I Don’t Believe Experts


Alcohol is estimated to have caused more than 740,000 cancer cases around the world last year, and experts say more needs to be done to highlight the link.

I don’t believe a word of it.

I don’t believe a word of anything that’s said about tobacco or alcohol. Or fast food. Or climate change. Or Trump.

I don’t believe a word of what experts say.

I’m sick of experts.

I’ll make up my own mind.

About Frank Davis

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19 Responses to I Don’t Believe Experts

  1. Stephen Helfer says:

    It certainly seems that “experts” like to control peoples’ behavior.

  2. Clicky says:

  3. Barry Homan says:

    If it’s in the Guardian, it’s garbage.

  4. Doonhamer says:

    They never show their working. As you should when doing any calculation.
    Eny fule do kno.
    7400000 looks scary. But suspiciously round. Why can they be more precise? If they said 7401084 would you believe them?
    So less than 0.1 % of deaths are caused by booze. Ooh, scary..
    They should be telling us which booze is the worst, and best.
    What do they serve in the WHO executive canteen?
    Too many questions.

  5. Clicky says:

  6. Rose says:

    can you remember the name of that article that explained “smoking attributable fractions” and that you didn’t have to smoke for your hospital trip to count as smoking related if it was for one of the many ailments now allegedly caused by smoking?
    I seem to remember that it was about Scotland.

    I can only find an explanation for the alcohol ones, I remember the “no safe level” of alcohol first appeared in 2012.

    Alcohol-attributable fractions
    “The alcohol-attributable fraction (AAF) denotes the proportion of a health outcome which is caused by alcohol (i.e. that proportion which would disappear if alcohol consumption was removed). Alcohol consumption has a causal impact on more than 200 health conditions (diseases and injuries).”

  7. Rose says:

    It just came to me..

    Smoke screen
    Tim Luckhurst

    “The most recent statistics reveal that 57,382 people died in Scotland in 2001. If one in four of them died for the reasons Rhona Brankin offers that would give a smoking-related death toll of 14,345, not 13,000. So is the minister guilty of modest exaggeration in the service of a noble cause? The one-in-four statistic is more than that; it is an article of faith among anti-smoking campaigners, but it is not as straightforward as it sounds.

    These are not just lung-cancer deaths. Brankin’s toll includes every Scot who has died of “smoking-related complaints.” To get into that category alleged victims of smoking do not need to have smoked. They are counted in on the basis that killers including heart disease, strokes and bronchitis can be caused by smoking. Nobody checks the lifestyles of the victims to ascertain that they did smoke.

    Some of these dead Scots did smoke, but died at or beyond the average Scottish life spans of 73 years for men and 78 years for women. The same applies to many of the 140,000 English men and women whom the leading anti-smoking charity, ASH, asserts die each year as a result of smoking. ASH justifies including them on the grounds that deaths from smoking can follow years of painful disability and are thus worth preventing, even if they have not technically shortened a life.

    The issue here is not whether smoking kills, but whether it is legitimate to lie in the service of a good cause. Amanda Sandford, the head of research at ASH, offers an intriguing response. “Smoking is the biggest single cause of preventable death, and anti-smokers do not deliberately abuse statistics. But I don’t really want to be drawn into that. It isn’t black and white.” Pushed to explain precisely what she means, Sandford says: “Epidemiology is not a direct science. Our business is promoting public health. It is possible that in certain cases some anti-smoking campaigners do exaggerate [she is adamant that ASH does not] but if statistics lied it would be bad. There needs to be a justification for it. To deliberately distort would not be acceptable. If there is an element of doubt we should express that. Scientists usually express their statements in terms of caution.”

    She acknowledges that figures like Rhona Brankin’s 13,000 deaths and ASH’s 140,000 are sometimes “rounded up” but insists that any inflation is slight and is ironed out by annual variations in death rates.”

    Since the advent of Post Normal Science, I don’t believe experts either – until I have at least done some checking.

  8. Clicky says:

    • Rose says:

      The post-normal science of precaution
      Jerry Ravetz


      Science now finds itself in a new and troubled situation. The traditional optimistic picture is problematic and compromised at every turn. The scientific system now faces a crisis of confidence, of legitimacy and ultimately of power. We can usefully distinguish two sorts of science. The ‘mainstream’ is reductionist in style, and increasingly linked to industry.
      By contrast, the ‘post-normal’ approach embodies the precautionary principle. It depends on public debate, and involves an essential role for the ‘extended peer community’. It is based on the recent recognition of the influence of values on all research, even including the basic statistical tests of significance.
      It is the appropriate methodology when either systems uncertainties or decision stakes are high; under those conditions the puzzle-solving approach of ‘normal science’ is obsolete. This is a drastic cultural change for science, which many scientists will difficult to accept. But there is no turning back; we can understand post-normal science as the extension of democracy appropriate to the conditions of our age.”

