Friday, October 28, 2011

Louis Pasteur: Driven By Purpose Rather Than Profit

Mr. Hubbs is the type of person who believes anyone who is associated with vaccines is somehow evil and they are all merely driven by profits rather than purpose. I have shown in the past how this logic is fatally flawed, but obviously a vaccine conspiracy theorist like Mr. Hubbs is not easily convinced.

The reality is, most of the great vaccine discoveries throughout history came not from the desire to profit, but from the desire to improve the human condition and from the desire to make the world a better and safer place for us all. I have previously discussed how Jonas Salk released his polio vaccine to the public without first seeking to patent it or profit from it because he was drive by purpose, but Salk isn’t the only one.

Louis Pasteur's work was driven by such a purpose as well. Pasteur was a French chemist and microbiologist who is probably best known for the process of pasteurization, and he is often referred to as the “father” of germ theory. He was one of the first people to suggest to doctors that they bother to sterilize their instruments and actually wash their hands before and after performing surgery on patients which directly led to a significant decrease in the amount of surgery-related infections. (Don’t bother explaining this concept to Mr. Hubbs however as he doesn’t believe in the germ theory and therefore thinks it is just all a big coincidence).

That said, Pasteur’s discoveries didn’t stop with germ theory or pasteurization and he worked tirelessly on a number of different vaccines. At one point he was developing a vaccine for rabies as the disease was responsible for killing thousands of people each year. He had tested his vaccine on rabbits, and was prepared to test it upon himself just as a nine year old boy named Joseph Meister was attacked by a rabid dog.

Meister’s mother pleaded with Pasteur to test the vaccine on her son and although Pasteur himself was not a licensed physician at the time, he put his personal reputation and career at risk in order to attempt to save Joseph’s life. Thankfully, Joseph’s inoculation against rabies was successful and he never contracted the disease, and thus a functional rabies vaccine was officially discovered.

This foundation laid the groundwork for other work on vaccines, and Pasteur himself became known as nothing short of a hero due to his work. Decades later, Pasteur was asked what he would like to be etched upon his tombstone… and as legend has it he asked for only three words: “Joseph Meister Lived!”.

To think a man who helped shape the future of vaccine science, the man known as the father of germ theory, and the man who has been known for numerous discoveries that have saved countless lives was never concerned with his reputation… but rather when he had to boil it all down the only thing he cared about was saving this one young boy.

Does that sound like someone who is only concerned with profit, or does it sound like someone who was driven by purpose? The answer seems clear, and that thought process is not unique to only Pasteur. In fact right this very moment in time there are thousands upon thousands of doctors and scientists and researchers toiling away in their labs and offices and hospitals and clinics and even homes in search of the next big discovery that will make its mark on mankind.

Are we really to believe that all of these people are only concerned with wealth and profit? Are we really to believe there is some vast conspiracy at play which actually results in more people getting sick just so a few select companies can sell some medications or vaccines? I suppose there are differing theories on the subject, but to suggest that tens of thousands of doctors and researchers are all involved in some massive manipulation of the scientific process is nothing short of a conspiracy theory… so is it really any wonder why Mr. Hubbs has earned the label of “vaccine conspiracy theorist”?

Yea… I didn’t think so either.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

More Accusations of Hacking

We have discussed Lowell Hubbs' propensity to cry wolf and accuse "black hat hackers" of manipulating his computer or websites in the past even though he never seems to have any evidence to support his claims, but here is yet another example of the nonsense that come from the mind of Mr. Hubbs:

"Here is how bad they want to shut my information shut down. 9:30 pm 3-2 My computer I was working on at the time, went blank screen, lost all the tabs; and reverted back to the administrative log in screen; access blocked. Guess where the IP address was traced back to? Gannet Broadcasting/ The Argus Leader. They even hacked my earlier email account and sent all my personal emails to FEMA, and the FBI; attempting to get me shut down for spamming the gov't." ~ Lowell Hubbs
So yea... when Lowell Hubbs has problems with his computer, he automatically blames it upon mystery "hackers" and even goes so far as to claim a local newspaper is to blame.

