Friday, February 18, 2011

Vaccines cause autism! Really?

Today millions of Americans--mostly middle class, college educated mothers--believe that vaccines cause autism. This fact is a stunning indictment of both the kind of college education liberal arts majors get, and of just how close to chimpanzees our minds remain.

There's a daytime medical show on TV by someone named Dr. Oz. I just watched woman after women in his middle class audience say, in effect, "I don't care what anybody says--vaccines harm babies so I'm going to protect mine by not letting him get vaccinated."

These people have hung swords by a thread over their babies' cribs--and then gone through their neighborhoods hanging more swords by more threads over all their neighbors' babies cribs as well. The epidemiological impact of these fools' actions threaten to drag America back into the 19th century once these human time bombs start attending school and coughing in our own childrens' faces.

And that "I don't care what anybody says" part is telling. We evolved to not only have "instincts" about threats around us, but to trust those instincts implicitly--even though those instincts evolved to assess threats in circumstances totally different from the ones we live in today. This flat dismissal of medical information and statistical reality shows how we just cease to think when our emotions get triggered.

Moreover, our minds connect dots all the time--even dots that aren't connected.

Some con artists have made a lot of money off peddling this "vaccines cause autism" horsepuckey. I guess P.T. Barnum was right.

1 comment:

n1ck said...

Lumping together everyone who gets a liberal arts degree into some sub-intellect group doesn't really help your argument. Having a liberal arts degree doesn't influence whether you understand science or believe in myths.