Viewpoint: Oprah as Harvard’s Commencement Speaker Is an Endorsement of Phony Science

As America's oldest and most visible university, Harvard should publicly affirm evidence-based inquiry, not quack medicine

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Elise Amendola / AP

Oprah Winfrey receives an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Harvard University during commencement ceremonies in Cambridge, Mass., on May 30, 2013.

It’s possible to admire Oprah Winfrey and still wish that Harvard hadn’t awarded her an honorary doctor of law degree and the coveted commencement speaker spot at yesterday’s graduation. There’s no question Oprah’s achievements place her in the pantheon of American success stories. Talent, charisma, and a prodigious work ethic have rarely catapulted anyone as far as they have this former abused teenage mother from rural Mississippi who became one of the world’s most successful entertainment moguls and the first African American female billionaire.

(MORE: Oprah Expert on How Winfrey’s Brand Changed America)

Honorary degrees are often bestowed to non-academic leaders in the arts, business, and politics. Harvard’s roster in recent years has included Kofi Annan, Bill Gates, Meryl Streep, and David Souter. But Oprah’s particular brand of celebrity is not a good fit for the values of a university whose motto, Veritas, means truth. Oprah’s passionate advocacy extends, unfortunately, to a hearty embrace of phony science. Critics have taken Oprah to task for years for her energetic shilling on behalf of peddlers of quack medicine. Most notoriously, Oprah’s validation of Jenny McCarthy’s discredited claim that vaccines cause autism has no doubt contributed to much harm through the foolish avoidance of vaccines.

(MORE: Pomp and Controversy: 7 Contentious Commencement Speakers)

Famous people are entitled to a few foibles, like the rest of us, and the choice of commencement speakers often reflects a balance of institutional priorities, allegiances, and aspirations. Judging from our conversations with many students, Oprah was a widely popular choice.

But this vote of confidence in Oprah sends a troubling message at precisely the time when American universities need to do more, not less, to advance the cause of reason. As former Dean of Harvard College, Harry Lewis, pointedly noted in a blog post about his objections, “It seems very odd for Harvard to honor such a high profile popularizer of the irrational. I can’t square this in my mind, at a time when political and religious nonsense so imperil the rule of reason in this allegedly enlightened democracy and around the world.”

Many Americans are unaware that federal funding for biomedical and social science research is under siege from Congressional cuts. As a result, observers in the private sector fear a major disruption in American innovation. If we do not take seriously the ability of science to help us understand the world and drive economic growth, we risk imperiling one of the key pillars of American prosperity.

Examples of the disrespect for, and not just misunderstanding of, science are everywhere. It’s not just those who ignore climate science (alas, at our peril). Recall how Sarah Palin famously mocked research on fruit flies, ignoring the reality that most of modern genetics is built on the study of this organism, or the factually incorrect belief that women can ‘shut the whole thing down‘ when they are raped to avoid conception. It even extends to United States senators who misunderstand basic probability (thinking that a tornado could not possibly strike the same town in Oklahoma twice).

As America’s oldest and most visible university, Harvard has a special opportunity to convey its respect for science not only through its research and teaching programs but also in its public affirmation of evidence-based inquiry.

(MORE: Wither Goes Free Speech at Harvard?)

Unfortunately, many American universities seem awfully busy protecting their brand name and not nearly busy enough protecting the pursuit of knowledge. A recent article in the Harvard Crimson noted the shocking growth of Harvard’s public relations arm in the last five years and it questioned whether a focus on risk management and avoiding controversy was really the best outward-looking face of this great institution.

As American research universities begin to resemble profit centers and entertainment complexes, it’s easy to lose sight of their primary mission: to produce and disseminate knowledge from which all of society can benefit. This mission depends on traditions of rational discourse and vigorous defense of the scientific method. Oprah Winfrey’s honorary doctorate was a step in the wrong direction.

