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Dr. David Gorski's Unique Brand of Moronism

FAIL-BUZZER-350x233 By J.B. Handley

“Dr. Gorski’s village called, they want their idiot back.”

- Anonymous

There I go again, another inflammatory, ad hominem headline, serving no useful purpose except alienating doctors and scientists who might otherwise be helping our kids. And, I follow it up with a senseless quote, degrading the debate further.

Whatever.

For those of you who don’t know, Dr. David Gorski is a Doctor and a blogger who posts under the pseudonym “Orac.” In only 23 years as a doctor, he’s already made it to the heights of “Assistant” Professor at Wayne State University, a school that no one has ever heard of and that I had to Google to make sure actually existed (it’s in “the heart of Detroit’s cultural center”—I think there’s an oxy-moron in there somewhere…). Yet, in the blogosphere, perhaps with the added courage that only a keyboard can provide, Dr. Gorski seems to think he’s omniscient, as his writing about me (and many others) reflects--here’s one of many examples:

“Before I dive in, let me just point out right here and right now that J.B. Handley wouldn't be able to recognize good science if it bit him on the posterior. The same is true of bad science, because Mr. Handley simply does not have an understanding of the scientific method or the methodology involved that would allow him to distinguish good from bad science, anymore than I have an understanding of investment banking that would allow me to differentiate between various financial instruments. No, on second thought, strike that. I'm quite sure that I know more about investment banking than J.B. Handley knows about science…In any case, thanks to its arrogance of ignorance, Generation Rescue thinks it can judge the quality of complicated epidemiology and basic science, but such pronouncements are about as valid as Joe the Plumber holding forth on quantum physics. That's why Mr. Handley's claim that he recognized these studies to be bad science by reading them led me to chuckle heartily. After all, Mr. Handley's proven time and time again that he doesn't understand science, the scientific method, or epidemiology…To him, it's not about the science, but winning the P.R. war.”

Man, that really hurts. A childless (more on that later) Assistant Professor from Detroit’s “cultural center”, who used to blog as a girl (“SoCalGal”), says I don’t understand science. (By the way, Dr. Gorski, I have never been nor am I currently an “investment banker”, so you may well know more about investment banking than I do, nice try…)

For those of you concerned that Dr. Gorski’s invective will get him on CNN soon, I wouldn’t worry, as this YouTube clip clearly demonstrates (go to 33 seconds), Dr. Gorski would be well served to avoid speaking in public—pay no attention to the Orac behind the curtain!

OK, enough fun with Dr. Gorski, and I sincerely apologize to all the AoA readers who find my rantings on Dr. Gorski to be immature, mean-spirited and/or unproductive. But, just to be honest in return: I really don’t care what you think. You see, I’m a pissed off dad, someone messed with my kid, and I will keep on leading with my fists and heart. I write what I want to write when I want to write it, and if you don’t like it, get on the keyboard and help in the way you want to.

Which leads me to my first point about Dr. Gorski’s unique brand of moronism. You see, unlike me, Dr. Gorski is actually a medical doctor. He should hold himself, as most doctors do, to a higher standard of professional communication and conduct. How many other doctors use satire, invective, and ridicule in a public domain against parents and other medical professionals? Yes, his equally wildly immature and idiotic commentors on his blog eat it up, but in the realm of how doctors can and should conduct themselves, Dr. Gorski is an adolescent fuck-up. At the end of the day, I’m the father of a special needs and damaged child, and Dr. Gorski’s willingness to treat me with the utmost disdain, ridicule, and mean-spirited satire is reflective of the worst parts of the medical culture, of which Dr. Gorski is a shining example.

Which leads me to my second point about Dr. Gorski’s unique brand of moronism, which is what an over-inflated caricature Dr. Gorski’s alter-ego Orac has become of everything we hate about doctors. The medical school culture, which reminds aspiring doctors at every turn how much smarter they are than the rest of the world, takes hold in different doctors in different ways. For those with a strong sense of personal character, being a doctor can be a humbling experience because of the power you have to do good (or bad) and the influence you have in how people think, and ultimately whether they live or die. For others, with an absence of internal character, the arrogance can consume them, and they walk through the world expecting to be never challenged, and thinking they are always right.

For a reminder of how this looks in real life, I submit Exhibit A, Dr. Travis Stork, a sort of Dr. Gorski in a made-for-TV body, responding to having his ignorance and generalized pronouncements challenged:

For Exhibit B, I offer up the following quote from Dr. Jed Hill (played by Alec Baldwin) in the movie Malice:

“I have an M.D. from Harvard, I am board certified in cardio-thoracic medicine and trauma surgery, I have been awarded citations from seven different medical boards in New England, and I am never, ever sick at sea. So I ask you; when someone goes into that chapel and they fall on their knees and they pray to God that their wife doesn't miscarry or that their daughter doesn't bleed to death or that their mother doesn't suffer acute neural trauma from postoperative shock, who do you think they're praying to? Now, go ahead and read your Bible, Dennis, and you go to your church, and, with any luck, you might win the annual raffle, but if you're looking for God, he was in operating room number two on November 17, and he doesn't like to be second guessed. You ask me if I have a God complex. Let me tell you something: I am God.”

*        *        *

OK, I’ll admit it. So far, I have really only challenged Dr. Gorski’s writing style, his professionalism (or lack thereof), and made fun of his public speaking skills. In the end, all that really matters are the facts, which is where Dr. Gorski takes his mornonism to exceptional heights. In order to keep this post from getting too long, I will simply cite two examples:

Moronism #1: Pedantic Semantics

One of the more comical semantic contortions to come out of both the Hannah Poling and the newly revealed additional 83 court cases is the use of terms like “autism-like symptoms” and “regressive encephalopathy with features of autism spectrum disorder.” It turns out that these cases where these non-medical terms are used all share one common feature: the kids who are the subject of the descriptions ALL HAVE AUTISM!!

