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Over at PowerlineBlog, there’s a post about the newly released analysis of the diet proposed 40 years ago as the one to lead us to good health.

But guess what? It turns out it wasn’t all that good for us. And the data pointing this out didn’t appear until just recently, but, instead, appeared years ago. But why publish data that conflicts with your beloved theory?

They include these quotes from the Washington Post:

“Incomplete publication has contributed to the overestimation of benefits and underestimation of potential risks” of the special diet, they wrote.

But Broste suggested that at least part of the reason for the incomplete publication of the data might have been human nature. The Minnesota investigators had a theory that they believed in — that reducing blood cholesterol would make people healthier. Indeed, the idea was widespread and would soon be adopted by the federal government in the first dietary recommendations. So when the data they collected from the mental patients conflicted with this theory, the scientists may have been reluctant to believe what their experiment had turned up.

“The results flew in the face of what people believed at the time,” said Broste. “Everyone thought cholesterol was the culprit. This theory was so widely held and so firmly believed — and then it wasn’t borne out by the data. The question then became: Was it a bad theory? Or was it bad data? …

Gosh. This couldn’t possibly be at work when it comes to Darwin’s theory, could it?

'... like something can’t come from nothing.' So, you're suggesting something can't come from nothing. A typical Christian bigot ! It's so unfair. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLuEY6jN6gY Axel
Gpuccio: However, there are different levels of honesty when dealing with cognitive bias. Even if we cannot get rid of it, we can keep it under reasonable control, if we are honest enough.
Honesty is the luxury one cannot afford if one chooses to support a worldview which aims at reducing all things worthwhile to meaningless flotsam. Origenes
gpuccio: However, there are different levels of honesty when dealing with cognitive bias. Even if we cannot get rid of it, we can keep it under reasonable control, if we are honest enough. AS AN ASIDE: Here in the United States, because of the great Leftist/liberal way of thinking (read here, 'attack on human nature') the ethical restraints in the legal profession that had built up over time were all questioned, and then, with some flimsy hypothetical good being invoked, abandoned. And hell has been wrought. This is now happening within science---and, again, because of a liberal ( thought not YET 'leftist') attack on nature itself; i.e., causality. The problem our world faces is that of "ideology uber alles." Ultimately, we can thank our Enlightenment friends for all of this. Eternal truths---like something can't come from nothing---have been jettisoned along the way, and we are paying the price. And it looks ugly. [Take a look, for example, over at ENV for Weikart's post: "Why My Critics Care So Much About the Darwin-Hitler Connection"] [N.B. Notice the title of his new book: The Death of Humanity. Leftists/liberals hate reality, and, since human nature only gets in the way of their "ideas," it, too, must "surrender" to their "ideas." It is a hellish position they take.] PaV
Do you all now consider statins to be irrelevant ? It would be nice if they were. Axel
"The Minnesota investigators had a theory that they believed in..." Apparently it was based upon hypothesis-confirming non-science...as is most of today's science (and one of the reasons why published papers are so hard to reproduce). Nobody cares about Popper anymore? Peer
Going into the biases that we suspect other people of having is something that anyone who has read Genesis 3 should have learned to avoid. The way the error happened is best left for the people who committed it to discern and confess, so that they can regain our trust and adjust their methods and procedures so that errors of the same kind don't happen again. For the rest of us, the important fact is that the conclusions drawn were incorrect. Unfortunately, it takes the better part of a decade for public policy to respond to the revelation that the basis for existing policy is erroneous. This is the chief reason that public policy should not be created by rubber-stamping the conclusions of researchers. EvilSnack
It's called publication bias, which is a form of confirmation bias. Which is a well known form of the more general problem, cognitive bias. The fault is not in scientists, but in human nature: cognitive bias cannot really be erased from human cognition. However, there are different levels of honesty when dealing with cognitive bias. Even if we cannot get rid of it, we can keep it under reasonable control, if we are honest enough. There is no doubt that cognitive bias is the only reason why neo darwinism is still considered a credible scientific theory. Any other theory so incapable of explaining what it tries to explain, and so unsupported, even falsified, by observed facts, would have been discarded a lot of time ago. One of the problems is intellectual honesty. The other important aspect is conformism in thought. The rule is, the more a theory is believed to be true by the vast majority of people, the more the confirmation bias and cognitive bias it generates. gpuccio
My cardiologist just last year plain told me that eating fat wasn't what caused heart disease. She asked me my family history and I pointed out that nobody had ever died from a heart attack. She asked if we ate meat with every meal and I said no, sometimes we didn't eat meat for three or four days except frying eggs in bacon fat. I told her that though I'm overweight I don't overeat. She said she knew that was quite possible and all my heart tests came back (sono/ct scan) with no blockage or problems, she pointed out that eating too much meat is what has caused the jump in heart attacks in the last 100 years according to the latest research. Heat changes the character of the protein in meat. Medium rare beef is better for you than well cooked chicken. Some fish were exceptions, wild salmon (of course) and small fish like sardine and kippers. The same fish that have low cancer causing ingredients. What I found to be enlightening was animal fat wasn't the problem, it was animal protein. Milk and eggs were actually not a problem unless overcooked. I wonder what studies she was quoting, but the old saying, everything in moderation. I mean who needs meat every day? She didn't have any great things to say about non dairy or non egg vegans either. She was the one who originally found my kidney cancer in 2008 because she didn't like my blood tests, the only one who thought so. A good doctor and pretty too. jimmontg
Get LOST, low-fat cottage cheese. ;) News

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