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← An Open Letter to Bill Maher on Vaccinations

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4. Comment #424373 by Robert_S on October 17, 2009 at 3:21 am
"they still debate about how much of an "accomodationist" you are"
Who is "they"?

18. Comment #424401 by Dr Benway on October 17, 2009 at 6:25 am
Here's the link

However, the bill can yet change significantly as it goes through the legislative procedure. Call your congressman and representative-- I think it's still possible for the house to modify the bill, and even if it's not, the congress can.

You might also find this article useful

The public option is the most important part of the bill to support IMO, but stuff like section 125 should be protested too. I don't know if it will be politically important in terms of what the bill achieves, that is the effect it has on the way the country functions, but I'd suggest that rationalists should make their voices heard just like any other interest group. They will find that they have influence outside their own group if they do.

"24. Comment #424409 by Shifty Gray on October 17, 2009 at 7:37 am
I think it is a bit ridiculous to call Bill Mayer an anti-evolutionist just because he doesn't believe in vaccinations. It's not like we have reproducing anti-pathogen cells that mutate and the bacteria or virus we get acts as natural selection and determines which ones live or die. Yes there is adaptation and evolution in the sense that our immune system can become better and succeed, but there are many other things that do that as well."
Schermer may be a little confused himself. The human body could not function if it did not have defences to remove other organisms, and these defences have adapted over evolutionary time. That's not in contention here, but isn't directly relevant to vaccines working or not that I can see.

However, they have also adapted to adapt. There is a kind of natural selection of antigens. And I think that is what Schermer is talking about.

I don't know exactly how this selection process works, but if this did not occur, every new mutation of pathogens that hosts had not adapted to by genetic natural selection would (by definition) be able to overwhelm the host.

Unless you think that new variations of pathogens cannot occur, this would happen. Would anyone like to make that case? I'm not being rhetorical here.

That perfectly healthy hosts are on occasion overwhelmed strongly suggests to me that an organism against which there is no defence and which has not been selected to constrain itself will reproduce without limit, e.g. anthrax or necrotising fasciitis.

"I adapt and evolve to some situational stressors so I can perform better or simply deal with the stressor, does that make me an example of the validity of the theory of evolution?"
That depends on what you mean by "I". Natural selection is not constrained to DNA and its phenotypes.

Sat, 17 Oct 2009 06:51:00 UTC | #406169