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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Natural Products and anti-vaccines (Page 3)

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Author Topic: Natural Products and anti-vaccines
scifibum
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It's good that your sister is receptive, at least.

As far as arguing with someone who is anti-vaccine, though, there are indications it can be counter productive.

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2014/02/25/peds.2013-2365

When he's straight up telling you that he doesn't care what the science says, it may not be helpful to continue to the argument.

Speaking from my own experience, I have more often changed my mind about a thing while not arguing about it than while arguing about it.

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theamazeeaz
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Lead? That was easy.

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199001113220203

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Originally posted by GaalDornick:
He sent me a follow-up:
quote:
And to answer the lead response, yes, agree there is less lead today then there was years ago. Quick question? Have there been a study on longevity of lead or other toxins in your body and it's risks? No. Most if not all the research that we read today show how these toxins do not effect the person immediately. It's like measuring someone's fat % an having them eat a mcdonalds burger and measuring the body fat% an hour later only to find out that it did not increase. But we know, over time, not only fat increases but also creates an environment for diseases to thrive in.

What does he say, if you have said this, when you point out, "Wait a second, I thought scientific studies were unreliable because in ten years or so they might be proven wrong?"

It's definitely a long shot since smart money is on him never changing his mind in such a way that he would need to admit, explicitly or implicitly, that he was wrong-there's a lot of ego invested in this kind of conspiracy stuff-but I suppose it's possible you might get some traction on his not being allowed to have it both ways. At least get him to admit, if he's willing to discuss, that his standards for which scientific studies are likely to change in a decade and which ones are gospel is completely centered on his own bias.

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Samprimary
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'parents instinct' is used to defend all sorts of irredeemable practices in the face of clear scientific evidence that the practice is bad.

'parents instinct' to defend nonvaccination (vaccinate your kids), spanking (don't hit children), or giving infants a vegan gluten free diet until they are anemic and malnourished (no don't do this)

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advice for robots
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Just want to stick up for parent's instincts here. They're not always misguided, nor are parents always going to contradict science when they follow their gut regarding their kids. Several times acting on our parent's instincts has resulted in our kids getting emergency care they needed when the health clinic "couldn't find anything wrong" or misdiagnosed completely. When our kids have had trouble at school in some form, we've been pretty good at figuring out what the root cause is. We know what questions to ask and we know what rugs to look under, etc. And we've certainly been better at helping our kids work through such problems. Our instincts serve us very well here.

In fact, I'm not sure I'd call choosing not to vaccinate your kids an example of acting on parent's instincts. I don't think you can gauge from your kid's behavior or your knowledge of their circumstances or anything else about them whether it's correct to have them vaccinated. That's a choice you make independently of such considerations, even if you still make that choice based on your "gut."

By the way, all my kids are current on their vaccinations and will continue to be. I'm not defending the anti-vaxxer crowd in any way.

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Stephan
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I actually started a Facebook page on a whim back in January. I am up to 3300 readers already. Check it out, a lot of good folks there from farmers to med students.

www.facebook.com/welovegv
We Love GMOs and Vaccines

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narrativium
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Oh, this oughta be fun…
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:

In fact, I'm not sure I'd call choosing not to vaccinate your kids an example of acting on parent's instincts.

i'm sorry, but this reads like a form of a scotsman argument, honestly. there's no legitimate way to be a gatekeeper for what's 'true' parent's instinct — nothing makes it so that what a parent is counting as their instinct that makes it 'not real parental instinct' when they are genuinely acting on what they consider to be parental instinct.

the overarching issue is that things like 'instinct' and 'common sense' are terrible defenses of practices when you reach a certain threshold of rational study that shows these 'instincts' to be deleterious and harmful. yet humans are stubborn and irrational and will be mostly and notoriously uninfluenced by clear and true facts in the presence of strong and ingrained (and most notoriously, partisan) belief. 'parents instinct' is notoriously rich with elements of that involving things that current generations still cling to and which has to be atrophied through preventing inter-generational transmissibility.

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advice for robots
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Then "parent's instinct" just becomes whatever individual parents define it as--an excuse to make a choice regarding their children that goes against the grain. I'm saying there's a difference between taking all your ingrained, irrational choices based on long-outmoded beliefs and calling that "parent's instinct," and actually reacting to a situation based on your deep familiarity with your kid, where you know you're right even though you can't put a finger on why.

