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LizW
Skeptic Friend

USA
113 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2014 :  04:52:40  Show Profile Send LizW a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have been fencing with my cousin over various subjects lately. GMOs, organic food movement, food allergies, etc... you get the idea. Today she sent me this link.

http://www.greatergoodmovie.org/news-views/vaccinations-the-smoking-gun-in-autoimmune-disease-and-autism/

If you go into the "Learn More" section you will find various articles about...well just about everything that could be a possible link.

I really want to argue this with her (she has a one-year-old and I love them both very much). I am however up to my neck in Economics, Japanese, and Japanese Lit.

Is anyone feeling froggy enough to leap on this for me?
I don't want to just send her to opposing sites without information about the articles on the one she has led me to.

I need a debunk. Anyone?

You learn something new every g****mn day!

Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13467 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2014 :  11:01:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by LizW

I have been fencing with my cousin over various subjects lately. GMOs, organic food movement, food allergies, etc... you get the idea. Today she sent me this link.

http://www.greatergoodmovie.org/news-views/vaccinations-the-smoking-gun-in-autoimmune-disease-and-autism/

If you go into the "Learn More" section you will find various articles about...well just about everything that could be a possible link.

I really want to argue this with her (she has a one-year-old and I love them both very much). I am however up to my neck in Economics, Japanese, and Japanese Lit.

Is anyone feeling froggy enough to leap on this for me?
I don't want to just send her to opposing sites without information about the articles on the one she has led me to.

I need a debunk. Anyone?
I wish I had more time. I'd do it. Maybe next week?

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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LizW
Skeptic Friend

USA
113 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2014 :  17:57:41   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send LizW a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Anytime would be helpful. Second week into the semester and the profs are already attempting to kill us. Japanese professors don't feel like they're doing a good job unless everyone in class looks like they haven't had a full night's sleep or a shower this week.

You learn something new every g****mn day!
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13467 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2014 :  19:37:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by LizW

Anytime would be helpful. Second week into the semester and the profs are already attempting to kill us. Japanese professors don't feel like they're doing a good job unless everyone in class looks like they haven't had a full night's sleep or a shower this week.
I know you don't want links, but were it me, I would point out that the website where the claim is made is not to be trusted.

The Greater Good: Pure, unadulterated anti-vaccine propaganda masquerading as a “balanced” documentary

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2014 :  07:53:50   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, geez. The website links to Natural News, run by Mike Adams, a guy who has never met a conspiracy theory he didn't like, even if it contradicts the other conspiracy theories he likes. That fact, alone, ought to be enough to discredit the movie-makers.

But in case it isn't, I can start this ball rolling...

Learn More: Science > Autism > Metals and Environmental Toxins in Autism

The very first resource, Sorting out the spinning of autism: heavy metals and the question of incidence (PDF), doesn't actually provide any new evidence of anything itself, it just reviews some studies and decides that people who claim "no-real-increase" of austism or "no-environmental-connection" between vaccines and vaccine injuries are wrong, but (and it's a very big "but") that "Although to say so is perhaps cliché, it could not be more true in the case of autism and neurotoxins: more research is needed."

That's the joke, though. When results are small or just barely reach statistical significance, anti-vaxxers demand more research. Hell, even when the results are negative, they demand more research. That's why it's a cliché.

There are also a bunch of Geier-and-Geier studies on that page. This is a father-and-son team whose expertise is in obstetrics and genetics, and whose testimony on the subjects of autism, neurology and epidemiology has been rejected in courtrooms because they couldn't fake being experts in those subjects well enough to fool the judges. At least once, Geier senior's claim to have diagnosed encephalitis in an infant was flatly rejected by a judge for failing to meet even a single diagnostic criteria. These guys like to comb through the VAERS database and try to make statistical arguments based on the already-biased data within (biased because the database only contains reports of adverse reactions possibly connected - maybe - to vaccines; it doesn't contain a single report of "our kid got vaccinated and had no problems").

Many of these study reports are locked behind paywalls. Of course, Liz, your cousin probably hasn't even bothered to read the publicly available abstracts to any of them. The idea that she's gone to the trouble of either finding a medical library or paying the often exorbitant fees to read these papers is silly. So how much trouble should we go through to debunk the film?

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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LizW
Skeptic Friend

USA
113 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2014 :  09:33:04   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send LizW a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

So how much trouble should we go through to debunk the film?


As much trouble as it takes. I thought debunking bad science was it's own reward. (^.^)v

You learn something new every g****mn day!
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13467 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2014 :  10:55:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by LizW

Originally posted by Dave W.

