TED Conversations

Roberto Sciffo

This conversation is closed.

Debate: Do vaccines work or are they just another money making tool in a trillion dollar industry?

There is much debate regarding vaccination; imposing on an individual's rights, questionable proof as to their effectiveness, and possible links to neurological diseases like epilepsy and autism.

Vaccines act like a type of homoeopathic remedy in the sense that the 'bug' is introduced into the body so that the autoimmune system may produce anti-bodies to protect against the 'bug'.

But, as far as I can tell, the germ theory was debated in early 1900's and disproved in the 1950's, therefore voiding all need for fighting 'bugs'.

So do vaccines actually work? What proof is there? Or is it more for big profit for big pharma?

I am open to all sides of the story!


Closing Statement from Roberto Sciffo

Thank you all for your contributions. It was a great learning experience, and I am sorry to have missed the last day of commenting due to work. I would have enjoyed commenting on you all individually.

We have heard both sides of the story. Pro-vaccination are happy because it provides safety to us and our children, and the statistics that indicate the effectiveness of the vaccine, and Stephan's comments as to how they work.

We are faced however with a 'small' number of people who have had their children come about with symptoms of reduced development progress through to epilepsy and autism.

We have also wondered whether so many vaccines so soon in life a a great idea, considering the fact that the aluminum levels exceed the 'allowed' amount.

The fact that the heavy metals are toxic and are known to promote dis-ease in the body, is something that I can not stress the importance of enough.

The World Health Organization noted as early as 1974 that heavy metal and chemical toxicity were at the cause of most chronic degenerative diseases.

I appreciate Linda Taylor for her research into what I have stated, and her challenges, will add:
1) the mean size of the zeolites are 0.3 microns therefore able to pass into the blood stream.
2) if you are to perform a detox, it needs to be done in stages so as to make it safe. Little of this information is available online.
3) the study you quote done on zeolites, please send me the link to the study as I would like to investigate it and see what the company has to say. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.
4) You quote ' Rock that absorb toxins especially ammonia, might be of value' - Zeolites as well as chlorella have been
use since the 80's I believe, in waste water treatment plants for that very reason, both performing as far as I can tell, equally well at about 50% removal. Both are being used as detox mediums as well.

Thank you all and I hope we have all learned a great deal from this debate. Wishing us all the best!

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    Nov 15 2012: It is very sad to see what comfort has caused to people... everybody has forgotten diseases as terrible as smallpox or polio. I've seen childs with polio and it is pathetic to know that what happened is that a stupid MD told the fathers that vaccines are useless. Unfortunately, ignorance is a wide spread disease... with no known vaccine.
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    Nov 14 2012: Thank you Setfan,

    We have covered this point if you read the other conversations.

    They do work. All good there.

    It is the combined long term effects that are of concern. Should so much aluminium be given at the same time to children under 5 or 6 years of age when their brain and immune sytems have not yet developed fully?

    There are no studies done for combined effects, nor long term effects.

    So ultimately, are they protecting us from one virus yet causing damage that opens us to more problems later in life.
    If so, then they need to be looked at and amended. And if the damage is great, then their use should be questioned too. There are alternatives.
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      Nov 14 2012: I can´t give you the thumbs up for the other comment, because apparently I´ve reached the maximum amount of positive ratings that I can give you, but, gosh, would I want to!!
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      Nov 14 2012: Hi Roberto,

      I did read the conversations, but I thought I add my point of view as well.

      The aluminum and the sort that you are referring to are so called adjuvants. They are intended to boost the immune response because only if there is an immune response to the vaccine will the vaccine do its job (train the immune system to respond to certain markers found in certain pathogens). Unoforunately not all markers are easy to recognize, and so not all vaccines work as easily as smallpox vaccine. HIV, Ebola, Malaria and other horrible sickneses still have no cure and no vaccines because of this very reason. That is why people try different techniques like vaccines augmented to give hightened immune response.

      For scientists this is a challange, a way to affirm themselves, for farmaceutical companies a business opportunity and for people who live with these pathogens on a daily basis it represents a great deal of hope.

      Unfortunately, medical science is not an exact scienct, what works on paper not always works in lab and what works in lab not always works in the field. People are different, they react differently to various external factors. It is hard work and sometimes it goes wrong.

      But the payoff is high. If the smallpox vaccine hadn't been invented, smallpox would probably kill tens of millions of people each year. Flu kills approximately 500 thousand people each year because we only have a partial vaccine for it. Malaria kills even more each year. Maybe 50 years from now, people will look back and say: "This year 500 thousand people didn't die because we have a defence against flu".

      Some people do have adverse reaction to vaccines, it is a proven fact, what we don't know is how many of those would have an even worse reaction to the actual disease? These are questions impossible to respond and the are highly subjective. Vaccines do have the potential to cause harm, but they also have a vastly superior potential to prevent it.
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      Nov 15 2012: "It is the combined long term effects that are of concern. Should so much aluminium be given at the same time to children under 5 or 6 years of age when their brain and immune sytems have not yet developed fully?

      There are no studies done for combined effects, nor long term effects."
      I refer you once again to the list of references I posted below. Many of the studies deal with multiple vaccines and cover over 20 years.
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    Nov 14 2012: Is there any proof that vaccines work? There actually is, a great deal of it, but let me give you just a few:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smallpox. This highly contagious diseases has has killed millions and millons of people along the history. Once caught, there is no cure, one either fights if of or one dies. Various strains have different mortality rate but in general they move around 30% (In every 100 sick people 30 will die). Thanks to vaccination howerver, this disease was erradicated so not a single person dies in our days out of the 7 billion potential candidates that exist out there.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polio. This one can cause horrible growth defects and paralises, but thanks to vacciences, nobody has it nowadays in the developped world. It could actually be eradicated too, if we would have the discipline and will to do it.

    And finally: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabies. One can only catch this if an animal with rabies bites you (dog, cat, bat, etc) but if you do cacth it, you better pray to God that vaccines are available before the symptoms occur, because once they do the mortality rate is 99% and the and the way to go is not pretty. With vaccination however, the success of curing is almost 100% (it mostly depends on how early the treatment starts).

    Vaccines do work. There are countless other examples, some less impressive, but they are there. People doubt vaccines because there is a commercial aspect to them, but this is the capitalistic way of living. We don't trust it, we don't like it? let's change it. Let's donate money to science and to scientist so that they don't have to work for farmaceutical companies but to NGO's, because they are the people who actually develop the vaccines and whatever their motivation (helping people, fame) their success rate is measured in the success of the vaccines, so you can rest assured that their goal is to make them work.
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    Sarah M

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    Nov 10 2012: If you want proof of vaccines working there is a pretty strong one. Smallpox. It has been eradicated because of vaccines. This vaccine saved an estimated 5 million deaths annually due to its eradication. Vaccines have brought seven major human diseases under some degree of control - smallpox, diphtheria, tetanus, yellow fever, whooping cough, polio, and measles. http://www.unicef.org/pon96/hevaccin.htm

    Yes there was concern about the Measles, Mumps Rubella Vaccine and a link to Autism; this was apparently due to mercury being present in the vaccine. This has now been removed.

    I am a mother of 2 small children and for me it’s a no brainer. There is overwhelming reasons to vaccinate your children and very little medical proof not to.

    In Australia we have had major problems with Whooping Cough and Measles. Why because people are not getting their children vaccinated and these diseases are now starting to become a problem again.

    This is putting babies, Small children and the elderly at risk.

