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February 13, 2010

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Adams is pathetically innumerate.

I saw that e-mail too, and about broke my desk with my head when I did. Apparently, Mike is totally clueless about why we're concerned when people aren't vaccinated. It isn't because idiots and the unfortunate children of idiots will get sick, it's that real medicine--unlike the claims of woo-woo jackasses--isn't 100%. Different people have different degrees of response to a vaccine, and some don't have enough response to provide long-term immunity--not to mention all the people who can't be vaccinated for various reasons, like age or other health conditions.

But Mike Adams can't seem to understand that every person is somewhat different and that effective medicine should recognize individual differences in physiology and treat them accordingly. Or he claims to understand that, but is totally clueless as to what it actually entails.

Tom,

I've noticed your fondness of the dash. Here's some keyboard shortcuts (for PC/Microsoft) you might like:

The em dash (—): Alt+0151
The en dash (–): Alt+0150

Hold down the Alt key while typing in e.g. 0151 on the numeric keypad with numlock enabled.

Just goes to show how numbers can be manipulated to convince the unaware of what is totally false.


That is a very, very, very basic mathematical error.

And what about this?

The lies of the CDC The CDC claims the mumps vaccine is 76 to 95 percent effective, but they offer no scientific evidence whatsoever to support that claim. To date, there has never been a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study published on the mumps vaccine in humans. The so-called "scientific" evidence supporting these vaccines is purely imaginary.

I don't know much about this area, so I might be making a fundamental mistake as well, but are there placebo controlled studies, and if so, how did they get past the ethics committee — did they give kids placebos and then expose them to mumps????

And is it not true that the very numbers Mike Adams quotes actually support the CDC's claim? The support for the claims which Adams says is "purely imaginary" seems to be right there in front of his eyes.

(Thanks Martin for the em dash)

Woos always fail math the hardest.

Remarkable,

I tweeted about this exact study a while ago becuase it is exactly the situation that medicine and skeptics have been warning about for years.

Someone unvaccinated goes to a country with a low vax rate (in this case it was england who is currently suffering from mass delusion about the safety and efficacy of MMR), returns home to infect a community.

this community had a low vax rate (around 77%) so there was a widespread infection. Exactly as warned about.

And Dorkranger, twists it this way. I just want to know, is he really this retarded or is this intetional?

Since we're being precise about the mathematics, let me make a correction on the terminology.

This is correct:

> the number of vaccinated children is 24 times (96 divided by 4) the number of unvaccinated.

This is not:

> there were more vaccinated children to start with. 24 times more, to be precise.

96 is 24 times 4. But 96 is 23 times *more than* 4.

Just as 3 is "twice more than" 1.

Thanks for the excellent exposition of innumeracy in the anti-evidence crowd!

In statistics, the minimum size of a sample is determined by multiplying the proportion evaluated, and the remaining proportion times the size of the sample. Both products should at least be greater than 5.

n=size of sample (40)
p=studied proportion (percentage vaccinated)
q= remaining proportion (percentage unvaccinated)
40 x 0.96= 38.4
40 x 0.04= 1.6

since nq<5 the sample is too small therefore inapropiate.

We cannot conclude anything with this particular study.

And even if the sample was large enough, it still has to be tested. When a hypothesis passes a test, it is labeled "statistically significant". Mr Adams lacks basic statistical knowledge, and it is obvious he made this claim without even testing it. I am new to the a-vax hysteria issue but I will infer that making untested claims is nothing new for Mr Adams.

A couple of points:

1) Nico: FYI in an edit to the post Sunday am, I changed the total numbers in my example to 159 infected children, to match the numbers in the CNN report that Adams was quoting.  I had taken the 40 figure in the original post from an earlier report I found, but on Sunday I decided I should use Adams’s actual source, to be fair to him, so I edited the post.  Of course, it made no difference to the 1:7 ratio.

