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“Medical Voices” on vaccines: Brave, brave Sir Robin…

About a week and a half ago, the ever-ascerbic Mark Crislip applied his dry and devastating wit to a particularly silly bit of anti-vaccine propaganda from an anti-vaccine website, Medical Voices Vaccine Information Center (MVVIC). Written by a naturopath named David Mihalovic, the anti-vaccine propaganda in question was entitled 9 Questions That Stump Every Pro-Vaccine Advocate and Their Claims. Mihalovic’s article is an incredibly — shall we say? — target-rich environment full of logical fallacies (including straw men built to Burning Man dimensions at which Mihalovic aimed his flamethrower of burning ignorance and let loose with napalm-grade flaming nonsense), misinformation, and cherry picking. Dr. Crislip entitled his rejoinder, appropriately enough, Nine Questions, Nine Answers, and his methodical, oh-so-sarcastically complete deconstruction of Mihalovic’s deceptive and disingenuous “nine questions” showed that these questions stump no one who actually knows what he is talking about when it comes to vaccines. More than that, these “nine questions” also reveal an ignorance of vaccines so deep that a bathysphere probably couldn’t withstand the pressure at that depth. Truly, after reading Dr. Crislip’s post, I had to bow to the master. I may be capable of some fairly awesome insolence at times, but I’m hard-pressed to keep up with Dr. Crislip when he’s firing on all cylinders.

Being the ever-benevolent editor that I am and, as such, very proud of Mark’s effort, I decided that common courtesy would suggest that it would be a good idea to send a friendly note to the people behind Medical Voices, you know, just to let them know that their article had been greatly appreciated for its entertainment value. Well, maybe the e-mail wasn’t so friendly. I do recall using the words “nonsense,” “pseudoscience,” “misinformation,” and “despicable” somewhere in the mix. Antivaccine pseudoscience tends to bring that out in me, and it wasn’t a blog post, at least not on SBM. Be that as it may, over a week went by with no response, and I thought that we were being ignored. Oh, well, I thought, no big deal and nothing unexpected. Then, Monday morning, I found this e-mail in my in box from someone named Nick Haas:

Hello Dr. Gorski,

Would you like to debate on vaccines live and publicly over the Internet? You just need a computer and a headset. We could have two medical doctors on each side. We’ll figure out a moderator together.

Nick

A “live” debate. What is it with “live debates”? It seems that cranks always want to challenge those who criticize their misinformation and pseudoscience to “live debates.”

I perused the MVVIC website and quickly figured out who Nick Haas is. He’s listed as the president of something called the International Medical Council on Vaccination, which counts on its board of directors such anti-vaccine luminaries as Sherri Tenpenny, DO; Mayer Eisenstein, MD, JD, MPH; and Harold Buttram, MD, among others. Of note Buttram is the doctor who claims that shaken baby syndrome is a misdiagnosis for vaccine injury. Nick Hass, it turns out has this background:

Nick’s background is in sales and logistics. He is president of Medical Voices Vaccine Information Center. Nick earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Carthage College in 1998, majoring in both business administration and Spanish. Nick became interested in vaccines when he and his wife became pregnant. He was shocked as he learned about the true risks of vaccines, that their efficacy is grossly overstated, and that vaccines in fact are not responsible for disease eradication. After studying thousands of pages on vaccines and deciding he needed to get involved, Nick founded MVVIC, with all medical doctors on its boards. The organization gladly claims responsibility for sparking the interest of physicians and the public alike, leading them to the truth they did not learn in medical school or from their doctor. Nick and his wife Ana are parents of one unvaccinated son and live in southeast Wisconsin. Nick is not a healthcare provider.

Interestingly (to me at least), there was nothing there about Mr. Haas having a child with autism and viewing the autism as due to “vaccine injury,” which is the usual case for activists of this type. Still, it would appear that Mr. Haas is, like Jenny McCarthy, a graduate of the University of Google who thinks his Google knowledge trumps the science, epidemiology, and the knowledge of scientists who have spent their entire professional lives steeped in immunology and vaccine science. In any case, I had a hearty chuckle after reading the above and forwarded Nick’s message to the rest of the SBM crew, proposing a response. While I waited a day or so, apparently Mr. Haas was growing impatient, because a mere 13 or 14 hours after the first e-mail, I found this in my e-mail in box:

Greetings:

I am CCing all of you to respect your privacy. Each of you has contacted International Medical Council on Vaccination apparently because of the request Dr. David Gorski made that you do so in the comments section of an article published at sciencebasedmedicine.org. One of those who contacted us – and who is included on this e-mail – is Dr. David Gorski himself. While we’ve written off past attacks, we feel we have to respond to the direct challenge made (comment by David Gorski on 07 May 2010 at 8:17 am).

We would like to do much better than provide a refutation of one article on our site. I have sent Dr. Gorski an e-mail (see below) asking that he participate in an open debate via Internet. We would provide the forum and it would be open to the audience without charge, using a mediator both parties agree on.

I am sending this e-mail to all of you so as to provide further incentive for Dr. Gorski to acknowledge that we have responded and to further provide incentive that the sciencebasedmedicine.org crew accept the invitation to a public debate. We also ask that sciencebasedmedicine.org immediately post an acknowledgement of this offer in the comments section of the article. Please feel free to e-mail Dr. Gorski (gorskon@gmail.com) and ask him about his intentions.

Nick Haas

International Medical Council on Vaccination

I particularly like the part about wanting to do “much better” than providing a refutation on the MVVIC website. In actuality, the demand for a “public debate” is a favorite ploy of cranks everywhere. In fact, I’ve seen it used by every variety of crank I’ve ever encountered online, including alternative medicine supporters, anti-vaccinationists, HIV/AIDS denialists, Holocaust deniers, 9/11 Truthers, and believers in ghosts and the paranormal. In particular, I remember a woman named Casey Cohen trying to convince me to take part in a debate with Christine Maggiore a couple of years ago and then declaring victory when I declined.

Deborah Lipstadt, the renowned Holocaust expert who was sued for libel by Holocaust denier David Irving back in 2000 for referring to him as a Holocaust denier in her book, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, a libel suit that laid bare the U.K.’s excessively plaintiff-friendly libel laws a decade before the libel suit by the British Chiropractic Association against Simon Singh became a cause célèbre. Let me make one thing clear before I proceed: in using the example of Holocaust denial, I am not calling Mr. Haas or anyone associated with MVVIC a Nazi or anti-Semite. However, the techniques of dealing with evidence by anti-vaccinationists so resemble the techniques of Holocaust deniers that the comparison is hard to avoid, although difficult to make because of the toxic nature of even mentioning Holocaust denial. (In fact, I’ll also make a prediction: if Mr. Haas or anyone from MVVIC responds to this post, they’ll willfully misinterpret my use of Holocaust denial as an example of fallacious argumentation and complain that I’m calling them Nazis, bigots, or anti-Semites. I almost guarantee it.) In any case, Professor Lipstadt has stated clearly that she does not debate deniers and used the most apt simile I’ve seen about debating denialists, “Debating a denier is like trying to nail a blob of jelly to the wall.”

So, too, is debating anti-vaccine propagandists.

There are a number of compelling reasons why it is pointless at best and counterproductive at worst to debate a denier, denialist, crank, or whatever you want to call it. For one thing, for a debate to be an intellectually useful exercise, there should be two reasonable points of view being argued, points of view that have a sufficient amount of evidence to support them that it is not unreasonable to hold either view being debated. The evidence doesn’t have to be of equal quantity and quality on each side, of course, but it should at least be somewhere in the same ball park — or on the same planet. This isn’t a rule that is limited to just Holocaust deniers, either. Vaccine denialists (a.k.a. anti-vaxers), evolution denialists (a.k.a. creationists), scientific medicine denialists (a.k.a. alt-med mavens), HIV/AIDS denialists, or 9/11 Truthers, they all fall into this category. All of them desperately crave respectability. As much as they disparage mainstream thought in the disciplines that they attack, be it medicine, vaccines, history, or current events, they desperately crave to be taken seriously by the relevant disciplines. Being seen in the same venue, on the same stage, or on the same media outlet with relevant experts as an apparent equal gives them just what they want.

And some of them are really good at being the jelly that you can’t nail to the wall.

So, with the permission of Steve Novella and Mark Crislip, on Tuesday morning, I responded:

Mr. Haas,

You appear to have misinterpreted my intent. I was not challenging you or your writers to a public debate; I was simply making you aware of an excellent refutation by one of our bloggers of some egregious misinformation that one of your alleged “experts” has published on your website. We do not “debate” anti-vaccinationists. We use our blog to refute their misinformation. That is one reason why Science-Based Medicine exists.

Medical science is not decided by “public debates.” It is decided by evidence, experiments, and clinical trials. Fortunately, the vast preponderance of evidence is against the contentions that vaccines cause autism, that vaccines are somehow more dangerous than the diseases they prevent, that vaccines are loaded with “toxins,” or that they are ineffective, all arguments your “expert” made. Certainly your website does not provide any scientifically compelling evidence to refute what our blogger Dr. Crislip wrote. Even if we at SBM found publicly “debating” anti-vaccinationists to be anything other than a complete waste of our time, I have to be honest here: If your writer Mr. Mihalovic can’t even get some very basic scientific facts correct (or even find easily locatable studies using PubMed, as Dr. Crislip so amusingly showed), a “debate” with him would be even more pointless than usual attempts to debate anti-vaccinationists. (Google ‘Gish Gallop’ for one reason why.)

You or Mr. Mihalovic are, of course, more than welcome to respond in the comments of Dr. Crislip’s post or to try to refute him with evidence on your own website. We do not, however, feel obligated to give his views additional credence by doing an online debate.

David Gorski, MD, PhD
Managing Editor, Science-Based Medicine

Cc: Steve Novella, Mark Crislip

Mr. Haas was not pleased, and later on Tuesday I received this e-mail, again apparently sent to some sort of MVVIC mailing list and cc’d to Steve, Mark, and me:

Greetings: I have BCCed those of you who contacted International Medical Council on Vaccination regarding the Nine Questions article. Sciencebasedmedicine.org has declined giving us the opportunity to defend their attack via an open debate.