    People have the right to choose what they consider is best for their children. However it’s when these children then contract these diseases and pass it on that I am not comfortable with. Some of these diseases are terrible and potentially life threatening.
  • Nov 10 2012: i'll give just a single example: the polio vaccine.
    pre-vaccine there were around 350,000 cases a year, down now to around 1,000. that's 349,000 kids who are not left dead or permanently paralysed every single year.
    what's the debate?

    also where did you get the idea that the germ theory of disease was disproven? did you just make that up?

    vaccines are not a moneymaking tool, in fact quite the opposite. it's much much more profitable to treat a disease than to cure or prevent it, as vaccines do.
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      Nov 10 2012: Well said Ben
  • Nov 9 2012: Here in the Netherlands polio has virtually been eliminated decades ago, but once in a while there are still small outbreaks, almost always in very religious communities who refuse to have their children vaccinated (and our idiot government grants that wish instead of putting them on trial for child abuse), communities that make up a very small percentage of the general population. That's pretty solid evidence for the effectiveness of vaccines.

    There are medicines that barely work and are just a cashcow for pharmaceutical companies, but those are either for mental illnesses (that are very vaguely defined) or end-of-life stuff for terminal patients, stuff that's not going to heal you anyway, vaccines are not among these medicines.
    • Nov 10 2012: Given a choice between letting the religious nutters "abusing" their own children by not vaccinating them, and forcing me to vaccinate myself or my own kids against the useless flu vaccines, (or whatever else is fashionable later) I prefer to let the nutters have their way. Of course, if the nutters infect me, they will pay for it ;-)

      Pharmaceutical companies do not have an entirely clean track-record either. Their own records range from vitamin cartels (http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2001/nov/21/personalfinancenews.europeanunion) to fake research journals. (Cartels are caused by regulations that result in high barriers of entry due to regulations, and fake journals are caused by the powerful monopolies created by overly generous patent-laws.)
      • Nov 10 2012: Polio, P O L I O, that's what I wrote about, not the flu. And please don't pretend like you're not doing any forcing when you decide to not give your infant child a vaccination for such a serious disease as polio.

        "Of course, if the nutters infect me, they will pay for it ;-)"

        Yeah, it's funny now, until you really do get polio...
      • Nov 10 2012: john smith is absolutely right when he calls failure to prevent a deadly disease child abuse. it's terrible that so many people cannot grasp the concept of a restriction on freedom actually giving us more freedom. we're not free to drive on whatever side of the road we choose either yet nobody gets upset about having that freedom curtailed, mostly because it gives us the freedom to get to our destination without incident.

        you make a good point about pharmaceutical companies working for their on profits. however your logic is flawed. if fake journals exist that doesn't mean no journals can be trusted, and likewise if a pharmaceutical company is being dishonest about vitamins that doesn't mean that vaccinations are also suspect.

        really there is anti-profit in making vaccinations because then a disease is cured which deprives companies of the profit they would otherwise make from providing a lifetime supply of treatments. in the past it was university-based researchers who worked on a set salary who freed mankind from so many of these killers, and that's what we should return to.
        • Nov 10 2012: fake journals exist = all journals are untrustworthy???
          Please re-read what I wrote.

          People choosing what they think is best for their children = endangering OUR lives (not their childrens') by driving on the wrong side of the road?

          And you want to talk to me about not grasping concepts?

          dishonest about vitamins? I just can't figure out how you contorted my words to extrude THIS meaning. Please do read the article I linked.

          I won't even attempt to address your last paragraph.
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    Nov 8 2012: Do you or anyone you know have smallpox or polio?
    Of course they work.
    I think the bigger issue is how many are given at once. We here in the US give so many vaccinations at once that I am not sure it is a good thing for a developing immune system.
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      Nov 9 2012: Hi Linda,
      Thanks for your valid comment.
      It would seem that they do work, yet my research indicates that the diseases were on their way out (per capita numbers were reducing rapidly before the introduction of the vaccine).
      On the other hand, when i was growing up in the 70's I didn't know anyone with allergies, or asthma, or no one close with cancer, yet today I do.
      I think you have a good point as others have also commented, that the number of vaccines and the age at which they are administered are critical.
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        Nov 10 2012: Roberto
        I was a kid in the 70s too. When I was growing up, I did not live in air conditioning. Nobody I knew lived in air conditioning. In the 70's there was not as much air conditioning and housing was not hermetically sealed as it is today to be energy efficient. You can actually do the stats and see a high correlation between air conditioning and asthma.

        Many allergy and asthma can be traced to specific triggers (cats and cockroaches etc). There are also beginning studies looking at hookworm infection and asthma. This study found no significant difference between hookworm properties and placebo for asthma but it showed enough improvement to warrant further study with an actual hookworm infestation.

        So it may be that asthma was a defense that was necessary before sanitation and refrigeration. Some type of genetic latent ability that benefited our ancestors that has recently been triggered by the drastic change in our living environment over the past century. But there is no proof yet. So it is just speculation at this point. The theory if you will, to sell magazines.
  • Nov 10 2012: ok i read it again. you use the fact that pharmaceutical companies produce fake journals as an argument against vaccines. the 2 things aren't related. just because fake journals exist doesn't mean that vaccines (which have plenty of supporting evidence on non-fake journals) should be called into question. it's as silly as the "hitler did it" argument.

    people making uniformed, ill-conceived decisions against learned expert advice endangers the lives and well-being of those children (a second party, the child doesn't make the decision), is akin to endangering another driver's life (also a second party) by driving on the wrong side of the road, yes.

    perhaps i did misunderstand your third point. you mentioned vitamin cartels. in my mind setting up cartels is a very dishonest thing to do - i was agreeing with you. your flawed logic is in that just because pharmaceuticals have set up vitamin cartels, that doesn't mean that vaccines are not a noble goal.

    i agree with you in that pharmaceutical companies are profit-mongers and not to be trusted. that's another reason we should support vaccines, because that'll hurt their profits by preventing disease, making many treatment-based medicines unnecessary.
  • Nov 9 2012: The debate is between ignorance and knowledge. But not a real debate. Of course vaccines work. That's a scientifically backed up fact. Anything against it is ignorant and/or sensationalist propaganda.

    Germ theory disproven? What kind of idiotic ignorance is that? Sorry, I have no patience for such stupidity.
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      • Nov 10 2012: Yes, anything saying that vaccines don't work is ignorant and/or sensationalist. You might have specific examples of specific problems with delivery, and/or with newly and/or wrongly developed vaccines (in these situations, as soon as I start investigating I find a trail of misinformation, but I will not go there this time). That does not justify a blanket generalization against vaccines. Sensationalism is based on the faulty logic that your answer exemplifies: hasty generalizations (dangerous ones at that).

        This would truly be a debate if it was about "what is the proper delivery of vaccines?" or "can we fight all diseases with vaccines?" But challenging the vaccine concept itself is ignorant/sensationalist nonsense.
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          Nov 10 2012: Well said. I concur.

          My question is misinterpreted. Vaccines do work. But in doing so, are they making more damage than good in the long term?

          It seems they are interfering with the immune system and therefore setting us up for more dis-ease in the long term. That will only increase the number of vaccines needed (3xmore today than 20 years ago) further ruining our system.

          Here are medical doctors discussing the different points of view.

      • Nov 10 2012: Theodore,

        And that question comes from sensationalist press. It clearly attacks vaccines generally. The "debate" is not a scientific one. The guy who "found" a link between autism and a vaccine has been demonstrated wrong and there is strong suspicion that he falsified data. But let's leave that aside, let's see if you can pay attention now: don't get into hasty generalizations. Study the right issue (was that truly a link between autism and vaccine X? have scientists looked at the data?).

        I have little patience on these issues for good reason, and I don't give one bit if you find my tone arrogant or condescending. It is dangerous to spread the kind of misinformation that you so ignorantly accept. Dangerous. So spare me your hurt feelings. There's more at stake here than your self-esteem.

