10,537 bytes with which I do not agree

Never let it be said that I don't give people who disagree with me a fair suck of the saveloy.

(Amazingly enough, that's actual genuine Australian slang, though a bit old-fashioned these days.)

My post the other day about anti-vaccinationist Jock Doubleday attracted some feedback from him, culminating in a comment of epic dimensions. Since I've an innate sympathy for anybody who, like me, appears to buy ink by the barrel, and because this is such a brilliant example of the breed, I hereby award said comment a post of its own, just as I did with the last one.

(My own comments on this comment, of course, follow.)

I understand if you believe it's a waste of your time to argue with someone who has stepped out of the vaccines-as-salvation paradigm.

Your belief in vaccines as the greatest good stems from decades of institutional indoctrination -- indoctrination which I also had but which I was allowed to break free from by a chance encounter with someone who had also broken free.

You can continue on with your beliefs -- and with your endless making-it-about-me -- but the truth about vaccines is waiting for you in over a century of scientific research.

Commenter #8 mentioned smallpox. Regarding this disease, please take time to read Dr. Tim O'Shea's article:


Below are the sources I used for my article "Into the Labyrinth: Discovering the Truth about Vaccination" . . . for your consideration.

If you or anyone commenting here would prefer to have a discussion about vaccine efficacy somewhere other than this blog, I can post all discussions on my site. I have had the following URL up for several years with no takers:

"The Great Vaccination Debate"

Or we could carry on a conversation on another site of your or one of your commenters' choosing.

If anyone wants to discuss vaccines, you may first want to read these MDs and medical historians:


If you would prefer to hear nothing more from me here on vaccination, I will be happy to refrain from posting here again. Just let me know.

You are always welcome to write to me at:

Vaccine info sources below.

In health,
Jock Doubleday





















































CHILD ABUSE (shaken baby syndrome) AND VACCINES

















































IMMUNE SYSTEM AND VACCINES (autoimmune disorders)


MMR VACCINE (Measles Mumps Rubella)












SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) AND VACCINES
























VACCINE CHALLENGE (Jock Doubleday's)

VACCINE CHALLENGE (Viera Scheibner's)












VACCINE SITES (GOVERNMENT) Vaccine Adverse Event Report System (VAERS)





Jamie Murphy, What Every Parent Should Know about Childhood Immunization

Tim O'Shea, The Sanctity of Human Blood: Vaccination Is Not Immunization

Neil Z. Miller, Vaccines: Are They Really Safe and Effective?

Robert Mendelsohn, How to Raise A Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor

Walene James, Immunization: The Reality Behind the Myth

Tedd Koren, Childhood Vaccination: Questions All Parents Should Ask

Randall Neustaedter, The Vaccine Guide: Risks and Benefits for Children and Adults

Raymond Obomsawin, Universal Immunization: Medical Miracle or Masterful Mirage?

Ethel Douglas Hume, Pasteur Exposed: The False Foundations of Modern Medicine

Harris L. Coulter and Barbara Loe Fisher, A Shot in the Dark: Why the P in DPT Vaccination May Be Hazardous to Your Child's Health

Leon Chaitow, Vaccination and Immunization: Dangers, Delusions and Alternatives

Harris L. Coulter, Vaccination, Social Violence and Criminality: The Medical Assault on the American Brain

Viera Scheibner, Vaccination: 100 Years of Orthodox Research Shows that Vaccines Represent a Medical Assault on the Immune System

Neil Z. Miller, Vaccines, Autism, and Childhood Disorders

Neil Z. Miller, Immunizations: The People Speak!

