Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Are YOU what you eat?

Sometimes woo sites do encourage you to do stuff that is good for you, but they encourage you in the wrong way. An example of this would be this pic from Raw for Beauty:
While in a technical sense this is true because your cells are made from what you eat, but this is done through a complex chemical process where chemical components are broken down in your digestive system and then used by your body's cells. By the time these chemical components reaches your cells they no longer resemble anything that you've eaten and whatever is left is discarded in your poop and pee.

So, does this mean you can eat whatever you want? No.

Eating fatty and greasy foods is not good for you, nor is not exercising, which is what the picture is trying to convey, but it's overshadowed by the woo above, but the what the second sentence says is correct because if all you eat is junk food then all you'll have is a junk body.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Dude... you're not helping your cause.

Sometimes fundamentalist Christians say the dumbest things. Sometimes they don't. And sometimes they hold up signs saying the dumbest things:
I know this guy is trying to make Satan look bad, but he's doing a horrible job at it.

With the exception of witchcraft, which is just another religious belief that can be as irrational as fundamentalist Christianity, none of those things are bad to learn about and should be taught to all children, with the exception of sexuality which should probably be taught to a teenager rather than a child as a child would probably be to young to understand and might even get a bit freaked out by some of the thing you're talking about.

There is nothing wrong with teaching a kid about evolution either as evolution is science and all children should learn about science of all types, even ones that certain highly religious do not believe in.

As for psychology I can't imagine why even fundamentalist Christian would want a child to not learn about how the mind works, unless they are a fundamentalist Christian that thinks that all psychological issues are the result of demonic possession.

Regardless, this guy is not helping his cause. He's hurting it... badly.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Richard Gage was on C-SPAN. Why?

Richard Gage, the founder of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth was on C-SPAN the other day, and my only question is why was he on there? There's really no reason for him to be on there at all.

Anyways, the first thing he claimed was that only three buildings were destroyed. This is false.

All of the buildings there were several damaged to the point where they had to be razzed due to debris from WTC 1 & 2 hitting them. The reason why 9/11 truthers continue to insist that only three buildings were destroyed that day is because that's all we saw that were destroyed.

The second thing he claimed is that there is evidence of a controlled demolition, especially with WTC 7. This is not true. We know how WTC 7 collapsed. It's a result of the lower floors being heavily damaged by falling debris and the tower being on fire for several hours. The combination of this caused the structure to collapse on it's own, and in a way that looked like a controlled demolition for most people.

He then goes on for several minutes about how WTC 7 is a smoking gun, which as I explained is not true. He also claims that most people don't know WTC 7. This maybe true, but I imagine that most people are more focused on the WTC 1 & 2, and the nearly 3,000 people that died in those towers, and not the zero amount of people that died in WTC 7.

He also continued to insist that the towers came down due to thermite charges, but if this was true then how come they didn't go off immediately when those two jets hit the towers, because those towers clearly began to collapsed at the impact sites? Also it would take an awful lot of thermite to actually cut through those steal beams.

The only logical answer is that there was no thermite charges there and that the towers collapsed as a result of massive structural damage due to the jets hitting them and jet fuel fueled fires weakening the steal beams holding the towers up.

C-SPAN should not have given Gage any time because not only is he just spouting off the same debunked BS that the 9/11 truth movement has been spouting off for years, it also gives the 9/11 truth movement and his group a false sense of legitimacy.

It also keeps a conspiracy theory that needs to die alive.

P.S. before anyone says anything about his group's 2200 members I feel I need to remind you that not everyone in his group is an architect or engineer, and even if everyone in that group was an architect or engineer it still wouldn't mean anything because they are less than 1% of all of the architects and engineers in the US.

Friday, August 1, 2014

So why aren't they lining up to treat the Ebola outbreak

Recently @rayne_2 of Insufferable Intolerance tweeted something that should make a person think "so why aren't you people doing something if you believe your so called medicine works?"
Now I did check their website, and yes they aren't there.

I even did a check on the site's search bar for both "ebola" and "Africa" just to make sure, and I came up with nothing. Infact they've never been to Africa as far as I can tell.

So why aren't these people over in West Africa along with Doctors Without Borders?

I'm aware that these people are just pushing water and sugar pills, and that it's best that they not be there and get in the way of real doctors who are there to combat this disease, but the fact that they shouldn't be there has never stopped pushers of alternative medicine before from going where they are not wanted.

I could go to their contact page and ask them why they aren't there, but I probably wouldn't get an answer.

This should make one ask themselves that if homeopathic medicine works, as practitioners claim that it does, then why aren't these people over in West Africa right now helping "treat" the people that have been infected with Ebola and suffering?

It's not like it would be hard to push homeopathic medicine on the people over there since most of them are already using alternative medicine in an attempt to treat ebola infections.

Perhaps they just don't want to risk getting infected with Ebola and dying, which is exactly what the real doctors over there are doing right now. Risking their lives to help others.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Using fluoride bans to push other nonsense

Today on Facebook The Industry of Stupid posted what I consider to be a pretty ridicules screen shot:
(Let it noted that TIOS doesn't endorse this, they just posted it to show off some peoples' stupidity)

The first sentence says there has been some controversy over adding synthetic fluoride to water supplies, and sadly this is true. What they are claiming is that there has not been enough controversy. Many others would say differently and say that it's been to much controversy, and that there shouldn't be any controversy at all because the amount of fluoride added to most water systems is in such low doses that you would have to drink over three times as much water as the recommend daily intake inorder to ingest enough fluoride for it to be toxic to you.

Odds are you would probably die of water poisoning before you would die of fluoride poisoning if just from drinking water.

The sentence says that water fluoridation is a serious issue. This is somewhat true, but only in the financial sense and whether or not water fluoridation is worth the cost. All other concerns are are the result of not understanding the science behind water fluoridation, as well as fear induced paranoia brought on by conspiracy theories and junk science regrading water fluoridation.

The last sentence states that fluoride, along with GMOs and vaccines rank among the "greatest crimes against humanity".

Besides the fact that these two things have nothing to do with water fluoridation, this isn't simply not true, it's actually quite the opposite.

Both GMOs and vaccines are not only safe, they have also been two of the most beneficial things for humanity by decreasing starvation and decreasing one's chances of dieing from an infectious disease.

Not only is this person trying to push the made up controversies surrounding water fluoridation, they are also trying to couple this with the made up controversies surrounding GMOs and vaccines to make it sound like they are all the same in a sense.

The only thing these things have in common is the fact that people believe they are bad for you and that they are part of some conspiracy, as well as the fact they all have been beneficial to our overall health.

Last, the picture in the screen shot itself claims that 98% of all European counties ban water fluoridation. This is not accurate. Most places in Europe do not ban water fluoridation, they just choose not too.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

(Pseudo)Science Proves Hugging Trees Is Good for (nothing) Health

Yesterday I saw an article from a website called Earth We Are One that claimed that hugging a tree can be good for our health (read the article here).

Obviously I am skeptical of this, and with a very good reason.

First, the title alone makes it sound like trees can affect your physical health, but in the third paragraph it clearly states that all it affects is your mental health (with the exception of headaches), particularly mental illnesses, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), concentration levels, reaction times, and depression, and that they can do all this through altering your "vibrations".

While being around and touching a tree might affect you mental health and help you with all the things stated, the effects are only temporary and can be achieved through other means, such as meditation or listening to soft music.

In other words hugging a tree is nothing more than a placebo, and doesn't alter your vibrations because the vibrations that are being talked about do not exist.

As for being able alleviate headaches, headaches tend to go away on there own, but a person can make a headache go away faster if they put themselves in a relaxing situation, which I imagine being near a tree and away from other stresses can do for a person, but the tree itself is not doing anything to help you, it's all you.

Second, there are only two references in the entire article, and neither one are even close to being reliable.

The first one is a site called Blinded By Science, which is a website created to sale a book that is nothing more than a bunch of New Age woo coupled with pseudoscience.

The author of the book, Matthew Silverstone, is not a scientist. It clearly states so in his "about" section, and that he has no scientific or medical degrees, just ones in economics and international business.

The second reference is from Natural News...

Besides the fact that the part that the article is referencing Natural News is talking about water vibration, which has nothing to do with what is being discussed, the Natural News article itself is pretty much just a rewritten version of the article from Earth We Are One, and it also only has links to two other sources: Natural News and Blinded By Science.

