January 6th, 2011

The vaccine/autism connection was a fraud

Not an error: a deliberate fraud.

Let that sink in a minute.

It’s not been an inconsequential fraud, either; I completely agree with the contention, voiced in the British medical journal BMJ, that Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s original study purporting to make the connection between autism and vaccinations “has done long-lasting damage to public health” (see this and this).

But it couldn’t have been done without a willing and for the most part scientifically ignorant public, clamoring for easy answers to medical mysteries. In an editorial in BMJ, editor Fiona Godlee writes that the furor against vaccines continues to be:

…fueled by unbalanced media reporting and an ineffective response from government, researchers, journals and the medical profession…

Andersen Cooper is helpfully giving Dr. Wakefield a forum in which to defend himself; the good doctor will be appearing on “Anderson Cooper 360″ tonight. Wakefield will be saying that it’s his work that’s being distorted, by ruthless people determined “to crush any attempt to investigate valid vaccine safety concerns.”

Wakefield is accused of falsifying case histories in his study, whose findings have never been replicated since, either by himself or others. The lack of replication alone should have been enough to discredit it. But once the public thinks it has an explanation for something—and a “scientific” one at that—it is hard to change minds that have become set in stone.

[NOTE: Related case in point: remember Erin Brockovitch and PG&E? Well, it turns out Brockovitch was almost certainly wrong, and that the town of Hinckley has had no more cancer cases than would have been expected by chance.

Hey, but we saw the movie! How many people will get the corrected news?]

[ADDENDUM: More thoughts.]

79 Responses to “The vaccine/autism connection was a fraud”

  1. Barry Says:

    Imagine that. Scientists making stuff up, manipulating data and distorting their findings for personal gain.

    The horror! This guy must be employed either by Big Oil or Big Pharma. They’re the only scientists corrupted by money and notoriety. Follow the money trail. Can’t be the trial lawyers. Has to be Big Oil and Pharma.

  2. Mr. Frank Says:

    The very real damage this guy did is the children who became ill (e.g. measles) because their parents refused childhood disease shots for fear of autism.

  3. Ray Says:

    Michael Fumento has written extensively on Erin Brokovich. He isn’t nice to her. Go here.

    http://www.fumento.com/weblog/archives/brockovich_erin/index.html

  4. neo-neocon Says:

    Mr. Frank: go here for my discussion of measles.

  5. M J R Says:

    Neo’s initial link states that “Dr. Andrew Wakefield misrepresented or altered the medical histories of all 12 of the patients whose cases formed the basis of the 1998 study”.

    Please temporarily set aside, for maybe 10 seconds, Dr. Wakefield’s medical data, altered or sound. Now — pardon my naivete, but what the heck kind of study in a prestigious peer-reviewed journal bases its findings on only 12 patients??? Am I missing something here?

  6. SteveH Says:

    Well that narrows it down to contrails, extra terrestrials or capitalism as the likely culprit.

  7. Rob Smith Says:

    Wakefield’s study was on the MMR vaccine, so at best you can say, even if you accept that his study was a fraud, is that the MMR/autism connection is a fraud. Now here’s something else we should let sink in for a minute; 1 in 91 children are currently diagnosed with autism, 1 in 54 boys. As recently as 1990, that number was 3 in 10,000. Something’s causing the increase, if it’s not environmental, what is it? Nobody knows, except we absolutely positively know that it can’t be vaccines. No need to do a study comparing the rates of autism between vaccinated and unvaccinated populations, because we know vaccines are safe and more is better.

    BTW-When you talk about a “scientifically ignorant public, clamoring for easy answers to medical mysteries”, the people you’re talking about are the parents of these children. People who every year have to fight a cash-strapped school systems for services. People who’ve taken second and third mortgages out to pay for medical treatments, that largely aren’t covered by insurance. People who are terrifed about what will become of their 6 year old severely autistic son when he’s 26 or 36, and they’re too old to properly care for him. People who are getting tired of being told by really smart, scienifically brilliant scientists that there is no increase in autism, it’s just better diagnosis (as compared to the medical dark age of 1990?), or it’s all genetic, or it’s just greedy parents/school systems pushing diagnosis to get more money (been waiting almost 4 years for my check). Yes, some of these people are “scientifically ignorant”, but quite a few of them are very well educated, with strong backgrounds in various science disciplines. Broad generalzations like this really don’t help advance anyone’s case.

  8. Artfldgr Says:

    Illustrates perfectly how subversion works to facilitate confusion, economical outcome which can be used to push farther, create an army of useful idiots, and innocents clubs as fronts for even more.

    multiply that out to include, AGW, Lysenkoism, Aids created in US military labs, peak oil, environmentalism (as stagnation), racial groups, rap, feminism, green groups, and on and on

    [though you would never know it unless you know the history, otherwise you will make up some plausible excuse to fill in the gap of the story, as they taught you. this is why THEY don't provide such an excuse, as the many different ones in peoples heads does better than anything they can make up and substantiate]

    back in the 20s we were amazed to find out that there thousands of these organizations, positions, etc in the US, i give up trying to point out where to see it.

  9. physicsguy Says:

    Here’s another one to add to the list: childhood cancer from overhead electric transmission lines; remember that one? All based on a small neighborhood study in Denver. When the sample size was increased to a much larger area the effect disappeared and showed it was just the usual random clustering that such data always shows. Not exactly fraudulent, but definitely in the cherry-picking catagory, but the damage was done despite the later retractions.

    I remember my colleagues asking me about their houses. I tried to explain about the energy of a 60Hz photon, but that didn’t seem to ease their concerns ;-)

  10. Artfldgr Says:

    A Communist front is an organization alleged to be a front organization under the effective control of the Communist International, the Communist Party USA, or other totalitarian Marxist organization. Called “mass organizations” by the Communists themselves, these groups were prevalent from the 1920s through the 1950s, with their use accelerating during the so-called Popular Front period of the 1930s. American Peace Mobilization, a front group active before the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II as an advocate of peace but which rapidly switched positions after Operation Barbarossa and transmogrified itself into a patriotic organization supporting the war, American Peoples Mobilization, is a transparent example.[1] The term has also been used to refer to organizations not originally communist-controlled which after a time became so, such as the American Student Union. During the cold war the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) and the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee (SISS) investigated and listed a number of suspected organizations.

    World Peace Council
    World Federation of Trade Unions
    World Federation of Democratic Youth
    International Union of Students
    Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organization
    Christian Peace Conference
    International Association of Democratic Lawyers
    International Federation of Resistance Movements
    International Institute for Peace, International
    Organization of Journalists
    Women’s International Democratic Federation
    World Federation of Scientific Workers

    Biddle List
    * American League Against War and Fascism
    * American League for Peace and Democracy
    * American Peace Mobilization
    * American Youth Congress
    * League of American Writers
    * National Committee for the Defense of Political Prisoners
    * National Committee for Peoples Rights
    * Nationmal Federation for Constitutional Liberties
    * National Negro Congress
    * Washington Cooperative Bookshop
    * Washington Committee for Democratic Action

    [notice the repetitious key words which change once they are gutted of any social value]

    * Abraham Lincoln Brigade
    * Abraham Lincoln School
    * Action Committee to Free Spain Now
    * Alabama People’s Educational Association
    * American Association for Reconstruction in Yugoslavia
    * American Christian Nationalist Party
    * American Committee for European Worker’s Relief
    * American Committee for protection of Foreign Born
    * American Committee for the Settlement of Jews in Birobidzhan
    * American Communist Party
    * American Peace Crusade
    * American Polish League
    * Black Dragon Society
    * Cervantes Fraternal Society
    * Committee to Abolish Discrimination in Maryland
    * Committee to Aid the Fighting South
    * Committee to Defend the Rights and Freedom of Pittsburgh’s Political Prisoners
    * Committee for a Democratic Far Eastern Policy
    * Committee for Constitutional and Political Freedom
    * Committee for the Defense of the Pittsburgh Six
    * Committee for Nationalist Action
    * Committee for the Negro in the Arts
    * Committee for Peace and Brotherhood Festival in Philadelphia
    * Committee for the Protection of the Bill of Rights
    * Committee for World Youth Friendship and Cultural Exchange
    * Committee to Defend Marie Richardson
    * Committee to Uphold the Bill of Rights
    * Congress of African Women
    * Daily Worker Press Club
    * Detroit Youth Assembly
    * Elsinore Progressive League
    * Families of the Baltimore Smith Act Victims
    * Federation of Greek Maritime Unions
    * Florida Press and Education League
    * Freedom Stage, Inc.
    * Friends of the Soviet Union
    * Garibaldi American Fraternal Society
    * German American Bund
    * Harlem Trade Union Council
    * Hellenic-American Brotherhood
    * Hungarian Brotherhood
    * Independent Socialist League
    * Industrial Workers of the World
    * Japanese Association of America
    * Jewish Community of Cortlandt
    * Jewish Culture Society
    * Knights of the White Camelia
    * Ku Klux Klan
    * Labor Youth League
    * League of American Writers
    * Mario Morgantini Circle
    * Michigan Council for Peace
    * Michigan School of Social Science
    * Nanka Teikoku Gunyudan
    * Oklahoma League for Political Education
    * People’s Educational and Press Association of Texas
    * Virginia League for People’s Education
    * Youth Communist League

