TED Conversations

Roberto Sciffo

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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 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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