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Messages - pfw

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General Discussion / Re: Shoes roundup
« on: October 15, 2009, 09:24:42 pm »
The moccasins are "Minnetonka", which must be some sweatshop somewhere because there's a huge number of online stores selling them. are what I bought. I cut off the frills because, well, they're frills for god's sake, and have been wearing them everywhere. My wife got a pair and runs in them. (she left the frills on)

IF you buy a pair of these you'll know what I'm talking about re: ripoff. This is literally a leather footwrap with about 1/8" of foam in the bottom. I could easily replicate the cuts necessary. I think you can buy a side of leather for around $75, which is about 20 sq ft. Make three pairs of moccasins out of it and you come out ahead.

If you don't want to take the time to do that, though, the ones I linked are actually pretty nice.

Health / Re: Crohn's Disease for 10 years. Need dietary suggestions!
« on: October 13, 2009, 10:24:32 pm »
Yes, ZC = zero carb.

That's just the term, though. It's probably better to call it "Carnivorous" as there's some carbohydrates in egg yolks and whatnot. I probably hit 0-10g carbs a day depending on what I eat that day.

After going through a pretty hairy transition, I gained 7-8lbs and my bowel movements have normalized. I'm in month 3 for what it's worth.

Health / Re: Crohn's Disease for 10 years. Need dietary suggestions!
« on: October 13, 2009, 09:16:05 pm »
I'm actually trying ZC for crohn's at the moment. So far, so good.

The key to stopping crohn's is to stop the trigger. Wolfgang Lutz had success with a low carb diet, achieving remission in 80% of cases over a year, so it's a good idea to go low carb at least. Other recent research is pointing the finger at a particular bacteria, ubiquitous in humans, called klebsiella. Klebsiella produces an enzyme to break down starches which happens to contain protein sequences similar to those found in your intestinal collagen. If your body begins to have an immune response to that enzyme, the anti-bodies produced will also attack your intestinal wall, thus causing the auto-immune response that characterizes crohn's.

Cut out the starch, cut down on carbs, and your klebsiella population will plummet - and what remains won't be producing the trigger enzyme. Given time (Lutz claimed it took a year or so to see remission in 80% of patients on his diet), the immune response will cycle down. The SCD uses the same logic, though when you look at what some people do on the SCD you can see why it doesn't always work (nut-flour bread and such).

Good luck getting rid of your pain!

Hot Topics / Re: The Avg Lifespan / Life Expectancy Canard
« on: October 12, 2009, 05:51:53 am »
Absolutely wrong. The burden of proof is on the pro-cooking camp to show that cooked food is either harmless or more beneficial than raw food. After all, we are the only species on this entire planet that cooks its own food.
I'm beginning to think you want to be regarded as fringe. This line of argument virtually guarantees no progress, or at the very least is the best possible way to retard progress.

Since virtually every human being on the planet eats cooked food for the majority of their diet, and the average industrialized human still manages to live longer than at any point in recorded history, claiming that they have to prove their diet's efficacy over one that hasn't obtained since pre-civilizational times is laughably absurd to anyone not already a firm believer in raw. In pop-science, the burden of proof is on the paradigm changer, which is, in this case, raw. In real science, the burden of proof is on the claimaint period, regardless of what they are claiming. If you make a positive assertion that raw is better, you must prove it.

One doesn't need a study which compares raw-eating to cooked-eating people. All one needs is what we have so far:- studies showing distinct localised harm done to human tissue by AGEs, studies showing a reduction in negative symptoms after following a low-AGE diet, studies showing a direct link between age-related conditions and levels of AGEs etc.
A comparison is precisely what is needed to demonstrate the validity of the hypothesis. Without it, it will forever be conjecture. This is, again, essentially required by the scientific method. It's not "a strict interpretation" because there is no other possible interpretation. You don't have a data point until you run a test to gather it. All extrapolations must be tested. All sorts of evil has been done because people find lots of supporting evidence for an idea which later, upon direct testing, turns out to be completely wrong - certainty without rigorous, direct testing is unwarranted.

alphagruis: I agree that a raw v cooked study will be difficult to do given the cultural biases towards cooked food. A real test might not take place in my lifetime, if it ever does. However, that does not change the status of the hypothesis. The reality of the situation is that until a comparison study is done to confirm the hypothesis, it remains a hypothesis. Which is really all I'm trying to point out here.

