I’ve told you before that it’s okay to do your own research, but you have to know what you’re looking at. What kind of research would someone who wants to believe that vaccines are the source of all evil do? Well, here you go. It’s the kind of “research” that professors like to tear into because it’s cherry-picking at its finest and, what is worse, it’s drawing the wrong conclusions from what the studies are telling you. So, shall we begin?
First, she has this article, which is nothing more than dumpster-diving for data in VAERS. I’ve warned you about VAERS as evidence of harm before. It’s not a good way to do research. What’s worse? The “paper” is written by someone from the “Think Twice Global Vaccine Institute,” which, upon a simple glance, seems to be nothing more than yet another anti-vaccine website. So that’s the end of that paper as any kind of “peer reviewed research.”
Next, this paper on maternal transfer of (what else?) mercury to the fetus. This is a favorite theme of the anti-vax crowd. If the child is unvaccinated and still manages to be autistic or have some sort of developmental issue, well, then it must have been the mom’s vaccines. Of course! Why didn’t I think of it! There’s no free access to the paper, but it seems to be just another attempt at blaming it on vaccines… The mom’s vaccines.
After that, she gives us this paper, where more VAERS dumpster-diving is done. This time, however, it is done with computers:
“This paper investigates word frequency patterns in the U.S. CDC Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) database. Our results provide strong evidence supporting a link between autism and the aluminum in vaccines.”
” A strong correlation between autism and the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine is also observed, which may be partially explained via an increased sensitivity to acetaminophen administered to control fever.”
There you have it. “Aluminum” is mentioned a lot with “vaccines” and “autism,” so there’s a link. I mention “stupid” with a lot of anti-vaccine stuff, so… You know. (Orac tears it apart in his blog post about this “study.”)
Of course, I’m not going to go through each and every single piece of “evidence” this woman puts for to her fellow anti-vaxxers. I don’t have that much patience. But I will leave you with this last one:
“This case-control study used the results of an online parental survey conducted from 16 July 2005 to 30 January 2006, consisting of 83 children with autistic disorder and 80 control children.”
I laughed out loud when I read this. They called an online survey a “case-control study”! This one made the rounds back in ’08, and anti-vaxxers held on to it for dear life, despite it being explained to them that the researchers didn’t really adjust for recall bias. But, as I’ve said before, facts are not allowed to get in the way of the true anti-vaxxer.
I left a comment on that woman’s blog, recommending that she take epidemiology and biostatistics classes because, frankly, it’s embarrassing to me as a human being to see so much confirmation bias and Dunning-Kruger Effect in one person.