Tuesday, October 4, 2016

When two loons marry

Deciding on what exact tact to take with this topic has been difficult as Kent "Dr. Dino" Hovind  is not an easy man to pin down.  So for the sake of brevity what will be ignored is his SovCit bullshit, his tax problems and his religion to a certain extent.  [Pro - http://www.freekenthovind.com or http://www.lonestar1776.com :: Con - http://kehvrlb.com/Please note that the preceding site is administrated by a friend and some of his cohorts.]  The caveat of course being his justification of his anti-vaxx stance using the bile.  I don't care about his divorce or re-marriage except for the fact of who he married, Mary Tocco; a known anti-vaxxer. Also ignored will be Hovind's YEC.  I don't think there will be any relevance beyond the assertion of the authority of the Bible and its importance to the denial of science as a whole.

Unless otherwise noted, I will not be refuting any included videos (or audio) on a point by point basis.  While I expect this posting to be quite long, debunking each video/audio would take forever.  Hovind/Tocco use the standard talking points, and then some, refutations of which can be found elsewhere.  What I may do, is hit points Hovind/Tocco keep repeating in their various presentations.

As Hovind is a litigious asshole, I will not be including video/audio clips.  Not that I wouldn't mind challenging him on "fair use", I do not have the time nor the energy or funds to do so.  I will, however, provide URLs to the offending videos/audio and transcripts when necessary.  TBH, his videos/audio are full of misinformation and do not need further exposure and transmission.
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFW8N5wyYys - belief that our suffering or "ill health" is our fault, in some manner or another. He's fairly certain though that vaccines cause suffering.  Will provide a glimpse into Hovind's thinking concerning health and medicine.  Interview with Tyler could have been better.
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxA1as56g18 - this is part of a longer presentation)
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0VnGMjF99M - 6:58 mark, speaks to SB277 or "mandatory vaccination"
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_NClxc-r5Y - 9:37 CDC debacle,,, vaccines as a means of population control
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeZH_7vDkFg - Creation Science 201-Class 6 gives an idea of his anti govt, anti science stance. This includes the clip above "The Dangers of Vaccines" in which Tocco (and Bill Sardi) is mentioned
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbDrydVZy_4 -16:53 vaccines
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-XFvwN0MKA - 7:11 vaccines
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Q5SSC26qJs - some of his SovCit BS shines through in regards to vaccinations, the "mark" of the beast
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7Ahvd6vXI8 - 11:00 dangers of vaccination,,, many Christians use religious exemption to opt out,,,BUT you say Levitical law does not apply to Christians, is there a NT verse applicable since this would become a health issue and not one of religion. Again goes to jurisdiction and SovCit BS (Paul Hansen),,,what authority or jurisdiction do "they" (the gov't) have at all (concerning mandatory vaccination)
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFlfTVrJ_YM - 1:30 vaccines
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6w1wo2VPELM - Nothing specific concerning vaccines although the person asking questions (I am assuming Rudy Davis as Lonestar1776 is his "channel") floats a "theory" based on the quote -religion flies people into buildings whereas science sends people to the moon. The speaker attributed said (paraphrased quote to Dawkins when it was Victor Stenger (author of "God: The Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist" (2007)) who coined that phrase while writing "The New Atheism:Taking a Stand for Science and Reason" (2009) p. 59. The theory being that a vaccine was developed to combat fundamentalist religious thought although Hovind didn't bit into that con.
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdX6EYFpUOE - Long term negative effects of vaccines. You will notice again he provides no citation other than "others have written". I know prior to his release he was stuck on Tocco's writing and I wonder if her influence is once again being shown forth.  Again this goes to my notion that he holds the AV view solely because he believes the SovCit BS of anti-gov't anything.
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6gcskpaKB8 - Vaccines cause autism,,,someone had the audacity to "call him out".  Hovind states he has no clue who Andrew Wakefield is or the paper that was retracted. So who or what does he base his AV views on? Mary Tocco and Bill Sardi. (Preliminary look at Sardi is not pleasant.)
Hovind and Tocco
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BJvPcHGFGI - This is the primary video, the derp in this video is just amazing!! From what Kent states this is the first face to face meeting with Tocco but he had been following her work prior.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCYjRQaIW_E - a rebuttal of sorts
Hovind,Tocco and,,,
While Tocco is a force unto herself within the AV movement, I am not planning on broaching her "message" separately unless necessary.  I am primarily interested in Hovind and their combined message.  As Tocco states, she has been woo peddling for 35+ years and as I listen to her stuff, the feel I get from the combined presentations is SELL, SELL, SELL.  As I mentioned previous, one of the talking points is "follow the money", both Tocco and Hovind have stores associated with their respective websites. 
,,,have you ever stopped to follow the money on the anti-vaccine blogs and web pages that pollute the internet? If you haven’t, you should, because most of the major ones include a store selling the products that you supposedly should use instead of vaccines,,,
As I said, Hovind/Tocco use the standard AV talking points.
What is remarkable about the anti-vaccine crowd is their consistency in talking points. One might call it message discipline (enough to make Republicans jealous) but I think that implies more deliberate coordination than there is evidence for. I may be wrong in this, but I think it is enough to say that they all travel in the same virtual circles and play off each other’s rhetoric and arguments. They are a political/ideological community, and such communities are more plugged in today because of Web 2.0 than ever before.