Hot Topics / Re: The Avg Lifespan / Life Expectancy Canard
« on: October 11, 2009, 08:48:54 am »
Plus, science works on the principle of the correct data being provided by whichever side has the most studies backing it or condemning the other side.
As has been pointed out, this is absolutely not how scientific knowledge is produced. That's how bullshit hysterical nonsense gets pushed on the public via the media and institutions looking to score more grant money. Scientific knowledge is the product of constantly testing hypotheses. There is never certainty and everything can be falsified.

I'm very sympathetic to the idea that cooked food is harmful. I believe it's a strong hypothesis, and merits further testing. It is not yet a well tested, proven hypothesis that generates a theory which can predict results. No one as done studies where one cohort eats raw and another eats the same stuff cooked and compared health outcomes. The fact that studies in humans are hard does not change the reality of the scientific method - until the raw hypothesis is tested, to claim that it's fully backed by science is, by definition, wrong. It's compelling. It is not proven.

No one needs to show that AGEs are beneficial. The burden of proof is on the raw claimaint to show that cooking causes statistically significant levels of harm in a population. If your two cohorts show no difference in mortality or health outcomes over a period of years, then clearly cooking is simply not harmful enough to be significant. If they do, then it clearly shows that cooking is significant. Until that science is done, the hypothesis is not confirmed. This is the basic scientific method. Are AGEs harmful? Probably. So is breathing car exhaust, getting lots of sunburn, having radio waves near your testicles - virtually every modern technology can and likely does cause harm to some, they just don't do so in a statistically significiant portion of the population. Cooking might just be yet another one of those toxic yet not epidemiologically significant activities modern humans participate in. The science has not been done to show it one way or the other.

Hot Topics / Re: The Avg Lifespan / Life Expectancy Canard
« on: October 10, 2009, 03:19:38 am »
Mouse studies != human studies. Humans have been cooking for some duration of time, perhaps even evolutionary timescales depending on what random source you choose to believe. The result might be a higher tolerance for cooking created compounds than in other animals.

Like I said, there is plenty of reason to believe that cooking creates compounds which could be problematic in humans. There's even plenty of research showing that these compounds are probably bad, and indeed are bad for people with various problems (diabetics especially). What has not been done is the science necessary to prove it generally. This is a lot like the diet-heart hypothesis. You feed rabbits cholesterol and watch them die of heart attacks, then claim that the same thing happens to humans. Problem: it doesn't actually happen in humans. Virtually all the observational data show no correlation between cholesterol levels and heart disease.  Similarly, we have lots of specific studies showing that, for example, charred meat contains carcinogen-like compounds. It stands to reason that they'd cause cancer. Now you have to do the study that tests for that. It doesn't just follow logically, nothing in science does.

To prove the effects of cooked food you'd need to do a study where one cohort ate raw everything while another cohort ate the same stuff cooked. If at the end of your study, incidence of disease and mortality differed in a statistically significant manner, you'd have borne out the hypothesis.

Hot Topics / Re: The Avg Lifespan / Life Expectancy Canard
« on: October 09, 2009, 09:29:46 pm »
For example, that  guy , Harris, blithely dismissed the concept of advanced glycation end products but was unable to provide any decent scientific data to back up his claim that AGEs don't matter.So, his argument looked  dead-in-the-water.
Harris' problem is that you can't produce any studies which demonstrate that AGEs do matter, at least no well constructed human studies intended to study the issue. You can produce oodles of tangential evidence that the byproducts of cooking are harmful, but no direct confirmation of that claim. It just hasn't been studied directly or thoroughly. If it had, this wouldn't be a debate.