We consider ourselves to have done better than their and your request for a response. They have not done as much as acknowledge our reply where they have the article posted. They tell security to not let the other team in the arena and then pronounce themselves the winner to the fans.

This issue is closed; hence, for us. I won’t be replying to anything other than an acceptance on sciencebasedmedicine.org’s part — an acceptance that will never come — to debate the science live, open and fairly.

Thank you for having contacted International Medical Council on Vaccination.

Nick Haas
IMCV

Bottom line: We denied Mr. Haas his preferred forum, and, because he can’t refute what Mark wrote, he and his merry band of anti-vaccine propagandists retreated in a most ignominious fashion. However, being the ever-benevolent editor that I am, I thought I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge Mr. Haas’s reply where Mark’s article was posted, which is exactly what I’m doing now by writing this post. I’m acknowledging his “offer.” I’m also pointing out that his excuse not to respond to Dr. Crislip’s refutation of their propaganda piece is transparently obvious:

When science reared its ugly head, MVVIC bravely turned its tail and fled, although no doubt Mr. Haas will try to spin it as SBM running away.

The issue of whether to debate cranks like anti-vaccine propagandists is a question that comes up perennially in skeptical circles. I personally come down on the side that it is a pointless, no-win exercise for skeptics, although some, even those who mostly agree with the contention that it is pointless to debate pseudoscientists, sometimes relent because a lot of pressure is put on them. Even so, accepting is a bad idea the vast majority of the time, and most skeptics who have participated in such “debates” (pseudodebates, actually) usually have at least an inkling that it’s a bad idea when they agree to do them. Some skeptics agree to such debates, but these are generally the ones so good at public speaking and debate that they are not troubled overmuch by the Gish Gallop (although I would point out that even the most seasoned debater can be put on the defensive with this technique). Truly, though, these are the elite skeptics, speakers, and debaters. Disagreements over tactics aside, as Steve Novella pointed out in our e-mail exchanges, live debates are a terrible forum for science. Written discussions are much better.

That is what Mark Crislip did by writing his excellent detailed, question-by-question response to each of Mihalovic’s “nine questions” that supposedly “stump” everyone. That is how the published scientific literature works. Either Mr. Mihalovic, Haas, or any of the members of MVVIC are, of course, free to respond in writing as well, either in the comments of Mark’s original post or on the MVVIC website — or whatever website they desire. In fact, this very point reminds me of something. It’s not just debates that are a no-win situation for skeptics; it’s the very challenge to debate that is a no-win situation, and cranks know it. That’s why they do it! Consider: Why did Mr. Haas, upon receiving my somewhat snarky e-mail that had no challenge to a debate in it but rather contained a link to Mark’s post, along with some text taking MVVIC to task for publishing gross misinformation, leap immediately to “challenging” us to a debate? He didn’t even preface it by saying, “I think you’re wrong and here’s why” or something similar. No! He immediately issued a challenge to a “public debate” because it’s a tactic for trying to put the critic on the defensive without having to defend the tripe on his website with evidence. This tactic is effective at putting its victim into the aforementioned no-win situation, and very few of us are James T. Kirk beating the no-win Kobayashi Maru situation. If the skeptic refuses, cranks will crow that the supporter of science is “afraid” to debate. If the skeptic accepts, the cranks almost automatically win, because (1) they are seen in a forum as equals with scientists and skeptics and (2) they can do the Gish Gallop and few skeptics can effectively counter that. That’s why to me the lesser of two evils is to decline such “invitations,” be very clear about why, and be even more clear that we are happy to take Mr. Haas or his designees on in written form. That puts the ball back in their court. It won’t stop them from spinning this as us being afraid of them, but it helps.

I’ll finish by reiterating and expanding a bit on what I wrote in my e-mail to Mr. Haas: We do not “debate” pseudoscientists, anti-vaccinationists, and purveyors of dubious medical treatments. We use our blog to refute their misinformation and hopefully educate the public. That is one reason why Science-Based Medicine exists. Another reason is (sometimes, at least) to entertain while we educate. Of course, it’s fun, too, particularly e-mail exchanges with readers like Mr. Haas. Who knows? Maybe he or one of his “experts” will now take a crack at refuting Mark’s post. In the meantime, I’ve encouraged my fellow SBM bloggers to pick an article from the collection of pseudoscientific articles on the MVVIC website and give it the Mark Crislip treatment. Perhaps this despicable–oops, there I go again!–article by Harold Buttram presenting the pseudoscientific claim that shaken baby syndrome is in reality vaccine injury or this hilarious article by David Ayoub claiming that the AAP knows that vaccines cause autism.

ADDENDUM: It’s been pointed out in the comments that I forgot an excellent source that argues essentially the same thing I did, namely Brian Dunning’s Skeptoid podcast episode Should Science Debate Pseudoscience? I even remember listening to that episode! There are some great quotes there, too. Here’s one example:

The primary reason I oppose debates is that a debate, by definition, allows two competing views to be explored and compared, and arguments presented for each. The audience is expected to weigh these arguments and hopefully decide which one they found more compelling. The very nature of a debate presents science as if it is merely a competing opinion. When we agree to a debate, we are agreeing to drag science down to the level of a view that competes with pseudoscience. Simply by agreeing to the debate, we present the scientific method as being vulnerable to disassembly by fallacious pseudoscientific arguments. That’s the message we send: Science is not fact, science is merely opinion; and it’s as weak as any other.

Preach it, Brother Brian! Here’s another:

Going to debate at an event sponsored by the pseudoscience group is always a ridiculous waste of your time. You serve merely as a masturbation enabler for them. Next time, send them a stack of dirty magazines instead.

It has been argued that scientists have a huge advantage in debates because we have the facts on our side. Well, so we do, but that’s not an advantage at all. Rather, it’s a limitation. The audience members who are not scientists can rarely discriminate between facts and pseudofacts. The pseudoscientist has an unlimited supply of sources and claims and validations. He can say whatever he wants. If compelling rhetoric would benefit from any given argument, he can always make that argument. Pseudosciences have typically been designed around compelling rhetorical arguments. The facts of science, on the other hand, rarely happen to coincide with the best possible logic argument. Having the facts on your side is not an advantage, it’s a limitation; and it’s a limitation that’s very dangerous to the cause of science should you throw it onto the debate floor.

Brian’s exactly right. The problem with “debates” like this is that pseudoscience supporters are not limited by facts, science, clinical trials, and data. They can claim what they want, and then it’s up to the skeptic to try to shoot it down. If they cite some obscure, cherry picked study, for example, even experts in the field may not be aware of the study. If they’re aware of it, they may not be familiar enough with it to point out its flaws or why the data do not support its conclusions. Worse, pseudoscientists inevitably have huge quantities of factoids and obscure studies that they can pull out of their back pockets to throw skeptics off guard.

Posted in: Vaccines

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132 thoughts on ““Medical Voices” on vaccines: Brave, brave Sir Robin…

  1. weing says:

    “Medical science is not decided by “public debates.” It is decided by evidence, experiments, and clinical trials. ”

    I think that this cannot be repeated enough. This is science and not philosophy or politics.

  2. reasonablehank says:

    We have just had our own version of the Live Debate Gambit (TM) in Australia, with the same results.

  3. Th1Th2 says:

    “Medical science is not decided by “public debates.” It is decided by evidence, experiments, and clinical trials. ”

    ……and sacrificial lambs.

    I guess it’s time for these vaccine apologists to taste their own medicine.

  4. weing says:

    Wrong as usual. Only your quote is correct. You should probably repeat it a thousand times, but I bet it still wouldn’t penetrate your skull. Blessed are those who have eyes but will not see. I refuse to apologize for vaccines. I am grateful for them.

  5. DREads says:

    Thanks for the Gish Gallop reference. Nice Monty Python link! The Argument Clinic came to mind. Remember it?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQFKtI6gn9Y

    I completely agree it would be counterproductive to engage in an online debate. You are right that it would only give credence to the vaccine-autism fearmongering. If you’ve ever watched the O’Reilly Factor or Hannity&Colmes on Fox News, the debates are carefully engineered to belittle the guest’s position. Unless both debaters make an effort to engage in a debate free of logical fallacies backing up their argument with evidence, nothing productive can come of it.

    Aggressive personal attacks force you to spend more talk time than necessary defending things not relevant to your position. When the other side makes up facts, effort must be spent correcting them . . . effort that could be spent supporting your side. The other side can avoid taking a position when it’s convenient, by making their position unclear, or changing it when evidence is presented against it (e.g. changing the debate from MMR to thiomersal). The MVVIC’s reluctance to refute Dr. Crislip’s post by commenting on it on SBM speaks volumes. An offline back-and-forth commentary on SBM makes it harder for them to lead a debate toward dishonest and unproductive ends. A “live debate” would better enable them to mischaracterize your position. You made the most honest decision here by declining a live debate.

  6. BillyJoe says:

    I agree with the above but, unfortunately, in the eyes of most inexperienced readers of these exchanges, the MVVIC has won. Members and supporters of the MVVIC particularly will be gloating.
    But I also agree that it is a no win situation. To debate them would give them a prominence they do not deserve (like a certain particularly thick individual around here).

  7. Andrewasaurus says:

    I really don’t get the “movement”. How and why are they still around? I suppose it’s like the Fortean Society. Great post, as always.

  8. Rogue Medic says:

    Well, maybe it wasn’t so friendly. I do recall using the words “nonsense,” “pseudoscience,” “misinformation,” and “despicable” somewhere in the mix.

    As long as you didn’t use Upstart.

    Of note Buttram is the doctor who claims that shaken baby syndrome is a misdiagnosis for vaccine injury.

    How does he explain the imprints of the hands of the boyfriend, since it always seems to be the boyfriend that Big Pharma uses as the fall guy in these cases? Planted evidence?

