Appeal to Scientific Consensus is not an Appeal to Popularity or Authority - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 121 Old 07-23-2015, 08:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Appeal to Scientific Consensus is not an Appeal to Popularity or Authority

Since this came up in thread just now, I thought it would be interesting and relevant to discuss this point.

I hear non-vaxers claim that appealing to the scientific consensus is an appeal to authority fallacy.

I thought this was a good explanation on the topic:

"A common claim...is that appealing to scientific consensus is either an appeal to the popularity of a position or an appeal to an authority and that therefore, appealing to scientific consensus is a logical fallacy.

However, appealing to scientific consensus is not the claim that “the scientific community is an authority or that it is a popular position, and therefore correct”, but rather, there is an additional premise in the appeal to scientific consensus that does not normally exist in the average appeal to authority. To elucidate the difference, let us see how this plays out.

P1. There is a scientific consensus on X (evolution, global warming, HIV causing AIDS or whatever).

Now, had we gone straight from this to the conclusion that X is true, it would have been an argument from authority or appeal to popularity. However, let us not forget our additional premise.

P2. If there is a scientific consensus on X, then it is probably the case that X is a reasonable scientific conclusion supported by most different lines of converging evidence.

In general, the scientific community as a whole is very conservative in making strong statements, because as we all know, making categorical statements may come back to haunt you. So we can be reasonably sure that, in the majority of cases, a consensus position is at the very least support by most currently known evidence. It is easy to see how the following conclusion follows.

C. It is probably the case that X is a reasonable scientific conclusion supported by most different lines of converging evidence (from P1 and P2 by modus ponens).

Too be sure, the scientific community is not infallible or always right. However, when the majority of the evidence available supports a position, it is reasonable to hold it as a tentative conclusion regardless."

http://debunkingdenialism.com/2011/0...-or-authority/

Do you agree or disagree? is appealing to scientific consensus an appeal to authority fallacy?
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#2 of 121 Old 07-23-2015, 08:39 AM
 
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You'll get a more detailed response when I can get back online.

It seems like every time a pro-vaxxer ends up at a loss for words, they fall back on, "Yea? Well . . . scientific consensus. So there."

It's just intellectually lazy and logically bankrupt. I realize that your blogger already addressed this, but remember that every time we've heard "scientific consensus," members of that consensus have claimed that "the majority of available evidence supports [their] position." Has scientific consensus ever been wrong? Has the minority ever been right? And what's with this "majority" of evidence? Is quantity more important than quality?

I look forward to the responses when I'm back.

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#3 of 121 Old 07-23-2015, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post
You'll get a more detailed response when I can get back online.

It seems like every time a pro-vaxxer ends up at a loss for words, they fall back on, "Yea? Well . . . scientific consensus. So there."

It's just intellectually lazy and logically bankrupt. I realize that your blogger already addressed this, but remember that every time we've heard "scientific consensus," members of that consensus have claimed that "the majority of available evidence supports [their] position." Has scientific consensus ever been wrong? Has the minority ever been right? And what's with this "majority" of evidence? Is quantity more important than quality?

I look forward to the responses when I'm back.
Thanks for the response.

I think the "science was wrong before" trope is intellectually lazy as well.

When you get the time, I encourage you to read the comments on the link as she directly adresses this in her responses to readers making a similar point. Mainly, that in recent (post 1800) science, it is not usually a complete overhaul but a modification or an addition to the current view. She also correctly points out that the way science operates today is vastly different from the way it operated hundreds and hundreds of years ago.

Rationalwiki (since some members have been linking to it recently) makes the same point: "The logic behind this "argument" is fallacious in a number of ways. Primarily it misrepresents how science actually works by forcing it into a binary conception of "right" and "wrong." To describe outdated or discredited theories as "wrong" misses a major subtlety in science: discarded theories aren't really wrong, they just fail to explain new evidence, and more often than not the new theory to come along is almost the same as the old one but with some extensions, caveats or alternatives.

For example, the discovery of quantum mechanics didn't prove classical or Newtonian mechanics wrong, but it did show that classical mechanics did not hold true in every case." http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Science_was_wrong_before

The blog author notes in the comments: "The claim is not about how science has worked in the past, but how it works now. Therefore, historical counterexamples (such as heliocentrism) are, at best, criticism of a scientific community that no longer exists. In fact, in the specific example of heliocentrism, debates between heliocentrism and geocentrism occurred in Ancient Greece, but the stifling influence of biblical and Church authority, rather than the scientific community per se, enforced heliocentrism as a dogma.

