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Stupid Time with Bill Maher

Bill Maher the Vaccine Man.


My estimate of Bill goes down every time he opens his mouth about vaccines. He backs away from a couple of his more outrageous claims, but doesn't get it that 90% of what he says is outrageous. Yes Bill, we know, exercise, eat a balanced diet, and smoke a joint to keep the deadly mosquitoes away.

Orac has promised a thorough fisking for tomorrow. I'm looking forward to some not so respectful insolence. It's here and while your at it read Steven Novella's takedown

But I simply must disagree with Bill about the seatbelt analogy.

By the way, when Scott Pelley asked the government spokesman about the fact that only one percent of people who get the flu find it to be anything other than a typical, mild flu, the answer was an analogy to seatbelts, that "only 1 percent of people riding in a car will be in an accident, but you don't want to take a chance on being that 1 percent."

That went unchallenged, which is sad, because what a horrible analogy! I would think vaccines containing many different dicey substances shot directly into the bloodstream have a slightly greater chance of secondary effects than a piece of fabric lying across your waist. Maybe if you had to swallow the seatbelt this would be a good analogy.

Bill, as usual, missed the point. It's a great analogy because vaccines, like a seatbelt may on occasion cause harm but 99 percent of the time they're beneficial. They cause harm in different ways Bill, so your comment about ingesting a seatbelt is just stupid. A seatbelt might on a rare ocassion kill someone who would have survived had they been thrown free, but like vaccines using them is the odds on way to increase your chances of survival.


 

Comments

It's a great analogy because vaccines, like a seatbelt may on occasion cause harm but 99 percent of the time they're beneficial.

I think Bill's criticism of the analogy are shallow. I think the analogy fails, because there are many more predictable risk factors in getting the flu. Everyone has equal chance of bad driving conditions or a bad driver in oncoming traffic but we do not all have equal chance of having exposure to or side effects from the flu.

The CDC doesn't recommend the flu vaccine for healthy adults with no risk factors because for them the flue is often just an inconvenience. (They don't recommend against it either obviously)

I guess I am a little surprised to see this still be so heated when Bill's column is mostly apology and his criticism is largely focused on the flue vaccine.

I have to read the rest of it to see where the flash points are.

Everyone has equal chance of bad driving conditions or a bad driver in oncoming traffic but we do not all have equal chance of having exposure to or side effects from the flu.

Really, We have some control over when we travel and what routes we take. Just like we have some control over the amount of time we spend in public places thus increasing our exposure to the flu. Neither is totally under our control. I remember a few years back being extremely careful in avoiding people I knew were sick. I was in a line when the fellow in front of me suddenly turned around and sneezed in my face. I had the flu or a cold a couple of days later. A little like the driver in oncoming traffic.

I don't disagree.

I think the point I was trying to make was that if a car swerves int a head-on collision with you on the road. it doesn't matter how good a driver you are. Unless you have a seatbelt and an airbag, you are breaking your face.

If you drive safely with regard to the flu and you still get sick, your overall health does have a big effect on whether or not you have anything other than a 3 day cold.

One fundamental error is that vaccines are NOT "shot directly into the bloodstream" as so many of the anti-vaccine crowd say. They are mostly intramuscular with some being subcutaneous. That results in a "time release" effect. In the bloodstream is more dramatic, though

That is true, but the point is that the body is takin in toxins in a way other than through one of its natural filters (digestion, lungs, skin) meaning there is none of the normal protections you might get when you breath bug spray or eat the crap in your food.

I was pretty ticked off by Maher and I thought OGM would be the perfect remedy. Turns out I was exactly right.

As usual, the anti-vaccine crowd runs to the fallacious argument that if people are really mad about vaccine hysteria then vaccine hysteria must have some truth to it! Maher himself is the master of using "condescension" against people he disagrees with, but when scientists use it against comedians who have heard a few factoids from Jim Carrey then it's a sign that something's amiss.

