Let me now post the obligatory Citizen Cain quote:
Understandably, Kirby doesn't seem interested in mucking around in the data with me too extensively, or in answering my detailed questions. But in an e-mail, he did address the key point, and concede that “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.” He also conceded that total cases among 3-5 year olds, not changes in the rate of increase is the right measure.
Citizen Cain also had some interesting things to say about the scientific method:
Now we're getting somewhere! Somewhere that's something like science! We now have agreement from someone highly sympathetic to the hypothesis that thimerosal exposure contributes to autism on a means of falsifying that hypothesis.
That's right. One of the ways you tell science from pseudo-science is through falsifiability. For a moment there Kirby proposed falsifiability criteria on a hypothesis, making it potentially scientific. Will this hold up now? Probably not.
David Kirby has shifted goalposts before. My hunch is that Kirby will not own up to his prediction. From his latest blog post the strategy seems pretty clear. Autism incidence is not going down, so he's now focusing on a new syndrome he made up that he imagines underwent an "epidemic" and presumably is or was on an downward trend. On EOHarm he's also been expressing interest in the environmental pollution hypothesis, which in my opinion is flawed in exactly the same way the TV hypothesis is.
Here is a recap of other reactions you should expect to see from the mercury militia:
- Thimerosal in the Flu vaccine is enough to sustain the epidemic on its own. (Unstated: Autism rates are not dose-dependent; there wasn't really an autism epidemic in the 1990s; autism started in 1931 but was recognized much later at current rates).
- The epidemic was caused by thimerosal in the RhoGAM shot, not that in pediatric vaccines.
- There is another vaccine ingredient (e.g. aluminum) which is interchangeable with thimerosal as an autism risk factor, and the dose of this ingredient was increased in a precise manner such that removal of thimerosal would not be noticed.
Clearly, it will be very difficult for the autism-thimerosal worldview to survive and continue to be one of interest in the autism community.
The following is a graph of the 3-5 caseload for the last 18 quarters that I got from Dad of Cameron:
What exactly was the impact of thimerosal removal?