It should be implicit in the argument that scientific consensus refers to modern scientific consensus. There are many differences between the modern scientific community and, say, the way science looked in the 1700s. The main difference is that the contemporary scientific community is much more focused on publishing in peer-review journals, working together as competing research groups, have better understanding of cognitive biases and common methodological pitfalls, reward overturning established notions, not as interconnected with religious or government authorities etc. There are so many different things you could point to here. I think this is really a non-issue."

I think that is a really important point.

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#4 of 121 Old 07-23-2015, 06:51 PM
 
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Okay.

How about acknowledging some of the problems and shortcomings of the current system? We've pointed out a good many of them over the months and years.

Undue influence of funding on what gets published.

System rigged in certain cases--for example, drug companies can bury studies that show problems and get studies published that look good.

Regulatory capture.

The evidence that in "medical" science has been manipulated is fairly overwhelming at this point.

Any system involving human beings can be corrupted and manipulated.

I'd also like to point out that science is not one thing. It is made up of a lot of different individual sciences with varying degrees of precision possible.

I knew a mathematician back a few years. He would have to decompress when he came home from work at the university to hang out with his wife and kids. When it comes to math, absolute truth is possible. When it comes to everyday life, not very often

Physics can also achieve a certain clarity (even sometimes in its unclarity) which is not a possibility with lesser fields.

At the other end of the spectrum, social sciences, librarianship is a good example, are not in any way, shape or form precise sciences. Since the very beginning of librarianship back among the Sumerians, I suspect that the first two librarians were arguing about aboutness (don't even ask) as they tried to decide which book belonged in which section of the library. This is not physics. And it is a hell of a long way from mathematics, even if we do use numbers in the Dewey Decimal classifications.

Somewhere in the middle falls the entire field of medicine. Which is a very imprecise field of science for a lot of reasons. Talking about consensus science in medicine presents much bigger problems than talking about consensus science in, say, astronomy. To move into the relevant topic for this forum, vaccines, are vaccines all one sort of thing which have the same sort of effect on the human body? The way people say: "vaccines are good and safe and effective" or "vaccines are dangerous and toxic" you'd think they were identical. But of course they are not in any way identical. Right away we have supposed consensus science which is generalizing about something that cannot be generalized about because when it comes to vaccines we have kiwi, apples, oranges and occasionally fried chicken.

Just to point out a few details that got glossed over...as usual.

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#5 of 121 Old 07-23-2015, 07:22 PM
 
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Same link I posted on another thread. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23521369

Current medical science is a mess. Talking about consensus without addressing these problems and their role in how medicine is actually practiced is silly.

It is equivalent to talking about poverty without discussing all the institutionalized problems that prevent people from improving their situation (education, housing, healthcare, employment).

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#6 of 121 Old 07-23-2015, 08:49 PM
 
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...
Quote:
The work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus.
Consensus is the business of politics.
Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world.
In science consensus is irrelevant.
What is relevant is reproducible results
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#7 of 121 Old 07-23-2015, 11:09 PM
 
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In order to determine if "scientific consensus" is worthy of influencing my decisions, I MUST look at the history. It would be illogical to completely trust without checking the trust-worthiness.

Looking at past "consensus" beliefs, one sees that the consensus is fallible. Just as fallible as individuals, whether they are/were considered experts or lay people.

Therefore, claiming that "scientific consensus" should be trusted is either based on :
1) the scientific part, or expert (appeal to expert or authority)
Or
2) the consensus, or the fact that it is a group (appeal to popularity)
Or
3) the the two together (appeal to popular experts)


If the claim is it is neither popular nor authority, then what in blazes is the appeal to scientific consensus?
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#8 of 121 Old 07-24-2015, 04:59 AM
 
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Did you read post 1 and post 3 by teacozy? Although I like your response, I don't think it directly addresses the points she is lifting from the original blogger.
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#9 of 121 Old 07-24-2015, 05:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by teacozy View Post

Too be sure, the scientific community is not infallible or always right. However, when the majority of the evidence available supports a position, it is reasonable to hold it as a tentative conclusion regardless."
...a tentative conclusion is a pretty weak justification for giving a newborn the Hep. b vaccine when the mother tested negative for Hep. B during pregnancy. It is weak justification for forcing the flu vaccine (which this year clocked in at at an amazing 18% efficacy!) on health care employees.

