Science’s darkest day

I don’t believe this even happened. If it was April 1st and I had to choose a stupid parody story, this would be it. But it’s not and it isn’t.

The ‘five second rule‘ is an idiot’s rule. Drop some food, pick it up within five seconds and it’s safe to eat. It’s clear and obvious rubbish. It does not matter how long food is on the chopping board or on the floor. All that matters is what it’s lying on.

Bacteria can grow pretty fast – in the lab, with no competition and with optimal temperature and limitless nutrients. In those conditions E. coli can double its population every 20 minutes. Proteus mirabilis is so fast you can actually watch the colony spread on a plate of blood agar. But that’s in perfect lab conditions. They can’t do that in real life.

In five seconds they can’t do anything at all. If food is on a surface contaminated with bacteria for five seconds then it will pick up some bacteria. They will not instantly colonise the food. That takes time and the conditions, especially for a pathogen, are far from optimal.

Your chopping board isn’t sterile. Unless you autoclave it. It should be less contaminated than the floor. When I’ve just cleaned the floor it’s safe to eat from but after I’ve walked on it, especially if I’ve been in the garden, it’s not safe any more.

They actually tested this. A total urban legend style pile of hoirseshit. They really tried to test it. They spent time and money testing it. And the answer was wrong.

It is not the time on the ground. It is not the type of food. It’s all about what it lands in. All about that base. No trouble.

Sure, wet food will pick up more bacteria than dry food but they won’t grow in five seconds.

This ‘five second’ thing never needed to be debunked. It was utter bunk to start with. Obvious bunk. And yet money, lots of money, was spent to get a silly answer

Science is over. There can’t be anything credible left now.


25 thoughts on “Science’s darkest day

  1. “…if you begin to feel an intense and crushing feeling of religious terror at the magnitude of this stupidity, don’t be alarmed. That indicates only that you are still sane.”
    (after Alan Moore)


  2. Lol, science isn’t over. The PIE root of the word comes from ‘to divide, split’. As a scientist and a blogger, you’re helping to keep it alive, by removing the junk and incinerating it properly.


  3. I very nearly died from one of the nastier salmonella variants so there is a firm rule in my house: If it falls on the floor it gets binned and anything opened in the fridge longer than 3 days gets binned. Even if it is best veal steak. Binned….and probably the fridge bleached as well if I can find the time.

    Yes I know I am being paranoid and that I am throwing away perfectly good food, which is still safe to eat….but I choose penury and poverty over ever again spending a week shitting tomato ketchup with the sort of cramps only a woman giving birth should experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mainstream science effectively died when most of the ‘experts’ still clung onto the Theory of Evolution even after modern microscopes had revealed the sheer unbelievable complexity of living cells, with their DNA, molecular machines, etc.

    Darwin thought that cells were just blobs of protoplasm. He thought that natural selection (such as dog breeding) was an example of evolution, but natural selection removes information from the genome, which is the opposite of what has to happen for the Theory to work.

    Darwin expected every stratum to be filled with intermediate forms of living things or his Theory was bunkum. They aren’t there.

    Genetic entropy – the increasing degeneration of the genome in each successive generation – points, not to some glorious future, but that humans were nearer perfection in the past, again meaning that the Theory cannot be true.

    I think as more and more people bought into the false ‘science’ of evolution theory, it was easy to fool them into accepting climate change, healthism, etc.


    • And yet there is a nearly complete fossil record for the evolution of whales including transitional forms. Life always finds a way.


      • Really?

        What we DO see is evidence for a common designer, e.g. the similarity between dolphins/whales, sharks, and ichthyosaurs and yet they are mammals, fish and reptiles.

        Is this what you mean by “complete fossil record”?…

        In A Whale of Trouble

        “According to the traditional fairy tale illustrated at the left, whales evolved from extinct wolf-like land-dwelling animals called mesonychids. One of these mesonychids evolved into Pakicetus, which evolved into the partly aquatic Ambulocetus, which became the mostly aquatic Rodhocetus, which evolved in one or more steps into the entirely aquatic Basilosaurus which was direct ancestor of modern whales. These fossils were arranged in a nice neat sequence that seemed to show evolution.