Plus, it's Natural News, the worst "science" website out there. Referencing it in any way other than to show why you shouldn't reference it would for most people automatically invalidate whatever it is you're talking about.

The third and final thing that stuck out to me is that the article talked about how other studies confirmed that hugging trees are good for you.

While this sounds goods and makes it seem like there may be something to this tree hugging thing, the problem is that there are no links to these so called studies. There should be atleast a few on there because the article claims that there are "countless" studies confirming tree hugging is good for you, but the only two references on there are from non-reliable sources.

This is nothing more than a mixer of pseudoscience and New Age woo, and despite it's claim it has no science proving that tree hugging does anything for you beyond the placebo effect.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Another reason not to like Jenny McCarthy

I have plenty of reasons not to like Jenny McCarthy, what with her pseudo-scientific belief that vaccines are toxic and causes autism (both of which have not only been proven false, but are also based off of fraudulent research) which due to her "activism" in spreading this belief scared millions of parents into not vaccinating their kids, which has also caused measles to return to the United States. But now I have another reason to dislike her: She's a dangerous driver.

During her new Sirius XM radio show (why do people keep giving her jobs despite of all the damage she has caused) she brought up some "amusing" stories about how her son calls the police on her... a lot.

One of the stories she told was that her son called 911 on her because she went outside to smoke (and for some reason she thinks she is qualified to give health advice) and he thought she had abandoned him, and she had to explain what happened to the 911 operator.

Now she might find that funny, and I'm sure some people might find that story funny too, but I don't because her son was probably terrified the whole time.

This ofcourse is forgivable as her son was never in any danger.

But then she also talked about another incident involving her son calling 911 on her that one person on my Skeptic Wars Facebook page commenting on this story so adequately put it, "it appears that potentially killing innocent people because of her selfish entitlement extends beyond her antivax idiocy."

The story goes is that she was texting while driving while her son was in the car. That is dangerous as heck in itself and shows how little she cares about others as she is willing to put her son and other people in danger just so she can send a text message to someone while getting to where ever she is going on time.

Her son, showing that he is clearly the smarter and more responsible of the two, called the police on her.

So, what was Jenny's reaction you might ask? Pull over? Stop texting?

Nope, she grabbed her son's phone and threw it out the window!

She was doing something while driving that is as dangerous as driving drunk, her son does the right thing and calls the cops on her, and she prevents him from doing so.

Not only did she pretty much punish him for doing the right thing (she took his phone away), but she probably scared the heck out of him.

So, still think she is someone to take advice on anything, let alone health advice from?

Source: Mediaite

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Mike Adams crossed the line, and in a way that can't be ignored.

In terms of moral and ethical boundaries Mike Adams is well known for crossing the line often with his promotion of dangerous pseudoscience and disgusting conspiracy theories, as well as calling anyone that promotes real science, debunks his claims, or criticizes him a shill. He also says some other pretty horrible things about his critics (most of the time this is ignored because none of his critics really cares what he says about them, they're just more concerned over what he promotes and how he influences people), and in the case of Jon Entine, threatens to sue them.

A few days ago he crossed another line, and this one may just get him thrown in prison.

On his main website, Natural News, Adams wrote an article that can be best described as endorsing and encouraging the murder of anyone that supports Monsanto and the biotech industry in general (read his article here).

To quote his article:

"Monsanto collaborators who have signed on to accelerate heinous crimes being committed against humanity under the false promise of 'feeding the world' with toxic GMOs."


"that it is the moral right — and even the obligation — of human beings everywhere to actively plan and carry out the killing of those engaged in heinous crimes against humanity."

That pretty much says it all. He is saying that people that support GMO foods and the biotech industry should be killed, and that it is justifiable to do so.

He later went on to say that:

"For the record, in no way do I condone vigilante violence against anyone, and I believe every condemned criminal deserves a fair trial and a punishment that fits the crime. Do not misinterpret this article as any sort of call for violence, as I wholly disavow any such actions. I am a person who demands due process under the law for all those accused of crimes."

Yet those two lines, plus the title, Biotech genocide, Monsanto collaborators and the Nazi legacy of ‘science’ as justification for murder, clearly shows he means otherwise.

He then "endorsed" a website call Monsanto Collaborators which has a list of people that are claimed to be "collaborators" with Monsanto. Not surprising the people on this list are critics of his.

A day later in a poor attempt to do damage control (and perhaps avoid law enforcement investigating him) he went on to denounce Monsanto Collaborators, and not unexpectedly claimed it was a "shill" website meant to defame the anti-GMO movement. This denouncement looked not only very suspicious, but also makes one wonder why he would endorse such a website in the first place.

This denouncement means nothing, mostly because of his endorsement of killing GMO supporters, but also because evidence has pointed towards him as being the person in-charge of that website (read here and here) or at the very least being involved with it. This should be pretty obvious too considering the fact that everyone mention on the "collaborators" list are, as I said before, huge critics of his.

Mike Adams has been receiving a lot of criticism over the past couple of month, starting with his obvious attempt to intimidate Jon Entine to get him to retract an article that criticized him by threatening to sue Entine, as well as him intimidating Forbes to take down said article (you can still read the article here) to criticism of his appearance on Dr. Oz, to other random everyday criticisms of him.

Despite this criticism of him, all of which has been brought onto him by his own behavior as well as endorsement of dangerous pseudoscience and promotion of conspiracy theories, he has no right to make threats like this. Doing this will get you in trouble with law enforcement, and it does appear he is being investigated by the FBI.

The best way to counter criticism is by making good arguments with logic and evidence. Mike Adams does none of that. He just makes wild accusations and calls anyone that criticizes him a shill.

Update: Mike Adams has done some "cleaning up" of his original article by deleting certain parts that could be considered death threats. How ever, the original article can still be read here.

Special thanks to This Week in Pseudoscience for the link.

Monsanto Collaborators is also down due to "Bandwidth allocation exceeded", but you can still see the site here.

You can also read more about this situation here at Genetic Literacy Project.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Can't tell if dumb bigots... or trolling (actually, I'm pretty sure it's trolling)

A few days ago while lurking around one of several skeptic Facebook groups that I belong too I came across this article from a website called Pink News.

The article was in concern over a flyer that was being posted around Clintonville, Ohio for... well, you can see for yourself:
Yes... you're reading that right. It's a flyer for a Straight White Guy Festival.

Now, I know many of you are probably thinking "this can't be real, right"?

Well it could be real because despite our society's advances in the field of race relations, there are still racist people in this country, but I don't think it's real, and I have several reasons why I believe this is so.

Lets take a look at what is not on this flyer that most would have had.

First, there's no contact information of any kind on these flyers.

Most racist groups would have placed on such a flyer either a mailing address, or a phone number, or an e-mail address. At the very least they would have put a website name on there inorder to help promote their group if they were unwilling to place on the flyer direct contact information.

The second thing that caught my eye is that the flyer doesn't say who is putting on and sponsoring this festival.

Any racist or bigoted group that was putting on and sponsoring such an event would not have left their name off. Most hate groups want people to know that they are sponsoring such an event in hopes of recruiting people into their group.

At the very least they would have put the name of a front group on the flyer in an attempt to hide who is really organizing this so called festival, while at the same time trying to recruit new members.

Now lets take a look at what the flyer does say on it.

First is the title of this "event" Straight White Guy Festival.

The name of this alleged festival looks more like something a dumb college frat boy would have created and doesn't realize that this sort of thing is racist and bigoted as hell, rather than a person that is part of a racist and bigoted group.

Now before anyone says it I'm very well aware that bigots are not known for their intelligence, but atleast they would try to come up with something a little more creative than that.

Second thing I noticed about the flyer was that it contradicted itself.

The flyer says "Come help us celebrate our enjoyment of being straight white and male" but it also says "Everyone welcome".

If this festival is intended for straight white males then how come the flyer is also saying that anyone who is not straight, white, or male can attend?

A racist and bigoted group would never have put "Everyone welcome" on such a flyer. They either would have put nothing on there, or they would have made it very clear that only straight white males would have been allowed to attend (or atleast straight white people).

