"You know, some babies actually like whooping cough."
First, let's make it clear: The science shows that vaccines do not cause autism. If you don't believe the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you can look at the tens of thousands of non-U.S. children whose autism (or lack thereof) hasn't been tied to vaccines (or lack thereof). However, the subject has been the source of fierce controversy over the past few years, and what is so terrifying about the sudden drop in vaccinations (other than the now-epidemic levels of previously controlled diseases) is that most of the controversy came from dime-store scientist Andrew Wakefield.
For starters, Wakefield's own scientist couldn't duplicate Wakefield's results. Wakefield also manipulated his data to ensure that children who were sick before getting the vaccine were reported as only being sick after. He flat-out changed results he didn't like or that didn't completely agree with his hypothesis, all while performing needless, painful tests on children.
We've mapped the whole situation out, in case you find it hard to follow.
So why would he do all that?
Well, there's the patent for a new MMR vaccine that Wakefield filled out before he published his paper, and the money he accepted from a legal aid fund that was trying to sue vaccine manufacturers (it's almost as if he had a massive financial stake in scaring people into believing that the MMR vaccine was dangerous).
The paper was so flawed that 10 authors and the publisher of the journal it appeared in have retracted the work. That's right -- the people who helped create and publish the paper now say that it's bullshit. But don't worry -- stuff like this has a way of hanging around forever -- just ask the people who are still insisting that fluoride is poison 70 years later.
For more cons whose nuts had their own orbits, check out The 6 Ballsiest Scientific Frauds (People Actually Fell For). Or learn about The 7 Ballsiest Pranks You Won't Believe Actually Worked.
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