Thursday, March 18, 2010
If one takes a very high standard of counter evidence, stronger than the level of evidence needed to convince that smoking killed, then that may be true - for human beings. After all mass experimentation on human beings to see if they die is not well thought of so all evidence on humans is going to be merely statistical measurement.
However if hormesis hasn't been absolutely proven on humans it has been on animals & plants.
One of the first studies in radiobiology (1898) found that X-irradiated algae grew faster than unirradiated control groups. Stimulated growth was noted in trees (1908) and increased life span in invertebrates (1918) and insects (1919). X-Rays stimulated seedlings (1927), plant growth (1937), along with guinea pigs, rabbits and mice (1940's). Increased life span was the rule in low dose irradiated rats, dogs, and even house flies (1950's). In a 1981 monograph (CRC Press), T. Luckey revived the term "hormesis," but this time with ionizing radiation and backed it up with a review of over 1250 articles from 85 years of experimental biology.These are all classic & repeatable experiments & nobody seems to dispute that they have repeatedly proven true.
This leaves the LNTers saying that, though there is no evidence they are interested in either way human beings must be completely different from all other animal, vegetable & microbial life in suffering from low level radioactivity.
This could just about be defended if the mechanism supposed to be causing this effect did so in a unique or almost unique way with human beings. Psychology is not controlled, though it is affected, by animal experiments because only human being s have human sized brains & that is what psychology is about. However for alleged radiation damage the process claimed to cause it is radiation particles (or gamma rays which are completely different) hitting ordinary living cells. The living cells of a human being, a monkey, an elephant or a mouse are, at the molecular level, constructed the same. Even the cells of plants & algae aren't much different.
To claim that humans react entirely differently from the rest of lifekind is similar to a creationist saying, as some do, that evolution may have created the algae, insects, dinosaurs, mice, anchovies, orangutans & chimpanzees but God uniquely created humans. If anything the creationist case is much more credible because the visible differences between us & chimpanzees is greater than the difference between our meat cells.
For a theory to be accepted as scientific it has to be testable. I have previously said that I think most "untestable" theories aren't actually untestable it is just that their proponents refuse to look at contrary evidence. Nothing could prove this more completely than the LNT/hormesis theory since hormesis researchers have repeatedly done such research & it has indeed proven, to them, that the theory is sound. The LNTers simply refuse to accept it while proposing no evidence of their own. One is the method of science - the other of quackery.
The undisputed animal evidence makes it worse. If there were no evidence it would be impossible to claim either theory correct & more research would have to be done. Where there is evidence that hormesis applies in closely related fields Occam's Razor or the Principle of Parsimony absolutely requires that the default position of anybody doing science must be that hormesis applies to human cells as it does to animal ones.
We can therefore say without any question that anybody claiming that the LNT theory is in any way valid is not a scientist & any politician who, in opposing nuclear plants, claims as fact that low level radiation is dangerous is wholly & completely corrupt & dishonest.
Occam's Razor applied to them says we can't trust them if they give their word they aren't lairs, thieves & murdering, parasitic, child raping, Nazi war criminals too (though it is possible further evidence might, at least partially exonerate some Green activists of being child rapists).
Manhattan Project expected large amounts of radioisotopes ...first experiment, raising mice in an atmosphere of uranium dust, showed exposed mice living longer than controls ... proving that mice in radiation fields ten times the "Maximum Permissable Dose" lived longer than controls.This next one really offends me because what the "scientists" did here is the deliberate destruction of scientific data to maintain a false theory - the only worse scientific crime is completely making up false data
In 1964, the cows exposed to about 150 rads after the Trinity A-Bomb in 1946 were quietly euthenized because of extreme old age.The normal lifespan of a cow is 7 years. This may be because they cease giving milk then & the farmer gets rid of them rather than natural causes but even so 18 years, for cows that were not newborn is an impressive statistic.