Tuesday, March 11, 2014

#950: Neil Z. Miller & Gary S. Goldman


Neil Z. Miller is a “medical research journalist”, “health pioneer”, “independent researcher” (yes, that means exactly what you think it means) and Director of the Thinktwice Global Vaccine Institute, an anti-vaccine organization listed here (and Miller has a long history in various altmed and antivaxx organizations). Gary S. Goldman is an “independent computer scientist” affiliated with WAVE – World Association for Vaccine Education, another anti-vaxx organization, and President and Founder of Medical Veritas, a rabidly anti-vaccine “journal” (listed here) that is into HIV/AIDS denialism as well, having published dubious “reanalyses” of autopsy results of victims of AIDS. Neither Miller nor Goldman have any qualifications that would lead one to think that they have any special expertise in epidemiology, vaccines, or science. But they have google and are not afraid to use it.

Together they have actually managed to publish a paper or two in obscure journals, where they completely misunderstand data in favor of their cherished hypotheses. In “Infant mortality rates regressed against number of vaccine doses routinely given: Is there a biochemical or synergistic toxicity?” they “found” that nations requiring the most vaccines tend to have the worst infant mortality rates, and their cherry-picking of data and speculation needed to reach that conclusion are rather painful – quite simply yet another poorly planned, poorly executed, poorly analyzed study that is poorly done exactly because it needs to be in order to show what the authors want it to show, namely that vaccines cause autism, a hypothesis so thoroughly falsified as any in the history of science. The study was of course praised in the venues you’d suspect, and where the assessment of the methodology used in the study is determined by whether it supports the conclusions the praiser wants it to show. Indeed, it was even praised at NaturalNews in a long post written by … Miller himself.

The journal Human & Experimental Toxicology is not a journal to trust in general. In fact, they published Miller & Goldman’s next article article, “Relative trends in hospitalizations and mortality among infants by the number of vaccine doses and age, based on the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), 1990-2010,” as well. And yes, Miller and Goldman decided to go dumpster-diving in the VAERS database for spurious correlations, which of course they wouldfind given the nature of that database. They still had to botch the methodology to support the conclusions they wanted to support. A little bit later Goldman returned to dumpster dive on his own, utterly failing to grasp the nature of the VAERS database, and got “Comparison of VAERS fetal-loss reports during three consecutive influenza seasons: Was there a synergistic fetal toxicity associated with the two-vaccine 2009/2010 season?” out of it, published in the same journal as before. The answer to Goldman’s question is “no”, though Goldman reached a somewhat different answer.

Miller is also the author of several books with titles like Vaccine Roulette: Gambling With Your Child’s Life, and Immunization Theory vs Reality: Expose on Vaccinations, and Vaccines: Are They Really Safe and Effective. Together with Mayer Eisenstein he wrote Make an Informed Vaccine Decision for the Health of Your Child, a book you should avoid if you want to make an informed decision about anything (it even admits as much: “this book tends to find fault with vaccines, therefore readers are advised to balance the data presented here with data presented by ‘official’ sources of vaccine information”). It is primarily a list of standard antivaxx topes, and is reviewed here.

Goldman has written books with such promising titles as The Chickenpox Vaccine: A New Epidemic of Disease and Corruption.

Diagnosis: A stellar example of cargo-cult science in action – though since many readers may have certain difficulties discerning junk science from real science Miller and Goldman and their efforts pose a serious threat to civilization. 

9 comments:

  1. The author/owner of this website should be ashamed of themselves for being such an obvious tool and shill.

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    1. Are you saying Neil Z. Miller is not a loon? Are you saying you believe he actually talked to aliens?

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  2. Neil Miller claims to have gotten at least some of his scientific information from aliens.

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  3. Congratulations, EoAL! You've won the shill badge.

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    1. EoAL is a chill? Miller writes anti-vaccine books and makes money from them I would presume. I would think that might make him a "shill".

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  4. Alathea Agnodice and nessavaness - Yes, the blog pointing out that exactly how these guys don't know what they're talking about are the shills, and the men who write (and, presumably, sell) books about their misguided, ill-informed, debunked theories are... what, exactly?

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  5. I'm entirely in American Loon's debt for this post, which came in handily (in the context of the current Disney measles outbreak). Thanks!

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  6. This critique is more concerned with throwing around pejorative terms and ad hominem attacks than the science and accuracy. Conflict of interest surrounds many of the pro-vaccine articles done mostly by pharma. There are plenty of data, research, and medical journal articles on both sides of this argument.

    The truth is there’s never been an experiment that demonstrates vaccinated children are healthier than unvaccinated children so vaccines remain a pseudoscience. Vaccinated vs unvaccinated studies are the first step in proving efficacy and safety. Safety trials are inadequate mostly due to only healthy children can participate yet almost all children get them.

    I took the liberty in comparing the top 10 least vaccinated countries vs the 10 best countries for infant mortality rates and there’s a 70% correlation. I did the same for the top 20 and there’s an 85% correlation. This doesn’t prove a definitive correlation however more than warrants studies because scientifically this is a trend you can’t ignore.

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