Bill Maher, the moronic Food Babe, and the NYT discusses what to call climate change denialists

Bill Maher did it again last night, doubling down on his anti-vax nonsense claiming the real problem is we haven’t done a controlled population-based trial on vaccination vs non-vaccination. Sadly, I don’t have a clip, but I have to say this time at least I was gratified that his panel wasn’t composed of complete morons and they actually challenged him on some of his nonsense. This is actually a classic impossible expectations denialist argument, he essentially proposes an experiment that would be wildly expensive, impossible to perform, and highly unethical. Worse, it still is internally inconsistent. He claims, as he did last week that vaccines are somehow preventing us to experience the benefit of fighting our own individual battles with infectious disease, and that in some Nietzschean fashion, this makes us weaker. But this makes no sense, as vaccines, after all, are antigen exposure. Second, there is no evidence that shows that exposure to infectious disease of one kind somehow makes you stronger, or more able to fight off other infections. It is a point unworthy of debate, not-surprisingly, as Bill Maher tends to make lots of such points. Vaccines have made our populations healthier, live longer, and all but eradicated several devastating diseases in plagues in modern times.

The second interesting article is Justin Gillis at NYT’s What to call a doubter of climate change? You all probably have an idea where we stand, and we have previously discussed the problematic nature of the use of denier as it gives them easy ammo to dismiss critique of denialist tactics as ad hominem. Unfortunately Gillis fails to actually define the problem adequately, in that he fails to describe the behavior and tactics of denialism. As a result his comment section, already at about 400 at the time of writing, mostly consists of Galileo gambits and comparisons of modern denialists to Einstein or Marshall and Warren. This is a newer modification of the Galileo Gambit which hijacks the work of Thomas Kuhn to suggest the denialists aren’t hacks, but revolutionaries!

Of course, the problem is the scientific revolutions that Kuhn described weren’t accomplished using the tactics of denialism. It’s also very important to understand such revolutions don’t invalidate previous data, which are still true. Einstein didn’t invalidate Newtonian physics, he expanded upon them in areas where they don’t work, such as at high speeds or small scales. Climate change denialists aren’t advancing a radical new theory, or compiling an alternative data set, they’re nitpicking existing science and promoting conspiracy theories about fraud that routinely get pants on fire level ratings. It’s a clever tactic, but totally bogus. When Jim Inhofe says that climate change can’t be dangerous because God is in control, that’s not a scientific revolutionary speaking. That’s a crank.

So Gillis makes a critical error, I believe, in the presentation of this problem because he fails to adequately describe the tactics of denialism being criticized, because the tactics are indefensible, and documented from one side of the internet to the other. It’s psuedoskepticism, and psuedoscience, and the key from distinguishing it from actual science that has the capacity to generate a revolution is to point out that no actual science is being done by these jokers, just cherry-picking, conspiratorial fear-mongering and rhetorical tricks. I think he describes the problem well but has opened himself to undue criticism by not making the issue the tactics rather than the specific belief. (of note Gillis spoke to me in prep for this article about some of the history of the debate)

Finally, the Food Babe. She truly presents an abundance of stupidity to debunk, and Orac does it well. Her newest, shockingly-stupid statement is just mind-blowing. She has apparently said, “There is just no acceptable level of any chemical to ingest, ever.”

Her history of doing this is pretty significant and she follows a pattern – she says things that show that she is so mind-bogglingly ignorant that she proves she has no business representing herself as a source of valid information or expertise on any topic. Then she realizes she’s crossed the line of unbelievable ignorance, and tries to hide it from the internet. Notable examples include her now difficult-to-find claim that pilots flood airplanes with toxic nitrogen gas rather than healthy oxygen during flights. Or her claim that brewers use toxic chemicals to fine beer, ignoring, of course, the toxicity of ethanol or that her sub-high school level of chemistry has not prepared her to understand even very basic concepts in organic chemistry.

Let us be very clear. This isn’t even denialism (although she does make those arguments too). This is just abject stupidity. This is such a low level of knowledge and understanding of the physical world it actually falls more into the Not even wrong category of argument. I don’t even need to debunk such a stupid statement, I trust my audience to be smart enough to see the glaring flaws, and there are a few contained in that special little nugget.

But this ties back into Bill Maher in an important way. As we discussed last week, Bill Maher essentially buys into this same ignorant medical belief that toxins are somehow to blame for a significant portion of human illness. On its surface its an appealing piece of woo, because it accomplishes one of the most important tasks of a really attractive piece of nonsense, that is, it offers adherents a false sense of control over their health. If I just avoid “toxins” I can avoid heart disease! And Cancer! and liver forever! Clearly, there are some toxins that humans frequently ingest that can cause disease, like alcohol (she doesn’t pick up on the toxicity of alcohol amazingly), tobacco, and various chemical exposures that at high levels can cause liver disease, heart failure, cancer. It’s entirely possible for toxins to cause disease, this is true. But it’s not in the way that the toxin fanatics think, in which anything natural is falsely seen as “non-toxic” and anything man-made or processed is “toxic”, and it also fails to understand the most important principle in understanding (most) toxic exposures, that is the general association between dosage and toxicity. For the moment we’ll put aside idiopathic toxic reactions, but generally, dosage is important. A chemical like water, the essential molecule of life, can be toxic to humans at high levels, but essential in the range that our body needs to keep all of its complex chemical reactions in equilibrium.

