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Hypocrisy in evaluating tribal studies

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 20, 2013 at 6:19 PM

Given that the Paleo community is so quick to scoff at epidemiological studies, particularly those done by Ancel Keys, why do we lean so heavily on tribal studies focusing on groups like the Masai? Doesn't that qualify as blunt hypocrisy?

800e726cb5dff569fd8edf604c3e2793

(1655)

on March 21, 2013
at 02:53 PM

Sure, and..? People always like to find justifications for their pre-existing beliefs :-) Critical thinking is still mandatory :-D

3a9d5dde5212ccd34b860bb6ed07bbef

(1782)

on March 20, 2013
at 07:26 PM

A better question is why disparage Ancel Keys and then praise Weston A Price?

8894ece18cd108655ed18f2056172c1c

(250)

on March 20, 2013
at 06:50 PM

Well-stated, and I agree, but several in the Paleo community use those studies to do more than disprove the claims made by the likes of Ancel Keys. The dietary makeup of the Masai is pretty routinely cited as a reason to eat copious amounts of saturated fat, not just a reason to exercise skepticism when considering low-fat recommendations.

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1 Answers

2
800e726cb5dff569fd8edf604c3e2793

on March 20, 2013
at 06:29 PM

Epidemiological studies can't prove a causal relationship, so if you're saying that, e.g. saturated fat consumption causes heart attacks, epidemiological studies can't prove that this theory is correct.

On the other hand, disproving a theory is much easier than proving one. Many a beautiful theory has been slain by a single little ugly fact (to mangle an old quote). Epidemiological studies are much more valid as examples of how a given theory does NOT work in reality.

800e726cb5dff569fd8edf604c3e2793

(1655)

on March 21, 2013
at 02:53 PM

Sure, and..? People always like to find justifications for their pre-existing beliefs :-) Critical thinking is still mandatory :-D

8894ece18cd108655ed18f2056172c1c

(250)

on March 20, 2013
at 06:50 PM

Well-stated, and I agree, but several in the Paleo community use those studies to do more than disprove the claims made by the likes of Ancel Keys. The dietary makeup of the Masai is pretty routinely cited as a reason to eat copious amounts of saturated fat, not just a reason to exercise skepticism when considering low-fat recommendations.

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