      Science for a Proper Recovery: Post-Normal, not New Normal

      By Jerome R. Ravetz
      June 19 2020

      “Many years ago, the mathematician Silvio Funtowicz and I were trying to understand why science often didn’t seem to be helping with some tough social problems. We had two sorts of events mainly in mind. One was the “zero-infinity” risks, where experts claim the probability of an event occurring is extremely low (almost zero) but the consequences of such an event are potentially catastrophic (almost infinite). The nuclear accident at Three Mile Island is an example of this kind of event.

      The other category was “housewives’ epidemiology,” which helped discover disease clusters resulting from the toxic waste dump in the Love Canal community of Niagara Falls, New York, and the mysterious tick-borne disease named after its identification by two mothers in Lyme, Connecticut.

      In all such cases the established experts got it wrong, and in the latter cases the locals got it right. Funtowicz and I wanted to show, first, that mathematical reductionism (such as risk calculations for low-probability, high-consequence disasters) is an inappropriate strategy for policy-relevant science. And second, that the way forward is an extension of the scientific peer community to assess quality (to include, for instance, people in communities affected by environmental hazards). After much thought and experiment, we finally came up with the term “Post-Normal Science” to describe this different sort of science.”

      One thing I don’t remember him mentioning is the huge problem of loss of face, where authority and industry just will not acknowledge a mistake.

      SaNOtize initiates trials of nasal spray against Covid-19 in UK
      11 Jan 2021

      “Canada-based SaNOtize Research and Development has initiated the clinical trials of its nasal spray against Covid-19 at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Surrey, UK.

      SaNOtize Nitric Oxide Nasal Spray (NONS) is designed to exterminate the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the upper airways and stop its incubation and spread to the lungs.

      The treatment is based on a natural nanomolecule called nitric oxide, produced by the human body with proven anti-microbial properties against SARS-CoV-2.

      In lab tests at Utah State University’s Antiviral Research Institute, the spray proved to be 99.9% effective in killing the virus within two minutes.”

      “SaNOtize chief science officer and co-founder Dr Chris Miller said: “The SaNOtize nasal spray provides a barrier. It contains nitric oxide which prevents and treats early infection by destroying the virus and impeding viral replication within the cells in the nose.

      “In addition, nitric oxide has been shown to block the ACE-2 receptor essential for the virus to infect our cells.”
      https //www.clinicaltrialsarena.com/news/sanotize-trials-nasal-spray/

      I do hope it is available over the counter, because now the once more commonly used generator of inhaled nitric oxide is banned from all public enclosed public places and being taxed out of the market, non-smokers will need a handy substitute

      No wonder the ancients though highly of tobacco smoke, it kills viruses.

      How’s that for “housewives’ epidemiology,”?

      • Roobeedoo2 says:

        Hi Rose, Phil on Twitter forwarded a link for a study on the combined used of Almitrine and Inhaled Nitric Oxide in ARDS patients due to COVID-19…

        ‘Combining iNO and infused almitrine improved the short-term oxygenation in patients with COVID-19-related ARDS. This combination may be of interest when first-line therapies fail to restore adequate oxygenation. These findings argue for an impaired pulmonary hypoxic vasoconstriction in these patients.’


        • Rose says:

          Thank you, Roobee.
          I’m still looking for those missing smokers who don’t get Covid in the first place so they don’t end up in hospital as was previously expected by TC et al.

          Linda Bauld
          “What we normally see with other respiratory conditions is that smokers are very badly affected – that is what you would expect. For some weird reason that is not the case with Covid and we don’t understand it.
          The data from multiple countries shows smokers are under-represented in case numbers, and they are also under-represented in the numbers of people who go into hospital with Covid.”

          (But when we stop them smoking) -” when they are in hospital, even though they are in smaller numbers, they’re much more likely to die or to have bad outcomes.

          “Researchers at MGH have four clinical trials either planned or underway. Right now they are testing severely ill patients who are already on ventilators, to see if the gas can help them get off the ventilators more quickly and ultimately survive. They’re also testing patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 to see if inhaling nitric oxide can prevent progression of the disease and keep the patient off a ventilator. And they’ve started an international registry of ICU COVID-19 patients on ventilators, to help consolidate worldwide data.

          In the works, but not yet approved, is a study on whether giving nitric oxide to COVID-19 patients in the ER can stop their disease from getting worse, and keep patients out of the hospital.

          The final study, which is just getting started, will examine whether giving nitric oxide to health care workers who aren’t sick, might actually prevent them from getting COVID-19.”

          I’m still waiting for the results of the final study.

        • Roobeedoo2 says:

          There won’t be any studies of current smokers not catching Covid. They’re only interested in finding the sick and, even then, the testing regime isn’t fit for purpose:


    • Clicky says:

  9. Rose says:

    By strange coincidence, (thanks RDM – Someone mentions smoking …)

    Sajid Javid Quits Smoking
    30 June 2021
    “Having previously admitted in the Telegraph to enjoying “the occasional cigarette”, Guido understands Sajid Javid has now finally kicked the habit, and won’t be lighting up any more. Good timing, considering his new Cabinet brief…

    Though study after study shows that smokers are less vulnerable to coronavirus. So not without risk…”

    Health Secretary tests positive for Covid
    17 July 2021

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