Monday, November 29, 2010

Gardasil: Fact vs. Fiction

As you get to know Mr. Hubbs you realize his medical and vaccine conspiracy theories are not only limited to autism or mercury or thimerosal, but rather to pretty much any vaccine ever developed. This includes the MMR vaccine, the polio vaccine (I'm working on a post related to his "sugar causes polio" nonsense), and of course the Gardasil vaccine.

In fact, for quite some time you could even say Gardasil was Mr. Hubbs' favorite topic, and he considers himself one of the world's foremost researchers on the subject. Granted 100% of what he knows has been obtained via Google searches and he has never set foot in an actual scientific research lab and has never taken a single college course on biochemistry (or any other college course for that matter) nor has he ever bothered to read the numerous medical studies which were performed on the vaccine prior to the FDA approval, but lets try to avoid those issues for now.

So although it doesn't surprise me that Mr. Hubbs would write about Gardasil, what does surprise me is that he makes claims which he himself has never been able to substantiate with science. Case in point is the following comment left on a Gardasil discussion by our very own Mr. Hubbs:

"The fact is 90% of HPV infections clear on their own. This vaccination is unproven to how long immunity lasts, may be no more than 5 yrs at best. HPV is not proven to cause cervical cancer, only that HPV sometimes resides in precancerous cervical lesions. The theory that any virus causes cancer is also unproven and questioned by several medical reseachers. [sic]" ~Lowell Hubbs

So here we have Mr. Hubbs giving us facts about HPV as if he has first hand knowledge. Don't bother asking for a source to validate his statements however as Mr. Hubbs is likely to refer you to his own blog as evidence. The simple truth is HPV may clear on its own, but so can the mumps or measles or any number of other viruses. Meningitis could also clear on its own if you really want to get technical, but does that mean nobody should get vaccinated because the virus MIGHT clear on its own with no side effects?

It probably doesn't matter to Mr. Hubbs that those with HPV could spread it to others just as those with measles or mumps could spread it to others. Mr. Hubbs doesn't seem to care about those who might contract a virus from another person however, he just wants to prevent anyone from ever being vaccinated. The fact that a virus could be passed from person to person and could eventually lead to one or more people being diagnosed with cancer, or in some cases that people could actually die as as direct result from a simple preventable virus just isn't that important to Mr. Hubbs.

Of course his care for others doesn't stop there, and his comments continue:
"some Gardasil ingrediants,[sic] polysorbate 80, (said to disperse the ingrediants [sic] in the vaccine more uninformly [sic]), causes infertily [sic] in mice, and no research on that by Merck was done. The vaccine also contains histidine, also known to cause severe allergic reacions [sic], additionally the vaccine contains sodium borate, similar to Borax and has been used as roach killer, tell me whay [sic] that is in the vaccine? Do the homework, stop first, research this on the net extensively like I have for weeks. The benfits [sic] do no outweigh the risks." ~Lowell Hubbs
So according to Mr. Hubbs, the benefit of preventing a young girl or woman from contracting cervical cancer doesn't outweigh the risks of getting the vaccine. Granted he doesn't provide any facts or figures to show us why these risks are so significant, and he doesn't compare the number of doses given of the vaccine with no side effects versus the few claims of vaccine injury.

So let's go ahead and do that for Mr. Hubbs since he seems incapable of doing so for himself. According to the CDC as of September 30, 2010, approximately 32 million doses of Gardasil have been distributed in the US. That is 32,000,000 doses and according to Mr. Hubbs, 32,000,000 chances that a risk would outweigh a benefit.

So of these 32,000,000 doses, how many resulted in negative side effects or "risks"? Well, again according to the CDC as of September 30, 2010, there were 17,160 Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) reports of adverse events following Gardasil vaccination in the US. Of these reports, 92% were reports of events considered to be non-serious, and 8% were reports of events considered serious.

So out of 17,160 events, approximately 92% (or 15,787 events) are non-serious. This includes things like pain at the injection site (common for any shot), dizziness, headache, fever, or fainting. Since these events are not serious and typically clear up on their own, lets disregard them for the sake of this discussion.

This leaves us with the 8% (or approximately 1,373 events) which are classified as serious. Of this 8%, some of these events include girls being diagnosed with Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), although once again if we refer to the CDC source material we find "there has been no indication that Gardasil increases the rate of GBS in girls and women above the rate expected in the general population, whether or not they were vaccinated."

So what does that mean? Well it simply means the incidence of girls being diagnosed with GBS occurs in the same rate whether they were or were not vaccinated with Gardasil. Therefore scientifically speaking we cannot link the rate of GBS with the vaccination and the only reason these types of events are reported to VAERS is because the system is intended to collect all events whether related or not. Since there is no proven increase in the rate of GBS, it doesn't appear this is a significant risk.

