January 6, 2011

"A now-retracted British study that linked autism to childhood vaccines was an 'elaborate fraud'..."

CNN reports:
An investigation published by the British medical journal BMJ concludes the study's author, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, misrepresented or altered the medical histories of all 12 of the patients whose cases formed the basis of the 1998 study -- and that there was "no doubt" Wakefield was responsible.

"It's one thing to have a bad study, a study full of error, and for the authors then to admit that they made errors," Fiona Godlee, BMJ's editor-in-chief, told CNN. "But in this case, we have a very different picture of what seems to be a deliberate attempt to create an impression that there was a link by falsifying the data."
What psychological suffering this man caused in so many vulnerable parents of little children! For a scientist to subvert science — why don't we have a much more intense feeling of horror about that? How dare those trained in science to misuse it and undermine the enterprise of science? Our shared interest in science is so strong – our need to rely on experts so great — that we should severely punish those who betray it. But we can't, really, can we? If we tried, we might only exacerbate the pressures on scientists to toe the line and give us the answers we want, lest we target them for destruction.

***

Our shared interest in the rule of law is equivalent, yet how could we punish the lawyers and judges who push the law beyond what is truly legal? We'd only end up with worse legal arguments, and our "rule of law" would lose the qualities that made us value it in the first place. Nevertheless, science is different. The scientific method is more agreed-upon. But scientists, like lawyers and judges, go looking for the answers they want. Something non-neutral pulls them along. And yet we expect them — like judges (if not lawyers) — to conduct their search within a professional methodology. We'd like to be able to trust them, and yet we'd be fools to trust them. But we need to trust them, and we trust them all the time....

127 comments:

AllenS said...

Oh, great. I suppose the next thing that you'll tell me is that global warming isn't true either.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

Well there goes all the credibility of Jenny McCarthy...and next you;'ll be telling me AGCC is a fraud as well.

Scott M said...

(insert obligatory, but well-deserved, AGW skeptic statement here)

Wait...I thought the science was settled on this one...

TWM said...

Wait . . . wasn't this study peer-reviewed? Cause I heard peer-reviewed science is the bestest science evah.

Marshal said...

This is a sad story. I once worked for a guy who believed this study and as a result spent years of his life on various [worthless] remedies for his son. Otherwise a very reasonable person, but on this topic would become instantly intemperate.

Wakefield took advantage of parents' desire to help their children at any cost. No matter what they do to him they'll never correct the damage he caused.

John Burgess said...

The intersection of law and science is troubling as well. Wakefield's initial studies, according to this Wikipedia article, were funded by the plaintiffs bar.

Now, I wonder who the parents of children injured or killed by diseases that would have been moderated, if not totally prevented by vaccinations can sue.

Sixty Grit said...

Don't tell Imus - he might lose his liberal mind and comment upon someone's hair or sexual indiscretions.

WV: cluta - too much information.

Dave said...

It's not just psychological suffering that was caused by this fraud. Fewer children were vaccinated for common diseases due this report, resulting in more cases of these diseases and likely some deaths. Less important but still serious, researches spent millions and years of effort trying to reproduce this result rather than pursue other avenues of research. Add to that the damage it does to the credibility of medical research in general and Lancet in particular and this fraud was disastrous all around.

SteveR said...

What also bad is how the scientific ignoramuses in the media latch on to this type of story, lending credibility where none is justified. Of course that's not just a "science" problem, is it?

TWM said...

Bed-bugs, malaria, the resurgence of preventable childhood disease.

Thanks so much, feel-good, new-age, enviro-nut libs.

Bob Ellison said...

Professor, you seem to hold science and law up high as things that must not and should not be subverted, even more so than other types of trust. That's wrong. Betrayal is betrayal. The reason we tend to hold things like law, science, and medicine (and perhaps theology) up high is that we kid ourselves that the people working in those fields do so for more altruistic reasons than those that motivate people who choose other professions. That's not the case.

Roger J. said...

The sad fact is that "science" is the handmaiden of personal agendas--the infamous lancet study about Iraqui deaths; the global warming scam; the "link" between silicone and breast implants--scientists are scumbags just like the rest of us--they publish their shit, they have it "peer reviewed" by their buddies and the beat goes on.

We need to detach "science" from the artificial pedastal upon which it sits. It is no more sacrosanct that phrenology or tarot cards. When we get over our fetish about "settled science" and get back to basic issues; eg: can the results be replicated then we may have a bit more faith in science.

Are all scientists guilty? no, and I would suggest most are honest--but it doesnt take many to spoil the barrel.

And finally the issue is made worse because of the absolutely innumeracy and scienttific ignorance of the media who can not, apparently, add two and two.

Comrade X said...

Accountability is for the little people.

Scott M said...

It is no more sacrosanct that phrenology or tarot cards.

I was with you until this point, RJ. That's a mighty big shark jump.

Roger J. said...

OK Scott: that was a bit over the top thanks for deflating my flight of fancy

shoutingthomas said...

Who's the audience for this fraud? I was already skeptical of the autism bandwagon, because...

Among my Facebook contacts, I'm encountering adults claiming that they are autistic, although that condition was never diagnosed in them when they were children.

Translated, they mean that they are incredibly sensitive, so sensitive that they can barely stand to live in this evil world.

Paging Crack. Autism is a New Age hustle now for adults who want sympathy or who want to use that sympathy as a battering ram for one liberal agenda or another.

jayne_cobb said...

The sad thing is that the idiots in the media who promoted this bullshit will not suffer a single consequence (I'm looking at you Oprah Winfrey).

paul a'barge said...

Mengele

paul a'barge said...

The Death Sentence for the scientist.

Roger J. said...

I would like to thank Scott who made what I consider a good comment about my screed--Scott did a good job as a peer reviewer whose role is IMO to say "thats bullshit." And that caused me to reevalute . Where all peer reviewers as good as Scott M

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)


The original study, involved…12 children, let me repeat that TWELVE children…

In my basic Stat’s class we learned that the Central Limit Theory was a good guide, when the population was “large enough.” For my field large enough meant FIFTY CASES…

So here is a purported “Scientific/Medical” Study using twelve cases! The Lancet ought NEVER have published it in the first place!