I’m not just talking about slogans, like “Green our Vaccines”, which are designed for widespread use. Reading the various anti-vaccine websites and authors you begin to see a pattern of specific talking points coming in waves,,,
The biggest talking point, that vaccines cause autism or vaccines don't work (kind of a tie between the two). If one listens closely enough, I think they have hit them all; or damn near all. What is bizarre, Hovind alone provides no evidence beyond see Tocco's or Bill Sardi's website as evidence or source.  (As a bit of foreshadowing, Hovind's evidence is weak at best concerning his medical claims let alone anti-vaccination.)

The arguments or talking points that will assault your ears if you choose to listen to the various clips: (If one decides to venture into the comments, the derp is very deep. Be prepared to lose IQ points.)
  • Not understanding science as a whole, nor vaccinations in general. (Remember, Hovind claims to be a former high school science teacher who "understands" how germ theory works.
Medicine does, however, have its version of a theory of evolution, at least in terms of how well-supported and integrated into the very fabric of medicine it is. That theory is the germ theory of disease, which, just as evolution is the organizing principle of biology, functions as the organizing principle of infectious disease in medicine. When I first became interested in skepticism and medical pseudoscience and quackery, I couldn’t envision how anyone could deny the germ theory of disease. It just didn’t compute to me, given how copious the evidence in favor of this particular theory is. It turns out that I was wrong about that, too.
He just doesn't accept it.) Two biggies, denial of germ theory (see also this little vid by Concordance) and the "belief" that herd immunity is a myth.
Let’s set aside the fact that that there are people who have no choice but to rely upon herd immunity as their sole line of protection against these infections.  Forget that there is a threshold below which herd immunity collapses, and that our current vaccination rates tend to be right on the cusp of that threshold.  Pay no attention to the fact that the personal decision to not vaccinate deprives others of their sole protection from these infections. Finally, ignore the ethics and self-defeating nature of benefiting from the sacrifice of others while simultaneously eroding the efficacy of the herd immunity being exploited.  On a small enough scale, doesn’t the tactic of hiding in the herd provide the same protection as getting vaccinated without incurring the minimal risk of vaccination?
Not so much.
These findings further reinforce the fact that even in a community with intact herd immunity, the choice to remain unvaccinated places children at a markedly higher risk than their vaccinated counterparts.  The delusion that hiding children within the herd provides them with protection even remotely equal to vaccination must be abandoned.
It bears to be stated again, frankly and clearly.  The choice to refuse a vaccine, to “hide in the herd,” is an active decision to accept a markedly higher risk of infection, its complications, the associated medical costs and lost wages, the responsibility of spreading the disease to others should an infection occur, and to choose to undermine the very herd immunity on which we all depend.
One point noted by Fiona Robertson, in her video [5:22] criticizing Hovind/Tocco,

he wants the right to not vaccinate his special snowflakes while relying on the herd immunity created by others. Now remember, Hovind does not accept herd immunity, he thinks it a myth. As Robertson states, it's a shifting of responsibility as well as what Barry Lynne spoke to concerning Hobby Lobby - opting out of laws they don't like.