As usual, the burden of proof, civility, sanity and responsibility is placed all on the defenders of vaccine, none on the critics ("why can't we have an open debate?"). Prominent critics of vaccines can attribute the most outlandish disorders to vaccines, without any sensible explanation whatsoever, and nothing manages to damage their credibility with a few committed paranoids. Bill Maher doesn't trust the mainstream media...but where is he getting his facts? It sure isn't a graduate seminar in pathology.

Maher's critique of the seat belt analogy is sort of amusing, because he probably doesn't remember the first seat belt laws. People at the time were arguing that seat belts would crush them in an accident, that they rather be "thrown free", etc. But Maher thinks the analogy is stupid--"it's obvious seat belts are harmless! I'm only calling into question one of the greatest public health achievements in human history!"

I think I'm through with the Huffington Post. It's unique combination of vulgarity and stupidity is making me reconsider my opinion of Sarah Palin.

Welcome back we've missed your comments.

Sigh, I can't take it anymore! Anyone saw him on Letterman one or two weeks ago? He went from zero to 100 in the stupid scale in like 3 seconds. He was doing so well until Letterman asked him about vaccines. He even mentioned Shermer's open letter.

It's really remarkable how someone who always got to the scientific/skeptic position in every discussion on tv I knew of in the last years, who even got more progressive in things political in past years, who knows the fallacies of straw men and false analogies and stuff - suddenly loses it all in one important topic. It's all in there: just interchange "vaccines" with, say, "evolution", and there you are.

But the good thing is: Maher's feeling the heat. He knows he's fucked up and is losing his audience fast. Hence all these explanations and defenses. Which only make matters worse for him. He should let the topic rest, talk about Obama and the tea baggers. And after some months ("after some thought about the swine flu crisis") he should come back and admit he was wrong.

End of story.

But something tells me that's not going to happen. Because Bill Maher is not used to being corrected, anymore.

bunch of morons...

so 99% of people only get a "typical, mild flu"

and regarding the seatbelt analogy, "It's a great analogy because vaccines, like a seatbelt may on occasion cause harm but 99 percent of the time they're beneficial."

but if you have 100 people 1% of them would benefit from the vaccine...but the vaccine harms 1% of the population, then the net effect is that you hurt as many people as you help.

These critics would get their facts straight instead of countering a crude analogy and made up statistic with an equally bad analogy and bullshit statistic.

The calculations actually look more like this...

The 40X number is deceptive. Since only 5-20% of people get the flu each year. So that means that you are only 2 to 8 times more likely to get it if you don't get the vaccine.

If you are healthy and don't often work and socialize in large groups. Your odds improve. If you are unlikely to get the flu and there is a small flu year (5%) it is actually conceivable that taking the vaccine increases your chance of the ailment.

It's rare either way and there are multiple ways the flu can kill you, so odds are still on the vaccine saving you.

The 1 to 1 risk is only possible if you are very unlikely to be get infected or are healthy enough to fight it off easily.

If you are unlikely to get the flu and there is a small flu year (5%) it is actually conceivable that taking the vaccine increases your chance of the ailment.

I don't believe you get the flu from a flu shot.

Sorry, that quote was mine, talking about the non-flue ailments you can get from the flu or the flue shot.

So you're saying that the seatbelt doesn't protect unless you're actually in a crash? The vaccine doesn't protect unless you're exposed to the virus and would get it if not for the vaccine?

And anyway, the vaccine does protect the great majority, and the risk is much lower than 1%. Herd immunity, anyone? And also there's something that seems inherently immoral about not using the vaccine for yourself, when you can put at risk the weakest individuals of our society that for other reasons can't get one.

The seatbelt always protects you. but you don't always get in an accident. But really I think that analogy fails again because almost every accident has a good chance of causing injury. probably close to 80 or 90% if you have no restraint on.

I correct myself. Seatbelts don't do anything when you are not riding in a car. Try wearing one if you walk to work. It offers no protection.

My point was actually if you can say that the vaccine only "protects" the ones that would have gotten the disease if not for the vaccine, then you can also say that the seatbelt only "protects" when you're in a car crash. They're preventative measures, so that line of argument doesn't really fly.

