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« Skinny hockey | Main | More splicing, more hiding the decline »
Monday
Mar142011

Stringer on climate and MMR

Graham Stringer has an interesting article in Manchester Confidential. It looks at parallels between the inquiries into the MMR scare and Climategate.

Let me be clear I am not accusing Professor Phil Jones and his colleagues at the Climatic Research Unit of the UEA of Wakefield-style fraud but I am concerned that the two investigations into the leaked e-mails suffered from the same flaws as the medical and scientific investigations into Wakefield.

Read the whole thing.

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Reader Comments (59)

Seems a shame Mr Stringer did not appear to have enough thump to ask the real questions at the Science and Tech then! Oh well, at least he is trying to get the word out, be it with a provincial newspaper rather than the MSN.

Mar 14, 2011 at 10:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete H

Stringer seems to have an extraordinary take on the MMR debacle, thinking that science and medicine played no part in exposing Wakefield, and that it was all down to a lone jounalist.

This is so far from reality, that I'd be dubious about lending credence to anything he says, and don't really understand why Andrew Montford has posted this up here. It once again suggests that this website will blindly support anything which seems critical of climate science.

Mar 14, 2011 at 10:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

Scientists who have had this affair brought to their attention can be catagorised as being either complacent or complicit. I have been told (by someone with considerable scientific background and with close personal connection to one of the top UK physicists defending man-made CO2 as the major driver of GW) that my own opinion is of no importance because I am blind to the broader perspective.

Should one conclude that the integrity of science is being knowingly sacrificed in favour of some broader perspective that is not being openly debated?

We should be even more grateful for people of integrity like Graham Stringer - and I would also add a couple of other names like Professor Jones and Judy Curry.

Mar 14, 2011 at 10:35 AM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

Zed

I post things that I think readers will find interesting.

If you try to disrupt threads here with snide remarks about me or this website or readers again it will be the last time you do it. You can make your point perfectly well without doing so.

Mar 14, 2011 at 10:37 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Bish,

Please don't censor Zed, even though you may disagree with him. Openness is one thing that distinguishes Bishop Hill from climate propaganda sites like RC, and the reason I trust your site more.

Mar 14, 2011 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheSkyIsFalling

Feed the troll, feed the troll, feed the troll

Mar 14, 2011 at 10:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterAnoneumouse

Andrew

Posting a link to an article is in itself a statement. Stringer's take on MMR is clearly highly flawed - do you accept this? I'm not blind to the probable time constraints you operate under, and appreciate that you cannot fully investigate every link you post each day.

However, the claim I mention, is made fairly early on in a fairly brief article. I find it hard to believe that you didn't skim through it that far, and hard to believe that you didn't see what nonsense it is.

If you didn't read the article at all, my apologies. Although your brief synopsis suggests you have. If you have, it is a very fair point, and genuine question, to ask why you have uncritically linked to something containing such a glaring inaccuracy, and made no mention of it?

You may not like having such things pointed out, as they do undermine your position. But you really should embrace people who do. If you think your position is a valid one, then 'scepticism' should either make it stronger, or expose its cracks.

Mar 14, 2011 at 10:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2011/03/hide-decline-in-5-minutes.html

The Hockey Stick controversy explained concisely.

What is different between the MMR and Hockey Stick controversies is that the medical journals all withdrew Wakefield's papers, the climate journals haven't with Mann, Jones and Briffa.

If the Hockey Stick papers are not retracted science cannot move on.

Mar 14, 2011 at 10:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Stringer's point is that those trusted with these investigations have not justified the trust placed in them. I don't have a problem with some, possibly most, of the investigators being connected to the field, you do need expertise brought to bear at most points in this type of case. The sad fact though is that any factual discussion is soon taken over by personal or political necessities, and this is what then causes the problem - it is very hard for people to say 'this paper is wrong, it should not have been published' when by doing so you cast doubt on the 'peers' involved and the processes that allowed the publication. Similarly with the Climategate investigations, there was too much at risk politically and personally.

