Return to Website

Number Watch Web Forum

This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.

Number Watch Web Forum
Start a New Topic 
Author
Comment
View Entire Thread
Re: Re: Name one person

The State of Washington (USA) has recently banned smoking in all public places. As a person who voted against the ban (because I didn't ever find it difficult to avoid smoke), I benefit greatly from it. When I happen to frequent places I used to avoid, I realize that the putrid stink is no longer there. It hasn't caused me to start frequenting those locations any more though.

I suspect that someone is going to figure out that if we train our bodies to have no adverse conditions, any adverse condition will cause it to fail.

Re: Re: Name one person

I wasn't making a statistical case based on a single data point and Steve McIntyre is not responsible for my opinions.

For all the world, Roy Castle's self-diagnosis is not evidence, any more than the idiots who wheel out the "well my grandad smoked 40 unfiltered a day and lived to be 101" data point. Roy Castle, as I recall, pointed to the lung damage discovered which was characteristic of smokers even though he had never smoked himself. He was pointing to the known causative agents for the lung cancer that eventually killed him. Was he wrong? Who knows?

Like all forms of statistics with a normal distribution, the people who, for reasons that are probably genetic, do live to such a great age is to be expected in the tail of the distribution. But then those crackpots never deal with the other end of the distribution - those who die of heart disease and malignant cancers in their 30s and 40s especially in the 2/3rd world that doesn't have access to modern medicine.

Single data points and beliefs about the causes do not constitute evidence, any more than JB's original assertion that such people do not exist. He effectively invites people to prove a negative, which is contrary to scientific logic which he should know better.

Re: Name one person

"Single data points and beliefs about the causes do not constitute evidence, any more than JB's original assertion that such people do not exist. He effectively invites people to prove a negative, which is contrary to scientific logic which he should know better."

Nowhere in JB's writings have I ever seen anything that could be construed as implying that "such people do not exist." What he means is that to say "xxxxxx people die each year due to second hand smoke," used to forward anti-smoking agendas, is a meaningless expression, and the number has been picked out of thin air. Certainly the xxxxxx cadavers of those "killed by SHS" do not exist. Nobody knows the real number, but you can be sure it's orders of magnitude smaller than xxxxxx.

Re: Name one person

Sadly, it is now taken as gospel by most people that Roy Castle died from lung cancer "caused by passive smoking". It is a very sorry state of affairs that anyone who has the misfortune to contract lung cancer, in whatever form, automatically believes that it has been caused entirely on their own smoking, or if a non-smoker like Roy was, then other peoples smoking must be to blame, nothing else.

If passive smoking is indeed the cause of some cases of lung cancer it is necessary to presuppose the following.

Tobacco smoke, as inhaled by normal smokers over many, many years is implicated in an increased risk of developing both squamous and oat cell cancers of the lung. But, that same tobacco smoke, when passively inhaled at infinitely lower doses to that of a normal smoker is somehow supposed to cause an entirely different type of cancer, adenocarcinoma, in a different part of the lung, not associated with active smoking. This is very unlikely and biologically implausible.

Sir Austin Bradford Hill, who first discovered the increase in risk of squamous and oat cell lung cancer among active smokers found absolutely no association whatsoever between smoking and adenocarcinoma.

When Roy Castle had the autopsy, it was found that he had the wrong type of cancer to be associated with smoking.