In 2007 Skeptic magazine ran an article debunking the myth of the connection between vaccines and autism, and we were hoping that by now this sad tale of pseudoscience would have died a slow death as researchers continue to find no link whatsoever between the two. Sadly that is not the case. In fact, thanks to Playboy model Jenny McCarthy, mother of an autistic child, the myth has gained cultural traction as never before, as she and her partner, the comedian Jim Carrey, make the media rounds and appeal to the heart strings of the public, burying the science in a tsunami of emotion. So we return again to the topic with our SkepDoc, Harriet Hall, M.D., demolishing the myth once and for all.

Tags: autism, carrey, mccarthy, skepdoc, skeptic, vaccine

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Splitting hairs...
Very - it is pure capitalist, cost-benefit economics.
@Karrick
Does atheism qualify as a religious exemption?

I would say no for two reasons:

1. Atheism is not a religion, it's the lack of religion.
2. In not being a religion, Atheism has no tenets of belief/practice that would prohibit one from receiving vaccinations.
From a perspective from within the autism community, I would like to clarify (not support) the idea that it was not initially that vaccines were blamed for autism but that thimerosal ( a.k.a. http://www.answers.com/topic/thiomersal), an organic mercury compound used as a preservative in many vaccines, is a cause of autism. As the science has failed to find this conclusive link, vaccine opponents have moved to say that MMR vaccines, as a vaccine itself, may be a cause of autism.

I personally know the current president of SafeMinds (http://www.safeminds.org/) which has historically been one proponent in the vaccine/thiomersal theory of autism. It seems more recently they are refocusing their energies more into industrial/pollution/environmental sources of mercury ingestion (something I can support even though it still doesn't seem to explain my son's condition)
That's all well and good, but they're still wrong. They won't even listen to / look at the evidence that it's genetic, not environmental. Nor do they consider the widened scope of how autism is being defined as the reason for the supposed increase in autism cases.
A very informative book about Autism by a doctor working in the field for over 30 years : http://www.amazon.com/Science-Fiction-Autism-Laura-Schreibman/dp/06...

I happened upon it at the library and was very glad to read it.
She does not spend much time on the myth that vaccinations cause autism as we should not waste our time on dead ends and instead should use the time and resources to find the root cause and cure.

From what all doctors can tell, this illness is a genetic defect that may or may not be influenced by environmental factors.

As far as the possible link to vaccinations of any kind, the data the antis forget to look at is:
The higher percentage of vaccinated children who do not develop autism or any other disorder.
The amount of children who have autism and never where vaccinated.
It is possible to see symptoms of autism prior to the first MMR shot (around 1 years of age)

I could almost, ALMOST listen to them IF children who WERE NOT vaccinated did not develop autism or developed it at an much lower rate, but that is not the case.
So even if we ignore the multitude of reports done by the CDC,WHO, and independent researchers who can not find any links between autism and vaccinations, there still is NO benefit to not vaccinating children.

Maybe if we get videos showing children dying from rubella and measles, the antis would think critically for a change...then again stupidity is another disease that is hard to cure.

BTW, Dr.Kanner who first diagnosed the disease, thought it was psychosomatic and primarily the fault of the mother for detaching herself emotionally from the child. But then that would mean that orphans should have had a higher rate of autism, which was not the case at all. I can understand those parents frustration, but few if any people or professionals nowadays try to link this genetic disease with a lack of "parental love."
I was about to post a similar answer!!

Althgouh I believe that in technicall terms, it is not really an illness nor are you sick if you are autist, it is more of a condition or a syndrome. Because, as you already posted, it is genetically made (but helped by the environment). It is like in many cases with this genetic syndromes, sometimes, depending on the syndrome, it may not develope much, being almost unperceptible.

My girlfriend has a sister which is autistic, and currently I am also looking into this area due to her condition. I have been investigating around for some months about this condition. I still am not sure how one would actually treat it in a truly efficient way, but maybe it is kind of reminiscence of the Down Syndrome, which I believe has no cure. This may be due to the fact that it is linked to the genes, meaning that in order to really eliminate the condition, one would have to alter in some way the genes of the person, which may not rend good enough results, even if a way to do this without killing the person is found. FYI the only way I know of altering one´s genes is by radiation, but that kills you.

Back on topic, seeing my girlfriend´s sister condition and being informed on how it developed, I can truly say that this has nothing to do with the vaccine, so rest and lets give to this situation no attention at all. As most media-related-to-hollywood deserves, only the movies do deserve attention, and I am only talking about a small part of the movies produced.
A book the deals specifically with vaccines as the cause of Autism among other historical myths regarding Autism causes and treatments is Paul Offit's book, "Autism's False Prophets". The book goes into extensive detail about how the vaccine-causes-autism theory was started and maintained. Good reading!
There are several articles regarding autism, symptoms, and symptom manifestations posted at http://blog.petemolino.com Hopefully, information like this get's out to the mainstream public to help in any way debunk these myths.

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