It's not possible to prove a negative. The onus is on the claimant to prove the positive. Hence Harris' disdain for those who claim absolutely that cooking is the cause of all ills; without direct testing of the claim that various cooking byproducts are harmful rather than theoretically harmful or genuinely correlated with harm.

General Discussion / Re: Shoes roundup
« on: October 09, 2009, 09:17:16 pm »
I'm currently wearing mocassins, which you can order from various outlets online. They still make the leather variety (no rubber on the bottom, just leather and a little bit of padding, ~1/8in). ~$35 for a pair, which were a bit narrow at first but have widened over time. I suspect this is a ripoff, as the shoe is so incredibly basic that the only thing they could be charging for is the novelty. I think I'll make my own when these wear out and save some cash.

I had to make a compromise between barefoot and work, and these seem to do the job. They don't look hugely out of the ordinary but since they're nothing but a little bit of leather wrapping your foot, they still let you walk naturally.

Hot Topics / Re: The Avg Lifespan / Life Expectancy Canard
« on: October 06, 2009, 01:11:14 am »
Why is it a choice between one obviously wrong choice and another obviously wrong choice? Nasty, Brutish and Short versus Noble Savage is a choice between a dragon and a unicorn. Both are obviously myths.

Here's a study of modern hunter gathers and their modal age of death. You can see that most of those who survive childhood live into their 60s and 70s. They lag the modern developed world by 5-10 years depending on the comparison made.

Health / Re: bowel movements
« on: October 05, 2009, 04:39:09 am »
Some people may be less affected by them than others for whatever isolated reason, but it's ludicrous to suggest that cooked animal fat is healthy.
This is your problem.

Just because you have an extreme and immediately negative effect to cooked food does not mean that everyone does. Indeed, the vast majority of people on this earth do not appear to have that reaction. Long term aging effects, cancer and what have you obviously might be problems, but "Healthy" is a very relative term; most people can live perfectly full and happy lives eating cooked food before succumbing to some disease. Your inability to do so does not make it universally intolerable, and there's a vast body of evidence that shows that your experience is very much the minority. Most people tolerate it just fine, even if it does harm to them over the long term.

Which, by the way, is why I would never attempt to run any experiment using you as a subject. Your negative reactions to cooked food are apparently so powerful that you'd be an outlier in all data. If someone with less sensitivity were to eat all pemmican, their reaction would be much more valuable.

I don't know why you are conflating the various potential health effects of cooked fats with the immediate question of digestive efficiency. Toxin loads and whatnot are totally irrelevant if the individual in question isn't as allergic to them as you are, which Delfuego clearly isn't. Again, pemmican is essentially pre-digested; the protein is powdered and dried with the fat being reduced to its constituent fatty acids. If there was a food that could be totally absorbed without significant waste, it would be pemmican. It's also important to note that not even Delfuego is claiming that he never has a bowel movement ever, just that the ones he does have are extremely minimal: "just a little liquid".

With such imprecise language it's impossible to tell exactly what he's claiming, but "just a little liquid" is an eminently possible result given the food being considered and assuming that the person consuming it is not severely allergic to cooked food. Confirming it, or falsifying it, in others would give us more data to go on.

Since it's unlikely that we are going to have a metabolic ward study of the long term effects of pemmican, you will of course accept no pragmatically attainable evidence as proof. That renders this debate rather moot. I will, however, again point out that any interested parties without acute sensitivity to rendered fat would be able to test the claim, and that there are other pemmican eaters out there who might be contacted.

Health / Re: bowel movements
« on: October 04, 2009, 11:25:10 pm »
As for foolish suggestions for me to eat pemmican for a whole
month, I've already eaten plenty of cooked animal fat in the past decades for me to know exactly
how harmful it is for me and I shudder at the thought of having to eat a diet of mostly melted animal fat especially while having to undergo the same horrendous ...
Heh, I would never ask you to undertake an experiment. I merely pointed out for those interested that it would be trivial to settle this question with a simple experiment, thus taking the argument away from anecdote into data.