        This was accepted for years, but in scientific circles today this view of whale evolution is controversial. There are nine major problems with the whale fairy tale. What are these nine problems? We are so glad you asked! ”


        It sounds like a trick Prof. Dawkins tried to pull off by ‘demonstrating’ the evolution of the eye by starting with ‘primitive’ ones and progressing up to the most complex, BUT completely ignoring the supposed order in which the eyes allegedly appeared in the evolutionary time frame.

        Smoke and mirrors.


        • Of course, saying an unknown invisible deity did it by means unknown is a totally plausible explanation. Evolution is the best explanation we have to explain transitional forms and provides an elegant explanation for the development of the eye.
          Stewart , on a related topic, I’m writing a piece about homosexuality and how it maintained within populations by natural selection. I’ll send the link when it is completed


            • I am injecting intellectual and scientific stimuli into this debate. What about you, Edgar? I tried to find the video of Tim Vine and his ‘Idiot Stick’. Pretend it is a ‘Troll Stick’ for you to wave about at ‘trolls’ until you realise it’s the wrong way round.

              I gain great satisfaction from knowing that most people who bandy around the word “troll” do so as they are stumped for anything intellectual to add or are afraid of the subject in some way.

              See how much longer it takes to communicate, versus being rude and ignorant? How do you spend that time you save by dismissing folk by being rude and arrogant, Edgar?


            • SC is many things but hardly a troll. He, as far as I can see, does genuinely hold the beliefs he spouts here…and most of which I disagree with.


          • Flaxen – It is a totally plausible explanation compared to “nothing exploded to become everything” then simple (yet immensely complex) life emerged from non-life (somehow) and through completely random mutations and natural selection here we are today.

            I’ll look out for your email on the other subject.


            • You started complaining about evolution but now you’ve extended that back to the big bang. The two have pretty much nothing to do with each other. Evolution does not even try to explain the beginnings of life, let alone the beginning of space/time, merely how life grew from single cell organisms to the plethora of species we see today, filling almost every possible niche in the ecosystem.

              Your position seems pretty dogmatic considering many on the religious side now recognise that evolution does not actually affect the core tenets of their religion, I think even the Pope accepts evolution today?

              Why do you think it’s more impressive that god sat down for a week and spent 5 days designing millions of different sorts of beetles, another day designing all other life and then took a day off? Personally I think if there was a god, it would be much cleverer and more impressive for him to have put in place systems whereby the tree of life could evolve itself from simple and humble beginnings. (Not that I think there is a god, but an 11th dimensional Professor Farnsworth with our universe as a lab experiment I do not rule out)


    • You really need to learn what the word theory actually means. Once you have accomplished that you might try reading a biography of Darwin and placing him and his ideas at the appropriate timepoint, putting both into the context of their society and it’s level of development. By the time you get there you might have learned some sense, but I won’ t be holding my breath.


      • “You really need to learn what the word theory actually means.” The whole point of religion is that you don’t need to learn anything. To put it another way, religion means never having to say ‘Oh, that’s interesting …’.


        • What Edgar means is that it is convenient for him to believe that you cannot have faith and believe in the scientific method when Creationism and science are utterly compatible.

          Creationism offers explanations for many things which stump evolutionists or force them to make up silly scenarios.

          Take the world wide flood: it is the best explanation for many features on earth today and in the past, such as the ice age, coal deposits 100s of feet thick and …billions of dead things laid down by water all over the world (70% of the rocks exposed at the earth’s surface are sedimentary).


  5. My head will burst one day thinking about all this. Why are human beings infinitely variable but, say, crocodiles have replicated for millions of years with no noticeable changes,

    And am I alone in thinking the idea that all humans descended from one woman in Africa?
    The most obvious load of bunk I’ve ever read.


    • Well, I don’t know. Some of us are white and some of us are a bit blacker. I don’t understand the reason for that. And I don’t suppose that I have to.
      Personally, I would prefer to be a bit blacker, although I amn’t actually white by normal standards. But then I don’t believe that all human life came out of Africa. This simply isn’t possible.


      • We are all the same colour (more or less), i.e. brown. We just have different amounts of melanin in our skin (hair, eyes, etc.).

        The different “people groups” can best be explained by the dispersing of peoples from the Tower of Babel.


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