Ah, the kid. If you ever find yourself snowed in and not have much to do but maybe see what the latest round of “nutbaggery” the anti-vaccine activists are up to, I recommend either the kid’s blog or either one of his two Twitter accounts. Heck, I recommend his Facebook page, in which he has been lately going around in circles with his old friends, now enemies, about whether or not he is correct in his assertions and in releasing otherwise confidential emails. His latest round of nutbaggery, other than not understanding a goddamned epidemiological study though he has a degree in epidemiology, is from his Twitter account.
Let me set it up for you.
Some time ago, Orac stated that now that thimerosal has been removed from childhood vaccines in the US, with the exception of the flu vaccine, then we should see a decrease in the incidence of autism if, and only if, thimerosal is a causative agent of autism. Probably because the kid doesn’t understand epidemiology very well, he thinks that autism incidence has declined. Probably because he “doesn’t stalk” people he dislikes, he showed up at a talk given by Orac and confronted him on this. Orac tried to talk some sense to the kid, but the kid wasn’t having it. In his labyrinth, the kid is convinced that he is right and everyone else is wrong.
Not only that, now he believes that anyone who tells him that he should stop his little lie that autism rates have gone down but Orac won’t admit it is not only wrong but is also a bigot. How so? The kid takes the psychological definition of “perseveration” and runs with it:
That is correct. Your eyes do not deceive you. He is told that his whole shtick that rates are dropping is getting a little long in the tooth and what is his response? “Truly, your bigotry’s amazing.” Truly, the kid’s grasp at straws if fantastic. When the kid is told that “perseveration” can mean other things, and that it can be used in a context outside of a psychological one, he states that he’s never seen Orac use that word toward anyone else. Well, he has. He did so here and here (thanks Todd W.). Heck, just go do a Google search of the term in Orac’s blogs. That is, do some research.
But this is par for the course for the kid and other hardcore anti-vaccine activists who seem to do nothing all day but shoot off one bit of misinformation after another. There is no conspiracy too big or person too evil for them. They will call you names because they can. To them, you’re a “bigot” if you point out, rightly, that they seem to be hung up on one thing and one thing only. For the kid, his hang-up is Orac’s statement about thimerosal and autism. For others, it’s Bill Gates saying that he’s going to depopulate the world. (Because every evil genius reveals his plan to the entire world, don’t you know?) Or it’s Dr. Paul Offit saying that babies could get 10,000 vaccines instead of what he really stated. It’s always something, and, if it has to do with vaccines, it’s ultimate evil.
Far be it for me to seem perseverant in my coverage of the kid’s antics, I declare a kid-free holiday on this blog for the rest of January, or until he writes/says/does something incredibly stupid (again).