How Come the “Settled Science” People Keep Moving the Goalposts?

How Come the “Settled Science” People Keep Moving the Goalposts?

How often have you read or heard, “Vaccine science is settled”? The mantra is repeated so often by physicians, public health officials, the media and legislators that it’s hard to argue with it. But the reality is that science is never settled, because it’s a process, not an endpoint. It’s an evolutionary endeavor, and so whenever someone assures you something is true because a consensus of scientific experts have deemed it so, it’s not a bad idea to remain a little skeptical.

As author Michael Crichton, MD once said, “I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks.” He added, “In science, consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.”1

I agree with Crichton. In a 2015 article for The Vaccine Reaction, I asked, “Isn’t that the beauty of science… that it is never settled? Isn’t the most unscientific thing anyone could ever say is, that the science is settled?”2

With regard to vaccination, I can provide at least one good example of what I mean, and it’s a very important one because it deals with the foundational premise behind this medical intervention—lifetime immunity.

In the 1960s, when the first two measles vaccines were introduced in the United States (in 1963 and 1968), the consensus science of the day supported the idea that one shot of the measles vaccine would provide a person immunity from measles for the rest of his or her life. On Mar. 25, 1967, the precursor to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), known as the National Communicable Disease Center (NCDC), stated in a report:

Measles virus vaccine is recommended for all persons who have neither had measles nor been vaccinated previously. It is believed that one dose of live, atten­uated vaccine will give life-long protection.3

It was precisely this belief that led U.S. public health officials to recommend only one dose of measles vaccine for all children. However, as the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) notes, this recommendation changed in 1989 when the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) “updated its measles vaccination recommendation” and recommended that, prior to entering school, children be given a second dose of measles vaccine in the form of the combination measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, which was licensed for use in the U.S. in 1971.4 5 The update was spurred by several outbreaks of measles which had occurred in fully vaccinated populations.6

In 1989, the American Academy of Pediatrics was forced to “reassess” it measles vaccination policy and call for revaccination of children.7

What happened? Did the consensus science on the measles vaccine change? It appears so.

Suddenly, the scientific paradigm, at least with regard to the measles vaccines, was altered. What had been assumed to be true for three decades was no longer true. The science of the measles vaccine had evolved, and it was grudgingly recognized that the vaccine did not provide lifelong immunity, after all.

But it didn’t stop there. In October 2017, the ACIP recommended a third dose of the MMR vaccine for “persons previously vaccinated with two doses who are identified by public health authorities as being part of a group or population at increased risk for acquiring mumps because of an outbreak.”8

The recommendation for a third MMR was aimed at mumps prevention but, still, by 2017 the science called for three measles vaccines for America’s children.

Now, in 2019, in the midst of a measles outbreak in the U.S. which has affected both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people, the idea of a fourth MMR vaccine for children is being promoted in states such as New York and by medical trade associations like the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).9

According to AAP News, “The CDC and the Academy recommend children receive the first dose of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) at 12-15 months and the second dose at 4-6 years. During an outbreak affecting infants, MMR vaccine may be recommended for infants ages 6 months through 11 months, but should not count toward the two-dose series, according to the AAP Red Book.”10

It is clear that one vaccination against measles does not ensure immunity from the disease. Neither do two measles vaccinations. So now it is four vaccinations that can be recommended to try and protect against catching measles.

The goalposts keep being moved, but quietly… so as not to stir up too many questions about the wrongheadness of the previous settled science. And each time the posts are firmly fixed in their new location, that ground then becomes the new defensive position to hold, at all costs, for those who not only shrink from freely debating the science but go out of their way to censor any information or views that are inconsistent with the latest consensus on it.

“Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled, Crichton observed. “Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.”1

This perhaps has never been truer than it is today on the issue of vaccines.

This article or commentary provides referenced information and perspective on a topic related to vaccine science, policy, law or ethics being discussed in public forums and by U.S. lawmakers. The websites of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provide information and perspective of federal agencies responsible for vaccine research, development, regulation and policymaking.


1 Crichton M. Michael Crichton, MD on Consensus Science. The Vaccine Reaction Apr. 11, 2016.
2 Cáceres M. The Nascent Conversation on Vaccines. The Vaccine Reaction June 24, 2015.
3 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. National Communicable Disease Center Mar. 25, 1967; 16(12): 100.
4 Fisher BL. Autism & Vaccines: A New Look At An Old Story. NVIC Newsletter 2000.
5 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Q&As about Monovalent M-M-R Vaccines.
6 National Vaccine Information Center. How Effective is Measles Vaccine?
7 American Academy of Pediatrics. Measles: Reassessment of the Current Immunization Policy. Pediatrics Dec. 6, 1980; 84(6): 1110-1113.
8 Marin M, Marlow M, Moore KL, Patel M. Recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for Use of a Third Dose of Mumps Virus–Containing Vaccine in Persons at Increased Risk for Mumps During an Outbreak. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Jan. 12, 2018; 67(1): 33–38.
9 Barbot O. Order of the Commissioner. New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Apr. 9, 2019.
10 Jenco M. Measles cases hit new high; AAP urges vaccination. AAP News Apr. 24, 2019.

