Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Crack a Chemistry Book!

Watched this video, and unsurprisingly, some members of the Mercury Militia showed up in the comments.

If their propaganda tactics weren't causing so much harm to children, I could find them hilarious.

1) So many of them refer to thimerosal as mercury, it implies that they believe, against all of modern chemistry taught at grade school level and up, that an element and a compound containing that element are the same thing.

2) If they're claiming thimerosal breaks down, releasing the mercury, why can't I find one who's actually willing to crack open a high school chemistry book and use the tables in the back (or the same ones online) to calculate plausible breakdown reactions? Or even reference the work of someone who did that for them?

3) Even if it was mercury, isn't it kind of moot since mercury poisoning and autism produce very different symptoms?


Valhar2000 said...

Point #3 is often answered by making up symptons for mercury poisoning. Generally, they make up symptoms similar to those of autism spectrum disorders, but I've seen people claim that a tendency to write annoyed, sarcastic comments in answer to ridiculous arguments is a possible sign of mercury poisoning, so go figure.

Anonymous said...

I'm concerned that your request of them to 'crack a book' can be seen -by them- as the same thing as Doggerel #202 "Google It".

That is, you're telling them to look something up in much the same way as woos ask you to look it up.

Don't get me wrong. I see important differences between the two cases; Woos saying Google It are also saying "I don't know the details you are asking for, so YOU should look it up to prove MY point" whereas "crack a chemistry book" is saying YOU could find the details YOU need for YOUR OWN argument in a chemistry text.

But, to people who don't think (or write) clearly, it can look like you're not playing by your own rules.

Bronze Dog said...

You make a good point, friendly Anonny, though it's pretty hard to say something woos can't twist around.

You might want to leave a name or pseudonym. I'm lax on my "no anonymous" policy, but it'd be nice to have something semi-unique to call you.

James K said...

It occurred to me a while ago why it is that anti-vaxxers can't get the simple point that trace amounts of thimerosal aren't the same as mercury. They're actually all dead, all you're hearing are echoes.

You see the anti-vaxxers ate some salt once and exploded. You see salt is a sodium compound, and humans are mostly water and everyone knows sodium explodes in water.

Now sure, some of these exploded anti-vaxxers will claim that the sodium in salt is chemically distinct from metallic sodium and in any case the trace amounts of it can't blow up a human being. But if they did that, they wouldn't be anti-vaxxers any more, would they?

Buford said...

I am Anonymous, above.
I hadn't tried this option before.