I had a long day in the operating room yesterday; so I was tired last night. As a consequence, I thought that today might end up being one of those rare weekdays free of new Insolence. Then, in the morning as I was doing my usual brief perusal of e-mail and blogs before heading to work, I noticed a post on that wretched hive of antivaccine scum and quackery, Age of Autism, that was such a perfect distillation of the reason why antivaccinationists refuse to accept all the evidence that autism has its roots largely in genetics that I couldn’t help but whip off a quickie post. The post revealed such an astounding hypocrisy, coupled with an even more astounding lack of self-awareness, that I couldn’t help but address it briefly (for me, at least).

Not surprisingly, it was Anne Dachel, who’s all in a lather because apparently an antivaccine comment was removed from an article in The Guardian by Christina Chew entitled Would you abort a disabled child? Unlike a typical AoA post, Chew was nuanced and caring in her analysis of the thorny ethical issues that prenatal genetic testing can result in. Dachel, on the other hand, works herself up into a fine lather because apparently the moderator deleted one of her comments, in which she denied a primarily genetic basis to autism. The comment itself was typical antivaccine blather, laden with straw men, such as how there can’t be a “genetic epidemic.” Personally, I don’t think the moderator should have deleted it, but then I’m much more tolerant of opinions that don’t jibe with my own. It doesn’t even matter much if those opinions are pure pseudoscience, as antivaccine opinions nearly universally are. I thought about writing primarily about the utter hypocrisy of someone like Dachel, whose own blog ruthless deletes comments with dissenting opinions, the better to create an echo chamber in which its antivaccine denizens feel “safe,” but instead this part of her post caught my eye:

This was very disconcerting for a number of reasons. First of all, the not-too-subtle message here is that kids are born autistic. When we have perfected genetic testing, it may be possible to detect which children will develop autism while they are still in the womb. This is a complete surrender to autism. Autistic children happen; there’s nothing we can do to prevent it.

No longer are we blaming cold, unaffectionate refrigerator moms for autism. Now we have our sites on the parents with defective genes that produce autistic babies. There’s no mention of kids who are fine and who meet every developmental milestone but who suddenly regress into autism. Even asking the question makes no sense. How can a disorder that no one ever heard about just 25 years ago now be something babies are born with?

And there you have it. Dachel is correct to point out that the “refrigerator mother” hypothesis of autism was pure crap that blamed parents for autism. That’s one of the rare things we agree about. Now note what she moves on to. Unfortunately, she thinks that accepting a genetic basis of autism is somehow “blaming” parents as well for having “defective” genes. In other words, Dachel admits something that I (and quite a few other skeptical bloggers) have been saying all along: That the reason some antivaccinationists can’t accept evidence implicating genetics in autism pathogenesis is because they view it as an attack on them every bit as much blaming “refrigerator mothers” for autism was. If it’s genes, then it must be their fault! One wonders if Dachel thinks that it’s the fault of the parents if a child with Down’s syndrome, Tay-Sachs disease, or any of a number of genetic syndromes is born. Does she view, for example, parents who have a child with sickle cell disease as somehow genetically inferior? It sure sounds as though the answer is yes. In any case, the genetics of autism is not single-gene alterations. It’s hideously complex, and we don’t understand it yet. We do, however, understand that there is a genetic basis, most likely highly complex and multigene, and it is not beyond the pale to imagine a day when we understand the genetics well enough to be able to test for autism prenatally, which makes Chew’s discussion highly relevant given that she has an autistic child.

It also points to a trait among antivaccinationists that seems to be ramped up to 11 all the time, and that’s a view that it’s impossible that they could have contributed to their children’s autism in any way, including biological. If autism is mostly genetic in nature, then it must be a slap at the parents of an autistic child, because obviously they must have had “defective,” less than perfect genes. Never mind that each and every human being has mutations and changes in their genes that could be considered “imperfect.” It’s part of our evolutionary heritage. I also suspect that denying genetics provides two other things they desperately crave. First, it provides them with the ability to blame someone else for their children’s autism, which they do in spades, blaming vaccines (which doctors forced them to accept for their children), the pharmaceutical companies who made the vaccines (which, of course, enticed the doctors to force the parents to accept the vaccines), and the governments that encourage them and require them for school entry (which, of course, in antivaccinationists’ eyes, protect the pharmaceutical companies that enticed the doctors to force the parents to accept the vaccines). Second, it allows them to have what appears to be a comforting illusion to them, that their “real” child was “stolen” by autism, thanks to vaccines, “toxins,” and whatever else. No, that autistic child in front of them can’t be their real child! Their real child is buried somewhere within, if only they could find the right combination of quackery to bring him back. I found an example just the other day in the (Un)Thinking Moms’ Revolution, in which The Rev writes:

GIVE ME MY SON BACK DAMNIT! I want HIM. I WANT HIM. I WANT NOAH PATRICK GOES! I want to squeeze him without his body going rigid. I want to hear him laugh at something that is really funny, not his brother crying. I want him to be able to tell me what he wants instead of pulling my hair in frustration. I want this baby in the picture. I want his sweet life so full of hope RESTORED and I want the institutions that harmed him brought to justice. NOW. That’s what I want and that is how I feel.

As much as I detest the antivaccine movement, even I can’t help but feel sorry for The Rev and even understand to some extent why she might feel this way, even as I decry the massive harm she and her fellow antivaccine activists cause with their fear mongering. To The Rev, the Noah in front of her is not her son; the Noah from before he started showing obvious symptoms of autism is. After all, she did everything right, except (in retrospect to her) vaccinating. In her mind she continues to do everything right and can’t imagine why her son is still autistic and has multiple health problems. To Dachel, it can’t be her genes that contributed to an autistic child. As misguided as her belief is, she believes that if autism is mainly genetic, then she is imperfect and her child is a daily accusation against her of that imperfection.

If it’s the vaccines, on the other hand, then it’s not Dachel’s “imperfection” that caused her son’s autism. It was an outside force that robbed her of her son. And if it was an outside force that robbed her of her “real” son, then maybe something can get him back. So instead of accepting the child that she has, she keeps looking for a child that will never be again, just like The Rev.

Comments

  1. #1 Narad
    April 30, 2013

    I don’t call myself a Buddhist because I don’t do a formal practice or have a teacher.

    Official joke from the Boo Hoo Bible: “Oo oo the Guru.” I tend to think that some of these Zen types are a bit, ah, attached to sesshin, trinkets, and so forth. (I believe I’ve mentioned before that I know a fellow whose rigorous 108-prostrations routine led to knee surgery.)

  2. #2 MI Dawn
    April 30, 2013

    @PGP: as an atheist, all I can say is, your comment about love made me very sad for you.

    I respect my friends who have religious beliefs. I don’t have to hold them. But I still believe in love, charity, kindness, honesty, all sorts of virtues. Religious or not, they make us human.

    @Calli: yeah, people, religious or not, do all sorts of things to “recover” their “lost” child, not seeing the person infront of them. That’s pretty sad, too.

  3. #3 al kimeea
    www.quackademiology.com
    April 30, 2013

    this wee exchange has been a perfect example of the synonymity of religion and woo.

    I’m not the one claiming God exists or which parts of the Christian Holy Book are literal/metaphorical/alleghorical, and have provided some evidence to bolster my response. There is plenty more without the supernatural (which given the idea of deities, is really unavoidable, or aliens) or quoting a book you don’t take literally and may not even have bothered reading.

    The symbol of The Loving Christian God being an instrument of torture is quite apt, given His history is drenched in blood to this day. While He makes watches I guess.

    No different than MarJudith of yore.

    The numinous world is no less harmful than the woominous, actually more so. AFAIK, homeopathy has never disassembled anyone or threatened eternal damnation, a concept introduced by Buddy Jesus BTW.

    There ‘s an argument the religious nutters wouldn’t have a chance if it weren’t for the cachet, the legitimacy provided by nice people of faith…

  4. #4 Denice Walter
    April 30, 2013

    @ al kimeea:

    Exactly. It is powerful magic because it is infused with emotions provoked by eternal forces of life and death, good and evil: not anything to mess with arbitrarily.

    Logic, self-reflection and awareness of our past ( psychologically as well as historically) enable us to go beyond what our emotions tell us is real.

    The old faerie tales tell the hero/ine to “Trust no one but yourself” however, in reality that’s often the least reliable place: reality -via observation, study, consensus and review- is a product of many individuals continuously fact checking each other over decades.

  5. #5 herr doktor bimler
    April 30, 2013

    PGP:
    Hey, I’m only reporting on observed behavior. […] Or read the news coming out of North Dakota or Missisippi. My area is fairly sedate, but that’s just the culture around here.

    You’re arguing that correlation = causation, to conclude that religious belief is responsible for some people turning into authoritarian hypocritical scumbags… but where are the control groups? Where are the prospective studies, or the dose / response analysis?

    I am happy with the null hypothesis : some people are just hypocritical authoritarian scumbags by nature, and when religious belief is the socially-acceptable channel for expressing their nature, then oh yes, they will be pious.

    And conversely, some people are helpful, generous, and altrustic, and if religious belief is socially approved as the avenue for that, then they will also be religious.

    To argue that religion is to blame for the existence of authoritarian sh1t-weasels who wield their Holy Book as the bludgeon to ruin other people’s lives is to succumb to all manner of confirmation errors and selection biasses and attribution errors, errors which you wouldn’t accept in a discussion of science-based medicine. It’s as silly as crediting religion for the existence of helpful, generous, altrustic believers. That is the path to tedious True Scotsman arguments.
    ——————————–
    Perhaps your anger is better directed at the power structures of Organised Religions that embrace political power. I’m pre-disposed to dislike *any* kind of organised human activity so I’ll go along with that.

