Bumble Bees Can’t Fly

     When I was a youngster  there was some research making the rounds that said; “Bumble-bees can’t fly.”  I guess some budding aerodynamic scientists had tried to compute the weight/lift ratios for these big bees and come to the conclusion that, mathematically, “bumble-bees can’t fly.”

     While the report was probably issued, ‘tongue-in-cheek’, it was good for some chuckles as it was obvious that bumble-bees were still flying.  The phrase has stuck with me  over the years. and even today, when I see some research that defies common sense, I say to myself; “Yeah, right! and Bumble-bees can’t fly either.”

    Our society seems really enamored with science.  If we read “Laboratory tests show…”  or “University research proves … “ or “Scientists claim…” — most people believe it.   I don’t!  

    For any research to have credibility with me, I have to know, at a minimum, the credentials of the researcher and, most important, who paid the bill.  It is also interesting to know where the person worked before and after the research was published. A lot of  research today reflects the bias of the author and some is down-right fraudulent.  Proof of impartiality is hard to find. 

    Consider the the ongoing controversy over the safety of Glyphosate.  There is a multitude of peer reviewed studies on both sides of the issue.  Which is righr?  How does one decide?  Finding out who funded the studies would give us some clues.

    At some point  we need to invoke common sense or, better yet, the Precautionary  Principle which implies that there is a social responsibility to protect the public from exposure to harm, when scientific investigation has found a plausible risk. 

    In conclusion, when you encounter outlandish statements from BigAg or BigPharma, join me in saying; “Yeah, right! and Bumble-bees can’t fly either.”