PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
The Last Contrarian
 
Comments: 8
Article views: 836
 
 
Latest Badges:



 
View all The Last Contrarian's badges.
 

Shall I or shall I not eat this chocolate bar?

27 January 2014, 10:08

Having nothing worthwhile to do, these popinjay journalists trawl the depths of speculative scientific research to—as is always the case—tell you how to live your life in minutia of suppositive detail.

Who has not seen some family member or coworker merrily chomping away on slabs of chocolate while they excuse their gluttony with a priceless reference to a magazine headline stating that ‘new research’ shows that chocolate is good for your heart.

Whenever I see this scene (and I do quite often) I am reminded of an old joke about statisticians:

A statistician, a physicist, and a biologist went out hunting together. As the trio chanced upon a trophy buck, the physicist discharged lead, but missed to the left of the deer; then the biologist took aim and fired, but missed to the right of the deer; the statistician paused for a moment … and yelled, “That’s a dead-center hit! We got it!”

(With the South African education system being the pristine global example of excellence that it is, I wonder how many matriculants got the joke.)

But then suddenly a week later, the chocolate-muncher drags themself into the home / office with a look of soulful regret on their face. The latest edition of their favourite magazine highlighted another study, this one done in Australia, which found that eating more chocolate actually caused weight gain as well as increased people’s risk of developing diabetes and / or getting a heart attack.

None the wiser from their experience, they heed the latest update (or rebel against it in childish spite) . Come next week they will start guzzling red wine because study X said it is good for your health, only to dejectedly shun the bottle again after reading yet another study claiming it’s contains a bottled demon that sucks out your life force with every cup consumed.

Such is the yo-yo life experienced by people who do not think, can’t read statistics, and have no comprehension of anything scientific. To be at the beck and call of every sloppy piece of journalism is a fitting punishment, I’d say. Sadly, most prefer even the punishment over the only effective cure, which is to LEARN to THINK (two things becoming hugely unfashionable in our time).

The fact is that— statistically speaking—EVERYTHING causes cancer. That is because solar and cosmic radiation is incessantly bombarding every cell in our bodies with radiation that in time WILL cause a cancerous development.

Old age causes cancer. So does abstinence from or overindulgence in any number of foods, cause cancer. That you will get cancer, eventually, is a certainty, and getting nervous or excited over the latest (usually methodologically flawed or grossly misinterpreted 'scientific' study) is not going to help you evade cancer.

Genetic variations and extremities of diet may (that’s a nice way to say ‘we actually don’t know for sure’) increase your risk of getting some cancer, but you could also consume all the things you are supposed not to and still live to be 90+ years old and die from slipping in the shower.

Statistics are marginally more valuable than opinions, which, as most people know, mean nothing at all unless they reference facts, in which case an opinion can no longer be described as such.

For anyone who wants to start to truly understand how scientific studies are performed and how to read the data of such studies (so as to make informed, not implied lifestyle and behavioural decisions), I would highly recommend a book by Dr. Ben Goldacre called Bad Science.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
8 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Thulane Che Trosky
The ‘Red’ brigade yet once again ...

We have for too long, had to be satisfied with answers, which have been ‘flavoured’ and covered in kaleidoscopic colours. Read more...

3 comments 266 views
Christian or Not!

It is unfortunate that man of today have resorted in the classification of those who believe. But can there be such in heaven?  Read more...

39 comments 315 views
Submitted by
Keita
Homosexuality - love or lust?

Danie, you claim that you’re not judgemental. Tell me something, though. How is that comment of yours anything but judgemental?  Read more...

76 comments 569 views
Best fiction - Oscar's version of...

Reeva happily goes to bed, having packed all her clothes neatly away in her bag, including her underwear and the top she was wearing, while leaving her jeans inside-out at the bottom of the bed. Read more...

3 comments 194 views
Submitted by
Iain Botha
Racism & Crying Wolf

When two black students spew hate speech and advocate murder against a racial minority whilst at a Res on campus, not a peep is to be heard. Read more...

28 comments 3665 views
Submitted by
Philip Frost
Wildfire viewer

Adavnced Fire Information System showing current wildfires Read more...

1 comments 259 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.