The Anti-Science Menace



American “conservatives” have morphed into a weird and wacky collection of Luddites. Not satisfied with denying the overwhelming evidence of man-made climate change and denouncing the Theory of Evolution, they are opposing inoculation against dangerous diseases.

Some “conservative” politicians are questioning required vaccinations for children.

They are apparently pandering to a popular fear that vaccines could cause autism and other forms of mental damage – possibly even death.

It might be true that defective batches of vaccine have caused problems – tragic problems. I have been told that vaccines can “break” and cause the disease they are meant to prevent.

And, according to the Center for Disease Control, all vaccines carry a risk of a life-threatening allergic reaction (but this is true for only one child in a million).

Despite these risks, you have to agree that inoculation has been an enormous boon to mankind.

When I was a child in Jamaica, small pox was a deadly menace and polio epidemics were frequent. (My brother Bill had polio – twice.)

Tetanus (lock jaw) was a common curse.

Inoculation has all but eradicated such threats in Jamaica – and throughout the world.

A generation ago, measles, mumps, chicken pox and whooping cough were considered an inevitable part of growing up.

It’s ironic that as soon as these diseases were disappearing, a popular movement emerged to discredit the inoculation programs responsible for their disappearance.

As a result, Californians are once again fighting an outbreak of measles.

The distrust of science, which is prompting opposition to inoculation programs, is understandable, I suppose. We humans tend to fear anything we cannot understand.

But with scientific thought replacing the mumbo-jumbo of alchemists and shamans, “knowledge” is constantly being tested in the modern world. Medical treatments are based on objective research and provable logic, verified by repeatable experiments.

Unfortunately, our politics is still mired in the mythology of the Dark Ages.

Click for the facts – pro and con.

Click for Rand Paul’s views.