2) On Sunday morning I left this comment on Mike Adam’s post:

The reason more vaccinated kids are infected is that there are more vaccinated kids (24 times more, to be precise) than non vaccinated to start with.  The 77% figure is irrelevant.  It's not relevant to know what percentage of infected kids were vaccinated.  What is relevant is to know what percentage of vaccinated kids get the mumps compared with the percentage of unvaccinated kids who get the mumps.  Your own numbers actually show you are seven times more likely to get the mumps if you are not vaccinated, compared with if you are vaccinated.  Explained in more detail here:
http://skeptico.blogs.com/skeptico/2010/02/mumps-new-jersey-77-vaccinated-get-infected-mike-adams-fails.html

I just noticed (Mon evening) that he had deleted it.  Typical woo – can’t stand anyone disagreeing with him, can’t refute the points I made, runs and hides.  Well, we know for sure now that he knows the rebuttal to his silly story, and we know that he can’t rebut anything I wrote.  No excuses then Mike Adams – we know for sure now you’re not interested in the truth.  Just as long as you continue to sell your quack products, eh Mike?

Nico: FYI in an edit to the post Sunday am, I changed the total numbers in my example to 159 infected children, to match the numbers in the CNN report that Adams was quoting

Sorry for misquoting I read the post on Saturday, but could not comment until Monday. As you can guess I did not reread the article. The analysis is therefore, statistically valid.

In other words, Mike Adams doesn't understand Bayes' rule. That would be attributable to simple ignorance - but the fact that he deleted your comment pointing out his error can only be explained as a deliberate desire to lie about the facts.

So Mike Adams doesn't understand relative risk? I'm shocked, I tell you.

Basically, if the MMR rejection rate were 23%, then the figures would mean that vaccinated and unvaccinated children are equally likely to get the mumps. But it just so happens that MMR coverage is not that poor in the US. A full 23% of mumps-infected children being unvaccinated is a big number.

I'm sure Mike Adams also fails to see that this means herd immunity is important.

hello, I just stumbled upon something worth reading about this subject, of all the places,
on cracked.com , maybe you've already read it
or maybe it's redundant because this kind of
stuff has been said all around this site for
ages (but woos still don't pay attention),
but since I agree and it describes perfectly
the situation, here I copy and paste the
interesting paragraph:

"When it comes to matters of fact, however, they absolutely do not have that duty.
[that's about the press 'presenting both sides' of something].
Particularly when it comes to technical or scientific matters where it takes somebody with training to speak knowledgably on the subject.

If we're talking about if, say, vaccines cause autism, we need to hear from scientists. That's a scientific issue. We do not need to hear from Jenny McCarthy or Jim fucking Carrey, in the name of giving "both sides." Jim and Jenny don't get a side. They have no background in the subject, and it's one that requires fucking background.

Sure, they can talk about poisonous vaccines to Oprah or whoever is sitting next to them at the Lakers game all they want. They have freedom of speech. That freedom does not guarantee them a seat on a panel of experts.
[I don't agree about the Oprah part since
it could be dangerous if she presents woo
as fact and people believe it,
and it has happened before]

Yet, this kind of stupidity happens constantly. You get articles like this one from the Toronto Star, explaining how an investigation revealed how World Trade Center building 7 collapsed:

Scientists with the National Institute of Standards and Technology say their three-year investigation of the collapse determined the demise of WTC 7 was the first time in the world a fire caused the total failure of a modern skyscraper.

The organization they mentioned, the NIST, studies how buildings collapse so that they can make sure future buildings don't collapse. But instead of going into further detail on their extensive investigation, we get this:

Mike Berger of the group 9/11 Truth said he wasn't buying the government's explanation. "Their explanation simply isn't sufficient. We're being lied to," he said. Ah, yes, the conspiracy nut. Again, we would never deny a crazy person the right to be crazy.

They just shouldn't get a voice equal to that of hundreds of highly-trained experts. It can't be done that way. After all, there is a contingent of conspiracy kooks drifting around every subject. You don't stop every story about AIDS in Africa to hear from the John Bircher who thinks AIDS is a secret government population control project spread by fluoridated water.

But we can't just disregard their opinions, can we? Yes. Yes we can. If you're going to weigh in on a scientific matter, you need to bring data, gathered by people who know what the fuck they're talking about. If the subject is medicinal marijuana, we're not going to quote a stoner who has suddenly realized his hands can talk."

well, that was the interesting part,
bye!

