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CDC whistleblower and their current position on autism

Last week, a CDC whistleblower, senior scientist at the CDC for more than a decade, said that he and coauthors had committed misconduct in changing the critieria for their study after the first criteria showed that blacks getting MMR before 36 months had 3 times as much autism as those who got it after. This was a study the CDC had very prominently cited as showing safety, the cover up of the unwanted data is apparently documented to have gone all the way to the head of CDC, who has since left to take a presumably lucrative position at Merck. The most interesting thing about this affair to me, was the fact that the entire media except for a few alternative websites completely ignored it, except for one or two belated and slanted mentions. So you out there reading this, you should wonder what else they have suppressed from your knowledge.
The passages below (and the citation numbers) are mostly excerpted from post1 on this blog.

Of course this kind of age dependent effect in a genetically distinct subgroup is exactly what you might expect from the animal results.
Injections into infant animals of simple antigens, never mind antigen-aluminum combos, caused long-term brain damage when the injections occurred during critical periods in development, even when such injections would have been harmless at other times [2,sec 4.4; 5; 6].

Meanwhile, the CDC http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Concerns/Autism/antigens.html is currently touting another study by the same lead author as its flagship argument that vaccines don’t cause autism. In so doing, even assuming this study is honest and correct, they are still and in broad daylight committing the same kind of misconduct of finding a way to slice the data that allows them to make the claims they want. The paper they cite by DeStefano et al [20] has been cited as reporting: “The Risk of Autism Is Not Increased by ‘Too Many Vaccines Too Soon’”[21]. Unfortunately this paper, as indicated in its title, “Increasing Exposure to Antibody-Stimulating Proteins and Polysaccharides in Vaccines Is Not Associated with Risk of Autism”, compares patients who received more antigens rather than patients who receive more aluminum adjuvants or more or earlier vaccines. This compares one group of vaccinated patients to another, and there is no reason to believe either group had more aluminum, nor more or earlier vaccines, nor does the paper make such a claim. So they wouldn’t find a connection even if adjuvant aluminum or many early vaccines were the sole cause of autism.

According to table 1 in DeStefano, DTP has 3004 antigens, while no other vaccine except typhoid, which hardly appears in the data set, has a large number. So what their study effectively compares are high-antigen patients, those who got DTP, who score over 3004 antigens, and low antigen patients, who got other vaccines such as DTaP but did not get DTP, who score several dozen antigens if they got everything else but typhoid. Their claimed results indicate that DTP isn’t dramatically more likely to produce autism than DTaP, in patients who also got other vaccines. What’s particularly frustrating about this is it looks to me like (assuming they were honest about other things and their statistics is ok in other ways I haven’t checked), if they just reanalyzed their data to weight by adjuvant content rather than antigens, replace table 1 with aluminum table and process, they would have a more pertinent result. Also if they replaced table 1 with the constant 1 per vaccine, they would have a more interesting result.

[20] “Increasing Exposure to Antibody-Stimulating Proteins and Polysaccharides in Vaccines Is Not Associated with Risk of Autism” by Frank DeStefano, Cristofer S. Price, and Eric S. Weintraub, Journal of Pediatrics (www.jpeds.com), DOI 10.1016 2013.02.001

http://www.jpeds.com/article/S0022-3476%2813%2900144-3/abstract

[21] http://www.jpeds.com/content/JPEDSDeStefano

Journal of Pediatrics editorial, March 29, 2013, “The Risk of Autism Is Not Increased by ‘Too Many Vaccines Too Soon’”

[2] Tomljenovic L, Shaw CA. Do aluminum vaccine adjuvants contribute to the rising prevalence of autism? J Inorg Biochem. 2011 Nov;105(11):1489-99 http://omsj.org/reports/tomljenovic%202011.pdf

[5] M.A. Galic, K. Riazi, J.G. Heida, A. Mouihate, N.M. Fournier, S.J. Spencer, L.E. Kalynchuk, G.C. Teskey, Q.J. Pittman, The Journal of Neuroscience 28 (2008) Postnatal Inflammation Increases Seizure Susceptibility in Adult Rats

http://www.jneurosci.org/content/28/27/6904.full

[6] Metabolic Brain Disease, Volume 26, Issue 3, September 2011, Pages 237-240, Peripheral immune challenge with viral mimic during early postnatal period robustly enhances anxiety-like behavior in young adult rats Konat, G. W., Lally, B. E. , Toth, A. A.,Salm, A. K. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21643765

