Settled Science: Radioactivity is Good for You!

According to Professor Bertram Boltwood of Yale University, radioactivity introduced into a human body is “carrying electrical energy into the depths of the body and there subjecting the juices, protoplasm, and nuclei of the cells to an immediate bombardment by explosions of electrical atoms,” and that it stimulates “cell activity, arousing all secretory and excretory organs… causing the system to throw off waste products” and is, among other things, “an agent for the destruction of bacteria” ( ).

Indeed,  Prof. Boltwood’s scientific colleagues believe the consumption of radium has positive health benefits; so in 1912 (your first hint!) they invented a device called a “Revigator”–a jar made of radium-containing ore. The instructions included, “Fill jar every night. Drink freely… when thirsty and upon arising and retiring, average six or more glasses daily.” (same source)

Such was the Settled Science of the Nineteen-teens and twenties. If you want to be healthy, consume radioactive materials. The science is settled, the debate is over–radium is good for you! Anyone who says it isn’t ought to be punished for the crime of Radium Benefit Denial–trying to withhold this great boon from a beleaguered human race just waiting to be raised up to greatness by radium added to their salves, beauty creams, toothpaste, ear plugs, soap, butter, chocolate candy bars, suppositories (ugh!) and contraceptives.

This particular Settled Science kind of came unsettled in the 1930s, when people who had been using radium in the 1920s began to die from various forms of radiation poisoning. They weren’t nice deaths, either.

It’s not that Big Science always gets it wrong. It’s just that when they do get it wrong, it can kill you. Or destroy your agriculture. Or take away your liberty.

Just last week, we were advised that “science” tells us the Bible is all dead wrong about morality and we’ve got to celebrate “gay marriage.” ‘Cause Science says so.

These days it’s  hard to pick the science out of the crowd of pseudo-science all around it.

When all is said and done, science is the work of the human mind, and human hands. God’s word is eternal; man’s word is not. God’s truth is true forever; man’s truth has a limited shelf life.

The “truth” that radioactivity is good for you didn’t last too long.

Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of? (Isaiah 2:22)

9 comments on “Settled Science: Radioactivity is Good for You!

  1. I can certainly vouch for the truth you are presenting here. I just lost my husband partly due to the radiation cancer “treatment” the scientific community/medical community so benevolently used to treat him in 2005.
    The cancer returned this year with a vengeance, meantime, he lost his teeth, had his thinking muddled somewhat, and other things went wrong from this great “scientific breakthrough” which is still, to this day, being foisted upon people.

    1. My father’s cancer treatment wiped him out–chemotherapy plus surgical removal of muscles and lymph nodes. A few weeks later the monster came back. They said there was nothing they could do for him this time. They sent him home to die. “He has anywhere from 6 months to a year and a half; and during that time there’ll be good days when he might think he’s getting better…”

      Six days later, he was dead.

  2. A few years ago, I lost a friend and believe the root cause to be botched medical treatment. In this case, radiation was not involved, but a huge cocktail of several psychotropic medications were causing nausea and the doctor, whom had resisted giving up on any of these meds when requested, instead prescribed anti-nausea medication on top of the other meds. Soon after that injection my friend fell asleep and never woke up.

    Medical science has certainly had some successes, but they are not always right and not always on the right track. It would seem that when they are dealing with some situations they will try anything and not always think of the patient’s needs. When I was in my teens, I spent a couple of weeks in the hospital, in isolation with peritonitis. In the next room was a girl with cancer. They took extreme measures (I’ll spare you the details) in trying to stop the spread of this disease, but in the end she died, after having endured countless painful procedures which only served to heighten and prolong her agony. My point is simply that they sometimes become so involved in their course of treatment that they can’t step back and see the whole picture. At that point, the patient becomes a living experiment.

    This radium treatment debacle is not out of character with what was happening in that era. There were various notions including treatments employing electrical currents, radiation and some strange dietary notions. One fellow felt that the answer was to spend literally hours chewing every bite of food. How were crops supposed to be grown if everyone spent most of their day chewing? Folly!

    Some of what is being reported as settled science today seems a bit tenuous, at best. The stakes, however, are far greater than a handful of eccentrics spending their entire day chewing.

  3. And she asked, tongue-in-cheek: “Has anyone ever wondered why the medical profession calls their clientele a ‘practice’?”

  4. And the medical settled science continues…. Some years ago I finally agreed to have the bone density test that my doctor kept pushing on me. When the test came back showing osteopenia in my spine and osteoporosis in both hips, she wanted me to take one of the supposed bone-building drugs, the one taken once a month. I’ve never liked taking medicine, so I did a lot of research on these bisphosphanates — and discovered that although they may reduce the risk of breakage from about 5% to about 3% (I’m rounding the figures here), they incur a 30% risk of esophageal damage. Furthermore, I also discovered that the bone-density testing machines themselves are untrustworthy, all of them being differently calibrated and often producing different results for the same person in the same time frame. So I told my doctor there was no way I was going to take the medicine. I’d stick with the 5% risk, which is pretty small, especially considering that no one, even without osteoporosis, has a 0% risk of breakage.

    Amusingly, two days after I received the osteoporosis diagnosis, I stepped on a patch of black ice and sat down hard on the pavement. I thought for sure my hips had just turned into talcum powder, but all I had was a bruise on the left (ahem) cheek and a slightly twisted ankle. So much for the crisis of osteoporosis.

    I also found out that these “bone-building” drugs actually increase the risk of breakage because they merely inhibit the action of the enzymes that routinely break down and clear away crumbling bone so the other enzymes that actually do build bone can build it on a clean surface. To stop the action of the osteoclasts (clearing-away enzymes) is to force the bone building to take place on a crumbled surface — like filling a cavity without first clearing out the decay, or filling a pothole without reaming out the crumbled asphalt. The new bone (or filling, or asphalt) simply falls out eventually.

    Ah, settled science. Ain’t it grand?

    1. Like so many things, the big pharma “cure” is not necessarily preferable to the disease itself. Exercise and diet are said to be quite useful with osteoporosis and worked for my mother, who lived the the age of 89.

    2. Interestingly enough, I did crack a vertebra in 1974, in a service-related accident in the Air Force, without realizing I’d done it. Yes, the pain was excriciating for a while, but it subsided and I almost forgot about the accident until six years later when I was separating from active duty. (Meanwhile, I’d been overseas and in on the end of the Vietnam War.) My outprocessing physical showed that my spine had bent sideways at the impact point, and I had a permanent scoliosis. “When it gets worse,” said the VA examiner to me — and note the “when” rather than “if” — “you’re entitled to a free wheel chair.” I replied, “Oh, goody, goody, I can hardly wait.” Well, I’m not in that free wheel chair yet, and in fact, no one can tell I have a bent spine unless I mention it.

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