Science is Hard

multips live longer
image links to source

This is just a share, of course, and lots of people share stuff without bothering to think about the veracity of the BS they have just shared, but this is simply ridiculous.

Two new studies suggest moms who have more kids may live longer!

Oh, my!  Isn’t that wonderful?  Wow, Nicole will live to be 110 at this rate.  Won’t she?  It says so, doesn’t it?  I mean, it’s an article on the internet, after all, from a site called “Parents.com” (the people who put out Parents magazine.)  They aren’t targeting. . . you know. . . parents or anything.

I wonder if they would gleefully post an article like this one.

womens health
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I see this sort of thing all the time on social media, and that’s why I wanted to talk about it.  It’s not really the fault of the consumer.  It’s basically the fault of the so-called science journalists, who often know exactly nothing about science.

Nicole’s link goes to a report about two studies. Note first that the person who wrote the subtitle did use every weasel word known to man in it.  Studies “suggest.”  “May live longer.”  That’s good, but it probably isn’t enough.

If you actually read the article, you’ll discover a couple of things.

The first study consisted of a whopping 75 women.  Furthermore, these 75 women came from two villages in Guatemala.  Can anyone say “no diversity”? What are the odds that these women were related to each other, pray tell?  I would discard such a study just on that one fact alone.

But, as is often the case, the researchers themselves, who might be actual scientists, are aware of the limitations of their own studies, and went to some trouble to express at least one reservation. They may have expressed others, of course, but we only know what the “science writer” chose to tell us.

quote from article
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It takes a village.  Not a garden shed with no help from anyone, except begging on the internet,  because liberty.

The second study involved a wider population (much larger) but is really about twins.

But while we’re at it, go read the second article. Nicole, you especially need to read it.  However, I can almost guarantee that you will not.

So, I’ll quote a little bit for you.

complications

Note that the scientists here also use qualifiers (or what I think of as weasel words):  “Might be,” “contribute greatly.”

prenatal care

What the first article doesn’t tell us is anything about prenatal care and management of pregnancy.  It just went into some indications that if you are lucky and survive having a bunch of babies, then you might live a bit longer than some woman who had no children at all.  Maybe.  If  you live in a village in Guatemala.  Maybe.

But both of the articles we’ve looked at here are basically clickbait.

When you’re looking for the real skinny, it’s a good idea to look for stuff straight from the scientists’ mouths.  It’s not as pretty to read, of course, and sometimes they use big words, but you get better information.

Mothers who’ve had a lot of babies.  The technical term for that is grand multiparity. Parity refers to pregnancy.  Multi, of course, means multiple.  And grand is defined as more than 7 pregnancies.

Nicole Naugler is a grand multip.

grand multiparity
image links to source

This is from the National Institutes of Health. You’ll notice if you go over there that there are no ads.  It’s not clickbait. It’s a far better source than some articles written by “science journalists” who may or may not ever have had a science course higher than high school biology.

What you see is called an “abstract.” It’s a bit like a summary (not exactly, but that’s a close enough for our purposes).  However, if you happen to be rabidly interested in the subject, you can click on the PDF link to the right of the screen (on my computer anyway) and download the whole thing.  It consists of eight pages, full of tiny writing and some sciency-looking graphs, and a comprehensive list of resource materials.

And their conclusion?

results

Having multiple babies is risky.  Having multiple babies with no prenatal care, with no medical management of labor, in a garden shed is Russian roulette.

11 thoughts on “Science is Hard”

  1. Guatemala has splendid opportunities for off grid homesteading ventures. I’ll go out on a limb and say that their current village/community would fully support their relocation.

    She lives longer . . . And she takes him with her.

    Win win.

  2. Last year, even the Pope had something say about multiple births – .(Quotes taken from an article on the BBC) – Speaking to journalists while heading back to Rome from the Philippines, Pope Francis was asked what he would say to families who had more children than they could afford because the Church forbids artificial contraception.

    He replied with an unexpected turn of phrase: “Some people think that – excuse my expression here – that in order to be good Catholics we have to be like rabbits.”

    “No. Parenthood is about being responsible. This is clear”

    Note the “more children than they could afford” portion of that quote
    If you had to have a license to be a parent, the Nauglers would fail that test.

  3. Oh, but she won’t read or heed any message from any article that is written by a researcher working at one of the NIH’s 27 institutes, or a researcher who applied for and was given a grant by NIH or NSF because evil gubmint and all that.

    Despite all research that is performed by a government researcher being part of the public domain (that’s why you can click on and print out a PDF of an article). Yes, that’s right, the evil government makes this stuff available to anyone who bothers to go and look for it. Almost like, they serve the citizens and anyone else who is interested. Evil. So evil.

  4. She is a sucker for clickbait. I think she posts randoms, with titles or photos, that can cause controversy or offense or to make a statement. Nothing more. Hardly to educate or build platforms for intelligent debate. Or to substantiate credibility. Even one of her beliefs, I also share. With unvetted and easily discredited, it’s understandable the stereotypes and labeling against the group as a whole, who share the same belief. And makes the protest or convictions against the mainstream, that much more challenging. But alas, like the homeschooling associations, the off the grid groups and the genuine homesteading groups that have disassociated because of lack of credibility and integrity, I feel a bit squeamish to even announce I passionately share one of her beliefs.

    Guatemala sounds like a great relocation destination. Freedom from government imposed healthcare insurance requirements for all. Probably freedom from proof of several other forms of insurance too. Bartering system may be more productive there. Probably less of your hard worked for money going to taxes and public good, like community infrastructures. And what’s not to like about moms-of-many in Guatemala, may live longer?

  5. Life is hard. It always has been. There are ways to make it easier with hard work and planning, with family and community involvement. Sometimes, even then, bad things can happen and that is why we create ways to
    look out for and to help our fellow man through our family relations, our community relations, through religious institutions, through our state institutions, through any means available. We do this because we know life is hard. We do this because this is our circus, and those are our monkeys.

  6. Maybe if she read this article it would help her stop taking the “clickbait”. If she wants to come across as less gullible (and naive and ignorant) and more trustworthy (and credible and intelligent) she might want to check it out. (Not sure she cares how she comes across, though.)

    Snopes’ Field Guide to Fake News Sites and Hoax Purveyors
    Snopes.com’s updated guide to the internet’s clickbaiting, news-faking, social media exploiting dark side.

    The sharp increase in popularity of social media networks (primarily Facebook) has created a predatory secondary market among online publishers seeking to profitably exploit the large reach of those networks and their huge customer bases by spreading fake news and outlandish rumors. Competition for social media’s large supply of willing eyeballs is fierce, and a number of frequent offenders regularly fabricate salacious and attention-grabbing tales simply to drive traffic (and revenue) to their sites.

    Facebook has worked at limiting the reach of hoax-purveying sites in their customers’ news feeds, inhibiting (but not eradicating) the spread of fake news stories. Hoaxes and fake news are often little more than annoyances to unsuspecting readers; but sometimes circulating stories negatively affect businesses or localities by spreading false, disruptive claims that are widely believed.

    So long as social media allows for the rapid spread of information, manipulative entities will seek to cash in on the rapid spread of misinformation. Perhaps the most egregious of the many nonsense peddlers on social media are fake news sites, so here we offer a guide to several of the most frequent (and unapologetic) hoax purveyors cluttering up newsfeeds everywhere.

    http://www.snopes.com/2016/01/14/fake-news-sites/

  7. @SS – No, she relies upon clickbait to keep her avid readers enthralled and the donations flowing. Plus it’s easy reading and already aligned with what she wishes to believe.

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