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      Nov 10 2012: AS for the germ theory, it has been disproven SCIENTIFICALLY. Do any research on 'Masha and Dasha'.


      And if vaccination protects us from the few viruses yet hinders our immune system, then they are in the long run false.
      • Nov 10 2012: No it hasn't. How healthy is the body can help avoid some germs or not have as hard a time against some infections. That does not mean that a healthy body will help avoid any germs. Thinking that it would is like thinking that because some people can fool a tiger therefore tigers are inoffensive and it is just our health that allows tigers to eat us.

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          Nov 10 2012: If I understand you correctly, there are some germs our body can not tackle, correct?

          OK, I agree.

          Are vaccinations the only option then? If they interfere with our immune system, and cause it to be weaker, then their method or formula has to be questioned.

          The fact is, there are cases that people go to the doctor with their kid and within hours or days the child develops symptoms of autism (or other neurological based diseases). They have lost the child for life in may cases, yet no responsibility/accountablity or research is done.

          there is not research to show that today taking 3x the number of vaccines than 20 years ago, AS A LONG TERM COMBINATION, as no effect on us. In fact, it seems to be very detrimental.

          And there are doctors who do not vaccinate their own kids... what do they know that we don't?
      • Nov 10 2012: Against viruses vaccines are either the only option or the best so far.
        No they don't compromise our immune systems.
        I suggest that you should not just go with the flow of misinformation.
        Doctors who don't vaccinate their kids are either misinformed or idiots.
        Here a rather long but useful video:
        and another:
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          Nov 11 2012: Thank you.

          It's not exactly research.

          My point is.. as I have written before.. do vaccines impair our system in any way? I.e. are they doing more harm in the long run, or even safe? Ok they work... but what studies have been done with the combination of vaccines and why so early in life?

          So I had a look at the CDC web site (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/additives.htm) and looked at the contents of vaccines (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/appendices/B/excipient-table-2.pdf)

          I picked a common one: Hep B.. just 3 simple ingredients: aluminum hydroxide, yeast protein, phosphate buffers.

          OK.. further research led me here:

          The point being.. if test on animals show a vaccine safe for use an is approved, pilot studies done, etc.. and considered safe.. and released.. and then another one.. and so forth.. all taken alone - all well and good.

          Where is the research on the combined effects? This is their responsibility.

          You can chase studies, links between vaccination and autism, etc... and I have found plenty of evidence to indicate alternate results.. but I am more concerned with health, and protecting health.

          I know from experience that heavy metals adversely effects health. Consider our lifestyles and pollution levels.. what is the critical point? The issue with vaccines is that it bypasses our immune system / defense system, and cannot be eliminated.
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    Nov 8 2012: Keep in mind the concept of vaccination and early vaccines like smallpox pre-date the existence of "BIG PHARMA". Jenner wasn't looking to make money he was investigating why milk maids didn't get smallpox.
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      Nov 9 2012: True, but that was then, and we lived in a much more unhygienic environment then. The Black Death is a great example of this - it was not controlled or eliminated using vaccines, but rather changes in hygiene control.

      I think the idea of vaccination held some truth in its time, but that in today's environment it holds little validity. In fact, it seems to be doing more harm than good.
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        Nov 11 2012: I have an uncle Brian who is only four foot eleven inches tall because he caught Polio in the early fifties when there was an outbreak in Australia. Today the only polio cases in Australia are in recent arrivals. This disease was erradicated by government sponsored vaccination programs in the 50s and 60s that continue to this day. I really don't think hygiene standards have changed since then.
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    Nov 15 2012: About what, Linda? The inconsistencies of scientific research? I´ll keep doing what I´ve been doing up to now: taking a leap of faith and trusting the experts when I see fit and looking for alternatives when I don´t.

    And anyway, a top scientist--sorry, I can´t remember who--said once that we only know about 10% of reality. So, if that is true, then scientific research is like making a person who was born blind differentiate colours.
    Science is a very small account of a very small portion of reality. By that I don´t mean it´s worthless at all. I think it should be taken off its pedestal, though.

    If that was not your question, or if it was a rhetoric one, then forget all of the above stuff.

    Anyway, the important question for you should be: what am I going to do about it?
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    Nov 12 2012: Roberto, I believe that your contributions are excellent. And I completely understand what you mean.

    I think I read on this site someone saying something along these lines: I understood the importance of science at school, but whenever I would finish a science lesson, the only thing I got was a sort of reward for having solved this or that problem. When I left a humanities lesson, I would feel inspired to think, I wondered about loads of things, my imagination would begin to work and stretch...
    That above expresses something that happens for real: the study of science, I would venture to say especially maths, kind of narrows the intellect; whereas the arts and humanities kind of expand it. Now, if you happen to be an "expanded" or rather ""expanding" thinker, you´re gonna find it difficult to be understood by a "narrower" or "narrowing" thinker. Such is the state of education nowadays where everything has been separated from all things human.
    I´m not implying that one itype of thinking is good and the other is bad or the other way round. I´m implying that arts and humanities are extremely important to our human nature, one that we seem to be forgetting more and more everyday; one that people in the Renaissance, centuries ago, had very clear in their minds. So, have we really evolved, despite all our technological development? I sincerely doub it. Sorry, I´m ranting and derailing this conversation. My mind is over-expanded... (laughs)
    Anyway, I´ve always found that the most eminent experts are usually the most humble and the most open to new ideas.
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      Nov 13 2012: You bring up a good point. People will gravitate to what fits with their personality. That is why, no matter how strong the evidence, some people will just not believe it. It does not fit in their world view.

      It's too bad you don't understand how mind-blowing science is. It says a lot that you think it narrows the intellect. It is actually very exciting and creative. To create new knowledge is what science is all about. It is that creation that is so exciting, as exciting as creating new music or new art. Only less subjective. And scientists get to share it with other people too :)

      Personally, if I ever have to sit through another damn history class I will pull my hair out.

      Oh by the way, if anyone calls themselves an expert, they aren't. I don't think you need to rebel against experts. Just take the new information and integrate it with a grain of salt.

      It's usually not the experts that are to blame for the state of the earth but the financial backers. Like the decision to make buses run on gasoline instead of electricity.
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        Nov 13 2012: Dear Rita and Linda,

        I so appreciate the fresh air of ideas you have joined in with!

        I think we are all so different and that expansion for one may be contraction for the other, as it seems to indicate above! That is beautiful!

        How about the combination of science and art?

        Would you say cooking is an art? Or a science?

        I invite you both to enjoy this video below:

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          Nov 13 2012: Why, of course! Science and arts and ethics and the rest of the lot :)

          If I dared answer your next two questions I´d be dangerously entering the world of definitions. I´ve raved enough for one day!

          Thanks for your kind comments.
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          Nov 14 2012: LOL Science IS art and research is its medium.

          It is how you wield the medium that creates the art.

          Just like paint is paint until applied to canvas.
          (Rita - an expert is just paint, a researcher is just paint, a journal article is just paint - get it?)

          Some of it is very very good, and some of it very very bad, but all of it contributes to new understanding of the world.
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          Nov 14 2012: By the same token, I assume that you also believe that art IS a science and experimenting and breaking rules is its medium.
          Sure, in your definitions of things, only a few scientists perform art, just like I assume you believe that only a few artists perform science.
          They say maths and poetry are closely link together, and so is music.
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          Nov 14 2012: Of course art is science. There is a lot of technical requirements for any art medium (shame, I know how much you are against technology). You don't just walk up to a piano and bang on the keys. Art requires science just as science requires art.

