Do vaccines cause autism? This question has been the source of a heated debate for a long time.
First of all, what does causation mean? What is correlation? Merriam-Webster defines “causation” as:
a: the act or process of causing
b: the act or agency which produces an effect
I’ll come back to correlation in a moment. With this definition of causation in mind, there seem to be three possible answers to the question, do vaccines cause autism?
1. Yes. Always.
2. No. Never.
3. Maybe. Sometimes.
Let’s explore each one.
I don’t think anyone believes that vaccines always cause autism. That would mean that every child who gets a vaccine ends up with autism. It just goes against reason and logic—and it’s simply not true. There are a lot of children who have gotten a lot of vaccines, and they don’t have autism.
“Never” is a strong word. It would mean that no child has ever gotten autism because of a vaccine. Not one single child. This option is as unreasonable and illogical as the “Yes. Always” option.
I think any reasonable, logical person would find this option … well, reasonable and logical. Vaccines sometimes cause autism. Not always. Not never. Sometimes. Like cigarettes and cancer. It’s an accepted scientific fact that people who smoke have a higher risk of cancer. But there are people who smoke for a lifetime and don’t get cancer. Then, there are people who never smoke and end up with cancer. Sometimes.
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