The importance of contributors

Just think of it – the moment you discover that something “merely” contributes to an effect, don’t be discouraged!

You’ve made a bigger discovery. The phenomenon has no cause! The phenomenon may yet have a driver (something primarily responsible), but it cannot have a cause (something that is completely responsible).

And any phenomenon that has a contingency table with non-zero values cannot have a cause. If there are cases with no known exposure (for example, non-smokers who get lung cancer prove that cigarette smoking cannot possibly cause lung cancer), then exposure was not and is not necessary to get those cases. Without necessity, there is no SIN (sufficiency, immediacy, and necessity in two distinct senses), and without SIN, there is no causation.

Great job!

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Why nature is more reliable than doctors

Your body is the product of four billion years of mistakes.

Nature kills its mistakes; doctors call even their mistakes “sound medical advice.”

Nature sheds no tears when it kills off its mistakes. When it makes the right call, it moves on, makes more mistakes, and kills them off. Right calls survive and have offspring. Nature changes the rules and some well adapted species perish. Well, too bad. More mistakes of a sort by bungling nature. Fast forward four billion years and you have the human body. A whole lot of mistakes went into making this machine. Dead mistakes, dead and gone. Except – the mistakes live on in medical textbooks. Doctors memorize them and pass them on to us whenever they take sides against the available evidence, particularly the evidence of evolution, and anatomy and physiology.

Nature does not bury its mistakes.

Daily do grieving survivors bury doctors’ mistakes.

Moral: if your body tells you one thing and doctors say something quite different, more likely than not, nature is right. Trust your body; if you have been a good steward of your body, meaning that you have been giving it what it is trying to absorb (including fat and cholesterol), trust it even more. If your doctor is supremely confident in his wisdom, trust him less.

Arrogance plus ignorance = folly.

Few if any exceptions to that rule.

An unerring path to the truth?

Synonyms: ‘by rule’ and ‘most probable’; ‘exception’ and ‘less probable’.

Cause: that which is completely responsible for the phenomenon.

Driver: that which is mostly responsible for the phenomenon.

Contributor: that which is not mostly responsible for the phenomenon.

By rule, with dichotomous problems, there is a more probable and a less probable answer. Exception: when the probabilities are roughly 50:50. By rule, in situations in which there are three or more possible answers, there is a most probable and a least probable. Exception: when the possibilities are nearly equal in probability.

Unerring path: By rule, pick the more probable answer. Exception: Abandon the more probable answer only if a model ends up contradicted by data. Final result: a model that accounts for all of the known data. If picking the less probable answer also ends in contradiction, rephrase the question.

Pick the less probable result and by rule, one ends up with a model that is flat-out contradicted by available data. Exception: lucky guess of the right answer as the less probable.

Deceived by a host of factors (including emotions, stupidity, arrogance, and ignorance), people often pick the less probable. Some people err almost without fail.

Examples are gross as earth.

The American Dental Association has a strong economic incentive to push its one-sided agenda. Bad oral health is good for business and bad advice on oral health is good for the business of dentistry. If Americans became as obsessed about eating right (and they did not stop experimenting with diets until their oral health became outstanding) as they are now obsessed with money, the American Dental Association might be rendered nearly powerless and penniless. Like most governmental bodies, they are foxes guarding the henhouse. With a beaming smile, the fox always reports that all chickens are safe and accounted for.

It is generally agreed that good oral health is measured by the relative absence of tooth decay and gum disease. I would add throat health, tongue health (the various types of glossitis are a veritable catalogue of B vitamin deficiencies) and cheek health.

The American Dental Association has identified good oral hygiene (use of fluoride toothpastes, regular flossing, and germ killing mouthwashes), avoidance of sweets, and regular dental checkups as the key contributors to good overall oral health; together this list constitutes the driver of good oral health.

Nature, as observed by Weston Price, in roughly two dozen indigenous peoples, who have no fluoride toothpaste, no floss, and with a few exceptions, no germ-killing mouthwashes, who eat sweets (nature’s sweets) liberally, and never have a professional dental checkup should have very bad oral health. Just the opposite is true: their oral health is always better than those who both adopt our Western ways and follow the advice of the American Dental Association.

More probable: Since healthy teeth and gums are vital to survival (consider scurvy as a key illustration of this fact), Nature has not left our oral health defenseless.

More probable: Oral health has a lower priority in short-term survival than that of key organs/systems.

Consequently, when there is a nutrient shortfall, the effects are likely to appear in oral health before major organ dysfunction. For example, both the thyroid and the salivary glands have a need for iodide. If iodide is adequate, both are well supplied. If iodide is somewhat deficient, oral health suffers more than thyroid health. When iodide is extremely deficient, both suffer. Monitoring thyroid function would not be a wise choice for detecting inchoate iodide deficiency.

