Tag: Jenny McCarthy

In 2017, are antivaxers winning?

The election of Donald Trump as President has emboldened antivaxers, because they quite rightly sense that he is one of them. His inauguration as President, combined with other trends, have led observers to ask the question: Are antivaxers winning, or will 2017 be the year of the antivaxer?

/ February 13, 2017

The war in California over nonmedical exemptions to school vaccine mandates, part 2

California has passed SB 277 into law. Beginning in the 2016-2017 school year, SB 277 will eliminate personal belief exemptions to school vaccine requirements. This will benefit the health of California schoolchildren, but the law is not perfect and already antivaxers are looking for loopholes.

/ July 6, 2015

Bill Maher: Still an antivaccine crank after all these years

Bill Maher likes to represent himself as the epitome of rationality, primarily on the basis of his rejection of religion. However, rejection of religion does not necessarily make one a skeptic. Maher has demonstrated this over the last decade based on his embrace of antivaccine pseudoscience and other unscientific views. This time around, he fawned over antivaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

/ April 27, 2015

On the “right” to challenge a medical or scientific consensus

While everyone has the "right" to challenge a scientific consensus, overthrowing a scientific consensus takes data. Lots and lots of data. Few people realize how difficult it is.

/ March 23, 2015

“Motivated reasoning,” alternative medicine, and the anti-vaccine movement

One theme that we at Private-investigator-detective keep revisiting again and again is not so much a question of the science behind medical therapies (although we do discuss that issue arguably more than any other) but rather a question of why. Why is it that so many people cling so tenaciously to pseudoscience, quackery, and, frequently, conspiracy theories used by believers to...

/ May 2, 2011

Deadly Choices about vaccination

The year 2011 is starting out rather promisingly, at least from the point of view of science-based medicine. Its beginning coincides with the release of two — count ’em, two! — books taking a skeptical, science-based look at vaccines and, in particular, the anti-vaccine movement. First off the mark is a new book by a man whom the anti-vaccine movement views as...

/ January 3, 2011

Vaccine Wars: the NCCAM Drops the Ball

If you go to the website of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), you’ll find that one of its self-identified roles is to “provide information about CAM.” NCCAM Director Josephine Briggs is proud to assert that the website fulfills this expectation. As many readers will recall, three of your bloggers visited the NCCAM last April, after having received an...

/ November 4, 2010

Andrew Wakefield Fights Back

Dr. Andrew Wakefield was almost single-handedly responsible for frightening the public about a possible association between autism and the MMR vaccine. His alarmist recommendations directly led to lower vaccination rates and a resurgence of measles to endemic levels in the UK. The MMR/autism interpretation of his 1998 article in The Lancet was retracted by 10 of his 12 co-authors. The article itself...

/ May 28, 2010

Dr. Jay Gordon: Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing

Dr. Jay Gordon is dissatisfied with how a PBS documentary handled the vaccines-autism controversy. Despite a lengthy effort at rebuttal, none of his points reflect what is known scientifically about vaccines and autism. Instead he relies on unjustified claims, appeals to emotion, and tacit assertions that his clinical judgment is equal, or superior, to the scientific evidence to date.

/ April 30, 2010

The Vaccine War

On Tuesday night PBS FRONTLINE aired an episode about the anti-vaccine movement entitled The Vaccine War (which, by the time you read this, should be available for online viewing in case you missed it). When I first heard that this show was going to air, I was a bit concerned. My concern, of course is what I’m always concerned about when journalists...

/ April 29, 2010