Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Great resource for countering Anti-Vaccination rhetoric

Brian Dunning at the Skeptoid podcast just did an episode on ingredients in vaccines, which are often claimed to be harmful by anti-vaxxers (the link also contains a text transcript of the audio).  These claims are baseless, and the podcast addresses the most commonly cited ingredients.  Some are just plain lies (aspartame, anti-freeze, aborted fetal tissue), others are just scary sounding, without any real negative effects (formaldehyde, aluminium), and some are much more complicated than any anti-vaxxer is willing to think about (mercury, live viruses).  If you ever have to deal with intellectual lightweights and their anti-vaccination arguments, this is a really nice, compact resource.

And if you're not subscribed to the Skeptoid podcast, do it now!  It's a great listen, and each episode is only about 10-15 minutes long, so he gets the pertinent information to you without a lot of filler.


EDIT:

Well no sooner did I post this than I read all over the blogosphere that the king anti-vaxxer himself, Bill Maher, published a post on the Huffington Post, a bastion for pseudo-scientific nonsense, titled Vaccination: A Conversation Worth Having.  Its complete rubbish; basically trying to argue that he's the open-minded one, because he's willing to believe any woo-based conspiracy that invokes the fear of "Big Pharma."  Opac at Respectful Insolence already posted a devastating rebuttal here, check it out.

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