642 comments
gbunny
gbunny

Harvard has shown itself to be be less than its own reputation suggests, by keeping debunked economics professors (the 'austerity' authors) in their cushy tenured jobs, and by producing generations of people whose only talent seems to be that they can work in "I went to Harvard" in every conversation.  As to Oprah - she's a celebrity pure and simple, and an easy non-threatening feel-good speaker.  But I agree with many posters who feel that her positions on quack science and fads have hurt, not helped, her viewers.  Judging by the comments, however, any criticism of Oprah and her style is by definition racist.  NONSENSE.  We joke that there's a set of books that are 'oprah-esque' - sad little child is abused, overcomes her impoverished abusive beginnings, becomes successful and happy.  Nearly every book she recommends has this basic plot.  It's her real story and good for her, but we don't need a whole bookshelf of similar stories.

ReginaldSamothyAdams
ReginaldSamothyAdams

We as a species have a bias towards sameness; we'll like someone more readily if they're "like us"(unless they're exhibiting traits we have which we hate).
I'd say one of the reasons Oprah's so successful is because of how "like" the American populace she is; kind and well-meaning, relatively ignorant of science, and persuaded by "alternative medicine".
"Do you know what they call alternative medicine that actually works? They call it medicine."

AlbusNerdisky
AlbusNerdisky

Just thought the comments here would benefit from some actual science.

The data showing that vaccines do not cause autism, and the fact that the arguments to the contrary are completely BS, has been clearly demonstrated.

E.g.

http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/node/5026

http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2011/Adverse-Effects-of-Vaccines-Evidence-and-Causality.aspx

In contrast there is lots and lots of data on what actually does cause autism:

E.g.

http://www.macalester.edu/~wests/econ431/sep08_Gruber.pdf

http://www.dialogues-cns.com/publication/dialoguesclinneurosci-14-281-xml/

http://europepmc.org/articles/PMC3513679

I chose these three as examples because the free full text versions are available.

The pattern is very clear:

1.Data shows that real risk factors fro autism effect embryos

2.Extensive work has detailed the molecules and cells that are affected during embryonic development that result in autism symptoms occurring later

3.Even though they claim to be advocates for parents and informed choice etc, etc, I can’t find a single anti-vacc site that makes even a tiny effort at providing the facts on the etiology of autism.

The conclusion is obvious.

W&N

lilady
lilady

The TACT Study is presently under review by a slew of researchers, for a variety of reasons including failure of retention of study subjects, the early unblinding, the credentials of the researchers and the soft end points of the two armed study.  Here's just one of the cardiologists/researchers who is questioning the TACT study:

http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1672219

Oprah is correct, you say?  I don't think has the ability to judge that study or any other study.


chinidesign
chinidesign

The NIH TACT study was published by JAMA on March 27, 2013, after an almost 5 month delay after the presentation by Dr. Lamas on Nov. 4, 2012 at the American Heart Association Scientific Session in Los Angeles. After 10 years and over $30 million of the taxpayers money, NIH proved an overall improvement in all the endpoints by 18%, including heart disease, diabetic heart disease and heart attacks.

chinidesign
chinidesign

Watch the new documentary "Unleaded," then you might learn something about the $30 million 10 year study by Gervasio Lamas, MD of the NIH proving Chelation Therapy improves heart disease by 26%, diabetic heart disease by 18%, and myocardial infarctions (heart attacks, etc.) by 23%. Oprah is correct.

NikiWonoto
NikiWonoto

"clever Business" people are actually what I firmly/strongly believe to be THE core/essential cause of almost EVERY other problems in our "modern 21st century" society/world today!

It's *Capitalism* system coupled with humans' over-greed going UN-controllable!


lilady
lilady

Who is purveying junk science- disgraced and discredited former doctors Wakefield and Geier? Why?

Which anti-vaccine, anti-science organizations set the agenda for the recent Congressional Oversight Hearings?  

Rebut my statements and rebut what former Age of Autism contributor Jake Crosby and Tim Bolen wrote about that Congressional Hearing.

http://www.bolenreport.com/Mark%20Geier/autism%20infighting3.htm


JoshMazer
JoshMazer

Rebut it, footnoted reference by footnoted reference.

Who is purveying junk scuence- CDC or NIH? Why?