  6. #6 Denice Walter
    April 30, 2013

    @ MI Dawn:

    I feel similarly about PGP.
    But sometimes being hurt causes people to put up guards.

    @ PGP:

    I sometimes wonder if you might be happier if you lived somewhere in which you could be amongst more like-minded people?

    While I agree that there are many awful people out there- not just religious or not- but along many other variables- there are a few decent ones.

    I think that you might wish to someday leave the provinces behind you or become more acquainted with others who see the same world that you do. Also you can’t expect others’ views to line up with your own exactly: you might need to agree to disagree on some issues despite solidarity on others.

    Still, you’re young and everything need not be written in stone for all eternity.

  7. #7 Politicalguineapig
    April 30, 2013

    EP: you continually cite extreme examples of politicized Christianity as though they represent all Christians.

    Well, when was the last time you ran into a left-wing Christian? I can cite maybe one priest in my area who actually went against the party line- he lost his whole flock over that. There are a handful of Lutheran and Protestant churches that say they are ‘GLBT friendly” but I’ve never heard of them doing anything political.

    Calli Arcale: It is shocking sometimes how far some parents will go to “recover” the child. And yes, sometimes religion plays an especially pernicious part in that.
    To go back on topic, I think that ties into the perfect parent movement. Since parenthood and families in general are very politicized these days, having offspring that are odd or not keeping pace with their peers is believed to reflect on the parents. It’s not only that parenthood is a choice, it’s a choice that has to be justified, at least in the US.

  8. #8 Stu
    April 30, 2013

    It is powerful magic because it is infused with emotions provoked by eternal forces of life and death, good and evil: not anything to mess with arbitrarily.

    Eternal forces? Good and evil? To be messed with? No offense, but that is inherently irrational anthropomorphism. It reeks of “everything happens for a reason”.

  9. #9 Stu
    April 30, 2013

    Well, when was the last time you ran into a left-wing Christian?

    This morning, actually. But that is beside the point.

    There’s a growing crop of Christians that take the sermon on the mount and throw out pretty much everything else. That makes them good people, but it also makes them pretty much Christians-because-it-makes-us-comfy. There’s “not taking the Bible literally”, and then there’s “pretending 95% of the Bible does not exist because it makes me look like a troglodyte”. Even the modern wishy-washy “Jesus was a socialist and let’s pretend the OT does not exist” crowd ignore half of what that nice, nice man said. And even the nicest, kumbaya-singing Unitarian socialist still provides cover for inherently irrational thought, justification for discrimination and still extends an umbrella over the worst of the worst. This No True Christian crap needs to stop, because every faction uses it to distance itself from the 40,000+ other ones yet STILL sanctions irrationality in general.

    Anyway…

    Luke 19:27 alone ought to put all of that touchy-feely cafeteria Christianity to rest.

  10. #10 Denice Walter
    April 30, 2013

    @ Stu:

    I should have perhaps clarified: I refer to what is g*d-like( numinous) to people over the ages, be it to their benefit ( “good”) or detriment (“evil”), all viewed from their own perspective- not anything independent of people but as a *psychological reality* only.

    The forces of nature-storms, floods, sunlight, warmth- or something as abstract as ‘good fortune’ can be related to as personages not because they exist as such but they incite emotional reactions ‘as if”..

  11. #11 Shay
    April 30, 2013

    Well, when was the last time you ran into a left-wing Christian?

    This weekend. A whole flock of ’em. When is it going to dawn on you that your personal experience doesn’t define entire demographics?

  12. #12 Stu
    April 30, 2013

    @Denice: fair enough, but be careful — words have meaning!

    Anyway, what I was trying to get at that it is all well and good trying to educate people on the benefits of vaccines, science-based medicine, evidence-based medicine and the likes… but in the US, right now, more than 1 out of 3 people you try to explain these things to believes Jesus will come back to earth in their lifetime, start the rapture and lift them up to heaven. More than 3 out of 4 people you try to explain the benefits of rationality to believes in the literal existence of angels. I don’t necessarily think that the two can be separated.

  13. #13 lilady
    April 30, 2013

    “Well, when was the last time you ran into a left-wing Christian?”

    (Raises her hand)

  14. #14 Stu
    April 30, 2013

    Apologies, that should be 1 out of 5 on the “Jeebus coming back in your lifetime”. It’s petrifying enough without exaggeration.

  15. #15 Stu
    April 30, 2013

    Okay, lilady, you are well-researched, well-respected (rightfully so, and including yours truly), so help me out here. How do you square fighting for an evidence-based perspective on medicine with a non-evidence-based perspective on life?

  16. #16 Narad
    April 30, 2013

    Well, when was the last time you ran into a left-wing Christian?

    I live within spitting distance of five seminaries and a major divinity school (which I briefly considered), and I routinely shoot the breeze with my neightbor who is an Evangelical pastor. A trickier question might be the last time I actually ran into a Christian who wasn’t “left wing.”

    Overgeneralizations are just overgeneralizations.

  17. #17 lilady
    April 30, 2013

    That’s a fair question Stu.

    Perhaps it is my professed *faith* is a product of my upbringing. My mother was a Roman Catholic and my father was a Lutheran-Missouri Synod (very dogmatic brand of Lutheranism). My mother, who was a registered nurse, taught her three children to be open-minded about all religious beliefs/non-beliefs. (Perhaps more Humanism than dogma-based).

    My formative years were spent in Brooklyn, New York in a very *mixed* working class neighborhood, where I had friends of all religious faiths and I am old enough to remember the older relatives of my Jewish friends, who survived the Nazi concentration camps.

    As I matured and married the love of my life 46 years ago, who was raised as a Roman Catholic and who attended a Catholic university for undergrad and graduate degrees, my exposure to other faiths increased. Both of my children were baptized as Lutherans, and my daughter was educated in both religions. (Our choice) was to send my daughter to an all girls private Roman Catholic high school, because it was the *best-educational-fit* for her; I’m not super liberal when it comes to education. She was mighty p!ssed-off, because she couldn’t roll-over on the nuns and teachers at that highly-competitive school.

    When my son died in 2004, we celebrated his life at a memorial mass in the local Catholic church…I’m surely going straight to hell for that.

    I have close friends who have a variety of religious faiths (Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, Muslim)…and who are agnostics or atheists. Their faiths or non-faiths are of little concern to me, because I admire their goodness and I rely on them for their loving support and their open-mindness.

    1 Corinthians 13

    King James Version

    “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”

  18. #18 MI Dawn
    April 30, 2013

    @lilady: precisely. Though I like the modern versions that replace “charity” with “love”.

    I look at my children, and I honestly suspect that my daughter, and my niece, could have been diagnosed with PDD. They had some of the symptoms, but not *all*, and, as girls, were better able to fit into things (quiet, shy, polite girls fit the mold very well). They had clothing issues, noise issues, some interpersonal issues (even now, my daughter hates to talk on the phone or any other way than in person unless it’s unavoidable). No matter. They were loved and accepted for their quirks, and no one tried to fit them into molds.

  19. #19 Stu
    April 30, 2013

    lilady: I appreciate the background.

    I also noticed you did not in any way shape or form answer my question.

  20. #20 Denice Walter
    April 30, 2013

    @ Stu:
    Sure. [METAPHOR ALERT]
    I imagine it as such:
    our modern day thought and language, rational and scientific, is an edifice built upon a burial mound- a cairn- of our past history on the planet- emotions, images, visions, dreams, myths and legends- not inherited ideas but nearly universal reactions to highly emotional situations people encounter.

    If the “edifice” is strengthened by continuoUs activity and “building”, you can barely notice the mound it’s built upon but, if there is only a small accumulation of structure, the burial mound is what is outstanding.

  21. #21 Stu
    April 30, 2013

    Also, I apologize for belaboring the point here, but for every

    1 Corinthians 13: “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”

    I show you a

    Luke 19:27 [KJV, to align with yours]: “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.”

    But hey, let’s stay in context, and grab some more 1 Corinthians. How about, oh, 6:9:

    “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,”

    Oh, hey, another fave of mine, 6:12

    “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” (What the, I don’t even…)

    Good thing this is the book where God gives us hair advice (11:14-15)

    “Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
    But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.”

    Did you know your long hair exists solely to cover you, lilady?

    Also: friendly advice… do not quote the Christian Bible at me to prove it is a sane, caring or humane document — it is not, and you know damned well it isn’t.

  22. #22 Stu
    April 30, 2013

    @Denice: that is a beautiful metaphor. It is also exceedingly vague and consists mostly of hand-waving. You would laugh anyone arguing in this fashion about vaccines out of the room. Why do you feel it is acceptable here?

  23. #23 Stu
    April 30, 2013

    Actually, I am truly incensed at the moment. Forget not belaboring the point. And I will stick just to that sweet 1 Corinthians. (Something in the back of my head went “1 Corinthians? Wait, THAT 1 Corinthians? She can NOT, possibly be serious…”)

    Doop dee doop dee doop…

    2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. (Calli, Denice, lilady, you are all sinners already)

    11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

    11:5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.

    11:6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.

    11:7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.

    11:8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.

    11:9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

    7:9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn. (What the…)

    16:22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.

    lilady, I apologize, but you might want to pick something other than the most misogynistic book in the NT (among stiff competition) next time.

    Yes, I can and will do this all day.