So how much trouble should we go through to debunk the film?


As much trouble as it takes. I thought debunking bad science was it's own reward. (^.^)v
The link I posted above takes apart the film, piece by piece. It's very thorough.

And as Dave sorta said, the site debunks itself by linking to known quack sites. And not just because we say so. Even many of the quacks stay clear of "Natural News!"

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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sailingsoul
SFN Addict

2830 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2014 :  17:51:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send sailingsoul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Are you good friends with this cousin? Have you considered slapping here up side her head? If that was likely to work I'd be slapping theists on sight but I'm not suggesting that.

Your first thing you should determine is if she is able to be reasoned with or capable of being reasonable. That's what I believe is paramount before moving forward. If not your wasting your time. A big thing I've learned here is that your not going to get anywhere if she's not willing to be reasoned with and be reasonable. For example, I've had people say that they get their morals from the God who wrote the Bible because humans are immoral without a God. Then when anyone points out how immoral that God is they flat out choose to ignore the evidence from the Bible or say it doesn't mean what it says. If that is the case with her on this topic the best you can do is state your case and move on. Life is to short for beating a dead horse expecting it get up and pull that wagon. The same with people.

Personally my fear would be that if you talk her into having her kids vaccinated and one or more does comes down with any of that shit mentioned she could blame you. That's a problem I see however remote. Your not some friend see can blame for what happens, your her cousin. The best I might try in your case is getting her to explain what she believes and why and nicely disagree if you do and give her the reasons why with facts that shape your different conclusion.

As far as suggestions, you could send her a link in return. Something like this in reply. You might try hunting down a podcast or two on the topic that cover the facts and let her get the other side that way. They can be searched by topic. A quick search now of skeptoid for "vaccines" gave,,,
Skeptoid #180: Vaccine Ingredients
Do vaccines really contain the horrifying poisons claimed by antivaccine activists?

Skeptoid #55: Mercury, Autism, and Chelation: A Recipe for Risk
An examination of the lethal pop-culture fad of chelating autistic children.

Skeptoid #125: Ten Most Wanted: Celebrities Who Promote Harmful Pseudoscience
A critical look at the antics of Oprah Winfrey, Jenny McCarthy, Prince Charles, Bill Maher, Larry King, Pamela Anderson, Ben Stein, Joe Rogan, Chuck Norris, and Montel Williams.

You might listen to them and see if they might be helpful. Perhaps you can find better ones elsewhere. Good luck. Let us know what you do.

There are only two types of religious people, the deceivers and the deceived. SS
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LizW
Skeptic Friend

USA
113 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2014 :  07:38:40   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send LizW a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the suggestions guys.

My cousin is pretty much the perfect target demographic for this type of movie. She is a young first-time parent with no background in the sciences or in the humanities that promote critical thinking.

She is thoughtful enough to be willing to put in the effort to do the "right" thing, but she doesn't yet understand that she has to question why something is the "right" thing.

One of the problems with arguing that the film makers are discredited by association with people and organizations that have already been discredited is that she has no idea why the first round of people were discredited. She has no idea if the people doing the evaluating have any more validity than those being evaluated.

For you this is not unexplored territory, but for her the background information is not there yet. She has only been exposed to the surface of the issue, and only one facet of the surface at that.

She saw a movie that moved her toward a belief. I am trying to gently give her digestible information to move her toward questioning that belief. This is how you teach people to question what they see and hear on any subject, and that is what all of this fencing I do with her (and other friends and family) is hopefully leading to.

Most of the people who post here on skeptic friends already have an interest in debating issues on a deeper level. They are already versed in critical thinking (notice the most... not all). When I debate with family and friends, I am usually dealing with people who don't know why they believe what they do, and often getting them to question those beliefs is like pulling teeth.

You learn something new every g****mn day!
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13467 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2014 :  11:43:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
LizW:
She is thoughtful enough to be willing to put in the effort to do the "right" thing, but she doesn't yet understand that she has to question why something is the "right" thing.

I suppose if it were me, I'd point out why an overwhelming consensus of scientists do not agree with what the film is saying, and talk about how a consensus view happens and that it takes lots of peer reviewed studies to form a consensus. When deciding on what to do, because of all the research that has already been done, the consensus view is also the best bet.

A single movie, even if there are doctors in it, does not reflect what the scientific or medical community holds to be true. They are known outliers and not very well respected.

That doesn't mean they are wrong. It means they are probably wrong and not a good bet when making health decisions.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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