Quick, get the net . . .

I was on my way through Rathgar the other day, when a traffic snarl resulted in my sitting in traffic for a few minutes, right beside the lamp post pictured below. Out of the corner of my eye, I registered the words ‘Warning’ and ‘Vaccine.’

When I actually took a look at what was postered up, I had to read it twice to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. Take a look yourself:

I am a big fan of the Skeptoid podcast series broadcast by Brian Dunning in the US, and by coincidence I had recently listened to an episode in which Dunning debunked the supposed evidence to support the idea that there is a global government conspiracy to deliberately ‘seed’ our skies with an unnamed chemicals, in the form of the exhaust trails that are typically seen behind jet engined aircraft flying at high altitudes in the sky.

Yep, that’s pretty far out there. I suppose if you’re the kind of person who lives in their parent’s basement and lines the inside of their baseball caps with tin foil to keep ‘the messages’ out, maybe that makes some kind of sense. (Or perhaps I’m part of the conspiracy!). I tend to think that wacko ideas like that only really exist on the internet, but in this case, somebody actually believes this one enough to print posters off an flypost them around Dublin. Freeky or what?

4 Replies to “Quick, get the net . . .”

  1. This poster is plausible. The dangers of the vaccine are far greater than that of the swine flu it self. People do need to be made aware of it and you are doing a good job of sharing this info whether you believe it or not! ; )

  2. Well, leaving aside the chemtrails nonsense, because really it’s just silly, the issue of vaccines is interesting.

    It seems to me that the real issue here is ideology, rather than facts. For a start, vaccination is a massive massive field, that has brought untold benefits to the human race. In a real sense, millions of people would be dead today without the benefits of vaccination.

    So to discuss this meaningfully you have to talk about specific vaccines, and as far as I’m aware, there is no mainstream acceptance of the idea that the dangers of swine flu vaccines are more harmful that the dangers of swine flu.

    If someone can show me a scientific study (preferably a meta study, showing the combined results of lots of properly conducted studies) that has been published in a respected mainstream peer-reviewed scientific journal, I’ll take the issue seriously.

    However, most people who feel strongly about issues like this are approaching the matter from an ideological and not a scientific background – they feel strongly about it but that doesn’t mean it’s true.

    They’re entitled to their opinion, because it’s just that, an opinion. However, I feel my position is more sensible, because if I’m wrong I’ll happily change my mind. I have no personal investment in being right or particularly strong opinion on the subject.

    Most people on the other side of the debate have trouble saying the same thing, because it’s about belief, self image and ideology to them. They can’t point to evidence, or at least not properly scrutinised evidence. This is the value of science – it doesn’t have opinions or beliefs – only people do.

  3. Whatever about conspiracies and vaccines… I dunno Mattski. Science does’nt have opinions or beliefs? Next thing you’ll be telling us it’s objective and neutral. I don’t think so. In the self conscious halls of Academia perhaps, but not out here in the real world.

  4. Well, all I’ll say further on this, (as I know and respect both of the previous commentators), is that if you want to hold a view which is contrary to the accepted mainstream view, then you have to expect that people are going to disagree with you every now and again. That’s just the nature of the beast.

    If you want to change people’s minds, then you’re going to have to do it in a way which is palatable to the mainstream, and that means through science.

    There is a connection between science research and funding so in a way, it’s possible to say science is biased – popular topics with commercial potential get funded, unpopular topics with no obvious commercial applications often don’t. This is reality.

    However, bias occurs in scientists, not in science. As I stated before, people have opinions, science doesn’t. People practice science, and occasionally get it wrong, but that’s why for something to be truly scientifically proven, it must be verifiable by other people.

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