Making mountains out of scientific mole hills

Horton

Richard Horton, Editor of the Lancet speaking at the Global Health Metrics & Evaluation conference 2011. (Photo credit: Vimeo.)

The controversial Lancet editor, Richard Horton, has produced an opinion piece which some are interpreting as an attack on medical science, if not science in general. His article, What is medicine’s 5 sigma?, is being touted by websites like Collective Evolution as authoritative “evidence,” or justification, for their attempts to manufacture doubt on scientific issues (see Editor In Chief Of World’s Best Known Medical Journal: Half Of All The Literature Is False). And, of course, these messages are spread far and wide in social media like Facebook and Twitter by activists for various anti-science causes.

Horton, of course, exaggerates. He calls a spade a shovel – or even a giant earth moving machine. That is music to the ears of propagandists and manufacturers of doubt in the anti-vaccination, anti-fluoridation or even climate change denial movements. But, putting aside the damage such exaggeration causes for a moment, I do sympathise with some of Horton’s claims.

Provisional nature fo scientific knowledge

Horton begins with the statement “A lot of what is published is incorrect.”

While he appears to think this claim has shock value it is hardly news to scientific researchers. By its very nature, scientific knowledge is both provisional and incomplete. In the real world, no scientific idea or theory can accord completely with the true objective reality. We are always dealing with just a part of that reality. And our theories are always being replaced by new, updated and more complete theories which give better explanations of reality.  Let’s be clear, though, in most cases this is not a simple mechanical replacement but usually a modification to, or improvement of, existing theories.

So, yes, published science is “incorrect” in that it is always incomplete and provisional. It is always open to sceptical consideration and improvement – or even rejection.

However, Horton has really brought in the earth-moving machinery when he advances “the idea that something has gone fundamentally wrong with one of our greatest human creations.” 

Modern science is indeed “one of our greatest human creations” – despite the fact that it is by its very nature incomplete and imperfect.  Despite all the human problems influencing science it has still enabled us to solve many problems, to provide a more comfortable and safer existence for much of the world’s population and provided us with amazing technology (which critics of science enthusiastically use without being aware of the irony involved).

Sure, we still have many pressing problems to solve but no-one can seriously believe that science cannot contribute to the solution of these problems. In the end, despite all the human frailties inherent in such human endeavours, no other approach to obtaining knowledge and solving problems can seriously compete with science.

Some real problems

Horton gets specific:

“The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.”

He also refers to those papers relying on correlations without showing causation, saying:

“Our love of “significance” pollutes the literature with many a statistical fairy-tale.”

But these problems are, in essence, not new and do not justify his purple prose about “a turn towards darkness.” That prose is rather hypocritical considering his own role in the publication of, and resistance to the retraction of, Andrew Wakefield’s article claiming a causal link between standard childhood vaccinations (measles, mumps and rubella) and autism (see  Why Is Richard Horton Still The Editor Of The Lancet?).

The fact is that poor quality research does get published – even by reputable journals like The Lancet (see for example Repeating bad science on fluoride). Poor quality research is not always knocked back, or improved, by the peer review processes journals use. These peer review processes themselves can be very flawed and even suffer from cronyism (see Poor peer review – and its consequences) and Poor peer-review – a case study) .

Many studies are poorly designed, report tiny effects and use small sample sizes. Many rely on statistically significant correlations which may be meaningless without any evidence for causation. Peer reviewers and journal editors, if they are actually conscientiously doing their jobs, are forced to make judgment calls. There is an argument for sometimes getting such studies into the literature where they can be critically examined and discussed. (Horton himself justified his decision to publish Andrew Wakefield’s article, which he acknowledged was an inferior study by claiming it would generate debate on the autism/vaccine issue).

But this backfires when uncritical journalists report the studies as scientifically credible, even gospel truth, when they are far from it. This is compounded by propagandists for activist groups who, confirmation bias in full flight, latch on to such studies to give “scientific authenticity” to their unscientific claims. And then promote them far and wide.

