There are just so many ways in which this upcoming book/books are bullshit that I just don’t know where to start ranting. Stupid, defamatory ideas and crap science from a researcher who has been cranking out highly flawed studies, theories that don’t hold water, misleading information and work based on other scientist’s ideas for a very long time now. What are YOU going to do about this?

You might not be aware of the full history of this world-renowned and highly influential autism “expert” as a scientist. He is quite famous for popularizing the theory that autism is caused by exposure to high levels of testosterone in utero and that autism/AS are the “extreme male brain”. The testosterone/lefthandedness/cerebral lateralization theory was the brain-child of US neurologist Dr Norman Geschwind who was I think active in the 1980s, and Dr Hans Asperger published the extreme male brain idea in his seminal 1940s paper describing AS. I think Prof. Baron-Cohen does not deny that these are not his ideas, but at the same time, he has gained an international reputation from being the living autism researcher who champions these good but unoriginal ideas.

Prof. S. Baron-Cohen was once quite active in synaesthesia research, with the unfortunate effect of popularizing (along with US neurologist Richard Cytowic) the incorrect idea that synaesthesia is a rare and freakish condition, despite existing published research from the 19th century that asserted that synaesthesia is quite common. Well-designed studies done by researchers who are NOT Prof. Baron-Cohen in the last few years have found that (surprise!) a number of different types of synaesthesia are actually quite common.

Prof. Baron-Cohen has been nursing a suite of stupid ideas about empathy and autism for quite a few years now, in the face of conflicting evidence. His ideas about amygdala dysfunction as the cause of autism and also the cause a lack of empathy do not hold water scientifically, but I’m sure he’d never admit the truth. His conflating face-blindness and deficits in reading body language with autism have added confusion to autism research and have unecessarily burdened prosopagnosics with the stigma associated with autism. Baron-Cohen has also come under a lot of fire in the last few years over the highly questionable ideas about males and females having different types of brains that he has popularized. Discussion surrounding the recent book by Dr Cordelia Fine “Delusions of Gender: The Real Science Behind Sex Differences” is just a recent example of this ongoing controversy.

What we have here is a researcher who appears to be a nice bloke, and is reportedly unerringly polite in his dealings, but who has a gift for f***ing things up good and proper in the field of psychological research. And now we have to suffer the consequences of more crap from this half-baked boffin!

http://www.amazon.com/Science-Evil-Empat…465023533/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Zero-Degrees-Emp…0713997915

contributed by Lili Marlene

Advertisements