The final thing about this flyer that leads me to believe that someone is trolling in real life is that while there is a location for this "festival", a date, a time, and that beer will be available, according to WBNS-10TV no permits have been taken for such a festival, and while I'm not sure of the local laws concerning festivals at local parks, most places would make you apply for a permit to hold such an event, and to sell beer at it.

Taking all these things into consideration I can only come to the conclusion that this is some kind of joke.

I'm not sure if the person that created these flyers intended on them being racist or anti-racist, but it's still pretty offensive either way.

Ofcourse it could be real and some racist group is intending to hold a festival without getting or knowing they have to get permits first, as well as not knowing how to make a proper flyer.

If they have their festival they'll find out the hard way that you need to have the proper permits.

Friday, July 18, 2014

5 Things I've noticed about... Truthers

Truther, a term that came from the 9/11 Truth movement, but has become more than just an ironic and demeaning term for 9/11 conspiracy theorists.

A Truther can be someone believes in conspiracy theories other than the 9/11 conspiracy theories.

With this in mind I've taken a look at these people, and while I've noticed alot of traits about them, I've narrowed it down to about five different things.

So here are five things I've noticed about Truthers:

5. It's a broad and encompassing term.

For most people when they hear the word "Truther" they think of someone whom is apart of the 9/11 Truth movement, or just someone whom believes the myth that the US government, or Israel, or the Illuminati committed the 9/11 attacks. While this is true, "Truther" has become a more broad term and could include not just a member of the 9/11 Truth movement, but any conspiracy theory.

What a Truther really is is a type of conspiracy theorist that both claims they want to know the truth about a conspiracy theory, and then claims they already know what the truth is, but in reality it's anything but the truth.

Think of this type of person as someone whom asks you where the nearest large body of water is and you tell them that there is a pond 100 feet behind them, but they don't believe you and then tell you that nearest large body of water is two miles away, despite the fact that the pond is clearly behind them, and all they would have to do is turn around to see it. Even if they do turn around they'll just insist that it's not really a large body of water.

That's another thing about Truthers...

4. They keep "Moving the Goalposts".

For anyone who has had a "conversation" with a Truther type of conspiracy theorist you probably already know what I'm talking about, but for those who don't I'll explain.

Truthers, when confronted with evidence and/or logical arguments that contradicts or disproves their conspiracy theories, will often claim that what is being presented to them is not enough evidence to disprove what they are claiming isn't true, or that the evidence that you are presenting to them isn't true, and in either case they will claim to need more.

When a skeptic gets into an argument with a Truther and they start doing this a person like myself will usually determine that either the Truther is too dumb to realize what they are doing, or too deluded to realize what they are doing, or are in serious denial and are trying to hold on to what they believe or want to believe is real, but somewhere in their minds they know they're wrong.

Besides just "Moving the Goalposts" another tactic that Truthers like to use is...

3. They call everyone that disagrees with them a shill.

Truthers are under the assumption that they are right, and that everyone else who does not agree with is wrong. For those that continue to insist that the Truther is wrong then the Truther just seems to naturally assume the skeptic is either a sheep that has not "woken up" to "the truth" (their truth mind you) or someone who is being paid to say what they are saying.

Accusing someone of being a shill will often leave many skeptics to question whether or not a Truther seriously believes that a person is a shill, or if they're calling someone a shill as a way to avoid having to address the evidence and logic that a skeptic brings up.

Skeptics are not the only people get accused of being a shill. Truthers accuse each other of being shills, usually over a disagreement about who committed a "conspiracy", how they did it, and for what reason.

Most people would think that with two Truthers, despite their disagreement over how it was done, who did it, and for what ever reason a conspiracy took place, that they would show some unity, but they don't. Infact...

2. They're often aggressive with each other.

To a skeptic watching a Truther try to argue with another Truther can be the most hilarious thing to watch. Not only do these arguments show that their is no solidarity among Truthers of a certain conspiracy theory, but they also seem to try to one up each other in bogus and false claims, as well as sheer insanity.

Ofcourse this only happens with two Truthers that are near or equally aggressive. If one Truther is a newbie or just not as near aggressive as the Truther they get into an argument with, the aggressive Truther can be very domineering as well as very intimidating, and could cause some people to leave a Truther movement, or cause others to form their own Truther movement, or try to force that one aggressive Truther out (but this rarely happens).

The probable reasons why some Truthers are so aggressive towards other Truthers is that they are trying to weed out the weak (a sort of Truther hazing as some might see it) or they're trying to "identify" possible "shills", or they could just so seriously believe that their conspiracy theory is correct that they feel they must do what ever it takes to prevent the spreading of false information by others, including fellow Truthers.

Then there are just those that are naturally aggressive towards others and probably have some serious mental health issue.

Regardless of whether they are arguing with a fellow Truther or a skeptic a Truther will always do this one thing...

1. They will always bring up the same stuff that they think is evidence.

Regardless of whether or not a Truther will keep moving the goalpost on someone, or call them a shill, or just get really aggressive with another person, they will always use the same discredited arguments, and use the same debunked evidence that they believe is real evidence.

The arguments a Truther will make concerning any conspiracy theory are as predictable as phases of the Moon, and the reason I say that is like phases of the Moon they constantly repeat themselves over and over again.

Sometimes the arguments that they make are so common and in lock step that we skeptics know what a Truther is going to say before the Truther says it.

I guess that's the way of the Truther. Keep making the same debunked arguments over and over, while at the same time denying any real evidence.

Maybe we shouldn't call them Truthers. Maybe we should call them "Mythers"? Or liars.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

5 Things I've noticed about... Andrew Wakefield

In 1998 then Doctor Andrew Wakefield published a study in the medical journal The Lancet that claimed that the MMR vaccine causes autism, which was later found to be not true but still lead to a worldwide increase of measles cases, and in the end destroyed Wakefield's career.

There are many things that I've noticed about Andrew Wakefield (none of them good) and I've come up with about five different things.

So here are five things I've noticed about Andrew Wakefield:

5. He committed a terrible fraud.

I'm sure that everybody is aware that his aforementioned "study" was retracted in 2010 by The Lancet after a long investigation by the British Medical Journal and journalist Brian Deer. The investigation showed that not only had he manipulated the data in his study, it also found that he had patented his own measles vaccine a year before publishing his study, and that the study was funded by lawyers who sued vaccine manufactures.

To better understand how Wakefield manipulated the data in his study, please watch this video by Youtube science vlogger C0nc0rdance:
As awful as his fraud was it would not have been as bad as it became if it wasn't for the fact that so many people took his study seriously and decided not to vaccinate their children because of it. This has directly resulted in the world wide increases of measles and mumps infections and infections from other diseases as well because many people were not vaccinating themselves or their children due to fear of any vaccines, a fear that was brought on by Wakefield's study, which has also lead to numerous unnecessary deaths.

As for Wakefield himself his fraudulent study lead to his own career being ruined and his name being struck off the UK medical register, making it illegal for him to practice medicine in the United Kingdom.

4. He turned parents in paranoid liars.

One of the direct results of Andrew Wakefield's study is that many parents have become paranoid of vaccines and have chosen not to vaccinate their children despite being legally obligated to do so in many places before they enter them into school, and the fact that it's just good common sense to do so.

Inorder to keep their children in school while at the same time keep them un-vaccinated parents will often lie to health officials and school officials about either their religious or philosophical beliefs inorder to get a vaccine exemption for their child.

Other things that some parents will do inorder to fool health and school officials is that they will go to a fake doctor (ex. Naturopath, Homeopath) and get them to write up an exemption from getting vaccinate for their children, or write up they vaccinate the child when really they didn't.

These types of actions are dangerous not only to the children whose parents did not vaccinate them, but also to anyone that couldn't get vaccinated for a legitimate medical reason, or those who the vaccine didn't immunize them for some reason.

3. He's become the Lord Voldemort of science and medicine.

Much like Lord Voldemort from the Harry Potter book series Andrew Wakefield's name is something you don't use in a discussion about science and medicine, unless he is used as an example for when bad or fraudulent research is taken to seriously by the public.

As for the scientific and medical communities any research done by him before his 1998 autism/MMR vaccine "study" is somewhat taboo, and is usually avoided in research unless necessary. Any research done by him after his 1998 autism/MMR vaccine "study" is to never be used, unless you never want to be taken seriously and risk your career.

