Michele Bachmann Proves She's an Anti-Science Idiot

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Epidemiologist in chief?

In last night's debate Rep. Michele Bachmann apparently scored points off Texas Gov. Rick Perry when she chided him for approving mandatory HPV vaccinations. The HPV vaccine prevents viral infections that substantially increase the risk of cervical cancer. Besides objecting to the mandatory vaccinations, Bachmann also asserted: 

There's a woman who came up crying to me tonight after the debate. She said her daughter was given that vaccine. She told me her daughter suffered mental retardation as a result of that vaccine.

Thus did the solon from Minnesota apparently manage to associate HPV vaccinations with the thoroughly discredited claims that MMR vaccines cause autism. Adverse events reports concerning HPV vaccinations indicate that their risks are minor and do not incude mental retardation.

Conservative blogger Ed Morrissey calls out Bachmann for her idiocy, and notes:

Rick Santorum took the correct position on the Gardasil issue.  We mandate certain vaccines in children because we mandate children be gathered for educational purposes for many years (in private or public schools), and certain diseases are easily communicable in those settings.  By mandating vaccinations against whooping cough, measles, and mumps, we are protecting children who would otherwise get exposed without any action on their part except compliance with the law.  That's not true with HPV, and parents should decide for themselves whether to inoculate their sons and daughters with Gardasil or Cervarix.  If Perry wanted to make those inoculations more accessible, he could have crafted an opt-in system rather than forcing parents to opt out.

And here's some icing on the cake: Bachmann believes in "intelligent design" too. These people really think that they are fit to run this country? Sheesh.

Given the safety profiles of vaccines, I strongly urge that parents to get their kids vaccinated sooner rather than later. 

Disclosure: I am getting a flu shot this afternoon. 

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  1. There’s a woman who came up crying to me tonight after the debate. She said her daughter was given that vaccine. She told me her daughter suffered mental retardation as a result of that vaccine.

    My cousin Shirley told me she works with a woman who said her husband works as a vaccinologist, and they *even know* that vaccines cause autism and retardedness but they do it anyway to make money. Also, you can prevent cancer with nothing but vitamins. Uh hum. I saw it on TV. Just lots and vitamins… also, this Abulator? I think the rolling is really doing wonders for my tummy. All you do is roll around! Gyms are just another rip-off… you don’t have to workout to lose weight..

      1. Not at all. Only housewives are dumb. Women with careers, like Bachmann and Jenny McCarthy, are smart enough to see through the bullshit.

        1. Women with careers, like Bachmann and Jenny McCarthy, are smart enough to see through the bullshit.

          I think you meant, ‘smart enough to sell bullshit to others’

          1. you mock, but there’s a lot of research that shows things like getting an adequate supply of vitamin D could really reduce cancer rates

            http://www.amazon.com/Vitamin-…..1594630674

            1. The fact that you link to Amazon.com amuses me. Not enough snake oil flying off the shelves today?

    1. Ms. Bachmann is nuts, yes. But at the opposite extreme are those like Ron Bailey, who place their faith in better living through chemistry. Who believe health can be found in a pill bottle or a shot in the arm. I would remind him of Pasteur’s death bed words: “[Claude] Bernard was correct. The pathogen is nothing. The terrain is everything.” But being a scientism correspondent, Ron probably can’t understand that.

      1. This is obviously someone who has never had oxycodone, either while in a great deal of pain, or not.

        1. Demerol for the win!

          1. Make mine morphine!

        1. Take two doses of hemlock, and call me in the morning.

          Or not.

          Maybe try Reike for your next fungal infection. Or pro shiatsu.

      2. Ms. Bachmann is nuts, yes. But at the opposite extreme are those like Ron Bailey, who place their faith in better living through chemistry. Who believe health can be found in a pill bottle or a shot in the arm. I would remind him of Pasteur’s death bed words: “[Claude] Bernard was correct. The pathogen is nothing. The terrain is everything.” But being a scientism correspondent, Ron probably can’t understand that.

        And I would remind you of the fallacy of authority. Pasteur is not the final authority on microbiology.

        1. You are exactly right! He admitted that on his death bed. LOL

      3. Lets compare your randomized clinical trial of whatever versus a randomized clinical trial of gardasil for the prevention of cervical CA. Wait, you don’t have one that shows any efficacy for your homeopathic BS?

        Ron Bailey wasn’t commenting on “generic” health. He does write well written articles based on subjects tested with the scientific method. He knows better than to speak in such broad terms. He is spot on that vaccines will SIGNIFICANTLY reduce specific diseases in populations.

  2. bachmann’s wrong due to the opt-out. i refused this vaccine for my teen daughters after i read it was NEVER tested on teen girls, only women in their late 20’s to early 30’s. also, use a damn condom.

    1. Tell me more about your daughters.

      1. i use a damn condom

        1. Dude…please don’t tell us any more. That’s…

    2. If you have daughters I can only assume your damn condom broke.

      1. i didnt realize it was supposed to go on my dick

        1. Me either!

        2. quit thinkin bout my junk

      2. The instructions said “Place on Organ” and I though, I don’t have one, but my piano is just like an organ.

        1. So the doctor says to her “have you tried the pill?” and the blond says “yeah, but every time I walk they fall out!”

  3. What the Planck is this “anti-science” nonsense?

    Just because someone may not know or understand science (or a specific scientific discipline), doesn’t mean they’re anti-science.

    Jesus H. Descartes! If you think your car has a brake problem, but it’s the axle, does that make you anti-car?

    I’ve never heard Bachmann cry out: “Burn the labs! Melt the microscopes! Fire the geeks and hire priests!”

    Enough fucking smugness. I swear, some people never got over being told in the first grade: “Science class is for the smart kids.”

    1. You can safely impute her attitude from her idiocy. I have no problem doing that.

      1. You can safely put monkeys in my ass. I did!

    2. Well, someone who spouts un-scientific, baseless assertions *at a presidential debate* (i.e. they think rejecting scientific facts in favor of popular myth is a *good* thing and will help them get elected) clearly isn’t basing their opinions on factual details, and more on the value of pathetic appeal.

      It wasn’t a case of “not knowing”… it was a case of putting forward an unscientific popular myth (‘vaccines cause autism’) out as ‘fact’. If not ‘Anti-scientific’, its certainly holding ‘facts’ in pretty low regard.

    3. If you think your car has a brake problem, but it’s the axle, does that make you anti-car?

      If your mechanic tells you it’s the axle and you then go to a presidential debate and talk about how some idiot told you it’s the breaks, then you’re a fucking retard. Whether you’re an anti-science fucking retard or a run-of-the-mill fucking retard doesn’t matter, because any variety of fucking retard is a disqualifier.