Another serious event reported included blood clots. This isn't so much of an issue with Gardasil as it is with an injection itself of course, but as it turns out those girls and women who experienced blood clots were in the "at risk" category which includes those who smoke, those who take oral contraceptives, and those who are considered obese. Thus in this case, a number of factors may have contributed to the blood clots including lifestyle choice... so is this something we can blame solely upon the Gardasil vaccine? Not very likely.

An example of this would be building a home. The foundation is designed to support a single family home with one story above ground, and assuming the house is build as designed everything will be fine. However decades later, the new owner of the house decides he needs more room, so he adds another two stories to the house. He doesn't bother to reinforce the foundation, and assumes everything will be fine. He finishes the project and decides to put a new hot tub on the third floor which holds 1,000 gallons of water. A few weeks after living in the new expanded house it starts to settle. A few weeks after that the foundation develops a huge crack on one wall, and soon the foundation fails and the house falls down bringing the hot tub and the 1,000 gallons of water into the basement.

So is the hot tub to blame for the foundation failing? Obviously not - because there was a known weak point in the home. Had the foundation been strong enough to accept a larger structure, there wouldn't be a problem, but we don't blame the failure on the hot tub merely because we didn't know about the weak foundation.

The same is true with a case where a vaccine or medication might result in a condition which was underlying. Even if we didn't know about the condition, is it the fault of the vaccine if it comes to the surface? If we did know about the condition, but didn't think it would impact us, is it still fair to blame the vaccine if we are proven wrong? I dare say there is inherent risk in everything we do, but we can no more blame the vaccine for an underlying condition when we knew about the risk factors than we can blame the hot tub for the failing foundation when the builder knew about the weak foundation.

All of this said, the one primary serious event that everyone is concerned with is the risk of death, so if it is determined that Gardasil results in girls dying simply by taking the vaccine, then surely it needs to be addressed. Looking at the CDC material, we can see that out of those 32,000,000 doses of Gardasil that have been given thus far, there have been 56 deaths reported among females who have received the Gardasil vaccination.

Now if we assume every woman receives the full recommended three dose schedule of the vaccine, that tells us that 10,700,000 woman have received Gardasil thus far, and of those 10,700,000 woman 56 have died. I don't mean to trivialize 56 deaths. In fact I don't even mean to trivialize one single death, but the math tells us these 56 deaths account for approximately 0.0005% of the women who received the Gardasil vaccination. In other words the remaining 99.9995% of women are still alive and with us.

More importantly however, according to the CDC out of these 56 deaths (which of only 30 have been confirmed thus far), there was "no unusual pattern or clustering to the deaths that would suggest that they were caused by the vaccine". This means that if a woman died of a totally unrelated heart issue within days or perhaps even weeks of receiving the Gardasil vaccine, that event would be reported to VAERS. It doesn't mean Gardasil caused the issue, but to err on the side of caution, all such events are reported.

However since the analysis of these deaths does not include any pattern or clustering when compared to non-vaccinated control groups, no reasonable researcher or scientist (or even anyone with an open mind) can claim that these deaths are all related to the Gardasil vaccine itself. In fact if you read about the actual deaths in greater detail, you will find in some cases the deaths were directly attributed to causes such as illicit drug use and heart failure. Can we really blame a death upon a vaccination when the women decides to inject herself with illegal drugs and dies of an overdose? I personally don't think so.

Now it is quite possible a woman out there has died or been seriously injured as a direct result of the vaccine. Each person is unique, we all have different genetic traits including dominant and recessive genes. We each have different risk factors, different traits such as allergies or reactions to chemical compounds, and we each have our own medical histories which may include other prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, supplements, nutrient intakes etc, etc. Therefore no medication, supplement, or even food is compatible with all humans, and as such there will always be a risk when someone decides to eat a new food, take a new supplement, use a new brand of toothpaste, or yes even take a new medication or vaccination.

Obviously anything and everything we do has risk, and it is up to each individual to determine if they feel that risk is acceptable when compared to the benefits of eating the food, swallowing the supplement or vitamin, taking the medication, receiving the vaccine, or undergoing a medical procedure etc. I don't believe that is my place to tell someone else that they must get vaccinated, but at the same time I don't believe it is in Mr. Hubbs' place to tell them they can't. It is a personal decision best left up to the individual when they take all of the risk factors into mind.

