[extropy-chat] Are vaccinations useless?

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Tue Mar 14 10:22:38 UTC 2006

On Mar 13, 2006, at 12:43 PM, Hal Finney wrote:

> This is a great subject, that demonstrates many important and  
> surprising
> effects.
> One is the problem with the oft-stated idea that "extraordinary claims
> require extraordinary evidence".  Who decides what is extraordinary?

That is not the question.  Claims that go against what we have held  
to be true to the best of our knowledge must at least do as good a  
job of covering the data as the theory they would displace and as  
good a job at prediction if applicable.  Otherwise there is little  
point in considering dropping the old theory for the new.

Why the long insistence on some kind of fairness or arbitrariness  
being involved when it has already been argued that this is not the  
case and not a relevant issue?

> Another is our emotional resistance to the possibility that  
> medicine may
> not be very useful.  This leaves us feeling powerless and vulnerable.
> Even back in the 19th century doctors were regarded with awe for their
> healing powers, powers we now know to be almost non-existent.

Irrelevant again.
> It's possible that the academic community has attempted to send their
> message, only to find it falling on deaf ears.  People may just  
> refuse to
> believe that it could be true, as we have seen in many responses here.
> Or, it could be that the Big Medicine and Big Pharma have somehow been
> able to suppress this message in order to protect the benefit they
> receive from the enormous sums spent on medical treatment.

The academic community or the scientific and medical community.  I  
highly doubt the latter hold that vaccination is useless.

- samantha

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