Serawit
Serawit

@gbunny One thing is clear from this comment; you're adept at boiling down complex issues into simple stereotypes. Often a sign of a lazy mind.

commentpanther
commentpanther

@lilady It was jenny McCarthy who was skeptical of vaccines, not Oprah.  Oprah read a disclaimer debunking McCarthy.

HeatherRhodesWhite
HeatherRhodesWhite

@lilady 

An Update On Congress, Autism and the VICP:  Mark Blaxill, Louis Conte, Brian Hooker, Rolf Hazelhurst


Download Free Handout


This update was in regard to the November 2012 Oversight Hearings regarding vaccines and autism.  I attended this Hearing and submitted my testimony, which I discussed earlier in my blog.  The update focused on Coleen Boyle, who represented the CDC and was required to further her testimony in writing to refute the charges of perjury, which was discussed in the inclosed handout.  Boyle's response was disappointing at best and furthered perjury statements at worst.  Brian Hooker PhD easily identified the untruthful statements in Boyle's testimony like the denial of an autism epidemic etc.  Those rebuttals by Hooker are inclosed in the free handout.  

Congressman Darrell Issa sat in during this talk and listened to the evidence against the CDC, DOJ and HHS.  He showed full support for our advocacy work and praised our dedication.  This Congressman who heads the Congressional Oversight Committee left Washington DC in the midst of the Benghazi and IRS scandal to stand with us.  

It was heartening to listen to these very influential politicians support our cause in stopping vaccine injury.  Much of what they had to say related to encouragement but they did go into specific strategies that will aid in our advocacy.


1.  Contact our Congressional representatives and ask them to co-sponsor HR1757
2.  Ask for a face to face meeting with your Congressional representatives and ask them to open a case file for information disclosure regarding vaccines or more specifically health related information on autism or other adverse health outcomes associated with vaccine injury.  This will force a paper trail and is a valuable function of a Congressional office.  "It fills an important humanitarian need and gives the Member of Congress a direct line to the needs and concerns of his or her constituents" (Casework Manual, 2011).  This is a great way to obtain hard to reach government documents that are damning to the vaccine policy.  I hope that the larger Autism advocacy groups will help organize a list of important documents to ask for so there will not be redundancy. 
3.  Organize your full strategy to the very end and supply that information to your representative.  This shows the seriousness of your concern.  For instance if you want to implement therapies that are not typically offered in your area make sure you have the Federal Grant already written and ready to present to your Congressman.  These things are hard to vote against when they come up.
4.  Ask a well thought out question when you get the chance to interact with your Congressional representative.  Give them time to get back with you for an answer and have another question ready.  Continue with this question campaign and use it to educate and inform your Congressman. 
5.  Be present with your representatives and gather together increasing in numbers!

Oh, and there will be more Hearing relating to this issue.  They are scheduled for November. 

CynthiaParker
CynthiaParker

All the federal agencies are, also the FDA and IoM.  Look at how former head of CDC Julie  Gerberding admitted in twisted words that vaccines had caused Hannah Poling's autism, then denied that they did, and then went through the revolving door little more than a year later to become head of Merck's vaccine division. Intertwined financial interests and vested interests at every turn.

AlbusNerdisky
AlbusNerdisky

@JoshMazer

“Junk Science” means it is so poor it fails the Daubert quality standard.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daubert_standard

There is now a significant body of US Civil Court cases relevant to autism.

E.g http://www.astarcourts.net/Blackwell_v._Wyeth_408_Md._575.pdf

Where the courts detail how all the vaccine cause autism arguments are junk science and demonstrate how the anti-vaccs literally make “data” up to support their claims.

Naturally the anti-vacc only strategy is to be dishonest and to claim that one can’t sue vaccine manufacturers.

A reminder of the two central truths:

1.The vaccine cause autism is just a health care scam,

2. Anyone that can sue Google and see their dishonesty

Thanks for reminding us of these facts.

