New York Times Sinks To A New Low (pseudo-science)

Submitted by: 5cats 7 months ago Science
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/09/science/fire-smoke-evolution-tuberculosis.html?src=twr&smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=1 Somewhere in the 2nd or 3rd paragraph? This "science article" became so dumb I thought it was a parody! But no! The NYT (apparently) churns junk like this out on a daily basis. How did the harnessing of fire hurt human evolution? ZERO! Without fire we'd still be eating bugs & berries, and leopards would feast on our kin. Notice the "shocking" correlation (they claim) between tuberculosis and fire... some 330,000 years apart... this is the result of Common Core education, I'm positive.
There are 18 comments:
Male 49
@5cats They made this video just for you https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvVPdyYeaQU I think, after 15 years working in archaeology, It is safe for me to say that your comments and criticism about this article are just a massive load of bullshit. To be fair, I also think a lot of things you post and criticize here on IAB are a massive load of bullshit, but I am not qualified to talk about them.
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Male 37,052
Hi Pexe, welcome to IAB. So fire caused TB? Ok then! And without fire there'd be no smoking deaths? Great! You honestly support the ideas presented in this article? That humans would be better off without "the evils of fire"? Or do you just like whining about things as trivial as this: the "down side of fire" versus its benefits? It is around 1 trillion to 1 ratio, bro, if you want to whine about such microscopically insignificant things? Be my guest! :-)
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Male 49
Hey dude. I think we didn't quite understand the article in the same way. I didn't see anything about humans being better off without the evils of fire. It starts by saying humanity woulnd't have existed without fire, and I reckon most researchers will agree with that. It just says that despite the obvious idea that fire is universally a good thing (or as you put it the 1 trillion to one advantage/downside ratio, bro) there is new evidence showing two downsides of fire: 1) TB bacteria evolution could have been linked to controlled fires created by humans (could have because to be fair a researcher who sais is 100% certain of anything is a fool) and the controlled fire situation would have gathered more people together and favoured the dispersion of TB (and pretty much any other infectious disease); 2) They found a gene that apparently makes us humans more tolerant to the negative effects of smoke (due to hanging out for such a long time around fires...you know selective pressure altering traits). This higher tolerance, in turn, leads researcher to speculate (and only speculate) that it might be linked to our (and also mine) nasty habbit of smoking. In sum, the article in the NYT might be a bit confusing but is pretty far from the pseude-science you claim. It has all due citations and links to articles and book chapters. You might not have understood what this article was all about but it was all there mate
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Male 37,052
Hey! I thought there was a working link before. Here Is The Link! to the article. Yes, it does claim, that "fire created smoking (cigarettes) which leads to cancer" (paraphrase) And yes, that is dumber than a sack of shit. And there's several such claims made in this idiotic essay. :-p
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Male 5,641
Read it, thank you. I have to say, their theory about TB makes some sense and I think you may be misunderstanding their point just a bit. They're saying that fire may have eventually caused soil bacteria to mutate into Mycobacterium tuberculosis. That kind of thing doesn't usually happen quickly or predictably. It may also have required that the use of fire spread widely enough to reach an area where the bacterium, that eventually became the TB bacteria, existed so that it could be caused to mutate, so the wide gap in the use of fire and the onset of cases of TB isn't necessarily a reason to suspect their theory. Their stronger argument, as I see it, is the idea of people huddling together more closely. Just as colds spread more easily in the Winter due to people spending more time together indoors, spending more time together around the fire may have helped any airborne disease to spread. They're connection to cigarette smoking seems kind of ridiculous to me but, who knows what stupid people will end up doing once they lose their fear of something.
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Male 37,052
Fire existed LONG before humans did, Broizfam, I'm pretty sure about that!! So human fires didn't cause jack-squat in terms of millions of years of bacterial evolution. 330,000 years is impossible to connect two events across time as diverse as harnessing fire and TB appearing. Puerile nonsense! >>> Hundreds of species also "huddle together" ok? Thousands more likely. With fire they'd huddle LESS eh?? It's warm now! Lolz! >>> Their connection the ills of cigarettes to the discover of fire is bullshit. What about farming? Paper? Chemistry? The discovery of The Americas? To "blame fire" is unbelievable to the utmost. >>> One can also CHEW tobacco, no need for fire...
