Thursday, June 12, 2008

Foamin' Again: Anti-vaxxers

Some of you know that anti-vaxxers press a lot of my buttons. Their lies and deceptive half-truths endanger children (and not just their own) and risk derailing legitimate autism research. But one of the things that really sticks in my craw is that they're like Creationists in that they'll repeat fallacies over and over and over again. It's especially irritating that so many drive-by trolls of theirs don't even bother keeping up with the latest alleged causes. Of course, there's also the conspiracy nut angle that gets perpetuated like any other urban legend.

Whenever I see the typical anti-vaxxer troll, I feel like I'm debating someone who still thinks Mikey from those LIFE cereal commercials died from eating Pop Rocks and soda. The conspiracies they posit are so outlandish, the alchemy of their "mercury" downright crazy, and their understanding of the scientific method comes straight out of television ads. What they've done is no different than the typical chemical scare, only they're turning it into a political movement.

Like all woo, there are common threads with other varieties. Anecdotes about conspiracies, conspiracies as defense mechanisms, poor understanding of grade school science, flip-flopping on "everything governments say is true/false" to form arguments from false authority, and they're not afraid of lobbing irrelevant political views in there. I've been accused of a lot of things in my days as a outspoken skeptic. On one end, IDiots call me a dope-smoking liberal hippie, and on the other, all sorts of alties and twoofers call me a right wing Bush crony. These people have apparently allowed themselves to be so polarized, cynical, and arrogant that they can't imagine anyone honestly disagreeing with them. Woos are so destructive.


Rev. BigDumbChimp said...


Mikey is dead?

Bob said...

Not only is Mikey dead, but I think we're gonna need another Timmy.

Liz Ditz said...

I suspect that the Age of Autism folks, especially Harry Hofherr are going to have some splaining to do about slandering Carolyn Kolbaba.

King Aardvark said...

wait, you're NOT a dope-smoking liberal hippie?

You're missing out on a great time ;-)