Thursday, January 29, 2015

#1274: Katie Wright

Katie Wright is a particularly obtuse and fanatical anti-vaccine activist, who writes for the blog Age of Autism (not a place to go for reliable information, to put things diplomatically). As most members of the movement Wright is staunchly anti-science. She knows that vaccines are bad, and lead to autism, and no science, evidence, reason, truth or reality is going to tell her otherwise. Hence, for Wright, any studies that suggest that she is wrong (which would, in fact, be all properly done studies) are dismissed on ad hominem grounds (this one is pretty glaring) – since she doesn’t like the results, the scientists behind the study must be in a conspiracy against, well, it’s a bit unclear (she has no background, expertise or discernible understanding of any relevant field – reading Wright is really like reading a case study in Dunning-Kruger). Indeed, she’s even declared that whereas she used to think she would donate her child’s body to science if he were ever to die, she has changed her mind – since scientific studies may have results that contradict her deeply set beliefs.

When it is suggested that the media should abstain from giving equal time to the reality-free delusions of anti-vaccinationists, Wright is a bit miffed. That’s “censorship”. And when Kathleen Sebelius suggests it, it’s “like something that would happen in a communist dictatorship.” Just like the Discovery Institute complaints regarding evolution, in fact. Wright’s delusions are hers, and it’s everyone’s – especially the media’s – duty to take them as seriously as they take claims based on actual evidence, scientific rigor, and reality.

Wright is also a founding member of the CTI Science Foundation, together with Julie Obradovic and Jenny McCarthy’s “co-author”Jerry Kartzinel. The CTI Science Foundation is not about science-based treatments or support for the parents of autistic children, of course. It is about providing said parents with misinformation and quack treatments, such as Boyd Haley’s OSR#1, a toxic product with potential side effects – but it’s alternative; it’s natural, and it fits smoothly into the quack science mythology of the loons and denialists at Age of Autism and the CTI Science Foundation.

Diagnosis: Desperately delusional anti-science crank; unfortunately, some people actually seem to listen to her distortions, misrepresentations, and misunderstandings of the basic tenets of reasonable assessment of any subject matter.

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