W&N

lilady
lilady

@commentpanther@lilady Here's the exact dialogue between McCarthy and Oprah...as reported by Newsweek:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2009/05/29/live-your-best-life-ever.html

"...In 2007, Oprah invited Jenny McCarthy, the Playboy model and actress, to describe her struggle to find help for her young son. When he was 2½, Evan suffered a series of seizures. A neurologist told McCarthy he was autistic. "So what do you think triggered the autism?" Oprah asked McCarthy. "I know you have a theory."

McCarthy is certain that her son contracted autism from the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination he received as a baby. She told Oprah that the morning he went in for his checkup, her instincts told her not to allow the doctor to give him the vaccine. "I said to the doctor, I have a very bad feeling about this shot. This is the autism shot, isn't it? And he said no, that is ridiculous; it is a mother's desperate attempt to blame something on autism. And he swore at me." The nurse gave Evan the shot. "And not soon thereafter," McCarthy said, "boom, soul gone from his eyes." 

"....But back on the Oprah show, McCarthy's charges went virtually unchallenged. Oprah praised McCarthy's bravery and plugged her book, but did not invite a physician or scientist to explain to her audience the many studies that contradict the vaccines-autism link. Instead, Oprah read a brief statement from the Centers for Disease Control saying there was no science to prove a connection and that the government was continuing to study the problem. But McCarthy got the last word. "My science is named Evan, and he's at home. That's my science." Oprah might say that McCarthy was just sharing her first-person story and that Oprah wasn't endorsing her point of view. But by the end of the show, the take-away message for any mother with young kids was pretty clear: be afraid."

Wait...It gets "better"

"Oprah told viewers that McCarthy would be available to answer questions and give guidance later that day on Oprah.com. One viewer went online to ask McCarthy what she would do if she could do it all over again. "If I had another child," McCarthy answered, "I would not vaccinate." A mother wrote in to say that she had decided not to give her child the MMR vaccine because of fears of autism. McCarthy was delighted. "I'm so proud you followed your mommy instinct," she wrote. A year later, McCarthy was back on the show for an episode about "Warrior Moms," which gave her another opportunity to expand on her claims about vaccines and autism. Oprah must have liked what she heard. McCarthy became a semiregular guest on the show, and in May, Oprah announced that her production company had signed McCarthy for a talk show of her own..."



AlbusNerdisky
AlbusNerdisky

@HeatherRhodesWhite @lilady

So I read the free handout.

If you keep posting like this readers might conclude that you are a plant from Merck trying to make the anti-vaccs look dishonest.

{Alleged} “Vaccine injured children can not go to a court of law”

We all know that is a flat out lie.

“The Poling family did not do anything wrong”

I already posted the court document detailing how they lied to the court about their illegal press conference.That was clearly wrong.

"The government never intended for the American people to know about the Poling case and has fought to keep the evidence in her case from being reveled to the American public”

This too is an out right lie.The court was very clear that the government wanted the court records released to the public and it was the Polings that prevented this from occurring.

But best of all, if you read Zimmerman’s actual words he was very clear:he argued that Polings’ encephalopathy was caused by the fever from her vaccines—page 9 of the PDF.

One can’t be functionally literate and believe this anti-vacc BS.Sorry, it also takes the integrity to read the words.

W&N

PS anyone paying attention can’t help but know that actual statisticians have explained for years why the vaccinated vs unvaccinated study will give false results.Again the anti-vaccs actions demonstrate zero interest in our children’s health…just like all the other times.

AlbusNerdisky
AlbusNerdisky

@CynthiaParker

oCrrection:Gerberding never said that vaccines cause autism.The anti-vaccs just prey upon folks too clueless to follow her words/too pathetic to check what she actual said.

Speaking of the ethics of her joining Merck.I have repeatedly asked anti-vaccs to check with ethicists before engaging in these personal attacks on people like Gerberding.

So far every single one has refused.An irony not missed on most people.

So Cynthia are you willing to be the first to act with integrity and to verify her actions with actual ethicists?

