North and South Dakota have an awful lot in common; their demographics, socioeconomics and climate are virtually identical. Even their crime stats are the same, which is weird… because they have radically different justice systems.

One has the death penalty, one does not. Yet both get the same result. Clearly, capital punishment makes no difference in Dakota.

It’s one of the ways science tests its ideas: two groups, one difference. If the variable produces a different result then you’ve found the culprit… and if it doesn’t, you haven’t.

Either way, you’ve learned something important.

It’s how we know the MMR (Measles/Mumps/Rubella) vaccine does not cause autism: Japan stopped giving the shot in 1994 and two decades later their autism rates are as high as everyone else’s… and their measles fatalities are through the roof.

Americans blamed an ingredient within the vaccine, a preservative called Thimerosal, which they removed in 2001. Interestingly, Poland still uses the original formula yet neither country has seen any change in their autism rates. So it ain’t the formula, either.

Clearly, we haven’t yet figured out what causes autism but 20 years of hysteria over vaccinations has turned the world into a gigantic clinical trial. And the results are in:

Communities with high vaccination rates have low disease rates.

Communities with low vaccination rates have high disease rates.

It’s time we call off the experiment and start immunising our kids.

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Written by Jason Clarke

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Celebrated author, adventurer, gold medal Olympian and popular TV chef; Jason is none of these things. He is, however, one of the most sought-after creative minds in the country. As founder of Minds at Work, he’s helped people ‘think again’ since the end of the last century, working with clients across Australia in virtually every industry and government sector on issues ranging from creativity and trouble shooting to culture change and leadership.