The Instigator
catastrophy
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
Elonbin1
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points

Vaccines do not cause autism

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Elonbin1
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/9/2015 Category: Science
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 573 times Debate No: 75040
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)

 

catastrophy

Pro

I will be presenting the argument that vaccines do not cause autism. There is a lot of controversy pertaining to this topic, but I will be explaining why Wakefield's paper in 1998 was a fraud.
Elonbin1

Con

Definitions:

Miriam Webster defines cause as "something that brings about an effect or a result". As such the negating party is simply required to demonstrate that vaccines can bring about autism in some way not necessarily directly.

BOP:
The affirmative makes the claim that "vaccines do not cause autisim", this is an absolute claim implying the affirmative must demonstrate that vaccines cannot bring about autisim under any circumstance while the negative must simply demonstrate a single circumstance in which a vaccination can result in autisim.

With that in mind I look forward to an interesting debate.
Debate Round No. 1
catastrophy

Pro

I will take your point into consideration.

The entire controversy begain in 1998 when Andrew Wakefield created a fraudulant paper stating that the MMR vaccine causes autism. This paper is severely flawed in a number of ways: Wakefield only used 12 children in his study, claimed that 9 of them got autism after the vaccine, credited people who did not even take part in his study, and created a new syndrome called "Autism and Bowel Disease". The paper is proven discredited, and Wakefield lost his license. Moving that out of the way, I will present my argument.

Anti-vaxxers have a tendency to believe that somehow, vaccines contain harmful substances in them such as mercury, formaldehyde, and aluminum that is linked to autism. Although it is true that these substances are used, the amount is negligible compared to the amount that naturally occurs in our bodies. For example, a newborn baby has 50-70X more formaldehyde than ALL of the vaccines you will get in your entire life. These substances are only used to boost immune efficiency or prevent infections from occurring. Also, all 9 studies done by the CDC show no evidence linking any of these substances or the MMR vaccine to autism. Furthermore, studies have been shown saying that autism is developed in the utero BEFORE vaccines are introduced.

I will look forward to you finding one person who got autism due to a vaccine.

Works cited
http://www2.aap.org...
http://www.publichealth.org...
http://www.fda.gov...
Elonbin1

Con

To begin I would like to reiterate the framework of this debate. Namely, as the resolution specifies that vaccines do not cause autism, I simple need demonstrate some pathway by which autism can come about as a result of a vaccination. The negative is not required to demonstrate a direct link by which a vaccination directly leads to autism. Secondly, the negative need only show one instance in which a vaccination could bring about autism as the affirmative has already agreed with this proposition.

High fevers in pregnant women can lead to autism

In a recent landmark study "A team of UC Davis researchers has found that mothers who had a fever during pregnancy were more than twice as likely to have a child with autism " than mothers who did not have a fever or who took medication to counter its effect" [1]

With this in mind let's look at some of the side effects associated with several vaccines. According to the center of Disease control[2] vaccines which have a possible side effect of high fever include but are not limited to, the vaccine for Haemophilus influenza type b, the vaccine for, Diphtheria, Tetanus, and acellular Pertussis and Gardasil the vaccine used to prevent HPV.

Responses:
My opponent makes that claim that the redacted 1998 Andrew Wakefield study implemented a poor methodology and fabricated data. I completely agree, this study was poorly conducted. However, this does not negate the fact the high fevers in women who are pregnant can result in autism and that vaccination can result in such fevers.

Conclusion: I have demonstrated that high fever, a side effect of three different vaccinations can bring about autism as specified in the resolution. I have thus fulfilled my burden of proof and ask that you negate this resolution.

1) http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu...
2) http://www.cdc.gov...
Debate Round No. 2
catastrophy

Pro

Your argument is invalid. First, you are using a source which does not state that the high fevers were linked to the vaccine itself. Second, the supposed link to autism due to the high fevers were not due to the vaccine itself, but the side effwcts of the vaccine. Consider this analogy:

The increase in icecream sales leads to an increase of drownings. See anything wrong with this? Your statement is quite similar; it is not the icecream sales leading to the drownings, but rather a hidden factor, higher temperatures. This is an example of a hidden cause relationship.

