She Blinded me with Science

The commentator on the radio this morning said lack of sleep can be one of the biggest problems next to obesity and smoking in terms of causing accidents. They talk about how lack of sleep affects our bodies and minds.

And it took a team of scientists to figure this out.

I remember in some science class in some book I read, the book said that scientists view common sense information as being fallacy and the scientific method reinforced a necessary reliance on tested fact. I thought that was interesting. So, by that logic, common sense was useless and only things proven through the scientific method had/have any validity.

I mean, I can see where they are going with this, but does anyone see how this puts our collective learning for the past thousands of years back to square one, because if it hasn’t been scientifically proven, it’s not reliable. Like the fact that it is important to get enough sleep, like say, 8 hours a night. Did I really need a team of researchers to tell me this? Apparently I did. What about if I approach a rabid dog with some steak in my hand, should we conduct some experiments to see if this might be hazardous to my health?

When I was young, I eschewed much conventional wisdom. I had this fabulous delusion that just because it happened to them, it didn’t mean it would happen to me, because I was different. You know, there is actually brain research to show that teenagers are missing the neural connections to understand that they are fallible, mortal and how to cope with all this. Ack! More science!

Now that I am a little older, I wonder if our whole world has gone crazy when I hear that we have to hear on the radio that sleep is good for us. It takes a team of researchers to tell us this. And, it is good for our bodies and metabolism! Maybe it is because we are sleeping instead of eating.  Maybe there should be some research done on that.

When I was living in Russia, some of the conventional wisdom there made me snicker. Like if you tape peppercorns to your ears it will help with a sore throat. However, if health insurance and health costs continue in this country as they are where people are going madly into debt to get medical treatment, some folks might just try rubbing vodka on their areas of malaise instead of paying a 3000 dollar hospital bill. Heck, then they can drink the vodka and be okay at least until the morning and still have the 3000 in their pocket.

Not that I am recommending that.

Anyway, every time I hear these teams of researchers discovering things like “stress makes people unhealthy” or “eating is linked to obesity” or “scientists find that exercising can help weight loss” or other things that I thought were just logical, it makes me glad that someone is paying these scientists to come up with these things and test them out for us. Because heaven forbid we should just rely on accepted, time tested collective wisdom. So I am happy that these scientists can carve out a little niche for themselves in the world to test the things that most sensible humans already know. They truly must be smart, because they have created a market for themselves to tell us the things that we already know.

As an aside, they did mention some interesting research about sleep patterns historically, basically that our sleep declined immensely with the advent of the electric light. Which I should probably now turn off and go to sleep so I can lose some weight.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Mrs. T says:

    I love those “Duh!” studies. Speaking of unconventional “cures”, my friend’s husband is from Mexico and she tells the story of how he was really sick one time with some kind of upper respiratory virus. His mother had him take off his shoes and socks, put sliced tomatoes on his feet and wrapped them in newspaper. She (my friend, not the mother-in-law)calls that “Ancient Mayan Secret”. No, it doesn’t work. 🙂

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