Or I have to find other people who will say what I want them to say. EpiMonitor: But that’s another issue, the question of unintended consequences. And if you don’t, then it can’t possibly make that much difference to any single individual because if it doesn’t make enough of a difference to 10,000, then it’s probably mildly irrelevant and anyone who wants to do it can flip a coin and decide on their own.” But if somebody says to me, “Can you be sure this will help” all I can say is “I don’t know. One at the Dallas Morning News, one at CNN in Atlanta and one at Discover in New York. As John Ioannidis said, “Claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias,” even if the investigators “working in the field are likely to resist accepting that the whole field in which they have spent their careers is a ‘null field.’”. Because it’s the same problems that come up in our every day life. It’s like an exclusive club. [11] Cardiologist John W. Farquhar commented that "Gary Taubes tricked us all into coming across as supporters of the Atkins diet. Everybody talks about artifacts and biases and how they understand those and deal with them but it’s all very theoretical, and the field doesn’t have the checks and balances that other sciences have. Just as a significant proportion of the folks who smoke never get lung cancer. So now we’ve got a problem. in the U.S. and/or other countries. To answer these questions, it helps to have a better understanding of what a functioning science looks like. Again there is always a very great danger that I might have been seduced by my hypothesis just like every other lousy scientist out there. Epi Monitor: Some epidemiologists have said they believe you were primarily writing this article just to get attention. You cannot act on premature data. That was obvious. It’s not really there. Epidemiologists don’t have that same kind of culture in which people go to such extreme lengths to check their results and to avoid being wrong. EpiMonitor: I’m going to try one more time to get you to talk about solutions. I’ve included a few notes and fixes in brackets. There’s a huge gap between reality and understanding and the best epidemiologists know about the gap. The rats went immediately to the door where the food had been the time before. Science has to live with its limitations as well. One reason I say this is that the [Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute] investigators who did the study conclude that low-fat diets reduce the risk of breast cancer, or at least the recurrence of breast cancer, but they have no mechanism to explain why it would work. [17], Taubes authored The Case Against Sugar in 2016. That causes us not to have the rigor that you think the scientific method demands. Because there is much less benefit from publishing bad science. Carbohydrates, particularly refined ones like white bread and pasta, raise insulin … [Read more], Among Americans, diabetes is more prevalent today than ever; obesity is at epidemic proportions; nearly 10% of children are thought to have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. In good experimental science, for instance, you’re not to throw out two-thirds of the data right off the bat because it’s negative. And this could be the case, despite all the best interest and intellectual firepower of the researchers involved. Epi Monitor: Let’s try to go back for a moment. His book Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It was released in December 2010. Taubes: Well again my problem with commenting on that is that most of what I’ve been concentrating on in my later work has been historic. In this case, the Washington Post actually ran the story the day before the Times did and the Post ran it on the front page. It may be better on the level that people are slightly more attuned to possible shortcomings; the coverage has become slightly more sophisticated, at least in some outlets. Taubes: I think I just answered that in my last answer. I’m accumulating positive evidence and ignoring negative evidence. That doesn’t seem to be a criteria in epidemiology. In SIDS it may not have been a randomized controlled trial. Tell that to the makers of saccharin. He describes the front line of scientific research as the place not to find believable results. As I’ve been thinking about black swans lately and what evidence would constitute a refutation or a falsification of ideas/hypotheses, and specifically those in my books, it seemed I should address this one as well. Given that we are almost guaranteed to get press, that there is a sort of built-in interest in what we do, should that add an extra level of precaution? We could control the dissemination of the results for a longer period of time and allow basically a longer gestation period. In epidemiology, if you throw money at an effect and it doesn’t get any bigger, you do a meta-analysis! From a thermodynamic perspective, a calorie is a calorie (48), irrespective of its macronutrient source. You work on it for ten years and you make sure that what you publish is believable. It may or may not be true. Taubes: The point of the publication of the paper is so that you get more people to tell you where you probably screwed up because the chances of discovering anything new are infinitesimal compared to the chances of discovering something incorrect. I haven’t got a clue what the answer is. And this mindset is that of someone who will stop at nothing to learn the truth, and will publish nothing that can’t be defended against all known criticisms. Public health had these controversies. Life is unintended consequences. And maybe honey, and the fact that the Hadza wouldn’t drink it (lacking hot tea to put it in) has different physiological effects than sugar, which is and can be consumed in liquid form and so can be digested far more quickly and hypothetically do far more harm. You have to try and prove you’re wrong. Carlo Rubia, who had already come up with the Nobel Prize qualifying discovery of two particles known as W and Z particles, claimed that he was onto a discovery that was even more important than that which everyone knew would get him the Nobel Prize, and which would be the greatest breakthrough in physics in 40 years. Taubes and Attia thought those questions needed a more streamlined research approach to get real answers. For instance, I couldn’t mention pathological science in the article because none of the epidemiologists knew about it even though I started sending it to people, hoping that one of them would say, “gee this is interesting,” and make the comparison for me. You don’t know. So there is no real motivation to do anything less. Now, physics isn’t epidemiology. It comes from a physicist named. I’m fascinated with these questions: how do we know what to believe? I’m sure he would put the odds at better than 50%, but I wouldn’t. EpiMonitor: Only when you’ve gone through all these hurdles do you consider publication of the paper. Again this could be my own focus. This should be your next question. Taubes: Well, what I am saying is the warts are huge. First we guess it. If 70% of the people, whether epidemiologists, or public health types, or nutritionists, or whatever, believe something, we can tell the public that it’s probably right.


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