However it seems clear in this case, the risk of receiving a Gardasil vaccination is no greater than the risk of choosing to eat a sandwich for lunch or the decision to take aspirin to relieve a headache. For all of the screaming and yelling and arguments made against this vaccine really don't live up to scrutiny when you look at the facts and examine the real numbers.

Granted I'm not the only one who feels this way, as a poster named "Amber" who responded to Mr. Hubbs' comment had the following to say:

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

More Comical Idiocy From Mr. Hubbs

Mr. Hubbs left a comment on one of the posts, and once again he proves his ignorance to technology. This is his idea of a response to when I posted information about his idiotic website including the registration data, the IP address of the hosting server, and the expiration date of his hosting contract.

So what does Mr. Hubbs do in response to this information? He tries to do a DNS lookup on this blog and use this information to show how completely clueless he is.

Note to Mr. Hubbs: This is a blog hosted on the Blogger platform. Blogger is owned by Google, and I pay zero hosting fees to anyone, thus I am not listed as a registrant to this particular URL or website. If you had an even basic understanding of "the Internets" you would know this, so quit trying to act as if you have a clue when it is so obvious you don't.

In any case, here is the comment Mr. Hubbs attempted to post:

I am nowhere near done yet with this; when I get done there is no way you would want your name on that blog; if you had to actually identify yourself! It will take some time, I curently havent had. Then it will later all go up on the website! You are a fool! IP out of Mountain View CA 1600 Amphiteatre Parkway Google Inc., is that your new IP address? You either have hacking ability or are involved with them. Your exposes would tend to tell me that all by itself. ~Lowell Hubbs

As you can see, Mr. Hubbs thinks I wouldn't want to be associated with this blog, but he couldn't be more wrong. I actually take great pride in my work, and the emails and comments I have received from others only serve to confirm that this blog serves a very valid purpose - not to mention that I enjoy every minute of it.

That being said, Mr. Hubbs seems to believe the IP address of a Google-owned and operated server is somehow "my" IP address, and he even went so far as to post the physcial address that Google uses for their server registrations via ICANN.

The most comical aspect of his comment however is his continual accusations of hackers and hacking. I freely admit my computer and technical knowledge is more advanced that the average person, but even if I had a true ability to "hack" Mr. Hubbs' personal computer and/or website from afar, I quite simply wouldn't bother. First of all it would be counter-productive since allowing him to continue his daily rants and keeping him occupied in front a computer is probably safer for the citizens of Sioux Falls (as we know what happens when he gets a little free time, some alcohol, and a set of car keys). Secondly, if I did have the ability to hack Mr. Hubbs, why would I bother deleting comments from the Argus Leader website or remotely shut down his PC or block his ability to post when the most logical way to annoy him would be to simply erase his entire website and replace it with a pro-vaccination message from the CDC?

Logic dictates Mr. Hubbs' theories simply don't hold up to scrutiny, but logic has never been his strong point. The simple truth is the only reason I posted his silly comment is to show how even when it is blatantly obvious to everyone else that Mr. Hubbs is way outside of his league and when he is clearly uninformed and ignorant on a specific topic, Mr. Hubbs himself still doesn't recognize how idiotic he looks.

The same is true on topics of a scientific or medical nature. Even those of a moderate intellect understand what the burden of proof is, and most people with an eighth grade education or higher have at least a basic understanding of science and the scientific method, which is why it is so frustrating to see self-proclaimed experts like Mr. Hubbs trying to pretend he knows the "facts" and the "truth" when I'm not entirely convinced the man understands such simple concepts such as the Earth revolving around the Sun, circumference versus diameter, or that no - you cannot actually survive a plummeting elevator by jumping just before it hits bottom.

Lowell Hubbs: A legend in his own (rather tiny and underveloped) mind.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Quack of the Day: "Dr" Bruce Hagen

If there is one trait most chiropractors share, it is a desire to convince people that traditional allopathic medicine is bad whereas chiropractic "spinal adjustments" and physical adjustments to the spine, neck, and joints can solve almost all health issues.

Some chiropractors even go so far as to suggest spinal manipulation and adjustments can treat common diseases or strengthen the immunity system to prevent a person from ever getting sick which is a subject I have discussed in the past. Other chiropractors will suggest they can treat conditions such as ADHD, ADD, Autism, IBS, allergies, glaucoma, Parkinson's disease, kidney stones, gall stones and even heart attacks!

Truth be told, I have no issue with chiropractors who are honest with their patients and who set the proper expectations for treatment. Many chiropractic treatments are effective for lower back pain and some joint pain (even if they are no better than standard physical therapy or massage), but above all the one thing chiropractic care offers a patient is the power of healing touch. Many studies have found that people respond to the touch of others, and although this is in effect nothing more than a mental placebo, if it helps to reduce stress and pain and allows the person to feel more comfortable I fail to see the harm.