    Disagreements over tactics aside, as Steve Novella pointed out in our e-mail exchanges, live debates are a terrible forum for science.

    As you pointed out earlier in the post, live debates may be useful, if there is an agreement about what is valid science and rational debate. When discussing a scientific matter (vaccine refusal is not a scientific matter) that is contested, there can be very useful discussions that lead to hypotheses worth studying.

    For example, if a couple of breast cancer researchers were to debate on the appropriate mammography schedule, this might be a productive and educational debate. If the debate is between a breast cancer researcher and a breast cancer denialist, the debate will be a waste of time.

    They seem to fancy themselves as Lion Tamers, when they do not even know what lions are. ;-)

  9. Zoe237 says:

    You know, Carl Sagan details in Broca’s Brain about how he got in trouble because he included UFOers (wth are they called) in some of his conferences and advocated respectful public debate. Evolution, too, has had it’s own public debate- the Scopes Trial. As a former debate team member, I’d like to see a public online debate, particularly as you can reach a lot more people who don’t read blogs. Televised would be even better. I prefer written myself, but writing is archaic for a good chunk of the population. :P

  10. David Gorski says:

    For example, if a couple of breast cancer researchers were to debate on the appropriate mammography schedule, this might be a productive and educational debate. If the debate is between a breast cancer researcher and a breast cancer denialist, the debate will be a waste of time.

    Agreed. There have to be two scientifically supportable positions. The anti-vaccine position is not scientifically supportable.

    For gray areas, it’s possible to argue whether a given position is a “crank” position or not. That is true. However, the anti-vaccine position as argued by “Medical Voices” is not even close to being in a gray area. It’s clearly pseudoscience.

  11. Scott says:

    Heh – when I read the first couple paragraphs, I had to double-check which blog I was actually at. You aren’t normally quite that Insolent here, though given the history it makes sense to respond on SBM.

  12. Watcher says:

    ……and sacrificial lambs.

    I guess it’s time for these vaccine apologists to taste their own medicine.

    LOL. I have no idea what this even means!

  13. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

    ……and sacrificial lambs.

    I guess it’s time for these vaccine apologists to taste their own medicine.

    Th1Th2, you don’t seem to understand vaccination. Vaccination preserves lives, it does not shorten or reduce them. It does this by introducing a small amount of non-infectious antigen that primes the immune system. This allows it to mount a thousand-fold stronger reaction when the antigen is re-encountered due to wild-type exposure, rather than the first exposure to infectious and dangerous organisms being rather muted, thus endangering the life of the individual. This is basic medical information, which would be available from even an introductory-level anatomy textbook found in any university library.

    The use of “taste” is an odd choice of words – vaccines are normally given via intramuscular injection. I believe only one of the polio vaccines is given orally, though seasonal influenza vaccines are often administered intranasally. However, individuals who are familiar with the evidence-base for vaccination will often eagerly recieve vaccines demonstrated effective through clinical trials. I myself got four vaccines last year, and bar a faint soreness in the shoulder lasting less than a weak, had no further symptoms (and did not succumb to influenza, as would be expected). So yes, often individuals who appreciate vaccination will “taste their own medicine” in the form of getting vaccinations to prevent deadly, debilitating, or simply inconvenient disease.

    As a final point, scientists do not “sacrifice” anything (though lab animals are often killed in order to examine them). Sacrifice is associated with faith-based systems of knowledge such as religion. Science is based on evidence, reported in peer-reviewed literature, which is then replicated, extended, compiled, dissected, and finally used as a springboard to further extend our knowledge of the universe through rigorous methodology. Faith, and lambs, are normally unnecessary for these purposes.

    We here at science-based medicine, particularly in the comments section, are always pleased to correct your misconceptions about well-established principles of medicine and immunology. If you have any futher confusion or difficulties, please phrase them in the form of a simple question, so we can respond most directly without having to interpret. Thank you, and have a nice day!

    And that is why text-based mediums of communication are superior to televised debate, because each point can be substantially dealt with, and no room for Gish to work his way up to a gallop.

  14. theshortearedowl says:

    There’s something else that tends to get ignored when these demands for “live debates” get thrown around; the sheer expanse of knowledge needed to do justive to what can be over a hundred years of scientific knowledge on a subject. To refute every one of the claims that, for example, creationists throw out would take a savant-like encyclopaedic knowledge of information on every aspect of evolution; even every aspect of biology! That is why written discourse is a far better arena.

    In fact, the best arena is the scientific literature itself; that’s why it’s there!

  15. Versus says:

    What’s up with the HON Code seal on the “International Medical Council on Vaccination” website?!? http://imcv.info/

  16. Draal says:

    Chicken! Bawk bawkbawk bawk!

    Maybe childish taunt tactics will be more effective.

    One downside of refusing to debate is that my stash of popcorn will go to waste.

  17. David Gorski says:

    What’s up with the HON Code seal on the “International Medical Council on Vaccination” website?!? http://imcv.info/

    Good question. I noticed that, but didn’t think this post was the place to mention it.

    Clearly the HON Code is meaningless as an indicator of any sort of reliability of content if a website as chock full of misinformation, pseudoscience, and anti-vaccine propaganda as MVVIC can get it.

  18. Draal says:

    Senor,
    Maybe it’s an over site but I think a plug for Brian Dunning’s podcast on “Should Science Debate Pseuodscience?” is in order.
    http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4167#

  19. Draal says:

    And here’s an example of what a moderated debate looks like when Dr. Novella is on stage.
    A debate: Homeopathy – Quackery or a key to the future of medicine?
    Author(s): Novella S, Roy R, Marcus D, et al.
    Source: JOURNAL OF ALTERNATIVE AND COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE Volume: 14 Issue: 1 Pages: 9-15 Published: JAN 2008
    http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acm.2007.0770

  20. David Gorski says:

    At the time I actually disagreed with Steve’s decision to take part in that debate. I did understand, however, why he agreed to do it and hoped for the best. Steve actually acquitted himself quite well under the circumstances.

  21. It’s exactly like the children’s book: “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie!”

    If you give a vaccine denier actual scientific evidence, he’s going to claim a pharma shill gambit to go against it. When science refutes his claims, he’s going to give the Gish gallop a try. Arguing in Gish gallop will remind him that he wants a public debate. Responding with empirical reality and declining the debate will remind him that he’s a vaccine denier, and when he remembers that he’s a vaccine denier, he’s going to want some credibility to go with it.

  22. Th1Th2 says:

    WLU,

    We here at science-based medicine, particularly in the comments section, are always pleased to correct your misconceptions about well-established principles of medicine and immunology. If you have any futher confusion or difficulties, please phrase them in the form of a simple question, so we can respond most directly without having to interpret. Thank you, and have a nice day!

    Speaking of which. Isn’t that science tells you that healthy and unmolested, that I mean unvaccinated, newborns have a ‘well-established’ set of innate defenses as well as adaptive mechanisms?

  23. Th1Th2 says:

    WLU,

    “We here at science-based medicine, particularly in the comments section, are always pleased to correct your misconceptions about well-established principles of medicine and immunology. If you have any futher confusion or difficulties, please phrase them in the form of a simple question, so we can respond most directly without having to interpret. Thank you, and have a nice day!”

    Speaking of which. Isn’t that science tells you that healthy and unmolested, that I mean unvaccinated, newborns have a ‘well-established’ set of innate defenses as well as adaptive mechanisms?

  24. Th1Th2 says:

    David Gorski,

    “Clearly the HON Code is meaningless as an indicator of any sort of reliability of content if a website as chock full of misinformation, pseudoscience, and anti-vaccine propaganda as MVVIC can get it.”

    Vaccination and natural exposure are a bunch of pseudoscience which are both based on faith. One who believes that a needle stick containing hideous antigens can save a newborn’s life and one who believes that intentional exposure to infectious diseases is essential.

  25. mikerattlesnake says:

    @Th1Th2

    Notice how most people here, when they have a point to make, will write nicely constructed paragraphs that establish, then support their ideas. Your comments are almost incomprehensible, and when one can understand what you are saying it seems bafflingly dense. Work on expressing yourself clearly and we might actually be able to respond in a meaningful way.

  26. Joe says:

    A public debate, or “presenting both sides” is a bad idea for technical topics. Adding to D Gorski and Weing on science, when we debate real controversies, and still disagree, it steers us in the direction of new experiments that can provide data to settle the issue.

    A problem with presenting “both sides” to the public and letting them decide, in the case of these manufactroversies, is illustrated by the fact that proponents of that approach often have looked at both sides and failed to recognize that one side is bogus.

  27. James Fox says:

    “Of note Buttram is the doctor who claims that shaken baby syndrome is a misdiagnosis for vaccine injury.”

    Wow, amazing how those cervical fractures, brain bleeds and damaged retinas could be caused by a vaccine. I confess that my first thought was that I’d punch this fool if I met him.

  28. Th1Th2 says:

    mikerattlesnake,

    Well, I do appreciate your concern but the inherent destructive nature of vaccines against the innate immune defenses of a naive child being perceived as the “greatest medical miracle” is certainly incomprehensible and illogical. It is an outrageous act of medical barbarism.

    If you want to discuss vaccination, you need to breach, bypass, evade and violate innate immunity– which is exactly what vaccines are supposed to do. But until then, stop messing around with a perfectly healthy newborn!

  29. Steve says:

    I think you could agree to a public debate..
    Just require that it be filmed and the audience be made up of qualified medical experts that you get to choose. When he refuses reflect back same nonsense that he spouts when he is denied an attempt to stack the deck.
    I think public ridicule and humiliation would counterbalance any sense of legitimacy he may gain by debating you. It would be fun to watch on you tube.

  30. chaos4zap says:

    I have watched, and heard, many debates go terriably wrong. For my money, Dr. Nuvella is my favorite to listen too. Steve is always on point and has this mind-numbing amount of details and facts in his back pocket. In the few I’ve heard, he has always stood his ground and stayed on point. There were a couple of interviews (dare I call them debates?) with that Jack*ss over at Skeptico and in my opinion…Dr. Nuvella has always SHREDDED him! I often wondered why the SGU spent so much time with back on forth with that guy, when he had so obviously drank the kool-aid near the very beggining of his supposed “journey” to find the truth. I don’t buy that for one second. He falls victims to the “They are nice people and they are very serious about their work and use terms that sound like science….so I will buy everything they say hook, line and sinker.” fallacy.

