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July 15, 2008


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Thanks for the tip on a particularly annoying little bit of antiscience. But do the authors have any tips for how to deal with the fanatical resistance of anti-vaccination types? The anti-vaccination types I've run in to are far too emotional about the topic to even listen to reason or allow someone who disagrees with them to even complete a sentence that contradicts their belief system. (I can understand why if their children really are autistic; dealing with an autistic child must be astonishingly taxing on one's mental and emotional reserves and such people deserve our sympathy and help no matter how bizarre their beliefs.) Seriously, approaching someone who really believes that vaccines cause autism is like trying to deprogram a member of a cult. The sort of person susceptible to the eminently logical arguments you describe would not need to have those arguments made to them in the first place.

I just hope that as more and more research results come out refuting the vaccination-autism link, state legislatures will be more willing to be vigilant about vaccination policy and will close the statutory and regulatory loopholes that anti-vax people use to avoid vaccinating their kids. Another blog talks about that a little bit:


Vaccination is a hoax.

Watch my youtube presentations "Vaccination: Miracle or Mayhem?'. Part 1 is about vaccine ingredients, part 2 about vaccine-injured children; part 3, due to be posted, shows that vaccines have never prevented any diseases, let alone saved anyone's life.

We've ben conned for over 200 years that vaccines have something to do with disease prevention. They don't!

OK, Erwin, how do you correlate the practical eradication of the once-endemic polio with the introduction of the Sabin vaccine?

When was the last case of smallpox you saw?

Why does, for example, the UK govermnment (presumably in the know) spend millions every year on free flu vaccination for the elderly?

Crawl back under your stone, troll. People like you are a bloody liability and should be charged with attempted manslaughter when people die for not taking vaccines on your mindless advice.

You are a menace.

Also, Erwin, youtube videos are not considered good scientific evidence. You and others have not given me any good real scientific evidence that the DTaP is worse than pertussis, diphtheria and tetanus (oh, and levels of SIDS go down when pertussis vaccination goes up, even with your persistent cherry picking), or that the MMR vaccine is worse than measles, mumps and rubella.

Super rant, Techskeptic: I would advise him to pick the bones out of that, but I hope they stick in his throat.

Just one niggle: thimerosol.

I have seen this spelt all sorts of ways, sometimes changing several times in the course of one account.

I understood it was THIOMERSAL (thio=sulphur, mercury, sodium and aluminium).


yeah well I wrote that whole thing..then got too tired to read it over. There are tons of spelling errors. Sorry.

Big Al said "I understood it was THIOMERSAL (thio=sulphur, mercury, sodium and aluminium)."

Yes, that is the proper spelling, espeically in the UK. Unfortunately those of us in the USA have mucked it up and both thimerosal and thimerasol are oddly acceptible.

Hey, instead of providing videos and anecdotes, how about you provide studies and evidence? If you're anti-pseudoscience, then certainly you recognize that the tactics you've just employed--poisoning the well ("Vaccination is a belief system, or a cult if you like"), appeal to authority ("Prominent US health educator Dr. Herbert Shelton"), testimonial ("I used to be a follower of the vaccinaton cult"), appeal to secret knowledge ("accidentally stumbled across infectious disease mortality graphs which clearly show that vaccines had absolutely NOTHING to do with the decline of diseases"), and anecdotal evidence ("I then also came across children who had suffered permanent vaccine-induced brain-damage")--are the typical tactics of pseudoscientists, not scientists.

So, if you could provide some evidence--preferably in the form of controlled studies, peer-reviewed journal articles, and other scientifically-valid evidence--that can unseat the evidence that supports vaccination and describes the well-known risks, rather than a series of non-peer-reviewed self-produced videos, I'm sure we (and the medical community at large) would be happy to explore them. I'm particularly interested in finding out why the decline in polio and smallpox parallel so closely the rise in polio and smallpox vaccinations, if (as you suggest) there's no causal relationship.

It always amazes me when someone stumbles across some crackpot or another who thinks they have discovered a vast conspiracy, and they as evidence they link post after post or vid after vid from the crackpot.

This happens in energy all the time, and its virtually the same deal. Some crackpot thinks that 100's of years of physics just happens to be wrong and their free energy gizmo will prove it. Their free energy gizmo is being held back because of the vast conspiracy of oil companies suppressing the information. Except that the free energy gizmo can't be studied by anyone, the results can't be replicated, the inventor never publishes anything about it, even quantitative results. In the end, the particular hoaxer goes away, but the hoax lives on somewhere else.

The gold medal winner of the equivalent of anti-vaxers in the energy field was Steorn (gone now for the most part), but I think the most current one is now Blacklight.

sorry, went off topic a bit, my point was, tons of the gullible fall for the conspiracy theory rather than the evidence right in front of them.

If there was a possibility to get free energy, why wouldn't the energy companies do everything they can to make money off of it? They have tons of money to develop it!

If there was a huge vaccination conspiracy, why wouldn't drug companies spend far more money on drugs to alleviate the symptoms rather than prevention, there would be WAAAAAY more money in that.

Vaccinations work because they use the immune system, we already have.

I wish people would get it in their heads: Conspiracies almost never work. If there is one, its almost always small in nature and only benefits a few people. The more people involved the more likely the conspiracy is to fail.

Another annoyance I have about these supermassive conspiracies (beyond what Techskeptic has covered) is that the people who believe in them act as if they live in a movie: They treat governments and corporations are monolithic entities, rather than organizations full of individuals often working at cross purposes.

Well said, echnskeptic. I love the idea that if Ford executives got wind of a revolutionary new carburettor that would make its cars do 10,000 miles on one gallon of juice, their first reaction would not be to pay the inventor millions of dollars to buy the patent so they could proceed to wipe the floor with GM, Chrysler et al. Oh, no: their immediate reaction is, "We must keep this silent! Destroy it! Kill anyone who's even heard of it! It will never see the light of day... BUWAHAHAHAHAHA!"

The idea that car manufacturers are super-pally with oil companies, just because they use their products, is nonsense. Ford don't care a hoot what the price of petrol is, as long as you buy their cars. If super mileage made you lean towards their product and made the environmental lobbyists lay off, they wouldn't shed the smallest tear over the potential effect on Shell's bottom line.

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