If you want to critique an idea, you have to test it. If you don't want to test an idea, then you cannot claim certainty about it. Of course, no one can't ever really claim certainty, but I doubt there are many Karl Popper fans here. Suffice it to say that arguing in absolutes without doing any testing is a truly "foolish". You might have some sort of reaction to cooked animal fat, but that does not mean every other human being will. You might not be able to handle zero carb, but that does not mean every other human being will fail as well. And while "perfect digestion" is indeed highly suspect, eating an essentially pre-digested food can reasonably be expected to reduce stool volume considerably, and so perhaps his claim is less exaggerated than you believe. Until the claim is tested, the amount of truth in his statement remains unsettled.

Health / Re: bowel movements
« on: October 03, 2009, 02:57:12 am »
I'm not sure that Charles confirms it. His comments elsewhere on his bowel movements are not consistent with Delfuego's claim of "near perfect digestion" and "a little liquid" as the total BM.

Danny from Carnivore Health is currently eating all pemmican. I don't know if he has an account here or not, but his experiences thus far might be of interest.

Health / Re: bowel movements
« on: October 02, 2009, 10:55:11 pm »
This is one of those things that would be extremely easy to test. There are a few all pemmican folks out there to ask, and if anyone here was genuinely interested you could eat it for a month and see what the trend was. I might do this at some point, just to see what the all pemmican people are going on about and attempt to reproduce or falsify their claims. I use pemmican when I'm away for weekends and if made well it's oddly tasty. Well, not tasty exactly. But I always want to eat more despite it having the texture of greasy, flaky sawdust.

Perfect digestion is theoretically possible, and if there's any food that would allow for it, it's pemmican, due to the steps taken in processing it. It's highly unlikely that anyone actually achieves perfect digestion (Delfuego's claims aside, even he admits to passing something), but significant reductions in bowel movement and bowel size don't seem unreasonable.

Hot Topics / Re: Are we meat eaters or vegetarians ?
« on: October 01, 2009, 10:03:16 pm »
"Why" is not relevant to the argument made in Eades' article. It does not attempt to explain why. It attempts to describe one theory of how it was we were able to develop larger brains, which it then uses to attack vegetarians. Again, we know we developed larger brains (for whatever reason - it's totally irrelevant to the argument and thus ignored). How did we do so? How were we able to support the larger energy requirements? Well, we ate meat, and in fact had to eat meat or else we are left unable to explain how early man survived with a growing brain and shrinking gut. Thus, vegetarian claims about early man's diet are wrong. That's it. That's the argument. There's nothing in there about why anything because that's not the intent.

This thread focused entirely on the "brains + eating meat" step of the argument, but managed to invert it. The claim, as I state in your quote, is not that eating meat causes larger brains. The claim is that it enables larger brains, and would have been necessary to support larger brains. You saw the word "causal" and assumed that I was claiming that larger brains caused meat eating, but this is not so. Read the sentence again. "Our brains were expanding, so we had to eat meat". The first clause is a condition we know to be true, and the second is a logical deduction from it. I think the tense is screwing you up, let me restate it more clearly:

"Our brains were expanding, so we had to be eating meat."

Better? Eating meat was necessary to support expanding brains at that time in our evolution.

Although, now that I think about, you could argue that brains growing would cause more meat eating, if only because those populations that ate less meat would be selected away. But that's indirect, and again, not really the point of the argument being made.

Hot Topics / Re: Are we meat eaters or vegetarians ?
« on: September 30, 2009, 09:34:25 pm »
Eating meat doesn't make brains magically grow, it allows more resources for brains (and other organs) to grow. But if there were exceptional demands on the brain in conjunction with extra nutritional resources, then..
This summarizes the argument made by the article pretty well. I'm not sure what your disagreement is... this sentence is exactly what you called a non sequitur at the top of your post. I'm also not sure why you point out that this leaves "why" unanswered; yes, it very explicitly leaves "why" unanswered because that's outside the scope of the argument.

