Why use Critical Thinking and Skepticism?

Two recent news items have reminded me why.

1. The conviction of fraudster James McCormick.
He sold Iraqi security forces over 6,000 fake bomb detectors. In Kenya, they are still used due to a mixture of corruption and not wanting to lose face.
Skeptics, and some journalists at the time, did point out that these devices (based on a vague dowsing idea) could not. However, they were not heeded, which resulted in who knows how many injuries and deaths.

2. The South Wales measles epidemic.
The MMR scare that the dishonest/discredited (Dr) Andrew Wakefield instigated, has to be a major factor. Some newspaper scare stories just added to it. It’s no wonder parents were unsure about whether to immunise or not, but they are not the villains. It’s the anti-vaccination movement and its supporters that are.
People need to look at the risk-benefit analysis carefully and consider that the overwhelming balance of evidence is in favour of vaccination over many diseases. Again, skeptics have repeatedly pointed out the erroneous MMR research data, until the GMC eventually acted.

Unfortunately, the April edition of “What Doctors Don’t Tell You” had a front cover attacking the MMR vaccine, and there are still homeopathic treatments on sale.

The British Homeopathic Association now state, “There is no evidence to suggest homeopathic vaccinations can protect against contagious diseases. We recommend people seek out the conventional treatments”. Hmmm.

Stay skeptical.


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About bensagan

Co-founder of the West Cumbrian Skeptics

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