Antivaxxers and their trouble with truth

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March 28 2009 9:08 AM

Antivaxxers and their trouble with truth

Remember the highlarity when it was found that the modern antivax movement's founder, Andrew Wakefield, apparently faked his data and lied in his original paper claiming vaccines were linked to autism?

That article was researched and written by investigative journalist Brian Deer, who looked pretty carefully into what Wakefield did. Now mind you, Wakefield wrote that original vaccine-autism article after coming up with what he claimed was an alternative to vaccines, so his own credibility is suspect. And now he is in Austin, Texas, as part of Thoughtful House, where autistic kids undergo "therapy" based on Wakefield's dubious research. No doubt this is a highly profitable business.

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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So what did you think Wakefield did when Deer's article came out? Admit defeat, fold up business, and apologize for starting a movement that has helped hundreds of kids get sick and have some of them actually die?

No, of course not. He wrote a scathing attack on Deer, most of which is as thin as his original claims about vaccines.

And now Deer has responded. Orac has all the pieces to this little puzzle, and every time another part comes out, things look worse for Wakefield and the pro-measles crowd.

Some antiscience is a pain in the neck, and some kills. Think, people.

Think.

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