Hot Topics / Re: Are we meat eaters or vegetarians ?
« on: September 30, 2009, 05:25:35 pm »
Perhaps it's wrong for those exceptions, but for humans it holds true.

It's actually not that important to the case being made here. It establishes the theoretical framework of why our brains didn't just start sucking energy while everything else remained the same: we only had a certain energy budget and something had to give. The observational framework, which is fairly well established, is that our guts shrank while our brains grew. From there it's easy to derive meat-eating as being an enabler along that path.

Hot Topics / Re: Are we meat eaters or vegetarians ?
« on: September 30, 2009, 06:22:22 am »
Yes, but then it changes in size. Kleiber's law has held for many observed organisms (hence its status as a "law"). You can't be the size of a human with an elephant's metabolism. You'd need to be roughly the size of the elephant to have the same overall expenditure.

If you increased in size while also increasing the relative expenditure of your brain, your gut would be proportionally smaller when you settled at your larger size. The end result would be the same as if you had stayed the same size overall and just traded off between the two, with a smaller gut relative to overall body.'s_law

No one has a good theoretical explanation as to why this is, but the observations are too consistent to dismiss the law.

And again, I must stress that the link between the two goes more like "brain growing -> meat eating" than the other way around. We ate meat to support larger brains - those brains didn't magically appear due to eating meat.

Hot Topics / Re: Are we meat eaters or vegetarians ?
« on: September 30, 2009, 04:47:51 am »
I think you guys missed the point.

Eating meat didn't magically cause larger brains. Eating meat allowed for larger brains. Also, "larger" is the wrong thing to focus on. "More metabolically active" is correct in terms of Kleiber's law.

To reduce the argument to a strict syllogism:

1) Kleiber's Law establishes that animals of a given total size will have some maximum amount of metabolic activity.

2) If, over evolutionary time, one organ decreases its metabolic requirements, the others must pick up the deficit. If one organ increases its metabolic requirements, the others must decrease theirs.

3) Therefore, for humans to evolve more metabolically active brains, they must have decreased their metabolic expenditure elsewhere.

So, left with that conclusion, the next question that is "what did we give up?" Again, a syllogism:

1) The above syllogism establishes that for humans to increase the metabolic expenditure of their brains, other organs must have given up some metabolic activity.

2) The organs that appear to have given way are those related to digestion. This is evidenced by the fossil record and contemporary comparisons.

3) Therefore, for the human brain to increase its metabolic expenditure, a change in diet must have taken place.

Finally, we ask ourselves what change in diet:

1) The previous syllogism establishes that a change in diet must have taken place for the human brain to expand.

2) The most widely available food which was calorically and nutritionally dense enough to enable humans to live with smaller guts is meat.

3) Therefore, for the human brain to increase its metabolic expenditure, humans must have started eating meat in preference to other foods.

Notice the causal links here. Our brains were expanding, so we had to eat meat. Not, we ate meat so our brains magically grew.

The selective pressures that lead to humans evolving active brains are not considered by this theory. Those selective pressures demanded humans develop more active brains. As those pressures selected for those brains, humans that ate meat were able to support them, by giving up their large digestive tracts. The more meat you ate, the less you need to use your guts, the more you could use your brain, and the more likely you were to survive whatever selective pressure existed that was pushing you towards using your brain more. Thus selective pressure for meat-eating due to its ability to support active brains.

That pressure or pressures could have been anything. The claim is that eating meat enabled or was necessary for us to evolve large brains, not that it was the sole factor in our development of large brains.


Here's an important quote from the article:
Any or all of these hypotheses may be valid, but the problem isn’t really as much a matter of why as it is a matter of how.  Other primates deal with groups and have complex foraging strategies; and many deal with social problems within their groups, and some even hunt.  Yet they still have small brains.  (Granted, their brains are larger for their size than those of other mammals, but primates sport small brains as compared to humans.)  How did the human brain grow?
Note the emphasis on how as opposed to why.

Hot Topics / Re: The dodgy Weston Price
« on: September 17, 2009, 10:51:05 pm »
I note that not one of those links actually examined the Mongoloid idiot claim, thereby rendering your continued assertions in that regard moot.

