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February 26, 2004
The BBC reports that four Nigerian states are refusing to take part in a mass immunization drive against polio because "some Muslim clerics say the vaccine is a western plot to make women infertile."
Although "Muslim clerics" are reportedly at the root of this story, I don't think that it is at all fair to blame the refusal of polio vaccine on religion. The same sort of thing seems to thrive over here too.
Anyway, you can't deny that this fellow has a point:
"It is a lesser of two evils to sacrifice two, three, four, five, even 10 children (to polio) than allow hundreds of thousands or possibly millions of girl-children likely to be rendered infertile," Kano state Governor Ibrahim Shekarau told the AP news agency.
At least it beats magic, penis-snatching, Jews.
Addendum from Razib: This site (non-English speaking and a google cache) reports that 35% of Italians believe in the "evil eye" (control-f "evil eye"). Here is a compilation of surveys from the United States on the "paranormal." From an EU opinion survey (control-f "astrology," it's a PDF):
Please note that astrology was ranked as more scientific than either economics or history (just below psychology). Also, I tried to transcribe exactly, the weird grammar, etc. isn't my fault.