  31. Calli Arcale says:

    Greetings: I have BCCed those of you who contacted International Medical Council on Vaccination regarding the Nine Questions article. Sciencebasedmedicine.org has declined giving us the opportunity to defend their attack via an open debate.

    We consider ourselves to have done better than their and your request for a response. They have not done as much as acknowledge our reply where they have the article posted. They tell security to not let the other team in the arena and then pronounce themselves the winner to the fans.

    Oh, that is RICH!

    First, he obviously did not expect you’d actually post anything after he issued his “response” (which wasn’t a response at all, but rather a request to move to a more favorable venue to himself). Second, he concealed the identities of all to whom he sent his missive by using the “BCC” option. Third, he’s counting on his readers to be too STUPID to follow up and notice that he’s actually lying through his teeth.

    He wants his readers to think your challenge was *for* a public debate, rather than explicitly for a written response, so that he can then say “Waaah, they won’t let me respond! Waaah!”

    Grow up, grow a spine, grown some ‘nads, and *respond*, Mr Haas. If you’ve got the goods for a public debate, surely you can at least post a written response? Or do you not have the goods and were counting on the fact that in a verbal debate, you can always resort to shouting over the other person’s words? Really, Mr Haas, the only person stopping you from responding is *you*.

  32. mikerattlesnake says:

    “If you want to discuss vaccination, you need to breach, bypass, evade and violate innate immunity– which is exactly what vaccines are supposed to do.”

    Actually, if I want to discuss vaccination I need to find a proper venue and someone to discuss it with, analyze the relevant facts, and formulate an argument.

    As for your argument about what vaccines supposedly do, you seem to have a pretty uninformed view. Before I can determine HOW uninformed you’ll have to define ‘innate immunity’ for me. Understanding the importance of vaccines is only “incomprehensible and illogical” if you shield yourself from facts you don’t like.

  33. Chris says:

    Chaos4zap, I hope you mean Skeptiko (with a “k”), Alex Tsakiris and not this Skeptico. Mr. Tsakiris was a guest on this SGU podcast.

    The panel discussion on homeopathy that Dr. Novella participated is available for viewing here. He talks about it on this podcast (which has links to his two blog posts on the discussion). It was not actually a debate, there was no point/counterpoint and asking of questions between the participants. And is was a shame that the questions after the discussion were not recorded.

    Dr. Novella also has on his blog a written debate he had with Neal Adams. It is worth a look at, just to see why debates with true believers are pointless.

  34. Th1Th2 says:

    mikerattlesnake,

    “As for your argument about what vaccines supposedly do, you seem to have a pretty uninformed view. Before I can determine HOW uninformed you’ll have to define ‘innate immunity’ for me. Understanding the importance of vaccines is only “incomprehensible and illogical” if you shield yourself from facts you don’t like.”

    That’s exactly what innate immunity is. It ‘shields’ the body from things it doesn’t want. Hence, intentionally giving newborns hideous disease antigens is really ‘incomprehensible and illogical.’

  35. KB says:

    “That’s exactly what innate immunity is. It ’shields’ the body from things it doesn’t want. Hence, intentionally giving newborns hideous disease antigens is really ‘incomprehensible and illogical.’”

    Are you claiming that nothing makes it past the skin/mucous membranes of newborns? That you’d be OK with nasal spray vaccines because they don’t pierce the skin? That the danger of viruses and bacteria are not their ability to kill human cells, but some dinky sugar moieties or proteins on their surfaces?

  36. BillyJoe says:

    Even written debates can be a waste of time…

    mikerattlesnake: “define ‘innate immunity’ for me”
    thick&thicker: “It ’shields’ the body from things it doesn’t want.”

  37. Th1Th2 says:

    KB,

    “Are you claiming that nothing makes it past the skin/mucous membranes of newborns?”

    Only if you allow them to get infected. Apparently, vaccination is the earliest and the most effective way to breach the innate system of a newborn. It is so effective that non-indigenous disease antigens are able to gain unrestricted access deep in the muscle tissues.

    “That you’d be OK with nasal spray vaccines because they don’t pierce the skin?”

    I know you are talking about the FluMist. But then again, if your intention is to INFECT then you must be out of your mind.

    “FluMist contains live attenuated influenza viruses that must infect and replicate in cells lining the nasopharynx of the recipient to induce immunity.” http://www.medimmune.com/pdf/products/flumist_pi.pdf

    You know that induced immunity is not the same as innate immunity, don’t you?

    “That the danger of viruses and bacteria are not their ability to kill human cells, but some dinky sugar moieties or proteins on their surfaces?”

    So how do you plan to contaminate a newborn with “dinky sugar moieties or proteins”?

  38. Th1Th2 says:

    BillyJoe,

    Apparently, this guy here loves to swallow his own viscous sputum when he coughs or loves sniffing mucus back when he sneezes.

    Will someone give this guy some Kleenex please!

  39. Harriet Hall says:

    Th1Th2,

    You seem to be saying that newborns can be protected from infectious diseases without vaccination. How about giving us some supporting evidence? Do you know of any studies that compared healthy unvaccinated newborns to vaccinated ones and showed that the unvaccinated ones were better off in some way?

  40. KB says:

    “Apparently, vaccination is the earliest and the most effective way to breach the innate system of a newborn.”

    As opposed to, say, breathing. Or swallowing. Tonsils, those lymph organs right up front the respiratory/GI tract, detect antigens and develop adaptive immune responses against them. That’s not innate immunity. BAM. Minutes before vaccination, already been breached.

    “You know that induced immunity is not the same as innate immunity, don’t you?”

    I’ll be sure to infect myself with Hepatitis B instead of getting a booster vaccine, because it’s much better to get the disease, right? Like you said, they’re TOTALLY DIFFERENT!

    “So how do you plan to contaminate a newborn with “dinky sugar moieties or proteins”?”

    By injecting them into the extracellular fluid of a largish muscle, where it will drain to a lymph node where the immune system will be able to create immunity to it. Shocking. Worse things: the live viruses and bacteria killing your cells. Ouch.

  41. Chris says:

    BillyJoe:

    Even written debates can be a waste of time…

    Which the link to Dr. Novella’s written debate with Neal Adams shows.

    …. and anything to do with Th1/Th2.

  42. KB says:

    For the record, I’m procrastinating, not trying to get anything done.
    : )

  43. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

    Th1Th2,

    “Vaccination and natural exposure are a bunch of pseudoscience which are both based on faith. One who believes that a needle stick containing hideous antigens can save a newborn’s life and one who believes that intentional exposure to infectious diseases is essential.”

    Thank you for your interest in the SBM blog. Please note the topic index on vaccines, in which can be found a large number of scientific sources that clearly demonstrate that vaccination is not scientific. It can be found at:

    * http://sciencebasedmedicine.org/reference/category/vaccines/

    Note the large number of references, which indicates vaccination is neither based on faith, nor pseudoscientific. Also note several logical errors in your statement:

    * the theory and practice of vaccination does not indicate exposure to antigens guarantees a newborn will not die of a disease, only that it is highly correlated with both laboratory and clinical research supporting the idea that vaccination significantly reduces morbidity and mortality.

    * no supporters of vaccination believe that exposure to infectious diseases is essential, only that it is inevitable, and often dangerous. Vaccination is an intervention that has an excellent risk to benefit ratio that dramatically reduces harm caused by exposure to infectious diseases.

    * note that “faith” and “evidence” (the latter of which is essential to science) are antithetical. It is evidence that supports the use of vaccines, while anti-vaccination activists rely on faith to support their pre-existing beliefs that vaccination is harmful.

    Also note that ‘shielding’ the body from the outside world (via innate immunity) is certainly desirable, but has an ultimately imperfect nature because eventually such defences will fail, thus requiring the second line of adaptive immunity. In fact, many diseases which specifically infect humans have evolved specifically to bypass and reduce the effectiveness of “barrier’ types of innate immunity (as well as adaptive immunity, vis smallpox and other diseases carried from European cities to North American Natives, with a lethality rate on the order of 95% – had they had vaccinations, doubtless most could have been spared the massive die-off that accompanied Columbus’ 1492 arrival). Evolution may be unguided, but it shows every indication of hating us.

  44. Th1Th2 says:

    KB,

    “As opposed to, say, breathing. Or swallowing. Tonsils, those lymph organs right up front the respiratory/GI tract, detect antigens and develop adaptive immune responses against them. That’s not innate immunity. BAM. Minutes before vaccination, already been breached. ”

    You do not call that a breach. It is just the colonization of indigenous microbiota aka normal flora. Even though they are essential to hold pathogenic microorganisms in check, they are also restricted by the innate system from invading the internal tissues, such as blood, lymph, brain, CSF, muscles etc. The adaptive immune response only happens when a breach occurs such as when you intentionally inoculate a newborn with disease antigens into the muscle tissues.

    “I’ll be sure to infect myself with Hepatitis B instead of getting a booster vaccine, because it’s much better to get the disease, right? Like you said, they’re TOTALLY DIFFERENT! ”

    And why would you want to get infected with HbsAg in the first place? I was hoping a sane person would refuse such a thing.

    “By injecting them into the extracellular fluid of a largish muscle, where it will drain to a lymph node where the immune system will be able to create immunity to it. Shocking. Worse things: the live viruses and bacteria killing your cells. Ouch.”

    Apparently, immunity does not start in the lymph nodes. Where did you learn such superstitious belief? Do you want me to tell you how live viruses and bacteria can gain entry to the cells?

  45. KB says:

    “Do you want me to tell you how live viruses and bacteria can gain entry to the cells?”

    I would love to hear you explain this. Please do. In as much detail as you can muster.