          And doesn't experimenting belong with science?
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        Nov 13 2012: Oh, no no no, it´s very easy to put the blame for what happens on someone else. I guess that some experts have made the gasoline buses possible, haven’t they? We have our little bit of responsibility on everything that happens. If I work for a company that restores accidents in factories and the like, and one day I have to go and fix an armament plant, in a way I´m contributing to the use of armaments in this world. I know someone, a person that studied a science degree, who refused to do so, risking his job. I deeply admire him for that reason.
        My point isn´t “let´s not do science because it´s very concrete—it is, sorry—, and let´s only do humanities, because they make you think about everything—they do, sorry—. My point is we can´t continue to think that humanities are folklore, because they are not. They make us see different things. As you pointed out, we can only see, what we are prepared to see. Well then, if we only give importance to one type of knowledge, we´re missing out on a big chunk of reality and of humanity. We´re missing out on a way of looking at things from different angles. I remember hearing a top engineer say that her take on engineering was different from other colleagues of hers, because when she finished her degree, she decided to travel the world and learn about other stuff (folklore!). Apparently she was one of the best in her field of expertise.
        I know for a fact that not all the people who work in scientific fields are able to think beyond the test tube in front of their eyes. But I have to give you that the greatest scientists have ended up being somewhat philosophers. I´ll keep with my rant down below.
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          Nov 14 2012: "I know for a fact that not all the people who work in scientific fields are able to think beyond the test tube in front of their eyes. " There is a big difference between a scientist and a researcher. You are describing a researcher. As you have pointed out, research is a big part of science but a true scientist is more than a test tube starer.

          Science is only concrete at implementation. I know you probably don't understand that but it is true. Before that it is almost completely theoretical. An artform if you will. That is where the creation part comes in.

          Humanities are boring and dull. Who cares who did what to whom and when and what arose from it. There is no practical application to any of it outside it's own little world and little thinkers. Ever try and get a job with a humanities degree? Yeah, unless you plan on teaching it as a career, good luck cause none of it matters. And heaven forbid you talk about some type of phenomena without someone else taking credit for having discovered it, or written it, or thought it first.

          And engineers don't think at all. They measure stuff. One engineer friend of mine said there are people who think the glass is half empty, and people who think the glass is half full. An engineer thinks the glass is the wrong size. (OK I admit this is tounge in cheek so please all you wonderful engineers and humanities people forgive the exaggeration)
    • Nov 13 2012: I would say that the sciences are just as important and involve just as much creativity as the humanities. Maybe it's just not your thing.
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        Nov 13 2012: So some scientists actually come out of their field of expertise and realise that reality is not only that particular thing that they study, but a whole, so their discoveries have taken them to think about ethics, philosophy, education…life!!! I must also admit that not all the experts on humanities are able to think outside their boxes, and I know I´m contradicting myself here, but what can we expect from our education systems? I understand perfectly you getting bored in history lessons. I did too. My teachers were as bad as I guess yours are. So after all ,perhaps the ones that up to now have been able to go beyond whatever it is that they studied did so out of personal abilities…
        As Linda pointed out, we “see” only what we are prepared to see. That´s why it is so essential to give an immense importance to the teaching—proper teaching—of arts and humanities in childhood and adolescence. But perhaps the powers that be are only interested in us seeing one side of reality to make us more productive… Sad. Do you think that George Orwell was subjective? Well, bring it on then. What´s wrong with subjectivity anyway? Do you think that objectivity is everything? Science is a very partial, limited take on reality. Newton said one thing, and years later along came Einstein to mess things up, and now some scientists claim that the universe is just "information"...And then again if we take into account what Ben Goldacre at TED says that some of you guys share, then what type of science are you talking about? It´s not only partial but biased. Besides iIn science you guys know some of the whats, wheres, how of a teeny tiny portion of realit,.. but many a time don´t know a tad about the whys. Partial, limited.
        But of course you can be creative within science, I never said otherwise. And I´m positive it is mind-blowing. And yes, Tyler, science could have been my thing, I loved maths and physics, but not as much as other stuff.
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          Nov 14 2012: Once again, research is biased but science is not. Do not confuse the two. If you don't do the theoretical creative stuff you will result in biased research. That is the core of the problem. That and MONEY of course. Because money cares not for the science but only the results.

          And really, sometimes I think we only see what money tells us to see. Money even trumps ethics.
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    Nov 12 2012: Can we please put the autism thing to bed? There has not been one study that showed a correlation between vaccines and autism. Autism rates have increased in the time since vaccines became in common use, but the studies that have been done show the same increase in autism rates amongst those that aren't vaccinated.
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      Nov 12 2012: Thank you Peter. Can you provide the source of information.

      I would not state that there is a correlation between the two, but I would also not state that vaccines have been properly tested and that are safe.

      To my knowledge, there have been no studies with the combined effects of all the vaccines. Single studies are fine, even if they show safe.. but what are the combined effects?

      The vaccine show promise in defending us for a certain viruses, but what are the side effects? Does it do damage at the same time? If so then this too need to be looked at.

      Chemotherapy works sometimes too, but the effects are devastating.

      Thanks for the feedback
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        Nov 12 2012: Roberto,
        The effects of chemotherapy USED to be devastating, and if you do some research, you may discover that there are many new chemotherapy drugs, and drugs to deal with side effects. The chemotherapy mixtures used today are pretty advanced and have many different applications.

        Unfortunately, my "research" started from practical application. In the past year, I have been involved with the care of 2 relatives who are on chemotherapy maintenance programs, and they are functioning pretty well in spite of serious cancer.

        While accompanying my brother to chemotherapy sessions, we often talked with many people in the waiting room who are having similar results with chemotherapy. To make the statement that the effects of chemotherapy are devastating, suggests that any information you have may not be current.

        One of your statements regarding vaccines, is based on information you have from the 1900s?
        You state..." But, as far as I can tell, the germ theory was debated in early 1900's and disproved in the 1950's, therefore voiding all need for fighting 'bugs'."

        Using outdated information for any argument doesn't make much sense....does it?
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          Nov 12 2012: Thank you Colleen.

          Firstly I wish your relatives well and hope it all works out; I lost my brother to liver cell carcinoma in 2003.

          Regarding chemo, different individuals have different doses for different types of cancers and their state of health.

          I will refer to the National Cancer institute link, for a list of side effects:

          These possible side effects side effects do not indicate a therapy that is 'safe' even though it may be the best available. I hope anyone undergoing chemo does not have any side effects, but in order to have these reactions, there is some serious chemicals being introduced into the body.

          Body chemistry is a very complex, and in many cases, unknown territory. To me it does not make sense to introduce a hazardous liquid into a body, and expect only one part of the body to be affected. And this does not include post chemo effects - what is the state of the body after chemo?

          For some, chemo is the best solution as I hope it is for your relatives, and would I would not argue with you over it. I respect people's decisions and only am curious to a more broader view rather than case view.

          Regarding the 1900's: This is about the germ theory, first found in 1500's and later developed in the 1700's (smallpox) and 1800's (Pasteur).

          What I am hoping to have this audience understand is a paradigm shift. Many drugs and therapies (including alternative therapy) are made to tackle a bug or ailment. In the 1930's for 50 years following, tests were made on Russian conjoined twins (at hip) who shared a common blood stream. The same virus would circulate throughout their bodies, yet one would get sick and the other would not. It did not depend on the bug, but on the health of the body. (research Masha and Dasha - it is fascinating!).

          This brings me back to my initial question: do vaccines do more harm than good? Do they protect us from one virus, yet reduce the immune system?
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        Nov 12 2012: Roberto,
        I am sorry about the loss of your brother.

        Regarding chemo: I agree with your statement..."different individuals have different doses for different types of cancers and their state of health",

        Please read my comment, in which I state..."The chemotherapy mixtures used today are pretty advanced and have many different applications". I think we're saying the same thing, so you don't need to lecture me on that one....thanks....I've done quite a bit of research on the topic, and am aware of the many possible side effects.

