Thursday, October 18, 2007

Clinical trial on healthy eating

Science is differentiated from ideology by its respect for empirical data. Science is open to refutation and when the observed, empirical data don't fit the theory, the theory is modified. Ideology holds to its precepts and excuses contrary data as variously flawed, irrelevant or just plain inconvenient.

Evidence of this distinction comes from two disparate areas. The first is the largest, longest randomized clinical trial of dietary habits which shows that the conventional prescription for "healthy eating" results in no appreciable health benefits. The second, is the continued promotion of a supposed scientific consensus on climate change, despite the inherent lies in such a claim. Most laughably, are the attempts to link both sets of fears.

Furedi discusses the implication of myth perpetuation as an extension and personification of a pervasive climate of fear. What is troublesome in both the obesity myth and with global warming, is that the contradictory science that should be employed to dismiss fears is itself vilified and demonized, and not the myth makers, fear-mongers and ideologues.

Some while ago, I remember seeing an interview with Robert Redford where he stated that early in his career he viewed the world as sane with pockets of insanity and this he reflected in his movies. Later he realized the majority of the world was lacking in sanity and that only pockets of tranquility and sanity exist, and that this motif became the defining characteristic of his later films.

In contemplating the state of science, its use and mis-use, the prescriptive dogma of ideology that passes under the rubric of official policy and the absence of extended outrage at such abuses, I reflect more and more why I take solace from films that reflect a river running through the passage of time or a random act of kindness changing the world one moment at a time....