Apparently, the whole thing was very–shall we say?–underwhelming. The lameness of his excuses, they limp:
I then asked a question (yay!). Kirby had said earlier in the lecture that autism diagnois rates in California haven’t reduced following the removal of thimerosal from childhood vaccines in California because of a delay between children being vaccinated in their early years and them being included in the surveys of autism prevalence at the age of 8. I asked him to confirm or deny a testable prediction which flows from that claim:
Q: If thimerosal in vaccines is responsible for autism, the rate of new diagnoses of autism in California must decline greatly over the next couple of years as children who received thimerosal-free vaccines reach the age of 8. If the rate doesn’t drop the thimerosal/autism hypothesis must be wrong, mustn’t it?
A: There are other source of mercury, there’s air pollution, and immigration (immigrants being vaccinated in their country of origin and again on arrival in the US, thereby being doubly poisoned, see) and the flu vaccine, a lot of things that complicate the picture.
Q: But those other mercury sources like air pollution won’t have increased at just the right time and by just the right amount to perfectly mask any effect of the sudden removal of thimerosal from vaccines.
A: There are a lot of confounding factors. But that would mean thimerosal alone isn’t the cause.
Does he even realize how lame his excuses for having been such a prominent pusher of the “mercury in vaccines cause autism” pseudoscience sound in light of the epidemiological evidence? Epic fail at Parliament, too, as was the the “Green Our Vaccines” rally:
I know, I know, she got the date wrong, but she got the message right.