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HuckleB's Journal
HuckleB's Journal
March 19, 2014

Medical Conspiracies: JAMA Internal Medicine Survey Results



They found that 49% of Americans agreed with at least one conspiracy, and 18% agreed with three or more. This is in line with the level of belief in non-medical conspiracies. They did not publish, but I would be interested, in the percentage of people who said they disagreed with all of the conspiracies. Many of the respondents indicated that they did not know if a particular conspiracy were true, likely because they had not heard of it before, but were unwilling to disagree on plausibility grounds alone.


The second part of their study is perhaps more interesting. They found a strong predictive correlation between belief in the above conspiracies and a host of medical behaviors. Conspiracy believers were more likely to use herbal supplements, use alternative medicine, and eat organic food, and less likely to vaccinate, use sunscreen, and have regular physicals.


The medical community would be well-served if they understood the phenomenon of medical conspiracies. In fact, it can be viewed and addressed as a public health issue. Medical institutions can take such beliefs more seriously, rather than just dismissing them as fringe. Efforts to educate the public about critical thinking, scientific methodology, and how the institutions of medicine work and are regulated, might reduce the popularity of such conspiracy theories.

I also think we need to have as much transparency as possible in scientific and regulatory processes. Secrecy or even opaqueness tends to breed paranoia.


An interesting read, especially as a follow up to the political conspiracy theory beliefs survey.

March 4, 2014

Hogwash. This "review" and the propaganda sites pushing it are the smear tacticians.

The "review" piece is a BS smear tactic. The data that is there, and there isn't much, doesn't support the hyperbolic claims.

Yet you continue to defend it. There's no excuse for that.

More on the blatant nonsense that is the "review" in the OP:

Does Roundup cause celiac disease or gluten intolerance?

March 4, 2014

According to a New Study, Nothing Can Change an Anti-Vaxxer’s Mind


"While some false beliefs, such as astrology, are fairly harmless, parents who believe falsely that vaccination is dangerous or unnecessary for children present a real public health hazard. That's why researchers, publishing in Pediatrics, decided to test four different pro-vaccination messages on a group of parents with children under 18 and with a variety of attitudes about vaccination to see which one was most persuasive in persuading them to vaccinate. As Chris Mooney reports for Mother Jones, the results are utterly demoralizing: Nothing made anti-vaccination parents more amendable to vaccinating their kids. At best, the messages didn't move the needle one way or another, but it seems the harder you try to persuade a vaccination denialist to see the light, the more stubborn they get about not vaccinating their kids.


In other words, learning that they were wrong to believe that vaccines were dangerous to their kids made vaccine-hostile parents more, not less likely to reject vaccination. Mooney calls this the "backfire effect," but feel free to regard it as stubborn, childish defensiveness, if you'd rather. If you produce evidence that vaccination fears about autism are misplaced, anti-vaccination parents don't apologize and slink off to get their kids vaccinated. No, according to this study, they tend to double down.

This reaction, where people become more assured of their stupid opinions when confronted with factual or scientific evidence proving them wrong, has been demonstrated in similar studies time and time again. (This is why arguing with your Facebook friends who watch Fox News will only bring you migraines.) Mooney suggests that state governments should respond by making it harder to opt out of vaccinations. That would be helpful, but there's also some preliminary research from the James Randi Educational Foundation and Women Thinking Inc. that shows that reframing the argument in positive terms can help. When parents were prompted to think of vaccination as one of the steps you take to protect a child, like buckling a seat belt, they were more invested in doing it than if they were reminded that vaccine denialists are spouting misinformation. Hopefully, future research into pro-vaccination messaging, as opposed to just anti-anti-vaccination messaging, will provide further insight."

Ummm. Yeah, that's about all I can offer.

March 3, 2014

This is more bad propaganda.

Goodness. Please don't post such blatant BS.

Does Glyphosate Cause Celiac Disease? Actually, No!

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