Can’t argue, flail.

The perils and pitfalls of doing a “vaccinated versus unvaccinated” study describes the problem of trying to ‘debate’ those who have won’t. All of the measure and reality that can be observed is of no value to those who believe to the point that they can’t argue. All such reality does is to cause the believers to flail in seeking new ways to rationalize what they want to be.

However, there is one trait of the anti-vaccine movement that, however its camouflaging plumage may evolve, never, ever changes. … at its core it is always about the vaccines. Always. No matter how often science fails to find a link between vaccines and autism or vaccines and whatever other horreur du jour the anti-vaccine movement tries to pin on vaccines, no matter how many studies do not support the viewpoint that vaccines cause autism, no matter how much the anti-vaccine movement tries to deny and obfuscate by saying that it is not “anti-vaccine” but rather “pro-safe vaccine,” at its core the anti-vaccine movement is about fear and loathing of vaccines. Always.

The same blog defines an acronym that can be used to evaluate consideration of studies and hypothesis.

And so as we conclude this series, I hope that you now feel well equipped to perform CPR (credibility, plausibility, reproducibility checks) on health news. A little healthy skepticism can protect your brain from all the mixed health messages that barrage us each day. At the very least, now you’ll appreciate why most health news reports include an expert quote stating something to the effect of “it’s too early to know for sure if these findings are relevant.” That statement may be the most trustworthy of the entire report.

C-P-R can be applied to a lot of claims in a useful way – but only if your beliefs are open to being adjusted by reality.

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