I don't know what the background of the MMR investigations was, but with Climategate it's quite clear that the investigations were never even intended to be even handed; it wasn't a case of failure of trust (weak individuals failing to push through to obvious conclusions in the face of the consequences) it was that they were set up to give the impression of thoroughness,

That is unfortunately par for the course in todays government system. Everytime I hear the words 'independent review' or 'consultation' I smile sadly, since they are meaningless terms these days.

Mar 14, 2011 at 11:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

'We now know that the work done at Climatic Research Unit barely qualified as science; they kept it secret to stop other scientists checking it; thus breaching one of the foundations of the scientific method.'

This is indeed an indictment of CRU and it will be interesting to see a response from Lord Acton who has defended the faithful with vigour at all previous instances of questions of ethics.

Mar 14, 2011 at 11:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Lubos Motl has a nice video of Richard Muller speaking about "Hide the Decline" http://motls.blogspot.com/
Muller is a warmer and a Berkeley physics prof. who is spearheading the new temperature compilation BEST.
Good quote: "No Berkeley scientist would do this"
Well worth a look

Mar 14, 2011 at 11:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterBaxter 75

From Stringer's article linked to above:
"To stop politicians cheating, athletes taking drugs and financiers embezzling, we have increasingly strong regulators. We cannot assume scientists come from a higher moral plane."

True, sadly.

However, I'm not sure I agree with this, the sentence following the above:
"Deer’s solution of an Inspectorate of Research Integrity has to be part of the solution to restore the reputation of science."
Sadly, however, it may well come to this - unless scientists from other disciplines, or those climate scientists untainted by the ClimateGate scandal, stand up and denounce these pseudo-scientists, publicly.
Else look forward to research being even more bureaucratised.

Is that what scientists really want?

Mar 14, 2011 at 11:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterViv Evans

Zed

Stringer was summarising the MMR case to make a point about climate science, which, although the main subject of this blog, you always seem to manage to avoid discussing.

Presumably you still think that the investigations that Stringer writes about were all sound.

Mar 14, 2011 at 11:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

This is the equivalent of claiming medical competence whilst operating on a patient without an anaesthetist.
Not a bad analogy.

matthu:- re your comment "Should one conclude that the integrity of science is being knowingly sacrificed in favour of some broader perspective that is not being openly debated?"
Former US Senator Timothy Wirth is reported as saying (1993)

We've got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing – in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.
I know we sceptics get into trouble for seeing conspirators round every corner but it does help if they don't say things like that!

Mar 14, 2011 at 11:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterSam the Skeptic

[Off topic - use the discussion page]

Mar 14, 2011 at 12:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterPerry

Zed said "Posting a link to an article is in itself a statement"

But is forwarding an email instruction without comment an endorsement of the instruction? I think we should be told!

Mar 14, 2011 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterFarleyR

It is being reported that the Japan earthquake was so powerful that it actually moved the whole planet by 10 inches.

This could be the face saving device for climate science.

Time to adjust the Milankovitch Cycle

Mar 14, 2011 at 12:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnoneumouse

[Off topic - use the discussion page]

Mar 14, 2011 at 12:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

"Posting a link to an article is in itself a statement"

Bish you had best take down any links you have to IPCC, Muir Russell Report, realclimate etc just in case Zed believes that you endorse the contents of those sites.

Mar 14, 2011 at 12:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

Ley me be clear I wouldn't accuse Wakefield of Jones fraud at least in either magnitude or in the profit made. Wakefield's problem was that what he said was inconvenient to government, making people less willing to do as they are told, whereas the alarmist fraud is very convenient for them having the opposite effect..

Mar 14, 2011 at 12:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterNeil Craig

Graham Stringer is obviously an honest man fighting the restrictions of a dishonest system and good on him for his efforts. I have a grandson who is a victim of the side effects of infant innoculations, with ongoing medical problems that will endure for his lifetime, and there are many like him. I followed the MMR thing as closely as a layman is able because of this and agree with Mr Stringer about the outcome of the enquiry.
As to Zed, Bish, let him/he/it stay for the sake of freedom of speech, which is a very positive aspect of your blog and unlike some.

