The faith in questionnaire-based junk science continues unabashedly, as it is profitable. The French National Research Center for Environment and Health states that particulate matters from traffic is the cause of low birth weight.
We read: “Using a detailed questionnaire, the study authors could disentangle the influence of air pollutants from that of other factors known to influence birth weight. In particular, maternal smoking, the height and weight of the mother before pregnancy, the educational level of the mothers as well as the duration of the pregnancy and the child’s gender could be controlled for.” Of course the omnipresent smoking had to be there, invariably. But this study is not about smoking, nor is it really about science.
It is about the belief that by asking questions the answers to which cannot be measured or verified, we have a scientifically reliable indicator of what we are looking for – and that, indeed, such practice is science.
Actually, such belief is in fact antiscience. The only thing that these people have measured is (perhaps!) the vague recollection of exposures to unmeasured particles by people who have no competence to qualify and quantify such particles and who, like all of us, have faulty memories. And those who call such practice "science" have faulty ethics. A correlation between a prevalence of vague memories and the phenomenon examined (in this case, memories of exposure to particles and low birth weight) is then slapped into shape as "causality" by “experts” who guess, according to a preconception. This is exactly like the case of passive smoke!
And THAT is the basic problem that people in general and incompetent politicians do not understand: the methodology is a fraud. Thus, these studies – regardless of their results – are trash. And it is wrong, expensive and immoral to base laws and regulations on such trash. Public financing of studies of this kind should be made illegal, and such studies that are privately financed should not be published by serious scientific journals.
That is, of course, in theory. The reality is that garbage of this kind is the essential founding element for implementing political agendas of taxation and social control. The presence of the "studies" makes the power-and-money grab look like justified measures to protect “public health”.
As long as our institutions are crooked; as long as rights, constitutions and liberties must be subject to “public health” measures that are increasingly based on pseudo-scientific trash; as long as the Precautionary Principle can reverse the burden of proof as thus unable the perpetrators of scientific frauds, we will have nothing but the death of liberty and personal rights, and the advent of a bureaucratic dictatorship that is as faceless as it is vicious. In that case, ever more sinister times will lie in front of us.