Here’s Dr. Gorski writing in his typical, meandering, know-it-all, authoritative style:

“It is not as uncommon as we would like in medicine for conditions and diseases to be defined primarily (or even only) by aggregations of symptoms. Irritable bowel syndrome is an example. Ditto tension headache. Moreover, it is often the context within which those symptoms arise that distinguish one diagnosis from another. In any case, the DSM-IV provides fairly clear diagnostic criteria for autism. If the child doesn't have enough of these criteria to be diagnosed as autistic, that child could have ‘autism symptoms’ but not autism. This is not a difficult concept, except apparently for Holland et al, who seem to be arguing that any child with autism-like symptoms must have autism. This is akin to arguing that anyone who has a belly ache or diarrhea must have irritable bowel syndrome or that someone who experiences a headache must have migraines.”

Let me repeat myself, Dr. Gorski, the kids ALL HAVE AUTISM. This technique that Gorski recently used was something he seems to have honed in initially discussing Hannah Poling’s case several years ago:

“This settlement was based on the fact that Poling had a rare genetic mitochondrial disease that may have been exacerbated by a series of vaccines that she had, after which, among many other problems, Hannah regressed and developed some autism-like symptoms and, months later, a seizure disorder…what was really diagnosed was a regressive encephalopathy that had some features of ASD.”

Compare how Dr. Gorski describes Hannah to what Hannah’s father, a medical doctor and neurologist actually tells us:

On Hannah’s Diagnosis:

“Our daughter, Hannah, developed normally until receiving nine vaccines at once. She immediately developed a fever and encephalopathy, deteriorating into what was diagnosed, based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or D.S.M. IV, as autism.”

On Hannah’s mitochondrial disorder:

“Dr. Shoffner will be presenting his experience with 37 patients with combined autism and mitochondrial dysfunction at the AAN meeting in Chicago this April. 65% of his referrals are positive for mitochondrial dysfunction.  Of course, his yield is subject to referral bias as a mito expert, so the prevalence of mitochondrial dysfunction in Autism is surely less than 65%.

The best estimate to date of the prevalence of mitochondrial dysfunction in autistic patients comes from Oliviera et al. in a population of 120, 5 of 69 (or 7.2%) showed mitochondrial dysfunction.  If this is generalized to the US estimate of 1 million patients with ASDs, then the number of kids like Hannah could be 72,000!  Isn’t this worth further study?”

Dr. Gorski is a serial user of a well-worn strategy known as manufacturing “Fear Uncertainty and Doubt.” He uses his perch as a medical professional to cast doubt on Hannah Poling’s case and the case of the 83 other court cases by making an argument shrouded in medical terminology that turns out, in the words of Mark Blaxill, to be total “Bullshit.”

Dr. Gorski: the kids ALL HAD AUTISM, including Hannah Poling--please stop being a moron.

Moronism #2: Feeding the Hungry Lie

I was inspired to write this particular post by SafeMinds recently released tremdously thorough dismantling of the “Science” that proves vaccines don’t cause autism HERE. For those of you who haven’t heard me say it a million times, the “Hungry Lie” goes something like this:

“It’s been asked and answered, vaccines don’t cause autism.”

Or, in a recent post by Dr. Gorski:

“If there's one thing that cranks routinely do when they can't win on science is to shift to other venues to try to win their case and to convince people that they are not, in fact, cranks. After all, if they stuck to arguing facts, science, and evidence, they wouldn't be cranks. They also wouldn't have a prayer of obtaining influence because the science is so much against them. So, failing at science yet again, what the anti-vaccine movement has done is to move over to law, in essence claiming that legal decisions mean that there is a scientific case to be made in favor of the hypothesis that vaccines cause autism.”

Dr. Gorski’s assertion that “the science is so much against” us, of course, requires a step back into the real world.

The Real World

Dr. Gorski, I know you don’t have any kids. I have three. This means I spend most of my days talking to parents and interacting with children. Most parents are scared shitless of the current vaccine schedule and they hate arrogant doctors like you. Most parents are able to use their brains, so when you tell them the science is overwhelmingly against us, they want to see the details.

Here’s the first detail, the vaccines that children in the US are given:

Hep B, Rotavirus, DTaP, Hib, Pneumococcal, Polio, Flu, MMR, Varicella, Hep A, and Meningococcal.

Dr. Gorski, that’s 12 licensed vaccines. How many of those vaccines have ever appeared in an epidemiological study (the kind you claim I can’t understand even though I graduated from Stanford with honors) comparing the vaccine to autism rates?

One. ONE!! MMR. That means 11 of the vaccines on the schedule have NEVER been studied for their relationship to autism. Yet, you continually assert that the science overwhelmingly shows that vaccines don’t cause autism. This makes you a moron.

Here’s the second detail, the excipients used in vaccines:

Albumin, aluminum hydroxide, aluminum, hydroxyphosphate sulfate, aluminum phosphate, aluminum potassium phosphate, amino acids, ammonium sulfate, ascorbic acid, bactopeptone, beta-propiolactone, benzethonium chloride, brilliant green, calcium chloride, chlortetracycline, cystine, dextran, dulbecco’s modified Eagle medium, EDTA, egg protein, ferric nitrate, formaldehyde, gelatin, gentamicin, glutamine, glycine, histidine, hydrochloric acid, hydrocotisone, lactose, magnesium stereate, magnesium sulfate, MSG, mouse serum protein, MRC-5 cellular protein, neomycin, phenol, phenol red, 2-phenoxyethanol, phosphate buffers, polydimethylsilozone, polymixin B, polyoxythylene9-10 nonyl ohenol, polysorbate 20, potassium chloride, potassium glutamate, serum-bovine, sodium acetate, sodium borate, sodium chloride, sodium citrate, sodium deoxycholate, sodium hydrogenocarbonate, sodium hydroxide, sodium phosphate, sodium pyruvate, sorbitol, streptomycin, sucrose, thimerosal, tocopheryl hydrogen succinate, tyrosine, urea, xanthan, yeast protein.

