las

Welcome all seeking refuge from low carb dogma!

“To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact”
~ Charles Darwin (it's evolutionary baybeee!)

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Scientific Method in the Low Carb Echo-Chamber

I don't know how many of my readers share this impression I have of the low carb online community on the whole, but here it is.  To me it seems this community has fallen victim to the same kind of group-think many have long decried, hanging out at sites where non-believers are turned away.  No differing opinions allowed in such echo chambers.  

The result of which is that we see the sort of repetition of catch phrases that would make a political party proud.  You know what I'm talking about ... when the various mouthpieces making the rounds of the Sunday shows, morning shows and various cable and talk radio shows all seem to have the same speech patterns.

And so it is now that low carb cookbook authors and comedians give speeches on how to critically evaluate scientific studies.  The former individual I'm speaking of is Dana Carpender.  Her speech on the recently concluded Low Carb Cruise (Jimmy Moore) was posted online:  Part 1, Part 2.  (Direct links:  Part 1, Part 2.)

I have much to criticize on this speech, that I may or may not share in some future post.  I'm not sure if it's worth it.  She seems like a nice enough person who has the sort of personality that I'd probably make fast friends with were I to meet her in an LC-free context.   But after telling us that she's just a housewife who is a college dropout (of unspecified field of study but I think a science major is probably out of the question), she procedes to instruct the audience on evaluating studies and takes a few swipes at researchers that would, in another context, warrant an email from the ......  Just rubs me the wrong way.  But I digress.

Anyway, I listen to the speech and the catch phrase that perks my (former bunny) ears (around the 7:30 mark of Part 1) is:

"The point of scientific study by the way 
should be to disprove your hypothesis."

at least one audience member close to a mic: "Yes"
  Dana:  "Yeah"

Now where did she learn this from?  Why are people following along chiming in with approval?  I'm guessing it traces back to Gary Taubes and/or Mike Eades.   Neither of whom, I might add, appear to have ever engaged in actual scientific research.  You'll have to take my word for it, but yours truly here actually has - both in academic and industrial contexts - for well over a decade.  

I posted previously a rather long, somewhat rambling post about the issue I have with Dana's statement:  Testing Scientific Hypotheses v. Statistical Hypothesis Testing.  After Eades' black swanning attempt to dissemble Colpo's refutation of the metabolic advantage, black swans were popping up in the comments on blogs and forums far and wide.  And ever since Taubes started insisting his hypothesis should be the "null" hypothesis requiring extraordinary evidence to discard, this notion has taken off.  The Cliff Notes version of my prior post is as follows:  We design scientific study to generate data in hopes that it supports one's hypothesis.  Statistical hypothesis testing methods are applied to the data - often several times, several types, etc. - to assess the significance of the degree to which the data demonstrate an effect, etc.  Statistical hypotheses yield the most definitive conclusions when they are formulated so as to be disproved by the evidence.

To state that a scientist wants to disprove their hypothesis, or that they should be doing this, or this is the real purpose of scientific inquiry is just absurd.  Below is a graphic from a source that appears to be geared towards creating that reasonably educated child.


My only critique of this is that there's another option if you find yourself that poor dejected "No" dude at the center.  A good scientist would also consider whether it was the hypothesis itself is that is faulty.  They would then revise the hypothesis and repeat the process.  

Ultimately, however, the scientist is looking to be the "Yes" dude there!  

There is a lot of criticism to be had for not reporting/publishing "No" studies, but folks this is just a reality.  I encountered this problem with my masters thesis research.  As it turned out, the phenomenon I was investigating was applied to the physical outcomes of a process, but the mechanism was vastly different in my system than for the systems in which this phenomenon and the methods to study it generally apply.  My thesis and the subsequent peer review journal article had to be very carefully worded.   If not for the pressure to publish - so I could get my degree w/o having to start all over with another research project - it's doubtful I would have put so much energy into doing this.  In the "real world" this is expensive and time consuming.  Money and time that would be better spent, in most cases, on starting over.  At the very least, continued research to refine the hypothesis would likely take precedence over publishing - although there's the ever-present need to maintain funding sources.

