So this weekend we (family) were discussing – as usual – various pseudo-scientific myths, and we stumbled on the topic about cellphones and brain tumours, and cellphone towers and cancer. So as my “he who must be reckoned with” rambled off and jumped off the cliff of myth bombing, I paused to remember the medical thesis of one of my friends Eric: already in 1984, he was trying to find out if there was a correlation between high voltage wires over our hospital in Lille, and cancer increase in patients at that hospital, and residents living in the vicinity. Eric didn’t find any correlation between the high-voltage travelling overhead and cancer, although “people” were very worried, and everyone had a bias against these high-voltage wires.
Now correlation isn’t causation, it is just finding out if two “things” fit together/ mirror each other statistically. Correlations are quite easy to find nowadays because Excel does the work; basically if you have x as a time axis, then the peaks and troughs of the quantities of lets say “cellphone use” and “rate of cancer” follow each other. These studies require to go back in time. In other words, one is analyzing historical data.
My Youtube blogger friend Veritasium has just prepared a video on the topic of possible correlation between cellphones and glioma, and I hope that friends, students, and family will enjoy it, and find this report instructive.
Veritasium declares that cellphones don’t emit ionizing radiation: radiation that can harm the DNA in the nucleus of cells. In the study cited, the Swedish team was only talking about correlation, not at all causation as so many “people” seem to think; and the final graph proves without a doubt that we don’t need to worry, as the following video will explain.