Further, natural foods, plants, etc., contain toxins as a part of their basic make-up. Consider the tomato. A member of the nightshade family Solanaceae, it contains toxins including solanine (as do many other fruits and veggies). Luckily, humans have an organ called a liver, and for most levels of this toxin contained in your all-natural, GMO-free potatoes, tomatoes, blueberries and apples, you’re going to be just fine (unless you eat like 100 potatoes in a sitting).

Toxins are everywhere, they’re in our food, our natural, wholesome, tasty healthy food. We’re just able to process most of them, at the levels that our bodies have adapted to over the millions of years we’ve been evolving on this planet. When morons like the Food Babe, and Maher vaguely refer to “toxins” and then in the next breath talk about eating veggie, avoiding meat (very low in toxins compared to say a nice plant like belladona – or cherries), they just show they have no clue what contributes to health and human disease.

Disease can be avoided, but the only things we really have good evidence for is that we should eat less, exercise more, and avoid true toxins like tobacco and ethanol (although moderation on booze is probably ok – thank your liver). Most of the rest is out of our control and is a combination of genes and luck. There are no superfoods. There are no panaceas, no magic vitamin supplement which has been shown to substantially effect our mortality (read the link, most supplementation is at best useless, at worse, harmful). It would be wonderful if there were, but there simply isn’t good evidence for this nonsense. When someone shows me some real data that we can fool our body into not aging with some specific diet, supplement or food, I’ll happily eat it, but they just don’t have it (and I’ve read the Mediterranean diet data which is pathetic.)

The best advice I can give after studying this stuff for years is that no one knows the ideal diet. It’s important to avoid obesity. Malnutrition is rare with most typical, varied diets so supplementation is likely unneeded outside of specific illnesses or life changes like pregnancy. Eat more high fiber foods like fruits and vegetables, and avoid junk food, avoid calorie-dense foods like sugary sodas, highly-processed food and fast food. Exercise. Sleep. Until we know better, we can’t say much more. And the certainty with which natural-food pronouncements claim foods are “miracles” or “super” is a sure sign of fraud.

29 thoughts on “Bill Maher, the moronic Food Babe, and the NYT discusses what to call climate change denialists”

  1. Bloody hell. Looks like Orac has subject himself to Maher again…

    I mean, seriously, Bill. Even diehard antivaxers don’t use that flavor of the vaxed/antivaxed study trope anymore, because even they know that such a study would be unethical because it’s been pounded into them so many times by skeptics whenever they bring it up.

  2. Hey mark who is paying you to keep criticizing bill maher? What are you so scared of? It’s a relentless attack for what purpose? What is YOUR objective? Seriously

  3. ” Second, there is no evidence that shows that exposure to infectious disease of one kind somehow makes you stronger.”

    No evidence? Seems like perhaps you should live a while longer in the world before being so certain of your position. You come across as big a SCIENCE denialist as you profess others do. Did you even research that statement before making it? Try researching HIV resistance and smallpox.

    One thing you may find out as you gain some real world experience, is that there is science and there is SCIENCE.

    science tells us that dams store potential energy and allow us to convert it to kinetic energy to power cities, as well as shielding many cities from uncontrolled kinetic release of floods. SCIENCE tell us that the worlds dams are silting up at the rate of 1% per year and in the last 80 years we’ve yet to figure out ONE solution to the long term problem – both of what we are going to do with the disastrous mud plugs we are creating that could one day wipe out entire valleys of cities were the dams to break and of the floods that will return when we no longer have higher elevation storage reservoirs to contain all the excess water.

    science tells us to vaccinate, and it’s right….in the short term. It’s certainly right where we’ve been able to eliminate a pathogen like smallpox The question the panel asked in one segment are about SCIENCE and whether our short term dependence upon the tactic of vaccination has a limited lifetime, just like dams. That is certainly proving to be the case with antibiotics and their emerging and unchecked resistance. Is our knowledge of medicine so inviolate that reasonable people cannot question whether other areas of medicine are sound?

    Too bad the debate (and the media) always devolve to poking fun at the irrational antivaxxers (who either aren’t knowledgeable or aren’t eloquent in SCIENCE), or poking fun at those who might attempt to discuss the SCIENCE of the longer term issue. The latter smack of Climate denial, just as Bill said. Or rather ASKED. “Can you do too much of a good thing?”

    The answer is clearly YES, you can do too much of a good thing.

    So in your rush to defend science, you might have a care that you’re not also attacking SCIENCE.

  4. How can the author of this blog comment on anything nutrition related when he is an MD? You have not ben trained in Medical Nutrition. You haven’t spent anytime studying the effects of optimal nutrition on human performance. You don’t know what 2500MG a day of Vit C does to the body over the course of a year. You don’t know what probiotics does to the intestinal health of the human microbiome and how it effects the immune response. You don’t know what you don’t know. You sir are unqualified to speak on anything nutrition related whatsoever. Dr you better stick to what you know and that is pharmaceutical therapies only and a primitive view of nutrition. You lack the understanding of how extremely important it is. Did you know there is such a thing as a nutrient deficiency disease? Mark please tell us what happens when you are deficient in selenium or Vit D3? Do you know? or do you have to look it up? So sick of the arrogance. You call Chiropractors and Naturopathic Doctors Quacks when you can’t even cure heartburn? And you want us to give MD’s billions to study cancer? And we are science deniers?

