Rule 1 – functions are multivariate.
Exception 1 – one variable is so dominant that others may be ignored
Rule 2 – a scientific experiment must change one variable at a time
Conclusion – science constantly misunderstands things.
For example, suppose one thinks a high salt diet causes high blood pressure.
One puts patients on a low salt diet and validates compliance.
Result: very few control their blood pressure.
Conclusion: high salt diet does not cause high blood pressure. In other words, high blood pressure is not univariate with respect to high salt.
Now suppose one takes a multivariate approach
High blood pressure is not caused by any one thing. Deficiencies in any or all of the following drive the process:
2. Psychological health
3. Restorative functions such as sleep and exercise.
Test the effect of varying just any one and except for #2, the effect will be small. One will wrongly conclude that diet and sleep and exercise have basically nothing to do with the problem. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
One might conclude that deficiencies in psychological health drive the process, because if corrected, diet will likely improve somewhat and so will sleep and exercise. Improving diet does not address the psychological difficulties that also affect sleep and exercise. Improving sleep with narcotics would probably make things worse, and increasing exercise without addressing awful diet and psychological ailments that also hamper sleep will accomplish little.
Now do a shotgun experiment – transport patients into a primitive culture. Initially they will be worse until they adjust to the radically different lifestyle. Eventually, their problems, blood pressure and so many other ailments (except when they are genetic) will go away. Why? Because convenience foods are gone, nutrition is proper – whole foods and big portions; people live “deliberately, fronting only the essential facts of life,” implying that they stop fretting about nonsense, and they exercise and sleep well. In other words, they have NONE of our critical deficiencies.
Some people call diseases like high blood pressure a disease of “civilization” Yes, it is a form of dis-ease, and yes so-called civilization is part of the problem. But really, it is our pathetic, self-induced psychological ills and the absurd lifestyle (convenience foods, too many drugs and too much alcohol, poor sleep, and sedentariness) that necessarily accompanies these problems.