Now, we cannot assume that the vaccine itself is linked to the high fevers that is linked to autism. There are many factors that can cause a pregnant woman to get a high fever. Keeping this in mind, we do not know the direct cause of autism yet, and until we do, your argument is invalid.
Elonbin1

Con

In this round I will primarily be focusing on refuting my opponents arguments from the previous round.

"Your argument is invalid. First, you are using a source which does not state that the high fevers were linked to the vaccine itself."

If one looks at [2] one can see that the CDC clearly explains that high fever is a possible side effect of all the vaccines I listed.

" Second, the supposed link to autism due to the high fevers were not due to the vaccine itself, but the side effwcts of the vaccine."

I never stated it wasn't. However, if one looks to the framework of the debate one can clearly see that the word "cause" as defined by Miriam Webster meant that i need simply demonstrate that their exists some pathway by which a vaccine could bring about autism. Their is not a requirement for set pathway to only be one step long.

"The increase in ice cream sales leads to an increase of drownings. See anything wrong with this? Your statement is quite similar; it is not the ice cream sales leading to the drownings, but rather a hidden factor, higher temperatures. This is an example of a hidden cause relationship."

My opponent seems to be confusing a confounding variable with an indirect one. In her example their exists a confounding variable, temperature, which leads to both an increase in ice cream sales and drownings. In the case of vaccines, fever is a result of vaccination which then leads to autism. As such a more apt analogy would be a link between temperature and obesity. Where temperature increases that purchase rate of ice cream which then leads to an increase in obesity.

"Now, we cannot assume that the vaccine itself is linked to the high fevers that is linked to autism. There are many factors that can cause a pregnant woman to get a high fever."

There may be many factors that can lead to high fevers in pregnant women and thus cause autism. However, that doesn't negate the fact that vaccination can be one of them. Note, the resolution does not ask that I demonstrate that vaccinations are the only cause of autism but rather a cause.

"we do not know the direct cause of autism yet, and until we do, your argument is invalid."

My opponent is simply making an unsupported claim here. Refer to source [1] in which I demonstrate a clear link between high fevers in pregnant women and autism.

Conclusion:
I have held up my burden of proof and conclusively demonstrated that their does exist some pathway by which vaccination can lead to autism as specified by the resolution. As such I urge you to negate.
Debate Round No. 3
catastrophy

Pro

I do not quite think my opponent understands my debate topic: vaccines do not cause autism. If this is my debate topic then the opposing simply has to prove that vaccines do cause autism. I did not ask whether high fevers in pregnant women cause autism but rather vaccines.

definitions:
cause: The one, such as a person, event, or condition, that is responsible for an action or result.
According to this exact definition by thefreedictionary, the opponent is required to prove that VACCINES are responsible for a result(autism)

For the purpose of the argument below, assume that the opponent's argument is valid according to my debate topic:

Common side effects of vaccines include:
injection site reactions (pain, swelling and redness)
mild fever.
shivering.
fatigue.
headache.
muscle and joint pain.

Therefore, we can conclude that a more severe and rare side effect is a high fever. A pregnant woman would be required or strongly recommended to get these vaccines to protect her unborn child: Rubella, Hepatitis B, flu, and whooping cough. According to the opponent's source, high fevers were not listed as any of the side effects for any of these vaccines, but rather simply a fever. Because the fever was listed as a mild side effect, one can assume that it is a mild fever. The opponent's source does not claim that any fever in a pregnant woman is linked to autism, but rather a high fever.

Source [1] states: Any medication can cause a severe allergic reaction. Such reactions from a vaccine are very rare, estimated at fewer than 1 in a million doses, and would happen within a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination. Assume that a high fever is a severe allergic reaction.

