Today Orac has another piece on the Puffington Host’s anti-vaccination obsession. After several anti-vax pieces, the “Host” allowed one pro-vax rebuttal piece by Dr. Mark Strassburg, which was promptly followed by a content-free fallacy ridden “response” from Dr. Jay Gordon.
Gordon notes that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and other pro-vax authors have “a very cozy relationship with the vaccine industry”, as though that is actually an argument against vaccines. Of course, this is just ad Hominen – attack the person making the argument rather than the argument itself. If he had any actual arguments refuting the research presented by the AAP or other organizations, he would presumably have presented them. I guess it’s easier to smear the source than provide any actual evidence.
…why, then, does it not seem to bother Dr. Gordon in the least that David Geier and Dr. Mark Geier, whose research he once again singles out to cite approvingly and both of whom make a significant part of their livings providing legal counsel and consulting and expert witness services to parents pursuing legal action for alleged "injuries" due to vaccination? Doesn't that count as a financial conflict of interest? Yet Dr. Gordon thinks their research is "excellent." Or why doesn't it bother him that their work has been criticized for sloppiness and methodological flaws and they've been rebuked for risking patient confidentiality while mining the CDC's database.
Good questions I’d like to see Gordon answer.
The rest of Gordon’s post is equally bizarre. First, he dismisses Strassburg’s argument comparing birth rates and stork populations:
Dr. Strasburg’s reductio ad absurdum story about storks in Belgium is distracting and not germane to this discussion.
Huh? Reductio ad absurdum is defined as:
a mode of argumentation that seeks to establish a contention by deriving an absurdity from its denial, thus arguing that a thesis must be accepted because its rejection would be untenable
Strassburg’s point was that correlation is not causation and is totally germane to the discussion. Calling this reduction ad absurdum is, well, absurd. I guess Gordon has never heard that post hoc ergo propter hoc is a logical fallacy, or he would have understood Strassburg’s point.
Even more absurd is this:
Conclusions. With the possible exception of tics, there was no evidence that thimerosal exposure via DTP/DT vaccines causes neurodevelopmental disorders.
Get that? The study concludes there is no evidence of neuro-developmental disorders from thimerosal (apart from – just possibly – tics). No evidence of a link. And this is Gordon’s “excellent research” supporting his position. It’s his best shot.
Well, I posted a comment to Gordon’s piece:
A completely worthless and content-free post from Jay Gordon. Stating that he AAP has a “cozy relationship with the vaccine industry” is nothing more than a poisoning of the well ad Hominem – insulting the messenger instead of providing any evidence of wrongdoing.
You should check out the work of some real bloggers who have commented on these ridiculous stories this site has been promoting
Orac provides sound commentary, and a rebuttal to Jay Gordon’s latest post, with evidence:
(With links to Orac, Autism Diva and Skeptico
I got the message that all comments are read before they are posted. It’ll be interesting to see if the Huffington Post is a real blog and allows my comment to be posted.
PS: I guess it is a real blog - they posted it.