The Good Fight

You may have noticed in the sidebar that I’ve been reading Autism’s False Prophets by Dr. Paul Offit. I’m happy to say that I’ve finished it, and it’s fantastic. The book lays out the autism situation and the battle against the antivaccinationists in great detail, and it’s really well-written to boot. Go out and get a copy of it now–bookstore or library, as long as you read it. You’ll laugh, you’ll get mad, you’ll want to strangle dangerous quacks like Andrew Wakefield, and if you’re like me, you’ll want to send Dr. Offit a letter of thanks afterward.

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54 Responses to The Good Fight

  1. quicksilver says:

    HICan you share just one laugh in that book?I would love to buy it but have to resist if I can;

  2. Doubting Tom says:

    It’s mostly the comedy of errors on the antivax side, and instances of glorious shutdowns (shades of the Dover trial). I can’t cite a specific example (mainly because it was a library book and quite overdue), but there are some humorous moments.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Both sides of this argument are pretty crazy. The socialist medical industry has decided that its fine to risk overtaxing a babies nervous system with placing nerve poisons in their vaccines. Not really bright. And they also insist on these three in one vaccines, where it would be more prudent to do the vaccinating one at a time and give babies a bit of a chance to recuperate.Its is these callous nutjobs that are giving the absolutely necessary activity of vaccinations a very bad name. And look at their brainless and dismissive attitude to a reasonable hypothesis. There is nothing wrong with the vaccines autism hypothesis. It may turn out to be wrong. But its a serious concern. Prudence ought to be the order of the day. And the socialist industry has in now way refuted this hypothesis. If it has lets have your information.

  4. Doubting Tom says:

    Both sides of this argument are pretty crazy.I take your word, because you're an expert on the subject.The socialist medical industrySocialist? In what possible way is the medical industry socialist? Add that to the list of words you don't understand, along with "logic," "mantra," and "alibi." Socialism refers to the state or public ownership of means of production. Last I checked, at least in the United States, most pharmaceutical companies and the like were private. that its fine to risk overtaxing a babies nervous system with placing nerve poisons in their vaccines.Oh, really? Nerve poisons such as what, exactly? And they also insist on these three in one vaccines, where it would be more prudent to do the vaccinating one at a time and give babies a bit of a chance to recuperate.It's good to see that you're an epidemiologist as well as a political scientist and logician. As a world-renowned expert on biology and medicine, then, you'll understand that the immune system isn't a goddamn muscle. It doesn't have a refractory period; it doesn't wear out and need rest afterward, or everyone who gets a cold would need to spend a week in a plastic bubble recuperating afterward. You'll also be aware that the immunization schedule presents the immune system with very small doses of inactive or attenuated viruses, or completely benign surface proteins, all of which is infinitesimal when compared to what small children receive through normal exposure. There is nothing wrong with the vaccines autism hypothesis.Except that it's based on flawed reasoning and is contradicted by the evidence. It may turn out to be wrong.It has turned out to be wrong.Prudence ought to be the order of the day.Exactly, which is why we continue giving children vaccinations to protect them from harmful diseases, vaccines which have been demonstrated safe through years of testing and decades of use, rather than change the schedule or stop vaccinating based on the irrational fears of a vocal, uninformed minority. And the socialist industry has in now way refuted this hypothesis. If it has lets have your information.You're right, the "socialist industry" hasn't refuted the hypothesis, because I don't know of any socialist industries. The hypothesis hasn't been supported (again, you seem to have the scientific method backwards) by its proponents, and the evidence is overwhelmingly against it. Here are a couple of good introductions to the evidence, but if you're actually interested, you can check out the book this post is about, or you can do a PubMed search and read the papers yourself.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Mercury is a nerve poison. Surely it is not necessary to have this nerve poison in the vaccines. Don't get me wrong. Vaccinations are about the coolest idea imaginable. Which makes the mistrust sewn by medical cartel pigheadedness even more unacceptable."It has turned out to be wrong."Here you are claiming that the hypothesis that immunisations, with mercury, or otherwise careless immunisation procedures have been proved not to be implicated in autism.Now many sensible and plausible-sounding hypotheses turn out to be wrong. There is nothing wrong with that. The Arrenhius hypothesis turned out to be wrong. But it was a sensible hypothesis in the first instance.And this idea that nerve poisons and an overload immunisations could possibly lead to problems like autism is a sensible hypothesis off the bat. But like most sensible hypotheses it can be proved wrong.But your claim is something other. You claim it HAS BEEN PROVED WRONG. So no extra prudence in immunisation procedures (totally necessary of course) is needed.I think you are lying. I don't think you have the evidence to prove this hypothesis wrong. And I think that if you try to we will find it is just more of the "burden of proof" antilogic that will handicap all your thinking until you resolve this occult epistemology you have got going.But fire away. Lets have your evidence.

  6. djfav says:

    I see the cancer has metastasized.