Catherine J.M. Diodati, Immunization: History, Ethics, Law and Health

Epidemics: Opposing Viewpoints (Opposing Viewpoints Series, Unnumbered) by William Dudley, Ed., Mary E. Williams, Ed., Greenhaven Press (January 1999)
















Comment by jockdoubleday — May 11, 2009 @ 5:20 am


To other readers of this site, not to Jock:

The above comment is a fine example, if you haven't encountered one before, of the "quantity of evidence" or "filibuster" approach, in which a person attempts to justify their beliefs by presenting an enormous number of references which are claimed to - and sometimes actually all do - agree with their point of view. It's a great technique for people who're opposed to the scientific consensus, because it gives people who disagree a huge task - "Don't comment before you've read them all!" - while relieving the claimant of the task of actually forming an argument, or even of saying with which of the numerous sources he or she agrees.

Given the large number of human beings in the world and the very long time that some people have spent believing just about any odd thing you care to name, though, it is unsurprising that you can come up with a long list of books and papers and pamphlets and speeches and Web pages from people who believe just about anything you like. Einstein was wrong, the speed of light is infinite, the colour of human of your choice is superior to the other colour of human of your choice (with the "superiority" arrow pointing in all possible directions between "black", "brown", "white", "yellow", "very importantly different kind of yellow" and "red"), the MMR vaccination causes autism, abstinence-based sex education works, et cetera.

I have a suggestion for any readers who're enthusiastic about giving Jock a fair hearing, but who also have, you know, stuff to do other than spend months digging for a nugget of truth in the above large pile of... data. I suggest you randomly pick one or more of the above, and see what they have to say.

I stuck a metaphorical pin into the above list, avoiding the ones whose names I already recognised (like the ones who say that "shaken baby syndrome" can be caused by vaccines; how delightful!), and settled on "Pasteur Exposed: The False Foundations of Modern Medicine", by one Ethel Douglas Hume.

Thanks to this helpful review from a believer, I know that this work was originally published in 1923, and advanced the views of one Professor Antoine Béchamp over those of Pasteur.

Ethel took a while to finish her book about Béchamp, seeing as he died in 1908, at the end of a long and productive life in which I feel safe in saying his dispute with Pasteur was not the high point. Béchamp believed in pleomorphism, the view that in certain conditions, animal cells can turn into different animal cells. This much is not incorrect; certain cells, like stem cells, certainly can "differentiate" into other kinds of cells.

But Béchamp took this further. He believed that when you get a particular illness, and a particular kind of bacteria are then found in your body, those bacteria were actually created by tiny "microzymas" in your body which have been caused, by the disease you have, to turn themselves into bacteria rather than into the normal cells of your body.

Here's a believer's page about Béchamp's theory, which says it's "never been refuted". I take exception to that, because we have now studied human cells and bacteria at all scales down to individual molecules, and have abundant evidence that bacterial infection causes bacterial diseases, and that bacteria arise solely from other bacteria, and that there does not seem to exist anything that looks even slightly like a "microzyma".

It has, for some decades now, been quite easy and inexpensive for ordinary people to do biology experiments at home. If you happen to have a placenta handy, you can isolate amniotic stem cells from it; you can even sequence your own DNA at home.

So even if you, like Jock, believe science to be a form of evil religion, you can fiddle about with bacteria in the privacy of your own home in ways that Béchamp and Pasteur could only dream of, and establish for yourself which one of them had the right end of the stick.

(We're also, unfortunately, getting some more plain-as-day hard evidence of the importance of vaccinations, courtesy of people who believe the anti-vax arguments and don't vaccinate their children. As herd immunity falls, more kids get sick, and people are reminded why it was that we started vaccinating against diseases like measles, mumps and rubella, which can be deadly. I'm sure the antivaxers have a very good explanation for this.)

The publishers' blurb on this Amazon page for the 1988 reprint of "Pasteur Exposed" says:

"This extraordinary history of the germ theory, among other things, shows that vaccination far from saving millions of lives has cost millions. In destroying Pasteur's ideas, the author has introduced us to Bechamp, whose experiments produced the first scientific evidence of how homoeopathy, acupuncture and all holistic therapies can cure disease while conventional medicine can only treat it. The implications of Bechamp's discoveries are far reaching and have yet to be realized, and it is hoped that this book will be an inspiration to scientists, therapists and the general public who are beginning to sense the futility of the conventional approach."

