Saturday, August 14, 2021

Determining truth

If a person were to say that he had a UFO that was going to take people to a paradise on Neptune, then there would be people who would believe this and follow him. I know this because this kind of thing has happened. Usually, the crazier the claim, the more eager people are to believe it. This is how you end up with Jim Jones convincing his followers to kill themselves.

People, in general, have a defect in their logical thinking called Confirmation Bias. If something fits with what a person already believes or wants to believe, then that person will take this new information as gospel. For this reason, you can't really determine the truth unless you are willing to question everything you know.
To determine if something is true, it must also be falsifiable, which is a fancy way of saying that it must be testable. For example, I could say that there is a parallel dimension where Leprechauns exist, but if we have no way of detecting this dimension then we have no way of determining if it is true. I could speculate all day about Leprechauns, but it would be meaningless.

I would have thought that a worldwide deadly pandemic would have brought us all together and unified our thinking somewhat. Actually, the reverse has happened and we have never been more splintered. In response to a youtube video emphasizing the need to vaccinate, the vast majority of comments in the comment section were anti-vaccine. The comment ranked most popular, claimed that a rare blood clot that happens in one out of million vaccinations proves that the vaccine is unsafe. The dumbest comment I saw claimed that the vaccine causes the disease.

Another almost universal human defect is that people overestimate their own competency. People who know very little about biology, or virology, think that they are experts on the subject.

Friends have sent me incredibly wild claims about COVID-19 vaccinations. There are no microchips. It is not going to permanently rewrite your DNA. It is not going to damage your organs. It is not going to cause infertility or miscarriages. You can't pass the spike proteins to other people. It is not the Mark of the Beast. Every single anti-vax claim that has ever been made, including the ones about the COVID-19 vaccines, has been disproven.

These vaccines are no longer experimental. They passed all three phase trials, and hundreds of millions of doses later we have a pretty good safety record.

The bottom line is that there is a minuscule risk with any vaccine. Your risk of catching COVID and having serious illness or death is far greater. The COVID-19 vaccines are incredibly successful at lowering the risk of illness, and are almost 100% effective at preventing death from COVID.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

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