W&N

HeatherRhodesWhite
HeatherRhodesWhite

@AlbusNerdisky@JoshMazer 

I know the attorney that was involved with that and the Special Masters did not even view the science which is legitimate.  They simply threw it out of court without due course.  Rolf Hazelhurst the attorney for one of the victims of vaccine injury in the Omnibus proceedings had some interesting updates.  The Department of Justice (DOJ) which defends the vaccine policy had their expert witness Dr. Andrew Zimmerman submitted two opinions regarding vaccine injury and autism diagnosis.  The DOJ chose to use only one of those opinions, which was favorable to the vaccine policy and bury the other opinion that was not.  The DOJ should be asked (and I suspect will be) why the information that vaccines can contribute to at least some cases of autism is being held from the public.  Att Hazelhurst also brought up Justice Department attorney Vincent Matanoski's role concealing the unfavorable Zimmerman report into court records knowing that it existed but stating that there is no known opinion or scientific evidence that vaccines are contributory to autism.  Lastly Hazelhurst informed us that the Congressional Oversight Committee will be holding further Hearings regarding the information held by United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP).  Hopefully those Hearings will take place this November.

ReginaldSamothyAdams
ReginaldSamothyAdams

@commentpanther
Yea, I'm not sure on what planet your comment would be considered to have debunked the one you're trying to debunk. Must be weird there.

commentpanther
commentpanther

@lilady @commentpanther how many science bloggers have actually watched Oprah?  They all just regurgitate the same biased hit piece from Newsweek.  And yes, I do think it's racist and sexist when white male billionaires and millionaires of Google, Facebook, Youtube, Bing etc, spread a million times more pseudoscience, but only Oprah gets attacked.

lilady
lilady

@commentpanther You should have read the rest of the article...to see how Oprah uses her show to feature other crank guests who purvey their pseudoscience.  Every science blogger has written Oprah's penchant for feature alternative medicine practitioners and representatives of dodgy products and *theories*.

Please don't play the race card...it is irrelevant and unwarranted.

commentpanther
commentpanther

McCarthy was on Oprah to discuss mothering an autistic child, not to discuss vaccines.  Oprah only gave McCarthy 30 seconds to discuss her vaccine theory and then immediately read a disclaimer debunking McCarthy's belief.   The fact that Newsweek had to desperately scrounge the thousands of message board comments from Oprah.com shows they found virtually no anti-vaccine comments on Oprah's show itself,, but there's vastly more anti-vaccine commentary right here in these comments.


The white male billionaires and millionaires who run companies like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, and Youtube make a MILLION TIMES more anti-vaccine propaganda accessible to BILLIONS of people every second of the day than Oprah ever did, but the founders of those companies would never be attacked for it the way articles like this attack Oprah for a 30 second comment Jenny McCarthy made. They would never be accused of promoting phoney science or have their Harvard honor speaking honors second guessed. The double standard is breathtaking.

And Oprah never gave McCarthy a talk show and never will.

AlbusNerdisky
AlbusNerdisky

@HeatherRhodesWhite

Scientific illiteracy

Thanks for posting the Frye paper.

Surprise, you didn’t understand even the title of the paper.Here is the relevant part“….for acquired mitochondrial disease in autism spectrum”

Anyone with the most modest literacy skills can easily see that this paper argues that metabolites in kids with ASD might cause some impairment of the mitochondrial.

And immediately see the absurdity of your argument about screening kids.

Once again you have totally failed to understand the experimental design and purpose, you have zero ability to think correctly about the data, and you couldn’t even read the basic words in your text.

The truth is you are completely blind to the fact that you are a stunningly incompetent amateur scientist.

Thanks once again for demonstrated the complete intellectual vacuum of the anti-vaccs…very helpful.

W&N

HeatherRhodesWhite
HeatherRhodesWhite

I would also add that mitochondrial disease is highly associated with autism.

Frye et al. (2013). Unique acyl-carnitine profiles are potential biomarkers for acquired mitochondrial disease in autism spectrum disorder. Translational Psychiatry. Retrieved from http://www.nature.com/tp/journal/v3/n1/full/tp2012143a.html


Excerpt:  "Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been associated with mitochondiral disease (MD).  Interestingly, most individuals with ASD and MD do not have a specific genetic mutation to explain the MD, raising the possibility of that MD may be acquired, at least in a subgroup of children with ASD"

So why are we not doing a better job pre-screening the pediatric population to spare a vaccine adverse event that leads to autism...  I'm really not asking you W&N your opinion is now discredited and irrelevant based on your posting in this thread, but for other readers it is something to think about.

