Dunning Kruger nation and the disparagement of expertise

Woman plugging ears with fingers doesn't want to listen

We live in Dunning Kruger nation.

What do I mean?

A variety of very loud “confident idiots” — anti-vaxxers, homebirth advocates, climate change deniers — actually think they know more than the experts in the respective fields.

Where did they get that idea?

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”The incompetent are often blessed with an inappropriate confidence, buoyed by something that feels to them like knowledge.”[/pullquote]

I’ll let Dr. David Dunning explain it:

In 1999, in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, my then graduate student Justin Kruger and I published a paper that documented how, in many areas of life, incompetent people do not recognize — scratch that, cannot recognize — just how incompetent they are, a phenomenon that has come to be known as the Dunning-Kruger effect. Logic itself almost demands this lack of self-insight: For poor performers to recognize their ineptitude would require them to possess the very expertise they lack…

In other words, those who know the least about a particular topic — vaccines, childbirth, climate change — actually believe they know the most. They simply don’t know what they don’t know.


What’s curious is that, in many cases, incompetence does not leave people disoriented, perplexed, or cautious. Instead, the incompetent are often blessed with an inappropriate confidence, buoyed by something that feels to them like knowledge.

The expertise of immunologists, obstetricians and climate scientists is disparaged by confident idiots who believe their ability to use Google is the equivalent of any PhD.

If you’ve ever tangled with an anti-vaxxer, you know that it’s very difficult to argue with him or her. You can’t reason confident idiots out of a position that they didn’t reason themselves into in the first place. They often don’t understand the terms of the specific scientific discipline, the principles of scientific inquiry or even the rudiments of logic.

And yet they think they are experts, scorning the expertise of real experts.

Why are so many anti-vaxxers, homebirth advocates and climate change deniers “confident idiots”?

Some of our most stubborn misbeliefs arise … from the very values and philosophies that define who we are as individuals. Each of us possesses certain foundational beliefs — narratives about the self, ideas about the social order—that essentially cannot be violated: To contradict them would call into question our very self-worth. As such, these views demand fealty from other opinions. And any information that we glean from the world is amended, distorted, diminished, or forgotten in order to make sure that these sacrosanct beliefs remain whole and unharmed.

In some cases those cherished beliefs are that “corporations are evil,” “natural is always best,” or “government is the enemy.” In many cases the cherished belief is that the confident idiot is both smarter and less gullible than the rest of us poor “sheeple.”

How can the rest of us protect ourselves from confident idiots who parachute into websites, Facebook pages and message boards in order to “educate” the rest of us?

1. The first step is to recognize that those who know the least often think they know the most. That’s why professional qualifications are so important. That doesn’t mean that experts know everything, or that they are always right, but it does mean that they have a strong foundation from which to assess claims about vaccines, childbirth or climate change.

2. Be wary of anyone who claims that formal education is unnecessary, or that experts ignore the evidence of cherry picked scientific papers that don’t represent the consensus of knowledge on the subject.

3. Be wary of anyone who lacks formal education in the topic but nevertheless makes claims about vaccines, childbirth or climate.

4. Don’t “trust” any natural process simply because it is natural.

5. On the web, ignore anyone who cannot tolerate dissent and deletes comments that call their claims into question.

6. Resist the temptation to succumb to flattery. Don’t let the desire to feel superior to other people make susceptible to Internet propaganda.

We live in Dunning Kruger nation. The disparagement of expertise may boost the self esteem of its promoters, but often harms everyone else. What confident idiots know rarely represents the sum total of all knowledge on the subject; that’s why real expertise is worthy of respect.

Those who wish to be acknowledged as “educated” can’t take a short cut of an internet connection. They have to do the hard work of learning science, statistics and the actual subject under discussion, whether it is immunology, obstetrics or climate science; without that formal education, they are merely confident idiots.

478 Responses to “Dunning Kruger nation and the disparagement of expertise”

  1. Tom Riddle
    August 16, 2018 at 12:30 pm #

    Anti-science new agers belong here, the kind who deny vaccines and traditional medicine because “bIg pHarmA!” They’ve done more harm in terms of vaccination than any fringe religious group could ever dream of because usually these are rich entitled airheads and many celebrities fall under this umbrella (looking at you Jenny and Gwyneth)

  2. Steve Mcvicker
    September 11, 2017 at 4:18 pm #

    It is interesting that we can see who suffers from Dunning Kruger simply by reading their comments here 😉

  3. Fabian
    March 1, 2017 at 4:51 am #

    Still, people don’t know how scientific consensus works and continue arguing about the Dunning-Kruger-Effect while being under the influence of the Dunning-Kruger-Effect. No self-reflection, no self-awareness. The more I know, the less I know. I think humanity has reached its peak a few years ago, some became so smart they can make dumb people think they’re smart to manipulate them, result is we all get dumber, because facts don’t mean anything anymore, just who screams the loudest will be heard, devolution.

  4. transportjohnny
    October 14, 2016 at 11:26 am #

    What a bunch of drivel!!!!

  5. Karl Young
    September 12, 2016 at 6:35 pm #

    Yet another volley from the skeptical thought police. While I agree with the 6 recommendations, and the fact that Dunning Krueger reaps rather pernicious harvests, to then go on to use that to virtually endorse the views of the “educated” status quo seems as silly as believing in one’s own infallibility. E.g. one need look no further than the “educated” medical establishment re. nutritional recommendations (MD’s on average get about an hour of nutritional education). Typically with complete ignorance of recent studies and a heap of conflicting interests, medical professionals confidently make nutritional recommendations that have been clinically shown to result in statistically higher rates of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. One in fact needs better research and critical thinking skills than to blindly trust anyone with a shingle by default as suggested here.

    • Lee McCain MD
      September 12, 2016 at 10:09 pm #

      Not sure the academic regimens today but my nutrition class was equal in time to anatomy and in fact was quite hard

      • Karl Young
        September 13, 2016 at 3:20 am #

        Fair enough, point taken; I admit that my statement is based on anecdotal reports from a handful of MD’s, though it’s a little hard to believe that their recollection of the dearth of nutrition education for MD’s was completely unique to their situation (I did say on average). It nonetheless does seem clear that nutritional recommendations by medical professionals often ignores a lot of the recent clinical science on nutrition; finding that information is often left to patients (though having patients do PubMed searches probably isn’t the optimal information delivery mechanism).

        And this isn’t a diatribe against MD’s, most do a great job given the situations they’re handed. I was just saying that patients should advocate for themselves in cooperation with MD’s, rather than simply deferring to the expertise of MD’s, which however vast, may not cover all the details relevant to any given patient (nutrition being one of the more obvious examples).

        And all of that by way of saying, yes, by all means respect, and usually defer, to expertise but don’t stop there re. critically examining any particular situation (e.g. an obvious case where that is useful is the question of whether the experts have any conflicts of interest).

        This piece seems to just focus on the obvious cases of self delusion to imply that one should always just leave it to the experts. But claims of expertise can be used as a smokescreen and it sometimes only takes a little research and critical thinking to determine whether or not that’s the case.

        • Paul H
          September 13, 2016 at 7:26 am #

          You do realise that you’ve elegantly provided a worked example of the author’s point?

          • Karl Young
            September 13, 2016 at 12:37 pm #

            No, obviously according to you I don’t, i.e. I’m a confident idiot. Though, in my stupidity, it seems to me like you’re the confident one.

    • Craig Jones
      October 5, 2016 at 1:23 am #

      Doctors are not Nutritionists by any measure. They are called Nutritionists for a reason. By what logic would you ask a doctor about food’s effects on the body? Ive never even understood that one. Ive never known an MD who knew much or even claimed to know much about nutrition, thats not what they do..

      • Nick Sanders
        October 5, 2016 at 2:04 am #

        They are called Nutritionists for a reason.

        That reason being they couldn’t be bothered to get medical education and become dietitians.

      • swbarnes2
        October 5, 2016 at 2:05 am #

        In some states there are no licensing requirements for nutritionists. Anyone can hang out their shingle.

        Doctors do take nutrition classes, just not classes in thinking that good nutrition is magic.

      • Karl Young
        October 5, 2016 at 10:42 am #

        True, I guess it’s kind of whacky to think that doctors should have any awareness of the effects of diet on disease when there are statins, chemo drugs,… then again they never get any training in sales.

        • MaineJen
          October 18, 2016 at 4:48 pm #

          Yeah, hahaha, those useless chemo drugs, amiright? /s

          • Karl Young
            October 18, 2016 at 5:57 pm #

            Nothing wrong with chemo drugs if you need them but I always thouhgt attempts at prevention preferable; silly me.

          • demodocus
            October 18, 2016 at 6:33 pm #

            diet does not prevent cancer. The hpv and hep b vaccines do prevent a couple varieties

          • Karl Young
            October 18, 2016 at 7:26 pm #

            Yeah, good to ignore those experts doing clinical studies:

          • swbarnes2
            October 18, 2016 at 7:34 pm #

            Just because it has “facts” in the name doesn’t mean it is written by real experts. Hint, you will be taken a lot more seriously here if you skip aggregator sites, and just link to pubmed abstracts of all those clinical studies you are talking about.

            So why don’t you start by linking to say, The Pubmed abstract for the paper about strawberries curing cancer.

          • Karl Young
            October 18, 2016 at 7:41 pm #

            So you’re denying the legitimacy of the clinical results he reports because the MULITIPLE PubMed citations are listed on the side of that page rather than all in a post to this blog ? The internet is a marvelous thing, you should try it; but no worries about not taking me seriously.

          • Roadstergal
            October 18, 2016 at 8:23 pm #

            OK, I went and looked at those references.

            PMID 16094059 – This is one of Ornish’s famous “very small n, nobody else replicates the results” papers. He claims to have prevented cancer, but he only shows PSA, not biopsies or imaging, and PSA is notoriously finicky. A ridiculously small study with no real effect shown. Note that the Gleason score of <6 that they all had generally has a good prognosis, indicating an indolent cancer.

            PMID 12772189 – An ex vivo experiment with cell lines in a dish. Some serum kills cells more than others. Killing cells is assumed to be a: a good thing and b: representative of what happens in vivo, both of which are merely assumptions.

            PMID 21325617 – characteristics of a small cohort of subjects with a naturally occurring mutation. Nothing about diet or exercise.

            PMID 1927902 – A pretty decent prospective study. I'll quote the conclusion: "The overall cancer incidence rates of both the vegetarians and the nonvegetarians in this study are low compared with national rates. Within the study, the incidence of all cancers combined was lower among vegetarians than among meat eaters, but the incidence of colorectal cancer was higher in vegetarians than in meat eaters." Kinda doesn't support the idea that there's an ideal diet that prevents cancer. It supports the hypothesis that some diets might be protective against some cancers and might encourage others, but hardly supports any slam-dunk cancer prevention diet (actually, the 'lowered' cancer incidence for vegetarians was statistically weaker than their increased colorectal cancer rate). If anything, it supports being on a prospective trial to avoid cancer (aren't numbers fun…).

            PMID 24606898 – they were working overtime to hack their numbers. They took their population and chopped it up in various age and mortality and protein intake buckets. They claimed a protective effect against cancer with a low-protein diet at age 50 that suddenly flips and becomes a _risk factor_ for cancer once you hit 65. When you pull back and look at the group overall, there's no association between protein intake and cancer, which seems to be the real finding. Also, the authors note in the Discussion, "Both high and moderate protein intake in the elderly were associated with reduced mortality compared to that in the low protein group." So, again, no magic diet.

            Hey, I'm a vegetarian myself, I'd be happy if being a vegetarian prevented cancer. But the data is so wiffly, I'll stick with science-based prevention strategies. I don't smoke, I'm careful about sun exposure and use sunscreen, I'm vaccinated against HepB (old and married gal, but HPV vaccination would have been a sensible prevention strategy if I were a youngster), regular Pap smears.

          • Karl Young
            October 18, 2016 at 9:11 pm #

            I didn’t recall arguing for any particular diet, just that there seems to be some evidence that diet can have an effect on disease state. And I certainly didn’t mean to suggest that anything is a “slam dunk”. Just being a vegetarian doesn’t mean a whole lot; one could exist solely on potato chips. But I think the FDA’s guidelines, despite pressure from the food industry, to recommend increased intake of whole fruits and vegetable is at least suggestive.

          • swbarnes2
            October 19, 2016 at 12:06 pm #

            When you choose to link to a site that says “Strawberries cure cancer” that is your argument. When your site draws unmerited conclusions from the data, you own that. You don’t get to make a link like that and then say that you were not arguing anything that specific.

          • Karl Young
            October 19, 2016 at 5:03 pm #

            OK, next time I link to a site that says “Strawberries cure cancer” I’ll remember that.

          • demodocus
            October 18, 2016 at 7:36 pm #

            2 of my great-grandmothers died of cancer, one in the 1920s and one in the 1960s. Great-grandma M, who died in the 20s, was reasonably well off, and her in-laws ran a farm. Great-grandma E herself was a farmer. They ate healthily, their pictures show a lean frame, and all that.

          • Karl Young
            October 18, 2016 at 7:49 pm #

            Now there’s some clinical evidence. Sorry, don’t mean to be a wise ass, but the basis on which I was arguing was multiple clinical studies – obviously that evidence could be misleading, but I think it’s a somewhat better basis for decision making than arguing that nutrition has no effect on disease state, because one has observed a couple of people who “ate healthy” and died from cancer.

          • Roadstergal
            October 18, 2016 at 7:43 pm #

            Attempts at prevention are indeed the way to go, and recommended as part of science-based medicine. Vaccinations against HPV and Hepatitis B, not smoking, using sunscreen and being careful about UV exposure (including not using tanning beds) – these are all recommended, science-based precautions.

            However, what these measures do not do is guarantee that you won’t get cancer. And once someone has it, various forms of chemotherapy – in combination with targeted antibodies, surgery, and/or radiation – can be the best first line against many different kinds of cancer.

          • Karl Young
            October 18, 2016 at 9:03 pm #

            Agreed; did I say something different ? I would only add nutrition to that list of preventive measures (backed at this point by by numerous clinical studies, i.e. science-based, which anyone is free to dispute – presumably in an evidenced based, rather that anecdotal, way). I don’t recall ever saying that prevention provides any kind of guarantee in any individual case. If one does in fact get cancer, then obviously one does whatever they and their doctor decide is the most appropriate course of action. That said I’ll bet on prevention and engage in whatever treatment is appropriate if I lose that bet.

          • swbarnes2
            October 19, 2016 at 12:08 pm #

            Again, a responsible honest person would actually put their money where their mouth is and cite those studies.

            You aren’t going to do that, are you?

          • Karl Young
            October 19, 2016 at 5:22 pm #

            A little self righteous are we ? But don’t worry, despite the content of this article skeptics get to ignore experts whose results they don’t like regardless of where they publish.

            Cancer incidence in vegetarians: results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Oxford)1,2,3,4
            Timothy J Key, Paul N Appleby, Elizabeth A Spencer, Ruth C Travis, Andrew W Roddam, and Naomi E Allen
            Am J Clin Nutr May 2009
            vol. 89 no. 5 1620S-1626S

            Consumption of meat and dairy and lymphoma risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition
            Sabine Rohrmann1,2,et al.
            Int. J. Cancer: 128, 623–634 (2011)

            Red meat and colon cancer: should we become vegetarians, or can we make meat safer?
            Corpet DE1.
            Meat Sci. 2011 Nov;89(3):310-6.

            Intensive lifestyle changes may affect the progression of prostate cancer.
            Ornish D1, Weidner G, Fair WR, Marlin R, Pettengill EB, Raisin CJ, Dunn-Emke S, Crutchfield L, Jacobs FN, Barnard RJ, Aronson WJ, McCormac P, McKnight DJ, Fein JD, Dnistrian AM, Weinstein J, Ngo TH, Mendell NR, Carroll PR.
            J Urol. 2005 Sep;174(3):1065-9

            Effects of a low-fat, high-fiber diet and exercise program on breast cancer risk factors in vivo and tumor cell growth and apoptosis in vitro.
            Barnard RJ1, Gonzalez JH, Liva ME, Ngo TH.
            Nutr Cancer. 2006;55(1):28-34.

            Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1), IGF binding protein 3 (IGFBP3), and breast cancer risk: pooled individual data analysis of 17 prospective studies
            The Endogenous Hormones and Breast Cancer Collaborative Group‡
            The Lancet Oncology
            Volume 11, No. 6, p530–542, June 2010

            The Associations of Diet with Serum Insulin-like Growth Factor I and Its Main Binding Proteins in 292 Women Meat-Eaters, Vegetarians, and Vegans
            Naomi E. Allen, Paul N. Appleby, Gwyneth K. Davey, Rudolf Kaaks, Sabina Rinaldi and Timothy J. Key
            Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention
            November 2002 Volume 11, Issue 11

            Hormones and diet: low insulin-like growth factor-I but normal bioavailable androgens in vegan men
            NE Allen, PN Appleby, GK Davey and TJ Key
            British Journal of Cancer (2000) 83(1), 95–97

  6. September 12, 2016 at 12:52 pm #

    I’d have more patience for these generalizations if the political and economic elite weren’t in the habit of referring to all their decision-making processes as “scientific”. If scientists want to defend their integrity they should spend more time telling economists, philosophers and, “political scientists” to shut up. Harvard PhDs are more responsible than anyone for the current mess, including Trump. “Trust us. We’re experts” The best and the brightest.

    Also of course there would be no replication crisis in actual as opposed to pseudo science if scientists themselves weren’t caught up in their own fantasies of authority. Science is empiricism. It’s messy. And Descartes was a philosopher also of religion. Caveat emptor

    • redF
      September 12, 2016 at 3:55 pm #

      may I go a step towards guaranteeing you a reply, -its the mainstream which discards the philosophers and takes up the pseudo scientists. They stick with the mainstreams value sentiment on the first, and gain momentum against the second, but make value junction against societies natural move towards the second after the injustice, -which is a product of system. Forget not, that you are talking to an economic class, that gets less well paid then those they train to do repetitive tasks. So they like their airiness, it is a job perk; also the career structurism, means they taking broad views, to narrowly keep to their job description; something the philosophers hold against them (though barely is philosophy a work stream, as language is its chief obstacle to surmount; so doubly, views on totality, is not something taken on). :)guaranteed now.

      • September 12, 2016 at 5:41 pm #

        “its the mainstream which discards the philosophers and takes up the pseudo scientists.”
        You ignore the economists, and philosophers who say that philosophy is “continuous with natural science”, and defend the “blurring of the supposed boundary between speculative metaphysics and natural science.”
        That’s Quine. His condemnation of Derrida is trotted out by the “Brights”

        Mathematics is a formalism, but most mathematicians are Platonist. Cleanliness is next to godliness. Empiricism is dirty.

        • redF
          September 12, 2016 at 5:57 pm #

          is dirty yes, but needed for more accurate posits on causality mechanisms. Though, there is a sharp difference between the generalizations of the soft sciences such as this humanities article (which try overall culture assertions), and hard sciences [which got tuated into the role you spoke off]. {why I’m especially against the soft sciences here, is because the political sciences of tomorrow could use them as default factoids on which to plan. Sorry, I don’t know much of economics, except that physicist mathematicians can do better…..but one needs a whole lot of application dullards to take the pay and do the practice. [a joke:] I’m in favour of pensioning them off}

          • September 12, 2016 at 6:47 pm #

            “I don’t know much of economics, except that physicist mathematicians can do better.”
            Historians would say otherwise, but then we all know, history is bunk.

