No one wants children to die. That’s a bit of a sweeping statement, but, I think, a safe one. You can always find someone who’ll take any improbable position, if only to be an asshole, but I don’t think we’re losing anything important if we ignore the pro-dead-children perspective.

So I’m going to assume that people who go around saying that vaccines cause autism actually believe it, and aren’t striving to expose as many chidren as possible to potentially fatal illnesses.

This is a scientific claim; only one study has shown any such link (contrasted with many studies that have shown no link) and there is some evidence—in fact, quite a bit of evidence—that the data was faked.

Naturally, the antivaccination movement has disbanded and de facto spokespeople such as model Jenny McCarthy have issued public retractions.

HA! Antivax is a religion, and no amount of evidence will shake it in the minds of the faithful. One approach taken by antivax propagandists is to frame this as a debate on academic freedom. Now, academic freedom is a wonderful thing. No researcher should have to fear the consequences of coming to the “wrong” results. That doesn’t mean, however, that all results are equally valid. That’s what peer review is for, and peer review doesn’t support the vaccination-autism link.

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