Partial Transcript: Episode 38 (The War on Science)

Virginia: Today we’re going to talk about anti-science or the war on science.

Andrew: Let’s talk about the video first.

Virginia: Ok.  So there’s this Bill Nye video that’s making the rounds today.  He’s talk about an asteroid that’s going to come close to the earth.  By the time this podcast is out, this won’t be a big deal.  The woman asks, “Is the asteroid caused by global warming?”  For what it’s worth, he handles himself really well.

Andrew: Bill Nye was classy as fuck.  Instead of just telling her what an idiot she was… I would have busted out laughing.  Bill Nye said, “Well, ‘meteor’ and ‘meteorology’ have the same root.”

Nick: Then he didn’t know where to go with it!

Andrew: He just sort of changed the subject.

Nick: There was nothing else nice to say.

Andrew: So yes, global warming can cause meteors.

Virginia: It will be raining rocks pretty soon.

Nick: Let’s transition this to the vaccines.  Everyone knows about this because of the recent studies.

Virginia: And Jenny McCarthy.

Nick: Yeah.  She claims that the mercury in vaccines gave her kid autism…

Andrew: And that she cured him with something…

Virginia: Diet, right?

Nick: And the mercury was the only thing they could find that was consistent.  Then they found out, after taking it out, that it had no impact.  Now they’re putting it back.

Andrew: The whole anti-vaccination thing is really crazy.  They never cite any studies.  They just say that you shouldn’t be injecting stuff into your kids.

Virginia: Here’s the thing.  Studies don’t really have any currency for people who are anti-science.

Andrew: It’s just them making up stuff.  I think a lot of the anti-vaccination stuff involves a conspiracy theory.  At first, you think that not vaccinating your kids isn’t a big deal.  You’re only hurting yourself if you get smallpox and die.

Nick: But, it screws up herd immunity.  The goal is to get enough people to be vaccinated so that the disease or virus extincts itself.

Virginia: “Extincts” itself?  That sounds scientific.

Andrew: I’m not sure that’s a word.

Nick: That is totally scientific.  It’s a proven fact.

Andrew: Part of that is herd immunity.  A lot of anti-vaccers are in a minority, and their kids are still relatively protected.  They’re less likely to be infected and less likely to pass it along.

Mike: How do you get your kids in school?

Virginia: You can object.  Religious objections.

Nick: It’s the only reason that polio is still around.

Andrew: We’re going to start seeing some scary stuff with newborns.  You can’t vaccinate them.  They rely on their mother’s antibodies.  They really rely on the fact that the people who are around them aren’t sick.  If you get rid of herd immunity, you open up those kids to fatal diseases and infection.  The shield that should have been protecting them has cracks in it.

Mike: My grandfather has polio.  He’s been crippled his whole life.

Andrew: We were really close to eradicating it.  You can’t argue facts and statistics with these people.  It’s all emotional.  They have a friend whose kid got a vaccination and then was diagnosed with autism, so they completely give up on all vaccinations.  To us, that’s outrageous.  I don’t even know how to respond to someone like that.

Nick: It’s like saying, “My kid got a vaccine, and then he got taller.”  You mean that he continued to grow?  No!!

Andrew: It’s entirely possible that the kid already had autism and just wasn’t diagnosed yet.  Depending on where you are on the autism scale, you may not be diagnosed until way later in life.

Nick: And being autistic isn’t the end of the world.

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