    ALL fronts when it was very hard to move from country to country…

    Active measures were clandestine operations designed to further Soviet foreign policy goals and to extend Soviet influence throughout the world. This type of activity had long been employed by the Soviet Union abroad, but it became more widespread and more effective in the late 1960s. Among these covert techniques was disinformation: leaking of false information and rumors to foreign media or planting forgeries in an attempt to deceive the public or the political elite in a given country or countries. The United States was the prime target of disinformation, in particular forgery operations, which were designed to damage foreign and defense policies of the United States in a variety of ways. Defectors reported that the Soviet Union and its allies circulated forged documents–often purporting to be speeches, letters, or policy statements by United States officials–containing false information. The use of international front (see Glossary) organizations and foreign communist parties to expand the Soviet Union’s political influence and further its propaganda campaigns was another form of active measures. The World Peace Council was the largest and most important of Soviet front groups. Together with the International Department of the Central Committee, the KGB funneled money to these organizations and recruited Soviet agents to serve on their administrative bodies.

    http://www.mongabay.com/history/soviet_union/soviet_union-active_measures.html

    Autism Reaches Epidemic Levels-Concerned Parents Believe Vaccines Are the Cause
    http://www.thenhf.com/article.php?id=1747

    After Casi passed away, I became inspired to merge mainstream medical doctors with the more “progressively-minded” medical doctors (in other words, doctors who know how damaging vaccines really are). Parents need to learn about what they are subjecting their children to and many of them will only listen to mainstream medicine. Dr. Andrew Wakefield is one of the most progressive medical doctors I know. He is a formally trained gastroenterologist from London, England. Over Six hundred came to hear him present his research here in Fort Lauderdale in a lecture sponsored by our organization. When he showed them how children get injured from vaccines, he got the ball rolling for our organization. My dream became a reality. Casi’s death would not be in vain. People listened to Dr. Wakefield and woke up.

    you can dig more…

    but he is not much different than Meade and Kinsey

    or even Freud…
    When Freud Came to America
    chronicle.com/article/Freuds-Visit-to-Clark-U/48424/

    One hundred years ago, Sigmund Freud arrived in the United States on his first and only visit. As the George Washington pulled into New York Harbor, he supposedly remarked to Carl Jung, who accompanied him, “They don’t realize that we are bringing them the plague.”

    Freud’s five lectures closed with a call to allow greater sexual freedom. He said civilization demands “excessive” sexual repression. “We ought not to aim so high that we completely neglect the original animality of our nature.” He cautioned that it was not possible to “sublimate” all sexual impulses into cultural accomplishments.

    quite “progressive” of him…

    theodore adorno -The Authoritarian Personality [which ignores that totalitarianism is way to the left, and established that conservatives were the real nazis, as we think today]

    herbert marcuse [if it feels good do it!]

    Wilhelm Reich

    Alfred Kinsey (loved to shove a toothbrush up his johnson, and used rapists and pedophiles to establish childrens sexuality. meade helped to with her lies from samoa]

    Franz Boas (who tagged meade)

    John Dean “Conservatives Without Conscience”

    Esalen, est, Feminist therapy, gender studies, queer studies, and critical theory emerged and were enthusiastically embraced.

    Robin of berkley talks of it here:
    http://www.americanthinker.com/printpage/?url=http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/01/psychology_and_the_shrinking_o_1.html

    psychiatrist R.D. Laing labeled families, schools, and churches “the slaughterhouses of our children.”

  11. Artfldgr Says:

    Something’s causing the increase, if it’s not environmental, what is it? Nobody knows, except we absolutely positively know that it can’t be vaccines.

    Assortative mating…

    Since women and men now work, their jobs and then access to each other causes reinforcement of traits.

    So, in silicon valley, where male programmers and geeks get to meet female geeks, they have a much higher rate of autism

    Women are the reservoir pool of qualities in our society

    By putting them to work, you not only get a low population, destruction of family, regression of intelligence, more diseases of genetic reinforcement, and more (not even going to mention secondary things like early onset of menses from father absence).

    There is no real way to even talk about this as feminists and ideology has made such forbidden.

    When women were NOT in the work force they did NOT mingle with men with the jobs sorting them out into self similar groups with qualities.

    Today you have lawyers who have lawyers and docs with docs, and geeks with geeks, before the Cultural Revolution the combinations were more varied and did not have all these local minima having to do with IQ.

    Back then, a man in an office doing some geeky thing could marry a woman who was not a geek or from a geek family and she liked him because he was empirically effective and complimented her. each made up for a lack in the other…

    Now, people don’t have time, women work, and so we meet our mates in the office. Feminism has forbidden asymmetric relationships by power dialectics, so only equals or self similar can get together easier.

    The boss can’t be with the secretary, but the geek programmer can be with the other geek programmer or physicist, etc.

    Of course we no longer are allowed to understand this (which we actually used to know when most of us were farmers and hunters and had to raise animals, and rear children, now we raise children).

    There is more, but I have already gone past my commentary limit for 2011…

  12. I R A Darth Aggie Says:

    This sort of thing probably goes back to, well, the introduction of the scientific method by the Greeks. Millikan’s famous oil drop experiment creatively removed observations that would have increased the amount of uncertainty. But that was mere shading – oh, and you should look at the link, but in particular the next section which quotes Richard Feynman about “a thing that scientists are ashamed of”.

    [W]hat the heck kind of study in a prestigious peer-reviewed journal bases its findings on only 12 patients?

    That’s a darn fine question. Statistically speaking, that’s a too small sample size. Usually the minimum is 30 for a normal distribution curve, but may vary depending on which distribution is the “right” one. Generally, this sort of thing requires a cohort study. They’re expensive and time consuming – decades, perhaps.

    So they use a smaller sample size, which they can get a grant to do the smaller study. From that, they may be able to parlay the earlier work into a larger grant with a larger sample, and so on.

  13. I R A Darth Aggie Says:

    Something’s causing the increase, if it’s not environmental, what is it?

    Maybe all that mercury we’re bringing into our homes in the form of fluorescent lighting?

  14. SteveH Says:

    I’d say the explosion of how many Americans take prescription drugs over the last 20 or 30 years would be a logical place to start looking.

  15. Occam's Beard Says:

    BTW-When you talk about a “scientifically ignorant public, clamoring for easy answers to medical mysteries”, the people you’re talking about are the parents of these children.

    No doubt, but scientifically ignorant nonetheless. Passion cannot substitute for reason. And as you’re apparently emotionally invested in this issue, it bears pointing out that a specious attribution of etiology impedes progress on both diagnostic and therapeutic fronts by wasting time and effort better spent on sound science. Less haste, more speed, and all that.

    Something’s causing the increase, if it’s not environmental, what is it?

    Power of suggestion, and not seeing something until you look for it.

    You sit down for a picnic, and casually glancing to the one side, notice an ant. A few moments later, you happen to glance down to the other side and see a couple more ants…then you jump and realize they’re all over the place – you’ve sat on an anthill!

    Also, guard against the fallacy of thinking that the cause must necessarily be among the hypotheses under consideration. It’s perfectly possible – indeed, not unlikely – that the syndrome arises from some cause as yet totally unknown to us (see, e.g., the prion story), or arises from a source as yet not considered seriously (e.g., gastric ulcers resulting from infection with the bacterium, H. pylorii – not stress, as was thought for years).

    It’s tough to remain objective when one is personally involved (hence the old adage about lawyers representing themselves), but important to recognize that emotion clouds thought processes, and does not contribute to solving this type of problem.

  16. Occam's Beard Says:

    I tried to explain about the energy of a 60Hz photon, but that didn’t seem to ease their concerns

    LOL! I’ve done the same, and in similar fashion pointed out to magnet aficionados the electronic Zeeman energy of a paramagnet (forget diamagnets, much less the nuclear Zeeman energy!) in the field of a typical “therapeutic” magnet. No joy there, either.

  17. Occam's Beard Says:

    Maybe all that mercury we’re bringing into our homes in the form of fluorescent lighting?

    I’d say the explosion of how many Americans take prescription drugs over the last 20 or 30 years would be a logical place to start looking.

    The very first thing to do: ascertain whether the purported increase does in fact exist. Once convinced that there is a phenomenon at work, and not simply observational bias, begin compiling the taxonomy of the phenomenon, and from that compilation, generate conjectures and ultimately hypotheses (i.e., conjectures that suggest experiments that can falsify them). Taking random guesses is a waste of time.

  18. neo-neocon Says:

    Rob Smith: if you look at the previous posts of mine that I linked to, especially this one, which I recommend you read, you’ll find that I discuss the etiology of the increase in autism diagnoses.

  19. helvetica Says:

    What a lot of people don’t realize, is that when they forgo vaccinations because of a slight case of complications (some kids develop mental retardation after vaccines very rarely), they are effectively trading that for a very real and much bigger chance of illness and death due to the disease.

