A few things provoked me again.
A Christian writer or philosopher, I forget….not Lewis, was quoted saying (paraphrase) that the rise of humanism was indicative of lowering the perceived control God has in our lives and elevating the control we perceive that we have over our lives. My first thought was, is it not odd that many of the same Christians flocking to GFOFHAVV are adamant about not worrying about money or provision.
That’s not blog worthy by itself.
Last evening I read this story. A woman has chosen not to vaccinate her child. I’m OK with whatever she decides. Unfortunately she wields influence because of our celebrity infatuation. And given the basis for her decision,
Listen, to each their own,” she said. “I understand both sides of it. I’ve ready too many books about autism and there’s some scary statistics out there.
We didn’t vaccinate. I read too many books about autism and there’s studies…Now, one in 88 boys is autistic and that’s a scary statistic,”
I have to call a foul.
No sweety, there IS not studies and you need to read more books. You haven’t even read the CDC statistic correctly if at all, though I cannot fault you for the sloppy sensationalistic reporting on such things. They do not state that one” in 88 boys is autistic”. They say
About 1 in 88 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network.
More, the actual study says:
ADDM does not rely on professional or family reporting of an existing ASD diagnosis or classification to ascertain case status. Instead, information is obtained from children’s evaluation records to determine the presence of ASD symptoms at any time from birth through the end of the year when the child reaches age 8 years
I hope you all see the difference. I hope this serves to cast some suspicion on the whole arena of reporting for this type of information. If a kid demonstrated a symptom of ASD (autism spectrum disorder) one time in an eight year period, they are counted. More, the materials reviewed are “evaluation records” . They explain the sources for the evaluations they use, including:
many ADDM sites also review and abstract records of children receiving special education services in public schools.
And I know that the evaluator at a school that receives money for special programs for ASD kids would never tend to be more, lets say, inclusive in their evaluations. Right?
Then they toss in a nod to the “art”of taking very loose hinted correlations and turning them into statistics that are further sensationalized by the media and pounced upon by advocacy groups who try and use them to steer public policy.
These data confirm that the estimated prevalence of ASDs identified in the ADDM network surveillance populations continues to increase. The extent to which these increases reflect better case ascertainment as a result of increases in awareness and access to services or true increases in prevalence of ASD symptoms is not known
The estimate continues to increase. Why would this be a surprise? I’d invite any reader who trends toward GFOFHAVV membership to find me one example, one single metric about one single thing of this nature, where the trend was shown to have reversed.
Where is the skepticism? I’ll tell you where. Inside the CDC and the educational establishment, being skeptical of these studies would be the same as my walking in and volunteering half my paycheck be given back to my employer. For folks like us on the outside it is hidden away by even those open minded enough to question because it is socially unacceptable to question anything about children’s health. Validating these numbers means moms have more control. Boiled down, questioning them means moms have to still fall back on faith.
Regarding the scholar who tangentially cited the study, maybe she visited Ron Burgandy’s library with many leather bound books. Her credibility, for me, was shot with “there’s too many books”. Meanwhile the overwhelming evidence says that vaccines and ASD are unrelated.
The next one was about autism being linked to environmental factors. The title of the article is “Autism disorders greatly linked with environmental factors, study claims“. In the article the study’s author says:
Rzhetsky acknowledged that his results do not directly implicate environmental factors as a cause for autism.
To parishioners of GFOFHAVV this is like arguing with one of Binny Hinn’s flock that he didn’t really knock 30,000 people off their chairs with wind noises he made using the microphone.
Finally, the last one has me wondering if the name of the church needs to be augmented again, and if the current membership is willing to accept the new tithing requirement. You can read that one.
Why am I so bothered by these things? Because some of the smartest people I know, men and women who can see truth keenly through the haze of conventional wisdom, are unable to drum up a crumb of skepticism when claims just like the ones Ive mentioned are made about ASD or any other tenet of the GFOFHAVV church.
I am not immune to the same type of self obfuscation.
This makes me ask myself and others, where are you (am I) hiding your (my) preferred flavor of humanism?