Wednesday, February 04, 2015

An interesting facebook exchange...

Normally, I don't do these kinds of posts, but .... man, I just can't resist.  Don't be this guy.  Please.

In a discussion about vaccinations on Facebook, this is the last part of an exchange.  The name of my .... fellow discourser is changed to protect the pitiable.

Let me set the stage.  First off, I'm in favor of vaccines.  I like 'em. I have 'em.  My kids have 'em.  But I'm not in favor of ignorance or propaganda, especially when, as we've seen in the news recently, it's being used as a peer pressure bludgeon, or to influence public debate in such as way as to cede more of our freedom to the bureaucratic tyrants of the government.

So, I pointed out the following:

Joshua Dyal To add more grist to the debate; measles cases in the US dropped 91.5% in 1960. TWO YEARS before the vaccine was available. 

The notion that the vaccine led to the near eradication of the disease, sadly for proponents of government coerced vaccinations, is not supported by the evidence.
5 hrs · Like

Joshua Dyal

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5 hrs · Edited · Like · Remove Preview

Joshua Dyal  AND.... in spite of the scary pictures, I've spoken with about half a dozen people who have memory of the time before measles vaccinations in the last day or so. All of them said getting measles was a right of passage; almost everyone got it, and it wasn't much scarier than getting the flu.

Polio, on the other hand, was scary.
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Some Guy  "Although the first 2 elimination efforts did not achieve elimination, they resulted in a substantial reduction in measles incidence: An average of 1.3 cases per 100,000 population was reported during 1982–1988, compared with an average of 313 cases per 100,000 during 1956–1960 (figure 1). Nevertheless, a resurgence of measles occurred during 1989–1991, again demonstrating the serious medical burden of the disease. More than 55,000 cases, 123 deaths, and 11,000 hospitalizations were reported [7]. Two major causes of this epidemic were vaccine failure among a small percentage of school-aged children who had received 1 dose of measles vaccine and low measles vaccine coverage among preschool-aged children. "
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Some Guy "On the basis of the lessons learned from the measles resurgence and the first 2 elimination efforts, the elimination strategy for the third effort was refined. Four major lessons were learned. First, high coverage with the first dose of measles vaccine is required by age 2 years to prevent measles in preschool-aged children. Second, school students require especially high levels of immunity because of their high risk of exposure to measles. Higher immunity can be achieved with 2 doses of measles vaccine. Third, well-implemented state requirements for immunization are very effective in achieving high 1-dose measles vaccine coverage among students (requirements that were amended to achieve high 2-dose coverage). Fourth, molecular epidemiology is a powerful tool for tracking measles virus strains and for identifying potentially endemic strains [10]."
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Some Guy Your study Joshua....
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Joshua Dyal What about it? I did the math based on the numbers presented. Did you? The number of cases reduced over 90% prior to the introduction of the vaccine. Therefore, the measles vaccine can hardly be credited with the elimination of the disease. Some selective quoting doesn't change that.
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Some Guy it's not selective. It's vital. You ignoring the actual findings of the study and pretending it supports your claim. Which a quick read of the study shows that it does anything but that.
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Joshua Dyal No, I'm reacting to the data and ignoring the commentary. You're doing the opposite.

One is the scientific approach. The other.... well, it is not.
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Some Guy sure thing
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Joshua Dyal Fine. Then answer this: if the vaccine is so crucial to the containment of measles, explain how the number of cases dropped by over 90% in the ten years or so PRIOR to the introduction of the vaccine. Rather than focusing on the red herring of what happened since then, just explain that phenomena.

I'll tell you one thing: the answer is NOT in the study. It made no effort whatsoever to address that. Your reading of the study has nothing whatsoever to do with the reason I linked it, which was to highlight that particular data point. You're distracted by the study's commentary and ignoring the actual crucial data point, which it doesn't discuss.

But it's there nonetheless.
2 hrs · Edited · Like

Some Guy Have you read a scientific survey? The written part explains the numbers. The two are not independent. Try reading something before posting it and making yourself look like a fool.

