Take your scientific study 50 paces, turn and fire

The old saying used to go: there are lies, damned lies and statistics.

The old saying used to go: there are lies, damned lies and statistics.

Now it should go there are contradictions, damned contradictions and scientific studies.

Okay, it isn’t quite as catchy as the lies one but you get the point. I hope.

Everybody tosses out scientific studies these days to back up their point of view but conventional wisdom (which is anything but scientific) says that no sooner is one scientific study drawn up than another one comes out that contradicts it.

We all know about the benefits of a glass of wine. Drink one a day and it will extend your life. That is, if you believe one set of studies. They were all the rage, getting written up in all the papers everywhere.

Then other studies came out and disputed the claim that a glass of wine in moderation correlates to a longer life.

The scientific study connundrum is relevant because the aquaculture debate is a battle of studies. On the one side, you have the anti-fish farmers holding scientific studies and on the other you have fish farmers armed with their studies.

On a word from someone, they pelt each other with their copies of the studies.

Blue-covered letter paper-sized reports fly back and forth; thwacking opponents on the side of the head with a satisfying thwap.

Dooched it aff ‘is dome as they’d say in Scotland.

Anyone caught in the middle is in danger of having their eyes gouged out by those metal slidey binding things. Or a corner of a report might dig into the top of someone’s head and…Oh, sorry…I apologize for the intrusion into this opinion piece by a poor attempt at humour.

Everyone knows scientific studies don’t make effective projectiles. Better to use slide rules.

Well, where do we go from here? Probably nowhere. Darn, and I had such a good column last week.

Oh well might as well get something else off my chest…

I’d like to point out to the general populace that I’m not associated with Dean Taylor in anyway. Well, okay, sure, he works at the paper but when you call in to inquire about an ad you’re not looking for me.

I’m Alistair. Dean is in advertising sales, I’m in the saintly editorial department.

I’m an artiste. Dean is in the service industry.

Sure, he might be good in a scientific study fight – rumour is he’s got a wicked right arm – but he’s not good at taking a hit. You need a good, thick-skinned journalist on your side in that kind of war.

Our aim is questionable but it takes a good thick binder to knock us off our high horse.

I also want to put to rest any rumours that the afore-mentioned Dean is my brother. He’s not. We’re not twins, we’re not related.

He’s not even Scottish, for goodness sake.

Call him for an ad. But don’t send my Pulitzer Prize to his desk.