Ed Driscoll

'A Banner Day For Junk Science . . .'

Investor’s Business Daily notes, “A study debunking vaccines by a scientist in the pay of trial lawyers was found to be ‘an elaborate fraud.’ Meanwhile, the ‘Great Garbage Patch’ turned out to be a sea myth. Science has some explaining to do:”

Corruption: A study debunking vaccines by a scientist in the pay of trial lawyers was found to be “an elaborate fraud.” Meanwhile, the “Great Garbage Patch” turned out to be a sea myth. Science has some explaining to do.

Scientific inquiry, once perceived a noble redoubt of objective truth-seeking and enlightenment, is doing a bang-up job of dragging itself down to P.T. Barnum-style snake oil-elixir hype, given the amount of fraud being exposed almost daily.

Of course, mistakes happen in any field of inquiry, but these are politically motivated ruses intended to advance an agenda.

A 1998 British medical study linking autism to childhood vaccines by Dr. Andrew Wakefield, published as fact in the prestigious Lancet journal, was exposed by a rival as a fraud. According to an investigation from U.K. medical journal BMJ, Wakefield misrepresented or altered the medical histories of all 12 patients in his study.

BMJ concluded there was “no doubt” of his responsibility.

More fakery arrived from the other side of the world, too. After years of alarming claims about a “Great Garbage Patch” of plastic bottles and bags floating around the Pacific in a space twice the size of Texas, an Oregon State University professor of oceanography, Angelicque White, found the actual size of the supposed horror was “grossly exaggerated.” Instead of taking up two Texases, the floating landfill’s size was about 1% of that state’s bulk.

Claims that the ocean was filled with more plastic than plankton, and that the garbage patch was growing tenfold each decade since the 1950s, were also found to be rubbish.

Philosopher Eric Hoffer once asked if there was any greater freedom than the right to be wrong, given the prevalence of nonsensical notions within free societies. The freedom to be wrong on science, however, is frequently driven not by mere mistakes but by a political agenda whose aim is to diminish the freedoms of others.

Wakefield has had his license pulled for his vaccine study, which he published while in the pay of trial lawyers who planned to sue Big Pharma, but not before his ideas became common wisdom among the smart set.

Gosh, I wonder what other areas of science have been corrupted in the name of politics?

(Perhaps a better question might be: which ones haven’t?)

Related: Meanwhile in Tinseltown, which has never met a conspiracy theory its actors weren’t willing to publicly embrace,  “Your Move, Jenny McCarthy.”