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The Sciences

Why you should listen to celebrities

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitMarch 4, 2009 2:02 AM

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It brings me no end of wonderment that anyone would listen to anything Jenny McCarthy says. Our evolved instinct to obey authority -- if you sit still when the tribe leader yells "run!" you're likely to become saber-tooth tiger nosh, and are unlikely to contribute to the gene pool -- is clearly to blame here. Still, we also have large and I'm guessing generally unused portions of our brains which are built to override such foolish impulses. Sure, Ms. McCarthy is something of a celebrity. She's very pretty, attracting attention, and is actually very funny (yes, I have a sophomoric sense of humor sometimes), so it's no surprise people might be tempted to listen to her. But what she says is so mind-numbingly mind numbing. Vaccines cause autism. She cured her son of autism. Her son is an Indigo child. And so on. Her latest?

"I love Botox, I absolutely love it," she said. "I get it minimally, so I can still move my face. But I really do think it's a savior."

I see. So injecting kids with scientifically-proven medicine that can save their lives and the lives of countless others is bad because of a fantasy-driven belief that it causes autism, but injecting a lethal pathogen -- in fact, the most lethal protein known -- into your face to help ease the globally threatening scourge of crow's feet is just fine and dandy. Got it. Oh, say: can you excuse me a second? I need to go over here for a sec ... Aaaaiiiiiiiieeeeeeeee!

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If you want a little vaccination against her nonsense, read this spot-on op-ed in a student newspaper. It's good to see some folks get it. Tip o' the syringe to BABloggees Philip W and Sparky.

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