"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

Science is best when discussed: leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Popular Belief 

Science can be frustrating to many people because it doesn't provide much in the way of certainty: last year's miracle cure becomes this week's leading carcinogen. Most scientists revel in this process of testing, rejecting, waiting, testing, not-rejecting, et cetera. Because science dictates that you can never "prove" something, only "disprove" it.

And oh, how many beliefs we hold based on flawed evidence, incomplete study, or simply folk knowledge. It turns out that some seem true, and other prove false:

Your mother always told you that pizza and twinkies would give you pizza face. A small clinical trial from Australia found that a lower-glycemic index diet with more protein significantly reduced acne in participants - another good reason to adopt such a healthier diet.

Your mom knows stuff, but the societal moms may not: prevailing wisdom has been that "bad kids" do worse in school, but two studies suggest that this is not necessarily (or even usually) the case. Even kids with ADHD (which is grossly overdiagnosed, so I question the findings) seem to just develop slower, and are at the same level as their peers by grade 5.

Then societal mom also want kids to never, EVER, have sex, at least until they are long past adulthood. Because it means that they're just delinquents, right? Wrong. A terribly clever UVa analysis found that teens and preteens who had had consensual sex were in fact less likely to end up being labeled 'delinquent.'

Speaking of sexual myths, a multi-national survey found that as many as 40% of people believe that AIDS isn't fatal anymore, and many of them even think that there's a cure. Memo to world: AIDS IS STILL INCURABLE AND LETHAL!!!

And finally, there's the persistent myth that the US has great quality healthcare and outcomes. Among other things, we continue to have a ridiculously high infant mortality rate, especially considering our neonatal care expenditures.

Now playing: Dengue Fever - Saran Wrap
via FoxyTunes

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?