[Snip - rude]

Mar 14, 2011 at 1:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

[Off topic - use the discussion page]

Mar 14, 2011 at 1:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW

"moved the whole planet by 10 inches"

But which way..?! It will probably move a bit further if the power station blows up. I'm in favour of nuclear power, but perhaps not quite so close to fault lines.

Neil Craig - agreed. Wakefield recommended that single jabs should be retained, having been the standard method before the cheaper MMR appeared.

Mar 14, 2011 at 1:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

[Off topic - use the discussion page]

Mar 14, 2011 at 1:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterPerry

[Off topic - use the discussion page]

Mar 14, 2011 at 1:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterPerry

[Off topic - use the discussion page]

Mar 14, 2011 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterPete H

I don't think it is a good idea or necessary to conflate these issues.

IMO the malpractice by some members of the "climate science community" is obvious and the lack of rigour of the various investigations similarly so.

Mar 14, 2011 at 1:27 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Mar 14, 2011 at 11:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterBaxter 75

Agreed , it is one of the best talks on the subject I have seen.

It was this talk (along with the Bishop's Beddington thread) that inspired Judy Curry to start the "hiding the decline" threads.

Prof Muller admits that He himself was misled by the "hide the decline" so policymakers would have had no idea.

Here is the Youtube link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbR0EPWgkEI

It deserves to go viral , but peoples attention span probably doesn't last 50 minutes these days.

Mar 14, 2011 at 1:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterRipper

I think the contrast is quite instructive actually. Wakefield's malpractice has parallels in the early stages of Mann's activities, and possibly with Steig 09, where poor methodology met confirmation bias leading to an untenable conclusion. However Mann and co were backed by the establishment, allowing their misbehaviour to flourish and lies and cover-ups to pile on top of each other, whereas in Wakefield's case his arguments did not suit the establishment so he was hounded out of the country.

Meanwhile the establishment pronounced itself satisfied, even though nobody actually knows whether there was an increase in the prevalence of autism or if so what caused it. As they say, move along now, nothing to see, with the result that we are losing the herd immunity we had to measles before MMR was introduced.

Mar 14, 2011 at 1:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

ZEDS - you are at again. It is called missing the point.

We are all aware that no journalist could do the research and investigation into a medical matter, only others involved in medicine could do that. What was crucial was Beer (along with others) pressing for the research to be fully looked at. It took 10 years remember for the medical establishment to take some notice.

If you can't see the parallel to climate science here, you really are a fool.

I take it you have not bothered to read the ClimateGate emails???

The fallout from them rolls on - fat lady hasn't got the dress on yet, never mind sung a note.

Mar 14, 2011 at 2:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterRetired Dave

Arthur Conan Doyle had a good take on all this a long time ago -

"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

Sherlock Holmes

Mar 14, 2011 at 2:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterRetired Dave

I have posted a note (@RobertC) under Graham Stringer's article encouraging him to ensure his views about "UEA CRU science" are circulated to the wider public.

The fact that Graham Stringer, a British MP, has been moved to express comments friendly to non-alarmists is an important step forward. Moved, not by party policy, but because of what he has witnessed.

The MMR story is not relevant to us here; we need to focus on the plot! It's the "UEA CRU 'science'" that is the issue. "Graham Stringer, Blackley and Broughton MP, on the failure of scientific integrity": it's even in the article's title!

It may be that some of what he has said is not quite how we would have phrased it, but it is of no consequence!

What does matter is that what he has said is the result of what others have done; actions that we have questioned, without receiving satisfactory answers; it is part of our story.

We need to get the discussions that we have on this and similar sites on to our TV screens. We need to educate and inform! Apart from the scientific and data management issues, we now have the procedural issues, including the FOI requests.

So, do you think that Graham Stringer, a British MP, will get a fair hearing on the BBC?

Will he be able to pick a couple of experts to help him explain the situation, or will the BBC simplify to the point of absurdity?

