acroyear: (grumblecat)
[personal profile] acroyear
Anybody who is exempting their kids from vaccines because of "religious" reasons (when they're not "christian scientists") or thinks it might give their kids autism is completely UNinformed.

Oh, I am furious with the Today Show today for giving some ranting mother with no proof at all from any doctor or scientist the last word that she thinks her kids got "sick" from vaccines with out a counter-point.  Yet another case of bad science reporting where actually presenting the evidence that there is NO documentable connection between vaccines and child development problems will take so much time that the news would rather just leave it on the sensationalism and let FACTS fall by the wayside.  Not the least when she let slip on the air that one of the conditions is genetic, meaning there is nothing in the world that could have "given" it to the kid, not least a shot with dead measle bugs in it.

Many childhood diseases, often ones that are genetic, show symptoms around age 4-6.  Most children get the bulk of their final vaccinations (if not done as infants) around age 4-6.  This is called coincidence, not causality.

Really, TodayShow, you just made things a whole lot worse for doctors out there.

Date: 2007-10-19 01:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
See there you go... Trying to counter religious ideology with logic and reason.

Date: 2007-10-19 02:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
See, thing is most (and I mean MOST, like 85%+) of the anti-vaccinators aren't of the "science sucks" religions like "Christian Scientists" or Mennonites or Amish or any of that retro "we *heart* the 17th century" crowd.

They're just using that loophole as an excuse to let their irrational fears, fed by an ignorant media, be validated.

This isn't religious ideology that we're fighting, this is the overall attitude that religious "feelings" should not be challenged and should be given sway over the larger needs of society to protect itself.

Date: 2007-10-19 02:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
this is the overall attitude that religious "feelings" should not be challenged and should be given sway over the larger needs of society to protect itself.

Which,I'm sad to say, is part of a religious ideology. It's unfortunate that the media has become the voicebox for the irrational fears of the people as well because lets face it fear sells as well as sex.

Date: 2007-10-19 02:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
or better still, "fear of sex" which seems to really sell and relate to the religious right nutballs.

Date: 2007-10-19 02:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Unfortunately the religious right is the most easily motivated group if you know how to push their buttons. That is why every politician that thinks they have a chance immediately sucks up. Because if a preacher tells a right winger to do something, he doesn't question, he doesn't think, he doesn't whine he just does it*. Whereas groups not fettered by both a religious fundamentalist ideology and a political agenda generally want to at least know why someone wants them to do something.

The large majority of people in American aren't easy to motivate in any one direction. We have thoughts. We have opinions. We also get incredibly frustrated when we see the sort of bullshit that's been going on for the last 7 years and it tends to generate apathy which prevents voting or protesting. Which only feeds the fire. Because when only extremists are voting, only their agenda for everyone gets accomplished. So you end up following fundie rules whether you agree with them or not.

Sucks eh? Sucks even worse when you realize that 20 years ago people like the current right wing crop were laughed out of the public eye because Americans realized they were nuts. Now they have all the money, all the power and all the motivation to remake the nation into a fascist state because they believe it will benefit them.

* Yeah it's a generalization and a stereotype.

Date: 2007-10-19 01:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Part of my job involves reading articles in reputable scientific journals. One such journal published a study on this possible link, though I don't recall the results, or the journal. But real scientists have looked at it. So, if the Today Show wanted to be informative and not just sensationalist, they could have cited the article. There's credible information out there on the topic, though which way the results ran, I honestly couldn't say (not related to my job, so I didn't pay much attention).

The CDCs website cites an article: "Pediatric Annals update on vaccine safety: Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine and Autism: The Rise (and Fall?) of a Hypothesis. By J.L. Kastner and B.G. Gellin. Pediatric Annals 30:7/July 2001." The title seems to indicate that there has in fact been no proven link.

But I guess "one woman's story" (it could be you!) sells, and dry scientific literature does not.

Date: 2007-10-19 02:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
it's not that - they brought on an "expert" pediatrician to represent the science side, though just like the evolution and climatology "debates" one-on-one confrontations, while good "story", are hardly representative of the actual numbers of supporters on each side.

The point is, unless the actually full description of what the study was that proved the autism link to be false, or how the study has been vindicated by multiple supporting studies in multiple countries, then the fact that there's a "study out there" is meaningless.

They can always say "there's a study out there" and be lying through their teeth. They (the anti-science crowd) often do exactly that, just as they often say "there's a testable ID hypothesis" and then never actually say what it is.

