Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Limits of skepticism

In our bullshit-drenched world, a healthy dose of skepticism is nearly always the way to the truth. Bill Maher shows unhealthy skepticism:

Mr. Maher questioned letting someone stick “a disease into your arm,” wrongly implying that the flu shot contains a live virus. The flu shot is a killed vaccine.

He said he did not believe that healthy people were vulnerable to dying from the new H1N1 virus. This contradicts statements from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that young, healthy people from ages 5 to 24 appear particularly vulnerable to this flu. About a third of the 76 children who have died of H1N1 since April have had no underlying health problems.

Mr. Maher also discouraged pregnant women from getting vaccinated. Studies show pregnant women are among the most vulnerable to serious complications from H1N1.

Facts matter, and Maher is 0 for 3.

Take your pick:
  • A risk lower than one in a million that you'd die from a swine flu vaccine
  • A risk conservatively of one in ten thousand that you'd die of the swine flu, though it could be one in 300 in the bad scenario

No comments: