ABC News embraces the nonsense
Jan 06, 2010

By Phil Plait
[Ed. note: This is an excerpt of Phil’s blog. Click here to read the full post.]
You may have heard the recent news that an expert panel of pediatricians reviewed the literature on gastrointestinal disorders and autism, and found no link between them. A key phrase in their findings was

The existence of a gastrointestinal disturbance specific to persons with ASDs (eg, “autistic enterocolitis”) has not been established.

They also found that there was no evidence that special diets help autistic kids. Mind you, this was a panel of 28 experts, scientists who have devoted their careers and lives to investigating autism.
So if you were a reporter at ABC News, who would you turn to to get an opinion on this? If you said Jenny McCarthy, then give yourself a gold star, because that’s just what ABC News did. Go and watch that interview (have some antacid ready). In it, she says that scientists need to take anecdotes seriously, a statement so awful it’s hard to know where to start with it.
Visit Phil’s blog at Discover Magazine online to read the full post at: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/01/06/abc-news-embraces-the-nonsense/


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