That we know there's a correlation, even perhaps a causation between A and B but we don't know how A causes B, there can be ten different hypotheses as to how A causes B.  Say a study on one such hypothesis comes up empty.  In an ideal world this gets published to communicate the futility of this line of thought, but in the real world there's nothing nefarious about the fact that it just doesn't make it to the journal.  This is not to say that we don't ever see "No effect of ...." type studies, just that in general it's more difficult to get these published and/or there's often limited utility to the research group to expend the resources to publish rather than investigate hypothesis number two in hopes of hitting the jackpot.

Folks, if we want to advance the "high mindedness" of science of carbohydrate-restricted nutrition and/or promote the healthfulness, or at least dispel the paradigm of the unhealthfulness of high fat diets, it's going to require some genuine discussion on the science.  This includes dissenting opinions and challenging one's own biases.  For your individual learning, I hope you'll continue to read this blog (shameless self-promotion).  But I encourage you to read a variety of sources and not just confine yourself to those low carb echo chambers where 90% of the comments are "great post", "you're da bomb", and such.   I'd be a liar if I didn't say that when I get such posts here they make me smile and boost the ego.  But I do enjoy when those who find this blog from "enemy camps" challenge me and I encourage more (keep it respectful please) rather than less of this type of discourse.  (Apparently some other bloggers aren't so keen on having such discussions)

This is how we move things forward.  Not by reading sources that reinforce one dogma to replace another.  And not by dismissing out of hand any study that might produce results counter to the outcome you might have hoped for. 

Now .... go ... seek out those studies that support your hypothesis! (But don't ignore those that don't).   That's how science works!

52 comments:

foodteacher said...

I've been 4 months into this world of Low Carb and I'm glad to see someone who is using doubt in a constructive way. (if that makes sense)
I was viewing Mark's daily apple often and then started to read the forums and journals. The religious fervour that folks are applying to this 'life style' really bothers me. The forums reminded me of pro-ana sites.
I enjoy reading your blog and reading actual studies as well. thank you.

Sanjeev said...

can't wait for these folks to discover Bayesian methods and murder that whole field too

dopealope said...

Carbsane,

IIRC, I found your blog after a google search of something like "taubes refutation". I find the hypothesis presented in Gary Taube's articles and books compelling, and was looking for a contrary view with which to compare them. You certainly seem to differ with him, but I am hard pressed to understand why. I am not remotely qualified to understand all your analyses of the various studies you post, and so perhaps a lot of subtlety is lost on me. I guess from reading many of your posts, the best summation of your theory is that Low Carbing works, Calories count, the idea of insulins role in obsesity is false.

Here in lies my problem: I don't know how I can judge whether your criticism is valid or not. As I said, I am not qualified to judge all the "science" you present, and for all I know, you could be totally full of it. Your decision to be anonymous adds to my skepticism. If I had an electrical problem in my house, whose opinion am I going to give more weight: some guy on the street who says I should trust him that he knows a lot about electricity, or a guy who has studied and written extensively on house hold electrical systems?

This post in particular seems like a thinly veiled whine about why others who are participating in the larger conversation about these issues are ignoring you.

Regards,
dopealope

Anya said...

Well, it's not all bad and getting worse.
Here's a recent post (turnaround?) by a well respected paleo (and thus (?) low-carb) blogger that you might enjoy :
http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/2011/05/out-of-office.html

Jeff Borsato said...

People are prone to act like sheep, they seek prophets and sages, easy advice and slick campaigns.

At the moment in the diet world the contrarian is the sage: bringing a new testament of diet against the old testament of how to eat.

as always, most obscured are the facts; hidden and beneath the surface of saccharin claims and illusory promises.

keep speaking the truth carbsane!

MM said...

"...takes a few swipes at researchers that would, in another context, warrant an email from the ......" From the what? Sorry, I'm clueless here. I can't figure this one out and it's bugging me.

Charles L. Peden said...

CarbSane,

I think you are obstinate in not being swayed by seemingly rational theories. You can take that as a compliment (I would). This would add to your credibility for when or if you do find a more compelling solution to the obesity/metabolism problem.

Speaking of credibility, I don't find your anonymity to paint the information and opinions you present as less credible. I know Ray Peat's name but I don't find that to add to his credibility. At this stage of the game, anyone's input stands on its own merit. I think your information is exceptional regardless if you are really a female or even a real human being...lol.

If we were suspecting you of a crime or you were running for political office then your anonymity might be suspicious. But we are talking about putting the pieces of a puzzle together. The more minds in the game, all the better.

