Thursday, June 26, 2014

17 years on Mars, or "How Daily Mirror fell for a fake story."

Recently the British tabloid Daily Mirror published an article online about this claim made by a alleged former US Marine (a claim that sounds more like a half decent science fiction novel rather than a true account) about how he allegedly spent 17 years on Mars...

The original story was published on a website called ExoNews TV (a UFO conspiracy theorist website) on April 3 of this year. Why the Daily Mail took so long to write up their own crazy story nearly three months after the original crazy story was published, who knows?

Maybe they just found out about it, maybe they were having a slow "news" day (ofcourse the Daily Mirror is not really known for publishing actual news or news that's truthful) maybe they thought that now was the time to publish it.

The original story from ExoNews TV is an account told by a person whom calls himself "Captain Kaye" or "Captain K" (you can listen to him recalling his story here) and whom claims to be a former Marine that spent 17 years of a 20 year military career on Mars.

Now such claims have been made before. Infact several people have claimed to have gone to Mars and back over the years, or claimed to have "knowledge" of bases on Mars. The problem with all of those claims are that the people who made them are either liars, seriously deluded, or both.

I believe this "Captain Kaye" is the first type, and for several reasons.

First he claims that our government has technology that is probably centuries ahead of our current technological level, and yet he gives an audio interview (he never shows his face) to a conspiracy theorist website.

Why the heck would he give an audio only interview and give a fake name and not have a video interview and a give out his real name, since giving a fake name and an audio interview would be useless in hiding himself from his former employers?

If the people whom he worked for are technologically advanced enough to get to Mars and set up a colony, in secret, then wouldn't they be advanced enough to have computer program that can analyze your voice and figure out who you are?

Heck, we have that technology now, so what would be the reason for this Captain Kaye person to hide whom he is?

He also claims to be a genius, yet he's not smart enough to even consider the fact that the people he worked for have the technology to find out who he is and that hiding whom he is would be pointless, and might even put himself in greater danger?

The only reason why I would think he would hide his identity is because he doesn't want people to find out whom he is, step forward and say "this guy is full of sh*t, and he's been on Earth the entire time".

The other reason why I believe this Captain Kaye person is lying is that he sounds like he's reading from an outlined script in his interview and that he's improvising from that script and trying to think up things to say rather than talking about things that he actually did. There's even a few times it sounds like he's shuffling some papers around.

Also, he offers no other evidence of his "experiences" or than his word, which we have no way of checking whether or not his word is good or not, or even if he was in the Marines, or any branch of the military.

The story is clearly fake, and I know the Daily Mirror doesn't have that much standards, but this is ridiculous even for them.

Whats next? Are they going to hire David Icke as a columnist?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

5 Things I've noticed about... vaccines

Vaccines are a medical invention that has been around for a very long time, the very first one being invented by Edward Jenner in 1796 for small pox.

There are alot of things that have been said about vaccines, and taking a look at these claims, as well as the facts about vaccines, I've come up with fives things about them.

So here are five things I've noticed about vaccines:

5. They cause extinctions.

Most people probably don't know this, or do but rarely if ever think about it is that vaccines kill things and can very easily lead to the extinction of some species. Infact vaccines have already caused the extinction of one species, small pox.

Vaccines are also very well on their way to causing the extinction of polio, and could in due time and with enough people getting vaccinated, measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, and a variety of other well known diseases that can kill people, particularly young children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems.

Don't these viruses deserve to exist? I mean true these viruses have caused the deaths of millions, plus have left countless others disfigured and disabled, and other than to do all of that have no real purpose to exist, and are still debated over whether or not they are lifeforms, but regardless of all that you have to ask yourself, don't these useless and dangerous lifeforms/not lifeforms have a right to exist?

4. They prevent our children from having the childhood memories of our parents and grandparents.

My parents and grandparents didn't have the vaccines like my generation and my generation's children have, and I can't help but think of what kind of childhood memories might have been taken away because of vaccines.

Some of those memories I imagine would include attending the funeral of a classmate or family member that died from an infectious disease, or having to help another fellow classmate get around because they have trouble walking or are in a wheelchair due to polio, and even having to be rushed to the hospital because I contracted measles and my temperature got really high.

Yes, because of vaccines I have none of these childhood memories, nor does most of the people in my generation as well, but thanks to people like Andrew Wakefield and Jenny McCarthy, as well as numerous anti-vaccination websites, those childhood memories of the past generations are making a comeback.

3. They make people paranoid.

Vaccines make people paranoid, this is a fact.

The vaccines themselves don't actually make people paranoid, but just the thought of injecting a dead or weakened virus that's inside a mixture of chemicals that in high enough doses could be deadly, although are in low enough doses that they would be safe to take individually several times over and not harm a person, is enough to scare some people to not get themselves or their children vaccinated.

Now you couple this with something like the Wakefield paper, a paper was publish in the UK medical journal The Lancet and authored by then Dr. Andrew Wakefield that claimed that vaccines cause autism, a claim that has since long been discredited and debunked, and the paper itself was retracted due to fraud, as well as Wakefield being stripped of his medical license due to that fraud and gross ethics violations, and in the end you'll have a person to paranoid to do something which almost every medical doctor in the world says a person should do.

