Monday, May 01, 2017
Do you recall the "news" last year to the effect that flossing might be bunk because there weren't any strong scientific studies done about it? Michael Fumento made an excellent point about this being a non-problem around the same time:
A gazillion man-hours of observation by experts may not be particularly scientific, but nor does it deserve to be dismissed out-of-hand. Dentists don't tell patients to floss -- much less floss better than they have been -- just because of published guidelines. During their professional careers they observe the difference between flossers and non-flossers, notwithstanding that it turns out a lot of their patients' [sic] fib. In fact, dentist recommendation of flossing appears to go back to 1815, although it wasn't until 1898 that any large company, specifically Johnson & Johnson, cashed in on it. It's not a capitalist plot. [link in original]Hearing these stories never caused me to consider not flossing, but I hadn't thought deeply about them, either. Fumento is right to note that not everything is so difficult to tease out that it requires a full-blown scientific study. We wouldn't need one to show, for example, that wandering around blindfolded on a freeway during rush hour is a bad idea, either. The issue with flossing, which even prehistoric humans did, is that most of the observations some might wish to dismiss as "merely" anecdotal, come from experts. This might make it seem like a scientific study is warranted, but that is hardly the case.