SpyderEdgeForever wrote: ↑
Mon Nov 26, 2018 6:15 pm
In a wider context, how can we pin down the effect of certain causes, when it comes to more indirect things?
For example: It is common to hear that eating certain fatty foods stops up the arteries and leads to heart disease and heart attacks and other illnesses. And yet we also see examples where people spend their entire lives eating such fatty foods and they live to a ripe old age and even do not seem to gain alot of excess weight. But then there are examples of people who are as thin as a rail who die of heart attacks. And so, can we say with surety that fatty food is a major cause of heart diseases and heart attacks or not?
Obviously some things are more direct: If a person has a condition like diabetes and does not take their insulin if they have to take insulin, they can go into diabetic shock.
Take something like seat belts and helmets for those who bike. Is there any objective proof and evidence that wearing seat belts definitely cuts down on motorist deaths, and that bike helmets save the lives of bikers and bicyclists in crashes?
1. Good experimental technique gives good data and carefully understanding any biases and uncontrolled environmental effects allows us to make solid predictions that certain causes will create certain effect- with all other things being equal
2. Human beings are messy sources of good data due to many, many variables which become impossible to control- not the least of which is the fact that we react differently when we know we are in some form of a trial (and that's without annoying stuff like the placebo effect etc)
Add in our genetic propensity to develop certain illnesses (There's a reason they ask if there's a family
history of heart attacks on medical surveys) and it becomes even messier
So- when it comes to humans we have to get into big statistical studies and that means any cause/effect relationships
Any prediction made is based on the average- not the outliers.
in 1973 it became mandatory to wear a helmet on a motorcycle in the UK.
In 1969 there were 1600 motorcycle fatalities
In 1975 there were 600 motorcycle fatalities.
UK Motorcycle fatalities have had a general downward trend.....despite the average top speed of motorcycles greatly increasing.
You don't have to a genius to realise that the human skull and body is designed to survive impacts at our maximum running speed of about 20mph.
When we travel much faster than that and we (soft bag of meat) hit something harder than we are (like every single other thing we'll encounter on or near the road) then we come off worst.
The stuff with fats-vs-carbs-vs-sugars at the moment is part of a long complicated history of food science which gets wrapped up in the various lobby groups and dodgy data that results......Never forget that fad diets are created so writers can sell books first and foremost
Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fresh self-prepared meals along with a reasonable amount of exercise will do as much to put you in the best place from a health perspective as any fad diet.
Warhammer 40000 is- basically- Lord Of The Rings on a cocktail of every drug known to man and genuine lunar dust, stuck in a blender with Alien, Mechwarrior, Dune, Starship Troopers, Fahrenheit 451 and Star Wars, bathed in blood, turned up to eleventy billion, set on fire, and catapulted off into space screaming "WAAAGH!" and waving a chainsaw sword- without the happy ending.