  24. #24 lilady
    April 30, 2013

    Sorry Stu, that I wasn’t able to answer your questions. I think I was attempting to state that my faith…or lack thereof…has absolutely nothing to do with my inborn (or acquired) skepticism and my science-based education and nursing practice.

    “How do you square fighting for an evidence-based perspective on medicine with a non-evidence-based perspective on life?”

    I *manage* Stu, and it is not a problem for me. I’m not at all concerned that my non-evidenced-based perspective on life (faith), has in any way negatively impacted on the care and concern I have for the patients who were entrusted to my care.

  25. #25 Denice Walter
    April 30, 2013

    @ Stu:

    Because we’re not talking about science- ( e.g. vaccines, research,-where there is data) but speculative ventures about how humanity developed that function like poetry- giving us insight perhaps but never proof.

    Psychologists like Piaget theorised- based on their direct observations of children- that kids build up a naive physics through their interactions with objects in the world- dropping objects over and over again- experimenting with motions and objects in space- before they ever study science- and finding ways to
    explain” what happens.

    Bruner et al write about how kids slowly “discover” and create language -based ideas about people and social structure.
    Others study cultural differences in cognition.

    Others look at ancient mythologies, literature, religion and art work: a link to our predecessors – sometimes sounding alien to our ears, sometimes not.

    But in reality, no one really knows how pre-scientific humans’ minds work- we can only speculate and guess.

    However, how we are NOW is not what we were. Read literature from earlier cultures.

  26. #26 Denice Walter
    April 30, 2013

    -btw- I’m an atheist. Sin is not a concept I use in daily life.

  27. #27 Stu
    April 30, 2013

    You *manage*? I’m sorry, that does not address the inherent, raging, glaring contradiction. I’m sure you *manage*. But as you sit there holding forth at the irrationality of anti-vaxxers viewpoints as being (har-har) silly, and (har-har) irrational and (har-har) not based on evidence, how on Earth do square that with being a Christian? It’s silly, it’s irrational, and it is not based on evidence.

    And I am sorry, as much as I love you, it makes you a glaring hypocrite.

  28. #28 Shay
    April 30, 2013

    Then it makes me a hypocrite too, Stu, and an awful lot of engineers, scientists, medical professionals and researchers.

    We’ll live with it.

  29. #29 Denice Walter
    April 30, 2013

    While I really don’t want to go on and on, study of children’s ideas can be enlightening and disturbing: they sometimes show a lack of realism that seems other worldly and primitive.
    KIds sometimes believe that an object can transform into another or disappear, that the dead can be re-born, that animals can transmute into others.. I’m not talking about anthropologists speaking to less industrialised, illiterate cultures or symptomology of mental illness but 20th century westerners.

    Kids gradually acquire the basic explanations of their own culture whether it is mystery-based or science-based.

  30. #30 Narad
    April 30, 2013

    It’s silly, it’s irrational, and it is not based on evidence.

    So is the assumption of the existence of plural minds.

  31. #31 herr doktor bimler
    April 30, 2013

    It’s silly, it’s irrational, and it is not based on evidence.

    So is most of shared cultural existence, such as my preference for particular artists and composers.

  32. #32 lilady
    April 30, 2013

    Perhaps you can point to the biblical passages that deal with evidenced-based/science-based medicine, such as vaccines, birth control (the sin of Onan-“spilling the seed”), and marriage for gay couples…and then compare them to my posts, Stu…to see how “hypocritical” I am?

  33. #33 Christine (the public servant Christine)
    April 30, 2013

    The direction this thread has taken illustrates a growing concern I have with certain elements of the sceptic movement: the all-or-nothing approach. If you aren’t an atheist, you can’t be a sceptic, you can’t be in favour of science, cos IT JUST AIN’T LOGICAL.

    As HDB pointed out, much of humanity isn’t logical. Getting all shrill and upset because lilady and others have DARED to profess a strong Christian faith is as ridiculous as dismissing their views because, say, they prefer Marvel comics over DC comics, or they don’t like Star Trek.

    For people of strong faith, that faith is as much a part of their makeup as their eye colour or their like/dislike of certain music, and asking where it comes from is as pointless as asking why they have blue eyes or like rap music.

  34. #34 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    April 30, 2013

    @Christine

    Agreed.

    Folks? Think we could try to get this thread back on-topic?

  35. #35 Calli Arcale
    April 30, 2013

    I think he’s saying it’s hypocritical to be religious and also scientific, not that it’s hypocritical to have a different interpretation of Christianity given that all interpretations of Christianity are inevitably irrational on some level. (Stu, please correct me if I’ve misunderstood. It’s been a long evening….)

    The thing is, life isn’t neat and tidy and nobody has enough information to get through life in a purely scientific and rational way. You have to accept certain assumptions as valid in order to get through life in anything like an efficient manner, rather than exhaustively determining what is correct at all times. Sometimes we call these assumptions religion, sometimes we call them faith, sometimes we call them opinions, sometimes we call them passions, sometimes we call them preferences, but quite a lot of the time we don’t call them anything because we don’t even realize we’re making assumptions. Unscientific? Yes, because although science too can get away with making assumptions, it has to painstakingly point this out and account for the errors that can result. In daily life, we’d probably starve to death if we were that rigorous about everything. And so we make assumptions, we build up prejudices and biases, and this gets us through life much more expediently. Say what you will about a cognitive bias; it does make it easier to decide what to have for dinner. Everyone does it. It’s fundamental to the way the brain works. You may not believe in a deity, but I can guarantee you that you believe in other things. Even atheists generally believe in stuff that has no physical existence — stuff like justice. It can be very much a force for good, because as Terry Pratchett had Death put it in “Hogfather”, if you don’t believe in them, how can they become?

    There’s lots of science behind these biases being inbuilt, in much the same way that all our weird visual quirks are inbuilt to enable us to process phenomenal amounts of visual data and produce such a simple, easy-to understand result in our minds. The brain uses shortcuts, and belief is one of them. Not precisely in a “god of the gaps” sense, but in an efficiency sense — you cannot expect to always have all information available to make a decision, after all, so it’s not so much filing a knowledge gap as filling an indecision gap. So religious people who are skeptics are not hypocrites necessarily. They’re humans. The key is that in order to legitimately call themselves skeptics, they must be aware of the limitations of their belief, and that the may be wrong. Being open-minded doesn’t mean rejecting the supernatural. It’s far more general than that. It means always accepting that one might be wrong about something.

    As far as liberal Christians, I recently started donating to a group called Reconciling Works, which seeks to promote LGBT acceptance in local churches. And I belong to the ELCA, which is a relatively liberal version of Lutheranism (though the denomination is very forgiving of individual congregations choosing a slightly different path on doctrinal issues like whether or not to accept a gay pastor, basically on the basis that officially it’s fine but they’re not gonna force a congregation to take a pastor they don’t want).

  36. #36 Politicalguineapig
    May 1, 2013

    Christine: If you aren’t an atheist, you can’t be a sceptic, you can’t be in favour of science, cos IT JUST AIN’T LOGICAL.

    First of all, there is a huge, giant rift between science and religion right now. I suppose there always has been, we just notice the rift more now than in times where everyone had to pay lip service to God and attend church or the local synagogue. And Christianity and science have always had a rocky relationship. It wasn’t until after the bubonic plague and the witchhunts that anything resembling science or modernity emerged in Europe.
    I mean, look at Asia; they rarely had fundamentalist movements and Japan and China have almost always experienced steady progress in most scientific fields.(There were some fundamentalist movements; see Japanese Nationalism from the 1920s-1945, and Maoism.)
    America, by contrast, has a robust fundamentalist movement and is stagnating in scientific fields.
    Also, Christine, I gotta tell you that I am not in favor of emotions, except perhaps for special occasions where they can be safely detonated. I’m not sure I believe in justice, unless I can personally administer it. It’s a commodity for the rich and powerful, not for people like me.

  37. #37 Khani
    May 1, 2013

    I didn’t really want to talk about religion here.

    I’d rather talk about medicine.

    Christians can’t be in favor of science? That seems to be a false dichotomy.

    I’d rather see us talk about something more productive, like working on ways to explain to ordinary people that vaccines don’t cause autism, and that though they do have some risks, the risks are generally not as bad as the risks of the diseases they prevent.

    Perhaps people need to be reminded what polio was like, or what pertussis sounds like, more often. Rotary International, I want to say, was doing a big push to eradicate polio.

    Question: Does anyone see any difference between antivaxxers’ treatment of oral vaccines versus injected vaccines?

  38. #38 lilady
    May 1, 2013

    @ Pgp: Excuse me. I’ve earned my stripes as a skeptic and a defender of science-based/evidence based medicine…while maintaining my faith as a Christian.

    You have a history of blundering on to threads to attack other posters, based on your *ability* to use broad strokes and sweeping generalities, about their gender and their religious beliefs.

    Give it a rest Pgp, your explosive venting and your anger about your plight in life, is tiresome.

  39. #39 Politicalguineapig
    May 1, 2013

    http://www.timeturk.com/en/2013/04/22/all-autistic-kids-are-atheists.html

    Just gonna leave that here.
    Lilady, I usually stay on topic. But if people are going to pretend science and religion have *anything* to do with one another, I’m not going to let that slide. They belong in different compartments, on different processing systems. Some people can run the science PC and shove it into the closet come Sunday, others run the religion MAC all the time. The problem is a lot of people get the OS’s confused, or try and run both at the same time. Which will lead to a crash, a confused reboot and errors.

    Khani: It wasn’t me who made the rules.
    As far as I can tell, anti-vaxxers hate both, especially the polio vax, since it came on a sugar cube. A lot of the AOA people act like giving a kid sugar is equivalent to feeding them cyanide. They really hate sweets.
    Btw, today they’re yelping about the diptheria vax of the 1930s, and how gardening will make your kids, grandkids and all your descendants autistic.

