By Dwayne Godwin and Jorge Cham
April 21, 2012 |
Dwayne Godwin is a neuroscientist at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. His Twitter handle is @brainyacts. Jorge Cham draws the comic strip Piled Higher and Deeper at www.phdcomics.com.
Fantastic job. One quibble : "A rise in prevalence (not incidence) may have more to do with changing diagnostic standards..." All we can say for sure is that we have seen a rise in prevalence. No data indicate a rise in incidence.And the anti-vaccine warriors will arrive in five, four, three....
OK great, except some "minor" slips: the cartoon says "smallpox, which killed millions, is eradicated from nature". Except smallpox is back, so it was never eradicated. No doubletalk please!Ethylmercury (aka thimerosal) is a compound used as a preservative in vaccines. Since this is possibly a toxin (regardless of the fake autism claims), the FDA has been under pressure to have this compound removed. The new batches of vaccines will be ethylmercury free. However, some old batches may still be in circulation, so if you are a parent, specifically ask for the ethylmercury-free version.Finally, your logic is completely wrong. You are stuck in a dichotomy: "because they are wrong, it follows that we must be right". But it doesn't work like that. Just because all the anti-science crazies are wrong, it does not follow that you are right. You could be flat out wrong too.Scientists have "herd thinking" too. Time to get off your high horse, and try to be a bit more humble.
Your assumption is that all there is to the claim that vaccinations do not cause autism is that we know the original claims were based on fraud. That is an incorrect assumption. Typically scientists are a little better than that. I have read more the 20 studies where no link between vaccinations and autism. So there is an almost impossible chance we are flat out wrong (there is no 100% certainty in science). I do disagree with the claim that there is not a rise in autism. In addition to better reporting some studies have shown a significant rise. However it is not related to vaccinations at all. Furthermore, as a parent, I would not avoid vaccinations even if there were a small risk. The disease is far more risky. Not vaccinating your children is just pure irrational insanity!
Some vaccinations are acceptable an prophylactic. I have a preschooler and she has had these vaccinations. Some vaccinations are just there to keep the pharmaceutical companies in business. Those we can re-examine.
GG says: "Except smallpox is back, so it was never eradicated. "The last wild case of smallpox was 35 years ago. The only known viruses are found in a few labs around the world.Thimerosal has been absent from scheduled pediatric vaccines since 2002. It is used in some flu vaccines, but thimerosal-free versions are used for toddlers and infants.And there is no evidence that thimerosal, in the amount once used in vaccines, is "toxic". Dose makes the poison. Oxygen and water are toxic if you are exposed to enough.
Which vaccines are unneeded, in your opinion?
Why do people with bad genes, deny it... and carelessly have children without testing? It's not uncommon for people to have two autistic children. There are many people who have terrible genes and it's not fair to carelessly burden their kids for life.
Yikes! Sounds a little social Darwinist to me. And then all of a sudden a massive pandemic; and the only ones immune are your people with so called inferior genes. You may want to reconsider your, some what, arrogant statement.
My mistake. Mea culpa. Thanks for the correction. Also my apologies to the authors. Smallpox is indeed dead, and hopefully will never come back. I mistakenly mixed it up with measles, which did come back.Thimerosal is a dubious compound. It originates from the time when lead paint, and leaded gasoline were OK. It is also officially declared toxic in the EU. PS - your water/oxygen analogy is just a straw-man argument.
"PS - your water/oxygen analogy is just a straw-man argument."Not exactly. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man
"Dose makes the poison" is completely correct.Will a single molecule of ethyl mercury have an effect on the body? No, you probably have a number of them in your body since there's a lot of lead in the environment.So how many will have a detrimental effect? Once you have determined that number, is the number of molecules in one vaccination (or the total number a person receives over some time, maybe they whole life) higher or lower than that?It's simple really.And the exact same argument applies to water and oxygen. That you need them doesn't make a difference. If you take in too much water or oxygen you'll die.
Smallpox is back? Where and when did the last case present?
You stated:"Scientists have "herd thinking" too. Time to get off your high horse, and try to be a bit more humble."Nicely put!Please see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupthinkhttp://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2012/04/live-chat-the-science-of-decisio.html?ref=hp
Nearly every substance can be toxic at some dose and concentration. That's not a "straw man argument." It's a scientific fact, and one that you ignore.