      1. Read my lips, no new axles!!

        1. We must fight the axles of evil.

      2. Any variety of fucking retard is disqualified. That includes me!

      3. Maybe you’re anti-grammar. It’s brakes. Breaks is a verb.

    4. “Burn the labs! Melt the microscopes! Fire the geeks”

      Strangely, I am a scientist and you will hear me say this.

      http://www.brokenpipeline.org/brokenpipeline.pdf

      So here’s a consortium of scientists bitching about how public funding is flat. Wah. Oh, what you say? The guy with a full page picture on page seven FAKED his data? Broken Pipeline, indeed.

      1. You don’t understand. If the guy on page seven had more resources, he could have faked his data months ago, a year ago.

        1. its true. We could have uncovered his deception earlier.

          1. From what I understand, he faked his credentials, not necessarily the data. The data have not passed independent verification, but there is as yet no compelling evidence to suggest the results are falsified.

            Omitting, of course, the fundamental lack of integrity of the researcher in question in presenting credentials he did not actually earn.

    5. Just because someone may not know or understand science (or a specific scientific discipline), doesn’t mean they’re anti-science.

      Jesus H. Descartes! If you think your car has a brake problem, but it’s the axle, does that make you anti-car?

      I think a better analogy would be “If your car stops running and your mechanic tells you it’s a broken gas pump, but you insist it’s because those lazy Engine Elves decided to quit working (probably because they started reading godless liberal propaganda which gave them ideas), does that make you anti-science or anti-car?”

      Yes. Yes, it does. And here, in modern times, in the Year Of Someone Else’s Lord 2011, it also makes you an ignoramus.

      1. Wait, wrongly believing that stuff you inject into your body causes specific negative side effects in rare cases is the equivalent of believing in magical fairies?

        1. No, Jennifer’s just dumb that way.

          1. I don’t think Jennifer said that. Sher’s talking about a lack of scientific literacy or lack of ability to understand statistics.

            1. She’s*

    6. Jesus H. Descartes! If you think your car has a brake problem, but it’s the axle, does that make you anti-car

      Or if you think your car is magically accelerating by itself while your foot is pressed firmly on the gas, what would we call that?

      1. Sudden unintended acceleration.

      2. A possibly substantial settlement?

      3. An opportunity for the government to boost sales of GM cars?

  4. It’s an old joke by now, but still pretty good. If you rule out intelligent design you’re advocating unintelligent design.

    1. Tim: That’s exactly right. See also, The Blind Watchmaker.

      1. Currently Ron, isn’t the theory that there is an infinite number of multi verses out there and that explains why there exists one so hospital to intelligent life?

        Honestly Ron, how can you read the multi verse stuff with a straight face? I certainly can’t. The whole thing has long since passed comedy. We will never observe these other universes but they must be there. Got it. No faith required there.

        1. What are the other options? Why does there have to be an infinite number of multiverses? In my humble opinion, one universe is enough to have created intelligent life.

          1. It has to be a large number of universes because this universe is filled with all sorts of constants, that if they were even slightly different, would make intelligent life impossible. So why is our universe so perfect? By chance? Maybe. But if it is by chance it is by a one in a trillions chance coming out and that is not very satisfying. So, the theory has arose that we didn’t hit the one in a trillion lottery since there are an infinite number of other universes out there. And we by necessity live in the one where the constants work for us.

            1. If you have a link to anything that suggests that life on earth is evidence of multiple universes, I’d appreciate it if you could post it.

              I could be wrong (as I often am) but I honestly don’t believe that biologists or cosmologists are suggesting what you’re suggesting.

              1. Here is a reasonably good explanation of it and the cosmological implications. The money quote is

                If the multiverse is the final stage of the Copernican revolution, with our universe but a speck in an infinite megacosmos, where does humanity fit in? If the life-friendly fine-tuning of our universe is just a chance occurrence, something that inevitably arises in an endless array of universes, is there any need for a fine-tuner?for a god?

                “I don’t think that the multiverse idea destroys the possibility of an intelligent, benevolent creator,” Weinberg says. “What it does is remove one of the arguments for it, just as Darwin’s theory of evolution made it unnecessary to appeal to a benevolent designer to understand how life developed with such remarkable abilities to survive and breed.”

                On the other hand, if there is no multiverse, where does that leave physicists? “If there is only one universe,” Carr says, “you might have to have a fine-tuner. If you don’t want God, you’d better have a multiverse.”

                http://discovermagazine.com/20…..tart:int=2

                I follow this stuff pretty passionately. Not biology and evolution, which I find to be the two most boring topics on earth, but physics and cosmology.

                1. “If there is only one universe,” Carr says, “you might have to have a fine-tuner. If you don’t want God, you’d better have a multiverse.”

                  Able to leap cathedrals of logic in a single bound!

                  So, um, if this follows, then it also follows someone is fine-tuning the Tuner.

              2. If you have a link to anything that suggests that life on earth is evidence of intelligence…..ah, never mind.

            2. That’s a not even wrong understanding of many worlds.

            3. “It has to be a large number of universes because this universe is filled with all sorts of constants, that if they were even slightly different, would make intelligent life impossible.”

              How do you know. It wouldn’t make life as we know it possible, but it could make life under other forms possible. Perhaps with different constants, we have Germanium based life forms and fish swim in tellurium dilithium. It’s a tautology that life as we know it requires physics to be as it is, but intelligent life does not.

              1. We know because we can run the math Mo. Change the constants and you can run the math and describe the resulting universe. And they are bizarre places in no way conducive to any form of life we can conceive of.

                Now I suppose you could say that well maybe there could be some kind of strange life form in these universes that we just can’t understand. Well maybe. But that still doesn’t explain why we got the nice pretty one we did.

                1. The universe is not tuned for us; we are tuned for the universe.

                  (More precisely, this very tiny portion of the universe. It turns out much of the universe is pretty inhospitable to life as we know it).

                  1. We are only tuned to the universe because we got a nice universe that you can tune to.

                    1. And if the universe was instead something we couldn’t “tune to”,… well, then we wouldn’t be here debating it.

                      That still says absolutely nothing about whether or not some other form of life could exist.

                      Leap of logic.

                    2. Plus, it’s got a good beat. You can dance to it.

                2. Change the constants and you can run the math and describe the resulting universe.

                  That isn’t the mainstream multiverse theory.

                  1. Do you think it is impossible to construct other universes mathematically with different constants and different solutions to Einstein’s field equations than the one we live in Sid?

                    1. Do I think it is impossible to make up new constants? Obviously not, but that isn’t the kind of multiverse that Gell-Mann, Hawkings, and Feynman believed.

                3. So we can’t run accurate simulations on the climate, but we can run accurate simulations on the entire creation of the universe and life from the Big Bang on and how it would play out if you tweaked physical constants?

                  Bull-fucking-shit.

                  1. Think about it Mo. You just change the constants and run the same equations we run now with those new values. It is not hard. Would such a process describe every aspect of such a universe? No. But it would tell you how it would be structured and what energy and light and base particles would look like. And it tells enough that those worlds would be extremely strange and not conducive to any kind of life we know of.