High fevers are said to be 103 F-104 F. If a pregnant woman goes against the odds and get's a high fever resulting from the vaccine and the baby gets autism, given the slim chance, the fever resulting from the vaccine CAUSED the autism, not the VACCINE itself. Since the source did not state that all cases of a high fever in a pregnant woman were due to the vaccine itself, it is safe assume that some of these cases are linked to influenza. According to the opponent's argument that the high fever resulting from the vaccine causes autism, would it also be safe to assume that high fever from the influenza virus is linked to autism as well? How about the fever as a result of a bacterial infection such as strep throat? Would that be linked to autism too?

Conclusion: An accidental relationship is a correlation that exists without any causal relationship between variables. In this case, autism and vaccines are the two variables and there is an accidental relationship between these two. Does autism not occur in children at a very young age? About the same age that they receive vaccines? If so, it's entirely possible that these two variables have no real relationship and are simply coincidental that autism resulted after a vaccine.
Below are credible, scientific studies that show that there is absolutely no relationship between vaccines and autism:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org...
http://cid.oxfordjournals.org...

1.http://www.cdc.gov...
2.http://www.cdc.gov...
Elonbin1

Con

Responses:

"I do not quite think my opponent understands my debate topic: vaccines do not cause autism. If this is my debate topic then the opposing simply has to prove that vaccines do cause autism. I did not ask whether high fevers in pregnant women cause autism but rather vaccines.

I agree we are debating whether or not vaccines "cause" autism. The key word being "cause", which as I previously defined means to bring about and at no point specifies in what manner it needs to bring about.

My opponent then present an alternative definition of the word cause:

"According to this exact definition by thefreedictionary, the opponent is required to prove that VACCINES are responsible for a result(autism)"

However logically we can see this simply supports my previous definition, as this definition in no way specifies that the "result" has to be occur in one single step, rather it simply needs to be the logical resolution(autism) of an event (vaccination) through any pathway(high fever).

But for the sake of clarifying the framework beyond all doubt we can look to the definition of "result" as used by Merriam Webster [3]: "to happen because of something else that happened or was done before "

As we can see my interpretation of the resolution clearly conforms to this definition as the result(autism) occurred because of and action(vaccination) that occurred before it. So regardless of how my opponent wishes to frame this debate one can clearly see that my interpretation subscribes to the exact wording of the resolution.

"Common side effects of vaccines include:
injection site reactions (pain, swelling and redness)
mild fever.
shivering.
fatigue.
headache.
muscle and joint pain.

Therefore, we can conclude that a more severe and rare side effect is a high fever."

Regardless of how rare high fever may be, it is still a side effect and thus has the possibility of resulting in autism. Note, the the resolution does not ask that i prove that autism is a frequent occurrence, but rather has the possibility of occurring. Moreover, readers should recall the the affirmative agreed to this interpretation of the resolution in round 2.

" A pregnant woman would be required or strongly recommended to get these vaccines to protect her unborn child: Rubella, Hepatitis B, flu, and whooping cough. "

My opponent is again attempting to shift the framework of the debate. We are not debating whether or not an individual should get vaccinated but rather if there is some risk of autism associated with vaccination, regardless of how small.

"According to the opponent's source, high fevers were not listed as any of the side effects for any of these vaccines, but rather simply a fever. Because the fever was listed as a mild side effect, one can assume that it is a mild fever. The opponent's source does not claim that any fever in a pregnant woman is linked to autism, but rather a high fever."

I'm not sure why my opponent continues to deny the contents of my sources, but if readers are truly concerned they can feel free to read through them.

"Source [1] states: Any medication can cause a severe allergic reaction. Such reactions from a vaccine are very rare, estimated at fewer than 1 in a million doses, and would happen within a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination. Assume that a high fever is a severe allergic reaction."

This simply further supports my position as the net result of this is:

vaccines->allergic reaction->high fever-> autism.