Humankind's ever-increasing life expectancies would seem to me to militate against this view that "the conventional approach" is "futile"; I actually suspect that most people who held this opinion in 1924 would, if they saw today's world, admit that they'd got it wrong. I mean, never mind all the people whose cancer has been cured before it became more than a little lump, let alone what used to happen; we've got a smallpox-free world, which notably also does not contain thousands of children doomed to spend the rest of their lives in an iron lung, I'm sorry but the allegation that the polio vaccine had nothing to do with this always makes me just a little bit fucking angry.

The anti-vaccinationists a hundred years ago were all saying that vaccination would never achieve a damn thing and we should all use their homeopathy or other "holistic therapies". Well, we haven't used those therapies, we have used vaccination, and the evidence is there to see for anybody who doesn't still insist on waving books from 1923 in the air as if their projections of what might happen in their future are more valuable than our direct knowledge of what happened in our past.

There's a wonderful pull-quote above the publishers' blurb, too:

"This plagiarist (Pasteur) was the most monumental charlatan whose existence is disclosed to us in the entire recorded history of medicine." - M.R. Leverson

Oh, my! And who is M.R. Leverson when he's at home, I wondered?

Well, here Montague R. Leverson is in a New York Times story from 1901, refusing to report smallpox cases to the NY Board of Health, on the grounds that the government would only lessen their chances of recovery. Here he is again, opposing public-school vaccinations in 1895, and complaining about them in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1897. Leverson was a doctor... of homeopathy. (And is alleged to have been a bit of a charlatan himself, but this is neither here nor there.)

Homeopathy, I remind you, is the idea that water can remember substances it used to be in contact with, when it is shaken by a person who intends it to remember those substances, and will after this become more and more powerful the more strongly it is diluted, and cure whatever diseases are caused by the substance which the water was once in contact with would cause, in large doses. (Got that?)

Homeopathic doctrine, unlike scientific medicine, has stayed pleasingly static ever since Samuel Hahnemann first discovered that giving people water described as medicine worked better than the orthodox medical treatment of his time, which was the year 1796.

Grab a sawbones from 1796 and put him in a modern hospital and he'd be completely mystified, but a homeopath from the turn of the 19th century would be right at home in a modern homeopath's office, after a brief refresher course on the strange ways in which homeopathic remedies can today be "proven".

It's still easy to find homeopaths who claim to treat cancer, autism, diabetes, you name it; but strangely enough, the world-shaking news that serious ailments with clearly-defined endpoints can be cured by something that orthodox science says is just water, or a sugar pill, has not been forthcoming. Once again, these practitioners don't follow up on their patients, and there's no evidence beyond the say-so of the practitioners that their patients are any better off, for diseases that aren't amenable to treatment by placebo.

Homeopathy today has lots of remedies that are "proved" in strange, metaphorical, poetic ways. As with other areas of human endeavour that're essentially just sympathetic magic, this means that any homeopath can claim anything about anything, if they're clever enough. It's like postmodern literary criticism.

Homeopathic "preparations" of straightforward poisons like arsenic can, by this mechanism, end up with a hilarious laundry list of conditions for which they're meant to be effective.

"Arsenicum Album" is, to be fair, not usually quoted as a homeopathic cure for cancer - but it is normally quoted as being effective against the paralysing fear of death suffered by terminal disease patients!

The reason for this is that, wait for it: If a homeopathic remedy doesn't treat the actual illness (in this case, death) that the homeopathically-diluted-out-of-existence substance it's based on (in this case, arsenic) causes when administered in macroscopic doses, it must treat that which is psychologically associated with that illness!

Poetry, right there!

