Vail Daily columnist Richard Carnes: Supernatural beliefs might cause cancer
Although evidence is not optional when discovering truth, making a blanket statement in the public eye plants a seed that can, morally reprehensible though it may be, quickly grow to astronomical proportions.In other words, simply saying “something” has no bearing whatsoever on whether or not that particular “something” is true.So, can belief in a supernatural world actually create mutant strands of DNA (cancer)? According to all verifiable evidence so far (not some, not a majority, but 100 percent), the answer is, of course, a big ol’ “NO.”The same holds true for cell phones.”Using a mobile phone might increase the risk of developing certain types of brain tumors and consumers should consider ways of reducing their exposure,” says WHO (the World Health Organization) a few weeks ago.Abbott & Costello jokes aside, there is one very defining word in that sentence: “might” — as in maybe … possibly … it could … there’s a chance … we’re not really sure, but … blah, blah, blah.Yes, and there’s a possibility Sarah Palin might be awarded the Nobel Prize for articulation and might be a two-term president of the United States. But according to all verifiable evidence so far (not some, not a majority, but 100 percent), the answer is, of course, a big ol’ “NO.”This highly inappropriate WHO report on cell phone radiation was released over a year ago, so why the sudden media revelation? Sounds like a fear-based power grab for limited grant money to me. Either that or WHO has hired Glen Beck as their new marketing consultant.A read of the report reveals a startling lack of evidence behind the glossy veil of paranoia. Joining the “possibly carcinogenic” category puts cell phones in the same might-be-bad-for-us class that includes pickled vegetables, coffee and “exposure from work as a hairdresser.”Seriously, it does.The report was completely void of any new research and was merely a review of previously published studies, including the big dogs at the Federal Drug Administration who clearly stated, “The weight of scientific evidence has not linked cell phones with any health problems.”Granted, the government made similar statements about tobacco way back when, but that’s not the point.Here’s the bottom line on the science behind this unfounded fear: Einstein’s 1905 discovery concerning quantum physics proved that electromagnetic radiation (the presumed culprit) cannot mutate strands of DNA (cause cancer) unless the frequency is at or higher than the blue limit of the visible spectrum, and the frequency of cell phone radiation (down in the microwave range of the spectrum) is about 1 million times too low. So with the low wattage of today’s cell phones (about 1 watt), if you could somehow attach 1,000 of them together, and have their power increase exponentially on top of one other, then you could indeed blow up your brain with your cell phone (think: hot dog in a microwave) but still feel safe knowing you’re not going to get cancer from it.Either way, we can all look forward to the next report, which will undoubtedly include the following sensational headline: “Texting might cause finger cancer.”Richard Carnes of Edwards writes weekly. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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