Measles, and smart people with dangerous ignorance


I’m a native Californian, having lived most of my life in Santa Clara county, then five years in adjacent San Mateo county. It is very worrying to see more cases of the measles in these two counties, knowing that despite a privileged, elitist mentality, parents in the Bay Area have completely jettisoned their sensibility when it comes to parenting.

A key truth is that few people are intelligent across the board. Ivy League kids with perfect SAT scores may have little to know practical ‘street smarts’. Environmentalists may have a grasp of the dangers of climate change, but may support quack medical remedies or get involved in religious cults. And the high rate of special exemptions for vaccination in wealthy parts of California comes from many people with advanced degrees and critical thinking skills.

With vaccines, it is not only a total lack of evidence for systemic harm, but a lack of any mechanism that would lead to harm. Vaccine hysteria lacks the very basic parts of scientific argument. It’s just blind fear in the face of overwhelming evidence that vaccines are both harmless and one of the best, simplest things we can do for our children and our society. In my own lifetime certain horrible diseases have been locally eradicated in parts of the developing world.

These decades have been marked by a rapid progress in science and medicine, and a backpedaling on its use. Vaccines, like many other things, are objects that can only be of use if humans utilize them. Otherwise it’s just a bunch of vials piling up at pharmacies and doctors’ offices. It is disappointing to see denialism, even among groups like the Unitarian Universalist church I attend, which has members who use their reason in all things except vaccines. All our intellect can be undermined by a lack of understanding and fairness on a single issue.

Author: AJM

Writer, sociologist, Unitarian Universalist.

3 thoughts on “Measles, and smart people with dangerous ignorance”

  1. Dear Andrew MacKay, if you think that there is no evidence that any vaccine, much less the MMR or simple measles vaccine can cause harm to humans, I encourage you to read package inserts. Further, from November 2014 to Feb 2015, the U.S. Court of Claims approved compensation for 117 children injured due to vaccines – usually the flu shot, but others as well. I, like millions of others, oppose vaccines because of the proof of harm and the lack of proof that any vaccine prevents any disease. One simple case is from so-called polio-vaccine paralysis. The odds of falling paralyzed due to polio is half as common as paralysis from the IPV or OPV. Look for the studies and research – it is available.


    John Calvin Jones, PhD, JD


    1. I prefer the overwhelming medical consensus in favor of vaccination. Your doctorate in political science isn’t a terribly strong backing for making fringe medical science claims.

      If we took your unsolicited advice, we would lose herd immunity and deaths from preventable diseases would be far in excess of claims made relating to vaccines. I assume you still feed your child food despite a non-zero chance that it can harm them.


      1. Dear Andrew MacKay, I guess you are just mean? The vaccine inserts, supplied by the companies are not my medical advice. And my suggestion that you read the medical literature is intended to improve the knowledge-base of you and others.

        Further, I did not make any fringe medical claims. When I cite the U.S. Court of Claims (aka Vaccine Injury Compensation Program) electing to make payouts, in just one three month period, for nearly 100 families, that is NOT a medical claim.

        By definition, because most VICP claims are rejected (without a trial), if you read the opinions of the special master(s) where payout are issued, they are instances where the medical evidence was so overwhelming that the master could not reject.

        You said that there is a lack of evidence of systemic harm from vaccines. Given the evidence from two sources: vaccine-makers; and the U.S. Vaccine Court, it appears that there is only a lack for those who refuse to look.


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