However what I do take issue with is when chiropractors use this knowledge for personal gain and profit.  Rather than actually cure an issue or resolve a complaint, many chiropractors require their patients to return for follow-up adjustments week after week and in some cases up to three or more visits each and every week with no end in sight.  When asked to provide a treatment plan, many chiropractors simply say each case is unique and the patient needs to continue to return for treatments until they feel they are fully healed.  That may take months, and in some cases years.  For a person suffering from chronic pain as is often the case with someone who has fibromyalgia, these treatments can continue for years and even decades.

Contrast this with a traditional medical doctor (MD) who prescribes an antibiotic for an infection.  The doctor doesn't require the patient to come back three times a week to receive treatment, and doesn't tell the patient they need to come back for follow-up visits each week until the infection is 100% cleared up.  What they will do is prescribe the antibiotic and inform the patient to take the complete prescription.  If the infection clears up there is nothing more to do, however if the infection returns or gets worse then and only then should the patient return to the doctor for a follow-up.

Now I ask - which of these two scenarios seems like it is merely connected to profit, and which is in the best interests of the patient?  When a 15 minute adjustment with a chiropractor can cost $65 to $80, and the treatments go on indefinitely (or until the patient realizes it is costing them more for chiropractic treatments in a month than it is for rent or food), it surely doesn't seem like it is in the best interests of the patient.

With all of this being said, I do feel there is a balance between traditional allopathic medicine and chiropractic care.  Some MDs will even suggest their patients visit a chiropractor for specific treatments, and in some cases the two work in harmony with one another.  However the problem begins with chiropractors attempt to convince people that traditional medical doctors aren't needed and that chiropractic care is superior or a more modern way of treating medical conditions.

In the Sioux Falls area, one of the most well known chiropractors is Dr. Bruce Christopher Hagen.  He has been a practicing chiropractor for decades upon decades and has two sons (Bruce Jon Hagen and Mark Palmer Hagen) who are both chiropractors as well.  Bruce Jon Hagen has stated he is a third generation chiropractor which leads me to believe Bruce Christopher Hagen was probably the son of a chiropractor, and there is also another Hagen (Christopher Hagen) who works with or has worked with Bruce Jon Hagen who is also a chiropractor, so needless to say cracking bones runs in the family - and it has been VERY profitable for the Hagen family.

Bruce C. Hagen even thinks so highly of the idea of chiropractic care that he named his own son after Daniel David Palmer (or DD Palmer) who is the founder of chiropractic treatment back in the 1890s.  That is where the "Palmer" within Mark Palmer Hagen originated from, so clearly Bruce Hagen is very fond of chiropractic treatment and the Palmer College of Chiropractic (where he went to school to become a chiropractor).

So it should come as no surprise to learn that Bruce Hagen has authored a book entitled "How to live to be 100 in Spite of your Doctor".  Now for sake of argument I'm going to assume Hagen is referring to real medical doctors and not all doctors, because that would essentially be suggesting to the readers of the book that they should avoid all doctors including doctors of chiropractic (DC).

Within this book (which Hagen has been promoting everywhere and to anyone who will listen) he offers up such unsubstantiated statements such as "the leading cause of death in America is neither heart disease nor cancer... it's doctor caused illness" (where have we heard that idiocy before), " if it's advertised on TV, it may be bad for you", and my personal favorite "there is more sickness today than ever before".

Now as to the claim about it being advertised on TV it might be bad for you, Hagen might actually have a point.  Kevin Trudeau advertises on TV all the time, and history has shown us he isn't exactly good for us.  I also see a lot of ads for those amazing knives you can buy for $19.99... and I suppose to some degree those could be bad for you if you cut your finger or accidentally stab yourself while trying to demonstrate how to slice through a can of SPAM like they do on television.  However it seems pretty clear that what Hagen is actually referring to is the overabundance of pharmaceuticals advertised on television.  

The thing is, anyone of moderate intelligence knows drugs aren't about to cure everything, and the list of potential side effects are often long.  We already know drugs aren't always the answer and we already know that in some cases there will be side effects that are as bad or even worse than the condition being treated.  That is an accepted risk we take when we decide to take prescription drugs, and hopefully as modern science continues to improve the benefits will continue to increase while the risks and side effects will continue to decrease.

As far as Hagen's statement about more sickness than ever before, it really depends upon how to look at it.  People are living longer these days due in no small part to modern medicine.  We also have a world population of over six billion people which is growing exponentially, so it stands to reason there will be more sickness than ever before because that is merely the law of averages.  There is also more consumption than ever before, more humans than ever before, more 100 year olds than ever before, more ingrown toenails than ever before, and more reruns of Saved By The Bell than ever before... but none of that really matters and aside from fooling those non-critical thinkers that might buy Hagen's book clever statements like this don't mean a thing.