    The study says that nutrition and improved healthcare are the reasons for the decrease.
    2 hrs · Like

      Joshua Dyal Heh. Yes, frequently. Have you ever interpreted data, or do you always simply rely on the canned interpretation provided to you? I promise, although you may not see it, I am not the one looking like a fool. The logical formula is quite simple: 1) over 90% of the reduction in measles cases occurred between 1956 and 1960. 2) the measles vaccine was not available until 1962. 3) unbelievably, I have to spell this out apparently, but ergo it is impossible to credit the measles vaccine with the reduction in measles cases. At best, it can be credited with cleaning up the little that was left after measles had already been rendered a non threat in America. That may not have been the point that the author of the paper was attempting to make, but it is clearly an unavoidable conclusion of the data anyway.
      2 hrs · Like

        Some Guy Wow you found something that is so obvious that even the scientists who wrote this survey didn't see it. You should call their academic institutions and report them for making super basic mistakes.

        Face it, you're making stuff up in a sad attempt to save face.
        2 hrs · Like

          Some Guy What figures or charts are you referring to?
          2 hrs · Like

            Some Guy Where are you getting these numbers that are so radically different than those who performed the survey reported?
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              Joshua Dyal Are you for real? Are you sure you read the study? Or did you just skim and and gloss over the numbers and the dates? You're now demanding that unless I reproduce them in graphical form--preferably in bright primary colors, no doubt--that you will refuse to understand it?

              Let me spell out in childishly simple terms the thrust of my argument, backed up with numbers from the article I linked (which was the reason I linked it, foolishly believing that those who read it would have a reading comprehension greater than your average box of rocks):

              1) Prior to 1956, per the introduction to the study, roughly 4 million Americans contracted measles each year.

              2) Between 1956-1960, just over half a million cases were reported annually. Surely, even you can see that is a dramatic drop.

              3) Similarly measles related deaths plummeted from an average of 5,300 annually between 1912-1916 to 450 annually between 1956-1960; the 91.5% decrease I referenced earlier. And that is unadjusted for the substantially higher population--adjusted, it's much higher (but I'm not going to bother with it, because the lower number is still sufficiently dramatic to prove my point.)

              4) In 1962 the measles vaccine is introduced and approved by the FDA.

              5) The study references three measles eradication efforts and subsequent spikes that postdate the advent of the vaccine. NONE OF THESE SPIKES ever rise to anywhere close to the 1956-1960 numbers. In fact, in the 1989-1991 "spike" he refers to as the worst of them, the numbers are, averaged per year, 18,000 cases reported and 41 deaths. Again; compared to over half a million and 450 respectively during 1956-1960 and 4 million and 5,300 respectively in the Teens.

              6) In 2004 this paper is written, discussing the efforts to use the vaccination to eradicate the last few percentage points which remained after over 90% of the cases had ALREADY been PERMANENTLY REMOVED FROM THE SYSTEM SEVERAL YEARS PRIOR TO THE INTRODUCTION OF THE VACCINE. The author makes NO EFFORT to explain away the fact that measles had already had a greater than 90% retreat PRIOR to the vaccine; he merely points that out as a matter of historical context.

              7) A few hours ago today, I post a link to this study, not to discuss the efforts to eradicate the disease--even though admittedly that is the main point of the paper, but to point out that it had already had an incredible decrease PRIOR to the advent of the vaccine, which proves conclusively that the vaccine cannot be credited with the reduction in the disease in the US, barring some kind of time dilation that's unknown to our current understanding of physics where the vaccine eliminates the disease BEFORE the vaccine even exists.

              Normally, I wouldn't mind just pointing this out to anyone who doesn't see the implications on their own in a friendly manner, but you've been so unrelentingly smug, arrogant, and condescending, plus for some reason you decided it was a good idea to call me a liar, that I'm happy to take your petard, which you've so blissfully ignorantly offered me, and hoisted it away. All of these numbers are in the first (admittedly longish; maybe you got distracted) paragraph of the article. I hesitate to speculate, but I can only presume that you skimmed through the article, glossed over both numbers and dates without even registering them at all, read the efforts to reduce the last few percentage points of measles cases and--rather spectacularly, I might add--jumped to the fallacious conclusion that I was somehow making up both my numbers and my analysis, because you are either incapable or unwilling to understand data, numbers, dates, or even most text, and can only chew on pre-digested commentary spoon-fed directly to you.

              I freely admit that some schadenfreude, even of those who are REALLY asking for it isn't exactly a Christ-like attribute. But I never claimed to be perfect. I merely claimed to be able to read, and make logical conclusions from the information I read.
              50 mins · Edited · Like

                Some Guy You are a lost cause.
                25 mins · Like

                  Joshua Dyal Sigh. I'm wasting my time. Even at the elementary school level summary, you're not tall enough for this ride.
                  13 mins · Like

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