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Not Quite The Full Shilling***

9 January 2015

One of the big news stories in Australia at the moment is the impending visit of American osteopath, Sherri Tenpenny, to lecture us all on the dangers of vaccinations.

I’m very pleased to report that there has been a huge outcry about this, with people demanding the Government refuse her a visa and venues cancelling bookings that have been made by the Anti-Vaccination Skeptics Network.

I’m in two minds about letting her into the country.  On the one hand we have enough home-grown nutters without importing others.  But on the other, maybe if the spotlight is shone brightly on her and her followers with television discussions that include “proper” scientists and doctors, she may be seen for the fruitcake she is.

That goes against my normal viewpoint though which is that if you give airtime to views such as these, there is an implication that there are two sides to a story and two equally valid points of view.  For that reason, Richard Dawkins will no longer debate with creationists, and I do wish the ABC and other television channels wouldn’t bend over backwards so much to ensure “balance” by inviting climate-change sceptics onto their shows to debate with real scientists.

I read or heard recently (and I’m can’t remember where, or who said/wrote it) that a person is fully entitled to her own opinion.  She isn’t however entitled to her own facts.

*** I thought this was a great way to describe Tenpenny and I thank the anonymous contributor to an online discussion where I “stole” it.

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4 comments

  1. I admit, her claim that she got her information from medical journals and such might very well hold water. You know, the ones written before it was proven that vaccines do happen at the time most cases of autism start presenting, but that does NOT mean that vaccines cause autism.

    I think that might be part of the problem. She did use medical journals. She just doesn’t want to read the later articles where the ones she read and believed are debunked, ridiculed, and generally made a mockery of.


    • That original research was 17 years ago and Andrew Wakefield was struck off the Medical Register 5 years ago. Maybe we could suggest she make better use of the internet?


  2. Hi Sally. I have just finished reading your posts from Feb 2014 forward. There weren’t too many given your hiatus from blogging. I had one of those a few years ago, I think many bloggers do at some stage!

    I wish you well for the move. Ours was nine months ago and I still remember the frenetic activity in the six weeks prior to moving day. At least, once your in, you can unpack at your leisure!


  3. Interesting. I’m wondering how her lecture schedule has been affected by the recent measles outbreak exacerbated by the lack of vaccinations.



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