4/03/2008

A day for debunking myths

I do love it when scientists prove wrong myths, particularly myths that support particular assertions that people like to lecture others on, and today three well know myths were debunked.

Firstly, there is no medical reason why drinking 6 to 8 drinks a day is of any value to you, indeed so long as you are not dehydrated, there is no medical reason at all and certainly no benefit in drinking this amount of fluid. The only thing that will happen is that you will go to the toilet more, flush the toilet more, and pay more for your water bills.

The second myth is that caffeine is bad for you. So called experts like to lecture us on the harm that caffeine does, but it has now been scientifically proven that caffeine actually gives some protection against Alzheimer's disease.

The third myth that has been blown apart today is the climate change sceptics final retreat with their argument that 'global warming has nothing to do with human activity, it is all down to sun spots and a change in the sun's activity' being shown to have absolutely no scientific credibility.

Now if scientists could actually prove that Gordon Brown has a sense of humour too, it really would be a momentous day.

20 comments:

Quiet_Man said...

Whilst the first two are credible, the third one isn't as it's based on data taken over only 20 years. It also doesn't explain why there's global warming on Mars.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Why are Conservativse SO desperate to believe that something other than himan beings is responsible ?

Guilt or simply a problem with understanding that free market economics destroys things, particularly our planet ?

I take your point on Mars, but I thought I read that other planets were coolings, so that also going against the sun spot theories.

Your comments are appreciated though.

Quiet_Man said...

I'm no conservative, however the evidence gathered is beginning to tilt in favour of the fact that there is no man made global warming, simply a series of natural events warming the planet naturally. Remember it was a lot hotter in England during Elizabethan times, and a lot colder during the reign of Charles II.

I've yet to be convinced that mankind is warming up the planet, that doesn't mean to say I approve of pollution and no controls over it.

Norfolk Blogger said...

My apologies for calling you a Tory.

Anonymous said...

It could have been worse. He could ahve called you a Green !

Johnny Norfolk said...

I agree with the first 2 points but not the third. It has not been 'blown apart' as you have it.

Can you please explain to me that the disaster about the hole in the ozone layer that was the original cause of climate change ( weather )has gone, yes the hole has filled in. How did this happen.Why has it not been explained. I think we all need to be far more careful before we make any conclusions.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the hole in the ozone:

The hole in the ozone is not the cause of climate change. Climate change is occurring, most scientists believe, as the result of the build up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

The hole in the atmosphere has not gone away. It has stopped growing, however, because we have reduced humanity's use of chlorofluorocarbons. The only relation to global warming is that scientists have noted that the ice fields directly under the hole have thickened despite global warming, while the rest of the ice fields have thinned. This study was distorted and misused by people who deny that global warming is occurring, and the scientists who discovered the thickening of the ice under the hole have rejected this misuse of their findings.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Global Temps will be lower this year so the World Met Org told the BBC. So this blows a hole in the global warming doom mongers.

Temps have not risen since 1998.

This is on todays BBC.

There is far more to this that meets the eye and nothing is proved. As a teacher you should know we need proof. We have had hotter periods and cooler periods in the last 1000 years. why was this then.? What caused it ?. The truth is we dont know and when we do it will explain what is happening now. Governmentsa like us to be frighted of something as it keeps us in our place and stops us looking at them to deeply.Thats why they are always going on about climate, but they build moreairports. Drinking but they remove restrictions, drug taking but down grade drugs.dont want you driving but close post offices so you have to. stop you paving your front garden to allow rainsoak but want 1.000.000 new houses.

We all need to be more critical of labours motives. As far as I am concerned I do not see any evidence of global warming at all and thats who I believe.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Everone should look at todays web page of the BBC news and find the piece

'Global temperatures to decrease' by Roger Harrabin.

I wonder how long he will now last at the BBC for spilling the beans.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Oh dear. Yet again not reading thew whole story Johnny. Whilst this year may see lower temperatures than last year or even the year before, global temperatures will still be significantly higher than they were 10 or 20 years ago.

The cooling this year is a naturally occurring phenomenon which happens regularly and is not a sign of a reversal of global warming.

You really should read the whole story and not just the headlines.

Johnny Norfolk said...

What caused the temp fluctions in the past. the same reason that we have now. No one can fully explain the reason why.

You should not jump on this global warming bandwagon. you cannot judge over such a short period.

Why are we expanding airports ?

Why are we building all these houses.?

Norfolk Blogger said...

For people to live in and for people to take flights.

Is that my starter for 10 ?

Johnny Norfolk said...

No you just dont understand. If the Labour government was serious about global warming. it would not be doing these things. It is doing the complete opposite of what it is telling us what we should do. Can you not see this. You should be far more quzical about these thing and not just take what you are told. You must look for yourself at the facts.Rember the milenium bug, never happened. Mad cow we are not all dying. Bird Flue, the hole in the ozone layer.

We need leaders not followers people who can think for themselves.

Norfolk Blogger said...

As soon as you raised bird flu you lost the argument.

if you only know the dangers we face from bird flu you'd know not to make a flippant reference like you did.

