Penn & Teller Are Educating Gen Z About Vaccines
As a wealth of scientific disinformation swirls around TikTok, a clip from the long-canceled and lamentably underappreciated series Penn & Teller: Bullshit! in which the duo demonstrates the importance of life-saving vaccinations has gone viral in direct opposition to the less-entertaining vaccine-focused bullshit that currently floods the platform.
Most members of Generation Z probably don’t know much about the two magicians, entertainers and scientific skeptics who have been combining comedy and pageantry to educational ends since cell phones had external antennas, but Penn & Teller are providing a much-needed dose of reality to the TikTok community in regards to many users’ woefully uninformed views on life-saving vaccinations.
In the final season of Penn & Teller: Bullshit! back in 2010, the Las Vegas magic mainstays performed an interesting thought experiment in which they pretended that a roundly debunked myth about vaccines was true — the falsehood of “vaccines cause autism” is older than about 95 percent of TikTok users, and, in the viral video, Penn & Teller proceeded as if the ancient inaccuracy was correct. The duo compared the imagined side effects of vaccines against the measurably enormous number of lives that have been saved since vaccines were widely adopted to combat the spread of diseases such as diphtheria, polio and smallpox, and the conclusion drawn by the user “Verge of Sanity Radio” which they superimposed on the viral TikTok speaks for itself:
Unfortunately, Penn & Teller’s words will no doubt fall on many deaf ears among the anti-vax community, who apparently will rely on magic to protect their children instead.