People making poor choices and calling it "parent's instinct" gives parent's instinct an unnecessarily bad name, especially when it's compounded by others starting to rail against parent's instinct because the perpetrators have incorrectly co-opted the term. I'm saying that actually, parents reacting on instinct on behalf of their kids, whatever you call that phenomenon, isn't necessarily going to produce wrongheaded results. There is lots of value in parents acting instinctively for their children's' welfare.

One way parents will often act on instinct, if there's time, is to gather all the facts they can to make the most informed decision possible for the greatest good of their kids. If, after gathering the facts, they still make a wrongheaded decision like refusing to get their kids vaccinated, my contention is that they're no longer acting "on instinct" but according to a specific ideology, peer pressure, or simply the inability to admit they're wrong.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Then "parent's instinct" just becomes whatever individual parents define it as
well, that's what happens. that's how it is. i know you want to create a superior discrete class of parental intuition that you can point to and say "now, this is TRUE parent's instinct, but this other kind isn't" but ultimately it means you're just doing the same thing: it's become what you, as an individual parent, define it as. To you.

instinct is instinct. instinct is frequently irrational and creates negative outcomes. there's nothing specific about parental instincts that make it immune to this, so people relying on instinct (or things that were modeled by their parents to them as a child) as a parent can very easily be doing something wrong and harmful.

which happens. in the case of people who will throw out parents instinct as a refrain or a way to give their own tendencies some sort of purchase against pediatric science, it happens in a very predictable way.

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dkw
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I don't think afr's argument devolves into "no true Scotsman."

He's saying that instinct/intuition is based on knowledge, experience, and observation. It's the human brain putting together tiny observations that didn't rise to the level of conscious thought at the time, but form a pattern, or noticing something "off" in a previously established pattern. That pattern recognition can mean that parents know their child is getting sick even before symptoms are obvious, or know their child is lying or trying to get away with something even without hard evidence, because of their experience with that particular child.

Saying that "something is wrong here, and it's more than just a common cold" is possible to know by instinct while "a high dose of vitamin D will cure measles" or "vaccines cause autism" is not isn't based on whether or not one agrees with the assertion -- the content isn't what makes the difference, the type of knowledge asserted is.

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advice for robots
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What dkw said. I'm not arguing that parents are going to be right every time they act on instinct, although given the circumstances of many situations, their instincts concerning their kids are going to be about the most reliable guide to action that there is. If you doubt this, try being up with a toddler at 3 am Sunday morning, when toddlers always get sick, with very few options for getting any immediate professional help other than the ER. It's just you and the kid, as it frequently is, and you have to make the call based on what you feel is most likely going on. In one such case I'm very glad we acted on instinct and brought our daughter to the ER, because she turned out to have a bad case of RSV and needed immediate care--unlike what the PA at the clinic had assured us some hours before.

I'm saying that there's a difference between parents actually acting on instinct regarding their kids, and parents playing the "instinct" trump card--refusing to to gather all the facts or listen to them if they do have them all, falling back on faulty conclusions/ideologies/whatever instead, and then trying to explain the decision with "parent's instinct" even when it was no such thing, because they think that makes their position unassailable.

I do value the special instinct I have as a parent quite highly and have learned to pay attention to it--not to the exclusion of finding answers in other ways if I can, of course, and knowing I'll act on facts and not just gut as much as possible. And I'm far from the only parent who acts in this manner. It's sad to see people claiming they're just acting on instinct when they clearly aren't--and it's pretty clear when they aren't, IMO. It's also sad to see such instinct maligned simply because of said fraudulent implication.

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Samprimary
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I mean, I'm mostly on board with everything you're saying, but when we get to the part of "It's sad to see people claiming they're just acting on instinct when they clearly aren't--and it's pretty clear when they aren't, IMO." is where I'm seeing the disconnect.

I know multiple parents who had at one time stopped vaccinating after watching their own or another person's child be vaccinated. There's an almost instinctual fear or revulsion associated to it. Your baby cries, probably. It hurts. There's a visceral emotional reaction because of that attention you have to your kid and their state of distress. They "just know" something's wrong. The mind finds patterns where they do not exist, we play post hoc. It's hard to shut off completely.

They ARE acting instinctually. It's just that most parents, like any human being, has a greatly variable capacity to train their instinct to pay attention to rational inquiry. As a result the extent to which a parent's instinct misguides them is large, and it also becomes a bulwark of justification for purely irrational and even harmful practices.

