realities of science

So much goes into how you phrase things, how data is cherry picked, how bias plays a role…it goes back to that quote: “Luck happens when preparation meets opportunity”, or some similar variation. Or, you could even say it is analogous to “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Just replace beauty with evidence, haha.

Lesson? (I think my dad for encouraging this in me): NEVER take things at face value. ALWAYS be critical. PRIMARY sources are paramount.

Case in point:

As reviewed by the NYT. A hugely popular book, considered the vegan bible by many
Trusty ol’ Wikipedia’s article <–I say this very tongue-in-cheek-ly, but I do like the ease of wikipedia to at least put things in a general context 😛

Some more links on the China Study:

A Google Books Preview
More detail from the author
Amazon link — look at those rave reviews!

 Sounds awesome right? But then…

Critical Review from Science Based Medicine (from a group of physicians)

In summary, Dr. Hall’s conclusions:

“It would be wonderful if we could prevent cancer and all those other diseases by avoiding animal protein. It would have the extra added benefit to the environment of increasing the productivity of agricultural land and reducing the greenhouse effects of gassy cows. I look forward to future well-designed studies investigating the effects of very low protein and animal-protein-free diets. Meanwhile, The China Study makes a good case, but the case isn’t quite good enough

 Another criticism, THOUGH to be fair, from also a questionable, very biased source. Quote: (one of the commentators on the SBM link:

“Weston A Price is deemed a questionable dentist and the Weston A Price Foundation is deemed a questionable resource of health information by Quackwatch.

Their agenda is to propagate, among other things, the claim that a high-fat diet with plenty of full-fat, pastured-fed muscle and organ meats and lots and lots of raw, full-fat dairy will produce optimal health and cure many chronic diseases.

Keeping their agenda in mind, it’s no wonder that they have an article vociferously arguing against the China Study, which purports the same outcome as their advocated diet, but in a somewhat diametrical manner.”

However, I stand by the SBM Critical Review, because it does seem to come from a less-biased source.Still, just look at all the contradictions within contradictions! Basically, again, PRIMARY SOURCES. I am at fault for not citing primary sources in my criticism articles, but then again they are meant to just prove a point that information can be skewed so many ways.

PS: From my limited 10 minutes spent reading this, the reports from SBM seem reasonable. However, I have not actually LOOKED for a criticism of this site so I’ll just put this here to look back on later



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s