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Comment Re:Understanding Burton (Score 1) 858

No assumptions - remember, I grew up there. Lilly's had to spend millions on legal costs associated with Thimerosal lawsuits. They may be out of the business these days, but they've still had to defend themselves against lawsuits for vaccines manufactured in the 1970s. Another quirk that not many realize: lawyers will typically sue any and all manufacturers of a particular drug. It doesn't matter if Lilly made the vaccine that the child in question received; if they made a [fill in the type here] vaccine that year, they'll be included in the suit.

Comment Re:Understanding Burton (Score 1) 858

I think it's important to recognize that, on this issue, Burton is an ideological crusader. We know that we tend to deal with cognitive dissonance by suppressing evidence to the contrary. In Burton's mind, he is basing his stance on information:

A number of credible national and international scientists testified that mercury in vaccines is a contributing factor in developing neurological disorders, including, but not limited to, modest declines in intelligence quotient (IQ), autism, and Alzheimer’s disease and the body of evidence to support that conclusion gets larger every day.

As I said before, I think the only way to combat this is to remove Burton from office. His view is a powerful mix of cherry-picked evidence and raw emotion and will likely never change. I am hopeful, given the right opposition candidate, that his constituents (many of whom are chemists, doctors, and other scientists who know better) will replace him if he continues on this path.

Comment Understanding Burton (Score 5, Informative) 858

This is mostly a side note, but I grew up in Dan Burton's district. He has a grandson with autism and has made the anti-vaccination a personal cause. That's not to excuse his ignorance, but rather to help provide understanding. Powerful emotions are at work here, which is why confronting them with rational logic will not work. To be honest, I wish his constituents would vote him out of office; his district includes a number of employees at the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly (headquartered in Indy) and his anti-vaccination stance puts him at odds with their best interests.

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