                    1. Do we really know? Could we figure out how all the quarks would interact with each other and how the atoms would interact? We still need distributed computing like Folding@home to describe relatively simple things like protein folding using a world as we know it. Tweaking things like G would have a huge effect and would require a lot more work to see how it all comes out.

                4. The problem is asking “why” at all. Asking “how” makes sense, but “why” indicates agency, which is purely an assumption. It happened this way because it did. Maybe it could have happened some other way, but it didn’t, so we’ll never know.

            4. We know of one tiny planet in the whole universe where there is intelligent life.

              That amounts to an incomprehensible perfection to you?

              1. Not a lot of intelligent life, unfortunately.

                1. John is right in one respect. The constants in our universe make it stable and tolerable for life.

                  What he and many other physicists who postulate infinite universes fail to consider is the possibility that we are not the first universe, but the ‘nth’ universe in a long, long string. An almost infinite number of other combinations of fundamental constants could have been present in the gazillion previous incarnations of the universe before ours. These other universes may have been each transformed to the next by a series of ‘big bangs’.

                  The statistical argument remains the same, just the sequence changes. There is, of course, no evidence for a series of this sort, but then there could not be.

            5. It has to be a large number of universes because this universe is filled with all sorts of constants, that if they were even slightly different, would make intelligent life impossible. So why is our universe so perfect? By chance?

              The odds of a universe which contains intelligent life allowing for the existence of intelligent life are 1 in 1.

          2. ….one universe is enough to have created intelligent life

            Which one is that? You aren’t referring to this one are you?

            1. Look – the science isn’t settled. Once we find proof of intelligent life somewhere, we’ll write a peer reviewed paper about it.

              1. Okay! I eagerly await proof of intelligent life on this….or any other planet!

          3. If this is part of any infinite multiverse, then there are infinite universes with intelligent life, and infinite universes without intelligent life.

            Also, infinite universes in which humanity is the only intelligent life, and infinite universes jammed full of intelligent life.

            No matter how many times you divide infinity, you still get infinity. Yes, its turtles all the way down.

            1. Yes, its turtles all the way down.

              All the way down to what?

              1. More turtles, obviously.

                1. Uh huh, but what’s under the turtles?

                  That’s right, slick – I can go toe-to-toe with you all day long.

                  1. What part of “all the way down” are you not getting? 😉

                    Turtles to infinity, and beyond.

                  2. It’s turtles all the way down. After the infinity of turtles there is a pissed-off cat.

            2. No matter how many times you divide infinity, you still get infinity.

              Not really. Infinity/2 is only one-half infinity (semi-infinity). Infinity/10 is one-tench infinity (one deci-infinity). Infinity/Infinity is one.

              1. I would recommend a math class, CE.

            3. I want to be in the universe where I am born Lexington Steele so that I can compete with Warty.

        2. Currently Ron, isn’t the theory that there is an infinite number of multi verses out there and that explains why there exists one so hospital to intelligent life?

          No, this isn’t “the” theory. There is “a” hypothesis that there could possibly be multiple universes or even an infinite number of universes. But it has exactly nothing to do with abiogenesis or biological evolution.

          1. No but it has everything to do with the rather uncomfortable origins and structure of the universe. Uncomfortable that is, if you are a atheist.

            1. Why would atheists be uncomfortable about the origins and structure of the universe? All atheists suggest (and I’m not an atheist) is that there was nothing supernatural involved.

              And since there is zero evidence to suggest that something supernatural was involved, why would atheists be uncomfortable about it?

            2. Why must the universe have an origin?

              That’s something I can’t figure out.

              Religionists are fine with the idea that some supernatural being always existed, though there is no evidence of this at all.

              Yet they are extremely uncomfortable with the idea that perhaps the matter and energy that comprises the universe, the dirt under their feet and the sunlight on their face, always existed without beginning or end.

              I don’t get it.

              1. For years people didn’t think the universe had an origin. It just always was. Originally, the term “big bang theory” was meant as an insult. People dismissed the theory as nuts because they believed the universe always was as it is. Then Penzies and Wilson found cosmic background radiation and that combined with the galactic redshifts sealed the deal. The universe is not constant. It was once collapsed in on itself.

                1. I’m not ignorant of astronomy, physics and history.
                  And your lesson doesn’t answer why some people accept that an invisible friend has existed throughout all time, yet are uncomfortable with the notion that the universe is more than a few thousand years old.

                  I don’t get it.

                  1. I don’t know who these people you are talking about are. So, all I can tell you is go ask them.

                    1. I find them to be irrational and I try to avoid conversations with irrational people.

                2. The deal is not sealed. It is the current “mainstream” theory. A radiologist thinks that the scientists working on the WMAP data are doing it wrong.

                  1. Then there’s the claim that everything is accelerating, in violation of all known laws of physics, leading to the dark energy theory.
                    Interesting stuff.

                    1. Then there’s the claim that everything is accelerating, in violation of all known laws of physics….

                      Dude it’s an election year! Plenty of hot air pushing the universe apart….or alternately galaxies are deliberately scurrying away from teh stupid.

                3. I really want to know two things: 1) What made the original singularity begin to expand, and 2) What is beyond the leading edge of the expansion.

                  1. 1) What made the original singularity begin to expand,

                    Universal AC said “let there be light!”

                    2) What is beyond the leading edge of the expansion.

                    Nothing. No time, no space, nothing.

            3. I have to agree with John. The universe was created by a God and, given the creative/destructive nature of the universe, that god was Kali. We should teach this in our schools.

              1. Kill for the love of Kali!

        3. The many worlds theory explains how the wavefunction “collapses.” (In the theory, it doesn’t.) It has not one damned thing to do with evolution.

          1. Never said it did. But it has everything to do with the origin and nature of the universe. Who says that it has anything to say about evolution?

          2. Never said it did. But it has everything to do with the origin and nature of the universe. Who says that it has anything to say about evolution?

            1. isn’t the theory that there is an infinite number of multi verses out there and that explains why there exists one so hospital to intelligent life?

              No, that’s not the theory.

              1. That sure as hell is the theory as a lot people see it. Go read the Discover Article or any number of others. It is the fine tuning problem. That is more than anything what is driving the multiverse.

                1. That sure as hell is the theory as a lot people see it.

                  A lot is relative. In this cases it’s much, much less than the number of physicists who believe that many worlds is the solution for the waveform collapse problem.

                2. That sure as hell is the theory as a lot people see it. Go read the Discover Article or any number of others. It is the fine tuning problem. That is more than anything what is driving the multiverse.

                  Isn’t this the guy that constantly argues with MNG about appeals to authority?

                  Now I suppose you could say that well maybe there could be some kind of strange life form in these universes that we just can’t understand. Well maybe. But that still doesn’t explain why we got the nice pretty one we did.

                  What makes you think there is an explanation or that you would understand it if there were?