HeatherRhodesWhite
HeatherRhodesWhite

@AlbusNerdisky@HeatherRhodesWhite@lilady 

Wrong again!

"Five years later, the government settled the case before trial and had it sealed."

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-20015982-10391695.html

I guess CBS News is now anti-vax conspiracy theorist.  

"I already posted the court document detailing how they lied to the court about their illegal press conference.That was clearly wrong."

Pardon...  Did the court hold them in contempt for wrong doing or is this another one of your baseless misrepresentations of facts like how the government didn't seal the court records?

"This too is an out right lie.The court was very clear that the government wanted the court records released to the public and it was the Polings that prevented this from occurring."

A complete laughable fabrication!

Yes a fever from Hannah's vaccines caused a fever with set off encephalopathy that lead to symptoms of autism.  And if you further read Zimmerman goes onto say "The cause for regressive encephalopathy in Hannah at age 19 months was underlying mitochondrial dysfunction, exacerbated by vaccine-induced fever and immune stimulation that exceeded metabolic energy reserves.  This acute expenditure of metabolic reserves led to permanent irreversible brain injury.  Thus, IF NOT FOR THIS EVENT, Hannah may have led a normal full productive life.  Presently, I predict Hannah will have a normal lifespan but with significant lifelong disability"

You can read the words (maybe, that's questionable at this point) but you clearly do not understand cellular pathology, brain injury patterns, etiology of autism, stats concepts, court records, investigative reporting etc...  



HeatherRhodesWhite
HeatherRhodesWhite

@AlbusNerdisky @HeatherRhodesWhite  

Your interpretation of a confidence interval CI clearly shows your lack of knowledge regarding STATs concepts.  And I am no longer going to read anything you link to because it is a waste of time since you misinterpret the data and spin it in a way that fits your vaccine religion.  And I'm not mad...

AlbusNerdisky
AlbusNerdisky

@HeatherRhodesWhite @AlbusNerdisky

All you have left is cognitive dissonance….

You are just mad because I keep posting the primary references and it keeps turning out that the anti-vaccs lie and lie and lie…

You are especially angry because I posted the stats links below and now you know that you don’t understand the data…and as your posting make 100% clear…you don’t care that what you claim is wrong….you will knowingly make false arguments as long as you can criticize vaccines.

I think it is great that you have revealed this on such a public stage as Time.

Thanks,

W&N

AlbusNerdisky
AlbusNerdisky

@HeatherRhodesWhite @AlbusNerdisky

Thanks another helpful posting.

First it is very foolish of you to continue to post claims about Geier that are contrary to the basic English meaning of the words.

It is pointless to go further on this topic.Everyone here can read the words and see that you are simply not truthful.

Speaking of which, almost all parents care enough about their kids health that they are willing to read the stats links I provided below.

Anyone with the integrity to read the words will see the truth.

1.You have zero understanding of the data…one of the reasons why you get basically everything wrong,

2. You don’t care enough you learn.You keep ranting about me, but you simply will not learn the statistics and understand the data.

Good news:basically everyone else cares and they are laughing at your arguments.

Thanks again,


W&N

HeatherRhodesWhite
HeatherRhodesWhite

@AlbusNerdisky @HeatherRhodesWhite  

YOU are the one making things up.  You don't even understand statistical concepts.  You can't comprehend assigning values to TCV and nonTCV based on VAERS data.  Your points are baseless and your insults are irrelevant.  

AlbusNerdisky
AlbusNerdisky

@HeatherRhodesWhite @AlbusNerdisky

The links are all here for anyone to read.

Fact is once again are caught flat out making things up to try and hide the anti-vacc lies.

I have already posted several links to statistics below.But as the average high-school student can tell you, you have zero understanding.

