Wednesday, 1 June 2011

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from Media Hysteria. Amen.

Yea, and behold our glorious and infallible Media hath come down from the mountain of W.H.O. bearing the grimmest of news! Oh wretched peasants, run in the streets with fear, for truly the Devil himself walks among our number, to bring more untold suffering! Having wrestled with the Archangels of Science, the Prophets hath decreed that our mobile phones shall smite us with cancer of the brain! For the Media, whose newspapers’ word is true hath spoken. Run in the streets and denounce the nefarious infernal devices, lest ye be struck down! Preserve thine children from the vices of text messaging and Angry Birds! Mark in this warning from on high, my flock!

At this rate, it would be easier to make a list of the things that don’t “cause” cancer. Certainly, it would be shorter. The lists of carcinogens and superfoods seem to increase with each new issue of the Times' Health Supplement. The latest in these prohibitory commandments from Mt. Scienai comes from the Gospel according to W.H.O. “And thus it came to pass that the Lord spake unto the two-dozen and eight scientists from fourteen nations, saying ‘Thou shalt not partake of either the mobile phone, or the Android, or the Blackberry or the iPhone, for I hath decreed these to be contraptions of great turpitude, and he who doth not obey, I shall smite with cancer most foul.”.

The press, that old nest of vipers, often misrepresents scientific findings, the most catastrophic incident of this in living memory is the popular hysteria induced following the publication of Andrew Wakefield’s paper in the Lancet which alleged a correlation between MMR vaccination and autism. Following investigations by reporter Brian Deer, it came to light that Wakefield had engaged in all manner of unethical behaviour, a veritable multitude of sins, and had and interest in manipulating a certain outcome of the “study”. Wakefield was subsequently discredited, banned from practicing medicine and the paper was retracted. But, because of the media’s unwavering faith in Wakefield, the damage had been done. Now the little seeds of doubt had been planted in parents' minds, and we’re reaping what they have sown. Vaccination rates have fallen beneath acceptable levels, and as a result incidents of these preventable diseases are on the rise. Forgive them, for they knew not what they did? Misled by a false prophet? I say, spare the rod, spoil the paparazzi.

Sure, it’s easy for me to judge with my holier than thou skepticism, but when it comes to Antivaxers, my cup runneth over with condemnation. What the public should have taken from that disastrous nontroversy, is that you cannot believe everything in the press, on television or on the internet. And now, all three have teamed up to tell us that mobile phones will give us inoperable cancer. I, for one, can’t remember a time where I wasn’t told my phone might give me cancer. A detail that might, just might be significant that the press seems to be downplaying is the conclusion of this WHO paper that it’s "not clearly established that it [mobile phone usage] does cause cancer in humans". I genuinely found it difficult to stay awake while reading the various papers’ bits of filler on the issue. In the end I was left with the impression that my mobile is definitely maybe but probably just possibly carcinogenic, and so the best action would be inaction but I should still be concerned about it.

Cells in our bodies turn cancerous every day, it just means that they start reproducing ceaselessly, it’s one of those unfortunate flaws of the imperfect processes of natural selection. A tumour is a mass of cells descended from a rogue cell that slipped past the immune system, and when the cells metastasise to other parts of the body, that’s when things get complicated. There’s myriad of factors which determine the probability of developing cancers, everything from genetics to diet and lifestyle. You can abstain from wine, women and song for your entire life (which will only have the effect of making your life seem longer) and there’s still no guarantee that one of the little buggers won’t slip past your white cells. When it comes to radiation, it helps to have some perspective on the matter . Here endeth the lesson, but if you want to see an absolutely surgical dismemberment of the W.H.O. Study, check out Brian Hughes’ post on


  1. If the church actually could deliver us from media hysteria, I would almost go back. Sadly, it's another thing the church can't do.

    Good thoughts! I apologise for a lack of a post from me on tuesday, but I was busy celebrating the amount of times I've seen the planet go around the sun. :)

  2. Thanks. Is there a date for the July SITP yet? Can't wait for my first one :D

  3. You can extrapolate them out... every 2 weeks. So July 4th & 18th, I think, if nothing else leaps out at us.