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#10 of 121 Old 07-24-2015, 06:04 AM
 
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Originally Posted by teacozy View Post
The blog author notes in the comments: "The claim is not about how science has worked in the past, but how it works now. Therefore, historical counterexamples (such as heliocentrism) are, at best, criticism of a scientific community that no longer exists. In fact, in the specific example of heliocentrism, debates between heliocentrism and geocentrism occurred in Ancient Greece, but the stifling influence of biblical and Church authority, rather than the scientific community per se, enforced heliocentrism as a dogma.

It should be implicit in the argument that scientific consensus refers to modern scientific consensus. There are many differences between the modern scientific community and, say, the way science looked in the 1700s. The main difference is that the contemporary scientific community is much more focused on publishing in peer-review journals, working together as competing research groups, have better understanding of cognitive biases and common methodological pitfalls, reward overturning established notions, not as interconnected with religious or government authorities etc. There are so many different things you could point to here. I think this is really a non-issue."



I think that is a really important point.
Wow.

The author wants us to dismiss history, which in this case is undoubtably because an understanding of history shows us just how weak an appeal to scientific consensus truly is. Alternately, the author puts modern day scientists on a borderline infallible pedestal and claims they cannot be victims of "wrongness" or influence like the ones in the past.

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#11 of 121 Old 07-24-2015, 06:27 AM
 
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Okay.

Physics can also achieve a certain clarity (even sometimes in its unclarity) which is not a possibility with lesser fields.
I'm a physicist, and even I think calling all science other than physics "lesser fields" might be found offensive.

I do agree there are issues with the process of science today. But lets not throw the baby out with the bathwater. One of the real strengths of science and scientists is the ability to look objectively at evidence and come to independent conclusions.

That's why scientific consensus is so profound. It's not a bunch of people agreeing with each other in order to agree with each other. It's a bunch of people trained in the scientific method independently coming to the conclusion that the evidence supporting a particular belief (hypothesis or theory) is strong.
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#13 of 121 Old 07-24-2015, 07:14 AM
 
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I do agree there are issues with the process of science today. But lets not throw the baby out with the bathwater. One of the real strengths of science and scientists is the ability to look objectively at evidence and come to independent conclusions.
We know industry based studies are more likely to net result favorable to the industry than non industry based studies. This does support the idea that they come to conclusions independently.

http://www.cochrane.org/MR000033/MET...search-outcome

" Our analysis suggests that industry sponsored drug and device studies are more often favorable to the sponsor’s products than non-industry sponsored drug and device studies due to biases that cannot be explained by standard 'Risk of bias' assessment tools."

This article says that cites different sources such as JAMA and NEJM states that 58-65% of funding for pharmaceuticals comes from industry. http://pharma.about.com/od/Research-...l-Research.htm Plos One does note that infectious disease (which might include vaccines - or not) were more heavily supported by NIH. Cochrane notes in the above link that industry funded clinical research is growing as a percentage

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#14 of 121 Old 07-24-2015, 08:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We know industry based studies are more likely to net result favorable to the industry than non industry based studies. This does support the idea that they come to conclusions independently.

http://www.cochrane.org/MR000033/MET...search-outcome

" Our analysis suggests that industry sponsored drug and device studies are more often favorable to the sponsor’s products than non-industry sponsored drug and device studies due to biases that cannot be explained by standard 'Risk of bias' assessment tools."

This article says that cites different sources such as JAMA and NEJM states that 58-65% of funding for pharmaceuticals comes from industry. http://pharma.about.com/od/Research-...l-Research.htm Plos One does note that infectious disease (which might include vaccines - or not) were more heavily supported by NIH. Cochrane notes in the above link that industry funded clinical research is growing as a percentage
I really wish I had more time to go through and respond to everyone but I'll touch on this point.

As I said in another thread a couple days ago, even if you threw out every pharma study on vaccines there would still be mountains of good evidence from all over the world showing their safety and effectiveness. Scientists and researchers have replicated the pharma results many many times over- which is one of the hallmarks of science.

To me, it would be like posting your above quote and then asking "So how can you possibly trust that insulin is effective at treating diabetes?!"

After all, they have a much bigger incentive and it is a lot more plausible to argue that Big Pharma is covering up data showing insulin drugs as being safe and effective over vaccines since the profits of just one single diabetes drug, Lantus, made more money than all vaccines combined last year.

