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Disbelief in science is alive and well today, flourishing since the Middle Ages when Galileo was threatened for daring to assert that the earth orbited the sun, which ran counter to the teachings of the church. And yet today most people profess to believe in the scientific method. But do they? The problem is the evidence based method can lead us to truths that are less than self-evident, may be mind-blowing, and are often at odds with our core beliefs. Then what do we do? Why, of course, we believe what is convenient despite mountains of evidence to the contrary. And there's always a mad scientist or naysayer somewhere on the internet with "proof" that our beliefs, no matter how ludicrous, represent truth. The media love to give attention to these professional controversialists. It sells. Just how absurd can an educated, middle-class American's beliefs be?

Any internet search engine can take you to a cult of people who are convinced the moon landings were staged. The entire space program was and is a hoax.

In Portland, Oregon, not generally known as a hotbed of conservatism, fluoridation of the municipal water supply was recently voted down (2013). Again. The stated reason-fluoride may be harmful to human health! This assertion despite 60 years of use by most of the rest of the country without a single confirmed case of toxicity. Even the table thumpers are mostly quiet on this one. The fact is fluoride is a cheap, safe, and effective way to hang on to your teeth.

And don't even get me started on vaccines. Oh well, too late. One of the truly great discoveries of all time, medicine or whatever, vaccines have changed the world for the better. No other therapeutic intervention is more natural or logical. No drugs. No surgery. No sorcery. Vaccines take advantage of our own immune systems to add years, perhaps even decades, to life expectancy. They have contributed enormously to our well being. All of this in the last century, a mere "blink" of human history.

Not so long ago in the U.S. a newly conceived child had about a 50-50 shot at making it to the age of five. About half of these deaths were pregnancy related and the other half occurred after birth (don't quibble about the exact percentages). Today a young child dying of anything will make the front page of most small town newspapers. Thank you very much modern world, including nutrition, sanitation, and vaccines. Perhaps Jenny McCarthy should spend some time with photos from the 1950s of patients on "iron lungs." Forever! Wards full of them. Or read the history of heart surgery, and the efforts, often futile, to save the lives of "rubella babies." These viruses still lurk in the shadows.

And there is not one shard of credible medical evidence, despite decades of worldwide investigaion, that vaccines cause autism. (next photo)


© Danny Kimberlin 2015