Monday, April 27, 2009

But they were at a consensus!

Some of you may have noticed that in my Earth Day post I used the word “consensus” several times. My reason for that was to set up this post. You see, over the years scientists and others who are considered experts in their fields have come to conclusions on major issues that for a time, change the way the world spins around. Then later on, those conclusions go up in a puff of smoke, and are never heard from or considered viable opinions again.

Today I present you with 5 things that during their time, scientists were positive they were right. There was a consensus by golly! Case closed! The debate is over! But they ended up being wrong. The first case I bring before you has to do with boobs. Not real boobs mind you, but the fake variety.

SILICONE IMPLANTS

As you know, some women just aren’t happy with their chest size. While pieces of toilet paper and push up bras work fine for the outward appearance, some women would rather have something that they don’t have to prepare every morning. This is where fake boobage comes in.

For those of you who are not up on your fake boob history, there are two kinds of breast implants: saline and silicone. Back in the early 1960’s, Dow Corning developed the first silicone prototypes for women. They proved very popular, but by the decade of decadence (Duh, the 1980’s dude.) medical researchers were warning women who were looking for the perfect bust that there was a dangerous link between silicone implants and serious health problems such as breast cancer, auto-immune disorders, and neurological conditions.

Much to the disappointment of the general male population, silicone implant manufacturers found themselves under attack from seedy lawyers whose offices were located in a strip mall next to a liquor store, to the big time personal injury lawyers located in posh business parks. In the next 2 decades, nearly 400,000 injury claims were filed against Dow Corning, with an additional 20,000 lawsuits on the books against them. Because of the severe backlash, Dow Corning not only completely halted manufacturing silicone implants; they also paid out about 3.2 billion dollars in claims. Of course by then the company that started in 1942 when Dr. Shailer Bass developed silicone grease (Dow Corning #4 Compound) that made high altitude flight possible was in complete disarray and was forced to file for bankruptcy.

Take that Dow Corning!! A big evil corporation that had been manufacturing a product that was a potential killer had been taken down! There is just one miniscule problem. Today the scientific consensus overwhelmingly agrees there is zero evidence that links silicone breast implants to any female health problems.

The next case brings us to something loved the world over, and little did we know it could also be a killer!

RED M&M’S

They may melt in your mouth and not in your hand, but there is something else you may not know M&M’s were thought to do at one time: Kill you! Back in the bicentennial year of 1976, Soviet scientists warned the world that FD&C Red No.2 food dye was a suspected carcinogen. You really have to ask yourself one question though. Why during the cold war would we pay attention to what Soviet scientists had to say? Were they just mad that others were using the color red?

The Food and Drug Administration did their own tests on Red No.2, and even though tests were inconclusive, the FDA decided to ban the additive anyway. This set off a widespread panic about every foodstuff colored red. And even though red M&M’s never even contained FD&C Red No.2, Mars banished the red ones to the same candy hell that also housed lime flavored Starbursts. The red M&M stayed away until 1987, when it was brought back by popular demand. I guess by that point people were so hard up for the red ones they didn’t care 11 years ago they were afraid to eat them.

Now here is the kicker. More than 30 years later, there is still no evidence that the red dye actually poses any threat to humans. What a surpise!

So if red M&M’s were bad, what about one of nature’s red fruits? Buyers beware of the dangerous….

APPLE JUICE

Who doesn’t love a nice glass of apple juice in the morning, noon, or night? Would you still love the juice if it could give you cancer? Once upon a time, apple growers in the United States sprayed their orchards with an agricultural chemical known as Alar. In the mid 1980’s scientists started to report that Alar was causing cancer in lab mice. The American Academy of Pediatrics lobbied the EPA to ban the chemical so no children would have to be stricken with cancer. You even had the actress Meryl Streep film a PSA to warn about apple juice containing Alar residue. In fact, Ms. Streep even testified before congress as an “expert witness.”

Before you knew it, grocery stores stopped accepting shipments of apples. Families across the country were dumping gallons and gallons of apple juice down the sink in fear they may have already given their children cancer. Apple growers around the U.S. lost hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.