  7. Anonymous says:

    You claim to have the evidence. Lets have it. I went to your three links. I read about 14 studies. I saw no evidence.Maybe you could direct me to just ONE good study with sound logical inferences. See I don't think you don't have the evidence. I think you are going on the occult-epistemology of burden of proof alone.And I think Jim and his wife were really very logical.

  8. Bronze Dog says:

    Anonny: Mercury is a nerve poison. Surely it is not necessary to have this nerve poison in the vaccines.Everything is a poison. It's the dose that makes something toxic. And, of course, if you're that worried about mercury, you should give up milk and breastfeeding.Besides, there never was any "mercury" in vaccines. It was thimerosal, which contains a mercury atom. Table salt contains chlorine and sodium ions, but you don't see people identifying salt as an explosive metal or as a green poisonous gas.Also, didn't you get the memo? All the antivaxxers these days are blaming tiny amounts of aluminum, the third most common element in the Earth's crust, for autism. That, Children's Tylenol, tiny amounts of formaldehyde smaller than those naturally produced in the human body.They gave up on the mercury hypothesis when the removal of thimerosal in California required them to believe that Chinese crematoriums magically released exactly the right amount of stealth mercury into the atmosphere to exactly compensate for the amount removed with the ban meant to appease the conspiracy nuts. Well, that was how the explained the absolute lack of a decline in autism following the ban, which should have happened years ago.Perhaps you should try learning some grade school science instead of robotically repeating cliches.

  9. djfav says:

    Anon is provided evidence, denies the evidence, then demands more evidence. I'm seeing a pattern here…

  10. Anonymous says:

    Right thats a start. So you are saying that there is just a tiny amount of mercury that is being jacked into baby. Is that right?How much. And is it necessary. Can the immunisations be spaced out a bit more?Surely the answer is that they don't need the Mercury and the immunisations can be spaced out more and delayed a little bit.Now how much is not much Mercury in your view? How much are they Jacking into babies backsides?

  11. djfav says:

    Reading comprehension: You're doing it wrong.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Anyway I'm still waiting on this proof that the hypothesis has been disproven.Sans any illogic to do with burden of proof.The proof is not there is it?You guys are just making it up right. And you have mistaken the illogic of the burden of proof request for proof itself.

  13. djfav says:

    Anon demands evidence, yet fails to see how in doing he is asserting the burden of proof. And then there's that pattern I was noticing earlier…

  14. djfav says:

    I mean, he/she/it…

  15. Bronze Dog says:

    Wow, you're REALLY stupid, aren't you, Anonny?1. The thimerosal was removed.2. Do you seriously expect me to believe ALL chemistry is wrong and that an element and a compound that contains that element are the same thing? That's like telling me that apples fall up.3. The dose makes the poison. You act as if humans are simple toasters, and we're all made of simple on/off switches that react to the tiniest amount of stuff. You're doing the equivalent of worrying about a one-time paper cut while ignoring all the much, much larger hazards of everyday life.

  16. Anonymous says:

    "2. Do you seriously expect me to believe ALL chemistry is wrong and that an element and a compound that contains that element are the same thing? That's like telling me that apples fall up.3. The dose makes the poison. You act as if humans are simple toasters, and we're all made of simple on/off switches that react to the tiniest amount of stuff. You're doing the equivalent of worrying about a one-time paper cut while ignoring all the much, much larger hazards of everyday life."Right the dose makes the poison. And you now claim this stuff was taken out. No I agree with the above. The compound is the thing. Nonetheless we would want to be shown that any compound of mercury was quite safe. And not likely to break up into its constituent parts.Now you claim that this mercury-based compound was taken out? When? What replaced it? Was it taken out everywhere or just in one state?Now you say that the dosage is what counts. I agree with that. So how much was it?Now how about the immunisations. Is any age too early and is any combination too much in your view?Why not then give all 40 doses not long after the doctor slaps the baby and gets him to cry and breathe? Why not all 40?>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>So far no evidence that the hypothesis has been disproven.Lets have that evidence. The occult epistemology of burden of proof is not good enough.

  17. djfav says:

    You want evidence? Here.

  18. Anonymous says:

    So you don't have any evidence. You all are just skimming the issues. And you are not getting any evidence until such time as you are quits with this occult-epistemology of the burden of proof.Effectively it gives you the delusion of automatic knowledge. But knowledge is not automatic. It must be painstakingly hunted down. Convergent evidence must be found. And you guys aren't doing the hard yards because you think there is something in this burden of proof anti-logic.

