Wednesday, 14 January 2009


Over the last few days, several newspapers (The Guardian, The Telegraph and others) have carried a story about research done over eight years to test for a correlation between high levels of testosterone in fluid surrounding foetuses, and higher levels of “autistic traits”, such as poor verbal and social skills later in life. None of the children in the study were autistic, the study did not seek to develop a test for autism. The conclusion of the research was that their findings fit with the theory that exposure to testosterone in the womb is related to higher levels of autistic traits. That's it. There's an extremely good write-up on NHS Choices. The research team was led by Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, director of the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University.

So far, so good.

You'd've thought that this kind of research into autistic traits would be welcomed at JABS, as while it doesn't actually look at autism, it's sensible, thorough scientific research in that direction, which may, just may help us understand some of the real causes of autism.

Oooohh no. That's not how it works over at JABS. Sensible research is there to be rubbished, built up as conspiracy and completely misunderstood and lied about (whereas anything "alternative" is to be praised and lauded - clay baths for detox, weird tests for monkey viruses, drinking bleach etc). JABS is fundamentally anti-science. This is how Gus the Fuss hysterically reports the story:

Baron-Cohen wants to abort autistic foetuses

All these a*** lickers are trying to do is test a babies suitability to take the massive ammount of vaccines they pump into them just now.

Does the test include Aspergers, ,ADHD, both on the Autism spectrum.If it did on current goverment Autism figuresare 1 in 100 babies would be terminated take ADHD and aspergers in with the autism and every 2nd and 5th child born in a family of 5 babies would be terminated.

and hes meant to be looking out for the good of autistic children
Sounds like the return of holocaust

Hmm. The study isn't aimed at creating a "test for autism", vaccines aren't mentioned, none of the children involved were actually autistic, and I'm buggered if I know where licking arses comes in.

Gus's post was quickly followed by another which likened Baron-Cohen and his team to Nazi eugenics enthusiasts, but this was (surprisingly) removed fairly quickly. However, Aasa has chimed in with some words of "wisdom":

I think the idea of developing a screening test for autism "in the womb" is ridiculous. The testosterone in the womb could be interacting with heavy metals that the mother and fetus are exposed to. Whether the children will develop "autism" later also depends on their exposures to heavy metals and other toxins which can affect their development, even after birth. If they haven't even figured out how autism is caused, how can they expect to screen for it in the womb? Aside from that, the idea of screening for something which is likely environmentally caused, and then terminating pregnancies on the basis of that, certainly does not seem ethical.

So, what Aasa is doing here, as well as completely misunderstanding / not reading the research, is dismissing it out of hand, in favour of her (I just assume Aasa is a "she" - don't know why) own pet theories of environmental factors for autism, especially heavy metals - a theory for which there is no evidence, and which is primarily pushed by private "clinics" offering dangerous, expensive and useless chelation / biomedical therapy.

As I said earlier - you'd think that research along these lines would be welcomed by parents of autistic children; after all, it may eventually provide them with some reasons for their children's condition. But no - because it doesn't support their own theories, for which there is no evidence, it's lied about, blown up out of all proportion, and misrepresented. It's a prime example of the anti-science agenda at JABS.

-- later that day --

A bit more on this - Suba has confirmed what I pointed out about Aasa's post:

The plethora of possible causes of Autism especially genetic ones are but a smoke screen to divert one's attention from the real environmental causes. Vaccines being the major insult to the immune system are consistently swept under the carpet. The carpet has a luxurious deep pile of excuses but the threads will soon wear thin under the weight of a big white elephant.

Doing research into topics the JABS crowd are interested in is no good if you don't come up with results that match their preconceptions.

That cock Mark Struthers has also weighed in with a smattering of abuse for Professor Baron-Cohen - although what he's actually done to annoy Struthers is mysteriously not mentioned. (I get the feeling that Struthers is a very bitter man, ending his career as a salaried GP in Flitwick, instead of with the titles and knighthood he feels he deserves. This may explain his hatred for anyone who's had some degree of success in medicine.)

Sacha (Borat) and Simon make splendid pantomime dames. Any thoughts on a stage name for Sir Simon Baron-Cohen?

What a cock.


millipede said...

They're idiots. But we knew that.

Becky said...

Yes - but they're deliberately ignorant, vicious, lying, scaremongering idiots.

John H said...

I got picked up on chelation by a semi-wooster of my acquaintance. (We argue over chiro. Other than that he is sensible(ish). As ever "it works for me". Same old same old.)

You did qualify it as "useless chelation" but whilst eating humble pie one lunchtime I read that it is actually a recognised medical treatment for certain heavy metal poisoning - especially for lead.

Both my (well MMR'd up) daughters were exposed to heavy metal in the womb and it didn't do them any harm. One is a cyber-metal-punk and the other likes fey indy stuff from wan young things (actually I think WYT was the somewhat self-deprecating name of an actual band).

Becky said...

Oh yes - chelation is a recognised treatment for heavy metal poisoning, but when these autistic children haven't been diagnosed with heavy metal poisoning, and there's no evidence that heavy metal poisoning is a cause of autism, and the diagnosis has been made by an unregulated quack who then charges a fortune for the therapy... Then it's useless and potentially dangerous.