(Page 11 of 13)
A. Wood apparently thinks she has stumbled onto some devastating evidence when she writes, “I read Michael Fumento’s article with interest and would like to pose a question: Even if thimerosal itself isn’t the cause of autism, what do the majority of children with autism have in common? Like it or not, the answer is vaccines.” Perhaps Mrs. Wood would like to reconsider her statement applying both logic and the rules of evidence to it. Yes, the majority of kids with autism have received vaccines. But so have the majority of kids without autism, and since these outnumber those with autism by about 998 to 1 (or 994 to 1 for Autism Spectrum Disorders), one could say that vaccines appear to prevent autism, rather than cause it. Both statements would be classic post hoc fallacies: because something happens or does not happen after kids get vaccinated, it is because they were vaccinated.
On the other hand, we know very well both the infection and the mortality rates for a host of childhood diseases prevented by vaccination, which are orders of magnitude higher than the incidence of autism. Therefore, if we follow Mrs. Woods’ reasoning, we would trade the low possibility of something bad happening as a result of vaccination, for the high probability of something much worse by foregoing vaccination. This shows a marked inability to weigh risks and make rational decisions based on the evidence.p>But then, her reliance on homeopathic remedies merely confirms what the first part of her letter suggested—that we are not dealing here with people interested in objective facts but rather those seeking after fantasies that correlate with their own preconceptions. If her son made it through childhood without contracting measles, rubella, diphtheria, typhoid, whooping cough, mumps or chicken pox, she should not congratulate herself, but rather those parents who did vaccinate their children, thereby reducing greatly the risk faced by her child. She should consider what her experience would have been if all parents, or even a large proportion of them, followed her own reckless example. br> — Stuart Koehl br> Falls Church, Virginia /p> p> WITHOUT A PRAYER
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?