Human Exceptionalism

“Scientific Studies” Whiplash: Wine Causes Cancer! Wine Prevents Cancer!

I have concluded that too much money is being spent to pay for “scientific studies,” which after all, have to find something to report to earn their keep. This often leads to much confusion. Take for example a new study that looked into the life-course of women, reports that drinking even one glass of wine a day can increase cancer, to the tune of 15 extra cases per 1000. From the story:

Consuming just one drink a day causes an extra 7,000 cancer cases–mostly breast cancer–in UK women each year, Cancer Research UK scientists say. The risk goes up the more you drink, whether spirits, wine or beer, the data on over a million women suggests. Overall, alcohol is to blame for about 13% of breast, liver, rectum, mouth and throat cancers, the researchers say.

But wait! A similar study published a few years ago showed that drinking moderately has no impact on cancer. Moreover, according to studies relied upon by the National Cancer Institute, drinking red wine can reduce cancer. Except a different study said even one large glass of wine increases cancer risk. I’m getting whiplash.

The moral of the story is that we have too many studies.

We are all going to die, and if we live moderately, the time of that great passing will be postponed. Or maybe not. I think we should give some academic a $5 million grant to conduct a study on the question.

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