Mar 14, 2011 at 4:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Christopher

The contrast is an interesting one. Like all 'compare and contrast' exercises you can argue it both ways, saying that the two cases are the same, or that they are completely different. I guess I don't know enough about the ins and outs of the Wakefield case - certainly the outcome at the present time is very different, with Wakefield having lost the scientific argument. But he did not lose it immediately - IIRC, it took a few years after the initial Lancet paper for that to happen. In the meantime, again IIRC, there was some extent to which the community defended him as having obtained interesting results, albeit needing further work at the very least. Certainly the claims of outright dishonesty took a long time to come out.

Mar 14, 2011 at 4:19 PM | Unregistered Commenterj

ZDB, You state that you'd "be dubious about lending credence to anything he says"

I'd suggest you do exactly that: Only believe what you want, shunning information you clearly don't want to be true, Dismissing such for almost any whimsical reason you can make up. And constantly switching the topic to bicker about imaterial irrelevant details. In fact, this is how I think you have arrived at those 'considered opinions' you sometimes share with us here ...

Mar 14, 2011 at 4:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

Yet again Graham Stringer proves his climate science heroism. I thought the article was excellent and the parallel with MMR particularly apposite.

I liked this bit in particular.

"We now know that the work done at Climatic Research Unit barely qualified as science; they kept it secret to stop other scientists checking it; thus breaching one of the foundations of the scientific method.

To stop politicians cheating, athletes taking drugs and financiers embezzling, we have increasingly strong regulators. We cannot assume scientists come from a higher moral plane."

What a stinger.

Mar 14, 2011 at 5:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterJosh

@ Josh

A 'Stringer Stinger' even!

Mar 14, 2011 at 5:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnoneumouse

Josh

I agree with your assessment of Stinger's statement. The quotation is pretty much the heart of the matter. CRU was not doing science but rather a voodoo ritual, masked in magic and mystery.

Mar 14, 2011 at 5:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

I am with Neil Craig on this. There's a lot of ignorance about the Dr Wakefield story but rest assured if anyone thinks that they have a full and impartial understanding of it from reading Brian Deer's Sunday Times articles then they have a lot to learn. It does pain me to see Dr Wakefield cited as an example of a junk or fraudulent researcher, when the reality could not be further from the truth. Especially when the allegations are repeated by climate sceptics who, quite frankly should know better to take anything they read in the mainstream media as gospel.

As Melanie Phillips has repeatedly stated, Dr Wakefield been the focus of a political witch hunt. As for the science, people forget that even Ben Goldacre praised Wakefield's original case study paper on the possible MMR-Autism connection. The fact that Dr Wakefield's findings have now been repeated in over 25 countries across 5 continents - http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/05/peer-reviewed-papers-support-findings.html - is also rarely if ever mentioned (but we know how they can ignore papers that don't fit in with the official story don't we). Those who think that there is no link between regressive autism, inflammatory bowel disease, and the live measles virus in the MMR, are in denial. That is not to say that all autism cases are related to the measles component, or MMR. Wakefield children are but a small sub-set, and Wakefield has never claimed otherwise. There are real parallels between climate science and the MMR controversy, e.g. epidemiological studies akin to models, rather than studies of the afflicted children (akin to real world data), the use of very dubious statistics, and the threat of loss of funding issues for any departments or doctors/researchers who question the official line. The latest parallel is suppression of a peer-review paper which a journal editor evidently had to 'disappear' to keep her bosses happy: http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/03/joan-cranmers-fateful-decisions-and-the-suppression-of-autism-science.html

Some reading if anyone does wish to acquaint themselves with some background:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-376203/Former-science-chief-MMR-fears-coming-true.html#ixzz1GalEtW3k

http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/568226/the-wakefield-witchhunt.thtml

http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/comment/Establishment-betrayed-its-agenda-with.6029531.jp

http://drtenpenny.com/Wakefield_Inquisitioners_Have_their_day.aspx

Parents letter: http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/02/no-parent-ever-complained-to-gmc-public-statement-from-lancet-families-supports-the-mmr3.html

http://childhealthsafety.wordpress.com/2011/01/08/the-big-lie-brian-deer-dr-wakefield-the-british-medical-journal/

Your Grace, by the way, if I were you I would delete the "Wakefield-style fraud" reference; as far as I know Dr Wakefield and Professor John Walker Smith are seeking legal redress against Deer at the High Court now that the GMC's witch hunt is over. I know it doesn't mean much nowadays, but they have the truth on their side, and I would not like to be in Deer's shoes - or anyone who has taken and published his mendacious allegations at face value.

