I Pit The Credulous

Just had a visitor that dropped the anti-vax bomb. And it’s not just that vaccinations cause autism, they are also ineffective. Polio? Didn’t you know it was “already on its way out” when the vaccine was developed? This person also believed that some people had psychic powers; not her friend Mary of course, she is just crazy, but some people…

Oh, and the Mayans and Egyptians had a better grasp of astronomy (by which she meant astrology) than we do. And of course we couldn’t create the pyramids with our current technology and something is going to happen in 2012 because the Mayan calendar ends.

Having been totally wrong about Y2K I thought she would have learned, but no, this time “they” got it right. Holy fuck, I didn’t dare mention 9/11.

Ah anti-vaxxers. About as much fun as the nasty case of chicken pox I had the summer I was seven.

Oh, I totally believe the credulous should be pitted.

You have to wonder what it is that causes a person to latch on to large numbers of crazy ideas like that. I know that there are lots of people who, unfortunately, latch onto one or maybe two, but then there are people like this woman who buys into nearly everything that goes against what we actually know about the world.

Well, I’m skeptical. Convince me.

I think that when you have one crazy idea and the “establishment” says that it is wrong you think that everything else they say is wrong must be true as well.

It’s times like this that make me wonder if people are capable of democratic self-government. Anti-vaxers, birthers, truthers, snake handlers, people who deny medical care to children, those who think that seat belts are dangerous because they might trap you in a burning car: there is just so much stupid out there.

For some reason what really got me is when she said “well, the vaccination connection is complicated and we’ll never really know”. No, it’s pretty much an example of what we *can *know: you look at the incidence of autism among kids who did or didn’t get a particular vaccine and do a statistical analysis. That’s how the idea got started, it just turns out that the person committed fraud. You can’t turn around and say that the methodology used to justify vaccines causing autism can’t be applied to showing that it doesn’t cause it.

THe anti-vax crowd is incredibly large, it seems. It seems to be a wide spectrum of beliefs, encomopassing “Well I’ll be fine and don’t really need to be vaccinated,” to “The government uses vaccinations to test drugs on people, they cause autism, they don’t actually do anything to fight diseases, etc.”

I work with a guy who is an engineer, and an overall smart guy, but he is strongly anti-vaccination and believes that the government uses them to do nefarious things. I tell him that the government isn’t even the one who produces vaccines, that they are produced by private, for-profit companies (that as a libertarian he should approve), and the FDA ensures their safety, that it’s not all government run, but this doesn’t seem to convince him.

Of course, he also believes that you can use statistics to improve your chances of winning the lottery, so, yeah…

Ah, yes, the first line of reasoning among credulous people everywhere: “I’m not smart enough to understand this subject so I refuse to believe anyone else is smart enough to understand it.”

Cite? You can’t just come here and claim to be skeptical without any proof.

I’m skeptical of this statement.

Yeah, well, that’s what the government wants us to believe.

I’m going to add a mini-Pit of Milwaukee Ald. Jim Bohl in here. He wants Milwaukee to stop adding fluoride to its water.


“We all know that we do not have children or anyone swallow toothpaste .And the reason we don’t do that is because of the poison substance of fluoride. If fluoride was such an effective and non-harmful substance, why would we not encourage everyone to swallow their toothpaste?” Bohl says.

Good solid reasoning on the part of Bohl! :rolleyes:

Might be worth a try. Having the guy at the gas station use uuddlrlrba hasn’t done me much good, no matter how good I tell him his tip will be when I come in to collect my $67M…

I encourage Bohl to swallow his toothpaste.

I agree. I’m going to stop using shampoo as well. They say it’s good for your hair but if it’s so good for you, why don’t they want you drinking it?

Nah, it’d take a couple hundred tubes to do any good.

I suggest if he thinks fluoride is so bad, he stop using fluoridated toothpaste and switch to mineral water and baking powder toothpaste. A few decades of that and his children and grandchildren will have the loveliest smiles this side of Appalachia.

My niece got whooping cough several years ago. She had been vaccinated, but she is one of those rare people for whom the vaccine was not effective, leaving her vulnerable. She and others like her can only rely on herd immunity for protection. That herd immunity was compromised by people who chose not to vaccinate their kids, resulting in an increased prevalence of the disease in recent years, leading to her contracting the disease.

TL;DR: credulous people made my niece seriously ill. Fuck 'em.

There’s also a current of people who just distrust The Official Story™, no matter what it is. If there’s the slightest, tiniest bit of doubt in The Official Story™, they’ll immediately believe something different.