  46. tukchen says:

    Th1Th2,

    “You do not call that a breach. It is just the colonization of indigenous microbiota aka normal flora.”

    Mmm mmmm. Special pleading is among us men, look out.

    “I know you are talking about the FluMist. But then again, if your intention is to INFECT then you must be out of your mind.”

    “Infect” is not an accurate decription of the mechanism behind a vaccine. I quote from Wikipedia:

    “In an infection, the infecting organism seeks to utilize the host’s resources to multiply, usually at the expense of the host.”

    Vaccines do not contain a virus that is capable of multiplying in the human body and thus cannot destroy any cells. Vaccines generally contain a ‘dead’ or similar virus that infects another species that simulates what the virus capable of infecting a human ‘looks’ like to the immune system of a body.

    “Apparently, immunity does not start in the lymph nodes. Where did you learn such superstitious belief?”

    Oh the irony, its oh so delicious.

  47. Th1Th2 says:

    Harriet,

    “You seem to be saying that newborns can be protected from infectious diseases without vaccination. How about giving us some supporting evidence? ”

    Both innate and adaptive immunity are present at birth. Rather than being immunologically null, newborns have well-developed and sophisticated immune response. Now if you want to challenge their innate resistance to infectious diseases, you could either have them inoculated with disease antigens or exposed them to natural infection. But who would do such a ghastly thing?

    “Do you know of any studies that compared healthy unvaccinated newborns to vaccinated ones and showed that the unvaccinated ones were better off in some way?”

    No, I don’t. But if there is, I would love to see vaccine apologists to be exposed naturally from poliovirus to HPV.

  48. Th1Th2 says:

    KB,

    “I would love to hear you explain this. Please do. In as much detail as you can muster.”

    Did you just say you wanted to be injected? “Shocking”

  49. KB says:

    “Did you just say you wanted to be injected? ‘Shocking’”

    So, you have no idea?

  50. Science Mom says:

    The adaptive immune response only happens when a breach occurs such as when you intentionally inoculate a newborn with disease antigens into the muscle tissues.

    And when infectious diseases invade the host.

    Now if you want to challenge their innate resistance to infectious diseases, you could either have them inoculated with disease antigens or exposed them to natural infection. But who would do such a ghastly thing?

    And how, pray tell, do prevent exposure to natural disease?

  51. cloudskimmer says:

    In creationism/evolution debates, the creationists never present any evidence of the validity of their claims; their focus is to raise illusory controversies to cast doubt on evolution. I think it was Isaac Asimov who advocated debating by demanding evidence for their unsupported claims. In this case, I wrote as Dr. Gorski suggested, but I didn’t ask for a debate on vaccination; instead I’d asked for some evidence to support naturopathy. And it does show lack of conviction on their part to fail to respond to the questions Dr. Crislip raised, or to admit that he effectively answered all of their questions very well.

    Th1Th2: On what basis do you believe that unvaccinated newborns are better off than unvaccinated ones? You admitted to having no evidence, so why are you not simply agnostic on the subject?

    More broadly, what is the source of your anger and hostility? Are you an ND, homeopath, acupuncturist or other alt med practitioner? Was someone close to you harmed by a medical practitioner? What emotional stake to you have in this that causes you to disregard valid evidence in favor of your own unsupported beliefs?

  52. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

    “You do not call that a breach. It is just the colonization of indigenous microbiota aka normal flora. Even though they are essential to hold pathogenic microorganisms in check, they are also restricted by the innate system from invading the internal tissues, such as blood, lymph, brain, CSF, muscles etc.”

    So, when an E. coli chews a hole in your intestine, that’s just the normal microbiotic flora…doing what? Say, when your skin or mucus membrane is punctured by, say, your own teeth, or a stick, or a scratch from a nail and Clostridium tetani gets into your into your body, would you rather be vaccinated, or unvaccinated?

    “The adaptive immune response only happens when a breach occurs such as when you intentionally inoculate a newborn with disease antigens into the muscle tissues.”

    Or when virtually any break in the skin or tissues allows in pathogenic bacteria and viruses such as happens on a daily basis, that’s…better?

    “Both innate and adaptive immunity are present at birth. Rather than being immunologically null, newborns have well-developed and sophisticated immune response. Now if you want to challenge their innate resistance to infectious diseases, you could either have them inoculated with disease antigens or exposed them to natural infection. But who would do such a ghastly thing?”

    Where do I sign up to do that ghastly thing! If I could have it my way, I’d vaccinate every single damned baby on the planet for a generation, thus eliminating an enormous set of deadly diseases (like we almost did with polio) and eliminating the need for future vaccinations! Yup, in a second.

    Incidentally, no-one is challenging that babies have sophisticated immune systems, in fact vaccinations take advantage of that. Thanks to the wonders of modern science and medicine, we can give babies and adults controlled doses of specific antigens, thus increasing the body’s ability to resist those same antigens at a future date. Sophisticated doesn’t mean perfect, and vaccination gooses the immune system to make it more effective. We’re accomplishing in one needle prick what would take the regular immune system several generations and untold suffering and death to evolve towards. Technology is Lamarckian, not Darwinian!

  53. Science Mom says:

    Both innate and adaptive immunity are present at birth. Rather than being immunologically null, newborns have well-developed and sophisticated immune response.

    Yes, but they still have deficits such as B-cell clonal expansion to polysaccharide-encapsulated bacteria.

  54. Harriet Hall says:

    Me: “Do you know of any studies that compared healthy unvaccinated newborns to vaccinated ones and showed that the unvaccinated ones were better off in some way?”

    Th1Th2 “No, I don’t.”

    Me: We have plenty of evidence that vaccinated infants are better off, i.e. are less likely to develop symptoms of the disease, less likely to be hospitalized, less likely to die. Since we have evidence of benefit from vaccination and you have no evidence of benefit from not vaccinating, why do you support not vaccinating?

  55. Th1Th2 says:

    WLU,

    “the theory and practice of vaccination does not indicate exposure to antigens guarantees a newborn will not die of a disease, only that it is highly correlated with both laboratory and clinical research supporting the idea that vaccination significantly reduces morbidity and mortality.”

    But thru vaccination, the newborn is 100% guaranteed to have received the hideous HbsAg. How about the chance of not getting one? I would love to be HbsAg-free, wouldn’t you?

    “no supporters of vaccination believe that exposure to infectious diseases is essential, only that it is inevitable, and often dangerous. Vaccination is an intervention that has an excellent risk to benefit ratio that dramatically reduces harm caused by exposure to infectious diseases.”

    Neither one of them is essential and a physiological need of a healthy newborn. They are all worthless, harmful and dangerous. It’s just like simply saying a mild sexual harassment is better than getting raped. But again who would want to be subjected to such despicable acts?

    “note that “faith” and “evidence” (the latter of which is essential to science) are antithetical. It is evidence that supports the use of vaccines, while anti-vaccination activists rely on faith to support their pre-existing beliefs that vaccination is harmful. ”

    Vaccines are not just harmful but inherently destructive. Apparently, the evidence of harm does not exist in the medical vocabulary. They are just being labeled as side-effects.

    “Also note that ’shielding’ the body from the outside world (via innate immunity) is certainly desirable, but has an ultimately imperfect nature because eventually such defences will fail, thus requiring the second line of adaptive immunity.”

    And the earliest and quickest way to break through this defense takes place when the newborn is injected with disease antigens. BTW, anatomical barriers are just one factor that comprise the innate system. There are at least nine intrinsic barriers that protect a healthy newborn without requiring any adaptive immune response.

  56. Th1Th2 says:

    Science Mom,

    “Yes, but they still have deficits such as B-cell clonal expansion to polysaccharide-encapsulated bacteria.”

    Are you implying newborns do not possess such defense against PS encapsulated bacteria?

  57. Science Mom says:

    Are you implying newborns do not possess such defense against PS encapsulated bacteria?

    I am stating that infants lack the ability to mount an adequate humoral response to polysaccharides. Innate immunological defences can be overcome by such encapsulated bacteria.

  58. Th1Th2 says:

    Harriet,

    Do you have any evidence to show that the unvaccinated are more susceptible to acquire exogenous diseases let alone extraneous disease antigens?

    Who has the greater risk of acquiring HbsAg, a newborn whose parents have refused inoculation, or a newborn who is about to be inoculated with HbsAg?

    How about Poliovirus type 1,2 and 3?

    Rotavirus?

    How about these influenza viruses? A/South Dakota/6/2007
    (H1N1) (an A/Brisbane/59/2007-like), A/Uruguay/716/2007 (H3N2) (an A/Brisbane/10/2007-like), and
    B/Brisbane/60/2008.

  59. KB says:

    Antigens are not diseases.

  60. Th1Th2 says:

    Science Mom,

    “I am stating that infants lack the ability to mount an adequate humoral response to polysaccharides. Innate immunological defences can be overcome by such encapsulated bacteria.”

    That is demonstrably false. Why would you want the infant to have secondary immune response (humoral) to LPS encapsulated bacteria, when this microorganisms are easily mediated and cleared more efficiently and rapidly thru the innate immune system? Although neonates have immature B cells, this does not imply they lack the capability to make antibodies against PS antigens. In fact the neonate has a higher percentage of B cells than the adult. Regardless, antibody production does not correlate to protective immunity.

  61. Th1Th2 says:

    KB,

    “Antigens are not diseases.”

    The difference between an IPV and a wild-type poliovirus is formalin. How about FluMist, MMR, Varivax, Rotarix/Rotateq etc compared to their respective wild-type versions?

  62. KB says:

    “The difference between an IPV and a wild-type poliovirus is formalin.”

    That’s a pretty big difference. So what you’re saying is, polio antigens are not the same as polio disease. You cannot get a polio infection from IPV. Please explain how the antigens are dangerous, because that has not been established.

