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Hi Lee

In the classic words of HOUSE, MD regarding anti-vaxxers

" coffins... "

And I mean every word of that, seriously.

I happen to know Andrew Wakefield; he was my neighbour for many years and I finally sold him part of my garden for his new house. Whether or not his research regarding a link between MMR and autism has any validity, I am not qualified to say. However, he is definitely not anti-vaccine..just worried about the combined MMR. Individual vaccines, rather than a combination, would be fine. He is an honourable chap, who's work lead him to concern about the MMR vaccine; given that concern, it seems to me that there were two choices..ignore it or take action. If you had found something that you truly thought could be causing autism; what would YOU do? A difficult one, that. As I say, he was not against the idea of vaccination, but just concerned that this particular combined vaccine might be having unwanted effects. If it had not been for the refusal by the authorities to countenance individual vaccinations, it would have had no effect on public health. There does exist a group of parents who are convinced, by their own experience with the advent of autism in their children, that some link does exist. As far as vaccination against childhood diseases is concerned - speaking as someone who had the lot - I would urge all parents to get their children vaccinated. One of my chums was among the last children to contract poliomyelitis, before the Salk vaccine was hasn't slowed him down much, but he could well have done without it.

As we know, Lincoln and Darwin were born on the same day. Both lost 3 children to disease.Any old New England graveyard will show the parents' graves with little tombstones at their feet.How many of us know of child deaths from disease nowadays?But we must keep up our guard.
Jennifer knows I was a county health commissioner. My first year, in 1991, I faced a measles epidemic because vaccination control had become lax. There were thousands of cases in the country and several deaths- and a huge new vaccination program.Measles is a killer in the Third World , and polio, almost extinct, is making a comeback.
Vaccination, with sanitation and improved nutrition are public health triumphs which have saved many nore lives than the gaudier coronary bypasses and even antibiotics.

in my opinion i dont think that vaccines are the cause of the autism.. because most of us had our vaccines and thank goodness nothing is wrong. therefore i feel that Autism and even dyslexia are all potential pitfalls when a child doesn't have proper child development. I think all families should be wary of this.

Thank you for this great post. It's too tempting to believe that "your kids don't need vaccines in the first place because everyone else is vaccinated, and then you prevent them from possibly getting autism by not giving them the vaccine". There's some game theory hidden in there... everybody does the selfish thing, hoping that everyone else is doing the right thing. Then you get outbreaks of diseases and possibly long-lasting consequences.


Thank you for summing it all up so nicely.

I think the popularity of such science conspiracy theories is closely tied to science education. In an American where barely 40% of the population believes in evolution (, the foundation of all biology, should we be surprised by the popularity of neo-scientific hoaxes?

"Autism and even dyslexia are all potential pitfalls when a child doesn't have proper child development."

What on earth is that supposed to mean? That parents are to blame for their child's autism??? Seriously.

"everybody does the selfish thing"

There's nothing selfish in not wanting a child to live a life trapped inside the world of autism, to not know the scorn of others, including the education and medical systems that are supposed to help them, and the lack of a meaningful future for the most severely affected.


It seems pretty clear that autism's causes don't have anything to do with parental influences on the child. But it does mean autistic children don't meet the normal child development milestones.

From the point of view of one child, it's certainly not selfish to want that child not to suffer from autisim. Nobody wants that. But not getting your kids vaccinated because of a disproven theory is selfish because it's not just about one individual or even just about individual suffering autism. Vaccination protects everyone, children and adults. When there's no good reason to go unvaccinated, it's extremely selfish not to make sure your kids get them because that endangers the health of everyone around them. That could be hundreds of people.

Just to add to my previous comment..the problem with the drop in vaccination rates seems to me to have been caused by the media; as I said, Andy Wakefield is NOT anti vaccination...just concerned about the combined MMR. Individual vaccinations for measles and for mumps and for rubella would not be opposed; on the contrary, encouraged. It was the treatment of his research - whatever value it may or may not have - by the media and the subsequent moral panic which has produced the current decrease in vaccination uptake; that, and the refusal of the authorities to countenance individual vaccinations. I can well understand concerned parents wanting to avoid the problems of autism for their children..but this doesn't mean that they should not allow them to be vaccinated with seperate injections for the three diseases forming part of the MMR. Indeed, there have been special clinics organised for just such vaccinations. I repeat...what would you have done had your research led you to connect the portmanteau multiple vaccination with a possible increase in autism? Imagine if you'd kept quiet and been right.....

There may well be a link between the MMR jab and autistic spectrum disorder. But the link is not causal.

Vaccination often gives rise to a mild fever; and fever can reduce the severity of autistic symptoms. Given that symptoms develop quite slowly, it is quite likely that in a proportion of cases they will first be noticed following a fever when, having briefly reduced, they return quite quickly as the fever abates. It's not surprising that some of those parents who first notice the symptoms as a result of the fever induced changes in severity following an MMR jab may come to believe that the vaccination was the cause.

