Regular readers out there will already be familiar with the groups of people who deny evolutionary theory, who deny that HIV causes AIDS, even those who deny that germs cause disease, period. Wilhelm Godshalk is even on the record for denying gravity. I don’t know what it is about this site, and science blogs in general, that bring people out of the woodwork in this manner, but we have another live one. Witness Charles Hoy’s assertion that fear, not smoking, causes lung cancer.
What evidence do you want? Lung cancer is as common in smokers as it is in non-smokers. Where it all gets tricky is when you have to draw the frontier between smokers and non-smokers. A person who has been smoking from his 15th until his 30th birthday and who gets lung cancer at an age of 60, is he in the smoker’s or in the non-smoker’s stats? Already there are not so many people who never smoked a cigarette in their lives and, of course, today the last barriers to easy statistics are leveled. Secondary smoke! What an amazing trick of the apologist geniuses. Nobody in the whole wide world is save from secondary smoke and today ALL lung cancer can be traced back to cigarettes.
But we should consider things differently. For example, everybody diagnosed with a severe disease like cancer or AIDS will end up having lung cancer. Look it up: Cancer metastasis in the lungs is the most common of secondary cancers. Which is very logical: People who are severely ill are very afraid and the cause of lung cancer is fear. Or, to be more precise, a biological conflict of “fear of death” is the cause if the lung alveoli are concerned.
Someone better alert the tobacco companies–I assume they’ll want their settlement money back.
[Edited to add that apparently Hoy also denies the germ theory of disease, like our previous pal jspreen. To ease my mind, I'm going to believe he's just putting me on. Again, don't shatter my illusions...]