  19. Bronze Dog says:

    Anonny:Right the dose makes the poison. And you now claim this stuff was taken out. No I agree with the above. The compound is the thing. Nonetheless we would want to be shown that any compound of mercury was quite safe. And not likely to break up into its constituent parts.1. You're free to get one of your camp to do the math with the tables in the back of a high school chemistry textbook.2. Even if the thimerosal was still there, it'd still require sorcery to defy the most basic principles of toxicology. Your camp has been utterly unable to provide any evidence beyond describing anecdotes on the hidden assumption that they possess infallible senses.And again, you completely misunderstand the concept of burden of proof. You claim there is a verifiable danger, but it's up to us to prove this magical, unspecified alchemical reaction doesn't happen?Of course, even if I were to prove the negative, you'd do just like so many others and invoke magical stealth mercury from invented sources that coincidentally rise with every ban on thimerosal.As for all this old, old news you keep asking for, I suggest you perform some searches at Respectful Insolence. I don't know a convenient index like the one I use for Creationists.Besides, you're now a fringe minority among anti-vaxxers. Aluminum, Children's Tylenol, and chemicals naturally produced in significantly larger amounts in the human body, chemicals that have been commonplace on Earth throughout human history, arbitrary "straw on the camel's back" limits on the antigen loads are all the current rage.They change the story every two weeks.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Hang on a minute Bronze Dog. Lets have your evidence. Right up front I said that there was a lot of stupidity on both sides of this argument.And remember also that I am pro-Vaccination. I also said that most hypotheses wind up not being true. Like the Arrenhius hypothesis for example.That being the case, nonetheless, this autism hypothesis is not to be discounted without evidence.So lets have it.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Anybody who says that I'm anti-vaccination is a liar. Vaccination I stress is about the coolest thing imaginable. A great lifesaver. And potentially even a bigger lifesaver than it already is.Now lets have that evidence we were after. And no more illogic and occult-epistemology to do with the burden of proof.In fact you don't have that evidence do you?

  22. Doubting Tom says:

    Mercury is a nerve poison. Surely it is not necessary to have this nerve poison in the vaccines.You're right, it's not necessary to have mercury in vaccines. Which is why no vaccine has ever contained mercury. What some vaccines (not, incidentally, the three-in-one MMR vaccine) have contained–and what no childhood vaccines have contained since 2001–is a preservative called thimerosal, which is an ethylmercury compound. Ethylmercury is eliminated from the body easily, does not bioaccumulate, and does not have adverse neurological effects; those traits belong to methylmercury compounds, which are chemically distinct. This distinction is the same as the one between ethyl alcohol, which makes you drunk, and methyl alcohol, which makes you blind. Even if thimerosal were a toxic methylmercury compound, it was given in such trace amounts that it would not have caused a toxic reaction. You get orders of magnitude more methylmercury from a seafood diet than you would from childhood vaccinations. But again, the point is moot, since thimerosal was removed from childhood vaccines eight years ago. As Bronze Dog pointed out, what you're saying is equivalent to "sodium is an explosive metal. Surely it is not necessary to have this explosive metal in children's food." The properties of substances depend on what they're bonded to. But your claim is something other. You claim it HAS BEEN PROVED WRONG. So no extra prudence in immunisation procedures (totally necessary of course) is needed.No, I'm saying that the hypothesis was never credible in the first place–it was based on the idea that autism is mercury poisoning (the conditions are very different) and that vaccines contain toxic levels of mercury (they don't–they don't even contain a toxic form of mercury). The proponents have shifted their claim repeatedly, to counter the evidence presented against them–they've ignored the repeated evidence that the apparent rise in autism is due to better diagnostic criteria–and have made the arguments more vague, moving to this unfalsifiable doctrine of "too much, too soon," which is nonsensical on its face, and demanding that changes be made to satisfy their ideology. The facts are that vaccines go through safety tests for years before they ever make it to children and that there is no evidence of a correlation between vaccination and autism. The prudent thing to do is to follow the evidence, not to put children at risk due to the unsupported fears of a group of self-interested quacks and ignorant loudmouths. If there were any credible evidence that vaccines carried the danger that McCarthy and her ilk claim, then their use would be suspended or discontinued. This is why the United States no longer uses the Oral Polio Vaccine, and it's why you can't get the 1976 Swine Flu vaccine anymore. When medical treatments present a credible risk that outweighs the benefits, we stop using them.

  23. Doubting Tom says:

    Maybe you could direct me to just ONE good study with sound logical inferences.See I don't think you don't have the evidence. I think you are going on the occult-epistemology of burden of proof alone.Once again, you don't understand science. There's no "one study" that proves anything one way or another; we have to look at the preponderance of evidence. I directed you toward sites that are introductions to the topic; I can't give you the full history of the antivaccine movement or present you with the perfect silver bullet paper demolishing the purported autism-vaccine connection. Part of the problem, obviously, is that you don't understand how science operates or what the null hypothesis is, and that's unfortunate. But you have unreasonable expectations, and you have no apparent desire to do any work yourself to find the answers. You can look to the vaccine court ruling, the CDC fact page on the subject, a few article abstracts I found with a quick search, or you could read through all the articles that show up under "vaccine, autism" on PubMed, but no one source is going to "prove" or "disprove" anything.And I think Jim and his wife were really very logical.You know what, I'm curious: what exactly do you think "logical" means, and how on earth do you think it's an adjective that can be applied to people? Surely the answer is that they don't need the Mercury and the immunisations can be spaced out more and delayed a little bit.If that were the answer, then it would be the policy. The CDC didn't pull the immunization schedule out of a hat. There's a reason we do it the way we do.Nonetheless we would want to be shown that any compound of mercury was quite safe.Right, which is why the safety of thimerosal was established through extensive testing–and at doses higher than what anyone would get from childhood vaccines–back in the 1920s. And even after that, even though it was chemically harmless, just to be safe they regulated it under the same rules as harmful, neurotoxic methylmercury. Once again, even though they'd already established that ethylmercury compounds, and thimerosal specifically, didn't present health hazards like methylmercury compounds, they limited the dosage for both under the same guidelines. So your dosage of ethylmercury would have been safe even if it were dangerous methylmercury. Now you claim that this mercury-based compound was taken out? When? What replaced it? Was it taken out everywhere or just in one state?Now you say that the dosage is what counts. I agree with that. So how much was it?What are we, Google? All this information is readily available. This FDA page seems pretty comprehensive.So far no evidence that the hypothesis has been disproven.Jesus tap-dancing Christ–hypotheses don't need to be disproven, they need to be supported. Science doesn't start by assuming a hypothesis is true and then set about knocking it down, it does the exact opposite.

