#306 Jan 25, 2014
The toll of the anti-vaccination movement, in one devastating graphic
By Michael Hiltzik January 20, 2014
"Aaron Carroll today offers a graphic depiction of the toll of the anti-vaccination movement. http://theincidentaleconomist.com/wordpress/v...
It comes from a Council on Foreign Relations interactive map of "vaccine-preventable outbreaks" worldwide 2008-2014.
A couple of manifestations stand out. One is the prevalence of measles in Europe -- especially Britain -- and the U.S. Measles is endemic in the underdeveloped world because of the unavailability of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine.
But in the developed world it's an artifact of the anti-vaccination movement, which has associated the vaccine with autism. That connection, promoted by the discredited British physician Andrew Wakefield and the starlet Jenny McCarthy, has been thoroughly debunked. But its effects live on, as the map shows.
Vaccine panic also plays a role in the shocking incidence in the U.S. of whooping cough, also beatable by a common vaccine. Researchers have pointed to the effect of "non-medical exemptions" from legally required whooping cough immunizations -- those premised on personal beliefs rather than medical reasons -- as a factor in a 2010 outbreak of whooping cough in California.
These manifestations underscore the folly and irresponsibility of giving credence to anti-vaccination fanatics, as Katie Couric did on her network daytime TV show in December. We examined the ethics of that ratings stunt here http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi... and here. http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi...
Among other worthwhile examinations of the impact of the anti-vaxxers, see this piece about growing up unvaccinated
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/family/201... in Great Britain in the 1970s, and this disturbing piece by Julia Ioffe about her battle with whooping cough, http://www.newrepublic.com/article/115551/jen... a disease no American should have.
The lesson of all this is that vaccination is not an individual choice to be made by a parent for his or her own offspring. It's a public health issue, because the diseases contracted by unvaccinated children are a threat to the community. That's what public health is all about, and an overly tolerant approach to non-medical exemptions -- and publicity given to anti-vaccination charlatans like Wakefield and McCarthy by heedless promoters like, sadly, Katie Couric, affect us all.
Carroll, who assembles the relevant papers and documents on the MMR/Autism sophistry here, http://theincidentaleconomist.com/wordpress/h... deserves the last word. "Vaccinate your kids," he writes. "Please.""
#307 Jan 26, 2014
"God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance that’s getting smaller and smaller and smaller as time moves on" ...
#308 Jan 27, 2014
Stephen Hawking’s Blunder on Black Holes Shows Danger of Listening to Scientists, Says Bachmann
by Andy Borowitz January 27, 2014
" WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Dr. Stephen Hawking’s recent statement that the black holes he famously described do not actually exist underscores “the danger inherent in listening to scientists,” Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota) said today.
Rep. Bachmann unleashed a blistering attack on Dr. Hawking, who earlier referred to his mistake on black holes as his “biggest blunder.”
“Actually, Dr. Hawking, our biggest blunder as a society was ever listening to people like you,” said Rep. Bachmann.“If black holes don’t exist, then other things you scientists have been trying to foist on us probably don’t either, like climate change and evolution.”
Rep. Bachmann added that all the students who were forced to learn about black holes in college should now sue Dr. Hawking for a full refund.“Fortunately for me, I did not take any science classes in college,” she said.
Bachmann’s anti-Hawking comments seemed to be gaining traction on Capitol Hill, as seen from the statement by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Chairman of the House Science Committee, who said,“Going forward, members of the House Science Committee will do our best to avoid listening to scientists.” "
#309 Jan 28, 2014
The Darwin Fish Is Why You Can Hear
How our deep ancestors breathed their way onto land.
By John Long Jan. 27 2014
"This article http://theconversation.com/now-listen-air-bre... originally appeared on The Conversation. http://theconversation.com/uk
A century-old mystery about how ancient freshwater fishes breathe has finally been put to rest, thanks to a study published last week in Nature Communications by a team of ichthyologists and me. http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140123/ncom...
The fishes in question—Polypterus and related species—have tiny holes in the top of their heads called spiracles, and we showed how a small valve opens a bony lid over these spiracles to allow air to be sucked in and pumped out each time the fish surfaces.
And strangely enough, those same holes allowing the fish to breathe were modified through evolution to become eustachian tubes, which enable us humans to hear—but more about that later.
Research into these fish has a fascinating history stretching all the way back to Napoleon’s crushing defeat by the British at Alexandria in 1801, when one of his appointed naturalists, Etienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, had to make a hasty return to France.
Among his many specimens was a strange fish with fleshy limbs caught from the Nile River, which he described in 1802 as polypterus, meaning “many fins.”
Also called the reedfish or bichir, it is widely regarded as the most primitive living member of the true bony fishes (osteichthyes). This group includes some 30,000 living species, including many of the fishes like snapper and salmon we love to eat.
Saint-Hilaire’s discovery caused a bit of a stir throughout the scientific world as the fish was thought to be one of the extinct lobe-finned fishes, which are today represented by the coelacanths and air-breathing lungfishes.
Prehistoric lobe-finned fishes like Tiktaalik were anatomically very close to the earliest known tetrapods (four-legged animals), the first backboned critters to invade land some 360 million years ago.
Further intrepid expeditions set out in the late 1890s to find more specimens of this strange fish. Scientists thought that understanding its life history would reveal how fishes might have evolved into land animals.
Although British zoologist John Budgett failed on three expeditions to locate the fish, he was finally successful in 1903, but he died of black fever shortly after returning to England that same year.
Before his death Budgett wrote a short scientific paper that told how these fishes were able to breathe air in through spiracles on top of their heads, with mouths submerged, making a loud “sucking sound.”