    I have heard this also from the fluoride/chlorine in water debate – people swear that those “chemicals” are bad for you – they might slightly elevate your risk of cancer. But they are trading it for the very dangerous prospect of cholera and typhus, etc.

    Haha, I have even heard people say “but fluoride is a by product of the aluminum refining process!!” dude, everything is a by product of something.

  20. Occam's Beard Says:

    …people swear that those “chemicals” are bad for you – they might slightly elevate your risk of cancer.

    So does oxygen.

  21. helvetica Says:

    Indeed.

    Here is another thing which may subject me to thrown items: I think autism is overdiagnosed, much like ADHD. Maybe a lot of those people don’t even have the disease.

    From what I have seen, if a boy has bad social skills, people are overly eager to diagnose him with “autism/aspergers/etc” (hey how come boys are overdiagnosed with ADHD too?)

    I remember watching this TV expose supposedly about borderline autistic brothers – they just looked like 2 normal kids with low intelligence and bad social skills.

    I guess you could look at it either way – either we all have something, or some of our diseases aren’t diseases.

  22. expat Says:

    Occam’s,
    One thing most people don’t realize about science is how researchers can plod along for years investigating a phenomenon, and then suddenly a door is opened elsewhere that enables them to make rapid progress. The technology inspired by the human genome project has revolutionized thinking about epigenetics and the human microbiome, as well as other non-human fields of biology. There really isn’t the directed linear progress that many people expect. And, of course, there is also some hype on the part of scientists because they want funding and they need to simplify their message in order to get further support. As frustrating as it may be for the parents of an autistic child, we may just have to wait for some development in another area that will give scientists an insight into what is happening with these children. The people, especially celebrity advocates or lawyers, who throw out easy solutions (Christopher Reeves’ walking) don’t help people understand how science works. It probably causes them to forget what they did learn in school.

  23. rickl Says:

    I noticed that Artfldgr linked to Robin of Berkeley’s latest article. I think it’s possibly the best thing she’s written. I meant to link it last night but forgot. So here it is again, in case anyone missed Art’s link:

    Psychology and the Shrinking of America

  24. Rob Smith Says:

    So, in silicon valley, where male programmers and geeks get to meet female geeks, they have a much higher rate of autism

    No doubt, but scientifically ignorant nonetheless.

    Yes, all autism parents are scientifically ignorant computer geeks /eyeroll. I’m guessing neither of you have ever actually spent any kind of time with an autistic child or their parents. Which makes you perfect spokespersons for the vaccine industry. See, this is the real parallel between global climate change and autism. In both cases, to be considered an “expert”, the main qualification is agreeing with the “scientific consensus”. That’s how Paul Offett gets to be the vaccine/autism expert despite never having actually seen an autistic child in a clinical setting, and OBTW making millions of dollars as a vaccine industrialist.

    Also, to my knowledge, there hasn’t been a study yet that can identify a genetic link to autism.

    Neo, I read your article when you originally posted it. The problem with it with respect to autism is, the MIND Institute at UC-Davis did a study on autism rates in California that found that at most 30% of the increase can be explained by better diagnosis and category expansion, that still leaves a lot of unexplained increase.

  25. gs Says:

    Afaik the swindle concocted by an ‘activist’ who gets a cut of the liability proceeds is a post-WW2 phenomenon. If the inventor can be identified, his/her name should be immortalized as is Charles Ponzi’s.

    While I don’t want to act like leftists who demand government action every time an imperfection in society comes to light, activist fraud seems a new kind of fraud. IMHO, if Wakefield and the like have been fraudulent or culpably negligent, they should be subject to disgorgement. I wonder if existing law is applicable and awaits the legal consensus to apply it.

    However, I don’t want the researcher, analyst, commentator etc who is making a good-faith effort to be objective to be made vulnerable to punitive hindsight.

  26. Rob Smith Says:

    BTW-If autism rates aren’t increasing and the rate has always been something approaching 1 in 100, where are all the autistic adults?

  27. neo-neocon Says:

    Rob Smith: undiagnosed.

  28. neo-neocon Says:

    Rob Smith: oh, and if you have a link for that UC Davis study, I’d love to take a look. But I will say in advance that my best guess would be there’s no way they can really say what percentage of the change is due to diagnostic differences.

    Have you read this? It’s old, of course (2004). But I’m pretty sure the UC Davis study you mentioned is the one critiqued in that article.

  29. Occam's Beard Says:

    BTW-If autism rates aren’t increasing and the rate has always been something approaching 1 in 100, where are all the autistic adults?

    Easy. Check university faculty in the physical sciences and engineering. /g (Physicsguy, do I lie?)

    Seriously, though, boys/men have always been prone to single-minded (dare I say, obsessive?) pursuit of some topic, regardless of how arcane it may be. Few girls/women go in for memorizing batting averages, collecting every type of some obscure item, spotting trains, playing chess every waking hour (think Bobby Fischer), getting to level 73 in some computer game, or the like. And that kind of single-mindedness, coupled with its common correlate of poor social skills, nowadays makes you an odds-on favorite to be diagnosed with autism, whereas in an earlier, less overwrought time you’d just be called a geek.

    Most of my classmates in both undergrad and grad school were geeks (not me, of course…), as were most of my colleagues in academia. Hard-core technical fields tend to attract these schizoid personality types, i.e., people who are interested in things and ideas, but not much in people.

    Personal anecdote: as a young assistant prof I attended a get together of the faculty of my university with that of another prestigious one nearby. One guy stood alone in a corner, completely ignored by the chattering throng, so feeling a bit sorry for him I went over to introduce myself and chat a bit (see? Not a geek. Or am I trying too hard? /g).

    When he told me his name, my jaw hit the floor. He was a Nobel Laureate, someone who had received his richly deserved Nobel Prize for a stupendous achievement, and yet he was being totally ignored. In my shock I blurted out something impolitic like, “You’re X?” But there he was standing in the corner, alone, ignored, apparently perfectly happy (indeed, probably happier left alone, which presumably why was his colleagues obliged him). Geek. Gotta love him.

    And as for those who would diagnose such people as evidencing some pathology, I say, “It takes all kinds to fill the freeway.”

  30. Lulu L Says:

    Assortative mating??!!

    We geeks have always been able to find each other.

  31. Richard Aubrey Says:

    I believe the WHO expanded the definition of AIDS and, presto, the number of AIDS cases in Africa doubled.
    So it can be done.
    And there’s the problem of the amateur diagnostician. A teacher, say, gets two hours on what to look for. Not nearly enough, and not time for many caveats.
    A geeky kid, kid with poor social skills, diagnosed by the eager do-gooder sends the kid to the school nurse, thence, possibly, to the doctor. He gets a diagnosis of Aspergers or autism because the mild end of those are indistinguishable from just having certain kinds of non-standard personalities.

  32. Occam's Beard Says:

    One thing most people don’t realize about science is how researchers can plod along for years investigating a phenomenon, and then suddenly a door is opened elsewhere that enables them to make rapid progress.

    Expat, one shock I had in moving to industry was the gross failure of business types to understand this.

    On learning that a particular research problem was proving intractable, a business guy replied, “Put more chemists on it.”

    As if scientists were carpenters at a building site, wherein progress was a linear function of manpower…

    This nitwit failed to grasp that the rate-limiting step in progress on this problem wasn’t the number of strong backs, or nimble hands, but the incidence of ideas. Definitely terra incognita in his case.

  33. ELC Says:

    Ours is indeed a fallen race in a fallen world.

  34. Curtis Says:

    If your Mom forgets to take the Marlboro cigarette out of her mouth when she tells the state trooper to kiss her ass, you might be autistic.

  35. Rob Smith Says:

    Rob Smith: undiagnosed.

    Easy. Check university faculty in the physical sciences and engineering.

    I’m guessing you’ve never really had any experience with autism. Geeky =/= autistic. No offense, but you’re just talking out of your hind quarters here.

    Seriously, though, boys/men have always been prone to single-minded (dare I say, obsessive?) pursuit of some topic, regardless of how arcane it may be.

    Seriously…just stop…you have no idea what you’re talking about. The breadth of your ignorance about autism is beyond description.

    Regarding the UC-Davis study I cited, it’s in the Jan 2009 issue of Epidemiology, sadly behind a pay wall. Here’s a link to a UC-Davis article that describes the study and it’s findings link

  36. Rob Smith Says:

    Sorry, linked to the Epidemiology magazine, not the UC-Davis article. Here’s the correct link

  37. neo-neocon Says:

    Rob Smith: I believe the people making those comments are referring to Asperger’s and pervasive developmental disorders, part of the autism spectrum.

  38. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    Rob Smith said,”Something’s causing the increase, if it’s not environmental, what is it? Nobody knows, except we absolutely positively know that it can’t be vaccines.”

    I have a niece who has an autistic son. She is a person who is obsessed with not getting fat. (Rail slim she is.) But she also was obsessed that her son not get fat. His diet was definitely deficient in protein and fat when he was in his formative years. He’s 18 now and working at an entry level job. He’s also learning to live on his own, which may be a ten year project. So, I’ve seen the heart break and distress. It is not an easy road.