  40. #40 Militant Agnostic
    Where the April showers consist mostly of snow.
    May 1, 2013

    Stu

    And even the nicest, kumbaya-singing Unitarian socialist still provides cover for inherently irrational thought, justification for discrimination and still extends an umbrella over the worst of the worst.

    Do not piss off the Unitarians – they might come to your house in the middle of the night and burn a question mark on you lawn.

  41. #41 lilady
    May 1, 2013

    @ Khani: I’d like to talk about medicine, as well.

    From what I can discern when I go slumming at my *favorite* anti-vaccine blogs, the *emphasis* is on vaccines that are injected, not the rotavirus vaccine, which is the only oral vaccine that is on the Recommended Vaccine Schedule.

    I have a folder of great pro vaccine websites, that I link to when I post at other science blogs. When I post I provide statistics comparing the exceedingly rare serious adverse events associated with a vaccine-versus-the serious consequences of not vaccinating. I also have the legal documents for each of the Vaccine Court’s decisions, where a child was awarded damages for encephalitis/encephalopathy…not autism, that I link to.

    Since I retired from public health, I really miss have personal contact with parents who had questions about vaccine safety.

    Matt Carey has three posts up about Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick, who has an autistic child and who is a science blogger in the U.K. Dr. Fitzpatrick, has offered to participate in a debate with Andrew Wakefield about vaccine safety. Andy has been moving the goalposts again…his latest shtick is about the frequency of anaphylaxis and the inadequacy of protocols/medical staff to treat vaccine anaphylaxis…based on three dodgy case studies.

    http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/

  42. […] go onto antivaxx websites. I have enough problems with my temper as is. However, a post by Orac caught my eye so I went over to Age of Autism. I don’t know how to use NOFOLLOW, so if you […]

  43. #43 Narad
    May 1, 2013

    I suppose there always has been, we just notice the rift more now than in times where everyone had to pay lip service to God and attend church or the local synagogue.

    TINW. TIN(TINW). TIN(TIN(TINW)).

    HTH. HAND.

    –The Lumber Cartel.

  44. #44 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    May 1, 2013

    @Politicalguineapig: all generalisations are dangerous, including this one. And it’s not true that all autistic children are atheists. I wasn’t.

  45. #45 dingo199
    May 1, 2013

    Looking at the AoA comment thread, I came across this:

    Identical twins have identical DNA… yet the probability of both twins getting autism, is somewhere between 63 and 98%
    Does’t this prove that autism couldn’t possibly be a genetic disorder???

    Words fail me.

  46. #46 Khani
    May 1, 2013

    #241 I have been in the room with friends (and their adorable baby) while someone else told them how great homeopathic teething remedies were.

    They listened politely (I don’t think they were susceptible, frankly, but we Midwesterners will smile and listen to almost anything just out of politeness) and after the kind and well-meaning woo-ster left, I pointed out the belladonna issue. ( http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/10/28/a-brief-diluted-homeopathic-interlude/ if you don’t remember.)

    And their baby still gets tylenol for sore teeth, as recommended by their pediatrician. Not belladonna.

  47. #47 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    May 1, 2013

    @Khani

    Also info about it here. Gotta be careful with homeopathy, especially with children and especially in the U.S., where just slapping “homeopathy” on the label can circumvent a lot of those nasty safety and purity regulations.

    Thanks for explaining the issues to your friends!

  48. #48 Christine (the public servant Christine)
    May 1, 2013

    Khani: I agree completely about needing to know what pertussis sounds like.

    The health department I work for in Australia has developed a nifty little smartphone app that gives people reminders as t when their vaccinations are due (and kids’ vaccinations too). It’s being advertised on TV with a nice, soothing jingle.

    I do wish it could be accompanied by some of the other ads I’ve seen over the years – the newborn with pertussis fighting for breath; and one I remember from my own childhood of a boy who’d developed encephalitis from measles and was left a vegetable. I still remember that ad from 30 years ago, and it made me a big believer in vaccinations even as a kid.

  49. #49 JGC
    May 1, 2013

    Well, when was the last time you ran into a left-wing Christian?

    Yesterday.

  50. #50 Denice Walter
    May 1, 2013

    What we refer to as ‘SB’ as a mode of thinking is probably a rarity amongst humans:
    why do I say that?
    it is a late achievement in development- Piaget would label it as part of formal operational thought- including hypothetical thinking, abstract throught (“operations on operations”), knowledge of combinational possibilities et al.
    It runs along with executive function development- including such capacities as self-evaluation ( anti- Dunning-Kruger, so to speak). It can be restricted because of psychological or developmental problems.

    Generally, this doesn’t appear in children prior to adolescence ( which is why algebra and research design usually aren’t taught much earlier as a matter of course), it doesn’t appear in all children ( it’s related to general intelligence- average or above), might be encouraged more in particular societies ( western, literate)
    although it is common to all people but it may be restricted to social functions like law or trade in less literate societies.

    In the west, enculturated adults don’t spend their entire lives in logical mode:
    if you look across cultures historically ( through literature), or cross-culturally concerning people alive today, or within a given culture across differing groups or concerning a particular individual ( either longitudinally over the developmental period OR across various areas of life) logic and reason aren’t the rule but the exception.

    Should we expect woo-believers to surpass what most people don’t achieve universally or across the board?

  51. #51 Calli Arcale
    May 1, 2013

    Regarding oral versus injected polio vaccine and the attitudes of antivaxxers…..

    It depends on the antivaxxer. But remember that in the US, only the injected one is available, so of course that’s the one they’ll revile. In other countries, they go after the oral vaccine, since that’s the one that’s given. And I’m not just talking about the crazy religious authorities spreading conspiracy theories about Christians attempting to sterilize Muslims through vaccination. I’ve seen antivaxxers in the US attack the use of OPV in other countries. It’s the fact that it’s a vaccine.

    I do think for a lot of them, it started out as needle-stick fear (which is quite understandable; that’s right up there with reactions to spiders and snakes as a primal, gut response to danger) combined with the unpleasantness of watching your child suffer the pain of injection while you hold them down. Just watching them scream because of what you want done is enough to trigger guilt in most parents. But once they have justified that fear by latching onto anti-vaccination, it’s no great leap to hate other vaccines which are not injected. Especially after the rotavirus vaccine debacle. (Lots of US antivaxxers bring that one up, even though it’s been off the market for ages.)

  52. #52 Edith Prickly
    May 1, 2013

    Well, when was the last time you ran into a left-wing Christian? I can cite maybe one priest in my area who actually went against the party line- he lost his whole flock over that. There are a handful of Lutheran and Protestant churches that say they are ‘GLBT friendly” but I’ve never heard of them doing anything political.

    No left-wing or GLBT-friendly Christians, you say? Why look, here’s a whole church full: http://www.mcctoronto.com/

    Here’s a left-wing politician who used to be a Untied Church minister and performed same-sex marriages: http://www.cheridinovo.ca/blog/about/

    And over here, we have a former nun who’s been a left-wing activist since she first took her vows: http://www.regiscollege.ca/faculty/mary-jo-leddy

    And in case you were planning to argue that Canada doesn’t count, I’ll remind you about this shooting in Tennessee where a liberal church was the target: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knoxville_Unitarian_Universalist_church_shooting. That’s right, there’s a liberal church in Knoxville Tennessee. Who would have guessed?

    PGP, the world is much bigger than your little corner of the US. Just because you personally don’t know any progressive Christians doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

  53. #53 Edith Prickly
    stuck in moderation
    May 1, 2013

    too many links! I was just trying to point out to PGP that progressive Christians do exist, even if she doesn’t know any.

  54. #54 JGC
    May 1, 2013

    Ahh, but those aren’t true Scots…i mean, Christians.

  55. #55 dedicated lurker
    May 1, 2013

    Identical twins have identical DNA… yet the probability of both twins getting autism, is somewhere between 63 and 98%
    Does’t this prove that autism couldn’t possibly be a genetic disorder???

    I’ll take “Not understanding how genetics work” for one hundred.

    Incidentally, I’m an identical twin, and my twin has Asperger’s syndrome.

  56. #56 Scottynuke
    May 1, 2013

    I thought the camel was in the eye of the needle…

  57. #57 Dangerous Bacon
    May 1, 2013

    “The health department I work for in Australia has developed a nifty little smartphone app that gives people reminders as t when their vaccinations are due (and kids’ vaccinations too). It’s being advertised on TV with a nice, soothing jingle.”

    Might be more effective if there was a ringtone consisting of a classical whooping-type cough. People might move away from you on the bus, but that’s not a bad thing.

  58. #58 herr doktor bimler
    May 1, 2013

    I thought the camel was in the eye of the needle…

    It turns out that a camel *can* fit through the needle if you have a strong enough blender, but the alarmists become even more concerned about the additional ingredient in the vaccine.

  59. #59 al kimeea
    quackademiology.com
    May 1, 2013

    As HDB pointed out, much of humanity isn’t logical. Getting all shrill and upset because MarJudith and others have DARED to profess a strong faith in Reiki is as ridiculous as dismissing their views because, say, they prefer Marvel comics over DC comics, or they don’t like Star Trek.

    That would not stand, yet the original is to be given a pass. And like all the other comments in this vein, none of the comparative items fictional or not, presume a deity. And they actually exist.

    To argue against the beauty and reality of music would be ridiculous. And Wesleyanism. No, not Crusher.