Alan said...

CS, you have won your place in history by being the boy^H^H^H girl who shouted out about the Emperor's lack of clothes vis-a-vis the carbs-are-poison hypothesis.

And because of which, you received a lot of undeserved personal invective.

Notwithstanding those two facts, I think you go too far in attributing echo-chamberhood to the entire Paleo-inspired blogosphere. It really isn't all that homogenized.

case in point: Don Matesz. first he demolished the claims that feedlot beef is a significant problem.

Most recently, he's adapting a CICO position.

Melchior Meijer said...

CarbSane, thanks to you I've found out that some of my outspoken 'Popperian' allies react inapropriate (unscientific) when their ideas are challenged. They have their mouth fullof 'cognitive dissonance', but fail to spot that very human trait in themselves. This has been a rude but enlightening awakening. Thanks for that.

Of course I disagree with most of what you say ;-).

CarbSane said...

@Alan: I have a few thoughts on LC and Paleo that I'll be posting soon. Basically the "echo chamber" I'm addressing here is the Atkins-inspired low carbers. The current "scientific" leaders thereof being Taubes and Eades and the many spokespeople of the carbs->insulin->obesity. Jimmy, many of the speakers on the LC cruise, Drs "carbs kill" Su and "wheat belly" Davis, VHF promoters like Petro, etc. Most (not all) of these folks do not address omega 6's, gluten (it's a low carb flour!), grains, dairy, artificial sweeteners, processed meat, etc.etc.

Frequent Jimmy's LLVLC forum, Low Carb Friends or the Active Low Carber forums and you'll see what I'm talking about.

The echo chamber does extend into many Paleo-inspired blogs, however. Specifically the Primal Taubes-inspired (excess sugar turns to fat, carbs make you fat) voices. Many of those are cited frequently - often out of context - whenever they say something that agrees with the insulin hypothesis. Many, IMO, are not outspoken enough about their differences with LC community as a whole.

I've been following Don's blog only recently. Good stuff!

@Melchior: The inappropriate reactions to having one's beliefs challenged on the science are unfortunate. So we do agree on one thing! LOL :-)

CarbSane said...

Reinstating lost comment by:

foodteacher

I've been 4 months into this world of Low Carb and I'm glad to see someone who is using doubt in a constructive way. (if that makes sense)
I was viewing Mark's daily apple often and then started to read the forums and journals. The religious fervour that folks are applying to this 'life style' really bothers me. The forums reminded me of pro-ana sites.
I enjoy reading your blog and reading actual studies as well. thank you.

CarbSane said...

Thanks! foodteacher. Many of those who view me as hostile need to look in the mirror as they write responses on the internet. What is sad, I think, is that many low carbers remain overweight, but are so ingrained in that being the *only* way to eat they can't see past going lower and lower carb to achieve their goals. This is how I got into this in the first place. Looking for answers to get truly lean.

CarbSane said...

Reposting lost comment for

Sanjeev

can't wait for these folks to discover Bayesian methods and murder that whole field too

CarbSane said...

Reposting lost comment for:


dopealope

Carbsane,

IIRC, I found your blog after a google search of something like "taubes refutation". I find the hypothesis presented in Gary Taube's articles and books compelling, and was looking for a contrary view with which to compare them. You certainly seem to differ with him, but I am hard pressed to understand why. I am not remotely qualified to understand all your analyses of the various studies you post, and so perhaps a lot of subtlety is lost on me. I guess from reading many of your posts, the best summation of your theory is that Low Carbing works, Calories count, the idea of insulins role in obsesity is false.


Here in lies my problem: I don't know how I can judge whether your criticism is valid or not. As I said, I am not qualified to judge all the "science" you present, and for all I know, you could be totally full of it. Your decision to be anonymous adds to my skepticism. If I had an electrical problem in my house, whose opinion am I going to give more weight: some guy on the street who says I should trust him that he knows a lot about electricity, or a guy who has studied and written extensively on house hold electrical systems?


This post in particular seems like a thinly veiled whine about why others who are participating in the larger conversation about these issues are ignoring you.


Regards,
dopealope

CarbSane said...

Reposting lost comment for:

Anya

Well, it's not all bad and getting worse.
Here's a recent post (turnaround?) by a well respected paleo (and thus (?) low-carb) blogger that you might enjoy :
http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/2011/05/out-of-office.html

CarbSane said...

