The Irrationality Vaccine - Seth Mnookin
Posted: 14 January 2011 09:18 PM   [ Ignore ]
Total Posts:  170
Joined  2009-06-02

Host: Chris Mooney

Recently the British Medical Journal dealt yet another blow to 1998 scientific study that first terrified the public about the possibility that vaccines might cause autism. The paper, the Journal alleged, was nothing less than “fraudulent.” (

Amazingly, however, no one expects anti-vaccine advocates to retract, change their minds, or cease their activities. Which raises the question: How did they grow so strongly and doggedly convinced to begin with?

That’s where Seth Mnookin’s new book The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear comes in. It tells the page turning story behind the thoroughly refuted-but still devoutly believed—claim of a link between vaccines and autism. The book explores not only the science, but also the parents involved, the autism advocacy and support community, and the crucial role of the media, the Internet, and celebrities like Jenny McCarthy in spreading misinformation about vaccines.

Seth Mnookin is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, and was previously a senior writer at Newsweek. He’s the author of two previous books: Hard News: The Scandals at the New York Times and Their Meaning for American Media and the bestselling Feeding the Monster: How Money, Smarts, and Nerve Took a Team to the Top, about the Boston Red Sox. The Panic Virus is his third book.

Posted: 18 January 2011 05:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Total Posts:  1
Joined  2011-01-18

The podcast concerning Autism and Vaccines asked ‘how can people believe’ that vaccines cause Autism? As a mother of a child with this profound disorder and a supporter of rationality and science, I will say in response, that while I am sure that vaccines did not ‘cause’ my child’s catabolic state and mitochondrial dysfunction (shown in metabolic testing) He had an extreme response to his 18th month vaccinations, with immediate vomiting and diarrhoea that continued until the age of seven when testing by a biochemist revealed extreme deficiency of the amino acid taurine. The next day after adding this amino acid he was toilet trained.
Autism is very complicated and research has shown there are often single gene repeats or deletions and mitochondrial dysfunction in many cases. My child has had his genes examined by a top genetic specialist and nothing of any consequence was found. Also I wish to add that despite many ‘professionals’ insisting that my child must have shown autistic symptoms before eighteen months, he did not. He smiled at the age of two weeks and was very engaging. His loss of skills and language was absolutely devastating. Before deriding the credulity of parents for their ‘belief’ perhaps it is well to keep in mind that they (parents) have served at the coal face of the disorder, so to speak. If I had believed some of the rot that I have been told in the past by medical ‘professionals’ who spoke to me with such authority I would not have pursued the path of biochemical testing and using science to improve my child’s health and life.

Posted: 21 January 2011 08:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Total Posts:  20
Joined  2010-08-10

Although I thought it was a good conversation overall, I was sorry to hear Seth Mnookin repeat the “you can’t prove a negative” canard.