The study may have been “true” or not, but it wasn’t a VALID study…and, supposedly, “validity” is one of the hallmarks of large-scale research.

The whole thing stank from the get-go…..

Roger J. said...

Joe: I will take issue on the number of cases needed to establish validity--you are correct that 12 is not enough--I was always taught that it should be around thirty--but your point remains--the lower the cases the less validity to the study. What is the correct number? I dont think we know--but it aint 12

Marshal said...

"Roger J. said...
The sad fact is that "science" is the handmaiden of personal agendas--the infamous lancet study about Iraqui deaths; the global warming scam; the "link" between silicone and breast implants--scientists are scumbags just like the rest of us--they publish their shit, they have it "peer reviewed" by their buddies and the beat goes on."

I think you misplace your disparagement: it should mostly be for the media, lawyers, and activists who hype these events. The Lancet study isn't science. Breast implants were a media and lawyer driven phenomonon, as were various enviro related cancer scares.

Global Warming is different, but I think the ultimate failure is that many of those with scientific credentials function as activists and thus greatly overstate what the scientific evidence supports. Science isn't the problem. The problem is people using a scientific facade to protect their agenda.

Roger J. said...

Marshal: concur entirely with your comment

CatherineM said...

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/health/med-tech/4345610

Marshal said...

P.S.

Add the Ford Explorer rollover and Toyota acceleration alarms to the list of media / legal created events.

traditionalguy said...

Science subverting facts is all the rage today. The Global Warming Hoax fits exactly into that scenario. Real horror starts when we realize the immense power we always grant to science to influence jurors in courts and world opinion in UN Governance within a now rigged Democratic system. Ten Years ago my Alma mater fired a researcher who faked all his data to "prove" in a treatise that very few frontier Americans owned firearms. It is that subtle changing of the facts that reverberates through the system in false news reports and is forever after said to be true even after being discredited 100%. Look at sweet Old Obama still talking his head off about CO2 as a pollutant that warms the atmosphere after that insane false fact has been 100% discredited.

Scott M said...

How about the domestic violence and Superbowl Sunday?

CatherineM said...

It's a crime. People like Oprah (for giving Jenny McCarthy an unchallenged platform for her "theories") and Robert Kennedy Jr. who calls men who develop vaccines, "Biostitues," (he who makes millions from environmental lawsuits, but a man who is paid for developing a vaccine is evil) are just as
responsible.

What I never understood is why someone would listen to people like Jenny, who worries so much about "Chemicals" in the environment yet fills her face with Botox and has boobs filled with silicone.

peter hoh said...

why don't we have a much more intense feeling of horror about that?

Speaking for myself, I've always had an intense feeling of horror about that -- or maybe it's anger.

I've recommended Autism's False Prophets a couple of times in previous threads. Offit lays out a convincing case that Wakefield is a fraud.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)


My area was the Social Sciences…50 cases, was “good enough” for valid statistical operations, though the Confidence Interval would have been relatively wide…

“Medicine” can involve THOUSANDS of cases, after all MILLIONS of people have been inoculated and thousands of people have Autism…a “valid” study in this area, really needed to examine hundreds if not thousands of cases, certainly not just 12.

And there’s this, the study involved 12 children…OK. For “Peer Review” why didn’t we examine those 12 children? When I present a study involving thousands of data points, it’s obvious that the reviewer cannot simply review all the data points, but in this case the number of study individuals was 12….a number small enough that the peer-reviewers ought to have interviewed or examined the cases, rather than simply “accepting” the results.

For studies involving thousands of cases and multitudinous data points two things work, one it’s very hard to fake that much data, so one ASSUMES that whilst some data is corrupt, the massive amount of correct data overrides any problems, AND one can run analysis of data that can “suggest” that the data is “too perfect” or is lacking the expected “outliers.” Both have been cited, in peer reviews, to suggest that the researcher has “cooked” his/her books to achieve a particular result.

Wakefield is the main culprit, but Lancet is also culpable, 12 cases is too few to draw anything more than, “H’mmmmmm this may merit FURTHER research.” And the fact that Wakefield was being paid by lawyers, with a case to win, should have raised alarms, as well….and the Peer Review failed, if you ask me.

Biff said...

On the bright side, most scientists in the field have been actively criticizing this study and subsequent studies which purportedly connected vaccines and autism.

Such scientists fought the good fight while getting lambasted as shills of the vaccine/pharma industry by "patient advocates," celebrities, and terrified parents.

Unfortunately, the celebrity hucksters and the late night hawkers who peddle nonsense will not be daunted by the news. Vaccines bad! Snake oil good!

(To some of the posters comparing this with climate research: one difference between this kind of medical research and climate science is that medical hypotheses are much more easily generated, critiqued, and either strengthened or disproven than are climate studies. Of course, medical studies still are fraught with complexity and design/interpretation challenges, but running controlled experiments on climatic scale is a far more difficult task.)

c3 said...

What also bad is how the scientific ignoramuses in the media latch on to this type of story, lending credibility where none is justified. Of course that's not just a "science" problem, is it?

A good site to watch for such occurrences

dave in boca said...

The great Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard Feynman predicted that Cargo Cult science would cause massive scientific error as frauds like AGW were concocted for grant-producing and political-agitation.

I don't think even the brilliant Feynman predicted an all-out faking of evidence to support a proposition like the Wakefield abomination. What was this scientist thinking? Was this his way for a day in the sun?

And I'll bet a lot of the betrayed moms will stick to their presuppositions that Wakefield is right---sad to see how hard it is to change one's fervent beliefs.

CatherineM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

These criminals have caused thousands of parents to refuse vaccinations that could have saved thousands of lives.

MadisonMan said...

This is why people need to take math so they understand statistical variability.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
These criminals have caused thousands of parents to refuse vaccinations that could have saved thousands of lives.