Similarly, the "science was wrong before" trope can be and is used by people to deny virtually anything- like evolution. Is the fact that people were wrong about the sun revolving around the earth hundreds of years ago when science and the scientific method was nothing like it is today a convincing argument to you that the earth is only several thousand years old and that dinosaurs never existed?

That is honestly what that argument sounds like to me. "Science was wrong before therefore dinosaurs never existed."

I am honestly not trying to be offensive or snarky here. I am trying to explain why those arguments and quotes about pharma studies are not convincing to someone like me on the topic of vaccines. I can tell members here get frustrated when stuff like that doesn't convince a pro-vaxxer like me that vaccines are dangerous or ineffective. "How can people read that and still trust vaccines are safe and effective?!" is the sort of response I hear pretty frequently here and elsewhere.

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#15 of 121 Old 07-24-2015, 09:51 AM
 
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Well...quite often when we are pointing to a specific study as a problem (example, the mice fed aluminum study) it is BECAUSE it is the study being cited to justify something or other.

Making the vague claim that there are lots and lots of other studies not done by this company or that company to support the position is EXACTLY LIKE the behavior you are criticizing from the other side.

I also love the way all sort of irrelevant stuff is always dragged in and compared to vaccine criticism. painting with a broad brush, are we?

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#16 of 121 Old 07-24-2015, 10:47 AM
 
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I really wish I had more time to go through and respond to everyone but I'll touch on this point.

As I said in another thread a couple days ago, even if you threw out every pharma study on vaccines there would still be mountains of good evidence from all over the world showing their safety and effectiveness. Scientists and researchers have replicated the pharma results many many times over- which is one of the hallmarks of science.

To me, it would be like posting your above quote and then asking "So how can you possibly trust that insulin is effective at treating diabetes?!"

Similarly, the "science was wrong before" trope can be and is used by people to deny virtually anything- like evolution. Is the fact that people were wrong about the sun revolving around the earth hundreds of years ago when science and the scientific method was nothing like it is today a convincing argument to you that the earth is only several thousand years old and that dinosaurs never existed?
We are discussing studies as a whole. If we were discussing individual studies, then concerns with industry funding might not apply if it was solely (rare, I think) public funded. The fact that 58-65% of pharmaceutical studies are industry funded is huge and absolutely does affect the whole. I am not sure pharma-funded studies are replicated many, many times over. I think that is the ideal - I am not sure the reality lives up to it.

This is a long but good article on science not self correcting itself.

Here, under Harder to clone than you wish:

http://www.economist.com/news/briefi...it-not-trouble

"Such headlines are rare, though, because replication is hard and thankless. Journals, thirsty for novelty, show little interest in it; though minimum-threshold journals could change this, they have yet to do so in a big way. Most academic researchers would rather spend time on work that is more likely to enhance their careers. This is especially true of junior researchers, who are aware that overzealous replication can be seen as an implicit challenge to authority. Often, only people with an axe to grind pursue replications with vigour—a state of affairs which makes people wary of having their work replicated.
There are ways, too, to make replication difficult. Reproducing research done by others often requires access to their original methods and data. A study published last month in PeerJ by Melissa Haendel, of the Oregon Health and Science University, and colleagues found that more than half of 238 biomedical papers published in 84 journals failed to identify all the resources (such as chemical reagents) necessary to reproduce the results. On data, Christine Laine, the editor of the Annals of Internal Medicine, told the peer-review congress in Chicago that five years ago about 60% of researchers said they would share their raw data if asked; now just 45% do. "

As per insulin......very much apples to oranges. It would not surprise me at all if there were issues in insulin research, or if insulin had significant side effects. Still, insulin is the best we have at the moment, particularly for type 1 diabetes: use it or die. You can be critical of studies and still choose to use the product. Vaccines are not like that at all - what happens to a newborn whose mother is Hep B negative who does not get the Hep B shot the days he or she is born? The vast, vast , vast majority of the time - nothing.

The dinosaur/evolution question is a bit of a head scratcher. I am not sure what point you are trying to make. Scientists are human. They are fallible - I have no idea how often how often consensus has been shown to be right or wrong throughout time, but neither do you. The idea that consensus is infallible or that they are somehow less fallible today than 50 or 100 years ago is simply untrue.

Even if you respond that that you are not arguing they are infallible - just that they are more likely to be right than not, this simply isn't good enough for me when it comes to using using a pharmaceutical with accepted risk on a healthy person who has virtually no chance of actually needing it.

