Feed your head

LiveScience has a spectacularly bad article that covers the toxicology results of Rudy Eugene, the ‘Miami cannibal’ who was immediately labelled as being high on ‘bath salts‘ and was predictably, not high on bath salts.

But don’t let the Parp! Parp! Clown Taxi notion of drugs causing cannibalism put you off from suggesting that drugs cause cannibalism because the article makes a point of carefully considering which substances were responsible for the face eating.

Eugene tested positive for marijuana. Could that have been the cause? Definitely not says the article.

“Some people have said, ‘Well, it must have been the marijuana that triggered Eugene’s behavior.’ That, in my opinion, is outrageous, and out of the question. Marijuana will not cause this type of behavior,” said Dr. Bruce Goldberger, professor and director of toxicology at the University of Florida.

Goldberger said that although a significant amount of research has found a link between marijuana use and the onset of schizophrenia or psychosis in at-risk individuals, this isn’t what happened to Eugene. “This behavior exhibited by Eugene is well beyond the scope of someone suffering from acute psychosis,” he told Life’s Little Mysteries. [Could Cannibalism Solve a Future Food Shortage?]

The ‘Could Cannibalism Solve a Future Food Shortage?’ link is genuinely in the original article by the way, presumably inserted by an automatic algorithm with an unintentional genius for badly timed inappropriate humour.

But one of the major points of the article is to report the toxicology results which found no evidence for ‘bath salts’ drugs in Eugene’s body.

Conclusion: the cannibalism was caused by bath salts. Secret bath salts. That no-one can detect yet.

There’s probably a cognitive bias that leads people to believe in impossible causal mechanisms in the face of evidence that all but rules out the presence of the supposed trigger – but I’m damned if I can find it.

Hang on. I think it’s called the Living Elvis Makes Me Girlfriends Out of Gatorade bias.
 

Link to article (via @stevesilberman)

9 Comments

  1. Kate
    Posted June 30, 2012 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    “Parp! Parp! Clown Taxi”?! *dissolves into helpless giggling*

  2. Pat
    Posted June 30, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Anytime anyone takes a study or a finding to say this is the norm it will not be right .For example just because you find a Hominin that ate bark and plant a zillion years ago does not mean that was the mainstay , maybe it was just starving for something or anything before its untimely demise and we make a decision on one skeletal remains (one)and then place one entity one time as the norm and say that is why man is crazy or that is why we are carnivore’s or veg’s from a few does not give us the big picture of what has been going on or what is truly going on with humanities growth . It’s only what we know of that one person or entity and not even knowing that one was thinking .

  3. baridosk
    Posted June 30, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    right link tu cannibalism: http://www.lifeslittlemysteries.com/1876-soylent-green-real-life-cannibalism.html

  4. baridosk
    Posted June 30, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    cannibalism link dead.

    New working url is Eat the Old: Could Mass Cannibalism Solve a Future Food Shortage?

  5. Ari
    Posted June 30, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    They also found no human flesh in his stomach. The bathsalts cannibal turns out to be neither. It does help hide the fact that the police shot the victim as well as the attacker.

    • Reuben
      Posted July 4, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      I suppose he might not have wanted to eat the man, rather just cause him pain. Why he saw using his teeth as the best form of inflicting pain on the man, I don’t know.

  6. Posted July 3, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    I hope the police investigation is less biased than the media. They seem determined to tie this whole thing to the new hot-topic drug. The scramble to defend pot seems consistent with Live-Science’s Yahoo-Newsishness and the Looney-Toons worthy crack about “the munchies”.

    Just imagine Starbucks CEO’s horror when they discover the incident was caused by their new Red Bull smoothie.

  7. Posted July 8, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    I don’t understand why people can’t just accept the fact that people can be psychotic. No drugs necessary to be a crazy person.

  8. Arlees
    Posted July 12, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Who knows why he chose this particular manifestation of insane behavior? Crazy people do crazy things. That’s how you know they’re crazy. Of one thing I am sure: it was most assuredly NOT the weed.

    I smoked copious amounts of pot in my teens- about 1/8 ounce per day. I giggled, walked, enjoyed life, took a break from my depressive vacuum, socialized, sat, relaxed, worked at a bank making $450 a week at 15y.o., ate, and ate some more. The eating was a good thing- I was anorexic. The break from depression saved my life. I made straight A’s in school (while high might I add).

    I never worked high: I was on someone else’s dime. I never had a desire to drive. I never felt aggressive. I never had sex with a person and regretted it when I woke from a stupor. I never ate faces. None of my smoking buddies did either. It was the early 80s. Everybody I knew smoked. None of them ate faces nor expressed a desire to do so.

    Marijuana counters aggression. The mantra was “Dude, relax. Here- hit this and we’ll talk about it.” We were just too mellow to hate. That is the face of weed.

    Something else was afoot for this guy. Whomever thinks otherwise is uninformed and ridiculous. Watch a movie- not “Reefer Madness”- whose characters are stoners. Any zombies? Nope.


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