Recently we saw this with published papers claiming a link between fluoridation and thyroid problems (Peckham et al., 2015 – see Paper claiming water fluoridation linked to hypothyroidism slammed by experts) and ADHD (Malin and Till, 2015 – see ADHD linked to elevation not fluoridation). These papers were prime examples of Horton’s “statistical fairy tales.”

Reader beware

So, I am repeating a theme I often promote here. When it comes to the scientific literature it really is a matter of “reader beware.”

The reader must approach this literature carefully – intelligently and critically. The reader has the task of identifying “statistical fairy tales,” poor study designs and problems of tiny effects or small sample sizes. If the reader does not have the ability to do so they need to seek the opinions of qualified experts – and I don’t mean the self-appointed “world experts” leading activists groups or the google-informed commenters who seem to dominate social media and the internet.

After all, it is the real expert, many of whom are active researchers, who critically assess the scientific literature on a daily basis. And if they are participants in an active scientific community problems of confirmation bias are reduced.

The “reader beware” approach is even more necessary with the “scientific” claims often bandied about in the popular news media – mainstream media and especially the ideologically motivated “alternative” media.

I am an avid reader of the NZ Listener – which I consider a reputable mainstream journal. But every week I am annoyed by the small snippets reporting some new scientific claim (usually related to popular health issues) relying on individual scientific papers which I would place in Horton’s group of “statistical fairy tales.” I hope most readers are intelligent enough to seek further advice before taking such reports seriously.

But this annoyance is minor compared with what I feel about the rubbish I see daily on the internet daily. Ideologically motivated activists dominate social media here. They opportunistically link to such media reports, and even the original scientific papers, to give “scientific justification,” and confirmation bias for their unscientific messages.

When it comes to the internet one cannot repeat often enough – reader beware.

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63 responses to “Making mountains out of scientific mole hills

  1. With respect, this is taken out of context.

    Ron

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  2. Ron, could you explain your comment?

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  3. Ken wrote: “Andrew Wakefield’s article claiming a causal link between standard childhood vaccinations [plural, note] (measles, mumps and rubella) and autism”

    Ken your article is not a scientific paper but is an example of what brings disrepute on science. So may pseudoscientific people have got on the bandwagon that Wakefield is against “vaccinations” which is quickly translated to *all* vaccines and a lot of abuse is then slung which sticks in simple minds..

    Wakefield was against the single MMR vaccination: singular, not plural.

    Another one in the news recently is a huge attack on midwives for warning against vaccinating babies with MMR since it may save lives. That attack is aimed at people who do not know that no-one advocates giving MMR to babies till they are at least 12 months old, by which time they may not even be called babies.

    It is very shoddy, though not what Horton is talking about maybe it has a similar intent in some cases.

    Brian Sandle

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  4. Brian, Wakefield was a fraudster, pure and simple.

    It’s telling that you choose to overlook that.

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  5. That MMR may be repeated about 4 years of age, I suppose allows it to be called “vaccinations” [plural], but that is very tricky if you are talking about protecting children before that age.

    “Science” writers to gain trust should NOT PLAY ON AMBIGUITY.

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  6. Brian, you protest too much.🙂 Which I guess shows you have a sensitivity about Wakefield (hardly the main content of my article) because of your own ideological bias.

    The statement is not about “all” vaccinations – and was, in fact, specific to the MMR vaccinations – which the stink was about.

    The use of the letter “s” upsets you, but I think is correct. This is the same phraseology used by Elizabeth Whelan in her NYT article on the problem – Junk science kills.

    Brian, you sensitivities are showing. And again stuffing up your comprehension.

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  7. “Andrew Wakefield’s article claiming a causal link between standard childhood vaccinations (measles, mumps and rubella)…”
    Whelan said it and now Ken has perpetuated it. And that is degrading science writing.

    Wakefield SUPPORTS measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations, not the single shot vaccine which ousted the individual vaccines after Merck lied about the efficacy of the mumps factor.

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  8. Brian, Wakefield was a fraudster, pure and simple. It’s telling that you choose to overlook that.

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  9. Interesting, Brian, that you say nothing about the publication of an unethical and shoddy study, and the Lancet’s hesitancy of withdrawing the paper when it was exposed, yet you consider that anyone who refers to this is degrading science.

