Yet Another Highly Unethical and Socially Irresponsible “Genes-Only” Study Fails to Show that Autism is 80% “Genetic”
In a WebMD article, the results from a large genetic-factor-only study gleefully reports that the newest, highest-ever estimate of the percent liability of autism risk that can be attributed to “genetics” is 80%, leaving the remaining 20% to environmental factors.
The article also claims that this new, highest estimate is reported by the study authors to be “…roughly in line with those from prior, smaller studies on the issue, further bolstering their validity“.
Consistent Results From Invalid Methodology Does not Make Those Results “Valid”. It Makes Them “Consistent”.
The “roughly in line with” is an appeal to consistency. But the Liability Threshold Models differ from other approaches methodologically. Previous studies, one of which was conducted by the same group of researchers, had estimates that ranged from 0 to 99% heritability. The average, until this group started using liability-threshold models, was around 40% attribution to genetics. Their studies increased the average, but it still hovered around 50% liability. Only the liability threshold models, used by this group, show results around 80% liability. So their method is consistent with itself. No surprise there. But that’s nowhere near “roughly in line” with all prior studies.
The article skips over the fact that the newest, latest study, like the prior studies, fails to actually measure the contribution of a single environmental factor. While the article rails against “anti-vaxxers”, the study ignores the vaccination status of those involved in the study. The mantra of so many studies never showing association has be tempered with a mature, responsible and realstic interpretation in the context of how those studies were conducted: restricted to one vaccine (MMR), and then there is this: Read the full article at Lyons-Weiler's site here.