Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Why Vaccine Studies Cannot Show A Link To Autism (Or Anything Else)

By Professor Doom

    So I watched Vaxxed, and was fairly disappointed. That said, it did say one thing that was perfectly relevant. Vaxxed showed congressional testimony, very reluctantly given by a vaccine company rep, stating unequivocally: vaccine safety studies don’t use a control group. (I link to a YouTube video with a snippet of such testimony here.)

     I say this again: vaccine safety studies don’t use a control group. Even if Vaxxed had shown a 9,000% increase in black males getting autism after vaccination, even if Vaxxed showed the evidence that 99% of people vaccinated got autism, this could still be fairly described as “not evidence of anything,” and the vaccine companies could testify in Congress to that effect and have no fear of being prosecuted for perjury. This may seem ridiculous, but allow me some time to explain and tie together the concepts by which this non-evidence result holds.

     The gentle reader must understand that any proposed medical treatment must have a control, or else the treatment must be viewed with great suspicion. I demonstrate with an example:

       I propose the following: “People will recover from the flu in 2 weeks if we cut off their pinky fingers.” All I need to get this finger-amputation treatment approved is a study showing it works.

      The study I use is simple enough: I find people with the flu, cut off their fingers and come back in 2 weeks. I find that, yes, every single one of them has recovered from the flu.

      My study, I trust the reader will agree, is easily reproducible (note: this makes it far superior to many, if not most, medical studies being published). So, I pay the appropriate bribes fees to get the FDA to approve this treatment, backed by this study. And I start making a fortune lopping off fingers with my FDA-approved treatment for the flu.

      Now, tens of thousands of people will tell me my treatment is worthless, but that’s just anecdotal evidence. Besides, the FDA repeats the study a few times and shows my treatment works exactly as I’ve said. (I emphasize: tens of thousands of parents are now saying their kids developed autism immediately after getting vaccinated, and this is treated as purely anecdotal evidence of no relevance, because of studies…)

     The problem with my study, of course, is there’s no control group. Most everyone recovers from the flu in 2 weeks, after all, lopping off fingers means nothing. But since there’s no control, since I don’t look at what happens to people with the flu who don’t have their fingers chopped off, I don’t have that evidence in my study.

      So Vaxxed’s harping on their correlation between black male vaccinations and autism is completely meaningless. For all I know, all black males, all of them, come down with autism at the age where they usually get vaccinated, and the autism rates would be worse without the vaccination. I’m not saying I believe this to be the case, but since there’s no control…it could be vaccinations are preventing autism, because there’s no study to tell me the “baseline” autism rate today is. This illustrates how idiotic it is not to have controls.

     I want to get to the big trick being played, successfully, here.

     Tricks are far more effective on people who’ve not seen the trick before, and lots of people fall for this “all studies fail to show a link” trick. The trick doesn’t work on me because I’ve seen this one before.

     I saw it with the tobacco companies.  For decades, the tobacco companies swore up and down, even in congressional hearings, that there was no evidence whatsoever that nicotine was addictive based on their studies, so that’s what they believed. I’m not talking about the 1950’s here, you can see congressional testimony from 1994 to this effect.

     The tobacco companies were telling the truth, and pointed at many, many, studies that failed to show any possible nicotine addiction. These studies were legitimate, and even humane and ethical: if you suspect nicotine was bad, then you can’t study its effect on humans, so these studies used animals.

     Want to know why those studies always failed? Well, addiction was defined as a human condition, and all the studies were done on animals: it was utterly impossible to show addiction, because the word was defined in such a way that it only applied to humans. None of these studies could possibly show addiction, a purely human condition. So the executives were never hauled in for lying to congress, as they were absolutely correct there was no evidence whatsoever that tobacco use was addictive, based on those animal studies.


