Five years ago…

1 Sep

Left Brain/Right Brain has been around since 2003. Yesterday I thought to myself: I wonder what a look back would tell us. Say, 5 years? To summarize: it tells us that things move slowly.

Some of the faces have changed over the years. For example: I wasn’t writing then but Autism Diva was. Some regular commenters have moved on. Some new ones have joined. David Kirby (author of Evidence of Harm), Rick Rollens (California Lobbyist) and others were frequently in the news and now they are rarely heard from.

But, in the end, many things stay the same:

In Autism Diva: Kelloggs Just Trying To Help , Kev pointed to a post by Autism Diva who was discussing an awareness program by Autism Speaks where AS was getting their name on cereal boxes.

I seem to recall being critical of Autism Speaks just recently…

In Dr David Ayoub – Hidden Agenda and Stone Cold Certainty we see Dr. Ayoub, a vocal proponent of the idea that vaccines cause autism. This was about the time when people were discovering that Dr. Ayoub had some interesting beliefs. He was posing “difficult questions” like “2) Is there evidence that vaccines can deliver antifertility products? Have they been used?” and “3) Does thimerosal fulfill criteria as an antipopulation agent?”. This as well as some other odd ideas, as discussed in David Ayoub, Black Helicopters and Social Movement.

Years later, even after this, Dr. Ayoub still pops up from time to time (for example, on last year).

In, “Its The Mercury, Stupid! No Wait!“, Kev was discussing people were predicting a drop in the autism counts which were then published quarterly by the California Department of Developmental Services (CDDS).

He quoted David Kirby:

[Kirby] “Stay tuned. If the numbers in California and elsewhere continue to drop – and that still is a big if—the implication of thimerosal in the autism epidemic will be practically undeniable.”

So, now that we know that they never dropped is the opposite ‘practically undeniable’?

Let’s not forget what David Kirby told Citizen Cain:

“if the total number of 3-5 year olds in the California DDS system has not declined by 2007, that would deal a severe blow to the autism-thimerosal hypothesis”

The drop didn’t happen. The goalposts moved. The mercury idea lost some momentum but, unfortunately, still lives on despite evidence.

In “A Blogging Catch Up” Kev discusses the “Rain Mouse” study (a study claiming autistic behaviors in mice injected with thimerosal. The MIND Institute tried to replicate the study later and found they could not, even with much higher doses of thimerosal). Also in the “catch-up” was the revelation by Kathleen Seidel of some of the misdeeds of the Geier’s. This included the fact that they had failed to obtain appropriate IRB approval for one of their studies. 5 years later and they are just now facing some disciplinary action for the way they’ve conducted their business.

Like I said. Some things move slowly. Sure, the “autism is nothing but a misdiagnosis for mercury poisoning” idea has mostly (mostly) gone by the wayside. I often read people writing, “Is this the end of autism/vaccine idea?”. The idea has certainly lost momentum. I doubt it will die in my lifetime.

Thankfully, it wasn’t all vaccines (then or now). In Calling all autistic college students, Kev set out to help an organization trying to gather information about autistics in college.

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