You can't give all of the facts supporting your position, AND refute every false claim and bad logic of the other side's emotion-laden "argument", in a 30 second soundbite. The issue is too large for that.

Date: 2007-10-19 02:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That hypothesis is: "If you put your fingers in your ears, close your eyes , stick your head up your ass and yell 'Blah blah blah' at the top of your lungs you won't hear the logical rational scientific explanations for things. Then you can continue thinking you are a divinely inspired creature rather than a filthy monkey."

Date: 2007-10-19 03:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Which raises the question, how do you know God isn't a monkey, filthy or otherwise?

Date: 2007-10-19 03:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Lets see if I remember this from Phil 101.

What is god? god is a being that is perfect.

What is perfect? A thing which lacks nothing.

Therefore god is a being which lacks nothing.

Therefore god would have to be a monkey.

Because if god lacked the condition of 'monkey' god wouldn't be perfect.

Date: 2007-10-19 05:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Which implies a naturally panentheistic perspective (God is everything and transcends everything as well). I could cope with that.
Meaning that both the vaccines and the diseases are God too. Very philosophical.

But whether God is measles or not, my son's still getting vaccinated for 'em. And everything else his doctor recommends.

Date: 2007-10-19 05:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
We got into a lot of really weird arguments like that in Phi 101. I loved the class. But ultimately I'm still one of those non-believers. God doesn't have to exist for me to exist as far as I'm concerned and The Great Question is irrelevant. I do exist. I am here and there's no way I can prove either way whether god(s) exist, so the very attempt to do so is a waste of time.

I don't believe in Vampires, the Tooth Fairie or Easter Bunny either.

Date: 2007-10-19 09:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, true. The statement should perhaps be read that IF God exists, God must be everything.
Personally, I think if you lead a decent life and treat others honestly, kindly and justly, Things Will Work Out - and that God, if such a being exists, is more concerned with you living a good and decent life than with you believing in or flattering Him/Her/It/They/Us. And if such a being doesn't exist, well, it makes a more pleasant world for everyone anyway.

Date: 2007-10-19 09:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I don't believe in Vampires, the Tooth Fairie or Easter Bunny either.

Zombies, however ...

Date: 2007-10-19 03:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, there are at least two that I've seen. Probably others exist. If you cite the specific studies, and the results (which I did not do, but I'm not claiming to be a journalist, and have neither the time nor inclination to do so at the moment) then you are not just saying "there's a study." And to get into a credible journal, it has to be peer-reviewed, hence the credibility.

But that would certainly take too much time (and lose too many people) for the Today Show. Hopefully, concerned parents will research the issue for themselves and discover that no link has been proven. Some will. Some will let irrational fear overrule logic. Such is America.

Date: 2007-10-19 02:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
CDC web site about this issue for those who like reading such things. Basically, a 1998 study showed a link between MMR vaccines and autism, but the study was flawed and the authors later retracted the study's conclusions. Studies since then have shown no link between the vaccines and autism. I guess there was sufficient scare at the time that it's in the public mindset now.

Date: 2007-10-19 02:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The "mindset" has been around since the 60s, and is part of the larger anti-scientific Luddite attitudes that go back to when vaccinations first started.

Keep in mind there's an anti-vaccination scene, a rather violent one that sets the plot in motion, in the original Frankenstein. Only Brannagh's film version actually includes it.

Date: 2007-10-19 03:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I just recently wound up with one of my LJ comments screened in someone's blog (her right, of course) when I pointed out that it's "junk science" to say that the MMR vaccine gave her son autism. It simply does not work that way. She would rather believe that than accept some other causation, especially a genetic one. :-( I am astonished at peoples' capacity for self-delusion.

Date: 2007-10-20 06:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
My issues with vaccines is partially the Possible autism link, but it's alot to do with the fact that alot of vaccines have mercury in them. They are coming out with no mercury vaccines but as usual with new drugs of any type insurance companies are really slow to pay for them.

But since I still have a little bit of time before I have to make the desision for my son the insurance companies may have changed their mind about them.

And before anyone yells my son is 14 months old and is currently up to date with what his doctor says he should have at this point.

Date: 2007-10-20 06:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The doctor is actually the one who suggested delaying his MMR vaccination and skipping totally the chicken pox vaccine.

Darth_Psyche's doctors believe that some of her disabilities are linked to the vaccinations she got when she joined the Navy.


acroyear: (Default)
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