View RSS Feed

Memories of the 28th Century

Or What?

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
I frequently wonder about those silly Earthlings. Most of them Have serious problems with science, math, mathematics, and logic. How did they manage to develop anything even vaguely like civilization? But I haven't been able to figure out why they have such problems. But I haven't been able to figure out why. Is it herd mentality (which would be an inborn tendency) that makes them believe without question anyone who is said to be an authority, or what, but most humans seem to have a need to agree with people who present something in an acceptable way. Sometimes they believe something simply because it was repeated. And when people find out that what they bought was wrong, they simply ignore the correction and go on believing that they have it right. People in marketing use this tendency to sell things and ideas to people.

Do you remember the mistake about saturated fats and cholesterol causing heart disease? That came from the Framingham Study, where thousands of people were studied for decades. One of the people analyzing results didn't remember that correlation does not show causation, so the idea that high serum cholesterol caused heart disease was dreamed up, even though there was no causative link, and the same was true for saturated fats. That conclusion was made in the 1960's, and the sturdy started in the late 1940's. It wasn't until the late 1980's that someone noticed the mistake, and revised studies were put together that made it clear that there was no causative link between cholesterol levels and heart disease, but many people and even physicians have not kept up with the professional literature, so they don't realize that the advice has been changed. I have been told that nutritionists have learned the new facts, but that started in the 1990's, so there are many nutritionists still pushing the old, mistaken rules.

Some say that anything repeated three times must be true, and something that true can't be changed without great trouble.

Then there was the "hole in the ozone layer" thing that came up in the 1990's, and it looked bad for a few years, but by the middle of the decade it had become clear that there never was a hole, just a seasonal thinning in the ozone layer, because no ultraviolet radiation gets there in the winter, and the concentration drops to about half of the summer level. It doesn't happen at the North Pole, because winds bring in ozone from lower latitudes, but the winds are different around the South Pole. Even though that was generally known among informed people, Congress didn't find out that the CFC's had nothing with the thinning of the ozone layer, so Freon was outlawed for no reason, at all. And just to make the innocence of Freon clearer, in the early 2000's a researcher discovered that a huge amount of hydroxyl radicals were sucked into the stratosphere, so that any complex molecules are broken down there, and that includes Freon.

Then there was the climate hysteria that gripped the world for some time. It started back in the 1970's, when some grad students warned that the Earth was headed into another Ice Age, but the West Ice Shield of Antarctica was going to slide into the Pacific Ocean before that happened. By the early 1980's, new facts showed that instead of an ice age, the Earth was having global warming, because of what humans had done, and they kept finding more and more damning data that showed they were right, even though some of the data was doctored by researchers in the UK and in the U.S.A.

And then there was the time in the 1990's when a European food manufacturer bought some bottled water companies in the U.S. Little bottled water was sold in the U.S. back then, except for carboys for office water coolers. The following year, that foods company started a marketing campaign that said that everyone had to drink a half gallon of water everyday, or they would dry up and blow away. They claimed that the campaign was based on medical research, but no one ever found it, but they kept repeating it, and sales of bottled water went through the roof. Medical research has made it clear that people should dink when they feel like drinking something, but that hasn't cut into sales.

Those are just a few examples of products or ideas that were sold on false promises and plan\in old-fashioned lies, and the facts came out, but that made little difference to how many people believed the marketing lies.

Does this characteristic of humans tells us that they are not intelligent, or are they too stubborn with their beliefs, or is it something else?