Do you think particles so small you need an electron microscope to view them can cause dementia? Then my guess you are a trial lawyer looking for something new to sue about, a greedy person hoping to leverage a family member's illness to get rich, or an epidemiologist trying to get an expert witness contract.

In a world of basically unlimited chances, since there are 8 billion people, it is entirely possible you really believe this stuff, but in nearly all cases I am right and you're one of those three. If you just accept it because it is in the New York Times, well, that is a different problem. Because there is no science in a paper linking small micron particulate matter - PM2.5, so tiny no one knew it even existed until the 1960s - to dementia. It is just correlation. Rows of effects and columns of things and if they find a cluster they can declare statistical significance.

Why does this junk get so much attention? The strange answer is smoking. Epidemiologists showed smoking causes cancer and that led to a $28 billion tobacco company settlement and even prior to that the race was on to link everything to cancer and yell at The Next Big Tobacco. As a result, states like California, which have turned over their science to France's International Agency for Research on Cancer, mandate cancer warning labels on everything - right down to the whiteboards inside oncology offices.

The good news is that this paper is just correlation. If journal editors were ethical, these papers would have a a giant red EXPLORATORY watermark on every page so activist journalists wouldn't be tempted to try and claim they are science. And journal editors would stop seeing a statistical significance claim and think it is meaningful.

If you think virtual pollution causes dementia because some curves can overlap, guess what causes autism? That's right, organic food. It makes just as much sense.

It is why we have hard corporate journalism touting studies claiming zebras evolved stripes due to flies, famous paintings are proof of climate change, and that the size of your bicep is linked to how politically conservative you are. Not to mention liberals - but only the American kind - giving birth to prettier daughters. Agenda-driven epidemiology has as much in common with science as astrology - yet like astrology believers they think it is science.

Screenshot from "90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way" television show.

We're stuck in a world of corporate and social media and people are distanced from things like science and food in ways that weren't possible in the past, so someone out there will start claiming the science says PM2.5 is causing diseases, despite that being biologically impossible.