Yeah, but seat belts also can't hurt you when you aren't in an accident.

Sure, but that's another point altogether. The original point of mhodges (if I understand correctly) was that the effectiveness of vaccines is much lower because of this. The risk factor is still negligible.

Herd immunity is an excellent point. If you don't want to do it for yourself, do it for the kids and your grandmother.

But this year they are producing 143 million vaccines and recommend 261 million people get it. Certainly that doesn't allow for a herd immunity strategy for preventing infections of the vulnerable.

Seems smarter to focus on those over 65 and school age children and then those that work in close contact with those groups.

Just in case I wasn't talking specifically about the flu shot or even the swine flu one. But it's an argument that goes for most vaccines (well except maybe the ones like the cervical cancer one).

But this year they are producing 143 million vaccines and recommend 261 million people get it. Certainly that doesn't allow for a herd immunity strategy for preventing infections of the vulnerable.

It's not perfect but yes it provides some herd immunity albeit not a perfect one. But just because it's not perfect is not a good reason to discount the good it does, and as you know the first doses do go to those most at risk.

143 million doses provide more herd immunity than 100 million doses, 100 million doses provide more herd immunity than 50 million.

but if you have 100 people 1% of them would benefit from the vaccine...but the vaccine harms 1% of the population, then the net effect is that you hurt as many people as you help.

You're kidding right, you think the vaccine harms as many people as it benefits. Like the seatbelt analogy millions benefit while the number who are harmed is near zero.

i don't personally believe the vaccine harms as many people as it helps, I guess my post is confusing, but I'm simply pointing out the perversity of the numbers tossed around in the original post:

it was said that: "so 99% of people only get a 'typical, mild flu'"

and it was said that, "the seatbelt analogy...[is] a great analogy because vaccines, like a seatbelt may on occasion cause harm but 99 percent of the time they're beneficial."

thus, seatbelts hurt 1 in 100 and only 1 in 100 could benefit from the vaccine in the first place (99% only get a mild flu)..

again, I personally think the stats that both Bill and the author of the 'takedown' are proposing are perverse. I was simply attempting to point out the perversity.

I think a lot of skepticism is fueled by the nutrition crowd. While real science in the medical world moved forward validating good ideas and debunking bad ones... the nutrition world is crazy. One day eggs are good for you, the next day they will kill you if eaten. The 'science' around healthy food, suplaments, and diets has been so bad for so long it's not trusted anymore. I think that distrust has bleed over to the medical world... also fueled by greed motivated problems in our health care system, and American's general distrust of 'smart' people. (oh and scare mongering media that has no tact for context is another factor...)

Bill is caught up in this mix, and it seems clear that he's trying to fight his way out of a corner... ah, he's finally afraid to loose face.

When I first heard this woo I started a post at 1gm to see what's going on. I did this because it sounded a bit too much like a conspiracy theory (which I can smell well after being a 9-11 nutjob for a while.) The point is that I had a place/person to go to when someone mentions something like this. I'm the person that my whole family goes to when they get some crazy chain email, because I'll take the time to give them the fact checking behind it. Who does Bill go to who's opinion he trusts? Bill is no doctor, or statistician, or doctor, etc... he's a talk show host. He's insightful when it comes to politics & religion because these topics don't necessitate phd. level knowledge to get one's head around the important elements. He's making the same mistake doctors do when investing in the stock market. Just because one is smart about a topic does not mean that one is smart about all topics. Bill needs to realize that he's not a credible source on the topic of vaccines.

It's important to note that Bill has backed away from many of his statements to this one corner of anti-vaccine arguements.

Originally he was criticizing all vaccines and did sound at times like he was prepared to spout the insanity of the jenny McCarthy's of the world.

Flu vaccines are perhaps the easiest targets for criticism as they go after what is likely the least deadly disease we vaccinate for. and also for the fastest evolving disease that can outpace the vaccine pretty quickly and come in multiple strains in one season.

