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About the Religion of Vaccination

A Study of How Knowledge Cannot Be Passed on, of How Science Does Not Work

By Maura DudasPublished 5 years ago 6 min read
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There's a family acquaintance who prides herself on the love of science and her 142 IQ score.

She goes against most things I have learnt about how science works. She's not open minded or experimental; she cannot entertain an idea without accepting it. Her seven-year-old and five-year-old spend the day in front of the computer learning how to program and she's proud when her child would rather go to school than play outside or with her friends.

Science, because it saved her from certain death, is on a pedestal for her. However, I'm often afraid that this fear of the unknown, which is everything else that does not constitute in her mind as "scientific," was created when her brain impairment was amended.

There's nothing wrong with atheism and supporting the claims scientific achievements state. Her attitude towards it is more gripping it with both hands, throttling it until science loses all circulation.

I don't usually engage in social media debates, but she posted it twice on her feed, which I considered a call for dance.

The post detailed how a mother whose child goes to the same school our family acquaintance's, let's call her Carol for simplicity's sake, child attends as well.

Carol overheard this mother going to the GP, general practitioner, as we call them in the UK, to have her little moron vaccinated. However, said mother was not entirely sure about whether she should. She was not a believer of the sanctity of the vaccinated. Or was unsure about joining at the very least.

Vaccination, I might add, is not compulsory in the UK like in other parts of the world. Where I come from you get each and every one of them until you're old enough to decline or your parents or guardian sees fit for you to skip one. Needless to say measles does not exist there. It is, however, precedented in the UK. No shit.

So said mother, at the GP's, inquired about the effectiveness of the vaccines. She wanted a confirmation from the doctor that said they're 100% effective in all cases, anytime, everywhere.

Obviously this is BS. The good doc pointed out to her that the MMR, old, tried vaccines—not the new age HPV stuff, then you're better off with condoms, dear—are only 95-98% effective.

This was enough for her to decide her child did not need it, but at least she asked.

The GP however should have his medical degree taken since there is a simple explanation for the difference in percentages: unique physiologies. Nothing can be a 100% accurate because there's going to be the odd child who has to be re-inoculated because their system could not develop the antidote for the weakened bacteria in the vaccines. However, those percentages, other than being the derivative of individual differences in human physiologies, are concluded by examining a large sample of the population.

This is how scientific testing works. You have to select a representative sample of the population. This means that it has to be diverse enough so that the discrepancies would emerge. Therefore if a vaccine would show 100% effectiveness, that would be potential grounds for worrying since it would mean it was not tested properly or on a selected few which it happened to affect favorably.

Now knowing this, as I do without any sort of degree merely relying on my first year psychology course and how statistics work, the GP should have satisfied this poor woman's thirst for knowledge by telling her exactly this.

If he knew as much that he cannot give written confirmation, out of cowardice or actual insight into the world of statistics, he should've been able to enlighten this woman. He did not. He. Did. Not.

By the absolute hubris of this self-assured troglodyte my acquaintance, Carol, had the chance to insult this woman.

She first called her an educated person—this is going to make a great piece of counterargument—and then proceeded to tell her that if she didn't vaccinate her son because the percentages were only 95-98% percentage, how would she like to join her on a ride when she's under the influence of cocaine; apparently there's a 95-98% likelihood of her crashing her car.

Which is the educated, science worshipper's response who's the advocate for what science stands for, exploring with an open mind and spreading knowledge. I have a word in mind that describes this way better. It starts with an H and it ends with -ypocrite.

The post contained the brief account of what I've just detailed.

This is the point where I joined in on the conversation. I offered since Carol knew how the statistics worked if she explained it to the mother surely she would've changed her mind. The incentive to ask the GP at least showed that she wasn't a bigot; she gave a chance for the GP to correct her.

To which the response was, but the mother would have to know basic statistics etc., to understand her elevated argument. Well, she said the mum was an educated person. If she's educated enough to ask the GP, I'd think she'd be open to a conversation. Not like Carol, who because she knows, feels justified in insulting others just because they don't. Science, ladies and gentlemen, science.

Not to mentioned that she has absolutely no insight into for example how the mother's child reacted to previous inoculation or why this mother saw it fit in the first place to be ambiguous about administering vaccines.

I did debate her advocating that if she truly is for science and scientific discovery and advancement she should be imparting knowledge not withholding it or mocking people who don't know. The latter is what every other religion does. Feels sorry for everyone else who does not know, but even they want to convert you with mild or high ferocity to strengthen their ranks.

Even something Carol opposes vehemently tries to spread knowledge, a biased and subjective one at that, but I guess it's the intention that counts.

While she's religiously holding onto her dogma of not being able to perceive anything else but what "science" says. Science, however, often contradicts itself. Not many things can be 100% proven. I was actively discouraged on my course to use the word prove.

I do despise this attitude of claiming to believe in science but actively vilifying anyone who seeks different perspectives than our own. Bigotry has not been shown to forward history. Curiosity, humbleness, and tenacity have been. And also critical thinking which the condemned mother possessed despite being against Carol's case.

It is, I concur, harder to justify that someone who does not comply with our ideology can be less of a bigot than ourselves, who were supposed to be the advocates for open thinking.

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About the Creator

Maura Dudas

Studying Psychology, getting angry about issues on the web, addressing social conundrums concerning humans that surround me. And just pointing out my subjective majestic opinion. :) Film buff, artsy, reader - I do art too @morcika96

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