Oh, ye who have ears and yet won’t listen

There is a hilarious thread going on on Facebook right now between an anti-vaxer and a pro-vaxer. (Yes, I checked in with a few comments and explanations, but mine are just a small fraction of the comments.) Go over and check it out before it gets deleted by the anti-vaxer.

If you don’t want to go over and read, I’ll give you the long and short of it:

The anti-vaxer calls herself “Vaccine Skeptic Society” and a “non-profit organization”. Mind you, she is just one person, an at-home medical coder (per some conversations of hers on Facebook), and someone who is totally ignorant of science. Okay, maybe not totally ignorant, but she does come off as knowing nothing, absolutely nothing about science.

(She should also be careful because calling yourself a non-profit without being one is a crime, and I have been so far unable to find her registered as a non-profit anywhere.)

The anti-vaxer began claiming that the influenza season is a result of influenza vaccination. That is, she postulated that the flu vaccine — and shedding from the vaccine, which is incredibly improbable with the nasal vaccine and impossible with the injected vaccine — causes the yearly epidemics that we see in the northern and southern hemispheres. I’m not kidding. Check this out:

And Easter eggs cause Easter

Those 150 comments are her and a couple of science-oriented people, myself included, trying to set her straight. But then she just goes off on a tangent. This is a later post of hers, in which she alleges that H. influenzae (a bacteria) is what really caused the pandemic:

Because something believed in 1918 is so true today

Now, I would try to explain to her why she’s wrong and why that was just what scientists believed at the time, but it would be pointless. (Viruses as such were theorized before 1918, but it wasn’t until the invention of the scanning electron micrograph that they were visualized and later isolated. Shortly after that, we had a vaccine. In between the SEM and the vaccine, we were able to isolate antibodies. Later, we’d isolate the virus from corpses of people who died in the pandemic, but no H. influenzae.)

It would be pointless to argue because she is a germ theory denialist.

Anyway, if you want to have a good laugh at someone who is rabidly anti-vaccine and wants to come off as a scientist, go over to her page. Chuckle as you read her write over and over that she’s “just asking questions” and wants to have a “balanced” debate.

There are bigger, more important reasons why I’m pointing out her stupidity. I’m pointing out her stupidity because it is classic of most anti-science and anti-vaccine people. They know very little to nothing about the sciences of microbiology and immunology, yet they pretend that they do. They then go and google for any science article that sort of kind of confirms their beliefs and post it on their own echo chambers to show to their followers how smart they are. (Their followers are just as clueless about science as they are, by the way.)

This brings to the forefront the need for better science education at the elementary and secondary school levels. We really can’t get more people like the idiot above get out into the public, create Facebook pages alleging to be non-profit organizations (a crime) and “just ask questions” that lie and deceive unknowing people out of a safe and effective way to prevent deadly communicable diseases. Because, soon enough, some poor new parent is going to stumble onto her rants and get the wrong idea about vaccines, refuse to vaccinate their child, and lose or have that child injured by a vaccine-preventable disease.

Oh, yes, it’s that important to learn science early and often.

6 thoughts on “Oh, ye who have ears and yet won’t listen

  1. The other blog will remain unknown. Some very positive emails went flying back and forth between the blogger and me…last night and this AM.Trying to help that blogger by ridding the blog of the trolls and their sockies.Have you seen today's RI blog? I was holding my own fending off the D bot who had called out her sycophants…until 6 AM this morning. Our gang is now on the case. I'm still in big time trouble with dear hubby, though, when he caught me plugging away at the computer.Go over to RI to get to the blog (no Facebook subscriber is involved), where we could still use your wise comments and to compliment high school kids who made a documentary about vaccines.

  2. Yes, Chris, that was the main gist of the conversation with that woman. But she'll have none of it. She thinks that things observed then are set in stone; that H. flu was suspected so it must have been it.Lilady, what other blog? Do I need to intervene?

  3. They did make a vaccine against H. influenzae and about a 1/2 dozen other things all thrown into one and sometimes it seemed to work and other times not at all. The thing is that the vaccine was preventing some secondary lung infections, but not all and did not stop people from contracting the virus or the viral pneumonia that killed young healthy people. They were trying to throw anything at it and about 1/2 of the scientists thought it was caused by H. influenzae and the other 1/2 by what they called a filterable agent.

  4. Truly, I had trouble following her. What does a bacillus have to do with a virus or with the S. pneumoniae bacterium?Her posts are laughable and cringe-worthy, showing a distinct lack of education in basic science. When she wades into microbiology, bacteriology, virology and epidemiology she really double downs on her stupidity.O/T Chris: On that "other" blog…give me a good reason why I should continue to post there, when the blogger allows trolls and sockies to overrun the blog…and puts my comments "in moderation".

  5. Hmmm, when I go upstairs I'll have to drag out my copy of John Barry's The Great Influenza. He mentions lots of things about the development of medicine, getting serums from animals and the thinking that Pfeiffer's bacillus might be the cause. But I don't remember anything about a vaccine from the bacillus. Perhaps they tried to develop something, but it was not in wide use.And, of course, it would have done nothing for the virus that was finally isolated from samples collected in Alaska less than twenty years ago. Which is an interesting story that is told in that book.I'm surprised that "Vaccine Skeptic" didn't bring up Eleanor Bean. She seems to be the origin of vaccines causing influenza, and the "fact" vaccines are injected straight into the bloodstream.

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