Skepticism about science and medicine

In search of disinterested science

Search Results

Vaccines: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Posted on 2017/05/21

Only in recent years have I begun to wonder whether there are reasons not to follow official recommendations about vaccination. In the 1930s, I had the then-usual vaccinations, including (in Austria, perhaps Europe) against smallpox. A few others in later years when I traveled quite a bit. But the Andrew Wakefield affair *, and the […]

Read the rest of this post...

Posted in fraud in medicine, legal considerations, medical practices, politics and science, prescription drugs, science is not truth, science policy, unwarranted dogmatism in science | Leave a Comment »

Trust medical science at your peril: Correlations never prove causation

Posted on 2016/06/28

It was a long-known empirical fact that poverty, vagrancy, criminality, and apparently deficient intelligence all correlated with heredity to a considerable extent; they all ran in families and clans. The scientific confirmation that characteristics of animals are passed on from generation to generation, and the Darwin-Wallace explanation of evolution by natural selection of the fittest, […]

Read the rest of this post...

Posted in conflicts of interest, consensus, media flaws, medical practices, prescription drugs | 5 Comments »

All vaccines are not the same; some are worse than useless

Posted on 2015/07/02

I am not among those who question the value of all vaccines on principle. I don’t doubt the value of vaccines in controlling smallpox, measles, polio. I do question the use of adjuvants and preservatives in vaccines, and I do think it makes sense to vaccinate babies against measles and the rest in single shots […]

Read the rest of this post...

Posted in conflicts of interest, fraud in medicine, funding research, legal considerations, medical practices, politics and science, prescription drugs | 7 Comments »

NOVA’s vaccine propaganda: Media coverage

Posted on 2014/09/18

NOVA’s presentation on vaccination  was obviously one-sided, and a few observers noted as much: Verne Gay at Newsday recognized  the program to be “designed as an ironclad, insistent, well-reported film that, in the very nicest way possible, tells those who have decided not to vaccinate their children that they are — essentially — blithering idiots. […]

Read the rest of this post...

Posted in conflicts of interest, legal considerations, media flaws, medical practices, prescription drugs, science policy | Leave a Comment »

NOVA on Vaccines: Documentary or Propaganda?

Posted on 2014/09/16

On Wednesday, 10 September 2014, PBS TV broadcast NOVA’s “Vaccines: Calling the Shots”.  It makes the case that everyone should be vaccinated and that doubts and worries about side effects are misplaced, originating with a tiny number of ideological “anti-vaxxers”. This program is propaganda, not a documentary: 1. Misdirection diverts attention from fundamental substantive points. […]

Read the rest of this post...

Posted in media flaws, medical practices, science policy, unwarranted dogmatism in science | 9 Comments »

Idiotae non carborundum

Posted on 2014/07/01

Common slang advice for coping with nincompoops is the pseudo-Latin phrase, “Illegitimi non carborundum” — “Don’t let the bastards grind you down”. But I grew up in Australia, where a common affectionate greeting to a friend ran, “How are ya, ya old bastard?”. I have no friendly feelings at all for those who parrot shibboleths […]

Read the rest of this post...

Posted in conflicts of interest, consensus, funding research, global warming, media flaws, politics and science, science is not truth, science policy, scientific culture, unwarranted dogmatism in science | 2 Comments »

Media malpractice: Misleading is worse than lying

Posted on 2014/04/06

That misleading is far worse and more reprehensible than “white lies” is nicely argued by mathematician Paul Halmos (I Want to Be a Mathematician, Springer Verlag, 1985, pp. 113-14). One of the worst ways to mislead, because it is undetectable by people not informed by quite specialized and specific knowledge, is the omission of significant […]

Read the rest of this post...

Posted in consensus, denialism, media flaws, medical practices, peer review | 2 Comments »

Beyond Belief: Deadly vaccines for Africa and Asia

Posted on 2013/05/12

Here’s what’s known about Gardasil and Cervarix (see Deadly vaccines): 1. There’s no good evidence that they do anyone any good 2. There’s proof that they harm some people, at times even fatally What then would one expect the manufacturers to do: Withdraw the vaccines? Of course not. They would find a way to sell […]

Read the rest of this post...

Posted in medical practices, science is not truth | 34 Comments »

Fake, deceptive, predatory Science Journals and Conferences

Posted on 2013/04/20

Over the last several years I’ve been mildly amused at receiving invitations to conferences, to submit journal articles, to guest-edit theme issues of journals, to write e-books, and even to become editor of new journals. I’ve been mildly amused because I’ve been retired from my university for a dozen years, which is obvious from my […]

Read the rest of this post...

Posted in funding research, science is not truth, science policy, scientists are human | 3 Comments »

Deadly vaccines

Posted on 2013/04/17

Much of what’s wrong with current medical practices and purported medical science is encapsulated in the Gardasil (and Cervarix) story. An entrepreneurial scientist finds that several strains of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) are “associated” with cervical cancer and with genital warts. Obviously, therefore, there’s money to be made by producing a vaccine against HPV. Forget […]

Read the rest of this post...

Posted in legal considerations, medical practices | Leave a Comment »