    When you can’t cite any long term safety studies on vaccines? You know? like lets look at the 49 doses of 14 shots in the current schedule and follow 1000 subjects for 10 years and see what the outcomes are. lets analyze the Aluminum and Mercury and see ho it effect the biochemistry and text to see how much of these metals are still in the body. Is that too much to ask or is the science settled? ***NEWS FLASH**** the science is never settled. The medical establishment doesn’t know whats causing Autism but they are 100% sure its not anything in the vaccine schedule. Really? I am supposed to trust science that is biased with heavy influence from drug companies? Where we have a climate of intellectual cowardice and intellectual inertia? Just for raising any question about vaccine safety I am considered a kook or conspiracy theorist? or science denier? WOW! I am on to you people there is definitely an agenda on this blog!

  5. Yes, Bill did double down on the Friday 13th show, but there were two panelists this week who challenged his views which was nice to see. Bill still talked over them and changed topics when he felt like he was losing control. That is of course his usual tactic when people don’t agree with him, and it is his show.

    @Iliya. Bill is a public figure who is somewhat respected in the atheist/secular community, but makes some egregiously stupid and uninformed comments about medicine in general, and vaccines in particular. It is particularly ironic as Bill is known to be a supporter of the science of anthropogenic global warming (though he clearly doesn’t understand it…) and yet he is guilty of the same logical fallacies and denialist tropes when it comes to medicine, as he accuses global warming deniers of having.

    All I’m saying is Bill Maher is a valid target for skeptical analysis and criticism. Mark’s “objective” would appear to be disseminating facts.

    I

  6. I used to like Maher in spite of his various anti-science positions. I used to be able to enjoy his humor and ignore the ridiculous things he said as long as there was’t too much of the latter, but with the epodes two weeks ago (and this last one) I’ve finally had enough. There is only so much nonsense I can stomach – life’s too short.

    Glad to see you writing regularly again Mark.

  7. Oh boy, just saw the three crank responses above. It’s depressing to see people so confidently responding with logic fallacy after fallacy, while obvioulsy fondly believing they are making good arguments.

  8. @johnny nasheo

    I don’t see what point you are trying to make by your “science” vs “SCIENCE” …uhm…for lack of a better word, lets say “argument”.

    You seem to be conflating science with technology and politics. Science can only inform, it can’t make policy decisions. Your tortured analogy about dams silting up..because SCIENCE… is kind of bizarre. Well, clumsy anyway. Hydro-electric dams have provided us with relatively cheap and relatively pollution free electricity for over 100 years. They are the product of engineering and technology…not so much “science/SCIENCE”. Are they entirely without problems? Of course not. Is it “SCIENCE’S” fault? Again…of course not.

    You make the same mistake Bill Maher did by conflating vaccines with the completely unrelated problem of resistance to antibiotics. The causes of the latter problem are multi-factorial (inappropriate use, over prescription, and widespread use in factory farming). It is frightening that we are approaching a post antibiotic era. We’ve really only had them for 70 years or so, so there’s been a couple of generations have grown up not understanding the sorts of morbidity and mortality bacterial infection caused.

    We’ve actually had vaccines far longer than antibiotics, and in fact, they are just as successful now as they ever were, and science is developing more vaccines all the time. We have eradicated a few horrible diseases (eg smallpox), and severely reduced the prevalence of others through widespread vaccination. This actually uses the bodies own highly evolved immune response by inducing it to provide a defense against a wild virus it has yet to encounter. This is prevention…which Alties always accuse medicine and doctors of not doing well.

  9. @skeptico why is it unreasonable to ask about the vaccine schedule and its safety? I don’t get it? It’s never been studied.science is always evolving especially in healthcare. I have a 2 month old son and I want to see safety studies on the long term side effects. Its a fair question. Show us the science. You can’t! Becuase you trust authority. Authority isn’t truth. Truth is authority

  10. ilster says:

    Hey mark who is paying you to keep criticizing bill maher? What are you so scared of? It’s a relentless attack for what purpose? What is YOUR objective? Seriously

    I love how quickly the crank mind goes to conspiracy. I only receive income from my hospital where I train, and a small amount of money from scienceblogs. I have no financial conflicts of interest.

    How can the author of this blog comment on anything nutrition related when he is an MD? You have not ben trained in Medical Nutrition.

    Maybe you don’t understand what is involved in medical education. We are trained to recognize and treat vitamin deficiencies, which are quite rare in the modern era with food fortification (no more pellagra or cretinism) as most people don’t see a nutritionist for diagnosis, they see doctors. So as the entry-point for the medical field we are trained as diagnosticians in this regard.

    You don’t know what 2500MG a day of Vit C does to the body over the course of a year.

    Yes I do, since you tend to just urinate out all the excess, it does very little.

