The Science of Anti-Vaccination

This is why science education is so important. Understanding that science is the least biased form of knowledge helps me keep my human biases in decent check. I find comfort in numbers and figures, and replicable experiments that prove theories with a high degree of certainty. Not anecdotes and stories about certain people experiencing certain things that run contrary to a far more rigorous set of experimentations that prove something beyond reasonable doubt.

Aptly, I just had a conversation with my family over breakfast, and the issue of rhino horns used in Traditional Chinese Medicine came up. My parents are still holding on to the belief that rhino horn powder boiled in water are actual cures for headaches and fever, due to their own experiences drinking it.

My view? I might as well collect my hair and nails, grind that into powder and boil it in water to serve them. It’s all keratin, a protein we can’t digest and has absolutely no medicinal properties. There are plenty of amazing treatments in TCM, especially herbs that contain compounds with great medicinal properties. But rhino horns are NOT one of those things.

I’m willing to bet the headaches were normal tension headaches that passed with rest, and the fevers were mild and hydration helped the body recover. Heck, it could even be a placebo effect. And of course, memories from childhood, especially at a more advanced age, will most likely deteriorate. I certainly don’t believe that rhino horn powder has any ‘cooling effect’, especially since the idea of balancing the ‘heat’ in the body is ultimately derived from Taoism, a religion.

So yea, science education people. Ignorance is NOT bliss. Get your facts right. And for everyone’s sake, get vaccinated. It’s not for you, it’s for those who can’t get vaccinated.


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