Thanks

W&N

HeatherRhodesWhite
HeatherRhodesWhite

@AlbusNerdisky @HeatherRhodesWhite  

You're interpretation is incorrect W&N.  I've explained the method clearly (see above).  Your baseless personal attack on me makes you look even more foolish.  Now please correct your misguided attempt at interpreting confidence intervals LOL!

AlbusNerdisky
AlbusNerdisky

@HeatherRhodesWhite @AlbusNerdisky

How typical:

Geier and Geier continued assigning

(despite the absence of total mercury exposive data),

a higher cumulative thimerosal total to one group of children”



The Court couldn’t be any more clear.

They did not have the data but they “assigned” higher values to one group of kids.Can you truly not understand what that did to their statistics?

What is completely clear is that your basic literacy skills have failed you and it doesn’t appear you even bothered to read the papers or even look at the methods.

W&N

HeatherRhodesWhite
HeatherRhodesWhite

@AlbusNerdisky @JoshMazer  

You have done no such thing W&N.  You muddy the waters with skewed reasoning and link to documents that your misrepresent and are not even qualified to interpret.  

HeatherRhodesWhite
HeatherRhodesWhite

@AlbusNerdisky@HeatherRhodesWhite

W&N,

"They didn’t have the data so they just made up numbers for mercury exposure.And they choose to assign mercury exposure to support their arguments."

That is not what the court document says.  First they criticize using the VAERS data base to "calculate incidence rates because the VAERS database does not have complete reporting of all adverse events... confirmed diagnosis" etc.  

But...

VAERS is quite reputably used at calculting incidence rates when describing adverse events aside from autism.

Read here...

Haber et al. (2013). Intussusception after rotavirus vaccines reported to US VAERS, 2006-2012. Pediatrics. Retrieved from http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/05/08/peds.2012-2554.abstract

Excerpt:  "We observed a persistent clustering of reported intussusception events 3 to 6 days after the first does of RV5 vaccination.  This clustering could translate to a small increased risk of intussusception, which is outweighed by the benefits of rotavirus vaccination"

Nowhere on page 31 do they claim Dr. Geier "just made up numbers for mercury exposure" that is your claim which is not validated by the document you linked to. 

Here is what they say about the counts of thimerosal containing vaccines (TCV) and thimerosal-free vaccines.

"the Geiers compared adverse event reports filed with VAERS with regard to thimerosal-containing and thimerosal-free vaccines... Geier and Geier contined assigning (despite the absence of total mercury exposive data), a higher cumulative thimerosal total to one group of children (those who filed a VAERS report regarding a TCV) than the other group (those who filed a VAERS report regarding a thimerosal-free vaccine.) As a result, Geier and Geier concluded that the greater the total exposure to mercury from timerosal, the greater the risk of neurological disorders."

They didn't make up numbers they compared TCV adverse events to thimerosal-free reported adverse events and made a conclusion.  The quote stating "despite the absence of total mercury exposive data" is meaning they total cumulative exposure was not known.  And I assume that is because only the VAERS data was reviewed not the patients clinical record.  But what was clear is there was a statistically significant increase in neurological outcomes when a child was given a TCV.  This appears to be yet again another whitewash from the DOJ to clear the reputation of the vaccine policy.  It would have been nice since this signal is known and signals like this have been used to re-shape vaccine policy as seen in the rotavirus vaccine when they pulled it off the shelves because of a VAERS signal they should at least look for the exposive data in the clinical charts to confirm the signal.  The DOJ or further the HHS is not motivated to do so.

I hope that clears up any confusion you had over this document that you find substantiates your skewed reasoning...


AlbusNerdisky
AlbusNerdisky

@JoshMazer

You asked about junk science, I provided the facts and demonstrated how the anti-vaccs continue to deceive parents.You just don’t like the truth so you changed topics…to your BMJ link.

Most people paying tiny bit of attention will have noticed that you failed to read the words correctly, to even try and understand the science…much less make any effort to critically evaluate it.

In other words, just your typical anti-vacc ranting absent any attempt to do what is best for our children.

W&N

AlbusNerdisky
AlbusNerdisky

@HeatherRhodesWhite

You continue to be utterly unconstrained by the facts.