Dr. Gorski, that’s more excipients than I feel like counting. How many have been considered for their relationship to autism?

One. ONE!! Thimerosal.

Dr. Gorski thinks enough work has been done, and that the science is blindingly against us. At a 2 month appointment, a 2 month old American baby gets the following vaccines:

Hep B, Rotavirus, DTaP, Hib, Pneumococcal, and Polio.

Six vaccines in under 10 minutes. How many of the six have been looked at for their relationship to autism?

ZERO, which is apparently more than enough for a medical moron like Dr. Gorski to declare them safe and that I’m scientifically illiterate. ZERO.

A few years back, I created a website called Fourteen Studies with the purpose of making the point I just made on a much larger scale. At the time, Dr. Gorski wrote a critical piece about the new website. As usual, his post was flowered with comments about “anti-vaccine” and “scientific illiteracy” blah, blah, blah. Another favorite refrain of Dr. Gorski is that it is always about the vaccines and always will be, no matter what the science says, even though he finds the current science overwhelmingly in favor of proving vaccines don’t cause autism. Finally, more than half way through his meandering diatribe, Dr. Gorski actually provided a substantive argument:

“Another study included on the list is an Italian study that came out this year by Tozzi et al, which was published in the February issue of Pediatrics and entitled Neuropsychological Performance 10 Years After Immunization in Infancy With Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines. It's a study that I also blogged about in great detail when it first came out. The study was done in Italy, and one of its great advantages is that the amount of thimerosal to which the infants were exposed was actually known, unlike many epidemiological studies, where sometimes the dose of thimerosal (and therefore mercury) has to be estimated or inferred from the vaccine schedule at the time. The results were unsurprising and very much like the results of a study of thimerosal-containing vaccines as a risk factor for neurodevelopmental disorders other than autism that was published a year and a half ago. Most outcome measures showed no difference between the low and high thimerosal group, and the ones that did were small and entirely compatible with random chance due to multiple comparisons. I knew at the time exactly what antivaccine activists would probably say when and if they get around to attacking this study, and, in fact, that's basically the criticism on Fourteen Studies. (Most depressingly, Generation Rescue even reprints J.B. Handley's scientifically illiterate criticism of the study.) In any case, the main criticism is that there was not a control group receiving no thimerosal. True enough. The authors themselves make that very point. However, if thimerosal in vaccines were associated with autism, one would not expect that it would be different than any other toxin associated with an abnormality, disease, or condition in that it would be expected that the chance of autism or neurodevelopmental disorders would increase with increasing dose.”

Now, Dr. Gorski might be right. It might be true that kids who receive more thimerosal could become more injured than a group of kids who receive less thimerosal.

But, that was never my point. Dr. Gorski simply filled his blog with a specific objection and then everyone linked to it to demonstrate my scientific illiteracy. His hollow post became everyone’s favorite link to prove the Fourteen Studies website was just “anti-vaccine propoganda.”

The point of Fourteen Studies wasn’t to say that studying whether kids get more or less thimerosal in vaccines causes autism is unhelpful, the point of the website was to make a very simple but very obvious observation:

For all the hyperbole around how compelling the science is looking at the relationship between vaccines and autism, the actual science that has been done only considers one vaccine and one exipient. Moreover, the actual questions asked by the studies that have been done and that are often cited by morons like Dr. Gorski don’t come remotely close to asking the question that Dr. Gorski continually claims has been answered.

Here’s an excerpt from Fourteen Studies:

Having spent the time to critically read every study produced to "prove" vaccines don’t cause autism, we were dumbfounded by their inadequacy. We find the comments public officials make about these studies to be even more absurd and unsupportable. Consider, from the studies, some of the actual questions that were asked:

Q: Do children receiving more thimerosal in their vaccines have different neurological outcomes from children receiving less thimerosal in their vaccines?

Q: Are autism rates different for children who received 62.5 mcg or 137.5 mcg of mercury?

Q: Did children who all received DTP vaccine with thimerosal have higher or lower rates of developmental disorders based on when they got the shots?

Q: Do Thimerosal containing vaccines administered to children raise mercury blood levels above safe standards?

Q: Does the use of RhoGam shots during pregnancy have a correlation with autism?

These 5 examples above come from 5 of the most commonly listed studies cited as "proof" that "vaccines do not cause autism." Yet, not one of them comes close to addressing this issue or answering the question we all really care about that goes something like this:

Our children receive 36 vaccines by the time they are five, including 20 by their first birthday. Is the administration of so many vaccines causing autism in certain children?

 

*        *        *

This is the time in the essay when Dr. Gorski, reading all my rude comments towards him, has his head explode as he yells:

“He’s moving the goalposts! For J.B., it’s always about the vaccines! He hates vaccines, no matter what! We can never win!”

Of course, this is just another “FUD” gambit. The work hasn’t been remotely done. Our kids are getting six vaccines at one time and no one has any idea what the downside to those vaccines administered simultaneously might be.

Is it the mercury? Is it the MMR? I have no idea. What I know, Dr. Gorski, is that the phone calls and the stories about the kids going upside down after the vaccine appointments keep coming. A real doctor would care deeply about these real reports from tens of thousands of real parents with real babies. A real doctor would be asking real questions. A real doctor wouldn’t be satisfied with the paltry science that’s actually been done. A real doctor would realize that studying only one vaccine and one excipient doesn’t come close to understanding what is actually being done to our babies in the real world. A real doctor wouldn’t play word games with “autism” and “autism like-symptoms.” A real doctor wouldn’t assert that vaccines don’t cause autism when only one vaccine has been analyzed.

Of course, Dr. Gorski isn’t a real doctor. He’s a medical moron.

I’ll end with another polite quote from the highly professional Dr. Gorski, and you decide who’s the pot and who’s the kettle:

“J.B. also can't stand strong, principled disagreement with him. Like all people, he doesn't like to be told he is wrong. The difference is that he reacts to criticism by attacking the person doing the criticism, not by refuting him with evidence. That's because he can't use evidence; his position is unsupportable by science.”

