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dkw
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I highly recommend page 13 in the link CT just posted. It addresses the "so many shots" argument and points out that while there are more recommended vaccinations now than there were 30 years ago they are more refined so the antigen load is actually much lower.
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stilesbn
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I just came across this article. It seems relevant.
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Traceria
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I don't have time to go too much into this as I'm at work, but the author of the article also appears to not understand how drug inserts are created and organized. I used to do legal review of both inserts and changes to them by committees working for a specific drug company. As CT pointed out above, certain conditions are listed because they've only been reported in conjunction with use of a drug/vaccine, but that does not necessarily mean that condition is caused by the drug or some component of it. To dumb-down an explanation, if an adverse reaction occurs often enough and is thought to be related to the drug's use, than the product insert will indicate prevalence of this condition in its use of stronger language. If the chances of occurring are higher, than that condition might be listed in a different section along with a specific warning than that of a condition that is very unlikely to occur, which might be found in a list prefaced by a similar quotation to the one CT provided, one emphasizing a lack of data showing causal relationship. Sometimes it's the FDA that has a say as to where something is listed and what wording is used. Her view of the product insert is very uninformed and ignorant.
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Kwea
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You think? It's OK...that way it matches the rest of her ignorant opinions.

[Wink]

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GaalDornick
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http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/05/11/new-study-links-autism-to-toxin-exposure/

Hatrack, I need your help once again interpreting an article sent to me and how it relates to anti-vaccination.

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theamazeeaz
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So in that article, one of the first "toxins" mentioned is lead. And then it never gets mentioned again. Also, with the removal of lead paints and lead in gasoline, there's a lot less lead going around now than there was back in my parents' day. And yet autism diagnoses have gone up. Funny that.


The also mentioned that one study (yet again) found no link between vaccines and autism, and then mentions some other study that associated it with thermisol.

It's funny, because this article has been all over the news lately:
http://www.autismspeaks.org/science/science-news/new-meta-analysis-confirms-no-association-between-vaccines-and-autism

A meta analysis is one of the best things to do to see if medicine really works. It gathers a group of scientific studies, including ones that have different conclusions and rate them to see how good a job the scientists did at following scientific methods, such as having large sample sizes and whether they were double blind. When a meta-analysis says "no", it's a good indication of a "no".

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theamazeeaz
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I want to add that article was super, super maniuplate-y.
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Samprimary
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man there is a huge difference between "rising autism rates" and "rising rates of autism diagnosis" but that article sure isn't interested in examining the potential complication that provides to comparison with bygone days, eh?

The number of people diagnosed with autism has jumped from nobody to millions of people between now and 1940. Must be ... GMO's, or blue-rays, or something.

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scifibum
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quote:
At the end of the day, you always have a choice and you shouldn’t make that decision based on fear. Ridding your personal environment from harmful pesticides and toxins does contribute to a healthier environment. From personal experience, living in a virtually chemical free environment for a few years now, the difference felt when stepping into another is overwhelming. It’s amazing how desensitized we’ve become, and how we fail to notice these things on a daily basis.
This is the concluding paragraph. This person has been living in an actual vacuum for a few years now! WOW.

While the preceding text's validity doesn't actually depend on the validity of this final paragraph, it's a pretty strong clue that the person who wrote it may not be qualified to interpret the significance of various scientific studies and make valid, supported recommendations.

Aside from that, I think this is one of the more carefully written anti-vaccine articles I've ever seen. They are careful to refer to actual scientific studies. However, they are not careful in the conclusions they draw.

Knowing that there may be some toxic environmental exposure that may affect fetal brain development in a way that might help explain ASD = good. Concluding that it's therefore best to live in a chemical-free environment = 100% nonsense. Also, inferring that vaccines may cause autism despite all evidence to the contrary = illogical and unsupported.

I'm of the opinion that cleaning our hands, clothes, dishes and produce in an effort to avoid putting unknown things into our bodies that might harm us is a very good idea. If you can think of a low cost, harm-free way to avoid exposing yourself to unknown and potentially harmful chemicals, then why not?

When you bring vaccines into this analysis, it's dishonest to pretend that avoiding them has a low cost or is harm-free, or even to act like we don't know how they affect us.

