Zika: message to purveyors of medical fraud

The Zika-microcephaly connection is scientific nonsense. Let me run it down for you.

Zika: message to purveyors of medical fraud

The Zika-microcephaly connection is scientific nonsense. Let me run it down for you.

My analysis is beyond, “But Expert A says…” I am not dealing in appeals to authority, but instead the standards of evidence anyone can see if he opens his eyes.

First of all, the latest figures out of Brazil, the so-called epicenter of the microcephaly tragedy, reveal the following: 854 confirmed cases of microcephaly; and of those, 97 cases show the presence of the Zika virus.

Inference? Zika is not the cause of microcephaly. If it were, researchers would be able to detect it in all, or the overwhelming percentage of, microcephaly cases.

I’m not making this up. There are standards of proof and evidence. They dictate which inferences are possible, and which are not. 97 out 854 is a dud. Back to the drawing board. 757 microcephaly cases show no trace of Zika.

“But Expert A says…” Who cares what he says? He’s either right or wrong, independent of his presumed status as an expert. And here he would be wrong.

“But the Washington Post and the NY Times and the CDC and the World Health Organization say…” Doesn’t matter.

Two recent studies, if you want to call them that, have tried to make the case that Zika is the cause of microcephaly. Well, they were published because media outlets could then run headlines announcing: ZIKA SHOWN TO BE THE CAUSE; DOUBTS ABOUT ZIKA ERASED. That’s all these studies were good for.

The first study examined several different groups of babies, and in each group they found a very weak correlation between microcephaly and the presence of Zika—but they tried to pull a fast one and say that the (very weak) correlation in several groups somehow added up to a much stronger correlation overall. Absolute gibberish. Weak plus weak plus weak equals weak.

The second study tried to establish a correlation between Zika injected into mice and resultant mouse babies with microcephaly. But as every honest researcher knows, mice are a very poor analogue for humans.

There is more.

In neither of these two studies, and in none of the press reports about microcephaly, is there any suggestion that researchers have discovered, or looked into, HOW MUCH ZIKA WAS PRESENT IN THE SMALL PERCENTAGE OF CASES WHERE MICROCEPHALY WAS ALSO PRESENT.

Why is this important? Because small traces of a virus aren’t going to cause any human disease. You need huge amounts to even begin to think you’ve found a cause of disease—and as I say, there is no indication that babies with microcephaly have huge amounts of Zika in their bodies.

Apparently, some of the research on babies with microcephaly has involved the use of the PCR test. That’s a dead giveaway. You see, the PCR works with a tiny, tiny, tiny amount of human material that is suspected of being a fragment of a virus; and then the test amplifies (blows up) that fragment so it can be observed. But here’s the thing. Why would researchers need to use the PCR? Because they can’t otherwise find enough Zika in a baby’s body to even see it or ID it with certainty. As I just mentioned, you need to find huge amounts of Zika (or any other virus) to begin to say it’s causing a disease. Get it? If they had to use the PCR test, there wasn’t enough Zika in the first place (if there was any at all) to think it was causing a disease condition.

Zika science isn’t science. It’s fraud.

In this article, I’m walking ground I’ve already covered in other Zika pieces, because, from reports I’ve received, there are people out there who believe, with religious fervor, that statements from so-called medical experts and accompanying news stories must be true—and anyone who concludes otherwise is presenting a conspiracy theory.

I’m here to inform you that such notions are as weak as the correlation between microcephaly and Zika.

Here is a final analogy. Suppose, in a large metropolitan/suburban sprawl, there is an increase of days with rainfall. Politicians, bureaucrats, statisticians, and reporters heavily promote the idea that the cause of this rain-upsurge is a corresponding acute rise in the volume/mass of automobile exhaust fumes. That’s the correlation. But on further analysis, it turns out elevated levels of auto exhaust only occurred within a week of a rainy day 14% of the time. That’s called weak correlation. That’s called incorrect analysis. That’s called nonsense. That’s called back to the drawing board.

But no one in charge dares to go back to the drawing board. The lie has already been told. It must be maintained. It must be supported. New lies will be floated to bolster the first one.

The experts will tell those new lies. And people will chime in, “The experts know what they’re talking about. They must know. Those who reject exhaust fumes are conspiracy theorists.”

And the experts keep talking: they say a duck is a truck and mouse is a louse and a shoe is a stew. And people blink and say, “Well, they know what they’re talking about. They must.”

As my long-time readers know, I keep returning to the subject of logic. This is why.

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