                  One of the major points of real science is the ability to get rid of any position as soon as contrary data becomes available. At the risk of deploying the one true Scotsman, any scientist that isn’t willing to discard an idea when contrary evidence is presented isn’t a real scientist.

                  1. Ah still daon’t bleedin’ like haggis!

          3. “Many worlds” and “Many universes” are two different hypotheses. The second is tangentially related to biological evolution, since it suggests our universe is the way it is because of “natural selection” among universes. The hypothesis is of course very, very flimsy, since there is no evidence of anything beyond our universe, plus there’s no plausible mechanism of universal evolution (what is the medium of heredity and variation among universes and if there isn’t one, does it mean spawning a universe with specific constants is just a complete crapshoot? What are the external pressures that make universes thrive or die?).

            1. AFAIK many worlds is one of several multiverse theories (and the only one advanced by sober people).

              I think the way universes would evolve is that those containing more information would form more universes than the less “fit.” But that’s all in the realm of speculative bullshit that doesn’t solve any known problems.

              1. Universe Evolution is actually somewhat testable. From my limited understanding, the evolution takes place via black holes. Hence, the offspring universes correspond to black holes in the parent universe. If this were true, the universe we observe would have measurable angular momentum. Although having angular momentum would not necessarily confirm this theory, it could at least be explained by it.

        4. Therefore, the bible is true!

        5. Technically, there’s only one multiverse. Lots of universes make up the multiverse.

          1. Here is a documentary about the multiverse:

            http://amultiverse.com/

    2. no tim, because the word “design” implies something more than random noise…which can momentarily organize, per chaos theory, only to disintegrate

      1. which can momentarily organize

        How long is a ‘moment’?

      2. What you should be worried about: “Is this the universe where Michelle Bachmann becomes President?”

        1. Let’s put her in a box with a subatomic particle and a Geiger counter that may or may not release the Tea Party electorate* on Election Day. Until we open it, she’s Schr?dinger’s retard.

          *Also, a flask of poison.

  5. “She told me her daughter suffered mental retardation as a result of that vaccine”

    I’m going to guess that the cause was more likely genetic. Half-retards like this breed, and produce full-retards.

    1. But you never go full retard!

      1. Once you’ve had retard you never go back.

        1. Epileptics. I’m tellin’ ya. But watch’er when she sunfishes. She’ll break yer stem off.

  6. “She told me her daughter suffered mental retardation as a result of that vaccine.”

    That’s all well and good, Michele, but can you explain the cause of your own mental retardation?

  7. There’s a woman who came up crying to me tonight after the debate. She said her daughter was given that vaccine. She told me her daughter suffered mental retardation as a result of that vaccine.

    Makes you wonder what else Michelle discusses with her mother.

    1. Whoop! There it is!

  8. Bachmann believes in “intelligent design” too

    Evolution. One of my favorite tools in the shed.

    1. ive challenged christians to show me in the bible where God could NOT create & employ evolution & the scientific method.

      1. It’s the monkey thing that freaks ’em out.

        1. I prefer symbiogenesis for the full ick factor effect. We’re all a bunch of bacteria.

          Besides which, symbiogenesis holds up better when looking at the leaps in the fossil record.

          1. “We’re all a bunch of bacteria.”

            Or as Ren Hoek sez: “STIM-PEE!! You Bloated Sack of PROTOPLASM!!!”

      2. I believe that many Christians have no problem accepting evolution as a fact.

        As far as I know, what you describe is the position of most members of the mainline religions.

        1. “Everybody knows” that all Christians are the same.

      3. That is what most Christians, and most Americans believe. People on both sides of the debate use that vague belief of “evolution, but somehow God created/directed/in the gaps” to either argue that everyone agrees or disagrees with them.

      4. Why would God need to employ the scientific method if he’s omniscient?

        1. Re: Cynical,

          Why would God need to employ the scientific method if he’s omniscient?

          Even God would need the scientific method to explain Double Asshole’s psychosis…

          There are also worms the size of which even He has not seen!

  9. I am getting a flu shot this afternoon.

    Haha, sucker!

    1. drool

    2. I am getting a flu shot this afternoon.
      I’m sorry, Ron. But I cannot seriously listen to your discussions on science anymore. How could you miss the “Does the Vaccine Matter?” article in the Atlantic in November 2009? And you still intend to get a flu vaccine? If you cannot distinguish a useless shot such as a flu vaccine from vaccines that actually do what they promise, then why write about science in the first place? Your logic sounds as follows: vaccine — sounds sciency — must be good. Is there a deeper level of insight here?

      The most vocal?and undoubtedly most vexing?critic of the gospel of flu vaccine is the Cochrane Collaboration’s Jefferson, who’s also an epidemiologist trained at the famed London School of Tropical Hygiene, and who, in Lisa Jackson’s view, makes other skeptics seem “moderate by comparison.” Among his fellow flu researchers, Jefferson’s outspokenness has made him something of a pariah. At a 2007 meeting on pandemic preparedness at a hotel in Bethesda, Maryland, Jefferson, who’d been invited to speak at the conference, was not greeted by any of the colleagues milling about the lobby. He ate his meals in the hotel restaurant alone, surrounded by scientists chatting amiably at other tables. He shrugs off such treatment. As a medical officer working for the United Nations in 1992, during the siege of Sarajevo, he and other peacekeepers were captured and held for more than a month by militiamen brandishing AK-47s and reeking of alcohol. Professional shunning seems trivial by comparison, he says.

      “Tom Jefferson has taken a lot of heat just for saying, ‘Here’s the evidence: it’s not very good,'” says Majumdar. “The reaction has been so dogmatic and even hysterical that you’d think he was advocating stealing babies.” Yet while other flu researchers may not like what Jefferson has to say, they cannot ignore the fact that he knows the flu-vaccine literature better than anyone else on the planet. He leads an international team of researchers who have combed through hundreds of flu-vaccine studies. The vast majority of the studies were deeply flawed, says Jefferson. “Rubbish is not a scientific term, but I think it’s the term that applies.” Only four studies were properly designed to pin down the effectiveness of flu vaccine, he says, and two of those showed that it might be effective in certain groups of patients, such as school-age children with no underlying health issues like asthma. The other two showed equivocal results or no benefit.

  10. she chided him for approving mandatory HPV vaccinations.

    So?! What’s the matter with chiding a politician for anything….especially when it has the whiff of “mandatory” about it?

    1. Opt out != mandatory

  11. Wot? Teen onset retardation? That has to be rare.

    1. From my experience with teenagers, that’s pretty much the norm. And also, get offa my lawn!

    2. All it takes is brain damage. Such as if Guillain?Barr? syndrome is contracted after a Gardasil vaccination. Retardation is not a recognized side effect of Gardasil but that doesn’t mean it may not occur following a vaccination.

      1. G-BS is rare, and as I understand it, only attacks the peripheral and not the central nervous system. The kind of damage that could cause late-onset retardation I can only guess at.