This is simply another pathway by which the end result can be reached. Again ignore the red hearing my opponent presents in regards to low probability as all the resolution requires is an above a probability above zero.

"High fevers are said to be 103 F-104 F. If a pregnant woman goes against the odds and get's a high fever resulting from the vaccine and the baby gets autism, given the slim chance, the fever resulting from the vaccine CAUSED the autism, not the VACCINE itself."

Again my opponent is essentially arguing the since the mechanism is indirect is doesn't count, which seems to be the crux of her argument. However, as I have stated ad nauseam, there is absolutely no justification in the definition of the word cause as defined by ANY party in this debate to indicate that the mechanism must be direct.

"Since the source did not state that all cases of a high fever in a pregnant woman were due to the vaccine itself, it is safe assume that some of these cases are linked to influenza. According to the opponent's argument that the high fever resulting from the vaccine causes autism, would it also be safe to assume that high fever from the influenza virus is linked to autism as well? How about the fever as a result of a bacterial infection such as strep throat? Would that be linked to autism too?"

Yes. Any high fever during pregnancy increases the risk of the child having autism regardless of the source.

"Conclusion: An accidental relationship is a correlation that exists without any causal relationship between variables. In this case, autism and vaccines are the two variables and there is an accidental relationship between these two. Does autism not occur in children at a very young age? About the same age that they receive vaccines? If so, it's entirely possible that these two variables have no real relationship and are simply coincidental that autism resulted after a vaccine.
Below are credible, scientific studies that show that there is absolutely no relationship between vaccines and autism:"

To consolidate, my opponent is claiming that my arguments are entirely correctional and then lists some sources that indicate that there is no DIRECT relationship between autism and vaccination. Her first argument can be dismissed as again it is simply an unsupported claim. In regards to her second claim I urge readers to recall that i am NOT advocating for a direct mechanism but rather an indirect one, and posting a series of articles that advocate ones position and not elaborating on them is generally grounds for ignoring those articles in the context of a debate.

I have successfully demonstrate that there does exist the possibility of contracting autism as a result of vaccination and thus urge a negative vote on this resolution.

3) http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by bluesteel 1 year ago
bluesteel
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>Reported vote: PointlessQuestions // Moderator action: Removed<

4 points to Con (arguments, S&G). Reasons for voting decision: Con Had Many Reasonable Arguments That Pro Couldn't Successfully Refute.

[*Reason for removal*] (1) Complete failure to explain S&G. (2) Too generic on arguments. This could be said of any debate. See reason 3 for removal (http://www.debate.org...).
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Posted by bluesteel 1 year ago
bluesteel
=========================================
>Reported vote: gabep // Moderator action: Removed<

4 points to Pro (arguments, S&G). Reasons for voting decision: Pro made more convincing arguments overall. Also, "Miriam Webster"?

[*Reason for removal*] (1) Failure to explain *why* Pro had more convincing arguments. A mere statement *that* Pro's arguments were more convincing is insufficient. (2) Inadequate explanation for S&G. A single spelling mistake is not sufficient to justify awarding the point, e.g. Merriam.
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by ColeTrain 1 year ago
ColeTrain
catastrophyElonbin1Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:14 
Reasons for voting decision: Though both sides were underdeveloped, I must cast my vote in favor of the Con position. RFD: Conduct: Pro failed to win conduct because she claimed that Con's source was invalid, and that "you are using a source which does not state that the high fevers were linked to the vaccine." I've read the source, and as pro pointed out, it does say that. This is misconduct by Pro. S&G: "Miriam-Webster" Arguments: Pro brought out some good points, and had good arguments, in theory, but they were not well enough developed. For example, Pro provided sources that "showed" autism is not linked to vaccinations, but did not expound to give *HER* credibility or take. Also, Pro brought up correlation-causation, but never explicitly showed how it related to Con's arguments. Moreover, disputable or not, Con did show that the net result of vaccinations has the potential to cause autism, a point Pro was never able to sufficiently refute. - ColeTrain