        I agree that with chemo there are "some serious chemicals being introduced into the body", which is exactly why it is used to treat and/or manage cancer. It's ok if you choose not to introduce chemo into your body...hopefully, you will never have to make that decision. I don't know what my decision might be either, and I will weigh all relevant information if that ever occurs.

        It is very difficult to get a "more broader view", if you fail to look at case reviews...is it not? You don't seem to want to have a discussion, as much as you want to "have this audience understand" your own perspective.

        I have read all the comments, including the ones that are now deleted. You continue to bring up outdated information, and in my humble opinion, outdated information does not support your agenda.
        OF COURSE the health of one's body impacts outcomes Roberto....that is not a secret!!!

        You are "hoping to have this audience understand" YOUR perspective, and so far, that is not happening, because evidence tells us something different. Your introduction says that you are open to all sides of the story, and that does not appear to be true.
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          Nov 12 2012: Dear Colleen,

          I don't understand your 'outdated' issue. Please explain.

          I think you are reading my message and taking it on the wrong way.

          I am looking at health and what interferes with it. I have to consider environment, psychology, habits, history, studies, etc. You want to look at case reviews pertaining to a single factor, in this case chemo. We are just looking differently and that is ok.

          I am not trying to 'lecture you on that one' or anything else. Sorry if it became personal, as it is not meant to be.
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        Nov 12 2012: Roberto,
        I do not have an "outdated issue". YOU are the one who offered information regarding experiments and case studies from 1900, 1930, & 1950. This is 2012, and there are certainly studies and research that have been done since the 1900s. That might mean that information learned in the 1900s may be considered "outdated".

        I think I am "reading and taking your message" as it is meant.

        I am also looking at health, what interferes with it, considering environment, psychology, habits, history, studies, etc.

        YOU brought up the topic of chemotherapy with your statement:
        "Chemotherapy works sometimes too, but the effects are devastating".

        I simply addressed your statement.

        You accuse me of wanting to look at case reviews pertaining to a single factor, and YOU offer for consideration, a test done "In the 1930's... on Russian conjoined twins (at hip) who shared a common blood stream."

        Do you not see your contradictions?
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          Nov 13 2012: Thank you Colleen - I see where I am misunderstood.

          What is developed today is based on our belief of how we understand how things are. If we believe we have to fight the bug (germ theory), then we develop drugs/therapies/etc around that core belief. If we believe that we have to enhance the body's ability to fight the bug, then we will take a different drugs/therapies/etc.

          The question would be if the basis of pharmacology is to reduce a symptom, attack a bug, release/suppress a chemical, and in doing so, interfering with the body's ability to function on every level (chemical, biological, bio-energetic/metabolic/etc), with foundations on the 'old' theory, without taking into consideration the effect (long term / combination) on the body.

          If we are to approach health from the viewpoint of removing the pollution/interference etc from the body so that the body would be at its best to perform against the outside environment, then again we follow a different route. That is the basis of the 'newer' paradigm toward healthcare, the 1950's.

          I hope this provides clarity.
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        Nov 13 2012: Here is a link to an analysis of several investigations into a link between autism and vaccination http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/48/4/456.full
        It's from 2009 and has about 40 references at the bottom of the page. It seems pretty conclusive.
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          Nov 13 2012: Thank you Peter.
          I am not convinced that they are the sole cause of autism.. by far. I am also not convinced that that are 100% safe either.

          I believe they are safer from 1999 onwards.

          There are however contributing factors that if not found, may predispose a child to autism.

          And certain vaccines containing aluminium I would not consider a safe design, just due to the fact that it is aluminium.

          Thank you for the reference, I appreciate it!
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        Nov 13 2012: Dear Roberto,
        I do not think/feel that you are misunderstood. I personally am not misunderstanding you.

        As you state in a previous comment..."What is developed today is based on our belief of how we understand how things are. If we believe we have to fight the bug (germ theory), then we develop drugs/therapies/etc around that core belief. If we believe that we have to enhance the body's ability to fight the bug, then we will take a different drugs/therapies/etc."

        You seem to make this an either/or decision...."fight the bug" with "drugs/therapies/etc." OR "enhance the body's ability to fight the bugs". In my humble perception, it is beneficial to use everything available for good health, and research indicates this to be a beneficial practice.

        My children were vaccinated, because with the information available 40+ years ago, it was the best decision in my perception. I was vaccinated for childhood diseases 60+ years ago, and in fact, because of my travels, I have been vaccinated for yellow fever, cholera, typhoid, hepatitis, at least two different strains of polio, etc. etc. There are many places in our world where these diseases are still very common, and for me to ignore the information available regarding these diseases and the benefits of vaccinations, could be a death sentance.

        We are seeing an emergence of measles and pertussis in the USA because some folks do not believe in vaccinations, and prefer to count on the body to "fight the bugs". Is it working? Not always.

        We all need to investigate, and use current, relevant information appropriately. Those who believe all vaccinations compromise the systems of the body, are not looking at ALL information. I strongly believe in a holistic approach, which includes using everything available to support the mind and body systems:>)

        I hope this provides clarity:>)
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    Nov 11 2012: OK everyone, I appreciate the feedback, contrast, and points of view.

    As I initiated this discussion, I am also responsible and therefore I will also like to add that during this debate, some feel they have a right to criticize and belittle others in the debate.

    Please keep it clean. I.e. If you have nothing to say that will assist the other party to understand, then stay off the channel.

    I am open to hearing both sides and listening to both as well and learning, as that is the original idea. I am also hoping that we all take something +ve away from this.

    Otherwise, I appreciate everybody's feedback and please keep it coming!
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    Nov 11 2012: Your comment sounds slightly patronizing, Fritzie, or perhaps I´m having a bad hair day...I didn´t understand anything remotedly related to the press--I don´t know where you got that idea from? What did you understand, anyway?--In my opinion, Noreena talks primarily about using OUR brain and question everything experts say. I think that Roberto Sciffo is doing exactly that. I guess that those who like living in certainties and putting reality into small boxes don´t like that at all; but societies have evolved precisely because some people, some experts included, were bold enough and have the sufficient amount of personality to question what they were taught. Trouble is that the technological evolution hasn´t come hand in hand with the development of individuals as complete HUMAN beings. Of course we need experts, but we need to be able to question them, just as much as they must be able to question themselves and us allowing them to do so. And yes, most experts are unethical; but perhaps I´ve been unfair, and I should have said that most of us are unethical: we are using the product of their expertise without questioning it. That´s the reason why the Earth is in such a miserable state, for instance. That is why Noreena challenges us to think, to rebel against experts. I wonder what would have happened if the moment we knew that fossil fuels were so polluting and harmful for the environment and for ourselves, those experts had refused to keep developing ways of finding more oil digs, and what would have happened if the public in general had refused to use them as they were clearly unhealthy. What, if all that effort had been invested in improving humanity.
    Noreena just expresses what has always been on my mind: we have to doubt/question everything; which is a scary thought for many people; don´t know why.
    I´ve questioned myself about the use of vaccines in the past, and decided to use them, weighing pros and cons. I hope people keep doing so, experts included.
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      Nov 11 2012: Thank you Rita.

      The question proposed was not mean to be taken personally or to be against the 'medical institution' or any other way. It is simply to find out if anyone has investigated the use of vaccines, especially as a combination, and weather they are doing more harm or not.

      Many points of view have developed from the question, and I have learned much more, as I hope we all have.

      It is healthy to question, for that is how we develop as humans... from early on in years of life as well as a society, and as humankind.
    • Nov 11 2012: I am sorry Rita, but if you are going to call me unethical I am going to call you silly. What about it? Also, you must have expertise on something. Are you unethical about it? Do you teach about English wrongly just for the fun of it? After all, you must be unethical, since you are an expert.