No, just a few lives, tens or hundreds at most….MOST people get them, and “Herd Immunity” protects even those foolish enough to refuse vaccination, and then get exposed….

Roger J. said...

And those ignorant betrayed mom's can subject their children to childood diseases that can kill them--I am sorry for the children--the moms? not so much

Roger J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sonicfrog said...

The thing that troubles me is that it took twelve years for the scientific community to come out and actually proclaim this a fraud.

Now imagine if you have an entire field of science led by politically corrupt individuals who are able to stifle descent and, to a large extent, not only control the peer review process to keep challenging papers from getting into the "prestigious" field journals, but also influence any investigations that might be aimed their way (here, and here, where the panel not only didn't interview the guy mentioned most in the Climategate e-mails, but had one of the guys under investigation as a consultant on which climate papers to review - of course he picked papers that no one has a problem with).

So, anyway... Scott, there you go.

shoutingthomas said...

How about the domestic violence and Superbowl Sunday?

Oh, hell... that was just some feminist having fun slandering men.

What else are men here for? It's not like men are human.

Sort of like some "violence prevention specialist" concocting a date rape story purportedly heard at second hand to justify BS-ing a theory that indicts all men as rapists if they watch porn.

CatherineM said...

Peter Hoh - Offitt is one of the people RFK Jr. refers to as a "biostitute," for creating the Roto-virus vaccine. I can't stand RFK, Jr. Really, would anyone listen to Kennedy if he wasn't RFK's son?

lemondog said...

why don't we have a much more intense feeling of horror about that?

Horror? How about anger! He corrupted information putting kids at risk and potentially unleashing epidemics that for decades had been contained and controlled, and based on that information, conned many into becoming believers and activists who in turn spread disinformation.

peter hoh said...

Sonic, it didn't take 12 years for the scientific community to start voicing their doubts about Wakefield's study.

peter hoh said...

Catherine, on this and other subjects, RFK has shown himself to be a fool.

CatherineM said...

sonicfrog, I think doctors, like Offitt and even the NY Times has done long reports on how this one study is not supported, there is no evidence, the "increase" in autism is an increase in diagnosis (rather than being labeled mentally retarded or something else). Finally, the Lancet has disowned it, but others have been for years. I think the media likes the Lancet because it's British.

The Crack Emcee said...

Two things:

1) I've never heard Glenn Reynolds say anything like this, which is why I criticize him.

2) I don't know how I can be more clear:

I now have 1179 posts labeled "fraud", and even did one about the economy titled "Focus On Fraud (Or Fraud Will Focus On You)" - and I show, over and over, that I'm part of a fringe-but-still-mainstream group of thinkers going after all the right people for all the right reasons - but, I guess, the general public (including Reynolds) still has to wait for a study like this to understand.

Oh well.

Original Mike said...

"For a scientist to subvert science — why don't we have a much more intense feeling of horror about that?"

I believe most scientists do have a feeling of horror at outright fraud.

FormerTucsonan said...

@shoutingthomas said...

Who's the audience for this fraud? I was already skeptical of the autism bandwagon, because...

Among my Facebook contacts, I'm encountering adults claiming that they are autistic, although that condition was never diagnosed in them when they were children.

Translated, they mean that they are incredibly sensitive, so sensitive that they can barely stand to live in this evil world.


@shoutingthomas:

You are a piece of shit!

I have a 16 year old step-son who has Asperger's Syndrome, which is part of the autism spectrum. I wish you could meet him and see what it's like to be autistic. To be prone to tics and compulsive behaviors. To have almost no ability to write with a pen or pencil because of motor coordination issues.
To have to take queues from others when to laugh and not laugh becasue humor largely escapes him.

I wish you could see that.

And I'm lucky! Because we got off light. My step-son can go to the local High School and communicate with his mother. I've seen autistic kids who can do little more that scream, cry, and bleat like sheep.

I wish you could see that.

Granted, Asperger's has become a fad diagnosis with certain trendy, leftist,victim wannabes. But if those assholes knew what it was really like they'd think twice before they claimed it.

And you'd definitely think twice before you called it New Age Mumbo Jumbo.

You piece of shit!

The Crack Emcee said...

TMW said, "Thanks so much, feel-good, new-age, enviro-nut libs."

Bob Ellison (at 10:25) and Roger J (at 10:26) hit the nail on the head.

Shouting Thomas - "Paging Crack" - I love you, man.

Jayne Cobb mentions Oprah (as I always do, to howls).

"Cargo Cult Science"? Say it isn't so!

Question: why does my blog only have 23 followers and 12 Facebook friends?

Ken Pidcock said...

The thing that troubles me is that it took twelve years for the scientific community to come out and actually proclaim this a fraud.

That's ridiculous. Although it took a long time to establish fraud to the extent that the charge is irrefutable, there was always consensus that Wakefield did not show what he claimed.

The problem was with people who enjoy the fantasy that the scientific community is engaged in some kind of dark conspiracy but that they, among the few, know the real truth.

Same as today.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
Question: why does my blog only have 23 followers and 12 Facebook friends?

I don’t know, for the same reason that America’s Politico and Lonewacko had a poor following?

Original Mike said...

Ken is right. Anybody with a decent bullshit detector was highly skeptical of Wakefield. But the media stoked the fires because it's what they do.

The Crack Emcee said...

And let's not forget Whole Foods, people - where Ann and Meade *proudly* and *defiantly* love to shop - they were part of the anti-vaccine push. And homeopathy - please don't forget the homeopathy that destroyed my life - sold in fine health food stores, everywhere. It works as long as it's shaken, though "scientists" don't know how much shaking is required.

Somehow we can't expose that as fraud - after 200 years!

CatherineM said...

Crack - Glenn Reynolds wrote about this many times, including this article in popular mechanics: http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/health/4273262?click=main_sr

shoutingthomas said...

And you'd definitely think twice before you called it New Age Mumbo Jumbo.

You piece of shit!

Interestingly, you agree with me that some people are using the autism bandwagon to hustle other people.