Also, you don't compare a doctor or scientist to Andrew Wakefield as doing so would be considered a huge insult, unless their research was sloppy or fraudulent and caused peoples' deaths.

2. He created alot of waste.

While the dramatic increase in vaccine preventable infections has been the most obvious result of Wakefield's fraudulent study, another thing his study has done is wasted alot of money.

The amount of money wasted because of Wakefield's study is probably within the hundreds of millions of dollars, and possibly within the billions. These costs include health care and hospital stays for people (especially children) who got an infection from diseases that are vaccine preventable.

Other costs include lost wages for parents who had to stop working inorder to take care of their sick children, and wasted money (not to mention man hours) to disprove and try to undo the damage caused by Wakefield's "research", money that could have used for more legitimate and better research projects.

Then there are the costs of funerals that can go into the thousands per funeral, and with thousands having died because of his research, the costs really adds up, but is overshadowed by the amount of pain caused by those deaths, which is a cost that is immeasurable.

1. He refuses to accept responsibility for what he's done.

Andrew Wakefield's fraudulent 1998 autism/MMR vaccine "study" has been described as "the most damaging medical hoax of the last 100 years". So far he has never accepted any responsibility for the damage done by his "study", nor has he faded from the public light.

To this day he continues to claim that his study was accurate, and that he didn't commit fraud, and that there is a conspiracy by pharmaceutical companies and public health officials to discredit him, and that they were paying bloggers to so, and also inflate the reports of deaths from measles.

In 2012 Wakefield attempted to sue Brian Deer, the British Medical Journal and it's editor Fiona Godlee for defamation, which was described by many as being frivolous, and was dismissed on jurisdictional grounds.

To this day Wakefield continues to work in autism research and claim the title of "doctor", both of which are considered to be highly inappropriate for him to do, and that many have said he should stop doing. He currently lives and does all of this in the United States because legally he can not in the United Kingdom.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Using the fear of God to promote a Anti-Vaccine agenda

Yesterday I saw an article making rounds on pro-science and anti-anti-vaccination Facebook pages that was written by a "Christian" blogger who was claiming that God does not support vaccines. (Read the article here)

The author of the article uses several classic anti-vaccination claims to spreed her propaganda, although the one that was mostly talked about in that article is the claim that vaccines contain parts from aborted fetuses, which is false.

She combines this along with passages from the bible and her "interpretation" of those passages in an attempt to make it seem like God does not approve of vaccines.

Before I begin I'm very well aware that many of you reading this are atheists, but for the moment just for fun consider the possibly that God exists, and if you are someone that believes that God exists then please and hear what I have to say.

First, God is, according to Judea-Christian beliefs, an all powerful being that created the Universe and everything about it, including what does and does not work.

If God is all powerful and didn't want people to use vaccines, then couldn't God just will vaccines not to work?

I asked this question in the comments section, and the author responded to me:
First, before anyone points it out I believe she meant to say (although I could be wrong) that research into vaccines have not been proven to be clinically effective. This is ofcourse not true. Vaccines are very effective, and there are multiple published research papers showing how effective vaccines are. Doing a simple Google Scholar search for vaccine effectiveness will bring up thousands of papers concerning vaccine effectiveness.

The second thing the author claims is that no vaccines have a life time immunity. This is completely false.

Certain vaccines (as seen here) only provide immunity for a few years, but for other vaccines they could give a person immunity against a disease for the rest of their life, although for most additional vaccinations are recommend just to be safe, and with certain vaccines, such as the MMR vaccine, getting another vaccination several years after the first one is usually all that it takes for lifetime immunity.

I replied to the author's reply to my comment pointing these things out to her, and also once again asking her the question if God did not want people to use vaccines then why didn't he just make them not work at all:
I asked my question in this way (although I did make a little typo near the end *grumbles*) in hopes of preventing her from skirting around the question.

Not only did she not answer my question, she didn't even publish my reply. This is not surprising since she is well known for not publishing comments she doesn't like and doesn't fit her views. Infact it's very surprising she published my original comment in the first place.

So why exactly did she not answer my question that if vaccines were against God's will then why would they work at all?

Probably because the answer is (atleast for people who believe that all that works in the Universe is a result of God's will) they wouldn't, but they do work, and even she doesn't say vaccines don't work, she just thinks they're not effective.

With this in mind only one logical conclusion can be made: Vaccines are okay with God.

So why does this woman insist that God is not okay vaccines? There are two possible reasons:

First, she truly feels that God is against vaccines, but when she's confronted by someone whom can poke holes in her logic she just ignores the person and anything that person may present that questions her beliefs and would force her to reconsider them.

Second, her beliefs about vaccines are separate from her belief in God, and that she is using the fear of God's wrath, along with cherry picked passages from the bible, her own interpretation of those passages, disinformation, misinformation, and good old fashion fear mongering to promote her own anti-vaccination propaganda.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

5 Things I've noticed about... Sandy Hook Hoax Conspiracy Theorists

Sandy Hook conspiracy theorists.

Many skeptics (including myself) consider these people to be the lowest of the low.

There are actually two different types of these conspiracy theorists: those who think that the massacre at the elementary school was a false flag attack, and those that think that it didn't even happen at all, more commonly called Sandy Hook Hoaxers.

Today I'm going to focus on the lesser human of the two, the Hoaxers.

Now I have noticed a lot of things about these "people", but I've narrowed it down to five different things.

So here are five things I've noticed about Sandy Hook Hoax conspiracy theorists:

5. They're psychopaths.

Many Sandy Hook hoax conspiracy theorists display behaviors that to some people would be similar to psychopathy.

Most of the believers in this conspiracy theory show no empathy or sadness towards the adults and children that were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary, nor do they show any empathy towards the people that lost loved ones that day.

Some conspiracy theorists have even been in an active campaign of harassment against survivors and people who lost loved ones in that massacre, much of which has been very volatile and vial. Even those that don't engage in any harassment do often give support and encouragement to those that do.

Worst yet many of them, especially the ones that engage in harassment, will try to "justify" their behavior by claiming that the massacre didn't happen, or that they have every right to do what they're doing (which they don't).

Even if they do sincerely believe that the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary didn't happen it doesn't justify their behavior, because they should be taking into consideration that that the massacre there did happen and that what they are doing is very hurtful, but they're not doing so.

Many of them also don't seem to understand or care that they're behavior could have some severe consequences for them, such as being arrested and going to jail and even prison. And speaking of being arrested and going to jail and prison...

4. They're criminals.

Many of these Sandy Hook hoax conspiracy theorists since the massacre happened have been engaging in a unorganized campaign of internet based harassment against the parents of the children who were murdered, as well as anyone else who was involved with the events of that day.

The harassment in itself is a criminal action, but over the months it has de-evolved into more serious crimes, such as stalking, threats, and even vandalism. There is some speculation that it may be a matter of time before one of these conspiracy theorists finally goes off the deep end and tries to kill one of the parents of the murdered children, or someone whom was involved with the events of that day.

Even those that don't engage in any criminal actions could be considered criminals by-proxy, either by encouraging and giving support to those that do engage in harassment, or to a lesser extent condoning or just not condemning such behavior.

3. They're mentally ill.

I know that most skeptics tend to call certain conspiracy theorists crazy as a means of insulting them (whether we realize that or not), but in the case of Sandy Hook hoax conspiracy theorists many of them have shown signs of having real and perhaps severe mental health issues.

Many of these conspiracy theorists show definite signs of delusional disorders, such Fregoli delusion (which is a mental disorder that causes a person to believe that two or more people are the same person) and/or schizophrenia, as well as other kinds of paranoid delusional disorders and bi-polar disorder.

Not only do paranoid delusional disorders explain why many of these conspiracy theorists believe that the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary didn't happen and that everyone there is an actor, it might also explain why many of them are so aggressive and volatile towards people either involved with the events of that day, or the parents of the children that were murdered that day, or anyone who stands up to them and tells them that what they believe is not true, and that they need to stop harassing the parents that lost their children that day.

Even for those that do have a mental illness it doesn't excuse them for their behavior, and they need to go and get some help.

2. They shocked even skeptics.

After news about the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary broke many skeptics (including myself) guessed that conspiracy theorists were going to make all of these accusations about how the whole thing was a "false flag attack" and that the murderer was either a government agent, or under some kind of mind control.

