Searching for a better way to explain health and science.
Parasites, friend or foe?
Does reading a newspaper make us better informed?
Among the many lessons of COVID has been how poorly scientists and the general public understand our biology. Moreover, the abysmal communications by our health agencies have made facts, already tenuous because of social media’s influence on our brains, largely irrelevant. And it is supercharged by the Dunning-Kruger effect.
“In other words, those with the least understanding of science had the most science-opposed views but thought they knew the most. Lest anyone think this is only an American phenomenon, the study was also conducted in France and Germany, with similar results.”
From Aaron Carroll, a great health communicator, Health Facts Aren’t Enough. Should Persuasion Become a Priority?
“I was preparing dinner, portioning a piece of cod when a small, pink blemish appeared in the pristine white muscle of fish. Removing the splotch with a knife tip, I realized something was very wrong. What had looked like a bulbous vein began unfurling into a thin squiggle the length of my pinky finger—and it was moving.
Like a scene from a horror movie, I watched, entranced, as the serpentine creature swayed its body, dismayed, it seemed, at finding itself ripped from the embrace of fish flesh. Before putting it in the compost bin, I snapped a few photos. … “What better way to start off the new year than to find a real live worm in your cod fillet?”
At first blush, parasites need to go. I certainly do not want other creatures using my body as a holiday rental. (Of course, all of my good microbiomes are welcome to stay as well as the oldest of my symbiotic friends, my mitochondria.) But is there a role in saving the parasites? Here is a bit of a contrarian view from the Scientific American, The Scientists Fighting for Parasite Conservation
Disinformation is hardly new. Consider this,
“I will add that the man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them; inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. He who reads nothing will still learn the great facts, and the details are all false.”
While many of us would find that true, it was written over 200 years ago by Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson on Newspapers and its optimum organization, 1807