        1. Although I guess it can attack the brain. Like I said, though. Raaaaaare

  12. Oh, yeah, I’m sure all the commenters and bloggers here at Reason can wax eloquent for hours on all sorts of complex scientific issues.

    Sure sure. Sure, you can.

    Not that Bachmann has a prayer to win, but I thought the president’s job was to protect against enemies and keep finances in order.

    But gosh, no! Why when Bill Nye and Roy G. Biv take office, things will be different. Different! Finally, a microscope in every home and a particle separator store on every street corner.

    Oh, science! How I love thee.

    Please please, Reasonoids, say something dirty to me to the tenth power minus the coefficient of friction. It really turns me on…..

    1. holy – libtoids are corporatists & therefore support corporate research

    2. holy – libtoids are corporatists & therefore support corporate research

    3. holy – libtoids are corporatists & therefore support corporate research

    4. Yes, yes I can, actually. As can many others here.

      But no, I won’t pander to you.

    5. Watching you morons do anything to defend Bachmann is pure fucking gold. You will sacrifice your own reputation and look like absolute idiots to cover for her.

      I love watching people who love a politician destroy themselves, because they fucking deserve it. Why would you ever, ever, care about a politician?

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      1. Ad hominem followed by ad hominem.

        I showed you!!

    6. No one forced Bachmann to make that idiotic comment, so obviously she thought it had some importance.

      The Gardasil issue is a good test of the candidates’ positions on the role of government. Perry = big fail. Sadly, I think Bachmann and Santorum would be just as mandate-happy if it didn’t involve Dirty Nasty Sex That No Good Christian Would Ever Do.

    7. But doesn’t the president also need to be able to correctly identify enemies and understand finances in order to do their job?

  13. If you are against vaccines you are an idiot. Bachmann is right about a lot of things. But she is nuts when it comes to this.

    1. Vaccines are making my boobs sag!

      1. no that’s the bambinos

    2. Sounds like Cow got all his vaccines.

    3. Bachmann is against mandatory vaccination. That is not the same as being “against vaccines”.

      1. Um, no.

        Bachmann made statements that place her firmly in the ‘some/all/any vaccines are dangerous/unproven things that might cause autism/retardation/mutations/something scary’ crowd.

        Had she stuck to the mandatory argument, she would be on somewhat safer ground – an idiot still, but for different reasons.

    4. So Bachman is competing with Palin for your favors?

      You *are* a discriminating consumer.

  14. I can’t help but feel there’s an awful lot of people aghast at Michelle Bachman’s opinion of vaccination who were taking it more seriously when it came from Jenny McCarthy. There are two Americas, and they’re both blithering idiots.

    1. Jenny McCarthy has a nicer rack.

      1. ^This. There are two Americas, and one of them wants to get laid.

      2. Makes sense to me

        1. Wow that really makes snense if you think about ti

          1. I rate an anonbot response. Awesome!

  15. There’s a woman who came up crying to me tonight after the debate. She said her daughter was given that vaccine. She told me her daughter suffered mental retardation as a result of that vaccine.

    Second-hand anecdotes! Now I’m sold on Michelle Bachmann!

  16. Pandering to idiots in a calculated way doesn’t mean she herself is an idiot.

    It just means she’s just another shameless lawyer turned politician.

  17. So, is Bachmann opposed to all vaccines because they cause autism?

    1. Bailey implies as much. Bachmann made no claims other than relating an anecdote. Nothing in the anecdote referred to autism.

      1. Wrong. While she did not refer to autism, she in fact referred to the vaccine as dangerous on the Today show.

        “It’s very clear that crony capitalism could have likely been the cause. This was an issue that could have gone before the legislature?The governor chose by himself unilaterally to sign an executive order and put through the requirement that all innocent little 12-year-old and 13-year-old girls- in the state of Texas be forced to take an injection of what could potentially be a very dangerous drug.”

        I doubt Bachmann has done any research on VAERS, nor does she have any idea of the adverse events associated with the HPV vaccine.

        She is simply fear-mongering. But then, who is surprised at that?

        1. It’s also odd to describe a vaccine as a ‘drug’.

        2. ….actually she’s not fear mongering, she is an idiot. No person in their right mind would not check the story before making this idiotic remark on national TV.

  18. And here’s some icing on the cake: Bachmann believes in “intelligent design” too. These people really think that they are fit to run this country? Sheesh.

    And Ron Bailey supported the Iraq war. How many people died as a result of intelligent design over the last decade?

    1. How many people died as a result of intelligent design over the last decade?

      If it’s true, wouldn’t that be all of them?

    2. a sez: “How many people died as a result of intelligent design over the last decade?”

      Everyone that died in the last 10 years. Human mortality is an element of the design.

      1. My slow fingers on the keyboard must be an element of the design too!

  19. Watching Santorum last night I wasn’t really sure what he was saying… vaccines are good? no, they’re bad? I don’t get it.

    Up until now I didn’t realize there was an opt-out. Doesn’t that make the whole thing moot? Unless the process to opt-out was onerous, I just don’t see what the fuss is about.

    Speaking of the debate, I think Ron Paul(PBUH) looked a bit tired and lost. It’s too bad we didn’t take Gary Johnson seriously. He would’ve given us an electable candidate to carry Ron’s ideas forward. Based solely on last night’s debate, my money is on Romney.

    1. Ron Paul should have dropped out and put his support behind Johnson. There was room for one Libertarian candidate. And with Paul’s base of support from last time, Johnson didn’t have a chance with Paul in the race.

      1. I agree with this!

      2. Why would Paul even consider endorsing a loser like Johnson?

        1. Re: SIV,

          Why would Paul even consider endorsing a loser like Johnson?

          I was thinking the exact same thing:

          Latest CNN poll

          Ron Paul – 13%
          Gary Johnson – *crickets*

          1. Yeah, you moron, since they didn’t even include Gary Johnson as an option. What a disingenuous sack of shit you are OM.

            1. No moron like an Old Moron.

            2. Re: kilroy,

              Yeah, you moron, since they didn’t even include Gary Johnson as an option.

              You look really sweet and all innocent when saying it as it would make any difference.

              1. A nation-wide poll conducted August 24-25 and released Monday by CNN/ORC shows former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is supported for the Republican presidential nomination by 2% of respondents, ahead of Jon Huntsman and Rick Santorum and tied with Herman Cain.

                Further proof, if any were needed, that you are a sack of shit.

          2. Gary Johnson has a lock on the “principled non-voter” bloc.
            Fucking FAIL

            He ought to come out for $1 gas and maybe pick up a fraction of the Bachmann energy policy supporters.

        2. How about real executive experience? How about a concrete track record that matches exactly what he what he says he’ll do as president? How about having a real possibility to draw votes from both sides?