I just read Mike Adams' blog and it is just scary how many nature freaks lovers are preaching that:

100 per cent of those who contracted the mumps will now have proper protection from a repeat outbreak. This is somewhat better than mans attempts to copy nature.

Which is not true. I caught mumps twice, and I could possibly catch it again. There are some of us who never become fully protected.

Which is why we depend on herd immunity.

Adams is an idiot.

a large factor would be the percentage of people vaccinated in the area.

Why is it so hard to believe that vaccinations are toxic?

Wouldn't it be wise to be skeptical about vaccinations as well as anything else?

do you know what's in a vaccine?

doesn't it make sense the human body and
it's immune system is capable of handling anything imaginable when kept in a healthy state and to rely on synthetic cocktail shots for immunity is absomurd?


Wouldn't it be wise to be skeptical about vaccinations as well as anything else?

Skepticism isn't a permanent state of doubt. If you read around a bit you will see statements like for example, "The flu vaccine is not a great vaccine, as vaccines go, but it does have efficacy, and clear benefit in excess of risk." (FromSteve Novella)

(Feel free to post comparable statements from woo "doctors" weighing up the costs and benefits or comparitive efficacy of one particular "treatment" compared with another. Can't find one? Didn't think so.)

Woos always expect scientists or skeptics to throw out decades or centuries' worth of research for each new treatment - which of course brings it to the same stand as the "alternative" approach they are selling.

doesn't it make sense the human body and
it's immune system is capable of handling anything imaginable when kept in a healthy stat

I hear this over and over again. So, you are saying that out of the 300 babies in the US that died from H1N1, they all had their immune system compromised? Perhaps you can show us where you got that data. you are saying that all of the 4000 people who died, mostly comprised of people under 65, all of them were immunocompromised? Perhaps you can link us to the statistics of medical records that sort that out.

Ebola doesnt care how healthy you are when it takes you down. Neither does Tetanus. And neither does the flu. you can't control other factors that may contribute to your health when you are sick (like having to go to the hospital and then getting MRSA), so you are better off teaching your immune system how to repel these things up front.

You are confusing non-life threatening communicable diseases (like the cold, which people get when they are perfectly healthy) with deadly ones.

Everyone here does in fact know what is in vaccines. Do you? Have you actually sorted out why the medical profession thinks squalene and other adjuvants are OK or do you just listen to hysteria? Have you figured on that there is not in fact aborted babies and antifreeze in vaccines, or have you just bought into whatever someone who heard it from someone told you?

Pappypants said "Why is it so hard to believe that vaccinations are toxic?"

Because there is no credible evidence. All you have to do is show us that the MMR is worse than measles, mumps and rubella with real evidence. Not links to silly sites like whale.to or Natural News, but actual science.

Can you do that?

How can mumps, measles, and rubella be dangerous? I had all these diseases and i'm still alive. And so did my husband, my parents, and my siblings. It's so easy to see that someone is making billions of dollars out of this!

Rachelle, you are not the template for all of humankind. Some people DIE from those diseases. Others are permanently blinded, deafened, or brain damaged by them. It's a minority, but the more people infected by those diseases, the larger that group will be.

Rachelle, because the people who were permanently disabled or died from measles, mumps and rubella aren't exactly around for you to see them.

Except for the about half dozen young people who became permanently deaf due to the mumps outbreak in 2006, along with the several young men who had orchitis (which may have caused them to be infertile).

Then there are those over 120 Americans who died during the measles outbreak between 1989 and 1991. They aren't exactly around to sit at a computer keyboard telling you how measles really felt.

Sitting next to me is a new book I am anxious to start (though I have a library book I have to finish first). It is Dangerous Pregnancies by Leslie J. Reagan. It is about the rubella epidemic in the early 1960s caused several stillbirths and a large number of disabled children. It is about how society changed in regards to abortion, "wrongful birth" (some doctors lied to women on whether they had been exposed to rubella, so they gave birth to severely disabled children) and disability rights.

Who is exactly making "billions of dollars" from what? Do you seriously believe that it is more cost effective to treat the one in five hundred cases of measles that need hospital care than to prevent the diseases with a vaccine? Or that it is better to bury one in a thousand than to vaccinate? Seriously, what planet do you live on?

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