Yes Anya! And welcome to the Asylum if I haven't done so already.

There are many in nutrition science, paleo-inspired, ancestral diet, etc. realm who are addressing this. I can only think, however, that if most Atkins-style low carbers are reading their content, they're ignoring that which doesn't fit their dogma, and shouting down anyone who comes into "their house" rather than engaging in fact-based debate.

CarbSane said...

Reinstating lost comment for:

Jeff Borsato

People are prone to act like sheep, they seek prophets and sages, easy advice and slick campaigns.

At the moment in the diet world the contrarian is the sage: bringing a new testament of diet against the old testament of how to eat.

as always, most obscured are the facts; hidden and beneath the surface of saccharin claims and illusory promises.

keep speaking the truth carbsane!

CarbSane said...

@Jeff, thanks! Yeah, I think being the contrarian has a special draw for the human spirit. There's nothing wrong with that, until rebellious behavior resembles that of a teenager. I'm not calling folks "childish" here. Just saying that rebellious teens do a lot of things and believe a lot of stuff based reflexively on whether or not their parents believe them.

Melchior Meijer said...

Mainly kidding for the sake of being against. I would say I agree with most things you say. I share your concerns re NEFA and insulin resistance. After reading Frayn it would be quite silly to maintain that insulin keeps the fat ‘trapped’ in adipose tissue. It was a wonderful hypothesis, I loved it, but you (Frayn) effectively slayed it. Shit happens. Count your blessings and move on. What’s left? NAD’s, of course! They are my last straw. If you slay that one too, I don’t have to write the first Duch paleo book. O, and I still think high fasting insulin levels indicate impending doom.

Be said...

Thanks for clarifying your position. I think I understand your incessant obsession with bringing others (specifically Gary Taubes) down. Your grad thesis was garbage and because of that you will spend the rest of your life being petty and vindictive and make sure you tear down everyone else's thesis. Dopealope expressed it well (and you passed on commenting on it). I have read your posts trying to understand WHY you disagree, but come up frustrated that either you fall back into an excessively petty personal emotional rant or you overreach into scientific double speak. I wonder if even YOU know that you mean. But if you redirected all the effort you extend spewing hatred into trying to explain and teach us dumb asses your science you might make headway as anything more than an Internet troll.

markgillespie said...

Spewing hatred? Are we reading the same blog? Carbsane comes across as very reasonable and measured in her posts. Don't use the occasional bit of cheeky humour as an excuse to write off her arguments.

The likes of Taubes et al are getting very rich off the back of some bad science. Carbsane is a proper scientist who is qualified to point out what bad science looks like. If her arguments go over your head, there is always the option of reading a book or two. If that is too much like hard work and you've decided to just put your faith in the highest profile guru you can find then that's your problem.

To suggest she's a troll simply because you don't understand her arguments is frankly pathetic.

Richard said...

You write a lot; so much that sometimes I don't have the attention span to read it all. But I will say that I probably agree with you; a result is a result, and should be published. The objective of scientific inquiry is discovery, whether it was what was sought or not. Not proving one's theory isn't failure; it's success. Failure comes when stop asking questions and trying to answer them.

Steph said...

I also think Dana Carpender seems like a really nice lady. That said, hasn't she disproved her own theory? She lost a lot of weight doing LC, but has put quite a bit back on, still doing LC. Doesn't look like LC is working in the long term. What am I missing?

Muata said...

Richard said, "Failure comes when stop asking questions and trying to answer them."

Exactly! And I believe that this applies to much more than just the scientific method ...

CarbSane said...

Yeah Steph, this was my impression when I first discovered Dana back in 2009. She had regained more back then, it would appear from the picture. (The others in that picture are not svelte! Don't know who that is on the left, but the center lady is almost certainly About.com's Laura Dolson and seated on the right is likely Dr. Mary Vernon) This is a slimmer Dana, though she reported gaining like 8 lbs developing slow cooker recipes for her new book.

This is a problem that the LC community seemingly ignores or claims that even if they still struggle with weight they're vastly healthier eating this way. I dunno, on her blog Dana has shared that she's been diagnosed with PCOS (an insulin resistance related condition). Is a 75% fat diet perhaps not working all that well? I know *I* would be asking that question for myself were I in her shoes.