    What degrades science is such unethical and shoddy studies, the willingness of some editors to publish them, and the way they get promoted by ideologically motivated activists – like you

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  10. T A Crosbie

    Hi Ken – Have spent some hours reading through the material you cited and have got it figured out. You have reached a point in your life where you feel the need to belong and to that end you need to reaffirm that which you feel most comfortable with. Just like an old man with his slippers and hottie. Take them away and boy does he think his world has crumbled and his life is crap!
    Well I long ago dumped my slippers and installed a heat pump so I can wander around barefooted but still warm and use the time I wasted heating water for my hottie to pore over the evidence you provide to counter the evil people who want to make an informed choice about what they eat and drink.
    I recently came across an article that caught my attention, which I suggest encapsulates much of what I see as the problem you and your peers have when the subject of fluoridation is aired. It is about the phenomenon of group think.
    “When all think alike, no one thinks very much.” – Walter Lippmann, 2 times Pulitzer Prize winning American journalist
    Free-thinkers will all struggle at times to comprehend why mainstream viewpoints can remain unquestioned by those around them. Why people will aggressively push the dominant viewpoint even when it’s outdated, unhelpful, or even blatantly contradicted by evidence. Why these viewpoints leave no room for others to hold differing ones, and complete conformity is often the end goal, even though free-thinkers advocate individual freedom and choice.
    (Janis, 1982, adapted from The Psychologists for Social Responsibility)
    1. Illusion of invulnerability – Creates excessive optimism that encourages taking extreme risks. Ignoring group and individual member vulnerabilities leads to incomplete and skewed risk assessments.
    2. Collective rationalization – Members discount warnings and do not reconsider their assumptions. Everything can be, and is explained away.
    3. Beliefs in inherent morality – Members believe in the rightness of their cause and therefore ignore the ethical or moral consequences of their decisions.
    4. Stereotyped views of out-groups – Negative views of “enemy” make effective responses to conflict seem unnecessary. Ad hominem attacks are a sign of this.
    5. Direct pressure on dissenters – Members are under pressure not to express arguments against any of the group’s views. Alternative viewpoints are automatically experienced as offensive and controversial.
    6. Self-censorship – Doubts and deviations from the perceived group consensus are not expressed.
    7. Illusion of unanimity – The majority view and judgments are assumed to be unanimous. Silence is taken as consensus.
    8. Self-appointed “mind guards” – Members protect the group and the leader from information that is problematic or contradictory to the group’s cohesiveness, view, and/or decisions. Organizations, astroturfers, and propagandists perform these roles.
    Why Groupthink Has Gone Global.
    I believe numerous factors have contributed to the current dominance of groupthink. We live in increasingly competitive societies. Admitting to confusion or error exposes our vulnerability, and being vulnerable when we are surrounded by others seeking to one-up us in the hierarchy is often dangerous. We learn to fear our vulnerability and do whatever it takes to avoid it, including seeking the safety of the group by complying with their dominant viewpoints, thereby avoiding the accountability of making errors.

    I look forward to your response but anticipate it will simply be a replay of the usual stuff you use to denigrate and debunk people who choose to look at evidence with an open mind.
    p.s. Had my flue injection on Monday, feeling good about life!

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  11. Richard, you seem to be applying some of the principles TA Crosbie refers to. And you may be getting it wrong by going ad hominem, which is not part even of his points that are used is it?

    I know you do not give evidence and hope a few will jump on your bandwagon in some sort of use of Crosbie’s principles. Which is a reason why science writing gets degraded.

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  12. So, Trev, yet another comment which has no relationship whatever to my post. Why am I not surprised.

    I can assure you we have had a heat pump for many years, I don’t possess slippers or a “hottie,” and got my flu jab last month.

    As for Groupthink – is that what misguidedly motivated you to make a fool of yourself with high court action which you had to withdraw when its silliness was revealed?

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  13. Brian Deer review is not peer review. He is a newspaper writer so bound by their financial interests. That does not mean everything he says will be biased.