Dr. David Gorski, a medical moron.

Comments

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Hi John,

Just took a look a Trevor Butterworth's rant which makes his model Gorski seem almost coherent - it was evident also that the author was directly responsible for the removal of some of the comments.I can't think that Forbes are doing themselves any good by publishing such low grade material.

Did you see what happened when someone commented about Dr Gorski? Forbes blocked them from speaking anything negative about him. (see comments after article)

http://www.forbes.com/sites/trevorbutterworth/2014/06/16/quackmail-why-you-shouldnt-fall-for-the-internets-newest-fool-the-food-babe/?utm_source=alertsnewcomment&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20140619

Dr ??? Gorski = unprofessional,unethical,dishonest,data manipulator,pharma paid attention seeking person who need to
stop blogging (is he doing his real job?Patient satisfaction survey gave him 2.5 - failing grade.)and attacking others with different opinions.
Thank you J.B Handley,you are right on. Gorski had lost his focus and his priorities.The system is dysfunctional because doctors like him allowed to practice and spread stupidity on-line.He needs to be fired.

Marc,
it is also important what else is in the vaccines.If you mix
mercury with aluminum adjuvants or polysorbates mercury becomes more toxic.You can find the evidence on you tube:how mercury destroys neurons from one of the leading universities in
Canada.You can also study Immunoexcitotoxicity and biochemistry
to get more evidence.

Alex

JB's article is loaded with irony: it is also loaded with matters of factual, scientific and ethical substance. Dr Gorski's column is one long ad hominem against people who challenge the "science" industry and his brand of scientism. For Gorski everyone who questions is a moron, and no institutional or commercial conflict is worth mentioning. As the column's oxymoronic (no pun intended) title 'Respectful Insolence' indicates Gorski's first move is alway to personal abuse. It deserves to bring "science" blogging into disrepute, and has.

The last Dr. Gorski quote is true...you did attack him. Most of your post was about his personality, not his scientific observations.

Marc

This study only had limitations (and could have been designed not to detect anything):

'Some limitations should be considered in the interpretation of our results. The cumulative intake of thimerosal was relatively low, compared with that in other countries including the United States, where vaccination schedules included more thimerosal-containing vaccines in the first year of life. Moreover, there was no comparison group with no exposure to thimerosal, although our setting was appropriate to identify a dose response effect in the absence of any evidence suggesting a threshold dose for observation of an effect. Our analysis included only healthy children who were selected during enrollment in the original trial, and some families might have declined to participate in the present study because their children had cognitive developmental problems. This might have reduced the prevalence of adverse neuropsychological conditions and might have made potential differences hard to detect. The eligibility criteria of the original trial also limited the participation of low birth weight children, and only 55 children with birth weights of <2500 g underwent the neuropsychological evaluation (data not shown). Moreover, only 1% of children in this study received hepatitis B virus vaccine at birth. Although no effect of birth weight according to thimerosal intake was detected through multivariate analyses, our study was not powered to detect an association of thimerosal exposure and neuropsychological development in low birth weight infants.'

I asked the time and ask again what was the purpose of conducting it, or publishing it (except to mislead)?


http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/123/2/475.full/reply#pediatrics_el_41136

A more detailed analysis can be found on ChildHealthSafety:

http://childhealthsafety.wordpress.com/2009/01/28/cdc-fraud-tax-dollars-and-italian-vaccine-mercury-study/

I also note the comment of Francesco Lucarelli on an earlier blog of JB's:

"I'm Italian, my english is very poor, but I hope you will understand me.


"My son was vaccinated (in postmarketing phase) with the thimerosal containing vaccine of the mentioned pertussis clinical trial and now he suffered from an autistic disorder.

"That vaccine would have been sell in USA as 'Pertugen' (brand name), but the manufacturer withdrew a PLA from FDA at 'last minute'. EMEA (the European Agency) authorized it, but it was never marketed in Europe an it was withdrew in Italy after five years of marketing only (the vaccine was the first recombinant DTaP in the world, that was an innovative product).

"It's an interesting story, but it would be too long to tell (and now I'm in trouble with my english...).

"Anyway, there is some rotten in Denmark, and in Italy too...

"Tozzi, that now is working at Bambin Gesù hospital, in the '90 worked at Istituto Superiore di Sanità, with Stefania Salmaso (another author of the Pediatric's publication).

"Both were member of 'Progetto Pertosse Working Group', the working group of the mentioned DTaP clinical trial: they administered the vaccines more than ten years ago!

"An they was also funded by NIH (billion of US dollar, in 1991)...

"Did they tell us now that the TcV was'nt safe?

"Vomit again...

"Ciao"

http://tinyurl.com/3cc6vvf

"Now, Dr. Gorski might be right. It might be true that kids who receive more thimerosal could become more injured than a group of kids who receive less thimerosal."

Maybe I'm not understanding your comment, JB, but didn't Dr. Gorski say the study found there was no dose response curve with thermosal exposure, which should have been seen if indeed thimerosal was a cause? If so, what you are agreeing with is the exact opposite of what Dr. Gorski and the study's authors seemed to have written. Am I reading this wrong? I'm basing this on this part Dr. Gorski wrote:

"Most outcome measures showed no difference between the low and high thimerosal group, and the ones that did were small and entirely compatible with random chance due to multiple comparisons."

Once again, this seems to contradict your reading of what Dr. Gorski wrote.

Hi Benedetta, Yes, typical old boys network. It didn't suit the British scientific establishment and 60 years later she still hasn't got the credit. John

John Stone;
That was interesting tidbit about Francis Collins and Tom Insel in partnership in writing a paper on genomes. Thanks for sharing.

Also thanks fo the name Rosalind Franklin-- a woman and a jew and the one that discoverd Dioxyribose in the first place. Sounds like she did all the work. A woman's complaint - Does all the work and the man gets all the credit! Well in this case, anyway.