CarbSane said...

Umm Be: Feel better? My thesis wasn't garbage and it resulted in a first authorship on an article in the preeminent peer review journal in the field. What I was trying to convey is the difficulty in getting "negative" results published. I was able to reproduce the phenomenon I was studying in my experiments, but the analytical results of the "gold standard" methods for looking at this phenomenon were not what was expected. My advisor, who was a fairly big name in the field, was very concerned about stepping on toes with this outcome as other big names in the field were reviewers for the prominent journals and would not take kindly to someone showing their methods had limitations. There's lots of "politics" in publishing! That should come as no surprise to anyone.

The other point I was making is that a lot of research that goes on at academic institutions has to produce publications. This is powerful incentive to expend the resources to publish. In industry, not so much. Hit a dead end and you're unlikely to waste the time writing that up. Fact of life, reality.

My goal is not to tear individuals down. It's to learn and understand this science as best I can. Having to dispel myths put forth by science journalists and repeated by others necessarily means calling out these purveyors of same.

If you've read my posts then you should know WHY I disagree. Thus I suggest trolling is more your thang.

Click on the "toothpick" post in the upper right. Summarizes it pretty well. Spend some time looking at the science that counters so much of what Taubes writes. The old label GCBC Fact Check and the newer Gary Taubes Fact Check will help.

@dopealope: Well, you can always read my sources. For example just the graphic I posted on the scientific method. What's the alternative? Take Dana's word for it? I've addressed my reasons for remaining anonymous and won't rehash them. Maybe someday that will change.

I've uncovered a TON of well done research that counters LC dogma. Many named bloggers are more quietly dispelling the myths. It's a start.

Curmujeon said...

Just picked up "Weight in America: Obesity, Eating Disorders and Othrr Health Related Risks"' (C) 2011, from the library when I returned GCBC. Caught my attention while browsing the 613s. Mentions Atkins and some pre-Atkins lo-carb advocates. You'll be happy(or not) that there's no Taubes entry in the index. No mention of any of the Paleo/Primal movements. Keys was also missing. This book purports to present factual information on the various topics of the subject for undergrads.

dopealope said...

My basic point is this: you disparage many others who are also trying to find the answers by saying "Oh, he/she is just a journalist/comedian/cookbook author", and yet you expect us to you seriously as an anonymous blogger.

Further, can you give me a relatively concise definition of what you actually believe in terms of weight gain or loss? It would help give me and maybe some other readers context for your posts. Context other than your "loathing" for Taubes et al ...

CarbSane said...

Eating too much and, perhaps, not moving enough. It's how I gained my weight. It's how Jimmy keeps regaining his (LC or not), and Dana too. And apparently many, many, (MANY!) long term low carbers who keep fighting with their weight.

Take me seriously or not on the content of this blog. Hint: read past the few sensationalistic posts that brought you here and ask yourself why you were really here in the first place.

Lots of information here that has nothing to do with personalities.

dopealope said...

So basically you are saying a calorie is a calorie and if you want to lose weight, you need to eat less and exercise more?

I am trying, in good faith, to see whether I should take you seriously.

CarbSane said...

dopealope, LC works when folks spontaneously eat less. Some report so much energy apparently (Eades patients they mention in 6WC) they take up martial arts and such spontaneously move more too.

I've dealt with the whole all calories are the same strawman (I think I have at least, sorry I don't have a categorical memory of the over 500 posts that have either been published or remain unfinished in my draft pile).

EVERY time ELMM has been tried and complied with, fat is lost.

It's a matter of maintaining that trips most people up. Believing fairy tales and consuming two dozen chicken wings doused in fat (on the belief that chicken is too low a fat source of protein on its own, even with skin) has gotten Jimmy Moore nowhere. Recently he ate 2 pounds of beef with 12T (that's 3/4 of a cup) of fat. Let's see where this gets him.

No ... I don't wish him anything but success. It's actually folks like him that make me the most sad b/c the peddlers of gimmicks to sell books don't give a rat's (knockout, genetically obese or whatever) ass about someone like Jimmy. Or me. Except that I expose the dishonesty of some.

CarbSane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CarbSane said...

BTW: I'm not calling Dana dishonest ... rather duped. Jimmy is duped as well, but not entirely innocent in terms of complicity in perpetuating harmful myths at this point.

dopealope said...