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  14. Brian, Wakefield was a fraudster, pure and simple. It’s telling that you choose to overlook that..

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  15. T A Crosbie

    Ken – You may not be able to see the relationship but obviously others can and may I say thanks for confirming my comment “anticipate it will simply be a replay of the usual stuff you use to denigrate and debunk people”. End of story really!

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  16. soubresauts

    Ken, you don’t know what you’re talking about in relation to Wakefield. Ben Goldacre pointed out that the famous paper published by The Lancet “always was and still remains a perfectly good small case series report.” (http://www.badscience.net/2005/09/dont-dumb-me-down/)

    Citing Elizabeth Whelan as some kind of authority is laughable.

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  17. Soubresauts – let’s expand that quote of Ben’s about Wakefield’s paper:

    “The paper always was and still remains a perfectly good small case series report, but it was systematically misrepresented as being more than that, by media that are incapable of interpreting and reporting scientific data.”

    Which is surely the point I am making. There are plenty of poor quality or limited published papers which if taken as gospel, without intelligent and critical assessment, provide the wrong message. Handy fo the ideologically driven but not for people who really want to understand the science.

    What is it about the word “Wakefield” which seems to create a Pavlovian response with some people so that the ignore completely the context or message in the article and feel the need to defend the guy. His paper, after all and in the end, was retracted.

    But please concentrate on what I have written and try to calm down you Pavlovian responses.

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  18. I cheerfully admit to a bit of a Pavlovian response to the name Andrew Wakefield.

    Clear evidence of falsification of data should now close the door on this damaging vaccine scare … Who perpetrated this fraud? There is no doubt that it was Wakefield. Is it possible that he was wrong, but not dishonest: that he was so incompetent that he was unable to fairly describe the project, or to report even one of the 12 children’s cases accurately? No. A great deal of thought and effort must have gone into drafting the paper to achieve the results he wanted: the discrepancies all led in one direction; misreporting was gross. Moreover, although the scale of the GMC’s 217 day hearing precluded additional charges focused directly on the fraud, the panel found him guilty of dishonesty concerning the study’s admissions criteria, its funding by the Legal Aid Board, and his statements about it afterwards.M

    Wakefield’s article linking MMR vaccine and autism was fraudulent
    Godlee F, Smith J, Marcovitch H (2011).
    British Medical Journal

    http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.c7452.full

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  19. “So here—behind the paper—is how Wakefield evidenced his “syndrome” for the lawsuit, and built his platform to launch the vaccine scare.”

    “the vaccine scare” is an ambiguous notion which by missing out “MMR” puts up in some people’s minds that Wakefield is trying to scare about vaccines, plural.

    Analogy, “the airbag scare,” currently in the news, relates to one particular manufacturer.

    The blurry writing might be connected to the failure of the publishing journal also not acknowledging at the time that it gets funding from Merck advertisements.

    Brian Sandle

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  20. Brian, Wakefield was a fraudster, pure and simple. It’s telling that you choose to overlook that..in fact, that you grasp at imaginary straws to play down the enormity of his misconduct.

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  21. Richard it is fraud to allow people to think or suggest to them to think that Wakefiled was trying to oppose all vaccines. That is whether or not he didn’t declare his interests. Nor did BMJ. And even if he massaged the process. That is entirely separate and dealt with separately and does not allow you to misrepresent him to build a bandwagon against the straw man you are putting up in the image of him.

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  22. Richard it is fraud to allow people to think or suggest to them to think that Wakefiled was trying to oppose all vaccines.

    Brian, strawmen have a short life in this blog.
    Stop arguing with the voices in your head.

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  23. Richard you degrade this blog if you wish to use straw men and expect that to be forgotten.

    Wakefield had a hunch about MMR and apparently wrote a paper to reflect it. His hunch was half wrong in that only Black boys were suffering autism from MMR. The CDC was dishonest by eliminating Blacks from their study, saying they found it harder to get their birth certificates for extra data. Thompson has admitted it.

