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Autism Wars: Chris Mooney vs. Ginger Taylor

Hesaidshesaid By: J. Bradley Borden

There's often a lot of talk about Autism Wars when it comes to vaccines and a host of other issues. On the surface, it would appear that we have a real battle on our hands between Chris Mooney of the L.A. Times versus Ginger Taylor of Adventures in Autism and contributor to The Age of Autism. Article vs Article:

The Contenders: Chris Mooney

  • Chris Mooney is a professional journalist and author. Detailed information about his life and work can be found on Wikipedia: Chris Mooney. This guy is all over the place and even appeared made a 2005 appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Chris is for sure the favorite in this battle between the professional and the blogger, the "man of science" versus the pissed off autism mommy.

The gist of his argument here is that according to Chris "Scientists are super smart" and over time often forget that masses are not super smart.

  1. "Scientists are super smart. And they end up in communities of people like them. Their education level is extremely high and that's what lets them do the great stuff that they do. Over a lifetime, they can sort of forget where everyone else is starting from".

That really should be enough for most of you. Vaccines are in no way related to autism because the super smart guys are always right. Some dumber scientists might think that this is "begging the question" since there are a lot of examples in the past when the public was told that the "super smart" guys were right, it turned out that they were wrong. I suspect that "Super Smart" is scientific term. I'm not a scientist, so I am not sure. Try to stay with me here. A lot of us are familiar with the Super Bowl and of course Super Man. "Super Smart" is derived from the Latin term "eximius smartimus" and is composed of the prefix "Super" which means "of the highest quality, to an extreme degree and "smart" which means "showing mental alertness and calculation and resourcefulness." Ironically, Chris tried to lay some of the blame for all of this confusion on the condescending scientists, but ends up with pretty much the same condescending tone in his article. Look Ginger and the rest of you, they're smart OK. Stop asking so many questions. What is this, the scientific method? Back in the day, we also had newspaper journalists who served as a filter between the scientist and Joe Blow.

Talk about the shrinking science sections in newspapers. That just makes it worse. Even when science journalism was doing better, it had a lot to contend with. To convey the kind of information that needs to be conveyed on really pressing science topics -- you just cannot do this without experienced science writers. It's too hard.

This is where Chris comes back down to our level. While the internet is great and their tons of information and "super smart" science stuff (data, studies, history of "super smart" science guys being wrong; most of us are only capable of reading less than super smart blogs or get most of our science from YouTube. According to Chris, non-Super Smart people are most often attracted to things like rapping science bloggers as their primary source of anything remotely resembling science. Ginger Tayor

Ginger wrote one of the most thoughtful, to the point and on target rebuttals that this non-scientist has ever read. She may have been the underdog in this fight, but she is the clear winner. While I do suggest that you read her article, I think the title should be changed to Age of Autism: Ripping Chris Mooney a new one). This war of words was over early in Ginger's article with only two short sentences summing up the fact that not only is Chris Mooney confused, he is guilty of the exact things he says the "super smart" guys need to work on.

  1. I feel like you may have confused actual hard "Science" with "things that most scientists think"
  2. I would put it to you that it may not the "scientific principles" that are being rejected, but the principles of the scientists.

Back in the good old days of journalism, Chris would be writing for a newspaper. Chris would be our filter and let us know what we need to know about the happenings in the realm of the "super smart" scientists. Chris would probably be telling us about the super smart guys who told us that cigarettes didn't cause cancer and/or that the mandatory vaccine for the impending swine flu pandemic of 1976 was super safe! Back in the old days, we would have been FRICKIN' SCREWED!

J Bradley Borden is the father of an 8 year old daughter with autism whose first round of seizures started after her 4 month vaccines and who had a "smart guy" neurologist tell him "Don't worry, it's probably just acid reflux! He blogs at Autism Parents and The Autism Retort.


Ward Griffith

From the tenor of some comments maybe I should have mentioned I have been a MENSA member, I have masters degrees in Chemistry and Engineering(Tau Beta Pi) and am a Licensed Professional Engineer.

