The Only Good Scientist Is A Doubtful Scientist

New Surgeon General’s Report Focuses on the Effects of Secondhand Smoke:

“The health effects of secondhand smoke exposure are more pervasive than we previously thought,” said Surgeon General Carmona, vice admiral of the U.S. Public Health Service. “The scientific evidence is now indisputable: secondhand smoke is not a mere annoyance. It is a serious health hazard that can lead to disease and premature death in children and nonsmoking adults.” Secondhand smoke contains more than 50 cancer-causing chemicals, and is itself a known human carcinogen. Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke inhale many of the same toxins as smokers. Even brief exposure to secondhand smoke has immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and increases risk for heart disease and lung cancer, the report says.

To quote Dean Yeager, “Your theories are the worst kind of popular tripe, your methods are sloppy, and your conclusions are highly questionable. You are a poor scientist, Dr. Venkman!”

Science is the most pragmatic of human endeavors, in that one only believes something is true because even if overwhelming evidence is in favor of a conclusion, science should only be 99% sure, reserving that 1% in recognition of human fallability. I’ve not seen all the data nor all the studies–like many, I’ve only seen the big exclamations from the studies which support the claim about second hand smoke and the vital italicizations of studies that dispute it which were funded by Big Tobacco!

But one thing I’m sure of: I doubt the "scientist" who says he has indisputable proof or an inarguable conclusion because that sort of scientist has mounted a bank and is trying to sell something.

(As some of you know, my beautiful wife vigorously disagrees with me, and I might be sleeping on the couch for the foreseeable future.)

1 thought on “The Only Good Scientist Is A Doubtful Scientist

  1. You are, after all, the man who comes home wheezing after visiting your mother for a scant couple of hours.

    No, it’s not harmful at all.


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