256. You Want Me to Explain? You must be kidding.

There is an expla­na­tion for every­thing. You know that’s true because some­body always has an expla­na­tion. The world was surely cre­ated in seven days because some­body impor­tant wrote that in a book. Last week a young woman of twenty was burned to death as a witch in Papua New Guinea because a child in a nearby hos­pi­tal died. In PNG vil­lagers are taught by elders from child­hood that death and sick­ness is always caused by sor­cery: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/world/woman-burnt-for-sorcery-20130207-2e19f.html. From the 1929s to the 1959s Amer­i­can med­ical doc­tors endorsed adver­tise­ments say­ing that smok­ing was good for you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCMzjJjuxQI . Who was my father to ques­tion med­ical doc­tors? In 2013 doc­tors are say­ing that LDL cho­les­terol causes plaque which causes heart attacks. This infor­ma­tion comes from very impor­tant estab­lish­ment sources like the Amer­i­can Heart Foun­da­tion, which hap­pens to be packed with shills for large chem­i­cal com­pa­nies which flog statins. The doc­tors duly ped­dle the expen­sive statins to patients who believe their respectable doc­tors. Actu­ally there isn’t a shred of exper­i­men­tal evi­dence to show that LDL cho­les­terol causes plaque, and the statins raise, not lower, the death rate. Crack­ing that racket is about equiv­a­lent to tak­ing on the arma­ments indus­try: http://thepeopleschemist.com/does-the-family-really-need-lipitor-and-aspirin/. But the under­ly­ing pat­tern has never and will never change. Remem­ber, in 1633 Galileo was almost put on a bon­fire by a supremely author­i­ta­tive Catholic Church for deny­ing the sun went around the earth. It is all your fault. You demand expla­na­tions. Yet you are not really inter­ested in gen­uine evi­dence. You are inter­ested in what impor­tant, respectable peo­ple say is true, because they can give you jobs and make you respectable too. Even if you die from smok­ing, like my father did at fifty-seven.

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