Anti-vaccine pseudoscience – Shaw and Tomljenovic debunked tropes

anti-vaccine pseudoscience

I’m beginning to feel some deja vu, since I am criticizing another anti-vaccine pseudoscience paper foisted onto the world by Christopher Shaw and Lucija Tomljenovic. These two University of British Columbia (UBC) researchers in the Department of Ophthalmology (you know, the study of eyes) have no background or training in any area vaccine research, including immunology, epidemiology, microbiology, virology or anything else remotely related. Yet they keep publishing anti-vaccine pseudoscientific junk medicine.

Yet, every time these anti-vaccine shills publish anti-vaccine pseudoscience articles in low ranked journals, the reactionaries jump all over it and try to use those articles as “science” to dismiss the scientific fact of vaccine safety and effectiveness. Except for one small matter – Shaw and Tomljenovic have a long record of retracted articles (here and here), publishing their “research” in low impact factor, predatory “pay-to-play” journals, and pushing anti-vaccine pseudoscience that has been hammered by respected scientific organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO).

Yes, many of us are wondering why UBC hasn’t tossed both of them out of the university for research malfeasance, but that’s not the point here. We’re just going to rip apart the anti-vaccine pseudoscience presented in another article from Shaw and Tomljenovic.  Continue reading “Anti-vaccine pseudoscience – Shaw and Tomljenovic debunked tropes”

The feathery dinosaur still needs funding – please help out

funding

The last couple of weeks were pretty wild. First, being accused of being Dr. Paul Offit by the bastion of fake news, the Health Ranger’s own Natural News. Then several people on an anti-vaccine YouTube video accused yours truly of being David Gorski, and working for Dorit Rubinstein Reiss. What next? I’m actually an alien from space? A lizard person?

Also, last week,  Professor Reiss wrote about the sad tragedy of Nick Catone’s son. The massive hits to the website (nearly double or triple the usual amount) caused the server to collapse so many times that I nearly threw my computer through the window. But it’s cold outside, and I need my computer. This is why I still need to ask for further funding so that I can do some upgrading and improvements to the website’s code.

Then this week, I published an article on glyphosate and cancer. And once again, the server got hit from all of the views of the article.

Now, I’m not whining. It’s so cool that my humble little website has grown into a monstrosity.

Anyway, the issue with the server is that when there are peak runs on the website, and that happens with each of the popular articles, it overwhelms the processor and memory of the server. Right now, I have enough power for about 80% of the time. But that 20% causes a lot of errors when people try to read the articles. And that’s why I write, so people can read the articles.

I’ve received about 30% of what I need from the year from all of your generous support. But I need to keep asking. Please contribute.

So, if you have the wherewithal, please donate to the Skeptical Raptor. Anything you can do will be greatly appreciated.

There are two ways to contribute to this website.  First, you can make use of PayPal. If you wish, you can set up PayPal to provide monthly contributions, which are just as helpful. I prefer PayPal, because it doesn’t take out a fee, so if you send $10, I get $10.

Or you can use GoFundMe, if you prefer. They take off about 7%, but I know many people feel more comfortable with the anonymity of GoFundMe.

So click either the GoFundMe or PayPal buttons below to be taken to the secure website where you can contribute to the cause.

 
 
  You can also support this website by making your Amazon purchases – just click on the link below. A small portion of each purchase goes to the Skeptical Raptor, without any additional cost to you.  

(Note – for some strange reason occasionally, the PayPal button doesn’t work, a problem on PayPal’s side. If that happens, try the PayPal button along the right sidebar, which almost always works.)

I will regularly revise the goal level on GoFundMe to include amounts I’ve received through PayPal. We started with a goal of $4000 and we’re already down to needing only around $2000 more.

Please help out the funding of this website for both the short term and long term. The feathery dinosaur thanks you.

Michigan vaccine regulations – Court decides on religious exemptions

Michigan vaccine regulations

On 7 November 2017, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals mostly upheld a Federal District’s Court decision (pdf) to grant a motion to dismiss a lawsuit challenging Michigan vaccine regulations that require parents seeking an exemption from school immunization requirements have an interview with health department personnel first. The decision reinforced the strong support our courts have provided states’ efforts to increase vaccines rates.

Continue reading “Michigan vaccine regulations – Court decides on religious exemptions”

Glyphosate causes cancer? – large scientific study says no

Glyphosate causes cancer

One of the tropes of the pseudoscience world is that glyphosate causes cancer – but what does real science say? Well, numerous large epidemiological studies have yet to provide evidence of a link that would convince us that the herbicide has any link to any cancer.

Recently, another article in a prestigious cancer journal looked at thousands of  individuals exposed to glyphosate, and once again, have found no convincing evidence that glyphosate causes cancer. The totality of evidence, unless you are into glyphosate- and GMO-free cherry picking, continues to lead us to a simple conclusion – there is no link between the chemical and any of the 200 or more types of cancer.

One of the major issues with the tropes and myths about glyphosate is that many anti-science liberals tend to conflate glyphosate with genetically modified crops. This leads to a lot of unsupported hatred of GMO plants, despite the overwhelming scientific consensus that says that GMO agriculture is safe for humans, animals, and the environment – a consensus as broad and powerful as the one that states that climate change is caused by humans.

So let’s look at this new article, and how it fits into the narrative about glyphosate and cancer.

