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How do you analyze evidence? - Page 2

post #21 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by amnesiac

So Gitti, what journal articles have you researched where this has been the case & what criteria do you personally use?
Amnesiac,

I actually came to this issue trying to prove to my daughter that vaccines were safe and effective. I read everything that I could get my hands on. I plowed through research after research even though I understood only half of it. The abstract was always the same: Vaccines are effective and have not been proven to cause harm. And I believed it.

BUT, as my dd kept pointing out, my grandson had this little paternal cousin who was born perfectly normal, and in fact had been extremely bright, and remained that way until he got his MMR....

Then something happened to him. He was diagnosed with autism. That's when we started to research the issue.

When I finally opened my ears I heard more and more stories about parents witnessing their children deteriorate after vaccines...

So then I started looking at the diseases that we are preventing with those particular vaccines. For that I actually used a medical book from a medical student. And I saw that those diseases are very deadly. They are some of the most precarious illnesses - UNLESS a child is vaccinated.

Did you ever read those books? They are the source for our doctors. All research is done and cited. No one has to do it for themselves. Nor do they need any other sources. Only the material that is preseted to them. A medical student simply has to remember it and believe it. And they do!

I read up on every single disease that I have had as a child. I didn't know I had been in such peril. Not only I, but also my children, my dh, both our parents, and both our grandparents.

That's when I started to examine my sources more closely.

And you know what I have come to believe is my very best source now?

Commons sense! There is nothing like it. Some people don't have it, but I DO.
post #22 of 108
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I plowed through research after research even though I understood only half of it. The abstract was always the same: Vaccines are effective and have not been proven to cause harm. And I believed it.
So then you don't have any specific examples of published research studies where financial interest was an issue? And if you only understood half of what you read how could you decide it's validity? Just by reading the conclusion in the abstract?


Quote:
Did you ever read those books?
Yes, I believe I've already said in this thread that I have & exactly how I use them.


Quote:
That's when I started to examine my sources more closely.
So how exactly are you examining them more closely? How would you go about explaining your evaluation process to a new mother?


Quote:
Commons sense! There is nothing like it. Some people don't have it, but I DO.
Common sense is pretty subjective.
post #23 of 108
Quote:
So then you don't have any specific examples of published research studies where financial interest was an issue?

Ahhh... that would be all of them.


I have an idea. Why don't you, Amnesiac, give us a list of credible resources?

post #24 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by amnesiac




Common sense is pretty subjective.
No its not, IMO it is the most reliable source anyone can have. It's your inner knowing, its not your mind it is beyond that, because your mind is corrupted by fear and doubt through a lifetime of programming. Medical scientists, doctors and medical associations are pimps of the pharmaceutical industry. It really is hard to believe anything they say especially when doctors are the sixth leading cause of death in the US behind heart disease, cancer, lung-disease, strokes and accidents.

I'll take my chances with the so-called quacks, if what they say resonates with my inner truth meter.
post #25 of 108
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Ahhh... that would be all of them.
Are you serious?


Quote:
I have an idea. Why don't you, Amnesiac, give us a list of credible resources?
Ahh, I might just do that some day soon! In the mean time I'll be anxiously awaiting your answers to my questions & the input of anyone else here.

But, even if your question were serious, is it really my job to tell anyone else what to think? This thread isn't about learning what I think or what you think, it's about learning how to think critically for one's self. It's not about making a list of good resources, it's about sharing tools we can each use to assess any information we find.
post #26 of 108
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by amnesiac

Common sense is pretty subjective.



No it's not...I'll take my chances with the so-called quacks, if what they say resonates with my inner truth meter.
Which may be a very different thing from my inner truth meter or Gitti's or ERSsmom's. That's what subjective means - it's modified by individual bias.
post #27 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by amnesiac
Which may be a very different thing from my inner truth meter or Gitti's or ERSsmom's. That's what subjective means - it's modified by individual bias.
No I disagree, if you are really in touch with that part of your being, it will not be influenced by programming. I think we are talking at cross purposes, I am sorry I can't be clearer. But to explain more fully would require me to go into many areas including quantum physics, the nature of reality, holographic universes, the nature of DNA and many other subjects.
post #28 of 108
I think Gitti said it best when she mentioned common sense. I don't solely rely on medical journals or anti or pro vax websites to give me "good resources." And I certainly don't rely on the typical government or pharma funded research in order to form opinions.

Take a peek at the vaccine ingredients I listed below? Common sense would tell you that these ingredients should not be injected into tiny infants or any human for that matter. I have researched every single ingredient.

The vaccine ingredients speak for themselves - this is my "good resource." A little unbiased common sense goes a long way.

Formaldehyde

Mercury

Antifreeze

Aluminium

2-Phenoxyethanol:

Phenol

Methanol

Borax
(sodium tetraborate decahydrate):

Glutaraldehyde

MSG
(monosodium glutamate):
Ammonium Sulfate:

Gentamicin Sulfate: an antibiotic.

Neomycin Sulfate: an antibiotic.