Maybe it's not really vaccines that cause people to become paranoid of them. Maybe it's bad and made-up information combined with a lack of willingness to do real research and a mistrust of pharmaceutical companies that cause people to become paranoid of vaccines?

2. They affect industries.

Vaccines do affect several industries and in big ways too!

The health care industry for one is greatly affected by vaccines. The reason for this is because when a vaccine makes someone immune from disease it greatly decreases their chance of contracting said disease which could require an extensive stay in a hospital and/or hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in medical treatments.

And lets not get started on all the iron lung and leg brace manufactures that have taken a major hit in profits due to the polio vaccine...

Then there are ofcourse the coffin manufactures who have had a sharp decline in the sale of children and infants' coffins due to the fact children and infants are not dying as often as they use to because they aren't contracting the deadly diseases that would usually kill them before they reached adulthood thanks to vaccines.

1. It's the greatest medical invention ever.

All joking and satire aside vaccines are without a doubt the greatest medical invention of all time.

Vaccines are safe, cheap, reliable, rarely have any negative side effects (and even those are not severe most of the time) but almost always has the positive side effect of making a person immune from a disease, and can wipe out some diseases, which it already has with small pox, and is well on it's way with polio and in the future may do so with other diseases like measles and mumps.

The money saved due to vaccines for just health care alone has been in the billions, and the lives saved due to vaccines may be immeasurable.

With the exception of legitimate health reasons there is no reason to not get vaccinated, nor is there any reason for a parent to not vaccinate their child.

To not do so simply irresponsible, and in some cases, criminal.

Friday, June 13, 2014

5 Things I've noticed about... Creationists

Creationists are people who believe that God created all life on Earth, and for many of them they believe that evolution isn't real or even possible.

There are many things that I have noticed about creationist, and while I could list many of them, I have narrowed it down to five different things.

So here are five things I've noticed about creationists:

5. They want to force their beliefs onto others.

For years now fundamentalist Christians have been trying to sneak their belief in creationism into public class rooms across the United States. Ofcourse fundamentalist Christians don't actually call it creationism, they call it "Intelligent Design" and attempt to make it sound more "scientific". In reality it is not scientific at all. It is a religious belief that has no scientific backing and should not be taught in public schools at all, much less a science class room in a public school.

Despite the fact that creationism is not scientific, fundamentalist Christians still try to force creationism into science class rooms via electing public officials who are also creationists and will force the teaching of creationism into science classes, or at the very least have an advisory sticker placed on a science text book that claims that there are other "theories" concerning the origins of life and how it came to be today besides evolution, which is technically true, but the only one that is scientifically valid is evolution.

Some fundamentalist Christians have also made it quite clear that they really don't want evolution taught at all in schools, and only want creationism to be taught in schools. They especially don't want evolution taught to their own children, and will often homeschool their children if they can inorder to keep them from learning about evolution.

4. They think evolution isn't real because they believe it's never happened within our lifetimes.

One of the most common arguments made by creationists is that they claim that evolution cannot be real because they believe that it's never been observed.

What creationists either ignore, forget, or just don't know is that evolution has been observed, particularly with this planet's smallest lifeforms, bacteria.

Decades ago all bacterial infections could be have been treated with antibiotics, but because of our overuse and abuse of antibiotics some strains of certain bacteria have evolved to the point where none of our current antibiotics can kill them.

There are ofcourse other lifeforms who's evolution has been observed, not to mention the numerous fossils that help to back up evolutionary theory, but bacteria is one of the best examples of why evolution is real, not only because of how quickly it has evolved to become immune to antibiotics, but how obvious that evolution is.

3. They fight amongst each other.

Not all creationists are alike. Infact there are actually four different types of creationists.

There are the theological evolutionists who do accept the theory of evolution, they just believe that God had a hand in the process. Some might even argue that theological evolutionists aren't really creationists at all, just Christians that are trying to adapt their religious beliefs to modern science.

Then there are the old Earth creationists who do accept the fact that Earth is billions of years old and creatures like the dinosaurs were around before humans, just that God created all life and that evolution did not happen.

Then there are the young Earth creationist that believe that the Earth is only a little over 6,000 years old, and that dinosaurs roomed the Earth along with humans before Noah's flood.

Finally there are the no dinosaur creationists who believe that dinosaurs didn't even exist, and that the bones you see in museums were created by scientists, or by Satan.

Despite the fact that they all agree that God created life, none of these groups get along with each other, mainly due to the fact that they believe that their belief is the correct belief and that all others are either less Christian, or ironically, less scientifically valid.

2. They think there is a conspiracy to "hide the truth."

One of the main reasons why creationists, especially the young Earth types, reject the theory of evolution and the science behind it is because they believe there is a conspiracy by the scientific and atheist communities to hide "the truth" about evolution and creationism inorder to undermine and eventually eliminate Christianity.

The reality is there is no "conspiracy" to hide the truth about evolution and creationism. Evolution is science, and creationism is a religious belief.

Just because evolution doesn't go along one's beliefs doesn't mean that there is a conspiracy to suppress the truth, it just means that person is unable to accept the facts.