Fallacy Man, in his response to the statement - Herd immunity by means of vaccination is a LIE the pharmaceutical companies use to make parents feel bad for not vaccinating their children - cites 2 studies for Japan and the UK. While he includes simulation models, the studies show that HI has been experimentally demonstrated. (Two that are publicly accessible.)
The number of excess deaths during the winter season in Japan decreased from 1962 until 1987, despite a large increase in the number of elderly people. The number of excess deaths began to rise after 1987, and the increase became quite rapid after 1994. The most likely explanation for this changing pattern of seasonal mortality is that the herd immunity produced by the mass immunization of schoolchildren protected elderly persons.
However, none of these factors were reversed, and no other social change occurred that might account for the increase in excess mortality in the late 1990s. The fact that there was a rapid increase in excess deaths after 1994, the year in which mass immunization formally ended, supports the conclusion that the effects observed in earlier years were due to vaccine-induced herd immunity, although it is possible that social factors may have amplified the effects of this program.
Ramsay et al. 2003, Herd immunity from meningococcal serogroup C conjugate vaccination in England: database analysis
We present rates of disease in vaccinated and unvaccinated children to provide the first evidence of an indirect effect from meningococcal conjugate vaccine.
  • One of the biggest issues pushed specifically by Hovind/Tocco is this notion of vaccines being responsible for an increase in an "autism epidemic" as well as vaccine injury (ie. increase in shots equates to an increase in childhood disease and chronic illness in children). The injuries range from various allergies, heavy metal toxicity, SIDS, auto-immune diseases to vaccines causes autism. Included in this quagmire is gut health and the immune system - yeast imbalances and leaky gut.
According to Steve Novella,
There is no doubt that the number of autism diagnoses has increased in the last two decades, but the evidence strongly suggests this increase in an artifact of how autism diagnoses are made, and not representative of a true increase. Adding to this data, a newly published study looks at autism and ASD prevalence worldwide: “The epidemiology and global burden of autism spectrum disorders“.
They found:
In 2010 there were an estimated 52 million cases of ASDs, equating to a prevalence of 7.6 per 1000 or one in 132 persons. After accounting for methodological variations, there was no clear evidence of a change in prevalence for autistic disorder or other ASDs between 1990 and 2010. Worldwide, there was little regional variation in the prevalence of ASDs.
As Novella notes, this conflicts with the 1 in 68 number of the CDC, to which Novella responds,
In other words, several studies have found that there is increased surveillance for autism, a broadening of the diagnostic criteria, and an increased willingness to seek out and accept the diagnosis by parents and educators. Further, when you control for these variables, the adjusted autism prevalence is stable over time.
Such epidemiological studies are often appropriately cautious in their conclusions, stating that they cannot rule out other factors, such as environment or a real increase in the number of autism cases. Such studies, however, do not provide evidence for either a real increase or any environmental factors. Rather, autism diagnoses seem to correlate best with awareness of autism and resources for diagnosis and services.
Adding to that, Logic of Science puts some numbers behind the contention that there is no epidemic.
As a final nail in the coffin, there is this from Exposing AutismOne,
Two Chapman researchers analyzed 15 years of state special education eligibility data and found many students who once would have been considered to have a condition called Specific Learning Disability are now told they have autism.
If the findings are correct, the prevalence of autism hasn’t actually changed; it’s just changed names.
The Chapman researchers aren’t the first to reach this conclusion.
Journalist Steve Silberman’s book on the topic, “NeuroTribes,” “explores how a 1987 expansion of the medical definition of autism (which was previously much narrower and led to less frequent diagnoses) contributed to the perception that there was an autism epidemic,”according to NPR.