    My question is, could it be the change in diet? The conventional wisdom today is that most fats are taboo and that means less protein too. I am no expert and my niece’s child feeding pattern might just be a coincidence. When a child is growing rapidly, especially their brains, some could need more fat. Yes, real fat like comes in whole milk, butter, hamburger, etc. It just seems to me it might bear some looking into. Has anyone in the medical community thought about this?

  39. blert Says:

    Neo…

    Please correct yourself.

    P&G = Proctor & Gamble

    PG&E = Pacific Gas & Electric

    Erin went after PG&E for using what lab chemists call ‘cleaning solution.’

    That is, sulfuric acid (typ. reagent grade — common as water in a chem lab — + chromium oxide ( as crystals ). It will rip the skin off your bones… but it does leave hyper-clean Pyrex.

    NOT something you want in your ground water.

    It might well be that the ACID liberated metal toxins in the soil on the way to the well.

    That PG&E ‘lost’ astounding amounts of ‘cleaning solution’ without concern.

    The nearby rock once stood upon the ocean floor. Elsewhere, in California, it has been discovered that such strata is laden with Selenium. ( Se )

    It is now FULLY established that Se is a nerve toxin of the first order.

    For those not so chemically minded O(8), S(16), Se(34) are stacked in the Periodic Table. Hence both Sulfur AND Selenium compounds are typically extremely toxic — even in absurdly low concentrations.

    Hydrogen Sulfide is an analog to water… but is a gas much more deadly than hydrogen cyanide!

    In fact, sulfur compounds are SO deadly, all animal life is repulsed by them. Trivial amounts are commonly used to add stink to commercially delivered natural gas.

    As for Selenium, treat it like NiCad batteries: total respect.

    In an earlier age selenium rectifiers were the first solid state method of getting AC over to DC. When they smoked — did they EVER stink.

    It’s our body’s way of saying stay away from this toxin.

    ———

    Any entity that permits astonishing amounts of acid/ cleaning solution into dry porous aquifers gets no sympathy with me.

  40. gogo Says:

    And what will happen to the scientists?
    … Oh, nothing.
    .
    .
    We should
    1) Try them for Crimes Against Humanity, and
    2) if convicted, draw & quarter them. This really is an instance where someone’s head should be on a spike as a warning to the next 3 generations.

  41. Sergey Says:

    For propaganda purposes vaccines were declared “safe”. But this claim is demonstrably false, as all specialists know, but hate to accept in public, to avoid mass panic and abstaining from vaccination. This is one of “noble lies” perpetuating by medical community for higher goal of keep us all vaccinated. And the falsehood of this specific study does not in any way disprooves existence of some link between vaccination and autism.

  42. Rob Smith Says:

    Rob Smith: I believe the people making those comments are referring to Asperger’s and pervasive developmental disorders, part of the autism spectrum.

    From the article I cited referring to the UC-Davis MIND Institute study:

    “The methodology eliminated migration as a potential cause of the increase in the number of autism cases. It also revealed that no more than 56 percent of the estimated 600-to-700 percent increase, that is, less than one-tenth of the increased number of reported autism cases, could be attributed to the inclusion of milder cases of autism. Only 24 percent of the increase could be attributed to earlier age at diagnosis.”

    The authors of the study also state:

    “Hertz-Picciotto said that the study is a clarion call to researchers and policy makers who have focused attention and money on understanding the genetic components of autism. She said that the rise in cases of autism in California cannot be attributed to the state’s increasingly diverse population because the disorder affects ethnic groups at fairly similar rates.”

    JJ…I don’t claim to know what causes autism, and certainly not in specific cases, but autism is a “brain injury” that likely has genetic and environmental components. In your grand nephew’s case, I guess it is plausible that the dietary deficiency could have made him more susceptible to environmental damage, but iir from my college classes in human physiology, the brain is pretty good at making sure it gets first crack at having it’s nutritional needs met first.

  43. Rob Smith Says:

    Sergey, an excellent point. This quote from C.S. Lewis seems appropriate:

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

  44. Sergey Says:

    As a scientific editor of Russian edition of the main official document on which all vaccination policy is founded, Anderson@May manual “Infectional diseases of humans: Prevention and control”, I am fully aware about difficult ethical and medical problems involved with vaccination. Risk and benefit analisis for any specific policy is not a simple matter, it requires knowledge of statistics for given disease, its mortality, contagiousness, efficiency of given vaccine preparation, schedule of vaccination, possible complications and their frequencies and so on. There still are many known unknowns and, possibly, unknown unknowns. We need serious professional discussion on this topic and more studies. But this is hardly possible in poisonous moral climate, defined by denial of risks by medical establishment, on one hand, and public hysteria, on the other hand. And we need better vaccines, with no live virus, ballast proteins and polysacharides, capable to induce allergic reaction against brain tissues, with no mercury-contained preservatives. All this is possible with genetic-engineered technology (recombinant DNA techniques), but the problem must be first recognized and adequately treated.

  45. Dan Says:

    Wakefield’s “study” was suspicious from the get-go. I will dead long before any of the MSM anchors goes on the air and apologizes for giving this charlatan and his celebrity minions (Jenny McCarthy et al) a forum to spew their lies. Due diligence in journalism ought involve researching a little rather than spreading sensational rumors.
    I second the motion by Ray regarding Michael Fumento on Erin Brockovich. My wife thinks it’s funny when I have a meltdown any time her name or the movie is mentioned on TV.
    Ditto the bogus association between power lines and childhood cancer as published in the New Yorker, same folks who brought you Rachel Carson’s non-scientific polemic, Silent Spring.

  46. Rob Smith Says:

    And we need better vaccines, with no live virus, ballast proteins and polysacharides, capable to induce allergic reaction against brain tissues, with no mercury-contained preservatives.

    For all the talk about “anti-vaxxers” like Jenny McCarthy, Doug Flutie, Dr. Bob Sears, etc. if you read what they say about vaccines, this is exactly what they’re calling for. Neither they, nor I are anti-vaccine, but I want safe vaccines and I want an honest assessment of the necessity of all the vaccines we give kids. For example, do all babies need a Hep-B vaccination before they leave the hospital? Unless the mother has Hep-B, there’s just no medical reason to vaccinate an infant against against it.

  47. Rob Smith Says:

    Wakefield’s “study” was suspicious from the get-go.

    What was suspicious about it? All the study did was study GI issues in kids with autism. The study also called for more study about a possible link between the MMR vaccine and autism, but it didn’t claim to establish a link. BTW-a recent study by Dr. Krigsman (full disclosure, Krigsman worked with Wakefield at Thoughtful House) did replicate Wakefield’s findings link

  48. SteveH Says:

    This story should give insight into how vaccines seem to get irrationally targeted by less than honest players in medical research. But it wont. Because at the same time it further undermines people’s trust of the medical authorities in general which lies behind vaccines being suspect of calamities in the first place.

    I spent some time on youtube looking at examples of autistic kids. The variation of behavior and symptoms seems so broad that i’m afraid we’re watching the unfolding of a major disservice to the real developmentally impaired. If we’re not careful, we could concievably see the label of autism include every child of below average developmental skills.

  49. Rob Smith Says:

    When you look at the “anti-vaccine” position on vaccines, what you see is that rather than being against vaccines, what they want is for vaccines to be made safer and for the vaccine schedule to be evaluated, not for ensuring compliance, but for safety. To my knowledge, there have been no studies on the safety of administering up to 7 different vaccines in one sitting. According to the CDC schedule, at 2 months and 4 months, a baby is vaccinated against Rotoviris, Diptheria, Tetanus, & Pertussis (DTap), Haemophilus influenzae (Hib), and Polio. Is this safe? Nobody knows because no studies have been done. When I look at the “pro-vaccine” side (or as I like to call them, “the Chicago school”, vaccinate early and often), I’m reminded of the Monty Python song from “The Meaning of Life”, “Every Sperm is Sacred”. I can imagine Paul Offet and Julie Gerberding (former head of the CDC, now head of Merck’s vaccine division) singing:

    “Every vaccine is wanted.
    Every vaccine is good.
    Every vaccine is needed
    In your neighbourhood.”

  50. daisy Says:

    Autisim is overdiagnosed becuase it suits everybody. Nobody wants to be told that their kid is retarded because they mated with an old man or a woman who was too old to breed well. Nobody wants to be told that all that coke they did in the 90s has caught up with them. Nodbody wants to be told that their kid is siimply, hopelessly retarded. And nobody wants to be told that they have so many problems themselves that they never should’ve had a child at all.

  51. Occam's Beard Says:

    It might well be that the ACID liberated metal toxins in the soil on the way to the well.

    The assertion was that chromate (a tetrahedral oxoanion structurally similar to sulfate and phosphate, and therefore potentially able to enter cells through biological transport mechanisms) was the proximate toxin, and that it acted by undergoing intracellular reduction to Cr(III), which binds to nitrogen heterocycles such as the purines and pyrimidines of DNA. To my knowledge, no one was talking about other metals, but if they were, then studies of chromate concentrations in water become moot.