We DO know that they will prevent certain diseases with a high degree of reliability. We DO know what harms those diseases will cause. We also know that if we vaccinate enough people, we will have herd immunity which protects people who (again, based on things we know) should not be vaccinated.

We DO know that there's no demonstrable link between vaccines and autism. That theory has been thoroughly debunked.

When people suggest that it's safer to avoid vaccines because of unknown danger (and particularly risk of autism), they are throwing out all that we DO know about vaccines.

If you have the choice between using pesticides in your backyard garden and not doing so, I think it's a valid choice to avoid using the pesticides because they might be harmful in some way that isn't completely understood. It may not be CORRECT, but I think it's a valid choice: by not using the pesticides, it's not like you are causing harm. Go for it. Pick the worms off the tomatoes and enjoy.

When you choose to forgo the many KNOWN and proven benefits of vaccination based on fear of unknown harms they might cause, you are doing something different - you are choosing known harms over unknown harms. And the known harms are bad. Choosing them should require some certainty that something worse is being avoided - and there isn't any scientific support for that kind of certainty. Quite the opposite.

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GaalDornick
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Thanks for your responses, guys.

I sent him the link theamazeeaz posted and this was his response:

quote:
Good article! Still, the analysis does not prove my point/belief. No one said that vaccines are the only cause of autism. I strongly believe as we've discussed before that it is the accumulation of toxins (vaccines included). Speak with parents who will tell you that within hours of a vaccine, they started seeing changes in their kids and I'll take a parents instinct over any possibly corrupt science research that will probably in ten years from now change their data bc of better quality research. And there are plenty of articles that show the accumulation of toxins and their possible effects.
The data changing in ten years is a big thing he always falls back on. He always uses lobotomies as an example saying that used to be what scientists believe was effective. His claim is that he doesn't trust vaccines are many things in modern medicine because in 10 years we're just going to find out how harmful it is.
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Rakeesh
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Eh. What a mish-mash. He'll take a 'parent's instincts' over scientific research-when it agrees with him. Most 'parent's instincts' scream at them 'get your kid vaccinated!' but he won't take those. He won't trust scientific research, because in ten years it might change-but he *will* trust articles about scientific research which validate his current opinion, when they show the 'accumulation of toxins and their possible effects'.

It's pretty clear that this person isn't going to change their mind on just about any abstract argument basis. I think the best you can do, if you wish to continue attempting to persuade him (which I don't criticize, btw, since it's for a good cause) is to point out obvious contradictions or falsehoods like this simply and quietly, and leave it at that.

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theamazeeaz
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He knows that vaccines have been used since the late 1700s, right? Sure, there are lot of things that people stopped doing because they were wrong (leeches, vapor theory), but vaccines really really aren't one of them.

The point of a meta-analysis is take every study and evaluate the methods, and look back. They've done that!

[ May 22, 2014, 10:48 AM: Message edited by: theamazeeaz ]

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Rakeesh
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Those are 'possibly corrupt' studies that could be changed in ten years anyway, rendering the meta-analysis useless and anyway, parental instincts.
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stilesbn
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There is also the argument that Penn and Teller put forth. Even if all these dire consequences of getting vaccinations were true (and they aren't, but if they were) the option of not getting them is much worse.

Youtube video

If any of you are familiar with the video already, this is the one without profanity.

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GaalDornick
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He sent me a follow-up:
quote:
And to answer the lead response, yes, agree there is less lead today then there was years ago. Quick question? Have there been a study on longevity of lead or other toxins in your body and it's risks? No. Most if not all the research that we read today show how these toxins do not effect the person immediately. It's like measuring someone's fat % an having them eat a mcdonalds burger and measuring the body fat% an hour later only to find out that it did not increase. But we know, over time, not only fat increases but also creates an environment for diseases to thrive in.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I'll take a parents instinct over any possibly corrupt science research that will probably in ten years from now change their data
I think this tells you everything you need to know about the value of having these discussions with him.
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GaalDornick
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The value of having these discussions stems from my nephew's health and safety. Not from trying to win the argument. FWIW, I have made some headway, with my sister at least. He has gotten two vaccine shots.
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GaalDornick
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He's not unintelligent. He just suffers from a common case of confirmation bias (something most people have to some extent) and conspiracy theory-itis.
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