Where did I say that genuine cases of autism don't exist, you piece of shit?

Do you know the difference between reference to specific and general things? Apparently not.

The Crack Emcee said...

Original Mike,

I believe most scientists do have a feeling of horror at outright fraud.

The question was about the rest of you.

Nice deceptive move, though.

sonicfrog said...

Sonic, it didn't take 12 years for the scientific community to start voicing their doubts about Wakefield's study.

Don't get me wrong. I've been following this story for a long time and I'm aware that it was recognized as suspect from the very beginning. What bothers me is that, even when it was recognized as dubious from the day it was published, why did it take twelve years to finally be declared as a fraud. Remember the EMF scary in the 90's? That also took a very long time for the powers that be to debunk.

If something so damned obvious takes so long, what about the dubious works that get published that aren't quite so obvious?

A few years ago, a researcher conducted an experiment with the peer review process. He submitted a paper to a prestigious medical journal that was purposefully filled with obvious errors and flaws, just to see how many of the errors were caught. Imagine his shock when he was informed the paper was cleared to be published by the peer review panel. He came to the conclusion that the peer review process just doesn't work much of the time.

The irony is that his study and it's findings were, of course, published in a peer reviewed journal!

edutcher said...

Agree with the commenters who are appalled at the scare this idiot threw into a lot of people, up to and including John McCain at one point IIRC. Dave is right on the money.

I have to agree with Joe and Roger J, who question why the sample size didn't set alarm bells ringing. Is this one of those things where people say, "Well, he's a scientist" or is it just, "Well it's whatshisname. He's always for the right causes. He must be right."?

CatherineM said...

Peter Hoh - Offitt is one of the people RFK Jr. refers to as a "biostitute," for creating the Roto-virus vaccine. I can't stand RFK, Jr. Really, would anyone listen to Kennedy if he wasn't RFK's son?

Most people don't, anyway.

Original Mike said...

"For a scientist to subvert science — why don't we have a much more intense feeling of horror about that?"

It's why a reacted so strongly to Climategate. And if you really want to be disgusted, read A.W. Montford's "The Hockey Stick Illusion".

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)



OK, Autism is real...it can be debilitating...beyond your screed is pointless.

It's like attacking someone who points out that Laetrile was a quack treatment of cancer!

You talking about your stepson's Asperger's doesn't prove anything about Wakefield and his study...

And Traditional was pointing out his take on people CLAIMING to be Autistic.

I CLAIM to be a Jew, is it true or not? On the Internet no one knows you’re a dog....

This isn't a thread about the "horrors" of Autism. It's just a thread about a charlatan who managed, as good charlatans manage, to hoodwink a lot of folks...

Original Mike said...

"The question was about the rest of you.

Nice deceptive move, though."


I'm not following you, Crack.

Pogo said...

Parents of kids with autism are in a tough spot. There are no answers, and the care is tough and never-ending.

My older brother is retarded, but called autistic because or certain behaviors. The name doesn't help or hurt. He is unable to care for himself regardless.

What does hurt are blind alleys like this. My own Mom was told my bother's autism was her fault because she 'rejected him in the womb'.

University of Chicago professor Bruno Bettelheim told her that himself. She was 'cold, distant and rejecting,a "refrigerator mother".

Ouch. I forgive Bettelheim, though. He was merely wrong and an asshole.

But the fraud involved in the vaccine story seems to me criminal.

knox said...

This is a great post.

peter hoh said...

I'll grant that he came at the problem with some screwy assumptions, but I'm not willing to forgive Bettleheim.

Wakefield belongs in a different circle of hell, however.

peter hoh said...

Sonic, proof that X is a fraud is a lot higher standard than consensus that X is a fraud.

The Crack Emcee said...

Joe,

I don’t know, for the same reason that America’s Politico and Lonewacko had a poor following?

But are they always - always - proven right?

Bethcha don't know that one, either.

I know - I should "calm down" about killing people.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
But are they always - always - proven right?

I sure that in THEIR minds they were always proven right, the rest of us, not so much…same as about anyone else I’d guess.

Scott M said...

I know for a fact that Politico has been very wrong at least twice recently. What of it?

The Crack Emcee said...

CatherineM,

Crack - Glenn Reynolds wrote about this many times, including this article in popular mechanics: http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/health/4273262?click=main_sr

No, he didn't - he stressed that kids should vaccinated - not that this is, specifically, "fraud". Or that we're living in an era of massive "fraud". I can't count all the incidences of "fraud" I've found out there - all of it as obvious as the nose on your face.

I mean, seriously, why isn't Oprah treated as a pariah instead of being lauded at the White House?

The Crack Emcee said...

Original Mike,

I'm not following you, Crack.

I'm just an ordinary guy and I'm livid - have been for years - about all of the fraud around me. The rest of you are "ho-hum" at best, when people are being killed by this.

I've been wondering - for years - why?

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
I mean, seriously, why isn't Oprah treated as a pariah instead of being lauded at the White House?

Some questions answer themselves. I believe this is one of those…or was it rhetorical?

As to Glenn Reynolds, he also has not commented on the “scandal” that I never got a date with Anna Nicole Smith, nor Rachel Weisz…is he REQUIRED to?

Original Mike said...

What super human powers do you think I possess, CM?

The Crack Emcee said...

Joe,

I sure that in THEIR minds they were always proven right, the rest of us, not so much…same as about anyone else I’d guess.

Yea, but I don't work at CNN, didn't write this study of Wakefield, and have been harping on this fraud for years - I even have an anti-Jenny McCarthy banner sitting at the bottom of my blog. You know why it's at the bottom?

Because I simply didn't believe y'all cared.

Your kind cares more about dissing me than that.

Marshal said...

"What bothers me is that, even when it was recognized as dubious from the day it was published, why did it take twelve years to finally be declared as a fraud"

Science takes time. That's one way we know to be skeptical when "scientists" claim the cold weather over the UK this winter was caused by global warming.

traditionalguy said...