  24. Bronze Dog says:

    Anonny:And remember also that I am pro-Vaccination.I've heard a line that goes along similar lines: "I'm not a racist, but…"You don't seem to realize that your premises would rule out all forms of medicine. All chemicals are toxins in the right amount.That being the case, nonetheless, this autism hypothesis is not to be discounted without evidence.A hypothesis raised without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.Now lets have that evidence we were after. And no more illogic and occult-epistemology to do with the burden of proof.Contradiction. "Let's not have the illogic of pointing out my logical fallacies."That's what you're saying. You want me to embrace logic by ignoring logic and one of the fundamental principles behind science. The absence of a danger is a null hypothesis. Science requires you falsify the null hypothesis with evidence. The burden of proof is on you. I need only point out the past failure of your hypothesis to predict anything.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I thought you said this hypothesis was proved wrong. Now you are going for the preponderance of evidence.And yet you won't come up with any evidence.So lets have some.You want me to think WOW. 14 STUDIES. PEER REVIEW. You want it to be a numbers game.I'd be happy with some evidence. Have you got any or not?Its just your burden of proof magic is it not?

  26. Doubting Tom says:

    Effectively it gives you the delusion of automatic knowledge. But knowledge is not automatic. It must be painstakingly hunted down. Convergent evidence must be found.No, the point of the burden of proof is that it requires claimants to do their own goddamn legwork. Science starts by assuming a hypothesis is false and then sets out to falsify that null hypothesis. If evidence is found to support the claim, then the null hypothesis is overturned and the positive hypothesis is accepted. Otherwise, the null hypothesis is supported. If the claim is accepted, then science looks to find further evidence to overturn it; the hypotheses which stand up to all our attempts to overturn them with evidence are the ones we accept. This is basic science; your claims that it is anti-logic and will be the death of science are utterly nonsensical, since "burden of proof" is how science operates. Which is why statements like this:That being the case, nonetheless, this autism hypothesis is not to be discounted without evidence.sound so stupid to anyone who knows anything about science. If a hypothesis has no evidence behind it, then scientific method dictates that we discount it. That's what the null hypothesis is: the automatic position of doubt or disbelief toward any new hypothesis. In order to accept the hypothesis, it must be supported by positive evidence; it's not up to anyone else to disprove it. Look, Anonymous, I don't think it's the job of anyone here to give you an education in basic logic and the scientific method, any more than it's the job of anyone here to do all your research for you on the subject of the discredited vaccine-autism link–especially since you're obviously unreceptive to any such education. If you'd rather be ignorant, fine, no one can change that. But if you really are interested in knowing, then you're not going to get anywhere with your ass-backwards idea of how science operates and your non-idea of what logic is, nor are you going to get anywhere by expecting everyone else to do your research for you. Learn a little about science, plug "vaccine" and "autism" into PubMed, read the CDC, EPA, and FDA websites on the subject, and come back when you have some idea what you're talking about, rather than just pretending you know things you clearly don't.

  27. Bronze Dog says:

    Thank you, Tom, for all the hotlinks I didn't feel like spoon feeding someone who thinks real science works like it does in the movies.

  28. Anonymous says:

    "Science requires you falsify the null hypothesis with evidence. The burden of proof is on you. "There is no null hypothesis in logic. There are merely contesting hypotheses.Nothing on this blog can ever be worthwhile if you don't get this right.Now we have an hypothesis. Both sides would seem to need to convergently falsify and convergently verify their hypotheses. Since there is no null hypothesis. There are contesting hypotheses.Now where is your evidence for your hypothesis?Thats what we were after. I'm quite happy with the idea that the other side may not have proved their case. I'm not worried about that side of things.But it seems that NO MATTER WHAT TOPIC IT IS you guys apparently don't feel you need to verify your occult knowledge. Why would you want to see Obama's documents for example. You already have this occult knowledge through your illogical understanding of the burden of proof business.

  29. Bronze Dog says:

    The big problem with everchanging, goal post moving conspiracy theories is that they require us to be psychic to be able to disprove their next ad hoc hypothesis.