Perhaps more importantly than clever phrases and senseless statements, Hagen would like to offer up some scientific evidence to support his many claims.  Perhaps he would like to parlay his decades of chiropractic experience into a published paper or research study, or perhaps he would like to contribute to a scholarly journal.  Rest assured none of these things will happen however, because in order to print an article in a journal it would need to be peer-reviewed which is scrutiny Hagen would never want to accept.  Therefore it is much easier to write a book, pay a publisher to print it, and sell it to patients and ignorant fools via the Internet for $15 per copy.

Hagen has even went so far as to develop a snappy website to hawk his book, and true to form with so many other anti-mainstream medicine types he offers a few other products such as nutritional charts for sale as well. With all of this being said, I have taken a few observations from looking at his website which make me wonder why all of these chiropractors and anti-mainstream medicine gurus all share the same desire to have websites that look like they were created by a 14 year old using circa-1992 geocities website creation tools.

First of all this could quite possibly be one of the ugliest websites I have ever seen.  The text is choppy, the grammar and text appears to have been written by someone who likely had trouble graduating high school, and the layout could have been improved had they created the site within Microsoft Word.  Add to that the fact that two of his primary links don't even function properly (he linked to instead of the proper URL of, and it really starts making you wonder why anyone would claim to have designed this page.  Of course after looking at the webpage for the actual site designer, it seems more than obvious that this is a low budget operation.

Granted his choice of web designer doesn't have any bearing upon the book itself, but I do find it comical that any self-respected doctor would have such a website to begin with.  Looking at Hagen's "favorite links" section is a veritable "who's who" list of various profit-seeking alternative medicine types which offer various newsletters for sale, supplements, bumper stickers, and postcards.  Ask yourself the last time you saw a real medical doctor with such a website, and then ask yourself the last time your doctor tried to sell you a copy of his or her own book or to get you to spend $48 a year for their monthly newsletter.

This seems to be the common problem with so many alternative medicine proponents.  On one hand they want everyone to believe how corrupt modern medicine is and that they have all of these miracle cures and treatments that will prolong your life or ease your pain, but in order to obtain this wonderful miracle knowledge, they always expect people to pay money to download a newsletter or buy a book.  Whereas traditional medical techniques and diagnoses can be reality found online in hundreds of locations, most alternative medical knowledge is more often than not only found in a paid format.

So is it really about sharing knowledge, or is it just about profiting from the fear perpetuated by proclaiming modern medicine is a sham and that all drug companies and doctors and government agencies are in on the game?  I think we all know the answer.

At the end of the day, Hagen and his fellow alternative medicine proponents are nothing more than hypocrites.  They complain about drug company profits and about the cost of healthcare while raking in millions a year from their alternatives, and yet throughout all of this alternative medicine has not brought us one single cure or solution to any major medical disorder - EVER.  They complain about the idea of taking a pill to treat a condition while suggesting people take daily supplements for the rest of their lives, and they complain the truth is being hidden from the public while they all seem to have the real answers... for a price.

In fact, even though Hagen professes himself to be in such good health by bragging about how he still works 10 to 16 hours a day, how he plays tennis and golf several times a week, and how he has a full head of hair at age 77, Hagen actually has relied upon the services of traditional medical doctors and has even taken prescription drugs.  He will be quick to tell people that for 50 years of his life he didn't have to take any prescriptions, but the same would be true for most 77 year olds.  If you actually add up the number of time the typical 77 year old person has ever taken medications, it likely would be a mere fraction of their life, not to mention the fact that up until 30 or so years ago prescriptions were very limited outside of standard antibiotics and some pain medications - so even if someone wanted to take a drug for a specific symptom it may not have been available.

The bottom line is although Hagen may offer some good generalized advice within his book, it does not in any way suggest simply by leading a certain lifestyle or by taking some vitamins that a person will live to be 100.  There are so many factors that go into health from genetic traits to environmental exposure to mere chance that nobody can guarantee health throughout their lives.  Mr. Hagen may very well live to be 100 and if so more power to him, but the reality is he may also die around his 80th birthday and if that is the case his life expectancy would be nothing more than average.

I'm not suggesting that Hagen is a bad guy, in fact I'm sure his heart is in the right place, but I do hope that people are intelligent enough to consider all factors that go into health and life expectancy.  If they find that chiropractic care or some supplements is all that is necessary to keep them feeling well then so be it, but if they find (like Hagen, and like our very own Mr. Hubbs) that there are times in which they need to seek the assistance of a traditional medical doctor, I hope that books like this do not convince them otherwise, as that would be a disservice to their health, their lives, and those who may care about them.