Consequently, by rule, one can infer the quality of the diet better through oral health than general bodily health. Exception: when oral hygiene is exceptional.

More probable: find an optimal diet by measuring its effect on oral health, using ordinary oral hygiene, than by measuring its effect on blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol.

Less probable: The American Dental Association has identified the key drivers of good oral health correctly.

More probable: Nature has it right.

More probable: Proper nutrition is the key driver of good oral health.

More probable: One has proper nutrition when one has good oral health, given ordinary oral hygiene.

More probable: If one has poor oral health, one has not had proper nutrition (this is the more probable explanation of why scientists sometimes find skeletons many thousand of years older than civilization that are riddled with cavities – it takes only a brief time with poor nutrition to get tooth decay. If the ADA were right, ALL prehistoric skeletons should be riddled with tooth decay. Manifestly untrue).

Knowing that man can err if he is missing a single fact, and that nature’s most serious errors result in death before reproductive age, has 4 billion years of selective pressure got it right or has modern medicine got it right?

More probable: Nature has it right.
Less probable: Man has it right.

For the last 50 years doctors have told us to limit fat and cholesterol in our diets. Yet given a gram of cholesterol in our diet and up to 500 grams of total fat in our daily diet, our bodies readily take them up.

Doctors tell us that we need no more than 100 mg of vitamin C a day, regardless of circumstances. Yet if we give our bodies grams of vitamin C, our bodies readily absorb it, and our bodies absorb more when we are ill. Why? Who is right?

More probable: Nature.
Less probable: doctors.

Since doctors are highly fallible, nature need only be slightly less than highly fallible to be right more often than doctors. A major difference between nature and doctors: Nature selectively prunes its mistakes, while doctors cultivate theirs. Their is a culture of mistakes.

Doctors believe LDL-cholesterol is “bad” cholesterol. Nature has selected LDL as the chief carrier of fat-soluble nutrients (a laundry list includes cholesterol, vitamin E, vitamin K, carotenes, CoQ10, and more) in the human body and as far as I know, throughout the animal kingdom.

More probable: Winners in the evolutionary struggle are not bad for health.

More probable: if LDL-cholesterol is involved in atherogenesis, it is an adulterated form of LDL that is more responsible.

More probable: LDL-cholesterol is also “good” cholesterol.

Less optimal target for fighting atherosclerosis: LDL-cholesterol.
More optimal target: the adulterants of LDL and/or cholesterol.

Associates and Friends

One of many important confusions in the minds of young people:

The difference between associates and friends

All friends are associates; some associates are friends.

Obvious conclusion: most associates, whom they mistakenly call ‘friends,’ are not¬† friends.

Friends are a rare breed; they must be less selfish and self-centered than the average person because they truly care about their friend’s welfare. They are battle-tested (‘a friend in need is a friend indeed’) and they want to be friends for a lifetime.

Obvious conclusion: anyone who exhorts a person to do wrong  (harm others or oneself) is not your friend.

To their detriment, insufficiently self-reliant young people overweight the opinions of associates, whom they mistakenly call ‘friends’.

Youngsters would do well to remember the words of Falstaff:

“Villainous company…hath been the spoil of me.”

Better to be a self-reliant loner than an associate of villainous company.

The devolution of irrational thinking

Devolution is reverse evolution, that is, from greater to lesser ability.

Within individuals, the devolution of irrational thinking terminates in progressive psychiatric problems like anxiety, phobias, paranoia, schizophrenia, and insanity.

Within societies, terminating in decline and fall.

In individuals, with early mathematical training, might it first manifest as illogical thinking? The inability to do mathematical reasoning with facility. Later, in individuals, it manifests as the inability to clearly differentiate between rules and exceptions, between generalizations and over-generalizations. Later, the inability to distinguish with facility between causes (extremely exceptional), drivers (exceptional), and contributors (the rule). Deficiencies in such subtleties is indicative of problems in thinking logically and rationally. Causal thinking is symptomatic of defective thinking in general, thought that is dominated by emotions and thus under-regulated by reason, a phenomenon that is an inversion of the proper Platonic order.

Etc.

Can we correctly guess our number one flaw from word usage?

Perhaps.

Cupidity comes from the Latin cupiditas, meaning strong desire.

For what?

That may reveal our American character – for in America in 2017 cupidity was solely strong desire for money. Is greed our number one flaw? Perhaps it is – derived from more basic flaws to be sure, including the trio of flaws – arrogance, ignorance, and stupidity.

 

How rational is man?

Even the most rational of men is not rational enough for me. I find them poor company, best enjoyed, like family, in small doses.

I could sit and listen to Namians and Zetosophers all day long – now there’s rational company. Unfortunately, I am insufficiently rational for them, though both groups are better at patiently enduring irrationality than am I, the Namians with great humor. As their creator, had I been more rational, they would have been more rational.