Nutrition Science And Climate Science

How they’re alike:

Nutrition science and climate science share some common challenges: complex system(s) and many confounding factors. Severe tests for nutrition science can in principle be done, but they are very expensive and take decades. Severe tests for climate science require better observational evidence, particularly in the past.

When there’s no evidence to falsify what is merely a supposition,we are left with ”magical theories that explains absolutely everything – including diametrically contradictory phenomena, lack of logic and absence of evidence.”

There’s a lot of junk science associated with both.

8 thoughts on “Nutrition Science And Climate Science”

  1. I used to read a site Junkfood Science…haven’t check it in several years as the lady blogger didn’t have time to maintain it. Maybe its still there…guess I will check after writing this…anyway she was very good at tearing apart various papers. It reminded me of climate papers (or maybe it was climate that reminded me of Nutrition).

    Anyway they just jump on the bandwagon rather than doing actual science. Weston Price wasn’t too wacked out it appears

  2. it’s very easy to do nutrition trials in Animals (rats, Pigs, apes).

    It’s not hard to do nutrition trials in closed populations (Prisoners, Soldiers)
    The scurvy experiments were all done with sailors.

    Some climate experiments you can do in open areas, there are some great
    experiments done mimcking regional warming.

    and we are in a very large experiment now.

    1. Considering how hard it is to falsify AGW alarmist’s claims, you think they would be a little less dogmatic in their certainty that they know what they claim to.

  3. I have been saying this for a while about climate science. It is just not going to work to judge climate models by global surface temperature. For that, you get on the order of _one_ new data point per month. It will take forever to validate any models against new data.
    The obvious thing to do is use regional climate data; insist that the models match the climate in each local region. The problem is that climate is chaotic; no one really believes that they can make a model that can do that. They assume that by averaging over the whole world they get a non-chaotic measure, but they can’t verify that either. It’s tough, but pretending that the models work isn’t much of a solution.

    What I would think will (eventually) work is a detailed observation of what’s happening. When we can watch the increased insulin in the blood trigger the fat formation (or whatever is actually happening), for the particular person, then we can tell him, Your eating __ yesterday caused ___ effect: we saw it. Do ___ and ___ will happen instead.
    Note that I said “watch”. That’s a fuzzy term, and there are different levels in science of what “watching” something means. But we need to develop a far better ability to drill down and observe exactly what’s happening with the individual person, or the individual region on the globe, before we are likely to be able to draw good overall conclusions.

    I read a book a few years back about various ADD medicines, which featured MRI and PET brain scans of the patients involved. The author noted that the psychiatry field is one of the last ones in medicines where the doctor normally diagnoses and prescribes entirely based on symptoms, not (usually) able to actually look at the problem.

    1. I guess I’d add that, speaking for myself, I _know_ that the calorie paradigm is wrong. I have several times gone on a low-carb diet, eating just loads of chicken and such, and lost weight. Doesn’t mean that Taubes is right, but the conventional wisdom is wrong – at least for me.
      I was impressed that his article didn’t claim that he had more proof than the other side. He made it clear that proof is not available.

  4. One simple way to plow through some of the assumptions would be to tag certain compounds with various oxygen or carbon isotopes and introduce it along with the normal diet, such as C-14 enriched cholesterol. Then see if the C-14 ratio in blood cholesterol levels rises any faster than the bodies overall C-14 increase. This would quickly answer questions like whether the cholesterol you eat has any relation to the cholesterol in your blood, or whether the dietary input is broken down into other things or just passed along as a freebie.

    There have been countless idiotic dietary ideas, from early Cherokee and other tribes being reluctant to eat slow animals like pigs because it would make them slow, to European aristocracy reluctant to eat root crops because it would make them people “of the dirt”, to my recent observation that eating dark foods like chocolate or steak makes your skin darker, whereas eating light colored foods like vanilla ice cream lightens your skin and hair, and eating red colored foods can make you a freckly, sunburned carrot top. And of course if you’re a girl who wants a bit booty, eat lots of pears.

  5. Of course, an unstated question at the link is why Judith Curry seems to be every sharp, thinking rocket scientist’s soul mate or mental doppelganger, and I think the answer is familiarity with a field with huge promises, huge dreams, unsupportable predictions from government experts, stagnating progress, and an insight into her own field that matches that of Gene Kranz, Wayne Hale, and so many others,

    Knowing what you know and knowing what you don’t know. and how you might make progress on the unknowns, may be the mark of mature competence in a variety of cutting edge fields, because it not only shields against folly but lets one focus resources where they can do the most good.

    As engineers, we are obligated to call BS when we see it, even when the political wind blows against it, and to advance understanding the most crucial thing is to point out the area where more research is needed. The fatal flaw in the “consensus” is that by desperately trying to shore it up, the proponents are dodging the very questions that a critical thinker would hammer at to gain deeper insight.

    Judith Curry isn’t falling into the trap of posing as an oracle and is marking herself as a critical scientist, while Michael Mann is busy beclowning both himself and all of science, and would have better served advancement by restocking Fritos and Lays in the geoscience break-room snack machines.

  6. Seems to me that having a well designed experiment that measured caloric content of both food and waste, and had control groups who were neither storing nor burning stored energy (not gaining or losing weight), would go a long way toward characterizing some of this stuff.

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