Sunday, July 08, 2007

MMR Shenanigans

For those of you who may have missed the recent hoopla. A study by Simon Baron-Cohen’s lab has been leaked to the British press. It describes a prevalence of 1 per 58; using a tool that lacks evidence showing that it is appropriate for use in the general public. It seems that a research assistant in the study who now works for Andrew Wakefield had attempted to connect the 1 per 58 number to the MMR.

I have learned via Bad Science that a connection to the MMR is not the study authors’ conclusion. Seems like there is some funny reporting going on.


Blogger LIVSPARENTS said...

I am dismayed by the 'playing up' of the MMR connection over the radical 1 in 58 number they were giving. It seemed to me to be fishy but I let it slide as something of British sensasionalism to tie to the disciplanary actions on Wakefield. Gosh, I hope I'm right. What would that leave the 'male' number in the UK at, something like one in 49?

9:05 PM  
Blogger Interverbal said...

SBC was criticized in Fombonne (2003) of Texas Sharpshooting. In this case he is using an instrument that has not been validated against other instruments.

If the press and autism community at large don't undertsand this, they will have a field day with this information.

9:11 PM  
Blogger laurentius rex said...

And Fombonne is not the worlds most competent epidemiologist either, but SBC really is a loose cannon.

I think what really is at issue here is of confusing a broader autistic phenotype, which I buy into, with traits which are sufficient to justify a greater certainty of being a couple of standard deviations off the bell curve of neurotypicality (whatever that is)

4:56 AM  
Blogger Interverbal said...

If not Fombonne who?

6:52 AM  
Blogger laurentius rex said...

Maybe epidemiology in the field of human neurological diversity is just so much bunk, it is applying the medical model by analogy simply because of historical precedent.

Do we really want to be categorised, all of us humans into neat compartments by the chemicals that we contain, its like defining us by blood groups, and is not really an advance philosophically on the four humours.

11:53 AM  
Blogger _Arthur said...


Who's categorizing whom ?

What is your point ? You have one, do you ?

12:18 PM  
Blogger Interverbal said...

Hi Larry,

Your comments seem unusually melancholic [sorry couldn't resist].

For myself, I don't mind being compartmentalized. Most of the things I am compartmentalized as, are neither good things nor bad, they just are.

The trick is trying to realize that I can not be adequately summed up, by just a single descripter. And not letting anyone else dismiss me, using just one descripter either.

But when someone isn't trying to dismiss me and they are merely trying to comapre my data as a human, male, generation-y, etc, person, to normed distribution, then I have no inherent problem.

7:46 PM  

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