The educated folks know these are superstitions dressed up like a "Discovery" reached from faked data studies. But if using these latest superstitions will win a governing majority in an election, then all of the political class and all of the Journalists will use them on us. Anyone think it is time for a Sarah Palin type to bring common sense back to this delusional world we find ourselves trapped in.

Joe said...

I'm just an ordinary guy and I'm livid - have been for years - about all of the fraud around me. The rest of you are "ho-hum" at best, when people are being killed by this.

The Crack Emcee said...

Original Mike,

What super human powers do you think I possess, CM?

Does it require "super human powers" to see fraud? Does it require "super human powers" to be upset about death? Does it require "super human powers" to write letters, demand action, and scream "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!"

Wait - I take that back - with people like Joe around, it just may.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
I'm just an ordinary guy and I'm livid - have been for years - about all of the fraud around me. The rest of you are "ho-hum" at best, when people are being killed by this.

Come on down off that high-Horse and Pity Pottie. As many have ALREADY said, from the MOMENT it was published, there was considerable doubt about the validity of the study, and possibly its truth. It is only now that this doubt has coalesced into near-certainty, AND that this near-certainty has been broadcast by the LSM/MSM/Big Media…who spent years broadcasting Wakefield’s claims, even with caveats. So TODAY it can be reported that it’s not just doubtful, but that indeed the study was FALSE.

You aren’t CNN or Fox News….can’t help you with that problem….when you are you can have the power they do…until then, just soldier on with the rest of us powerless schlubs…

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)


Geeeez, Crack I “knew” it was a bogus study early on…the difference is, I don’t think MY opinion, because it is my opinion, is somehow a Holy Writ that ALL should read, Bow to and Obey…unlike some here, apparently do.

The Crack Emcee said...

Joe,

Some questions answer themselves. I believe this is one of those…or was it rhetorical?

No, it wasn't. She's promoted almost every fraud on the planet and we celebrate her. Why?

Scott M said...

Define "we", Crack. I can't stand the woman any further than I can watch the first 30 seconds of "A Color Purple".

Original Mike said...

"Science takes time."

Yes, it does. When I was just starting out there was a scientist at UC-Irvine, a few years my senior, that was publishing on the same type of experiments that I was doing. His results looked very good and he was widely cited (I cited him myself, many times). It came out several years later, however, that he hadn't actually performed most of the experiments he reported; he had just made the data up. He was only caught by a suspicous colleague. It was not possible for people on the outside to know what was going on.

The Crack Emcee said...

Joe,

Gawd, you're a pain:

Geeeez, Crack I “knew” it was a bogus study early on…the difference is, I don’t think MY opinion, because it is my opinion, is somehow a Holy Writ that ALL should read, Bow to and Obey…unlike some here, apparently do.

Dude, I'm an atheist - I don't go by opinion, mine or anyone elses. This is a fraud - has been clearly, from Day One - that's not my opinion.

Explain the mechanism that makes homeopathy work. Then, if you can't, explain how it's the most popular "medicine" in France and sold in health food stores here.

Or is it just my opinion that that's a fraud as well?

And what are YOU doing about any of this - it kills too - but attacking me?

My pity-party? What you can't deal with is your own worthlessness.

Larry J said...

When science mixes too heavily with politics or lawyers, you can expect bad results. That's why "political science" is an oxymoron.

I wonder how many civil lawsuits were influenced by this fraudulent study. Would the study being proven fraudulent offer grounds for appeals or countersuits? It seems to me there should be some serious legal and financial consequences, both to the researcher and the law firms that profited.

Autism is both real and mysterious. The most seriously afflicted are often unable to communicate what they're experiencing. Many years ago, "60 Minutes" had a fascinating interview with an autistic young woman who'd written a book. She had limited functionality and somehow benefitted from wearing rose tinted glasses (no joke) because it reduced the amount of overstimulation she felt in daily life. I wish I could find a link to the show segment or to her book. It was a fascinating story.

The Crack Emcee said...

ScottM,

When I call you out, you'll know it.

Stop it, dude. I've got enough on my hands with Joe, than to be attacked by you for a general statement. Jeez.

Original Mike said...

Crack - The fact that homeopathy has credibility amongst a non-negligible proportion of the population is proof of the axiom "You can't fix stupid." I'm not going to waste my life in a futile attempt to try.

The Crack Emcee said...

Original Mike,

Crack - The fact that homeopathy has credibility amongst a non-negligible proportion of the population is proof of the axiom "You can't fix stupid." I'm not going to waste my life in a futile attempt to try.

But you will waste others lives by not doing anything. I gotcha.

Then please understand when I write things like this.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
Dude, I'm an atheist - I don't go by opinion, mine or anyone elses. This is a fraud - has been clearly, from Day One - that's not my opinion.

Actually it WAS just your opinion…UNLESS you scoured the data Wakefield produced and demonstrated that he had, indeed, committed fraud. You see, without PROOF, it’s only an “opinion.” Now atheists may use different rules of argumentation or logic, I don’t know, but otherwise I believe this is a fairly substantive argument against your complaint…and is the axiom upon which I base my claim, you need to come down from the High Horse, because, simply being Crack Emcee doesn’t get you much in the world, not even a decent cup of coffee at Panera.

Explain the mechanism that makes homeopathy work. Then, if you can't, explain how it's the most popular "medicine" in France and sold in health food stores here.

Or is it just my opinion that that's a fraud as well?


1) What does this have to do with the SUBJECT of the thread. Wakefield’s fraudulent study?
2) Where have I defended homeopathy?
3) And where have I defended Wakefield?
4)



And what are YOU doing about any of this - it kills too - but attacking me?
What am I SUPPOSED to be “doing about it?” Burning Wakefield out, plotting “dirty tricks” against Oprah? Railing against the Conspiracy on the Internet, via postings and my ill-known blog?

My pity-party? What you can't deal with is your own worthlessness.


Argumentum ad Hominem, always a good choice…feel free to continue to attack someone who has never believed that this study was valid or true, but who doesn’t share your inflated opinion of your opinion.


