Sunday, March 06, 2011

The Danish MMR studies

I have been reading several studies that investigate whether there is a connection between MMR vaccination and autism. The Danish data on which these studies are based are identical. The two studies that categorically state that the MMR vaccine does not cause autism are written up in the New England Journal of Medicine and in Pediatrics Magazine. A third study written up in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons states that there is a connection between MMR vaccine and autism.

By my standards the latter article An Investigation of the Association Between MMR Vaccination and Autism in Denmark has almost all of the hallmarks of a bona fide study. It explains in detail how the study was done and how to properly statistically assess data for such a complicated piece of work. There are tables and graphs that show clearly all the useful information to support G.S Goldman's and F.E. Yazbak's conclusion that there is a connection of MMR vaccine to autism. The other two articles do not show the same care. Indeed they seem to lack transparency and detail.

What, however, is missing in all three articles is an account of all the vaccines that were given during the time period between 1991 and 2000. Just because other vaccines (DTaP, HepB, pneumonia, flu, etc.) that were, in fact, given at the same time as the MMR vaccine do not contain mercury, does not mean that they were free of other adjuvants (aluminum, formaldehyde etc.) that might cause autism.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

The truth and science

I count science among my favorite subjects.

My life has not been easy. So science is an oasis. Science is dispassionate. It strives for the truth. It is logical in a world that presents so much uncertainty.

I read blogs. I read articles about my interests in Vitamin D and autism. I keep up with medical innovation, and I read everything I can about toxic events especially when mercury and fluoride are involved. I have become quite knowledgeable over the years in these subjects.

Therefore I am perturbed when I see a lack of logic in people's thinking and writing, and I regret the lack of understanding some writers of scientific articles display. I am a scientist at heart, and I would have gone into research in medical or biological sciences if my youngest son had not been mentally and physically handicapped.

What I have noticed, however, is that in certain scientific publications on the Internet there is a lack of rigor when it comes to the approach to science. It is frightening how rude and unscientific the commentaries often turn out to be and how smug and arrogant certain people act just because they can display their opinions anonymously. I am shocked about the callousness with which certain people who call themselves scientists shout down the opinions of other.

This lack of decorum is especially noticeable when those writers are not particularly well-informed. It is shocking how uninformed highly paid professionals often are. I am shocked how journalists pretend to be qualified to write with eloquence about a subject that they have not studied, and I am truly surprised about their inability to let reason prevail.

The spreading of falsehoods has become epidemic. Lying has become as common as the common cold. Is there a cure? Probably not. I there a law against it? Not that I know. The amount of disinformation that is being spread could actually kill people. So my hope is that people check the facts whenever they read or hear anything in the media because there are people around who can't keep their hands from writing down things that have no grain of truth in them.