Pharyngula

Those troublesome, shaky X chromosomes!

It’s easy to find lists of dumb things creationists say, and I’m familiar with that lot, but here’s a fun new time-waster: Things Anti-Vaxxers Say. Here’s a beautiful example of something I’ve rarely seen so clearly stated: they get the facts totally wrong, actually the reverse of the actual situation, but nope, that doesn’t stop them from inventing a bogus rationalization around them.

You can do your own research but it comes down to chromosomes -- the X chromosome is shaky, and boys have two of them. So they are quite literally twice as likely as girls to be adversely affected by genetic and environmental factors that can lead to the development of autism -- they are at twice the risk, purely because of their gender alone.

You can do your own research but it comes down to chromosomes — the X chromosome is shaky, and boys have two of them. So they are quite literally twice as likely as girls to be adversely affected by genetic and environmental factors that can lead to the development of autism — they are at twice the risk, purely because of their gender alone.

Uh-oh. I have 22 other chromosomes besides my sex chromosomes (I’ve actually seen them!), and…they’re all in pairs. I’m doomed.

But wait! I only have one X chromosome! I’m saved by the reduction in its pernicious influence!

Comments

  1. #1 Sam
    January 31, 2016

    Right, the fact that men have two X chromosomes is what reduces their risk of color blindness, hemophilia, and other X-linked diseases. But at what cost????

  2. #2 Peter
    Brisbane
    February 1, 2016

    A tiny flaw in the anti-vaxxers “argument” is that boys have an X and a Y chromosome, whereas girls have two X chromosomes. So the argument fails due to the invalid assumptions, right at the beginning.

    Even if the X chromosome were in some way “shaky” (whatever that means, I can’t find it anywhere in a biology textbook), then that would mean that GIRLS are at more risk.

    But never let the facts get in the way of a good Scare-mongering, hey?

  3. #3 Flint
    February 1, 2016

    Once he realizes he got his X and Y crossed, I’m sure he’ll find some other rationalization. When you start with Truth, evidence is whatever supports it, even when it doesn’t.

  4. #4 Mike
    Sydney Australia
    February 2, 2016

    The rationalisations used by anti-vaxxers are closely analogous to those used by anti-evolutionists AND the worst climate-change-deniers. Shaky premises, false “facts” and twisting away from counter-arguments.

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