Originally Posted by serenbat
It's quite clear from your other posts that you don't feel there is even an increase, let alone any connection that is "medical", all you have provided is antidotal evidence that thus far is not supported by the REAL medical community - NO data and actually there are a growing number of physicians and organizations (govt run ones too) that do see an increase and as Kathy has pointed out data supports it as well, your claims are just that, nothing real. Multitudes of evidence and numerous previous threads have also shown this.
There is an increase, but the cause is unknown. Diagnosis criteria could have changed. Globalization and higher exposure to different viruses could be a trigger. Changes in food could be one, too. No-one knows for sure. This is what the REAL medical community says.
There are no "multitudes of evidence" that support the idea that vaccinations cause autism. At least not scientific evidence. And if there is, I have yet to see the discussing, passionate mother who understands any of it.
Response bias is a real problem in statistical survey. There are methods of empirical Social Science to reduce this. Of of those methods is to throw out results from a study that only has a 23% response.
Anecdotal evidence is very, very useful though. Sociological research is split into qualitative and quantitative research. Anecdotal evidence is part of the qualitative.
Let's say, statistical research shows that is a very strong link between socio-econimic status (income, job-position and educational qualifications) of parents and educational achievement of their children.
This is very true. In Germany, only 7% of kids with parents of the lowest socio-economic status manage to get a University degree. Compared to 80% of kids who have parents in the academic world.
That does NOT mean that ALL children of parents who have a degree and a high income and job-position will study, nor does it mean that children of deprived household have no chance. This is where the anecdotal evidence comes in and one can analyse HOW it is possible, even though it is unlikely. Saying that "my parents were poor and have no degree, but I am doing awesome" does not negate the strong link.
Same goes for all studies. Anecdotal evidence is used when a parent says: "My kid was normal, then had the MMR and in the next few months developed autism". That is a good anecdote and deserves proper research. Then you find parents whose children have not been vaccinated and have autism anyway. That concludes that there is no cause and effect relationship, BUT there might be a link. So you get in the quantitative research which.... shows no link between the two. Unlike my previous example.
There are really not so many links between things than we think. One study might show a correlation between autism and mercury and one does not. That, generally means that there isn't one.
A theory is a system of axioms, which are hypotheses that do not negate each other. As soon as a hypothesis has been negated in quantitative research, there really is little point in keeping going.
So many articles claim "correlations" between this and that and forget that there is a thing called "intervening variable" and then make up their own mind.
It took me FIVE YEARS and an MA in sociology to even understand the simplest study and distinguish between good ones and bad ones.
There is so little point in sitting in front of google and digging out links that support what YOU want, because in the end, all facts are chosen facts and even the people who did the research often had a "wish" about their outcome. Mums discussing vaccinations online and googling links are wasting their time, because they do NOT understand what an intervening variable even is, a yes-response, a closed questionnaire, the theory of correlation coefficient r compared to chi-aquare. Not even the journalists who "try" to report about Professor XYZ's research really get it right. How many times my old Profs have been upset because their so carefully conducted study has been misrepresented by the media. The problem is that professor XYZ's research about about the side effect of vaccinations is full of Covariant and factor analysis and the question if longitudinal is better than cross-sectional data. It is HARD to understand, it NOT visible for most of the public and there is higher maths involved to grasp just the basics.
And then consider the fact that, in order to see unbiased, scientific material, google is not the place. Even google scholar is rather chopped up and doesn't show it all. Many good studies are not published for the reader and are done by Universities and only available on Moodle.