Friday, May 4, 2007

Amazing Mercury Myopia

Thursday I was fortunate enough to attend a Minnesota Public Radio forum on autism with Prof. Roy Richard Grinker, one of America's leading anthropologists and the grandson of one of our greatest psychiatric minds. I won't pitch Grinker's book Unstrange Minds, beyond writing that anyone interested in autism and the experiences of a parent should read this book. (Read any of Grinker's books, not only Unstrange Minds, by the way, for a great insight into how anthropology works.)

What struck me was not Prof. Grinker's wonderful presentation, but was the faith of some parents in the notion that mercury causes autism. Not that these parents didn't think there was some genetic factor, I admit, but that these parents were far more concerned with mercury and "toxins" than any realistic research. These people seemed as strange to me as those people certain that Israel was behind 9/11.

Those who suggest "mere" jet fuel could not bring down a building were disproved this week when a single tanker of gas took out three levels of California freeway — but these people will never admit steel melts and concrete compresses. Some people are wedded to their conspiracies. No matter how many tests, studies, meta-analysis or secret pharmaceutical documents show there is no link between vaccines or mercury and autism, the radicals with mercury myopia will remain undeterred.

I wonder why people cannot accept that some things just are? Autism is. Maybe nothing created it. Maybe I was simply born different. No chemicals ruined my brain. No company conspired to poison children in the name of profits.

Others have written about the mercury myopia sufferers in more detail, tracing the idiots and dangerous charlatans behind this myth. Some people simply are self-deluded, others are truly uneducated. But I think many of the "experts" behind the mercury fears are profiteers, no better than mediums offering to talk to the dead.

It's a shame parents, scared and rightly concerned about their children, are being so misled.

2 comments:

  1. but...we try to understand it in an effort to prevent it. we can't help our own genes, so we look to other things to blame so that we can feel more secure about having children and at still be confident that they will be neurologically typical. (I hesitate to use the word "normal" to describe those that don't have autism)

    As for me? That's one of my many fears about having children.

    ~ checkout_bound (LJ)

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  2. Who is profiting off of mercury?

    Answer: the dental and pharmaceutical industries. You've got it ass backwards idiot. And don't give us theis crap about your creativity. You were most likely poisoned with as I was! The behavioral traits for mercury poisoning and "autism" are strikingly similar. Wake up and stop being and obscurantist.

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