A good part of the blame for the appalling lack of scientific knowledge in this country falls squarely on the press. This is something we deal with constantly at ACSH: Headlines that not only don’t match the content of the subsequent article, but often contradict it.
It would be hard to find a better example than the breathless coverage of a CDC report which, on the surface, seems to suggest that there has been a huge increase in the prevalence of autism in the two year period 2010-2012.
If you really think about it, is it even feasible that there was actually a 30 percent increase in autism in two years? Because if this were true, pretty much every child would be autistic within a decade or two. No—there is something else going on, and it has nothing to do with any real change in autism. Rather, it’s a diagnosis issue.
“But,”says ACSH’s Dr. Josh Bloom “I’d be willing to bet both of my dollars that half the people who glance at these headlines will simply conclude that, for whatever reason, the autism ‘epidemic’ is skyrocketing. And this will become‘fact,’ and spread all over the internet, just like countess numbers of other misleading headlines.”…..To Read More…..