Mar 14, 2011 at 5:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterlapogus

Must say I'm concerned at Springer's comparison of the MMR scare to Climategate. Wakefield's concerns about the combined vaccines in MMR was very much against the Establishment's stance whereas they actively encouraged, supported and funded the Climate 'science' propagated by CRU.
Indeed there has been a massive witchhunt against Wakefield, culminating recently in articles in both the BMJ and Student BMJ with this cartoon in the latter
http://scepticemia.com/2011/01/20/the-student-bmj-cartoons-wakefield/
I am shocked that such articles appear in such a journal but I suppose those of us who have followed the Climate Science debate are used to seeing our children brainwashed in this way.
This is a far more balanced article
http://www.northeastern.edu/news/stories/2011/01/deth.html
and there is also Wakefield's rebuttal which deserves a hearing.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3fxHvvibsU
The fact is there has been a huge increase in the incidents of autism which for some reason the govt seems loath to investigate fully.
Far better to stick to simple criticism of the Climategate 'science' rather than draw false comparisons with the MMR scare.

Mar 14, 2011 at 5:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

Blimey.

"We now know that the work done at Climatic Research Unit barely qualified as science..."

Can we have a few more MPs like this, please?

Mar 14, 2011 at 5:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

The MMR/Wakefield case is an apt parallel to the Climategate Inquiries because of the way the establishment was able to investigate itself, which I read as being the point Stringer was making.

My guess is that the Wakefield case, the research he carried out and the effects of MMR deserve a separate thread, but probably on another blog.

Mar 14, 2011 at 6:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterJosh

Marion wrote:

Wakefield's concerns about the combined vaccines in MMR was very much against the Establishment's stance whereas they actively encouraged, supported and funded the Climate 'science' propagated by CRU.

Indeed, this is the main reason that official exception was eventually taken to Wakefield. What is instructive, also, is that the exact same supposed "precautionary principle" was trotted out by his apologists as well. Vaccines might be dangerous, so let's not vaccinate just in case, and let's discount the risks from succumbing to the actual disease to zero.

The average Joe is just not that good at grasping probabilities. If a vaccine has a 1 in 100 chance of killing you, but you have a 10% chance of catching the disease it protects against and that disease itself has a 15% chance of killing you, a lot of people will refuse the vaccination. Others will refuse the vaccination even without being equipped with either set of figures.

For such people the "precautionary principle" means that disease is preferable to prevention, and doing stupid risky things now feels good because the alternative may be worse. I suspect this is why this dodgy so-called principle is trotted out so often by ecofascists. As true cynical students of human nature, they have observed how well it has served religions over the centuries, and figured it would work for them too.

Mar 14, 2011 at 7:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

lapogus Mar 14, 2011 at 5:27 PM
Marion Mar 14, 2011 at 5:47 PM
Justice4Rinka Mar 14, 2011 at 7:05 PM

Thank you, thank you, thank you! (that's one each!)

I would have said it myself, if I had known a fraction of what you have written.

Instead, all I could say was, "The MMR story is not relevant to us here; we need to focus on the plot!".

We need to continue with the "'UEA CRU 'science'" issue and not refer to Wakefield as it will cause too many distractions. Each issue has to be taken on its own merits.

We need to leave the Wakefield thread to "a separate thread, but probably on another blog"; just quoting Josh (Mar 14, 2011 at 6:06 PM ).

