I am so fucking sick and tired of my fellow citizens on the left adopting the same anti-science rhetoric you see on the right. I thought we were better than this, but we're not and it's a very serious problem.

Look, if you insist on committing child abuse, why don't you just starve your kid instead of refusing to vaccinate? You're still an evil child abuser, but at least malnutrition isn't contagious.
Amazing, and to think Slog is still anti-science on GMOs.

Sorry, kidding. Washington (as well as 18 other states) have "personal belief exemptions" that allow for a parent to enroll their child in school without being properly vaccinated. Those exemptions needs to be closed.

Counterintuitively, only West Virginia and Mississippi offer no exemption for religious beliefs.
@1 The lunatic fringe wraps around and meets somewhere out in la la land.
@3 I didn't say every single anti-vaxxer was on the left, only that the left has a great share of anti-vaxxers. Considering that broadly speaking the left is the side that claims to "support science" - climate change, evolution, the age of the earth and so on - it means that the fact the left still has people who prefer "natural medicine" over shit that actually works, it's a more serious problem.

And people who consider themselves leftist, progressive, democrats or other similar terms should do what they can to call this bullshit out when they see it within their own ranks. Pointing to the other side and screaming "THEY DO IT TOO!!1!" is a waste of fucking time. A sliver in your neighbor's eye when you have a log in your own and so on.
@4 - I suspect that's because they've had real public health crises recently enough and they have few enough of the "organic" snake oil types then more progressive areas do.

The issue is that for most people, left or right, "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" which means that accepting these things becomes a matter of faith, not critical reasoning. The educational background in the hard sciences needed to evaluate most of science is just non existent in the majority of the public.
@7: And more importantly, there's this pseudo-populist trend of disparaging experts as "elitists". Understanding the sciences and being able to think critically just aren't considered important or, in some circles, even desirable.
It's taken me a long while to begin to come to grips with the reality that most people aren't insatiably curious the way I am, that most people don't collect facts and ideas like spider webs collect dust. But does our nation seriously think that it's no good even making an effort to learn things? Idon'twanttoliveonthisplanetanymore.jfif
@8 I've said this before on other threads, but we have a "living memory" problem. People no longer - or at least people with small children - have a memory of what life was like before vaccines. Or without Social Security. Or the Federal Reserve and a Fiat Currency...or any number of "it was sooo much better in the olden days before this modern X showed up and ruined everything". Sadly, I think we will have to have a little refresher, in this case in the form of a few epidemics and the collateral damage to children.

Then, yes repeal these conscientious objection statutes or refuse to let the kids in school, because it's not about protecting the nutter parents, or their spawn, but everyone else.
@10: In Colorado there is a bill pending that will make every public school disclose the fraction of its students who are fully immunized. I hope it passes, as I think this is a nice compromise. Compelling immunization as a condition for attending school feels a little heavy-handed to me, but as a sciencey parent, I want to know if my child is being exposed to a large population of non-immunized petri dishes, er, classmates. Although the bill does not allow identifying the individual opting-out families by name, it will nudge people towards good behavior by providing a some healthy and justified collective shaming. Meanwhile, wise parents will eventually flee low-immunization-rate schools, a tipping point will occur, and the parents who remain will realize that they can no longer catch a free-ride on the herd immunity generated by children of more responsible parents. One or two outbreaks of whooping cough later, those schools in turn will rapidly immunize. It will be quite hard on the children who get the disease, of course, but what can you do?
I'm all for vaccination, but this article has a serious problem in understanding significant figures. Some of the estimates are clearly using too many.
@10 Why do you feel it's heavy handed for the government to get parents to vaccinate their children? We already require parents to feed their children, clothe them, bathe them and give them needed medical treatment.

Why shouldn't vaccines be part of that? If I negligently expose children to the cold I'm in trouble, but if I negligently expose them to measles it's ok? That doesn't make sense to me.
@8 The trend is fucking huge. It doesn't matter if you spent your college years in a laboratory, if you understand how to read through scientific journals for good papers and bad, if you make the damn vaccines yourself. In fact, the more experience you have, the worse many people treat you.

Look, I get that not everyone can spend 4-10 years working on a collection of science degrees, lab experience and so on. But why in the fuck is scientific consensus just thrown out the window?

I don't cut my own hair, I don't do my own dentistry, and I don't represent myself in court. I rely on experts to take care of that shit for me because they're fucking experts and they know much, much better about what they're doing than I do and the consequences for failure are high. Yet when it comes to medicine, too many think they know better and that their "natural-cures-that-doctors-don't-want-you-know-about" trump decades of international, peer-reviewed study.

That's the sort of hubris that gets people maimed or killed.
The problem that corrects itself, is sometimes better left undisturbed, and explained with comedy:…

Because overpopulation.

Besides, any survivors will be more robust.
Jonathan Golob! I miss seeing that byline. I loved the Dear Science column.
@8: That was actually one of the things on a super radical feminist blog that I had the hardest time with: the anti-science people who said science was patriarchy.
@16: Hypatia, Marie Curie, Barbara McClintock, Marie-Anne Pierrette Paulze. They were scientists in varied times when science was considered distinctly un-womanly (though whether McClintock was substantially discriminated against is a matter of debate). Radical feminists can bite my 46XY ass.
Well, someone's got to say it, if none of these Bill and Melinda Gates sycophants are going to:

Industry-funded research is NOT science!! Corporations are required by law to profits before public welfare, and that includes... (drum-roll)... the pharmaceutical industry.

So nice to see gay rights activist emulating the worst behavior of yesterdays homophobes by using pseudo-science to bully others and remove their rights.

The Seattle Stranger is clearly in the back pocket of Bill and Melinda Gates (those great "humanitarians" who like to invest in every harmful technology possible: geo-engineering, nuclear power, vaccines, and GMO's...etc.), so they will never inform its readers about the overwhelming independent science ("independent science" technically means not funded by industry with a vested interest in the results) concluding that vaccines cause great harm. By contrast, you'll notice in their own cognitive dissonance, that not a single pro-vaccine fear monger can point to ONE (just one?) independent research study to back up their fear mongering claims against the vaccine skeptics. All they have to offer is personal, or ad hominem attacks -they're really good at making personal attacks against vaccine skeptics, but nothing else. And not once can they ever back up their claims with actual science!!

Anyway, here's some links to actual scientific information that'll really piss off those pro-vaccine thought police:… (…)…




And before anyone gets on the band-wagon for mandatory vaccinations, just remember it will be the criminally corrupt CPS who will be the enforcers:



More children are murdered, raped and disappeared in CPS custody than parental custody:………




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