          • redF
            September 12, 2016 at 7:47 pm #

            reminds me that Noam Chomsky is a good example of a working philosopher; his difference with Foucault is what I’m tempted to summarize: …for Foucault, history and present progression was something that happened despite ourselves, and often as awareness schema arose in practice to be transacted over centuries.

          • redF
            September 12, 2016 at 7:53 pm #

            …that said, I must exit,…where are these people, has my language use not been bad enough for them to gang up?, ..I created atleast one new word from tethered and tension me thinks.

          • September 12, 2016 at 8:06 pm #

            Chomsky is a left-wing rational actor theorist; he blames others for everything. His philosophy is shallow. He’s a good journalist.

  7. Adam Kadmon
    September 11, 2016 at 5:02 pm #

    Well, I guess I can now toss my Google PhD. ::sigh::

    • redF
      September 12, 2016 at 5:11 pm #

      as far as esoteric religion goes, I’d trust the internet, cause if you told me you come from some school I’d know that you’ve bought all their other views on how they legitimate and the others are lesser. …As far as academia goes, get into some debt perhaps…..but go for those application domains where you’d get paid while you live the quick life negative on your health, oh research and the many required to carry forth the many work vectors is much more exalted still. I’ll make note that I shouldn’t brood at one place to long in future.

  8. Mike South
    September 11, 2016 at 11:30 am #

    While I agree that there is a lot of this going on, there are some very good questions raised by critics of the “experts”.

    For example, the “experts” that are apparently creating a pretty massive uptick in C-sections:

    “C-sections save lives — when needed. But the enormous variation in rates, with very little variation in outcomes, shows that a great many of them aren’t necessary. In the last 15 years, the rate of C-section has gone up by 50 percent in the United States. According to Jeffrey Ecker, chairman of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ committee on obstetric practice, that rise “has not been paralleled by any important fall in rates of things like cerebral palsy” — in other words, outcomes that C-sections are often performed to prevent.”

    I have attended five births (all in hospitals or midwife birthing centers) and I can tell you from direct personal experience that the “experts” that attend frequently suggest (one might accurately say “push”) interventions that are not necessary. How do I know they are not necessary? I ask the very same “experts”. “What if we don’t do that yet?” (example–baby was crowning and the doctor. says “If I do an episiotomy he’ll be born right now” (my wife had told the doctor during prenatal that we wanted to avoid one if possible). Asked doctor if it was necessary. She said no, there was no evidence that it needed to be done right then. If we hadn’t had the talk before she probably would have just done it. Baby was born ten minutes later, small tear, and mother was walking 45 minutes later. Four further births followed, no episiotomy needed on any. I have several more examples–in some cases, things that could have led to an unnecessary C-section. In each case, if you simply ask the “expert” the question “what will happen if we wait?”, you will often find that there is no reason to do that particular intervention right then.)

    Blindly trusting the experts is just Dunning-Kruger with a side of the appeal to authority fallacy. If you are actually a thinking individual, you realize that expert institutions are full of humans and that they don’t somehow become non-humans who are immune to groupthink.


    • Wren
      September 11, 2016 at 12:12 pm #

      Using hindsight it’s extremely easy to say that a particular intervention was not necessary. The trick is knowing which way to go ahead of time, and that is what the experts are for. Most women would prefer an “unnecessary” C-section to the results of not having one when needed.

      5 births is hardly a statistically significant sample.

      • September 11, 2016 at 11:09 pm #

        “The trick is knowing which way to go ahead of time, and that is what the experts are for.”

        Agreed. Maybe worth noting:”expert” to me doesn’t just mean “trained and informed”, it also means “having the benefit of a decent amount of solid experience”.

        • b_j_r
          September 12, 2016 at 1:02 am #

          The problem is when people take their experience and think that it’s representative. They’ll say things like “I’ve been involved in X number of births, and in my experience…” What they claim might even be true! But you can’t just rely on your experience because up until now you might just have been lucky … or unlucky. The only real way to know if your experience is representative is by taking lots of experiences from lots of samples of populations and then using scientific and mathematic rigour to compare your experience to the aggregate of all experiences.

          • September 12, 2016 at 8:43 am #

            Please note comment content:

            . . . . it also means “having the benefit of a decent amount of solid experience”.

            “Also” means “in addition to”, and “decent” and “solid” mean “more than a few loosely connected instances”.

            It’s ideal to have both, especially when dealing with all the variables that come into play with a live subject that you may not need to consider when dealing with inanimate subjects like construction materials or manufacturing.

            I’ve been a wildlife rehabilitator, livestock hand, and zoo volunteer at one point or other for most of thirty years; your technical training never stops (or shouldn’t) because we continually learn more about how biological systems work. Experience tells you how to make better use of the training and data you currently have, and it also gives you insight for the times when the bird and the bird book don’t agree with each other.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            September 12, 2016 at 9:14 am #

            Who do you think is an expert that is lacking experience, though?

            I’m just not sure what you are getting at here.

          • September 12, 2016 at 3:57 pm #

            Responding to both your replies here:

            Can you clarify why you feel that my comment was in disagreement with the person I commented to, in spite of saying I agreed with it?

            Can you also clarify why you feel that my comment “rules out OBs”?

            Can you also clarify what part of what I wrote you feel is stating that I am talking about experts lacking experience?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            September 12, 2016 at 7:07 pm #

            I can’t clarify anything, because, as I said, I don’t know what your point it. You talk about the value of experience when it comes to expertise, but I am trying to figure out, who are the “experts” that you think don’t have experience?

          • September 13, 2016 at 3:59 pm #

            I can’t see where you’re getting that from in my comment, so I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to help your confusion. If you’re not sure which words I wrote that lead you to think that, I’m not sure how you understand that that’s what I said.

            Maybe reading the comment I was responding to will help you figure out what you have an issue with?

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          September 12, 2016 at 9:13 am #

          Agreed. Maybe worth noting:”expert” to me doesn’t just mean “trained and informed”, it also means “having the benefit of a decent amount of solid experience”.

          Sure, but it’s not like that rules out OBs, who have far more experience than pretty much anyone. So you get the benefit of having experts AND experience.

      • Mike South
        September 12, 2016 at 10:13 am #

        “Using hindsight it’s extremely easy to say that a particular intervention was not necessary.”

        What I wrote:

        “Asked doctor if it was necessary. She said no, there was no evidence that it needed to be done right then.”

        If I had trusted the expert, my wife would have undergone an unnecessary procedure according to the expert. The expert was suggesting it be done right then; when I questioned her, the same expert admitted that there was not necessarily a need to do it then.

        Surely you aren’t saying you believe the expert in the first instance and not in the second.

        Regarding your comment about five births not being a significant sample: if experts only suggest unnecessary interventions, say, one percent of the time, I would have had a 95% chance of experiencing zero of them. I’m sure we had at least two.

        Another birth my wife attended, they broke the mother’s water at a dilation of 2, starting the clock to a c-section. Was there really no alternative to that?

        It’s comforting to think you can just trust the experts, I get that, but it’s irrational to believe that some particular group of humans is immune to institutional groupthink.

        • Poogles
          September 12, 2016 at 4:50 pm #

          “The expert was suggesting it be done right then; when I questioned her, the same expert admitted that there was not necessarily a need to do it then.”

          I don’t see a disconnect between the two; doctor says “If I do an episiotomy he’ll be born right now” – nothing in this statement suggests the episiotomy is needed/”necessary”, just that an episiotomy at that point in time would, in that doctor’s expert opinion, facilitate an immediate delivery.

          When you questioned the *necessity* of doing the episiotomy at that point in time (and there is absolutely nothing wrong with questioning the doctor in this way), the doctor responded “there was no evidence that it needed to be done right then” – the doctor never stated “it needed to be done right then” (or at all) to begin with, just that it would facilitate an immediate delivery. I don’t see anything wrong with this exchange or with the doctor’s behavior.

      • Beth
        September 12, 2016 at 11:01 am #

        yep. If only one in 100 car trips results in an accident, then 99% of the time seatbelts are unnecessary. Kind of hard to identify in advance which car trip is the one where you’ll need it.

    • redF
      September 11, 2016 at 4:13 pm #

      excuse that I did this. Saw how well i could flow with the read, paragraphs, theme sentences helped. But let pretend for a while that I gsfg and I say that’s nice. You described one type of group think, for an instance where practioner estimates a certain thing, and does a certain thing, ,,,now give me more categories of where this takes place, perhaps show different estimation accuracies, and exercise of ability, and lets see if there is something interesting in the many categories you would have put together. Do you realize that giving a naming of characterization basis for things encountered on the fly is pretty difficult, cause the name would have to show amongst others that it belongs to a category, and how its slightly different from that others-in-the-same category. THIS is all to do and to see if different group thinks affect practioner *estimation[*esp] differently. …….If your task was to do such a thing, …would you rather resort to writing an encyclopedia all with this same flow pattern used for this writ……that would get time intensive and boring for you……… so you’d have to play with language patterns…. .i I do so especially with adverb [-nal] adjective [-ly], verb and noun shifts of a particular word…..rather than making that new word the subject of its own short sentence in a grouped paragraph of swelled content or compacted sentence sequences.

      • redF
        September 11, 2016 at 4:37 pm #

        I’m actually advocating another type of group think by drawing on these lines,, no ill estimation of you, except that I brought GT(short impactors from a group with the same world view*) onto the table when I showed my hind legs last. (*…)

        • redF
          September 11, 2016 at 5:04 pm #

          actually your group think if it were a category relates to trends of learned-calculation factors taken into account from those similarily trained [,doctors, ,]. World view gets more shaky. Most share direct characteristics of language, and take world view for an armada of reasons. ..sometimes needed for mutual estimation of collegues and to stick within a broad career-professional definition. Those Here, take either superficial clearness or contrariness as different tool-basi[s] giving different advantages and disadvantages in dealing with matters brought up. Its funny to note that the last period of big names Here [for english], were from those entering from fields like mathematics. But I bring up a little too much issue, cause I fly too soon into issues as yet, where-as I should distill more.

          • redF
            September 11, 2016 at 5:07 pm #

            quit ground therefore

    • RudyTooty
      September 12, 2016 at 10:19 am #

      So much context that is missing when you’ve only attended 5 births!

      OK – so I’ve attended births in homes, in rural homes, in Amish homes, in freestanding birth centers, in level I community hospitals and in a tertiary center with a level 4 NICU.

      More than 5. To be fair, though, I’m sure when I had only yet attended 5 births, I knew a lot more than I know now. And I was much more certain about my beliefs about childbirth. Yes, now that I reflect on that, that is a fact.

      So now I’m somewhere in the hundreds of births attended, and in various settings, I’m less certain about knowing exactly why births happen the way they happen.

      I really, truly have rarely seen an ‘unneccessary cesearean’ – but I will say prior to witnessing many births, I was pretty certain that *most* cesareans were “unneccessary.”

      I have witnessed that smaller community hospitals may be quicker to decide on a cesearan than a tertiary facility. Probably because the ability to perform a cesearean in *minutes* is hindered in the smaller facility. Does that make the cesearean that occurs in less extreme circumstances less ‘necessary’? Or does it make it more prudent? How much risk does one want to take? It is not just the provider – this is the belief that I have come to. It is the facility, the staff, the ability to ready an OR, the distance to higher level services.

      I don’t think one needs to accuse people of “blindly trusting” expert providers. But how about taking a look at the entire context of the situation.

      Home birth midwives are loathe to jump to surgical intervention and have lower cesarean rates, mainly, because (in my not-so-expert, but adequate opinion), they don’t assess a problem in a timely fashion.

      But again, I had a very different opinion when I had only attended 5 births. I was much more the expert.

    • Azuran
      September 12, 2016 at 11:08 am #

      The thing is that it’s impossible to know what will happen before it actually happens.
      Sure, that crowning baby got out in 10 minutes, it could have also taken 4 hours and the mother could have ended up with a 4th degree tear. You had no way of knowing how it was going to happen.

      Whenever you are dealing with birth, (or any kind of medical procedure) you are comparing risks and benefits of every single intervention you do.
      If you reach any point where a C-section is less risky for the baby than a vaginal birth, then you HAVE to recommend the c-section to the mother. even if it’s a 0,5% vs 1% risk of complication. If you don’t recommend it as the safest option at that point, it’s malpractice. If you don’t and the baby ends up with injuries, then you can face a lawsuits.
      It’s all about informed consent, the mother can refuse the procedure. Most mother would just do anything they can to reduce any kind of risks to their baby. I know I’d rather have a c-section that may or may not be necessary with hindsight than refusing one and learn with hindsight that is was necessary.

  9. September 11, 2016 at 10:14 am #

    And a nasty trend toward casting blanket validation of Emotional Reasoning as social sensitivity and Critical Thinking as bullying and marginalization just facilitates the problem.

    I’d think that even if a person doesn’t have the internal wiring to acknowledge that they’re not competent, then at least the double standard of “I have the right to act on my opinion regardless of what data or lack of it’s founded on, but you don’t have the right to have yours” would pop up. That should be repugnant to anyone who champions upholding personal freedom, and I see incompetence validation and personal freedom rhetoric pairing up quite a bit. But it never seems to work that way.


  10. redF
    September 11, 2016 at 12:36 am #

    The feeds into academia are limited by the societal bias…. academia though should clean its house. Another limitation is the title ”nation”, whereas it is really the western world online… and by that virtue their personal circles. Twitter is the only place I’ve found discussions on what is in the Eastern online world, though I don’t know to what the discussions are limited to; perhaps leftist or rightist reaction to government mores which is not quite the same. This picture with this smug girl reminds me: conspiracy theories of hidden technologies and extraterrestrial contact may be true….rather than taking it from them, I believe in a rhyme told of the Atlantians, that their structures managed knowledge, the unique knowledges which everyone has a disposition to be endowed in ….just that a smug girlie may find interacting in a department easier with the post menapause lust of old men permitting her, and the world view sentiments of female faculty members believing that this is there time, doesn’t mean that such lowly evolved creatures should take forward truth or much of it. (in doaist attribution, no person should only rest on the qi-shen Po, but on Hun and Yi too)

    • redF
      September 11, 2016 at 12:50 am #

      the ri er l oves it, that way someone might be stimulated to make more intellectual food. Academia is about the analytic process….and shouldn’t rest itself on occupying every other sentiment which is apparently in its enemies vocabulary…so would say Machiavelli.

      • redF
        September 11, 2016 at 12:52 am #

        which is apparently not in its enemies vocabulary. (and so one burns bridges moving across the topic, or declares, if the they should fail, this is what they have not taken into account, and would be the apparent logo’ic mistake they make)

        • Nick Sanders
          September 11, 2016 at 1:16 am #

          Good grief, Carroll wrote less gibberish, and he made up most of his words.

          • redF
            September 11, 2016 at 1:25 am #

            says those who read those mass dissemination easy read books, not for the taste of those who have read strong wine.

          • Nick Sanders
            September 11, 2016 at 1:37 am #

            Look, the point of communication is to, well, communicate. Unfathomable tangents, large words for the sake of large words rather than to convey a precise connotation or set a consistent tone, and meandering grammar combine to put me more in mind of graphorrhea than heavy intellectual discourse. The occasional sprinkling of unparseable nonsense doesn’t help either.

          • redF
            September 11, 2016 at 1:57 am #

            the alternative is to have a crowd each taking a turn to say one thing, granted they have the same world view. On the other side of the ideological bank with this

          • Sonja Henie
            September 11, 2016 at 8:41 am #

            You just want us to think you’re really smart. We get it!

          • demodocus
            September 11, 2016 at 3:24 pm #

            His strong wine seems like moonshine to me.

          • kfunk937
            September 11, 2016 at 8:51 am #

            Such was my thought as well.

            `Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
            Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
            All mimsy were the borogoves,
            And the mome raths outgrabe

        • Mike Stevens
          September 11, 2016 at 11:00 am #

          Are you a neologism autobot?

  11. Sharon Presley
    September 10, 2016 at 6:23 pm #

    The Dunning Kruger study is close to Milgram and Zimbardo in my esteem, as a social psychologist. Every prof I knew recognized the truth of it even among our students. This is a most useful and timely application of it.

  12. Andrew Lazarus
    September 10, 2016 at 2:34 pm #

    Came across an interesting Twitter feed, mostly for its conservative anti-Trump politics, but the author’s upcoming “The Death of Expertise” sounds like it is a book-length treatment of the same issue.

  13. redF
    September 10, 2016 at 11:54 am #

    As somebody not having to take an absolute stance, not having to defend academia against every outer, but one whose bias toward expansion: there may be something to anti-sentiment against antibiotics: merely cause these are many more than in prior decades, and because these could not have been vetted against effect in development pathways. To ensure against, expansive studies would be needed. As far as findings in the area of physics get taken up as doctrine meme’s, I’m against these; perhaps people have not seen how religions enshrine themselves in history and society before they find themselves on ‘a boat’, whichever that is. Last, the Ogdoad, has strange serendipity in how similar they are to how Gulenko described quadra’s of the socionic (/mtbi) interactional model of 16 types… though its hard to constellate as both for and against sentiment goes towards subscribing to socionics and what it says of ideal life pattern, …though common to both, is that ” interaction ultimately proved to be unbalanced”.

  14. redF
    September 10, 2016 at 8:55 am #

    tendency against science, back to a shorter reach; is confusion of it with and as a tool of authority, the conspiracy theorist view. To a longer term, if one sees Sine movement trends to history(Fritjof Capra), then the ‘anti-soulism’ of rationalism brings this too(T.McKenna). To those of utopian bent, the under-support of societies intoxicated by media-valuations to those of thinking orientation is too a reason{Ogdoad Egyptian Legend of attribution starting after 4pairs of gods which mirrored society as a larger whole fell}. The last whole quote from the article is rather luminous as it could be seen to apply to any clique subjectively self defined.

  15. redF
    September 10, 2016 at 8:19 am #

    it shows something of Academia generally, that something which has been described by wider means; taken up by bloggers seizing even on Terence McKenna insights to gain ground against New Age guru’s [which in-turn is taken up as larger sentiment world-view delineations on information], is named after a person. Perhaps it was the first time a systematic stint of what could only obviously be a limited variable-set was undertaken. ROMCHOMPA already spoke about specializations theater limiting posits[or what they could successfully say]; where-as generally, those without academic posts, but with demically knowledges of heuristically language argue for broader or denser structures in academia. (besides the career ladder benefit of a name to a phenomena, now atleast a future doc can cite an article which their narrow supervisors may accept easier){also too, philosophical seeking of mechanism has been removed from concurrent science; and hard and soft sciences have different edges in movement to completion}.

    • demodocus
      September 10, 2016 at 9:07 am #

      Wow, and I thought my husband’s German philosophers texts were tough to read. Polysyllabic words are like your favorite spice; none at all is boring but you can definitely overdo it.

      • redF
        September 10, 2016 at 9:41 am #

        thank-you, forget not bitterness too, and scorn for newbies applying discourse mechanisms seen in religion; also slight relief -that despite my angst in sharing a few accumulations- it might still be interesting to see how a ‘soft-scientist’ using nought but statistics might try and word the 3rd stance; which is so boringly common, that I use an epitome* there. (*of cyclic patterns repeated across history)

        • demodocus
          September 10, 2016 at 10:13 am #

          Bitterness? No, not really. I got paid to read Heideger by the Disability Resource Office at our university. I edited his papers for free.

          As for the rest, you sound either like a student trying to sound like an expert or a prat who can’t be bothered to write so the interested layman can follow you. Scorn? a bit yes, because this is a public blog, not your PhD paper.