    It is now FULLY established that Se is a nerve toxin of the first order.

    Selenium is an essential trace element that appears in a number of enzymes. When speaking about an element, be careful to define which form of the element (i.e., chemical compound containing the element) we’re talking about. Selenium dioxide – toxic. Selenocysteine – essential for life.

    For those not so chemically minded O(8), S(16), Se(34) are stacked in the Periodic Table. Hence both Sulfur AND Selenium compounds are typically extremely toxic — even in absurdly low concentrations.

    The first sentence is true. The second is nonsense. Sulfur and even (as pointed out above) selenium are essential to life. The statements is true of certain compounds, but no generalization can be made. Btw, the statement is also true of oxygen compounds – ozone is extremely toxic, and aerobic organisms have evolved enzymes to protect them from the toxicity of hydrogen peroxide (peroxidases) and superoxide anions (superoxide dismutases).

    In fact, sulfur compounds are SO deadly, all animal life is repulsed by them. Trivial amounts are commonly used to add stink to commercially delivered natural gas.

    You’re speaking of mercaptans, such as methyl mercaptan (methanethiol). Be aware that cysteine, an essential amino acid, is also a thiol.

    Moral: Guard against painting complex issues with much too broad a brush.

  52. Occam's Beard Says:

    Rob Smith: I believe the people making those comments are referring to Asperger’s and pervasive developmental disorders, part of the autism spectrum.

    Certainly I was, neo. This is one source of my disquiet: the spectrum of symptoms associated with the syndrome. This, in conjunction with the nebulous nature of some symptoms (e.g., social awkwardness), makes me wonder if it’s a catch-all for what may be any number of phenomena.

    The variation of behavior and symptoms seems so broad that i’m afraid we’re watching the unfolding of a major disservice to the real developmentally impaired.

    Bullseye.

    When you look at the “anti-vaccine” position on vaccines, what you see is that rather than being against vaccines, what they want is for vaccines to be made safer and for the vaccine schedule to be evaluated, not for ensuring compliance, but for safety.

    So, is your primary concern autism, or vaccines? At this point, you realize that there’s apparently no nexus between the two. Consider the possibility that vaccines have nothing whatever to do with autism. It’s natural to want to attribute the cause to something, and frustrating (and frightening) to admit that something is currently beyond our ability to understand, much less treat or control, but sometimes that’s the case.

    One last point. Not to be personal, but would we be correct in assuming that your interest in autism is more than academic? If so, frankly, I think that that warrants mention, because a personal connection can color one’s views.

  53. Artfldgr Says:

    rickl,
    thanks

    I should point out that the more history robin reads, the more she sounds like me. the converted who don’t read the history, don’t start pointing to the fact that most of the threads lead back tot he same people over and over and over and over and over…

    that the overwhelming connections and easy to confirm simple facts point to one thing if you know the history, and only those that dont know it or are in complete denial of it, cant point to each brick put in place to make what we have today.

    the dream that is america is now a nightmare, and we are not allowed to reestablish the frame of mind that created it (gleickshaltung)…

    america is a state of mind, not a place, and her mind is now schizo…

  54. Rob Smith Says:

    Autisim is overdiagnosed becuase it suits everybody. Nobody wants to be told that their kid is retarded

    Because being told your child is autistic is so much better than being told he’s retarded? Really?

    And nobody wants to be told that they have so many problems themselves that they never should’ve had a child at all.

    You know, I would never wish autism on someone else’s child, but boy, you tempt me. You sorely tempt me.

    So, is your primary concern autism, or vaccines? At this point, you realize that there’s apparently no nexus between the two.

    Based on what, that one study on one vaccine may have been disproved?

    Consider the possibility that vaccines have nothing whatever to do with autism.

    I’d love for vaccines to be perfectly safe and have nothing to do with autism. It would be real easy to prove, a large scale study comparing autism rates between vaccinated and unvaccinated children would do the trick, but I don’t see that happening any time soon largely because there’s no upside for the people who could fund such a study and an awful lot of potential downside.

    Not to be personal, but would we be correct in assuming that your interest in autism is more than academic?

    Let’s say for the moment that I do have “skin in the game”, what of it? Doesn’t vaccine industrialist Paul Offett have a personal interest? He stands to make a lot of money of his Rotoviris vaccine (he’s already made by some estimates 10s of millions). I’d say Jenny McCarthy, et.al. are hurting his business. What about the board at Merck, Glaxo, or the rest of the big drug companies? They’re the guys who fund most medical studies. Is it in their interest to find a connection between vaccines and autism? I would argue they have a fiduciary duty to their shareholders not to. What about the parents of neuro-typical kids who are inundated with stories about how crazy autism parents are preventing “herd immunity” and putting their kids at risk? Are they dispassionate? I don’t think anybody’s views are uncolored on this topic.

  55. neo-neocon Says:

    Rob Smith: I think it was clear that my quote referred to people on this comments board and their definitions of autism, not the one in the study.

  56. Artfldgr Says:

    While I don’t want to act like leftists who demand government action every time an imperfection in society comes to light, activist fraud seems a new kind of fraud

    again… READ about Willi Münzenberg

    I am starting to get the distinct impression that the search for whats going on is not real, as very few want to do anything other than make up stuff.

    activist fraud seems new to those born yesterday who have not read the history, or know their history.

    after all, new to you is not new to someone that knows!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Stephen Koch, in his book Double Lives: Stalin, Willi Münzenberg and the Seduction of the Intellectuals, calls this “righteous politics.” Political issues are turned into a quasi-religion, which brooks no debate – witness the ‘no platform’ antics of left-wing students who can tolerate no outlook besides their own.

    During the 1920′s and most of the 1930′s Münzenberg played a leading role in the Comintern, Lenin’s front for world-wide co-ordination of the left under Russian control. Under Münzenberg’s direction, hundreds of groups, committees and publications cynically used and manipulated the devout radicals of the West.

    Most of this army of workers in what Münzenberg called ‘Innocents’ Clubs’ had no idea they were working for Stalin. They were led to believe that they were advancing the cause of a sort of socialist humanism. The descendents of the ‘Innocents’ Clubs’ are still hard at work in our universities and colleges

    what about Trofim Lysenko?
    what about Kinsey?
    what about Franz Boas?
    what about Margaret meade? ‘
    what about Naomi Goldstein?

    what about the documented orders of the commitern to infiltrate activist organizztions and so on and so forth?

    or the fact that using medicine this way, was a key facet of stalins control, even today! (as you can commit a person to a hospital and pump them full of meds.. just like that poor lady that was protesting putin)

    Katz worked hard in Britain to establish the Left Book Club. It networked the Stalinist influence and promoted the left as the chic fashion of the time. The Club ran camps, conferences and propaganda tours of Russia.

    As in all the Western countries in which ‘the Münzenberg men’ extended their networks, the ‘innocents’ believed that they were working to oppose Hitler. In reality the purpose was the undermine the West and pave the way for Soviet control.

    The Comintern were able to play upon the vanity of the elite for whom life could never reach their gilded expectations. The secret world offered a “wonderful restorative” – Koch’s phrase again – with a particular appeal to the homosexual milieu of Bloomsbury which made up its centre. A connection to power is an aphrodisiac to people of this ilk. Thus the Cambridge spies Blunt, Burgess et al.

    Burgess worked for the BBC for several years – helping other Soviet agents onto the airwaves. Appropriately, he lived out the war years in the house in Bentinck Street where Gibbon wrote The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire !

    By 1935 Münzenberg had almost out-lived his usefulness to Stalin, and was lucky to escape from Moscow when he attended the last world congress of the Comintern in 1936. Stalin had no use for proletarians with attitude. The Nazi-Soviet pact of 1939 stripped away any illusions of Soviet anti-fascism and the notion of a popular front against Hitler.

    His legacy had far outlasted the formal cause it served, and now works for new masters. The opinion-formers who so misjudged Communism still claim legitimacy in dictating political ideals. Their track record is little considered. Marx wrote in 1857, “It is possible I’ve made a fool of myself, but that can always be remedied with a little bit of dialectics.” The malady lingers on.

    you have to realize that since this is what they do to our memory, they dont care if they are caught TODAY doing something because tomorrow, it never happened!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    now here is the kicker – ALL ACTIVISTS ARE BEING USED AS THEY ARE THE ARMY OF SOMEONE ELSE WHO MOTIVATES THEM WITH WORDS NOT EMPIRICAL FACTS (otherwise they aren’t activists)

    you can look at the lists of known organization i put in the other post… notice the liberal use of peoples, league, and on and on… a kind of familiar thing to let people in the know, know what to support without being told, and others to accept denial.

    Franz boas pushed cultural relativism…

    once the AAA finally turned, they did this

    Adopted by a vote of the AAA membership June 15, 2005.

