Tag Archives: post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacies

The importance of logical fallacies

As anyone who frequents this blog knows, I spend a lot of time talking about logical fallacies. I frequently criticize peoples’ arguments for having them, and I present them as a reason for rejecting particular lines of thought. Nevertheless, many … Continue reading

Posted in Rules of Logic | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Vaccine injuries and confirmation biases

Humans are remarkably bad at accurately discerning patterns. All of us (skeptics included) are prone to confirmation biases and logical flaws in reasoning. We don’t like to be wrong, and, as a result, we tend to cling to things that … Continue reading

Posted in Rules of Logic, Vaccines/Alternative Medicine | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Debunking anti-vaccine arguments: VAERS, package inserts, and the VICP do not prove that vaccines are dangerous

If you spend any time talking to those who oppose vaccines, you will likely hear them cite the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), vaccine package inserts, and the national Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) as evidence that vaccines are … Continue reading

Posted in Vaccines/Alternative Medicine | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Why are there so many reports of autism following vaccination? A mathematical assessment

The idea that vaccines cause autism is one of the most persistent myths that I have ever encountered, and it seems that no amount of evidence will ever cause it to disappear. Indeed, I recently wrote a lengthy post in … Continue reading

Posted in Vaccines/Alternative Medicine | Tagged , , , , | 72 Comments

Vaccines and autism: A thorough review of the evidence

One of the most common concerns that people have about vaccines is that they might cause (or exacerbate) autism. This idea is perpetuated by celebrities and innumerable websites, and it has become one of the cornerstone arguments of the anti-vaccine … Continue reading

Posted in Vaccines/Alternative Medicine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 125 Comments

5 reasons why anecdotes are totally worthless

Personal anecdotes are often the primary ammunition of those who deny science. If you ask anyone in the alternative medicine or anti-vaccine movements for their evidence, you will almost certainly get flooded with anecdotes. A quick internet search will reveal … Continue reading

Posted in GMO, Nature of Science, Rules of Logic, Vaccines/Alternative Medicine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Ancient knowledge and the test of time

The notion of “ancient knowledge” is a common theme among anti-vaccers and alternative health practitioners. It generally takes one of two basic forms. Either they claim that something is right/effective/safe because our ancestors thought so and they were somehow privy … Continue reading

Posted in Nature of Science | Tagged , , , ,