Mar 14, 2011 at 8:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Christopher

This must be a very significant moment in the whole CAWG debacle - Graham Stringer, a current member of the UK Parliament, has nailed the essence of what members of the "Team" at CRU and elsewhere, were (and are) doing. He is one of the few MPs with a scientific background - the mainstream media will have to take stock .....................

Mar 14, 2011 at 8:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Thomson

Blimey.

"We now know that the work done at Climatic Research Unit barely qualified as science..."

Can we have a few more MPs like this, please?

Or scientists, real ones not like the Crew Team, like this guy . . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BQpciw8suk&feature=player_embedded

Mar 14, 2011 at 9:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterFred from Canuckistan

Your Grace,

I often disagree with ZedsDeadBed's comments but I echo those who have asked you not to censor him. One of the main faults of the Warmists is their tendency to try and suppress the views of those who disagree with them. Don't fall into the same trap!

Truth flourishes in an open society.

Mar 14, 2011 at 9:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

By the standards of commenters on many other sites (CiF...) Zed is actually quite polite...

Mar 14, 2011 at 9:43 PM | Unregistered Commenterj

Justice4Rinka wrote
"Indeed, this is the main reason that official exception was eventually taken to Wakefield. What is instructive, also, is that the exact same supposed "precautionary principle" was trotted out by his apologists as well. Vaccines might be dangerous, so let's not vaccinate just in case, and let's discount the risks from succumbing to the actual disease to zero. "

This is rather misleading - Wakefield did not support no vaccination, he recommended single vaccinations as opposed to the combined MMR jab. He has said all along that parents should be given an informed choice.
The Govt (happy to throw many millions at Climate Science) were simply not prepared to supply single vaccines on the NHS and has gone to extraordinary lengths to suppress adverse reports
"I met with a senior representative of a leading autism organization. We met, at his request, not at his office, but at a café in London. He told me that he was aware that at our recent UK conference, I had introduced Dr. Wakefield and had openly declared my support for his research to continue. This, it seems, had presented his organization with a serious problem. The message I was very clearly given at this meeting was that if The Autism File magazine continued to publish Dr. Wakefield’s work, if I continued to support him publicly, and if I allowed him to speak at our conferences, then they could not work with either me or The Autism File. He also reminded me, very pointedly, that they worked closely with the Department of Health and were the decision makers regarding many important issues relating to autism..."

http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/01/polly-tommey-of-autism-file-magazine-on-discredited-defamation-of-dr-andrew-wakefield.html?cid=6a00d8357f3f2969e20120a7b0a3eb970b

And these comments on a BMJ article provide a lot of background and detailed info. for those interested.

http://www.bmj.com/content/329/7477/1293.1/reply

Mar 14, 2011 at 9:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

@ Justice4Rinka

"The average Joe is just not that good at grasping probabilities. If a vaccine has a 1 in 100 chance of killing you, but you have a 10% chance of catching the disease it protects against and that disease itself has a 15% chance of killing you, a lot of people will refuse the vaccination. Others will refuse the vaccination even without being equipped with either set of figures."

People who write about a statistical approach to risk often take a rather naive quantitative view and ignore the qualitative differences between different types of risk.

Travelling whether in a vehicle or crossing roads on foot involves a certain level of risk but those are necessary risks. Smoking also involves risks but those are unnecessary risks. Therefore to compare the risks of travelling with those of smoking is to compare apples with oranges. Yet some statisicians seem unable to grasp that point.

Rabies has a vastly greater chance of killing you than does any almost any disease that people in Britain are normally vaccinated against. I don't know what risks, if any, are associated with the rabies vaccine but any logical person would agree that they are miniscule compared with those of rabies itself. Why then do so few people get vaccinated against rabies? The answer is obvious. You can avoid getting rabies by avoiding places where rabid dogs and other rabid mammals are common.

Mar 14, 2011 at 10:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

By the standards of commenters on many other sites (CiF...) Zed is actually quite polite...

I agree with both Roy and J. Now as for that #*$&& you did band, another story.

For those of us who don't like what she says. let them join me in ignoring her.

Mar 14, 2011 at 11:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

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