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#17 of 121 Old 07-25-2015, 07:06 AM
 
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I'm a physicist, and even I think calling all science other than physics "lesser fields" might be found offensive.

I do agree there are issues with the process of science today. But lets not throw the baby out with the bathwater. One of the real strengths of science and scientists is the ability to look objectively at evidence and come to independent conclusions.

That's why scientific consensus is so profound. It's not a bunch of people agreeing with each other in order to agree with each other. It's a bunch of people trained in the scientific method independently coming to the conclusion that the evidence supporting a particular belief (hypothesis or theory) is strong.
You must have missed the example I offered for a science which is less exacting that physics: library science. I think if I'm willing to mock my own profession it puts a slightly different spin on what is being said, don't you?

My point was very simple. It is possible to be exact with mathematics. There are other sciences where precision is possible. Not medicine.

I saw the orthopedic surgeon last week. He is a very good surgeon with an excellent reputation and a pleasant man. We were discussing whether I should have the hardware removed from my ankle or not. I explained that as a librarian I did some research trying to find some science on the topic of hardware removal after bone repair and couldn't find any. He said, rather bitterly, that I couldn't find any because there isn't any.

He also said:

allowing a bit more time for the bone to build up around the screws is probably a good idea

waiting doesn't usually make it harder to remove, although the fascia (sp?) can grow around it and that can make it trickier

there are other unpredictable factors that can play a part--everyone is an individual and bodies are a different.

This is why medicine cannot be a precise science. Because it is unpredictable, works with individuals who are all different and weird stuff happens. My ankle is unique to my body.

A fantasy that medical science is precise and knows what it is doing and can possibly predict the safety and effectiveness of any vaccine in any individual body is an absurdity. And you all know it.

Vaccines are a matter of playing the odds. They are given just in case, to healthy babies, children and adults. And there is no way to know what is going to happen to any of those individuals. The current system is to barrel ahead and if something does go wrong? Denial is always a good strategy. Gotta protect the vaccine program.
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#18 of 121 Old 07-25-2015, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We are discussing studies as a whole. If we were discussing individual studies, then concerns with industry funding might not apply if it was solely (rare, I think) public funded. The fact that 58-65% of pharmaceutical studies are industry funded is huge and absolutely does affect the whole. I am not sure pharma-funded studies are replicated many, many times over. I think that is the ideal - I am not sure the reality lives up to it.

This is a long but good article on science not self correcting itself.

Here, under Harder to clone than you wish:

http://www.economist.com/news/briefi...it-not-trouble

"Such headlines are rare, though, because replication is hard and thankless. Journals, thirsty for novelty, show little interest in it; though minimum-threshold journals could change this, they have yet to do so in a big way. Most academic researchers would rather spend time on work that is more likely to enhance their careers. This is especially true of junior researchers, who are aware that overzealous replication can be seen as an implicit challenge to authority. Often, only people with an axe to grind pursue replications with vigour—a state of affairs which makes people wary of having their work replicated.
There are ways, too, to make replication difficult. Reproducing research done by others often requires access to their original methods and data. A study published last month in PeerJ by Melissa Haendel, of the Oregon Health and Science University, and colleagues found that more than half of 238 biomedical papers published in 84 journals failed to identify all the resources (such as chemical reagents) necessary to reproduce the results. On data, Christine Laine, the editor of the Annals of Internal Medicine, told the peer-review congress in Chicago that five years ago about 60% of researchers said they would share their raw data if asked; now just 45% do. "

As per insulin......very much apples to oranges. It would not surprise me at all if there were issues in insulin research, or if insulin had significant side effects. Still, insulin is the best we have at the moment, particularly for type 1 diabetes: use it or die. You can be critical of studies and still choose to use the product. Vaccines are not like that at all - what happens to a newborn whose mother is Hep B negative who does not get the Hep B shot the days he or she is born? The vast, vast , vast majority of the time - nothing.

The dinosaur/evolution question is a bit of a head scratcher. I am not sure what point you are trying to make. Scientists are human. They are fallible - I have no idea how often how often consensus has been shown to be right or wrong throughout time, but neither do you. The idea that consensus is infallible or that they are somehow less fallible today than 50 or 100 years ago is simply untrue.

