(CBS) Obama doesn't have an American birth certificate, climate change isn't real and evolution is a scientific fantasy. If a recent survey is any indication, you can add the widely disproved autism vaccine link to the pile of ideas Americans love to believe regardless of the research stacked against it.
First the facts (about autism, not Obama's birth certificate which was released today).
In 1998, the British medical journal "The Lancet" published a ground-breaking article by Dr. Andrew Wakefield that purported to show a link between certain cases of autism and the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella called MMR. Almost all children in the developed world receive the shot.
The idea caught on like wild fire with parents terrified their children could "catch" autism or angry that they had already developed it. Actress Jenny McCarthy became the most visible celebrity pushing the theory.
But future studies could not reproduce Wakefield's results and the scientific house came crumbling down. Last year, "The Lancet," recanted Wakefield's article. Ten of the study's 13 authors had already done so. In January, a British Medical Journal investigation accused Wakefield of ginning up the evidence to make his case. He has vehemently denied it.