Anti-Vaxxers, Thorsen, the CDC, Emory and Aarhus: some yell while some whisper and some stay silent

Ah, this will be interesting, won't it? No return of emails from Drexel or Aarhus. Age of Autism runs a better story this time, not a great one, and their tendency not to reveal how or where they get their stuff and to post it on their own page rather than referring us back to the SOURCE. Finally mainstream media picks up the story, and they can't even link back to the source material.

Atlanta's NBC affiliate cover the story today and name Thorsen. They also provide an excerpt from the CDC, which appears to have finally spoken. This excerpt is available only at the affiliate (I'm sure you'll see it all over the place soon enough) and is not on the CDC website.

The CDC needs to  put their statement on their website. The universities involved need to place their statements where they are visible. A light needs to be shown and the truth needs to be outed, whatever that truth is. The American Psychiatric Association should remove Thorsen from the work group while the investigation is ongoing as it appears to be an investigation is ongoing.

Those who are so attached to, so certain, that vaccines caused their child's autism don't get that if you're truly into following the science, you follow the science wherever it leads. If we're doing it right, there are no idols. There is no hero-worship. If we're doing it right, what we hold dear to, fast to, is the pursuit of the truth.

And we follow that truth unflinchingly wherever it might lead.


David said...

You should have let this drop, Dan. The only thing you have to identify Thorsen as the suspect is document which I have argued to be a forgery. The Danish sources are no good, because they say the suspect lives in Atlanta, which hasn't been proved of Thorsen, and do NOT identify him as the head of NANEA, only as "head of research" in an unspecified NANEA project. You are also going to have to explain why the identification went from Madsen to Thorsen in only 24 hours.

David said...

Above is a comment posted at AoA.

KWombles said...

By you? On the latest article by them, when in the comments there's the link to the NBC affiliate's article?

David, if mainstream media is picking this up and if the CDC is putting out the statement, it's time to let go of the idea that the Aarhus statement is a forgery, not something I argued it was; I argued that it was shoddy work to put out information that wasn't adequately sourced. I argued that Aarhus should have it posted on its site if it was legitimate. I advocated skepticism, and I wanted proof.

If you're science-based, you follow the science. If you're evidence-based, you go where it leads wherever it leads.

We have the need for instant gratification, to know and know now. Well, we're going to have to sit back and wait and see what the evidence is. And then, if we're true to the ideals of science, we accept it willingly whatever the evidence is. This doesn't just apply to scientific research. It should apply across the board.

Clay said...

Totally off topic, except for this blog being a place where comments can be posted uncensored, I just responded to Jonboy's latest post about JE Robison being appointed a member of the Board of AutSpks.

"I can certainly understand why you got sacked, Jon, because using this post as an example, you often failed to capitalize proper names and names of organizations, and left out commas where they should be.

This is just shoddy work, and naturally makes people wonder whether you're too stupid or too lazy to do anything right. Oh, yeah, and shoddy thinking too! Tch!"

Joseph said...

The CDC seems to be viewing this case the same way I was looking at it. Basically, Thorsen is just one of many co-authors of the papers. In fact, he's far from being the main contributor (4th author in one, 6th in the other.) Further, this is a separate fiscal matter, not a scientific misconduct issue. It doesn't invalidate the science from those papers, by any stretch of the imagination.

It does provide an excuse that anti-vaxers will exploit for all its got, though. Someone might have to take another look at the Danish Psychiatric Registry.

BTW, if the CDC is saying they are aware of Aarhus' accusations against Dr. Thorsen, it seems clear that the PDF was not forged. David jumped the gun on that one.

David said...

There is still no verification the document is authentic. What I think is increasingly clear is that it does not represent what Aarhus would have stated in a release for the general public.
Also, I think saying that I "jumped the gun" is ignoring the presumptuousness of antivax saturation coverage of the story.

Science Mom said...

David, please don't continue to make the same mistake that AoA and their lackeys have. Just because AoA 'broke' this story, doesn't mean that it may not have voracity. True, they have handled it badly and made erroneous statements in their effort to smear a scientist, apparently any scientist involved in vaccine-autism research. But we should demonstrate an evidence-based approach and report on it as proper sceptics do and as Kim stated, that means accepting whatever verifiable evidence comes in.

Joseph said...

@David: One should never accuse others of fabricating evidence based on a "it's got to be fake" hunch. I've been on the receiving end of such accusations, so I know what that's like.

I do hope you post a correction. If there's one thing that separates LBRB from the likes of AoA, it should be that.