Do Child Abuse Pediatricians Search for a “Pediatric Vulcan Planet”? Comparison of Controversies about the Vulcan-Must-Exist-Theory and the Infant-Must-Have-Been-Shaken-Theory

Niels Lynøe, Niklas Juth, Chris B Brook, Anders Eriksson


We argue that there are similarities between the Vulcan-must-exist-theory, derived from the Original Unrestricted Newtonian Gravitational (OUNG) theory, on the one hand, and on the other hand the infant-must-have-been-shaken-theory, derived from the Original Unrestricted Abusive Head Trauma (OUAHT) theory.

Although the Vulcan-must–exist-theory was apparently supported by observations over a period of 50 years, after the introduction of Einstein’s general relativity theory in 1915 and its corroboration in 1919, the alleged planet was subsequently neither observed nor needed.

In analogy with the Einstein/Vulcan reasoning, we suggest that the introduction of the non-shaken baby theory by Geddes et al. in 2001-2004 indicates that in cases where an infant displays no external signs of trauma, the infant-must-have-been-shaken-theory is no longer needed.

Moreover we argue that the two new theories -Einstein’s and Geddes et al.’s- have relevant similarities in terms of the effect on the respective original, unrestricted theory. Just as acceptance of Einstein’s general relativity theory led to the abandonment of the Vulcan-must-exist-theory, it is reasonable to claim that the infant-must-have-been-shaken-theory should also be abandoned. We finally argue that while the consequences of abandoning the Vulcan-must-exist-theory were restricted to some scientific and astronomical issues, the infant-must-have-been-shaken-theory has not yet been abandoned because of the societal and legal consequences.

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