          • redF
            September 10, 2016 at 10:40 am #

            as an evaluation of accuracy; -not by someone awed or who uses sentiment to word their instinct against someone-, I’ll let it stand as a legitimate strike against me, for I am semi-student; overly satisfied in the double strikes some wordings can give. Semi-student inthat too many zones of knowledge are approached, and that I can’t find the structure which will hold those analyses, nor the time. Little above the student below, ..one has to first be a transactor of some sort to see your opposition with less than satisfactory mores and occupy specific grounds to see whether you’d be the skeptic or the overconfident. (so if there was little bitterness, just a terseness, from a heuristic basis based on what he took away from Aristotle before what he had to say flowed,……where I will seek more I know not yet, or if seek I will at all).

          • DaftPunkd
            September 10, 2016 at 12:27 pm #

            This reads like a surrealist collage novel by Max Ernst.

          • gragor11a
            September 11, 2016 at 4:12 pm #

            Hell, I might even agree with him/her if I could figure out what he/she was on about . . .

          • Ann McCoy
            September 30, 2016 at 9:15 am #


  16. Joe Gazebo Michael
    September 10, 2016 at 3:56 am #

    Dear Dr. Tuteur,

    While I agree with your assessment I also wonder how much the Dunning Kruger Effect is in play with people like yourself, myself, your readers, etc. How do you think we can draw a better line between healthy skepticism and overconfident denial and anti-expertise notions?

  17. Marie Gregg
    September 9, 2016 at 8:00 pm #

    #2 drives me nuts. Absolutely freaking nuts. Education DOES matter.

  18. R O M C H O M P A
    September 9, 2016 at 4:50 pm #

    It is actually more true that these “experts” actually don’t know as much as you skeptics give them credit for. They are specialists, and have no idea what is going on around them, they only have their job, and they do it, and they get paid. end of story.

    • Wren
      September 9, 2016 at 5:20 pm #

      Yeah, those experts know much, much less than those educated on google.

      • fiftyfifty1
        September 9, 2016 at 5:26 pm #

        Yes, the Google educated are so unencumbered by facts that their vision is broad, while the truly educated are so blinded by actual knowledge that they live sad, narrow lives. Ok sure.

      • R O M C H O M P A
        October 16, 2016 at 9:34 pm #

        Where do you think the information google links to comes from?

        • Amy Tuteur, MD
          October 16, 2016 at 9:53 pm #

          Other nitwits like you!

          • R O M C H O M P A
            October 24, 2016 at 1:03 am #

            Join the club nitwit!

          • R O M C H O M P A
            May 2, 2017 at 2:45 pm #

            Because i publish peer reviewed papers. yeah!

        • Wren
          October 18, 2016 at 4:19 pm #

          Depends on the link. In some cases, I’m pretty sure it comes straight out of some bizarre dream.

      • R O M C H O M P A
        May 2, 2017 at 2:48 pm #

        Because you cannot ever hope to find scientific papers, philosophical resources, millions of books at a click, every movie or song you can think of… dude google is not the internet, its just a way to look for things on it. It is our collective conscious running through a bunch of tubes, your sarcasm nor your point really make sense here.

    • demodocus
      September 9, 2016 at 6:04 pm #

      So? Talk to your OB about your obstetrical issues, not how to rebuild your porch or what to do about your glaucoma.

      • Monkey Professor for a Head
        September 9, 2016 at 7:01 pm #

        I’ve heard it said that a expert is someone who knows more and more about less and less.

        • demodocus
          September 9, 2016 at 7:29 pm #

          That’s probably a fair definition. But then a jack of all trades is rarely a master of any of them.

          • Andrew Lazarus
            September 10, 2016 at 2:37 pm #

            True, and I say that as a jack of all trades mathematician.

          • Sonja Henie
            September 10, 2016 at 2:43 pm #

            Same as working in “general pediatrics”.

      • Sue
        September 9, 2016 at 8:36 pm #

        Indeed. Modern life means specialisation.

        In ancient times, one had to build a dwelling, grow food, raise children, barter goods, carry water, tend animals and walk everywhere.

        We now have people who subspecialise in construction, agriculture, child care, education, commerce, plumbing and transport. Thankfully, we don’t have to rely on our own resources for everything – we trade our skills in the market, and get the best of all worlds.

      • Mark Schwimmer
        September 10, 2016 at 4:11 pm #

        What do I do when I find out that my OB is pushing a particular drug I may not need, or may even harm me, because he wants to win the outing in Honolulu?

        • demodocus
          September 10, 2016 at 8:20 pm #

          Well, since mine never pushed anything on me, not even the psych help i clearly needed (yeah, ppd), i can’t be sure.

  19. (((dagobarbz)))
    September 9, 2016 at 2:45 pm #

    It’s not funny that some for-profit “colleges” are handing out degrees based on ‘life experience.’ I met a whacko who had a “doctorate” based on nothing but her ability to pay the college fees.

    Some states are passing laws that legitimize moonbattery like alternative medicine, another threat to the value society places on education.

    I wonder what Dunning & Kruger think about the widespread knowledge of Dunning-Kruger Effect these days? I bet they thought it would remain in obscurity forever.

    • Sonja Henie
      September 9, 2016 at 4:00 pm #

      Which states have done that?

      • kfunk937
        September 9, 2016 at 4:10 pm #

        States like Florida, Arizona, etc ad nauseam, that license naturopaths, for instance. In each case, charging their respective Boards with internal discipline and even establishing their own standard of care. In which, in the case of naturopaths, generally means flipping a coin.

        • Michael McCarthy
          September 9, 2016 at 4:13 pm #

          “in the case of naturopaths, generally means flipping a coin.”
          It’s that scientific? I assumed chicken bones were thrown on a table and “read”.

          • MaineJen
            September 9, 2016 at 4:32 pm #

            Nonsense. I heard they just look at your aura. Or put their hands near you and adjust your energy. Or something.

          • shay simmons
            September 9, 2016 at 5:04 pm #

            Chakras, man. Chakras.

          • kfunk937
            September 9, 2016 at 5:27 pm #

            I have it on good authority that haruspicy is on the NPLEX.

          • Charybdis
            September 9, 2016 at 8:22 pm #

            No, no, no. Runes are where it’s at these days. Or batraquomancy, dririmancy or tyromancy are the up and comers for the new “in” ways of divination.

          • kfunk937
            September 9, 2016 at 8:31 pm #

            The culturally competent will throw Ifa, and mebbe hold a bembe. Olds may rely on the I-Ching. Runes are for mainstream whippersnappers.

            Thanks for the new words to look up, btw. Well done, you.

            [ETA: Dang! I thought I knew my Greek roots. Turns out tyromancy isn’t cheese-related, like tyropita. How disappointing.]

          • Nick Sanders
            September 11, 2016 at 11:00 am #

            It isn’t? Google and Wikipedia are telling me it is.

        • September 9, 2016 at 9:17 pm #

          As long as the coin is provided by the mark patient!

        • Angela McGinnis
          September 10, 2016 at 2:03 am #

          We have “complimentary and alternative medicine” clinics in hospitals here in Washington…yes, let’s make sick people think that this crap is “real medicine”!

      • (((dagobarbz)))
        September 10, 2016 at 12:38 am #

        They’re not accredited, just giving out their own goofy degrees nobody takes seriously unless you’re into all that woo-woo stuff while learning to read auras, or use crystal therapy. Those kind of places. I only know California has ’em. Laws vary.

  20. BaritoneWoman
    September 9, 2016 at 2:40 pm #

    Perhaps this is the real meaning of the old adage: “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing”.

  21. zeddicuskotor
    September 9, 2016 at 1:59 pm #

    It’s more of a problem with capitalism than anything else. If you could find a way to make tons of money by fearmongering to xenophobic stupid people, then you’re gonna do it under a capitalist system. Such a system is self reinforcing, since the products you sell to these people make them even more scared, dumb, and angry. This cycle continues until you have a entire class of people that are completely divorced from reality.

    • Sonja Henie
      September 9, 2016 at 2:48 pm #

      Oh, Sweet Home Alabama! Do you know the anti-vax movement is stronger in Europe, Australia and Japan with their uHCs than it is in the US? In fact, I came across this yesterday: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-vaccines-idUSKCN11E336

    • MaineJen
      September 9, 2016 at 3:12 pm #

      *cough* organized religion *cough*

      • zeddicuskotor
        September 9, 2016 at 3:23 pm #

        Which is interesting in America due to the first amendment. There is no official state religion, which makes it next to impossible for any one sect to gain a state approved monopoly. Like the Church of England has in England. Or the Vatican.

        • MaineJen
          September 9, 2016 at 4:31 pm #

          They sure know how to suck the money out of people, though.

  22. Jon Cleland Host
    September 9, 2016 at 11:55 am #

    Creationists. We can’t forget the creationists. They easily outnumber the other reality deniers put together. Dunning-Kruger is rampant. It goes back through American History as the anti-intellectualist thread. It made Donald Trump.

    • Michael McCarthy
      September 9, 2016 at 3:13 pm #

      Speaking of creationists, word on the street is that Ken Hamm’s tax-fraud, intellect-sucking hole “Ark Encounter” isn’t bringing in the business he promised (it is less than 1/10). Oh well.

      • September 9, 2016 at 3:16 pm #

        I’m shocked! Shocked, I tell you!

        • Michael McCarthy
          September 9, 2016 at 3:32 pm #

          Me too! I mean, it was perfectly reasonable to assume it would have higher attendance than Kings Island or Cedar Point. (although I do feel bad for the poor rubes in Williamstown that sunk money into their businesses based on false promises)

  23. heckubiss
    September 9, 2016 at 10:44 am #

    I know more then the Generals do.. Believe me!

    • Sonja Henie
      September 9, 2016 at 11:22 am #

      LOL! This reminds me of a conversation my cousin, brother, ex-husband and I were having with my dad, back when we were in our 20s. We young ‘uns were all complaining about our bosses. My cousin asked my dad, “Uncle “Joe”, you’ve been in management a long time. What do you think of this conversation?” To which my father replied, “I’m thinking it’s hard to get the job done when everyone working for you thinks they know more than you!”

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        September 9, 2016 at 12:26 pm #

        Those who criticize management generally don’t know what management has to do. What it has to do and what people think it does are generally very different.

        But I say that about everything. Farmers know far more about farming than anyone else. Most people don’t even know the things they need to know to be a farmer.

        I know a lot of engineers, and they really bother me, because I find them really, really annoying to work with. And the reason is because they think about a lot of details that I don’t. I don’t know what the power usage is on my diffusion pump, I know what size it is and what pressure it gets. But if they are going to install a circulated cooling system in the lab, they need to know what kind of heat is going to be generated so they can figure out what kind of load it will need to handle.

        I could make a circulated cooling system with a water reservoir and a pump, but I don’t enough to know what kind of capacity it would have. I could very well be making it way undersized for all I know. Now, I know enough about it to realize I need to think about issues like this, but you know what? This is what engineers do. And I’ll let them do it.

        • Sonja Henie
          September 9, 2016 at 2:54 pm #

          In the case of vaccines and health care in general, many engineers have massive cases of D/K. In this group, my dad and my ex in particular.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            September 9, 2016 at 2:56 pm #

            Yep. They think that because they know engineering, they know everything else.

            Engineers are very overrepresented as creationists, too.

          • fiftyfifty1
            September 9, 2016 at 5:40 pm #

            On the other hand, engineers make the best patients. Straight to the point, detail oriented, good memories, know their meds and dosages, non-dramatic, calm and accepting of uncertainty, non-blaming in the face of adverse reactions or other setbacks. If I had a patient panel entirely of engineers, my workload would be cut by a third, I swear.

          • Megan
            September 9, 2016 at 8:23 pm #

            Totally agree with this.

  24. Rick Ulrey
    September 9, 2016 at 10:35 am #

    Formal education isn’t a cure for Dunnin-Kruger – bias training is. Using the a degree to try to win an argument is just an appeal to authority.

    • kfunk937
      September 9, 2016 at 10:40 am #

      We are all subject to bias and vulnerable to our own Dunning-Kruger. However, mentioning formal education in the relevant field is not an appeal to authority fallacy, as you seem to suggest. It’s relevant when evaluating the strength of the argument and quality of evidence. Relying on actual experts (particularly, outside one’s field) is sensible, as well.

      That said, bias training benefits us all.

    • Sonja Henie
      September 9, 2016 at 10:50 am #

      I have a feeling bias training won’t work for most deep-seated biases. Sometimes people just have to have a “come to Jesus” moment, like how Gary Johnson now supports mandatory vaccines after years of libertarian BS. I don’t know how it happens, but I doubt bias training has anything to do with it.


    • Daniel Dvorkin
      September 9, 2016 at 11:30 am #

      People whose arguments consist entirely of throwing around names of logical fallacies are a prime example of the Dunning-Kruger effect in action.

  25. RobbiesDad
    September 9, 2016 at 10:17 am #

    In fairness, I’m pretty sure we are a Dunning Kruger species.

  26. lawyer jane
    September 9, 2016 at 9:19 am #

    O/T have we discussed this yet?? http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-oc-vaccine-doctor-20160908-snap-story.html

    • September 9, 2016 at 9:23 am #

      We will hopefully be hearing about it for a long time! 🙂

      • lawyer jane
        September 9, 2016 at 9:45 am #

        I’m just really wondering how this case came before the medical board. I’m guessing the 2 year old must have come down with a vaccine-preventable illness – measles or pertussis?

        • kfunk937
          September 9, 2016 at 10:52 am #

          There may also have been complaints about selling vaccine exemptions, possibly even to patients over the phone without seeing them.

          I can easily imagine an “secret shopper” sting operation/investigation by the Board.

          • Roadstergal
            September 9, 2016 at 11:47 am #

            That’s what I was thinking. He has been basically saying out loud and in public that he will sell vaccine exemptions for some time now. That man should not have any license at all, not even to catch a damn fish.

          • Nick Sanders
            September 9, 2016 at 11:48 am #

            I dunno, if catching fish kept him out of the office and away from the soapbox, I’d say give him a lifetime pass.

          • Roadstergal
            September 9, 2016 at 11:49 am #

            “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll sit in a boat and drink beer for the rest of his life.”

        • kfunk937
          September 9, 2016 at 10:57 am #

          From the article, I also wonder if the toddler experienced sequelae from being hit in the head with a hammer and never being evaluated neurologically. I hope not.

          Running off to read the case, if I can find it.

          • Michael McCarthy
            September 9, 2016 at 12:11 pm #

            “Running off to read the case, if I can find it.”
            You can find a link to it here

          • kfunk937
            September 9, 2016 at 12:41 pm #

            Grazie mille!

            I had that open in another tab, while perusing the epic meltdowns in FB comments on the OC Register article. ZOMG.

          • Michael McCarthy
            September 9, 2016 at 12:50 pm #

            while perusing the epic meltdowns in FB comments “
            Oh, you mean, “waaaah, see Vaxxed, waaah”?

          • kfunk937
            September 9, 2016 at 1:31 pm #

            Yep, pretty much.

            You should see the treacle and poutrage on Dr Bob’s page. 1000 comments declaring the 2nd coming (by noon EST), with any countering comments strangely absent.

            Amusingly, there’s an exchange with Dr Jay further downpage wrt his contemplating leaving the AAP because they’re big meanies. Jay recommends working from within. Bob says he’s gonna be too busy. That conversation is timestamped after this action was filed.


          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            September 9, 2016 at 2:53 pm #

            Amusingly, there’s an exchange with Dr Jay further downpage wrt his contemplating leaving the AAP because they’re big meanies.


          • Sonja Henie
            September 9, 2016 at 2:56 pm #

            Good riddance to bad rubbish!

          • kfunk937
            September 9, 2016 at 3:01 pm #

            Pretty please with organic sugar atop.

            Breaking off to form their own cheenius rebel group was also discussed. Apparently no one had heard of the crank politcal organisation masquerading as medical professional association, AAPS.

            Child health advocate and paediatrician Dr Chris Hickie commented on the AAP article encouraging AAP to… scrutinise Sears and his cohorts, but they declined (in an email) to post his measured opinion, asking him instead to tone it down. SMH.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            September 9, 2016 at 3:06 pm #

            Yep, Chris is a very outspoken opponent of Sears and Gordon, and the AAP for their lack of response to them.

          • Jonathan Graham
            September 9, 2016 at 3:20 pm #

            …and “waaaah! don’t criticize it’s content if you haven’t seen it!”

          • Michael McCarthy
            September 9, 2016 at 3:29 pm #

            It’s the #1 documentary of all time on Amazon! Almost all 5 star reviews!! *chuckle*

          • September 9, 2016 at 1:52 pm #

            I want to upvote these comments, but Disqus doesn’t seem to be letting me. Hmmm…

          • Michael McCarthy
            September 9, 2016 at 2:15 pm #

            Probably because I am a known shill for Big Ag.

          • September 9, 2016 at 2:41 pm #

            Me too. Plus BIG pHARMa!!!1!!

          • kfunk937
            September 9, 2016 at 2:52 pm #

            I only shill for Funk University (for doctorates in Funkology, with elective track in woofvckery). But am accused of BigAg and BigPharma ties, nonetheless.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            September 9, 2016 at 2:55 pm #

            I offer to give PCM (Pablo Certified Midwife) certifications, but, so far 1) no one has paid the money, and 2) no one has demonstrated the appropriate knowledge of 80s music and pop culture to qualify

          • Bombshellrisa
            September 9, 2016 at 3:07 pm #

            But some of us were quite impressive in our ability to compile a birth play list, that has to count for something!

          • kfunk937
            September 9, 2016 at 3:29 pm #

            Do you discriminate against pets who wish to pursue certification?

            My cat needs to up her credentials.

          • Nick Sanders
            September 9, 2016 at 3:44 pm #

            I think @BarrenSpinster:disqus is the one to talk to about finding certification programs for pets wishing to receive credentials.

          • shay simmons
            September 9, 2016 at 4:38 pm #

            She does massage and acupuncture, right?
            On another note, no LA, at least not this week.

          • Nick Sanders
            September 9, 2016 at 4:53 pm #

            Doesn’t every cat?

          • shay simmons
            September 9, 2016 at 6:18 pm #

            Of course.

          • kfunk937
            September 9, 2016 at 5:39 pm #

            Have you been diverted elsewhere, or is it just a delay? What about the wedding?

          • shay simmons
            September 9, 2016 at 6:24 pm #

            I hab a code.

            Which, ironically, I caught at the wedding. Staff Wellness won’t clear me to go because of all the mold and mildew the flood left. I can try again after I manage to get rid of it (which means the damned thing is going to hang on for DAYS…)

          • kfunk937
            September 9, 2016 at 6:29 pm #

            Aww. Sending you virtual chicken soup. And reiki.

          • Joe
            September 11, 2016 at 3:43 am #

            Don’t start me on Reiki,it’s the biggest BS going.

          • Charybdis
            September 11, 2016 at 2:39 pm #

            Oooh! Oooh! Me! Me! Pick me! Or at least let me take the 80’s music and pop culture entrance exam!

            Pretty Please?

          • Sonja Henie
            September 9, 2016 at 2:56 pm #

            I am supposedly a “Big Pharma” shill even though I like most of my co-workers tried to run and hide when the salespeople showed up at the office. I did take a ticket to a Colorado Rockies game one time, and a few sandwiches, which even gracedipsht said were insignificant.

          • Michael McCarthy
            September 9, 2016 at 3:38 pm #

            You took sandwiches from Pharma reps? Don’t you know that’s how they get you? Nanobots, man, nanobots.