Again, there is every reason to be skeptical of Price's conclusions. There is no reason whatsoever to claim that they are "dodgy", fraudulent or dishonest. Ascribing motive to incorrectness is unwarranted and irrational without significant proof. It simply does not follow on its own, and you have not provided any convincing reason for Price to spend years of his life compiling a giant pile of lies. Even assuming he was blinkered by a deeply held belief that natives were superior, it doesn't change the actual observational data. It only affects the weight of his conclusions.

I don't particularly disagree with one component of your claim, that Price should not be taken as gospel. No one should. However, your continued dismissal of anything you disagree with, and your continued assertion that this was active fraud and dishonesty are not well supported and not well constructed. For instance, you attack Price for making "dodgy" claims by citing a doctor (Furhman) who advocates an essentially vegetarian diet. Vegetarian?! What a liar and a fraud Furhman must be! What a dishonest charlatan! Why would you reference such a worthless, dodgy person?

Price's data is just that, data. He went around, took pictures of people's faces and teeth, and noted the striking difference between those eating their traditional diet and those eating the western diet of the time. That's virtually the entire substance of the book. He does not claim that natives had "perfect health". He claims that they had better health than their related contemporaries eating a western diet. Given the western diet of the time, this should be unsurprising and uncontroversial.

I did not take his claims of perfect childbirth, or the other random things he noted, as something intended to be believed as gospel. I read it as an observation or secondhand story being related in the notes. You seem to be taking it as some sort of intentional fraud intended to convince you of something - I did not get that impression at all. You are projecting your prejudice on to the text and then, apparently, believing it to be the only correct interpretation. There's no reason to be paranoid and no reason to ascribe a motive that tickles your superiority complex. Data just is, observations just are, and to call either fraudulent requires a whole hell of a lot more work than just saying "Well it is because I believe it so."

Hot Topics / Re: The dodgy Weston Price
« on: September 16, 2009, 07:50:19 pm »
Tyler, you're making a fundamental attribution error. You seem to think someone being wrong makes them a liar and a fraud, or "dodgy". That's neither logical nor rational.

Since you have no clinical experience whatsoever, I find your continued assertion that you know exactly how wrong Price was or how he lied with respect to the Mongoloid idiot difficult to respond to. Your argument in that regard boils down to "I believe that he's a fraud, and will fit the evidence to that belief as necessary." Your total lack of experience, qualification or expertise is incapable of denting your ironclad confidence in your belief. You claim that multitudes of scientists back you on this; can you cite, say, five articles by five different authors evaluating Price's claims, please?

You're now claiming that fetal alcohol syndrome was the reason Price saw deformed faces in every society he went to. Incredible. I'm sure you're aware of the hasty generalization fallacy, so I wonder why you continue to apply it. Making absurd claims in an attempt to show someone else's claims to be absurd is an interesting tactic; I can't wait to see where you go next. Smoking and exercise as causative factors in dental development and rapid tooth decay? Really, what is so hard to accept about vitamin deficiency leading to developmental problems given the indisputable fact that a diet based on bleached grains and sugar is deficient in vitamins and minerals?

At this point, were I to apply your standard of fraud with respect to price to your posts, I would have to conclude that you are an outright liar and a fraud. It would also be interesting for you to actually enumerate and explain every time you write "etc, etc" or claim "multiple sources" - perhaps then I could actually evaluate your claims on merit rather than be expected to accept them on your authority. I'm not a fan of ex cathedra, either.

Hot Topics / Re: The dodgy Weston Price
« on: September 15, 2009, 07:19:35 pm »
You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, yet you claim absolute authority. Are you playing devil's advocate or are you serious?