Even if you respond that that you are not arguing they are infallible - just that they are more likely to be right than not, this simply isn't good enough for me when it comes to using using a pharmaceutical with accepted risk on a healthy person who has virtually no chance of actually needing it.
Pharma studies on vaccines have absolutely been replicated over and over in countries all over the world. Like I keep saying, you could throw out all pharma studies on vaccines and still have enormous amounts of evidence that vaccines are safe and effective.

Re insulin- the point being all these quotes you and others paste could work for virtually any medication. That quote doesn't make me think insulin is ineffective anymore than it makes me think vaccines are ineffective. Studies and evidence show that they are both effective at what they do.

Dinosaur analogy was to demonstrate that the "science was wrong before" trope can be and is used by people to try and defend any anti-scientific belief. It isn't a compelling argument.

Serious question (and I am just assuming you "believe" dinosaurs once existed here) if you were in a discussion with someone on the topic and they used the "science was wrong before" line what would you think? Would it be a compelling argument? Why or why not?

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#19 of 121 Old 07-25-2015, 12:40 PM
 
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Pharma studies on vaccines have absolutely been replicated over and over in countries all over the world. Like I keep saying, you could throw out all pharma studies on vaccines and still have enormous amounts of evidence that vaccines are safe and effective.


Serious question (and I am just assuming you "believe" dinosaurs once existed here) if you were in a discussion with someone on the topic and they used the "science was wrong before" line what would you think? Would it be a compelling argument? Why or why not?
I am not saying some haven't been replicated. I am saying replication might not be happening at the level you posted, and I posted a link to back up my point - which is, nicely, more than you have done. Any link (preferably a meta-analysis) showing what percent of vaccine studies have been successfully replicated?

I believe dinosaurs lived a long time ago and died before the humans came (you know - common mainstream belief). If I was in an argument with someone who said that I was wrong, and used the argument "science has been wrong in the past" I would absolutely concede the point that scientific ideas are sometimes wrong. I would also point out that just because they are wrong sometimes does not mean they are wrong now. Assuming the other person and I were invested in arguing the case (doubtful) and assuming we accepted each others sources, we could show each other the evidence we had for our case and see if either one of us moved position.

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Dinosaur analogy was to demonstrate that the "science was wrong before" trope can be and is used by people to try and defend any anti-scientific belief. It isn't a compelling argument.

Serious question (and I am just assuming you "believe" dinosaurs once existed here) if you were in a discussion with someone on the topic and they used the "science was wrong before" line what would you think? Would it be a compelling argument? Why or why not?
I am going to respond to this even though I am not kathy.


The dinosaur analogy fails for one simple reason. Belief in dinosaur existence has ZERO impact on my life and well being. Other beliefs that also fit in that category include : the flatness or roundness of the Earth, and the creation of the Earth and all life on it (divine or evolution).

On some level you understand that, since you, yourself, once posted a quote by or link to a scientist with a website devoted to creationism. So it's time to stop playing those cards. They don't belong in the game.

The reason the "science has been wrong before" card is valid, and shall be forever more, is because of one simple (again) fact. WHEN IT IS MY LIFE AND QUALITY OF LIFE AT STAKE I AM THE ONLY ONE SUFFERING THE CONSEQUENCES, SO I AM THE ONLY ONE WHO GETS TO DECIDE WHAT CONSEQUENCES ARE ACCEPTABLE.

This is an extremely simple concept. Why do so many struggle with it?

As has been said before, "my right to swing my fist ends at your face".
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#21 of 121 Old 07-25-2015, 01:07 PM
 
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The reason the "science has been wrong before" card is valid, and shall be forever more, is because of one simple (again) fact. WHEN IT IS MY LIFE AND QUALITY OF LIFE AT STAKE I AM THE ONLY ONE SUFFERING THE CONSEQUENCES, SO I AM THE ONLY ONE WHO GETS TO DECIDE WHAT CONSEQUENCES ARE ACCEPTABLE.

This is an extremely simple concept. Why do so many struggle with it?

As has been said before, "my right to swing my fist ends at your face".
Yes but when you choose not to vaccinate you are swinging your fist right at peoples' faces You choose not to vaccinate, you get measles, give it my three month old who dies...you know this song and dance because you've heard it a million times before I am sure. But we both know your decision doesn't only affect you.

