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The percentage is more than double that in certain parts of the state, particularly in more affluent coastal communities in Northern California.

Over at the Washington Post’s “On Faith” Site, Susan Jacoby is producing an awesome column called “The Spirited Atheist” (kudos to the Post for even having such a feature). Her latest piece, “Michele Bachmann and anti-HPV vaccine unreason,” is a spirited (and accurate) defense of the safety and efficacy of the human papilloma virus vaccination against those who claim that the vaccination is harmful, causing mental retardation. (There is no evidence for Bachann’s claim about that, by the way). Jacoby also goes after anti-vaxers in general, contrasting their unsupported and anecdotal “science” against the methods of real science, which showed that early reports by Andrew Wakefield of a connection between MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccines and autism were bogus, based on faked data.

This entire episode, by the way, vitiates the notion of some religious believers that science is “just another religion.” The self-correcting mechanism of science, in which the results of studies must be testable by peers and replicated in order to be accepted, does not exist in religion.. The anti-vaccine crusaders, who continue to believe that immunizations the villain in the face of powerful scientific evidence to the contrary, are the ones in the grip of blind faith.


 

Comments

re: bio 101: read it (in your head) in the voice of elmo (or for me, grover- i'm old school) if you really want to understand it as intended. be aware that you're "learning" things that plant and animal breeders have known for, i don't know, thousands of years, minus the fancy sesame street language? and that the mystery of how a species becomes another species is still just that- a mystery.

and that the mystery of how a species becomes another species is still just that- a mystery.

What? Am I reading that right? Am I feeding a troll if I ask what question of yours that modern biological science isn't answering in order to solve this "mystery"?

It's sad that we still have these conversations 60 years after the discovery of DNA.

JB - why don't you go over to WEIT and tell 'em that? I think you're in for an education. Better yet, buy the book.

Presumably you're commenting on the Mysteriously Disappearing Comments?

Allow me to ditto your three-letter acronym: wtf!

At least the threads deleted were kinda pointless trolling? I think there was one other comment by Betty Jo though apart from that...

I was enjoying the conversation. People often don't have a clear understanding of what an hypothesis or theory is. Even people with somewhat of a knowledge of science don't have a clear understanding. I learn something whenever the topic is discussed.

And I am someone with somewhat of a knowledge of science. I'm not a scientist, nor is my father a scientist, nor is my mother a scientist. Science is an area of great interest to me, that's all. So any debate re the details of scientific terminology and the significance of said terminology I find of particular interest in an attempt to learn some new bite of information.

Maybe I didn't get to see that.

Alas, yes, there was more discussed. As you have a life and were thus very busy during those days when we were blathering about such ideas, you didn't read any of it. Anyway, the only people who might potentially regret that the conversation is now but a memory would be Tim, jonathan or me.

yes, norm, would it be out of line to ask for an explanation? it doesn't seem reasonable to assume that you would purposely delete an entire chunk of conversation like that, including" innocent bystanders" like betty jo. i understand you've been having some spam issues lately that have lead to accidental deletions. was this the case here? or is there some lesson to be drawn?

Guess we'll never know. Who knows where the wind blows?... well, perhaps sailors know..

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