          • Michael McCarthy
            September 9, 2016 at 3:05 pm #

            If you don’t offer a program in Badassery, I am afraid I cannot attend FU. 😉

          • Charybdis
            September 11, 2016 at 2:37 pm #

            There is always the Sam Houston Institute of Technology or Friends University of Central Kansas…one of them might have a Badassery program at both the Bachelor’s level and Graduate level.

          • Reality022
            September 9, 2016 at 9:52 pm #

            kfunk937 said, “I only shill for Funk University (for doctorates in Funkology, with an elective track in woofvckery).”
            Taking transfers from The College of Musical Knowledge?
            Do Masters in Blues meet the prerequisites for the Funkology PhD?
            Have fun.

          • kfunk937
            September 10, 2016 at 6:29 pm #

            Demonstrating the only case when youtubes are appropriate. Gotta luv it. So it wouldn’t count against a transfer. Admissions are heavily weighted toward music, including blues.

            It’s a terminal PhD program, though.

          • kfunk937
            September 10, 2016 at 6:48 pm #

            Just for you, from what I’m listening to in the middle of a thunderstorm https://youtu.be/s_paZpQvca0

          • Michael McCarthy
            September 9, 2016 at 2:25 pm #

            “From the article, I also wonder if the toddler experienced sequelae from being hit in the head with a hammer and never being evaluated neurologically. I hope not.”
            Not to downplay how serious this is, but you have to wonder if Dr. Bob reported it as an adverse event.

          • kfunk937
            September 9, 2016 at 2:45 pm #

            I’m pretty sure he didn’t even bother contacting DCFS to investigate, but reporting it to VAERS would support his narrative, wouldn’t it?

          • Michael McCarthy
            September 9, 2016 at 2:58 pm #

            “I’m pretty sure he didn’t even bother contacting DCFS “
            I was wondering about that. In the case document it mentions, “13. An Emergency Response Notice of Referral Disposition dated June 25, 2014 with ‘Allegations cannot be substantiated-case closed’ outcome is maintained in the patient chart”. That would indicate someone contacted DCFS, no?
            Wouldn’t it be the ultimate irony if Dr. Bob did contact DCFS and that is what started this investigation?

          • kfunk937
            September 9, 2016 at 3:25 pm #

            Someone did. Maybe him, maybe a nurse.

            It would be ironic if it were his own action that brought this about.

        • September 9, 2016 at 1:47 pm #

          I haven’t seen it discussed yet. Maybe somebody he works with reported him.

      • Mori
        September 9, 2016 at 11:06 am #

        Because vaccine injuries don’t exist, right? Unless you are a victim! Sure, just give them a sticker or balloon and move on.

        • demodocus
          September 9, 2016 at 11:10 am #

          most of the issues are unrelated to vaccines. Of course autism exists, but it did not develop from an immunization. No one but anti-vaxxers calls anaphalaxis from a vaccine a “vaccine injury”.

          • September 9, 2016 at 4:21 pm #

            Meh. I’m willing to give them a pass for anaphalaxis being a vaccine injury.

            What I won’t put up with is nonsense about vaccine injuries like autism/asthma etc.

        • September 9, 2016 at 1:46 pm #

          Well, I’m not sure how you got that out of my post, or the news on Sears. Vaccine injuries *do* exist. They occur FAR less frequently than antivaxxers who have been subjected to lying fear mongers would think. Sear is being singled out (in this case – because there have been other more egregious violations) because he was giving medical exemptions without even examining the kids. Do you not see the difference here?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            September 9, 2016 at 2:52 pm #

            Well, I’m not sure how you got that out of my post, or the news on Sears.

            As I posted somewhere else this morning, all they’ve got are strawmen.

          • September 9, 2016 at 3:10 pm #

            It’s more of a dustbunny than a strawman! Embarrassing.

        • September 9, 2016 at 4:21 pm #

          No. The pro-vax position is far more nunanced than that – you only know your own case and therefore know little of that.

  27. MaineJen
    September 9, 2016 at 8:56 am #

    I am really enjoying all these commenters who swoop in and say “I agree with this article…except for this one point which deals with my particular pet woo subject! You’re totally wrong about XYZ! But good call about the rest.”

    *grabs popcorn*

  28. Mori
    September 9, 2016 at 8:05 am #

    Because vaccine injuries don’t exist, right? And everyone else is an idiot because anything on the internet is fair game to be chewed and spit on. Back then people just had babies without medical interventions. Intervention being the best route at times yet stuff happens that keeps medical professionals in check and in awe.

    • momofone
      September 9, 2016 at 8:07 am #

      “Back then people just had babies without medical interventions.” Or they died. Lots of them died. But that doesn’t fit well with the “natural” mindset.

    • J.B.
      September 9, 2016 at 8:57 am #

      Of course there are risks to vaccines, there are risks to everything. The concept is balancing risks and finding out which is lesser. (Hint, MMR <<< measles)

      • Wren
        September 9, 2016 at 9:00 am #

        Ooh! I know the part of the argument that comes next.

        The Anti-Vaxers then says something about the very small chance of getting measles in the US, conveniently ignoring the fact that the reason the number of cases is so small is precisely because of vaccination.

        Alternatively, we get a graph showing measles deaths decreasing prior to vaccination, conveniently ignoring the fact that measles incidence wasn’t decreasing and that better medical care increased the chance of living through it.

    • Sonja Henie
      September 9, 2016 at 9:16 am #

      Yeah, my great-grandparents lost three kids in three weeks due to diphtheria. One was so dehydrated from the membrane that grows across the throat, he tried to lap up water from a bowl like a dog. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it Mori?

      • momofone
        September 9, 2016 at 11:30 am #

        My grandmother was the only one of her parents’ children (I think there were four or five?) to survive past a couple days, if they survived birth. The photos are heartbreaking. Another person I know lost two babies, an eight-month-old, and a year later, a six-week-old, to pertussis, pre-vaccines. She could not get her third baby vaccinated soon enough when the vaccine became available. The good old days, right, Mori?

    • Jason
      September 9, 2016 at 9:17 am #

      Please re-read the article. If, afterward, you still feel like posting this repeat these instructions.

      • Spud
        September 9, 2016 at 11:36 am #

        Because side effects do not exist. It’s a broad spectrum if you have allergies to any of the ingredients. Just like a pack of cigarettes, it won’t cause lung cancer right? But it is possible!
        Everyone’s an idiot laden with knowledge upon knowledge. Perhaps hesitant parents would be thrilled to know that their kids won’t suffer a twisted intestine or rare side effect listed by the CDC? Hm. Keep an epipen or benadryl on hand and say a prayer.

        • Nick Sanders
          September 9, 2016 at 11:39 am #

          Keyword: Rare.

        • Jason
          September 9, 2016 at 12:26 pm #

          Tisk, Tisk…. You didn’t follow the instructions!

        • siklopz
          September 9, 2016 at 9:37 pm #

          which is why you’re vaccinated in a doctor’s office. incredibly rare side-effects, especially anaphylaxis usually happen within moments of injection.

        • Lion
          September 10, 2016 at 10:44 am #

          You do know that a twisted intestine is far more likely to result from getting rota virus than from the vaccine? Particularly since the newer vaccine was introduced because of the very very small risk in the older version. I know two people, an adult and a child who have had rota virus, before the vaccine was available in the African country I live in. A mom and son, they got a friend to buy them adult diapers just for the trip to hospital where they stayed for more than a week. They described it as horrific.

    • Fritz Leipold
      September 9, 2016 at 9:20 am #

      “Back then people just had babies without medical interventions.” Yep. And complications of childbirth was all too common a cause of death for women. Likewise, the incidence of vaccine injuries is extremely low, especially compared to the morbidity and mortality rates in the pre-vaccine days.

    • Michael McCarthy
      September 9, 2016 at 3:46 pm #

      Is this one of those, “I’m not antivax but….so we need safer vaccines” arguments?

  29. Paddler66
    September 9, 2016 at 4:39 am #

    Not quite sure why homebirth gets disparaged here. Certainly carelessly done without proper medical care during pregnancy it is a dumb idea but I’ve known any number of people who have had homebirths attended by a nurse-midwife with proper backup available, including hospital. I think any insistence that birth has to happen in a hospital no matter what is equally misguided right along with any insistence that Cesarean section is the only logical choice (I’ve heard that argued too).

    But the rest of it is spot on. What’s interesting is that a link to this site was the post directly following a post by a friend on FB exclaiming yet another ridiculous “cause” of autism. She’s someone who buys the whole shebang, from “chemtrails” to anti-vaxxer nonsense.

  30. Tara Loseth
    September 9, 2016 at 3:56 am #

    a bit more clarity as to what the dunning-kruger effect really is: http://www.talyarkoni.org/blog/2010/07/07/what-the-dunning-kruger-effect-is-and-isnt/

    • Sonja Henie
      September 9, 2016 at 9:00 am #

      Dunning-Kruger is proof of the old saying, “A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing”. That’s been around a long time.

  31. Sue
    September 8, 2016 at 9:44 pm #

    Another good opportunity to post this essay by Australian philosophy academic, Patrick Stokes:

    • Nick Sanders
      September 9, 2016 at 2:47 am #

      Been a while since I read that. I still enjoy it.

  32. Akkie Bardoel
    September 8, 2016 at 6:54 pm #

    Anyone who is an expert has chosen to give his/her life to a subject. That in itself testifies to the seriousness of their expertise, and we should honor that. People who pick up stuff online have no such depth. They know about everything, which is to say, they can be trusted about nothing. Good article.

  33. Jim Longo
    September 8, 2016 at 4:35 pm #

    It’s amazing how, in the many pieces on the same topic I’ve read, not one of them has mentioned the W word–a certain online “encyclopedia” that slithered onto the Internet by proudly proclaiming itself to be “anti-expert”.

    • moto_librarian
      September 9, 2016 at 10:51 am #

      I am an academic librarian, and I have mixed feelings about Wikipedia. Part of the problem is that encyclopedias are reference sources, and should only be used for basic information and as a starting point for research. I will sometimes read a Wikipedia article on a subject outside of my expertise, but it is mainly to get an overview and identify keywords and concepts for in-depth queries. It is also clear that articles on alt med are extremely skewed, and the review process is still nowhere close to being up to standards.

      • Sonja Henie
        September 9, 2016 at 10:54 am #

        Good to hear that from a librarian. I sometimes use Wiki because it does give a good overview on some topics. It often gives good summaries of laws, for example. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacobson_v._Massachusetts

        I once read an article in Newsweek I believe, that said Wiki was found to have no more mistakes than any other encyclopedia. You can always look up the references to their articles as well.

        • Azuran
          September 9, 2016 at 12:19 pm #

          I think it’s a good place to get basic information on a weird subject you suddenly get interested for random reasons or have a random question (I often check it after movies based on real event for example) You could also use it to get an overview on a subject and help you figure out where to get started on a more in dept research.
          But It doesn’t make me an expert in anything and I would never use ‘I read it on wikipedia’ in an argument

          • Michael McCarthy
            September 9, 2016 at 3:56 pm #

            ” I would never use ‘I read it on wikipedia’ in an argument”
            Reminds me of that movie “Jennifer’s Body”

      • Jim Longo
        September 9, 2016 at 11:03 am #

        I’m an ex-librarian also (work in human resources now). One of our colleagues on the Stumpers list once described Wikipedia as using a public toilet: “It may be perfectly all right–but you never know about the person who was there just before you, do you?”

        As for errors, it is less the *amount* of errors that makes Wikipedia dodgy at best than the *attitude* toward fixing those errors. Look at the page for almost any book and it will be clear very quickly that the person who wrote the article only saw the movie, but when the errors are corrected by someone who actually *did* read the book, “consensus” supersedes expertise.

        • moto_librarian
          September 9, 2016 at 11:23 am #

          My attitude towards Wikipedia has evolved a good bit in the past few years. I think overall, it IS better, but like any other resource, it has a specific purpose and limitations.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        September 9, 2016 at 11:20 am #

        Wikipedia might have issues in certain areas, but I can tell you that, when it comes to textbook-type material, it is as reliable as anything, probably moreso. I use it all the time as a resource in introductory chemistry class, without a problem.

        There are aspects where I feel the content is lacking, but what’s there is generally not wrong, any more than a standard textbook (which, unfortunately, contains stuff that is wrong)

        Sure, avoid it for politics and religion. But that is pretty standard for any situation.

        • Sue
          September 9, 2016 at 8:42 pm #

          I agree, Bofa. Wikipedia is best for the person who is already sceptical enough to recognise bias, but wants to check a detail about something that is not contentious.

  34. David Kritzberg
    September 8, 2016 at 4:01 pm #

    This is a great article, & right on point. EXCEPT for the jabs about “climate-change deniers”. (Ironically it also goes to prove the authors point now doesn’t it?) 1st of all, No one denies that the Earths climate changes. However in current idiom, this phrase is being used as a euphemism for “global-warming”, This was a deliberate change made because all of the dire predictions attributed to “G-W” failed to materialize. Now this unto itself gave pause to many of the scientists involved, as it indicated that the models & the data they were based upon were incorrect. This gives rise to my 2nd point, that the science itself, despite what is being reported by the Major Media is still unresolved. The simple fact is that there are many, many scientists, climatologists, & meteorologists who continue to disagree with the findings. Everyday there are articles & reports published on alternative media FROM the dissenting voices in these areas. Most of these not only decry the findings, but report most dismally how the influx of MILLIONS & MILLIONS of dollars have directly affected the outcomes of experiments. See the following article about Hal Lewis’s resignation letter: http://yournewswire.com/top-scientist-resigns-admitting-global-warming-is-a-big-scam/

    • MaineJen
      September 8, 2016 at 5:04 pm #


      Not only is it happening, it’s happening more quickly than anyone predicted.

      • demodocus
        September 8, 2016 at 5:07 pm #

        can’t upvote this ’cause it’s a nightmare

        • J.B.
          September 9, 2016 at 9:00 am #

          Ocean acidification scares me the most 🙁

          • MaineJen
            September 9, 2016 at 10:41 am #

            Me too.

    • Bob DuChaine
      September 8, 2016 at 5:19 pm #

      Congratulations! You just proved the Dunning-Kruger effect.

    • steve black
      September 8, 2016 at 5:28 pm #

      That letter seems to refer to a smoking gun: “Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay [the fraud] bare.” Why doesn’t he summarize that smoking gun? He could have tried, but then he would have had to get specific, thus easier to refute. You seem to take for granted that dissenters you refer to are both numerous and experts. They aren’t. Their competence is what this article is questioning, and you don’t even answer that question. You’re only repeating the talking points.

    • Conrad Kuiper
      September 8, 2016 at 5:33 pm #

      And….the Dunning-Kruger effect raises its head once again.

      • Sue
        September 8, 2016 at 9:47 pm #

        Indeed. Great illustration of Dr Amy’s point.

        I am not an expert on either climate science or the contribution of human activity to greenhouse gases. If the vast majority of people who do hold this expertise agree with each other, on what basis would I disagree with them?

        The human mind is notoriously subject to cognitive bias. That’s why we have the scientific method. “Common sense” told us that the earth was flat and the sun moved around the earth.

    • corblimeybot
      September 8, 2016 at 8:28 pm #

      People like you are a scourge. You will live to see your idiot words come back to haunt you, unfortunately.

    • Dan Manske
      September 8, 2016 at 8:53 pm #

      Bravo, David. It’s funny how indiscriminate otherwise-thoughtful people can be. Almost 20 years without an increase in temperature gives no pause to those who buy the wildly inaccurate model predictions. I would ask them for EVIDENCE rather than the the the authoritative opinion of a minority, yes minority of scientists who believe the catastrophic predictions of the true believers. The 97% figure quoted by the president and Sec of State is a big lie manufactured for the cause, and a very effective one for the non questioning mind. If one examines the derivation of “97% of scientists” it reveals a very different conclusion. The anti-vaxers and GMO haters do ignore real science from experts without an agenda. Conrad, true concepts inappropriately applied are false. True experts explain concepts and persuade by reason. Authoritarian experts want you to believe what the say because they are experts and say so. Question authority and make it explain so that you understand.

      • Nick Sanders
        September 8, 2016 at 9:17 pm #

        20 years without an increase in temperature? 9 of the 10 hottest years on record are in the last 11 years, last I heard. Last year broke pretty much every temperature record there was, and this year is well on track to breaking all of last years records.

      • ThisNameInUse
        September 8, 2016 at 11:29 pm #

        Dan and David, the Dunning-Kruger men of the hour. Thanks for lending your faces for the encyclopedia entry, guys!

    • ThisNameInUse
      September 8, 2016 at 11:28 pm #

      How timely and thoughtful of David to come along and provide a helpful visual aid to go with an article about Dunning-Krueger idiots. (Though it’s probably unfair that he gives his cat all the blame for his wholly unwarranted confidence.)

      That was nearly a textbook compendium of tired, repeatedly debunked climate change denialist red herrings. Let’s have a go at the drivel you’ve posted, shall we?

      “This was a deliberate change made because all of the dire predictions attributed to “G-W” failed to materialize.”

      This one’s a favorite of the Dunning-Kruger denialists. The special charm of it is that it manages to fit two blatant falsehoods in one short pithy sentence. Well done! First of all, NO, the predictions did NOT “fail to materialize”, it’s been warming all along, as those lowly PhD scientists predicted:


      And the trope about scientists “changing the name” at all is also a blatant concoction of the civilization-trasher crowd:


      “This gives rise to my 2nd point, that the science itself, despite what is being reported by the Major Media is still unresolved.”

      This statement is also blatantly false. Every peer reviewed survey of scientists, papers and organizations in recent years has shown overwhelming agreement, in the 95%-plus range:


      Lastly, your Hal Lewis who you think is more important than the thousands of scientists who actually HAVE studied this question, is a nobody. He’s never even studied climate change. He’s no different than the other non-experts you clowns trot out regularly to try to Gish Gallop the public. Shame on you.


  35. Amy
    September 8, 2016 at 2:34 pm #

    One of my friends JUST posted this. I wasn’t remotely surprised to find that it’s basically an infomercial:


    • Heidi
      September 8, 2016 at 2:56 pm #

      “You don’t have to buy it from me. Totally buy it from this other company through this affiliate link that I still make money off of but don’t readily disclose!”

  36. Stephanie Rotherham
    September 8, 2016 at 1:31 pm #

    OT: My dad is like this with plumbing… Which is bad because we run a B&B with ensuites and our personal shower has recently broken.

    Actually, he’s like it with everything, but especially plumbing and electricity right now.

    • Andrew Lazarus
      September 10, 2016 at 2:43 pm #

      Electricity is a Darwin Award waiting to happen.

  37. CSN0116
    September 8, 2016 at 12:38 pm #

    I’ve been noticing the Dunning-Kruger effect more and more amongst newly graduated nurses, and this scares me as they have lots of direct patient contact. (It often seems that lot of the BFHI horror stories we hear involve nurses as prime offenders).

    I teach to nursing (and NP) students and the amount of shit that the nursing students THINK they know and will vehemently spout is crazzyyyyy. They get the bare minimum knowledge about “X” and suddenly extrapolate much more complicated versions for which they are not qualified nor educated enough to do. Being that it is a female-dominated field, a lot of this extrapolation revolves around maternal/child areas. They’re also big into diet, “the right” nutrition, anti-pharma, and sometimes anti-doctor.

    Yesterday I was talking with a friend whose sister recently graduated nursing school from my university and has gone “bat shit crazy,” according to the family. She will not eat their family dinners anymore, as they’re not wholly organic. She is trying to get pregnant with her first child and already states that the to-be child will never receive a vaccination. She claims that Big Pharma is evil and unnecessary most of the time, that diet can cure most ailments.

