August 12, 2012

In science we trust

Jogging Every Day May Keep Alzheimer's Away

ScienceDaily, May 17, 2002.


The risk of Alzheimer's disease decreased as the number of cigarettes smoked daily increased.
"Relation between nicotine intake and Alzheimer's disease",
British Medical Journal, Vol.302, 1991.
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So, if you are worried about Alzheimer's, your best bet is to trust science and double your defenses.   Like this guy: 



6 comments:

Anonymous said...

:-)) love your conclusion... I am a runner but a strict non-smoker... ran a half-marathon last weekend but - hell - I forgot where it was...

Gyan said...

The risk of Alzheimer's disease decreased as the number of cigarettes smoked daily increased.

Thank God you'll remain sane enough to get treatment for the lung cancer.

laybl said...

It would be easier to trust science if I knew where it stood from day to day. Today's NY Daily News quotes a Dr.Gallup claiming that oral sex is a logical cure for morning sickness...how can I help?

RonanM said...

If you are looking for certainty and Truth, with a capital T, then I advise choral evensong in any Anglican cathedral, the works of Jane Austin or The Marriage of Figaro. You won't find any such thing in science.
Science isn't about truth, it's about finding the best interpretation for the relationships we find in our data.

My own favourite paper on cognitive decline (an area I do research in) is
Rundek T, Bennett D. Cognitive leisure activities, but not watching TV, for future brain benefits. Neurology. 2006Mar.28;66(6):794–5.

Basically, any leisure activity that a person engages in reduces risk of cognitive decline except watching TV, which increases it.

The interesting finding that myself and my wife came up with was the boredom proneness and loneliness are strongly correlated, and both are linked to cognitive decline. But there's so little literature on boredom proneness that we can't take the finding much further without more data.

Boom said...

RonanM wrote:

>> If you are looking for certainty and Truth with a capital T ... You won't find any such thing in science. <<

Usually I'm after the Absurd with a capital "A", and it was the absurdly "additive" approach to risk reduction embodied in the photo of a jogging and puffing dufus that I found so appealing.

>> Science isn't about truth, it's about finding the best interpretation for the relationships we find in our data. <<

Hmmmm.... Since just about every relationship in data admits multiple (logically possible) interpretations, you'll have to tell me a lot more about how we are supposed to go about deciding which interpretation to accept without ever appealing such grotesquely metaphysical criteria as, say, "more likely to be true".

RonanM said...

Science is an inherently Lutheran activity. There is no-one to decide for you what you think is a reasonable explanation of the data.
We have a few rules of thumb: patterns that can readily explained by chance require no other explanation (that's true in life too – we have to outrule coincidence before we change our ideas). And bias has to be considered as an explanation too.
Aside from that, take your pick. I believe things about boredom and cognitive function that other people don't, for example, but no-one's going to arrest me for it. If I'm right, I'll have data to back my claims in a couple of years.
So – sorry. Science help you in the matter of what you choose to believe, but you're on your own after that.
I meant it. Science is an uncomfortable knowledge system. I love it for that.