As we approach an ever more accurate assessment of autism's prevalence within the human population, the cry grows ever more shrill to identify autism's environmental cause. Never mind that we have been searching diligently for that cause for more than a decade now and have yet to find its first trace. Never mind all that, because autism has unquestionably reached an epidemic stage, and with autism such a devastating illness, especially untreated, we could not have overlooked its devastating consequences in all the years before (and no, there is no need to question such obvious assumptions). Look harder, look faster: autism's environmental cause has to be there.
In the late nineteenth century, scientists embarked on a massive hunt for the luminiferous ether. Never mind that they had been searching diligently for the ether for quite some time and had yet to find its first trace. Never mind all that, because light's properties were unquestionably those of waves, and with the characteristics of space, time and energy so well understood, the absence of a propagating medium was something quite unthinkable (and no, there was no need to question such obvious assumptions). The scientists looked harder, looked faster: the luminiferous ether had to be there.