In a way you could kind of say that the conspiracy theory that the "truth" about evolution is being suppressed is alot like every other conspiracy theory, not based on facts, but the inability to accept facts.

1. They always refer to the Bible.

In the end no matter how scientific of an argument they try to make, and no matter how much they resist trying to use it, ultimately in the end they will refer to the Bible and use it as a source of "proof".

For a many creationists this is more than enough to prove creationism and disprove evolution.

For most other people it doesn't.

Infact most people see such an argument for what it really is, and that is that creationists are using the Bible as a scapegoat inorder to avoid having to accept or even acknowledge the fact that evolution is real, and that the scientific evidence behind it proves it, and that something in the Bible isn't true.

Friday, June 6, 2014

10 Lies Anti-vaccers tell

The anti-vaccination has caused alot of harm over the years with their fear mongering and lies. These lies have caused parents to become to afraid to vaccinate their children, and themselves as well, despite the danger in not doing so.

The following is a list of ten lies the anti-vaccination movement has told, and why they are just bogus:

10. Studies indicate that vaccines cause autism.

While there are "studies" that claim that vaccines cause autism, only one of these so called studies have been published in a well respected, peer reviewed scientific and medical journal. That study, the Wakefield study (which was published in The Lancet in 1998) was retracted in 2010 after it had been discovered that the main author of the study, Andrew Wakefield, had committed fraud. On top of that the findings in the study itself had been long since discredited and disproved before the formal retraction.

The studies that followed since the Wakefield study that claim that vaccines cause autism have never been published in any credible medical or scientific journals. The only places that these studies have ever been published are either in non-credible pay-for-publish journals, or websites that promote alternative medicine and/or conspiracy theories.

9. Signs of autism show up in children only after they have been vaccinated.

As the old skeptics' saying goes "correlation does not equal causation".

Just because a child starts to show obvious signs of autism after they have had their vaccinations, it's far more likely that they were showing signs of autism before they received their vaccinations and that no one noticed simply because the child was to young to show any noticable signs of autism to anyone but trained professionals.

8. Adverse reactions to vaccines are common, often severe, and can cause death.

Actually only about one out of every 300 people will have adverse reactions to vaccines. Most of the time these adverse reaction are mirror, short lived, and are more annoying than debilitating.

Occasionally a person will have a severe adverse reaction to a vaccine, some of which can be fatal, but these types of adverse reactions are very rare, only about one to two out of every million people. You have better odds dying in a car wreck to get a vaccination than you from the vaccination.

7. Vaccines have never been shown to be effective against reducing the spread of disease, and has even been shown to increase the spread.

I'm sure smallpox and polio would disagree. Actually alot of diseases would disagree because it's been proven time and time again that anytime vaccines were in wide spread use the rate of infections of a disease that the vaccines are meant to protect against will go down dramatically, sometimes even eliminating a disease in an area.

6. Natural immunity is superior to immunity via vaccination.

If you try to get natural immunity from a disease (i.e. getting infected and sick from said disease) there is a pretty good possibility that the disease that you hope to make yourself or your child immune from will actually kill you or your child, or atleast cause a permanent disability. Also in many cases it takes several weeks for this form of immunity to happen, during which time you will be sick as heck.

On the other hand immunity via vaccination is much faster, doesn't leave you sick, and is far, FAR less likely to kill you than getting immunity from a disease by getting infected by that disease.

5. Vaccines contain aborted fetuses.

This is completely false and is a distortion of the fact that the weakened forms of some viruses in vaccines are grown in a culture of cell lines derived from fetal tissue of fetuses aborted in the 1960's.

There are no fetal cells at all in vaccines.

4. Vaccines cause shaken baby syndrome.

No, rapidly shaking a baby back and forth and causing their head to flop around causes shaken baby syndrome.

This isn't even just a bold faced lie, this is child abuse apology.

3. Vaccines contain high amounts of toxic ingredients.

While vaccines do contain chemicals that in high enough amounts are toxic to humans, the amounts of these toxins in vaccines are so low that it wouldn't hurt anyone even if they took that chemicals by itself.

As the old saying goes "the dose makes the poison" and no vaccine contains enough of a certain chemical to make it poisonous.

2. Vaccines cause SIDS.

While DPT/DPaT vaccines have been suspected of being one of the causes of SIDS in the past, current studies into SIDS point to that abnormalities in the development and function of medullary serotonin may be the more likely cause of SIDS, and that vaccines do not cause SIDS at all.

1. Most diseases meant to be prevented by vaccines are rare and mostly harmless, and thus there is no reason to vaccinate.

Most diseases prevented by vaccines use to be rare, but a few diseases such as measles and mumps are making a comeback due to people not getting their children the MMR vaccine. Outbreaks of more common diseases such as the flu and whooping cough are made worse if large groups of people do not get vaccinated.

Also, while many people can get over these diseases they are far from harmless and can kill, especially if the person is very old, or very young, or has something wrong with their immune system and they are unable to fight off the disease.

Even if a disease is rare there is still no reason not to vaccinate against it, as vaccinating will help guarantee that disease remains rare, and may even wipe out that disease.