          1. And, I believe, a lack of gold-fever.

      3. And with Paul’s base of support from last time, Johnson didn’t have a chance with Paul in the race.

        Then Johnson should have dropped out and endorsed Paul.

        1. Actually, they should run as president and VP.

    2. opt-out != opt-in.

    3. “Watching Santorum”? Do you mean the debate was like watching Santorum dry?

      1. Do you mean the debate was like watching Santorum dry?

        I’m not sure if this is what you were referring to, and if this is old news around here, I apologize profusely.

        But speaking of Santorum and going in dry, there is (ot at least was) a movement afoot to coin a new word – Santorum – which would refer to the creamy mixture of lube and poop that occurs during anal sex. The whole thing was started by a gay-rights activist, who was offended by Santorum’s suggestion that adults enjoy no constitutional right to privacy.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campaign_for_“santorum”_neologism

        1. This comments board needs an inoculation before it gets any more retarded.

          1. Pot, kettle, from the person who decided to reply to a reasonable discussion with a combination of insult and scatological humor.

            Though I do like Jonathan Swift myself, so hey, de gustibus non est disputandum.

        2. You can chip off dry santorum and make a soup.

          1. I chuckled.

    4. Santorum’s position was thoughtful, completely logical and probably the correction libertarian position, of all things.

      The strength of the cause for coercion to vaccinate people depends on the likelihood of accidental exposure. Diseases transmitted via air have the strongest case; diseases transmitted by sexual contact have a much weaker case.

      It is nearly impossible to prevent breathing the same air as strangers without worse impositions on liberty. It is easier to prevent having sex with strangers without permission/insisting on being tested.

      1. “It is easier to prevent having sex with strangers without permission/insisting on being tested.”

        In your world maybe

        1. Yes, it my world I am much more likely to accidentally breathe the air of a stranger than to accidentally have sex with someone. Even given the reality of rape, that is true.

          Scruffy Nerdherder, denying reality again.

          1. If I can’t deny reality, then life isn’t worth living anymore.

      2. Like I said, I need to review that part of the debate, because I don’t think he did a very good job saying what he was trying to say. Yes, I think what he was trying to say was well thought out.. and that’s all well and good, but there was an opt-out, so.. moot point.

        Unless the opt-out procedure was onerous, opt-out ? opt-in.

        Confusing a vaccination program for which there was an opt-out with government-forced vaccinations is ludicrous. I’m not trying to be a Rick Perry apologist, but this issue is a canard. Let’s talk about the role of the federal government or foreign interventionism, not some made-up controversy.

      3. HPV can be transmitted through non-sexual means.

        1. Gardasil doesn’t prevent infection with most types of HPV.

          1. It protects against 4 types, which covers 70% of cases of cervical cancer and 90% of genital warts.

      4. Except you do NOT have to have sex to contract HPV, or other forms of hepatitis either.

        1. HPV != hepatitis

        2. Check your facts prior to posting please. http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv.htm

      5. Santorum’s position was thoughtful, completely logical and probably the correction libertarian position, of all things.

        Osmosis at work. He’s been standing next to Ron Paul in a lot of debates.

    5. Re: jasno,

      Speaking of the debate, I think Ron Paul(PBUH) looked a bit tired and lost.

      Are you talking about the same debate I saw last night? Because I saw a Ron Paul in form and at his best.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..r_embedded

      1. He looked better than Gary Johnson anyways. How lame do you have to be to get outpolled by Huntsman and Santorum?

  20. holy – libtoids are corporatists & therefore support corporate research

  21. Given the safety profiles of vaccines

    Each vaccine is different. There is no guarantee the next one will work identically as the previous ones. Each individual is also different; there is no guarantee that a vaccine that works in one person will work in another.

    1. “Each vaccine is different. There is no guarantee the next one will work identically as the previous ones. Each individual is also different; there is no guarantee that a vaccine that works in one person will work in another.”
      And?

      1. I strongly urge that parents to get their kids vaccinated sooner rather than later.

        I’m just saying that Bailey should downgrade his “strongly urge” a bit.

        1. “I’m just saying that Bailey should downgrade his “strongly urge” a bit.”

          Would you object to someone ‘stongly urging’ say, helmets on motorcyclists?

          1. Friends of liberty would benefit if slavers, sheople, Caesar’s favored and their masters rode sans helmet.

      2. Some people do die from them. Just as some people die from the drugs advertised on TV. “May cause dry mouth, nosebleeds. May cause death”

        1. Don’t forget “oily discharge”.

          1. Personal fav….may cause fecal urgency~!

        2. Dr. Allison Reed: I’ll make a note to do that. But in the meantime, could you tell us what happened to the soldiers who were inoculated with your vaccine?
          Ira Kane: Well, uh, none of them got anthrax, if that’s what you’re asking.
          [fakes some chuckles]
          Dr. Allison Reed: What did they get?
          Ira Kane: Well, as with any new vaccine, there were certain side effects…
          Dr. Allison Reed: Could you be more specific?
          Ira Kane: Well, it was a wide range of things, it’s very technical, I’d hate to waste the court’s time…
          Dr. Allison Reed: Humor me.
          Ira Kane: Some debilitating stomach cramps… severe diarrhea… memory loss.
          Dr. Allison Reed: Go on. Any more symptoms?
          Ira Kane: [Harry is looking mortified and shocked at the defense table] Partial facial paralysis, temporary blindness, drooling, bleeding gums, erectile dysfunction, uncontrollable flatulence. I think that’s it.
          Dr. Allison Reed: One more question. Do you recall what the soldiers called this illness?
          Ira Kane: Yeah, they called it “The Kane Madness.”

    2. <derp>But I thought vaccines were just like chemicals.. you know – they’re all bad.</derp>

      Funny how many people don’t understand how different things.. are different.

    3. which is why everyone needs to get inoculated unless you have an allergy such as to eggs which can cause a reaction to certain vaccines.
      You may not become immune from the vaccine and your health depends on your neighbors getting vaccinated.

  22. I bet it was someone from a competing camp who feed her with this “information,” knowing that she’s such a dingbat that she would just regurgitate it without checking.

  23. I thought retarded was a bad word now. Shouldn’t she have said something like mentally challenged?

    1. it’s like using nigger. It’s ok when retards call other people retards but not when you do it.

      1. Strictly 4 My R.E.T.A.R.D.Z.

        1. One for my dopies…..

      2. Why the hell did Dave Chappelle go hermit on us? He would be all over this one, with a skit about how his Mom told Michelle Bachman that the vaccination turned him into an n-word.

    2. Retarded is still on the verge of being accepted medical/psychological lingo, kind of like negro or colored people*. But even if you use it in the absolutely correct context, people will look at you with an “Are you sure you want to use that word?” -look. Retard, on the other hand, is a definite no-no.

      *Not to be confused with the more recent leftist term “people of color”, which is apparently completely acceptable and encouraged because it has a bigger reference group.

