Originally Posted by bakunin
Ahh, ..... my long, long reply was just lost. I will not reproduce it
@taximom5 I will only remind you that there is a difference between being objective and neutral. It appears that you think I am not objective because I haven't said that vaccines are completely evil. On the other hand, your arguments are not objective at all:
1. Don't refer to Andrew Wakefield's study (case study/series is still a study) for evidence. It was retracted by the publishing journal after all experts agreed it wasn't scientifically valid.
2. To be objective refer to well established entities (such as CDC. Sure they're not perfect but they are very transparent and have never denied side effects from vaccines.) or to scientific journal papers. Can you refer to papers in the Lancet, Pediatrics or other reputable journals (with high impact factor) that collaborate your arguments (and I really mean refer to multiple papers)
3. It is awful, awful as a parent to see your child suffer, and I say this from the heart as a parent. As a scientist I must say that the testimony of a parent, or two, or three is often not enough to be taken as scientific evidence (at least in these scenarios of vaccines). Data must be gathered and analyzed as a whole to reach a valid conclusion. Be aware, that CDC DOES gather testimony from parents just for this purpose.
If someone gives me a pill to loose weight and I take it, and loose 3 pounds right afterwards. Does that mean that the pill worked? The pill might work. But the fact that I took it and lost weight is not enough to be considered scientific proof. I can go around and tell everyone that I lost weight thanks to this pill but that's just an anecdote. In reality there can be many other reasons why I might of lost the weight
4. Sorry, the car example does not hold to the test of logic. What the driver said... that he spent billions.... everything.
Thank your everyone for the lively debate.
I think you're not objective because you have not done proper research. You are completely unaware of many important and relative facts.
1) I didn't bring up Wakefield's position, YOU did. I countered your misunderstanding that his case series claimed that the MMR caused autism by quoting his conclusion, where he and his co-authors wrote that they had NOT proved such an association, and called for further study.
Your response is that I shouldn't refer to it because it's not evidence.
You did not respond to the fact that his co-author won his appeal.
2). The Lancet started out as a way to help monitor safety and efficacy of medical practices, but is now funded, and to some extent controlled by the pharmaceutical industry. The Cochrane Collaborative, widely considered the gold standard in mainstream review, has complained that published studies are of poor quality, and suffer greatly from selection bias, with positive studies indicating safety and efficacy consistently being selected over equally valid negative studies.
This means that "reputable" no longer applies.
3). The testimony of 2 or 3 parents who have lost a child to vaccine injury is just as much evidence as the testimony of 2 or 3 parents who have lost a child to disease.
Be aware that the CDC has not studied the subgroup of children who have had seizure reactions to vaccines leading to brain damage/autism, even when the US government has admitted that vaccines caused their injuries and compensated them. Nor have they gathered testimony from the thousands of parents who reported the same reactions, or from the doctors involved.
Instead, the CDC repeats their official position: "We can neither confirm nor deny a causal relationship between vaccines and autism."
Please note, that is very different from saying that vaccines DON'T cause autism, or even that there is no link--despite what the media says.
If you are a scientist, then you already know that it's possible to set up a study showing just about anything. We could gather 1,000 smokers who don't have lung cancer, study them, and conclude that smoking does not cause lung cancer, if we set it up that way.
The vaccine/autism studies held up as "proof" of no link are deeply flawed.
For example, the last CDC study? Check it out: http://jpeds.com/webfiles/images/journals/ympd/JPEDSDeStefano.pdf
First of all, they compare the number of antigens between two groups of children getting many shots. The cumulative number of antigens is not thought by anyone to be the cause of autism. The cumulative amount of thimerosal, aluminum, and their relationship to other vaccine ingredients and predisposing factors in the child are thought to be key--but the study did not look at that.
The "control" group being compared with the autistic children included a significant group of children with symptoms of...autism. These were children with developmental regression, speech delay, ADD/ADHD, tics, an IEP, etc., they just didn't have an official diagnosis. So the study looked at 2 groups of children with similar, perhaps even identical issues, but called one group "autistic" and the other group "non-autistic."
Most importantly, only 19% of the autistic children in the study had regressive autism. Regressive autism is the type of autism thought to be linked with vaccines.
Also problematic is their conclusion: "It can be argued that ASD with regression, in which children usually lose developmental skills during the second year of life, could be related to exposures in infancy, including vaccines; however, we found no association between expo- sure to antigens from vaccines during infancy and the development of ASD with regression."
Remember? Only 19% of the autistic kids had regressive autism. They didn't compare that group of children with unvaccinated children. They didn't also compare autistic children with neurotypical children. And they never looked at children who had vaccine reactions.
The studies on both sides of the issue are flawed. (Yes, there are peer-reviewed studies linking vaccines and autism. They are listed on this blog: http://adventuresinautism.blogspot.com/2007/06/no-evidence-of-any-link.html
At the end of the day, what matters is that we can't say the link has been disproven, because it hasn't. And we can't say that vaccine are the one and only cause of autism, or that vaccines will cause autism in every child, because they haven't.
What we do know is that they are implicated in a subgroup--and that the CDC has abandoned that subgroup, and done everything they can to move the focus away from that subgroup, even as that subgroup is increasing.
That is unacceptable, and shoud be recognized as unacceptable by every scientist.