    Do I blame these newbs? Not so much. It’s their instructors – often only BS or MS at best in nursing school – who indoctrinate them. Anyway, it’s a freaky but very real trend that I am encountering, and I’m not the only one.

    • Heidi
      September 8, 2016 at 1:12 pm #

      I’ve noticed it, too.

    • Rita D. Lipshutz
      September 8, 2016 at 1:40 pm #

      i am a nurse, retired now and sadly i have to agree with you. i am mortified by the number of people in our profession who are into AV ‘thought’ and other woo. i guess i understand how my MD friends feel now whenever “Dr” Oz holds forth.

      • demodocus
        September 8, 2016 at 5:12 pm #

        my retired nurse step mother was rubbing coconut oil on my father’s head to help repopulate his bald spot. *eyeroll*

    • midwestmoderate
      September 8, 2016 at 3:11 pm #

      Wow, that is quite a sweeping statement about all nursing students. Just your vocabulary and calling them “newbs” however makes me think that you do not actually teach nurses as my experience as a nursing professor is exactly the opposite. I believe we are educating students who are wicked smart, good critical thinkers, and understand the role they play in healthcare as an advocate. Quite frankly I think the author is a bit pompous as if an MD’s or PhD’s view is absolute. Many doctors and doctorates have been wrong. I am married to one and I am one. I think when we stop listening to people, we fail as practitioners.

      • LJ McDowall
        September 8, 2016 at 3:49 pm #

        From a European perspective, I think there’s something a bit fishy about the American Health Care system. We charge Americans to give birth in the UK (unless under certain circumstances, they have to pay as they’re not UK citizens) but even so, every American woman I know who got pregnant here chose to remain in the UK rather than return to the US to give birth. I know around 4-5 in this situation. Most cited parental choice, a relaxed and respectful attitude to birthing plans, positive attitudes to home birth (here it’s two qualified midwives, who are usually either nurses with extra midwifery training or midwives who have trained on a midwifery degree of similar length to the nursing degree. When I witnessed the standard of obstetric care was in American hospitals and the high degree of paternalistic disregard for the wishes of the mother then its not surprising so many women are seeking an alternative. The solution is to give women a range of safe options and for the love of the baby Jesus, what is that shit about pressing down on a woman’s stomach. I turned on cable TV on an American childbirth show and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I told my midwife and she said “yes, thats what you get when you don’t have midwife-led care in hospitals. From a cursory glance America is about 30 years behind Europe in obstetric standard of care. You do stuff over there we would never, ever do.

        • Heidi
          September 8, 2016 at 4:14 pm #

          So, as an American, I have watched Call the Midwife on Netflix. I saw some British ladies pressing on the tumtum of a pregnant lady. I thought it was to feel how big the baby was and where it was positioned, but should I be enraged? Also, as an American who has actually given birth in America, the outside of me only got pressed on when they were doing an ultrasound. But I guess you know about my birth experience than I do!

          • Sue
            September 8, 2016 at 10:13 pm #

            Beautiful, Heidi!

          • LJ McDowall
            September 9, 2016 at 2:51 am #

            Never seen it. Try again.

          • LJ McDowall
            September 9, 2016 at 3:44 am #

            Call the Midwife is a historical drama, Heidi, so the obstetric practice you’ll see there is the sort we used in the 1940s and 1950s.

          • Wren
            September 9, 2016 at 5:58 am #

            Historical drama, yes, but my pregnancies 9 and 10 years ago included palpating too.

            Good thing, as it did allow the midwife at the hospital to determine my son had flipped to footling breech in the last week of my pregnancy, which was checked via ultrasound. She did push on my tummy in labour though.

          • Mattie
            September 9, 2016 at 6:48 am #

            Palpation forms part of the antenatal appointment. It’s examination, palpation and auscultation I think? Palpation is useful for assessing position, size (to an extent) and whether there is any pain or anything unusual. Didn’t realise that wasn’t a universal thing?

          • LJ McDowall
            September 9, 2016 at 9:12 am #

            I was refering to two doctors pounding down on a woman’s abdomen as she was lying on her back, because it was ‘time to get then baby out’. It looked to me (and granted, I was heavily pregnant at the time and so my perceptions might have been coloured by my apprehension about my own impending experience) unnecessarily brutal and violent. It was not palpitation. Not even close. It was aggressive pushing by two men on a woman’s body. All I can remember thinking is “Jesus, I’m so glad I’m not giving birth in America.” When I asked my midwife about it, she made it clear that she considered that malpractice. Now, obviously, I could be wrong. But the reading I subsequently did, several medical anthropologists mentioned this practice as particularly problematic in American obstetric care. Again, just a couple of sources. I could be wrong. Perhaps Dr Kitty could comment more on whether that sort of thing would be considered consistent with the Standard of Care here in the UK?

          • Mattie
            September 9, 2016 at 9:16 am #

            eh, I was replying to Heidi who seemed to be talking about palpation. No idea what you were watching, so unless you can find an example for us to look at we can’t really say whether or not it’s right/wrong/standard either in the UK or US. You’re basically asking us to make a judgement based on your ‘potentially biased’ recollection of a thing that happened on some tv show or other x amount of time ago.

          • Wren
            September 9, 2016 at 9:27 am #

            fiftyfifty1 addressed this 2 hours ago.

          • Sonja Henie
            September 9, 2016 at 9:28 am #

            Well, LJ, I worked in obstetrics in the US at two different hospitals, and I never saw anything like what you describe. Plus I had two kids in yet another US hospital. Quit watching these crazy cable shows.

          • MaineJen
            September 9, 2016 at 10:52 am #

            …you saw this where? On TV? Fundal pressure is not standard of care anywhere.

          • Heidi
            September 9, 2016 at 9:33 am #

            I don’t know if it’s that much of a thing in the US anymore. I don’t recall it happening. They did lightly press on my tummy to feel the top of my uterus when they were doing fundal height. Otherwise an appointment either consisted of an ultrasound or checking the heartbeat with a doppler. I got more ultrasounds than a lot of people, though, so maybe it would have happened otherwise.

        • Sonja Henie
          September 8, 2016 at 4:18 pm #

          You’re getting your information from US cable TV shows? Talk about Dunning-Kruger!

          • LJ McDowall
            September 9, 2016 at 2:51 am #

            No, I was comparing what I’d observed from the way childbirth was depicted. Then i went and read stuff, talked to people…and researched it by going to PubMed and sociological research cites and my university library on comparative critiques of the US and UK healthcare system. Try again.

          • LJ McDowall
            September 9, 2016 at 3:55 am #

            AS I said (and I dont think anyone has actually dealt with it). If a woman (always a woman, as the picture above so clearly shows, Women Are A Problem for Dr Amy) is not educated, and comes with AV woo (which is a term used to describe any reservations at all) and is not reasured by her doctors and nurses that All Vaccines Are Safe For Every Child 🙂 then she is labeled as someone who is suffering from ‘cognitive dissonance’ and ‘ignorant’ and ‘uneducated’. This is how you dismiss a woman at the ‘lower’ end of the educational attainment. But Dr. Amy’s biggest critics don’t come from from those women. Dr Amy’s critics — for example myself, who notices her memes and discourse contained one sexist, gender stereotyping paradigm after another— come from the middle class, university educated parents. Who (all women again!) are immediately then labeled as having D-K and acting ‘entitled’. So until I see otherwise (such as Dr Amy actually addressing my analysis of the sexism in her images and in her unsubstantiated rants against women) I’m going to conclude that her ‘diagnosis of D-K ‘ for any of her critics (self included) is just another way of silencing them or stonewalling them or passive-agressively refusing to address criticism at all. I’m not buying it. I see no more evidence of D-K in my own posts or those of any other critic than I do in Dr Amy’s rants herself. Try again, Doctor. Why IS it that you won’t address the sexism and your clear antipathy towards mothers who question what their doctors tell them. After all, a mere fort years ago, your profession was telling everyone it was okay—even beneficial—to smoke. You do not belong to a priestly caste. There is nothing inherently special about a medical degree that allows you to comment with any authority at all on social behaviour. It’s just a bigoted rant, isn’t it?

          • Chi
            September 9, 2016 at 4:05 am #

            Okay anecdotal evidence time.

            1) The MAJORITY of anti-vaxxers I’ve encountered are women.

            2) It’s not that we’re disparaging against women who question what their doctors tell them. By all means, ask questions, get reassurances. Our beef are with these women who think looking up websites by cranks that reaffirm their fears about vaccines makes them a researcher on a par with those who actually DO research vaccine safety. THAT is what Dunning-Kruger refers to.

            Can you see the difference between a poorer, less educated women who just wants to ask questions and make sure she is getting the correct information, as opposed to affluent, more well-educated (usually white) women who spend too much time on the internet getting their ‘facts’ from websites like Mercola and NVIC?


          • Wren
            September 9, 2016 at 5:56 am #

            OH! Are you the one who was complaining about sexism from Dr Amy on Facebook? Please show me the sexism. Use crayons.

          • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya
            September 9, 2016 at 7:33 am #

            Yes it’s her. That day was “sexism day” because she was “writing an article”. Not sure what our theme is today!

          • Sonja Henie
            September 9, 2016 at 9:25 am #

            Yes, it’s always a woman who has a baby, though I did read an article just last night about a woman to man trans who had a baby.

          • Empliau
            September 9, 2016 at 11:58 am #

            Horsesh!t. Fort(y) years ago was 1976. Doctors were not encouraging smoking at the dawn of disco. I was in grade school in the 1960s – fifty years ago – and well remember the lungmobile that came to schools, where we kids filed solemnly past samples of healthy (pink) and grey (smoker’s) lungs. Try again. You claim to be educated, try getting your facts right.

          • Maud Pie
            September 9, 2016 at 12:25 pm #

            Undoubtedly LJ’s preference for straw man arguments skews her beliefs concerning the sufficiency of anti-smoking education. One cigarette probably isn’t enough to cause lung or heart disease, but her army of straw men could be decimated.

          • Wren
            September 9, 2016 at 5:55 am #

            Talked to people?

            I would still love to know where you found these American women who had to pay for births in the UK.

          • Sonja Henie
            September 9, 2016 at 8:50 am #

            I’m sure!

        • CSN0116
          September 8, 2016 at 4:53 pm #

          Omg the mouth diarrhea… and your responses are so long, all the time. And you fucking ramble. So much that you just *have* to get out to assert your abilities! 😀

          Dr. A is a new addiction for you? Can you move on to the next population in need of your PhD intellect soon?

          • LJ McDowall
            September 9, 2016 at 2:50 am #

            Because the topic is in fact complex and cannot be dealt with in Dr Amy Simplistic Black-or-White Them-and-Us Extremist Soundbite? Try again.

        • Bombshellrisa
          September 8, 2016 at 5:07 pm #

          Morecambe Bay and Royal Oldham hospitals and Sheena Byrom’s disgusting behavior. That is what can happen with midwifery led care in hospitals.

          • LJ McDowall
            September 9, 2016 at 3:06 am #

            I had a very positive experience in childbirth…however I think Dr Kitty might just have answered my question ‘when seeking care from the NHS, is it better to have ‘lawyer’ rather than ‘doctor’ listed as your occupation?
            Side-eye and judgy face is quite common. Parents report it all the time when they request alternative vaccine schedules, for example.

            During childbirth, I was treated very well, my sister, in another part of Scotland, was not. We still have problems here having our wishes respected. The NHS is not perfect by a long shot. NHS Choices offers no choice at all.

            Even so, with obstetrics, given I don’t know a single American woman who has had a positive experience with the American standard of care. “Your bodily autonomy goes out the window” one told me “you have to fight for every scrap of dignity you can.” And her husband and birth partner was a pediatrician.

          • Chi
            September 9, 2016 at 3:19 am #

            They get the side-eye for alternative vaccine schedules because the current scientific consensus is that the current schedule is both safe and effective. You know what a consensus is right? Where the majority of the ones who make said schedule based on all the current available research/studies agree on the literature?

            The difference between vaccines and the BFHI is that vaccines has reams and reams of research to SHOW that there is a PROVEN benefit to administering them – the reduction of disease incidence and subsequent reductions in disease morbidity/mortality.

            With the BFHI the scientific literature on breast-feeding is weak and inconclusive meaning that it is immoral to bully new mothers, starve infants by denying formula, all in the name of the ‘breast is best’ dogma.

          • LJ McDowall
            September 9, 2016 at 3:23 am #

            And yet we know that vaccines are not safe for everyone, all of the time.

            You’re missing the fact that a parent is thinking of then good of their individual child. The NHS thinks in terms of the greater good.

            But show me just one instance where the the NHS will put the good of my (hypothetical) individual child over the greater good. The NHS and the British Government don’t actually care that some children have reactions to vaccines, or that in some families there is a history of children having reactions to vaccines. They would rather those children be injured than not vaccinated. The Greater Good.

          • Chi
            September 9, 2016 at 3:36 am #

            My younger brother had a severe reaction to his second DTaP vaccine. He is now contraindicated from receiving boosters of that particular vaccine and if he needs a tetanus shot then he needs to get a single.

            That is what his doctors decided. So they are quite willing to let him slide on that.

            However at this point in time there is no way of telling which kids will have a reaction – no one else in my family ever has – and which ones won’t. The chances of a severe reaction are 1 in 1 million. That’s less than the odds of being struck by lightning.

            But if a child has a legitimate reaction then yeah, fine, give them an exemption. That means you should be advocating for as many other people to be vaccinated as possible because that hypothetical child is now dependent on herd immunity to protect them from diseases that maim and kill.

            If you fear a minuscule risk like 1 in 1 million then you must never drive a car because you have a higher risk of being in a car accident than having an adverse vaccine reaction.

            This article here explains vaccine stats:


            I recommend you read it carefully.

          • Who?
            September 9, 2016 at 4:55 am #

            Tell me one thing that is safe for everyone, all the time.

            Your drive to the doctor for vaccinations is far more likely to cause injury than the vaccines while you are there.

          • demodocus
            September 9, 2016 at 1:26 pm #

            Heck, around here walking is more dangerous. You could get hit by a car, a tree limb, or even a brick

          • fiftyfifty1
            September 9, 2016 at 8:01 am #

            “You’re missing the fact that a parent is thinking of then good of their individual child. The NHS thinks in terms of the greater good.”

            Oh, nobody here is missing that fact! Everybody knows anti-vax parents are selfish. They don’t wanna inconvenience themselves! They don’t wanna see their precious snowflakes cry or deal with their fevers the next day! No not them! Let those other sucker parents go to the trouble of getting their kids vaccinated! Let the Government worry about the greater good! Anti-vax parents are perfectly content to mooch off of herd immunity, while they endanger others.

          • LJ McDowall
            September 9, 2016 at 9:05 am #

            Again, you have no real evidence to support “everyone knows ______” To quote Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ‘there is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.’ There is no sociological evidence (at least none offered here) to suggest that parents concerned over vaccine safety are inherently more or less selfish or entitled than any other parent. Until comprehensive peer reviewed studies are done into the reasons why parents refuse, you have no way of substantiating this at it’s just a bigoted rant. Sorry to keep emphasising this. Neither Dr Amy nor anyone else has offered any studies at all into social behaviour. Until you do, that’s just supposition based on your world-view.

          • moto_librarian
            September 9, 2016 at 10:26 am #

            If there has been no history of serious vaccine reaction in the past or in your family (and by serious, I don’t mean a sore arm or a fever), you are being a selfish, self-centered ass by demanding an alternative schedule.

          • fiftyfifty1
            September 9, 2016 at 5:19 pm #

            “There is no sociological evidence (at least none offered here) to suggest that parents concerned over vaccine safety are inherently more or less selfish or entitled than any other parent.”

            Well, you have a good point. I don’t know whether they are more selfish *in general*. But many of them clearly state (even gloat) that they know they are mooching off of herd immunity while others parents shoulder the burdens, costs and inconveniences of immunizations. Besides, self is as selfish does, no? They may or may not see themselves as motivated by selfishness, but they put others at risk unnecessarily. That’s the essence of selfishness.

          • Erin
            September 9, 2016 at 11:00 am #

            I had my first convulsion shortly after the Measles vaccine. My Mother was advised to not to give me any more vaccinations as a result. I had several more severe convulsions and ended up taking Epilim until I was 5 to prevent them.

            When I had my son, both my GP and my Health Visitor raised the option of either delaying his MMR or not giving it at all without me asking or giving any impression that I wasn’t sure.

            In the end we went ahead with the vaccinations as scheduled because my Father has Lung Cancer and we go to lots of baby & toddler groups with lots of pre-vaccination age children but at no point did I feel that the “NHS” was trying to push me into vaccinations, in fact I was given the opposite impression.

          • FormerPhysicist
            September 9, 2016 at 7:03 am #

            Oh god lord, you “don’t know a single American woman who has had a positive experience with the American standard of care”? How many American women do you know who have give birth in America? Because that’s pretty much all the moms I know, and mostly we’re pretty satisfied with the care we got.

          • LJ McDowall
            September 9, 2016 at 9:07 am #

            As I said, I can only go with the accounts I’ve heard. However, if you’ve had a positive experience, then I’ll have to modify my view, now, won’t I? That’s because I’m NOT an ideological extremist. I suspect though it’s a spectrum of experience ranging from the very bad to the very good, and that depends much on where you live, how much your insurance covers and your social class.

          • FormerPhysicist
            September 9, 2016 at 10:24 am #

            Yes, I had a very good experience.
            You did miss one very strong dependence – one’s expectations. Both of birth, and of the doctor/hospital. If you are hanging out with women who expect an easy, painless vaginal birth, it may be that many of them are dissatisfied. If you come hang with those of us who know our bodies aren’t perfect and aren’t designed and just want to get through this process and have a healthy, live child you might get a very different perspective.
            My body had “failed” multiple times before my first pregnancy. I wasn’t expecting this process to be without problem, and I am very grateful to the doctors that saved me and my children. Those doctors aren’t perfect people, but I’m very happy with the care they gave me. Even though more that one was rather gruff (at best).

          • MaineJen
            September 9, 2016 at 10:50 am #

            In that case, I had a good experience too. 🙂 Twice, so that counts as 2.

          • momofone
            September 9, 2016 at 8:18 am #

            That’s interesting. I’m an American, and I had a wonderful experience with the American standard of care. My dignity was respected at every step, and the three requests I made before my c-section were honored, though they were not typical for the hospital where I delivered.

          • Heidi
            September 9, 2016 at 9:16 am #

            I’m curious how her dignity and autonomy were violated. Personally, I knew when I got pregnant that if I wanted the best care I was going to have to let medical professionals do a little poking and prodding. NO ONE forced me to do anything, mind you. I could have sat at home and never sought prenatal care. I could have refused important tests even if I sought prenatal care, but I wouldn’t have expected my OBs to sit by and not say anything to me about it! My first appointment at 7 weeks, a nurse practitioner sat me down and explained the next 33 weeks to me. She gave me a packet that I could refer to if I ever got confused about what would go on at each appointment.

            I’m sorry but as an actual American, not a Scottish person thinking they know so much about our “standard of care,” I don’t think a pressing issue is the standard of care if you get care. I got great care. My biggest problem as an American with health insurance was narrowing down who I wanted as my OB with over a 100 options to choose from within a reasonable driving distance. Our biggest problem as a country is getting everyone here medical care. We’re working on that.

            Midwife care is a whole other can of worms. We have certified nurse midwives and they genereally don’t do homebirths and probably never will because of the cost of med mal insurance. Even if someone knows what they are going, inevitably it’s riskier to do it at home. We are a large country that relies heavily on cars to get to and fro. Some of us live in really dense places while others live in sparsely populated places where a hospital is really far away. Neither of these bode well in an emergency. You’re either stuck in bumper to bumper traffic or you are miles and miles away from emergency services.