     Now, since vaccine safety studies have no control group, it is fundamentally impossible to show vaccines can be increasing the rates of *any* long term ailment. There are quite a number of other health issues which are increasing dramatically in our population, such as severe allergies and asthma, also claimed to be related to vaccines.

     But you cannot say vaccines are causing this rise because…a rise compared to what? There’s no control group, and nowadays everyone gets these vaccinations, so there’ll never be a control group perfect enough to study (well, not without rioting in the streets, anyway…).

     “Brawndo! It has what plants crave! It has electrolytes!”

--I encourage the gentle reader to watch the movie Idiocracy, where the FDA determined a salty drink could be used as a substitute for water, even for plants. Naturally this caused all the crops to “mysteriously” fail, leading to rioting in the streets. Honest, I’m not the only one who’s figured out the problem here, and the inevitable result…

     And so yes, absolutely, there are plenty of studies which fail to show vaccines are causing any general rise in any health problem in humans, but this is for the same reason there are plenty of studies which fail to show nicotine is addictive.

     So at this point, the only response is to laugh when they say there are studies which fail to show any connection between autism and vaccines. This is obvious, as no study can show this to perfect satisfaction at this point.

     To be fair, there have been attempts to set up “vaccinated vs unvaccinated” studies by independent researchers. These studies do seem to show a link, but they invariably get “The Wakefield Treatment,” which is to say, the studies are declared invalid and the researchers’ reputations are destroyed. I again point out that around half (possibly as high as 2/3rds or more) of all “perfectly scientific” studies are demonstrably bogus in terms of claimed findings…and yet only this particular type of study seems to get this treatment.

     We should probably consider why these very rare vaccine-autism link studies get this treatment when a bunch of other “fake” studies don’t, but I’ll plant a seed for consideration: a bunch of official (i.e., non-Wakefielded) studies all have the same results, that there’s no vaccine-autism link, and we have every reason to suspect at least half of those studies are fraudulent in their results…so it’s a little odd that the fraudulent studies that we know are there are saying the same thing as the legitimate studies that we only theoretically think might exist. The gentle reader is invited to make his own conclusions past this point.1

     Also presented in Vaxxed is a congressman pointing out we’re going to have a huge problem soon: we now have “kids” with autism who are closing in on their 30th birthday, and they’ll need lifelong care after their parents die.  This wasn’t a problem decades ago when autism was very, very rare, but now we’re getting around a hundred thousand new victims a year, and this number is sharply rising. It will be a monster of a problem as these victims get even older. What will happen--a single generation from now!--when we have 10,000,000, possibly much more, people with this “rare” ailment heading to government-supported special needs homes?

     I don’t like the answer which comes to my mind at all. I especially don’t like that the corporations which might, maybe, be responsible for this will be raking in profits while a new disease, SADS (Sudden Autistic Death Syndrome) hits the sizable autistic population shortly after they enter those special government homes.

     Will there be rioting in the streets then?

     It really is strange; a few weeks ago there was a chorus of dozens of “different” TV newscasters all saying the exact same thing…and we as a people knew this could not be random, that there had to be an underlying cause for it. Vaxxed literally plays a chorus of parents who say the exact same thing regarding what happened to their kids right after vaccination, and it’s a much larger chorus. Why is the official narrative here to consider this merely random chance with no underlying cause?

     Anyway, though I have significant quibbles with Vaxxed, I think it worth watching, even if it fails to raise many of the questions I’ve raised here.

     1.   I didn’t want to mention this because it’s a bit of a distraction, but it’s really, really, striking that no “official” study has shown a link between vaccine and autism. There’s something in statistics called a “type 1” error, and, while unlikely, it can happen (the actual chance depends on mathematical concerns beyond a blog, but it’d be like rolling two standard dice and getting a sum of 12). It is because of “type 1” errors that you need to be able to replicate the result of a study, before trusting it. With so many studies on this topic, it’s very, very, very, striking that no non-Wakefielded study shows a link, just on pure chance. Just saying.

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