THANK GOD you're on the case JB. I don't know where you find the energy. My Luke is now 11 and seems to be getting worse. Maybe it is onset of puberty that I've dreaded thinking about, because so many parents have warned me is when they get worse, seizures etc. I'm worn out and no longer (well, rarely) blog or comment about the idiocy of so many vaccines w/ so many toxic ingredients anymore.

Eventually the truth will be known about the obvious risks/stupidity of jabbing so many vaccines into such tiny little babies who cannot tell us how sick they make them feel (like older girls are telling us w/ gardisil..and that's just a single agent, long after their brains have had time to develop.
Get thee before Congress. Please. And thank you.

ps the clip of TV doctor interrupting you and saying he CARES and wants to "help these kids live better lives" and "why do you have to get so ANGRY? Because then I can't hear you!" (he asked angrily) and the other dr. talking about all these horrible horrible diseases of old ... as if autism ISN'T? I'm praying you can keep up your energy. You do have truth on your side. And you speak for so many parents who just aren't as articulate as you are. Thank you.

Brilliant JB, watching you kick ass is always a joy to watch or read. Next time they come out with those hospital stories please tell them--'save us your self serving anecdotes, there are thousands of parents with vaccine autism anecodotes and you just piss on those.'

When talking about the discovery of DNA the name of Rosalind Franklin should always be mentioned.

Hi Benedetta

Watson is still alive. By an interesting coincidence Tom Insel wrote an article in 2003 in collaboration with Francis Collins (now head of NIH and the time of the head of the human genome project) celebrating the 50th anniversary of Crick and Watson's discovery:

http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/160/4/616

Collins, as I have pointed out frequently has also gone on the record (as early as 2006) telling Congress the rise in autism is environmental and cannot be genetic:

"But genes alone do not tell the whole story. Recent increases in chronic diseases like diabetes, childhood asthma, obesity or autism cannot be due to major shifts in the human gene pool as those changes take much more time to occur. They must be due to changes in the environment, including diet and physical activity, which may produce disease in genetically predisposed persons. Therefore, GEI will also invest in innovative new technologies/sensors to measure environmental toxins, dietary intake and physical activity, and using new tools of genomics, proteomics, and understanding metabolism rates to determine an individual's biological response to those influences."

http://www.genome.gov/18016846

The big guys, while letting us down, really pretty much know the score. Meanwhile, you rely on various noise-boxes to go out and tell lies on behalf of the scientific establishment.

John

James Watson was born in 1928. Is he still alive? And didn't he make some rude remark about people of African descent not being genetically as smart as other people in the world???

So this Big Think how are they continuing to say it is genetics when
--- well as much as I dislike the IACC and as much as I dislike Tom Insel beloved brother of Richard Insel maker of the Hep B --- they (even the Congress of the United States) said it has some thing to do with the environment!

And reading about old Fisbach he was head of NIH strokes club, so he damn well knows it's strokes a going on with these babies. vaccines = Inflammatory disease = strokes = autism.

Speaking of inflammatory disease what else oh heart disease that is also showing up in children with Kawasakis.

One Word: To-fricking-che'

Nobody does it better (putting ORAC in his place) then the "King of Ruckus"!!!

LOL -- JB you're the BEST!

I found the "Big Think" panel as I was looking for general information about the Simons Foundation. I was surprised to find their Scientific Director, Fischbach, making such absurd statements.

"Mr. Simons is picking star researchers from other specialties -- 'Nobel Prize winners and future Nobel Prize winners,' he says -- often passing over established autism groups or those with differing theories. Last month he lured a top Columbia University neurobiologist, Gerald Fischbach, to work part-time leading the foundation's scientific strategy.

In science, as with certain types of financial data, 'past performance is the best predictor of success,' Mr. Simons says.

For most in the autism field, the money manager remains a question mark, an idiosyncratic billionaire rarely seen or heard from, whose impact on the field is still unclear. Like many other wealthy donors these days, Mr. Simons is acting more like a venture capitalist, exerting extraordinary control over where and how his money is spent. Many are cheering this influx of cash, hoping Mr. Simons's riches can buy a breakthrough. Others complain that Mr. Simons isn't working with existing autism groups and that his focus on finding a genetic explanation could miss the disease's true cause....During a dinner party the same year, James Watson, the Nobel laureate who co-discovered the structure of DNA, told Mr. Simons about a recent finding made by French scientists that suggested a possible genetic link to autism. Mr. Simons recalls Dr. Watson calling it the first 'really good' result in autism research. Dr. Watson, who [like Simons] also has a son with an autism-like mental disorder, couldn't be reached for comment.

'So it's genetic, plus people are beginning to find genes,' Mr. Simons says. 'As a scientist, I understand what it means for something to be ready. There is data.'"

http://www.sarnet.org/lib/simons.htm

It looks like research results will indicate that autism is strictly genetic--if the researchers want to get any more Simons Foundation money.

Quite the group here with the "Big Think Panel" stating that mercury was out of the vaccines in 1987... such "elite intellectual bullshit" again. They will need to have a "Think Again Panel" to correct their rather obscene mistakes.

They must not have paid Dr. Nancy enough to show up for the taping or she would have been there...

Thank goodness the Vioxx people are still willing to "wait for newborns" with their 4 dose "liability free, hep b vaccine" across the nation.

While the whole vaccine program is a disaster, it might seem that this would be the most logical vaccine to demand for some additional CDC explanation.

Patrick,

Here's the entire Part 2. panel discussion if you're interested: http://bigthink.com/geraldfischbach

I don't think there's anything as hilarious as "measles, mumps and pertussis vaccine" in the rest of it. As far as environmental triggers go, the panel manages to come up with the father's age and living close to freeways, but that, according to them, only accounts for a little bit of it. Mostly they sit there looking uncomfortable. Fischbach seems interested in his hands. When the moderator asks the panel if there's going to be a cure, she gets a goofy grin on her face. At least she doesn't wink.