(Some "homeopathic" remedies, of course, simply and rather boringly contain pharmaceutically effective concentrations of real drugs. Nobody can figure out how this happens.)

Amazon has a listing for another book by Ethel Hume, "Béchamp or Pasteur? A Lost Chapter in the History of Biology", with some "Look Inside" pages to give you a peek at its content. (These people are selling a modern impression of that book, and offer some downloadable sample chapters, but the server's currently down.)

And all this fun came from only one of Jock's references! Just imagine how much entertainment can be had from the rest!

(Do feel free to add your comments about any of the other sources in Jock's huge list.)

21 Responses to “10,537 bytes with which I do not agree”

  1. Johnny Wallflower Says:

    Thanks for this latest--and particularly ferocious--refutation of modern-day flat earthers. They make me just a little bit fucking angry too.

  2. Yorick Says:

    I took a look at a couple of links... Mostly in relation to the Diabetes and vaccines stuff - http://www.nvic.org/vaccines-and-diseases/Diabetes/congressionalhearing.aspx

    It seems to conflate a summary of "what diabetes is" and the theory that MMR vaccines cause diabetes in the same article - which is dangerous to begin with...

    But the sources are largely non-primary old research, and the article employs the correlation/causation fallacy quite nicely. There are also a number of anecdotal articles references and quoted:
    "There are many reports in the literature of Type-I diabetes emerging after mumps vaccination. In 1997, Sinaiotis and colleagues reported the onset of Type-I diabetes one month after receipt of mumps vaccine in a 6.5 year old boy. In 1991, Pawlowski and Gries described an 11-year old body who had mumps disease at age 16 months and then received measles-mumps vaccine 5 months prior to the emergence of Type-I diabetes; he had severe abdominal pain and fever one week after vaccination."

    Okay, so one month for onset of severe diabetes? Pull the other one. In any case, two *anecdotal* cases of diabetes (for which causation from vaccine cannot be proved) versus thousands upon thousands dying from a highly infectious disease with incredibly high mortality rates.

    It's poor journalism and the bias of the site is worn on its sleeve. "Make informed decisions" while providing nothing but anti-vaccine points of view.

    http://www.whale.to/m/critics.html is also amusing. So, there's a few hundred anti-vaccine doctors, some of whom don't want to go on record to that effect. How many believe vaccines are a good idea? Well, most of the practicing medical doctors in the world, less these few hundred.

    The weight of evidence, not to mention ethics, is for herd immunity by vaccination. The damage caused by treatable disease is *far, far* worse than that "caused" by vaccines. It would be great to study the effects in detail and see if there *is* causation, but none of the evidence I can find here shows it.

  3. j Says:

    (We’re also, unfortunately, getting some more plain-as-day hard evidence of the importance of vaccinations, courtesy of people who believe that anti-vax arguments and don’t vaccinate their children. As herd immunity falls, more kids get sick. I’m sure the antivaxers have a very good explanation for this.)

    Sadly yes. I have a friend (with whom I long ago gave up arguing) who insists that it's the vast number of toxins and chemicals that people take into their bodies in modern society that is weakening our immune systems and causing us to have more incidences of measles.

    Which she says aren't that bad anyway. It's only measles right?

    And measles is nothing compared to the damage we're doing by putting fluoride into the water supply!


    I wish I were making this up. I used to bait her for fun, but it just became disheartening after a while. She's okay to talk to otherwise, if you can ignore the batshit-insanery.

  4. Nogami Says:

    Perhaps this entire upswing of anti-vaccination asshattery is simply nature's way of ensuring that evolution does infact exist, and will eventually cull them from our herd.

    The saddest part of this is the innocent kids that will be forced to suffer from this ill-informed pseudo-science.

    At some point there will be a lot of damage done as a result of these nutters, and I'm sure that it will somehow "not be their fault", and religion will probably be brought into the equation too...

