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Scientific Consensus

Discussion in 'Social Issues' started by HeyBuddy, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. HeyBuddy

    HeyBuddy Well-Known Member

    So many times, people just accept a scientific consensus as fact. The following article explains how one scientific consensus may have had a negative effect on the health of Americans, and others around the world. It also does a great job of explaining how scientific consensus can be reached through faulty methods and motives. If you are not familar with the term "cascade" as it applies to science, I strongly recommend that you take a moment to read this article. I'm not implying that all scientific consensus is wrong, but it is always wise to question and challenge anything that is not TRULY FACT.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/09/science/09tier.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=science
     
  2. Monty

    Monty Well-Known Member

    I'd love to read the article, but I'm not prepares to take thirty seconds to register with the NY times to do so.

    Why don't you quote it, and provide personal emphasis and commentary Heybuddy? :)
     
  3. HeyBuddy

    HeyBuddy Well-Known Member

    I can't believe it asked you to register. I'm not registered, but the article is over two pages long. That's a bummer. Damn, I don't really have time to pick through the entire thing to get the highlights.
     
  4. Monty

    Monty Well-Known Member

    That's an excellent article Buddy, thanks for cut and pasting it.

    The cascade effect is apparent in many areas. Off the bat, I can think of another biggie apart from diet:

    Sun exposure. For years, starting before I can remember, we were told to stay out of the sun or limit our exposure. Say 'slip, slop slap' (slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat) to any Aussie and they'll know exactly what you mean. I've recently heard some very faint rumblings in the media that this is bad as some people (Nicole Kidman is frequently spotted on Sydney's Northern beaches sporting a black bodysuit and a huge hat) avoid the sun -and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_d#In_food"]vitamin D[/URL]- altogether. Sure, avoid actually getting sunburned, but apart from that where's the epidemiological proof of harm from moderate sun exposure?

    With diet, who can tell? The French paradox is intriguing. My instinct is to avoid bad food; I take 'bad' to mean overprocessed... BUT: What of flour? Processed flour with folate added? Ask someone who has a kid with spina bifida or another congenital neural tube defect. Nothing is ever black and white.

    I feel that the wrong questions were (are?) being asked about western health overall, and overemphasis on the diet side of things ignores the energy expenditure side of things: "Help me doc, I just can't lose weight." "Here, have this pill. It'll lower your cholesterol. Take one a day forever. Oh, and no need to jump on the stairmaster: This one will prevent fat absorbtion." True, no sane doctor would actually recommend taking a http://www.newstarget.com/019387.html"]fat absorbtion blocker[/URL] like Xenical to the exclusion of calorie reduction or excercise, but the fact remains that such drugs are available, advertised and thereore seen as a quick fix by some.

    The climate change debate is another huge, huge area where there's so much apparently alarmist talk and placating noises by groups with such vast, vested interests in the status quo that it's hard to sort out anything except: Climate is changing and we are hastening the process: Whether it's by a matter of decades or by a degree or two, whether the natural cycle and natural emissions will render all human activity irrelevant (cite: CO2 'emissions' from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7065859.stm"]California wildfires[/URL]) is a further complication. Maybe fifty years hence we'll have made a huge effort and avoided X trillion tons of greenhouse gas emissions, then maybe the Yellowstone volcano will blow and pump out twice as much sulphur oxides. Regardless, I reckon plain and simple pollution is a bigger concern.
     
  5. Private_Ale

    Private_Ale King Neckbeard

    This thread is relevant to my interests.

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