You see - it is quite possible to offer medical advice without having to charge for it, although if you want to send me $19.95 as a thank-you gift I surely won't protest.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Autism-Vaccine Link: Evidence Doesn't Dispel Doubts

Here is yet another article I found which speaks of the mythical autism-vaccine link. It seems the more you read about this subject, the more evidence keeps stacking up against any link between vaccines and autism whatsoever. Granted the lack of scientific evidence to support such a link is sufficient for most able-minded individuals, but for the anti-vaxxers out there walking around unsupervised, it is likely they will ignore this evidence just as they always do. After all, what good is a conspiracy theory if there is evidence debunking it? 

One of the statements in this article caught my eye. It reads as follows:
"In the absence of any answers from the scientific community, any scintilla of suggestion is going to get magnified by the social process of talking it out," Sanders says. "All you need is one individual's story and it will expand."
 That is a good summary of what happens when Google educated "experts" such as Mr. Hubbs read something on the Internet and start to accept it is scientific fact even though it cannot be validated. These self-proclaimed anti-vaccination pundits hear a story about some random child or listen to preachings of a anti-vaccination pitchman and they drink it all in without ever taking a few minutes to ask objective questions.

The important factor to remember here is absence of scientific fact does not in any way add credibility to a theory. If someone claims dinosaurs were able to communicate verbally but cannot prove it with scientific fact, it does not in any way suggest all dinosaurs communicated telepathically. As always, when someone makes a claim or forms a hypothesis, it is their duty to support that opinion with real science which the anti-vaxxers are never able to do.

The article goes on to state the following:
"The MMR scare started 10 years ago with a report published in The Lancet that described the cases of eight children who, as their parents recalled, developed autistic symptoms and digestive ailments shortly after getting their first MMR dose. The researchers proposed that the vaccine might trigger a previously unknown form of regressive autism. They suggested that maybe the measles virus in the vaccine lodged in the intestine, causing some kind of reaction that then affected the brain.
After that, experts studied whether the MMR vaccine could cause autism. To do that, they looked for clues among kids who did and didn't get the vaccine.
Since that initial finding, 14 studies including millions of children in several countries consistently show no significant difference in autism rates between children who got the MMR vaccine those who didn't.
The bottom line: It's very unlikely that the MMR causes autism, researchers say."
I should note the report published in The Lancet that is referenced above is the now-discredited study by Andrew Wakefield which The Lancet has actually retracted due to it being based upon flawed methodology and unsupported scientific methods. Nevertheless it shows how time after time, study after study, country after country, group after group, the science consistently proves there is no increase in autism rates in vaccinated children when compared to their unvaccinated peers.

Rest assured the anti-vaxxers don't accept science however, and they are quick to point out how some of these studies must have been financed by "big pharma" or how they information is corrupt because of the association with the FDA, CDC, AMA, or some other agency with a three letter acronym.

However try as they might, even if they stretch far enough to eliminate several of the existing studies to what they feel is bias or potential conflict of interest, a logical person still has to acknowledge the growing body of evidence that clearly dispels the autism-vaccine link. Notice I said "logical person", which tells us that someone like Mr. Hubbs is most likely convinced that vaccines do cause autism, and no amount of research or science will tell him otherwise.

It is in situations like this that we need to review the first quote above - because this is a prime example of where absence of science is often used to push forth an unsupported opinion. Even if we were to discredit or eliminate every single one of the studies referenced in this article, and even if we eliminate the dozens of such studies that have been done elsewhere around the globe that overwhelmingly prove that vaccines do not have any link to autism whatsoever, that still does not in any way prove that vaccines DO cause autism!

The concept is clear - an absence of scientific evidence does not prove a hypothesis, and that is a simple fact that continually trips up even the most ardent anti-vaxxer alive (including Mr. Hubbs). Then again, if we continue reading the article we find even more good news for science:
"The 2004 IOM review included five large-scale studies that compared autism rates in vaccinated and unvaccinated children. These and other recent studies, including one published in The New England Journal of Medicine in September 2007, have shown that children who received vaccines with thimerosal are not more likely to have been diagnosed with autism than those that weren't vaccinated or received less thimerosal from vaccines."
Once again, we have large studies which discredit the supposed vaccine-autism link including specific research about the dreaded thimerosal, but yet even this is not enough to convince the anti-vaxxers than vaccines aren't the root cause of autism. When pressed with this evidence or when asked questions about why the rates of autism haven't decreased since the phase-out of thimerosal in the late 90s and early 2000s, the anti-vaxxers don't have a legitimate answer. Instead of admitting that they were wrong, they continue to move the goal line and now claim instead of thimerosal or the MMR vaccine, autism might be "triggered" by vaccines rather than actually "caused" by it.