  24. There’s a woman who came up crying to me tonight after the debate. She said her daughter was given that vaccine. She told me her daughter suffered mental retardation as a result of that vaccine.

    No, you got it wrong, Michelle – she said that YOU got mental retardation after her daughter received the vaccine.

    1. Old Moron hearing bad.

      1. Re:Old Moron,

        Old Moron hearing bad.

        Sorry to hear that, Old Moron. I heard that people who are hard of hearing are also dumb.

  25. And here’s some icing on the cake: Bachmann believes in “intelligent design” too. These people really think that they are fit to run this country? Sheesh.

    NOBODY is fit to run a country. Nobody can be that clever, whether they believe in “intelligent design” or in Obama’s superior intelligence or whatever.

    1. You are clearly in error! I’m fully qualified to run the world with my unique brand of smug and pseudoconcern!

      Vote for Tony!

    2. The gaping flaw in your worldview is that you want human society to be run by organic emergence but you refuse to allow hierarchy and planning to emerge.

      1. His refutation is predicated upon planning for the emergence of the hierarchy of liberty and its attendant joys.

        1. I’m partial to puppy dogs and lollipops myself, but liberty is nice.

      2. Re: Sockpuppet,

        The gaping flaw in your worldview is that you want human society to be run by organic emergence but you refuse to allow hierarchy and planning to emerge.

        “Hierarchy and planning” being the code words for band of robbers.

  26. Politicians are proof of Intelligent Design.

  27. Rick Santorum took the correct position on the Gardasil issue. We mandate certain vaccines in children because we mandate children be gathered for educational purposes for many years (in private or public schools), and certain diseases are easily communicable in those settings.

    Begging the Question, ma’am?
    But what is thy name?
    My name is irrationality, sir,
    Politics and I go together well!

    1. Santorum’s position is well within the bounds of the state’s collectivist dialectic. Will Grigg used the term to describe the craven nature of Governor Otter’s “appeal” to ken salazar regarding the federal prosecution of a husband / father who shot a bear in defense of his family.

      1. It’s also quite revealing the so matter-of-factly way Ronald quoted the “conservative” blogger Morrisey, when all the guy says is “we mandate vaccinations because that is what we do.”

  28. So John,

    you believe in “Dark Matter”? I’m skeptical. Seems like instead of just admitting that our current theory of gravity is extremely sucky, they are inventing band-aid facts to go with said sucky theory.

    1. Any good physicist will admit that it could all be epicycles; however, in the case of dark matter there is some direct evidence of its presence via gravitational lensing. Dark energy is a different story.

  29. There’s a woman who came up crying to me tonight after the debate. She said her daughter was given that vaccine. She told me her daughter suffered mental retardation as a result of that vaccine.

    She said she said.

    Bachman did not say that she thought the vaccine caused the retardation…she said that women said it did.

    The question is not what the fuck Bachmann thinks the vaccine caused or didn’t cause…the question is should a mother have the right to make choices about her child’s health care without government threat.

    On this question Bachmann is right and you are wrong Ron.

    1. Niggling. She wasn’t using your argument – she was claiming it was dangerous because it could cause “retardation”. Which it doesn’t. I’m sure she’d be thrilled to take people’s choices about things away if it was something she thought she could sell to cultural conservatives for votes.

      Just because someone’s wrong, and they disagree, doesn’t mean their opposing view is “right”. They’re just wrong about something different. Or come to a right determination for very wrong reasons.

      The point is, the issue here wasn’t their respective on opt-in vs. opt-out vaccine policy… it was about teh vaccines being teh bad because of the retardness it gives teh childrens. Which is pretty fucking dumb.

    2. Good point Joshua. Did Bachmann vaccinate all/some/none of her own 187 children? She needs to go on The View and get interogated by Whoppie Goldberg on this.

    3. Ooh, child ethics and libertarianism! Let’s do this.

      If you apply libertarian principles to child care, then the parents do in fact have the right to make choices for their children (but if you go full-Rothbardian, they can’t use coercion to do so). However, they can’t cause harm to them – if they do, the state or any other person (or if you’re a libertarian child prodigy, you yourself!) has the right to take them to court. And if you’re an antivax moron, your choices may well hurt the child*. (Plus there’s the real issue of eXturnali7ies!!1! in compromising herd immunity, in which case it’s no longer just about you and your child.)

      Bottom line, the vaccination issue cuts deeper than government vs. parents (being a libertarian doesn’t mean it’s okay to say “Herpy derp, parents should get to do whatever they want”), and moderate libertarians should accept that it’s a public policy issue worth taking seriously (unlike banning transfats, lightbulbs or Happy Meals). My worry is that when governments are on the side of science, reactionary anti-government conservatives (whose hearts may be in the right place) instinctively rail against science and reason. When scientists say there’s a measles outbreak and the government introduces a mandatory vax program, I’m not concerned about government agents putting microchips in the needles, I’m concerned about people who think that’s a real threat.

      *I realize I’m undercutting my position a bit here, since a consistent Rothbardian would not consider the lack of immunization as causing harm since there’s no positive action on behalf of the parents. That means the only legal way of fighting negligent disease control would be to find the disease spreader and sue them. And no, right now I have absolutely no interest in wading through that swamp of a priori reasoning.

      1. However in this specific case, HPV ain’t smallpox in a number of different ways. One, the vaccines only prevent about 70% of the HPV strains linked to cervical cancer. Two, the vast majority of HPV strains do not cause cervical cancer, whereas the smallpox itself is the health risk. Three, of the strains of HPV that do cause cervical cancer, they do so at very low rates themselves. Plus the vaccines are expensive.

        If I had a daughter I’d have her vaccinated as soon as it was appropriate for her age (around 10 or 11 I guess), but the slippery slope of moving from forced inoculations for serious public health hazards to minor public health hazards (the HPV situation is roughly in between these two) needs top be considered. This is not the same as vaccinating for polio and we should tread lightly.

      2. How much leeway should parents have with regard to their children?

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..-diet.html

        What is the ‘correct libertarian’ response to something like this? When should the government/neighbors intercede? How will they know what is going on in that house?

        Not obvious to me.

        1. “What is the ‘correct libertarian’ response to something like this?”

          Well in this case what has happened is probably the right thing (the sentences may be a little harsh though). If the kid was fed only soy milk and apple juice in proper amounts, it wouldn’t have starved to death. It might have developed some other problems (and might not have) but it wouldn’t have starved.

          So I think the “vegan lifestyle” stuff was basically the best possible defense but sounds like BS. They just didn’t feed the kid enough. I won’t speak for the “libertarian position,” but my position is they should be charged with some form of criminal homicide absent some other information not contained in the article.

        2. Re: BigT,

          What is the ‘correct libertarian’ response to something like this? When should the government/neighbors intercede? How will they know what is going on in that house?

          You missed the following from the article, in a very convenient way I might add:

          And Thomas’ lawyer claimed his trial attorney was ineffective because he failed to call an expert to support his theory that his son’s death was linked to cystic fibrosis and not starvation.

