Remember the Daily Mail story about the man with the car in his lounge? The headline suggested he had converted his living room into a garage whereas he had actually converted his garage into a luxury living room for his car.
But then this is the Daily Mail where you expect that sort of thing. Take the facts and derive a conclusion that has nothing to do with the facts and publish it. It's tabloid hack-rag standard fayre. It doesn't really matter, it's just entertainment. Nobody expects the Mail to apply the same sort of rigour to the words they publish as, say, a prestigious scientific journal. The Daily Mail, like all newspapers, has no ambition to take a place on the dry and dusty shelves of a scientific library.
Through Dick Puddlecote's link tank, there is a story showing how one of the most prestigious of scientific journals shows every sign of wanting to oust the Daily Mail from its rightful place as a peddler of made-up sensationalist tales. Those dry and sombre shelves in the serious library of science no longer satisfy the editors. They want action, adventure, pictures of celebrities in low-cut dresses taken from every angle until they secure the coveted nipple shot. They want the speed and excitement of booze-fuelled Daily Mail writing. Science and experimental rigour is all very well but the Mail gets by very nicely just by making stuff up.
Now it seems the American Journal of Physiology: Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology wants some of that action. They have published a paper whose conclusions bear no relation to the reported results and which were never possible to reach from the experimental design. It's there, in print, published as a tribute to that journal's desire to be known in the future as a tabloid hack-rag. I expect they'll rename it 'The Sunday Science' any day now.
It's the journal's escape from the dusty shelves and into the wild, wild world of Hello and Cosmopolitan and the Sunday Sport and men's magazines such as 'Brrm' and 'Trousers'. They don't want to be taken seriously any more. They want to publish papers about New York yellow cabs found on the Moon with drivers who have held their breath for a decade, about huge boobs and their effect on the lungs beneath (with pictures on page three), about a race of people descended from Atlanteans who have learned to breathe under water and about women who can breathe with their mouth full for extended periods. All of which would be just as credible and as scientifically valid as the one they have now published.
That ridiculous paper makes every other paper in that journal look suspect by association. Science would now have more credibility if it appeared in the Beano. Publication of such obvious tabloid nonsense is an embarrassment to science as a whole. The editors of that journal should resign and seek new positions with the Sun or the Mirror, although they'd have to learn to be a bit more scrupulous with their editing.
The harm caused by the smokophobes is not limited to smokers. Well, okay, we all knew that. They have closed pubs and cafes, they have wrecked the social lives of non-smokers as well as their smoking friends, they have forced guilt onto parents of children who die of SIDS by pretending that smoking causes it, when there is no evidence of this at all, they have invented second and third hand smoke to terrify and subjugate the masses, and much more. We already knew we were dealing with exceptionally unpleasant people who have no regard for the collateral damage they inflict while chasing their personal agenda.
Now they have reduced scientific journals to the level of the Daily Mail. Those journals were the one place where you would expect to find at least some unbiased truth, where you would expect to find dispassionate discussion of facts with no sensationalism. No longer.
Get your facts from the Sunday Sport in future. They are as reliable as a scientific journal now and considerably cheaper.
I never thought I'd see the day when a reputable journal would descend to the level of the gutter press, but here it is.
Maybe the end is nigh after all.