Yes I know - the difference really doesn't matter to those who have autistic children, and no matter the excuse it doesn't change the facts that study after study has found no difference in autism rates between vaccinated and unvaccinated children. If there was any shred of merit to the anti-vaxxer claims, we should witness a huge disparity where unvaccinated children rarely are diagnosed with autism while vaccinated children are diagnosed at a much higher rate -but that just isn't the case.

So does it really matter? What is the big issue with someone choosing to not vaccinate their children or why should we care? Well the simple truth is, unvaccinated children are at a much greater risk to contract and spread these diseases, and that has a significant and detrimental health to our populace.

Case in point:
“Every year, 2.5 million unvaccinated children worldwide die of diseases that vaccines could have prevented, and vaccines prevent the deaths of an additional 2 million children, according to the World Health Organization.”
So according to the WHO, 4.5 million children would die each and every year if it were not for life saving vaccines, and yet the anti-vaxxers out there spreading unfounded fear about some mythical link to autism don't seem to care. Not only do they put the lives and safety of these children in danger, but they have the audacity to proclaim they actually care about children when they promote their extremely dangerous anti-vaccination views.

Obviously each parent needs to decide for him or herself what is best for their child, but this decision should be based upon sound science and proven fact rather than hysteria, unsupported opinion, or random conspiracy theories. If anti-vaxxers such as Mr. Hubbs really cared about children, they would easily recognize the benefits of vaccinations (and the 4.5 million lives they save each year) far outweigh any known or perceived risks, but that viewpoint requires compassion rather than cynicism which suggests we won't be seeing it from Mr. Hubbs anytime soon.

Additional Reading Material: No link found between vaccine mercury and autism.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Yet Another Conspiracy Theory From Mr. Hubbs

The Original Strawman!
Here is another tidbit sent my direction that originated from the mind of Mr. Hubbs.  After reading this, I actually started to think that perhaps Mr. Hubbs is simply the Internet's greatest troll, because I just have a hard time believing any human capable of tying their own shoes would also be capable of such nonsense.  Nevertheless I don't want to prevent anyone else from the pleasure of reading the thoughts of the Google-educated medical genius that is one Mr. Lowell Hubbs:

"If I was in first year medical school I would be very worried about where this all is going, and will be going in the coming years. That as to the collapse of not only the vaccine program and the truth be known; about all of modern medicine. Now, tat is not to say pharma drugs never have any purpose or good, they sometimes clearly do. The problem is the continued selling sickness for profit that has now sold us more worthless dangerous drugs than a person could count. It is totally out of control; as well as the number of no liability vaccines, and more being added. Learn what we know on all levels and I guarantee you, you will want to walk right out of that medical school today. Learn how cancer is reversed by the natural ways, the how and the why as well. learn of the magnitude of what has been suppressed. How can any natural means compete, when pharma and the FDA require millions of dollars in sham multiple end point clinical trials to approve anything and everything that is a drug. They have refused to allow, no matter how well done, anything whatsoever into any pharma peer reviewed or the AMA Journal, that refutes their lies and only drugs and vaccines misinformation. It can sit for years in a journal of toxicology, or nutraceuticals journal, never considered." -Lowell Hubbs

So I guess in Mr. Hubbs world, the proven science of vaccines and modern medicine in general are all about to "collapse".  Sort of makes a person wonder what will replace all of the proven treatments and remedies, but I suppose to a crazed conspiracy theorist like Mr. Hubbs a little back cracking via a chiropractor should be good enough to cure almost anything that ails the body, and a little baking soda can take care of that pesky cancer that kills millions each year.

We also see in Mr. Hubbs rant that once again he is trying to suggest that the FDA and or AMA controls all of the scientific research on the planet.  Apparently in Mr. Hubbs' mind, the FDA needs to approve all clinical trials and "allow" research to be published.  I'm not sure if I should be laugh or cry at the level of misunderstanding displayed here my Mr. Hubbs, but clearly he has a very myopic view of the scientific world around him.

Mr. Hubbs often wonders why he is labeled a conspiracy theorist, but when someone invents claims about government agencies controlling the flow of information or when someone professes that cancer can be cured by nothing more than baking soda, yet the reason this information isn't widely known is because the government is suppressing the information, it seems clear they are pushing forth nothing other than a conspiracy.