      I agree that people have to question the experts. But they have to be willing to study very carefully before doing so. Otherwise their questioning is meaningless, and can also be, as is the case with anti-vaxers, stupidly dangerous. Following sensationalist press won't cut it. Would you agree to that much?
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        Nov 12 2012: Engaging on an argument online is the last thing on my mind, so if you want to believe I´m silly, that´s totally up to you. And if you have decided yourself that you´re one of those unethical experts, I´m not going to try to convice you otherwise. But I never called you anything, did I?Since you want to get so personal, I´ll tell you that first of all, I don´t consider myself to be an expert on anything, and second I try to be as ethical as possible, I gave up a job because my ethics when it comes to teaching are quite revolutionary for the country were I live (I love Ken Robinson, to give you an idea). I´m constantly thinking of ways in which I can improve my work and I always question what I do; and of course I take into account the student´s feedback, not necessarily their verbal contributions. Now, boring children to death, in my country, and making them hate subjects like science, because it´s only taught theoretically and schematically, is a silent crime, to say the least. Breaking up the atom without being able to control the results, having to leave waste that will be our present for the next 2000 generations, and putting our lives and health at risk, should any uncontrollable event happen (and uncontrollable events happen all the time) and without them happening at all, is more tanglibly dangerous.And nope, you don´t necessarily have to study loads to question the experts on a daily basis. The most obvious example is medicine, of course. Doctors may know a lot about anatomy and so on, but no-one knows my body better than I do, after all I´ve been in it 24/7; no doctor has. I could give you examples where I have trust my instincts and my intelligence and not the experts, and you´d be amazed. But of course I trust experts, but when I believe I have to. And, please, don´t talk about the press like it´s the ultimate source of information. They are biased and manipulative. When I really want to dig deep on something I read serious reseach.Then I trust it, or not
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      Nov 13 2012: No, I was only seeking clarification. As your comment to which I responded was only one line that said simply that some people should listen to Noreen's TED talk, and was not seemingly a reply to anyone specifically, (though perhaps to Entropy Driven for before you using the phrase "some people"), I wanted to find out further what lesson you had drawn from the talk.

      Sometimes one sentence replies can be difficult to interpret as they stand.
    • Nov 13 2012: Rita,

      You are saying that most experts are unethical. That means that you think that the probability that I am unethical must be high. After all, I am an expert on something. No way around. I know lots of experts on lots of subjects, and a few are unethical at times (not constantly, though I'd prefer if they never were). So, my experience is that most experts are ethical.

      To question experts without knowledge is to make a fool of yourself. It is false that you know your body better than anybody. It's like saying that because you are in it you know of every biochemical reaction going on in it. Not possible. So save the rhetoric.

      Kudos for being a revolutionary educator. I try to be so too. Forcing students to think has been quite rewarding, though it's hard to make it work well for everybody. So, we have that in common. I know of many more educators who are trying very hard despite workloads that leave little time to plan for such revolutionary methods. We still try.

      Anyway, that's not the issue. My issue with you (and with Roberto) is the easy way in which you declare that most experts are something you don't truly know. The faulty logic of calling most experts unethical. The problem that such thing might lead to lots of children dying of preventable diseases. That's my issue.

      I never said that the press was reliable.
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        Nov 13 2012: First of all, I didn´t know if you were an expert or not. You say you are, then, ok. Second, you might or might not be ethical., I still don´t know. And third, when I talk about experts I mean almost anybody with a good knowledge of a particular skill. If you are a sales rep and work for a multinational firm that asks you to sell formula as a betrer option for feeding a baby than breast milk, you´re being unethical...if you´re a model and you make commercials about rubbish food you´re being unethical, if you work with children and don´t question your ways, you´re being unethical, or perhaps just plainly ignorant. Scientists are unethical, or perhaps just don´t take ethics into account (well, I guess it´s the same thing). Not all of them are of course. I once met top scientist that developed lots of stuff for the army, the US army. Sorry, for me working in an industry whose aim is to kill people is unethical. Perhaps my definition of unethical is different from yours. Erm...My body is not only my body, it´s also my psychology which affects my biochemical reactions. I´ve never ever met one single doctor that worried about my feelings, my way of thinking...in a word: my mind.. Again another proof that experts don´t ,see the whole picture. There is a saying over here that goes: there are no illnesses, there are ill people. Medicine only treats flesh, in my opinion. What´s more, doctors don´t know, by any stretch of the imagination, all the biochemical reactions that go on on any body. Otherwise medicines would be just perfect and would cure absolutely every known disease. So, no rethoric whatsoever.
        I´m not saying I never trust doctors, I´m saying that I follow their advice when I see fit. It takes courage and thinking though, it´s not easy.
        I´m human and as such, I make loads of mistakes; I admit it. Doctors and the rest of experts aren´t perfect either, so I keep my eyes open when it comes to someone else coming in contact with my body and my family´s. No
        • Nov 14 2012: Whatever Rita. I don't think that we are communicating. So that's it from me to you.
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        Nov 13 2012: Sorry, I rave too much and I apologise.
        One last thing, though, I don´t force children to do anything. Children are able to think better than you or me. I just show them the world in an interesting way, a way that keeps their natural joyfulness and curiosity alive.
        I don´t intend to lead to lots of children to die of deadly diseases, much the contrary. I´d like to have safe vaccines and medicines, and for everybody, not just for the upper part of the globe.
        • Nov 14 2012: My students are not children. So I have to "force" them to think. They are mostly used to just repeat textbook answers without actually understanding what's going on. So they tend not to really know how amazing and artful science is.
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          Nov 14 2012: I'm with Entropy. My students are so used to being fed they do not know how or what to eat.
  • Nov 10 2012: Apparently some people here are happy to read sensationalist press and jump into conclusions. Can't distinguish the difference between "affect" and "compromise." Can't distinguish between a vaccine and a heavy metal or between vaccines and "chemicals." I wonder if they would have the patience required to actually learn something:

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    Nov 10 2012: Thank you Feyisayo,

    My question is misinterpreted. Vaccines do work. But in doing so, are they making more damage than good in the long term? I should have rephrased it, sorry.

    It seems vaccines are interfering with the immune system and therefore setting us up for more dis-ease in the long term. That will only increase the number of vaccines needed (3x more today than 20 years ago) further ruining our system.

    Here are medical doctors discussing the different points of view.


    I am NOT DEBATING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF A VACCINE. Just tell me what the consequence is for taking it? If it affects my immune system then no thank you... there are more natural ways of tackling health issues.

    The World Health Organization noted as early as 1974 that heavy metal and chemical toxicity were at the cause of most chronic degenerative diseases.

    I believe it comes down to healthier living standards, non GMO food, good water, a roof over our heads, a passion for something, exercise.. that keeps us healthy and well.