While predictably conspiracy theorists did make these accusations and thus surprised none of the skeptics that I knew, what surprised us were the claims that the massacre didn't happen at all, and what really shocked us was the behavior of those who believe this.

We've always known that conspiracy theorists can be very aggressive people, but normally their aggressiveness would be focused on the people who told them they were wrong, but in the case with these Sandy Hook hoax conspiracy theorists their aggressive was directly focused on the families that lost children in that massacre, as well as others who were some how involved in the event.

That is what really shocked us, that they went after people who were truly in pain, rather than the people who could take their abuse and fight them back.

1. They refuse to accept reality.

What happened at Sandy Hook Elementary on December 14, 2012 is not an easy thing to accept. That day a very mentally disturbed young man murdered his mother, then went to Sandy Hook Elementary School and murdered 26 people, 20 of them young children.

We may never know why he did this, but he did, and it's reality, and it's a reality that the survivors of that massacre, and the parents who lost their children that day and never get to see them grow up have to deal with.

I know that some people don't want to accept this reality, but it is a reality, and the people who believe that it didn't happen need to accept that it did happen. They need to move on and leave the people who lost their loved ones in that massacre alone, and if they can't do that for some reason then they need to seek psychiatric treatment so that they can become able to.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Facebook needs to start enforcing it's own rules!

Yesterday I saw something on Facebook that really p*ssed me off!

Granted I see lots of things on Facebook that p*ss me off (sometimes on an hourly bases) but the things that usually get my teeth grinding are just rude, or offensive, or ignorant, or all of the above. What I saw wasn't neither rude nor offensive, but it sure was ignorant, and it was definitely dangerous.

What ticked me off was an infograph posted on Green Med Info's Facebook page concerning a "study" about "GMO" insulin (which all insulin is) that claimed that certain people with type 2 diabetes can develop type 1 diabetes from injecting insulin. (Link to original post here)
While people with type 2 diabetes can develop type 1 diabetes over time there are usually several factors that can cause this, such as a person's diet, or whether they exercise, or if they take the medication that has been prescribed to them, or genetics. Insulin is not one of the causes. Infact it could prevent a person with type 2 diabetes from developing type 1 diabetes.

What gets me so angry about that post isn't just the sheer ignorance of it, or how outright dangerous it is for the people at Green Med Info to promote something like this (because despite the fact that it promotes quackery and fraud medicine, better known as alternative medicine, people do listen to and take "advice" from that page) this type of "info" could kill a person with type 2 diabetes if they take it to seriously and decide to stop taking insulin. Either that or result in a person developing type 1 diabetes, or slipping into a diabetic coma, or losing a body part. The very worst thing that could happen is that the parent of a child with type 2 diabetes reads that and decides not to give their child insulin and what I listed above happens to that child, and there is little they can do about because they are at the mercy of their parent (unless they tell a teacher or family member about what their parent is doing and that person gets the authorities involved).

Now, back to the original reason why I'm writing this.

I, along with many other people reported this post to Facebook hoping that the social media website would take down the post due to the fact that it could cause some people to do something that was dangerous and hazardous to their health, and warn Green Med Info not to post something like that again.

Facebook has done nothing.

As many of you have probably found out over time this isn't the only time that Facebook has failed to remove a post or a page that promotes stuff that's either dangerous and/or violates it's own rules.

There are lots of pages on Facebook that promote a great amount of medical misinformation that in the hands of an uninformed person could cause that person to do something that results in their death or the death of others. The biggest violators of this would be anti-vaccination pages and HIV denialism pages, two types of groups that promote medical misinformation that has led to multiple deaths. Such pages should not be allowed because the "information" they a spreading is harmful.

Then there are the pages that promote bigotry, which antisemitism seems to be the the one mostly promoted.

While the spreading of medical misinformation may be dangerous and for some people questionable whether or not it violates the rules, promoting bigotry in what ever form it may come in clearly violates the rules.

Now sometimes Facebook will do the right thing and remove a bigoted post or page, but more often than not it just doesn't happen and the person or people running the page continues to spew hate speech.

Facebook needs to better enforce it's own rules and take down posts and pages that violate it's own rules and promotes things that are dangerous.

I'm aware that the main reason why the people at Facebook do not often take down these pages is because of free speech concerns, and while I do understand that reasoning the fact remains is that Facebook has a set of guidelines and rules that everyone is suppose to obey, and when they don't enforce those guidelines and rules they become meaningless.

I know that Facebook is a private company and can remove any content it so chooses to. I just wish it would start doing so.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

17 years on Mars, or "How Daily Mirror fell for a fake story."

Recently the British tabloid Daily Mirror published an article online about this claim made by a alleged former US Marine (a claim that sounds more like a half decent science fiction novel rather than a true account) about how he allegedly spent 17 years on Mars...

The original story was published on a website called ExoNews TV (a UFO conspiracy theorist website) on April 3 of this year. Why the Daily Mail took so long to write up their own crazy story nearly three months after the original crazy story was published, who knows?

Maybe they just found out about it, maybe they were having a slow "news" day (ofcourse the Daily Mirror is not really known for publishing actual news or news that's truthful) maybe they thought that now was the time to publish it.

The original story from ExoNews TV is an account told by a person whom calls himself "Captain Kaye" or "Captain K" (you can listen to him recalling his story here) and whom claims to be a former Marine that spent 17 years of a 20 year military career on Mars.

Now such claims have been made before. Infact several people have claimed to have gone to Mars and back over the years, or claimed to have "knowledge" of bases on Mars. The problem with all of those claims are that the people who made them are either liars, seriously deluded, or both.

I believe this "Captain Kaye" is the first type, and for several reasons.

First he claims that our government has technology that is probably centuries ahead of our current technological level, and yet he gives an audio interview (he never shows his face) to a conspiracy theorist website.

Why the heck would he give an audio only interview and give a fake name and not have a video interview and a give out his real name, since giving a fake name and an audio interview would be useless in hiding himself from his former employers?

If the people whom he worked for are technologically advanced enough to get to Mars and set up a colony, in secret, then wouldn't they be advanced enough to have computer program that can analyze your voice and figure out who you are?

Heck, we have that technology now, so what would be the reason for this Captain Kaye person to hide whom he is?

He also claims to be a genius, yet he's not smart enough to even consider the fact that the people he worked for have the technology to find out who he is and that hiding whom he is would be pointless, and might even put himself in greater danger?

The only reason why I would think he would hide his identity is because he doesn't want people to find out whom he is, step forward and say "this guy is full of sh*t, and he's been on Earth the entire time".

The other reason why I believe this Captain Kaye person is lying is that he sounds like he's reading from an outlined script in his interview and that he's improvising from that script and trying to think up things to say rather than talking about things that he actually did. There's even a few times it sounds like he's shuffling some papers around.

Also, he offers no other evidence of his "experiences" or than his word, which we have no way of checking whether or not his word is good or not, or even if he was in the Marines, or any branch of the military.

The story is clearly fake, and I know the Daily Mirror doesn't have that much standards, but this is ridiculous even for them.

Whats next? Are they going to hire David Icke as a columnist?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

5 Things I've noticed about... vaccines

Vaccines are a medical invention that has been around for a very long time, the very first one being invented by Edward Jenner in 1796 for small pox.

There are alot of things that have been said about vaccines, and taking a look at these claims, as well as the facts about vaccines, I've come up with fives things about them.

So here are five things I've noticed about vaccines:

5. They cause extinctions.

Most people probably don't know this, or do but rarely if ever think about it is that vaccines kill things and can very easily lead to the extinction of some species. Infact vaccines have already caused the extinction of one species, small pox.

Vaccines are also very well on their way to causing the extinction of polio, and could in due time and with enough people getting vaccinated, measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, and a variety of other well known diseases that can kill people, particularly young children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems.

Don't these viruses deserve to exist? I mean true these viruses have caused the deaths of millions, plus have left countless others disfigured and disabled, and other than to do all of that have no real purpose to exist, and are still debated over whether or not they are lifeforms, but regardless of all that you have to ask yourself, don't these useless and dangerous lifeforms/not lifeforms have a right to exist?

