How Can You Tell When David Kirby is Lying?
His lips are moving.
David Kirby, the “journalist” who has hitched his wagon to the now defunct hypothesis that thimerosal in vaccines cause autism, birthed an article over at HuffPo about an “explosive” report how the CDC admitted that using the Vaccine Safety Datalink in conjunction with ecological studies is bad news when looking at any possible connection between thimerosal and ASD.
I then checked out my favorite science blogs to see who had deconstructed Kirby’s nonsense – but no one had! Damn those science bloggers for not being awake in the middle of the night like I am! Then I thought “Well, I have this blog thing here…why can’t I write something?” And so I did.
I originally set out last night to both attempt to figure out exactly why Kirby was full of crap, and to post here exactly why I thought he was full of crap. I feel it is sort of pointless to ask “Is Kirby full of crap?” because, as the title of this post implies, you can bank on it.
Then I realized that I’m not a scientist, and so I decided to wait for someone who is a scientist to pointedly explain just how Kirby was full of crap this time.
I didn’t have to wait for long.
I read a post on Epi Wonk via Respectful Insolence entitled “David Kirby: HuffPost Report on CDC’s Vaccine Safety Datalink Uninformative and Completely Misleading“, which pretty handily demolishes Kirby’s latest prevarication. Here’s one snip that I found particularly interesting:
Well, yes, that’s what the CDC thinks about using the VSD for ecologic analyses. I couldn’t agree more. At this point I obviously need to step back and explain about ecologic analyses. Fortunately, I taught epidemiologic design and methods for about 35 years, I had some students almost as clueless as David Kirby, but I’m a patient teacher. Another interesting fact is that there has only been one ecologic study published using the VSD, and I’ve written extensively about the study on this blog. Guess what? It wasn’t done by the CDC, who knew better long before the 2006 NIEHS Expert Panel. I’m speaking of the infamous Young-Geier Autism Study. So let me paraphrase from my explanation of “ecologic” in my previous critique of that paper:
Wait, wait, wait. So Kirby writes a post trashing the VSD being used in conjunction with ecological study designs, and the only study that has been done that uses VSD/ecological design was a Geier study?! Oh that’s too much – and all before my afternoon coffee.