    The humble declarations of those with a personal relationship with The Great Maker would have resulted in blasphemy charges for the well meaning heretics not all that long ago.

    That they still happen today boggles. Sanal Edamaruku driven from his home in Mumbai by blasphemy charges brought by the Catlicks because he exposed their tired old weeping Jebus con at the request of a TV station. Leaking plumbing, and the miracle of capillary action.

    As nice as the religious versions heard here appear to be, they are lost in the noise of the tens of thousands of versions of that myth alone. The sheer number of interpretations of Jebuswoo, each arrogantly claiming to be correct one, bodes ill for the veracity of any of them. The Buddhists can’t even agree.

    I don’t have an interpretation because I don’t do that for Dickens or Dumas or Fitzgerald, so…

    What if the real one is the one with rattlers?

    Why are we here?

    Me: Not really sure, buckle up and enjoy the ride

    Believer: God, hold this snake will ya? Live? Your faith is strong. Die? doG has other plans for you. Win win.

    Why people who display ability and acumen via logic, reason and critical thinking for many other topics, but choose to turn it off for this most dangerous branch of woo is the puzzler.

    Indoctrination and Tradition!! And various forms of peer pressure. Belief in belief…

    Sadly the nice religious people like those here and the very liberal friend mentioned earlier (a diaphanous christian, all of whom would be just as nice sans halo) appear to be vastly outnumbered by the nasty ones.

    The ones running Canada are gutting science funding. And my taxes pay for religious schooling by an international child rape ring.

    The authoritarian assholes are not the result of religion, it is the result of them selling it to the masses long ago. Neither is benign, nor harmless.

    Sorry, I didn’t broach the subject but it deserves no less refutation and arguably more scorn than any other unsupported claim put under the microscope here.

    rAmen

  60. #60 herr doktor bimler
    May 1, 2013

    The Buddhists can’t even agree.

    Hey, I’m Theravadin — you can’t expect me to compromise with a Mahayanist like Narad.

  61. #61 Politicalguineapig
    May 2, 2013

    Julian Frost: I was only posting the article here because it seemed to cover both topics in the thread. That wasn’t written by me, nor do I endorse the ideas found in it.

  62. #62 Narad
    May 2, 2013

    Hey, I’m Theravadin — you can’t expect me to compromise with a Mahayanist like Narad.

    “This is why you should know that this is the best, most extraordinary, and amazing thing that the Tathāgata teaches that all dharmas are without origination, without cessation, without characteristics, and without conditions. That it causes people to have confidence in it is twice as amazing.”

    “No one shall expel us from the Paradise that Cantor has created.”

  63. #63 Batty
    Australia
    May 2, 2013

    I have 2 kids, one with ASD and one with AS. (They both also have ADHD). It wasn;t until well after they were diagnosed that i was convinced I had AS. I couldn’t see it in myself because of my own preconceptions. I have a good radar and I can now see it throughout my family. My nephew was also diagnosed ASD, making 3 in their generation, while nobody was diagnosed in previous generations until adulthood, explaining the sudden “epidemic”. But I’m sure you’re aware of that. What i want to add is that when I see parents claiming that their child’s autism was caused by vaccinations, I see them as being unable to see it in themselves, and the fact that they want to blame outside influences to fit their preconceived notions backs that up.. I question whether the questioners have autistic traits.

  64. #64 al kimeea
    May 2, 2013

    HDB and Narad, you may be surprised to learn that I created you.

    A Buddhist master I read said so whilst quoting Buddha – “there is no creator but the mind”. Therefore it must be. He thinks it is a divine idea.

  65. #65 Applecat
    May 3, 2013

    A proportion of the population will sadly no longer believe what any official sources say about vaccines, because they need look no further than the truth about cannabis, and how governments and commercial interests put pressure on academics to toe the line while shady shareholders profit.

    Can we blame them?

  66. #66 Lara Lohne
    May 4, 2013

    I had heard about autism 25 years ago, longer then that actually, seeing as how I’m 42 now and when I was 18, y fiance at the time had a roommate who had autism. He told us about it, granted he learned about it back in the days when it was still being blamed on cold, heartless mothers. His special interest was reading and so he read every book on autism he could find (this was back in the late 70’s early 80’s). He learned what the symptoms were, began to recognize them in himself and learned to suppress them so he could pass as normal.

    At that time, I never would have thought I’d be in a relationship with an autistic, nor have an autistic child of my own. Now that I do, and having learned the history of autism and knowing what I know about it now, I feel so sorry for this man. I’d love to be able to find him again and tell him it wasn’t ever something he needed to change or hide. But I can’t remember his last name.

  67. #67 Lara Lohne
    May 4, 2013

    Oops, my bad. I guess it’s not quite 25 years since I knew this man. It’s too early in the morning for math. Either way, I had heard about autism before I knew this man and he told us he was autistic. I believe I first learned about it when I was in high school. Temple Grandin had an autism diagnosis prior to 25 years ago too so not sure what the Dachel bot is talking about there.

  68. #68 lilady
    May 4, 2013

    @ Lara Lohne: Dachel claims “there were no autistic children 40-50 years ago”…yet conveniently *forgets* how autism did not appear 1968-1980 inclusive, in the DSM II:

    “DSM II (1968)
    [autism was not mentioned; the word appears only under the following category]

    “295.8 Schizophrenia, childhood type

    This category is for cases in which schizophrenic symptoms appear before puberty. The condition may be manifested by autistic, atypical and withdrawn behavior; failure to develop identity separate from the mother’s; and general unevenness, gross immaturity and inadequacy of development. These developmental defects may result in mental retardation, which should also be diagnosed.”

    So what diagnosis did these children/young adults, seen in this 1972 video have? Schizophrenia? Mental Retardation? Autism? Dachel is old enough to have seen this television documentary and the many clips of the video that were featured on television news programs, throughout the United States. Many of the “AoA groupies” are old enough to remember “Willowbrook” as the shame of our nation.

  69. #69 Dangerous Bacon
    May 4, 2013

    A proportion of the population will sadly no longer believe what any official sources say about vaccines, because they need look no further than the truth about cannabis, and how governments and commercial interests put pressure on academics to toe the line while shady shareholders profit.”

    “Can we blame them?”

    Aside from whatever mystical Truth there is about cannabis that we’ve been prevented from realizing, yes, we can blame people who are too lazy to seek out evidence and take refuge instead in comfortable conspiracy theories.

  70. #70 lilady
    May 4, 2013

    @ Mephistopheles O’ Brien: I’m thinking we have yet another sock puppet of the pothead troll.

  71. #71 lilady
    May 4, 2013

    Last comment should have been addressed to Dangerous Bacon.

  72. #72 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    May 4, 2013

    lilady – I’m sorry you weren’t talking to me, because I was thinking the exact same thing.

  73. #73 Applecat
    May 4, 2013

    @Dangerous Bacon, back before the science was good enough to know either way, cannabis was blamed for psychosis and schizophrenia wherever possible. It was a fair punt but it’s now been disproved, and using pretty much the same level of evidence as is used to refute the lie that vaccines cause autism.

    Even now, in 2013, we still suffer from the media, politicians, the judiciary, the police, academics and medics all continuing to support the myth the cannabis can cause psychosis.

    So why would anyone believe what they are told about vaccines? Can anyone explain the difference because if there is one, I can’t see it.

  74. #74 lilady
    May 4, 2013

    Have you got anything to add to this discussion about vaccines and the totally debunked theories that vaccines are linked to the onset of ASDs, Applecat? Or, are you just trolling?

  75. #75 Grant
    http://sciblogs.co.nz/code-for-life/2013/04/29/are-too-many-vaccines-too-soon-harmful/
    May 4, 2013

    Applecat,

    Accepting your claim about “cannabis was blamed for psychosis and schizophrenia wherever possible” for a moment for the sake of argument – saying that doesn’t work here.

    You (claim to) offer an example of over-reaching, making a call when there was no (or insufficient) evidence.

    Ironically, your analogy is better suited to those that point at vaccines as causing autism – they are over-reaching, pointing at one causing the other without substantiative evidence.

    In the autism case there is plenty of evidence showing vaccines don’t cause autism. (I’ve give one in my location – there are plenty more. There is also plenty of evidence pointing to the dominant role of genetic in autism.)

    Regards cannabis and psychosis, I would suggest you check the medical science literature such as this study from New Zealand. A quick inspection suggests the modern literature doesn‘t fit your claim.

  76. #76 lilady
    May 4, 2013

    @ Grant: Unfortunately, that 2006 BMJ article is behind a pay wall. Here’s a 2013 abstract from PubMed about Cannabis and psychosis:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23617875

  77. #77 Applecat
    May 4, 2013

    Does anyone have a better study than this? It appears to disprove any suggestion of a causal link, and it’s not a placebo controlled double blind trial.
    pubmed 19560900

    “A recent systematic review concluded that cannabis use increases risk of psychotic outcomes independently of confounding and transient intoxication effects. Furthermore, a model of the association between cannabis use and schizophrenia indicated that the incidence and prevalence of schizophrenia would increase from 1990 onwards. The model is based on three factors: a) increased relative risk of psychotic outcomes for frequent cannabis users compared to those who have never used cannabis between 1.8 and 3.1, b) a substantial rise in UK cannabis use from the mid-1970s and c) elevated risk of 20 years from first use of cannabis. This paper investigates whether this has occurred in the UK by examining trends in the annual prevalence and incidence of schizophrenia and psychoses, as measured by diagnosed cases from 1996 to 2005. Retrospective analysis of the General Practice Research Database (GPRD) was conducted for 183 practices in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The study cohort comprised almost 600,000 patients each year, representing approximately 2.3% of the UK population aged 16 to 44. Between 1996 and 2005 the incidence and prevalence of schizophrenia and psychoses were either stable or declining. Explanations other than a genuine stability or decline were considered, but appeared less plausible. In conclusion, this study did not find any evidence of increasing schizophrenia or psychoses in the general population from 1996 to 2005.”