    WHEREAS The American Anthropological Association regrets the censure motion passed against Dr Franz Boas, third president of the AAA (1907-08), at its eighteenth annual meeting at the Peabody Museum, Harvard University, December 30, 1919, President Clark Wissler presiding and

    WHEREAS the association publicly distanced itself from the opinion written by Dr Franz Boas on October 16, 1919, and published in The Nation on December 20, 1919 and

    WHEREAS the majority voted that Boas’ claim was “unjustified and does not represent the opinion of the American Anthropological Association” and

    WHEREAS in that open letter to the editor, “Scientists as Spies,” Boas insisted on the distinction between researchers — scientists whose lives are dedicated to “the service of truth” — and spies under the employment of the US Government and

    WHEREAS Boas believed that it was immoral for scientists to use their professional identity as a cover for governmental spying activities and

    WHEREAS other such incidents of anthropologists as spies have been repudiated by this Association,

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the AAA rescinds that censure and entirely repudiates the 1919 motion.

    Adopted by a vote of the AAA membership June 15, 2005.

    Although Boas felt that scientists have a responsibility to speak out on social and political problems, he was appalled that they might involve themselves in disingenuous and deceitful ways. Thus, in 1919, when he discovered that four anthropologists, in the course of their research in other countries, were serving as spies for the American government, he wrote an angry letter to The Nation. (which is the AAA referral above)

    however, methinks the man protested too much as he was spying, or rather, working as a innocent to help stalin, and communism.

    take some time and tease out the names below and take a look at what they did and worked on and how they molded our nation

    Boas’s first doctoral student was Alfred L. Kroeber (1901), who, along with fellow Boas student Robert Lowie (1908), started the anthropology program at the University of California at Berkeley. He also trained William Jones (1904), one of the first Native American Indian anthropologists (the Fox nation) who was killed while conducting research in the Philippines in 1909, and Albert B. Lewis (1907). Boas also trained a number of other students who were influential in the development of academic anthropology: Frank Speck (1908) who trained with Boas but received his PhD. from the [[University of Pennsylvania and immediately proceeded do found the anthropology department there); Edward Sapir (1909) and Fay-Cooper Cole (1914) who developed the anthropology program at the University of Chicago; Alexander Goldenweiser (1910), who, with Elsie Clews Parsons (who received her doctorate in sociology from Columbia in 1899, but then studied ethnology with Boas), started the anthropology program at the New School for Social Research; Leslie Spier (1920) who started the anthropology program ath the University of Washington, and Melville Herskovits (1923) who started the anthropology program at Northwestern University. He also trained John Reed Swanton (who studied with Boas at Columbia for two years before receiving his doctorate from Harvard in 1900), Paul Radin (1911), Ruth Benedict (1923), Ruth Bunzel (1929), Alexander Lesser (1929), Margaret Mead (1929), and Gene Weltfish (who defended her dissertation in 1929, although she did not officially graduate until 1950 when Columbia reduced the expenses required to graduate). He was also an influence on Claude Lévi-Strauss, whom he met during the latter's stay in New York in the 1940s. His students at Columbia also included anthropologist, folklorist and novelist Zora Neale Hurston, who graduated from Barnard College, the women's college associated with Columbia, in 1928.

    Care to see how they turned out and what they did and whats known NOW that the histories in schools dont refleft?

    (I thought feminists said women weren’t allowed to go to college:
    Could it be that Barnard, and Radcliffe are womens colleges? And feminists focus on mens schools like Harvard (forgetting Radcliffe))

    Fay-Cooper Cole (1914)
    Elsie Clews Parsons - who received her doctorate in sociology from Columbia in 1899
    Leslie Spier (1920)
    Ruth Bunzel (1929)
    Ruth Benedict (1923)
    Margaret Mead (1929)

    Margaret Mead has been discredited… she was an activist researcher..
    What year did she get her degree? so did activists poison research before today?
    [Who funded the Tuskegee syphilis study? Not the state, but a wealthy progressive]

    [note that his religious affiliation is not meaningful – had to remove that!]

    1915
    “Cultural anthropologist” Franz Boas, and his many followers, control
    the American Anthropological Association, which pushes the idea that there
    is no such thing as race or, therefore, psychological differences among the
    human races, especially regarding intelligence/cognitive ability. Boas’
    ideas are championed worldwide, with horrifying results.

    And

    1928
    Margaret Mead publishes Coming of Age in Samoa, probably the most important
    20th century ethnography used to support theories of cultural determinism
    and its spawn, egalitarianism and relativism. Mead was a protégé of
    Anthropologist Franz Boas (cf. Franz Boas, 1915 and also Ashley Montagu,
    1945). Boas supervised Mead’s field work performed on Samoa. In the last
    decade, Mead’s early research on Samoa has been questioned, most notably by
    Australian anthropologist Derek Freeman, who argues that she was wrong about
    Samoan norms on sexuality. In fact, Mead’s scholarship was poor and
    confused. The only question is whether or not it was a deliberate academic
    fraud. However, the scholarly conclusions from Mead’s work were consistent
    with her mentor’s ideological agenda and came just one year before she
    received her PhD from Columbia University.

    Oh… so Meade, Kinsey, and Boas is part of the larger group of people with a political agenda to PROVE ideology… (and thereby raise their favored person to a Prophet)

    Still think that activism in sciences sullying the waters and making them toxic is new?

  57. Artfldgr Says:

    In 1995 the VENONA decrypts became known
    see any names you recognize

    Another CPUSA front, the John Reed Clubs, in 1930, listed several very interesting names (some of whom probably were Communist dupes, enamored of the new Soviet Union before learning of the infamous slaughter of the White Russians, the genocide-like Ukrainian famine, and the show trials of the late 1930s.
    Among these members were socialist anthropologist Franz Boas, scholar Carl Van Doren, writer John Dos Passos (who officially broke with the CPUSA and later wrote about their treachery), Arthur Garfield Hays (a dedicated Marxist despite his family heritage), H. L. Mencken (the famous writer), the socialist writer Upton Sinclair (The Jungle), Carlo Tresca (later an anti-communist labor leader whom the Reds murdered. This murder might, someday, directly implicate the late leftist Sen. Alan Cranston (D-Calif.).

    see any names you recognize
    did upton sinclair influence anyone?

    how about the fabians?
    see any names you like or know?

    mmediately upon its inception, the Fabian Society began attracting many prominent contemporary figures drawn to its socialist cause, including George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells, Annie Besant, Graham Wallas, Hubert Bland, Edith Nesbit, Sydney Olivier, Oliver Lodge, Leonard Woolf and Virginia Woolf, Ramsay MacDonald and Emmeline Pankhurst. Even Bertrand Russell briefly became a member

    ‘Scaremongering’ Lancet accused of causing harm to health and wasting millions

    Nobel prizewinners in the Royal Society attack on editor over publication of flawed research
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article534577.ece

    by the way, one of the earliest historical things as to a person with an ideological agenda turning the screws was the dominican priest who threatened the churches money from universities it created to teach, if the church didnt go after Galileo

  58. Simon Says:

    The main culprit in all this is the Daily Mail newspaper and its idiotic crusade against the MMR vaccine. They singlehandedly elevated the spurious findings of one researcher and spread panic throughout their scientifically illiterate readership. Both my parents maintain the MMR is a dangerous no matter what further evidence comes to light, and my sister had neither of her kids vaccinated because if it. It makes me furious every time I think about it.

  59. Artfldgr Says:

    The Geek Syndrome

    Autism – and its milder cousin Asperger’s syndrome – is surging among the children of Silicon Valley. Are math-and-tech genes to blame?

    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/9.12/aspergers_pr.html

    I have autism spectrum abilities, but as far as i know, am not autistic or aspergers in the clinical way. even though, i still have problems with people

    i am starting to realize that in some people high ability and passion, and talent induced a kind of schizo paranoia in them…

    they are afraid and for no reason

    [media making it seem like every person without a huge social life that is evident is going to go postal or just waiting to show their dark side]

    my ability to think and abstract and all that is augmented by my ability to remember like rain man (though not as good, but much broader interests), fly through mathematical landscapes in my mind, and all kinds of stuff that took me years to figure out others cant do (and would bury you if they got the chance).

  60. Artfldgr Says:

    lulu
    THE ASSORTATIVE MATING THEORY A Talk with Simon Baron-Cohen
    http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/baron-cohen05/baron-cohen05_index.html

    Simon Baron-Cohen is Professor of Developmental Psychopathology and Director of the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University. In this Edge feature, he presents his new Assortative Mating Theory which connects his two fields of research: the characteristics of autism in terms of understanding what’s going on in the brain and the causes of the condition; and understanding the differences between males and females.

    “My new theory is that it’s not just a genetic condition,” he says, “but it might be the result of two particular types of parents, who are both contributing genes. This might be controversially received. This is because there are a number of different theories out there — one of which is an environmental theory, such as autism being caused by vaccine damage — the MMR vaccine (the measles, mumps, and rubella combination vaccine). Another environmental theory is that autism is due to toxic levels of mercury building up in the child’s brain. But the genetic theory has a lot of evidence, and what we are now testing is that if two “systemizers” have a child, this will increase the risk of the child having autism. That’s it in a nutshell.

