Response to proverbialwisdom (Reply #94)
Tue Jun 19, 2012, 11:39 PM
Godhumor (3,531 posts)
95. Not junk science??? The main hypothesis there is that vaccines cause autism!
That is the very definition of junk science.
So let's do a few links for you:
From Kausik Datta of John Hopkins
Perhaps it is a matter of great irony that schools named in the Flexner report of 1910 as paragons of virtues in medical education have all now embraced pseudoscientific, evidence-free therapeutic systems with great alacrity. I wrote above how University of Toronto seems to have bought into the autism-pseudoscience business. Harvard employs amongst its faculty Dr. Martha Herbert, who is known for her grandiose claims (completely unsupported by any evidence) that neuroinflammation is a major cause of autism, and that molds and other environmental influences trigger it; she is also very popular amongst the anti-vaccination crowd. McGill University of Canada, by far the sanest of all these, recently launched a searchable database of outcome measures intended for CAM researchers – the IN-CAM Outcomes Database – as a collaboration between its Health Centre Research Institute and the University of Calgary. Interestingly, Eric Fombonne, MD, the Head of the Division of Child Psychiatry at McGill and Director of the Department of Psychiatry at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, and a leading authority on Autism Spectrum Disorders, is the author of studies that showed (a) no difference in mercury levels between autistic children and the general population, thereby invalidating the entire chelation therapy business, and (b) no link between MMR-vaccine and autism, but one doesn’t – of course – find a mention of these studies in autism-pseudoscience literature.
From the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
It’s been said that "if homeopathy has a leader in the United States it is Dana Ullman MPH!" (20) Mr. Ullman has written six major texts, and Penguin, his publishers, boast that he serves on the Advisory Council of the Alternative Medicine Center at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and is a consultant to Harvard Medical School’s Center to Assess Alternative Therapy for Chronic Illness (21) .
Penguin does not report that in the course of the anthrax outbreak in October of 2001, Mr. Ullman advised use of the homeopathic medicine Anthracinum for the prevention and treament of anthrax. This agent, gathered from infected swine, is called a nosode and its producers reassure the public that they are "diluted to a point where no molecules of the disease product remain." (22) Well, nosodes and Anthracinum, miasmas and the like, which dot the Hogwarts curriculum of Mr. Ullman’s site, are matched by those on the web-sites of the University Centers he has advised. Columbia’s Rosenthal Center offers "integrative medicine" for children with cancer offered by a staff experienced in Shiatsu, reflexology, aromatherapy, Reiki, Flow Alignment and Connection, So Tai, and Tui Na (23) . Not to be outdone, Harvard Medical School’s Osher Institute offers clinical fellowships, funded by NCCAM, to study remedies that meet Prince Charles’s criteria of being "rooted in ancient traditions"—acupuncture, herbal therapies, chiropractic, relaxation techniques, therapeutic massage, and other proto-scientific measures that sidestep the laws of chemistry and physics (24) . It is in this context that one can understand why, when Columbia’s Rosenthal Center kicked off its 10th anniversary celebration on November 20th at the St. Regis Hotel in New York, the awardees of honor were—you guessed it—Dr. Andrew Weil and Prince Charles (25) . Is Albus Dumbledore next?
And what about Dr. Martha Herbert? Well, here is the pdf of court documents from when she was called as an "expert witness" to discuss mold causing autism.
Dr. Hrbert's method, to the extent the court can determine it from the materials offered, is a series of deductions based on possibilities, together with a process of elimination...For such a process to be reliable, however, it is necessary to have a finite list of known potential causes, and a reliable method of eliminating causes other than the one in issue. Neither of those exist here. As the research publications discussed repeatedly note, the causes of autism are unknown, and no means exist to determine causation in any particular case, other than the small percentage that are associated with specific identified disorders.
The record provided does not establish reliability based on any of the factors recognized in Lanigan: no means of testing Dr. Herbert's theory appears, nor is any error rate identified. Although Dr. Herbert refers to publications in peer reviewed literature, the publications cited do not address her method of determining the cause of Emilia's condition, nor does anything else in the record identify peer reviewed literature that does so. Clearly, Dr. Herbert's method is not generally accepted in the scientific community. Dr. Herbert's theory of environmental triggers of autism may some day prove true. It has not yet. Her proffered testimony does not meet the standard of reliability required by the case law, and cannot be admitted in evidence at trial.
Oh, as for Rivera not being mentioned on AoA? It is because Julie Obradovic defended her without using her name after Huffington Post received Rivera's presentation materials:
ometime that night I saw a nasty article already on the Internet about Autism One. To start the conference, there was one slamming it and The Chicago Sun Times. Now to end it, there was one slamming it and the parents who attend.
A blogger, who hadn’t attended the conference, but instead was regurgitating another blogger (who hadn’t attended the conference either), wrote an entire article about the inability to “bleach” the Autism out of a child. She was referring to MMS, a treatment being used for gut problems in some children that hadn’t even been presented yet. It was on schedule for the next morning.
But mostly, the article irritated me for its tone. The author’s message was clear: parents who try these treatments are gullible, dangerous, and/or don’t love their children, and the people who pass them off are snake oil salesmen.
I am sure parents love their children, but, yes they're gullible to believe these dangerous treatments and the snake oil salemen who peddle them.
I'm not even going to bother with links about the quackery at AoA or Walker-Smith or Wakefield because they are pervasive and easily seen with a simple Google search. As always, any one interested in learning about how damaging the anti-vaccine movement and biomedical treatments are should reach Seth Mnookin's Panic Virus.
I don't want to keep infinitely bumping this thread, so I'll leave off with a few things:
Autism is not caused by vaccines. Bio-medical practices will not cure nor treat autism. People who advocate for either engage in junk science, regardless of source.
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Not junk science??? The main hypothesis there is that vaccines cause autism!
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