Some antiscience updates

By Phil Plait | December 21, 2009 2:19 pm

Oh, just a few quickies.

1) I will never get tired of hearing that the truly awful Australian Anti-Vaccination Network is getting what they deserve.

2) The SETI Radio show Are We Alone did a Skeptical Check show on vaccines! You can also follow along on AWA blog.

3) The CDC has released their numbers about the rates of autism. Cue the hysterical antivax lies about it in 3… 2… 1…

4) And ending on a bright note: the Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition had a wonderful campaign, asking parents what they gave thanks for. After reading so much bad news about antiscience nutbags, this’ll put a smile on your face.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Alt-Med, Antiscience
MORE ABOUT: AVN, vaccines

Comments (17)

  1. Didn’t a national magazine or news outlet rate the whole anti-vax pro-disease nutters as the worst idea of 2009? Even worse than baloon boy and other such associated non-sense? That’s always a nice deserved anti-science smackdown.

  2. Michelle R

    There was lots of scares here. PEople saying the flu vaccine was giving you the flu. Telling you it was the sickest they ever were afterwards. And there was that cheerleader video that was spread along in the office and people saying that would happen to you if you got a flu vaccine.

    Last week, I got my vaccine for the bacon flu. I took time to wait till the hours of waiting in line and craze got down, then I went to get it during a quiet time after work. Took 20 minutes all in all (15 was the waiting to be sure all was OK), and here I am a week later! I’m alive!

    The vaccine didn’t give me the flu.

    I felt a bit tired for a few hours after, but it was fine. I was at home, workday was over. And workday was probably the main reason for the drowsiness.

    My arm was sore for a few days… But hey, I just got stabbed. With a needle. In the arm.

    Now I won’t get swine flu! I love vaccines!

  3. NewEnglandBob

    I got my swine flu vaccination Saturday morning and my arm was sore for about 90 minutes. My total walking time from the parking garage and back was just as long as the wait time to get the shot. My regular flu vaccine shot in October was never sore at all.

  4. Charlie Young

    Would that be anti-science or just plain ignorance. Most people make their irrational decisions based not on fact, but hearsay. When you read the rational discussion of the topics and see that when you take the time to think about something and get some informed rationale, there really is nothing to fear. I thing most people hear the worst from the MSM and around the water cooler and let the fear run wild.

  5. FTA: Mrs Dorey is currently having her information verified by the editor of a peer-reviewed medical journal in the United States and would be filing her own complaint with the ABC should her interpretation of the data be verified.

    I wonder which journal she has chosen. Surely one that’s a beacon of scientific enquiry?

  6. Bill

    Tim (#5): you beat me to exactly what I was going to say…

    :)

  7. Yeebok

    I found this amusing : “THE Bangalow-based Australian Vaccination Network”
    and a “thing to do” on the page :
    The Big Joke Bangalow Comedy Festival

    Ah the irony ;)

  8. Steve in Dublin

    From the article on the NeroLogica blog that the BA linked to, two telling bits of info. First, in the conclusion of the article:

    The fact that older age groups also have about a 1% prevalence strongly suggests that any real increase in ASD must be small.

    And then, from the comments:

    It’s worth pointing out the obvious, namely that there has been no decrease – although Thimerosal was removed from childhood vaccines in 2001. Remember when David Kirby said this:

    “Because autism is usually diagnosed sometime between a child’s third and fourth birthdays and thimerosal was largely removed from childhood vaccines in 2001, the incidence of autism should fall this year.”

    I do. It was in 2005 — Skeptico

    If I was a betting person, my money would be on the increased surveillance coupled with the broadening of the diagnosis.

  9. John

    My doctor pointed out that if you eat a certain number of tuna fish sandwiches each week you could get about the same amount of Mercury as an old fashioned flu shot. So… where are all the tuna sandwich deniers? Where is the tuna fish sandwich cheerleader video?

  10. I agree with Steve in Dublin. I think it’s highly significant that, when examined with today’s eyes, all age groups have the same incidence of autism. That strongly suggests that any increase in younger populations is due to reporting and diagnosing.

  11. 9. John Says:

    My doctor pointed out that if you eat a certain number of tuna fish sandwiches each week you could get about the same amount of Mercury as an old fashioned flu shot. So… where are all the tuna sandwich deniers? Where is the tuna fish sandwich cheerleader video?

    Charlie the Tuna must have a bad PR man.

    J/P=?

  12. I also remember a report which stated that autistic kids had much lower mercury levels than their agemates, probably because they were pickier and didn’t eat as much tuna. If you account for the tuna, all the kids had the same mercury levels.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091019162914.htm

  13. Odd, up here in Canuckistan I got my H1N1 shot nearly a month ago. That was over a month after they made the shot available to high-risk groups “only” (the air-quotes are because my province screwed the pooch on that one). There was no line-up, and my arm was sore for just a few hours! Things went so smoothly, I returned two weeks later for my first seasonal flu shot.

  14. QuietDesperation

    Geez, have you looked into Louis Farrakhan’s stance? He claims the H1N1 vaccine is actually a “soft kill weapon” designed to reduce global population.

    Hey, don’t look at me. I just reports them, not explain them. If pressed, my preliminary analysis would be “he crazy.”

    Just google Farrakhan and vaccine and you’ll get a bevy of hits.

    Odd, up here in Canuckistan I got my H1N1 shot nearly a month ago.

    Nice knowing ya! ;-)

    Re tuna: I like tuna. I can eat it right from the can. Good for Omega-3s. Get the water packed as the oil packed can take out some of the O3s. Pacific Albacore is the best.

  15. Scottynuke

    Sorry to see an “Australasian College of Natural Therapies” ad on the page for the AVN article… *SIGH*

  16. I have relatives in Canada. They were given an appt. time to show up for the H1N1 vaccine. When their scheduled time came, *months ago*, they went in and got the shot, no fuss, no waiting.

    Me, I called around all the local clinics for months. ‘Maybe next week?’ ‘We should have it at the end of the month.’ ‘I’m not sure if we’re getting it.’ We finally all got *yesterday*.

  17. Alareth

    @Larian LaQuella

    “Didn’t a national magazine or news outlet rate the whole anti-vax pro-disease nutters as the worst idea of 2009?”

    I was the Washington Post:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/opinions/outlook/worst-ideas/index.html

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