  30. Bronze Dog says:

    There is no null hypothesis in logic. There are merely contesting hypotheses.So, you would require me to prove the NON-existence of unicorns?! Seriously?!

  31. Anonymous says:

    "No, the point of the burden of proof is that it requires claimants"There is NEVER once claimant to a disagreement.Now get your fucking act together on this matter of straight logic you fucking moron.The stupidity of you people is oppressive.Now do you have any evidence for your claims or not?If you don't have any SAY SO.

  32. Bronze Dog says:

    Anonny's getting desperate, trying to deny the fundamentals of logic.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Look you fucking morons. It is straight logic that there are always at least TWO HYPOTHESES to any of these debates.There is therefore no burden of proof. Not null hypothesis.So will you just get it together you fucking morons. Because you are incapable of any sound analysis whatsoever if you cannot get this right.Now notice how it is impossible for you to make good on this crap epistemology of yours.Prove the big bang?You don't feel you need to.Prove that there is evidence for the likelihood of catastrophic warming?You don't feel you need to. Yet once upon of time these two were just hypotheses also. And now you give them the burden of proof handicap but you cannot say why. There is no null hypothesis in any of these cases.

  34. Doubting Tom says:

    I thought you said this hypothesis was proved wrong.You thought wrong. Go ahead: find one place where I said that. You introduced the term "prove" into the discussion, and every use of the word "prove" in this entire thread has either been from you or in response to you. I have never said that the hypothesis has been "proved" one way or another–proof is for math. Science deals in evidence. Now you are going for the preponderance of evidence.I've always been talking about the preponderance of evidence. If you weren't constantly trying to stick words in my mouth, you might see that. And yet you won't come up with any evidence.Except all those pages from the FDA and CDC and the articles on PubMed and the NEJM and ScienceDirect. Other than that, no evidence.You want me to think WOW. 14 STUDIES. PEER REVIEW. Oh, I see. When you said you "read about 14 studies," you meant "I read the title of the blog post about the Fourteen Studies site." No, you dipshit, I want you to look at the published peer-reviewed articles, or at least their abstracts, and understand what the convergent evidence–as collected by the scientists writing those articles–says about the autism-vaccine link. I want you to read the CDC and FDA statements about vaccines and thimerosal, to see what the expert consensus is. What do you think evidence is? What form do you expect it to show up in, if not in the form of epidemiological studies and clinical trials? I'd be happy with some evidence. Have you got any or not?Its just your burden of proof magic is it not?So, in one sentence, you ask for evidence (which I have provided in droves). In the next sentence, you decry the principle of burden of proof, which is the practice of asking for evidence, like you just did in the sentence prior. Irony meter go boom.

  35. djfav says:

    Someone give this poor troll a copy of With Good Reason.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Just come up with some fucking evidence you fucking morons.As I said. Most hypotheses turn out wrong. Like the big bang hypothesis and the Arrenhius hypothesis it is simply a fact that most hypotheses turn out wrong.So this one also will likely turn out wrong.WHERE IS YOUR EVIDENCE The burden of proof handicap is not enough.

  37. Anonymous says:

    You talk about the preponderance of evidence yet in almost all cases YOU REFUSE TO COME UP WITH ANY.This is the same for all of you and in every single subject. I'm going to pick on this one because chances are its wrong. Whereas say in the global warming racket I know you to be wrong, the odds are on your side on this one. That being the case WHERE IS YOUR EVIDENCE….. GO!!!!!!

  38. Anonymous says:

    Always you are going to just skim the issues if you think you have this occult epistemology on your side.If you cannot find any evidence for this hypothesis you are touting try something you feel more familiar with.Try the big bang. Doubting Tom once claimed that the background warmth was evidence for the big bang.Yeah right. Real good evidence.You guys don't know what evidence is.

  39. djfav says:

    You wouldn't know evidence if it crawled up your ass and messaged you prostate.

  40. djfav says:

    Wow, typos…

  41. Anonymous says:

    Have you guys got it straight now. Always in any contention there are at least two positive hypotheses and almost no such animal as a null hypothesis.Once upon of time the big bang hypothesis was just a hypothesis.You guys, because of your stupidity and utter predictability are all big bang believers.I am not.Already there is two hypotheses there and no null hypothesis. No burden of proof.Now you have to get this right. Or your analysis is almost completely worthless.

