Maher has fallen prey to the alternative medicine’s package of propaganda, misinformation, and subtle distortions. Because he is a popular media personality, his views are influential. Fellow skeptic Michael Shermer wrote an open letter published in the New York Times urging Maher to reconsider his anti-vaccination views.
Maher has responded here called A conversation worth having. In it, Maher attempts to justify his position in much the same way that creationists tackle the science of evolution: by evasion, logical fallacies, placing blame, and basically refusing to do the work necessary to understand the science but more than willing to improperly criticize that which he does not understand. So what can we make of Maher’s response?
To our rescue comes another smackdown by Neurologica’s Steve Novella. Why should he bother? As Steve explains, Maher is contributing to the public misunderstanding of science in perhaps the most important area – medicine. That is very serious, and he needs to start taking it seriously. That’s very good advice for all of us: we need to take scientific misunderstanding seriously.