Here’s a Saturday afternoon link roundup.
~ Don Matesz at Primal Wisdom puts together the definitive guide and rebuttal to the most cited and most bogus argument against eating paleo: Life Expectancy.
~ And Dr. Mike Eades shows why it’s a good policy to be skeptical of meta-analysis studies: Saturated fat and heart disease: studies old and new.
To give you an example of what I mean, let’s assume that we have a study looking at a flipped coin. If a researcher flips a coin 10 times and comes up with 6 heads and 4 tails, runs this through a program checking for statistical significance, he/she will discover that the 6-4 ratio isn’t a statistically-significant difference because of the low number of overall flips (10). Now, let’s say that 50 researchers did the same kinds of study and some found that their coins came up heads 6 times out of 10 or 4 times out of 10, etc. If a researcher then wants to ‘prove’ that heads comes up more times than tails on a coin flip, he/she can gather all the studies showing heads come up more times than tails, add them together in a meta-analysis and come up with 25 studies, each with 10 flips, showing that heads came up 63 percent of the time. Now we’re talking 250 flips and we would probably reach statistical significance. We know that over the long run a flipped coin is going to come up heads about 50 percent of the time and that the more the times it is flipped the more likely the number of heads will close in on the 50 percent figure. But, the meta-analysis that selected the studies showing the 63 percent heads is statistically significant because the studies were cherry picked.
~ And even more New York City "cavemen" in the news. Just wait until the raw meat eating scene!
~ Let’s just finish up with some humor, ok? I’m talking about John Robbins and his take on the paleo way.
Central to Audette’s views is his belief that we are natural meat-eaters. If you think there is validity to his argument, then I would ask you to consider a simple experiment. The next time you see a deer or wildebeest, see if you can run it down, jump up on its back, and dig your teeth into its hide. I think that you would discover several things. You’d probably find out that you don’t have a lot of desire to do this. Even if you tried, though, you’d probably find that you can’t run fast enough or jump high enough to manage the task. And even if you could, you’d find that your mouth doesn’t open very wide, and your canine teeth aren’t very long or very sharp or very hard. And even if you could bite off a piece, I think you’d find yourself quite displeased with the result.
Of course, the reason we don’t have the teeth and claws of a pure carnivore is because we evolved big brains as our principal offensive weapon, along with the manual dexterity to exploit our brain’s potential, and then we fashioned tools our brains and hands could use. In fact, stone tools go back more than 2 million years. Can he possibly be that ignorant?