Sunday, April 11, 2010

Anti-science equates to . . . insanity!

Since I have been touting my eye surgery as a very positive example of science and science education, how about an example of anti-science having a negative impact on folks. I heard a short story on National Public Radio . . . yes folks, I do listen to things other than country music . . . and hit the website to follow-up. "Measles Resurgence tied to Parents' Vaccination Fears" makes it pretty clear. There has been a lot of hysteria over vaccinations, but if you step back from being hysterical and get the facts you would find that the benefits FAR outweigh any potential risks. But because some people take counsel of their fears and listen to attention-grabbing, fact-deficient folks like Jenny McCarthy, they have not been getting their kids vaccinated. This is not just being irresponsible, but pretty damn foolish! Even though the 'doctor' who published the original study supposedly linking a specific vaccine to autism has been found to be an unethical fool (Andrew Wakefield), folks like McCarthy spout foolishness and too many people are listening.

My advice is to not listen to McCarthy or even to me. Do the research for yourself on the benefits vs the risks of vaccinations. It's easy to find and pretty simple to understand. Here is a 1985 article that took me all of 1 second to find. There are tons of supporting literature. Now the question is how much scientifically valid literature opposes childhood vaccinations? None . . at least nothing I can find. I find opinion pieces, lots of web sites by anti-vaccination groups. But what I do not see is any actual research into the supposed problem. Again, don't take my word for it, do the research for yourself.

Science isn't perfect, but do we want to take a step backwards in time and lose the benefits we have gained through science? I know I am very thankful for my sight and every time I look at my granddaughter I am very glad she is properly vaccinated! I really have no idea how a parent who refuses vaccination for their children will be able to live with themselves if their kids become ill from a preventable illness. It's one thing to not have a vaccination program available to you, but to have one and refuse to use it based on the word of someone like Jenny McCarthy? There is the new definition of insanity!

While writing this I was found a reference to one of my favorite bloggers, Phil Plait, The Bad Astronomer, who discusses Jenny also . . . and not in a very flattering light. I don't know if he would agree with my new definition for insanity, but he sure doesn't think much of Jenn and her anti-vax campaign.


  1. If the herd immunity dips low enough some people are going to learn the hard way. Nothing like exposure to potentially life threatening diseases to change your mind. My mom had polio as a child. She made sure we were first in line at the health trailer for the Sabin vaccine.

  2. Good for your mom, and for you! I am waiting for the first lawsuit against a parent from a child who got sick from something preventable.

  3. She had one leg slightly shorter than the other and suffered from Rhuematoid arthritis later in life. The doctors were curious about a correlation but I don't think anything was proved one way or the other. I had all the childhood diseases except what we call German measles when I was a kid. Fortunately my brother and I came through them all right - but some other kids in our school - not so much. A lot of these preventable diseases can mess you up for good immediately or somewhere down the line. That fact is easily researched. I just can't understand the anti-vaxers, especially the well educated ones.