Price did something and reported a result. You are leaping to conclusions left and right to support your notion that he's a fraud and a liar - there's a simple alternative explanation between "cured Down's" and "fraudulent quack", which is simply "corrected other problem". We have no idea if the child even actually had Down's syndrome or simply had some brain issue that generated similar symptoms. We have no idea if the improvement in brain function would be sustained or repeatable in other patients. We lack the data to evaluate Price's claim, which indeed should be treated with skepticism. However, to call it absurd, fraudulent or dishonest is totally unwarranted, irrational and unskeptical - it shows a prejudice being projected on the data rather than a cold, objective analysis.

You claim that no brain tissue was built up - how do you know? Why is that even relevant or necessary for the obtained result? You claim that it's absurd that changes can take place rapidly over three months - really? What clinical experience do you have to back that claim up? Let's review: you don't know what the problem with the child was, you have no training or schooling which would inform your opinion, you have no clinical experience treating patients with this type of surgery, yet you can state absolutely and without qualification that Price is lying. Apply your own standard of proof to your own claims and see what conclusion that leads you to.

Again. The man was wrong on many issues. That does not mean he is a fraud or that his observations should be thrown away as wrong.

You now make yet another sweeping general claim, that alcohol played a greater part in the ill health of populations than the switch to a western diet. Alcohol? Alcohol is part of the western diet. Leaving aside the obvious contradiction, I'm left wondering why it is you are grasping at such a straw. Of course alcoholism destroys people. Does it also rot their teeth, destroy their facial structure development and cause multiple vitamin deficiencies? Are you actually claiming that every single native populations' children were consuming enough alcohol to cause those issues? And you attack Price for absurd claims! Those problems were obviously caused by malnutrition, predominately as a result of switching to a bleached flour/sugar based diet. Alcohol certainly played a role in the breakdown of many societies' structure and health, but to claim that it's somehow a significant confounding factor demands a much greater justification than a bald assertion.

You seem desperate to find one thing on which you can base a wholesale dismissal of everything Price did that doesn't fit your belief system. Why? Most people seem capable of separating the 1930s medical theory from the 1930s observed results without throwing out the whole lot while accusing the man of being a liar.

Hot Topics / Re: The dodgy Weston Price
« on: September 15, 2009, 08:12:19 am »
I just broke out my copy of NAPD to check out the Down Syndrome case TylerDurden references.

Here's a basic summary:

A "mongoloid defective" with significant facial deformity was given a dental appliance which widened his upper jaw. The result reported was that the boy exhibited marked physical and mental changes after the surgery, developing mentally and physically. When the appliance became broken, he regressed mentally back to a state of lethargy accompanied by nausea, which cleared up when the appliance was put back in place.

Price's hypothesis was that by forcing the facial structure of the boy into something approaching normalcy, the brain was allowed to develop. Specifically, by opening the skull, the pituitary gland was either stimulated or allowed to release normal growth signals. Price's idea, I think, was that facial development was some sort of trigger for other developmental changes, and so widening the boy's maximal arch caused further development to occur. The boy was not cured and Price does not appear to claim that he reached a "normal" state. He simply developed further than a typical case of "Mongoloid idiot" usually would, due to a correction of some of the problems associated with the condition that alleviated other symptoms.

Even assuming that Price's explanation of the results was wrong, there is no reason to cast extreme doubt on the observed result itself. To claim that Price simply doctored the accompanying photographs and invented the story is unwarranted, and not rational. There is no reason to believe that he is lying about the event. He might be wrong, even deluded, but without some reason to believe that he's lying, it's not justified to claim that he's acting fraudulently.

Hot Topics / Re: The dodgy Weston Price
« on: September 14, 2009, 09:34:25 pm »
Of course smallpox is very relevant indeed as Price claimed that the native populations died or suffered healthwise because of a switch to a western type of diet, whereas, as with smallpox and other issues, one can see that there were plenty of alternative explanations. When someone like Price carefully ignores such aspects, he is clearly being dishonest.
They did suffer due to that switch. Nowhere did he claim that they suffered exclusively due to that switch. Unless you are claiming that smallpox causes tooth decay, the evidence Price collected is conclusive in that regard (especially considering the vast array of confirmation from other sources). You are inventing strawmen here.