Continue reading “Glyphosate causes cancer? – large scientific study says no”

Flu vaccine research and development – eggs cause low effectiveness

Flu vaccine research

From year to year, there are variations in the effectiveness of the flu vaccine, although getting the flu vaccine is infinitely better than contracting the flu and risking some of the major complications of the disease. A peer-reviewed paper has just been published that examines flu vaccine research and development impact on flu vaccine effectiveness. Interestingly, the study authors may have identified the most important reason for the variable effectiveness – because the virus is grown in chicken eggs.

I think it’s important that vaccine manufacturers start to examine methods on how to improve effectiveness, since the flu, despite the claims of the antivaccine world, is a serious and dangerous diseases. And some strains of flu, like the H1N1 can be harmful to young healthy adults.

There are a lot of reasons why the flu vaccine research and development gives us a final product that varies in effectiveness from year to year, and we are going to look into some of them. Continue reading “Flu vaccine research and development – eggs cause low effectiveness”

Gardasil cancer-preventing vaccine is the greatest medical scandal – nope

Gardasil cancer-preventing vaccine

I am absolutely convinced that of all the vaccines on the market, the anti-vaccine radicals hate the Gardasil cancer-preventing vaccine more than any other. Nearly every day, I see article after article in pseudoscientific websites that make unfounded claims and outright misinformation about Gardasil, including one that crossed my path today.

The article, in a junk medicine website called RealFarmacy, blares this click-bait headline – “Merck’s Former Doctor Predicts Gardasil to Become the Greatest Medical Scandal of All Time.” Oh no, I’m frightened, are you? The article relies upon the Four Horsemen of the Gardasil Apocalypse™ for their fake facts.

In fact, there is robust scientific evidence, gathered from huge case control studies, that the Gardasil cancer-preventing vaccine is incredibly safe, and may be one of the safest vaccines on the market. But we all know what the anti-vaccine folks think of scientific facts – they ignore them unless it supports their preordained conclusions.

This article will tackle the key points of the RealFarmacy (what’s with the spelling error?) article.  Continue reading “Gardasil cancer-preventing vaccine is the greatest medical scandal – nope”

LeRoy neurological disorders – PANDAS, vaccines, and whatever?

leroy neurological disorders

In spring 2012, I had written a few articles about a mystery neurological ailment that had struck about 20 teenagers at a high school and surrounding area in LeRoy, NY, a small town about 30 minutes from the city of Rochester. They suffered tics that mimicked Tourette syndrome, but was never diagnosed as such. Most of them have recovered, although two new cases have appeared. It’s been five years, so let’s update the news about the LeRoy neurological disorders.

I first wrote this article in 2013, yet it continues to be one of the top read articles on this blog. I’m not sure why, it may be because the outbreak was blamed on many factors that cross paths with internet conspiracies about health. Like vaccines.

Since this article about the LeRoy neurological disorders is so popular, I decided to update it (and clean up the huge number of broken links). I have also looked at the recent news about “outbreak,” and I will post links to some of the more intriguing hypotheses here.

Entering the Way-back Machine, let’s see what has happened in the past, just to catch everyone up. Continue reading “LeRoy neurological disorders – PANDAS, vaccines, and whatever?”

National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program facts

national vaccine injury compensation program

In this post I explain how one goes about proving a case in the  National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP), and how that differs from proving a case in the civil courts, focusing on what it means to have a no-fault program and proving causation. I will use a case that started with the tragic death of a young child after a vaccine to illustrate the complexity and operation of the program, and also to address the idea of federal preemption, and how it limits the ability of those claiming vaccine injuries to use state courts for their claims.

Continue reading “National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program facts”

Breast cancer mortality rate – it dropped 40 percent in 30 years

breast cancer mortality

There is an ongoing trope that somehow that cancer incidence and cancer mortality has increased substantially over the past few years. Yet, despite that fact that the myth has been shown to be false, it persists, especially around the pseudoscience complementary and alternative medicine world. And now, we have more good news about cancer – the breast cancer mortality rate has dropped by 40% over the past 30 years.

I’m not sure why a lot of people think that cancer is more prevalent today. Maybe it is because of social media, we hear about it more. Maybe it is because of better diagnostic techniques, we think that the cancer situation is worse. Maybe it is that there is an over reliance on anecdotes about cancer. Finally, maybe it is people who think our bodies are being assaulted by cancer causing GMOs (not cancer causing), vaccines (which prevent cancer), or gluten (not cancer causing).

Of course, the pseudoscientific pushing alternative medicine world wants to convince you that science based medicine is incapable of treating cancers and only push highly profitable poisons from Big Pharma pushed into cancer patients. Unfortunately for that narrative, the statistically significant drop in the breast cancer mortality rate says that oncologists are doing a good job with a deadly cancer. Continue reading “Breast cancer mortality rate – it dropped 40 percent in 30 years”

Anti-vaccine religion – hateful attacks on Dorit Rubinstein Reiss and others

Anti-vaccine religion

A few days ago, Professor Dorit Rubinstein Reiss published a heartfelt article on this website about the death of Nick Catone’s son that Catone blamed on vaccine induced sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The death was tragic, as is the death of any child, but there is absolutely no evidence that vaccines were the cause. Of course, within hours, the anti-vaccine religion poured forth in their usual vile, disgusting, racist, grammar and spelling deficient manner.

Mostly, I just delete the most nasty comments, and move on. But today, I’m not in a good mood. I want to point to the anti-vaccine religion for all to see. Like all religions, the anti-vaccine sect must attack others who follow rational thought or simply reject their religion. The religion of anti-vaccine hatred seems to be no different than other religious hatred throughout this world.

Continue reading “Anti-vaccine religion – hateful attacks on Dorit Rubinstein Reiss and others”