4. They prevent our children from having the childhood memories of our parents and grandparents.

My parents and grandparents didn't have the vaccines like my generation and my generation's children have, and I can't help but think of what kind of childhood memories might have been taken away because of vaccines.

Some of those memories I imagine would include attending the funeral of a classmate or family member that died from an infectious disease, or having to help another fellow classmate get around because they have trouble walking or are in a wheelchair due to polio, and even having to be rushed to the hospital because I contracted measles and my temperature got really high.

Yes, because of vaccines I have none of these childhood memories, nor does most of the people in my generation as well, but thanks to people like Andrew Wakefield and Jenny McCarthy, as well as numerous anti-vaccination websites, those childhood memories of the past generations are making a comeback.

3. They make people paranoid.

Vaccines make people paranoid, this is a fact.

The vaccines themselves don't actually make people paranoid, but just the thought of injecting a dead or weakened virus that's inside a mixture of chemicals that in high enough doses could be deadly, although are in low enough doses that they would be safe to take individually several times over and not harm a person, is enough to scare some people to not get themselves or their children vaccinated.

Now you couple this with something like the Wakefield paper, a paper was publish in the UK medical journal The Lancet and authored by then Dr. Andrew Wakefield that claimed that vaccines cause autism, a claim that has since long been discredited and debunked, and the paper itself was retracted due to fraud, as well as Wakefield being stripped of his medical license due to that fraud and gross ethics violations, and in the end you'll have a person to paranoid to do something which almost every medical doctor in the world says a person should do.

Maybe it's not really vaccines that cause people to become paranoid of them. Maybe it's bad and made-up information combined with a lack of willingness to do real research and a mistrust of pharmaceutical companies that cause people to become paranoid of vaccines?

2. They affect industries.

Vaccines do affect several industries and in big ways too!

The health care industry for one is greatly affected by vaccines. The reason for this is because when a vaccine makes someone immune from disease it greatly decreases their chance of contracting said disease which could require an extensive stay in a hospital and/or hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in medical treatments.

And lets not get started on all the iron lung and leg brace manufactures that have taken a major hit in profits due to the polio vaccine...

Then there are ofcourse the coffin manufactures who have had a sharp decline in the sale of children and infants' coffins due to the fact children and infants are not dying as often as they use to because they aren't contracting the deadly diseases that would usually kill them before they reached adulthood thanks to vaccines.

1. It's the greatest medical invention ever.

All joking and satire aside vaccines are without a doubt the greatest medical invention of all time.

Vaccines are safe, cheap, reliable, rarely have any negative side effects (and even those are not severe most of the time) but almost always has the positive side effect of making a person immune from a disease, and can wipe out some diseases, which it already has with small pox, and is well on it's way with polio and in the future may do so with other diseases like measles and mumps.

The money saved due to vaccines for just health care alone has been in the billions, and the lives saved due to vaccines may be immeasurable.

With the exception of legitimate health reasons there is no reason to not get vaccinated, nor is there any reason for a parent to not vaccinate their child.

To not do so simply irresponsible, and in some cases, criminal.

Friday, June 13, 2014

5 Things I've noticed about... Creationists

Creationists are people who believe that God created all life on Earth, and for many of them they believe that evolution isn't real or even possible.

There are many things that I have noticed about creationist, and while I could list many of them, I have narrowed it down to five different things.

So here are five things I've noticed about creationists:

5. They want to force their beliefs onto others.

For years now fundamentalist Christians have been trying to sneak their belief in creationism into public class rooms across the United States. Ofcourse fundamentalist Christians don't actually call it creationism, they call it "Intelligent Design" and attempt to make it sound more "scientific". In reality it is not scientific at all. It is a religious belief that has no scientific backing and should not be taught in public schools at all, much less a science class room in a public school.

Despite the fact that creationism is not scientific, fundamentalist Christians still try to force creationism into science class rooms via electing public officials who are also creationists and will force the teaching of creationism into science classes, or at the very least have an advisory sticker placed on a science text book that claims that there are other "theories" concerning the origins of life and how it came to be today besides evolution, which is technically true, but the only one that is scientifically valid is evolution.

Some fundamentalist Christians have also made it quite clear that they really don't want evolution taught at all in schools, and only want creationism to be taught in schools. They especially don't want evolution taught to their own children, and will often homeschool their children if they can inorder to keep them from learning about evolution.

4. They think evolution isn't real because they believe it's never happened within our lifetimes.

One of the most common arguments made by creationists is that they claim that evolution cannot be real because they believe that it's never been observed.

What creationists either ignore, forget, or just don't know is that evolution has been observed, particularly with this planet's smallest lifeforms, bacteria.

Decades ago all bacterial infections could be have been treated with antibiotics, but because of our overuse and abuse of antibiotics some strains of certain bacteria have evolved to the point where none of our current antibiotics can kill them.

There are ofcourse other lifeforms who's evolution has been observed, not to mention the numerous fossils that help to back up evolutionary theory, but bacteria is one of the best examples of why evolution is real, not only because of how quickly it has evolved to become immune to antibiotics, but how obvious that evolution is.

3. They fight amongst each other.

Not all creationists are alike. Infact there are actually four different types of creationists.

There are the theological evolutionists who do accept the theory of evolution, they just believe that God had a hand in the process. Some might even argue that theological evolutionists aren't really creationists at all, just Christians that are trying to adapt their religious beliefs to modern science.

Then there are the old Earth creationists who do accept the fact that Earth is billions of years old and creatures like the dinosaurs were around before humans, just that God created all life and that evolution did not happen.

Then there are the young Earth creationist that believe that the Earth is only a little over 6,000 years old, and that dinosaurs roomed the Earth along with humans before Noah's flood.

Finally there are the no dinosaur creationists who believe that dinosaurs didn't even exist, and that the bones you see in museums were created by scientists, or by Satan.

Despite the fact that they all agree that God created life, none of these groups get along with each other, mainly due to the fact that they believe that their belief is the correct belief and that all others are either less Christian, or ironically, less scientifically valid.

2. They think there is a conspiracy to "hide the truth."

One of the main reasons why creationists, especially the young Earth types, reject the theory of evolution and the science behind it is because they believe there is a conspiracy by the scientific and atheist communities to hide "the truth" about evolution and creationism inorder to undermine and eventually eliminate Christianity.

The reality is there is no "conspiracy" to hide the truth about evolution and creationism. Evolution is science, and creationism is a religious belief.

Just because evolution doesn't go along one's beliefs doesn't mean that there is a conspiracy to suppress the truth, it just means that person is unable to accept the facts.

In a way you could kind of say that the conspiracy theory that the "truth" about evolution is being suppressed is alot like every other conspiracy theory, not based on facts, but the inability to accept facts.

1. They always refer to the Bible.

In the end no matter how scientific of an argument they try to make, and no matter how much they resist trying to use it, ultimately in the end they will refer to the Bible and use it as a source of "proof".

For a many creationists this is more than enough to prove creationism and disprove evolution.

For most other people it doesn't.

Infact most people see such an argument for what it really is, and that is that creationists are using the Bible as a scapegoat inorder to avoid having to accept or even acknowledge the fact that evolution is real, and that the scientific evidence behind it proves it, and that something in the Bible isn't true.

Friday, June 6, 2014

10 Lies Anti-vaccers tell

The anti-vaccination has caused alot of harm over the years with their fear mongering and lies. These lies have caused parents to become to afraid to vaccinate their children, and themselves as well, despite the danger in not doing so.

The following is a list of ten lies the anti-vaccination movement has told, and why they are just bogus:

10. Studies indicate that vaccines cause autism.

While there are "studies" that claim that vaccines cause autism, only one of these so called studies have been published in a well respected, peer reviewed scientific and medical journal. That study, the Wakefield study (which was published in The Lancet in 1998) was retracted in 2010 after it had been discovered that the main author of the study, Andrew Wakefield, had committed fraud. On top of that the findings in the study itself had been long since discredited and disproved before the formal retraction.

The studies that followed since the Wakefield study that claim that vaccines cause autism have never been published in any credible medical or scientific journals. The only places that these studies have ever been published are either in non-credible pay-for-publish journals, or websites that promote alternative medicine and/or conspiracy theories.

9. Signs of autism show up in children only after they have been vaccinated.

As the old skeptics' saying goes "correlation does not equal causation".