A paper written by a French researcher in 1966 backed this up by observations from the field. Later research, published in 1989 by a team of well-respected scientists who observed the fish under laboratory conditions, disagreed, concluding that “these fish do not, as others have suggested, breathe through their spiracles.”
For the scientific world, this was the last definitive word about the fish and its purported ability to breathe through its head—until now.
The research upon which today’s paper was based was initiated by the late Jeff Graham, who spent his life dedicated to studying air-breathing fishes.
When he passed away in late 2012, Nick Wegner and his team completed the work. The results showed that under laboratory conditions, when the tank of fishes was behind a blind, Polypterus take in up to 93 percent of their breaths using the spiracles rather than the mouth." ...
read the rest: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_scie...
#310 Jan 28, 2014
-Damn SusieQ! Now ewe are quoting the Evil Empire's HQ the CFR, where David Rockefeller has been the Chairman Emeritus for decades, he and his dad etc. have been funding eugenics programs to 'cull the herd'(of us) for many years, and
Jeeesh, what next Q? Quotes from Hitler and Mengele and Margaret Sanger etc. on how killing off the many 'undesirables' is good?!
CFR spreads eugenics propaganda in its Foreign Affairs magazine
June 2010 http://www.google.com/#q=CFR+spreads+eugenics... +
Bill Gates & Rockefellers eugenics agenda documentation
#311 Jan 28, 2014
Heh! You are such an F'ing moron. That IS not my post, and not what I believe for that matter. I love that you see my illusionary shadow everywhere. I certainly still post here some, but for some reason you never whine about those. But anything that does put your pretty boy panties in a bunch must all be me! ;-)
#312 Jan 28, 2014
riiiight Q, whatever- ewe have always been sickeningly very pro-vaccine here!
#313 Jan 28, 2014
Naw, I feel just the opposite. It makes you appreciate every breath you take on planet earth. It makes you struggle like heck for even your last breath...
#314 Jan 28, 2014
Which is it Mulligan?
Eternal life or certain death?
#315 Jan 28, 2014
The animalistic and body’s terrified fear of death on earth that is certain...evolution makes us terrified of death. Our brain and spirit can make us overcome the fear of death. This is our primary task on earth, to overcome death like Jesus. I think this is the greatest emotional event on our lives and the death of another bothers us terribly. It make us see our own world with new eyes…every death does that to us.
Oh dear god, give me the gift of a horrific death…
Then we have eternal life and beyond. Well, a series of training succession that feels like the earth experience, maybe even have more than one human life. Maybe even have experiences outside the earth experience.
I think we are in training all though our eternal lives…or heading towards enlightenment.
I think they got amazing computer technology in heaven. Remember time has no meaning in heaven. They can do a simulation of any prior event in you life…you can jump into that simulation body and it feels like you are again freely making the same choices. But it is just recording. The technology is amazing. Another simulation, you can make a different choice of your life… then play through the branch of the new life in your own life. Another simulation, you can jump into any a life you witnessed on earth, then the program makes it feet like it is your life and all the choices are all voluntarily made. But the choices aren’t yours, but another real life.
You can see this on a giant TV screen or feel any life though your own senses, feeling it as you own without eternal memory…or go free wheeling on your creativity.
Or something like that…
Anyways, most of us living life on earth see the cosmos and heaven through a very very narrow lens, or see nothing at all of something much bigger.
But something bigger is there!
#316 Jan 28, 2014
Man, are you in for a supprise when you die!
#317 Jan 29, 2014
Nothing but small minded speculation.
There is no good evidence for any of this nonsense, why would you want to waste your life away pretending that this is just some sort of neverending quest to avoid eternal punishment?
If you are only a good person to avoid being punished, you are not a good person.
#318 Jan 29, 2014
No, I most probably will not be surprised and neither will you, because as far as we know, dead people are dead.
Your cadaver will think and feel nothing and there is no good evidence to support the theory that your consciousness will somehow magically survive your death. Fairy tales about ghosts and people coming back to life as animals or other people are just that, fairy tales.
#319 Jan 29, 2014
"Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence." -- Richard Dawkins
#320 Jan 29, 2014
"One's convictions should be proportional to one's evidence." -- Sam Harris
#321 Jan 29, 2014
This is the USA…you are entitled to any stupid opinions you chose.
#322 Jan 29, 2014
I am glad for that!
Though you are not entitled to have your stupid opinions respected upon insufficient evidence.
#323 Jan 29, 2014
The qualityyou only judge...
#324 Jan 30, 2014
Neil deGrasse Tyson: We ‘Doom Ourselves to Poverty’ If We Let Politics Trump Science
by Josh Feldman January 24th, 2014
"Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, like Bill Nye, is very passionate about scientific literacy, and so when Bill Moyers brought up mainstream rejection of evolution, Tyson bemoaned how allowing politics to “trump science,” as Moyers put it, not only affects the American educational system, but it can also have adverse impacts on the economic future of the country.
Tyson said, thankfully, this is a “self-correcting phenomenon” because “above all else, among the Republicans I know, especially Republicans, nobody wants to die poor.” He argued that regardless of politics, educated people understand that scientific literacy is important to a thriving economy.
“If you put something that is not science in a science classroom, pass it off as science, then you are undermining an entire enterprise that was responsible for creating the wealth that we have come to take for granted in this country… if that trend continues, some Republican is going to wake up and say,‘Look guys, we got to split these two. We have to. Otherwise, we will doom ourselves to poverty.’”" ...
#325 Jan 30, 2014
Yea, us agaisnt them...
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