    You don’t know what probiotics does to the intestinal health of the human microbiome and how it effects the immune response. You don’t know what you don’t
    know.

    Actually no one really knows yet, the data on probiotics are pretty slim to none and we’re only just beginning to understand the microbiome, so anyone who pretends to know the answer here is full of it. The idea that the tiny populations of organisms in probiotics will significantly alter the microbiome is quite unlikely and probably why such therapies have shown little success in things like preventing c. diff. However, it is clear that the microbiome is very flexible and can be changed drastically by diet and exposure to things like antibiotics.

    You sir are unqualified to speak on anything nutrition related whatsoever. Dr you better stick to what you know and that is pharmaceutical therapies only and a primitive view of nutrition. You lack the understanding of how extremely important it is. Did you know there is such a thing as a nutrient deficiency disease? Mark please tell us what happens when you are deficient in selenium or Vit D3? Do you know? or do you have to look it up?.

    Of course we understand what nutrient deficiency diseases are, I’ve mentioned 2 already. Selenium deficiency is actually of specific interest in surgical training, we are tested on it yearly on our in-service examination (the ABSITE which I just took like 2 weeks ago) because it has direct relevance to the populations of patients we often treat, that is folks that have had gastric bypass surgery and those chronically on TPN, hence regular suplementation in TPN with selenium, as well as several other vitamins that are essential. Deficiency is associated with neurologic and thyroid problems if I recall, as well as skin hyperpigmentation. The other one we are attuned to is zinc deficiency for issues it causes with wound healing, and iron deficiency of course and anemia. Vit D, that’s easy, another patient population I routinely encounter (and create) are those who we have had thyroidectomy or parathyroidectomy. Chronically in children it’s associated with rickets. We know quite well about what happens when you screw up the PTH hormonal axis and I fairly often prescribe cholecalciferol (vit D3) specifically for hypocalcemia after thyroidectomy. Relative vit D deficiency is less clear, it probably has a role in immune deficiency, some interesting data exists on the role of vitamin D in defense against intracellular pathogens such as TB, other slim data associates vit D deficiency with higher mortality in elderly populations although there are obvious confounding factors (as you become more decrepit you get less sun exposure), and supplementation has not shown clear benefit.

    So sick of the arrogance. You call Chiropractors and Naturopathic Doctors Quacks when you can’t even cure heartburn? And you want us to give MD’s billions to study cancer? And we are science deniers?

    I’m quite impressed of the arrogance of assuming that nutrition isn’t a significant portion of my training. Surgeons have to have a very astute knowledge of nutrition. If you’re going to go about removing thyroids and parathyroids, resect stomach or bowel, or rearrange the gi tract you have to have an advanced understanding of the implications of those actions. You have to understand everything from differential absorption of iron by the digestive tract (most in the duodenum so pt with gastric bypass will often develop iron deficiency anemia) to enterohepatic circulation (just think ileal resection in Crohn’s disease), the function of intrinsic factor (think gastrectomy) etc. So I’m not sure who is being arrogant here.

    Could it possibly be the person accusing me of ignorance on the topic of human nutrition after I have spent 4 years in college studying biology and physics, followed by 4 years in medical school (which does involve extensive education in nutrient deficiency), about 5 years on a PhD in molecular physiology and the last 6 years in surgical residency training, that as I’ve described, requires significant understanding of nutrition since we are the doctors that often drastically alter it? don’t get me started on progress on cancer, we’ve made a lot more on that front that the naturopaths have, so give me a break.

    Oh, and we can totally cure heartburn. If you don’t accept proton pump inhibitors as a cure (they work > 90% of the time), or even lowly H2 blocker therapy which might be safer in the long term (work > 85% of the time), then we can always offer you a Nissen fundoplication. Yes, a surgical cure for chronic, medically unresponsive heartburn, it exists! I hope it’s not arrogant of me to point that out to the one who accuses my profession of ignorance while they clearly have no understanding of medicine or physiology or even readily available medical and surgical therapies that can treat or even cure heartburn.

  11. Mark, you’ve referred to the Dunning-Kruger effect in several posts. When you compared holocaust deniers with deniers of anthropogenic climate change, for example, you wrote:

    Part of the problem is the Dunning-Kruger effect, people who are incompetent have a great deal of difficulty recognizing competence in others, while inflating estimates of their own competence.

    It’s ironic, if inevitable, that so many of your commenters evince the D-K effect. The original paper is well worth reading, but the Wikipedia summary is admirably concise:

    Dunning and Kruger proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will

    – fail to recognize their own lack of skill;
    – fail to recognize genuine skill in others;
    – fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy;
    – recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they are exposed to training for that skill.

    You may be right that much denial of scientific reality from the D-K effect, but IMO it is usually in service to an underlying psychological unwillingness to accept that reality. The most interesting deniers are those whose training should give them the skill to know better, like Peter Duesberg, who denies that HIV is the cause of AIDS; or Richard Lindzen, who denies that the present global warming is anthropogenic. Both of them reject the lopsided consensus of their scientific peers, formed through rigorous, iterative review of accumulating evidence under the established rules of science. What do you think motivates their denialism?

