Posted by: The Amoeba | November 15, 2009

Amoeba Needs Vaccine Against Conspiracy Theorists

Clarke’s Third Law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguisable from magic.
Amoeba’s Corollary: Sooner or later, someone will proclaim that all such magic is black.

In my previous post, Your Friendly Neighborhood Amoeba poked and prodded at the disconnect between the high level of official public concern over the current outbreak of 2009 H1N1 influenza and its actual impact on human health in these Untied States.

(The official public concern, I’m guessing, has some part of its basis in history: the influenza epidemic of 1918, also caused by a strain of H1N1 virus, came in waves, with later waves more deadly than the first.)

I was chagrined, to say the least, to discover a link to this post on a virulently anti-vaccination website. A clear case of foot in mouth pseudopod in cytostome disease. Fortunately:

A. The link was short-lived.
B. With all due respect, gentle readers, there aren’t enough of you for whatever happens here to make much of an impact. (I can only hope that the same is true for that other website.)

Wikipedia has what I consider to be an excellent page on the history, dynamics, and negative social impacts of vaccine controversies. It points out that vaccines have been, in human health terms, the best thing since sliced bread – and that, for one reason or another, various persons have had issues with sliced bread.

Including the English theologian Rev. Edward Massey, who argued, in 1772 (yes, the anti-vaccinationists have been around for awhile) that smallpox vaccinations represented diabolically-influenced defiance against the will of God.

No wonder Richard Dawkins considers God to be a delusion.

My principal concern is that, now as then, a significant part of the population is willing to accept a glib soundbite as truth, in preference to a long catalogue of facts that happen to represent the truth but don’t fit conveniently on a protest sign.

Even more worrying to me is the idea, implicit in the thoughts and actions of the conspiracy theorists, that the findings of science, like so many of the practitioners of magic in the current blitz of popular novels, are for sale to the highest bidder.

Such a view is consistent with the deconstructionist view of the world (all viewpoints are utterly dependent on the self-interest of the originator) that is now predominant.

But I think that, if science actually does devolve in this way, we are lost.

  – O Ceallaigh
Copyright © 2009 Felloffatruck Publications. All wrongs deplored.
All opinions are mine as a private citizen.



  1. So, just for curiosity, is there a vaccine for driving stupidly?

  2. If there were, Dawg, you can bet that there’d be a campaign against it. On the grounds of invasion of privacy …

  3. You’re not wrong about that. Particularly since nobody needs except the moron in front of them and the lunatic behind. We’d have to put it in the water, like flouride.

  4. […] … a significant part of the population is willing to accept a glib soundbite as truth, in preference t… […]

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