    One doctor has stated regarding heavy metals (used in vaccines until recently I believe):

    I have seen patients who had been diagnosed with illnesses including MS, Crohn’s disease, liver cancer, autism, hay fever, arthritis, gout, rheumatism, type 2 diabetes, Desert Storm syndrome, migraines, chronic candidiasis and parasite infections, psychotic “horrors” and a multitude of others end up hearing their doctors say, “It was a misdiagnosis,” after completing HM&C (Heavy Metal & Chemical) Detox successfully. Heavy metals and chemicals interfere with cellular, enzyme, endocrine and neurological function. I never “cured”any of those diseases, as the patients never had them to begin with. The HM&C toxicity manifested as those disease syndromes.
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    Nov 10 2012: Vaccines do work; even though some organisms do develop resistance to the vaccines with time. Vaccines are not perfect, and may have their side effects; but it would be wrong to deny that they are effective altogether. Sarah M, who contributed below, has listed diseases that were once like death sentences but can now be contained or eradicated by vaccines.
    It is not a wrong thing for pharmaceutical companies to make profit. We should try as much as possible to ensure that these companies are run by people of integrity; but even the fact that there are some corrupt ones in the industry does not make it altogether evil and irrelevant.
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    Nov 9 2012: Here is a good resource with links and scientific references, the sorts of sources that draw conclusions based on systematic research: http://www.immunizationinfo.org/parents/why-immunize

    And here is some thoughtful advice on how to distinguish high quality and low quality health information on the web: http://www.immunizationinfo.org/parents/evaluating-information-web
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    Nov 9 2012: the very fact that you started a conversation on it underlines that you don't want to learn, but rather, question the validity of the current practice. if you indeed wanted to learn, you could simply open wikipedia and start reading.

    that idea about germ "theory" would be disproved ... or that homeopathy would introduce anything to the body is beyond ridiculous. it indicates serious lack in information. it is a shame that we still have such debates after that many years.
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    Nov 15 2012: Roberto, I guess that your message is not uderstood either, or rather your question, which is more sad. No one said vaccines are useless, and I don´t think there are any GP´s out there that would say that, stupid or not. What has been asked here was if vaccines are completely harmless and if they may have side effects that we might be unaware of.
    If it´s only research with a positive outcome that see the light in the majority of cases, I think that no one really knows if they do or don´t have a side effect, and if they do, iif it´s serious or negligible. And what if 5 out of 10 studies showed that they do have side effects, and the other 5 showed that they do not have side effects, which ones should be believed? How´s that for the objectivity of science! Of course you can always argue that one is wrong and the other one is right, according to your own way of thinking, of course. The other scientist, or reseacher, or whatever will disagree. Yep, very objective, just as any talent TV show--I´m exaggerating, I know, but I´m enjoying it so much!!
    So Entropy, you hold the truth and nothing but the truth? Based on what? On what research, the first 5, or the second 5 out of 10 studies? At the end of the day, I think that science requires a leap of faith.
    Oh, and since there are only 6 hours left before this conversation shuts down, I´d like to point out that engineers do think, if they think the bottle is the wrong size, well, that´s another way of thinking. We see the straw in our neighbour´s eye and not the beam in ours...(read this with a lilt)
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      Nov 15 2012: OK thanks for the rant. Now the important question.

      What are you going to do about it?
  • Nov 14 2012: Well.. haven't gotten a vaccination in around hmm.. 3-5 years or so and I'm perfectly fine.. [Missed all the "important" ones] The worst that happened to me in the last 3 to 5 years was a cold which went away after a week. So I'm not so sure about all of those "Oh you'll get sick" and "You'll be seriously ill if you won't get it" .
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      Nov 15 2012: That's exactly not how vaccines work. You haven't got sick because you have to catch a sickness off some one. As long as around 60% of the population are vaccinated it prevents outbreaks which protects everyone else. It's called herd immunity. You should thank all those around you for getting the vaccinations that are protecting you.
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    Nov 14 2012: This is a thread that questions the use of vaccines and I am constantly derailing it. I sincerely apologise for that. I won´t post any more comments, as it seems that my message is not understood at all and I´m wasting an energy I lack right now.
    • Nov 14 2012: Don't worry Rita. Roberto does not really want to know that he is plainly wrong. Every time I show him that he actually does not know what he is talking about he ignores the fact and continues elsewhere as if nothing happened (instead of go and learn what vaccines are, the difference between metals and vaccines, and so on). So there's no harm in derailing.
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    Nov 14 2012: OMG, Linda! You´ve said enough down there.
    "Humanities are boring and dull. Who cares who did what to whom and when and what arose from it. There is no practical application to any of it outside it's own little world and little thinkers" OMG!! No wonder the world has only evolved technologically!! This is sooooo very sad to read. I really don´t have the strength to convince you otherwise, because, yes, you are not prepared to see some things, sorry. Keep questioning your own beliefs and perhaps one day you´ll see the light. No disrespect intented, just a lot of sadness.
    And again you´re falling in the trap: "try to get a job with a humanities degree", as if getting a job was the ultimate goal of human existence. Please listen to Ken Robinson´s talks. He puts it so much better than me. You might start to change your mind a tiny tiny tiny tiny little bit. Good luck!
    • Nov 14 2012: I read Linda's remarks and my interpretation is the following.
      Humanities are boring because they are not science. They are soft wishy washy descriptive "somethings" that are not rigorous, can't predict anything and seem only to know what happens in the past tense.
      The reason why we have developed technologically and not socially (much) is because of this failing of the humanities. It's not our fault (scientists), its your fault (humanitists).
      Read a math textbook and get to work.
      Sir Kenneth is saying that education's ultimate goal was to get you a job when you got a degree. It should not be and probably isn't any more (we just haven't realized it yet). He is also saying that this particular approach stifles creativity and I agree with him. That still does not make the humanities interesting
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        Nov 14 2012: This is not the battle of science against humanities, I hope. I think science is necessary. What I don´t understand is why, after this chaotic and unhappy world, you keep believing that the solution for everything is sicence. It´s like some people´s religion. OMG! If you don´t see the importance of humanities, then it´s your problem. Like I said, I won´t be able to convince you of something, when the fact is that you´re blind to it. The problem why we have developed techonologically and not as humans is the fault of all the people like you who never gave a second thought to his beliefs. When I was 16, I believed the same as you do now. Since then, I´d like to think that I´ve kept using my brain, that I´ve evolved a little bit. Perhaps because I decided to go for a humanities degree which helped me question more things and see the whole picture. When I say humanities I include everything that is not techonology or science: art, in any form, history, philosophy, ethics, languages...you name it. I´m going to do one last effort here and I´m going to get as close as I can to your way of thinking, Do you think that linguistics is useless and boring? Do you know anything about it? Do you think that much of the development on voice recognition systems and translators and so on and so forth could have taken place just because there were people that knew a lot about microchips? Do you know Chomsky or Pinker? Do you know they work at MIT? Soft wishy washy what??? As for education of humanities, there is an excellent movie called "La educación prohibida", which perhaps might open your eyes, only it´s in Spanish. I don´t think that the humanities teachers are any worse than the science teachers. But Linda and you have been braniwashed to believe, humanites are some worthless things we have there for forklore, for entertaiment because the education system was created to produce qualified workers, and that´s exactly what we have.
        • Nov 14 2012: OK. You covered a lot of territory there so let me make a list.
          I have read everything the Chomsky has written and listened to most of his lectures. I have read most of what Pinker has written (he's a little long winded). Yes I know they work at MIT.
          No, I am not interested in linguistics because my brain is not wired in that way (I have no talent in that regard)
          History is boring in the way that it is taught. As a research topic it is facinating and I study History all the time. (you cant listen to Chomsky without being dragged there regardless).
          Both Kenneth Robinson and Noam Chomsky have interesting things to say on Education (Chomsky more pessimestic, Robinson more optimistic). I agree that the current model was created to support the industrial revolution and it is becoming more and more useless as a measurement of achievement, etc.
          I believe that education should be self directed, discovery based without peer groups and age buckets for students to live in. The arts should be as important as math in school
          Without realizing it at the time, my own education followed that path and I found it very rewarding.
          My poor opinion of the humanities does not come from a low opinion of it because it is useless, but rather that it is vital but could do better.
          We need engineering thinking in social interaction and education and history. We need help to deal with 7 billion people on this planet, political forces beyond our current understanding, and economic system in tatters and astrophysics will not help that.
          The humanities will but they need to step up to the plate. If you are getting a degree in the humanities then its up to your generation to fix what my generation has screwed up.
          I am sorry, I will never see the movie you mention as I have no hope of ever speaking spanish.
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    Nov 14 2012: Dear Linda,
    I believe your theory of needing heat to cause an ionic exchange is questionable. Ever magnetized iron?