  42. Doubting Tom says:

    There is no null hypothesis in logic. There are merely contesting hypotheses.Good thing we're talking about science, then, because there is a null hypothesis in science.Incidentally, I thought logic merely had contesting propositions or syllogisms. "Hypothesis" is a pretty science-specific term.But it seems that NO MATTER WHAT TOPIC IT IS you guys apparently don't feel you need to verify your occult knowledge.No, I just don't see the need to bother with a hypothesis if it isn't supported by any evidence–and particularly if it contradicts other evidence and observations. Again, basic science. It is straight logic that there are always at least TWO HYPOTHESES to any of these debates.There is therefore no burden of proof. Not null hypothesis.You. Are. Wrong. It doesn't matter how many four-letter words you stick in or how many assertions you make about whatever you think logic is, you are flat-out 100% wrong about how science operates. Prove the big bang?You don't feel you need to.No, we already have. The Big Bang was developed by extrapolating from observations and has been verified through further observations. This is how science operates. You don't feel you need to. Yet once upon of time these two were just hypotheses also.And now you give them the burden of proof handicap but you cannot say why.There is no null hypothesis in any of these cases.Yes, there were null hypotheses in each of these cases. The Big Bang hypothesis was in opposition to the null hypothesis of a steady-state universe with no beginning. The anthropogenic global warming hypothesis was in opposition to a null hypothesis of normal post-ice-age warming trends. Both null hypotheses were oveturned through collection of evidence in support of those positive hypotheses. This, again, is basic science. Look, Graeme, this isn't a forum for your logorrhea. Either begin reading for comprehension, or GTFO.

  43. Bronze Dog says:

    Unicorn Believer said:Look you fucking morons.It is straight logic that there are always at least TWO HYPOTHESES to any of these debates.Like "Unicorns exist" and "Unicorns don't exist."There is therefore no burden of proof. Not null hypothesis.Which means that instead of the Unicorn believers providing evidence of one unicorn to prove their point, we have to explore the entire universe throughout the entirety of time and space and not find one in order to be on equal ground with them?Geocentrist said:Prove the big bang?You don't feel you need to.The Big Bang is the best explanation for the expansion of the universe seen in all the long range telescopes, red shifting that is seen in distant galaxies, indicating distant ones move faster than closer ones. And this. The Big Bang predicted what we'd see in the CMBR with such precision that the error bars were barely even visible.And all you BB denialists offer as an alternative is dumb luck.Prove that there is evidence for the likelihood of catastrophic warming?You don't feel you need to. Yet once upon of time these two were just hypotheses also. I suppose next, you'll ask me to list every single fossil and mutation as evidence for evolution. How about you try looking it up instead of pretending to know what we think because you saw it in a bad sci-fi movie?And now you give them the burden of proof handicap but you cannot say why.There is no null hypothesis in any of these cases.You know precisely nothing about the scientific method, do you? You're the one asking for special exceptions to the needs of evidence.

  44. Doubting Tom says:

    Try the big bang. Doubting Tom once claimed that the background warmth was evidence for the big bang.Yeah right. Real good evidence.You guys don't know what evidence is.No, Graeme, it's you who doesn't know what evidence is. It's why you don't recognize that the legions of studies on PubMed, the specific linked studies about MMR and autism, and the statements by the CDC and FDA about vaccines constitute evidence and considered reports on evidence by relevant experts. If you aren't seeing the evidence, it's because you're deliberately ignoring it.As far as the Big Bang Theory, I've explained why and how the CMB serves as verifying evidence; your only objection to this is sarcasm, and you have offered no substance whatsoever to invalidate the scientific consensus on the matter. If your scoffing can be backed up, then do so, otherwise recognize that you're blowing hot air, and that your word means precisely dick when weighed against the cosmological consensus.

  45. Doubting Tom says:

    djfav: Graeme?Yes, through logical inference I have deduced that Anonytroll is Graeme Bird, who shat all over a comment thread at Skeptico a few months back with his ignorant word vomit.Of course, all he has to do to is prove that he's not Graeme Bird, because there is no null hypothesis in logic. I welcome the attempt.

  46. Bronze Dog says:

    I must have missed that one. Last time I saw Graeme was years ago, and far more generic, rather than this weird ass "all claims are completely equal in terms of logic" hippie shit.Wonder if Unicornism is going to be the next topic.

  47. Anonymous says:

    "The Big Bang is the best explanation for the expansion of the universe seen in all the long range telescopes…"This is not true. Its no explanation at all and no-one see rapid and accelerating expansion when they look through these telescopes.NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER THERE. "red shifting that is seen in distant galaxies, indicating distant ones move faster…."It indicates no such thing."… than closer ones. And this. The Big Bang predicted what we'd see in the CMBR…."The big bang made no such prediction. Everyone made that prediction. And the bangers didn't get the prediction with any precision rather they cocked it up…."….. with such precision that the error bars were barely even visible….."A total ahistorical lie.So you see you have no evidence at all for the big bang. Yet you believe it. And only because you have decided to take on board for yourself the illogical handicap of the idea of the burden of proof.In the view of every mindless bully-boy advocate of the intellectual status quo, in matters big and small, and in every constituent part, the burden of proof always is on their side IN DEFIANCE OF THE LAWS OF LOGIC.This is occult-epistemology.

  48. Anonymous says:

    "As far as the Big Bang Theory, I've explained why and how the CMB serves as verifying evidence; "No it doesn't. You are lying. It was predicted by everyone prior to the big bang ideology being locked in. the bangers never made accurate predictions. So its yet another logic fail on your part.And how do you get these matters of logic wrong all the time?Its because you always appropriate for yourself the burden of proof intellectual handicap in defiance of logic. This is a worthless blog Tom. And your influence for your entire life will be bad for the kids you teach, unless you can learn logic. Instead of teach how to defy it.