Sure thing Lowell - that makes perfect sense.  So a large publishing company with hundreds of employees is taking the time to personally reach out and fiddle with your computer while still allowing you - a man with very little technical knowledge and even less common sense - to identify their IP address.  This is the same large publishing company which has been known to actually print several of your letters to the editor, and the same large publishing company which has allowed you to not only post on their forums, but has allowed you to post under multiple usernames hundreds upon hundreds of times even going so far as to post under multiple names defending yourself as you pretend to be different people.

Yea... that is surely more likely that lets say... you just being a paranoid conspiracy theorist with a persecution complex who just happens to have problems with his computer from time to time.

Funny how even after months and months of Mr. Hubbs claiming to have all of this proof of people hacking him and after months and months of him making accusations about illegal activity ranging from stalking to harassing to illegal wiretaps, fraud, sexual misconduct, and even homicide/murder... Mr. Hubbs has never shown us any evidence that any of these crimes have ever actually been committed.  No police reports, no evidence that anyone has ever been arrested or charged with a crime, no follow-up to support his claims that he has evidence, or corroboration to his claims that government agencies like the FBI are investigating or that his "people" or "lawyers" have taken action.

Just more conspiracy theories and bold faced lies.  I wish I could say I expected more, but sadly this is just par for the course for Lowell Hubbs.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lowell Hubbs: Quote of the Day

Every now and then, one of the comments Mr. Hubbs sends in is actually entertaining.  Most are filled with nonsense and chalk full of ramblings of a madman, but every now and then he says something which really makes you stop and think.  This is one of those times...
"Whats the problem Costner, you can read English. Do you not understand the most basic of common sense?"  ~Lowell Hubbs
I honestly don't even know what to say to this.  I guess I could just admit that yes... I can actually read English, but apparently Mr. Hubbs isn't much good with writing it.

Common sense?  Yea... not one of Mr. Hubbs' strong suits.  Yet he is the type of person who considers himself an expert on vaccines and science.  I guess that's one way to go.  Granted even if I overlook the errors in grammar to get down to the point which I believe Mr. Hubbs is trying to make, it still doesn't change anything.

The problem with Mr. Hubbs' logic is that "common sense" does not dictate fact nor does it influence scientific discovery.  Anecdotal evidence is just that... anecdotal.  For example if someone sees a child start developing symptoms of a learning disorder or sees them have a seizure, they may think it was because that child was given a vaccine a few weeks or months earlier because in their mind there were no other possible causes.  However that requires them to ignore million of other environmental and genetic causes.

I can understand how vaccines get the blame over something like genetics.  After all - parents don't want to think it could be their very own genes that led to a medical condition in their child.  Because of this, they look everywhere else around them in an effort to place blame elsewhere and if that just so happens to fall upon vaccines that makes them feel better.

The problem is, there is no science to support these viewpoints.  Not only are cases of autism or other medical conditions nearly identical in unvaccinated populations, but there is not a single piece of peer-reviewed science published anywhere nor is there a single study which has ever reached the conclusion that vaccines cause autism. 

Perhaps even more telling is that there has never been any peer-reviewed or reputable science that even suggested vaccines cause autism.  Ever.  Mr. Hubbs knows this, his fellow anti-vaccination friends know this, and the legitimate medical community knows this, which is why antivaxxers continue to try to move the goal posts and shift the debate time and time again as they attempt to ignore the fact their opinions have never been verified, validated, or even found to have any merit whatsoever.

So why are all of these parents so convinced that vaccines cause autism, and why are vaccine conspiracy theorists so sure that vaccines are harmful?  Well a lot of it boils down to them being ignorant to the scientific method, but much of it also happens to be due to them relying upon anecdotal evidence.  Since many cases of autism seem to be diagnosed during the ages of two and three, and because that time frame also seems to coincide with when parents are giving their children vaccines they (for whatever reason) feel vaccines are to blame.

They don't care they science doesn't support their viewpoint.  They don't care about the mounting evidence that reflects a strong genetic component to autism.  They don't care that they can't prove their theory or that unvaccinated children can still get autism.  They don't care about any of these things because they will tell you "they just know" vaccines are responsible, and no amount of science or research is going to be enough to convince them otherwise because their conclusions are based upon (you guessed it) "common sense".

