autism is not an epidemic
Debate Rounds (4)
As of 2010 the frequency of autism as risen to 1 in 68 births from 1 in 150 births recorded in 2000.
An epidemic defined (Merriam Webster): 1. affecting or tending to affect a disproportionately large number of individuals within a population, community, or region at the same time.
2. excessively prevalent
The CDC's official definition of an epidemic is: "The occurrence of more cases of disease than expected in a given area or among a specific group of people over a particular period of time." The CDC doesn't have epidemic thresholds for every disease.
But Autism is not considered a disease due to its occurrence is not due to a virus or bacteria. For the sake of this debate the Merriam Webster definition can be applied to prove autism is an epidemic.
Scientist have statistical evidence that there is a genetic component to autism along family lines. But the true cause of autism is yet to be uncovered. Besides heredity, environmental factors are seen to have effects on gene function to a degree greater than previously thought. This factor is seen as a contributor to the significant increases of autism over the past few decades. Studies prove that when familiar lines are not factored, autism still occurs. Older parents have a statically higher rate of autistic off spring than younger parents. Women who have taken to antidepressants before or while pregnant also follow the trend. Yet other research indicates spontaneous gene mutations are taking place once egg fertilization occurs, where specific genes are over produced. Gene mutations are also suspected to occur in utero and postnatally (after birth) altered by chemical agents; though specific agents have not been pinpointed.
Rates of autism over time:
1980: 1 to 2 per 10,000 children
1990: 1 in 500
2000: 1 in 150
2004: 1 in 125
2006: 1 in 110
2008: 1 in 88
2010: 1 in 68
Using the uncontested Merriam Webster definition of epidemic, I will conclude that autism is an epidemic due to its excessive prevalence within the population over time. As viral and bacterial diseases spread and grow to a point where its occurrence is atypical, the neurological disorder of autism follows with the same reasoning.
the number of people with autisim symptoms have been staying the same proving my theory that autism is not growing
and is in fact genetic the numbers you showed are a result of more people being diagnosed which I'm sure can be summed up to people caring more about autism over time. Since the numbers are staying the same so you're oh so precious Marian Webster definition of an epidemic holds barely any help in proving that autism is an epidemic
The CDC and several multinational studies using large population groups across demographic lines conclude that incidence of autism, especially in the US, has grown substantially. In the US the climb is attributed to environmental factors. There also have been comparisons made between countries on rates of autism in GMO free zones verses GMO prevalent areas. Glyphosate (Round Up) and other pesticides have been shown to be indicators contributing to increased rates of autism. There are also higher rates of occurrence of gastrointestinal abnormalities in children with autism residing in agricultural regions compared to those in non-agriculture zones. Pounds per acre of pesticide used, compared to lower use areas have been evaluated. Gastrointestinal issues are prevalent in children with autism as well as other physiological abnormalities in addition to differences in brain development. In addition, build ups of pollutants that have remained in the environment after discontinuance have been factored. PCBs and mercury, once used in florescent lighting, as well as other no longer produced toxic products linger in soil and water for many years, even decades after production has ceased. These elements are proven neurotoxins affecting the brain and nervous system development. Taking the data provided on industrialized farming areas against non-industrialized native farming zones, and consideration given on other contaminant data in studies done in various regions; the consensus is the occurrence of autism has risen significantly since 1990. Even with the differences of opinion on rates over time; the conclusion remains. In comparing various large population groups under different environmental influences, autism it is excessively prevalent in the population than it was 25 years ago.---
In your response to your comment on "you're oh so precious Marian Webster definition of an epidemic". You had opportunity to rebuke the use of the definition of epidemic as defined by my chosen source. In failing to do so at the appropriate time in this debate you have forfeited the use of any other definition source. And it is MERRIAM Webster, please check your spelling. Using this uncontested definition, autism is at a rate far above what would be naturally occurring within in a population, therefore and epidemic.
In conclusion, I feel that insufficient evidence on your part has been submitted to enforce your position that autism is not an epidemic. Only a single source has been referenced.
On the statement made that those with autism are made out to be puppets, this is hardly the case. Depending on where individuals are on the spectrum, they are taught skills designed to meet their specific needs that will enable them to learn and function in society. Educators are not trying to make them normal, but work within the sphere of the individual"s abilities not inabilities. This approach has been a significant move forward from their treatment 40 years ago, where such individuals were institutionalized, shuttered from the public and family life. Personally possessing a Master in Education and have worked with children with autism, I have found they do enjoy life. But maintain that rates have increased significantly and its occurrence is beyond genetic familiar lines. Whichever set of data you may choose be it 1 in 150 or 1 in 68, the frequency of occurrence if it was the flu or other viral outbreak by comparison would be categorize as epidemic.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Skepticalone 1 year ago
|Who won the debate:||-|
Reasons for voting decision: This was a one sided debate. Con outlined the increasing frequency of autism and established how it could be viewed as an epidemic. Pro argued that it was not a matter of an increase in the frequency, but an increase in diagnosis due to changing diagnostic criteria. While, I am sympathetic to Pro's view in this regard, Con pointed out it was a single study of a small sample. Con continued to throw water on Pro's fire it by linking autism/other abnormalities to increased GMOs, pollutants, pesticides, and environmental factors. Pro did not attempt to refute. Points to Con. *Constructive criticism* Much like Con, I had difficulty with some of Pro's argumentation due to lack of punctuation and overall sentence structure, and I would have much appreciated Con providing claims/evidence with a link to which source it came from.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 1 year ago
|Who won the debate:||-|
Reasons for voting decision: This is pretty straightforward. Pro never really addressed Con's central argument about what an epidemic is and how autism meets that definition. His single study was insufficient, and Con proved that that was the case. Con spent more time analyzing the data to show me what the trend looks like, examining potential causes (some of which are hotly contested, particularly the GMO aspect), and explaining how that makes for an epidemic. Pro's lack of response to that, and continued assertions to the contrary, leave him vulnerable to the argument throughout the debate. Despite his regular attempts to straw man Con's arguments, Con was never clearly insulting, nor was he painting autism in a clearly unfavorable light that went above and beyond what was reasonable. Had this been a 7-point debate, I also would have awarded S&G to Con because Pro's arguments were often difficult to read and understand.
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