I’ve been fairly quiet about Jenny McCarthy’s campaign against childhood vaccinations, partly because Dr. David Gorski has covered the issue so thoroughly already, and partly because of my “do not engage” policy relating to the deeply irrational i.e. there’s no winning an argument with “crazy.” But this week I was filled with a renewed sense of urgency regarding the anti-vaccinationist movement for two reasons: 1 I received a personal email from a woman who is being treated with hostility by her peers for her pro-science views on vaccines and 2 a friend forwarded me a video of Jenny McCarthy speaking directly to moms, instructing them to avoid vaccinating their kids or giving them milk or wheat because of their supposed marijuana-like addictive properties.
I was going to comment on the site, but I couldn’t see myself ‘registering’ for anther site, but as an autistic adult, I did want to respond. Yours is a great and complex post for a variety of reasons. I’m actually not pro-science. I am anti-belief. So I’m opposed to the belief in science, just as I’m opposed to belief in, for the lack of a better word, freak theories.
On a personal practical level, I’m well aware of the efficacy of food and yeast issues on my health and cognition, in ways that few of my peers experience. To say that wheat and dairy are not a problem in the diets of many children is foolish. To say that it causes condition X or Y, without at least well generalized and repeated statistically based tests, is an equal but opposite fallacy. At the same time, anyone aware of the history of medicine and health related issues knows full well how fraught with errors and obfuscations the profession(s) is/are. It is better to assume that the fields are overly positive and reductionist, unless paid directly by them for one’s good will.
From our perspective it is clear that people like Jenny are just ignorant nabobs. But I wonder if her position is not any worse that someone who mindlessly adheres to the tenets of a medical field that it itself shown to be lacking in moral and ethical fortitude.
The problems are regarding mindlessness and self-delusion. Any idiot can believe equally in science or fantasy. It is just the flip of the coin. Would not the effort be better placed in relieving the idiot of the idiocy, vs say advocating which way the coin drops?