Just because a child starts to show obvious signs of autism after they have had their vaccinations, it's far more likely that they were showing signs of autism before they received their vaccinations and that no one noticed simply because the child was to young to show any noticable signs of autism to anyone but trained professionals.

8. Adverse reactions to vaccines are common, often severe, and can cause death.

Actually only about one out of every 300 people will have adverse reactions to vaccines. Most of the time these adverse reaction are mirror, short lived, and are more annoying than debilitating.

Occasionally a person will have a severe adverse reaction to a vaccine, some of which can be fatal, but these types of adverse reactions are very rare, only about one to two out of every million people. You have better odds dying in a car wreck to get a vaccination than you from the vaccination.

7. Vaccines have never been shown to be effective against reducing the spread of disease, and has even been shown to increase the spread.

I'm sure smallpox and polio would disagree. Actually alot of diseases would disagree because it's been proven time and time again that anytime vaccines were in wide spread use the rate of infections of a disease that the vaccines are meant to protect against will go down dramatically, sometimes even eliminating a disease in an area.

6. Natural immunity is superior to immunity via vaccination.

If you try to get natural immunity from a disease (i.e. getting infected and sick from said disease) there is a pretty good possibility that the disease that you hope to make yourself or your child immune from will actually kill you or your child, or atleast cause a permanent disability. Also in many cases it takes several weeks for this form of immunity to happen, during which time you will be sick as heck.

On the other hand immunity via vaccination is much faster, doesn't leave you sick, and is far, FAR less likely to kill you than getting immunity from a disease by getting infected by that disease.

5. Vaccines contain aborted fetuses.

This is completely false and is a distortion of the fact that the weakened forms of some viruses in vaccines are grown in a culture of cell lines derived from fetal tissue of fetuses aborted in the 1960's.

There are no fetal cells at all in vaccines.

4. Vaccines cause shaken baby syndrome.

No, rapidly shaking a baby back and forth and causing their head to flop around causes shaken baby syndrome.

This isn't even just a bold faced lie, this is child abuse apology.

3. Vaccines contain high amounts of toxic ingredients.

While vaccines do contain chemicals that in high enough amounts are toxic to humans, the amounts of these toxins in vaccines are so low that it wouldn't hurt anyone even if they took that chemicals by itself.

As the old saying goes "the dose makes the poison" and no vaccine contains enough of a certain chemical to make it poisonous.

2. Vaccines cause SIDS.

While DPT/DPaT vaccines have been suspected of being one of the causes of SIDS in the past, current studies into SIDS point to that abnormalities in the development and function of medullary serotonin may be the more likely cause of SIDS, and that vaccines do not cause SIDS at all.

1. Most diseases meant to be prevented by vaccines are rare and mostly harmless, and thus there is no reason to vaccinate.

Most diseases prevented by vaccines use to be rare, but a few diseases such as measles and mumps are making a comeback due to people not getting their children the MMR vaccine. Outbreaks of more common diseases such as the flu and whooping cough are made worse if large groups of people do not get vaccinated.

Also, while many people can get over these diseases they are far from harmless and can kill, especially if the person is very old, or very young, or has something wrong with their immune system and they are unable to fight off the disease.

Even if a disease is rare there is still no reason not to vaccinate against it, as vaccinating will help guarantee that disease remains rare, and may even wipe out that disease.

Friday, May 30, 2014

"You might be a domestic terrorist if:" A look into conspiracy theorist claims about what makes a person a terrorist

Recently in one of skeptics groups that I belong to on Facebook someone posted this picture they found on a conspiracy theorist group:
Apparently conspiracy theorists believe that because some people believe or do certain then that makes them a "terrorist".

This picture is one of the most blatant examples of persecution complex that I have seen in a while and kind of shows the mindset of a conspiracy theorist.

I'm going to go through all of these claims and explain why believing in these things does not make you a domestic terrorist:

You raise/grow your own food

Why would this make you a domestic terrorist? The answer is it doesn't.

Millions of people across the country grow their own food in one way or another, be it either in small plots as a hobby (as my dad does) and as a way to have fresh fruits, herbs, and vegetables, or in greenhouses, or in large fields that provide enough food to feed their entire family. Heck, even the White House has it's own vegetable garden.

If growing your own food made you a domestic terrorist, then why wouldn't the government just go around to everyones' houses and destroy their gardens and green houses? Or pass laws that make it illegal to grow your own food? They wouldn't because growing your own food is harmless and effects no one.

Oppose GMOs

Opposing GMO foods does not make you a terrorist. It might make you someone who doesn't understand the science behind GMO foods, or someone who has embraced anti-GMO propaganda, but not understanding science or embracing some group's claims without questioning them doesn't make you a terrorist.

If opposing GMO foods made you a terrorist then there would be no organic foods in any grocery store or farmers market anywhere, and no laws meant to either label GMO foods or prevent them from being grown or sold would ever be proposed, much less passed.

Prefer natural medicines

If this was true then how come the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a official United States government agency that researches and promotes things like natural medicines, even exists?

While the government does restrict multiple types of alternative and natural medicines, this is only because some of them are dangerous, or the manufactures claim it can do something when infact it cannot.

If natural medicines made a person a terrorist then all forms of alternative medicine would be illegal and people who sale it or even promote it would be going to prison.

Refuse vaccinations

Refusing vaccines does not make you a terrorist as there no laws that say that you have to get vaccinated. However, it does make you dangerous to others, as well as your own self as it puts you at greater risk for getting infected with a disease that could kill you, as well as spreading said disease to others who either weren't vaccinate because they also choose not to (or their parents choose not to have them vaccinated) or a person whom couldn't get vaccinate for various medical reasons, or someone whom did get vaccinated but the vaccine did not take affect for some reason.

Have a Ron Paul bumper sticker

This does not make you a terrorist, it just makes you someone who likes Ron Paul and refuses to accept the reality that he'll never be President, and someone who doesn't know when to take a bumper sticker off of their car.

Question 9/11

Believing in 9/11 conspiracy theories, or any other conspiracy theory for that matter, doesn't make you a terrorist. If it did then people like Alex Jones and Mike Adams would be in prison, and their websites, as well as any other websites that promote 9/11 conspiracy theories, would be shut down. This also include Youtube videos, Facebook pages, and Twitter accounts that also promote 9/11 conspiracy theories.

Object to geo-engineering

I would ask what exactly do they mean by this, but I think they're talking about chemtrails.

Being opposed to geo-engineering chemtrails does not make you a terrorist, but this is due to the fact chemtrails don't exist, and even if they did, there are no laws that says that you cannot object to it.

However, if you threaten to shoot down a plane because you believe that it's spraying these imaginary chemicals, then you are a terrorist, or atleast someone whom has the potential to become one.

Oppose war

How does opposing war make you a terrorist? If anything it makes you the exact opposite, unless you oppose war via violence.

Support the Constitution

Why would supporting the Constitution make you a terrorist? I can't think of any reason why.

Certain people and places may not like it when a person expresses their rights as outlined in the Constitution, and have even tried to stop people from doing so, but whenever taken to court those people and places almost always lose.

If supporting the Constitution and standing up for your rights made you a terrorist then the people who stand up for their rights would always lose court cases where argue their Constitutional rights, and would go to prison for doing so.

Reject the NWO and Agenda 21

Rejecting the NWO does not make you a terrorist, but this is mostly due to the fact that the NWO does not exist.

As for rejecting Agenda 21 this also does not make you a terrorist. At worst it might make you someone that believes in the conspiracy theories about Agenda 21, but that only makes you uninformed about what Agenda 21 is, as well as someone that only listens to what other conspiracy theorists say it is rather than looking it up and reading about it yourself.

Believe your gov't is corrupt

I guess that means that I'm a terrorist! Because I think the government is corrupt.

Almost everyone believes that the government is corrupt, and there is a very good reason for that. Because it is, or atleast certain parts of it is.

If believing that the government was corrupt made you a terrorist, then you would never ever hear or read about in the news about any sort of corruption that goes on in the government because if a news organization did report on government corruption they would be labeled a terrorist group and shut down.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

5 Things I've noticed about... Autism cure promoters

Autism cure promoters are people who claim they "cure" people with autism.

