Vaccines and autism

Vaccines don’t cause autism.

If the mercury in Thimerosol or anything else caused autism, then we would expect to see higher mercury levels in autistic children than in children developing typically. But we don’t.

If autism were caused by preservatives in the vaccine, we’d expect older people who were vaccinated before these preservatives were added to not have it. But there are older people with autism.

Thimerosol is a mercury-based preservative. That doesn’t mean that somebody is just dumping mercury into vaccines for the hell of it. Think of it this way: Pretty much every living thing that we know of is carbon-based. Every day we eat carbon-based life forms. YOU are a carbon-based life form. Carbon, in its purest form, is coal. But something like an apple being carbon-based does not make it coal. And similarly, a preservative being mercury-based doesn’t mean it’s just a bunch of mercury.

Matt Bors

This comic is making fun of a logical fallacy often used by antivaxers called Post hoc ergo propter hoc (“After this, therefore because of this”). That one event occurred after the other is not evidence that the first caused the second. Correlation isn’t the same thing as causation. It just happens to be the case that symptoms of autism are first apparent around the same time period of childhood vaccinations, i.e. within the first three years.

And it’s not as if autism is a total mystery. There’s lots of evidence pointing to it being a largely genetic disorder (more, more, more, and more).

To top it all off, this whole vaccines-cause-autism thing was started by a guy who’s since been shown to have been a fraud and a liar who fixed his data and hid conflicts of interest. And that’s not in some other unrelated field, these are all allegations which resulted from Wakefield’s “research” on the alleged autism-vaccine link.

Alt med is business, in other words. It’s big business. And all the while its proponents see real doctors like this:

and only focus on the money “big pharma” makes, they can’t seem to bring themselves to notice all the actual lying-for-profit on their own end.

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6 Responses to “Vaccines and autism”

  1. The 5 Worst Quacks Around Today « Atheist Hobos Says:

    [...] the story with his stories about how the MMR vaccine causes autism, even though it doesn’t. And this meeting of Wakefield’s data manipulation and lying with McCarthy’s (and her [...]

  2. District 9 « Atheist Hobos Says:

    [...] Minute 42: Wikus gets all SexCrazy and RetardStrong and escapes because he knows the vaccines they wanted to give him wouldmake him autistic. [...]

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