Just to take the most simple example, the Court detailed how (page 31) the anti-vaccs compared autism risk based on thimerosal exposure.They didn’t have the data so they just made up numbers for mercury exposure.And they choose to assign mercury exposure to support their arguments.

Fact is the Court was extremely clear and detailed:all the anti-vaccs had was so profoundly methologically flawed it wasn’t even worth considering.

But the anti-vaccs are still arguing this BS so you can’t acknowledge the facts; otherwise you also have to acknowledge the fact that the anti-vaccs just are not honest.

Just like to have to ignore how dishonest the anti-vaccs are about the Poling case….where you also ignored the facts.

W&N

JoshMazer
JoshMazer

So nerd you agree with BMJ that CDC vaccine officials 1) lie about vaccine safety and effectiveness 2) engage in "mongering 3) are vaccine salespersons.

You have not attempted to rebut the May 16, 2013 British Medical Journal peer reviewed analysis of CDC vaccine policy entitled marketing diseases marketing vaccines.

Accordingly- I am confused. Is BMJ dealing on junk science, or is CDC the one using "low quality studies" while employing the rhetoric of science?

Who is correct - BMJ or CDC?

Small, shallow ignorant minds like mine are easily confused. Sometimes I just believe the last person to speak. I sure wish someone would at least try to defend the CDC from the charges in

BMJ that CDC vaccine policy officials are disease mongering, lying, incompetent, corrupt buffoons... But it seems noone will rebut BMJ.

Game, set, match - BMJ.

When you read a quote in BMJ that says "CDC vaccine policy officials and the moronic medical media kommentariat are useless, scummy, circle jerking ass clowns working the glory hole of big pharma" it makes a huge impression.

HeatherRhodesWhite
HeatherRhodesWhite

Over exaggerated rhetoric! Basically they thew out the Geiers testimony because it did not conform with their appointed mainstream scientists and he was not an epidemiologist. Well the DOJ's expert was not either but his favorable testimony stood just fine. All of this will be discussed under oath in November at the next Oversight Hearing so let's hear how the DOJ/HHS defend themselves.

AlbusNerdisky
AlbusNerdisky

@HeatherRhodesWhite

Thanks for acknowledging that you didn’t even bother to read the State of Maryland Court decision before responding.

Here it is again:

“There is now a significant body of US Civil Court cases relevant to autism.

E.g http://www.astarcourts.net/Blackwell_v._Wyeth_408_Md._575.pdf


Yes you did provide a link to Kirby’s site with a Poling document from the vaccine court.So what?

The Poling case was about encephalopathy…this is right in your link.

You skipped over the part about encephalopathy being a “table” injury which means her family basically automatically won compensation.

Here is a much more interesting Poling court document.

http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/CAMPBELL-SMITH.POLING041008.pdf

Where the Court details how the Poling’s lied to the Court about the press conference.

How HHS wanted all the case details public but the Polings prevent this.

How the public disclosure of the document you linked us to was illegal and immoral.

Of course running a healthcares scam by definition requires the anti-vaccs to be immoral.

W&N

AlbusNerdisky
AlbusNerdisky

@HeatherRhodesWhite @AlbusNerdisky @JoshMaz

Wow,

  1. You simply argue by assertion.
  2. Your assertions are contrary to the basic facts of the case.

E.g. “They simply threw it out of court without due course”

Wrong, the court held a 10 evidentiary hearing—after which they determined that due to the most profound scientific errors (“severe methodological flaws” and “uninterpretable”)--the anti-vaccs only had junk science.The Court goes through these errors in detail….you just ignored the facts.

Naturally you just skipped over the part where Geier was caught making data up (page 28).

3.I provided the appeal of the decision.The appealt court found your criticisms to be completely wrong.

Bonus:as recently as today Age of Autism editors lied again to their readers and claimed the US one can’t sue vaccine manufacturers.Can’t have the facts and believe that vaccines cause autism.

4.All the omnibus decisions have also been appealed and all the criticisms rejected.Did you want to go through the transcripts again?You remember, how the anti-vaccs were caught lying about their credentials, and employment, and ethical misconduct?And they got all the science wrong?

W&N