I'm sorry to be so persistent (and obviously dense) about trying to understand your basic premise.

Again, do you believe, metabolically speaking, that all calories are the same in terms of weight regulation? That is, 1 calorie from a Carbohydrate source is the same as 1 calorie from a Fat or Protein source?

CarbSane said...

Basically yes. Now, there MAY be thermogenic differences, and yes, we use most protein and some fat for "maintenance"/"structure building" but in the end, the Atwater factors were determined in humans to be metabolizable energy. I do not believe in a metabolic advantage. I don't believe in macro balance between fat and carb having any difference (search on Kipnis on this site). Carbs don't make you fat. Indeed as to the subject of this post, avoiding them may well make you fat in the long run.

As Gary would say ... "how's that working for you?"

dopealope said...

Thank you. I now understand the basic premise of your posts.

Alan said...

@dopealope

I put forth the proposition that the MOST IDEAL science blogging would entail all parties remaining anonymous. The alternative is the possibilities of cult-of-personality, and/or scientists drifting off into this (eg, guys selling pills, like Mark Sisson) or that (eg, Kurt Harris, selling clickviews on psychologytoday.com) form of making money from the paleosphere as the prime activity.

Not to mention, that you haven't exactly identified YOURSELF. At least I am using my real name.

Flavia said...

It really is incredible how insular and dogmatic some of these low carbers are becoming. I suppose that is what usually happens when you are in a group- there is no dissent, so you reinforce each other's ideas without critique. Further, to stand out in such a group one must be more and more "extreme."

I followed Jimmy Moore's menu blogs for years...and just recently I noticed he is moderating comments (I do not know this for sure but his old comments generated around 8-10 comments, and now even when he introduced long term fasting, weight rebounds, and huge amounts of fat into his blog there were no comments? So more controversial diets yield less comments?)
He has also removed his weight from the blog.

Recently he did an experiment where he stated he wanted to prove that carbs make him fat. So, on top of a diet that he was already having trouble maintaining in, he added "sweet potato fries" and " bread" (amount unspecified). Then blamed the weight gain ON THE CARBS! WTF!?

I do understand that low carb is a great way to feel satiated and get a lot of nutrients in, however it doesn't seem to be the panacea most are talking about. I don't see many more success stories than other weight loss systems.

My advice is simple and has worked for me. Try to eat as unprocessed as possible, exercise, don't eat too much- and if you do, make a note of it and lower calories the next day (or exercise for an extra hour). What a concept eh?

Dawn said...

Thanks for your personal welcome when I commented a few weeks back, Carbsane.

I just wanted to mention that it was claustrophobia induced by the low-carb blogosphere that led me to look for some dissenting opinions, once I realized that low-carb also wasn't a panacea for me.

Being pre-diabetic and generally always "watching my weight," I was ecstatic when low-carbing quickly and easily brought my blood sugar numbers and weight into line about a year ago. I was less ecstatic when my fasting blood sugar crept up despite continuing to eat that way, and downright annoyed when I started gaining the weight back.

I'm currently only 3 kg up from my preferred weight, but my belly looks bigger than it ever has. Could a high-fat, low-carb diet lead to more belly fat? Now I'm on a quest to find out if different macronutrients affect body composition differently -- it seems this is one of your questions, as well.

The general issue of "if low-carb is so great, why are so many proponents overweight or obese?" certainly needs to be addressed by those "within the movement," so let's hope it will be. Stephen Guyenet seems to be working on a new theory that may be useful; hopefully others will chime in as well.

Muata said...

There seems to be a shift happening in the LC community that, IMO, resembles the whole HAES (health at every size) movement. While I do think that everyone should find a size that they are "personally" comfortable and happy with, I have a problem with this new being "healthy" is more important than the number on the scale approach because many of these same folks became known on the internet because of their "weight loss", not because they were healthy and obese.

Now that folks like Jimmy and many other "well known" LCers can't keep their weight off, there seems to be group denial since most of them are still obese or have continued to yo-yo.

What's interesting is that when I was "very" active in the LC community back in 2007, there were many LC followers who had problems with "carb creep" or not being able to keep the lost weight off. Not much has changed ...

CarbSane said...

