When I say ‘Faith’, I do not mean religious faith. I mean ‘belief’ in a more general sense. I used to accept the statements of science as undoubtedly true. The ‘scientific method’ was supposed to guarantee it because the ‘scientific method’ involved full exposure of the methods used to arrive at a conclusion and could be repeated and thus confirmed. We have entered into a darker world where ‘science’ requires acts of faith, such as ‘there is a consensus and 95% of scientists agree’. Take Global Warming as an instance. ‘95% of climate scientists agree….’ Have all of those scientists actually conducted the experiments leading to the conclusions? Have they heck! They have just accepted the raw data with which they have been presented. Michael Faraday described his experiments with electricity and magnetism precisely and other people replicated his work and found the same effects. It was not the case that some found the same effects and some did not, and that the majority did, and so the majority ruled OK.
For we have seen with tobacco control that the so-called ‘meta-analyses’ take a number of studies which vary and average them. We do not know how much cherry picking occurred, but, scientifically, we do know that averages are meaningless. For example, suppose that an independent scientist had tried to reproduce Faraday’s experiment and failed to get the same result. Rather than subsume that result by averaging as per a meta-analysis, would it not have been much more sensible to accept that result and then find out what went wrong? Frankly, the only epidemiological result that seems sure to me is a ‘null’ result. What I mean by that is this. Suppose that Doll’s Doctors Study had shown that smoking did not affect mortality from LC. Suppose that just as many non-smoking doctors and light smoking doctors had died from LC as had heavy smoking doctors. I think that most people would stop there and say that smoking does not cause death by LC. And they would be almost certainly right to do so. A null result in epidemiology is about as certain as one can get. Both positive and negative results are untrustworthy in themselves because of other factors which might be at work.
So much of epidemiology is suspect so that it value is only a prop to ‘faith’.
The reason that I mention ‘faith’ is that I have been reading many blogs and comments today and have been astonished by ‘the faith’ that people commenting put in what they have been told. That ‘faith’ cannot be disputed by rational argument. At its lowest level, it amounts to, “The Newspaper said so, so it must be true”.
Loads and loads of comment have accepted that today’s children are grossly fat. As it happens, when I go to collect herself from the hairdressers, I pass a primary school just as the kids are released. I have yet to see a fat child. Would it not be interesting if someone videoed children exiting school just to see how many were a bit plump? But an ordinary person doing so would probably be arrested. Politicians often go to schools. Why do they not notice whether or not there are a lot of fat kids?
There is no doubt in my mind that the ‘sugary drinks’ tax is just another means of extracting cash from the pockets of the people, just as the increase (again!) of tobacco duties is. It has little to do with fat kids. It is just another tax. Politicians have taken advantage of the effects of ‘preachers’ like Jamie Oliver, who are hypocrites, to extract more money from us.
There is no way to fight this tendency. It must be allowed to play itself out until our children and grandchildren force a new form of democracy. We will not be here to see it, but it will happen.
It is true that the human race must stop expanding exponentially. Horrible though it might seem, that means that people who have seven children must be penalised. I don’t mean that they must be persecuted. I mean that they should themselves bear the costs. I had three daughters and I bore the costs without complaint.
We are in a strange world of a new ‘faith’. How can we cast aspersions on Muslims, who follow their creed, while we ourselves are following a creed of hopelessness?
“FAITH, HOPE AND CHARITY”
Our civilisation has lost ‘Hope’ more than anything else. The problem is that I have no idea what the word ‘Hope’ means. I never have had. It might be more sensible to think of the word ‘Hope’ as the same thing as the word ‘Expectation’. We believe and we expect and we are kind. The three go together. If you remove any one, then you destroy the whole concept.
The EU and the UN have destroyed ‘Faith, Hope and Charity’. Those ideals have been converted into God-less economic stresses.Those organisations are not about the happiness of people; they are about the compression of people into units.
The sooner that we get out of that mechanical organisation the better.