Why the hell do people still think vaccines cause autism?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by iPhone 62S, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. iPhone 62S macrumors 6502a

    iPhone 62S

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    #1
    This is part rant part genuine curiosity. I was recently surprised to find out that there are still people who think vaccines - including the new swine flu one - cause autism, despite huge scientific evidence disproving it. Urr, why?

    There are even people capaigning to have vaccines banned because of it, and I can get you linkage on that if you don't believe me.

    I seriously think some people must just be stupid. Or is there something else here I'm missing? :confused:
     
  2. No1451 macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Most things like this are a product of FUD, plain and simple
     
  3. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

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    #3
    Well here's your first issue, you're trying to argue using science, but inherritly the scientific method doesn't prove anything it only supports it. So there's no "huge scientific evidence disproving it," just supporting that it doesn't cause autism.

    Sorry, I'm not going to rant. I just hate it when people don't know what they're talking about when they present "scientific evidence".
     
  4. Zyniker macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Let's not forget the celebrities who have advanced this idea.
     
  5. iPhone 62S thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iPhone 62S

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    #6
    Well one study proven to have been faked vs. quite a few more "supporting" the fact vaccines don't cause autism is close enough to proof I think.
     
  6. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #7
    I think vaccination denial mostly derives from a genuine ambition to do the right thing. In the case of people like Jenny McCarthy I don't think they actually mean any harm. On the contrary they are just ignorant and trying to find an explanation and understanding of the situation they find themselves in (an autistic child). A reason why.

    Understanding how vaccination works requires a reasonably in-depth understanding of the immune system, an ability to calculate risk, and an individual's perception of an illness. This is confounded with the problems that people have with going to doctors (fear of needles, cost etc). In cases that cite thiomersil as "mercury" it's a misunderstanding of basic chemistry.

    Overall I think it's a case of both the ease at which the antivaxxers can spread FUD and the difficulty and inability of medical practitioners to explain things in sufficient depth and in detail. Unfortunately for many an exciting intergovernmental conspiracy theory is far more engaging that a basic introduction to the immune system.
     
  7. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    #8
    *cue for our Resident Conspiracy Theorist to chime in*
     
  8. toontra macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Hah, Andy Wakefield was in my class at school. He was an idiot then and he is patently an idiot still. Interestingly, since his exposure as a fraud in the UK he now lives and practices in the `States. That says a lot about him and about the US!
     
  9. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #10
    There is not something else here you are missing.
     
  10. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    #11
    Stupidity, ignorance and, in some cases, a touch of bad faith to advance an agenda.
    It's the same recipe that maintains the creationist movement alive and well.
     
  11. iPhone 62S thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iPhone 62S

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    #12
    Yeah that just about sums it all up by the looks of it!

    May I also say that your username is very appropriate for the thread! :D
     
  12. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #13
    Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think it has to do with vaccines... but the way the vaccines were administered. Not one by one over a period of time, but all of them mixed together and delivered all at once. If I remember correctly that was the reason behind it.

    So far I haven't seen or heard anything about the N1H1 vaccine.
     
  13. iPhone 62S thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iPhone 62S

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    #14
    You'd be surprised...

    EDIT: Also...
     
  14. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #15
    Is that the one that cures swine dyslexia?
     
  15. MooneyFlyer macrumors 65816

    MooneyFlyer

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  16. freeny macrumors 68020

    freeny

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    #17
    Also, antivaccinators have turned their pseudoscience into quite a profitable industry taking in several million per year selling "alternative medicines" (aka "snake oil").
     
  17. tofagerl macrumors 6502a

    tofagerl

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    #18
    Cause they're celebrities, and noone ever speaks truth to famous.
     
  18. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #19
    Did autism ever have a positive correlation with any of the crap they have tested against? I remember vaccines being the big thing 4 years ago, then it was power plants, etc.

    From the results I am getting from google I am going to go ahead and assume 'no'.
     
  19. harperjones99 macrumors 6502

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    #20
    You don't know that they don't. One day there may be definitive data but as of now just like a lot of things there is not. I remember a bunch of sailors from WWII getting cancer a while back and people mocked the idea that it came from chemical weapons being sprayed on their ship for testing back then and called it a stupid conspiracy theory with no data roving it. After enough people made a stink about it documents were declassified that admitted this testing WAS done. Point is just because you get bent out of shape about it doesn't make them wrong.

    I see no problem with people erring on the side of caution. I have seen good sensible discussion that suggests limiting the schedule not denying them all together.

    It is one of those things that you might feel very differently about if you are impacted by it and looking for answers.
     
  20. Signal-11 macrumors 65816

    Signal-11

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    #21
    Fear of the unknown is always easier than making an attempt to understand.

    Let's face it, to the majority of people on the planet, modern medical science is voodoo.

    You know that Arthur C. Clarke quote? "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." I think we're well past the point where to the majority of the population, even/especially in the first world, technology is magic.
     
  21. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #22
    I prefer the corrolary: Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
     
  22. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #23
    There isn't a well-established environmental mechanism right now. As recently as this year there are still papers in the scientific press coming out on the possibility of mercury toxicity causing some cases of autism -- generally, few people in science and medicine now believe a significant number of autism cases are caused by mercury, but there are a handful of reports of kids who have mercury toxicity and autism-like symptoms who get better when the mercury toxicity is treated. (Although some of these also set off quack-detector tests... for instance there's a review in a peer-reviewed journal this year, but it's a team of American doctors from something called the "Chronic Health Institute" publishing in an Indian journal, which seems slightly suspicious, and the lead author has a comcast.net e-mail address). Contradicting the idea that mercury in vaccines causes autism, however, is data that reducing the amount of thimerosol in vaccines does not reduce rates of autism cases (link) as well as a wide variety of other evidence..

    Part of the complexity is that from all evidence, the genetics of autism is very complicated, with a number of genes affecting the disorder in complicated ways. The reason that's relevant is that it's likely that most environmental causes of autism are actually gene-environment interactions, and if there are lots of genes, each one can react with different environmental triggers, and so the effect of the same environmental exposure on two babies with some genetic risk for autism maybe wildly different.
     
  23. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #24
    ROFL.. Whoops!
     
  24. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #25
    What about… love?

    *lip quiver*
     

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