    That one assumption is causing the rest to fall. And placing such theories online is not a good idea.

    Do you actually think that there are a group of individuals running about with autistic kids or skin disorders or a host of other symptoms who just want to make money off volcanic rock? Are you serious?

    Rather than just working online, and making assumptions about how things work, contact Touchstone Essentials directly, and ask to talk to Dr. Tracy Holdford the Chief Science Officer who holds the following degrees:

    Ph.D. Inorganic Chemistry
    Ph.D. Organic Chemistry
    Ph.D. Biochemistry
    Ph.D. Nuclear Physics
    Ph.D. Theology & Philosophy

    Then talk to the people who have had their lives change from eating rock.

    Unless you really know how the body works, and that includes biochemistry and bio-energy (biological terrain management) to start with, and add to that the states of mind etc., then stop, listen, get educated, and even try the product (as it is so inert that it should do nothing to your system).

    Then comment.
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      Nov 14 2012: "Do you actually think that there are a group of individuals running about with autistic kids or skin disorders or a host of other symptoms who just want to make money off volcanic rock? Are you serious?"


      "Unless you really know how the body works, and that includes biochemistry and bio-energy"

      Actually I do. That is why I am relatively sure you are simply exchanging Na+ and K+ for H+ in gastric contents. Haven't done any experiments but that would be my hypothesis.

      If you notice, NONE of the websites say that Dr. Holdford endorses the product. Only that he is a consultant.

      Did you notice what his research is on?
      Ph.D. Theology and Philosophy
      Honors Dissertation: “The Spiritual Gap between Culture and Religion.”.............. 1991
      Ph.D. Inorganic Chemistry
      Honors Dissertation: “The Role of Sulfites in Manufacturing
      Submicron Geometries for the Electronics Industries.”............................................ 1981
      Ph.D. Biochemistry
      Honors Dissertation: “Krebs Cycle Failure in Null Gravity.”.................................. 1981
      Ph.D. Nuclear Physics
      Honors Dissertation: “Isotope Stabilization Options for
      Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Charged Atmosphere Conditions.”............................. 1980
      PhD Organic Chemistry
      Honors Dissertation: “The Role of Organic Sulfur
      in the Manufacturing of Polymer Isolates.”............................................................. 1979

      Not a SINGLE one has to do with humans except perhaps the Krebs cycle. He worked for the department of defense and does NOT hold a medical degree.

      And even then, he states that the product probably does not work.

      "If the zeolite can’t enter the bloodstream then it has to stay in the colon where it is limited to the
      exposure to toxins for removal. Our bodies are extremely efficient at storing toxins in the
      fatty tissues of our bodies."

      Which I noted several postings ago.

      Magic beans.
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      Nov 14 2012: Now here is something from the white paper that might work.

      "More recently, Pavelic et al have demonstrated that the lymphocytes from lymph
      nodes of mice that were fed for 28 days with micronized zeolite clinoptilolite
      provoked a significantly higher allogeneic graft-versus-host reaction than did
      lymphocytes in control mice. After the mice were administered clinoptilolite
      intraperitoneally, the number of peritoneal macrophages increased significantly, as
      did their superoxide anion production."

      It is a direct quote from one of the research articles. What might work is the fact that this study placed the rocks within the peritoneal space. When the liver is overloaded or malfunctions, excess fluid accumulates in the peritoneal space. Rock that absorb toxins especially ammonia, might be of value. If it could be made into a mesh of some sort or if it was instilled and withdrawn. Hypovolemia would be the make or break on this one.

      But I do not know how to tell you there is no chance that ingested volcanic rock is going to remove heavy metals from the body tissues when ingested via the gut. Even the white paper states the heavy metal has to come in direct contact with the zeolyte to bond with it. The body just does not work like that.
  • Nov 13 2012: Death needs a cause, not disease..
    how ever medicines are for cure and better health, not a barrier to death.
    making money is the slogan of the day..
  • Nov 13 2012: it is a money generating source at present. how can we trust when it is fully commercialized?
    patients are made and vaccines are experimented. diseases are invented vaccines are introduced.
    there is no humanitarian approach. 99% doctors are deaf. 99% people are deaf. any one feels/hurt with my comment, they come under !% lot.
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      Nov 13 2012: Sadly, that may be the truth.
    • Nov 13 2012: Compare the cost of acting versus not acting. Maybe you don't recall exactly how many people died from a simple flu.
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        Nov 14 2012: Hi Tyler, I am not saying do not vaccinate. So far there is no evidence that multiple vaccinations at a young age do not cause harm.

        There is no evidence or study done that I know of that was made for multiple vaccinations over the first 5-6 years of life, and their effects.

        There are cases of severe side effects, whereby neurological damage is done, appearing after a vaccine shot, so there is certainly cause for thought.
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      Nov 13 2012: Let´s hope for the best. Let´s try to better ourselves and little by little things will change, Yuddandi. That´s the only realistic thing we can do.
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    Nov 12 2012: Sorry, it´s me again. I´m back from this: "Ben Goldacre: What doctors don't know about the drugs they prescribe", here at TED. No further comments necessary.
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    Nov 11 2012: Thank you.

    It's not exactly research.

    My point is.. as I have written before.. do vaccines impair our system in any way? I.e. are they doing more harm in the long run, or even safe? Ok they work... but what studies have been done with the combination of vaccines and why so early in life?

    So I had a look at the CDC web site (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/additives.htm) and looked at the contents of vaccines (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/appendices/B/excipient-table-2.pdf)

    I picked a common one: Hep B.. just 3 simple ingredients: aluminum hydroxide, yeast protein, phosphate buffers.

    OK.. further research led me here:

    The point being.. if test on animals show a vaccine safe for use an is approved, pilot studies done, etc.. and considered safe.. and released.. and then another one.. and so forth.. all taken alone - all well and good.

    Where is the research on the combined effects? This is their responsibility.

    You can chase studies, links between vaccination and autism, etc... and I have found plenty of evidence to indicate alternate results.. but I am more concerned with health, and protecting health.

    I know from experience that heavy metals adversely effects health. Consider our lifestyles and pollution levels.. what is the critical point? The issue with vaccines is that it bypasses our immune system / defense system, and cannot be eliminated.
    • Nov 11 2012: What's not exactly research? The videos? Obviously the authors made much more serious research than you do. Also, they show original articles in scientific journals. They are made for the general public. Given what you write, you have no idea what you are talking about, so basic info is what you need.

      Why do you insist on mistaking heavy metals with vaccines? If you want to challenge something challenge the heavy metals (aluminum is not a heavy metal).

      I followed on the aluminum thing (just one example):

      More research is better, of course, but vaccines are indispensable resources against lots of previously abundant, and dangerous, viral infections. We can't afford letting children die of preventable viral infections. As I said. I won't have it.

      As example of your misunderstandings: vaccines don't bypass our immune systems. If they did they would not be effective. As I said. You have no idea whatsoever what you are talking about. Your concern with vaccines and health is misplaced and misinformed.
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    Nov 11 2012: Some people over here should listen to Noreena Hertz...
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      Nov 11 2012: Could you expand on your interpretation of the message in Noreena's talk? Did you understand her to argue that expertise and understanding are less valid than guesswork or judgments by those without detailed familarity with a range of evidence or by those whose understandings come primarily from representations of advertisers or the press? Or that expertise in a discipline has the same value as representations by advertisers or the press?Or did you understand her talk as a caution against believing without question everything experts say?

      Just curious. I notice in your comment on her talk you write: "I find that most experts are unethical."