Wednesday, 4 October 2017


Can 'autism' sink even lower?

Jeremy Bentham (d. 1832)

Reported by RT today –

The severed head of leading nineteenth-century philosopher Jeremy Bentham will be put on public display while scientists test his DNA for signs of autism...

It is believed the atheistic thinker may have been on the autistic spectrum because biographies cite him as having 'few companions of his age' and 'being morbidly sensitive'.

We have been working with the Natural History Museum, who have new techniques of studying ancient DNA .

Ah 'scientists'. You have to lov'em?

I came across the story through RT (Russia Today), which is a formation of Novosti News Agency, in Moscow.

That cunning fiend Vladimir Putin, I hear you cry, with usual Machiavellian cunning Russian black propagandists are using fake news and post-truth to discredit one of the world's leading academic institutions (UCL came sixteenth in the most recent THES universities' world rankings).

Sorry, not so. On checking I am reassured that the British media need no help from the Russians to encourage people to sound silly, and reinforce the modern tendency towards the pseudo-scientific biologisation of developmental disorders. The Daily Telegraph, for example:

In fact, RT explicitly acknowledges that it lifted this story from the Telegraph in the first place.

Can the concept of autism be debased any further? Probably yes, I suspect, and it won't be the media or puzzled parents, or fuddled 'professionals' who take the lead, or even the former KGB. Barmy boffins, more like it, scrabbling for their 'public impact'. So it goes.



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