With that being said, for once the scientists were right….kind of. You see, Alar IS a carcinogen, there is no denying that. However, further studies found that a person would need to drink about FIVE THOUSAND GALLONS of apple juice a DAY to present a measurable health risk. I love my apple juice almost as much as I love my coca-cola, but I feel safe in the fact that drinking 5000 gallons of anything in one day will kill me via water poisoning before the cancer would have a chance to take hold.

LIVING UNDER POWER LINES

This scientific finding came about because of a flawed study done in 1979 by an epidemiologist. The study hinted at a possible link between suburban cases of childhood leukemia and residential power lines. The culprit: EMF’s or Electromagnetic fields from the high voltage wires. Countless follow-up studies have no found connection whatsoever between EMF’s and any significant health risks. But this is a prime example of what happens when one nut bar scientist with a half-baked idea gives new life to the EMF scare.

Other examples of this scare are:

1. Talking on your cell phone for prolonged periods of time.
2. Sleeping under an electric blanket during wintertime (Or in my beautiful wife’s case, anytime of the year.) raises the risk of pregnant women giving birth to a child with serious defects.
3. A male police officer holding a radar speed gun next to the boys down below increases the risk of testicular cancer.

Many people out there hold these theories to be true since they have received 17,398 email warnings from John Hopkins University saying just that. In reality subsequent EMF studies have not uncovered any convincing evidence that proves they are harmful.

Now it is time for my favorite one, mostly because it is completely contradictory to what they go on and on about now.

THE NEXT ICE AGE

In the 1970’s climatologists were certain we were heading for the next great ice age. The world was cooling at an alarming rate, they said. Average global temperatures had been trending downward since 1940, and there was no end in sight. But people were skeptical. Some of the older generations remembered that scientists has also rang the bell on global cooling in the 1920’s, but by the 1930’s were claiming that global warming was now happening and was unstoppable. And of course by the 1970’s those crazy climatologists were back on the cooling bandwagon again.

But this time it was different they said! The evidence backing up global cooling was sound!! They were at a consensus that evidence was irrefutable we would all freeze to death!!! In order for the world to survive the freezing temps drastic action must be taken to reverse the inevitable!!!

Proposed solutions included intentionally melting the polar ice cap by covering it with black soot. That is an idea that would even make Al Gore proud.

Instead, we decided on another solution; we chose not to listen to the experts. And everybody knows how global cooling played out in the end right?

There are many other examples of science (GASP!) being wrong. One I did not mention was the impending population boom that was going to wipe out earth’s population. This, my friends is one of the many reasons I refuse to buy into the global warming scare. If the day comes that I am forced to live on a boat like Kevin Costner in Waterworld, I will then have no choice but to change my mind and say I am sorry I doubted them. Until that day comes, I will conduct business as normal. Hopefully most of you will come to a “consensus” on that.

8 comments:

SuzanSayz said...

With the small exception of a few typos, this is one of your best posts ever Boy. Too bad our world is populated by 95.5% SHEEP. They aren't happy unless they are right in step with the oh so wise and beautiful Celebrities. After all, those known as "Celebrities" are a whole other superior race aren't they. If they decide to grab onto a cause and make themselves even more indispensable by suddenly becoming experts on what ever world crisis we are at the moment facing, well who are WE to nay-say. How happy they must be now that we have even elected a new President who is at least 65% Celebrity. In laymans terms that means that every word that comes out of his mouth is scripture.
Welcome to paradise my friends!

Lisa said...

Wow....an excellent post indeed! And I love your moms comment for that matter :)

Glad you aren't a sheep.

KaTrina said...

I wish there was a 'like' button on here like there is on facebook.

Alexandra said...

Nice "post" you did but all tho a few words i could not read. But thats not what i mean will i didn't git to read the HOLE post but i will read the post tomorrow after school.... BYBY

dani said...

now i know... "the rest of the story":P i had actually wondered (even recently) about a few of these scares... (mm's and boobs in particular).

:D
dani

Yasmine said...

I LOVE that your six year old daughter is commenting on your blog. That girl is amazing. Love the post, great read.

libbie said...

nice work my friend. i always come always a little more enlightened . . . oh, and entertained!

David said...

i totally forgot about the red m&m thing! you're right, it used to be brown, yellow, green, and orange when i was little. and then they added red.