Monday, August 24, 2009
The Fallacy of "Scientific Consensus" in Autism Causation
Fellow autism mom and blogger extraordinaire, Ginger Taylor, who blogs at Adventures in Autism, was featured today on Age of Autism. AoA reprinted her amazing, intelligent response to the LA Times article: Bringing science back into America's sphere on Chris Mooney's book, Unscientific America, in which Ginger takes to task those who claim that there is consensus on issues such as any connection between vaccines and autism. Ginger effectively challenges the condescending, paternalistic (my choice of words) attitude of those "scientists" who treat parents as child-like and in need of re-education -- regardless of how credentialed we may be or how carefully and intelligently we analyze and parse the allegedly air-tight (not!) studies upon which they rely. Frankly, those with this attitude and the inability to admit that science is not infallible, utterly lack the scientific curiosity that leads to new discoveries and that is open to changing hypotheses. Science is not static -- it evolves. Those who believe otherwise do science an injustice and are, in fact, the ones who imperil the future of "science." In this area, there is much research left to be done, including a large-scale vax'd vs. un-vax'd study. The failure of the scientific community to undertake this study is of grave concern. To claim that it would be unethical to not vaccinate children for the sake of this study is a red herring. There are significant unvaccinated populations that could be studied -- many parents choose to not vaccinate their children for religious, philosophical, medical reasons. Parents are not asking for a study designed to reach any particular result. Rather, they are asking that needed studies -- whatever the results -- be undertaken. The failure to do so speaks volumes. Hello? Flat earth anyone???