Friday, July 08, 2005

Legislating Science: can we make Pi = 3?

The autism-mercury "connection" stirs unquietly in its grave. It has been shot, stabbed, hacked to bits and incinerated by scientific data and yet still it rises from its grave to seek out new victims and drink their blood ... or drain their wallets. Faced with a new onslaught of scientific data - published in the past month - the Renfields of this New Age Dracula have fanned out to make the world safe for the coming of their Dread Lord.

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:

[1] 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.

[2] 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.



Blogger Autism Diva said...

California seems to be late in getting their quarterly report out for their DDS numbers. Those are the ones that Rick Rollens usually gets and creates press releases from. Rick Rollens is they guy who created "Autism Tsunami" and calls the California DDS numbers the "gold standard" for autism tracking in the US.

Kirby says he expects them to show a decrease in the number of autistics which will prove that it was good that California took the mercury out of vaccines some time ago. This is Rollens usual line.

Even though the DDS numbers are not to be used for epidemiology for similar reasons that the IDEA numbers aren't supposed to be...

Autism Diva thinks that there is going to be a split and maybe a shattering in the autism epidemic crowd, soon. There are murmerings that show that people aren't happy with any sort of moderate statement about thimerosal maybe not causing autism. But some of the big organizations like CAN and "Autismspeaks" and NAAR know full well that there is no proof for the thimerosal causation idea.

The true believers can't cope with anything less than the full "you tried to kill our babies with your vaccines!!" and "epidemic" rhetoric. Any moderation of that looks like full blown apostasy. Haul out the crosses and hang the ropes of garlic, get the bell, book and candle. Scream bloody murder, fire up the fax machines and send of angry or threatening emails, too.

A question for Prometheus. Are there really 2 pounds of "good bacteria" in everyone's intestines?

Autism Diva watched part of a video of the Body Ecology Diet lady, on the internet. She and a Russian woman were both saying that the intestines should have 2 pounds of good bacteria in them, and that bad bacteria in the intestines cause autism. To cure autism you eat "fermented foods", apparently, but buy the books first.


09 July, 2005 10:24  

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