Everyone has heard of cherry picking.
If you are talking about vaccines, this probably isn’t that kind of cherry picking though.
What Is Cherry Picking?
Have you ever been to a cherry orchard?
“Pick only the cherries that are fully red (or whatever color they are supposed to be when ripe!). Part the leaves with your hands to look for hidden cherries ready for harvest.”
Cherry Picking Tips and Facts
Cherries don’t continue to ripen off the tree, so you want to pick them at exactly the right time. Not too early and not too late.
So when you go cherry picking, you are looking for the perfect cherries.
That’s what folks do when they go cherry picking for just the right information to fit their beliefs, but ignore any and all other information that might prove them wrong.
“Whatever one might think about Andrew Wakefield, he was just one man: the MMR autism scare has been driven for a decade now by a media that over-emphasises marginal views, misrepresenting and cherry picking research data to suit its cause. As the Observer scandal makes clear, there is no sign that this will stop.”
Ben Goldacre on MMR: the scare stories are back
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that most anti-vaccine folks are very good at cherry picking.
Someone is cherry picking when they:
- uses only one or a few out-of-context quotes that seem to support their argument, but ignores the rest of the article or study that doesn’t
- talks about the one study that supports their position, but ‘forgets’ to mention the ten that don’t
- mentions a few years of data that support their argument, but leave out the years that don’t
Need a good example?
Have you ever heard someone say that the package insert for Tripedia vaccine proves a link to autism?
This is classic cherry picking because they are ignoring all of the other information in the package insert, all of the other package inserts that don’t list autism as an adverse reaction, and all of the other evidence that autism is not associated with vaccines! It is also a bad argument against vaccines because they don’t explain why it is in the package insert.
How can you easily spot when someone is cherry picking?
What to Know About Cherry Picking
Cherry picking occurs when someone chooses to use just the right information to fit their beliefs, but ignores any and all other information that might prove them wrong.
More on Cherry Picking
- MMR: the scare stories are back
- Cherry Picking
- Cherry Picking Vaccine Data- Deception in Action
- Cherry Picking (Fallacy of the Day)
- Cherry Picking Fallacy
- Cherry picking is bad. At least warn us when you do it.
- Aluminum adjuvant in vaccines – let’s go cherry picking
- A cherry picking tale, and an update on spinal manipulation science
- Joseph Mercola – Misinformation and Fear Mongering About Vaccines
- Vermont Coalition for Vaccine Choice Pick Cherries to Sow Fear
- 15 Common Anti-Vaccine Arguments and Why They are a Load of Crap
- Satire – Local cherry orchard only hires anti-vaccers, production increases by 340%