No, it wasn't. She's promoted almost every fraud on the planet and we celebrate her. Why?


Your question was why is she feted at the White House, since you obviously didn’t mean this rhetorically:
1) She endorsed Barak Obama, so ipso facto she’s going to be feted by THIS White House.
2) She has Millions of viewers, many of whom vote…ergo ANY White House will be leery of crossing The Oprah.
Apparently in Crack Emcee World these are difficult propositions to grasp. Anyway, now I’ve answered your question.

Scott M said...

Stop it, dude. I've got enough on my hands with Joe, than to be attacked by you for a general statement. Jeez.

Be more precise then, geez. General statements are generally worthless in general. I, for one, don't like the implication of being lumped in with a point of view I don't share. I would suggest most people feel the same way.

The Crack Emcee said...

Joe,

Actually it WAS just your opinion…UNLESS you scoured the data Wakefield produced and demonstrated that he had, indeed, committed fraud.

Dude, you're an idiot. Common sense exists - and, I guess, I'm one of the few that possesses it. I didn't need a study to tell me this was bullshit - not going up against "scientists". Don't you understand that - mine isn't a fight against "science" but "scientists". My wife killed three people with a "doctor", dude. A homeopathic "doctor". I figured his shit out in 5 minutes. but 'scientists" have been debating that shit for 200 years!

James Randi said trying to break through the barrier of foolishness out there is like trying to empty the ocean with a paper cup, and you're proving why that is:

You're attacking the messenger.

The Crack Emcee said...

Oh - and Randi - he's a magician.

AKA - not qualified to knowledgeably speak on anything either.

The Crack Emcee said...

ScottM,

Be more precise then, geez.

Or you stop being a bitch. If you ain't the one, then don't be. Or do you think all the girls listening to Too $hort think they're the "bitch" he's talking about?

Geez. You guys got pussy in the veins.

CatherineM said...

You know, someone mentioned their nephew was autistic. I have a nephew with many physical and mental impairments. He has some autistic features (such as the "rain man" rocking), but he is severely retarded (water on the brain as an infant). The state pays for "autism class," 5 days a week (it's basically busy activities - he needs a lot of stimulation or he gets agitated - my sister will sometimes drive for hours on the weekend just to keep him calm). I am sure he is one of the new wave of cases even though he was only given that tag in the last few years.

Original Mike said...

"Dude, you're an idiot. Common sense exists - and, I guess, I'm one of the few that possesses it."

One thing the practice of science teaches you is that just because something makes sense doesn't make it correct. It's rather humbling, actually.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
Dude, you're an idiot. Common sense exists - and, I guess, I'm one of the few that possesses it. I didn't need a study to tell me this was bullshit - not going up against "scientists". Don't you understand that - mine isn't a fight against "science" but "scientists". My wife killed three people with a "doctor", dude. A homeopathic "doctor". I figured his shit out in 5 minutes. but 'scientists" have been debating that shit for 200 years!

James Randi said trying to break through the barrier of foolishness out there is like trying to empty the ocean with a paper cup, and you're proving why that is:

You're attacking the messenger.

No you had PREJUDICE, not Common Sense….the study was peer-reviewed, in a reputable journal, it made no OBVIOUS mistakes….your objections were based not objective evidence, but your hatred of “scientists.” BTW, Scientists, don’t buy homeopathy…Scientists haven’t been debating it for 200 years. Charlatans have been promoting it and the Shills buying it…there’s a difference. Rest assured 50 years from now there will still be folks who:
1) Think that there was a “Gunman on the Grassy Knoll”;
2) That Homeopathy is valid; and
3) 9/11 was an “Inside Job.”
The fact that some people believe this in no way means that anyone is debating them, only that some people will believe anything, to the bitter end.

You are simply claiming a prescience that is NOT justified…UNLESS you can show that you had been publishing problems with Wakefield PRIOR to the study in question. Again, being Crack Emcee doesn’t give you a special insight into much of anything, but the mind of Crack Emcee.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

The Amazing Randi IS “qualified” to comment on many things…he is NOT qualified to talk on the issue of Materials Science, the heat of the fire on the 98th Floor of the WTC, and the effect of heat on steel structural members, UNLESS he has credentials in Materials Science, but he is certainly qualified to point out how charlatans, psychics, and others use simple tricks to convince you of their “powers.”

Freeman Hunt said...

I know so many mothers and fathers who refused to vaccinate their children based on this sham study.

Of course, there was ample evidence from other studies that something was wrong with Wakefield's. Best case scenario here is that people learn more about how to evaluate scientific conclusions and stop grasping onto one single study or another, ignoring all evidence to its contrary.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

The Crack Emcee said...

Question: why does my blog only have 23 followers and 12 Facebook friends?

A thorough reading of this thread might perhaps lead to an answer. If this is the way you treat commenters who mostly agree with you, it will be difficult to build much of a following.

Skipper50 said...

Of course there are still competent and honest scientists, but fraud and politics have made it impossible for most of us to know whom to trust, hence we trust noone (this is you, global warming frauds).

Freeman Hunt said...

Question: why does my blog only have 23 followers and 12 Facebook friends?

Because most of us don't click that follow thing for any blog, and some of us hate Facebook. Hate. It.

Scott M said...

You've already lost if you're going to throw a punk-assed Too Short reference at me and go out of your way to use a $ in typing it out. Epic fail. Grow a pair and get used to being disagreed with.

Maguro said...

A lot of people thought the Wakefield study was bugus as soon as it was published. This guy in particular has been waving the bullshit flag for years. Finally, after many years, respectable mainstream science has caught up. Wakefield has caused incredible amounts of damage with his fraudulent study. From autistic kids who had to needlessly suffer through painful, invasive chelation and mercury removal therapies to normal kids who got sick with the measles because their parents were afraid to get them vaccinated. I believe there was at least one death associated with the UK measles outbreak, as well. If there's a way to throw this fucker in jail, I hope they find it. What he did is the scientific equivalent of yelling fire in a crowded theater. There should be some accountability.

