The entirety of the evidence

It’s been a rough few days for the antivaxxers. The measles outbreak associated with Disneyland has really put them on the spot when it comes to their refusal to vaccinated. Some say that they are protecting their freedom to do whatever they want to their children (aka their “property”). When it is explained to them that they are to do what is in the best interest of their children, they shift the goalposts and say that the vaccine is what caused the outbreak. When it is then explained to them that the vaccine strain is not the strain found in the outbreak cases, they then say that the vaccine doesn’t protect against the strain in the outbreak. They’ll quote CDC documents stating that the genotype of the vaccine is different from the genotype of the outbreak. When it is explained to them that there are different genotypes but that the vaccine covers all serotypes — and, thus, that genotypes and serotypes are different things — they fire back with some nonsense about “big pharma” and/or reptilian overlords.

Our human nature tells us to look for the patterns that matter to us and ignore the others. We’re very biased in that sense. We don’t like to be wrong because we’ve been taught that being wrong is bad. Being wrong gets us in trouble, laughed at, or might even kill us. So we look for the things out there that we can cherry-pick and mold into supporting our assertions. Even when we know in our hearts that we are wrong, we still plow through and try to get others to agree with us. Continue reading