The logic isn't right - it's the 'post hoc propter hoc' fallacy - but the observation is. This, together with the refusal of orthodox authority to admit any connection whatever, may well be at the root of the myth that MMR causes autism.,opinion,mmr-parents-deserve-an-answer

The reference to a study *in* Finland involving 3 million children must be patently false. There were less than half a million aged 0 to 9 in 2008. Perhaps the source meant to say that Finnish researchers followed the progress 3,000,000 children (in Europe?).

Vaccines are POISON. The only one[s] who benefit from vaccines are PHARMACEUTICALS. Lots of Vitamin D will protect you from the flu and many other diseases. DON'T be fooled by paid off media hype. STOP the sickening assault on humanity.

Stop the VAX, did you even bother to read this post or its links or the other commenters? You people are dangerous crackpots and scientifically illiterate. Don't be surprised if you get H1N1 or some other easily preventable disease. And no whining when you or your kids do or if it kills or cripples any of you. Just keep your damn surgical mask on so you don't spread it around. I am (literally and figuratively) washing my hands of you folks.

Have you heard about Jean Genet? I am looking into this Byonetics program of his which seems to have been incredibly successful with many autistic children. My nephew is autistic I am trying to help my brother find solid solutions.

Great stuff on autism looking forward to more. Thanks

Curtis Maybin

gosh, we just did a little blog on the decline of measles and mentioned the graveyard thing...what a coincidence

this one is for Marvin

Intersting story where did you get your research from?. I would love to post some of y ou work on my AutismNewsSite. Just email me.

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    Physics Cocktails

    • Heavy G
      The perfect pick-me-up when gravity gets you down.
      2 oz Tequila
      2 oz Triple sec
      2 oz Rose's sweetened lime juice
      7-Up or Sprite
      Mix tequila, triple sec and lime juice in a shaker and pour into a margarita glass. (Salted rim and ice are optional.) Top off with 7-Up/Sprite and let the weight of the world lift off your shoulders.
    • Listening to the Drums of Feynman
      The perfect nightcap after a long day struggling with QED equations.
      1 oz dark rum
      1/2 oz light rum
      1 oz Tia Maria
      2 oz light cream
      Crushed ice
      1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
      In a shaker half-filled with ice, combine the dark and light rum, Tia Maria, and cream. Shake well. Strain into an old fashioned glass almost filled with crushed ice. Dust with the nutmeg, and serve. Bongos optional.
    • Combustible Edison
      Electrify your friends with amazing pyrotechnics!
      2 oz brandy
      1 oz Campari
      1 oz fresh lemon juice
      Combine Campari and lemon juice in shaker filled with cracked ice. Shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Heat brandy in chafing dish, then ignite and pour into glass. Cocktail Go BOOM! Plus, Fire = Pretty!
    • Hiroshima Bomber
      Dr. Strangelove's drink of choice.
      3/4 Triple sec
      1/4 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
      2-3 drops Grenadine
      Fill shot glass 3/4 with Triple Sec. Layer Bailey's on top. Drop Grenadine in center of shot; it should billow up like a mushroom cloud. Remember to "duck and cover."
    • Mad Scientist
      Any mad scientist will tell you that flames make drinking more fun. What good is science if no one gets hurt?
      1 oz Midori melon liqueur
      1-1/2 oz sour mix
      1 splash soda water
      151 proof rum
      Mix melon liqueur, sour mix and soda water with ice in shaker. Shake and strain into martini glass. Top with rum and ignite. Try to take over the world.
    • Laser Beam
      Warning: may result in amplified stimulated emission.
      1 oz Southern Comfort
      1/2 oz Amaretto
      1/2 oz sloe gin
      1/2 oz vodka
      1/2 oz Triple sec
      7 oz orange juice
      Combine all liquor in a full glass of ice. Shake well. Garnish with orange and cherry. Serve to attractive target of choice.
    • Quantum Theory
      Guaranteed to collapse your wave function:
      3/4 oz Rum
      1/2 oz Strega
      1/4 oz Grand Marnier
      2 oz Pineapple juice
      Fill with Sweet and sour
      Pour rum, strega and Grand Marnier into a collins glass. Add pineapple and fill with sweet and sour. Sip until all the day's super-positioned states disappear.
    • The Black Hole
      So called because after one of these, you have already passed the event horizon of inebriation.
      1 oz. Kahlua
      1 oz. vodka
      .5 oz. Cointreau or Triple Sec
      .5 oz. dark rum
      .5 oz. Amaretto
      Pour into an old-fashioned glass over (scant) ice. Stir gently. Watch time slow.