  12. @ Mal Adapted

    There is a variety of denialism out there that ranges from the seemingly sinister denialism of those that should know better, as you point out, and the more run-of-the mill tendency of ideology to reinforce anti-intellectual or anti-science views. As far as the disseminators of such nonsense go, I see three general categories, 1) total cranks (Inhofe, Monckton) who rejoice in contrarianism, and demonstrate repeatedly they don’t understand or don’t care to understand the relevant science and rather feel superior by taking extreme views, 2) the majority of denialists who are not ill-intentioned but don’t understand science enough to recognize how their inherently biased their views are, and as Kahan’s research shows, cherry-pick the literature and information to reinforce their existing ideology so their extremism increases with higher education, and 3) paid disinformation agents such as those employed by AEI, CEI, George Mason etc., to create a veneer of scientific or intellectual legitimacy to denialist views to lobby for or generally disinform the public. The third group I think may truly believe their nonsense, and maybe they’re just selected for by such groups, but it’s clear that beyond being dishonest brokers in the debate, they’re financially rewarded for supporting the anti-science position.

    Dunning-Kruger (incompetent and unaware of it) is likely most applicable to 1 and 2, and still to some degree to #3, but you have to wonder about the motivations of #3 and if they really do know better. It’s impossible to read minds. But the arguments all three groups are similar in that they are emotionally-appealing, but ultimately empty arguments that use misrepresentation and deception to achieve their aims.

    I don’t believe denialism is necessarily a sign of some moral failing. We’re learning from research into these types of responses that denialism is a function of “tribal inclusiveness” and ego protection of overvalued beliefs in response to inconvenient facts. It’s a very human behavior, and all people to some degree probably have a tendency towards it, but it isn’t scientifically legitimate. The desire to be right, damn the facts, is just the outcome of human failings, and its expression tends to take this form. Humans start with belief, then find data that conveniently fits with their worldview. Scientific thought is far more unnatural than denialism, it requires training, self-awareness and insight into one’s own biases, and even good scientists fail at times to remain scientific when it comes to their particular ideology.

  13. Mark, it looks as if they have you on their speed-dial. You have far more patience than I would have under equivalent circumstances. The probability of persuading the speed-dialers is minimal, so I have to assume you’re thinking of undecideds who might run across this page. That makes the patience worthwhile.

  14. I wonder if Maher et al. are referring to the hygiene hypothesis when they worry about over-vaccination making us weaker? As I understand it, the idea is that we live such clean, relatively disease-free lives now that our developing immune systems are never calibrated to respond to actual pathogens, and start to over-react to benign antigens (allergies) and our own cells (autoimmune disorders). To the extent that it proves to be correct, then at least some of our emerging health problems could be construed as being due to suppressing diseases. What I know of this comes from general college biology textbooks, filtered through my memory – does that match your understanding of the hypothesis as a doctor, Mark?

    But, of course, even if it proves true it wouldn’t mean that the best solution would be to stop trying to prevent dangerous diseases.

  15. Talk of belladonna and the suggestion that people who eat plant-rich diets hope never to age are straw man fallacies. If most chronic diseases were due to our inherently defective genes or to bad luck, we would not expect to see such huge differences among populations in age-adjusted incidence rates. There can never be perfect knowledge about the effects of nutrition on human health, since you cannot raise genetically identical humans in cages and force them to eat what you want for life, but the imperfect knowledge that science does give us suggests that what we eat really does make a difference to health.

    As to artificial chemicals, since we have been consuming fruit for millions of years, it does not follow logically that because our livers process the alleged toxins in cherries, they will process novel endocrine disruptors for which increasing scientific evidence of harm is, in fact, being amassed.

    If you are the sort who values comfort, it could be entirely rational to go along with the prevailing lifestyle because it’s easier or you really enjoy it, even if it causes an increased risk of degenerative disease. If you are the healthist sort who takes statins for primary prevention, it could be entirely rational to adjust your diet to try to avoid things that look harmful in epidemiological and animal studies. Pretending the issues don’t exist, that you can have your processed, meat-rich American diet and your physical-health-above-all value system simultaneously, is plainly emotionally motivated.

  16. I want to thank your for actually responding to me thats respectful. My response it all over so bare with me. I am into the big picture of this topic and the big ramifications and conclusions.

    to learn who rules over you simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize ~Voltair
    Dont criticize Vaccines or else! Why can’t I question the safety when I have heard form 10’s of 1000’s o parents witness their child get damaged from a vaccine? Why isn’t that part of the equation? Pro vax people dismiss it completely. and embrace so called scientific studies? Holy shit! something is really wrong when we silence parents and side with drug companies with Billions on the line to keep up the vaccine schedule.

    From the former editor of one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world.

    “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.”

    —Marcia Angell, MD (“Drug Companies and Doctors: A story of Corruption.” NY Review of Books, Jan. 15, 2009.)

    So it’s safe to say MD’s can’t be trusted and surely the science you hold up as PROOF is nothing more than manipulated and censored data to meet Pharmaceutical Control.

