Autism & “Confusing Cause and Coincidence”


Richard Moore

Autism News and Opinion
Saturday, October 31, 2009

Old Standby “Confusing Cause and Coincidence” Excuse Trotted Out in Advance of Adverse Events Following Swine Flu Vaccinations

“Confusing cause and coincidence” has been used by scientists for decades to explain away the onset of autism disorders in otherwise healthy children following vaccinations. The same people do not, however, bother to conduct credible studies to actually rule out a causal relationship in such cases. 

Most notably, despite support for an observation study comparing autism rates amongst existing vaccinated and unvaccinated populations from credible sources such as Dr. Bernadine Healy, Dr. Julie Gerberding and Dr. Jon Poling, the IACC, under Dr. Thomas Insel, has engaged in procedural shenanigans and given questionable testimony to Senator Harkin’s committee to prevent such a study from being done. 

Now, the confusing cause and coincidence” excuse is being trotted out to explain possible adverse events following H1N1 (Swine Flu) vaccinations BEFORE THEY EVEN OCCUR.

The Telegraph (UK) article People will die after swine flu vaccine – but it’s just coincidence, Six people in Britain can be expected to die suddenly after having the swine flu vaccine but it will just be coincidence, researchers have said references a recently published article in the Lancet and contains prophetic gems of wisdom offered by super intelligent researchers to us, the lowly unwashed, who have such difficulty distinguishing between cause and coincidence. 

Prof David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk, University of Cambridge and Co-Director of Straight Statistics, said: “What a fine paper. If millions of people are vaccinated then just by chance we can expect bad things to happen to some of them, whether it’s a diagnosis of autism or a miscarriage.

“By being ready with the expected numbers of chance cases, perhaps we can avoid overreaction to sad, but coincidental, events. And why don’t we ever see a headline ‘Man wins lottery after flu jab’?”

Professor Robert Dingwall, University of Nottingham, said: “The difference between cause and coincidence is difficult enough for specialists to grasp, let alone the wider public.

“However, this paper is very important in spelling out the fact that just because two events happen at the same time, they are not necessarily related. There is a background rate of death, disease and accidents that happen all the time regardless of what medical interventions are going on.”

Perhaps Professor Spiegelhalter can explain why we never see headlines like Vaccine Researchers Make Fortunes Successfully Predict Winning Lottery Numbers. And perhaps Professor Dingwall can someday come to believe that we, the great unwashed, drooling, ignorant public do in fact understand the difference between cause and coincidence and that we have heard that argument before in connection with vaccines and autism. 

If the learned professor can get his head around that one perhaps he can convince the other members of his club that research confirming or refuting their prophecies would be appreciated by those of us in theIgnorance R Us Club.

Based on prior history of the IACC refusal to conduct credible studies of possible vaccine autism studies I have my own prediction to make: no credible follow up studies to determine actual causes of deaths and other adverse events following Swine Flu vaccinations, including autism onset, will be done by the members of theWe Are Smarter Than The Dumb Public Club