Monday, July 26, 2010

Why Don't *Adults* Develop Autism from Vaccinations?

[Update: new statistics about the whooping cough epidemic in California keep coming in. San Luis Obispo County is second only to Marin in the spike we're seeing. Again, pure coincidence? But hey, it's up to those people, and even if they have weird beliefs they don't hurt anybody right? "Two infants in the county have already had cases so severe they needed to be hospitalized, and five in the state have died from it this year. "]

I got two vaccinations today, immunizing me against a total of no less than five pathogens. It is not uncommon for adults to get vaccinations. So what's the anti-vaxxer answer for why people don't develop autism in adulthood? (If there is one, fill me in, though I'm not holding my breath.)

If they don't have one, it shows (again) one of the common features of denialisms: their critics take their theories more seriously than they do. Think about experiments or research you could do, if you actually believed these theories, that would support the anti-vaccination platform, or creationism, or physics crackpots, or anything else. Think about problems you would need to tackle if your theory is going to have any useful predictive power. You'll find that supporters of these theories, oddly enough, don't do any of these things.

It seems that to denialists, their theories are less theories, more slogans, repeated in order to reinforce their identities and verify their adherence to a certain moral authority.

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