It's not an argument I like to use, because of course I understand that if someone legitimately believes a vaccine might irrevocably harm their child, they are going to choose their child over herd immunity every time. That's kind of part and parcel of being a parent. It's the same reason I don't treat pro-life protestors with the same contempt a lot of pro-choicers do...if they truly believe abortion to be the murder of an innocent baby of COURSE they feel the responsibility to speak up. We can understand and have compassion for other people's views without endorsing or agreeing with them. I don't judge people for wanting to protect their children or themselves from a perceived threat (I just wish vaccines weren't perceived as a threat to begin with!)
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Yes but when you choose not to vaccinate you are swinging your fist right at peoples' faces You choose not to vaccinate, you get measles, give it my three month old who dies...you know this song and dance because you've heard it a million times before I am sure. But we both know your decision doesn't only affect you.
Well, just because someone has not been vaccinated for measles doesn't make it a sure thing they will get measles, in fact, it is more likely your three-month-old would contract it from a vaccinated person who no longer has vaccine immunity. Of course, if you had had a natural measles infection you would have been able to protect your infant with maternal antibodies. It was incredibly rare in the pre-vaccination era for babies as young as three months to contract measles.
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#23 of 121 Old 07-25-2015, 01:27 PM
 
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Yes but when you choose not to vaccinate you are swinging your fist right at peoples' faces

This is a load of horse manure for a very simple reason. When I choose to not vaccinate I swing my fist in the air. You, and your baby, may or may not be in the vacinity. So if you are not in the area, you, and your baby, cannot be harmed.

When you mandate vaccination, you are punching me in the face. The vaccine does go into my body. No question about it that! How much harm is caused? Each person is unique. That level of harm cannot be predicted on an individual basis. Only statistics of groups. So that is where the analogy falls apart. In the fist analogy, you would have control over how much force you use to hit my face. The one fact that remains is -- my face is definitely struck!




You choose not to vaccinate, you get measles, give it my three month old who dies...you know this song and dance because you've heard it a million times before I am sure. But we both know your decision doesn't only affect you.

It's not an argument I like to use, because of course I understand that if someone legitimately believes a vaccine might irrevocably harm their child, they are going to choose their child over herd immunity every time. That's kind of part and parcel of being a parent. It's the same reason I don't treat pro-life protestors with the same contempt a lot of pro-choicers do...if they truly believe abortion to be the murder of an innocent baby of COURSE they feel the responsibility to speak up. We can understand and have compassion for other's people's views without endorsing or agreeing with them. I don't judge people for wanting to protect their children or themselves from a perceived threat (I just wish vaccines weren't perceived as a threat to begin with!)
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#24 of 121 Old 07-25-2015, 01:34 PM
 
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This is a load of horse manure for a very simple reason. When I choose to not vaccinate I swing my fist in the air. You, and your baby, may or may not be in the vacinity. So if you are not in the area, you, and your baby, cannot be harmed.

When you mandate vaccination, you are punching me in the face. The vaccine does go into my body. No question about it that! How much harm is caused? Each person is unique. That level of harm cannot be predicted on an individual basis. Only statistics of groups. So that is where the analogy falls apart. In the fist analogy, you would have control over how much force you use to hit my face. The one fact that remains is -- my face is definitely struck!

.
I don't know if anywhere in the world you are mandated to be vaccinated. For some professions, yes. For school attendance in some areas, yes (and for the record I have a lot of mixed feelings about this, ultimately it bothers me that a child's right to education can be yanked because of a decision his or her parents make) but ultimately, the decision is yours.

When you choose not to vaccinate, and then hang out with an immunocompromised person, you've made the choice for them, you know?
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#25 of 121 Old 07-25-2015, 01:41 PM
 
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I don't know if anywhere in the world you are mandated to be vaccinated. For some professions, yes. For school attendance in some areas, yes (and for the record I have a lot of mixed feelings about this, ultimately it bothers me that a child's right to education can be yanked because of a decision his or her parents make) but ultimately, the decision is yours.

When you choose not to vaccinate, and then hang out with an immunocompromised person, you've made the choice for them, you know?
Why do you assume a non-vaccinated person will be harboring a VAD? I can assure you, neither of my two non-vaccinated children has ever infected an immunocompromised person with measles or any other VAD for that matter. I would have no problem with my 15-year-old son hanging out with a chemo patient right now. I would sleep tonight knowing that he had done no harm to them.
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#26 of 121 Old 07-25-2015, 01:51 PM
 
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I don't know if anywhere in the world you are mandated to be vaccinated. For some professions, yes. For school attendance in some areas, yes (and for the record I have a lot of mixed feelings about this, ultimately it bothers me that a child's right to education can be yanked because of a decision his or her parents make) but ultimately, the decision is yours.

