Bachmann's Anti-Vaccine Rhetoric is Bad Science and Bad History
Hey, Michele Bachmann, you know who was really, really pro-vaccination? The Founding Fathers. Read all about it in my new article at The Nation.
George Washington argued for mandatory inoculation of citizens against smallpox and mandated the inoculation of the Continental Army, under the supervision of fellow signatory of the Declaration of Independence, Dr. Benjamin Rush.
Thomas Jefferson was so enthusiastic about Jenner's smallpox vaccine that he invented an insulated vial to ship the serum and helped test the vaccine himself.
It wasn't just a coincidence that Washington, Jefferson, Rush, and other Framers were pro-vaccination (or inoculation). They were sons of the Enlightenment who believed in the power of science to better people's lives.
They rejected primitive superstitions about how God makes us sick because we sin, and trying to avoid getting sick through technology invites the wrath of God. That's what people used to believe about smallpox inoculation, and what Bachmann still believes when it comes to cancer caused by sex.
[Photo credit: Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons.]
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A NASA astronomer explains how astronauts dispose of their, uh, dark matter.
- When nature calls in micro-gravity, astronauts must answer. Space agencies have developed suction-based toilets – with a camera built in to ensure all the waste is contained before "flushing".
- Yes, there have been floaters in space. The early days of space exploration were a learning curve!
- Amazingly, you don't need gravity to digest food. Peristalsis, the process by which your throat and intestines squeeze themselves, actually moves food and water through your digestive system without gravity at all.
Carl Sagan liked to smoke weed. His essay on why is fascinating.
- Carl Sagan was a life long marijuana user and closeted advocate of legalization.
- He once wrote an anonymous essay on the effects it had on his life and why he felt it should be legalized.
- His insights will be vital as many societies begin to legalize marijuana.
A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.
- The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
- Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
- Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
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