    First of all if you notice when you come to the front page of science Blogs first top headline says anti-vax loses its edge with a bunch of stories underneath.
    Says who? Your blog? thats false the trend is up in the anti-vaccine movement more more parents are saying No so I don’t know what that means. This measles hope is backfiring because now our side is getting out the information to our friends and its will just continue to undermine vaccination over the long term. Who pays you anyway? somebody that wants to see vaccines and drugs thrive? somebody that doesn’t want the truth of nutrition to get out?

    Some of the smartest google engineers are not vaxing their kids. Neither am I its a no brainer for people like myself who understand OPTIMAL NUTRITION and who look at 100% of the facts independently from our MDs

    see article…..http://www.wired.com/2015/02/tech-companies-and-vaccines/

    secondly There is not 1 positive artlcle on this site about vitamin supplements. HUGE red flag signaling agenda and bias.

    You state that we don’t know much about the micro biome…..but we do actually. YOU just don’t, and your industry doesn’t because the drug companies censor the journals that you read. Your journals are carefully monitored by multi-billion drug companies so that zero zip nada conflicting research get out. You are nothing but a mere soldier taking your orders from your overlords/generals. The pharmaceutical industry. The science is completely bought and paid for and you Mark are the pawn in all of this. I really feel bad for you. Your MD training was heavily influenced by drug companies back in medical school, Your continuing education is funded by them and the ONLY therapeutics you can prescribe are DRUGS.That folks is sad and a Monopoly on medicine that needs to be broken up!! immediately. If you really really knew the truth about nutrition you would be prescribing Omega 3 supplements and Probiotics to EVERYONE. Wait!!! Its not in the NEJM or JAMA or journal you think is sanctified and holy. it must not be true then. WRONG! Drug companies do not want this information in your hands John Oliver was able to present that clearly Big Money baby and CONTROL

    The establishment want us all to get jacked up with Vaccines because the body isn’t equipped. Your training has told you we need extra chemicals to boost our immune systems FALSE all we need is good sound optimal nutrition to fuel our bodies and our immune sytems perform incredibly. Then after we have been doped up with 49 doses of 14 shots we start getting other ailments and the drug industry is quick to come in with more drugs with chemicals and side effects. What a great business Model. Inject chemicals into babies that cause Asthma allergies, auto immune diseases ETC and then prescribe more drugs and toxins. to subdue the symptoms. That Mark is a wonderful Gig and the best part every vaccine is exempt from lawsuit. see vaccine act of 1986 Of course they are going to keep making tons more vaccines when they are immune from lawsuits, just like to big to fail banks they are covered.

    Oh, and we can totally cure heartburn. If you don’t accept proton pump inhibitors as a cure(I do not) (they work > 90% of the time), or even lowly H2 blocker therapy which might be safer in the long term (work > 85% of the time),<—— Those are not Cures Mark those are drugs with side effects. Do you know what cures heartburn? a Detoxification diet for 10 days, eliminate food allergies and supplement with probiotics and other various vitamins and herbs to support the healing of the stomach. Diet nutrition and lifestyle intervention CURES! Not drug therapies! Thats a No Briainer for ND’s but to an MD its mental gymastics. WHY? Because your not trained in this modality. your trained to be nothing more than a pawn for the pharmaceutical industry. One humongous Monopoly.

    See if MD’s really knew about nutrition( which they Dont) they would be prescribing high grade supplements instead of drugs. But they can’t because they are not trained in medical nutrition only pharmaceutical therapies. And their overlords the Drug industry would never ever allow it.

    a surgical cure for chronic, medically unresponsive heartburn, it exists! Again the knife?<——— Cmon Mark thats nuts and the problem with medical doctors. Your training is dangerous for humanity. Your training is excellent for trauma, infections, broken bones, car accidents. bullet wounds that sort if thing. But for the vast majority of chronic diseases in this country your training and the drugs do more harm than good. We know its a monopoly when high grade nutrition is not being prescribed.

    To summarize this site
    Vaccines good Drugs good GMO’s good, vitamin supplements bad! If you question Vaccines you are a science denier, kook, quack,crank, pseudoscience google phd,ETC this is parroted by all my friends on Facebook so I know there is a strong agenda here.

    If you have the intellectual courage. I suggest you watch this short clip of Dr Glidden characterize why you should be FIRED!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ta1NZmwjvYQ

    Also see Sheryl Atkiinsin characterize sites like this as Astroturf blogs. Both videos are very short and eye opening if you have balls!!! Sadly most dont cognitive dissonance takes over and they are paralyzed!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bYAQ-ZZtEU

  17. Pingback: Timeline: Vaccines
  18. @ Ilster

    to learn who rules over you simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize ~Voltair
    Dont criticize Vaccines or else! Why can’t I question the safety when I have heard form 10’s of 1000’s o parents witness their child get damaged from a vaccine? Why isn’t that part of the equation? Pro vax people dismiss it completely. and embrace so called scientific studies? Holy shit! something is really wrong when we silence parents and side with drug companies with Billions on the line to keep up the vaccine schedule.

    Also from Voltaire, “I am in the smallest room of my house, your letter was before me, now it is behind me.” Quotes from the long dead are meaningless. The fact that you think anecdote is meaningful suggests you again, just don’t get science. I have no doubt that many people believe that vaccines have cause these problems, but the facts and the data show otherwise, that correlation is not causation, and belief is not data.

