Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mr. Gates, Don't Apologize

I wrote about Bill Gates publicly scorching anti-vaxxers a few weeks ago: Good Going Mr. Gates.
Now, the loons are coming out, trying to make him "apologize" for what he said (as pointed out by Orac).
I hope he will not!
He was 100% correct in his statement (let's post it here again for emphasis):
Well, Dr. Wakefield has been shown to have used absolutely fraudulent data. He had a financial interest in some lawsuits, he created a fake paper, the journal allowed it to run. All the other studies were done, showed no connection whatsoever again and again and again. So it's an absolute lie that has killed thousands of kids. Because the mothers who heard that lie, many of them didn't have their kids take either pertussis or measles vaccine, and their children are dead today. And so the people who go and engage in those anti-vaccine efforts -- you know, they, they kill children. It's a very sad thing, because these vaccines are important.
The truth stings and the anti-vaxxers know it. Spreading nonsense, discredited, false ideas and misinformation does kill, and in this case it kills children.

Stand firm Mr. Gates!

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Happy Evolving

Happy evolving to all!!!

http://www.darwinday.org/

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Homeopathy: Put Up Or Shut Up

James Randi has a challenge:
James Randi launched a bold challenge Saturday that aims to debunk so-called homeopathic drugs. The fraud-busting magician even offered $1 million to any manufacturer who could prove they work as directed.
Read more: James Randi's challenge and the search for science in homeopathy

Let's see if they'll do as Sylvia Brown has been doing for years: "I would take the challenge, but I can't seem to figure out how to get in touch with James Randi."
I would not bet they are even going to try.

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Monday, February 7, 2011

Ph.D. In Magic

Nice... now, you can get your Ph.D. in magic... water magic that is, as in homeopathy:

The American Medical College of Homeopathy's (AMCofH) new four-year doctoral program is the first of its kind in the country and will provide the most comprehensive homeopathic medical training in North America.
Read the whole: Homeopathy College: Now You Can Get a Doctorate in Homeopathic Medicine

While it's not a big deal when one crank gives another crank a stamp of approval, adding letters after your name makes it look legit to some people, especially when those letters resemble real, scientific titles.
How does a regular person, during a regular conversation, distinguish between someone who went to a real college, got a real graduate and post-graduate degree, and can be (to some extend) trusted as an expert is his or her field, from someone who get a degree from this place:
AMCofH first opened its doors in 1998 as the Desert Institute of Classical Homeopathy. It achieved non-profit status in 1999, first obtained Arizona State licensure in 2000, and changed its name to the American Medical College of Homeopathy in 2006. AMCofH first obtained Arizona State licensure for its full-time program in 2007, and its new four-year doctoral program is provisionally licensed by the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education.
Even worse, when you get somebody with letters "Ph.D" after their name on TV, nobody will be able to tell the difference. Instantly, as their "graduates" go out into the world, we'll get some "experts" who specialize in magic. The future is bright indeed... oops, it actually green:
There are a number of contemporary homeopathic medical colleges and hospitals in various countries around the world, including Canada, India, the United Kingdom, and other European countries. Although the U.S. lags behind this trend toward embracing greener forms of medical training and practice, it is very encouraging to see headway being made on this front.
It's good to see we are following the "best" out there.

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Good Going Mr. Gates

It's nice to see more and more of the truth coming out. Especially that when someone like Bill Gates says it, the world takes notice:
Well, Dr. Wakefield has been shown to have used absolutely fraudulent data. He had a financial interest in some lawsuits, he created a fake paper, the journal allowed it to run. All the other studies were done, showed no connection whatsoever again and again and again. So it's an absolute lie that has killed thousands of kids. Because the mothers who heard that lie, many of them didn't have their kids take either pertussis or measles vaccine, and their children are dead today. And so the people who go and engage in those anti-vaccine efforts -- you know, they, they kill children. It's a very sad thing, because these vaccines are important.
More: Bill Gates: Vaccine-autism link 'an absolute lie'

Strong words, but so true.

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Anti-vaxxers: Is This The Best You Can Produce?

Whoa... 2011 so far is really all about vaccines. First, there was a whole series of excellent articles in the British Medical Journal on how the whole MMR/vaccines/autism scare was really a big, elaborate fraud by A. Wakefield and a bunch of lawyers, all to make some money (but that was not really a news for most of the educated world).

There are also two outstanding books on the topic that came out in January:
















and:
















and now, the "debate" is heating up... sort of. There is really nothing credible and intelligent that the anti-vax loonies can come up with at this time. After numerous studies, all around the world, tons of research, thousands of scientists looking into this, and finally more and more data coming in that autism is mostly genetic, the issue is settled. Yet, the wacos are still at it, spreading misinformation, scaring parents, and possibly causing more pain, suffering, and possibly even death. This time, they created another "list", signed mostly by people who have no expertise in immunology, or even medical sciences (take some chiropractors and homeopaths), who say "no" to vaccines. I'm sure this will spread somehow in the Web, going from one mailbox to another, from one mom/dad to the next, causing more confusion.

That's why it is so important to squish this concoction of garbage and stupidity as soon as possible.
There is nobody better to perform this task than Orac:
Upon reading the statement, I was actually surprised by it. No, I wasn't surprised by what it said. Rather, I was surprised at how transparently pathetic it was. The claims made on it were either really easily refuted or trivially true but meaningless.
The whole dissection: The clueless cite the ignorant to argue against vaccines


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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dr. Offit on Colbert

Dr. Paul Offit was on The Colbert Report last night:

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/372812/january-31-2011/paul-offit

Interesting conversation (as always) from a great mind.

I already went through his book and I'll write about it shortly.

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