15 June 2011

60 Minutes and the Anti-Vaxxers

The Australian 60 Minutes team  has interviewed two Australian antivaxxers, Dr Viera Scheibner and Bronwyn Hancock.

Here is some of their reasoning :-

BRONWYN: There are benefits of diseases. Now I say that with qualification, because obviously diseases have to be well managed and going through a disease is like us getting exercise. This is one of the reasons why it’s good to get rubella as soon as possible, so that you have immunity to it. And um…

ELLEN FANNING: But what about the risk of rubella to pregnant women who can have babies suffering terrible birth defects?

VIERA: Don’t answer things that you don’t know enough about, OK – don’t answer them. You were drowning. So let’s call a spade a spade.

ELLEN FANNING: Why would she be drowning?

VIERA: Because she hasn’t got the extent of knowledge that I have.

ELLEN FANNING: If she hasn’t got the extensive knowledge, why on earth is she writing these articles on the website?

VIERA: Maybe you have a point then, yes. That’s right. Maybe you have a point there, okay.

ELLEN FANNING: So just for clarity, you’re not a medical doctor?

VIERA: I’m not a medical doctor, no. But I am a doctor of natural sciences.

ELLEN FANNING: Am I right in thinking that in fact your expertise is in studying microfossils, little fossils?

So yes, Dr  Scheibner, is not a medical Doctor, but she believed that she knows more than actual medical practitioners.

You can see it here:-

Or at the official site here, with a Transcript

I'm sure you all remember seeing people with calipers walking around the streets? No? I do, I also remember people who had to live in Iron Lungs, you don't see either of them anymore in 1st world countries, but sadly 59 years after the Polio vaccine became available we still have victims in Africa and India, as in the picture below.

As a counterbalance to the stupidity of the AntiVaxxers, we at least have Bill Gates who has dedicated himself to the eradication of Polio.

“We don’t know exactly when the last child will be affected. But we do have the vaccines to wipe it out,” “Countries do have the will to deploy all the tools at their disposal. If we all have the fortitude to see this effort through to the end, then we will eradicate polio.” Bill Gates

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Scheibner has an unfortunate ego disposition which makes her look down with disdain against anyone who crosses her path, and a fiery arrogance to anything with a semblance of authority. Yet that same disposition has helped her to develop an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the literature on vaccine adverse reactions. And bicker with her 'colleagues' or not, she should be taken seriously as a devil's advocate. For within the world of vaccine science there are gaps in knowledge and errors in practice and technical implementations of a sometimes alarming level, and these are the flaws to which this Rottweiler turns her attention.

We should be on alert as skeptics to the possibility of falling down the deep black hole of flag waving, and rejecting before listening. Science is a process which in it's purest form at least, rejects the infallibility claims of whatever has become or threatens to become dogma, because the human is at heart a dogmatic beast with an affinity to the psychological trait. Thus we really need people like these to test the claims and robustness of the science, not just adopting a quiet jingoistic acquiescence to the religion of the times. Either these people exist and are given adequate fora for debate, or science is not really working.