Whoever came up with the appellation "Big Think" must have quite a sense of humor.

Carol
The Pfizer Big Think link was interesting. More interesting than the panel was the geneticist speaking on the subject: that he feels sorry for parents that think vaccines cause autism. He goes into why geneticists are looking into remote countries to compare rates of autism to heavily polluted countries.
I guess the geneticist doesn't see the obvious value of comparing populations whom do not have autism at all or the rate of autism and/or vaccine injury is still 1 in 10,000 to surrounding areas where the rate is 1 in 38. I think that comparing environmental differences between low or no rate of Autism populations (Home First) and surrounding areas that have an autism rate of 1 in 38 (Somali population in Minnesota, surrounding areas of Amish city) would be detrimental to Pfizer. There is only one environmental difference that could cause mutations in genes at that rate in a short period of time in the same land/Country.

Jen, Thanks for your point about grandparents being unaware of the massive number of different disease doses injected by 1 to 2 years.

So I shall again urge everybody to copy this U.S. Immunization Schedule and always have it ready to show our relatives and friends who are unaware (not blaming them, because the CDC et al., and Gorski NEVER reveal it to the American public. Here it is, pass it on:

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/schedules/downloads/child/0-6yrs-schedule-pr.pdf

I have dubbed it "America's Weapon of Mass Self-Destruction"

When counting the (insane) 2 initial flu shots at age 6 months and 7 months, the flu shot taken by the mother before her baby was born, and the insidious option of an accelerated schedule (read the footnotes for each shot), it is entirely plausible a good number of infants by 18 months have been injected with 42 DOSES of toxic vaccine ingredients. If this Chart doesn't shatter the medical pledge "first do no harm" then nothing does.

Thanks again JB for all your efforts.

Take a look at this video of a Pfizer-sponsored Big Think panel titled "Why Vaccines Don't Cause Autism": http://bigthink.com/ideas/26321 (I think it's also sponsored by Autism Speaks because the intro uses the jigsaw puzzle bit.) Around 1:50, Gerald Fischbach, Scientific Director of Simons Foundation, says that children develop autism around the time that they receive the "measles, mumps and pertussis vaccine." Around 3:20, he says that mercury has been out of vaccines since 1987. The other panelists appear to agree with him.

Simons Foundation doesn't seem to acknowledge the possibility of environmental factors in autism. It funds research on genetic causes which will, according to the following article, probably involve several hundred genes: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-05/sf-ntp051811.php

A couple of years back, when I was trying to have earnest discussion with Gorski, I wrote to him and asked him for a simple outline of his argument. I told him I was trying to hear what he had to say, but that, to be frank, wading through the insults to try to find his point was more than I could take at times, and I just wanted the straight information in case I was missing something that I really needed to hear. I wanted to know if I was wrong on points.

He replied that he would not be sending me any such thing as he didn't see anything in it for him.

Speaks volumes, doesn't it?

I love J.B. Handley!!!! He has put into words everything I've been witnessing for thirty years. He has my vote for the Best Father in the Universe. We will stop this insanity and put these morons where they belong.

P.S. The fact that Gorski has no kids is fricking huge. It's all abstract to him. He really has nothing at stake. Why would he care except in the most abstract terms? I also feel it's easy for older people to be unaware as to just how many shots babies/children have to get with each passing year. Obviously, though, people are questioning the logic and necessity of all these shots (grandparents! Grandparents who didn't have chicken pox shots, hep b, etc. etc.)

JB, please don't insult Detroit's cultural center by associating it in any way with Gorski! For your information, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra is considered one of the finest in the world. Save any sarcasm for Gorski himself--don't spread it to the innocents who happen to be located near him!

I think you did a great job speaking up to that ridiculous TV doctor. He obviously was hired for his snub nosed, frat boy, all American "good looks"--in quotes, not my type at all, in fact a turn off. But he acted like HE was the victim. It was really revolting. Plus you weren't shouting at him, the exact reverse was true, hello. Anyway, thanks for dealing with these idiots. Their hallowed "science" is becoming more and more absurd.

I liked how you summed things up with Gorski:
He has no kids
He tries to obfuscate the issues.
End of story.

Thank you JB, once again. I'm to the point where I don't even want to talk to anyone about Autism anymore. Until you have an 8mos old daughter seizing in your arms and have to inject ACTH into her thigh for 3 months, don't even talk to me about what YOU think causes Autism. Until you have that same 12 year old, beautiful, daughter who has to struggle with most of what you take for granted, don't even talk to me about what YOU think causes Autism.

I'm so glad that there are people like you, JB, who are braver than I and can continue to speak up.

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, and then you win." - Gandhi

AS always JB. Well done! I was shocked to see Dr. Stork lose it when you "schooled" him(literally) on the show. He DID take it personally and he did in fact not know his stuff!!! Orac is a big fat hairy loser. Or, as Baxter said after reading some of this (had to edit it for him!!) "How could anyone be that stupid AND be a Doctor???!!!? It doesn't make any sense." I said, "exactly JB's point."

Rock on JB

H4308 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD—HOUSE June 13, 2000


Mr. WELDON, of Florida. Mr. Chairman, for the past year, I have been investigating the scientific research regarding a possible link between the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine and a type of autism, known as autistic enterocolitis.

I have met with the directors of the Centers for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health officials to discuss this matter. I have also met with researchers that have identified measles virus in the intestines of children with autistic enterocolitis. I have become very concerned about a lack of interest on the part of the CDC and NIH to fully examine this issue.

I am a strong proponent of vaccines. Vaccines save thousands of lives in America each year and have spared our nation from the scourge of disease that plagued our nation in the early part of the 20th Century and that still plagues many parts of the globe. Recent reports (MMWR Weekly, April 4, 2000) of measles outbreaks in unvaccinated populations in developed countries like the Netherlands, indicate how important it is to ensure confidence in our vaccination program so that children are vaccinated against diseases.