          • Sonja Henie
            September 9, 2016 at 9:21 am #

            You’re basing your bashing of the US experience on one person and some US cable TV shows? What do you watch-“SIxteen and Pregnant”; “I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant”, others?

          • Bombshellrisa
            September 9, 2016 at 9:25 am #

            Do you even know what happened at Morecambe Bay or do you think 12 preventable deaths is no big deal?
            There are people who are happy with their experience when eating in a restaurant that doesn’t pass health inspections, the fact that they are “happy” does not mean they are safe. Plenty of women are unhappy with the fact that they were robbed of their bodily autonomy by the NHS and it’s midwives. From not being able to have consultant led care, not being able to get an epidural and one mother whose midwives decided that they needed their cuppa and then the baby would be ready to be born. The Better Birth initiative wording makes it clear that midwives and their promotion of “normal birth” is the aim.

          • moto_librarian
            September 9, 2016 at 10:24 am #

            You should be judged for asking for alternative vaccine schedules in the absence of medical contraindication.

          • An Actual Attorney
            September 9, 2016 at 11:35 am #

            Hi, nice to meet you. American woman. Gave birth in America. Know lots of American women: most of the women I know are American. Anyone to whom I’m close enough to discuss it has had great birth experiences — in a variety of settings.

            I certainly loved both the times I gave birth.

          • Megan
            September 9, 2016 at 9:04 pm #

            Hi. Also Anerican. Had a lovely experience 6 months ago delivering in a US hospital. Scheduled prelabor CS. Great recovery. My best friend also delivered 6 months ago vaginally and agreed. Now you know two others.

          • corblimeybot
            September 15, 2016 at 9:47 am #

            I had a positive experience not dying of blood loss and HELLP in a American hospital. It was positive when my child’s life was saved by an ob and then pediatricians. An obstetrician held my hand and comforted me while I pushed. Another obstetrician consoled me for having gotten so sick, like I was her kid sister. A nurse took a damned half hour out of her day to just sit with me and answer my questions.

            FYI I gave birth in a gigantic major hospital, not a super-cuddly birth center. The exact kind of hospital that NCB people act like is some kind of baby-factory torture chamber.

        • Charybdis
          September 8, 2016 at 5:21 pm #

          “A relaxed and respectful attitude to birthing plans”. “The solution is to give women a range of safe options.”

          The solution is for people who know not of what they speak to stop acting like they are a sage font of knowledge. From all I’ve heard about, as well as read about, I would NEVER opt for midwife care, a home birth or a home birth with midwife care. I’m sure they are all fine and dandy for those that lean towards that view of childbirth, but the NCB woo has taken hold and I am NOT buying into it. Sorry, not sorry. There are too many things that can go horribly wrong in a very short amount of time and “10 minutes from the hospital” is not acceptable if there is a cord prolapse, PPH or shoulder dystocia. The doctors, nurses and midwives are NOT cruise directors, spa staff or concierges. They are not there to cater to your every whim, tut-tut you, pat your hand, rub your tummy or allow you the luxury of “thinking about” the CS you need NOW because those evil monitors you have to wear have shown large decelerations in the baby’s heart rate that are NOT REBOUNDING after contractions and this has continued because you “don’t feel anything wrong with the baby, using your super intuition”. When shit hits the fan medically, there is often not time for lengthy explanations or a discussion of possible alternatives. A debrief after the situation is controlled would not be a bad thing in cases like that, so that an explanation is given to the mother and family as to why things happened the way they did.

          Your NHS system scares the holy shit out of me,

          • MB
            September 8, 2016 at 8:40 pm #

            US here. I guess my thoughts on this are very similar to yours, but a little different. I think whether US or UK, midwives (and even some OB’s!) will adhere to a certain ideology, and because of that:

            1.) It colors their ability to be honest about risk, as they attempt to convince you to make the decision that most ideologically matches their own. Or, in the worst cases, perhaps the applicable information is omitted in entirety to circumvent your right to informed consent. At worst, it has the potential to become an authoritarian method of administering health care.

            2.) Their anti-interventionist attitude fosters a behavior which, by nature, will court risk. i.e. – How close can we get to risk before pulling the plug on this situation and going with a c-section.

            I think that it’s important to note I still believe there is value in midwifery for a certain group of people whose values and ideologies match those of the midwife, and/or would avoid a c-section and those particular set of risks for personal reasons at all cost.

            But in my case, I didn’t realize when I went with a midwife that it was essentially signing away a certain amount of my decision making rights concerning risk to my body, my future, and my baby. And I guess education is the most important thing. If a midwife were to have explained to me in the beginning: we’re going to do whatever we can to avoid a c-section, I think I would’ve thought twice about my decision to use one for my health care. Avoidance of a c-section was not my impetus for choosing a midwife. I’m well aware now and was even then that they are life-saving, avert certain risk, and that there’s nothing wrong with them.

            LOL – Anyway, long comment short, I agree with you! You couldn’t pay me to give birth over there where midwifery is the default. But there or here, I think there are some very serious flaws with medicine that adheres to ideology over science.

          • Wren
            September 9, 2016 at 5:52 am #

            I’ll be honest, I have had no problems with NHS maternity care, except one bitchy midwife who sent me home earlier than planned after my first birth, a C-section. Suddenly being told you are being discharged at 6 pm after planning for the next day did not go over well, especially as my husband absolutely had to work the next day. The medical care and midwifery care through two pregnancies, with 1 C-section and one VBAC, was just fine though and I cannot complain about the free fertility treatment that got me there.

            You cannot judge either system solely by their failures.

        • Dr Kitty
          September 8, 2016 at 6:11 pm #


          U.K. GP here.
          I got exactly the opposite of a relaxed and respectful attitude to my preferred birth plan from every single midwife I saw, bar one.

          Of course, my birth plan was to have an ERCS and not attempt a VBAC.

          The obstetricians were respectful once I explained that I considered the risks of VBAC unacceptable, the midwives continued to pester me to change my mind, with plenty of side-eye and judgey-face.

          The NHS supports homebirth, unmedicated birth, vaginal birth and non intervention.

          Try asking for consultant led care instead of midwife led care, or CEFM during labour as a low risk woman, or IOL before 40+7 without a medical indication, or an epidural before 6cm, or MRCS, or a third trimester scan without an obvious risk factor.

          The NHS can be just as paternalistic, just with different priorities.

          One of our regular posters has had a hell of a time having her wishes respected for her second birth.

          • LJ McDowall
            September 8, 2016 at 6:29 pm #

            Oh I know that, which is why I opted for the home birth (but was glad for the intervention when I needed it). The NHS is not a perfect system, and I’m critical of it, but I would still far rather give birth under the UK standard of care than the US one. My friends didn’t even get proper breast-feeding support in US hospitals.

          • Erin
            September 9, 2016 at 11:17 am #

            In many ways, I’d have loved the US version with this pregnancy. No one telling me that a vbac would be healing or that failing that I should be pursuing a gentle section when I’ve expressly said I have zero interest in that. Sick of having to explain why I don’t want these things and how triggering I find arguing over what I want to do with my body.

            Maybe I could even find a truly paternalistic hospital which still has a baby nursery so I could get a good night’s sleep or failing that, my husband would definitely be allowed to stay.

            They might even feed me unlike the NHS hospital I delivered in whose determination for me to have my son vaginally put him in the NICU (waters broken for 81 hours) and gave me three meals in as many days and that’s including the post baby toast.

            The NHS is brilliant in many ways, my Father’s cancer treatment has been amazing but maternity care if you want or need something other than “normal” is horrendous in my experience and that of my friends.

        • anh
          September 9, 2016 at 4:51 am #

          you’re wrong. Americans do not have to pay for births in the UK. We can use the NHS.

        • Wren
          September 9, 2016 at 5:46 am #

          We charge Americans to give birth in the UK? You know 4-5 who have paid to give birth in the UK rather than return to the US? Really?

          I’m an American in the UK and paid exactly nothing. The vast majority of American women who give birth in the UK do so because they are living the in the UK for an extended period, in which case the NHS will cover them. I spent nearly 2 years here as a student, when I was covered by the NHS, and then married a Brit, which also led to coverage. I have a close American friend who is living here who is also covered, because her husband is employed in the UK. Not being covered here when giving birth would be a rare case, such as an early birth during a vacation to the UK.

          • Who?
            September 9, 2016 at 7:58 am #

            Or an American who thought all care was private care, based on their own experience, and therefore ‘went private’, not realising they could, for free, go public. Or assuming that ‘free’ meant ‘inferior’ or even ‘bad’.

          • Wren
            September 9, 2016 at 9:21 am #

            That is possible, but 4-5 women who didn’t grasp the whole concept of the NHS? Seems highly unlikely. It would take a huge amount of work to avoid knowing about the NHS and the basics of how it works.

        • fiftyfifty1
          September 9, 2016 at 7:51 am #

          “and for the love of the baby Jesus, what is that shit about pressing down on a woman’s stomach.”

          What do you mean by press down on a woman’s stomach? Do you mean suprapubic pressure as part of the HELPERR protocol? Because they do that in the UK as well. Or do you mean fundal pressure/massage postpartum for bleeds, because that’s done in the UK too. Obviously fundal pressure during labor is not done by American OBs, even though it was/is a common practice with traditional birth attendants. See Jeevan’s blog The Learner for stories of how midwives do it with disastrous results.

        • Wren
          September 9, 2016 at 9:10 am #

          I’m guessing this will not be addressed now, but could you please explain why you know 4-5 American women who chose to pay for a birth in the UK?

          Americans living in the UK would be covered by the NHS if they are living here legally. Americans visiting would generally not be allowed to travel close to term. I know I had to provide evidence I was not too close to term to fly with both of my pregnancies. Anyone here visiting who happened to go into labour extremely early would not have arranged a midwife-led birth in the UK.

          In other words: your story makes no sense.

          • Mattie
            September 9, 2016 at 9:11 am #

            Is it possible women are choosing to pay for independent midwifery in the UK? They tend to be home births, and while the midwives are just as qualified as NHS midwives, they do sometimes take the women that are risked out of NHS home birth

          • Wren
            September 9, 2016 at 9:15 am #

            That is very possible, but in that case nationality is irrelevant.

            Americans are not routinely charged to give birth in the UK. As an American who has given birth in the UK on the NHS twice now, and with plenty of American ex-pat friends here in the UK, I am very certain of that.

          • Mattie
            September 9, 2016 at 9:19 am #

            yeh, I have US friends over here who got NHS treatment while studying, and who get it while they’re living here 🙂 and yeh, nationality is totally irrelevant in the case of independent midwifery

          • Sonja Henie
            September 9, 2016 at 9:18 am #

            You mean she’s lying? Why the idea! (That question occurred to me, too, yesterday.)

          • demodocus
            September 9, 2016 at 1:10 pm #

            i’d choose free here over uninsured a long plane ride away

        • moto_librarian
          September 9, 2016 at 10:21 am #

          Are you talking about fundal massage during active management of the 3rd stage? Not that I would describe that as “pressing down” on a woman’s stomach, but it’s the only thing that could fit your description that is routine. I believe certain maneuvers to resolve dystopia require pressure, but those are done in emergency situations.

          I’m guessing that if you really know 4-5 American expats, they are the sort of privileged women who think that having a heplock is an intervention that can ruin their birth. I’m guessing they are well-off, and thus have the time to devote to worshipping natural childbirth.

          Personally, I would not want to give birth in the UK. I am living proof that vaginal birth can be extremely dangerous and result in long-term damage. Had I not been in a hospital during my M first delivery (unmedicated, no Pitocin, SROM, and not even a heplock), I wouldn’t be here. In the next couple of years, I hope to have major surgery to repair the rectocele and have an interstim device implanted to alleviate the bowel urgency and incontinence related to the damage caused by the surgical repair of a cervical laceration that was causing a major pph.

        • demodocus
          September 9, 2016 at 1:15 pm #

          No one touched my stomach except to adjust the monitors during either labor, both in the U.S. less than 3 years ago

      • CSN0116
        September 8, 2016 at 4:36 pm #

        1. It’s my observation and derived opinion
        2. I never claimed it was universal, just an increasing trend
        3. Not sure what you think newb means, but I meant freshly graduated, which recently graduated nursing students are. The term is applied accurately for my purposes.
        4. I will never “open my mind” and entertain a nurse-mother refusing to vaccinate her child as acceptable. Yes, I know better. And Dunning Kruger is why she defends her position.

        • Sonja Henie
          September 8, 2016 at 5:37 pm #

          Maybe you should have taught her better.

          • CSN0116
            September 8, 2016 at 8:40 pm #

            Cute, but she was never my student.

          • Sonja Henie
            September 8, 2016 at 10:54 pm #

            Someone should have taught her better.

          • midwestmoderate
            September 8, 2016 at 11:08 pm #

            Boy you guys are just vicious, not helpful, just snarky and rude.

          • Sonja Henie
            September 8, 2016 at 11:23 pm #

            I apologized. Something the AV crowd NEVER, EVER does!

          • LJ McDowall
            September 9, 2016 at 9:01 am #

            The AV crowd, as you put it, is not one homogeneous group with a corporate personality, and more than the ProV crowd is. With each, you have a spectrum of views, a spectrum of voices, and a spectrum of people ranging from those who constantly use slurs and personal insults in lieu of an argument during discussions, to those who take nuanced positions, to those so entrenched they cannot see the other side’s point of view. Of course people apologise. I do, if occasionally someone slurs me and I make a personal remark rather than attacking their argument. We none of us are immune to assholiness. Rational, compassionate humans learn how to be gracious, say sorry when they need to, and accept apologies when they’re given.

          • Sonja Henie
            September 9, 2016 at 9:50 am #

            The AV crowd on these forums is very arrogant, never wrong, and will never apologize. I’ve been doing these forums for a while now.

          • LJ McDowall
            September 9, 2016 at 2:58 am #

            She’s absolutely right. This is for why we have the Vaccine Damage Benefit. But this of course is congitive dissonance.

            “All vaccines are safe for everyone all of the time! Anyone who says differently is a quack or ignorant and entitled.”

            “Well, we have the Vaccine Damage Benefit, so clearly, they’re not safe for everyone, all of the time, or we wouldn’t have the Vaccine Damage Benefit.”

            “ANTIVAXXING QUACK!”

            “But we have the Vaccine Damage Benefit?


            “For people who hav ebeen damaged by vaccines?”


            “Because vaccines cannot be safe for everyone all of the time …or we wouldn’t have this?”

            “Prove it! Prove it! Three journal articles with reference to the scientific consensus! Prove it! Quack Quack Ingnorant Entitled Anti-Vaxxing Trump Supporting Quack!”

            “Calm down”


            This is what you get, when you allow extremists and those with something to gain financially to control this debate.

          • Nick Sanders
            September 9, 2016 at 3:09 am #

            All vaccines are safe for everyone all of the time!

            Not one of us has ever said that,

          • LJ McDowall
            September 9, 2016 at 3:19 am #


          • Nick Sanders
            September 9, 2016 at 3:20 am #


          • Sue
            September 9, 2016 at 5:47 am #

            Correct, Nick. I have never heard anyone, anywhere, make that claim.

            But let’s not let reality stand in the way of some good grandstanding.

          • September 9, 2016 at 8:34 am #

            Time to do this again, I guess.

            I, No Marbles, agree that vaccines are not 100% safe.

            @disqus_nDbzlLOHy2:disqus, @disqus_sSPvohCccP:disqus @reasonablehank:disqus

          • Sonja Henie
            September 9, 2016 at 8:48 am #

            Agreed! Isn’t this ridiculous that we have to say this every now and then?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            September 9, 2016 at 9:01 am #

            It’s because the anti-Vax quacks live on strawmen.

          • Chi
            September 9, 2016 at 3:12 am #

            I don’t have access to the figures right now but when you do the math, the amount of compensation given out for legitimate ‘vaccine injuries’ (and I’m not talking about the things anti-vaxxers claim are vaccine injuries, like asthma, autism etc etc etc) it comes out to something like 30cents per dose?

            It’s not much at any rate because accepted vaccine injuries are few and far between.

            Also claiming that there is a financial gain in vaccines is redundant. Of course there’s financial gain, at the end of the day, the ones producing them are still businesses and still want to turn a profit. But they still make FAR more money off other products, such as heart medication and insulin for diabetics.

            And the ones who peddle alternative medications don’t charge for their services? Or the snake oil they recommend??

            How is it bad for one company to make money off life saving medicines, but bad for quacks to make money off fear and charlatanism?

          • LJ McDowall
            September 9, 2016 at 3:18 am #

            Again, that’s not actually what I said. The continual ad nauseum thing we hear this that vaccines are safe for everyone all of the time. ANyone who says differently (like the nurse above who pointed out correctly this is a FACTUALLY incorrect statement) is called a quack or incompetant. When you point out instances where vaccine damage benefit is paid out, they say ‘oh well its rare’ Yes. But that’s not the point. The point is that evidence was presented that the argument “vaccines are safe for everyone all of the time” is wrong, the person who says that gets abused (often horrifically) when in fact, they are right. Cognitive dissonance. Vaccines are not safe for everyone, all of the time. Any scientist, nurse or doctor who points this out is simply stating a fact and does not deserve to be abused. In fact no one should be abused in this debate but it’s a very common feature. Extremism shouldnt be allowed to control what is a very complex debate.

          • Chi
            September 9, 2016 at 4:12 am #

            Nothing is safe for everyone, all of the time. That is a fact of life. Certain foods are fine for most people, but others have life-threatening reactions to. Like peanuts.

            And, like with vaccines, most of the time you can’t tell which children will have a food allergy, until they actually eat the food and have a reaction. So would you preemptively never give your hypothetical kid peanuts? Or shellfish?

            Life is a series of risks. Nothing is 100% safe. Demanding that vaccines be 100% safe for everyone all the time is unreasonable. Especially since great strides have been made in even the last decade to make them even more safe and less likely to trigger adverse reactions.

          • LJ McDowall
            September 9, 2016 at 4:20 am #

            I didn’t given my non-hypothetical kid peanuts when she was little (under three). As a mum, that was my prerogative, a decision I took because I was concerned about food allergies and didn’t want her to get one, given we have a family history of asthma and allergies. I did a little reading, and I thought there was no harm in eliminating peanuts for a while to be on the safe side. She can have them now, and she’s fine. But then autoimmunity is such a big problem these days isn’t it? What with one in eleven children having asthma in the UK and a 615% increase in hospital admissions for anaphylaxis in 20 years. I do hope they find out soon what’s causing it.

            Of course you can tell which children are more likely. Family medical history for one. Note that one major reason for all these ‘white, entitled parents’ to refuse a vaccine is a negative history with vaccines. Which you still don’t seem to accept may be a factor in a parent declining all or part of the schedule. But if you don’t record the reaction (as would appear to be the case) because you’ve labeled parental observation as ‘anecdotal’ which can (ergo) be ignored, then you don’t have enough data to predict vaccine injury. Do you?

          • Wren
            September 9, 2016 at 5:41 am #

            Interestingly, there is a move to exposing children to peanuts younger now due to delaying exposure not correlating to a decrease in allergies and seeing lower rates of peanut allergies in populations that eat peanuts younger. Hmm…

            As for negative history with vaccines, a little more questioning often leads to that “negative history” being a minor reaction such as swelling at the injection site or babies seeming more unsettled that day or the day after. Fainting with Gardasil is a common one too.