I don't have any children, but I can feel for those whose children have been taken from them for the money in Hepatitis B vaccinations where claims are made of more deaths from vaccines than the disease.

I believe Onterio, Canada spent $4.3 million on a second dose of vaccines where they claimed they had 95% coverage (successful immunity) the first time????
How about Michigan immunizing some kids in Ingram County to test their "hot lot" kind of like German research by Hitler??

Ward Griffith

You have ADHD/ADD, autism and Alzheimer's all with a sub groups having mercury poisoning like symptoms, behavior and toxic reactions. I can no possible way that this an be denied. I have seen claims that 50% of SIDS deaths are the result of vaccines and took place within a few days of vaccines.

I have seen references going back to 1901 stating vaccinations draw the victim's immune system down taking excessive immune assets for up to months.


This is perfect for the non-super smart folks (CARTOON FORMAT). How Scientific Publishing Works ...



Please don't leave out the super-smart scientists who developed asbestos and who had the super-smart idea of putting lead in paint and gasoline!

Come to think of it, I'd rather have lead in my housepaint than mercury and aluminum injected into my baby. Are super-smart scientists getting dumber? Maybe someone should do a study.

Cherry Sperlin Misra

If the doctors and health officials of today were genuine scientists, they would, today, be thanking Age of Autism thinkers and the hard working doctors such as Andrew Wakefield, Boyd Haley, Jill James, R. Deth ,Isaac Pessah , Nataf of France and so many other researchers who have our undying admiration for illuminating the path towards full understanding of autism physiology. That would be a true scientist- A person who looks at the scientific evidence and makes an unbiased judgement- or makes no judgement at all until he is fully satisfied .
According to what I was taught in high school, scientists would be willing to discuss and debate. Do we see any CDC scientists willing to debate Dr. Haley ? That is one of the famous delaying tactics- Just ignore the scientists. Act as if they do not exist.
Lord , forgive poor Mr. Mooney, for he knows not what he says.

Maurine Meleck

Both my grandkids were given propulsid before it was removed from the market in 2000. As if the vaccines they received weren't bad enough..

Autism Grandma

In thinking of "Autism Wars" I am reminded of those "Super Smart" SS Troops in Germany...you know those men who were supposed to be "Genetically Superior" to the rest of us, and specially hand chosen to be the "Defenders of the Super Smart Germanic race" [No offense intended as I am descended from 90% Germans, I used to live in Germany and I LOVED it there]

Anyway this can happen in any country, as we can see by the Autism / Vaccine Wars here in the U.S. Yes, we are all engaged in warfare, although I believe what the Bible teaches in that "The weapons of our warfare are not fleshly". However, just because we would never engage in actual violence against our enemies, that still leaves a lot of other acceptable methods in "fighting our battles".

Primarily our foremost battle is in the recovery of our war torn children, and this of course requires a lot of time and energy in the "Home Front" thereby leaving us with limited resources to fight the battles against the "Nazi Army", in order to save as many other innocent children as possible from the Vaccine Bombs. We are all up against the SS Troops which have been specially selected to oversee political propaganda and to ensure and force if necessary, compliance with the Big Pharma Nazi Party directives.

According to a documentary on the History Channel, the reason that over 150 organized plots to overthrow the Nazi Rulership failed was because they received no support from the Allied Forces, who dismissed all of these efforts as "inconsequential". We the families, the doctors, vaccine educators and autism organizations are in the minority just as the Nazi Resistance was in the minority, and we are likewise "dismissed as inconsequential". However, we are the "Allied Forces" who if you will recall, eventually succeeded against the Nazi Party. The Civil Rights Movement eventually succeeded and they are the forerunners to our own "Civil Rights Movement".

An entire nation was in shock when the Allied Forces marched into Berlin in celebration of their final victory over Nazism. Perhaps one day our own "Allied Forces" will march into Washington in celebration of our own final victory. But until then, we will have to "March on Washington" to let them know, that at the very least, WE are a force to be reckoned with and that "There is no fury like that of a Mother Bear bereaved of her cubs".


