Wednesday, February 11, 2015

On Anti-Vaccine Hysteria

One reality that more often that not screams stupid is when the radical left and right come together on an issue that almost every reasonable voice on the center rejects. Typical examples include the negation of Israel’s right to exist, all too frequent 911 conspiracy theories, and the support of such charming personalities as Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The latest cause célèbres to come to the fore is the dangerous anti-vaccine hysteria that seems to have crept into the thinking of those who navigate under the illusion of a purple sky.

While leftist anti-vaxxers normally case their argument in the context of nature battling artificial toxins (with a touch of corporate greed mixed in) those on the right of sanity are driven by the need to equate vaccines with some giant government conspiracy. Both viewpoints are dangerous and go against the single greatest weapon that we have against the slide into the sewer of wretched superstition – scientific evidence. Vaccines work and their development together with antiseptics, antibiotics and germ theory itself represent our most potent artillery in the fight against pathogenic diseases.

The demise of smallpox, polio, diptheria, neonatal tetanus, whooping cough and measles can all be credited to vaccines. The smallpox vaccine alone is estimated to have saved the lives of five million people annually.
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