    In my view the media has mistakenly, or intentionally on the part of some, furthered the notion that Wakefield is against all vaccination, then been shooting at that straw man. Your cryptic comment does not extricate you.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. In my view the media has mistakenly, blah blah blah

    You invented the strawman, you introduced it to the discussion.

    Wakefield is a conman and fraudster who has caused immeasurable economic and medical damage, misery and possibly death to the world.

    That you are his fanboy is of no surprise to regular readers here.

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  25. I am not a “fanboy.”

    Wakefield opposed MMR. Merck had lied about the mumps factor efficacy of MMR so got the single vaccine manufacturers excluded. Because MMR was then the only measles vaccine Wakefield was branded as anti-vaccine.

    You probably have a couple of fanboys trying to reinforce that two-valued notion of everything wrong about Wakefield. Though I do not see them jumping on to your bandwagon here, sorry.

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  26. Wakefield opposed MMR.

    No, Wakefield fabricated results in a study into MMR vaccine.

    He also stood to gain financially (substantially) from a business venture that supplied tests for the bogus syndromes that his bullshit study would create a demand for.

    Because MMR was then the only measles vaccine Wakefield was branded as anti-vaccine.

    This is your strawman erected to divert the discussion away from Wakefield’s fraud.

    By all means, argue with the voices in your head,
    But I’ll not indulge you.

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  27. Richard still trying to divert discussion away from Merck’s wrongness Richard being repetitive trying to say there was nothing right about Wakefield.
    Richard talking possibly correctly about Wakefield’s financial drives, but ignoring Merck’s and their related dishonesty.
    Richard ignoring CDC dishonesty.

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  28. Brian, stop taking your clothes off in public.

    People can scroll up and read the comment thread and see when Wakefield was brought up and what points my comments have been addressed to.

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  29. Richard wrote:
    “People can scroll up and read the comment thread and see when Wakefield was brought up and what points my comments have been addressed to.”

    Yes indeed.

    I had written: “Ken wrote: “Andrew Wakefield’s article claiming a causal link between standard childhood vaccinations [plural, note] (measles, mumps and rubella) and autism”

    Ken your article is not a scientific paper but is an example of what brings disrepute on science. So may pseudoscientific people have got on the bandwagon that Wakefield is against “vaccinations” which is quickly translated to *all* vaccines and a lot of abuse is then slung which sticks in simple minds..

    Wakefield was against the single MMR vaccination: singular, not plural.”

    And you, Richard replied: “Brian, Wakefield was a fraudster, pure and simple.

    It’s telling that you choose to overlook that.”

    I haven’t overlooked that. I have pointed out that Merck and Deer/BMJ have a similar problem.

    Ken was on to it when he quoted: ““The paper always was and still remains a perfectly good small case series report, but it was systematically misrepresented as being more than that, by media that are incapable of interpreting and reporting scientific data.”

    The paper had faults, but it is the media/people like you, Richard, who continue to misrepresent it.

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  30. Brian, the quote you attribute to me was actually Ben Goldacre. This was the sum total of his comment in Wakefield’s paper in that article – it did not contain any analysis of it.

    In contrast Richard has presented you with a paper which is a deep analysis of Wakefield’s article. You chose to attempt to divert attention form this.

    Talk about confirmation bias – you are going to hang your flag on a brief 2 sentence comment without any analysis and attempt to discredit a full paper analysing the article which was finally retracted.

    You are exposing yourself as a shallow defender of discredited bad science.

    >

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  31. Ken wrote: “You are exposing yourself as a shallow defender of discredited bad science.”

    I have not defended Wakefields paper, except to point out CDC, Merck/BMJ are indulging similarly. Wakefield did not note the court case and BMJ did not note their Merck aqdvertising contributions. CDC left out the data on Blacks. Merck overstated the power of the mumps factor in MMR.

    That adds a lot of weight to what Horton is claiming.

    Now, Ken, you wrote:

    “Brian, the quote you attribute to me was actually Ben Goldacre.”

    The ordinary way to read your words, there, is that I have said you yourself said something which you didin’t.

    I actually said you *quoted*.

