Native Skeptic

Native Skeptic
Apache Crown Dancers 1887:

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

When Fear of Science Becomes Dangerous

Many people believe that simply having a healthy diet is all that’s needed to guard against disease. Unfortunately, a healthy diet by itself and simply taking vitamin supplements, do not present any immunological challenges; therefore antibodies are not created. So, when a pathogen does enter the body, the immune system is not prepared, and the body becomes infected with disease. If people only focus on their diet and fitness but neglect their immune system, they can improve fitness levels and look well in shape doing so, but their immune system won't look very well prepared against potential infectious diseases.

Only believing in what you can see is just as irrational as only believing in things you can't. But, even bad logic is still logic. For example, a great deal of naturopathy practitioners and homeopathy proponents claim that they prefer a more natural method of protecting their children from illness and disease. The notion is that the chemicals in the vaccine are not "natural", therefore they are deemed as being “toxic” and foreign, which is dangerous because they are unnatural to the body. This is either a good example of a complete absence of scientific knowledge or an obvious perversion of science that can potentially endanger an entire community.

The human body is comprised of chemicals that are just like the one’s found in vaccines. But, all of these scary sounding ingredients are added for a very specific purpose.

Pathogens are the agents which produce disease. When the body is exposed to a pathogen, it irritates and the immune system into producing antibodies to fight off the pathogen and its ill effects. Vaccines simply simulate that process by emulating specific pathogens to generate the appropriate irritation in order to produce the proper antibodies for protection against the apparent future exposure to some infectious organism. Much like the muscles in our body, the immune system needs to be stimulated in order to grow and strengthen functionality. This sort of stimulation comes through in the form of these immune system challenges that provoke an immunological response.

How Intelligent Individuals Aquire Irrational Beliefs

Our society has taken a dangerous turn, an anti-science one. Information bombards us daily through various forms of media, such as television, internet websites, and through our daily conversations. Differentiating the useful information from the bad is a skill that is often neglected. By bringing attention to these types of logically fallacious pitfalls that misinterpret misinformation as truth, we can more effectively and efficiently encounter and address them.