  5. reyalp Says:

    Since Jock appears to deny the efficacy of all vaccines, I wonder what his stance is on rabies. The disease is 100% fatal without treatment (in all of human history, there are only a handful of credibly documented cases of victims surviving after the onset of symptoms), while the vaccine-based PEP is nearly 100% effective, if administered early enough.

  6. Daniel Rutter Says:

    The Vaccine Liberation Information site Jock mentions in a number of his links is pleased to explain all about rabies vaccinations. Apparently, people who exhibit the symptoms of rabies and then recover after post-exposure vaccine prophylaxis probably never had rabies in the first place, and got better because of the placebo effect.

    It's just that simple!

    (Most of the other sites just seem to say that dogs probably don't need yearly vaccinations for rabies, or for anything else, a view with which I agree; it's standard operating procedure for vets to just revaccinate every year for everything, rather than go through the rigmarole of doing antibody titers, and it's plausible that this does expose animals to excessive risk of harm. The sites Jock pointed to that say this usually also, explicitly or implicitly, acknowledge that the effectiveness of human rabies PEP is not at all in question, and that the human rabies vaccine works fine in the normal way too. Presumably Jock would like us to avoid reading those parts.)

  7. Stefans Says:

    When I moved to London and crowded student accommodation, I got vaccinated for MMR and Meninjitis C. After each shot, I went to the pub. I have had no ill effects (from the vaccines, the pub may be another matter). Thus, I can say with absolute certainty that 100% of the time, with a standard error of 0%, pubs prevent ill effects from vaccinations. That's, like, statistics.

    [Checked that this post is actually from 2009 and Opera and Google Reader aren't conspiring against me again :]

  8. Bern Says:

    Stefans, that's the best advice I've heard in a while! Well, since I visited a cardiologist the other day, and he told me to have a beer or glass of wine (note the singular) every day... :-D

  9. Alex Whiteside Says:

    If he really wants to play the "I've got lots of citations" game, couldn't we just print the existing body of scientific research on vaccines and drop it on him? I imagine that from even a modest height it would be very effective. I doubt he would ever bring up the argument again.

  10. Matt W Says:

    I'm now genuinely concerned.
    These people deny so much of science since the renaissance that I'm quite literally fearful for our society. Spontaneous creation ?
    No need to worry about HIV, I have a root vegetable ?
    Is it too late to start a teaching career ? I may be awful, but there is a real need here to expose these people.
    Props of course to BG and the Guardian.

  11. jockdoubleday Says:

    I appreciate your posting my very long comment -- and your sense of humor. It speaks volumes about you.

    Jock Doubleday

  12. Matt W Says:

    From the informed parent link.
    the dangers of measles, mumps and rubella are being grossly exaggerated,
    You may decide that contracting measles will play a beneficial role, resulting in priming and maturing your child's immune system.

  13. Daniel Rutter Says:

    ...unless your child is one of the three out of every thousand healthy children in developed countries who, if they contract measles, will die of it.

    (Possibly, if your kid's REALLY lucky, via the path of subacute sclerosing panencephalitis!)

    (In 2005, only about three hundred and forty-five thousand children died of measles, at least according to those murderous conspiratorial liars at the World Health Organization and UNICEF.)

  14. Michael J Says:

    Death and illness from infectious disease is rare enough that some people worry more about jabs than cruel early death. This is a recent state of affairs thanks to vaccines and hygiene. Just look at old cemeteries, all those infants. My baby had all his shots this year. People who don't have their kids immunized had better hope the other kids have.

  15. dazzawul Says:

    Dont worry, Jock will nearly lose a kid, when every single other kid that his kid knows, who has gotten a vaccination, will be fine.
    All the kids of parents he's conviced to be idiots and NOT get vaccinations for their children will also suffer a similar fate, and if he's lucky enough to not get lynched.. He'll at least have an opportunity to start singing a different tune :)

  16. ferdjones Says:

    My father had polio when he was a kid... in the 1950's. He was in the hospital for a year (and ended up getting a signed charcoal sketch of Daisy Mae from Andy Kapp which is hanging in his living room). His left leg and right arm are noticeably smaller than their counterparts as a result. I do not know anything about his vaccinations, but as he was the youngest of the 3 brothers, and neither of my uncles had it, I would assume that they got theirs at some point. Anyway, this anti-vaccination crap hits close to home and bugs the shite out of me. If I was to ever have children (pretty much NO chance of that anymore, but I digress), I would definitely get them vaccinated. The only one I had a problem with, personally, was the Yellow Fever one I got while in the Navy... had a fever of 101 degrees (F of course) that night. Lasted about 6-12 hours (this was 19 years ago (1990), so I don't remember ALL of the details lol).

  17. j Says:

    And hey, why immunize male children from rubella, right? I mean, that's only serious for pregnant women.

    Pregnant women who might have a very damn good reason for not being immunized, and who are now unable to visit say... schools or daycare centres because of the irresponsible people who choose not to have their boys (or girls) vaccinated for rubella, "because of the risk".

    Oh my! Thimerisol has mercury in it? We all know that mercury is bad!

    Questioning things is good, but would it help if kids were taught critical thinking in school or something? Or is it indicative of how pampered our society is that we now have the luxury of risking disease?

  18. reyalp Says:

    The rabies stuff shows Jock for the dangerous lunatic he is. Quoting the nutbar site

    Now what about vaccination? Given that the vaccine will do harm, can either side say that vaccination is beneficial? What is the difference? Simply this, vaccination includes as part of its equation the value of the recipients optimistic expectation of positive outcome

    This is a disease that is 100% fatal if you don't seek treatment, and very nearly 100% non-fatal if you get treatment early. These statistics are borne out over tens of thousands of deaths every year. The denialist nutjobs point out that only a couple people a year die in the US due to rabies, conveniently ignoring the tens of thousands who die in third world countries. The main reason that fatality rates are so low in the US because we vaccinate our pets. Rabid dogs are frequent in India but extremely rare in the US. The few infections we get are mostly from wild bats.

    The claim that PEP rabies treatment is placebo is obviously a complete load of shit. Most of the rabies fatalities in the first world nations (and many in the third world) are due to people not seeking treatment because they didn't know they were infected. A small, nearly invisible scratch from a bat is enough to kill you. The treatment (to a million to one approximation) is only effective before symptoms appear. Treatment after the appearance of symptoms has only cured about 6 people in all of recorded history. Those survivors went through terrible trauma, and suffered long term neurological damage. So

    If events proceed to an individual developing rabies, ONLY THEN does a high mortality rate become common but still there is treatment.

    Is a lethal lie.

    Jock, if anyone is dumb enough to listen to him on this issue, will a guilty of murder or negligent homicide at the least. Not to mention dispensing medical advice without a license.

    I'd give Jock a counter-challenge to go demonstrate the harmlessness of rabies, but I suppose telling the mentally ill to kill themselves is not appropriate. So instead, I'll just urge him to seek psychiatric help as soon as possible, and to stop spreading his murderous nonsense.

    Vaccine denial isn't just anti-rational nonsense. It's murder.


  19. Dan_Barrett Says:

    When I was a baby, I had West's Syndrome, a form of epilepsy that manifested itself about 4 weeks after I had the triple-antigen vaccine. West's syndrome can cause serious brain damage / development retardation, etc.

    I recovered, but my parents were unsure whether the vaccine has caused the seizures or whether I was just unlucky (West's syndrome generally occurs at about the same time, regardless of whether you're immunised or not. )

    When I had children, we thought long and hard about getting them immunised. I did a lot of research about potential issues with vaccines; as far as I can see there's no conclusive evidence of any correlation between vaccinations, and potential side effects.
    The triple antigen is a lot milder than it was when I had it, so we went ahead with it.