I think the remaining argument he has isn't all that far out there but is treated as pure crazy because it is rooted in the larger crazy anti-vaccine movement.

I think the remaining argument he has isn't all that far out there but is treated as pure crazy because it is rooted in the larger crazy anti-vaccine movement.

What argument is that? It seems to me that Bill is right at home in the "crazy anti-vaccine movement.

Have your given Orac's post a careful reading?

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/11/bill_maher_flames_out_over_vaccines.php

Too long for work reading. I'll look it over tonight.

Oh I remember what my problem is. That guy is an asshole.

He writes 1000 words of general insults, 700 words describing how stupid it is to ask the question, then he links to a video where Maher says he isn't a germ denier, then calls him a germ denier in the next sentence.

Another 1000 words on the ad populum, which as far as I can tell he didn't actually use. Maher uses the populum arguement to basicly say, "this isn't a crazy quesiton." I think that is right, if this question is being asked by 50% of medical proffesionals than yes we ought have a dialoge on this.

The dialoge seems to be largely brought on by a big swath of public ignorance. That siad, I don't know that Orac does much to counter that.

I just tried to read the response to Atlantic too. The Atlantic had me asking, That can't be right, can it?

After reading half way down on Orac's response, all I could be certain was that Orac thought the author, the magazine, all the doctors quoted were all moronic asses.

That's great and all, but how about listing one fact before I start secretly hoping Atlantic turns out to be right so someone can write a novella about what a douche this guy is.

I don't get why we should be so angry with Bill maher if the medical community hasn't effectively educated nurses?

If the ignorance on this subject is so vast, than why wouldn't we expect crazy theories try to explain, why high risk seniors and hospitol workers seem uncomfortable with vaccines.

Lets see simple straight forward statistcs on the risks involved with the disease, with the vaccine.

The vaccine wins a reasoned debate, the vaccine clearly loses in a shouting match. People affriad that the medical establishment is poisoning them aren't going to change their mind because someone finds a thousand synonyms for moron.

And why do we spend so much time with Maher's bad arguments? The truth can be argued just as poorly as something that is false. The perfectly executed argument for god wouldn't make it real.

http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=1238

So how about this response absent so much snark.

I read that one as well. Much better.

I guess this is what I want.

A nice chart showing the risks associated with getting the flu. Some stat on risks associated with reactions to the vaccine.

Then some discussion of the research that the doctors quoted by bill and the Atlantic. Why is their research bunk?

If you want to bury Bill under a pile of his own stupidity, come up with some estimate of how many people die each your from not being vaccinated. Some of the incidences of nearly extinct diseases coming back to kill again.

I realize that that is likely where this debate started and the posts we are now reading are years later after the facts bounced off the magical thinking bubbles of so many of the vaccine critics.

But as someone that didn't really see this debate from the beginning, I see a group of somewhat fearful folks asking a question about how healthy it is to be injected with a cocktail of dead germs and other random chemicals.

The answer seems to be that it really isn't much worse than eating cool whip through a hole in your arm, and the immune system reaction that it produces is a protection against a disease that has serious health ramifications for some, and if the wrong mutations occur, for all.

I grew up both trusting my doctor, getting vaccinated, but also taught that its best to avoid medical solutions when simple good health solves the problem.

IE don't take a pill every time you have pain. Don't take a decongestant every time your nose runs, don't take cough medicine every time you cough. Drink water eat well and sleep.

I think that is a pretty good way to live as long as you can be clear headed about when nature has you beat and you need to get medical help.

If there is a debate it should be about whether this is one of the times you need medical help. Not whether or not good health can improve your immune system and fight of many colds and help you if you do get something like the flu. Orac seems to throw the baby out with the bathwater in a blind rage.

Both seem to focus on pointing out errors in argument rather than factual errors, when as someone interested in the truth I already do that for myself.

Some countries, Australia for instance, ban the supplement industry. No scientific evidence, no product.

Bill's complaint on one of his last shows was that we don't allow enough alternative treatments for cancer. The real issue is that we have have allowed a secondary/alternative/unscientific system to develop because we aren't giving people primary care.

