I should imagine that most readers know about it. If not, read this:
When I said that the BMA demands, I meant it:
“Adults and children should be instructed by the Government to halve the amount of sugar they consume and eat almost twice as much pasta, potato and other fibrous foods, an official report is expected to say this week.
In a bid to tackle an epidemic of obesity and tooth decay, the Department of Health will be urged by its scientific advisers to reduce the amount of sugar allowed in the official definition of a healthy diet.”
Of course, the MBA would excuse itself by saying that it is using the word ‘instruct’ in the sense of ‘educate’ or ‘show how’, as in “Instructions for use of this kettle”. They would also point to the fact that the word ‘allow’ relates only to the definition of a healthy diet, though how you define a phrase is beyond me. You use phrases to define. You do not define phrases. In this case, ‘define’ is the wrong word. Perhaps they should have used the word ‘describe’. At least the word ‘describe’ allows for a variety of possible recommendations, whereas the word ‘define’ means ‘definite’, aka ‘certainty’.
So what does the BMA expect the Government to do? Prescribe a Manual Of Menus which are legally to be enforced in all public places, whether indoor or outdoor? Create regulations which instruct supermarkets to stock only those foods mentioned in the Manual Of Menus so that people cannot obtain unhealthy foods? Thus, no more bags of pure sugar. The sugar must be adulterated with saccharine to ‘water down’ its fattening potential.
“An epidemic of tooth decay”. I like that. Talk about ‘redefining’. Is tooth decay contagious? If not, how does tooth decay spread from one person to another so as to become an ‘epidemic’?
But we are all well aware of the deliberate manipulation of words which are not specific in our language, and deliberately so. If that were not the case, then we would have to look up a medical dictionary whenever we want to describe some minor ailment. Thus, we would not be able to say, “I have tummy ache”. We would have to describe our symptoms precisely and have tummy contents scientifically analysed in order to use the correct words. We might have to use words like ‘acute cholecystitis’ or ‘diverticulitis’. Everyone would, of course, know what we mean.
No, our language is deliberately NOT precise generally speaking. We use adjectives and other devices to narrow our meanings down. Tooth decay is not necessarily caused by sugar except in children. It has already been proved beyond reasonable doubt that tooth decay in adults is caused exclusively by smoking or passive smoking. “There is no safe level”, remember.
So what does the BMA demand regarding the Manual Of Menus and supermarket food stocks? Erm… Not a lot. No. Their answer is to tax foodstuffs. Herself likes her tea with no sugar. I like a half a teaspoon of sugar in my tea. She does not take sugar even in coffee; I like two teaspoons of sugar in my coffee. Making a correlation, her teeth are almost perfect, despite her age of 73; my teeth rotted away starting in my late teens. Ergo, the fact that she takes almost no sugar in tea or coffee is the reason for her near perfect teeth, and my rotted teeth are due to my sugar in tea and coffee. QED.
Here is a link supplied by MJM about spurious correlations:
That link supplies 19 spurious correlations, but there must be oodles of them. I personally like the correlation between the increase in the import of oranges into the UK after WW2 and the increase in divorces. Which caused which?
There are lots and lots of very precise correlations. What Hill and Doll discovered in the Doctors Study was a precise correlation between smoking and lung cancer. The heaviest smokers got most LC. Moderate smokers got less LC and light smokers even less. Non-smokers got least of all. Does that prove that smoking causes LC?
Not in the least. Doctors a century ago thought that malaria was caused by ‘bad air’ in the vicinity of swamps. It was a long time before the proper cause was discovered. Swamps were naturally places which benefited mosquitoes. Mosquitoes carried a parasite which which was injected into the veins of a person when a mosquito bit that person. It was the parasite which caused illness and death.
So let us suppose that the correlation between smoking and LC is not a spurious one, but that there is a connection. Could that connection be vaguely similar to the connection between swamps and mosquito parasites in a different way? Remember the trail – swamp, mosquito, parasite, bite. That is four steps, and it is a mistake to lump them together. They are separate steps.
So how could smoking assist in the development of LC? As far as I know, there is no scientific research into that question. But there should be since the Doctors Study showed that people could smoke for 30 years without adverse affect, and only after that lapse of time did A FEW heavy smokers start to suffer from LC when they started to get old. Why did those FEW individuals get LC but the rest of their contemporaries did not? It is not good enough to ‘rationalise’ by claiming ‘delayed effect’. Those are just unscientific words, similar to the end of increasing global temperatures being claimed to be ‘a pause’. Nature does not ‘pause’. There is no ‘delayed affect’.
Here is an interesting question. Perhaps a reader can answer it. If a person is discovered to have ‘a nodule’ (which is the word used by oncologists to describe a cancerous lump of less than one cubic centimetre), was that nodule caused by one single cell becoming a cancerous cell? By cancerous cell, I mean a cell which multiplies in a specific place and creates a mountain which, over time, blocks the organ where it is situated. EG. A lung cancer (‘tumour’, ‘lump’, ‘growth’, ‘nodule’, ‘mass’, ‘canker’, or whatever word) fills up the lung with a mass of tissue and stops the lung from functioning. Similarly, a kidney ‘canker’ would grow and grow and, eventually, split the kidney apart.
Is that how cancers work and cause death?
But what about conditions such as leukaemia? Is that similar in the sense that one defunct blood cell goes mad, reproducing like f*ck and inhibiting the production of good cells, or is it the cells in the bone marrow which go rogue and produce blood cells which bugger things up?
Relativity Theory is not difficult to understand provided that you are willing to stretch your imagination somewhat. Space is not ‘nothing’. If it was ‘nothing’ it would not exist. Space is ‘a thing’. It can be stretched, compressed, twisted and bent by gravity. Light transmitted via such a vehicle will also be stretched, compressed, twisted and bent. Or rather, light IS the stretching, compressing, twisting and bending of space on a tiny scale as compared with the affect of gravity on space. Could an object, such as a spaceship, travel faster than light? Well, no – not even remotely get near the speed of light. The reason is that space would become more and more a ‘solid’ object to anything trying to pass through it. Imagine a submarine trying to go faster and faster under the sea. The harder that the submarine pushes, the more resistant that the sea becomes. Thus, the energy that the sub needs to push the sea aside, becomes greater and greater for every extra knot of speed that is desired. Eventually, the resistance of the sea would become infinite, and an amount of energy greater than infinity would be required to overcome the resistance!
I must to bed. Tonight’s blog has been fun.