          • yugaya
            September 9, 2016 at 5:44 am #

            “Family medical history for one.”

            Family history of adverse vaccine reactions is one of the most commonly mistaken false contraindication. Jeezus istenem what a sadly perfect illustration of this blog you are:.


          • September 11, 2016 at 10:52 am #

            But the CA SB277 law does allow for the physician to write a medical contraindication based on vaccine injuries based on family history. The law is more lenient than science.

          • yugaya
            September 11, 2016 at 1:46 pm #

            Vaccine injury does not equal adverse reaction which is what she was yelping about. Majority of people who do suffer severe adverse reaction to a vaccine will not suffer any permanent injury.

            Chances of having vaccine injury that is documented as such in your family medical history are one in millions.

          • September 11, 2016 at 2:20 pm #

            Yup, thank you. I was just pointing out that the law is far more lenient than has been made out!

          • Sue
            September 9, 2016 at 8:58 am #

            “I did a little reading”

            But you didn’t read the material that suggests that LATE introduction of peanuts has increased allergic reactions?


          • Sonja Henie
            September 9, 2016 at 9:12 am #

            Exactly what I was thinking! It pays to pay attention to the messenger. Just who is saying this, etc. Dunning-Kruger again for LJ!

          • demodocus
            September 9, 2016 at 1:00 pm #

            to be fair, i think that information came out only 3 or 4 years ago; her kid’s likely older than that

          • Nick Sanders
            September 9, 2016 at 12:15 pm #

            I didn’t given my non-hypothetical kid peanuts when she was little (under three). As a mum, that was my prerogative, a decision I took because I was concerned about food allergies and didn’t want her to get one,

            While that may work with peanuts, it’s actually a bad idea with vaccines. In addition to the primary concern of leaving the child vulnerable for longer than necessary, some vaccines have a greater likelihood of provoking a reaction the older one is when receiving.


          • September 9, 2016 at 4:20 pm #

            That works fine for things that only affect your kid. It gets a little more complicated with things that affect others too.

          • Mike Stevens
            September 11, 2016 at 10:59 am #

            In fact the evidence is that delaying the introduction of peanuts into the diet INCREASES the risks of allergy.

            Mommy instinct isn’t always right.

          • Sonja Henie
            September 9, 2016 at 9:10 am #

            “The continual ad nauseum thing we hear this that vaccines are safe for everyone all of the time.”

            Said no one, ever.

          • LJ McDowall
            September 9, 2016 at 6:17 am #

            Once again, your use of the word quack indicates “anyone with a medical degree who disagrees with the extreme position”. I’ll deal with this first.

            Sam: All Scotsmen drink whisky.
            Bob: My uncle Angus from Aberdeen doesn’t drink whisky.
            Sam: Then he is not a true Scotsman.

            This I’m sure you recognise, is the No True Scotsman fallacy.

            Sam: All scientists support the idea that the vaccination schedule is safe.
            Bob: These scientists Neuroscience department at the University of British Colombia are scientists, and they don’t agree with that premise.
            Sam: Then they are not true scientists. They are QUACKS!

            The No True Doctor Fallacy.

            In essence, the application of this fallacy allows the extremist position (espoused by Dr Amy and some of you here) to shut down any critique, discussion, examination of the ONGOING research into autoimmnunity and other scientific areas related to the topic. Every scientist who has reservations about the general statement “the vaccine schedule is safe” is immediately labeled a quack.

            This is what happens when you allow extremists to control the debate. And if financial gain is redundant, then the continual accusation that scientists and physicians who share concerns over vaccine safety and treat their patients accordingly are “trying to profit” from “gullible people” is also erroneous.

            Some of those doctors developed an interest because they, like other parents, saw their child have an immune reaction to a vaccine and were subsequently told “No! No! You didn’t see what you thought you saw!”
            “I saw my child having an immune response, after which they were never the same.”
            “No! QUACK!”
            And suddenly the physcian, after years of medical school, clincial training, and respect from his/her colleagues, finds themselves like the proverbial fish in Finding Nemo, only instead of the Seagulls saying “Mine! Mine!” it’s “Quack! Quack!”
            To which I can only say this: if you use the word quack, then it is a slur, you’re simplifying (again) a complex debate, and you are being abusive.

            As to the legal side: you can;t use how many people get compensation as a reiable statistic of how many poeple experience a vaccine injury. Legal processes are long, complex, many claimants give up, run out of money, can’t afford an expert to ‘prove’ they have the injury, and at least in the UK, you have to prove not whether there was impairment, but whether there was 60% impairment. So if you suffered a vaccine injjury and they deemed your impairment was 40% or 20% it won’t get recorded in the stats. Ergo vaccine injury is (probably) a lot more common than the cases that eventually are paid out on, usually after decades of struggle on the part of vulnerable families. But I suppose it’s D-K again for me to draw upon my legal training and experience to say that, right?

          • Wren
            September 9, 2016 at 6:26 am #

            No one said all scientists agree on vaccines. There is a scientific and medical consensus on them though.

            No one said vaccines are safe for everyone. Medical exemptions are well known and no one here objects to them. The simplest example is vaccines made with eggs. No one here, no one in agreement with the consensus, no one I have ever heard of even argues that those with an egg allergy should have those vaccines. However, as some people truly cannot have them, reaching a reasonable percentage vaccinated to achieve herd immunity means the rest need to be vaccinated.

            Yes, there is a limit on vaccine damage payouts in the UK. Shocking, ain’t it?

          • LJ McDowall
            September 9, 2016 at 6:42 am #

            No, it’s not shocking. It’s expected, it’s the way our legal system ‘works’ to ensure the bulk of potential claimants are kept away … but it is disgusting. It isn’t just the 60% impairment threshold that’s disgusting but how difficult it is to access justice for these families. Most give up. My point is: you cannot use the levels of pay-outs as a reliable indicator of the prevalence of vaccine injury. Every time I see a cynical, snitty demand for a parent to ‘prove’ their child has a vaccine injury by evidencing a pay-out makes my blood boil. I usually chime in with ‘that parent doesn’t owe you shit, mate’. That might not be the case in these discussions, but we’ve all seen that sort of thing go on elsewhere. I HOPE no one here would be that cruel or cynical to any parent contributing to these discussions who discloses they have a vaccine-injured child and has been unable to access justice.

          • Wren
            September 9, 2016 at 8:54 am #

            I have never seen a demand for a parent to prove their child has a vaccine injury by evidencing a payout. Ever.

            Even if there were a payout, a legal decision is not evidence of a medical causation.

          • September 10, 2016 at 10:50 pm #

            I have asked for the NVICP number or VAERs number sometimes.

          • Sonja Henie
            September 9, 2016 at 9:09 am #

            You’d have a little more credibility if you’d quit quacking.

            The VICP program in the US does not work exactly the same as the UK’s. Dunning-Kruger to you again.

          • J.B.
            September 9, 2016 at 9:17 am #

            My kid had some 103+ fevers after vaccines, and also had some 103+ fevers for standard viral gook. Sounds kind of like an immune response to me. Isn’t that kind of the point?

          • Chi
            September 9, 2016 at 6:55 pm #

            Did you actually read the link I posted for you. That was written by a law professor and basically she states that it is actually EASIER for people to win in the vaccine claims court than it is to win in regular court. So no, your argument about it being harder to get compensation for a vaccine injury doesn’t fly.

            Also I will continue to use the word quack because when it comes to the likes of Dr Bob Sears (who is now under investigation by the medical board for his anti-vaccine stance) who uses fearmongering about vaccines to line his own damn pockets (he doesn’t take insurance AND has his own book on the subject) then they deserve to be called out for what they are.

            They are not ‘questioning’. They are fearmongering without a SHRED of peer-reviewed evidence to back it up. And in doing so they are taking advantage of gullible, fearful parents.

            Anyone who pushes supplements or detoxes is also a quack because again, no scientific evidence to support them.

            So yes you can say I’m slurring to dodge the issue. But really you’re accusing me of dodging the issue when you’re the one who cannot refute the fact that these so called doctors are full of shit and are using their ‘alternative’ position to make money off people like you.

          • J.B.
            September 9, 2016 at 9:14 am #

            Well, the pharmacy companies do have an interest in keeping people alive to continue to take their heart medications and insulin.

          • Amazed
            September 9, 2016 at 3:19 am #

            Ah, the financial interest! The very heart of Dunning-Kruger personified! Congrats, you made it to this revered place. Because Dr Bob, Dr Jay and all the quacks don’t charge for each visit for the vaccines they delay. No financial interest here, no, not at all. And those other ways of making yourself healthy so you won’t need them evil vax? Supplements come to mind. Totally given as free gifts, these ones.

            “All vaccines are safe for everyone all of the time!” said no one here, ever. Well, except for you because you need to misquote people here so you can think yourself this intellectual, wise lady who is so keen on discussing sociology. Word salad at its best!

          • LJ McDowall
            September 9, 2016 at 6:03 am #

            Of course there is no financial interest. How could there be a financial interest involved in this? We know, for we are told, that the MNCs who make vaccines are Benign and do it all for the Greater Good of Humankind. Oh sure, they raise the cost of AIDS medication and EpiPens, but remember, in the case of vaccine manufacture, they undergo a personality switch and stop being profit-driven enterprises and start being wonderful saintly organisations that cross the altruism of Mother Theresa with the sugary platitudes of the cast of Touched By An Angel. Anyone who says differently (referencing things like the cost of EpiPens and AIDS medication and citing unethical business and research practices) is clearly suffering from Dunning-Kruger! Again, I think the D-K accusation is just another way of silencing critique of the industry. Of course there’s financial intrest, which is why I know several American doctors (passionate about the need to vaccinate so we needn’t call them quacks, dear me there ARE a lot of ducks on this page) who absolutely, resolutely refuse to meet with pharma reps. You still haven’t convinced me the accusation of D-K is anything more than yet another side-step of legitimate critique of the medical-industrial complex.

          • Wren
            September 9, 2016 at 6:17 am #

            Fine. We will just go with your assertion that vaccines earn the pharmaceutical companies vastly more than the medications used to treat the illnesses. I could have paid to have my children vaccinated privately in the UK for chicken pox. I looked into it, but hadn’t gotten around to it when they caught it. I spent far more on calpol, nurofen, chicken pox gel and other attempts to deal with the itching than I would have on the vaccination, and that was without any complications. I’m certain the little boy down the street who had multiple seizures when he had chicken pox at the same time cost the NHS far more than the vaccine would have. The NHS pays for the medications, IV fluid, bandages, tubing, etc. they use too.

            Wait, aren’t you in the UK? Why does it matter whether American doctors meet with pharma reps? Why not look at what VPDs cost the NHS vs the cost of vaccines?

          • momofone
            September 9, 2016 at 8:14 am #

            There was no vaccine when I was a kid. I clearly remember the misery of chicken pox, and my mother’s mostly-hidden terror while I was having seizures.

          • September 9, 2016 at 8:34 am #

            Do you have any evidence that anyone here gains financially?

          • Sonja Henie
            September 9, 2016 at 8:49 am #

            Did you learn that watching US cable, too?

            “The Doctors” has some fascinating shows about vaccines.

          • LJ McDowall
            September 9, 2016 at 1:49 pm #


          • Sonja Henie
            September 9, 2016 at 3:17 pm #

            Not everything in Pub Med is reliable. They’re like a library. Plus, I don’t believe you. You got it watching “I’m Sixteen and Pregnant”.

          • J.B.
            September 9, 2016 at 9:11 am #

            Well, if it quacks like a duck,…

        • midwestmoderate
          September 8, 2016 at 5:48 pm #

          I know what “Newbs” means. Students and new nurses don’t like it. The term is derogatory especially with second degree nurses.
          My mother died of Guillain Barre 3 days after the flu and pneumonia vaccine. Not all vaccines are safe for all circumstances and the United States needs to look at their schedule as it is the most aggressive.

          • corblimeybot
            September 8, 2016 at 9:38 pm #

            So you’re one of the crackpot nurses in question then.

          • midwestmoderate
            September 8, 2016 at 10:08 pm #

            That’s nice, someone’s parent dies and they are a crackpot? The medical examiner sent the reaction of my mom and 3 other patients (in the same week) to the VAERS database, not me.
            I teach high level graduate courses. I live EBP everyday. Nothing crackpot about my experience or my scientific approach.
            Sounds like more ranting and unprofessional behavior to me. Typical “eating our young” in this profession.
            BTW – no nursing school I know of would ever suggest that vaccines are not important. That is why we all have to be immunized for basically everything.

          • Sue
            September 8, 2016 at 10:10 pm #

            What, then, was the point of your comment about vaccination, “midwestmoderate”?

          • midwestmoderate
            September 8, 2016 at 11:18 pm #

            That we need to keep asking questions. Thats all.

          • Sonja Henie
            September 9, 2016 at 12:04 am #

            The schedule has been studied and then studied some more. The US does not give the most vaccines of any country. That is a myth I’d expect to see in “Natural News” or “Vac Truth”. I’d expect a professional to look up the schedules of the various countries if they had questions, not just post that meme to the WWW.

          • swbarnes2
            September 9, 2016 at 12:05 am #

            Asking questions is what these moron denialists do. You can’t just ask questions and congratulate yourself on being so super clever. You then have to look at all the evidence collected. That’s a lot more work, and a lot less fun than crowing about how you know more than experts who understand the reasons behind the consensus position.

          • Sue
            September 9, 2016 at 5:46 am #

            And what question is it that you are asking?

          • September 9, 2016 at 8:10 am #

            What does the very first page of VAERs say?

          • Sue
            September 8, 2016 at 10:08 pm #

            The most common cause of post-viral Guillain-Barre’ is influenza infection, which is reduced by vaccination.

            Influenza and pneumococcal infections are also two of the most common causes of death in the elderly. In my part of the world, we are in the middle of the respiratory virus season, and our ED is seeing many frail elderly with respiratory infections.

            I hope your part of the teaching curriculum doesn’t include infectious diseases, immunology or vaccine science.

          • midwestmoderate
            September 8, 2016 at 10:19 pm #

            Stop – You do not know the entire story. But of course you are rushing to judgment. And Guillain-Barre’ can be caused by the flu shot. CDC sites both as causes.
            Actually the leading causes of death in the elderly are
            1.Heart Disease
            2. Cancer
            3. Stroke
            4. COPD

            Then comes the flu. I know how deadly it can be. I have been in healthcare a very long time. Funny how it doesn’t really work all the time, but people rarely address that.

            Again, people rush to judgment and assume I am some anti-vaccine radical because I brought up the idea of maybe asking some questions. 1984…

          • Sonja Henie
            September 8, 2016 at 11:00 pm #

            You are! I’d say if she died 3 days after these vaccines, she probably had GBS before the shots.

          • midwestmoderate
            September 8, 2016 at 11:16 pm #

            Nope, doctor saw her the day she got her shots. Full physical. No problems. GB symptoms can happen within 2 hours. The medical examiner and the MD both agreed on the diagnosis.


          • Sonja Henie
            September 8, 2016 at 11:22 pm #

            In that case, I apologize. I’m sorry for your loss.

          • corblimeybot
            September 8, 2016 at 11:24 pm #

            1984? You can’t be serious. You aren’t being persecuted or oppressed.

          • Sue
            September 9, 2016 at 5:44 am #

            “midwestmoderate” – of course I know nothing of you personally – only what you post here. So that’s what I am responding to.

            Yes, GBS can follow vaccination, but much more commonly follows viral illness, notably influenza.

            And yes, the elderly ultimately die of some organ failure – but influenza commonly precipitates death via cardiac or respiratory causes.

            I’m not “rushing to judgement” because you are “asking some questions” (actually, you didn’t ask any). I am correcting your apparent misunderstanding of vaccine science, infectious diseases and epidemiology.

          • fiftyfifty1
            September 9, 2016 at 8:16 am #

            “1.Heart Disease
            2. Cancer
            3. Stroke
            4. COPD”

            Yes, and 2 of the 4 can be be fatally exacerbated by an influenza or pneumococcal infection (3 of my grandparents have died in the last 2 years. Each due to a cardiac event during or shortly after a pneumonia).

          • Sonja Henie
            September 9, 2016 at 9:06 am #

            Sue didn’t say the most common cause of death in the elderly is GBS. She said the most common CAUSE of GBS is influenza INFECTION.

          • Nick Sanders
            September 8, 2016 at 10:25 pm #

            the United States needs to look at their schedule as it is the most aggressive.

            [citation needed]

          • Sonja Henie
            September 8, 2016 at 10:57 pm #

            “the United States needs to look at their schedule as it is the most aggressive”

            That’s a prime example of Dunning-Kruger.

            It’s totally untrue! Why don’t you people with all these so-called “research” skills look up the damn schedules of other countries instead of believing what NachuralNoos, et al tell you?

    • RudyTooty
      September 8, 2016 at 5:30 pm #

      Oooh. Harsh. But can’t say I entirely disagree. As a current student in a graduate nursing program,I’ve also witnessed first hand what you described. Not ready to accuse the entire profession, but I will say this:

      It’s not the fault of the programs for their students’ and graduates’ whack-a-doodle beliefs. But these programs do not do enough to weed this nonsense out. A graduate nursing program should assure that all students graduate with a solid grasp of reality and are somewhat immune from magical thinking. Alas! How this is not true.

      • Sue
        September 8, 2016 at 10:04 pm #

        Good point. I see the same thing amongst chiropractors – the few schools that are strongly evidence-based don’t do enough to immunise (pun intended) their students against the alluring world of woo that is all around them, and sells well.

        I have also come across nurses who do a side-trade in naturopathy.

        There seems to be a gap between the professions’ curriculum vs culture.

        • Sonja Henie
          September 9, 2016 at 9:04 am #

          There is no evidence-based chiropractic.

          I worked in nursing for 45 years, and I have to say, I don’t know of ANY who are doing a side job in naturopathy, and I live in a very “woo-friendly” area.

          • Fritz Leipold
            September 9, 2016 at 9:31 am #

            Hmm, I don’t really believe in chiropractic myself, but I have friends for whom chiropractic adjustments provide the only relief they get from chronic pain. Is it placebo effect? Maybe, but I haven’t noticed chiropractic harming anyone so I’m willing to give it a pass.

          • Sonja Henie
            September 9, 2016 at 9:33 am #

            Chiropractic sometimes keeps people from seeking out treatment from real practitioners until it’s too late. It’s happened in my family.

          • Roadstergal
            September 9, 2016 at 1:22 pm #

            My stepmom is into all the woo, including chiropractic. One of those quacks broke my (Parkensonian) dad’s wrist recently. :

            They also push (so to speak) colonic irrigation, which has a well-established risk profile for no benefit.

          • Fritz Leipold
            September 9, 2016 at 5:41 pm #

            As I have no personal experience, I can only go by what my friends tell me, and they’ve never mentioned anything about colonics, naturopathy etc being pushed… perhaps there are varying degrees of woo for different chiropractors.

          • corblimeybot
            September 14, 2016 at 7:10 pm #

            People have died from strokes after chiropractic adjustments.

          • Sue
            September 9, 2016 at 8:47 pm #

            Dogmatic much, Sonja?

            If you don’t know any nurses practicing naturopathy, but I do, does that mean there are none?

            There are evidence-based Chiros. They practice much like physiotherapists or sports therapists. Unfortunately, they are not the majority.

          • Sonja Henie
            September 9, 2016 at 9:26 pm #

            There are not evidence-based chiros. Chiropractic isn’t evidence based! They teach outside major health education centers. They’re “persecuted”. PTs are educated in the US anyway, at the health science centers. I don’t know exactly what a “sports therapist” is. An athletic trainer?