According to the Chapman study, children who were once given the label Specific Learning Disability are now falling under the autism umbrella. Children with SLD don’t have an intellectual impairment, but fall short of expectations on such academic measures as listening, thinking, spelling or mathematical calculations. The shift is a concept the Chapman researchers are calling “diagnostic migration.”
“For every new kid with autism, there’s one less with SLD,” said researcher Donald Cardinal, a professor and former dean of educational studies at Chapman.
And GLP,
The exact same thing has happened in every country that has seen soaring autism rates—the definition of what constitutes as autism was dramatically expanded in the early 1990s to embrace the catch-all term Autism Spectrum Disorder—correlating with when GMO usage, chemtrail rates, pesticide exposure and organic food sales began a sharp increase.
The researchers discovered that the change in diagnostic criteria taken together along with the diagnoses made outside of a healthcare facility accounted for as much as 60 percent of the increase in prevalence of autism spectrum disorders. The authors of the study conclude thus
Changes in reporting practices can account for most (60 percent) of the increase in the observed prevalence of ASDs in children born from 1980 through 1991 in Denmark. Hence, the study supports the argument that the apparent increase in ASDs in recent years is in large part attributable to changes in reporting practices.
Vaccine injury is a bit stickier. Do they happen? Yes, BUT they are very rare. The fall back position for the AV crowd then becomes the $3 billion + in payouts from the Vaccine Court. The failure, is understanding the nature of the court and why it was created in 1988 by the passage of National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP)
Long story short
In order to ensure that vaccines would be as affordable and available as possible, Congress thus created the VICP, establishing a trust fund for awards financed by an excise tax of 75 cents on every vaccine administered. Under the program, cases are adjudicated on a no-fault basis, with attorneys for the government and attorneys for the families arguing before one of eight special masters. The goal is to settle the matter as quickly and fairly as possible, though petitioners (the no-fault system avoids the word “plaintiffs”) who are unhappy with the special master’s ruling are free to take their case to the traditional civil court system.
Even without blame being established, the billions the government has handed over in payouts since the VICP was created does seem to suggest that a whole lot of people are being harmed. But that is not the case. From 2006 to 2014, approximately 2.5 billion doses of vaccines were administered in the U.S. In that time, a total of just 2,976 claims were adjudicated by the special masters and only 1,876 of those received compensation. Divide that number by the vaccine dose total and you get less than a one in a million risk of harm. Going all the way back to 1988—before the flu vaccine became part of the recommended schedule of vaccines—a total of 16,038 claims have been adjudicated and 4,150 have been compensated, bringing the total payouts up to the $3.18 billion figure. 
The Hannah Poling case, [Although Novella was responding to a specific response and "letter", the basics of contention and what the "case" was/is about is laid out quite well.] as mentioned, is unique and is not the over-all success many AVers think or want it to be. Regretfully, in Hannah's case, the vaccines aggravated an unknown mitochondrial disorder Hannah had and the resulting drug interactions with her unknown condition, caused her to develop a fever which would have caused brain damage, and resulted in an autism spectrum disorder.
To the quagmire that is "gut health" I will say this, Wakefield has set the field as a whole back 10 years.
Levitt and Buie said they believed that for years parents’ concerns about their autistic children’s gastrointestinal problems were too often dismissed, partly because doctors associated those concerns with quackery and vaccine fears and the false hope that a diet could cure the autism itself. When Levitt gives talks, he sometimes puts a picture of Wakefield up on the screen. “Bad science,” he then says, “set us back 10 years.”
As you can see this list is endless and I could go on for pages (and I probably would have if my file had not become corrupted) refuting the Hovind/Tocco notions concerning vaccine. Up next is either Tocco or Bill Sardi, I haven't decided which nut-ball to tackle yet. After that bit of work, we will look at the so-called scriptural justifications

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