Note: This commentary provides referenced information and perspective on a topic related to vaccine science, policy, law or ethics being discussed in public forums and by U.S. lawmakers.  The websites of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provide information and perspective of federal agencies responsible for vaccine research, development, regulation and policymaking.


10 Responses to "How Come the “Settled Science” People Keep Moving the Goalposts?"

  1. Redpill   June 6, 2019 at 7:37 am

    Great article. Clear and concise. In the Plotkin Deposition he said something very revealing that I think most people missed:

    Page 154 of the deposition: Plotkin- Yes. But you have to understand, first of all, that science continues, and so studies continue.

    Plotkin’s says the science isn’t settled.


  2. Redpill   June 6, 2019 at 8:48 am

    “The recommendation for a third MMR was aimed at mumps prevention but, still, by 2017 the science called for three measles vaccines for America’s children.”

    Third dose will be just as ineffective as two.

    PLoS study: “Difficulties in eliminating measles and controlling rubella and mumps: a cross-sectional study of a first measles and rubella vaccination and a second measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination,” has brought to light the glaring ineffectiveness of two measles vaccines (measles–rubella (MR) or measles–mumps–rubella (MMR) ) in fulfilling their widely claimed promise of preventing outbreaks in highly vaccine compliant populations.

    China has one of the most vaccination compliant populations in the world. In fact, measles vaccine is mandatory. So why have they had over 700 measles outbreaks from 2009 and 2012 alone? “The reported coverage of the measles-rubella (MR) or measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is greater than 99.0% in Zhejiang province. However, the incidence of measles, mumps, and rubella remains high.”

    So Chinese health authorities did their due diligence to pharma and their country to try and asses WHY the MMR failed. The results have been nothing less than stunning to them.

    FAIL: 26% Contract Measles Despite 2 or More Measles-Containing Vaccines, New Chinese Study Finds:
    A new study sheds light on just how dismally incorrect is the much parroted statement “measles vaccines are highly effective.”

    New study published in the highly respected journal Vaccine titled, “Assessing measles vaccine failure in Tianjin, China,” brings back into the foreground the underreported paradox of measles outbreaks in some of the most highly vaccinated populations in the world:

    “Despite increasing global measles vaccination coverage, progress toward measles elimination has slowed in recent years. In China, children receive a measles-containing vaccine (MCV) at 8 months, 18– 24 months, and some urban areas offer a third dose at age 4–6 years. However, substantial measles cases in Tianjin, China, occur among individuals who have received multiple MCV doses.”

    The study reveals that vaccination coverage is as high as 97% for the 1st and 2nd dose of measles-containing vaccine (MCV). The clear failure of the measles vaccine to generate herd immunity has caused major concern among public health officials in China.

    So a third dose (3rd) has been added in China and still there are Measles outbreaks. So rather than saying this crap doesn’t work they now want to do more testing to see if there is some sort of timing issue to determine if there is a sweet spot time of the year where the shot would work better. Who are they going to be experimenting on? CHILDREN.

    This all goes back to what Dr. Gregory Poland stated in his study:
    -Arch Intern Med. 1994 Aug 22;154(16):1815-20.
    Failure to reach the goal of measles elimination. Apparent paradox of measles infections in immunized persons.
    Poland GA1, Jacobson RM.
    Conclusion: The apparent paradox is that as measles immunization rates rise to high levels in a population, measles becomes a disease of immunized persons.

    Some local news outlets are revealing that some of the cases of Measles in this outbreak are from the vaccine. They call it many things: Measles like Illness, Measles Vaccine Reaction, Pseudo Measles, but the bottom line is the vaccine is increasing the outbreak. Investigative journalist are too cowardly to approach the health dept in the states where there are Measles cases and ask-are the Measles cases wild type or vaccine strain. In my state the cases were from the vaccine.

    BUT —think about this. The Measles from the vaccine works in favor of pharma & the CDC. The belief for the cognitive dissonance public is that you can’t get an infection from the virus in the vaccine so, inject people, if they catch the measles it adds to the count, the numbers go up, bought & paid for MSM (NYT) blasts it all over the country and of course it’s the chant “caused by the unvaccinated”. You gotta give the CDC/Pharma their proper’s on this. They have managed for years to increase their profits by dumbing down the country and practicing eugenics out in the open.