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Rakeesh
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For a thread discussing instinct so much now, I feel that 'The Gift of Fear' deserves a definite recommendation. Taught me a lot about how to begin to recognize instinct and (try to, anyway) separate it from bad information or faulty premises.
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advice for robots
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I'm having a hard time imagining lots of parents choosing not to vaccinate simply because they don't want their kid to have to go through getting poked with a needle. I won't rule it out as a possibility, but I can't see that as anything but a very rare occurrence. Unless you are severely scared of needles, that's far from the worst thing you might watch be done to your kid. I don't like needles all that much. I can't watch when someone sticks one into me. I've never liked getting shots. I've even dreaded it. My kids don't like getting shots. Sometimes they've been so scared I've had to hold them still. But at no time have I felt like it just wasn't worth it. For most parents, IMO, unless you're already convinced that the vaccination itself is risky, you're willing to let your kid go through the experience because it's ultimately for the good. Simply watching it happen to your kid or someone else's isn't going to suddenly change your mind.

By the same token, anti-vaxxer parents, as unreasonable as they're being in the face of the facts, aren't necessarily unreasonable in all areas. They're no less likely to be perfectly capable of understanding that the needle poke itself isn't going to do any permanent hurt, and that the needle poke isn't what's objectionable. After all, kids get hurt all the damn time and you learn quickly what to flip out about and what not to.

I'd grant that a parent might choose to not vaccinate because of an instinctive desire to protect their kid from what they consider is an unacceptable risk of long-term harm from the vaccination. But defending that decision over the long term, even in the face of the facts, goes well beyond the grounds of instinct. The instinct is to do the best for your kid. So if you're presented with convincing evidence that vaccinations are good and not bad, instinct should lead you to vaccinate. If you nevertheless choose not to vaccinate, you are overriding your instinct, not relying on it. *shrug*

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theamazeeaz
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http://lifehacker.com/how-to-quack-proof-yourself-against-pseudoscience-1586708469
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Samprimary
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the 'cryin' baby getting poked with a needle' pic is a time honored mainstay of antivax pubs and brochures. it works!
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advice for robots
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If I were making that brochure I'd use the crying baby more to set the tone, not as a primary method of discouraging people from vaccinating. I wouldn't look at that picture and go, "Man, I don't want my kid to get poked with a needle!" I'd be more like, "Even that baby knows getting vaccinated is bad!"
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Destineer
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
For a thread discussing instinct so much now, I feel that 'The Gift of Fear' deserves a definite recommendation. Taught me a lot about how to begin to recognize instinct and (try to, anyway) separate it from bad information or faulty premises.

Just read the first chapter of that book for free online, and I am very put off. Talk about sensationalistic fear mongering. From the introductory section of the book:

quote:
Violence is a part of America, and more than that, it is a part of our species. It is around us, and it is in us. As the most powerful people in history, we have climbed to the top of the world food chain, so to speak. Facing not one single enemy or predator who poses to us any danger of consequence, we've found the only prey left: ourselves.

Lest anyone doubt this, understand that in the last two years alone, more Americans died from gunshot wounds than were killed during the entire Vietnam War.

Out of how many Americans in total?

quote:
By contrast, in all of Japan (with a population of 120 million people), the number of young men shot to death in a year is equal to the number killed in New York City in a single busy weekend. Our armed robbery rate is one hundred times higher than Japan's.
"Young men shot to death"; is that number representative of the total homicide rate? Suppose Japanese people are significantly safer from violence than Americans. Does that mean Americans are unsafe enough that they should take the time to read a book about how to protect themselves from violence?

quote:
In part, that's because we are a nation with more firearms than adults, a nation where 20,000 guns enter the stream of commerce every day. No contemplation of your safety in America can be sincere without taking a clear-eyed look down the barrel of that statistic. By this time tomorrow, 400 more Americans will suffer a shooting injury, and another 1,100 will face a criminal with a gun, as Kelly did. Within the hour, another 75 women will be raped, as Kelly was.
Again, out of how many Americans in total? And how many of those victims are people in comparatively high-risk areas or demographics?

quote:
Neither privilege nor fame will keep violence away: In the last 35 years, more public figures have been attacked in America than in the 185 years before that.
Are there more public officials now than there were then? By how much? How does privilege by itself, without fame, protect people?

quote:
Ordinary citizens can encounter violence at their jobs to the point that homicide is now the leading cause of death for women in the workplace.
How many women die in the workplace at all? Not very many, I'd have thought.

