One of the limitations of the scientific method is that it is virtually impossible to prove that something doesn’t exist or could never happen based on empirical data alone. And if that “something” has the potential for great harm, then common sense would dictate that we should err on the side of caution and continue to assume that it could exist, or might happen. It’s what’s known as the precautionary principle.
Take cell phones and cancer, for example. Despite tens of millions of dollars spent on research, no one has ever proven that mobile phones cause brain cancer. And yet, researchers (and the public) are still unwilling to conclude that they don’t. Even the authors of a major study that once again showed no relationship between cell phones and cancer concluded: “The possible effects of long-term heavy use of mobile phones require further investigation”. Of course, that might mean more funding for their laboratory….
Physicist Bernard Leikind has taken an entirely different approach. He claims that, based on well-accepted physical principles, cell phones cannot cause cancer. He argues that the energy emitted by cell phones is not strong enough to disrupt the chemical bonds in biological molecules, period. Indeed, he claims that if it were possible for radiation energy of this type to disrupt cellular biochemical processes, there would be no life on earth because of natural sources of similar radiation energy in the environment.
Dr. Leikind has taken a lot of heat (no pun intended) from readers – see the reader-response thread after the article. But I have yet to find the flaw in his logic.