Friday, 4 January 2013

MMR Pisswizardry (again)

There's a lovely new programme on CBeebies called Get Well Soon. It's presented by Dr Ranj, who (unlike ersatz yet foxy science minx Nina) is the real thing: a doctor who's been practising in the NHS for about 10 years.  He tries to give young children advice and comfort, and demystifies the whole business of going to the doctor or the hospital. How could anyone think that was anything other than admirable and lovely?

Well, someone can. And here they are. Anna Watson, the "author", is a "natural remedy" promoter and clearly doesn't like the MMR vaccine. So she even wants the poor man struck off for giving a puppet an injection.  It's difficult for me to convey the mixture of pity and contempt I have for the author of this article. Thankfully, I don't really have to because this lovely person (source) has done it all for me. Thanks Skepticat UK for doing all of the heavy ligfting and saying pretty much what I was thinking anyway. Please read it it, it's a great rebuttal.
However, what this does demonstrate is something rather more worrying. That beneath the patina of rationality in this country there are still a motley collection of idiots about who look at inconvenient things like, say, evidence, and decide that their own hemipygic view of the world is the one that everyone else must accept.  If homoeopathic medicine were to be revealed tomorrow as appreciably better than placebo for most medical treatment then I'd have to swallow my pride and say that it would have to be accepted. Except that there's no evidence to suggest that it ever would, and plenty to suggest that it's utter monkey toss. THat's how science works. Unfortunately, it seems Ms Watson is unfortunately unfamiliar with this idea. And explaining it to her might be as fruitless as trying to convey the rather nihilistic solipsism of Sartre to a demented gerbil.  Thank heavens she lives in Kingston upon Thames: well away from my child.

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