News media accepting illogic on autism and vaccines again

There was an article in the Los Angeles Times March 13 (and widely distributed by the Associated Press) in which yet another reporter reported an unbalanced story–failing to report the “other side of the question” –perpetuating the autism-vaccine logical fallacy yet again.

Thomas H. Maugh reported that the government vaccine court has declared that thimerosal, a mercury additive largely discontinued from vaccines, does not cause autism.  This is not surprising and is in fact a logical conclusion. The reason is that while thimerosal is not an ingredient in most vaccines since 2001, autism rates continue to climb.

Maugh’s fallacy is faulty generalizing.  He takes the thimerosal assertion and combines it with another: that the measles vaccine in the MMR shot does not cause autism, at least in most cases. I’ll grant that to be apparently true as well–research supports it.

Therefore, says Maugh, parents should accept that vaccines do not cause autism. There is the fallacy, generalizing from insufficient evidence.  Vaccines could be causing autism by any number of other ways.

Meanwhile, it’s obvious that autism rates have gone up at the same rate and time that the number of childhood vaccines has gone up. There could well be a correlation. The medical establishment should look into it, disregarding their vested interest in the vaccine system.

Research has NOT INVESTIGATED these further possibilities. Here are the ones that come to mind:

1. The immature immune system (first day of life and following) cannot deal with the vaccines, at least in some cases.

2. Taking multiple vaccines at the same time may overwhelm the young immune system.

3. A vaccine ingredient, currently unidentified, is toxic to some children.

These have NOT been tested. Mr. Maugh and colleagues, quit swallowing the line of the vaccine proponents and get on the ball!! You are not doing a service to your country. Please investigate and report the other side.

As I have said before, a simple study could settle this question: comparing autism rates in vaccinated and unvaccinated populations.  Are the medical people AFRAID to do it?

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6 thoughts on “News media accepting illogic on autism and vaccines again

  1. Mike

    Autism and vaccination-the current evidence.

    Miller L, Reynolds J.

    Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver, Colorado, USA. lisa.miller@state.co.us

    PURPOSE: The purpose of this article is to review relevant background literature regarding the evidence linking thimerosal-containing vaccine and the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine to autism. CONCLUSIONS: Rigorous scientific studies have not identified links between autism and either thimerosal-containing vaccine or the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Nurses are often in the position of providing advice regarding vaccines in their formal practice areas as well as in their daily lives. Families need current and credible evidence to make decisions for their children. Excellent vaccine information resources are available online.

    http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/122504388/PDFSTART

  2. Patty Hooper

    I understand wanting an answer as to what is causing autism. I really do. As the mother of a son with high-functioning autism, I would love to get some answers. But, I have read the research, and there has been a lot, and nothing at all indicates that vaccines cause autism. I think the money going into vaccine research should be redirected elsewhere so that we can better understand autism.

    Also, I would like to point out that if Maughm used faulty reasoning, then that is all that is behind the vaccine scare. There is nothing but anecdotal evidence showing that vaccines cause autism. And anecdotal evidence is not evidence at all. Just because kids show signs of autism around the time of vaccination does not mean the two are connected. Also, as some researchers have pointed out, some parents may have missed early autism signs in their kids (before they were immunized) because they didn’t know what to look for. Autism isn’t very easily detected until around the 2nd year when kids are learning to communicate and interact.

  3. Phyllis Post author

    Patty Hooper said, “And anecdotal evidence is not evidence at all.” Here is where I respectfully differ. When anecdotal evidence is overwhelming, researchers should seriously look into it. And the research that has been done doesn’t consist of seriously looking into it. It’s piecemeal, examining a couple of possible angles, namely measles virus and thimerosal. This leaves many unresearched angles.

    Please, researchers, just do this one little study and I will be quiet. The study involves comparing autism outcomes in children that have been vaccinated with those in children that have not.

  4. Pingback: A study of autism outcome in vaccinated vs unvaccinated populations? | Curing Autism Blog

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