Go ahead and read the chapter. Price claims that the child showed improvement after the surgery which was later reversed post surgery. There is not enough detail in the account to really say what was going on. To cry "fraud! dishonesty!" is completely unwarranted. For all you know, the child Price operated on happened to have an unknown other ailment which was alleviated by the surgery, creating a confounding result. You have no actual clinical experience in this area and so your absolute claim of fraud/dishonesty is worth even less than Price's writings on the subject; at least he was a dentist. He presented his hypothesis as to why the change occurred - not his claim for a cure.

I don't understand your tone and attitude towards Price. It's as if you have a personal vendetta against him. Science is testing and falsifiying ideas with experiment. Hurling abuse at a dead guy and his observations because he was wrong in how he interpreted them is neither scientific nor rational. No one is right all the time and all scientists are in fact wrong most of the time. This does not imply that they are wrong all of the time, and that we should seize on their failures to throw out everything they did.

I agree that Price's claims should be treated with skepticism. I think all claims should be treated with skepticism. However, that skepticism must be rational, open and demanding of testable hypothesis, not angry, adamant and dismissive.

Hot Topics / Re: The dodgy Weston Price
« on: September 14, 2009, 08:30:16 pm »
Did you actually read Nutrition and Physical Degeneration or are you attacking it second hand?

The WAPF is not the same as Weston Price. He did not claim that native people's were in perfect health, he claimed that their health was superior relative to their contemporaries living on a western diet. He then proceeded to document that with pictures and spent the rest of his life trying to explain it with vitamin theory. He quite clearly documented dental caries and illness in native diet populations, which is not something you do if you're trying to prove that they're in "perfect health". The main point about infectious disease he noted was that native dieters tended to survive  better and/or become infected less than western dieters (I'm thinking particularly of the Inuit and northern Indian chapters here). Obviously smallpox, being non-native and deadly, wiped out huge swaths of native populations, but that's not relevant to Price's observations.

Your fixation on Down's Syndrome would go away if you actually read the chapter about the "mongloid" child. There is no claim of a cure. There was simply the documented result of physical changes in the child after palate separation surgery, which reversed after the surgery was reversed. It's entirely possible, in fact probable, that the improvement obtained by the surgery had little to do with Down's syndrome at all. Price brought the result up as interesting but he didn't claim that surgery was a cure for Down's. It's not like the child suddenly became high functioning. He just went through measurable signs of puberty and had less mood issues until the surgery was reversed. This was important data to Price, given that he was a dentist who theorized that facial structure had measurable impact on mentality.

Again, you should actually read the source material if you want to attack it intelligently. Price was a product of his time and by no means a dietary messiah. He does make numerous claims that have since either been proven false or otherwise shown to be incorrect. But your attack here is little better than setting up a strawman. He wasn't a fraudster, he was a scientist. Science is the process of testing ideas by experiment, which means that you find a lot of ideas that are wrong along the way. A lot of Price's ideas were wrong. That doesn't invalidate his observations and it sure doesn't make him a fraud.

Hot Topics / Re: The Hibernation® Diet
« on: September 07, 2009, 08:29:35 pm »
Breaking down a disaccharide molecule is one of the simplest digestive things your body does. If you eat a tablespoon of table sugar, you will end up with "honey" in your small intestine ready for absorption just as if you eat a tablespoon of honey. The difference is negligible unless you have some sort of issue with your pancreas producing sucrase, or some other severe digestive issue. The fact that honey is pre-digested is only a distinguishing factor if you are consuming massive quantities of honey versus massive quantities of table sugar.

Bacteria in the small intestine and in the large intestine will readily ferment glucose and fructose. The source does not matter. If you are leaking table sugar into your large intestines due to damage to your digestive system, it's very likely you'll do the same with honey, which will have the same effect. Of course, if you have personal experience and evidence to present, that would be interesting to hear.

It'd be much more interesting than reading your exact matching copy/paste responses taken from Right now I don't think you're actually thinking about what you're saying. You're just copy/pasting something that sounds good.

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