This confidence is maintained by seriously considering all scientific research related to vaccines, even if such research indicates that we may need to make adjustments in the vaccine schedule. While some may argue that a quick dismissal of such studies is needed to ensure confidence in the national vaccination program, such action may actually lead to the opposite effect and undermine confidence in the program. I believe that the federal agencies responsible for our nation’s vaccination program must remain ever vigilant in fully examining any research related to questions about vaccines to ensure that confidence is maintained. This means giving serious consideration and independent review to any credible study related to vaccinations.

Recent peer reviewed studies reveal that there may be emerging an atypical phenotype of autism (autistic enterocolitis), in which normal development is followed by developmental regression with a simultaneous manifestation of chronic gastrointestinal symptoms. One hypothesis is that this may be related to a trivalent vaccine for Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR). It is important that the appropriate federal agencies give these studies a full and independent review to determine their validity. Specifically, symptoms described in the study include ileal lymphoid modular hyperplasia with chronic enterocolitis, immune and metabolic derangement combined with a regressive developmental disorder.

Most important is the localization, quantitation and sequencing of measles virus genome in affected tissues in the gastrointestinal tract. The hypothesis, suggests the possibility of a gut-mediated autism associated with the trivalent vaccine, whereby damage to the gut may lead to damage to the central nervous system at a sensitive time and thus the onset of the development disorder. It is the combination of these vaccines in a single dose that may cause an adverse effect, according to the researchers. They do not indicate a similar concern when the measles, mumps and rubella vaccines are given in a monovalent form at different times.

I appreciate the chairman’s and the committee’s willingness to include language in the bill recognizing the research on the MMR/Autism issue by Dr. Andrew Wakefield of London, England and Professor John O’Leary of Dublin, Ireland. I further appreciate their inclusion of language in the report directing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to:

. . . give serious attention to these reports and pursue appropriate research that will permit scientific analysis and evaluation of the concerns that have been raised through all available mechanisms, as appropriate, including an attempt to replicate the molecular evidence of persistent measles virus infection in children with autistic enterocolitis. This research should be pursued in a way that does not cause undue harm to the Nation’s efforts to protect children against vaccine-preventable diseases.

This language will ensure that the NIH works to replicate the work of Dr. Wakefield and Prof. O’Leary and others who have raised concerns about the trivalent vaccine and incidence of a regressive form of autism.

Just last year the CDC took action to remove the Rotavirus vaccine when evidence was presented indicating adverse reactions in several children. It is this type of decisive action and willingness to fully review our vaccine schedule when questions are raised that builds confidence in our vaccine program. The CDC and NIH should pursue the evidence presented in the MMR/Autism arena with equal vigor.

It is the best interest of our national vaccine program and the safety of our children that the NIH and CDC attempt to replicate this work in a timely manner. If such independent studies were to fail to demonstrate Dr. Wakefield’s and Prof. O’Leary’s findings, this would serve well to bolster public confidence in the safety of the MMR.

Certainly, if the research were to verify Dr. Wakefield’s and Prof. O’Leary’s findings, this would be an important scientific finding that policy makers would need to know and should know at the soonest time possible. There are acceptable alternatives to the MMR, including separating the vaccine and giving it at different times.

In order to secure public confidence in our national vaccine program, I believe it is critical that public health officials fully examine any research that calls into question the safety of vaccines. It is also important that this research be done independent of the government vaccine officials or vaccine manufacturers.

How dare these medical people treat parents like the enemy! We desperately need a new medical paradigm in this country.....one that treats patients with respect. It's no wonder so many people suffer from white coat syndrome. That is just our sixth sense giving us a warning that there is danger lurking nearby...in that white coat.

Oh, Boo hoo.It looks like The Bachelor's Dr. Travis Stork got his feelings hurt by J.B. No rose for you!

Evidence solid.
Logical conclusion drawn.
Medical moron.

BTW - Mr. Handley is not exagerrating the arrogance of the medical profession (in general). Several years ago a colleague of mine told me about her brother who had just started at a prominent medical school. The new students were assembled and praised as the best and brightest and told they would be the vanguard of medical care in the future. I thought to myself "Geez, they're starting these kids off on the wrong foot from day one; they should be reminding them that they have a lot to learn and the learning never stops." Instead they are instilling an attitude of arrogant complacency and self-importance.

That doctor on that show was using a classic deflection technique, so as to change the subject that reason and science can offer. Politicians do this all the time. All he did was get emotional. JB, if I ever get to meet you, I want to hug you and tell you that you defended my children when you defended your position that day. I live near Portland, so I don't doubt we shall meet one day. That said, this man hasn't a clue what vaccines can do, and is doing to our children. Travis, go back to daytime reality TV, because apparently that's your forte. Not science. I think the defending stance he took is out of guilt that he did not read the science, or understand it. Remember, he is fresh out of mind control medical school, he probably can't help himself.

Dr. Gorski continues the establishment's "us experts vs. those ignorant parents" game. It was actually doctors and scientists outside the clan of usual suspects who convinced me that there was a connection between vaccines and autism (and other disorders!). Many of these heretics were indeed shown the light by parents, mostly because they lacked the arrogance of the Gorskis of the world and were willing to listen to what the parents had to say (and some of them were parents of affected children themselves).

Well done, JB. In this analysis, however, you did leave out one potentially important bit of info - what could be motivating Gorski:
http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/06/david-gorskis-financial-pharma-ties-what-he-didnt-tell-you.html#more

-Certainly not something we would want to overlook in any more articles about him.

All I can say, is thank-you. I saw this You Tube clip about 6 months ago and it made me as upset then as it does now. I just don't understand it. Thank-you for helping us as parents to sift through all of the junk to find the truth. Thank-you for all you go through and thank-you for Generation rescue...you all are helping me to pull both my children (I have a 3 year old son with Autism and a 2 year old daughter with Aspergers) through their "window" and essentially saving their lives. Thank-you!

