It's been the kind of week where I am working hard to avoid working on other things. Oh, I still get them done, but having every moment absolutely chock-full is a good thing right now. So, each morning I'm wandering over to AoA, and sometimes, I get amused. Sometimes, I get discouraged. And we all know when I get thorougly annoyed.
What's AoA got to offer this morning? Honestly, I do believe it will be making many of us "“anti-anti-vaccine” folks chuckle at the absurdity of it all (http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/11/the-names-people-play.html#more).
Handley pulls the intellectual rape and kool-aid bit after years of other abusive tripe, and this writer comes barreling to his defense because a blogger was far more creative at the invective hurled at him?
Sheoples and trolls, anyone? Alright, we'll all admit we know of some science-based bloggers who hurl the invective sublimely, who show a capacity for stringing invectives together in a mind-blowingly awesome orgy of fun. I do believe Thelma and Louise had a post on this based on Physioprof's invective. It is naughty, no doubt (see http://evendumbasseshavefeelings.blogspot.com/2009/09/inventive-invectiveness-warning-mama-h.html).
This writer at AoA seems to think the science-based bloggers were trying to win the whale.to believing naifs over to an evidence-based critical reasoning system. Awww. She writes: "Do you win over anyone by calling them stupid?"
Well, gosh, no, you sure don't. I do believe at this point, most bloggers who are rational (yes, they may get apoplectic with the group of people who cite whale.to and think there is insecticide in vaccines) and evidence-based have given up on the idea of persuading the anti-vaccine wackaloons that they are wrong. I mean, after all, you can't get basic facts right and you support a holocaust-denying, mind-control believing government conspiracy to inflect and infect, I suppose, an entire generation of people with autism.
You didn't get an anti-vaccine label because you questioned the safety of vaccines. No doctor, other than the nutcase doctors ya'll are following liked the pied piper, has ever asserted the notion that vaccines are without risk. You know that, but you keep repeating it. Mainstream science hasn't concluded that autism is 100% genetic. You know that. But you anti-vaccine types keep betraying an inability to reason and evaluate critically the claims presented. Instead you fall back to whale.to and AoA's talking points. And it immediately identifies you and you lose whatever credibility you might have had because it shows you follow the woo sites. Sorry. Tough toodles.
You cement it with this: "The pedestal upon which the “pro-science” movement is standing doesn’t seem very elevated, does it? But it’s very loud. It’s full of uniformed and ill-informed people who think vaccines are all that’s standing between us and death. They accept the government’s propaganda without critical thought or research. I understand this person all too well because I used to be one of them. I drank the cool-aid."
No, see here's the problem. Much as I absolutely abhor the cool-aid gambit, following scientific evidence isn't drinking the cool-aid. Relying on sites like Fisher's, or whale.to or SafeMinds and TACA and writing the post you just did over at AoA demonstrate a failure to think critically, to examine evidence, and a willingness to walk lockstep with an organization that is actively promoting the idea that vaccines, period, are bad. Oh, I know, green them up, reduce the number. Blah, blah. See more kids fall ill. See more kids die. All because some of you folks decided to jump on the bandwagon and blame vaccines for your child's autism and now every possible thing under the sun rather than accept that sometimes you have to roll the hard six. Sometimes there are no cleancut answers and no quick and easy solutions.
Don't worry, us evidence-based folks will be watching and we'll be more than happy to give you your due if you succeed at reducing vaccine rates. And, I'm certain, some more labels. After all, who, looking from the outside and with half a brain cell, really wants to be seen as being aligned with a holocaust-denying, mind-control believing bunch of conspiracy theorists?
Doesn't sound at all anti-vaccine: "Just to be clear: Vaccines are one of the environmental triggers that cause autism in genetically susceptible children" ( http://lifeasthemotherof4.blogspot.com/2009/04/let-me-state-this-as-clearly-as-i-can.html). To be fair, Hansen writes on her blog that she thinks shot should be thimerosal free and spaced out (http://lifeasthemotherof4.blogspot.com/2009/04/vaccines.html). She's a fan of Kirby, though, and the 14 studies, and like a friend of mine who isn't speaking to me, if her message is truly one of believing vaccines to be necessary, she's surrounded that message with garbage that obscures it. It's really hard to take someone serious when they are wrapped in the cloak of AoA, whale.to, etc. And then asserting that you know more than the average pediatrician on vaccines and linking to SafeMinds, really really doesn't help your case, nor does thinking that Generation Rescue phone survey is reliable evidence (http://lifeasthemotherof4.blogspot.com/2009/11/embarking-on-new-career.html).
My message would be to step away, re-evaluate, and recognize no one in the mainstream is going to take someone speaking from the midst of all that seriously, nor should they. If you can't correctly identify pseudoscience (hello, Mercola) and misinformation, what do you expect?
Update: See, the AoAers really don't get it. They don't get taken seriously because they swarm over the quacks.
Don't see Palevsky. Seriously. Don't. Already covered this last week. Woo. If you quote Mercola or one of his merry band of wooquack docs, I won't take you seriously. I won't think you know your head from a hole in the ground, and neither will other science-based people.