    From the former editor of one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world.

    “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.”

    —Marcia Angell, MD (“Drug Companies and Doctors: A story of Corruption.” NY Review of Books, Jan. 15, 2009.)

    Again argument by quote. I love it when anti-medicine cranks quote Marcia Angell. Guess what Marcia Angell also advocates? Vaccination. She also doesn’t reject medicine, she rejects the modern patent system which encourages the creation of redundant medications as opposed to those with a novel mechanism. She is a legitimate critic of industry who argues cogently against pharmaceutical company marketing, like I did just last week. But she doesn’t deny the efficacy of drugs, or vaccines or medicine. In fact she says, “If prescription drugs were like ordinary consumer goods, all this might not matter very much. But drugs are different. People depend on them for their health and even their lives.”

    So nice try warping the views of a doctor who actually believes in pharmaceuticals, just not in the laws that allow the companies to hijack NIH research and profit from it. Sadly I’m very aware of her writing, and it has nothing to do with antivax nonsense.

    So it’s safe to say MD’s can’t be trusted and surely the science you hold up as PROOF is nothing more than manipulated and censored data to meet Pharmaceutical Control.

    Dear lord. What a jump in logic. If this is the way your brain works it is broken. One expert, quoted out of context, rails against pharmaceutical company influence on physicians and it’s specifically their marketing towards physicians that she believes unduly influences us, and you interpret it as a critique of all of medicine, like it doesn’t work. Here is what Marcia Angell has to say about altie meds “It is time for the scientific community to stop giving alternative medicine a free ride… There cannot be two kinds of medicine — conventional and alternative. There is only medicine that has been adequately tested and medicine that has not, medicine that works and medicine that may or may not work. Once a treatment has been tested rigorously, it no longer matters whether it was considered alternative at the outset. If it is found to be reasonably safe and effective, it will be accepted.” She does not accept alternative medicine, she is a physician that believes pharmaceuticals are life-saving and specifically criticizes the industry for abandoning its role as a producer of drugs of benefit to humanity and instead creating patentable “me-too” drugs, and non-novel medications to win market share.

    Your attempt to warp her words will not work.

    First of all if you notice when you come to the front page of science Blogs first top headline says anti-vax loses its edge with a bunch of stories underneath.
    Says who? Your blog? thats false the trend is up in the anti-vaccine movement more more parents are saying No so I don’t know what that means. This measles hope is backfiring because now our side is getting out the information to our friends and its will just continue to undermine vaccination over the long term. Who pays you anyway? somebody that wants to see vaccines and drugs thrive? somebody that doesn’t want the truth of nutrition to get out?

    So you are an antivax advocate, and dedicated to undermine vaccines no matter what. No matter what the facts, no matter what the science. Charming.

    And again, no one pays me. Your paranoia is showing.

    Some of the smartest google engineers are not vaxing their kids. Neither am I its a no brainer for people like myself who understand OPTIMAL NUTRITION and who look at 100% of the facts independently from our MDs

    Ah, appeal to authority. And google U! Good for you. Is anyone here interested in anything more ilster has to say? I think this is an excellent demonstration of crankery. We have the conspiracy theory (I’m paid by Big Pharma/Pharma Shill) we have cherry picking (Marcia Angell quoted out of context), we have fake experts (Google people do it it must be true!) and logical fallacies (just look at the jump from Marcia Angel is critical of Pharma therefor all medicine and science is lies).

    This is a broken mind.

    secondly There is not 1 positive artlcle on this site about vitamin supplements. HUGE red flag signaling agenda and bias.

    No, that’s because there is no good data supporting their use. There is no balance here. the data do not support excessive supplementation

    You state that we don’t know much about the micro biome…..but we do actually. YOU just don’t, and your industry doesn’t because the drug companies censor the journals that you read. Your journals are carefully monitored by multi-billion drug companies so that zero zip nada conflicting research get out. You are nothing but a mere soldier taking your orders from your overlords/generals. The pharmaceutical industry. The science is completely bought and paid for and you Mark are the pawn in all of this. I really feel bad for you. Your MD training was heavily influenced by drug companies back in medical school, Your continuing education is funded by them and the ONLY therapeutics you can prescribe are DRUGS.That folks is sad and a Monopoly on medicine that needs to be broken up!! immediately. If you really really knew the truth about nutrition you would be prescribing Omega 3 supplements and Probiotics to EVERYONE. Wait!!! Its not in the NEJM or JAMA or journal you think is sanctified and holy. it must not be true then. WRONG! Drug companies do not want this information in your hands John Oliver was able to present that clearly Big Money baby and CONTROL

    What a crank! I’m really impressed. I think you read the Howto. I love the caps in particular. Also you weren’t watching she same John Oliver that I was. His critique, and mine, isn’t that pharmaceuticals don’t work. It’s that marketing has no place in the promotion of health. This is to contrast with the agents of big placebo and the vitamin pushers who have nothing but marketing because they have no data. It’s amazing, John Oliver criticizes medicine for being subjected to marketing, and the nutrient crank uses that critique against medicine despite promoting a system that exclusively uses marketing to push its claims. Fantastic!

