Saturday, October 14, 2006

I See You Getting Cancer In The Future

Dr Peter Dingle's column in the West Australian's Mind&Body supplement for Tuesday, October 3, 2006 is fairly unremarkable in that it's his usual tirade against chemicals, telling us we're poisoning all our children, accompanied by pushing of incomplete research as support for his assertions. EoR's eye was caught, however, by the following:

Research is proving the toxicity of these chemicals. Many studies, including some of our own research and other Australian studies, show that the higher the use of chemicals in the home, including cleaning chemicals, the use of spray cans and pesticides, the higher the incidence of childhood disease, such as asthma and allergies.

EoR is a bit bemused by this lumpenproletariat of "chemicals". Should we remove all all chemicals from the home? It would leave things a bit bare. And if "some of our own research" is proving his claims, doesn't that mean some of Dr Dingle's research is contradicting it? Do we have selective sampling here? Also, the cause of asthma and allergies may, in fact, be the clean environments resulting from the cleaner homes we have now, and the subsequent lack of exposure to allergens, not the chemicals themselves. But the really interesting part is the next paragraph:

In a few years when the research is complete, it will also show an increase in children's and adult's cancer rates.

Okay, so we have no real definition of what Dr Dingle is talking about (just "chemicals"). Reporting of only affirmative studies. Sensationalism about poisoning children, and now cancer as well. But how on earth can Dr Dingle already know the outcome of incomplete research? Does his agrarian, non-"chemical", toxin-free lifestyle enhance his psychic powers? Why is he even bothering to do the research if the outcome is already known?

Sometines, EoR despairs about the populist scientists who have no understanding of (or, at least, no apparent desire to follow) the scientific method.

1 comment:

  1. Of course, the most likely reason we have more cancer nowadays than in the olden ones: We're busy not dying from other things, like they used to.


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