    I still believe vaccines do not cause autism and I still believe cannabis does not cause autism. I believe what the government says about vaccines, I do not believe what the government says about cannabis. What is so hard to understand about that?

  78. #78 Applecat
    May 4, 2013

    *does not cause psychosis.

  79. #79 Grant
    May 4, 2013

    lilady,

    Strange, I can read it (which is odd as I’m paywalled on most things). I wasn’t after discussing this—it’s well off-topic, after all—but just offering a pointer to a summary of the field that Applecat can read for themselves as in the ‘Epidemiological evidence’ section there.

    The bigger problem for Applecat is that their comparison doesn’t work (as I explained earlier) – the comparison offered is essentially the complete opposite to the situation for vaccine/autism.

  80. #80 lilady
    May 4, 2013

    @ Applecat:

    “Does anyone have a better study than this? It appears to disprove any suggestion of a causal link, and it’s not a placebo controlled double blind trial.
    pubmed 19560900”

    You can bet the farm that I have a more recent study of “skunk” (high potency cannabis) use and the onset of psychosis:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=schizophrenia+and+psychosis+in+u.k.+associated+with+cannabis

    Pharmacopsychiatry. 2012 Nov;45(7):269-74. doi: 10.1055/s-0032-1306310. Epub 2012 Apr 17.

    Neurocognitive function and schizophrenia-proneness in individuals dependent on ketamine, on high potency cannabis (‘skunk’) or on cocaine.

    Morgan CJ, Duffin S, Hunt S, Monaghan L, Mason O, Curran HV.

    Source

    Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit, Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, University College London, London, U.K.

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND:

    Ketamine, psychostimulants and cannabis have all been associated with psychotic phenomena but no study has directly compared users of these drugs.

    AIMS:

    The aim of this study was to assess schizophrenia proneness and neurocognitive function in individuals dependent upon ketamine, cannabis and cocaine.

    METHOD:

    130 volunteers – 29 ‘skunk’ users, 22 cocaine users, 21 ketamine users, along with 28 ‘recreational’ poly-drug users and 30 drug-naïve controls – were assessed on the Schizophrenia Proneness Instrument, Adult version (SPI-A). They were specifically asked to rate symptoms when not under the acute influence of a psychoactive drug.
    RESULTS:

    Ketamine and skunk users manifested the greatest attentional and cognitive disturbances. The symptom profile of the dependent ketamine users was very similar to that of prodromal individuals who transitioned to psychosis.

    CONCLUSIONS:

    Given the recent rapid rise in use of high potency cannabis and of ketamine, these findings are important and clinicians should be careful to rule out the effects of persistent drug use, especially in users of ketamine or skunk, when assessing an individual’s risk of psychosis. A longitudinal study is needed to differentiate which basic symptoms persist following abstention from ketamine and skunk.

    © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

    PMID:
    22511328
    [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

    And…your point being? What do your posts have to do with the subject of this blog?

    I’m still thinking you are a sock puppet of “Jacob”, the pothead troll who was banned from RI and other science blog.

  81. #81 Applecat
    May 4, 2013

    Greg, it’s very simple.

    Science says vax not make autism.
    Officials say vax not make autism.
    Science says pot not make psychosis.
    Officials say pot make psychosis.

    Your n=131 BMJ study was included in the meta-analysis for pubmed 19560900 (n=600,000), along with all others of it’s ilk.

    Remind me, I’m no expert, what is the typical population size for the average study which proves that vax not make autism?

  82. #82 Applecat
    May 4, 2013

    Yes lilady I did read and understand the BMJ study and no id does not prove that cannabis causes psychosis. You’ve misinterpreted it. Correlation is not causation, and constellation of symptoms is not disease. If Hannah Poling does not have autism, then skunk does not cause psychosis.

    Rumour has it, that some drugs can cause transient symptoms of psychosis, from the perspective of an external assessor, but that’s not the same as transiently causing the same experience from the perspective of the ‘sufferer’.

    There are drugs which do that kind of thing, but neither skunk, cannabis, ketamine or cocaine are amongst them. Just ask anyone who’s experienced genuine psychosis, who’s also used those drugs. They are not the same. That Morgan study is flawed.

  83. #83 lilady
    May 4, 2013

    Applecat:

    And…your point being? What do your posts have to do with the subject of this blog?

    I’m still thinking you are a sock puppet of “Jacob”, the pothead troll who was banned from RI and other science blogs.

  84. #84 Applecat
    May 4, 2013

    lilady:

    I guess my evidence is better than yours, hence that ad-hominem “you are a banned illegal poster therefore your argument is invalid” gambit is your only place left to hide.
    Got any hard science?

  85. #85 Applecat
    May 4, 2013

    How did we even get into a debate over it? Please recheck the evidence and stop making a fool of yourself.

    The point is, with overwhelming evidence to the contrary, somehow and army of stupid rises up to defend the myth that vaccines/cannabis cause autism/psychosis every time.

    As the antivaccine troll is to you, you are to the pro-cannabis troll. You should read Ben Goldacre on pot.

  86. #86 Grant
    http://sciblogs.co.nz/code-for-life/2013/04/29/are-too-many-vaccines-too-soon-harmful/
    May 4, 2013

    Applecat #281 – ignoring whatever is said about cannabis, your comparison doesn’t work.

    Also: It looks to me that you haven’t read the summary of the field I pointed to. It’s not my field but it’s quite clear it’s more than rumour, etc. – your wording suggests you’re dismissing too readily. (It is an effect only for a minority, but one that appears to have good reasons to be considered to be ‘real’; the paper indicates the question is more ‘if’, than ‘how’.) Not going to write more on this as this is your interest, not mine. More important is for you to step back from the details on it and see that the comparison you’re making doesn’t work.

    Yes, there’s a trust issue for a small number of people over vaccines, but my experience is that it has nothing to do with evidence for or against,* but with these wanting to make their own decisions rather than rely on experts. (With the silly results that will most often bring. It’s also why I wrote an article titled ‘Medical DIY’, or something like that, a while ago. It makes me wonder if I should write one titled ‘Science DIY’…)

    —-
    * Whatever ‘evidence’ they present is used to prop up views they’ve already convinced themselves in.

  87. #87 lilady
    May 4, 2013

    Applecat: Have you got any hard science about the topic of this blog?

    I’m still thinking you are the pothead troll.

  88. #88 Alain
    May 4, 2013

    Applecat, do you use cannabis?

    Alain

  89. #89 Applecat
    May 4, 2013

    No Alain a friend of mine is seeking medicinal cannabis for her son but the child psychiatrist says no it might cause psychosis!
    Understandably peeved.

    lilady I’m rather blown away by the doublets in the bronchi study at present (pubmed 22926922), and wondering why on earth it hasn’t been repeated already? Is it just a folly, put out to stall the antivaxinites?

  90. #90 Christine (the public servant Christine)
    May 4, 2013

    Applecat, this is a discussion about VACCINES, not cannabis. If you want to campaign for medical cannabis use, go do it somewhere else. This thread already got derailed enough by arguments about faith.

  91. #91 Grant
    May 4, 2013

    lillady – trolling in some sort of way; certainly ignoring that their comparison doesn’t work while persisting off-topic.

    Applecat:

    and wondering why on earth it hasn’t been repeated already

    You could check the publication date (April 13), eh? Bit hard to have repeated something that’s only just come out…

    Is it just a folly, put out to stall the antivaxinites?

    Pining for conspiracies is always a bit silly, eh?

  92. #92 Narad
    May 4, 2013

    There are drugs which do that kind of thing, but neither skunk, cannabis, ketamine or cocaine are amongst them.

    At least we can now rule this out as a possible explanation for why John Lilly felt the need to warn Gerald Ford of the Earth Coincidence Control Office.

  93. #93 Krebiozen
    May 4, 2013

    At least we can now rule this out as a possible explanation for why John Lilly felt the need to warn Gerald Ford of the Earth Coincidence Control Office.

    I used to know (virtually) one of his acolytes/carers who said he spent a lot of time up a tree tripping on ketamine or having adventures in a parallel universe, depending on your belief system. I believe he also had breast implants surgically inserted, for reasons that were never entirely clear to me, though I can’t substantiate that. He’s one of those authors who, like Gurdjeff, I wasted a lot of time trying to make some sense of some years ago.

  94. #94 Narad
    May 4, 2013

    ^ That should have been ECCO’s competitor, Solid State Intelligence.

  95. #95 herr doktor bimler
    May 4, 2013

    I think it was Enright who climbed a non-consensus-reality tree, having awakened his early hominid genetic memories.

  96. #96 Narad
    May 4, 2013

    He’s one of those authors who, like Gurdjeff, I wasted a lot of time trying to make some sense of some years ago.

    “We might take Gurdjieff as an example of a master bullshıtter and Meher Baba as an example of a master horseshıtter.”

  97. #97 lilady
    May 4, 2013

    Applecat is Jacob/Julian, the pothead troll. Look at his FB page “Cannabis for Autism”. He’s been posting that doublet bronchi comment all over the internet and he has his comments on this thread up on his FB page:

    https://www.facebook.com/CFourA?ref=stream&group_id=0&filter=3

  98. #98 Applecat
    May 5, 2013

    Yes Narad, no matter how much ketamine can make you hallucinate or climb trees, it does not reproduce the experience of psychosis. Wrong drug. Guess again.

