Thursday, January 11, 2007

Hell Fails To Freeze Over

The latest quarterly client characteristics report out of California DDS is out. As expected, the number of autistic clients in the 3-5 cohort has increased. There were 6,188 such clients in the Q3 2006 report and 6,348 such clients in the Q4 2006 report. Annual caseload growth in the 3-5 cohort is 11.76%, which at the moment is a fairly stable rate and still a lot higher than population growth in the state.

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?


  1. The guy's competence is best described as an empty shell of tsunami train wrecks.

  2. I have been reading about the witch hysteria in Salem. Same moving of goalposts. Witches can't say the Lord's prayer. An accused witch does say the prayer, so the hysterical girls claim the devil (that only they can see) was whispering the answer to her!

    Old grudges and property disputes factored into who was accused. Eventually, after many innocent people were hanged, the Royal governor banned 'spectral' evidence in trials. You needed more than the word of one person to condem someone to death. The number of witches declined rather quickly.
    Word verification-smenita-is that a new perfume?

  3. Watchthrower1/11/2007 9:54 AM

    Once you've taken on the characteristics of a religion, final dates can easily be dismissed through re-interpreting scripture.

    Never mind what Kirby said then, there will always be some loophole in the word of David that will leave an opening for the fanatics to explain why the prophecies have failed.

    Reminds me of another generational organization eager to recruit and convert the unfaithful*

    Now if only Kirby could set up a retreat in Guyana with refreshing beverages for all.


    Are we really in the last generation that will terminate by 2005? Every one of the previous expiry dates given by the Watchtower has already gone bad, and we can be sure that this date too will come and go. Soon the Watchtower will once again be forced to change the 'due date' of the last generation.

  4. Poor, poor David Kirby. I wonder if he's working on a new book. I wonder if the ambulence chasers send him checks regularly to keep him going.

  5. Thanks Joseph, great overview. I'm glad you explained "falsifiability", I'd forgotten the word, but not the concept and it's really important. It's also frustrating how it's not really addressed when the numbers are up, but when they dip down we get all sorts of press releases and stuff. I'm sure the next thing to blame will be the synergistic blend of all environmental toxins. Of course aluminum will be in the mix and then we'll have to deal with Sue M. thinking she's correcting those in UK and Europe on their "misspelling" of Al.

  6. Anonymous: "Of course aluminum will be in the mix and then we'll have to deal with Sue M. thinking she's correcting those in UK and Europe on their 'misspelling' of Al."

    Shhhhhhhh!!!!!! Don't tempt fate!

  7. I thnk scientests will throw anything a problem, just to say they have some kind of an answer. This one blames mothers for waiting to have children. talk about dubious science. Kate from the