I am curious. Is Chris Mooney referring to the super smart scientists that developed these drugs or someone else? Thalidomide, Vioxx, or any of these: Rezulin: Given fast-track approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Rezulin was linked to 63 confirmed deaths and probably hundreds more. "We have real trouble," a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) physician wrote in 1997, just a few months after Rezulin's approval. The drug wasn't taken off the market until 2000.

Lotronex: Against concerns of one of its own officers, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Lotronex in February 2000. By the time it was withdrawn 9 months later, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had received reports of 93 hospitalizations, multiple emergency bowel surgeries, and 5 deaths.

Propulsid: A top-selling drug for many years, this drug was linked to hundreds of cases of heart arrhythmias and over 100 deaths.

Redux: Taken by millions of people for weight loss after its approval in April 1996, Redux was soon linked to heart valve damage and a disabling, often lethal pulmonary disorder. Taken off the market in September 1997.

Pondimin: A component of Fen-Phen, the diet fad drug. Approved in 1973, Pondimin's link to heart valve damage and a lethal pulmonary disorder wasn't recognized until shortly before its withdrawal in 1997.

Duract: This painkiller was taken off the market when it was linked to severe, sometimes fatal liver failure.

Seldane: America's and the world's top-selling antihistamine for a decade, it took the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 5 years to recognize that Seldane was causing cardiac arrhythmias, blackouts, hospitalizations, and deaths, and another 8 years to take it off the market.

Hismanal: Approved in 1988 and soon known to cause cardiac arrhythmias, the drug was finally taken off the market in 1999.

Posicor: Used to treat hypertension, the drug was linked to life-threatening drug interactions and more than 100 deaths.

Raxar: Linked to cardiac toxicities and deaths.

Yes those super smart scientists are never ever wrong.

Stephen Becker

To smart scientists and their followers, it is perfectly obvious that it is a wise policy to inject aluminum, mercury, genetically modified organisms, carcinogenic substances and all the rest into infants. However, since the circle of Autism continues to grow touching virtually everyone, even the dimmest humans can now see that what is called science is actually a cover for "Corporate State Science". Or, perhaps better "PharmaScience".


Vaccines are POISON. The only one[s] who benefit from vaccines are PHARMACEUTICALS. Lots of Vitamin D will protect you from the flu and many other diseases. DON'T be fooled by paid off media hype. STOP the sickening assault on humanity.


Benedetta -- exactly!!


LOL, the movie Idiocracy comes to mind when considering who Chris Mooney's "super smart" scientists are.

You rock Ginger!

Benedetta Stilwell

What I really hate is a group of people (medical doctors/scientists) hijack the idea that they and they alone are the only part of the human race that can observe cause and effect, or do any abstract thinking.


Great article!! The super smart experts will never convince me that my perfectly developing child was thrown into autism from the products that they themselves recommend. Tragic.


Usually you can find out which pharmaceutical cookie jar these spokespeople for vaccines have thair hands in, as is the case with Paul Offit.


I'm starting to think most journalists are just not very bright. This Mooney person is a scientfic illiterate, the product of dumbed-down science classes with the math and other boring stuff removed.


A big part of the "M.O." is to make you doubt yourself.

Something along the lines of "gee, what do I know?"

I will never again doubt myself and if an "expert" can't convince me of a vaccine's safety then my family will not be receiving it.

We don't owe it to the herd to hurt our children. And until the scientific community "owns up" that there is - indeed - a vulnerable sub-population of people then, imho, it would be unwise to accept (without any critical thought or analysis) their blanket assertions.

Jake Crosby

What I don't understand is that the Chris Mooney types will lament about the need for creating a "scientifically literate citizenry" by "communicating science to the public," while not want us to look up information on our own on search engines or at the library. Yet, wouldn't the latter if anything create a more scientifically literate citizenry by training people to become critical thinkers? And wouldn't the former do if anything the exact opposite by getting people used to being spoon fed the information through the media that's simply passing along press releases?

Harry Tembenis

...and Ginger is a hot mama, too (sorry Scott!)...

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