  49. Anonymous says:

    "No, we already have. The Big Bang was developed by extrapolating from observations and has been verified through further observations. This is how science operates. "The Big Bang is the ultimate embarrassment of science. No such verification exists. Rather it has been falsified continually. When it was discovered that their observations implied that the universe was expanding at an accelerating rate that ought to have been the end of the theory right there. That amounted to a falsification right there. And if red shift occurs with great distance this would imply merely a fairly leisurely expansion. But they simply invented dark energy to plug this expansion. So there is no evidence for this lie. Its the ultimate in unscience. And why do you accept it? Simply because you reject logic. And you always think that every part of your argument has the burden of proof on its side.You ought not be let anywhere near the kids. You are going to be teaching them endless idiocy. Like the burden of proof unlogic and the global warming unscience.For this reason you cannot be seen as capable of teaching anything.

  50. Anonymous says:

    I SEZThere is nothing wrong with the vaccines autism hypothesis.DUMMY SEZExcept that it's based on flawed reasoning and is contradicted by the evidence. SO I SEZ.Lets have that evidence then. How many vaccines at once you think baby can take? How about all 40? Vaccines work through placing some stress on baby. Will 40 vaccines be fine if 3 is OK? And where is that evidence clearing multiple vaccines from being implicated in autism.Supposing you are making lets say cake-mix in industrial quantities. And your ingredients come from all over the world. You test the batches and they check out. But they keep getting sent back by the customer. They send samples back with their complaints. You check them and the cakes come out bad.Now considering it can be the test kitchen operators screwing it up, it can be a problem with any part of the plant, with anyone of the constituent ingredients……….. Well your peoples taxeater-based unscience and the burden of proof would just get in the way of the discovery process.If one fellow blamed the test kitchen operators and another camp blamed themselves, and every party claimed for themselves the burden of proof, then you'd have what you have in all taxeater science. You'd have what you had in the global warming racket. And you could never use reason and logic to dig yourself out of this whole. The company would go under. In the taxeater example you just go after a bigger government research grant.So you see your anti-logic is pretty much inherent to taxeating. But it cannot work in the real world.And I think we will find that pretty much all of you arguing in this illogical fashion are taxeaters.

  51. Bronze Dog says:

    So, let's get this straight, I reference common knowledge about what we see in telescopes, and Graeme can only think to say, "Nuh-uh!"I reference a specific prediction about the CMB made by the Big Bang, and Graeme makes up a fiction about that radiation being predicted by unspecified other theories. Tell me, where did Steady State make such a prediction?Yet you believe it. And only because you have decided to take on board for yourself the illogical handicap of the idea of the burden of proof.Translation: Graeme believes that the entirety of the scientific method is false and illogical.In the view of every mindless bully-boy advocate of the intellectual status quo, in matters big and small, and in every constituent part, the burden of proof always is on their side IN DEFIANCE OF THE LAWS OF LOGIC.This is occult-epistemology.Says the Unicorn-Believer. Says the person who believes the fundamentals laws of logic are illogical. Says the person who believes everything we know about chemistry and toxicology is wrong.You're the occultist, here, Graeme. Your "logic" is incapable of concluding that Unicorns don't exist.The Big Bang is the ultimate embarrassment of science. No such verification exists. Rather it has been falsified continually. For a theory to be accepted, it has to explain all the known facts and be contradicted by none. Name one fact in the universe that falsifies the Big Bang.When it was discovered that their observations implied that the universe was expanding at an accelerating rate that ought to have been the end of the theory right there. That amounted to a falsification right there. And if red shift occurs with great distance this would imply merely a fairly leisurely expansion.Wow, you're illiterate. The red shift is how we know the universe's expansion is accelerating. But then again, I suppose you're going to say that telescopes are a lie. Dark energy is a bit of a place holder, but at least it explains the data, whereas you reject the data.And why do you accept it? Simply because you reject logic. And you always think that every part of your argument has the burden of proof on its side.Said by someone who thinks science operates on the principle of modern "journalism". In other words, that it's up to the A-unicornists to explore the entire universe to prove the non-existence of unicorns.For this reason you cannot be seen as capable of teaching anything.Said by someone who obviously believes that reality is relative, evidence is a lie, and that Hollywood is the holy land of science.And where is that evidence clearing multiple vaccines from being implicated in autism.Where's the evidence incriminating them? Science is like a court of law in one way: The burden of proof is on the prosecution. Otherwise you'd enforce the status quo by forcing anyone who doubts anything to explore the entirety of the universe to prove the non-existence of something.You test the batches and they check out. But they keep getting sent back by the customer. They send samples back with their complaints. You check them and the cakes come out bad.How exactly is this supposed to be analogous? Analogies have to be analogous in order to illustrate a point.If one fellow blamed the test kitchen operators and another camp blamed themselves, and every party claimed for themselves the burden of proof, then you'd have what you have in all taxeater science. You'd have what you had in the global warming racket. And you could never use reason and logic to dig yourself out of this whole. The company would go under. In the taxeater example you just go after a bigger government research grant.Translation: Science and logic are hard! WAAAAAH! Therefore blind faith is better!Your approach would never have allowed for the existence of cake factories because we'd all be busy looking for unicorns.