Mr. Hubbs and his fellow antivaxxers can't seem to explain why some wealthy individual hasn't funded research on these miracle cures, because logically it simply doesn't make sense. Anyone with even a shred of common sense would understand if there was any validity to these claims, wealthy benefactors would be lining up to fund the research if for no other reason than it would ensure they have a legacy which is responsible for saving millions of lives, and they would likely even earn a Nobel prize for their efforts.

If Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, or T. Denny Sanford thought for a second that they could have their names associated with a legitimate cancer cure, you can rest assured they would be funding the research and making it available worldwide, however as it stands these men have donated Billions of dollars worldwide on a variety of research projects, medical efforts, and disease prevention programs and yet even with those Billions in funding nobody has been able to prove baking soda can cure cancer.  Coincidence?  I doubt it.

Are we to believe these philanthropists are somehow influenced by "Big Pharma" and therefore they are preventing their Billions from funding such research?  Or should we accept a much more logical explanation - no matter how much money is tossed at the issue, baking soda isn't a viable treatment for cancer, and that is the one and only true reason no such research has been made public.

Perhaps Mr. Hubbs would like to contact the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and explain his miracle cancer cure to them?  They provide millions of dollars worth of funding each and every year to a variety of medical studies ranging from traditional disease treatments to biomedical research to alternative treatments for diseases such as HIV, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.  They also direct their funding at scientists and researchers instead of at direct projects, thus if a researcher wants to study the impact of treating tumors or cancer cells with baking soda they would be more than free to do so.

In addition to this, the HHMI also funds projects and research throughout the world, so there should be no excuses about the FDA, AMA, CDC or other US agency interfering with the research, as even the most crazed conspiracy theorist will never convince anyone of moderate intelligence that the US government is somehow capable of controlling scientific study worldwide.

Clearly, the more we learn about Mr. Hubbs and the more excuses he has, the more it becomes clear he will never be anything but an uneducated and ignorant conspiracy theorist.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Lowell Hubbs' Opinion on the Moon Landings

As with most conspiracy theorists, Mr. Hubbs doesn't limit himself to simply subjects of vaccinations or government plots to poison the population via fluoride in the drinking water.  Instead, Mr. Hubbs likes to diversify his conspiracy theories and one of the most obvious ways to do so is to call into question the fact that Americans put a man on the moon back in 1969.

Yes dear readers, as sad as it may seem, Mr. Hubbs is an admitted moon landing conspiracy theorist as proven by the following quotes:

"I do not know if they went to the moon or not" - Lowell Hubbs

Now a person of even moderate intelligence would simply consult a history book or the Internet to provide them with more than enough evidence to support the fact that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon decades ago, but as we have shown in the past, Mr. Hubbs is not one to accept fact unless it comes from a self-proclaimed expert who sells DVDs or books full of unsupported theories.

"We supposedly sent a man to the moon over 30 years ago" - Lowell Hubbs

Here we see Mr. Hubbs using the term "supposedly" which again displays his doubt whether or not the United States ever actually landed on the moon.  Apparently for Mr. Hubbs, the whole thing was fabricated and the video, photographs, and first-hand accounts of the landings were all faked.  Say what you will about NASA, but they must be really, really good at keeping secrets considering it has been over 40 years and not a single person out of the thousands upon thousands involved in the moon landings has ever come forward to support these wild accusations.

"All I know is that the US flag was waiving in the wind in the footage of landing and the claim is that there is no wind on the moon." - Lowell Hubbs

Last, but surely not least here we see a display of Mr. Hubbs using one of the oldest conspiracy theories about the moon landings.  Apparently Mr. Hubbs believes the American Flag the astronauts placed on the surface of the moon was fluttering in the "wind", whereas it was explained 40 years ago that because there is a complete and total vacuum on the moon, and because there is very, very little gravity, objects that are put into motion tend to stay in motion (which anyone with an 8th grade science education will tell you is part of Newton's first law of motion).  Therefore when the astronauts placed the flag on the moon, it continued to move due to their actions, not as a result of any "wind".

Besides, if someone was trying to fake a moon landing, do we really think they would do so outdoors where wind would be an issue or where they might be seen?  Don't bother trying to think logically however - logic isn't exactly a tenet of conspiracy theorists.

So what does any of this have to do with vaccinations you ask?  Well, in all honesty not a thing - but I feel it is important to show what type of person Mr. Hubbs is and how his apparent distrust of the government and refusal to accept proven facts seem to infiltrate his daily thought processes whether that includes moon landings, vaccinations, hackers, hit men, or a mixture of the above.

It seems fairly obvious that Mr. Hubbs is ten gallons of crazy in a five gallon bucket.