"Dr. Gorski, I know you don’t have any kids. I have three. This means I spend most of my days talking to parents and interacting with children. Most parents are scared shitless of the current vaccine schedule and they hate arrogant doctors like you."

Hear hear. Sadly I've learned the best way to deal with a medical "professional" is to adopt a value judgment at the offset of our meeting: I assume the woman or man in the white smock is arrogant, close-minded, narcissistic, bought and paid for by drug reps, uncaring, not too intelligent, and borderline sociopathic.

It's always nice for these base assumptions to be proven wrong, but it's better to be safe than sorry, especially when your child's life and health is on the line and you're up against an M.D. moron more concerned with the nebulous idea of herd immunity than individual care and treatment.

A sorry state of affairs. I shouldn't have to meet a doctor on red alert with shields at full.

Thank you, J.B., for standing up to bullies like this self-inflated clown. I for one appreciate these sorts of posts as it makes me feel a little vindicated.

This article hit a bunch of nails squarely on the head, and made me laugh out loud too.

Dr. Stork's little temper tantrum was ridiculous. You didn't attack him, you asked rational questions which he apparently could not answer.

I do think it's important to note that even the MMR and thimerosal have not been adequately studied, as is pointed out on your 14 Studies web site and in the Safe Minds review.

Yes, Jenny! I'm sure all parents will be rolling up their children's sleeves, relieved to learn that the vaccines can't cause autism, only autistic-like symptoms. Whew! What a relief. Thanks science!

Joe the plumber seemed to be a pretty smart guy to me. He was a plumber but he stepped out and articulated in front of cameras, and presented/projected himself very well even if he had no training and did not do such very often and it was not his career, job, profession.
That said:
He would probably have been smart enough understand quatum physics too, if that was his desire. Joe the Plumber has something in common with men who understand quatum physics - he has a human brain just like them!
Oh gee! we humans all have the abililty to think - so far!

How about this?

Parents are as worried that their children will develop autism-like symptoms after vaccination as they are that their children will develop autism after vaccinations.

or this:

The ramifications of autism-like symptoms on a child are as devastating as the ramifications of autism on a child.

or this:

Treating autism-like symptoms is as expensive as treating autism.

or this:

Treating autism-like symptoms is as complicated as treating autism.


I like that video clip where after JB attacked that one doctor's statement where he generalizes the safety of all vaccines... he got emotional and attacked JB Handley for attacking HIM! As though he HAD attacked him! That's expert spin, if ever I saw it. Make it personal and you've got your own set of smoke and mirrors to deflect and distract.

JB and Jenny were the only ones making sense on that show (and Dr. Kartzinel, of course).

Is it just me, or does he remind anyone else of Brian Deere?

How dare you J.B Handley speak the truth and antigonize a doctor!

I've antigonized a lot 'em myself.

J.B. Handley - I think I love you!
No, I am sure I love you!

Didn't Travis Stork appear on "The Bachelor?" Oh for heaven's sake . . . like we are supposed to take him seriously.

For some reason I happened to watch that episode of "The Doctors"(have rarely watched the show) and I remember very well that little crying jag of Dr. Stork. And I also remember thinking "that's guilt coming out." These doctors KNOW that they do not know all the answers when it comes to vaccines, yet they still vehemently push them. And J.B., I'm not a sycophant but I thought you were brilliant that day.

Great post too . . . keep fighting the good fight. More people are behind you than you know.

Keep hammerin em JB. We didn't start the war of words.

I would never dream of starting a verbal or physical fight with anyone but I damn sure will take you to the mat if you start one with me.

When ALL of the truth comes out, we need to make it a point to show the world Orac's blog. Let the world see exactly what parents of injured children had to endure from so called professionals.

I love that clip of The Doctors. I seriously thought that guy was going to burst into tears. "I'm trying to help kids (by blindly giving them vaccines), and all you want to do is hurt my feelings! You're bad man, J.B. Handley. Take your toys and go home!"

Keep fighting on our behalf J.B., you must be one amazing father.

So true:

"Most parents are scared shitless of the current vaccine schedule and they hate arrogant doctors like you. Most parents are able to use their brains, so when you tell them the science is overwhelmingly against us, they want to see the details."

I flat out refuse to take myself or my kids to any conventional Dr anymore, I've completely lost faith in the medical profession and it's not just about vaccines but about all the drugs they try and push for every symptom - and their drugs don't even work. That profession has totally lost its way.

Such a lousy tactics those guys employ: you are not a doctor, you are not a scientist, so you can't possibly criticize those statistical studies.

What a desperate stance.

Like you need more than two years of school education to understand Fombonne committed a deliberate fraud when comparing the rate of autism in one city with the rate of MMR uptake from another.

There's a reason that most of the vaccine-exonerating studies are epidemiological; statistics can confer a veneer of legitimacy while being a load of cobblers. Ip et al. (“Mercury exposure in children with autistic spectrum disorder: case-control study”) was published and cited dozens of times by scientists who didn't notice that it was a mess. Presumably Orac didn't notice either. Mary Catherine DeSoto did and here's what she said about it:

"Based on their retraction [of Ip et al.] which appeared in the same issue issue as our article, the mean for the autistic group was wrong, the standard deviations were wrong for both groups, the stated statistical significance in 2004 was way off. The means as they reported them in 2004 result in a significant t test by any standard…meaning that the autistic group had significantly more mercury in their blood than the control group. This is indisputable (or should be)....Their original stated level of statistical probability was off by almost 10 fold."

JB,
Thanks for the 'disucssion of the greats' on YouTube. after viewing it I better understand where Dr Gorsky is coming from and what motivates him.

A bit creepy to think he blogged as a girl, though...

Dave has always been more interested in the debate itself rather than the facts behind the debate. He spends so much time blogging (and presumably doing his real job) to have any time left over to really take a critical look at anything. Again, though, the truth of the matter is not really of interest to him.

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