Prove the scientific consensus and win a prize: A time-dishonored PR ploy used by cranks, quacks, and pseudoscientists (Robert F. Kennedy Jr. edition)
Last week, antivaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. teamed up with Robert De Niro to issue a challenge to provide one scientific study that proves thimerosal in vaccines is safe, with a cash prize of $100,000. They thus joined a long line of antivaxers, creationists, and climate science denialists offering money to "prove" the scientific consensus. Science doesn't work that way.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. promotes an awful epidemiology study linking vaccines and neurological conditions from…Yale?
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has never seen a lousy study linking vaccines to bad things that he didn't like. This is no exception. Oddly enough, this study was funded and carried out by a lawyer and an investment banker, with the help of an eminent Yale pediatrician. Of course, the study doesn't show what RFK Jr. thinks it shows.
If the "central dogma" of alternative medicine is that wishing makes it so, one of the most important of the other organizing dogmas of alternative medicine is that "toxins," whether they come from inside or outside, are making us sick and that we can't be healthy until we "detoxify." This is far more a religious belief than a science-based one.
The Medical Director of The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute spewed antivaccine misinformation last week. Why is anyone surprised?
A social media firestorm erupted over the weekend after Dr. Daniel Neides, Director of The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, posted an article full of antivaccine misinformation. The Cleveland Clinic promptly disavowed it, but shouldn't have been surprised that one of its "integrative medicine" leaders is antivaccine. If you "integrate" medicine that teaches that "toxins" cause disease and "detoxification" is the cure, antivaccine...
The election of Donald Trump was unexpected. Given Trump's history of antivaccine beliefs and conspiracy theories, coupled with a fervor for deregulation (a fervor shared by the Republican Congress), it is reasonable to fear what will happen to medical science policy during the next four years.
The publisher recently sent me a review copy of Quackery: The 20 Million Dollar Duck, by Tony Robertson. My first thought was “Do we really need another book on this subject? Don’t I know all this stuff already?” I was very pleasantly surprised. Robertson has ferreted out an impressive array of facts and details that I wasn’t aware of; and yes, we...
Almost as long as there have been vaccines, there has been an antivaccine movement. The misinformation promoted by antivaccinationists can infect parents and make them vaccine-averse. Here, we deal with some antivaccine tropes that find their way to the vaccine-averse.
Antivaccine "hero" Andrew Wakefield has recruited Del Bigtree to help him make a movie about the "CDC whistleblower" manufactroversy and anti vaccine conspiracy theories in general. The results are so ham-fisted that they would make Reni Liefenstahl shout, "Zu viel!" ("Too much!")
How low antivaccine “warriors” will go: Of Facebook harassment reporting algorithm abuse and publicly attacking a 12 year old boy
Antivaccine "warriors" and supporters of pseudoscience don't take criticism well. They can't, because they don't have evidence and science on their side. Instead, they respond with harassment, threats, and lawsuits. If you think you've seen how low they can go, think again.
Several weeks back, I wrote a piece in praise of Michigan’s Fresh Air Camp’s decision to admit only properly vaccinated children. Predictably, there was a bit of a backlash from people who, despite the obvious benefits, oppose vaccinations. I can’t fault a parent for the decisions they make for their kids. We all work from the gut when it comes to our...