  52. Doubting Tom says:

    Graeme: Things are not made true just because you assert them to be. "Logic" does not mean "whatever I think must obviously be the case." This is not true. Its no explanation at all and no-one see rapid and accelerating expansion when they look through these telescopes.This is nothing more than "nuh-uh." If you have some science to back up your denial of the Doppler effect, please provide it. Otherwise, kindly go fuck yourself.The big bang made no such prediction. Everyone made that prediction. And the bangers didn't get the prediction with any precision rather they cocked it up….This is baseless assertion. Give some historical evidence for this claim, or kindly go fuck yourself.So you see you have no evidence at all for the big bang.No, I see that you are a petulant child who thinks he can remake reality by stomping his feet and crying loudly enough.In the view of every mindless bully-boy advocate of the intellectual status quo, in matters big and small, and in every constituent part, the burden of proof always is on their side IN DEFIANCE OF THE LAWS OF LOGIC.Please provide a description of these laws of logic and how any scientific theory defies them, or kindly go fuck yourself.No it doesn't. You are lying. It was predicted by everyone prior to the big bang ideology being locked in.Please provide a citation, or kindly go fuck yourself.This is a worthless blog Tom.Your posts have been nothing more than worthless, utterly useless assertions and insults. You'll forgive me if I don't assign much weight to your opinion.And your influence for your entire life will be bad for the kids you teach, unless you can learn logic. This is rich, coming from you, since you throw around the word logic in so many ways and with so much weight that it's abundantly clear that you have no idea what it means. Tell us what you think logic actually is, Graeme, or kindly go fuck yourself. The Big Bang is the ultimate embarrassment of science. No such verification exists. Rather it has been falsified continually.Provide a citation, please, or kindly go fuck yourself.And if red shift occurs with great distance this would imply merely a fairly leisurely expansion.Please elaborate on this, or kindly go fuck yourself.But they simply invented dark energy to plug this expansion. So there is no evidence for this lie.God damn, but you're an idiot. "Dark energy" is a placeholder name assigned to an observed phenomenon! What do you mean there's "no evidence" for it? Dark energy isn't even an explanation, it's just a label placed on the observed evidence of the accelerated expansion of the universe! Once again, you've got the science entirely backward; it's not that the scientists drew up some dark energy theory and said "great, now all we need is some evidence." They said "the evidence shows an acceleration, we're going to have to come up with an explanation for it. Until we come up with a good explanation, though, let's give the phenomenon a catchy name so we can talk about it more easily." Lets have that evidence then.And I says: Go look it up yourself, dumbass. Here are some links. And you sez "I don't understand what these little blue words with the underlining mean, I want some magical form of evidence that is perfect and unambiguous and doesn't require me to read big words written by experts and researchers."

  53. Doubting Tom says:

    How about all 40? Vaccines work through placing some stress on baby.No, they don't. Vaccines work by introducing attenuated or dead whole viruses, or benign viral antigens into a person's bloodstream, so that they develop antibodies in response. The "stress" is far less significant than one receives by being exposed to actual live viruses and bacteria, as a baby is every moment outside of the womb. The reason the vaccine schedule is the way it is, as I linked before, is based on: "age-specific risks for disease, age-specific risks for complications, ability of persons of a certain age to respond to the vaccine, and potential interference with the immune response by passively transferred maternal antibody. Vaccines are recommended for members of the youngest age group at risk for experiencing the disease for whom efficacy and safety have been demonstrated."Also, some of those forty shots you keep talking about, assuming you have the numbers right, are booster shots. Tell me, what sense does it make to give a booster shot–designed to reinforce the immune response and to kickstart a response in anyone who didn't have one to the initial shot–at the same time as the first shot?And where is that evidence clearing multiple vaccines from being implicated in autism.There is no evidence to implicate vaccines in autism in the first place. Even so, there is plenty of evidence against. The vaccine court rulings are based on a consideration of said evidence, and might make a good jumping-off point for investigation, if you're so inclined. So might a PubMed search, like the one I linked earlier. But if you're unwilling to do even the smallest bit of your own research, then of course you're not going to find anything out. But since your data collection methodology apparently amounts to "flinging insults and throwing a temper tantrum," I have a feeling that your ignorance will continue unabated. The rest of your post is abject nonsense, not even deserving of this response. I, and everyone else here, have offered you information and citations to correct your arrogant ignorance. You have offered nothing to support your claims outside of bald assertion and abuse. You have one last post to provide some evidence or demonstrate that you've been able to do any of your own research (and I've made it easy for you), and then I'm moderating comments. So put up, or kindly go fuck yourself.

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