    New Theories of Autism: Hyper-Systemizing and Assortative Mating: The Assortative Mating of High Systemizers
    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/518354_3

    nice thing about having qualities but not the whole is that i get the benefit with a lot less negative payment to have it.

    my problem is that average smarts peopel who were raised on self esteem have it out for such like me, or occams nobel prize winner. we are MUCH better off being quiet.

    since they took my money and i ahve no degree to use, i am outside looking in at the party i cant participate in.

    dont think i dont, but i am not allowed or authorized. so i am punished for trying. meanwhile, a top geneticist is flabbergasted at my simulations that rework and make a cogent model to replace the blueprint model of life.

    right now, my boss has supressed my ability to help, and has and is going to fire me for work i do at home for friend researchers. without my projects to spend my time on, and not having a large social life, i am stuck in an even worse prison than normally.

    sadly, the phd researchers are all upset that this is going on and dont understand that everyone is not authorized to think and be heard (thanks to their political sentiments being realized but not knowing that that is what it is).

    its also why i am so verbose!!!!!!!!!!!
    and why i can quote huge history down to the tiny grains and show the systemic synoptic structure.

    so now i am not eating. too upset.. its been three or four days now. once they kicked me out for not being the right sex or color, i have never had any control or ability to guide my own life. :(

    and outside i only meet two kinds, those that want to help and do something, but no will to actually move and do. and those that do, but do so to steal and leave me dry.

    so far the third kind who would team and do, and not steal and create an ongoing relationship that was mutually productive, is a myth.

    after 47 years i have little hope…

  61. Rob Smith Says:

    Autism – and its milder cousin Asperger’s syndrome – is surging among the children of Silicon Valley. Are math-and-tech genes to blame?

    The problem is, autism is surging everywhere, not just Silicon Valley (or Redmond). Another problem is that nobody has been able to identify these “math-and-tech genes” that supposedly cause autism.

  62. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    To cite a different type of problem looking for a cause, I can tell a story about “Agent Orange.”

    In the early 1950s I worked doing White Pine Blister Rust control during my summer vacations from college. Blister Rust is an intermediate host disease and the intermediate host is the wild gooseberry bush. To stop the spread of Blister Rust you had to eliminate the gooseberry bushes. We used 24D or 245T, both defoliants. Our method was to carry back pack sprayers with a mixture of the chemical diluted with water, which was sprayed on the bushes and their roots. A typical day consisted of spraying four or five back pack loads. The sprayers were loaded by mixing the concentrated chemical with water. Our employer, the National Park Service, said the chemicals were safe to work with even when the skin was exposed to the concentrate. Just flush it off with water and all will be well. We didn’t wear any protective clothing and most days our clothes were soaked with the spray by quitting time.

    Flash forward a few years to 1968 when the U.S. began using Agent Orange (245T) to defoliate the jungle in Vietnam. Then remember the number of Vietnam veterans who were claiming their health was damaged by the chemicals. I was alarmed by the claims knowing that I had been highly exposed to the chemicals back in the 50s. I went to a Navy doctor who gave me a thorough going over and could find nothing amiss, though he said it might take many years before I would have any symptoms. Well, here I am 40 years later and I have not had any health problems that could be attributed to my close contact with “Agent Orange” over four summers. I am also in contact with two people who worked with me those summers and they have had no problems either. The question is, were there really a lot of health problems caused by Agent Orange usage in Vietnam? If so, why have I and my two friends never experienced any problems? Did my friends and I have special immunity to the effects? If so, why? These are the kinds of questions that have no answers, unless big definitive studies can be run to pin point cause and effect. But they won’t be because of the cost and the fact that no definitive result might be forthcoming.

    The autism, vaccine connection is much like that. More evidence is needed but not likely to be provided because it costs big money and there isn’t a lot of money to be made from it. So, the argument over the connection will rage on.

  63. gs Says:

    Wrt Aftfldgr’s 2:12 pm & 2:24 pm responses to me :

    Yesterday I wrote, without italics:

    Afaik the swindle concocted by an ‘activist’ who gets a cut of the liability proceeds is a post-WW2 phenomenon. If the inventor can be identified, his/her name should be immortalized as is Charles Ponzi’s.

    While I don’t want to act like leftists who demand government action every time an imperfection in society comes to light, activist fraud seems a new kind of fraud. IMHO, if Wakefield and the like have been fraudulent or culpably negligent, they should be subject to disgorgement…

    Artfldgr extracted only the sentence I have italicized.

    Enough said.

  64. Sergey Says:

    There are some quick changes in human population that can not be explained by neither environmental nor genetical causes. One of them was (is) acceleration, which brought about shift of the time of onset of pubertat by 1-2 years to younger adolescents, with corresponding increase of human height by several inches. Still nobody knows why: this belongs to domain of science which is in its infancy, developmental biology, most of mechanism of which are unknown. Autism epidemic can belong to the same category. Who knows?

  65. Artfldgr Says:

    ence both Sulfur AND Selenium compounds are typically extremely toxic — even in absurdly low concentrations.

    then don’t eat your egg yellows…

    “If a boiled egg is overcooked, a greenish ring sometimes appears around egg yolk. This is a manifestation of the iron and sulfur compounds in the egg.”

  66. Artfldgr Says:

    Artfldgr extracted only the sentence I have italicized.

    Enough said.

    you forgot to mention i bolded the sentence i was commenting on as a general comment towards the idea.

    i see NOTHING after it that would tell a younger person who didnt know the history.

    care to pick other nits?

    and can you explain to me why you had to recopy your whole post to show that i didnt copy your whole post?

    i thought i was too long, and had to shorten things. if i have to copy whole posts to comment on a sentence, then the posts i write will get LONGER as the other persons stuff is repeated over and over.

    sigh..

    nit pickers picking nits..

  67. Occam's Beard Says:

    Let’s say for the moment that I do have “skin in the game”, what of it?

    Because it makes you emotional about an issue that requires clarity of thought.

    What about the board at Merck, Glaxo, or the rest of the big drug companies? They’re the guys who fund most medical studies. Is it in their interest to find a connection between vaccines and autism?

    Pharma companies don’t make much money on vaccines, and in general view them as a white elephant. Vaccines are expensive to make and distribute, and invite litigation arising from idiosyncratic reactions (most commonly, anaphylaxis). Some years ago the government began taking steps to encourage companies to manufacture vaccines (e.g., flu vaccines) because so many were abandoning the field. See Vaccine Supply: A Cross-National Perspective

    In 1967 there were twenty-six licensed manufacturers of such vaccines; in 2002 there were only twelve. Five firms produce almost all routine childhood vaccines, and five of the eight currently recommended pediatric vaccines have a single supplier.

    Vaccines are a lousy business, and are perceived as such in the industry. Did you ever see a vaccine startup company? Nope. Now you know why.

    What about the board at Merck, Glaxo, or the rest of the big drug companies? They’re the guys who fund most medical studies.

    You’re thinking of clinical trials of prospective drugs, which on a dollar basis comprise most of the medical studies because clinical trials are generally so expensive (commonly involving thousands of patients at multiple sites with multiple investigators over multiple years). Basic science, such as that directed to the origins of disease, is largely funded by the NIH.

    What about the parents of neuro-typical kids who are inundated with stories about how crazy autism parents are preventing “herd immunity” and putting their kids at risk?

    Herd immunity isn’t a matter of anecdote; it follows from the mathematics of disease propagation. Transmission of an infective disease requires proximity between two individuals who are both susceptible to it and one of whom has it, that proximity to occur within the infective period of the disease. For measles, say, that period is maybe two weeks. If a disease carrier doesn’t encounter a susceptible person within that time, that incidence of the disease dies out. That’s herd immunity.

    Put it another way: why don’t we ever hear of a serial murderer happening by chance to kill another serial murderer? Because there are so few of them, their meeting by chance is unlikely to occur before one of them is captured or killed.

    My take: the vaccine-autism hypothesis is a classic example of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. When something happens, people tend to look retrospectively for some unusual incident – so far, so good – but all too often, without further reflection, assign one as the cause.

    But the fact is that the cause may in fact arise from the unusual event, or from a commonplace event that they’ve overlooked, or possibly have nothing to do with either. A classic example of this was a recent headline that the Hiroshima A-bomb had just claimed another victim. Yessir, great weapon. Just drop it and wait 65 years.

    Having said that, maybe silicone implants cause autism. No one tell Jenny McCarthy.

  68. Richard Aubrey Says:

    What acceleration in the onset of puberty and increase in height?
    I’ve read that the lower and middle classes in Europe equalled the height of the uppers only in the Fifties.
    A recent documentary from England was about a graveyard whose inhabitants were larger than the general populace about 1000 AD. The question was whether they were monks or aristos. Either came from the more well-off. Better pre and post natal nutrition meant they were bigger–and smarter–than the peasants.
    The question was solved by seeing if there were evidence of wounds on the skeletons, monks being notably pacifistic and aristos being fighting men.
    Onset of puberty in women seems to be connected to diet. The better, the earlier.

  69. gs Says:

    Artfldgr @January 7th, 2011 at 4:28 pm:

    I copied part of my comment–not the “whole post”–to point out the context of the sentence you extracted.

    Afaic that context is self-explanatory, doubly so when considered together with Neo’s post. Apparently you did not see it as I do. Before producing your twelve-screen reply, you did not ask me for clarification.

