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Naturalnews.com is misleading to further their anti-vaccine agenda

Someone recently pointed me to an article on Naturalnews.com.  It’s idiocy blew my mind.

I probably shouldn’t even dignify it with a rebuttal, but I can’t help myself.

#1) Where are the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies proving flu vaccines are both safe and effective?
Answer: There aren’t any.

The CDC would like to disagree.  Even if there weren’t such studies, we have to make decisions based upon the best available evidence and every study that has been done points to the flu vaccine being effective and safe.

#2) Where, then, is the so-called “science” backing the idea that flu vaccines work at all?
Answer: Other than “cohort studies,” there isn’t any. And the cohort studies have been thoroughly debunked. Scientifically speaking, there isn’t a scrap of honest evidence showing flu vaccines work at all.

See the previous question.  Studies of flu vaccine effectiveness have not been “thoroughly debunked”.  If this was so how come the scientific consensus still supports the use of the flu vaccine?

#3) How can methyl mercury (Thimerosal, a preservative used in flu vaccines) be safe for injecting into the human body when mercury is an extremely toxic heavy metal?
Answer: It isn’t safe at all. Methyl mercury is a poison. Along with vaccine adjuvants, it explains why so many people suffer autism or other debilitating neurological side effects after being vaccinated.

Point number one, thimerosal is ethyl mercury, not methyl mercury which is a critical difference as ethyl mercury doesn’t accumulate in the body like methyl mercury.  Regardless of that, almost all evidence points to no ill effects from thimerosal in vaccines.

As Wikipedia says:

Most conclusively, eight major studies (as of 2008) examined the effect of reductions or removal of thiomersal from vaccines. All eight demonstrated that autism rates failed to decline despite removal of thiomersal, arguing strongly against a causative role.

On to their next point…

#4) Why do reports keep surfacing of children and teens suffering debilitating neurological disorders, brain swelling, seizures and even death following flu vaccines or HPV vaccines?
Answer: Because vaccines are dangerous. The vaccine industry routinely dismisses all such accounts — no matter how many are reported — as “coincidence.”

I don’t even understand how this is an actual argument.

Correlation is not the same thing as causation.  I’m sure hundreds of people have got in car accidents after getting a flu vaccine as well.  Is that the flu vaccine’s fault?

#5) Why don’t doctors recommend vitamin D for flu protection, especially when vitamin D activates the immune response far better than a vaccine? (http://www.naturalnews.com/027231_V…)
Answer: Because vitamin D can’t be patented and sold as “medicine.” You can make it yourself. If you want more vitamin D, you don’t even need a doctor, and doctors tend not to recommend things that put them out of business

Oh gosh, a conspiracy theory.  Why didn’t I see that coming?  It’s not an either/or situation.  Vitamin D does strengthen the immune system.  However, a strong immune system doesn’t keep you from getting the flu.

I’ll finish up with my rebuttal in my next post.

Not nature vs nurture, but nurture vs nurture

If you haven’t heard of the nature vs nurture debate, what rock have you been living under?  David Friedman points to a book that sounds very interesting and…from the various reviews I’ve read…it seems like it may present a very valid argument that nature vs nurture is the wrong argument to have.

Apparently, Harris presents much evidence to support her idea that peer groups have a much greater role on how children develop than do parents.  I will be buying this book, ASAP.

Advice on punishing your kids.

As we have a little girl on the way, I find myself doing a lot of research into parenting methods.  While I’m sure we’re all aware of many of the failures of the “parenting advice industry”, this doesn’t mean that we should just discount all available advice.

What I like about this Slate piece is how it addresses the needs that a parent feels when their child makes them angry.

It’s difficult to work out a satisfying response to flagrant disrespect because you’re typically in the grip of at least four distinct, only partially overlapping, and often conflicting motives: an emotional urge to do something with the anger surging up inside you, a moralistic impulse to dispense justice in proportion to the offense, a social obligation to show yourself and your child and any others who might be watching that you don’t tolerate such behavior, and a practical intent to get rid of the problem so you don’t have to put up with such hassles in the future.

Something I’ve learned in my quest to learn the state-of-the-art in parenting skills is that children are different from each other.  For example:

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Image via Wikipedia

The Evil Eye: Stare down your child with a dire expression and say nothing.

Immediate: The stare-down is likely to escalate and continue the child’s behavior, and the struggle goes on.

Personally, I can recall immediately falling in line when given the evil eye.  However, a key realization to anyone wanting to learn about … well, anything, really … is not to discount a source because one nugget of information doesn’t jive with your experience.  In this example, perhaps I was an abnormality.  Maybe the vast majority of children don’t respond to the evil eye.  Of course, that is the reason I prefer more scholarly pieces then this one from Slate.  A scholarly journal is likely to contain cites to studies that say, for example, that 77% of children don’t respond to stern looks from their caregivers.

Anyway, enough rambling.  Go read the article, parents.