Monday, October 29, 2007

Here's a new study. New studies are always interesting, aren't they?

Certain female college athletes, such as swimmers, divers and runners, have
lower bone density than other athletes, a new study finds.

Um, ok. So, is there no possibility that certain body types simply have greater/lesser bone density naturally and that this is not a result of the activity, but that the activities chosen are a result of a certain body type? Could it be that someone with a certain physiology is a natural fit for certain sports for reasons that can be narrowed down to a molecular level? Why is that not a consideration?

I mean, clearly there are different body types for different types of athletic pursuits. I have noticed that there's not a lot of crossover between the ballerina- and weightlifter-groups of women, ya know? I don't think this is merely an accident, but more a matter of people being drawn to physical activity that feels natural and enjoyable to them.

Yes, yes, I understand there has to be a mean average by which everyone is measured, but perhaps there should be accounting for variables like genetics and environment. I think this is probably not all that different than the case of a man who smokes a pack a day and eats bacon & eggs every morning and lives to be a hundred, while some other poor sap succumbs to lung cancer at the age of 45. It's a crap-shoot, baby.

I'm sick of hearing that some scientist has declared the last-word final understanding of a thing or a principle. After all, it was less than 40 years ago that the well-intentioned folks at Sierra Club prevented small managed burn-offs in our forest systems that have resulted in the catastrophic fires that have plagued the west and southwest for the past decade. Oh, and in the 60s and 70s, they knew all there was to know. They said so.

That's why we should believe everything scientists say about global warming, too. *smirk*

Ignorance may be bliss, but arrogance and ignorance can be deadly.


mully said...

there is always a study on something, yet the world still goes on much as it always has, mother nature will in the end kick all our asses.

none said...

Theories are like current fashion. When they go out of style everyone pretends like they never existed.

Xavier said...

All to often it seems a conclusion is reached and a study is devised to support it.

Results of a new study show that birds have less bone density than bears. Damn............

Lin said...

I was born built like a solid bone and brick shithouse and sank like a rock in water hence swimming was not my favored activity so I go along with your observation quite readily.
Studies are often flawed, short-sighted or biased - and I always felt sorry for the rats involved in proving useless stats.

NotClauswitz said...

I go with natural favored-activity - I was a swimmer and water-polo player. At 6'-1" if I weighed #200 or close, I look all doughy and pudgy since even when I was working out I didn't/don't pack on mass and density the way some others do.
Interestingly there are very few Black swimmers in competition and that was normally attributed to physical morphology characteristics and muscle size/location, but includes bone density too - but be warned, if you repeat that statement you're inclined to be labeled racist and shouted-down. Nowdays it's because there are "no swimming pools" in Urban, inner-city settings that are required to foster such athleticism - as if all Black kids lived in that environment... Sheesh.

g bro said...

La P,

I'm not sure tha the study disagrees with your hypothesis. It says that they have it, not that the activity gave it to them. However, the resut of the article has murky language that is hard to parse.

On your other hypothesis, you're probably right. Studies will show that the Sierra Club caused global warming. ;-)

Unknown said...

There are holes to be found in just about every study -- it's just a matter of who funded it and how much they publicize it. Speaking of global warming, have you read Michael Crichton's State of Fear? It definitely challenges some of the statements made and provides his own studies/bibliographies from other scientists that say that the average global temperature over the last 150 years really hasn't changed all that much -- it just depends on what time frame you choose to examine.

LJ said...

Oh applause, applause, applause! I mean, just as you begin to increase your vitamin D because (studies show) it virtually CURES CANCER, they will be forced to produce a study showing that vitamin D causes fatal aneurysms
and large facial warts. They will be forced, I tell you. Because one study MUST contradict the other. It is the law of studies.
The law of studies also demands that one or two traits (say people with large nostrils and blonde hair)will be isolated and paired up with, for instance, fatal disease, or weirdly long life-spans and no other factors will be considered...
which is what you were saying so why am I going on with this?
Just catching up, Phlegmy and finally had to speak!

phlegmfatale said...

mully - yes, she does, and often on a daily basis.

hammer - a most annoying trend

xavier - perzackley

lin - clearly different people have different physical makeup

dirtcrashr - yeah, and meanwhile, science and popular culture will go on tiptoeing through the tulips and avoiding anything of real substance in the way of explanations

g bro - on the other hand, much of modern health/science data says these activities are ideal for IMPROVING bone density in women. This is oft-repeated to help women offset the effects of osteoperosis (sp?)

becky - I haven't read that, but it sounds interesting, and MC is always an engaging read. I think it's pure hubris to say that in a mere few hundred years of accurate measures that we definitely know and understand the natural cycles of the entire planet, because we clearly do not.

lj - Actually, I think you just said this even better than I do. The point is, we have study-fatigue and statistic-fatigue - when they start contradicting each other, and we are supposed to politely not notice that the new ones contradict the ones they were swearing up-and-down 15 or 20 years ago, well, it's all too much and at some point, the public SHOULD wise up and call "bullshit."

Nice to see you, honey!

B said...

My body type is naughty and it's built for sex. Delicate ballerina I am not. btw just found you and I think you're stupendous.

phlegmfatale said...

b - ok, I kinda drooled when I read that, with envy mode in full-bore. Well, I may not be drawn that way, but I am certainly bad, so I can relate to the naughty bit. Glad you like my blog. You seem quite daring, and I find that immensely appealing. Life is too short for inhibition, in my opinion.