Thursday, December 10, 2009

Yet Another Really Stupid Post from Orac

So, today has been an exercise in frustration and exhaustion. Late last night, my lovely wife began complaining about a pain in her side. She didn't complain too much, so neither she nor I thought too much of it.

Then, early this morning, she began really complaining...I mean curling up into the fetal position complaining. Then she began vomiting and her Blood Pressure skyrocketed. Yay....ER time.

I knew it was a Kidney stone, though I didn't realize how bad it was. It was actually 3 kidney stones, all of them quite large. One of them was completely blocking off one of her ureters, and the other was doing a wonderful job of nearly blocking off the other. The third was still in her kidney, and according to the Doctor, that's the largest of them.

They did surgery about an hour ago, and they were able to zap the two in her ureters. The last one will have to be blasted in January, sadly. But, she'll be fine; nothing too serious.

So, then I get home to take a break from the hospital and give the kids a break as well. I glance at the enemy's site, and lo and behold, another idiotic post.

Orac is gleefully going on about how another study supposedly exhonerates vaccines and autism. Now, seeing how he is gloating, it is safe to assume that he is not really interested in the science or the methodology behind the study. Nor is he interested in how this affects other children and those that may indeed have been injured by vaccines.

Orac croons:
"Last week, yet another study was released investigating whether there is a link between MMR vaccination and autism. Last week, yet another study failed to find a link between MMR vaccination and autism. This week, yet another study is all set to be attacked by Generation Rescue and the anti-vaccine movement. The sad and sordid history of reactions of the anti-vaccine movement to studies that do not support its belief in the unsinkable rubber duck of a myth that vaccines cause autism."

No; he's only interested in being right.

Now, I haven't had the time to look in detail over the abstract of the study, nor have I had the time to analyze the numbers. However, one thing that was glaringly obvious is that none of the children were completely unvaccinated. Also, another thing that was glaringly obvious is that it somehow "exhonerates" all vaccines by "exhonerating" one vaccine.

Tell me, David....have there been any other studies on a vaccine other than the MMR? What about the MMR in conjunction with other childhood vaccines, like the DTaP, for instance?

When I have a chance I'll go over the study in detail and look at the numbers. Right now, I just wanted to post this to say one thing;

If Orac is only interested in being right, that means he is biased. Such bias calls his objectivity and reliability into question.

I wouldn't trust anything he says as far as I could throw him.


  1. I'm sorry about your wife's kidney stones. ((()))It's been such a rough year for both of you and yours.

  2. Thank you.

    She's doing good. Sore, cranky, but otherwise ok. I'm taking the day off of work to help her with the kids and stuff.

  3. I don't blame her for being cranky. I'm glad she's okay.

  4. You're going to see it at some point, and see that Orac knows of this site, and you're going to be mad, if you're not already. And I'm hoping that you'll breathe and choose to not be.

  5. I already saw it. I'm not in the least bit angry; more amused, really. I'll have something written in "retaliation" when I get a chance.

  6. I don't have access to the study in full, the journal that published it is not listed in my University database.

    From reading the abstract, however, it is nothing significant. The study looked at 96 children with autism and 192 children without autism and compared their immunization rates for measles or with the MMR. Results vary by what are literally several participants. It's nothing to make a stink about, just another routine dumpster dive from "Science"Blogs in search of anything that will positively portray its evidence-free position.

  7. Yeah, doesn't surprise me in the least, Jake. My curiosity is up, though. Mainly about who funded it.

    Thanks for posting, Jake.

  8. You're welcome,

    One more interesting thing: the study looked at children ages 2-15, yet the MMR wasn't even introduced to Poland until 2003, before that single measles vaccines were in use.

    Wasn't that around the same time the health authorities were phasing out thimerosal here in the US? It was also during that same time that the EMEA, European Medicines Evaluation Agency, also encouraged the use of thimerosal-free or preservative-free vaccines. I wonder, could a possible reduction in thimerosal-exposure from vaccines due to encouragement from the EMEA cause a huge confounder, skewing the results to give the impression that the MMR has a protective effect only because it was introduced to the country right as thimerosal was being phased out?

    Worth nothing is that the rate of pre-autism symptom onset were only significantly lower for children given MMR vaccines as opposed to those given measles vaccines, but not in those unvaccinated for measles. Could that be because children given measles vaccines were also more likely than their un-measles vaccinated counterparts to be given other vaccines as well, namely those that contain thimerosal?

  9. Being as how I have had a horribly busy past few days, I still haven't gotten around to reading over the study. However, Jake, you have done some excellent work here! Thanks so much for posting your thoughts!