Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lies, damned lies, and the Daily Express...

From the Daily Express last Saturday:

Live longer - start going to church

GOING to church every week can help you live longer, say scientists.
In fact, attend two services a week and you can cut your chances of dying by 20 per cent.
The remarkable findings come from a vast, long-term US government-funded study of the health of 92,000 women. The difference in death rates cannot be explained away by factors like social support provided by the church, or the possibility that religious people lead healthier lifestyles, said study leader Dr Eliezer Schnall
“There is something going on here that we don't quite understand," he added from his base at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.
The findings, published in the journal Psychology and Health, were based on interviews with Christians aged 50 to 80.
They came from all denominations and were questioned over eight years.


Now, far be it from me to question "scientists". Especially from such a prestigious place as "the Albert Einstein College of Medicine".

But - am I missing something here? Because that sentence "attend two services a week and you can cut your chances of dying by 20 per cent" just has me worried. I mean, either there is 100% chance of me dying. Or, there is 100% of me having eternal life and I still get that even if I only go to the 8am service. (Faith in Jesus being the necessary qualification last time I checked; mind you, last Sunday I went to four services, so perhaps I have an 80% chance of living?)

Lies, damned lies and the Daily Express. As Benjamin Disraeli so succinctly put it.

5 comments:

Markio said...

I'm quite astonished by the possiblility that you might have taken some time out to actually read the Express.

I've always been a fan of solving complex problems with simple answers, so I suppose I might have to start reading it myself, however I cannot get beyond the absurd "cut your chances of dying by 20 per cent"... do they mean that specific day? I could well imagine going to Church may give you a 20 per cent higher survival rate than say Monster Trucking, and this was America after all.

theMuddledMarketPlace said...

you are not the only one "quite astonished" by that......

Marcus G said...

Somebody in church gave me the cutting; I confess I take most of my news from the BBC website. Given that I haven't recently participated in a televoting scandal or received messages from comedians on my answerphone, I think that's OK...

Not sure I want to censor anyone's reading choices. Though I might want to make fun of those who try...

I mean come on, O worthy newspaper snobs, some of us have busy lives; how much time do you think it takes me "to actually read" the Express? (There's a clue in its title.) (And I am intentionally borrowing that split infinitive from our resident Law student; I presume that Mark is also a Star Trek fan.)

Markio said...

Ohh dear, split infinitive, can't understand how that one got under the radar (Romulan cloak perhaps), especially when the "actually" was so redundant, as if someone would "allegorically" read a newspaper... shame on me...

I must confess to some newspaper snobbery, I used to read the Independent and the Guardian but then I found out about what liberals get up to. Now it is all about The Times.

I think I should keep it though, I need something to be snobby about but unfortunately I go to Glamorgan Uni.

Marcus G said...

Excellent! I love the idea of allegorically reading a newspaper. "I was allegorically reading The Sun the other day - it was fascinating."

That would astonish more than MMP.

Or perhaps it was The Son as I was doing it allegorically?

Certainly, if I was reading The Times it is more than possible I was so doing...

And when it comes to literary snobbery, I freely confess my own. But only at times when it suits me. Like when we are having lunch on Wednesdays and they (you know who you are) can see me roll my eyes as The Shack gets mentioned again.

There are things that make the Daily Express seem positively erudite.

(As opposed to negatively erudite? Redundant qualifications! You gotta love them. )