    “Ken was on to it when he quoted:”

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  32. Brian, I made clear that the quote was from Ben Goldacre. I also pointed out it was not backed by any analysis.

    So it is shallow if you to put your weight in that quote and ignore or attempt to discredit a paper analysing the situation – with no attempt to discuss that paper.

    You have made fort there – just relied on confirmation bias and cheap slander,

    >

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  33. Ken, then why did you use the word, “actually”?

    Those points I gave are verified.

    BMJ apologised later for not noting their Merck contributions in Deer’s paper.

    The other stuff is in a Court document and the CDC website.

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  34. Brian, I haven’t the faintest idea what you are burbling about.

    Why not deal with the issues I instead of attempting to attribute motives?

    >

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  35. Brian opines in regard to his strawman fantasy that the BMJ and nasty journalists all over the place have a spooky conspiracy (presumably) to falsely accuse Saint Andrew Wakefield of being against vaccinations in general. When, oh no, poor dear innocent Andrew was only writing a scientific paper on MMR alone. The bullies.

    In reality, it is the antivax kooks and their movement who have taken Wakefield’s fraudulent work and used it as a front line tool in their war against evidence based medicine.

    Brian, I haven’t forgotten that in this blog you have in the past had the audacity to cite Mr Wakefield as an authority.

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  36. Richard, I think it was more like Wakefield found against MMR. In order to combat loss of MMR sales it was found useful to label him as an anti-vaccine crank.

    Deer found trouble with the research itself, but tried to avoid neutralising the anti-vaccine image, and I gave an example of Deer’s language.

    Deer was a news writer and writing for BMJ, a free journal which is supported by advertising. Free journals have been criticised as being a problem, and slot more easily into Horton’s problem fraction.

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  37. In order to combat loss of MMR sales it was found useful to label him as an anti-vaccine crank.

    This is the conclusion you repeatedly push without supporting evidence.

    Until you do, it remains a figment of your imagination and conjecture, as do most of the contributions that you make in here,

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  38. You know, “the father of the anti-vaccine movement” when indeed he believes that individual vaccines work better than MMR.

    He is being labeled such and you perpetuate it. Perhaps I should start by asking you your reasons.

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  39. You know, “the father of the anti-vaccine movement” when indeed he believes that individual vaccines work better than MMR. He is being labeled such…

    Brian, nobody else can hear the voices in your head.
    What are you referring too?

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  40. http://www.newsweek.com/2015/02/20/andrew-wakefield-father-anti-vaccine-movement-sticks-his-story-305836.html

    How about apologising?

    He suggests the recent increase in measles may not have happened – MMR being not good enough, if the individual vaccines had been correct.

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  41. Anything to avoid admitting the problem resulted from scaremongering of the anti-vaccination crowd, Brian.

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  42. How about apologising?

    Are you out of your mind?

    It’s a headline, Brian. Not even remotely substantiated by anything within the article.
    Did you not study study how newspaper headlines work when you were at school?

    Only an A grade certificated moron would suggest Wakefield kicked off the antivax movement. His fraudulent paper was only published 1998.

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  43. Ken as I pointed out a while back, China, with a high vaccine compliance rate have been finding trouble and considering extra doses of the MMR. It needs to be considered that MMR measles factor may be less effective, as had to be admitted in court about its mumps factor.

    Richard is losing credibility of the pro-vaccine crowd by following the faulty bandwagon.

    He now needs to comment on his furthering of the faulty image being created around Wakefield.

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  44. Brian, a vaccine sure looses effectiveness when scaremongers persuade gullible people not to use them.

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  45. Richard: “It’s a headline, Brian. Not even remotely substantiated by anything within the article.
    Did you not study study how newspaper headlines work when you were at school?”

    People are busy and just see the headlines.

    Now why are you reinforcing the notion that Wakefield in anti-vax?

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  46. Brian, this may come as a surprise to you.

    The antivax movement use Wakefield to promote their war on vaccines.

    Their war on all vaccines.

    Go to any antivax website.

    (waits while you check it out)

    See?

    Mr Wakefield plays along with this, as, when you have been exposed as being a fraudster as he has been, any support is welcome support.

