Skeptics’ Circle

Ranaban of Reduce to Common Sense has posted The Skeptic Games which is a digest of sceptical blogging over the last two weeks.

Evolving Mind‘s post on the topic of You Aren’t What You Eat is particularly relevant to this blog.

I once had a relative tell me that a your diet is responsible for your physical health and your mental health as well. If you are having a problem with either of these, it must be your diet. Clearly this hypothesis is too simple to be true. More importantly, there’s a truckload of evidence stacked against it.

But wouldn’t it be nice to be able to fire all doctors and psychiatrists and instead just have a primary care dietitian. “Joe, you’ve got to eat more carrots and fewer corn dogs.”

Does food influence health? In extreme circumstances, it definitely does. Not enough vitamin a, b, or c, and you will have troubles. But to know if diet does influence health, we can’t merely dream up a hypothesis and leave it at that. To determine if x influences y, the relation must be tested.

We mini-blogged it but also on-topic is Orac’s coverage of the shame-making and lamentable ADVANTAGE seeding trial revelations: When clinical trials are designed by the marketing department.

The next host is Skeptic Dictionary. You can learn all about familiar arguments masquerading as Ancient Wisdom, where magic meets science. Send your post along to Skepdic before 9/11.


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