    In any case, my first son ended up with the same condition, West's syndrome, recovered, just like me, had a somewhat delayed development, and now has been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome.

    Do I think the vaccinations caused the seizures in me and my son? I guess it's possible, but I'm not convinced that's the cause. My son and I have participated in a study to see whether there's a genetic link between father and son for west's syndrome; currently the jury's out on that (ie they haven't found a specific marker / gene yet).

    To be on the safe side, when we had our second son we delayed the "known risks" part of the triple antigen shot - rubella, I think - (which caused delays as we needed a special version manufactured for him specifically) - he's been fine. He's since had the rubella shot he missed with no effects.

    My two beautiful boys are doing fine.

    Personally I think it's very important to get immunise against known viruses / diseases, both for my family and the community at large. Sure, there's a perceived, unproven risk, and plenty of anecdotal evidence like my experience but I think the impact of your child getting TB, Measles, etc is much, much greater than the potential risk of immunisation. I couldn't imagine having my child die of a treatable disease because I didn't immunise, or being responsible for introducing a disease like TB or measles into a school because I was dumb enough to not get my kid vaccinated. Parents always want total security that their kid will be 100% fine after the immunisation shot - the scientific process just doesn't work that way.

    That's my 3c anyway.

  20. shimavak Says:

    This breaks away from the vaccine talk, but I just had to comment on the link to "what used to happen" ("A different kind of alternative medicine 'testimonial'", Respectful Insolence), which in turn had a link to a previous article: "Death by alternative medicine: Who's to blame?"

    My comment was based on how difficult it is to read the recounting of this tumor board conference and not feel great empathy for the Medical Oncologist leading the tumor board who said "...she would have viewed the failure to persuade her to see reason as a personal failure."

    I see this as one of the very worst potential outcome of this patients choice of certain death over treatment for her quite curable (by a cancer standpoint) disease because it has hurt the ability of the people whose lives are dedicated to curing these diseases (or at least managing them). If the physician sees enough of these hopeless cases which they had a chance to help ("if only I could reach them!") and they are unable to do anything, the psychological toll can be devastating. I cannot imagine being able to continue for long in such a climate and not break down or lose my connection with humanity in the patient. Either way, any subsequent patient is hurt by this one's acts; certainly not killed outright, but had some small measure of goodness taken from them.

    In this way, even this seemingly single-victim crime is worse still in the toll it extracts from the society that allows it. I can only hope that someone brighter than I can come up with a magic pill to cure the cargo-cultistic psuedo-scientific bullshit woven woo that erodes at the foundation of the modern world so hard fought for by the great scientific collectives come before. If not, I may take solace in having lived in what was the greatest time humanity may ever know.

  21. Alex Whiteside Says:

    Dan Barrett: there are well-defined side effects for many vaccines. For obvious reasons they're usually similar to mild symptoms of the pathogen itself, and they're responsible for a lot of sick days and a couple of unanticipatable deaths every year. However these effects are well-known, usually readily treatable, and backed up by many scientific studies. On balance, the loss of life and health by not vaccinating is far, far, far, far higher than the loss of life and health that may occur as a result of a vaccine side-effect. It's a testament to the idiocy of the antivaccination movement that their deranged activities have managed to erroneously convince you that there are no vaccine side effects at all.

    Interestingly, the notorious David Geier started off his career in that sort of legitimate vaccine-effects research before going off the rails in spectacular fashion with all sorts of gibberish about mercury-testosterone crystals* (?!) to justify chemically castrating autistic kids.

    *(This idea seems to have originally come about from the fairly new "premature masculinisation" ideas about autism which have as much of a scientific footing as panspermia. I doff my hat to his ad-hoc binding of that to the mercury-toxicity hypothesis. I have a fantasy about eventually getting a grad student to come up with a definitive study into how awful his idea is, but it's so ill-defined there's no sensible way to come at it.)

Leave a Reply