    That is who is misrepresenting Wakefield’s position. That is why he is associated with anti (all) vaccination position in general.

    It’s not because of the headline you found.

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  47. Your Mercola link is mainly about MMR articles.

    Mercola wants to keep up to date.

    He admits, by the use of the word “still” here that vaccines have been contributing.

    “Vaccines—Are They Still Contributing to the Greater Good?”
    I cannot give the link, openparachute blocks Mercola.

    Here is Wakefield talking about the behind-the-scenes updating, banning in some countries of an earlier form of MMR.

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  48. Your Mercola link is mainly about MMR articles

    You don’t like that one? here’s another then

    There are plenty to choose from, I won’t run out in a hurry.

    By pasting links of Wakefield’s obfuscation you possibly don’t realise how greatly you are damaging whatever credibility you have left in here.

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  49. Brian, I think a sincere apology from you is in order with your unfounded claim “I cannot give the link, openparachute blocks Mercola.”

    I do not block Mercola. As far as I know he has never commented here so the issue of moderation or blocking of him has never arisen.

    OK – I am now waiting for a response from you.

    >

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  50. Ken several times when I have put a Mercola URL in a post here it has gone to moderation, though today it said it could not post it. I lost the article and had to rewrite it.

    Maybe your site has a learning spam function which since it has put me relating Mercola URLs into moderation in the past, still thinks it is spam.

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  51. Richard, a vaccine awareness site ought to keep readers up to date. That doesn’t say they are using Wakefield to bolster a case against vaccines.

    I see you are hoping readers will not watch Wakefield and find out about how MMR1 was banned in US but still used in UK because of being a quarter the price, and with a guarantee that the manufacturer would not be liable for the meningitis occurring.

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  52. No, Brian, you told a porkie. Don’t blame me for your commenting hassles.

    The only relevant filter would be for the maximum number of links in a comment. There is no filter for Mercola.

    >

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  53. Thanks, Ken, occasionally a similar thing has happened on kiwiblog and it posts when I remove the link. Can’t quite remember. Maybe it could be a general WordPress hack.

    Testing:

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/11/15/vaccine-safety-greater-good.aspx

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  54. I see you are hoping readers will not watch Wakefield and find out about how MMR1 was banned in US but still used in UK because of being a quarter the price, and with a guarantee that the manufacturer would not be liable for the meningitis occurring.

    Yeah right.

    I’m not what you are

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  55. Then Richard what rate of meningitis would you not brush off from the cheaper (Urabe) vaccine?

    http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/151/5/524.long

    Liked by 1 person

  56. As the absent and much missed Cedric Katesby might reply:

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  57. Richard suggests: “My God is good, but he needs help with stopping people from thinking. If they think they may be disobedient about vaccination. Not many will be hospitalised and Christians know Jesus was hurt for others.”

    Since mumps sometimes produces meningitis I would wonder for how many weeks figure 1 would have to be extended after MMR to see any effect in reduced cases.

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  58. Brian,I seldom see much evidence of you thinking,

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  59. For two-valued Richard, there will only be thinking or not thinking. He will not encompass types of thinking. https://www.facebook.com/CollectiveEvolutionPage/videos/10153295350083908/

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  60. Why are you wasting (our) time in here Brian?

    Haven’t you scientists to petition (i.e. to bother), several novel metabolic mechanisms (you’ve discovered) to research, dozens of scientific papers (written by real scientists) to correct, dozens of your own hypotheses to test?

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  61. It’s never a waste of time cutting through aspersions/inuendo, Richard.

    Like

  62. Richard Christie | May 30, 2015 at 11:19 pm |
    wrote:*
    “Why are you wasting (our) time in here Brian?”
    That short film about education talked about the leaving children in the dark.

    Here is a film from a transport planner wanting to follow the facts about his son getting autistic. Can you understand his point that he believes there was a conspiracy not to uncover what has been happening.

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  63. soundhill1

    Whatever causes of autism I wonder if difficulty getting help with it was a factor here?
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/69050711/relief-arrested-man-not-attending-leon-jayetcoles-funeral

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