Rational Catholic continues dismantling the shoddy science in Dr. Deisher’s vaccine/autism study

The indefatigable Rational Catholic, still undeterred by accusations of being an enormous meany-pants, has provided us with part two of what will be a three-part series explaining why there is no reason to accept Dr. Theresa Deisher’s study proposing a link between vaccines and autism.

In part one, Rational Catholic teased out the problems with Deisher’s statistical methodology. In part two,  Problems with Deisher’s Study: Biological Implausibility, Rational Catholic systematically dismantles Deisher’s actual hypothesis.

Noteworthy: Part II was updated to include commentary from Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, who has read all of Deisher’s public work. Fr. Austiraco has just been awarded his second research grant from the NIH. Rational Catholic added his comments on Deisher’s work with permission from Fr. Austiraco, who is a Dominican priest with a Ph.D in Biology from MIT. He teaches theology and biology at Providence College.

Congratulations to Fr. Austiraco (pictured below) and to Rational Catholic for their faithful work pursuing truth through rigorous science!

 

 

PIC Fr. Austiraco

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  • http://yardsaleofthemind.wordpress.com/ Joseph Moore

    That second paragraph is a cliff hanger – unintentionally, I assume?

    Got to get me a pair of them enormous meany pants. Oh, wait – I already did!

    • simchafisher

      D’oh! The irrational Catholic strikes again.
      Thanks, I finished the sentence.

  • Laura

    Clarification- I only know that Fr. Austiaco read the current study to see if the commentary he made when pro-life media repeated SCPI’s claims in 2010 that the “EPA confirmed” a link between fetal cell line vaccines and autism still applied. I do not know if he’s read any of the unpublished lab report studies, SCPI newsletters, etc.

    And this in no way is meant to detract from anything Dr. Deisher does or has done in the area of adult stem cell research. It would be very sad if she is following this line of absurdity to placate her anti-vaccine supporters/donors (http://momswhovax.blogspot.com/2014/09/you-might-be-anti-vaccine-if-hidden.html?) when her talents and training would be far more valuable in the field of stem cell research.

  • Guest

    Well, I guess Disqus ate my comment, so I’ll try again to remember what I wrote:

    Clarification— I only know that Fr. Austriaco read Deisher’s current study to ensure that comments he made when pro-life media repeated SCPI’s claims in 2010 about a link between fetal cell line vaccines and autism were still applicable. I do not know if he has read any of her unpublished studies/lab reports or newsletters.

    And none of this is meant to detract from what Dr. Deisher has done/could do in the area of adult stem cell research. It would be very sad if she is following this line of absurdity to placate her anti-vaccine supporters/donors (http://momswhovax.blogspot.com/2014/09/you-might-be-anti-vaccine-if-hidden.html? ) when her talents and training would be far more valuable and applicable elsewhere.

    • Laura

      Wow. Disqus is wonky today.

  • http://grace-filled.net jen

    As the mom of a child with autism who is fully vaccinated, thank you.

  • anna lisa

    Soooooooooo, at this point I’d be happy with a clean statistical number from the good, honest, scientists who shy from conspiracy theories and any kind of scientific *clique mentality*.
    Something like: According to our data there is X percent probability that Dr. Deisher is correct/wrong.
    That would be awesome.

    • Laura

      It’s so close to a biological impossibility according to Drs. Offit and Gorski that you can for all intents and purposes call it a “biological impossibility” in the practical sense. Fr. Austriaco has said in the past that it “makes no biological sense.”

      Science can’t actually declare anything impossible, technically, sort of like how you can’t “prove” that there is no Flying Spaghetti monster or that the Illuminati doesn’t control the Vatican. All you can say is there are all these overwhelming reasons to believe that it isn’t so and a lack of evidence to the contrary. No one considers Deisher’s work evidence to the contrary who doesn’t have an anti-vaccine (even if it’s just anti-THESE-vaccines) agenda.

    • anna lisa

      Well, good. Thanks. I’ll take “virtually impossible” and worry about something else.
      Like the freeway, and the two teens that are about to be on them.
      We only need one last dose of the MMR . After 27 years, and quaking in my boots each time, we’re done with *all* childhood immunizations. We only had one bad reaction, and that was in 1987, when the pertussis part of the DPT widely had some problems. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think, the virus used to be (partially?) live.
      Anyhow, there’s got to be someone I can say, “thanks A LOT!” to, for those decades of cowering in the “it probably won’t happen to us” category.
      I think I’ll just play it cool with my pediatrician and pretend I never emailed her the “aborted-fetus-DNA-autism-link”. She’s used to hippies anyhow.

      • Laura

        It was still a killed virus vaccine, but DTP was whole cell. There were over 3,000 antigens a lot more reactions (some of the really bad ones were later linked to a genetic condition http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/721291).

        I was a “hippie” and thoroughly confused our pediatrician with my about-face with vaccines… I figure dealing with protective, sometimes odd parents is what they signed up for so c’est la vie.

        • anna lisa

          Thanks, the link had problems but it jogged my memory.

          I don’t know, part of me admires the live and let live attitude of hippies. I’m always threatening my husband to become one.
          You’d have to meet my parents to understand how much I’d have to strive for that goal.