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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A Little Drinky-Poo

Here we go again...

A day after publishing findings that suggested people who lead ultra-healthy lifestyles can live up to 14 years longer than those who do not, researchers have issued yet another report bolstering the earlier findings that "a little alcohol" is actually healthier for you than none at all.

This isn't news; the idea that a glass or two of wine a day can be healthful for the heart has been around for quite some time now. As children, my grandparents (especially - my parents did, sometimes) would give us a tablespoon or two of honey and whiskey to cut a cough or soothe a sore throat. But my point is something entirely different:

The results of any research nowadays depends almost solely on who is funding the study and what the researchers are told to look for. This isn't "true" science, where a hypothesis is made, then research is conducted and a theory is formed; this isn't even "real" science, where research is done which then leads to a hypothesis that is then tested under controlled circumstances to determine whether or not the hypothesis remains before a theory is formed; this is just plain, old-fashioned bullshit.

I happen to believe that a little alcohol from time to time is healthy - it strengthens the immune system, flushes out the kidneys, and exercises the liver, among other benefits - and I do not think that drinking to excess once in a while is all that damaging, but let's be honest: this study's "results" were immediately released following yesterday's announcement in order to curb any dramatic negative effects the other study's results might have on the alcohol industry.

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