    • rachel goodkind   June 10, 2019 at 3:41 pm

      Eugenics is an accurate statement Red Pill. This whole issue got popular when Nazi’s experimented on thousands of concentration camp prisoners like they were guinea pigs.
      They used many drugs, vaccines and even chemotherapy drugs on them; they knew exactly how these poisons would effect their body and mind. Its’ about control, dumbing down the population and next generation, and disabling people to be dependent on the medical system.
      I do not believe in any vaccine or flu shot. We have an immune system for a reason and every one of us is responsible for out own health. Most people in this country are malnourished by eating processed foods and fast foods, forgetting that the produce section provides vitamins and minerals we all need every day. Eat 50% of your foods raw so you maximize enzymes, vitamins and minerals–eat salads, smoothies, raw juices, raw fruit. Whole foods like grains, beans, nuts and seeds are best.
      Just like in Nazi time the people giving shots have no empathy for their victims, no legal liability for their actions, and today–have a lack of information to share with their patients–the unaware victims who trust their Doctor to actually know what the consequences are..
      I look forward to the SHTF and the truth be revealed that is being censored all over. Eventually the lies will be revealed and Big Pharma, AMA, CDC. FDA, HHS will be revealed for the treasonous behavior they collude with and support and use against American citizens and infect in the rest of the world. Shame on this incredible fraud aimed at all of us. Let light take over the darkness. namaste’, rachel

  3. Redpill   June 6, 2019 at 10:14 am

    I have a question I hope someone on this board can answer. When did the CDC/Pharma/MSM begin the chant that unvaccinated children are the cause of childhood illness outbreaks? Because the single shot strategy didn’t work they added a 2nd shot and that didn’t work. I haven’t read any scientific justification for adding a 2nd shot or increasing the coverage from 55% to higher percentages. Are there studies out there? I was wondering if this strategy coincided with the increase of Measles outbreaks when they moved the original goalpost of eradication of measles with 55% of the population vaccinated (1967) didn’t work? Because this strategy fooled the public at large, with the help of the MSM, it seems they just slithered the same strategy over to the Pertussis outbreaks and people just fell for it because thy were already conned by the measles ploy.

  4. Elijah v.   June 7, 2019 at 6:11 pm

    Settled science-huh? In their dreams maybe.

  5. David Kenna   June 8, 2019 at 7:58 am

    How come less than half of doctors and nurses in the UK get vaccinated?
    Pharma are mumbling about mandated vaccinations !!!
    And how is it that doctors surgeries every year will go as far as phoning patients
    as many as three times to encourage them to get a flu shot? But never about the
    illness they have? How much commission do they get?
    Follow the money. The money doesn’t lie.

  6. David Kenna   June 8, 2019 at 8:04 am

    Why do the majority of NHS staff not get the flu vaccine? – BBC News

  7. Mark   June 10, 2019 at 7:39 pm

    The CDC and WHO are being backed into a corner by the evidence. They are running out of real estate, so they feel they have to raise the seriousness of the lying to cover up all the previous lying. When the truth is finally flushed out, heads will roll. In the meantime, they continue to cling to the rapidly unraveling thread of hope that no-one will discover the vast reservoir of evidence that contradicts their position. I would be sweating if I were in their position.

  8. Jeanette   June 11, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    Thank you for this article, Marco. I still remember my pediatrician telling me back in 1979, when it was time for my oldest child’s measles vaccine, that one dose gave lifelong immunity; and I truly believe that he believed that. Back then I knew very little about vaccines and never thought about possible risks. I remember thinking this is great; my child gets lifelong immunity with one dose and I don’t have to deal with what my own mom had to deal with when my four siblings and I got all the once routine childhood illnesses. The pediatrician also told me back in 1979, the MMR should NEVER be given in combination. So my oldest and her sister born two years later, got measles, mumps and rubella in separate vaccines. It wasn’t until 1988 when I was pregnant with my third daughter and saw that the vaccine schedule had increased, that I started asking questions wanting to know why my baby needed more vaccines than her older sisters? Thus began my research which continues to this day. I also remember in 1989, getting a notice from school basically saying, “oops…one measles vaccine wasn’t enough and a booster was needed.” There wasn’t much pressure back then and I refused boosters. I remember thinking, “I didn’t sign up for that.” That experience, along with the research I had already done made me realize that there was quite a bit that I still didn’t know about vaccines…and neither did the doctors who were recommending them.

  9. trinity   July 13, 2019 at 1:52 am

    It was only a couple of years ago that lymphatic vessels were discovered in the brain. Given the encephalitis caused by vaccination, I would think this would be pertinent and be evidence that the science is not settled.


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