  99. #99 Applecat
    May 5, 2013

    Comparing autism and schizophrenia illustrates the point nicely. You can find plenty of eloquent high functioning people with autism or asperger’s who have experienced psychosis (around 6% vs 1% in the normal population).
    While someone comparing two lists of symptoms for the asperger when a young teen vs the symptoms for the asperger when suffering early psychosis in their late 30s may see similarities, a quick check with the asperger in question will reveal that the internal experiences could not be more different, and are clearly not the same things.

  100. #100 Lawrence
    May 5, 2013

    @lilady – I will give him this, he certainly is persistent…..

  101. #101 Grant
    May 5, 2013

    @Lawrence, lillady – a talking robot, it seems – ignores when their errors are pointed out and just babbles on some more.

  102. #102 lilady
    May 5, 2013

    Lawrence, Grant and Narad: I’m sitting back watching the show.

  103. #103 Applecat
    May 5, 2013

    I’m ignorant about PTSD myself, though I may have an undiagnosed case of it, I just think of it as a euphemism for psychosis caused by the extreme stress of war or similarly awful situation. Why is the push to prove cannabis treating ptsd important? Surely it’s the same as treating psychosis, and there’s nothing superior to cannabidiol in that respect.

    I have never used illegal drugs or any psyche meds, I have suffered psychosis, and otherwise consider myself to have a high number of asperger-like traits.

  104. #104 Applecat
    May 5, 2013

    ^Comment #303 was meant for the other thread.

  105. #105 Narad
    May 5, 2013

    Yes Narad, no matter how much ketamine can make you hallucinate or climb trees, it does not reproduce the experience of psychosis.

    If you don’t think that the level of delusional thinking required to try to warn the president of an alien conspiracy is a psychotic symptom, you don’t have much real-world experience with the subject. (Nor do we need to stick with just Lilly, not at all.)

    Indeed, that you think it “make[s] you hallucinate” suggests that you have only a passing familiarity with ketamine in the first place. This doesn’t appear common at recreational doses, generally requiring nearly incapacitating doses and somewhat contrived settings for open-eye visuals. Where it is best known is in emergence from surgical anesthesia. In neither of these situations is one going to be in any particular condition to act on the perceptual disturbance.

  106. #106 Narad
    May 5, 2013

    I just think of [PTSD] as a euphemism for psychosis caused by the extreme stress of war or similarly awful situation.

    In other words, you’re a moron.

    Why is the push to prove cannabis treating ptsd important? Surely it’s the same as treating psychosis, and there’s nothing superior to cannabidiol in that respect.

    See above.

    I have never used illegal drugs or any psyche meds

    Frankly, I suspect one could get a contact buzz just by reading your urine toxicology results.

  107. #107 lilady
    May 5, 2013

    Here Jacob/Julian, the statement you submitted to Parliament:

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmhaff/184/184we148.htm

    “Home Affairs Committee – Drugs: Breaking the CycleWritten evidence submitted by Julian Pursell and Cannabis for Autism UK (DP175)

    1. Summary

    The current policy is neither fiscally responsible nor is it grounded in science, health, security or human rights. Current criteria for measuring the effectiveness of policy are inadequate. The government has shown serious lack of judgement in its treatment of Prof. Nutt, losing the respect of our teenagers and future scientists. Police expenditure cannot continue to cope with the cost of prohibition. The war against people who use drugs has been lost, it’s time to make reparations. Reductions in problematic drug use must come from better education, better social support services, ending criminal sanctions and enriching the lives and environments of those who use, or are at risk of using.”

    And,

    “… I am a medical cannabis user. My human rights are utterly violated by the prohibition of my medicine. Banning someone’s medicine is on a par with banning food. A very unpopular move. I have spoken to numerous focus groups; teenagers and homeless drug users. I wish to credit these people for their valuable and frank input. There are now literally hundreds of peer reviewed, scientific studies that prove the efficacy of cannabis in the treatment of MS, Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia, spinal injury and a wide range of other conditions. I would suggest that you refer to the excellent National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) summary of research “Emerging Clinical Applications For Cannabis & Cannabinoids. A Review of the Recent Scientific Literature, 2000–2011.”

    Troll also mentions Ashanta Yoga *treatment* for drug users (remember one of Jacob’s hundreds of sock puppets was “Ashanta Yogi”?)

    I’ll be offline for a while on an errand and I’ll be bringing back the popcorn to watch the show.

  108. #108 Narad
    May 5, 2013

    Surely it’s the same as treating psychosis, and there’s nothing superior to cannabidiol in that respect.

    This whopper seems to derive from here (which is rather more reserved), by the way, courtesy of the allied “Cannabis for Psychosis” FB page. Unfortunately, it does nothing to suggest blowing weed is the way to go about this. Julian has expressed the opinion that psychosis is just a misnomer for “Kundalini opening.”

    As for the identity of Applecat, one might note that Julian posted a link to the page of a Canadian DJ who goes by that stage name. One might wonder whether he asked before appropriating it.

  109. #109 Applecat
    May 5, 2013

    @lilady I was laughing so much I couldn’t finish the document, thanks for making my day. Is it for real or is it some kind of spoof? It appears to be genuine.

  110. #110 Lawrence
    May 5, 2013

    @Applecat – if you’re not Jacob / Cannabis Troll, I’ll eat my hat…..

  111. #111 lilady
    May 5, 2013

    @ Lawrence…remember “Mindi the Hindi” another sock puppet of Jacob, ***Julian, Ashanti Yogi and Applecat, who I *outed* at the end of Orac’s post, here?

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2012/02/01/goodbye-and-good-riddance-to-organized-q/

    ***Julian Pursell is the Troll’s real name

  112. #112 Narad
    May 5, 2013

    In which Julian certainly seems to announce his intention to pop by and see if he can get banned: http://i.imgur.com/Y7zyRN1.png

    a friend of mine is seeking medicinal cannabis for her son but the child psychiatrist says no it might cause psychosis!

    This is lifted from the comments to one of the two FB pages or Julian’s WP site; I don’t particularly care to sift back through them again.

    ^Comment #303 was meant for the other thread.

    Which one would that be?

  113. #113 Applecat
    May 5, 2013

    Was he banned for life?

    What did he do?

  114. #114 Lawrence
    May 5, 2013

    @Jacob – just give it up….you want to 4/20 all the time, that’s your business. Why should we give a damn?

  115. #115 Applecat
    May 5, 2013

    Why do some people dislike some autistic people so much?
    Surely if something can reduce symptoms of autism then it may also reduce some hatred of some autistic people?
    This may in turn reduce the level of misplaced anti-vaccine sentiment which is attached to the hatred of the behaviours of some autistic people.

    Don’t you feel a responsibility to educate the (still largely ignorant) medical establishment about such issues? It’s clear that cannabis can help my friend’s son, his GP is in favour, the specialist has thrown his hands up in the air and screamed ‘nooo, teh vaccines!’

    Help us to end the stupid.

  116. #116 Lara Lohne
    May 5, 2013

    @lilady #268: Isn’t Donald Trippett in his 70’s now? Wasn’t he ‘one of the first’ autistic patients of Dr. Kanner back in the 1930’s? Clearly the Dachel bot doesn’t know what she’s talking about. But yes, until a condition is defined and given a label, it’s really hard to diagnose someone with it.

    It makes me wonder, back in the day, the number of people and/or children that may have been subjected to exorcism rites by the religious leaders of the day (who, if you go back far enough, were also the medical providers of the day) because they hummed, rocked, flapped their hands, spun non stop, etc. but they were obviously by today’s standards autistic, not possessed. A little bit of historical reading would lead one to believe (if one knows what the characteristics of autism really are) many, many people from history, including very well known and talented individuals fell on the spectrum. Sure, they had no ‘label’ because a label didn’t exist during their life time. The label hasn’t even been in existence as a recognized diagnosis until very recent history, less then 100 years ago. Refusing to accept what is very obvious is only deluding oneself, but nobody else.

  117. #117 lilady
    May 5, 2013

    Look what Julian Pursell/Jacob/Applecat posted on his “Cannabis for Autism” FB page yesterday. (He’s defending a drug -addled caregiver who sodomized and brutally beat up an autistic young man)

    “I believe that this boy may not have exhibited such severe symptoms which led to this awful treatment by a nasty man, if he had been able to have cannabinoid medication for his autism.

    Prohibition did not cause this, but it may have prevented someone from preventing this, which is equal to causing it in the eyes of the law.

    Simard pleads guilty to attempted murder | Local | News | The London Free Press

    http://www.lfpress.com

    “The chilling facts of the boy’s savage beating by fists and feet are not in dispute.

    He was left to die in the woods, his eyes, ears and nose bloody, teeth fractured, brain damaged. Months later, he cannot walk, cannot eat properly, cannot use the toilet and at 12, has to wear a diaper.

    The equally chilling facts the assailant gave as reasons to hurt the boy are not in dispute.

    “He’s a drain on society. His life is meaningless. It’s no big deal,” Greg Simard, 24, told police. “I did it for my country. . . . Um, maybe someone should come and shake my hand. . . a few pats on the back. . .”

    What remains in question now is this: Can Simard be held criminally responsible for the beating, or does he suffer a mental disorder that gets him off the legal hook?

    Simard pleaded guilty Friday to attempted murder Sept. 9, 2012, of the autistic boy under his care at the Child and Parent Resource Institute (CPRI) in London.

