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The Sciences

Another skeptic story hits mainstream: Desiree Jennings

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitFebruary 16, 2010 9:50 PM

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Via Rebecca I found out that Inside Edition did a rather skeptical story about Desiree Jennings, the woman who claimed a vaccine gave her dystonia, a nervous disorder that caused her to have difficult walking and talking. A lot of folks knew right away that this was, um, unlikely, to say the least. Steve Novella from Skeptic's Guide to the Universe has been very vocal about it, and I was surprised and pleased to see him in the Inside Edition segment! So as usual, they have to leave room for the woo -- TV has a product to sell in cases like these, more's the pity -- but it's still nice to see a skeptical viewpoint get more than lip service. Of course, now that the story is getting old, the skeptical viewpoint might sell a little better; the controversy is no longer about the vaccination causing a problem, but whether Ms. Jennings is being honest or not. But the more we get our foot in the door, the more people are shown that there can be a more critical way to think, the better.

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