Crowd think in Economics

I’m just starting to read Debunking Economics by Steve Keen

He describes Neoclassic economics (which has marginalized all other flavors from Academia) as a classic crowd in the passage below:

A major reason for Bernanke’s inability to accept that the core of neoclassical economics is `irrelevant or at least significantly flawed’ …[is] faith [that] emanates from the seductive nature of the neoclassical vision. It portrays capitalism as the perfect system, in which the market ensures that everything is just right…
This faith is maintained by a paradoxical, transcendental truth: *neoclassical economists don’t understand neoclassical economics*. Their belief that it is a coherent, comprehensive theory of how a market economy operates is based on a profound ignorance of the actual foundations of the theory.
In one sense, their ignorance is utterly justified, because they are behaving in the same way that professionals do in genuine sciences like physics. Most physicists don’t check what Einstein actually wrote on the Theory of Relativity, because they are confident that Einstein got it right, and that their textbooks accurately communicate Einstein’s core ideas. Similarly most “economists don’t check to see whether core concepts like `supply and demand microeconomics’ or `representative agent macroeconomics are properly derived from well-grounded foundations, because they simply assume that if they’re taught by the textbooks, then there must be original research that confirms their validity.
     In fact, the exact opposite is the case: *the original research confirms that these concepts are false*. Virtually every concept that is taught as gospel in the textbooks has been proved to be unsound in the original literature.
     If they actually appreciated what the foundations were — and how utterly flawed they really are — then neoclassical economists would run a mile from their beliefs, and feel compelled to look for alternatives. But they have no knowledge of the actual state of neoclassical economics because their education shields them from it, right from their very first exposure to economic theory.”

Debunking Economics p17-18 Steve Keen

I have to take issue with his analogy to physicists. It doesn’t really matter whether you read Einstein’s exact words, but I certainly understood the derivation from first principles for everything I knew, and where there were potential conceptual problems (such as rigorous mathematics not being fully worked out by rigorous mathematicians) I was aware of that too. I have the impression that’s true of all competent physicists for all core physics. That’s why studying physics requires 7 years of dedication. I have observed very strong physicists swept up in Global Warmism without actually thinking it through to the scientific basis, and seen them shy away from looking at it when I asked, but for core physics I believe we all verify logically. That’s probably a huge part of the difference between physics and economics, or any other mushy field.

By the way, after several days delay, the journal assigned an MS number to my paper on vaccine safety, and I think they are reviewing it. Stay tuned.

Le Bon Crowd Think In Global Warmism

Its been suggested to me that I should provide as well a debunking of Global Warmism. The problem with writing one, is, I’m bored with the subject. I’ve been debunking GW for literally decades. And, of course, its a thankless task because Le Bon tells us, you will never disabuse a crowd of its illusions using logic. So I’m not going to write one, but I’ll provide a few things.

First, I’ll provide a link to a discussion of the group think and sociology and punishment of dissent involved in Global Warmism: Climate Science: Is it currently designed to answer questions? by Richard S. Lindzen.

Second, since Le Bon tells us, crowds reason by jumping from image to image without logical justification, and crowds are led by providing images, I’ll provide a link to debunk perhaps the most important image in the history of global warmism, Al Gore’s Ice Core chart. Recall how important this was in forming the myth? Note that, it turned out the rise in CO2 followed the rise in temperature by hundreds of years, and likely occurred for the same reason that a coke can fizzes if you let it warm before opening it: cold water holds less dissolved CO2 than warm water. As Le Bon remarked, the Crowd didn’t care about the logic in jumping to its conclusion.

Third, another image, the hockey stick graph. Recall how this graph, unfortunately, was created by poor mathematics , and by suppression of data showing very fast warming before 1550 and recent decline. The crowd didn’t care the image wasn’t logical. This graph formed the centerpiece of the IPCC report back in the day and launched much of the crowd think momentum that continues the movement. Note that the data that disproves the theory should be the most interesting to scientists not in the grip of crowd think– but we have academic scientists hiding their own most interesting data.

Fourth, let us take Le Bon’s advice, and fight images with images. Here is a link to a blog post discussing the 400,000 year old Greenland Ice Core data. Check out these images, and see if that shakes your Global Warmism. Greenland Ice Core Data.

Oh, and the image discussion wouldn’t be complete without this. Polar Bear Population Thriving, with cute photos.