Bops, which genetic test predicts autistic offspring? (We already know the answer).
Well I can personally say my daughter's vaccines did not cause her autism. She was autistic at birth with a failed hearing test given then and a few other things I wont get into here. However, what has not been tested about vaccines are the effect on my body and my wife from whatever we were given as children in the 70s. The assumption that autism is only caused after being born is not proven. Though personally, I think a number of factors have caused it, most of which involve both the effects of our modern life on the parents and the child. For all we know a combination of vaccines, red dye number 4, bleached flour, kool aid, plastic bottles and polyester clothing together are causing autism. Yes and exaggeration but really consider the crap government and businesses put in food, water, clothes and everything else we touch or ingest and then to sit back and claim none of this stuff has a negative effect? Basically everything in life today you can buy or eat is suspect because we really dont know what the effects are. What I do know is it is something in the environment because the rate of the occurrence of autism would not be increasing if it was simply genetic inheritance. The world wide distribution of autism in the population suggests whatever the cause is or the catalyst or combination of substances are, it must be a really basic and seemingly safe product or chemical or food additive that is found nearly anywhere on the planet. This also implies something manufactured because if it was natural, then it would either be localized to whatever plant or animal it was because few flora or fauna are found everywhere.
I love your message and how you deliver it. I believe you made a small error in the next-to-last panel. Did you mean to say "Call it a case of HEARD mentality"?
"Eradicated" does not mean completely eliminated in the sense that I suspect you are thinking it does. In the scientific community it means that even if someone does get sick, it does not spread because everyone else is immune. So, there is no doubletalk.
I do agree that the dose makes a poison. Nothing to argue there. However, no toxicology studies have been conducted on these mercury compounds before. And they used them in the vaccines simply because there were no immediate and obvious signs of toxicity. However, this is not enough. Now that finally the tide has turned, the EU conducted toxicology studies on thimerosal, and now it is labeled "VERY TOXIC". You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.
The real point is whether there is a relationship between thimerosol and autism, and studies haven't been able to establish one, including studies after thimerosol was removed. We need to keep an open mind, and there may be some horrible thing thimerosol is doing, but so far it's undetectable and therefore a null. The benefits of vaccination are undeniable.
"the EU conducted toxicology studies on thimerosal, and now it is labeled "VERY TOXIC"Really? Did the EU toxicologists quantify their findings, or did they just leave it at "very toxic?"
Very well said! I agree in particular with the huge array of chemical products you listed. We manufacture new products every year with countless new chemical combinations without any knowledge of the repercussions.
Ironically many of the same people who irrationally fear vaccines are fine with drinking water out of plastic bottles with Bisphenol A.
I'm not wanting to add fuel to the fire, or take the comments completely off track, but I followed your link after having seen your comment. How is the water/oxygen analogy not a straw-man argument? Thanks.
I'm not wanting to take this off track, but how is the water/oxygen analogy not a straw-man argument? I'm not being facetious, I want to understand it (and yep, I followed the link, making me more confused!).Thanks!
To make a straw man argument means arguing against a position not taken by your opponent. The water/oxygen "analogy" merely points out that weakness of calling something 'toxic" without taking into consideration dose and concentration. Virtually every substance is "toxic" at some level, and just because a substance is toxic at one dose doesn't mean it is toxic at all doses. Anyone who argues that thimerosal, aluminum, etc. are "toxic" either does not understand what that word means, or simply doesn't care.
Cheers for that!
There were several reasons for the rise in MMR cases in Ireland. The reckless media scare falsely linking MMR to autism was certainly a contributing factor. There were other factors such as a shortage of vaccines being administered or administered later than recommended during this period. The other issue was education where during the period we had a large influx of non nationals from countries where vaccination is not common coupled with proximity of these immigrants. However it does underline the issue vaccines are not effective for contagious diseases unless a significant proportion of the population are vaccinated. The fact that bad vaccines continue to be administered undermines vaccination as a treatment. Many parents are afraid of the vaccine will do harm rather good. This was the case last year where there was a flu vaccination administered that infected children with Narcolepsy. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2012/0419/1224314925694.html .
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