Unfortunately for Mr. Hubbs and other vaccine conspiracy theorists like him, scientific fact has never been, and will never be determined by what one person believes is "common sense".  Instead, scientific theories are tested and replicated.  Hypothesis are validated or challenged.  Research is verified and reproduced.

This is why the anti-vaccination crowd will never be successful and why they will never be taken seriously, because instead of them wishing to find the truth they would much rather dabble in what they perceive as "common sense".  The ironic part is that anti-vaxxers don't seem to have any common sense... yet they put an enourmous amount of faith in it while ignoring everything else.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Vaccine Ingredients: What You Should Know

Most vaccination conspiracy theorists have a habit of tossing out random statements to try and paint vaccines as harmful, even when it is blatantly obvious they have no idea what they are talking about and Lowell Hubbs is no exception.  They make statements about aluminum being in vaccines and how harmful it must be or they rail on against formaldehyde being found in vaccines (even in trace amounts).  In the past, they have gone out of their way to blame mercury for various neurological disorders up and and including autism although now that mercury has been pulled out of all childhood vaccines and even though the rates of autism have remained unchanged... they have suddenly swept that little gem under the rug as they shifted focus elsewhere.

Throughout all of these discussions, one point kept rising to the surface about all of the ingredients that anti-vaxxers complain about, and that is the fact that they don't appear to know what these ingredients actually do or why they are found in vaccines.  Instead, they simply read on one of their many anti-vaxxer websites that these ingredients are harmful, and the nonsense began to take hold.  They never actually bother to research the ingredients to determine why they are included or what function they hold.  They never even bother to determine at what quantities they can be found or how much of these ingredients are already found in the human body even before a single vaccine is administered.

Admittedly, telling someone you are going to inject them with aluminum or formaldehyde seems like a bad idea at face value, but once you know the facts about these ingredients it is an entirely different story.  In fact, most people may not even understand that the human body already contains chemicals such as formaldehyde even if that person has never had a vaccination in their life.  Also, vaccine conspiracy theorists try to suggest aluminum may be responsible for all types of neurological disorders or other medical issues, yet they have zero evidence to support that viewpoint.  I chalk these views up to simple ignorance about what aluminum really is and how the body reacts to it, but in the mind of a vaccine conspiracy theorist any form of metal has no reason to exist in the human body apparently.

I can only assume that vaccine conspiracy theorists conveniently ignore that the human body includes trace amounts of various metals and in fact relies upon these elements for proper function.  Take zinc for example.  Zinc is used for protein synthesis, it contributes to would healing, it contributes to a strong immune system, it has been found to help with memory, and even contributes to skeletal growth.  Then you have iron which is required for the production of hemoglobin and myoglobin. 

Next you have copper.  Copper is required to help regulate blood pressure and helps with nerve function.  Chromium enhances the action of insulin as well as assists with carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism.  Magnesium helps maintain a strong immune system, helps maintain muscle and nerve function, and contributes to energy metabolism and protein synthesis.

As you can clearly see, the human body contains a various amount of metals and numerous other trace minerals.  In fact, the human body already contains trace amounts of aluminum, mercury, and even lead.  They key point here is that it is important to know and understand what levels are acceptable, and what levels could result in toxicity.  Any mineral including those mentioned here can be harmful to the human body if they are found in excessive quantities.  Obviously we all know iron is essential for many bodily functions, but if someone has excessive amounts of iron in their blood it can result in numerous side effects including weight loss, shortness of breath, nausea, and fatigue. 

The phrase "all good things in moderation" comes to mind here.  Given in proper amounts, most minerals will not be harmful to humans, but obviously if excessive amounts are ingested there can and will be side effects.

Because of the common misunderstanding of what various vaccine ingredients are capable of, it seems some education is in order - and the following PDF file from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Vaccine Education Center does a fabulous job of explaining some of the basics in layman's terms that even the most prolific anti-vaxxer should be able to understand.

Of course the PDF also includes references for those who are interested in learning even more about the science behind vaccines and although most anti-vaxxers tend to ignore anything which requires independent research, some others might find those articles interesting as well.  It is a good read, and something everyone who has any interest in vaccine ingredients should take the time to review.

Vaccine Ingredients: What you should know