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Cancer Research 101: Back to issues of risk...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Back to issues of risk...


Last week I posted about how difficult it is sometimes to understand about risk, especially to distinguish between absolute risk and relative risk.

Today I read the "Second Opinion" column in the Globe and Mail from my colleague André Picard: read it for yourself right here:

A Catholic teachers association looks to ban WiFi. What's next - coffee?

I don't think that this is at all about relative risk or absolute risk. This is about BOGUS risk - i.e. non-existent risk, or risk that has been blown out of every logical proportion. This, to me, this is as classic a case as you can get of: "Don't confuse me with the facts - I already have my own opinions"!

This is feeding into paranoia, plain and simple, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the risk of getting cancer or anything else.

But what makes this even more chilling to me, is that this is coming from a (so-called) professional organization of TEACHERS! If we can't depend on those who are responsible for teaching our own children to at least pay a passing fancy to real EVIDENCE, then we will never achieve a state of being "evidence-based" or even "evidence-informed" in anything we do, let alone in important public policy.

This blatant fear-mongering based on few, if any, relevant facts is reprehensible in my view. No wonder everyone fears cancer so much - we are our own worst enemies when we bow to stunts like this and claim that it is in the interests of, and/or based on, science and research.

Shame on them!

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