Autism Doesn't Work That Way

Congratulations, you have a child! Some day he or she (he for convenience) will grow up big and strong. There is no limit to the things he might do. He may found a Fortune 500 company; he may become President; he may discover a vaccine for HIV; there's no telling how far he might go. But wait, his behaviour is a little bit off... he always seems distracted... oh no, I think he may have Autism. Well, I have bad news for you: it's your fault.

That's right, Autism is a genetic disease, and if your kid has it, it's because you and your spouse (or whoever) passed on just the right combination of genetic material for him to get it. It blows my mind that there are still people who think Autism is passed on by vaccines, but in hindsight, it really shouldn't. It shouldn't surprise me because people are stupid, and if there's any way for them to get out of taking responsibility for something bad, they jump at the chance 100% of the time.

The problem is that America has gotten too used to having people to demonize for everything. When something bad happens, there's more emphasis put on finding out who's responsible than on actually fixing the fucking problem. So if there's a way to blame someone or something else for something that's happening to you directly? That's like hitting the Power Ball! How scared of accountability to you have to be to try to assign blame elsewhere for something that you already had no control over?

Here's how genetics works, in a thumbnail explanation: each sperm has 50% of the DNA of the person who made it, and each egg has 50% of the DNA of the person who made it. When sperm enters egg, the two halves of DNA combine to make a full DNA strand, and thus begins the development of a new life (whether the fetus counts as a person is beyond the scope of this explanation). There are two types of genes: dominant and recessive. Dominant genes affect you if either parent passed it on, and recessive genes affect you if both parents passed it on. And that's everything most people know about genetics.

The point is that although your DNA literally defines who you are, you have no control over it. You are at the mercy of your parents just as your children will be at the mercy of you and whoever made them with you (I'm not here to judge, but you're a bad person). Genetic diseases like Autism can best be described as follows:

Shit. Happens.

That's right, Autism is just one in a long line of diseases passed down from parent to child. And if you don't have it but your kid does, it means you and your one night stand both happened to randomly toss in the right genetic material between you to give it to him. It's your fault, and there is no blame because it was out of your hands.

But then there's people like Jenny McCarthy, by which I mean stupid people. People who will grasp at any and all straws to lay the blame on something, anything, for their child's misfortune. Jenny McCarthy is a celebrity who believes mercury in vaccine gave her kid Autism, because someone wrote about it once.

In 1998, The Lancet, a British medical journal, published a paper that linked the MMR vaccine to Autism. People stopped giving their kids vaccines, and the cases of Measles, Mumps and Rubella went through the roof, with no significant change in the number of kids with Autism. Weird, right? It turns out the man who wrote the paper used entirely unethical methods, and was directly in the employ of a drug company who was paying him specifically to make that finding so they could make more money selling medicine.

But don't take my word for it: On February 2, 2010 the Lancet "fully retract this paper from the published record." Seriously, I went looking and I can't even find it online. A Government study confirmed there's no link. Dr. Andrew Wakefield, who wrote the original study, has been banned from practicing medicine in Britain. Vaccines. Don't. Cause. Autism.

Symptoms of Mercury Poisoning

  • impairment of the peripheral vision;
  • disturbances in sensations ("pins and needles" feelings, usually in the hands, feet, and around the mouth);
  • lack of coordination of movements;
  • impairment of speech, hearing, walking; and
  • muscle weakness.

Hmm, no Autism. Source

The argument is that the mercury in a vaccine can trigger it. The argument is provably false, if for no other reason than you get significantly more mercury eating a can of tuna than the vaccine contains. A flu vaccine contains 25 micrograms of mercury. A can of tuna has 52 micrograms of mercury - more if it's Albacore. At 180lbs, I can eat a full tin of tuna each day without taking enough mercury to affect me, and I guarantee every child in America will eat enough tuna in their lifetime to dwarf the mercury taken in by vaccines.

Here's something else interesting: when the mercury leaves your body, so do its effects. So even if there were enough mercury in a vaccine to cause health problems, as soon as the mercury left your system you'd be fine.

The bottom line is that vaccines don't fucking cause Autism. Findings that they do have been thoroughly discredited, and anyone who says "the flu vaccine gave my kid Autism" is a fucking moron. End of story.

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