The latest blog by Generation Rescue’s J.B. Handley posted over at Age of Autism has inspired me to create a drinking game. The piece is a long rant against David Gorski titled, Dr. David Gorski’s Unique Brand of Moronism.
Here are the rules of the drinking game, which while designed for this particular article, should probably fit any Handley article:
1. Drink every time Handley uses an ad hominem argument
2. Drink every time Handley acknowledges he’s using an ad hominem but then still treats it as if it’s a legitimate argument anyway.
3. Drink every time Handley suggests the mere use of a pen name invalidates a critic’s position.
4. Drink every time Handley pulls a Donald Trump by asserting his critic’s respectable medical credentials aren’t respectable at all even though he himself has no medical credentials at all.
5. Drink every time Handley uses scare quotes.
6. Drink twice every time Handley uses scare quotes more than once in a single sentence.
7. Drink every time Handley tries to paint his critic as just a big meanie while implying he would never sink so low (ignoring that he himself reluctantly was pressured to give up the domain pauloffit.com, where the site’s sole purpose was to flame one of his leading critics).
8. Drink every time Handley references either his own parental status or his critic’s not being a parent, or uses that status as a rationale for his knowledge (scare quotes could not be used around the word knowledge because scare quotes are now an official trademark of J.B. Handley) and/or behavior.
9. Drink twice every time Handley explicitly mentions he’s a parent of a kid with autism or special needs.
10. Drink every time Handley applies circular reasoning by just asserting vaccines cause autism or neurological injury as if it were already a fact.
11. Drink every time Handley embeds or links to a video where we’re supposed to see a demonstration of some irrelevant point he’s making and the clip doesn’t actually even demonstrate that point.
12. Drink if Handley just trash talks for at least eight paragraphs and then treats it as if it were some brief diversion from some larger and more legitimate point.
13. Drink twice if that larger and more legitimate point turns out to be just more trash talking.
14. Drink every time Handley (who once endorsed a photoshopped image of his critics sitting at a Thanksgiving table preparing to eat a baby) charges his critic with unprofessional conduct and immaturity while never addressing the actual criticisms themselves.
15. Drink every time Handley compares or contrasts his critics with fictional doctors on TV or in films.
16. Drink every time Handley chooses to pretend a significant scientific distinction is nothing more than a game of semantics even though it’s already been thoroughly explained why it isn’t.
17. Drink every time Handley refers to, “feeding the hungry lie,” applying the same circular reasoning of asserting vaccines cause autism or neurological injury even when all the evidence is squarely against that hypothesis.
18. Drink every time Handley applies the long debunked “too much, too soon” gambit or poses an unfalsifiable hypothesis.
19. Drink every time Handley asserts that the ingredients in the vaccines are dangerous despite all the evidence to the contrary.
20. Drink twice if he mentions an ingredient that is either naturally produced in the body or that the body is regularly exposed to in larger quantity than is found in any vaccine such as formaldehyde or aluminum.
21. Drink if Handley just copy and pastes the ingredient list, counting on scary names like 2-phenoxyethanol or polydimethylsilozone to create fear, even though you suspect he has no idea what those ingredients are.
22. Drink every time Handley references mercury or thimerosal as if that isn’t the single most debunked anti-vaccine claim of them all.
23. Drink every time Handley plugs one of his other shoddy websites.
24. Drink every time Handley disingenuously suggests he’s not really anti-vaccine but is completely open to the possibility that vaccines don’t cause autism.
25. Drink twice if this comes at some point after he’d already asserted vaccines cause autism as if it were a fact.
26. Drink every time Handley claims to know what a real doctor would do or say despite not being one.
27. Drink every time Handley suggests anecdotes make an adequate substitute for epidemiological data.
28. If you’re still alive, donate your body to science.