    I’m done with this.

  70. Artfldgr Says:

    Destroying the Credibility of Science
    http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/2011/01/destroying-credibility-of-science.html

  71. Rob Smith Says:

    Because it makes you emotional about an issue that requires clarity of thought.

    Yawn….you’ve posted as much on this topic as I have. It’s would be just as easy for me to question your partiality. I generally don’t spend a lot of time discussing issues I don’t care about.

    Pharma companies don’t make much money on vaccines,

    I believe vaccines are a $25B a year business.

    Vaccines are expensive to make and distribute, and invite litigation arising from idiosyncratic reactions

    Actually, vaccines are pretty much risk free…any litigation goes to a special court and the awards are paid by a tax on vaccines…IOW the consumer pays any damage awards.

    You’re thinking of clinical trials of prospective drugs

    No, I’m not.

    Herd immunity isn’t a matter of anecdote; it follows from the mathematics of disease propagation.

    It’s hard to look at all this jargon and conclude that you’re a dispassionate observer.

    My take: the vaccine-autism hypothesis is a classic example of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.

    Or it could be that 10s of thousands of parents actually have a bit more insight into their kids than you do….no that couldn’t be it……

  72. neo-neocon Says:

    Rob Smith:

    There’s a difference between being interested in a topic because it’s interesting to you in the intellectual sense, and being interested in it because of something in your personal life. That said, people can be unbiased even if they have a personal or emotional interest in something, and they can be biased even lacking that personal interest.

    However, all else being equal, it seems logical to think that, in general (not in particular), it is more likely for those with a personal interest to have a bias. This of course is not particularly relevant to whether any particular person has a bias or not.

    As far as profits from vaccinations go, please read this.

    You say that litigation is pretty much risk-free, because cases go to a special court and rewards are paid through taxes. But you leave out why this arrangement came to be. Originally that was not the case. Originally, the national vaccination program was becoming unworkable and companies were dropping out of the business because of the enormous cost of litigation and paying damages. That’s when the government stepped in to set up the system, because it wanted to keep companies from pulling out of the vaccination business altogether. The special court and rewards system was the result of a compromise designed to allow vaccinations to continue to be made without bankrupting the companies involved (fewer and fewer of them have wanted to become involved, I might add) while at the same time protecting people’s right to sue over claims of damages from vaccinations:

    It is not as simple as filing a lawsuit against those alleged to be responsible. This was possible before October 1988, the effective date of federal legislation creating the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (the “Program”). Since the creation of the Program, you cannot file such a lawsuit until you file a claim under the Program and that claim is adjudicated by the US Court of Federal Claims, the court given jurisdiction over the Program.

    The Program is a “no-fault” system of claims adjudication similar to workers compensation, meant to provide a means of providing speedy compensation to victims while protecting vaccine manufacturers and health providers from excessive liability and litigation costs. Prior to creation of the Program, several vaccine manufacturers were making overt plans to withdraw from production because of the rising costs of litigation. There was also a concern that the continuing litigation and public outcry over the possible harmful effects of mandated vaccinations would undermine public confidence in vaccines in general. The Program is the result of a compromise – streamlining the process for obtaining compensation and limiting damage awards in the interest of restoring public confidence in the policy of mandatory vaccinations. Another purpose of the Program was to induce vaccine manufacturers not to withdraw from production of vaccines.

    Like most compromises, it probably satisfies no one, but it’s an attempt to serve both sides somewhat.

    As for your last point, that parents have more insight into their kids than others, I would not argue with that assertion. What I would argue with is whether “insight” is the point. Scientific cause and effect can never be determined by anecdote, no matter how poignant or insightful.

  73. Occam's Beard Says:

    Yawn….you’ve posted as much on this topic as I have. It’s would be just as easy for me to question your partiality. I generally don’t spend a lot of time discussing issues I don’t care about.

    Frankly, intrinsically I couldn’t care less about this issue per se. To be brutally honest, my zeroth-order conjecture is…well, I started to type this, but you don’t want to know. Suffice it to say it’s the simplest explanation for the observations.

    I believe vaccines are a $25B a year business.

    Revenues, sure. What are the margins? I’ve run discovery research in pharma; I wouldn’t have had the temerity to suggest getting into vaccines, for fear my colleagues would think I’d lost my mind.

    You’re thinking of clinical trials of prospective drugs.

    No, I’m not.

    Yes, you are, whether or not you know it. Pharma rarely supports basic research; if there’s no intellectual property in prospect – i.e., something that potentially can be monetized – they’re not generally interested, and only the most intrepid of pharma employees would propose letting such a research contract. Trust me on this: I’ve been both the recipient and the provider of such support.

    Herd immunity isn’t a matter of anecdote; it follows from the mathematics of disease propagation.

    It’s hard to look at all this jargon and conclude that you’re a dispassionate observer.

    Jargon? The probability of two people with a given attribute encountering each other is X^2, where X is the prevalence of the attribute. If X = 0.10, the probability is 10E-2 (1%). If X = 10E-3, the probability is 10E-6 (0.0001%). If X = 10E-4, the probability is 10E-8 (0.000001%). Math is not just for scientists.

    Or it could be that 10s of thousands of parents actually have a bit more insight into their kids than you do….no that couldn’t be it

    It’s not insight into the kids that’s at issue, but insight into the pathology, into which the parents likely have no worthwhile insight, being untrained, having too small a sample size, and being too close to be objective. Allowing parents’ emotions and uninformed opinions to dictate research directions risks wasting time and resources on unproductive directions.

    This last is the point: what you probably take as my obscurantism is motivated by a desire not to waste time on unsubstantiated conjectures that lead to dead ends, and ultimately delay resolution of the problem.

  74. Rob Smith Says:

    Neo, I don’t think it is really some great revelation that new vaccines are extremely profitable while older ones aren’t. Does it really surprise you that Gardisil (the example cited in your article) is more profitable than, say, the polio vaccine?

    You say that litigation is pretty much risk-free, because cases go to a special court and rewards are paid through taxes. But you leave out why this arrangement came to be.

    Why it came to be doesn’t change the point (that you seem to concede) that vaccines are pretty much risk free for pharmaceutical companies, and, as your source states, they can be very profitable.

    Scientific cause and effect can never be determined by anecdote,

    I’m really not sure what the point of this statement is….I readily concede that I disagree with the well funded, industry/government supported consensus on vaccines and autism, just like I disagree with the well funded, industry/government supported consensus on global climate change. I’d be willing to change my mind if only this well funded, industry/government consensus would shift some of the resources looking into phantom genetic causes for autism into a study comparing autism rates between vaccinated and unvaccinated groups, what would it take for you to change your’s.

  75. gs Says:

    There was an anthrax scare after 9/11.

    Iirc the government–I forget if it was a Congressional committee or the Executive branch–threatened to seize the predominant manufacturer’s patent unless the vendor agreed to the price that the government wanted to pay.

    Presumably a pharma CEO takes that incident into account while weighing whether to fund a vaccine.

  76. Sergey Says:

    Actually vaccine safety is discussed in length in manual I cited, Anderson&May “Infection diseases in humans: Dynamics and control”. Here purely scientific approach is used, with equations and statistics and risk assessments. It has nothing to do with industry-political “consensus”, only pure math and observational statistics. And I can assert that recomendations of this manual are in glaring contradiction with “consensus” policy accepted in USA. For example, rubella vaccination is recommended in A&M only for girls at 12-13 years, no rubella vaccination is recommended for boys. (MMR vaccine is now applied for all infants as early as days after birth; “R” here stands for rubella.) In 1970-s I worked as researcher in Gamaleya Institute of Epidemiology and Immunology, the leading Russian center of vaccines development and certification. All information about vaccination complications was collected there, and there were several epidemic outbursts caused by vaccination, as a rule, with neurologic damage. Vaccines now, like in days of Pasteur, are prepared on rodents brain tissue or on chicken embryos. They contain attenuated (weakened) live virus, brain tissue proteins, phospholipides and polysacharides potentially capable to provoke autoimmune response against neural system of vaccinated kids. That is why I do not believe in “consensus” opinion that vaccination risk is always lower than risk associated with epidemic outbursts: this all depends, and in the manual I cited it is shown why.

  77. Artfldgr Says:

    Math is not just for scientists.

    i like that…

    and physics isnt just for us physicists..

    :)

  78. Artfldgr Says:

    into which the parents likely have no worthwhile insight, being untrained, having too small a sample size, and being too close to be objective

    I wish to note that Occam did NOT say NO CHANCE, and that the chances hinge on how much they invest and their abilities.

    It actually shows how honest he is in his assessments and points, given that it would be easier to say that small statistical chances are equal to 0, he forgoes that to be honest.

    what i find nice is that when he is talking as opposed to the left, or the other passionate mind wrestlers (their idea of debate through hyperbolic points), is conditional to some degree within a framework that he is expressing is not fixed and so a lot depends on the actualities.

    sorry… too much coffee this morning

  79. Artfldgr Says:

    The honest have constraints that others do not accept

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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