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Male 5,641
Yes. Fire has been around for quite some time, that's true. Long enough to cause bacteria to mutate, assuming that it's a kind of bacteria that can mutate due to that kind of condition, and long before the onset of TB. But it's also true that a line of bacteria may go through thousands upon thousands of years of mutations before becoming the precursor of the one that finally leads to a disease like TB. Also, the huddling together around a central fire is more than just a proximity issue, it's proximity in an area with a lot of smoke which may induce coughing and thereby assist in the spread of airborne diseases. Understand that I'm not, by any means, saying I believe that their theory is correct, just that I can see enough reason in it to not dismiss it as being simply ridiculous. The TB part, that is; can't say the same for the cigarette part. I also absolutely agree with you that, even if they were correct, fire has given us far more in the way of advancement of human endeavors than it has taken from us. I suspect they would, too.
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Male 5,641
Oops! "Their connection" EDIT BUTTON...PLEASE!
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Male 1,138
oobaka people are starving in the world is because the lack of evolution of some people that withhold food that is freely given by the more evolved people of the world the fact is that there is an overabundance of food it just does not get to the people need it. And as far as over population is concerned if the world population was put in one place with the concentration of Houston Tx. it would only cover about 2/3 of the United States that leaves a lot of room the reasonable region of habitable land is far from full just because there are a lot of people crammed into some areas does not equate to over population And Obama is an scourge on the American people.
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Male 1,239
Jesus Christ. I hope the language you spoke growing up wasn't English. If it was, your English teacher needs to be fired. I just can't take criticism from someone whose grasp of the English language is so pathetic.
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Male 3,164
Relax oobaka, it’s an internet blog not a thesis, spelling, punctuation and grammar are not that important as evidenced by all the silly “new” words, terms and acronyms used today. Hell, spelling is over rated in fact, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in what oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig.
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Male 37,052
Casaledana's comment makes perfect sense to me, oobaka. Aside from a lack of punctuation, lolz! >>> Human population is not un-natural. If it is unsustainable, it will drop, that's perfectly natural. Starvation happens to every herd or group of animals on Earth at one point or another. No human leader in all of human history could "fix" the fact that some people will always be poor or hungry, not for any group larger than a few hundred. There is ALWAYS suffering, there always will be. >>> Reducing one kind of problem, high infant mortality (for example) has a "side effect" of creating some new problems. Sickly children & adults. Should we go back to the days of 15% infant mortality? I think not. & etc.
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Male 5,641
Can't see any link to read the article but I could see how fire might negatively impact human evolution in that giving weaker members of the human race better food we improve the odds that their genes gets passed on.
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Male 37,052
Here Is The Linky! I swear I saw it working before! I thought I'd checked, eh? Anyhow, the article isn't that long, it's referencing a couple of books but that's no excuse to publish this sort of nonsense.
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Male 1,239
I don't believe I'm responding to you but here goes nothing. If you can't see that there are negative effects for fire, you really are as dimwitted as you seem to be. Yes...fire has enabled us to leave the cave and advance into what we are now but is that an absolute good thing? By advancing, we created religion which has led to the murder of millions if not billions over the course of thousands of years. We also have advanced in war which has also killed unknown millions of us. Our advancements has caused this world to become severely overpopulated. Millions of people starving all over the world. Let me put it in terms you might agree with. If we hadn't evolved, you wouldn't have had the joy in shitting on everything Obama has done. Now I'll go back to the bliss of ignoring you.
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Male 37,052
oobaka: really? Fire created religion now too? Fire created war? Because before fire everyone just lived in perfect harmony. Various tribes would co-operate always for their mutual benefit ...what bullshit. Look at how chimpanzees (for one example) fight and dominate and yes, even kill each other. No fire required. You really are a fruitcake, go back to ignoring me, please!!
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Male 37,052
Not that I don't appreciate your comment, it was polite and all that. You seem to honestly believe that crap too. Lolz! You honestly believe we'd be better off as a species without fire? Like, no.
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Male 7,503
No one is denying there are negative effects to everything (example: Internet good, but then we have to put up with you). But linking the development of Fire with smoking as in the article just demonstrates that this Steph Yin is a fucking idiot and a fine example of what 'journalism' has become.
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