Birthers and the anti-vaccine movement: A brief interlude

Here’s a brief one for you all. Former UPI editor and now editor of the anti-vaccine crank blog Age of Autism has a talent for incredibly un-self-aware statements. This time around, in the wake of President Obama’s having released his “long form” birth certificate, ol’ Danny Boy posted a quickie statement (in amongst a bunch of other almost as amusing quickie statements) that reads:

Now that the “birther” myth has been debunked, maybe we can get rid of the ridiculous but widespread notion — pushed by people who should know better — that vaccines don’t cause autism.

Uh, no, Dan. You have it backwards. The ridiculous but widespread notion–pushed by people who should know better–is the notion that vaccines cause autism that you and your merry band of anti-vaccine activists at AoA promote. It’s an ex-hypothesis that’s been as thoroughly refuted as the now equally ridiculous but widespread notions–pushed by people who should know better–that:

  • HIV does not cause AIDS
  • Evolution is not responsible for the diversity of life on this planet
  • Neil Armstrong did not land on the moon
  • The Holocaust never happened and was actually a Jewish plot
  • An alien spaceship crashed at Roswell in 1947 and the government has been engaged in a conspiracy to cover it up since then
  • 9/11 was an “inside job” with President Bush complicit in the plot
  • President Obama was not born in the U.S. and is therefore not eligible to be President

In actuality, it is anti-vaccine activists like Dan Olmsted who are very much like the birthers, twisting logic, reason, evidence, and science into pretzels in response to each new piece of evidence in order to defend their belief that vaccines cause autism.