            Gimme a break.

    • Madtowngirl
      September 8, 2016 at 8:34 pm #

      I have a friend who just got her PhD in nursing a couple of years ago, and teaches at a rather prestigious university….she tells me some horrifying stories of students that I hope are never caring for me.

    • Sonja Henie
      September 9, 2016 at 3:54 pm #


      Note out of 10, 1 nurse!

      • CSN0116
        September 9, 2016 at 5:13 pm #

        Meh, doctors are overrepresented on that top 10 list. That’s because to be a “top pawn” you often have to have a high level of credibility to exploit to back you and your claims, i.e. a MD. That list tells me that 1 in 10 nurses are anti vax pistachios 😛 and likely more numerous outside the “top pawns” because they’re not credible enough to often make it there. In the end, I’m being somewhat sarcastic. Nurses, IMO and from my observations, are turning to woo in higher rates. It’s an opinion, nothing more. And others seem to see it too.

        • Sonja Henie
          September 9, 2016 at 6:05 pm #

          G (o) F(ly ) Y (our kite )!

          • siklopz
            September 9, 2016 at 9:54 pm #


          • Sonja Henie
            September 9, 2016 at 10:30 pm #

            Big whoop! They claim 20,000 members. That isn’t even 1% of the 3,000,000 RNs in the US, and I’d venture they have some LPN and CNA members too. There are 690,000 LPNs.

            G(ood) F(or) Y(ou)!

          • siklopz
            September 10, 2016 at 12:30 am #

            i didn’t say it was a majority. i just pointed out that it’s a significant and vocal minority. i’m loving those mature, adult arguments of yours. keep it up.

          • Who?
            September 10, 2016 at 12:59 am #

            Significant? 20,000 out of 3,000,000. Surely you meant to write ‘trivial’ or ‘tiny’ or ‘irrelevant’ minority.

            Vocal? Sure. You might just as well have said ‘noisy’, but you probably don’t care for the negative connotation.

            Is that a mature and adult enough argument for you?

          • siklopz
            September 10, 2016 at 1:18 am #

            that was one source, if you really want to hear about more, that’s ok.

            i’m not supporting them. i’m just making a point to miss three-year-old “GFY” nurse above. my background is in biology and biochemistry and i’m pretty supportive of science, and certainly vaccines. the point is that a vocal minority of nurses are just as supportive of woo as doctors.



            i’m glad to see the American Nurses Association supports vaccination. i had to argue long and hard with an anti-vaccine friend who quit her job in a doctor’s office because she refused the flu vaccine.

          • Who?
            September 10, 2016 at 1:50 am #

            I couldn’t be less interested.

            Just delighted to hear you are ‘pretty supportive’ of science, what a marvellous boon for science.

            Overstating a position, then getting snippy with the tone of someone who calls you on it, is pretty pathetic.

          • siklopz
            September 10, 2016 at 2:17 am #

            what a surprise, another child on an internet forum. who’d guess. but i’m sure you’ll grow up to be a great scientist some day.

          • Who?
            September 10, 2016 at 3:04 am #

            Goodness how mature.

            I’m sure everyone reading what you write, and how you respond, is instantly won over by your thoughtfulness and goodwill.

            Do keep at it!!

          • siklopz
            September 10, 2016 at 3:21 am #

            what is it about the internet and pseudointellectual gobshites with no clue. “i just walked in and have no clue what’s going on, why not make a clueless comment to validate my overblown sense of self-worth.”

          • Who?
            September 10, 2016 at 3:31 am #

            Yes, yes, yes-said in a soothing tone.

            So wise of you to take my advice.

          • Sonja Henie
            September 10, 2016 at 1:09 am #

            G(ood) F(or) Y(ou). Too stupid to know not to give away that you’re not processing one bit of this, just taunting. Typical troll.

          • siklopz
            September 10, 2016 at 1:21 am #

            i will mention that not recognizing some tendencies toward woo in your own profession may be a result of your maturity level.

          • Sonja Henie
            September 10, 2016 at 1:24 am #

            I didn’t say that, azzhat! I just don’t think it’s increasing.

            I’ll be blunt this time-GFY!

          • siklopz
            September 10, 2016 at 1:27 am #

            blunt? you lead with that childish crap. are you a nurse or are you some high school girl smoking in the bathroom? grow the f@ck up.

          • Max Brass
            July 13, 2017 at 11:51 pm #

            A belated /hi5 on this comment, my good man.

        • Sonja Henie
          September 9, 2016 at 6:39 pm #

          You need a new job if you feel that way about nurses. Seriously! You should be fired.

          • CSN0116
            September 9, 2016 at 6:56 pm #

            Are you high?

          • Sonja Henie
            September 9, 2016 at 6:58 pm #

            No, are you? You seem to disrespect nurses, so find a job more compatible with your beliefs.

          • CSN0116
            September 9, 2016 at 7:07 pm #

            OK I’m going to slow this down for you. I am a professor of epidemiology. I teach courses that get nursing and NP students who come through them. I am making an opinion-based claim that in the circles I run I have been observing more and more young nursing students/new graduates who make outrageous, unfounded claims about health, immunity, and vaccines. This is not behavior that I observed even five years ago (I did but rarely). When I engage in conversation with these nursing students/new nurses, the Dunning-Kruger effect is often present.

            I do not hate nurses. I do not even hate the misguided ones that I encounter. I am not making a sweeping statement of all nurses whatsoever. I am speaking anecdotally and others are sharing in the anecdote. Nobody here claimed it to be anything more than that — opinion. But my observations and criticism definitely warrant my — a non-nursing professional — to be fired. Yeah, okay.

            And whether you want to believe it or not, what we’re sharing is true.

          • Sonja Henie
            September 9, 2016 at 7:08 pm #

            I’m not stupid and you just proved my point by making that ass*umption. Get a different job.

          • CSN0116
            September 9, 2016 at 7:12 pm #

            LOL sigh…

          • Sonja Henie
            September 9, 2016 at 7:36 pm #

            I’ve been a nurse for over 40 years, retired last year. I’ve been a new nurse and worked with many new nurses over the course of my career. I’ve known a few nurses who go to chiropractors; I’ve known some nurses who don’t work in pediatrics/family practice who don’t “believe” in immunizations, or certain immunizations or whatever. I’ve known a few who were interested in herbal meds and stuff like that. I cannot say I’ve seen any particular increase in this number since I graduated nursing school in 1970. I have worked in 5 states including California (woo-land) and 35 years in Colorado (little woo-land).

            I don’t know how many doctors go to chiros, but one frequently reads on these boards of doctors (not peds, FPs or ID docs mind you) who don’t “believe” in immunizations, don’t immunize their own kids, make up their own schedules and so forth. I feel that with about 1 million practicing physicians in this country, a few cranks are to be expected, just as in nursing.

        • Sonja Henie
          September 9, 2016 at 9:27 pm #

          Right. Nurses are just “useful idiots”. I’ve heard it all before.

  38. LJ McDowall
    September 8, 2016 at 11:59 am #

    Where is the peer reviewed sociological or behavioural science research backing up your claim that home birth advocates ‘suffer’ from this mysterious condition?

    • CSN0116
      September 8, 2016 at 12:30 pm #

      The new Brooke!

      • yugaya
        September 8, 2016 at 3:45 pm #

        Brooke come back, all is forgiven – this one is boring.

        • corblimeybot
          September 8, 2016 at 9:41 pm #

          Brooke always seems like she’s commenting while high, so at least you can get some entertainment from her crap.

          • LJ McDowall
            September 9, 2016 at 9:27 am #

            Sorry to disappoint. 🙂

    • mostlyclueless
      September 8, 2016 at 12:34 pm #

      Dunning-Kruger is a cognitive bias that applies to everyone. It’s not mysterious and there isn’t something special about home birth advocates that makes them susceptible, they’re just one of many examples.

      • LJ McDowall
        September 8, 2016 at 2:57 pm #

        Like obstetricians who make comments on social psychology?

        • September 8, 2016 at 3:45 pm #

          Do you have a response to the papers listed by other commentators?

          If not, why not?

          • LJ McDowall
            September 9, 2016 at 9:27 am #

            Because I haven’t read all of them yet, and like to take my time to do so before I comment on them, because I don’t comment on material I haven’t read. As I said before, my interest primarily lies in the way in which this debate is framed socially. Why women especially are depicted in such a negative light. Why claims about them (apparently) remain uninstantiated (but if you’ve offered papers I will read them) and most importantly, what happens when you allow extremists to control the debate and moderate voices are drowned out. I was slurred and attacked as an ‘antivaxxer’ for making a comment on the sexism the SECOND I came in. Hostile, brutal, extreme, and wholly unnecessary. The fact I keep having to remind you not to slur a person but to deal with their argument (and you can do that without the hostility) is evidence alone of how much antipathy and personal hatred many of you feel towards a group of parents and any scientist who questions the consensus (even just a little bit). Labels of antivaxxer, quack, whiner, demands that I ‘grow a spine’ ‘stop whining’ etc etc. Bickering, passive aggression, gaslighting. This is one of the most hostile, negative discussions I’ve been involved in for months. Everywhere else, it seems adults can hold differing views. But those of course are discussions where fear and extremism do not seem to control how discussions are directed. And it seems to me—for many of you— that unless you actually learn how to engender basic respect for your fellow humans then you will never, ever bring a single doubting parent round.

        • Anna D
          September 8, 2016 at 4:03 pm #

          Like obstetricians who make comments on knowledge of obstetrics exhibited by homebirth advocates

    • gabriel_ca
      September 8, 2016 at 1:31 pm #

      Calls the Dunning-Kruegar effect mysterious…demonstrating the Dunning-Kruegar effect.

      • LJ McDowall
        September 8, 2016 at 2:56 pm #

        Yes yes, you’re very big and clever. Now peer reviewed papers.

        • September 8, 2016 at 3:44 pm #

          Bombshellrisa shared a series of peer-reviewed papers with you two hours and 15 minutes before you posted this comment. You haven’t replied to that comment, but you’ve had time to pick at other comments.

          If you cannot read the papers, let us know and we can find copies for you.

          Picking a fight with others is an old technique to hide academic deficiencies and I’m starting to wonder if your failure to read the papers is due to lexile levels….

        • yugaya
          September 8, 2016 at 3:44 pm #

          I provided one in previous conversation. I provided an exmaple in this one. So if we are big and clever then you truly are petty and dumb as fuck.

    • KQ not logged in
      September 8, 2016 at 2:50 pm #

      The irony is so great, it may tear a hole in the very fabric of reality.

      • LJ McDowall
        September 8, 2016 at 2:56 pm #

        I’m very glad you caught the irony in my tone, KQ. It’s *so* difficult to get across in Pixels. Again. Where is the peer reviewed evidence for this applied specifically to home birth advocates. Actual studies please. Otherwise I’m going to conclude this is yet another comment on social behaviour without a stitch of real evidence to back it up. This is not the pub.

        • yugaya
          September 8, 2016 at 3:43 pm #

          “Otherwise I’m going to conclude this is yet another comment on social behaviour without a stitch of real evidence to back it up. This is not the pub.”

          I’m gonna conclude that you just keep screaming for evidence so that you can continue to ignore it and scream even louder.

          • LJ McDowall
            September 8, 2016 at 6:30 pm #


          • yugaya
            September 9, 2016 at 4:34 am #

            Is that a peer-reviewed yawn LJ? Or is that just you being dumb, dull and utterly predicatable.

          • LJ McDowall
            September 9, 2016 at 9:18 am #

            Again, slurs instead of an argument. Yugaya, I’m not interested.

          • yugaya
            September 9, 2016 at 10:15 am #

            I gave you peer-reviewed research like you requested. You then jumped ship and asked the same from others. When they provided it, you failed to reply with anything other than entertainment.

            Not interested? Remind me again why are you still here?

        • September 8, 2016 at 3:59 pm #

          This will probably rock your world, so hang on.

          Home birth advocates make up less than 1% of the population in the USA.

          Because of that, there is absolutely no peer-reviewed studies on the methods by which home birth advocates gain informational competency or how their level of actual competency compares to their self-perceived levels of competency.

          To test this, we’d need two separate tests. The first test would test actual competency in home birth techniques. This would require two sitting panels of at least 5 nationally recognized experts in home birth techniques to review the testing instrument for accuracy. The next hurdle would be testing the reliability and validity of the test. Conservatively, we would need ~1,000 home birth advocates from a stratified sample to complete the test for this section for reliability plus another 10 home birth experts compared to 10 home birth novices who match the experts in education level.

          We’d have to repeat this all again for the second test on self-perceived levels of competency WITHOUT using the same people.

          So, we’d need to find 40 home birth experts who are nationally agreed to be experts and at least 4,000 home birth advocates to take the primary tests.

          After that, we could start the actual study.

          Why hasn’t anyone done this? Well, this is either 3 Master’s degrees worth of work or one Ph.D’s worth of work….and there’s not a ton of interest chasing the 1% of home birthers around.

          • LJ McDowall
            September 8, 2016 at 6:24 pm #

            🙂 How fortunate it is then, that we have the completely bias free comments of Dr Amy to tell us what to think. No peer reviewed evidence? Then she has no proof that people think they way she says the do.

          • September 8, 2016 at 7:58 pm #

            That’s not what I said. You asked for peer-reviewed studies of the Dunning-Krueger effect in the community of home-birth advocates. I explained why none exist and why it is extremely unlikely that those studies will ever be done.

            If you had looked at the papers cited by Bombshellarina, you would have noticed that the D-K effect has been researched in a variety of other broad population settings showing that the D-K effect happens in a wide variety of settings. The D-K effect has been proven to be robust and repeatable.

            As such, Dr. Amy’s application of the D-K effect to home birth advocates is well within the theoretical and experimental constructs that have already been demonstrated.

            Can we find case-study data that supports the D-K effect in home birth professionals?

            Unfortunately, yes, we can. Gavin Michael was a baby who died primarily because his midwife knew that a NST with 0 amniotic fluid wasn’t a medical emergency. Apparently, a high school diploma and some hands-on-training lead her to think she knew way more about OB work than she really did.

            If she was the only one, this blog wouldn’t be here, but feel free to dig around here. Far too many babies have died when an overconfident, but under-trained midwife decided that she knew how to handle a situation rather than handing it over to an OB.

            In this case, Dr. Amy’s are not particularly new, ground-breaking or paradigm changing.

            Your implied belief, however, that home birth advocates are completely free of the D-K effect is revolutionary. By what mechanism do home birth advocates manage to avoid the D-K effect that has tripped so many other people up? What studies can you cite to support your implied claim that home birth advocates miss the D-K effect entirely?

            If your claim is true, this would be a stunning reversal of an entire area of psychological research which makes it even more likely to be studied since ground-breaking papers build careers.

            There is, however, nothing in anything you have said here so far that supports your claim – starting with your refusal to comment on Bombshellrina’s cited papers.

          • LJ McDowall
            September 8, 2016 at 8:06 pm #

            Nope. What mention of the d-k effect really is, is this. We need a way of shutting down our non educated critics. I know! We’ll wheel out cognitive dissonance and slurs of being ignorant! Shit, now I have educated critics. Not a sorry. I have the d-k effect! That way I can obfuscate the fact I’m hiding bigotry under a cloak of being an expert.

            Bigotry masquerading as professional opinion is still bigotry. She still hasn’t substantiated her ‘entitled mother’ claim, but moved in to yet another group she hates. It boils down to this: never challange me.

          • Chi
            September 9, 2016 at 3:29 am #

            Actually that kind of behaviour is more common in the anti-vaxx circles.

            Modern Alternative Mama is a good example. She promptly deletes and bans anyone who provides scientific literature that counteracts everything she claims. Because she is a narcissist who also suffers severely from D-K.

            Dr Amy doesn’t because she has dealt with these homebirth ‘hobby’ midwives and knows how dangerously uneducated they are AND how they sweep any tragedies under the rug. That is not D-K that is experience and facts.

          • LJ McDowall
            September 9, 2016 at 9:17 am #

            I will read them, I promise.

        • September 8, 2016 at 6:30 pm #

          I was making fun of you.

          • LJ McDowall
            September 9, 2016 at 9:16 am #

            Holy shit. I never realised that. Cue the weeping wailing gnashing of teeth, and Mom! Mom! KQ was making fun of me on the internet. Because mocking someone is what you do when you would rather not deal with someone’s argument, and want to attack the person. This is what happens, when you allow extremism to frame and control the debate.

    • yugaya
      September 8, 2016 at 3:17 pm #

      You learned nothing the last time you were here? You screamed for peer-reviewed research about the privilege of antivaxxers and then when it was provided – silence.

      Case and point: MANA position statement on waterbirth. It defies gravity.

      • LJ McDowall
        September 8, 2016 at 3:50 pm #

        yuga, I am really not interested in your opinions. And Id ont think you’re interested in mine, so why are you even bothering to respond?

        • September 8, 2016 at 4:02 pm #

          Again, Bombshellrisa gave you a bunch of papers, and you have failed to respond to that in any way.

          Let us know if you cannot access the papers.

          If you can and are failing to respond, this makes me wonder why you asked for papers in the first place if you have no intention of responding to them.

        • yugaya
          September 8, 2016 at 4:05 pm #

          My username is yugaya. Let’s not cross into ethnic slurs territory oh ye wonderful person.

          • LJ McDowall
            September 9, 2016 at 9:14 am #

            Sorry, typo on the phone. Let’s not fall into the old chestnut of ‘taking a typo and making it into a comment on someone’s character, oh ye clutcher at straws. Again, not interested in your opinions, you’re not interested in mine, why are you even bothering?

    • Sue
      September 9, 2016 at 6:57 am #

      For a private person’s blog site, this is one of the most evidence-based ones there is. Why not use the search function? You might even learn something!

  39. MaineJen
    September 8, 2016 at 11:38 am #

    Exhibit A: last night’s televised forums. One of our presidential candidates is clearly suffering from Dunning-Kruger re: his ability to lead the nation.

    • Dinolindor
      September 8, 2016 at 12:50 pm #

      Yes, I was thinking that too, most recently with regards to susceptibility flattery. No, I don’t think a compliment from Putin is something to be enjoyed, and certainly not something to brag about. His previous statements about knowing more about ISIS than the generals is just so on the nose for Dunning-Kruger that it’s like he’s also attempting to be a Poe. (I don’t really think that he’s running to make it easier for Clinton, but there are so many moments where I have to pause and consider again.)

      • LeighW
        September 9, 2016 at 8:14 am #

        Im half-convinced his whole campaign is some kind of performance art peice.


      • kfunk937
        September 9, 2016 at 9:54 am #

        What makes it really funny-not funny is that Putin wasn’t complimenting him. The word used that was interpreted as “brilliant” would better have been said in English as bright or shiny or colourful, and in context means “flamboyant.” There’s a completely different word with the connotation of brilliant, as we use it.

        I don’t have a link, but saw an interview with Putin last night (MSNBC/TRMS) in which he took a journalist to task for continuing to misquote him. The piece also said that the Guardian (I think) printed a correction (or a follow-up article) to correct the record on the mistranslation shortly afterward. The world didn’t notice, however, and Bauer was relying on the original article (or one of its many offspring) when he framed the question on Wednesday.

        So it appears it was actually a dig.

        • shay simmons
          September 9, 2016 at 11:36 am #

          Traddutore, tradditore, indeed.

    • Bob DuChaine
      September 8, 2016 at 5:25 pm #

      This is the SUPER-Dunning-Kruger Effect. A person with the D-K Effect depending on mass D-K Effect to get elected.

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