Crazy Hypothesis Amnesty

April 4, 2014 at 11:43 pm (Miscellaneous) ()

I’m interested in daft, unlikely, or outright weird ideas (there used to be a non-peer-reviewed journal for this) and would like to read yours. I like daft ideas and I think as long as you don’t assume they’re true, they’re probably pretty harmless (as well as having the benefit of entertaining me for literally minutes). Here are some of mine:

My most recent crazy hypothesis is this: the common cold hijacks the brain and alters your behaviour. It does this in order that you will encounter a greater number of people (who will then be at risk of catching your cold, so giving the virus a new host). This hijacking has some neutral consequences as well as the negative (for your friends – it’s a positive for the virus), ‘intended’ consequence. This explains my weird cold symptoms.

Some people share faces because there are only a limited number to go round.

Sunny weather makes you tired because your body uses a chunk of its supply of tyrosine to make melanin and there’s not enough of it left to make as much dopamine, noradrenaline or adrenaline as usual.

There’s a limit to the number of sums you can do in your head. The reason my maths gets gradually worse throughout a busy day is not because of tiredness but because after a while some of the older calculations lodge in my head and get mixed up with newer ones. If I were better at forgetting then that wouldn’t happen.

Serotonin deficiency is a symptom rather than a cause of depression.

Thoughts and memories are held inside your brain cells. When it’s hot or you drink alcohol, the cell membranes start to weaken or ‘melt’ and they release the thoughts and memories. This is why intrusive thoughts, earworms etc are more common after you’ve been drinking booze.

Anti-vaccine activists are drug company stooges. These Big Pharma shills are paid to write implausible bullshit about vaccines that will be believed by few but will distract people (particularly conspiracy theorists) from the naughty things they are actually doing right under our noses.

Common cold “The symptoms of the common cold are believed to be primarily related to the immune response to the virus.” Fish oil supplementation suppresses immune systemResearch has shown that  fish oil supplementation suppresses the immune system…” Therefore, sardines on toast is a cure for the common cold.

Apparently, too much coffee will kill you: Guardian article. They’re not sure why, but they seem to think it might be something to do with caffeine. “Which constituents of coffee may be to blame for the effects are not fully understood. “The exact mechanism between coffee and mortality still needs clarification. Coffee is high in caffeine, which has the potential to stimulate the release of epinephrine, inhibit insulin activity, and increase blood pressure,” said Xuemei Sui, a co-author on the study.” My crazy hypothesis is that it’s actually all the antioxidants.

Some of the above are from the Crazy Hypothesis Amnesty thread on the Bad Science forum. If posting in the comments section below doesn’t appeal, perhaps you might want to contribute to that thread (you’ll need to register for the forum and learn the secret handshake first)? Those that prefer to email the details of their crazy hypotheses to eminent physicists, making imaginative use of punctuation and font colour, can carry on doing so (it’s no skin off my nose – I’m neither eminent nor a physicist).


  1. Don Sayers said,

    Regarding serotonin, Tianepine is a serotonin uptake enhancer and is prescribed for depression…

  2. Carl said,

    Cold theory:
    You might have already heard toxoplasmosis does that to mice…
    But most people don’t have your cold virus response.

    Fish oil:
    If true, that would only reduce the symptoms, not the actual virus infection.

    Anti-vaccine cranks:
    Similarly, it has been said that some other nuts, like Renee the moon landing guy, actually increase belief in the moon landing because he’s such a nut he makes his own position look worse and it would make as much sense for him to be a plant.
    However, the anti-vaccine crowd has been around since the first vaccines (before there really was a big pharma) and in the recent revival, actually know where Wakefield was going to get his money (lawyers suing big pharma and his own patent on a single vaccine).

  3. mythbuster said,

    Hey, how about taking pus from someone with smallpox and forcefully injecting it into other people to make them immune from pus.

    you could modernise the process by ‘purifying’ the pus and mixing it with formaldehyde or aluminum salts.

    you would have to spin some bullshit about pandemics and the lurgy to get it off the ground but if you could brainwash doctors into believing it, I mean they used to advertise cigarettes so it should be easy.

    Like giving candy to a baby, maybe I should patent the idea and sell it to governments.

  4. mythbuster said,

    Apparently doctors are telling people that indigestion is caused by lack of Gaviscon instead of eating crap food or reactions to medication!

    This is brilliant, patients come in with arthritis, get given snake oil to depress the metabolite pain reflex and then get stomach ulcers. Then the quacko has to prescribe Gaviscon!

    Have you seen the ad where the girl eats a hotdog and gets indigestion, after Gaviscon she is seen later eating two and smiling! So Gaviscon helps the fake food industry sell shit too!

    Pathway to mamon there, of course you have to still believe the doco knows best as top shamen.

    What a scam

  5. mythbuster said,

    What kind of training does a doctor have to have to think that what they are doing is top banana? I mean do they have any idea what a good diet is for starters?

  6. mythbuster said,

    “Common cold “The symptoms of the common cold are believed to be primarily related to the immune response to the virus.” Fish oil supplementation suppresses immune system “Research has shown that fish oil supplementation suppresses the immune system…” Therefore, sardines on toast is a cure for the common cold.”

    There you go, the orthodox medical view of colds is a belief system based on nonsense. Nothing unusual about that then. Fish oil provides important nutrients to stay well so we don’t need the cold audit, its has nothing to do with suppressing immune systems!

  7. Nash said,

    Coffee is bad for you because it tastes horrible. It’s only palatable if you put loads of sugar in it and why ruin the taste of the sugar?

  8. Charles Johnston Ibogaine said,

    That is so weird it’s funny, and maybe even the most interesting thing ever.

  9. Nick Dobkins said,

    Thanks for the highly entertaining read! Really fun article, I needed that :-)

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