@Alan: That's an interesting thought. It would cause more focus on the message instead of the messenger. I do understand the issues with maintaining my anonymity and, for now, it's my decision to stay so. Certainly being an MD or PhD hasn't stopped many folks from promoting unsubstantiated pseudoscience. I have no issue with making money off of one's work. Heck, perhaps to someday I'll do the same. But promoting pseudoscience for profit doesn't sit well with me.

@Dawn: Thanks for sharing your experience. Yes, LC seems to have caused weight to redistribute to my stomach. When I regained after LC both times prior it went more to my stomach than ever before. Tummy was always the last to expand, not so post-LC.

@Muata: The number of prominent heavy long term low carbers is becoming the elephant in the room that I don't think can be ignored much longer.

Folks have rightly said "why should I listen to you" on how to eat (I only share what I've done, I don't advise what to eat or not here ... but anyway ...). So when some of these folks proudly proclaim they eat 75% fat or that a high fat/moderate protein/low carb diet is best while sporting physiques more fit for "before" pictures, it is disturbing.

CarbSane said...

@Flavia: I have proof he was censoring my comments - though it has been a while since I've bothered to comment because of this. There is no way that he stops posting weights, performs some ridiculous eating experiments, etc. without getting critical comments of his misadventures.

It's easy just to never let comments through on Blogger when you moderate and nobody knows but you and the commenter that this happened.

This is not to disparage those who moderate or even censor. Everyone's blog is their own "castle" and each of us has the right to decide what's let in. But Jimmy claims to "put it all out there", and his recent behavior is at odds with his claims at times.

MB said...

You wrote: "To state that a scientist wants to disprove their hypothesis, or that they should be doing this, or this is the real purpose of scientific inquiry is just absurd."

It sounds like you have never heard of Karl Popper. could that be?

CarbSane said...

Yeah I've heard of him. But name a scientist who's work was designed that way.

You observe -> you form a hypothesis that you think explains the observations -> you design an experiment to test the hypothesis.

You want the results of your experiment to support your hypothesis.

Scientists aren't out there looking for black swans. They're usually covered in tar.

MB said...

I would recommend reading his actual writings or studying science philosophy a bit. I agree that most scientists don't know enough about how to conduct good science. The fact that most scientist don't do it, doesn't make it wrong.
Wanting your results to support your hypothesis comes from ego and career considerations. It has little to do with good or bad science.

CarbSane said...

Philosophy is not science.

It's not about wanting per se ... that's a bad word. But a scientist formulates a hypothesis in the hopes that they are enhancing understanding of how things work or don't work. The positive outcome of the experiments is for them to support the hypothesis.

If my hypothesis is A causes B and my experiment shows that A doesn't cause B after all, then it's time to rethink. If my hypothesis is that A doesn't cause B and I get the same result, this tells me nothing about what actually causes B, just that I've possibly added one more thing to the list.

Based on Dana's logic, I'm not quite able to eliminate lack of running for my increased bust size.

MB said...

was "Philosophy is not science" a joke? I need to know this to form my response.

CarbSane said...

BTW, MB: Did Popper ever conduct any science? Or did he just philosophize over the whole falsifiable thing. Sorry, but I've got other interests than to hunt down that answer.

Popper-logic is indefensible to me. It means that if we seek the answer as to why A->B and 100 studies support a hypothesis it's not "proof", but if one merely re-words one's hypothesis to be that A does not -> B and one study shows indeed A->B, then there's your black swan.

CarbSane said...

Oy vey. PhD I suppose. LOL. Please don't make me reminisce over my college course in philosophy at an engineering and science focused institution.

MB said...

Thanks, your answers will help me to better evaluate your writings in the future.

CarbSane said...

Fair 'nuf.

I'll leave you with this though I doubt you'll return: Popper's views on falsifiability are the underpinning of statistical hypothesis testing. Only with the qualifier that one black swan does not falsify - it's more the probability that the black swan still could exist that is tested.

Mirrorball said...

I think there is just a misunderstanding. Scientists don't want their hypotheses to be falsified. They try to falsify them and hope it doesn't work. It's like testing a chair for sturdiness. You kick it, jump on it, throw it against the wall to see if it's going to break, hoping it won't. I'm pretty sure Karl Popper never meant to say that true scientists always like to see their hypotheses falsified, though sometimes they do (suppose someone predicts global warming is going to destroy life as we know it in 10 years).

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