  63. weing says:

    It makes no sense to debate Th1. He has no idea what disease is. He makes claims but has no evidence to support it. He rejects clinical evidence as it does not support his delusional claims. It’s a waste of time. It’s akin to debating someone that believes the moon is made of green cheese. You won’t convince them. You know that they are ignorant morons and deserve only ridicule. When you debate them you are actually legitimizing their stupidity as a valid scientific approach to the audience that doesn’t know science from crap and frankly should not be expected to. Maybe teaching the use of the Goldman criteria that Massimo Pigliucci writes about in Nonsense on Stilts would be more productive.

  64. Th1Th2 says:

    KB,

    “You cannot get a polio infection from IPV.”

    Do you remember the Cutter Incident?

  65. Composer99 says:

    Th1Th2′s style of argumentation seems to be to repeat, over and over and over (and over and over and over), the same half-truths, misrepresentations, misinterpretations, and outright lies.

    It’s getting to the point where we simply ought to expect Th1Th2 to be the SBM comment thread’s equivalent to Lillian Hellman.

  66. KB says:

    Please explain how the antigens are dangerous, because that has not been established.

  67. Wolfy says:

    @Th1Th2

    “Do you remember the Cutter Incident?”

    This was human error–something that occurs in all industries and in all countries.

  68. Th1Th2 says:

    WTU,

    “So, when an E. coli chews a hole in your intestine, that’s just the normal microbiotic flora…doing what? Say, when your skin or mucus membrane is punctured by, say, your own teeth, or a stick, or a scratch from a nail and Clostridium tetani gets into your into your body, would you rather be vaccinated, or unvaccinated? ”

    Well, if you are going to eat thumbtacks to create punctures to your intestines then the somewhat harmless E. coli can become pathogenic.

    “Or when virtually any break in the skin or tissues allows in pathogenic bacteria and viruses such as happens on a daily basis, that’s…better?”

    Well, I do not get cuts everyday, do you? Nor I expose my cuts to a reservoir of pathogenic bacteria and viruses. Is it necessary?

    “Where do I sign up to do that ghastly thing! If I could have it my way, I’d vaccinate every single damned baby on the planet for a generation, thus eliminating an enormous set of deadly diseases (like we almost did with polio) and eliminating the need for future vaccinations! Yup, in a second.”

    That is farcical. As long as disease antigens are present, diseases cannot be extirpated. And you know where to find those antigens, right?

    “Thanks to the wonders of modern science and medicine, we can give babies and adults controlled doses of specific antigens, thus increasing the body’s ability to resist those same antigens at a future date.”

    The immune system is designed to resist and eliminate invading antigens from causing infection; vaccination, however, does the exact opposite.

    “Sophisticated doesn’t mean perfect, and vaccination gooses the immune system to make it more effective. We’re accomplishing in one needle prick what would take the regular immune system several generations and untold suffering and death to evolve towards.”

    Do you want to see real suffering and death? It happens to be in a place where any aspect of care is being ruled by syringes and needles. That is not hard to find, isn’t it?

  69. Th1Th2 says:

    Wolfy,

    So the iatrogenic paralysis wasn’t caused by the poliovirus in the vaccine, is that what you meant?

  70. Zoe237 says:

    “There’s something else that tends to get ignored when these demands for “live debates” get thrown around; the sheer expanse of knowledge needed to do justive to what can be over a hundred years of scientific knowledge on a subject. To refute every one of the claims that, for example, creationists throw out would take a savant-like encyclopaedic knowledge of information on every aspect of evolution; even every aspect of biology! That is why written discourse is a far better arena.

    In fact, the best arena is the scientific literature itself; that’s why it’s there!”

    This is very true. In fact, when I skim the “debate” with th1th2 I cringe thinking of it broadcasted because it’s just so pointless. But I think with a good moderator, many of the concerns would be minimized. I just don’t see any other alternative in order to reach more people and make science more accessible to people. I don’t know what the anwer is, but I do think any of the authors here would do fabulously taking on these issues on camera.

  71. Harriet Hall says:

    Th1Th2 said “Do you want to see real suffering and death? It happens to be in a place where any aspect of care is being ruled by syringes and needles. That is not hard to find, isn’t it?”

    Apparently it IS hard to find, since you admitted you couldn’t find any studies showing that unvaccinated infants are better off than vaccinated ones.

  72. Chris says:

    weing:

    It makes no sense to debate Th1.

    From The Princess Bride:

    You fell victim to one of the classic blunders – The most famous of which is “never get involved in a land war in Asia”

    The modern version of that is to ignore trolls. The above questions directed at Th1/Th2 have all been asked in earlier threads. He/she has not answered with any form of evidence, or coherency.

    Just ignore Th1/Th2. He/she does not contribute to the discussion, and most importantly does not learn because his/her mind is welded shut. Trolls tend to go away if they are ignored.

  73. KB says:

    OK, OK, I’ll stop feeding the troll, even though he hasn’t answered my question as to how, exactly, antigens are dangerous. (One last jab.)

  74. Th1Th2 says:

    Harriet,

    “Apparently it IS hard to find, since you admitted you couldn’t find any studies showing that unvaccinated infants are better off than vaccinated ones.”

    No, it’s not because no such studies do exist. It is not known how many infections are dealt solely by the nonadaptive mechanisms of innate immunity unless someone who is unvaccinated is willing to be infected.

    You yourself cannot find a study that says the unvaccinated are more susceptible to exogenous diseases.

    Primum non nocere.

  75. Th1Th2 says:

    KB,

    “OK, OK, I’ll stop feeding the troll, even though he hasn’t answered my question as to how, exactly, antigens are dangerous. (One last jab.)”

    What kind of antigens are we talking here, vaccine antigens that can cause paralytic poliomyelitis? Or the ovalbumin?

  76. Th1Th2 says:

    Harriet,

    “We have plenty of evidence that vaccinated infants are better off, i.e. are less likely to develop symptoms of the disease,”

    I was expecting the vaccinated are less likely to contract diseases. Hmmm, no wonder most inoculees in the infamous Cutter Incident had not only developed artificially acquired active immunity from the poliovirus vaccine but also had to suffer from abortive poliomyelitis concomitantly. Unfortunately, some were also paralyzed. Intentional? Absolutely.

  77. Rogue Medic says:

    @ Th1Th2 – on 20 May 2010 at 9:22 pm

    But thru vaccination, the newborn is 100% guaranteed to have received the hideous HbsAg. How about the chance of not getting one? I would love to be HbsAg-free, wouldn’t you?

    No.

    Absolutely not.

    Hepatitis B is dangerous. Going through life without any protection against it, just because you are willing to bet that you will not encounter anyone capable of transmitting the illness is foolish.

    Making that decision for a child is wrong.

    Vaccines are not just harmful but inherently destructive. Apparently, the evidence of harm does not exist in the medical vocabulary. They are just being labeled as side-effects.

    There is always a balance between risk and benefit. You do not seem to understand that. The benefit from vaccines is much greater than the risk.

    When presented with this, anti-vaccinationists will claim that the extremely rare injury from a vaccine is to be avoided at all costs.

    There are real problems with that attempt at reasoning that is used:

    The number of people harmed by the illness is larger than the number of people harmed by the vaccine.

    The harm from the illness is greater than the harm from the vaccine.

    The only time that this will ever change is when the illness is so close to eradication, that the disease is itself rare. At this point, it is not wise to decide to take the risk of not vaccinating, because that decision leads to outbreaks of the disease and greater risk from the illness.

    The risk of not vaccinating is still greater than the risk of vaccinating. The only time not vaccinating does not leads to more disease is when the disease has been eradicated.

    This is a good article to read (it should be available at your library):

    A piece of my mind: the harm of “first, do no harm”.
    Shelton JD.
    JAMA. 2000 Dec 6;284(21):2687-8. No abstract available.
    PMID: 11105155 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    This article explains the error behind the expectation that any treatment will ever be completely without risk.

    Expecting a risk-free world is a demonstration of a lack of touch with reality.

  78. BillyJoe says:

    I know it’s pointless.

    thick&thicker: “Primum non nocere.”
    Rogue Medic: “Expecting a risk-free world is a demonstration of a lack of touch with reality.”

    If you first do no harm (through side effects of vaccines) by not vaccinating, but cause a greater harm in the long run through the morbidity and mortality of the disease not prevented, what exactly have you achieved in the long run but harm?

    If “first do no harm” rules you could not perform an appendicectomy for fear of possible first harm from the anaesthetic; you could not treat meningitis for fear of first harm from anaphylaxis to penicillin; you could not treat childhood leukaemia for fear of first harm from aplastic anaemia.

  79. Rogue Medic says:

    BillyJoe,

    I don’t know if you were directing your comments at me. I thought I made myself clear that the harm from not vaccinating is much greater than any harm from vaccinating.

  80. Dawn says:

    @Rogue Medic: I think BillyJoe was addressing the troll in his comments (after he quoted your sensible phrase), not directing his comments at you – at least that’s how I read it.

    Re: HepB. My cousin just called me in a panic since her child was bitten badly by another child while in daycare, and child2 has a history of hepB. I was able to reassure her that since her child had been vaccinated, the odds were very good that child was safe, especially since the blood tests done showed her child has a good level of antibodies against hepB. (story may be a little confused, but cousin was, understandably, quite upset).

    Now, I’m sure troll1troll2 would blame the fact that child is in daycare instead of safely at home with mom, but since mom is a single mom (deadbeat dad took off last year), mom is the solo breadwinner. Hooray for vaccines which most likely protected my precious little cousin from getting a horrible disease.

  81. Science Mom says:

    That is demonstrably false. Why would you want the infant to have secondary immune response (humoral) to LPS encapsulated bacteria, when this microorganisms are easily mediated and cleared more efficiently and rapidly thru the innate immune system?

    Yet, you haven’t demonstrated that my statement is false. It is not a question of what I want, it is a matter of the evolutionary adaptations of the human immune system and the adaptations of pathogens to evade host defences. Polysaccharide allows the bacteria to evade innate responses such as blocking complement.

    Although neonates have immature B cells, this does not imply they lack the capability to make antibodies against PS antigens. In fact the neonate has a higher percentage of B cells than the adult. Regardless, antibody production does not correlate to protective immunity.

