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The Facts In The Case Of Dr. Andrew Wakefield
diversion sign
A fifteen page story about the MMR vaccination controversy. As ever, I'm sure a few spelling errors have slipped past me. Feel free to point any out so I can correct them.

The reference links for the strip are in the next blog entry.

Now! Let's have a heated debate!

2013 update. Since I wrote this blog entry, this cartoon strip as well as many others on such subjects as homeopathy, chiropratic, evolution, and the supposed NASA Moon hoax landings, have been published in a book: Science Tales in the UK (Myriad Edtions) and How To Fake A Moon Landing in the US and Canada (Abrams). Here's the link to my main blog.

1 MMR Vaccination Scandal Story

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may I make a suggestion?

This is a great, very educational comic, but I have to say that I would have loved it even more without the blind = ignorant wording on the second page. I know it is very, very common to equal these things, it is a form of ableist language that I catch myself using all the time, but I it is still a false comparism (is that the right English word?). If you exchanged "blind" for "willfully ignorant", you could make the same point without (unintentionally) insulting blind people.

I am not writing this because I want to police your expression, but because I think this could be a comic of great importance to people who fight against discrimination of disabled people, and ableist language shouldn't keep it from getting the appreciation it deserves.

Re: may I make a suggestion?

I don't correct people's spelling or grammar on comments normall, but as you specifically asked... "comparism" should be "comparison" :-)

Oh my gosh, I got to this -- somehow -- and am going to have to link it everywhere. Including to my parents.

utterly brilliant. well done indeed.

Sorry if someone's already said this - page 11 - "principle".

Very well done, brave man.

Now lets wait for children to get ill, or maybe even die. Because these sheep like idiots wont listen until the truth assaults them. Vaccines do not cause Autism, it is all circumstantial.

Again, very well done. Once Measles and the rest of them start to infect and hurt, mysteriously these vaccines idiots will all disappear.


Re: Very very good.

It's already happened dozens of times, and is still happening.

Very well put. My mother is a respected official in the field of Autism education, and she's been wrestling with the MMR controversy since it started, spotting it as bunk right from the start. (Right up there with the sad case of "facilitated communication.") The only note I'd make about the artical is that Dr. Wakefield's influence here in the US is waning fast with the Lancet retracting his paper. The "anti-vaccine movement" appears big to the outside world because a few celebrities (especially the ones you mentioned) have attached themselves to it and hence get a lot of face time, but actual on-the-ground believers are fortunately falling off. Here, the anti-vaccine movement is looking more and more like a Scientologist-style cult.

Unfortunately, that cult still has a big following among parents. I've got an autistic child, and there are still plenty of parents who have simply moved the goalpost as to why they think vaccines must have caused autism but are still very much convinced that they do. So they'll say, "hmm, maybe it's not MMR. Maybe it's mercury or too many, too soon! Or aluminum, or, or, or..."

It's like young Earth creationism. You'll never have a rational argument to convince them out of it, because they don't have a rational belief.

This is one HELL of an article - utterly brilliant.

Loved the comic, thank you very much for a clear, concise representation of this argument.

I'm often astonished at the sensationalistic way that stories are reported, be it this one, the financial meltdown or the MPs expenses scandal.

Journalism seems to be too focussed on tugging the heart strings and banging on drums then on critical investigation.

Thank you for trying to redress the balance.

That last page is the reason I ditched a potential career in journalism. There are lots of quality journalists out there, but not nearly enough quality publishers to print them. :(

(And yes, the dearth of science reporters who have the first clue of science is painful. To wit: several articles listing TEV as a million electron volts. /facepalm)

Excellent. Informative and depressing.

here via bad astronomy


Every one of 'em was in the ten-ring. Congratulations

lovely piece of work sir! well, you know, frightening, but delivered brilliantly.

Came over from popfiend-land and I just want to say A-FREAKING-MEN!