The claims made by these people are very conversational, both in their claims about autism and it's causes, and what they say can cure autism.

Now there are a lot of different things I have noticed about autism cure promoters, but I've narrowed it down to five different things.

So here are five things I've noticed about autism cure promoters:

5. They're closely aligned with the anti-vaccination movement.

Autism cure promoters and the anti-vaccination movement are pretty much like peas in a pod. Anti-vaccers often promote these so called "therapies" that the autism cure promoters claim can cure a person with autism, and autism cure promoters also tend to publish on their websites anti-vaccination movement propaganda, mainly in the form of claims that certain chemicals in vaccines can cause autism.

Some of these promoters also like to use certain words that the anti-vaccination movement also uses inorder to sell their therapies to people with autism or have autistic children, such as "vaccine damage", "vaccine injury", or "autism epidemic".

They also ignore the fact that such words are not only incorrect and misleadinf, but very insulting to people with autism. Ofcourse they're not actually promoting their therapies towards people with autism, they're really promoting them towards parents of children who have autism and just want their kids to be normal.

4. They exploit the fears and desires of parents with autistic children.

For some parents when a child is diagnosed with autism it can be devastating to them, and the fact that there is no way to cure autism can make that devastation to them even worse. Then comes along someone who claims they can do things that the medical industry cannot do and can "cure" their child of autism, and if they don't know any better they may take that person up on their offer.

A person who is misinformed about what autism is and what causes autism, mixed with both the fear of what will happen to their child and how their life will turn out due to their autism, combined with their desire to have a "normal" child, would be very temped by someone whom claims they can cure their child of autism and give them a chance at a normal life and be willing to pay whatever price they can inorder to do so.

The people who are promoting these so called autism cures know this and know that they can exploit these fears and desires to sell people products and services that scientific research has concluded are useless at curing autism.

4. They're trying to give a simple solution to a complex issue.

Autism is a neurological disorder, and like all neurological disorders it's complex without any simple solutions.

Autism cure promoters try to make it look like autism is caused by toxins in the body, and that by removing these toxins a person whom has autism one can be cured of autism.

While some toxins can cause neurological disorders, all legitimate scientific research has shown that autism isn't one them.

While the actually cause of autism is still technically unknown, most scientists who study autism agree that it's most likely caused by genetics.

The therapies these autism cure promoters promote are just a bunch of quick fixes for something that can't be fixed quickly or entirely. There are legitimate therapies out there to give autistic people the tools they need inorder to thrive in society, but they don't cure people of autism, which is not something that many people can accept. This fact is exploited by autism cure promoters that claim that they can cure autism, but in reality they can't.

2. They promote therapies that are dangerous and abusive.

Not only are autism cure promoters promoting therapies that don't work (atleast for curing autism), the therapies they are promoting are considered to be dangerous if used improperly, or even used at all.

Chelation therapy for example, which is a legitimate medical treatment for treating people with toxic metal poisoning, is often used by autism cure promoters as a way to cure autism. Infact it has never been proven to cure any person of autism, and if done improperly could harm a person, and even kill them.

Miracle Mineral Supplement, another product that is said to cure autism (along with many other things) contains 28% sodium chlorite, a toxic industrial chemical, and can cause a person to become very ill, and possibly kill them. MMS is very dangerous and should never be used for anything and is approved by no one.

These are just two of the many useless so called "cures" for autism, but there are many other kinds out there that are not only useless, but also dangerous, and forcing any child to use one of this therapies, autistic or not, is viewed by many people to be child abuse, and could be legally considered child abuse too.

1. They try to make autism look like something that it is not.

Autism cure promoters try to make it look like people with autism are "damaged" and that autism itself is bad and that a diagnose of autism is the end of the world, and thus your child must be cured of autism no matter what.

Autism is not bad, nor is a diagnose of it the end of the world, and autistic people are not damaged, they just think differently than everyone else.

Most autistic people are considered high functioning, and can live relatively normal lives. Some are so high functioning that you couldn't even tell that they were autistic unless they told you.

Autism is not a problem. The real problem is with people who claim that autistic people are "damaged" and they can cure autism.

They are the ones who make autism look worse than what it is, all so they can exploit parents who just want their children to be perfect, when they can't see that their children are perfect just the way they are.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Anti-vaccers go to far... again.

This weekend members of the Anti-vaccination movement/cult proved once again just what type of people they really are, and just what lows they are willing to go to inorder to spread their propaganda.

And by "people" I mean scum bags.

This whole thing that I'm p*ssed off about starts off with something that has nothing to do with either vaccines or autism, but actually has to do with the kidnapping of over 200 school girls in Nigeria by the terrorist group Boko Haram, who are threatening to sell the girls off as "wives" (i.e. sex slaves).

So far there has been a huge outpouring of both condemnation against the terrorists who kidnapped these girls, and support for bringing the girls home.

Infact First Lady Michelle Obama recently posted this picture on the internet to show her support for these girls and their hopefull rescue, and also encouraging the terrorists to let them go:
Unfortunately there are some people who don't care how serious or sensitive a situation such as this is and will take a photo like this and digitally manipulated a photo such as this inorder to promote their own propaganda...

That is exactly what happened with this photo:
Now I could get into how BS the information on this poorly photoshopped picture is, or how insulting it is to autistic people, but I just want to focus on the group that decided it was okay to manipulate a photo of the First Lady showing her support to bring home a group of kidnapped school girls who may very well be sold as sex slaves if they aren't found and freed!

The group who manipulated the photo is call The Canary Party, a Anti-Vaccination group that barely pretends to be a political group.

Besides just publishing lies about and conspiracy theories about vaccines, they also publish anti-GMO propaganda, pro-alternative medicine propaganda, insist that autism is an epidemic, makes autism look like it's something that is life destroying and that autistic people can't function in society, both of which are horrible lies, and declares that anyone that says they are wrong to be bullies.

All of that is bad enough by itself, but then they go and manipulate a photo of the First Lady showing support for those many kidnapped school girls inorder to promote their lies while completely and totally disregarding the seriousness of the kidnappings, as well as being completely insensitive to what these girls are going through.

I guess there really is no low for the Anti-Vaccination movement. But on the bright side it does appear that this "stunt" has backfired on them, as they are receiving a bunch of negative comments on their Facebook page.

One last thing: I really hope these girls are freed and freed soon, and that the scum bags who kidnapped them are left in such a way that they can never do something like this ever again.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Creationists can't take critisism

I know, many of you who read the title are probably thinking "no sh*t" because anyone you has ever read an article about evolution or the creation of life as told in the Book of Genesis that the comments section of said article will often times degrade into a flame war of Biblical Creationists vs. everyone else with ultimately the creationists trying to drown out or force off anyone who say they are wrong... and brings evidence that shows them they are wrong.

Then there are ofcourse videos on Youtube that either explains how evolution works and why it's true, or why the Biblical story of Creation is false. Such videos will usually invoke the same reactions as I stated above, but it will invoke another type of reaction: trying to get video removed.

Most of the time a creationist will try to get a video removed that criticizes creationism or promotes evolution by false flagging said video, but sometimes they will go one step further and issue a DMCA takedown notice against the video (which is illegal).

There are two Atheist vloggers on Youtube by the names of EssenceOfThought and The Fantastic Skeptic who made videos criticizing the trailer for the movie A Matter of Faith (the movie itself is not out yet), which has been described by critics as a creationist propaganda film (which I agree), and used footage from the trailer in their videos, which is perfectly legal so long as they name the original owner of the footage either in the video itself, or in the description of the video, and link to the creator of the video and the original trailer itself, which both did.

So everything they did was perfectly legal. This did not matter to the creators of the film, who issued DMCA takedown notices against both vloggers videos that criticized the trailer of the film.

Now both vloggers have responded to their respective takedown notices:

And both videos criticizing the trailer has since been mirrored on The Atheist Hub as well as other Youtube channels:

Now I'm not sure what The Fantastic Skeptic is planning to do about this illegal DMCA takedown notice, but I do know that EssenceOfThought has filled a counter claim, which I'm glad he did, but the fact remains is that he shouldn't even have had to have done this in the first place because these takedown notices should never have been issued.

I suppose if the creators of this movie are just like every other hardcore creationist: unable to deal with criticism and counter arguments, and do what they can to get rid of them.