    Infants most certainly do lack the capacity to produce sufficient antibodies and immunological memory to clear polysaccharide encapsulated bacteria and antibody production is protective immunity. If you were correct, then no immunocompetent infant would ever have invasive disease from say, Hib. Is that the case?

  82. overshoot says:

    I really do have to admire the ability to hijack a thread into the same totally unproductive vortex as so many before it.

    In case nobody has noticed, every single one of the “innate immunity” questions and evasions is a repeat from the previous vaccination thread — nothing ever changes.

  83. Wolfy says:

    @Th1/Th2

    Based on what I’ve read on prior threads, I suppose it is useless to argue with you. But, WTF. . .

    t is my understanding that the IPV was contaminated by live vaccine. This is a quality control imperfection which happens in ALL industries: vaccine, pharmaceutical, automotive, airline, etc. It is human error. It has nothing to do with the IPV actually causing illness as your prior comment insinuated.

  84. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

    “But thru vaccination, the newborn is 100% guaranteed to have received the hideous HbsAg. How about the chance of not getting one? I would love to be HbsAg-free, wouldn’t you?”

    A controlled dose of HBsAg (i.e. a vaccine) would mean I become resistant to HepB if I’m exposed to it in the future. I’d love to be guaranteed HBsAg free for life, but since I can’t guarantee that, as a rational being I’ll take a low-risk, high-benefit precaution. There’s nothing inherently bad about exposure to an antigen – it’s when that antigen causes symptoms (and death) that it’s an issue. There is no immune garden of Eden to return to – we’ll all be exposed to disease, and it makes a lot more sense to reduce the danger than to pine for a Platonic ideal of cleanliness that is impossible to achieve. “Having” HBsAg means your body will produce an immune response. A controlled dose means the immune response safely eliminates the antigen. An uncontrolled infection means you could die. I’d rather “have” the antigen in the form of a vaccine than an active infection.

    “They are all worthless, harmful and dangerous. It’s just like simply saying a mild sexual harassment is better than getting raped. But again who would want to be subjected to such despicable acts?”

    Comparing vaccination to rape is quite the over-reaction, as well as being totally incorrect. While rape and infection are comparable (both are bad things) vaccination is more like self-defence training in that it is preventive. But it’s not a perfect analogy, and with prejudicial rhetoric like that it’s only likely to get worse. I’ll stick to data, rather that flawed analogies.

    “Vaccines are not just harmful but inherently destructive. Apparently, the evidence of harm does not exist in the medical vocabulary. They are just being labeled as side-effects.”

    All medicine has side effects; we know what they are, we can measure them, and compare them to the risks of the disease itself. There is plenty of evidence of harm, but there’s even better evidence of benefit. Again, what evidence is there that vaccines are “inherently destructive”? What evidence is there that all people, or even a significant portion of people, who are vaccinated go on to sustain vaccine-linked harm? There has been many investigations, and they consistently came up negative.

    “There are at least nine intrinsic barriers that protect a healthy newborn without requiring any adaptive immune response.”

    Sure, that’s fine, but each of those nine barriers eventually fail – or we wouldn’t have or need an adaptive immune response. The complexity of our immune response is ample evidence that there has been consistent, sustained evolutionary pressure on the adaptive immune response to become more and more effective. However, these advantages are offset by an equivalent drive from the infectious agents.

    “The difference between an IPV and a wild-type poliovirus is formalin. How about FluMist, MMR, Varivax, Rotarix/Rotateq etc compared to their respective wild-type versions?”

    Not really – the difference is that vaccines are generally either killed-virus particles, or polysaccharide fragments from a bacteria, or live-type viruses that have been passed through multiple animal hosts, thus weakening their infective ability to humans. There is a substantial difference between what you find in a vaccine and an actual, full-on infectious agent.

    “Well, if you are going to eat thumbtacks to create punctures to your intestines then the somewhat harmless E. coli can become pathogenic.”

    O157:H7 creates punctures all by themselves, no thumbtacks needed. Several bacterial do this, to gain access to the bloodstream. They’re rarer now because of increased surveillance and greater awareness of food hygiene, but they still exist.

    “Well, I do not get cuts everyday, do you?”

    Yes, every time I brush my teeth, floss, have sex with my wife (microtrauma on the penis is what allows HIV particles to enter the body), accidentally staple my hand, scrape against a wall, trip and catch myself with my hands (often in tetanus-causing dirt), etc. Just because you can’t see a cut, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Bacteria and viruses are too small to be seen, but still cause disease and death. It’s tremendously egocentric to believe that all events that exist happen on a scale that is meaningful to humans. Do you live in some sort of impenetrable, celibate bubble? Do you edit the internet via dictation?

    “As long as disease antigens are present, diseases cannot be extirpated.”

    Smallpox

    “The immune system is designed to resist and eliminate invading antigens from causing infection; vaccination, however, does the exact opposite”

    That’s wrong – vaccination exposes the immune system to antigens to prime it, allowing rapid production of antibodies upon subsequent exposure to the pathogen. Vaccinations are designed to help the body resist and eliminate invading pathogens that produce antigens. I suggest starting your research with a review of the Wikipedia page on immunity – the basic information there would correct a large number of your misapprehensions.

    “Do you want to see real suffering and death? It happens to be in a place where any aspect of care is being ruled by syringes and needles. That is not hard to find, isn’t it?”

    Not at all hard to find, they’re called hospitals (or, for that matter, acupuncture clinics). The former are where you go when O157:H7 makes you pee blood out of your anus, or vaccination-preventable measles cause encephalitis. Or where you go when an acupuncturist accidentally jams a needle into your aorta.

    The only reason I play this game is for any unconvinced readers reviewing the comments to see that Th1Th2’s comments are based on a misrepresentation of science and inaccurate absolutism regarding medicine. Debating Th1Th2 is, of course, pointless as s/he will never change. But refuting specific points underscores just how unreasonable his/her starting point is.

  85. Chris says:

    I gathered from quotes of the troll above that he/she said “I would love to be HbsAg-free, wouldn’t you?” (I don’t even bother what he/she writes). This would seem to imply he/she had the vaccine as an infant, making him/her less than twenty years old (since the strategy to vaccinate infants started in 1991).

    He/she is possibly an adolescent who thinks he/she is being smart, and is immune to any correction. All the more reason to ignore him/her. Just point out that her/his questions were dealt with in previous threads.

  86. Wolfy says:

    @chris:

    “but only slightly less well-known is this: ‘Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line!’ Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha–”

    Sorry. It’s one of my favorite movies :)

  87. Th1Th2 says:

    Science Mom,

    “Polysaccharide allows the bacteria to evade innate responses such as blocking complement.”

    Now what kind of psuedo-science is that? You should be aptly called “pseudo-science mom”. Please do some research before you make some unfounded ideas, OK?

    Now read this.

    “Capsular polysaccharides belong to the TI-2 class of thymus-independent antigens (see Section 9-11) and therefore can stimulate the early production of IgM antibodies. IgM is not an opsonizing antibody in itself, as there are no Fc receptors for IgM, but it is effective at activating the complement system. IgM binding to encapsulated bacteria thus triggers opsonization of these bacteria by complement and their prompt ingestion and destruction by phagocytes bearing complement receptors.”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/bookshelf/br.fcgi?book=imm&part=A1233#A1236

    Like I have been saying newborns are equipped with both innate and adaptive mechanisms. In fact, fetal production of IgM have been observed as early as 10th weeks of gestation.

    ——-
    “Infants most certainly do lack the capacity to produce sufficient antibodies and immunological memory to clear polysaccharide encapsulated bacteria and antibody production is protective immunity. If you were correct, then no immunocompetent infant would ever have invasive disease from say, Hib. Is that the case?”

    Neonates are immunocompetent. They have naturally acquired passive immunity thru transplacental transfer of maternal IgG and thru breastfeeding. In addition, they are also capable of producing self-derived immunoglobulins. HiB, FYI, is not an invasive disease but rather an iatrogenic disease. HiB thus begin to colonize the infants skin, conjunctiva, mouth and throat from the moment of birth and would eventually become a normal flora. They are NOT invasive because they are well restricted by the infant’s innate immune system at the epithelial level. However, since doctors and mothers both possess the “junkie” attitude to needles and syringes and ignorance of the baby’s innate immunity, a let-down of this host defense occurs. As a result, HiB, as stable as it is, have found an opportunity to invade and colonize the blood, muscles, CSF and the brain.

    If only babies can talk, they should be suing their own mothers and doctors for the damages they have caused.

  88. Th1Th2 says:

    Rouge Medic,

    “Hepatitis B is dangerous. Going through life without any protection against it, just because you are willing to bet that you will not encounter anyone capable of transmitting the illness is foolish.”

    If you happen to receive blood with HbsAg and your vaccinated, would you take the blood?

  89. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

    “Neonates are immunocompetent. They have naturally acquired passive immunity thru transplacental transfer of maternal IgG and thru breastfeeding.”

    Well thank God infants are, in all circumstances, breastfed until after they have been exposed to all common and particularly vaccine-preventable diseases, so they can take advantage of their mothers’ antibodies to protect them while developing acquired immunity. And if they don’t get exposed to say, measles, until they are say, 15 years old, then at least they can resume breastfeeding immediately. And thank God that their mothers’ have all been exposed to these diseases as well, thus being able to transfer antibodies in breast milk!

    “HiB thus begin to colonize the infants skin, conjunctiva, mouth and throat from the moment of birth and would eventually become a normal flora. They are NOT invasive because they are well restricted by the infant’s innate immune system at the epithelial level.”

    Yup, you must have read the wikipedia article. Thank God that infants never face compromised immunity through, say, cancers, HIV, or even simply being sick! Because infants are always healthy, and never get sick. Probably because of all the breastfeeding.

    Calling HiB an “iatrogenic” infection only works if the compromised immune system occurs because of the actions of doctors, and there’s no evidence of that. Is there? Can you cite any references that demonstrate that vaccination actually impairs immune function in a large number of infants? I’m not talking special cases like HIV babies, or bizarre genetics. I’m talking the kinds of large-scale effects such that the risks of vaccination become greater than the risks of disease.

