The news today gives me an opportunity to respond to ditriech's comment from a few weeks ago. Where he wondered why I didn't show more respect to the arguments for a cause of Autism, and what this did to families of Autistics. Well here's why: families of Autistics are one of the most manipulated groups of our time. And a minority of them have taken the bait of their manipulators and become the most threatening anti-science crusaders this side of the Creationists. And the dumbest celebrity fad not involving L. Ron Hubbard.
It's all fun and games until I give your kids Polio.
The thing about Autism is, we don't know what causes it. It's unsolved and incurable right now. That makes it a Gap where you can put a God. A big, deep gap, since it destroys lives and motivates families to try almost any promised cure. Using illness as a con is ... human. Born blind or eyeless? You can turn it to your advantage and become a "seer." Or get fucked become a scapegoat or a curse. Epileptic? Better accuse someone of giving you a demon, before they accuse you of being one. Inbreeding make your rulers dumb, parinoid, and OCD? Declare their ravings to be messages from god.
When there's no cure, we turn medicine into business or politics. So we shouldn't be surprised when every group of quacks in this country decides the Autism market is bullish. And whatever they want to destroy, should develop a "link" to Autism. Fast.
Hate vaccinations for hippie, or tinfoil-hat reasons? Link them relentlessly to Autism, no matter what they contain.
Want to ban all animal products? There's your cause of Autism, right there.
Ice Cream Mandrake? Children's ice cream?
Vaguely Christian activist? Hate fertility treatments and contraception? Late birth and IVF cause Autism.
Want to make a fortune off untested, piss-bottle medicine? You can cure Autism!
Want to forget Causation-Correlation, and get your grant work in the news cycle? Bad parenting and TV = Autism!
This is quackery with consequences.
Say what you will about poisoning kids with iron enemas - or wasting research money that could find real treatments -, but attacking vaccination is not a game. If you leave some kids open to infection, you create mutation factories. You expose other kids at different stages of vaccination. It's like lighting one bush on fire in the middle of a forest. Only the fire is immune to water and the trees are made of infants.
So Autism claims drive me nuts, because they're a byword for bad faith. It's a cause so complicit with evil, that it can bring California hippies together with the Taliban, in a joint crusade to thwart doctors, because doctors are uppity and pretend like they know things. Here's hoping science can keep the word out, and further immunize us to dipshits.