In good science … cognitive bias is addressed … by deciding in advance of looking at the evidence (or doing a trial) what criteria will be used to judge the worth of the evidence (the results of the trial) without knowledge of whether that evidence supports our hypotheses. This is one reason why clinical trials are done double blind, and the data analyzed by researchers who are blinded to whether the subjects were interventions or controls, such that the biases of the investigators (or even the subjects) don’t bias the interpretation of the results.
For whatever reason, when it comes to heart disease and dietary fat, the investigators whom the American Heart Association chooses to determine what we should or should not eat have never been believers in this kind of, well, scientific methodology. This was the general conclusion of my first investigation into the dietary fat story going on 20 years ago for the journal Science. I’d like to say the situation has improved, but clearly it hasn’t. The latest Presidential Advisory from the AHA on saturated fat is the AHA’s expert authorities – what Inspector Renaud in Casablanca would have called “the usual suspects” – reiterating that they were right fifty years ago, and they were right 20 years ago, and they’re still right. And the techniques they used to come to those conclusions can be used again and again until someone stops them. Which is unlikely to happen.
The human understanding, once it has adopted opinions, either because they were already accepted and believed, or because it likes them, draws everything else to support and agree with them. And though it may meet a greater number and weight of contrary instances, it will, with great and harmful prejudice, ignore or condemn or exclude them by introducing some distinction, in order that the authority of those earlier assumptions may remain intact and unharmed.
–Francis Bacon, Novum Organum , 1620
New cutting board. Custom woodwork
We have had neighbourhood cats that my children have befriended over the years that bring us dead mice and birds as gifts, haha.
Is Le vigne rouge à Arles really the only painting Van Gogh sold during his lifetime?
Hahahaha… too true!
Haha --this reminds me of my grand daughter telling me we have to make sure we put cookies out for Santa…
I remember watching my dad eat the stuff we left out for santa (sneakily spying from him from upstairs looking through the railing, he didn’t hear me.
Long but interesting. Not that anyone here would use food as a status symbol to distinquish themselves from the hoi polloi… oops.
I don’t know about that one Michael. I spent under $4 for a decent sized starter, dug a hole and planted it, watered it occasionally for a couple of months, quit doing anything else even watering and ended up with a couple hundred tomatoes.
But things are different here from where you are and tomatoes thrive in my yard every time I plant a bush. And being able to pick them perfectly ripe from the vine grown organically and dry farmed, you just can’t get that in Walmart. The smell when you pick them is incredible to me.
When I homesteaded in the Yukon at Lake Laberge, we grew tomatoes both regular-sized ones in the greenhouse and cherry-sized ones in the garden. I don’t remember the variety of the hot house tomatoes. The cherry tomatoes were a special variety developed by the Yukon branch of Canada’s equivalent of the USDA specifically for the Yukon. Both grew quite well and we ate lots of tomatoes. Although I’m sure we expended a lot more time and effort on them than you do! We had to water everything daily because we lived in a ‘micro-climate’ on the east shore of Laberge where it was somewhat warmer than typical and very dry. Little or no rain during the growing season.