    “However, since doctors and mothers both possess the “junkie” attitude to needles and syringes and ignorance of the baby’s innate immunity, a let-down of this host defense occurs. As a result, HiB, as stable as it is, have found an opportunity to invade and colonize the blood, muscles, CSF and the brain.”

    Thank God that babies never, say, pricked by a pin by a parent while getting their diaper changed. Or scrape their skin while crawling on the floor. Or getting scratched by a pet. Or while getting a hair cut. Thank God no adult has scars from when they were a child.

    So, where could I purchase one of the apparently miraculous bubbles in which you, and presumably your offpsring, live? The one that prevents all breaks in the skin, the one that prevents babies from sticking everything they can find in their mouths, the one that apparently becomes the 10th layer of innate immunity? Because it sounds great. If it had a toilet and a library, I’d consider living in it full time.

    Calling parents and doctors junkies, merely because they use needles, is a little absurd. Junkies inject drugs to get high. Parents and doctors do so because it is the best, most evidence-based and reliable means of preventing inconvenient and sometimes deadly diseases. Parents and doctors don’t inject babies because they like to, they do it because it protects them. That’s a false analogy, where the only link between the two groups is needles. I assure you Th1Th2, doctors, parents and junkies, as groups, have little in common, and nothing substantive.

  90. Science Mom says:

    “Polysaccharide allows the bacteria to evade innate responses such as blocking complement.”

    Now what kind of psuedo-science is that? You should be aptly called “pseudo-science mom”. Please do some research before you make some unfounded ideas, OK?

    Now saying it is so, doesn’t make it so. My research has gone well above and beyond textbooks. I can’t say the same for yours.

    Like I have been saying newborns are equipped with both innate and adaptive mechanisms. In fact, fetal production of IgM have been observed as early as 10th weeks of gestation.

    Copy and Pastes from a textbook is hardly proof since you are merely quoting select facts in a vacuum. You have done nothing to answer the fact that infants, until ~2 years old, in fact, lack the capacity to mount a sufficient humoral, namely IgG response to polysaccharide bacteria, which provides immunological memory.

    “Infants most certainly do lack the capacity to produce sufficient antibodies and immunological memory to clear polysaccharide encapsulated bacteria and antibody production is protective immunity. If you were correct, then no immunocompetent infant would ever have invasive disease from say, Hib. Is that the case?”

    Neonates are immunocompetent. They have naturally acquired passive immunity thru transplacental transfer of maternal IgG and thru breastfeeding. In addition, they are also capable of producing self-derived immunoglobulins. HiB, FYI, is not an invasive disease but rather an iatrogenic disease. HiB thus begin to colonize the infants skin, conjunctiva, mouth and throat from the moment of birth and would eventually become a normal flora. They are NOT invasive because they are well restricted by the infant’s innate immune system at the epithelial level. However, since doctors and mothers both possess the “junkie” attitude to needles and syringes and ignorance of the baby’s innate immunity, a let-down of this host defense occurs. As a result, HiB, as stable as it is, have found an opportunity to invade and colonize the blood, muscles, CSF and the brain.

    Maternally-conferred antibody correlates to the mother’s circulating antibody so there is tremendous variability and fallibility there. Infants cannot mount protective IgG antibodies and this is where you go completely off the rails asserting that it is an iatrogenic disease. By that logic, Hib disease should have increased with vaccination, but just the opposite has occurred. You continually dodge and weave and shift the goal-posts instead of answering the questions. You have also failed to answer mine and other questions upthread. So, to make it easier for you, have any immunocompetent infants acquired Hib disease pre-vaccine?

  91. Th1Th2 says:

    WTU,

    “And if they don’t get exposed to say, measles, until they are say, 15 years old, then at least they can resume breastfeeding immediately. ”

    This is the most idiotic crap that I have ever heard in this forum so far. I bet you still use a baby walker when you walk, don’t you?

    “Calling parents and doctors junkies, merely because they use needles, is a little absurd. Junkies inject drugs to get high. Parents and doctors do so because it is the best, most evidence-based and reliable means of preventing inconvenient and sometimes deadly diseases. Parents and doctors don’t inject babies because they like to, they do it because it protects them.”

    Junkies, doctors and parents all wanted to get high. The more immunogenic a vaccine is, the higher antibody yield. The only difference is an alcohol pad.

    “Thank God” = The Religion of Modern Medicine.

  92. Rogue Medic says:

    @ Th1Th2 – on 21 May 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Rouge Medic,

    “Hepatitis B is dangerous. Going through life without any protection against it, just because you are willing to bet that you will not encounter anyone capable of transmitting the illness is foolish.”

    If you happen to receive blood with HbsAg and your vaccinated, would you take the blood?

    No immunity is perfect, but compared to a lack of immunity, it is demonstrably much safer.

    I wear a seatbelt, not because I intend to drive into another vehicle, but because other drivers may hit me. You might just as well ask me, since I wear a seatbelt, why do I bother not hitting other vehicles? That makes as much sense as your question.

    There are foolish risks, such as vaccine avoidance and seeking out infections on the misguided presumption that vaccines always provide 100% protection.

    No blood bank would intentionally use infected blood. You may bring up the past mistakes of blood banks, but now they are very aggressive at refusing potentially contaminated blood.

    You presume that a vaccine that is less than 100% effective is worthless. This is a mistake.

    Look at unvaccinated groups and you will find that they have disease outbreaks, which lead to permanent disability and death. This is not a sane alternative to vaccination. These groups are parasites that actually depend on the high community vaccination rates for their own protection. As the size of these unvaccinated groups grows, their vulnerability grows. They are like a cancer. Eventually, they can grow so large that they cause their own destruction.

    You presume that a risk that is not 0% is too much of a risk. This is a mistake.

    The risk of not vaccinating is not 0%, but you choose this risk. The risk of not vaccinating is much higher than the risk of vaccinating, but you choose the much higher risk.

    Risk management is about manging risk, because risks can only rarely be completely eliminated. Pretending something is not a risk, in the hope that it will go away, is not sane risk management. However, this is the level of risk management present among anti-vaccine mobs. We should not expect a mob to behave intelligently.

  93. Th1Th2 says:

    WLU,

    “Comparing vaccination to rape is quite the over-reaction, as well as being totally incorrect. While rape and infection are comparable (both are bad things) vaccination is more like self-defence training in that it is preventive. But it’s not a perfect analogy, and with prejudicial rhetoric like that it’s only likely to get worse. I’ll stick to data, rather that flawed analogies.”

    You misread. Vaccination is to mild sexual harassment and natural infection/diseases is to rape.

    As Rogue Medic stated:

    “The number of people harmed by the illness is larger than the number of people harmed by the vaccine.

    The harm from the illness is greater than the harm from the vaccine.”

    Of course, vaccine apologists would rather want to be sexually harassed than the burden of getting raped. In fact, the former can develop some form of “MEMORY” too, doesn’t it?

    Any volunteers?

  94. Science Mom says:

    Yup, like trying to nail a blob of jello to the wall, indeed. Answer the questions Th1Th2.

  95. Th1Th2 says:

    Rogue Medic,

    “I wear a seatbelt, not because I intend to drive into another vehicle, but because other drivers may hit me. You might just as well ask me, since I wear a seatbelt, why do I bother not hitting other vehicles? That makes as much sense as your question.”

    You wear seatbelts because you have seatbelts in your car and you have to use it. Babies also have “seatbelts” and they use it too. It’s not only because others may hit you but the vice versa as well and in a one-car accident. So where do vaccines come to the scene?

    So you’re taking the HbsAg-infected blood? That doesn’t sound a good idea, does it?

  96. Rogue Medic says:

    @ Th1Th2 – on 21 May 2010 at 2:56 pm

    As Rogue Medic stated:

    “The number of people harmed by the illness is larger than the number of people harmed by the vaccine.

    The harm from the illness is greater than the harm from the vaccine.”

    You quote me as if my statements do not directly contradict what you write.

    Let me make it even more simple for you.

    <b<Not vaccinating is more harmful than vaccinating.

    A jello hammer! A jello hammer! My kingdom for a jello hammer! ;-)

  97. Rogue Medic says:

    Ok, that was not a great demonstration of html skill. Let me try again.

    @ Th1Th2 – on 21 May 2010 at 2:56 pm

    As Rogue Medic stated:

    “The number of people harmed by the illness is larger than the number of people harmed by the vaccine.

    The harm from the illness is greater than the harm from the vaccine.”

    You quote me as if my statements do not directly contradict what you write.

    Let me make it even more simple for you.

    Not vaccinating is more harmful than vaccinating.

    A jello hammer! A jello hammer! My kingdom for a jello hammer!

  98. weing says:

    “If you happen to receive blood with HbsAg and your vaccinated, would you take the blood?”

    This shows a complete lack of imagination. The more appropriate is when an Hep B positive patient is bleeding out from a wound (knife, lawnmower, whatever) and you are vaccinated, would you try to staunch their bleeding, risk getting stuck with a needle while trying to put in an IV line, when they are agitated? How about if you were stupid enough to not get vaccinated? Would you do you job or let the patient bleed out?

  99. Th1Th2 says:

    Rogue Medic,

    “Not vaccinating is more harmful than vaccinating.”

    So by default, children MUST receive some mild form of sexual harassment because if not, they will suffer the painful consequences of getting raped in the future. And this event, like WLU said earlier, is “inevitable”, such as children are destined to get raped sometime in the future.

    What kind of a sick parent are you??

  100. Science Mom says:

    So by default, children MUST receive some mild form of sexual harassment because if not, they will suffer the painful consequences of getting raped in the future. And this event, like WLU said earlier, is “inevitable”, such as children are destined to get raped sometime in the future.

    What kind of a sick parent are you??

    I’m sure you think you are being clever but anyone can see through your outright dodge, bobble and weave and of course, what would that be without an appeal to emotion and a strawman the size of King Kong. Just answer the damn questions if you can.

Comments are closed.