The Crack Emcee said...

Maguro,

Finally, after many years, respectable mainstream science has caught up.

Got that, Joe? "Caught up". It's your punk ass that's behind - and I ain't laying down what I know for anyone. I didn't need science to catch up - I've got common sense (and a friend with a kid who's autistic) so I don't have to have this shit handed to me from on high. I was right and they were wrong and Western society is sick in the head and (Martin L. Shoemaker) if frustration is too much for it to handle as it accepts the wrong ideas from the "nice" folks then, I guess, Original Mike is right and it deserves to let a whore like Jenny McCarthy be capable of convincing it to kill it's own kids.

Or something like that.

The Crack Emcee said...

Joe - Gawd, you're stupid and a liar:

I dare you to look up England's "evidence check" on homeopathy and tell me there wasn't a scientist and a doctor telling them you had to shake the preparation for it to work but he didn't know how much.

And then explain to me why homeopathy is still on the NHS if it's just "charlatans" promoting it.

Don't fuck with me, dude - this is my subject - you can't win.

The Crack Emcee said...

ScottM,

You've already lost if you're going to throw a punk-assed Too Short reference at me and go out of your way to use a $ in typing it out. Epic fail. Grow a pair and get used to being disagreed with.

Typinjg a dollar sign is "going out of my way"? Man, you do get a stick up your butt, sometimes. Like I asked before, do you do this nit-picky shit to your wife?

It's gotta be maddening.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
Got that, Joe? "Caught up". It's your punk ass that's behind - and I ain't laying down what I know for anyone. I didn't need science to catch up - I've got common sense (and a friend with a kid who's autistic) so I don't have to have this shit handed to me from on high. I was right and they were wrong and Western society is sick in the head and (Martin L. Shoemaker) if frustration is too much for it to handle as it accepts the wrong ideas from the "nice" folks then, I guess, Original Mike is right and it deserves to let a whore like Jenny McCarthy be capable of convincing it to kill its own kids.

Or something like that.


Nice spew and screed, not much to it…so what we all need to do is just follow your blog and you will tell us what we need to know, then Crack…no need for evidence or anything, Crack will just “know.” Sounds like the reason you’re an atheist is that you wish to substitute your own Godhead there, for Yhwh’s. Would you care to elaborate on how your ‘common sense” informed you that Wakefield’s study was “invalid’ or “untrue?”

I pointed out early on that the study was seriously deficient in numbers, 12 cases, when a study of thousands was possible certainly raises red flags…BUT his study used colonoscopy and biopsy results, supposedly…so thought he numbers were suspect he supposedly had some pathology evidence. Would you care to comment on how your “common sense” would have dealt with his histological slides or his biopsy results?

Again you had PREJUDICE, not common sense…Just like Tom Robb might blame a black person for a burglary, he might be proven right, but the reason Robb would have said it had nothing to do with evidence, and much more to do with his antipathy to blacks. That’s PREJUDICE not Common Sense at work, as well.

Martin Shoemaker is right, you wonder why no one follows your blog when you spew such venom against Althouse, your host, and those who agree with you? It’s not a wonder to most of the readers of this blog. Today you are closing in on Lonewacko territory, making claims and insulting all about you, and suggesting that YOU are alone are some kind of unheralded and unsung prophet…

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
Joe - Gawd, you're stupid and a liar:

I dare you to look up England's "evidence check" on homeopathy and tell me there wasn't a scientist and a doctor telling them you had to shake the preparation for it to work but he didn't know how much.

And then explain to me why homeopathy is still on the NHS if it's just "charlatans" promoting it.

Don't fuck with me, dude - this is my subject - you can't win.


I’m sorry;
1) This isn’t a thread about homeopathy; and
2) I don’t believe in it….
Save your hobby horse causes for your blog, please.

Triangle Man said...

Question: why does my blog only have 23 followers and 12 Facebook friends?

I don't know, but you have 80 subscribers on google reader.

cubanbob said...

"Crack - The fact that homeopathy has credibility amongst a non-negligible proportion of the population is proof of the axiom "You can't fix stupid." I'm not going to waste my life in a futile attempt to try.


The French have an expresion that goes "if a million people belive a foolish thing, its still a foolish thing".

Crack unfortunately most of the population falls under PT Barnum's dictum that "98% of the world is composed of fools and the other 2% are in great danger of contamination".

There is no point in railing against foolishness, doing so is as pointless as pissing against the wind in a windstorm and not expecting to get wet. You mentioned 200 years regarding the silliness of homeopathy yet people still belive after several thousand years in astrology. As others have quoted "you can't fix stupid'. It really is pointless to even attempt a rational conversation with the cargo cultist mentality. So as another expression goes "its like trying to teach a pig to sing, it can't be done and it annoys the pig".

Scott M said...

Like I asked before, do you do this nit-picky shit to your wife?

No, pretty much only to you and Alpha Liberal. Not even to him anymore as I've stopped suffering his foolishness. I only continue doing it to you because you're an easy mark and it's fun.

The Crack Emcee said...

Joe,

Martin Shoemaker is right, you wonder why no one follows your blog when you spew such venom against Althouse, your host, and those who agree with you?

Two things:

1) Althouse hosts a salon - a place to debate ideas - she's a big girl, unlike others here.

2) This is an outrageous comment coming from the first person to attack me on this thread. Get that, Joe? it was no one but YOU! And now you're going to try to act like the reasonable guy facing me down? You're a fool!

Especially if you think - like this fraud - I was going to miss that. Really:

Your hypocrisy, lack of self-awareness, or insight - and general state of idiocy - knows no bounds.

The Crack Emcee said...

And let's remember a few other things:

1) You and I have never spoken before, so you can't say you attacked me because of some grudge we have.

2) The remark you attacked me on didn't warrant it - you just decided to be cruel and went for it.

3) Unlike you, I have never claimed, or tried to present myself to be, anything but what I am - the black guy here whose life was ripped apart by this stuff and is angry about it.

