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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Sunday, August 13, 2006

I'm confused

I'm becoming skeptical about scientists and scientific studies.

A few years ago I heard about a scientific study involving glucosamine. This study reported that taking 1500mg of glucosamine daily would benefit joints. Just about that time I had some problems with one of my knees. So I decided to start taking glucosamine. In about a month the pain in my knee went away. Now my daily walks are pain free. Just recently I heard another report saying the first study was all wrong. Which one should I believe? Well, I'm going to believe my knee and keep taking glucosamine.

When I was much younger, I remember grown-ups deciding not to drink coffee because it was bad for you. It could make a person nervous or, heaven forbid, cause a heart attack. Imagine my surprise a few months ago when I heard that coffee is beneficial. In moderation, it can reduce the risk of colon cancer, gallstones, type-2 diabetes, liver damage, Parkinson's disease, and it can improve endurance in physical activities. Well, no matter for me. I don't like coffee. Besides, a few years from now we'll probably learn that coffee bad for you after all.

A few years ago we were all told to eat lots of oat bran. Then we were told that's all wrong. Now I'm hearing it again. Eat lots of oat bran. And what about all those diet studies? Don't eat fat. Eat fat. Don't eat carbs. Eat carbs. Don't eat meat. Eat meat. Are you getting confused yet?

My family has a history of heart disease. So I'm quite interested in doing things that will keep my heart healthy. I heard over and over that I should consume lots of omega-3 fatty acids. Good stuff for your heart. So in addition to eating that salmon and tuna and nuts, I started taking flax seed oil in a capsule. Now my heart should be much healthier, but is it? Just recently I heard of a study that said omega-3 fatty acids have very little benefit for heart health. I don't know which way to go on this one. Do you?

There are probably dozens of other studies that I could talk about, but I'm going to end with one that really irritates me. Global warming. There are scientists on both sides of the issue telling us what we should believe. Take a look at these differing opinions.

http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2006/01/18/not-as-bad-as-we-thought/

http://www.stopglobalwarming.org/sgw_feature.asp?id=11

And for the youtube enthusiasts, here's one more.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wq_Bj-av3g0

I think the ones who agree with global warming are shouting the loudest. But I'm skeptical. About 30 years ago when I lived in Ohio, and we were having very, very cold winters with mountains of snow, part of the scientific community was telling us that we were going to freeze as the polar ice caps desended on us. Oh no!!

Well, that didn't happen.

Now a good segment of the scientific community is telling us that we are all going to fry in the heat or drown in the rising oceans. Do you see why I might be a little skeptical? How do we really know what's happening with the climate when the earth has been around for thousands of years and all we have is a couple hundred years of weather data? Hmmmm.

But you know that oceans rising thing might work out just fine for me. I live about a mile from the beach. Maybe one day I'll own some beach front property. Or maybe I should buy a good raft. What do think?

Merrillee, the skeptical and confused

6 Comments:

At 6:51 PM, Blogger Janice Lynn said...

tee hee--maybe you should buy a raft & enjoy the prospect of one day owning beach front. You know, a prepared optimist. ;)

 
At 7:35 PM, Blogger Jennifer Smith/Ila Campbell said...

You're not the only one, Merrillee!

Nutrasweet, no nutrasweet?

Brush teeth up and down or side to side?

Coke or Pepsi?

It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world!

 
At 9:22 AM, Blogger Sandy Blair said...

LOL, Merrillee. And if all you mentioned wasn't enough to worry about, the moon--which controls tides and keep our panet on its current axis--is moving away from Earth at the rate of an inch and a half per cycle. At what point does the earth start wobbling?? (I need to know 'cause I want to get off.) And the great cauldera know as Yellowstone is lifting--by FEET, not inches-and could erupt not necessarily in our life time but in our childrens' or grandkids', causing total global winter. Then there's the hurricane cycles, the depletion of fisheries, but then we aren't suppose to eat fish anymore, are we? Because of heavy metal contamination that cause birth defects and cancers, and we shouldn't be eating chicken because recent studies found high levels of arsenic---the stuff they use to kill parasites in poultry--in 100% of all fast food chicken and 70% of store chicken. (FREE RANGE here I come.) And who has any idea how much water we're suppose to drink any more??

Maybe we should all just go to bed and pull the covers over our heads.

 
At 9:37 AM, Blogger Kiki, aka Esri said...

Stick as closely as you can to original source material (Science News is one of the best for laypeople) and check your scientists to see who funds them. That's my advice. And here's a fun new statistic that doesn't require hundreds of years of data: "Recent surveys of Alpine glaciers suggest that the ice masses as a whole are losing more than 1.5 billion tons each year." -- Claudio Smiraglia, glaciologist at the University of Milan in Italy. Reported in August 12, 2006 Science News.

 
At 9:54 AM, Blogger Kiki, aka Esri said...

Sorry. That last post was shading toward snippy on my part.

It is frustrating when conflicting info comes out. Seems like it's always up to us to do further research on what to trust (in your case, the research on your knee is conclusive).

 
At 11:15 AM, Blogger Merrillee said...

After I wrote this somewhat tongue-in-cheek blog, I read another article last night that had me scratching my head. I've heard over and over again. Be sure to eat breakfast!! Don't skip meals!!! The latest?? Trying skipping meals for better health and weight control. I'm just shaking my head again.

 

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