No analogy is perfect, but the seatbelt analogy is a damn good one. It hits on the important points.

Roundup of bloggers critical of Maher's article, including this post: Bill Maher Your Views on Vaccination Reek of Woo.

The anti-vaccine activists are largely those who hold the false belief that autism is caused by "vaccine injury".

I'll buy some of the wonderfulness of vaccines when they stop putting thimerosol in them (mercury salts); they were forced BY LAW to stop putting them in feed lot animal vaccines. Why? Because they are below us on the food chain.

RFK Jr. FOIA'ed a report from the CDC that they had kept secret from the public, the CDC held a meeting with industry people and allowed them to "phase out" thimerosol from human vaccines after reviewing the study.

If it's harmless, why "Phase them out"? You folks aren't making sense, sorry.

And the guy that did the study? He got a fat job at Glaxxo-Smith Klein, a pharmaceutical company, that makes vaccines.

I have a son, who got his vaccines at 18 months, and his behavior changed markedly a very short time after he got them. You folks want to call names, that people are being stupid not to trust the FDA? One word: thalidomide. Remember that?

Ah yes... I remember when my son was about that age. We took him in to get his vaccinations, and very soon after, he started saying "no!" when told to finish his vegetables! Unfortunately, this condition has only gotten worse with time. I always wondered if the vaccine was to blame, but now I'm sure!

That's nothing days after my first son was vaccinated Nixon was reelected president. Do you think if we quit vaccinating our children we would quit getting republican presidents.

No, but maybe it would reverse Global Warming!

;~) You guys are on a roll! Get thee to Maher's show - double quick. He needs your assistane!

assistance.

ccccc

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Got nothing decent/honest to say? Fuck off.

Just Fuck off, no response to how your facts were simply wrong. No apology for the fact that you had the FDA thalidomide history wrong. Let me add that any body the FDA included occasionally gets it wrong, but I'll take their record over your emotional rant.

Perhaps you missed the point that correlation is not causation. That's what the snarky examples are about. Educate yourself and come back when you can present a coherent argument.

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Please, let me drop a rock on your head 1000 times, to test that crap about "correlation is not causation", funny it's the only evidence that they have in modern life, since the don't get to control all of the circumstances of life for the only lab rats that matter, that is, HUMANS. Your line is the excuse that was used by the cigarette companies, for decades, and they were full of shit, too.

Oh I see, you want me to say correlation is not necessarily proof of causation. There I go again overestimating your intelligence. I'd say you're dumber than a fence post, but you can sharpen a fence post. How about dumber than that box of rocks you're toting around.

If you'd like to keep leaving comments please register.

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Sorry, bud, but I'm every bit as smart as you, and apparently a bit better informed. Look into thimerosol, find out something about how much mercury we're all carrying around (what with Mr. Bush's administration playing fast and loose with the use of coal, coal mining, the toxic levels rising in fish, etc.) and then tell me about how adding more mercury to kid's systems is a good idea.

Not too smart, I told you if you wanted to continue to leave comments you needed to register. This will be the last comment of yours I'll take the time to approve.

It's a freaking salt. you know there is chlorine in table salt and yet the ocean isn't sterile.

The impact in the United States was minimized when pharmacologist and M.D. Frances Oldham Kelsey refused Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for an application from Richardson Merrell to market thalidomide, saying more study was needed. Richardson Merrell gave the tablets to doctors on the understanding that the drug was still under investigation. Seventeen children were born in the U.S. with the defects.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thalidomide

So you see brantl, the FDA was the reason the harm from thalidomide in the U.S. was limited.

You'll get some of the wonderfulness of vaccines when you start thinking critically, until then you'll continue to embarrass yourself with fact-free tripe just like the dumbass Bill Maher.

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They did such a great job catching the problems with Vioxx and the other stuff, too, didn't they? Let's let industries do their own testing, then give us the results (if they want to, otherwise they can just forge their own and hand us those) and everything will be wonderfully, thoroughly tested, won't it? Talk about not doing your own critical thinking...... Shuffle back off to junior high, "Norm".