    As a statement of facts agreed by both the Crown and Simard’s lawyer was read in court, Simard himself showed no emotion.

    Members of the boys’ family sobbed.

    “It is agonizing as a parent to listen to someone . . . casually accounting how they (assaulted) someone because . . . of a mental disability, that they decided to be judge, jury and executioner against someone who is effectively defenceless,” his father said outside court.

    Many family members heard for the first time Friday what happened to the boy and the reasons Simard gave for hurting him.

    “The evil things he said . . . they were broken hearted to hear someone actually say those words,” the boy’s father said.

    After Simard was found guilty, and the facts read into the record, the Crown and Simard’s lawyer began arguments over the man’s mental state at the time of the assault.

    Dr. William Komer testified Simard was likely schizophrenic and didn’t have the ability at that time to know his actions were wrong.

    But Dr. Phillip Norris told court Simard suffers from several mental disorders, including some caused by substance abuse, but knew what he was doing was wrong.

    Ontario Court Justice Jeanine LeRoy didn’t rule on the matter Friday.

    The boy’s identity and that of his family are protected under a publication ban.

    Severely autistic, and non verbal, the boy was taken to CPRI in June 2012 for assessment and treatment.

    His parents hoped they’d learn how to better manage his autism, which expressed itself on good days in loving hugs and smiles, happily listening to music, and on bad days in angry outbursts and self harm.

    The boy came home every weekend, and went back on Sundays. The week he was beaten was to be his last at CPRI before being returned to the family full time.

    He was dropped off at 7 p.m. Sept. 9 at the cottage on the grounds on Sanatorium Rd. he shared with six other developmentally delayed children.

    Working that night was Simard, an A-student in Fanshawe College’s developmental services worker program who got one of the few highly coveted placements at CPRI.

    Simard told his co-worker that night he heard noises and three times went into to check on the boy.

    Just before midnight, Simard, with a blanket over one arm, led the boy out of his room and told the co-worker he was taking him downstairs.

    About five minutes later, the co-worker went downstairs and found no one.

    She reported a missing person to her supervisor, just before Simard came back, with blood on his shoes.

    The co-worker asked where the boy was.

    “You know what happened,” Simard replied.

    I don’t, the co-worker said.

    “Shut up or I’ll kill you,” Simard said.

    Police were called and began a search in the dense, dark woods outside CPRI. A police dog found a bloody towel and underwear on a path and officers heard groaning nearby.

    About 20 metres off the path, 60 metres west of the cottage, police found the boy, beaten and naked from the waist down.

    Eight months later, the boy can no longer stand or walk properly, the part of his brain handling balance damaged. His teeth are so damaged he cannot bite properly and he will need long-term dental surgery. His right eye still doesn’t open fully and his hands shake so much he cannot drink without spilling.

    Simard was arrested Sept. 10 at a parking lot on Clarke Rd. and asked police to call a doctor, instead of a lawyer.

    “I’m his bitch and he’s my master,” he told police.

    While getting searched at the police station, Simard shouted obscenities. His underwear was filled with excrement, police reported.

    In his cell he seemed at times rational and at others times made no sense while chatting with an undercover officer.

    But he offered chilling explanations for his assault in an interview a day later.

    “I just grabbed him by the hand and said come for a walk. . . . I hope he’s dead. He’s a drain on society,” Simard told Det. Amanda Pfeffer.

    Questioned about the boy’s underwear being torn off, Simard said, “I didn’t sexually assault a retarded kid. That’s disgusting.”

    He also told police he sometimes takes orders from God. “I’m not God but I take orders from myself.”

    During the interview, Simard grabbed Pfeffer’s wrist and clenched his fist, and grabbed the collar of her shirt before another officer came. Pfeffer received no injuries.

    Simard also pleaded guilty Friday to assaulting a police officer, uttering a death threat to the co-worker and an indecent act, after being spotted naked in public before the assault.”

    Julian Pursell/Jacob/Applecat, you are one sick drug-addled bastard. I feel dirty even reading your vile posts.

  118. #118 Applecat
    May 5, 2013

    lilady, I’ve just checked that facebook post and there is no indication of defending the scumbag who beat the autistic kid really badly.

    The OP seems to be taking issue with the prohibition of cannabis medicine.

    Where does it say something in support of the criminal? You’re seeing something that isn’t there. Quote the text you mean. I can’t see it.

  119. #119 Applecat
    May 5, 2013

    Pick one:

    Scenario A: Autistic young adult at home with family and cannabis medicine.

    Scenario B: Autistic man without cannabis medicine too much too look after at home so is in a care home at risk of being brutalised by a relative stranger.

    I know people who are from both scenarios. Which would you choose? If you say no to cannabis medicine, then are you not saying yes to potential brutal sodomisations of autistic children, as you say.

  120. #120 lilady
    May 5, 2013

    You didn’t have to “check out” that comment Julian Pursell…you wrote it on your blog. You are blaming the victim, a child with autism who was place in the Center for treatment. You call the drug-addled psychotic sodomizer a “nasty man”.

    “I believe that this boy may not have exhibited such severe symptoms which led to this awful treatment by a nasty man, if he had been able to have cannabinoid medication for his autism.

    Prohibition did not cause this, but it may have prevented someone from preventing this, which is equal to causing it in the eyes of the law.”

    Just go away now Julian Pursell; you are a vile drug-addled POS troll.

  121. #121 Narad
    May 5, 2013

    This is mildly amusing, although Julian is apparently too addled to actually provide the requisite details. (He seems to have morphed in the meantime from “cannabis4autism” to “lokasamasta” to try to slither back in, as well.) I mean, seriously, how does one manage to get banned from a sewer like Reddit?

    He also has a tantrum when his adoring FB audience fails to do his bidding and vote up his Reddit comments. He immediately fails to make good on the threat to stop posting until they obey and instead gets drunk and starts complaining about people unliking his FB page and not paying his bills.

  122. #122 Reuben Gaines
    http://thepoxesblog.wordpress.com
    May 5, 2013

    Julian Pursell has tried repeatedly to spam my blog with THC this, THC that, and no real substance. I think he’s zonked out of his mind.

    How about scenario C, Julian? Scenario C: A child with autism gets the evidence-based care he needs, the family gets the support they need, and the child doesn’t get a psychotropic shown to make things worse and really mess with the developing brains of children and teens.

    Jerk.

  123. #123 Denice Walter
    May 5, 2013

    Far be it from me to upset the applecat…

    but Julian seriously:
    if you like to smoke c@nnabis and are an adult- if it seems to help you feel better, it’s a lifestyle issue and your own business.
    you don’t need to try to justify it by saying it helps people with autism or can be a useful med et al,
    that’s entirely another issue.

    Do you have research that shows this? That might be a place to start.

    Some people like to smoke weed, some drink wine, some like house music… those things need not assist others to be enjoyable.

    You should relax: the trend seems to be towards legal tolerance.
    Wait, you smoke and do yoga, you are relaxed.

  124. #124 Christine (the public servant Christine)
    May 5, 2013

    Riiigghht, now I’ve worked out why applecat thinks it’s OK to start bleating about cannabis on an autism thread.

    Is anyone else getting thoroughly sick of the narcissistic trolls?

  125. #125 Orac
    May 5, 2013

    I see that the pothead troll has taken advantage of my relative inattention to the comments over the last two or three days to return. That’s about all I can tolerate. Goodbye, “Applecat.”

  126. #126 lilady
    May 5, 2013

    Here’s hoping that Julian Pursell does a disappearing act. Someone ought to look into this creep’s contacts with young people.

    Thanks Orac.

  127. #127 lilady
    May 6, 2013

    @ Lara Lohne # 316:

    Sorry Lara, that I didn’t reply to you comments about Donald Triplett.

    Donald was alive in 2010, when this article was written about him. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/10/autisms-first-child/308227/?single_page=true

    It is a fascinating article about his life in the early days and his life in 2010…he was driving a car and was a part of the community in the same small town where he was born 80 years ago.

    The comments are *interesting*…especially the few comments that tried to promote Dan Olmsted’s new book, Age of Autism. The Dachel bot didn’t comment but Ginger Taylor and Maurine Meleck showed up. According to Meleck, Donald *recovered from many of his autistic behaviors*, because he had gold salts treatments (for arthritis…not autism).

  128. #128 Narad
    May 6, 2013

    I can’t help but offer one more gem from Julian’s FB page. I really would expect more from a bunch of quasi-scientific reefer types.

    Leaving aside the bioavailability of CBD when ingested in this fashion… well, I don’t know about y’all, but the last time I had several gallons of leaf on hand, the mail culinary task was getting rid of the water-soluble part.

  129. #129 Narad
    May 6, 2013

    ^ the mail main culinary task

  130. #130 madmidgitz the prophet
    bobby mountain
    May 9, 2013

    @EEB
    feel you
    but my parents never found the “magic mix” of drugs, and the meds they liked were real zombiefiying meds, they never got their “real son” back, and their (unscientific quack) beliefs on autism where harmful and (now they cant affect me anymore)just annoying, it got so bad that now im just glad im 18 and they never managed to gain extended custody(which was something they wanted to pursue).
    their “real son” never asked questions or was unsatisfied with the argument from authority , their “real son” would sit still and take his homeopathic alcohol based spray, and not complain about wasting 100’s of dollars on bullshit, their “real son” wouldn’t worry about not getting vaccinated, their “real son” wouldn’t be an atheist i mean an agnostic could be tolerated but AN ATHEIST!
    their Real Son was just just hidden under a bunch of meds and fear of non-acceptance that they never got to know him.

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