Tri(n)butylphosphate

Polymyxin B:
another antibiotic

Polysorbate 20 / 80

Sorbitol

Polyribosylribitol: a component of the Hib bacterium.

Beta-Propiolactone

Amphotericin B

Animal organ tissue and blood

Animals used include monkey (kidney), cow (heart), calf (serum), chicken (embryo and egg), duck (egg), pig (blood), sheep (blood), dog (kidney), horse (blood), rabbit (brain), guinea pig, etc.

Aborted human foetal tissue and human albumin

Large foreign proteins:

Latex: This is in the hepatitis B vaccine which is given routinely to health workers

Animal Viruses

Human Viruses

Mycoplasma

Genetically modified yeast

Foreign DNA

*******************

By the way, there are many many good resources on the internet that provide all the information a parent needs regarding these ingredients, in particular Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).
post #29 of 108
Amnesiac, it seems to me that you are arguing both sides of the issue here. Or are you just trying to play the devil's advocate.

As to the textbook issue, look at who owns the publisher. Alot of these companies are a subsidiery of a subsidiery of a major corporate conglomerate. If the corporation owns a drug manufacturerer or a chemical company, its subsidiery publishing company will not print contrary information.

I am currently working on my degree to teach at the college level, and most textbooks are extremely biased politically. I believe that the medical "industry" is a political isuue. Look at the health care reform debate that has been raging.

And I do think that common sense is a person's best defense. If you are ignorant of a particular subject that requires a decision, your common sense will tell you to educate yourself. Unfortunately there are those that lack common sense, and certain politicians feel the need to legislate and enforce it. IMHO this is taking away our rights of personal choice.
post #30 of 108
Ok. I think each and every one of us has a mental image of what we think is the "truth".
In everything, from politics to religion to parenting, we filter out what we percieve as having "slant" that challenges our "truth".
Some doctor over at babycenter says that CIO babies are the most securely attached.
I read that and hear "bla bla bla - bs bs bs." You know slant when you see it.
When there's just no logic to a statement, it's easily discredited in your mind.
It's not the reliability of the source, but rather the content of the idea.
In regards to the vax debate, I get most of my info from medical publications on illnesses that are not necessarily related to vaxes.
Problems like encephalitis and menengitis...questions about histamines and the way the pancreas works.
These kinds of publications are usually free of slant (although there is the ever present problem of "schools of thought" and the biases therein).
post #31 of 108
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I have researched every single ingredient
But how did you go about doing that? I saw that you mentioned MSDS's - was that it or was there more to it?


Quote:
Common sense would tell you that these ingredients should not be injected into tiny infants or any human for that matter.
My common sense may tell me that & so may yours but there are moms out there whose common sense may tell them "the dose makes the poison." That's why I'm asking what specific sources of information might validate either thought & how we go about finding them - critical thinking skills.


Quote:
Amnesiac, it seems to me that you are arguing both sides of the issue here. Or are you just trying to play the devil's advocate.
What issue - the pro/anti vax issue? Neither, this is about sharing what tools & processes we all use in our research process to weed out the junk from the things that are meaningful. There isn't a side to that, it applies to us all. I think it's a good discussion to have to keep our minds fresh & help out other parents new to the vax issue who may be overwhelmed & not know how to go about getting started.


Quote:
As to the textbook issue, look at who owns the publisher. Alot of these companies are a subsidiery of a subsidiery of a major corporate conglomerate. If the corporation owns a drug manufacturerer or a chemical company, its subsidiery publishing company will not print contrary information.

I am currently working on my degree to teach at the college level, and most textbooks are extremely biased politically. I believe that the medical "industry" is a political isuue. Look at the health care reform debate that has been raging.
Okay I follow you now. But for me personally, I don't use those books to learn about how meds work. Say for example you're wondering, "what if my kid gets _______ illness - what will the rash look like, how long does it usually last, what other symptoms are unique to this problem, what are all the differential diagnoses, what lab values are common to this problem, what approach might I expect my doctor to take if I go in to see him/her about this?" That sort of thing. Texts are going to be pretty consistent as far as that information goes & I even use my Merck manual for some of that kind of info.


Quote:
In regards to the vax debate, I get most of my info from medical publications on illnesses that are not necessarily related to vaxes.
What types of publications do you find helpful, do you mean textbooks & such or studies published in journals?
post #32 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by amnesiac
So what do you base your decisions on?

(love your sig BTW!)

I think what is deemed credible varies depending who is reading it. If I am reading something, it really just needs to make sense to me. Ferber may own a sleep clinic, and claim that cio is ok and non- harmful- I don't buy that. A mom can just tell me it's cruel, and I'll believe her over Ferber simply b/c that's what is in my heart. If I wanted to show something to a dr, I would want to find info written by a dr- b/c I think the dr would find that most credible. If a researcher wanted info, I would think simply having something written by a dr would not convince them- they would want to see facts, journals ect since they would more likely to be aware of skewing data, surveys ect. If a chiropractor wanted info, I don't think they would simply find a dr's notes credible, and vice versa. So I believe it's totally dependent upon the audience. For most people, I think if a "dr" says it, then it's true.
post #33 of 108
[QUOTE=amnesiac]But how did you go about doing that? I saw that you mentioned MSDS's - was that it or was there more to it?