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you paranoid folk all go and have the vaccine, then i wont need to. when the government starts forcing people to have injections, ( medical workers, no jab, no job ) declaring a state of emergency? and spreading misinformation about the safety and effectiveness of something that hasnt even been properly tested..they even have a propaganda dept set up purely to explain the deaths from vaccinations, that they expect to occur, as coincidences.. nice.. well, thanks but no thanks, you can stick it up your arse! theres plenty of reports about adverse reactions already.. and i dont wear seat belts either, not gonna trap me in a burning car due to a snagged seatbelt... by the way, if i get a runny nose, im going to sneeze all over you!

And you're calling us paranoid, why?

Do you even know why a state of emergency was declared?

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yes i understand that calling a state of emergency can help with dispensing with a little red tape - in order to quickly process patients in a ohhh woe is me pandemic situation..- and i also understand it lets the authorities into your house to do what they want with you/

but there is no swine flu emergency.. so why the paranoia? why the declaration? /rhetorical

by the way.. this is one of my fav websites.. i dont mean to offend anyone.. i just dont trust any gov, and when they say something is in my interest.. i truly doubt it.

I don't really trust Govt or corporations either. THat said, there is a limit to which they can lie.

There is a lot of very old medical knowledge on both the flu and vaccines. This isn't mysterious science.

That doesn't mean there aren't questions, but its pretty hard to answer questions if you automatically assume all sources of information are telling lies.

Hmm... This is the first time I've found myself disagreeing with the OGM culture.

As an atheist and progressive, I've always appreciated the snark and wit used to call out the hypocrisy of organized religion and conservative politics.

When you're a minority (as all us atheists are) you can get away with that attitude. You can't really be accused of oppressing anyone. When that same snark and smarter-than-thou attitude is used to enforce the majority belief against minority dissenters... I gotta say: it winds up sounding pretty dickish.

So you only like snark and wit when it comes from your side?

To be fair, the "opposition" is usually the bible-thumpers and GOP... and they aren't a very witty lot. So I'm unused to being the victim of snark.

Also: I am NOT supporting the claims of the poster known as brantl.

I would have ignored his posts (or deleted them if I was a mod) once it became clear that he's a bit of a crackpot with an agenda.

He is presenting himself as a good "straw man" though since his opinions are filled with non sequiturs and ad hominem attacks.

Personally, I don't want to take the flu shot because I'm okay with getting the flu. The same way I'm okay with the fact that the weather has been cold and rainy the last week. I feel it's important for my own psychic balance to go through suboptimal conditions rather than try to make things perfect all the time.

i.e. Having the flu builds character.

X needs more research before I'll trust what experts say about it.

Experts in X are hopelessly bias and can't be trusted because of greed/indoctrination.

I'll only trust research on X that calls into question conclusions reached by experts of X.

I only say this because X is doubted by some ?% of the population.

Anyway it's my duty as an American/Free Thinker/Patriot to question things like X.

As long as I can say "See! I told you so!" I will support the conclusions of my preferred experts on X.

At very least we need to teach/debate the controversy between those that don't trust/believe scientific research on X and those that trust/believe scientific research on X.

All I saying is that if X was like Y then we wouldn't consider my position to be controversial.

Why, if Y has this that and the other feature/issue/problem then it follows that we have to assume that X has had the same features/issues/problems.

I mean, we were wrong about Y for so long. Things about Y were not understood until recently. I have to assume that X has similar issues and is not fully understood yet.

In fact, X may never be fully understood. It's practially impossible to get to the bottom of X because of all the red tape/conspiracy/institutional pressure/greed.

I'm just tired of people trying to stifle debate on X by challenging my position with logic and science.

Rest assured, one day I will be vindicated by logic and science that X was a seriously misunderstood issue and even if I don't have it nailed down right now, X will be proven to have problems (much like Y was) and thank god/humanity/individuality that I had the courage to speak up.

If not me, who? If not now, when? If not X, Y?

