A scientific study has revealed that drinking a cup of coffee a day will make you live to be 180 years old.
There’s another scientific study out there claiming that if you even say the word coffee your liver will start to deteriorate and your kids will grow up to be Auburn fans.
I’ve noticed something about all of the scientific studies out there. They don’t seem to be very scientific. And it appears that I’m not the only one who’s noticed this. John Ioannidis is a professor at Stanford University. He’s a scientist who has spent a lot of time studying scientific studies. He says that most of them are, “sloppy” and don’t include large enough samples to back up the outrageous claims they make.
One day you’ll read a report on how rutabagas will cure you of cancer so you’ll go out to the store and buy a bushel, or quart, or whatever it is that people use to measure rutabagas. You’ll eat rutabagas in your morning kale smoothie, with your lunch, and as part of your dinner. You’ll hate it. It’ll make you want to throw up. But who cares? You won’t get cancer. You can rest easy.
Until you read another study that a friend posted on Facebook claiming that rutabagas have been known to cause eye cancer in fish. You’ll panic, go back to the store and exchange your rutabagas for candy bars, figuring if you’re going to go out , you might as well go out feeling good. You’ll feel even better about this decision a few weeks later when you read a report out there informing you that the combination of high fructose corn syrup, chocolate, and yellow number 5 that you’ve been getting from that candy bar has been known to unclog the arteries of certain gerbils.
There's a scientific study out there that will say whatever you want it to say.
Life is good.
There was a time when news outlets at least pretended to care about facts. Now, clicks are all the rage. An in-depth article about how the conclusions of a recent study on the impact of red wine on the circulatory system won’t get near the clicks that an article with a headline reading Drink Up, Red Wine Proven To Cure Heart Disease will. Guess which one your favorite news outlet is more likely to go with.
When it comes to reading the news, you have to be your own editor. That is to say that you have to learn how to work your way through the heaping piles of misinformation that are out there. In many ways, you also have to be your own doctor. At the very least, you can’t let the Internet do it for you.
Here’s a scientific study of my own.
Go to one of those medical websites, tell them a few symptoms you’ve experienced throughout your life and wait for the results.
I’ll wait here until you're done.
It told you that you’re probably going to die early next week, didn’t it?
I can see the headline now.
Recent scientific study reveals that most people who visit medical websites fear dying by early next week
Instead of relying on the myriad of contradicting studies that come out every day, just use your common sense. Talk to a qualified nutritionist, naturopath, or doctor. Put more stock in what those people, the ones who know you and your unique make up and who have more to lose if they’re wrong, than you do what some guy on the Internet said.
And go drink a cup of coffee.
Stop worrying about whether or not it’s taking years off of your life. Just enjoy it. And remember, no one is getting out of here alive, no matter how many rutabagas they eat.
Spend more time thinking about what happens after you die than you do relying on the latest scientific study that promises to help you avoid dying.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go give my 180-year-old great grandfather his daily cup of coffee.