4) if you know my story, then attacking me on this subject is just adding insult to injury - which you've gladly done.

You're the true asshole here, Mr.Nice Guy:

It's all the people going on for civility, when it's unwarranted, who are the least civil.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
Joe - Gawd, you're stupid and a liar:



This is an outrageous comment coming from the first person to attack me on this thread. Get that, Joe? it was no one but YOU! And now you're going to try to act like the reasonable guy facing me down? You're a fool!

I’m sorry, I’m “stupid”, “a liar” and “a fool.” And I’m attacking YOU?

In fact, I can’t even find where I “attacked you.” I don’t agree with you, and if that’s an attack I guess you’re new to the Intarwebz……..

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
1) You and I have never spoken before, so you can't say you attacked me because of some grudge we have.

2) The remark you attacked me on didn't warrant it - you just decided to be cruel and went for it.

3) Unlike you, I have never claimed, or tried to present myself to be, anything but what I am - the black guy here whose life was ripped apart by this stuff and is angry about it.

4) if you know my story, then attacking me on this subject is just adding insult to injury - which you've gladly done.

You're the true asshole here, Mr.Nice Guy:


Was this directed at anyone in particular? I’m not seeing where anyone was Cruel to you…Oh yeah your life was ripped apart, and I don’t suitably “comfort yo?” Is that it? I’m not sure what “you’re on about.”

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
Joe - Gawd, you're stupid and a liar:
You're a fool!


Especially if you think - like this fraud - I was going to miss that. Really:

Your hypocrisy, lack of self-awareness, or insight - and general state of idiocy -


Some recap, I am “stupid,” “a liar,” “a fool,” and an “idiot”, but I’m attacking YOU…Good to see that Sweet Reason governs Crack Emcee.

I have suggested that you opposed this study not with EVIDENCE, or even COMMON SENSE, but because of PREJUDICE…I am hard-pressed to see that as an attack….

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)




Now if Crack and I haven’t killed this thread, would anyone care to comment on the topic? Why didn’t someone poke around in the hospital records, 12 years ago, and notice, “Kid ‘A’ NEVER had that problem, Wakefield is lying!”?

Scott M said...

@Joe

Scott M said:

Wait...I thought the science was settled on this one...

There...are we back on tact now?

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
There...are we back on tact now?



Mayhap…
Like said earlier, the study was a 12-person study…why didn’t someone, years ago actually look at the study, or rather the patients? Sure with thousands of patients you can’t, but 12? Instead, we get questions about the “low numbers” or discussions about “plasmid contamination.” It turns out had someone read the kid’s charts they’ve have discovered that Wakefield was just making things up!

traditionalguy said...

Traditionally, appraisers or psychologists could be hired to say diametrically opposed facts existed on any issue before the court. Who to believe was left to the jury and the Judge but only after hearing from both sides' experts and a lengthy cross examination. In the last 20 years the hiring of entire educational institutions to fabricate Hoax Sciences, complete with fake data research and books given face value credence by a world wide Journolist Fraud operation that refuses to present the other side, have become a run away train of massive fraud. The winnersin this game are really crooks worthy of imprisonment, but the oversight system only demands a bribery cut from the crooks to overlook all of that. Welcome to ChiTown methods. We desparatly need to elect a tough and honest cookie like Sarah Palin. The RINOS are fully in the flow of bribes to allow these massive frauds to go on unchallenged.

Maguro said...

@Joe - The Wakefield study is only one part of a larger fraud/manufactured hysteria surrounding supposed links between mercury/thimerosol and autism. There is so much anti-scientific quackery surrounding this whole issue that it's difficult to even catalog. Some people have been onto their game for years. As I mentioned above, a guy who calls himself Orac (see here and here) has been about the best at debunking this bullshit and he's been at it for a while. So it's not like no one's ever known there was an issue with the science behind the mercury/autism hysteria, it's just that it's taken mainstream science forever to catch up with what a lot of informed people were saying all along.

I should add that this quackery was around long before Wakefield and will be around after he's gone. My son was diagnosed with autism in 1992 and there were anti-mercury types around back then who were talking chelation and all sorts of other detoxification nonsense long before Wakefield did his bullshit study. With autism, the quackery just never ends.

Marshal said...

"Like said earlier, the study was a 12-person study…why didn’t someone, years ago actually look at the study, or rather the patients?"

Usually patients are not specifically identified. You have to be willing to and capable of credibly accusing fraud before you can force the release of those details.

"With autism, the quackery just never ends."

Lawyers see sympathetic victims (a law firm intending to sue underwrote the Wakefield study - a fact undisclosed at publication). They know they can win regardless of the scientific facts, as juries will force anyone at hand to pay for children in need. John Edwards made his fortune acting as dead children to juries.

The Crack Emcee said...

Joe,

I am hard-pressed to see that as an attack….

Comparing anyone to Lonewhacko is an attack, which you did, and now conveniently forgot.

Now go on - you guys continue talking about how scientists (once again) missed the obvious and fell for a scam any child could see through - while I'll play Rudolph and leave you to reindeer games.

Enjoy.

Sam said...

Mainstream science has been pretty clear from the beginning that this stuff was bunk. But people wanted someone to blame and vaccines were a handy scapegoat. They still are as despite the mountain of evidence that says otherwise the usual suspects will still insist that it must have been something related to vaccines that causes autism.

Meanwhile research on autism has been set back by at least a decade. Autistic individuals has had to suffer through all kinds of awful attempts to "cure" and treat their autism. That plus the people who have been sickened or died due to a resurgence of vaccine preventable diseases has me pissed.

Joe said...

(the Crypto Jew)

Well if being cvompared to Lonewacko is an "attack" you're pretty thin-skinned, *WOW* Well if that's an attack, so be it....

Well any way to the evidence...

el polacko said...

autism, itself, is a fraud. your kid hyperactive? autism. completely docile? autism. brilliant? autism. a blithering idiot? autism. if everything is autism, then nothing is.