This is why I love this video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEQB8decrxE

Just the research please. In science, we have an ongoing dialog on everything. Sometimes wrong ideas persist for a very long time, good research will eventually expose them. Saying people are insane or stupid or whatever really doesn't do anything other than aggravate the problem. Counter attacks only make them more insistent that their concerns are being ignored.

What I hate about this controversy is that it is this very hostile squabble over logical fallacy's.

This isn't like 9-11. The facts in this discussion come from many complicated medical studies, not from a video clip. Even in that case popular reviewed each accusation with a scientific eye.

Yeah, sure, the British don't have an agency like the FDA, do they? Oh, that's right, they do! And they did such a wonderful job on the estrogen imitating plastics, too! Blow me. Learn what thimerosol is (a mercury salt) find out what the daily allowable dose is (much less than kids get in a full ration of vaccines at 18 months) and stick my critical-thinking boot up your lame butt, OK?

And you have seen research that the thimerosol (a mercury salt, not mercury) has a health effect greater than the flu?

You think the studies on this subject have similar flaws to those on estrogen? How so?

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Google 'thimerosal' in conjunction with 'RFK, Jr'. and you can read it for yourself. RFK Jr. shows both the history and what the study means, and why it was of significant enough population to toss the "correlation is not causation" argument on its head. I first saw it at truthout.org. It was a very large study, sufficient to knock off the idea of concidence.

ok, but a couple of issues.

  1. This discussion is largely about flu shots that don't contain thimerosol with eht exception of HINI

  2. We are adults and not at rist for developing autism. Our standard daily intake of mercury is also much higher than a cholds

  3. The correlation between thimerosol is not at all established fact. There is plenty of research that refutes such a correlation.

Some is highlighted here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEQB8decrxE

Thimerosol may not be singly responsible for this problem, but there is a direct correclation between the dosage of thimerosol and increased autism-related prognoses, as was shown in the CDC study. Now, there may have been helper partnters in this situation, but the idea that ingesting thimerosol is a highly doubtful idea, and they still haven't gotten rid of it, and it is only a cost-saving measure, they can preserve the vaccine in other ways or make it as single dose, they just don't make as much money on it (it would possibly cost them more, per dose to make), why should it be used AT ALL? It' mercury, for fuck's sake.

And again really, Maher is saying things about the yearly Flu vaccine that does not contain Thimerosol.

In your mind, how are these things connected?

FRom the aticle norm links to:

Thimerosal is a preservative that allows vaccines to be sold in multi-dose vials. It contains ethylmercury. It was tested and found to be safe before it was added to vaccines. Animal studies showed no adverse effects. In 1929 in Indiana it was tested as a treatment in a meningitis outbreak — adults injected with 2 million mcg (10,000 times the total amount in all children’s vaccines) didn’t develop symptoms of mercury poisoning.

A study from the Seychelles showed that children getting high doses of methylmercury from fish did not develop neurologic symptoms. A study of children in the Faroes who were exposed in utero to whale meat highly contaminated with methylmercury showed subtle neurologic abnormalities (not autism), but a causal connection was not clear because the fish there were also contaminated with PCBs. The World Health Organization concluded:

The theoretical risk from exposure to thimerosal has to be balanced against the known high risk of having no preservative in vaccines. Therefore, WHO, UNICEF, the European Agency for Evaluation of Medicinal Products (EMEA), and other key agencies continue to recommend the use of vaccines containing this preservative because of the proven benefit of vaccines in preventing death and disease and the lack of data indicating harm.

In 1999 the U.S. removed thimerosal from vaccines. Why? The decision was not based on evidence but on one person’s opinion. Neal Halsey railroaded the committee and threatened to hold his own press conference if they didn’t do what he wanted. He meant well. His passion convinced the other committee members to invoke the precautionary principle — essentially bending over backwards to prevent any possible harm from a high total body burden of mercury from a combination of diet, environmental and vaccine sources. He didn’t even consider autism: he was only concerned about possible subtle neurologic damage.

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