MSDS and other websites containing information on these ingredients (sorry, I no longer have anything bookmarked to refer to) helped me make my decisions regarding ingredients. For instance, I also looked at ingredient information provided by the FDA and CDC. The FDA and CDC conclude that the small concentrations of these ingredients in immunizations are safe. However, I do not wish to inject potentially dangerous foreign substances into my body or my childrens' bodies.

In addition to the obvious philosophical reasons I have, there are also religious reasons for my decision. For myself, I completely re-examined my relationship with God and my faith in God to heal. These are my beliefs - within me - and, while I am aware of the research and studies conducted, no amount of "evidence" can change the belief that is within me.

You stated:

That's why I'm asking what specific sources of information might validate either thought & how we go about finding them - critical thinking skills.

This may not be answer you're looking for . . . but for me, I don't rely on specific sources of information to ultimately validate my decision. Our family does not rely on immunization in order to prevent disease nor medication in order to heal.

I have more faith in God than Merck.
post #34 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by LongIsland

I have more faith in God than Merck.

I don't think that God/Nature screwed up when she/he designed people. But I do think Man has made a lot of mistakes.........
post #35 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbow Brite
I don't think that God/Nature screwed up when she/he designed people. But I do think Man has made a lot of mistakes.........
I agree. Money is certainly the root of all evil. Here's a great quote:


Greed is a fat demon with a small mouth and whatever you feed it, is never enough.

-Janwillem van de Wetering
post #36 of 108
Thread Starter 
So then for a lot of us, whether we choose to vaccinate or not depends largely on how they fit (or don't fit) in with our personal belief systems/religions. As I understand it, if this is the case then research really doesn't serve much purpose, all you need is faith.


Quote:
If I am reading something, it really just needs to make sense to me. Ferber may own a sleep clinic, and claim that cio is ok and non- harmful- I don't buy that. A mom can just tell me it's cruel, and I'll believe her over Ferber simply b/c that's what is in my heart.
That's an important statement to me because I think it's important not to just "believe" any one person at their word no matter whether it's a doctor, naturopath, teacher, another mother, whatever. If we aren't willing to give up our judgement to a doctor we shouldn't give it up to another mother either. But just taking the Ferber thing as an example, we could just go with whatever makes our family function well or if we choose to do some research just so we're sure we're doing the right thing we can certainly do that.
post #37 of 108
Thread Starter 
Quote:
So then for a lot of us, whether we choose to vaccinate or not depends largely on how they fit (or don't fit) in with our personal belief systems/religions. As I understand it, if this is the case then research really doesn't serve much purpose, all you need is faith
Just to clarify - this thread is about how we go about analyzing evidence/information, not about making faith based decisions.
post #38 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by amnesiac
But just taking the Ferber thing as an example, we could just go with whatever makes our family function well or if we choose to do some research just so we're sure we're doing the right thing we can certainly do that.

I do believe research is important- however I do think results can be interpreted to show a slant- by omitting info, not being explicit with the studies ect. I do take value from them, but am not going to base my decision on something soley on the source (eg having an md after your name doesn't automatically make you credible). I think research can make you more or less confident in your decision.
post #39 of 108
I'm a librarian. I took several specialized reference classes: humanities, business, medicine were three of them. What I found interesting is that the medical information was by far the trickiest to work with and the most controversial. There are definitely arguments in humanities and controversies (race for example), but it isn't usually about big bucks trying to manipulate the information (politics, more likely). In business information, the problems have to do with the high cost of info and also the attempts by particular businesses to deceive about particular things (think Enron).

Medicine is by far the most difficult, although not in all areas. I agree with Amnesiac that a good deal of the information available is quite straightforward. I would be comfortable, for example, recommending any of a number of medical dictionaries. There is no conspiracy to modify the meaning of "cardiac."

Our profs spent a lot of time talking about the endless attempts by pharmaceutical companies to influence the information that reaches doctors, other medical staff and the public. For example, there is something called Cochrane reviews. Briefly, this impartial group does a major review of all the published articles on a topic over some period of time and then publishes a summary/analysis. They are very good and sometimes find out useful and overlooked information. The trouble is, the sponsoring organization is having problems and they were thinking of accepting donations from guess who.

Some things I learned in library school about evaluating sources:

Start with looking to see who sponsors the information (whether online or in print). If you can't find out who stands behind the material, mark em way down.

Are there advertisements? Or a corporate supporter cited? This is frequently the case for patient's organizations. It doesn't mean that all of the material is useless, but it does suggest that you exercise caution.

What sort of authority and experience does the writer have? Just because someone is a doctor doesn't mean they are right, but on the other hand, most of the people on this board are clearly speaking out of their personal experience as mothers or grandmothers. This is not equivalent to scientific facts.

There is a lot more I could spout, but I've run out of time.

Nana
post #40 of 108
Thread Starter 
We'll be here waitin' to hear more!
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