Monday, January 07, 2008

Tripping over anti-vaxers

My New Years resolution was an accident. I was just stumbled across that presentation when I was bored on the internet, and now it seems I cant take two steps without tripping over an anti-vaxer.

The latest came from an unexpected location-- Rants & Raves (IIDB without teh suck). An innocent post in the science forum on a potential 'universal flu vaccine' caught an anti-vaxer in 5 posts. After making some amusingly/horrifyingly non-science statements, the anti-vaxer informed R&R posters that she would not be debating her views. We would have to go to a specific website to 'debate'. Turns out that forum is an anti-vax version of Uncommon Descent. See a billion examples from Orac here and here and here and here... You know, just search Respectful Insolence for 'mothering'.

I cant 'debate' vaccines at mothering.com because Im not allowed to. Its in their forum guidelines:

Recently, we have seen several members join MDC who seem to have an agenda to promote vaccinations. Though Mothering does not take a pro or anti stand on vaccinations, we will not host threads on the merits of mandatory vaccine, or a purely pro vaccination view point as this is not conducive to the learning process.

We will be contacting several members to discuss their sincerity on MDC. In the meantime, we are asking our members not to quote from this notice or address members within a thread as this is strictly prohibited. Instead, contact a forum moderator or administrator if you are concerned about a post and we will take appropriate action if need be.

But just in that one thread at R&R, Ive noticed a lot of things anti-vaxers and Creationists have in common.
Scientists are always wrong. Scientists used to bleed people/think the earth was flat. Scientists are dogmatic, but we are shifting the paradigm/paradigm. No one understands immunity/evolution, so dont listen to those immunologists/evilutionists. See, look at how stupid their claims about vaccinations/macroevolution are! Youre just a mom and you can understand how stupid vaccines/macroevolution is! Gosh scientists are stupid! To learn more about scientists are stupid, buy my book/ book.
Bleh. Thank you Orac, for sheltering me from this crap for so long.

8 comments:

The Factician said...

After my son was born, my mother-in-law signed us up for several mainstream parenting magazines. Several of them contained articles about the controversial nature of vaccinating your children. They were about what you'd expect written from someone who'd taken the time to interview 1 well-educated physician and 1 rabid anti-vaxxer. We promptly cancelled the subscriptions. These are relatively common viewpoints amongst "parenting" organizations. It's rather alarming.

Ian said...

Scientists are always wrong
That's the beauty of science - the assumption that you're "always wrong" is built in - that's what allows science to auto-correct. Science not only incorporates new information, you're supposed to actively try to disprove your hypotheses.

Bill said...

As a youth in the 50's the prospect of ending up in an Iron Lung was very real. Polio was a dreaded disease. Children in my elementary school walked with leg braces (we had 3-4 kids like that). Diseases were killers. Measles, mumps and chicken pox could take you down ... permanently. It was serious stuff.

Now, we almost have a cavalier attitude to these diseases because of the work of scientists and doctors who developed vaccines.

To say vaccines do more harm than good ignores the history of death and misery that preceded vaccines.

Reynold said...

This was originally found by HalfMooner:

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Autism cases in California continued to climb even after a mercury-rich vaccine preservative that some people blame for the neurological disorder was removed from routine childhood shots, a new study found.

Researchers from the state Department of Public Health found the autism rate in children rose continuously during the 12-year study period from 1995 to 2007. The preservative thimerosal hasn't been used in childhood vaccines since 2001, but is used in some flu shots.

Doctors say the latest study adds to existing evidence refuting a link between thimerosal exposure and autism risk and should reassure parents that the disorder is not caused by vaccinations. If there was a risk, they said, autism rates should have dropped between 2004 and 2007.


Well, this should help provide some seasoning for when you eat those woos.

Catt said...

It's Horrible to say, but wait until some of these parents have to help their children through the measles or some other usually vaccinated for disease. I'm sure once they see the suffering their children go through their tune will change. Although much like the creationist they'll probably say that the illness was worth avoiding the "risks" of vaccinations.

Stupid stupid people :( I feel sorry for their kids...

Richard said...

I posted this to Orac's blog, as well as the MDC forums.

I find all of this extremely interesting. Being a father of a 6 year old, with another little one on the way, I do, of course, want nothing but the best, most safe way to keep my children healthy. Thimerasol, a compound containing mercury may indeed be dangerous to a growing child.

However:

Sodium is a highly reactive metal, which will explode violently if it comes into contact with water. Chlorine was used to kill soldiers in WWI. Any compound containing these elements MUST be dangerous!

or:

Hydrogen is dangerously explosive, and is responsible for the deaths on the Hindenburg. Oxygen is highly reactive, and is responsible for metal failure, and the oxidation and death of human cells. Any compound containing these elements is deadly, and must be banned.

My point is that just because a compound contains a certain element, does not necessarily mean that the compound is inherently dangerous. If an overwhelming amount of science proves that thimerasol, or any vaccine for that matter, causes autism, then I will reevaluate what is best for my children. Heck, I would settle for ANY peer reviewed, scientific study proving a link between vaccinations and autism.

For the record, I do not believe that the plural of "anecdote" is "data".


I wonder how long it will take until I get banned...

Richard said...

They deleted the thread. I was having fun debating a couple of these weirdos, but it appears they would rather get their information from Deirdre Imus than a legitimate medical or scientific source.

Zach Kessin said...

There has been a major outbreak of measles here in Israel in some of the ultra orthodox populations. Apparently there is a wide move against vaccinations there. And when vaccination rates drop outbreaks follow.

I have a very good friend who is an Orthodox Jew as well as a professor of Biostatistics at AECOM who has been putting up the good fight to get people to vaccinate and try to shoot down people being stupid, but I think he is loosing.