sin which means pleasure, is harmful. Must be harmful!
But here's a shocker: the latest bulletin from the Professor Sez One Food Fits All Department claims that coffee may be good for you (after all), and in so many ways! Now, after years of how bad it was for you, course is reversed by this deeply insightful, highly technical, perceptive study.
Now, it's too easy to poke fun at epidemiology (even genetic epidemiology) and the media, hand in hand with Claims of the Day. It's a major theme of this blog, since we try to be entertaining, and silly science is always good for a few laughs.
But another, actually serious, side of our blog is to comment on how science is working and at least to argue that it ought to be reformed. The first big problem is that reform involves several sticky wickets: how to disengage our professional careers from dependence on hasty results, self-marketing, grant-based salaries and tenure, proliferating competition and all. Those are all too human factors.
The other big problem is that the topics we're all trying to chase are damned difficult. You can't manage a career easily these days and still have time to try--really try--to wrestle with the general question of understanding multifactorial complexity without taking reductionist approaches, and usually hasty ones at that.
This latest Big Finding about coffee means that you'll live longer, with fewer diseases of all sorts, but in two ways. You'll not die of the typical diseases, which will add years to your life (if not hairs to your head or inches to your waistline). And you'll live more before you're dead because if you dose up on coffee you'll have fewer hours of sleep to waste your life away in. But you may have to accept feeling dead tired instead, as you lie wide awake all night thinking how great it is to still be alive. And, being tired, you'll be more accident prone, and .... well, there's a damnable trade-off to everything, it seems!
We have no solution (not even decaf). We wish we did. But if we did, we'd not have time to blather on in a blog like this. So maybe Silly Science is good for us, too!