Did you know that some countries are planning for 10% of their populations to die when Bird flu makes the final jump to become a human virus.

A flu virus has to go through five main stages of mutation in order to become a human virus. Bird flu has already jumped through three of those stages in just 10 years since the H5N1 (HP) virus was first detected.

There has never been a human H5 variant of flu, which means there is no immunity whatsoever to this version of flu.

Look at the H1 version which killed many tens of millions worldwide in 1918-1920. This was the first time a mass human version of an HP flu (HP means highly pathogenic) spread, and there was nothing to stop it.

As you might know (although I doubt it if you used bird flu as an argument to back up your views), antibiotics do not work on virus', so any H5 outbreak will not be able to be tackled. It will also take 4 months for the first immunisations to begin and a further 28 days for them to be effective. With only enough capacity in the world to produce jabs for between 5% and 9% of the population of the plant per annum, we face a four month window when nothing will be available except Tamiflu, which the government has ordered in bulk. However, of the seven versions of H5N1 currently in the bird population (again, H5N1 mutates regularly), two of those variants have shown themselves to be resistant to Tamflu.

On top of all this there is the further threat of H5 not even being the version of flu to hit first. H3 versions of avian flu exist in Canada and although receiving less research funding, this may be the first to make the human jump.

The government have NOT be overplaying bird flu risks, they are simply taking precautions which IF YOU UNDERSTOOD THE RISK, you would understand. Put simply, if you have flu (human H1) and caught bird flu (H5N1) from direct contact with a bird, you could suddenly become th host for a new mutated version of flu, which is what everyone in the world is trying to avoid.

I am, despite what you think, something of an expert on H5N1 and would suggest in the first instance you do a Wikipedia search on "H5N1" just to see the full facts.

It must be nice to blame the government for everything, but in this case, and when taking in to account we are already overdue by about 10 years a pandemic (which as you point out about global warming, has happened in the past), joking and mocking the threat from bird flu is really REALLY daft.

Johnny Norfolk said...

See your at it again. How many in Britain have died from bird flu when we have had such serious outbreaks. If it was THAT dangerious to humans do you think they would be sending the dead birds in trucks leaking liquid out of the trailer miles up country to be disposed off. Come on look at the facts and and think around what you are being fed.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Its all about putting risk into perspective. My teachers were very good at this, but we appear to have lost this skill and try to worry people when it is not nessessary.
You have far more chance of being killed in a motor accident, train or plane crash than catching fatel bird flue.
You could look at every animal virus and worry what would happen if it crosses into the human population.

You are playing into the hands of people( eg the labour party) who want you to be frightened so they can manipulate you. They want you to feel that only they can save you from all these disasters and that you need them.
People must think for themselves and managage their own risks. Put into perspective.
In a previous age you would have been a leading member of the flat earth society.
Look at the facts not unproven speculation. Lets not waste resources but not through scare tactics as in the long run you will achieve the exact opposite of what you want it used to be called crying wolf.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Again you highlught that you have NOT ACTUALLY READ WHAT I HAVE WRITTEN !

It is difficult to catch bird flu, but will be very easy to cath the human version WHEN IT MUTATES.

It's like a nuclear bomb. Not dangerous in one form (unexeploded) but very dangerous in it's other state (exploded).

Just because you cannot be bothered to learn about H5N1 you assume that you know all you need to know.

I appreciate your commens but wonder what the point is if you don't actually read the stories they relate to or the comments I respond to.

Sadly, given this state of affairs I'll not bother responding in future.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Again you highlught that you have NOT ACTUALLY READ WHAT I HAVE WRITTEN !

It is difficult to catch bird flu, but will be very easy to cath the human version WHEN IT MUTATES.

It's like a nuclear bomb. Not dangerous in one form (unexeploded) but very dangerous in it's other state (exploded).

Just because you cannot be bothered to learn about H5N1 you assume that you know all you need to know.

I appreciate your commens but wonder what the point is if you don't actually read the stories they relate to or the comments I respond to.

Sadly, given this state of affairs I'll not bother responding in future.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Again you highlught that you have NOT ACTUALLY READ WHAT I HAVE WRITTEN !

It is difficult to catch bird flu, but will be very easy to cath the human version WHEN IT MUTATES.

It's like a nuclear bomb. Not dangerous in one form (unexeploded) but very dangerous in it's other state (exploded).

Just because you cannot be bothered to learn about H5N1 you assume that you know all you need to know.

I appreciate your commens but wonder what the point is if you don't actually read the stories they relate to or the comments I respond to.

Sadly, given this state of affairs I'll not bother responding in future.

Johnny Norfolk said...

I have read it. thought about it and made up my mind. Is is differnt to you and I do not have a problem with it. I understand how you think like this as I used to in my late teens. I now try and validate things with history and what my logic tells me after over 60 years of life experience.
What appears to be matter of fact is not always so.

In recent times we have been told so much as fact that turns out to be wrong. Does this not make you stop and think a bit more about it before making you mind up, just because it is the majority thoughts in the staff room.?

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