The other day, I mentioned what Prometheus termed the “arrogance of ignorance,” in which people with no training in a complex, scientific issue have the hubris to think that they know enough to be able to lecture medical scientists on shortcomings of their research. Here’s another example of just such arrogance by antivaccinationist Barbara Loe Fisher:
As usual, it is not the M.D. or Ph.D. “experts” but parents of vaccine injured children, who understand the bigger picture involving accumulating clinical evidence that many children are regressing and becoming chronically ill after receiving both mercury-containing and non-mercury containing vaccines. Parents know well that this one study cannot negate the fact that the medical establishment has refused to conduct the methodologically sound basic science research into the biological effects on immune and brain function of injecting infants and children with multiple vaccines containing many potentially toxic ingredients, including mercury.
Once again, personal observations by parents are prone to so many biases, particularly confusing correlation with causation and confirmation bias. Moreover, the plural of “anecdote” is not data. Scientists can be prone to the same biases, but that’s what the scientific method is expressly designed to compensate for. Worse, Fisher’s ideology is clearly at the fore here. She simply can’t accept that the overwhelming weight of the epidemiological and scientific evidence available does not support the concept that either thimerosal-containing vaccines or vaccines in general are a cause of or a contributing factor to the development of autism.