quote:
Twenty years ago, the idea of someone going on a shooting spree at work was outlandish; now it's in the news nearly every week, and managing employee fear of co-workers is a frequent topic in the boardroom.
This is a fact about the perception of violence rather than the reality. The perception of a threat doesn't make the threat real or significant.

quote:
While we are quick to judge the human rights record of every other country on earth, it is we civilized Americans whose murder rate is ten times that of other Western nations, we civilized Americans who kill women and children with the most alarming frequency. In (sad) fact, if a full jumbo jet crashed into a mountain killing everyone on board, and if that happened every month, month in and month out, the number of people killed still wouldn't equal the number of women murdered by their husbands and boyfriends each year.
Out of how many women in total?

This kind of rhetoric is just plain dishonest.

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TomDavidson
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quote:

This kind of rhetoric is just plain dishonest.

It is considerably more honest than the old saw that we need guns to keep ourselves free.
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Samprimary
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we need good guys with guns to stop the bad guys with guns

WAIT. what is this can of worms doing here this was the other can of worms thread.

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theamazeeaz
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One. Dumb Family.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/06/19/1308169/-One-unvaccinated-child-was-patient-zero-of-a-measles-epidemic?detail=email

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
For a thread discussing instinct so much now, I feel that 'The Gift of Fear' deserves a definite recommendation. Taught me a lot about how to begin to recognize instinct and (try to, anyway) separate it from bad information or faulty premises.

Just read the first chapter of that book for free online, and I am very put off. Talk about sensationalistic fear mongering. From the introductory section of the book:

quote:
Violence is a part of America, and more than that, it is a part of our species. It is around us, and it is in us. As the most powerful people in history, we have climbed to the top of the world food chain, so to speak. Facing not one single enemy or predator who poses to us any danger of consequence, we've found the only prey left: ourselves.

Lest anyone doubt this, understand that in the last two years alone, more Americans died from gunshot wounds than were killed during the entire Vietnam War.

Out of how many Americans in total?

quote:
By contrast, in all of Japan (with a population of 120 million people), the number of young men shot to death in a year is equal to the number killed in New York City in a single busy weekend. Our armed robbery rate is one hundred times higher than Japan's.
"Young men shot to death"; is that number representative of the total homicide rate? Suppose Japanese people are significantly safer from violence than Americans. Does that mean Americans are unsafe enough that they should take the time to read a book about how to protect themselves from violence?

quote:
In part, that's because we are a nation with more firearms than adults, a nation where 20,000 guns enter the stream of commerce every day. No contemplation of your safety in America can be sincere without taking a clear-eyed look down the barrel of that statistic. By this time tomorrow, 400 more Americans will suffer a shooting injury, and another 1,100 will face a criminal with a gun, as Kelly did. Within the hour, another 75 women will be raped, as Kelly was.
Again, out of how many Americans in total? And how many of those victims are people in comparatively high-risk areas or demographics?

quote:
Neither privilege nor fame will keep violence away: In the last 35 years, more public figures have been attacked in America than in the 185 years before that.
Are there more public officials now than there were then? By how much? How does privilege by itself, without fame, protect people?

quote:
Ordinary citizens can encounter violence at their jobs to the point that homicide is now the leading cause of death for women in the workplace.
How many women die in the workplace at all? Not very many, I'd have thought.

quote:
Twenty years ago, the idea of someone going on a shooting spree at work was outlandish; now it's in the news nearly every week, and managing employee fear of co-workers is a frequent topic in the boardroom.
This is a fact about the perception of violence rather than the reality. The perception of a threat doesn't make the threat real or significant.

quote:
While we are quick to judge the human rights record of every other country on earth, it is we civilized Americans whose murder rate is ten times that of other Western nations, we civilized Americans who kill women and children with the most alarming frequency. In (sad) fact, if a full jumbo jet crashed into a mountain killing everyone on board, and if that happened every month, month in and month out, the number of people killed still wouldn't equal the number of women murdered by their husbands and boyfriends each year.
Out of how many women in total?

This kind of rhetoric is just plain dishonest.

You have missed the point so thoroughly I can't help but wonder if you're trolling here. Fear mongering is, in fact, almost the opposite of what that book does. I don't recall the first chapter without looking well enough to remember, but I suspect that even there it does as well.

I'll have to go back and reread the first chapter, but if it doesn't make it very clear for example the difference between perception and reality almost immediately I'll be surprised.

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