          Now let’s say that it wasn’t cystic fibrosis but the parents’ stupidity – how could government prevent this? How could anyone?

          The problem with your argument is that you’re using extraordinary cases to make generalizations – NOT ALL PARENTS are baby-starving Vegans, you nincompoop.

  30. Bachman either bought into the vaccination scare and made up this woman in order to score a cheap political point, or she bought this woman’s story and did not check to see if it was plausible. It was a stupid, populist, and possibly reprehensible thing to do but not necessarily “anti-science”.

    “And here’s some icing on the cake: Bachmann believes in “intelligent design” too. These people really think that they are fit to run this country?”

    What does believing in intelligent design have to do with being qualified for the Chief Executive of the federal government? How does that fit into job description at all?

    1. What does believing in intelligent design have to do with being qualified for the Chief Executive of the federal government?

      It doesn’t. And it should be noted that last election season, something like 1/2 of the candidates didn’t believe in Evolution.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJ88l5ql_FQ

      And note that McCain wanted to backslide on his “Yes” vote for it… because it doesn’t sell well in Kansas, or something.

      Michelle Bachmann will probably believe anything that might improve her chances of winning. Or rather, “Any politician will probably…”

    2. The argument is that if you can’t accept a well-established cornerstone of modern natural science (evolution), then you shouldn’t have a say about how to use federal funding for science or space exploration, what to do about climate legislation etc., because chances are you are too blinded by your religious ideology to understand how science works.

      Of course, none of this would be an issue if the President didn’t have such a wide range of powers and the Federal Government wasn’t so huge. But he does and it is, so it’s not an unreasonable expectation to have someone in charge who isn’t as ignorant as Miss Trailerpark 2011.

    3. I’m not sure creationism/ID is mutually exclusive to evolution. One could argue that the Book of Genesis and all other creation stories were ahistorical myths in the context of prescientific societies but still hold that God created the world, the universe, etc. and that the Big Bang, evolution, etc. was all according to a carefully devised plan.

      If like me, you tend to view God as the sum of the laws of nature (and not a sentient humanoid being hiding in the clouds), the debate become more or less moot.

      1. If like me, you tend to view God as the sum of the laws of nature (and not a sentient humanoid being hiding in the clouds), the debate become more or less moot.

        i.e. you don’t believe there is a God. It is so much more succinct to simply say you are atheist.

          1. Exactly, if you “tend to view God as the sum of the laws of nature (and not a sentient humanoid being hiding in the clouds)”, you are among the vast majority of Christian believers in the world today.

            Only in America do you find the kind of certainty about the existence of
            God that follows on to literal belief in the Genesis story (though, to be sure Genesis says nothing about how the Lord accomplished His creation).

            In most of the rest of the world believers do so because of faith which leaves room for uncertainty. Only in the great USA doi we find a significant number of people who know there is a God.

            1. Sounds different than atheism to me. In fact, it sounds like Deism.

        1. Well, I consider myself more of an ignostic. I can’t tell you if I believe in God or not until you can give me a definition of what you mean by the word “God”. It’s an amorphous term open to a wide variety of meanings. Not believing in a deity shaped like a human that says things to us and sends down a designated savior doesn’t mean believing there’s no spiritual reason or purpose for existence. Standing at the beginning of time predicting this moment, our existences are all basically statistical impossibilities. The way the universe works, life, nature and emotion and the fact that this does not all spiral off into chaos all indicate something beyond the possible knowledge of humans. I think Taoism has a lot of compelling arguments into the nature of God as being more of a natural path to be followed and respected than an entity to be worshipped.

          Also, who am I to say that every religious experience that ever happened must have been a delusion or hallucination? It’s just as unscientific to diminish other peoples’ meaningful experiences out of unproven faith that supernatural experiences must be impossible.

          So no, I’m definitely not an atheist – but that could just be semantics based on the way you define “God”.

  31. Bachman, Perry, and their ilk are all certainly a safe distance from genius.

    1. Two n’s there on Bachmann, jeniaous.

      1. Actually I DID knew that. Hypocrites make typos too.

        1. See, look! There’s another one!

  32. Wow, a lot of comments here. Cool story, bro.

  33. And here’s some icing on the cake: Bachmann believes in “intelligent design” too.

    Many highly educated scientists believe in “intelligent design” as well — they call it the “simulation argument”, that we are most likely living in an ancestor simulation of a more advanced technological society.

    1. Put down the bong, dude.

  34. I heard Rush say Bachmann “jumped the shark” with this comment. I think I might have to agree. Also her laugh was on a sound clip today…shrill and nasal…unelectable.

  35. I thought Santorum’s input in response to this issue was precisely correct and very eloquently put. I commend him highly for making that nuanced argument about the vaccines.

    I don’t not agree with Santorum at all on most other things, but on this point he was right on the money.

  36. I had 2 objections to the Texas law: 1) the arrogant presumption of gov’t that every 12-yr-old girl is about to become sexually active; and 2) the blind eye turned to the fact that most girls would contract HPV from sexual contact with BOYS, who somehow were exempted from having to receive this vaccine.

    1. 1. Every 12 year old girl IS about to become sexually active, maybe not in the next month but certainly in the next few years. That is just nature.
      2. If most girls were vaccinated, then most of those vaccinated would be immune to HPV infection regardless of how they were exposed. Boys aren’t the villains here.

      Not defending “mandatory” vaccination, but your objections need to be a little more persuasive.

      1. 1. No, not every 12 year old girl is about to become sexually active, not even “in the next few years.” Trust me on that.
        2. It’s not a question of “villains”, it’s a question of a law that discriminates based on gender. The vaccine can be given to both sexes, yet only one is required by law to receive it.

        1. I will grant that not EVERY girl is sexually active, there are some women who remain virgins throughout life, but the majority of women are sexually active, certainly by age 18. You can trust me on that, but you don’t have to, you can google it.

          Girls are the people most effected by HPV, hence the people most benefitted by vaccination. Boys don’t get cervical cancer. It seems to me the decision was based on economics: to break the cycle of HPV infection it is more cost effective to immunize girls, they have the greatest risk from HPV and most boys contract HPV from sexual contact with girls.

          1. Boys get gential herpes that contributed to the HPV virus. This is a good thing for girls and boys

        2. One more point.

          Gardasil was not approved for use in males until October, 2009. Not sure when Perry started his mandatory immunization campaign, but maybe boys could not be innoculated at the time.

  37. As a healthcare professional I find this women to be totally stupid. She needs to have her ‘people’ check the facts before she opens her mouth. Guardasil prevents HPV which has been proven to cause cervical cancer in women.

    Mental retardation? Give me a break – lady if you really want to run this country you need to get some education. I’m not worried about you running this country, you won’t because you are too stupid. Do your HOMEWORK! You are out of touch with reality.

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