    Show me the trials. Show me the RCT. That does not mean going to natural news or mercola or one of those crank sites and copy/pasting a list of references that they haven’t actually read, and when investigated don’t demonstrate what they say they do. Show me a single RCT in a quality journal which shows that this brand of “nutrient optimization” prolongs life in humans.

    Oh, and we can totally cure heartburn. If you don’t accept proton pump inhibitors as a cure(I do not) (they work > 90% of the time), or even lowly H2 blocker therapy which might be safer in the long term (work > 85% of the time),< —— Those are not Cures Mark those are drugs with side effects. Do you know what cures heartburn? a Detoxification diet for 10 days, eliminate food allergies and supplement with probiotics and other various vitamins and herbs to support the healing of the stomach. Diet nutrition and lifestyle intervention CURES! Not drug therapies! Thats a No Briainer for ND’s but to an MD its mental gymastics. WHY? Because your not trained in this modality. your trained to be nothing more than a pawn for the pharmaceutical industry. One humongous Monopoly.

    Show me the RCT.

    See if MD’s really knew about nutrition( which they Dont) they would be prescribing high grade supplements instead of drugs. But they can’t because they are not trained in medical nutrition only pharmaceutical therapies. And their overlords the Drug industry would never ever allow it.

    a surgical cure for chronic, medically unresponsive heartburn, it exists! Again the knife?< ——— Cmon Mark thats nuts and the problem with medical doctors. Your training is dangerous for humanity.

    Hmm. My training is dangerous for humanity. Fascinating. You don’t have single piece of high quality evidence to back your claims. And what are the side effects of PPI that are so terrible? They’re really pretty minimal. Long term use has been associated with decreased bone density, its true. Drugs that work have side effects, unfortunately, but most users don’t need to be on them chronically. The only things that don’t have side effects are interventions that basically do nothing. It’s certainly one of the ways that altie-meds will always have an advantage over real medicine. Ineffective placebos rarely cause side effects.

    And what’s wrong with a surgical cure for a disease? Rejection of surgery because it uses a knife? Or more accurately, electro-cautery? Shall we wave crystals over our abdomens for appendicitis now? Or cure biliary obstruction with some magical nutrient? Absurd.

    So to sum up, conspiracy, cherry-picking, false experts, moving goalposts (I offered a cure for heartburn but now they’re saying it can’t have side effects or involve surgery – so, basically impossible because real medicines will always carry risk) and many logical fallacies.

    A perfect crank argument, denialist to its core. I salute you, but I will not debate you further, as this is not debate. This is insanity. This is defective reasoning in pure distilled form. We don’t argue with cranks here.

  19. Iliya/Ilster are the same person–and he’s near the pointy end of a vitamin supplement pyramid scheme. He’s been stinking up the comments at Orac’s place for weeks with the same wall-o-text dyslexic crapola, interspersed with vitamin commercials.

  20. Too add to what TVRBOK has just said, ilster also quoted a certain website mentioned in Scopie’s Law.
    When you said he was a crank, Mark, you were more bang on than you realised.

  21. HAHAHA good one. No worries your epiphany will come in due time. Best of luck with your drugs and scalpals. Inevitable frustration with your modalities is on the horizon. Nutrition heals the body just give it the building blocks its needs. Simple concept

  22. #4…”lets analyze the Aluminum and Mercury and see ho it effect the biochemistry and text to see how much of these metals are still in the body. Is that too much to ask or is the science settled?”

    As far as I know, there is *no* mercury in childhood vaccines in the U.S.

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Concerns/thimerosal/thimerosal_faqs.html

    •Thimerosal was removed from all childhood vaccines in 2001 with the exception of inactivated flu vaccine in multi-dose vials. However, thimerosal has been removed from all single-dose preparations of flu vaccine for children and adults. There has never been thimerosal in live attenuated flu vaccine or recombinant flu vaccine. No acceptable alternative preservative has yet been identified for multi-dose flu vaccine vials.

  23. I for one appreciate the self-contradiction of quacks (such as Mark’s interlocutor) in alleging both the existence of a powerful pharmaceutical conspiracy and asserting that science-based medicine is on the verge of collapse (“Inevitable frustration with your modalities is on the horizon”).

    Okay, perhaps “appreciate” is the wrong word. Nonetheless, you have to marvel at the mental compartmentalisation required. (It’s rather similar, so I’ve seen, to beliefs expressed by creationists about biological science.)

  24. I’m late to the party as usual, but Ilya’s last was too good to resist:

    No worries your epiphany will come in due time.

    Outstanding! Who needs science when you have epiphanies! Direct implantation of Truth into your mind by its Supposed Author, handily bypassing your limited physical senses and logical capabilities, is so much more efficient. And it just feels so good to know something without having to work for it!

    Of course, with epiphanies you can’t tell whether the voice is in the sky or only in your head, but that’s easily swept aside. Why bother with inter-subjective verification? Only scientists ask for it, anyway. and once you let go of the requirement, the possibilities are only limited by your feverish imagination!

    The World is your private oyster, Ilya. Why are you even posting here? You have no need to convince us, do you? Hmmm?

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