When you choose not to vaccinate, and then hang out with an immunocompromised person, you've made the choice for them, you know?

I am soooooooo tired of the "I want everyone to vaccinate, but I'm not for mandatory vaccination" song!!!!

Also, it is extremely presumptuous of you to assume that I would "hang out" with anyone at risk. And don't bother singing the "that's what I said but not what I meant" song.

I had a relative die while undergoing chemo from a simple cold. Not measles. Not whooping cough. Not anything vaccine related. It is the responsibility of those at risk, and the caregivers of those at risk, to keep them from those who may be sick. What we need are methods that actually address the issues that currently make doing that difficult WITHOUT taking away the rights of the rest of the population.
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#27 of 121 Old 07-25-2015, 02:06 PM
 
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Replying,

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I am soooooooo tired of the "I want everyone to vaccinate, but I'm not for mandatory vaccination" song!!!!

Uhm, ok? Much better I sing the, "I want everyone to vaccinate and I believe it should be law" song? Wouldn't someone like me actually be your best ally? Supporting your right to parental/personal choice even though I don't support those choices? But then again, it's harder to vilify me if I'm not some caricature-like, needle-wielding psycho who wants to pin down your child and force him or her to be vaccinated, right ?


Also, it is extremely presumptuous of you to assume that I would "hang out" with anyone at risk. And don't bother singing the "that's what I said but not what I meant" song.

You seem to really dislike singing You don't know the immune status of everyone you hang out with. My friend's son suffers from a severe kidney disorder and measles or chicken pox would almost certainly kill him, but he can not be vaccinated. You'd never know it looking at him though, and he could spend time with your kids on a playground without you ever guessing he suffers from a potentially life-threatening illness. You never hold young babies? I'm guessing that you do, and while I know you would avoid them, were you sick, you know that many if not most VPDs are contagious even before symptoms start. So while I am sure you are a responsible and loving person, you could unwittingly pass something on quite easily.

I had a relative die while undergoing chemo from a simple cold. Not measles. Not whooping cough. Not anything vaccine related. It is the responsibility of those at risk, and the caregivers of those at risk, to keep them from those who may be sick. What we need are methods that actually address the issues that currently make doing that difficult WITHOUT taking away the rights of the rest of the population.

That totally makes sense. My friend's son, who already has to deal with stuff that no 9 year old should, should stay isolated at home forever. Because it's HIS responsibility to avoid people who choose not to vaccinate. And again, I never said I advocated for parents' right to choose to be taken away. I can respect your right to make a choice I disagree with while not respecting the choice itself.
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#28 of 121 Old 07-25-2015, 02:21 PM
 
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What bugs me about the immune-compromised argument is that even with a 110% rate of vaccination with every vaccine in every human being on the planet they will not be SAFE. And the belief that they are safe when they are not (because someone could have a cold, or have whooping cough despite the vaccine, or have an influenza-like illness, or get the flu despite being vaccinated, or, or, or) is pretty darn risky.

Don't go around telling someone they are protected when they are not protected.

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#29 of 121 Old 07-25-2015, 04:32 PM
 
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Replying,


It didn't copy the quote. So here are the points you made and my responses.

"Wouldn't it be easier if I said it should be law"? Yes! That, at least, would be honest. The "respecting your choices while not liking them" is garbage. Coming on here and calling or implying that those who question vaccine safety are wrong, stupid, ignorant, incapable of reading and understanding studies is the opposite of respecting.

I have a history of dealing with narcissists. One favorite ploy of a narcissist is gaslighting, where the narcissist tries to make the victim doubt his or her personal knowledge, observations and experience. Too many provax arguments are gaslighting. My tolerance is very low for that kind of crap these days. I am still mourning the loss of a promising young man.

You also said you are sure I hold babies. You are most definitely WRONG. Why? I have my own health issues, which started me questioning vaccine safety. Because of my own personal health issues I avoid young children so I do not get sick.
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#30 of 121 Old 07-25-2015, 04:36 PM
 
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By the way, I watch the influenza numbers on the CDC every winter. The highest percentage of samples testing positive for influenza, at the PEAK of flu season is about 26%. There is a heck of a lot of influenza like illness going around every winter. I'm sure that influenza like illness is also transmissible, just like flu, before it is symptomatic. Are you going to tell someone who is immune compromised: "sure, come on over, we've all gotten all of our vaccines, you'll be safe!"
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