Legislating Science: can we make Pi = 3?
Responding to an recent article in Pediatrics, Lenny Schafer, Editor of the Schafer Autism Report, had the following to say on the Evidence of Harm list:
"Not much there except propaganda, which of course is the point. We always knew the DOE [sic - I think he means the USDE; the DOE is the Department of Energy] numbers were not the cleanest. I have routinely warned my readers about this. Still Laidler's conclusion is that"there may still be an autism epidemic in the United States" as quoted in the article makes this hit piece weak. In my opinion, our counter-propaganda is to characterize business like this as the work of autism holocaust deniers with an anti-child, pro-pharma agenda.
A question to raise to the public is why is the government dragging its feet with finding out the numbers and the causes and instead does this steady stream of alibis-for-mercury research. "
Note the following points:
 The article is dismissed as "propaganda" and a "hit piece" even though Lenny has apparently not read the actual study. The quoted piece is from a Reuters' article and is not found in the Pediatrics paper.
 Lenny goes on to advocate a "counter-propaganda" strategy of asseting that researchers whose scientific findings oppose their political agenda are "...autism holocaust deniers with an anti-child, pro-pharma agenda" - kind of a stretch when you note that the author of the Pediatrics paper has an autistic child and is a graduate student. Apparently, the truth is the last thing that Lenny wants to hear.
The message here is that the autism-mercury cabal is committed to winning - even if they are wrong! They have clearly abandoned any pretense of scientific inquiry and are striving for a political solution. They want to have the public - and the public's representatives, the Legislature - declare their flimsy hypothesis (mercury causes autism) to be true, despite the overwhelming weight of evidence against it.
The danger here is that we will have a pseudofact enshrined as "revealed truth" - "revealed" by the legislature. The immediate result of this would be a tactical victory for Lenny Schafer, Mark Blaxill, David Kirby and others of their ilk - the long-term result would be a strategic defeat for people with autism. If the legislature declares that autism is caused by thimerosal, public research funding into autism will dry up - after all, after Congress has found the cause there would be no reason to spend tax dollars looking any further.
But the real tragedy in this scenario would be for society itself. Once the presedent is set, there would be nothing to prevent other deraged pressure groups from having their lunatic hypotheses declared "scientific truth" by an act of Congress. After that, it is but a short slide to the Abyss and a New Dark Age.