Catching Fire: Culture, Chemistry And De-Evolution
Posted Aug 24 2009 12:00am
Culture, Chemistry and De-evolution: a new book argues that the gut/brain connection may be intrinsic to human development
By Adriana Gamondes
"There has never been and never will be a connection between neurological development and digestion...basic biology principles" – anonymous comment on Age of Autism
“Monkey men all in business suit…God made man but a monkey supplied the glue. Are we not men? We are D-E-V-O” –Jocko Homo by Devo
The two words that came to mind after reading about Alan Emond’s study (HERE) which supposedly found no connection between bowel movement patterns and autism, besides “bite me”, were “Richard Wrangham”. The same two words came to mind when Times Executive Editor Bill Keller (as Dan Olmsted pointed out HERE) remarked to Time magazine, “I don't think fairness means that you give equal time to every point of view no matter how marginal…We don't treat creationism as science. Likewise in the autism-vaccine debate, our reporting shows pretty clearly which side the science is on.” But what if evolutionary science theory ended up supporting at least part of the underpinnings of the environmental autism/vaccine-autism argument, namely the gut/brain connection? Would the Times finally have a “come to Jesus” moment?
As John Stone and Ginger Taylor pointed out (HERE), Emond must have been figuratively constipated with a load of undisclosed conflicts of interest because he declared none to the British Medical Journal. “Better out than in” as we parents like to say: Emond is apparently a member of the Joint Committee for Vaccinations and Immunizations, the nongovernmental body (or, in across-the-pond-speak, quango?) which decides vaccination practices in the UK. Emond’s study was also supported by the Wellcome Trust. Wellcome Pharmaceuticals was purchased by Glaxo Smith Kline, the maker of the British MMR vaccine. On top of this, Emond weighed against vaccine cause in the death inquest of Georgie Fisher, the British toddler who died after vaccination with the MMR.