Wednesday, April 18, 2007

More Stupidity, Same Source

What a worthless University. A study confirms that tobacco smoking is not a worse evil than the Holocaust (which any British sailor can tell you didn't happen anyway), so we immediately have to shoot down its value.
Cigarette smoke and caffeine might decrease the risk of developing Parkinson Disease, according to findings from researchers at the Miami Institute for Human Genomics at the Miller School.
Frabjous day! But wait...
But that does not mean that patients should start lighting up.
Yeah, I can see that. It's not like health researchers use the outcome of one study with questionable methods to dictate massive changes in social policy...oh wait. They do that all the time. My bad. Why is this different?
"I would not change any behaviors on the basis of this study," says William K. Scott, Ph.D. professor of medicine and faculty member at the Institute.
That's cool, doctor, you don't have to change any behaviors. But should the rest of us? What use is this study if we are to ignore its findings? Or do you like Parkinson's?
Smoking and caffeine may influence dopamine levels in the brain, but they are not a simple preventative. "There are over 4,000 components in cigarette smoke, and we assume it might be nicotine that is impacting the disease, but it might be other things," Scott says, noting that the nicotine anti-smoking patch does not significantly improve symptoms in Parkinson's patients. "If we could find out whether it was truly caffeine or nicotine and how it acts on the brain, that might help us develop better treatments for Parkinson's patients."
You assume it might be nicotine. Wow, what a limb you're out on - you assume (for the sake of argument, I guess?) that something may be in the realm of possibility. In other words, you're willing to think that it's not logically impossible that something might be the cause of something else in some possible world. Wow, do you really want to tie yourself down to that position?! Idiot.
I like the line about how the patch doesn't improve Parkinson's patients - but then, is he talking about a different study? He has to be, actually. The principal study describes itself as considering how well substances work at preventing Parkinson's, while what he starts talking about there is treating those who already have the disease. So, really, this guy is a Ph.D.? This guy who doesn't get the obvious fallacy of mixing these two studies up and saying, "Because the nicotine patch does not treat or cure those with Parkinson's, nicotine could not possibly prevent the disease in the first place." All right. Does eating fiber cure colon cancer? If not, it must not do any good to eat it to prevent that same cancer.

See that? Some punk kid with nothing but a degree in philosophy just owned you, good doctor. Better luck next time.


At 6:41 PM, April 18, 2007 , Blogger Nick Milne said...

Not to be defensive, but it's worth noting that some of the problems you see in this article could quite easily be the result of poor journalism rather than the doctor being some sort of idiot.


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